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tv   Washington Journal  CSPAN  April 11, 2015 7:00am-10:01am EDT

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to amend the constitution through a process known as article five. ♪ host: good morning. it is saturday, april 11, 2015. the national cherry blossom festival is taking place in washington dc today. we have a three hour "washington journal" i had for you this morning. we will be talking about efforts to restrict welfare recipients on how they can use their benefits, a grassroots efforts to call on states to propose amendments. we want to return to the topic
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of policing committee relations in this country. we are asking our viewers if you trust your local police force and if your feelings have changed in light of the recent walter scott case and other incidents. we are splitting our lines up regionally this morning. if you are in the central or eastern united states, it is (202) 748-8000. if you are in the mountain or pacific region, it is (202) 748-8001. you can also catch up with us on social media on facebook twitter, or e-mail us at very good saturday to you. here is the front page out of south carolina -- "this should change everything. go there is a picture there of the event through which one of
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the onlookers is looking at the spot where walter scott died. the front page about this in the f "new york times" -- north charleston repairs for morning and protest in walter scott shooting. that is the lead for the story in "the new york times" today. the subject we are talking about this morning, we want to get your thoughts on police relations in your community. tell us what using about your local police force. our from eyes are open. as you call in, we want to show you a bit on this topic, the same topic we discussed yesterday. we were join by former new orleans mayor. he talks about the implications
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of the north charleston shooting of walter scott. here is a bit of what he had to say. [video clip] >> you will see the justice department look at the specifics of mr. scott's case, but rightfully so, they will have to examine the actions of the police department at large. right now in the united states, there are greater than 10 departments, it may be close to 20, that are either under federal consent to being looked at for practicing civil rights violations by the department of justice. this speaks to the idea that the broader problem of police -community relations excessive use of force, police misconduct conduct, and police brutality -- we may just be seeing the tip of the iceberg and we may have, and i think we do, a broad systemic challenge in this
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nation. it's not take away the idea or the notion that many -- most police officers are hard-working, honest competent will do the right thing. as with any, if you will industry -- with any important institution, a few bad apples cannot only spoil the whole bunch, but the cover-up in north charleston speaks to not just incidents but to a broader question of culture. this is important -- an important conversation for us to have in america. host: an important conversation we are this morning on "washington journal." we want to hear from you of your do you trust your local police force? have your views change in light of the walter scott case and other recent high-profile cases? here is a letter to the editor from columbus police chief --
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columbus police want to earn communities trust and respect -- is how the letter is titled. that is kim jacobs, letter to the editor. a very different take coming from frank c serpico,
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the man of whom an oscar-nominated movie was based on. he wrote a piece for a political magazine, "when cops cry wolf." he writes, though he apparently dropped his taser next to scott body, that would make the case that scott took the taser. unless we create an atmosphere where the cooking cop fears the honest cop, the system will never change. he writes, now in an era of videotaping, who will believe the police even when they are telling the truth? we want to hear your views this
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morning. our phone lines are open to talk about it. sheridan is calling first from columbus ohio, where the police chief wrote that letter today to the "columbus dispatch." good morning. caller: basically, in columbus, i think police are ok. you know, i was in the navy in the 40's in norfolk, virginia. you know what it was like that. a lot of people south of the mason-dixon line still say the civil war is still at halftime. i don't know if you are aware of that. there is still a lot of -- too much racism in this country. by the way, are you aware of the police officers they kicked and tumbled that guy that stole a horse. host: yes. here is the front page story today in "los angeles times" talking about that incident with
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these san bernardino sheriff's office. francis pusok is the name of the man involved in that. there is a picture of the helicopter footage of the beating there. caller: those 10 cost, as far as i'm concerned, put an example to the fella who said, the mob has many hats but no brains. they showed no brains. they all ought to be excluded from ever serving as believe that -- police officers again. i just want to mention, in the state of michigan in 1855 has to law -- passed a law that no police official in any weight could help any slavers coming up to get their slaves back. there is still a lot of racism in this country. i wish brian lamb would do a
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program on that. thank you for taking my call. have a great day. host: sheridan in columbus, ohio. some of the issues he brings up. they were addressed in a poll from the conference of mayors. they put out april after one of their meetings earlier this year. one of the questions asked of several thousand americans was how would you rate your police force protecting the safety and rights of people? 62% said positively. 32% said negative. that was one of the polling questions in a large list of questions from the conference of mayors. it's go to kyle in new carlisle, indiana. good morning. caller: how's your morning going, sir? host: all right. go ahead. caller: i've been having a lot
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of problems with my local police department. i have tried to call the state police and talk to them, and have them investigate. they refused to come investigate. it's like, a small town, a good old boy system. the cops and politicians can do pretty much whatever they want. nobody checks them. i'm having some problems with my police department and some other agencies. i'm looking for some advice like, who do i go to to try to solve some of this corruption time dealing with? host: kyl, who do you think you can trust here? is it a matter of trust?
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can you go to the higher outs not just the officers themselves, or do you think you have been stymied wherever you go? caller: i have got to the police liaison. i've got to the county police the state police. i've even had a chat with the fbi. it's like no one wants to listen. i talked to my congresswoman. i've talked to the department of justice at the federal level. i talked to pretty much everybody and nobody wants to touch the problem. host: so, what do you think you will do from here? caller: i guess i have to find somebody who will listen to me. and then take action. i don't know who that will be. host: kyle a new carlisle, indiana. james is up next in grand forks north dakota. caller: how are you doing?
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it's me again. can you hear me? i got cut off last time i called. i go back and forth a lot as a migrant worker. i go back and forth -- i grew up in the philadelphia area, so i have a bit of a different opinion. also, i want to qualify myself. a lot of people that called -- you know, i have been roughed up by cups in my life. i have blonde hair and blue eyes. i used to get drunk a lot. i got thrown in a jail -- there was a guy that wanted to beat me up. in nashville, it was like "cool hand luke," i was behaving like an 80. and you have no one who will
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back you up if you are a white guy. no one will march for you. it's about behavior. this is definitely a different thing going on in south carolina. i'm not defending this. i do want to say one thing. we have five black cops killed in the last year. i look at my philadelphia paper online. there was a black cop killed. i challenge some of you white liberals to go to north philly when the sun goes down, and see what happens to you. we had 500 people or so killed on average i cops in a country of 320 million. that is pretty low. the majority of those the last statistic was in 2012 about 100 were black. host: some of the issues you bring up, some of the racial implications, we want to show the front of "time magazine," in
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the wake of the walter scott shooting. "black lives matter," is the front of the magazine. gary writes about some of these issues saying, the casual brutality displayed by police van supports the complaints of many black americans. we want to hear about this issue of trust from our viewers. for about the next half hour or so are lines are open.
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youvette is waiting per. caller: do you trust the police in your community? that is the question. i live about 20 minutes from baltimore maryland. the baltimore maryland police department has been notorious for corruption. my god, they have 17 officers that were arrested for drug trafficking. they were arrested by that be i. they have brutalized black americans in this community for years. they can charge all the time. of course, nothing ever happens to them because they don't make the local news. you know what, like i said, i don't trust them personally 100%, absolutely not.
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the question you should ask is is this guy, officer's later slager going to be convicted. offices get charge all the time, but nothing ever happens to them. will he be convicted? that is the question you need to post everybody. thank you very much. host: here is an editorial cartoon in today's "washington post." on the left, the officer justifiable, on the right, indictable. i want to read a letter to the editor on this topic, the use of police cameras. this is from george elster in "washington post" today.
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that is a letter to the editor in today's "washington post. betty, what do you think in ohio? caller: you said, every black man should carry a cell phone and be prepared. that is the way that the people have been taught in the last two years, to disrespect, be on guard, disrespect. if people would just stop and respect each other, color has nothing to do with it. if you need a police van you will call one, and you will be glad when they come. i know that. i just think that people should stop all this anger and all this -- they put people to trials,
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they test people to see how far they can go with them. that is what is wrong with everything. policemen are just people. presidents are just people. some presidents are black, some are white. color has nothing to do with it. either you are together and a decent person, or you are not. host: betty in ohio. lee is up next in pennsylvania. lee, good morning. caller: retired barber's like me from concrete first, helping barbara's in the trenches, the american people cannot panic over rule. that is why we have judges. white barbara's like myself serve blacks and wife. -- blacks and whites. we do not go by race.
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especially veterans coming home. they were sent to foreign wars. they sent me letters and thank me for what little i can do financially. later on, i'm invited to go to the mainline church to teach's sunday school. host: bring this back to trust in your community and police. caller: don't panic over an exception of what is going on all across the nation. that's what i'm trying to say. host: that was lee and pennsylvania. i'll is up next in sioux falls. al, tell us about your community. caller: this is something that quote on quote black men have had to deal with for years. we call it dwb, driving while black. who gets pulled over for a
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traffic light out while jiving a mercedes-benz. that is racial profiling. you are talking about a saturday morning. pulling a guy over for that, that does not happen. the same thing happens in the midwest as well. if the person is in the wrong place at the wrong time, if they have probable cause, they can pull them over. host: do you see the police doing anything to try and build trust in sioux falls? caller: not really. they basically quote on unquote trying to make themselves friendly. but basically when we have contact with them is them approaching us to pull is over. host: on twitter, the conversation is happening as well. you can follow along at @cspanwj . fred right thing, do i trust might local police, yes, but i
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don't trust the feds, clinton e-mails he brings up as well. bill says, the country as a whole have not tested the police since the rodney king radio all those years ago. the video issue showing some officers in a situation from "wall street journal" -- prevalence of video puts police under the lens. last week, a new your police department, the commissioner, bill bratton placed a detective on desk duty.
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just some of the incidents where police video -- where video of police is putting them under the lens. david is up next in pennsylvania. david, good morning. caller: good morning. the answer to your question is no, i do not indeed trust the pennsylvania state police. i think the pennsylvania state police is one of the most corrupt organizations across the country. i do give fleet of limited at half of the police, we went would reduce thed crime. they are brutal and do not follow the law themselves. i have a great deal of contempt for the pennsylvania state police. host: do you have experience with them? what has shaped your views? caller: actually, i know several of the members of the
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pennsylvania state police. i have known several who are now retired. you know, the number of incidents not with me personally, but with other people in which they have robbed them stolen, picked up things in people's homes that they later sell to others -- it is just a very corrupt organization. host: david talking but his view of pennsylvania state police. let's talk about your local community, your local police department, do you trust it? how is the police department reaching out to you and build trust? and have your views change in the wake of the walter scott incident? don is up next. thank you for getting up early. caller: good morning. i'm calling back again. to let you know that blacks, hispanics, and native americans
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are the true jews of the world. we are scattered all over this world. people, you know, they have a perpetual hatred for blacks all over this world. hispanics, blacks, and native americans are hated in this world. it has been that way ever since 70 a.d. when titus and his son came and ran all the jews -- who are blacks, native americans so-called blacks, mexicans -- we are due -- host: we will try to bring this back to current time and talk about the incident in communities. let's go to north charleston south carolina. joe is calling in. tell us about north charleston. caller: let me share with you that i have lived in the
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charleston area all my life. i'm very familiar with where this whole thing unfolded. if you would like me to, i can share something with you about how bizarre this whole thing is. you have seen the dash cam now right? host: yes. caller: that is in the parking lot of an advance auto parts which i use. right across the street, you will notice there is a small white building. that is a window tinting shot. -- shop. that is christ street. you take a left there, where the victim ran, and he ran be on another drive way beyond those two structures which was the back entrance to a former dodge dealership and turned right into that area that you see in the video where the murder occurred. that goes up behind an area to a
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business called mega pond shop -- pawn shop, which fronts onto a very busy open space. anyone in this area knows that that victim had no place to hide. he would have had to jump a high fence, within 30 minutes, he would have been apprehended. the cop knew that. that as to how bizarre this is. we as a community are outraged. black and white. i listen to conservative talk radio show every morning down here. it ought to be clear, when people listen, there has not been one caller who has been defending this guy. not one. we are sad saddened. it is a strange thing. host: what has your interaction been with the police in the week since? have you seen them out on the
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streets or any efforts to rebuild trust? todoesn't come from the prosecution that we have seen of michael slager? caller: i was telling your producer, he was asking me if i trust the police. i do but i am white. i think there will always be mistrust of the minority community. here is the problem. the police filed a false report immediately. his attorney obviously knew that he lied. andy savage, a very reputable lawyer, has taken the case. here's the thing, he would have taken all the information and dundee forensic work -- done the forensic work. i'm wondering what would have happened. they can tell diego of the bullets and what kind of bullets he used. they would have known right away from forensics that the officer shot the man from long range in
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the back. i'm wondering what would have happened when they gave the information back to the prosecutor, what they would have done with it. think goodness we had the video. here's the thing. host: you would agree with this person who grow in on twitter saying, the fact of the matter is the officer murdered walter scott because he could and without the video, he would be on duty today. caller: you are right. here's the thing. there was no premeditation. none of us think that officer got up that morning and said, i will kill a guy, a black eye this morning. when this thing settles down the road if this goes to trial, she may have one person who hangs the jury. i'm concerned that there will be a plea down, and it doesn't go to trial, and he may get off on manslaughter. you know what i'm saying, it only takes one juror. host: in the meantime, what are
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you doing this we can? are you going to any of the events, marches, memorial services the week after walter scott was killed? caller: i am not personally. i have a lot of projects. i work not too far from city hall. there had been a lot of things going on, peaceful. let me tell you, the community is on the side of the victim. they are not defending this guy. there is no need for a lot of violence. they reacted immediately responsibly, appropriately, and hate this guy with the murder charge, which is what should have happened. we will see how this plays out. there is no sympathy for this cop around here. i want people to understand that. host: appreciate the call about your hometown and giving us a view of what is happening this weekend. robert is in mcallister, oklahoma. robert, talk about police relations in mcallister. caller: for the most part, they
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are decent. we get pulled over. i'm white. we get pulled overall the time for stupid tickets. my son-in-law just got pulled over two weeks ago for taking his vehicle to a body shop with the bumper in the back with a tag on it. they give him a ticket for not properly having his tag displayed -- it was, i don't know, $172. if you don't have a tie, it just $72. put that in your pipe and smoke it. i think too many municipalities try to make of the revenue efficiency by issuing tickets. it doesn't matter if you're black or white. that's just the fact of the matter.
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the issue that happened down there, it is sad. my thoughts and prayers go out to the family. obviously, this guy does not represent most of the police. i don't think most of our police are that way. host: robber in oklahoma. also weighing in throughout this week are several of the current and potential presidential candidates, feeling the need to say something on this as well. hillary clinton tweeted this week that she is praying for walter scott's family, heartbreaking and too familiar, we can do better, rebuild trust, reform justice system, and respect all lives. also, ben carson republican expected to announce his candidacy at some point later this spring for the presidency he went to the national action network convention in york and also talked a bit about the
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police shooting in north charleston. here is a bit of what he had to say. [video clip] mr. carson: the situation with walter scott in south carolina, i view the video and was aghast that an execution happen without a trial in the streets of america. [applause] this is such a clear-cut case. i believe it will give law enforcement in this country and opportunity to really tell us where they are in this controversy. they will have an opportunity to demonstrate which side they come down on. i believe that exactly going to be a good thing because you need these clear-cut cases. i also think that we, in the african-american community, have to make sure that we also
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recognize that sometimes there is false on our side. sometimes we have people who do not obey the law, do not do lawful things, and are thugs. when we tried to hold him up as heroes -- them up as heroes, it kind of makes are the to complaints not as substantial. host: one other presidential candidate, jim webb, also weighed in on this. yesterday he was at the iowa democratic party awards dinner and talked a bit about criminal justice reform. [video clip] mr. webb: when i started talking about the broke criminal justice system, i had people telling me i was committing suicide. virginia only second to texas and capital punishment.
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it is so clear that our criminal justice system is broken from point of apprehension to how people are arrested, to how we sentence them, to the reentry process. we started talking about it, i held to a half years of hearings on it. we brought this issue out of the shadows into the national debate. the great irony to me is this is an issue that the democratic party should own. criminal justice reform, social justice -- you know who is making the most mileage out of this right now? rand paul. when you look at the american conservative political action conference it was their number three issue for the republican party to to focus on. we need to get the issue back. as we are talking about 2016 candidates, we should note
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that hillary clinton is set to launch her low-key bid for presidency a low-key launch, at least. "the wall street journal" noting that her lunch will feature much less fanfare than the standard 2016 rollout. the story noting that the strategy stands in contrast to the republican con contenders, and also differs from her 2008 effort when she often traveled with a large staff and secrets service. in other presidential announcement news, expected to come on monday, senator marco rubio holding an event in miami. you can see that live on c-span, starting at 5:30 p.m.. you can also check our website as we get more details on the event.
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it will also be on we have about 10 minutes left in this first segment of "washington journal," we want to hear from you. have your views change since the walter scott shooting or some of these other high profile incidents? phil is up next in summerville south carolina. good morning. caller: good morning. i am a transplanted buckeye living down here now. i was just outside north -- i live just outside of north charleston. i drive through their be much every day, not that exact area. back home, i lived there for 45 years. we knew who the bad cops were. the word would get around. i brought my family down here, and my sons, particularly wanted
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them who is kind of out about in the community, he would tell me now and then, this particular caught is a bad cop, particularly talking about the summerville cops, not necessarily the north charleston, because we wouldn't have as much interaction with them from where we live. you know, the video speaks from itse for itself. a casualness of it was clearly awful. there is a guy from charleston calling earlier who talked about hand-t hand- handle -- i wouldn't want to be a cop in nor charleston. it is like a junior chicago or philadelphia, referenced earlier, if you check the statistics of crime-ridden communities, over the course of the last 10 years, nor charleston has a way of showing up among the top 10 or top 20 most dangerous violent cities.
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that is by no stretch of the imagination -- look at what the cop did. as carson said, the community needs to recognize that they set a tone too. there are -- people have to learn. that you have to behave in a civilized manner. you can't expect the cops to pop up and start drinking their coffee every morning and hear about the black on black crime which 95% of the time, when you wake up in this town in the morning, you hear about a shooting, it is one black guy shooting another one, generally over a drug deal. as i said, it is very much like a little chicago. it's not just a problem of cops. it is a problem of the community and the interaction between the community of the cops. host: fill in south carolina. julian is up next calling from louisiana. caller: it looks like this guy
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walter scott, got a bad deal. i would like to compare that to what happened in ferguson. it looks like that guy was asking for it. no one brings up, this guy -- what this guy was doing, walking down the middle of the street where the cop has to tell him to get out of the way, and then he had to get in an argument with the cop? he was asking for it. the reason i called this because this guy, jason riley, he works for the "wall street journal," he is a writer, he gave a talk not too long ago and i got a copy of it. he made two points. 90% of the killers are black on black. 98% of the black shootings do not involve a police officer. in fact, if six cops got killed,
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one of them would be a black killing the cop. just to wrap it up, he said, one of the main problems is when it comes to robbery, aggravated assault, property crimes, typically blacks are involved in this two to three times. i'm just saying this to put some proportion on it. you had mark yesterday on your show. he was stirring it up -- the al sharpton's and jesse jackson's -- that's all these guys are trying to do, perpetuate their own existence. host: speaking of al sharpton some news of where he will be this weekend. on sunday, the reverend al sharpton will preach about scott's death in nor charleston. this according to a "new york times" story.
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at the service, the mayor and police chief are both expected to attend. after the service, he will meet privately with the family and attend a vigil. let's go to david in maine. caller: good morning. i want to say that america's heart goes out to the family of this man. it was awful. we should all realize that there are bad people in our society. what made that cop snap and do whatever he did, i'm not justifying it. we cannot paint with a broad brush the whole police force. there are great people protecting our streets. i was so incensed with mark yesterday, painting a brush that everyone in america, if they are not black, they are racist. i want to clean something to you. my wife, myself, and my two
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children have never been in a position to discriminate against anybody. when they paint a broad brush just because we are white, they deny our humanity. we had nothing to do with enslaving their ancestors. the black community needs to put aside al sharpton, mark morreale, jesse jackson and tell them that they do not represent them, and america will be a lot better off. thank you, and have a good day. host: speaking of al sharpton, a little bit more from that "new york times" story. al sharpton reference in a statement that came from the north charleston police union.
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that was a statement from john blackman, the president of the union, which represents nearly 700 local state, and community offices. mike is in georgia. caller: good morning. you know, listening to the last two colors got me incensed -- callers got me incensed. to say here and say, if you get rid of al sharpton, and make false allegations of mark morreale, who never throughout his comments yesterday painted anybody with a broad brush. he did not do that. he was commenting on the situation of black people in this country which is very hard when you talk to certain people for them to emphasize because
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they go through a different experience. if you look at it from their experience, it is different. one of your callers, the lady was talking about respect. she said, if people would respect other people things like this would not happen, as a black person, you have to sit down and be compliant of a cop and not respond. she was commenting on the fact that they say for a black person to pull out of phone, she was condemning that. you might pull out your phone and get shot because the cop feels threatened thinking that you would pull out a weapon. it happened to me that i was striving down the street, a cop will be over, and i was trying
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to make a call to a friend to tell them that i had been pulled over, i might be late. what happened? the cop came up to my window and pulled out his gun and asked me to get out of my vehicle. some of these cops are power drunk. you have to understand, when they see a black person, they feel the need to express their superiority. republicans don't relate to this because they do not experience it. it is not something that republicans -- unless it happens to them -- dick cheney would never be for gay marriage if he didn't have a gay daughter. i got really incensed listening to the last two colors. -- callers. it is a matter of understanding other human beings and listening to other people as well. host: mike from hinesville,
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georgia. one last call from betty from new york. caller: hello. host: go ahead betty. caller: i called him because like the man said before me, this guy ahead of them shim said, why is why crime never mention? do they not commit any? i don't think so. that being said, i have a very good thing to report. other night, my daughter, saturday had a flat tire. i live in a very small town. the policeman helps her. i was terrified.
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she called me at 3:00 in the morning to say she had a flat tire. the police officer who solved her part along the road came along and gave her the very best care that they could have. i cannot say all policeman are bad. i can't say all are good. it's a cross-section of people, all people, every race has good people in every race. i also remember back in the 80's on a show when it was mentioned by the claklan that we are your policeman, doctors, lawyers. i keep that in mind. that is all i have to say. host: coming from new york, are less color in this open phone segment of "washington journal."
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up next, we will be joined by olivia golden. later, michael farris, cofounder of the convention of states project, a grassroots effort to call for an article five convention of the states. next, an interview with dr. robert wah. he talks about the doc fix bill, said to be debated in the senate, possibly next week. here is a bit. [video clip] dr. wah: what we talking about is a sustainable growth rate. it was originally passed in 19 a seven. it was thought to be an effort to control the cost of the medicare program. it resulted in about 17 patches
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over the last 10 or 12 years. each one of those patches just paid for the one year period. it did not pay for the accumulated interest, like a credit card. bike kicking the can down the road each year, congress accumulated a lot of this interest so that now, april 15 if the senate does not act there will be a 21 percent cut in physician payments, which is essentially the accumulated interest of all of these years of taking the can down the road. i want to talk a little bit about the term doc fix. as a physician, i'm a little biased against that because it is not doctors that need to be fixed, it is medicare that needs to be fixed. we are seeking a fix in medicare. the term doc fix has a things up by a lot of journalists and
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whenever i get a chance, i tried to correct it. it is really medicare that needs to be fixed, not doctors. >> and one of the implications is that fewer doctors might take medicare patients, is that correct? dr. wah: absolutely. if doctors are faced with 21% cut in their payments, they will have a harder time taking these patients. that means that medicare patients will have a harder time finding doctors, they may need to travel further, it will just be a more challenging environment for patients to find the care they need in the medicare system. >> "washington journal" continues. host: we are joined at her desk now with olivia golden, of the center for law and social policy. she talks about some of the recent efforts to tighten
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restrictions on welfare recipients. first, take us around the country and give us a sense of the state legislative efforts. guest: first of all, it is great to be here. i wanted to say a little bit about a couple of state legislative efforts that have been getting a lot of criticism from my perspective, it deserves criticism in kansas and missouri. what i would say about the rest of the country is there is a lot of variety. there are states restricting, sometimes and illogical ways, and's some states doing sensible things. it is a broad picture. the particular states that have gotten a lot of criticism -- kansas has legislation which does a number of things to restrict access to food assistance, and other kinds of help that people need. the provisions that have gotten the most criticism, because they are arbitrary, and not very well related to what would help get people out of poverty include a
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ban on withdrawing more than $25 at a time from an atm machine which of you think about -- if you think about trying to pay rent and taking out over 10 days, it is clearly not a sensible thing to help someone stabilize their life. and a ban on where the money is used. missouri has two pieces of legislation, one of them is one that has gotten a lot of attention which is not going to end up passing, most likely, but proposes fans on food being bought by food assistance, including seafood, for instance. host: the restrictions include -- we are showing it to our viewers -- cookies, chips seafood, and stake using the snap benefits on any of those. guest: i think the big picture
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on this kind of legislation is they request a long story of why people are poor. it is not because they are taking too much money out of the atm at one time or spending their money wrong, it is because they are in a low-wage market where they cannot get and keep stable work to support a family. particularly with food assistance, a lot of people who are getting that help are working. they are supplementing low-wage work in order to get by. really where state legislator should be focusing their energy is on what would help people keep a stable job. now i'm destabilizing. host: we are talking all snap benefits -- about snap benefits and food stamps particularly. how may people use these programs and how much does the government pay into these programs? guest: when people talk about
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welfare, they mean a lot of different things. the cash assistance program is the smallest. that is by now very small. it is only about a quarter of families they get any help from it. out of those who get health, one quarter -- help, one quarter our grandparents who are taking care of children because parents are not there. many people might use the word welfare or safety net for what i think about as the work support program, which includes snap, which used to be called food stamps. it includes medicaid, the earned income tax had it, those are much bigger. many of those families are working. snap for example, it is about 40 million families. that is way larger than the cash
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assistance program. as i say it serves about half of the families on snap, families with kids are working at the time they are getting it. many more are working just before or just after. host: as we are having this discussion, we are asking our viewers to call in and give us our thoughts. we have the line for republicans, (202) 748-8001. democrats, (202) 748-8000. independents, (202) 748-8002. and a line for welfare recipients, (202) 748-0003. as we talk about restrictions that states are putting on these programs, what states right now are the most restrictive and what states are the least restrictive? guest: i think it varies a lot. i should correct one thing, i
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said 40 million families, i meant -- some states have leeway to put restrictions on. fundamentally, the benefit levels and the core rules are the same everywhere, which makes sense. we want kids to grow up with enough to meet eat, and that is a commitment we should make in whether it be texas or california. putting food on the table with health insurance in the child's early years makes a difference through a, that is something we should be doing nationally. states have a great deal of leeway on another program. there is great variation in the share of families they can help. the last time i load, in texas, it was only about one in 20 poor
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families who got any help. partly that is about restrictions, partly it is about how states use money. they are allowed to use the money on other budget issues that don't directly help poor families. that has been a problem, especially in the recession when state budgets got tight. that is all over the map as far as the tanf program. host: and attorney, and someone who was on supplemental nutrition programs chelsey henry. what is your reaction to what she writes? it is reasonable for representatives to restrict benefits. it is not fair for people receiving benefits on tattoo or jewelry. guest: let me say a couple of
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things. i'm glad she notes how it covers the gap. that is what these programs do. people are able to succeed in their work later in life, and kids are able to succeed. my own preference is a state legislators would think about what are the barriers to thinking getting a good job, for example. only about six percent of state dollars in tanf go to that. i would rather they focused on the purpose. i think most of the restriction are aimed at worries of one or two extreme cases that someone read about. when you play energy in that, you are often times using administrative money looking at that, and not solving the problem. it is really a distraction. host: how much of these programs expanded during the recession? guest: it is very different
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between the programs. food assistance, health insurance, they are all programs that worked during the recession. they expanded, and protected a lot of americans who lost their jobs from poverty. temporary assistance did not work that way. he only spent a very small amount, and is now at a level that is lower than before the recession. that is because of the block grant structure. it turns out that it is not a structure that works well when you have deep-seated economic distress. tanf is also reaching -- actually reaching a smaller amount of people. host: what about other programs? did they shrink back down as recovery has gone on? guest: they are beginning to, as far as snap. recovery has not gone to the lowest families as they got to
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the people on top. i know we are all worried about inequality, and that is one of the ways it plays out. snap is beginning to come down as people on the bumper cover, but it also is in support to many working families. we have, for example, a minimum wage that is way lower than it used to be, in inflation adjusted terms. that plays into white families can't put food on the table, even if they are working a lot of hours. one of the things that people often don't know is -- first of all, children are the poorest group of americans. about 20% of children are poor. most of those children live with someone who is working. the picture that people have of people in poverty is someone working, but not enough hours or not at a wage to make ends meet. host: let's get to your
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questions and comments for olivia golden. tony is up first, calling in from california on the line for democrats. caller: good morning. i just went to know a few things . i wanted to know, how are benefits determined? two, what states receive the most benefits? three, how is fraud determine? how are you guys combating against broad? just an off-topic -- i whined to say about walter scott, it is a shame that some people would call in and make this a black and white thing and black and black crime. this is an american thing. i do get is a shame that people as like they are living under a rock and can't see that this is in justice, and it has absolutely nothing to do with black and white. thank you so much. host: thank you for the comment and questions, if you want to dig through these three questions. guest: thank you for those
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comments. i will actually start with your last point that you made on the issue of criminal justice. i would make that point of struggling working families, poor and not board, it is important to not think of it as a send them -- us and them. as far as tanf, the only reaches a quarter of poor families, that is varied depending on the state. a lot of the dollars don't actually go directly out to poor families. the state sets the maximum income that a family can have. they have very tight time limits . in every state, a family can only receive it for a. of time -- for a period of time.
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average day, the benefit level is a little over $400 for a month. if you can imagine, renting an apartment that would have space for a mother and two kids for $400 per month there is no cash anything else. the other programs i mention those -- other than unemployment uninsurance, those have much more national frameworks. for example, in snap, the national framework gives state control for some specifics, th the federal government sets the benefit levels. staff is available for people who are working, if their incomes are low enough, for parents with kids, for the elderly, many snap recipients are elderly or disabled. that is more of a consistent
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framework wherever someone lives so that they will not go hungry. in terms of what states receive the most dollars, in the snap and medicaid programs, that has to do with where the dollars essentially relate to the people in the big states like california, where you live would have more, although, as you know, you have probably been following the fact that the federal government offered to pay for health insurance for poor people under the health care expansion but some states have not taken advantage of that, like texas and florida. fraud is a very good question. it's an all time low -- at an all-time low. as for for fraud in any program fraud by medical providers or grocery stores, what is key is
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to be smart about how you do it, and not spend so much time that you tie the administrative process up, and be smart about how you audit fraud. we work with a group of states red and blue states, who are looking for a way to make it easy for people to keep benefits when they are eligible, but that doesn't get in the way of doing a lot of thoughtful auditing and doing a good job on fraud. host: let's go to stuart, waiting in south carolina, line for republicans. caller: good morning. i have a question about food stamps. where i live, we have a huge latino population because there is construction here, and they have swarmed over the last
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few years. if you go into walmart on the first of the month, it is overloaded with latinos with food stamps. we see the problem, which she is defending what they do, as far as fraud goes, but it is so rampant that these people use their names because they have several names that they use, they will use their husbands name, addresses in different states like georgia, florida and north carolina, and they will, to the grocery stores with 2, 3 and four different states of snap program cards. in his rampant how they are stealing from this country. it is not the american people that get them, it is all the illegal people who are pulling food stands and taking advantage of this country. host: let's let olivia golden take some of your comments. guest: it is interesting.
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south carolina is a state that we are working with because the state's philosophy is when the kids have access to food and health care, it is much better for the state, those kids will do much better, and i believe that is true for the country as well as the state. clearly, it is also important -- one thing that is really important is feeding hungry case, i think you're also right that it is important to make sure the rules are enforced rarely. many organizations have done audits of the food stamp program and the general conclusion is that while there is some fraud and often -- typically fraud involves a grocery store provider with recipients at very low levels. the strategies for reducing it have been working. for example, they do a lot of sophisticated things to look at
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patterns of purchases. host: what are very low levels? can you put a dollar figure 28? guest: they had done that, but i don't remember. first of all, error is the first thing they measure rather than fraud. an error that you get when you have collocated rules that people do not do right. that is very small. within that, there is even a smaller percent that is fraud. host: the caller said that illegal immigrants were using snap benefits, is that possible? guest: it is not possible for parents, who themselves are undocumented are using food stamps. their children, who are b born in the united states, citizen children ought to be getting nutrition and health care.
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parents who are not documented are not receiving. host: marge from michigan up next. caller: hello. i agree with the states that do not allow junk food and expensive food because that takes up most of whatever the recipient is getting on their card. i totally agree with that. for years, seeing so people go through the lines with potato chips, candy, and all kinds of crap in their basket and maybe one or two items that are good for them. i have a sister who is disabled and on medicaid for disability, and she went to get food stamps when she was supposedly going to le live with me in michigan, she is from mississippi.
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she is caucasian and could only get a $25 dalgaard per month. -- snap card per month. she had social security benefits, and turned around and had to pay taxes on that every year. so yes, it is very difficult for those people, whether you are black or white, i don't think there is any discrimination there. i didn't know anything about people who were able to get a card to get cash out of the atm. that is stunning to me. what are they doing with the cash? we have no clue. the last thing, everybody addressing fraud, my question is, i know my sister didn't have to present an idea the cash register, can we enforce -- are there any bills coming forward for a photo id to prove who you are? it seems like that would solve the problem with all the illegals.
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i understand now -- host: and lots of questions there. i want to give a chance to answer them. i also want to show our viewers this chart from the fda specifically on the snap program and the allotments that people can get. for a two-person household about $350. if you want to see it, it is at the food and nutrition services. guest: first of all, thank you for telling us about your sister. she is a typical snap or food stamp recipient. i also mentioned the elderly and working families. before going to your question, i want to give an example to keep
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in your head of who is poor today oh or near poor, and who needs help and addition to the sable then elderly people. when i think about how i would want someone to be treated, i think about the young woman who was most important in my father's care and his last year of life. she was providing homecare at a very low wage, and with very few benefits. she was raising her son and was about to take in her nephew so that she can provide him a home. i really don't know what help she was getting, that i really help she was getting some help to make sure those kids had nutritious meals, while she was working constantly on behalf of other people's parents and grandparents. on your specific questions, a lot of these strategies for fraud rely on auditing, but
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also, because a lot of errors happen the more complicated you make the rules, the more errors you will have. simplifying is a very important strategy. i think that -- i would be interested to know, your sister probably had an automated card also. the reason for the automated card is because it is probaba bly the most effective way to receive benefits. picture ids, some places have tried, but often they don't work well because snap is a household benefit. host: a couple of comments on twitter. ted wrightson fraud for food pales in comparison to corporate tax fraud. from gary, what percentage of
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folks who receive assistance get off within five years or 10 years? guest: for temporary assistance for needy families, the time limit is five years. most, or many states, including these state laws make it even shorter than that. most people receive help for much shorter periods of time. the comment about corporate tax fraud is important. it illustrates that whether you are talking about how muchh money the irs spent combating fraud, or how much any program spends, we usually don't want to put so much effort into getting down to zero. what we should think about is what the real problem is. in the case of health insurance, food, paying the rent, our big problem is gaps that people who are eligible do not get the help
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that they deserve, so they are not stabilizing their life and art not able to move up and their work as much as they could if their life for stabilized. host: if people were to sign up tomorrow, is there money in the state and federal budget to provide them with these benefits? guest: the programs vary in how they are set up. in food benefits, yes. people should not go hungry or without health insurance. the resources are there. we are working with south carolina idaho, north carolina rhode island, colorado, all of which see people who are eligible should not have obstructions in the way to stabilize their life. the tanf program is
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cap's, and that is a huge problem. it has been 20 years since that program was increased. states have cut back, and not just on cash but on helping people overcome barriers. that is one of the reason the program was not very effective during the recession. host: let's go to fred from florida. fred, you are on with olivia golden of the center for law and social policy. caller: a lot of times the republican party wants to say that obama is the food stamp president. from the time he took over, the economic system has weaken in the united states. it was really in poor condition. the lack of jobs situation
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there were a lot of people who got on food stamps as a result of the economic situation in the country. another thing. a lot of people really need assistance. i don't consider him a food stamp -- it is just due to the economic ties and situation. the republicans want to say he is the food stamp program. guest: i think it is important to highlight the death of the recession and that food stamps along with health care insurance, really helped americans get through that. i think that is a really important point. host: have those programs been reduced from sequester cuts across-the-board cuts, happy impacted the programs as well? guest: sequestration has affected things like child care assistance. food stamps and medicaid
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programs have not been directly affected. what is worrying is when people in congress talk about block grants. that is the same thing that made the welfare program less helpful during the recession because it makes it much harder to respond to economic change. host: as i said, we have a special line in the segment for welfare recipients. michelle is calling in on that line from the lofty, wisconsin. she uses food stamps. caller: good morning. i became very ill and had to go on disability. i do receive food stamps. $16. everyone makes it seem like people are just excited to receive food stamps, and they are misusing them. you cannot misuse $16. there is also a stigma. when you go to the store with the food stamp card, you have people looking at you and you are worthless, like you shouldn't receive this. they do not know your
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background. they do not know why you are receiving it. if you get $16, and you can't eat pork, fish, whatever, and you buy a bag of fish, you get butter eggs, and you decide, i just want something sweet, i will buy a candy bar, or a doughnut. people cannot penalize you for that and look down at you think you are buying junk food. everyone in america once in a while once something sweet, oh or something -- something sweet, or chips, but because you have the food stamp card, they look at you like you are worthless. people shouldn't think this is something you want. there is a stigma with that card. guest: you made a couple of really important point. i really hope that your illness is better and this helps you
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stabilize your life. one of the things that i hear a lot, we at clap work with meteorologists across the country that have focused on un adults who are trying to get education and work and support a family, and they need some help along the way. a common thing we hear from people who are getting help with food or health is that, i only want this for a little while and i want to pay it back. it is really a sense that this is a way to get people through a tough patch, or get them through a period when low-wage jobs are not getting stability to their family. like you, what people want is to be able to achieve stability. host: dana milbank in "washington post" writes that the surf and turf bill like the one in missouri is one of a
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flurry to dehumanize and even criminalize the poor as the country deals with the high poverty hangover of the great recession. we are talking about the state efforts to put limits on these welfare programs. olivia golden is with us for the next 10 minutes or so. robert is up next from miami florida. caller: good morning. i wanted to ask a question with regard to -- there's all this talk about the racial makeup of individuals on welfare -- is it anyway you could flesh that out and discuss that, how me individuals based on race are on welfare assistance? also, do you find any restriction -- good restriction with regard to these benefits? lastly, i find it interesting that so much, i guess negative
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goes towards the poor and this fraud, but as both nader used to talk about, fraud happens and government, the pentagon, those kinds of things. could you discussed as well? guest: sure. i do not have numbers in front of me on racial makeup. i will say that people are white, black, latino, asian. i would say that those programs that serve particularly young working families, people raising kids we have a lot of black latino, and caucasian families raising kids. program serving primarily seniors, the older population is primarily white. it is quite varied, but the populations reflect who is struggling in the low-wage market. the recession hit black and let tina families particularly hard. i will say that in the cast
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welfare program, you are talking about children and the people raising them are either parent or grandparent. as far as which restrictions make sense, the key thing for me is what will help people stabilize their lives and get them back to work. i was in the clinton and administration when we implemented the welfare reform program. i believe very strongly and strategies that will help people get work. it means when you require work you offer opportunities to work. one of the interesting things to me is that congress just passed a 2014, bipartisan virtually every republican and democrat signed on, legislation to improve the work training programs, to help people get jobs, subsidized jobs, apprentices. i would much rather it state
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legislators focus on that. how do we make those opportunities and requirements effective for people rather than deciding whether fish -- which most people say is healthy -- is a luxury or not. in many ways, where a state legislator should spend their time is on helping people were offering a mix of requirements and support that will enable people to get good jobs and stabilize their lives. as i say, bipartisan congress said, people need post secondary education, training, axis access to what work opportunities. your last question was about how anger about fraud gives misdirected. i think that is true. i just like to tell one personal story which is why i do not think of help as a handout. my father was an immigrant.
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he came over as a baby. he got two things that helped him live a middle-class life that nobody poor these days get to her we do not have this. one is four years of tuition free, public education. he was in new york city, which used to have that. the other was helped with the g.i. bill buying a house. i think now looking back that americans should be ashamed of that because it was a handout? he gave back for decades as teaching other students like himself who were the first in his family to go to college. i just think that making the investment in kids' health care, education, nutrition is not just a good thing at a level of values, but it is our economic future. host: let's go to deadb. caller: first of all, i want to
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appreciate the work you are doing and the story you just stated. they're probably dozens and dozens of more stories i could tell you. let me go back to my story. i am not on welfare. i am a washingtonian. i grew up five miles from the capital in a bungalow, a two bedroom house down below with nine brothers and sisters while my grandfather, who was an immigrant from south africa served in world war i and was muster guesgassed. we never received any help whatsoever, other than from my other grandmother who worked for the railroad with a bag of groceries. we had both parents at home. i will say this, as time has gone on, i have seen them
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suffering, both my brothers and sisters that were dedicated to this country, whether in the federal government or private sector, and were res affected by the programs being in limited. we have to go back to the base. what is going on? why are we not educating our children in the elementary school, high school, and then have the have more these programs because we are failing them in the beginning of their lives? thank you for the call from jacksonville florida. guest: thank you for that story and the powerful story of how you overcame hardship. i would just note two things, as people think about the circumstances of raising children today, as compared to what you describe. mothers raising kids are working at extraordinarily high levels today. that is one thing that is different from 20 or 30 years
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ago. poor mothers, single mothers married mothers are working at very high levels, even in the baby's first year of life. one of the things happening is that low income people are actually putting even more work of their own into supporting families, the problem is that the low-wage labor market is really not working for supporting a family. not only because of the low income, but because of unstable schedules, not enough hours. the economy has changed the ability to get anything more stable, even if you have a high school degree and nothing more has changed. i think what people need to stabilize their life -- and of course, the housing you described would be way more expensive now -- it is important to learn from the experiences and thing about what we have to
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do to help people succeed today. host: just a minute or two left. i want to get in lucy who has been waiting on the line for people who have made use of the welfare programs. caller: good morning. years ago, i was on state assistance with food stamps. i was raising -- i was a single parent. first of all, my opinion about this, i raise my. or, i got off welfare, i raised her, i worked three jobs at times to raise her. she has a productive citizen now, and i'm very proud of her. an attorney. i just want to say this. training is essential for everyone that receives any kind of assistance. secondly, the money doesn't last all month. whatever money you have, it is limited. i repeat, limited. people sometimes can't even buy
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modded to shooting, toothpaste. bare essentials of life. instead of worrying about fish or meat, or anything like that, let's worry about just the basics and get these people the training that they need so that they can be productive citizens. thank you very much for your time. thank you miss olivia for doing what you're doing. what we know is that when kids are getting the benefits of food assistance, as well as your hard work, that contributes to their health and success. it sounds like you did an extraordinary number of things right as a parent. host: thank you for your time.
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up next we will be joined by michael farris, conventions for states project. we will discuss the grassroots efforts to put amendments to the u.s. constitution. and we will have last-minute tax advice before the april 15 deadline. we will be right back. senior editor for the weekly standard on his writing career. the gop candidates for 2016, and what voters are looking for in a candidate. they want somebody who looks
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like he has stood up for them. i am amazed to the degree to which primary voters on both sides are motivated by resentment. the sense of being put upon. those people really don't understand us. here is a guy who does understand us, and he is going to stick it to them. that happens on both sides. hillary did her own version of that kind of thing. i don't think that was true 30 years ago, resentment has those been part of politics. the degree to which it is exclusively the motivating factor in truly committed republicans and democrats. sunday night on c-span q&a. here are some of the feature programs for this weekend on the c-span network.
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on c-span two, book tv, tonight at 10:00 eastern on afterwards, president of americans for tax reform grover norquist says americans are tired of the tax system and the irs. and president roosevelt and later joseph stalin, and their partnership beyond the war. and tonight at 8:00 eastern on american history tv three span three, home lectures in history university of virginia's got on how it has changed from reconstruction era to the present. an american history tv is live from appomattox courthouse historical park commemorating the 150th anniversary of the confederate surrender and the end of the civil war. washington journal continues. host: we will talk about article
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five of the u.s. constitution and the movement to hold an amendment convention. michael farris is the founder. explain what article five allows for in the constitution, and why the framers originally included it. guest: there are two ways you can amendment the constitution. congress by two thirds of both house can propose an amendment that's the way all the members we have adopted -- all the amendments we have adopted. 34 states, two thirds of the states apply for a convention for the same purpose, then you have a convention limited to that purpose. 34 states that call for a convention for changing the election of u.s. senators, which is one of the ones that has been done in the past. we are calling for a convention
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to post fiscal restraints on the federal government limited powers of the federal government and put terms on federal officials. host: who is a convention? guest: it is a grassroots organization, there are tens of thousands of volunteers now, mark meckler is the president, i am the chairman of the project and the citizens for self-government -- governance is the corporation that pays the staff and so on. we have directors in virtually all 50 states volunteer legislative liaisons as well. host: you mentioned a little bit about what is addressed at the convention of the states. language that you are looking to
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be included in one of her moment that is proposed. guest: we think that is premature. it is not my place or the place of organizations to draft the amendments. it is the place of the convention. the states need to come together and create language that is not only agreed to at the convention level, but has a possibility of being ratified. the third steps are at the convention, one state one vote, a simple majority of the states agree on the particular language let's say a balance budget amendment. then, that language goes back to states for revocation. 38 states must eventually ratified. we are not at the stage where we debate the precise language. right now we are saying, should we have a conversation about imposing fiscal restraints and restraining the power of washington dc, and do it in a
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way where you can come up with formal language. take the final step of looking at the link with ginseng, we like this or we don't. ratify or not host:. host:we are talking about article five of the constitution. we will talk through how it works, but if you have questions for michael farris, is there anything to look back on in history question --? guest: virginia passed the first one in 1788 that was filed in congress in may of 1789, which called for the adoption of the bill of rights. we have never gotten two thirds of the states on any particular topic. host: one of the biggest
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concerns about people who oh -- oppose the convention of the states is what termed a runaway convention. the idea that an added convention they can propose any rule throwing out the constitution and starting again. here are a couple of quotes that were gathered by several groups that oppose this effort. they include democracy 21, people for the american way, public citizens, usa action. a few of these groups coming together to oppose it. one burger saying there is no way -- warren burger saying there is no way it can make its own rules. they can put anything on the table. and arthur goldberg is quoted saying, there is no and forceful mechanism to prevent for reporting wholesale changes to the bill of rights. guest: it is similar to his
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article in parade magazine where he said the second amendment -- the second amendment is an anachronism and should be ignored -- ignored. supreme court justices can be wrong about many things. they are sometimes the dissenting judges. we don't know that from legal scholarship. most people think that a convention can be runaway is it is not run by history correctly people think the original constitution was supposed to -- the convention was only supposed to deal with the articles of confederation. that is not what happened. the resolution that said only article sick came from an advisory resolution by congress under the articles of confederation. congress had no power to call the convention, no implied
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powers it was simply congress in forcing the project that was artie under way, seven states had artie called a convention. what they told the delegates was rendered federal congress -- constitution adequate for uses in the union. the federal sporty, madison makes it clear that people misunderstood the source of their authority. it did not come from a congressional resolution, it came from the states. they've all of their states instruction. it comes from a false view of history. it is remarkable to me that we take the minority on this question they take the federalist majority, the james madison view of things. we ignore that in this particular issues. host: we want to hear from the viewers. what do think about this?
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our phones are open. caller: good morning. i need to ask a question of mr. ferris. one of the women said you are not guilty until proven by a court of law. how come in guantanamo bay holding almost 18 knees without any trial? i would like to know your opinion on this matter. host: do you want to take that? guest: the due process clause
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applies to anyone who is under united states jurisdiction. the old saying is, there is a variety of processes, so the people being held at guantanamo bay -- the legal theory is they are unlawful combatants, and the rules for that is different than people charged with ordinary crimes. nobody is talking about changing any of those rules relative to the convention. host: you are the cofounder of the states convention. you have served as lead counsel for the u.s. supreme court for several cases and served in federal and circuit court as well. he is with us for the next half hour here on the washington
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journal. we are talking about an article five convention to the united states during what would you like to see addressed if it convention comes up? caller: i wouldn't want to see this come about. i feel this is nothing more but despina smoke and mirrors. it is time we go back to we, the people. we vote for such programs, and contenders on voice. it is time with the people do the voting. the legislatures that we supposedly put in office because they wave bibles and one thing and another, are not getting the job done. we need them to solely due bills per week. we need a limit. they are doing nothing. we need to make them put bills in place, then we vote on the bills. host: one of your arguments for calling it a convention is to
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limit the power of the federal government. guest: the frustration this caller is expressing is behind what we are doing. we believe that washington dc is trying to do too many things that the constitution gave congress the authority to do several things. those things were basically a theory of the exclusive jurist diction, national defense -- exclusive -- exclusive jurisdiction. because washington dc is trying to be all things to all people, we have a huge financial mess and a jurisdictional mess as well. people are suffering. we don't believe that washington dc will ever voluntarily reeling which is powers. someday washington d c will
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abuse its authority and no government should be the judge of the extent of its own power. instead, we think it is time for the states to limit the power of the federal government, and give it back to the people. there is much more responsiveness at the state level. host: here is the relevant language from article five. congress and the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the states shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which shall be balanced -- valid to all intents and purposes, as part of this constitution, when ratified the force of the united states by three force of the states. how many states have petition for a convention of the states? guest: on our application just over a year old, three states completed the process, florida georgia and alaska. six states have passed in one
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house our application this year. there is also an effort going on for just a balanced budget amendment, little over 20 states that have apply for a convention of states for that particular purpose. host: they have to apply for the same purpose for a convention to be called? guest: yes. there is another one trying to repeal citizens united. there is a handful of states that have done that. you have to have two thirds agree on the particular subject matter. the citizens united applications don't go to bars, are still going to balanced budget. we think it's a good idea but only accompanied by taxing and spending limitations. that is why we say fiscal restraints rather than just a balanced budget. host: let's go to houston, texas. caller: good morning.
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glad to be here this morning talking to you. we have a president, and a homeland security, jeh johnson sitting back sitting back applying these kids from south america and overcrowding in the schools and as well as social service. obama's kids don't go to a public school. he doesn't care. the rest of the american kids in the classrooms that are overcrowded, and they don't speak in english. i think it is a disgrace. how in the world can a president just abuse the immigration system like he is doing. guest: concerns about illegal
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immigration would be addressed through some of your efforts. guest: the ability of the president to pass laws by himself through his pen would be effective, article one section one of the constitution says, all authority is invested in congress. meaning only congress can make laws. there is effectively develop two constitutions, the constitution as a written, then the constitution as interpreted by the supreme court and practice by the government. what we are trying to do is go back to the constitution as written by reversing rock to president by the supreme court and the practice of white house and court. when the president decided to unilaterally change the law, that would be not permitted if we are successful. congress would change the law. if congress was alone dealing
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with these areas on explicit authority they can focus on immigration and deal with it more effectively. when they are trying to do so many things, we have not had a good immigration policy because congress is trying to deal with every issue under the sun. host: rondo, virginia. line for democrats. caller: good morning, the constitution as bob -- is founded by forefathers is one of the most perfect documents that we will ever know. it must be preserved. just like our forefathers that, it is like a car, you need to tweak it either 70 or hundred 40 years it needs to between good eye and use today's language. what about the issue of repealing the 17th amendment about the balanced budget.
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we need to curb the executives power as far as executive orders, because that is gone rampant. the forefathers also said the supreme court at one time they projected that the supreme court and the court system would eventually run rampant over the american people. guest: several issues there. the founders did think that we would need to amend the constitution from time to time. with the amendment process in place come in lieu of people feeding -- feeling frustrated they start thinking about revolution. the ability to lawfully change or golf -- government is a right. we do need better checks and gallant -- balances on the judiciary. the only realistic check on the power is our own self-restraint,
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which violates the idea of the founders, which is no branch of government should be the final judge of the extent of power. having better checks on judiciary is an idea, repealing the 17th amendment would be germane on our application. whether the majority of states would vote for that, i cannot predict. it would be germane to talk about that. host: are you worried about unintended consequences if the convention of the states is called? i fear that opening up the constitution may have unintended consequences with the mental midgets we have in government today, says tony irvine. guest: we are opening it up for proposals on the topics of fiscal restraints on the federal government, limiting power and jurisdiction on the federal government. it is opening it up to something
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that can get 38 states to ratify. someone proposal is not going to get through 38 states. 69 states are controlled by republicans and the balance controlled by democrats. the idea that we can get something crazy through that maze is not tenable. we have much better government of the state level. who is a better judge how much power washington, d.c. should have. washington, d.c. or the state legislators. host: who gets to go to the convention if one is called? guest: the state legislatures. i doubt they will appoint members of congress. they will have to serve at the convention for several months first, that would be inconsistence -- inconsistent with serving at congress. the state legislatures feel
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people who they feel are appropriate. caller: good morning. a previous caller said that the constitution was a primary document i would disagree. i think the reconstruction of the 13, 14th, and 15th amendment may -- would make a great effort in fixing the flaws. they are the amendments we should focus on an terms of fixing the problems. with regard to the convention, i'm a shoe deal with the supreme court and limit its ability on judicial review, there are several approaches on amendments
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robert bork outlined a few unless you limit the supreme court judicial review, you'll end up with a fair -- unfair victory, in terms of the outcome. guest: mark levin, he specifically endorse our project. indeed, having some checks and balances on the judiciary, we think it is essential. he has proposed some ideas of giving states the ability to override a decision by the supreme court, to give congress the power independently discussions of having the states , much like the european court of human rights, every
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nomination -- every nation nominating -- nominates one justice. we can have a similar system here. something needs to be done to have better checks and balances on the judiciary. host: you are talking about endorsements. one name tom coburn, former senator of oklahoma has signed on to your efforts wrote a column earlier this year in the washington times, the federal love fine -- leviathan. if our viewers want to read that they can find it at the washington times. caller: good morning. congress has been trying to destroy the constitution, almost every -- ever since it has been formed. the founding fathers said if we turn to a central banking system to monitor our economics and
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monetary system, then it will eventually fail. and we will go bankrupt. since then, we have had five central banks and just about everyone of them failed, including the one we have now which is called the federal reserve. 1913 they were formed by private citizens at private banks mostly european citizens. congress turned over the monetary system to the federal reserve, three years later, came out with the income tax system. before that, the government would not tax salaries or wages of the individual. that gave them the power to do whatever they want with taxes. they gave themselves the power. the legality of the state compliance -- it is still under investigation. host: i want to let you jump in.
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guest: two issues, one is congress grabbing more power and giving up at the same time. the area of federal regulation, is congress -- to the epa to make rules. it is not giving away its power it is the right of the people to elect the people who make the law. there is no ability to vote for the epa. congress should have the responsibility to make all the rules for this country. congress is also continuing to grab power and gradually increase its power over time. a friend of mine say, what with the government look like if no president in history had ever vetoed anything? what it -- what would it be look like if the senate would look
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like the house of lords and approve 99 percent of the stuff that came from the house? what would it be like if the states never use their article five power to check the power of the federal government? an absolute runaway federal power that continues to grab power, it is so busy doing the it has to disperse i and others to make the rules for them. we need to see the states use their authority to check the power of the federal government to restrain it. host: how would the convention work? any prospect of a constitutional convention would be overtaken by corporate interests and right-wing extremists. it's a dad idea. guest: you have to know how the delegates are appointed. they are appointed by state legislators. each state legislature appoints whatever number of delegates they want. they vote in congress. one state one vote.
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this process has been going on for a long time in a different component. we have a uniform law commission. this is where we got the uniform commercial code. they have been meeting together as states for over 100 years. laws in many subjects are proposed. we have -- we know how the process works. is up to them to create statutory law this will be done to create constitutional worlds -- rules. it is applying the same process to a different tactic. host: line for democrats from four to. caller: i wanted to say that this idea is misdirected. it seems like anything that is passed by the states is always going to be able to be trumped
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by federal laws. look at second amendment as states try to control guns in the states, it always gets overturned when it gets to the federal level. the federal -- departments has to be done federally. having it done by the states cannot happen, not in this day and age. it is too fluid to run evenly throughout the state. the main amendment that needs to be done is overturning citizens united. we are being controlled i a small group of people with a lot of money and they are electing their stooges to get in there and screw up the government. that is what is ruining this country. we need to get back to where the people's votes count for something. it is not between this rich guy's man. you have to make sure corporations are not people. guest: i hope this guy likes his
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atm card working effectively because it works because states have adopted a uniform commercial code. it is not true that the federal government is the source of a lot of the laws that work. the banking laws of this country are controlled by state law. the deposit insurance composer -- component, but the basic laws of banking are because the states have created cooperative laws and work together. he misunderstands the nature of the process, we are creating the constitution. this would be to create amendments to the constitution, specific revised general welfare and commerce clause to limit both of those. the desire to go back to the original meeting -- meaning. just to get a couple of examples . the states can, under article five which i suggest the caller read, the states have the
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ability to unilaterally amend because edition by first proposing the convention on a topic and it will come back eventually 238 states to ratify. -- to 38 states to ratify. the power to lawfully change the constitution by yourself. only the states possess that authority. host: michael farris is with the convention of states project, if you want to check out more of his work, follow him at twitter. he is with us for about the next 15 minutes. leslie in burlington, north carolina. line for republicans. caller: good morning. you already answered part of one of my questions, which was what you thought of mark live-in -- mark levine's liberty project. i want to ask you process questions -- i think that most
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people think the federal government is the be-all and end-all of our system. what if every state, which they do have an agricultural department, every state had their own usda, north carolina da and if our state is not doing a good job people will not buy our meat and we would not be able to export. the federal agencies that i think are a waste of time because they are redundant and put another layer of rules and are filling out forms for the federal government. my process question is -- how is north carolina doing on our ideas of getting this going because i need to work on that if anyone in our state is interested. also also, 38 states need to
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ratify this, but do all 50 states have to send delegates? we would have to get connecticut a holdout state, or maryland -- guest: the north carolina has the convention of states application in his legislature. i encourage the caller to call her state senator and state representatives and encourage them to support the convention of states. i testified in a committee in north carolina about 10 days ago. it is actively moving. the process is that when 34 states apply for a convention, then every state, whether they voted or not, is entitled to send delegates to the convention and participate in the discussion. host: entitled but not required? guest: not required. that is their call.
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it would be a simple majority vote of those show up that would decide what the proposed amendments would be. i cannot imagine a state not showing up. host: are there limits to the number of amendments they could propose? guest: no technical limits. there is the limit of political realism. i believe political realism says something between four and seven amendments will get through the process. there will not be 10 or 12. people will discuss different ideas and you need to be able to discuss different ideas. it will be distilled into a finite number of amendments that will be on the nature of balanced budgets, tax limitations, spending limitations, and making sure we have checks and balances in the judiciary. host: charleston, south carolina independent line, randy. caller: i would like to ask the
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question -- can't the federal government put pressure on the states? that do not want to go along with their programs? by holding funds that the state may need to use? guest: they can't today and that is one of the things i like to change. -- they can today. the legislature in south carolina should be the holden only to the voters -- beholden to the voters of south airline. if congress tells the legislature of succulent what to do, the voters of california and illinois and new york and alaska and washington that are telling the legislators in south carolina what to do. if we are going to have a republican government, every state legislature needs to be held only to the voters and their state. we are held to that file it -- that principle of self government. on issues that no one consented to have congress talk about.
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-- nothing in the constitution about education. congress does not have any direct jurisdiction over education. congress should not be able to use guest misuse the general welfare clause to dictate to the states by taking money on the people in the state and telling their own state legislatures what they have to do with this money. host: more process questions on how this would work -- what the representatives vote as individuals or as state blocks? guest: they have to vote as state blocks, just like the original convention. most dates are considering 5, 7, or nine delegates and they would caucus on each issue. whoever cast the majority of votes for virginia, 4 delegates from virginia with kathy virginia votes. host: with the district of columbia be revisited?
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guest: no. host: line four republican. caller: thank you for having this important discussion. we need to point out that this is not a constitutional convention that would open the constitution up to rewriting. it is the convention of the states to amend the constitution and it would be the state legislatures doing it. the governor's and our federal congress would not have anything to do with this. the people that do not want it to happen, keep saying they will rewrite the constitution. we need to point out that is not going to happen. guest: this is a refreshingly well-informed caller. only the legislatures -- governors have no jurisdiction. congress can only do two things, name the time and place of the convention. they will say, may 3,
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cincinnati ohio, for example. they can designate the mode of ratification. i would bet that they will choose state legislatures, because ratification conventions are chosen by the people. people will be harder on congress that a state legislature might be. in any event, it is not a constitutional convention, not open for anything. we have had 400 applications in the history of the country, but because -- we have never called a convention because you have to agree on the subject matter. i litigated a case that gives you the second side of that rule. equal rights amendment was proposed, it was given seven years for ratification. congress change that by adding approximately 3.5 years to get verification time. i filed suit on behalf of of
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four washington state legislators, challenging the rules and the courts held that you cannot change the rules in the middle of the stream. you have to have agreement on the subject matter to start and you cannot change the rules. in the middle. we did not build that case out of thin air, there are other pieces supporting that. that is the rule. you have to follow the rules. this is a lot like international laws. when sovereign entities negotiate with each other, there are certain rules. the rules we are talking about are consistent over time with how treaties are negotiated. anytime sovereign state governments are getting together, it is one state, one vote. it is very much a safe process and a known process. host: spartanburg, south carolina, line for independents. caller: good morning. i wanted to bring up a point --
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a couple points. and get a response. rest of all, he made the comment that he could not imagine a state not sending somebody to the convention. i thought -- i taught constitutional law for a lot of years. i retired. i cannot remember exactly the circumstances in the constitutional convention in 1787, but i do know rhode island did not allow a convention to form in its own state in order to ratify the constitution. the idea that maybe some states may be recalcitrant and decide they will not send somebody, i do not think it is a done deal. most dates would send delegates i think, but based on what happened in the original convention, i do not think it is necessarily a done deal that every state will. the other point -- you are
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talking about stipulations on the rules that you have a's date -- in order to have a convention, if i recall -- there was a move back in the 19 80's and 1990's about a balanced budget amendment and a move by 32 states that signed on to have a convention and i believe there was fear that this was an unknown territory that was being charted. what i want you to respond to is if this is really something that is etched in stone, it has to be for a specific subject matter, because i remember there was great fear without amendment that if it got to 34 states, that constitutional convention, they could meet and start deciding to mess with other parts of the constitution. host: go ahead.
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guest: if your question first -- it is true -- the fear question first -- it is true there is fear mongering, the john birch society is the biggest source of that fear. the john birch society's founder in the 1960 three newsletter, advocating a condition of the states for an that would repeal the 16th amendment income tax. the second president of the john birch society, larry mcdonald, a democrat member of congress from georgia, he stood on the floor of congress and advocated for a convention of the states for that same purpose. the fear mongering is from the newer leadership of the john birch society. it is ironic that this small extreme organization is allowed to voice its fear on the rest of
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society. there is no basis for believing that. the failsafe is this -- 38 states have to ratify. the idea we could get something crazy through the system where 38 states have to ratify is not well taken. i cannot remove his first question. host: got one more question in a minute or two. respond to the end of march hagel -- bart hinkle's piece. he said the biggest reason to be skeptical about a convention of the states is this -- it fails to address the problem that inspired it -- advocates of a constitutional convention are upset that the federal government has grown too large and they correctly believe because politicians have ignored the meaning of the constitution. if this is the case, rewriting the constitution with more or planar language solves nothing and politicians can ignore the length of one constitution then why can't they of another?
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guest: if you fixed the judiciary and have checks and balances, that answers 80% of his question. you can reverse the supreme court. supreme court -- president lies at the heart of our efforts. the supreme court says a black person cannot be person in dred scott. that got reversed. it stayed reversed. they said despite the equal protection clause, women could not vote. that got reversed in the 19th amendment. the supreme court in the employment division versus smith, said religious freedom is a second class is reversed that. in the religious freedom restoration act i help to write. it stayed reversed. even justice scalia voted for hobby lobby. you can't reverse the supreme court. we can go back to the authorization by reversing
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supreme court precedent. if you know what you are doing you can get them to follow the law. host: michael farris is with the convention of states progress. we appreciate your time on a saturday morning. up next, we will be joined by kevin mccormally of kiplinger. he will talk about last-minute tax advice. we have 4 days to go. yesterday, the kiddos held an event. there is a bit. >> we hear a lot about lowering the rate and broadening the base. in the business sector, we got rid of most of the true junk in 1986 and the tax reform act. if you get rid of things not treating capital investment correctly, there is only enough race runners to drop the rate
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two points maybe three. the problem we face today, we are an outlier. we have inappropriate levels of business taxation compared to birch really -- virtually every other industrialized country. we have among the worst treatment of investment. we also are also the only major country that taxes its businesses on income taxed everywhere in the world. when you combine those three things, and a number of others, we have a serious problem. we are making beyond states among the least attractive places to make tax perspective to do business. in the industrialized world. we see that. our businesses are no longer as competitive as they once were. we need to repair that damage. >> "washington journal"
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continues. host: we welcome back kevin mccormally for a segment that is an annual tradition on "washington journal." talking about last minute tax prep advice. if you want your questions answers -- answered, you have 45 minutes. kevin mccormally will answer your questions. 4 days away from april 15. best tips for last-minute filing. guest: do not rush into a mistake. if you cannot get it done by tuesday night, file for an extension. one of my favorite tips is -- 75% of people get refunds. if you get refunds, do not -- you do not have to file a form to get an extension because there is no penalty for missing the deadline. if the irs owes you money --
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they are more than happy not to send you your check. if you oh money, you can file a form and push your deadline until october 15. the biggest tip, do not rush into a mistake and overpaid your taxes. do it right. host: people doing their taxes with last year's filings sitting next to them. what are the biggest changes they should be looking for? guest: the biggest is obamacare and the fact you had to have health insurance last year. 77% of the people -- all they have to do is check a box that says i have insurance. if you bought insurance on the exchange, on a state exchange or medicare -- the federal exchange, you have to reconcile the credit you got to subsidize your premiums with what you deserve. when people got insurance, they had to estimate what their put a 14 income would be any credit they got was based on that estimate.
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now they have to write down what they made. if they made more than expected, they have to give that credit back. if they made less, they will get a bigger refund, but they have to reconcile it. that is causing people the biggest problem. host: how much headache is a calling -- causing the irs? guest: they say everything is going swimmingly. the commissioner says it is going great. they are not having any trouble. the biggest thing slowing refunds is fraud. host: several stories about fraud. sibling or has done a few. -- kiplinger has done a few. give us some of the stats and why is fraud on the rise? guest: because everything is automated. in the old days, you had to make up a phony dubya to form. -- w-2 form.
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now all you need is a name social security number and date of birth to file electronically. 900,000 refunds were stolen by fraudulent returns. the irs is trying to put in more safeguards. they say 900,000 that refunds were paid but they stop 2.5 million more. they are doing a pretty good job. but fraud is overwhelming. the commission last week said they put 2000 to 3000 people in jail or refund fraud. he said we have the amateurs off the street. the reason it is there is you are talking $1 trillion. there is a lot of money. host: a colleague at killing her wrote a piece, what to do if someone files a tax return in your name. guest: what happens with a lot
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people -- two people have called me -- they get letters from the irs that say, we have a problem with your return. they call the number and they say "i have not filed." if it happens, reported to the irs. the irs says they can solve most of these problems within 120 days. inspector general says it is more like 300 days. call the irs. there is somebody to talk to. host: kevin mccormally is here for about the next 40 minutes. let's get to your phone calls and questions. gary in austin texas. caller: good morning. i was wondering about savings bonds. the aa savings bonds. when you cash them in, does the government send you the 1099 or does the bank? guest: i am not sure, you
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probably do get a 1099 from the bank. it is reported as interest. i'm not certain you will get a 1099 because i have not dealt with it for a while. host: let's go to hamilton ohio. mary. good morning. caller: good morning. i would like to know -- my social security number was stolen. i have blue cross-blue shield and they were recently breached. they said that your social security number may have been stolen. mine was. i always file late for some reason. i think you said it takes 120 days to get this sorted out and for me to get my refund. is that correct? guest: if somebody else has filed in your name if you
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discover someone has filed in your name, the irs says it will take 4 months for them to get you your refund. the inspector general says it takes almost a year for so many, it depends on how complex it is and who you are. and what kind of backlog the irs has. do not assume because you're sosa security number was stolen that your refund was filed. host: any estimates to the number of fraudulent returns filed this year on stolen social security number's? guest: i have seeing numbers as high as 2.5 million. host: athens georgia, marianne. caller: i inherited a property. we use the property for about three years as a rental property.
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then we sold the property. we sold it for less than the basis that we had when we inherited it. can i claim a capital loss on that? guest: probably. when you use it as a rental property you had to depreciated, and each deduction reduces that basis. if the proceeds of the sale, after commissions, were less than your basis, you have a deductible investment loss. and that should save you money. the key thing -- inherited property the basis is the value on the death at the previous owner. the tax is forgiven. you start off with the value even -- when you inherited it. compare that to the proceeds of sale and if you have a loss, finally deduction. host: how would a person find out if their social security number was stolen?
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guest: you will not know unless someone uses it to your detriment. if something gets to tax refund before you do -- adversely affected. host: john from west palm beach florida. caller: i have two questions. thinking about id theft. if you own money -- i always try to plan so that i/o just a little money. if somebody stole your social security number and if you owed them money, i do not see how they could get a refund. my second question -- 8919 -- my
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daughter got a job with a considered her a self contractor. they gave her a dubya to at the end of the year -- a w2 at the end of the year. on the self-employment schedule, it has the flowchart on the front. listed yes-no, yes-no. it said, if you filled and 8919, which i believe is the correct number for social security and medicare, you have to do the back of the log form -- longform. you know why that would be on there? the way they read -- i read it structures, if you are self contractor, you do not fill out and 8919, unless you are claiming you will -- you are not a subcontractor? guest: it is tough for an
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employer to put somebody as an employee part of the and a self employee part of the or. the 8919 gives you the right to say, i would never self-employed. my boss should have been paying half my social security taxes all your long. the problem is very few employees want to say my boss is a crook. that is the reason it is there. if she wants to claim she was employed entire year, which would save her money on self employment taxes. on the id theft, great question -- at kiplinger we say the best way to avoid losing your refund to fraud is not to have a refund in the first place. we have a khaki later on site that tells you how to fix george holding's so you do not have a refund. how can some get a refund even if you of the government, because the irs does not know.
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name, date of birth, social security number, to make all this stuff up. the problem with id theft -- the government says employers have to tell their employees to send their w2s by the end of february. it does not go to the irs, a ghost to so security. social security send it to iris. it is june before the irs knows before whether or not you made any money. congress likes to keep voters happy's. . they say pay now. host: we are talking to kevin mccormally. he joined kiplinger in 1977 is -- has a reporter specializing in taxes. he helps us out in this annual
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tradition on tax day to talk about tax filings. eastern central time zones, the phone of her to call is 202-748-8000. mountain and pacific --202-748-8001. let's go to mike in florida. caller: good morning. i heard your comments about the fraud and the delay and i was wondering -- since taxes are done once a year and this would be a quick fix kind of checkmate in regards to fraud. the people that receive funds should have to go to the bank. that way, they would have to walk in the bank and now they are on camera. that would be one quick fix of preventing fraud. i do not know what you think about that. that is off the top of my head.
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guest: you have 110 million taxpayer who get refunds. if you are asking 110 million people to go to the banks, i do not think the banks are going to be happy. it will slow the process. i agree that it would solve the problem. an easier fix, and it is something congress talked about, require employers to get this information to the irs sooner. that was all a lot of the problems. host: the question about congresses relationship with the irs, with congress slashing funds, you cannot call and ask a question and have it answered. let alone a quick response for fraud. you want to doug about funding for the irs. -- you want to talk about funding for the iris. guest: -- the irs. guest: the predecessor to the current commissioner said that every time they cut the budget
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-- commissioner shulman was a weekend get along with less. the current mr. says we do not have enough money. they have 5000 fewer agents auditing returns. we all love to hate the irs am a but they collect $1.5 trillion to keep the congress going. whether or not liberals were unfairly treating conservative interest groups. to me, the irs can prove that every dollar we spent on enforcement, they bring in four dollars in revenue. that is for dollars we do not have to pay -- four dollars we do not have to pay. they are decent people. out of the dallas office, they are claiming that they cannot go after people who own money unless they own $1 million.
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-- oh $1 million. host: greg, chapel hill, nortel lineup. caller: i have a quick question. i worked in ohio in 20 14 and moved to chapel hill, north carolina. about filing state taxes, what i have to file the state tax form in ohio because i worked there one month. guest: i was talking to a friend who worked for five days in new york state last year. he works in washington d.c.. he had to file in new york state for that five days. states are very -- they love to tax anybody's income. the tax you pay on that income in ohio will not be double taxed. you probably do need to file. host: is new york the most
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extreme example? guest: california has the highest tax rate. their state income tax rate is 12.3%. states that have pro sports teams are very careful about this. when the mets played the nationals, d.c. wants to get the revenue that the mets players earn. the pro athletes have to file lots of returns. host: kevin mccormally answering your questions with a few days to go before april 14. mountain and pacific time zones call 202-748-8001. for the next way minutes or so, kevin mccormally will be with us. illinois, frank is with us. caller: my comment is not how to fill out my forms. my income is high and i took a
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short term capital gain. the irs should want to hide their head in the sand about the forms i had to fill out. these forms are 45 lines long. also my sosa security, about 25 lines long -- my social security. h&r block is lobbying to keep that stuff going because the average person who has not done their taxes could no longer -- no way fill those forms out without blowing their brains out. guest: i hate being an apologist for the irs. blame the folks in that building over there. the schedule you talk about -- why is a long -- some people -- most people pay 0% on their long-term capital gains.
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if your income is below $70,000 if you're in the 50% or lower bracket, your rate on long-term's capital gain is 0%. then we have capital gains for higher income people. for higher income people it is 23.8% in that form has to apply all of those -- most of us do not have to fill out those. i bet you did not have developed very many with an income of $90,000, and you are over the limit and had to pay 50% off those long-term gains. it drives me crazy too. if you follow the instructions step-by-step by tax preparation software or forget about buying it, anybody with income below $60,000 can get free software at the, it is called free file. the government requires the
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software makers to give it away. all you have to do is say, when you bought and sold the stock what your basis was, it will fill up the entire form. host: free file at new jersey pat is next. caller: i am one of those people who uses free file. my question is regarding the obamacare. i do not have health insurance. my concern is, i changed my withholding so i get very little -- down to a couple hundred dollars for the year. can the irs tap might make it count if i try to use the automatic deposit of whatever refund i get -- guest: they cannot tap your bank account, but your refund will never get there. they can't take your refund.
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-- they can take your refund. it is one of the parts they put in the bill when the affordable care act was passed, the irs cannot spend money going after the money that they can get your refund. it gets your bank account -- host: rochester, new york. caller: i retired. i used to work for a big name company in rochester that went bankrupt, start with a "k." over the years, as i was working there, i used to put $25 a month away and buy stock. the company went bankrupt about 2013. i never claimed the losses on the stock. since i never sold the stock could i just amend my return for
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this year or do i have to go back to 2013 -- four last year or do i have to go back to twitter 13 -- 22013? guest: they should be deducted in the year they became worthless. you should file an amended 2013 return. the advantage to that, the irs will have to pay interest. that is the rule. it is unclear that the stock was worthless in 2013. and you can point to something in 2014 that you think is what finally convinced you is worthless, then between 14 is the year. -- then 2014 is the year. you can ask your broker to buy it for one dollar and file a
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return in 2015. host: seattle washington. sarah is waiting. caller: good morning. my question is this -- i am a small business owner. in 2013, i got a refund through my accountant. i got a correction letter that said it was too much and they would cut it in half. then i got a letter recently that said i owed them $1500 for 2013. then i got a letter that says i am $633 for putting 14 because they had not credited one of my payments to them. they only credited three. then they applied another payment to 2013. my question is -- how do you deal with incompetence of them.
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how do you get to the bottom of it, guys you cannot get to anybody. guest: before i joined tivoli are -- kiplinger i work for a member of congress, and every office has a special person as a caseworker. call your congressman or commerce woman and asked them for their help. -- or congresswoman. it will get a lot more attention than a call to the rest. document what is going on. getting -- get to the caseworker in your congressman or senator's office. back in the old days, in the 1970's, we did everything. we wrote legislation impeached the president, confirmed the vice president. host: cap -- toughest tax casework back in the day? guest: the law was simpler then. host: let's go to larry in ohio.
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you are on with kevin mccormally /. caller: i understand you do not have to worry about a sale when you have a roth or an ira. guest: a worth sale is when the sale an asset and buy stocks within 30 days. four years, we thought and the irs said, if you sold a stock for a loss and bought it back in an ira, it was not a worth sale. they changed the rule. it does not matter if it is a taxable account, a worth sale is a worth sale. caller: it's not like you would deduct it. you just do not -- guest: you are talking about inside of an ira? it is like vegas, what goes on
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in a tax shelter goes -- stays in a tech shelter. the iris does not know about it. -- the irs does not know about it. host: 202-748-8001 if you are in the mountain or pacific time zones. a few minutes left to get your questions in four kevin mccormally. also taking questions on twitter. new jersey withheld state tax -- guest: you only report state refunds if you itemize deductions the previous year. 75% of the people take the standard addictions and do not report a state refund. then you get the 1099-g, you report it. if you get a refund, if you did
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not itemized induction's, it is tax-free. if you get itemize deductions -- there is another worksheet. you only have to declare income on your federal return if it saves you money whether you deducted it. people who barely had enough itemized reductions to surpass the standard deduction amount, many of those people will report part of the state income tax refund, not all of it. host: a good transition into the most overlooked tax deductions. a column on kiplinger -- if you want to go through a few of your favorite most overlooked tax -- guest: states -- state sales tax, if you live in a state that does not have -- i christmastime they reinstate -- on state taxes, we know a lot of people who owed money last year to the state when they filed their
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return. they'll do next or thousand dollars to this day, they forget to duck that as a state income tax paid. they look at their form and see how much was held under boss they will forget the payment they may. even know that was what he 2013 taxes. it makes that a deduction under .14 return. it is an important one. people remember what they gave in shacks. what they gave through united way at work. look at that december paystub. if you made charitable contributions through your job you should include that. if you're making casseroles for a soup kitchen. ingredients are deductible. some people say that is nickel and dime, i say get that money. host: touch on student loan interest paid by mom and dad
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guest:. guest:guest: you can only detect interest if you're legally obligated to pay it back. parents who paid their kids student len -- toulon interest, five years ago, the irs started treating it as mom and dad paid the kids the money. this is for adult children. the children paid the bills, so the children get to deduct that interest. it goes on the child's tax return. it happened rarely in tax law. host: back to the phones. alabama. mark. caller: my question is about the penalty for not having health insurance. i have had health insurance this year starting at the beginning
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of the year. it has been four months, if i cancel my health insurance, when i file my taxes next year, since i have had health insurance for 4 months and did not have it the rest of the year, will that penalty still be applied to me. guest: only 40 months you did not have insurance. -- only for the months. you have -- look at the to 95 a form, -- the 1095a form. host: larry on twitter -- says if a tax code is to couple gated for every desk obligated -- west virginia. caller: i had a question about
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the fraud you talked about earlier. he said the irs estimated 2.5 million cases of fraud. my question is, do you know if any of a percentage of those were deceased or reused social security numbers? guest: it seems the real issue is not the deceased social security numbers. it is these data breaches. i do not think they have to go through the social security numbers of dead people, there are too many out there and are easier pagans for the scammers. i doubt if it is a big problem. host: been in ithaca, new york. good morning. caller: thank you for taking my question. it is a great program.
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i am a self provider. -- proprietor. i am interested in setting up a private foundation. i checked the irs pages and it is recommended i do that. i was wondering -- i do not have llc. your recommendation about how to go about this. guest: i commend you for wanting to do this. this is an area i have not worked in at all. i cannot help you. host: henderson nevada. sal. caller: this question is to kevin mccormally.
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i have a social security income for myself and my wife. i did not pay a credit card company and they wrote it off but send me a 1099. do i have to file for taxes this year based on that information? guest: it depends on your total income level. if you had a debt forgiven from eight credit cap and he government considers that income. whether or not your income is at the level you need to file the pens. most social security is tax-free. look at the instructions. the filing threshold for a married couple is over $13,000 to $14,000 of income. you will have to look at it.
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it depends on your income. whether or not you will taxes. -- you owe taxes. host: jim is one of those who follows me on twitter every day. he says, our time in 30 years i did my own with turbotax. piece of cake. very thorough. can you use fsa money on medical expenses if they are still on your health insurance but too old to claim as dependents on your taxes? guest: i do not know. i am guessing -- i do not know. great question. now that obamacare -- the depends the thing into it -- at 24. great question. host: hard to stop kevin mccormally. pittsburgh pennsylvania.
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good morning. caller: i usually file my taxes with h&r block. the free service is from the federal government. they now require you to -- i usually file my state with the state. they are forcing you to do it with them and they force you to pay. is there a way around that? guest: i would somebody use other than plot, i do not think they all do that. -- other than block. it seems like it is violating the governments requirement. the free filing is only for the fed and most charge for states. i do not see how they can demand you use there's. right now your federal return and do your state return by hand. host: a matter of shopping around.
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connecticut, charles, good morning. caller: hello? i started electing social security at 62. then i went back to work. they hit me like i made a pretty good amount of money. social security came after me and took it all back. it was like $17,000 they wanted back. i gave it back, but i have been taxed on that money. that is like $1500. nobody seems to know where that went. can i get that back? guest: yes. we do -- we used to do a lot of stories where you could take your social security -- if you paid it all back -- reset the
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clock -- there is a revision in the law for refunding the taxes that were paid on that. you can do the same thing with social security. file an amended return for the year this was involved and scratch up the social security income you did not get. that would probably be the easiest way. i would to just you file an amended return using 1040x. the irs -- social security says you can take benefits as early as 62 but if you work, you cannot, because you lose one dollar for every two dollars you earn over that amount. even though, that $70,000 was taken away, it is not take it -- $17,000 is taken only, it is not. it is all worked out so that by the end of his expected life expectancy he should get that
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$1700 back. host: you can follow kiplinger on twitter. florida. good morning. caller: good morning. i would like to ask -- another one of the deductions that people forget they tended back is the mpi if you have an fha loan. i did not realize that until a couple of years ago. when i was online looking at the deductions that could be taken. that was one of them. i could only go back as much as three years in order to get that back. they did pay it back with interest. during those three years. that was when i have friends that were in the same boat that did not note that was a deduction they could take. guest: it is a relatively new
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deduction. one i have never understood, if you put less than 20% down when you get a loan, the bank forces you to buy insurance to ensure the bank against you defaulting on the loan. it protects the bank and requires -- four years -- might only be three years ago congress allowed that deduction allowed -- along with the interest. it should show up on your 1099 from the mortgage company. host: connecticut sheila, good morning. caller: i have a statement and a question. senator blumenthal had an article in the norwalk paper -- $13 million owed to taxpayers and it will not help me, but it might help other connecticut residents.
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$13.4 million worth of unclaimed tax refunds from 2011 own twed to connecticut taxpayers. what kind of taxes will i have had paid in 2011 to qualify to receive an earned income tax credit? guest: a couple of different things we're talking about. the senators -- people who do not file returns -- there are hundreds of millions of dollars the irs is sitting on because people do not file. they think they are in trouble. as far as the earned income tax credit, i was looking at those numbers. the credit -- if you made less than $50,000 on a joint return and have three or more kids, that is the highest income you can earn to get the earned income tax credit. it starts at about $6,000 a year if you are single and have no
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kids. that's where you max out. there is a form -- the instructions -- there is a table that looks like the tax tables. it shows income, number of children, and filing status, and will show you how my cheek and earn and get the credit. if you have used tax preparation services, those programs automatically figure that out. you do not have to know this exists if you use the programs. host: kathy in new castle delaware. caller: good morning and thank you for such an informed discussion. i have been helping my family members with their taxes and i have a suggestion. i was wondering what the guest thoughts would be on this. as i'm entering -- i have a few arrangements where they share
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custody -- my family members. where the custodial parent gets 100% of the dependent to claim on their taxes. i was wondering what the thoughts would be unchanging that from a whole number to a percentage of custody arrangement. it seems like -- if you could reflect that too because the percentage, then each parent would get their fair share of the claim of the defendant and to claim the percentage of the earned income tax credit and the child tax credit. guest: it is a great question. it would add complexity to the law that is already too complex. it would lead to enforcement problems. i know a lot of divorced parents who are concerned about this,
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where one parent gets the tax benefits. it is a good idea. the complexity what outweigh the benefits. kevin mccormally is the editorial director at kiplinger. we appreciate the time. that is our show for a saturday morning. join us tomorrow morning at 7:00 a.m. eastern, 4:00 a.m. pacific we will be joined i the president of the american federation of features as we talk about education policy. we will also be joined by the chair of the libertarian national committee to look at the political, ideological, and cultural views of the libertarian party. willie -- we will be joined by the -- the local correspondent from the "washington post." that is tomorrow morning on "the


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