tv Washington Journal CSPAN November 19, 2010 7:00am-10:00am EST
on presidential powers and what president obama can do to advance his agenda. later, kaiser health news discusses the challahs that states face if they drop out of the state federal medicaid program. this is "washington -- "washington journal." host: good morning, it is friday november 18. the president is up on capitol hill as the transition continues for members of congress. in lottery continues today and for members of the office of congress. as we begin this morning, we will talk about the health at
the panel and their decision yesterday to back a center for a 40-year member of congress, charlie rangel of new york. it would provide to talk about what you think about that. -- we would like to talk about what you think about that. we will show you a clip from yesterday's health at the committee meeting. the numbers are on your screen. charlie rangel's request -- the request for center by the house ethics committee was all over the newspapers. you can take a look at some of the headlines. for those of you that have not seen it, we will show you remarks that mr. rangel made to the ethics committee before they've -- before they decided
community and to the country. host: the panel decided it would take the middle of three options, one would be expulsion, the biggest penalty. the lettuce would be a reprimand and a center would require -- the latest cut would record -- would be a reprimand and a censure is the recommendation. it is rarely used. the panel has been in its current form for about 43 years and it has been since 1983 since a member of congress, gary studds of massachusetts, was censured by the house of representatives. the "daily news" has been following this case for the last two years. the headline on that is "shame on charlie."
was it fair to say that he was notified by the new ethics committee? guest: i think it is fair to say that. when he left to go back to his office and he had returned from the final plea where he finally did offer an apology to the committee, he came back to his office and is usually charlie's -- excuse me, mr. rangel. i slipped into calling him charlie. he is very forthcoming with the people he has known for a long time. he mentioned we will see what happens with censure. i do not think he ever thought it would come to that. he appeared downcast and he threw open the doors to his
office and disappeared behind the doors. his anxious staff was waiting for him. he shouted out as usual like the old charlie, you know, ok, again, let's go, like, what else is here and was on my plate. i still think he did not think it would come to center. then he went back to the committee and there was -- come to a censure. then he went back to the committee and there was the verdict. then he disappeared. and roger p. is in his apartment here or cut -- i'm not sure if he is in his apartment here or back at home. host: he won 80% of the vote in his district. >> yakima 80%.
the real election -- yeah, 80%. the real election was the primary. that was a little bit closer. was something like 60%. -- charlie's margin was something like 60%. back home, he is an art -- an icon. if he chooses to stay in the house, the puzzle in new york right now is -- i do not think that whatever the opinion of turley around the country, he still has strong backing back home -- of charlie around the country, he still has strong backing at home. what remains to be seen is whether he will submit to this.
as i understand it in talking to some of the house s is that he has to be march by the sergeant of arms into the well of the house and speaker pelosi has to file formal since charges against him. and then she has to use at some point in whatever she says, she would have to use the word "in flint," this punishment is being inflicted upon you -- use the inflict,"this punishment is being inflicted upon you. it is unclear whether he will stay.
host: business as usual, more or less, after a process like this. guest: pretty much. all of his seniority and his clout is gone. he lost the chairmanship of the ways and means committee. dow was a blow. the feeling on the part of the people -- that was a blow. the feeling on the part of the people around him is that it would short circuit whatever was happening with the committee, that he lost his chairmanship. that was really a big deal in this process. when it came to a censure, i think it came as a shock. host: last question for you. do you know anything about his finances? he walked out of a previous hearing having to spend $2 million on legal defenses so
far. few know -- having to pay back taxes, do you know what his financial situation is? guest: the actual amount he will have to pay back i think is still up in the air. as we understand it, there are taxes concerning the villa, the beach front property had in the dominican republic. i think echoes back 10 years. and i believe he has paid five years. -- that goes back 10 years. and i believe he has paid five years. as far as charlie's personal worth, it is not much compared to some members. he is not what would be considered in some circles a rich man. host: thank you for giving us a
local sense of this story. he is one of the longest serving members. we appreciate you joining us, richard sisk, by phone. we can read your column in the "daily news." guest: thank you, susan. host: we want to give you some background on this. here is an article from the post. let's begin with a call from
pittsburgh. republican line, you're on the air. ♪ i hope this is the first in a long line in getting rid of -- caller: i hope this is the first in a long line of getting rid of unethical people in washington. host: ok. next caller from new york. caller: like many members of congress, he is ollie go. now they are making $160,000 or more per year in salary. why isn't it enough? because they see other lobbyists coming through who are making millions. only in the united states can rich people to recruit for people and middle class for people to rally and support for tax cuts for the rich people.
that is my comment. where is the tea party when it comes to tax cuts for the rich? the tea party is full of poor people and middle class people and they are arguing in a -- in favor of tax cuts for the rich. host: manhattan, democrats -- that was mike in manhattan. democrats in baltimore, you are on the air. caller: is it possible to always have two guests with two different opinions, as opposed to having someone just like to us all the time? host: who lied to you? caller: it would be nice to have guessed with two different opinions most of the time. host: thank you for your comment on the program. your comment on charlie rangel? caller: nobody is discussing all
of the foreclosures in harlem. i live in harlem and -- i live in new york and they are not discussing it. they do not get it. that is what is going on. person treats in,icl this reminds me of the clinton which cut -- which hunt. good morning, on the republican line. caller: i think charlie rangel got off easily because if you or i had done something like this, not paid taxes, and the -- undisclosed funds, all kinds of things, we would probably go to jail. the we would at least be fired from our own company.
we would have run our own company. in this case, he is robbing the taxpayers. -- we would have robbed our own company. in this case, he is robbing the taxpayers. i think he is really getting off -- he can still be a congressman and still have his job. host: nancy from colorado. if the committee vote was not unanimous. it was 9-1. the ethics committee votes are not public, but one member of the committee, and thank butterfield of north carolina, of course, a democrat, called extreme and said such punishment should be reserved for cases involving corruption. let me tell you about other house members over the years to have had a reprimand of fair punishment from the ethics
over the prior eight years before obama got his office -- what did you say? host: i'm listening. caller: we have all this going on. we have two wars and we have all these people ripping us off. we have the contractors in iraq ripping us off. all the rich people with this country off. -- rep this country off. -- rip this country off. they ran this country into the ground, the rich people did. and of poor people have nothing. obama, i voted for him, but he
has not done anything except give poor people to under $50. -- $250. host: this is mike, a republican, good morning. caller: number one, thank you for c-span. secondly, it is ironic that we were tried -- we would try prisoners from gtmo and get congressman are above the law. it is mind-boggling that they can get away with that. and they are not tried by a jury of tir peers as people, but as congressman. and the third, and in the last few days people have been criticizing the tea party and
the new members of congress. and because of what they're doing they may have difficulty getting reelected or sustaining a career. i think a lot of people just do not get it. a lot of the newly elected people are not there to build a career. they are there to clean up the mess and at least have a job in the public sector. host: here is a tweet -- e next telephone call is from highland park, new york. joe, what is your reaction? caller: i do not know why he is charged on ethics charges. this is not chewing gum in school. these are not ethics violations. al capone went to jail for tax .vasion spiri he retried -- he should be
tried. not slept on the wrist. -- not slapped on the wrist. host: it will move to a floor vote after thanksgiving holiday. you are on the air, caller. caller: timothy geithner did not pay taxes. the only reason we are in the shape we're in is that our news media, including c-span, is not worth two dead flies. host: all right. this is indiana, go ahead. caller: i guess i have some comments that relate to basically, what everyone else has been saying, but i would like to add one more comment to what is being said and that is,
what is happening to mr. rangel is a systemic of what permeates our of our government, and especially congress, that is, too much power is given to be elected officials. they can stay and stay and stay and it becomes an avenue for them to receive special favors in their own mind that i think they feel entitled to. i wish there could be some kind of new legislation, perhaps, that could be more limiting to what congressman can do in office. host: for the caller that complained about the news media, the "new york times" remind us of the history of the investigation.
and a little bit of color in this story at the end, the committee announced just before 6:00 p.m. a weary mr. renfroe walked out of the room, declining to speak to the swarm of reporters that chased after him. then one woman in the crowd called out to him, god go with you, and he said thank you. host: next call from georgia. caller: people need to realize that mr. rangel is 80 years old. you have to understand that he
is coming from a generation where people -- the majority of people did not pay taxes. fred sanford he did not pay taxes and they took everything and he died sure they after that. these congress people look at it like you have all of us coming over that are tax-exempt and it is like they are doing as a service. like the one caller said, it is a systemic situation and it is not just him that has dirty hands. host: here is a tweet. the next call is from birmingham, alabama, kay, co- head.
turn down the volume on your tv and go ahead. caller: i am delighted to be on the program with you. my thing is that we need to have compassion for people and forgiveness for people that serve our country. also, i'm not here to judge, because i think we need -- but i think we need to find the heart to forgive him and give him a second chance because we all deserve a second chance in life. i appreciate your time. and thank you for allowing me to speak. my heart goes up to everybody that is trying to ride, even though we make mistakes. and i am a pastor -- my heart
goes on to everybody that is trying to do right, even though we make mistakes. and i am a pastor. host: here is from the "new york post" this morning. next is gainesville, florida. republican, you're on the air. you cut your tv volume of. please turn it down. i'm going to have to move on. pennsylvania, john, independent line, you are on. caller: thank you for letting me chime in. what is interesting about this whole center issue is that you have a very powerful committee chairman dealing with taxes and he is simply getting a censure for evading taxes.
then you have the trafficking guy from a few years ago, i think he was basically doing the same thing. he had won tax evasion and he got kicked out of congress. who have two similar situations, one, who is a party guy, charlie rangel and the other guy who gets kicked out of congress. rankle to just get a center. i think the people need to -- charlie rangel just gets a century. by the people need to realize how hypocritical that is. hos ... that was back in the year 2002. next is a call from puerto rico.
good morning to you. caller: i worked in the congress in 1995. i'm a dot congressman rangel. -- i met congressman rangel. i admired his authority and the way he conducted himself with such intelligence. i always admired him because he was such a proper man. he has been 27 years in the u.s. congress. he has done very good things for manhattan, for new york. but also, i believe that does not allow him to erase what he has done and he should resign with dignity. with all due respect, he is an old man and he should think about his own people, his own
family, and he should be insisting on being part of something -- he should not be insisting on being a part of something that he has ruined. nobody told him to not pay the taxes. he is a very intelligent man and i do not think he should be debated as corrupt. i do not think he is correct. -- i do not think he is corrupt. it was something he thought he could get away with and he got caught. he should apologize and resigned. a lot of people love this guy and he is an actual human being. but nevertheless, no man is above the law.
taney vixen also writes on twitter -- next is a call from florida, republican. caller: could morning. i appreciate c-span very much. as a quick aside, fox cable recently took it c-span2 off the air in my area. i did call and complain. host: thank you for following up. did you-did they move it to the digital? caller: yes. host: a big digital transmission going on in the country. lots of folks are finding that c-span2 is moving up to digital service. but the -- thank you for
following up. host: yes, ma'am. as to charlie rangel, i am a conservative. i was delighted with the election results. but i followed mr. rangel for many years. i'm aware that he served in the korean conflict. he was awarded the bronze medal the purple heart. he is a character. i seldom agree with him, but i have always liked the guy, for some reason. it is clear that he made mistakes that need to be addressed and corrected and i think the house ethics committee was correct in censuring him. he is one of the liberal democrats who has the courage to appear on fox news. and although, a host -- the host
disagrees with him most of the time, i can tell that they like the guy, and that is the way i feel about him. i hope he straightens this mess out and continues to serve as long as he wants. i think he has had an outstanding of currier and it is unfortunate -- an outstanding career and it is unfortunate it has ended with these ethics violations. but i hope the guy stays in there. there is just something about him i like. host: charlie rangel has been on this network for many times. seeingre interested in any of it, it is available on c- span video library. but take a look at newspapers around the country. the "detroit free press" not surprising, "welcome back, gm." the "houston chronicle" hisd
debates easing path to next grade. and in the times picayune, feinberg reveals a new set of payments. tuesday marks a critical moment in the gulf oil spill claims. calls and theno we will see more headlines around the country. next is a call from mississippi, ron on the independent line. caller: good morning. and charlie rangel is just the tip of the iceberg. this is what happens when you let people stay in power too long and they keep collecting millions and millions of dollars
for reelection. a persian should not be allowed to collect more money for reelection -- a persiaperson shd not be allowed to collect more money for reelection than they make as a seller. down here in mississippi we have a governor that is just as goofy as he is. i wish people would wake up and just start cleaning up the country. this goes all the way down to state and local governments. host: and this is a comment from pat in new hampshire by e-mail. next call frometroit and this is clarice, a democrat. caller: i am sitting here and i'm in tears. i'm ashamed of these proceedings about -- without mr. rangel having had legal counsel. he should have had that and they should have postponed it to give
him that. and shame on his attorneys who dumped him at the last minute. this should not have proceeded and gone to this extent without him having a representative there with him. it is not justice. host: james in arkansas, a different point of view. the ethics committee in the congress yesterday voting to recommend censure for mr. rangel. you can find it on our web site if you have not heard the details. how next is holley, a republican, go ahead, please. caller: thank you. i appreciate c-span. i was up early. i was watching it and i was like, o, i can't believe it.
and i think he should be expelled. why are they keeping these individuals who are holding high title in office? it is beyond me. i used to be in state government. i was sick every day when i came home. it is everywhere, all over the place. america, wake up. i'm just irritated, i'm sorry. host: that is okay. and we are here to listen to opinions. we appreciate your call this morning. next is newington, conn., this is rick on the independent line. caller: good morning. i would like to plug something, if you do not mind. a lot of the things that the
callers are talking about this morning are covered in a 17,000 word and say that i wrote that can be found under the liberals barred section. and it also talks about c-span, a copy of which i e-mail to you. i would like to talk to the gentleman who talked of our two guests on the "washington journal" after i make my comment about mr. rangel. host: a cake, you've got to make it quick. caller: proletariats like myself abide by the standard that ignorance is no excuse for the law. if the irs tells me how to do something and i'd do it and it is wrong, and the committee that oversees all of this, i know that he did not pay taxes for
something like 13 years. i'm surprised that he just got a center. as far as the issue of having watching c-, have been span and it is not the c-span of old. the c-span of gold would have two differing opinions to battle it out, both extremes of the issue so that viewers can get an equal representation. host: i'm sorry to tell you, but your memory of this is just a little off. i have been doing call-in shows here for almost 28 years and we have almost always had a single guest. occasionally, two, but almost always a single guest with the idea that callers can talk directly with them. if we have two guests, we sacrifice the voices from the public, and that is what we are trying to do. next call from new portland --
newport, virginia, like linda, you're on. lasard, i pushed the wrong button. .his is margaret ti caller: i'm a democrat and i'm trying to tell you that i think people should pay taxes and he is old enough to know better. there is something that gets me. it is not a journey which -- charlie rangel. it is the idea that it is pervasive in the country. what people do not, think about -- what people do not to think about is that any time someone goes into public service, there is more money spent them more money gained. -- ban more money gained. -- there's more money spent then
gained. he is going to have to pay it back and he said he would, but it is not going to make that much. and yes, i do agree that if there is some wrongdoing, they better get it straightened out. that is all i have to say about this. public service is just that. host: margaret from michigan. back to the newspapers, the "los angeles times" lead story today talks with our turning redistricting over to a panel.
the miami herald profiles on that front -- on its front page new members of congress. we are talking about congressman rangel and the decision by the ethics committee to recommend that the full house censure him. next call is from virginia, newport news. caller: i was wondering if the internal revenue service was actually going to look at his
filed returns, because i think that is their position, that is what they should do as a financial institution. secondly, there was a report filed yesterday about the financial status of our elected officials. it is astonishing how many y our houses occupie and senate. the gentleman on the phone a while ago mentioned that mr. rangel is not generally thought about as a wealthy man. another thing i want to mention is that the american people have the power to change the rules and regulations. and we can do referendums. this is one of our powers guaranteed in the constitution. thanks for taking my call on c- span. you are doing a wonderful job and you do represent all the
points of view beautifully. host: thanks for watching from virginia. here is a tweet. the next call is from cleveland independent. caller: he is the only tip of the iceberg and he ought to be going to jail for a couple of years to think about it. they need to straighten it up because probably 95% of congress is crooked. they do not want to have to step into his shoes one day, so that is why they are being so lenient. he is just getting a slap on the hand. i have nothing against the guy, even though he is a democrat, but he knew better. and they all do.
call this morning. i just want to say something. i am an immigrant from liberia and i have been in this country since 1985. i admire the united states. even right now, [unintelligible] talking about liberia trying to extinguish corruption and they gave money to the president. that is one of the problems. and the united states, they speak to other leaders about corruption because we admire this country.
look at charlie rangel. he is a representative and he is facing trial. other countries will not even do it. there is no justice. for may, i think he knew better. how -- for me, i think he knew better. he should resign. we appreciate his service, but ourcannot compromise accor constitution. host: thank you so much, the last four as a about our discussion about charlie rangel. we have a reporter on the phone and have had a number of questions from callers asking about the status in texas of the tom delay trial. r.g. radcliffe is a political writer for the houston chronicle.
yesterday, the defense rested in that case. mr. radcliffe, tell us about the charges and how it has been going so far. guest: the trial has rocked back and forth. most of the testimony has come from the prosecution, which is trying to make the case that when tom delay's political committee traded $190,000 in corporate money with the republican national committee in 2002, it was essentially money laundering to get around a texas ban on using corporate money in canada elections -- candidate elections. his side of the case has basically been to show that he had nothing to do with the day- to-day operations of the
political committee called "texans for a republican majority" and even if he did, this money laundering -- well, i say money laundering. the trade of money was legal because it was corporate money that could be raised legally, corporate money that could legally go to the rnc, and it was legal individual money that came back to the candidates in texas. the jury in this case has been very attentive and very hard to read. it is really difficult to tell whether or not they have been buying either side of the case. but they are very interested in what, essentially, is a very complex, white-collar case. we will have closing arguments on monday and i assume it will go to the jury on monday the jury did not hear directly from tom delay. he never took the witness stand.
however, after the trial was over yesterday, he was saying the prosecution allowed him to testify without taking the stand because they played an extensive telephone intervi he did in 2005 from with chris wallace -- in 2005 with chris wallace. the prosecution played the tape because they wanted to shore up the tape they had of an interview they have done with tom delay where he said essentially that he knew about this money is what in advance. host: and the judge in this case? guest: the judges a retired visiting judge named pat priest and he has been stirring in the courtroom and has more than once admonish lawyers from both sides. could it not want to hear any politics in the case. he wanted it to be as purely as possible about whether or not
this amounted to money- laundering under texas law. host: if this goes to the jury on monday, we are right into thanksgiving week. they will likely take a break for the holiday? guest: well -- in-line ho-- two of the jurors told the judge they could rearrange vacation plans and one said he needs to be gone at the end of the week. this is not something they will have to ponder a long time. the jury is either or to come back with a verdict one way or another relatively quickly or they are going to be hung up. i expect we will know monday night or tuesday what they have decided.
host: r.g. radcliffe has been following the trial for the "houston chronicle." thank you for the update and we look forward to a decision by the jury in that case. we are returning to the discussion of two members -- from a discussion of ethics conflict to jim nussle. thanks for being here this morning. guest: great to be with you. host: let's start with the leadership team and the approach you take in assembling this congress. guest: the first thing i have noticed is that they know what we -- they know what they're doing. if we did not. in 1984 in the same context, we have not been in control of
congress in 40 years. no one knew what a transition was like. no one knew what it was like to be speaker of the house or of a committee. john vader was a committee chairman himself -- john boehner was a committee chairman himself. i think there is a difference in the new majority that is coming in for the next congress than there was when we were there. we were never truly in charge of the place in 40 years. host: which is your job? guest: my jaw, if i have a job, is to be a counselor, i guess. i came in and gave advice to people who probably did not need much advice from me about some of the things that i saw as pitfalls that they may want to look for. challenges we face that maybe they may face in a much different way, and then some
basic advice that they might want to think about, given the opportunity of a transition. there are things that you might want to do now that you probably cannot do next year or the year roster -- the year after. i was encouraging them to make some of the tough choices on committee jurisdiction, earmarks, budget process reform. things like that, which, after you get everybody in their chairs and in their seat siong and everything else is a little more challenging to do. -- in their seats and everything else is a little more challenging to do. host: one of the earlier reforms had been a tenure process, you could only serve for a certain number of years and then handed the gavel over. what is your own thinking based on your experience about the need to stay with the tenure
program that has been in place? guest: i like the program that is in place. it is really a meritocracy. it is not a seniority based system. when we took control in 1985, if you lost it long enough and you were still alive when the last german navy got beat, which was rare, you became chairman -- when the last chairman got beat, which was rare, he became chairman. instead of the next chairman getting in, we would have a race for it. it would have to show their competency on the issues of the jurisdiction that the committee would have to preside over. it gave all of us not only the ability -- i jumped three people, as an example, to become chairman of the budget committee, which was almost unheard of.
we have seen a number of recent experiences where you have had committee chair races and where it is a wide open situation. even someone like john some kids, believe is no. 4 in seniority in this situation is not only a viable candidate, but i have heard will be a potential front-runner for energy and commerce. it is an exciting process that i think is still a merit-based system, not just one that if you last long enough you get to be chairman. host: about the jurisdiction and size of the committee? guest: this is the perfect time if you're going to make changes, to make those changes. if you are going to, for instance, has been dark hastings wants to do, to take energy away from energy and commerce and put it under natural resources, if you're going to do it, i think the commerce -- the congress is
going to have to do it right now. otherwise, it during its next year will be more difficult to, -- accomplish. host: how do think the majority is aware of the electorate? guest: i think they're very aware. even the potential minority of january, everyone seems wide awake about what happened in this election. it may take different lessons from it, but this is as sensitive that congress has ever been abouthat their constituents are angry about and upset about and sending a message to washington. host: will they say it in the form of a mandate?
guest: i do not think so. i'm not sure the american people have decided what they've won yet. that would be the mandate side. i think there is -- by not sure the american people have decided what they want to get. that would be the mandate side. i think they are sure of what they do not want. the overspending and obama care and things like that. i think that has been clear. but what they do want, that has not been as clear. there will be some great debates coming up, sure. host: congressman jim nussle, what are you doing now? guest: i am president and ceo of a group called growth energy. it makes alternative energy from ethanol. the other is i have a small consulting firm.
host: our numbers are on the screen. you can call us or send us a message on twitter or e-mail. moving from structure to policy, the big decisions will be on the budget. we will be doing a series of -- we have been doing a series of the past week of a retired members. the first was from the 94th class. this incoming speaker was here during the time. and what lessons are you hearing of that experience that he is committing to the incoming class? guest: first, i do not believe -- that was a failure and hopefully we will never go down the road again. we face it because of the
failure this year of not having a tax bill, not having a spending bill passed, not having a budget for the first time since 1974 when the budget act was first passed. it is a failure. it is not so much a tactic. there are some people who think that clinton, forced a shutdown as a tactic or been -- or gingrich force a shutdown as a tactic. it really was not a tactic. i believe it was a failure. jim handling has a bill that many are supporting -- jim hands early in has a bill that many are supporting. i believe it would be a valuable reform to the budget process. host: packaging of the bill is no sure thing. guest: of course not.
and many do not like it because it takes away their leverage. we have many in the leadership that have a sort of damocles hanging over the process. it is a sort of leverage. even the white house may feel that way to an extent. i know president bush. possibly, president obama has supported this as part of reforms. i do think it is an important reform. host: what you think from the headline from yesterday's "new york times"? guest: the electoral upheaval has not yet taken full effect. meaning, the congress does not take office until january 5. in order to see change we will actually have to see the new congress. host: would you think of writing
off the congress? guest: they both have to come back to this continuing fight over the budget and taxes a feeling in golden by whatever they heard from the electorate byfeeling emboldened wherever they heard from the electorate. there is shared power. you will see that changing dynamic actually occur. host: let's get a phone call from bill in cambridge, ohio. good morning. . . pommell
from it this individual how many years he spent in congress? and specifically how much he has paid into a pension plan and how much he gets right now every year as a pension the rest of his life and healthcare he receiv receives. answer those two questions so the people out here in the midwest, who work for a living can understand how much you make off of our government. guest: happy to. first of all, i'm not a lobbyist. number two, i receive no pension. i'm 50 years old and not old enough thankfully to receive a pension although i have gotten a lot of ribbing about turning 50. that is not quite old enough to even possibly receive a pension. so i receive no pension, lifetime pension. there is no such thing as that. there was at one time, i think you are right, in years past. i served 16 years and it did not happen to me. i receive no healthcare benefits from the congress, nor did i
after i left congress. so i realize there is this culture that believes that is what happens to former representatives. it is not true. none of us receives that kind of pension or health benefits other than the cobra benefit that everyone is entitled to when they leave a job. that is the answer to those questions. host: do you accrue pension benefit that you will be able to tap later on? guest: yes, you pay into a system that is a defined contribution plan, so not even a defined benefit plan. you pay into it similar to many other jobs. that is matched by the tax pap s taxpayers, no question. but it is not something -- will is this pop belief that as soon as you leave congress you start getting it. if you are 65 i suppose you can. or beyond. but i don't, certainly, and haven't as a result of my retirement from congress. host: one benefit for former
members that others don't have is you can go to the floor of the house of representatives, correct? guest: as long as you are not a lobbyist. i have only been there twice. i went there in the president's cabinet for state of the union as an example. it is not a very friendly place these days so there is not much reason to go. host: we are talking with jim nussle, he is offering advice to the incoming members of the g . g.o.p. freshman class an leadership about the transition and moving to their majority. next is from mississippi, anita, a democrat. caller: no, i'm not a democrat. i'm just calling because it is the line i could get through. host: i'm sorry. you can't do that because you will make everybody who follows the rules so frustrated. i appreciate your being honest but you have to wait your turn. next is a phone call from waco, texas, pete, republican.
caller: good morning, jim this s is old pete from texas and you know how we are from down here. 1969 i started my own business. i have a ph.d. in chemistry. by 2005 i had nearly 800 workers and employees. this administration is killing us. their policies are job killers. every where from healthcare to promise of increase in the taxes. i don't have to watch fox news to live this nightmare. what i'm going to ask about specifically, there are many problems. we had to deal with carol browner when she was the e.p.a. director. now he is an energy czar. e.p.a. is in the state of texas is trying to kill every business we have here because of our high petrochemical and gas and oil business. my specific question to you is, can the congress go in and isolate e.p.a. and say, look, we are going to cut your budget by
80% this first year and you mess around with another state or company and we are going to cut you another 50% next year? guest: well, pete, first of all thank you for taking the risk of starting a business and hiring people and really not only living the american dream but providing it for so many others. second, yes, technically can congress do that? yes, they can. will they? it is hard to say. it is one issue we were talking earlier about this jurisdiction and exactly how the new energy committee chairman is going to handle their job. one will be oversight of e.p.a. as you said and some of those rules and regulations. the last observation i would make is there are many politicians and others who talk about how we are sending jobs overseas. i would observe that in most instances we are chasing jobs overseas and this may be one of those examples where, because of
the rules, regulations, tax system, the mandates, everything else, we often find ourselves in a situation where jobs are not being sent but, rather, being chased some place elsewhere they can do business in a more free open market kind of experience. host: this viewer asked by twitter how realistic is ensuring the bush era tax cuts while resolving the budget? guest: i think it is realistic for this reason. if you believe that raising taxes brings more revenue in to the government you will find historically that it is not as efficient as actually reforming the tax system, making it more efficient and simpler, more transparent and actually reducing overall rates. often increases economic growth and brings more revenue into the treasury. probably the best bipartisan example everyone could agree on is go back to 1997, 1998, when
clinton and the democrats and republicans under gingrich cut capital gains and we balanced the budget when we were actually reducing taxes and spending was pretty much held at about even. so, i'm not saying that is exactly what should happen now, but my view is this is not the time in our economy or history that we need to raise taxes. i think we need to rein in the size of government and spending to get this under control. host: how many new republican freshmen have you met? guest: just a couple of they are kind of cloistered for good reason. going through the orientation and learning some of the basics. this is a very interesting time to be a new member, a freshman member. you are going through so many transitions. you are going through a personal transition moving from iowa or wherever. you are trying to find your way around this amazing city.
and i know we always bash washington but it is an amazing place. then you pick staff, trying to decide what your committee assignments are going to be. and as you reported earlier today, they have a room draw where they begin the of deciding where they are going to work for the next couple of years, which is often about the size of a broom closet in some of the buildings. it is an interesting time to be a new member of congress and one i remember with a lot of fondness. host: we have a clip from john shadduck what it was like coming in and how he thought it worked. >> when republicans took the majority no one had any reason to doubt that they would do what
they said. they had not been in power 40 years. i don't know that republicans won the majority based on the contract with america or anything else of that nature. in part that was their victory but in part it was a reaction to bill clinton. this time republicans have won the majority i think largely in reaction to an overreach by you might say nancy pelosi more than president obama because it was pelosi who said no we are going to push through this healthcare bill consequences be damned. the president and raleigh imam were -- raleigh emanuel were talking about a compromise but the tea party people are expecting republicans to produce, and if they don't, if they break their word a second time i think the tea party could split off and i think that the republicans could be back out on their ear quickly and that would result in a different fate for the tea party going forward. host: what do you think?
guest: first of all, john is right. he has great experience. i was here before 1994 so i saw kind of the before and after. i would suggest this time is different than 1994 in that freshman members are coming in not only against some of the democratic things they saw back prior to 1994 but they are an antiestablishment republicans, meaning they want to prove that they are not going to be under john boehner's thumb either. there is almost a period of time where they are going to not only are to prove that they meant what they said when they voted against obama care but they have to take on the republican establishment as john said and prove that we are different, prove that republicans are not the big spenders, the earmarkers, and even some of the scandals, duke cunningham and some of those that came before.
so, he is right. it is like your mom telling you when you are growing up you have your entire lifetime to establish your reputation and you can lose it like that. we lost it in 2006. and it is going to take time for us, meaning republicans, to demonstrate to our constituents and american people that we have it back. host: this viewer wants to go back to the budget conversation and ask specifically what would you cut? guest: i love that question because i not only -- i wrote eight budgets phaoufs and together with my colleagues on the committee and on behalf of the president. i have had to put up or shut up eight different times where i actually wrote a budget. my last one we identified about $100 billion of waste, fraud, abuse, do you know indicative programs that -- duplicative
programs that i outlined and not only did president bush put them forward as specific areas you could cut but president obama actually adopted many of those same ones that he september up to this congress -- sent up to this congress and congress hasn't addressed many of them. my days of having to put up or write budgets are over, but i will take any of those and put them forward as examples of places that you could start. host: back to the conversation about the tea party newcomers wanting to demonstrate this viewer tweets so-called tea party knocked out the old republicans. who is their tea party leader? old republicans. guest: referring to john bane are? -- boehner? host: yes the challenges for him and finding consensus. guest: first of all, john boehner came in as a reformer
and still is a reformer. he came in together with me. we were part of the gang of seven which, boy, that is a throw-back. we helped pose the check bouncing scandal here in congress and it is sad to remember on a day like today with charlie rangel that the exact same thing happened to another former chair as a result of that scandal and that was dan rostenkowski. john boehner has been part of the reform movement here changing the way congress does its work, how committees operate. he was a reformer when he was chairm chairman. he lost his job in the republican leadership, i think, because of his reform agenda and attitude. so i think it would be a mistake to assume john boehner is this old republican like all the rest of them. he is about as reform minded as you will find in the old republican regime. i'm proud of the fact that he now has the opportunity to lead
by example the way we felt needed to be the leadership model when we came in back in 1990 when checks were being bounc bounced. host: fort atkinson, wisconsin, ross on the air. caller: you talk about you think the republicans got the mental, maybe even the democrats, from the people. but i will tell you until you take the money out of politics like boehner, he is on the golf course more than he is at work. and who is he with? with the lobbyist. and the money comes in. and all parties, the people are you -- i know you are not in any more but they know it is all about the money and there should be term limits so you are working for the people, not for your own best interests or re-elections. guest: first, i agree on term limits. i voted for them and i term
limited myself and believed in it for chairman. i do agree a healthy amount of churning, getting new people into the process is healthy. number two, i think you were being facetious, john boehner is not on the golf course as much as in congress. he does enjoy golf but he does have something that is a good release as opposed to some things you could get involved in. third, you are right, there is too much monday in politics. -- too much money in politics but that is saying there is too much gambling in las vegas. you have to have full disclosure and transparency. the problem many get into is when there isn't disclosure. i think charlie rangel is a good example where he failed to even repo report. these are the situations that cause most of the problems. t the fact that you know where john boehner receives
contributions and is even receiving them from what particular interest. and the interest may align with your interests, who knows? but the fact that you know that is because of some of the reforms put it. it could be even more transparent as far as i'm concerned, but you are right, there is no question there is too much money in politics. but i believe disclosure and sunshine is the best antiseptic to that, not just assuming you can get rid of money in politics. host: back to the term of service for george w. bush as director of the white house office of management and budget. here is someone who once talked policy with you. jim nussle was in the white house when this began. guest: no question about it. we had to be extremely creative working with secretary paulson to create then the tarp program, troubled asset relief program,
which, while i know has become kind of a standard of people suggesting that was the mother of all government bailouts, i don't think there's anyone now who could suggest that it didn't work and that it didn't -- it not only wasn't -- even though it was imperfect, a good policy that came in at a time when that kind of creative policy was needed. and the proof is in the pudding. it not only did work but it is being paid back and it may be paid back nearly in full, which is a testament to the creativity at the time. so, there is no question it was a very challenging time to be in the white house. i believe president bush, as he stated in his book and he stated on the stump recently as he has been out talking about his book, believes that they were the best decisions given the information that he had at the time and i would agree, even though they were not my philosophical bent
either. i didn't have a better alternative that i knew would keep us from going over the cliff at the time. host: call from indiana next kathy, democrat. caller: good morning. how are you? first off i need to say, i will tell you, you are one slick operator, i must say. i mean the way you are spinning everything and doing it with a smile on your face. the new republican congress is coming in scares the life out of me. it is proven as of the vote yesterday. the republicans in the house were willing to dump unemployment benefits and because they are worried about the addition to the deficit, yet they don't blink an eye about giving a tax cut to the wealthy, which as a matter of fact the
majority of leaders in the house and senate are multimillionaires so no wonder they are fighting hard for the tax cut. it will add $700 billion to the deficit but they are not worried about that. they still not a one of you have ever said what are you going to cut. so it was social security, my husband pays dollar for dollar more on his wages to pay for his social security than, say, john boehner or tkaerl issa -- darrell issa. why don't you raise the social security tax for multimillionaires for them. why does my husband that doesn't make a quarter of what they make, why is he paying more? we know where you republicans stand. it is all for the wealthy, nothing for us and you are willing to dump them, the unemployment. host: i think you made your point on that.
guest: i'm sorry i'm smiling this morning. i tend to be a morning person so i apologize. part of it, i think, is where you believe the money starts. this debate in washington right now is very philosophical for this reason. there are some in this country who believe that the money starts in washington and then we pass it out to you and if you believe that you can understand why it is tax cuts for the rich or it is tax benefits for somebody or that the government is providing you. i think the difference in it election -- and it is a different philosophical belief. i believe the money starts with you and your husband. it is your hard work that created the resources and it is your check that you send to washington, d.c. in the form of tax dollars that we should respect. so, the money doesn't start here. it starts there in indiana.
if that is how you believe, you have a much different perspective of the world, number one. number two, i understand that you believe that none -- that all the republicans are rich. that is not true. and it does take, i think, a lot of experience to run for congress. but it doesn't necessarily mean that you have to be wealthy. we have seen a lot of examples starting with the president of the united states you don't have to be a wealthy person to run for office. i think that is a misconception that somehow this gives them breaks that nobody else gets. but i do want to start with that premise that if you believe that money starts in washington and we hand it out to you, you are going to have a much different perspective than if you believe money is earned by yourselves and checks in the form of tax dollars come to washington. host: latinos hear your -- let's
hear your opinion on unemployment benefits extension. with the jobless rate stuck at 9.7% to 9.5% there doesn't seem to be jobs out this. what is the message to people who are actively looking for jobs and haven't been able and there is not an extension on benefits? guest: i'm not in congress so i will let the debate rage with those that are policy makers. let me point out a couple of things. this is not the first extension. there have been multiple extensions. number two, at a time when we are running record deficits and the pay-go principles are supposed to apply to everything, we have seen this year under the budget rules that they have been waived over 200 times for 200 different items that it is fine to say we are going to pay for tax cuts if you will, under it principle that somehow the money starts in washington and you pay for money to go back into the pockets of people that earn it,
which is to me a crazy notion. but you exempt all of the spending such as unemployment benefits. so defense spending is not exempt but unemployment bits is. tax cuts are not exempt. you have all of this crazy budget rules instead of saying it ought to apply to everything. that is the second principle. the third one is after two years of having this debate over how do you create jobs in this country, i think that i would much rather trust pete in texas talking about how hereat 800 jobs in his factory in texas than anybody in that capital dome over there right now for how to create jobs. yet we're chasing pete and those jobs potentially someplace else in the world as a result of our tax policy, environment policy, mandates, regulations. that is why we're in this crazy situation where our country is not growing and we are worrying more about unemployment benefits than about how we are going to
yet jobs. host: social security benefits? guest: her example, i'm not exactly sure host: she wants to raise the cap. guest: her husband doesn't pay any more than i do. there is a limit on benefits. do we need social security reform? no question. anybody that has the guts to do it? i think we proved that no matter what your belief is on what social security reform ought to come next there are very few yet willing to step up and reform the entitlement of social security or any other entitlement for that matter. host: for mr. nussle next is a call from berkeley springs, west virginia, karl, a republican. caller: i have a simple solution for all the corruption in politics. if everyone on capitol hill, all the congressmen, senators, had to sign a contract with america
to agree to an audit by the i.r.s. every two years, not only for them but their immediate family, you would see mass resignations up there. everybody would be scrambling to the airport to catch the first flight out. and you are going to have corruption in politics because it just -- there are too many people offering you money. to a person like me, it is disgusting. it really is. i'm a political junky. i watch it program every morning religiously. but it is getting to the point where it really is. but you know what? if charlie rangel had an r in front of his name he would have been handcuffed and led off capitol hill just like cunningham. that is all i have to say. thank you. guest: i don't think people
would have mass resignations because they were necessarily on the take. i think an i.r.s. audit would scare even the most honest taxpayer you could find. it is because of the complexity of our tax code and everything else. i understand what you are saying. that is why i smiled. i think you are probably right. you not only wouldn't have many people that would want to stay here. i would guess you probably wouldn't have anybody who would want to run for congress if you had an audit every two years. we have to file not only taxes as chairman, former chairman rangel discovered, but you have to file financial disclosures about your finances, which is a much higher bar than most taxpayers have to do. it is not a perfect system but there is more transparency and disclosure to be a member of congress than in most occupations. again, it is not perfect but i know there are bad apples that
spoil it for the rest and i know that this is not going to -- you won't believe me but i guarantee you most of the people who are here in congress are doing a good job, they are trying to do it the right way. they are not breaking the laws or on the take. there are bad examples that have spoiled it. unfortunately, they have made it so there is this popular belief that everyone is. it is unfair because it is not true. public service is still an honorable job that many of these guys do a very good job at. host: we have time for two more calls. ron an independent from florida. caller: congressman nussle, you republicans being so against soci socialism, i don't understand how you can be for farm subsidies since most of the farm subsidy money goes to giant
corporations or corporations. host: thank you, ron. guest: there are many of us, even from farm country, that over the years have worked for reforming those farm subsidies and have not only reduced them in many instances but changed them so that it doesn't artificially hurt the marketplace or warp the marketplace. there is more that can be done, no question about it. but i think if you look back at some of the reforms particularly of the hrlast 15 or 20 years yo will see a great change in farm subsidies compared to, let's say, 50 years ago. there is still more reform that needs to be done, but i don't think it is quite as black and white as you put it. there is a lot of gray area. host: last caller from the pocono mountains from pennsylvania. rich a republican. caller: thank you for taking my call. can you hear me? host: yes. >> i would like to know how you
can justify approximately $10 billion a month which is being spent on the war yet we are whining about tax breaks at this time of year and you want to cut unemployment and that people pay in into, some have been out of work almost two years but have worked for 20 years and i paid into it. i think you can throw all the spin and you are a perfect spin doctor. you are like a washing machine. guest: it is interesting so many of these things have been blamed on the republicans. a majority of democrats did not even support -- i mean a majority is still in democratic control so if they wanted to pass the benefits they could have. it is not just the republicans that believe we have to start creating jobs and not creating more unemployment benefits or extending more unemployment benefits. i think it is both sides, not just republicans or democrats.
i think it both sides that believe this. and, second, with regard to the war, i'm with you. i think the sooner we can end not only the conflict and bring our folks home but reduce the amount of spending that goes to it. there is a lot of waste in the pentagon. bob gates has identified a lot that needs to be reduced or removed or changed. so there is a lot of work that needs to be done but it is not either-or, defending the country or providing unemployment benefits. host: we're out of time but i have a closing comment or question for you. just a moment we will be talking with rob green a pollster here in washington and he has done a couple of polling questions on transparency and openness in the new congress and what advice people would give to the incoming majority. what would yours be? guest: i think charlie rangel is a greating for freshmen right now. you have to recognize that
hypocrisy in particular will be your number one thing to look out for. you cannot be the chairman of the tax writing committee and not pay your taxes. that is number one. number two, and this is the same advice i gave the transition team. in washington and in this job unlike the famous book by this title, you have to sweat the small stuff. it is the small things that will get you in trouble. it was trading stamps for cash that got dan rostenkowski. it was a few bad checks albeit for big amounts that sent a number of members of congress to jail then. you have to sweat the small things because it is the small things often that will jump up and bite you and it is that openness and transparency of the process that needs to there if we are going to keep that check and balance constituents need. host: we talked process and policy. thank you for being here. as promised on the phone with us
rob green principal at a polling firm. thank you for time with us this morning. we worked with you to ask a question of the public, the people that you polled who were voters in the last election how to make congress more accessible. can you talk about what you learned? >> essentially there is very strong interest in making congress more accessible. there is a very clear message to the house leadership in these national poll findings. it is time to accept the digital age. i will give you an example of some of the findings. we tested a series of things that congress might permit in terms of now that there is new leadership in the house. particularly encouraging congress to use everyday
language. talking about legislation, publish bills on line so people might read them, might be able it see them, read them online. alert them when congress is addressing issues of particular interest concerning tax cuts or spending cuts. here is essentially what we learned. 84% of voters at the last election support congress using everyday language talking about legislation. two interesting things. these were 84% support, only 4% opposed change. very strong support across all parties as well as among independents. very interesting trend we saw is that it is true, basically the older the voter, the more they favor these changes. so, in a sense and particularly we you consider as i said a moment ago, this is about accepting the digital age.
what is fascinating is the older the voter the more likely they are to support the changes. so if you want to think about it this way, gray pwerdz are leading the -- gray beards are leading the way on the digital revolution. they would love to publish, see published the language of bills online so people may read them. 83% support this change, 4% oppose it. we see strong support across the parti parties, slightly stronger among independents. the biggest numbers are among the people over 50. think of this as crowd sourcing. in essence, the public could provide the checks and balances on earmarks. a million eyes when you publish bills online. the voting public strongly supports that. they are also interested in particular 80% support very stro strongly for alerts such as we
major tax bills or spending cuts might be coming for final vote to the floor of the house. we get alerts all the time on our phones digitally through computers. this is what theoting public would like to see. host: what other interesting finding is 76% support policy debates the way the congress debate is sequential aly. this suggests they would like to hear two sides going at it on an issue? >> yes. i think they would very much -- that is clearly something that they would -- i think this connects to the everyday language as well. that support for everyday language. they feel very strongly that that way they could get some sense of what the important issues are. and i think there are some people that think they are
fragi fragile. i think it would be better for congress and the institution of congress, you know? confidence in congress is at an all-time low since they invented survey research and arguably in the history of the republic. this is a good time to rethink the old ideas. the public is not fragile. they understand there are contrasting, differing viewpoints. let it play out in a way that is accessible. host: mr. green. thank you. you asked 1,200 voters. to our viewers we are posting this on our facebook page for c-span and you are welcome to 10 the conversation. if you would like to offer ideas on how congress could become more accessible to you the voters around the country, we welcome your participation. thanks for being with us, rob. we appreciate your time. >> thank you. host: speaking of pwofrt sides of the issues, in the last segment you heard about the
incoming republican majority. let me introduce you to somebody with a different point of view. the executive vice president of the center for american progress a think taeurpbg in washington which has been ledded by john -- head bed by john podesta. there is a paper you put out this week, the power of the president, recommendations to advance progressive change. it is being picked up in a lot of columns. it is essentially a message to the president to assert yourself. what are you saying? guest: so much of the conversation since the election has been predictions that sort of the government is going to come to a halt because we have a divided government and differences of view about so many issues that are going to be debated in the congress and there is a lot of discussion that somehow legislative progress is going to be differ to make -- difficult to make.
i hope those predictions may not prove to be accurate in talking about the congress. but our point was to say that government is not just about legislation. the president has enormous authority and responsibility to be able to operate as a chief executive of the federal government and we want to emphasize the ways he can help get things done, things that the public really needs and wants given the concerns they have with the economy and with american security. host: what specific enumerated or traditional actual powers does he have? what tools does he have? guest: the united states congress gives him the responsibility as the executive to administer all of the agencies of the federal government, and every single one of those agencies from the
department of commerce and small business administration, to the department of defense, have significant responsibilities. and in executing those authorities there are choices to be made every day and they can influence the way things get done. nobody can deny that president bush often faced a divided congress, yet he was able to, in the exercise of his executive authority, put a real stamp on the country and the way that he governed. and president obama has the same opportunity. host: let me ask about the call for partisanship. the front page of "u.s.a. today" search for civility grows in washington. you have been here a while. what is your view on civility and partisanship? guest: i would guess we have a call for nonpartisanship or at least perhaps bipartisan ship.
an effort to -- i think the public is really frustrated with it conversation. this was an election that people said let's -- we like the agenda of the republicans and we dislike the agenda of the president. they were expressing their deep frustration that there was fighting, there was bickering and rather than change the tone in washington nothing had cake -- nothing had changed. i think the responsibility now to control the house is going to put an onus on the house leadership to be able to not simply say here are the things we don't like but here are some things we do and create a real opportunity for the beginning of a dialogue and the president will likely be looking for places where he can make progress and find common ground. host: for instance, because the economy is foremost on most everyone's mind, let's look at
the suggestions you have put forward for presidential action on the economy. we put them on graphics for people but they include launching a new consumer tppb financial protection bureau which is part of the dodd frank legislation, accelerate implementation of small business jobs act, promote automatic mediation to avoid foreclosure. will you talk about how he can do those things and why they are important? guest: in each case those are places where the congress has either recently passed or has for a long time put authority on the books in the area of housing that the president has to begin -- has to implement. the housing legislation has been in the works for a long time. so, what we are suggesting is the statutes don't answer all the questions about how you move forwa forward. there are major priorities in for the economy in figuring out
how we can get lending to businesses so they can start to hire people. and what i think the public is saying is we want to see progress. so, if, for example, if the small business bill, those are authorities special extra access to credit for the next two years. it will take a very concerted effort to lift that up and draw the attention of businesses about the new opportunities they have in both under tax law and lending opportunities to get them taking advantage of the programs before the authorities expire. much of the president and white house senior staff time and attention the last two years was focused on the congress, but they have this great opportunity now to turn their attention to helping to implement these laws and make sure we get the full benefit. similarly, as the new cfpd is being put in place, consumer financial protection bureau, the president could spend a lot of
-- or the administration could spend a lot of time thinking how you stand up an operation, but he needs to talk at the same time about what that operation will do so the public sees that it is not just bureaucracy, it is change that effects their lives. host: before we go to calls looking through newspaper for an article i found it. this is from the "baltimore sun" today. from the tribune's washington bure bureau. dems plan counterattack. activists push white house and plot on strategy frustrated by president obama's weakness in battling republicans many leaders have become independently plotting their political recovery including whether to build a network of outside fund-raising and campaign organizations to compete with those formed this year by republicans. george soros quoted in this i'm used to fighting losing battles but i don't like losing without a fight. he saeid in a comment confirmed by his staff as a private call
and private conversations at the meeting of democracy alliance an organization of democrats that provides funding to liberal groups. is there frustration with this white house? guest: i think there is, first of all, recognition that this white house got a lot done during the first two years on very big and important issues that have troubled the country and helped to bring us down. the recovery act, getting us away from the brink of financial collapse, healthcare reform long sought, and the dodd frank act are major accomplishments and there are other small ones. first, people recognize this was about as hard a job as you could have at the beginning of an administration with a new team and they got an amazing amount down. do people wish there had been more had do people wish there was the capacity now to demonstrate that we are not going to be spending all our
time and energy in conflict with people in the congress but we are going to work to show what we can get done? of course. but that is not necessarily a critique. that is a work plan for moving the country forward. host: there is a paragraph many diseffected democrats say the station needs to be more aggressive advocating positions to rally the party space and differentiate it from republicans. that sounds to be the opposite of what you just described. guest: one reason this report was written is there is this inevitable debate in the papers and among pundits about whether the president should rally his base or going to the center, should he be challenging the republicans or working with them. our sense is that that kind of debate is somewhat wasted energy. the real question is how do we get things done. the president needs to show his capacity to run the country, to le lead, and he does that through
leadership on the hill as one of many tools. there are many others. running the government and using its capacity to make lives better for people is what we are saying he should spend his time on. host: we want to go to phone calls e-mails and twitters. we are discussing center for american progress report the power of the president recommendations to advance progressive change it is available on their website and ours. it has been picked up by a number of progressives and liberal columnists. in the nation we have the headline use your executive authority, president obama and a similar theme this morning in eugene robinson's piece in the opinion page of the "washington post" the decider in chief. reference being this report and encouraging the president writing progressives are right when they complain the white house must do a better job of making the case for its policies but the challenge goes well beyond communications. judging by wait they snubbed
obama's invitations to break bread together republicans seem eager for gridlock. that may be the g.o.p.'s story line but obama can write a narrative of his own. he is the decider now. that is the reference to george w. bush's memoir on the market now. let's go to phone calls. we begin with a call from levitt town, pennsylvania, catherine, who is a democrat. caller: good morning. i just feel so sad because no matter what obama tries to put forth, the republicans have made a statement, they made a statement that they only want him in for one term. so, no matter what he does or tries to do, they are going to block it. and actually when they go to congress they are to take care of all the people. guest: thank you so much.
i find remarks that focus on the next election days after the last one to also be sad. i do think that is not what the election result message was to the congress. but i also am not convinced t t that, and the whole point of the report is that those tactics to try to make sure that nothing gets done is not going to be what the public is lacking for. and -- looking for and i think that we are going to see a great deal of pressure on both parties to show that they have the capacity to help solve problems, not simply the ability to try to get in the way of the president's attempts to do so. host: anne, a republican from tennessee. caller: i don't know when they decided that progressive was a better for social securityist, communists. george soros sits up there like
a big evil octopus funding groups and if obama tries to push the country further in social inch he won't get two votes the next election. but that woman talking about the government needs to take care of us, that is a pa text state -- pathetic statement about where america is today. there was a spectacle in atlanta this summer they were fighting like dogs over a bone to get subsidized housing. american people are not enslaving themselves to this government and the last election spoke to that. we do not want to be taken care of. the people out here work and look around and see people on food stamps spending, wasting taxpayer dollars and most of them are making a mess out of their homes and kids are being fed by the boys and girls club, churches. the schools are even sending back packs home. why are we giving them food stamps? they are not feeding their kids. it is disgusting what they have turned the american people into
with these socialist, communist programs that people like this lady sitting here -- host: i will stop because you made your point. how about a response? guest: i think that the notion is that -- i think that the government exists to meet needs that people across the country have in common and can't meet on their own. but we need to do a better job of giving people confidence, like anne, that when the government does the things that only it can do, it does them well. an important part of it report and another report we leased the same day called the $400 billion opportunity, which was about how we can make sure the government spends less through the things that it buys through its procurement powers, make sure it gets a better deal for the taxpayer on the things it has to do. the president has a great deal
of ability to focus on running the government like a business, running the government so it gets a better rate of return and gets more done with less. and those sorts of things i hope will give people more confidence that on those things like defense, transportation, roads, utilities, that are so important as well as social safety net, we add values to the lives of everyone. host: back to the morocco papers, is -- morning papers is it headlines like this in the "washington post" obama democrats can't agree on plan for tax cuts, that encourages you to suggest that the president find a way forward other than legislation? guest: we are going to have to agree or at least get enough people to pass some kind of legislation. the president is clear and i don't think anyone in the republican party or democratic party want to see right now tax cuts for the middle class expire. so, some way when this is done there will be tax cuts, i hope,
continued for the vast majority of americans who right now are having a real struggle in the economy. i hope that it will not include tax cuts for the very wealthy but that will get worked out. our point is that that is only a small part of what the country needs to do right now. and we don't need to become so consumed with that debate that we forget about all of the other responsibilities of the executive branch. that is what we want to make sure is lifted up. host: next is park hill, oklahoma, good morning to our caller gary who is an independent. caller: good morning. once again, you are like fine wine. we are probably both about the same age but i have craters in my face. two quick comments and one in-depth question. first off, to everyone, including those in other
countries who have lost a son, child, husband in our war against these baby killing people, i'm a vietnam veteran and every time someone i read in the paper one of you kids have died fighting these people my heart goes out to you and i want to acknowledge and thank you for your sacrifice, not just to my country but to other citizens of the world who have gone into iraq and afghanistan with our kids. i sincerely mean that. two, i would like to address progress seufrs in a quick statement. i have always equated it with regulatory nazi inch and public -- naziism and public health terrorism by our own people and one of the post disgusting things is how they used law and order country and turned our people who normally have been to serve and protect and turned
them into a bunch of [inaudible] people extorting income out of taxpayers to support a bunch of college kids in the government and in special interests groups with college kids who won't go out and make money and provide jobs. host: gary, your question, please. you have lots of strong opinions but how about a question. caller: concerning immigration, i live right in indian country and this is another example of what happens when you have people who are in charge of things making statements concerning their support for illegals when in reality, say like you are working, the real working poor class blacks and whites and indians, their voices are not heard at all. if you ought to hear how the indians here in indian country scream because of all the mexicans who are allowed across the border --
host: we understand your question. we will stop there. do you have a response for him? guest: i actually wanted to mention for a moment your comment about afghanistan. and the wars in iraq and afghanistan. i think this is a place where there is actually some in the topic we are here it to talk about today that speaks to that. the way that the administration manages through the ongoing obligations commitments that we have in those two countries is a place where i think the president has some choices that could work to help prevent more loss of life for american soldiers. we are suggesting we need to focus more of our attention on the diplomatic powers and a economic ability to strengthen the governance and local economies in those countries so we can make them self-sustain and move out. so much attention is on military strategy and not the other tools we have to help strengthen those
countries so we can bring our soldiers home. host: for that viewer even though you apologized because you are a vietnam vet someone took over to your language. jack hutton says how can you let a caller continue who uses the term camel jockey. you neat to call hate out. moving on to loganville, georgia. in is scott republican on the air. caller: i thought one of the problems the democrats had in the last session they wrote these huge bills, 4,000-page bills and leave so much of the law to be defined by the executive branch and bureaucr s bureaucrats. the congress ought to define what the law is and not leave it up to unelected people to write law.
the question is, what business does the government have inviting bankers and executives from general motors down to the white house and telling them how to run their business? that is not part of the government's job. guest: thank you. i think that the particular, if you are referring to yesterday's discussion about general motors, the federal government did make a significant investment in general motors and i think that the discussion the last two days has been to celebrate the fact that the company has been able to bring itself back to keep a lot of people employed in the areas not only in their own industry, their own company but many other parts of the industry who are suppliers and others. and they are now being able to seek private capital and move on without government support. that was the discussion there. it is inevitable that when you run a country that the 535
members of congress are not going to reach agreement on every detailed aspect. it is inherent in our constitution that broad -- this authority is granted to the president. but he does it within the broader consent of the public and their approval. i actually think what the publish has been saying to the president lately is we would like to see things get done rather than the kind of constant debate and bickering. we spent too much of the last two years with a spotlight shined on the united states congress and less on getting problems solved on the big problems that people are facing in their lives. host: we will go back to a for instance on how your suggestion of executive authority might work. a head lane democrats struggling to make any headway. on wednesday they wrote the senate majority leader announced he would push forward with the annual military policy bill that
trained qualified soldiers and the president has the authority to not allow any person who alleges son is gay to treated as credible evidence. of the "don't ask, don't tell policy. he can use that to mitigate the effects. host: karen, a democrat. caller: i have two questions any comment. how can congress justify not
passing the bill to take away tax breaks from company that take jobs away from overseas. thearen't they addressing manipulating the currency and why isn't that in the forefront? that would create millions of jobs in the united states. i would like to say to the republican party, i am tired of you saying no to everything. guest: thank you, karen. let me pick up on your point about the economic climate the president faces. one recommendation in our report is the president's take up an unrelenting focus over the next two years on the the united states' competitiveness. it is one of a wide array of policies that i would argue are
important. it includes how we enforce our trade laws and how we -- what kind of higher education and training programs we have. make sure our workforce is ready to compete. it is important what kind of support we give to new technology so they can be the jobs of tomorrow. we suggest that concern is for most of the minds of many americans as they face an uncertain future for jobs and an uncertain future for their children. this is one place where we think the president could spend a good deal of his time. hopefully this will be a place where you could find the business community and the labor committee and republicans and democrats who would follow him in making a fight to help make the united states better able to sell their products around the world. host: we heard this morning in
the social media and talk radio and other places terms for the construct of government. people have used the term socialism. somebody even said nazism. "we live in a mix of socialism and capitalism." guest: i think we live in a capital society that has some common goods and needs and purposes that are served by government. this is a democratic government. it is not socialist government. there are enormous differences in how we govern ourselves. which is had a tremendous example of the government's being in the hands of the public, not in the hands of the state. enormous contrast to the way that china runs their country and their economy. we are a market economy.
" we learned over the last few years is that you need a level playing field and you need market to have ground rules that are fair so that everyone can compete and we can get to the best economic outcomes. when we let market distortions prevent that, you are not making free markets. you are making for the kind of distortions that led us to the financial crisis we just had. i think some of those labels are part of the larger problem that we are quick to put names and not talk about the underlying issues. host: we have 10 more minutes left with sarah wartell. the new paper suggest the president use some of his powers to advance progressive causes during the next two years. bowie, maryland.
caller: good morning. a couple of things i would like to touch on. sarah mentioned the constitution. i think is interesting, especially going on where how our country is run. it is not a democracy. it is run by the people who are in power right now. the changes from time to time. is more of like an oligarchy, but that is neither here nor there. we're talking about progressivism. we have to mention the health care bill, which is one of the things that was pushed through by this administration. i think people are kind of missing the point. it is not so much health care as health insurance reform. going back to the constitution, i would like to know if you could tell me where in the constitution it says that is okay for the government to force
its people to have to purchase the service when it is something they don't necessarily want or need. how is that right? the second thing is, if we're going to talk about the constitution, people's rights are being violated at airports on a daily basis. who is overseeing the tsa when it comes to what could beat a sexual assault? if i go to the airport with my family, i don't want to be treated like a criminal and forced to go through the full body scanner like janet napolitano said -- it is irresponsible of people to not take -- utilize the new technology. if i do not do that and it seems to stand up for my rights, i am violated and i am humiliated. i don't think -- i do not understand how we can consider ourselves progressive if we are referring to people as
criminals before any kind -- i do not know what the word is. there is no trial. there is no anything for people. they are just automatically criminals. maybe you could expand on that. guest: i wanted to start with your discussion of the word "progressive." we have progressive in our roots. it is an attempt to evoke a long history and a sense of tradition that goes back to the founders. it is about trying to find solutions to problems. it is not a theological in that it will -- in that it is a conservative or liberal. looking at research and trying to figure out what will work and making a change to make these things happen. the health care legislation was an attempt to deal with the fact that so many people found their
children could not get health care in their early years. many people could not afford it. not every solution is perfect. we need to make policy better. one of the things in the scanning question we have to ask is whether this new technology is going to be helpful. if it is helpful, there are less intrusive -- is there a less intrusive way to accomplish the same goal as so security? it is about how do we do works? that is the tradition that progressivism is designed to evoke host. host: emma has a different view in this tweet. guest: i think that there's a
great deal of frustration right now because of all the time and attention spent watching congress were the major pieces of legislation. the media has shown a spotlight on other voices of individual businesses that were seeking different outcomes in the legislation. the president came to washington saying he wanted to see things done differently. there was a lot of attention given to in fact people trying to use their clout to get things done. with the election just showed us is that the people in charge are the people who go to the ballot every week and every two years. i think we will see over the next two years both parties with a great deal of responsibility to see if they can contribute. i'm being hopeful. the earlier caller talked about
focusing i making sure this is a one-term president. i don't think the message that voters are trying to send. it will take a couple of months for this to make its way through the system. host: i want to go back to a policy specific, one of your suggestions is to improve the performance of the federal government. that harkens back to images of al gore and his reinventing government campaign. what do think this government has the power to do to improve the performance? guest: one example we give in the report is the federal procurement process. the government buys goods and services worth billions of dollars every year to help the troops and the military, help provide a support to our installations and our diplomats
around the world, to do things like provide benefits to people and their social security and medicare programs. we think they do not purchased goods and services as effectively as they could. private-sector has learned a lot about how to make sure to get real robust competition that drives down prices in the procurement process. the federal government could adopt some of those sam processes. host: chris from florida, republican line. caller: good morning. i just wanted to educate the viewers about one of your principal financiers, and that will be mr. george soros. in 1998, an article he wrote --
"the sergeant of states must be subordinated to international law and international institutions. the greatest opposition to this id is coming from the united states. the united states will have to lose its role as an undisputed dominant force. we will be downsized. at the same time, we will have a better working system and opponents will be better downsize then we will." george soros has been implicated -- many people know he was instrumental in bringing down the british pound in 1991 when he bet against it to the tune of some $10 billion. $10 billion. many, many people saw their
savings virtually wiped out. mr. soros is all about economic collapse, engineering economic collapse and a game plan. he has a game plan and it starts with organizations like yours. guest: mr. soros is more than capable of defending his own record. i will not take that on now. what is important for you to understand is that mr. soros is widely reported mistakenly to play a role in our organization. he is one of many, many hundreds of people who have made -- many thousands of people who have given us financial support. it is i think the ideas that we are talking about here have nothing to do with whatever views he may have held in 1998. we're a separate organization. host: does he served on your
board? guest: no. host: we have a tweet. guest: there is -- that is the case where his goals to close it are in dispute in the congress. there has been a great deal of debate about that. i also think there are difficulties in finding other places to send the prisoners. a resistance to having some of them on u.s. soil. the need to figure out what the resolution is for having some of the remaining prisoners faced accountability for their prior action. so it has proven to be a difficult and sticky wicket. that is a good example of a case where there are a wide array of existing statutes.
he needs to figure out how he can't use those -- how the president can use those to make sure the american citizens are protected from real threats and also to preserve our stake in the world. host: last call, george, a democrat. caller: i would like to make a statement. unnoticed there are three important people who have done something that all american citizens pay attention to. the young man who discussed the middle of honor. he had to make a decision. like many of us who served in the service, we take the same oath as the president and congress. he made a decision and it was the right decision. george bush had to make a
decision. we put that on tv. he did the right thing. president obama, he, and john mccain made decisions to make it happen for the united states. this is the spirit. i think the congress should take up. they should look at the examples that all three important people and that live up to their oath. i would like to know what can we do as americans to remind them of this? if we do not do this, we will fall apart. guest: george, i could not agree with you more. in each of those cases that you reference, you had people who were doing not what was in their immediate or short-term interest, even their immediate political interests, but figuring out what was good for the larger institutions or the country and the community in
which they lived and worked and served. what the voters were saying to us is they put like to see more of that spirit on the part of their elected officials. maybe there's a possibility of bringing people together to make change and progress. host: the report again and we talked about the pickup is getting from call lists. it is called "the power of the president." is available at your website. miss wartell, thank you for joining us. we will be talking about health care law in our final segment. we will be back in a couple of minutes. i want to tell you about the national book awards. they were held wednesday in new
york city. there are four categories of nominees. if you're a fan of both tv, we focus on non-fiction books. we were there to cover the awards. ere are the book finalists for 2010. host: two of those finalists are journalists from "the los angeles times." awards went to patti smith. >> i have always loved books, all of my life. when i was a clerk scrivebbners
bookstore, i dreamed about having a book of my own i could put on the shelf. when i would have to unpack and put the national book award winners, i used to wonder what it would feel like to be a national book award winner. so thank you for letting me find out. [applause] host: patti smith was the winner of non-fiction award for the national book awards 2010. you can watch the entire ceremony this weekend on both tv at 8:00 p.m. on saturday night and 4:00 p.m. on sunday. one of the finalists, john dower, his book was considered from a group of 500 entrants.
that list is a winnowing process. he is featured on afterwards this weekend. lots of opportunities to see the national book awards and hear more from the winners. with that, let me introduce you to our final guest. she has been at the table in number of times and helping with the debate on health care debate. marilyn werber serafini is a special correspondent with kaiser health news. guest: i am technically doing a fellowship that honors the memory of robin toner, "new york times" reporter for many, many years. she passed away a couple of years ago from cancer. i am with kaiser health news, a fairly new nonprofit news
service. we write health care policy stories for all kinds of papers across the country. we have been in "the washington post," "the new york times." we have our own website. i will be in this position until the end of 2011. i hope to become a better reporter. hope to spend some time learning and slowing down a little bit. loading some aspects of health care policy that i did not know before. i hope to keep writing about health care reform. this is the time to be writing about health care. host: people will love questions. we wanted to is your in on medicaid and how the medicaid program might change as a result of the health care law. what is medicaid? guest: medicaid is the health- care program for the poor.
it is a state-federal partnerships. the state put in their pot of money for helping this group insurance coverage. the federal government matches money. the government pays quite a bit more than the states do. in some cases, the government pays about 60% of the cost. in other cases, it pays up to 78% of the cost. with medicaid, we're talking about the poorest of the poor folk. we're talking -- it varies from state to state. states run their medicaid programs. they do it differently in every state. kids are covered. the lower-income kids. when it comes to adults, many parents are covered. if you're an adult and you don't have kids, it is difficult and you have to be a very poor to be without kids and i get any kind
of coverage. host: we have some statistics. approximately 53 million individuals in this country will be covered by medicaid this year. the federal outlay for medicaid is estimated as $290 billion. guest: people don't realize that medicaid is right there with medicare. we think of medicare as being a huge program. medicaid covers a lot of people. host: what has happened to the role of those covered since the financial crisis? guest: it has put a huge burden on the states. and the financial commitment from the federal government has also increased. as we have hit this recession, or people have become unemployed, that leads to more
people becoming eligible for medicaid. the medicaid rolls have grown with the recession. lag thee tends to recession. medicaid is always slower to get back to its norma levels after a recession. host: looking at stories in the newspaper. republican governors have been meeting in san diego. health care is on the plate because of the state budget situation. many of them are facing deficits. could you go into details about the state's responsibility in participating? it is a dollar-sharing program. do they get to make discretionary decisions about who can be covered? guest: states have no obligation to participate in this program,
but all of them do. the thinking has always been across the board that it makes sense for states because the federal government picks up so much of the cost. it has been considered a no- brainer. why would you not put in certain money to cover these low-income people when the federal government is putting in a huge amount of money? we have not talked about health care reform yet. the new folks who will be added to the program after 2014 under the new health care reform law, the federal government will cover more of the cost. currently, medicaid recipients, the government covers between 50% and 78% of the cost. in 2014, we start to see the medicaid expansion, the federal
government at least initially will cover 100% of the costs for the newly eligible people. eventually, after a couple of years, that diminishes and the federal government still pays a lot more, and upwards of 90%. they will have a large expansion, 16 million people across the country. the federal government will pay more for those folks. host: explain who the 16 million new recipients will be. guest: exactly. currently, it is difficult for adults to be eligible for medicaid. kids, absolutely. under the new law, anybody under 133% of the federal poverty level will qualify for medicaid no matter whether you are a kid, of gulf, whether you have your own kids or you don't have kids. that is about $22,000 for a
family of four, the federal poverty level. host: 7 states will be required to contribute more funds. guest: that is exactly is it. states will not have to put in as much of their own funding. they still have to come up with their own funding. they are having a hard time right now coming up with enough funding of their own to pull down the federal funding so that they can pay the doctors and hospitals that people on medicaid are seeing. host: 8 questioned more of philosophical question. -- the ultimate decision was the creation of exchanges, market exchanges where people could buy in. was there and see policy
debates about doing away with medicaid as a separate program and giving people vouchers to buy into that? guest: there was discussion about the perry differences between the house bill and the senate bill at the time. for a while, one of the bills had in it a provision to allow these people who were under 133% of poverty, about whether it would be better to let those people get subsidies and to allow them to buy their private insurance through the various exchanges that will be up and running in 2014. eventually, that dropped out of the bill and we ended up with was the understanding that the people under 133% of property would be in medicaid, except for
legal immigrants. legal immigrants have a waiting time of five years before they can become eligible. under -- the new law, illegal immigrants will be able to get subsidies and go into the exchange for those first five years host:. you are saying legal immigrants. and illegal immigrants -- guest: are out of luck. host: let's get to some telephone calls. hagerstown, maryland. charles, a republican. caller: i am a retired physician. i was a primary care physician practicing internal medicine. primary care physicians are those that first seat a patient with whatever problems they are having with their health.
the big problem that i see on the horizon -- is already here -- is that there are not enough primary-care doctors to take care of all of the patient that are coming in for medical problems. less than 5% of graduate medical school students intend to go into primary care. i heard the secretary of health and human services addressing a group of sponsors of lesser trained individuals who will probably end up as the new primary care -- i am speaking of physicians' assistants and nurse practitioners. my fear in conservation of funds
available, we're going to end up with a lesser trade group of persons in the very important job of primary care. would you answer or speech to this problem? guest: you bring up an excellent point. there is a huge concern that there will not be enough primary care physicians, especially to see the medicaid population. we are talking about expanding insurance to a lot of people. especially in the short term. 2014, 2015, and for the first few years, there is a great deal of concern that there will not be enough primary-care physicians or enough physicians in general to handle this large expansion population. one of the problems of medicaid in particular is that medicaid
is the lowest pay your right now for physicians and hospitals and other medical providers. it pays the government when it pays these providers, it pays significantly less than it pays if you are a medicare patient or in privately insured patient. and that is why there is a provision in the new reform law that would increase payments to medical providers who participate in medicaid. this is just for primary-care physicians. this has nothing to do with specialists. it would only do this for a couple of years. that is also worrying the states because at that time when the levels of funding -- when the payment levels for this primary-care physicians referred back to their previous level after a couple of years, the
concern is that the states, feeling the pressure to maintain the new or higher levels to keep them seeing patients, that they will field the -- they will feel the pressure to maintain the harwell and that will cause further strain on their budget. currently, medicaid recipients all over the country report is difficult to get in to see a doctor. so this has led to a lot of discussion about what you are talking about, which is how much power or how much ability whoo should physician assistants and nurse practitioners have in feeling and for primary-care physicians in certain circumstances? that is a very good question. it is a big part of the debate that we have not seen yet. host: we have a twitter.
guest: that is an interesting question. i covered that law. i'm not actually sure how it did affect medicaid eligibility. host: how is it affected by states with cash-strapped budgets? a couple of things that pop out regarding states and the budget woes. medicaid funding to states represents the single largest source of federal grants support to states, accounting for an estimated 44% of all federal grants to states. are they required to spend all the money they get on medicaid? guest: that is another question. there really is not an answer to that question. yes, they are required to spend that money on medicaid.
the big debate has been, do they really spend it on medicaid? if they get federal money, there are ways to move money around. the government has cracked down over the years to make sure that that money is not going towards the building of roads or schools or whatever other areas the states might see a need, there is general consensus that it has -- all the moving around of money has not stopped. host: one of the things congress did was increase the share temporarily of dollars going to the states that the federal government would pay. that money is beginning to dry up. how is that going to play out? guest: states are in financial crisis. under the new law, the federal government would pick up the full cost for the 60 million new
people who would become eligible for medicaid starting in 2014. even though there would pick up the full cost, that is why states are still talking about potentially dropping out of medicaid. that had been considered unthinkable until now. host: john says many states are challenging health care reform. guest: i think it could have an interesting impact. when states are talking about dropping at of medicaid, the texas governor is the only one at this point who has been out there in front and said, we are considering this. in other states, it is a discussion mostly at slightly lower levels. some members of the legislature here or there are talking about this. governors' offices, the staff
might be looking into what it would entail the what the possibilities are. the affect, if it did happen, could be huge. i will tell you why. there is a proposal for now from the heritage foundation that talks about one possible option for doing that. under this option, 40 of the 50 states would come out financially ahead. the dropping of that federal matching funding. what heritage is saying is that people between 100% and one under 33% of target do qualify for federal subsidies --133%. we're talking about a lot of people who are using medicaid for their regular health-care
services. they are going to the doctor or hospital or having surgery. there are two other parts of medicaid. one is a long term care. folks who are poor and require nursing home care or extensive home health care. medicaid also spends quite a bit of money on senior citizens. seniors get medicare. medicaid helps them pay for their premiums. helps them pay for their co- payments. this is significant. this idea from the heritage foundation says take the states and they would continue falling and the stick full responsibility for their long- term care, the nursing home coverage, and also for helping the folks who are on medicare, the senior citizens who still need help paying their premiums.
the rest of the folks, they qualify for subsidies. but by private insurance through the exchange. you are giving them full responsibility to the federal government. not everybody agrees that this is the case. there seems to be some confusion about whether these folks would qualify for subsidies. the people who wrote the law say that was not the intention. however, there are a number of folks in the government who are looking into this. they are surprised by this. we still don't have an official word from the federal government that this will not be the case, that they would not qualify for subsidies. this is kind of a big question. it might be a deciding factor in whether states moved ahead with dropping out of medicaid. if they did drop out of
medicaid, if these folks to qualify for the subsidies and were turned over to the federal government, it would meet a lot more spending by the federal government. host: the kaiser group has a chart that answers how states use that funding. here's the chart right here. the lighter color is 2009. that is less than the year before. host: that is how the enhanced money that is beginning now is
winding down by the states. we're talking marilyn werber serafini with and we're talking with medicaid and the states. indeed, democrats line from florida. caller: good morning to you. -- amy. i am sure you can tell me whether this is included also. this has always bothered me. when i was much younger, my health insurance had pardon parcel of it was done so. the view is from both doctors and dentists that dental care is very important to your overall health care. if you have bad dental care, it can create strokes and heart attacks and major infections in your body. i just don't quite understand why it is not still part and parcel of health insurance,
whether it be from government health insurance or private health insurance. guest: that is a good question. go to the dentist and you might get a little bit covered by private insurance. but not very much, really. this is a good question. there is no enter as to what except it is expensive coverage. host: you wrote a piece -- could medicaid recipients buy insurance? we talk about that. we have a tweet from michael johnson. guest:his is simply because the federal government or the writers of this law decided that these people would be better off in medicaid then there would be getting coverage through the exchange and private insurance. there are a number of questions as to -- there are some ups and
downs about being in medicaid vs. being in the exchange. there are some folks out there, the ones who of like to see these people stay in medicaid, who say, if you put them in the exchange, they might lose some benefits. on the other hand, there are folks out there who are arguing that people -- if you move these folks from medicaid to the exchange, they would have better access to physicians. right now, there are a number of physicians -- lots of physicians who simply will not see medicaid patients. it is hard in some areas of the country for medicaid recipient to get in to see a doctor. host: this is the james from pensacola, an independent. caller: yes.
the economic situation -- if you're going to go broke -- there is a progressive medical program that the individual there on the screen is saying we expand medicaid, medicare. .'m retired military served 24 years, active duty. right now, if i want to go to see a doctor or dentist, i have to wait in line just like everybody else. medicare, medicaid. the congress wrote the law that we're going to have imposed on
the public's. we have a choice. i have availability for medicare. in the military. i'm on medicare. however, the other countries have a progressive-type medical system. most of them are going broke. we have one in the united states -- free medical. people -- why do we insist on bankrupting the american public with high-cost medical care? mr. obama -- host: thank you. guest: you hit on a good issue.
there are many folks in washington who are concerned that the law did not go nearly far enough in trying to bring in the high cost of health care and to get better quality care at a lower cost. there are centers of excellence within the country that have already begun doing a much better job and higher quality and lower cost and there are provisions in the health-care law to try to move us in that direction, by creating such things as accountable care organizations, meeting grouping physicians and hospitals together so that they are working together better and encouraging the use of electronic health records. but even so, a lot of these programs are pilot projects. everybody will not be doing them immediately. we do not know when others will
be picking them up. there are still a lot of questions about whether the law went far enough. many people here in washington, many of the policy experts are very concerned that there is more work to be done. host: there is a piece in "the washington post" about a new act by scott brown and ron wyden that affects states. ron wyden and scott brown introduced the empowering states ct.innovate an
host: the was a starting date three years after the starting date goes into effect. states could propose their alternatives now. guest: this is interesting. senator ron wyden has been very involved in this debate all the way through. he had his own proposal during the health care reform debate. this is what we're seeing from the states. the states want more flexibility to expand medicaid and to provide coverage for these -- for this poor population the way they see fit. it is possible if the senators are successful in getting this kind of a law through, that we
could see more differentiation in what the states are doing and how they are looking at expanding their population. the states have long complained -- many governors and many state legislators have complained that the federal government ties to many strings to that money. they placed a lot requirements on them to cover certain benefits, to cover certain populations of people, and to do it in a specific way. there are a number of states -- they want to run their medicaid programs differently. i think we can expect to see whether or not we see senator widen's bill progress, we can expect to see a lot of states looking for waivers from the federal medicaid requirements so that they can run their programs differently. host: a republican from north carolina. good morning.
caller: it is actually a wilmington, north carolina. my frustration is that i have been on medicaid -- i am a single father of two children. we have to use medicaid and so much that we've not been able to find physicians or urgent cares bill except it in this county. we have had to use the hospitals, which is financially taxing on the community. i am wondering if the have any kind of program or a number that a person could contact to find out who set medicaid. i have been on the phone calling -- i've been given several numbers. i get the same reply that there are no longer taking patients. it is not available. i just keep going around and keep going to the hospital over and over again.
guest: there are so many people around the country who are having the same problem you're having. they will take the primary farecards -- the primary-care physicians better beginning in 2014. whether there is one place you can go to see who is accepting medicaid, i don't think so. you could try calling your state's health department and see if they have any kind of that information. one thing we will start seeing but probably not until 2013 or 2014 -- as the states began to set up exchanges where many individuals can go to buy insurance, we should start to see more comparative information becomes available, where you can look and see which doctors -- you can compare doctors and
hospitals, insurance plans. we should start to see more information coming about. i'm not sure how successful you will be right now as opposed -- i think you will have to call a bunch of doctors. host: we have a tweet from the viewer. we will put it on screen. folks can see the detail. host: what should we take away from matt? -- what should we take away from that? guest: i am not sure. i think what we can take away is that both programs are expensive for the federal government. and also for the states, as we
well know. another message we can take away is that medicare -- which can expect to see a lot more discussion in the near future about the cost of medicare. one of the main ways in which we save money in this new health care reform law is by slowing the growth of medicare by $500 billion. that is a lot of money. there is some question about how that is going to affect the program. we have been talking about medicaid not paying providers may be as well as some people think they should. there was a new study the came out by a conservative think tank yesterday in dallas and they calculated -- if we keep paying physicians the way we are paying
physicians in medicare -- this is the program for seniors and disabled people -- medicare and eventually will be a lesser player. they will pay physicians and hospitals less than medicaid pays them. we heard the giant tell us he cannot find a doctor. that is why. -- we heard the gentleman tell us he cannot find a doctor. it does assume that the cuts for a physician payment that are in current law will actually go into effect. these cuts have been scheduled to go into effect for years. congress to not intend those cuts to be so steep. every year, sometimes twice a year, they have been coming in and restoring that money. whether they will actually -- whether we will see the severity as this report seems to
indicate, is not clear it will not be that severe. host: medicare payments were extended and it now goes to the house of representatives. from nancy.a tweet next, omaha, nebraska. susan is a democrat and on the air. caller: good morning, ladies. something that upsets me is my name is being used by businesses frontally. -- fraudulently. when i turn them in, nothing happens. $10,000 -- i don't understand why human services or medicaid cares. if one of the -- one of the businesses kept charging for
appointments i was canceling. they should cancel the approval. why should they get paid if i never show up? host: to live. waste, fraud, and abuse. --ost: thank you. guest: there was discussion and there are new programs in place that will be -- that will be coming up to deal with this waste, fraud, and abuse, and that is the intention, to get at some of this. usually when it is a one-person thing like this and you are saying that you were not seen by a physician and they are still getting paid, those kinds of things, medicaid and medicare are more concerned in the large
fraud scheme host:. wisconsin. caller: everything i have heard this morning has been very informative. one thing i'm concerned about is hearing that states are willing to opt out of medicaid based upon money and funding and things like that. in reality, each individual as a human deserves to have health care. a lot of the government does understand that when a new regulation went in for health care reform and being able to pick up your child at the age of 21 for your employer -- host: 26.
caller: many employers said we're not paying for that. they were eliminated. this ended up causing a lot more people -- this caused a lot more people to be on medicaid. is congress going to look at that option? with the reform going on, you are still going to have on the other end, you will still have the people, the employers will not hire people. they are going to be discreet. there will hire people that do not have families and do not have children so they don't have to pay these premiums. guest: some would argue that is already going on today. the people who created -- the folks on capitol hill and the white house predicts the folks who created this law, they are aware and they are expecting that some employers will drop out of this p