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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  April 16, 2015 1:00am-3:01am EDT

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ms. moore: it has spread for us in other communities. people heard about what they -- we were doing and would come visit with us. we would have other jurisdictions, and help they want to get those programs together and figure out how to do it. i think the question is, is there a network? is it somewhere else in the country, i do not think so? that is why we are delighted to be a part of this conversation. there is a lot that we can do if we were to connect the dots. there are other programs are having, there are faith programs -- communities doing it on their own. how do we connect together? not just in new jersey or in the district, but across the country. to continue the dialogue that we can connect the bridges not just
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locally, but throughout the country. it is very needed. >> thank you. >> my name is audrey, i am an associate professor. my question is, in light of the videotapes we have seen, where they are shooting people and just leaving them on the ground to die -- what are the legal grounds for police regarding giving lifesaving means when their shot someone. and the walter scott case, they live. they say they provided cpr, they did not. what are they legally required to do? to leave them there to die so not to mess with evidence? >> i was going to ask him, he stepped up for a minute.
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the question is, we pose the question -- repose the question. >> what are the legal requirements for police when using life-saving means? are they supposed to leave them there, so as not to disturb evidence? or are they supposed to save their lives? in the walter scott case, they lied and said they did cpr. >> can i have my co-counsel address this? we are dealing with the same issue in cleveland. >> i will be very direct in response. each state is governed by its own qualifications.
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one of the things that should be done to bring cohesion, that there be a mandate nationwide. humanity is the real aim. as for the earlier question, about the body questions -- a wonderful idea. but there should be no requirement for someone to have the simple humanity for someone to say they want to get home safely. in the spirit of humanity, the standard to be the same. some states require and make it mandatory that they do that. california is one. san francisco, they have all of the equipment in the vehicle. ohio is just poor in that regard. very, very poor. we see the lack of humanity in the video as it was referenced earlier. >> the only thing i would add to that is, i would think, and we
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have two civil lawyers you are involved in these types of cases as prosecutions of civil matters, but the video shows a live person on the ground injured. with no aid administered by law enforcement. as that do anything for damages? >> absolutely. i think one of the things we are betting on in the rice case, as the new york times noted the whole notion that this kid is laying on the ground -- dying in the snow. and the officers are moping around, looking like they are looking for change on the ground. it is hard to watch when you think -- you know you just shot him. but you don't do anything to help them? >> if the jury were to receive this case, one of the issues that the lawyers would argue is that the pain and suffering was enhanced by the fact that there
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was no aid to the injured. one of the questions we talked about earlier, how is it that you cause society to recognize these issues, if passing the law does not do it? the answer was and i don't know exactly -- >> because, you know, he said something big to me. he lost a case when he had 50 witnesses. and it is true because perception becomes reality. and he also says, you know, you come up there with your client. you are in the judge's robe. if he dismisses you, and no one knows about it -- you better tell the media and the world about it. so when they dismiss your case,
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he has some repercussions from the community. that is what we are trying to do. thank god that i want to believe the media has finally started to listen to all of these black lives of being taken with no consequences. i can go state-by-state and give you 10 in every state, i know because we represent and most of them. >> good afternoon, my name is aaron king and i'm a member of macedonia baptist church. and i think we all know that organizational culture is not established at the bottom, it is established at the top. in an effort to change the culture of the organization, we have seen historically one method that has been effective for a african-americans, is economic withdrawal. my question today is centered around the idea of economic
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corrective action. this would be established via a a mandate of four things. when a county executive executive or legislative or mayor, within three years, they must reduce the number of deaths from law enforcement by 50%. if they do not reach that goal, they will be terminated. and they do not receive any pension. the second thing would be, the mayor and the police and legislatures at the top of the organization, once they have look at the previous year and they have not -- they see we have a hundred deaths. we have three years to cut that by 50%. if they do not reach that goal in the first year, their salaries get reduced by 20%. once we get to 51 or 52%, each member of the law enforcement community -- their salary gets
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reduced. a keeps going up after each death. 6% etc. the next thing, the third thing -- >> let me ask you a question? we are to get the expertise appear. can you post a question? >> economic corrective action, with mandates backed up. what is the concept? >> thank you, brother king. what i want to do is get past the numbers. to get to the concept, which is critical. he is talking about re-incentivizing the way in which we reward law enforcement and the critical criminal justice system. i serve on the corrections board at harvard. community corrections is a
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euphemism for parole. it is the same thing. do we incentivize parole officers by how many people they trail and jail, or do we incentivize them by how many people do not recidivate? do we police departments based upon the number of arrested make, or do we incentivize police departments based upon public safety becoming better in the community? ok through the practice of de-escalation. so, the concept is brilliant. because what if the tax at its core -- because what it attacks at its core, is the incentive is asian ofizing of incarceration. all of those things now we reward.
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we need to reward the exact opposite. [applause] as a concept, it would be an issue to raise. in many budgets and police departments, the budgets are based on raw arrest. i think people may disagree with you on the numbers, but the concept is an issue. yes ma'am. >> hi, my name is cynthia ward, i am a howard graduate. i'm going to defer my question to another howard student. my question is as we close out i would like to have a fervent honest, sincere prayer around these issues. particularly around ending the mortal victims in the movement.
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i'm sick of seeing the victims healing. >> although she says that -- that was a lawyer move. [laughter] >> good afternoon, everyone. this can be for anyone on the panel. i am a theological student, i believe prayer changes everything. especially in this time, action is necessary. i feel that there is -- i guess my question is, what would be the danger of not doing anything when especially as young back lack people, it produces little to no results. what would be the result of taking action? >> well, you know, i think two things.
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one is that there are obviously a lot of things you want to accomplish. it happens to be a national issue that many young people are looking at. one of the things that we struggle with, quite frankly, is that we have a youth voice and what we do. a lot of things happen, how can we get those voices, which i believe are the authentic voices , to be a part of the equation? if you exclude those voices, you are never going to get. make sure that you and others are at the table and that your voices are heard. if your voices are not heard, we do not get the full story. how do we get this right without the full story? what are the needs for us to help? i think there is hope. and that you can see there is change. we have experienced that change a lot, because we are working in
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the community and young people -- i get to hear their stories of transformation. i mean real transformation. that is what drives us, we see young people tell the story. there is one in particular, i will share with you today, it is a group called youth build that we work with. we have put in a lot of effort, a lot of funding is behind them. the transformation in those young people who tell their own story is really where it is. if you wait, i will make sure you have that. we have to have your voice, otherwise we will never get this right. >> thank you. as sister more noted, we are seeing things change. in ferguson, missouri, or a percent of all where eight were sent
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8% voted, we have three victories. when the fcc capped the interstate phone call rate for federal institutions. in new york, stop and frisk was judged illegal. and when attorney general eric holder announced a reduction, we get these smart sentencing act. the second chance act is coming up. we have a momentum going now that you can either -- the only people fighting this are the folks making money off of it. basically, that is the criminal justice system -- where there is incentivizing. and special prosecutors and the companies that are making money off of the slave labor in the private prison companies. they are the only people fighting this. i was at a summit to weeks ago
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and the keynotes talking the stuff work cory booker and newt gingrich. the only people fighting it are the people making money off the system. the only reason is not moving faster is that we haven't owned this as an issue. >> thank you. we have one final question, please introduce yourself. and let us know what your question is. >> i would just like to first start off by saying hello and thank you for your time. on behalf of my classmates here at howard university, i would like to thank you very much. >> thank you for coming. >> my question is pertaining to the community policing. this is a conversation that i have had and one of my classes. do you think yes or no that community policing --the
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relationship between black communities and police departments can be mended? do we think that, that is what our professor asked. i like to ask you all, do you think it is a good idea to move forward with implementing community policing -- increasing community policing structures in especially black communities. do you think it is a good idea despite the fact that we have not received any kind of repayment for police brutality against our people? how can we really open up and trust this willingly? without receiving some kind of repayment, i know it may seem kind of unrealistic to have our hands out, i like the idea that i heard about having the least turn in their badges. from where i stand, a question that boils inside of me, what i want to do and engage -- having police officers in my community.
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right now, where i am from in bedford-stuyvesant, we stop communities all the time. i do not believe it is a part of the structure, we have not been really informed. it's really a good idea, the psychological issues passed down from generation to generation. can we trust the police as black people? we haven't received anything that says we have surrendered cop surrendering to us. but we are getting down on our knees to allow them willingly into our neighborhood. and sure, it is better to have a relationship than none at all. i guess. but what do you guys think? [applause] >> sorry about the microphone. i know we're not supposed to touch it here. i just want to share with you a
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story. i told you a little bit about it , but we do not have time to walk through it. what happens in this scenario, we bring people who are all wanted. with hundreds of us in law enforcement and the courts coming together, what happens at that moment, when people are there to really help -- there is a very miraculous and even transformative need to helping each other. in that scenario, you saw officers running for hot chocolate. you saw people waiting out in the cold, throwing all their change on the ground because they wanted to get in. you had people coming together that you had to witness, you have to witness this process. when the young man told you he had a new destiny, he meant that. it really was because the church was there. the clergy is also there, what
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is happening is there is guidance there. there is a spiritual guidance, there is social services there it becomes a hover for great things that can happen. once you witness those kinds of things, you understand that it is possible. that all things are possible. the second part of your question, i want to flip it just a little bit. one of the things i have worked on in the past, the operative word is court. the operative ward in community policing is policing. but there's another piece to that. what is the role of community and community policing? that is our question to decide what is our role? that is what you are saying, i think, what is the role? that is something we have to sit down and work out together what that looks like.
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and how we can determine what happens in the neighborhood and have control and a place where the same mutual respect that we see in our initiative happens. one of the things we say all the time we are expecting nothing less and all the times that we do this. where we have thousands of people moving a lot of people and volunteers. not one time did we have any incident of vandalism, of any trouble. because we all walked through the doors of the house of worship knowingly were there to help one another. that is where it turns, and that is where you see humanity. don't give up. help us figure out where this can happen so you can see it. [applause] >> i know you have put some thought into it. and i want to save the last issue for you, you get the closing remarks. professor, our last comment from the panel.
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did you understand it? >> i did. and i have a lot of respect for mrs. moore's comment. one of the issues we are working on his at at harvard sondra smith who is on the faculty of berkeley, we are working on defining the community's role. right now, community policing doesn't have a role for the community. it is an initiative that they said this is what we want you to do. as opposed to negotiating with us, because there are not a lot of people like mrs. moore. we do not want to hear from you not on the government side. we have seen examples of effective partnerships, and i would just .21 in the city of
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boston. point to 1. in the city of boston, there was a 29 month. without a single juvenile homicide. it was a partnership between the law community, the clergy -- a goes back to changing the quarter of law enforcement. what changed in boston was the catholic church. because a lot of the white cops in boston were roman catholic. and the roman catholic cardinal of boston bought into the strategy. and so it was not just about mobilizing the black church, it was mobilizing faith communities in which law enforcement officers served. to help them get a better understanding what their role might be. you have policeman in boston climbing the steps of the
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hancock building -- i don't know boston that well. boston is hancock, isn't it? i was thinking boston or chicago. getting job applications for young people to get summer jobs. cops are doing that. they came because the faith community of law enforcement themselves are parts of the strategy. this isn't a black problem, ok. this is a communitywide problem. our community needs to be strengthened, they need to be transformed, we know what works. it is a matter of having the will to get what is done. >> i will turn it back over to kwame. i would like to end with a quote from charles hamilton houston that addresses these issues and the role of the lawyer on civil rights. he says, "a lawyer is either a
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social engineer or he is a parasite on society. a social engineer was a highly substantive lawyer who understood the constitution of the united states and knew how to explore its uses in solving a problem with local communities and in bettering conditions of the underprivileged citizens. " that quote was around 1929, we are still looking at those issues. as i turned back over to you kwame, we had a panel discussion on issues that are relevant. even if you're not have children, if you watch the news, you see what is going on in our world. i think that the fact we are able to put a face and a mother's pain before this audience has been helpful.
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people understanding that this is not a theoretical or perceptive issue, it is a real issue and it affects people. so kwame, before he turned back over to brother -- [applause] >> more now about u.s. race relations. from washington journal, this is 40 minutes. it is our regular spotlight black life matter. it takes a look at that shooting south carolina. justin worland of "time magazine."
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good morning. guest: good morning. host: could you tell us the latest of where we are on the shooting of walter scott? guest: we really have not seen too much come out since the day the video was released. the agency that took over the investigation is a state law enforcement agency in south carolina. they have been pretty mom, as -- they have been pretty mum, as you would expect. it might be days or weeks before they handed over to the prosecutor. we heard soundbites, that perhaps it is not a case where they would be pursuing the death penalty. but we really do not know. the case is still in the hands of the investigator, the state law enforcement agency, and they have not said much. host: how would you describe the relationship between the police department and the community? guest: i think there is a lot of tension. the police department has changed a lot in the last decade or so, and in 2002 they brought in a new police chief who came in to crack down on violent crime.
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he did a great job of it. violent crime declined by about half during his tenure. but at the same time there have been a lot of allegations of racial profiling, profiling, and some other measures that have led to, may have allegedly have led to police brutality. so there is a lot of of tension. , having said that, i think most people in the community are pretty satisfied with what they have seen in the last week or so, sort of immediately after the video was released -- or rather, immediately after the shooting. the north trolls to police handed over the investigation to sled. it is a state agency, and they were told take over the investigation. we do not want to be in charge of investigating our own officers. and the officer was arrested and charged with murder right after the video was released. most people are pretty satisfied with what they have seen thus
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far. host: we will continue with our guest on the shooting in south carolina. justin worland is joining us from new york. host: as your story shows, it is the video that made the difference. in this case. we have the chance to talk to walter spot -- walter scott's brother. set up that story for us. guest: we talked sort of right after the murder charge came about. he told me about how he first saw the video, which he was at a vigil for his brother. anthony scott, walter scott's brother said he never really bought the story as it was told to him originally. he did not think his brother would be one to confront a police officer, so he was sort of skeptical at that point, and he was approached by a man who said he had something to show
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him, and he pulled him aside and showed him the video that is now infamous. at first the man did not want to go public with the video. he hoped the police would tell the full story themselves. and then walter scott -- excuse me, anthony scott -- stayed in touch with him and he did release a video. that is sort of how he came to secure the video. but the interview, he was still shocked by what happened. as you would expect, he remembered his brother as sort of a good family man. yeah. host: the man who had the video -- why was he hesitant to release it? guest: he told -- anthony scott told me that the man with the video basically was hoping -- he did not want to be thrown in the spotlight. he was concerned about retaliation, potential police retaliation.
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it is hard, the state law enforcement agency saying we understand if you witness something like this, you might understand -- you might be scared of what the police might do to you. and i think that is exactly what the man with the video thought. host: did the law enforcement division conduct its affairs of what happened afterward, based on what happened in ferguson missouri, and new york city? guest: i absolutely think it did. it is hard not to. i think the mayor and the police chief in that city did not want to have another ferguson on their hands. they did not want to have protests and violence in their city. and i think that is why they handed it over immediately to state officials. i think they were absolutely aware. i do think it is different. different from the other cases we talked about -- ferguson, or
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even the case of eric garner in new york -- just because of the video, itself. it is hard to imagine that this video would not have prompted this kind of outcry, even if they had -- even if it had come out before ferguson had happened. host: justin worland, your first call comes from andre in georgia. under a, go ahead, you are on with our guest. caller: i wanted to make the comment in regards to the shooting -- the black community, we realized that these things are happening. not all officers are bad, but it is these kinds of instances that happen. and because of the video, i think we feel like there are much more instances where there are no videos. and one of the news agencies was there to report, and they said how they would have to report these incidents if the video had not been released. you know i think that is what
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, happens much more often in the black community, when there is no video and then the officers wind up getting off, and we have to rely on forensic evidence. you know sometimes those things , can be adjusted to make it beneficial to the officer. so, you know definitely glad , that the video came out. definitely glad that the leadership, they went ahead and charged the officer. but i guess now we just need to see what is going to happen as far as the trial. excuse me as the trial goes on. , thank you. host: mr. worland? guest: you make two good points. we have to wait and see what happens. a video is a video, and it is sort of amazing that the video came to light in this case, but we do not know what will happen until it goes to trial, how things might be spun differently. when i talked to anthony scott
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he said that he is happy with the way things are going, thus far, but he is skeptical until he hears "guilty as charged." that is a good point. of the other thing to say is you are right, there are not a lot of videos in instances that could be similarly tragic. one of the things police departments are doing as a first step to address the issue is police body cameras. and i think that is something that we saw just this week. the killing of eric harris in oklahoma. and this was caught on police body cameras, and the officer was immediately charged. so i think this is something we might see going forward that hopefully will address what we are talking about. host: donna from washington state, hello. caller: the whole police department is responsible or culpable because before the
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video came out, everything was just as this as usual. when they bounce the facts, he said he was fighting for his life. defending himself yet but when you look, the distance from when the bullets hit him does not match the police report, but they did not say anything. that means the police department supported -- and a shooting that police do without checking the evidence. and i think they should look at every file, every police shooting and match it with what they said, what the police report said compared to the evidence. if someone had shot from that distance in the back and you say you are defending yourself, it just does not match up. but because of the video, they have to deal with it. so they are responsible. they should all lose their
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positions, all the higher ups, and redo the whole police department in that area. and probably any other police department. if there is a shooting there , should be a second party looking at it and the evidence compared to the original report. guest: i think that is a very good point. i think the interesting thing in this particular case is, as i noted, the investigation was taken over right after the shooting. even before the video reemerged -- before the video emerged, they saw these inconsistencies between what the police report said and what the officer, michael slater, said -- michael slager, said, and what the evidence was. i think you are absolutely right. i hope that they do when there is clear evidence, that they make that effort.
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i think it is difficult to say what goes on across police departments across the country. host: have we heard any reaction from the justice department on the shooting? guest: the justice department has opened their own investigation. and as you would expect they are , not commenting on it at this point. the role of the justice department is an interesting one. i think there is a role for the justice department to play. by nature and after the facts, i think they are looking into it and i am not sure what they can do because of their role as a federal organization. host: from princess sand maryland, got that from princess anne, maryland, go ahead. caller: when we look at what happened in south carolina, this is an ongoing thing in the last 30 or 40 years in america in black communities.
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in various areas of northern virginia, there were incidents of police misconduct. in all of these cases, the wrongful death suits. wrongful death is not justice. as a citizen, if i shoot somebody in the back, regardless of what is going on, i am charged with murder. a man of 73 years old was too old to be on the police force. ok we talk about terrorism in , the country, the disenfranchisement of people and how they are treated -- nobody talks about the casual killing acts implemented in virginia in the 1700s that stated if a white person shoots and kills a negro,
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he will be exonerated of all charges based on the corrections of the negro. but you see white police officers, they get off on all of the charges. we need to go back and rework the criminal justice system. host: mr. worland, go ahead. guest: i think you make an excellent point. there is an entrenched problem in the criminal justice system. i think the question is, how do we deal with that? that is tricky. naturally, there is going to be some leeway for police officers who work and discharge their weapon in the line of duty if the evidence is unclear. i think that is what they get for putting their lives on the line. but absolutely, there needs to
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be change, and there are too many incidences where we see the situations like this. the question is, what is it that we can do to reform? we will see. host: nashville, tennessee. here is rose. hello. caller: thank you for taking my call. i have a couple of points i want to make. first of all, the mantra of "black lives matter" is really getting old because -- the lives matter. in the black community, there is little respect for the police and the law. in my generation, we were taught and brought up that if police stop you for any reason, you are supposed to be submissive because they are the authority. they were put in place to protect us and to serve us. nowhere was i ever talked to by a police officer, and i would
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try to grab a weapon or try to run away. and my feeling is, if you do those things if the police shoot , you, you deserved it because you did not submit to police authority. in the second thing i want to say is, as far as black lives matter it is statistically true , that most of the babies that are aborted our black. what about those black lives? do those lives not matter? they are just important as people who are born. thank you. guest: i appreciate the comments. i think as far as "black lives , matter," of course all lives matter. the point it is making is that there are a disproportionate number of black lives being taken at the hands of police. i think that is why the slogan, the cover story is called "black
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lives matter." of course, there is a segment of the population disproportionately losing their lives. i think with regard to the question of what is submitting to the police, i think the bottom line really is that nobody deserves to be gunned down when they pose no threat to a police officer. i think that is the bottom line here. to say otherwise is just simply not true. i think -- i do not really have much to add. host: from byron, minnesota, you are next without guest. caller: thanks. i just had to call in and say i agree with what the woman who was on just said. completely. the "black lives matter" slogan is completely inappropriate in this day and age. there is a complete -- there are
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white people who are murdered every day and there is no coverage whatsoever. and it is really getting better every day. every day in the news you hear that black people are suffering this, black people are suffering this. asians are suffering this. what about the white people? why focus on one group? get over the stereotypes and the bias. it is a new age. you need to get back to everyone matters. that is all i have to say. guest: i would agree that every life matters, and i think that the "black lives matter" speaks to a disproportionate number of people who are murdered. i frankly, i think you are wrong. the media does cover white lives in addition to lives of every shade, because we are the media
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and every outlet looks at black lives because that is what is in the national line at this moment. i don't think that means they don't care about every life. host: there is a piece taking a follow-up look at "the washington post." i will get you to expand on it. it says, "the law allows a lot of leeway." does your reporting bear that out? expand on that. guest: absolutely. that is certainly the case. i think, for one thing it is , hard to get a sense of what numbers really are because of police reporting requirements. in south carolina, there was a report of the state newspaper there, 209 shootings between 2010, 2004 -- between 2009 and 2004. in three of those cases they were accused of wrongdoing and none of them were convicted. that is absolutely the case.
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i think there are two reasons -- you have prosecutors and the people of law enforcement and the criminal justice system who are reluctant to take on their colleagues at the police department. and that is tricky. how do you address that? i think the other problem or the other issue is that people are reluctant -- people on a grand jury or a jury are reluctant to take any side against the police officers. part of that is fair. we have asked police officers to put their lives on the line. and you do want to grant them some leeway. i think it is pretty clear in many cases that we have seen recently, maybe there is too much leeway and maybe things have gone too far. but that is a fair point. host: here is john from virginia. he is on with justin worland from "time" magazine. go ahead. caller: i am a conservative republican, and i was watching fox news this morning and i saw a cop run a guy over.
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he was just walking! that is how he stopped him? these cops need to be some of , these guys need to be taken off the force. i do not think the government needs to be involved too much, but with no evaluation on these cops, some of them are out of control. you do not see the man -- you do not shoot a man in the back! for no reason. it is stupid. what the hell was he thinking? that cop did not have no remorse in his eyes. if you ask me, he did it out of vengeance. i do not know what is in the man's mind, but i think he did it out of vengeance. then the black cop tries to help him covered up. i heard that on fox news yesterday, that he might be helping the guy cover it up. there is something going on and there needs -- something needs to be done. i don't think body cams are the answer mental valuation.
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i am a white man, and i get pulled over because my hair is black, i think. i have cherokee indian in me. i have been pulled over for nothing in this town. i'll take your comments off air. thank you, sir. guest: body cams are not necessarily the only answer. i think thinking about how and who you hire and evaluate is a valid question. i think some police departments are thinking about that as well right now. host: charles, windsor, ohio democrats line. go ahead, please. caller: good morning. as far as this guy getting shot in the back, you have to wonder -- is this an isolated incident, or has it happened so often, is it so common, that it was inevitable that sooner or later somebody was going to catch this on tape. and i also feel, if people would take money on whether or not he would be convicted, i think he will not be.
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i bring up cleveland, ohio. about a year ago 50 some cars in , ohio a few years ago chased down a couple and executed them in a parking lot. one cop on trial for an slaughter shot 45 times, and teach the gun and reloaded -- emptied the gun and reloaded. they charged some of these other cops with dereliction of duty. and doing other things wrong. as soon as these things happen they put all of these cops working together. if someone else commits a crime, three or four people they , separate them. they put all the cops together and get their story straight. so now they are trying this guy in cleveland, and all the cleveland police department, all the lieutenants and captains or whatever, they are charged with dereliction of duty. they are all pleading the fifth so they do not have to testify against this guy.
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the other cops that did get charged with these smaller offenses, that all got overturned. so they all got paid vacations for the trouble. host: charles, we will let our guest respond. guest: right. i think there is a question, which is how often do these things happen and how often do they ever come to light. would we ever be here without the video? those are all good questions. i think that the cases that you bring up our unfortunate. i think body cams are one way to perhaps address that. the justice department in some cases, when a police department is not functioning or is brutal or is doing things that they should not be doing, they can mandate and sue to make potential changes. these are things that are happening or hopefully will happen more.
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it is really hard to say. we do not know without body cams or sort of video evidence. it is hard to know. host: what is the trend as far as police departments switching over to body cams, in light of these shootings? guest: it is definitely happening. a lot of police departments are making that effort. in north charleston, they are going to add 100 and they are committed to ordering 150 more. a lot of people have been convinced by this. i think the former new york police commissioner, ray kelly said this video changed his mind about body cameras. i think we are saying this abound the country -- i think we are saying -- i think we are seeing this around the country. what is the cost? body cams are expensive. you don't just buy them you have , to store data. in south carolina, they estimated it would cost $20 million to outfit all of the
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officers in south carolina with body cams. that is just to buy them, not to store the data that they are taking. so i think things are moving in that direction, but there are reasons why things are not necessarily going to change overnight. host: up next from georgia, go ahead. caller: i wanted to ask -- how much transparency do you think there is in the training of the police officers, the training of the police force? by that, i mean what is it that they are being trained to do exactly, in these situations? and does that training mirror the way that they perform their jobs? that is one question. perhaps we can possibly look into that. but the other thing is, it seems that the police force is trained to treat all stops, particularly
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in african-american neighborhoods, as potentially dangerous, and all of the black men that they encounter could be harmful to their lives or thugs. but not all of them are thugs, just the same way that not all police officers are bad. not all police officers are bad, but not all people are thugs. you know i think we need to look , into that. i wanted to get your response to that. guest: those are two really great questions and points. on the first one, it is worth noting that no police officer is trained to shoot someone who is fleeing. the supreme court has said that is unconstitutional. since the 1980's. certainly no one is trained to treat a fleeing suspect the way walter scott was treated. i do think oftentimes what you hear, it is not so much the formal training, but oftentimes what is being exchanged between
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police officers and the informal training, the conversations that they have with one another about the way they conduct their jobs -- that is something that is a little bit hard to grapple with. absolutely you could go in and look at the formal training and see that this is something they are not being taught to do. i think you make of -- you raise a very good question going forward, and i think those are things we should look into more. host: louisville kentucky -- louisville, kentucky, is next. ann, go ahead. caller: i would never say that someone deserves to get shot by a police officer, like the woman said earlier. i would like to say where is the responsibility on the individual who committed the crime in the first place, that they are getting stopped by a police officer, like michael brown?
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you know no one wants to talk , about the fact that he went into that store and he stole in that store and he also roughed up the clerk in that store. the fellow that you have on your , guest talks about the disproportionate number of lax being shipped -- the disproportionate number of blacks being shot by police officer, but what about the disproportionate number of crimes being committed by the black population? the percentage of crimes in louisville, kentucky, in the black neighborhoods is unbelievable. you can see where the crimes are being committed. and what is going to happen next? are we going to get to the point where people even want to go into law enforcement because they are going to have fear of -- are we going to become a vigilante type mob, that we are going to gang up, that the population is going to gang up on police officers and they will not be able to do their jobs for fear of retaliation?
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i mean what about these , individuals who are committing these crimes in the first place? you know, if they do not want to be stopped by a police officer why commit the crime? do not do it. guest: well, i cannot speak to what is going on in louisville but i do think -- the job of a police officer is to apprehend a suspect. a suspect is innocent until proven guilty. they take them they are charged, , set before a jury of their peers. their job is not to take the law into their own hands, to make a ruling on what happened. i think some people would use the word "execute" over what in some cases is a petty crime. certainly in the case of self-defense. the idea that police officers,
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that somebody who is fleeing or someone who has committed a petty crime is sort of all of the sudden free to be shot is sort of a bad road to go down. host: from georgia, this is al. go ahead. caller: hi. i just wanted to let people know that there is an article on the internet about two weeks ago roughly that the police in oxnard, california, were getting tattoos for every shooting. and it was a skull and bones and in the nose was a barrel of a gun. and if you killed the suspects then you got smoke coming out the barrel. anytime you get people like this here on a police force running around with guns and badges, you have a problem. there are no giftsifs, ands, or
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buts about it. i don't know if you are taking pride that you are shooting people in the streets per you are going to be wrong about some of them. some of them will be like this guy walter scott, or the other guy in south carolina, who was murdered in his driveway for not pulling over at a traffic stop. for no reason, really. that is no reason to kill these people. guest: that is a great point. i think it goes back to sort of what i was saying earlier. sometimes, not always -- i do not want to color the police community in any way, but there are these cultural examples that lead to problems. what you point out -- i was not aware of it, but it is a very sad example of the way that
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sometimes police communities might sort of encourage behavior. sometimes. i say that with a lot of -- with a big caveat. host: there is a line in the piece that you participated in that goes like this -- but there is relatively liberalttle that the federal government can do. host: can you expand on that? guest: sure. policing is a local issue. it is hard for the federal government to come in to thousands of police departments and do anything. one, they do not have the authority. the justice department does an investigation, and then at that
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point they can come up with an agreement with the community with the local police department, and say this is what you have to reform, or they can sue them. it is a costly process that can take a long time, and it is a process at the federal government, the justice department, cannot be reasonably expected to do in thousands and thousands of communities. it is pretty unusual that a place like ferguson got this treatment. it happens in los angeles, cincinnati, in places where there have been consensus to reform the police department. but you cannot expect the federal government to do it everywhere. that is on top of the fact that a lot of people are resistant to the federal government coming into their backyard telling the police what to do. host: temple, florida, go ahead. charles in tampa, florida, go ahead. sorry, the new push the button. go ahead. caller: yes. i wanted to make a comment that we are sick and tired of the media itself making
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african-americans look that. it does not make any sense on what is continuing to go on with the police department. host: do you have any response? guest: i think there are a lot of questions that that raises. i think it is something worth thinking about. i do not know that i have a concrete response. i think that in situations, absolutely in situations where people are covering crime, i think somebody mentioned this earlier -- it is hard when you do not have a video, like you have in the walter scott case to write about something because all you have is the voice of the police, who will say that walter scott beat him up or he did whatever he did. or rather, he shot him with a taser. it is hard to write about that without having both sides of the story. i absolutely think you raise a valid question. host: from chevrolet, maryland helen is up next.
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caller: i am helen and i am calling in reference to "black lives matter." i have two sons, and i have lived in fear that they are -- that someone is going to shoot them. they are grown men, and they have been stopped multiple times.also in the end, i felt they did the right thing. the story told by the police officer would have vindicated him. the officer seem to have a script. they all seem -- to say the same thing. fear from her life. reaching for my gun. if someone is reaching for your gun, done that should tell you that person does not have a weapon on them. multiple officers choose to
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beat, shoot, and kill these black children of hours. where there are multiple police officers i see they could have restrained that person. they have them down on the ground. they are choke holding them and beating them in the head. what happened to the handcuffs? and you also mentioned the judiciary system. if there is a crime committed by the person, they have a long record. that should go back to the court system in the court should be doing their part. persons who are calling in and do not realize the pain of losing a child you're not only losing her child, you are losing her family. that whole family is caught up in it. and i feel sorry for the people who are shooting the children and they move forward and the next thing you know, they have shot another person. please stop destroying our family units. thank you. hostguest: i think what you said
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makes a lot of sense and there are a lot of people who feel the same way. when we see a case like this, the walter scott case is tragic and i do not know of i can say much more. you have said it perfect a. -- perfectly. host: jarrod in michigan. your next. caller: i wanted to comment on the woman from tennessee who called. basically saying to be submissive to police. it is really easy for someone to say that when you are white. the concept of white privilege. when you're walking on -- walking around as a white american, you generally are not profiled by the police. and how other callers want to link all this crime and supporters -- suppose it abortion statistics to the black population.
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the black population is 13%. we are supposed to believe from this -- these people that 13% of the population is committing the majority of the crimes, more than white people? i find that hard to believe. it is embarrassing for me to hear that. it is an empathy gap. this vengeful emotions we get as americans and these people are nothing more than red coat loyalists. those are my comments. thanks. guest: i think sometimes hearing this kind of sentiments is kind of startling to me to be honest. right now, we are talking about a case where a man was shot eight times when he was fleeing. it does not seem appropriate to make this a conversation about the crimes that black people have committed. i think that is sort of out of touch as well so i appreciate that comment. host: we have ron who is from
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springfield, virginia. you are on. caller: i think the solution here is to expect police to follow all was from traffic -- all laws from traffic to murder. we as a society have so much tolerance for police abuse at all levels. we all see police every day running red lights speeding, parking illegally, all that kind of stuff, and it is almost like a broken window solution as they did in new york to solve crime. you need a broken window mentality to solve police abuse. i come from l.a. and i am white. the abuse that police do is universal. there are so many bad cops and the wrong people are tired to be police, we need to stop abuse at all levels. thank you. guest: i think you're absolutely
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right. most people should -- would agree that we should stop abuse at all levels. you mentioned you are from l.a. l.a. is one of those cities where the lapd is notorious at one time for some tragic cases of police abuse and they have the justice department come in and revamp and take over, they agreed to deal with the justice -- do what the justice department asked them to do and that is a case of how things could move going forward in other places if the justice department is more active. it is hard to see exactly how you get to where you are going where you say you would like things to go. host: the times cover story is black lives of manner. joining us from new york, a reporter from this story. thank you. guest: thank you.
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>> on the with -- on the next washington journal representative david cicillini joins us on lgbt legislation. and representative smith on the u.s. foreign-policy issue. live 7:30 a.m. eastern. you can also join the conversation on facebook and twitter. john koskinen was asked about people trying to reach the irs by telephone. and later, republican senators marco rubio of florida and mike lee of utah discuss their tax plan.
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>> at age 25, she was one of the wealthiest widows in the colonies, and during the revolution, while in her mid-40's, she was considered an enemy by the british, who threatened to take her hostage. later, she came the nation's first first lady at age 57. martha washington, the sunday night at 8 p.m. eastern on c-span's original series first ladies influence and image. examining the public and private lives of the women who fill the position of trust lady and there and wants on the presidency from martha washington to michelle obama. sundays at 8 p.m. eastern on american history tv on c-span3. and as a complementary series, the book. providing lively stories of these fascinating women providing an illuminating and inspiring read. available at -- in hardcover or an e-book.
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>> testifying on federal tax day, iris -- irs commissioner john cosco and -- koskinenen answered questions. chaired by senator ron johnson of wisconsin. senator johnson: this meeting will come to order. commissioner --commissioner koskinen: we appreciate your testimony. we chose this day because you're not particularly busy but i know millions of americans are in trying to comply with our tax code. my wife was talking to me last night, she is a former irs
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agent. now that i have got my job, she is doing our family taxes and she did ask me when you retire from this gig, well i take it back over? i am pretty satisfied with the current arrangement. it is tax day which is different from tax freedom day. i did ask my tab -- staff to ask when that was. the day when americans have paid taxes from all the money they have earned up to that point in time on average goes to the federal government. that is april 24 which my recollection, this is moving back closer to the actual tax day but still it is a long period of time. as is my custom, i have got an opening statement which i will ask unanimous consent to enter into the record. i always get it because senator carper is a nice man. senator carper: i will not
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object. senator johnson: what i would like to do is read something else and this is a letter we received from a constituent. i think it is pretty appropriate to read today. it is a little bit longer but if you bear with me, this would set the discussion we need to have today. it is a serious letter, there are some serious concerns. senator johnson, we are writing to because we are not sure where else to turn and also to make you aware of yet another issue with our affordable health care. where both retired. we have a monitor -- moderate payment. we have been receiving a distribution from a retirement plan that was discontinued in may of 214. let me mention this is written to me by scott and julie thompson. they did allow me to use their name. which we're finding is getting more and more difficult to have taxpayers allow us to use their name because they are concerned
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if the irs knows who they are and they are complaining about something about the irs, they are afraid of being targeted. that is pretty sad. scott and julie thompson were willing to let us use their names so let me continue. in the spring of 2014, we moved back to care for scott's elderly, dying father. we moved out of the network of our colorado health insurance. we were buying a high deductible health insurance plan through an insurance agency in colorado. at that time, our income was too high for us to qualify for subsidized ibms. in april 2014, we contacted the health insurance marketplace as that was the context for health insurance coverage for wisconsin. we were unsure of we would be able to change insurance in the middle of the calendar year. we spoke with the marketplace agent who informed us we had two qualifying events. the move from colorado and the substantial reduction in our income as of may 2014.
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we were told we were eligible for coverage through the marketplace and arranged for coverage with a plan that has providers in our areas. effective june 1, 2014. we were eligible for premium credit and arranged the full credit will be applied to the monthly premium, living as with a monthly cost we could afford, just over $400 a month. we were told we needed to submit proof of our income by july 20, which we did. in waste -- response we received a letter from the marketplace stating we have verified your information, your eligibility as described in your determination notice will continue unchanged. fast forward to february 2015. in the process of completing a 2014 federal tax -- income taxes we find that our total income is being used as the basis for our eligibility for the health insurance coverage. with that, we are not eligible for subsidized premiums and are
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now told we must pay a penalty returning the entire subsidy amount of $11,550. there is nothing in the reporting process which allows for taxpayers to report when there was a qualifying event. we knew the income in the first half of 2014 was too high for us to be eligible for coverage. that is where we had to buy our own insurance in colorado. we were very straightforward in our -- about our situation in coming back to wisconsin we spoke with the marketplace in april. we were told that a qualifying event would make his eligible for the premium subsidy, even in midyear. this is a couple moving to wisconsin to take care of a dying father. they followed all the rules. they talked to people who thought they were knowledgeable. they were told they would be eligible for a subsidy and now they are finding they will have to pay back $11,550 in subsidy. our entire gross annual income
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for 2014 including the distribution received for four months earlier in the year and scott's social security is over $62,000. the penalty being imposed is 11,500 $50. this is 18 -- 18.5% of our annual gross income. it is going to be paid out of our after-tax dollars, raising that percentage of our income even higher. and for a real ironic turn of events we will possibly have to withdraw this money from a retirement account which will create $11,550 of income which will probably create a penalty for our 2015 coverage. we do not know what the threshold is for eligibility is but the penalty on an annual income of $60,000 for two people seems excessive. we do not have any options except to pay the penalty to file our federal and state
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income taxes by april 15. we do intend to file an appeal to marketplace. we did not do anything criminal. we did exactly as we were told i the agents for the marketplace. we paid for coverage even when it was very expensive so that we would be compliant with the new law. willing to wisconsin was a difficult emotional time for us. we were thrilled that our new circumstances would allow us to have some good insurance coverage. we never expected that what we were told would not be true. it seems to us that there must be many other people who have things happen to them during the year that affected their health insurance and their ability to pay for it. can you help us at all? scott and julie thompson. now, the sad fact of the matter is and this is what this hearing is about is how the irs is trying to comply with the patient protection affordable care act. that law is in place now did not
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particularly protect scott and julie thompson. there are thousands, if not millions of americans we know lost their health care coverage and are paying higher amounts and having to comply with an even more complex tax system and of course, that is the purpose of the hearing. how is the irs -- i have a great eel of sympathy for your agency in terms of the task it has trying to deal with and help taxpayers trying to comply with the even added complexity of the affordable care act. that is the purpose of the hearing. i'm looking forward to your testimony. i will turn it over to our esteemed ranking minute -- member senator carper. senator carper: you have a tough job. i want to say thank you for your willingness to do this to continue to serve the people of our country and our thanks to
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those on the team that you lead for the difficult work you do. we do not make your job any easier. we do not fully fund the work that needs to be done whether it is providing service or doing audits to make sure people are paying what they ought to be paying. we wait until the tax code changes so it is well beyond any reasonable deadline. we expect you to come along and clean it up after us. there is an old cartoon character, pogo, who said i have seen the enemy and it is us. my hope is that you will be able to help this constituent. people call my office every day for help in a variety of areas and one of the areas that people call my office, probably thousands of times in the last 14 years is because they did not have any health-care coverage. a lot of them, it is a merck --
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a visit to the emergency room or doing without. that is not a good option either. what are we going to do about it? people talked about doing something about it for years. and we did not. when hillary clinton was first lady, she tried to do something about it and it did not work out. and barack obama becomes president and says let's give it another shot. i serve on the finance committee along with senator portman. we did this work on the finance committee, but we tried it bipartisan efforts -- a bipartisan effort for months to figure out how to extend health care coverage to people who did not have it and rain in the growth of health -- health care coverage. that was meant -- led by max baucus in check rashly. they could not do it. just could not do it. we took two republican ideas, the exchange marketplace and
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created purchasing pools so people did not have to be part of a big organization to get health care coverage and better coverage and we took that idea and incorporated it into law and we took another republican idea thank you, governor romney. the insurance company said if you do not require people to get coverage, you will end up in a halt and a blind and it is not economically feasible approach. we took those ideas incorporated them into law. one of the ideas behind the exchange is for people whose income is not great, we wanted to be able to purchase through this purchasing pool to maximize their leverage, but for folks whose income taxes low, they get a tax credit. the tax credit phases out at 400% of poverty. it is actually whether the idea
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was republican or democrat, it is a good idea and the question is how to make it work. one of the ways we make it work, when people call you with questions, you can give them a good answer. on thursday, tomorrow, the senate chaplain barry black hosts a bible study group. it includes democrats and republicans, those of us who need the most help. one of the things he often shares with us is matthew 25. when i was hungry, did you feed me. when i was sick, did you visit me. matthew 25 does not say anything about when i had no health care coverage, did you do anything for me? 2000 years ago i guess they were not thinking about that and it is very real to us today. we had 40 million people who had no health care coverage just a few male -- years ago.
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today, that number has not -- been knocked down by one third. on behalf of all the people who have coverage, including [inaudible] that is a very good thing. can we do better? you bet we could and we will. and my hope is that as we go forward instead of trying to kill the affordable care act, we will find ways to work with the administration to fix the problems that need to be fixed and i am encouraged we will do just that. i have a statement i would like to enter for the record. i am happy that you are here. look forward to a good conversation. if it is not perfect let's make it better. thanks so much. >> are you going to ask permission for that? without objection. i would like to ask so i can enter the letter from the thompson's in the record is
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well. -- as well. without objection, so ordered. commissioner, if you would please stand. do you swear the testimony will give before the committee will be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you god? commissioner koskinen: i do. senator johnson: thank you. he served as the nonexecutive chair of freddie mac from 2008 to 2012 and is acting chief executive officer in 2009. commissioner. commissioner koskinen: thank you. senator johnson: is your mic on? mic check. commissioner koskinen: thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today. in the spirit of without objection, i would like to have my entire testimony submitted to the record and give you a brief synopsis.
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subject of today's hearing, irs and publication of the tax related provision of the informal is an important one and it is discussed in detail in my written testimony. before addressing the affordable care act and because today is april 15 as the chairman noted, i would like to provide the committee with an update on the tax return filing season. i would also like to note and today marks the 60th anniversary of the april 15 tax deadline. congress moved the deadline back from march 15 two april 15 starting in 1955 to provide more time for processing tax returns. in some ways, this is like the start of a dickens novel as i said in other contexts. it is the best of times, it is the worst of times. im place to report that the 2015 filing season has gone smoothly in terms of tax return processing and the operation of our i.t. systems. thus far, the irs has received more than 120 million tax
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returns from individuals on the way to an expected 150 million individual returns. we have issued more than 83 million refunds for more than $230 billion. for the vast majority of taxpayers who did not have issues with their, and who chose direct deposit, refunds moved quickly through the system and reached at them in 21 days our -- or less. i would like to remind anyone who has not finished their taxes that while time is running out anyone who cannot make the deadline can file an automatic six-month extension. return processing this filing season has gone better than anticipated given the challenges we face before hand. along with our normal preparations, we also had to prepare for the tax related affordable care act changes and changes related to the foreign income tax act. and legislation passed in
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december. integrating all these changes into our antiquated i.t. systems and still being able to open filing season on schedule on january 20 was a great accomplishment by our experienced and dedicated employees. i deeply appreciate their commitment to the mission of the irs and their hard work. i also want to thank our partners in the tax industry, especially tax professionals and developers of tax software and other products. without them, the filing season could not move smoothly. we are indebted to the more than 90,000 volunteers who helped people prepare the returns at more than 12,000 volunteer sites all over the country east year. -- each year. many are current or retirees -- employees or retirees. all indications are that most taxpayers have been able to fulfill their filing obligations without a great degree of difficulty. i would like to talk later about the letter you received.
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we provided an array of committee k she and's for tax preparers. we also developed a special section on our website providing information about the affordable care act. also worked with software developers to ensure that the estimated 90% of taxpayers were going to file using software or tax preparers would be easily able to provide the necessary information required by the aca and file their returns without difficulty. we believe these activities taken together were a big reason why processing of returns with shared responsibility payments and premium tax credits generally went smoothly. i would note that for the vast majority of people the aca provisions only took a moment or two to handle. all those taxpayers had to do was check a box when prompted by their tax software indicating they had coverage. now a word about the worst of times. return processing has gone smoothly if you are simply filing a return without questions or need to contact us.
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that is the situation most taxpayers found themselves in this tax season, but if you needed to contact us, it has been very difficult and much less positive story. customer service both on the phone and in-person has been far worse than anyone would want. it is a simple matter of not having enough people to answer the phones and provide services that are -- at our walk-in sites. as a result of the cuts in our budget. we are dismayed by reports of taxpayers lining up outside assistance centers hours before the open just to get service. taxpayers who called us had long wait times on the phones. on bad days, fewer than 40% of the calls were able to reach a live assistant and that was often after a 30 minute wait or longer. this was frustrating not just for taxpayers, but also for the irs customer service representatives who want to have the resources to be able to provide much better customer service. as we began preparations next month for next year's filing
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season, one complicated factor is the need for us to implement as part of the able act a certification requirement for professional employer organizations in a tight timeline and without any additional funding. couple getting matters still more is the work ahead of us to continue implementing the tax related provisions of the aca for the next filing season along with the expanded requirements for the foreign contact compliance act. we expect another round of tax extending legislation later in the year which we hope will be passed well in advance of december. i am concerned with that when i testify next year on the 2016 filing season, the report on the return processing fund may not he is good as it was this year. the employees of the irs will do everything they can to effectively and efficiently deliver next year's filing season but we need help. we need the congress to pass any legislation regarding tax extenders as early as possible this year, and to provide us
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additional resources in the 2016 budget. with that help, i am much more confident about the chances of delivering another smooth filing season for the nation's taxpayers next year. with regard to the letter the chairman recited and received, obviously, this is the first year of the program and taxpayers are in fact and tax preparers are adjusting to the requirements of the act. there is a reference to the penalty. it is not a penalty. it is a repayment of the premium advanced payment provided. we spent a significant amount of time starting a year ago trying to remind taxpayers that if their circumstances change to during the year, particularly if their family size changed or if their income changed either up or down, they should contact the marketplaces and advise them. it sounds as if they divided income information that was not properly applied to their situation, which is a relatively rare circumstance. it is the first time i have heard someone said -- say they have gotten the wrong
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information from the health care marketplaces. we encourage -- most people overestimated or underestimated their income and have an adjustment in their premium tax credit and did it because it is difficult for all of us to estimate a year in advance what our income is going to be. but the indications are that close to half of the people, 45% of the people are actually getting a bigger refund because they overestimated their income to be careful 50 percent to 55% are getting a smaller refund. while we do not have full data for another three or four weeks it does appear that there are relatively few people who are in a situation where the oh taxes as a result of having underestimated their income for the year. i would stress that we are doing everything we can in this transition year to help taxpayers whatever their difficulties are. the treasury department issued a policy saying that to the extent that taxpayers are having difficulty with their payments,
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either in terms of understanding exactly what they owe or to the extent that they oh additional funds, there will not be any penalty for an inability to pay. you should still file but the treasury has removed any penalties for difficulties in this transition year. we have been -- over 90% of people used software that we have not seen and we monitor the calls we get every day, a significant response from the public with regard to any difficulties they are having. as i say, if you use the software, you just answer the questions and you never have to deal with the instructions and you never have to deal with the forms. im struck i the chairman's concern which is my concern and that is the point that people are nervous about revealing their names of the have a problem because somehow, they will be disadvantaged in dealing with the irs. it is critical for compliance it is critical for the operation of the tax system in the united
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states for every taxpayer to feel comfortable that they will be treated fairly no matter who they are no matter who they voted for in the last election, the matter what organization they will long to, they will be treated fairly even if -- they will be treated fairly. taxpayers should let us know. the only way we will be able to fix this, the only way we will be able to get better is if we know what the problems are. my encouragement to any taxpayer is, if you have a problem, we are here to help you. our revenue agents say we distinguish between those trying to become compliant and those trying to cheat. if you are trying to become compliant and you have a problem, you have a change in circumstances, if a cozy with your ability to pay her taxes, we want to work with you. we spend a significant amount of time and money trying to help taxpayers figure out what they oh and -- owe and how to pay it.
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we negotiate with people who have difficulty and we want to stress that if you have got a problem, we're here to help you. i would remind people that if you're are going to try to cut corners and cheat, we are going to find you and we will not be happy about that. but we are anxious, wherever a taxpayer has difficulty, to try to help them. call us and we will help. i always get nervous when i say call is because i know how long it takes to get through, and as senator carper said, it is not that we want to add back the 13,000 people who have been retired but we do need funds while we were -- while we are building toward the future to have people to answer their phones when people call. i am delighted to answer any questions you might have. senator johnson: i will say that this is not unusual that taxpayers are afraid to offer their names because of the fear
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of retribution. that is prevalent and people i talk to. that is a real problem because the targeting, it makes it important that we hold people accountable, that the american people see that those that did the targeting brought some semblance of justice and it is correcting the irs. this is a problem and it is very prevalent. this is not just something that is unusual. it did strike me i was surprised that this is the first time you have heard that the marketplace or one of the exchanges gave out and correct information. i would think that because of the complexity of the law, that would be far more prevalent. commissioner koskinen: i meant in terms of an individual ring told and -- being told information about their income. cms has been forthcoming about the 1095 information returns and the errors that have appeared in some of those and have been try to make sure that taxpayers get the updated correct information in their 1095a's. cms has been working with
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thousands of taxpayers to make sure the information is correct create to that extent and a transition year, there have in a reasonable number of cases but compared to the 4.5 million taxpayers with expect to file, the numbers are surprisingly smaller than you would expect. you are exactly right. as you would expect in the first year of some of these programs some of the returns have had to be corrected to my some taxpayers have said the information does not correspond with my either the payments i have made or the premium support i have gotten. there are 30 or 40,000 of those who are being worked through by cms. senator johnson: you did correctly state that what they are paying, 11,005 hundred $50 is not a penalty, it is reimbursement of the subsidy that they were incorrectly provided. they view that as a penalty. and you can understand that.
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they followed all the rules. i was reading what they said. i take your point. but speaking of penalties, that is one of the things i found interesting in the briefing packet. the average penalty paid -- is that a penalty or tax? the 95 dollars, is that a penalty or tax? i forget how that is rolled. -- ruled. commissioner koskinen: it is called the shared responsibility payment. senator johnson: the average shared response ability tax is not the $95 minimum. it is the 1% of income that is $172, is that correct? commissioner koskinen: 95 is the minimum but it goes to 1% of your income. it is $95 for adults and your family. senator johnson: if you
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extrapolate, that is 80% higher than the minimum. 172 is 1.8 times the minimum of 195 so if you extrapolate that to next year, the minimum is $325, correct? or 1% of your income. commissioner koskinen: i think it goes to 2%. senator johnson: 2%. i just did the math on 1%, it will double that, then. what i was looking at is 300 what he five dollars times 1.8 -- $325. the average penalty will he closer to $1200 next year. commissioner koskinen: you do not add both to 95. senator johnson: i am try to extrapolate what it will be in the future. commissioner koskinen: the shared responsibility payment is geared to go up and that is designed to encourage people to get health insurance. senator johnson: i am trying to figure out -- extrapolate with that payment will be.
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it is the greater of $325 or 2% of income. is that correct? commissioner koskinen: we think it goes to 2%. we will have to make that clear. either way, the statutory framework provides that the payment goes up if you do not have coverage in the second year to a reasonable higher amount than for the first year. it will be increasingly encouraging people to buy health insurance. senator johnson: here's my point. what gets laid out there is $95, the $325, the $695. that is the number and the percentage of income, the greater of. the income is what drove it so the average penalty was 1.8 times that minimum $95, so if
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you extrapolate that, it is $88 and if you double that it will be 1100 -- $1186. if this year's is 172, at 1%, next year's will be $176 at 2% and the third year, we can look forward and extrapolate our experience from this year, it will be closer to $2500 is the average penalty paid if americans do not -- if they exercise their freedom and choose not to buy an individual policy. i want to leave that out on the table. that is what the government is going to tax. i think it is a penalty but that is what we will tax the american people for not buying health care. i was a little surprised. only 4% of the subsidies are calculated properly and half of
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them are calculated too high and half of them are calculated to low. do you expect that trend to continue? commissioner koskinen: what is going to happen, right now, 70% of people get refunds and they do that because we over-withhold. most taxpayers estimating their income, understand you cannot estimate accurately, so they tend to over withhold so they get a refund. we expect taxpayers have done that, they do that learning the situation. we expect that what will happen is people will be careful and estimating their income as the basis for calculating the premium tax credit, and they will make sure that they overestimate their income to make sure that in effect, the adjustment is in their favor when they get to file their taxes, so we expect that as consumers adjust to the law that increasingly, what will happen
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is there will be positive increases in refunds or declines in the [inaudible] because people will have adjusted and you want to build in the possibility you will get a pay raise or your spouse will get a job and if there is a big change again, you should call the marketplace. what we have seen in withholding generally is people are careful and they basically make sure they have a refund coming rather than attacks owing. -- a tax owing. senator johnson: how do you evaluate the correctness of those subsidies? we have a 100% income verification now? commissioner koskinen: to the extent we ever have a 100% income verification now. it would be nice to get w-2s in january rather than march. we rely on taxpayers to be compliant. they provide us their income and we audit it over time when we get information returns.
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ultimately, it is as correct as what the taxpayers tell us and what the returns do. we assume that the income provided to us after the fact is correct. senator carper: i often say every day, find out what works, do more of that. we and up with an insurance pool which was largely older people, sicker people, less healthy people and we tried to find out what works and we turned to massachusetts and -- the one state that tried to address this issue, said of exchanges for health care coverage, and governor romney and the state of massachusetts established the individual mandate. that is where we got the idea from. they were several years ahead of us and we are going through our first tax filing system that was before us and before your employees.
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what massachusetts has been doing not just for one year, they have several years of experience. do you have any idea, has it smoothed out over time as people have become used to this? working with the exchanges working with their tax code the re, hasn't gotten any easier? commissioner koskinen: at this point, -- senator carper: what, if anything can we learn from them? commissioner koskinen: the policy issues -- and all that i have seen, i have not seen that there is an ongoing issue in massachusetts which would lead you to conclude to the extent the mandate still exists, there are people who are adjusting to it and it has been implemented and executed without difficulty
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over time. what policy -- i have kept track of what is in the press. i have not seen any indication that massachusetts has run into difficulties. senator carper: i want to go back to the example cited by the chairman. let's say a year ago my family and i thought we would earn $65,000. we ended up making twice that, let's say $100,000. we thought we would be eligible for tax credits at a certain level. as it turns out at the end of the year because of her income, we had not anticipated, we were not eligible for either as much in tax credits or any tax credit at all. we will say in this example it turns out i got a tax credit for $5,000 and i was not eligible for that.
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i had to pay that back, i presume, through the tax code, through the filing, but that is not a penalty, that is basie -- basically overpayment. i want to make sure we are talking apples and apples. that is essentially what has happened in the example that senator johnson shared. commissioner koskinen: yes, it is important to understand where the money went. a taxpayer generally comes to the marketplace buys a policy it is determined what their premium is going to be and what portion of that premium paid to the insurance company will be paid on their have is a credit. in the particular case, you ought insurance, the premiums have been paid to the insurance company and the question is, how much of that premium to you oh and how much is eligible for the credit? in this case, it was determined that the insurance was bought,
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$11,000 was a premium payment and the question is in this case, the taxpayer owes the premium and is not entitled to a credit for that premium paid. it is not a penalty. it is money that went to the taxpayer. it is one of the reasons we spent a lot of time last year, we will continue to spend time this year reminding people in your circumstance, for instance, where your situation changes. your wife gets a job, you get a pay raise of any significant amount. you should contact the marketplace and advise them of the change and the premium advance payment would be adjusted accordingly. over time, as more people get adjusted to the fact that it is not a question of stopping payment, you need to make sure the marketplace is updated as i said to the chairman, we expect over time, people will make those calls and make those adjustments and they will be careful in their estimates and make sure they do not underestimate.
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this will work its way out to a smoother filing system. thus far we monitor the calls that come in, we have not seen a significant number of calls were people have problems. there have been adjustments made by cms which runs the marketplace. even there the estimated 4.5 million taxpayers will file [inaudible] it is a relatively smaller percentage. senator carper: gene [inaudible] was here yesterday and spoke pretty much without notes and did a terrific job. one of the questions i asked him was, what can we do to help the irs serve the people of this country, make sure that we are meeting our responsibilities as taxpayers and making sure we are
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providing the kind of service we would expect, hopefully the kind of service when claire mccaskill was auditor and i was treasurer we provided really good service. the state of delaware one the -- won the quality award. it galls the hell out of me to know that people call the iris and they have to wait forever to get someone on the line. they have to wait to go see someone. we are complicit in that because we are not providing a reasonable amount of funding for the irs. yesterday, gene said there are things the irs has done to use the resources more efficiently and there are some things you have not done. that they believe they ought to and we should provide more in terms of resources. i would hope that what we would do is act on his advice, and
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certainly with your participation, that of your team, the last thing i want to say, we have a bunch of people who are preparing tax returns and we know there is a high improper payment related to earned income tax credits. a lot of them are prepared by people who are not credentialed. i know you have been pushing us to do something to better ensure that people helping millions of taxpayers prepare their returns perhaps some reasonable amount of credentialed. this is in an -- is an important point. commissioner koskinen: we have a wonderful working relationship with the taxpayer community and the vast majority know what they are doing and are working their way through the complexities. there are 400,000 to have no
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credentials. they are not cpas or lawyers. a lot of them study hard, work hard, provide a good service. there are a group of them that do not have a lot of background, much training, and do their bus -- best, and make a lot of mistakes. there is a small percentage of them who are crooks. you can drive through any center city and there will be assigned saying -- a sign saying we can help get you a better refund. you can sign the return and we will get you money. it takes more credentials to cut your hair then to prepare your taxes and at some point, there are to be minimum qualifications before you can go to a taxpayer and say i will take care of your taxpayer -- taxes for you. we did not have the authority to require minimum qualifications so we have asked the congress
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for legislation for continuing education. senator carper: i would just ask mike colleagues -- my colleagues to see if we can address this. this cries out to be addressed. senator johnson: i do want to quick, for the records first year $95 or 1% of your income. this is 170 point -- 172 dollars. next year, 2% of income. a $325 minimum pennant he -- penalty. and 176 is the extrapolated penalty. the third-year, $1258 times
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2.5% would be 3140 five dollars. that is the extrapolated average penalty. ramped up to 1170 six. the third-year, over $3000. commissioner koskinen: you either pay the 95 or the 1% or 2%. you do not add them all up. senator johnson: the average penalty goes from 1176 to 1340 six, in the ballpark. senator portman. senator portman: thank you and commissioner, thank you for being here today. i usually see you at the finance committee and this is a tax day hearing, so it is appropriate to talk about the broader issues but i want to focus in on the 1095 a issue in relationship to the affordable care act. the administration announced it sent out a hundred thousand
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incorrect tax statements -- 800,000 incorrect tax statements. folks around the country rely on these statements. they were initially told, don't worry about filing your taxes until we get it corrected statement and they were recently told, go ahead and file and you will not be penalized based on permission you rely on that is inaccurate. it has caused a lot of confusion. i am sure you heard a lot about it. i have, as i am sure many of my colleagues have. i have a constituent named linda from ohio, she is not interested in sharing her last name today but she got the incorrect cannot -- 1095a from the marketplace and she has been trying to correct it ever since. one of these stories of trying to kurt -- contact people at the
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irs. she received a phone call that it was not denied. she was able to arrange a phone call. she is not able to get a straight answer out of the system. commissioner koskinen: i would note she is calling cms, not the irs. they do have a very vigorous customer service effort working through those kinds of questions. senator portman: i stand corrected. lots of questions about how we can help solve this problem and the scope of the problem. if you could today give us the percentage of people who received a subsidy in 2014 and have to repay a portion of that subsidy, do you have a sense of that? commissioner koskinen: we will not know because it takes us a
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while to post. it will be three or four weeks. thus far, it appears that slightly less than half of the people are getting an increased refund because they got a smaller credit than they were entitled to. their income -- it was based on their final income. 50% to 55% are getting a refund but as an adjustment. the adjustments are we do not know what the dollars are. i have seen tax preparers estimating that it is 300 dollars one way -- $300 one way and $500 the other way. we do not have an indication of who as a result of having gotten too much of an advanced payment to the insurance company and up as a result going -- owing tax. the indications are although i would stress we will have better information into or through weeks, it is a small number of
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people in that category and that is what our estimate was. the vast majority get a refund in any event. the swings and whether you have too much of an advance payment or two little a -- too little, but we will better data in two or three weeks. senator portman: we will appreciate that. just so we can submit the question for you today and we will submit more for the record. an estimate of what percent would be in terms of the folks receiving a subsidy have to repay a portion of it if the verification process were more accurate and working properly. that is obviously one of the big challenges we have. the other issue i think will continue to be something we hear about from our constituents is the state federal data sharing.
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martha chapman from new mexico had to pay taxes instead of a refund. the exchange did not account for her husband social security benefits of $9,000, so there may be a lot of reasons for that failure. it concerns me that estate might not be committee -- communicating with the federal databases. it seems like the government should have enabled to help her avoid that. she felt this was kind of a trick, that she had -- would not have gotten the insurance if she understood the full price and has dropped the plan for this year. in terms of the information flow between the state in the federal government, do you believe that that is adequate and help could that be improved? commissioner koskinen: about income verification, i should explain how the process works.
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the taxpayer goes to the marketplace and makes an estimate of what they are going to earn. you estimate what you will earn in 2015. we then get pinged by the marketplace, either the state or federal marketplace and ask for income verification, and that income verification is surrounded by protections and not revealing it to anybody outside. what was your earnings in the previous tax year? in the case of the social security payment, if this was on the income the year before, that data would have gone back to the marketplace. suppose a taxpayer said i would make twice $5,000 next year. we would be asked what did they file the year before, and if that was 42,000 or 35,000 with social security payments, that would go back to the marketplace and they would have a discussion with the applicant or make a note to the applicant that they are estimate does not correspond with the verification. the eiji looked at the income
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verification information we provided in the initial enrollment period over 15 to 20 million and found we were 99.5% accurate. it is up to the consumer to make an estimate just as i say, we all do when we are filing our withholding estimates and our estimated tax paying estimates, what are we going to earn in the next year? most people with any variety in their employment circumstances never know exactly what that will be. our expectation is that is the process -- as the process moves more people will understand the have to become careful about estimating their income. if you underestimate it and get it -- a bigger premium, it will work out when you have to pay it back. those percentages of the number of taxpayers when they reconcile will get larger refunds will go up because just the same weight
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when people file their taxes 60% or 70% get refunds because they in effect overestimate. we think that is where it will work. the accuracy of the information we are providing to verify the estimate by the taxpayer as far as not a difficulty or problem. the states get the same information from us automatically. sen. portman: i have lots of other questions for you and i will submit those for the record. one of the things that the inspector general said was it would be tough until you have implemented a predictive and analytical fraud model. i appreciate your service and the fact that this is going to

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