tv Washington Journal CSPAN November 12, 2010 7:00am-10:00am EST
other countries, and also trade. we will start this morning with the domestic policy questions for you. it is something that was highlighted by the presumptive incoming speaker, john boehner, and also by the chairman of the debt commission, and that is, federal workers and how much money they make. our question for you is, are federal workers overpaid? the numbers are on the screen. there is a special line for federal workers. good morning, very much looking forward to hearing from those of you with experience with the federal pay system, whether or not you are a retiree, a
contractor, or employed by the federal government. this week, the compensation scheme was the target of the debt commission chairman in order to freeze up money for the next three years that would save $15 billion. he also said that it should be cut by 3%. which means going forward, federal workers are earning less over time. john vader talked about this at his press conference. -- john boehner talked about this at his press conference. >> frankly, we ought to freeze the pay. it has gotten to a point where the average federal worker makes twice as much as the private sector workers. >> before we get to your phone calls -- host: before we get to
your phone calls, john johnson from the associated press. as his comparison accurate? >> probably -- guest: probably not. one of the last cities that was done in 2008 by the federal cancer research shows that federal workers are paid about 20 percent said -- 26% less than those counterparts in the private sector. there really is no data that makes it relevant comparison between federal workers and private sector workers to tell you whether or not they make more less than their counterparts in the private sector. host: the description of people with federal jobs, it is not just their salary, but the total
compensation package, the amount of time off they get, their benefits with health care, retirement benefits. when you factor in those things, does the picture changed? guest: it does change. it is true that federal workers get a very generous benefits specter -- benefits package compared to those in the private sector. but it does not change that much. in comparison to the total work force, you could have maybe another 50% to the total compensation package. in the private-sector, it runs the gamut. there are workers out there in the private sector that have no benefits. and there are those in the private sector that make a lot of money, but it is all in bonuses. it is hard to make that comparison. but it is true that federal workers are given benefits. you can argue that they should be given benefits, especially
anybody in a union would say that. host: you look at the overall picture of federal workers, what can you tell us in a macro sense? is the number of federal workers going up or is it sustaining or is it declining? guest: has been going up and has been for the last 10 years. if you look at the bush administration, that was in to -- that was due in part to the ramping up of the homeland security department. there are more federal workers. the thing that no one actually knows is how many contractor's work for the government, which goes to that call particular number significantly. -- which boosts that particular number significantly. there is a lot of political bluster and talk about this, but no actual data. when host: avoid such data come from? -- host: where would such data
come from? guest: way comes to contractors, that becomes an agency by agency analysis. then, the various councils that have been looking into this -- the federal council is a government-appointedroup, bipartisan and what not, but there are others like the calo institute that are using other data. -- the cato institute that are using other data. it requires a lot of effort to go in and make those comparisons. that effort, for whatever reason, has not been done. probably because it cost a lot of money. host: how much will federal pay increase this year? guest: i think it is a regular increases. host: 5%, something like that?
guest: yes. this is the debate that shows up toward the end of a congressional session when there is talk of another increase for federal workers. in a down economy like this, that can be particularly sensitive for voters. which is white politicians tend not to talk about it. host: thank you for giving us a macro view of the pay of federal workers. fon johnson, we appreciate your time. this table, which is available easily on line is called the gs table. it begins at $17,803 and progresses.
and workers at step 10 make $129,517. that is the maximal at the gs table right now. let's begin with fort worth, texas commentary on the republican line. good morning. -- terry on the republican line,. good morning. caller: this was a study it when i was working on my master's. back then, even at the time, federal workers, when you included their retirement and benefits and everything, they made about 40% more than any of the private workers. the problem of it is, though, it they have increased. as the lady from the journal stated, they have increased the
federal work force since 9/11 "terrorist attack." a lot of these workers are not qualified to do the jobs they are doing. in the private work force, there was a lot more scrutiny before you ever got the job. how this is based on a lack of criteria. i think that is one of the problems with the -- including the congress. i do not think they have the ability to do the job. host: thanks for your call from fort worth, texas. there was a big increase this week in federal workers and pony -- earning over $150,000 joining the obama administration.
the director of the office of personnel, john barrett, here is what we are talking with two abot the compensation of federal workers. the next caller is from ohio. this is the democrats line. caller: are federal workers overpaid? they certainly are. i will give you an example. there are health care packages that supersede anything you get of here in the real world. they also have early retirement. they can go back and double that. they can take another job in the same parts that they retire from and get another welfare package on our dime. and i'm a democrat and i'm very upset. all of the republicans came out and said when barack obama had
his health care package that this was all undermining the health care in the private sector, but yet, the private sector money that people make is going to support the federal, state, township on our time. if we do not get health care, but they do on our dying. i'm very angry this morning because i'm paying my taxes and i cannot get health care. but federal employees who make a lot more than i do have health care packages that i can only dream of. they get to retire early and now have to work until 69. and then they can go back and doubled it. i'm very upset. they are very much overpaid, and so are state and all off employees in the federal government. host: thanks for your call. sasha tweets in -- call from millington, tenn.. sharon is a federal worker.
good morning, sharon. caller: i am a retired for the world worker and i work for the naval hero of personnel for 40 years. i can guarantee you that the majority of the employees with the bureau do not make $129,000 per year. they are lower grade, federal employees. there may be a lot of high- grade employees in washington d.c., although, i worked for 20 years in washington before we moved to millington. federal employees on average do not make the big salaries that the congress men are reporting that they do. host: just had a call from a democrat that is frustrated about their retirement packages for federal employees. can you tell us how their retirement packages work? caller: keep in mind that i started in 1966 and i did fall
under the civil service retirement system, and that is a good retirement system. the new retirement system, i would say, probably = b 41 that the private -- probably equals the 401 that the private industry get. host: how does that work? caller: i'm not that familiar, but they get a portion of their paycheck away each pay in order to have benefits when they retire. host: and how is the health care? caller: my husband was military, but retired federal employees fall under the same retirement system that they had when they were working. host: thank you for your call and sharing your own experience.
beverley is up next. you are on the air. caller: amen, i'm so glad you got this topic. i have been so upset about this. i have asked my grandson to get me a website call basta.com because i'm just fit to be tied about federal employees. i worked for 50 years and never made above $30,000 per year. i worked for twa. they went bankrupt. and then i went to work for american express and i was there travel accounting clerk. the federal employees working for 50 years, they make way above $30,000 per year. they make at least $50,000 per year. that would be a dream for a middle-class single woman, widowed. their benefits -- my taxpayer dollars are paying a portion of
their retirement and their medical, and yet, they sit up there in washington and they refuse to pass this medical plan with a public option like they have a federal public option. i think all federal employees should be independent contractors and pay every bit of their retirement and medical, just like my grandson does as an independent contractor for computers. he has to pay for his entire social security. he has to pay his entire medical and his entire retirement. host: thank you, beverly. next is massachusetts, and this is richard who is a federal employee. caller: good morning, a friend
of minis a federal employee. down at the airport in texas. and he is a federal officer. and they are way overpaid. he has been telling me that they have to work four hours of overtime every day, every employee in that airport. and they get double time for overtime. if they work a holiday, they get triple time. and if someone calls in sick, they hire four or five guys to get more money for the next budget. it is not even funny. i am really upset. and the federal workers, when they get a contract, say they get 15 holidays, that is double time for holiday pay. host: richard, thanks so much. the will ask, please, on the
federline, let's reserve that for people who are current or retired federal employees. we really want to hear their perspective this morning. there was an interview back in march, and in to the headline on this story here is a little bit of what he writes. he writes that overall, federal workers earned an average salary of 66 -- $67,691. the average pay for this same in the private sector was the $60,000. he later writes that it does not include health, pension, and other benefits.
the federal government spent about $220 billion in compensation for about 2 million civil employees. you will have to do your own research further if you want to learn more about this. that is according to fawn johnson. next is santa monica, calif., stan is a republican. good morning. caller: i agree with you in your opening statements about the perks, the medical, the ira, the insurance. and you put all that together and you are looking at over 40% on top of a cash income. i believe that government jobs are the prime rib, the prime
steakhouse in town, along with all of those perks. the people that are missing the boat are the students, the men and women that are going to college. i have a co-worker that had a son with three separate degrees in mathematics earning $30,000 per year. the people that really lose out are the people that are putting their money into education. host: thank you for your call. next is a call from queens. this is amy, a democrat. good morning. caller: good morning. i think that the -- host: amy, we can hear you. caller: yeah, i'm sorry. i think the real issue is the lack of data on the contractors. host: you think that would
change the picture? -- how do you think that would change the picture? caller: i think that there is an amplification of the military budget and we cannot really judge what is going on on the federal level until we take a look at what the proportion is in the budget is tour regular workers in the federal area. people are not asking about questioning military, which undoubtedly have your marks, pork barrel, corruption. everything is being slanted toward everything else -- and the private-sector also.
competition of federal workers. here is a tweet from sasha -- next is a call from highland county, fla., on the republican line. good morning, anthony. caller: has a basic analogy, my family comes from alatas minister delegate -- from a lot of municipalities workers. and i may municipalities' worker as well. you talk about everything is paid for in the private sector, and then you talk about the same piece of bread, but a sickly you have -- basically you have swallowed it after you have beaten it. couple ofing about a different subjects. what has happened now is it has
become just such a job to work for the government that few private people can compete with it. you have a job where someone says, no such and such, here are the tricks. if you are trying to find the same answers, you can never find them. in florida, in transportation, i used to work for the department and we ended up subcontracting everything and minimizing these issues for the subcontractors so that they can do more on the job and make more because they were held accountable for what they board spending. but that is kind of the difference. you are mixing apples and oranges. you are right, the little people on the totem pole do not make a full money, but the people high up -- do not make all the money, but the people high up, they
cannot compete with unlimited funds. host: a month tweet -- emma tweets -- next is a call from fremont, california. juan your a federal employee? caller: i was a claims representative. the gentleman that you just had is representative of various types of positions. some of them range from clerical to professional. in my particular degree i had to be able to speak spanish and 100 different things. the most i ever made before retired was $35,000 per year.
a comparable job i could have made closer to $50,000 or $60,000 in the private sector. it all depends on the type of work is that you do. you also have the issue of collective bargaining. you have a collective bargaining with the treasury union, that will factor in to how much you get as far as benefits, and an hourly wage. host: why did you stay in the federal work force? caller: why didn't i? i was burnt out. host: so, you left? caller: yes, it was one of the hardest jobs i've ever had. host: next is robert, a democrat. welcome to the conversation about federal workers. caller: can you hear me?
host: i can hear you just fine, robert. caller: it all depends what position you are holding. many times, it is how strong the union is. many times the workers can be paid a little low, and if you reach the top where we have, shall we say, the appointed administrators, they do very well. they get very good medical benefits. i was getting $1,029 per month in social security. i got a letter i did not pay enough taxes for 2008 and 2009. they took $34 per month out of me so that i got $905 to put into medicare so that i have
already paid into it, but i have to pay more. and they want to reduce the deficit, i guess, from $2 trillion from the social security trust fund. host: thank you, robert. next up is joe, a republican. caller: a lot of people are calling in -- and i may federal employee -- i'm a federal employee. a lot of people are calling in and they do not realize that a lot of us -- by myself, i'm a disabled veteran. 60% of the people i work with our disabled veterans. if it was not work -- if it was not for the federal system, we could not get a job. what i got out of the army, everywhere i went, they were like, you are disabled. i am 80% disabled. of they were like, you are
disabled. we cannot hire you. when i try to get a job through the federal system they were like, ok, here is your skill set, you are good to go. welcome aboard. if it was not for the federal system, i would be out there floating without a way to support my family except what i get from the v.a. all these people arguing about these in -- these federal employees, they need to realize that a lot of these people are veterans that do not have any other way to support their family except for a federal job. this is what our income is. except for maybe the v.a. host: what agency do you work for? caller: i work at fort bragg.
host: so you are civilian defense? caller: yes. host: can you tell people how much you make? caller: i make $34,000 per year. host: and how many years have you been working? caller: i bought back my time from the military, so that gave me a bit more time. all told, they bumped me up in my pay, so instead of making about $32,000 per year if i make 42,000 -- $34,000 per year. host: generally, what do you do? do not give us specifics. caller: i do medical records. host: thank you. mike freeman has this to say. this is twitter.
next is a call from bellevue, neb.. martin is a federal worker. good morning. caller: good morning. i guess i come from three perspectives. i was in them military. i was enlisted in the military and then i went to work for the federal government in a hospital. we did not make anywhere near the kind of money most people make. the we made about $24,000 per year. i also worked for city government. i worked in the fire service. and we did not make anywhere near that $100,000 or whatever. host: to have worked in three different branches of public sector work, how does that work for your retirement? retire caller: and works out pretty good caller:. retirement works out pretty good. host: do you get retirement from
all 3 deck? caller: no, just two. host: would you have made the same in the private-sector? caller: and no, i would have made it more in the private- sector. host: why did you choose to stay in the public sector? caller: i realized at a young age that money is not everything. the federal gave me an opportunity to raise my family. you make certain sacrifices to do that. the other thing is that the pay scale that you put up, there is also another one that they called the wg, which is a wage freeze and those are considered
the blue-collar workers. the gs scale is considered white-collar. those are the people that will be doing more of the technical aspects of the job. my concern is that everybody that i have talked to will always tell me how they appreciate what i did for them in the military. they also say, well, what you did on the fire service. we really appreciate what you have done for us and then all of a sudden, when it comes time for me to get benefits for the things that i have done for this city and this country, then i am a pariah. i am a person that does not deserve what is promised when you join. host: do you find people that have conversations like some of the callers with you, that they are looking at you differently these days? caller: guess, all the time.
they're telling you that you are not to -- yes, all the time they are telling you that you are not deserving. i was injured in the military and injured in the fire service. it is a situation that has changed my whole way of life. host: wendy think attitudes change and why? -- when do you think ed is used change and why? caller: have been changing since the bush era. people are looking for, something to blame in the situation they find themselves. i was in an earlier situation that is costing me money that is paying me now. there is no federal employee family out there. we are all american citizens. we came and answered the call to serve our country and our cities and when we did
that, our cities and country and states made obligations to us. now that it is time to pay us back, they are saying that we do not deserve the payback. but we deserve all of the accolades and praises for what we did. but we are not worth it now to them. host: thank you. someone named "mr. happy" on twitter issues a simple question. we're also getting a number of e-mails as well. we have about 15 minutes left in this segment. robert from pennsylvania rights -- next is orange county, calif., veronica on the democrats line.
hello, veronica, you're on the air. we are going to move on. the next caller is from winthrop, maine, and this is helen, a federal worker. caller: i am a retired federal worker, and actually. i think most federal workers take the service very seriously. i think the caller from nebraska said it eloquently, outlining our case. one thing people forget is that federal pay and benefits are set by congress. we do not negotiate pay and benefits. the other is that current federal employees now pay into social security. there used to be a civil service retirement system. has gone by the wayside, i think since the mid-1980s. there is a tremendous amount of outsourcing that occurred during the bush administration. i think that those numbers, as
one of the caller mentioned, should be taken into consideration. we do not know where a federal worker is any more. and very often, when they bring in people, who are temporary workers, there are standards of contact -- conduct and would never purify -- and what ever. ithe other point is, many people that i've had the pleasure to work with is many people i have had the pleasure to work with our veterans. i agree, we are often maligned, out of jealousy, probably.
host: thanks for your call from maine. jeffrey clark sent us this e- mail. next is stephen, republican. caller: i just wanted to say that i think they should leave the federal workers that are making $50,000 or below alone. and because i believe john boehner is all too comfortable with focusing on freezing these people's pay because he is making millions and millions of dollars. i think we should just leave them alone. steve host: in from west
virginia. -- host: steven from what's for dinner. two people from dolly rancher say -- and a similar theme on twitter -- our topic this morning is, are federal workers overpaid? next is from north carolina -- and we are going to move on from that, i guess. this is east prairie. denise, republican line, go ahead. caller: i have a couple of comments. i believe most federal employees are not overpaid, but i do think their compensation packages are out of line.
the point is, the ones that are you receiving raises yearly, their return -- they are cutting the retirement age and a of people have been paying into the fund and it has been rated by the government to cover other programs. that should be stopped. and forced retirement, they should be re-examining their compensation. i do not think we should be paying for their retirement when they make such good money themselves. anyone may -- i agree with the whoragentleman before me, anyoe makes $50,000 or less should be left alone. especially with the way things are right now. and there is going to be inflation. that might not even be a living wage in a short time. what we should be looking at is
people who make over $70,000 per year. host: that is denise on the line. and here is an e-mail from wisconsin. we're talking about federal salaries and whether or not federal workers are overpaid. the next call is from richmond, virginia. this is james, a democrat. caller: i do not think federal employees are overpaid. i think the private sector is so far behind. i mean, so far behind is just
bathetic. what they are doing in the private sector i instead of trying to keep up -- they should model the federal government. when people retire, look out for them because they have gained service -- a given service to their company. and the thing about this, you cannot do this in a about five minutes. it is so large and has been going on for so long. 20 years ago, people were working for maybe $10 an hour. and if you go to try to find a job in the private sector today, that is all they want to pay, the wages they were paying 20, 25 years ago. the federal government is actually keeping up with the economy. but the private sector wants to go with cheaper labor in china and mexico and places like that. but if you want to have a wage,
you have to become a private contractor and make your own money. host: this is james. and here is another headline. let's also show you the front page of the "washington times" this morning. padilla will be talking about the g-20 a little bit later on. -- we will be talking about the g-20 a little bit later on. next is a telephone call from , andrea, who was a federal worker. caller: i was a nurse for 20 years at the military center. i did not start off as a nurse. i started off as a clerk, and i
was on the lower end of the gs scale. as one gentleman said, it only applies to one portion of the government workers. there are several scales. people have a wrong impression of federal employees. i do pay for my own health care, but health care, for me, it takes a huge portion out of my check. i get about $140 taken out of my check for health care, and i must individual. i do have good health care, but i paid dearly for it it does not come free. -- i pay dearly for it. it does not come free. i do not get paid triple time for overtime. i have never gotten paid travel time for overtime. -- triple time for overtime. i do not know what government
agency that gentleman worked for that he gets triple time, but we do not get paid triple time. host: is it time and halfbacks -- it is it time and a half? caller: we get paid double time for overtime and time and a half for holidays. i have for 20 years as a federal employee and i still have ... i still make only $65,000. i could make more in the private sector as a nurse. but i choose tuesday. -- i choose to stay. host: here is a big piece on the rampage of the post this morning.
i also want to show you a couple of headlines that are very similar in the paper today. "wall street journal -- and also in the "washington post" -- a preview of what faces the president when he comes back from his asia trip. the loss column about federal workers is kate in tennessee. good morning. caller: i would like to reiterate some of the things they have said. i retired from the federal government in 1978 and none of these salaries were in place then because anything over a certain level had to be approved by congress. i would just like to say that it
would be interesting to see if somebody -- i know you will not agree with me, but we cannot trust the corporate to have those statistics repeated and repeated by the call for press. but i would like to see that. and the notice they have -- abolish the job in the pentagon that had the $360 billion budget and 340 employees. that is a big personal cost. host: thank you, kate.
sarah palin makes it to the front page today. the same photograph is featured in the weekend section of the "new york times" this morning. and finally, the account continues scott. -- continues. that is it for our discussion. we are going to next look at how the u.s. is doing in its overall economic stress index. and we will be joined by martin crutsinger and mike schneider of the associated press. who will be right back.
-- we will be right back. >> this weekend, c-span mohanna 3 with the eleanor -- c-span3 of visits the american history tv and eleanor roosevelt project. then a conference marking the 150th anniversary of v civil war on the experience of a -- of enslaved and a freak african- american experience during --
and enslaved and a free african- american experience during the war. american history tv all weekend, every weekend on c-span3. >> in an ideal world, the fact that there were people short in the mortgage market would have sent signals to people saying, there ought to be smart investors who think this thing is going to be crushed -- this thing is going to crash and burn. but because you could not see the stock market and because of the ways these instruments work you were not getting real mortgages, but it is in no virgin -- a casino version. >> bethany mclean will talk about the future of the economy in open court of the devils are here" sunday night on c-span's
q&a. host: let me introduce you to two guests here in washington. one is joining me by phone in orlando. mike schneider is on the phone. good morning to you. guest: good morning. host: i want to start with showing you have lines and around the country. there is the hartford current which has an index of its own. there is some good news for
people who live in hartford. you all have a statistical analysis that looks at the companies -- the country's the stress level. we invited you here in april. let's listen to what you had to say then. guest: you can only look at the real numbers and what the world had to say then. it peaked in october and has come down a little bit to 9.7%. in march, we created 160,000 payroll jobs. that was the best performance in three years. people are definitely encouraged. if you look at march 1 year ago, we were losing 107,000 jobs in one -- in that month alone. i think things have stabilized, at least. the problem is when you have an unemployment rate of 9.7%, that
is still a very high unemployment rates. martin host: crutsinger, we still have a high unemployment rate -- host: martin crutsinger, we still have a high unemployment rate, in the 9.7 range, but what are your latest readings? guest: the latest readings show that the stress ramallah counties did drop to an eight- month low -- from all of the counties, did drop to an eight month low. but we are seeing signs of improvement. i used the word "stabilized" six months ago, and i think that is probably still where we are. the difficulty is that we are coming out of a recession, so we are bumping along the bottom. host: mike schneider, i'm going to ask our colleagues, elise, to put the map on the screen. countys how we're doing
by county across the nation. caller: this was developed -- guest: this was a love with about one dozen people with a peak -- with ap. those variables are the unemployment rate, the foreclosure rate in the bankruptcy rate and we chose those three variables because they work in different stages of a person's economic decline. we created an index score for every county and every state based on those variables and the scores on a scale of 100 -- of one to 100 based on experience. basically, it showed the probability of walking down some street and running into someone who was either unemployed, bases for closure, or has filed for bankruptcy. for instance, the state of
nevada, which is the worst off in the country, had the score of about 21. if he were to walk down any street in nevada, the chances of running into someone who was unemployed, facing foreclosure, or bankrupt would be one of five. host: darkest areas on the map indicating what? -- indicate what? guest: those indicate the most distressed areas. as you can see, it is concentrated on lot in nevada, california, michigan, and parts of florida. host: we would like our viewers to join in the discussion. we will help you understand what you see happening in your state, but we would like to hear from you what you think is happening in your state. are you starting to hear that things are leveling out, or starting to experience optimism? or are things getting worse. tell us why. here is how you reach us.
the numbers are on the screen. ipod we also have the twitter address and e-mail account -- but we also have the twitchell address and e-mail account. places that are -- we have the twitter address and e-mail account. places that are doing poorly, in relationship to realistic, what are you finding that might be -- to real estate, what are you finding that might be a turnaround? guest: real-estate has had a bumpy year. it got a boost from the home buyer tax credit, but that expired at the end of april. what we saw was kind of a lot of sales were pushed forward as people tried to get a close before they lost the tax credit. then we saw a slump. that filter into the whole economy. we had a slowdown for the whole
overall economy. part of that was from the home buyer tax credit going away. part of it was what was going on in europe with the debt crisis in greece and what that did to the financial markets are on the world. we really had a slowdown in the economy that almost went into a stall speed over the summer. it seems we have been picking up in the last couple of months some better figures, but again, these have to the contras against a very deep recession. -- contrast against a very deep recession. host: mike, have you ever had ies?push back from the county' guest: no, i think the knowledge they are facing very difficult times.
in seeing live around the country, just to have on to what marty was saying, there are places that are doing large numbers of information technology, professional jobs -- those counties are doing the best from the country. whereas counties with large numbers of workers in a real- estate or retail are tending to the worst abomination. host: our first comment is by twitter, and this is a person who thinks we are being spun. here is what they write. guest: i do not think we are spending huge. -- spinning you. based on what was reported, we had 151,000 jobs created in
october. our stress matt was in september. -- our stress matt was in september. but if you look at october, the job increase was the best in five months. if we have had as -- we have had 874,000 jobs created this year on net. how does that compare? we had 8.4 million jobs lost over the two years from december 2007 through december 2009. while we have gained jobs, we still have not gained back anywhere near the number of jobs we lost during the recession. things are still bad out there. i think the election results showed that. voters were voting their anger at the polls. host: the highest stressed spots are nevada, california, florida,
michigan and arizona. the lowest stressed places are north dakota, south dakota, nebraska, vt., and wyoming. what factors contribute to the low stress scores in those states, mike? guest: a lot of those states have industries and jobs that are based on recession-proof industries, such as farming and mining. that is a big reason. also, these areas did not go through the housing boom that some of the worst hit areas did. they did not have the resulting foreclosure crisis. host: are also some of the lowest populated places in the country. guest: that is true. it is remarkable, the unemployment rate for a state like north dakota. it is under 3.5%.
if you look at what is going on in a state where i am in florida, it is about 12%. mr. host: crutsinger, how can people find -- host: mr. crutsinger are, how can people find this map? guest: the good places to go to your local newspaper side. a lot of newspapers linked to this map,, have it on their web sites. mike, is there another way to do it? just host: google "economic stress map" and it will pop up. host: and a good number of statistics will pop up to show you how the press analyze the numbers to get them to their overall stress levels. how did this partnership come between the two of you? . .
host: a call from ohio. guest: ohio is probably among the states over the past three years that saw one of the biggest declines. a lot was from the manufacturing base. over the past year, it has showed some slight improvement. it is downo 12.5%. it suffered a lot and is making some bit of improvement. are you there? >> we lost her.
the bill requires administration to report by january on a plan of what to do with fanny freddie. they are the big corporations that make that plan. >> mike, are you there? >> you are back now. thanks for waiting. >> have you looked into why all these jobs are lost and why the unemployment rate are so high.
but the people in ohio is decimated because they are closing plants and moving people away. i would like you to put a map on the screen that shows the number of ceos and how much money they are making at the expense of how many people they are putting out of work. thank you. >> president obama has wrapped
up the g-20 summit where he tried to make jobs the center of his tour. he tried to emphasize the u.s. exporters and jobs and renegotiate the trade deal with south korea. they had announced he would try to get this agreement done. they say they are going to keep talking about it. china was at the table for this meeting. the administration has toughened the line the currency with
advantages. the chinese have pushed back in that area. what the federal reserve is doing now with increasing of the 600 billion more to boost the economy hearsaying this is just a backdoor way to weaken the doll dollar. when you have a global recession, you have a lieutenant of trade coming out. host: we'll look back at what happened with that trip.
twitter. in nebraska, we help each other with emergencies. most save and don'tover spend. nebraska was on the list of states with low stress scores. back to phone calls. this is a cal from kansas on the independent line. good morning. caller: good morning i don't want to get into debt but i want to talk about the president. people are upset and that's why they voted like they voted here
both parties will expire at the end of this month the republicans have been arguing that to extend this, they need to find cuts elsewhere that while this session will have the same make up, the change won't happen until january we'll listen to a caller from high rock north carolina i want to know how many federal workers they are go to cut from their
staff if they are a congressman or senator ab the next thing, local economy. local. local. you got the right word. we have to start picking ourselves up by the boot straps local locally we have to think outside of the box. we need to start thinking about shoes and corn from nebraska. quit looking to the federal government thinking they are
going to cure everything. we have to cure things ourselves. that's it. host: thank you north carolina. the state has been the capital of the financial community. a lot of big banks there. the western part of the state has traditionally been the home of furniture manufacturing, a lot of which has been shipped overseas. guest: north carolina also has a pretty diversified economy with research education it's doing
the net was 151,000 in october, which was the best in five months. >> they were mrief at sector jobs. the public sector lost 8,000 jobs. what is happening, you mentioned california. a lot of states are being forced to layoff work rers they have bn hit hard and they are having to find ways to balance their state budgets. >> the next call from pittsburgh, the caller is mark. host: mark, are you from pittsburgh? caller: yes. host: go ahead. caller: i'm concerned at my
area also we used to have the biggest steel mills in all of ohio and all the area. them are all gone now. he's right. if you take in a city like pittsburgh, it has undergone transformation. it's heavy into research and healthcare and universities and medicine. it is true, jobs have been replaced byes higher education
>> what information or companies are operating in those as far as who is hiring and who haslett jobs go and moved on. that would be educational for the public. guest: we would love to do that. it might be a little too complex to do something like that for every county in the nation if it could be something like that, it would be a great tool. >> we have lost manufacturing jobs. this year, manufacturing has been growing again. part of that has been because u.s. companies are benefitting by a rebound in the global
economy. globalization cuts both ways. we have lost a number of jobs. part of that is foreign competition. part is higher productivity. u.s. companies learning to make more with fewer workers. a lot of people feel stressed because they have seen plants and factories shut. jobs go to mexico, china and other companies. >> what part of the state is robins in? caller: we are here in
robinson. host: what is the economy like there? caller: i'm sorry. the county. it's crawford county. host: how are things there? caller: not as bad as elsewhere. when i entered the work place, the u.s. population was 120 million. 310 million. do we really believe there won't be a bigger government and a need for it. if we have half the wage society. the new chinese minimum wage law, i can't find enough information on it and i really haven't heard enough about it. how do you think that will affect us in the next year or
two? guest: he makes an accurate-o. if you have a bigger country, you need more government services. host: he assert fz half of the unemployed went back to work even at minimum wage this would take care of the deficit. guest: that wouldn't work. we still have a progressive tax system. it was projected to be $1.2 trillion. we have a very large deficit problem at the problem.
you couldn't balance it by getting people or half the unemployed become to work. it wouldn't do it for you. >> do you know anything about the chinese minimum wage law? . the anti-union stance in china has kept wages at low levels in that country. host: did you have a chance to look at crawford county? guest: yes. their stress core is 3.3. i'm looking at the make up of the labor force that seems to be the biggest labor sector
host: this is steve on the republican line. caller: you are calculating the stress of a company. it started 10-12 years ago. we have jobs leaving. in order to keep a job here, you have to take a cut in pay. players are demanding you take a 20-25% cut in pay. there's a lot more stresses in just the housing and unemployment to look at. there is too many things in this. even our own government.
earlier. they do represent different stages of the economic free fall. host: would you comment overall how the nation is doing in the way of wage deflatindeflating. guest: the unit measure cost has been falling because of the pressure. when you have 8 million people losing their jobs that goes out the window. you are seeing significant pressure there companies are having to labor the biggest costs that they face and trying
to shrink their cost as well we are seeing all of those factors at play >> the stress map creates the oppression like a force. it's not, we create the economy. >> do you have anything to say to that? >> sure. if he means by our spending habits and decisions, we do create the economy. >> last call from san diego. i wanted to complain about the ill el immigration.
this shouldn't be a matter of partisan politics. i live in san diego. illegal immigrants work all over. they are pushing us to rent for poorer people and taking away jobs. immigration laws aren't being enforced. i don't know what to do about that. i'm definitely for the government. i wish it would regulate ill el immigration. host: thank you. guest: i think both parties have a big divid of how that should be done. host: in california, we have a twitter viewer who asked
specifically, could you have them comment on the san joaqein and stanislaus counties. guest: sure. they are among the worst in the country. yes. it's among the worst. a stress score of 22.4. it has 16.6% unemployment rate and foreclosure rate of 5% and bankruptcy rate of 2.5%. that is one of the more stressed counties in the nation, significantly worst off than the
state as a whole. host: do you know what the contributing factors? guest: i would guess there is probably a housing boom there and a lot of foreclosures there. host: thank you. we are putting you on the spot a little bit. according to the economic stress maps. the easiest way is to do a search. let me say thank you for being here. nice to be on the telephone with you. thank you for all of your information. we'll continue with the economy. we are going to have him look at what he saw happening in asia, the relations between the u.s. and china and the korean trade
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washington journal continues. host: let me introduce you to bryce. over the years, he was a consultant to the office of trade commission. he worked at the senate government affairs committee and was a co-factor for the presidential affairs commission. i want to show you what i am describing as tough headlines today. what are your thoughts about what happened in asia.
>> i want to be careful here. we still haven't seen the g-20 statement. this is quite preliminary. i think, you have to move this out. the set of reasons, the times headline about economic views being rejected. in terms of korea fta -- guest: free trade agreement signed in 2007 under president bush. what seems to have happened is that this is the first trade
agreement, if you will that the president has put his own personal stomp on. he said he wanted it done to get a personal involvement. possibly because of distractions they really haven't gotten to serious negotiations until after november. i also would have to say that the administration was wrong they tried to amend it and change it.
guest: the labor union, so labor for the past decade -- this goes back to divisions with president clinton. the korea agreement is a line of agreements they have imposed. talking the specifics of the agreement, whatever. in terms of the commissions you mentioned. the point you made is correct particularly automobiles. the other thing to keep in mind is that the europeans, particularly the car deal. they have signed a free trade agreement, which it wipes out the tar i haves. what the koreans got is what we really wanted.
the standards in korea have been hurting us and other international scar make. if we don't sign this agreement, we'll be in even worst difficulty because automobile manufacturers are doing quite well and will have a real leg up on that. on these, it's a question of the whole health issue and the barriers related to the health of these coming in. koreans have backed up a great deal on that so really the beef associations, cattle are not really unhappy. they would like to have a total opening but what they have gotten really allows them to exporter a great deal. those are not major issues. i just think, the
administration, we don't know enough yet about these last couple of days but they had a good deal. the president seemed to be saying he couldn't get the deal to change witho congress. republicans have been in favor of this for three years it pushed the president to do it. the situation with the president is always a lot better. you could always get enough for democratic senators to go along. >> on lthis, corning from south korea with the president has a new piece and headline with the failure, a lost opportunity for obama. here is what she writes.
mr. obama will have to deal with a democratic senate and hostile of working with him and skeptic al of trade deals. guest: neither i or anybody right now knows the position of the tea party candidates. it remains to be seen, there are a number of committees that have not found an anti-trade stance. secondly, as i said before, you have had for the last decade under bush who they didn't like maybe, democrats have had an anti-trade stance. there have been enough democrats
in the house to go along to pass the bill. >> i'll take some calls and get our viewers involved in this and come back for more. the big back drop for all the nations in this. and also u.s. china trade. >> good morning, josh. good morning. thank you for c-span and taking my call. i have one major point. i'm not sure but i believe personally that trade and currency are just the underlying issues. there have been several things going on that are at work here. there is a subtle way that they tie together all of these in an underlying stream. it's all the central bankers
that have poluted the system. they think that they can show off -- well, we are not going to have it anymore. we are the ones funding them. it's hard to see that they have gone on. i'm wandering your comments on that. thank you for taking my call. guest: despite that all banks get a bad wrap these days. most economists would agree that central banks perform a key function, particularly those that are independent and can step back and take a look at the overall administration, whether
you talk about the european central bank, the bank in japan or federal reserve. one can disagree with this or that policy. to get to something you are getting at more specifically. without getting into the arguments back and forth about the virtues and deficit of what the federal reserve did last week. it is true to pump overtime over $600 billion certainly under cut the president's trip to this degree. you have bankers not just in asia but in europe, particularly the germans that argue that the united states cannot criticize the chinese when the affect of what bernanke and the federal
reserve did ultimately to lower the value of the u.s. dollar. this is not their major goal but we were willing to accept a lower dollar so what you did domestically had a big affect and badly under cut one of the reasons for the "new york times" of how obama's world economic views were ejected on the stage. >> these comments were from global leaders. the decision to call the easing. first in getting with the brazil president elect who said the
hearing is cheap shots. most of the people quoted there are fairly sophisticated there. they have a point the president in a more informal way was that ultimately the goal is to jump start or push forward greater growth while the short term affects may be to lower the value of the dollar the longer term affects will benefit the economy and actually help these countries. i think -- i feel for him he
says we are in favor of a strong balance. it looks fairly foolish with what the fed has done. guest: good morning as far as free trade, we have been doing this since pearl harbor. half of the people coming in dwsh the money coming in is from other countries because they are helping us get out of debt.
why is it that we can't charge them just like they charge us i used to work for chrysler. all of our parts was coming from japan anyway. we would take their packaging and put it in our packaging and say it is ours. i feel like the government is doing the same thing we need to charge these people like they are charging us. at some point now that everybody is hurting, now the world is seeing it. what are we really going to do about this trade?
or is it going to be the same charge decades after decades guest: what has happened with the world trading system is not just the world war. other nations had high charges in the terms that you use. those have gone through the developing companies coming down dramatical dramatical dramatically manufactured goods. our trade in relation to the
united states and europe and japan and china to cover that the government deficit. if you don't save enough at home to pay for what you consume, somebody else will do it for you. that's all the trade balance is. the place to look for changes and the fact that we have a trade deficit or current account deficit is at home. we are talking trade deficit. what happens this week with a debt commission. central to what will ultimately happen in a trade balance down the road all the pieces and
parts recommended and where we ought to be looking in terms of competitiveness to compete with others. we are talking china and currency. host: this viewer writes, >> i've been clear since i came into office that we welcome china's rise. we think china has grown and lifted millions up out of poverty. that is good for the world and
america china has a responsibility to be a partner and countries around the world. it's good to get people out of poverty and get them an opportunity because of china's success, that they act responsiblily. the issue is one not just to the united states. selling goods around the world. it's under valued. china spends enormous amounts of money intervening in the market
to keep it under valued. what we have said is it is important for china in a gradual fashion to transition to a market based system. rising to china and the united states trying to push this off. i'd like to see this pushing harder i hope that will continue. they have a very good case about chinese intervention. we can argue about the degree to which this is way under valued.
the problem is that it goes back to why the germans intervene in this. again, the action of the federal reserve which seemed to actually mirror many who are not economists, really under cut the president. the germans have a different view of how one gets out of the world crisis. the german's think you are to really slash the budget and not pump up the economy at least administration thinks by and
large. the comment is just an argument there that the united states thinks that the way they are doing things are right and the way we are doing things is not the way to go. you add into that the whole china currency business at least nobody was going to directly accuse anybody of anything then you get to the situation there to allow others to come in. we haven't seen the statement they have one on a temporary
basis. host: back to the phone on the democrat line. guest: thank you. spring of 2001, we had a surplus as far as the eye could see. free trade is zero. understand what the zero means my question is, what happens to the u.s. economy if the republicans repeal . do you think the president is smart enough to read and understand guest: i do believe se smart enough. he is a very smart man and
rational man. whether one agrees or disagrees with him. he is competent. having said that, there is a foot note here. when one looks back with the lead up to this break down of the negotiation with the free agreement. income tense seems to be a part of it. a lot of this will let go until too late. as i said before. this is one case where the president has his own stomp on something. it's bound to be a blow to him personally. going back to the first questions you talked about. the key is to go back, you mentioned in 2001. the move really toward
rebalancing at home. we did not have a trade balance of zero. we were still on deficit. we were on the way to a rebalancing of our international transaction. what has happened to the bush administration and the internal budget and now continuing in the obama administration. creating the external imbalances. the key to this, while very easy in to blame trade policy for a lack of competitiveness. the key to the change is internally. the fault there lies in ourselves you it is when we do here. . .
companies employed 20,000 to 30,000 people and they just disappeared, i mean, just gone. this was with policies that were created in washington with nafta, created by the republicans and signed by a democratic president. weave got to get back to taking care of the american people, taking care of all of them. host: thanks, darren. guest: i do not agree that it was trade agreements that cause the problems in detroit, or in any other industry in any other states. trade can have a negative affect, but in this case,f you look at what has happened in the last 30 to 40 years, much more than anything else it has been corporate mistakes and an alliance of unions, and corporate -- an alliance of
unions and corporate leaders, which made the industry and competitive with the rest of the world. i agree that it is time to look to -- maybe i would not use your phrase, but you do not do that by closing off the a u.s. economy to international trade. we had it apparently wide open under president clinton, just to take a democratic administration. but through a whole decade we treated tens of millions of jobs, much more than other countries who had closed borders and less free trade. i do not think that is the place to go. i keep coming back to the fact that we can debate the particulars of changes in domestic policy, but that is where we have got to start. whether it is changing our tax structure or changing the
education system, or changing the balance of our budget as the debt commissioner has done, that is where we ought to look. trade is important. as a matter of fact, it was president obama who has been skeptical of trade before, who has in the last year put forward a u.s. export initiative. he wants to double efforts. andpoint is he understands that trade is important. it is unfortunate that he allowed the free trade agreement with korea, the most important trade agreement that we signed -- at least, for the moment -- to go down. host: here is a headline, "obama's eckman view is rejected on world stage."
-- "obama's economic review is rejected on the world stage." and here is a tweet. the next call is as surely, from abilene. caller: there are agencies of the government. this is probably the murky as. the american people, i think, are being sold a bill of goods. we have 14 acting trade agreement, i believe, and we have trade deficits with every one of them. the people that word -- that we are in these agreements with have no compunction when it comes to putting terrorist of -- tariffs on us. it seems the sinister to the american people, that we are getting our country of industry. -- putting our country of the industry. gutting ourare bettin
country of industry. i do not think we know who the american enterprise institute is. we do not know who is negotiating these terrorists. all we see it -- these tarriffs. all we see is the homogenizing of our country and there is an assault -- there is no end in sight. host: we have your point. thanks. from abilene tx. let's look at the current members in the difference between u.s. and china exports. the 2010 numbers from the u.s. census bureau, and this is just through september. mr. barfield?
guest: a couple of things. as i said before, and i'm sorry to repeat myself again, the u.s. balance with china or any other country or group of countries is based upon internal economic policies that we have. in other words, we are not saving enough to cover investments and consumption. inevitably, we will then import people who will pay this for us. if it is not china, it would be someone else. the deficit or surplus of the country does not have a lot of economic meaning in the overall span of things. given the fact that we will have to get it from somewhere, if we do not get it from china, then it would more likely be singapore, malaysia, taiwan, korea. that is the key there. that is not to say that the chinese have not taken actions
that impede exports to them. all nations, including the united states. but i would like to go back to the point the caller made about columbia. -- columbia. this has been true with a number of our free trade agreements. and i think it is certainly true with korea, that we have talked about. colombia, we have already left everything for them to be free. columbia is a developing country. colombia is a developing economy. we are working to open up their economy more to our economy. presidentsboth republican and
democratic, have lowered our terrorists for them. it goes back to somehow it is -- tariffs toed our terrorist them. it goes back to these trade agreements. yes, in the earlier part of the 20th century were moving to be part of these different and particular sectors, but much of that is local. let's look at, say, textiles. if you were in massachusetts you would have thought, it is terrible that they moved it to the south. or other areas within the united states. the key is to keep the u.s. competitive through policies, sensible economic policies and education policies and other return policies that allow our men and women to compete
effectively. host: one of the places, perhaps unexpected, that mr. bernanke is getting criticism is from the former fed chief, mr. greenspan. he said this recently -- the "financial times" today said -- and that we will never weekend our economy to grow do you believe that? guest: i believe that, but the statement compounds mr.
geithner's problem. you have disagreemen within the federal reserve. yet disagreement in the federal government. and then mr. greenspan comes in and says flat out that we are innovating to lower the value of the dollar. you can understand why obama and geithner are in great difficulty when they try to defend this. geithner is correct in this sense, the u.s. -- and the other complication is that geithner is defending something from an independent agency, the federal reserve. he is not the person who took this action. but he is arguing that the reason the fed took this action was not to deliberately undercut the dollar so that we would be -- so that we could compete more effectively with other nations, but to grow the u.s. economy. and over the medium term and the longer-term, if it is successful, the u.s. will grow faster. that means it will actually
consume and produce more. that will help not just the u.s. citizens, but other citizens. to that degree, one can disagree that it will actually work, but i think he is right about the motivations of the fed. the problem is, as i said before, this came the week before the g-20 where we were actually making a big deal -- and by the way, it has been said that the chinese were a response will in -- were irresponsible in the way they handled it. we were trying to focus on china, and suddenly we seemed to be doing the same thg the chinese did. that is not correct, actually. if you look at it technically, it has left us very vulnerable. one of the reasons behind the "new york times" headline saying that it was rejected. the "new york times" is not a
newspaper that has been negative. it has been quite supportive of president obama. host: our next caller on the line for democrats, good morning. caller: i have called in before and i'm so upset about the free trade issues. i have been in business in houston for 30 years and it is as clear as a bell to me what is wrong with our economy. nafta and cafta, with their passage, we immediately started seeing this decline with the american economy. every successful -- successive trade agreement since then has added to our problem. i think the american public is being lied to. i think that the manufacturing jobs for the tip of the iceberg. i think we are in a race to the bottom and as long as the american work force is going to be put into competition with
third-world labor, the working person in america has absolutely no hope. and one thing i find very interesting -- i'm on the internet a lot and i'm always trying to find ways to aggregate free trade and return my tight those words into the internet, what i always get is someone trying to offshore jobs. even the internet is being taken over. when the lady said is sinister, it is. it is malevolent in taking our country down and you cannot change the american public's mind on this without bringing jobs back to america. guest: a couple of things. let's go back to nafta and subsequent free trade agreements since then. the negotiations of the world trade organization, which brought barriers to u.s. exports down -- after nafta in the
1990's and again under president bush who negotiated other free trade agreements, we created more jobs than any other country. everyone has been involved in the financial crisis, but the financial crisis did not come from trade policies. it came from other financial policies and internal domestic policies, or lack of regulation in the u.s. and both parties could be faulted here. i know it seems as if it might be a trade issue, but it is not really. the republicans just one house, but they lost a house in 2006 and they lost the presidency. i do not agree with the opinion that was just offered about the effects of trade. but one thing i do agree with is, you know, -- i do not think this is sinister. i think is pretty open.
congress has to vote on these things and give the american public does not agree with it, and if the republicans and democrats who believe in free trade and more trade agreements, if they cannot convince the public, then they will be swept out of office. i think it will be unfortunate, but is the democratic process. host: thank you for being here this morning to help us understand how the issues coming summit.the g-20 sauc our next guest will be the chairman of the national transportation safety board, deborah hersman, to talk about the safety summit they have had in the last couple of days to talk about over -- older drivers and keeping them safe on the roadways as well. we will be right back.
c-span3'seekend, c-span' american history tv will look at how american and british leadership work together to defeat the nazis. then the 50th anniversary of the civil war, a lot enslaved -- a look at enslaved and freed african-americans during the civil war. american history tv all weekend, every weekend, on c-span3.
>> in an ideal world the fact there were people shorting the mortgage market would have sent some signals st., there are the smart investors who think this thing is going to crash and burn, but the market was opaque enough that you could not see it in the stock market. and because of the way these instruments were, you were not getting real mortgages, but inventing the casino version of a mortgage. >> in 2003, bethany mclean wrote about the economy and this week she will be here to talk about her latest book, "all the devils are here." >> "washington journal" continues. host: on your screen is deborah hersman, the chairman of the national transportation safety board. we will be looking at the safety
of older drivers. we actually divided our phone lines for people under 70, and 70 or older. it is a very common dividing line when you start talking about older drivers. if you are under 70, you might have parents or other relatives that you face this issue with. the numbers are on the screen. for those 70 and older, those having questions about driving safety, they have a line as well. let's start with some statistics. first of all, the number of drivers that is the baby boomers age sadistically will go up exponentially over the next 20 years -- statistically will go up exponentially over the next 20 years. by 2013, the no. 6 -- by 2030, the number is expected to be 57
million. and the other no. i wanted to show is how they crashes that people are involved in. if there crash numbers are coming down, why are you concerned about this population group? guest: that is a great question. the good news is that we know that older drivers are the most experienced drivers we have. they tend to be saved and where their seat belts. they do not drive after they have been drinking. they tend not to speak. one of the concerns that we have is that the experts do not really know why the numbers have come down the way they have. they have outpaced gains that we have seen in other age groups, but when you look at the numbers of older drivers have in an accident, it is a u-shaped curved.
you see a lot of young drivers involved in accidents, but that tends to go down as you age. but then as you get on the older side, especially around age 80, 85, the numbers go back up. we are very concerned with the number of fatalities that involve older drivers. one of the key point is that they tend to be more frail or more fragile, so if they're involved in an accident where you or i might walk away, and those injuries might be very serious for them or involved hospitalization. host: we're learning that now 25 states have older driver provisions of some sort. those can include having vision tests for older drivers, shorter renewal of the time frames for their licenses, not allowing them to renew by mail and behind the wheel testing for some drivers. are you looking for federal standards r drivers?
guest: what the board is focusing on is trying to understand what is happening out there. i think we found that there is a patchwork system across the country with respect to screening or assessment of older drivers. states, as you mentioned are doing in person renewals after a certain age. others are doing vision test. we want to understand what the ability is of doing these tests and we want to reduce the number of fatal accidents that those drivers might be involved in. and are there other lessons that we can learn from those systems that could be propagated throughout the country? host: could you explain how your agency has a mandate in this area? guest: the national transportation safety board has to investigate accidents in all modes of transportation. we're looking to in -- to reduce injury and fatality in transportation. just as we look at things for younger drivers -- passenger restrictions, nighttime restrictions, and also limiting
cell phone use or things like that for young drivers -- we wanted to look on the other end of the spectrum to see what we can do for older drivers. how do we make crashes.net may be minor crashes and -- how do we make crashes that may be minor crashes not so serious for older drivers? host: take note of how we are doing the phone lines, under 70 or older than 70. we are taking a look at whether your state has provisions for older drivers and whether or not you think that is appropriate. but we would like to know what you think. one interesting point, italy is looking at taking drivers licenses away from all drivers
over 80. any reaction to that? guest: i do not think we heard any data or science from the medical community, the licensing community, or the aging experts to support something like that. just as no two 17-year-old or two 42-year-old to have the same driving skill set, we do not want to make a blanket statement on the most experienced drivers on the road. but there are medical conditions, such as dementia and other things, that do not begin to degrade -- that do begin to degrade and we want to be sure to assess those things properly. host: first up is from new york. you are on the air. caller: i want to thank you for what you have been doing. i have been watching your
hearings on c-span this week. they are very informative. this is somewhat of a separate issue, but it is nice to see women discussing and negotiating and taking a look at something in a very rarified way. i am in my early 60's. my mom is in her late 80's. she just took up residency in florida. voluntarily, and i might add, very painfully, she got her license and her car. it took all her independence away, but two things that are very important. her comment when she moved down was if you could read the big "e"they were going to give people licenses. her doctor said she should not be driving, but as long as she was familiar with where she was going, that would be ok.
that a doctor could be able to take her license, i think that is not a bad place. and a couple of places, aventura specifically, they have put a huge amount of buses to cycle through the neighborhoods. it is very expensive. -- it is very inexpensive. i find that this enabling my mother to do things independently. host: this was something your mother did voluntarily or did you have to have a family conversation? caller: a little bit of both. and ultimately, we talked to my mom about it. we protested about her doctors and responses to her eye exams. my dad is now passed away from alzheimer's and that was also tricky. ultimately, she did it herself.
we did have conversations. she would push back and when we finally gave our opinions, gave the data that we understood and backed off, she responded well and truly and on her own. host: thank you, then. the role of city planners and providing alternatives for older drivers in particular? guest: something that is a huge problem nationwide, particularly in rural areas. if you are incredibly dependent on being able to drive and you give up the keys, you give up your mobility in many cases. this is a real problem that society has to address. you have got to have options for older drivers you cannot just -- options for older drivers. you cannot just say you cannot drive anymore.
one of our panel members said that it is like an them under house arrest. older americans and baby boomers, they our planners. they plan for what is coming next. if anything, this debate should foster people thinking about what are their options as they age. for his mother in her community, that there is still a lot of mobility and a provision for that, that is what people need. the caller raised some great point. at one of the things that i thought was really important was, i do not know if he is still on the line -- host: he is not. guest: the issue with alzheimer's and dementia, that is very important. i was curious how that might have felt about giving up mobility. his mom actually volunteered to give up her license. one very interesting thing we
heard from our panel is that women are much more likely to prematurely cease driving than men. it was really hard to get the men to voluntarily give up their license. but we found that many women were giving up their licenses sooner than they needed to. they still had some writing years left, but they might have been told they are not a good driver -- they still had some good writing years left, but they might have been told they are not a good driver. host: melrose, mass., jim is 70 +. you are on. caller: good morning. thank you for c-span. you provide a terrific forum. host: thank you, sir. caller: my comments are based on my experience as a volunteer driver. not long ago, c-span had a panel on this subject and the ntsb did
a beautiful job of and lightning me on these aspects. they touched on volunteerism, but perhaps i can have my own experience. i am a volunteer driver. i think a lot of people should know that many of these tasks are not compensated. the social security is an important part of my income. i might save a parking received at a hospital, typically, and i might put it in at the end of the month if needed. it is a great job, so does become law because i need fascinating people. -- so to speak, because i need fascinating people. -- i meet fascinating people. receptionist are the key. there the first people you need. they are very kind to the patients and they are very
helpful to me when i say, can you give me an estimate as to how long the visit will take, and always they give me good information. host: let me ask you a question so we can stay with the subject of driving. what organization do you volunteer with? is it a hospital? caller: it is "friendship works ," and interdenominational group. all someone has to do is call and they have a driver. and let me thank jacqueline, the coordinator. she makes it easy for me. host: thanks for sharing your experience. what did you learn about volunteer groups in communities and the role they play? guest: 1 tremendous aspect is groups like this that provide these services because whether it is due to a medical condition or a lack of an ability to
drive, they are providing a service for people to get around. we know that there are a lot of senior organizations, senior centers, aaa, aarp, and they are helping people drive longer. they're doing assessment, making sure the car fixed them well, making for the seats are adjusted properly and the mirrors are working well, making sure the seat belt is comfortable. it is small things, but sometimes it makes it easier for people to continue driving longer. certainly, volunteerism and the that driversrifices lik like the caller is making, they are helping the community. we are concerned with helping more drivers to our meeting these services, as a society, we have to figure out how to handle them. host: right now there are 32 million drivers over 70 and by 2030, 57 million.
that might strike some as a business opportunity. i'm wondering about perovo of private business and developing products that can be retrofitted -- i'm wondering about private business and developing products that can be retrofitted to make driving safer. guest: as people have challenges with mobility, whether it is getting in and out of the car comfortably, being able to adjust the seat as well, there will be cars that help people to do that. making sure that you fit in your car well or that if it's you. but the good news is that we have had great advances with respect to survivability in regards to air bags, crash cages with more for give ability. one of the things we have not seen is being transferred to all drivers. the car is designed for the average male. when we look at the design mechanisms for older drivers, we
see the younger drivers have largely fatal head injuries. but for older drivers is a drastic injuries, injuries in the chest area -- thoracic injuries, injuries in the chest area. those injuries are not always fatal, but they can sometimes be. we saw an inflatable seat belt but actually spread the crash forced over more services of the body. those can help older drivers, but they can also help all drivers. host: we are talking with deborah hersman, the chairman of the national transportation safety board. robin, go ahead. caller: i have to make this quick because i have to drive to work. this really bothers me -- host: robin, are you still there? oh, it just disconnected. i apologize, robyn.
here is a tweet. i'm wondering with all the reading we are doing on fiscal stress over states and counties and localities, what is being cut back? guest: of the things that the panelists have been able to share with us during our forms is that the majority of the drivers, only about 1% take advantage of the services offered. and the cost of the services is very high for the minister of these providing them. in one case in a florida municipality, it was about 12% of their entire budget. it can be a very expensive. we want to be sure that these services are provided and they are provided effectively and that people who need them, get them. host: john, you are on the air.
caller: there is a divide between us and who have cars and those who do not. they have these caged airport vance that come and take two or three people here or there. i commend the volunteer driver, but that was contributed by a religious group. the other option is cabs. i think having a local shared vehicle, having a small, accessible the electric vehicle, there are plenty of drivers that would be willing to volunteer drivedriving people here or the. one problem with senior drivers
is that they do not realize other people may be in a hurry and they may stay in the left lane and caused traffic tieups because they do not dry fast enough. thank you. host: thank you very much. guest: that is one of the issues that we talked about, the way older drivers drive compared to younger drivers. guest: going back to your comment about a business opportunity, i think there are actually things called as a cars and there are bicycles around washington where people can buy access to them. i think your caller is right, there are people that will still want access to a car and are still good drivers, but they do not need one all the time.
and it can be a financial challenge for them. there is an opera -- a business opportunity as far as that goes. host: here is pamela, under 70. caller: my mother has been driving a car for a long time. she is 91 years old and she has had no wrecks in her life. she still drives every day. and she still drives to see me every day in lexington, ky. i happen to know some statistics and i have watched a lot of the c-span coverage. in my experience, has been 30 to 35 to 40 year-old women who have not been paying attention when they are driving. because of the wrecks that i have been involved in setting is still -- sitting still at a red light, and i get rear ended by a woman multitasking on her cellphone.
i think older drivers do not have a problem with multitasking and they are much more courteous people. i think people are wanting to get them off the road and hide them in a cave somewhere. i think public transportation is not dependable. either you have to give a week's notice to go somewhere and then you have to pay for it and give all your private information or for them to establish how much it costs. and when i watched the ntsb on c-span, i was shocked that there were so many people. and after watching several hours of it i thought, gosh, and my busy body like that, too? -- m i a busy body like that, too? this is not very professional. you get to an age where people should be this is -- should be respecting you, do not let them
take your wheels on from under you. ... it had a very creepy aspect to it -- i thought it had a very creepy aspect to it. i am not supposed to use a sea of oil because of my highest because it'll probably kill me. -- a seat belt because of my height because it'll probably kill me. host: let me ask you about your mother. derouchie drive -- we are not willing to learn because she hung up -- does she drive -- we are not going to learn because she hung up. would you like to comment about older drivers? guest: i think it is a concern for all of us because we're all going to be older drivers if we are looking to learn -- to live long enough. -- if we are lucky to live long
enough. the really important thing is for you to know your limits and for you to work with your doctor, your family, and the licensing community to be sure that you know when the best time to start writing is. it is an individual decision. her mom may be a fine driver and 90, but there may be other drivers, as you mentioned. it is really not a dependent. they may not be doing -- it is really not caged-dependent. they may not be doing a good job. people may be focusing on other things while they have the task of driving right in front of them. we lost 33,000 people on our highways last year. we had these centers for disease control at our hearing this week because this is almost like an epidemic. we lose more people on our
roadways then we do almost anything else. and we need to figure out how to do better in this area. host: and with the statistic that accidents are declining, help me understand. guest: the good news is that accidents are declining, but the bad news is that the numbers are so high that even when they declined they are still very high. last year we lost over 33,000 people on the highways. if we lost the number of people in the airplane accidents, we would be losing an airplane every day. the american public would simply not tolerate that. but somehow we accept these deaths on the highway because they occur 1 and 2 at a time. host: this of you were on twitter is looking to the future. you have probably seen the things on google where they're working on a self driving cars.
guest: one of the things that we do know in all modes of transportation is that technology can help us. it many years ago we thought that by the year 2000 we would be in driver-less cars like the jets in or something. but that has not happened. ons ore the jets something. but that has not happened. but the ability for a car to sense that you are in an accident and deploy the air bag, that has saved thousands of lives. when we look at intelligent transportation systems, we actually have systems available right now that can detect stop traffic at view, collision avoidance systems that can give the driver a warning. this is the kind of technology that can give older drivers more time to make a decision, react,
and then give all drivers a better chance of surviving an accident. host: the next telephone call from georgia. this is jeff. jeff is under 70? caller: yes, i am. host: you are on the air. caller: i am concerned -- i'm calling considering age drivers. my mother happens to be one. we lived south of the atlanta in a suburb that does not have much public transportation availability. the solutions that might could be considered in the area that the lady is speaking about, as we have lain for multiple people to drive on the highway as opposed to a single driver in an automobile. there is another issue. they do not look at the concept that many older drivers, some are on heavy narcotics medications and some are not.
those are the ones we see writing down the road for 30 miles with their left hand and koran. -- with their left hand blinker on. we may need to look at the idea in the public as far as heavy community traffic in atlanta of creating lanes that can help the elderly manipulate themselves without being hazard. host: thanks very much. have you had a talk about older drivers and prescription medicine? guest: polley pharma has had multiple -- multiple prescriptions has a heavy impact on drivers. we need the medical community and promises to be able to help people understand what affects their medication might have on them, not just for older drivers. this is for all drivers.
but we do have people with age- related conditions and that increases the likelihood thathey beyond additional medication. but with respect to navigating a contestant -- congested area, the ntsb invested in an accident of a baseball team that was traveling down to a tournament in atlanta and they have an accident. at one of the reasons i had the accident is that these on edge on the road where was not good. the driver of the bus thought he was putting off on a left-hand thru lane and it turns out to be an exit lane. as he approached the intersection he was not able to stop. he went over the overpass onto the highway below. one of the things that we looked at in the investigation was the signage on the roadway. i know all must live in the
washington area, sometimes there can be real challenges on the beltway and with signage. i think every community is like this. if you are familiar with the area, then you know which way to go, but if you are not then you need good signage. as a society, we've got to do better. host: california, are you 70 +? caller: low 70, thank you very much. -- below 70, thank you very much. debora said that the crash rate for seniors has gone down and they did not quite know why. in my case, i do not get on the major highways anymore. i have lost my nerve. i asked one of my family members to take me. and i say of the road at night. i go to the store and buy, to the post office and back.
i'm not doing as much driving. before i recorded -- before i had a tour bus company and about 25% of my clientele were seniors. some of these people had nice new cars, but they went on the bus. i knew there was some stigma, especially among the men that were getting on the bus. i took that stigma out of them. i told them, look how much money you are saving. i made it a lot of fun on the bus for them to go on. i think, probably, that is one reason the crash rate has gone down. they are finding other ways to travel, especially to distant places. the volunteer driver, that worked for the church, i
believe, or something, he has to be a little bit cautious because if he would tell his insurance that he is picking up people and taking them to and fro, his insurance rates could most likely go up. thank you for taking my call. guest: the caller raised some great point. these are a lot of things that came out in our discussions. older drivers are the most experienced drivers. they tend to be safer drivers. but what the caller talked about is something not unfamiliar. the self select. they determine where they feel comfortable driving and they actually do to limit their own driving. but there are some things that can improve their ability to drive. for example, when the driver talked about not driving at night because she had difficulty seeing, or limiting the driving that she did, we know that older
drivers may have cataracts. you can get cataract surgery that can greatly improve your vision and visibility. i speak a little bit from personal experience because my mother just had cataract surgery and she said it was a tremendous change. she can actually see the leaves on the trees once again. perhaps an important thing for drivers is to get medical assistance in what they're challenges are. -- in what their challenges are. when we see those numbers going down, it may be because beforthe making other decisions or they have other options available to them. but the good news is that it is going down. the one statistic that they shared with us that i thought was particularly interesting is that people who tend to drive more have fewer accidents. do not like you're driving
skills get rusty is the thing to take away from this -- do not let your driving skills get rusty, is the thing to take away from this. this is kind of a message to our older female drivers. be careful about always being the passenger in any car that you are writing in. -- riding in. if you have good writing skills, you need to keep those up. they are not sure why 3,000 miles is the right number, but they did see the accident rate go down when you drove at least 3,000 miles per year. be sure you do not let yourself too much and keep those driving skills up. -- be sure you do not limit yourself too much and keep the writing skills up. host: where are the best driving standards based on best
practices and some of these different provisions? guest: safety board is not have any regulatory authority. we just make recommendations. the potential outcome of our form is that we can make recommendations. host: and that goes to the department of transportation? guest: we can make them to anyone that we think might actually benefit. when we look at an accident, whether it is an airplane or a train or involving a personal vehicle, we look at the human, the machine and the environment. there could be changes made to the assessments on medical issues. there could be changes made to the design of vehicles to make those crashes more survivable. how it could be changes to the environment, the roadways, signage. we know that older drivers have challenges making left turns, estimating how quickly the oncoming cars approaching, etc.
if there could be design issues, may be putting at some roundabouts in communities so that people are always moving to the right and traffic is slowing down. there are a lot of possibilities. and i think an important thing is the rising tide with all of those. what is good for older drivers is probably going to help all of us. host: they raise the issue of how -- using gps always making returns? guest: there is the issue of how technology can affect things. someone suggested a safest route to help people stay off roadways that might be more challenging for them. host: john, you're on the air. good morning. caller: thank you for taking my call. host: certainly. caller: i wanted to relate an
experience that happened to me. i'm only 58. the gentleman that call from georgia brought up the idea of people on medication who drive and how that is handled. but what happened to me -- i spent 20 years in the army and i was diagnosed with ptsd, still on active duty. and they treated me with medication. i could still drive. it did not affect my riding. -- my driving. two years ago i moved back here to maryland to take care of my father. once he went into assisted living. i did not drive that much, but one day i was driving and i blacked out. and i ran into the back of a
parked car, luckily. both my psychiatrist and a regular doctor that prescribed me medication did not say anything before that, that i should not drive. but i knew enough because i was on pain medication. when i took the pain medication i would not drive. host: john, what is the lesson of the story? caller: did they have any type of -- when you go to renew a license or whaver, are there questions or a form that asks you if your on a particular medication, and how does it affect you? host: klutzy -- klutzy. guest: that is a good question and it raises the question of
how the licensing agencies handle medical conditions regardless of age. and have the veterans day belatedly to you. -- how deep veterans day belatedly to you. hawes i think it goes to how the medical industry -- i think it goes to how the medical industry reports this. i suspect that when you clocked out it cross your caregivers some concerned and that may cause these of a licensing agency to be involved because they will know about that accident. but in many cases it is not about locking out, but making sure that doctors -- blacking out. but it is making sure that doctors and patients have the
conversation about medications. one thing that has been brought up is whether there should be a list the so that people know that they could be impaired while driving, just as people can be impaired on illegal drugs oor on alcohol. host: here is a tweet. call.take our last manchester, new hampshire. and this is donald on the under 70 line. caller: just a couple of comments. about five years ago i had an aunt and a couple of years ago everyone made it about how he could not see driving.
he was writing off to the grocery store and he crossed the median and he killed someone. obviously, he did not see any direct -- any jail time, but they took his license. i try to be patient because i know they are elderly, but how many times do you have impatient drivers who try to pass and that causes of accidents, too? in my opinion, it is just as bad as a dui for some of these people. guest: i think the caller raises a very tragic point. we do not want anyone to be in a situation when they are driving where they should not be and when they are not comfortable. just as we do not want anyone driving while they are drawn or texting or on their cell phone while driving. -- drunks or texting or on the