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tv   Face the Nation  CBS  August 2, 2009 10:30am-11:00am EDT

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>> today on face the nation is the recession over? and is the administration considering a big troop increase in afghanistan? >> there are signs of recession may be bottoming out, but want the jobs that have been lost? will they ever come back? we will talk about it with the president's chief economic advisor, larry summers. and what about those reports that military commanders want a huge troop increase in afghanistan? we will get the latest on that and the other news of the week from our 18
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round table, the washington post bob woodward, who made a recent visit to afghanistan. david brooks of "the new york times" and syndicated columnist kathleen parker. i will have a final word on how to know if you are becoming a senior citizen. >> but first, has the recession come to an end? on face the nation. captioning sponsored by cbs "face the nation" with cbs news chief washington correspondent bob schieffer. and now from cbs news in washington, bob schieffer. >> and we begin this morning with larry summers, mr. summers, thank you for joining us, in an abc interview recorded yesterday, treasury secretary geithner told george stephanopoulus the smaller federal deficit is vital to sustaining an economic recovery, he said doing that is going to require what he called hard choices. he was asked directly whether he would rule out new taxes and he
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said, the country must understand the administration will do in his words what is necessary. >> was he laying the groundwork here for a new round of taxes? >> no, not at all. he was explaining what has been the president's policy, the president recognizes that his first job was to rescue the economy, that what he inherited was an economy with a trillion-dollar plus deficit, and an economy that was in free fall and people talking about depression. and he had to change that. and i think we have and the statistics we have seen could confirm that, people are talking about whether the recession is going to turn into a depression, they are talking about when it is going to end. >> that is a real accomplishment, it is a real accomplishment for these policies. but we also recognize, this is saying the president has also talked about that in addition to rescuing the economy, we have to rebuild it on much stronger
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foundation storks we don't have the kind of problems that brought this expansion to an end, that led to the mess we suffered for the last two years, and crucial to that is getting the federal deficit under control. that is going to involve difficult -- difficult and challenging stems. >> what are you going to -- >> the first and most important thing forgetting the federal deficit under control is substantial reform of the healthcare system and that's why the president has started there. he has done something that actually is new. he looked at when medicare was look in when you look at george bush's prescription drug benefit, you look at the tax cuts and the reagan tax cuts we have done major things in this country, we are paying for them. no one is arguing with the president's central premise, and it is an important leadership of the president, that anything we do in healthcare is going to be paid for itself as judged by the
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nonpartisan independent scorekeepers. the president is actually going to go further than that, because he is also insisting that we enact a set of measures that are not the kind that you can really do a bean count on and score precisely, but which we know will have affects overtime, things liken your honoring preventative medicine, encouraging cost effect tips research so healthcare is the first sort of ground zero -- >> let me ask you about that in just a second but let me go back to this to make sure. you don't see another round of tax increases? >> tax increases, look, let's understand where we have been. let's understand that the president put in place as part of the stimulus bill, as part of the economic recovery act a measure he had campaigned on, the making work pay tax hike that is reducing taxes by $800
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for working -- for working families. that is where -- that is where the focus is. we are going to keep working to strengthen the foundation -- the foundation -- >> more middle income america -- >> there is a lot that could happen overtime. but the priority right now, and it is never a good idea to absolutely rule things, rule things out no matter what. but what the president has been completely clear on is that he is not going to pursue any of his priorities, not healthcare, not energy, nothing in ways that are primarily burdening middle class families. that is something that is not going to happen. all right. the recession. is it over? i mean, this cover of newsweek magazine, it says the recession is over. but there is a little asterisk that says good luck recovering
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the recovery. s the recession over, has it bottomed out, mr. summers? >> most forecasters are now looking at growth and output in the gdp over the second half of in year. they are looking for it because they see that inventories are way down and businesses have to build them up because they see some increase in car and housing, sales, because they mo that the recovery act is going to gain force. but they also recognize as we do, that it is going to take time before a gains in output -- yoyou never will get gains in employment without gains in output, but even as output increases, it is going to take time before the number of jobs starts to grow. >> so we can't be satisfied with where we are and the economy is not going to be back to normal for quite some time, our problems weren't made in a month or a year and they are not going
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to be fixed in a month or a year. >> and i come back to this. we used to be six months ago, when the president took office, we were talking about whether recession would become depression. today, we are talking about win the recession i is going to end. that is a tribute to the strength of the policies that have been put many place and the expectation that they are going to have growing impact. >> so does that mean it has bottomed out? >> out? yo you know you want o reduce these things to things that are very simple. output is likely to start increasing, the number of jobs probably has not yet bottomed out because experience suggests that it lags. >> well that is always -- >> well, we are certainly much closer to the point where it bottoms out, than we were and the crucial, necessary condition for getting jobs growing -- >> and expectations that out
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ut will grow -- >> will -- benefit? >> we are going to -- we did extend unemployment in ways that was hugely important in the stimulus act, we are going to work with congress to make sure that the unemployment insurance benefits that are necessary for the american people are maintained. >> okay. the stimulus package, a lot of people say it hasn't had much impact lane lately, i know you make the case it has. but do you think it is going to take one more stimulus package to bet this economy going? i mean, to really get it coming back? >> i think the stimulus has had a significant impact, tens of thousand of teachers and cops across the country, $53 billion delivered to american families, 3,000 projects underway that the calculation suggests the impact is only going to increase, and we are also seeing 200,000 mortgages have already been relieved.
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it is going to be 500,000 by november 1st. so i think we are on the right track, we have a lot left to execute, that is where our focus is going to be and we think it is going to have a gathering, a gathering impact that builds on the impact that has already happened. >> but dawning you might have to boost it a little more? i mean, maybe some tax cuts for small businesses, other things of that nature? >> right now we are focused on carrying through and executing a program we have put the place. we just took a small but significant step in the last couple of days, bob, the so-called cash for clunkers. >> yes. >> -- program has actually been far more successful than people expected, both in terms of the number of car sales it has generated, and i should say in terms of the environmental benefit, to the new cars people are buying are much more fuel
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efficient, $1,000 more a year fuel efficient than the cars that they are trading in, congress has just -- the house has voted to increase the funding. there are adjustments of that kind, butçó basically, we are on the right track and we need to keep going on this strategy and really the priority is going to shift to giving long run confidence and that's why the healthcare bill, the health, give greater confidence in the long run the costs will be under control and that is really going to be a crucial priority in the fall. >> all right. we have to let it go there. a thank you so much for being with us. >> back to the round table in just one minute. in our economy right now.gh tis price volatility has put strains on even the strongest of budgets. the economy needs energy to strengthen and grow, and continued investment in energy resources over the long-term. exxonmobil is investing at record levels.
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over the next four years, we're looking at spending more than $100 billion dollars in new energy related projects. we invest for the long term so we're able to help support the growth that we know the economy needs. but kellogg saw an opportunity to plus things up. we took out their peanuts... because adding almonds would be a plus. we'd be better off with less sugar. we traded milk chocolate... for the delicious taste of dark chocolate. also a plus. then we added 35% of your daily fiber... plus antioxidants, vitamin e, and zinc. ♪ fiberplus bars from kellogg. fiberplus so much more. >> schieffer: and back now with our power round table, bob woodward of the washington post psyndicated columnist kathleen parker and david brooks of the new york times. well, bob, your newspaper put on
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the front page this week what everybody kind of has been talking about in the car industry here and things are not going very well in afghanistan, and it looks like the commanders there are getting ready to ask for a substantial increase in american forces there, now you were there this summer. now is it going and what do you think the chances are that we might put more troops in there? >> i mean, the chances are always there, general jones who is the obama national security advisor, who speaks for the president, went and told the commanders in afghanistan, let's address the strategy we have now of fixing the economy, building security, addressing the governing questions before we start asking for more troops, what is interesting, there is evidence now that the military is getting the message. they build a war fighting headquarters for general
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rodriguez, who is a general mccrystal's deputy there, and added hundreds of people, and formally it is an automatic, give us more staff, they actually took the new staff hundreds of people, some from europe, some from afghanistan, without asking for more. so the obama message is, no, you know, let's see if we can fix it with or proceed with the strategy we have got. that doesn't mean no more troops in the future at some point, but it is a big focus and it is significant that the military has acted that way so far. >> but you came back and reported that the white house general jones told the commanders there, we are not going to give you anymore troops right now, but now we are getting these reports that the generals advisors and the general himself is actually considering a one source told me doubling the u.s. forces in
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afghanistan. now, i think congress is going to be very dubious of something like that, and as you reported, i think the white house will be dubious of that. >> sure. i mean, i think the president -- this is now obama's war, and he says, okay i am giving you 21,000 more troops and let's -- and they told him, bob bates the defense secretary told him, i hope i don't have to ask for more. so, you know, we all live in a world of limited resources, no one knows that better than those of us in the newspaper and broadcast business. and the military realizes that too, and gates in particular realizes you double the force, and where do you get it? and then all of a sudden we look like an occupier in afghanistan rather than somebody there to help. >> well, you were there earlier, what do you think is going on there? it does not appear to be
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going very well. >> we knew this would happen i was there when they were formulating the policy and they knew at the time that this summer would be awful as we sent marines and other troops into the provinces. we knew this would be bloody and this was a bloody month and the next month would probably be another bld bloody month but they knew this would be a five-year promise and to flake out now i think would be a disaster and hurt the credibility of the president and, you know, it is too soon to tell whether it is working or not. the second thing to be said and this i do fault the administration on was that there was tension between the, a difference between the policy they sold and the policy they enacted, the policy they enacted is a pretty intense nation building policy, village by village, street by street, with policemen, with agriculture reform, pretty intense, but they sold it as sort of a light footprint policy we are not doing nation building, they need to get one of those two things in line, we are going to donation building which is what the policy is or we are not and if they are really going to donation building they may
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require more troops and i think the 11 in iraq is to me, make it work, whatever the troop levels are. >> do you think kathleen, that the american people understand the need to whatever it is we are trying to do in afghanistan. >> whatever we are trying to. do well, i think they understand you just can't go in and make a mess and walk out, and afghanistan was the acceptable war as opposed to iraq including president obama, felt the war in afghanistan was the good war. but we have other problems there on the ground which includes the fact that we are losing the hearts and mind of the people, we have too many civilian casualties that are interfering, you know, and sort of in the southern areas, and the border of pakistan we have a problem with, you know, pakistan is not helping us monitor that border, the taliban can come and go at ease, that is where all of the poppy fields are, there are all kinds of complex issues on the ground that will take very tough applications of -- and i think the american people will have to
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understand that before they will tolerate more troops. >> osgood: i brought this up first because i just think there is a big policy fight coming and some really hard decisions that are going to have to be made and we better start thinking about that. i mean, obviously, the economy, healthcare and all of that is very important, but all of in seems to be happening kind of while the focus is on so many other things. >> yes. and the president obama has made it pretty clear he wants a visible, sustainable progress in afghanistan within twelve months or many 18 months, and, you know, how do you measure that? her talking about coming up with benchmarks like they did in iraq. we still haven't seen them. congress hasn't seen them. how do you go into this complex war more complex in many ways than iraq, because this is many a poor country where they can't supply the money to build up
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their own force level. we are going to have to do that or the europeans or somebody is going to have to do it. so maybe when the history of in is told, this is going to be the hard war and iraq is going to be the easy war. >> on the upside is our troops are a lot better, they really are impressive in they know how to do this, secondly i found they like the after fans more than the iraqis they work with them better and so they are a lot more up beat. i pound them quite up beat when i went there. >> let's talk about the other things and that is healthcare. congress has gone home now, at least the house has, where are we on this kathleen? i am not sure i know -- you know, we have all of these plans floating around the house, the energy committee over there approved one, you know, various committees so various different committees have pieces of this thing. >> i am not sure i am not sure i know where we are on healthcare. do you think we are going to come out of here with healthcare reform like president obama wants. >> we have a lot of 0 companies,
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including those on the hill if you a ask anybody exactly on the hill, nobody actually knows and actually that is going to to help congress as they are going back to their homes turf because they can have plausible deniability by saying we are not really sure yet but people are can selling town halls because people are so angry and the crowds have become a little raucous, where we are, you know, the senate group of six that is bipartisan group of three democrats and three republicans in th the finance committee are work on a bipartisan approach and real committed there is an enormous amount of pressure to wrap it up quickly, a story ran last week saying the they were nearing completion and they weren't. that was probably a plant by someone who wanted to apply a little more pressure. but in any case, they are committed but there is a concern that there are forces stronger than those sticks individuals and that there are plenty of people who really do want a
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partisan bill and those forces could ultimately prevail. >> but there may be an information gap here too. people in the administration have acknowledged, said publicly that we don't know in healthcare reform exactly what works and what doesn't work. and to go with the big reform proposal many and legislation when you don't know what works and what doesn't work is very, very difficult. i, you know, obama made this point and i think he is right, you kind of follow the money, where is the money? and he is saying there is too much waste in the system. if you go look at a hospitals or clinics or doctors organizations you realize they are very much like the cia. it is hard to figure out many exacnnactly what they are doingd what the costs and the tasks are, much is hidden and i am not sure the obama administration or the congress or thessssssssss or our business, the news business, really has taken this apart to
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say, look, this is where the costs are. this is where they can be cut. >> and the part i don't understand, i mean, you know, i long when i heard politicians say we can get this done by cutting waste, fraud and abuse, ese warnings that we are
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getting on sneak up on us, first indication is when the police start to look so young. then the daughter announces she is sharing the same school auction that her mom once chaired, where did the years go one day at the pentagon i realized that somehow or other i had gotten older than the generals. and the other day it occurred to he that i was easily old enough to be the president's father. but it was when he invited that cop and the harvard scholar to drop by for a beer it really hit me. you see, i can remember when a politician holding a drink, ran for cover when he saw someone
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with a camera. i have actually chased one or two of them myself, how the president invite the cameras in to record such a thing. don't get me wrong. i taught it was a nice idea. but maybe just coffee next time, mr. president. these cultural shifts are jarring for us older people. back in a minute. it can be tough living with copd... but i try not to let it slow me down. i go down to the pool for a swim... get out and dance... even play a little hide-n-seek. i'm breathing better... with spiriva. announcer: spiriva is the only once-daily inhaled maintenance treatment for both forms of copd... which includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema. i take it every day. it keeps my airways open... to help me breathe better all day long. and it's not a steroid. announcer: spiriva does not replace fast-acting inhalers for sudden symptoms. stop taking spiriva and call your doctor if your breathing suddenly worsens, your throat or tongue swells, you get hives,
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or have vision changes or eye pain. tell your doctor if you have glaucoma, problems passing urine or an enlarged prostate, as these may worsen with spiriva. also discuss the medicines you take, even eye drops. side effects may include dry mouth, constipation and trouble passing urine. every day could be a good day to breathe better. announcer: ask your doctor if once-daily spiriva is right for you. and that is our broadcast. we will be here next sunday on face the nation. >> this broadcast was produced by cbs news. which is solely responsible for the selection of today's guests and topics. it originated in washington, d.c. captioning sponsored by cbs captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org
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