tv Charlie Rose PBS March 31, 2017 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT
. >> rose: welcome to the program, we begin this evening with senator mark warner, a ranking democrat and vice chairman of the senate intelligence committee which began hearings today. >> when i started this process a month and a half ago or so i said i thought this was the most serious thing that i have ever tried to take on in my public life. i've been a governor an a senator. i feel much more strongly the truth and valid of-- validity of that statement today than i could have ever imagined when i first made it a month and a half ago. >> rose: also this evening carol lee of "the wall street journal" on the relationship between russia and the trump administration. >> this is-- said it will maintain sanctions on ukraine until russia abides by the peace accord, that the two sides had agreed to. that's not a position that russia likes. the administration is backing month neglect ro's ascension
into nato, that is not a position that russia likes. and early on when the u.n. ambassador, the president's ambassador to the u.n. had tough rhetoric for russia. it has not been what president putin thought it would be. >> rose: we conclude this evening with larry summers, president emeritus of harvard and former secretary of the treasury. >> i don't think the tax cut schemes, tax credit schemes for infrastructure that the administration has talked about are likely to be particularly availing. and i'm not sure they will be able to conform consensus on it. i think the right deal is a deal where the administration and the republicans in congress agree to commit substantial money for infrastructure, and the democrats accept regulation changes that will permit some stream lining of doing major projects more quickly and more
efficiently. >> rose: mark werner, carol lee and larry summers when we continue. >> funding for charlie rose is provided by the following. >> and by bloomberg, a provider of multimedia news and information services worldwide. captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. >> rose: we begin this evening with our continuing coverage of the investigation into russia's meddling in the u.s. presidential election. the senate intelligence committee held its first opening session today. the committee's republican and
democratic leaders promised a thorough and impartial inquirery as doubts mount about what happens in the house investigation. neen while "the new york times" reported that two white house officials helped provide devin nunes the chairman of the house intelligence committee with reports indicating surveillance of president trump's associates. joining me now from capitol hill is senator mark warner. he is the ranking democrat and vice chairman of the senate intelligence committee. we also have asked chairman richard burr to join this program and we hope he will do so soon. let me begin with the question of today's testimony 6789 what is the take away from what you heard today? >> well, today's testimony focused kind of on the foundation. what did the russians do, why did they do it? this is part of russian doctrine that goes back to the soviet era of spreading misinformation and disinformation. they have just now taken it to a much more modern space in terms of using cybertechniques.
so it was revalidated one more time which i think everyone with perhaps the exception of the president, exeps that the russians were behind, the dnc hack, the hack of the john poddesta emails. they were behind the use of distributing fake news. and the way they do this, is they have close to a thousand paid internet trolls in moscow that create in effect bots that can then flood certain of these search engines like twitter and facebook and others with a lot of false news. real fake news, not the kind that the president sometimes referred to. and there was complete consensus from both the technical experts and the more kind of historical and policy experts, one, that russia was behind this. two, it was based on the assumption that russia was trying to create havoc and chaos and they want to try to split countries apart and try to drive as big a social wedge as possible. and obviously if you look at the
2016 electorate in terms of some of the tools they used, they did that. there was a lot of the websites they pushed and promoted were ones that were viewed as far right, lots of the words and usage of those words reinforce those kind of views. what also i thought was a little surprising to hear some of the witnesses hear is to say that part of the reason they are successful is that then candidate trump used some of this fake news in his normal comments about fake numbers of people voting, about some of the other outlandish claims that mr. trump made as a candidate. and said that that actually amplified the fake news. and the truth is, we live in an era now with great benefits from technology, but we're now seeing where the manipulation of some of these particular technology platforms can really create national security risks as they
did in this attack on our election last year. >> rose: the the committee has spp power-- power. >> yes, yes, it does. >> rose: who do you expect to well, what we are doing unlike maybe the other committee is we believe we need to do this in a deliberate, met odd kal process am i have to tell you as somebody who is impatient to say the least, this isn't happening nearly as quick i would like. we even have some of the intel community that still needs to get at full access to their underlying documents. what we want to do first is go through those documents. we've gone through and had our staff out reviewing thousands of pages in the three binders that created the january 6th intel reports that again reach the same conclusion about russian interference favoring trump and against clinton. and also in terms of some of the possible connections particularly between the trump campaign and russians before the campaign. and there is a lot of smoke out there in those issues. what we want to do first is go
through the documents. we're starting interviews next week with some of the intelligence analysts who have created those documents, and then we'll get to some of the names that are being bandied about. people who have been-- indicated they wanted to testify. we've only released one name tallly that we'll plan on calling. and that is jared kushner, the president's son in law. but we don't want to call him until we can get a lot of this preliminary work done. >> rose: what do you learn from the way the house committee conducted itself? >> well, charlie, i have learned that when we're dealing with something as explosive as a foreign adversary, intervening in a presidential election, and when the ramifications of that were at the heart of our democratic process and possibly there may have been some level of collusion conversation ties
between some folks affiliated with the trump campaign and the russians, the only way you can do that is you got to do it bipartisan. in a country that is in many ways as split as ours right now, if we were to come out with a report that wasn't bipartisan than it wouldn't have cred ability. and i've been, again, i'm not going to comment on a lot of the specifics on what has gone on in the house but it is pretty bizarre behavior by some of those characters. >> rose: bizarre meaning. >> well, bizarre meaning that at least the press reports of the chairman of that committee going down to the white house, and perhaps getting information via white house employee and then coming back the feks day and briefing the president before he shared it with any members of his committee. that's just not the way the intelligence committee in the senate works. our responsibility first and fore most is to follow the intelligence wherever it leads to make sure that we do this in a bipartisan fashion.
and to make sure that the intelligence community cooperates with us. we know that a legance above anything else and that's how we will try to conduct ourselves. >> rose: is this in part because of the relationship between you and senator burr? >> i think part of it is. we've known each other for a long time. we're social friends. but i also 24eu it's because every member of the committee, democrat and republican alike, we've kieb of agreed that we're going to all jump together on this. if it comes out that there is nothing there, i will be the first to go out and say that. if there is something there, we're going to follow the intelligence wherever it leads and i think one of the things that helped chairman burr as well as been the strong support he's had from people like susan colins and roy blunt and marco rubio and james langford all who have been there saying hey, we've got to do this right. but i give a lot of credit to chairman burr as well. this is tough for both of us, and from a political standpoint. but he agrees with me that we're
going to follow this wherever the intelligence leads. and we've got to do this the right way. >> rose: it's too early obviously to make a jjment when you are just beginning this. but you have seen a lot of the evidence so far, have you not? >> i have seen a lot of the underlying evidence that went into the january 6th report. i have also seen some of the materials around the so called dossier. i have also seen that that raises a wol lot of other questions. and then i've seen press reports that indicate boy oh boy there is a lot of smoke here. i'm not ready by any means to say there's fire but there is a lot of smoke. and again, if the white house, if we were to believe the white house and they have done nothing, then you would think he they would want to get out of the way and actually help this investigation move forward. >> so in other words, if they have not done anything, they should be the first. >> amen. and i think the jury is out on that. >> rose: what is the most
trouble being this for you? >> well, charlie, i just say that, you know, we have he's never had this kind of extraordinary intervention by a foreign power. vladimir putin didn't do this to help republicans versus democrats. he did it to make america weaker, economicically, socially, in terms of our political system weaker. and i candidly have been a little upset that there has not been more general outrage from the public. i know there is a lot of news coming at folks every day. but we can't accept this as a status quoa. what we have seen russia do beyond other countries beyond intervention is go into legislators website and plant false information. like suddenly they go into your website and put some child pornography and call the media on you. that is, you know, that is just not acceptable and what they tried in 2016, they're trying right now in france and in germany, number one. number two, we have what that kind of adversarial attack on
america, we have at least the allegations that there were members affiliated with the trump campaign who had a number of contacts and potentially had some kind of collaboration. we don't know that yet, by any means. but it troubles me when we've seen a national security advisor have to resign already in a young administration because of previously undisclosed ties with russia. we have seen the attorney general have to recuse himself because of a previously undisclosed ties with russia. we have seen people affiliated with the trump campaign as advisors, one in particular who said he tweeted that he was familiar with the wikileaks for example. he was, he predicted the poddesta email leaks weeks ahead of that time and then said he has been in contact with a persona that was created by the russians as one of the agents to distribute this false news. that troubles me greatly. and you know t seems like every
week there's a couple more names that pop up that we've got to run down. >> have you seen evidence that the russians provided information to republican officials in the trump campaign, gave them information that they could use as a feg tiff way against secretary of state clinton. >> charlie, i'm not going to comment on classified information i've seen at this point. we've got a lot more fact gathering to do. but one thing i do know, part of the challenge here is we've got to protect the intelligence community, the men and women who serve. not only the people but some of our techniques that we use to gather this information. so some of this has to be done in private. but if we're going to prevent this from happening again in the future, we've got to be more transparent than ever from this investigation. and that's why i have been pleased that we've got much wider access. some of this information is usually only goes to what is
called so the called gang of eight which is the leadership in the intelligence committee, committees and the speaker and ranking member. we have broadened it to our whole committee. but they've got to get a lot of the additional information that i've seen and frankly a lot of the information that i look forward to seeing. >> so you have seen a lot more information than we know about. a because it's classified, b, because it was only sent to the gang of eight. >> i will simply say this, charlie. i said this before. when i started this process, a month and a half ago or so, i said i thought this was the most serious thing that i have ever tried to take on in my public life. i've been a governor and a senator. i feel much more strongly the truth and validity of that statement today than i could have ever imagined when i first made it a month and a half ago. >> senator warner, thank you so much for joining us. >> thank you, carlie. >> rose: we continue our discussion of the relationship between russia and the united states with carol lee of the
"the wall street journal." her article today looks at the prospects for rapprochement with russia. she joins us now from washington. let me begin with this question. the headline says trump cools on russia rapport, what did he-- has he done to cool on that possibility? >> well, he hasn't moved forward with the polszee. the policy is still under a exensive review within the national security council. certain decisions haven't even made it to the president's desk. he has been frustrated with some moves that russia has made particularly, missile deployment that the administration believes violates the new clear treaty. and they're frustrated with russia's continued embrace of iran. and you know, one administration told me that there are still attempts at cyberintrusions and that the president is frustrated by that. but also then the political sat moss fear in washington is making it very difficult for the president to try to move forward
as quickly as everybody thought that he would with establishing warmer relations with russia. because if he were to go and try to establish some grand bargain as he had hoped with russia, then it would come under this new scrutiny because of the investigation clouding over his white house. >> when the president looks at-- he also you have laid this out in his article, has declined an early meeting with putin. >> uh-huh. that's right. and that is really aggravating the russians. there, the government there is et going pretty frustrated. the feeling is becoming mutual. they are really frustrated watching not just the president take meetings with foreign leader after foreign leader. let's remember back in the campaign, donald trump had very few kind words for any world leader. he did, in fact, praise vladimir putin on a number of occasions while also disparaging leaders like angela merkel and china and nato. and so he will have met with a number of foreign leaders
including angela merkel. he's hosting president of china, xi jinping next week at his mar a lago estate that really irritated the russians. meanwhile there is no meeting on the books yet for putin. and moscow had asked the administration for one in may when the president's being to be in europe for a nato summit. and the white house declined. and so they are saying it looks more likely if one happens it will happen closer to a gathering of the g20 lead ares in july which is in germany. so there is growing frustration there. and that's just the meetings piece of it and then you see, vladimir putin has looked at a number of different policy moves that this administration has made and that are not necessarily as much in his favor as he thought that they would be. >> rose: so you have on the one hand vladimir putin even as much as recently as this week saying we obviously had nothing to do with the things that are being alleged. at the same time, we read reports also of a putin being
disappointed with some aspects of the trump administration and not being as enthusiastic for rapprochement as he might have been earlier. but as you-- go ahead. >> right, well, and some of the examples are if you look at this is a white house that said it will maintain sanctions on ukraine until russia abides by the peace accord that the two sides had agreed to. that's not a position that russia likes. the administration is backing montenegro ascension into nato, that is not a position russia likes. and early on when the u.n. ambassador, the president's ambassador to the u.n. had really tough rhetoric for russia. so it just has not been what president putin thought it would be. >> rose: what the president has done, president trump as i understand, i'm asking this as a question, has basically said yes, i'm now recognized that the russians made an of the to interveer-- interfere in our election but also other countries did as well or something to that extend. what is the most damaging thing
or what is the most clear example of where president trump has reflected his understanding of what the russians did or attempted to do. >> in terms of the cyberattacks. >> rose: yes. >> he, he has you know, when i was talking to people and writing this story, there is a recognition internally that russia not only did they have involvement in the election but also that they continue to do things that obviously are classified and so you know, the public doesn't see but the president certainly sees them. and that has given the president pause as well. >> what was his hope during the campaign when he refused to criticize russia for the relationship. clearly he thought about the russian calls to cooperate in antiterrorism measures. >> yes, and the white house would still like to find ways to cooperate on counterterrorism. i think the hope was, this is a
president who likes to do big things and certainly likes to do things that people before him were uncapable of doing. and his predecessors have really struggled with maintaining a positive relationship with russia. and so it was kind of a challenge to him. this is just setting a side all of the issues that russia and the russia issue bricks to him just because of these investigations. but i think he was hoping to do some large bargain where you could take all the different areas of tension and try to relieve them by cutting deals on other areas where they can agree. for instance, and the white house is still considering this even though they are not considering some sort of grand sweeping bargain with russia, they are considering looking at sanctions that the obama administration imposed particularly in relation to the intervention in the election. and they're willing to roll back some of those sanctions and other measures if they could get something from russia that could be taken seriously even on something like cybersecurity. so i think he had hoped for some very big sweeping gesture and
warmer relations where they can cooperate on a bunch of different areas. and now it's just much more tactical kind of relationship. and that's more traditional for what we have seen in the last couple of administration. >> what do you think the trump administration fears from the senate investigation that just began today? >> i think that they don't know. you know there is a number of people in the white house who just keep getting caught by sur prietion by different pieces of information that are coming ot. i think that is the big fear. and that ultimately it will just, i mean for them, their argument is there is nothing to see here, it's not going to lead to anything. and so but it is something that keeps distracting for them to get implementing their agenda it is hanging over them and it doesn't look like it's going to wrap up quickly. and so it's just going to linger on and on. so from their point of view, they don't expect something to come of the investigation. but they don't really know what exactly is going to come out.
and you've seen this drip drip drip of things coming out every day. that has been such a distraction for them. >> do they believe they've been transparent and forth coming in terms of trying to get to the bottom of this. >> well, i think they feel defengsive. -- defensive. they are, as we saw today, when you have the white house offering up intelligence for the chairs and rarnlingses memberring of the two committees to come to the white house and look at, that focuses on a very specific piece of this broader look at the russian intervention which is where these leaks are coming from, you know, they feel frustrated and so they feel like, and so they're making these moves to try to position themselves or shape the investigation to go in a way they want. the problem with that is it is intervening or at least can be perceived as intervening in these investigations. the one place that i would say that they will point to in terms of being transparent is their
willingness to offer jared kushner the president's senior advisor and son in law to testify to the senate committee. that's an unusual thing to do because typically any time congress asked for somebody inside the white house to come and testify, the president will exert executive privilege. and they were going out of their way to offer that up. so they are tieing-- trying to find ways to get ahead of this and appear more transparent and coop rate. then at the same time they are doing things like offering senators and house members and intelligence to come and be at the white house which looks like intervention in the investigation. >> rose: secretary tillerson is on his way at some point to russia. when will he arrive in russia? >> he will arrive in mid april and will go to moscow and part of the white house's goal is to have this comprehensive review of the president's russia policy wrapped up or at least have some key elements in place before he goes there, so that the conversation can actually be substantive and they can move forward on some of the things
they want to do. and also he will be coming there with some specific messages on some of the concerns that the white house has about what russia has been doing. both in the region and in syria in term its of its relationship with iran and in terms of its use of cyberattacks. >> rose: and i assume that they are hopeful that because of the relationship, between secretary tillerson from his days at the corporate executive, you know, that there might be the possibility for some better communication than has taken place. >> right. i think that they are hopeful about that because they're not starting from, you know, two people who aren't familiar with each other, there is a familiarity there. and so that is something that they feel like would work in their favor. but i have talked to people about russia this week. they're really not, they're very down on the ability to do something major with russia, just because the way things have been in the last two months. >> rose: thank you so much. pleasure. >> thank you, pleasure to be
here. >> rose: president trump's plans to revitalize the economy retreated last week after the republican's inability to pass a health-care bill that calls into question whether the president can deliver on an ambitious progrowth agenda. the administration has turned its attention to tax reform and is expected to unveil a $1 trillion infrastructure plan later. larry summer stion president emeritus of harvard. he served as treasury secretary under president clinton and director of president obama's national economic counsel. and i'm very pleased to have him back at this table, welcome. >> good to be with you. great to see you back at this table. >> it's a pleasure to be back and to have you here. let's just start talking about the u.s. economy. where is it? we have seen what is happening in the market. what do you anticipate? >> is no one can know. i think it's about as it's been. i think this growth has been on one side or the other two%, pretty consistently. and right now it looks like that's where it it will be.
this year. markets have been up. but hugh long that will last, i think very much remains to be seen. a bunch of what people think was driving up the market was the expectation that there be a huge new wave of business friendly policy. that doesn't look as likely as it did given that the administration seems to be having more trouble moving things through a republican congress. i think people expected 1e6r8 weeks ago. and i think there's an increasing sense of unease and uncertainty. so i think we're-- i don't think an extra session is around the corner. but then tben we never see recessions coming nine months or a year in advance. so i think the best guess we probably would be growth around the range we've seen with at least as much risk to the
downside as to the upside. and i have a suspicion that people may look at some of the very high sentiments significants, some of the things that have been said, perhaps even what has happened in markets as a bit of a sugar high. when people look back at this episode. >> they talk about threer percent growth, reaching four percent s that reasonable? >> no, anything can happen. so if you forecast, say things are inconceivable st is usually wrong in economics, if somebody said i'm going to flip ten coins and i expect that seven or eight of them will come up heads, that would be kind of a crazy forecast, even though it was a conceivable outcome. that is what i would say about the forecast of three to four percent growth. they don't have nilg anything in place that offers the prospects
of an acceleration of growth in that magnitude. and i don't think they've got particularly the right economic policies on some important dimensions but even if they did have the right economic policies, i don't think we know how to push the growth rate up by nearly that much, nearly that rapidly. >> but two hallmarks of what you have been saying to me over the last few years is one, growth is essential and the best way to get that is through some kinds of physical actions. >> that's right, it was much more true when we had higher unemployment and lots of excess capacity than it is today. i still think a program of real public investment could yield some very important benefits by putting people who dropped out of the labor force back to work, by making the economy function
more efficiently. i don't think the tax credit schemes for infrastructure that the administration has talked about are likely to be particularly availing. and i'm not sure they will be able to form consensus on it. i think the right deal is a deal where the administration and the republicans in congress agree to commit substantial money for infrastructure and the democrats accept regulation changes that will permit some stream lining of doing major projects more quickly and more efficiently. and have i heard it said that the second avenue subway costs five times what an equivalent subway would cost in france. and france isn't usuallied regarded as an economy that is a par a gone of efficiency. so i think we need to look both at the quantity of resources we're devoting to infrastructure, and the efficiency with which we do it. but i done think that's
centrally about adopting some kind of private scheme with the tax credit. i think those ideas such as the ones that now secretary ross put forward during the campaign-- . >> rose: wilbur ross. >> yeah, exactly, are, they may do something by making there be more pipelines and that's fine. but i'm not sure that's getting at the most critical of our infrastructure issues. you know, i fly into the laguardia an kennedy airports all the time. they don't make one prowtd as the gateways to the greatest city and the greatest country on earth. >> rose: so what would be your priorities for infrastructure spending and what would be the level of spending you think is sebl? >> i think the economy could probably absorb an extra 1% of gdp for the next decade. that would total over 10-- over ten years about two, to two and
a half trillion dollars. you would have to phase-- phase into that. i think the priorities would be many. they what include a lot in transportation, roads, airports. >> rose: bridges. >> bridges, bridges to some extent, in some strategic areas, railroads. there is a substantial need for an infrastructure related to water, clean water, levees so that we don't have another katrina. there's a need for reforms that will permit more satis factary transmission of power so that we can make greater use of renewables and move electricity from where it's windy, it's sunny and we can use renewables to the place 24r5s gsh-- . >> rose: thras' a storage capacity.
>> some of it is a storage capacity and some of it is a transportation problem. but both of those involve infrastructure in important ways. i think all of that would be very krukive. i think there are issues around our tkses infrastructure. it's gotten better in the last two or three years. but if i make a phone call from my office on the road from the beijing airport to beijing, that phone call is less likely to drop than if i do it on the road in from kennedy to new york or from logan in to boston. that's not about the government being willing to spend money. that is about various rules that bear on cited and the ability to cite cell phone toker wersz-- towers and the lake and it's about the way we managed our endowment of spectrum. >> would you make a budget and expending he deficit neutral?
>> i would be willing in order to make investments to be short of neutral and here's why. deferred maintenance is a deficit. it's just one we don't count. if we defer maintenance, it's placing a burden on to my children, my children's taxes are going to have to pay for many years from now just as surely as borrowing money. it's just there is one difference. when you defer maintenance, the cost compounds at five percent, seven percent, ten percent a year according to the best estimates. when you borrow money in the markets, now adays you pay 1 percent, two percent, maybe three percent. so borrowing money in order to invest in reducing that back log of deferred maintenance is an arbitrage. you are borrowing at a lower cost than the return you're earning.
and therefore you're actually making it better, not lesser for future generations. and that's why i would feel comfortable engaging in borrowing for investment. i don't think this is the right time to borrow for quon sump shun at the public level. we should have done more of that years ago. and if we had, we would have had a more rapid recovery. but now as the economy approaches full employment, i think the primary consequence of doing that would be to push up interest rates. and the better course is for the government to fnsz what it-- to finance what it needs to spend that is why i'm not enthusiastic about large unpaid for tax cuts. >> rose: a number of people have suggested that what is happening in terms of taking away regulations in the area of
energy las, will cause the chinese to seize leadership of climate control and their own development, tom freedman had a colume about that, other people have written about it even today. is there a risk if the united states budget as suggested does what it is going to do with respect to energy and also with the lack of a commitment to science and the national endowment of arts, will have a detrimental affect on our leadership in the world. >> i think it's a huge-- i think it's a huge huge thing, charlie. some of it is leadership in the world. some of it is what kind of society we want to be. helen one of the most distinguished professors at harvard said in her jefferson lecture to the national endowment of humanities that civilizations are remembered much more for the acts of beauty
that they cultivate than they are for the decisions of politicians, something to that affect. and i think they're remembered much more for their great creationses than they are for any deals they cut. and we seem to have forgotten that. and so in terms of what we are remembered for, are we supporting the next generation of great works ofmusic or art or literature. are we contributing to the adventure of man kind and understanding our world. that's the ultimate historical significants. but i think it's also goes to something that my harvard colleague joe nye has talked about for many years. our soft power. ultimately it's the ability to be an attractive example, it
makes a big difference in how much influence a nation has. and if we stop being the nation that is pushing science, if we stop being the nation of cultural creation, we're going to be much less attractive to others. and that's going to mean seating influence, that's going to mean others will have systems that will be em plate-- emulated around the world. and i think that will be very, very costly in terms of our influence, and also very costly directly to our economy. >> rose: do you think the chinese have, want to assume leadership in the world, want to be competitive with the united states in that dimension? >> i think the chinese see a world where 200 years ago they were a dominance-- dominant
civilization on the global stage and that hasn't been so for the last 200 years. and if you just listen xi jinping that's something that's very important for the chinese to restore. do they look to march into other countries, conquer them and invade them? i don't think so. do they look to export a revolutionary ideology the way the russians did after world war ii. i don't think so either. but do they look to have a level of influence for their values an on behalf of their companies? that is quite questionable from the point of view of our interests? i think that may be the case. and i think we're much more likely to do what is hugely important to do which is to find a successful coevolution with
the chinese, that in a big world finds room forboth of us if we maintain our sense and commitment to national greatness than if we look only to the short run and con strict ourselves to deal cutting. >> rose: so the principle that your colleague at harvard has spoken to need not be true. >> i think the-- trap that graham has spoken to going back to athens and sparta and the tensions that exist between strong powers and rising powers is best thought of as a hugely relevant warning, not as an inevitable prove see. and i think that one part of the
response on the part of the united states has to be maintenance of the power of its example. and if we descend in to a tiny cost cutting meshing tilism which is my-- meshing tillism which is my concern, looking at a number of the policies that we've pursued, i think it will embolden the chinese in ways that are problem attic. it will cause others to shy away from us and band wagon towards the chinese in ways that are problematic. and i think ultimately it will undermine the quality of the lives that people, that people here are leading. how can we really say that we cannot afford what is far under
1 percent, what is far under under 1/10 of a percent what is probably actually less than way under 1/10 of a percent of the federal budget for supporting everything about culture. that just can't be right for us. and make no mistake, substantial number of people whose lives would be saved are going to be lost because we decided to cut the budget for basic science way back. james watson, jim watson was in his 20st when he discovered the structure of dna. >> rose: 28. >> today typically young investigators aren't young, they're in their early mid 40s before they can get their first grant to pursue their ideas,
rather than their senior professors ideas from the nih. well, if you-- look at creative science, whether it's jim watson, whether it's einstein, whether it's newton. it mostly happens long before people are in their early 40s. and that is the consequence of the kind of cutbacks that we're going through. and it's just doesn't make any sense. if history teaches us anything, charlie, it is that from things that seem entirely abstract, great things come. einstein's theory of general relativity was about as abstract and hypothetical as you can imagine. and yet no gps system would work without internalizing it. the algorithms that make an atm
transaction secure came out of number theory which is the most basic and theoretical part of mathematics which is the most basic and theoretical of the sciences, so when we cut back on human cur yas-- curiosity and wonderment and the support of knowledge, we are do something that is devastating to the long run. can i-- . >> rose: go ahead. >> can i add one thing. something that's really disturbed me in the last weeks has been the approach of our business community. our business leaders always when it's them talk about the importance of long-termism, and activists, shareholders need to get off their back so they can think for the long-term. they know that it's in the united states' interest for
there to be an open world trading system. they know that it's in the united states interest for there to be a big increase in science. but because they're so focused on getting a better deal on a tax cut in 2017, or its-- or they're so nervous about a tweet, that's not what they talk about. that's not what the washington reps talk about,s that he's not how they influence things. i think more of those business leaders who have, who do have real influence because it's what this administration respects need to use that influence in addition to talking about their own regulation, to talk about the really large issues of isolationism, of openness, of basic inquirery, that are important. >> rose: but it is a fact that businesses in america have either because they saw incenter or for whatever reason, have not made the kind of investments,
both in human resources and in inventory and in building new plants and expansion that we would hope that they would do. they may have had to do with economic times but they also say that they're stimulated to do that. because some regulation that they felt like we're unfair and limiting, as well as tax policy, prevented them from doing it. >> fair enough. look, i'm the guy who said twice a week for two years in the obama administration, confidence is the cheapest form of stimulus. we've got to focus on business confidence. i think that we have a better world with the keystone pipeline than we would without. i think the new administration came to the right decision on that question when it licensed the key stone pipeline. i think there are other areas where regulation kneeleds to be changed. i think the business community is right about that. but where i think they're wrong
is in paying no attention in their very energetic participation on public policy to the broader, longer run themes and talking only about what they want and the next tax break and the next bit of deregulation. >> rose: let me just raise the other question. when you look at the united states today, i once said this to the president. president obama. you know, you say we have the strongest military. you say we have the highest level of scientific advancement. you say that we have the strongest development in technology. you say that we have the strongest economy. what could go wrong. and he said our politiccould go wrong. and my question is, you know, are we at risk now, when you look and see the kind of things that are happening in washington for politics to go seriously
wrong? >> yes, i done know that it will happen, and i tend very much to be with churchill on america does the right thing but only after exhausting the alternatives. but i think we are working on a variety of the alternatives right now in some areas. if we manage to not be in a reasonable place in terms of health care, we'll have millions more people who are getting health care without insurance which is going to mean higher costs for everybody else, which is going to mean less competitive business. that's a threat. if we are completely gridlocked and we're not able to do tax reform or infrastructure investment which looks like an increasing risk, that will be very costly for the economy. if we move sphurt towards a
latin american style committee where the best way to get ahead is to have friends in the government and have the government decide to bestow you favors or thank you you will and or a floyd-- avoid being punished by the government, where everybody wakes up every morning thinking about what the head of state is thinking, that will be devastating to our economy, and i've never heard in any previous moment before 2 thousand, i'm worried that the president of the united states is going to call out my company, therefore i have to do x. and that pervasive sense, i think becomes a preoccupy for business. and i think that can be very costly for the economy. and probably most important, we are now hugely an
internationalized economy and as an internationalized economy, we depend on the government to maintain successful relations in which we assert american values strongly but also in a way that's conducive to reaching compromises with the rest of the world and that, frankly, looks in doubt right now. we have the government as i was explaining with all these innovations as a basic stewart of our technological future. i was floored to hear the treasury secretary say three days ago that artificial intelligence and its consequences for job formation wasn't on his or the administration's radar screen because it wasn't going to happen for another 50 to a hundred years.
hello bill gates, hello elan musq. so. >> not only that, hello, every corporation in america of any size and any huge technological component is looking at artificial intelligence, you know, as an earlier adaptation to meet the changes that are with us right now. >> absolutely. anyone who has an alexa. or a siri knows what those types, how those kinds of systems are moving forward. so all those areas i am very worried that our politics and therefore our public policies are going to let us down. look, i think there is a really important lesson that at least is kind of what i get out of the study of economics around the world. and that is government can't make a country rich.
you get rich with people who work hard, people who save, people who create in a good economic environment. and government can't do that by itself. but government can-- government can create a-- government can sure screw things up by not creating an environment. and it's something that happens slowly but it all accumulates. in 1900 argentina was closer to the united states economicically than most of europe is today. today we think of argentina as a poor developing country. argentina growth only has lagged american growth by 7/150 of 1 percent-- 7/10s of 1 percent over all of that period. so when you get things wrong, when you have disfunctional
governance, it doesn't undo you in a year or five years or even a decade. it does over time. you know, in some ways think of the united states as being like the automobile industry. general motors at one point appeared all powerful. the concern was that it was too powerful and needed to be broken up by antitrust and all of that. but then mismanagement, lack of functionality of the organization, you had the japanese threat and all that meant. and then you had the bankruptcy that basically wiped out, wiped out what had been there before. and it needed to be renewed. >> rose: and what you have now at general motors, it is more
competitive, better run than it has been in a long time. >> and i think one of the things, having served in the obama administration i'm very proud of is the way we managed that situation. but i think the general motors of several decades ago is something we need to think about as we think about what can go wrong in the united states. and as i look at what is happening politically, i think there were storm clouds that have been forming for a long time. but the directions that we seem to be teaking in the last few months particularly as regards our approach to the global economy, particularly as regards the approach we're taking to basic public investments, and particularly as to the approach we're taking to trying to make
individual businesses be depend ent on government rather than focusing on the overall environment is something that i think is very dangerous. you know, you can think about it as there being law and market-based capitalism or there being deals based capitalism. and part of what has been special in the united states las been that we've been the leader of laws and market-based capitalism for a long time. and we've left it to the argentinas and thailand to be deals-based capitalism. every time the president stands next to a c.e.o. and celebrates that there's been some investment in jobs. or every time the president threatens some particular company, i see us moving towards
being deals-based capitalism. and that's something i a absolute ash at least think is very dangerous. >> rose: great to you have here. >> good to be with you. >> rose: for more about this program and earlier episodes visit us online at pbs.org and charlie rose.com. blanker captioning sponsored by rose communications captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org
>> the following kqed production was produced in high definition. [ ♪music ] >> yes, check, please! people. >> it's all about licking your plate. >> the food is just fabulous. >> i should be in psychoanalysis for the amount of money i spend in restaurants. >> i had a horrible experience. >> i don't even think we were at the same restaurant. >> leslie: and everybody, i'm sure, saved room for those desserts