tv PBS News Hour PBS November 16, 2017 3:00pm-4:01pm PST
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening, i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight, house republicans pass a massive tax overhaul bill-- a look at what's in the far-reaching plan and the long process forward. then, minnesota democratic senator al franken is accused of sexually harassing a woman 11 years ago while the two were on a u.s.o. tour in the middle east. and, as president trump pushes an america first approach, what limiting foreign trade could mean for the nation's economy. >> we have the largest single economy, but we're only 330 million people, this is a world of seven billion. if you want to make something really big, really innovative like the 787, you need the entire global market you need
>> and by the alfred p. sloan foundation. supporting science, technology, and improved economic performance and financial literacy in the 21st century. >> carnegie corporation of new york. supporting innovations in education, democratic engagement, and the advancement of international peace and security. at carnegie.org. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions: >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> woodruff: it has been a day marked by major news on two fronts. republicans in the house of representatives pass a $1.5
trillion tax package. president trump hailed it "a big step" on the way to the first overhaul of our tax system in decades. and the cascade of accusations of sexual misconduct against men in positions of power continues. democratic senator al franken of minnesota is now the latest politician to face charges of harassment. john yang has the story. >> yang: a radio news anchor in los angeles, leeann tweeden, accused minnesota democrat al franken of forcibly kissing her during a u.s.o. tour in kuwait back in 2006. >> he came at me. before you know, you kind of get close. he just put his hand on the back of my head. he just mashed his face. it happened so fast. and he just mashed his lips against my face and he stuck his tongue in my mouth so fast. i said if you ever do that to me again, i'm not going to be so nice about it the second time. i just walked out and walked away from him.
i don't know. i was violated. he betrayed my trust. >> yang: tweeden also released a photo taken during the tour of franken looking at the camera while his hands are over her chest as she slept. franken apologized to tweeden in a statement, saying he remembered the kissing incident differently. of the photo he said: "i look at it now and i feel disgusted with myself. it isn't funny. it's completely inappropriate." senate majority leader mitch mcconnell has asked for a ethics investigation, which franken said he welcomed. tweeden says she's not asking for him to leave the senate. >> you know, people make mistakes. i'm not calling for him to step down. >> yang: later, a second woman, melanie morgan, co-founder of the far-right website media equalizer, said franken harassed her after they appeared together on the show "politically incorrect" with bill maher in 2000. her claims were not sexual in nature. the response on capitol hill?
>> i have no idea what the right answer is. >> i just learned of it, we'll see. >> yang: members of his own party also avoided weighing in. >> i think i should go vote. >> i cannot comment on any matter that may come before the committee. >> yang: in alabama, republican senate candidate roy moore was faced with three new allegations overnight of sexual assault and harassment- including two teenage girls. >> many of you have recognized that this is an effort by mitch mcconnell and his cronies to try to steal this election. they got a call asking me to step down from the campaign, well i don't need to tell you who needs to step down. that's mitch mcconnell. >> yang: on capitol hill today to talk taxes... >> mr. president, should roy moore step aside? is there any reaction to the al franken news, sir? >> yang: ...president trump ignored questions on both franken and moore. for the pbs newshour i'm john yang.
>> woodruff: and late today, the alabama republican party officially announced it would stand by judge moore. in a statement, the party chair said, "alabamians will be the ultimate jury in this election, not the media or those from afar." we'll talk to two influential members of congress about the other lead story, a tax reform vote, right after the news summary. in the day's other news, a federal judge declared a mistrial in the bribery trial of senator robert menendez. jurors said they were deadlocked on all charges against the new jersey democrat, after a trial that lasted two and a half months. we'll have a full report, later in the program. a bipartisan group of senators has unveiled gun legislation to beef up the criminal background check system. it comes after a gunman in texas killed more than two dozen people at a church. his domestic assault conviction in the military was never reported to the database. the bill would penalize federal agencies that fail to report
relevant information. in zimbabwe, president robert mugabe was seen for the first time since tuesday's apparent military coup put him under house arrest. john ray of independent television news is in zimbabwe. he reports from the capital city, harare. >> reporter: the drama that will decide zimbabwe's future glimpsed from a distance. robert mugabe's motorcade speeding to the presidential palace. still his if only in name. tonight state media released pictures of mugabe meeting the generals who want him out. not all carefully staged images they suggest a deal might be close. no doubt who's in control. just as slowly, just as surely as the army's convoys-- this crisis is coming to a climax. onto the stage opposition leader morgan tsvangirai. >> in the interests of the people of zimbabwe, mr. robert mugabe must resign, step down
immediately in line with the national sentiment and expectation. >> reporter: the adoring crowds that cheered mugabe last week are gone. but he is stubborn. he wants safeguards for his wife grace. her lavish lifestyle has more than anything has angered zimbabweans struggling in a country crumbling around them. long weary of the greed, incompetence and corruption that's disfigured their politics-- today for the for the first time in a long time zimbabweans are daring to dream for a better tomorrow and hoping that this is not another false dawn. ethel tells me she wants to be a lawyer. more likely she'll join the long ranks of jobless. but already the family speaks with a freedom they haven't known for years. >> we are sick and tired of mugabe. they must remove him for us to be better. >> reporter: if robert mugabe goes what will that mean for you?
>> wow to him that would be a great blow but to us that would be a great change. at least we have-- we will have our zimbab back. >> reporter: it was at the airport that mugabe was last seen in public. renaming it in his honor. his exit from power if not the country is surely close at hand. >> woodruff: that report from john ray of independent television news. china today renewed its call for north korea to halt nuclear and missile testing, if the u.s. halts military exercises with south korea. it's called the "freeze-for- freeze" initiative, and beijing said it's the most reasonable way forward. just yesterday, president trump said china's president xi had agreed the proposal is a non- starter. a painting of christ by leonardo da vinci has shattered the record for the most expensive piece of art ever sold. it was auctioned for $450 million last night, at christie's in new york.
the work is titled "salvator mundi," or "savior of the world," and depicts christ holding an orb. it dates to around 1500. the winning bidder remains anonymous. and on wall street, stocks surged on strong corporate earnings from wal-mart and cisco systems. the dow jones industrial average gained 187 points to close at 23,458. the nasdaq hit a record high, rising 87 points, and the s&p 500 added 21. still to come on the newshour: republicans pass a sweeping tax plan with massive changes to the tax code. what an american first economy would actually mean for the u.s. the f.c.c. rule change that could open up local news stations to controlling mergers, and much more.
>> woodruff: back to our other lead story of the day, the republican-led u.s. house of representatives pass major legislation on taxes. our lisa desjardins reports. >> desjardins: at the capitol, a big step one, for republicans' tax overhaul plans. >> this country has not reprinted its tax code since 1986. the powers of the status quo in this town are so strong, yet 227 men and women of this congress broke through that today. that is powerful. >> desjardins: the house voted 227 to 205 to pass its version of the bill, just minutes after president trump stopped by for a closed-door pep rally, telling republicans to press forward. >> thank you. the taxes are going well, thank you very much. >> desjardins: meanwhile, a senate committee put final touches on its version of tax reform today.
the two chambers differ on some things but. in general, republicans stress that both plans lower most people's tax rates and increase everyone's basic or standard deduction. for corporations, republicans would cut the rate to 20 percent, from 35. and overall, republicans say, all those changes will grow the economy. >> we are on the precipice of passing a fair, flatter simpler more competitive tax code. one bill for 3% plus economic growth >> desjardins: but opponents say some of those individuals tax cuts are temporary. and many individuals will lose some big deductions, including for state and local taxes and health care. there is also concern that smaller businesses get a much smaller break than big corporations, and, opponents say rather than grow the economy. these cuts will just grow the deficit. >> donald trump is king of debt, and this monstrosity of a tax
bill is fueled by increasing the national debt $2.3 trillion. cutting taxes for the wealthy financed by increased debt burden on our children and grandchildren. >> desjardins: over all of this, the question of who in america, exactly would benefit. a new analysis by congress' own joint committee on taxation found that the bill would cut taxes for most americans, but the senate bill would actually increase taxes for some 13 million people in the middle class, and the house bill would mean an increase for some lower income families. >> that is what this bill does. it preys on the middle class and those aspire to it pillages and loots the middle class. it's a shameful piece of legislation and the republicans should know better. >> desjardins: but republicans deny that, and today they were exuberant, insisting their bills will, indeed, cut taxes for most americans. ways and means chairman kevin
brady. >> for a typical middle income family in my district means they'll save over $2,000. >> desjardins: so what's step two? getting something through the senate, and then agreeing on a final bill, all within a month. >> we are committed to getting it done and delivering for the american people. >> desjardins: for the pbs newshour, i'm lisa desjardins. >> woodruff: and congressman kevin brady joins me now. chairman brady, first of all, i i guess, congratulations are in order for getting it through the house. my first question is is this more about helping businesses or about helping ordinary americans? >> so helping both. and, first, this is a good day for the american people. there have been a lot of skeptics for 30 years who believe congress could never act and actually simplify this code dramatically and get u.s. back in the game around the world while we took a huge step today. but it's not the last step. in fact, we are, because, judy,
if you think about it, we really stripped the tax code down to its fundamentals, and we're rebuilding it based on what our business and families need these days, not 30 years ago. what i'm kind of eager, starting tomorrow, we're going to pivot toward naiking improvements, getting to work with the senate as they work through their process. >> woodruff: you know, this the bipartisan joint committee on taxation has taken a look at this, and what they've concluded at this point is while the tax cuts for corporations are permanent, the tax cuts for working and middle-income americans between-- earning between $10,000 and $70,000 a year are going to end after a few years. >> well, that's not quite accurate, because the income brackets stay in place. the standard deduction stays in place. the home mortgage, charitable-- all of that stays in place. in fact the new family tax credit, which is bigger and doubles the amount of american bhoz can use tessentially stays in place.
there's one small part of it that expires in five years. but i'll tell you, i expect-- because that's going to be hugely popular for families-- i expect that to be continued, frankly, eternally. >> woodruff: but you still, i think, chairman brady, have people looking at this and say, "yes, you're giving taxpayers a lower rate, but you are taking away the state and local tax deductions, medical expense deductions. you're capping property tax deductions. how can people be sure they're going to come out better here? >> so one thing a lofts people, because of all this sort of circus a bit on the media, they don't really yet i think, get a chance to take a hard look at this. and when they do they realize because the income rates are lower, the a.m.t. is gone, the new family standard deduction, they end up in very good places as families. now, can we do better? i think the answer is yes. in fact, we continue to work with lawmakers from the high-tax states-- and, again, those local governments and governors,
they're just brutally taxed. and, frankly, it's just-- it's just hard to watch. but we think we can provide tax relief for americans regardless of where they live, including in these high-tax states. so we've got work to do. i'm kind of exciting, you know, we're pivoting right to it. >> it sounds like you're open to changes on that state and local tax. >> not necessarily on state and local, but the design of all this, look, if you're eeght only looking at one provision. wriewr missing 95%, getting our jobs back. and i'll tell you, for most americans they'd like to see our u.s. companies and jobs come back from overseas. >> woodruff: the committee for a responsible federal budget, bipartisan. they've taken a look at the house bill. they are saying-- and i'm quoting-- it's based on predictions of magical economic growth that defy history and all credible analyses. >> well, i disagree with that
for this reason. there will be strong growth. we know this from the reagan and the j.f.k. cuts as well. growth alone won't do it. i think you've heard me say, growth will move us back in a big way towards a balanced budget, but to finish, to cover all of this, you have to eliminate a lot of special interest loopholes and carve-outs and things that litter this tax code. that's why have really gone back to the fundamentals, what is a simple, fair tax code, we continue to build it. i think at the end of the day, you can judge the house bill. at the end of the day, you'll want to judge the final tax reform bill because you're going to see, i think, continued improvements going forward. >> woodruff: you and your colleagues in the house were looking at doing away with the individual mandate to buy health insurance, part of obamacare. in the end, you didn't incorporate that into the bill, but could that come back? >> well, let's watch the senate. the senate finance committee is putting it into their bill. they still have work to do through the senate floor as
well. so we'll wait to see if they deliver this to the conference committee. as you know, the house is repealing voting to eliminate the individual mandate. and, really, the tax on it-- it's a tax-- hits those modest and middle-income families who can't afford obamacare health care. and, you know, tax reform is about the freedom to buy-- use your money the way you see fit, not washington. the individual mandate is a little bit-- a lot about, your choice to buy the affordable care act products or the freedom not to. we'll see how this works for it in the senate. >> woodruff: quickly, and finally, $25 billion in automatic medicare cuts. it is reported this will trigger. how do you defend that? >> yeah, well, these are the funny budget rules in congress. here's what i know because our committee has oversight and jurisdiction over both medicare and social security. both of those important programs are funded by paychecks. and the more people you have
working, the higher paychecks they get-- and they haven't had one in, frankly, years and years-- you know, when you do that and get the economy going, it helps both of those programs in a big way. >> woodruff: well, we're going to be watching all of it, and i know you are, too. chairman kevin brady of the house ways and means >> woodruff: for the view from the democrats, i'm joined by congressman lloyd doggett, ao of texas, who also serves on the ways and means committee. congressman doggett, thank you so much for talking with us. the chairman of that committee, kevin brady, just spoke with us, and he said this is going to be historic tax reform. it's going to unleash businesses, growth, and lead to good things for americans in the middle-income group. >> wish that it were so. you know, sometimes i believe my republican colleagues live in a parallel universe. the data out there from one economist after another gold
mansacks being one example, say this won't grow the economy, won't grow jobs. we also have the experience of prior tax cuts that did not grow jobs. i believe that most of those that look at this realize there's such a mountain of debt that is being created by this bill that it will slow economic growth. we'll see few new jobs. of course, i'm concerned about those jobs that will be outsourced with the giant, gaping loophole that's there to encourage corporations to invest abroad instead of investing here in america. >> woodruff: but what about the fact that the tax system would be simpler? fewer income tax brackets, and lower income tax rates. republicans are saying that is going to be a boon to most americans. >> well, it's certainly a boon to those at the top. they're going to see tremendous benefits. i thought donald trump had reason to come over here today and say, "thank you," because
estimates are that he and his family would get more than $1 billion out of this. we don't know exactly how much because the republicans are still colluding to hide his tax returns. but as to simplification, i mean, i think the bill is simply wrong. but i have a simplification program on higher education, legislation that i've introduced. the difference between my approach and mr. brady's is that i would take the $17 billion savings and reinvest it in people, in higher education. he would take it and use it to pay for corporate tax cuts. >> woodruff: well, as you know, again, congressman doggett, what he and other republicans are saying, is businesses right now are stalled in a sense. they're not creating jobs. they're not raising salaries as they could be, as we-- as the country needs them to be. and that this is legislation that's going to be an incentive for business to do that. >> well, businesses are flush with cash these days. and i took note of the meeting
that gary cohen had-- mr. trumps designated person on taxes -- can corporate c.e.o.s, and he couldn't get them to raise their hands they would invest the money. what they said is they'll use it for stock buybacks, for exclusive compensation. we'll see little growth from it. our american corporation would benefit from a simplification of the corporate tax code, and lowering the statutory rate, but not borrowing money from china or the saudis. we ought to be closing loopholes, and very few are closed here. in fact, i think they made the system more complex on the multinational corporations and their investments abroad, and with that new loophole, i think they'll be encouraged to build abroad instead of to bring jobs here at home. even speaker ryan's own republican wisconsin senator ron johnson-- and i think you all reported on this-- said that this will encourage manufacturing to stay abroad.
we don't need any more of that. >> woodruff: congressman, how can you and other democrats be confident that you know better what business will do than republicans do? >> well, you know, we would all have more insight if they had given a little more attention and public hearings on this matter than it takes time to microwave popcorn. we had-- we had no hearings. we had no trump administration official who would come and answer questions. this. but i think we do have inside of sight from the contacts we've had with representatives with the business community and with economists from across the country that this is a job-killing bill not a job-growing bill. it's not a choice between keeping things the way they are today. there is reform that would be desirable but this is just really degenerated into little more than a set of rewards for tax dodgers. we don't need a system that rewards those who won't contribute their fair share to
our national security and other vital public needs. but that's what we're getting out of this bill. >> woodruff: finally, congressman, another point that chairman brady made whatever fixes that can be made, there's an opportunity to do that in the senate. in fact, he sounded as if he and others in the leadership are open to working with the senate to make this bill more palatable. >> well, they've operated pretty much with a surprise jack-in-the-box kind of approach, pomg out new versions of this at the last minute here. but what troubles me the most about the senate-- and you focused on this-- is the way they undermine our health care. some of my colleagues have an almost fanatical determination to eliminate the affordable care panth you knock out the individual responsibilities of that act, and people with pre-existing conditions, older people who are too young to qualify for medicare, they will not be able to afford their insurance premiums and we'll see
millions again without coverage. so that's one of the worst provisions of the senate bill. but there are also some other problems with it. >> woodruff: we are going to have to leave it there. >> thank you, judy. >> woodruff: congress lloyd doggett of texas-- two texans as you pointed out. thank you very much. >> >> woodruff: now back to the mistrial declared today in the federal bribery trial of new jersey senator bob menendez. john yang is back with that. >> yang: senator menendez had been charged with 18 counts. prosecutors said he used his office to help a friend, a florida eye doctor, in exchange for personal gifts and campaign contributions. outside the courthouse today, menendez blasted the federal investigation and prosecution of him from beginning to end: >> the way this case started was wrong.
the way it was investigated was wrong. the way it was prosecuted was wrong. and the way it was tried was wrong as well. certain elements of the f.b.i. and of our state cannot understand, or even worse, accept, that the latino kid from union city and hudson county can grow up to be a united states senator, and be honest. >> yang: we take a closer look at the trial and where things go from here with: michael aron, chief political correspondent for pbs member network, njtv news. the associated press quoted one of the jurors saying that 10 of the 12 members of the jury wanted to acquit menendez on all counts. what was the defense argument? >> john, the defense argument was that he's men have been
friends for 25 years, that, yes, salomon melgen flew bob menendez to the dominican republic dozens of times on his private jet. and, yes, he paid for a paris vacation once. and, yes, he gave $700,000 to the democratic party in 2012 earmarked for menendez's re-election. but that's not necessarily a bribery scheme. the government said that menendez intervened, went to bat for melgen in a couple of areas with the commerce department and the state department on visas and a port security contract, with medicare on an over-bilge dispute of $8.9 million. but the government never proved that the one set of gifts was in return for the set of favors. >> and the defense argued these were just two friends doing this, and that the senator's interest in these things was broader policy? >> that's right. that was probably the weakest part of the defense case was
that the defense tried to say that-- talking to kathleen sebelius at health and human services about the right way to administer a certain kind of eye drops that melgen often used and double billed for was menendez's interest in medicare efficiency, and that talking to the state department and the commerce department about a cargo screening contract in the ports of the dominican republic was about menendez's interest in port security throughout the western hemisphere. that never really rang true. but on the other hand, it was never any proof that the one act was done because the other was done. there was-- as one of my colleagues put it-- there was a quid and there was a quo but no pro. >> mike nel less than a minute we have left. he's up for re-election next year, menendez. he may have a retrial. he may have a senate ethics
committee investigation which mitch mcconnell called for today. what's this done to his political standing? >> well, his approval rating among the public-- 28% in a recent poll said they thought he deserved re-election. but i think within the party itself-- party leaders, party bosses as we still call them in new jersey-- there's a fair amount of good will for bob menendez. it's hard to imagine someone challenging nim a democratic primary. there could be a substantial republican to step up and try and knock him off on the theory that he's tarnished now in the general election. but i could see this man saying i've been vindicated after a 10-week trial, re-elect me to the senate. >> michael aron of m njtv nes thanks so much for joining us. >> thanks john.
>> woodruff: one of the great economic debates of our era: do we continue to globalize through trade or try to go it alone? president trump made the case this past week for his vision during his trip to asia, arguing that the u.s. is prepared to go it alone in the future. but is this feasible in the 21st century? paul solman, explores the question as part of his weekly series, making sen$e. >> no longer will we allow other countries to close our factories, steal our jobs and drain our wealth. >> reporter: that was donald trump in arizona in august. and here he was in vietnam just last week. >> we are not going to let the united states be taken advantage of anymore. i am always going to put america first the same way that i expect all of you in this room to put your countries first. >> reporter: for president trump, putting america first means replacing multilateral trade deals, which he thinks are unfair to the u.s., with one- on-one deals. his evidence that america is getting ripped off by
globalization? our $500 billion annual trade deficit-- half a trillion more that we buy from abroad than we sell. >> with mexico as an example, we have a trade deficit of $71 billion. that's nafta. we have trade deficits with china that are through the roof, they're so big and so bad that it's embarrassing saying what the number is. >> reporter: shortly after taking office, the president visited a star american exporter, boeing, to hype its hot new product: the 787 dreamliner. >> that is one beautiful airplane. congratulations to the men and women here who have built it. what an amazing piece of art. what an amazing piece of work. >> reporter: so what is this meant to illustrate? >> ah, this is the supply chain. this is where boeing gets its major pieces for the 787.
>> reporter: that's former i.m.f. chief economist simon johnson and the pre-assembled pieces of the dreamliner. >> so, this is japan, a big piece of fuselage coming in from japan, and from italy we have slightly smaller but still important piece of fuselage. you're going to take the cockpit made in kansas. >> reporter: the cockpit, so that goes up here. >> and you're going to add the tail piece which is coming out of south carolina. now hold on a minute. from china, this is very important, you still need your rudder. >> reporter: putting the plane together is a fantastic feat of american know-how, says johnson. but the product itself is a thoroughly global division of labor, in which firms around the world specialize and become, well, world-class at what they make and send our way. >> right but we're not done, you're still missing a few pieces. >> reporter: wings, flown in from japan.
horizontal stabilizers from italy, landing gear from simon johnson's country of origin, great britain. you're proud of these are you? >> some of the best wheels the british ever produced, absolutely. and we can offer you as an option available on the final model this fine rolls-royce engine, although of course you have your choice of ge engines should you so choose. >> reporter: moreover, says johnson... >> by having all these suppliers around the world, you're also persuading them and the governments and their airlines to buy your plane, so we got the chinese buying the plane, we've got the koreans buying the plane, we have the indians buying the plane, they make a part of the floor actually of the 787, and we've got the japanese buying a lot of these planes. this is creating the global market. this is what's making it possible actually to develop and have a 787. >> reporter: for obvious reasons, airlines in countries with 787 parts suppliers are
boeing's biggest and most reliable 787 customers. japan's purchase of 787s means close to $20 billion of revenue for boeing all by itself. so part of boeing's strategy is to get all these other players, countries into the game by locating production in those countries. >> it's absolutely about getting them into the game. beyond that it's about the size of the global market. how many of these planes can you sell and to whom? >> reporter: but the argument is that as we outsource to all these companies and countries, we are and are we not, losing american jobs? >> there absolutely some good jobs developing in this supply chain, but a lot of good jobs are staying in america, they're staying in kansas, they're staying in south carolina, they're staying in seattle and in fact, the existence of those jobs is made possible by the global market that boeing creates through this network of
suppliers, so supply side and the demand side are intertwined in this industry. >> reporter: let me be very specific. right now, there's an argument about whether or not we should stay in nafta. and it looks like we're going to leave the north american free trade agreement. what have you got there? >> here comes aeromexico. >> reporter: why mexico? >> well they are part of this conversation. they sell to boeing and they buy planes from boeing. certainly tearing up nafta would be to make a lot of this kind of relationship difficult. >> i told you from the first day, we will renegotiate nafta or we will terminate nafta. >> reporter: president trump has been loud and clear. so too his top trade advisor, economist peter navarro. >> you've got gm and ford over the last few years taking billions of dollars to invest in new assembly plants in mexico rather than in michigan. why did they go to mexico? because of aspects of the unfair trade deal of nafta. >> reporter: is there any advantage at all to any of these
trade deals? >> consumers are considered winners, but i would argue that they're much bigger losers when it comes to jobs and paychecks and tax base than they are getting a few cents off at the walmart, buying cheap made in china. >> reporter: but so far, the other countries in those multilateral agreements don't seem interested in one on one deals. increasingly, america first looks like america alone. so i asked economist and historian adam tooze: could the united states go it alone economically? >> well it's a hypothetical question but if any economy could, it's probably the united states because it's so large, it has so much internal climatic diversity, it has natural resources, the science base, the productive capacity. >> reporter: so we can make anything, we can grow anything. >> yep absolutely. and you have the capacity to innovate things that we don't know of yet that might serve as substitutes for things we've decided no longer to import from abroad. >> reporter: so then why not go it alone?
>> well there are huge costs to exiting an efficient division of labor with the world economy. >> reporter: conservative economist peter morici is even more blunt. >> we'd all be very irritable by 10:00 on monday morning. where would we get our coffee? we grow a little bit of it in hawaii, but largely we are dependent on imports and can't grow it here. >> reporter: but coffee? i mean, how big a deal is coffee? >> really? there are a lot of things that are not that big a deal but americans are accustomed to them. what i'm trying to say is that we'd have a much lower standard of living if we wholly went it alone. there would not be the incentive to be competitive. there would not be the incentive to innovate. so on many fronts, america would be simply backward. >> reporter: consider the old soviet union, says morici, satirized in this 1980's wendy's commercial >> is next: eveningwear! >> having a choice is better
than none. >> is next, swimwear! >> it's a classic example of what happens when you try to limit trade with the outside and do it all yourself. it's one of the reasons that the standard of living, even today in russia, is so low. once you fall behind, it's very difficult to catch up again. it's free trade that gives us the modern consumer economy. >> reporter: finally, we put the question to simon johnson. what about the argument that if there's any country on earth that can go it alone economically, it would be the united states of america? >> we have the largest single economy, but we're only 330 million people, this is a world of seven billion. if you want to make something really big, really innovative like the 787, you need the entire global market, you need
access to all seven billion people. >> reporter: for the pbs newshour, this is economics correspondent paul solman, reporting this time from pretty much everywhere. >> woodruff: the federal communications commission approved the most sweeping changes in a generation when it comes to the ownership of local newspapers, tv and radio stations. hari sreenivasan has the story from our new york studios. >> sreenivasan: the f.c.c voted to do away with a longstanding set of rules that prevented an individual or company from owning tv stations and newspapers in the same market. the change allows a person or company to own both a newspaper and a tv station, or radio station, in the same local market. it also means broadcasters could own two of the top four stations in a given market. it all comes as the media and digital landscape is in the midst of a dramatic transformation. but there are concerns about the
new impact. keach hagey is a media reporter with the "wall street journal." when we talk about local markets, how much upon an impact do these rules have on, say, the news ecosystem in the local market? >> a huge impact. this is what keeps broadcast tv owners from being able to own two of the top tv stations in a market, which they've been straining against these rules for years. and looking at how the ecosystem has involved, the broadcast-newspaper ownership ban had a huge impact on how-- what the world looks like today. unfortunately, the repeal of this is just a little too little, too late for the newspapers. >> sreenivasan: because tv stations aren't interested in buying newspapers. they're not as profitable as they once were. >> right. >> sreenivasan: but they could buy each other or a larger conglomerate could buy multiple stations in each market. >> for decades, a lot of of companies were bumping up against these rules. >> sreenivasan: what's the
rationale behind this? >> the rationale is, look around. this is not a world of three major broadcast networks and one or two newspapers in a town anymore. there's facebook, there's google. people are increasingly getting their news online and different source and this notion that people need to be protected from the possible monopoly power of a local broadcaster is, you know, it's a little silly. >> sreenivasan: so this isn't the specific case about sinclair broadcast, but that's been kind of part of this conversation, at least in the background. >> right. >> sreenivasan: how are they impacted by this? >> well, it's a little bit complicated. they certainly will be helped a little bit, especially in this pending deal they have to buy tribune media. these rules that were rolled back today really affect larger markets. and sinclair is traditionally in the smaller markets -- the biggest player in the smaller market-- but if it buys tribune it will be in the bigger markets and won't have to spin off as many stations if it does get this merger done. the bigger picture, a lot of why
you've been hearing about sinclair there have been other regulatory changes. there is others, j.s.a., joint service agreements-- it's complicated-- but it lets broadcast station owners operate another station in their market. sinclair has been doing that for years. it will be beneficial to sinclair, and generally the regulatory environment hasn't been beneficial to them in the past years. >> sreenivasan: what about the concern of consolidation these rules raise? >> the people who oppose this change are worried that having fewer voices in a community is going to be bad for democracy. it's going to be bad for debate. and especially allowing these tv companies, especially, to consolidate their newsrooms is going to mean journalists are going to be laid off. companies are going to look for cost efficiencies. and there's going to be less news. you know, of course, the companies say, "no, this is going to make it easier for us to make our newsrooms profitable." so we'll see. >> sreenivasan: have there been companies waiting on the sidelines for a relaxation of these kind of rules, ready to
sort of go on a buying spree? >> absolutely. i mean, the broadcast industry has been straining against these rules for years, lobbying against them for years. soic what we'll see most of is swaps between two big station groups might, like, trade stations back and forth so that one can have two stations in one market and the other one can center two stations in other markets. the real advantage is market power within a specific city. >> sreenivasan: all right keach hagey of ""the wall street journal"" thank you very much. >> thank you. >> woodruff: 14 people were killed in the afghan capital today, in an attack at a hotel. this comes as the united states is in the process of, once again, stepping up its commitment to helping afghans improve security. p.j. tobia begins our coverage. >> reporter: smoke billowed overhead in kabul, the burned- out shell of a car smoldered below. >> ( translated ): suddenly the
explosion took place here, i fell down on the ground, when i looked around, i saw couple of dead bodies of my friends. >> reporter: isis, a relatively new combatant on the afghan battlefield, claimed responsibility for the bombing. in the last month alone, the taliban and isis have struck shiite mosques, and an army training facility. all of this 16 years after u.s. troops first arrived. most u.s. and nato troops departed in 2014, and left behind an afghan army that's suffered huge causalities from fierce taliban attacks under- prepared and overpowered. the government holds little more than half of the country, the rest is in the grip of the taliban, or contested by the surgents. in august, president trump announced a new strategy: sending several thousand u.s. troops back to help train afghan soldiers, and to fight the taliban, but with a caveat. >> our commitment is not unlimited and our support is not a blank check. >> reporter: as part of the plan, hundreds of u.s. marines
have returned to helmand province, a hotbed of taliban activity. mr. trump is the third successive u.s. president to press pakistan to stop harboring taliban fighters, and he's appealed to pakistan's traditional enemy, india, for more help. secretary of state rex tillerson drove home that point on a visit to india last month. >> in the fight against terrorism, the united states will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with india. terrorist safe havens will not be tolerated. >> reporter: but it comes at a cost: in july, a u.n. report found civilian deaths in afghanistan reached a record high, due to bombings and increased u.s. and afghan air strikes. today's bombing in kabul targeted supporters of a political party aligned with afghan chief executive, abdullah abdullah. he shares power with president ashraf ghani, an uneasy alliance formed after a close 2014 election, plagued by accusations of fraud. their relationship is tense. in august, abdullah said president ghani isn't fit to hold office. afghanistan will choose a new
president in 2019. for the pbs newshour, im p.j. tobia. >> woodruff: and with me now is abdullah abdullah, the chief executive of afghanistan. he is an eye doctor who has been a leading political figure in afghan politics for decades. he served as that country's foreign minister from 2001 to 2006 and ran for president in 2009 and 2014. mr. abdullah, thank you very much for being here. >> you're welcome. >> woodruff: how security right now is life for ordinary afghan citizens? >> life for millions of afghans in parts of the country, in major parts of the country, are secure, but at the same time, the nature of the terrorist activities are such that they are hitting ordinary citizens and mosques and meeting places and baswrars and markets. so that's the nature of terrorist activity s. >> woodruff: i ask you because some of the analyses we read
describe the elite of afghanistan as being able to afford private security, whereas most afghanistan citizens, of course, cannot, and they are the ones who are subject to these terrorist attacks. >> yes, and, unfortunately, it will not be possible to provide personal security for each citizen in the brutal tactics that taliban and other terrorist groups are using, which is indiscriminate attacks on civilians and mainly through societal attacks -- car bombs. these are difficult to prevent. though, when you have incidents from one side, then we have other case where's these things have been prevented and have been discovered and people have been arrested. but out of too many, then one
succeeds and then inflict casualties on civilians. >> woodruff: president trump as we know has decided u.s. troops will stay in your country longer than had been the previous plan. how long will they need to stay there? how long will you need u.s. military help? >> first of all, at this stage, if you compare it with a few years ago, when there were over 120,000 u.s. troops in afghanistan. now it's around one-tenth of that. at the same time, the announcement of the policy, which has a few elements and the main element is that it is condition-based, not time-bound, and more clarity as far as the nature of the problem, including the presence of sanguaries in pakistan which has been identified as the main problem, which has to be dealt with in its own way.
and then you have the people of afghanistan and our forces which have taken most of the responsibility of fighting on their shoulders, to say how lo long, it's difficult. but i am sure that it is doable. you have a willing partner in the people of afghanistan. >> woodruff: will it take to get it done? what it will take to defeat the taliban? >> the idea in the road map ahead of us would be to exercise and to put more pressure on taliban, which hopefully will lead to a situation where elements of taliban will find it, that it's not possible to win a war through the-- through their own tactics but see other chances through negotiations. and to those who are willing to fight until they die, there will
be limited fors. >> woodruff: is there a political strategy on the part of your government to go along with the military strategy? >> yes. the peace process or the-- established in order to keep the door open for negotiations for talks and to make outreaches to the elements of taliban, which might be willing to talk, that is part of the policy that we are pursuing. but there was a situation that taliban were hoping that withdrawal-- with the withdrawal of the american troops they might come back full force. that situation has come to an end today, and we hope that, that will lead to another conditions where elements of taliban will join the peace
process. >> woodruff: mr. abdullah, one of the things that president trump has talked openly about is inviting india to get involved in the development of afghanistan. is that something you welcome? >> we do. india was-- india played a constructive role, a supportive role, has played in the past 15 years. but as part of the south asia policy, there is a new energy, and india's helped afghanistan with billions of dollars of assistances. >> woodruff: but sensitive because of the relationship with pakistan, no? >> we tried with pakistan, also, to establish good relations, but, unfortunately, the main obstacle there has been the presence of the sanguaries for taliban and other terrorist groups. that we have not been able to address through our past engagements. >> woodruff: as we have reported, reminded our viewers,
it was just a year ago that you criticized mr. ghani, the leader of your country, as being unfit for office. are you still planning to run on the same ticket with mr. ghani in 2019 in the next elections or do you plan to run yourself for president? >> last time, i didn't run on the same ticket. as far as 2019 is concerned, i think because of the priorities of the people, because of the challenges that our people are faced with, it's important for myself or the president to focus on the priorities of the people at this stage, and then when the time comes, decide who is going to run, who is not going to run. >> woodruff: do you still hold the view that he's unfit? >> we are working together in the same government. he's the president of the
country. i'm chief executive. we both have responsibilities. and we have to carry out our responsibilities in the boast way possible. >> woodruff: and you're not ruling it out. >> running for the-- >> woodruff: running for president yourself? >> i think it's too early to talk about it. i'm sure that it will be making news should i go a little bit further that that. >> woodruff: abdullah abdullah, who is the chief executive of afghanistan, thank you very much. >> you're welcome. >> woodruff: on the newshour online right now, all journalists have a list of experts they can call to explain complicated theories and policies. we share a remembrance of uwe reinhardt, an influential thinker on health care in this country and an occasional guest on the newshour. find that and more on our web site, pbs.org/newshour.
and that's the newshour for tonight. i'm judy woodruff. join us online and again here tomorrow evening with mark shields and david brooks. for all of us at the pbs newshour, thank you and see you soon. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> the ford foundation. working with visionaries on the frontlines of social change worldwide. >> carnegie corporation of new york. supporting innovations in education, democratic engagement, and the advancement of international peace and security. at carnegie.org. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions and individuals.
>> rose: welcome to the program. we begin today with a look at music and the role that tours play today. we talked to michael rapino the ceo of live nation entertainment. >> for whatever i lovelife and the passion i found earlier was 80% of the game as we know. people waking up today trying to figure out what they want to do. wanting to do what i love to do is great. i think the idea i can manifest the outcome is probably the talent and i sat there and 20 years old, the university, with one of my mentors that now i work with, i said at 20, at 40 years old i want to run the largest company in the world. >> rose: we talk with joel fleishman and darren walker the president of the