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tv   Washington Journal  CSPAN  May 6, 2016 8:00am-10:01am EDT

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congress that represent us in alabama would not sign the a act. these miners, my grandfather was a miner. he and, you know, the representatives from alabama, these coal mines provided coal and a lot of stuff. host: faye, in alabama. if you are interested in politics and one to listen to the chair of the republican national committee talk with o,ke allen on politic that conversation is live on c-span2.
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or you can continue with us talking about america's middle class, hearing different stories from people around the country. ellicott city, maryland. good morning. caller: good morning. issue with the definition of middle-class. different in is different states of the country. host: do you consider yourself middle-class, ahmed? caller: with the current definitions, yes i am. but another essays have, in the past few years and longer than that that of show that when we have economic downturn, many up ourwho lined middle-class. they are prone to health problems.
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when a health problem takes place, they became very poor. there are not many assets for these individuals in most cases and they do not have the cushion to absorb any of the crises. he talked to a woman earlier who andd on social security rented a place, but she said that was all she had. if she does not have the rental money, she is not able to survive. this.e to look into it.ust got to revisit the american people are distribution the of wealth, it should not be equal, but it should be fair. there should be some equity. host: had you achieve that? --
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how do you achieve that? caller: paying people well, companies are making millions of dollars of profit and giving tens to their employees in terms of salaries and entrance. make as much money as you want to, but share so they can survive and have some cushion and put their kids to college and so forth. host: do you feel financially secure? i am not sure i am. host: what kind of work do you do? caller: health care research. i am establishing a business for cell phones and computers. i just want to be financially isependent and that something very important for many people. we tell our kids, once you finish college you will get jobs from somewhere. you never tell them, finish
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college and do something for yourself. higher people instead of being hired. being financially independent is very important and we to push it more. host: we're going to take one more call and then have a roundtable discussion. will continue with the same topic, but we will have some experts. sharon in florida, high. . caller: i'm going to say this upfront. nobody is talking about the hidden inflation involved stores, grocery stores, or any where they just shrink and shrink the quantity. you can't buy a normal can of orp or box of facial tissue the toilet rolls. inflation, which
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is taking a lot of money away that people are not used to. host: tell me about yourself. the kind of work do you and your family do or did you do? are you considered middle-class? caller: i am retired. i feel like i am secure financially because i am on social security and i have a pension. and because i am a 50 person, i saved all my life and never ran up a lot of debt. i had debt once and i could not stand it and i had to pay it right away. i bought my cars with cash. i saved up. my mother was in the depression and she lived through it and became a penny pinch her and that is what i grew up learning how to do. it does not bother me that i do not have a lot of goodies, you know? fancy stuff, designer
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clothes. , electronics and so forth. -- you know, it is not president obama's fault or hillary clinton's fault that we are getting shortchanged on what we are buying at the stores. that is the companies that are selling -- the industries that are creating these products and selling them to the grocery stores and the grocery stores are passing them along. host: that is sharon in sarasota. theconversation on washington journal is about the middle class, what it means, how it is managing, and what your life is like in the middle class. we are to continue that discussion in just a moment with jim tankersley of the "the washington post." and erin of the pew research
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center. but first, american history tv on c-span3 is marking the 40th 1976 releasef the of the church committees file report on government intelligence activities. here is a preview. what legal justification or other justification do you have as an attorney and officer of and as a public officer sworn to uphold the constitution and laws of the land, to entertain and recommend illegal acts of the government? >> it was my opinion of the time that the fourth amendment did not apply. --and you it was rolled
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unconstitutional. 1972, every president and every attorney general argued the president has inherent authority and indicative power to authorize wiretaps. the justice department in and took the case to the supreme court because they felt there was an inherent power. that electronic surveillance is a trespass to the commonwealth. the phone --he of via the phone. it is a dangerous road we're going down. >> you are arguing it is legal
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for the president to violate constitutional and legal rights of citizens if he is the president and invokes national security as a justification. but you do not say that in your memo, you said these things are illegal. which is it? >> for the purposes, it seemed to be more relevant at the time that the action is entertained by an individual who is going to go to jail. >> washington journal continues. host: our conversation on america's middle class continues. we want to introduce you to jim tankersley with the "the washington post." with pew currier charitable trusts, the director of financial security and mobility. we have been using the pew poll
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to define the middle class. how do you define it? guest: there is not a universally accepted definition of the middle class. with our research, we tend to look at the whole income distribution and take the middle income section, potentially the 40th percentile, the 60th percentile, just that middle chunk. research defines and on how people self defined. most americans believe they are middle-class. host: do you consider yourself to be middle class? guest: i do. what is the range we are talking about? $50, north of lasts been the same the couple of years, though i expect based on some nongovernment
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statistics that we have seen that it is going to go up. in the last are we looked at, not by a time, that we are starting to see it go up. the band we're talking about is estimating. the band around the median income includes a smaller amount of income than most politicians talk about for the middle class. president about obama, keeping the bush tax cuts for the middle class, that was up to $250,000 a year by obama's own definition. it ended up more than $400,000. that is upper 20%, upper 10%. when we define these income bands, we are looking at a much smaller group of americans then the politicians are thinking of. pew research center -- ahundred and 44,000 $144,000 band.
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in washington dc, would you consider $50,000 in a family of four middle income? guest: no. host: what about in alabama? guest: yeah. that is the difference. the median income in alabama is lower than the middle income in the united states. cost of living is a big part of what we think of as middle class. come andn and counties around washington dc are some of the highest in the country. income in several counties in alabama is to be poor. some of that is mitigated by the cost of where you live. it is more expensive to have housing and other amenities in d.c. then alabama. are not.ts of it
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that is where we start to see the disparities borne out in how election about wher people who consider themselves middle class perceive the economy. guest: in many ways, it is like a perfect storm if you think about family financial security. we have been talking a lot about income an. but if you think about a family's balance sheet more holistically, we also want to look at is if their income is sufficient to cover their expenses? will kind of savings do they have? what does their debt look like? when he think that comprehensive you, you see a lot of families are really walking a financial tightrope. they have not experienced significant learning gains in the last decade, expenditures ise, familiesd to r don't have any cushing of savings -- cushioning of
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savings. stretchs pr etty high. it is much more universal, much more of a kitchen table issue. host: how big is the middle class? how many millions? if the population of the united states is 320 million, this middle band, this middle income ?lass any guesstimates, guest: that is almost impossible to say. it depends on who you that it it comes to who -- down to how you define it. if you look at the people who -- when you ask people what a middle-class income is and extrapolate out of that, you are
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looking at a lot more. on the other hand, if you're looking at one quintile of households, that is not nearly hundred million. million. host: has a gotten worse or better over the years? guest: we are interested in is the recession is a turning point. it really wasn't. that is not to say that the recession was not hugely impactful for a lot of people. for those who became unemployed and lost significant amounts of money, obviously the recession was a huge bump in the road. when you look longitudinally, expenditure trends, savings recessione was not the thing that caused financial precariousness.
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families have been struggling financially for a long time. host: this is one of the charts from the pew research center. 61% of american households were in the middle class, that is down to 50% today. is theou see the growth highest incomes, it has gone to to 9%.% guest: we have seen a widening out of wealth distribution over time. similar research we have conducted looked at economic mobility, how people changed their position on the income distribution. those raised in the middle fifth are equally likely to rise up or to fall down or stay in the middle. to go back to the question of the recession for a
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second, it is important to think about the story the middle class has gone through in the last 15 years. at the end of the bubble, the stock bubble in the late 1990's, the last sustained growth in median income we have seen in america for quite some time, at the end of that, you had incomes not rising for most americans the way they had been experiencing. they borrowed more money to keep up their consumption patterns. they were helped of it by a housing bubble. when that first, the recession was the stopping of the music. they could not borrow as much, their incomes started going down instead of just stagnating. what we have emerged from the --ession is a middle-class is with the middle class laid bare, with a more precarious position than we realized in the early 2000's.
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theye lost a lot of what had. middle-class home ownership was down after the recension -- recession. business ownership was down. middle-class incomes fell not just in the recession, but in the recovery. it only stabilized in the last couple of years since then. they maybe going up again, finally. be going up again, finally. when we think about the frustrations they are feeling now, it is not just because the recovery and recession were bad. things were pretty bad before that. a pretty terrible economic decade for most americans and we did not realize that as much because they were spending money they did not have and now they have to pay it back and stop borrowing until we see a situation where it debt frustrations are boiling over.
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host: we're talking about american middle class, the numbers are on the bottom of the screen. you can also participate on social media. mike is in chicago. we are listening. caller: good morning, thank you for having me. i appreciate what washington journal does for the country. it is the best news program on tv and i enjoy watching it every signal day. thank you for helping me start my morning. 'sgarding erin currier comment about class being part of a social identity, yes it is. what is middle-class? i used to define myself as a middle-class citizen. poorer than they
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are. when you take financial security on the long term and short-term -- that is up to you. i believe that 40 years after my parents were born and i was born, i am worse off. host: what kind of work do you do and what kind of work your parents do? caller: my parents were both in the military. they went to wall street. my wife is veterinarian and i am a consultant. we worried about the long-term job market. wages are not going to get any higher. when theflorida recession hit, i am in chicago now, i grew up in new york.
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i solid the recession did. i saw how employers reacted. i really worried. theke and say i am probably first middle-class person out there. [laughter] ant: if you could give us idea of the income you generate? take in just over six figures. we are holding off on having kids. my wife is a couple of years older than me. we're worried about the long-term. we thought chicago was better. what they are trying to do with manufacturing is good, but it is not helping individuals get the help they need to stay in the class they are. whoow a lot of neighbors had to leave our neighborhood in the south side and had to move to indiana.
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they moved to a poor area. my heart goes to everyone who is suffering and i hope things change. host: thank you. isst: i think what mike getting at is more than our definition of the middle class, even our can civilization -- conceptualization of the american dream. was we heard loud and clear that what americans defined as the american dream is their children being better off than in mike's case, being better off than his parents, and having personal agency and sleep well at night. to be able to pay all your bills with the income you are coming in and said a little aside for savings. they not believe it is about
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being rich or middle-class, but this idea of financial security, just being in control of your own destiny is a big part of americans believe our country is structured and should be structured. the more that that feeling disintegrates, that there is theiculty getting ahead, more they feel the american dream is unachievable. guest: what mike brought up inut the contract work was port in. it is the feeling of stability, the money i am bringing in today is going to be there tomorrow. that is something i hear a lot when i talk to folks about the economy. not just the money, but i am worried about my job being there tomorrow and not outsourced or contracted out. , a lot oftankersley
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people say that well, the median income in america has risen dramatically since the 1970's and 1980's and the stock market has nearly quadrupled, things are good. guest: the median income is about the same today after you adjust for inflation as it was in 1989. that is a fairly striking statistic. it is just reality. there are a few researchers out we shouldclaim that use different inflation does leaders and thinking about this differently and actually people have gotten ahead more. it almost no one speaks the idea 2000 the income has flatlined or gone down. the stock market has gone up a lot and the economy has grown a lot. 1989, 26, 27 years since the of seeing all must in the size of the economy. wasn't money there
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to be had, we just have not seen the spoils flow to the average american worker. anne, you have to turn the volume down on your tv. if you get through on the line, turn down the volume of your tv, you will hear everything through your phone. john is in fairfax county, virginia. retired, i make , with my,000 a year wife's social security added. to raise taxes more, i would be glad. everybody wants more, but nobody wants to pay for it. the baltimore newspaperman, hl mencken, keynote it when he said
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that nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the american people. between 6:30 a.m. and 7:00 a.m. this morning, you ran donald trump telling the west virginia folks you have had no raise in 18 years, you'r. this is the same guy who went on record saying he was asked point blank would you raise the $7.50 wage that has been stagnant for a decade, he said no. the american people are suckers and if they vote him in i am going to laugh my butt off. column by john thierry who used to work for tom delay and bob michaels. he writes about donald trump, "
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he writes a clear message on the economy that resonates. the middle class is getting screwed because the political class is looking out for their interests rather than the broader interests of the american people, from being open to increasing taxes on the wealthy to express and concerns about trade deals, and promising to protect social security. clearlyrump is stating he will change the direction of the american economy." we did not invite you to talk about politics, but i would like to get your comments on the tenor of the campaign and some of the issues that are being discussed economically. happy to talk about politics, because if you are writing about the middle class, you're writing about politics whether you like it or not and you are certainly writing about donald trump trade i like john, he's a smart guy and the nail something about trumps message -- trump's message.
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their public and needed a message for the middle class -- the republicans needed a message for the middle class. michael rubio had a next her childtax care -- an extra tax credit. deals have gotten the best of you, well, republicans have pro.a trade free market he said immigrants have been hurting you, while at the same time republicans have been trying to reach out to more hispanic voters. they are having a big intraparty fight about immigration. he has an anonymous tax cut for the wealthy, more than any other
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part of the hemisphere. messagemp tod the ump hasdle class -- tr nailed the message to the middle class. i think that is some of the big fight we see in the party between speaker ryan and trump. wrestle.real can markets really help people or do you need a more populist approach? i tell you who is feeling left out, the business community. they are the ones you want to trade deals, immigration reform, entitlement reform. they feel if they are being left on the sidelines of an election where it is populist anger and middle class focus that has dominated. host: let's go to harry in pennsylvania.
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do you consider yourself to be middle-class? caller: i was in middle class all my life, except when i was young. i am 80 years old and i have seen a lot of changes in my lifetime. douestion for your panel is, they see a correlation between the rise of the middle class people in the rest of the world and a decline in ours? and is that have anything to do with free trade? i have knocked around the world a little bit and i've seen some very poor countries after the second world war, they are no longer poor. is that a good question for you to handle? we did quite a bit of research looking at whether there is a difference in economic mobility between the united states and other countries.
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on the whole, what the research shows is that there is. when you think about the chances of someone in the united states being born at the bottom of the is to region and rising, it is less likely in the united states that even canada. that has to do with a lot of factors with our social safety net, education. the other piece is that the income distribution is so much takes aat it dollarsant increase in for people to move among the ladder. researchers joe, if you want the american dream, you need to move to denmark.
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host: is the middle class larger than ours? guest: i don't know the answer to that. we looked at what could be differentiating canada from the united states. is that maybe they defined the canadian dream differently. maybe they believe the government has a different obligation to the population. public polling did not find that. canadians to find the canadian dream very similarly to americans. americans very much believe there is a role for government to play in helping everyone move up the economic ladder, especially people who are working hard and playing by the rules and doing all of the right things. host: does western europe use the term middle-class? is as: i don't know if it is
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critical. i want to expand on the wonderful question. it is true that the decline of coincided class has with a massive rise from poverty for millions of people around the world and the opening of global markets and advancing technologies have absolutely helped with the liberalization of the economies of places like china. we have far fewer poor people. i think that is amazing and something that everyone should celebrate. it is not true that there is necessary trade-off. there is no reasons to look at the distribution of global income and say it has to come from the american middle class to go to those people. the super counterfactual is if america had taken some of that
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money from the very rich and given it to the global poor, that would have been just as efficient a transfer. there is lots of good economic research on this. suffice it to say that free trade has a role to play in this and it has a huge point in this election. the rules of free trade, the way free-trade has been conducted, i think has apsley can to be good to where the money has come from and where the money has gone. absolutely been where the money has come from and where the money has gone. the state of american family finances, many families are unprepared to deal with financial emergencies. over the course of the year, most families feel financial
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ascks, such repairs, a pay cut, or illness or injury. unfortunately, these events are often costly. the typical household spent $2000 or about half a month income on its most expense of financial -- expensive financial shock. shock occurs and income does not suffice, the least it spend the solution is for families to turn to their liquid savings. perfect storm the i was referencing earlier. what we're trying to do with our research is think beyond income. income is a very important metric for understanding where families fall in the overall distribution. it is not sufficient if we really want to understand whether they are financially
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secure. been looking at lots of different metrics, including incidents of financial shock, which in research we have done, shows that 60% of experience an unexpected financial shock in the previous months. $2000.ical shock costs most families just do not have that kind of liquid savings on hand. expensing of financial shock as well as fluctuations in their incomes and expenses, it leaves them in a precarious place. it becomes a cycle of not having enough and being constantly stressed. host: the april job figures are the bureau of labor statistics, unemployment rate, 5%, jobs added, 160,000.
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jim tankersley, give us a quick assessment. lower thans expected, but a decent, good number. it is less than the sustained rate you would want to start wage pressureed coming up. the unemployment rate being at 5% is a very good thing. it probably has farther to fall to bring people into the labor force. force, the the labor faster income will rise. growth has done very well, we can't be expecting to add month.0 jobs a surprise, but it
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would set off to me a small amount of alarm. juice toeconomy need get to the comfortable wage rise we were just starting to get into. host: robert, we are talking about the state of the middle class in america. justr: i am a pipe fitter, an average guy. i am watching the construction field just be decimated by the amount of cheap labor coming across the southern border. you can't even get on the job site if you can't speak spanish. you can look at the classifieds and see that all over the place. they are bringing in more cheap labor. they are doing everything they can to hurt the middle class. with those two items alone -- the politicians are forcing the they are taxing them
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to death. here in the state of maryland, they are taxing me of flesh tax. tax.ush there are so many different tentacles. the politicians and all the regulations are what is killing us out here. paul ryan, he is pushing the visas to bring more cheap labor in here. inflation,e is no that is ridiculous. host: do you consider yourself to be middle class? under: this year i made $30,000. there were better times. the way they push the labor
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down, bringing all these illegals into the country, we hour job downn to $15 an hour. host: that is robert in waldorf, maryland. the complaintral, most immigration resonate in the construction industry in the following way. we have had an absolute job loss in construction compared to pre-recession levels and that has nothing to do with immigration, that is the burst of the housing bubble. g an absolutein job loss for native born americans and construction. instruction. construction.
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job sites, they would love to hire native born americans, but they won't work for the wages offered. there are more people for a fewer number of jobs, wages are going to fall. all of that said, the frustrations robert is expressing, you hear around the country and is absolutely correlated with the rise of donald trump.
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working-class american men who feel frustrated about weight is going down and taxes going up and government relations intruding upon their ability to make a living, that is the sweet spot, fastball for donald trump. robert has articulated very well the frustrations. host: ray, tell us about yourself. caller: good morning, everybody. i was bornar-old, and raised in california, san francisco. quickly, i followed the childhood dream into the aerospace business and worked in the industry until it's pretty much died -- it pretty much died because of aforementioned regular relations and what have you. to my point, what can i best say
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to my fellow americans to describe the situation i think we are in? i go back to when i was working in aerospace. i would go to job assignments and i ended up in cumberland, maryland. i can't tell you what i did, it requires secret class. but i have a security guard i became acquainted with who would walk us to our cars at night. we got into a conversation about america and where it was going. she said something that was profound, i will never forget it and i will share with you now. she said, mr. davis, we live in america. right now they have these classes, the rich, the middle class, and the poor. she said, the way things are going, you are going to look up one day and there is still going to be the rich, but there is
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only going to be the poor amnd the "po." "po," are hand to mouth, waiting for something in the mail to help them to the next month. the poor are going to be the folks who were in the middle class, but now it is a rat race. one fork in the road and you are in the ditch. the rich, she said the rich have money and can hold on. that is how i feel it has transpired for me. i was doing quite well in aerospace, but we all know how that ended here in california. i bought my first house in 23 years old and that is the only thing that is saving me. , thee in inglewood
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football team is coming and i will sell my real estate when it spikes and i have to leave the state. in inglewood,ray california. guest: it reminds me of survey work and we asked people is it more important to be financially secure or move up the income ladder? said they weres more interested in financial security and stability. i think that really underscores all the conversation we have today, the idea that families do not feel like they have the stability. a lot of americans are just trying to tread water. his comment about retirement security resonates considering that research shows that one in five americans do not think they will be able to retire. they don't have plans for it, they don't think they can afford it. this is from a washington
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post article you wrote in 2014. the stock market is soaring, the unemployment rate is finally retreating after the great recession and the economy added all that growth has done nothing to boost pay for the typical american worker. average wages have not risen over the past year. real household median income was still lower than when the recession ended. make no mistake, the american middle class is in trouble. could you write that today? guest: yes, but the figures would be more optimistic. that story was about aerospace declineornia, and the of a rocket plant and a town waiting for something else to come along and replace it, very callerke what our
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just described. i think today, the situation looks better for the middle class. it does not look great, and it is nowhere near where we thought it would have been after a typical recession. we do not have a typical recession. we have seen sustained job creation over the last year and a quarter since the story ran. we have seen a little bit of a take-up and consumer confidence, and people's optimism. president obama's approval ratings on the economy are going up. we're still not in a good place. if you look at the long view, it is rough. i talked to vice president biden about this a few months ago and they asked about how well the middle class did. asked to be judged on
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how well the middle class did. by that, they failed. the typical american family still makes less today than they did when the recession started. that is mind-boggling. host: margaret, in dover new , new hampshire. caller: i think the gentleman stole my thunder when he talked about the rich, the poor, and "the po." thes going to talk about habs, the have-nots, and the -- and the, the have-nots, hads. a swedishughter of immigrant. degree, iniversity
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have been a social worker, a personnel director, a union organizer. i have spent my life, my early life, as a republican. but i am a big fan of bernie sanders. l as secureu fee financially as you have through your life? caller: this is the worst. a home after taking care of an elderly mother for a decade. it needs paint, the chimney cleaned, all kinds of work. i need a car. it goes on from there. i consider myself lucky, because i can have three good meals a day and a roof over my head. host: thank you. erin currier? guest: a lot of our research has
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been focused on what drives upward movement. if they come from a low income background, they are able to move to the middle or beyond the middle. the things that are the most impact full for that movement are things like the secondary post-secondary education, neighborhood, and having a second earner. americans can recall their parents being able to survive with one earner and a stay-at-home parent and they were still considered middle class and could take vacations. shows more and more the need for a second earner to move a family up the income ranks. all these pressures, the need for more than one source
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of income points to the challenges so many american families are facing as they try to get by. , have you currier done better than your parents? guest: that is good question. i am focused on whether i am financially secured like everyone is focusing on whether they are financially secure. -- whether i am financially secure. host: jim tankersley? guest: my parents worked really hard to make sure both their boys could go to college. i feel incredibly blessed by that. my father is probably laughing at me because i wrote a couple of articles about how their generation destroyed america. but my parents have been wonderful. my dad is a lawyer and my mom is a librarian. small-town oregon, solidly
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class.dle they have a son who is a reporter and a son who is a tenured professor. that makes the rare among the kids i went to high school with. many of their parents had better paying manual labor jobs in town that allow them to have a solid middle-class living. several of those kids are not able to do is good paying -- as good paying work even though they are a skilled as their parents were. what happened in america that the talents of those classmates of mine are not utilized in the same way as the talents of their parents were? it is not just in my making as much money as my folks, it is do
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i have the same sense of the film from the work i do being they had.t - host: " obama unlikely to meet jobs."l on manufacturing how many manufacturing jobs have left the united states and in what time period? outsidehat is totally the scope of our research. one thing i want to take a stab that, especially based on what idea of upwarde mobility across generations. what the data makes clear is the vast majority of americans have higher income than their parents, 80% do. that when you look at if that is enough to move into a different wrong of the economic ladder -- ladder, it economic
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is glass half-empty. have -- when we think about whether people today are better off than their parents, it is really important to think about both of those things at the same time. have highert people levels of income in the absolute sense, but whether they have had made progress climbing the economic ladder. host: elaine is in eagle river, alaska. we are listening. are you middle class? caller: i would say so, we are. host: what is middle class in eagle river, alaska like? caller: an earlier caller mentioned about two dollars for
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a loaf of bread, here it is six dollars a loaf of bread. the amount of income you need is higher. what i would like to bring to the table is some optimism. my husband and i have been married almost 23 years. we started when we first got anyone --i don't know if he has adave ramsey? baby step program for what he calls financial peace. what we did. we did not make much money when we first got married. i was in school for physical my husband was making $1600 a month as a second return it in the military -- lieutenant in the military.
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we lived according to financial peace university. it works. the government is not going to solve our personal problems, it is really taking personal responsibility and maybe not having that five dollar latte and saving. it does pay off. i just want to bring some optimism to the table. middle class is very achievable, we just have to be intentional with our money and our lives. host: erin currier, the bulk of entitlement program spending goes toward the middle class. it was an article in "the washington post." guest: i did research on this as well. --ch part of the budget is
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code,e of the tax particularly around things like large interest reduction and incentives for putting money in retirement accounts and other very smart mobility enhancing investments, what we're left with is that the vast maturity of low income americans do not reap the benefit of that investments. middle and upper americans get the majority of the tax benefits. one of the things we would love e, particularly suggested, was thinking not about whether the government needs to spend more money to enhance economic mobility, but maybe just think about the ways in which that money is targeted so that lower income families, sustain least likely to economic mobility over a
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generation, are receiving more of the mobility investment. host: north carolina, go ahead, we are listening. caller: for the benefits of young folks, millennials, could your panel contrast obama's first seven years compared with reagan's first seven years? the same people complaining, they are the ones to voted for obama twice in a row. the lady from new hampshire, i don't feel sorry for you. off, plus abutt job for uber. i'm not ashamed of that. i was told don't have a kid unless you can provide. d, do you consider
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yourself middle-class? caller: yes, because i worked my butt off. i'm not waiting for my welfare check. host: have you done better than your parents? caller: yes, because my dad is retired military. i can say that. host: do you think you have the same opportunities as your parents? are all given the same opportunity, that is what the united states is all about. seconds to put0 a final period on this. i have been struck by the heardof people we have from today, the frustration and optimism. host: jim tankersley with "the washington post." erin currier with the pew charitable trusts.
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house goes out, we will continue this conversation. if you are on the line, stay there. if you want to participate, we will be back with you in just a few moments, live on the washington journal.
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>> this saturday and sunday at 1:00 eastern, "book tv" is that the black college in brooklyn, new york. they discuss hip-hop and literature with the author of "know what i mean?"
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as always panels on diversity and writing programs and black writers in the digital age. authors 7:30, two discovered the writings of thomas jefferson. thomas jefferson and the empire of the imagination. on sunday night at 9:00, oferwards with an author "good for the money." he discusses the old ceo who revived this company after the financial crisis and helps them become profitable again. peter marks is an reviewed by mclean. >> he was the only person who thought this was personal. the government did not think this is going to happen, the company certainly did not.
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they were ready to sell off still parts. spare parts. so the idea he was a little crazy, you had to be a little crazy, and he was the right kind of crazy. foruncer: go to the complete weekend schedule. "washington journal continues. >> we are live on the "washington journal." we are talking about the american middle class, and how is changed, and your story. what is it like in the middle class, what is your life like in the middle class? you can see the numbers there. 748-8001, mountains and pacific if you consider yourself middle-class, we want to hear from your story, i know what your viewpoint is as we go along.
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what your viewpoint is as you go along. we have been using the pew research center. what does it mean to be in the middle class? here are things the pew research center said and what they heard .rom participants secure job, ability to save money, time and money for vacation, owning a home and a college education. most people say yes, you need a secure job to be in the middle class. you need to be able to save money to be in the middle class. , half-and-half for time and money for a vacation. , notg your own home, no according to this survey. 57% said no, 41% said yes. a college education, 69% of the folks surveyed said no, to be in the middle class, you do not need a college education.
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we have also been looking at the size of the middle class, what percentage of the u.s. that is, and it has been streaking according to the few research since 19 money one -- 1921. no single decade stands out as having triggered or hastened the decline of the middle. adults were 61% of in the middle income tier. the growth has been here in the highest. the other is the lowest, upper middle of all states pretty steady, but the growth has been the highest to shrink. oscar is in vienna, virginia. oscar, you consider yourself to be middle-class? caller: yes, i do. host: till us about yourself. caller: asserted working in a
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blue-collar work, a phone man in d.c. for years. and i got a college degree and i said, i deserve better, so i got a job in the federal government. i did better. dual income is under six years with my wife, but when you move out to the suburbs, it is the same as making 40,000 in the city. i tried living in chester, maryland. it is cheaper, you can get an apartment for $600. the minute you move to a standard of living, it is all about lifestyles. i also wonder, i challenge the callers, 80 million people are voting, only 80 million. how many of these colors have voted in these primaries? i will bet you everyone voted all the voters that are registered, 80 million people that actually vote would have a say. host: did you vote in the
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virginia primary? caller: i voted for hillary clinton. this is another part. reagan economics is what messed us up. when w. bush went into office, i say a deep decline in my neighborhood. d.c. up in i commute and i can see the pain and have tired people are on the train. people are working two jobs to read if you don't have a career job, just to stay above water. and it is not fair. 80's, i bought my first house in 1983 very of my son cannot do that. he is still living at home. he is 26, has a degree, still cannot buy a house. he has to marry his eye and say -- his fiancee and both of them come live here. it is the housing market, that trickle down never worked.
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and i challenge everyone to vote democrat, because that is the bottom line. host: that is oscar from fairfax county in virginia. ready expensive area to live in. darrell is in long beach, california. i. caller: good morning. when my dad got a home in 1958, it cost $14,000. that was in long beach, california. and then in 1976, or i should home next toought him, it was $18,000. and in 1976i bought a home in redington beach, 60,000. the results are favorable of unions is they cause the trades affiliated with what you do. i was a lansurveyor. you have college grads in competition with the union, and
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their trade has to pay good wages or nobody will want to work for them. we had this monster earthquake back in 1972. they put our union to work, and in one month, all of the roads were working again. has donernia trends that, we would still be try to get that fixed. , tie this into what we are talking about this morning, being in the middle class in america. caller: well, i am retired now. my retirement revolves like it so much rum might union, my social security. it adds up $60,000 a year. i am very happy, very blessed with my position. like, my son left the nsa because he did not like making so many a year spying on other americans.
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you can see this nation is so divided, it is like a piece of cake in five different directions. is the middle class ever going to come back? i don't know. the government people make way too much money. of thean became speaker house, automatic $50,000 raise. darrell in long beach. this is gladys in chicago. what is your life like in the middle class, gladys? caller: unfortunately, i am not in the middle class. actually, i don't feel like i ever was in the middle class really. there was a time when i grew up in a time where we had two people working in the house. host: gladys, we are all listening. caller: i never lived in a time where one person had to work. always theke, it was
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suburbs for me, but it is shocking that girl said, kind of enemy think about -- of made me think about the middle class. idle don't think i knew i was in the middle class. it took me so long to regroup after that stock thing, and i really did regroup. i wanted to say something about that man they called, saying he wrote this book. he did this and that. you know, you should not have to do that. his wife working, he working two jobs. driving cooper or whatever -- uber or whatever, this is america. that is a whole lot of working he is doing just to make it. and we stay right here in america, i don't understand that.
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i just don't understand it. -- iobably tells himself feel for that. that is a bad statement. that you have to do all of that to so-called make it so you feel good when you retire and you can have this and that. i don't buy it. he should be looking someplace and saying, what can i do about this? how can i stop people from being like i am? no, he did not impress me any. host: gladys in chicago. this is mary in cornwallis, new york. tell us about yourself. caller: myself, right now i am a widow. i have been for the past few years. was born in the depression. the italians to
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come over, and they never jumped the border. had bad kidney problems. .nd my mother worked i quit school when i was 16 to go to work to help, just like my two sisters and my brother did. my brother was in the second world war, and back then, they only used to pay the soldiers $21 a month. said, i did not, the easy way. came up the hard way. my husband was in the vietnam war. so i know what it is like to be hard times. but you know, it used to be if you did a good deed, and is supposed to be good. now it seems every good deed you do, you get punished for it.
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that is what is happening to this country. we are worried about the whole rest of the world. we got our soldiers protecting everybody and everything. and we just can't afford it anymore. , why is it only the american service people that have to do the fighting? host: that is mary in cornwall, new york. dave -- today we are talking about the middle class, and dave, what would you like to talk about when it comes to being middle class in america? caller: good morning. as everybody knows, the middle class is shrinking. ,f you think of correlation back in the 1950's and 1960's when i was young and growing up, there were like 30% union labor in the country.
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my father was a union bricklayer. , i since that would away mean says that has been on the .ecline, now we are on 9% the middle class has shrunk exponentially. there is a correlation between wages paid and besides the to come ups, we have with other solutions. it seems like one of our parties , for any problem no matter what the problem will be, the only solution is, let's cut the taxes of the rich. so far, that has been horrible because they have somehow turn to the taxes back to middle trafficn the form of tickets and so forth. we have to look at this more pragmatically from a bigger, wider picture. i don't know.
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host: you talked about your father being a union bricklayer. what about you? caller: i was a union electrician. host: have you felt middle class all your life? caller: i think i have been, sure. there have been a few tight spots in there when i was out traveling. host: are you retired today? caller: yes, i am. host: something else i talked about. if your refrigerator broke down and you had to replace it, could you do it today? caller: not a problem. host: that is dave in new york. last question i promise. what is the policy change you would like to see in washington that you think would help the middle class? caller: well, honestly minimum wage definitely should be bumped . to live in this apartment your, you can have a small, really not
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special house and spend $6,000 here in taxes just a live here. so if we are going to create something for everybody, we have to bump the middleweight. that is -- minimum wage. that is a no-brainer. and what are these big tax breaks, where are they going to her if we are going to go somewhere to the average everyday american, i agree. but a lot of them are finding their way into banks in panama and the cayman islands and so forth. it requires a second look. host: president obama has spoken about the middle class as well. president obama: politicians perpetuate a system that favors the wealthy at the expense of the middle class, it is not surprising people feel that they
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cannot get ahead. not surprising that may produce politics that is directed at that frustration. rather than doubling down on policies that led a few big corporations with the wealthiest among us play by their own rules, we should keep building an economy where everybody has a fair shot, and everybody plays by the same rules rather than protect wasteful tax loopholes at the top, we should be investing in education, job training, which will grow the economy for everybody. rather than locked in tax breaks for millionaires or make it harder to enforce existing laws. health andtax breaks stuff family favorite for college. supporting companies shipping jobs overseas and profit overseas and start rewarding companies that create jobs right here at home and had worked --
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have good corporate citizens. that is how we rebuild america together. this can be destroyed for the next several decades if we make the right decision right now. host: in the wall street journal, william dalston in his bondn, how obama's economy trump, he said they have done much better than most events to economies. -- advanced economies. most americans are not comparing the u.s. performance to that of other countries. they are comparing it with previous recoveries in this country, and they are evaluating it in light of their own circumstances. they are painfully aware their household income is still lower than it was at the end of the clinton administration, and that the jobs, many of them have gotten during the recovery, much less than the jobs they lost during the recession.
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which economists have shown that the share in growth going to average americans has been lower in recent years since any prior economic recovery. they don't understand why this is happening. they do expect their leaders to a diligent and to do something about it -- to acknowledge it and to do something about it. joel is calling from texas. what do you want to talk about? caller: i am 75 years old. i was happen to be going through some old papers, and when i came back from vietnam in the 1960's, ge. i got a pay stub from i was making a week, i took him an1, about seven's -- $7.10 hour. my grandchildren come home and they are making $10 an hour.
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this was in 1978, this paystub. america, this old-timer came up to me, there was a debate about humphrey, a great labor man, and nixon. a lot of guys wanted to vote for nick said. this old-timer came up, going said, the richd will never cut these ropes, but the working man will always cut his throat, and that is a fact. everybody in this country wants to bellyache. they do not realize corporations do not love america. they don't care about you. they could care less about the working class. all they care about is money, m-o-n-e-y. we have all of these right to work states, they can fire you at will. conservatism.out
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the most impoverished region of the country is where reconstruction has been, the south. host: is there a policy prescriptive you would like to offer? caller: listen, the people calling in, none of them. you want better pay, you want to work or all of the walmarts and the target, that is fine. but if you cannot form a union, then don't blame obama, don't blame anybody but yourselves. you want better, there has got to become petition between labor and corporation. that is what is lacking. host: that is joel in plano, texas. brendan is in lake worth, florida. caller: thank you for taking my call. host: please go ahead. caller: i am 55 years old, semi retired. for years i have tried to save
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money, and i put money into a financial services investment account for a bank. in year after year, i watched this investment account of mine, i am talking about financial security for retirement. it sits at the same level year after year while i watch fees get taken out of it for transaction fees, service fees. i am just not seeing any kind of progress that would help a feel secure about retiring. aboutso, if i could add blaming president obama for conditions that would cause trump to be the presumptive nominee, i just don't get that at all. i think that there is too much
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going on in the republican party that caused donald trump. host: let's go back to being in the middle class. do you feel middle-class? caller: i am definitely middle-class. host: what kind of income? caller: right now i am unemployed or semiretired. i am basically 55 years old. i went to school, became a cpa. host: what kind of income that you have over your career? caller: i was struggling to make $50,000 as a salaried employee. i was smart enough to save as much as i could and purchase some real estate, and i got lucky selling property before the crash. i have been able to maintain a single home for my two children, high
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host: you are semiretired, you are 401(k) or your investment vehicle is stagnant. caller: yes. host: do you feel economically insecure? do you feel worried, squeezed, are you satisfied with where you are? caller: i have done a good job. i went to school, got a good education. to save myally hard money, but i am looking at it right now, and i don't feel the banks are helping me out. host: that is brendan in lake worth, florida. terri is in fox lake, wisconsin. tell you about the middle class life in fox lake. caller: middle-class life, i don't know. i got married at 18, had my first child in nine months and days later. cans,a job at american
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getting $3.30 an hour, but they had a layoff. so i have a solicitor's job, which pays a dollar -- $1.10 an hour. maintainingssed by and having a second job. my wife working. we were raising three children. the middle-class kind of snuck up on me. i got promoted, worked hard at what i did. i was very, i took all of these one, andot for number to get those promotions, and i got promoted up to a nice middle-class, what i considered a middle-class job. the gentleman earlier on today talk about reagan. reagan was terrible for people who had government jobs, because i don't have social security. i have not been able to get social security, never was able to. reagan economics took it away. if you have a government
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pension, worked in a factory and a pension they did not take away social security, but any kind of government job, you are without social security. so i do not have it. first? you have federal employee retirement system, or something like that? caller: yeah, we have a system thank god. host: how old are you? caller: i am 78 years old. host: do you feel financially secure caller: today? caller:yes, but i had to do a lot of things to get there. i acquired a house up north, and i built it myself. home, mye to get my children are all taken care of. the biggest thing is the problem, children are having that 50's than we did. host: in your view, have you lived the american dream? caller: yes, i worked the
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american dream. host: highlights that. -- i like that. caller: i am thinking of writing a book on it because it is quite a story. host: you better take that title, because it is a good one. ." worked the american dream joel is in river falls, wisconsin. caller: hello, thank you for taking my call. i could be wrong, but i listened to some of these comments from these entrepreneurs, and the regulations of the government or entrepreneurship or capitalism, in my opinion. 65, the government was spending $1 billion a day, $365 billion budget. now it is $4 trillion, and i
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cannot make ends meet. that is the kind of wrath of god amount of money. no one is going to message them on that. with them on that. they tied it reagan into not, and he had to raise taxes to feed the peace. and on the local level, the local city is in business for themselves. extraterritorial zoning. they promote capitalism. they are in competition, the city against the private sector in this respect. host: you are seeing these as barriers to the middle-class. caller: that is shrinking the middle class drastically. host: are you a middle-class person? caller: yes, always have been. i managed a printing department for two brothers, and they
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manufactured beer signs. printed2 people, we different signage for budweiser and miller, what have you. host: are those businesses still open? caller: no, it was such a novelty. if they could make it, nobody in the world could make it, they stretched a dollar. it is drastic for the middle-class in america, and that is what everybody wants trump. they want a change, they want a chance. they are not asking for a handout. they want a free pass. get the government out of the way, and innovation will happen in america. are two viewpoints we got from wisconsin back to back. we did not plan that, but always interesting when that happens. cutler is in new hampshire.
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what is the middle-class lifestyle in books that, new hampshire, and are you living it? caller: thank you for taking my call. a couple of people that called in today, seems like, i am their incomes like is sitting at about $60,000 a year. we have two social security checks, we have my wife's retirement, and i has investments in stocks i inherited from my father. did i do better than my father, yes. when i was working in my profession, i was making $55,000 a year. my daddy works for monti belle in new york city. his highest rate of salary was $10,000 a year. he retired in 1970 and he lived very well. he invested and he had about
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$700,000 in stocks, which, when he passed on, my sister and i inherited from that. well onived very $10,000 a year in 1970. my wife has worked our whole life. 74,is working now, and i at have gone back to work. i got my real estate exam here and had an interview this week and something might be happening. host: cutler, why are you going back to work. it sounds like you are economically sound. caller: on the surface, we are economically secure. you asked a man if he could buy a refrigerator, and he said no problem. , if iere, but the fact is
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were to pass on, my wife would have to give up this house. our taxes are about $4500 a year. the oil bill is like [indiscernible] she could not do it on her retirement and the one social security check and the investments. she would have to give up the house. my sister in new jersey every to an attorney is still working at 78 years old. attorney iso an still working at 78 years old. so that is really not the case. i love what i'm hearing today. independentyself an because i -- republicans came to advocate more, democrats are giving the country away, so i am not happy with either of that. personally, not the best time of my life right now.
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i am volunteering for three different things, transitional housing for homeless veterans, working with the town, the upoin epidemic appeared -- here, and the children in the court systems. whatrsonally, i remember john kennedy said, ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country. i would like to congratulate and appreciate all of the vets that have served, particularly in vietnam. but i wasat era, stationed in scotland and norfolk, virginia. host: thank you for watching. bob is in union, kentucky. bob, are you a middle-class person? caller: yeah, good morning, my
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name is bob, i am married, a railroad builder retired. my wife is still working at a nonprofit. she has not had a raise in over nine years. we had a comfortable nest egg , and through the process in the last eight years. when things started to decline, the biggest devastation was the obama care and health care. i started out my insurance with $159 a month and rose to $200. it has gone down the last year or two. we got on my wife's company insurance, still close to $600 a month, but the devastation is that we go to the grocery store and the cost of living does not reflect what we hear on the news with the groceries and the utilities last winter. you look at the check, the
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savings has gone up. and the good thing about good credit, whenever you need a car repair or some thing on your home, you can use a credit card. credit card debt is rising. , and istays the same think a part-time job as a security guard on the weekends. we are still in the back, but we went from upper-middle-class, pushing the lower middle middle-class. there is a lot of demographics. we live near an airport that has a service community around it. and weave three sons, are supporting two of them, and they are working full-time jobs. such a drain on the family unit that we are making it, but not as easy as we were. we have a lot of people around us are struggling worse than us. they live in a nicer house and we are struggling.
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and they have jobs. .t is not just the poor i think we are all on the same page. it is the whole economy. i believe the government would get out of the way, i believe the government, the economy would take care of itself. host: that is bob in union, kentucky. and now we have deanna in valdosta, georgia. good morning. tell us about yourself. caller: i am very concerned about the idea of middle-class. i think it has changed so much. i'm 75 years old now, but when i was a child, a middle-class assets were so different from what they are today. a middle-class family had generally a two-bedroom house. they had one car. they did not go on expensive vacations. their expectations were entirely different from what i think a
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middle-class now expects and how they spend their assets. so i think to compare middle-class to 1950 and middle-class to now, your talking really about two separate things. and i do think people do not use their assets wisely. they use them all very frivolously. that is their privilege, that is what they have earned. but i really believe in this country, people are not that badly off. if they gave a second thought a littletheir assets better, that their lives would indeed be better. host: deanna and valdosta, georgia. she in missouri, we are listening. caller: the problem with the middle-class now is the wages. 1950's, the
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made 75% profit per unit. all of the companies now, they say as fewer units as they can with maximum amount of profit. it used to be they sold as many units to make a little bit of profit and make everybody be able to afford something. they don't care about the little guys being able to afford it. and then we have the immigration problem, and the factory are used to work at, which i am disabled now, but the factory i worked at was in a five-year time, the night shift went from completely caucasian to 95% hispanic, which they cannot talk english. and we can't communicate with them. so we had to bring someone out to interpret to them.
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rated bynies would get missration, they would work that day. but the company did not care, they did not terminate them. they did not care if they were illegal or not. they would cap to head working them. -- kept ahead working them. we are not a person, we are a number. yesterday companies cared about their employees. they do not care anymore. month, atlantic magazine, the secret shame of middle-class americans. this is a very lengthy article by neil gaebler. say is one thing he has to when he talks about his own experience being in the middle class or not being in the middle class, borrowing money from his daughter's and etc. he has written several books.
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you would not know to talk to him. the last thing i would ever do until now is admit to financial insecurity, or as i think of it, financial impotence. because it has many of the characteristics of sexual impotence, not least of which is the desperate need to mask it and pretend everything is going swimmingly. in truth, it may be more embarrassing than sexual impotence. you are more likely to hear from your buddy that he is on viagra that he has credit card problems, says a financial psychologist who teaches at creighton university in omaha, nebraska. that is the current issue of the atlantic, neil gaebler's article on the shame of the middle-class. tony is in philadelphia. tony, what is it like to be middle-class in philadelphia. caller: i want to respond to someone who brought up ronald
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ofgan, basically the cause the vast majority of america's problems today. he started it all. barack obama, his recovery is a miracle. had 25, 30 years of reaganism, trickle down, wages tax, pension theft, outsourcing, savings rate cut in half. ronald reagan had to start off in 1980 with the savings rate of 8% for the average american. today it is cut in half at 4%. reagan had 30 years prior to his ,residency of democratic policy 35% unionism. basically barack obama started the destruction of the middle class from 25 years of reaganism. the other thing i wanted to mention was, forbes magazine can met with an article, where is
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the best place to start a business? you know where? europe. this is a right-wing magazine. and in particular, scandinavia, and mark, norway. they have social democracy, they invest in their citizens. they have national education, transportation, health care. they don't invest in the jocks and mansions of ceos like we do. they invest in citizens. if anyone thinks we are going to compete going toward with social democracies, they are delusional. host: tell us about yourself caller:. myself, what do you want to know? host: have you been watching the show this morning. caller: yes. host: then you know what we want to know. what do you do for a living, what is your life like? do you feel economically secure? caller: i don't feel economically secure because of
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the weight the capital system set up, we have booms and busts. if we were to change the tax system and go on something called the single tax or tax assets instead of income, i think i would feel a whole lot safer. that is really what it comes down to. the parasites and the speculators create bubbles in society. we hear a tremendous booms and then busts were people lose their 401(k)s as a fight that. my background is real estate agent, but i have also worked in a restaurant my whole life in hotels. i usually go back and forth. whatever the real estate business goes down, i go back into the restaurant business. host: do you feel like you are a member of the middle-class? caller: no, i don't. typically,class is,
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if you want a class on economics, you start off with the savings rate of 16,000. you double that, middle-class, then double that, upper-middle-class. so mostly americans are the working poor by definition. host: have you done better than your parents? caller: i cannot say that i have. my parents did everything on one income. today, because corporations and all the executives are making 500 times the average american worker, everyone needs to incomes areas that is not the way it was. usually you can put your kid through college, have a car on one income. host: that is tony in philadelphia. thank you for your time. the is donald ambrose in washington times. poll found that
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70% of small business employers believe presidential candidates are not dealing with the issues most important to them. in yet another gallup poll, 75% corruptions believe is widespread in the federal government. not incompetence but corruption. like jim clifton who is chairman sayeo of gallup, goes on to , you will not hear this on the nightly news program, but the obama economy display growth rate has been running at an average of 2% a year since the great recession. in the last three months, the of the economy barely grew at a miniscule one .5%, and it is compared to still be in recovery . compare that to the regular recovery, ineagan two years, the economy grew in the next six years at an average
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annual rate of 4%. under mr. obama, jobs have not come back. out --fton lumley points bluntly points out on the gallup website. according to the u.s. bureau of labor statistics the total percentage of adult population has been hovering around 48% since 2010, the lowest full-time employment society and 83. this is why the middle-class has been dangerously shrinking. .his is again john lambros regular viewers of c-span no on the weekends -- know on the weekends c-span 2 turns into "book tv" and "american history c-span3. we go around the country and look at literary and historical sites. this weekend we are in san
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bernardino, california. segments on "book tv and "american history tv" about san bernardino. one of the things we did was talk to the mayor about last year's shooting in san bernardino. here is a state take. -- here is a sneak peek. [video clip] i received the information and immediately left and came back to city hall. as the events of the day unfolded, the remarkable effort you stop what out by the police department, fire department, all of these they came together to stop this tragic event in such a short the bank of time showed how well we were to response. as surely after that, we had a forhtened level of patrol
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the rest of the month of december to make sure the community felt calm. part of the crisis was the police department working very closely with the sheriff's department, working together with the fbi. .ame together and really united they made sure they were giving information that was necessary so the community felt assured they were in good hands. i think the community also came together the very next day, we had a vigil at the 66th stadium. reinvented -- we invited a cross-section of faith. it helps the community to show the spirit in the heart of the economy, not going to retaliate. a community event that allowed , expressede together the sorrow they felt for the loss of life. and the city is not defined by that. it is defined by the heart and
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it has a strong heart. of theust a preview coverage this weekend on "american history tv" and "book tv". visiting san bernardino, california. authors,of books and "american history tv" 48 hours of american history. brian is coming from massachusetts. good morning to you. what do you want to talk about with regards the middle class in america? caller: all of my kids are really struggling, so i have a keep the car and pay the rent. i have been watching c-span since you guys started. my kids is to say, dad, why do you pay attention to that. you should be paying more attention to your business. i said because i care about people. when you guys get older, if you can get a job. so i tried to do something to change government.
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but no prevail. now i am learning, i noticed being republican, felix talk about [indiscernible] but the minute you say things about drugs, they do not want to hear it. they only talk about abortion. i found that the ruler of this world is satan. .t says it right in the bible you talk about reagan doing good. reagan became president, people did not lose half the value on their house when he became president. we did not lose $60 trillion. is the dollar stops, it will not be worth what you can put on a wall for wallpaper. host: you consider yourself middle-class in press berg photo caller: i am surviving. host: what kind of business?
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caller: i am not in business. i lost everything because i took the money i made, bought a house in 2008. the realtors, government no one told me not to buy a house. they all knew the economy was going to crash. earning key new -- bernanke knew. all of the system is corrupt. so i watched my whole life savings, because we put all of my money in the house. i used to go around to these and i wouldhouses say to my guys, how do these people afford these houses? where are they working? i did all kinds of jobs, not one person told me about the stock market. they are also greedy. they would not tell anybody else about it. and one old thing crashed, what is the media do? they put it on tv when no one can buy into it.
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it was still the volume in their house, the whole system is corrupt. satan is really the world, and who's going to be the u.s. resident? it depends on the ruler of the world. host: grady in fayetteville, north carolina. caller: i really enjoy your program. thank you for letting me come on and share with you. america, wele in suffer from a lack of knowledge. i have heard people come on this say yes, morning, many they were doing fine. they believe they were in the middle class. we had many that say they wasn't technically in the middle class and don't even realize they in the middle class . the reason i say that because most of them i heard telling, when he asked to tell about
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themselves, most of them had homes. sleep in, driving two or three cars. got their kids in college. and they are doing well financially, but still, they still, i guess because they are not wealthy, they think they are not in the middle class. i thought somebody say, the only needs, and i heard the man talk about spiritual needs, talking about somebody say he came to feed the homeless, clothe the naked, and feed the poor, and health care. most of us have that. but we most of us, and when you come to this challenge, you got the man with one talent, two talents. not leadership. it is not on, or nobody leadership. you are managerial skills.
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you don't know how to manage your time, your money, your material. ,nd yourself or your people then you can have $5,000, hit the lottery today, and you are broke tomorrow. host: tell us about yourself. caller: i have been left in the middle class, and i had a mother that understood. and when mr. reagan went into office and they cut all of the social programs, i should not tell you this, my wife will get angry, i said mom, are you worrying about all of your social stuff going to be cut off. she said no boy, get out of there. i lived off of nothing a long time ago. and most of the people complaining about this, they have more than they need to live off of. they just don't know how to manage it.
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it wasn't a promise that everybody was going to be rich. but he said he would take care of our needs, and their needs are being taken care of. my kids are in college, we got debt. we are raising our kids not to be dependent but independent. we are building our kids, and people making promises, i will give you this free, give you that freight. -- give you that free. and the curse was to earn our living by the sweat of our browse. host: what kind of work have you done? caller: 30 years in the military . and you know what got me into the militant class? the military. people do not have that option anymore because after the 1980's, they were thinking, i am being honest, reagan was bad.
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they were getting too many blacks in the military. so they went to [indiscernible] and started paying them to get out. the military gave us a lot of opportunities. was not justhing blacks but many more people. williampresident was justin clinton that brought many class into the middle host:. we are going to have to leave it there. we appreciate your time. everyone talking about the middle class in america. we would like to do these programs from time to time on the "washington journal", take three hours and focus on your stories. that makes this work, when we hear from you. so reminder, "book tv" on "american history tv" all weekend. and there is a lot going on on c-span as well, a lot of politics and everything.
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