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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  November 18, 2015 8:00am-10:01am EST

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campaign without a super pac, without raising money from corporations and millionaires and billionaires. we are doing it without a super pac. [cheers and applause] and i'm very proud to tell you that as of today, we have approximately 800,000 americans who have made individual contributions to our campaign. [cheers and applause] that is more contributions than any campaign in the history of america at this point in a campaign. [cheers and applause]
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our campaign is a people's campaign. [cheers and applause] we don't want wall street money. we don't want corporate money. we don't need billionaire money. we will win this on our own. [cheers and applause] and we will win this, very simple as senator turner said a few moments ago, enough is enough. [cheers and applause] this country faces some very serious problems, and the american people are catching on,
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that establishment politics and establishment economics is not going to solve those problems. [cheers and applause] and what the american people also understand is that at a time when wall street and corporate america and large campaign donors have so much power, people instinctively understand that no president, not bernie sanders, not anybody else, can alone solve the enormous problems that we face. and what people know, and what this campaign is about, it's not just electing a president. it is creating a political revolution. [cheers and applause]
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and what that means, what that means is not complicated. in the last election a year ago, 63% of the american people didn't vote. 80% of young people didn't vote, vast majority of low income working people didn't vote. what our job, and it is not an easy job, is to reach out to tens of millions of americans who are working in many cases longer hours for low wages, sometimes they can't afford to
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feed their kids, they can't afford to send their kids to college. our job is to reach out, is to bring people together, black and white, hispanic, asian american, gay and straight. [cheers and applause] men and women, people who were born in this country, people who immigrated to this country. [applause] because when we allow them to divide us up, we lose. when we stand together, there is nothing we cannot accomplish. that's what this campaign is about. [cheers and applause] we are the vast majority of the
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people in this country, and when we come together we can defeat the people with all of the money and with all of the power of. [cheers and applause] now, i have been all over this country and given a lot of speeches, and one of the best compliments i've receiv came from a guy, i think was out on the west coast. he said, you know, bernie, you treat us like we are intelligent people. [applause] in other words, what this campaign is about is not fancy gimmicks and me tell you all kinds of jokes. can't do that. i don't have much of a sense of
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humor. [laughter] i'm not going to tell you all about my beautiful family and my beautiful grandchildren. but what i will do with you, which we don't do enough, is simply lay on the table the most serious issues facing our country. [applause] some of you may agree, some of you may not but that is what democracy is about. democracy is not what the media thinks it is. it'is not a soap opera. it's not a baseball game. it doesn't matter what the polls are. what democracy is about pretty simply is us talking about the issues that we face. respectfully, respectfully arguing about those issues and then coming together to resolve those problems. remember, every problem that we face was caused by human
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decisions. every problem that we face can be overcome by better decisions. [cheers and applause] now, let me start off by talking about an issue that i have, in fact, been talked about for a very long time, and i am happy that now we're beginning to see more and more people discuss this. and that is the issue of the grotesque level of income and wealth inequality that exists in america today. [cheers and applause] we have got to put that issue right on the table. and here is what's going on, plain and simple. and the united states today, we have more income and wealth inequality than almost any major
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country on earth, and it is worse today than at any time since 1928. today in america, i do want to do this. this is the extent of the problem. today in america the top one-tenth of 1%, not 1%, one-tenth of 1% owns almost as much wealth as the bottom 90%. [booing] today in america one family, the walton family of wal-mart, owns more wealth than the bottom 40% of the american people. [booing] today in america in the last two years, the 14 wealthiest people in this country have seen their wealth increase by $156 billion,
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more wealth than is owned entirely by the bottom one-third of americans. in ohio, in vermont, all across this country, and i see it as i travel, you've got people who are not working one job in 40 hours. they're working two jobs, maybe they're working three jobs. husbands are working, lives are working. kids are working, all trying to cobble together the income they need to sustain their family, to buy health care put gas in the car and debate the electric bill. and yet today in america, 50% of all the income, 58% is going to the top 1%. [booing]
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so what this campaign is about, simply stated, is creating an economy that works for all of us and not just millionaires and billionaires. [cheers and applause] and this campaign is sending a simple and straightforward message to the billionaire class. and that is, in america, when people have the power, the billionaire class will not have it all. [cheers and applause] the billionaire class will not
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get huge tax breaks while children in america go hungry. [cheers and applause] they will not continue sending our jobs to china when millions of people are in desperate need of good paying work here in america. [cheers and applause] they will not give, continue to give huge compensation packages to the ceos of large corporations when the cat the wages and pensions and the health care. [cheers and applause] -- when they cannot.
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cut. let me recognize some of our teamster friends who are here tonight. [applause] all over this country, all over this country, a promise that was made to tens of thousands of workers in guaranteeing them their pensions is now being undermined. and if i have anything to say about it, and marcy kaptur of ohio and i do -- [cheers and applause] we will pass our legislation to make sure that those pensions that you were promised will not be cut. [cheers and applause]
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when would talk about what's going on in america, we have to take a very deep breath, just take a hard look at what we see around us. so this is what i see. i see that today our economy is, in fact, a better than it was when george bush left office. [applause] and you know, you know something, our republican friends, we shouldn't be too hard on them because they suffer from a very serious illness called amnesia. they forget. [applause] so if any of my republican friends are listening, trying to overcome the amnesia, and let me remind you of where we were seven years ago before obama and biden took office. [applause] my republican friends say, well,
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we are only growing 200, 250,000 jobs a month and it's not enough. but it is a hell of a lot bettr to go 250,000 jobs than to lose 800,000 jobs a month. [cheers and applause] my republican colleagues again suffering from this very serious illness of amnesia, they worry about the deficit and that is a serious problem. but they forgot that when bush left office we had a record-breaking $1.4 trillion deficit. we have cut that by two-thirds. [cheers and applause]
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and by the way, when bush left office, the american and international financial system was on the verge of collapse. just in passing we might want to mention that. [laughter] [applause] so the truth is we have of course made significant progress in the last seven years against unprecedented republican absorption of some. [applause] -- obstructionism. but there is another truth that we've got to lay out on the table. this is a harder truth. and that is for the last 40 years under democratic presidents and republican presidents, the great middle-class of our country,
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once the envy of the entire world, has, in fact, been disappearing. despite exploding technology and increased worker productivity, median family income today is almost $4000 less than it was in 1999, and in inflation-adjusted dollars. we have millions of people, men and women who are earning less money than was the case 30 or 40 years ago. that's the reality. so the question to all of us have got to ask ourselves is how does it happen that when workers are producing more because of exploding technology, they are earning less and working longer hours? [applause]
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that's a question we are going to answer. and let me say something else when we talk about the economy. every month the u.s. government issues a report on unemployment. and what you see on the front pages of the papers or official unemployment, which now nationally is about 5%. but what you don't see is that if you add to that 5% people have given up looking for work or people who are working part-time when they want to work full time, we'll unemployment is close to 10%. [applause] -- we'll unemployment. and here's a something else that we virtually never discuss. and that is the tragedy of youth unemployment in this country.
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[cheers and applause] here's the story behind that. i asked some economists to do a study on this. this is what they found. what they found is that for high school graduates, did you graduate, not drop out, between the ages of 17 and 20, for white kids real unemployment and underemployment is 33%. for hispanic kids, 36%. for african-american kids, 51%. [booing] will now, why is this so significant? and you all know the answer. what do people want? what the kids want? they want to stand up on on tv,
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get out of the house, start earning some money. they want to become independent. they want to start a career. want to become adults. but would have of the african-american kids in this country, and can cities like cleveland, that number may even be higher, when kids in this country are unable to stand on their own two feet and get out and get a decent job, bad things begin to happen. and if anybody here thinks -- [applause] if anybody here thinks there is not a direct correlation between outrageously high youth unemployment and the fact that we as a nation have more people in jail than any other country on earth, you would be mistaken. [cheers and applause]
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so let me tell you what i think is the most common sense idea that is out there. and that is that instead of investing in jails and incarceration, maybe we should invest in cause and in educati education. [cheers and applause] -- jobs and in education. [chanting] instead of spending $80 billion a year locking our people out, why don't we take a fraction of that and use it to create jobs
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for young people so that they are not hang out on street corners? [cheers and applause] and let me say something that you all know that costs a heck of a lot less money to send somebody to the university of ohio than put them in jail. let's invest in education. [cheers and applause] and here's a problem. write it down, don't forget it. that at the end of my first term as president, the united states of america will not have more people in jail than any other country. we are going to the best educated workforce in the world. [cheers and applause]
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and when we talk about the economy, brothers and sisters, it is not only the grotesque level of income and wealth and equality. it is not only unemployment. it is the fact that in your state and in my state, and all over this country, you've got people working longer hours for lower wages, and a working at wages that do not sustain themselves or their families. [applause] in vermont and in ohio, there are people who are working 40 hours a week and then they have to go to the food shelf in order to get food to feed their families. the truth is that wages in america are too damn low. [cheers and applause]
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the minimum wage of $7.25 an hour is a starvation wage. [cheers and applause] and together we are going to raise the minimum wage in this country to a living wage, 15 bucks an hour over the next two years. [cheers and applause] and when we talk about fair wages, i hope every man here will stand with the women and demand pay equity for women workers. [cheers and applause]
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there is no rational economic reason why women are making 79 cents on the dollar compared to men. it is sexism, not acceptable. [cheers and applause] now let me say a word about family values. now, you have heard many republicans expressing deep, deep concern about families, especially very wealthy families who contribute to their
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campaign, but they are very passionate about quote-unquote family values. and everyone here knows what they mean by family values. what they mean is that no woman in america should have the right to control her own body. i disagree. [cheers and applause] and what they mean by family values is that our gay brothers and sisters should not have the right to get married. i disagree. [cheers and applause]
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[chanting] now as senator turner mentioned earlier, very blessed, i have four great kids and seven people children, and my wife, jane, and i've been married for 37 years. we believe in them and we believe in family values but our values are just a little bit different than republican family values. [applause] and when i talk about family values, what i am talking about is ending the international embarrassment of the united states of america being the only major country on earth that does
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not guarantee paid family and medical leave. [cheers and applause] so let me, let me be very clear. it is not a family value to tally woman who has just given birth that she has to be separated a week or two after giving birth from her baby. that is not a family value. [cheers and applause] it is not a family value to tell a woman that she has to go back to work in order to earn the necessary income she needs to sustain that family. because there is no additional
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income coming in. here's the good news. the good news is that in the congress, and the senate and in the house, there is a very strong piece of legislation, the family and medical leave act. we've got 19 sponsors in the senate, introduced by senator gillibrand. in the house we have over 100, introduced by congresswoman rosa. what this legislation sense of what i strongly believe is that in america, we will guarantee every family three months of paid family and medical leave. [cheers and applause] we will guarantee those families two-thirds of the income they were earning, and we do that all
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for a cost of about $1.38 a week. not a bad price to pay, a buck 38 a week. [applause] my hope is about every candidate for president, especially those who talk about family values, will come on board and support that legislation. [cheers and applause] and when we talk about the economy, and when pollsters go out and call you up and basic him what is on your mind? what is on the minds of the american people? always, always, always the answer is jobs and the economy, because people understand how volatile the economy is.
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they understand that if you are 55 years of age you can go to work tomorrow and your boss could say thanks for 30 years of work, joe, but we are replacing you with somebody half your age at half your income. and they understand that if you're a college graduate, it is hard to get work commensurate with your education. [cheers and applause] ..
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>> we should not be firing teachers and child care workers. we should be hiring teachers. [cheers and applause] and when our infrastructure, our roads, our bridges, water systems, wastewater plants, our rail system, our airports, our levees and dams, in many states are collapsing we can create millions of decent-paying jobs rebuilding our infrastructure. and that's what i intend to do. [cheers and applause] and by the way, let me say this very clearly to the folks in ohio, when we talk about jobs
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that is not only creating decent-paying jobs, it is preventing the loss of good-paying jobs because of disasterous trade policies. [cheers and applause] you are looking at a former congressman and a senator who proudly tells you, he voted against nafta, against cafta, against permanent normal trade relations with china. [cheers and applause] and i will help lead the effort to defeat this disasterous trans-pacific partnership. [cheers and applause]
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whether corporate america likes it or not, they're going to have to start investing in the united states of america, creating jobs here, not just in china and in vietnam. [cheers and applause] when we use words like greed and fraud and dishonesty and arrogance, these are just a few of the adjectives we can use to describe wall street. [applause] the simple truth of the matter is everybody here knows is that the greed and the recklessness and the illegal behavior on wall street drove this country into the worst economic downturn
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since the great depression. what happened is that millions of people lost their jobs, some of them have not found new jobs. many of them lost their homes and many people lost their life savings, making retirement that much more difficult. we need a banking system in this country that is part of the productive economy. that provides affordable loans to small and medium sized businesses so they can create jobs. [applause] we do not need a banking system in which the six largest financial institutions in this country have assets equivalent to 58% of the gdp of america.
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six financial institutions which issue 2/3 of the credit cards, 1/3 of the mortgages. when you have financial institutions and a wall street that have so much economic power, so much political power, during the effort to deregulate wall street, which i helped lead the opposition to, they spent, wall street spent $5 billion over a 10-year period on lobbying an campaign contributions. when you have an entity like wall street which has so much economic and political power, which is making so many campaign contributions, the super-pacs, the democrats and republicans,
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the answer for what we have to do is obvious and that is re-establish glass-steagall and break off these huge banks. [cheers and applause] if a financial institution -- and by the way, three out of the four largest financial institutions in this country today are bigger now than they were when we bailed them out because they were too big to fail. [booing] my view is, that if a financial institution is too big to fail, it is too big to exist. [cheers and applause]
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some of you may know that i have recently introduced legislation to take marijuana out of the controlled substance. [cheers and applause] now i did that, i did that for a number of reasons but most importantly, over the last many, many years, hundreds and hundreds of thousands of people have been arrested for possessing marijuana and they get police records. [booing] and when you got a police record it makes life difficult. makes it much harder to go out to get a job. it makes it harder to find housing, to get decent credit. in some cases people ended up in jail. so i find it very interesting in
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terms of a broken criminal justice system, i find it interesting that hundreds of thousands of people have criminal records for possessing marijuana but not one ceo on wall street has a criminal record. [cheers and applause] >> bernie! >> that is why we have got to bring major, major reforms to a broken criminal justice system. we should not be a country in which we have banks too big to fail and bankers too big to jail. [cheers and applause]
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i am often asked, bernie, which particular issue is the most important? i can never answer them because all these issues are so terribly important but there is one issue, one issue which impacts all other issues and that is five years ago the supreme court in one of the worst decisions ever made in the history of the supreme court by a 5-4 vote on the citizens united case. [booing] by a-4 vote with the supreme court said to the wealthiest people in this country, they said, guys, you already own much of the economy. now we're going to allow you to
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purchase the united states government and that is what they are trying to do right now. [booing] now i am, i am the former, very proud to tell you i am the former chairman of the u.s. senate committee on veterans affairs and we worked very hard to protect the interests of our veterans. [applause] and as a member of the veterans committee he have talked to some wonderful people who fought in world war ii and korea, vietnam, all the way through iraq and afghanistan and these people have put their lives on. line. of course many of our soldiers never came home to defend american democracy. american democracy is not about billionaires buying elections. [cheers and applause]
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when you have a situation where the second wealthiest family in this country, the koch brothers and a few of their friends -- [booing] you have heard about the koch brothers. okay. when a handful of families can spend some $900 million in an election cycle, more money than either the democratic or republican parties will spend, that is not the democracy. that is oligarchy and we are going to end that! [cheers and applause] so here is another promise that i make to you, no nominee of
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mine to the supreme court will get that position unless he or she is loud and clear in saying, they will vote to overturn citizens united. [cheers and applause] furthermore, when we talk democracy, together we are going to stand up and tell republican governors and legislatures, they will not get away with suppressing the vote. [cheers and applause] they are not going to tell people of color, old people, young people, that they can not vote because they don't have
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some voter i.d. [cheers and applause] they are not going to force people to wait on line in hours in order to exercise they're democratic right to vote. we are going, through a constitutional amendment or some other way we are going to reach the day when simply and straightforwardly, anybody, 18 years of age or older has the right to vote, end of discussion. [cheers and applause] and if republican governors don't have the guts to participate in free and fair elections, these cowards should
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get another job. [cheers and applause] our job is to create an america in which we have not one of the lowest voter turnouts in the industrialized world, but one of the highest. [cheers and applause] our job is to make it easier for people to participate in the political process, not harder. [applause] and when we talk about where we are as a nation, all of you know that we are living in a very competitive global economy. and in that context, it makes
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zero sense to me, that we have hundreds of thousands of bright and qualified young people, who want to go to college. who should be in college. but can't go to college or one reason and that is their families lack the income. [cheers and applause] that is not what america should be about. and that is why i have introduced legislation and will make happen as president, a process in which every public college and university in america is tuition-free. [cheers and applause]
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and what that is about, and i want you all to appreciate what that is about. it is telling every kid in cleveland and in burlington, vermont, that no matter what your income, income of your family may be, if you study hard, if you do your school work seriously, you will be able to get a college education. that's a big deal. [cheers and applause] and which are also -- we are also boeing to deal with the outrage of millions of people having high interest rates on their student debt.
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[cheers and applause] it makes no sense to me that people are paying six, eight, 10, 12, 14% interest rates on student debt when you can refinance a home for 3 or 4%. [cheers and applause] and that's what we're going to do. we're going to allow people with student debt to get the lowest possible interest rates they can find. [cheers and applause] now, providing free tuition to public colleges and universities and lowering student interest rates is an expense seven proposition. we are going to pay for that by
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imposing a tax on wall street speculation. [cheers and applause] when wall street as a result of their greed and recklessness crashed, they came running to the congress and begging us to bail them out. now it is their turn to help bail out the middle class. [cheers and applause] and when, when we talk about our responsibilities as adults, as citizens, as parent, one of
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those responsibilities is to make sure we leave future generations a planet that is healthy and habitable. [cheers and applause] now, the debate, the debate is over. climate change is real. [cheers and applause] climate change is already causing devastating problems. and we have a moral responsibility to work with countries around the world to transform our energy system away from fossil fuels to energy efficiency and sustainable energy. [cheers and applause]
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and if we do not do that, what the seen activities tell us, is that by the end of this century, this planet will be up to five degrees warmer fahrenheit than it is today. more drought, more floods, more extreme weather disturbances. we have a moral responsibility to make sure that does not happen. [cheers and applause] and when we talk about where we are as a nation, we should also recognize that today the united states of america is the only major country on that's right does not guarranty health care
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to all people as a right. [cheers and applause] now i was on the committee that wrote the affordable care act. we have made some good progress in this country through the affordable care act. [applause] but we can do better, and we must do better. [cheers and applause] today in america, 29 million people still have zero health insurance, and many more are underensured with large deductibles and co-payments. if every other major country on earth can guarranty health care to all of their people in a much
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more cost effective way than we do health care, the united states of america can do that also. [cheers and applause] let me, let me jump to an issue which is also very much on our minds. and that is as a nation the understanding that we have got to put an end to institutional racism in this country. [cheers and applause]
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and, in that regard, i am not just talking about a very sick individual who some months ago, for example, walked into a church, bible study class in charleston, south carolina, and just killed nine people, because of the color of their skin. and i'm not talking about, always unbelievable to be thinking about this, that we have hundreds of organizations in this country whose sole function is to push forward hatred. hatred against african-americans, hatred against immigrants, hatred against catholics, hatred against jews. but i'm not just talking about that. what i am talking about is the fact that in this country we have seen and we have seen much too often too many african-americans, unarmed, killed by the police when in
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custody. [cheers and applause] and you know, you know the names as well as i do. whether michael brown or kia boyd or eric garner or walter scott or freddie gray or, timothy russell or lester wilkins. i do not want to read about or see and you do not want to read about or see children being shot because they have a toy gun. [cheers and applause]
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and you and i do not want to continue to see over 100 bullets being shot into a car. [cheers and applause] now, as some of you know i am the former mayor of the largest city in the state of vermont, burlington, vermont. and in that capacity, i had the privilege of working with our police department, and let me tell you what i think most of you know. most police officers are honest and hard-working and do a very difficult job. [cheers and applause] the truth is, it is very hard to be a police officer today. many of them are underpaid, they have crazy schedules. that's a fact. but, but, let me also be very
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clear, and that is, when any police officer, like any other public official breaks the law, that officer must be held accountable. [cheers and applause] so my pledge to you tonight that no president will work harder than i in ending institutional racism in this country and in reforming, reforming a very, very broken criminal justice system. [cheers and applause] a lot to talk about. let me just mention a few of the
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things that have to be on first thought, we have got to demille at that rise our police departments. [cheers and applause] so they do not looks like, when you watch television, you look at local police department looks like they are invading the community they're supposed to be serving. a good, a good police department, and there are many of them, are part of the community, are trusted by the community, are not seen as a foreign invading force. [applause] we need police departments that reflect the diversity of the communities they serve. [cheers and applause] we need new rules for the
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allowable use of force. lethal, lethal force is the last resort, not the first resort. [cheers and applause] we need to end the absurdity, and i have introduced legislation to do this, of private corporations making profits by building and running prisons and detention centers. [applause] we need to invest in drug courts and medical and mental health intervention. [cheers and applause]
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substance addiction should be seen as an illness and treated as such. [cheers and applause] we need to end minimum sentencing. [cheers and applause] and very importantly, we need to develop, which we do not have today, a path back from prison to civil society. [cheers and applause] and when we talk about issues
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facing our country i want everybody here not to forget that there are 11 million people in this country today who are undocumented, who are living in fear and living in the shadows. those people must have the rights of legal status. we must pass comprehensive immigration reform. [cheers and applause] and we must move toward a path toward citizenship. [applause] what i hope, what i hope that we can do as a nation, and as a
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people, is to think big, not small. we are, many people don't know this. but we today are the wealthiest nation in the history of the world. most people don't know that because almost all of the wealth is resting in the hands of a few. our job is to say, that as the wealthiest nation in the history of the world, with an enormously productive workforce, with some great universities and scientists and teachers, there is nothing, if we put our mind to it, that we can not accomplish. don't get yourself, don't get yourself involved in a world view which says, well, do we cut education by 2% or raise it by 1%? that is not, that is not the dynamic that we should be looking at. our job is to say, that in the
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wealthiest country on earth why isn't a situation existing, in which every paint off to work that their kids are off to the press quality pre-k and child care in the world? [applause] why can't we do it? , tell me why. we can do it. we can not do what many other countries do, make sure everybody in the country has the ability and desire is able to get all of the education they need regardless of their income. why can't we do it? [cheers and applause]
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don't tell me in this country we have to have the highest rate of childhood poverty than any major country on earth? don't tell me with have to have that. don't tell me that the united states, that the united states has to be the only major country not to guarranty health care to all people and not provide family and medical leave. [applause] don't tell me the united states has to continue more wealth and income inequality than any other country on earth and have corporations that make billions, who end up paying in a given year almost nothing in taxes. don't tell me that is a country we have to be. [cheers and applause]
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but do tell me we can have the best health care system in the world for all of our people. do tell me that we can lead the world in transforming our energy system and combating climate change. [applause] do tell me workers in america will not be losing the pensions they were provided. [cheers and applause] and that our seniors and people with disabilities will in fact see an increase in their social security benefits, not a cut. [cheers and applause]
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do tell me that together we will end racism and sexism and homophobia. [cheers and applause] this is the country we can create, when we come together, when we stand up and fight back, and when we create a government that works for all of us, and not just a handful of billionaire. [cheers and applause] please join the political revolution. [cheers and applause] thank you all. very much. [cheers and applause]
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♪ ♪ >> the house and senate
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transportation committees meet this morning in conference on the highway and mass transit funding bill. we'll take you there live at 10:00 a.m. on c-span3. later in the day a look at cars that are connected to the internet, how they work and if they're secure. that house oversight subcommittee hearing at 2:00 p.m. eastern on c-span3. fcc commissioner mignon clyburn and blair levin and others participate in a panel on universal broadband service this was hosted by the technology policy institute. it is about an hour long. >> okay. all right. so now we are moving into the universal service panel and the
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conversation, though we just heard i think a good introduction to it. so as we, as we know the universal service fund was originally intended to subsidize voice communications for rural and low-income consumers and steadily transitioning to focus on broadband. in 2011 the high cost fund became the connect america fund and began to subsidize rural broadband. the white u.s. announced the connect ed which increased funding for schools and libraries program. fcc is considering how to reform the lifeline program to subsidize broadband instead of voice for low income people. that is much of the discussion we just heard. overall the fund and collects redistributes $8 billion a year. as we discussed the money comes from fees imposed on certain communication services. so both the distribution and collection mechanisms have been criticized as inefficient and that is part of the discussions of reforms.
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so we hope today to discuss some questions of whether there is a way to meet these societal goals of providing some level of broadband service to everyone in ways that are both equitable and efficient. so our panel will address these issues and we have on this panel, introduce them in alphabetical order, james assey, executive vie president of the national cable and television association. commissioner minutemignon clyburn, obviously a fcc commissioner and long history in utility regulation. prior to her swearing-in, he served as representative of south carolina 6th district. public service commission and self years as chair. he served as executive director of gigu. gregory rosston, stanford institute for economic policy research and professor of
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economics by courtesy at stanford. brad wimmer is professor of economics at university of nevada at las vegas research focuses on effects regulation and deregulation have on the market of telecommunications. we we start i want to ask questions at the end, also like i did last time i will be following twitter. and i will respond to some things that come up there. when i last moderated somebody actually pointed out a mistake i made as i was speaking. that is helpful. i will watch something on twitter if something to say i will watch it. please say it. i will start with commissioner clyburn to sort of expand on what she was talking about in the, in the her discussion with commissioner riley where you said that, you want to think about universal service program more holistically. how to help the most people. if you could sort of expand on that. that would be great. >> one of the things i chuckle
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about when people talk about my focus on lifeline. they say lifeline and universal service. i say lifeline is a part of universal service. that's why, i am glad you really teed that question up because i think it is important for us to look at the universal service program. each program as part, as one leg in a four-legged stool. you mentioned the high cost now connect america program. the reason, the part of push for reform is because the monies that were flowing to those companies were being used very explicitly support it even they we didn't support it, broadband infrastructures. we said this is the wave of now and in the future, that we will be more explicit about that and will, you know, affirm that in order to get money going forward, you will be required in
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a certain number of years to construct a framework that is in sync with the way the world is trending. the lifeline program we talked about that. e-rate in the, the program to help connect health care facilities, all of those are important and should be looked at in concert f there is one thing that makes, it is out of whack, then i believe that the entire stool is at risk. we don't have connectivity particularly to the least of these, then those who are in need or receiving assistance from those health care facilities will not have the ability for continue you'll care. as great as we should speaking about e-rates and president's connect home initiative, from the e-rate perspective, schools close, libraries close.
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there should not be discontinue oomph in terms of people being able to do their homework or to continue their educational and business experiences if they can't afford it. which is why lifeline is so important. so i look at it holistically because again, if we don't talk about, not just the infrastructure build side, not just you know, providing connectivity for rural health care clinics, not just insuring again that schools and libraries have the state-of-the-art connectivity we need to be effective and forward-thinking learning centers, if there is not the ability for those most in need to be able to afford service, then we're going to have inefficiencies that will continue to manifest itself economically in negative way on society. that is why i look at it as
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seamlessly as possible, because it is important for us to think about the adoption of affordability, accessibility side of the equation. and not separate this. >> so in the, in the draft order, or, you have expressed interest in moving it to, i don't think you used word voucher but a system more focused on individuals rather than, for example, you have the companies certify them. is that, is that something that you would prefer to see more throughout the system? >> i was pleased to speak with my colleague and those who are similarly calibrated so to speak for us to, you know, to really discuss about, you know, how we bring -- we keep talking about contributions, and the levels that are hovering around -- i
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can't remember what it is, this particular quarter and what we can do to, to address that. the only way i know to do that is to be more efficient and to really go back to where we begin and in terms of rereading what the purpose of universal service, what the purpose of this the funding construct is. that is to bridge the communications divide. that is to, for this to be a means or conduit or service where the marketplace is not flowing. i think it is important for us to reread and revisit that and continue to calibrate these programs to be reflected. and yes, i think, in the only way to either arrest or address the issues, as it relates to contributions is to remind ourselves we need to make sure money is flowing where it is
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needed because it is not doing that effectively and i am, again, a proponent of looking at that and making adjustments when necessary. >> okay. brad, you and, greg are probably responsible for 3/4 of the economics literature on universal service. so, let me ask, you know, what's, what's your take on sort of the overall effectiveness of the program so far? especially thinking about your 2011 paper where you looked at lifeline and linkup? if possible, what you think the lessons are from that research to how we would reform the system. >> okay. well i agree with the commissioner. the most important thing is to be more efficient and so to be more efficient what we have to look at is what are we getting for our money? what is being delivered, what are the outcomes. so in research greg and i have
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done there has been a couple of things that come forward. and so this can help us design a program. the first thing is, a lot of the money from the lifeline program goes to households that would subscribe to telephone service even if there were no subsidy. so, the question is whether we want to accomplish? do we want to transfer income from one group to another? or do we want to increase penetration rates? i think the bigger bang for your buck is to concentrate on number of people who have access to the network. so that leads to kind of the second point that, low-income households have very difficult time with up front payments which are probably going to be important when you refurbish computers and these type of things. so the commission got rid of the link-up program which is up front funding. i think it was there was a number of different issues with it. but i think they're being addressed in this next round of
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rule making, to take care of fraud and abuse. using money from reducing the monthly charge to moving into the up front will do two things. one it addresses issue of ability to fund up-front payments and two, it's better targeted because it would be targeted at people who don't have service. we think these moves could improve efficiency of system, reduce the costs and be able to reduce that contribution factor. >> scott, i'm sorry to be so rude so early but that's me. i said hello and that was nicest yet. >> that was very nice. >> so i take, do not argue with what you said about the efficiencies. i have the paper right here. when it comes to the link-up program and respectfully that is where a lot of savings from our
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reforms came from. so full disclosure, from that point. but i do take issue with what you said about, and my colleague and i have this conversation quite a bit, about those who would be signed up for anyway. so you know, people want to communicate all around the world they're making incredible economic sacrifices to communicate. so i'm going to yield to you on that point but, should they be making the trade-off we know they're making in order to communicate? and that's a question that i am proud to say that we are addressing. and asking in this country and another series of facts that was released by pew, it said that yes, you might be right there but 44% of those who low income, who have a smartphone because of economic hardships, discontinue or disconnect they're service over the course of a year. and those who are relying on
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broadband only, mobile, through mobile broadband connectivity, 48% of hose are forced to cut off, shut off service because of economic hardships. while they might sign up, almost 50% of them are disconnected because of hardships. so we need to look at, when we talk about data, you know, look at it from that perspective as to, if they sign up, do they stay signed up? that is part of the, i think, the conversation that i hope we will continue to have. >> well, first off, when i talk about, i said move some of the, in terms of the weight, you might want more of the weight on up front charges, reducing up front charges. that is where difficulty is. that they have difficulty funding those things. there is evidence you may need to reduce the thing. what i worry about it become as straight income transfer program.
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when it is a straight income transfer program the fcc is not, the way we collect the money is not the most efficient way to do that. because raising a dollar by increasing, 15, 16, 17% tax costs more than a dollar. we're not just taking a dollar from one group giving a dollar to another group. we have to collect the money. you have administration fees. you got economics dead weight loss, inefficiencies. the fact you're taxing things will change the way people behave. so you want to impose costs on one group to try to help another group with a fairly narrow base, i think that there is other programs that are better suited for income transfers. >> could i just offer an observation, whenever we talk about universal service i find there is something, a really big thing missing we're talking about pennies and we should be talking about dollars. what i mean by that is, it is absolutely certain that at some
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point in the program we're using money inefficiently. by the way, private sector, private sector people do the same thing. very difficult to get everything totally efficient. and furthermore, when you run a government program you have to follow certain rules. due process requires a certain kind of economic inefficiency because you have to have rules that meet the median and not every individual case. while i'm sympathetic to trying to be efficient and certainly i about the way, i want to commend scott for his great work on the national broadband plan there were a number of inefficiencies in the program that people talked about that really came out of his work at that time. that's not, that's not the only thing. and the big thing that everybody misses is how much more efficient would government be if it knew that everybody was online and everyone was digitally ready? the savings to the government in terms of its own enterprise is
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in the billions and billions, if not tens of billions of dollars. there was a high-tech council study if governments totally switched to i.t. platform, about a trillion dollars of savings in operations over 10-year period. not all of that is simply by getting everybody on but my point is, this is true at the federal level, at the state level, at the local level, if governments knew everybody had connectivity in the home, not only efficiency of government would improve not only effectiveness of doing its programs it would also save lots and lots of money. when we talk about this, this is something different we're talking about in terms of universal service in the telephone area which was fundamentally about making sure everybody had access to 911 and emergencies, things like that. this is actually about improving the kind of where we operate in information age. while it is important to be as efficient as possible. let's not forget there is huge
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upside to the country by getting everybody on and getting all institutions connected and all that. >> i think there is a lot of money available to target in different ways if we concentrate on exactly that. let's get people connected and let's make that the goal and let's make that measuring stick and put programs in place that achieve that so we have a number of ways to do it. >> let me follow up on that. you want to provide a structure to think about but before we have any structure, i mean you, e-rate was your baby at some point anyway. >> i think other people claimed it was their baby. i would it has a thousand fathers and incredibly successful program and therefore lots of people would claim that. >> so, it is always put together schools and libraries, usually talked about rubric but there
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are different organizations but is it right they're lumped together? given what you just said the importance of getting everybody connected to the government in some ways? libraries are important place of connection for poor people. which is a little bit different from schools. should these be part of the same program? do they really have similar objectives? should we look at them in the same way? >> i go back to what commissioner clyburn said. universal service, basically tries to solve three separate problems but they need to be similarly. one is problem of high-cost areas. put that aside. the second is problem of anchor institutions. part of e rate is the rural health care facilities. funded differently but part of the same bucket. the third is low-income individuals. something we don't talk about, universal services, hard of hearing individuals. those are, per per per perfectly
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fine to put them together. i haven't seen compelling evidence of that but i could be wrong about that. but you know, again i think we, there are certain moments in time where you want to debate certain issues and, i, scott, i don't see that issue as being timely. let me quickly point out that in the previous panel the commissioners were arguing about a cap and a budget. that is a really important debate in 2017. it is not a really important debate in 2015. the important debate in my opinion is how do we create a program platform for lifeline that allows people in 2017 to right size the program? the reason i say that the electorate will decide the right
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size of the program. that is practical reality. commission end of this year or in january, decide how to reform it. i'm completely on the side of commissioner clyburn in taking certification away from carriers, moving to a benefits card, things she outlined in her aei speech. but once you do that, then it is really, but the budget really doesn't go into effect until program changes are done. that will not be done until after the election. so i would hope we could actually put aside for now the discussion of budgets. what i think of was rightsizing the program. really focus on how we have efficient program that serves carriers, helps everyone with waste, fraud and abuse and serves the need of the program. we get the fun to people that need them. >> that is good lead-in what greg was looking over his shoulder and things scribbling down, looking at economic framework how we should address these issues.
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>> so scott was afraid, having coauthored a lot would say same things and it's a good fear. so in terms of bedrock economic principles for universal program, if we have subsidy there should be a goal and what the goal is. i think a lot of it, no one will say it, should be income transfer program that is what is really has been very effective income transfer program. it has gone, lifeline going to low-income people but rural is going from urban to rural people who don't necessarily need a subsidy and, i remember when i was at the commission, ted turner bought a ranch in new mexico 3/4 size of state of rhode island, but presumably he was getting usual service subsidies. not kind of thing we should be thinking about. i was very encouraged this morning the two commissioners talk about having a more of a target that this is trying to increase penetration and trying to eliminate the idea of it being an income transfer program
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to people who don't need it for sure. the other, once you have a goal, the idea, let's minimize the cost of spending. we want to target this. that's part of that. the, the idea of a 10 million-dollar income limit seems a little high to me, even though i am in silicon valley that is still high. the affordable care act gives subsidies for people up to 400% of the poverty level. that might be, at least, i think a lot of people were upset that was kind of high, at least you can think there are income limits on programs and also the, subsidies, and that. and then you want to minimize the cost of raising the money. so as brad talked about destore shuns from taxes. what you want to have as economist you want broad-based public finance teaches you way to minute mize distortions to have broad based tax. economists would say fund this out of general revenues, general
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government revenues, rather than tax in the communications second or or broadband, do it as broad-based as possible to minimize your distortion. other thing public finance, economics teaches you. tax something very inelast i cannily demand. when congress said we shouldn't tax broadband, that was when broadband not elast i cannily demanded. probably nor inelasticly demanded. same with wireless. . .
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try to improve this and trying to have a program that is more targeted. it seems to me the logical conclusion is to try to institute a voucher program based on income. then you have a low income rural people would get subsidies and firms would have an incentive to serve them. commissioner clyburn talked about competition and choice. vouchers give people the incentive to try to serve these areas because they know their customers are going to the vouchers to provide them with a low income and the money to buy it if they are not loading come, or to pay for it. that's an important thing but choice is also important. one of the things i noticed, how many of you are staying in this hotel and signed up for wi-fi in
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your room? can you raise your head? keep their hand up for a second. keep your head up, look around and see their probably 15 whether hands up. how many of you take the premium service? okay, three. most of you didn't. you had a choice. this is not a representative sample. [laughter] 's been these are all the people whose expenses will be reimbursed. >> exactly. and they value technology, technology policy institute. almost none of you take the premium service of 10 megabits a second or the fcc is defined broadband at 25 megabits per second it is seems to me a voucher is also something that gives people a choice. would you rather have five or 10 megabits a second mobile
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broadband or 25 megabits fixed? the fcc is initiated 25 fixed but it seemed like competition and choice should allow consumers to the power to push what kinds of services they wa want. >> i agree with a lot of what greg said, particularly about the rural areas. but i find myself in a position of defending rural phone companies and disregard. spiff we are going to cut your microphone off. >> i've spent a lot more time debating them. i think you're going to something that is problematic. i have no problem with vouchers but part of the problem of universal service in a high-cost area is, in similar, we're trying to find what is fundamentally a capital project, but we keep mixing up capex and op expert the most efficient way to do universal search is you take all the money we do know, half of the money and publish
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more, you basically allow the fcc to float a bond. you raised i think order of magnitude $100 billion over 20 years or something like that because, whatever, and then you have and reverse auction then you just get fiber everywhere. you reverse auction for the hardest places to get and gzip or you get. danger and the program because the capex is paid for. there are certain problems withouwiththat but the problem g vouchers in low income areas is you can't rely on over a long stream of time to essentially up front, build, put the fire or whatever facilities you need to go in there. i think as we focus on that as opposed to lifeline which is fundamentally giving people the opportunity to buy networks that are already in place. so there are problems with it.
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i certainly agree that economically it would be better to have it out of the textbased but i also to stat say rural phe companies could not finance the construction of companies if it said don't worry, congress will fund this every year. where the fcc and universal fund is seen as consistent enough that they can get various financing. i think part of the challenge for universal service is how do we, we are essentially funding it on an operational basis but funding what is mostly a capital cost. the art certain inefficiencies and that that is challenging in terms of the practical political ground. let me close by saying i also agree with you on contribution form, very tough politically. it was very unfortunate that people keep forgetting that in 2008 kevin barnett a plan to do with phone numbers, at the time was better than what we have now. phone numbers have grown. it would've been nice to do that. commissioner mcdowell killed it and spent the next five or
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seven years he was on the commission complaining about the fact we have not had contribution reform. i think that was -- it points out the political difficulty of changing the system. >> before we move on, if we do at all, this is the place i think for james to talk about another effect of rural universal service which a potential competitive effect representing the countries that basically don't get any of those subsidies. >> yeah, no, and thank you, scott. i found myself listening to greg and trying to write down as quickly as i could the notes of this outline because it was so good. the problem obviously i think if we were all working off a blank sheet of paper, that's what we would work off of. the problem is we're not on a blank sheet of paper and how do we get from the world where universal service was essentially a compact with a monopoly to fund the goals we
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all share today with the recognition of a competitive market place we live in today? and the fact of the matter is that the cable industry, in particular, we've built out the 93% of all households in america, largely without any government financing. speeds or hitting a gigabit and the next generation will have multi-gigabit speed. we are competing in the marketplace, oftentimes with people who are receiving government subsidies. it just seems to me that while i think there are some signs that we are recognizing the competitive world that we're living in, the glacial pace of our progress is something that is frustrating for an industry that continues to put private capital into building and improving its own networks.
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so i do want to commend commissioner clyburn, commissioner o'reilly for the work they recently did in noting that we probably don't need to subsidize rural carriers who were covered by a competitor who reaches 100% of homes in that area without any type of subsidy, but that is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to recognizing the distortions that can play into the current regime. so the more that we can do to recognize and unleash the power of private investment, and to steer scarce government funds into areas where you don't have a competitive alternative, i think we need to do. i fear that we are moving too slow on a lot of these areas, and we have areas with price cap
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the carriers who have rights of first refusal to build the s. l. over six years. is that even broadband today from what i read -- dsl. we need to take more sobering assessment of how we promote efficiency in the system and to really we double our efforts in that regard. >> let me ask a question that is really unfair, you probably can't answer. it floats off of craig's comment so it's his fault. you can imagine a scenario where means tested of vouchers for people, from low-income people to apply to any kerry they want them which would include potentially cable broadband, but we also tax broadband. is that a complete nonstarter, and should it be? >> on the contributions i'd?
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>> exactly. >> i would service it's not a preferred outcome at this point. certainly because at the time that we want to promote broadband adoption, why do we want impose additional costs on people's broadband bills, but you know, i think all of us kind of recognize that these programs change over time and that, you know, certainly a conversation that we want to be a part of. i do think on the actual subsidy side, one of the things that are industry has done a lot of work on, comcast probably at the lead of the pact with their own adoption programs, but certainly talks, some the other carriers that a partner with other groups such as connected compete and other nonprofits is to really try and work outside of the idea of a government program -- cox. one of the things we often focus on the cost because i think
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policymakers feel that's the one thing that they can control. i think all the research shows us that is really only one factor in the adoption conundrum, and it is probably not even the most important factor when you're talking about issues like is irrelevant to my daily life? what is the cost of the computer, that sort of thing. i think for these programs to really be successful there need to be, yeah, focus on kind of a holistic approach to getting people to connect, to showing that there is valid in a broadband connection, and to really moving the needle in that regard. i think also, the order, long overdue. we have to get more participation and we have these regulatory particles of requirements like you have to be
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an eligible telecommunications carrier that really make no sense to me at least in this modern age. and i'm glad to see that the commission recognizes the potential obstacle that can create intricate ways the kind of streamline that process. and the last point in addition to participation is that we have to be fiscally prudent. i wasn't sure when blair was like but the idea of a cat or budget whether you wish saying we should fight about or we shouldn't fight about it. >> we should fight about it later. >> that was, you know, when i was a kid i always wanted dessert first and i would tell my mom i will fight about the spinach litter. i always am a little worried added to think that one of the things, it is always a disciplining factor if we could operate in the budget that forces us to be more efficient in the choices we make. i would rather have that debate sooner rather than later. >> if i could illustrate this
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quickly. i think it's important we illustrate a platform that allows the consumers of lifeline to also know what other subsidies may be available like internet essentials or training programs or device subsidies or things like that. that's part of greg the platform. we don't have that today. that's the job of the fcc today. that's a very legitimate debate. i'm guessing record has been a a huge amount of political capital in 2015 on an issue where it will be revisited in 2017 and hopefully the medal platform that gives us some data that allows to write such the program individually. it's just not how do right size political capital. >> to further enlarge the target on my back that i'm about to make more visible, the fact of the matter is under the current universal service construct, we are subsidizing we, you know,
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broadband enabled network. when you talk about what i think should be an adult, i keep using that word, part of the conversation, you know, debate, we need to talk about what that means and whether or not that should be broadened in line are in sync with where the money is flowing anyway, you know, disproportionately. those who are least benefiting are paying the most. and that part of it i don't think is enough of the conversation. i don't think we're having that conversation much beyond sort of academic exchanges, and i think that's unfortunate. >> i think and academic wants to say something about that. >> to follow up. one of the things, to structure,
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falling economic principles, to structure a system where you can actually have cable and wireless be competitors, the system was setup as you said for a monopoly provider. we want to have separate competitors. in terms of a broadband tax. one thing i didn't come i neglected to mention was a or lost the different tiers of broadband service. so you may cause somebody not, by connection may be inelastic my decision to take on 10 or 25 or 50 megabits per second may change based on the elasticity between services might be affected by a tax. the final thing with price discrimination. economists think this can be a good thing or bad thing. it sounds bad but when the things that i think the low-income programs that have been these voluntary conditions, in quotes, of mergers have been to provide low income broadband service. in essence this to me is a price discrimination tool, but the
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broadband provider able to charge a lower price to people who might not otherwise sign up. this is indeed come if that's the way it is working this is a good thing where there's price discrimination, you charge a lower price, you get them and to increase quantity and that's the definition about economists look at price discrimination, increasing quantity. this is an efficient way of providing low income services, sort of all -- almost to make it politically good for a company to price discriminate spent i wasn't sure you were -- where you are headed with it. i can't think of what it is right now, but if they were to take samples of fingerprints that are on some of those voluntary agreements. you might find my fingerprints somewhere. >> that's good. i think it's great. >> just one thing, back to yesterday's conversation, the
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one thing about the act that allowed competition to enter. with the coveted -- competition did, before the telecom act the prices we had didn't make a whole lot of sense for all kinds of different cross subsidies, 25 cents a minute long distance. what competition did is it forced all those prices to get rationalized and prices have moved cost. the high cost find kind impedes the whole process. one thing, there is really i think the benefit in terms of incentives for investment and other things in high-cost areas is where people could come up with new ideas and new techniques to try to show these people. the rules and the way they're put in place as not allowing that innovation and prices to work to try to provide services that will bring lower price, higher quality of service to people in high-cost areas.
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>> i wanted to ask about some of the innovations the fcc has done like implementing reverse auction. but before i do that all wanted to ask blair. you mentioned, or maybe it was james kemp that imports of non-governmental programs, yeah, james, private sector programs. that's sort of which have been involved in for a few years now in trying to bring new broadband networks. maybe the communities that you are involved with are two different from unserved university communities, high willingness to pay for broadba broadband. but are there lessons that you learned from trying to bring in new networks that might be useful in the universal service context? >> yes. because at the end of the day what we're trying to do is fill in a big puzzle and there's lots of different pieces of that puzzle. the way we look at filling in the puzzle in 1913, very different than the bullet debt
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in 1984 when we deregulated cable, or 92 when we regulated cable or 96, you know. these things keep changing. so how you solve this big puzzle of getting everybody, positioning them to be a viable citizen in the information economy is totally different. that was trying to explore experimentation in driving high bandwidth networks, affordable bundled bandwidth was sort of a mantra we kept on. but what's interesting about that is the way in which you see experimentation going on that event is really good. we are running a very interesting natural experiment that people have recognized. some of james companies are doing things like internet essential to effective things on. it's too early to know how effective it is but i will say one of the things that is impressive is comcast has adjusted as they seem dated.
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they adjust more rapidly than government which is great. we've also seen kansas city and in other places where google is doing a completely different experiment. instead of price discrimination which i complete a sport they are servicing will have a general offering that is basically free on a month by month computers pay $300 for kind of a one time connection to you can do that over time. i don't know which will work better but i think it's great. at the end of the day this is the part that i think is important, we need to run a bunch of experiment. the fcc is running some which i think is really good. at a candidate this is really the governments obligation. because this is kind of the part of comments of our time. and so while we can get maybe from 93% to 95%, by the way we are not going to get to 100%, but we want to get into kind of 96-90% of getting everybody on. and i guess i think the notion of running a bunch of
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experiments at a certain point of time and then figure out how to him both sufficiently get to the finish line is something that's very important. the idea of was as google fiber is how to look at existing assets can lower the cost of deploying on top of them, lower the operating cost and increase revenues in certain ways to change the map of upgrades or new entrants. >> and i think that extreme edition also is important and should be, it's a bit risky for regulator to talk about experiments because we've got them and then when the results are not necessary in sync with them come with certain expectations, then there's headline or two or three or four. but those are risks that we need to increase only be willing to take. this is one of the reasons why, can come if you do the forensics you might see my fingerprints and a couple of places, you know, to encourage, you know, the private sector to have
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different experiments of their own. i don't want internet essential to look like what at&t is doing to look like with another, you know, because again women from all of those and we all know in this ecosystem, one size fits all, you know, does not -- these are important and i think are very necessary to achieve a 95, whatever the sweet spot is, at least 95% penetration. >> blair, you just brought up the google model of financing with a charge the company, this goes right to your earlier point about op ex versus tactics. like a rule carry go in and say we will surface this episode we recommend you have to pay us over time and maybe it's a link on the property, other ways of financing this than ongoing big government grants. >> you got a voucher budget to commit to something of time,
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maybe that would work. there are different ways. another way of doing it, at some point some economists will evaluate the following. would we as a country be better off if our ruf superset we will forgive all loans in exchange for a commitment to not take any universal service? the subsidies are essentially coming out of the same folks, taxpayers, consumers but basically most of the country. i do think there are a variety of ways of addressing that and that may be one. that's part of the problem. >> the fcc has been doing a fair amount of experimenting lately. they showed it's possible to do a reverse auction with his mobility fund. which people had argued for a long time. in the was a whole series of pilots. does anybody have any comments on what come whether we can draw any conclusions from this series of pilots at the fcc, did?
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>> i think, the reverse auction where they have been trying to reduce the cost of serving high-cost areas. it was important. the sec and brad worked a lot on the original cost models would fcc figured out what are the cost of this area. when they ran reverse auctions the results turned out to be but half the cost of the cost models. that sort of showed wing-ism we award experience in giving people incentives to push down the cost of the subsidy. i cam commend the sec of offer moving towards a more market oriented solution to use the power of people incentives to try to do that. that was a great innovation. one of the things, there was a group of 71 concerned economist i think scott was part of this, part of the stimulus package, they made huge infrastructure
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grants, $4.7 billion, and in our submission what you need to do is to select of these on a cost effective they are. how many people, dollars per person pass or per person signed up, and they can look at us and said that whe we must and we wio and do it when they are good and pick the best one because we can evaluate of these. >> it did look really nice. >> i was asked to look at one of the selection committee's advice about no skill or ability to pick the best project. i can't evaluate it so i didn't, i decline to evaluate. they ended up doing this and there's been a bunch of controversy over the program and have it connected that many people. relative to what they could have done. the sec now is doing to based on dollars per connection will propose connection. i think it's a much, much better way of doing to try to figure out to do more cost effective.
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if you want to try to connect more people, whether that person is in texas or alabama, i don't care. it's connecting a person and that he say says that's what yoe going to do is connect americans. if you want to be as cost-effective as you can and you should budget as effectively as you can to connect to most people, do it in an efficient way and i think the fcc is making progress and i think that's really good. >> that comes with as a mentioned earlier with levels of risk which is probably why you see some people wanting to stay within a known quote-unquote measurable framework. and that's part i think of what outside forces could help us with because we will never get close to nirvana by doing things the same way that work marginally. i really, you know, will continue to push even if, again, that target goes spent there's
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an interesting difference between, because i was involved in both of these things. part of the problem with the transition was a had to do things that were tightly targeted and temporary and so they had to move very, very rapidly until they followed the things they know. part of the changes the sec reflect we're able to step back with a plan and help folks like scott and you and others build political capital, build an understanding of what our reverse auctions would be better. the beauty of the plan, and this isn't about our plan. this is about a planning process. part of the beauty of it is you get to step back and look five to 10 years out, and then build political capital towards a more rational system. it's like when you are, part of the political challenge that i have seen in my two stints in the federal government is how you actually think long-term with the pressures are all very
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short-term? >> the only thing i would have maybe to what blair said is despite the pressures may be that our u.s. is under, this is in part an agency where we have seen continuing problems over time. that's not to denigrate the people who do great work and are very diligent, but it really goes to underscore the problem at essentially in a competitive space decided that you're going to provide a loan to one part and not another. so we continually have these issues where we are just not only are we loaning to one carrier over another, but that essential is going to prevent us from incenting more capital into that area because we are going to protect the loan bell value d then there's this vicious cycle that goes on between ruf and usf. i think if there's one thing that we really ought to double our efforts on his to trying to
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impose some discipline on ruf to really try and get out of the business of trying to subsidized competition. >> i do want to talk about the random trials they did in terms of lifeline. if you take a look and to talk about the policy, the way the press looks at a computer look at the education literature, randomized trials is the state-of-the-art. all the policies, they look at randomized trials anytime see what works, what doesn't work, development economies. this is randomized trials is kind of the cutting edge of where we are in the sec, you know, having the randomized problem is a great idea. i haven't seen anybody analyze the data. i've looked for some things. i have read summaries. you got to make sure you do these things correctly. >> we will leave this discussion at this point. you can see it in its entirety on our website c-span.org. live down to the floor of the
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u.s. senate. members beginning with the general speeches. we also could see votes on beginning negotiations with the house over a revised federal education program changing the no child left behind law. senators expected to start work on 2016 spending for the transportation and housing and urban develop and department. live coverage of the u.s. senate here on c-span2. the president pro tempore: the senate will come to order. the chaplain, dr. barry black, will lead the senate in prayer.

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