tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN October 13, 2015 7:00pm-8:01pm EDT
indication with the russians. nor did we have any prior notification. i believe that the government of did has also indicated they not have prior indication. i have seen some reporting in the iraqi press that they were not notified either. of reckless and indiscriminate conduct by the russians. kurdish militia, the ypg, have announced they are forming a coalition with syrian arab groups. i would like to know if the group to which you sent ammunition as part of that coalition with of the ypg, and i would like to know if that coalition called the syrian
democratic forces could be a partner, to which you could send ammunition? col. warren: i saw some press reporting about the syrian democratic coalition. know who the members of the coalition are. is, if different ethnic groups are coalescing around this common enemy called isil, that is a good thing. i don't have details on this newly formedoup or umbrella organization. was only announced i guess publicly yesterday. i don't know. what i do know is anytime
subgroups coalesce around this isil, andmy called seek to defeat this common enemy called isil, this is a good thing. as every leader in the u.s. government has said, we will talk with anyone to fight i saw -- isil. >> i am from "the washington examiner." what is going to happen to the u.s. troops that were doing the training of the syrian rebels? will they now be doing a couple days of training for the leaders or will they be reassigned? col. warren: that is still to be determined. many of those forces are continuing. there is one final class from the original program that remains in training. they will complete that training.
infiltrate that organization back into the fight when the time is right. no final decisions made, to my knowledge. >> dave martin. have you yet seen any information to corroborate the iraqi claim that they attacked a daddy --rrying out by al-bagaddi, and that he was seen driven away? the iraqis have since put out a statement saying they do not believe that ba ghdadi was in the convoy they attacked yesterday. we agree with that statement.
>> they have released a report which says that the kurdish rebels, ypg forces have committed war crimes by assaulting local land and demolishing houses. beenilar report has released by the human rights group. what would be your reaction to that? i am aware that such a report has been published, although i have not seen it yet. anytime there are allegations of human rights violations, this is a concern. to the u.s. and coalition forces. this is something that we will have to address appropriately. >> thank you, steve, for your time. thank you, everybody. guys, good to see you.
hope to do this again next week. have a good week. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] >> this monday on "landmark cases," by 1830, the mississippi river around new orleans had become a breeding ground for cholera and you lefevre -- yellow fever. theddress this problem, government allowed only one government-run slaughterhouse, and the others took them to court. follow the slaughterhouse cases of 1873. we are joined by the former solicitor general and constitutional law attorney, and michael ross, author of the book "justice of shattered dreams." to help tell the story of the self, the personal states of the butchers, as well as the
attorneys and supreme court justices involved. sure to join the conversation as we take your calls, tweets and facebook comments during the program using the hashtag landmarkcases. for background while you watch, order your copy of the "landmark cases" companion book. it is available for a $ accents $8.95 on.org -- for c-span.org. we spoke to reporters outside the supreme court calling for greater public access to federal courts. at the end they introduced bipartisan legislation called "eyes on the fact." this time i don't want to get the introduction wrong. good morning.
thank you for being here today to participate in this important discussion. i am pleased to be joined by representative connolly and representative nadler. as the justice said, sunlight is the best of disinfectants, which is the reason why i founded the bipartisan transparency caucus, and have put several bills to encourage transparency across the government. the mission matters and the work matters but we cannot lead effectively if we don't have people's trust. providing the tools to hold government officials accountable is the best way to make sure the public remains are most village -- the joint watchdog -- vigilant watchdog. today there are 200 members of the supreme court but the open seats very from case to case. across theadults political spectrum support video
cameras in the courtroom. whether you are here in washington or in the comfort of your own home, you can watch congress and the executive branch in action on c-span. this is an important part of making the legislative and executive branch open and transparent to all americans. one institution remains closed to the public eye, the u.s. supreme court. supreme court decisions on major cases from brown to the board of education to bush versus gore have significantly changed american society and changed history. gideon versus wainwright, roe versus wade, king versus burwell. same-sexs case, marriage guaranteed under equal protection. these are important parts of our history.
the historical point alone, how touable for our kids to be a watch the arguments in a case like brown versus the board of education in historical context? due to antiquated practices and policies, we have no video record of these historic decisions. and innovativew technology at our fingertips, it is time that we use every tool available to preserve america's judicial history. i was proud to introduce the cameras in the courtroom act with threat presented of connolly -- representative connolly. proud to be part of the act which includes provisions requiring the supreme court provide video and audio of its proceedings. i'm happy to introduce with representative nadler the eyes of the act which requires cameras be permitted in all federal courts. decisions are affecting countless americans and we not -- cannot stand by and accept the status quo.
and colleague from virginia, representative gerry connolly. connolly: this building behind us does not house the oracle of delphi. court of the highest the land that is part of the third branch of government. the men and women appointed to this bench never have to talk to the public or write a book or travel and give a speech never have to account for their opinions if it don't want to. they don't even have to allow a recording of their opinions, if they don't want to. they alone decide whether there will be a recording, and when, if at all, it will be released. irrespective of the magnitude of
the public interest involved. that is wrong in the toy for sentry. century. 21st public, because of the universality of access to media, expects the government to be transparent and accountable. those are basic precepts of democracy. they don't undermine the judiciary, they enhance it. approachuated, druidic and cloaking this court in secrecy -- encloaking this court in secrecy, and darkness, in mystery is not appropriate for a contemporary democracy such as our own. mike talked about how many public spaces there are in this building. day,are lucky, on a given that there are 40 or 50 spaces for the public, whom we serve.
that is extraordinary. other than that, you have to hope to read about whatever it is they are planning -- opining about. that has to end. the public has a right to make up its own mind watching and the sinning in the public session what they are hearing, what went into that -- watching and listening in the public session what they are hearing, what went into the decision, whether someone is bias. that is the public's decision. it is about time that we come into the 21st century and allow people access to this third branch of government. i am proud to be a cosponsor of the eyes of the court legislation, proud to be the original cosponsor of cameras and the court, and proud of the fact -- cameras in the court, and proud of the fact that we have bipartisan support. i've worked with my friend ted poe, a conservative republican
from texas. he was a judge in texas. he believes firmly in the principle of transparency and accountability in the court. he could not be here because of a conflict, but he certainly supports this legislation. we will not give up until this court recognizes this responsibility to the american public. now it is my privilege to interest my friend, jerry nadler of new york. first i want to thank my colleagues congressmen quickly, commerce been connolly and congressman -- commerce been quigley, congressman connolly and congressman ted poe. last spring i had the privilege of sitting in the chamber to watch all arguments about the same-sex marriage cases. no matter how one feels about those cases, they were of
paramount importance to millions. luckyl except those enough to be inside the courthouse were deprived of the ability to watch or hear the arguments. everyone else had to settle for audio recordings or written transcripts that were released later, which are substitutes for the visual experience. they cannot fully capture the nonverbal elements of an oral argument like an exasperated expression by the justice, or a look of concern on the attorneys face. watching it is more engaging. many are more likely to tune in and follow the issues being discussed if they are televised. with greater access, we will have a more informed population. public scrutiny is essential to democracy. age when we have nearly 1000 channels available on television sets, and instream almost unlimited programming on smartphones, we do not have televised access to federal courts.
how is it possible that we can keep up with the kardashians, but we cannot keep up with the supreme court. ? it is not just the supreme court that should be open to cameras. the vast majority of cases never reach the supreme court and are finally decided by the appellate courts. most of those courts are closed to cameras as well, putting them effectively off-limits to the public at large. that is why we are introducing the bipartisan eyes on the courts act. it would require cameras be allowed in all supreme court and federal appellate court proceedings. if the chief justice of the supreme court or a presiding judge in the appellate court determines that permitting cameras in a specific case would violate the due process rights, or would otherwise not be in the interest of justice, the proceedings would still be closed. but the judge would be required to make such a finding with its
reasons in writing to make sure it is used only sparingly and when warranted. does not include where there -- courts where there may be legitimate privacy concerns. i do not sure the concerns of those who believe the highly trained judges and lawyers in the appellate court proceedings will start playing to the cameras. they are tackling some of the most important issues facing our country, and the stakes for the lawyers are too hike to permit them to play to the cameras instead of the -- too high to permit them to play to the cameras instead of the judges. the supreme court begins a new term this week, and will consider cases affecting the fundamental rights of everyone in this country. i appreciate this difficult job that the supreme court and other courts perform. theegislation becomes law, public will have the opportunity to watch them in action and grain -- gain a greater understanding of the critical work.
i hope that congress will take up this legislation soon. i now have the privilege of introducing greg leslie from the reporters committee of "meet the press." you very much. the reporters committee has always been interested in this topic because access of this type just makes sense. there seems to be a fundamental disconnect with some courts where they think that opening the front doors and letting people physically in is access, and anything else using cameras and microphones is like putting on a show. we know that is not true anymore. meaningful access means allowing cameras and microphones. access to those to come in is an artificial constraint that doesn't make sense anymore. a lot of people are also
concerned by the fact that they say cameras will affect what goes on with witnesses and attorneys. yet there have been countless studies each time a state laments these programs -- implements these programs. there hasn't been problems with witnesses changing their stories or lawyers grandstanding. if there were, we would not have cameras in so many courts. another complaint is that the public won't understand what is going on. i ask you, what is the answer if the public doesn't understand something? is it shutting them off or giving them more information? that is what we have to do. we have to allow greater access to the public and learn. interest in what this court is up to is higher than ever, access can only
help the public understand how their world works. thank you. [applause] gabe roth's next. : good morning and i want to start by thanking congressman quigley, oh and nadler for bringing attention to one of the institutional problems facing our third branch today. i am the executive director of a nonprofit that advocates for institutional changes like cameras and audio that would build a more open and accountable supreme court. the nine justices are fond of saying they don't pay attention to public opinion, but there is no question there cognizant of how popular the camera is. they are asked about it on the morning joe, the late show with stephen colbert, and that law schools across the country. while cameras are favored by the public 3-1, that is not the
polling i want the justices to pay attention to. i want them to be sure that the american public believes this court to be the most polarized and politicized in our history. that their approval rating is at its lowest ever. i think allowing broadcast media in the courtroom would reverse this trend. unable to agree on marriage or health care voting rights, the public would see the vast majority of the time an institution that takes its job seriously and carefully and creatively weighs the issues before it. deciding whether it is for an american company operated by a foreign government. if you're in the courtroom to witness the case, you would see justice kennedy and justice scalia playing of points made by justice kagan and justice sotomayor are. chief justice roberts raising a
hypothetical, and justice kagan asking about home she could sue if she slipped and fell at the the and opera house. -- at the vienna opera house. it was classic scotus. unfortunately during the on your own week later doesn't what justice. you have to watch their body language. that is important in this, in a time when every as active our can be uploaded for the world to see, only video increases transparency of building up the trust in a quintessential, taxpayer-funded institution. you may ask why this bill? will it do anything? the answer is, maybe. earlier court began this week they announced three policy changes that came about as a direct result of public pressure. i'm talking about banning line standards in the bar line.
telling the public when they make changes to their slip opinions. these reforms are modest, but they demonstrate that the justices to attention to what is being written about them in the press, and that they have the capacity to make changes that reflect modern times. a great scholar sadly passed away a few weeks ago, who used argument at the supreme court is one of the most impressive things our government does. that was the case this past monday and will be the case later when they argue affirmative action, the death penalty, public union. if only the public could see it. the building introduced today will give all americans, whether they live in chicago like me, constituents outside houston, or across the river like congressman connolly's, a feasibility to witness powerful government actors in action. i am hopeful that with this group of bipartisan leaders here
today sponsoring this bill, and with the support of all corners of the country, we have to hear from you guys and we can make this happen. [applause] apparently we got the microphone from the justices. are there any questions? >> does congress have the authority to tell courts how to run the courtroom? why, if there has been bipartisan support for years, why hasn't any bill on this moved? rep. quigley: congress clearly has the authority to regulate these judiciaries. we do a lot of things with respect to judiciary. we can amend the court rules, and given greater or lesser authority to make the procedures and we do all the time. congress clearly has the authority to do this. rep. connolly: it is important to note we have authority under the constitution.
congress's brief about what constitutes the judiciary. one of the first acts in the first congress was how would you structure the judiciary? how many courts there are, how much they get paid. a lot of procedures are established by statutes, by congress. this is clearly within our constitutional jurisdiction. rep. quigley: there is a fine line and we are mindful of that. we want an independent judiciary. by letting the public see what takes place, they can see agricultural committee discussions on c-span if they are that interested. they can see what the president of the united states is doing. we are not expecting anything more of them than we don't already require or have in place. >> why hasn't the bill gone anywhere? rep. quigley: this is a question press conference
about gun control or immigration reform -- name an issue. i don't have a great answer. i think the fact that we have bipartisan support, and the issue is moving forward publicly, gives us an opportunity to push for that point. it is also one of the few issues these days for which we do have bipartisan support. >> i am wondering your thoughts on the periodic acts of civil disobedience when people record the court. do you support those? is that a good way to get attention to this issue? rep. quigley: i believe that we should follow the rules, i just want to change the rules. rep. nadler: you can't justify a violation of the law, but we want to change the law to make it sensible to people. long tradition of civil disobedience in america, and when the court is as
obstinate as it is on this disobedience, especially given the technology, it is easy to go into a building like this, undiscovered and use technology to do with the court itself will not do. to make itself accountable and transparent to the public. back to the first question, since there hasn't been movement on this question and there does not seem to be a path forward, is it just going to take a new generation of justices to make this change on their own? rep. quigley: i have hope that congress will act. country you think i'm overly optimistic, maybe because i am a bacubs fan. anybody can have a bad century. this is the year we change it. rep. nadler: sometimes in the
past we have got bogged down in dealing with trial courts or witnesses and jurors that might be influenced, the legislation we are talking about does not deal with the trial courts, it deals with the appellate courts. most of the arguments opposing cameras in the courtroom deal with trial courts. there is no reasonable argued against this point. >> one more, anyone? does this go through the judiciary committee and what has representative good luck set about this bill -- represented goodlock said about this bill? >> we haven't talked to him yet, but we will. rep. nadler: when i talked about for theh the justices appropriations committee, their reaction was, this doesn't make us look good. it will change behaviors. this part of democracy won't look good. it was ironic because it was the 70th anniversary of the movie "mr. smith goes to washington" being released.
i remind the justices that it was being screened before the senate and a didn't want released because they thought it made us look bad. it was being screened in berlin and moscow and they didn't want to release it because they thought it made us look too good. beauty is in the eye of the holder. but when the nazis took over theaters they said you have 30 days and we will tell you what movies to show. "mr.0 days they showed smith goes to washington" back to back, 24 hours a day to protest that. it sends a message about how important transparency is in government. the trains don't always run on time and it is not always beautiful, but being able to watch that is an extra ordinary part of our democratic process. thank you, all. [applause] long, c-spangn takes you on the road to the white house. unfiltered access to the candidates, at town hall meetings, news conferences and speeches.
we are taking your comments on twitter, facebook and by phone. as always, every campaign event we cover is available on our website at c-span.org. c-span's road to the white house coverage continues at 8:00 p.m. et tonight with ohio governor john kasich. he held a townhall meeting in bow, new hampshire today. then jeb bush also in new hampshire, speaking in manchester about his plan to repeal the health care law. we will have his remarks at about 1:00 p.m. et -- about 9:00 p.m. et. before that we will hear from bernie sanders at the no labels convention. fellow is my cuban-american gloria stephan. -- gloria estafaefan. i wanted to do a conga line with
all of you. next time we'll have a great time. how many of you are here from vermont? growing up in cuba, there was only one state i knew. that's because my mom learns to make great pancakes. i had this little huddle that said vermont syrup, it was the one state i knew and the one state i loved. glad to introduce a senator from the great state of vermont. as the national vice chair chair of no labels joined by some great colleagues and you've heard from senator lieberman and governor huntsman and from mike mccardy and lisa. you'll hear from my colleague charlie black. we're very proud to put this ogether.
men and women from both political parties and independents committed to get things done. we're very proud of them in this country. thank you, problem solvers and the hundreds and thousands of activists around the country. here's a message i wand -- want to send to those candidates planning to blow things up. you know, we've already done that and it doesn't work. america wants to move on and here's what we expect, i hope, of our presidential candidates. one, campaign on your vision for america. two, tell us how you're going to get the job done. disagree without being disagreeable. think big, people and agree to embrace the goals of creating 25 million new jobs in 10 years and fixing social security, medicare and are the next 75 years. balance the budget in the next 15 years and make america energy strong and independent. today in politics are like in sports, there are no referees and no penalties.
no rules against bad behavior but fortunately you in this room and the millions of americans out there are the enforcers with your vote. in sports we shake hands, embrace our adversaries. in politics today, that's weakness, it's criticized and i say what's with that? that's not the american spirit. [applause] m here to introduce to you a presidential candidate with who i politically disagree. i'm a former chairman of the american conservative committee and i'm introducing a presidential candidate for the united states, bernie sanders. see, it's not hard to get along and i'm proud to be introducing bernie sanders. he's certainly generated a lot
of enthusiasm. by the way, have you seen senator sanders' political rallies? it's about going to be -- a mick jagger concert. they're about the same age but instead of feeling the vibes of brown sugar, it's about feeling the burn, and really, that's what happens. and he's learned to work with his colleagues and in spite of our divergent views, last year senator mccain and others hammered home a difficult compromise to reform the v.a. health system. let's give it up for the land of maple syrup. let's feel the burn, senator bernie sanders. [applause]
bernie: thank you very much for that generous introduction and i'll make certain to get you all of the maple syrup you need. the no egin by thanking labels conference for inviting me and for the important work i think the and essence of what they're trying to do, what you all are trying to do is to get beyond personal politics, the bitter attacks we see every day and let's sit down and analyze what the most important problems that -- are that we face as a country and figure out how to go forward. while, as al indicated, yeah, there are going to be big disagreements. let's treat each other
respectfully and civilly and not try to demonize people who have disagreements with us. in my mind, there is no question but that our country faces some very serious challenges, in fact. the challenges that we face today, if you include climate change, may be greater than at any time since the great depression and as the no lainls conference points out, what we need are answers to the problems, not just campaign rhetoric. let me start by saying that the bad news -- and it is very bad news, and it's an issue that we have got to deal with -- is that as a result of the citizens united supreme court decision, e now have a campaign system which -- and i use the word advisedly -- is corrupt and is
undermining american democracy, and i have to lay that right out on the table. i do not think that there is anything democratic about the fact that millionaires and billionaires can now spend as much money as they want and we're looking at one family pending $900 million in this campaign cycle in order to elect candidates who represent their interests and not the best interests of the american people so let me start this discussion right off at the top by saying that if we really want to create a vigorous, vibrant democracy where all people, conservatives, progressives, mod rot, can get actively involved and run for the office in my view, we have got to overturn citizens united and in my view move to public funding of elections. when we talk about the economy, and i thank the no labels conference for focusing on this issue.
let's -- let us be clear. real unemployment is not what you read in the newspapers once a month. that's the official unemployment rate, which is now around 5:00 -- 5%. real unemployment, including those people who have given up looking for work and those who are working part time is about 10%. and let me touch on something that very few people are talking about and i know the no labels people will talk about and that is youth unemployment. a study recently looked at youth unemployment for high school graduates between 17 and 20 years of age and what they found is that for white young people, real unemployment was 31%. for hispanic kids, it was 36%, and for african-american kids, it was 51%. this is a crisis situation.
and if we are more interested in making sure our kids are in we should have jobs, be investing in our young people and not simply in jailts and incarceration. so real unemployment -- and i'm glad you've raised that issue about unemployment. it's an issue that has to be talked about. it is much higher than i think people assume it is and it is in crisis proportions for young people. again, the united states, and i hope you all agree with me -- should not be having more people in jail, 2.2 million people than any other country on earth. we should be investing in jobs and education, not just jails and incarceration. now, when we talk about how we create some 25 million jobs over the next 10 years, there are, in my view, several things that we've got to do.
first, we have got to understand, and i think there is widespread bipartisan agreement on this we have got to understand that our infrastructure, our roads, bridges, water systems, wastewater plants, our airports, our rail system, our lev knees, our dams. in many parts of this country we have not invested sufficiently in our infrastructure and according to the american society of self--- civil engineers, we need trillions of dollars in investment because in many ways our infrastructure ask crumbling, falling further and further behind many other countries. that's why i have proposed a $1 trillion investment in a five-year period in rebuilding our infrom structure and that in itself would create up to 13 million decent paying jobs and at the same time, because we're improving our infrastructure,
make our country more first quarter, more productive and, in fact, safer. so i believe we should have a massive federal jobs program rebuilding our crumbling inif a structure. we can create just by doing that some 13 million decent paying jobs. when we talk about job creation, it is also important to be talking about not just how we create new jobs but how we prevent the loss of millions of jobs. here's the simple truth -- as a result of our disastrous trade licies, policies like nastya and trade relations with china, we have lost millions of decent paying jobs because what corporations have done is simply shut down in america, moved to low-wage countries abroad, hired
people there and then brought their products back into this country. since 2001 in america, we have lost about 60,000 factories. not all of that can be attributed to trade but a lot of can be so if we are serious about creating jobs, we need trade policies which create jobs in america, not just china or vietnam. and that is why i not only have voted against nafta, cafta and trade relations with china, i am strongly opogse the transpacific partnership. furthermore, if we're going to talk about how we create the millions of jobs we all agree that we need to create, we need which makes stem affordable loans to small and medium-sized businesses.
i think we all understand that e economic engine of america and -- is not large corporations who by and large have been downsizing and moving to other countries, but small and medium size businesses. i have very deep concerns about our current financial system in which i have a hand 68 of -- handful of banks on wall street, your six large financial institutions, which have assets equivalent to about 60% of the g.d.p. of the united states of america. and these financial institutions on wall street are not terribly concerned, in my view, about creating jobs on main street or in small towns all over america. i think their greed, their recklessness, their irresponsibility is known to all. they caused the financial collapse of 2008. so i think what we have to do is support for nd
community banks, for credit unions, financial institutions who are part of the communities they serve, who know the people in the communities. who know the people who want to buy homes, who know the people who are running small and medium -sized businesses. let me be very honest with you. i think when you have today three out of the four largest financial institutions, much larger today than they were when we bailed them out because they were too big to fail. i think it is time to reinstate -- legislation and also to break them up. if teddy roosevelt were alive today. as al knows, teddy roosevelt was a good republican. if teddy roosevelt were alive today, i think what he would be saying is when you have a small number of huge financial
institutions who have so much economic and political power, they are doing a real disservice to our economy and i think he would say we should break them up, and i agree with him. what wetalk about jobs, have also got to appreciate, is that while it is absolutely imperative that we create millions of decent-paying jobs, it is also equally important that those jobs pay people a living wage. all over this country right now, in sexrth in new hampshire, you have folks who are working two or three jobs. they're working 50, 60 hours a week trying to provide for their families. trying to cobble together some health care and in my view, when we have today a federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, we have just got to recognize that that minimum wage is totally
inadequate. we've got to raise that minimum wage to a living wage and i believe that over the next several years in cities like los angeles and seattle have begun to do, we have to raise that minimum wage to 15 bucks an hour. because i think if somebody works 40 hours a week, that person should not be living in poverty. now, you have also raised the very important issue of social and let med medicare briefly touch on them. first, despite some of the rhetoric you may have heard from , social icians security is not going broke. i noll every day on television someone is saying social security is going broke. we have to cut it and raise the retirement age.
accurate. according to the social security administration, social security has about $2.8 trillion in its trust fund and can pay out every benefit owed to every eligible american for the next 19 years. now, that tells us that we don't have a major crisis but frankly, 19 years is still too short a period of time and we have got to figure out how we can extend the life of social security a lot longer than that to make sure that our kids and our grandchildren know social security will be there for them. in my view, the fairest way to extend the life of social security for the next 50 years is to make sure that the wealthiest people in this country, many of whom are doing phenomenally well, are start paying the same percentage of
their income into the social security system as the middle class and working families of our country currently pay. right now, as you know, somebody who is making hundreds and hundreds of millions of dallas a year, pays the same amount of money into the social security trust fund as somebody who makes $118,500 a year. in my view, that is wrong. what i would do, and we've introduced legislation to do this. i would apply the payroll tax on all income starting at $250,000 a year and i would use this revenue not just to extend the life of social security, and my proposal would extend the life of social security to the year 2061. but i would also expand social security benefits. and here's the truth -- in my
state of vermont -- i've talked to too many haves in vermont and all over this country. there are seniors and people with disabilities who are trying to get by on horrifically low incomes. you talk to people who are ying to make it on 10, 11, $1,000 a year and the truth is you really can't survive on that level of income. and that means not buying the prescription drugs you need, not heating your home in the winter, not buying the fold that you adequately need. in, we should be cognizant of the fact that the average social security boetsch today is just $ 1,328 a month. so my view is that we should extend social security, expand it and we do that by lifting the ap on taxable incomes.
you've asked a good question about medicare so let's talk about medicare but we have to broaden that discussion a little bit to talk about health care in america and here are the simple facts -- the united states today spends far more per capita, per person, on health care than do the people of any other country. that's just the fact. and despite the gain fips of the affordable care act where some 15 million more americans now have health insurance. we have 29 million in this country who have zero health insurance and many people are under insured with high detectable and high co-payments and sometimes they just don't get to the doctor because they will can't afford to pay for their deduct blings. in my view, and i know not everybody agrees with me, but in my view, the united states of america has got to join every other major industrialized
country on earth and guarantee health care to all people as a right not a privilege. those of us who live in new hampshire and vermont, we border canada, and canada has managed to provide health care to every man, woman, and child in their country in a much more coast effective way than by -- we do. germany has a different system. denmark has a different system. u.k., france. they all have different systems but the common alty is everybody has health care as a right and all of those systems provide health care to their people in a more cost-effective way. and by the way, the health care outcomes for many of those systems is better than ours in tems -- terms of longevity, life expectancy. child, infant mortality rates, etc. last point, you ask how do we
balance the budget by the year 2030 and that's clearly an important issue. and the good news is that since president obama was elected, we have made some pretty significant progress. when president bush left office, as most of you know, we were running up a record-breaking $1.4 trillion federal deficit. today, while too high, the federal deficit is down to $426 billion. so that is making some progress. but obviously it is still a large deficit and we have a national debt of over $18 trillion. and that is a serious problem. let me put the issue of debt and deficit into a broader context and touch on some issues that i think are not wildly discussed.
when we talk about the deficit and the debt, i hope that everybody remembers that when we went to war in afghanistan and iraq, unfortunately those wars were not paid for. they were put on the credit card and those wars will end up costing us somewhere between $4 trillion and $6 trillion. i got to tell you, i have a hard time understanding how some members of congress can come guard and say oh, we've got to cut social security and medicare and medicaid and education and nutrition programs because we have a deficit. oh, but when it comes to war, not a problem. we're just going to put it on the credit card and i think that that is very, very wrong. [applause] second point, when we talk about deficits and debts. it has to be put into the broader context of what has been going on economically in america
n the last 30 or 40 years. and that reality is as i think most people know, is that there has been a huge transfer of ealth, to the tune of many trillions of dollars going to 1.10iddle class to the top of 1%. 1% as 95 the top .1 of seen its share of our nation's wealth more than double while the middle class has lost trillions of dollars. that fundamental reality has got to be understood. the middle class is shrinking. the very rich are becoming much richer. corporations in many ways, many of them are enjoying record-breaking profits. today, the top for the 1% owns as much wealth as the bottom
90%. is that the kind of economy we think america and the middle class deserves today despite people working incredibly long hours. 58% of all new income is going to the top 1%. so in my view when we talk about nevertheless that have to be made in our country in terms of education and infrastructure, that reality has always got to be paramount. middle class shrinking, wealthiest people doing phenomenally well. so in order to make progress in reducing our deficit and our national debt, we obviously need to make certain that our government is running as efficiently as possible and all of you know, whether you're conservatives or progressivities, that is not the case -- progressives, that is not the case. a lot of inefficiency and a lot of waste. all that i would ade to that
general -- add to that general thought is we also have to look at the department of defense. when we talk about one running an efficient government that has got to include the department of defense. it also means, in my view, that we need to move aggressively toward real tax reform. so that those individuals in -- and corporations who have the in fact do to pay so a few ideas on that subject -- at a time when we are losing $100 billion a year in revenue because corporations are stashing their profits in the kaman islands and other offshore tax havens, we have got to eliminate this legalized tax ploy. it is wrong. it doesn't make any sense that
you have profitable corporations making billions of years -- a year in profit in some cases not paying one dollar in federal income tax. at a time when the 50 wealthiest in this country increased their wealth by $170 billion in the last two years, i would significantly increase the estate tax on inherited wealth of more than $3.5 million. further more, as warren buffet often remind us, we have a tax system when enable some of the wealthest people in this country to have an effective, i.e. real tax rate, which is lower than truck drivers or nurses and that makes no sense to me nor do i think it makes sense to the american people. bottom line is wettest people becoming much wealther. large corporations in many cases
in-- enjoying large profits. the middle class in many ways disappearing. we have got to have a tax system which asks those people on top fair t paying their share. and i agree with you. i want to see ha happen as well but in all due respect, and i say this respectfully, when we talk about energy, there is, in fact, an even more important issue than just energy independence. i sit on both the senate environmental academy and the senate energy committee and what i can tell you without the slightest hesitation is that the scientific community is virtually unanimous, climate change is ream.
climate clang is caused by human activity. climate change is already causing devastating problems in our country and around the world. and what the scientists tell us is if we do not get our act together now and transform our energy system away from fassel fuel to energy efficiency and sustainable emergency -- energy, the planet that we are going to be leaving our children is a planet that will be in a lot worse shame than the planet we enjoy today and that is morally unacceptable. it is unacceptable to say we don't care about the planet we're leaving our kids. we're just going to go on, same old, same old, more fasselle fuel. so yeah, i want to see us move toward energy independence. the way you do that is aggressively move forward toward invest ficiency and
aggressively in wind, solar, geo thermal and other triss. -- industries. leapt me thank you for the good work you do for trying to get serious discussion on serious issues, for trying to minimize the politics that we see, the personal attacks that we see. i thank you very much for what you're doing and i look forward to working with you in the future. thank you all very much. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org]
presidential candidate john kasich in ohio. jeb bush, then laura don humidity later, today's "wall street journal" on the criminal justice system. and more road to the white house coverage of the republican candidates tomorrow starting with florida senator marco rubio, who will be in derry, new hampshire. live coverage at 12:30 herein -- eastern here on c-span. jeb bush holds a town hall in concord, new hampshire as well. and on c-span 2. live coverage for a political rally