tv [untitled] August 31, 2012 8:30am-9:00am EDT
end. markets why not scandals. find out what's really happening to the global economy cause a report on our. first . hello and welcome to our team i'm karen turnarounds but your top stories well the winner takes it all the loser standing small russian. bodies but it is left empty handed after a london court dismisses its had a lawsuit against a billionaire from on from all the. turkeys pitch for a syrian intervention hits
a dead end at the u.n. leaving nato countries warning they might simply pounce the security council. plus republican mitt romney accepts his nomination as a presidential candidate with a promise to show russia more backbone critics night that's not his greatest. next america's role as the top world power goes up for debate in peter lavelle's crosstalk. please. listen to. the lonely
and welcome the cross talk i'm peter lavelle is the u.s. still number one in the world opinions differ sharply though there can be no doubt american supremacy is being challenged by a number of international players however if indeed the us is in decline aren't all americans to blame. to cross out whether america is still number one i'm joined by bruce fein in washington senior policy adviser to ron paul two thousand and twelve presidential campaign and the founder of the link field group and american freedom agenda also in washington we have michael hughes he's a journalist and foreign policy analyst and in harrisburg we cross to jeffrey lord he is a former reagan white house political director and author all right gentlemen crosstalk rules in effect that means you can jump in anytime you want but before we start our discussion here let's take a look at a very well known clip from h.b.o.'s program newsroom let's have
a look. just in case you accidentally wander into a voting booth one day there's some things you should know and one of them is there is absolutely no evidence to support the statement that we're the greatest country in the world we're seventeen literacy twenty seventh in math twenty second in science forty ninth in life expectancy one hundred seventy eight and infant mortality third in median household income number four in labor force and number four in exports we lead the world in only three categories number of incarcerated citizens per capita number of adults who believe angels are real and defense spending where we spend more than the next twenty. it's countries combined twenty five of whom are allies none of this is the fault of a twenty year old college student but you nonetheless are without a doubt a member of the worst period generation period ever period when you ask what makes us the greatest country in the world i don't know what the fuck you're talking about somebody.
sure used to be. we stood up for what was right. we fought for moral reasons we passed laws struck down laws for moral reasons we waged war zone poverty not poor people. we sacrificed we cared about our neighbors we put our money where amal's were and we never beat our chests we built great big things made on godly technological advances explored the universe cure disease and we cultivated the world's greatest artists and the world's greatest economy. we reached for the stars. acted like men we aspired to intelligence we didn't belittle it it didn't make us feel inferior. but in identify ourselves by we voted for in the last election and we didn't scare so easy.
we were able to be all these things and do all these things because we were informed. by great men men who were revered. first step in solving any problem is recognizing there is one. america is not the greatest country in the world anymore. enough ok michael very powerful acting extremely powerful words how do you react to that i mean because a lot of the facts mentioned there are correct ok they're easy to find and been they've been known for a long time now is america still number one. and maybe but it's there's a there's a gradual decline and it has to do with a lot of what he said there's. a lot of it is political cred lack because of special interest groups you know we have a sixteen or fifteen dollar outstanding public debt and seven hundred billion
dollar defense budget and for some reason we need to be projected worldwide we have this global footprint that does not match up to the actual threats ok it's variance in bruce if i can go to you and i ok go ahead jump in. you know i just say i think the diagnosis is correct but i think the reasons are wrong ok one or the really shouldn't be a country and the reasons are that we have lost our way from what we were invasion desert country from the founding we shouldn't be going abroad in search of monsters to destroy what would make a country number one is complying with the rule of law on during the liberty over big government making sure you have a level playing field so everyone has the opportunity to develop their endowments and faculties and achieve what their ambition in industry will achieve it's not having government favor one side of the other side and say honoring respect for international law and not invading anyone sovereignty because we say that in our
viewpoint you're harboring someone at some time some place could be a danger to the united states global projection of military power going back to what john quincy adams said when he was secretary of state an eight hundred twenty one before his president that we could be dictators of the world what are its policy would then shift from a policy of liberty and freedom to a policy of domination and control and now we are a country that's lost its way and it's not because we may not be number one in the amount of arms we sell you know we sell about three quarters of all the arms abroad or have the greatest military power but because we lost our moral stature and values of who we are as a people our influence of broad should be the influence of example period we should have self defense but not preemptive war for everywhere ok where we are now where lives are lost in the world these are all nice things jeffrey how did we get to this point then. well first of all let me say in terms of and terms of what bruce has just said and i should note here for the record that bruce is
a former colleague from the reagan administration although we've not met and i can't see him i recognize his distinctive voice and it's safe to say that bruce reflects what i think has become a difference among conservatives about america's role in the world and i certainly would challenge the thought that congressman paul has expressed and that proves just tried to do a thumbnail there of that we have never been in a situation where we've gone abroad and done all these things until relatively modern history he quotes john quincy adams who of course was the secretary of state for james monroe who instituted the monroe doctrine which basically drew a line around the western hemisphere i.e. outside the borders of the united states and said if you come here you're going to have trouble so we have been getting involved in affairs outside our borders since the very beginning of this country's formal founding as the united states that said
i certainly think that with the changes with the with the end of the soviet union the end of the cold war i think that there have been a lot of changes in this world are self-evident to everyone the rise of islamic terrorism sarap we need to have a strong economy we can do that and i would note about the clip from h.b.o. when and writer aaron sorkin who spends the words in his you know a famous hollywood liberal you can take those words and go back retroactively in apply them to any time in american history if i mean the issue here is very very fine to say with you do you think the united states had the fame kind of debt problems. you know thirty years ago forty years ago fifty years ago three hundred example no no no i don't we we we certainly have the same kind of debt we certainly are in a perilous situation here with that with the debt situation there's no question about that i mean as if you've noticed at the republican national convention they have the debt clock up there inside the hall that is running second by second by
second so certainly people are extremely well aware of this but what i am saying to you is there any given moment in american history there have been problems i remember hearing the notion that in the end that summation there by jeff daniels who was the actor you were you were focusing on he talks about how we did all these impossible things where one of those things was going to the moon and i certainly remember i'm old enough to remember this i last i have to say that there were people in the day who said we should have a space program and they cited they went through the litany of the day as to as to why that we should be spending our money on education we should be doing this that and the other thing so that attitude has been around for a very very long time if we had the money to pay for it and i you know i don't i hate anyone my goal here let me go to michael here michael do you think today's america is the same as any other time in history i find that very hard to believe no i don't think is new newt gingrich has says i don't think we can count eyes on mars i don't think we have the budget i think that's unrealistic and the you know
the the debt and the military spending is unrealistic that we needed to be that high and it seems it seems out of proportion to the past but it seems like the attitude of the average american and our global reputation here is at an all time low. ok bruce you want to jump in there which is the leadership here number we are still interested share what i'm going to let me let me get in there you know people talk about the republicans and the democrats you know i live far away from that it looks like a lot of nonsense to me because it all looks like it's finger pointing no one's taking responsibility. well i thought they were thinking there was no tomorrow you said that it's going to bruce go ahead yes i mean it was once said that you know the difference between a communist and capitalist is one believes in the exploitation of man by man and the other is the opposite and here we have the republicans and democrats you know
they they one believes that the government shouldn't be used to help one side against the other and the other believes the opposite i think with regard to these issues of global is you know projection of military force everywhere in the world there's not an inch of difference between the democrats and republicans when i go back to challenge jeffrey i do not believe at the outset we're involved in foreign entanglements everywhere we didn't get involved in the up evils in central in latin america shortly after our own revolution or even the french revolution itself george washington declared neutrality it wasn't until the mexican american war which john quincy adams opposed where he had this idea of manifest destiny that enabled us to be the imperialist going around the globe and then we continued on that trajectory until you know we ultimately come up to a debt problem now at sixteen trillion dollars and it's typical of empires just before they collapse to believe well if we can cut it we've encountered these before it'll all go the same way and the that was it's true of the soviet union just before it collapsed in one thousand nine hundred one everyone said well we've
encountered these problems before you know it is not things and nothing's new is on the horizon but that's simply not how empires collapse it's typically on a precipice not over a long period ok jeff you want to reply to that before we go to break. go ahead yeah yeah yeah i would say where ronald reagan used to say bruce and i'm sure you remember this that freedom is not passed along in the bloodstream that we have to that every generation has a responsibility to stand up for and be responsible to situations change yes but human nature does not change human nature is the same throughout history so i do think that we're perpetually dealing with some version of the same problem or resources or economies or those kind of things different any given moment in time yes they can and you're free and we're going and we're going to go to a sure thing race gentlemen we're going. short break and after that sharp break we'll continue on just our discussion a number one day. if you. start. in to.
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our summer sales on our chief. story. and. welcome back. to remind you we're discussing whether the u.s. is still number one. and if you. still. ok michael i want to go back to you in washington d.c. one thing i think is quite clear maybe there are some nuances but it's the middle class for the last thirty years. it has been plummeted ok this is where the real crisis in america is right now because people are being asked to sacrifice the middle classes and sacrificed a lot over the last quarter century ok and now everybody has to sacrifice but
there's not much left to sacrifice what do you think right i think our number one security issue or security threat is our own economy. and the consolidation of wealth is too dangerous and over with that today it's at an all time high ok jeffrey when agree or disagree on that. well you know i agree with that michael i think that the economy is always the number one issue in a presidential campaign it is the issue right now and there is a reason for because from from the average person in the middle class all the way to the as they say these days the one percent things have been very difficult him with or without a strong economy nothing else is going to happen for america brucey on it but i think they're really important if not more important it's just the economy is the fairness of the system you know we have tarp programs you've got all sorts of money spewed in green technologies that those who have the lobbyists who get the government on their side massive entitlements the military industrial terrorism
complex five hundred million dollars for a single plane they're paying twenty eight dollars for biofuels for the navy all those things make people cynical not because they don't understand the ability and the willingness to be frugal in industrious but the playing field is all tilted in favor of one part of the community against another that's unfair and that creates a lack of legitimacy in the people and i want to go back to the issue that jeff raised about freedom freedom is what needs to be fought and captured by each generation and that's what we're losing we have a president who can assassinate us citizens without due process detain them at guantanamo bay with the u.s. military under the n.d.a. intercepts our phone conversations our e-mails invades our privacy without any court warrants this is our freedom that we're losing we have all power concentrated in the president republican or democrat alike and that's what we need to stand up to recognize as our greatness as a government and as a people not necessarily the g.n.p. or what the average in our household prices ok jeffrey if i go to you you know this
program is broadcast to a foreign audience it's not in the united states would you please explain to me the difference between the republicans in the democrats in solving america's problems. sure in. their sort of fashion the nutshell thank you the day the democratic party believes and has become to believe in central planning that the government knows best that government should be making the decisions republicans at least in theory and i can see bruce smiling even though i can't see any republicans and theory believe in limited government here although i would have to say i probably i probably agree with bruce that there is more more of our folks that depart from that philosophy than than should be the case i don't often agree with congressman paul on foreign policy but i think he certainly has a point you know when we get to the discussing whether we should eliminate the five cabinet departments and things of this nature the federal government the united
states believe many conservatives is far too big and that the central use the difference ok bruce would you agree with that i admire i want to build on. jeffrey as i said i think he got it right even though the rhetoric on the republican side may be for limited government the facts are the opposite even take someone like mr ryan who is supposed to be the intellectual beacon of the of the party and of the republican team there you know he votes for the tarp program he votes for bailing out general motors who votes for a party to expand medicare by a trillion dollars per year he votes for no child left behind he votes for all the big defense spending he doesn't want to cut defense whatsoever despite its bloated and single source contracts that make it perhaps the least competitive aspect of the economy and and what is his plan for balancing the budget you know maybe in twenty forty you know twenty eight years from now and this is somebody for a limited government say the words are there but they say the substance between the
two parties is virtually indistinguishable and that's why even if you look at the ten year projections on the budget you know the difference is between having a national debt of twenty two trillion after ten years as opposed to twenty three and a half trillion nothing of substantial michael what do you think about the political culture of the interesting thing let me go to michael first i mean the pollute is there a political culture in the united states to really seriously address the country's problems let's go back to the top of the program we heard that clip from h.b.o. those are real problems those are facts i think the parties are. more extreme than they've ever been they pander to their fringes more than ever and i know you know talking about the reagan era i guarantee you that obama doesn't have a beer with baner every night like reagan did with tip o'neill and all and at the end of the reagan era reagan compromise with tip on a lot of issues and i'm not saying that same spirit of compromise today it just
doesn't exist. and on a foreign policy front these parties are you know i say are separate by degrees i mean they're pretty much the same to domestic lee denison is a different story i think the democrats are focused on helping the middle class but foreign policy wise these parties look very similar jeffrey you might jump in there . well i would i would say not similar enough to to to my way of thinking i would say again you know with bruce and congressman paul one of the interesting things peter about the american political party system is that you have all used the word outsiders. and they can even be inside a party. who will promote a certain series of ideas and over time the best of those ideas get grafted into one of the two political parties and what what isn't liked is left behind this was
true of the populist movement in the eight hundred ninety s. when they started talking about what we now know as social security that became grafted eventually into f.d.r.'s new deal i think with congressman paul some of his ideas in terms of tarp and things of that nature i think frankly have resonated with a lot of people beyond congressman paul's base and i do think that there is going to be a lot of concern about this and there's going to be a sharp guy with people here everybody or a lot of people i know on the conservative side are very enthusiastic about governor romney and particularly congressman ryan but i don't think that the kind of issues that bruce is raising have been forgotten and i think that there will not be a tendency now to let them if there is a romney ryan administration to let them skate as i think was sort of done with george w. bush in the aftermath of nine eleven i think go ahead brister i think many of the problems that we had many of the problems there were a numerated in the opening here really escape you know political or government
resolution it's the matter of the political culture our icons who we hold up for admiration whether they're lady gaga or someone who is wise and industrious and ambitious and heels and that's why they the educational level and maybe this has tumbled because we have we have we have the the icons that youth are shown who are not people who engage in deep thought and cerebration that there are stars for the for the moment and even. when we have candidates like sarah palin or mr perry from texas almost denigrating learning as though it's a disability for politics again that sends a terrible message to youth deciding how they want to spend their time and the same issues with god you know we have health care staggering amount spent and yet it b.c. continues to climb and the general level of health continues to plummet inverse proportion to the spending it's because we have lost the sense of strength and cultural rigor that was so permeating and the founding years when we had struggles to overcome and
i don't know whether government can address that properly it something's got to be addressed in the classroom and around the dinner table ok michael the american people have governments and politicians that they deserve that that is a good question but i think their control of the media by the corporate america i think people go into the voting booth with misperceptions and the way the media works they're able to by the end of the general election everyone kind of goes towards the middle and they look very similar and everyone panders every single interest group and tries to be you know all things to all people so i think the media. you know through the advertising the average voter goes in there and i think i think they're they've been deceived and they don't know really what's really what's going on with the candidates jeff there's no substantial debates that's my
point there's no real debate it's always you know when you go to vote you're going to get either pepsi or or coca-cola or you're going to get a cola jeffrey what do you think. i think they i think the addition of congressman i frankly i was concerned about that issue with with i'll be quite candid with governor romney's candidacy i think edition of congressman ryan to the ticket guarantees for instance that medicare which is a very serious issue is going to be on the table front and center so i think we are going to have a serious discussion about this and a choice but that is the way the american political system works the center can be far to the left it can be far to the right it can be truly in the center but it will gravitate to over time to collectively whatever the the vast majority of american painting wherever it sort of settles and the american people in the one nine hundred twenty s. were much more conservative people than they were in the one nine hundred thirty s. and forty's and it sort of moved left and then again by the time of president
reagan's real our election in one nine hundred eighty eight we had begun to move right the center moved right and to this day i still believe we're a center right country essentially ok well being center right bruce's that solved america's problems. no i don't and you asked at the outset i believe do the people get the leadership that they deserve and i think the answer is it is not yes i think it's perhaps no leaders are there to lead not to become echo chambers of popular opinion that but that's what every other listeners runs and leaders are but that's what they are i know and that's where leaders that's leadership is a failure precisely for that reason when everyone tries to establish their credibility by saying my my parents or grandparents were coal miners or whatever the coal miners are really respectable people but they aren't the kinds of people who typically are have the leadership skills of winston churchill's charles de gaulle the real giants that are needed to take a country from oppressive piece of disaster into a higher arc and we now have
a political system that develops what i call non leader leaders all they do is they go out there and they are really dramatic very well they're aiming you know letters about you very much go right ok we all agree there's no leadership in america many thanks today to my guests in washington and in harrisburg and thanks to our viewers for watching if you're so you next time and remember last time.