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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  October 26, 2015 10:30pm-12:01am EDT

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unenumerated rights. susan: as we close, we told the court ended the lochner air. you said in your book, it is not dead. what should people know about lochner's importance today in the body politic? >> i think the two of those together show the importance. rand paul is talking about judicial activism's and importance. talking about a certain view of liberty that i don't think everybody shares. that notion that you entered into this contract completely free. length from the contracts professor. it does not hold in a lot of people's minds. in an air of progressive philosophy. susan: you get the last word. prof. barnett: in that speech which was part of his
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filibuster, he also favored restoring the lost constitution. the presumption of liberty. our liberty should be presumed to be valid and government should only restrict our liberty if they have a good reason. they have a good reason they aould be able to present reason. they were unable to do that according to five justices with respect to the maximum hours lot. susan: so ends our program on lochner v. new york. this is the fourth in a series of 12. we will do this until the middle of november. if you're learning like we are and you are not a lawyer, we have a book available we're selling at cost. moore, -- tony written by tony morrow, the 12 cases we selected. if you go to our website, you can see how to order it so you cannot follow along. as we close, let me say thank
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you to randy barnett and paul kens for helping us understand this. ♪
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>> our landmark cases series continues next monday. justice oliver wendell holmes wrote a unanimous opinion that the espionage act of 1917 is constitutional, even when used to punish speech that would the permissible in times of peace. meaning that the first amendment is not absolute. casesn watch the landmark \landmark cases. the history, people, and impact ,f such cases is in this book tonyark cases, written by mauro. available for $8.95 plus
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shipping. that is sad c-span.org/landmark cases. at c-span.org \landmark cases. >> coming up, as a special addition to our landmark cases, an interview with senator charles grassley. then the defense programs bill and later, another chance : lochnerndmark cases v. new york. senator chuck grassley a violent, thank you. let me start by asking you about possible role of these the v the supreme court. what is your responsibility? we would have everything to do with the approval of judges that go on
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court. it is an important process we go through. the supreme court is a powerful ranking government. madison, theing to least to worry about. the least powerful. but they have turned out to be more powerful than madison indicated. the role of ours is to make sure the people on the court are qualified and that they have judicial temperament to leave their own personal views out of the cases they decide. decide them according to the law or the constitution and according to the facts of the case and basically, just to make sure that they do the job of being a fair referee of the constitution both between the government and the people and within the branches of government. set ofou have a specific responsibilities as the chair?
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sen. grassley: that we have a fair hearing. very seldom do we interact with the justices. a couple times a year i am invited to talk to what is called a judicial council. recently i had a five minute presentation to them, just like the chairman of the house judiciary committee or the attorney general. it is kind of just giving them an update of what we're up to in the congress of the united states. it gives me an opportunity to speak about cameras in the art room, which i know some supreme court justices do not like. i have been an advocate or. i brought that up again said they know i am pursuing something they disagree with, but we are going to be the final determinant of that. tracks that is an interesting thing to describe to people. how can the congress be the
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final determinant of cameras in the court? sen. grassley: because if we say the supreme court has to have cameras, they have to have cameras. i don't see how they can declare that unconstitutional. i do it in the spirit of the bill of rights, where the courtroom has to be open to the public. of course, it is open to the public for those who can squeeze into the courtroom. the extent to which certain cases in the courtroom is open to the public on television, everybody has an opportunity to participate in that case. just like everybody has an opportunity to participate in the congress of the united states through the television of the house and senate. it gives people an opportunity to understand the judicial branch of government.
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they have the opportunity to understand the president, the judicial branch's, the legislature, but i don't think they have an opportunity to understand as much what the supreme court does. them anit gives opportunity to understand. in lower courts, it stands to --e sure that judges are have more decorum and do not tend it to be did tatars quite so much. >> there is some concern that supreme court hearings have become politicized. that this is a history series. so i want to ask you if it is more politicized than it has been in the past or it is a new phenomenon. or have court appointments about level always had politics? sen. grassley: i think you would -- andbecame politicized
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then in the 1990's with breyer and ginsberg to go back to being less political. that is why you have seen ginsburg and breyer confirmed by overwhelming majorities as opposed to pork being rejected -- bork being rejected. -- ledhere was rejection by senator schumer giving speeches led by the fact that ideology got to play a more important role in de-selection of judges. it has become more politicized and that time. particularly for the supreme court and circuit court judges. not so much for district court judges. this is bad for the country. because i think that if you go 200 years without the selection of judges and approval by the
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supreme court inc. so -- i mean approval by the congress being so political, we got along pretty good for those 200 years. tags and other question about the selection of supreme court justices, throughout history it has not always been necessary for supreme court justices to be lawyers. you yourself are not a lawyer. unusual but not exclusive. these days, is it absolutely necessary for a superb -- supreme court justice to be a lawyer? sen. grassley: i think so. i know the law does not require it, i think only once in our history a justice from lee county, iowa, was appointed by lincoln or someone succeeding lincoln will stop i think they eventually ended up being considered lawyers by how lawyers were created in those days, reading the law and
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getting approval. i think he was a medical doctor at one time. other than that, every justice out of the 120 or so that have served up and lawyers. i think in understanding of law is very, very good. i don't think that means you could not do it, but i am much or i would recommend that now. i would be open to people convinced me otherwise, but right now i want to leave it the way it is. >> i want to delve into some of the cases we selected. starting with mulberry versus madison, a case in every high school civics text book. it is still being debated by some on your side of the aisle who believe the court should not have jew just to review power. -- should not have judicial review power. what is your belief? you grassley: my belief is
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need a referee. that is what marr barry versus madison said. the supreme court was going to assume the role of being a referee between the two branches of government and be the final authority on what is constitutional or not and what is legal or not. finalg as that is not the answer, and for her five times the constitution is been amendment to overturn supreme court decisions so in a sense the people or the people's representative have the final say if they want it. fair to say the court is absolutely the final say will stop in most instances, that is right. an and time it is congress many times has overturned supreme court's cases by overturning the law when they
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felt it and interpreted the law wrong three or four times beginning with atkins versus georgia in 1790. >> earlier you referenced james madison. sen. grassley: i think it is what he wanted, the least dangerous. action likeinitiate the president of the united states under the constitution or laws of our land can and initiate some action. in the case of the legislative branch, we can initiate almost anything we want to. next, another, a judge said he thought it was one of the worst decisions ever made. when you think of dred scott and what it did to the history of the country, what do you think? affrontssley: it was an
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to common sense that african americans not be citizens of ,his country it was an insult it was such an insult that the civil war was bought over that and started because of that. also, because it was going to spread slavery into anyplace in of the 1820priority and 1850 compromises. so it led to what turned out to .e good the constitutional amendment is one example of congress moving ahead and the people of this country moving had and overturning a supreme court decision. in turn it has done a great deal of good every time -- over time taste on a case law which the court interpreted the bill of rights to be affable to
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states and most censuses, except for one or two, in most instances applicable to the states. so, what restrictions there are on government or what projections there are for the american people against the federal government, also protections for the people that are applicable to the state. >> when we spoke to senator leahy, he describes the amendments to the constitution 13, came out of dred scott, 14, 15, as the second founding of the country. you see it like that? all, itssley: first of did the right thing by giving african-americans the right to vote, which they did not get in reality until 100 years later. that at least it was in the constitution, the right to vote and be citizens of the country and that you could not have
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involuntary servitude in the future. so, that is very important. but, i think it is important from the standpoint that it's gave to the citizens of every state a lot of protection against government that the bill of rights gave to the people of the country only against national law as opposed to state. against national government as opposed to state government. >> as it turns out, we had help from the national constitution professor law selecting these cases. it was difficult to find 12. 14thrns four of them are amendment cases. is that a coincidence that the 14th amendment is reviewed so often by the court? sen. grassley: yes, because it is so sweeping. every person being guaranteed
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the protection of the laws and due process and things like that. that is very basic to the freedom that the revolutionary was fought for. and why the constitution was written in the first place. not to have the government give rights to the people, but the rights belong to the people and certain of those are given up to the mutual benefit for the government to offer instead. it is the principle of limited government that is so important. i do not think the 14th amendment does anything more thing in fortify that original position of the constitution writers. >> in recent years, as this issue has been so prominent, you suggested legislative
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clarification of the 14th amendment vis-a-vis emigration. i do not want to get into the politics of immigration, but the need to clarify an amendment through legislation, can you talk about that? this,rassley: i have said if you could do it by legislation, to say what subject ,o the jurisdiction thereof which then determines whether somebody born in the united states is a legal citizen -- if you can do it by legislation, i would try to clarify that. said, if you have to do it by constitutional amendment, you might as well forget about it. >> i am going to jump ahead in history. tubestown sheet and company versus sawyer. you have referenced that with regards to president obama and executive action. we found this on your website. you are talking about the
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guantanamo detainees and you wrote, it is difficult to square with the limited as. in youngstown sheet and two company versus sawyer, otherwise known as the steel seizure case, precedent.et a clear it helped president truman's executive orders besieging steel during themills korean war was unconstitutional. it established the executive was not above the law. sen. grassley: do most important a president is strongest in exercising his powers when he has congress with him and in this particular instance, the supreme court made a decision that the executive iner exercised by truman seizing the steel mills under the war powers act -- i mean under the commander-in-chief authority that he has, was a
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step way beyond it. it has been used to justify several cases since then. going to guantanamo and one instance, and to nixon's papers in another instance and the nixon problems at the time of watergate as another example. it is frequently cited, because it is a landmark case from the standpoint of the support being a to referee between the branches of government and making sure the president of the united states, or in some cases the congress, are living within the constitution. in that particular case, the most important thing is not the opinions of eight justices, but the most important thing is a concurring opinion of justice jackson that is so often quoted now in several supreme court decisions since then. i do not know if it is dozens or
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hundreds, but he is frequently quoted. particularly when there are is disputes between the two branches of government or a president exceeding his authority. >> there is an interesting sidebar told by tony mauro in the book landmark cases. president truman might have actually gone to the chief and gottenore assurances from the chief justice the case would be found in the president toss favor. can you imagine that happening today? sen. grassley: at no. but we talked about dred scott, buchanan,at is what president of that time, was insinuated. i don't think it has been proven, but it was insinuated there was a great deal of discussion between buchanan and the chief justice at that time. i do not think harry truman would do that. if he did, i do not know if there was any records, but he obviously did not get the right message he wanted.
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>> let's go back in time. shank. first world war. phrase, you to the cannot be -- you cannot scream fire in a crowded the editor. ist i would like to share the discussion about the first amendment and our rights to communicate in the digital age and the post-nine\11 age. think you can't yell fire in the theater -- what that shows is there are very that citizens have under the constitution, but they are not absolute rights. there can be legitimate limitations. of can't yell fire in the theater, because you are concerned about what that does in that exercise of free speech
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to the lives of people that might yet trampled as you are running out of the theater. there are some restrictions, but you have to assume the spirit of the constitution. it is very extraordinary to have any restrictions on first amendment rights. where do youlator, draw that line when people in the judicial system raise concerns about their need to be what people are saying on the internet, monitor phone calls, that sort of thing falls cap sen. grassley: what you do is, a lot of times you have got to find a balance. unrestricteding freedoms, hardly ever, that we talk about. in the case that to you mentioned, you are trying to find a balance between national security on one hand and fourth rightsnt privacy and that you have as a citizen not
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to be tormented by your government. that is what you are trying to find a balance. it is difficult to find that sort of a balance, but i think we eventually do it. the most recent action by congress of restricting the federal government from accumulating phone numbers under what we call metadata is an example of finding that balance. we thought we had the balance previously. then, if you ever wonder, does grassroots make a difference? yes. there was very much concerned there was too much invasion of privacy. so, you still do things to protect national security, but maybe do greater things than you had thought you needed to do in the past to protect privacy. from terrorism, you have had some interest in constitutional amendments to preserve the flag over time. people who believe burning the
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flag, for example, is an expression of first amendment rights. what is your response? sen. grassley: my response can only be the first amendment was meant to protect verbal speech. that is an example of where the supreme court has said the first amendment protects nonverbal speech as well. i have to accept that. if you do not like that, we have to overturn it right constitutional amendment, and i doubt it will be overturned. >> let's move to another case. rights in the post terrorism age. the miranda decision, 1966. we all, and society, are familiar with miranda rights. the cop shows always talk about it. you have had some concern about how the miranda rights have been used by the administration. particularly in guantanamo. can we talk about how that -- cts the way we treat
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sen. grassley: it is simple. when people take up arms against our country, they are enemy combatants and they are not protected by the constitution of the united states. modified by recent supreme court decisions which say they at least have a right trialad this corpus for a before the courts. i think the protection came from the geneva conventions. that has been modified by statutes we passed and modified by court decisions. at that is where i come from originally. things have changed. we have to abide by the increased protections that people have under recent congressional -- congressional enactment and what the court said. >> i understand a personal decision for you you were serving in the iowa convention.
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sen. grassley: we thought we had an answer that was copied directly from the united states congress. one house based on area, one house based on population. we passed a constitutional amendment in the legislature, you have to do that with two different legislatures and it has to be voted on by the people. we passed in one house based on geography and the other house based on population. it happens that to before baker versus car was decided, that was turned down by the voters of the state of iowa. if it had not been turned on by the voters of the state of iowa in the referendum, it would've been overturned by baker versus it has toh said that be based purely on one person, one vote. so that is the way the 50 state legislatures are now determined.
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at thechief justice time, earl warren, describe the bigger decision is the most in the vegan during his tenure. which is quite a statement to make, considering the cases during his tenure. why did he make that statement? sen. grassley: and has been a long time since i read baker versus carr. this is the way i look at it. there is an obscure part of the constitution that says the federal government has to guarantee a republican form of government in each of the states. that is probably the only immediate control the federal government has over the states. and it is thereby the constitution. republican form of government does not mean the republican party, it means representative government. know if he meant this, but he would be justified in saying that if you have mala push and legislature, the people are not properly represented and
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a representative form of government is not exist. for instance, in our state we would have a county with let's 250,000 people, two representatives. i was a representative of a county of only 17,000. so, i frankly, deep: one county were not guaranteed a republican form of government under these eight legislature. that is why baker versus carr was so essential. the only disagreement i would have at that time, not sure if i would have it today, but i thought, based upon what the federal government had done, based on geography and the other based on inflation, that if each of the 50 states had decided to do it that way, it should have met the constitutional requirements. but, obviously, the court thought otherwise and nobody argues with baker versus carr
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today. >> apparently, justice thomas thinks there should be further clarification >> no, i think total duration. i think i would disagree. it is based upon people whether they vote or not vote. case, me get to our final roe versus wade. this congress is still tied up over planned parenthood. the supreme court as agreed to hear another abortion related case. what did the court to abortion? why are we still debating this? >> because social change ought to be made by the representatives of the people.
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it is something that started with dred scott. the courts are getting involved in social maneuvering and they thatwrong by declaring african-americans can never be citizens of the united states. they should have left it to the elected representatives of the people. that is a lesson for a lot of social cases. look at the successful social change in america that has been done by legislative bodies in a bipartisan way, social security, >>icare, civil rights probably a lot more it. the one that hasn't been decided in a bipartisan way -- these are .ery bipartisan decisions they were genetically changing things in a social way in america. he have all been fully accepted. one that has not is roe versus
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wade. the division now is greater as and when it was passed. another one would be obamacare. it is an example. to do things through the elected representatives of the people and do it in a way that is bipartisan. >> would brown versus the board be an argument on the other side ? >> that has been accepted by the american people, not immediately . you have to realize that brown has been modified by supreme court cases in the last 20 years that has not -- originally, it was busing children from one part of the town to another. had court decisions that said you don't need to go that
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far. even the court has made modifications of brown versus -- the brown case. >> we are out of time. what to you want people watching the series to know about the supreme court? >> get the supreme court televised so the entire people can see what is going on and have more respect for law. >> we hope to learn more about the history of the courts. thank you, senator. c-span presents ,landmark cases," the book which explores 12 historic decisions, including mulberry , brown versus the board of education, miranda versus arizona, roe versus wade.
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introductions, background, highlights, and the impact of each case. tony mauro and published by c in cooperation with cq press. landmark cases is available today on c-span.org\lan dmarkcases. announcer: on the next washington journal, tom cole on this week's house elections, the budget, and upcoming fiscal deadlines. after that, john garamendi on the highway trust fund. of congressional perks. washington journal is live every morning at 7:00 eastern on c-span. you can join the conversation
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with your calls and comments on facebook and twitter. announcer: tuesday, ashton testified about the u.s. military strategy in the middle east. live coverage at 9:00 eastern on c-span3. next, lawrence korb on president obama's veto of the defense programs bill. and is about one hour. we are going to look at if dealsv with military fundinge issues. it was in the white houseto yesterday. >> i have repeatedly called on
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congress to eliminate the sequester and make sure that we are providing certainty to our military. make sure our troops get what they need. this bill resorts to gimmicks that do not allow the pentagon to do what it needs to do. aboutjoining us to talk this decision to veto the bill and some aspects of it, to two guests. , and also tom donnelly. gentlemen, good morning. let's start with you, mr. donnelly. what is the bill about? why did the president to veto it? defense policya bill separate from
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appropriations. you authorize the amount of spending and a bunch of other policy recommendations. the moneyhave appropriated for the department. because of a larger contest over federal spending, the president has chosen to veto this. this does not happen often. when it does, it is usually over a matter of policy, not over money. host: so there's a specific reason he decided to do this? guest: there is. .e have budget caps, sequester the president said, let's get rid of them. for all federal agencies, including defense. congress wants to have it both ways. they should know it will still keep to the budget control number. we are going to put the extra money into the war fund, the overseas contingency operations budget. this way, they can increase defense. the president said, no, you have to do not just this but the other.
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cannot spend it economically in the war fund, because it does not permit you to spend it on things that you have in the original budget. host: is it a good idea to veto this? guest: it was a great idea. usee are going to sequester, we should do it for all. there are a lot of agencies that contribute to national security, like homeland security, or the state department. mr. donnelly, was vetoing a good idea? you expect congress to be able to differentiate between different kinds of federal spending. in the view of congress, they thought improving and expanding the capacity of the military, especially in a dangerous environment, was a better bet than raising headstart or other domestic discretionary spending. it was a reasonable proposition
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on the part of the congress. they raised defense spending to what the president expected. have to agree with larry that this is not an ideal solution. nonetheless, given the crisis we step that is first necessary. host: crisis because of funding? guest: because of cuts and downsizing. and the fact that the world is a more dangerous place. this is the first step to getting out of the constraints imposed by the budget control act. it is not the perfect solution. thanimprovement is better perfection. do a great up a world becomes more than a dangerous
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place? guest: i think we're spending enough. we're spending more than we did in the cold war, adjusted for inflation. of thehn mccain, author bill, says he is upset about how ged the weapons system program is. we are $450 billion over the estimated cost. we're spending more and more and getting less and less. senator mccain is upset about the price of the aircraft carrier, the new f-35 joint strike fighter. this week, he said he will have to buy less, because it costs more than we thought. host: are they the most extensive driver of budgets? guest: no. the largest slice of the budget is personnel costs. thepos of senator mccain, bill also includes a huge package of reforms, as i said.
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it's a defense policy bill. the other important thing it does is authorized pay increases -- authorize pay increases for the troops. both of these policy things are victims of this fight over what i would call a "misdirected" fight. to take the defense authorization bill, the policy bill hostage, is pretty hard-edged politics. in andf you want to call ask what this means, 202-748-8001 for republicans, 202-748-8000 for democrats, and 202-748-8002 for independence. active military can call 202-748-8003.
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senator mccain talked about this of what he thought this bill was not the best move. let's listen. mccain: it seems to me if the president vetoes this that he is placing a higher priority over his concern and opposition to the funding budgetary over the then he is defense of the country. -- if he cared about the defense of the nation, he would focus on the active appropriations bills. veto the appropriations bills because you don't like where the money is coming from. is that a reasonable argument? guest: no. there is a provision in there that will stop present obama
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from freeing anymore prisoners from guantanamo bay even though 55 have been cleared for release. there are some good provisions in the bill. they want to reform the military retirement system. there are other things in there. pentagon toing the build an east coast missile site. there are a lot of provisions in there that i think the president was sworn to veto. were really concerned about the defense department, we would not be under a continuing resolution. federal not pass the budget on time. that is the real problem right up. until december, we are going on a continuing resolution. even though it is fiscal 2016, that will waste a lot of taxpayer money. first of all, the guantanamo provisions have been in the bill every year since 2010
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these are not new provisions. these are not a cause for a presidential veto. they were enacted into law in the last four or five years. that is a little bit of a canard. reason we have not passed appropriations bills is because the democratic minority in the senate has blocked the passes. they have been passed in the house. this whole game is a really being directed from the white house with the intent to force increases in domestic spending. i think senator mccain has it exactly right. the appropriate place to have this argument is over the actual spending bills, the appropriations bills. to qualitatively cross the line and gum up the policy works with a fight about money is
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unprecedented. host: we will continue this conversation. john from utah. your of first on the democrat line. go ahead with your comment or question. caller: i just want to know if this policy bill that the vetoednt the don't -- dealt with the waste in private contractors with costs plus financing for them and open-ended checks. does a deal with them being able to charge us $100 for a bag of laundry, for trucks. does it deal with the waste? that is a great deal of waste in our budget. paying the troops more, ,ut the waste programs overseeing with that money is going, is there anything to go with that? are we on the same george bush open-ended ticket for these were
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profiting private contractors? guest: going back to the bill, there is a provision in there that says you can't close basis. we are 20% over capacity. costing millions every year to keep these bases over capacity. f-35'snt to buy more even though it hasn't been tested fo. i think the real problem is that is justnse department not doing their job. people can take a look at what they said the effort if i was f-35 to cost -- what the
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is going to cost. way over budget. john says that is why we got sequestered. they are light, overpriced, and they don't even deliver them. guest: the irony is that this bill has comprehensive procurement in it. a new retirement fund for people who served fewer than 20 years. this bill is full of process and procurement reforms. for the present to veto it sends a really bad signal to congress in trying is no point to get their way. withbill has nothing to do the dollars and cents that the government will spend.
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away this reform effort in a generation and hold that hostage in a dispute about domestic spending seems to me to be really misplaced. good morning. i retired military. -- i am retired military. , was concerned with this veto how it will affect the president , as far as the health care. for the retired military and also for retirement pension that we are now getting, is that going to be grandfathered in, or is that going to change for those people that already receive retirement benefits? guest: the bill does contain
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reforms to both retiree and current active duty were in medical programs. that is what the cost drivers. the provisions do grandfather in people who basically are already -- it doesn't change the deal for people who have already done their service and retired. it does help to put the system in for those currently serving to retire on a more sound financial basis. that is another example of reforms that are being blocked and held up by the president's veto. guest: they can go where they can take out the provisions. this is the first year they put in a date and said the end of obamas and ministration, you cannot do that with guantanamo.
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there are certain things that you need to put in the bill. this gentleman may not be happy because of the increase in pharmacy co-pays and things like that. there are good things in it. back and look at what other presidents vetoed, bush, reagan, carter, a couple of specific things, they went back and took them out. one provision was that you have to get out of iraq or you can send more troops. bush vetoed that, so they took it out and passed it again. when the president says he objects to those provisions-- going back to tom's point, if it theed this, and appropriators do it, and the money has to stay in a war fund budget, that does not help the pentagon do any long term planning. that's going to waste a lot of money. guest: larry makes my point. past vetoes were over defense
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policy issues. you can meet the president's demands for the gitmo provision. bill,ld still veto the because he cares about raising domestic spending. he is using this as a stick to hit republicans in congress with. of course, it is the case that normally allocating spending is the most sensible way to do it. doing it through the backdoor is better than not doing it at all. the military desperately needs the money. his levels of readiness have dropped. that is the money that you can allocate funding for. the military could make really good use of this money. met the has simply defense requested that the president, in terms of dollars, put forward earlier in the year. guest: the war funding that is currently paying for iraq and
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afghanistan, is that where it comes from? guest: it is what we used to call supplemental appropriation. the title to "overseas contingencies operation." is mostly to cover the bullets and beef cost of deploying personnel, particularly to iraq and afghanistan. over the years, it has become a fluid mechanism for helping to repair systems that get crashed or war maorn out. the defense department has better at allocating a less wasteful way than you might imagine. host: is this the administration trying to line item? ,uest: if a before we had this i will put senator mccain, why
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is this in defense? why is this in the war fighting budget? this is supposed to fund the operation there, but they have put in new combat aircraft in re and we are not even flying them. this is a gimmick that the pentagon has used it to get around budget caps. the pentagon asked for $36 billion more in the base budget. no way, even with stretching everything, can you justify more than $30 billion in there. this has nothing to do with the fact that we are involved in the war. this is a way to get around the budget. everybody knows people are doing this. guest: you have made my point again. this is a way to get around the constraints in the budget control act, which nobody likes. the president submitted a budget which blew through the caps.
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for him to be shocked to that there's gambling going on in the pentagon, you know, he is sort of like a casablanca cop. host: john in china, texas. caller: the hypocrisy of the liberal media and obama is sublimating. the republicans, when they wanted to take up planned parenthood funding, obama vetoed it. republicans were accused of shutting down the government and being radicals and not caring for the country and women. here we have a president who is acting like a mini-me shutting down the defense budget because he does not get his way. they're trying to make him out to be a hero. that is insane. obama is acting like a dictator. congressman, my senator cornyn. when are they going to say enough is enough?
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congress has a role, you have your role, we do stand up to obama and say no, we will vote for this, you accept it or else? you shut this down, we are sick and tired of obama playing like a third world dictator. y.at is what i have to sa guest: i think it is important to say that the sequester is a republican idea. when the freedom caucus took over in 2010, they said unless you do this we will shut the government down. this is not the president's idea. if you want to talk about how we got into this mess, in iraq and afghanistan, the bush and ministration not only did not raise taxes to pay for it like nixon did in vietnam, they cut taxes. we have a deficit people are congress about, and came up with this provision. , he ando you, paul ryan
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patty murray got relief from the budget control act. to tell you how foolish things are and go back, they had a provision in there for military 62 that until you were you would get cost of living minus 1 and when you're 62 they would make it up for you. everybody said, oh, this is terrible. so congress would not pass it. there was money on the table because of used. they wanted to free it up for other things. i'm glad that finally, congress has done something about the cost of military personnel, but the fact of the matter is that -- they would not raise the tricare fees. billion before
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the government would do anything about it. guest: to go back to the original point, this is a plague on both houses. act is thecontrol only piece of bipartisan agreement between the white house and the new conservatives and the leadership of congress. they agreed that they would not touch entitlement programs. they agreed that it was ok to camehe government when it to national defense. you have this left-wing, right wing dark side of the moon alliance that created the budget control act. party is chaste and virginal. apropos of this year's bill, this has been a slow-moving what wreck that outlines
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is going to happen in congress very early in the year. to this point, neither side has budged. says there are other things that matter to the president then defense spending. he could also be speaking about his own colleagues in the republican caucus host:. joining us for a discussion on the defense budget issue. tom donnelly we just heard from his from the american enterprise institute. larry corbett is from the center for american progress. let your tony in fort worth, texas. democrat line. morning.ood you look sharp as usual, pedro. my comment is that every time i hear sequester, it makes me angry. self-inflicted. you cannot have it both ways. if you want to cut all federal funding--you cannot go around and try to sequester by china
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fund the things you want to fund. is trying toaller make this an obama thing. this is not an obama thing. this is a thing where we cannot come together on anything. maybe vetoing the bill was the right thing to do? you cannot pick and choose what you want to fund. the sequester something the government did to us. we now suffer from what they have done. that's my comment. host: to that point, mr. donnelly, what is the stands bef the sequester? we need tocuts -- make sure we are speaking accurately when we talk about the sequester and the budget control act. ped budget control act cap discretionary spending. and there is also sort of a rule thatn -- rule of thumb
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those cuts should be equally allocated. course the most -- the much larger entitlement, social security, medicare, servicing the federal debt. if we are talking about the whichment making choices is, in my judgment, what we pay these guys to do -- otherwise they would just give away goodies to everybody all the time -- the budget control act is a mechanism for basically the congress and the president to say that is automatic, nothing to do with me. provisionput in this that if federal spending it wouldthe caps that be automatically cut. again, it is sort of a way for to avoidns to appear
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responsibility as if there were some sort of death star automatic mechanism out there that control spending and that they did not have to actually vote on. and so the condition of our military. guest: i think the military has more than enough money. as i said, in real terms, accounting for inflation, the budget this year -- -- passed by the congress -- is more than we spent on average in the cold war. is it as high as it was in the wars in iraq? no. and take ago back look at after vietnam, after korea and the end of the cold war, the budget was much less. we are talking about 40%, 50%. so no. it is a problem of minute -- management. we have seen this coming for years, nobody wanted to do anything about it. now we are going to have to deal with it.
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you have this cost overrun and weapon systems. .ake the f 35 for example they moved that into production before they finished. the best that the secretary who manages the place -- manage the place in the nixon the decision said, fly before you buy. they rush in and then nobody is held accountable for something like that. host: two things -- two things, quickly. to reduce the size of a mobilized forces a completely everything to reduce the size of a conscript force. korea, even had not are not good analogies to the situation that the military faces today. program secondly, a like the joint strike fighter, for example, was always intended -- it was created in the clinton administration because there was supposed to be an urgent need to
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build this plan well finishing installment. it was always intended to proceed along the path that it has done, but because of uncertain funding along the way this process has been drawn out. amountys costs a certain to engineer and build the first plane, first worship, first tank. you pay a big cost upfront. the only thing that makes it worthwhile is to buy them at efficient procurement rates. and then because of budget cuts -- not simply the sequestration or the budget control act -- because of things continue as for the last generation, all these programs have been basically been half russians for rations foralf decades. host: so even as of today "the
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washington post" highlights issues. the f 35, there are issues with the helmet involved. guest: i think this is just a silly story. whichs kind of tweaking has happened with every weapon system ever invented. the difference is that the torque oneat has more a small body. so instead of being able to have a pilot who weighed 115 pounds you would then be located -- running a one in 15,000 and -- risk of the injury when injected, they raised the weight 21 hundred 35,000 there talking about making some slight adjustments. this is not a procurement story.
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this is a normal business kind of stuff. korb way in.et mr. guest: wait a minute. the stuff was bubbling in the 21st century. guest: it started in the clinton administration. guest: i know it started under the clintons. the base budget was going on. there was no reason for them to do that. and we have had successful programs back when you had people like david packard, f-16 wentlson, the through the budget because it was fly before you buy. that was during the height of the cold war. guest: the f-16 was a simple plane. today carries every plan and subsystem known to man. comparing it now to what it was first invented is a day and by comparison. guest: i'm just saying, it came out under -- on time and under
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budget. this was not ready to buy when they moved it into production, even before all of these things came out. ok? and if you don't believe me, listen to john mccain. hear what he said about the f 35 in terms of how it is done. and going back to this, yes, these were constant forces. but the cold war was a volunteer military when that happened, and during the wars in it iraq and afghanistan we added 100,000 people to the force. ofthose wars, in terms personnel on the ground, not nearly as much. you should be able to reduce them. that is normally what you do. just very quickly. the cold war is a perfect since the end of the cold war is a perfect example of bad defense planning. it did not occur to us that we would ever get into a
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large-scale, extended land conflicts. planner, to have the capacity to do it is the kind of question that defense planning is supposed to deal with. offernot supposed to perfect wisdom, it is supposed to produce visibility. we are repeating the same things again. guest: 40% of the world military it is not a-- question of money. it is a question of management. host: let me get in a call from ray in tennessee for our guest. good morning. go ahead. caller: good morning. host: you are on, go ahead. caller: i have some comments. i was in the military 50 years ago. back then when we went out trading we would go up bridges and stuff like that -- low up bridges and stuff like that.
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they called in civilians to build those back. that was combat engineers civilians right there. that is one side of the waste of government spending. is, get rid of [indiscernible] they are deep in the pocket of the government. they are not inspector general. i don't know where they come any but they are not making directness. back then the mps started this. they run it on the base day-to-day. civilians are doing the job, getting things. complaint them big-time? yesterday, ms. heller glendon, the government people come out and back her. government. guest: it's interesting.
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that is what i was on active duty, 50 years ago two. so younot pay very much could use military people for a lot of other jobs. when i worked for president reagan we were basically doing what he did not like, because basically we use the military , note to fight wars checking your passes when you come into the game. what i used to tell people is i would say look, if you have a job that needs to be done, look to the private sector first. in the long term that is less expensive. if it has to be done in government let's look first to the civilians, then to the nd active duty because they are our most precious and expensive. ig's are a ideas -- good thing because they protect people who are whistleblowers. if they see something going on they can do that. one of the other provisions in
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the bill i don't like his, they they want to downgrade the office of test and evaluation which is supposed to make sure that these weapons are ready to go. host: mr. donnelly? guest: actually i agree largely. office buthe test about the use of contractors. he is quite right. i have taken to visit to some army posts and what you find now is a return -- again because of the budget turmoil -- if you go now you are more likely to the soldiers flipping burgers and istract workers, which , andy a waste of resources so replaced -- a waste of the
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most valuable resources they have which is their time. they should be blowing up bridges. host: peter is in pennsylvania, independent line. good morning. caller: thank you for taking my call. thank you for your opposing viewpoints. the president made a statement about being more domestic. donald trump talks about being more domestic. what are we looking at what we are facing joint operations between russia and china as far ,s their defense budget goes with with -- with it being just under hours. money is really the wrong way to judge this. we pay our soldiers a decent .age people in service. our technology is the best in
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the world and therefore expensive. it would be good to buy things that are efficient, which really means making sure that you recoup the investment. war is most important -- not a budgetary matter. it is something that happens on the battlefield. the important measure of our military power is our armed forces and the capability of our force. again, that is one of the places our edge is. our force has always been a relatively small force especially given that has to operate everywhere in the world. to keep thingsry together rather than try to take them apart like the russians are trying to do. oranges an apples and comparison. the thing that we do need to keep our focus on is what is happening in the world and do we have a force that is large enough and capable enough to do the things that we ask it to do? guest: i think it is
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interesting. way back when i was at the american enterprise institute we would justify our defense budget unionupon what the soviet did. look, they are spending more we have to spend more. i think you have to decide what you want to do but you also have to take a look at what other people are doing. everybody talks about the chinese. i mentioned 40% of the worlds military expenditure is in the u.s.. ,f you do purchase power purchasing power parity when you control for those things we are number one. china is number two. who isnumber 30 -- number three? not russia. saudi arabia, which by the way is our ally. you never have enough money to buy perfect defense. you can look at ever since we eisenhower, complaining about the military, not being satisfied with whatever he gave them. so i think you have to make
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choices. i think given where we are, where the world is, and historically $610 billion is a pretty darn good figure. you start controlling for inflation before the war started in iraq and afghanistan we are doing pretty good host:. i want to get your thoughts on an event that took place in iraq that led to the death of an american soldier. wroteall street journal" about it, saying it was the day after that the defense secretary spoke about it. i want to give you a little bit of his statement. and react to what is going on in iraq. [video clip] capability is a great american strength. it does not represent a city --
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sunni come back, it represents our role. to doe find opportunities things that will effectively prosecute the campaign we are going to do that. this is an example of a case where we can do something we alone has the capability to do, and i have absolutely prepared to do that. this is one of those categories -- and i suspect that we will have further opportunities in the future to avail ourselves of. let's start with you. what do you think of the defense secretary's statements? real question is, do you want to keep doing this or do you want to fall back? you want to do this on an exceptional basis? i think that is the real issue. what it says is if you put men and women out there on the battlefield and war starts, you can't say oh, no, you have to step up very few are devising.
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if it was not for them this mission would have failed. all think about that brief master sergeant who was one of the first want to charge in there when the kurdish forces could not go in. guest: look, the secretary is correct. this is something that only we can do very well and it is in our interests to do so. the problem is with the strategy. it has not fundamentally changed. when like using a dagger the other people are using poloo mallets -- hello -- mallets. it is just not going to make much of a difference. of course we should do it when we see terrorists are high-ranking that guys that cannot be gotten any other way, but we delude ourselves if we think that it is fundamentally going to change the course of the war. host: we have the president just issuing an announcement about
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the troop situation in afghanistan, we have situation in syria, and then we go to the larger issue of support. talk a little bit about those things actually going on. and have to support going on within the defense department to support all those things, especially when it comes to the money and the equipment? guest: the money is not a problem. remember, the president asked for $51 billion for contingency operations -- again, at the height of the war in afghanistan and iraq it was about $100 billion or it he has got enough money. the real question is your strategy. do you want to go in there and put troops in iraq chacko the iraqis don't want us back. the afghans have asked us to stay, and i think if they ask the agreementgn you should do that. i agree with the president. the last thing we want to do is get involved in the syrian civil war. that is so complex.
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down, whoseho is side are you on? i think we can get a negotiated solution there. i like the checkers proposal. leave aside there for six months and then move on. the real enemy is isil. guest: saddam hussein did not want us to intervene in iraq. you have to give the president credit for following a consistent strategy. his strategy has been to do the minimum about possible to withdraw from the commitments .he bush administration made it was sort of a closely run thing as to whether he would positively respond to the afghan request to keep a larger u.s. re.ce the even acknowledging that he said he would probably drive down by the end of his term. president has tried to back away as much as he can. again it has been a very
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consistent policy, and he does not want to repeat, in afghanistan, the experience of what happened with our withdrawal from iraq. the question is whether you think that is a strategy that is going to be effective. guest: the iraqis wanted us out. they are the ones who set a date to get out. i asked, could obama do anything, and he said no. we signed an agreement. he gave a speech six months after he signed that saying that we were compelled. this idea that you could have afghanistan is different. you have a status of forces agreement to protect our men and women there. guest: assad is -- hussein was displaying himself as a dictator. guest: we put him in. rick int's go to
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maryland. hi. caller: good morning. first of all i would like to say and i alsorea retired. a lot of things your essay are not true. first of all let's just get this straight. is superior.ates our air force is probably the greatest in the history of the air force. you need to let everybody know that there is a federal ban on the f-22 and after the five -- and f 35.35 -- guarantees their superiority all over the world.
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we can probably going to russia and control airspace. it is important that we continue to work on these programs. thank you. korb?mr. guest: i agree. been so was it has poorly managed we are not going to be a little biased many as we have liked. it isnot just industry, people running defense contract. as i look at the pentagon and having been there, unless you have a small -- 80 deputy secretary of defense it does not work. dick cheney, whatever else you think about him, he was a heck of a secretary of defense, because the white house takes a good deputy. and that goes back to people like david packard. these are industry giants. we need jobs in there to run the thing. we do sell these things all over the world. a lot ofs i mentioned
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this has been selling advanced fighters to the saudi's. our military sales last year were $44 billion around the world. guest: just to focus on the f 35, we have developed it in conjunction with a whole host of other partners. in fact the seat of the conservative party in canada is to lead to canada leading the program, thus bumping back cost us -- bumping the cost of not just for the united states but the other countries that have been part of the development group. this is a plain not just for the u.s. but really for the free world air force. why themore reason advancedto fund and
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this program are crippling, not only to us but the people who are our closest allies. from massachusetts, bill is next. hi. caller: thank you for taking my call. i watch this every day and i know that jeff sessions is a budget control hack. he is always violating if anyone is violating the budget control act or it unfortunately he was silent on the contingency report. it seems like he is pretty hypocritical in what he objects to and what he likes that is going on. i want to just bring up that point. thank you for taking my call. he is a hard-core budget hawk. secretary of the senate in that way.
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this is what the budget control act has been the members of congress to do, because they know that it is sort of a death sentence on the military. and so again, i think that is kind of a measure of the extreme situation that we have faced. if jeff sessions is willing to circumvent the capital budget control act it tells you more about the budget control act than it does about senator sessions. guest: sequestration has only happened once. fiscal year 2011. so this idea that all my goodness, sequester. as i say, over $600 billion is pretty good, given the fact that before the beginning of the times we wereal about 400. the question is how will you
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spend the money? host: from florida, well, good morning. caller: good morning. thank you for taking the call. my concern is that the defense department has not been audited for over 10 years. the only department in the government that has not submitted to an audit, which is required -- it is required to by law. i would like your guest to comment as to why that is, especially since they spend such a huge amount of our money. i was watching former secretary hees yesterday on c-span and very disingenuous -- disingenuously said that the defense department represents only 15% of the federal budget. well, over half of the federal budget is what you might call insurance programs. social security and medicare. and then you have interest on the national debt. compared to all the other
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departments of government, the military budget is about 60% of what we call discretionary spending. i am so tired of hearing how poor the defense department is when they are really the guerrilla in -- guerrilla -- gorilla in the room and any attempt to cut it down residue huge lobbying interest that will ensure the defeat of people who and thet against it fact that it has not been audited for all these years. it even says it cannot be audited. to me that is disgusting. host: is that right? guest: he is right. agenciessaid, federal don't have to be. the pentagon has ever done it.
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i think he has a very good life good point.y host: what is their rationale? guest: we can't do it, it's too hard. every time the general accountability office goes in there they find all kinds of things that are not taken care of. that is why you need the ig because they are not audited so you need the ig for people to be able to speak up with nothing happens. guest: this issue makes me a little angry. the military is audited every day. it is called war. war on its our military. it is been very few times in my lifetime that the military has been audited. that is the kind of audit that thanker federal agency,
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god, is subjected to. ask yourself as a taxpayer, and i getting a decent value for when i spend on military power? i think the answer is obviously and overwhelmingly yes. concerning -- considering the small amount of our wealth and we allocate to military power, we get a world-class force in return. guest: let's just get the facts out. guest:the federal government puts about 60% of the money into entitlement programs -- so-called entitlement programs federalcing the government. -- the federal debt. the rest is split between domestic spending. shenanigan, the gorilla is not really in the
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room. the gorilla is this mandatory spending. when you talk about a slice of the federal budget, military spending is about 16%. ita slice of national wealth is about 3.5%, including war funding. the dollar amounts are big but we are a very wealthy country, even though we are going through hard times now. as a slice of our overall economy, this is a very small slice. and as a value proposition i think it is a huge part. host: we have been talking about defense spending with our two guests. last question. thisthere be resolved issue another the veto has been put into place? guest: i believe there will. the provisions that are in the bill, particularly including the troop pay levels, are something
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the government has to do. what the resolution will be -- talk to mitch mcconnell and the president and paul ryan. paul ryan entering the list i think bodes well for the solution. he helped engineer the ryan murray solution. the problem this year has been that that deal has been breached. that a speaker perspective -- from my lips to god's ears. [laughter] mr. korb, is there going to be resolved this? guest: i think particularly if senator ryan -- congressman ryan becomes speaker. he will come in and at least have a honeymoon.

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