tv Washington Journal CSPAN April 14, 2015 7:00am-10:01am EDT
iraq prime minister this morning. we will talk to former u.s. ambassador to iraq, christopher ho, about relations between the two countries. you can join the conversation on facebook and twitter. host: good morning. it's tuesday, april 14. both houses are in chambers today with legislation expected to can the -- to convene at 11:00 a.m.. along with the april 15 tax deadline on the minds of so many americans this week, we will begin by asking our viewers to weigh in on whether you think the u.s. tax them is fair. -- cap system is fair. we want to hear your suggestions about restoring -- reforming the
u.s. tax system. the numbers are on the screen. you can also catch up with us on social media on twitter, facebook or e-mail us. a very good tuesday morning to you. it is april 14, one day before tax day. we are asking our viewers this morning -- is the u.s. tax system fair? here is something from few research center.
the pew research center notes 59% saying something is wrong and that congress should change it. 39% are saying only minor changes. many are bothered by corporations and wealthy americans not paying their fair share, more so than what they pay in their own taxes. 54% say they feel some come got some corporations do not pay their fair share -- 54% say they feel some corporations do not pay their fair share. meanwhile, 27% of americans say it bothers them a lot in the amount they pay in their own taxes. as to the view of the agency that collects your taxes, just 45% of americans have a favorable rating of the are, compared to 48% that view is
unfavorably. 62% republicans, especially tea party republicans, dislike the irs. and republican leaning independents, just 15% say they are favorable to the irs and 82% are unfavorable. just some thoughts from the pew research center in the view of americans. house republicans this week are taking up a series of bills aimed at overhauling the u.s. tax system. congressman charles boustany republican of louisiana, talked about some of those bills that are in congress this week. [video clip] congressman st charles boustany: the investigation is ongoing but the irs still refuses to
admit that some of its employees engaged in intentional wrongdoing. to successfully carry out its mission, the irs must be viewed by the american people as an under biased -- and unbiased arbiter of the law. it cannot do that without coming clean. next we come at a house lacked on several initiatives to require more accountability and transparency at the irs. this includes enacting it taxpayer bill of rights, with commonsense steps, like requiring the firing of employees that use their positions for political purposes prohibiting personal e-mail accounts to conduct official business, and it proving access to the courts -- improving access to the courts are groups that feel they have been wronged by the irs. we will also act provide more tax release for -- relief for american families. this is already in addition to a move for permanent relief for
small businesses. if you tax code and reform the rrs is all part of republicans focus on making government address your priorities and work for the people we are elected to serve. host: republicans working through several bills in the house this week. we will see that before the looming tax day tomorrow. john coffee and in was -- john koskinin was in washington last week. here is a bit from is addressed in washington, d.c. [video clip] koskinin: the rs is now at the lowest level of funding since 2008. if you adjust for inflation, our budget is now comparable to where we were in 1998.
while our budget has income however the taxpayer base has grown by millions -- has been shrinking, however the taxpayer base had grown by millions. since 75% of the iris budget can mumble or less, is personnel, the agency has been absorbing budget reductions mainly by shrinking our workforce. as a result, we ended fiscal 2013 with more than 13,000 fewer permanent full-time employees compared to 2010. we asked that to lose another 3000, more or less, through attrition, by the aid of this year. you might think shrinking an agency will make it do more with less. and may have been true in the early years. we have heard on the hill and escrow that our funding is the literally lowered to make us think twice about funding. the rs does need to be -- the irs does need to be careful
stewards of our funding. we have now saved over $2 million a year in nonlabor costs savings. but after budget cuts and hiring freezes over four years, people need to understand that the irs is going to have to do less with less. it means taxpayers will suffer. the problems are that the levels of staffing are insufficient to deliver on our mission. host: that was irs commissioner john koskinen. we want to hear from our viewers ahead of the tax day deadline. is the u.s. task -- tax system fair? we split the numbers according to how they are labeled on the screen. we start with john, on the line for those who may between $61,000 and $100,000 last year. john is: from wisconsin.
-- john is calling from wisconsin. caller: good morning and thank you for taking my call. i am a person who believes that the taxes reflect our values. it is interesting how it has changed over time. my grandfather was a self-made guy, the son of a cheese maker. he eventually became the io of craft -- the ceo of kraft foods. his belief was always that you pay your fair share in taxes and you do not try to avoid taxes. he would never have been one to have advocated for some of the things that you hear about today from the top earners in this country. this year, i won't pay what he paid in taxes, but i will pay my fair share. and i'm proud to do so. host: john, who do you think is specifically not paying their
fair share in this country? do you think it is more those making over one hundred thousand dollars, the wealthiest americans? caller: it seems there are lots of answers to that, depending on what your values are. the thing that strikes me is that the wealthy to pay, you know, a great deal in taxes on a percentage basis. but it's not what they used to pay. host: john, that was the point i was going to ask you. here is a chart from the wall street journal. i was going to show it to my viewers, but i will explain it to you. it talks about how income is distributed. those who make about 130 $4000 a year, their share of income is 51.3%, but their share of total income taxes is about 84%.
your thoughts on those numbers? caller: i would look at those compared to where it was a generation ago stop -- generation ago. i think that is maybe were the perspective live and where we need -- the perspective lies and we need to drill down into those figures. i have friends who are in that bracket and they pay a lot of money in taxes will believe me. -- in taxes, believe me. my brother is one of those people. his property taxes are extraordinary. buddies kids go to some of the best schools in the country, you know, public schools in the country. -- but his kids go to the some of the best schools in the country, you know, public schools in the country. that is what he's paying for. and those jobs those are hard
jobs. they take a lot of stress and a lot of worry and a lot of responsibility to bed with them every night. they definitely earn their money, that's for sure. however, you hear about folks who has warren buffett has said, who do not appear to be shouldering as much of the burden as folks who go to a regular job and have lower incomes. but many would say, worked just as hard. host: i appreciate the call from wisconsin this morning. jeff is on the line for those who made over $100,000 from connecticut. good morning. caller: good morning. it's a great topic. i think the system is inherently unfair. fair is subjective, but i think
it is inherently unfair philosophically. the whole tax system is set up philosophically wrong. it's not just to raise revenue. it's to meet political objectives. as an example, the system is self as a whole -- the system itself as a whole incentivizes people to go to into debt. it also distance of devices savings -- this incentivize -- disincentivizes savings. why not an amt for corporations? individual income tax is worldwide. no matter where i make income, i am taxed. corporations, why aren't they taxed? as far as the flat tax or any of that type of texas and -- any
of those types of tax systems, you will never did. because it is a vehicle for changing -- for raising campaign funds, by promising to raise the tax -- to change the tax system. host: do you think you pay the right amount of taxes? caller: great question. the last two years i looked at the question and i kind of look at it a different way. i pay federal, state, and property taxes. federal, state, and property $50,000 total. and i divided that by 365 days a year. it comes out to about $125 a day that it costs me to live in america, which i really think is a bargain. it's like a nice hotel room. i don't think i'm paying too much tax, but americans in general, like i said, the reason
they are paying the taxes is wrong. the system needs to be restructured on a large basis to make it not just fair, but for the reason it was putting in place -- put in place the first time, to raise revenue. not to incentivize or dis incentivize social reasons. host: in polling, about 53% of americans say they pay about the right amount of taxes. 40% say they pay more than their fair share. 4% say they pay less than their fair share. the numbers from that report you can find at the pew research center. let's see how michael views his taxes in south carolina. michael, good morning. calling on the 25,000 to $60,000
line. caller: good morning. just a brief comment. the entire irs system is corrupt. the people who run it are corrupt. what we need is a consumer tax period. host: explain how that would work. caller: you pay taxes on what you buy and what you use. it's a simple process. host: a more simplified system is the key? too many loopholes? caller: much, much too many. host: do you think you paid about the amount -- the right amount of tax this past syria go caller: i think we all -- the right amount of tax this past year? caller: i think we all paid too much. host: steve calling in on the
line of $61,000 to $100,000. caller: i think your question is misleading because we use the term income tax here which is only part of the taxes that you have to pay. you have to pay federal income tax, state income tax, real estate tax, and other taxes. i am self-employed, so my income tax act -- my income tax is about 40% paid come tomorrow because social security taxes are about percent. if you take a look -- about 60 percent. if you take a look at what mitt romney was doing, in one year, he paid about 30% income tax one
year. he basically paid nothing for social security, because he made $19 million and he paid social security taxes on the first $100,000 or so. and real estate taxes in this country are really high, much higher than in europe. in my case, it would be about 5% of my total income. and you should compared to what people in other countries get in taxes. in most countries in europe, for instance, they get health care for their taxes. but here, you pay separately for health care, even though it is called a tax, too. host: do you think of most americans realize what their total tax bill is every year? or do you think they are looking at what they are sending in tomorrow? caller: i don't think in any country people realize what their total tax bill is.
but i think it is important that we start talking about taxes as opposed to income taxes. income taxes early part of the tax. state tax is part of the income -- part of your tax, too. what you pay for real estate taxes is part of your taxes too. what you pay for medical insurance premium, is it a tax or not? we should start talking real and not present. -- and not pretend. host: got your point, steve in chesapeake, virginia. a few tweaks this morning. -- tweets this morning.
we want to hear from our viewers this morning. is the u.s. tax system fairy i our lines -- is the u.s. tax system fair? our lines are split up a little bit differently. the numbers are on the screen. derek is up next in great mills, maryland, on that line for those who made between 25,000 dollars and $60,000. good morning. caller: i want to say that our texas was little bit deeper than the comment made just a few minutes -- tax system is a little bit deeper than the comments may just a few minutes ago. it is more complicated than the
common folks can understand. state taxes, going to let food, state licensing system, it's a little deeper than you can address. host: how would you change the system and make it more fair? caller: this might sound crazy, but states do tax holidays. do a federal tax holiday income for people with their paycheck. it would relieve a lot of stress and burden. host: would you make that an annual event? caller: most people get paid twice a month, or every two weeks. one of those paychecks a year, just one, no federal tax on it. that would help people a lot just that little bit extra. but there is too much greed in
it. host: greed by who? where does the great come from? caller: -- where does the greed come from? caller: the government. it's not being handled right in my opinion. host: if you want to pay lower taxes, here is where you should move. this is from time magazine. the five states where middle earners, households making $50,000 pay the least, alaska delaware, nevada, montana, wyoming will stop the five states where the middle earners pay the most, new york, illinois arkansas, hawaii, and maryland.
let's go to ms. hilda from maryland, making over $100,000 in maryland. did i get that right matilda? caller: that is correct. i watched the budget hearings on seas and back in the fall -- on c-span back in the fall. i watched the rules committee where they voted to make permanent a tax expenditure for certain types of companies that equal 600 billion, billion with a "b" dollars and he goes to charities. however, they were able to deduct twice what they actually paid for the food.
i think that is a nice arrangement. we talk about how much the highest income people pay, how they pay the majority of taxes but they also earn the majority of income over people who make between about $50,000 to $100,000. host: i will show that chart again for our viewers. those who make $47,000 to $80,000, their share of the income is 14.8% and they pay 5.9% of total income in taxes. but if you are making $80,000 to $134,000, you make 20% but share 13%. above $134,000 you are sharing about 84% of the taxes. go ahead, matilda. caller: i guess what i want to
say is that people are very upset about what they refer to as redistribution. they get very angry about poor people who need assistance. but i believe their anger is misdirected. i believe they need to look at the income distribution toward people with higher incomes. they make more of their money from investments, which makes them pay a lower tax rate than people who actually work for their money. the last thing i want to say is, i feel that our family pays the right amount of taxes. i appreciate the libraries and the schools that my children went to, which were public schools, and on and on. i just feel there is an appropriate place for taxes however congress is one of the last stops in making these decisions. host: thoughts from matilda this
morning in bringing of the budget hearings that she watched on c-span. if you want to go back and watch those, you can at www.c-span.org . we have all of that programming. a story from the "washington times" this morning, noting that if the senate cannot pass a medicare deal by wednesday morning, doctors who face -- doctors will face a 20% cut in their federal reimbursements. the story notes that missing the medicare cut off could have a real world impact on medical practices cash flow, even if congress can make them whole later on. up next in pennsylvania, making over $100,000, annie, good morning. caller: good morning.
i do make over $100,000. i am a young woman in my 30's. i look at myself as incredibly lucky to live in america and have the opportunity to make such an excellent income at such a young age. the philosophy i have in paying a higher tax bracket i'm paying back. my country has invested in me. i'm in an economy that allows me to have a great job. i'm in a country that allows the driver great education option -- that allows me great education opportunities. i pay 28% federal tax. that seems like a lot when you see the total but it's the cost of living in america. as a woman said before, having roads, having police officers, having all of this oil that we have here. -- the spoils host: that we have
here. you talk about -- the spoils that we have here. host: you talk about a great education. do you have education debt that you are paying off? caller: yes, i have lower student debt for nba -- an mba but it's lower than other degrees. when i left school, i had after two years close to $40,000 in student debt. it has been a lot worse. but i made some decisions about how i went to school and how i could save money and where i could avoid taking on debt host: to keep the cost low. -- to keep --taking on debt to keep the cost low. host: any in pennsylvania. debbie is waiting on the line in
wisconsin. caller: i think the u.s. tax system is unfair, because it seems to favor people with children. people who do not have children, you could be single and be earning above the federal poverty guidelines and you have very few deductions because you do not own a home. and yet you pay a higher tax rate. yet there are a lot of illegal aliens who have children and they end up getting money back that they did not even pay in. and there are people who are above the poverty guidelines to get earned income credit in their states. it just seems like if you are single or a couple without any children and you do not have anything to deduct, you're pretty much stuck. you don't get the benefits. if you add up the benefits people get because they are under the poverty guidelines with children, they are actually
making more money. it's all about what you take home in your pocket, not necessarily what you are earning. host: debbie, what would be a fair impact that would impact your life in wisconsin? caller: i think if you're a couple with no children, or if you are disabled -- i know right now that social security and disability is not taxed, but if you have one working house and the other person is -- one working spouse and the other person is disabled, you have to pay a portion of the social security of the other person as an income tax. so why should i work? you have to plan your income so you are just underneath federal poverty. you are ok, especially few have children. how much does it cost to live?
they are slowly taking away what you can deduct. and i know they have some deductions for rent, but i think they should take a closer look at those who have children especially if those children are not even in the home. i know that last you there were over $5 billion in fraudulent refunds given to individuals who do not have social security numbers. that really works me. -- irks me. i have one daughter who is making over $70,000 and she is paying for greater taxes than someone who, let's say, they are not married and has two children. host: debbie, i thought you were done. i wanted to talk about the biggest tax breaks in the u.s. the biggest individual tax break was for employer paid health
care, health insurance and long-term care insurance, none of which is taxable income. that cost the government $143 billion in the last fiscal year and is estimated to cost $150.6 billion this year. ordinary income will keep an estimate of $120.3 billion out of the u.s. treasury in the current fiscal year. and the current mortgage income interest is action will cost nearly 75 billion dollars this year, while the deduction for local property tax payments will cost another $35 billion. you can see those charts and breakdowns on the you research center -- the pew research center. we are asking whether you think the tax system is fair. pat is in pennsylvania, the line making $25,000 to $60,000.
pat, good morning. caller: how are you this morning? host: good, pat. caller: if you want to understand how bad this tax system is currently locked do is take a narrative from warren buffett, who said that it's pretty ridiculous that his secretary pays more taxes than he does. it's not just about the use of the receipts that the government receives, but the payments are tremendous. -- horrendous. it shows what is reflecting in the poverty situation in america, and that is, the statistic that if americans needed $500 or more in an
emergency, they could not raise that money. so anyone arguing any type of fairness in this system, particularly when you see how the government misuses our money, our infrastructure is basically collapsing, roads, power supplies, you know, our power grid is on its last leg. the whole system is coming unwound. host: pat in carnegie pennsylvania. also the line for those making between $25,000 to $60,000 is taught. -- todd. go ahead. caller: good morning. i'm disabled. i had a tree fall on me and i have to have people take care of me. i'm fortunate to have workers from the v.a. who come and take care of me, but they are contractors for the v.a. they are minimum wage, barely
making it. and at the end of the year because they are paid on a 1099, they have to come up with the money to pay their taxes. i don't know how they expect someone barely making it to say that money. something should be done on that. host: todd, do you think you are doing all right? are you paying the right amount for yourself? caller: yes i am, but i have workers that make less than me and they have to come up with $800 $900, because they are paid a 1099. why can't our government take the taxes are? why do they have to pay it? it is hard for them to come up with it. host: go ahead, sir. caller: if you understand what i'm saying. host: i do.
are you interested in what president obama made last year? politico and burrell other stories have a -- and several other stories have a report. president obama and his wife michelle paid almost $94,000 in taxes on $477,000 in income. that translates to an effective tax rate of 19.6%. about $90,000 was related to his books and $16,000 in taxable interest. the obamas gave about 1420% of their income to charity. and the biggest been -- about 14.8 percent of their income to charity. and the biggest beneficiary was a payment for about $200,000. bill on the line be tween
$61,000 and $100,000. caller: good morning and thanks for taking my call. host: go ahead. caller: i do have a problem paying my income tax. my problem is seeing where all of this in -- all of this tax money goes and what it does. basically, the $3 trillion we have poured into iraq and afghanistan. there was a photo years ago, a big c 140 that had dropped off pallets of $100 bills, about $1 billion worth of money shrink-wrapped, sitting on the tarmac, and within three weeks that money disappeared and was unaccounted for. we had the 35 fighter plane that is $106 million a copy that they keep running off the assembly line and it's not battle ready by any means. it's a dangerous plane to fly at
top speed. but the money that is wasted in the war machine and at the pentagon, it just makes me sick. where does this all end? why aren't we pouring money into, like the gentleman said earlier, the infrastructure, the schools, and the bridges, and creating jobs here in accra -- jobs here? the money just goes out the door at an alarming rate to buy world peace. host: bill on that comment. in the --mb on twitter seems to agree with you. bob is up next in roundup,
montana, under $25,000 last year. good morning. caller: good morning, everybody. i make less than one half under $25,000. less than that. and i am fortunate to not be paying income tax. it's a low rate. but you know, i pay my rent and my food and i have a little bit of gas and so forth, and insurance. i tell you, if it ever went to the fair tax rate, montana is a state that has no sales tax. should it ever go to the fair tax rate, it would absolutely devastate me. if i was paying the taxes which i'm fortunate to not have to do, they have just given me that break in what they do now.
and thank goodness they do. if it ever went to the fair tax, i would be less than poverty. i would be at the food bank every day and so forth. even the smallest of things that i use that other people have, maybe a cd once in a while just for my enjoyment, i have to wait, sometimes as much as two or three months. to keep from going completely and that -- in debt. and i'm very conscious about that. as again man, i had a corporation and i paid a lot of taxes in quarterlies and i'm 65 now and disabled. if it ever went to paying the fair share people better think about that. i like most of the republican
ideas, but if i ever had to go to the fair share, it would absolutely devastate me. i understand how people who have always taxes to pay, how they want the fair share. and that would be a nifty little deal. but they don't think about people like me. and i've gone through all of it. i paid my share. maybe it's time that i live a reasonable life where i am. like i said, i'm disabled and my income is so low that i'm just barely making it. host: off in roundup, montana -- bob in roundup, montana. we appreciate the call. richard is waiting in manchester, california. go ahead. caller: yes, we need a progressive tax system. ronald reagan had the tax increase on employed.
use 5% of your agi for medical bills. it went up to 7.5%. little things like that. it used to be -- to include to 60% of your capital gains, and i got eliminated. in this town, probably 60% of the town is under the table. they need more enforcement and start collecting money. they need to make food stamps and everything else taxable. those who make more than $250,000 a year should pay more. they should not give breaks for children. everything is overpopulated. i know people who make $100,000 a year host: you said you would be in favor of more enforcement. would you give more money to the
irs budget to do this? caller: of course and they should go after some of these politicians, like some of the farmers who are politicians, and look at their income and what they don't pay. host: on that topic, we talked with kipling editorials director on saturday. he joined us to talk about viewer questions about taxes headed into the april 15 tax they. he talked a little bit about enforcement at the irs and how this commissioner and past commissioners have dealt with budgets and changes and challenges. here's a bit of what he had to say. [video clip] mr. mccormally: the commissioner last week said basically, every time they cut the budget, mr. shulman said we can get along
with less. we'll have that much money. we have 5000 fewer agents auditing returns than there were five years ago. we all love to hate the irs but they collect $1.5 trillion to keep government going. congress loves to slice their funding. there was a controversy years ago over the 501(c) four unit and whether liberals were unfairly treating interest groups. host: if you want to watch that full segment, go to www.c-span.org where we answered viewer questions heading into tax day. a little bit of news for you this morning, you can see it on the front page of our home page there on the road to 2016. marco rubio foust to lead to a new american century. -- favows to lead to a new
american century. that was the headline as his campaign kicked off yesterday. and of course, that coming on the heels of the hillary clinton video announcement and then heading to iowa today and tomorrow to talk about her campaign and championing everyday americans. we will be talking about that in the next segment of the "washington journal" with shira center and catherine lucey. we want to get a couple more of your calls before then. is the u.s. tax system fair? pete is calling you from washington d.c. making between $25,000 to $60,000 last year. caller: good morning. most of the population receives
less than an average share of personal income, not the median, but the average share. that is about $46,000 for every man, woman, and child in the u.s. from that perspective, it's not exactly clear to say the rich pay the most taxes, when most people don't even receive an equal or average share of personal income. i would abolish personal income taxes on everything below the per capita rate. that is my first point. and that raises the question, if all those people are not paying taxes, where does the money come from? in my second port is, federal taxes do not pay for spending. if you would like to have someone come on the show to explain that, i would like to suggest professor randall wray - out of kansas, missouri.
he could explain modern spending and that the taxes for the government do not pay for spending. authorizations pay for spending. host: thank you for the suggestions. we are always up for taking suggestions for upcoming segments. you can also e-mail us. glen will try to get in from union, washington, on that line for over $100,000 last year. you are our last caller. go ahead. caller: good morning. every morning i watch "washington journal" and is better than eating ice cream. i am self taught and i don't have a college diploma or high school degree. i am self-taught because i did not watch basketball everyday. i bought books and taught myself my trade. that is why i make $120,000 a
year, not because someone handed it to me. those colors that everyone below a certain capital -- certain per capita should not be taxed, that must be a democrat. if you are working at mcdonald's, someone -- everyone should pay something in income tax proportionally. that way we have a system that will not try to spread someone's wealth around. the person from montana on disability can call the washington journal and work customer support right from his home. if you are crippled you can work right from the home. i do not feel anything for someone who is on disability. who knows how much he paid before? host: we are running out of time . i will take this quick points. -- those two quick points. i want to allow our callers to call back in in the 9:15 a.m. to
10:00 timeframe if you want to continue to join the conversation. but up next, already a busy week when it comes to the road to 2016. we will talk to shira center and catherine lucey about the latest development on the campaign trail. and later, crystal hill -- christopher hill will join a stock about u.s.-iraqi relations. in case you missed it, congresswoman kathleen rice questioned the standards the v.a. is using when it comes to disproving claims. here is a bit from that event. [video clip] congresswoman rice: it seems to me, and maybe this is my prosecutorial background, but if
you are going through this process you have to hold at least one accountable. if you look at the number of complaints, they far outweigh any level of accountability. please explain that. >> i would like to, very much. we have ongoing investigations right now that will provide us with the information necessary to hold supervisors accountable. until very recently, we have not had the collaboration with osc that we have now that allows us to use evidence they have been able to pull together to give us a jumpstart so we do not have to start fresh with our investigations. we will, whenever the evidence shows that retaliation has been engaged in, we will hold people accountable. congresswoman rice: let me ask you this. why is it a determination that a whistleblower was not giving accurate information was a much easier determination to make
that retaliation against a whistleblower? because what i'm hearing from the three whistleblowers here is, you guys have no problem saying this whistleblower is wrong, but you have no ability to hold a wrong -- a wrongdoer accountable. explain that. ms. flanz: with all the respect that's not how the process works. congresswoman rice: no, no, no. i have to stop you because i have limited time. why is it that whistleblowers have made allegations that were not basing -- based in fact, it seems you could do that pretty expeditiously. it seems to be able to and you cannot do as expeditious and investigation when it comes to holding a retaliate or against a whistleblower accountable. you can give whatever expiration
you want, but i'm telling you right now, the level of disrespect you are showing to the veterans, who by the way -- and we know allegations are true in terms of mistreatment of patients, the laundry list of stuff we know was going on. everyone knows it's there. you are telling you are spending all this time to try to hold someone accountable. forget about what is actually fixing the problem where veterans are not getting the services that they need. that is another disturbing thing to me. that is almost an afterthought to you. >> "washington journal" continues. host: already a very busy week in 2015. here to read all down is the boston globe's shira center and catherine lucey.
who is hillary clinton meeting with and what will are the events that you -- that she will be getting to today? guest: she got out as fast as her scooby van could carrier. she will be doing small towns and much more intimate gatherings. she we touring a community college today, meeting with educators, students. tomorrow, she will be at a produced business and doing a sort of business roundtable. beyond that, i think they are expected to be doing some more private meetings with lawmakers democratic activists, but the goal and your campaign has been very clear about this, that they want personal -- her campaign has been very clear about this that they want personal interactions, regular talents -- regular people.
host: here is a tweet from earlier this week. and there's a picture of the family there. shira center, i want you to have a chance to get in on this. how does someone who is so well-known reintroduce themselves? guest: it is going to be difficult, and you could argue it is the greatest challenge ahead of her in seeking the nomination. a quinnipiac poll came out last week that showed something like 90% of people had an unfavorable opinion and just 5% of people who were polled said they had not heard enough to make a decision about her. if you compare that to the republicans in the race, it is something like 54% of respondents in the survey who
said they did not have enough information to make a decision about a republican candidate in the race. there is very little wiggle room for her. i think part of what the road trip is supposed to do is to reintroduce her as a new hillary clinton, metamorphosis her into the woman's woman. host: and all the cover of the boston globe, iowa voters examine alternatives to clinton. as you are talking to political watchers, veterans who have watched so many campaigns come through iowa catherine lucey, what are they saying will make a successful rollout in just the first couple of days of her campaign? guest: i think clinton's people are probably talking to the same people i am, because there is a real sense that people want to see her come in, go to diners coffee shops, the kind of loki,
retail -- low key retail caucusing that iowa voters expect of their candidates. that is what i'm hearing that many activists want to see. and in the republican field where you have this huge field of candidates, there is less happening with democrats. they want to see the candidate talk to them, that then, -- vet them even if it is hillary clinton and they have met her before. host: we are happy to have your calls on this issue. the numbers are on the screen. there is a special line for those residents of iowa and new hampshire in this segment.
a lot of focus in those two states, especially this week. shira center, take us to those state and what is going on. guest: saturday and sunday nearly every residential report -- presidential hopeful will go to nashua center. there are 19 speakers who have signed up for this. the only two who are not on the speakers list are ben carson and former senator rick santorum. it is going to be two solid days of speeches. rick perry will kick it off around lunchtime. marco rubio and jeb bush will hit friday evening, and scott walker will close it out saturday night at dinner. host: and of course, marco rubio
announcing his candidacy yesterday. i want to show our viewers a bit of that announcement. [video clip] [cheers and a clpplause] we are never going back. we americans are proud of our history, but our country is more about the future. and we have the greatest chapter get in the amazing story of america. but we cannot go back to the leaders and ideas of the past. we must change the decisions we are making by changing the people who are making them. [applause] and so, that is why tonight grounded by the lessons of our history, but inspired by the
promise of our future, i announced my candidate before the president of the united states. [cheers and applause] [crowd chanting] host: that announcement coming in marco rubio's home state. here is the "miami herald" front page story on it. we are talking with our political experts, shira center of the boston globe and catherine lucey of the associated press. a special line for iowa and new hampshire residents, otherwise the phone lines are as usual this morning. republicans, democrats, an
independents. we start with george from louisville, kentucky. caller: good morning. nice to hear from everybody. i'm just hoping this doesn't get too negative. i hear that the smear campaign will be up in mass. it started with the lee atwater campaign in 1988 with the negative ads. i just hope that if hillary gets hit with a lot of i think the benghazi ordeal was a scam scandal. there was no standout order. i think most of the lies are coming from the right wing crowd. i'm tired of hearing about negativity. i want to hear why we should vote for somebody as opposed to something else. i am tired of the smear tactics from the other side. thank you very much. host: catherine lucey, pick up
on that and republican reaction to hillary clinton's announcement and now the van to or through iowa. -- tour that's probably pretty unlikely and given the times that we are in. there has been interest on the republican side on clinton, when she will get in, and certainly there have been criticisms and negative commentary about her before this. certainly, now that there is a candidate in the race, the huge republican field can focus on her a lot more directly, and they probably will. host: we should know that hillary clinton will be in monticello, iowa later today. you can watch that appearance on c-span 2 at 1:15 eastern time, 12:15 central.
speaking of the ability to go out and see presidential candidates, a tweet from jody. she says, iowa is the only state one can talk to the presidential hopefuls. we will go to paul waiting in chesapeake, virginia. our line for independents. caller: a couple of comments here. one is a question. are any governors looking to get into the race and set of senators? some of these senators who are getting in our young. we just went through eight years of that. can this -- the second question is hillary clinton claims to champion the middle-class. 12 years in the governor's mansion in arkansas, eight years in the white house, and then secretary of state. my question is whether she really know about the middle-class? thank you.
host: shira center at "boston globe" if you want to take that. guest: when you have 21 possible republican candidates, yes, some of them are governors, most notably, scott walker, governor of wisconsin. he is pulling quite well in some of the early polls. governor jeb bush is another essential candidate with executive experience. other candidates who are not pulling as well, former new york governor, george pataki, just to name one. host: catherine lucey, if you want to pick up on the challenge of hillary clinton relating to a middle-class americans. guest: that certainly is what she is setting out to do here. she is going to be here talking one-on-one with real people. we saw the tone she is setting
in her video. she wants to connect with everyday folks on their problems and concerns, looking to the future. i think one of the things she will be talking about, she said on her website, she wants to be people's champion. whether -- in terms of how she will say this, i think it will be, i understand your concerns, i will fight for your concerns, and i think that is how she will focus on this. host: you have this recent story from ap, about another former executive on the campaign trail, martin o'malley. guest: certainly. martin o'malley has been in iowa several times recently as he ponders a 2016 democrat bid as well. he has been well received here. i saw him at a couple of events, and he is definitely offering a
percu progressive message talking about income inequality, raising minimum wage, financial reform in terms of oversight of banking, and people are responding to that. i think he has a message that people are interested in. also, democratic activist year want to see options. they don't want to have a coronation, so to speak, of hillary clinton. host: hillary clinton so far ahead in the early polls that we have seen. catherine lucey, do they matter at this point? shira center, i want to get your thoughts on this of as well. guest: certainly the polls matter. it is adjusting, almost one year out from the iowa caucus surprises can happen. these are not states where you
put in time, if you're really making the rounds, meeting with people, people are going to listen and are going to give you a shot. the caucus voters -- the caucus participants here really want to that the options and take seriously that they are first in the nation. they will give anyone who comes in here a look. host: just one of those polled on the democratic side of the ticket, hillary clinton ahead by 40 points in north carolina to her next closest challenger potential challenger, vice president joe biden. o'malley with just 5% to clinton's 53% in that "foreign policy" poll. shira center, do polls matter at this point? guest: not really, but not why you think. yes, it is early, they measured largely by name identification.
hillary clinton, as we have discussed, is well-known. even if you have something like nine candidates really active in the primary, the winner will only get between 15% and 17% of the vote, maybe 20% if they really have a blowout. if you're looking at numbers that small, it is extremely hard to judge this far out how well a candidate can do. host: for about the next half hour or so on "washington journal" we will be talking about this topic. david is on the line. caller: it seems our politics have become some sort of perverted the editor. -- theater. any politician that does not raise millions of dollars cannot run. any politician that says anything against israel, even if
it is true, cannot run. hillary is not even talking about -- rand paul, for instance, who i am not a fan of has said some things that are common sense about how america should free itself from its relationship to israel. the media does not give him due time like they will clinton or rubio, or jeb. kennedy, when he said that there are forces that want to enslave america, we know three weeks later, he was killed. americans need to stop being transfixed with the theater and get down to the truth. host: catherine lucey, the first part of the question has to do with fund raising expectations. what are the expectations on hillary clinton after her announcement over the weekend? guest: i know that obviously she
is getting right into fund-raising. they are starting right away and they will raise huge amounts of money. the race on both sides -- we have seen this the last few cycles, there are so many vehicles for fundraising and spending as far as candidate committees, and also outside the committees. huge amounts of money can come and in a lot of different ways. she will have ample opportunity to raise and access funds. it does create a certain kind of race. absolutely. host: shira center, on the colors second point on maybe foreign policy in general, or israel policy specifically, as it will factor into the presidential contest and primary. guest: right. i think especially on the republican field, you will be hard-pressed to find a candidate that doesn't describe himself or
herself as a partner and friend of israel. i think it will be the same on the democratic side. republicans in particular have been emphasizing a relationship with israel more and more over the last decade or so. i think the current negotiations in iran will keep the issue in the forefront, at least through the summer, as we find out the details in early august, conveniently around the time of one of the first debates. host: donnas up next in redding california. thank you for getting up early with us on "washington journal." caller: i have a little bit of a cold, site so i hope i can do this. marco rubio slogan yesterday was "a new american century," which is kind of interesting. i thought it might be a shot out to the -- shout out to the
military-industrial complex going back to the draft for the new american century where neocons wanted to get military spending back up to reagan era levels. i wondered if you might be reaching out to them a little bit. thanks. host: catherine lucey on the new american century slogan what do you think ago rubio is trying to refer to hear? guest: obviously, the slogan could have a number of meetings. the most basic one is that he is trying to frame himself as a new phase, a new voice, and the future in the republican party and that will contrast him with others in the race. certainly, going back to our comments about hillary clinton and can she reinvent, reposition herself. that is a contrast for her. rubio is new and presents new
ideas. i think her critics will say that she represents the past. host: el paso, texas is up next. my for republicans where gina is waiting period good morning. caller: good morning. action, i was a former democrat. i was reading for hillary -- routing for hillary in 2008, and was very disappointed when she lost in the iowa caucus. john edwards has basically been a disgrace. how can iowa come it's the rest of the nation that hillary should be number one when they tried to commence us that she wasn't good enough in 2008, because we needed hope and change? she was supposed to be the one for hope and change now, but she
wasn't then. so if the democrats didn't want her then, why would they want her now? i think it is hypocritical that the democratic party is gung ho that she is a formidable candidate when they said she should drop out of the race and stay one. host: catherine lucey, based in iowa, another caller concerned about iowa being the lead here in the primary season, as iowa always is. can you talk a little bit about it from your perspective on the ground? guest: obviously, iowa does get a lot of flak about being first and having this intimate access to candidates and this voice in the process. i think activists here would say that they take the process very seriously and this is a place where candidates can do a kind of one-on-one retail politicking
that they can't easily do a bigger states with bigger media markets. clinton can come here and really have these experiences with voters that may be would be harder to do in other places. the selection versus 2008 democrats now and then. it's a different election. a different field of candidates. there were a lot of i would democrats that like tillery in 2008. she did get a lot of support in the caucuses, even though she ultimately came in third. there are a lot of people here who are excited and do think it is her time and are quote ready for hillary. i think there are people who are ready for her and there are people who wanted options -- what options i want to wait a little while and see what's out there. they are committed to the process here. host: "boston globe"'s shira
center in new hampshire, a state where hillary clinton briefly took back momentum during the primary. guest: absolutely. after her loss in iowa, as the caller mentioned, third place she came to new hampshire and rebounded and defeated barack obama in the new hampshire primary by just a few points. it propels her an extended the democratic primary you could argue, several months beyond that. it changed the dynamic of the race. if you want to talk about access to candidates, voters in new hampshire, because the state is so small, really have excellent access, maybe even more intimate than iowa voters, given the size of the state. there is an old joke about a new hampshire voter deciding about a candidate saying what, i only met them twice. that is how goes in the small states. host: we will try to bring
c-span viewers access to the new hampshire republican party "first in the nation" leadership summit on friday kicking off at 9:00 a.m. the "boston globe" sure to have coverage as well. back to the calls. line for democrats. caller: good morning. what i was calling about was the smear campaign you have that hillary clinton will face. what about martin o'malley? the extramarital affairs that he had with women and one the had to have covered up by his father-in-law. what about that? host: catherine lucey, do you want to cover this? you followed martin o'malley around iowa and it. guest: i can't speak to a smear campaign.
what i can say is that he was well received in iowa, no one was talking about any such allegations at any events that i was at. i think he has a lot of opportunity here. host: let's go to leave from alexander, virginia. caller: thank you for taking my call. i appreciate it. my question is this -- the 2008 election showed the face-off between the old guard in both the democrat party and republican party versus obama and clinton, and then obama and mitt romney. my question is as we go into the next election, who is like the two potentially upset in the democratic party? clinton, the same way that barack obama did. is there a candidate out there with the same sort of name recognition, charisma, and potential momentum that could provide enthusiasm that obama
provided? host: shira center, do you want to lead off on this one? guest: absolutely. just looking at the timing of the cycle as a whole, certainly at this point in the 2008 cycle when hillary clinton looks like the front runner, we knew that barack obama was looking at the race. he was very years about the race. he might have already announced his exploratory committee. we knew about this even one year ago indie 2008 cycle. this time around, there is no one specifically on the horizon who has that kind of national following, the charismatic leadership, who has said that they are interested in running. i think the only candidates that already have those qualities are elizabeth moran. she has said repeatedly that she has no plans to run, does not want to run, and it is not in the future for her. she would be the only person, the i think hillary clinton could potentially be upset by in
this primary. it is notable, if you look at hillary clinton's messaging, she is talking about a lot of things that elizabeth mora warren talks about all the time. host: shira center, to add your answer to bill kings question on twitter saying, will elizabeth warren and bernie sanders push hillary clinton's position further left? guest: i do not think bernie sanders, with all due respect to the senator from vermont, having a large impact on which way hillary clinton goes. elizabeth warre has artie hadn an effect on the candidate. host: we want to hear from our
viewers for the next 15 minutes or so. we had shira center and catherine lucey. a special line for new hampshire and iowa. we would like to hear from you this morning on "washington journal." that number, (202) 748-0003. in the meantime, we will go to one of the swing states with yolanda. good morning. caller: good morning, thank you for taking my call. i just wanted to give my comment. i can't believe it when i hear people say, it's her turn. it is nobody's turn. are we just -- aren't we to take the most experienced? i keep seeing whitewater e-mail scandals and benghazi -- that bothers me a lot. when i see pictures of the people who lost their lives and
then hillary answering questions saying, what difference does it make? i just don't trust her. i'm sorry. we need some fresh new faces, i think. host: if you want to pick up on that, catherine lucey, the trust issue and how the clinton campaign reacts to comments like, it's her turn. guest: i think the clinton camp is trying to get as far as way as possible from comments like "it's her turn." by driving to iowa in a van and having meetings with voters. they are being clear that she wants to earn every vote. she will fight for every vote. they are trying very hard to get away from any suggestion that she is taking this for grantendd, that she expects this. they are comparing this to her campaign in new york where she
did a big listening tour, met with lots of people, and convince the state that she was the right thing for senator. they say she wants to work for it like that again. host: you mention the van already. the name "scooby" is the van. "usa today" has a story specifically on scooby -- scooby students clinton to iowa. there is the headline there. guest: i think of it looks like the school event, we would have a much easier time finding her. host: talk about that. why has it been so tough to find her? is the on purpose by the lenten campaign? she has showed up on social media occasionally. possibly at a chipotle, with reports last night. guest: it looks like they are trying to keep this trip loki. they are not sending out tons of
twitter pictures on the road with people. otherwise, she appeared to go to that chipotle, not really telling anyone who she was, and just ordered whatever was. host: there is her picture from -- her in a picture from "new york times." shira center, your thoughts on the low-key nature and trying to catch hillary clinton on the security cameras. guest: it's interesting. she could have taken selfies everywhere from new york to monticello, iowa, but they didn't. i think they wanted to keep it low-key. it reminds me of mitt romney's campaign when he went on his every mentor and bragged about getting the $4.99 hamburgers and flying southwest all the time. they don't want to overdo it, and it looks a little bit more natural if you have a reporter calling the aaa in toledo,
rather than taking a selfie with the staff making a burrito bowl. host: jim is up next in texas. caller: am i on? host: yes sir. caller: ok. what i wanted to share with you is all the women i talked to -- republican, independent, and democrat -- they all love hillary. i don't understand that. i'm a man. they say, well, the republicans they have white males. i'm a white male. all my friends are white males. all my friends are democrats. where are they getting the story that they've got the white male? then, you think about hispanics. you think about african-americans. talk about asians. they all love hillary. it's got to be a landslide, man! host: catherine lucey, if you
want to pick up on the voting blocs that the clinton camp is trying to pick up. , and specifically the female vote. guest: obviously, in the weeks and months leading up to the announcement, hillary clinton has been doing a lot of speaking events and talking more about gender equality, equity in the workplace, issues that matter to women. that is a conscious two 2008 when she did not really, at least at the get go, talk about those things as much. certainly, i think that will be a much bigger focus in the campaign, appealing to women and issues that are important to them. . whether not it will be a landslide, i think we will have to wait and see. host: catherine lucey, a question from insta graham what
about taking questions at events? guest: i do not know she will take questions at the evidence. there will be press at one event today, at least an event today and one tomorrow. i assume they're also be of ready of unscheduled stops. i think she would take questions from people she is meeting with because she is doing roundtable discussions. in the committee college today i did she is doing a talk with educators and students. tomorrow, some sort of business roundtable. i think that will create the opportunity for people to ask questions and share concern. host: we have a few more minutes left with catherine lucey and shira center if you want to ask her questions about 2016, we will try to get to your calls. jimmy is in panama city, florida. line for independent. caller: i have a quick comment.
why would anyone, if we have a national disaster -- i am a clinton supporter. for a woman there's no problem with me. i think she will be a good president and i will vote for her. host: jimmy, are you still with us? shira center, do you want to pick up on any of jimmy's comments there? guest: i didn't quite hear what he was talking about. host: referring to na natural disasters. guest: we know, here massachusetts, people have been trying to get federal funding for the huge snow that has been a battle for the governor here. eight is an important issue that does not just affect a tropical stator blades day.
it is something that the next occupant of the presidential office will have to spend time on. host: do you want to talk about chris christie and maybe some of the thoughts about him dealing with natural disasters and of course, the hurricane in new jersey? guest: absolutely. chris christie's presidential campaign is probably not -- has probably not gotten off to the start that he hoped. he is coming to new hampshire today. he is coming back again later this week, two times. he is doing a series of town halls, something like nine events where he is meeting and reading voters. he iss famous for doing these in new york. he will be showing new hampshire -- people from new hampshire what that is like. one of the things he will talk about is how he hanleddled the
sandy crisis. he got good reviews for how he handled that hurricane a few years ago. i think what he will say is this is a part of my record and qualification to be commander in chief. host: back to ohio dayton, ohio, where david is waiting on the line for democrats. caller: i would like to remind people that it doesn't matter really who you elect as president. as long as you have a do nothing congress. we have 40 senators and congress who say they will be there forever. no matter what, you get a president who will be able to issue executive orders because you have a do-nothing congress. host: catherine lucey, do you want to pick up on how congress plays into the campaign messages here? guest: certainly a in iowa and other states, there will be an effort to try and build numbers
in congress from both parties. democrats had a tough year last year. they lost the senate race. they are now down to just one of four house seats in iowa. i think one of the messages that clinton is trying to push is that she will help with party building. she will be here for democrats to build up their bench and be competitive. whether that helps them game ground in congress next year, or takes longer, that remains to be seen. host: shira center, do you want to take a take on this? guest: one of the most undercover themes of the obama presidency was his relationship with congress and just how bad it was. part of that is because he was just in the senate for a few years before he went to the oval office. he did not have the basis for
relationships as his number two, joe biden, did. that's what you have seen so may times that obama would try to make a deal, and that he would send it joe biden to work out the details. hillary clinton is different. she did serve a full term plus. also, her family has been so ingrained in democratic politics for the past several years that she has built relationships and the clinton's have fun race for so many senators and politics. it would be a very different relationship between a democratic president and a republican congress and the one we have seen for the last six years. host: shira center joining us from the "boston globe" newsroom there and boston. let's head to not far away in new bedford, massachusetts where
crystal is waiting. caller: thank you for to get my call. i just wanted to make a comment about hillary and how she is going to be bashed. we all know she will be bashed because she is hillary. i just want to ask a question -- how come nobody is talking about senator cruz and his wife having obamacare? thank you. host: catherine lucey, do you want to pick up on that whether ted cruz in particular, or the affordable care act in general. guest: obviously, senator cruz has been a key critic of the afford will care act, president obama's health care overhaul. i saw him here in i would recently and he was talking to his situation. his wife has taken a leave of out since -- leave of absence from her job. they are now deciding how they will get coverage for the family. one option is to get coverage through his job as a senator,
which i think technically means going through the exchange system. it's essentially just getting the coverage that is said it would get under any circumstance. he said it was not clear yet what they would do and that they were still deciding. host: let's go to frank in augusta, georgia, line for republicans. caller: hello. am i on? host: yes, sir, go ahead. caller: i went to make some comments about hillary. number one when hillary was in the white house, she came up with this horrible health care plan that was even worse, if it could be, then obamacare. she ran for a senator and did absolutely nothing as a senator. after that, of course, we know, she became the secretary and did nothing there. what i'm so tired of hearing
about hillary is all these people, you asked them, what has she done, and they see what she is for. she is for the middle-class class, for this, for that, but she does not have a plan. she has done nothing of the first lady, as a senator, and done nothing but hurt us as a secretary. if she gets bashed, it is for her lack of -- what's the word i'm looking for -- that she should not be president. i cannot get the word. i'm so afraid if we get hillary in the white house, she will finish destroying this country that obama started. host: shira center, what has been the obama camp reaction to comments like that on hillary's record? guest: they mention her brea dth of since service.
they call her one of the most qualified candidates to run for president. i'm sure the caller who called in when not agree with that assessment, but that is what the clinton campaign has espoused. as far as her accomplishments they talk about her work with women, starting small businesses across the globe. i also think some of her work in southeast asia. increasing stabilization across parts of that region. those are things that she might talk about on the campaign trail, but presidential campaigns on a whole candidates don't necessarily talk about their accomplishments. they talk about their vision for the future, why they want to be president. it will also be interesting just the notion of accomplishment of any of the candidates for the past several years. a lot of the candidates on the republican side are from the
u.s. senate, and we know covers hasn't been actually and getting things done in the last few years, and there were others who oversaw their state and a pretty terrible economy and the last few years. it will be interesting to see how all of the candidates talk about their call for smith on the campaign trail. host: running out of time on a segment here. harsher, can you make it quick? caller: yes. i want to know how marco rubio can run for the presidency and both his parents are both of cuban the set. do not have to be a u.s. citizen to be a u.s. president or vice president? thank you for taking my call. host: catherine lucey, do you want to take this? guest: i don't know the details of marco rubio's bio, which is probably a good reason for me to read his book, but as far as i understand it, he is a u.s. citizen. guest: i'm pretty sure he was on in america, so that makes him a
u.s. citizen. ted cruz has the seller situation because he was born in canada, though maybe on the military days? this provision that the caller refers to date back several years when there was fear of having a king run the u.s.. host: i want to thank catherine lucey, based in iowa, a busy day today and tomorrow we appreciate your time. i also want to thank shira center from the "boston globe" newsroom where she is politics editor. thanks so much. up next, iraqi prime minister -- the new prime minister will be in washington dc today at the white house to meet with the president. we will be discussing that meeting with former u.s. ambassador to iraq, christopher hill. later, we will open up our phones to talk about public policy issues that you are
interested in and readjust the question about u.s. tax policy. we will be right back. ♪ >> were you a fan of c-span's first ladyies series? "first ladies" is now a book. based on original interviews with 50 the eminent historians and biographers, learn details of all 45 first ladies who made these women who they were. their lives, partnerships with their spouses. the book, "first ladies," provides lively stories of these fascinating women who survived the scrutiny of the white house, sometimes i rate personal cost, while supporting their families and famous husbands, and even changed history's. c-span's "first ladies" is an
inspiring read and is now available through your favorite bookstore or online bookseller. >> "washington journal" continues. host: on the day that iraqi prime minister abadi is expected to meet with president obama at the white house, we welcome former u.s. ambassador to iraq christopher hill, act to our program. what is on the table today for the meeting between the president and the prime minister? guest: i think there will be a lot on the isis crisis. certainly, out ofal-abadi will want to brief the president after a difficult run of his head assessor. he's speaking english. it should be a much more, sort of, pleasant meeting for the president. nonetheless, the issues are tough. host: you mentioned some of the
previous tensions with the prime minister. what is the relationship like between president obama and prime minister haider al-abadi? guest: i think that will be a development. honestly, they had talked on the phone before. abadi has lived in the west, he speaks english. i think it will be easier to talk to him. unlike maliki he would come to washington and raise issues that no one expected him to raise. the president wouldn't know what to do with them. i think abadi will be a lot more user-friendly. that said, these are tough issues. what to do about isis, what to do with the shiite militia groups, what to do with the iranian presence on the ground in iraq, which has clearly grown
. finally, abadi is look at situation where his oil revenues are down. they have had some production problems. there are a lot of problems in iraq, and they have the sense that somehow we have abandoned them. they will have to get down to the point on these discussions. host: one of the reports from reuters yesterday, iraq's leader to seek arms for deferred payment in this u.s. visit. a story about what is on the table today in the meeting between the prime minister and president. if that is as today, will that be a tough sell, especially in light of how troops performed in the advancement of isis last year? guest: on a certain level everybody understands the need for more arms for the iraq he army. on another level, people look at isis parading around with
american equipment captured from the iraqi army, so there is a little skepticism of throwing good money after bad. abadi need to make the case that he has turned things around. the iraqi army is performing a lot better than it was a few months ago, but nonetheless, any arms sale, big arms sale, must get approved by congress. congress is in a skeptical mood about what is going on in iraq. host: viewers, if you want to join the conversation, we're talking to former u.s. ambassador to iraq, christopher hill, and before that served as secretary of state to pacific affairs and with us for the next 20 to 25 minutes or so. republicans can call in, (202) 748-8001. democrats, (202) 748-8000.
independents, (202) 748-8002. i want your assessment on how the iraqi government is assessing the competing differences between the united states and iran as they try to defeat the threat of isis in their country. guest: the essential problem is we live in a sectarian age. when the u.s. went into iraq what had been a suge knight lead country, with saddam hussein although most say that he was not sunni, so we turn it into a shiite led country. to some extent, iraq is the black sheep because the sunnis in the middle east they stretch from iraq's borders all over to
morocco. they have a strategic depth. they do not accept this idea of a shiite led -- also, their help to al-assad, they are hoping hezbollah, and meanwhile iranians seem to be cheerleading the success of the houthis in yemen who are also shiite. the sunni arabs look at what they but to believed to be a shiite advance, but we are -- what we are asking them is to not worry about shiite, but about the suge knight radicals -- sunni radicals in iran. host: i want to get your opinion
on the iranian nuclear program. was this a good deal? guest: you always have to say, compared to what? i know there are a lot of people that thought they could have reached a better deal with iranians. it certainly creates a path forward. we have to see whether or not they can cross the tees and. the eyes with this agreement, which they have three months to put together. if it works, there is no question that it is a good deal. if there are problems with implementation or with international observers, then it will be a real difficulty for the obama administration to sell. for now, i think it is a way forward, and i wish people would give them more of a chance that may have. host: for those watching, in washington dc today for news on
this front, the senate foreign relations committee is set to take up the menendez bill that would give them a 60 day review on any deal. it has bipartisan support. you can check it out on c-span 3 at 2:15 for that committee markup. and after hill, your thoughts on congress's role in any kind of final agreement that is reached year? guest: the antecedents of this are complicated. first of all, there were the landmark agreements with the soviet union. these were legal treaties that did indeed require congresses, or senates, consent. most agreements around the world are done by the administration through an executive process. that is that they are political
deal, not leo deals -- legal deals. the problem is that the president signaled his the decision to rule through executive degrees given difficulties with congress. the iran deal gets caught up in the executive privileges and compared to the fact that in the past with the soviet union, we had legal arms agreements. it will require a mammoth amount of consultation. you will have to unleash joe biden on the senate and work with his former colleagues there. it will be very difficult because there is a mountain of distrust on pennsylvania avenue these days. host: let's get the calls. jack has been waiting in providence, rhode island, line for republicans. good morning. caller: good morning. even though i am a republican, the united states did help
create some of these problems in iraq, like back in the 80's, we were a supporter of saddam hussein because we used them as a buffer against iran. just like in the 40's, we were aligned with the soviet union because we couldn't defeat others who were too good and too strong. under the bush administration saddam hussein, he had to go. he was a strong man, but when he was there, none of these problems existed because he crushed them. granted, he was brutal. now that he is gone, there is a power vacuum, and it has created a multitude of problems that we help create. host: ambassador hill, do you want to pick up on that? your assessment on how much responsibility the u.s. has in the problems in iraq today. guest: if you live there, as i have lived there, and you see
what saddam hussein did to that country and to his people, you don't mourn the day that we got rid of saddam hussein. he was a pretty hideous character. at the same time, you have the impression at times that the u.s. did not know what we were dealing with there. we thought if we somehow got rid of saddam hussein, there was this level of middle-class and issues based politics yearning to flourish in a democratic environment. in fact, when you get rid of governance, even bad governance in the case of saddam hussein, you have people taking refuge in old loyalties. those tend to be sectarian. people did become a little more shiite and sunni. i guess you can lay some blame on the united states, but i get tired of this blame game stuff, mainly in washington.
i see there is a little bit of it in providence, rhode island by the way, the capital of my home state. i begin is necessary to -- think it is necessary to see what we do now and let the historian sort out the issues of who made mistakes in the past. host: a question from twitter referring to this front page story in "the new york times," and also in several other papers today, russia to sell missiles to iran, which may cloud the negotiations. see of tranquility asks, what could the impact beyond the region? guest: obviously, this is not well-received by the entire region. if you remember, sunni arabs have no interest in seeing iran get rearm to. their argument against the
nuclear deal is that it will reverse sanctions, and you will see more such deals. for those who have been saying don't do this nuclear deal, they have exhibit a already. i must say, vladimir putin, when faced with the right thing to do or wrong thing to do, he almost 100% of the time chooses the latter, and i think this is an example of it. host: did you ever get a chance to meet him with your years of service with the u.s. state department? guest: no. i was able to shake his hand once. that was enough. host: what was your impression of the man when he shook his hand? guest: [laughter] he is someone who looked at his country's performance in the 1990's and decided it was time to make a big change and get russia back on its feet. he has done so in a way that has been extremely damaging to prescience relations, not only with its bordering
countries, like ukraine, but with the entire world. i think to some extent, p utin has taken rush out of the business of being a great power, working in concert with other countries to solve the world's problems to becoming a problem of itself. i think we are going into a bad patch with putin. host: we have former ambassador christer hill with us for about the next half hour or so. he was ambassador to iraq and also former deputy secretary of state in pacific affairs. democrats, (202) 748-8000. republicans, (202) 748-8001. independents, (202) 748-8002. frank is on the line for independents, pensacola, florida. caller: about one year ago, i was watching cnn and they ran a
special on billion dollars of aid for weapons. it was given over to a bicycle salesman in the netherlands. he ran off with $1 million of the money. do you know what ever happened to that? the last i saw on that is that he was in the south of france, and was not being extradited. host: investor phil, a case that you have heard about? guest: no, i can't speak to the specifics of that. i can tell you that the arms sales business around the world -- certainly, the united states tries to regulate carefully are sales of arms, we have some pretty impressive systems, and we make sure we have a robust system to make sure these things don't get into the wrong hands. i tell you, there are a lot of private arms merchants out there. what to say is it is not a
profession that i would encourage my children to be in. host: tom is in clinton maryland. line for democrats. caller: i beg to differ with a master hill about this being a bad deal -- ambassador hill about this being a bad deal. russian selling them missiles so that the deal is copper might already. let me say, as long as the deal stays on the table, i think it is worth it for us. we need to come to some sort of deal. if they go against this deal, they will have some idea of what we can do. how things stand now, we will have to bomb iran. with these sophisticated weapons systems that russia is selling them, we will take great losses.
we need to come to some sort of understanding, some sort of deal, that is verifiable. it may not be the best deal, but it will be something to hold their feet to the fire. guest: i don't disagree with that. i certainly oppose the russian decision to make use of this framework agreement and sell iran sophisticated arms. frankly, i think the russians are in it for profit rather than in it for any sort of overall framework agreement on iran's nuclear program. i do get really undermines support for the framework agreement. otherwise, it makes it more difficult to get to the next stage. i think it is a very that decision from the russians. as i was suggesting, it is kind of part and parcel of how they behave in the world. they said care what the rest of us think. i think it is a very decision, and i think the u.s. government will be very clear in opposing it. host: let's go to pamela in fort
worth, texas. ,, good morning. caller: good morning. i just wanted to add isis is so well supported with money and arms. the other side is in. they are like begging for help. who is supporting isis with the much money? why are they so accepted as a military force and the other side, who we are supposed to be for, is just drowning and losing lives. host: ambassador hill. guest: i think one of the problems with isis is -- as hideous of an organization as they are, they have been successful in raising funds through the usual kidnappings and robberies. as you recall, when they first entered in mosul, they hit the banks.
they also have a network in the middle east of extreme sunni -shiite supporters to support what they are doing. this came up in the past, making sure that money wasn't going into iraq to support the insurgency. this came up in 2006-2007 and many were supportive in making sure that there were no money flows from them to the insurgents at the time. now, things have fallen apart in many ways. part of what the united states is trying to do is make sure that these countries are much more vigilant than they have been. the other problem, of course, is whether the iraqis and kurds even these shiite militia groups will get what they need to stop isis. of course, when you talk of shiite groups and kurds, you don't get a lot of se support from the sunni arabs.
that said, others have been supportive, jordan is one of them. it is something that requires constant diplomacy to make sure we can dry up funds dices and constant diplomacy to make sure that arms are being transferred to those who are actually in the battlefield, dealing with isis. i think one of the points that prime minister a laal-abadi will make today is, look, you want to battle isis, my army is the one out there battling them, give us more to do it. host: is the iraq he army winning -- iraqi armie winning? what is your assessment of the situation on the ground now? guest: my assessment -- i would follow the conventional wisdom that the iraqi army is doing
better, but its success is often dependent on these shia militia groups coup are dependent on support from iran. that is not a very positive development. i think the iraqi army is in the right direction, but the issue is whether he can succeed without these very shiite militia groups who were such a problem in the insurgency. -- insurgency period in iraq back in 2007. they have demonstrably shown that they are not a supporter of democracy, or much less of shiite outreach in iraq, which is a process that is very necessary for potential reconciliation in the country. host: ambassador chris hill, u.s. ambassador to iraq in 2009 and two dozen 10. he was also u.s. ambassador to
korea and:, and macedonia -- korea, poland, and macedonia. a frequent guest, we appreciate it. caller: good morning, thanks for having me on. i just want to reiterate -- a caller spoke to the fact that we are always going to these areas and pitting one side against the other side, playing this game of basically chess over there. when things go badly, we pull out. it is a shame that this happened so many times around different places and the world, especially the middle east. the gentleman was making the statement that he is tired of accepting the blame for what has happened in the past.
you have to accept the blame if you are the main cause of the problem. like a set, which we have been and quite a few spots around the host: what are our responsibilities in iraq? caller: we made a big mess of the situation. you can see that a lot of this conflict and the bottle drawings -- that lines are drawn along ethnic lines. we exasperated the situation like the gentle and said when we took out saddam hussein. he was an evil dictator as many dictators are, but we support them. host: do you think in and states should be involved in the fight against isis? caller: of course.
again, you talk about regime change in syria, what's going to happen after that? we make these knee-jerk decisions over there. we don't always understand the consequences. host: ambassador, do you want to jump in? guest: i don't disagree with the crux of what the caller is saying. i think we've made a lot of mistakes. i think we win in their thinking regime change in iraq would be a process that would lead to democracy. when you change regime, you have to be prepared for something even worse to happen. what we got was something pretty bad in terms of sectarian of violence that has yet to abate. it has been spread. my problem with this lame game is everything goes into this partisan meatgrinder in washington. before you know it, you have republicans lined up wanting to
say we had this thing in good shape and then president obama came along and undid all the progress we made it. i get tired of that. i think we need to get back to a. time in our history where politics takes a break the water's edge and we figure out how to work through things. we try to present our things as a much more united and organized country than we do. that's been my problem with senators. i know there are frustrations in dealing with president obama. i don't think that should oil over in a letter to an ayatollah and tell him to pay no attention to our president. this kind of politics and blame is out of hand in washington right now. it's hurting our country internationally. host: arizona is up next for
republicans. caller: i have two points. my question is, why don't we just crank up art sanctions against him? you don't like that, we will crank those that boys up. the second thing with hooton -- vladimir putin, we will put defensive weapons in ukraine. host: ambassador hill? guest: first of all, with regard to sanctions there are people in iran who are feeling the effects of the sanctions and want to end the sanctions. it they understand there is a price for those sanctions namely to get away from producing nuclear weapons.
people like the iranian negotiator he understands that iran needs to give up something to get something. there are a lot of iranians who don't agree with that proposition. for many iranians who have profited from sanctions, they are something that you take normal commerce and often with sanctions, you have to go around normal commerce. you've got organized crime involved in normal commerce. it can create problems are generations to come. one of the problems i have with the sanctions program, it has hurt the iranian economy that good people are saying to sort this out with the west on
nuclear weapons. my problem with the idea of sanctions is i don't think it has hurt the people we want to hurt. i don't think they are well targeted. i think you see the revolutionary guard very much benefiting from this illegal trade. when you look at the nuclear program and the growth in the number of centrifuges, that's the equipment is used to spin enriched uranium into weapons grade enriched uranium. we haven't seen any breaks in the ability to produce more centrifuges. i'm not so convinced that sanctions will be enough to succeed. i think there needs to be a negotiation component. i think it's fair to be concerned if it's going to lead to the kind of agreement we need. i think it's a start and i think
it's worth letting it play out. with respect to vladimir putin we have the option to escalate things horizontally. if he does something in iran, we could do something in ukraine. these are different situations. ukraine is a very dicey situation. i don't know that i want to see us take actions in ukraine to dissuade vladimir putin from taking actions in iran. it's complicated enough without that kind of escalation. the caller is right. we should be looking at things across the board. i think we should be careful about things we do across the board. host: michael is in maryland. go ahead. you're on the former ambassador christopher hill. caller: i believe the best thing
that barack obama could do at this point would talk about reconciliation with the sunnis. if he could get them to understand that they are part of iraq and whatever happened in 2003, it's over now. host: you are saying the president should encourage the prime minister to make that reconciliation? caller: absolutely. and with the kurds. you have a disenfranchised group of people who were the army of iraq. when you are looking at isis and the sunni population in iraq right now, the reason they are finding it difficult is because they are fighting their own countrymen mostly. there are people from outside who come in to agitate and all of that. the people who have skin in the game are the people who actually
live there. as long as they are outside the government and they feel disfranchised, they are going to be a thorn in any iraqi government that is formed. host: how far away are we from any sort of reconciliation with the color is hoping for here? guest: the caller is absolutely right. this is what president obama should be really pushing for. it reminds me about what a manager in baseball says when he comes to the mound. i want to keep the ball down. what do you think i've been trying to do this whole game. you bet i am trying to do outreach to the sunnis. i get that. i know that has to happen. the problem is not every sunni
what's to be outraged by the shia. there needs to be some pressure on the sunnis to realize the reality that they are in a country that is 60% shia. the 20% are used to running the place. if he can become nelson mandela, he understood that he wanted the 20% of south africa, the white south africans, to the part of the future of the country. he won the nobel peace prize for successful outreach to the white south africans. if he could do that with the sunnis, 80 he would be a candidate for the nobel peace prize. it's a very difficult process. the sunnis have a lot of resentment about being under the shia. they have resentment about being under maliki. they have a strategic get that
goes all the way to morocco. they are not anxious to be the only sunnis living under a shooting -- shia regime. the president's right to press that and ask how the help in pressing that. i think he will be saying, mr. president, that's what i'm trying to do every day of the year. host: the caller brings up the kurds. the you think the end game for the kurds is a separate state? do they want to be a part of the future of iraq? guest: if you ask any card if they want to be an dependent they do. you can declare the c-span studio independent, but it doesn't really matter if nobody else wrecking dies is it. -- recognizes it. i think they know if they don't get international wrecking-ish and that it doesn't mean
anything. my sense with the kurds is they want to do things that are consistent with an aim of independence. i don't see them with any unilateral declaration of independence. i think their political leadership is wise enough to understand that it doesn't mean anything if they don't have some or starting with united states. host: elk grove village illinois is up next. caller: good morning. just a quick question. the current administration removed qadhafi. can you address what impact that has had on destabilization in the middle east to mark --? guest: qadhafi was an evil, murderous flu. -- buffoon.
when you get rid of someone, you want to try to think ahead and regret what you're going to get after him. so far, we have gotten a breakdown in law and order in libya. not that was -- it was in great shape with qadhafi. now there is trial loyalties. when you take away government structures, even that once, people find loyalties elsewhere. they found those loyalties not so much in sectarian identities as has happened in places like iraq, but tribal identities. it is been a very difficult position to get these people together defendant -- figure out if they can run the country together. they are having some big problems. the american embassy had to
close down because of the security situation. those who say that the libyan situation is worse than before, they do have an argument. host: let's head to boulder, colorado. caller: good morning. thanks for taking my call. i have a fairly simple question but i'm sure there is a complex answer. what role do the israelis play in the continuing conflict we see ammann -- among various sunni and shia groups at this time? guest: i think the israelis have to look at this in great detail and understand the nuances of this. i was in israel a year and a half ago talking to people in
their foreign ministry. it was very interesting how they track it. they did not talk about open society and democracy. they were very focused on what is going to happen with has the law -- has the law -- hezbola. if assad goes, what happens? i think they haven't broken down into looking at very specific circumstances to try and assess what the security implications are for israel. i think we have some top-notch analyst who look at this problem. we look at it from 30,000 feet and say well this is good for democracy or bad for democracy and they are looking very specifically at identities and
how this could affect their interests. by the way, how the situation in egypt is playing out, there is a lot of interest in radicalism in the sinai desert. that has been aided and abetted by the radicalism we have seen from isis and elsewhere. they have to look very specifically at the circumstances. they have to keep their ideology at the door and work analytically. i think they are pretty good at it. host: decatur alabama, the line for democrats. caller: good morning. i have a comment. i think the people of iraq will be fine. it doesn't matter what country tries to straighten them out or
get them to accept democracy. i don't think that's going to work created their makeup is not like that. i do have a question. on the talks with iran, i was in the impression that the talks were an agreement and not a treaty. if it's a tree -- treaty that's when congress can come in and make decision on what it would look like. in an agreement, and does not have to go through congress. host: ambassador hill? guest: the caller is absolutely right. most of these agreements are clinical agreements that do not require senate ratification. i think the confusion here as i
said earlier in the program, the confusion here is those old arms control agreements with the soviet union have the force of law and did have to go to the senate. i think people are looking at the iran deal and saying this looks to us like the soviet deal. why are we in the senate not taking action on it. i think the second point is when the president signaled that he was going to use a lot of executive decrees because he can't work with the congress or can't, congress to pass anything -- can't count on the congress to pass anything, this is another executive agreement. those are kind of the two factors. let me just mention that while i share the collars frustration about the fighting and the fact that i'm not sure that all the
people of that type of the world are open to democracy. with the shia/sunni issue, this is been going on entire time. i used to hear this argument when i dealt in the balkans. those people have hated each other for centuries. it's not true that they are always fighting. you need to find governance solutions where people feels a part of the nationstate. they are prepared to work with these solutions. there are things that are embedded in the constitution. i think the political arrangement work that we did in the balkans, creating a situation in bosnia where serves and muslims -- serbs and muslims could live together. i want to see what syria is
going to look like in the future. we talk about who we are going to give arms too. how are we going to determine if they are moderates? are we going to give them a questionnaire to determine who is a moderate? instead of talking about who we are going to arm, we should think clearly about what syria should be after the conflict here it conflicts to end. it does and. then you have to have government solutions. i think that's lacking in terms of determining what syria should look like in the future. host: ambassador christopher hill, we always appreciate the history of the insight. klees -- please come back and once again. guest: my pleasure. host: coming up next, we will revisit this question that we asked a day before tax day in
the united states. is the tax system fair? you can start calling in to talk about this question. we will get your calls when we come right back. >> this weekend, the cities to her is partnered with comcast to learn about saint augustine florida. >> ponce the lyons may or may not have been searching for the
front of use. he was out for a additional property for the colonization. this is true. we know that he came ashore after searching for good harbor and took on water. this area presents one of the few freshwater springs in the area. it's also the location of the 1565 settlement of san augustine, 42 years he for jamestown and 55 years before the pilgrims landed on plymouth rock. >> the hotel was built by henry morrison. he is a man who is very little known outside of florida. he was one of the wealthiest men in america. he essentially had been a cofounder of standard oil
company with john d rockefeller. he was a man who always wanted to undertake some great enterprise. as it turned out, florida was it. he realized that he needed to own the railroad between jacksonville and in augustine to ensure that guests can get to his hotel conveniently. clearly, the dream was beginning to grow. he was a man who had big dreams. he was a visionary. >> watch all of our events from san augustine on saturday at noon on c-span twos book tv. "washington dental -- journal" continues. host: is the tax system fair?
our phone lines are open if you want to join the conversation. we have split them up i income level. you can see the numbers there on the screen. are you getting your money's worth? is your tax bill about right? give us a call. we want to hear your thoughts in the last 40 minutes they. we will start with robert in california on the line for people who made between $25,000 and $60,000 last year. caller: good morning. host: go ahead, sir. caller: it's not about fairness, it's disproportionate. there are people who pay no tax at all and i would say anybody who works is not paying any taxes. you are paying in x amount.
that is kind of a problem i think. host: what is the solution to that problem? should government employees pay more in taxes? caller: i think there has to be a way where we are more accountable to what we are doing. you see a lot of people working in the government sector, they don't produce what they would be if they produced -- worked in the private sector. it would motivate them to do more. i feel by and large if you look at government employees, they tend to be more relaxed as far as being motivated and working. i know i'm going to hit a runner with a lot of people, but that's what we observe.
then you go to the other spectrum in big businesses that sell to the government and to the private sector, the producers are the only one selling to the public sector or the private sector. they are bring in their tax money. it's a very complex base. people can think for those examples. where is my money coming from? host: this is the time to talk about the tax system. it's on a lot of people's minds. we are asking our viewers if the tax system is fair. we have split up our collars a little bit different. some members of congress are tweeting about the tax day coming up.
that tax day is on the minds of their constituents. mike is in new jersey on the line for people that make between $61,000 and $100,000. good morning. caller: i have to say my taxes are 25 percent between state and federal. it seems like a lot. we are fairly safe. we have a strong military. services are probably the greatest in the world and that costs money. if you pay six dollars to get a latte. i don't feel overtaxed. we always with the money were spent at her. i have to say that it's fair considering the standard of living that we all have in the united states. host: you say it's a fair deal.
would you be willing to pay a little bit more? caller: if it would be spent well and helpful yes. i must say also that i am a democrat and that may bleed through. host: that is mike in new jersey. the pew research center asked equal if they pay too much, the right amount, or less than their fair share in taxes. 53% say they pay about the right amount and 40% say more than their fair share. 4% say less than their fair share. bill is up next in maine on the line for people making under $25,000. caller: my father -- thought is the system is a little bit screwed up because of a laughing -- lack of ethics in our government.
they are dependent on big money in order to become officials. they end up having to do what they need to do for these corporations in order to get elected or they will get somebody who will do what they want. i think there is a problem of ethics out there. we turned the word tax into a dirty word. we used to use our taxes for good things like infrastructure. everybody uses the roads. we are talking the wrong way about it. the last man was right. let's say the big multinational taxes, they are fighting to drop their taxes. if you look at the countries they have their businesses in right now, the people have no running water. i don't think we want to live like that. i think the corporate taxes for
these multinationals should go up in these other countries and help these other countries out and be spent well that way. i think a lot of it is a lack of ethics. that is my feeling on the whole thing. we should not be looking at it as a dirty word. host: tom is in virginia on the line for people who made over $100,000 last year. good morning. caller: i have to tell you i think this system is rotten from the top down. i talked to a guy who works for the irs, they are demoralized. they had been cut off financially to the point that they are dysfunctional. we are not getting the revenue out of people that we should be. the idea that people who work in
the government are not as good as people who work in the private sector, that is a myth. there needs to be some leadership from the congress and the president on how this is working or not working. if they want to abolish the irs like ted cruz suggests, what's the solution? they never give the solution. rick perry says he wants to abolish three things. do you realize that where the national weather service is based or the national institute for standards is based, people don't know anything. there is no solution. i think we should go to a flat tax and get these irs people working on something else. host: that is common for genia. on saturday, we were joined by the editorial director at kiplinger. we took your questions about taxes.
he also discussed the effect of budget cuts on the irs. here is a bit from that segment. >> i was at a speech. his predecessor who was the first commissioner said every time they cut the budget, we can get by with less. he says we don't have enough money. they have 5000 fewer agents auditing returns than there used to be five years ago. we all love to hate the irs. they keep the government going. congress loves to slash their funding. there was a controversy a few years ago. host: that was kevin mccormick
on our show. he got a question that he could not answer at the time. can you use your flexible spending accounts on kids medical expenses if they are still on your health insurance but too old to claim as dependents? i heard from him yesterday. he said in his follow-up yes the allow -- loud -- law allows for reimbursement. the child must be under 27 years old at the end of the year. there is no reimbursement if his birthday is in december. the rule keeps kids on policies up until 26. this is what the law allows. reimbursement for medical expenses for non-dependent child.
people should check with their employer to make sure the plan permits it. he thinks viewers for asking the question. that was his follow-up from his appearance on the show. the whole appearance is on our website. we want to go to maryland -- rhode island. this is some of you makes between $25,000 and $60,000. caller: it's not fair. it's not portion it to people's incomes. it doesn't get spent the way the people want it spent. it was unfair in the first place because it was a temporary tax when it was introduced. it became permanent. host: talk about your family. do you think that you are in a place that you can pay the taxes
that you are assessed each year? do you think you could pay more you think you pay too much? caller: we probably pay too much. this is based on our income. other things are never taken into account. we have serious medical expenses. we've got a low income for today's workers. it just doesn't take into account whether you can afford that level of tax. host: you think you are getting your money's worth of what you're paying right now? caller: no. it's not spent the way the people it spent. host: give us a specific example. caller: human services, education, infrastructure. all of the things we are doing without right now. host: what are the ways you don't like?
caller: the military wastes a lot of money. i think we are giving too much money to other countries. i think that the military budget is interfering with countries where we shouldn't. host: bill is up next in georgia on the line for people who make over $100,000 a year. are you getting your money's worth in the taxes that you paid pitcher? caller: i think so. thank you for taking my call. my complaint is people are making $116,000 don't have to pay any social security. i think that's wrong. i think it needs to be run up to $1 million. they are the ones that can afford it. that's how you can fix social security. it's an easy fix. they need to tax these offshore
accounts. that's the first thing they need to do. we are losing so much money in the cayman islands. if you want to live in this country and be protected by our military and don't want to pay taxes, excuse me. thank you. host: a story in the sports section of the usa today about some those very high earners. tax season is taxing for professional athletes.
you have to hire somebody to do that for you. they don't have to do that. i don't know what that money is paid for. we have to itemize. they need to be accountable for what they use it for. that's basically what i wanted to say. host: are you are green for a more simplified system? -- arguing for a more certified system? caller: i saw a little bit of it. i have not had enough time to really understand it. host: you can watch it more. the house will be talking about it on the floor over the next two days heading into that
deadline. we will show you all the gavel to gavel coverage here on c-span. charlotte is up next in a chicago on the line for people who make between $61,000 and $100,000. caller: i am so grateful to c-span. you are by far the best cable station that we can watch and listen to. my comments, i am ok with what we pay. i am not ok with what corporations are paying. i think there are too many corporations that are finding ways through loopholes and not paying their fair share. as an individual, it's very nerve-racking. i do have my own business and my husband works. we are in that price range. it's very nerve-racking.
i think about these corporations. general electric has gone years with you don't pay any taxes and it's a multibillion-dollar corporation. they have the ability to pay lawyers and accountants to help them work their way through so they don't have to pay anything. i do feel the less money you make, you should not be paying taxes. i don't think people making under $50,000 should be paying anything. they are not making enough money to cover a tax bill. i agree with most of what everyone else has been saying. i do think it's interesting how ted cruz talked about imagine abolishing the irs. host: you are talking about senator ted cruz from texas? caller: yes.
after he announced he is running for president, he went to new york and went to a fundraiser was held by the ceo of renaissance technology hedge fund. that was his next stop. it was also brought up on a new show last night that he has a tax bill owed to the irs that he is fighting. it's ironic that he wants to abolish the irs and he is funded by a hedge fund manager who may 06 billion dollars to the irs. there is so many -- much hypocrisy that goes on. i am grateful to live in this country. we have to be realistic. it runs country -- money to run
a country like this. we are very safe. thank you very much. host: the question we're asking our viewers in the last 20 minutes or so is is the tax system fair? we have called split up by income level. the phone lines are open now. let's go to 10 in tennessee on the line for people who make between $61,000 and $100,000. good morning. caller: i just want to say that i agree with the man from georgia. the american middle class made these corporations. what is the first thing you're here republicans say about corporate tax rates? they are not really paying 36%.
when you brought up the chart at the beginning that showed 51% paying 84% of the taxes, you have to think about that. if those 51% are paying 84% what's the big deal if the rate is 13%? that lady called and that made $100,000 and she was making 28%. what you have to look at is the rate. if 51% that make above $134,000, so what? they may not be paying 13% like the romney was. host: top 20% of earners pay 84%. we are looking the tax burdens of different groups of americans by income level. can find that on our website.
chris is up next in georgia on the line for people who make between $25,000 and $60,000 last year. good morning. caller: thank you for taking my call. my issue is the complicated tax code that we have developed over the years allows too many areas for complicated taxes to be hidden, dodged. if you want to attach attacks to every penny spent by every person in this country, a national sales tax eventually lightman -- market money will come to the service and be taxed at a purchasing level. that is unavoidable. there is no way to hide it. there is no need for differences in income levels. when you come to income levels, you have people who make $25,000. there is no surplus money left.
people making large amounts of money have the same needs as someone who is making $25,000 as far as standard of living, but when you get to the upper income levels, you have surplus money. that's my comment. host: viewers keep calling in on this question. is the tax system fair? there are some other stories we are following this week. the ongoing efforts by the obama administration to sell that iran nuclear deal and the secretary of state was on capitol hill monday urging congress to give the administration time and space to negotiate that nuclear deal after the framework agreement. the pitch marks the first time administration officials met face-to-face.
after that meeting with house lawmakers, john kerry spoke to reporters. what he had to say. -- this is a bit of what he had to say. >> i am looking forward to sharing thoughts and listening to questions. i am pleased to be able to go in some detail because there has been a lot of representations and misrepresentations and questions raised. it's good to have an opportunity to really discuss with people what is really contained within the parameters and to also lay down some of the work that we have left to do. we have two and a half months more to negotiate area that's a serious amount of time with some serious business to do. we hope congress will listen carefully and ask the questions that it wants.
give us the space and the time to be able to complete a very difficult task which has high stakes for our country. this is a major issue of conflict and national security. we are very hopeful that this dialogue will be productive. thank you all. >> some people have already made up their minds. >> we will wait and see. host: that was former senator john kerry yesterday. republicans are speaking after that meeting with the secretary of state. here is chris smith coming out of that meeting. >> i am unpersuaded so far. they announced 10 years ago that we have an agreement. i don't think we do.
we had iranian leadership countering almost every important element of that. i think we're asking for details that are yet unresolved. >> he asked that congress give some space so they can negotiate. are you willing to do that? >> yes but we will do it cautiously. based on the lack of success on the administration in this part of the world, we are moving cautiously. >> what is your view on the bill? >> i think congress needs to be involved with this. there is bipartisan support for that in the house. democrats believe they should have involvement as well. >> do you think there should be a vote before the is a deal? >> i think that it serves our
security better when congress is involved. >> secretary kerry said there is misrepresentation. >> he said there's misrepresentations in the media, but i don't see that. do we have unfettered access to their military installations? they say no. i don't think those are misrepresentations in the media so much as vast disagreement on what this really means. host: that was chris stewart from the second district of utah. we've got about 10 minutes left in the show. we want to get your calls. is the tax system fair? let's get to stand in indiana on the line for people that make between $25,000 and $60,000.
caller: good morning and thank you for taking my call. i don't think the tax code is fair. especially on the higher-end. i'm not sure of the actual figures, i don't think 10% should pay 90%. i would like to see them go to a flat tax and then have a luxury tax. i do believe in a strong military. i know we have to fund it. i think our tax code needs to be revised. i was off work for quite a while. i had to pull money out of my retirement. i ended getting taxed on my retirement money. i had to do it just to live. thank you for taking my call. i do agree with the other person that said the corporations need to step up and start paying their fair share. host: let's go to dave in
virginia. he is on the line for people who may between $61,000 and $100,000 last year. caller: thank you for taking my call. i've been listening here. i heard the comments about people who are upset that the corporations are getting taxed enough or are paying their fair share. i have the opposite view. i've been studying the tax for five or six years. the fair tax is not tax corporations at all. i am in agreement. the tax on corporations, it's a stealth tax on the middle class. they will never pay a penny of income tax when they get a bill. they raise their prices and they lower their employees wages and they cut their dividends. i think the fair tax, it doesn't
tax the corporations one penny. the poor don't pay one penny. the fair tax comes from lots of people who do not pay taxes at all like criminals. criminals don't file taxes. when they go after your money they go to best buy exit tv. -- and by a tv. i'm a big proponent of the fair tax. host: i want to note for our viewers that a new book is out. it is about the lives of or i-5 iconic women. it's by susan swain and many of the people here at c-span who helped with that book. for more on the book and what
it's about, we are joined by benjamin adams. thank you for joining us. i want to talk about the book it was the concept behind it and what makes it different from other first lady books? guest: thanks for having me on. it's my second collaboration with c-span. i think what we were trying to achieve with this look -- book was to capture the other half of presidential history. the stories of the first ladies have been told in some measure before. what sets this apart is these
are an extraordinary collection of voices. this is the largest collection of historians ever assembled on this project. we have a large group of journalists like dr. robertson. it's an extraordinary group contributing. host: this comes after the history series on first ladies. can you talk about how the book was put together? had you turn transcripts into chapters? guest: i should say i can't get all of the credit. i was figuring out how to put the whole thing together.
they poured over it. the things they achieved was to bring in all the voices that were featured on the tv program. they did that by looking over the transcript very carefully and pulling out the most interesting and salient parts and trying to be faithful to those voices at the same time. host: benjamin adams was the book at her -- and her. -- editor. a lot of people here at c-span, before you go, the book talks about a lot of first ladies. was there a less famous first lady was intriguing to you?
guest: i think the theme tends to be following the husband's. we remember martha washington and jackie kennedy. the historical view was to -- that's an unfaithful view of how extraordinary some of these women are. one of my favorites was francis cleveland. she was a fashion icon even though she is forgotten today. i love grace coolidge. host: if you want to read more about all the first ladies, the book is "first ladies." benjamin adams is the book editor. we appreciate your time this morning. guest: thanks for having me on.
host: we have time for just a few more calls. is the tax system there. we're waiting for the house of representatives to come in. deborah is in connecticut on the line for people between -- who make between $61,000 and $100,000. caller: i don't think it's fair. i am self-employed. i do daycare. i and the pain so much every year. even with all the deductions allowed for having your own business. every tear bottles my mind how much i have to pay. when i try to find help, my heating bill is over $1000 every month. i'm not in that category. i'm not in the low category or
the high category. it's very difficult for us as self-employed to get ahead. i really am the very low bracket. that applies to a lot of other people that are self-employed. when we look at the tax structure, the money whittles down. it's taxed. from the time it leaves the fed until whose hands it ends up in, they have to pay interest on the money. the money goes to whoever they have to pay. now the employees have to go and whatever they do, that money has to be taxed again. it just seems like it's such a circle and it ends up with that one dollar getting taxed twice as much as it's worth. host: we want to try to get in
melinda in colorado on the line for people who make over $100,000. good morning. caller: hello. i don't think the tax system is fair. i am a small business owner also. i believe that the weight of this country is on a small businesses backs. i have an s corporation. i paid over $90,000 this year. i think what would be fair would be a straight across the board flat tax. host: the house of representatives is coming in. we will see you back here tomorrow at 7:00 the clerk: the speaker's room washington, d.c. april 14, 2015. i hereby appoint the honorable dan newhouse to act as speaker pro tempore on this day.