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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  August 16, 2016 12:00pm-2:01pm EDT

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are just investing in automation. not because of the minimum wage, but just because that is the way to have a better product or a way to be more efficient and more productive overall. you can't stop the march of technology, but we have to make sure that when somebody does have a job and they are out there working every single day, that they are paid a fair share. host: our guest is the managing director of economic policy at the center for american progress. winchester, indiana, independent line. mark, go ahead. caller: ok. the reason the economy turned the corner was gas prices. that put more money in people's pockets. the clinton global economy is why wages have to come down in our country because in order to have a global economy, it has to be -- our standard of living is going to have to come down.
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there's has to come up. we had a guy on earlier that talked about the farm crisis in the 1980's. that was caused by the carter embargo. i'm a farmer, i know. corporate tax is also paid by consumers or stockholders. they just passed the cost on. the more you tax them, the higher goods get. wind and solar heavily , subsidized and more expensive. that also costs every citizen. we have the 2008 crisis which was caused by the housing bubble, and that was due to government interference. freddie and fannie in the mortgage market. the best thing we have in our tax system is the earned income tax credit, which gives poor working people more money back than they paid in.
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host: thanks. guest: a number of interesting comments and i agree with some and disagree with others, but i appreciate raising them. the first point i would make is certainly the decline of gas prices has been beneficial to american consumers. but there have also been government policies that have helped. there was a payroll tax cut that president obama negotiated with the republican comedy -- republican congress that did help put money in people's pockets and help the economy turned the corner. in terms of globalization and whether our standard of living has to come down for others to come up i don't think that is , the case. we do not need to have our standard of living come down for others to do well. if we are competing on a level playing field, 95% of the population of this world is outside the u.s. there are companies and successful businesses around the world that can compete, can sell
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their products and goods and services and sell foreign products from all across this country. you can see countries enter the middle class, countries that were dirt poor following world war ii, whether it is japan itself or even south korea and certainly china itself. remind our internet viewers you are welcome to send questions and comments at any time. you can e-mail the speaker. check our cell phones and other mobile devices. they have been silenced as a courtesy to our presenters. we are pleased to go host this program with our friends at the american enterprise institute and thank them for their special participation in this 20 year anniversary discussion. hosting our guests is jennifer marshall, vice president for the institute for families,
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community an opportunity. she is a fellow. heritage. on aversees our research variety of issues to determine the strength and character of american society. she edits our annual index of culture and opportunity, copies of which are available in the for your for you -- foyer for you that tracks key economic trends and indicators of economic opportunity and if they are on the right track. join me in welcoming my colleague. [applause] thanksk you, john, and to you who could be here with us today in mid-august. 22, marchy, august the 20th anniversary of welfare reform. on that day back in 1996, president bill clinton signed the fiscal responsibility and work opportunity act based on a policy proposed by the republican congress in a 1994
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contract with america. welfare reform has been widely hailed as one of the most significant domestic policy successes in the last half-century. in the temporary assistance to needy families program dropped by more than half. poverty rates among single mothers felt a historic lows. for decades before the reform welfare dependence grew without significant reduction of party rates. contrary to what president lyndon johnson at hoped for when he enacted the original war on poverty programs back in 1965. welfare reform in 1996 was an important milestone in the ongoing effort to help more americans overcome poverty and dependence on government welfare. recently some have asserted welfare reform actually increased the number of people in the most dire straits. and luketherine eden
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schaeffer's a after reform more than one million families are surviving a lesson two dollars per person per day in america. today our panelists will evaluate those assertions and explain like getting the facts right and learning the right lessons from the 1996 welfare reform are essential to building on its success for the good of more people. understanding the nature of poverty in america is essential to effectively help those in need, particularly those in the most extreme need. our panel today includes three leading experts on the subject. robert rector is the senior research fellow here at the heritage nation. a leading national expert on welfare in poverty and he played a major role in the 1996 reforms. his work focuses on a range related issues including how the erosion of marriage has contributed to party. dr. bruce meyer's mccormick
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foundation are better at the university of chicago school of public policy studies. he holds a phd in economics from m.i.t. and his research focuses on poverty and inequality, tax policy and government safety net programs such as unemployment insurance, food stamps and medicaid. he evaluates the accuracy of various government surveys relevant to our questions here today. we are particularly grateful dr. meyer was willing to rearrange his vacation plans to make a detour and be with us today. the fellow in party studies at the american enterprise institute. before joining, he was the commissioner of new york city's human resources administration. the largest local services organization in the united states. he administered 12 public assistance programs. he was the new york state commissioner of social services and helped to make the state a model for welfare reform implementation.
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his comments will help us focus on what this debate means for the pilger medic level -- pilgrimatic level. when you join me in welcoming robert rector. [applause] rector: ok. 20 years ago that sweet bill clinton, president bill clinton signed the above how -- welfare reform act that changed the program and notably imposed requirements on some of the recipients for the first time in the history of the welfare state. thetime the act was signed left basically said it would cause an immediate and drastic increase in party in the united states. they predicted 1/5 of all families with children would have substantial drops in income.
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some 2.5 million people would quickly be thrown into poverty. senator daniel patrick moynihan infamously predicted this act would leave children sleeping in the streets, scavenging and garbage bins, and being picked up frozen in the morning. prophecies were quickly put to rest when the act very soon produced record drops both in black child poverty and party months ago mothers. and that sort of clamor has remained quite silent for many years now. close to two decades. recently in the last two or three years, essentially the moynihan claims have been resurrected. there is a new group, particularly two dollars a day by catherine eden and mark luke schaeffer planning that while poverty may have gone down, there is a group of the very
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bottom that is in very dire conditions with 3.5 million children living on less than two dollars a day. that is the third world global poverty level. 4% of families in any given month or down in these dire conditions. bloomberg goes as far as to say they are millions of american families whose incomes are lower than disabled beggars and ethiopia. we will examine the truth of that assertion during this panel. by getting the slide -- ergo. -- there we go. this is the case load in blue. the line on the left, the second line is welfare reform in 1996. at the height of that program we had roughly one in seven children in the united states and rolled in it. welfare reform comes along and
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by imposing work requirements onto the caseload, they caseload quickly drops by 60%. they said that would affect result in a disaster. let's look at that, at what the consequences were. before that if you have a handout, we need to review briefly three concepts about poverty we will be talking about today. the first is normal, the official poverty which for a family of three is around $19,000 per day -- in income its miniature per day, $70.44 per person per day. -- $17.44 per person per day. and having an income half of the official poverty level, which comes to around $9,000 per year and around $8.75 per day. finally we have the concept that
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is been recently introduced into the debate of extreme poverty, which is roughly 1/10 of the official party level. it is less than $2000 per year and about two dollars per person per day. us is that 4%ore of all families with children in any given month have incomes that are down at this extreme poverty level, which would be considered poor by a global human standard. -- un standard. we can look at a simple official poverty based on income over the last 20 years. the columns on the left in the red is pre-welfare party. those are families -- let me back up. caseload in the population are single parents. if you want to judge the impact,
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look at the impact on the poverty rate of single parents. that appears on the left of the chart. we see over the last 20 years it is based on income that the official poverty as a client before welfare by about 3% for this group, after welfare by about 4.5%. the right-hand column is interesting because these are households without children, based on the normal current population survey. over the last 20 years in households without children, a group unaffected by welfare reform, official party has gone up both before welfare and after welfare. exactly the opposite of the normal narrative which is somehow welfare make things worse. welfare seems to have made single parents better off than the rest of the population. , ede and schaeffern take a
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survey called the survey participation. they look at that and find in that survey they can find a population that appears to have less than two dollars per day per person in income. that same survey also provides a lot of other data. the next thing i did was to take the exact population that allegedly lived in extreme poverty on less than two dollars per person and look at what the same survey tells us about how those families actually live. what we find is when we look at the population that they defined as living in extreme poverty, we see in the survey 86% of the households in extreme poverty have air-conditioning and their houses or apartments, two thirds own a computer, 90% have a cell phone, and about 88% have a dvd
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player or digital media recorder or some similar device. we go to the next chart and we see in the same survey, if you ask these families who are allegedly subsisting on less than two dollars per day, at any time during the previous four months where you -- did you often not have enough food to eat? 1% of the population in extreme poverty says they often did not have enough food to eat. despite the fact they allegedly have two dollars per day in income, only 1% of them were evicted from their houses or apartments during the previous year. if we look closer at food consumption, this is the survey. that tiny orange sliver. didn't have often enough food to eat in the previous four months. 8% said they sometimes didn't have enough food to eat. over 90% said they always had enough food to eat during the
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previous months. purple says we would've liked to have better food, but they certainly had enough food eat. what is this? how can they have income less than two dollars a day but they all have air-conditioning and computers and dvd players and enough food to eat? the answer to that is the government survey measures income badly. they have done this all along. they particularly measure badly at either tail of the income distribution. when you are talking about a group that allegedly in extreme poverty, they are way down in the tail of the distribution. the simple fact is when the surveys asked income and the family is getting welfare or is off the books earnings, they don't tell you about it. on the other hand, you could ask them how did you spend money?
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they tell you something very different. they will tell you in every government survey for decades when you look at poor people, they report spending at least two dollars and $.40 for every dollar of income they apparently have. why should the expenditure data be better than the income data? the expenditure data is very detailed. how much did you spend on tunafish? it is very detailed. they spent several hours making these expenditures. when you look at the families in extreme poverty what you find is they are in fact spending $25 for every dollar of income they have. what we did was go to another survey called the consumer expenditure survey. we look at every record of every family with children for the last 30 years.
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based on their quarterly reported expenditures. 270,000 observations. on the basis of those 270,000 observations we found 60 that reported spending less than two dollars per day. 60 out of $270,000. 270,000. although the are trying to tell us one in 25 families tries to live on two dollars a day, based on their exported miniatures, the number looks like that. 4400 arey out of every spending less than two dollars a day. most of those families reside in public housing where they did not have to pay rent. why is there this huge disparity? the part of the reason schaeffer
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and eat and get large numbers they have is when they say 3.5 million children, they basically don't count any welfare as income at that point. food stamps are not counted. tax credit is not counted. fallshey count income, it down to about 1.2 million children who obsessively have thus -- less than two dollars a day. the problem is they are using this data which is fairly normal. when you look at the data, what you see is like most government surveys welfare benefits are grossly underreported. on a typical month the survey is missing over 20 million benefits per month that we know are paid out by administrator record but are not being picked up as benefits received. what they are doing is using a 20vey which is missing
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million welfare benefits every month and concluding there are roughly 1.2 million children who don't have any welfare that month. it makes absolutely no sense at all. you can't possibly use a survey that has gross reporting gaps to try to make these very tiny calculations about people, the number of people that don't have welfare. it is as if he took what they reported, not conditions in the real world, but simply gross underreporting gaps in the survey. it is like someone who is a pair of glasses with cracks in it. they look out on the world and they confuse the cracks in their lenses with reality. they look up and say this guy is full of figures and it looks like it's about the fall. it is not out there in the sky. it is right there in the survey instrument. another way of characterizing this is if you use the instrument for the services, it is like trying to use a fork
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lift for brain surgery. it is radically cannot do this with the survey. when you go to the consumer expenditure survey, which is much better about picking up the actual resources of the families have, it shows you a very different picture. very briefly i will go to that. this is consumer expenditure survey data going back to the late 1980's. the redline's welfare reform. the green line is the official party rate based on expenditures for single-parent families. the group affected by welfare reform. what you see is quite contrary to conventional wisdom. the official poverty rate, about $17 per person per day, drops dramatically after welfare reform and continues downward until the great recession which is the gray bar on the left. where it starts to go up again. that is largely due to the weak
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economy and not welfare reform. redrestingly the blue and lines at the bottom, the red line is very families with children, a group largely unaffected. their rate is largely unchanged during this period and the blue line is children -- households without children. there rate is largely the same. this does not seem to be a general economic factor. it does not seem to be anything in the consumer expenditure survey. it seems in the group affected by welfare reform you have a substantial downward trend in poverty. the final chart, deep poverty. party't measure extreme because it is 60 out of 270,000 observations. it is effectively zero and you cannot have trends in zero. you can look at this list of the conditions which is families
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that don't have two dollars a day but they have about $8.50 per person per day. about half the party level. the red line is welfare reform. the green line is single parents with children. what you see is a steady and substantial decline in deep poverty fo single parents with childrenr that starts with welfare reform and the overall deep poverty rate is substantially lower and continues downward until the great recession where it kind of levels off and grows up slightly. a very substantial decline. that can be compared to the red and blue lines that are two groups unaffected by the welfare reform, the deep poverty rate for those groups has essentially remained unchanged in the same period. this is exactly the opposite story you are getting from the left at the present time, which is that somehow after welfare
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reform d or extreme party went up in particular for the group affected by welfare reform, single parents. when you look at the consumption is exactly the opposite. to summarize, when you look at the survey data that is being used to proclaim children live with less than two dollars per day, the actual living conditions in those families in no way resembles anything that would be considered extreme deprivation. they look like fairly ordinary poor families. when you look at consumption, you see these families are spending over $20 for every dollar of income. when you look at 30 years of consumption data, you can virtually find no families whatsoever that spend less than two dollars per day. when you look at the trend lines, what you see is in the group that is supposedly victimized by welfare reform,
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both regular party and deep poverty have been going down relative to the rest of the population. the key idea of welfare reform was that welfare should not be a one-way handout. able-bodied adults who receive benefits from the government should work were prepared to work as a condition for receiving aid. over 90% of the megyn kelly agrees with that assessment -- of the american public agrees with that assessment. when it was put into effect 20 years ago it not only reduced dependency but also produced poverty. reformed only we one program out of 80. it is time to take the same principles and apply the more broadly. >> thank you, robert.
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>> you are going to hear i'm going to echo many of the themes that robert has emphasized. i will have a little bit of a different take in terms of what were the policy changes. to get my presentation up. ok. great. so we are here to talk about the 1996 welfare law and extreme poverty. thent to begin by putting 1996 law and perspective. it was part of a long list of policy changes i have put on
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this slide roughly in chronological order. one will have a distorted view if you look at just the single program because the safety net is constructed from a large set of programs. those that were previously on one program now are often on different programs. now, as a result of these gc,ges, changes in the ei medicaid expansions, food stamps replaced by staff, general assistance expanding. as a result of these changes we are spending more than ever.
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here we go. we are spending more than ever on those at the bottom. this slide indicates expenditures in 1996 and 2011. those were the years that are andasized and be eden schafer work. they say welfare is dead. by that they mean there isn't much being spent on welfare. well, if you take a look at these numbers, you see that we used to have a bunch of $20 billion programs. now snap is three times that big. ssi has doubled. unemployment insurance at the time they were looking is more than four times as big as it was in the earlier years. i didn't put down numbers for the child tax credit, or
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credit onehild tax from zero to $30 billion. medicaid went from about one and your $50 billion to $300 billion. to $50 billion -- the death of welfare is greatly exaggerated. press and evenr my academic colleagues look at poverty they can to look at income. income we rely on the current population survey or cps, or the survey of program participation. the cps is the source of our official party numbers. the other is the source of the data used by eden and schafer. these surveys are so flawed through poverty measurement should be abandoned unless
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linked -- and less linked to a ministry of data. you heard a version of that from robert rector and i will emphasize that as well. using a slightly different analogy than he did, income surveys are measuring costs riddled with holes. the holes are the benefits and other leaking, it is makes a family appera poor, even when they aren't. the consumer expenditure survey standardsctual living and indicates of people are actually spending on things like food, housing, and it reflects cash transfers from others in savings.
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in work i have done with jim sullivan, we find strong evidence that low consumption is more closely associated with deprivation and low income. looking at consumption gives you a better idea of people's living standards. what i am going to show you is what we call well measured consumption, rent, utility, gasoline, percentage of the value of cards and went and homes. that theyood at home, consume it home, are the ball and those are fairly easy to report. people know their rent, the know about what they spend each month on groceries bills. here is the pattern of spending
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by single mothers since there was affected by welfare reform. here i am reporting the spending by households adjusted for inflation and him -- family size. it shows the changes since 1990, when welfare reform was just getting started at the state level. consumption is that at various percentiles, the top two percentiles here are the fifth and 10th percentile. consumption at each of the percentiles went up steadily. 50%he bottom, it went up by leveled around 2008 -- off around 2008 and it is at 50% higher than what it was in 1990, when welfare reform at state
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level was getting started. we see clear evidence that those at the bottom are not being left behind. peers strong evidence that the on are that they relied probably wrong. consistented you is with evidence from other sources. if you look at the biggest expenditure of households, housing, you can do that with the american housing survey. if you look at the bottom 20% of , which is a group well below the poverty line, their living unit has more rooms, or square feet, more bedrooms and more likely that their conditioning and other appliances than it did when passed.reform was
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leaks and peeling paint are down. conditions inving very clear objective measures show that those at the bottom are doing better than they were when welfare reform was passed. problems with the income data i am telling you to dismiss? well, if the people know longer want to report their income to household surveys, so if you look at the cps, the source of official income data, 63% of general assistance recipients to not report that they receive. getting general report, 61% ofhe ande do not reported
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unfortunately, we do not have comparable numbers but probably a lot of people that report. 43% of recipients do not report in the cps, and a substantial share of other program sinceents do not report becoming program precipitation -- participation. these problems are getting worse, which is important because one of the emphases in the eden schafer work is how the number of people who are living on two dollars a day is going on. think the evidence indicates is going on is that there are bigger holes in the data. since 2000, on average, we tennisabout 36% of
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dollars, 39% of unemployment insurance, 46% of workers compensation program in the sip and the trend is that about inen percentage points, addition, our missed every 15 years, and this has been a long-term trend going on for about 30 years. 15 years is the period in which eden schafer are looking. those numbers that i just reported are including dollars that the census bureau imputes or guesses at, and that has doubled for most programs since 1990. if you look at tanner -- our main welfare program, i have already told you that about one third of people do not report
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their benefits at all. that are reported a recorded in the survey, 40% of guessed atrs are the census bureau. only 41% of the dollars reported andhe survey that he didn't schafer use or reported directly by recipients. the others were either completely missing or made up by the census bureau. throughence i just went such shows a failure to capture government programs, but what about informal transfers from families and friends? those are harder to capture. first quote from the book -- "making ends meet shows that almost all poor singles
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mother supplement the regular income with some combination of off the books employment and money from relatives, others in the fathers of their children. few keep a record of such income, even if they knew the annual total, it were not necessarily reported to the census bureau." so those are sources of income that we really are not ever going to get with income data, but with consumption data, you have a chance of looking at something that reflects those sources of income. when people in the past looked at the bottom of the distribution, they tended to ignore the data, at least for the bottom few percent, so blank and cheney, for example, argued that those data are likely to be thems and we should ignore
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. if you do a calculation similar to what robert prechter did, but you look at the bottom 5% of the income distribution of single mothers, and you look at their not goingsaid this is down quite as far in the distribution as he did. you find that their spending average is 6.3 times their income. their spending is about the 40th percentile, even though their income is in the bottom 5%. let me say. what do you did and schafer do? that i haveata party told you you should ignore
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and robert has emphasized as well. they repeatedly make choices that exaggerate extreme poverty, and let me go down the list. first, they do not count any kind of transfers. they used a short time period in the worst month and the comparable home. , 1996, to the bottom of the worst recession since the great depression of 2011. the use of price index that overstates inflation, so the income cutoff if it rises too fast, and they do not look to see whether low income means low spending means really a low standard of living, and most importantly, they use broken income data that is beyond repair. so it does that leave us in terms of reform? brieflyust mention this
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, existing block grants may be insufficiently responsive to economic downturns and provide states too much spending latitude, but that is an open question. worker requirements probably .ould be improved besides family living standards we should also be thinking about nonmarital fertility, which is way too high. unfortunately, the lack good evidence that making welfare more eccentric decreases fertility, but even small reductions would be ofortant given the costs nonmarital fertility that are so high. ok, concluding, i think we could cap productive discussion about how the safety net, including
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the program, should be reformed, to make sure that work is encouraged, but statements about the rise in extreme poverty are based on faulty data and should be dismissed. conservatives should the knowledge that a programs have reduced deprivation, but liberals should knowledge that we are spending more and more and not all are spending it well, so let me stop there and that robert continue. >> thank you. thank you very much for having me. it is an honor to be here and thank you to robert for your work on this over many years. as jennifer said, i would like to bring the perspective of the practitioner, the commissioner how to reactand
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between back-and-forth between scholars and data and poverty rates? i would tell you it plays a large role in our life. welfare commissioners like myself and in new york have to weigh about the conventional in sum, the common wisdom, the media wisdom about the data. to the extent that there is a misleading perception driven from one important work, it can be a real problem, so it is important that we have work like bruce's and robert's and others and have called into question this perception that those at the very bottom and in the wake of welfare reform are worse off than they were. my conclusion after looking at it is it is not true, that welfare reform to not increase poverty among the very poor and single household homes in the united states. allowing that perception to be
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part of the dialogue severely undermines credibility of people who in other circumstances would same want to say we have to file the evidence and pay attention to data and have evidence-based policymaking. from my perspective, it is important that we get fair, careful readings of this not driven by ideological objective to tarnish or undermine the undoing of the cash entitlement that came with welfare reform in 1996, and i think to some degree that is what it is about. that there is an element that was never happy with the ending of the couch welfare entitlement and they would like to find ways the second back area point i went to mention is one that was echoed in both presentations, and it is sometimes not clearly understood, and that is the role in the broader statement. it is a small program among many others. as bruce said, we assist people in need through jobs programs,
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snap, public health insurance, child care tax credits, subsidies, the long list, and in understanding or discussion of safety net policies for the poor, the very poor, need to take into account the role that all of those play. in most of the time, commentators on both sides, when they went to reduce material hardship or increase work, will talk about how all of the things have led to reduction of poverty, except when their objective is to tarnish the program. all of a sudden, all of the burden of responding to recession falls on the temporary families program, which is only a small program affecting certain population. when i wass me of commissioner in new york city at the beginning of the great recession and i remember one of those meetings where the deputy
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mayors called together the key players and wanted to know, what are you going to do? things are getting bad. what are you going to do to respond because of the recession? we went around the room and those who talked about unemployment insurance talked about that person is snap, good stamps, and i talked about what we would do in public health insurance, we talked about that, thesomeone said, what about program? i said, we will see because part of what happens when a recession paints his people seek assistance for the need they have at that time given their gocumstances, so many people to unemployment insurance first and that is all they need and then they might need snap and then they might need public health insurance or they might that tax credit benefit allows them to muscle through a difficult time. it takes a long time to have to turn to the cash welfare
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program. itthe wake of the recession, barely budged, therefore, it was unresponsive or the safety net was unresponsive but it is false. it is not consistent with the way the programs work. people work through these programs to the extent that they need them and the program is the last stop on the bus and not necessary because of the programs rush to their aid in their wake. we do have one small quibble with robert rector and i hesitate to say this, but one of the distinct missions in the language we use, did you notice robert says post welfare poverty and pre-welfare poverty and forms ofpplies to all assistance. in the world i come from, there is a distinction between what we would call cash welfare and what we would call work support. the theory is, whether you buy it or not, is that something is welfare and has a negative
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connotation when it doesn't support working people, when it supports able bodies that not working and then it is cash welfare and that is what we reform as welfare. the other form is work support. they may also undermine the work incentive and have consequences that are not necessarily good, but the idea of other forms of wages,nce that increase we do not often called welfare. i did want to make that point because in the distinction, we need to understand that we reformed one program and we expanded a lot of others. truce made that point. some of those do not promote work to the extent that they should we should be talking about that and not be talking about undermining or changing the program that helps lead a lot of people into work and out of poverty. the next point i went to make is that it has to do with a term called disconnected moms. in the language, the popular
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language that comes out of works like kathy evenson and schaeffer's, there is a lot of misinterpretation. in some respects, i think intentional. two dollars for date, it was not really about two dollars a day and they are not counting the various forms of other assistance. the connotation that comes with that when you talk about disconnected mom is that they are out there somewhere, not earning or having another source of income with children in the household, and no one is caring for the and there is no connection to the safety net or to caregivers or government it isals, and the fact is not true. every single one of the disconnected moms is on snap. they are on a large federal program on the state or local level the issues that the card to buy groceries, with which they can buy groceries, and it
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comes every month and there is engagement with the caseworker, and virtually all of the children are on public health insurance, which requires the same sort of connection to a large part of our safety net. the tragedy is not that they are on their own and attended to. programsdy is that the to which they are connected is turning a blind eye to the fact that they say i have no means, i have no other income, just give me food stamps. weme, that is tragedy and ought to be talking about why those programs do not respond to that situation, which is very easy to discover by going out and reaching out and talking about ways we can get them into the labor force. instead, the common response amongst some is that 60 of the program to get cash, too, and still be in as bad shape but certainly not disconnected in any case.
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let me put that in more detail. program in the state and city of new york. it would be very easy for me in new york and easy in my judgment for virtually any administrator of the food stamp program to ask their data people, produce a ,ist, working age, nondisabled households with children in them, adults that report no earnings. give me the list by zip code. give me the list by city, county, any kind of subdivision, and then you would have in your hand this list of disconnected moms, these folks who are apparently far worse off, and he would know and you would have their address, phone number, and you could go out and do something about it. perhaps, you could report your activities to the
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federal government and say, what have we done? now, it is not a requirement are encouraged and we do not know to what extent agencies that have a connection to the families and people that are worried about this group to the extent that they exist could do something about it and i think that is a shame. we could do a lot more there and we will be listening to the language and we are not clear about what it really means. howinal point about sort of a programmatic system would react to this has to do with the benefits and the successes of the well for -- the welfare act of 1996. people on the left and right all agreed that for large personnel -- portion of the recipients in single-parent on the cash welfare system, and robert
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deserves a lot of credit for making it happen. the introduction of those requirements led to them, going to work, increasing income and reducing poverty. they chunks, so even when you read in literature from progressive left, big knowledge. yes, our program has to a lot to help the working poor and the working poor's poverty rates have gone down, so they'd knowledge that, and then they turn to this issue concerning the other group. that happens a lot because a new design a program, you will often have the person there, deeply compassionate, as i am, helping people in need as people in this is this has, who will say, what about this worst-case scenario? what about the contingency? what if this happens? and all of a sudden, you designed a program to make sure that nothing bad happens at the
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lowest common denominator. when you do that, when you subsidize or design a program that provides an entitlement expectation, you'll get more people taking advantage of that ms word, and all of the benefits that you derive them the workplace program will be gone, and you have to be careful about that. one of the greatest aspects of welfare reform that i do not think it's enough attention, if said in the weight the previous policy did not, recipients of cash welfare of the united states can go to work. they either already are working or they can. they are capable and they have assets to build on, not just liabilities to care for. in saying that, they went to work and take the challenge. i like to remind people who talk about the history of welfare reform or the benefits of welfare reform or what newt
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gingrich or bill clinton did, i would like to remind them that the real heroes of the welfare reform story from 1996 where the recipients themselves, who proved that what others thought about them was not true. that they were capable and could go to work. all i want to make about that is if you design your program to directed to the problem which i think is a floating problem, described by schaeffer, it will underline the benefits of the program you design for all the others who responded to the challenge and went to work and reduced the poverty level. she. >> -- thank you. >> thank you for the really helpful presentation to think through the assertions about welfare reform having harmed those who are the least well off in our society, discussing the problems and data that are used to give that misimpression, the
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challenges with the data sources and surveys, and what this means that a programmatic level and how to do a better job of helping those low income persons, in general, and particularly those in the most dire need. we would like to open it to the audience to ask questions 40 minutes. they there will be a microphone. we are live streaming this, so wait for the microphones. down in front. from the bookkeeping appears to have been pretty flawed and a lot of ways. or is itata ignorance or couldely misleading you venture to guess? the second question, have you been able to have a one-on-one with these authors with your data and their data and what shakes out? have you had that conversation? >> what i would say about that
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is anyone who researches poverty and uses this type of income data knows, and dr. meyer is overwhelmingly great research, in demonstrating this income data is not any good. the more you ask of it, the less accurate answers you will get. in particular, it does no good at either end of the distribution. the farther down you go in the farther up the go, the more likely you are to get nonsense. if you go to the ends, you have. nonsense. from the time i studied this in graduate school when reagan was president, they were people showing up in the sense since records would sue income for the year -- in the census records with cap zero income for the year and they clearly do not have zero income and you take that seriously. what we have are people attempting to use these studies
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to measure people with nearly zero income and as dr. meyer explained, the lead food stamps out the they leave informal earnings for the most part, so the data is not any good and they are asking bad data questions that it cannot possibly answer. you can not try to determine whether there are one million children that have no will or benefits using a survey that is missing 20 million benefits per month. i think they just wanted to get a sensational number and that is did.they some of the previous research has been good but this book was not. >> others? >> did i do not want to question motives. i cannot look into their heart and figure what they are doing. luke and i talk to them periodically and appear on panels like this. i have written about them, but i there is a motivation
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that comes from kathy's ethnography research, where she is in the households of folks who are struggling and in need, and i have all kinds of problems. that makes her want to see what does this mean more probably? it is ethnography and data. the other thing that she did discover, and i think is out there and have not mentioned, is the extent to which states that you differently with regard to the current tanf program and the way the office receives or accept people. examplesathy got some and god knows iran the welfare office, so not everything goes beautifully, and it looked pretty negative. one story is a woman went to the cash welfare office in illinois, it was a democratic state and
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mayor and governor, and the program was run by illinois state of welfare, and she stood in the line and got in line at 7:30, and when she got up to see someone about getting assistance, the person said, if you are not in the line before 7:30, we cannot see you today. there is evidence of that and there is concern and that led her to believe or sense that the absence of the entitlement has led to the states not feeling any pressure, that they had to take at least an application or see someone who came to the door . , and a fewuce others, but more bruce than anyone else, is really some of the evidence about the failures in the response rate and in the accuracy rate, as well as the failure to count benefit. we have really come more firmly to conclusion that those surveys
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are really bad they flawed than we did even four years ago. maybe that is an exaggeration, but it seems to me you are stronger now about how bad those surveys are then you might have been three years or four years ago. is that right? >> i think that is fair. jim sullivan and i believe that the income data were not capturing people's well-being quite a while ago, though he did not have what you might call the smoking gun, where we could look benefits toe had people's income who did not report them, then you really can people at the very bottom had much higher income then it seemed. thing, the one other
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$60 billion in 1996 and it is still $60 billion roughly now and for people like that on the left, that is just like the ofgest crime of all because the major social program has not expanded and has not continued to grow. i think that there is a desire to find a way, find an argument for spending more through the tanf program and that might have motivated some of them. >> next question. >> following up on this conversation, myers wrote a nice article about one year ago with response, having guided the income surveys but relying largely on the expenditure surveys. can you tell us why they think the surveys are so good that you awful? the responses >> that is a fair question.
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so when you look at the income surveys, the problem is that there are so many different orts of income. we have probably already listed one dozen programs and there are lots of others that matter, too. you have to get all of those, the different sources of income, formal jobs, informal jobs, you fromto get transfers family, friends, fathers of .hildren, lovers all of those things, it is a tall requirement to get all of those categories because you can have someone that is just relying on a couple of those, and if one or both of those are not reported, then it puts that person at zero income. hand, withr
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simply -- atit is least the way we do it -- we focus on rent and food consumed at home, and a few other categories, but those are the -- the bulk ofg spending, and people know their rent. they are happy to report it. they are much less willing to talk about their income. it is just a more sensitive topic. >> [indiscernible] some of the best work that is looked at participation in the consumer expenditure survey finds that when you look at the lowest percentiles of income at the zip code level, say look at the zip codes that have the lowest income, their response
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rate is slightly higher than the average, so if anything, it looks like the consumer expenditure survey over represents people at the bottom. areway to put this, we essentially saying the government, the federal and state government spends about over $1 trillion a year on 80 different programs providing benefits and services to low income people, and basically, the government does not know or that money goes. eit see, like that there are 20 million beneficiaries in the normal current population and they just impute to receives that and they have no idea who gets that money . absolutely no idea, and considering there is a scale fraud in the program, you cannot make amputations for fraud. they have no idea where that money is going.
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the basic methodology for these income surveys was invented in 1948, when truman was reelected. it really has not improved any since then. 1948, a bad survey in when they were very few government programs, and they were just trying to measure employment. this survey has been flawed for over 65 years. it is time for the government to actually know where it's money goes, and the only way to do that is to do a survey to where you pick up demographic data but then you go to this snap tanf programto the and you match social security numbers so you know it income came to that house, and what you would find is something dramatically different. you would find that welfare does
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raise people's living standards because today's economic resources and the poverty rate .ould the much lower you would also find that we are spending a lot more than people on the left would like to he woulde are, which at least have truthful data to make decisions on. >> next question. wait for the microphone, please. >> thank you. tyler o'neill from pj media. i would just like to ask if there is a political figure that really stands for the sort of welfare reform that you would like to see and just how disappointing, perhaps, our presidential candidates might be? >> this panel will not be able to engage in electoral politics, so maybe we can think of -- i know there are people instrumental in the welfare reform passage and have been imported in the conversation over the years to speak to. i would say the actual person
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who is the most important to welfare reform 20 years ago was jim tallon, the congressman from missouri, he put welfare reform in the contract for america and essentially designed the programs in the house that later , ande the ultimate policy the goals that we had back then i think are valid goals. they were not to cut welfare ontoing, not to be people the street, but rather to say that welfare should not be a one-way handout, that welfare should assist people who need assistance, but it should also encourage and essentially demand were. more importantly, where i think welfare reform has fallen short is really concerned 20 years ago about the percentage of children born outside of marriage, which has continued to go up and which is the root cause, not only of
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poverty, but other social programs -- problems. we need to do something to address that. i think the next stage is clearly that we need to change these welfare programs, starting , that penalize mothers and low-income mothers and fathers on the get married. that is a crazy thing to do. if you are to sit down in the abstract, what should we really not do in welfare, it would be, let's put a financial penalty on every low income mother and father when we decide to marry. >> you have worked with a lot of people in the political office implementing the programs, what were important characteristics you saw in those that helped the implementation go forward? >> to me, what matters most is there ought to be, like roberts at 25 years ago, that there be
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some supercool relationship, that assuming they are able-bodied, that they be required to do something. isk requirements and what petitions are the most important thing to me, and the willingness to talk honestly about the to have for children active parents and we have to be honest that we are not going to solve all these problems unless we get some help from the family, as well, so those are the characteristics that matter to me the most. i will stop there. >> next question. you talked a lot about the calculation of income, including expenditures. do you also calculate debt, including credit card debt in the poverty rate?
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>> you better take this. >> sure. [laughter] sure. when we look at consumption or maybe more properly spending, we do not factor in debt, but let me explain my income is a better way of looking at things, even when people, maybe especially, when people are getting into debt. >> human expenditures. >> i'm sorry, thank you. why you want to look at expenditures. thank you. debt, theye people in will not be able to spend all of their income. a bitill have the scrimp
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to pay off the debts, and if you look at what they are able to spend on food, housing and other things, event a better measure of well-being. similarly, if people are living --be behind the long-term it long-term means, you would like to know that and you would like to see that if they are living in a nice house, driving and nice car, you would like to be both cases,, so in if you look at what they are get ang, you are going to better measure of their living standard than if you looked at when they the case are saving and saving. probably the best two examples are you have a lot of college are really living
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pretty well, even though they have little income, or you have an elderly couple that own their andhome or they own a car they frankly have a lot of clothes, furniture, so they do to beed to spend a lot correct well off, and they may not be getting any income, but but we look at in the case of the homeowner, we do not look at .hat they are actually spending we look at the value of owning thehome, and we look at cars that they own and the value make,ing a car of a given model and year and we know that from data. in. want to just jump
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one thing i want to make clear. say that people at the lower end of the income scale are doing tremendously and that is not the case. we are expanding -- responding about what isoric misleading about what is really happening and we need to be clear and honest about the data and that may lead us to say, they are better off than those other people say they are, and that needs to be done if we formulate good policy. one of the things i think, and i wonder if you will comment on this, if you start zero in 1996 and you look at consumption and rising in consumption and you the second or lower middle and compared it to , did their
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consumption rise at the same maybeover the periods or the way things have shaken out his consumption has grown and people in the lower middle have not had as much growth or am i wrong about that? lineople to the poverty have had a little less growth well below the poverty line, the people at the poverty line has had more growth than those in the lowest growth is at the median. >> one last question. emphasize the key takeaways because everything i
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have seen, people talk about spending trillions and trains of dollars on the war on poverty and things are much better now than when we started. using your data you guys have been talking about, how much further are we better off? you sound like things have improved since welfare reform. can you lay out how things have improved, if at all? >> that is a very good question. -- our normal trope is we spent 24 chilean dollars on the war on poverty and the poverty rate is exactly where .as in 1967 the reason for that is garbage data, so we spend $1 trillion a year providing cash, food, housing and medical care to low includingple, not social security and medicare. of that trillion dollars, of normal data, they can about the percent of income. guess what? if the welfare state does not
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have any effect, it is because they can look really do not count food stamps and earned income tax credit and other things as credit and the reason goes back historically because they want to exaggerate the number of poor people to spend even more money. if it does not count, if you do not counted, it doesn't count. the fact of the matter is even the government cannot spend $120 a year and have no impact on anybody's living standard. there is a conservative view that bureaucracy sucks up that money but it doesn't. it goes to poor people. hard tot really that give free stuff away, but apologies to robert -- [laughter] to low incomeoney people in massive amounts, and when you count that money, you find that in fact the poverty ise is down, but the problem
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that honestly that is not what lyndon johnson was trying to accomplish when he watched the war and poverty. he wanted to shrink, not deal really would the symptom of poverty by giving people free stuff but by the root causes, meaning he wanted people to be self-sufficient and able to have an income above the poverty level without government assistance. take anything lyndon johnson said with a grain of salt, but i think he actually image oft because his a good welfare program was a civilian conservation corps in the 1930's, or people went out to shovel dirt, move wheelbarrows to get stronger and healthier. he really wanted people to floors in our society, not be perpetually dependent. by that measure, the war on poverty has spent a complete flop.
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that is slightly need to change the work welfare is given in a way that helps and combines with the positive energies of the recipients toward work and marriage, so that when you get a synergistic effect of the poor person helping themselves and the government reinforcing and complementing that positive activity, rather than displacing it and saying, go home, we have a free something for you. >> ruth mayer, we do like to say anything in conclusion? >> i thank my colleagues have said things quite well. i am happy to leave it there. >> robert, anything? >> no, i think we have had the great discussion. >> thank you for cosponsoring with this today and thank you for being here. we will have lunch, for those in attendance, out in the hall and help me in
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thanking our panelists. [applause]
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>> coming up, a look back at 100 years of the migratory bird treaty. a focus on the efforts to protect birds and economic competitiveness in north america. the wilson center host. you can see that live in about 10 minutes, 1:30 p.m. eastern time on c-span. look at ethnic and religious minorities in nigeria, the westminster institute post the event at 7:30 p.m. eastern. taking a look at what members of congress are up to during the district work periods, ohio congressman today attended a memorial service of former congressman steve latourette, tweeting -- beautiful service to say farewell to my dear friend, steve latourette. arizona democrat gazette and event where local caregivers receive support and o advice.
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sweet today, congratulations ethics co-hansen little league on finishing historic season for baseball and they county. while we wait for the migratory bird discussion to start, this is from today's "washington journal." joining us now, stephen with the washington times, the political editor. taking a look at syrians coming into the united states. what is the obama administration policy when it comes to refugees? guest: a review -- at the beginning of this fiscal year, they set a goal of bringing intent house and syrian refugees, at least, resettling them in the u.s. this year as part of an overall population of 85,000 total, worldwide refugees. this point, we are at the 8600, and they
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are well on track to meet that goal at the end of the fiscal year. they have another month and a half to go. they will blow past that 10,000 goal at the pace they are at, welcoming about a 20 -- welcoming about 2500 per month. they have said that they expect that pays to continue into the next fiscal year, beginning october 1. at that rate, they are lacking in the next president for a large number of syrian refugees, at least a target. host: when they come to the united states, where did they end up as far as location? varied.t is really therisingly, arizona has highest number per capita compared to the existing total. we are not talking a huge percentage, about 10,000 total in this year compared to a population of the country of 320
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million. it is not a lot when you look at that, but per capita gives you a sense for what we are talking about. glendale turns out to be a surprising destination, nearly 400 have been sent to glendale, so far. phoenix ander than on a per capita basis, it is higher than any other city, with the exception of dearborn, michigan. glendale is sort of an odd fit. , number of small communities for example in the washington suburbs, there are some interesting communities just outside of d.c. many of them outside of d.c. because it is considered too expensive to resettle back in the city. the criteria they use to figure out where to resettle is whether
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anre are jobs available, economy that will allow them to seamlessly fit in, so they really do end up all over. looking at this map, you mentioned arizona, california and texas also the same. you have states like montana and wyoming that don't have any. guest: it is questions of what are they would fit into jobs, whether the infrastructure could handle it. refugees overall, but syrian refugees oftentimes have certain need. they're coming from a war-torn country. there are language issues they need to deal with in school. the region has to be prepared and able to handle them. all those needs, medical, emotional, psychological. some states and some areas just are not as able to handle them.
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host: cap a state or locality say we would rather not have syrians? guest: a number of governors did say they would rather not have them. they cannot refuse them, but the governors in some cases have withdrawn their support from their state agencies, but the resettlement happens. ares complex, but there national nonprofits and local nonprofits that end up doing the resettling in conjunction with the federal government. they can operate even outside of a state saying we will not cooperate. that does not stop a resettlement. it makes the federal government and local agencies think twice if they detect a sort of antipathy, but there has not been a major affect based on that. host: joining us talking about
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the syrian refugees coming to the u.s. if you want to ask questions about the process, (202)-748-8001 four republicans -- for republicans. (202)-748-8000 for democrats. (202)-748-8002 for independents. if you are a syrian refugee and would like to call, (202)-748-8003. guest: the administration describes it as robust, refugees are given the highest level of scrutiny of any one of the u.s. vets. there are people who cross the borders and never get any of the ones that the u.s. actively admits, they get the most rigorous screening. syrian refugees, when we bring -- has said our
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appropriate to be transferred to the u.s.. there are about formally and syrians that are registered around the world as being displaced syrians. of those, about 500,000 are deemed eligible to be resettled a certain number of those are deemed to be good candidates to be resettled in the u.s. the u.s. takes the population that the u.n. has narrowed down and we do our own vetting, that involves interviews and a gearing up their story about why they are refugees and their background, checking into criminal history, this is true for every refugee, but for syrian refugees, there are a couple add-ons. thanks to pressure from congress and a couple of bad events with a lack of vetting, the
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administration vets certain categories through their social media to figure out whether there are any signs of guilty to radical
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it is not easy, but you can go to folks in the neighborhood and to live atso used this address and find out about their background to, to make sure they are telling you a correct story about why they are refugees. that opportunity is much more limited in syria. last year the republicans in congress proposed a method they director, homeland security director, and the national intelligence chief would have to certify each syrian refugee, a way of letting the level of responsibility, saying if you think this person is say, if you are convinced they have done the right setting
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vetting, you have to sign up on that. we are now using the administration's procedures. host: the first call comes from texas. go ahead. caller: i was wondering how many people -- you throw all kinds of figures on people the obama administration wants to let in the united states, and hillary possible future administration wants to let in the united states. can you clarify that? guest: the obama administration set a goal of 10,000 syrian refugees this year. they said we will probably end up closer to talk thousand. we will meet or exceed the goal for syrian refugees. there was a big debate before the president announced his overall goal for syrian refugees, and the number of
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and a numbercants of democrats on capitol hill and mrs. clinton herself call for an even higher number. there are some who called for an 80,000 -- 100 thousand range. i believe mrs. clinton called for 65,000 refugees. we do not know what she would do over the future years, but given that rate, if she were to carry that through, that would be up to three times more than we will accept in next year under the current pace. number.mrs. clinton's the administration is on track for 12,000 this year, and if they keep the pace of 2500 a month, which is where they were last month, we are looking at about 30,000 for the administration they steer. they have not announced that gold yet, but they have -- we talk about syrian refugees,
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going broader than that. in the past three years the goal beenorldwide refugees had 70,000. this year it is 80,000. a have said they will put in a budget request for 100,000 for next fiscal year. host: maria, hello, how are you? caller: good morning. i'm in miami, i part of the potential immigrant experience from cuba. i do not know if you have read some of the historical data of our experience, but i recall clearly coming to the united states with huge gratitude, never assimilating entirely. you just come to miami and see us. you must contribute, participate, and he ever grateful. you cannot expect were welcoming country to change to accommodate you. you must accommodate to the experience to where you're coming. i think that is something that needs to be very mindful as we move forward because i am part
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of it exiled diaspora. none of us ever lose our roots, but we need to incarnate -- accommodate to a new environment. hear: that is a story you out of immigrants overall and refugees in particular. what she talked about, the questions about keeping your roots and accommodating or assimilating into the u.s., that is rated crux of this debate is, how much effort should the u.s. put into that assimilation, how much outreach should we do to bring in refugees and how much effort it takes to assimilate them and how much effort refugees and immigrants willing to put into the immigration -- assimilation themselves. effort mayof u.s. eve describe how you fall on the immigration debate. 876 males between 14 and
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30 years old. guest: that category is interesting especially about concerns of radicalization. that number, young males 18 to 30, targeted for radicalization. a lot of those folks are attached families. the number of single males brought in is incredibly low. seen plenty of examples of in recent reports, the justice department affidavits for arrest warrant and indictments, about and second-generation immigration children who have been radicalized here in the u.s.. that is why the number of concerned to authorities. host: tennessee, hello. caller: hi. your lady and the young boy syrian refugees coming into the
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united states leads to my question. you know, children refugees are being settled in idaho because of the factors that can hire them at low, minimum wage, slave wages. what was the vetting process for the ones that rate the little five-year-old little girl for hours and videotaped it, three refugees? what is the production for the american children and adults that are suffering at the hands of these refugees that do not assimilate to our culture and our ways of life and make things like raping little girls and -- in their mouth is ok? guest: the caller is talking about an incident that got attention earlier this year in idaho where there was a report refugeesdren of syrian
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had been engaged in a sexual assault. the last i checked it they were refugees, and there was initial misreporting of it. is how muche raises effort of migrants put into assimilation and how much the migrants input into refugees in particular, and working to assimilate them. >> we had a very interesting program, an interesting collaboration on many levels. the wilson center is a presidential memorial created by congress, and a special memorial in that it is a nod toward career as a scholar. it was created and continues in efforts to create public policy, to analyze big issues, and to have actionable recommendations on those.
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it is a preeminent think tank in the world. it has many institutions under through, two of which are most important to us today. what is the canada institute which is run by lord dawson, and the other is the candidate institute, and dunkin was as here. there he is. andvery dynamic institutes they give the wilson center something quite unique for north america studies, because it is the only place where you have two institutes of such that are focusing on the issues of the other countries in north america out of the united states. they are the cohost with the nature conservancy for this program today. .y name is jim tak
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to be here.rtunate i work for the state department, but this year working for the wilson center i get to focus on the north america region. i served at the u.s. embassy in mexico for five years earlier in my career and left last your servingree years as the console general in canada. i have been able to experience the opportunity that the three countries working together provide all of us. the three leaders of north active at in ottawa north american leaders summit in june, and they had a long list of actionable items and areas in which they plan to work and have their three bureaucracies, governments work. they recognize this particular initiative of the migratory for treaty as a model and
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something to gnu to work on. conference, they also announced that there would be a stakeholders dialogue created to accompany the now north american leaders summit process as it goes forward. they asked the wilson center to host that, and we will be hosting that in the fall. it will be an important step to bring in outside interests, including those like the nature conservancy that can get involved in the discussion leaders take up every year. i will not go into a lot about the treaty except, because we will get into it a bit, but it is a delight for the wilson institute be involved in a program is based on a treaty that was signed by president woodrow wilson. and it was also signed at that time by the king of england
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time,enting canada at the and in a few decades later by , and wasdent of mexico the first of such an agreement. thank you all for coming. thanks to the panelists for being here. i will turn it over to your moderator from the nature the, david mehlman, and i will go deeply into his file because we had a lot of information here. he is director of the nature conservancy's migratory bird program, and he has been with the organization more than 25 years, which means he started as an intern, and will be moderating the panel and i will ask him to introduce the panelists and take away. thank you. [applause] mr. mehlman: thanks, jim. hlman.e is david nome
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for the nature conservancy, based in allington, but i working out worker. before i introduce my colleagues, you may or may not realize that this evening is the beginning of one of the largest if not largest inference of ornithologists north america, maybe in the entire western hemisphere, but this is the start of the sixth north american ornithological conference and we have crazy bird people from all over the u.s., canada, mexico, many countries in the hemisphere he and some outside who are gathering at the washington hilton to talk about nothing but birds and bird conversation for the next couple days. it is great fun to be here. as jim said, for those of us in the bird conversation field, it is a wonderful coincidence to be here at wilson center as we celebrate today, the 100th anniversary of the signing of this first migratory bird
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treaty. i have been in the conservation feel a long time, and it is one first,almost, not the but one of the very first pieces of observation legislation enacted here in the united states, and it is sometimes hard to imagine with all the things that are going on now that 100 years ago there was enough foresight to join for two different countries to join in forces for international resource. what jim did not mention is over time, in addition to mexico joined the treaty, the u.s. has also signed treaties with japan and russia, so it is truly a multinational thing. i will introduce our speakers today. dr.y immediate left is charles francis, the manager of bird population monitoring with canadian wildlife service, a part of the environment and climate change canada from. hahn, theb
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international relations director at association of fish and wildlife agencies, and we will hear from humberto berlanga, from the national biodiversity commission, cona bio. charles, i believe you are up first. rancis: i will take you about this project that we had started on north american birds. this is the project that brought together experts from three countries. it is the first for us to try a joint reports. there are copies of the report outside the door, and it is the n birds. north america
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this is the first time to try to bring it together and the first time to do a comprehensive report looking at all species. we are working with the initiative which is a 20-year-old initiative that brings together some of the top bird experts and federal government between the three countries to work on this. [indiscernible] one of the: motivations for doing this report is it is the centennial today the signing of that treaty but also the 80th anniversary this year of the signing of the treaty between mexico and the united states, so it is not technically the same treaty, that there are treaties that
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unite and give us among other things federal jurisdiction for working on these species. there is the report cover. next. so essentially what this report involves was scientific experts and some of us at this table were participating on that. everybody to make sure everything was getting put together across the three 1154ries, but for species, they look at population trends, ovulation science, breeding and winter rain ranges, and those were aggravated to create scores that gave the value of the conservation concern for that species. this was done for all of 1100 species and broken down for brought habitat species, boreal forest, temperate forest,
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tropical forest, oceans, and coasts. i will give you all of the details. the rest of the details are in the report, but i will summarize the most important findings and my colleagues will talk about what we do with this report, how are we going to use this to help birds. next. line, or topline, as we laid out the report is that 37% of the species, nearly 40% of the species has serious conservation concerns. that could be major population declines. it could be threats that imply there is ongoing to clients. severalns to be high on different factors to get on the watchlist. not only do they have large declines but they have restricted ranges and threats as well. these are species we need to be concerned about her some of the species are already lifted as
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endangered, -- are already list it as endangered. we do not have to take what we have the e.r. response which is what the endangered species act is. a lot of work for trying to recover species, and four 430 species could be a javascript how did that breakdown -- -- could be a challenge. ?ow did that break down you can get the details from the report. it will highlight the key groups, and the top two groups, oceans and tropical and subtropical forests were more than half of the species of concern. if we look at the next ones, lands, granted, not a lot of species are on the list, but some are showing some decline.
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to highlight what we have done in this report is not just where are the problems, but what are some of the key solutions we need to work on. not all of these dilutions are easy. if they were easy, we might have done already. section: going on best things that are working that we can continue, and a section that challenges -- that is ok. these aree, seabirds, birds that spend much of their life at sea, but nest on the water. many of the seabirds nest on islands. one of the challenges on islands species.ive somebody has introduced it to an island somewhere and islands are slow, and makes these seabirds moral. in a number of areas where seabirds are nesting there have been successful eradication programs to get rid of the rats.
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we know they can work. they are not cheap. this is an area we can continue to develop. marine protected areas -- sorry. no. arene protected areas something we have been starting to work on. one of the things you will see is most of our actions and not just birds, but the environment and ultimately the benefit people. affect the food base for these seabirds from ocean pollution, plastics, there are gazillions of tons of plastic floating around the oceans, and many fish, including seabirds, turtles, eats those, the sticking name -- mistaking them for for, document and they can -- it's a simple fishers, two components from the bird perspective, fisheries that do
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not catch birds. a lot of our trusses drowned because they get on -- a lot of albatrosses-- drown. this practices are getting them used widely, not only in our waters, but internationally, and it will benefit the birds for food supply, and benefit all of us. next. we talk about tropical forests. that is an issue for mexico because they have most of the tropical forest spirits what's this map shows is next can birds are also our birds because that man olio warbler which is across gnoliap -- the man warbler is where those areas are migrated to come in many of them are coming from canada across
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the boreal forests, but that relationship reads from one province to the other, end of candidate to the other, winters in that little area in the yucatan peninsula. we have several wl million birds there in the winter. they are just as -- we care about those tropical forest birds because many of them are also canadian boreal forest birds. next. i do not think -- i am not sure this is going to show well. i will talk about it as it goes. there is some glowing down there. this is an interesting matchup. we need to work on the graphic colors. this will slowly expand north and see these grays spreading out here. this is now made, this is late may. we are working into june, and you see where all these birds are reading, red and white.
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what is interesting is this map was generated by birdwatchers. since people who go purveying, a write down what they see every day, they get to a giant bird several and with billion hours of computer processing time, they have taken hundreds of thousands of observations and been able to generate this list and choose how that species migrate up through and back again. there is a series of these at our website. they are rather fun to look at. i was not sure whether to seek it in, it highlights the power of what we call citizen science. all those burgers collecting the collecting the data are the ones who will help us with conversation that conservation. working the tropics is one of the challenges, and the key thing is working with people. forests ise on these the land use and the development, and if the people , happy livelihoods
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and one that benefit from it take advantage of these natural forests, then they will protect the forest for themselves and in the process protect the forest for the birds. the key to this conversation is to people'slevant lives. we have protected areas. it is about 20%, but we need to ter those protected areas. out citingo work x-rated we do not want to have 20% of the landscape good for birds would we want working landscapes where people work and live and eat and feet and work can support the diversity of birds through sustainable forestry, tumor harvesting, development. a lot of people like to go and watch birds. that can help protect their habitats. the other area i want to focus
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on, there are several others of concern, grassland. grasslands are important for my transnational perspective map just where many of the breeding birds in exeter.inter in there are 20% of grassland birds that are found only in north america. these grasslands are threatened in all parts of the range free if we look in that you will desert, central mexico, we look at birds that will go only to ihuahua, and the challenge is a lack of wintering habitat which means they do not survive. it is important have breeding habitats where birds can raise their young, but if they do not come back again, we will have a population challenge. the challenge with grasslands --
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next slide -- is working with people. real solutions are is getting people to understand the consequences of their action. if you take a pastureland that we use for rearing cattle, converted to soybeans, it has no value for birds, and in these dry desert areas, it will not have down longford across because they need to area kate -- to irrigate. it is bad in long-term. it is bad for the society, bad for birds in the long-term, and we need to work on policies that support what we call sustainable farming. many of these grassland birds grew up in an area where there are hundreds of millions of life. -- of bison. they can work in a landscape of cattle and bison. it helps to support.
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but -- basically the bottom line we come out with is if it is good for people in terms of the long-term healthy land and water, these are sustainable things for birds and four people. thank you. we will save questions for the end until we can ask the panel together. you are next. >> it is still installing. it may be ready before she is done. ms. hahn: thank you.
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good afternoon. hn.m deb ha i work with the association of wildlife agencies, which serves as a force for territorial fish and wildlife agencies. wildlife agencies are members of our associations as well as the canadian r provinces. there are also agencies that work on conservation, canadian wildlife service is also members, also with ngo's, including some in the room. charles got into some of the science, and i was asked to start to move the science towards what does it mean in the three countries, what does it mean from business practice standpoint, from a policy standpoint.
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we have had 100 years of implementation of the migratory bird treaty act. we had amazing success. but from a conservation community standpoint, we are saying, what do we have to do differently in the next hundred years so we can ensure that biodiversity, which for us is birds are an important part of that, and business thrive? had we make that happen for the how do weed years? -- make that happen for the next hundred years? and youall connected, do not need to talk only about birds. even talk about healthy land, air, water, and i would argue that long-term economic growth businesses are not counter to having the land, air, water. and at birds are indicators of the health of these areas. so what we need are the policies in the business practices that embrace this in order to make .hat a reality
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next. so i will touch base on a few policy opportunities that are somewhat u.s.-centric but include conservation in common canada and mexico. very important to us and coming out of this report is an act that its administrative by the u.s. fish and wildlife service. servedritical funding for neotropical migrants threat that western hemisphere. we had about 3.5 million to about 5.5 million appropriated by the u.s. congress each year, and a large amount of data that have gone to the program, and we had a number of projects in canada and u.s. united air three countries. another one that is north american focus

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