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tv   Washington Journal  CSPAN  May 23, 2016 7:00am-10:01am EDT

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, including the debt held by saudi arabia. as always, we take your calls and you can join the conversation on facebook and twitter. washington journal is next. ♪ host: it is the "washington journal," for may 23. both chambers of congress spend this week talking about money, debating and voting on issues concerning military funding, expending bills for the department of energy and the veterans affairs department. in vietnam today, president obama announced the sale -- the band of the sale of military agreement to that country. this will allow the country to defend itself against foreign attacks. days announcewo growing support for donald trump over hillary clinton. trump is ahead by two points.
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the washington post survey from yesterday showed hillary clinton beating donald trump by three points. we show you some of the results from these bowls, but we want to hear from you. first of all, about what you think about these polls originally come out, how much attention you pay to them, and what it may suggest to you about the current state of campaign 2016. here's how you can let us know today. democrats, call (202) 748-8000, republicans, call (202) 748-8001 . independents, call (202) 748-8002. you can also reach us on twitter, posting your thoughts --@cspanwj. we are also on facebook. these about the full details, but some of the results that came out from the survey which wall street on the journal website. it says for those expressing residential preference -- presidential preference, here's
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what it shows. hillary clinton with a 46% advantage over donald trump. with a 43% advantage. if you change that up and make it a contest between senator bernie sanders and donald trump, senator sanders is winning by 54%. over donald trump's 39%. the publicks about image of candidates with senator sanders leading with a positive feeling expressed. hillary clinton showing -20, donald trump showing -29. that's the "wall street journal," survey that came out today. "washington post," from yesterday, this is an common nation with nbc news, also talked about if potential candidates amongst general voters express in a preference, show that hillary clinton was down 44% over donald trump. he registered 46%, and that's a general election vote. they also asked who was expected to win in 2016 and the general
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election, that results showing the for those who are asked by the abc news and the washington clinton, 50% of those asked said they expected hillary clinton to win, and then donald trump with 40% saying they expect him to win. those are just some of the numbers we will show you as we go across the morning. we want to get your thoughts on the polls and what they might suggest to you about the state of campaign 2016, particularly amongst contests between donald trump and bernie sanders and hillary clinton. we want to give us a call and give us your thoughts, democrats, call (202) 748-8000. republicans, call (202) 748-8001 . independents, call (202) 748-8002. you can also reach out to us on twitter, @cspanwj. corporal to our facebook page at facebook.com/c-span. the candidates were talking about the state of their campaigns and issues they wanted
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to talk about. donald trump was on the shows fox and friends, talking about his candidate, with a person he is paying attention to the most -- hillary clinton. here's some of what was expressed yesterday by donald trump. trump: bernie sanders said she was not qualified to be president, and frankly, you look at libya and the offshoots of libya -- benghazi, etc., somebody different things, we could go on for days. ,hen you look at her decisions just bad judgment. she suffers from bad judgment. and that's bernie sanders saying it. her,s been rather nice to he didn't pick up on the e-mails, which i think was a big mistake. big league. pick up she shouldn't even be allowed to run for president. she has bad judgment, and therefore, should not even be qualified to run as president. from -- host: that was
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from fox and friends. it suggested tightening contest between hillary clinton and donald trump. democrats, call (202) 748-8000, republicans, call (202) 748-8001 . independents, call (202) 748-8002. we start this morning with liz and washington, d.c. caller: certainly it's a little bit early to take notice of the polls that are being conducted, i find that the majority of america really doesn't pay attention until the rubber meets the road and it's really time to focus in on the candidates. i don't really see this as being all that newsworthy. i think a lot of people are still on the sidelines just really watching the circus of what's going on. we get the nominee from the democratic side, which should be and will be hillary, that's when saying people will start
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ok, now it's time to really pay attention and see what's going on. is i find itreally a little bit disturbing that the media hasn't really pounced on thesect that trump makes grandiose statements about all kinds of things from all the supporters that he has in all this money that he has, but yet no one ever asks for the proof. where in the world you have the proof on this? it's just brushed over. another comment is there is no one as qualified as hillary clinton, her problem is she is overqualified as females normally are, we have to sit there and wait for someone to give them a chance. male,lary clinton were there would be a whole lot of news saying how overqualified she is for this job. host: let's hear from mike from
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south carolina. independent line, talking about these new polls. go ahead. surprisedll, i'm not -- neither one of these candidates are highly inspiring to me. i wish they would spend most of their time on issues, as opposed to comment trump's case, just trying to put more negative stuff about the other person out there. i just don't find either one of them very inspiring. you are notid surprised by the results you saw as far as the closeness in numbers. why is that? caller: we both have such negative readings that i'm not sure folks out there really -- right before you go into the voting booth, are going to be what reallygure out can turn the on by either one of these candidates. i find neither one of them
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really highly inspiring, or one who would, in my opinion, theact overwhelmingly voters against the other one. host: in six months, who using most likely you will be voting for? caller: i would say most likely hillary clinton, only because i know more of where she stands on issues. now that i necessarily agree with her more -- not that i necessarily agree with her more, but i know where she stands more. where has trump has been around the yard on a whole bunch of things, and not very specific on any of them. host: albany, georgia, the democrats line. johnny is up next. caller: i don't put much stock in any polls anyways, does anyone can buy polls.
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donald trump could be this close to hillary at this time, because he ended up everybody just quitting the republican party because they didn't like him. and now, all of a sudden, the public is going he's close to hillary by three points. i don't think he's close to hillary by 25 points. host: there are two polls in two days that suggest the closeness. caller: it depends on who you call. if you want to call republicans, you're going to get donald trump at 90%. if you're going to call democrats and republicans, you got a get donald trump at 10%, because elite republicans don't even like him. how can these bowls be there? -- these polls be there? i think a lot of hogwash. host: justin, go ahead.
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really want to agree with both of the last two callers. to areally comes down choice between the lesser of two evils. said to really going to be split across republican democratic lines. , really worry for this country should donald trump win. host: where you out as far as who you are putting support for? caller: i'm reluctantly putting support towards hillary clinton. somebodyuch rather see -- like mr. -- host: senator sanders?
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rather i would much someone like senator sanders, that's not going to happen if you choose between the lesser of two evils. i love your show, you do a public service, thank you. host: thank you for watching. senator sanders make yesterday in a conversation on the talk shows, abc news and the washington news poll asked about candidate popularity amongst the three candidates. 60% unfavorable rating for donald trump over 30%. over favorable, 44%. a 51% favorable rating for bernie sanders, with those suggesting an unfavorable rating at just 38%. elliott, good morning. from baltimore, marion -- maryland, independent line. caller: i think that rather than focus on personalities of the candidates or tactics and strategies, one of the things
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that trump supporters are attracted to him is because they are so dissatisfied with many of the departments of the federal government. day outheir day in, function. the tsa is the latest, but also to irs scandal's goes back several years. leaving to them cdc and going to the nih sent a big message to me. the department of justice, everybody is wondering what they are going to do next. the fbi seems independent, but who knows? host: this all goes back to the candidates involved, that's what you are saying? all those issues go back to the candidates involved in this contest? caller: yes, because clinton is literally supporting every department. she has been asked about the v.a. many times, and won't even speak to the issue. i'm a veteran, trump is going to
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get every veteran vote in the country. not because they like them, they like him, then even think he is dangerous or reckless, but they , so i upset with the v.a. think that goes on in the tsa lines, who is going to get blamed for that? not trump. host: that's elliott. again, we're showing you these polls and asking you what you think about them as far as the closeness in numbers and what you think is behind it. and generally what you think about what it means for 2016. democrats, call (202) 748-8000, republicans, call (202) 748-8001 . independents, call (202) 748-8002. hillary clinton was on "meet the press," talking about donald trump and his candidacy. here's what she had to say. [video clip] i have 2linton: million more votes than donald trump. voters, as opposed to the kind of back-and-forth in the public arena, voters show up to vote
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and they take that vote seriously. yes, i know he has a plurality of republicans who voted for him. but i think, in the course of this campaign, we are going to demonstrate that he has no ideas -- there's no evidence he has any ideas about making america great, as he advertises. he seems to be particularly focused on making himself appear great. and as we go through this campaign, we're going to be demonstrating the hollowness of his rhetoric. and the danger of a lot of what he has said. i'm very confident that the american people are going to want change. every election is about the future. i have laid out very positive approaches. i'm not running for anyone's third term, i am running for my first term. but i also want to do what works. my goal is to produce positive results for the american people. incomes, jobs, rising
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the kinds of tangible progress that i think people are yearning for and they need and deserve to see. host: again, your thoughts on these recent polls. jeanette in window, maryland. democrats line. you?r: how are host: i'm fine. what do you think about these results? caller: i don't trust the polls really. in the worldny way of donald trump could be ahead of hillary. and that the authentic. that hillary will prevail over the selection. donald trump, i believe, is doing a reality show. i don't believe that he really wants to be president. he's doing aels reality show and thinking about what he can do. he has no substance in what he is saying, hillary has more substance. i think she has more experience.
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i do like bernie, but i believe that bernie is overpromising the people. i don't think he can deliver what he says, because is not him making the decisions i am self, he has to go through the senate and the house. i believe that he is overpromising. i do believe that hillary is going to win this election. us from mainens on the republican line. go ahead. caller: i think after bill clinton's nafta, loads of people could not afford everything else he has done, he should be in jail and the way hillary handles her secretary of state and light all the time about benghazi and everything else, our countries and real bad shape, and we are worrying about bathrooms. this democratic party has gone over the edge and i was raised as a democrat. after lbj, i became republican. host: what do you think about the closeness of the polls? caller: i believe that has more support than they realize, in this country need something done. our cities are starving.
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in some cities is only walmart and nothing else left. host: we heard about initial republican resistance to donald trump, do you get going to change come election time? caller: yes, i've been supporting them since he chose to run last summer. host: what was the one thing he said or did or expressed that through your support to him? haver: the democrats destroyed the economy between bill clinton and jimmy carter, bill clinton, now this president are reducing the size of our military. all they know how to do is cut military and do social spending that doesn't really work. all the socialism around the world is collapsing, especially venezuela right now, i hamburger cost $170 in venezuela. we are going to be in the same boat if we keep on the way we are. if you are on the line, stay on the line, if you're calling in, keep calling in. we want to get your thoughts on these new result in what you
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think about them as far as campaign 2016 is concerned. to get a sense of what's going on on capitol hill this week, mike willis from the hill joins us, we have a holiday break coming up. what is the workload like for congress this week? guest: good morning, pedro. is relatively light, congressionally speaking. leaders do you want to wrap things up before the memorial day recess, as you said. there are some adjudging things happening on the committee level. in the senate, they are going to spend almost the entire week on a big defense bill, a $602 billion bill, this is one of those big packages, there will be hundreds of different amendments on it, mitch mcconnell, the majority leader wants to get it wrapped up before memorial day. the big thing to look at here is john mccain, he is the chairman of the committee with jurisdiction, and he wants to lift the spending cap and raise at six under $2 billion number he said by at least $17 billion
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more, congress passed a big budget bill last year that set the limit, he wants to lift it. there's going to be a partisan fight there. the democrats don't want to lift the cap, they want to hear to the budget deal they passed. lift theamendment to spending cap did pass with overwhelming bipartisan support in the committee, it was 23 to three. support on the can the level. that is not as early going to translate to democrats on the floor. that will be an interesting element to see. can mccain left the cap? there are also a couple of other provisions in there that will be controversial and fun to watch. one is with guantanamo, obama has wanted to close that for years. democrats support him, but the republicans do not. the do not want them to transfer those presented to the united states, so there's already some linkage in there that limits obama from closing the prison.
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republicanahoma wants to make those restricted even tighter, so he's expected to offer amendments that will be closely watched. women in thing is the the draft, should they have to register? we haven't had a draft in decades, but men of a certain age still have to register for it in the event that it is reinstated. women do not. there's been this push to have them register as well. for number ofial reasons, but there was an amendment that passed in the a $610ast week passed billion defense bill that would have to be reconciled with whatever the senate comes up with. but they included requiring women to register, and mccain and mcconnell both support that provision. it will be interesting to see if people try and take it out. there was a push in the committee to try and take it out, and it failed. we expect to see that on the floor, that will be interesting to watch there as well.
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host: on the house side, summarize what goes on activity wise? and give us a brief sense of the hearing for the irs. that one start with tuesday, the has to do share a committee is going to have its first examination, they want -- ofa move towards impeachment virus commissioner john koskinen. this is a years long push, but more recently, a number of conservatives in the house, the freedom caucus met with speaker paul ryan and said listen, if we don't get some earrings on this thing, we are going to force a floor vote, and that puts ryan in a tricky spot for it almost immediately, the chairman of the judiciary committee -- we had heard him say anything, and then very suddenly, he announced a series of hearings on the impeachment. that's going to be tuesday. it will be much watched.
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level, the committee puerto rico debt crisis -- they have been, for months and months trying to negotiate this deal. he finally came up with something, and on wednesday, the national resources committee will have a markup vote to restructure that $70 billion in debt. this has been very controversial, because the democrats are worried about a reduction minimum wage, they are worried about pensioners on the overlooked by the bondholders. there are all kinds of different issues that are going on there. when the white house announced the deal, you have nancy pelosi and the very liberal ranking member of the national resources committee -- they all endorsed it. it wasn't a full throated we love this thing, but they said they are going to support it. you can expect that to move fairly quickly through the committee on wednesday.
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you want the floor on the house. -- they areo be going to take up back to the appropriations, they had a number of appropriation bills last week, so moving on that strategy. department of energy looking at the water and info structure projects is the $37 -- $37 billion bill. on the surface, it's not a controversial bill, the department of energy usually passes pretty easily. but last week, the democrats on the veterans affairs bill put a whole bunch of controversial amendments, and it was kind of chaotic on the house floor as a result. there were confederate flag amendments, lgbt amendments, and it's an open rule, and expected to be an open rule on this energy bill, then you can expect the democrats to throw some of these poison pill writers on -- riders on there. this of their going to fund
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raise on the lgbt bill, which failed. it could be another shouting match on the house floor over not the form of energy bill in itself, but some of the amendments. host: that's my close -- mike lilus with the hill. thank you. again, your thoughts on the new poll showing closing between hillary clinton and donald trump. democrats, call (202) 748-8000, republicans, call (202) 748-8001 . independents, call (202) 748-8002. a couple thoughts from twitter. edwin sinkholes can be made to find the results that was looking for, and therefore cannot really be trusted. it's too early to tell. caroline zhang polls won't matter until bernie gets out. let's hear from tyrone in north carolina. democrats live. thank you for holding on. go ahead. caller: good morning.
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give me a chance to speak, please. i listened to the republican caller, talking about the economy was in recession when obama took over. let's go to the news media. the news media favors donald trump. when jeremiah wright was on, that's all fox news talked about. the president is supposed to bring people together, so the news media need to bring out the stuff on donald trump. and do a political fact check, on donald trump, he lies every five minutes. host: deborah from la plata, maryland on the independent line. caller: good morning. i was listening to comments donald trumpi find to be one fascinating person to just listen to and to follow. enough toomfortable quote senator sanders concerning hillary clinton, but senator
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sanders has also made some very disturbing and maybe credible comments about donald trump, one of these pathological liar, and he also is not qualified to be president. if the senator is credible enough for donald trump to quote about hillary clinton, you should listen to what the senator saying about mr. trump. host: we are talking about poll results, are you surprised by the results of these polls that show not so much daylight between donald trump and hillary clinton? caller: not really. i is somewhat early, and personally supported john kasich. , ifonce we get into this senator sanders happens to make it to the convention, we will comments fromore
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the democratic committee to try and persuade mr. sanders to get out, and give hillary clinton opportunity to focus in on the republican opposition, but for now, i'm not totally concerned about the polls. host: the new york times takes a look this morning at his status in the race so far, in talking about the future should he decide to get out of the contest, this is from the front page saying that mr. sanders has offered little support for a broader progressive movements, beyond using his e-mail is to solicit money for a handful of careers in the candidates. maybe if he does try to redirect the energy behind his candidacy into a new liberal organization, the task may not be easy. his campaign has brought together disparate individuals and volunteer groups that might be inclined to go their separate ways after the primary.
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host: from florida, next up is stand on the independent line. stan, hi there. caller: as far as mr. trump goes, he's the best used-car salesman i've ever seen. he knows what people don't like, and that's all he says. i'm going to make america great. i'm going to make the best medicare, the best health insurance, but i can't tell you on going to do it. i can't tell you on going to make jobs. hillary clinton is a thing on her website, you can go there and even mark cuban says he would vote for her over donald trump, as he doesn't know what donald trump even says. he is selling us a bunch of good that everyone is falling for it. he's going to say will make the veterans better, but how? heaving seas running this like a business. this is not a business. congress makes the rules, he signs it. emperor and is the
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he's going to do all this, but you can't do it. obama tried it, he can't do what he wants to do. he sold real estate without even looking at it, he can sell anything. he's a good salesman. as far as bernie sanders goes, he needs to get out of the race. thing,ut his $15 an hour everyone in this country -- that would be no jobs at all. he's talking about free college, is getting a bunch of kids. it's all kids. he's giving candy to all these kids and he thinks come on, we can get free college, we really get $15 an hour to work at mcdonald's. mcdonald's will be closing down and have robots doing it. because they're not going to pay. you can't get $15 an hour. in florida, a plumber and electrician make $15 an hour. host: kenneth, republican line. good morning. caller: i seem german with the polls last two presidential elections had john mccain stopping barack obama, and then
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it had mitt romney doing the same thing. when did they become president? can you really trust these polls? it took all of a minute after the polls close the first time for claim obama is the winner. host: at this point, polls mean nothing to you? caller: yes. host: did eventually help you in the decision-making? even as you get closer to the general election? no, because i think they skew the questions in a way they are looking for an answer. they might be totally false to start with. host: you are calling on the republican line, who do plan on supporting? don't see a republican running anymore, so i will not be voting for that side of the world. host: are you planning on voting at all? or just staying out of it altogether? caller: i was going to, but i got a note in the mail here recently that they have taken away my right to vote. for $1500, i can get it back. host: that's kenneth in south
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carolina. the new wall street journal takes a look at the state of ohio, particularly, donald trump's organization there. according to what they found in the story, the organization is slow to organize and that key state. they began a past, search for top ohio staff, which he hopes to have in place by june. there is no one in the senior or mid-level position in the campaign in ohio or any of the states where we had staff who would or will be going to work for donald trump. host: paulette from fort
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lauderdale, florida. good morning. caller: yeah, i have a comment. calledler that just about the early polling. that's true. john mccain was leading president obama and mitt romney was leading president obama. i don't really go off that. i really go off the journalist in this country. i don't really understand if they are journalists. especially some on the morning shows. the only journalists i see on that station's rachel maddow. she is a journalist. the rest, i think they are commentators, and entertainers. host: paulette, back to the polls for a second. when do you trust polls, if you do? when do you trust polls, do you ever trust them? caller: oh yeah.
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i trust polls, when like down in october, in october, you can trust the poll in october. host: why in october? because of the month before the general election? caller: correct. every buddy their mind up. i don't make my mind up as yet. but i know where it's at. host: you haven't made your mind up as far as a candidate yet? caller: yeah, right. but i know where that and i know where i'm going. i'm listening. and i'm taking in everything. every decision the president of candidate is saying. host: as of today, where you out as far as the candidate? caller: i'm leaning towards ms. clinton. saying that you cannot beg
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, i'm going to make this great. i'm going to do that, i'm going to do this. -- and then he can't show is income tax papers, and obama contributed to the veterans. all of those things, people must look into. especially people who read the bible. host: let's hear from don from henderson, nevada. republican line. caller: good morning. i don't trust or believe in the polls right now, and what they are doing with brainwashing the public. host: why do you come to the conclusion they are brainwashing the public? trump: cnn, when donald swept the five states in the northeast, cnn was pretty good on the polls. and they took exit polls, and 52% to 58% of the women voted
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for him. that negates everything that the polls are putting out there. is, ie second reason don't want hillary in there. i'm a veteran, and i was watching television, i know what show it was, but they had our army men in high heels, walking around for training. way this is the democrats of training our army. take a look around the world and see what has happened. , when you talk about the polling and we show you the numbers as far as donald trump is concerned, you said you were republican. what you think about the number, suggesting at this point he's three point ahead of hillary clinton? caller: what do i think of what? host: the fact that donald
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trump, according to the wall street journal, these three points ahead of hillary clinton? caller: that he is ahead of her? host: yes. caller: i don't put too much credence in any of the newspapers polls. gary from fletcher, north carolina. independent line. good morning. you are on. yeah, i kind of rely on the polls, and i pay attention to what's going on through them. polls of how the united states is thinking. candidates, and i kind of have been categorized into two groups, when i hear and what i have been hearing for the past few months. there's a group of people that want things and want things for free, and want things to be easier. and then there's a group of people that want to keep what they have, and want to work hard for things and don't want to see
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that change too much. and one of the candidates is a self-made man, a working man that i can align myself to end my thinking too. made ite one of us who big and wants to get bigger. i think that's the american way. he breaks away from that political mess for a change. i think the polls are radiating that, and people are picking up and getting smarter. host: do you trust polls, generally? caller: yeah. i think people are kind of waking up, they see an average american guy who made it big using the american system. and now you have a chance to be president. it's like one of the regular guys who made it and had his chance to go to the top instead of these political types, that
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their only job was being political. host: again, to polls in two days suggesting a closeness between hillary clinton and donald your thoughts on that. -- donald trump. your thoughts on that. democrats, call (202) 748-8000, republicans, call (202) 748-8001 . independents, call (202) 748-8002. the united states will rescind a decades-old ban on lethal military equipment, president obama made that announcement in hanoi today. one of the last legal vestiges of the vietnam war. has long astates lifting the embargo contingent on vietnam's improving its human rights record.
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host: floyd from south carolina, democrat line. you are on, go ahead. caller: my feeling on this is we just wait to see what's going to happen. hillary has an opportunity right conmennickname him trump. trump, and would be the perfect opportunity to identify exactly what he is. host: thank you. we'll is in port arthur, texas, republican line. caller: hey, how are you doing? host: fine, go ahead. caller: i just want to tell the public that trump is not a politician. all these seasoned guys that are politically correct, when they
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talk, they sound good. because they are polished. but are not doing nothing in washington, and they have never been doing anything in washington for us. here goes from its trying to help us, he's not a polished politician. so now everyone is looking like he said that wrong. yeah, he's going to say it wrong. because he is not polished. he is not a politician. he's just trying to come and make america great again. matter, theyes said that trump is a racist and this and that. trump is nowhere near racist. he had arsenio hall on his show, he had helped arsenio hall get his show back. also real halt -- arsenio hall was down on his luck. he helped several blacks. i don't understand what the public is talking about about trump not as this and not that. he's going to go in and fix this
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economy, and all of these people in washington have been line, they are scared. host: that's will in port arthur, texas. "washington post," takes a look at u.s. drone strikes in pakistan. strike represents another escalation in the u.s. involvement in the war of afghanistan, trying to cripple an insurgent group and has for years found refuge on pakistani soil. host: that is the front page of the "washington post," and there's an additional story taking a look at the use of lethal force is used abroad by
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drone strikes and others. "wall street journal," looks at iraq, and a new effort to take falluja, saying that if successful, the recapture of as the would leave mosul islamic states only foothold in iraq. and despite its smaller size, the falluja battle isn't expected to be easy. the city is inhabited mostly by sunni muslims, many of whom resent any incursion by iran backed shiite militias that form a significant part of the group fighting for control. to avoid triggering sectarian bloodshed, shia militias are not expected to be part of the forces that we take the city center. from illinois, independent line, this is robert. caller: good morning. trump made his statement not long ago that said he wanted to abolish nato. that was kind of irresponsible. i know some people that have relatives in lithuania, they are worried about the russians and all the baltic states are
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worried about the russians. i thought it was very irresponsible. and then bernie sanders made a statement saying he put a bill in to increase the so security for people that are getting , i know200 a month someone that only get $700 a month for being legally blind from diabetes, they can only work for 10 years. he would increase it by $1350 a year, about 110, 100 $20 a month. that doesn't sound like a lot, but for someone who is really poor, that would help a lot. bob lives in minnesota, democrats line. bob, good morning. caller: so many comments out there. host: first and foremost, what do you take about the recent polls? caller: i don't trust the polls, they have been wrong on bernie for most of the race. host: as far as the support he
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gets? hillaryas far as how was supposed to win certain states, and she didn't. the polls were wrong. if you look at the exit polls, some of the exit polls were off by 17%. where's the outrage and that? i've heard some comments about donald trump, donald trump is the biggest welfare recipient known to man right now. he was on a $700,000 allowance once he went bankrupt and was too big to fail. his comment was you will the banks thousands, they own you. when you over the banks hundreds of millions, you own them. he's not a self-made man, he's not a common guide, he inherited 200 something million dollars from his mom and dad. i don't understand that at all. like he's one of us, excuse me, he's not. he's one of the clinton types.
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bill clinton gets a profile on the pages of the "washington post," about his role in the campaign. schedule, is more packed than hillary's. it rarely registers on the national radar. host: one more call from how -- al into mexico. caller: i do believe in polls that are statistically accurate. the problem is the categories. it's the same for your listener lines. you should boil this down into two categories, people who contribute more to the system were people that take more out of the system.
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currently you have categories like republican, democrat, black , white, asian, all of that. you can boil it down to the net contributors and the net takers. what you have is the net takers who are trying to elect politicians that have the government take things from the makers and give it to them. in terms of corporations, you have the same thing. you have corporations who are net takers. and that's it. the polls, talk about your philosophy on them. why do you think they tend to be accurate? caller: because these pollsters make a living by trying to be accurate. you will go out of business if your polls are wrong consistently. there isn't think that any motivation for somebody to rigged polls. host: what do you think about the results we've been talking about, this 2.23 point
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difference between hillary clinton and donald trump? -- you will see this with gun owners. when someone calls me and says i would like to take a poll, how many guns you own -- i'm not going to tell the truth. the same way with trump voters. someone's going to call and say do you support trump, they may not give you an accurate answer. be honesters have to and say this is what we have. but there is a margin of error. and this could be happening. basically, boil it down into net takers and that contributors. host: gotcha. in new mexico on the independent line. the last call for this topic. we have two guests joining us, three guest total today.
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considering impeachment of the commissioner of the irs over how conservative groups retreated, we will hear from the attorney representing groups allegedly targeted by the irs, their attorney, cleta mitchell. and the former senator carl levin on his efforts to eliminate tax evasion. that and more after "washington journal," continues after this. ♪ >> congratulations to the class of 2016. today is your day of celebration, you have earned it. >> the voices crying for peace and light, because your choices will make all the difference to you, and to all of us.
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>> don't be afraid to take on cases for new jobs, or a new issue that really stretches your boundaries. ,> spend your summer abroad real ships rather than internships. and the specter of living in your parents basement after this graduation day is not likely to be your greatest concern. >> throughout this month, watch commitment -- commencement speeches to the class of 2016 in their entirety, from colleges and universities around the country by business leaders, politicians, and white house officials. on c-span. >> c-span.org is a video rich koppelman to your c-span viewing. most of our government related programs like the house, senate, and congressional hearings streamline on the site, so if you are away from your television, you can watch your desktop, laptop, even your smart phone or tablet, and the c-span
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archives all of its programs online in the c-span video library. if you miss an episode of "washington journal,", "booktv ," or any other program, you can find it online and watch your convenience. it contains more than 200,000 hours of c-span programs, and its powerful search engine helps you find and watch programs going back many years. to watch on your television, c-span publishes its on-air schedule for all three networks, and its radio station. just click on the schedule link. is a public service from your cable or satellite provider. if you are a c-span washer, check it out. it's on the web at c-span.org. >> "washington journal," continues. host: our first guest of the morning's cleta mitchell, an attorney rivers england groups targeted by the irs. good morning. give our viewers a sense of the stories if they've not been
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following along. this continues to be an issue, but given scope of what's going on as far as this issue is concerned. began targeting scandal in i think 2010, maybe even as early as 2009, where groups applying for taxes and status of the irs, if they had certain names or certain words in their name, tea party, patriots, if they had certain purposes, that purpose forluded a their implying for exempt status, those applications were quarantined for several years and subjected to unnecessary delays and burdensome questioning, all that has been established by investigations and starting with the report of the treasury inspector general for tax of administration, it was issued in may of 2013. since that time, we've had litigation against the irs and congressional investigation ensued immediately after the report in 2013.
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it's those congressional investigations and what happened in the aftermath of that that has led to the call for the impeachment of the irs commissioner john koskinen. host: you agree? guest: i do. it's important for the institution of congress to ensure that officials are come before them, who mislead or lie to congress and congressional committees in testimony, i think it's really important for congress to hold those people accountable. host: another hearing takes place on those issues this week. you talked about the series of investigations before him. why do you think we need another investigation? guest: this goes straight to the point of whether or not impeachment is a proper remedy. --fill in one little gap when the irs scandal broke publicly, and the report was issued in may of 2013, there was an acting irs commissioner, the
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irs commissioner had retire and resigned. that was stephen miller. lois lerner was the head of the exempt organizations unit. it was under her watch and stephen miller's watch and the prior irs commissioner that this all happened. there was an acting commissioner it was fired by the president, president obama may 15, 2013, and he appointed interim -- another acting irs commissioner. danny warfel, who was at the head of omb. in november 2013, a new commissioner was nominated and confirmed by congress, and took office in january 2014. and that individual is john koskinen. when he took office, just to give you a little bullet point of what the mps to resolution is premised upon -- when john
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koskinen, at the time he took office, he should never have been nominated and never confirmed. this is a time of the irs was under siege for its politicization of its review of exempt organization applications. john koskinen was a very active part -- partisan donor. he'd given almost $80,000 to democratic candidates, the president obama campaign, hillary clinton, in the 10 years preceding his becoming irs commissioner. it was a very bad idea to put him in that job in the first place. office,ime he took there was outstanding congressional subpoena for all of lois lerner's e-mail. it had been issued in august of 2013, so for five months later, no response. in february 2014, another subpoena was issued for all of her e-mails. now we are on john koskinen's watch. there was an outstanding subpoena when he took office, there was another subpoena in
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march of 2014, commissioner costin testified that he would turn over all of lois lerner's e-mails. in june of 2014, we learned in a letter that they buried, that some have been lost. it said it was all lost. turns out they have not all been lost. by the time investigated got to it, it had just been erased. that happened on does cost in and watch. -- on john koskinen's watch. host: and that makes him liable for impeachment. guest: i intended a thing taught by the late justice scalia. one thing he reminded the lawyers is that congress has two ways to ensure its role in the constellation of the constitutional separation of powers. one is the power of the purse, and the other is impeachment of any executive branch official. host: this impeachment proceeding with the irs commissioner is the topic of our conversation with cleta mitchell.
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an attorney representing those groups. if you want to ask her questions, here's how you can do so. democrats, call (202) 748-8000, republicans, call (202) 748-8001 . four independents, call (202) 748-8002. how did you become involved? guest: i'm a political lawyer. i do work in the area of campaign finance, election law, nonprofit law. -- ie come to me and say first question is tell me what it is you want to do, and then i help them create the legal structure that is appropriate for what they want to do. and all the compliance and regulatory obligations that are attended to whatever type of entity they have. over the years, i have represented hundreds of organizations applying for exempt status of the irs. 2010w by the early part of that something had changed.
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i had at least 10 to 12 clients over the course of the next two and filedhad prepared applications, just as i had for decades before, and nothing happened. and then they were subjected to all kinds of questions that we had never seen before. that's how i got involved in this. host: our first call comes from bill in elizabeth, new jersey. independent line, you are on with cleta mitchell. go ahead. caller: good morning, pedro. good morning, cleta mitchell. i am a lowly clerk at the irs, looking at your application for tax-free status. i go to your webpage to see the goals of your group, and one of the goals of your group is to abolish the irs. you can bet every dollar you have got i'm going to go after you and target you and try it and end your group. that's just the way it is. guest: it shouldn't be that way.
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i don't know anybody who said they want to get out of the irs, but if they did, that's the right. that's their first amendment right to do that. employee is not supposed to superimpose his beliefs or his judgment or his concern about his job over those of a citizen who has a first amendment right to express that opinion, to abolish the irs or to change the tax code. many of these groups did say they wanted lower taxes. they wanted to repeal the 16th amendment, perhaps that establishes the income tax. but that's our constitutional right of citizens. in a government employee works for us. it's not the government employees right or obligation, is not permissible for irs employee to say i don't like that group. i'm going to try and punish them. that is you point discrimination. host: he says your group, what is he talking about? guest: i think he's talking generically.
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if i am an irs agent and i'm looking at applications and your group says this, think he's just talking generically. cleveland, ohio. antonio, democrats line. hello. caller: how are you doing? host: fine, thank you. you are on. caller: this is a disgrace. never likedan party the irs. antonio, keep going. you are on the air. caller: the republican party never liked the irs. politicalst another ploy. it's not going to work. host: a political ploy, ms. mitchell. i think it's unfortunate. i don't know anyone who likes the irs. we have the irs, but what we want is the irs to be fair, and we want the irs to do its job of collecting taxes. these are organizations that pay
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taxes. one of the things that people really don't understand, when you talk about the taxes and organization -- all that means is that they don't pay taxes on the contributions they receive. myriad of other groups, they are not tax-deductible to the donor. they pay taxes on property taxes, sales taxes, payroll taxes. they just don't have to pay an income tax on money that comes in. now, is this a political ploy? well, sometimes we miss state philosophical difference for political. there was a scandal here and john koskinen testified multiple
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times to congress falsely. he falsely testified and he allowed, and presided over destruction of important evidence about the source of this scandal. that took place over the course of the year after he became the irs commissioner. and that is what the mps resolution is about. letterongress sent a when roger clemens, the new york yankees pitcher, testified -- when the democrats had control of congress, and testified against the use of steroids. letter to the justice department and said, you said -- you should prosecute him because he live. -- because he lied. situation where if we are to protect our
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constitutional framework, anyone --annot allow i have to raise my hand and swear an oath when i testify. but john koskinen has lied to congress. congress needs to do something doj underecause the this president is not going to do anything about it. host: wendell, republican line. caller: good morning. i wish people would like how dangerous it is for poppy irs to go after citizens for there political views. i realize people who get a welfare check might not be concerned about the irs. but the working people do. they are trying to stifle our opinion. next you know, you will have judges put on the bench, that are put there by corrupt politicians.
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that is all i got to say and good morning. guest: i couldn't agree more. this is an important issue. the scandal has been minimized. because it was targeting conservatives, and we have become in our society that it is acceptable to be dismissive of the big companies and washington . culturally, we have become the viewpoints of conservatives. i think that is pretty dangerous, particularly when it starts be implemented by government agencies. especially one as powerful as the irs. host: jerry writes about this saying, the fact that congress will spend time and resources trying to destroy him, just to score some -- callinghe resolution for impeachment was introduced in october 2015. a number of us had been trying to get the house to pick this
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up. i would love to have had it byught and dispensed with now, but the house leadership was in turmoil last fall. we had new leadership. now it has taken a little while. there are house members, republicans, who are reluctant to impose his remedy of impeachment. i talked with someone last week who were concerned that impeachment should only be reserved for the president. that is not what the constitution says. serious charge. it demands a serious attention. host: you could go the central route. guest: does anyone think that will have any impact? i don't. we are not talking about behavior that we find objectionable. we are talking about lying to congress. that is a felony. and if the justice department, which it is not, obama justice
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department is politically -- completely political. prosecute john , then congress must protect its own institutional integrity. attorney guest is law in washington d.c., testified before congress numerous times amongst other things. have you spoken to speaker ryan about this directly? guest: i have not. host: chattanooga, tennessee, greg, you are on with guest cleta mitchell. caller: cleta, you are my hero right now. you and that other lady, the other prosecutor name that was representing the girl that had the -- guest: catherine engelbert. caller: yes. all are my heroes.
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-- you all are my heroes. it is sad to see the brainwashed lips sitting there. to irs has assault weapons come and get people. do you not understand? we are all americans. the irs can come get us. guess what? they are getting you too. i cannot believe the illegal stuff going on in this country and the brainwashed masses don't even see it. arguing about who did this and who did that. host: thanks, greg. guest: this is very serious and i think the american people have a sense about these things. i do. american people have forgotten about the irs scandal. there are a lot of people like this gentleman, they know what has happened, they followed it, and they are concerned about who
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is being held accountable. so far, no one is being held accountable. line,check, democrat's you are on. caller: good morning. houseay not be your will ms. mitchell, that i would like you to explain to the public, why for the last several decades the republican party has decided to sue, even the president, or tried to impeach the president and now the irs commissioner, can you give me an idea why that is so? and these harsh words that are used against the democratic party. guest: the irs is not supposed to be considered a member of the democratic party, but unfortunately, he is. he is a major donor to the obama campaign, hillary clinton, democratic national convention, so we will start with that.
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he is a partisan democrat. you should not have had this job in the first place. the only impeachment i am aware of the impeachment proceedings against then-president bill clinton. and we know that president clinton lied to prosecutors and license he lost his law . he is no longer a practicing attorney under state law of arkansas because of his misconduct. the house impeached him in the senate did not convict him. that is a proper procedure established in the constitution. and to my knowledge, the next proceeding, talking about impeachment is the irs commissioner, john koskinen. i don't know if there was one impeachment of alfred hastings when he was convicted, then he to judge.d i am not aware of a rash of impeachment proceedings over the last 50 years. was on ourost in
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program -- john koskinen was on our program a few months ago. >> you came in at a tough time for the irs. both you and the gop wanted to reset relations. there were some problems with getting information to them. they said they wanted to impeach you. do you feel like you did anything wrong to upset the apple cart? hard to be as responsive as i can. i testified completely and truthfully on the basis of what i knew at the time. we have cooperated with the investigation and had six investigations going into the whole social welfare determination process. you're looking at this. the justice department spent 2.5 years looking at it. spent twoe committee years looking at it. no one thought there were grounds for any further activity.
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they had all the information they needed to come to closure. the ig in the justice department had found no one had done anything to interfere with the investigations going forward. the record is clear. we have gone out of our way to reach out to the hilt to respond quickly to all of their inquiries, whether by letter, phone, or adhering. very smooth a talker. i can just tell you, in that span of just a couple of minutes, i can take a number of easy said that were false. the finance committee report, there were two reports, a majority report which found there were substantial misconduct. there was a minority report, which found that everything was fine. issues that goes to the that are in the impeachment resolution, which is he lied to congress, failed to preserve evidence in an ongoing criminal investigation and an
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congressional investigation. that is a serious, serious offense. it is precluding us from getting to the real story so we can know what happened, and because of the way he handled this, because of the way his irs handled the management of the evidence in the information that was in their possession, it was destroyed. it was not destroyed for the first time he testified. time he testified, it was not destroyed. of hisonly because continuing statement saying, it has been destroyed and we have no way to recover it. i think every american should be concerned about that. here is ashton, new york, republican line. caller: all of these political they -- why are question wasn't there
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of being denied exempt status. many of my clients subjected to this targeting did not engage in any political activity. they engage in grassroots lobbying, as they are permitted to do 100%. they were targeted. groups that engage in zero political activity because they statusplying for 5013 be . they were targeted and never intended to participate. somehowargument that they shouldn't have been granted their exempt status is false. let me remind you, they want denied -- they were not denied. that would have been better. they were just held in limbo for years. remember, i have been doing this a long time. and for all of the time i have been doing this prior to 2010,
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a would take 3-4 weeks to get 501 c 4 letter. for certain groups in certain names with certain missions, it began to take three to four years. there are still some groups today that do not have their exempt status. it is important to understand what we are talking about here. host: what type of additional information was the irs looking for? guest: oh my goodness. he asked for every place -- one of the callers mentioned my kind -- mitch and my client catherine. had 102 questions with subparts asking, who is on your board? have members of your board ever run for office? do any intend to
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run for office? i have never heard that question before. where do you plan to speak in the next year? give us copies of all of your speeches. public officials speaking in any meetings, pleas give us a transcript. host: are you saying these questions have never been asked? guest: never, never. i have been doing this for decades. the questions you would get if there were follow-up questions had to do with what was in your applications. tell us about the qualifications of your board members to serve as a board member for your organization. your articles of incorporation do not match what you said in your application, please amid amendrticles -- please your articles. these questions went well beyond what is appropriate. that was one of the things the report said was groups were subjected to burden some
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information that was not necessary for the processing of the application. our: cleta mitchell is guest. this is franklin in new jersey, democrat's line. good morning. caller: good morning and thank you for taking my call. what i am getting ready to say is this -- how many other people, republicans, are going to try to impeach? that person there, i am going to have him impeached. with the obamas administration, there is something always going on. a long time ago, he was talking about impeaching president obama. that doesn't make any good sense. they have not learned their lesson. are they going after? guest: i think the person we should be talking about is the irs commissioner on cost and. he has -- irs commissioner john
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koskinen. there was a contempt citation that was a resolution of contempt that was passed about former attorney general eric toder, because he also lied congress and failed to turn over touments and records related the "fast and furious" investigation. district court has indicated that the house did in fact have a right to those documents and those have been turned over to the house, but years after they were first requested. so, this administration has a history of disregard and disrespect for congress. we have seen it in this and ministrations's approach issuing executive orders and guidance and directives that are well beyond their legal authority to do. in a wide variety of areas.
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so far as impeachment, there is only one impeachment resolution that i am aware of that has been introduced in the house of representatives, and that is, with respect to the irs commissioner, john koskinen, there are no others. if he is impeach, does he lose his job? guest: no, that will go to senate for trial. accusing somebody of misconduct or the violation of the law. then he goes to a trial. then the senate will pick it up in a trial format. guest: we don't know. they will probably block it. they are not 60 votes to bring it up. i don't know who require 60 votes, but under the rules, it may require that. host: how likely will this make it out of committee? guest: i don't know.
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this is a very serious step. contrary to what some of the callers may think, the republicans are trying to be very thoughtful about this. some members of the house republican congress thinks this is essential to preserve the integrity of the congress. there are other republicans, putting the speaker, who are reluctant to do this in a election year very net it will be political. really want that. there is a lot of very serious discussions going on, and i expect the feelings on both sides. congress is in a very weak institutional position when it does not protect the integrity and the reality that, when you come before congress and racial hand and square an oh, you better be telling the truth. raise your hand, you better be telling the truth. intended toaw was
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give exemptions for organizations that did charitable work -- caller: all of a sudden, we are getting into politics. i don't want to be paying fees on my taxes for political speech. and you are talking about people who have taken a sworn oath in front of congress. i remember when the cigarette congress,tood up in all seven men, raised their hand, and said, the cigarette industry does not cause cancer. don't tell me about evil lying in front of congress. it talks -- it happens all the time. and you are doing it too. you are representing a company that doesn't pay their taxes. placecal speak, it has no where i have to give you a free ride. thank you. guest: i think you are confusing
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the different parts of exempt organization. a 50 one is not allowed to -- acipate in political 501 is not allowed to participate in politics. get away with it. charitable organization is a 501c 3. 501c4. pro-choice, antiabortion, right 501c4e, they are all organizations. are allowed to engage in some political activity because that is a part of the social where fair to engage citizens in
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political activity. -- wall streetns journal did a study and found the unions over 2006 and 2011 had spent over $9 billion in political activity that they did not necessarily report. but they are allowed to engage in political activity in support of their mission, collective bargaining, and promoting union growth and expansion in representation. associations, business leaks, they are allowed in some political activity. but they can't make it a majority of what they are involved in and they pay taxes on their political expenditures. that is what berry few people realize. i think it is important for these -- i think it is important for these organizations to associate with others who share our views.
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those organizations are allowed to engage in some political activity. and they do pay taxes. on thest don't pay taxes income they receive from contributions. host: ohio republican line, catherine is up next. catherine, good morning. caller: good morning. how are you? host: fine. go ahead, please. caller: thank you so much for c-span. i find it interesting on what she has to say. congresson is why when want to impeach a person who lied to them? why they arestand not wanting to do their job, i guess. guest: why would congress not want to impeach john koskinen? i frankly questioned oh why they
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would not want to do it. but i -- i frankly question why they would not want to do it. said, the media does not attack when a democratic congress and congressional committee refers roger clemens, the yankees pitcher to the justice department for prosecution. everyone said, he lied and it is ok and he ought to be prosecuted. that has not happened with this administration. you don't have a situation where obama and the administration will hold people accountable to line to congress. to decide if they're going to exercise their own constitutional hours to ensure people who do that are punished. a good example for others and executive branch, i don't care who is in the white house. members of the executive branch to come before congress need to tell the truth.
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host: democrats line. caller: good morning. since we don't live in slavery anymore, can you give me a good reason why we have to pay income tax? guest: that is a very good question. i think the 16th amendment should be repealed. i don't think there is any way to save the irs. it is become too powerful and to oppressive. it has created a slave environment where we feel as though the irs is our master. that is a terrible situation in our country. the would be for revealing 16th amendment and starting over with a new tax code. guest: such as? -- host: such as? guest: a fair tax or a sales tax. tax like they have in your. i am happy to try to consider
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and be educated about another tax expert instead of this one area of nonprofit law. but i don't like the idea of trying to impose a fair tax or value added tax will be still have the 16th amendment. host: despite the tax system, you believe there is no intermediary needed as far as the irs or tax collection agent? guest: you will have to probably have some tax collecting agency. but too much authority and power has been invested in the irs. i think people are afraid of the irs. and i think that is a pretty sad state of affairs when the citizens are fearful of a government agency. there is a lot of data to support that the american people are afraid of the irs. and i think with good reason. host: what is the top reason than? afraidbecause they are that the irs, for instance, with an audit, they have targeted onple for audit based
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looking at campaign contribution reports. basedave targeted people on their political beliefs. audits,s been a rash of stores, businesses that are engaged in selling firearms. so what we are seeing is a political mission carried out through the irs, and i think everyone should be afraid of that. the irs has the power to destroy people and to throw people in jail, and a half and they do and that is frightening. the irs can simply take your property. it is unconstitutional, but they had been doing it. all of those things are things congress needs to pay attention to. -- : this isal from ours is al
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independent line. yourr: i appreciate comments. the irs has too much power already. forfeiture, i do not believe it is constitutional at all. guest: i agree. caller: i would like to ask the -- she has been a political lawyer for decades now. would she consider a lawsuit against the previous administration? informing the war? and the torture programs that they instituted against our treaties that we have signed against our constitution? and against the morals of our nation? thank you. guest: that is not my area. [laughter]
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there has been a lot of tortureon about alleged and guantanamo, that is just not my area. , ohio,cincinnati republican line. good morning. caller: to the caller, i just wanted to address her. very concerned about lying to congress and so forth. i know she is aware that we had a war that was based on a lie under george bush. years withnt by four weapons of mass destruction -- and that went by for years with weapons of mass distraction. we have to be honest and address a lot of things. you sit here and say that the irs is not trustworthy. thing andocus on one then save the are going to impeach. host: we are focusing on the irs today. what would you like to ask her
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about that? caller: i would like her to treat all lies the same. don't just focus on the irs. they lied about the war. you got a guy running for presidency right now who won't show his taxes, so, come on. let's be fair. host: any response? guest: look, i don't think people should be allowed to lie in congress or in court. we have laws against that. our system of justice, our of the constitutional balance of power between the executive branch and the legislative and the judicial, is all a stone truth telling. last thursday, a federal judge in texas sanctioned the department of justice attorneys in the immigration case that was filed by several state attorneys challenging the obama administration's executive order on immigration, and the judge
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sanctioned the attorneys for lying in court. who like tole congress, i don't care if it is a republican or democrat, they should be held accountable. people have to tell the truth in court. it is a federal offense. if i live as a citizen. to end irs agent, that is a felony. the same should be true if the irs commissioner lies to me. these are not criminal sanctions being fought. i think they could be. this is not. this is a constitutional sanction being sought. our entire system of justice in our constitutional framework is based on truth telling. we let that go by the wayside. think of many colors who have said, everybody likes to congress. everybody lies. host: will john koskinen be at
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this hearing? guest: my understanding is that there are two panels. he is on the second panel. host: as far as what will be presented, what exactly goes on in these type of hearings? what is the process you go -- what is the process? guest: my understanding is to examine certain law professors and others on the first panel, who are constitutional scholars, about the whole process of impeachment. purpose, andrigin, is applicable here? there is a complete report that has been compiled over several years from the investigations that have been done by the other house committees about irs commissioner john koskinen. my understanding is that he will be testifying in the second panel.
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i think all of that evidentiary records have already been provided. now it is a question of the judiciary committee deciding whether to rely on that record, undertake its own investigation, or to determine if impeachment is a remedy. host: let's hear from joe, last caller. caller: yes. i realize we are talking about the irs. so i will keep my comment to that. it has been a corrupt organization since the 1920's. someone to time for do something about it. we fought the british because of taxation in the representation. guest: i couldn't agree more. host: have the groups you represent had their issues resolved? clients have received their taxes and status. but the delays really destroyed
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several of them. there inability to present to donors their letters of determination. they did not get them for three years, four years. only after the report was issued. then only after another year went by, additional layers of take aning, so it did toll of all of them in terms of their fundraising and their sense of being legitimate in the eyes of perspective donors. it cost them money. it cost them time. it cost them legitimacy. in some cases, they just folded, which is unfortunate. host: cleta mitchell, attorney representing these groups and talking about calls for impeachment for irs commissioner john koskinen. coming up, carl levin will talk about his efforts to eliminate tax havens and other means to hide assets in the u.s. we will have that conversation that. later, in your money segment,
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the amount of u.s. debt held by foreign nations. "washington journal" continues after this. ♪ >> madam secretary. 72 delegateive votes to the next president of united states. [applause]
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[chanting] >> tonight on the communicators, we broadcast from the conference in boston known as the television expo, sponsored by the national cable and telecommunications association. interviewed tom wheeler about the cable industry, set-top boxes come in net neutrality. >> if you look at things, you see the evolution of the nature of television, the explosion of video alternatives. of see increased talk smaller bundles and how that changes the relationship with the consumer.
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you see alternative pathways to the consumer. over devices. and that, we have the potential ever entering the best era for consumers and for those who deliver. >> watch the "communicators" tonight on c-span two. >> "washington journal" continues. host: joining us is former u.s. senator carl levin representing michigan from 1979 to 2015. now he is with wayne center university. good morning. guest: good morning. host: what have you been doing since congress? guest: at wayne state law school, i helped to teach a tax course. the tax professor there, a wonderful guy, alan shank,
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talked about what the tax code is supposed to provide. subcommittee hearings to show how a lot of people even eight and avoid paying taxes and were using gimmicks. and to teach students to show how broken our tax system is. and how it has taken advantage of some of the wealthiest individuals among us and some of the most profitable corporations among us. host: how do they do that? guest: there are a lot of loopholes. one of the corporation, apple, shifts its intellectual property to itself offshore and avoid paying taxes on almost all of it. , for corporations instance, hedge funds, use a gimmick in a loophole in the law called. interest, which allows the big
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ays at the hedge funds to pay lower tax rate than people who work for them. it is a loophole in the law. we showed literally tens of thousands of americans were hiding their income and their .ssets overseas illegally a lot of them in swiss banks. we went after a lot of swiss banks aiding and abetting american taxpayers to avoid paying taxes. after we showed that, the irs your back on in, pay taxes, we believe you amnesty, but we will argue interest. over 55,000 americans who had hidden bank accounts came in. we collected about $6 billion. there are a lot of gimmicks used to avoid paying taxes. but tax havens, the cayman islands for instance, have been soaking up huge amounts of our money that really is needed in america for the things we need
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to do, whether it is infrastructure, education, reducing our deficits, defense, you name it. host: you mention the cayman islands. why is that location make it easy for this kind of thing to go on? folks they have a lot of making money. a lot of attorneys, accountants, nominal trustees who form corporations and trust to help people hide their money. , likerporations also form apple or others, form corporations that they own in tax havens, not just in the cayman islands. there are 30, 40 famous ones. ,here is a building down there which i think has 10,000 mailboxes. host: when it comes to this process, is it illegal? guest: in some cases, it is illegal. there was a recent conviction of
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brothers that hid their assets. technically, these corporations are arguing that they are not illegal. they are avoiding taxes, but nonetheless, most americans realize what is going on here. by using loopholes, if they are technically legal, we are losing a huge amount of revenue. there are over $2 trillion of money sittingrate overseas and corporations. these are the most profitable corporations we have in this country. lower the tax rate, you bring it back. well they should be able to set their own tax rate, but that is what is happening. how do they reduce the tax rate down to 5%. then we will bring it back and pay taxes. meanwhile, taxes are not paid by that money in congress cannot act. we have to go after the tax havens. it is a huge issue. it is a bipartisan issue. the polls have been taking of
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democrats and republicans in independents showing all three groups want to close these tax havens, close the tax loopholes that should be closed. i called -- i call them on justify tax loops. -- i call them unjustified tax loopholes. it performs useful economic purpose. but there is no economic purpose served when apple transfers its intellectual property, the jewels of the apple crown, to itself. there is no economic purpose there. they are not producing in attacks even anything. they are not selling. he are not designing or creating anything in the tax havens and most of that was done in the united states. levinformer senator carl joining us to talk about tax havens. also his work in congress and what he is doing now. if you want to asking questions, 202-748-8000 for democrats.
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202-748-8001 for republicans. and for independents, 202-748-8002. first caller is bruce for senator call 11. go ahead, bruce. caller: how long have you been in congress, serve? guest: 36 years in congress and the senate. caller: it always amazes me when people complain about tax loopholes in the way tax laws are written. who wrote the tax laws? were you part of voting or accepting them, and then all of a sudden coming to go on the attack. guest: not all of a sudden. i heard hearings over a decade. it showed the damage that was done by these tax loopholes. we have had impact on a number of bills that were able to get past. we have closed a few. i did not vote for all the tax laws. some and begin some.
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it is lopsided. there are too few people on the corporate side, but on the individual side. it is a lot of pressure on congress. some people cave into it. some people don't cave into it. it is a major issue and will be a part of the presidential campaign. it will be a debate among candidates and people running for office about closing down these tax havens. so the answer is, i sure went after them when i was in the congress. and i had a little success. but there is a long way to go. host: here is stephen in connecticut, independent line. go ahead. caller: thanks for taking my call. problem,e a permanent ,hese corporations, like ge these hedge funds, pfizer just running. it is just destroying the middle class.
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i don't see how hillary clinton or a donald trump can fix it if these lawyers are so powerful. we have an apple tax law with the have to pay? we have to do this not just for apple, but for other corporations using tax havens. elections have consequences. a presidential election, or an election in a senator in your state, people need to raise these issues. by the way, people are angry about these issues. all of the public opinion polls show the behaviors -- the taxes -- the tax issues are so complex and has provisions are so complex, it is almost impossible for the average person to deal with it. so, the average person has got to try to focus as much as they possibly can on what they do know. carried interest provision where hedge funds operators can have a
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lower tax rate -- a lot of people know about it. raise it with your candidates. a fix, is itas going after specific loopholes, or a total rewrite of the tax code needed in order to make the best of it? how does it work? guest: a lot of people say you have to rewrite the tax code. that is a dodge as far as i am concerned. sure, you have to reform the tax code. it will probably not happen. are our two very complex alternatives. complex are two very alternatives. curable contributions. i don't think there are many willing to give up taxes for charitable contributions. i don't support the oil and .rass -- gas deduction but it serves and economic
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purpose. i am a green guy. i would rather not look for more fossil fuel, but it serves and economic purpose. but the tax havens and transfers by corporations for themselves in tax havens of their own intellectual property, serve no economic purpose. the economic purpose was served when those patents, royalties, and designs are created in the united states. or when something is manufactured, wherever it is manufactured. or when something is sold. those are economic purposes. but to allow corporations to shift to their own corporation, shell corporation in these tax havens, and their intellectual property, is pure tax avoidance. host: let's hear from fred in maryland, republican line. you are next. caller: hello, senator. thank you for your service.
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i was thinking that the average corporate tax rate in england is 70%. -- in england 17%. in ireland, 12%. wouldn't it be great to reduce the tax rate to be more competitive and get rid of the loopholes? guest: that is one argument that is being made. effective tax rate is likely 12%. after take the deductions and credits and so forth, the so-called real tax rate or effective tax rate is more like the percent. isre is no way you can -- like 12%. , it is a profitable organization that pays no taxes. why? his mr. zuckerberg sold stock option several years ago, made a whole lot of money, which is fine, he deserves to make a whole lot of money.
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but the corporation got a tax cut equal to the taxes that mr. zuckerberg have to pay on a stock options. that is a loophole that should end. as a result of that, you have a corporation, facebook, that is going to pay no taxes for the next three or four years because that tax cut they got to that tax benefit from the sale of those options in the caching in of those options is carried forward. as a matter of fact, that company got a check from the treasury i believe of $50 million that year that he stopped -- that he cashed in his stock options. aboutwhat do you think the release of the information of the panama papers? guest: it dramatized what is going on in that tax haven. you have a law firm that wrote hundreds and thousands of deals creating corporations that serve
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no function. directors,oards of and used by people all around the world. this is a global problem. that is what the world bank is looking at. that is where i will be speaking at about the use of tax havens. it is not just a problem for american treasuries that loses a lot of money. it is a problem around the world. it is a result -- corporations in this country, that used to oftribute perhaps 20%, 30% our total and take of taxes now contribute about 10% of our total revenue that comes in to the u.s. treasury. you know, we have needs in this country. we have needs for infrastructure. huge job creating functions like infrastructure. we have needs of education and
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additional defense spending in this country. we have deficits that are not sustainable healthily at the current levels. we ought to be doing deficit reduction. you cannot have highly profitable organizations avoiding paying taxes and still have those kind of needs. it seems to me there are two solutions -- one is tax reform. i have a few disagreement on that because there are so many different ways and so many different ideas of who should pay more, and who should pay less. and these are these unjustified tax loopholes that ought to be closed whether you can get to test reform or not. host: the release of those papers prompted the obama administration announcing new changes to the department. i want to get your thoughts. number one, we are requiring banks and other financial institutions to know, verifying,
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and report who the real people are behind shell corporations that set up accounts at those institutions. one of the main ways that companies avoid taxes for wealthy individuals, is by setting up shell corporations and make it harder to trace where moneys are flowing and what taxes are owed. we are saying to those institutions, you have to get that information. second, we are plugging a gap in our tax rules that foreigners can't evade taxes. the treasury department and irs are issuing a proposal to make sure foreigners cannot hide the hind anonymous shell organizations. these actions are going to make a difference. they will allow us to continue to do a better job of tracking financial flows and making sure that people are paying the taxes that they oh rather than using offshore accounts to avoid doing
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the things that hard-working americans are doing every day, and that is making sure they are paying their fair share. about thosethinking proposals -- what do you think about those proposals? guest: the president is right on target. one should be written a way that would be more effective. there have been bills introduced to do just that. but, it is a very important initiative the president is taking. he supported this legislation when he was in the senate. problems that we have in america is that we are totally inconsistent. we insist that corporations use thebanks, they disclosed real beneficial owners of those corporations. but we do not require corporations formed in america to disclose who the real owners are. of stateecretaries
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around the country say they oppose it. but the people who really favor the disclosure of the real owners, so you cannot have hidden money, whether it is used avoiders, you tax cannot allow in america, corporations to be formed without indicating who are the real beneficial owners. who really controls those corporations? host: and that is because of current law? ofst: and that is because current law. a set from the corporations. we have stayed said from thousands of corporations are year. host: one of the most common faith? nevada.elaware, it is no big deal to say, is the real owner? who controls it? who gets the benefits? you just can't use phony onstees and lawyers who are
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the board of directors. corporations were formed for an important purpose. to provideormed limited liability. liability of the the assets given. they had been very useful. but, it is not the purpose of a corporation to hide who the owners are. the are being used that way and america is totally inconsistent. we are hypocritical. there are bills i have introduced that are pending in the senate and house. law enforcement, up and down. useral law enforcement one require that when you form a corporation, you have a -- you have one line, who are the real beneficiary owners? host: our guest is senator carl levin, currently at wayne state university. senator from i can 79 to 2015.
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-- senator from 1979 to 2015. michael from georgia. you are on with our guest. caller: how are you, senator? good to see you. this is my question. i work for the irs. on, republican, for and hour. she stated all of these lies. we know that my livelihood would be in jeopardy if i take any types of action. and the democrats are talking about tax evasion when the republicans nominated a tax evade or. that is total hypocrisy. guest: the pressure is going to grow on him. the whole issue of tax avoidance is a big issue. .t will be in the campaign
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mr. trump will be under tremendous pressure to put his his disclosure, where his mouth is. before he said he would do it, he would not do it, then he would do it. the previous speaker who talked about it, i did not hear her. that i dorstand understand she is suing people who represent the irs, which are supposed to be social welfare organizations. this is true of both parties, by the way. there are organizations representing both parties that use a provision in the tax code, which is aimed at allowing people to contribute for social welfare corporations, but a lot of those entities and corporations, a lot of those have's misuse the right under the tax code. but the important thing here is that there are folks that say
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they only when after the concert organizations. a matter of fact, that is not true. they messed up. the irs messed up by not insisting that these entities used the contributions that they get for social welfare purposes. that was true both by conservative organizations and by liberal organizations. the irs did not adequately, as far as i'm concerned, enforce the law. it was even the inspector general that said they did not pick on conservative organizations. you never hear that. that is a direct quote. the inspector general of the irs, there was not the picking on just conservative organizations. they had the same problem with progressive, liberal, democrat organizations as they did with conservative organizations. but, there were many more entities of this kind that had this kind of funding.
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so it appeared as though they were going after conservative instead of democratic. that is not accurate. they treated them the same way. and in my judgment, improperly. host: from michigan. mike is next, republican line. is, are youuestion going to go after al sharpton? we talk about donald trump and his problems. i was wondering if we could discuss al sharpton in his problems with the irs. whoever is not obeying by the law and running for office and being open and honest about their own tax returns ought to be treated the same way. ,f al sharpton runs for office he ought to disclose his tax returns just like everyone who has run for president in recent years has disclose their tax returns. including hillary clinton, by the way, disclosed for the last 20 years. trump -- later, mr.
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the demand for mr. trump will be such that he will have to do what every other candidate does. i don't know what the al sharpton situation is, but if he runs for president, he must disclose his tax returns. tot: how difficult is it establish a shell corporation? guest: a couple of hundred dollars. host: is that it? guest: i don't know what the current cost is. but for tax, you can do it for a couple of hundred dollars. cost a little more if you are going to delaware or other a big businesse out of just forming corporations. i don't know how many millions corporations -- of corporations that were opened last year in the united states. not just in delaware, by the way. got to have revenue if you are going to have a community. you got to pay for your schools and education and roads. the bridges in this country are
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in terrible shape. we need infrastructure. you got to pay for it. you can't just borrow from the future. and there are folks out there you should be paying taxes that aren't. either legally or illegally. but should be paying taxes and are not paying taxes. then by god, you got a close the loopholes and collect. host: here is bill from new jersey, independent line. caller: good morning. when i listen to people like this gentleman talk and they listen to the politics. the problem that we have is a lack of common sense and a lack of honesty and washington d.c. everyone makes everything out to be a tremendous problem. not everything is that complex. they can be resolved very simply with common sense.
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example, wage at the minimum wage. the corporate tax in this country is way too high. if you lower the corporate tax and raise the minimum wage toerally, you would be able let the employers pay these people. payou let these companies minimum wage, -- there would be more money paid into the system by raising the minimum wage. i have to agree with you on the minimum wage. it is been a long time and is way overdue. in terms of reducing the taxes, you have to figure out where the lost revenue comes from.
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folks wholect from should be paying taxes but , you may be able to pay or some things caller: it is fishing for year in politics. here, i had a couple of comments. the audience mention the that's a big anomaly and it causes a lot of issues.
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you can't squeeze blood from the sun. you keep trying to hype up the need for revenues. you can stop some the spending. what was the interest? guest: it was to give people who run hedge funds a big tax break. the republican say they want to and carried interest. it was just put in there as a break for hedge fund guys. it can't be justified. it ought to be ended.
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i guess the big argument there is republican say they want to end it say they want to wait for tax reform. point is if he's loopholes and there are many of them that can't be justified, why wait? it's like waiting for good dough. godot. tobecomes an opportunity expose them. use the revenue for a good purpose. but he believed in reducing deficits or building infrastructure or repairing bridges or education. use it for a good purpose now. in stern's of the territorial approach, there is an argument for that approach. inre is such a difference
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views as to what you would substitute the current system with. one is for territorial systems. i think it would be a more regressive tax that it is now. i think we would lose revenue. importantly, if you can transfer your intellectual haven, ifo make tax apple transfers hundreds of billions of dollars, ireland has a 1% tax. are all those revenues which came from what apple did brilliantly in the united states in designing all these products and they are sold around the world and are shifted to ireland, that would be lost to this territory because it's been shifted.
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it's a tax haven where there is a 1% tax. that's one of the problems with the territorial system. it doesn't deal with the kind of shifting of intellectual property to a different territory to reduce the taxes. host: michigan it, hello. caller: it's a pleasure to see you still working. independent, but when the democrats ran our state, things were much better. my question to you is if you had loophole orwhat what miscarriage justice is being perpetrated by this, which would you go after? be to go afterld the carried interest. a lot of people don't know that a corporate ceo gets $2 million
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insalary, but $20 million stock rakes. all of that money is taxed at a much different rate. somehow we have to simplify the explanations to people so they can understand this. it was a pleasure talking to you sir. continued good health to you and your family. loophole i would close first be the carried interest loophole. there is broad support even among republicans to do it. for taxses to save it reform. there is no justification to keep something and the argument to wait is just a defense of the status quo. loophole, i kind of would say the most important thing we could do would be to end the tax breaks.
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inn kennedy came into office 1961 and one of his first speeches to congress said we need to end the use of tax havens. he described them. they suck up the money that belongs to our treasury and is shipped to tax havens. he succeeded in getting congress in 1962 to pass a law. to many people are going look that up. congress to pass a law in 1962. it worked for about 30 years. it gradually got undermined by a number of things, including something inadvertently done the irs and consciously done by congress. restore it.
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that will help eliminate the use of tax havens. i agree with you in terms of domestic loopholes. i would go after carried interest first. it has broad bipartisan support to eliminated. host: this is detroit, michigan. caller: i have supported you over the years. i am from detroit. i know you are concerned about income inequality. tend to agreeists with ernie that this is a major problem. more whent resonating makes nine times as much as the bottom 90%. the top 1/10 of 1% make so much money.
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this is been going on for years and years with basic incomes. it's like 1979 for the bottom 90% during it hasn't improved. there is not more alarm about that? why are we not taking this more seriously? it seems a lot of it could be resolved with progressive tax rates. why doesn't this seem to resonate with the public? i think income inequality is a huge issue that is resonating in the middle class. it's having a real impact in the campaign and will continue. this is going to be a huge issue in the final campaign. the middle class is getting squeezed in this country. because ofreasons is
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the loopholes in the tax system that have allowed the wealthiest to do better and the most profitable corporations to do very well through the use of these loopholes. they get translated into income inequality. i agree with you with your view. i think the middle class has felt the pain and the anger. it is being expressed. it is. by berniethe campaign sanders and hillary clinton. greatve talked about a deal. this tax system of ours with these unjustified tax loopholes is part of the income inequality growth that we see in this country. mr. trump says he is going to do something in the middle class
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tax squeeze. we have yet to see what he will do. varied andnts are so go back and forth. he has said that he favors raising the tax rate on the wealthiest among us. he reversed himself the next day. i don't know where he is going to end on that key issue of whether the upper 1% should have a tax increase. that is what hillary clinton favors. ther. trump favors that at end of the day will depend on what our of the day it is he is talking. host: where you surprised your home state went for bernie sanders? guest: it was always going to be close. there is a lot of pain over the trade issues. there been some trade deals that were not effective in terms of jobs in america. that resonated particularly.
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he touched on and focused on things that tattered very much in my home state. where hillary clinton is. i think he performed a useful function and still is in highlighting some of the issues that i think most americans feel keenly about. closer toon is who is responding to those issues of income inequality? the other issue is who will be closer to that? there's no doubt in mind that hillary clinton is closer to where i have been on those issues and where most of the american people are. host: we have keith up next. caller: good morning. thank you for your service to your country.
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one of the most bizarre things i think that is going on is on the federal level. peopleians are saying are not paying their fair share. locally, democrats are willing to throw money to create jobs are still them from other states. , between the state, county, and city, they gave $300 million to incentives. years, theyf the 10 are going to move somewhere else. they promise to create jobs and only created 330. we are given the millions to come here. on the federal level you are saying they are not paying our fair share.
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local dollars are paying for them. we will let the senator respond. onst: my focus is not businesses but on those highly profitable businesses and i use apple as an example. they have avoided paying taxes by shifting their intellectual property. that is a small percentage of companies that have use these tax havens to avoid paying taxes. point andy difficult problem for local governments. you want to create jobs. you want to attract industry. the use of tax incentives to do it means you are using resources to do it. mostnk most states and
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localities in one way or another are using tax incentives. holiday of giving a some kind on personal property tax. i know how tempting it is to do that. i come from a city that has had a huge unemployment. you've got to try to find ways to bring jobs. giving tax breaks to do that is great. i can't fault officials to do that. they make bad deals and then the companies leave without having to repay those taxes. that's the kind of deal they should avoid if they can. i also understand your point. host: this is been. caller: it's a pleasure. about all the hearings.
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iwatch the hearings. was there any punishment on wall street? there has been some significant fines that have been paid by some of the banks. i don't think goldman has paid a fine. i may be wrong. i don't think they've paid a fine for any of the securities they sold that were bad securities. goldman knew it. what's the one thing you would advise congress to change? f.st: the store subpart we still have a law. it supposed to prevent the use of tax havens. it's been undermined.
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kennedy got it done in 1961. the irs interpreted something away. theas misused to undermine purpose of that subpart f. lawcongress passed the which undermined it further. we are restore that. we can end the use of tax havens. we've got to have beneficial owners of our corporations listed on the incorporation documents. there is no justification for hiding the names of the real orders of corporations. when we allowed that to happen, we need to and the hidden ownership. when it continues, we are playing into the hands of people who want to hide their assets in corporations from the irs or
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from law enforcement. can hide the real ownership corporations. it can be misused by people who are terrorists or drug kingpins. you name it. it can be used for the various purposes. disclose who is behind it that's the other main thing i would do. there are bills pending in congress. i think the administration supports both that would do both of those things. thank you for your time. up next is our your money segment. leave a look at the amount of debt held by foreign countries. the numbers go in the trillion. toliam klein is up next explain when washington journal continues.
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>> our campaign bus continues to travel throughout the country to recognize winners from the student camp competition. the bus stopped in massachusetts to visit winning students. all the students in first or eighth grade attended a ceremony to honor seventh graders for their honorable mention video. at a middle a stop school in blood flow to award a winning video. his video.tt one for
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the two were ottoman further classmates, family members, and elected officials. a special thanks to our cable partners for helping to coordinate this. winningview all the documentaries. tonight, we broadcast from the int x conference in boston. cable andored by the television association. we interview tom wheeler about the cable industry. things, youok at see the evolution of the nature of television and the explosion of video alternatives and see smallerd talk about bundles and how that changes the
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relationship with consumers. you see alternative pathways to the consumer over different devices. potential to be best era ever for consumers, programmers, the communicators on c-span2. "washington journal" continues. host: we will take week at the amount of u.s. debt held by foreign countries. ine is here to help us. we are talking about treasury. can you talk about why the foreign countries would be interested in purchasing that that? they need foreign exchange reserves in case they
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have a crisis like korea had in 1998 and everybody was to take their money out. iny need to have safe assets dollars and that's the treasury bonds. government hases made it point since alexander hamilton that it will not default on its debt. host: if the bonds for certificates come on the market, that's how it works? guest: its market purchases. there was a release from the treasury department. holders, china tops the list. that's followed by japan. it's $6 trillion in debt held by those countries. guest: the debt of the government is $10 trillion. 60% of that is held by
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foreigners. by foreign is held officials. central banks are holding reserves. $1.3 trillion. japan holds $1.2 trillion. saudi arabia holds $120 billion. these, the cayman islands are locations where they are holding for other parties rather than themselves. as the amount, is at a concerned that other countries have that much that? even among the central bankers? is our foreign liabilities exceed our foreign assets. world $28 rest of the
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trillion. the assets we have a broad are only $21 trillion. a net income on our capital because we earn so much high rates of return on our direct investment. foreigners are mainly holding very low return. debte not in the foreign problem. we have foreign assets positions. thesein that sense, countries are not necessarily doing it to make again office. it's more for security purposes. fort: these are being held security. that's right. our guest is from the peterson institute. we are talking about foreign debt.
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if you want to ask questions, the lines are open. this is been going on for quite a while? has gothe united states a current account deficit for a very long time. it got up to its maximum level of 6% of gdp in 2006. the remarkable irony of it is we make enough money on our direct investment to offset this different position. whether weterms of thisulnerable, a lot of
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has longer-term structure and countries have their own interest in holding it. they're not going to decide they want to massively move it elsewhere. host: for some reason a country wanted to collect? it would be very difficult for everybody to suddenly try to get rid of their dollars. up thed involve bidding euro and the yen. none of those countries practically want to have a sudden surge in currency against the dollar. instability,dden there could be arrangements between central banks. the federal reserve could borrow for exchange from the ecb or the bank of japan.
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host: the first call comes from florida. this is. i am not at all concerned about the federal debt. the petersoned institute. at the end of the day, they want to cut medicaid and medicare. what i am very in favor of his raising wages. if you raise wages in this wage, you a living will cut the federal that because you won't need money for food stamps or low income housing. i'm going to stop you right there. that thewould observe peterson institute is not the
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pearson foundation which i think the caller has in mind. i do think we have to keep an i on our long-term debt situation. that is aide to do matter of reality and political choice. off on that to get since it is a slightly different subject. caller: i want to know the difference between the $20 trillion we oh and the $6 trillion to foreign countries. extra $14 the trillion go? guest: the biggest difference , the u.s.e debt clock is close to the size
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of gdp. of that, government entities of it held bys the public is only $10 trillion. how do you get from that? that's the main difference. it's held by the social security system. let's hear from dan in oregon. caller: i've asked this question before. taxes onw much i/o in my home. i know what it's worth. we know what we oh, how much is the united states worth?
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that's an interesting question. as i say, if we are looking at it's notd liabilities, that. it's $28 trillion abroad. a martiane price would pay to purchase the united states? i guess you would take gdp, which is $20 trillion. what comes after trillion? it's a large number. because of the situation, are we beholden to these countries? how does this influence our relationships with them? guest: i don't think we are
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beholden to china because of $1.2 trillion. it would be a good assignment on a graduate international relations exam to try to play through what would happen if we had a squabble with china on the china threatened to withdraw. japant think china or would find it in their own interest to threaten. they could not do it without causing a lot of damage. at the end of the day, i don't think it's a question of great longer ability to foreign countries because they are holding these assets.
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the united states doesn't own a lot of foreign reserves. we haven't really needed it. people accept the dollar. silver is going to be holding. about 20% in euros, they will spread the rest of it in six francs. because countries, it's they have a currency and a financial crisis in they would need to draw down. they would need to hold down there currency from collapsing.
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guest: good morning. caller: i would like to ask two questions. you were talking about $10 trillion. we are paying interest on all of this debt. having soomething to much debt outstanding. where is the other $9 trillion? that's one question. you said foreign direct investment when you were talking about $28 trillion. is it our foreign direct investment done by individual companies and not our government? the foreign direct
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investment is private. that's what i was talking about with the $28 trillion. that is government and the private sector. yes, i think the interest rate right now is very low. reasons for owing debt abroad is as the interest rate goes back up, the government has to take more and toe tax money and devoted paying the interest on the debt that's outstanding rather than doing other things. one more thing, the 19 versus 10, that's the debt held in the public which is the $10 trillion.
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of other was the amount government debt held by official sectors abroad. that's $6 trillion abroad. good morning. presidential candidates say the that is going to kill us. you mentioned at the beginning of the show that the amount of interest to gain from foreign's is the same almost as the one we pay. it's almost a wash? that really in issue? run that by again. i was talking about the relationship of the u.s. debt to foreigners. that's a different story. we could still have a public
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debt problem of even if we had no foreign debt. deficits, wee would wind up with high inflation. i was point out that ironically , the component of that that is represented by it'st investment, basically a wash. that's a separate question from the sustainability. the sustainability of debt is whether the public debt ratio is constantly riding up.
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the government can't honor its debt. we've seen some debt collapses. we don't want to be one of those. the key is the annual behavior of the debt does not get out of control with the growth of the economy. it's going to be on the order of 2.5%. maybe 5%. rise toic debt could that level. that, ites faster than starts to get out of control. they are two separate questions. host: our guest is from the peterson institute. he is a senior fellow there.
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he is one of the economists for the institute of international finance. one of the figures that came out is the amount held by saudi arabia. i you think this was important? as you know, this was tied up with the question about passing a change in sovereign act basicallyties says you can't sue a foreign sovereign government. this is the september 11 bill being debated in congress. guest: a saudi arabia official said in the past we would have billion of our assets out of the united states.
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issue in question. in thinking about that particular question, i do find it interesting to compare. the government holdings are only $220 billion. entire 700 take the forget direct investment. the total is $21 trillion. $700 saudi's took away billion, that would be 3% of the total relevant assets in question.
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a lot of that would be 10 year papers. it could not be done instantaneously. that, itere to do would cause some ripples. the dollar is overvalued right now by about 7%. for anuld be like intervention to bring down the value of the dollar. is to fundamental questions. i -- an allyia and or an enemy? to pass a great time law specifically aimed at
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injuring saudi arabia. the question of ongoing influence of sovereign community. we can pass a law that says they have sovereign immunity. what if we don't have sovereign immunity in pakistan if one of our drones causes collateral damage? broadere house has this mandate on foreign policy. it comes out of a different position. i think we're going to have to sort this through. it's a very complicated issue. i don't think it was a totally empty threat. weeks ofave a few market fluctuations. tomorrow we are going to take $50 billion out.
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compared to the size of quantities in -- quantitative easing. what the settings could extract, i think it does. the question is whether it host: salem, massachusetts this next. caller: it's time to look at the national debt is.
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they used to have the debt clock in times square. the numbers weren't that crazy. i don't think many people realize the difference between that and deficit. is not positive. if that's the case, it's $60,000 per man, woman, and child. world can anybody do that and expect the country to offer the services and benefits they provide? the congress over the
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past 25 years. it's not that i am a rocket scientist. it was predictable. can you think of how many people were working when social security was created. is different.icit it's the annual change in the debt. you are right. each year, the debt goes up by the amount of the deficit. tomorrow the president said we have to pay off all of our debt by next year, it would be unfeasible. it would cause a depression. spending would have to be cut so much that it would cause a collapse in demand.
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that's not going to happen. the key to that sustainability is it behaves in an ongoing fashion that is moderate. the question is whether our public debt is on the order of 40% of gdp or 60% of gdp? that ranges perfectly sustainable. public.eld high the sustainable. help the public at the present. the danger is it might keep rising. we have to avoid that. it would make no sense to try to pay it off immediately. host: james, hello. about: i have a question
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going. bitcoin? it is a trusted concept where there is trust between the parties. bitcoin is the computer-based currency. they use algorithms to trace an artificial money. i do think it has any relevance to u.s. assets. assetss no sense to hold in that coin. any 10 years from now i will be persuaded. i don't think it makes any sense now.
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good morning. i like to know why the last three years of bush and cheney the deficit number and the amount of dollars did not mean anything. they quoted several times on the news. in,that the democrats are it's everything in the world. i'm not quite sure the reference you are making. if you tried to step back from it a little bit, it's possible that it's a difference in the philosophy that tax cuts in particular a for themselves. i think there is a philosophical difference between a lot of people on the one side that that works. you propose to have tax cuts if
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you have a large deficit. there is skepticism on the other side. that with the way i would try to make substance from your perception. regina is in kansas city. caller: i would like to know what the credit limit is? i have a credit limit of $10,000. my cash available is $2500. why doesn't the united states follow that. are you following cheesy and economics? pedro said something that was very profound. if we know these countries money, are we not beholden to
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them? borrower is a the slave to the lender. i thought that was a very astute comment. can you answer those questions? we do have a debt limit. you may recall in 2011 it caused quite a dustup. aboutwas a brinksmanship not increasing the debt ceiling weres some political goals adopted. became wrapped up in this. that using theed as a political
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device is the wrong way to go. the damage done to our credit ratingion, one of the organizations downgraded the u.s.. is a limit tohere our credit. it's the debt ceiling. the challenge to make sure that it is managed and changed when time passes in a responsible fashion. i think it was nixon who said we are all. agree thatends to
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you have various components of gross to mystic product and demand components and when there is an expansion of government spending there is a demand. i think the question of whether debt makes us a slave, the german word for debt is the german word for shame. there is a certain the moralizing thing about debt. i don't think our current amount foreigners and we have we have claims on foreigners, that it puts us in a position. thompson is in new york.
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guest: we have a new guest. caller: i beg your pardon. senator levin was our guest before him. i've been on hold. i didn't know. the: we are talking about debt held by foreign countries. i'm sorry i missed my opportunity. host: call again. clyde is in minnesota. caller: good morning. my name is clyde. i'm a veteran of vietnam. is it not a huge bordering on catastrophic mistake to allow to have largees holdings in the united states?
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i hear on the news that a lot of property, a lot of lot of things are being bought by foreign entities. china is mentioned off. be owed than 20. if you can't collect what you are owed, it's a moot point. that what do you mean by second point? if ir: the second point is go somebody something, if i am an honorable person with integrity, i have to work it pain that off. me, i am in aes much better position. as long as that individual or company or group is going to pay me. , being refuse to pay me
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owed is not good. else and theybody violated my trust. ofst: you are saying instead going the rest of the world as a lastn $28 trillion in the $21 trillion, it would be what they really had it claims on us. and ours are not worth anything. i don't think that's the reality. the basic question is what do you think about whether you want wantts to be open and you u.s. companies to be able to make direct investments elsewhere and you and foreign companies to the united states.
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is that a good thing or a bad thing? the past countries in two said we need to have the economy international control. governmente the sector. jeopardyhink we are in . there is a law that governs whether china or other countries militarilyin sensitive sectors and security sensitive sectors. we have denied a number of proposed investments on those grounds. there is a lot of scrutiny on that. say we gopeople who to extremes. of direct in
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investment is basically $6 trillion foreigners have invested in the united states. it's about the same amount we have invested abroad. mind annot to my there is that somehow dangerous foreign control of our economy. we think we will be better off if the market is allowed to direct investments in production in the most efficient locations. host: one more call. this is new mexico. caller: on it even more simplistic level, in a way the fact that we own money to
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foreigners makes them beholden to us. why would somebody want to do in where they are counting on a stream of money? way ofmore simplistic looking at it and the whole problem of how the republicans are so convinced that and itsional economics identical. it doesn't work that way. you don't want to destroy your debtors. guest: i think that's a fair statement. figure, he6 trillion will see that go up? guest: all of these numbers are going to go up. that's part of the market process. i keep coming back to the fact that whether its foreign debt or domestic public debt, it needs
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to be in a stable relationship or declining relationship to our productive capacity. that's the challenge. host: we appreciate your time. that's it for our program. another in addition comes your way tomorrow morning. we will see you then. [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] >> the house returns today for the final week before memorial day. work on a number of
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bills including reauthorizing funding for national intelligence programs and another on 911 emergency services. tomorrow they will take up the second appropriations bill of the year, spending on energy and water projects 2017. also on the agenda, measure dealing federal oversight of toxic commercial chemicals. you can watch the house live beginning at 12:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. the senate is back at 3:00 eastern to consider a bill on registering sex offenders and the rights of sexual assault survivors. a vote on final passage is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. you can watch the senate live on c-span2. on the presidential trail today, donald trump is meeting with tennessee senator and chair of the senate foreign relations committee bob corker at trump tower in new york. senator corker's hometown "manyper writes that republicans seek worker is a potential running mate." but a rub

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