tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN April 25, 2016 10:00am-2:01pm EDT
about what ted cruz really is. he stands up to the standards of his father. newspaper read a about what was going on in cuba. havana was run by the mafia. the dictator running the country was killing people. now we have this guy coming over here and he is all against these things. , their over there doing it now -- they are over there doing and now. it now. host: let's go to matt in connecticut, independent. caller: i want to echoing comment that many people have echo a, that many people have said. i think the parties need to
follow the will of the people. you have seen stop bernie on the democrat side of he was leading, but i would think you'd see the exact same thing. for both parties in the system, it's really about politicians maintaining control. host: let's try to get mary in spring hill. good morning, mary. caller: i think most people are feeling the way that i am. i think i have been so disappointed in this country with what i see happening. first of all, i thought this was a democracy. i thought the people spoke. if our thing is a two-party system, then we should have a no party system or a four or five party system because this is not representative of what the people want.
it's absolutely right. disgusting to listen to them talking. ted cruz does nothing more in his speeches meant putting down trump. becoming the president when nobody is voting for him? that's not right. going to name somebody who did not go through this whole year of struggling through the speeches and going through all this and spending all this money and then they just go put up there. where is the democracy here? it's a dictatorship. two parties will decide for themselves what they want. why do they even have primaries? take we are now going to our viewers to the old executive
conflict building where obama administration officials, journalists, and economists are discussing any report of the council of economic advisers on the economic consequences of the criminal justice system. we will take you there now and see you back tomorrow morning for another edition of "washington journal." [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016]
>> good morning. we are going to get started momentarily. for those of you sitting in the back, would you please fill in any empty seats that you see? excuse me. if i can get everybody's attention, welcome and thanks so much for being here. a you see an empty seat in couple of these rose to my left and right, please fill those in. i see some over here. i see plenty over here. thank you so much. we will get started shortly.
>> all right, good morning, thank you so much for being here today. i'm stephanie young and the office of public engagement and i'm so excited for this very important discussion. a couple of housekeeping items -- for those of you looking to use wi-fi, it is white house 2015 and two! marks.mation as you are participating in social media and this
conversation, please do not forget to use #criminal justice reform. with that, i will turn it over to senior as president valerie -- vice president valerie jarrett. [applause] valerie: thank you, stephanie. welcome to the white house. weeklieve it's a historic focusing on reentry in our country. i want to begin by recognizing as thetners here today american enterprise institute. it's a good example of how brought the political spectrum is focusing on this issue from the progressives to the conservatives all around the country. people understand the need for criminal justice reform and to specifically make sure that 600,000 people each year who returned back to our communities can do so in a way that will allow them to become members of society, law abiding members of
society and eliminate the enormous recidivism rate that we are seeing around the country. the president this week in his weekly address said it best. simply, "we know that locking people up doesn't make the community safer. it does not deal with the conditions that led people who go into criminal activity go there in the first place." to the private sector folks here today, you realize that impact that our criminal justice system is having on our economy. we will be able to drill into those numbers in a little bit over the course of our conversation. throughout the week, the administration is sponsoring activities all across the country from the department of justice to the bureau of prisons. there are going to be 550 events alter out the country focusing -- all throughout the country focusing on what we can do to help people and raise awareness
on the ground from a full range of stakeholders so that when they are released they have the jobls they need to get a and be law-abiding members of our society. have announcements coming from the department of housing and urban development, department of health and human services, department of veteran the department right here in the white house. you will hear from jason furman of the council of economic advisers. all the agencies are focusing on this very important issue of reentry. reentry fits into the broader picture of criminal justice reform. last summer, the president gave a speech where he focused on three focuses. the community, the courthouse, and the cellblock. we have a collective responsibility and i know many of the advocates here together with the private sector have been focusing on improving our communities. that's everything from early childhood education to breaking the school to prison pipeline to breaking the sexual assault to
prison pipeline to assuring that every child gets a fair shot. the presidents might brother's keeper initiative is another way to help young boys of color to follow a life free from crime. we also have to improve the courtroom. as you have been seeing, there is bipartisan support right now for federal legislation to reduce minimums for nonviolent drug offenders to release people back in our system so that when they are free of incarceration, they have access to counseling, whatever they need to return to society. over half of the folks incarcerated have some sort of mental illness. the best objective, of course, is to treat them as early as soon as it's diagnosed. while they are incarcerated, part of our responsibility is to help them again so they have whatever they need to be able to
reenter society. we are also focusing on what happens in the cellblock. that is ensuring that job opportunities are available. a couple weeks ago at the white house, we announced our fair enjoyednitiative that enormous support from the business community. when we went to business leaders and said we know you are hiring people that have been incarcerated, would you be willing to come forward and talk about it? we were met with a deafening silence. many companies did it, but they did not want to talk about it. over the course of the past two months, we have made a lot of progress. pledge, wenched this had nine companies, many big-name companies that agreed to come forward from pepsi-cola to coke industries, etc.. we are now up to 90 companies. we're asking companies who are interested all across the
theyry, recognizing that are better off having a job as opposed to not having a job. that will make our communities safer. the white house website under fair chance. part of what has been extraordinary is the broad base of support from faith leaders to the business community to advocates to think tanks from all political spectrums recognizing that if we reform our criminal justice system, are key movies will be safer and our economy will be stronger -- our communities will be safer in our economy will be stronger. we spent $80 billion a year on mass incarceration. we have 5% of the world population yet 25% of the worlds prisoners. the start statistic for me was since 1985, the number of women incarcerated has gone up 400%.
as you will hear from jason later, for children who have a father whose incarcerated, there is a greater chance a are in poverty. -- they are in poverty. the statistics are clear and we need to build on the momentum at the federal level and state level as well. occupational licenses are mostly related at state levels. there are many states that just have blanket prohibitions against anyone who has been incarcerated to get a license. 40% of our jobs require some sort of a license. the great work that jason did earlier in the year demonstrated the fact that if we were to change those state requirements requirementsose appropriately by reviewing it, we would be able to employ so many more people. the good example is that a lot of incarcerated people are
taught to be barbarous. ers. you need to be a license to be a barber, along the same lines. loretta lynch will be asking state governors to provide state i'd used to people who are released -- state ids to people who are released immediately. that is the first step to getting a job. there are some much we can do when we can work together. i want to close by saying that we are in a unique moment right now. the nation is focusing on this issue in a way it hasn't really before. 2.2 million people are incarcerated and 70 million have interacted with our criminal justice system. it touches every community in america. it used to be a topic that we try to brush under the carpet and ignore. from the data we have seen and from the human tolls we have observed, that is unsustainable. with your help, we actually
believe we can make great change. for that, i thank you and i would like to welcome arthur brooks, the president of aei, who will come up and give a few remarks. thank you very much, everybody. [applause] brooks: thank you so much, valerie could what an honor it is to participate in this event. thank you to the white house for hosting. aei is a think tank in washington. my colleagues and i are dedicated to two basic values -- human dignity and human potential. there are relatively few subjects that scream out to these values more than what is on hand today. you'll hear from the panel who will ask you to consider three. the first is that only a third of americans incarcerated have
access to educational or vocational programs in prison, leaving them entirely unprepared for life after prison. half ofnd fact is that the incarcerated are functionally illiterate. the third follows from the first two fax, which is that 60%-70% of all parolees end up back in prison within the first three years after being released. and doug pointed out in their op-ed in "the new york times" last week, our society pays in a norma's price for this. -- an enormous price for this. as much as it pains me as an economist to admit it, however, this really is not about money. this is about the lives that we are throwing away. want to take a few minutes here at the outset to remind myself and all of us that the economic case for reform is really just a proxy for something much deeper that we are talking about here today. my colleagues and i are working
with the best nonprofits in the country that have a visionary notion of how to use human lives , how to integrate our society better along all different a strata, whether they are incarcerated or free. we have been working in new york city with a fund that specializes in men who have all the strikes against them. they are homeless. they have been incarcerated mostly. they have been addicted to some substances. it helps them put their lives back together by helping them to understand that our society needs of them and needs their work -- our society needs them and needs their work. this is a subversive and radical concept. the first time i met men from this organization, i was in new york city and met a man by the name of richard who had been imprisoned for 22 years, since he was 18 years old.
he was working for the first time. a year after being released, he was working for a low-wage, a job that some people here in washington, d.c. might call a dead end job. he would not have considered it such. he was working for an exterminator agency. i asked him how his life was going. he demonstrated how he was going by showing an e-mail on his iphone. he took out his iphone, the first one he ever owned, and that's not the secret to happiness, although it's pretty cool. he said, read this e-mail. it's from my boss. emergency bedbug job -- i need you now. read it again. it says i need you now. nobody in my life has ever said those words to me before. when we hear today about the economic cost of mass incarceration, remember that that is a proxy for not meeting people.
what do we need to do? not throw away money? no, we need to not throw away people. that is really what we are all about. what can we do to need even the people who commit crimes and are in prison? that is a question we are dedicated to answering in the coming year at the american enterprise institute as we work on inmate education and reentry programs. that is a question that i hope we will begin to answer today. by the way, one more thing before i close. think many of us are looking for a way to bring ideological opponents together in this country. with is a deep problem political polarization that is troubling probably every single person in this room. what better way to bring people together then to look at those at the periphery of our society and say what can we do together to need them? beginning can be the of needing every citizen in our society, including those in prison, and bring ourselves
together as a result of it no matter where we sit on the political spectrum. thank you for the opportunity to change the debate in this country and your hard work and interest in this topic. it's an honor to be a part of this effort. [applause] >> thank you so much. i am michael waldman. president of the center of justice at nyu school of law. we are thrilled to be cohosting with the american enterprise institute and to be here with all of you in the white house. and to learn from and understand the significant new report and the significant new dialogue about the economic costs of this very human problem. first of all, i want to thank and acknowledged arthur brooks
for his remarks and the creativity that he brings to the public policy. those of us who read his dialogues in "the new york times" and elsewhere are always enlightened and we are really glad to be doing this together. i want to thank valerie jarrett for her powerful voice and passion that she has brought to this issue and the entire administration has brought to this vexing issue. something that in a moment of polarization and division and dysfunction has united communities from across the political spectrum. we are very grateful again to be part of this discrete aspect of it. we want to thank and technology jason furman -- and --nowledg jason furman acknowledge jason furman and his colleagues. i also want to thank my colleagues at the brennan center for justice. i want to thank the economic
advisory board, some of whom you will be carried from shortly. in one a similar moment of the most challenging issues facing our country and that has country for years. years.d our country for this is a topic that has been at the center of american history and our concerns, but in some new ways, the magnitude of the problem has been hiding in plain sight. this is one of those issues the aggregate statistics in some ways can have a punch in the gut impact greater than anything else. the fact that we have 5% of the worlds population and 25% of the world's prison population is not only wrong, it is shocking. we all know that there are costs to that phenomenon -- social, moral, racial, and economic. we know as well that we are
having this conversation at a time when crime is down dramatically over where it had been. a fact that creates the opening for us to have a reason and creative assessment of what we ought to do. we know that the level of incarceration and over criminalization that we have in our society simply is not necessary to keep our streets safe and keep our communities safe. one of the studies that the brennan center for justice did last year assessed the impact of mass incarceration on public safety and found that it had very little to no impact on keeping our streets safe at this moment in time. it is also a singular moment because of the remarkable coming together across communities, across ideological perspectives, across partisan perspective we see around this issue.
we will hear from business leaders of some of the top economic thinkers. a conversation could be replicated in rooms across the country. i cannot think of any other issue on which i worked where there is this much of a genuine seeking of common ground. it's not merely two sides that each give up something and find themselves perhaps through their own astonishment in the same place. people are coming to this with similar views and similar goals, each because of their own core aspirations. it is striking to me that aei, which is renowned as a free enterprise oriented institution and think tank, has placed at the center of its thinking about this the very human stories and the human narratives. i was struck also by the concept of human dignity.
the brennan center for justice is 20 years old. it was started by the clerks and family of the late super court justice william brennan. we are affiliated with nyu school of law. while we do not take our work from the specifics of his valuess, we take our from his notion that at the heart of the law, he put the concept of human dignity. we have found in working on this issue of mass incarceration that the rigor and the impact of economic analysis is matchless. three years ago, we focused our criminal justice work under the leadership of my colleague, who you will be hearing from en on mass incarceration. bringing the tools of the economic profession was something that we could help with. believe there are measurable cost and benefits. we believe that there are tremendous and often unexamined
social negative consequences from the current system. we believe that the very financial incentives built into budgeting and the entire governmental system that steered us often to where we are now can steer us with better foresight away toward a wiser policy. we have launched and this is actually the first public event to utilize their generous services. we have launched an economic advisory board of some of the countries top economists, including folks you are hearing from today like former treasury secretary larry summers, glenn lori, and a whole bunch of others from a whole array of perspectives, helping us to understand and kick the tires on our work to make sure it meets the top rigorous standards.
of that focus, we are thrilled to be able to be a part of this event. this report you are about to hear about is really a landmark. it i is rock solid. it brings together the top minds at the cea that is as important as anything else they might be focusing on. i'm delighted to introduce to you to talk about the new report , dr. jason furman. he is the chair of the council of economic advisers, one of the leading public economists in the country. i should note that he headed the hamilton project at the brookings institution, proving he was pressured the onwards to understand -- beyond words to understand how cool alexander hamilton to be to white audiences. -- wide audiences. dr. jason furman. [applause] jason furman: thank you for that
introduction, michael. president truman was reported to have been frustrated with his economic team because every time he asked them for advice on something rather than telling him something clear and direct, they would tell him, on the one hand, and then they would say on the other hand. he said he went to get himself a one-handed economic advisor. topic we are discussing today is one that really lends itself to a one-handed economic as our team, i am led by cindy black, emily, be, who put together this report. the research on this is really clear and consistent. lines as wess party heard a little bit in the opening and as we will hear on the panel.
the changes we see and policy over the last decade that led to the mass incarceration into the increasing difficulty every incorporating people into the workforce was not because of researchof studies or analysis done by economists, lawyers, or criminologist. it was for other reasons. and using that evidence and research can help us point in a better direction. we do not have all the answers to this topic like many other topics, but we do have a lot of them. the issue is to put them in place at the federal level and encourage a conversation at the state and local level. we put out a 79 page report. i'm going to take you through some of the highlights of it very quickly. my goal in doing this is not only to summarize the report, but to take what was a morally and uplifting set of comments by arthur brooks and prove that
economists really are not, for the most part, morally uplifting and elevating. [laughter] but we can show you lots of numbers. times before, the incarceration rate grew more than 220% between 1980 and 2014. it grew at the federal, state, and local level. total spending on incarceration is over $80 billion a year. in fact, there are 11 states that spend more on corrections then on higher education. if you look at us in comparison to other countries, the united states is second as you see on the next chart could do yo. the united states is second in the world in incarceration rate to the seychelles. every other country in the world has a lower average of one
fourth of what the incarceration is in the united states. this big increase in incarceration has had happened, as you can see in the next slide, despite a substantial decline in the crime rates. with the violent crime rate fallen 39% and the property crime rate falling 52%. one of the exercises we go through the report's we say, what if criminal justice reports -- through the is we say, what if criminal justice policies hadn't happened, what would've happened to the incarceration rate? the answer at the state level is that the incarceration rate would have fallen by 7%. instead, it rose by 125%. at the federal level, the incarceration rate also rose much faster than predicted given the decline in crime. the question is what happened?
immediately accounting for the incarceration and not delving into the actual causes, but appear counting exercise, it's not that there is more crime. it's that there is greater severity of sentencing and increased enforcement between 1984 and 2004. nearly all crimes experienced a substantial increase in time served. offenses infor drug federal prisons more than doubled over the last two decades. at the same time, arrests have come down with a decline in crime, but they have not come down as much. the arrest rate has risen and that has also contributed to this increase in incarceration. once again, drugs have played a big role with drug arrest rates 90% over thisover period.
the question is then what caused this decline in crime? there is lots of debate among economists about exactly what it was. the one thing that pretty much all the evidence agrees on is what it was not and that is the increase in incarceration. is,t of all, the evidence like so much in economics, there are declining benefits to additional incarceration. you are getting increasingly less violent, less dangerous people as you expand incarceration. that had less of an impact on crime. your keeping people in prison for longer, at the point where they are in ages where they are more likely to commit further crimes. if you look at studies, they find that longer sentence length, a big cause of increased incarceration, has little deterrent effect on offenders. one recent paper found that a lengthrease in sentence
corresponds to a 0.5% decrease in juvenile arrest rates. in fact, incarceration can have the opposite effect, which is that longer spells of incarceration, in this case, the study finds an additional year of incarceration can lead to an average increase of future offending of 4-7 percentage points. there is not a single agreed-upon cause of the reduction in crime, but demographic changes, improving economic conditions, and changes in policing tactics are three of the theories that people have. the impact of mass incarceration has not spread evenly across the population. although blacks and hispanics represent approximately 30% of the population, they comprise over 50% of the incarcerated
population. incarceration rates for blacks dwarf the rate of other groups -- 3.5 times larger than them for whites. a large body of research has tried to look carefully at because the world that race -- at the causal role that race plays in this. for similarat offenses, blacks and hispanics are more likely to be stopped and searched, arrested, convicted, and sentenced to harsher penalties. even controlling for arrest offenses and defendant characteristics, prosecutors are 75% more likely to charge black defendants with offensive that carry mandatory -- offenses that carry mandatory minimums. in the criminal justice system are disproportionately concentrated among poor individuals and individuals with high rates of mental illness and substance abuse.
this all has substantial consequences that arthur and valerie both spoke to in their comments. is juste of evidence the interview callback rate for people with criminal records is lower them without criminal records. and it is much lower for blacks with criminal records then it is it is for -- than whites with criminal records. criminal consequences have an likee of factors housing and food security. the poverty of the families increases by nearly 40% while a father is incarcerated. the fact that tens of millions meansricans have a record that this is applying to a larger and larger fraction of
our population over time and playing a role in a range of economic challenges we face, including the long-term decline in the labor force participation rate. it is important to understand that it's not just the criminal justice system that has costs. crime also has a very substantial cost. it produces direct damages to property and medical costs, pain, suffering, fear, reduced quality, and loss of life. it affects some of our poorest communities disproportionately. an economist trying to estimate the social costs of crime have a range of estimates that estimates the mean or the median is about $300 billion a year. this is something that is serious and important. the question though is what are we going to do to reduce this? what is the most constant effective -- cost-effective way to do it?
a range of studies that we surveyed -- and we try to look at high-quality studies. most of these are peer-reviewed or other journals. they find that a minority of studies have found that greater incarceration and greater sentencing passes the cost-benefit test. studies, justse looking at how much it costs to put someone in jail, does that reduce the likelihood of crime through deterrence or keeping them in prison? in some cases, the studies go further and factor in all the collateral damage -- the increase in poverty for their family in the impact that has on society for crime. in contrast, measures that strengthen our community like education have uniformly been found to pass a cost-benefit test. an important part of the strategy to reduce crime is
strengthening our economy and raising wages. everyone on the panel may not agree on the strategy to raise this is one the administration supports and uses to contrast incarceration. if you increase spending on incarceration by $10 billion, at 12% a year, a huge increase, that would reduce the crime rate by 1%-4%. if you take into account the cost of it versus the benefits, the net societal benefit would be between -$8 billion and plus $1 billion. that itself is a generous estimate because it does not factor in all the collateral consequences of that incarceration. incarceration is likely to have a smaller effect on crime and a larger societal effect on cost
and what is shown here. raising the minimum wage to $12 an hour in 2020, for example, that would have an even larger impact on crime. it would have a net societal benefit just from the crime reduction. that would be true even if you include employment elasticities from the range of economic literature. i want to conclude by talking about the administration's approach to dealing with criminal justice reform. as valerie outlined, it is a holistic approach. it is first of all focused on the community, strengthening the economy, raising wages, investing in early childhood education, community policing and pleasing transparency, ban the box, licensing exclusion. there are right now 46,000 federal, state, and local laws regarding the ability of ex
offenders to work in certain businesses and jobs or be in certain occupations. 46,000. many of those give no regard to when the crime was committed, what the nature of the crime was, or the relevance of it for the particular occupation. that is something that we have been working together with coke industries among others to encourage states to take a look at in this area more broadly. the secondary is the courtroom. there is bipartisan support in both the house and the senate for sentencing reform, building on steps we have already taken in some drug sentencing. an issue brief the council of economic advisers issued earlier this year highlighted the fines of bail, which can proportional
ly be much larger for low income households and can in many cases not be collected. it can also have large economic consequences without very different determined effects for high income persons who would not notice it as compared to a low income person who would notice it. doj has beenhing encouraging states and localities to take a look at. cellblock,, the including education, rehabilitation, job training, a set of measures being rolled out across the country this week as and stepsentry week that the attorney general and the president announced a few months ago to address solitary confinement, including the solitary confinement of minors. so we are really happy. you are all having a chance to be here today to discuss what we
think is a really important issue. it is an issue that has a lot of important dimensions -- moral, legal, political -- but we hope to convince he that the economic -- you that the economic and business one is one of the important dimensions as well. thank you. [applause] we will hear from our panel next wave goodbye david from "-- led by david from "the economist."
david: thank you very much for being here today. thank you for letting "the economist" moderate this panel. all panels in washington are distinguished, but this one really is immensely distinguished. as a professional skeptic wondering if anyone can get anything done in this political climate, you look at who is behind the initiative. if you are serious about trying to get something done on a bipartisan basis, if you want bipartisan credentials and you want expertise, this is the kind of panel that you get behind for this kind of initiative. even as a professional skeptic and reporter, it is an impressive panel. we have douglas holtz eakin. one of two former directors of the congressional budget office and director
of the brennan advisory board. we have the director of criminal justice policy and former ofector of the office affairs of the u.s. equal employment opportunity commission. we have the founder and chief incutive of their point speaking for the philanthropic community very much involved in this. we have the director of the justice program at the brennan center for justice. before that, she created the american civil liberties union campaign to end mass incarceration. last but not least, we have peter or, about to be vice-chairman, and former chair of the white house office of management budget. he is also a member of the brennan center economic advisory board. and extort a mix of economic rigor, political savvy -- an
extra in a mix of economic river, political savvy, and bipartisan credentials. we are going to try to have more of a free-flowing discussion. the first question goes to douglas holtz eakin. this whole thing that we have stressed about the costs and benefits of the criminal justice system. this is a topic you have written about with chairman furman. hink about cost and benefits instead of what is just and unjust? what is the benefits of this approach? douglas holtz eakin: thank you to the white house for this report and for the brennan center for putting up with me. i'm grateful for all of those. i am especially thankful that the council of economic advisers put out a report in the cost-benefit framework.
for those of you who are not economists and are afraid because you think economists were born without souls or have them surgically removed, that is not the right way to think about it. because it's a useful way for me to organize my thinking about the world and benefit cost analysis is the organization. there are things that are good and bad. we may or may not be able to put dollars on that, . the loss of a productive life or someone incarcerated too long is an intelligible cost at some level. arthur brooks is good at reminding us of this. the framework tells us we know where that goes. we can write down some things that we know and we can list the things we do not know. we can do it on the benefit side and on the cost side. that is really useful in doing discipline public policy because it tells you a couple of things. number 1 -- it tells you sometimes it is a slamdunk. i think that is where jason said
it must clearly. everything has been identified by the literature. it is pretty simple. we have a problem here and we can fix it. we have the tools to fix it. the second thing is that it identifies magnitudes. when are you really out of line? when are you what they cost to society? it is great to solve a bunch of little problems. i devoted my career to that most likely, but it's even better to solve a big problem. if you have identified a problem and have a way to go forward on it, that's important. the nice thing about this report is that does so clearly in a beautifully written report. it does not stop there, but gives the solutions. you cannot ask for more in a report. david rennie: peter, this report talks about failed policy. it's a very powerful way to talk about policy that is not perceived as just like communities, but it also uses
efficiency. you have written a lot recently about the inefficiency. that thisout the case is a bad way to fund policy and the government can do this differently. why do you support that kind of approach? first of all, let me just note that this is one example in a broader phenomenon of needing more evidence with regard to how we go about policymaking. arthur with ou brooks that we should talk about not wasting lives. in order to get there, we need to make sure that what the federal does makes sense and is backed by evidence. unfortunately that is a broader phenomenon. bringingistration is better evidence to bear around a whole array of federal policies, but they're still case that far too little of what we do actually makes sense or is backed by specific evidence that
it works. that definitely applies to criminal justice. it is very rare in academic literature to find not an 80-20, but a 100-0 type of situation, which is what applies to the way we have gone about trying to deter crime. effectively what the evidence strongly suggests is that the severity of punishment matters much less than it certainty and we put much too much evidence on the length of prison sentences and much too little on providing certainty. that should not be surprising to us. behavioral economics suggests something that happened 1520 years from now -- 15-20 years from now will affect something much lesser than something that will happen tomorrow. we are for train -- the train that basic principle -- betraying that basic principle.
it is stunning that under half of violent crimes in the united to an arrest or some other form of resolution. for something like burglaries, it is more like 15%. 85% of burglaries just kind of disappear in terms of some kind of resolution. if you think about someone attempting to make a burglary, the fact that in only one out of seven cases is anyone brought to justice, that unfortunately encourages her glories and away -- burglaries in a way that the length of prison sentences do not do much to offset. now you might think there is not much we can do. it is what it is and burglaries are hard to solve and violent crimes are hard to solve. the evidence is also very compelling that there is lots that we can do. as an example, jason furman mentioned that empirical evidence suggests that there is a positive return to police presence.
part of the mechanism in terms of deterring crime, part of the mechanism there is that despite some misleading evidence from the famous camusso the study -- kansas city study, things like response times do matter. evidence from manchester in the case suggests that response times matter. it is also the case -- you may all remember the bat computer where batman and robin thought they could predict individual crimes, but that is a reality. used ain the lawn have key that critics crimes and individual targets. those of the investments that can matter and are not making efficiently. the final point -- the recidivism rate is unacceptably high, especially for those have behavioral health and substance
abuse issues, which are a significant share of those who are exiting incarceration. the evidence strongly suggests that providing targeted health care and other social support to those people can pay off. we still need better evidence, but the evidence is strongly suggested for there was a program in michigan that effectively cut the recidivism rate in half for people that have those kinds of issues. i will put in a quick plug for the affordable care act. one of the benefits of the expanded medicaid programs in many states is that those people are qualifying for the type of help that they need. in terms of making sure that we do not waste lives, there is probably no better intervention than making sure someone who has already started to go down the wrong path does not repeat the mistake in the future. david rennie: thank you. we turn to daniel, who is representing the entire business sector. valerie jarrett and her ex
reduction -- in her introduction made the point that it has been hard for them to speak out. oft are the hidden impacts the criminal justice system on the business world? why does a business leader like you feel the need to speak out? daniel: i'm going to entirely nottion because -- entirely, but partially dodged the question. i'm here more as a philanthropist then business person. i will take a stab at it. as a business person, i'm in the investment management business . our business is largely centered around evaluating situations, analyzing things, using the best data and evidence to get to a specific outcome. i think to build on what peter said, the thing that is really missing from this entire
complex is the use of evidence, data, and logic in a stated goal we are trying to achieve. i do not think it can be overstated. truly a landmark paper that jason and his team have put together. is so muchhis issue data, evidence, and logic that points really in one direction, we can get into debates about the specifics, but what he did was most valuable and introducing all the data by how weg a framework from can improve the system. as a philanthropist, i will say the way i got into this was actually at an aei conference. it's not surprised people that folks like aei are committed to humanity and social justice and good just like people on the other end of the spectrum. i was there at this aei conference. i wandered into a room on criminal justice, something i really do not know anything about. there was cory booker sitting
beside michael lee and john cornyn. you had democrats and republicans. this is great, a bipartisan issue. the other thing that jumped out at me with some of the data introduced there. as someone who is personally engaged in education reform, this is a sister issued to that. if we want to close down the highway from education to prison , we have to start with our education system. we need to apply the same sorts of evidence, data, and logic to education and to get particular black and hispanic kids from poor communities graduating high school. i will close was saying that this is really shocking -- the data that i learned. ,he large percentages of people primarily from the black community but also latino and white, that if you do not
i'muate from prison -- sorry, but if you do not graduate from high school, your likelihood of being in prison right now is over 30%. if you do not graduate from high school, your likelihood of being in prison at some point is over 60%. i think just taken in total, looking at reforming the criminal justice system, we also need to look at the education system and really think about how do we bring back the sort of civility and honest discourse waste on facts, compassion -- andd on facts, compassion, real care for our citizens, our communities, and our country as opposed to what we are seeing right now in the sometimes extremes of the political discussion going on? david rennie: i really recommend reading this report. one of the most powerful things i think this report does is look at the collateral damage.
if you're someone making the case that prison works by locking up bad guys, this focuses not just on the effects of those people and how they got into prison, but their families when it comes to public housing and occupational licenses. it is stunning statistic after stunning statistic. the collateral costs are so much larger groups than the people himself incarcerated. >> we had been looking at this question from the perspective on impact on opportunity that our criminal justice system policies have levy. and have those policies have .xacerbated existing policies says is a study that between 1980 and 2004, for mass incarceration, the poverty rate would have dropped 40%.
this has ripple effects across our country. the impact is staggering. the report has illustrated the impact on people of color. people of color make up more than 60% of the prison population despite making up approximately 39 or 40% of the u.s. population. and the a statistic report is fantastic for really putting out the scope of the problem. there is a statistic or impact that is not often talked about and that is the impact on women. african-american women are more likely than women of other races to go to prison and their lifetime and overrepresented in prisons and jails. inmates in prison are nearly three times more likely to report a disability than the general population. the effects of all these policies really do ripple across our communities and impact a wide variety of individuals. what does this all mean? one in three americans have a criminal record and even a minor
offense or misdemeanor can lead to a lifelong set of consequences -- both employment opportunities, educational opportunities, and housing. -- to get employment, often, get their jobs in low-wage occupations and also maybe saddled with fees and fines that we have talked about, some ways, criminalizing poverty. we found that this does not just impact folks criminal records, it impacts their families, their children and there was a report recently with a new number that one industrial american children have at least one parent with a criminal record. that is a staggering number and when you consider the impact the criminal record has on the parent, a ripple effect that has on the children is probable --
is palpable. -- those who have village of convictions, thereby depriving opportunities as well as means of stability and likelihood. important,e is savings is also important. jobou are unable to get a upon release, it will cut into your ability to save money. this is bolstered by a new a focus on theof impact of all these policies on children who are incarcerated. there are a number of things that can happen that we can do to solve this, including making sure we offer housing and fair employment practice -- practices, not blanket excluding people from opportunities.
leadylvania is taking the of proposing that we feel criminal records automatically under certain circumstances so that they are not an issue in the employment process or the housing process or in many other that become barriers for folks with criminal records. we have seen a lot of bipartisan support. to focus on the policies trying to introduce -- when you look at the figure of 46,000 occupational rules and regulations, that tells you that politicians have felt the need to keep people safe by doing things that were clearly going to limit employment. --re is clearly tremendous how do you use economics to tackle this clearly inefficient
prison population system while still make -- making people feel safe? >> one of the core tenants is that people respond to incentives, so there is a whole school of legal thought trying to bring that concept into law and policy. it works industrial ways. legislators and policymakers are not thinking about -- this often leads to unintended consequences. prevent, in order to that from happening when people are putting policies together, we need to be clearing -- making about what types of incentives we create and this concept plays itself out over and over in our criminal justice system. into are incentives baked the way that federal laws work and state laws work that incentivize mass incarceration.
one of the most common examples of this, the police departments measure success with the number of arrests. success witheasure the number of convictions and the number of people they send to prison and how long they send them. one of the examples on the federal level is the 1994 crime bill. one of the parts that we might not have heard as much about is the part that gave states $12.5 billion to construct additional prisons if they passed laws that increase prison terms. response, over 28 states change their laws and apply for funding. between 1994 and 2008, the prison population doubled. incarcerationass these types of incentives have to be changed and here is for the federal government can play a large role. states and localities also have
to change their laws, but like in the 1990's when the federal government incentivize more cut -- incarceration, they can use federal grants to reduce mass incarceration. are $3.8 billion to go out government to states and cities that mostly run on autopilot going towards mass incarceration. all of that should begin to states to reward states that reduce crime and reduce incarceration. in this way, you are giving states the right incentives while giving them the freedom to choose how to get there and drawing on the concept, that is the goal of a we are trying to get. we ran the numbers on this proposal which we call the reverse mass incarceration act which is basically a reverse of the 1994 crime bill and this could cut the national prison population by 20%, save $40
billion and still keep crime down. >> thank you very much. it seems to me that the say youing theme is to are not asking the country to abandon its goals. the goals of have to change, keeping the country safe, it is to deter crime and punishment people who need to be punished, existing system was not chosen and that the more you research, the more you see these unintended consequences of that policy. economics is why unusually useful in providing rigor and cutting through some of the partisan policies? saying look, we can have the same policies and same goals and just do it and a much smarter way. -- in a much smarter way.
for someone like me, i did not set out to become a criminal justice expert. this shows up in all the things people say they care about and the economy. participation, this feeds into the inability of people who have records to get jobs and they drop out of the workforce. persistent poverty is an important issue for people to deal with. and what do you find, people are not working, families don't stay together. single mothers trying to do this on their own. budgets, and exciting topic for most and they are stretched tremendously. prison populations are a big part of that and then you get the really striking results.
number one, you can make a lot of progress on the labor force participation, the anti-poverty programs without sacrificing the safety of the public. that is a rare public policy moment. this is such a unique moment. on bipartisanship, i think it is part of what has gone on is many republicans and conservatives get drawn into this for the fact that they are skeptical that the government can do anything at all. costs a lot of money, we can save some money, why can't we do that? it's really a unique situation. at the heart of economics is incentive and a big part of
apparent benefits of longer prison sentences is that it would deter crime. the fact is, it does not work, so fundamentally, we need to change -- imagine we had a tax policy that was designed to create more businesses and you look and found it did the exact opposite or did nothing at all and you found another approach that did work. the point you are making is right, to say that you are concerned about incarceration and the length of prison sentences does not mean your soft on crime. if anything, it is the opposite and here is an example where being warmhearted can be very much hardheaded. detecting andn making sure that people who commit crimes do pay a consequence, you will be much more effective and being kinder to those who do go astray house helps tot them --
prevent them from going back. this is hardheaded empirically driven commonsensical reforms that also makes the people directly affected, their lives, better off. >> you have written some interesting things about the fact that criminals are sometimes rational actors and economists look at rational decisions that people make and if you give people the choice of immediate, short-term punishment for going back on drugs when they were supposed to have done the deal as opposed to saying we will lock you up for 10 years, people respond to those different punishments very differently. can you tell us about how that works? >> an example is project hope from hawaii which was a randomized experiment and having
the certainty of not only being tested regularly, but having a known penalty if you are found thee using drugs, even if penalty was small or short, it had a significant effect. we have had direct evidence on the discount rate, that is how people compare something today versus something tomorrow or far in the future, including criminals that come from italy and it suggests high discount rates which is not that surprising. what it suggests is knowing for sure or knowing for almost sure that something is going to happen to you will affect your behavior versus whether something will persist for 10 or 20 years. i wanted to ask about the leasing.
this whole report is full of extraordinary facts and in american journalism, if you have it is called ak mildred fact because you are reading it over. jaw-droppingt a fact in england, it is called a marmalade chopper -- proper. dropperse marmalade for me was in the u.s. in order to take care of this enormous prison population, corrections -- having spent a gigantic amount of money on corrections officers, employed 30% fewer police officers per capita than most countries. that is an extraordinary fact. policingow the role of in keeping communities safe can
play. how does the right kind of policing work and how does economics if thomas of that -- informothers of that -- us of that? i think it all starts with rearranging -- reorienting our perspective. overt, public breakdowns of trust and it has been broken for a long time and he goes to both treating police officers and law enforcement as stakeholders but also taking timidity numbers as communities and want effective, efficient, safe and respectful police, they also don't want to be profiled. i think you begin by looking at
how to we restructure the relationship between law enforcement -- quite frankly, our democratic process so that folks feel they are participants in a process and not just those who are being targeted. i think it starts there and i think it also goes to law enforcement being willing to step out and step up to training, de-escalation training, and the like. perspective,unity respecting and understanding that police officers are important stakeholders in this conversation. if i could touch on the economic aspect as well, we are part of a coalition for public safety, which is a right-leaning, left-leaning organization with unusual bedfellows and what keeps us together is that there really is not a juxtaposition between keeping the community safe and having an effective criminal justice system, they go lockstep.
housing, employment, making it available for folks who are reentering, you will be a reduction in recidivism -- see a reduction in recidivism. burglars never come to there is aen physical partisan discussion of policing, these communities of color, oppressively policed or being badly policed or one of the underreported things is that the these communities are also under policed. they are not cleaned up at the right level and that is something you can work on getting right. >> it goes back to respect and to use d.c. as an example, the rock and entities where police are seen as people who are keeping them safe and seen as participants in the democratic process. there are other communities for the police are seen as those who are targeting and i think the
citizens in both communities feel the same way about the community, they want to feel safe and make sure that the property is kept safe. i think it goes back to restructuring how we look at policing and how we look at people in communities and making sure that everyone is entitled to some base level as consumers and citizens. --hink if you reorient to reorient that, it will go a long way. >> you spent a long time on capitol hill, with an idea that -- soft onabout crime, not often a kind of political kind of strategy, but when you're looking at things like policing and you can make arguments that is -- about smarter policing, is this one of the ways that you can use these economic numbers and try and
make the case for giving unities safe? is that one of the things we're learning more about as we try to build this bipartisan consensus? with policing, it is the same as every other criminal justice policy which is follow the evidence and we should be funding things and policing that work while passing a cost-benefit tax. it is proven that increasing the number of police officers and applying aims like comstock for community policing or evidence-based are proven to bring down crime. however, things like stop and frisk creates a large hole in communities. it is very similar to how you would look at criminal justice policy overall from an economic perspective. bipartisan --e coming together, on capitol hill, there is -- there are several bills right now capitol
hill that are sponsored by republicans and democrats. the major one is the sentencing reform and act and this is a really remarkable effort by republicans and democrats to come together on this issue, and that bill has a real chance of passing and i think that is showing how people can come across the lines to push some and forward in that particular bill would reduce mandatory minimums for several low-level crimes, as well as allow judges more discretion to depart from those when needed. >> i think one of the things that is important to remember is not just what happens on capitol hill but also what happens when they go home and one of the things that is true about this particular area is that there have been states that sort of recognize these issues and can
make some progress in one of the reasons republicans can't is they have this problem with governments and say legislators and have to grapple with the facts on the ground versus the sort of rhetoric and myths. i think that has helped on this issue. peter is right about the importance of evidence-based policymaking. legislators can go home and explain the evidence to the constituents, that piece of public education is often the most important and having them be well-equipped with an arsenal of facts as opposed to the biases of the people they confront is really useful. >> you spent a lot of time talking to big as this people in your investment business, and you can get very depressed about the large numbers that we've heard on this presentation about the sheer number of people, the proportions of people that have had contact with the criminal just.
ifthere an opportunity were you're a business leader, you cannot just wait goodbye to that portion of the workforce, this is something we have to grapple with. do you sense a sort of changing mood among businesses that are more willing to step up and talk or being smart about hiring because otherwise, you are running away so much fast portions of the workforce. tell us about the mood in the business community. >> as a representative of the entire global business community, i cannot really answer that. [laughter] this is an idea that just occurred to me, as we think about diversity in our companies, it is not just about racial diversity and gender diversity, i think we need to -- as ae this as i editor fire as we tried to solve as a debt -- as an
identifier that we try to solve for. there is another aspect of this that does come up in the community and why this is so important aside from the data, aside from the issue of human decency, which is the crisis that we have in this country about the system itself, whether it is a sense of cronyism or lack of upward mobility or social mobility. this goes to the heart of the issue and is why we have kids on campuses that think socialism is a system we should try out. i think from that perspective, the business community does care -- fromeves that we that standpoint, the business community is very much invest in
this. -- invested in this. >> something that is clearly difficult as we are in a time of constrained budgets, he sits of the states that moved first in texas are -- not a fiscally conservative starting point, and your time as an analyst and also previously when you are in government, did you see fiscal constraints on the federal and state level and the opportunities that you can start trying to drive smarter policy because people understand that they will have to make choices but there are trade-offs? it is certainly a necessity as fiscal constraints become tighter, both of the federal and state and local level. a not good job, a very poor job in general at measuring what we do and then
trying to take that into account. this is not just criminal justice, this is across the board. tried --at i helped in promote the idea that we could do better. book try to point out what the obama administration has done, but we are still far away from what is possible. it is always the case that in addition to not wasting lives, you don't want to waste money. that is even more important when things are tight. this is an area where we are doing a very poor job of spending our money wisely. >> before we turn to the november policies, i want to take questions from the audience, but given that we have this moment where you can focus people and that we have been guessing at the criminal justice policy, there is no extraordinarily large evidence
that we have been making poor decisions. when you look at the range of us a few smart things that you would love to see people talking about more, whether it is exactly what people do when they leave prison or training while they are in prison, things you want people to look up in this for work, really underappreciated opportunities. >> i think we can make better use of police on the ground, and on i.t. to edify hotspots and other ways of making sure that those resources work well and then secondly on recidivism, i think there was a lot more we could be doing in addition to cutting sentence lengths to make reentry into a productive workforce better. i will highlight briefly even though this is not politically correct, ideas like ceiling criminal records is something that is worth really pursuing or
thinking about, so many who commits a nonviolent crime in the early 20's should not have a scarlet letter on them for the rest of their working lives in a way that so often happens. [applause] we price transparency and i am in favor of that, but i think we have gone too far in many dimensions and this is one of them. >> i wholeheartedly agree, and i think that from our perspective, the report were the highlights the importance of what we call it front end, which are front end, making sure we create opportunities before there is criminal justice involvement in the first. this reducing barriers and making sure that we don't blanket we exclude people with criminal records from housing and employment and education and then looking to the states. pennsylvania has introduced legislation on ceiling criminal
records for both employment and housing and i think that is something we should be looking at. i would add to that, i think things like expungement and reentry programs are all incredibly important. one thing i would want to keep in mind is, for many of these people, i don't even understand why they're going to prison in the first place. if we know that is not what works to bring down crime, and that is causing all of the collateral consequences, i think many our sentencing laws so that the default for many of these low-level, nonviolent crimes is an alternative to prison as opposed to going to prison. >> i want to add on top of the report and ways that we can all get involved in this, in addition to engaging with political leaders, there were institutions like the brennan center and aei that have been great.
i will give a plug for the u.s. just as -- u.s. justice action network that is helping us get a gentleman out of prison who is spending -- sentenced to 13 years for possession of two grams of marijuana and he was arrested for riding a bike on a one-way street the wrong way. he had not gotten into the -- into trouble with the law for over a dozen years. we are working within the state with theana undistinguished -- which has the distinction of having the worst incarceration rate. we are also involved with the marshall project, the innocence project and there was a gentleman named adam and the important role of prosecutors in this issue. -- his ted talk
was really amazing. he left his job as prosecutor a week or two ago on friday to start a 501(c)(3) to really build on this. this is a critical area where we can make progress on this issue. >> i'm keen to take questions from the audience. we are in washington, people think about things like elections. is this bipartisan push going to have to take a bit of a pause between now and november? will it survive the bumpy road? do any of you want to speak to how you think, if you have this kind of momentum, you had this tremendous coming together at the state and federal level. how do you navigate this
electoral period in small ways? >> if you narrowly define this as can legislation be passed, i think the answer is yes. i would say that mechanically, for a couple of reasons. such legislation exists and there is bipartisan sponsor in both houses. as i mentioned, perhaps one of the most important things is when you go home and there is lots of evidence on the republican side of this is an issue in the states and localities that they can benefit from and not be viewed as a curse. the republican presidential candidates have such -- >> we will take you live to the floor of the u.s. house which is going to gavel in for a brief session. we will get back to the discussion as soon as the pro forma and.
offered by our guest chape lane -- guest chaplain. chaplain conroy: gracious lord. as the gift of new life vounleds us in nature, we turn with gratitude for the people of this nation and those who represent them. the chaplain: send your spirit of right judgment upon the members of this body. so that they may guard the dignity of the poor and protect the opportunity for all to succeed. give them courage, give them fortitude, and give them, above all else, the knowledge that they have served their country well. we humbly ask this in your holey name. amen. -- holy name. amen. the speaker pro tempore: the chair has examined the journal of the last day's proceedings and announces to the house his approval thereof. pursuant to clause 1 of rule 1 the journal stands approved.
the chair will lead at this time the house in the pledge of allegiance. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. the chair lays before the house a communication. the clerk: the honorable the speakerer, house of representatives, sir. on april 20, 2016, pursuant to section 3307 of title 40 united states code, the committee on transportation and infrastructure met in open session to consider two resolutions included in the general services administration's capitol investment and leasing programs. the committee continues to work to reduce the cost of federal property and leases.
the two resolutions considered for alteration projects addressed serious health and life safety issues, and will consolidate agencies out of leased space and to own space reducing the costs to taxpayers. the amounts authorized are consistent with existing funding. in total, these resolutions represent more than $27 million in avoided lease costs. i've enclosed copies of the resolutions adopted by the committee on transportation and infrastructure on april 20, 2016. signed, sincerely, bill shuster, chairman. the speaker pro tempore: referred to -- it will be referred to the committee on appropriations. without objection, the house stands adjourned until noon
>> there are 5 million children who have at least one parent who is incarcerated, and we know that one of the few institutions of stability our schools, whether public or private. what can we do to support schools and teachers who have to work with this population, and can the faith-based community play in the process? >> this gentleman here. just wait for the mike. >> thank you very much, sir. i am from the caribbean and african safety conference and my question is as it relates to the incarceration of immigrants, look more specifically at lack immigrants, -- black immigrants, have you looked at the impact that it has on our population?
when of the challenges we face, especially as it relates to prisons reentry programs, is ,hat sometimes after an arrest before we can minister to them they are already in the process for deportation. we have a recent case with a young man who on his 18th birthday, a young lady lied to him and he got involved with her. phd, now working on his moved on with his life, and all because of an incident on his 18th birthday, he is going for the deportation process while he has a great job as an engineer, great dreams to offer this country. these are some of the challenges that our population face. if you could look at that in your research, and look at how something can happen to make life better for some of these immigrants living here.
>> apparently we have had some really important issues raised. if you want to jump in -- >> let me just respond to the question about early life trajectories because i think it report important, the ca has some compelling data about for example, raising the share of people who graduate from high school and what effect that would have on criminal activity as just one example. we know that kids often go off in elementary and secondary school, and do not even get to high school graduation. what is interesting is the same phenomenon here where better data can help, it is not a panacea. you still need good management, attention to detail, so on and so forth. it is absolutely the case and education.
we are attempting to do exactly what you are describing, which is better identify a kid in second or third or fourth grade who is going off track, and measure what works to get them back on track. the consequence would be making their life better off and helping on this problem. quickly, i think that people do not generally think this way, but education is a crime control policy. i think it is also a way to reduce incarceration. on the case here about the young man who was sent to prison, we have been using prison as a one-size-fits-all response to crime. i think in terms of trying to undo some of that. >> did you want to jump in? the board of a charter school network, success academies in new york. our math proficiency levels for special and kids at success
academy is double the math proficiency of the general population. i am not an expert on this, but i think it was question, something i have been thinking about, and the importance of getting more data particularly on the relationship between children who are in need of special education, and how we educate them, how we do not push them off to the side, and deliver to them on effective education they can hopefully move them outside of the special and silo into the general population. going back to the issue of incentives, the district public schools -- all schools get extra cash for educating special education kids, so there is no real incentive to get them out of that. perhaps we should think of incentives to move those kids "graduateet them to from special education" and get
them into general education. >> starting with the question around disabilities, i think it is a very important lens that is not used very effectively in the reform context. we are beginning to do some work in that area. i mentioned in my opening remarks the number of folks that identify with a disability in prison, how much larger that identification is. it is other forms of disability as well, so we are looking forward -- looking into that. the other related question you have is how do we support children in schools. very silo, sot is when we say front end, remain front end of the criminal justice system. all of the predicate activity that leads someone down the path to maybe being in the criminal justice system, but being
diverted. that is something our organization is looking at separately, but coordinating our discussions with early education folks to make sure we are properly integrated. regarding immigration and cj reform, it is very challenging. we have folks moving in the generalization of trying to over criminal lies or increase criminal penalties on undocumented folks where they should be civil. somewhat responding to your point, if we do not get that right, we will end up having burgeoning jails and prisons with folks who are undocumented who should not be there in the same that we have low-level drug offenders in our prison now. i think it is something that needs to be examined closely. the thingsone of that has come out of this discussion is the importance of education. we should not need another reason to get better educational outcomes.
the thing that i would add, we need to understand who is at risk and what works in terms of policy. it is important to pay people for those outcomes. funding streams should be devoted to getting high quality outcomes. we will take care of those with disabilities by getting them early interventions that are successful. if we do everything else but do not demand high quality outcomes, we probably will not do the job done. >> time for two more questions. the front man the back. -- the front man at the back. >> tom on the board of the brennan center. two important stakeholders who have not mentioned, police chiefs, sheriffs, and prosecutors. i wonder if the panel could comment on their response to data and the kind of analysis we
see in this report. >> what about you? >> good morning, my name is rosemary and i am president of an organization called hope for tomorrow. my comment or question was on immigration. immigrants are taken to jail where they take longer time. the u.s. spend so much money giving them food, giving them stuff, but why can't they look at that and include in the beort, if they are to deported, let them go home. moneyd of spending more for up to 10 years, and it does not help them.
an do we make this organization forecasting locally here? >> two great questions. the report also talks about the role of mental health. you wanted to speak to that briefly. let's go back up the panel. >> i am not an expert on police chiefs and prosecutors but one thing i think is useful about the report, we have a lot of .uestions for officers it raises the question why, what incentives are we giving people? you have to look at the incentives. it really forces attention. this discussion has highlighted the inefficiencies of our criminal justice system.
another report of this size gets you to the inefficiencies of our immigration justice. i went brendan talk about law enforcement and the like. the law enforcement community has been great partners with us on pushing for criminal justice reform in d.c. and the states. they are important stakeholders to send the message that what is being offered in d.c. does nothing but an sure safety because of the steps they are taking. i think that is a very good point, and we are working hard to amplify those voices. regarding immigration detention, i think you are correct that it mirrors in many ways our broken criminal justice system, which is why we need comprehensive immigration reform among other things. incentives,same economic and the like, could perhaps work in that context as they are almost mirror images of each other. >> i will pass the baton.
we support them for the work they do in this very area. >> on the question of police and prosecutors, we launched a group of 155 police chiefs and prosecutors called law enforcement leaders to reduce crime and incarceration in october and that is an incredible plea -- an incredibly powerful voice. these law enforcement officials can make the case that they have seen firsthand at sending people to prison is not what works to bring down crime. instead, a lot of the smart policing and things like that have worked. group has gotten very involved in the last couple of months, particularly on the sentencing reform, to offer credibility to talk about the fact that it is not going to damage public safety to reform our sentencing laws. on the point of mental health, our prisons are the largest mental health institution in the country. over 50% of prisoners have
mental health issues. so one of the things that we have advocated for is that many of those people need treatment instead of prison, and treatment has been proven to work at reducing crime and be more cost-effective. thatjust want to emphasize point. the report also highlighted that almost 70% of the incarcerated population has a history of regular drug use. something like 20% have a history of physical or sexual abuse, highly correlated with mental health issues. it is not surprising when they leave incarceration and we say good luck, they wind up in trouble again. the programs that have been shown to work should not be surprising, because there's a lot of improvement that is possible. is one of thet messages that comes out of this report. people have been doing this in
smart and dumb ways and you can look at it and measure it. i am incredibly grateful to the panel. i think it was encouraging to hear this level of expertise. thank you very much to the panel. [applause] >> i also want to lend my thanks to the panel. thanks to all of you for being here today, thank you to everyone at the white house who helped organize this, and jamie keen and the people at the brennan center. i hope we can continue to have this discussion through the lens we talked about today, as well as the many other perspectives that have been brought to bear on this issue. thank you, everyone. [applause]
>> president obama will be delivering his last speech at the white house correspondents' dinner saturday night. donald trump was one of the guests. nobody isobama: prouder to put this birth certificate matter to rest them the donald. he can finally get back to focusing on the issues that , did we fake the moon landing? [laughter]
pres. obama: ?hat really happened in roswell and where our biggie and tupac? [laughter] pres. obama: all kidding aside, we obviously know about your credentials and breadth of experience. [laughter] pres. obama: for example -- no seriously. in an episode of celebrity apprentice at the steakhouse, the men's cooking team did not impress the judges from omaha steaks. there was a lot of blame to go around but you, esther tromp, recognize that the real problem was a lack of leadership so you did not blame well john or meatloaf. john or meatloaf.
you fired gary bc and these are the types of decisions that will keep me up at night. >> c-span coverage of this year passed white house correspondents dinner will be this saturday. we will be hearing from larry wilmore. secretary, we proudly give 72 of our delegate votes to the next president of the united states.
>> coming up today on c-span, republican presidential candidate john kasich will be in rockville, maryland for a town hall meeting. maryland is one of five states holding a primary tomorrow. we will have governor kasich at 2:00. senator ted cruz at a rally at the johnson county fairgrounds in franklin, indiana. the indiana presidential primary is next tuesday, may 3. this week on q&a, historian ron turned now. he talks about the hit broadway musical hamilton and the consulting work he did on it. the creator based the music on biography of mr.
hamilton. brian lamb: ron chernow, when did hamilton -- alexander hamilton first get on your radar screen? ron chernow: well, i started writing it back in 1998, brian. it seems rather comical because the reason that i chose to do alexander hamilton aside from the fact that it was the most extraordinary personal story among the founding fathers, was that he seemed to be fading into obscurity. people were coming to regard him as a sort of second tier founding father. most americans know he was on the $10 bill, maybe that he had died in a duel with aaron burr, but that was about it. it seems comical that i was -- i felt as if i was lifting him out of the security. -- of obscurity. now his name is on the marquee of a broadway show. brian lamb: where were you at the time? what were you doing? ron chernow: i just finished writing my biography of john d. rockefeller, titan and what
happened, i had done a series of books about moguls of the gilded age and i found it when i would go out to give lectures, people in the audience would start shouting out, "do vanderbilt next. do carnegie next," and i really felt that i was becoming terribly stereotyped as this biographer of gilded age tycoons and i decided that i wanted to switch periods. and so, alexander hamilton was the perfect exit strategy because i knew there would be a lot of financial and economic history, but it would also expose me not only to new era, but of foreign affairs, constitutional law you know, , military history on and on and , on, plus the most amazing story that i have ever written. brian lamb: you probably don't like this question. i asked it before not on you, but in others. is there someone today that would come closest to the way alexander hamilton thought about government. ron chernow: thought about government, that's a very difficult question, brian. i will say this that alexander hamilton was the most verbal politician in our history. if he felt strongly about an
issue, he would sit down and he would write a series of 25 essays over the course of a few weeks about it and i think that hamilton would fit very uncomfortably into an era of tweets and soundbites. he was very rational, deeply intellectual in principled. and i can't think of anyone stylistically certainly who reminds me of alexander hamilton today. would that we have him on the scene. lamb: your book comes out, 2014, it's number one on the paperback bestseller list and on the combined new york times list, it's in the top 15 all of these years later. ron chernow: actually, as we talk six months on the paperback , bestseller list and then five straight weeks at number one for an 800-page book that was published in 2004. i think it is safe to say that that is unprecedented. it's really quite extraordinary. brian lamb: what's it done to your life? ron chernow: well, it's had a
profound effect. this has been very much of through the looking glass experience for me. the greatest thrill of course has been having allowed lin-manuel miranda take this biography and translated into a very vivid three-dimensional life on the stage, but it's also been deeply touching to me the way that i have been completely embraced and incorporated into the world of the show, not only the creative theme, but the cast members and because i had never been involved with the show before and maybe never will be again i decided that i wanted to , have every experience i could possibly with the broadway show. i was at every workshop and theater festival and rehearsal. i sat it on the recording of the cast album. i sat in one performance with the orchestra in this kind of black trapdoor under the stage and i had been a lifelong theatergoer. i never imagined that i would be on the other side of the footlights. so it's just been absolutely enchanting experience.
brian lamb: as you watched up close be made, what was the most difficult part of it? ron chernow: the most difficult part -- well, you know, in my book, i have hundreds of characters. one thing that i immediately realized was that history is long, messy, and complicated. broadway shows have to be very short, coherent and tightly constructed and there is a conflict between that and a broadway musical. you have to have eight or 10 principal characters. everything has to happen to them by them, through them. you have to establish them early, keep on developing them. and so, there are certain places in the show where things happen accurately, but actually were or two other people. for instance, there's a scene in the show where jefferson -- burr and madison confront hamilton with the reynold's scandal. he actually was confronted by three jeffersonians, but not those three individuals. so lin, what i love working with him is in those cases where he
felt obliged to use dramatic license, he would always try to incorporate as many authentic elements into the scene as he could, even if he had changed something. brian lamb: if you get on the website today, first of all, you can't buy tickets. they're sold out for -- how far are they sold out? ron chernow: sold out -- as we talked, through january 2017. brian lamb: so all of this year and then january of next year. ron chernow: yeah. brian lamb: but if you get on and get on these resale websites, a thousand dollars might get you a ticket. ron chernow: yeah, i mean and people have been scalping tickets for $1,500.00 to $2000, $2500 a ticket. they are certainly routinely scalping for a thousand or $1,500.00 a ticket. brian lamb: what do you think of that? ron chernow: well, you know, it's been frustrating for us because we didn't create this show exclusively for hedge fund managers and private equity people.
and we have been doing what is within our power to try to offset that. for instance, there's a lottery every night where the entire row, people get tickets for a piece if they win the $10 lottery. we also have starting in april every wednesday, there's going to be a matinee for new york city schoolchildren. actually eleventh graders who are in so called, title one schools, free lunch schools, they would be mostly black and latino audience. 1,300 kids, wednesday matinees will be sitting there for $10 a piece and not only will they see this extraordinary show where it is impossible to get tickets. they're going to have a q&a with the cast afterwards. their teachers have been supplied with curriculum materials so that the teachers can use the show actually as a vehicle for teaching more about american history. so we're trying to broaden out the audience.
it's a nice problem to have, but it is a problem. brian lamb: you've got the washington prize for which book? ron chernow: i got the washington prize actually for alexander hamilton. brian lamb: and so did lin? ron chernow: ten years later, right. and they asked me to get up there and pay tribute to him at the awards ceremony, which was -- brian lamb: hold off. i want show you a piece of tape right now from that award ceremony. ron chernow: ok. brian lamb: here's ron chernow. (video starts) ron chernow: i know that you are all expecting me to stand up here and start snapping my fingers and breaking into rhymed couplets, but i'm afraid, i'm going to disappoint you. although, i have to say one side of me is dying to do exactly that and i'm going to do it. "how does a bastard, orphan, son of a whore and a scotsman, dropped in the middle of a forgo-" no i'm not going there, lin. i'm not going there. i'm not going there. "in the caribbean by providence, impoverished, in squalor, grow up to be a hero and a scholar?" someone save me.
no, i've told kind of like adam, i've had this fantasy about going on the stage and i've told lin that i'd like to go on and just do the opening number. off withd then paul me the hulk afterwards but for some , mysterious reason, lin has decided not to throw on my unique theatrical talents. (video ends) brian lamb: how hard was that to do? ron chernow: i've never seen lin laugh as hard. he and his family were sitting in the table right in front of the podium and he just doubled over with laughter and when he got up on the stage to receive the award, he said, "i can't believe it. we have ron chernow rapping on c-span." so it has been recorded that i actually did it, but that has been a fantasy of mine to go on for the opening number. brian lamb: as you know, it's a two-hour and 55-minute show. ron chernow: yes. brian lamb: and the music, you can buy all of the music. how much of this can you do by memory? ron chernow: oh, i can do most of the first song. i know lots of different
portions of the show. you know, brian, i have seen the show about 50 times and of course, i was very intimately involved over a six or seven-year period with the creation of the show. in fact, when i first started working with lin, as he wrote each song, he would send it to me via e-mail. i would just hear lin at the keyboard singing and he would send them with these kind of psychedelic screams as i heard him singing, and i was absolutely astonished. in fact, he came over and he saying the opening number. he came over to my apartment and started snapping his fingers. he was sitting on my living room couch and he started singing, "how does a bastard, orphan, son of a whore," and when he was finished doing it, he said, what do you think? this was my first exposure to it and i said, "i think that's the most extraordinary thing. you've taken the first 40 minutes of my -- first 40 pages of my book and condensed them accurately into a 4.5 minute song." what i didn't say to lin, but i was thinking it, saying, "boy, i
did the sky rights very tight and very long." and so it was a little embarrassing that he had distilled the 40 pages down to a foreign a half minute song and had done it so accurately. -- a four and a half minute song and had done it so accurately. brian lamb: we had a photo of lin manuel-miranda with your book in hand and he is in the water. is that when he first got this book? ron chernow: yes. what happened, when i met lin in november 2008, he was still starring in his first show in the heights. he invited me to a sunday matinee and i went backstage and i had heard from a mutual friend that he had read the book on vacation and made enormous impression and he said to me, "ron, i was reading your book on vacation in mexico and as i was reading it, hip hop songs started rising off said, really? and then started telling me, he said, "you know hamilton's life has a classic hip hop narrative," and i was thinking, what on earth is this guy talking about? i think that lin quickly picked up the fact that he had a world
class ignoramus about hip hop on his hands. and he said to me on the spot , because my first question to him was, "can hip hop be the vehicle for telling this kind of very large and complex story?" and he said, "ron, i'm going to educate you about hip hop." he did on the spot. he started pointing out that hip hop, you can pack more information into the lyrics than any other form because it's very, very dense and rapid. he started talking about the fact that hip hop not only has rhymed endings, it has internal rhyme, it has word play. he started educating me in all of these different devices that are very, very important to the success of the show. so i'm not a complete ignoramus about hip hop anymore, just mostly. brian lamb: is there anything in the show that you directly had an impact on? ron chernow: oh absolutely. in terms of the relationship between hamilton and washington for instance. i was having lunch with lin one
-- one day and he said to me, he was trying to figure out the dramatic essence of that relationship which is very central to the show. and he said to me, "would washington, when he met hamilton during the revolutionary war -- would washington have seen hamilton as a younger version of himself?" and i said, "absolutely," because washington when he meets hamilton, hamilton is 22. but when washington was 23, he was the head of all the armed forces in virginia, led his men into a terrible massacre in a place called fort necessity and in fact, there's this beautiful song in the show where washington sings, "let me tell you what i wish i had known when i was young and dreamed of glory." well, that was very thrilling to me when we had that discussion and then the next time, i saw a new version of the show to see that scene and that song and realized that it came directly out of it. but even, brian, you know, very
late in the game for instance, even when it was at the public theater where it originated off broadway, i said to lin one day, i said, "you know, there's one big policy point that is missing from the show, which is that when hamilton became treasury secretary, the country was bankrupt and by the time he left five years later, we were as credit worthy as any other country in the world." amazing feat. and so what he has in the closing scene of the show, madison comes out and says, "he took us from bankruptcy to prosperity," and you know, for that, we'll forever be in his debt. and he doesn't get enough credit for all the credit that he gave us. well, that was a direct response to what i had said and that was actually pretty late in the off broadway run of the show. so, it was great. i mean, the beautiful thing about working with lin is that he's always prepared to listen.
he was very good at filtering out whatever ridiculous or asinine things that i would say, he had very good instincts. if i said something that really hit home to him, he was always fully open to it and he was diplomatic because if i said something that he thought was completely absurd, he wouldn't disagree. he would simply stare at me wordless and then i would realize that i had goofed. brian lamb: you were born where? ron chernow: i was born in brooklyn. brian lamb: and mr. miranda was born where? ron chernow: lin was born in new york, i assume on the upper west side. brian lamb: and alexander hamilton was born where and where was he raised? ron chernow: hamilton was born on the island of nevis in the caribbean. he spent his adolescence on st. croix, one of the virgin islands and around the age of 17, a killer hurricane hit the island. he wrote this very brilliant letter that was published in the
island newspaper describing in almost shakespearean terms this hurricane. he was an illegitimate, orphaned, impoverished clerk at that point. the local merchants suddenly recognized that they had this young genius in their midst and they took up a collection to send him to the north american colonies to be educated. he came armed with a fuel that is of introduction, but he did not know the soul. and so, hamilton is about all the original immigrant, but a completely self-made, really self invented figure. you know, all the other founding fathers, they were out of either virginia printers or boston lawyers. they were all born in the original 13 colonies. hamilton was the outsider and started out life with as many disadvantages as most of those figures had advantages. it's an amazing story. brian lamb: we can only use obviously a little bit of the music, but here's about 20 seconds and it's alexander hamilton. the tune is stay alive and the
reason i run this is it shows about his relationship with general eisenhower at the time and at the time he was an aide to general eisenhower, how would -- how old would he have been? ron chernow: talking about general washington. brian lamb: yeah. general eisenhower. i am being -- (crosstalk) ron chernow: well hamilton is 22 when he meets washington. washington would have been 45 at that point. brian lamb: let's just listen a little bit so we can get a flavor. (video starts) male: "i have never seen the general so despondent. i have taken over writing all his correspondence. congress writes, "george, attack the british forces." i shoot back, we have resorted to eating our horses. local merchants deny us equipment, assistance. they only take british money, so sing a song of sixpence." (video ends) brian lamb: that's it for the moment, but what do you think? ron chernow: accurate in fact , because all of these farmers, this was the valley forge winter there. the continental army was
actually sitting there amidst plenty. the problem was not the availability of food. the problem was that the farmers were selling the food to the british forces in philadelphia. and i remember lin had actually sent me very beautiful, sad, mournful music for valley forge. and you can hear the words of thomas paine over the music and those were the only words that survived from that original draft of that scene. but lin is extraordinary in terms of plucking out exactly what he needs for a screen -- a scene. he is self-critical and he is a very disciplined writer. it's always very hard for a writer to strike out a beautiful line that he has written. lin has the ability to do it. i'm not sure i do, but he does. brian lamb: he is about what age right now? ron chernow: lin is 36. brian lamb: and when the constitutional convention was
held and alexander hamilton was there and james madison, they were what, 30, 36? ron chernow: let's say -- because hamilton was born -- by my count, 1755. so he would have been 32 and then 34 when he became treasury secretary. brian lamb: so all of this is -- except for your case -- had been done by really young people. ron chernow: yeah, and this is actually a very interesting point, brian, because i think that so much of the attention about the show has concentrated on the fact that it's this black and latino eurasian and by racial caste. and of course that's a great novelty show about the founding fathers, one that startled me at the beginning. but i think that the thing that has not been sufficiently emphasized is how young the actors are. you know, i grew up with the musical, so when you did 1776 and it was a bunch of late middle aged white actors and wigs and buckle shoes.
here, there are very few people in the cast who are over 40 and so i think, in the same way that this black and latino cast enables the audience to enter into this experience it provides , a kind of bridge for the audience between the sensibility today and the sensibility of then. but i think that the fact that the show reminds us that the american revolutions throughout history are made by young people . and i think that that's very exciting and it really hasn't been talked about. brian lamb: as you know, at that ceremony when lin miranda got the washington award, the gilded room folks said they were going to fund 20,000 young people seeing it. ron chernow: actually, we got a grant from the rockefeller foundation, so we will have one wednesday matinee a month, we'll have eleventh graders. brian lamb: why eleventh graders? ron chernow: because they are studying american history. they are studying this period in
their classrooms. that's i think really how it -- brian lamb: how far has that gone nationwide? ron chernow: well, we have now in the works three, maybe another four productions and so there will be a chicago production opening in september , october. it is going to be in la next year for five months, san francisco for five months. there will be one, maybe two national touring companies and so, i'm hoping that -- and that is going to be in london in the fall of 2017. so i'm hoping that as the show goes to other cities, that if not the rockefeller foundation that another local philanthropy will do exactly what we're doing in new york again for reasons stated earlier. this is our single most important audience out there. and thank god, from the time the cast album came out last october, the last figure i saw, it had already sold 252,000 copies. it's the complete show. it's
almost every word of the show. it is two cds. it has the complete libretto inside. and so i think that the cast album as much as the show has enabled the hamilton musical to really enter into american popular culture and political culture in a way that i have never seen with a broadway show. i'm getting everyday -- i get an email from some friends saying, "you know, my six-year-old is driving me crazy. she sits in a room all day listening the cast album again and again," and i write back and say, "you know, there are worst problems for a parent than a having a child who only wants to talk about the founding fathers, you know," who ever thought that would be a problem? brian lamb: this what the libretto looks like inside the cds that you get and if you haven't been to the show, you have to read this as you go to know who is talking. ron chernow: exactly and you know, the wonderful thing is, brian, we really have two audiences for the show. we have the audience inside the theater and that's 1,321 people
every night, so maybe what, about 10,000 people a week. but i feel as if we actually have a much, much larger audience across the country in people who are reading the -- who are listening to the cast album, who are reading the libretto and newsweek online recently did an issue that teachers across the country are already using the show and using the cast album as an educational tool. then there will be a certain moment, i don't know how far down the road this will be where the producers will allow schools to start to license the show that is to actually perform the show and i think we all feel and all hope that this is going to be the single most widely produced musical in american schools for many, many years. i'm sure it will be. brian lamb: here's lin miranda outside of the richard rodgers theater back in august of 2015 when he would come out and entertain the folks that are waiting there in line. let's watch it. (video starts)
lin manuel-miranda: i'm concerned with -- that we cancelled (inaudible) for an opening night of the show. so thank you for making that possible. i wish all the luck. i wish we could get you all in there, but i hope you all come see the show. thanks to you. i think we're going to run it a nice long time. in the early 1850s, two pedestrians strolling past the house on h street and washington near the white house realized that the ancient widow seated by the window, knitting and arranging flowers was the last surviving lead to the glory days of the early republican. fifty years earlier, on a rocky secluded ledge overlooking the hudson river in weehawken, new jersey, aaron burr, the vice president of the united states had fired a local shot at her husband, alexander hamilton in a misbegotten effort to remove the man burr regarded as the main impediment to the advancement of his career. (video ends) ron chernow: that was actually opening night on broadway. lin came out about two hours before the show started and he read the opening paragraphs of
my book. and i was very startled when i saw the clip because there were a couple of moments where he is almost on the edge of tears as he is reading it. and as powerful as i know his emotional response have been to the book, when i saw that, i learned something new about just how deeply he had felt and we were both -- we both fell in love with eliza hamilton who had been a completely unknown figure to the american public before then. and i think we really changed that. >> here is lin miranda at the same ceremony where you did the rap, so people can see a little bit more -- speaking what he is like. (video starts) lin manuel-miranda: and ron's version of hamilton is what made me fall in love. the first two chapters of ron's book out-dickens dickens in terms of the hardship hamilton faces and the incredible odds he overcame to come to this country and help shape it.
and it's been an incredible journey working with ron and learning about this history and i think the secret sauce of the show is i am learning the stuff just a chapter ahead of you. i am falling in love with these characters and i'm falling in love with the fact they are not the people i grew up learning about in ap u.s. history. the are flawed and they are messy. burr came alive to me when i realized he was dating theodosia prevost when she was still married to that guy who was a general down in bermuda. and i said, "oh, this is a guy who waits for what he wants." and that unlocked burr for me. (video ends) brian lamb: explain more about aaron burr and what's he's talking about. ron chernow: yeah, the way that lin presents the hamilton-burr conflict not just at the very , end of hamilton's life, but they were was that rivals. and he presents them as having
very, very contrasting personalities, which i think is true; that hamilton is a very aggressive and self-confident person who is not afraid to grab what he wants. burr plays everything close to the vest. burr was a much more cautious and kind of crafty individual and he would hang back and during the war, burr fell in love with the wife of a british officer. and there is a scene in the show where hamilton says to him, "if you love this woman, why don't you go get her?" and it's meant really to point out the difference in personality between the two men . as time goes on, of course, the difference in politics and ideology will become even that much more important. so that is what lin is referring to. brian lamb: as long as we're on this affair thing between burr and theodosia, you mentioned this earlier and we've got some -- a little excerpt from the program about the reynold's pamphlet, which you wrote about
in your book obviously, but you can also find it on the internet, the whole pamphlet. this pamphlet before we run this was written when? ron turnout: 1797. brian lamb: and what was the reason? ron chernow: well, what happened was, when hamilton was treasury secretary, one day, a very beautiful 23-year-old woman named maria reynolds came to his door. she spilled out this woeful tale that she had been abandoned by her husband, james reynolds and that she was in need of money and hamilton, believe it or not, hamilton was then the most powerful and controversial man in the american government. that night, hamilton slipped out of the house, went to her rooming house, said that he had found maria reynolds at the top of a staircase. she said -- she then ushered him into a bedroom and then he wrote his famous line and she then made it clear that other, then pecuniary consolation would be acceptable. and that was the start of an affair that went on for a year, but after about a month or so, mr. reynolds suddenly appeared and instead of stopping the
affair, decided that it would be much more fun to charge hamilton for the pleasure of his wife's company in bed. and incredibly enough, i mean, it was so reckless of hamilton to have entered into -- she have been prostitute, maria reynolds -- it was so reckless and self-destructive of him to enter into the affair to begin with. but then suddenly, he is paying hush money to the husband when all of the jeffersonian press is circling around him, trying to get some dirt on him and here, hamilton is giving them the biggest story that they would ever get. brian lamb: isn't there a bit of a difference in the broadway show from the actual way it happened? ron chernow: yes. it's a very good point and you were asking me before if there were things where my comments changed something. what happened in actuality was that, a scandal mongering journalist names james t. calendar who was a kind of a jeffersonian hit man over the
era published these charges , claiming that hamilton had paid money to a mr. james reynolds because they were secretly engaging in speculation in treasury securities together. hamilton then publishes this pamphlet saying, "oh, no, no. i was paying money to james reynolds, but it was for the favor of his wife's company." and actually, i said to lin, i thought that it was a little confusing to the audience because in the show, it seemed as if hamilton was preemptively publishing this pamphlet after jefferson, madison and burr told him that they know about these payments because lin did not have the pamphlet that provoked hamilton's pamphlet. so lin added a line at the end of that scene with burr, jefferson and madison where burr says, "alexander, rumors only
grow," and that line came out of my thing to lin, "i'm afraid the audience is going to wonder why he preemptively published this pamphlet." brian lamb: it's 20 seconds and thomas jefferson, james madison and angelica is in this along with aaron burr and hamilton. let's just listen a little bit so you can get the flavor of it. (video starts) have you read this? alexander hamilton had a torrid affair. and he wrote it down right there. highlights. "the charge against me is in connection with one james reynolds. for purposes of improper speculation, my real crime is an amorous connection with his wife for a considerable time with his knowing consent. damn." >> with all of the success you had with alexander hamilton back in 2004, are you finding people that are learning a lot more about alexander hamilton and these founders now that this thing has become --
ron chernow: every single time i am at the theater and i'm there fairly often at least one person , comes up to me and says, "you know, ron, i love the show and as i was watching the show, i was embarrassed to realize how little i knew about the history of my own country and i'm determined to change that." very nice that a lot of them are then going out and reading the book or reading other books about the founding heroes. so i said to lin at that awards ceremony that you showed before, i said to him afterwards, i said, "you know, lin, i don't know what your next show is going to be," i said, "you have had an impact in terms of stimulating an interest in american history of sorts that i have never seen." and i said to him, "i just hope that periodically in your career, keep circling back to american history." because i think, brian, you know, probably every biographers that you've interviewed over the years, all of them, would say the same thing that we really , didn't feel that we were reaching the young people. i find that when i go out and do
a lecture or a book signing, typically the audience is about 35, 40 years old and up. sometimes, 60, 70, you know, 80. whereas lin seems to have this magical connection with people of all ages. believe it or not, a friend even told me that she took her three-year-old to see the show and the little girl was sort of bouncing and swaying in her seat. i have also seen the show with people in their late 80s who were as starry eyed, you know, as that child. and so, that this is -- lin is worth his weight in gold in terms of stimulating young people to read about american history. brian lamb: how important to the success of this show was his appearance back in 2009 at the white house in front of the first lady and the president? ron chernow: well, it was -- i have to say, from a personal standpoint, it was very, very helpful because you have to understand that for the six or seven years we were working on this, before people actually saw the show, i would say, "you
know, i'm involved in this show. it's going to be a musical -- a hip hop musical about the founding fathers," and they would look at me like i was crazy. it was a little bit like the show or the movie, the producers where they are trying to come up with the single worst idea of all time for a musical and they come up with "spring time for hitler." i mean, it was a little bit like -- i was saying, "i'm in this wonderful -- involved with this wonderful musical. it's called spring time for hitler." i mean that was how people were reacting to the idea of a musical, a hip hop musical about the founding fathers. right before the show opened downtown at the public theater, i was walking near the theater one day and i passed these two young women on the street and i heard one say to the other, "and it's a musical about alexander hamilton." and then they both started laughing and then the woman said, "and it's in hip hop." and they just were standing there in the sidewalk roaring with laughter. well, the wonderful thing about that white house clip is that when people would start laughing at me, i would say, "well, watch that clip from the white house.
that was 2009. so watch the clip and let me know what you think," and everyone who saw the clip then would call me up and say, "oh my god. that was quite extraordinary." brian lamb: let's watch 40 seconds of it now. ron chernow: yeah. (video starts) lin manuel-miranda: i'm thrilled the white house called me tonight because i'm actually working on a hip hop album. it's a concept album about the life of someone i think embodies hip hop, treasury secretary alexander hamilton. you laugh, but it is true. he was born a penniless orphan in st. croix, illegitimate birth became george washington's right , hand man. because treasury secretary, caught beef with every other founding father and all on the strength of his writing. i think he embodies the words ability to make a difference." (video ends) brian lamb: what has happened to lin miranda in all of these?
what has success meant to him, and how long can he keep starring in this every night? ron chernow: well, i think that he has already said that he is going to stay in the show through july. that is the announcement in the beginning that he was going to stay in the show for a year for the simple reason, i think he would like to be on to his next show and they are doing a performance is a week. it's very difficult for him to kind of clear his mind for the next show. in fact, he -- i recently heard him say in an interview that when he took my book down on vacation to mexico, it was actually the first break that he had had from in the heights where he can sort open his mind to another story, but i think the show has made him a superstar. people were running after him with every conceivable offer. but i think that -- if there's one thing that i've learned about lin, he's the original multitasker because the years that he was sending me the hamilton songs and there would be sporadic rehearsals, he always maintained psychological continuity with the show.
so i think that lin probably 10 wonderful6, 8, musicals in him and i hope that some of them revolve around american history. brian lamb: i know it's private, but i'll ask you the question anyway. from a financial standpoint for yourself, did they have to buy your services? did they have to buy the rights? ron chernow: lin optioned the book, but the interesting thing is, brian, that the book came out in 2004 and the book was optioned three times in hollywood for a feature film and as often happens when a book is an option disappears into a kind , of blackhole. and hollywood, i guess couldn't figure out what to do with the story and i kept saying to my agent here and the agent -- my agent in la, i said, "i don't get it. here's a story of this illegitimate orphan kid, comes out of nowhere, sets the world on fire.
you want sex, there's a sex scandal. you want violence, there's a duel on and it has all of the ingredients one could possibly want and hollywood couldn't figure out what to do with it." lin manuel-miranda, at the end of the second chapter knew exactly what he wanted to do with it. brian lamb: in your book, in the back, in the acknowledgements, you say that there was a study underway to try to find out whether alexander hamilton was a black. ron chernow: right. brian lamb: and you said, the information is going to come >> what happened was this, i discovered from geneticists that was that if i had direct-mail descendents of the hamilton name, i had them andbing out their mouths off to a lab for genetic testing. the results were inconclusive.
i was beginning to myself, ifnkly, wouldn't it be great we had a biracial founding father. doing this was instructed to me. it made me realize that it is something to tend to think of as , but it becomes nebulous on the genetic level. turns out the so-called races have much more in common with each other than the so-called differences than trying to determine what race they were. it was very difficult. when hamilton came to north america, he was a legitimate. he only said that i birth has been the subject of the most humiliating criticisms. he was always stunned by red as references to his illegitimacy. there were a lot of different references for the simple reason
, when young people came from the caribbean in those years, it could have been an island where sugar and cotton were on the plantation. it was not unusual to be the product of the union between a white master and a female slave. hamilton, we have a lot of paintings of them. his coloring was very kind of ruddy and spotty. just looking at the pictures of him, that he would have been biracial. his father may have been a man named thomas stevens. friend was someone named ned stevens, who became an eminent dr..
then suddenly with a chance to meet next season, they pulled over by the resemblance, saying they look like brothers. they decided not to deal with that, which would have been difficult to deal with. you start the show in 1776 and in that opening song he tells us everything that we need to know until that point. in hamilton's life. would've been quite difficult to drop and that first song. >> here is more video from the event that you were all in attendance for in 2015 at the washington award. $50,000? >> i think so. >> you got it. [laughter close my --]
around town. it has been so moving that they have invited me into their world. brian: any chance we will see you on stage? ron: no, although i am hoping that on june 12, tony night, i hope i will be on the stage if we win for best musical, which i think we have a reasonable chance. i do not think i will be on stage at the theater. although, i keep mentioning it as a possibility. brian: alexander hamilton, the main things that he did before dying at 49. ron: ok. the first act, when the revolutionary war, hamilton was washington's aid. the second act, the constitutional convention. hamilton issued the plea to meet in philadelphia. he was the sole new york delegate to sign.
he originated and wrote 51 of the 85 essays considered the classic -- on the constitution. he became the first treasury secretary at age 34. he created the treasury department, created the tax system, the first fiscal system, the first central-bank, the first coast guard, the first custom service, on and on. hamilton was the architect of the federal government. on the one hand, hamilton was very charming, witty, charismatic. it was easier like that side of him.
he was also brash and dangerously self-destructive. i had tremendous admiration for what hamilton had accomplished. i often say, the wonderful thing about this story was that you could admire him, but his flaws were so serious that we can all identify with him. he is at once very human and superhuman, depending on the moments. it is a fascinating story of someone who was as brilliant as hamilton was, flawed and fallible. when we were creating the show, there was this notion in broadway that the central character should be sympathetic. he should be rooting for the central character.
hamilton, with the reynolds pamphlet and other things, hamilton is constantly testing the sympathy of the audience. it has been interesting that people walk out of the theater with tremendous admiration and affection for him. the reason is he becomes real to them. this is the big mistake that we make in our schools teaching history. we think that in order to love a historical figure, we should present a series of statements. the students are very bored and the figures seem unreal. if you can capture them accurately, they will love these characters. brian: would you go to high school? ron: forest hills high school in queens. i did two degrees in english literature, at yale and cambridge. brian: you must at some history classes? do you remember them? ron: history should be the most exciting subject. so often, it is memorization. i do not remember having
exciting history classes. i think that i, like a lot of people out there, discovered -- some people were lucky enough to have fantastic history teachers, i don't mean to denigrate -- i think that my story, in their 30's and 40's, they one day on their own pickup a piece of history or biography and a star rating and they say, this is fascinating, how come they never felt that before? having a sensation constantly with the show that people are coming and saying, how come no teacher let me know how passionate and brilliant in argumentative and fascinating these characters were?
brian: the last time you visited was for your washington the, a book as big as the hamilton book. now, what are you doing? ron: i'm doing ulysses s. grant. brian: how hard is it to live in different centuries? ron: extremely hard. mornings and afternoons, and i am during the reconstruction of the civil war. then, nights and weekends, i am back in the 18th century. occasionally, when i come up for air, i am in the early 21st century, but only occasionally. because my books are very long impact packed with information, when i finish a book, there is a delete button in my mind that wipes out the whole book. his like my mind is tired of having to keep all of this information.
whereas i have not only had to keep the ulysses s. grant book in my mind, but because of the show, hamilton in washington -- sometimes i feel like my brain is bursting with these books in my mind is crying for release. brian: when will you finish the grant book? ron: i'm hoping to finish it this year, and it will come out next year. i have just had so many distractions with the show -- pleasant distractions, but still distractions. every time i think that the interest in the show is going to subside, it actually intensifies. brian: what do you think of grant? ron: in terms of searching for topics, i always look to people whom i think were misunderstood. with hamilton, hamilton had been very demonized.
when i was growing up, the idea was that jefferson was a virtuous man of the common people in that hamilton was this villainous figure, a tool of the plutocrat. i tried to show that hamilton was much more liberal than he had been portrayed. and jefferson, maybe less. similarly with grant, i always try to start at with some of the myth around someone. grant was actually a strategic genius militarily. or, grant the juncker. -- drunkard. that turns out to be a very complicated story. hardly the whole story. reconstruction was a big story of his presidency. there is so much that has been forgotten by ulysses s. grant.
i'm hoping that when the book comes out, it will be as surprising to most people as hamilton or the other books have been. they are going to see so many more dimensions to this figure. brian: if you were able to interview george washington, hamilton, or grant, or rockefeller -- who would you choose? ron: i would choose george washington. of all of the figures, he was the most important and the most mysterious. just the kind of people to stare at him in study him. if i wanted someone for his intellect, clearly alexander hamilton. but i think that washington was
the indispensable man who made everything else happened. in writing about hamilton, i certainly came to feel that his achievements were up there with washington. brian: we found some video that lin miranda put on youtube when he was a young boy. i want to know if there is any video of you that would exhibit this kind of talent. [begin video clip] ♪
[end video clip] brian: this is before hip-hop, i suspect. ron: i think it is safe to say there is no such video in their chernow family archives of me dancing on my dad. i was probably playing stickball. brian: has anybody shown any interest in doing a broadway show on washington? ron: there is interest in doing dramatizations, in terms of television and film. i'm hoping that will happen at some point. when lin told me that hamilton's life was classic hip-hop in that hip-hop was a perfect fit, i did not understand what he was talking about. i understand now, because there is something about the way lin presents him, hamilton is presented as this very, very
intense, frenetic character. here you have visited very dense hip-hop music, and there something about that personality and style that perfectly meshed. took me time to see what must have come to lin in one blinding flash, that this life and music would match. brian: we're almost out of time. has there been anybody that didn't like the show that wrote about it? ron: the only review i can remember that was at all critical was in "the new yorker." otherwise, we have had hundreds upon hundreds of ecstatic reviews of the show.
it is inevitable that somebody would come along -- when you have everybody saying it is the greatest show, somebody will come along and say, i don't think it is so great. brian: did you know this was going to happen? ron: no. i remember in january 2012, lin did a performance of 10-12 songs at the lincoln center. the audience was people in their 20's and 30's. they were not even staged, really. he sang these songs and every member at the end, although these young people were on their feet cheering, screaming, and it looked around and said, oh, my god, is this a preview of the future? every time the show was tested, that was then reaction. when we were at the powerhouse
festival, the priest was crawling -- the place was crawling with producers from new york. just the first act was done, every producer in the room was saying, this is the greatest thing i have ever seen. we had intimations that it might happen but we couldn't have predicted that it would be quite such a sensation, or that it would be not only a theatrical phenomenon but a political and cultural phenomenon. with her at the white house to couple of weeks ago. i don't think there is a proven a sitting president who came twice to see the show, the first lady twice. we have had the obamas, the clintons, the cheney's, every hollywood and broadway star you can imagine. it has been a who's who rate passing through. that is something none of us could have imagined that it would be quite this kind of sensation. brian: ron chernow, author of
"hamilton," thank you very much. ron: it was a pleasure, thank you. >> for free transcripts or to give us your comments about this program, visit us online. programs are also available as c-span podcasts. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] >> coming up today, john kasich will maryland, one of five states holding presidential primaries tomorrow. we will have the town hall live here at 2:00 eastern time. live at 6:30, ted cruz holding a ted cruz -- have holding a
campaign rally in franklin, indiana. it is next tuesday, may 3. at 7:00, wilkesboro, a rallyania, holding tomorrow as well. donald trump has exhorted -- 845 delegates, followed by ted cruz at 500, -- 559. on the democratic side, hillary 1000 nine hundred 30 delegates. bernie sanders has 1189. a difference of 741 delegate. >> madam secretary, we have given 72 of our delegate votes the next president of the united states.
sen. sanders: thank you all. what a wonderful turnout, and thank you so much for being here this afternoon. [applause] [cheers] sen. sanders: let me thank rosaria dawson. as most of you know, she is a great american actress, but she is more than a great actress. she has devoted a significant part of her life to making sure that we end racism, that we end all forms of discrimination in this country. [applause] [cheers] sen. sanders: and she stood up and fought for people who often don't have a voice, so i thank her for all that she has done
and her role on this campaign. [applause] [cheers] sen. sanders: let me begin by quoting to use some words of a guide that many of you know of, and some of you know personally, that is the president of the united states. [cheers] sen. sanders: joe biden was just quoted the other day in the new york times. "he remains neutral in the battle between bernie sanders and hillary clinton, but not between their campaign styles. he will take mr. sanders' aspirational approach over mr. clinton's -- mrs. clinton's caution any day. [cheers] sen. sanders: and this is what the vice president continues, "i like the idea of saying we can do much more, because we can." and then he says, "we all to
downsize because it is not realistic," he said in a mocking tone. "i'm not part of the party that says we can't do it." [cheers] [applause] sen. sanders: what joe biden saying is exactly what this campaign is about. it is asking the hard questions of why not. why not? now, if we were a poor country, and there are many poor countries all over the world, and some he said, you know, we should have a great educational
system for all of our kids. we should have health care for all of our people. we should have great infrastructure. if people raise those questions in a poor nation, then people would say that is a great idea, but we are poor. we can't do that. let me be very clear, you are living today not in a poor country. you are living in the wealthiest country in the history of the world. [applause] [cheers]
sen. sanders: so we have a right to ask and a right to demand that this country and our government work for all of us, and not just the 1%. [applause] [cheers] sen. sanders: we have already won 16 states in this nominating process. [cheers] sen. sanders: and with your help on tuesday, we are going to win here in delaware. [cheers] [applause] sen. sanders: we started this campaign at 3% in the polls, 60 points behind secretary clinton. in the last week or two, there are national polls that have us in the league. [cheers] -- in the lead. [cheers] sen. cruz: and, if you look at the matchup polls between donald trump and myself, we are beating him in every instance. [cheers] sen. sanders: and almost always by larger margins than secretary clinton. in other words, we have confounded the experts. we are in this campaign to win, and with your help, we will do that. [cheers]
[applause] >> [chanting] bernie, bernie, bernie. sen. sanders: to pick up on joe biden's point, what this campaign is asking people is to think outside of the box, outside of the status quo. don't accept what the media tells you in terms of the options that we have. we can think much bigger. we can create the kind of nation we know the united states can become. [cheers] sen. sanders: if we think about half a loaf, we will get crumbs. if we think about small ideas,
we will get small results. [cheers] sen. sanders: now this campaign is creating the energy and excitement that it is because we are doing something very unusual in contemporary american politics. we are telling the truth. [cheers] [applause] sen. sanders: the truth is not always pleasant, and it is not always something that we want to hear, but whether it is in our own personal life or political life or our nation's life, we have got to confront the reality , not sweep it under the rug, if we in fact want to go for defectively. [cheers] -- go forward effectively. [cheers] sen. sanders: what are the truths?
issue number one, the former chairman of the u.s. senate committee on veterans affairs, i have talked to veterans from way back when, who put their lives on the line to defend our way of life and our democracy. that me be very clear in telling you, i worry very much today about the future of american democracy. i worry about a citizens united supreme court decision which allows billionaires to buy elections. [boos] sen. sanders: democracy is not a complicated concept. it is one person, one vote, not people with extraordinary wealth buying elections. we will never effectively a ddress the crises that we face when we have a congress that is
beholden to wealthy campaign contributors, and we will never address that issue unless we overturn this disastrous citizens united supreme court decision. [cheers] [applause] when a handful of billionaires like the koch brothers and a few of their friends are prepared to spend, are prepared to spend $900 million in this campaign cycle, that is not democracy. that is oligarchy, and we will not allow that to proceed. [cheers] i want this country to have a vibrant democracy. i want us to have one of the highest voter turnout rates in the world, not one of the lowest. [cheers]
i want the people in this room, in this stage in this country, , who want to be involved in this political process, whether you are progressive, conservative, moderate. i want you to be able to run for office without begging wealthy people for campaign contributions. [cheers] and i want voting rules to be very simple in america. if you are 18 years of age and you are a citizen of this country, you are registered to vote, end of discussion. [cheers] so, goal number one, we need a vibrant democracy with the voices of all people shape the future of the country, not at an oligarchic form of society where billionaires buy elections.
point number two, and again when we talk about the need to deal with the reality of american society, we have got to talk about what is going on in the economy, and the truth is, we have a rigged economy, a rigged economy. [booing] think about it for a second. and by the way, you are not going to see this on television. you are not going to read about it too often in the papers, but here is the truth. the truth is that today in america, the top 1/10 of 1% -- not 1% -- 1/10 of 1% own almost as much wealth as the bottom 90%. [boos] the top 20 wealthiest people in this country today own well more -- own more wealth than the
bottom 150 million americans, half the nation's population. that is an economy with is based on unsustainable principles. that is an economy which is not moral, where so few have so much and so many and so little. that is not the american economy that we need to be the great nation that we should be. [cheers] [applause] and let me tell you, let me tell you how the rigged economy works. this is not just a grotesque level of income inequality. here is how it works. we have the wealthiest family in america is the walton family who owns walmart. [booing] ok, they own more wealth than the bottom people. that is pretty bad. you know what is even worse?
you got it exactly right. [cheers] exactly what i said. the gentleman here, the gentleman upfront said, they don't pay their workers wages that their workers can live on. so here you have it. think about it for a moment, wealthiest family in america, more wealth than the bottom 40%. yet they pay wages for employees , that are so low that many workers are forced to go on food stamps and medicaid. and who is paying? this is a rigged economy. who is paying taxes to provide the food stamps and the medicaid? you all. so on behalf of the walton family, i want to thank you very much. you are really nice guys, they appreciate it. they are only worth tens of billions of dollars, and they do appreciate your subsidizing
their business. needless to say, that is a bad joke. [laughter] because it is not funny. you know, and i have heard all over this country, you have got republican governors talk about welfare, people ripping off the welfare system. you know the biggest welfare beneficiary in this country is the walton family. this won't get on television either. you got to listen carefully, they will not say it on tv. i say it to the walton family get off of welfare, pay your , workers a living wage. [applause] [cheers] but the rigged economy is not just the grotesque level of wealth inequality, which, by the way, is worse today than anytime
since 1928, just before the great depression. here is what else is going on. this is why we have got to think outside of the box. joe biden says act inspirational, think big. how does it happen? i want you all to think about this. you know there are has been an explosion of technology in the last 20 or 30 years. that means worker productivity has significantly increased. how does it happen that with all of this new technology, all of this increase in worker productivity, all of the global economy, how does it happen that people by the millions in this country are working longer hours for lower wages? how does it happen that in america today, you got people working not one job but two jobs and three jobs to bring in enough income and bring in the health care that they need? all right, now young people will
google ite me, and after you leave here, not now. but here is the truth. 40 years ago, one breadwinner in a family could earn enough money to take care of all of the family. one worker. today, you don't know any families where mom is not working, dad is not working, the kids are not working. we work the longest hours of any people in the industrialized world, you know that? we work. the japanese are very hard-working people. we work longer hours per year then do the japanese. -- than do the japanese. and in the end, listen to this, mom is working, dad is working, kids are working, people working crazy hours, 58% of all new income generated today goes to the top 1%. [boos] in fact, the wealthy are doing
phenomenally well. the last 30 years, the top 1/10 of 1% has seen a doubling in the percentage of wealth while the middle class continues to shrink. that is a rigged economy. economy,ob is to do an to create an economy that works for the children, that works for the elderly, that works for the working families, not an economy that just works for the 1%. [cheers] [applause] but it is not just a corrupt campaign finance system in which billionaires and wall street and their super pac's buy elections. and is not just a rigged economy, but it is also a broken criminal justice system. [cheers] [applause]
here is the fact. again, think outside of the box. ask yourself this question, why should it be that in the wealthiest country in the history of the world, we have today more people in jail than any other country on earth? [booing] we are locking up 2.2 million people and spending $80 billion a year to lock them up. millions of lives being destroyed. i have been all over this country, and i had been in communities where the unemployment rate for young 50%.is 30%, 40%, young kids who graduated high school, want to get their feet on the ground, want to become adults and make some money and have some independence. but you can't do that if you can't find a job. so what i will propose if
elected president is to invest in jobs and education for our kids, not jails. or incarceration. [cheers] [applause] we do not want to have the dubious distinction of more people in jail than any other country. we want the best educated workforce in the world. [cheers] when we talk about criminal justice, we have got to make certain that our local police departments are demilitarized, do not look like occupying armies. [applause] we have got to make sure that local police departments reflect the diversity of the communities they serve. [cheers]
i was a mayor in burlington, vermont. for eight years i worked closely , with my police department, worked with police departments all over the country. most police officers, the overwhelming majority, hard-working, honest people doing a very difficult job. [applause] but but like any of the public , officials, when a police officer breaks the law, that officer must be held accountable. [cheers] as a nation, we must understand that lethal force by a police officer should be the last response, not the first response. [cheers] [applause] we have got to end private corporate ownership of jails and detention centers. [cheers]
we have got to rethink the so-called war on drugs. [cheers] many people don't know this, many people don't know this, but over the last 30 years, millions of americans have received the police records criminal records, , because of possession of marijuana. and if you have -- [booing] if you have a police record and you go in and look for a job, it may be hard to get that job. under a federal controlled substance act, marijuana is listed at the highest level as a schedule one drug. [booing] i have introduced legislation to take marijuana out of the federal controlled substance
list. [cheers and applause] it is the responsibility of states to determine whether or not marijuana should be legal. four states have, more, i expect, will in the future. but its possession should not be a federal crime. [cheers and applause] but here is another issue that we have got to deal with. all over this country, including my own state of vermont, we have a serious, serious problem regarding opioid abuse, heroin addiction, and people dying every single day from overdose. now, the best way to my mind to deal with this serious crisis is to understand that substance abuse and addiction should be treated not as a criminal issue but as a health issue. ,[cheers and applause]
all over this country, and i can tell you as a senator because i get these calls from my office and other senators get the same calls, families are in trouble. people are worried about whether or not a member of their family can get off of heroin, get off of the opium. they are worried about suicide, they are worried about a family member going out and doing something really crazy. we need a revolution in mental health treatment in this country. [cheers and applause] again, again, thinking outside of the box, just think about it. we've got thousands and thousands of people walking the streets of america today. they are suicidal, they are homicidal, addicted to drugs, getting themselves into criminal activity. we need to provide those people
with the help that they need today, not six months now. [cheers and applause] let me say a few words about the differences that exist between secretary clinton and myself on some of the important issues facing our country. we have chosen different paths in terms of how we raise the funds we need to run our campaigns. when i began this campaign almost a year ago, we had to make a very simple but important choice. do we do, in our campaign, what every other campaign is doing and establishing super pac's? [booing] we agreed with you. [cheers and applause] and here is why.
because super pac's are simply a mechanism to vacuum in huge sums of money from -- huuuge sums of money, right? -- from the fossil fuel industry, wall street, corporate america. we don't want their money, we don't need their money, we don't represent their interests. [cheers and applause] so we choose to go another way. unprecedented, and that is the state of the middle class, if -- that is to say to the middle class if you want a campaign , that will stand with you, that will take on the powerful and greedy special interest in this country, we need your help. what has happened over the last year's we have received over seven million individual campaign contributions. seven million.
anybody know what the average contribution is? $27. you know i was at the gettysburg , battlefield just the other day. and on the spot where lincoln, well near the spot where lincoln , gave his famous gettysburg address in 1863. at the end of his speech, he talks about the need to have in our country a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. [cheers and applause] and that is exactly what we are trying to do in this campaign. and when you raise money for millions of people at $27 a clip, that is a campaign of the people. [cheers and applause] secretary clinton has chosen to
raise her money in the old-fashioned way, or what is now part of the contemporary political process. that is, have a number of super pac's. her last supporting period, her super pac reported $25 million in special interests, $15 million from wall street alone. [booing] and on top of that, she has given numerous speeches to wall street for $225,000 per speech. now, now, every candidate who receives a lot of money from special interests always has the same response, and that is, oh, it won't impact me. but the question you have got to ask is, why do some of the most powerful special interests in this country make campaign contributions? they understand exactly what they are doing.
all right? our differences are not just in how we raise money. our differences are in foreign policy. 2002, there was a debate in congress with some of the most important foreign-policy issues in america, and that was the war in iraq. i listened very closely to what george w. bush and dick cheney and all of the rest had to say, and i ended up not believing a word they were saying. [cheers and applause] i not only voted against that war, i helped lead the opposition to that war, and only, i do wish so much, that our site was successful and we
never went into that disastrous war. [cheers and applause] secretary clinton heard the same she was then in the senate. , she voted for the war. but it is not just -- [booing] it is not just the war in iraq. in my view, look, in the real world, sometimes we have to go to war. but war and military force should always be the last possible response, not the first response. [cheers and applause] and i got to tell you, i am not impressed by politicians or from republicans because they are really tough guys, they want to go to war all over the world, they want to overthrow that, go there, go that. they understand it is not their kids who will go off to war, it is your kids. [cheers and applause] and one of the differences that
secretary clinton and i have is my belief that yes, it is easy to overthrow some of these terrible dictators. people like saddam hussein, of vicious murdering thug. people like cut off the in addafi aside in syria -- q syria.a, assad in god knows how many people they have killed. it is not just overthrowing tyrants, understanding what comes the day after you overthrow that tyrant. [cheers and applause] and what we have seen throughout history over the many decades is you overthrow somebody and you have unintended consequences. instability, more people die. so yes, our goal should be to help bring democracy all over the world, but before we go about overthrowing people, we
should understand fully the consequences of what we do. regime change often has unintended consequences. [cheers and applause] here is another area that secretary clinton and i disagree on. it is not a sexy area, media does not talk about it at all. which can tell you it is a very important issue. and that is our disastrous trade policies. alright? again, not a sexy issue, but here is what it is about. for the young people, i will tell you something, and you can google this as well. there was once upon a time when you could go shopping in the united states of america, i know you don't believe me but this is , true. you could buy products manufactured in the united states of america, not in china. that is true. but what happened over the last
40 or so years is corporations have decided that they do not want to pay workers in delaware or vermont or any place else a living wage. why would you want to pay someone $20, $25 an hour when you can shut down here, throw those workers out on the street, go to mexico, go to china, go to vietnam, pay people very low wages, and then bring your product back into this country? capta, nafta, cap to -- the whole goal. the whole goal is to shut down plants in america, a people low wage support, bring products back here and make billions in profits. i tell corporate america today, here the heads up, guys. if i am elected president, we are going to change those policies. [cheers and applause] if you want the american people
to purchase your product, every night on tv have ads telling us to buy this and buy that, you want us to buy your product, start manufacturing those products in vermont, delaware and in the united states of america. [cheers and applause] now, i have opposed every one of these disastrous trade agreements. secretary clinton has supported virtually all of them. that is a big difference of opinion. i believe, and this is not a radical idea, that in america, if you work for 40 hours a week, you should not be living in poverty. [cheers and applause] you can do the arithmetic as well as i do, and that is if you make $7.25 an hour, $8 an hour, , $10 an hour, you are living in
poverty. that is why i disagree with secretary clinton. she wants to raise the minimum wage, that is good. but she wants to raise it to $12 an hour. not enough. we need $15 an hour. [cheers and applause] when we talk about the important issues facing not only our country but the world, i can tell you as a member of the u.s. senate committee on the environment that climate change is real. [cheers and applause] that climate change is caused by human activity. [cheers and applause] and let me also tell you what many of you know. climate change is already doing devastating harm in our country and around the world today. and what the scientists tell us, and they are virtually unanimous
in telling us this, is that if we do not get our act together in the next few years, by the end of this century, the planet earth will be five to 10 degrees fahrenheit warmer. that is unbelievable. and what that means is more droughts, more floods more , extreme weather, disturbances, more acidification of the ocean, more rising sea levels, and more international consequences. they will be international conflict because people will be fighting over water. they will be fighting over land to grow their crops. and that is why we have a moral responsibility to do everything possible to leave this planet in a way that is healthy and habitable for our children and our grandchildren. [cheers and applause]
and in the same way, we have got to tell corporate america they cannot continue to ship our jobs to low-wage countries. we have got to tell the fossil fuel industries that their short-term profits are not more important than the future of this planet. [cheers and applause] what that means, what that means is the united states has got to lead the world, working with china, russia, india, other countries, in transforming our energy system away from fossil fuels to energy efficiency and sustainable energy. [cheers and applause] we can save unbelievable amounts of energy by weatherizing and making more efficient our homes and buildings.
we can create a rail system, a mass transit system that gets cars off of the roads. [cheers and applause] and we can and must invest heavily in sustainable energy ies like wind, solar, geothermal, and other such technologies. [cheers and applause] and let me tell you something. and this kind of the next the dots -- connects the dots. when i talk about the corrupt finance system, yeah that is bad. but what you have to understand is that corrupt campaign finance system impacts every aspect of our lives. think about how it can be that we have a republican party which , with very few exceptions, projects the concept of climate change, let alone wants to do anything about it. [booing]
now here is the point if you think that the republicans in this sense are just dummies, that is not the case. the real reason is the moment that some republican stands up and says, you know, climate change is real. it is really dangerous, we have got to do something about it. on that day, the koch brothers and the big money interests in the fossil fuel industry will cut their campaign funds. that is what a corrupt campaign finance system is doing. and that is why we have got to change that system, and that is why we have got to stand up to the fossil fuel industry and save this planet. [cheers and applause] now, i believe, i believe along with the scientists that this is a global crisis, and we have got to be bold.
and i am proud to tell you that i have introduced the most comprehensive climate change legislation in the history of the u.s. senate areas [cheers and applause] and among other things is what it does do is impose a tax on carbon. that is exactly what we need. and among other things, what it does do is impose a tax on carbon. that is what we need. that is not secretary clinton's position. it should be her position, but it is not. we need to be bold if we are going to transform our energy system. let's say one other area, one other area of differences. you know, a great nation is morally judged not by how many millionaires it has and not by how many nuclear weapons it has. it is judged by how it treats the weakest and most vulnerable
amongst us. [applause] now, we don't talk about it. often. but we have millions of senior citizens and disabled veterans and people with disabilities in this country who are trying to get by on $10,000, $11,000, $12,000 a year social security. you can do the arithmetic as well as i can. nobody, if you are a disabled veteran, if you are somebody with disabilities, you are not going to make it on $10,000 a year in social security. now what is totally outrageous and an indication of how far right the republican party has gone, is a response to this crisis. do you know what the republicans want to do? they want to give more tax breaks to billionaires and cut social security.
[booing] sen. sanders: well, we've got some bad news for them. [applause] sen. sanders: we are not going to cut social security. in fact, we are going to do exactly the opposite. instead of giving tax breaks to billionaires, we are going to ask them to pay more in taxes. [applause] instead of cutting social security, we are going to expand social security benefits. [applause] sen. sanders: and the way you do that is you lift the cap right now, somebody making millions contributes the same amount into the social security trust fund as somebody making $118,000. that is the maximum. at that cap, someone paying $5 million a year paid the same percentage of income for the trust fund as someone making $40,000 a year. we can extend social security for 58 years and significantly expand benefits. [applause] sen. sanders: throughout this campaign, i have asked secretary clinton to join me, lift the cap, expand social security
benefits with the elderly and disabled veterans. i am still waiting for a clear answer. [booing] sen. sanders: this campaign is doing as well as it is. it is creating the energy and the excitement that is because it is listening to the american pele, not just wealthy campaign contributors. [applause] sen. sanders: it is listening to young people.
[applause] sen. sanders: now again, i would like you to think outside of the box for a second. young people throughout their entire lives are told by their parents, teachers, and society to go out, study hard, get the best education that you can. that is where the good jobs are, and that is what your life is about, to get as much education as you can. and millions of young people did exactly that, but then, they suddenly found themselves $30,000, $50,000, $70,000 in debt. frankly, that is nuts. think about it for a second. why we punishing millions of people for doing the right thing and getting the education they need? [applause] sen. sanders: we should be rewarding people for getting an education, not punishing them.
all over this country, let me ask a question, how many people right here are dealing with student debt? all across the country, i get the same response. a young woman from burlington, vermont dreamed to become a doctor, she became a doctor. $300,000 in debt. young dentists in iowa, $400,000 in debt. a guy in nevada took out his student loan 25 years ago. he is more in debt today than he was when he took it out. i talked to a woman in new hampshire. she is paying her own student debt, and then her daughter's as well. that is crazy stuff. and therefore, we have got to do a very few common sense things. number one, we all understand that a college degree in many
ways is the equivalent of what a high school degree was 50 years ago. 50 years ago, somebody had a high school degree, they could go out and get a pretty good job and make it into the middle class. the world has changed, our economy has changed, technology has changed, people need more education. therefore today, when we think about public education, not good enough just to be talking about first grade through 12th grade, we need to be making public colleges and universities tuition-free. [applause] sen. sanders: is this a radical idea? it is not a radical idea. just in baltimore this morning, i talked to a young lady, a visiting student here in the united states, staying with her family in baltimore. lives in germany.
how much does it cost to go to college in germany? oh, it is free, of course. how much does it cost to go to college in scandinavia? crowd: free. sen. sanders: last year, i was at a meeting in washington, d.c., and i made the point that college in scandinavia is free. they said, no senator, you are wrong. they said, in finland, it is not free -- they pay us to go to college. [laughter] sen. sanders: all right, what does that mean? it means that if we are smart about the future of this country, we want everybody to have the ability and the desire to get as much education as they can. that is common sense. [applause] sen. sanders: we want to encourage young people to get an education, not discourage them. when you make public colleges and universities tuition-free, you do something that is pretty
revolutionary. i grew up with a family that did not have a lot of money, my parents never went to college. that is true for many families today. there are kids right here in wilmington in the fourth grade and in the sixth grade whose parents never went to college, don't have any money. the idea of thinking they can go to college is as realistic as them thinking they are going to the moon. it is not within their purview. they are not thinking about it, and therefore they are not not studying and not doing schoolwork the way they should. but if the word is out in this country that every kid, regardless of the income of his or her family, will be able to get an college education if they take their schoolwork seriously, we can revolutionize education in this country. [applause] sen. sanders: so is not only
making public colleges and universities tuition-free, not only dealing with dysfunctional child care system. every psychologist who studies the issue tells us the most important years of human development are zero through four, is that right? that is when we develop intellectually and we develop emotionally. and yet, we are working class families, where mom goes to work, dad goes to work, people are frantically searching for good-quality, affordable childcare, and it is hard to find. think outside of the box! think outside of the status quo, and ask yourselves why we do not have the best quality pre-k system in the world. [applause] sen. sanders: think what america looks like. think what america looks like when mom goes to work, when dad
goes to work, and they know that their kids are getting quality care from well-trained, well-paid instructors who are proud to be childcare workers. [applause] sen. sanders: and think of what happens when we don't do that, when kids into the first grade unprepared intellectually or emotionally. this is called changing our national priorities. this is called investing in our people, rather than in corporate america or wall street. [applause] sen. sanders: so not only do we need a strong childcare system and a first-class public education system, we also have to deal with this crisis of a student debt. that is why i believe that people holding student debt now should be able to refinance that debt at the lowest interest
rates they can find. [applause] sen. sanders: now, there is nothing radical about what i am saying. the vast majority of the american people agree with what we are talking about right now, but our critics come back. this gets back to joe biden. critics come back. they say, bernie, you are a nice guy, you want free education, lower student debt, create a first-class childcare system in america, great ideas, bernie! how are you going to pay for them? i will tell you how we are going to pay for them. over the last 30 years, there has been a massive transfer of wealth in this country from the middle class to the top 1/10 of 1%. we are going to transfer that money back into the hands of the middle class. [applause]
sen. sanders: we can lower student debt, we can provide free tuition at public colleges and universities by imposing a tax on wall street speculation. [applause] sen. sanders: this country bailed out wall street after their greed and illegal behavior nearly destroyed our economy. now it is their time to help the working families of this country. [applause] sen. sanders: this is not a radical idea. and like many other ideas, we don't go forward unless we are prepared to think big. [applause] sen. sanders: to say that everybody in the united states of america who has the qualifications and abilities should be able to get a higher education is not a radical idea. it is a common-sense american idea that will make this country
stronger. [applause] sen. sanders: i have been in this campaign all over the country. i have been to flint, michigan and talked to parents who have seen cognitive damage done to their beautiful children as a result of their kids drinking poisoned water, lead in the water. i have been to detroit, michigan and talked to people who have seen their public school system on the verge of collapse. i have been to baltimore, maryland, where there are communities where 40% or 50% of the people are unemployed or underemployed. people all over this country and in the african-american community are asking me a very simple question. they say, "bernie, how come we always seem to have money to spend trillions of dollars fighting a war like the one in iraq that we never should have gone into, but we are always told that we don't have the money to invest in rebuilding inner cities in america?"
[applause] sen. sanders: and you know what? you know what? those people are right, it is always the way it is. there is always money for war. there is always money for military expenditures. there is always money for tax breaks for billionaires, but somehow there is not enough money to rebuild inner cities or to pay attention to the people in this country who are hurting the most. well, you know what? we are going to change that dynamic. [applause]
sen. sanders: this campaign is listening to the latino community, and they are reminding us that there are 11 million undocumented people in this country, many of whom are being exploited today because when you don't have any legal rights, your employer can do anything he wants. cheat you, take away your wages, work you in ways that are illegal. and that is why i believe we need to pass comprehensive immigratformion rend a path to citizenship. [applause] sen. sanders: and if congress does not do its job in passing that legislation, i will pick up where president obama left off and use the executive powers of the presidency to do all that i can. [applause] sen. sanders: this campaign is listening to some people whose voices and pain are almost never heard. and that is people in the native american communities of this
country. [applause] sen. sanders: i don't have to tell anybody here that from before when this country became a country, when the first settlers came over here, the native american people were lied to, they were cheated, and treaties negotiated were broken. i don't have to tell you, also, that we owe the native american people more than ever we could ever repay. [applause] sen. sanders: they have
contributed so much to the fabric of this nation, and among many other things, but maybe most importantly, they have taught us the profound lesson that as human beings, we are part of nature. we have got to live with nature. we cannot destroy nature and survive. [applause] sen. sanders: and yet, if you go to reservations around this country, if you go to many native american communities, you find unbelievably high levels of poverty, of unemployment, you find young people committing suicide at horrific rates. if elected president, we will
change our relationship with the native american people. [applause] sen. sanders: if we think big and not small, we ask ourselves another very simple question, and that is, how does it happen that every other major country on earth -- united kingdom, france, germany, italy, holland, scandinavia, canada, whatever. every one of those countries guarantees health care to all of their people as a right. [applause] sen. sanders: we are the only major country that does not guarantee health care to all of our people. so let me be as clear as i can be. i believe from the deepest part of my being that health care is a right of all people, not a privilege. [applause]
sen. sanders: that whether you are young or old, rich or poor, you have the right to high-quality health care as a citizen of this country. the affordable care act has done a number of good things, and i'm proud to be on the committee that helped write that bill. but we can do more. we are now spending far more per capita on health care than any other nation. yet 29 million people still have no health insurance. many of you are underinsured with high deductibles and copayments, and every one of us continues to be ripped off by the greed of the drug companies. [booing] sen. sanders: do you want to hear crazy? this is crazy. right now in america, one out of five americans who go to the doctor and get prescriptions are unable to fill that prescription because the medicine is too expensive. in delaware, in vermont, all over this country, seniors are cutting their prescription drugs, their medicine, their pills, in half because they can't afford the medicine they need. and that is why, in my view, we
must pass a medicare for all, health care program to guarantee health care for all of us. [applause] sen. sanders: right now, you have got republicans running all over the country talking about family values. they just love families. all of you understand that when they talk about family values, what they mean is that no woman in this room, in this state, in this country, should have the right to control her own body. i disagree. [applause] sen. sanders: and they mean, when they talk about family values, they mean that none of our gay brothers and sisters should have the right to be
married. i disagree. [applause] sen. sanders: jane and i have been married almost 28 years. we have four kids, seven beautiful grandchildren. when we talk about family values, very different values than republicans. and when we talk about family values, we talk about ending the embarrassment of the united states being the only major country on earth does not provide paid medical leave. [applause] sen. sanders: when a working-class woman in this country gives birth, she should not have to be separated from that newborn baby and rushed back to work in order to earn the income she needs. [applause] sen. sanders: and that is why, that is why together, we will pass paid medical and family leave. [applause] sen. sanders: donald trump will
not become president of the united states. [applause] sen. sanders: he will not become president because, among many other factors, i am 15 or 20 points ahead of him on every national poll that they take. [applause] sen. sanders: but more importantly, he will not become president because the american people will not support a candidate who insults mexicans and latinos, who insults muslims, who insults women, who insults veterans, who insults african-americans.
[applause] sen. sanders: i hope, i hope that everyone here has not forgotten that before trump became a candidate for president, he was leader of a so-called birther movement, and that was a very ugly movement designed to delegitimize the first african-american president of our country. this was not an instance where he disagreed with the president. that is fine, we all disagree with everybody. this was an effort to say that barack obama really should not be the president of the united states. that was an ugly and vicious attack, and we will not forgive that. [applause]
sen. sanders: donald trump will not become president because we all know that as a nation, we are stronger when we come black and white and latino and asian-american and native american. gay and straight, male and female, that is our strength. and that strength of coming together will always trump dividing us up. [applause] sen. sanders: and the american people will not support a donald trump for president because they understand we are strong when we support each other. when my family is there in your time of need, and you are there in our time of need. that is what a nation is about. [applause] sen. sanders: that supporting
each other will always trump selfishness. [applause] sen. sanders: and perhaps most importantly, what the american people understand is what every great religion has taught us, whether it is christianity, judaism, muslim, buddhism, or whatever, at the end of the day, love always trumps hatred. [applause] crowd: bernie! bernie! bernie! sen. sanders: what this campaign is about is not just electing a president, it is creating a political revolution. and what that revolution means, this is what it means.
it means that no president, not bernie sanders or anybody else, can alone address the enormous crises facing the country. that the only way we deal with issues that are out there, so important to so many people, is when millions of people come together, stand up, fight back, and demand a government that represents all of us, not just wealthy campaign contributors. [applause] sen. sanders: in three days, on tuesday here in delaware, there is going to be a very, very important democratic primary. what we have learned throughout this campaign is that we do well when the voter turnout is high, we do not do well when the voter turnout is low.