tv Womens Participation-- Politics CSPAN December 8, 2013 11:25pm-1:30am EST
and it's troubling. and in my mind a function of the fact that government has become so large and so intrusive and so many of our lives that it gives those who are willing to use these tools and are willing to engage in this kind of exported behavior an in opportunity and e tools that the need to get it done. there's a great line ronald reagan always used that is similar to a line thomas jefferson used and i think it really encapsulates the mindset that we need to embrace and that is that to the extent the government can do something to you -- sorry it can do something for you it can do some into you. think about that for a second. to the extent the government can do something for you it can do something to you. and that is increasingly the experience of people in dc. how does that work quite what we give you some examples of the kind of exported behavior we are talking about and again we are not talking about everybody
doing this, but we are talking about i think an increasing number of people doing this because frankly it is lucrative but the first one is what you might call a milker bill because first of all it has nothing to do with the dairy industry. that's what you need to recognize. a milker bill is something that is introduced by a member of congress were senator and the bill isn't defined really to pass. the idea of writing the law isn't a hope that this is greatd to be good policy or change things. it's primarily introduced to milk the campaign donations or lobby contracts for family members and friends of the congressmen. for example you might introduce a bill that says we need to raise federal excise tax on large oil companies. you introduce that bill. what's going to happen when you introduce that bill? you are going to scare the daylights out of people in the business which is precisely what that bill was designed to do.
they are going to come running to that office saying we are concerned about this bill. what's going on? and in the process they are going to start making donations and they may end up hiring family members of the legislator or former aides to serve as lobbyists. the milker bill of course can be reintroduced again next year and a year after and they can become a form of extraction that takes place and corporations in the basically paying protection money. the second technique is what you might call the toll booth technique. if you are a powerful chairman of the committee were you are in leadership and this has happened under both parties, you can ease and c-charlie charge companies and individuals in order for bills to actually go from the kennedy to being voted on the floor. it can be a very lucrative technique that is used again to extract wealth from corporatio corporations. but it's not just these sort of
techniques that take place. there are other ones that speak to the problems we are having in the country today. but they give you another. have you ever noticed those and walls that are written are increasingly large and convoluted and complex and impossible to understand? glass-steagall was a bill written in the 1930s that basically reengineered or reconfigured the entire financial sector during the great depression. that bill was about 35 pages long. the latest reform change that we had was dodd frank. that was more than 2,000 pages long. and by the way that doesn't include all the rules. so it is going to probably be more than 10,000 pages long when it's done. why does it have been? why are they so large and convoluted and difficult to understand? one explanation might be the world is more complex. right-click that may be part of the explanation but i want you to start thinking about the
things that happened in washington dc at least with some individuals not in terms of policy but think of it in terms of a business. if you are in business what you want to do is create demand for your services. let me tell you what happened with dodd frank. as you can imagine it was written by in large part under the guidance and direction of individuals that work for senator dodd and for congressman barney frank. when that bill became law, this highly complex bill that nobody seemingly can understand, those staff members quit their jobs and what do they do? they went into private business charging large wall street firms and large banks, charging them enormous fees to interpret the bill they had written. think about that for a second. it's a little like saying you going to write a bill making it law and then i'm going to serve as a translator.
in other words you have to pay me so you can figure out how to conform with this law. that is really what is taking place to a large extent and that is a form of extortion. lots of companies and individuals want to comply but a lot of times they can't figure t how to comply with the law without paying a consultant. and guess what, it's designed to operate that way. perhaps the most troubling part of extortion that i've come across is what has happened in the executive branch particularly over the last four years. something unprecedented has happened in the u.s. department of justice. when president obama was elected in 2008 and organized the department of justice in 2009, he created the most politicized part of justice we had at least since the nixon administration if not before hand. and this isn't just opinion. it's a sixpack. think about this for a second. the department of justice is an entity that is the signed to
interpret and enforce the law. when president obama appointed the attorney general he appointed eric holder who had been the campaign chairman and anti-campaign bumbler a large dollar fundraiser for his election and for other senior fr spots at the department of justice also occupied by campaign bumbler's. that is unprecedented in american history. and during the last four years what you've seen in the department of justice is a centrally enforce the law in such a way as to where they go after the political opponents of the president and they lay off the political friends and supporters of the president. it's a centrally using the department of justice like the brick for this week g. man. there is statistical evidence that shows if you are a campaign contributor to this president and you are in trouble with the securities and exchange commission or the department of justice, you actually are going
to suffer far fewer penalties and have less chance being prosecuted if you are a campaign donor than if you are not. that's where we've come to the point of justice in the united states today. i think the final point to make as it relates to extortion is that the money flowing into washington dc isn't just about winning the election and re- election but certainly that is a part of it. what's happening is that increasingly the campaign funds at least for some who are running for office are being used for lifestyle subsidies and for enrichment of members of congress and they use very creative techniques and methods for doing this. as it was mentioned in the introduction, there was a special that we have on 60 minutes a couple weeks ago. i don't know if people have a chance to see that but if you want to look at the creativity that takes place, that would be a place to begin. let me give you a couple examples of things that have
been done. we highlighted a congresswoman from california, congresswoman napolitano who is from los angeles. very creative technique that she developed for self-enrichment. she ran for office in 1998 and in the midst of the first campaign, she loaned her own campaign of $150,000 cash. but she thought it would be a good idea to charge her own campaign 18% interest for that loud and she decided i'm going to wait a while. maybe i will wait 20 years before i actually pay that loan off. the end result is that she ended up with several hundreds of thousands of dollars in her pocket and interest payments that her campaign put in her pocket. and if you saw on 60 minutes she was actually confronted by steve about this fact. she informed steve dot she had to make the loan to her own campaign because as a hispanic
and a woman she couldn't get a bank to make that loan to her ignoring the fact that they cannot make loans to politicians running for office. if it is illegal according to the federal law. she then went onto explai on tot well, you know, i live in the same house and i still drive the same car so what's the big deal. and i guess the question becomes to the constituents is it a big deal? are they going to continue to re- elect an individual whose self-enrichment helps in this matter and i think that wealth probably be something that only an election will tell but the other thing that's happening is you see these vehicles like leadership pacs which perform legitimate functions but can also be used as a form of lifestyle enrichment. if you have a campaign committee like friends of peter schweizer there are restrictions what you can and can't use the money for.
i couldn't take my kids to disney world in the middle of the campaign and have my committee pay for it. jesse jackson junior is in jail today in part because he was using campaign funds for personal household items. but leadership pacs are a little bit different. you see, leadership pacs don't have, according to the fec to those kind of restructuring. so you find instances where a congressman decides to take his family to scotland and have his leadership pac pay for the entire trip. or you find other individuals who enjoy golfing so they used a leadership pac funds to purchase some of the best golfing resorts in the world. the point is when you think of money in politics and people raising money for politics it is not only just about election and reelection. sometimes with some candidates it's also about a lifestyle subsidy.
the criticism i always get from people when they read my books is they get terribly depressed and angry. and i guess i just have that affect on people. i apologize for that. you may find this hard to believe that i'm by nature an optimist because corruption in american politics is not new. we have been through this before. there are good people in washington that are trying to make a difference and doing the right thing. but i would contend to you that we need to start thinking about what goes on in washington and start coming up with ideas and reforms that tackle these problems in a different way. but just give you a couple of suggestions of things that i propose in the book that i think would be really good ideas. the first one is this is a radical concept to some. nancy pelosi said this is a ridiculous idea of a but why not simply ask our lawmakers to read
the law but they are voting on before they vote on them? in other words, if you are going to have a 2500 page bill that nobody can understand, you ought to at least make them read it. and i think that is a totally reasonable and a totally legitimate reform. and i know that there've been bills introduced to that. senator rand paul and others. i think that is an excellent idea because it would bring some clarity to highlight as others suggested the bill ought to be read out loud on the house floor before they are voted on. the second suggestion i have come and again this is a radical one but one we ought to consider. at the last 40 years as we looked at the issue of money and politics the focus has always been largely restructuring behavior of american citizens, of donors and people outside of washington dc and that's really
very unusual because think about this for a second. what you're talking about when people are making campaign donations especially voluntarily they like this candidate or this idea it is a first amendment issue as far as i'm concerned. people have the right to express the notion of who they support. there are very few restructurings on the conduct of politicians when it comes to raising money and that's not to say that all of them do so badly or do bad things but there are abuses that occur and so my thought is that the reform we ought to consider is this. why not do in washington dc what we do in the state of florida where i live and in the great state of texas they do in washington state and elsewhere and it's a very simple and radical idea and that is when the legislature is in session, politicians cannot solicit or receive campaign contributions,
period. if you did that i think one of two things would happen, probably both. first of all you would feel a lot more efficient c. when congress is in session. in other words if they are there to make the while knowing that they could not raise money at the same time, it would put them in a position to focus on lawmaking and that i think would be a good thing. the second thing that would have been as it would probably dramatically shorten the congressional sessions which i think would also be a good thing as well. they would be dirt to go and do more fund raising. and that i think would also have an effect on reducing the link or the connection in terms of what i describe as the extortion process. right now you have a situation where let's say there's an part in building for the energy committee and the night before that vote, some members of congress will literally go out and hold fundraisers on the eve of the vote. and if people don't make the right contributions or they don't make enough or generate
enough enthusiasm, they may abstain. they may not vote or show up for their vote. so it puts companies and its industries in the position where they feel like they have to make donations. why not try to separate lawmaking from money making and say money making takes place and then they could use the rest of the money accordingly. but finally, i think the ultimate solution to all of this is what i alluded to earlier. why is it that washington dc has become so fabulously wealthy? why is there so much money flowing into that city? why is there so much money to be made? fundamentally it is about one thing. it's about the size and scope of government because it is indeed true that if you give politicians the opportunity to do something for you, they can also do something to you. and what you give the political class in washington the opportunity to pick winners and losers to make businesses in one
of the successful or destroy those businesses based on the regulations and policies they approach you give them the power to extract and as long as we give them the power to extract, things in washington dc are only going to get worse. i would say thank you and take any questions that you might have. [applause] thank you. thank you. [applause] thank you. yes, questions. >> my question is though westway westerlies talks about citizens united and stephen cole there basically dedicates the show
[inaudible] can you comment on the case and what should be done and how -- >> let me preface this by saying i'm not a lawyer so i don't pretend to be. but it's been established for quite some time that being able to connect your funds to political causes is a first amendment issue and the reasoning was twofold. number one, we live in the era where it's about communications and it's about television and necessarily in that kind of society if you have a first amendment right to talk about issues you care about whether it's national security or second amendment rights or the environment or whatever that that necessarily involves spending money. and i think that's true. the second point tha i would mas money in politics is as important as being able to protest because not everybody has the time and the ability to
show up everywhere with a picket that they can certainly write a check. so i actually am not a critic of citizens united. i do believe people have a first amendment right and whether it is somebody on the left or on the right, they had earned that money and they possess that money and they should be able to spend accordingly. my question would be to people who for example like a public financing of elections etc. is do they really trust incumbents, those who hold seats in congress to design a system that is not going to favor incumbents? i know that sounds terribly cynical but we know by and large people operate out of self-interest. so there is no easy solution and people who say i want to get the money out of politics where i want to delete a public financing elections those are throwaway lines that don't really offer a solution.
>> you began by talking about the jimmy stewart movie mr. smith goes to washington and i think it true we've internalized this notion of washington corruption as a matter of individuals and if only people would act better everything would be great other than the way that you presented it in the sor a sort of public e institutional notion. why do you think it is that we have this unmerited high expectation rather than think of it institutionally and why the more public choice -- >> that's a good question. i think as the government has gotten larger and there've been more opportunities -- you look for example at while being very and they have a long history in the united states but in terms of being a major industry, it's really been over the past 30 to 40 years. and i'm not an anti-lobbyist per
se. people have the right to petition government and explain their positions. i think that the problem is it has become incredibly lucrative and that is what has changed. so it's taken on a business logic all on its own. when you discuss politics i think you need to kind of discuss it the way you talk about sports. do you know any sports fans out there? if you're talking about professional sports you can talk about quarterbacks and running backs but eventually you have to look at the question of money. there is kind of the discussion about this person's contract without. we have to approach it the same way. it may sound cynical but i think it is indeed the public choice approach to this which is where is the money flowing into why is it flowing in that way? a lot of what happened in dc are individuals who are market focused in terms of the political market and trying to create demand for their services
and you do that not by solving problems in dc. you do that by not solving problems. so i think we need to follow the market incentives and you are quite right to public choice theory makes the most -- explains the most. if you look back at the 19th century certainly some of these things were in play but you didn't have the food and drug administration and health and human services and all these large government institutions handing out so much money or making vitally important decisions for huge sectors of the economy. there just wasn't as much to be gained as there is now. yes sir. i'm sorry. i wasn't even looking. please go ahead. >> i am from ucla and i thought it was funny that you brought up the great congresswoman janet
napolitano. my question must be mentioned how she used to this kind of scheme to make money. >> not related to congresswoman janet napolitano, no. >> i hurt you in the past talk abouthatthe investments that cos people make based on their policy choices and i wondered if there was any development with regard to that and whether there's been any legislation passed through on that. >> that's a great question. yes in my last book i looked at the fact that politicians were in a position where an effect they could engage in insider trading and you had members of the senate armed services committee who were deciding what the procurement is going to be of the military budget, which weapons systems are being bought and that they are free and often do trade stocks in the same defense companies. there was a study done in the
journal of quantitative economics a few years ago where they looked at the stock portfolios of u.s. senators and what they found in the academic study was that the average american underperforms the stock market with the stock investment and the hedge fund beat it by 8% a year and by 12% a year so the question was always are these guys all incredibly brilliant investors or is there something else going on and i think that we all come to the idea of we don't have to deviate that very long. basically what happened is that the book came out and a 60 minutes did an excellent story on it. there was something that gathered steam called the stock act. it's not a bill that i was a big fan of because but it basically did is said yes inside trading was illegal for members of congress. the problem is that you are counting on the securities and exchange commission to enforce this and given that congress sets their budget, the fcc
commissioners get confirmed by the senate they are just not going to enforce it. i think the simpler and better solution would be to see if you are on the senate banking committee you cannot trade bank stocks. you can't trade it in stock i think that is the better approach to take. so they passed the stock act which essentially created this new law and also expanded the disclosure may be more frequent than they have to disclose their financial transactions and it was signed by president obama with great fanfare but then something unusual happened about nine months ago. they basically gutted the bill and for those of you who think that bipartisanship is dead in washington dc, the stock proves it's not. what basically happened is that in the house it passed on a voice vote with no deviate. harry reid did the same thing in the house and president obama quietly signed it and basically
gutted of the law. the answer to the question is that very little has changed. i think they are aware now that more people are watching what they are doing so perhaps some of the more egregious stuff that we saw before is gone but it remains a problem. thank you, great question. >> my name is david cooper. i stumbled on your book one time and there's a couple of things that came to mind that were fascinated. one was the second tarp vote but failed in the house and the about these $110 million worth of bribes and 57 members swapped their vote real quick and there was another thing that came about but don't do if you wrote it in your book or not how the house or senate committee chairmanships are up for sale depending how they fund raise and a few things like that. i know congressmen have always bought bought and sold although in the 19th century they were much cheaper but because the
government into the budgets and the stuff the government is responsible for now you see a lot of deviate about how much we can tweak this program for this little piece or reduce a little bit but whether it's energy or education i think the db should be whether these programs or departments should even exist at all and you would just take the contribution corruption out of it. >> i think that is a great point. we need to have a more fundamental debate and i do think that one of the problems i talked about italk about in "exs that those republicans and democrats in the house have a system of so-called party do and they make it sound like a country club think what you've got to pay your dues in the country club. this is like a country club that you may not be interested in joining but you are going to join is basically how it works.
you come into congress and you are given essentially a priceless and we print piece in the appendix in the back of the book so for example if you want to sit on the house financial services committee come in addition to your own campaign fund raising, you have to raise in that cycle have a million dollars to go to the party committee. if you sit on that committee and you don't raise that money and you consistently don't make that mark, they will threaten and take you off that committee. i naïvely thought you'd get elected to congress and you're an attorney or banker and dwelling upon the judiciary -- exactly, but it's not. there's a price tag associated with it. and again that is an example where, you know, political consultants have put members of congress in a bind and the problem is that several members of congress have told me to pay those party dues you don't go back to your constituents in ohio and say i need to raise
money for party dues can you make a donation? >> my question is pertaining to the third solution to this extortion in washington which is basically no fund raising while congress is in session and i wanted to ask even though they wouldn't be allowed to fund raise during the session it wouldn't necessarily stop backroom deals doing fundraising so how would it solve the extortion problem? they might just have more excellent than in fees from the lobby to make sure that they will keep their word when congress isn't in session. >> you bring up a good point. there is no silver bullet that is when to fix the problem. the experience in florida and texas and washington state and
others, when you talk to the people of the chamber of commerce they will say it helps because it gets rid of that immediate pressure. right now they get phone calls in washington right as a bill is being brought up to the committee. and it's like you better put up. they will literally walk from the floor of the house, go out to the steps on the house on a cell phone and do dialing for dollars as the vote is about to take place. so it will certainly eliminate those kind of situations but you're right it's not going to get rid of all of it. i don't think we will have a system that ever will get rid of all of it but if we can at least try to mitigate and separate it to some extent, we can get rid of more of the extreme forms. >> mark downing from mississippi college. i have a simple question with a simple answer. basically you have interesting research and have written books
with research. have you ever thought about doing any documentaries were making a movie possibly with it quick. >> that's a great question. i've been involved in some documentaries. there is a documentary here that the foundation has available. it's called the conservatives, which talks about conservative philosophy. there's also the documentary that i was involved in called in the face of evil which is about ronald reagan blank successful execution of the cold war and winning the cold war which i think the foundation may have copies of -- to campaign finance. i have not done that recently. i've done certainly something -- the minutes and others but doing a documentary myself, know i have not but it's a good idea. >> you mentioned all this stuff going on, all of the corruptions
of to speak. why hasn't the media exposed it and what are the people doing to respond to that? you for ten bucks on these and it's making people upset and angry and frustrated and reasonably so. so why isn't the media covering it and if they were with the people be responsive enough to ensure that it wouldn't have been? >> that's a great question. there are some people in the media covering aspects of this but i think there's a couple things working against them. one is that there is a cultural mindset in dc and if you are in immediate there are a couple of hurdles that you have to get over. one of them as you are so much involved in the immediacy of what's going on its artistic back sometimes and this is kind of a story you need to be able to think through and look through the different trees and
branches into that just takes time and a lot of the reporters in dc don't have the time to do that because they are chasing the story of the day. the second problem is that some journalists rely on people in powerful positions further stories. they don't want to offend people in power because they might not get that interview that's going to help their position so it's basically changes them from watchdogs into lapdogs. they don't want to offend people for the fear of doing this. and the third part of the biggest cultural. i have this experience there is a gentle and who i won't give the name. he probably wouldn't mind if i did but i won't. i had a conversation with somebody that is on television very frequently. i was talking to him about a year ago he said i like your books but i could never write a. he said these people are my
neighbors. my kids hang out with their kids. so if you were part of the washington culture it's hard to do that so those are all factors that have sort of lead the media. there are some very good reporters out there but they don't have the opportunity to drill down in a way that i enjoy doing so much. it's good to see you. i have a quick question for you building off of what he said. in general as we have seen with people voting to increase their salaries and benefits and all kinds of wonderful things that make us smile at the end of the day and take medication i have a
question for you and that is on a large scale have two hold people accountable. >> doinfundraisingdoing fundrair different periods of time and having things more straightforward and to the point but also getting to the point that we actually have agencies that were people whether it's in the media that actually are addressing keeping people accountable because it almost seems at the point now maybe it is a lot of people in this country. people will agree with us on the fact that there is a lot of unethical behavior and if they hear that we can inspire them to realize that these people are not as beautiful as they may seem.
my question is how do we keep that in check for the future generation in decades to come into office suite don't have to keep reinventing the wheel and try to solve problems that we already solved. >> that is a good question. the focus needs to be where washington dc is in terms of its size and scope. i keep returning to that but i do think that this i take of the human nature that's pretty basic and that is that people are people. there are good people and bad people that operate in a sector that operate in the governance. they throw the weight of ground to gain the benefit and people are going to do that. it's just going to be a problem. i focus less on this person is bad and that person is bad and focus on the fact that the notion of having a large powerful and intrusive government this way yo you're
>> yes, sir? >> hello, i am jule and one of my solutions, you said, it would be to not allow them to be on the the committee thereon. a while later on that, they could trade information with one other person and one is on health care and the other is part of that information and you can profit off each other's information. so is there anyway that there would be to pontificate that?
>> no, that is a very good point. i mean, there are a couple of proposals that i mentioned and that is certainly one of them. the other one that i proposed is why not have members of congress that their assets in a blind trust and a lot of people think that they do but they don't. and a lot of people publicly said, and i'm thinking in this case that senator john kerry. when my book came out i noted that john kerry was intimately involved in directing the affordable care act. and regulating or redefining this large part of our economy and at the same time he was doing this and his stock portfolio was flipping health care stocks to the tune of millions upon millions of dollars and his office has said that their assets are in a blind trust. and again, it is not perfect.
there are ways around that. and i think that what we have to realize is that there is not going to be any kind of solution that is going to work perfect. people could exchange information based on these assignments. but i think we have to look for ways to make it more difficult for people to engage in this kind of self-enrichment. and it is a mystery to a lot of people, but we are starting to understand. why is it that you have some individuals that are middle-class. and after 15 years of public service, they are multimillionaires. it happens because they come up with creative ways to make part of their own ends. we can't change human nature, but we can try to change the policies worry make that a lot more difficult. and with that, i will say thank you and enjoy the weekend.
[applause] [applause] >> you are watching booktv with non-fiction authors and books every weekend on c-span2. >> up next on booktv, "after words" with sociologists michael kimmel in his book "angry white men: american masculinity at the end of an era." and, the stony brook professor argues that many white men increased gender and racial inequality is a major contributor to their declining dominance in american society. this program is about one hour. >> congratulations on your book, michael. i thought it was very interesting as an idea the first time they told me about it. it seems like there is anger out there and i am so glad that you took the time to do that. i would say one thing that
strikes me as a journalist reading your book is that you operate like a reporter and you are unusually adventurous and i would ask you, why do you do yearbooks that way, out and about, talking to different people? >> well, i think -- i appreciate that. and i want sometimes to be out and about and talking to people and i don't want to sit and manipulate numbers. i found these kinds of interviews to be very revealing. particularly with people that i don't really get their worldview. i actually did not start this book thinking that i was going to go through different views of different individuals. but my first, for example, the chapter that is on the extreme right wing, they are so wired and there are so many websites and chat rooms. so i would go on to these chat
rooms and listen to people talking. it occurred to me that it would be like eight people and they were saying all of these things and suddenly it dawned upon me that there are eight people here in four of them are probably graduate student in anthropology and one of them is like a high school kid was goofing around and two of them are actually real white supremacists and the others like me. so i can't tell who is who. >> that's right, you can't trust and verify. [laughter] >> that's right. so you have to have sources that you can receive. so i decided to go talk to them. as i began to do that research, as i was working on this as well, i begin to realize that i was going to want to talk to people for all of the other chapters as much as i could. >> let's talk about your relationship we start the book with. because i think it will give the viewers a sense of who we are
talking about and what sociology is and where are we in america and a little bit about your relationship with people that you are interviewing. >> rick is a guy that i met at one of the very first places that i went to into and the white supremacists -- this is very interesting. when i told friends that i was doing work on this, they said oh, you are going to have to go to the deep south and the home of the clan and something like that and i met him right outside of pennsylvania. right outside of the mason-dixon line, there is quite a large number of white supremacists and strongholds and it turns out that in a lot of suburban schools along western new jersey and southern pennsylvania, a lot of the public schools -- some of
them rent out their gyms for shows on weekends. so i walked in to what is basically a high school. and inside the gym there were tables of guns. >> is there also like a middle school basketball game? >> well, as the walk-in, there are tables in front. prior to entering meds. and it's all how the government is trying to take away your right to own. the government is doing this and obama is doing that in obamacare is terrible. so those were the guys that i wanted to talk to because those were the guys with the ideas. so i went up to this one table and said, i picked up a pamphlet and said, is the sewers? and three or four guys are standing around and sort of talking and they looked at me kind of suspiciously.
>> no offense, but you sound like what you are. >> yes, of course. >> you sound like a new york guy. >> yes, i am a brooklyn, jewish sociologist. >> feminist. >> yes, picu. [laughter] >> so i'm not going to take some accent. >> could you even do it if he tried? >> i doubt it. [laughter] >> so i said to them -- they said, who are you? and i said that i am actually an academic researcher and i am doing research on these organizations and trying to understand this and a bunch of them said okay, and i just said, look. i don't get it.
i want to understand how you guys see the coast and the world and your worldview. and i will not convince you. what off the table. but why i want to understand is to know how you think the way they do. so i would say roughly half of the guys in my research, i acknowledge those. >> they would say that i don't want to talk about this, basically i don't want to talk about this and you would never understand in one or two said something intimate, but it was vague and rather thin on the surface. and i am fine with that. but the guys who did, the whole complaint is that you are the forgotten american on whose back this country was built and you
have built the country and no one is listening to you and i will. i will listen to you. i will not agree with you or not is not why i am here. at my job is to stay as faithfully as i can and if you can trust that, i am willing to talk to you. >> so we need make sure and that the worker does not work? before we get to what his views are coming age, race, social class, who are we talking about for this? >> i do want to say that this is only one chapter of the book and we try to take the pulse of a lot of different groups. but describing this to you a little bit, we had breakfast the next morning at a coffee shop and he is about mid-30s and he does have a job and he was
working in a. he just something that is interesting and all of the guys that are on the extreme right with who i spoke. they have the same class background and they were downwardly mobile. some of the guys that you talk to have the same thing. small shopkeepers. mom-and-pop grocers. the independent farmers got foreclosed and high wage union protected factory workers and a close and these guys are downward and mobile and they will not have the kind of wages or the kind of job protection that their fathers had. many of them were like smith and sons and a lot of these guys i talked to were independent and nonunion contractors off the
books. but they were downwardly mobile content mobile and that was the background and so rick shows up and he decides he's going to be playful and that's one of the reasons i've chosen to introduce the book. so he wears an old flannel shirt and a baseball hat and we are sort of in central pennsylvania and he wears a confederate -- a black t-shirt with a confederate flag. so as he sits down he opens his shirt and says i wore this just for you. >> that's good. [laughter] >> okay, right. >> the thing is that he and his wife are trying to make it on the far left. >> he's married. >> yes. he has two kids. five years old in seven years old at the time that i interviewed him. very unhappy with the quality of
schools and, the conversations is wouldn't it be nice if we had free child care or you can exercise your right to free health care and, okay, we had a conversation about what he expected as he was growing up and what he thought was going to be his and what he did not get. and how he feels, basically screwed by the system. >> like things have been taken away from him that were rightfully his we might guess, that -- that kind of connective tissue and so my book has some resonance with yours and the subtitle is the betrayal of this and these guys definitely feel like they have been betrayed. >> yes, i was thinking a lot about her book when i read yours
because she visits different parts of america and different ages of people and it is a similar one, sort of what was promised to me. the fathers in the 50s, those who have no, you know, no easy thing to grasp onto as a model for success. before we get to the entitlement question which is central to your book, the book in many ways -- what is unconscionable is that it has an acre in it that we see that as a little bit frightening when you read it and sort of encompassed between two covers. and so since we just talked about this, how quickly -- how does that come up in your different conversations? >> it comes up in two ways. it comes up self-conscious way. it is right there at the front.
>> always about obama? >> a lot about obama. it's not obama specifically. but it's a generalized -- like how they are taking what's ours. >> you know, my brother was working class and visiting him, i feel like bill tran-sixes kind of exploded and it's like, whoa, where did this come from. >> you know, it's like the other side. i hung out not far from my house in the new york city fire department and it's like i heard that. i heard a little bit of that and i have not gone back and listen to that.
>> it's like really, we are going to talk about this or how long? [laughter] >> so these guys know that i am not one of them. it is clear. i make it clear. >> by the self-conscious about this? >> the sexism is utterly not self-conscious. there is the occasional swipe at hillary. but there is never a thing because they are also claiming that. >> is and also because the rage is channeled through probably a person or an ex-wife were others? >> not him, necessarily. >> you have personal experience. >> well, i think that in our culture, actually think that sexism is far more permissible than racism he meant it does
seem like that. >> let me give you a good example of how to think about that. during the primary season of 2008 when clinton was running against obama for the democratic nomination and there was a guy at one of delivery clintons rally is that held up a sign that said [inaudible] dear member that? and so i asked my students about that and i said how many remember that. by the way, in 2009 asked this question as well. and so i asked the students to say, how many remember that. 10%, 20% handset. and a few of us knew it and he sorts of things knew it. but imagine at an obama rally, a white guy had held a a sign that said polish my shoes. don't you think every media outlet, every single republican
would've said stop everything, that is wrong. >> you know, after all, you're talking to people about this. >> i think it just seems more acceptable. overt racism, we all celebrated, it's like, oh, we were wrong about that. but i think that in some ways obama has become a lightning rod for the resurgence of overt racism. >> still coded? >> yes. >> that is part of what was behind it. we know he's one of them, he's not one of us. >> correct enact so part of this has always been so startling. after all, president obama is not a black president when
they've mixed raced and he is african-american and one white parent and this is one of the rules. >> right. >> so it's really interesting that sexism is far more casual and partly because it is the interpersonal and these guys actually have this in this way and they have ex-wives that they hate and ex-wives lawyers that they hate even more. and they also have women in their lives who they see as getting ahead of them. >> there's a lot more women you can see is taking her job or whatever it is. >> yes. >> we are going to return to that subject when we talk about specific groups and it's important to define the central concept which is aggrieved entitlement, which i have a lot of questions about. so tell the viewers, what is that? maxwell, it's a phrase that i came up with because all of the different groups that i talk
about from the men's rights groups to the guys who beat up their wives or partners or kill them in some cases, two guys to go postal or sort of open fire on the workplace, to the men on the extreme right. i think that the thread that binds all of them is this notion of aggrieved entitlement. the easiest way i can describe it is to tell you one story where i first encountered it. and it was -- i was on a tv talk show with these angry white men and they all believe believed that they were the victims of reverse discrimination and they believe that there was a workplace shell in which they were talking about affirmative action that was just with part of this. they did not get promotions and they were angry about it. and i was there opposite them
alongside joe nelson the journalist and the two of us would dare to respond. my first inkling was a quote from one of these men that became the title of the show, a black woman stole my job. >> i saw that nearby. >> okay so it's like i have one question. and i said it's about the title of the show and actually it's about one word in the title. i want to know about this. where did you get the idea that it was your job and why is the title a black woman got the job or a job? because without confronting this we won't understand why so many men have this gender equality because we think that this is a level playing field so you think oh, my goodness, it is reverse discrimination against us and this is what aggrieved
entitlement sounds like. these are the ones that we were told, this is what is waiting for you and this is the theme of this entitlement, and monty python he goes to the holy grail and says, sun, one day this will all be yours. and he said what, the curtains? [laughter] he said one day this will all be yours. and that is what they have said and that is what they expected and they were entitled to it and now you're telling them that they are not going to get it and you have to play fair. so my feeling was that i felt like when i heard this it registered for me and i began to hear it in a lot of different
ways. and so i really try to use that as a framing device. my argument was that in any way, the way that our books ran parallel to each other. i think that this is not the end, but this is the end of an era of assumed entitlement. >> end of male privilege. >> yes, bad or whatever, you know, so that is what i kept hearing from these guys. and they were kind of blindsided by it. but the rules have completely changed from the office space in madman and the women are like in a corral in the center and you can have your pick, you know, it's like an office perk and it has been -- the pace of this change has been really
fascinating. >> it is dizzying. this is sort of like, what happened. >> one thing i did that while reading your book is to imagine one of these guys reading your book. and it makes absolute sense. but i do find it hard to accept them as entitled anymore. and so it makes total sense when you read it, especially to me and you. it's like they have had the wind at their back for all of this time and you have tens of thousands and it was never a level playing field and it wasn't yours to begin with. but they do not feel that way and they are looking at obama and tillery clinton and it doesn't look like them and they can't get a job. one of them says the only job is to be a wal-mart hostess in my town and i am not doing that job.
so i was having a hard time conceiving of why they should accept your argument that they were entitled. >> okay, it is a great question. there are two levels of answers. the first is does this describe their experience and the second is why should they then agree with me. >> yes. >> so the first part is the mistake that i think that we have made basically in the 1970s and feminism began to really permeate the culture and the argument looks something like this, men have all of the power and look at every single corporate board and state and international, you know, every university board. men have all the power. and individually, women do not have the power and they don't feel powerful.
so feminism said, we as a group need to redress this at the top and individually it was about empowering women to have a wide range of limited choices and all of those sorts of things. and it basically said that there is a symmetry between the aggregate powerlessness and you apply that and men have all of the power in the world and therefore men must feel powerful in the fight, what he talking about, my wife bosses me around. i am completely powerless. that analysis failed to resonate even then because men don't feel powerful. >> they never did or they don't know? >> because there is only one king of the hill and most of us feel like we have to be subservient to idiotic bosses and we have to be -- when i
tried telling my male students that they have all of the power. [laughter] >> the idea that was also prevalent is that we have this and yes. >> we all take the 737. >> it's like revolutionary road. >> exactly. >> as a result, that model, all of these strung up in the 70s and basically said you are right. let's get this back and let's go to the woods with this and then you had all of these wall street yuppies wearing power ties eating power breakfasts and this -- because the idea was supposed to feel powerful but didn't. that is entitlement.
they were supposed to feel this way, they don't feel this way. but whose fault is that? and so when he moved whose fault is that, that's part of it. because i think they have been duped and they have been betrayed and stepped in all of those things. but not by those lower than none. >> right. >> that's right. ..
allies that it's the other make about is the people that are of him and he then goes off and he says to his mother in the great scheme you can see her sitting by the candle saying this, you know wherever there is a man looking for a job that is where i will be. so as i say it and, it's fascinating to me that both timothy mcveigh and nelson mandela used the same motto and guys like tom jones, white working class who makes common cause with those below him rather then turns him into the enemy. >> host: is the thomas frank
what's the matter with kansas idea that you quote in the book which is this argument you're hating the wrong people. like instead of taking the clifford powers that have shifted your job completely overseas and forgot about you you hate the people below you, you hate women, black people. >> guest: i have great respect for that argument as well because i think that there is a kind of distraction going on very often and it's a very seductive distraction. >> host: one of your most original chapters is about the rampage shooter and what we did wrong and you sort of reconceive who he is. can you talk about that? >> host: the school shooter. >> guest: i also have a chapter on the guys that go postal. >> host: i mean the young school shooters, like the columbine and those guys. just cut i'm flattered that you
think i have a new take on this and what do you think that is. i will tell you what i think it is new about it a is the socioly of it. all of the work on the school shooters into the research that has been done except for one psychologist catherine newman has written a book called rampage. virtually all of the ways that we have approached them has been a focus on the psychology of the shooters so you have an extreme psychology for example the work on columbine, david for example it's like looking at a surratt painting up close that you don't see a picture at all. or it's guns and violent video games and marilyn manson and goth music. it's any of the number of causes that lead the skies to explode
and then there are those that have the more social psychological. they could be bullied into they woulwere constantly beat up allf them have stories by the way. >> host: so where is the title meant in that situation? >> guest: the initial part and i will get to the entitlement part of the city additional piece i had is that it's not enough to profile the shooters we also have to profile with schools. now, sandy hook by the way is a complete exception to this. >> host: it wasn't a cave that was -- >> guest: it wasn't a student coming into his school. and since columbine, remember -- here's the entitlement part -- since columbine, they have taken a turn at a turn. you don't just go to school and try to kill as many as you can as people did before columbine. remember some are still in jail,
but you also kill your self in the end. this is like suicide by mass murder. you take out as many of them as you can because they have done you wrong and it's a constant line that goes through the entitlement. it goes through -- >> host: explain it again. >> guest: their accounts are you have done us wrong. you've bullied us, beat us up, etc. spread rumors about us, lied to us. what's interesting and i was thinking about this on the way down here, that the rampage school shooters are analogous to the boys version of girls that commits suicide after being relentlessly cyber bullied and shunned and all of that that they can't take it anymore. the boys exploded and the girls internalize. so, this is a similar kind of dynamic so it's not true that only the boys bully. we know that's not true but they
have different kinds of responses to it. they feel wrong. they feel badly done. they feel ignored. i will show you. that is their logic. now, there are thousands of boys that are fueling this all the time. so why is it that school shootings are although horrifying and in some ways, you know, a seemingly regular occurrence, also reasonably rare. 99% haven't had one. why? thousands of boys are feeling this every single day in their basement and attic and attic blowing up the galaxy on the computer wanting to take revenge and why don't they? dare you have to provide all the schools and to say something about the schools in which the shootings take place. they have certain characteristics. they are as one sociologist calls the jockocity. at: nine for example one of the
players parks his hummer and a 15 minute zone all day and never got a ticket because the administration protected him. they rule the school and the administration and faculty collude with them. take the case in steubenville ohio and these athletes if you remember what happened this is what entitlement sounds like. they gang rape this world and they filmed it and one of them got worried and said to the other one you know, we could get in trouble for this. like yeah. the other said don't worry about at the coach will take care of us and sure enough with the coach due? immediately that day he did exactly what he said. he questioned why the girl wasn't there, what she was wearing, what she was drinking if she led them on -- >> host: we have several cases like that. >> guest: how did the steubenville ohio deal with this perfect response by the coach? they rehired him. so we aren't talking about the
stupid bill, we are not talking about how they rallied -- steubenville, we are talking about how they rallied behind the coach. this football player was right. he was entitled and everything worked out as he expected it would. so my feeling is that is what we have -- i want to interrupt. >> host: it seems to me a slightly different point than the rest of the book because they can also enter the aggrieved entitlement than in other places where one day they could be rick at the gun shows. but that's like old-fashioned -- >> guest: let me say something about that. that's interesting because these guys, the athletes, the top homecoming king was involved, they also feel that they have an entitlement. they are walking around -- the guys woul with tony, athletes, e highest status on campus we are
walking around with targets on our backs. everyone is looking to get us. we are the victims here. >> host: everyone wants to be a victim. the relationship between the shooters and the jocks that you describe how that could have taken place in many decades treated like the entitlement of the jocks it's what sort of happens to them that's the new thing where every guy feels like he can't make it and then my only other response to that chapter is, you know, it didn't seem to me like you had to choose between psychology and sociology. you have sociology and then some people interact with that in a way that makes them crazy. >> guest: i don't think you sacrifice one for the other. but the sociology provides that context and psychology provides the insight to the individual behavior why this person and not the best person in that context. >> host: dissection of your book i greatly appreciate because i've been so curious and
edited many stories is the thorough take on the men's rights movement because i think there's a lot of confusion about this. you have the sense that they are very angry and they have legitimate grievances and that they are sort of an old history to it but it was very useful i think to put all of those together and kind of separated them in the way you did. maybe i will start with a history which was quite new to me. can you talk about the origins and where it comes from? >> host: i locate the origin in the guide responds in the 1970s to the beginning of the women's movement, the feminist movement. there were a lot of men who -- feminism basically the challenge was what was called by the psychologists the female sex world. you have to be nice, pretty, quiet and do all of those --
women would say that isn't who we are. we are assertive and competent. we want to do stuff and we don't want to sacrifice any of the nice nurturing stuff either. we want to be bombs and workers. we want to lean in and listen up and do it all. so, the men basically were saying the women in our lives were all like becoming feminist and critiquing our own behavior. so a lot of them said they are right. the women have gotten a raw deal. so have we. you can never express your feelings, you can never tell people that you love them. all of your relationships with men are completely restricted by homophobia and other people might get the wrong idea about you, whatever. so being a man sucks, to back and then others would say that it sucks just as much or more. but basically, so the origins
come from than what was called the men's liberation movement that's been needed liberation, too from the restrictive constraining the oppressor role. >> host: sympathetic to feminism -- >> guest: initially -- >> host: that was interesting. >> guest: it was sympathetic to feminism. but there was also -- as one became angry, and i think there is still a liberation movement in polls that is independent of feminism but not antifeminist. but that is basically faded. what has emerged now as part of the men's rights movement about basically the men's rights movement takes as it is true the same thing i often hear from my female students which is when i come to my classes and i start talking the history of the gender revolution, my students say feminism, that was your
generations issue. thank you so much. but we don't have to worry about that now. the women say this. because they haven't been in the workplace get. five years after they graduate they come back and said you are right. but before that, feminism is over and we one so we don't need to be victim anymore. we can have as much sex as we want, drink, like sports, go to law school. and the men had the same critique in a funny way. they basically think that it's been so victorious that women have basically taken over and there are several ways in which the men's rights movement and braces many of the original claims of the litigation. for example around men's health. before they get angry and say there's too much funding for breast cancer but not prostate before they get there they say the traditional definition of masculinity basically means you are indifferent to health
concerns and men do not go to the doctor's office for routine screenings. all of those health issues are true and come from a critique and to that extent i actually think it has positive things to offer particularly around health and around stress-related diseases and how masculinity leads -- so that part i agree with that somehow because the women have taken over the medical establishment i think not. i don't blame women for this but i do think that critique is a reasonable one. the critique -- that's one thing. i think the major tributary exceeds the movement has to do with fatherhood. the father rights movement.
>> host: is that a separate strand like why did the fathers rights movement countries actually i think of it as bitterness and of course, overwhelming amounts. >> guest: and child custody. >> host: but it becomes the only e-mail i don't answer or recognize because they are so vital that it shocking. so where does that come from? >> guest: i think it's understandable. in the 70s the critique of the male sex role was that it enabled man or in some ways inspired men to become more involved fathers. this is where the men's and the women's liberation movement actually coincided. feminist women said we need you to be better fathers and to do fair housework and childcare. we want to go to work. and it's good for you, too and then took that seriously and started thinking about it. think about your own husbands.
>> host: a parent and father. >> guest: by father had to fight and lost to the end of the delivery room when i was born. >> host: that explains a thing about you. >> guest: they wouldn't let him in. now if the man is married to the woman giving birth -- >> host: and he's not care he's a jerk. >> guest: 95% of men are there. this is how it's changed. there are far more involved in childcare and kind of like it. so, what kind of happened since the 70s and this is why there was a trickle. that grew into a notion of positive stuff and these beautiful tends to involve fatherhood and daddy and me. it's great. but what happened is those men became more involved and active fathers and the law didn't
change. so the system thinks of them as our fathers generation. the court system thinks of them as wallets and utterly uninvolved and married to their job and doesn't acknowledge that they have more input so when they come to a custody decision they feel like why did i put in office work anall this work andl this stuff only to lose everything. now the little reality is hopeful here because the majority of custody cases are not contested. it's not a case i want to joint and you want a soul. it is a case most of the time and 80% of cases the husband and wife who are divorcing agree on custody prior to the court date. >> host: and agree on what direction. like the white house -- >> guest: usually destroyed or she has sole physical and he has visitation. and there are occasionally -- there are one out of five cases
they are really is a conflict. he wants joint and she wants a soul. whatever, he wants more than she wants him to have. and in those cases, the courts tend to side -- i think much of the data the courts seem to side with her. i have an analysis about the fact it may not be all that long or rather different. there are a lot of cases in extenuating circumstances that one doesn't know there's all kind of charges of violence in the home which is also quite pervasive into their tends to be some correlation with those types of custody cases, but what i am saying is by and large the anger that fuels the fathers had been rights groups is that we changed the institutions have it -- habit so they are furious at
the courts and the lawyers and their ex-wives. but it's not the whole thing. i think that of all of the chapters of the book i actually think that the fathers rights have a legitimate right to -- >> host: i've always suspected that but in the legitimate gripe -- >> guest: all of the groups i talk about in my book have a legitimate gripe they think they are just delivering the bayer angry mail to the wrong address. >> host: a legitimate institutional right. how about that? an institution which is not -- it hasn't met at the current error or something like that, the constitutiocomeof the constt moved. >> guest: the reason i'm critical of course of some of the reversal of the data is simply loopy, but i do get the anger especially the fathers who
think we changed into the institutions haven't and that's wrong. we have been badly done by that. we are entitled. >> host: there was a very funny quote you had in there by decade i think it was a friend of yours within a supervisor or something and a kid who said he spent time with your dad and he said he's so busy working on his dad's right movement i never see him. [laughter] so, i want to return to the rage against women because you end on this very depressing chapter of this guy that comes into shoots up the women at his gym because he can't get a date t that there is a toxic rage building -- we will end on a more hopeful note i promise. but there is a toxic rage. some of the e-mails you quote as i said they are kind of uncomfortable to read created the e-mails of the men's rights guy and the letters of the shooters. just a sense of anger against
women that's kind of hard to take. it's very bracing. so what do you do with that? where does that come from and what do you do with that? >> guest: i think that a lot of guys have felt personally sort of so down by the changes in women's lives ar around sexul empowerment and entering into the workplace you know, that they feel kind of -- i think that the emotions underneath the anger are they feel confused and be filtered and just kind of like at sea. these are these unstable emotions. they make you feel like you can't get your foot in. and i think that anger is a rapist or stabilize herself. now in charge blank case, the lead of the chapter on the angry -- >> host: he's the one who shot
up the women at the gym. >> guest: )-right-paren in his testimony he said he hadn't had sex in years, he hadn't even had a date. these are always gorgeous women and he is not a bad looking guy if you look at the picture. >> host: it is a depressing letter. >> guest: it breaks your heart. and a lot of guys think about the angry white men who are learning to be successful pickup artist, the whole genre of how to become a pickup artist and iowa member when i was a kid there were these like pheromone-based colognes if you put them on women couldn't stay away or guaranteed, moneyback guarantee if you don't get some tonight. all the strategies. a friend of mine has done research on how guys prepare for going out to bars and stuff with their friends because how do you
go to a bar in which the chances of you actually having sex that night with someone you pick up our less than 5%. how do you prepare first daily or every single weekend? and so there is a kind of resentment and anger. then there's all this confusion because look, women have refused to sacrifice their femininity for being confident in the workplace. they want to be taken seriously as women and workers. they are beautiful, sexy, why not me? so i get that. i feel i can understand that anger, and i feel that gu guys l like reasons that -- >> host: the odd thing is there were two things that struck me about his photograph. one is that you read it and what he'he is saying from incorrectly but you see his logic i'm doing everything i need to do as a man
and it's not working. it's all superficial. i'm wearing this kind of doing all these things and it's failing. >> guest: i'm doing all these things that you women tell me to do -- >> host: you sound like the chevrolet commercial i quote in my book that ran in the super bowl one year where you have these silent man like i picked up your laundry, i told your lipstick. it's like the men are completely frozen in me that. like you've done all this to me. >> guest: and for this i get to drive a souped-up 97 car. >> host: yeah -- >> guest: and to let you know one thing this is how i know the commercial didn't necessarily work on you is because it wasn't on a ford come it was a dodge challenger. >> host: my mom had a gold dodge challenger.
you're supposed to get over that like the metal. that's a very -- my husband has said that in middle school you always felt like the girls had something you couldn't have. it's that feeling you're just not supposed to have it when you're 40. you're supposed to understand the world in a slightly more sophisticated way. that's the other thing that struck me as sad it's like the thoughts of a 14-year-old boy not a 40-year-old man. >> guest: what we take that for a second. take that 40-year-old man and put him back 26 year. the 26 years ago he was right. a 40-year-old would have been right to think postings. you see what i'm saying? but basically you're right to say this that he's embraced the idea that the 940 i will have all of these. so it's regressive. a lot of it is out of this
aspect of regressive. some of the guys i quoted at the beginning they are taking away our country, it's very nostalgic but he was right 24 years ago. that seems to me to be the key. things have changed that quickly so you can't rely on -- you are not don draper. they don't exist any longer. >> host: he can put on perfume and he will get the girls. we have a few minutes left so i went to an -- this is the hardest part. everybody asks me about this book. you have these men that are failing and angry, the kind of what can you question. we raced through that at the the book. what can you do when you have this blood bubbling siege on the radio and online and sort of in life. what do you do with all of this and how do you address that? they are genuinely suffering and kind of falling off the map in
many ways as fathers and workers so they may not be right or entitled to their entitlement yet they are suffering. so a couple things they can do. >> guest: this is important because it also defines both of our posture. you and i disagree in some respect us but we also run on parallel lines and one of the things i think that is similar between your book and applied as we have a significant amount of compassion for these who are suffering. we recognize that. what i say is that their pain is real but it's not necessarily true. they are feeling real feeling and anger of course is the one feeling men are allowed to field so they are feeling real feelings but the analysis of why doesn't match up with what i understand to be the data. >> host: how do you convince them it isn't a black woman that stole your job? >> guest: there's two ways that want to do this. it is a done deal.
like do you think that women are going to have a moment they are going to go my god, got to go back home. coding, working to madrid for having orgasms to forget that. but collectively it used to be. >> host: are the corporations would be likely to conflict with factory in alabama? >> guest: absolutely. good point. so, the ship has sailed. the question is are we going to get on board firs plus one * fae ship has sailed. here's where i think we have something to offer. the data on the men who -- because it's in some ways i'm making it a big movement that it's actually a claiming number of men because most men -- maybe your husband in fact, most of my friends have very quietly accommodated themselves to a greater gender equality in their relationships and families and they don't hate it in fact they
like it. they like having somebody to talk to this spark of interest. they like having those relationships with their kids. they are actually feeling better about themselves as men who share housework and childcare are more likely to go to the doctor for routine screenings is likely to end up in the er and to go to therapists and to be diagnosed with depression. and less likely t was likely tod with adhd. so the answer to your question in a sense is on the one hand the deal is done. on the other hand it's actually better. your life will improve. on the political side we have to take what is the institutional constraint that has prevented us from living the life we want to live or how about adequate health care, about universal child care for our children. >> host: they would laugh in your face.
something to get used to them i guess. >> guest: but my feeling is if enough of us keep saying this, you know -- and i'm sure that this is part of what was happening in our backyard last weekend. the likely next mayor of the city of new york has proposed universal child care to the paid for by taxing the wealthy. probably won't happen but it's on the agenda. someone's talking about it. eventually, eventually we are going to looking a little bit more like the rest of europe and thunlike the rest of the industrial world. ..
there is a blue state or even a purple state thing. in parentheses, the courts are going to have to recognize this. >> left and on that wonderfully optimistic note. thank you. >> thank you. ♪ ♪ >> "washington journal" chronicles every morning at 7:00 a.m. the latest guests. you can watch "after words" online if you missed it. go to booktv.org and click on booktv in the series and topics
list on the upper right side of the page. >> in light of the ongoing battles over the federal budget and congress, but tv has put together a book program talking about issues surrounding the debate. over the next hour, you will hear from comptroller general david walker and jim demint and stanford university epidemiologist as well. the events featured can be washed in their entirety on the booktv website, booktv.org. we will start with david walker who served as the u.s. comptroller general from 1998 through 2008 and discusses his book, come back america, turning the country around and restoring fiscal responsibility. >> there is a difference between short-term deficits and long-term deficits.
the short-term deficits were largely inherited by barack obama and we need to recognize that some level are understandable and and to make it very clear to try to get the economy growing and to try to bring unemployment down. and then he pivoted this structural deficit and that is what threatens that. >> it is not the debt that's on the balance sheet, but it's what off the balance sheet and he talked about three things. he talked about freezing a portion of discretionary
spending, less than 20% of the federal budget for three years, you know, three years are better than one and especially since spending has increased 20% or more over the last two years. >> there are lots of holes in that and they have to put a truck through it and it does provide some constraints that would be there. and thirdly he came out for a fiscal commission and this includes other spending restraints and tax reform that will terminate or revenues and i think it's important that we do it this year and to act before
are members of the legislation. >> the book makes a strong case for creating this commission. and the kind of commission, there is an issue as to whether we need this that we will have an and so forth. >> i have a strong preference for a statutory commission and the reason is because you can buy in and only via the statutory commission can you get guaranteed a vote. the fact is that the senate had a majority vote for this statutory commission and he got 53 votes and under the senate rules he had to get 60. so it did not pass. while i would perform this statutory commission, i would prefer it to nothing. >> one mention that you make in the book, is that this is a way to create a consensus in the
country for action on fiscal policy and i think that the book regarded as the most important thing. stepping back from the details that we have, we have a bigger appetite for public services in this country and then we have a willingness to pay the taxes that are required. so how do we bridge that gap? >> there is a great deal of difference as to what can be made and it's an issue of national entity. can people be made to change their minds? >> i believe that there are two critical elements that have to be present and in addition to having mass and having been on the table, there are two things. this commission is to outside washington dc and it has to engage representative groups of americans with the facts and the truth and the tough choices and the prudence of acting sooner or
later with our countries and family if we don't. in addition, we need to receive a vote on the recommendations. and only through that is a guaranteed in this includes the commission's recommendations. and so i think that we have to make the best of that. people have a big government and a small government taxation. and you want to take taxes and keep them as low as possible and math has to work. so the truth is if we can come back to this, the far right and the far left are delusionary. they would also get the lowest grade in math. they are delusionary and they would flunk math. [laughter] >> let's not come back to that, but let's stay with that. >> okay.
[laughter] >> i do sense that there is a kind of political disconnect here. the politicians understand the need to express concern about the long-term budget. you hear about this as you grapple with the program. the national prosperity is at stake and that has to mean at the end of the day, either lower public spending or higher taxes and do we have a sense that they will chavez? >> there is no party with fiscal responsibility and there is no other party with fiscal responsibility. secondly, sadistically valid research that we conduct and others conduct show that the
number two issue that americans have is escalating the deficits and debt with economy and jobs ahead of health care and climate change and other issues and way ahead. they believe that congress in washington is out of control and many support this. the election in massachusetts is a rise of independents like you and i and i have been in 46 states last 40 years and have a good sense about where they are and the representatives are on the polls and that is why we not only have this, but we have an ideological divide and a stalemate means that you are going nowhere fast and when things are not going well and they are getting worse with time, that is a disaster scenario. so i do think that washington is a lagging indicator and the
people have to put the pressure for this thing to happen in our commission has to set the table for a tough vote. and they can actually deliver on their promises and the government has tens of billions of promises and they don't know how they're going to make this work and we can come back to that on health care if you want. we must have statutory budget controls. i don't think we should show them one time without additional times and without have statutory budget control and round one of this constraint consolidation.
>> right. >> so going through this for a second. it's a kind of microcosm of the issue, anyway. there are many reasons but the couple of leading ones are somewhat self-contradictory and it goes to the heart of what you're saying. and i think a lot of people are so concerned that this reform will significantly increase this and this includes it as well. the other thing is what we require in order to balance the budget and make this affordable. a lot of this is expanded to make it better.
so where is the opening for the politician. and if you were advising a politician, how would these guys grapple with this and how would you be fiscally responsible as an expansion of health care coverage and your book is in favor of this. and so you explain how we think you can make it affordable. >> okay, first, we have to focus on four things and number one is cost and the other thing that could bankrupt america is out of control health care costs. regarding made so many more promises than we know how we're going to pay for. my view is that you can't reduce health care costs by expanding coverage. it is an oxymoron. and in addition to that, you have to recognize that our
current health care system, if it was a house, it is structurally unsound and mortgage for more than it's worse in 10 words and it's headed for foreclosure. so you can't say that you can add this new same flawed materials attached to the structure that headed for foreclosure. it's another example of how government wants to have good people there before they are part of this. we have already made tens of trillions of promises that we don't know how we are going to keep. so all we have to do is pay for it. the fact is that there are tests for health care reform and it can result in a significant reduction and result in lower health care costs after the reform and before that the bill got passed. now, on the other hand, i do
believe this and i believe that we should have universal coverage for what i call basic necessities. personas and wellness and catastrophic. i think that we have to change the payment systems and a budget on what the federal government will spend on health care and we need to look at this because we have subsidies as well and medicare my boss is a billionaire. okay? because of that fact. >> allright. >> that seems like to tear this up and start again. >> there are two systems that we have been health care is the second and we spend double per capita and we get below average results. so we spent plenty of money and
the other is k-12 education. we are not the top five and so it's not a matter of money to reengineer the system and i have a number of ideas on how to do that. >> a couple of other bases that i want to touch on before i turn it over. handing this over to entitlement reform, it is critical, as you say, and we also have social security on what we should do to fix the social security system and on the other hand, it is a three-point play and we would
put this on the board. so with the security, we would've had this reform in 1991 except for this incident. and it's not just a matter of what the reform should be, but the process that we went through to get it. one of the reasons was that barack obama wouldn't be part of this is that the process was fundamentally flawed. and we saw the result of god and the reaction from the public. it is not politically feasible anyway.
>> and we can exceed this expectation without the tax increases, but realistically some might say let's raise this based on 170 to 150, which is below what it would have been back when we started indexing it and it's very important. in addition to having this sustainable base defined benefit program, because after all, that is what we need, we need to have a supplemental add-on with an automatic payroll deduction, two to 3% savings and you have this where you go to jail if you do something like pick a lock box. this includes a postretirement benefit. and that is a win win win and all we need is leadership.
>> true. and some courage. one way of characterizing that is that i know that i agree with that and one way is the partial privatization of social security. >> here is the key. it should remain a defined benefit because it is the base of retirement income security. only 50% of americans have a retirement plan and it's coming up from the state of individuals because they now know what a rainy day fund is. but they are upset and i think that you have to keep in mind social security is the foundation and we should have supplemental savings because frankly it hasn't worked and we have the lowest savings rate of
any industrialized nation and the people who say they favor the people who have the ability to save, they get the tax benefits. the only way you will get this up is if we implore the principle that my mother taught me, don't let people touch the money is once they do, you will burn a hole in their pockets and they will spend it more than once and back. >> true. >> let's talk a little bit about these proposals. because that is the other side of this. we touched briefly on this. but as you said, it's a five letter word, by the way. and we are going to have to raise taxes and the book looks at this in some detail in this includes what you think should
be done and how it should be made politically palatable. >> i think first you have to recognize that the way taxes are headed is what percentage of gdp without basis. in this includes this percentage of the gdp. and i think that you have to recognize what would happen if we didn't end up making reform sooner or later and how high my taxes have to go in order to stop this or it and in the book we talk about how they would have to double between this and i think the other thing that you have to recognize as political reality and the longer that we wait to try to reimpose this part of this and the higher taxes will be there for three
reasons. one is the miracle of math and two is demographics and more people are going to be franchised and this thing entitlement programs and political activism. not all are equally politically active. and so for that reason reason we have this. and so i think that we are going to need more revenues than the historical levels and you can get this, you can get user fees and premiums and needs related premiums and there are a number of things you can do. there is an exchange for it. but i think i will have to go up. when you do it, it matters. and we can go further if you want because there are several different approaches that you can take and some are better in
a matter of economic theory than others are. but others are more likely to be from a political feasibility standpoint. >> that was david walker from 2010. coming up is jim demint, former u.s. senator from south carolina >> thank you for the time to talk about now or never. i put it into context what will happen to the best professional football teams that are going to meet on the field. they know that this is make or break for them. for some it is a once in a lifetime opportunity and they have to give their all on sunday. they know the town and the coach
knows and the players know that the other team is bear to beat them. no coach sending their players out for the super bowl is talking about the need to cooperate with other guys. because they understand something. they understand that the other team is their and their goal is on the opposite side of the field. and it's not that's not the way that the politics are supposed to be. but in washington, i am afraid that is where it has come. we hear a lot about let's work together and stop the gridlock and we are in a situation now as conservatives that the other team has a different goal than we do. and they are here to beat us. i cannot tell you one compromise with democrats over the next 10 or 12 years that i've been in the house or senate. that didn't result in more spending and borrowing and debt
and a bigger federal government and importantly, more concentration of political and economic power in the hands of a few people. that is a lot of what now or never is about. i think that a lot of you and a lot of folks across this country are cynical when they hear politicians say that this is the biggest election. or that this is a crisis. but if you look at the numbers and i look at it as a man looking at a balance sheet because i do that most of my life, the nation is effectively bankrupt at this point. if you are at a point where you can't pay your bills without borrowing more money every month, you are totally in the hands of your creditors. we found out that the president said that unless we can borrow
more money and social security checks and we can't pay our bills and we passed this and it did nothing but kick the can down the road and pushed us further into debt. we do not have the sense of urgency that we need to solve our problem and that is why we wrote this book and it's really my last effort to sound the alarm and tell americans where we are and tell them there is time to fix it. because this country is now at a agert where our debt is larger than our economy and the plan is to keep adding a trillion dollars into the foreseeable future. and when we talk about balancing the budget, which means that can stop sending what we are bringing in, that idea was called extreme by the president of the united states and put
down by the democratic leader in the house and the senate is a ridiculous idea and even a fifth grader can tell us if you have more debt than you can deal with, and you keep spend more than what you're bringing in, something bad could happen in a really dirty house. because our own federal reserve and central bank has bought over half of our debt over the last two years and that means that we are monetizing our debt. and a bigger problem than the debt itself is our electric and i will talk about that in the book. we are at a point where you have about half of americans getting something from the government and the other half is paying for it and this is a situation we were warned about what our country was formed. then if you ever get to the point where the electorate can vote themselves more benefit from government without paying for it, you are in trouble as a
democracy because widespread dependency undermines the democracy. the problem that we have now as americans and as republicans is that the other team has pretty effectively organize all of those in this country who are dependent upon the government and who want more from government. that is what the party is about today. and their whole platform is based upon more promises from government and more government spending. a balanced budget amendment to the constitution would effectively put the democratic party out of business. because campaigns could no longer be based upon all the promises of what else the government is going to do. whether it is partnering with businesses or redistributing wealth. it doesn't work in a scenario where we have to stop spending. but what it would do is put all
politics on the same page and we would at were the least all have the same goal and we could compromise and we could debate on brother to cut taxes or spending and some combination of both and it makes no sense to have that debate if there's no agreement that we need to balance our budget. so what i tried to do is, we start out with a chapter of this and just give some of the details and these are very general, but most of you who have been paying attention know about this, that we aren't a whole that we we have never been in before. but the next chapter is remembering american exceptionalism. this country is different than any other country in the world. we grew up as a bottom-up nation with a trend very individual and
this includes what they valued. americans are entrepreneurs by necessity and there are no programs to support them. we had no social caste system. upward mobility, downward mobility, anyway that people wanted to go, we were really the only country in the world that was not a top-down country. and even though initially there was this, it was separated by the atlantic ocean and americans were very autonomous and their families and local communities and the volunteer organizations, it was a bottom-up country. and that is what we found in business over the last 20 years if you want to reduce costs and push this down, you are decentralizing this power and that is where quality and savings come from. that is what america was all about in the beginning, very decentralized and