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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  October 20, 2014 12:00pm-2:01pm EDT

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problems of all of the employers who are struggling every day to deal with a work force that iowa.anging. so we do need to promote respect for the rule of law. that's why expanding e-verify because of its effectiveness is a good idea. >> senator ernst, would you support a bill requiring all businesses to use e-verify? >> i do believe that is a step in the right direction, but we do need to look at the cost to employers in making sure that they are able to afford this system and perhaps providing the supports necessary to get that in place for private employers. but there is a greater issue with immigration, and i spent time overseas when i was at iowa state university on an ag exchange. when i was staying on that collective farm in the soviet union, the leaders of the collective, all they wanted to do was not talk about
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agriculture issues, but talk about what it was to be an american, what it was like to be free and experience the types of opportunities that we have in america. so i understand why families want to come to the united states and experience that american dream. but we are a nation of immigrants, and we are also a nation of laws. so we do need to enforce the existing laws, but i believe we also need to secure the border. that needs to be done first. i see it as more than just an immigration issue, but also one of national security. >> we've had lengthy questions here. i'll give you a real brief question now. ms. ernst, is there any scenario that you would support raising taxes on iowa voters? >> no. i believe that we can find ways to make our government more efficient without raising taxes on our hardworking iowans. i would like to see our iowans keeping more of their tax dollars in their own pockets so
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that they can save for their children's college education, so they can pay their bills, so they can buy a home. all of those wonderful things that we would like to see iowans do. here in the state of iowa, i implemented one of the largest tax cuts with the leadership of governor terry branstadt. as a matter of fact, it was the largest tax cut, and we are saving iowans $4.4 billion over the next 10 years. this is just one part of our greater economic plan, which also includes reducing job killing rules and regulations and balancing the budget, which we have done here in iowa for the past four years. >> would you consider raising the cap on social security tax? as a tax? >> it is an option that can be discussed out there, but i think we have better options that we can look at. >> well, senator ernst may think there are better options, but you gave her the opportunity to explain them tonight and she
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didn't. and the thing that i will tell you is that right now one of our biggest problems is we provide tax incentives to corporations that ship u.s. jobs overseas, so i would eliminate those tax incentives, and that would cause the taxes for some of those corporations to go up, tim. i think most iowa voters can accept that reality because they want a tax system that is fair for people in the working class. now, senator ernst has expressed support for a tax change to the way we currently tax people. she has expressed support for 23% national sales tax. that would dramatically increase the tax burden on working class families. it would be added to the existing 6% sales tax you pay, meaning that you would be paying almost 40% on every dollar you spend in sales taxes. and she has talked about that as an option she's willing to consider. i won't.
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>> he mentioned several points there. ms. ernest, go ahead. >> i do believe we need to lower taxes on our hardworking iowans immediately. immediately. which is something we have done with this tax cut that we have implemented here in iowa. but then work over the long term to reform our tax system. i say scrap the irs. let's start all over again. we need a tax that is fair, flatter, and simpler. again, we do need to find an option. and i am willing to sit down. we need to have bipartisan support on this. but let's make life better for hardworking americans. we can't tax them to death. my opponent, congressman braley, that seems to be the answer for everything is higher taxes and more spending. we can't keep doing that to our hardworking iowans.
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>> senator ernst's answer to everything is scrap it. scrap the irs. get rid of it. get rid of the department of education. get rid of the epa. get rid of the clean water act. every solution she has is throwing darts at the board, trying to get rid of programs that have had significant impacts and made a difference in the lives of iowans. so she wants to get the federal government out of the student loan business. what would that mean? it would mean 230,000 iowans who depend on those student loans. by privatizing them, their interest rates would skyrocket and their lives would be much worse off. i don't think the solution to all of these problems is to scrap things. i think the solution is to find problems, fix them, and make sure that iowans have clean water, clean air, and that they have the ability to get the educations that they deserve. >> yes or no, would you raise tax? >> excuse me? >> yes or no, would you raise the tax? >> i already said that i think that employers who shift jobs overseas shouldn't get the tax benefits they are getting right now and their taxes would go up. >> thank you.
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>> can i address that? yes, when it comes to taxing and spending, i would say the congressman has made his positions very clear. over the eight years that he has served in congress, he has voted eight times to raise our national debt ceiling. the national debt has doubled in the time that he has been in congress. this is immoral. we are passing on a debt to our children and grandchildren. my daughters' share of the national debt is $50,000. we can't keep spending the way we are. i don't believe in a bloated federal bureaucracy. we need to return a lot of that power to the states because iowans know what is best. iowans are working for iowans our way is working. washington, d.c. is not. >> thank you both. it's been a quick hour i guess we could say here for some parts. we've had a pretty good discussion.
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we appreciate you joining us around the table tonight. thank you for the answers to our questions. >> thank you. as we wind down this hour-long discussion we want the candidates to share their closing thoughts with the viewers who are shaping their voting decisions as we speak. mr. braley, you have the first word. ms. ernst, you have the last. start with your closing thoughts please. >> thanks, amanda. congress isn't working right now, and part of the reason is because of partisan gridlock. one of the reasons for that gridlock is people who aren't willing to work together to get things done. i'm a bridge builder, not a bridge burner. i have a proven record of working with republicans to improve the lives of iowans. iowans have been blessed to have two senators over the last 30 years, chuck grassley and tom harkin, who, even though they don't agree on everything, have been able to put those differences aside to advance an agenda that's helpful to iowa. as your next senator, i'm going to follow in tom harkin's foot step. i've worked with chuck grassley on things like protecting and preserving the renewable fuel
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standard. i've worked with chuck grassley to try to protect the wind energy tax credit which has transformed the landscape of iowa and created thousands of good-paying jobs. as your next senator i'm going to get up every morning thinking about what i can do to make your lives better, and i'm going to focus on economic policies that are going to strengthen the middle class because that's what iowans have always depended upon, whether it's in agriculture, education, energy, our economy has been based on hardworking iowans who get up every day and do what's necessary to get the job done. as your senator, that's exactly what i'm going to do. i'm going to work hard to make sure that your lives are better. i'm here tonight to ask for your help. i'm here tonight to ask for your vote. thank you. >> thank you. ms. ernst, your final thoughts? >> thank you so much to our hosts this evening. it has been a pleasure to be here with you.
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thank you, congressman, very much for joining me on this stage. tonight i think you have seen very clear differences in this race. i am not a washington politician. i grew up on my family farm in southwest iowa. i am a mother. i am a soldier. i am an independent leader who cares very deeply about the nation that we are leaving our children and grandchildren. i don't support congressman braley's policies, president barack obama's policies of higher taxes, more spending, obamacare, amnesty -- the list goes on and on. congressman braley has a failed record in washington. because of that he is running the most negative campaign that iowans have ever seen, but i believe in the iowa way. i know iowans know what is best for iowa more than politicians
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in washington, and if you trust me with your vote on november 4, i will fight hard for middle class stories so they have better paying jobs. i will work for the thousands of iowans facing higher health care costs because of obamacare. i will protect social security and medicare for our seniors because they have sacrificed so much that our families can reach for the american dream. i will fight washington, to change washington, to make sure more americans can achieve that american dream as your next senator. >> thank you both for being here tonight. >> our political coverage does not stop after tonight's debate. we are going to be online. go to and for political coverage as we draw to less than 20 days to election day. >> we thank those in the audience tonight. we also thank you at home that
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have watched this evening. you can continue to contribute by going to those websites and as we head toward election day. from eppley auditorium on the campus of morningside college in sioux city, iowa, thanks for joining us. good night. >> thank you. >> thank you so much. >> thank you. race in georgia. carter,eal and jason the grandson of president jimmy carter. here is a look at some of the ads voters are seeing. >> senator jason carter claims he will put education first, but phone is against the largest increase in education funding in seven years. educationl increased by $538 million this year. >> yet seen the worst contraction of public education in the history of our state. you have 9000 fewer teachers. if 45,000 people leave our
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technical schools and have not come back. soorry we will reap what we from that destruction of our education. and i'm governor, we will have a separate budget for education and we will protect that not just in the good times, but all the time. >> i wrote the law to stop illegal aliens from receiving taxpayer-funded health care, and voted against obamacare. liberals will not like it when i empower local law enforcement to deport illegal aliens. illegal aliens are costing georgia taxpayers over $1 billion every year. my concern is you. >> negative ads from nathan deal. the truth? jason carter is a fiscal conservative who never voted for a tax increase. he will fund schools first and put an end to paying for
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projects withpet education dollars. today we have 9000 fewer fewer technical college students. nathan deal, shortchanging education, and our kids are paying the price. >> republican governor nathan deal running for a second term. an average of recent polls show deal ahead by 2%. we will have their latest bait tonight at 8:00 on c-span. technology in the 2014 campaign. >> his turkey the digital tools were largely thought of as e-mail tools and online contributions, the website, but i think it has even all that -- our company, for example, also enables tools that enable the shoe leather side of the campaign, the canvassing, phone
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calling, direct mail. then i think you're seeing more marketing channels, online or person-addressable tv and online ads, and you can do person-addressable directions through social networks. i think now there is a pretty wide swath of things you can call digital. >> we have moved from the broadcast era. we are at the tail end of what we is known as from the early 1960's, where broadcast television has dominated. as we evolve into addressable television, it is moving into relationship era. we have known that in the commercial sector that if you are going to -- when you build brand advocates, have someone who is advocating for and influence to their friends, how do we move from just knowing not only the messages, because we have gotten good at the message, we need to do a better job of knowing who the right messenger is to deliver that message. >> tonight at 9:00 eastern on
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c-span2. here are a few of the comments we've recently seized from viewers. haggling my local cable provider in new jersey for over 18 months now to start offering c-span in high definition. >> i have never done anything like this before, but i thoroughly enjoyed this program. channel,e history where i live, in naples, florida, and i thought this was absolutely really magnificent. i just sat glued to my chair for the whole hour, and i will continue to turn back to this program again. our just wanted to first on allowing c-span -- first start off by allowing c-span to know that i do not watch any other channel on my cable selection decides this.
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c-span2, c-span3, and i appreciate you for your services there and your ability to really keep it mixed up and keep it lively. >> continue to let us know what you think about the programs you're watching. or you canmail us, send us a tweet. join the c-span conversation. like us on facebook. follow us on twitter. >> live today c-span will be at the national press club for march by labor secretary thomas jobs, who will talk about and economy. live at 1:00 eastern time. for we hear from secretary perez, here is a look at campaign spending strategy as that november 4 elections come close.
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host: our guest is cameron joseph. about campaign fundraising and spending in these last couple of weeks. thank you for joining us. and one thing that caught our attention most recently is some news out of control, the democratic citadel senatorial campaign. guest: they're spending a ton of money there. and the fact that they're cutting bait there shows that they really don't think grimes can beat mcconnell. they're going under a mode that they're starting to look at any possibility of getting other opportunities in the state, in the country and in kentucky doesn't look promising to them. they've been arguing all year that it was going to be a close race there. it's still going to be close
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race but they don't see a path to victory. host: if not kentucky, where would the money go? guest: they're not just retrenching. they're going after south dakota, which is a state that for more than a year, they basically said they didn't have a chance in. but all of a sudden, the former governor is having some issues with some former ethics issues and scandals that are popping up that are hurting his numbers a little there. so that's little more of a hail mary, but they're putting a million dollars between tv and ground operation. in georgia is getting really interesting. host: one of our guest's recent piece here, a democrat leading in the georgia senate race. guest: this is a race that democrats have really been hopeful for about, why republicans are so threatened and there's no chance. georgia is a conservative state. it's a republican state. but it's a state that the democratics are trending towards
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democrats. white folks aren't as conservative. and michelle nunn is a candidate i feel good about. she worked with george h.w. bush for a charity. it's still a hard nut to crack. but david purdue has gotten in trouble. they found a deposition in 2005 where they asked him what do you do, basically. tell us about your outsource thing. and he said, yeah, that was an instant ad about them. he said he was proud of his career. he didn't handle it great off the bat. so michelle nunn's going to have to beat him by a couple of points. at the very worst it's going to be a runoff. host: we'll put the phone numbers on the bottom of your screen. you can weigh in by social media. there are the numbers on the screen there for our guests. and we're talking specifically
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about the money piece of this spending in the last several weeks to the campaign. our guest has written several recent pieces, and one of the events headlines, cam says, national g.o.p. predicts senate victory. but what are they pointing to specifically? >> to the fact that a lot of polls in these red states are fighting really hard places and are starting to look very good for them. they've had a little bit of a lead in the polls recently in colorado. so things do seem to be trending the republicans' ray right now. democrats can afford to lose five seats, not six. there's seven seats set in states that mitt romney won. and georgia was a promising place. host: and plug the money back into this. and another headline from our guest.
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rnc is are sending money to target the senate and the house. where else specifically? guest: well, some of the interesting states, iowa and colorado. and for a long time, democrats are saying we're going to be hold one or two seats but they can't expend the map. republicans have prove it. iowa is the state that determines the whole thing. and that's a really close race between ernst and braley. brayley had a couple of gaffs early in the campaign that's really hurt him. he hasn't made any mistakes since then. but iowa is going to be a state that we're watching closely here. host: we have an ad involving the race that our guest just talked about. it's a dssc ad attacking a republican in iowa regarding abortion. here's a look.
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[video clip] >> i've been a nurse on the sexual assault response team. i've seen lots of cases. many of them are very brutal. it breaks your heart. i'll never understand politicians who make it harder. one outlaud abortion even for rape and incest. she banned a right to choose. absolutely brutalized. joni ernst has no idea what people like this go through. host: want to add anything to that? guest: what they're trying to do, ernst was endorsed by sarah palin, linked the two of them together. ernst is a affable person. she's a warm personality. they're trying to tear her apart on the issues. she's very conservative. they're not having as much success at this point. host: we have plenty of calls, lots more as for this segment. domingo is calling from springfield garden from new
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york. where is that? caller: queens, new york. host: go ahead, sir. you are on the air. caller: yes. hello? host: hello? caller: queens, new york. host: domingo, you are on the air. go ahead and say what you like to say. caller: ok. what i would like to say is everybody, one -- host: going to let you go, caller. clay is calling from biloxi, mississippi. go ahead, clay. caller: yes, probably since the supreme court decision allowing the contributions by corporations unlimited and just caller souring the democratic process. thank you.
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guest: there is a lot of money floating in right now and you're seeing some of these outside groups spending very heavily. one of the interesting things on the outside is they poured a ton of money on the house races. the official democratic party arm to reentrench and hoping for they've got to be expensive to protect their incumbents. host: talk to us about the party committees. you've already brought up some staggering figures. guest: yeah, a lot. this is the biggest spending in terms of history. and i think we're just going to see that at every election. we're going to see more money than the previous election. and what we've seen this year is the democrats, the official campaign committee has done very well. the democratic senatorial committee have raised a lot of
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money than their republican counterparts. the tradeoff is some of these super pacs are spending a lot more. and democrats have spent a lot more on ground operation. but wherever you are, you've got to be really tired of the ads by now. host: you are a contributor to a recent piece by jessica taylor who writes for "the hill." talk about some of the winners, republican corey gardner in the colorado race. talk about his situation. >> he's raised a lot of money and he was a candidate that republicans wanted for a very long time. they went back later when things are starting to look worse. and then he said i will take a lot of this. mark udall is in trouble. gardner outraised him and
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brought in a lot of money. and i don't think either side is going to have a problem getting enough people out in the field there. we're getting to a point where it's saturation level in any competitive race. gardner and ernst are two challengers who have very good quarters. and the two of them are really proving that money chases momentum. and republican donors are feeling very confident about the two of them. >> you have kay hagan, the north north carolina, the big senate race there. tell us more. >> so these democrats have really been struggling. hagan has been able to hold a small but sturdy lead in the poll. but the reason why she was able to hold that lead, but thom is struggling with fundraising. he is the state house speaker, and he was a little bit of a tough time balancing his day job and his actual job, fundraising. some republicans think he should top back from it.
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she's been able to parlay that into more ads and keep the focus on him. that's starting to shift about isis and ebola, moving back to foreign policy where he's stronger. it's an area -- a lot of people are surprised that she's had a lead and it's because of the money. host: "washington post" touches on that and makes a topic on the headline. security issues recast for senate north carolina. they're talking about security, about isis, but also about ebola. guest: yeah. host: speak about ebola for a second. will that play a big role two weeks from now? guest: it's hard to tell exactly what the role will be. it's one of those things that a lot of americans aren't feeling great about the direction of the country. we're seeing the return of fear politics. we've seen some scares about the border, isis, and ebola. and it's one of those things where folks are just getting a little nervous and folks are starting to wonder whether president obama is doing everything he can or should be
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doing. some of these folks who don't pay quite as much attention of the politics and we're seeing the headlines and we see isis and ebola getting a lot of attention in the midterm. host: ross from columbus, ohio. we've got the phones back. ross, you are a democrat. go there. caller: i would like to address the question of united states calls itself a true democracy and we you have this much money influencing politics, i don't understand how you can have a true democracy where you have the kind of money noting around in both parties. they do influence a lot of decisions. i would like your guest to address this question. we are not a true democracy. we have this kind of money deciding a lot of issues. and also, i would like to make a comment on the ebola outbreak. there's a lot of suspicion
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around the fact that the ebola germ or virus itself was invented the laboratory. i would like for you to try to clear that up. a lot of people saying the same thing about aids. always blame it on the monkeys, but you never see thousands of monkeys laying around dead. thank you. host: let's stick to the money piece of this. anything on the first part of his comment that you want to respond to? guest: it's clear how we do politics in america. and it's made donors more important. it's made big donors more important. and i think there's some frustration on every side about how much time folks have to spend fundraising. when you talk to the average congressmen, if they're in a tough district race, four six hours a day for fundraising. and so people start wondering why it's hard to get anything done up here. and when someone who is supposed to be legislating has to spend that much time keeping
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themselves in the office and they try to spend that much time focusing on what they're elected to do, they start losing their races. some of the folks who aren't in that fundraising having to be bailed out by the committees or losing their race. i think this is a lot of pressure to raise money. but i think it's exceedingly higher now. host: centerville, massachusetts, hello there. caller: good morning, guys. host: good morning. caller: i can't possibly believe that in america today this they can get on tv and say that these races that these republicans are in are close. and if they are close and with this decision that happened this past weekend with the supreme court in texas with this suppression of the vote, and down in georgia or south carolina where they lost 80,000
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voters' applications, i smell fraud basically. but be it as it may, the fact that the american people allow these people to continue to spout this stuff on that level. they should -- american people, please wake up. something is going on and it stinks. host: i think it brings an interesting point, and georgia specifically. democrats have registered a lot of people down. about 40,000 have not made on to the rolls yet. they've now got a lawsuit at the georgia secretary of state about what happened of those votes and there is voter fraud in terms of the registering of voters saying
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they're not valid. so in a close race like that when you're talking about 40,000 new voters, most of them democrats, that could be a big difference. we start seeing the imaginations of registering voters and these legal arguments and voter i.d. is a big deal in north carolina. the supreme court just upheld that law. if 10,000 or 20,000 aren't able to vote or not, that could be make a big difference. whether these laws are intended to toward electoral impact, they are going to be. host: he's cam joseph and contribute to the blog and morning publication. previously, "national journal" and got a degree in government.
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and we have another ad we want to show folks. this is a race in new york and a republican who is running against the incumbent. this is a dccc ad hitting an opponent for opposition to abortion. [video clip] >> they even want to overturn roev wade. he wants to outlaw abortion and deny coverage for common forms of birth control. he's in step with right wing republicans and congress but out of step with new york values. the democratic campaign committee is responsible for the content of this advertising. >> democrats are leaning hard into this. the colorado senate race is focused almost exclusively on women's issues and not just
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abortion but healthcare coverage to the point where one of the moderators during one of the debates referred to senator mark udall as mark "uterus." and a lot of these house races you just saw democrats are looking to leverage the women's vote in. what they're feeling is it's harder to turn out the minority voters in off years like this. women voters tend to turn out and they're aimed at the young mothers recently married suburban women. host: we're starting to touch on some of the issues in the race, but viewer wants to bring it back to money and ask -- why is this race defined by money and not ideas? >> there's just a lot of money out there. i mean, i think there are ideas being discussed. we're not really seeing a
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national message, and it's kind of a campaign about nothing and each individual race and each individual district is on whatever the local issues are. but the money is national and no longer local races. it's never been a case that it's been local. house races, even when we look at down ballot races, it tends to drive the conversation. host: bruce, thank you for waiting. you're on the republican line. hey, bruce. caller: hello, thank you. i watched the commercial from iowa. i watched the one in new york. i'm not sure how it's pronounced, but i don't see any counter. both of these pertaining to the abortion issue. is c-span making a political statement itself this morning? do you get money from the
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federal government to make these political stands? if you do, i think it's time to be stopped. that's all. host: well, we do not, bruce. do you have anything about any of the races for my guest? >> i like to see a little more balance in some of these commercials you're putting on this morning. if you show one from one side show one from another side. host: we have plenty more coming. let's go to bill in new york. bill, you there? where are you? >> it's 10 miles south of the canadian border. host: got it. caller: how do you fix the money problem in politics? >> i think that's an open question and difficult to do. they got things through about a
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decade ago with the kind of rare bipartisan coalition, and the supreme court struck down a big part of that with citizens united that said free speech is free speech and money equals speech. without a constitutional amendment, it's difficult to do that, and republicans have dug in and said they don't think that's a good idea. i don't see it happening unless this is a major shift in the political dialogue. host: let's talk to cedric on the republican line. cedric, you there? caller: yes, i'm here. what i wanted to say democrats are desperate and i've noticed they're running a scorched-earth campaign. the only chance to compete is tkepl mondayize the republicans. i think the sleeping giant has awaken which is the american
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people. they're able to connect all of what's going on in the country to the democrat party, and the race card is not going to work this time. i don't think black americans are liking these policies. they're not benefiting from these policies. so it's going to be a big problem. host: thanks for calling. guest: i do think that this is some truth to the negative campaigns we've seen this year in a couple of places. we've seen just hard negative campaigns from democrats. colorado specifically. we saw some statistics. 75% to 80% of the ads are negative. right now it's all about base turnout where you won't a lot of independents making up their minds in the last minute talking about getting your voters to the polls. being scared gets you to the polls quicker than being happy.
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host: 75%, is that higher in elections? guest: it's higher than what we've seen because you have to kind of like the candidate if you're going to vote. we see folks who don't vote in other elections who aren't going to be driven by fear. but when we're talking about the base and at midterm things get nastier and you're trying to get as many voters out that are already on your side that might not be feeling it this time around. that's why we're seeing things so negative. host: the nrcc's ad is being called a willy horton style ad. >> four murders in 11 days. and the judge decides niko jenkins is responsible for all of them. >> released early
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after serving only half. he's a poster child for why the good time law is a farce. the national republican congressional committee is responsible for the advertising. >> i think it shows in that district republicans are running a little scared. their congressman lee terry had some missteps along the way. he's not particularly well liked and part of that is during the shutdown he complained about folks asking him to give back the government pay, and that has not played very well. democrats have really burned in the quote that he used and even though it's a republican leading district, that's one area where they're nervous. generally if you see something that negative it's not a good sign. we saw one in alaska who ran a similar ad that the family of the folks that had been killed
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that had been around that issue complained about it, and that hurt him. that threw him off kilter. generally if you see things that nasty, it means you're not winning. host: to the hill's list of campaign cash winners and losers. loser side, mark pryor. tell us more. >> he's been running a very tough race all year. it's hard to win as a democrat in arkansas right now. the president's approval rating is in the low 30%'s in arkansas. mark pryor has a family name. he's well liked. but there's just this thing on him. and tom cotton hasn't run a perfect campaign, but he's raised a lot of money. that's one of the seats that republicans are feeling best about winning.
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democrats are hoping the ground game will be turned around. i'm not sure if that's where the race is. host: pryor, $2.2 million to $3.8 million for cotton. and first district house race in arizona where republican andy tobin is running. >> he was the establish pick. sometimes it's hard to turn on that money spigot. there was a tea party candidate that divided the party. it's a very large district and has a lot of native american populations and intensely republican. she may be facing a little bit of this real problem democrats have of turning out their base in this case native americans.
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that's the bigger driver. the candidates matter but what really matters when the american national network pour as money in. host: when were campaign ads not negative? guest: before tv. it's always been. remember back to lyndon johnson campaign and the nuclear bomb going off. that's the original scare ad. just seeing the newsletters going back and forth since the founding. they've gotten more negative but this has been going on since the dawn of time. host: the people say they hate negative ads, but they don't vote. thank you for waiting. hey, there. caller: thank you for taking my call. i don't think the democrats policy-wise feel any necessity
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of trying to use the tack of demonizing the republican party because it's done enough on its own in terms of secrecy and policy-making ventures and other things within the administrative political infrastructure to demonize themselves. guest: i think there's an interesting trend going on right now. no one likes anyone in d.c. especially if you've been in d.c. for a while, it's not like you can point to any party your in and so we're seeing negative campaigns because people don't have much to brag about. host: our guest had this byline over the weekend.
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guest: there is so much outside money coming in right now it's hard to register how much it will make. but democrats outraged republicans early. they had a lot more money and what they decided everyone will have enough ads but what we'll try to do is break this and we break this and we always struggle in the midterms, and try to turn out they're voters and they spread a lot of money on boots on the ground and spent about $60 million already and probably higher once the campaign is over. every time their incumbent falls behind they say, we can win this and i think it's starting to pay dividends. host: hey there.
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dorothy, baltimore. caller: i was wanting to ask the reporter a couple of questions. one being about policy. like you said, a lot of fundraising, commercials, negativity and all of that. what about policies? even the media is not asking me politicians what are you going to do when you get in for real and be specific, especially with social security and medicare. we know what reform means to republicans. as a reporter, i would like to ask you one quick question. after you are hearing republicans call up and talk about the i.r.s. scandal, you can say honestly, has there ever been a document presented that linked the white house to the i.r.s. scandal, any document?
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would you please tell me if that happened? guest: sure. on social security and medicare part it's clear this both sides are using this as a scare issue. democrats have been running on this for years now. the ryan budget includes fundamental changes to both programs, and democrats have been running hard on that and republicans always responded. democrats argue it was cost- saving measures and put back in the program so. there's been a lot of back and forth on that and that's really a scare tactic on both sides that they've been using which i think the more they use it as a scare tactic the less anyone will want to touch it. i think republicans kind of stuck their neck out in policy and it hurt them. democrats have been the same way with obamacare. i don't think of it especially as a divided city you will see
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major changes in either one of those programs. doesn't mean they'll continue to work while some argue they aren't as sustainable as others. looking at the i.r.s. we're hearing more in conservative media than mainstream media. i'm not sure how much is driving the conversation. but it was the first major drop in the bucket of kind of the scandal city that we've been seeing. i think that was the kind of the turning point for folks to look at the obama administration closely and they had a couple of slip-ups. host: we have 10 minutes left with our guest cam joseph. we started about talking about kentucky, and explain for us the process of moving money away or in or around. how do the parties decide who is deciding at the parties, how does that process work? >> because of the remnants of
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the mccain-feingold campaign finance laws, this is a wall between the normal committee, the folks who are talking to us, the folks who are putting on press releases and the independent expenditure sides and those guys are making their own decisions in terms of where to spend money. sometimes you'll hear about this, oh, this race looks really promising, and then you see the same committee do the opposite thing because of the weird wall. because usually the money is going in and out. because people are placing big bets and they don't do that lightly. if you see a campaign dumping a lot of money in the last minute or investing early, that means they're serious or at least trying to force the other side to spend heavily there. generally, there is a lot of talk. as you get closer you see reservations come in and then reservations start to move. usually if campaigns are moving
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money into a race, it's getting hotter and more contested. really following money is a better way to monitor what's going on than talking to some of these operatives. >> travis is calling from elgin, illinois. good morning. caller: good morning, sir. gentlemen, thank you. what i just wanted to bring up is that the government unions taking money from government workers by courthouse employees and everybody making very little money is the same as corporations donating money. there is absolutely no difference, as we saw in the last presidential election. president obama had more money spent on his campaign towards advertisement than mitt romney did. also, just real quick, texas should be completely taken out of election campaigns. this is ridiculous. you know how much money we could make in our country just by taking the tax money that could
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be put upon spending on donations? i don't know. it seems really obvious to me that there's a difference between giving money to donating to a cancer treatment than there is to a politician who is going become the bad little boy mark twain talked about. thank you. host: thanks for calling. guest: well, i think that the point about campaign contributions is interesting, but looking at -- there's clearly come complaints on both sides. republicans aren't happy about union money coming into elections and did he regular deregulated by the supreme court. it's going to be very hard to undo. they're kind of feeling like we've seen union rates dropping
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rapidly across the country even in some of the strongholds. scott walker in wisconsin, republicans love and democrats hate because of of his union busting techniques. you see unionization dropping quickly in wisconsin. they're gunning for him. rick schneider in michigan -- are two races where they spent a lot of money. democrats are upset about them. >> before bigger stage walker must win wisconsin. you're mentioning the wisconsin governor. we had the debate on this friday and the friday before as well. this is a "new york times" piece. a picture of him here in a tight re-election race saying, here they're making the main point that he needs to win re-election if he has a national agenda in mind. this is in "the new york times" today.
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we want to show you one more ad, back at the senate. the ad takes a shot at senator hagan which is not showing up for her work. [video clip] >> being an effective senator starts with showing up. but kay hagan skipped half of public meetings and admitted missing a classified hearing on isis to hold a fund-raiser in new york city and shares a subcommittee on emerging threats, but hasn't held a single public hearing on isis. does kay hagan deserve reelection? guest: that's something we've seen in a lot of races. truancy politics. the dirty little secret is a lot of politicians miss hearings,
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democrat or republican, often folks show up and give their statement and leave. especially if you're cycle you have to raise a ton of money and that time could be used better raising money andsying on the phone where people are talking about points and you're not always getting new information. we have seen it in north carolina and colorado and iowa and new hampshire as well. in north carolina we've seen that a little bit. kay hagan has been hit for that. but then she points out, she told him to vacate his job leading the house majority and the legislature because he missed so much to fundraise. it's one of the unfortunate realities of politics today that folks spend a lot more time fundraising than doing their job. host: i want to throw this on the table.
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but gas prices are down quite a bit. guest: i think that folks -- when the economy starts to improve people turn to other things. usually a down spiral in the economy is a problem. you don't get credit if the economy is doing better while your party is in control. frankly i think a lot of people even though the economy is recovering are still not feeling it. there's a lot of indicators especially in some of the states that we're fighting in, they're not feeling that great and they're saying, if the economy's recovering, why aren't we doing better. host: let's hear from andy in south carolina. caller: thank you for taking my call. i wanted to comment. i'm 34 years old, and i've given
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caller a total of $2,000 to $2,500 to political campaigns. i'm a small, regular joe, and, boy, i tell you i have been turned off this election cycle and i haven't given any money due to the e-mails and the phone calls and the actual physical mailings from i guess republican fund-raisers. they hit you hard. host: what motivated you in the past to send money? caller: well, i mean, i just thought it was my civic duty, i guess, to support -- i couldn't give a lot, but a little to people. civic duty, i guess. host: sounds like you had enough now it sound like? caller: it's almost too much, but i'll probably end up giving but it's the barrage of --
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host: thank you, andy. guest: i think that's a lot of voters experience. the only way to avoid all these fundraising e-mails is really to give as much as legally as possible so they'll start leaving you alone. even then it doesn't work. during fundraising i can't find my e-mails. you can see them tick by, it's like twitter. a lot of folks are having that experience of where we're seeing the advent of a lot of new technology to raise money as well as everything else, and with the amount of super pac money coming in, the campaigns are feeling the need to step up the game. they're being frankly obnoxious because they know it works. host: what are you looking to tell you where things might be?
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guest: it's interesting. i think there's about 10 races that's we've been talking all cycle and started narrowed them in to 7 or 8 that we think will determine control. a lot of these places you can't buy more advertising. in arkansas where there's a senator race, in the little rock district is now extensive to buy a tv ads like los angeles. so little rock is like l.a. and democrats did raise more money both the incumbents and committees and they were able to lock rates a little lower. and the dollar amounts aren't -- but you see republicans bank twice as much and there won't be any short of that.
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if you're sick of it, mute yoru tv for the next couple of weeks. host: let's hear from clyde. go ahead. caller: good morning. how you guys? host: we're doing well. what would you like to say? caller: all these money going into these campaigns and everything. i don't see why they can't raise people's social security. we only get 2% this year or less. and another thing, all that money that they're putting in campaigns, they could be donating that to cancer, and some of these other businesses. host: another sentiment there. we're hearing a lot of folks sick of the money and the advertising. the in the tell.iting host:
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way the game is structured right new. you can't necessarily blame the players forfeiting in the tell. host: cam joseph is the political reporter for the hill. >> thank you for having me. for remarks from thomas perez on jobs and the economy. he will take questions from reporters. the national press club is the leading professional organization for journalists, committed to our future and programming with events like this, while fostering a free press worldwide. for more information about the national press club, please visit our website, at on behalf of our members worldwide, i would like to
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welcome our speaker. and those of you attending today's event. our head table includes working journalists who are club members. -- members ofber the general public are attending as well, and he replies is not an indicator of lack of journalistic integrity. you can follow the action on twitter. after the guests speech concludes, we will have a question and answer period. i will ask his many questions as time permits. now it is time to introduce our guest. i would like each of you to stand briefly as your name is announced. thomas sanchez. jimmy labbe. michelle jim briscoe, u.s. economy reporter at bloomberg news. matthew cuddy, washington bureau
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chief of cnbc command guest of our speaker. susan page, washington bureau chief, usa today. tom trainor, district supervisor, market basket supervisors, and guess of our speaker. -- guest of our speaker. buffalo news, washington bureau chief. speakersof the abc committee and a former president of the national press club. speaker, alison fitzgerald, senior investigative reporter and project manager at the center for public integrity and nbc board member and organizer of today's luncheons. thank you. noah, with politico command guest of our speaker. 's nests editor of npr, and an npc board number.
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jennifer, president of respectability our guest today has been the subject of rumor and speculation. [laughter] for the last two weeks, since his name surfaced as a favorite to replace eric holder as attorney general. for now at least, thomas perez is still the secretary of labor. since being confirmed by the senate in july of 2013, perez has been everywhere. bananas,n, eating and in memphis, and meeting with unemployed workers in cleveland yet another. every first friday of month, he is all over the airways talking about the nation's falling unemployment rate. when he is here in town, he is likely to be spotted at
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nationals park. been traveling the country, preaching his gospel livingrd work deserves a wage. as head of the labor department, he is advocated raging -- raising the minimum wage to $10.10. pushed for paid parental leave, and worked to reduce the number of workers virtualized as contractors. he has been active on worker contracts. the department issued new regulations on wages, hiring, and chemical exposure. the sun of immigrants from the dominican republic who settled in buffalo, perez has a long history in washington as a defender of civil rights. senator tedviser to kennedy, and spent many years in the justice department's office of civil rights. beforethe division president obama appointed him the labor department last year.
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according to some press reports, obama is considering sending perez back to justice to replace holder, who announced last month he plans to step down. hisz is not without detractors, however. before becoming labor secretary, he endured a grueling confirmation process in which mitch mcconnell, the leader of the senate republican minority, called him a committed ideologue. not, we look forward to hearing his thoughts on the economy, the job market, the vacancy of justice, and perhaps the nuts. doma, please give a warm national press club welcome to tom perez. >> good afternoon. thank you for that generous welcome. i might talk about the buffalo bills, but we will say that for
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another time. thanks to everyone at the press club, including my good friend allison fitzgerald, who lives in the neighborhood. we are overrepresented in tacoma park, but that is ok. thank you for having me. over the summer, something remarkable happened around new england. thousands of employers of the regional supermarket chain market basket walked off the job to protest the firing of their ceo. workers up and down the chain of command put their jobs on the line to help rally, picketed throughout the summer. eight managers who spearheaded the first rally, some of them had been with the company for more than 40 years, were fired. loyal customers held their own rallies. merchandise sales started to dwindle, sales lag, vendors began to cut their ties with the company. the governors of two states
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stepped in to try and broker a deal. in the end, deal was reached, and he took back control of the company. just in time for labor day, the market basket employees went to work. they have 71 full-service supermarkets across new england. they employ roughly 25,000 people. these employees had one demand, they were calling for the return of their ceo. return, she stood on the back of a pickup truck and made a very memorable speech, which i think is very relevant to what we are discussing today. this is what he said. you have demonstrated that everyone here has a purpose. you have demonstrated that everyone has meaning, and no one person is better or more important than another. whether it is a full timer or a part timer, whether it is a stacker, a cashier, a grocery clerk, truck driver, warehouse director, store manager, supervisor, customer, vendor, or a ceo. we are all equal i working
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together, and only together do we succeed. they launched their protest because they wanted to work for a guy like him. someone who didn't treat him like they were another cost of doing business, but rather as a valuable asset. worthy of dignity. he understands the doing right by your employees is a great way to generate loyalty and foructivity, adding value customers and increasing your profit margins. he knows that in an economy that works for everyone, prosperity is shared. as they were getting up and running, i had the privilege along with some of my friends in labor to travel with the president on labor day weekend to milwaukee. the president gave a speech in which he said while most every measure, the american economy and american workers are better off than when i took office. the data backs them up. september was the 55th straight month the private sector job
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growth, to the tune of 10.3 million new jobs. that is the longest uninterrupted streak of rabbit sector job creation on record. unemployment is now at its lowest level since july 2008. all told, the united states has put more people back to work than europe, japan, and every advanced economy combined. manufacturing continues to make a historic back. things in america. in source using his in -- in sourcing is in, outsourcing is out. u.s. exports are up. since the first time since 2006, the poverty rate is down. child poverty had its largest one-year decline last year since 1966. the number of young people graduating high school is up, while crime and incarceration rates are down. systemng the health care bd>abd -- a
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. thanks to the affordable care act, we reduced the number of uninsured adults. it is undeniably true that we in these sixgress years, since the president inherited the worst economic crisis of our lifetime. 2 million jobs were lost. almost every indicator shows that we are better off now than we were on january 20, 2009. that is not enough. the number what the president said. at theember whe president said. almost isn't good enough. it's not good enough for me, it's not good enough for america. it's not good enough for the man i met in new jersey who had a six-figure job in the advertising industry, lost his job, and now is struggling to make ends meet. he said when i had cancer, that was easier than fighting
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long-term unemployment. thest isn't good enough for 71-year-old woman i met in houston, who has been a janitor for 30 years. even though she helped organize her coworkers, she still struggles to keep her head above water. just isn't enough. increasing the minimum wage would go a long way toward giving her some peace of mind. thest isn't good enough for new mom from texas who wrote to us after we were doing our paid leave campaign. she had to go without a paycheck for six months in order to take time off to be with her daughter, who was born nine weeks premature. all because we are the only nation in the industrialized planet that doesn't have a paid leave law. almost isn't good enough for the millions of people who are working hard and falling further behind. there is no dignity in working 40 to 50 hours a week and getting your food at the food pantry. for them, and for all of these other families who continue to
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struggle, the data points don't mean a whole lot. if the breadwinner in your house is out of work, the unemployment rate might as well be 100%. even if that breadwinner has been lucky enough to keep her job, chances are, she hasn't seen a meaningful raising years. contributinghe is to rising productivity, and it growing economy with her hard work. the pie is getting bigger, american workers helped take it, but they are not getting a bigger slice. sweat equity is not translating into financial equity. 2014 for thee in best year of private sector job growth since 1998. but the difference between now and then is that in the late 90's, the rising tide lifted more boats. it lifted the yachts and the rafts. it lifted the cruise liners and the dinghies. the principal of this business seems to me is to ensure that
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prosperity is broadly shared. that we built an economy that truly works, and meaningfully works for everyone. some say these challenges are intractable, that the problem is structural, whether it is low wages or long-term unemployment. globalization, technological progress, create inherent and intractable inequities and opportunity gaps that can be held off. i don't buy it. structural unemployment, for me , that's excuse making. i'm not giving up. this president is in giving up, we recognize that low wages and lousy benefits are a choice. they are not a necessity. and that is why i'm confident that we can construct a fair way to share prosperity in which everybody has a chance to live their highest and best dreams. that is what i want to talk to about.
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this stairway has a number of important steps. starting with tearing up the talking points. an understanding history. shared prosperity is not a fringe concept, cooked up by socialist. historically, both parties have embraced it in both their words and indeed, their actions. a principle that as american as apple pie, and a linchpin of a thriving middle class. here's what teddy roosevelt said. our aim is to promote prosperity, and to see that prosperity is passed around, and there is a proper division of prosperity. it,t take my word for listen to one of wall street's most powerful executives. lloyd blankfein, ceo of goldman sachs, who said -- he talked about the destabilizing impact of income inequality. over theof the gdp last generation has gone to too few of the people.
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standard & poor's recently issued a report explaining that income inequality is stifling gdp growth come at a time when we are still priming -- climbing out of the great recession. a rising tide lifts all boats, but a lifeboat carrying a few surrounded by many treading water risks capsizing. ago, this isys what janet yellen said. the extent of and continuing increase in inequality in the united states greatly concerns may. it is no secret that in the past few decades of widening inequality can be summed up as significant income and wealth gains for those at the very top, and stagnant living standards for the majority. so people across ideological spectrum recognize that america works best when they feel the whole team at. and when the entire team shares in the sacrifices and the spoils. and nevers are not will be golden ages in america.
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but in today's political climate, and the polarization, i feel like there are some who have regrettably lost sight of that. shared prosperity is a non- partisan principle. it is a key to long-term success. another step in the shareware -- stairway to shared prosperity is a familiar one. we have basic, commonsense tools our disposal that have worked in the past and can work again. we need to raise the men among wage. despite what you of heard on capitol hill, this isn't a radical concept. the congress, led by newt gingrich, passed it. every president except for two cents fdr has signed into law. but we have been stuck at $7.25 for years. the purchasing power of the minimum wage is 20% less than it was 30 years ago. the u.s. has the lowest minimum wage as a percentage of median wage, the third lowest among oecd countries. the third lowest.
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pond andok across the see countries governed by conservative leadership, such as the u.k., where they recently announced an increase in the minimum wage to $11.05 an hour. why did they do this? reasond it for that same that that flaming liberal, henry ford, did it. he doubled the wages for people on assembly lines because you said countrywide high wages spell countrywide prosperity. this is not a fringe idea. a strong majority of folks, and a majority of small businesses report increases -- support minimum wage,he because they understand that generates economic growth. and what is this is need more than anything -- businesses need more than anything is customers. they understand that 70% of gdp growth is consumption. let's stimulate consumption in order to strengthen the economy and continue to pick up the pace of recovery. we also need to have our in for
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structure investment. when you to rebuild roads and bridges, transit systems. these are opportunities to create middle-class jobs right away. and facilitate commerce for decades and decades account. yes, it involves federal spending. but it involves better role -- federal spending when dwight eisenhower crated the interstate highway system is one of his most enduring legacies. former local elected official and worked on transportation issues, i can tell you we can't build on it for century infrastructure when we are living year to year, month to month, on transportation budgets. that is why long-term planning is so critically important. we also need to fix our broken immigration system. it is not simply a moral or humanitarian or national security imperative. it is an economic imperative. the cbo estimates that in the grecian reform will increase -- immigration reform will increase real gdp by 5.4% over the next
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decade. that translates into an ofitional 1.4 trillion economic activity. adding jobs, putting upward pressure on wages, helping to stabilize the social security trust fund. these three ideas, when you think about them, they have worked in the past. they enjoyed strong bipartisan support in the past. we need to do them again now. they are critical to our nation's continued growth. we shouldn't stop there, and congress shouldn't stop there. the third step to shared prosperity is we need to continue to think big, and bold. comprehensive immigration reform is big and bold. there are other ideas that we should be using as well. let me give you one example. this example, i have seen across the country. it is a sleeper issue that will sleep no more. that is the issue of paid leave. we stand alone as the only industrialized nation on the
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planet where paid leave is not the law of the land. our dismal record on paid leave, for me, was on prominent display when i recently traveled to australia for the meeting of the g 20 labor ministers. when you look at other countries, canada, australia, it u.k., germany, japan, the nordic's, others. they are all leaning in on leave. that we are way behind. they all recognize that paid leave is good economic policy, and good family policy. they know it is essential to have thriving businesses and flexible workplaces. these aren't mutually exclusive. these are inextricably intertwined and mutually reinforced. why can't we figure it out here in the u.s.? why are we making people choose between the job that they need and the family that they love? why are we giving people more tools to be attentive parents and productive employees?
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how can we say that we continue to be for family values, when so many people have to jeopardize their economic security to take a few weeks off to have a kid? matter oft simply a doing the right thing, it is also an important strategy for reducing labor force per dissipation. every first friday of the month, the most frequent the asked question i get is what can you do to increase labor force participation? talk about paid leave, and compare the united states of canada. the labor force per tip is -- participation rate for women aged way five to 54 in the year 2000 in the u.s. and canada was virtually identical. today, canada is ahead of us by a percentage point -- eight percentage points because they have affordable access to affordable childcare and paid leave. if we had kept pace with canada over these years, we would have
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5.5 million more women in the workforce. the innovation economy would be enriched by this reservoir of human capital. sectors that have serious gender gaps, like the silicon valley, wall street, and elsewhere, would have additional talent to tap. i've said before, america works best when we field a full team a. there is a lot of female talent on the bench. that is not right. those 5.5 million more women off the bench and into the game, we increase gdp by an estimated 3.5%. which translates into more than 500 billion dollars -- $500 billion of additional economic activity. we are essentially by in action leaving significant amounts of money on the table because we are not leading on leave. the president convened a summer on working -- a summit on working families. at a time when women are nearly half the workforce, the primary breadwinners in more families than ever before, anything that makes wife's -- lives harder for
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women makes wife's harder for families and children. when women succeed, america succeeds. there is no such thing as a woman's issue. this is a family issue, an american issue. the bottom line is, for the good of our family, and the strength of our economy, we need to lead on leave. and we can't simply leave talent on the bench. we need to cultivate talents. anotherings me to critical step in the stairway to shared prosperity. that is the issue of skill. just as we need to invest in our physical infrastructure, and our transportation and for structure, we need to invest in our human capital and the structure. -- infrastructure. we built the railroads and the internet, and just we have done that, we need to have a skills ecosystem that meets the needs of our economy and opens up front years for new growth. there are two very important pieces of good news in this area. first of all, there are millions
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of good middle-class jobs available for the taking right now. opportunities are growing. many of them require less than a college degree, although they tend to require more than a high school degree. hasywhere i go, my life gone that way. i have the same conversation with employers, and it is a good conversation. this is what they tell me. iam bullish about america, want to grow my business, it might be manufacturing, health care, i.t., whatever it is. i want to grow my business. my biggest challenges i need to make sure that we have a pipeline of skilled talent to make it happen. there are opportunities across sectors. about one quarter of the magazinesin fortune list of the 100 fastest-growing companies are in the energy sector. that means a treasure trove of energy-related jobs, good middle-class jobs. we are working with the industry to give workers the training they need to fill those jobs.
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the same is true in other industries. i meet with utility ceos across this country. the utilities are in a process of dramatically expanding and modernizing the grid. what that means is, they will need more workers. these jobs start at $50,000 and above. i was with tom wheeler, the fcc chair, last week. we can't expand broadband without middle-class workers as well. that is an exciting development that creates opportunities. the list goes on and on. we need upwards of 100,000 more computer support specialists in the coming years. estimates of over 65,000 dental hygienist, 30,000 more surgical techs. these are jobs that can support a family, saying between $40,000 and $70,000 a year. get thecases you necessary credentials at a community college, and then you build your way up the skills superhighway. that is the second piece of good news that i want to share with
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you. a are in the middle of remarkably exciting transformation in the way in which we prepared job seekers of all ages for the middle-class jobs of today and tomorrow. we have gotten rid of what i have been calling the old train and prey model, where we train widget makers, and we pray that someone is hiring them. that is yesterday's paradigm. today's paradigm as we are focused on demand driven or job driven training. working more closely with industry, with their bureau of labor statistics, and others, than ever before to understand with precision the needs of employers in granular detail. and then making sure that we design programs to meet those precise needs so that people can punch their ticket to the middle class, and employers can grow their businesses. when people ask him hey, tom, what do do for a living, this is what i told him. the department of labor is
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what we do is help make a connection, just the right fit. to work americans, who want to punch their ticket to the middle class, and jobs and employers who need and want to grow their business. the secret sauce of this is very frequently community colleges, who provide that critical training that enable people to move up that ladder. let me give you an example of this transformation at work. a couple of weeks ago, i met a , whoamed steve capshaw owns an advanced manufacturing business in western mass. they supply critical component parts to the aerospace industry and in the medical device area. his entry-level workers started 20 -- we dollars an hour to $25 an hour with out of his -- generous benefits. he described his experience during the great recession. in the middle of the recovery, 2010, 2011, as america was struggling to add jobs, steve's company was actually turning
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away large amounts of business for one civil reason -- -- simple reason, he had a shortage of skilled workers. he raised wages, he increased benefits, he did all of that. but he still couldn't recruit the right people. as he listened to stories of stagnant wages and persistent unemployment, as steve said to me, he felt like he was living on another planet. those were his words. sprang into action. middle skilled many factoring initiative was born in western massachusetts. this is a joint venture of local manufacturing businesses community colleges, the workforce investment system, which includes federal, state, and local government working together. grantmaking, we were catalyzing partners like this in western massachusetts and in various growth sectors across the country. result, the father of twins
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who was stuck in a low-wage job cycle during the great recession , successfully completed a training program and is now a very highly valued and well compensated employee of steve's company. this was a win for steve, a win for dana and his family, and a win for america. in this example, it's not a one-off. we see this, and we are helping to build these partnerships in communities across the country. we are not simply tinkering with the workforce system. we are transforming it. just as president eisenhower built the interstate highway system, we are building a modernized refurbished skills superhighway that enables workers to get good jobs in businesses to find good workers. we do this in partnerships with businesses, labor unions, colleges, nonprofits, philanthropy, republicans and democrats in congress, and our partners in state and local government. the new workforce innovation and opportunity act, which was passed this summer in a strong bipartisan fashion, will enable
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us to continue this transformation. the superhighway has plenty of on ramps and off ramps. the destination is a middle-class job, but there are many different groups to get there. unity colleges are one will traveled half, but we are putting up the orange cones and doing the road work to make that ride much smoother. the obama administration has made a bold investment of over $2 billion over the last four years to help committed to colleges develop innovative training programs and curricula that held people launch middle-class careers. technical training and a friendship is another important stretch of the highway, and we have been helped in this area by partnerships with labor unions across the country who figured this out for years. they get it. as a nation, we haven't kept up with the necessary renovations in the printer ship area. we have massively underinvested
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in apprenticeship. that's why i'm heading to germany and the u.k. to learn more about apprenticeship practices overseas. that's why i spend time with the finishing trades institute in philadelphia, learning from folks who get it, have done it, and can do it for so many people. they train people for the jobs of today and tomorrow, that came -- that pay middle-class wages. my folks taught me that education is the great equalizer. that continues to be the case today. whether it is a four-year degree, an associate's degree, and online learning come on the job training, that i dw certificate -- i met a guy who said i got the golden ticket. you ever seen will want to -- willy wonka? i said not allow. he said i got the golden ticket.
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i can go anywhere in america and earn a minimum wage -- a middle-class wage because i have the golden ticket. the is a critical step in stairway to shared prosperity for millions of job makers across america. steps, iabout a lot of have two more want to discuss before i get to questions. i want to do that very briefly. the recent events at market basket i think it really illustrated the importance of worker voice. he created an environment where every worker felt empowered, validated, and respected. to him, worker voice wasn't a threat to the company. it was an indispensable asset. that has a was been the case in the history of our country. worker voice can take so many forms. one of the most important of which is being part of a union. the obama administration continues to be resolute that when it comes to protecting elected bargaining rights in this country, we need to into new to protect these rights.
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they have come under attack in recent years. when i look at history, is a guy who grew up in buffalo, new york, there is an absolute direct relationship between the health of the middle class and the health and vitality of the labor union. let's look at the data from the bureau of labor statistics. they report that last year, median weekly income for union members was $200 higher than for nonunion members. that is pocket change -- that aint pocket change. it doesn't even take into account severe benefits for union members. i would rather work at a ford plant and make more money, then a nissan plant in mississippi and make less money and less protection. [applause] i grew up in buffalo, new york. i saw firsthand that a job in a union shop was a surefire where to punch your ticket to the middle class. when i saw in buffalo and continue to see here is that unions don't succeed at the expense of business.
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they succeed in partnership with business. i was at the ford plant in louisville, kentucky. back in the height of the recession, that plant had a nexus central crisis. -- and x essential crisis. they had shared sacrifice, a good vision, and now they have shared prosperity. over 4400 workers, and that doesn't include the supply chain. i see that. i see partnership in action. in so many places, whether it is the uaw, whether it is the sei , with the health and hospital system, building a toy for century workforce, whether it is the folks in the teamsters at ups, working together to make sure that ups competes in the global economy of 2014. we see partnership in action everywhere across this country. inneed to create space america for new forms of to medication between workers and their employers. one of the reasons i'm going to germany is to look at and study
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the work council model firsthand. i will spend the entire afternoon at volkswagen one day. that works council model is a wonderful model that we should consider importing into this united states. the works council is all about codetermination. you look at what the volkswagen leadership set about the works council model. the fact theyt consider the corporate culture of works councils a competitive advantage. that is volkswagen speaking. i think they have a point. there are so many other models of success to give voice to workers. there are so many nonprofits emerging. one of the most recent recipients of one of the macarthur genius awards runs the national domestic workers alliance. she has created remarkable opportunities to advocate on behalf of workers in low-wage industries who are doing god's
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work in somebody different ways. giving voice to the marginalized workers. there are so many other opportunities to give this voice in so many different contexts. i was just recently at a meeting in vermont of the be court movement, and they are remarkably forward leaning and what they are trying to do in the be courp movements. they stand for the proposition that you can do good and do well. natalie do you do good and do well, you have to do good in order to do well. that is why i think worker voice is so important. worker voice is a function of the last observation i would like to make. which is sibley, the importance of leadership. indispensablean characteristic of how we will succeed in this country. in bringing shared prosperity to everyone. it has to be leadership from washington.
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president obama has demonstrated that if congress is not going to act, he will use executive authority to provide that leadership. the phone has been raining off the hook to deal well on all of these initiatives could the pen is off the ink. we have more initiatives to provide opportunities for people. whether it is people working maytime, billions of whom be eligible for raises when we enacted the regulation on overtime. we will continue to work on those areas, the president will continue to exert leadership there. we have seen leadership at a state and local level as well, because we see so many states who are not waiting for congress to act in the minimum wage paid leave and other issues of that nature because they recognize that so many people need a raise, and they are not waiting for congress. we see that leadership. i see continued leadership from the labor movement and other nonprofit leaders who are helping, for instance, in the
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fast food movement. those are great example of so many people working together. people who come in the labor movement, they define success not simply by the size of the membership, but the number of people they help area that is what shared prosperity is about. it is about helping your neighbor. i see in my work every day, every week, the business community. employers tell you that income inequality and wage stagnation are defining economic challenges of our time. they are telling me that investments in their workers is an investment in the strength of their company. they are rejecting the false choices that are holding us back from shared prosperity. we simply stick notion that paying high wages undermines competitiveness, or come collective bargaining heard's economic growth, or that you can take care of your shareholders or your employees, but not both. they understand the treaty workers with dignity and respect isn't just a nice thing to do, it is good for your bottom line. folks see themselves
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not only is accountable to their shareholders, but a broader universe of stakeholders. have theo have esop's same thing. $1 trillion in that area. they understand the high road is the smart road, and they are taking that road. the gap has made a commission and -- a commitment to paying have the minimum wage, and an emphasis on pay equity and promotion of women. if you look to the new york times, you would see that prospective employees are drawn to places like the gap, and they had a 24% increase in their applications since they announced their policies. we see so many examples, whether movement, orrp individual corporations like gap and so many others. you see it in every single business model around, whether it is cosco, the gap, whether it
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is so many others across the country. they understand that we have got to look long term. i had one ceo was said to me he was talking about a renegade shareholder, who wasn't interested in thinking long-term. this quote realistic in my head. this renegade shareholder was saying i would rather be rich than right. think about that. i would rather be rich than right. this ceo was saying i want to act long-term. we will continue to look long term as a nation. that is what we have to do. i want to leave you with a story about where we started. which is, our friends from market basket. they have done or markable work. -- remarkable work. they have captured the imagination of the nation. they have done really a service. they have demonstrated that you can do good and do well. what we really need are more companies like market basket.
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more partnerships like the uaw and the ford motor company. these guys risk everything because they believed that a market basket without the ceo was not worth being a part of. say the company was like second family. mark worked 34 years there, now his sun is an assistant manager. he talked about how they would start every day by emphasizing what he called our most precious customers. christie will tell you that he always said we are in the people business first in the grocery business second. timewill talk about the when the founder of the company came into the store the first date opened, and mark said to him, thank you for trusting me to run one of your stores. and he grabbed him and said mark, remember, it is our store. not my store. we can talk to all these folks because they are in the middle-of-the-road here, along
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with others. they are all here. this is what we are about. they have shown that shared prosperity is indeed a reality of this country. we can do this. it is our store. just like it is our economy. it belongs to all of us. it is not functioning as it works for everyone. i want to leave you not simply with the words of their boss, but with the words of another boss. his name is bruce springsteen. [laughter] who said, you know what, nobody wins unless everybody wins. i think we can get there is a nation. thank you so much. [applause] >> if you could remain here, and join me. we will try to do some rapidfire questioning. the unemployment rate has been falling in recent months for a how reflective is it of the real economic situation?
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>> for people like catherine hackett, who i met -- she introduced the president and one of the long-term unemployed events. she had been unemployed for three years, and she has a job now. it is a reality for her now. she has punched her ticket to the million -- the middle class. too many other people as i described are still struggling. too many long-term unemployed for instance. are getting better. and too many people who are working hard and haven't had a raise in years. that is really the challenge for us. we are moving in the right direction, but we have to pick up the pace of growth and make sure that the prosperity that comes with growth is shared by everyone. >> how happy are you with the quality of the jobs created during this recovery? >> i have heard some who have said this recovery has been a low-wage recovery. i see theually look, commissioner here. if you look at the last year, the area that have the most growth in jobs was this is an
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professional services. over 700,000, if memory serves me. these are accountants. a majority of these jobs are accountants, architects, jobs that pay quite well. we have seen immense growth there. low-wage jobs tend to be the first jobs to be lost. and they have come back as well. what we need to do is work on these jobs that are the middle class, middle skill jobs. that is why our skills agenda , i thinkoice agenda they can lead to prosperity across the board. >> you have said you haven't given up the push to revise emergency and employment benefits. at this late stage in the recovery, how many weeks of benefits do you think are the right amount for unemployment -- for unemployed jobseekers? >> i haven't given up the fight, and i applaud the efforts of jack reed, senator heller from nevada, and senator collins from maine. it h been a bipartisan effort
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in the senate. that is because once again, this issue is a bipartisan issue. historically. never in the history of our nation has congress, with long-term employment rates as high as they were in december of last year, failed to extend emergency unemployment conversation -- compensation. never until last december. i sure wish that leader boehner would do what i do, which is lead with long-term unemployed as i tried -- meet with long-term unemployed as i try to do every several months. when you meet them, you understand they need under a's -- they need to extend these benefits. it is not a lifestyle. >> the obama administration has not been able to push through an increase in the minimum wage so far. is there any reason to think that will change after the midterms, or are we in for two more years of grinding and lock -- gridlock?
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>> i don't have a crystal ball, but i can tell you the american people want results. i worked in local and state government. wet i liked about that was could deliver results and got things done. that is what the president wants to do. andants to work with anyone everyone of immigration reform, transportation infrastructure, minimum wage, any of these issues. i think you continue to ignore the will and needs of the american voter at your peril. we will continue to work with anyone and everyone across an ideological spectrum who is interested and willing to come up with common sense middle ground. is not a dirty word for me, or this president. but regrettably for some, it is a talking point in a campaign. >> silicon valley business leaders are demanding immigration reform because they say there aren't enough workers to fill the demand for high-tech engineers. tot steps are you taking
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make certain that america remains a leader in the tech field? >> i have spent a lot of time with folks in the silicon valley. the silicon valley leadership group just released about one week ago, a book they have with essays from 20 different leaders across the ideological spectrum. i had the privilege of adding one of those pieces. love about immigration reform, and this is not new. is that the support is bipartisan. i hear from labor unions, we need immigration reform it. by here from silicon valley we need immigration reform it. i hear from facebook. everybody, that we need immigration reform. that is what it was like when it worked for senator kennedy. we did 80 amendments in a committee want to work for him. i need one hand to count the number of partyline votes, because this has never been a partisan issue. the stories that i hear from both the silicon valley, from
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people whose families have been broken up very they tell your heart out. we can do better. that is why we will continue to advocate, and the president isn't waiting. continue tohe will take aggressive executive action. but there is no substitute for it bill. we can't help everyone by executive action. ideas -- i know we are trying to go through rapidfire do you haveideas the fix detroit, the rust belt, and other cities that have not been able to retool or rebuild in the present day? >> we asked to have a detroit task force. some of the most vexing challenges confronting america are requiring unprecedented levels of interagency collaboration. that is why we have been working together with the cap in detroit like never before. one of the biggest challenges that they have there is they don't have a regional transit authority. think about it. bring trying to being --
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more jobs into detroit, and we been successful so far. we need to pick up the pace. so many of the jobs are out of the suburbs, and if you can't get there, how can you work there? we are working together on transportation issues and skills and for structure. so may people are not trained for the jobs of today and tomorrow. we are working to build a seamless structure of education from cradle to grave that will enable people to be prepared for those jobs. those are examples of things that we continue to do. i think the stovepipe implosion will help not only detroit but many other cities. >> if governor scott walker wins another term on november 4, it means he will successfully taken on the public employee unions. what that encourage other governors, especially republican ones, to do the same in their states? what will that mean for public employee unions? >> i will not going to speculate on who will win elections on november 4.
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every state has the ability to enact laws in the labor context. i think the efforts that took place in wisconsin and elsewhere were not in the best interest of workers. ,e watched a states like ohio you saw a remarkable unsuccessful push back against efforts to limit voice. i think voice is an indispensable part of shared prosperity. whether it is labor unions, collective bargaining, supporting works councils, supporting organizations like the domestic workers alliance, whether it is supporting b corps, the more we can do to support voice in any way shape or form, the more we can do to build shared prosperity. >> a little personal. what was your first job, and how did it shape your life? >> growing up in buffalo, new york, my first job -- i had three people roots. -- paper routes.
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we used to have a morning paper, the courier express. i had that. a drivingall falls in range. with a helmet. some people thought i didn't have a helmet on. i worked on the back of a trash truck. i worked at sears for a number of years. all of those jobs taught me the dignity of work and the value of whatever job you are at. you give your best, you work your hardest. >> now, to your next job, maybe. attorney general holder been a lightning rod throughout his tenure at the justice department. why is that, and what can his successor due to prevent becoming a lightning rod? >> eric holder stood up for voting rights. eric holder stood up for common sense criminal justice reform. eric holder ended up working on issues like reducing the crack powder disparity in a bipartisan way in congress.
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these are many of the defining issues of our day. when you are going to work on some of these defining issues of our day, you will have folks who oppose you. i do not believe come as we prepare to celebrate the 50th anniversary of what he sunday, i don't believe the enduring voting issue 50 years later is in person voter fraud. i don't believe that because i did these cases when i was over there. that is a phantom problem. thingsic holder says like that, people disagree with him. , and the his candor movement they have done in that area. >> what should be the justice department's top priorities? [laughter] >> i have not studied at issue since i was at the department of labor. i can tell you the department of labor's priorities should be putting people back to work, continuing the pace of growth, and making sure that we have
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shared prosperity. [laughter] >> we do have two more in the area of a possible next job. i'm talking about my day job here. [laughter] >> attorney general holder says he won't send journalists to jail for doing their job, suggesting that in new york times reporter is unlikely to spend time behind bars. specifically he said in an interview with msnbc, he's that i stand by what i said. no reporter is going to jail as long as i'm attorney general. would you maintain a position, should you happen to become attorney general? or if not, do support that position? >> my singler focus is on the job of being at the department of labor. i know the attorney general very much values the role of the press as the fourth branch of
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government. he served under general reno. in hern participated weekly conferences, whether it was good news, bad news, or indifferent. there with her in those press briefings. he understands the critical in soance of the press many aspects of our lives. >> we return to the labor department for a few questions. our employers -- our employers doing their part to train workers, or his on-the-job train disappeared? >> one of the most exciting trance for missions in our workforce system that we are seeing is the remark or -- remarkable level of employee engagement. we cannot succeed, in the advanced many fracturing -- manufacturing i talked about. ofs designed with the input
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the industry. when you hire someone, you know what you are getting. that level of employer engagement is one of the linchpins of our transformation. the reason is because too many employers were telling me that they were hiring folks. they had a credential, but they didn't know what was behind it. now that they are actively engaged in the development of that credential, they have skin in the game it. they understand it. as a result, they can do some at more. strength and influence continues to decline in this country. so have a number of factors related to worker security and satisfaction. how do we bring about -- how we bring back protections and fair -- fair paynefits and benefits to workers in this area of corporate rights and diminishing worker esteem? >> we start out by studying the experience of our neighbors to the north. the new york times had a story
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about how the middle class of the united states is not faring as well as the middle class elsewhere. they use canada as one example. issue, as i studied this why is the middle class faring better in canada? their union density is over twice with union density is america. it's about 26%. versus 11% and change here in the united states. look at places like germany, where you have very low youth unemployment. very robust economy. you have robust union density. again, it gets back to this issue a voice. make sure that we have multiple mechanisms to give workers a level playing field. when we do that, as volkswagen in summary others have demonstrated, it works to the benefit of workers, employers, and communities alike.
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>> how can we close the wage gap without collective bargaining? >> i think collective bargaining is a very important part of the mix here. the health of the middle class and the strength of the union movement, when you study history, go hand-in-hand. , as tomtest generation brokaw you should talk about, they not only defended our defendedd really democracy, but when they came back to the united states, what they ended up doing was -- they were our laborers, and for people -- forepeople. they were the folks that helped accelerate the entry of the united states into the middle class. that greatest generation wasn't simply great on the battlefield. right in the workplace. one of their major compliments was that they help to grow the middle class through the importance of collective bargaining, through standing up for workers. we see so many examples, whether if you bought-
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$1000 worth of costco stock 15 years ago, you would have 15,000 dollars now. they've outperformed the s&p 500 index significantly. other companies, similar examples across every business model. airlines. when i go to bwi airport, southwest airlines pays their baggage handlers a fair wage. and many 95 to newark, of them as a result of a decision by some of the legacy carriers, they are making the minimum wage. i was up there talking to them a few months back. that doesn't have to be that way. low wages are a choice, not a necessity. there are so many samples of that. >> thank you. we are all set of time. but before asking the last question, we have a couple of housekeeping matters to take care of. first of all, -- one minute, we
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have an issue here. we will get to the mug later. first of all, i would like to remind you about two upcoming speakers luncheons on october 21, tomorrow. scott blackmun, president and ceo of the u.s. olympic committee. on november 7, robert mcdonald, secretary of veterans affairs. i would like to present you with our traditional mug come and we have done it so that it is lightweight and easily portable, just in case you need to move offices. [laughter] >> and less than $20. >> if i can ask you the last question, in the labor department, can they do anything about the employment situation of journalists? [laughter] >> there are a few things that keep me up at night more than the employment situation of journalists. what we do is, we hire more journalists so that they can tell our stories. journalists like so many others
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have similar challenges. i hope you continue to do the great work you are doing to shine a light. book, i said your you are the fourth present government -- branch of government. think you free time at. thank you for coming today. we are adjourned. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] >> our campaign 2014 coverage with a week full of debates. tonight at 8:00, the georgia between nathane deal and jason carter and at 8:00, the montana u.s. senate debate with representative steve daines and amanda


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