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tv   Washington Journal  CSPAN  November 27, 2010 7:00am-10:00am EST

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journal" isabel sawhill on researching social security, medicare and medicaid. daniel goure and amy harder on the latest federal regulations. we begin with a look at the morning headlines and your calls. host: stories about holiday shopping and black friday dominate the headlines. spending never felt so good as shoppers kicked off by targeting bargains at stores opening around the clock. "atlanta journal-constitution" good sales, good signs.
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driven by bargains and optimism. in "the boston globe" optimism weighs in on black friday. the economy's highway recovery hampered holiday shopping. welcome to the "washington journal." we begin with a discussion about planning more or less holiday spending based on your personal economy and economy of the country. 202-7 202-737-0002. 202-737-0001. 202-628-0205. e-mail journal@c-span.org. or twitter.com/c-span wj.
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whether you are planning more spending. this is the "wall street journal" lead story. shoppers came out in force on black friday in a signal that american consumers were slowly becoming comfortable spending again but retailers resorted to heavy promotions to entice them. from new york to fran chains reported strong consumer -- customer traffic for the annual rite of bargain hunting despite a spate of online shopping offers. it bolstered prediction it is would be the busiest shopping day of the year. while many tried to pull sales forward to the days before black friday that is difficult because black friday is a cultural phenomenon said the best buy company chief executive brian dunn. they were luring shoppers with
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door booster specials including a toshiba blue ray player for $59. there is almost a competitive juice to all of this for bargain hunters. also this morning, in the "financial times" weekend edition shoppers join rush to black friday sales. again brian dunn is being quoted here. he said this is anecdotal but so far we estimate our crowds are bigger than last year's. sales were strong of categories chug mobile -- including mobile devices, computers and others. also quoted in the article is marshall cohen senior retail analyst at n.p.d. group who said he had seen crowds as they opened during the early hours with kohl's opening at 3:00 a.m., target started at 4:00 a.m. and wal-mart selling n
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nonelectronic bargains beginning at midnight. so, we are talking about whether or not you are planning more or less shopping spending this year, more or less spend something what we will be talking about the first 45. 202-737-0002 for democrats, 202-737-0001 for republicans, independents 628-0205. or send us electronic messages. in the "washington post" they have pictures at midnight in potomac mills, a mall close to where we are here in downtown washington. they show shoppers rushing in
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with the headline swarms of shoppers charge the malls eager to spend but cautiously. it says the traditional holiday shopping season kicked off friday with retailers reporting longer lines than last year and customers saying they were more willing to spend boosting hopes the coming weeks could give the economy a badly needed nudge. although some shoppers said they were more eager than a year ago to trade up for a pricier electronic item or spend more on themselves, they remain cautious about parting with too much of their money. our first call is from berkeley, michigan, the line for the purpose democrats, debra. how are things in berkeley, michigan? caller: they are great here. host: are you planning on spending more or less this holiday season? caller: i'm going to spend more this season. host: what kind of things are you looking at buying?
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caller: i'm going to buy something special for my boyfriend, i believe. host: what are you going to buy him? caller: i can't say. he might be watching. tkpwhr -- host: do you think he is a dedicated fan of "washington journa journal"? caller: he might be. i want to spend more because i want to share with the people i love and i cut back the past couple of years. host: what is the situation with your personal economy? is there any factor in that that is leading you to spend more? is it just because you are feeling so generous? caller: i would say actually that i'm feeling generous this year. host: debra, thanks for calling. houston, texas, on the line for democrats. houston, texas. gretchen, are you there?
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caller: yes. host: are you planning to spend more or less this holiday season? caller: less. host: why is that? caller: the money is just not there. host: what kind of work are you in? tell us more about your personal situation if you don't mind. caller: well, the kids are getting bigger but can't afford the gift we need. the economy is just rough right now. the jobs cause me to spend a little less. host: next is queens, new york, sharon for democrats. caller: yes, good morning. thank you for "washington journal." i would be going out in less than a half hour to try to catch a few sales. i will spend moderately because i'm very concerned about the economy. but there are some things i need to get. host: what kinds of things do you need? caller: well, gifts for basically my family.
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host: more from rt article in the "washington post" with on the jump page under the headline "shoppers' wallets open and ready." consumer spending which accounts for two-thirds of the nation's economic output is the key to recovery in recent months where there have opinion promising signs u.s. consumers are becoming more confident. personal consumption rose at a 2.8 annual rate in the third quarter the strongest since the ends of 2006 but few believe spending will acceleratically because consumers are being restrained by a weak job market and need to pay down debts accumulated during the bottom years. next up is lynn, massachusetts, david for the independent line. caller: good morning. happy thanksgiving. host: are you planning on
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spending more or less this holiday season? caller: probably a little more but it would be nice to have some tax cuts to spend more and that would help the economy. you make an interesting point because it shows the economy is securely driven. i'm going to spend a little more on my children and a lot more on my fiance because i have the money and i'm working overtime in the job which i'm blessed that the lord gave me. host: how many kids do you have? >> i have two boys. host: do they watch the "washington journal" or can you give us a hint? caller: they are probably still sleeping. host: next up is needham, massachusetts. donald on the democrat line. caller: i'm calling about the fact that most of this stuff that is on sale is coming from
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foreign countries where they have shipped our jobs. and what we are really doing is giving a boost to their economy. host: you don't think any of that money will stick around here in the united states? caller: yes, but a great deal of it goes to the point of origin. host: emo 4545, one of our twitter messages, a tweet, agrees with donald in needham and says we shop and china makes the profits. we all need to try to buy american products when available. next up is shellknob, missouri. sandra. you plan on spending more or less on this holiday season? caller: i will be spending less this year. host: why is that? caller: the uncertainty about the tax breaks, death taxes and
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the fact the economy is so rotten and here in our little town we've lost four or five businesses that closed within the last six months. host: sandra, you knew that the tax breaks were not going to be around forever, right? caller: well, you are not sure what is going to be around forever. they promise you one thing one year and change the next. host: but when the tax breaks were originally signed in during the last administration they were not going to be around forever. caller: well, they have had two years to come to an agreement about them and this uncertainty is causing businesses and people to hold back and hold their tax in reserve. and with $800 billion pumped into the economy by the feds i know my money is going to be worth less. so i'm trying to hang on to it. but we really don't know what to do. host: cincinnati, ohio, amber, on the line for independents.
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caller: this season i will be spending a lot less. i just don't have it this year. i'm on a very strapped budget. the only thing i independent on is my own s.s.i. check. host: and has that gotten smaller in the past year or you have more responsibility? caller: i have a lot of responsibility. just diagnosed with cancer and i have to take care of everything still. because i'm still going to make sure i get everyone a good holiday gift the best i can. host: in the "baltimore sun" black friday off with a bang. they write the national retail federation, which will release weekend sales results sunday, has said consumers are cautious because of the high unemployment rate but will still spend. sales are expected to increase a moderate 2.3% from last year to
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$444 billion. while that growth remains slightly lower than the 10-year average holiday sales increase of 2.5%, it would be a marked improvement from last year 0.4% increase and 3.9% who will did i sales delaney retailers report -- tkhraoeub in 2008. it is an important indication of how the rest of the season will go. chester, south carolina, todd on the democratic line. caller: good morning. host: are you planning more or less holiday spending this year? caller: well, i lost my job in 2006 and i'm one of those permanent unemployed and i just really haven't been spending a lot for christmas and probably won't spend any. host: you say permanent unemployed. you don't think you will ever
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get a job again? caller: our county is so, has such a high unemployment rate and the jobs are just not pay g paying. you have to drive so far to work and if my house wasn't paid for i don't know what i would do. i just make it from month to month. but when i was working i did that, too. host: where in south carolina are you and what was the imagine employer there? caller: it was textiles. and i'm 50 miles south of charlotte. which doesn't make think difference. we have the high unemployment rate and we are right down the road from charlotte with all of the banking and we have like almost 20% unemployment. and it was textiles. and the plant i worked at, you know, the company, was the county's largest employer. and they are gone now. and the plant i worked at, when it closed, there were over 700
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people put out of work at one time. host: todd in chester, south carolina. on the front page of the "chicago tribune" a bargain bonanza begins. crowds singing a happy tune for retailers who promise season door busters. they have a picture of tammy carpenter of elgin and a friend and they are looking at things at toys-r-us in algonquin. next is kate on the line for republicans. caller: good morning. host: more or less holiday spending this year? caller: i will be spend being more this year on my children. host: why is that? caller: because i have it now and i'm not sure it will be worth anything next year. probably loot of toys and -- probably a lot of toys and things.
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host: next up is sarah in st. louis on the line for independents. caller: how are you doing. host: more or less holiday spending this year? caller: virtually no holiday spending. i lose my unemployment on december 4 so my economic r income will be drastically reduced. host: are you single or trying to support a family? caller: single parent. host: how many kids? caller: one. host: is your child aware of the situation in caller: he is. luckily i'm blessed with a family that -- my parents have a higher income and can help. but really just going to the salvation army and applying for things is what i'm looking at. host: in the "detroit free press" on the front page bustling black friday decked out with discounts. shoppers out in full force napping up the sales -- snapping
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up the sales and you can see in the picture the is snaked around vera bradley in troy, michigan, on friday. the handbag store was one of the most popular shops at the mall which opened at 8:00 a.m. back to the phones, jackson, tennessee, andy on the line for democrats. caller: hello. host: more or less holiday spending this year in caller: less. host: why is that? caller: less income. i go to wal-mart but i don't like to because everything you buy is from taiwan or china, third-world country. host: is it difficult to buy american there in jackson, tennessee? stpwhr caller: yeah. even the flags are from china or taiwan. and the mom and pop stores are
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just about over. host: all right. next up is augusta, georgia, on the line for republicans. maria on the "washington journal." caller: hi, how are you doing? host: fine. are you planning on more or less? caller: less. my husband was an engineer and couldn't find a job and had to take a career as a teacher and since he had to go back to cool to keep his job and we have kids in college and with the changes in healthcare and all that we are not really going to be spending any money because we just don't have it. we have to pay for education for our kids and my husband. host: what kind of percentage in salary loss did your husband suffer in caller: he went from an $80,000 job to being unemployed two years to a little over $30,000 being a teacher. and we will see a little bit of increase with him getting his
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master's degree because he doesn't have an education degree and looks like s.r.s. will be laying off more so i feel sorry for the people at s. are r.s. host: what is s.r.s. caller: savannah river site. aoeu work in hotel care. host: somehow -- somehow that going? caller: there are going to be cuts in all kinds of things and everybody is looking to see how they down size other things that don't have to do with patient care related things. host: de soto, texas, carolyn on the line for democrats. caller: hi. host: hi. caller: i plan to spend more. host: you plan to spend more? caller: yes. host: why? are you having a good year? caller: having a good year.
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i don't think the tax breaks are going to effect me. blessed to have a wonderful country and love my president. host: what kind of work do you do? caller: software training consultant. host: business good in that? caller: it is rolling. host: on the pittsbur"pittsburg post-gazette." retailers hungry for a piece of the holiday sales pie through online sales, early sales and opened their doors at all kinds of crazy hours over thanksgiving and black friday and it worked for consumers anyway. it turned out to be a good mistake said marshall co-help chief -- cohen for n.p.d. who said this was the first year store openings varied so much and shoppers took advantage. it is a pattern seen all over the country. customers who waited in long lines wrapping around toys-r-us in monroeville for the 10:00
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p.m. opening had time to stop for breakfast and make the 3:00 a.m. option at kohl's or get into the possess pain heater enhanced line for the 5:00 a.m. opening at best buy. a lot of early shopping based on your tiling. we are talking -- next up is bob in tuscon. caller: i would say a lot less because too many jobs have been shipped out and on the republican side i would say that they have gotten too greedy. and on the democratic side i would say people have gotten too poor. there are a few rich democrats but they are way up there and generally when people get too
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much money in their pocket and too many deals going for them, they don't think of the average guy. we don't have a good average. we need to make it so that people earn about $57,000 a year. if that was to happen, we would have more taxpayers. host: sorry about that, we are going to leave it there. we have this e-matwitter messag. do people shop because there are sales or are they really what the reasonable prices should be? in the financial times pyongyang ratchets up rhetoric. working out a response to the attack. the arrival of a u.s. aircraft carrier in the yellow sea
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represents an act of political solidarity with south korea by washington but no one expects north korea to back down and some believe that kim jong-il might enjoy the additional attention. the article goes on to say the four days of maneuvering takes place as north korea watchers debate the motivation for shelling the south korean island of i don't think pong -- yeonpyeong tuesday. jackson, mississippi, on the line for independents. jesse is on the "washington journal." caller: good morning. how is everybody in host: more or less holiday spending there for you, jesse? caller: less. practically none. i really don't see the purpose of me going out and spending all my money to make profits for the big company and stockholders. i'm really at a loss of
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capitalism. i remember george w. bush said go out and spend, spend, spend. we go out and spend for the big companies to make profits for their shareholders. host: what about those who say that more spending will put more people to work? jesse is gone. hamden, connecticut, democrats. joan, go ahead. caller: good morning. host: more or less holiday spending this year? caller: probably less. there was a gentleman that made a good point about finding products made in america. i believe in america. i didn't see much out there. i have four kids in college -- three kids in college and a 9-year-old. he said mommy, look for the tags and we have been looking and we don't really find any. so, i guess we will be spending
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less. host: so, spending less is based not necessarily on your personal economy but commitment to buy american? caller: it is really based on both. i have three kid in college and you have to put the money somewhere. and it is not bad to neglect spending when you are spending for a good cause. host: joan, thank you. in the "washington post" in the politics and nation section critics alarmed at g.o.p.'s 2012 convention spending. they write spending through september has topped $636,800 according to figures in a report to the federal election committee. that is 18 times the amount spent in a comparable period four years ago. the article goes on to quote i
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can't imagine what you would spend $636,000 on at this point. is by a former national committeeman from new jersey. in 2004 he chaired the r.n.c. committee on arrangements which oversees national conventions. he says that is it possible it is early spending that would have taken place anyway in it is possible but i can't imagine what it would be. the r.n.c. communications director confirmed that $636,000 figure for overall spending but said the arrangements committee operates with some independence and therefore he was not familiar with how the money was spent. regarding the r.n.c. this morning, in the "philadelphia inquirer," g.o.p. national committeeivided over keeping steele. from the o.p. a significant block of members wants michael steele to step aside but the rank and file have failed to settle on a clear alternative according to associated press
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interviews with committee members. more than four dozen interviews with committee members of the 168-member central committee found fear a badly damaged deal could emerge from the wreckage after knockdown drag-out fight to head the party as it challenges president obama in 2012. although most agree steele's time has been costly they recognize that a leadership fight could overshadow gains republicans made in midterm elections. back to the phones in our discussion regarding planning more or less holiday spending. waldorf, maryland, mike on the warshington journal. caller: i'm a disabled veteran and it is less for me. we didn't get much of a raise through v.a. and didn't get one through medicare. i would like to spend more on my grandkids and three adult kids, but unfortunately the cards are
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not in it for us. host: wichita, kansas, sheila it for democrats. caller: i'm unemployed and have been since almost a year and a half now. aircraft here in wichita is dead. they have had laid off 18,000 in the last two years on aircraft. i bet wichita has the lowest spending in the area. unemployment ends november 30. host: what will happen then in caller: i don't know. i guess apply for assistance. because there are hardly any jobs here. you have too many people looking for jobs. you can't hardly get a waitress job here. and beechcraft is planning to move to louisiana. i don't know why our government can't do something. they are going to louisiana and mexico. why can't the government stop these companies from moving
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overseas or out of the country? host: is it possible you may have to leave wichita to find a job? caller: very possible. i hate to. i have been here all my life. host: more on the g.o.p. national committee chair michael steele. this is a tweet who writes steele helped the republican resurgence. cleveland, ohio, kevin, republican. you are on the "washington journal." caller: hey. i'm going to be spending more. host: really? how much more? caller: i'm not sure exactly. i have a big list. probably getting hunting supplies. big list of tea party flags to buy for people. host: next is burty in hammond, indiana, on the line for independents.
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caller: i live just outside of chicago and i was saying on black friday from a nostalgic point of view my family and i went out to macy's which was originally marshall field's and we enjoyed it but i don't know how much i believe that even half the money would be on gifts or on myself. we have some income coming in, but i think we really need to realize that there is such a s disproportion between what money we have and what the economy is urging us to do and spending money with consumer confidence. host: sounds like you go up to chicago with a plan on what you are going to spend and how to spend your time. that is right? caller: not really. i am school at bloomington and i have people coming from me at
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the tea party movement and it is almost look a liberal cesspool in bloomington. i feel like we are pouring money out of our [bleep] in this country and we need to decide between the bipartisan battle between the democrats and republicans or uphold the constitution and i don't know, spend our money more wisely, money that we don't actually have. host: we will leave it there. richmond times dispatch the front page black friday shoppers forgo sleep to get early bargains. they have a picture of amp udra stall who is waiting to pay for two tv's and one e-reader in mid loathe owian -- mid loathialoat. she was plan tning to meet a friend at kohl's for more shopping and probably lots of red bull. a programming note on news
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makers this week norm coleman c.e.o. of the american action network which put $25.2 million in to support for conservative candidates is our guest. we will show you a little bit of his interview and in this part he talks about the role of third party groups like american action network and crossroads g. >> in is a role to be played in adequacy. no question. what that role is, i think, is evolving. clearly the left kind of left forward in that in the 2006 and 2008 cycles, conservatives leveled it in 2010. i can't tell you what the future holds but there will be a role for third party groups to provide adequacy on conservative principles and policy makers. >> can i just follow up asking how you respond to those who say that the notion of anonymous
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donors is somehow pernicious or has an effect on elections and democracy? >> the group did collect donations from individuals without releasing the names of the donors. how do you respond to those crics? >> by law we can't spend, we don't spend dollar for dollar. it is not like folks are doing that. if you want to spend dollar for dollar you engage in support of 527 which everything is fully disclosed. less than 50% of the work we do is advocacy and our group will have substantially less than 50% advocacy. so, there are rules and regulations but the bottom line is if every group on the left and right were to opera on a level playing field i would support full disclosure. i don't oppose that. what we are talking about is leveling the playing field following the rules that were in
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effect for groups like league of conservation, the left dominated this and now the left is talking about doing it again. i would fully support a more open disclosure process. the unions need to be on a level playing field, trial lawyers and all groups. if we can figure that out, i'm not opposed to. host: that is norm coleman. you can see the entire interview tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. on c-span and available online at c-span.org or as an appear for your iphone. we are talking about whether you are plaingn spending more or less this holiday season. the front page of the orange county register, wait pays off. shoppers line up on black friday and say they will do it again next year. there is a picture of mike from santa ana who showed up at 3:30
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a.m. and checks his two receipts for two tv's and a fire pit he got from target. back to the phones, deny which haddy, virginia. on the line for independents. are you going to spend more or less this holiday season? caller: well, i would like to spend more but i don't have it and the reason is because i'm on disability and we didn't get no raises and the other factor being that the republicans, when they say they were going to gain control of the house, speculators went crazy and oil has jumped up for no reason other than speculation. and you can go on with that. there are five supreme court justices about everybody put up money in the republicans put up money in big business so the prices are going to go up on commodities because they are going to get that money back where they give to the electi s
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elections. i'm going to save money for bullets because like that "said about the flags we are going to start shooting because there's going to be a war twpb the poor and rich and that means blue collar around main street and wall street. that is the way i'm thinking. thank you for having me on. host: republican line from arkansas -- i'm sorry, democrats. caller: yes, how are you doing today? host: i'm fine. how are things there? caller: so, so. jobs are pretty bad. host: will you you be spending more or less this holiday season? caller: less. we don't have the money. what i would like to know is when george w. bush put in the tax cut for the republicans, to create jobs, where were the jobs from 2006 to 2009? host: i don't know.
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you tell me, where were the jobs? i believe that the tax cuts were for all americans and not just the republicans. caller: ok. sorry about that then. host: no problem. let's go to plymouth, north carolina. dave on the line for republicans. are you spending more or less? caller: i will be spending less. one, because our government has not allowed a process to go forward for the proper expanding of jobs in our community. i'm a republican. i'm a colin powell republican. i believe that we have an obligation to be truthful an frank with our people and help govern things. one point i would like to make is 95% of the benefit of overseas embassies and those imports and people traveling back and forth, 95% of the people that benefit from that are the people that live above
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their means and are very wealthy. and they spend their money mainly overseas. and middle class are normally working class people are the people that are in the military and are working class and rarely get the benefit from all of those benefits that we have with our tax dollars that is being spentor military embassies and those overseas tenures and things we have to support for the rich people in this country. host: in "new york times" op-ed section this morning bob herbert writes about winning the class war. even as millions of out of work and otherwise struggling americans are tightening their pweplts for the holidays the nation's elite are lacg their dancing shoes and partying like royalty. recessions are for the little people, not the corporate chiefs and the titans of wall street who are at the heart of the american aristocracy. they have waged economic warfare
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and are winning big-time. north adams, massachusetts, hair lien on the line for democrats -- marilyn on the line for democrats. are you planning on spending more or less this year? caller: definitely spending less. there is certainly a rise in all of our utilities, taxes, everything keeps going up and, of course, we don't get any increases. so, there is no room for spending money on christmas, really. very minimal amount. host: thank you. in the "baltimore sun" radioactive shipment found at fedex facility. this is from the tribune's washington bureau. they say a shipment of radioactive rods used for medical equipment that went missing on thanksgiving day was found by fedex in tennessee. while they pested little threat
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the misplaced shipment underscores the need to track low hazard materials that could be used in small scale terrorist acts. a call from maryland, tom on the washington for independents. caller: good morning. how are you doing? host: do you plan to spend more or less? caller: definitely a lot less. i haven't worked since january of 2008 because i had to have eye surgery in 2009 and the economy here in our county is so bad that the state unemployment office told me straight up there is no jobs out there. and i'm just getting ready to go back to work for a dollar general store in hagerstown and that is the best i can do. i drove truck for 16 years. i have waited on customers at restaurants, car dealerships, and my wife is so mad at this situation she got mad and took off here four months ago and a
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she expects me to get a job and it is like her expect taeubgtss are -- expectations are so out of whack i don't see where her thinking is. host: yeardley, pennsylvania. janet for republicans. janet? caller: hello. host: go ahead. caller: i'm spending zero. host: why is that? i need to you turn your television down. you are getting a little confused. caller: ok. i'm spending zero this year. host: why? caller: i have been unemployed over a year and i will not go into the retail risk. and i'm 66 years old and i have never gone out on black friday. never, ever, ever. and it is about time we took our
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government over. host: in the "wall street journal" this morning their editorial a worthy immigration bill they write about the tkroepl act and say the dream act would create a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrant children who attend college or join the military. harry reid says he will schedule a vote on the measure during the lame duck session. our sources say mr. reid probably lacks the democratic votes to pass the bill even if a few republicans support it. he has behaved cynically on immigration and many republicans his real goal is to spend republican votes against the bill as evidence that republicans are anti-immigrant. republicans are under no obligation to play the game and give cover to a white house and democratic congress that promised to make immigration reform a priority but haven't done so. still the dream act has enjoyed republican support from the lacks of senators oren hatch of
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lieutenant and richard law tkpwr of indiana and deserves to be part of the effort to tack many immigration reform. austin, texas, richard on the line for independents. caller: yes, we expect to spend less on christmas. host: why is that, richard? host: the last two years we had our pensions cut and they gave as you letter expecting a third cut. this coming year. and president obama has also said that social security is frozen and healthcare premiums will through the roof. they are talking about $1,200 a month so we have to tighten our belts. host: speaking of the healthcare bill, it is being calendar in the state of virginia. this is how it is reported on. in the "philadelphia inquirer" a
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judge's ruling in virginia could undercut part or all of the new federal healthcare act. kevin sack and robert pair right as the obama administration presses ahead with the healthcare law officials are bracing for the possibility that a federal judge in virginia will soon reject the central provision as unconstitutional and in the worst case for the white house halt its enforcement until higher courts can rule. the judge henry hudson of u.s. district court has promised to rule by the end of the year on the constitutionality of the law's requirement but most americans obtain information that doesn't take effect until 2014. back to the phones, joplin, missouri, on the line for democrats. rebecca. you plan to spend more or less this holiday season? caller: we planned on spending more but most of the rest of the family members can't afford to purchase for christmas, so we
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are going to have to spend less. i would like to comment about purchasing from the saur, products from the saur. we have found the same thing. we cannot find products from the u.s.a. to purchase in the major chains. we are finding some things at local craft fairs. today is small business saturday here around however most small businesses purchase their products from overseas. i looked at a swim suit at a major chain store for $100 this summer and i thought we could make that in the u.s.a. for that price for the store to sell. in missouri only 4% of our food is grown for ourselves according to a show you saw on a pbs station and i think we could do a lot better providing for ourselves. people can't get jobs should go back to growing our own food,
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sewing our own clothes, pherpbding our clothes and that would send a message. host: thank you for that call. we found this ad click on detroit.com and it talks about the small businesses that rebecca mentioned. small businesses say saturday is their day. organizations and consumers join to support small business. many advocacy public and private organizations hope to raise awareness of the importance of small businesses to community. it is called small business saturday and many local business owners are happy to have it the day after black friday. we want to let you know that in a few minutes we will be talking with elizabeth sawhill about entitlement reform. she wrote this piece in democracy, a journal of ideas, back in the fall of 2010. she says the growth of entitlements is on an unsustainable path. if allowed to continue, spending on social security, medicare and
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medicaid will require un tenate tax increases, crowd out all other spending or lead to a dangerous costume legislation of debt -- dangerous accumulation of debt. the last call regarding spending more or less this holiday is from foxboro, massachusetts. pete on the line for independents. caller: good morning. definitely spending less. but i'm going to give out more hugs and i'm on the phone i want to wish all them people at goldman sachs and a.i.g. happy holidays. thank you. host: more hugs, definitely. in the "new york post" an accident that happened yesterday while the president was playing basketball with some staffers. president obama, who admitted to getting a shellacking from republicans in the midterm elections took be a elbow to the mouth playing basketball yesterday with a group of family
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and friends in town for thanksgiving. the offending player was a person who heads a washington based hispanic advocacy group. the president had to get a couple of stitches. in a few minutes a discussion on entitlement reform. you are watch, the "washington journal." today is saturday november 27. we will be right back. >> look at the new members of congress. find the new list. every new member is listed with the district map, campaign finances for the midterm and any
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appearances on c-span. it is on the computer. it is washington your way. >> tonight on book tv's "of a words" jai words" james zogby questions muslims about stereotypes and discusses the findings. part of this weekend's nonfiction books and authors on c-span 2. >> this week marks the 47th anniversary of the assassination of president kennedy. this weekend we will talk with gerald lane and clint hill two former secret service agents whose job it was to protect the president on the events of that day. the theories about the assassination and the new book. that is on q&a. host: isabel saw hill is with the brookings institution.
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she is here to talk about entitlement reform. before the break we read a piece from an article that you had done with greg enry talking about the deficit and entitlement reform. you said that the growth of entitlement was unsustainable. on an unsustainable path. why did you say that? guest: we have these tremendous deficits right now and more to come. if you project out into the future, the national debt will continue to grow to unheard of levels. and if we don't do something about that we are going to have another economic crisis or much lower economic growth. around when you recognize that entitlements are so-called entitlemen entitlements, i'm really talking about social security, medicare and medicaid. they are such a big chunk of the total spending that the federal government does that it just
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stands to reason we have to get them reined in. host: those they, are they the only entitlements or just the biggest ones and ones we are more familiar with? in the jargon of budget speak there are some other entitlements. farm subsidies, for example. but they are the ones we are most familiar with and by far the biggest. just those three programs, social security, medicare, medicaid, account for about 70% of all of the revenues that the federal government takes in. host: in this article, you also wrote all sides in the debate know well the politics of entitlement reform are toxic. only 7% of the public is in favor of cutting spending on social security or medicare shield i shielding this from change has been a winning hand for progressives in the past including 2005 when george w.
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bush's social security privatization efforts crashed. but it is a pitical strategy that may jeopardize the liberal agenda going forward. talk to us about the current politics of entitlement reform and how you see that moving forward with a significantly stronger republican presence on capital. guest: the politics are very difficult as you indicated and as i have written. social security and medicare are very, very popular. when we were trying to do healthcare reform and the congress was trying to do it there was a guy who at at political rally said i want the government to leave their hands off my medicare, not recognizing that medicare is totally a government funded program. so, people don't even think about the fact that this is a big part of the problem that we face right now in terms of debt and deficits. but i think that the way to turn
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the politics around is to help people understand that if we want these programs to still be there -- they are very successful programs and they really help people. we are not talking about eliminating them or slashing them and burning them. we are just talking about making modest changes that won't effect anybody right now, will only effect people that will retire 20 to 30 years down the road. and if we do that we can save social security and save medicare. in other words, we can keep them solvent and physically -- fis l fiscally sustainable. >> social security and medicare have been described as the political third rail. for people who are not in urban areas and don't know what we are talking about, when subway trains move along there's an electrical rail that provides the power and touching they will can be deadly. political politically speaking, trying to adjust or reform or cut back
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entitlements like medicare and medicaid and social security has been seen as the political third rail. is that still the case? guest: i think it is becoming a little less so. we now have two groups who have just issued reports on what we need to do about our debt. one is the group that the president appointed to look at the deficit problem and make recommendations. the two co-chairs of that commission who are erskine bowles and allan simpson, one a democrat, the other a republican, have come out with a very bold plan recently and it does tack le social security an to some extent medicare. and it doesn't do anything immediately. it just says that people who are toddlers right now might have to get a little bit less growth in their promised benefits than what they might expect under current law. so, i don't think it is really
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going to be a big deal. and i think the fact that they are talking about it is a good thing. the other group is a private group co-chaired by former senator pete domenici, a republican, and former white house budget chief alice rivlin, who is a democrat. they have also come out with a proposal to reform social security and medicare to make them more sustainable for the future. host: we are talking about entitlement reform with isabel sawhill a senior fellow at brookings institution. the numbers are 202-737-0002 for democrats, republicans 202-737-0001, independents third parties, 202-628-0205. if you called in the last 30 days send us be a e-mail or message by twitter.
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i want to show, according to the associated press some proposed reforms to social security from the deficits panel leaders. these were proposed reforms including smaller cost of living benefits for the wealthiest 50%. gradual increase in retirement age. and higher payroll taxes for upper income americans. what do you think the effects would be of these either taken as a group or if they tried to exercise them individually? how would that effect entitlement? guest: that would help a lot. that would actually get the growth of these programs back on to a trajectory that we can afford. you have to remember that right now one-third of our adult lives is spent in retirement on average. that puts a tremendous burden on the working age population. we talk about trust funds for
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social security or medicare. i think that people have this image that somewhere there is some real assets in a bank to pay those benefits. that is not the way it works. the way it works is today's generation of workers pays for tod today's retirees' benefits. so, if we don't get the benefits side of the equation into a little better balance, we are going to be asking the working age population to be paying a lot more taxes. the working age population hasn't been doing so well. even before this recession their in connection were stagnant and as a result of the recession it has gotten worse as we know. host: comparatively speaking there are fewer working age people supporting the retirement age people. guest: that is an important point. when social security was first put in place there were 16 working age americans for every retiree. now it is a little bit over
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three to one. and if you go out in the future a few decades it is two to one. here is one way to think about it. every married couple will support their own retiree. host: our first call is from georgia. james on the line for republicans. go ahead. caller: yes. glad to get through this morning. my thoughts are that if the entitlements don't change and become sustainable, history is going to look at the baby boomers and give them a completely different name. they are going to the generation that enslaved their grandchildren to debt and they will no longer be the baby boomers. and that is basically my thought. host: isabel sawhill, your thoughts on james's comments. guest: you are right that every
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generation needs to pitch in on getting our debt and deficits under control because otherwise we are leaving a terrible legacy to our children and grandchildren. you can only borrow money for so long. every household knows that. at some poeupint the debt to be paid, which means probably higher taxes or much lower benefits for the next generation if we continue on this borrowing billing -- binge we are on. for my friends who advocate for doing nothing to social security or medicare, what they are basically saying is we don't need shared sacrifice. we can put the entire burden on the working age population and i agree with you, i don't think that is right. host: lindsey in columbus, ohio, the next caller on the line for democrats. caller: good morning. i'm so glad i got on today because it is so important. to begin with, i am 35.
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i worked since i was 15 and worked like a dog and in two jobs now and i hear senior citizens call in on your show, no one ever corrects them, that obama took their increase away. he tries to give tell back. the increase was put in the plan for social security. he's not taking it away to begin with. when i started working i didn't sign on with the government to have to work like a dog until i am 72 or 76. i was to be able to retire at 63 or 65 and i have an aunt that thinks everything is for senior citizens. i will tell you what. i'm paying for her stuff and i rye sent it. -- resent it. she wouldn't care if a 10-year-old died without healthcare. just give her her stuff. i didn't sign up for this and i
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rese it. it is time for them to get maybe death panels were right. maybe it is a good idea.
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and they're very good pensions. even these entitlement reforms, down the road, four other people. but we need somebody to recognize that this is going on.
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the lady has not talked about the biggest entitlement at all, which is the federal reserve system and in these financial interests that just got this financial bailout. they use taxpayer money for little or nothing and then when they destroyed it, we build them out with billions of dollars and now they are getting the biggest bonuses and perks and luxuries, and they are talking about taking away from senior citizens? host: we will leave it there. guest: i think i would disagree with you and little bit, in that the federal reserve is like an entitlement program. it is an authority that helps to adjust the money supply in the united states. i understand your anger, everybody else's anger about the bailout and a large bonuses.
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but keep in mind that the facts are that most of that money is that we used to bail out the banks has now been repaid or will be repaid. the taxpayers are actually probably getting a pretty good deal out of this in the sense that we saved the system from a worst depression, and we are getting most of our money back according to the experts. host: next up is at connecticut on our line for republicans. good morning. caller: good morning. back in 1951, i wrote my first letters to a senator, a republican and democrat, when i lived in new york. they were crying about social security because it was obviously a faulted system mathematically. now, i am 82.
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in the last 60 years, i have written many more letters, also to no avail because every time they want to fix social security they increase the age or the taxes or put the thing off, and it does not make sense. back in the beginning, you were allowed in areas to opt out of social security if you wanted to. there were three districts in texas that opted out. these people started their own type of social security. and as a published figures on it. it was infinitely superior from what they could get from social security. what i want to know is why can't they get together and realize this thing is economically unfeasible? let people have the option to have their own if they want to opt out of social security.
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i cannot think of any place where you could take a 10- where people have paid into it and lost money in. host: we will leave it there. this drives -- your thoughts? guest: i think there are a whole lot of things going on in these questions. interesting, the gentleman who has this long history. on the opting outotion, that is what president george bush was in favor of, of telling people to have private accounts so that they could invest in private stock, bonds, whatever
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and get a return. that was tried, discussed, but it was not popular. it does it lead to a lot of shifting risk from the government to the individual. what happens when these people get to retirement age and your portfolio has not done very well? is the government going to bail you out? a lot of people would have been in trouble in 2008 if we had the private accounts that president bush was in favor of. i am not sure if we should go too far in that direction, but i think it might be a good idea to do the following, to encourage or require that people store away a little more money in a private account so as their savings accumulated during their working years and they have
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returned from those savings to supplement their social security and their medicare. we have a low savings rate in this country. social security and medicare was never supposed to be the full support in old age. it is like a three legged stool. the third leg is a pension or an ira that you get from your employer. i think we need to get back to that concept. host: florida on our line for democrats. kathleen, you are on the "washington journal." caller: good morning. i am 46 years old. i am a descendant of american slaves. in the entitlement -- i want to know why the u.s. government [unintelligible]
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american slaves are not entitled to the great great grandparents, grandparents, and parents restoration. why have you taken away all the low entry jobs from the youth? guest: i am not sure what to tell you about slavery and reparations. it is not my area. obviously, a longstanding debate in the terrible part of our history. but i think on that the jobs issue, you are right, that we neglect our use at our peril. one of the problems right now, because of these few programs we are talking about our assorting
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so much of the government's budget, there is not much money left over to do things like providing training programs and education programs and jobs programs for the nation's youth. so i think that any nation that looks backwards towards its elderly or even towards parts of its history instead of forward in terms of making opportunities available to its use is not going to have a very good future. host: isabel sawhill is a senior fellow at the brookings institution. she is also a visiting professor at georgetown university in washington. guest: i am not there anymore. that was a previous position. host: i am sure you had a great class is all while you were there.
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the congressional budget office , the office of management budget, and the economist has put forth in these numbers, talking about options for reducing the deficit and savings. they include $3 billion by raising the medicare age to 67. $47 billion, converting medicare -- medicaid share to block grants. tell us how you think that might actually work out. are these numbers accurate in your assessment? guest: i think if they come from the sources you suggested, they probably are. i am not much of a fan for cutting spending for medicaid because it is the health-care program for lower income americans. it is not as big of a problem as
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medicare. medicare is going to be our largest program in another decade or so. it is growing like gangbusters. that is where we really need to focus our attention. i think that it is going to be hard to figure out how to rein in health-care costs because they have been growing much faster than our income, much faster than inflation, and that is partly because we have new medical advances that are costly, but they do extend healthy lives so that is a good thing. we have a huge amount of inefficiency in our health-care system, so if we don't tackle that inefficiency in a strong way, we are going to continue to see a lot of our income and a lot of our taxes be spent on
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these programs. host: you'll think spending more on these systems improves health care overall? guest: i don't, and the evidence here is quite clear. there are studies that have been done at dartmouth university that shows that in some cities in the united states we spend far more per person on a particular medical problem than we do in some other cities. the variation is huge. yet the health icons in the cities where we spend more for those treatments are not better than the outcomes in the cities where we spend much less. we can also compare ourselves to other advanced nations, in europe for example, where they spend typically half of what we
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spend per person on health care and get just as good health outcomes. that suggests we are doing something wrong, we are not getting good value for the dollars that we spend. every dollar that you spend on health care does not translate into better health. one of the things i have argued for is beginning to shift the way we pay physicians and hospitals and other providers to one where you get paid if what you are doing has been shown to be clinically of factive to improve people's health. you do not get paid if a patient or a doctor wants to do something where there is no evidence that it will do something good, let them do it but they should not -- it should not be funded by the taxpayer. host: bob is on our line for independents.
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caller: good morning. social security is not an entitlement program. it is a mandatory retirement insurance program between the individual worker and the government of the united states. people pay into social security for 40 to 50 years, and they should expect a gain on their return for the investments and they have made. the government stole the money from the social security insurance fund and spent it on other things that the government wanted to pay for and they're crazy spending down through the decades, and now everybody is running around saying social security is an entitlement program and it is broke.
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that is not true. it is alike and to aig selling to an insurance contract, taking your money and running away with it and leaving you with a blank sheet of paper. host: bob, we will leave it there. guest: thank you for your call. your view is a common view, and to some extent it is correct. i think, by the way, the terminology here is something we should not get hung up about. i can call these programs mandatory programs. it has become common to talk about them as entitled to programs, but either one is accurate. on your point about the trust funds, you are right in that we had surpluses in the trust fund for many years up until today.
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those surpluses were used to fund the operating deficits of the federal government, so that is correct. but the other thing that needs to be understood is that there was never any sort of real assets behind the trust fund iou's. it was just an accounting gimmick in the federal budget. gimmick is the wrong word, but an accounting mechanism. i disagree with you in the debate, that there weren't any sort of real assets in which to pay for these benefits. you are right, in that people that paid in for 40 years should expect to get something back. the question is how much should they expect to get back. it is not entirely like a private insurance policy. it is a public program and it is
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a program in which many people get back more than what they paid in. host: next up is north carolina, johnny is on our line for republicans. caller: and wanted to ask a question. talking about 40 years, i am 67 years old and will probably pay in another 10 years. a fund that was supposed to be a personal fonda for me and people like me, all american citizens paying into it. i know early in the show, you said it was 70% of the total take the that the government brings in it. what is the breakdown between the social security, medicare, and medicaid? what percentage of people make it up? medicaid is not something that
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is personal for me. medicare and social security is. how much of my money is going into a total federal program that is not connected to my pay? guest: thank you for that question. right now, social security is the biggest program, but that will change rather quickly over the next few decades because health-care costs are growing so much more rapidly than social security benefits. so, in the future, medicare will be the biggest. medicaid is somewhat smaller, but growing rapidly as well. as i think you alluded to, both social security and medicare are totally federal programs. medicaid, on the other hand, is
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a program that is financed partly on the state level and partly on the federal level. so i don't know if that gets at your request -- gets at your question sufficiently, but you could go to the congressional web site ande's look up the exact numbers. host: you talked about the commission's for reducing the deficit. the first one was the president's commission, and the second the bipartisan policy centered. explain to us the significant differences in the recommendations that each of those commissions make in terms of how reforming medicare and medicaid and social security, the entitlements, will contribute to reducing the deficit? guest: both of those address the entitlement programs.
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they do so in somewhat different ways. the president's commission did not do a lot on the medicaid -- on the medicare front as a the commission suggested. they adjusted some things that could be done over the longer term but did not really get into the specifics. it is really easy for these commissions or others in the political life to say we are going to restrain the growth of spending on medicare or on health care, generally, to gdp to plus 1%. reininge other ways of in health-care spending. you can ask individuals to pay
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higher deductibles or have higher coinsurance rates in order to reduce over spending on health care. one proposal that is very much in favor amongst the experts but has been politically difficult is the idea of beginning to tax the benefits that you get from your employer for health care, which are an untaxed part of compensation now and were much debated in health care reform and have not been occurred more than a little bit going forward. that could save a lot of money and also help again to discourage what are called cadillac health plans. these commissions did do various things. on social security, the cochairs of the president's commission
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did talk about increasing the retirement age a little bit way out in the future. the other commission talked about changing of the way in which we index when you get benefits for life expectancy. in other words, the longer you live, the more total benefit you are going to get because you are going to be collecting four more years. as life expectancies increase over time, there is an argument that can be made that maybe you should only -- those benefits need to be spread out over a longer period. host: massachusetts is on our line for the democrats. caller: isabel, the problem i
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think when president bush talked about privatizing, the big problem for me is that the republican party has been opposed to social security since its inception. there are ways of guiding it that i don't trust. i had a daughter that did not open a 401k because she knew how bad they were putting it in the stock market, pretty tricky. if you ask people to raise the cap on it, thethe people who have money raise holy heck about th at. if you ask them to extend the age to 67, people raise -- it is the third rail because one of the political parties and never
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wanted it. they are not going to help save it. not in my opinion. guest: neither party is eager to do much about it. republicans will not support it. they may not like it and may not have liked it when it first came in, but they know the public is in very much support of it now. there have been some polls of the tea party groups, and even day by a majority are in favor of preserving social security. i think the issue is not whether we are going to have it or not have it. the issue is whether we will make it solvent so it is there for the next generation. you are right to point out that we have already raised the retirement age in social security. it is currently around 66 but it is heading toward 67, as you
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noted. that is a result of the fact that back in 1993, another commission to put social security on a more sustainable basis was to gradually increase the retirement age from 55 to 67. people have accepted that. i don't see any reason why a few decades from now they could accept it going up another year or two. host: we got this e-mail from david. guest: well, and that is a complicated question. it depends on what generation
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you belong to and what your income level has been, and even your marital or family status. there are a lot of ingredients in that question. i have a friend and colleague who has written very extensively on this. he is at the urban institute so i would refer this% to one of his books. basically, if you have very low wages over most of your working life, you are going to get quite a bit back compared to what you paid in because the system is progressive. in other words, the amount of your earnings that are replaced in retirement are much higher for a low income worker then it is for a higher income worker. there are other factors that play a role here. for example, if you are my age
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from an older generation is you do better than if you are in a much younger generation. so, the earliest groups of retirees who retired shortly after the system was put in place by franklin roosevelt back in 1935, they got a great deal because they did not pay into the system very long at all because it was new, and they got back very nice benefits. ever since then, people have done a little less better over time because they have had to pay in for their entire working life. it is still a recently good deal for most people. host: next up, misery is on our line for independents. caller: i have a question. all of this reform for social security -- is it not just to
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cover op for the government to say they cannot pay back for the money they have taken out to balance the federal budget, which equates to $7.20 trillion? guest: i think that is a good question to ask and to worry about. but i don't think it is tent to make good on the government's promise to pay benefits. once the payroll taxes that come in every year or less than the amount of benefits that have to be paid out, which is what we are headed for, then we are going to have to either borrow the money, and we are already borrowing a lot of money as you know, or we are going to have to raise general revenues or the
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payroll tax, or we are going to have to cut a lot of other spending in order to make room for these commitments to retirees. it is going to put a lot of pressure on the overall budget once at the system is no longer bringing in enough money to pay the benefits. this year is the first year in which the money coming in has been a little less than the money going out. that is partly because of the recession, and that may turn around again once we get out of the recession. if you project out into the future, it is going to be the case that the revenue coming in is not going to be enough to pay the benefits. we have not talked about increasing revenues in the system. we alluded to it earlier, but right now, the payroll tax that everybody pays has a cap on it,
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an earnings cap. you pay payroll taxes up until a little over $100,000 a year. some of these commissions and others looking at this problem now say we ought to raise that earnings threshold back to where it used to be in terms of the number of people who are covered. that would take effect to something like $170,000 a year in earnings. that would lead to higher taxes for high earners. many people, specifically those who have advocated not cutting benefits, who are in favor of solving the problem by raising revenues instead of cutting benefits. host: i wanted to get your view on the article written this morning.
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tell us a little bit about that. guest: a lot of people do not recognize that the social security programs not only provide benefits to retirees and their survivors but also to those who become disabled during their working years and cannot work for that reason. the disability programs as the article notes has been in deficits in recent years and it
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is had to borrow money from the rest of the trust fund. so, there are rapidly growing costs there. i think that what the article is saying, or what the study is saying, which should provide more flexibility. there are a lot of disabled people that do not like the idea that they are considered disabled and would prefeto think about themselves as able to worat least some of the time. we should allow and encourage that. maybe you can work part-time or something like that. host: isabel sawhill from the brookings institution, thank you for being on the program this morning. in just a few minutes, a discussion on reducing the defense department budget.
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first, a look at this week's cartoons through the eyes of political cartoonists.
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>> "washington journal" continues. host: reducing the defense department budget and some of the concerns that members of congress have about advocating such a reduction. tell me, why is it that some of these folks feel that there are other areas where we can reduce spending and we don't necessarily have to touch on the defense department budget? guest: there is an argument out there that says one of the
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primary things that the government must do is provide for comment defense above all other things. not cutting firemen and policemen at the city or state level. the second argument to make is that there is nobody else out there for protecting u.s. interests. unlike the past, where the british had a great empire or a great navy. there is nobody else out there. if the u.s. wants to protect its own interests, it must do that. there are some really bad people out there with the potential to do some really bad things. there is the concern about the growth of chinese military power. there are questions about al- qaeda and its operations worldwide. when you go down the list of these problems, for many people, the argument is that defense as
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a percentage of the budget is a very cheap insurance policy to protect the nation. host: in march, he wrote an article under the title -- do you really think that we are in a position that we are going to have to reduce our defense spending and our defense obligations so our defense is cut back as drastically as the british defense obligations were cut back? guest: that refers to a period in 1962. people who worry about the
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weakening of the dollar or the chinese calling in our debt, that is the kind of thing you worry about the british left half of the world. and then the united states was there to take up the slack. and there is nobody to take up our slack. before we make drastic arsenic reductions in defense spending, let's figure out what our national and security interests are. then we can decide what to pay out for our commitments. what are the consequences? if we leave a place, that means it might go nuclear because the lack of our support. host: this op-ed was written in the washington examiner.
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your thoughts? guest: the real issue here is why can't we of 44% of gdp? there is nothing about -- the real issue here is why can't we afford 4% of gdp? there are things we can do to cut defense or reduce expenditures in the name of efficiency. what we should not do is simply say we are going to take a meat ax to this and it does not matter what the consequences a going to be. host: he is the vice president of the lexington institute about reducing the defense department budget. if you would like to get involved in the conversation, the numbs are --
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if you have called us in the last 30 days, send us an electronic message this morning. our email is -- or you can send us a twitter message. daniel, has there been a change in attitude in defense spending now that we are nine years removed from september 11? right after the attacks, it was like spend on defense spending at all costs, no questions asked. are we beginning to ratchet that back now? guest: we are certainly ratcheting back the idea of throwing money at the problem. this is in respect to even important programs, like the effort to defeat the implementation of explosive devices. the secretary of defense robert
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gates has slashed programs that are not working. it does not matter if they are going to be 20 years late and triple the budget. that is true. the cost of defense, personnel costs, maintenance costs, putting troops in afghanistan, they are continuing to rise. no one has found a way to keep those costs from going up. host: michael is on our line for democrats. go ahead. caller: thank you for taking my call. i would like to ask why there is not a solid accounting system for the defense department so we can see where the waste and fraud is taking place. guest: this is one of the problems, that defense has not had a good accounting.
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that was supposed to happen this year. it was the latest. it turns out, public defense has had a dismal accounting system. one reason for that is money is often put aside for programs that is not going to be spent for five or 10 years. we do that for a naval programs. sometimes the money is doled out over a period of 10 or 12 years. having been said, it is certainly about time. we had an opening -- if we had an open accounting system, we would know where the money was going. caller: of it was just wanted -- i just wanted to say that i think a lot of our problems is picking the battles, the wars that we fight. the iraq war was a war that we did not have to fight. i think -- to me, israel is up
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against our national security. they are only thinking about israel. if we continue to allow them to get away with the things that are getting away with, that is causing terrorism in this country. i think we have to be smarter about the worst that we fight and the allies that we choose and be neutral in some of these states because israel wants to get this country into another war. host: talk to us about the alliances in the far east, asia, and central asia. whatis that our alliances are costing us in terms of expenditures? guest: if you say our military is simply to support those people in the far east, then it
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is a net cost. the fact is, we have in an interest there. u.s. interests are at stake. in a lot of these cases, we have net gains. if we have an aircraft carrier in the far east war in europe, the host country is paying a lot of the costs. we are moving our forces into a bomb. japan is spending billions of dollars, literally heading us a check, to support that kind of facility. if we brought all of this control and put them in bases in the united states, we bear the full costs. they also provide actual direct subsidies for u.s. forces.
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host: you were talking about moving our forces into guam and how the japanese are paying us. how much or would it cost the japanese to put their own military in the region and how much money it would we save by not having a military presence, on the island? guest: it depends which forces that go out to the area. the savings and would be modest or nonexistent. if the japanese build up their military -- we have to fight somewhere else and protect indonesia. we have a relationship with india there would be no net savings to the united states at all. host: our next call comes from north carolina, nancy is on our line for democrats. callnancy?
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all right, let's move on to build in cape cod. you are on the "washington journal." caller: how are you doing today? by spend over three decades in the military, primarily in special operations. i am experienced in the military and their work now in the private sector. i can tell you for a fact that if we don't have stable funding for the military -- we need to have stable funding for the service given all the missions that we have taken upon ourselves on a global scale, if you will. i want to point out that there is a lot greater need in the cyber warfare, if you will, the
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whole internet and computer systems and the threat that we face are around the globe through our computer and intelligence systems. i am very pleased that the government has increased funding and support for our special operations divisions. we were based out of florida but we operate all over the country. most people do not realize what we do, but we are the first rise in the years for the remainder of our service units. we need to continue to support our veterans, all of our brothers and sisters who are disabled. the government sent us into combat and they really need to provide the medical and psychological benefits that we have earned. host: why do you mean by stable funding? how can you use that term in this situation with the military
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that is very often unstable? they do not know when your to the next how many people they have to deploy to a certain area caller: if i had the control, i would put aside enough monies in special accounts to provide stable funding, and i would really, really focused on a contract that we had with the defense contractors to make sure we get the best bang for our buck. guest: for the military and -- the size and character that we have, we need about 4% of gdp on average. part of the reason why you need that amount, military technology, even when the programs are well defined, grows at a higher rate than civil technology.
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therefore, for this kind of military, which we have had for over 45 years, which has been very useful, you need about that percentage. as the caller just suggested, that is about what we are going to spend. a should not go down much in a crisis. a should be as efficient as possible. host: the last caller also mentioned contractors. does the hiring of contractors stabilize the costs of our military overall? does the cost of contractors fluctuate also with missions and deployments? guest: it fluctuates greatly. we are using contractors to supply our forces in iraq and now in afghanistan.
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they are doing logistics' jobs that might otherwise have to be done by military personnel. in a sense, which do not have to have those people in the uniform with a long-term commitment because when a crisis happens we can call on those contractors to take up the slack. host: our next call comes from chicago, ill., on our line for independents. caller: talking about cutting banks, the product as military. some of these people are being paid more than our enlisted people. these people have not sworn an oath to this country. you are cutting back there and you are scaling back the funding of people coming back who are injured. i think that is not reducing but balancing it. we do need transparent
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accounting with this because it is our money. we need to have accountability for this. host: i think one of the important -- guest: it should not be done at the expense of one thing or another account at the expense of veterans. those troops need the support they are getting from those contractors and need to have the upper ready when they need it. they need to have the logistics work. host: next up, on our line for the democrats. let's move on to hayward, calif., on our line for republicans. caller: first of all, i think they need to do a better job of sending the questions to him. it first of all, all of those contractors are connected with
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the congress and is a seat those contracts from these private companies. it is like the same scheme that wall street did to us. then you get on the tv and asked us to be patriotic. then you want to go to other countries and insist on them to have a democracy. it leaves the other countries alone. let them have the culture that they want to have. then you have all of these media channels complaining about the government, taking up back -- taking back our government. you complained about going through the airport. you are creating a whole disaster around the world. host: we will leave it there. do you have a comment? guest: there is a decision we have to make about what america's role is going to be
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printed in the united states really is a linchpin in the stability. everybody in the world, all of those countries that we worry about are going to start building up their own the military's. and they are going to be fearing each other. it is going to be a world of less security, not more. host: we are talking to the vice-president of the lexington institute about the defense department budget. we want to touch on concerns about members of congress, including those who have been elected from the help of the tea party, about reducing the budget of the department of defense. from where you sit, to the incoming members in who were selected, do they have the juice to actually cut back on defense spending over and above what may
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have been laid out by some of the more veteran members of the house and senate? guest: i think they are going to have a knee-jerk reaction. it is difficult enough to do in the middle of 1.5 wars. it would be a particularly bad way of dealing with this defense problem. one has to address the question of what kind of military we wanted. if you are not going to invest in cutting edge systems, do you really want to buy airplanes for at the u.s. military that are not better than the other side? do you want to put our pilots in harm's way without better aircraft? if you say no, we have to have the edge. host: also, is there the potential for an interparty
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conflict regarding defense spending? some of the newer members are coming in, supported by the tea party, and those folks who want to cut the budget. then you have older members who have these military concerns in their districts, where the money is made for the people who elected them to office. do you see a conflict there of the people who want to cut spending and those that want to keep jobs in their district? guest: we have seen that happen, and in some cases, the whole half of the state is supported by a very large mitary facility. do these people have the kind of experience that some of the locker serving people have to understand what is at stake? why does it matter that we have the best airplane in the world? why does it matter that we have
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nuclear submarines? in matters because we are here and the places we are interested in our way over there. if you do not appreciate those things, you may, with a program to wipe out the others and not care about the consequences. host: tell us about the lexington institute. guest: it is a very small nonpartisan organization. it is devoted to national security, postal reform, reform in general, education, and then we do some foreign policy. host: where does the funding comes from from the lexington institute? guest: we get money from donors, foundations and other institutions. we actually get some individuals who like what we do and write us a check. host: our next call comes from brooklyn, new york, on our line for independents.
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caller: i was interested in the earlier callers' comments about our founding of israel. i thought the question was avoided because you started to talk about japan who has been giving us money. it seems we have been just dumping money in israel. it does not make sense to me why we can't ask for all of these various interests that we are supporting to actually kicking in a lot more money if we don't provide this defense we create instability around the world. i do have a problem with us paying for the vast majority of it, and i don't think the example of japan and israel -- it is like apples and oranges. if you could please address all of the places in the world where we are kicking in the vast majority of the money.
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while i realize it is in our interest to provide them with defense, i don't see how it is in our interest to be putting this money in as we are looking at the destabilization of the dollar in the future and if we have to pull back like britain did in 1972 than we have to get them to give us more money for that stability around the world. guest: we have to empower those friends and allies to do more. i have written a study on that subject. we need to look to places, our allies in europe, and to start to help them get more capability to defend themselves. for example, we should have been looking to let the japanese by the f-22 so the production line could continue and other countries would have is superior aircraft. other countries are kicking in,
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in the sense of bonding u.s. equipment. we have a new deal with saudi arabia, $62 billion worth of equipment so they can better defend themselves. on the subject of israel, we give foreign military assistance to israel. israel supplies most of its defense dollars. we provide some but we get the ability to store or materials and israel. we collaborate with them on missile defense and intelligence sharing. we give over $2 billion a year to egypt for their military. it stabilizes that part of the middle east so there is less likelihood of a major war. and that in the end serves our interests. host: we will probably -- this story will probably continue into next coming weeks, talking about north korea's artillery.
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with the action taken by the north koreans this week, does discussion of reducing the defense budget become moot? guest: if we think that is the world out there, where we can easily kick back our military with no consequences -- this is what happens. imagine what happens in the middle east if iran gets a nuclear weapon and then decides they can play with the access of oil in the region. . .
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>> and keep up with the cutting-edge stuff. i read somewhere on the web, i don't know if it's true that , plume that was sent in the pacific was actually a chinese warhead of some sort. so that's scary to think about. i also want to ask what you think about us getting in line with russia to share all of our nuclear secrets together? i think that's the stupidist
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thing in the world. host: kathy, you have given us a lot to work with. host: we plan to remove some of our units from europe by this time. our nato allies says, don't do it yet. things aren't settled in the east. we would like you to leave those units in place. we were going to hand over command, the joint forces, i think in 2012, the koreans said please don't. host: andrew in fair banks, alaska on our line for independents, you're on the "washington journal." caller: yes. hello. host: yes. go ahead.
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caller: you're one of my favorite hosts. defense spending is one of worst problems we have on our national budget. i am a strong libertarian. i think that, okay, i'm an infantry man. i went to iraq a year ago, and i'm strongly against the defense department spending, the terrible expenditures that our tax dollars have been paying on the wars of iraq and afghanistan. host: andrew, as a person with experience on the ground, tell us where you think the defense budget could be cut? caller: cut it in half. cut it in more than host: where? caller: take our troops out of
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any foreign country. guest: the defense budget is 4.5 of g.d.p., 20% of the federal budget, you could eliminate it. you would still be dealing with an $800 billion deficit. it doesn't solve the problem simply to eliminate defense spending. there is an effort under way. secretary of defense is pushing to get $100 billion a year of greater efficiency with that money being used for technology. this is not a department sitting on its hands saying feed me, feed me. host: this is thursday, november 11th in the "wall street journal" talking about the proposals put together.
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the defense panel pushes cuts and one of the cuts they talk about is a hundred billion there was from defense spending. and they propose cuts on the contractors, double the cuts to the contractors, reducing procurement by 15%, ending the pro curement of the v-22 osprey. and reducing personnel stationed in europe and asian by 1 third. pick any one of those and tell us how much of an effect of goes with these is going to reduce the military spending? guest: it did general guidance area of cuts and sizes for medical expenses and retirement and social security. then it comes to defense and
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says this program and this program. from a group without that much experience. the chinese are buying a 4th plus generation near equivalent to everything the u.s. has from the russians. we will not have air superiority should it come to a conflict. a ground attack plane that we have that could match or overmatch is the f-35. a proposal to cut it makes no sense moreover. you still need a number of airplanes for your fighter squadron. then we buy f-16s or helicopters in bigger numbers, more people
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and more maintenance. you may not save a dime, but have to buy double the number of other kinds of less capable planes. host: back to the phones, richmond, virginia, you're on the "washington journal" with daniel goure from the lexington institute. caller: i had a couple comments. i know you talked about this a while ago. i wanted to talk about the contractor issue. ime i wanted to talk about the hiring of contractors to fight war. it changes for a country cause, something the money, but anyway back to the budget. i think the proportion that's spent on the defense budget is just too high. you mentioned something about a
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hundred million dollars in cuts. i don't know what percent that would be. just imagine how many different areas you could enrich with those cuts. i would be interested in seeing what the legitimate public opinion is of the citizens of the united states about our presence around the world because i feel like quite a few callers that have called in and said that, you know, they kind of resent our presence in other areas. i feel like i definitely have struggled to try to come up with a rationally with our presence in israel. it's just a ticking time bomb. host: we're going to leave it there. guest: one of interesting things, our administration published the review of military
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posture. both of those documents put the united states front and center in the global security environment. the leading force in a global series of alliances and made our military and our military presence overseas critical to the stability of the world. we have an argument that goes back to the end of the cold war. with the bush administration, clint administration. second bush presidency and now the obama presidency. over 20 years in which the argument has remained the same. so if there's going to be a different case made, it's got to come from somewhere else. it hasn't come from administrations democrat or republican. everyone has argued it's in our interest to go front and center. host: next up. langhorn, pennsylvania. caller: hello. yes. i'm calling to find out why our
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government is not selling bonds like they used to. i thought that was a wonderful idea, and to have all of hollywood pushing them. invigorated the country, made people excited they were helping our military. instead of tax, tax, tax, that's all you hear. why not give the people something for helping our government? and why did the government bonds suddenly disappear? i thought they were wonderful. we bought our home with them. my husband got them from work. we saved them. we put our down payment on our home. it was a wonderful thing. so, i think the government should really think about giving something back for something that people do for our government. host: virginian and her thoughts about war bonds.
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guest: that is an interesting thing. that's an argument we should have had another tax for the war in 2001 and 2002. i can't get my mind around the star around the bonds. in really extraordinary situations, we want to keep this in our regular financial structure that we run. although, again, as an alternative to just taxing, it might be an interesting thing to try. host: how do both administrations, the bush administration and now the obama administration, go about selling -- continuing these military war efforts and as you describe them, extraordinary. guest: to the extent that the obama administration has put time limits, but that's slipping with afghanistan, the problem with those kind of contracts, any major war, you can't put a
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time limit to them. in fact, the extraordinary use, let's use that term of u.s. military forces has become routine. for example, the military first in to haiti, there was no one else in the world that could do that. the u.s. military was the only one. you have aid to the pakistani flood victims. it goes on and on. we have made the extraordinary routine and that maybe part of the political and budget problem host: making it where we have to raise taxes to cover military. bearion springs, michigan, you're on the "washington journal" with daniel goure. caller: yes. good morning. i'm a retired military man. got a question for you.
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the foundation of our security is our economy. how can we support a military like that if americans don't have jobs, don't pay taxes if we don't make things in this country. i see a disconnect between republicans who talk so much about security. they don't seem to care too much about job security with all these trade agreements that have shipped jobs over to potential enemies like china. guest: the defense area is where we have a positive balance of trade. here's another case. the f-35. an international program. there's more than a dozen countries involved paying part of the development costs and more that want to buy it. there's a job's component if that's all you're interested in. it shouldn't be either or.
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either we have a strong economy or strong military. to have either a good economy or defense. host: on the denver post, the uss george washington will be engaged in an activity. how much from our perspective, how much will the cost of actually going to war factor into whether we go into war? above and beyond political considerations, foreign policy considerings when the military, when the president, his advisors are sitting around, how much of this discussion is going to talk about how much is this going to cost us? guest: when it comes to
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relatively small interventions, there maybe a case of that. when it comes to korea, it's not going to be an issue of cost. but supreme nationalism. for these other interventions going offer al-qaeda, nobody at the time ran the numbers and said. that's fine if it's a short war. we find out quite a bit. host: our last call comes from new orleans, louisiana. caller: thank you. first of all, why are you talking about defense and cutting it? most of the time people sound like they're arguing against defense. i think that's a big problem because our people are arguing for how can we spend our money more wisely in the context of
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international economic crisis? it's hard to sound like you're not, like, for the country, but then, the second thing is if you're looking at how much money the u.s. spends, you always talk about the percent of g.d.p.. let's look at the absolute value compared to other countries. we are quite ways ahead of them. if we were to cut a percentage of that, we would is it still be ahead in spending. that's the first thing. then, you know, the second thing, what are we doing in the alternate to find solutions? how much of our g.d.p. do we spend on these activities that mitigate this such as better foreign policy and other activities like you mentioned
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you're writing an article to ask other countries to spend some more. if you compare that spending to what we're spending on defense, there's no comparison. host: chris, we will leave it there. guest: they all want to cut foreign aid. so it's a little consistent. the bigger issue is, we spend 47% of the world's total on defense. part of problem, we all spend more on medical care for those soldiers. more on education. we have more lawyers in the military and otherwise. in some countries than infantry. it's a military involved in asian, the middle east and europe. we have a new africa. latin america. no other military is spread the way ours is. as a result, they can afford to spend much less. if we have to go out to work in
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their area, we have to take everything and go out there and meet them on their ground. host: daniel goure. from the lexington institute. we're going to take a short break. we're going to talk about the coal industry. today is saturday the 27th. we will be right back. >> this year student cam video
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documentary is in full swing. wards through my lens. upload your video to c-span before january 20th to win the grand prize of $5,000. go only to student cam.org. >> every weekend on c-span three. experience american history tv. 48 hours of people and events telling the american story. hear historic speeches and events that shaped our nation. as top history professors delve into america's history. american history on c-span three. "washington journal" continues. host: amy harder is the energy
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and environment reporter here to talk to us about the coal industry. welcome to the "washington journal." guest: thanks for having me. host: first tell us what is clean coal? guest: first of all. a lot of people think it's an oxymoron. it's kind of a lamen's term ccs. that's technology that will enable, although not commercially viable yet, where coal burning plants to run more cleanly. you capture it and store under ground. there's only had half a dozen demonstration projects in the world. these rules announced are laying the foundation for what the administration hoping will be a
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commercially-viable technology. the industry isn't expecting that any time soon. host: so instead of it coming out of the top, they will store it? guest: the technology is very new. there are some ccs type projects for oil that are also being developed right now, but it's mainly going to be used hopefully for coal, given it's the dirtyist energy and the one we're the most reliant on. host: how necessary is coal to the production of energy in the united states? guest: it's absolutely critical and the administration realizes that, even though environmentalists are opposed to coal. they don't support clean technology because they say it doesn't exist. the concept of clean coal, but the administration understands that coal is number one, a
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domestic fuel and when we're trying to get off foreign oil, we have to do that. it's cheaper than nuclear power. creates jobs for economies in the midwest and all crucial reasons why we need to continue using coal. host: there's a climate summit coming up in cancun, mexico. with climate chance to push greenhouse gas emissions all but dead in the united states. they will meet on monday to find a less vicious attack to global warming in the city of can cun. they will focus on the caret of tens of thousands of dollars in
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subsidies. tell us about this 2-week conference and how much of attention is going to be focused on the u.s., and how much greenhouse gas we're emitting into the at mos -- atmoshere. guest: the u.s. is going into these talks in a weakened position compareed to last year's talks. the united states will be the central focus like it is in almost all talks. we do have a disproportionate share of the carbon emissions. host: will the results of what happens at this meeting in
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cancun, will that put any sort of emphasize on getting cap-and-trade legislation back on the front burner? guest: no, frankly, i don't think it's going to have a sizeable impact on what the congress does in energy legislation. cap and trade is essentially dead for two years. republicans -- there's a good amount of republicans that don't think the climate is changing. so i think these talks will -- they will be important insofar there has been a lot of people that say these global negotiations are not useful or productive. they may encourage people to think about different ways to do it. in terms of any type of impetus. i don't think it will have any. host: we're talking about the
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coal where amy harder. if you want to get involved in the conversation, the numbers are on the screen and you can send messages by e-mail and twitter. our first call is from new land. you're on the "washington journal." caller: good morning. can you explain to me because my brain is small. can you explain why our country is giving millions of dollars to other countries to drill for oil? and during the 2008 elections, boom pickins was spending his money on natural gas when now we hear that china is driving extremely hard to turn their
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automobile industry into natural gas because that's the way of the future. why are we not doing that since 2008, this is 2010, fixing to be 2011 and we're not talking about natural gas. thank you and have a great day. host: thank you, caller, your brain is bigger than you think. guest: the first on dripping. off-shore drilling has really gotten on the box. president obama in march introduced an expanded off-shore drilling. as far as giving money to brazil and mexico, there are supporters that want to expand off-shore drilling. i do see that happening in the 112th congress especially with
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the republican-controlled house. the senate hopes to vote to a t bone pickins bill. it's interesting that china is moving forward. so, the reason why t-bone pickins bill hasn't passed congress yet is because of the way to pay for that bill, which cost $5 million. the idea of using natural gas does have bipartisan support. host: you say the cost is $5 billion. what does that pay for? host: 4.5 goes to natural gas and the rest to electric
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technology. promoting infrastructure and tax incentives. primarily in the semitrucks. it's expensive. in order to do that, the trucks could cost up to $80,000. so it's a steep price for them to pay. at the same time, it's cheaper and much cleaner then. host: our next call comes from houston texas jan on our line for democrats. caller: yes. good morning. i just had a question. i worked in the coal industry for over 20 years in indiana beginning in the early 1970's. there was a lot of emphasis put on clean coal and the coal companies strategy as far as what we were going to do to reduce emissions.
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in the early 1980's, for a good decade, you couldn't look at the newspaper, the news or anything without hearing this term acid rain. that was a big issue. now it's like you never hear this term anymore. what happened with that, you know, i don't think the coal emissions were reduced so much that that's not even an issue anymore. why don't we ever hear about acid rain? host: acid rain is quite relevant to the discussion about reducing our carbon emissions. and thateduced the emissions of the utility sector by upwards of 70 to 80%. there are new regulations coming down the pipe that will reduce acid rain.
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this was that program in the 1990's that reduced acid rain. at the same time, proponents of a cap-and-trade system cite the system created in the 1990's, because it was successful. it can be used for carbon emissions as well. host: carl, you're on the "washington journal." caller: you are talking about coal. we're going to burn it for a long time to provide electricity. there's no such thing as clean control when you look at the way they extract it. you talk to the kentuckians or west virginia, you can see how they have dumped all the debris and waste.
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there will never be such a thing as clean coal. thank you for listening to me. guest: yeah, mountain top mining is a very controversial way to might be for coal. that's separate from ccs. insofar, it's a way to actually mine the coal. whereas, ccs deals more with the power plant and how to emit less carbon into the atmosphere. host: in this meeting in cancun. it's talked about in in issue of the journal. the balance of power, how the shifting dynamic between the united states and china could doom the climate talks. is the concern that the lessor
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countries are going to be sort of frozen out of conversation and dominated by what the u.s. and what china want in terms of energy production, energy consumpion? host: we have a lot of partnerships with china, but we're all very dependent on them. it will be interesting on what china and the united states will do. they are moving forward with clean energy. they have committed to reduce their emissions more concretely than we have given. we don't have any type of bill that reduces it. but, at the same time, a lot of
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people point out china is building coal-fired power plants at a record level. there will be, just like last year, a stand off between president obama and china on this in the 11th hour of the copenhagen talk. we don't have any bill so china will have the upper hand. host: as far as gaining favor, alliances with some of the smaller countries, some of the lesser consumer countries, who's really going to have the upper hand? the united states or china? does the money go also? guest: well china consumes the largest or the most emissions in the world, and we are second.
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we just swapped positions there. china is -- has been historically technically categorized as a developing country. that's something that enrage us us here. so, the biggest thing with developing countries they want climate nance. last year, secretary of state, hillary clinton, pledged the united states would contribute to. a portion of hundred billion dollars. i don't think that's going to fly with the republican house that wants to ban earmarks and give money to developing countries for climate change. host: in addition to covering energy and environment in the national journal. amy harder monitors a blog.
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guest: it's national journal and the energy environment expert. host: justin on our line for democrats. are you there? [bleep] host: kentucky on our line for republicans. caller: yes, i have one question and one comment. my one question on the unanticipated affects of the items you capture from the clean coal technology, has any thought been given to how you're going to dispose of that or store is that? i make that comment in relationship to the unanticipated intent had hydrology. also, i always thought of eastern kentucky, the
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appalachian area and southwest virginia as being more the east coast rather than the midwest. they seem to have a bigger affect on there. do you have any thoughts on the unanticipated effects of the clean coal technology? guest: yeah, that's a great question. i think a lot of what you call the unanticipated consequences are unknown at the moment given there are so few demonstration projects in the world and even less in the united states. some of the issues as you rightly point out is how to store this. it would go underground. that's a very tech -- technical problem. they are trying to lay the
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foundation and the task force president obama developed. host: next up, eric. caller: yeah, i had a question about what would it take for us to get to where china is at in life with them getting farther along in the coal industry and building the companies, and what it will take for us to get to where we need to be at with where they're at today. guest: well, there's a lot of step that is china is able to take given it's not a democracy with a senate and house that often becomes gridlock. that's one of biggest differences between united states the china. so, the way -- there was a great article in the atlantic magazine last issue, i think it was. that examined the relationship between china and the united states as it pertains to coal,
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specifically clean coal. china has become this breeding ground for clean coal and coal-fired plants. in order for the united states to join, we need to engage with china and partnership with various advantages that the two countries can offer. host: next up. cleveland, ohio, lance. caller: hi. how are you doing? i have a question about the tipping point. whether or not the young lady, ms. harder believes the tipping point we have so many years to reduce our output before there's a point of no return and whether you do or don't, are there any studies of what clean coal technology, how much it will reduce our or shorten the length of us getting to this tipping
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point of, you know, not being able to correct our mistakes as far as the environment? guest: thanks for your questions. as far as the tipping point, there's different schools of thought. come feel we have gone past the tipping point. specifically a price to carbon i missions. other studies have concluded it's only going to get worse without action to reduce carbon emissions. on the ccs, i know that the new rules from the epa. one of them was to require power
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plants to report how much greenhouse gases they have reduced. given it's so undeveloped and not used on a commercial scale. really hard to predict how much they will reduce. given coal already emits, almost 40% of the emissions in the united states are from coal-fired plants. host: clifford krous wrote this. there will be fuel. they will come with cost. he writes another wave of natural gas drilling has taken across the united states and it's just beginning in europe and asia and an increase in liquefied natural gas export.
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do you see it's going to go down and are their regulations or legislation being worked on the hill to sort of keep that in check? guest: you know, natural gas is a very fascinating energy source given how the political landscape has changed. without a price to carbon. natural gas has emerged as the one that's worn out. given you mention the shale discoveries and louisiana and the northeast. that's huge for the industry. given the prices are so cheap, insiders predict the utility sector will shift from coal to natural gas. the price volatility is a really big issue and has a lot of industry concerned. that could slow down the change
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from coal to natural gas. they like to point out. given the fact that prices will remain low for the forseeable future. host: st below that, in the heartlands still investing in coal, one of the callers earlier talked about coal that's being mined in kentucky and west virginia, how much of a contest will we see in the next few years regarding coal-fired and natural gas. what do you expect to be the politics in coal usage and natural gas usage? host: i think that's going to be, given not a price to carbon emissions, going to be a dominant part the discussion over the next couple years.
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coal-fired plants because of the epa restrictions will be faced with daunting regulations that could knockout the coal production. that will happen inevitably, there's the price volatility and hydrauli hydraulics. there's a natural gas to extract that. host: tell us about that because it's a fascinating process. guest: yeah, i know it has been on the internet. it's a very wonky topic. you shoot chemicals into the ground to extract the gas. it uses a lot of water. there's been reports it could
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contaminate the drinking water around there. that could be the one thing, that and the price volatility are pretty much the only two issues going against natural gas. an interesting dynamic. hydrology pricing is really expensive. to invest in that, the natural gas prices really need to be higher to offset those prices. if you cost is higher, you may go back to coal. natural gas. while it's poised to gain in the next decade. host: jack writes what about reports of people's water taps running with gas to ignite
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there's faucets? guest: the epa is doing a study on the affects of water and environmental and safety concerns. that's expected to be concluded toward the end or mental health of next year. until then, there's a lot of back and forth and those who live around that which is the safest way to do that host: our next call. from pennsylvania, rudolph, thanks for waiting. caller: there's no reason why coal focus has to pollute. i used to work in coal and we sent it to mississippi, our coal generation and they passed the clean air act. it's going to be stopped because
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they're polluting the water and everything. i don't know what person came up with taking co2 and putting it in the ground. they should find a way to make profit to convert it. there's no reason why coal as to pollute at all. the coal stockers don't pollute. they passed the clean air act. host: rudolph, we will leave it there. guest: that raises a good point. those carbon regulations that go affect are reqring all power plants to implement what's known as the best available control technology. which is basically things like scrubbers and other efficient technology in order to make the
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power plant as clean as possible. notably, in the rules the epa will roll out. the agency has explicitly says. clean coal technology will not be required to be installed given it's not commercially available yet. host: this article also in the "new york times," the problem with republicans say the united states should embark on a building campaign. senator john mccain at the 2008 presidential nominee called for 45 more reactors. but the party dislikes what it needs. its progress in the mid-term elections are doom for now. as you mentioned, does the election of so many republicans to capitol hill mean a slow down
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or stoppage in the thoughts or progressing on building nuclear power plants here in the united states? guest: republicans are pro-nuclear power. the deficit hawks to the bone. they don't want to spend any money. nuclear power is the most expensive. to build one reactor it's 6 to 7 to $8 billion president obama has allocated in his last year's budget, to go on top of energy budget the energy department already has. only 8 billion of it, i think 7 or 8 billion has been given for that. as that article probably notes
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is that without a price on cauton emissions, coal and natural gas will continue to rein as the most popular choices. nuclear power is too expensive. and dollars waste. yucca mountain has been yanked as an option. that hangs in the balance what to do with nuclear waste. host: next up. wade county, "washington journal." >> caller: i would like to challenge c-span to have a conversation on mountain top removal mining. it's destroying west virginia and appalachia. it's the dirtiest way for the coal industry to make money.
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a lot of this coal can be mined under ground. when they go from a thousand feet in these mountains and dumping this product, this violates the clean water production act. we cannot do mountain top removal legally in the united states. the problem is the legacy that's left for this, this rubble that's being removed from these mountains and shoved into the streams contains heavy metals and based on our vital statistics and cancer rates. the heavy metals causes crazy stuff. learning disabilities kidney and liver cancer. if we don't have to do this. there's a lot of other ways to lessen the impact. they talked about the clean air act. when they passed the clean air
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act and decided to do the scrubbers and change the quality of the coal being shipped to the power plants, they left these impairments and these massive sludge ponds of the waste -- host: sorry joe, i inad vertently hit the button. guest: it's taken a back seat, if you take the environmental perspective on that and hydraulicos that. i know epa has taken steps shut that down. there's the sentiment to shift away from that. without a price on carbon.
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mountain top mining will be a factor. the epa is taking the steps to take care of that. host: we have this e-mail is that says, since the usa has the largest deposits of coal, is there research or technology to pulverize coal? guest: i haven't heard anything like that. just the sheer fact we have the largest coal reserves in the world, makes it a vital piece. that gets back to the ccs policy. i know we had callers from west virginia. the senator is a huge proponent of the coal industry. he introduced legislation, from the retiring senator from ohio
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that incentivizes that. the technology for coal, i think he, that bill would create $20 billion or so for -- to incentivize that. that's really what will be the saving grace for the coal industry. host: homewood, illinois, you're on the "washington journal" caller: yes, i have read books on the co2 effects. one of them is by peter huberg. in this book, he indicates the americans are actually through [inaudible] absorbed the co2. it's the rest of the world that actually is creating a problem
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if there is one. and i -- from his book, i understand as well humans account for only 6% of the co2 that's emitted. e oceans and tilled land emit many, many times the amount of co2 that's created by human activity. host: amy harder. guest: yeah, there's a lot of different reports on how humans contribute to carbon. humans are at least part, and it varies, are due in the rise to greenhouse gas emissions. even regardless of whether huma
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humans interpret climate change, they are facin these regulations regardless of the studies that say it's happening or not happening. to the industry, they have, they have taken a step back. this has distanced themselves from climate change. but they have to work to reduce the emissions no matter what. host: next up. you are on the "washington journal," steve. caller: yes. they are currently no credible scientists that suggest that co2 does anything negative to the environment. it's quite the contrary. it make plants grow faster. you see that evidence in the peer-reviewed process. you can go and read an 870 page
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document negating all the evidence for co2. it's nothing but superstition motivating this. it's quite the contrary. can you google hot tub sized nuclear power plants, which will produce enough power for 25,000 houses and cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $28 a month rather than all the prices to come up with energy for people. host: and we'll leave it there. guest: yeah, there are a lot of, you know, there are alternatives that say co2 points to that. i am not a scientist. but can continue to reference the peer-reviewed studies. the intergovernmental panel on
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climate change. that is causing increased wildfires and increased sea levels and the what not. as to your point about the nuear power, nuclear power has a lot of great assets. it's a steady, base low power and emits no carbon at all. as i pointed out earlier, it costs so much money and there's so many risks. the big question mark of the nuclear waste. paired with the fact there's no price to carbon to make nuclear not as expensive to coal. host: bob sends this twitter
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message. it comes from our own respiration. next environmentalists will stay, stop breathing. dennis, you're on the "washington journal," go ahead. caller: just to bob. if we don't do about this soon, we will all stop breathing. this is the largest, worst things we face in the world today. the answer is very clear. it's renewable energies. i live in philadelphia, they just announced in nobody noticed. the outdoor football stadium that the eagles just built is going all agree. next year, i don't remember the name of the power company is going to have it set up with these beautiful windows all
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around the outside and solar panels. they will produce enough electricity to sell to the owners of football team for the game days to light up the field. during the week, they will produce enough energy to sell back to the grid. this is the answer to the united states's independence from the rest of world. we cannot drill out way out. we don't have enough. we can't blowup enough mountain tops. we just cannot do it. host: dennis, we will leave it there. guest: renewable energy is something we haven't discussed. it's reallyeft in this standing still without a price on carbon emissions. i keep going back to that. that's the turning point we have made.

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