tv Washington Journal CSPAN January 23, 2015 7:00am-10:01am EST
this: how government should spend our money." you can join the conversation on facebook and twitter. >> i got a military age male on a cell phone watching the convoy. over. >> if you think he's reporting troop movement you have a green light. host: and the "american sniper" movie has spawned thousands of online comments and a controversy over whether it glorifies war. this morning on "washington journal," we want to hear from you whether you think this movie does just that. 202 is the area code.
748-8000. independents 202-748-8002. you can also make your comments via social media @cspanwj. go to facebook to you want to participate that way. finally, you can send an email to journal @c-span.org. from "time" magazine "american sniper" screenwriter jason hall says "i bled for this thing." "american sniper" may be quickly stealing the title of the most politically controversial film this oscar season, but screenwriter jason hall maintains he just penned a portrait of a beleaguered soldier, not a political statement. the biopic of chris kyle whorkt navy credits with the most kills in american military history, broke january records with a whopping $90.2 million at the box office over the weekend in spite of or perhaps because of critics who say the
film glorifies a murderer, not to mention a war america never had any business fighting in the first place. "people see the movie poster and it's got a good in the american flag and they know clint eastwood directed it," says jason hall, "so they think it's some jingoistic thing. i would challenge that. chris kyle was a man who believed in something and who therefore was use to feel a goovet that needed him to go to war t. cost him his physical health, his mental health, and almost cost him his family. but chris probably would have paid the price over and over again if he'd been asked, which is both patriotic and totally tragic." actor seth rowingen and michael moore stoked the controversy over the weekend when they each tweeted what were widely interpreted as criticisms of the film. rogen wrote, "american sniper" reminds me of the movie showing in the third act of "inglorious bastards," referencing the fictional nazi propaganda film
about a german sniper featured in quentin tarantino's movie. meanwhile, moore tweeted that he had always been taught snipers were cowards. both rogen and moore have backpedaled. rogen explained in another tweet he actually liked the movie, while moore penned a lengthy facebook post praising bradley cooper's performance as kyle. does "american sniper" glorify war? 748-8000 for democrats. 748-8001 for republicans. 748-8002 for independents. in 2012, when his book came out, book tv of c-span interviewed chris kyle. here's a little bit of that interview. >> we were in a city ahead of the marines, and we were just trying to soften up some of the locations for them. we weren't going to make it safe, but just try to make it, you know asless as possible to
add something to it. while in the city, the marines started to approach. the people came out to show that they were supportive of the military. they weren't going to fight. and at that time there was a woman that came out, and she had something in her hands. i was watching her. i was relaying back to my chief everything she had when&what she was doing. he informed me that it was a chinese grenade and told me i had to take the shot because she started approaching the marines. i -- at this point i'd never killed anyone, so it was definitely -- made me pause, but also the fact that it's not a man, it was difficult. so we tried to radio the marines to let them handle it. i didn't want to have to be the one to take the woman's life. we couldn't raise them on the radio, so i ended up having to take the shot. but in my mind she was dead anyway. she was either going to kill herself by the grenade being a
suicide bomber, or she was going to die by my bullet. and i would rather shoot her than to sit there and watch her blow up the marines. host: and you can watch that full interview at c-span.org or bookto.org, just type in the search bar, chris kyle. it's about an hour in length. and he also took calls from viewers during that interview as well. here's "usa today" this morning, "real american snipers assess "american sniper". for all the debate surrounding the movie "american sniper," few people know the moral choices involved in the job better than those who trained to pull the trigger.
host: let's hear from you. sandy on our republican line. what do you think about the movie, "american sniper"? does it glorify war? caller: thank you for taking my call. no, there's nothing glorious about war. he had a job to do, and did he it very well. -- did he it very well. we're still in the war, the war on terror. and because obama pulled out, our troops out of iraq the whole middle east has fallen into collapse. i admire chris kyle. he died at the hands of a soldier that he was trying to help with post traumatic stress and there's a lot of controversy around that death
whether he was assassinated. but thank you for taking my call. i watch your show every single day. thank you so much. host: sandy in lexington, kentucky. this is bob in new york city democrat. bob, you're on the air. caller: hey, thank you for c-span. you do a great job. you know, it's one thing to -- the need to fight wars it's another thing the need not to glorify wars in movies. and i think most war movie that is i've ever seen glorify the war. i can't recall that there were during the vietnam war vietnam movies. so i think that it's really inappropriate timing for a film like this, because we're still not out of it and ultimately our reason for the quagmire
being stuck in middle eastern wars is the decision of george bush and dick cheney to choose to interview the fight over there. but thank you, c-span. host: jodie posts on twitter, snipers are heroes. they are ours. if not, they're the most despicable cowards for sniping our troops. which is it? sharon independent cockeysville maryland. good morning. caller: good morning. thanks for taking my call. i feel that we have gotten to the point to where we can't even look at a movie that would really show what really happens in a time of war and the emotional and you know, the emotional effects of how people have to deal with being a soldier. are we so sensitive that we can send everybody into a war, but god forbid we should look at
it. and this isn't like when we had the vietnam war. the vietnam war was on our televisions every night. and if you want to blame bush, blame bush. i don't care who you blame. the war is over there. it's not on our streets. and i don't know how you think we could have gone in to afghanistan without covering our back and taking on iraq whether there was, you know, a bomb or something that was the rationale for it at the time. so i think we as americans have to face up to the things that we do and look at it realistically and not be so sensitive that it's ok to send our boys over there, but it's not ok to watch them kill people. that is war. host: sharon, have you seen the movie yet? caller: yes. host: and? caller: i -- listen, it's a
hard movie to watch. but it's worthwhile because you get to see it from the sniper's family's american perspective. and it's -- it shows you all the different sides of war. it doesn't glorify war. it just tells you what a man had to go through because he was a sniper. host: thank you ma'am. david in st. joseph, missouri, republican line. david, good morning. caller: good morning to you. you know isn't it funny how all these people complain about this glorifying war and this evil sniper and all this other garbage, can't take the time to think about how his sacrifice did protect people our troops and us. they don't -- they don't want to admit it. they don't care because, you know they're idiots.
they just think that soldiers are no good trash. they treat us like trash. they don't care. they don't care. they'd rather glorify thugs and murderers and you know, the most evil people there is. in their eyes, they're always the good people and, you know, to heck with us. you know they don't care about people that were killed by terrorists. they wouldn't even have the guts to fight in our own country if they had to fight them here. yet they can spit on us that serve and try to protect them and their rights, you know? host: that's david in st. joseph missouri. michael moore sent out a series of tweets. here was a followup to his original tweet about being taught that snipers were cowards. my uncle was killed by a sniper, and then he posts on facebook his comments on
"american sniper" and snipers in general. laura ingraham, the radio talk show host, sent out this tweet, the elites snipe about "american sniper" because they're enrage and had envious that a patriotic movie trounced the fringe schlock they celebrate as brave. a couple more comments on twitter -- host: why does the "wall street journal" lent mize a tax against our soldiers by un-american extremists like michael moore. in the past, the tally of confirmed kills was considered a solemn secret, not something to be hyped or glorified. and finally, edwin says, he was a marine sniper during vietnam and will say it is not something to take lightly. there is no glory in war. pledge maryland, democrat, please go ahead and make your comment about the "american
sniper" movie. caller: hi. good morning. host: good morning. caller: i went and saw it, and i liked it as much as you can say you liked a movie about war. i love clint eastwood's directing, the cinematography was just outstanding. it was riveting from start to finish. host: does it glorify war in your view? caller: no, i don't believe it does. it's a story. it's a story again, well told in clint eastwood's famous style. it's hard to say you like it because it had some somewhat graphic spots, but not overly, and it was very heart-felt. host: matt in new york. what do you think? caller: yes, good morning. having been a veteran during the vietnam war and being spit on at chicago o'hare airport and called a baby killer i
don't think this glory fries war at all. if michael moore knew anything about the history of this country, he would know we fought an unconventional war with snipers against the british. and if we wouldn't have had those snipers against the british, we might not be here talking like we are. so i don't think it glory fries war. it gives our point of view, and i think michael moore is a total coward having never served his country. host: donna is in rome, new york, independent line. donna, you're on the "washington journal." caller: good morning. thank you for c-span. i just saw the movie last night, as a matter of fact. i came away truly humbled. i hope thaverpb comments with b this movie has seen it first, because i don't think that it's fair not to have seen it first. it definitely does not glorify war t. shows the agonizing choices that these men have to
make and have to come home and live with. i was glad to see that he had gotten himself straightened around after he did come home t. took an even more strong man to admit that he needed some help. the one lady said it was just a story. well, i don't think she really meant it that way. it was a personal story of this individual, and there was a particularly poignant moment when a child picked up a gun and it looked like a grenade launcher, and he had to, you know you were right there with him and drawn into that moment, and your heart was in your throat, and your eyes welled one tears, just as he was really doing having to -- hoping not to make an agonizing choice and in the end, again you see the brutality of it, but the reality of it. and again, i thank you for letting me share my view. host: thank you, donna.
and this is elena's story in "time," a little bit more -- the screenwriter petched a for traste a man deeply changed by war and was struggling to spiritually return to the person he had once again. a pitch that eventually convinced bradley cooper to buy the rights. hall had met chris kyle before the book's publication in 2010 and after years of talking with kyle decided that the soldier had been more affected by his high body count than he let onto the public. it wasn't until after kyle's death that hall learned more about what he calls the seal's softer side. kyle dedicated his post-war life to helping his fellow veterans. he started a business that installed exercise equipment inside veterans' homes and even began spending time in small groups with veterans who needed to talk about their problems. he would often take these men out to shooting ranges where they could bond and talk to them about their struggles with finding jobs, reacclimating to
family life and ptsd. it was on one of these trips that kyle was killed by a marine who he was trying to help. and again, c-span conducted an interview with chris kyle in 2012, and you can watch that full interview about his book, "american sniper," online at c-span.org. edward, manchester connecticut, good morning. caller: thank you for letting me talk again. this is something for everyone to think about, and it's pretty serious. america was supposed to be the one chance to change the world peacefully through our example as americans as to how united we all are together and how well off we all are, so that when people from other nations come to visit us in our nation
and see how united we are together as one and how well off we all are doing, working together rather than competing amongst each other for crumbs that fall off the table of the white house then maybe when these people that visit our nation go back home to their nation, it might climb up their dictator's doorstep, knock on the door and say, hey, man we need to talk. host: next call from frank in egg harbor township, new jersey. frank, you're on the "washington journal." what do you want top share? quhoip i was in vietnam -- caller: when i was in vietnam on this one particular assignment that we had, i was taken back to the area and i had to qualify with a sniper
rifle, and i carried it for three weeks on this one mission up in the valley. when i did finally get the open shot, you know, i just didn't want to take the shot, because i know how it feels when you're looking through a sandope you realize that the person at the other end just has -- can't defend themself, and then this thought runs through your head, man, i'm just killing this person and sometimes you just have to come to grips with it. i'm sure that this guy, kyle he had a lot of demons that he had to face every time he killed somebody and knew that there was no defense for them. there was things that happened in vietnam that when you kill somebody, even if it's a good kill, and they're trying to kill you it's kind of hard to deal with. every time that they send these kids to war you know, they're
destroying thousands of kids' minds. this is a big problem, it was a big problem for us guys coming back from vietnam, and i'm sure it's a big problem for these guys because they're stuck around civilians even more than we were. you know, he wasn't with civilians very often. we were always in the mountains. i really feel for the guy. i know where he's coming from. host: frank, did you see the movie? caller: i've seen parts of it. i haven't seen the whole movie yet. i've read the articles on him. i've seen clips of him speaking and stuff. he seems like he was, you know, just a good old boy just like the rest of us that was doing his job. you get stuck, and there's a mission. if you don't do your part in the mission, somebody's going to get hurt, so he was just doing what he had to do, and that's what war is all about. you're forced into situations that normally you wouldn't even take on. you know, you never even think of doing, but when you're part
of a machine you know, the machine is only as strong as the weakest cog, and you have to participate. host: thank you, sir. on twitter, you couldn't pay me enough to watch this vile movie. carol, ohio, democrat. hi, carol. caller: thank you for c-span. i haven't seen the movie yet but from what i've seen of the clips, i don't think it was glorified. i have a comment about my uncle. he was in the second world war. he was an 18-year-old from the mountains of north carolina. when he went hunting, he would kill a squirrel in the eye, hit it with his rifle. so he became a sniper. and he suffered for it the rest of his life, because he was moody. he had bouts of depression. he was hard to get along with sometimes. so ptsd was a long time ago.
every person that ever went through a war has had to face their demons. thank you. host: thank you, ma'am. dennis in the new republic had this article "the real american sniper had no remorse about the iraqis he killed." here's a little bit of what today write -- for him, the enemy are savages and despicablely evil. his only regret is that he didn't kill more. he laments that there were rules of engagement, or r.o.e., which he describes as being drafted by lawyers to protect generals from politicians. he argues instead for letting warriors loose to fight wars without their hands tied behind their backs. yolanda is in mansfield, ohio, republican. yolanda, you're on the "washington journal." caller: hi, yes, i saw the movie. and it really in no way
glorified war. it was hard to watch. when i saw the horrors over there a little bit. my grandson had spent a year in afghanistan. he had joined the guard, the national guard, right after high school. he wanted to get his education. and the year was hard, very hard. my heart goes out to all these soldiers and what they go through, and i just have one more comment. i regret that i didn't hear the president say much at all about our soldiers while he was touting about all these people who should be paid more than minimum wage. how about our soldiers get a raise? host: have you talked to your grandson about the movie "american sniper"? caller: he doesn't want to see it at all. host: thank you, ma'am. curtis is in georgia, independent line. go ahead, curtis. caller: good morning. thank you for taking my call. one of the things that we do
have to remember is, i'm not going to glorify michael moore and what his comments are, but you know, i don't agree with him one bit but we do have to say he is an american citizen, and he has the right to say whatever he wants, be it we like it or not. i don't like hardly anything he says. as far as war being glorified it's not. i spent 2 years in there. that is -- 21 years in there. that is what marines are trained to do. nobody wants to do it, nobody wants to have to pull that trigger. but there comes a time when you have to say it's either the enemy or me, and i want to come home, so i'm not afraid to buy -- he was not afraid to pull the trigger. now, as far as the "american sniper," i have not seen it. i am going to see it. but, you know, i want a guy like that on the rooftop, you know looking over my soldiers and taking care of me. and god bless him and his family and, you know, god bless america. host: independent journalist
tweeted out, "american sniper" portrays iraqi women and children as soulless monsters who chris kyle is forced to kill to protect invading u.s. soldiers. john, franklin tennessee what's your view of "american sniper"? ? caller: i haven't seen the movie, and i probably won't go see it. i'm of the opinion that they make movies to make money, you know? they have to sell tickets right? host: why won't you go see it, john? caller: well, i've seen enough movies about war. i was on my couch watching television when they showed the -- i think it was the chief of police or somebody while i was eating spaghetti, and the blood shot right up out of his head.
i mean, if they showed that every day, then we wouldn't have these stupid wars. i mean, war is terrible. it's no answer for anything. and the snipers do you think afghan doesn't have snipers? they do. and they tell them the same thing. they tell them, you're fighting for your country. you're trying to save your country. do you agree with that or not? host: thank you john, for your comments. from politico this morning senate marathon keystone debate ends in anger. majority leader mitch mcconnell moved to end debate around midnight last night after a seemingly endless series of votes and quorum calls that left democrats fuming. the new free-wheeling senate of majority leader mitch mcconnell presided over an agitated debate on the keystone x.l.
pipe line that turned into friday's wee hours and ended with aggrieved democrats crying koch. around midnight, a seemingly endless series of amendment votes and quorum calls shifted as mcconnell moved to end debate on a bill that would yank president barack obama's authority over the proposed oil pipeline, after quickly disposing of five democratic amendments. blindsided democrats accused the kentucky republican of shutting down a senate that he had promised to run in a more open way than their own leaders did. they also wondered aloud if republicans were trying to wrap up all the key stone business to accommodate a conference scheduled for this weekend in palm springs, california that's affiliated with the billionaire conservatives, charles and david koch. back to your calls on "american sniper." pennsylvania, independent line. caller: yes, i do not think -- i do not think i would see the movie because the man who was
the sniper, i think he came back and he was very, very hard about his job. he did what he had to do for his country, but that is want the man i have seen when i looked at him. and the problem we have with our veterans coming back they cannot find jobs. they feel useless. they're used overseas to build roads, to build bridges, and they come back to this country and they have nothing to do. we think that when you do gardening, it helps the psyche and it help you feel better. if these men come back to jobs rebuilding america, rebuilding roads and infrastructure, they are going to feel useful, and i have a feeling it will come down -- cut down on all the stress and suicides we have. we have to take care of them when they get back. we have enough work in this
country to send them to war for them to feel useful after having to kill people whose eyes and faces remind them of some of their friends and neighbors back in this country. host: thank you, ma'am. caller: and i hope we do something better for them. host: all right. now, if you can't get through on the phone lines and you want to participate or give your opinion about "american sniper," you can go to our facebook page. facebook.com/cspan, a lively conversation is taking place there. from "the hill" newspaper, lawmakers push to require a warrant for g.p.s. tracking by police. lawmakers in both parties are pushing to require that police have a warrant before tracking people's locations via their cell phones and other g.p.s. devices. members of the house and senate introduced the geo location privacy and surveillance act on thursday which would protect information about people's locations from the police and other people. steve is in madison, nebraska
republican line. steve, have you seen the movie? caller: no, sir, i haven't, and i definitely plan on supporting it. i was just calling to compare "american sniper" to what obama is doing with the drones. i don't see any difference between the two, and obama seems to be appearing to be one happy camper with, you know, with his life and death decisions that he's making, so what difference does it make if we have a sniper out there to use as a tool in a variety of -- as one more tool to get the dirty deeds done and seth rogen can go about making his cartoon
movies and everybody is happy in pursuit of the almighty dollar and life goes on. thank you. host: also from "the hill," copped leeza rice taking over jeb bush's foundation. the associated press reported the former secretary of state will become chairman of the foundation for excellence and education, which bush founded in 2007. bush has moved to untangle his business interests ahead of a potential presidential run resigning from all the corporate boards he sat on, including the foundation. james is calling in from fort worth, texas democrats line. james, what's your opinion? caller: good morning, and thank you for c-span. i have not seen the movie, and the reason i have not -- i'm a vietnam combat veteran. i'll say this about that. i'm not going take a political position but in combat, some people can take human life, and they end up bragging about it.
some people cannot. it eats a knoll their heart that eats forever the rest of their lives. my second comment very briefly is i honestly believe that the defense contractors, lobbyists, religious fanatics and a few others are running our foreign policy. i don't think it's gotten much to do with protecting america. i come from a family that i can price my history in combat in america back to the indian wars before the nation was founded and we served proudly. i really have a hard time -- i feel a great deal of sympathy for the kids that are coming back today from iraq and afghanistan and all these crazy religious wars that are going on over the middle east, because, again, i think it's energy. i think it's politics, and i think it's money.
and again, thank you for c-span. host: a couple of more tweets, this is tillman, to me "american sniper" was a movie about the impact of ptsd and how it affects the family. and this is htb hard truth bot, while "american sniper" glory fries both duty and honor, no movie made this year glorifies human conflict more than the movie "selma." and here is edward i'm reading michael moore's twitter feed now. he's correct our invasion of iraq was wrong, history will judge us accordingly. gary says, hollywood, for all its hand ringing about guns, has been glorifying moore for 75 years just as it glorifies the mob and street gangs. and finally, venice says there is no such thing as glory in war. everybody loses in that game. from politico this morning, tom won't run for senate in
california, the barbara boxer seat. daniel is calling in from plymouth new hampshire, independent line. caller: good morning, sir. how are you? thank you for taking my call. i've seen "american sniper" twice. incredible incredible movie. the scenes throughout it is -- the theme throughout it is chris kyle did not shoot to just kill. he shot to save lives of americans. you know chris kyle is a hero in the footsteps of men like murphy john, mitchell in world war ii. and the thing is, chris came home with this problem and beat it. if anything, it should be a movie shown for soldiers coming back so that they too can learn to beat their problems they bring back. you know, my grandfather was a world war i veteran. my father was a world war ii veteran. i was in in the 1970's and 1980's, and my son's been back a year from afghanistan. this movie everybody should see it. it doesn't glorify war.
the shots of chris kyle shooting aren't gory. clint eastwood did an incredible job. if this had been steven spielberg, you'd see blood flying and boobs hanging out everywhere. chris kyle was a true american hero. thank you so, so much chris kyle, and thank you all the men and women who have gone to war for this country, especially those in the war now. host: every friday in the "washington times," jennifer harper writes a column "inside the beltway," kind of a political catch-up and goss up column etc. here's a couple of items from her column -- they will be liberated from the domination of mitt romney and jeb bush for a few hours, as 23 high-profile speakers headed for the bodacious iowa freedom summit in des moines on saturday, will be free to test their messages and strike a presidential pose without feeling like also-rans. this year's romney and bush,
both white house front-runners, will not be in attendance and their very absence has created intrigue following a "new york times" report that the pair will actually meet privately in utah. host: c-span will have live coverage of that event in des moines. that is tomorrow night and go to c-span.org to check the schedule or it will begin in the evening we'll run a lot of it and then it will rerun as well. another item in jennifer harper's column is that debbie will also be in des moines.
across the street staging a press conference from the summit we just talked about. and she will be with the head of the iowa democratic party, andy mcgwire. henry, jackson, tennessee. hi, henry. caller: how you doing? host: what's your view of "american sniper"? have you seen the move snow caller: i've seen clips of it and parts of it. my main objection is that, i'm a vietnam veteran. i've been wounded. i've been awarded awards, and from the things that i've understood from what you say and what other people say, is that it's glorifying war. there's nothing from a veteran's point of view who's ever really been there that can glorify war. the killing of men and women should always be shame informal your heart. that's why so many of us suffer from ptsd. host: when were new vietnam,
henry? caller: i was in vietnam from 1967 to 1968. host: do you still feel an effect? caller: i suffer from post traumatic stress disorder. i'm in the v.a. hospital on a regular basis. like i said, anybody who's ever been to war should know that you cannot glorify the taking of human life on mass scales. host: thank you, sir. musician blake shelton sent out a tweet about this as well sings notice see celebrities or anybody slam the very people who protect their right to talk smack, #truecowards. here's morgan, the erstwhile cnn host, a flawed hero, not a coward, but a reluctant hero maybe, #americansniper. bill is calling in from illinois. what do you want to tell us, bill? caller: i was a sniper in the vietnam war.
we used to go out and secure down pilot wreck sites. we used to cover recovery of bodies from units when they were picked up by helicopters. we used to go out on fire bases and protect them from the enemy shooting missiles at the fire bases. and snipers, in my opinion, are a necessity. we protected, we didn't go out with the intent to eliminate, we protected more than we eliminated. and when i came back from vietnam, the american legion put a story about me in the paper, my local paper and most of the guys i went to high school with didn't serve, when i'd go in to work and my girlfriend would be out, they used to run into her and say where's lieutenant, where's the baby killer? that's the kind of attitude that some americans have that it kind of, you know, it prolongs the sickness that ptsd
causes. but i just -- i just want to tell you snipers benefit. i mean, the protection that we supplied, in my opinion, is second to none. host: thank you, sir. from "the washington post," saudi succession is a complicated procedure. the monarch, believed to be 90, who died, king abdullah was succeeded by his brother, crown prince salman, according to state television --
host: this is kevin sullivan writing from riyadh saudi arabia, in "the washington post." back to your calls on "american sniper" and whether or not it glorifies war. this is walter in new bedford massachusetts. walter, you're on the air. caller: yes, good morning. how you doing? thanks for having me. i know i haven't watched the movie, but i generally stay away from those war movies. i think a long time ago i realized that war movies does glorify war. so many americans do not like the process of war. i know a lot of americans feel like war is necessary to maintain our freedom and our rights, but a lot of these wars that we fight has nothing to do with our homeland security or nothing like that. i wish a lot of americans will take the time to read our
history, because the facts of the effects of war in our country, on our people, on other world citizens, is documented right in the history books, like hollywood makes war look like this is something romantic and something so heroic, like when did you to war, it's not that cut and dried. you know, you hear a lot of veterans who called in and already mentioned so many times the horrors of war. and then you have folks sitting there upset at people who disagree with war, accusing people of not supporting the troops and this, that, and whatever and it sounded so disillusioned. i think that's exactly what hollywood does. hollywood really distorts the reality of war. war is the destruction of humanity. war destroys our economy. war takes our young people out of our country to go fight and sacrifice their lives. so even when weather they lose their lives or mind they're coming back to us, not being able to function in our society. these are young people who could have had jobs, who could have been helping our economy,
who could have been helping, you know in so many other ways, making our country great. i just wish people would take the time to think about the real repercussions of war, not just what you benefit from, because regardless of whether we trying to defend our country from another country, this world belongs to all of us. so somewhere down the line, one minute we're the purvey ors of peace and we want to keep peace among the world, but on the other hand, oh, yeah war is great. we need to really take the time to study the real impacts of war. host: this is jack in wabasha, minnesota, another independent caller. caller: good morning, peter. i'm a vietnam veteran, an army captain in the central highlands of vietnam. it was about 50 miles from the valley. i believe that was the subject of the movie "we were soldiers." i have to say that that war was a war crime.
vietnam is about 8,000 miles from our shore. they were no threat to us, vietnam, the vietnamese. we killed about four million of them. and, of course iraq is about 6,000 miles from our shores. they were no threat to us, and we killed about a million of them. i haven't seen movie, but did i read a review by john grant, another vietnam veteran and counterpunch, and he says that the movie starts with the twin towers going down, and that inspiring kyle. the iraqis had nothing to do with the twin towers going down. the soldiers shouldn't have been put in there by bush, cheney who i consider war criminals and who i feel should be probably hanging from the end of a rope. chris kyle wouldn't have had to protect the soldiers if they hadn't been criminally put in
there. as far as our troops added to the iraqis you should look at the collateral murder video that was put out on the internet that shows two journalists being shot down by our people in helicopters and they're crowing about the event. we were marching in paris about killing journalists, but we killed a lot of journalists in vietnam. i guess that's about all i've got to say about it. host: jack in minnesota. and this is richard in lake placid, florida. caller: yes, good morning, peter. i think really the problem we have is leadership, our military. we're having a serious problem. there was a recent survey done in our military that 55% of our military does not believe that our commander in chief president obama, is taking us
in the right direction. that is a serious problem, especially in time when we have all this commitment to war. we have to remember that in vietnam, i have 33 years service, active and reserve time and also working for the department of defense, but we have to remember, in 1964, gulf of tonkin, which escalated the war in vietnam was a creation of lyndon baines johnson president of the united states. that's what escalated the war into over half a million of our troops over there fighting a war without an objective, with no end to it, costsed 60,000, many more wounded. now we're kind of going in the same direction again without an objective an end date. what is it going to cost us in life and money? we have to look at this very seriously. i've seen some action in bosnia
and other places. therefore, i was never on the ground. i agree with a lot of the callers, a lot of the military people. there's nothing glorious about war. we have world war ii the crew of the enola gay dropped the atomic bomb on hiroshima and nagasaki. they probably had -- there's no doubt they have psychological problems the rest of their lives, killing thousands of innocent people. however, those actions probably saved millions of lives in an invasion of japan. we also did pretty much the same thing in germany, dropping for the forous bombs on dresden, which created firestorms killed tens of thousands of innocent -- i say innocent, but i'm talking about civilians, women and children. that is war. that's why we have to -- that
is the last alternative that we should at on the scale. host: all right, richard, we're going to leave it there. thanks for calling in. from "the hill," u.s. moving personnel out of yemen. the u.s. will remove additional personnel from yemen and heighten security concerns amid -- amid heightened security concerns after shiite rebels forced the resignation of the country's president. coming up next is ambassador marc ginsberg, a middle east expert and will be talking about what's the situation in yemen, how it's connected to the situation in the middle east, and what the u.s. policy should be. after that, we're going to talk with edward kleinbard. he's got a new book out on the u.s. tax code. he's a former chief of staff at the joint taxation committee. so those are our two segments coming up. yesterday, democratic leader in
the senate, harry reid, held a news conference. he talked about the senate democrats' agenda, but he also talked about what happened to him and his health. >> senator reid, can you talk about your recovery and specifically the surgery you're going to have monday? >> i know there are a lot of rumors as to what happened, but it's very simple. my wife and i were in our new home. i was doing exercises that i've been doing for many years. it's those large rubber bands. and one of them broke and spun me around, and i crashed into these cabinets. and i injured my eye. didn't knock me out but it sure hurt. i was taken to the hospital and came back here after a couple
of days. i have some bones broken around my eye. and on monday, aas i understand it we're going to fix that. they're going to reconstruct the bones here. the bone that's broken -- the bone that's broken is this one right here. it's been pushed in against my eye. they're going to move that back out because of the injury. there's blood in the front and back part of my eye and they're going to have to do the reconstruction of that bone there. they're going to drain the blood off the front part of the eye, the back part of the eye and they're confident that it will be really quite good after that. >> senator, are you worried about your vision? have you talked to senator paul, who's an eye surgeon, and is there any situation related to this that would cause you not to seek re-election? >> no, not at this stage. the doctors have been very
supportive of my plans. nothing has changed during the theme i was first couple of weeks of recovery. my staff continued to be reviewed of my new campaign. so everything is on line. you know, we have quite an operation in nevada that hasn't lost a step, but we're off and running. >> have you fearful about your sight? >> pardon me? >> are you fearful about your sight? >> well, i'm looking forward to monday, that's for sure. >> "washington journal" continues. host: here's the headline in "the washington times," the president quits, the country could split apart, this is about yemen. marc ginsberg is a former ambassador to morocco former mideast advisor to president carter. ambassador ginsberg, what is happening in yemen, and how does that affect the u.s.? guest: oh, that's a long question to answer, but let's see if i can take a stab at it.
yemen has been subjected to an enormous amount of internal strife. the combustible mixture includes a group of shiite rebels. they hail from the northwest corner of the country. remember, yemen used to be two countries, north yes, ma'amen and south yemen, and they're part of that old part of yemen which was known as north yemen. they have been on the march. they had received an enormous amount of support, although they deny it, from iran, and they've now seized virtually the entire capital of yemen, and add to that the fact that they now for all intents and purposes, conducted a coup d'etat against the american-supported president and his government which apparently has resigned, leaving the country rudderless and in the hands of these rebels, and at the same time,
al qaeda in the arraign yans peninsula, has had its stronghold in yemen, and it has been probably ground zero in the arabian peninsula for american counterterrorism initiatives against the most virulent and most dangerous franchise of al qaeda that has tried many number of times to attack the homeland against the united states. everywhere everything from the underwear bomber to the inspiration of lieutenant general had ad who had attacked fort hood the tsarnaev brothers were inspired by the assassinated cleric, american-born cleric, the leader of al qaeda. and he his followers have been more or less the most dangerous franchise of al qaeda in the world. host: so, ambassador ginsberg,
does the u.s. have any contact with the group? do we have any interactions at this point? guest: no, they are adversaries to the united states. they are as virulently extremist in their views as the al qaeda folks are themselves. i doubt that we have had any major contact with them. their major patron saint in the region are the iranians. and what has happened in yemen is a travesty and a tragedy for american fofle in the -- tragedy for american policy in the peninsula. host: what about the president prior, is it president salah? guest: yeah, president salah, who was the long-term dictator of yemen, was forced out of office in what essentially was a democratic uprising against his dictatorial rule. in fact, he was the subject of
a almost successful assassination attempt, it took months and months of careful american diplomacy along with saudi diplomacy to get him out of office. where did he go? essentially rejoined, for all intents and purposes, adversaries against the government that succeeded him. so he has been tied to the group. he joined forces with them, and indeed, just a couple of weeks ago, the united nations security council of all bodies sanctioned him, sanctioned former president salah, for interfering in a democratic transition inside yemen. so if you're going start pointing fingers, you point fingers not only at the houti, but as former president salah, who, where he got his support from remains to be seen, but he's also been involved in this fight against the american-supported government of the president.
host: we're going put the numbers up on the screen. we're talking in this segment about efforts against global terrorism. we're also talking about the situation in yemen and the middle east in general. so if you have some questions for ambassador marc ginsberg, you can go ahead and dial in or tweet your questions, and we'll begin taking those in just a moment. now, ambassador, the death of the saudi king, the role saudi arabia in yemen. guest: king abdullah was first and foremost a champion of stability on the arabian peninsula, and saudi arabia, as we know, has been engaged in a regional proxy war against its number one adversary in the region, and that's the shiite-dominated government of the ayatollahs in iran. throughout the area, whether it's been in syria, whether it's been in iraq, whether it's been in yemen, saudi forces
have been supporting, for example, sunni tribesmen against the rebels. now, there are allegations that saudi funding has also supported al qaeda in the arabian peninsula, but i'm sure that the saudi government, which is fighting its own battle against al qaeda in the arabian peninsula, has been secretly and quietly supporting and working with the united states to try to prevent the rebels from seizing control, but, unfortunately, the yemeni army which along with anything else inside yemen is tribal in nature, fragmented and splintered, and the only effective military force that was left against the rebels were the special security forces that have been fighting alongside the united states, and i'm sure along saudi counterterrorism forces against al qaeda in the arabian
peninsula. so saudi arabia now has another major problem. it has a shiite adversarial iran-supported force that has now taken control over the capital city of yemen, and i'm sure that the heir to king abdullah, now king salman has a major security threat to deal with, which i'm sure he and the saudi allies were not counting on having to deal with. host: want to get your reaction to this "washington post" editorial this morning, the yemen mess. this is how they conclude it. the yemen mess reveals the weaknesses of mr. obama's partner strategy, which has been too narrowing focused on drone strikes and training of specialized units and not enough on providing security for the population, institution-building and support for moderate political forces. unfortunately, the president's cursory description of his counterterrorism policies this week following a year in which
jihadist forces and terrorist attacks expanded across the world, suggested that he remains uninterested in correcting his mistakes. guest: it's a bit harsh, but i think it is a fair statement to say that from secretary, former secretary of defense, leon panetta, who served honorably in the obama administration to the book that was written by hillary clinton explaining her dissatisfaction over president obama's policies in syria, the administration has not had a the administration has not had a strategy in the middle east. as a result, we have seen the spread of isis. we have seen. deteriorate into chaos. we have seen yemen deteriorate into chaos.
the fact of the matter is what we look at what happened in paris, why so much focus has been on isis in the region, the real threat to the homeland has been al qaeda. it has been a drone war with some counterterrorism forces. it has not resulted in the doable support that is needed to maintain security of a national democratic government in yemen. we can say the same thing about libya. libya has descended into utter chaos. the administration gave it self pats on the back, but for all and since a purposes, it walked away.
we have, in effect, a series of cancers popping up in the region. host: how do serious into all of this? guest: syria is also a ground zero for another al qaeda franchise. again, it represents either another chapter in the centuries old conflict. we see this happening once again in yemen. we basically thought we were struggling against al qaeda's ideology after 9/11. there is very little that we
can do to combat the centuries of hatred that drives these groups to fight each other. now we see this happening again in yemen. we have seen this in the iraq and syria. now, we see a full line to send down into yemen. there is a direct connection between the proxy war that is being waged by iran on behalf of the shiite domination of the middle east __ whether it is support for hezbollah or hamas, or the assad regime. now being confronted by our strongest adversaries in the region that are being strengthened on the back of sunnis who are afraid of the shiite ascendancy. host: let's take some calls. we will begin with dennis in arkansas on our democrats line.
caller: you know, they say that you cannot go to war with g5 unless god tells you to or you are not a muslim at all. that kind of eliminates an awful lot of these guys. those tribes have been fighting for a long time __ centuries __ trying to get a leg up on the other guide. isis is being run out of yemen and libya primarily. firsthand knowledge from people who escape their is different from the political point of view. are we going to be the police force for the entire world?
obama kind of said __ i'm going to get as out of the war, those are campaign promises. he is a man of his word. he also killed osama bin laden. you can say bush did it __ host: there is a lot better. a lot of connections being made by dennis. guest: it is so complicated and confusing to americans. all of this is terribly difficult. i always tell the folks that if you do nnot understand the difference between a sunni and a shiite, it is hard for anyone to understand what is going on in the middle east. the fact of the matter is thatyes, the president should be given a great deal of credit for taking out osama bin laden.
the fact of the matter is that the united states has been engaged in these counterterrorism struggles. i'm not merely point out the fact that we should be the world's policeman wanting comes to the middle east. it really is a dilemma for the american people. all of our efforts and forces have been thrown into this fight against isis. that is a miscalculation __ to try and protect iraq's integrity and prevent ices from overrunning iraq itself. that would have been a disaster for american policy and our interest in the middle east. the fact of the matter is __ we need to create a structural containment which is up to most of our arab allies to wage their battles. we cannot __ the u. s. can
simply not tab down all of the crises in the middle east by ourselves. it is not our duty or responsibility. we need to do what we can to protect us against al qaeda. the suffering of the syrian people. the strikes are taking place in iraq. the terrible calamity in yemen. the situation in syria. this is something that the arab world will have to deal with. there are not enough americans, and something that frankly the united states should not be engaged in __ trying to be peacemaker in the middle east. host: brick in texas, republican line. caller: i saw the question that has been begging to be answered for the past few days with all the gitmo detainees that have been released. yemen was one of the countries where i believe many detainees
were going to be held for some period of time. with the collapse of the government, what is the outcome of this? ddo you think these people will end up back on the battlefield? guest: tthe fact is, yemen was the initial homeland for osama bin laden. it was his initial base of operations, where his family raised him additionally. there aren't an enormous number of people from yemen who have supported al qaeda in the last decades. one of the reasons that american policy has taken a hit here with the overthrow of the president is because he has been a strong supporter against al qaeda.
what happens to these al qaeda terrorist to have been held in jails in yemen, yes, it is a big danger. host: ambassador ginsberg, we have a map of the region there. when you look at it, saudi arabia seems to be in the middle. yemen on its southern border. with the death of the king, is there a chance of greater unrest? guest: the saudi's have been dealing with their own internal unrest. there have been problems in the kingdom and efforts by the shiite to affect protests there. i think it is very important for us to understand that al
qaeda has been attacking the institutions of saudi stability for decades. there have been bonds and attacks. an american and canadian have been killed at a gas station just a few months ago in saudi arabia. there have been attacks on foreigners. saudi's have been called on to attack americans and canadians and other westerners inside saudi arabia. these attacks have largely occurred outside the headlines for the average americans. al qaeda and its supporters have proved to be resilient inside the kingdom. while the government has __ tthe saudi government has done a great job in counterterrorism __ these attacks have continued. host: came __ kim from massachusetts. caller: i just have a couple of questions.
i'm seeing this is really complex. i'm wondering __ i notice that there is a lot of media that we get that is speaking to the choir. it is good for u. s. consumption. what are we doing for the shiites and their consumption? it seems to me like we have not done a very good job of turning things around. guest: that's like saying how do christians wind up empowering the minority shiites in the middle east to feel they have been subjugated by the sunnis for centuries. iran is the dominant shiite country in the region. it is not an error country, it is a persian country. the shiite government has been
supporting terrorist organizations throughout the region to and affect in engaging in war against the sunnis. they have been the primary supporter of former prime minister maliki. who wound up being an absolute disaster for u. s. foreign policy in iraq and to help to instigate the rise of isis. sunni animosity and anger against his government. yes, it is confusing. yes, the century_old conflict between sunnis and shiites __ it goes back __ i have given lectures around the world on how this arose __ to the
average american, i can only explain it in a way that makes it understandable. when the prophet mohammed died, he failed to name a successor. his disciples formed a party known as the sunni. the sunni wound up in effect dominating the more or less legacy of the prophet mohammed. it was the family of the prophet mohammed that felt like they were the rightful heirs to the prophets legacies. they formed a party known as the shiite. shiite is the word for party. this battle has been going on over who is the rightful heir
to the prophet mohammed. there are theological splits between sunni and shiite, which have now dominated the middle east and broke out into the first conflict and centuries. guest: homer is in louisiana. caller: i am a vietnam veteran. what behooves me is why we have got to play world police and decide what goes on in the rest of the world. many really don't know why they are even in war. guest: listen, the issue over the role of the united states in the world and the fact that the president was able to withdraw forces from
afghanistan, and we are now back in iraq in a more subtle way __ the fact of the matter is that al qaeda represents the greatest threat towards the united states. not a threat to the existence of the united states, but the terrorism. when i roll off the number of plots that al qaeda has inflected on the united states, tthe underwear bomber, the attack on the delta christmas flight that was supposed to arrive in detroit, the list goes on and on. if we had to do with one major problem, i would highly recommend that we vanquish the number one franchise of al qaeda, which is currently
trying to not only attack the homeland, but also has been the inspiration for most of the self radicalized americans who have either radicalized because of these sermons of the dead american clerk, but also because of the constant threats and exporting of terrorism against the united states. that is important for us to do in order to protect the american people right now. host: you referred to the al qaeda branches as franchise. guest: in deed. you have after the assassination of osama bin laden, the residual command center of al qaeda in pakistan. that is more or less left in the hands of his number two __ the evil doctor, who is still alive, we presume somewhere in pakistan. al qaeda has messed up __
turned into a series of franchises are more or less influenced by the ideology of al qaeda. you have one franchise in north africa, one in mali, one in the northern peninsula. you have al qaeda in iraq. of course, you have al qaeda sleeper cells that we have seen pop up in europe, australia, and god forgive in n canada and united states. the residual legacy ofbin laden still seems to be a will to attract these young arabs who want to be a member of al
qaeda, aattracted to what is essentially this death cult of al qaeda. we have not a great deal of success to turn that off. host: we have this map of the middle east that we want to put back up. ambassador ginsberg, wwhat kind of military presence to u. s. have in __ does the u. s. have in this area? guest: if you go to iraq after the islamic state was able to take the city of mosul, the second largest city of iraq and cease territory on the turkish syrian border __ if you draw the line all the way to the outskirts of iraq, to baghdad, you have territory where at least 2000 to 3000 american advisers __ were not in combat
roles __ but in advisory roles. you have that force. you also have american counterterrorism forces in yemen. their safety and security is now very much a issue. for all intensive purposes, that is in about in so far as the american military presence in the region. we do have small military attachments to our embassies throughout the region. we have counterterrorism and military personnel supporting the government of jordan. we have a military presence on the basis and in qatar. we have a military base in the united arab emirates.
we have military bases in saudi arabia where there are americans supporting local forces and where there are several hundreds american forces. host: luiz from virginia, please go ahead. caller: hello. i wanted to talk about religious extremism and how do we combat religious extremism when we have zionist. that is religious extremism. we have the christian right here in the united states. in the state of west virginia, you get about 20 christian television shows. it is all outrageous stuff that you hear. it is not about jesus and love. it is about hatred and zionism.
and what israel needs to extend to wherever it was. how are we going to combat extremism and terrorism when we have terrorists amongst us that are not muslim. guest: that is a domestic issue and i may take exception to your interpretation of christians and zionism as extremism. i think the best way for me to answer this question is to focus on my area of expertise. that is the problem of radical islamic ideology and its attractiveness to young americans who have been self_actualized on the internet. and why they believe for some reason that being a soldier of terror against innocent people somehow will bring them redemption under the banner of
islam __ it is a malfeasant interpretation of islam. it is frankly, in a way of combating it __ i think i said in an article that i just posted in the huffington post __ how people learn that killing in the name of islam is not going to send you to paradise and provide you 72 virgins is the greatest challenge of islamic leaders right now. it is up to them to convince people that murder is not correct or rifle under the name of islam. there certainly not going to go to paradise as a result of engaging in terror. they will rightfully go to hell. there have been in att __ in adequate voices, and a growing
drumbeat by not only with local leaders, but also political and business leaders throughout the middle east. they have occasionally expressed horror __ ffor example with the attacks that is happening in paris. the fact of the matter is that since 9/11, it has been a tremendous challenge for local governments in the middle east and for the leaders, and for people who are respected as icons in the arab world. to speak truth to youth in the region being called to the banner of jihad. that is something that we cannot do __ it is up to them to do. host: this tweet says __ wwe may understand this conflict on an intellectual level, by do not believe we understand on their level. guest: i cannot agree more.
i was in saudia arabia a few years ago and i was meeting with a good friend of mine. we were talking about this issue. i was shocked at how this __ and how hateful one sector of islam feels towards their fellow muslims __ the shiites. they called them curses that i was surprise that. it is this visceral hatred that i have been surprised at. where did it start at? it started __ if you asked me where the late got blown off after 9/11 __ it happened in iraq. saddam hussein had been a ruler
over a majority population. when he was overthrown, the shiites have been subjugated and tortured, and had prejudice inflicted on them by their sunni, saddam hussein government. this has been where this began. it is a hatred that has gone on forever. since i said a while ago __ since the assassination of ali by sunni forces. it is pitted __ again, and iranian shiite government that wants to restore some shiite hegemony in the middle east. host: marc ginsberg is are just. james is on a democrat line. caller: i have two points __
one, should we not clean our embassy out, before we have another ddisaster. secondly, why we ignoring the elephant in the living room. the fact that i ran is going to build a nuclear weapon, aand they are going to deliver it somewhere in the world. what are we going to do about that? guest: as a former ambassador i can tell you that the number one job for an investor is the safety and this security of the american people and stuff. the united states has dispatched several warships to help in the evacuation of american personnel. i'm keeping my fingers crossed that if they get out safely __
i feel strong kinship to all my diplomat in the region, who every day they put their lives at risk on the behalf of the american people. their security and safety are foremost in my mind. with respect to iran, and its nuclear ambitions. there has been a growing series of negotiations that have taken place. each time that there has been a deadline set for the iranians to reach an agreement with the members of the security council plus germany, iran, and large the united states have extended the deadline. secretary of state kerry just met with his counterpart in geneva __ with foreign minister of iran. what is emerging here is more or less an effort to close the differences between the west
and iran with respect to the right to so_called enrichment. for all intensive purposes, its refusal to abide by the demands of the west to shut down its nuclear program. as you may have heard, the israeli prime minister netanyahu was invited by speaker boehner to come to speak on march 3 to congress to talk about this issue of iran's nuclear ambitions. it is not only a threat to israel, but also a threat to saudi arabia and our allies in the region. there is a great deal of concern and consternation as to whether putting more sanctions on iran is essential at this time. for example, the democratic congress __ let me rephrase that. bipartisan members of congress __ both democrat and republican
__ want to sponsor an additional legislative package of sanctions that would only be imposed on iran if these discussions fail. yet, they are opposing mr. mention this to is pushing this legislation. there is a great deal of debate as to whether passing of sanctions bill __ even though it would not impose more sanctions unless the topsail __ is the right thing to do. they say that this could cause the talks to collapse. frankly, great deal people will disagree. host: time for a couple more calls. brian is going from washington, d.c. caller: good morning. i want to take issue with the ambassador and how he believes that we do not really
understand. i am old enough to remember that iran had a democratically elected present. this man was overthrown by the united states government. he was very harsh on his people until they threw him out. the united states kept a war going on for the next 10 to 15 years. i believe it has been said that if it was not for us overthrowing saddam hussein we would not have these problems. so, the united states has caused these problems. they're the greatest purveyors of violence over there. they have killed millions of people in iraq. no one seems to think that there's anything wrong with that. you have created these jihadists. they have not asked to come over here.
the so_called lie about weapons of mass destruction __ wwe opened up pandora's box. again, we are not the police of the world. we cannot even pay our bills over here. i guess people over here should suffer, and soldiers over here should live under highways. host: we got the point. thank you. guest: that is an oversimplification of history. the fact is that everyone acknowledges that the cia overthrew the leader. there was an uprising by his own people against the dictatorial rule of the shah. i believe that that gentleman has a much more distorted view of the situation saddam hussein.
i disagree totally with the idea that the american people are instrumental in the killing of millions of people in the middle east. it is factually fallacious. host: our last call from new hampshire. caller: hi. good morning. i want to thank c_span. this is a great topic, especially with the ongoing negotiations __ or alleged negotiations with iran and the nuclear program. i agree partially to your assessment on iraq. iraq was the colonizer against iran. iran was working with his nuclear program before we even invade iraq. i do not think that would've made much of a difference. i guess what i am looking for
is __ what do you see in the future as far as the best approach? not just from the united states viewpoint but from the world viewpoint, and how we can address the issue without creating an all_out war on the middle east. i think these wars __ what has create a lot of these hostile al qaeda groups __ that is my question. guest: let me see if i can take off some things that i think we should try and focus our foreign_policy energies on that are consistent with the goals and objectives of the american people. first and foremost, we need to have a far more effective counterterrorism strategy to prevent these franchises of al qaeda from attacking the homeland. .2, we need to do more to help
resolve the error __ arab_israeli conflict. it would be a useful exercise to put to bed an issue that should have been put to bed a long time ago. we need to in effect support more arab moderate states that are facing the threat of extremism in the region, and promote more democratic institutions, and the durability of democratic institutions. overthrowing gadhafi in libya, and then abandoning olivia has created one more mass because we did not have the power to follow up on the democratic transition is necessary. so far as american troops on the ground __ there is a great deal of debate within the administration as to the threat the isis poses to the american homeland.
the fact of the matter is __ most senior military officials will agree that without more boots on the ground in northern iraq and syria, defeating isis will not happen. finally, i think we need to have a much more strategic policy of containment around the periphery of the middle east to protect us from these threats and to do what we can to empower more allies and be more strategic about these threats. i think we have watched the last eight years __ we have sort of fallen backwards into crises that had we been more farsighted about, we could have avoided. i think our policy and syria has been a disaster. the failure of the obama administration to step in and try to empower more moderate in the region in syria has led to probably the greatest humanitarian catastrophe.
now, is it the americans fault that this happened? no. could we have done more? yes. is it probably too late? yes. host: finally, ambassador ginsberg, what will happen in the admin in __ in yemen in your view? guest: it is anyone's guess now. these rebels are proxies for iran. they are shiite in a country in which there __ tthey only represent 30% of the population. since they are not moderate shiites, but extremists, they will inevitably create an enormous amount of tribal mistrust on the part of the two thirds of sunnis. i hope that.
i hope i do not see another outbreak of civil war between shiite and sunni. as far as i'm concerned, our only job is to protect the ascendance of al qaeda into the arabian peninsula. host: thank you for being on the "washington journal." coming up, we will turn our attention to this book __ "we are better than this: how government should spend our money." this is edward kleinbard's book. he is a professor at the university of southern california. he is a former chief of staff to the u. s. congress joint committee on taxation. you're watching the "washington journal."
>> this saturday, live coverage of the iowa freedom summit. speakers include potential 2016 presidential candidates. as well as 2008 nominee, sarah palin. the iowa freedom summit this week and on c_span. >> andrew keen, author of "the internet is not the answer" on how the internet is being used for profit. >> people used to work in factories. today, we are all working in
these factories __ like google, like facebook. but it is unpaid labor, we are working 24_hour per day. it is not knowledge that we are producing the knowledge for them. what the companies are doing is learning more and more about us, more about our behavior from what we publish and say. by learning about us, they are creating a phenomenon, and repackaging us as products. we're the ones being sold. not only are we working for free, then we are being sold. it is the ultimate scam. it is the perfect hitchcock movie. >> that is sunday night on q&a. >> "washington journal" continues.
host: we want to introduce you to usc professor, edward kleinbard. he has this book __ "we are better than this: how government should spend our money." you say in here that you are supportive of business in a dutch uncle sort of way. what does that mean? guest: i am a fan of business and free enterprise. i understand the value of the capitalist system. i do not have any patience for random government intervention for the hell of it. on the other side of the coin, business in america today __ when a lobby in washington __ it tends to have a somewhat hysterical tone. this guy is always falling. the slightest effort by government to correct market sshortcomings __ it is the end
of the world. the purpose of the book, in effect, is to give a stern lecture to government, but more importantly to get people involved in understanding how taxing and spending policy of the government directly affects our lives, our happiness, and our future. host: is the new thing that business is saying the sky is always falling or has always been that way? guest: it is not a new development. what is a new development is first the volume. there's so much loving that goes on. it is so persistent that it is hard to escape. it is hard to hear yourself think. also, the rest activity on behalf of the members of the congress to the messaging.
you need to bring a lot of skepticism to jobs as a policymaker. unfortunately, i think that we are under in skepticism. host: the topic of your book is how the government should spend our money. you write __ if we put government to work in useful areas, our country would be healthier, wealthier, and happier. what exactly are those areas that you would like to see government working? guest: the basic problem __ we saw just after the state of the union address __ we argue about taxes all the time in this country. taxes are not what government does, a finance is what
government does. what government princely does is spend money. there is the opportunity for government to complement the private sector, and fill out the picture. in the book, i divide into two categories __ investment and insurance. investment, the most obvious two examples are infrastructure and education. let me give you an example. david bookings were on this to demonstrate that spending 10% more on public education of kids, grades k_12 __ 10% per year, about $30,000 __ leads to increased wages for lifetime.
that is a fantastic investment. there is no private firm in the world that would look at those numbers and say anything other than what's jumping, but is government the need to make that investment. those are the kind of points that the book is trying to make. we're not dealing here with __ take from the rich and give to the poor __ sort of redistribution rhetoric that people like to bring up. my point is, if the government makes investments in ways that complement private sector, we all benefit. host: this book also recognizes the central issue of inequality. is income inequality and important policy goal to change?
guest: yes. inequality is the largest socioeconomic issue of our time. the fact is that the country as a whole is showing popular growth over the last few years since the recession. essentially 100% of the economic growth has been captured by the top 1% of americans. what we need to do is honor the principles of opportunity. honor the principle that we are all in this together __ that is what it means to be a country __ and invest in infrastructure. by investing in education. by offering insurance programs. that address the fact that a lot of our lives are driven by luck and not by matt. the consequence would be not
just a wealthier country but one where wealth is more shared. host: edward kleinbard teaches law and business at the university of southern california. we are talking about tax reform, government spending, and these types of issues based on his new book __ we are better __ "we are better than this: how government should spend our money." prof. kleinbard, are we a low tax country? guest: we are by far the biggest bunch of tax whiners in the country today. the united states is not just a low tax country, it is the lowest tax country among the entire club of wealthy nations in the world. if you measure our tax burdens
__ federal, state, and local __ as a percentage of her national gdp we are the lowest tax. at the same time, we have some of the highest rates of poverty. our inequality data is worth. our health statistics are worse. we are a low tax countries that systematically under invest in ourselves. that is really a strange place for one of the richest and most successful countries in the world __ to systematically under invest. host: let's say our tax system remains the same, where would you shift spending to complement what we do on the
private side? host: the book rejects the premise of the question. the book says that frankly we should tax more. not a gigantic amount. about 2% of gdp would radically change america for the better, and would enable us to invest in our kids so that they have genuine opportunity. what size increase the is to discover that the united states is one of the four countries in the club of rich countries where we systematically spend more on the public education of rich kids than poor kids. what a bizarre way to run a country? we systematically spend more money on rich kids than poor kids on education. host: because of the way it is structured due to our school districts? let's go back to the premise
that tax rates will not change. guest: right, tax rates will not change. the book is heavily focused on things like military expenditures. there are only two places in our budget where we systematically spend more than other countries __ one is the military and the other is healthcare. military, i cannot speak as to whether we need 11 nuclear aircraft carrier groups, or nine, or 14. i do feel strongly that if weare going to spend the most per capita on the military then we need a tax system that will be big enough to allow us to be the new sparta, if that is what we want to be, but also meet other economic obligations. the other place where we overspend as healthcare.
that is __ if you're looking for wasteful use, healthcare is a nightmare. we spent close to double per capita per person on health care. we basically spend the same as other countries than in public funding of health care, then we duplicate that all over again with private resources. that is really a tax on ourselves. it turns out that we are all very interested in our own health and survival. so, we can tax ourselves with government or private. the next country after us __ norway or the netherlands __ spends about 12% versus our 18%.
my objection to the affordable care act is not that it is too much, but that is too little. i believe in the single_payer, and enriching individuals in the private sector who are essentially ripping off all of us. we have congress for example that will not allow medicare to negotiate drug prices. we overpay through the private side for drugs. by doing so, we enrich the owners of those drug companies. that is where the waste runs. host: what is the purpose of the joint committee on taxation? guest: is one of the a handful of committees in congress with members of the house and senate. it is a joint __ the joint
committee that has some substantive responsibilities. its principal purpose of existing is to have a staff. its staff will be the nonpartisan resource for congress on taxation __ democrat and republican, house and senate __ the draft legislation, and most importantly to estimate the revenue consequences of tax collection. every time there is a tax bill, the jcc scores more or less how much revenue we can expect over the next few years. host: you talk about income inequality in your book. what about the fact that __ this is a tweet __ could you please cite other economic
buoyant countries that have 40% of its citizens who pay millions in taxes? guest: this is one of the classic red herrings in political rhetoric today. there's virtually nobody in the united states who pays no taxes. it doesn't really matter if the tax is called an income tax, payroll tax. everyone pays taxes. the way the u. s. tax system is structured __ on the federal level, you pay payroll taxes. a minimum_wage worker is paying into the tax system. these are not in fact monies going towards the segregated retirement account for the benefit of the individual. we have income taxes on top of that. one of the reasons that we have a significant number of individual americans who do not pay is because most of those americans are either elderly __ they are in effect past their wage earning span and are
collecting social security. or they are children. you look at a 40% and they are very few working adults that fall into that category. those of course are paying payroll taxes, state and local taxes. when you add them all up, everyone paid taxes in this country. it is true that the income tax is collected primarily from the middle_class americans through affluent americans. also, for the reason that we deliver lots of social programs through the tax code. if you unbundle the income tax and say here's what we are collecting on the one end, inc. is what we're spending on other, you would discover that what other countries might deliver as what is called making work pay programs __ we
deliver those kinds of programs through the tax code. the consequence of that is that if people want, and we wanted to make everyone happier, we could have a tax system that collects more income tax for more people __ and another bureaucracy that writes out checks to other people. instead, we found a way to short_circuit the process. host: let's take some calls. dorothea in florida. guest: good morning. i would like to ask more on taxation when it comes down to student loans. i know a lot of people like myself above to go back to college but it is hard as i'm
thinking that what loan i might be able to have and what i have to pay back. i'm interested on how working around taxes on student loans. if a student has a loan, in my mind, somebody could buy that loan. i would also like you to touch on what the president said in the state of the union on free college for two years. guest: it is a great question. what can we do to make college affordable? the fact is that to be a high functioning adults in america today, this extremely complex economy, you need a tremendous amount of investment behind you. investment in the form of capital, machinery, computers. you also need a tremendous amount of investment in yourself in a formal education
__ human capital. we make human capital investments extremely expensive in the united states. we make it quite difficult for low income, ambitious americans to get the kind of investment in themselves that they need to fully realize their potential. this is exactly the kind of problem that the book addresses. it is a perfect instance of where the united states fails its own citizens. other countries, germany __ college is essentially free. people pay tax, but in turn, everyone gets to share in those benefits, including the ability to attend university if you meet the entrance requirements. in the united states, rich kids go to college for free because their parents __ middle_class,
working_class americans leave college burden by millions of dollars of debt. in my law school, $150,000 of debt. that kind of dead actually forecloses opportunity. there are many people who graduate from my law school that would like to be public defenders but say, i have to go work for a corporate law firm just to be able to handle my debt. the president propose to use of free community college and also a tax credit that would enable you to attend a normal college. those subsidies may be too low. he proposes to pay for that by closing a famous loophole in the tax system.
today, if you died holding investments that you bought for 10 and are worth $100 __ all of those capital gains are forgiven. the slate is wiped clean and then your heirs can sell that investment with no income tax. that is worth hundreds of billions of dollars. the present has proposed closing a loophole. it is a notorious loophole. i do not know any one in congress who supports that loophole. by closing out a loan, you have money to fund this committee college program. host: our next caller from sarasota you are on the air. guest: this is very enlightening. i want to make it clear that as a hungarian, i was privileged
as the middle_class child to have nine years of private school. it is now $32,000 per year. it is the seventh most extensive university in the continental united states. you are at the university of southern california where you mentioned is incredible debt that students will accrue. there's also the issue of stafford loan fraud. fraudulent programs. a program in georgia used in affirmative action grant and bought a women's college and flipped it back to the state. i agree with you about the investment in education and public schools. physically, i am in mississippi traveling. they are number 50 in education. new jersey and massachusetts are at the top end.
one other comment that i wanted to make __ tthe federal government i would like to read your book. guest: ey __ i would encourage other viewers to follow his lead and by the book. caller: i have a question about small business. i hear so often about how small businesses are the engine for economy, and yet, i have neighbors and family members who have small businesses and are doing extremely well. is it true that small businesses are overburdened by taxation and regulation in your opinion? or is this merely a fight to get better tax breaks? thank you so much. guest: this is a great question.
i think most of what we hear about small businesses in washington is hyped up. small businesses create a lot of jobs, it also destroys a lot of jobs. every time a new restaurant opens in your nearby mall, jobs are created. when it closes nine months later, jobs are lost. it turns out, as an economic matter, where new jobs are created 10 to be new businesses rather than small businesses. those two are not the same. there are lots of small businesses __ a local car dealer, for example __ who has been in business for the last 40 years, there's nothing new about it and it is not necessary the greatest job creator. there's a lot of hype around the word small business. a lot of what you described a small business isn't.
a lot of business income in the united states __ tthis is a very unusual feature of u. s. system __ is not earn through corporations, but rather directly through people. often we confused terms. the fact is __ the largest firms in america are flow_through businesses. there is an awful lot of very affluent americans to try to hide behind the skirts of small business in order to protect their load tax rates. host: prof. kleinbard, in your
book you talk about something called the growth ferry, what is that? guest: the gross ferry is a common rhetorical trick used in washington today. it is the idea that __ it is as if the nation were allergic to taxes. and that there like a bee sting that will send us into shock. that is just not true. we just live this __ taxes went up on january 1, 2013. they went up significantly. and yet, the world went on. bill o'reilly showed up for work the next day and has continued to. people have claimed that they will not work a day in their lives if taxes go up. nonetheless, big show to work. yes, the united states has had two great years of growth.
we see evidence all the time. the book goes to break carefully to demonstrate that the moderate tax rates we are talking about __ there is essentially no correlation between modest changes in tax rates from the low rates that we have two higher growth. to the contrary,raising tax revenue and using that to run complementarity investment __ like my example earlier, education __ in turn graduates would have higher wages for the rest their lives. that kind of return is simply not being captured by the growth fairy story. it is an assumption and through dynamic scoring __ the buzzword
of the month in washington __ all of that assumes the investment has zero returns and that is false. host: girl from alabama. caller: thanks for having me. a couple of points __ the professor is present in some are so concerned about spending. i think we have been doing some spending, that is why so much of our tax dollars go towards the debt. he does not even talk about that. he lives in the universe where __ we could get more money for capital gains __ we know were all the money is going. it is going to the debt. he throws out these lines about how great a country we are, then he trashes us. i travel all the time in
europe __ they are poor, they had problems. people want to come to america where the tax whining is, and where some of us want to stop throwing your money away to government so they can go in debt and waste more. guest: it is difficult to respondin a short period of time. the reason the government is in debt in the united states is simply this __ first, we cut taxes into someone and 2003. then, we went to war and spend $1 trillion or more on war. for the first time in the history of this country without in fact raising taxes to support that war effort. without asking for any sacrifice from americans. then, we had the greatest recession in the history of
this country. a deep recession that cut federal revenue collections dramatically. those are the reasons why the government that has risen. the fact is that government deficits have come way down since 2013 by virtue of the tax deal, and the stronger economy. as it turns out, the president has cut the deficit by one third. the man_made crisis that we put ourselves in by cutting taxes in 2001 and 2003 by going to war without paying for it __ aand then under responding to the financial crisis __ is really a very misguided way of looking at the world.
there's plenty of income in this country. this is a robust economy. the national debt is not a problem when you realize the solution to is raising money. where money ghost today in this country is to the military, healthcare, and the elderly. we are virtually nothing left over for any other activity. in the book i suggest 2% of gdp. that does not turn us into france, or even the u.k., as far as the total amount of revenue that we raise. but, it would enable us to send some money on ourselves and the working lives of working class americans. host: james in seattle. caller: i have three points. ronald reagan dropped the tax rates down.
he did not create a bunch of jobs. bill clinton raised dead 17 times. he raised taxes because of the mess he caused. he did not cut taxes. he added to taxes to the top tax bracket. here comes president obama. under reagan, it tripled. now president obama has brought the deficit down to raise the top taxes. they should have been raised to 60%.
president obama cut government workers. if you look at it, what has happened is the republicans were the big spenders and democrats cut the deficit and are less spenders. guest: there is a lot of historical merit to james's point. bill clinton was the only president i think the last century to have a budget that was not only balance but producing a surplus. by the end of the clinton presidency, we had a robust economy __ i think people would agree, we had a more optimistic book on our own
future, and we were producing a government surplus that was paying down pre_existing national debt. the tax cuts of two other one __ 2001 and 2003 reverse that. it was those cuts without any spending reductions that put us on the current course. the fact is __ i would like to ask people to focus a little more on the other side of the coin. taxes are how we financed what we want out of our government. and ask what it is that we want out of our government and if we are heading that. all of federal revenues to day go towards as i said before __ military, healthcare, and the elderly.
it is only about 10% of government spending that is discretionary nonmilitary spending. it is a small fraction of our total revenue that is going towards investing in ourselves and our future. that is the difference. california, years ago, had one of the greatest university systems in the world. it was very low cost because the people california paid for. we could be in the same situation in the future if we choose to be. that is why i said just in the book that all of the taxing and spending can be underscored as a way of expressing our fiscal soul. we have __ through our government __ we express our values. this is not just about the
economics, though economics are always back playing the story. it is not just about economics. it is about what we want to be and what we value. we have to make sure the kids of working class and middle class americans have the same human capital behind them as rich kids do. if we want good quality jobs __ infrastructure is a good way of doing that. at every turn, i think the problem is not what james said as far as history. we need to get past that and look and think about what are our values. this budget stuff encapsulates what we want as americans and what we want to be and what values we honor.
host: norma from texas, republican line. caller: yyou seem to think we should have equal opportunity. is the equal opportunity for those who made themselves wealthy through their own efforts? who have approach life with more intelligence and effort, and maybe work their way through school. after they got out of school, but they're close at garage sales. and eat beans and cornbread forever, and economize until they can make their own business. is it equal opportunity for those people? who have to support their
cchildren and then go around and do the same for other people's children who may be did not make the same amount of effort. i do not speak as a wealthy person. why is that equal, why should they have to bear the burden that those of us who did not extend the other intelligence and effort that they did? guest: it is a very interesting point. some people are more intelligence than others. kobe bryant, even with his recent injury can play basketball better than i can. we all have certain skills. none of us are in those talents. i did not make myself smart. that was a gift from somewhere that i did not control. i did not choose my parents.
i did not choose to grow up in a household that push and encourage me, and enabled me to make the most of my talents. those all guests that i __ are all gifts that i've given. i have the point of view that in fact our outcomes in life are an undifferentiated porridge of effort, and luck on the other hand. it drives me up a crazy when people who succeed in life refused to knowledge that what has anything to do with this. i worked for many decades on wall street. during that time, i worked with a lot of a rich and smart people. not one time did one person say to me, i have been very lucky in life. i was a sad as to people's own sense of morals. i'm not suggesting __ i think
we're getting confused about you quality of opportunity. i'm not as simpleminded inegalitarian. i'm not suggesting a communist state in which everyone has the same. i am suggesting that by raising a little more on tax from successful americans of all strides, we can collect enough revenue to fund our government and invest in ourselves. it really goes to the point that luck has a lot to do with our outcomes. but has a lot to __ but has a lot to do with the intelligent person. that is not something that i earned. host: why you open your
chapters with a quote from adam smith? guest: adam smith is often used as the mascot of the low tax crowd. he was the first one to demonstrate the free market, capitalist principles were the way to have a prosperous country. it turns out that of course the free market is important. of course, capitalism is an extraordinarily efficient way of organizing ourselves. of course that is all true. adam smith did not think that was the end to it. adam smith wrote to bay books. he was very much a believer that men and women needed to develop a moral sense. a sense of what the right thing to do was and then act on it. he expected people __ my joke
was that he thought people in the marketplace __ not the caricatured that we knew him for today. he has been terribly misused and popular rhetoric. host: finally, tom kelly tweets in __ what a fair tax be the most ethical way to finance government? guest: there is a lot of economic merit to this tax. a consumption tax does not necessarily need to be one rate, it could be progressive. my colleague at usc has done a lot of work in this area.
there are a lot of economic reasons why consumption tax would make sense. it is a terrific idea that would never fly in the united states. thee idea is that you just get a check for existing. and you go on from there and use that. as you said, would we even live in a society where that would be a rational conversation to have? this progressive consumption tax disadvantage is that you are not taxing capital income as it is earned. some investors are not taxed until it is spent. if you're very wealthy, that could be generations from now. and you are at the risk of leakage in the system. i can promise that congress would give a one year
discounted rate on consumption in order to boost the economy. i view of progressive consumption tax as very vulnerable to that kind of political meddling. the first instance. host: edward kleinbard, a professor at usc and the author of this book __ "we are better than this: how government should spend our money." we have about 40 minutes left in this morning's "washington journal." we've talked about a lot of public policy issues this morning. any public policy issue that you want to talk about is fair game. the lines are open.
first, we want to give you a preview of this weekend's "newsmakers" interview. rep. jeb hensarling iis the guest. [video clip] >> last year, you had a bill that would basically lying down all government support for the housing __ >> that is not true. the federal housing organization was still around. >> outside that __ why not for __ fannie and freddie __ do you think this year that you would be more willing to move in that direction and compromise with the senate version or are you planning on moving forward with something similar to what you are doing last year?
>> as you may recall, there is a change in management in the united states senate. i think that is a good thing and clearly the american people due to since they overwhelmingly voted out harry reid's policy. i think you would see a very different senate bill today. listen, i have strong beliefs about where republican policy should go. i always stand ready as to where policy should go. i do not have myself if this is a perfect bill or if it is going in the right direction. i willing to sit down with the administration. i will certainly sit down with my colleagues in the senate and find a way forward towards a sustainable housing system. i do not often go across the pond and look at europe for ideas on public policy. i do note that there are a
find a complete television schedule at c_span.org. to let us know what you think about the programs you are watching, colonists, email us, or send us a tweet. join the seats in conversation, like us on facebook, and follow us on twitter. >> "washington journal" continues. host: open phone segment here on the "washington journal." 202 is the area code. all public policy issues are fair game this morning. we want to show you his article on the front page of the
"washington journal." the u. s. and iraq have prepared offensive to retake mosul from islamic state. the top american commander in the middle east said. we want to point this out to you as well. this is __ you know what, i have too many paper stacked up your. just in case you're interested __ this woman here, this photo __ she was martin luther king's personal secretary for many years. this is an article about her and what she is doing these days. in case you're interested, this is in the "washington post" in the style section.
diane, for white, florida, you are our first caller in open phones. what is on your mind this morning? caller: as far as education and obama's wish for students to get two years of college for free. i think that is a wonderful idea. the university of florida does not pay property taxes. property owners subsidize this university. therefore, they should give back. kos bam __ host:betty, you are on the "washington journal." caller: i was just listening to the gentleman that you had done previously. in listening to him,i could tell of course that he was
liberal, and probably most likely democrat. i heard the fact that he was sayingthe majority of the money that comes and goes to senior citizens for social security and for other things, the defense department. as far as the senior citizens are concerned and social security __ we paid into that. if it wasn't for the fact that the government has become so bay, i believe that they do not know what half of the money has gone. the fact that that we pay into that __ of course, the government has to cover it because these people are entitled to it. from listening, people have to
understand that when the government gets a steak and have to spend as much money,, that is why the election that we had __ people do not like the way that people send the government's money. they are angry at that. i think politicians do not realize. it is ridiculous the way they spend money. host: thanks for calling in. peggy from maryland, what is on your mind? caller: real quick __ i'm sorry for the french people and the attack. for americans, i had a sense that for once, it was not as. i hate to say this.
for the first time, it was not us. it is nice to have a peaceful america. israel is not an extension of the u. s. i have a lot of jewish friends. but we cannot be continued to be drawn into war. that is how we are powerful __ not by provoking people. god bless america. host: front page of the "wall street journal" this morning __ comcast is facing test in washington.
when comcast heard that obama wants to increase regulations on internet, the chief executive of comcast opposed such a move. mr. obama called for the strongest possible rules so that comcast treats all web traffic equally and treat the internet service like a public utility. this weekend on our program the communicators, the ftc commissioner is our guest. he is talking about what the scc __ fcc and what it may do.
unfettered basics, the fcc is scheduled to vote on whether or not changing the rules on net neutrality. that is this weekend. "new york times" __ a scorsese documentary on bill clinton is stalled. martin scorsese has tackled the mob, the dalai lama, and the real_life wolf of wall street, but he seems to have met his match with bill clinton. his partially finished documentary which seemed likely to be released as hillary clinton was navigating a run,, has stalled over disagreement around control. part of the film were shot over the last two years, as mr. clinton made visits to africa __ the project is now stalled, partially because mr. clinton
wanted more control than mr. scorsese was willing to give. john is a democrat. guest: i think __ caller: i think i decided we should pull out of the middle east completely. we should make it known that if any americans are killed, we will respond. the only way we can make other countries pay a price is by making them insist that any terrorists country does not cause damage to americans or american people. caller: george, republican. caller: how're you doing?
i am a small businessman. under clinton, i have 34.9 on my income tax alone. by the time i cleared taxes, i was about 50% over my profit margin. people do not even know how much they are collecting any checks. i just want to ask one question __ as a capitalist, i know i can buy security for my home and my family. i know what money can do. it can be a tool for business. this socialism is more predicated on profit than capitalism because it cannot even survive, iit does not even
exist without the benefit of businesses. here is what i am asking __ do you really believe that giving people money will cure man's vices and dysfunctions. are you crazy? do you really think that money has the power to do that? if you do, then you __ then the love of money is the source of corruption. host: a couple of articles in the "washington post". here is a poll. clinton strongly ahead of gop's field. some of the contenders there. another article says bush and rummy will discuss 26 team plans. i'm sure you've heard word of this meeting.
bush has met with romney's former donors and romney met with bush advisor and inquired about bush's preparation. confidence of both men also say that bush and romney are trying to get a better sense of where each other stands. especially in romney's case. bush associates remain unsure as to whether romney is seriously preparing to enter the contest. bush flew alone to salt lake city on a commercial airliner. before boarding a delta plane in northern virginia, he was spotted by reporters who asked about romney. he said, i like to ski, i can't comment.
wants bush landed in salt lake city, he was confronted by a large group of local television and reporters. he walked toward a wwaiting suv, some fans asked him to sign some baseballs. bernie is on the line. caller: good morning to you. i always get a kick out of the comments people say. thank you for taking my call. i couldn't resist calling it. host: you're right, you're the one doing the work. caller: exactly. three things. i missed the earlier part where you said there was a conversation about american sniper. i was so excited about going to see that movie.
everybody should google the story about chris kyle. i did that and it made me think, was this guy really telling the truth all the time? iit sounds like he wasn't. two, i wish you would have a thing on climate change. it's like the elephant in the room. it's like there's a big meteor headed towards us __ it will wipe out the eaarth. it seems like we're being distracted not only from this elephant in the room, it is over the entire earth. it is like we are distracted by american sniper and all these other things. it would be nice if we __ i saw an interesting thing. i think it was on the daily show, he said __ they always
have two people talking, denier, and a scientist. but two people were there denying it. it would be nice if we could focus on climate change. finally, i would like to have someone come on and talk about economics. i took one economics class in college so i don't know enough to be dangerous, but i understand that attacks with 91% and it allowed businesses to expand. do we have the boom of the 60's and 70's. now, we have this massive inequality moving towards the top. i wish somebody would talk more about the fact that the high margin on tax rates really does what causes bituminous boom in
the middle class. host: what you do in ohio? caller: i am a substitute school teacher, an artist, and an author. my book is all about a subject that i call attitude control. i can't decide what i want to do when i grow up so i will try everything at least once. host: how old are you? caller: i'm 73. i'm going on 39. i can't decide what want to do when they grow up so i will try everything. i play tennis. this morning i will play racquetball. i'm a c_span junkie. i tell everybody i love c_span. hos thank you for __ host:
thank you for calling in. that caller mention american sniper. we talked about earlier in the program. i want to point out that c_span did an interview with chris kyle when his book came out in 2012. you can go to c_span.org and type in the search bar chris kyle. you will be able to watch the hour plus interview. sam is in knoxville, tennessee. caller: good morning. i have a few issues with things that have been going on in our country. ever since barack obama became president of the united states, there have been a lot of situations that have been concerning me as far as the parties. president obama has done a really good job as far as helping this country get back on its feet.
it is sad to see the republicans are obstructing the policies and some of the things that he is trying to put forward in the country. it has been years and decades since there have been presidents helping this country move forward. it was falling off the wayside. it is sad that they are saying things that the president is not doing. some of the policies that he is putting forward will not help this country. host: we will leave it there. joe, you are on the "washington journal."
caller: i would like to make a couple comments. on the professor from the law school who just was on. he failed to mention the taxation of the 529's. which is in the tax plan for present obama and is the way that the middle class has been saving money. now they want to tax it. they want to tax money from the people who saved it so they can give it to people who did not say that. that is the first thing. the second thing is __ the two year college is terrific. if people cannot afford to save $1000 or $1500 to go to college, then maybe there is a problem that they can't do that. why does everyone else have to pay? to be quite honest __ as far as
the individual who called before regarding socialism __ the government is getting enough money. it is ridiculous how much money. i live in new jersey. the tolls are $13 and $14 to go over bridges. when does it stop? host: the front page of the "new york times" has three pre_major articles. one on the death of king abdullah, another on yemen, and another on the new york assembly chief being accused of taking payoffs worth millions. you can see it there. this is a column from the "washington post" this morning __ president obama's visit to
i hold on wednesday leaves just three states that he has not visited. george w. bush came close with 49 states, but he never made it to vermont. will is calling in. caller: hi. i wanted to say __ it is nice to say a pleasant person like the one earlier. it gives the hope for the caller said:. i wanted to comment on the proposal committee college __ it sounds like a good idea. i'm in iowa, by the way. our community colleges are relatively expensive.
it does not address the bigger issue of student loan debt. that is approaching where the housing bubble was a while back. i do not see it as a permanent solution. the government has been buying up all the student loan debt. that does not solve the problem, just puts it on the government. while the intentions are nice, i do not think it is something viable. i think people like my representative will be able to make a more conservative fiscal approach going forward. i really like your program. host: thanks for watching. paul is in morganton, north carolina. caller: i would like to make a comment in regard to the keystone pipeline. the fact that the real
background of people involved in that is not really out there. it is the best example of ways with her democracy. the fact that the owners and so forth have taken so much money to invest into political advertising throughout the world by the gop. they have done a fantastic job because when you see that sony people voted, and voted on those ads when they cannot even tell you who the congressman is our home, is the perfect example of where money is corrupt. i do not see the media will do anything to bring up the real truth about who these people are because they are making so much money off of them. it is the best example that i could point to wear campaign finances needs to be changed. and lobbies should not be able to buy organizations.
it is a sickening sight of what our democracy has come to. host: the president leads to india tonight. climate change and taj mahal are on the schedule. the president and michelle obama leaves late friday for an overnight flight to delhi. obama plans to viisit civil rights monuments. obama will be the first american president to attend the ceremony. bob in florida, what is on your mind? caller: i would like to talk about the fair tax. your guest was very interesting
but he did not clarify __ the consumption tax is not a sales tax. it increases take_home pay by about 16%. it creates jobs and makes this country globally competitive. it brings back many of our overseas operations and the money goes with it. i think it is a greater boost to our economy, and a greater boost to the middle class by providing jobs. i just wanted to correct that. host: from the hollywood reporter, this provocative headline __ the google exec says that the internet will disappear. robin edgewater, maryland. caller: i wanted to comment on
the war against isis in the middle east and syria, and iraq. it is poignant with the death of the saudi __ one of our strong as i was over there. my point is __ it seems awfully critical that we are over there bombing and try to fight this war, and our allies in that area __ we have to protect their interest in our interest. assad is fighting the same people who we are fighting. it seems to me that he is more secular than a lot of these kingdoms and people that we ally ourselves to. just because he has some shadowy connections along the lines possibly to hezbollah, we don't want anything to do with them.
we couldn't stop this were a long time ago if we had gotten together with him. he has the infrastructure and army. he is fighting them. we won't even mention that. we have these people who are saying the free syrian army __ they're making them out to be more than what they are and demonizing the assad regime for their own interest. we have to break these old allies and maybe make some new ones if we ever want to stop this radicalization and extremism in the middle east. host: the front page of "usa today" this morning __ gitmo bay navy base fired amid probe. austin is in gulfport, mississippi, democrat.
caller: i want to speak to the wonderful people of mississippi. in the last election, and many democrats supported taxing. the republican party controlled about 60% of the electorate. yet, the democrat party uniting behind the moderate republicans can keep the tea party out. let's support moderate republicans. let's move our votes and hope republicans __ we're looking for moderate republicans to represent.
host: that was often in gulfport, mississippi. this is roberta in san diego. caller: i wish we would have open phones more than we do now. host: why? caller: i thinkvoters need an opportunity to express their opinions. whenever i call my state people, they tell me that taxes are a federal issue. when i call the federals, they tell me it is a state issue. under any circumstances, neither one of them talk to one another. neither one of them pay attention to how much we are becoming taxed. i wish they would get a grip and start watching out for this country. thank you. host: you are a republican out in california. caller: right.
i am 77 years old. i'm not looking towards a whole lot of future but i am looking out for a lack of concern for the kids. i'm concerned about how people washington want clean air and clean water but we stop and listen to keystone __ aand we know that if it goes to china, they won't clean the air. we have to always disagree with their own selves out there. host: let me rephrase, what is the future of the republican party in california? caller: i don't really know. we've had some bad situations in san diego. i've lived in san diego for over 50 years. we had a mayor elected and a democrat lady go on one of our public channels and say that he
will be one of the last white mayors. we have worked very hard to not have racism in san diego. we have a city council with four women and five men __ with gays, lesbians, hispanics. our district attorney is gay. we have a very diverse community and we are proud of that. that is how we want to keep it. but here in the last few years, we are becoming a mini washington. they are starting to pick up washington consensus. as a person who is with you all these years, it is concerning to me. i want to see her community stay diverse, where he do not look at a person's skin color, we look at them as human beings. i do not like anyone coming in and make a racist remark like
that. host: this is phil, democrat. caller: good morning. i wanted to make a comment on the guy from new jersey __ my home state. he is talking about the taxes. if he was listening to the law professor __ he was telling you what kind of country we want to be. people keep going on about the constitution. it is our government. you say it is too big. why don't you let it do what it is supposed to do __ help the people. if they have to give us free education or free healthcare __ and the rich have to pay a little more because they have been doing so well. they should want to get back to its people. i have kids.
thank god they were able to go to school and pay their student loans. again, it is my problem. i would like to get some help, but i don't get it, that's fine. for the future, for the kids coming up, what kind of future will they have? we are up here bickering about small things __ about socialism __ it works for some aspect of the nation. host: we are out of time. the "washington post" on a democrat who died at the age of 90. he was quoted for zana kentucky is beautiful women, fast horses and tobacco.
that is what he represented. thanks for being with us today. a reminder that book tv is on c_span to every weekend. "american history tv" is on c_span 3 every weekend. 48 hours of books and history every weekend. thanks for being with us. ♪ [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] >> president obama will be leaving town tonight to travel to india for a three-day visit to promote relations between the u.s. and india. the resident will meet with the prime minister to advance issues
like climate change and nuclear trade. president obama will also celebrate india's republic day becoming the first american president to attend that ceremony. in advance of the trip, we will show you today's white house briefing. live coverage will begin at noon eastern. also coming up like today at 4:45, you have president obama's keynote remarks at the conference of mayors. that is part of our coverage of the three-day conference. you can see more of the final they live now on our companion network c-span3 where a panel is talking about the relationship between the white house and local governments. that is life right now on c-span3. --. is live -- that is live right now on c-span3. >> here are comments we received on the state of the union address. >> i'm excited by the president's