tv American Politics CSPAN January 31, 2010 9:30pm-11:00pm EST
are committed to changing the regulation to allow the ability to compete and we want to make sure the pension liability is secure as well. >> each year 1,000 women die of cervical cancer. in scotland, wales and northern ireland women can get screening at the age of 20. in 2004 the government sought to increase the age women in england get screening to 25. why does the government discriminate in this way and will the government consider addressing this injustice? >> we are very concerned indeed to make sure that we prevent and have early detection for many cancers as possible. we make sure the necessary resources are available but indicted in the application of those resources by clinical judgments. he is not a scientist anymore
than i am but what we have to do is take the best advice and act on it and make sure the resources are there to back it and that is why we have shriveled the investments. .. >> it will probably be changed by this afternoon. what is in changes at our commitment. -- what will not be changed is our commitment. the government is determined to
combat trafficking. we will respond to him in due course. >> before the earthquake in haiti, we had 200 orphanages, many of them engaged in child trafficking. we now have a new problem, 380,000 children at risk. will she speak to her international aid context this afternoon and establish a network for children at risk so they have somewhere safe to be until they can trace their own family, or some kind of arrangement with their safety can be insured? we need to make sure that the traffickers do not catch the children.
>> i pay tribute to the honorable gentleman for the work he has done on this issue. i agree with him that work needs to be done by the police and the international agencies. there is work and know that he supports helping bring out the message to warn people of the dangers of trafficking. i congratulate him on his suggestion and we will look into it. ♪ >> each week the house of commons is in session, we hear prime minister's questions. live on c-span2 7:00 a.m. eastern, and then again on sunday night at 9:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. eastern. at c-span.org, you can find a
link to archives of past prime ministers questions. coming next, president obama talks with house republicans at friday's gop but treat and baltimore. after that ""q&a." it and then another chance to see house of commons leader harriet harman at prime minister's questions. white house budget director peter orszag discusses the fiscal year 2011 budget proposal. in the nation's capital and across the country, listen to c- span radio. in washington at 90.1 fm and on
the xm satellite radio channel 132. it is also available on app for your iphone. >> on friday, president obama met with gop leaders at a retreat in baltimore. we will show you that in a moment. his visit was a topic of conversation on several sunday shows. here's what was said. >> let's move on to domestic matters and that meeting on friday. the gop had to retreat and the bridge -- and the president came there. i wonder whether the decision to except that invitation was that it wanted to be more than a one- term president, he had to talk to them? >> it was not a last-minute decision on our part. it was on the calendar. the republican caucus was good
enough to extend that invitation. it's interesting the way that you ask the question. he did it because he wants to be a more than 01-term president? we don't make calculations based on that. how do we move this country forward, how do we build some security for the middle class who have been facing economic challenges not fruits this recession only but for a decade or more? that is what he is thinking about. it we can get cooperation from the other side to do that we will be a stronger country for it. that is why we will continue to have a dialogue with mr. baker and others. -- mr. boehner and others. >> it was an unusual format. >> i thought it was a very good afternoon.
we want to have a dialogue and we're glad that the president accepted. i thought our members were honest and i thought the president was honest. i don't think that we agree on everything but the american people sent us there to do what we can to solve the problems for our country. >> it was quite an afternoon -- an extraordinary meeting between the president and house gop leaders. it was an unscripted session for the public. most of the discussion was about partisanship. my question to you -- in this town at this time, is bipartisanship possible? or have we reached the point where the parties are so divided? >> i do not -- i hope not.
i invited them to come to meetings foreign issues conference here in town. we had a good exchange. it was respectful and the way that we should do things. president obama decided to go to the republican caucus and i did not get a chance to see all of it, but i think it was the right thing to do. we need to reach out and build some bridges year. the partisanship is not good for governing. the american people will see it and say, we sent them there to do good things. why can they find common purpose and get together and find areas of compromise? the only way that this works is compromise. >> we talked with our viewers live on the air after 4. they said it was like the british parliament.
do you think that that could work? >> the question period in the parliament is fascinating. i don't know that that what happened in congress with the president coming down for question period. but more and more interaction between the president and congress so that we sit around and talk not just democrats in this room and republicans in that room, but common purpose and what we need to get done for the country and how to do that. >> congressman ryan, you participated in that remarkable discussion for 90 minutes. this was the president's core message. >> they did not send us to washington to fight each other in some sort of political cage match to see who comes out alive.
>> from what you saw there, the president was looking for real compromise and substance, or just looking for political points? >> i am really happy that he came. it was a good start. it was the first time that i and any of my colleagues have a opportunity to discuss the -- discuss things with the president. let's just hope that this is a new year of getting things done. but one thing -- the president actually acknowledged that we have been advocating alternatives all year long. we have been putting up detailed alternative policies. to me, that is the beginning of a new relationship. let's see it followed up by substance. >> and now the president's session at the gop retreat in baltimore. this is about one hour and 40 minutes.
>> when he heard i would be speaking you today, his eyes lit up like i've never seen. i had a conversation with little david. his family is struggling in this economy. he said some words to me that i will never forget. he said, congressman, it is not like when we were -- like it was when we were coming up. i can find a job. last year -- i cannot find a job. last year, unemployment was at
7.5%. your administration and your party in congress told us that we would have to borrow more than $700 billion, a so-called stimulus bill with the piecemeal list of projects and boutique tax cuts. we had to do this or unemployment would go to 8%. unemployment is now a 10%, mr. president. republicans offered a stimulus bill at the same time. it cost half as much as the democratic proposal, and using your models, it would have created twice the jobs and half the cost -- at half the cost.
you've raised this tax credit last promoted by president jimmy carter but the first question i would plose -- would you be willing to consider embracing in the name of little carter jr. today, in the name of every struggling family in the country did they come up the across-the- board tax relief that the republicans have advocated, the president reagan advocated, that have always given a stimulating, broad based economic growth? >> there is a lot packed into that question, sir. [laughter] first of all, let me say that i will be going back to that young men and family and i appreciate that. let's talk about just the jobs
environment in general. you're absolutely right that when i was sworn in, the hope was that unemployment would remain around 8%. that was based on the estimates made by both conservative and liberal economists, because at that point, not all the data had trickled in. will loss 650,000 jobs in december. -- we have lost 650,000 jobs in december. i am assuming you're not faulting my policies for that. we have lost, it turns out, 700,000 jobs in january, the month i was sworn in. i am assuming it was not my administration's policies that accounted for that. we lost another 650,000 jobs the
subsequent month, before any of my policies had gone into effect. so i am assuming that was not as a consequence of our policies -- that does not reflect the failure of the recovery act. the point being, that what ended up happening was that the job losses from this recession proved to be much more severe, and the first quarter of last year going into the second quarter of last year, than anyone participated. -- than anyone anticipated. so i think we can score political points on the basis of the fact that we underestimated how severe the job losses were going to be. but those job losses took place before any stimulus, whether it was the ones that you guys have proposed are the ones that we proposed, could have ever taken into effect. now that is just the fact, mike,
and i don't think anybody would dispute that. you could not find an economist who would dispute that. now at the same time, as i mentioned, most economists -- republican and democrat, liberal and conservative -- would say that had it not been for the stimulus package that we passed, things would be much worse. now they did not fill a seven million-dollar hole -- a 7 million hole in the number of people who were unemployed. they probably account for about 2 million, which means we still have 5 million folks in there that we still have to deal with. that is a lot of people. the package that we put together at the beginning of the year should have reflected -- and i believe reflected what mojo -- what most of you would say are
common sense things. this notion that this was a radical package is just not true. a third of them were tax cuts, and they were not -- when you say they were boutique tax cuts, mike, 95% of working americans got tax cuts, small businesses got tax cuts, large businesses got help in terms of their depreciation schedule. i mean, it was a pretty conventional list of tax cuts. a third of it was stabilizing state budgets. there's not a single person in here who, had it not been for what was in the stimulus package, would not be going home to more teachers laid off, more firefighters laid off, more cops laid off. a big chunk of it was unemployment insurance and cobra, just making sure that people had some floor beneath them, and, by the way, making sure that there was enough
money in their pockets that businesses had some customers. you take those two things out, that accounts for the majority of the stimulus package. are there people in this room who think that that was a bad idea? a portion of it was dealing with the amt, the alternative minimum tax -- not a proposal of mine. that is not consequence of my policies that we have a tax system where we keep on putting off a potential tax hike that is embedded in the budget that we have to fix each year. that cost about $70 billion. and then the last portion of it was infrastructure, which as i said, a lot of you have gone on to appear at ribbon cuttings for the same projects that you voted against. no i say all this not to read litigate the past but it is simply to state -- now i say all
of this not to read-litigate the past but is simply to state that the component parts of the recovery act are consistent with what many of you say are important things to do -- rebuilding our infrastructure, tax cuts for families and businesses, and making sure that we were providing states and individuals some support when the roof was caving in. and the notion that i would somehow resist doing something that cost half as much but would produce twice as many jobs -- why would i resist that? i would not. that is my point is that -- i am not an ideologue. i am not. it does not make sense if someone could tell me you could do this cheaper and get increased results that i would not say, great.
the problem is, i could not find credible economists who would back up the claims that you just made. now we can -- here's what i know, and going forward, though. i mean, we're talking -- where her talking about the past -- we were talking about the past. i have looked at every idea out there in terms of accelerating job growth to match the economic growth that has already taken place. the jobs credit that i'm discussing right now is one that a lot of people think would be the most cost-effective way for encouraging people to pick up their hiring. there may be other ideas that you guys have. i am happy to look at them and i am happy to embrace i suspect i will embrace some of them. some of them i have already embraced.
the question i think that we are going to ask ourselves is, as we move forward, are we going to be examining each of these issues based on what is good for the country, but the evidence tells us, or are we going to try to position ourselves so that come november, we are able to say, " the other party, it is their fault." if we take the latter approach, then we're probably not going to get much agreement. if we take the former, i suspect that there is going to be a lot of overlap. all right? >> will you consider supporting across-the-board root -- tax relief, as president kennedy did? >> i am going to do this -- take a look at what you guys are proposing. and the reason i say this, before you say, ok, i think it is important to know.
what you may consider across- the-board tax cuts could be, for example, greater tax cuts for people who are making billions of dollars. i may not agree to a tax cut for warren buffett. you may be calling for an across-the-board tax cut for the banking industry right now. i may not agree to that. so i think that we've got to look at what specific proposals you're putting forward, and this is the last point i will make -- if you're calling for just across-the-board tax cuts, and then saying that we're going to somehow balance our budget, i'm going to want to take a look if your math and see how that works -- at your math and see how that works, because the issue of deficits and debt is another area where there has been a tendency for some
inconsistent statements. how's that? all right. >> paul ryan from wisconsin. >> thank you for agreeing to accept our invitation here. it is a real pleasure and honor to have you with this year to date. >> good to see you. is this your crew right here, but we? >> this is my daughter liza, my son charlie, and sam, and this is my wife joanna. >> hey, guys. >> say hi, everybody. [laughter] has served as a ranking member of the budget committee, so i'm going to talk a little budget. the spending bills that you've signed a law, the domestic discretionary spending have been increased by 84%. you now want to freeze spending at this elevated beginning next year. this also means that total
spending in your budget would grow 0.03% less than otherwise. i would simply submit that we could do more and start now. you also said that you wanted to take a scalpel to the budget and go through it line by line. we want to get get scalpel. i have a proposal with my home state senator, russ feingold, bipartisan proposal, to create a constitutional version of the line-item veto. [applause] >> 1 not start freezing spending now and would you support of line item veto in helping us get a vote on it in house? >> let me respond to the two specific questions, but i want to push back of little bit on the underlying premise about us increasing spending by 84%. most of the increases in this year's budget, this past year's
budget, were not as a consequence of policies that we initiated, but instead were built in as the consequences of the automatic stabilizers that kick in because of this enormous recession. so the increase in the budget for this past year was actually predicted before i was even sworn into office and had initiated any policies. whoever reads was in there, paul, and i don't think you'll dispute that -- whoever was in there would have seen those same increases because of, on the one hand, huge drops in revenue, but at the same time, people were hurting and needed help. and a lot of these things happened automatically. now the reason that i am not proposing the discretionary freeze take into effect this year -- we prepared a budget for 2010, it is now on going
forward -- is, again, i am just listening to the consensus among people who know the economy best. and what they will say is that if you either increase taxes or significantly lowered spending when the economy remains somewhat fragile, that that would have a the stimulus to -- de stimulative effect and potentially you'd see a lot of folks losing business, more folks potentially losing jobs. that would be a mistake when the economy has not fully taken off. that is why i propose to do it for the next fiscal year. so that is point no. two. with respect to the line-item veto, i think there's not a president out there that would not love to have it. and i think this is an area where we can have a serious
conversation. i know that this is a bipartisan proposal by you and russ feingold. i do not like being held up with big bills that have stuff in them that are wasteful, but i have got to sign because it is a defense authorization bill and i get to make sure that our troops are getting the funding that they need. i will tell you, i would love for congress itself to show discipline on both sides of the aisle. i think one thing that you have to we knowledge, paul, because you study this stuff and take it pretty seriously, is that the earmarks problem is not unique to one party and you end up getting a lot of pushback when you start going after specific projects of any one of you in your districts, because wasteful spending is usually spent somehow outside of your district. have you noticed that? the spending in your district tends to seem pretty sensible.
so i love to see more restraint within congress. i would like to work on the earmarks reforms that i mentioned in terms of putting earmarks online, because i think sunshine is the best disinfectant. but i am willing to have a serious conversation of the line-item veto issue. >> we have a version we think is constitutional. >> let me take a look at it. >> i would simply say that automatic stabilizer spending is mandatory spending. the discretionary spending, the bills that congress signs that you sign into law, that has increased 84%. >> we will have a longer debate on the budget numbers, all right? >> shelley moore capito, west virginia. >> thank you mr. president -- thank you, mr. president, for joining us here today. as you said in the state of the union address on wednesday, jobs and the economy are number one. i think everyone in this room,
comprehensive energy policy that sets us up for a long-term future. . bigger promoter of clean coal technology that i am. testament to that, and it -- i ended up being in a whole bunch of advertisements that you guys all all the time about investing in ways for us to burn coal more cleanly. i have said i am a promoter of nuclear energy. something that i think that over the last three decades has been subject to a lot of partisan wrangling and ideological wrangling. wrangling. i do not i think that that has to be part of our energy mix. i have said i am supportive and i said this two nights ago at the state of the union, that i am in favor of increased production. if you look at the ideas that this caucus has, again, with respect to energy, i am for a lot of what you said you are
for. the one thing that i have also said, though, and here we have a serious disagreement and my hope is that we can work through these disagreements, there is going to be an effort on the senate side to do so on a bipartisan basis, is that we have to plan for the future. and the future is that clean energy, cleaner forms of energy are going to be increasingly important, because even if books are still skeptical in cases about climate change in our politics and in congress, the world is not skeptical about it. if we're going to be going after some of these big markets, they will be looking to see, if the u.s. is the one that is developing clean coal technology?
does the u.s. developing our natural gas resources in the most effective way? is the united states the one that is going to lead in electric cars? if we're not leading, those other countries are going to be leading. so what i want to do is work with west virginia to figure how we can seize that future. but to do that, that means there is going to be some transition. we cannot operate the coal industry in the united states as if we are in the 1920's or the 1930's or the 1950's. we have to be thinking about what that -- what does that industry look like in the next 100 years. it is going to be different. and that means there is going to be some transition. that is where i think a well thought out policy of incentivizing the the new while recognizing there is going to be a transition process, and we're not just suddenly putting the old out of business right away, that has to be something that
both republicans and democrats should be able to embrace. >> jason chaffetz, utah. >> thank you, mr. president, it is truly an honor. >> great to be here. >> i am one of 22 house freshmen. we did not create this mess but we're here to help clean it up. you talk to a lot about this deficit of trust. there is some things have happened that i would appreciate your perspective on, because i can look you in the eye and tell you we have not been obstructionists. democrats have the house and senate and the presidency. when you stood before the american people multiple times and said it would broadcast the health care debates on c-span, you did not. i was disappointed, and i think a lot of americans were disappointed.
you said you were not going to allow lobbyists in the senior most positions within your administration, you did. i applaud you when you said it and disappointed when you did not. you said you'd go line by line through the health-care debate or through the health-care bill. there were six of us, including dr. phil roe who said we would like to take you up on that offer. we never got a letter or call. we were never involved in those discussions. when you said in the house of representatives that you're going to tackle earmarks, i jumped up out of my seat and applauded you. it did not happen. more portly, i want to talk about moving forward. if we could address -- >> how about -- that was a long list. let me respond. look, the truth of the matter is if you look at the health care process, just over the course of the year, overwhelmingly the majority of it was actually on c-span, because it was taking
place in congressional hearings in which you guys were participating. how many committees were there that helped to shape this bill? callus hearings took place. now, i kicked it off, by the way, with a meeting with many of you, including yorkie leadership. what is true, there is no doubt about it, is that once it got through the committee process and there were now a series of meetings taking place all over the capitol try to figure out how to get the thing together, that was a messy process. i take responsibility for not having structured it in a way where it was all taken place in one place that could be filled. how to do that logistically would not have been as easy as it sounds, you're shelling back
and forth between the house, the senate, different offices and so one, different legislators. i think it is a legitimate criticism. on that one, i take responsibility. with respect to earmarks, we did not have your marks -- earmarks in the recovery act. we did not get a lot of credit for it but there were no earmarks in that. i was confronted at the beginning of my term with an omnibus package that did have a lot of earmarks for republicans and democrats and a lot of people in this chamber. the question was whether i was going to have a big budget fight when i was still try to figure out whether or not the financial system was melting down and we had to make a whole bunch of emergency decisions about the economy. what i said was let's keep them to a minimum but i could not exercise the mall. -- them all.
now, the challenge i guess i would have for you as a freshman is what are you doing insider bukosky's -- your caucus to make sure that i am not the only guy who was responsible for this stuff, so that we're working together, because this is going to be a process? when we talk about earmarks, all of us are willing to acknowledge they are defensible, good projects. they have not gone through the regular appropriations process in the full light of day. one place to start is to make sure that they are at least transparent, everybody knows what is there before we move forward. in terms of lobbyists, i can stand here unequivocally and say that there has not been in an
administration -- been an administration who was tougher on making sure the lobbyists were not participating in the administration than any administration that has come before us. what we did was, if there were lobbyists who were on boards and commissions that were carryovers and their terms had not been completed, we did not kick them off. we simply say that moving forward any time a new slot opens, they're being replaced. we have been very consistent in making sure that we are eliminating the impact of lobbyists, day in, day out, on how this administration operates. there have been a handful of waivers where someone is highly skilled, for example a doctor who ran tobacco free kids technically is a registered lobbyist. on the other hand who has more experience than anybody in figuring out how kids do not get hooked on cigarettes.
there have been a couple of instances like that, but generally we have been very consistent on that front. >> marsha blackburn, tennessee. >> thank you, mr. president, and thank you for alleging that we have ideas on health care, because, indeed, we do have ideas, we have plans, we have over 50 bills, we have lots of amendments that would bring health care ideas to the forefront. we have got plans to lower cost, to change purchasing models, address the medical liability, insurance accountability, chronic and pre-existing
conditions, and access to affordable care for those with those conditions, insurance portability, expanded access but not doing it with creating more government, more bureaucracy, and more cost for the american taxpayer. and we look forward to sharing those ideas with you. we want to work with you on health reform and making sure that we do it in an affordable, cost-effective way that is going to reduce bureaucracy, reduce government interference, and reduce costs to individuals and to taxpayers. and if those good ideas are not make it to you, maybe it is the house democratic leadership that is an impediment instead of a conduit. we are concerned also that there are some lessons learned from public option health care plans that may be are not being heated. in the state of tennessee, where the test case for public option health care in 1994, and our democratic government has even cautioned that maybe our experiences there would provide some lessons learned that should be heeded, and would provide experiences for us -- guidance
for us to go forward. and as you said, what we should be doing is tossing old ideas out, bad ideas out, and moving forward in refining good ideas. and certainly we would welcome that opportunity. my question to you is, when will we look forward to starting a new and sitting down with you to put all those ideas on the table, to look at those lessons learned, to benefit from that experience, and to produce a product that is going to reduce government interference, reduce costs, and be fair to the american taxpayer? [applause] >> actually, i have gotten many of your ideas. i have taken a look at them before i was handed this.
some of the ideas we have embraced in our package. some of them are embraced with a caveat. let me give you an example. i think one of the proposals that have been focused on by the republicans as a way to reduce costs is allowing insurance companies to sell across state lines. we actually include that as part of our approach. the caveat is, we have got to do so with the minimum standards, because otherwise what happens is that you could have insurance companies circumvent a whole bunch of state regulations about basic benefits or what have you, making sure that a woman is able to get mammograms as part of preventive care, for example. part of what could happen is
insurance companies could go into states and cherry pick and just get those who are healthiest and leave those behind or least healthy, which would raise everybody's premiums to were not healthy, right? -- who were not healthy, right? so it is not that many of these so it is not that many of these ideas are not workable, but we what i said in the state of the union is what i still believes. if you can show me, and if i get confirmation from health care experts, people who know the system and how it works, including doctors and nurses, ways of reducing people's premiums, covering those who do not have insurance, making it more affordable for small businesses, having insurance
reforms that insure people have insurance, even when they have got pre-existing conditions, that their coverage does not drop when they are sick, that young people right out of college or entering the work force can still get health insurance. those component parts are things you care about and things you want to do, then i am game. i have got a lot of these ideas. the last thing i will say -- let me say this about health care and the health care state, because i think it bears upon a lot of other issues. if you look at the package that we have presented, and there are some stray cats and dogs that got in there that we were eliminating. for example, we said from the start that it was going to be
important for us to be consistent in saying to people, if you want to keep the health insurance you got, you can keep it. ce you got, you can keep it. you're not going to have anybody getting in between you and your doctor in your decision making. i think that some of the provisions the got snuck -- that got snuck in might have violated that pledge. we were in the process of scrubbing this and making sure that it is tight. at its core, if you look at the basic proposal we have put forward, and has an exchange so that businesses and the self- employed can buy into a pool and get bargaining power the same way that big companies do, the insurance reforms i have discussed, making sure that there is choice and competition
for those who do not have insurance. the component parts of this thing are pretty similar to what howard baker, bob dole, and tom daschle proposed at the beginning of this debate last year. now, you may not agree with bob dole and howard baker, and certainly you do not agree with tom daschle on much but that is not a radical bunch. if you were to listen to the debate and frankly, how some of you went after this bill, you would think that this thing was some bolshevik plot. no, i mean, that's how you guys presented it. and i am thinking to myself, how is it that a plan that is pretty centrist -- no, look, i
mean, i am just say, i know you guys disagree, but if you look at the facts of this bill, most independent observers would say that this is actually what many republicans -- is similar to what many republicans propose to bill clinton when he was doing his debate on health care. so all i am saying is, we have got to close the gap little bit between the rhetoric and reality. i am not suggesting that we are going to agree on everything. whether it is health care or energy or what have you. but if the way these issues are being presented by the republicans is that this is some wild eyed plot to impose huge government in every aspect of our lives, what happens is you guys that do not have a lot of room to negotiate with me. i mean, the fact of the matter is, is that many of you, if you voted with the administration on something, are politically vulnerable in your own base, in
your own party. you have given yourselves very little room to work in a bipartisan fashion because what you have been telling your constituents is, this guy is doing all kinds of crazy stuff that is going to destroy america. çóóand i would just say that we have to thifkip!out tone. ñiñrñrñiit is not just on your y the way. it is on our side as well. this is part of what has happened in our politics, where we demonize the aside so much that when it comes to getting things done, it becomes tough to do. mike. >> dr. tom price from georgia and then we will have one more after that if your time permits,
mr. president. >> you know, i am having fun. [laughter] [applause] >> ok. >> i want to stick on the general topic of health care but ask a specific question. you have repeatedly said most recently at the state of the union that republicans have offered no ideas and no solutions. in spite of the fact -- >> i do not think i said that. what i said was, within the context of health care -- i remember that speech pretty well, it was only two days ago. i said i welcome ideas that you might provide. i did not say that you have not provided ideas. i said i welcome those ideas that you will provide. >> multiple times, from europe ministration, there have come statements the republicans have no ideas and solutions. in spite of the fact that we have offered as demonstrated today, a positive solutions to all the challenges we face, including energy and the economy and health care, specifically in the area of health care, this bill, h.r. 3400 that has more
co-sponsors that any health- care bill in the house, it is a bill that would provide health coverage for all americans, would correct the significant insurance challenges of affordability and pre-existing, would solve the lawsuit abuse issue, which is not addressed significantly in the other proposals that went through the house and senate, would write into law that medical decisions are made between patients and families and doctors, and does all that without raising taxes by a penny. my specific question is, what should we tell our constituents to know the republicans have offered positive solutions to the challenges of americans -- that americans face and yet continue to hear at of the administration that we have offered nothing? >> tom, look, i have to say, let's take the health care debate.
it is not constructive for us to try to debate a particular bill. this is not a venue to do that. but if you say, we can offer coverage for all americans and will not cost a penny, that is just not true. you cannot structure bill where suddenly 30 million people have coverage and it costs nothing. if -- >> mr. president, can i -- and i understand that we're not interested in debating the bill. but what should we tell our constituents who know that we have offered the solutions and yet here from the administration that we offered nothing. >> let me -- i am using this as a specific example, so let me answer your question. you asked a question to my want to answer it. it is not enough if you say, for
example, that we have offered health care plan and i look up -- this is under the section you have provided me, or the book that you just provided me -- summary of gop health care reform bill. ñithe gop plan will lower health care premiums for american families and small businesses, addressing america's number one priority for health reform. i mean, that is an idea that will embrace. but specifically it has got to work. i mean, there has got to be a mechanism in these plans that i can go to an independent health- care expert and say, is this
something that will actually work, or is it boilerplate? if i am told, for example, that the solution to dealing with health care costs is to reform, something that i have said i am willing to work with you want, but the cbo or other experts say to me, at best, this could reduce health-care costs relative to where they are growing by a couple of percentage points, or save $5 billion a year, that is what wer bend the cost curve long term or reduce premiums significantly, then you cannot make the claim that that is the only thing that we have to do. if we are going to do multistate insurance so that people can goñi across state lines, i have got to be able to go to an independent health-care experts, republican or democrat, who can tell me that this will not result in cherry picking of the healthiest going to some and the least healthy being worse off.
so i am absolutely committed toó working with you on these issues, but it cannot just be political assertions that are not substantiated when it comes to the actual details of policy. ñixdñiñrñibecause otherwise, weg to be selling the american people a bill of goods. i mean, the easiest thing for me to do on the health care debate would have been to tell people that what you are going to get is guaranteed health insurance,r lower your costs, all the insurance reforms, we're going to lower the costs of medicare and medicaid and it will not cost anybody anything. that is great politics, it is just not true. so there has got to be some test of realism in any of thesexd proposals, mine included. i have to hold myself accountable and guarantee the american people will hold me
accountable if what i am selling does not actually deliver. >> mr. president, a point of clarification. what is in the better solutions book are all the legislative proposals that were offered. >> i understand that. i have actually read your bills. >> through 2009. >> i a understand. -- i understand. >> the summary document you receive this backed up by precisely the kind of detailed legislation that speaker pelosi android restoration have been busy ignoring for 12 months. >> i have read your legislation. i take a look at this stuff and the good ideas we take. here is the thing that all this have to be mindful of. it cannot be all nothing, one way or the other.
would the mean by that is thisñi if we put together a stimulus package in which a third of it are tax cuts that normally you'd support and support for states and the unemployed that your governor would support maybe there is some things they do not like in time -- in terms of infrastructure. there is this provision are the provision they do not like. if there is uniform opposition, because the republican caucus as the get 100%, or 80%, thenit is going to be hard to get a deal.
that is because that is not how democracy works. ñiñimy hope would be that we can look at some of these components and maybe break some of them up on different policy issues. it a good congressman from utah has a particular issue on lobbying reform that he wants to work with us on, we may not beñ able to agree on a comprehensive package on everything. there may be some componentw3 parts that we can work on. you may not support our overall job package, but if you look at the tax credit that we are proposing for small businesses right now, it is ;om%hent with a lot of what you guys have said in the past. the fact that it is my administration that is proposing a genet you prevented -- should not prevent you from supporting it. that is my point. peter is an old friend of mine.
we've had many debates. ñr>> this will not be one. i heard echoes today about an attribute that you had that i think serve you well there. you did got some very controversial it is predicted on some very controversial subjects, death penalty reform. use a gun ethics reform. he took on big things. one of the keys was the year- old your sleeves up. by that time mean, you have gotten the subtext of house
republicans sincerely want to come be a part of this national conversation towards solutions, but they have been stiff armed by speaker pelosi. i know you are not in charge of that chamber, but there really is this dynamic of being shut out. when john bay near and erick kanter presented the use of job creation, are stimulus alternative, the attack machine began to marginalize erick, and there was the story that was not productive and was not in this framework you are presenting today, so here is the question. i think all of us want to hit the reset button on 2009. how do we move forward, and in job creation in particular, you mentioned columbia. you mentioned panama. you mentioned south korea. are you willing to work with us
to make sure they get a job creation, and ultimately in your interacting with world leaders, that has to put more in your quiver, but the obstacle is the politics within the democratic caucus. >> first of all, peter and i did work together effectively on a vernor on the republican side in illinois. in the republican primary, the ads did not say nice things about me. poor guy. is a point we made earlier. we have to be careful of this say about each other's and times. in boxes us in and make it difficult to work together. ñiour constituents are believing these could of -- these did they do not know it is just politics.
i do not want to hurt you, man. on the specifics, i think both sides can say some blame for a sour climate on capitol hill. what i can maybe do to help is to try to bring republican and democratic leadership together on a more regular basis with me. that is a failure on my part, to try to foster better communication even if there is disagreement. i will try to see if we can do more of that issue. that is on the general issue. on the specific issue, you are right. there are conflicts within the democratic party. i suspect there will probably some fissures within the republican party as well. if you went to some of your constituents, they would be pretty suspicious about new trade agreements for the suspicion is that they are all one way. we have been trying to make sure we have the enforcement side of
this height, make sure if we have a trade agreement with china or other countries, that they are abiding with it and stealing our electoral -- intellectual property. my hope is that we can move forward with some of these trade agreements. having built some confidence among the american people, the trade will be reciprocal. it will not be a one-way street. you are right when you say south korea is a great ally of ours. there is no country that is more committed to french up on the
whole range of fronts than self. . the european union is about to sign a trade agreement with south korea. at the moment when this opening of the market, the europeans might get in there before we do. we have got to make sure that we seize these opportunities. i'll be talking more about trade this year. it is going to have to the trade that combines opening their markets with an enforcement mechanism as well as his opening our markets. i think that is something that all of us would agree on. let's see if we can execute it. >> texas. and that will be it. >> jim is one to wrap things up? >> yes. >> all right. >> how're you? >> i am doing well. a year ago, i had an opportunity to speak to you about the national debt. something that you and i have in
common is that we both have small children. i left that conversation really feeling your sincere commitment to ensuring that our children, our nation's children, do not inherit an unconscionable debt. we know that under current law that governments -- because the government is due to grow from 20% of the economy to 40% of our economy. that is about the time our children are leaving college and getting that first job. mr. president, after the conversation a year ago, the republicans' proposed a budget that insures that government did not grow beyond the historical standards of 20% of gdp. it is a budget that actually
froze immediately non-defense discretionary spending. it spent $5 trillion less than ultimately what was enacted into law. unfortunately, i believe the budget was ignored. since that budget was ignored, what were the old annual deficits under republicans have now become the monthly deficit under democrats. the national debt has increased 30%. i know you believe, and writer stan this, -- and i understand this, that the spending is necessary. many believe it is part of the problem. i respect your view. this is what i do not understand. after that discussion, your administration proposed a budget that would triple the national debt over the next 10 years. surely you do not believe 10 years from now we will still be mired in this recession. and move the cost of government almost 24.5% of the economy.
very soon, you are due to submit a new budget. my question is -- >> i know there is a question in there somewhere. i disagree with half of that i have to sit here to listen to it. i know some point you let me answer. >> you were soon to submit a new budget. will that new budget tripled the national debt and continue to take us down the path? >> with all due respect, i have discussed to take this last question as an example of how it is hard to have the kind of bipartisan work that we are going to do, because the whole question was structured as a talking point before running a campaign. . . .
i will go through it with you line by line. the fact of the matter is when we came into office the deficit was 1.3 trillion dollars, so when you say suddenly i have got a monthly budget higher than the annual deficit left by the republicans, that is factually not true, and you know it is not true. what is truth is we came in already with the 1.3 trillion dollar deficit before i passed in the laws. in the laws.
what is true is we came in with a trillion dollars debt -- 8 trillion dollars debt. we had republican congress, and we had to tax cuts not paid for. we have a prescription drug plan, the biggest entitlement plan in several decades, that was passed without being paid for. we had two wars with supplementals, and then you have three trillion dollars projected because of lost revenue. that is eight trillion dollars. we increased it because of a trillion dollars because of the spending we had to make on the stimulus. i am happy to have any independent fact checker take a look at your presentation versus mine in terms of the accuracy of
what i just said. going forward, here is the deal. i think the head of the budget committee has looked at the budget. he has made a serious proposal. i have read it. i can tell you what is in it. there are some ideas in there that i would agree with. there are some ideas that weçó should have a healthy debate about because i do not agree with. the major driver of our long- term viability is medicare and medicaid in their health care spending. nothing comes close. social security would approach the fix the same way tip o'neillñi and ronald reagan sat
down. that is manageable. çóthis is going to be with our children have to worry about. paul's approach -- and they have a lot of detail. we are going to provide vnwchers of some sort for current medicare recipients at the current level. >> [inaudible] >> i and a stamp. there is a grandfather in in. that is why i said i wanted to make sure. i want to make sure i'm not being unfair. i want to point out that i have read it. the basic idea is that at some point we hold medicare costs per recipient constant as a way of making sure that is not go way out of the way. i am sure there are some details. >> help inflation -- the point of our plan -- medicare isñr a huge liability.
it has to be reborn for the younger generations. it is going bankrupt. the premise of our idea is --xd why not give the will ofçó the same kind of health care plan the we have here in congress? that is the kind of reform we are proposing for medicare. [applause] >> as i said before, this is entirely a legitimate proposal. the problem is two-fold. one is that depending on how it is structured, if recipients are suddenly getting a plan that has the reimbursement rates going like this but health care costs are still going up like that, then over time, the way we are saving money is essentially by capping what they are getting relative to their costs. i just want to point out -- this brings me to my second problem. will made a very modest proposal as part of our package, our health care reform package,
to eliminate the subsidies for medicare advantage, we were attacked across the board by many in your andaisle for slashing medicaid. we will start cutting benefits for seniors, that was the senior. -- the story. it scared the dickens out of a lot of seniors. look. here is my point. if the main question is going to any proposal paul makes will be painted factually from the view
of those who disagree as cutting benefits for the long term. i do not think you disagree that there is a political vulnerability to do anything that tinkers with medicare, and that is the biggest savings obtained through paul's plan, and i raise that not because we should not have a serious discussion about that. i raise that because we're not going to be able to do anything about these entitlements if we characterize what ever is put out there as the other party is being irresponsible. the other party is trying to hurt our senior citizens, that the other party is doing x, y, z. that is why i say if we're going to frame these debates in ways that allow us to solve them, we cannot start out by figuring out who is to blame, b, how could we
make the american people afraid of the other side, and unfortunately, that is how our policy works now. that is how a lot of our discussion works. that is how we start off every time someone speaks in congress. the first thing they do is stand up and talking points -- ise frank luntz has already pulled it, and he says the way you are going to have a focus group and the way we're really going to box in obama on this one or make policy look bad on that one. i like frank. it is not solving problems. of what point when we have a serious conversation by medicare and long-term liability?