tv Washington Journal CSPAN February 20, 2011 7:00am-10:00am EST
we will talk about the continuing anti-government protests in the middle east and how the u.s. should respond, plus your e-mails and phone calls. "washington journal" is next. host: moving this budget story ford, we are talking about current year's spending. several headlines at discussing the possibility of a shutdown of the federal government sometime in march. lots of headlines to that effect, and we want to get your thoughts on that question. if it had to have been a, would you actually support a government shutdown? -- if it had to happen. republicans, 202-737-0001, democrats 202-737-0002, and
independents, 202-628-0205. here is one of the headlines in "the washington post". "obama and congress had for face-off. shut down possible" senate and house are at odds. "the debate over the size and scope of the government now moves to the senate where leaders have said that the house plan which was adopted in the wee hours cuts too deep, and they are planning a far more modest proposal. with the senate of a recession all next week, senators have given themselves just a few days. given the tight time frame, it is unlikely the two chambers can agree on a compromise. if they do not, the government will shut down or congressional leaders will have to agree on a temporary measure for is water a couple oflittle as a
weeks" john boehner says he will not include another extension unless it includes significant cuts." here is what nancy pelosi, the minority leader, had to say about the potential for a government shutdown. >> in recent days, we have heard talk about a government shutdown. let's remove all doubt. we all have a responsibility to make sure that there is no government shutdown. the last thing the american people need is for congressional
republicans or democrats to draw a line in the sand that hinder is keeping the government open. closing our government would mean our men and women in uniform would not receive their pay checks and veterans with those critical benefits. seniors would not receive social security checks, and essential functions from food safety inspection to airport security, could come to a halt. host: this is the story from "the new york times" today. mitch mcconnell tried to play down the possibility of a stalemate, but accused democrats of rooting for that outcome. he showed a willingness to consider nancy pelosi's propose a temporary -- "it is simply unacceptable." here is a little bit from congressman jim jordan.
he is a republican from ohio, the new chair of the republican study committee. he will be our "newsmakers" guest at 10:00 a.m. eastern time. he was asked about the prospect of a shutdown as well. guest: john boehner has said that if it comes down to having to do a short-term continuing resolution if the parties cannot agree by march 4, that he will not do a short-term extension at the current levels of spending. from your perspective, does that mean that a government shutdown is on the table then? is this upping the ante? guest: i don't think this is -- it means that at all. i think that this means that john boehner understands what the election was about on november the second. if we continue to kick the can down the road and do a short- term cr, and continue to spend at the current levels, that is agreeing to what the democratic house, the democrats' senate,
and the administration put together last year. this election in november was about not agreeing to that, so there is no way we can agree to continue to fund the government at current levels. we have to achieve some savings for the american people. i think the speaker is spot on when he makes that statement. guest: does that mean that a shutdown could be acceptable, the democrats will go to the wall on this? neither side wants to talk about this. guest: i think the democrats will see things our way. you guys have been covering this. have you ever seen the appropriations committee cut tens of billions of dollars, now $100 billion from what the president requested last year? have we ever seen that? host: congressman jim jordan, republican study committee chairman, that is today at 10:00
a.m. on newsmaker. "the washington post" photograph here. after working through friday night, the house voted early saturday in favor of dramatic spending cuts. that bill was approved on a party-line vote. the headline suggests the possibility of a government shutdown and early march. mike on the republican line from arizona. would you support a shutdown? caller: that would depend on how long it was and what critical functions were -- the people were deprived of critical functions. the mere fact that it was shut down just means the money is not moving, as far as i can understand. but i have three questions to do with the study group you discussed. i wanted to about this in reference to the discussions on
the voting that took place a couple of days ago. in one instance the republicans failed to determine -- to pick the good from the bad programs they were cutting. they seem to be totally ignoring any attempt by democrats to discuss what programs or to be cut. secondly, i heard this constant rhetoric that the people have spoken, as if the huge masses of people had given some kind of message to congress. i think the use of that word or that phrase that the people have spoken it misstates, grossly misstates what the voting was all about.
and finally, in the way that the republican party seem to be -- blocking en masse, and they are in step and they have their own drummer, and one state of mind -- and looks like the republican party have sold their mental state to on issue, one from of which means we have 50 warm bodies of republicans -- having one mind. host: we got the point. you have had plenty of time. we want to get on to other calls. angie from montgomery, alabama. what you think of the idea of a government shutdown? hello? caller: i think we are getting
what we deserve. the president was handling everything. democrats were handling everything. they voted these good people of officer were trying to help us. -- out of office who were trying to help us. host: welcome leon from palmetoto, california. welcome. caller: in response to your question, absolutely i would not support a shutdown. there is not enough money in circulation to pay off this $14 trillion debt. there is not that money available. further, our country has been bankrupt since 1933 so when these phony politicians say we are going to leave a debt to our children, we certainly are because there is not enough money to pay it off. we have been bankrupt. why don't the politicians be
honest? and why don't they admit this country has been bankrupt for many, many years. if he's a phony politicians shut this country down, the democrats will roll america for the next 100 years. -- will rule america for the next 100 years. host: here is one of the headlines. senate backing is on likely, leading to worries of a government shutdown. garden city, new york. republican column. good morning. caller: the attempt to shut down -- and less so one would address the fact that 20% of the budget, we are talking about 80% is not discretionary -- until the guys in washington and start to address the issues of social security and medicare, the whole point is adjust to the point of the grabbing headlines and that will not do the job. let's see what you guys spots on
the numbers are. host: in an effort to appear for democrats plan to cut $41 billion. and that is based on obama's 2011 budget proposal. house leaders use this same method to claim that their $61 billion in cuts was equivalent to $100 billion. either way, the numbers are counted. the two sides remain more than $60 billion apart. from harry reid, democrats are demonstrating a good-faith effort to reduce the deficit and prevent a government shutdown. and then they reiterate mitch mcconnell's follow up that this is unacceptable, the freezing of the current, and sustainable spending levels. he wants those cuts. alexandria virginia. on the democrats line.
caller: give me ba break. republicans spent all our money on two wars. we got too much debt? they put us there. i am so glad you are on this morning. we need to get together and try to come to some sort of conclusion. if they have to shut the government down, shut it down, because we are not helping anybody. all we are trying to do is play politics. have a nice day, sir. host: let's go to walter in baltimore. independent caller. caller: this is insanity. just imagine little old ladies in this country not getting their social security checks.
i will give you one example. i have a neighbor, and she needs her electricity updated. she cannot afford it because she is living off of social security. month to month. and one bump in the road and the senior citizen is in trouble. multiplied her by millions of people. for republicans to say that we are concerned about our future. where were you three years ago when, as your statement said earlier on the debate in congress? 800,000 jobs were floating of this country every month. not a word from the republicans -- just one word, no, no, no. i support the democratic process and suggestions. it is not to say they are the only suggestions possible, it is that they are the only realistic ones. shutting the government on would
be wrong and outrageous. thank you, america for waking up and seeing these guys for what they were -- nothing. host: if it had happened, would you support a shutdown of the government? it is in the headlines this morning. here it is "the new york times" this morning. standoff is looming. government shutdown possible next month, each side warned. we have heard from nancy pelosi and from jim jordan this morning. here is a little bit more from "the new york times". they write that treasury secretary geithner certification criticized the house package after it was passed, saying it would undermine in damage our capacity to create jobs and expand the economy. he is in paris where a group of 20 meeting, of the world's largest economies. the administration is confident that from democrats and republicans will come together on a program, not just to reduce spending but to reduce our long- term deficit. the white house threatens to veto this bill even before it passed. in washington, the fight in the
weeks ahead will focus on paying for government operations through the end of the fiscal year, september 30. and then need to raise the federal debt ceiling and the next few months. that is the big vote that is coming in congress. that pushed by republicans for spending cuts and austerity is already shaking state capitals, including madison, wisconsin, where labor unions have been protesting efforts to reduce benefits and weaken their collective bargaining rights. more of what we have seen in the papers in recent days. expert, dennis is on the democrats' line. good morning. -- pittsburgh. caller: one of the concerns i have regarding this shutdown is that people have what i call short-term memory. we have just come out of a major banking crisis. the republican president was in office to draw terms. i did not hear anybody talking about trying to address that --
the republican president was in office two terms. based on divided democrats and republicans. we have brought the banking industry out of the crisis. the economy is starting to move forward. the american people may be saying, make cuts, but they are not saying make $60 billion wholesale cuts now. now they are talking about potentially closing the government, medicare forly people is not going to happen, and the form of other services are not going to happen. john boehner has no business being in office if he is that naive to think that we are going to play chicken and chicken are the people that are going to be affected. yes, unions need to -- they need to renegotiate their contracts.
the union contracts are sucking the life of municipal city governments. they have been in place for 20 years. there are things we need to do, but it does not have to be cuts that will take us back into recession. no jobs, no dollars. and then when that happens, what are the republicans going to say then? host: lisa is in massachusetts. republican. lisa, what do think about the prospect for a government shutdown? caller: i am quite confident that we are not going to shut the government down. i think we should shut the government down, because my concern is that, let's be realistic. this should of been taken care of last year. we are into this year.
how is it possible that we go through this every single year, does not matter who is in office? it happened in the 1980's where we almost have a government shutdown. you've heard about it and then all a sudden people told us -- people protest. that does not do any good when you are at the last minute. what needs to happen is everybody and the house and senate and to include the president, vice president, etc., they need to have a penalty in their pay. and it needs to be retroactive to september 30. you want to about the budget being fixed. i cannot understand why in this country we cannot compromise. host: here is their current edition of "national journal." "tea for two." the budget battle is not about numbers. it is about competing visions they point out about the
prospect of a government shutdown. disagreements may seem irresolvable but the difference between the budget and all other items on each party's agenda is that congress must pass some semblance of a tax and spending plan if the government is to continue running. the current debate is complicated by the need to finish an agreement on spending for the rest of this year and a looming vote to increase the government's borrowing limit in order to avoid a potential default. with members only talking about a government shutdown, it is hard to avoid looking to the 1990's. a veteran of the republican negotiating team during the 1997 budget deal that led to balance budgets, sees some similarities. "i hope it does not take two years, but it might. 1995 was the year were they shut down the government, could not reach agreement. 1996 was when they started doing things to save money. that starts to get to on a glide path, and then maybe economic growth kicks in. and then maybe it does not
become so daunting. restrain spending, raise revenues and to generate 5% and economic growth." island park, new york. joe, independent, your thoughts? caller: the republicans' recommendations are minuscule. that will not cut into a $14 trillion debt. host: what would take a deeper? what is the answer? caller: hud, department of education, department of defense, every project has to be cut. they have spent $14 trillion in debt. you should inform the american people what the interest of that debt is each and every day of our lives. they have our kids dying in the middle east. they have sent our jobs to china and india. if this government closes down,
for 10 years we may get back -- but with them in charge, continuing to us to the brink of oblivion, bankruptcy, catastrophe, what do we need them for? they are only hurting us. they are not helping us. host: mary, republican. good morning. caller: i say shut the government down. shut that down and cut out the medicaid and food stamps. we might be able to fix the economy. there are illegal immigrants in front of me at the grocery store with two carts of food. they broke out of food stamp card and spent $800 on groceries. how do they do that? host: i think mary's gone. rita, lansing, michigan. good morning. caller: good morning. i woke up this morning thinking shared sacrifice.
the middle class and the poor are sharing and sacrifice. i cannot remember the last time i went on vacation or bought a new pair of shoes or even a new shirt or anything. we do not grow for dinner. what if that -- what have the rich given away? the minute the republicans heard there is going to be a tax hike on the rich, they screamed, the tea party. when it is poor people, and food stamps -- give me a break, this last caller. whoever has $800 in food stamps, i have never seen it. republicans continue to lie to make their point. i see through those lies. hopefully, other voters do, too. in america, we need shared sacrifice by all people, including the rich. the tax breaks they got us cost us $4.10 trillion. and i believe the republicans
got a higher back and because the american people, they heard them complaining about how they wanted to fix everything. start working together with democrats to fix stuff. it is not just your way or the highway. forget it. it is everybody's way. we are all american citizens and we deserve or right. host: taking your calls on that this prospect of the government shutdown. papers talking about it openly. asking you whether you might support that idea if it had to happen. the article's point out that congress is out now and once the senate comes back in a week from now, there will have a few days to figure all this out. we are talking current year spending, following the house passage of the bill early yesterday. sharon is on the line from tennessee. independent. hello. caller: good morning.
i believe these congressional bureaucrats need to keep their butts in washington, d.c., work a full day, work a full week, and get this budget problem resolved. host: what if they can't? what would your thoughts be about a shutdown? caller: no shut down. it is ridiculous that they cannot get it resolved. they are adults. they need to stop that party line business. i think what is best for this country and the american people and do their jobs. host: ok. let's get a twitter message on the air. "shut them down. send them hope. hire a new crew."
indianapolis, freddie, democrat. good morning. conservative a democrat. the lady who spoke of shared sacrifice to part of my thunder. they are right. both of them are so right. oh, yeah, i wanted shut down. i want those that voted republican out there to see exactly what is going on. what then't see republican party is attempting to do to this country, then you are just plain stupid. so shut it down. this is the only way those conservative republicans will understand -- invited folks've to write in via twitter. twitter/wj.
joel klein talks about mitch daniels. "brutally candid." he is out there is a potential presidential candidate. elsewhere in the states, here is the story from wisconsin. they are in a week of protests over budget matters. wisconsin's walker lawded and lambasted. the new governor sent off a bruising battle with unions. we will have a profile piece on the governor -- a preacher's son, poptimist. he pledged to return to frugality during his inaugural speech. a fiscal and social conservative. you can read about him in the "baltimore sun." "the legislature versus governor
christie." he is being called disc gusting. this is from governor chris christie, responding to joe cryan, who said vetoing a jobs bill was disgusting, even for an ideologue. here is the dialogue. "he is reading his clips or and more. he is becoming much more arrogant." this is steven sweeney on governor chris christie. randal, from which ichita. caller: i am an activist. whenever congress is not in session, the people are f reer, socially and economically.
we need to get to the real source of our problems. since 1913, we have had this problem with the federal reserve. all it has done is -- the dollar. therefore we have this boom- bust keynesian economics. it hurts the people. it causes more poverty. and then you have all these other programs to try to fix it, and it does not do the work. it's a fallacy. we need to abolish keynesian economics and go to the austrian school of economics. host: joel on the republican line. good morning. caller: thank you for taking my call. the first thing we do is to not shut this government down. we have enough trouble as it is. i have had family members laid off for 18 months. the stimulus money did not help.
but first, we need to take all these republicans -- i am a republican -- and take all of these democrats and put them in one room, give them orange juice, water, and coffee, and no better permits. they have to come to an agreement before they can leave the room or pee in their pants. you ask where to cut. i will tell you. you cut out the department of energy, the department of education, and the department of agriculture, and you cut all this aid to other countries. host: why did you pick those three departments? caller: what has the department of energy done since jimmy carter was in office? department of education -- we are spending billions of dollars, and these kids in india and china are well ahead of us. the department of agriculture.
you are giving millions of dollars to companies that make a hot sun out of their land so their ceo can hunt. -- a hot zone out of their land so their ceo can hunt. we have a budget proposal of $3.70 trillion at for this next year. what we have to do to wake of the american people? 2/3 of them are still asleep right now. they do not care. . host: appreciate your thoughts. here is another twitter message. "with all of our problems, that, jobs, our politicians need to pile on a government shutdown? the last government shutdown heard republicans and president clinton benefited. this time, the republicans will spin it to hurt president obama. i say, shutdown and let john boehner explain it. i am not in support of a government shutdown.
this would hurt confidence in the world market, plus millions of elderly people would be left in financial crisis." that is stephen from kentucky. he is a democrat. take up, a democrat. thank you for waiting. go ahead. are you there? let's try missouri. don on the independent line. hi, don. caller: yes, sir. hello? i believe the government should be shut down. host: why? caller: well, because they are all corrupted anyway. host: anything else you want to add? caller: well, they are not going to do anything for the american people. they have forgotten who they work for. the american people keep reelecting them. they are not doing anything.
they let the gas prices go sky high. the economy is getting worse and worse. in our time, we will live to see history repeating itself. and we need to have protests like they did in egypt. we need to have them here. host: appreciate your thoughts. we will do this for 10-12 minutes, and then we will take a deeper look at the president's budget with michael tanner of the cato institute. critical of the president's budget plan. 2012 budget -- a broader look at the budget. we've been talking about this year's spending, but next year's spending is getting lots of debate as well. here is more from jim jordan, the republican from ohio that chairs the republican study committee. guest: let's fast-forward to the fiscal 2012 budget. right now we are looking at a preparations and some cutting their on domestic discretionary. a small pot.
the budget chairman has said that he will look at reforming medicare and medicaid in that budget. social security is on the table. what do think of the right ways to do that? guest: paul is on target. i think we will see reform and medicaid to save those systems and make them more efficient for the people who use them and also put us on a path that is sustainable, and that will keep us from going bankrupt. guest: you said, what we're going to see, very likely medicaid -- medicare -- what is imperative to you to be able to support an fy12 budget? you did not mention social security. guest: it does not have the financial concerns the others have in the short range. this is a sacred contract with the american people. the more pressing issues are that medicare and medicaid, and
frankly, the dollars. so what i think is important is that we get on a path to balance. i think it is important we get to a balanced budget in a reasonable period of time. host: moving forward further, and "the washington post" op-ed piece by erskine bowles and alan simpson. they write, a real budget deal? yes, we still can. "our commission's plan is not ideal from either party. it is unrealistic to expect side to support it. -- either side to support it completely." our plan represents the type a principled compromise that is in the countries best interest. in the end, we are optimistic about the chances for fiscal reform and the future of this country. the political system does not always move quickly or steadily,
but the magnitude of the challenges will require it to act. the nation needs broad, bipartisan agreement based on shared sacrifices, not politics as usual. the fiscal commission's plan can serve as a starting point. the ending. must be something equally ambitious. now is the moment of truth. the era of deficit denial is over. we are counting on our nation's leaders to rise to the challenge." erskine bowles and alan simpson in their "the washington post" op ed piece. utica, new york. what about the prospect of a shutdown? would you support it? caller: i think they should. i think there should be some type of -- if they do shut down the government, that all of these positions should come back up for reelection, like the term limit. it is for current people that are serving, be them republican, democrat, or independent, should end their rain. eost: what is thei
problem? who is the cause, if you can lay blame? caller: if you're going to point the finger, you have to put it at the two-party system. the republican answer for the last two years has no. these people have forgotten who they work for. they talk about republican and democrats like they are from the two different countries. they forget they are americans unless something happens. host: what would a different viewpoint, a different party, a different political vantage point mean to all this? caller: this is where the tea party came from. when they rein in their favorite daughters and sons, you get a new one. a system where there is no term limits. have people hanging around and they are running these parties. they have millions and millions
of dollars behind them. it is a corrupt system because there are no term limits. it is actually a corporation. it's almost like fighting to be of huge corporations, democrats and republicans -- two huge corporations, democrats and republicans. host: milwaukee, good morning. caller: my feeling is i do not want a government shutdown because it will affect everyone, especially the elderly. ditto to the guy that just called. i think they do not care about the american people. the republicans, all they really care about is big money, corporations, the rich. when it comes to middle class, we will stomp on the middle class and the port and we will keep them in line. so i just -- it makes me sick,
really. and that is all i have got to say. host: "let the government come to a screeching halt. stop paying teachers, contractors, military, social security checks, the works." from chris in alabama. david in seattle -- "it seems like the media would love to the suffering of a shutdown. the right wing wants to shut down. this will mean the destruction of the republican party. it is like a form of probation." in "cq weekly." "in america, no taste for cuts. polling shows the public aversion to slashing budgets, and that is risky for the gop." big story on budget cuts. charles, jacksonville, florida.
good morning. what do think about all this t? the last caller from wisconsin. it amazes me. she is in a state where the government is paying the full cost of teachers and unions, their health care and pensions. the government is asking them to pay 12%. everybody else pays at least 20%. yes, they do need to shut it down, because the democrat party is correct. they would rather borrow money from china to pay for elderly people. they would rather borrow money from china to pay for poor people. when in this country have we got to the point where we spend -- sarraute trillions of dollars in china and india to take care of our own people -- we borrow trillions of dollars in china and india to take care of our own people? they give it away to government unions. they did not care about the
people. they care about giving it to their friends in congress and the government. host: we had eric from tucson, arizona. would you support a government shutdown? caller: the guy had just responded, he is totally wrong. taking from the rich. we are giving tax cuts to the richest americans and cutting benefits from people who need it, like veterans, seniors, kids trying to go to school. the problem is, we spend more on health care than anybody in the world and we have the worst health care system on the planet because people did tonight coverage. people have to go bankrupt to get covered. we have a 40-50 million people that are uninsured. the problem is is corruption in the system. and we are just wasting money. if we use the money that was given to the government, the right way, we would have more than enough for everything that
we need. so there should not be a shutdown. we need to stop the waste and the utilization of the money we give the government. host: "the new york times" magazine has this headline -- the one man political machine. if you look closely, it is rahm emanuel. working at an "l"station in chicago. one hand at a time. rahm emanuel is waging a hard one campaign to reclaim his chicago-ness. they will be voting on tuesday. we will see if rahm emanuel wins or if they need a runoff. here is a story from the "atlantic," and it is the gop wildcat. he is the former ceo of godfather's pizza. his name is herman cain. he will be on this network this evening at 6:30 p.m.
if he did not listen to political talk radio, the name herman cain may not register. he intends to rectify that. he plans to seek the gop nomination. he is spreading his upbeat, right wing that social and economic message which can be heard weeknights from 7:00 p.m. at 10:00 p.m. on wsb in atlanta. he is so confident that he has upgraded his status. he bestows upon audiences not speeches or talking points, but the hermanator experience. on "the road to the white house, "this evening. felix, a republican, spokane, washington. good morning to you. what do think about the prospects of a shutdown? would you support it? caller: no. host: tell us more. caller: back in the early 1920's before we went into a depression, we illegalized
marijuana. we started imprisoning anybody with in the united states. the money to our government started coming from the penal system. in the 1950's, we created sv21. that's our own creation by the u.s. host: caller, get back to the issue of budget and spending. caller: we need to upstep ourselves into the medical and actually -- you hung up. host: no, we didn't. finish up. caller: we need to slow down with our -- host: we lost felix. appreciate your calling. davenport, i aiowa. tim on the democrat line.
hi there. caller: this is exactly what the fat cats on wall street and hwat peopleina and all the that would gain from a government shutdown, the oversight and several of our government agencies, it is exactly what they want to continue to benefit themselves. people did not do their research in exactly what would happen with the government shutdown and everything that it would affect. and i would ask the american people to open their eyes and do some research. i talked to several of these people and the tea party, and most of it is based on religious beliefs. it cannot do any research. they listen to fox news and their right wing newspapers. and that is the only source of real knowledge that they base
their opinion on. host: finally, mike from southern california. independent. good morning. caller: i was a republican for many years. my comment today is that there is no reason to shut the government on. does not make sense they need to start cutting back -- they need to start cutting back. if they cannot agree on that, basically start to have them work for minimum wage, like they have threatened to many of us -- i am a state employee. have them start working for what they are supposed to be doing for the american people. host: congress has a few days to work out this temper situation,
if they can. -- this temporary situation, if they can we will take a short time out. a little bit later in the program, we will look at the e- verify system, and undocumented workers. we will take your calls. coming up in a few minutes, it is michael tanner, senior fellow at the cato institute to look at the president's proposed budget for fiscal year 2012. c-span radio has a bit of news. >> at noon, you can hear replays of the five network tv talk shows. we begin today with nbc's "meet the press". the topics include funding for the federal government, state budgets and the situation in the middle east. on "meet the press", david gregory welcomes assisted majority leader dick durbin, lindsay graham, and susan rice.
at 1:00 p.m., here are replay of abc's this week. they interviewed secretary of state henry clinton. fox news sunday begins at 2:00 p.m. eastern. chris wallace what comes wisconsin republican governor scott walker. republican senator tom coburn of oklahoma and missouri democratic senator clear mccaskill. at 3:00 p.m., a reader of cnn's "state of the union." she talks with donald rumsfeld about his new book. then it chuck schumer of new york and republican senator dick lugar. at 4:00 p.m., it is face the nation. they talk with the chairman of the house budget committee. paul ryan. and the ranking democrat, chris van hollen of maryland. the five network tv talk shows are brought to the public service by the networks and c- span. they begin at noon eastern time with nbc's "meet the press",
1:00, abc cozied this week, fox news sunday at 2:00 p.m., 3:00, of state of the union and face the nation from cbs at 4:00 p.m. eastern. listen to them on c-span radio, on 90.1 in washington, d.c.. nationwide on excess satellite channel 132 -- x-m satellite channel 132. >> the american dream is under attack because america is under attack. we will get it back. >> today on "road to the white house," herman caine is a potential 2012 republican presidential candidate. a year from now, the state will host the first in the nation primary.
white house."e today. >> donald rumsfeld was the oldest and youngest person to serve as defense secretary. >> if you have proximity to the president, you of an obligation to tell him the truth. because people who do not have proximity and only see him occasionally simply do not want to do it. >> tonight, he will discuss his philosophy of presidential staff leadership, a process of writing his memoirs, and address some of the books critical and positive reviews on c-span's "q&a". [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] >> "washington journal" continues. host: michael tanner, a senior fellow from the cato institute. you have written about what you see as the "top 10 obama budget failures." there is so many to choose from.
the first printer you make is that there is a red ink as far as the eye can see. tell us more. guest: that's right. this is not a budget that eliminates the deficit. in fact, the deficit never gets below $600 billion over the next 10 years, and by 2020, it is back up to $700 billion. this is not something that will eliminate the red ink that is running the country. host: number two -- greek-style debt. guest: the total debt would increase by $13 trillion under the budget over the next 10 years. it would take us up to a budget deficit or national debt of $26 trillion. it is more than 100% of our gdp. of everything that has ever produced in this country, we would owe more than that in over a year. i think that is a level we are not seen anywhere except in greece or portugal or ireland.
it is a scary level of deckebt. host: more spending, unsustainable debt. what does the present proposed? guest: he wants to spend more money on high-speed rail. that is symbolic of the idea that special interests top national interests. at a time when we really are drowning in debt, the president is proposing something that might be nice to have in good economic times, but is unaffordable today. host: we will give to the last rest of the top 10. michael tanner is a senior fellow at the cato institute. phone number is at the bottom of the screen. separate lines for republicans and democrats and independents. before we get back to your list and the calls, we hear from the president from this past friday on the budget. >> in a world that is more
competitive than ever before, it is our job to make sure that america is the best place on earth to do business. part of that requires knocking down barriers that stand in the wake of a company's growth, which is why i have proposed lowering the corporate tax rate and eliminating unnecessary regulations. it also requires getting our fiscal house in order, which is why i have proposed a five-year spending freeze that would reduce the deficit by $400 billion. that is a freeze that will bring our annual domestic spending to the lowest share of the economy since eisenhower was president. now, to really get our deficit under control, we will have to do more. i want to work with both parties to find additional savings, get rid of excess of spending wherever it exists, whether it is defense, or health care, or spending in the tax code in the form of loopholes. but even as we have to live within our means, we cannot
sacrifice investments in our future. if we want the next technological breakthrough that leads to the next intel to happen here in the united states, not in china or germany, but here in the united states, then we have to invest in america's research and technology, in the work of our scientists and engineers. host: michael tanner of cato. the president saying he wants to do with corporate taxes, wants to do more. what is wrong with all that? guest: he did not propose all of that. he wants to deal with entitlements, but there is no reform in this proposal. in title and is where the real money is. the domestic discretionary spending is only 18% of the federal budget. you could eliminate every bit of discretionary domestic spending in this country and we would still have a $700 billion deficit. you are not going to get anywhere by freezing spending on
those programs. you have to go after entitlements. host: he used the word investment, which has gotten a lot of play in the press from the other side. it is spending as far as other people can see. but he is making the point -- it is needed to help build the country for the future. what is your take? guest: this is an ideological divide in this town. the president clearly believes that economic growth comes from government action it appeared that the government spends money, develops programs and that is what leads to economic growth. on the other side, are those that believe that the best thing government can do is get out of the way, lower taxes, lower regulation, and let the private sector do those things. host: do you see that the budget deficit would be cut by $1.10 trillion? what do you see in that figure? guest: there is a little bit of smoke and mirrors there. the president assumes a rate of growth that is much higher and the congressional budget office
or private-sector analysts have estimated. if he did not get that, you will not get that kind of budget reduction. the president suggests there are all sorts of cuts coming in spending coming out of the health care bill, although most outside experts believe the health care bill increases total government spending. so i think that you have a lot of rosy scenarios a built-in. host: the first call for michael tanner is from pete, in michigan, republican. caller: thank you to mr. tanner for coming on the show. appreciate it. i have a question. first i would like to comment on the earlier question about the government shutdown. republicans do not shut down government. you go back to texas during the redistricting, democrats left the state of abn a bus. now they are doing it in wisconsin. if you go back to the new
gingrich congress, bill clinton is the one who shut down the government, the house of representatives. so obama is going to have an opportunity to shut down the government, but i think it was positive in 1995 because what happened after the government shutdown was the deficit was reduced that year. and then the two years following, we had a balanced budget. my question to mr. kantor is, in my lifetime since 1960, the budget has only been balanced four times and that is when republicans have controlled the house and the senate. and that has only been -- the problem and said only control the house and senate nine years and four times they balance the budget. host: what is the specific question? caller: do you believe that if obama shows the government down that it gives us a better chance to get a balanced budget because we'll see a republican senate in
two years? host: thank you. michael tanner. guest: the caller does make a point, but the other part of the equation is you had a democratic president. you had divided government. all studies show that it grows a government less and spend less money than it does when they are of one party. we talk a lot about obama spending. you have to understand that the second most profligate president of recent history was george governw. bush. you had a republican congress and senate spend money like there was no tomorrow. you need the checks and balances that two parties put on each other. host: i should ask you about the wisconsin story. it is playing itself out for a week no over proposed budget cuts. what you make of what is happening there? guest: i think you really have a struggle for power. what you have our union to have, for a long time we had a democratic-controlled governorship and legislature.
there were tightly tied in. they got a lot of good deals. now you have republicans that control the governorship and legislature. they are trying to take back that part. a struggle that is very good -- democracy. host: struggle in new jersey. the governor puts out his budget this week. will you see more and more of this all around the country? guest: we are already seeing that in ohio. you will see that in york, where andrew cuomo, a democrat has proposed strong budget cuts. has refused to raise taxes, has put through one of the toughest property tax limitation measures in the country. you will see this all over. host: is the fight easier at the federal level than the state level? guest: the states have the advantage of being required to balance their budgets. 49 states, their balanced budget -- constitutional or statutory
requirement. they have to balance their budget. i guess that focuses the mind in a way that the federal government has not appeared we are busy fighting over whether or not we should fund the president's teleprompter when we have $1.65 trillion in debt. host: india, france is on the line for democrats. good morning. -- francis on the line for democrats. caller: i am almost 74 and i've never heard so many lies in my life. i would like everyone to go to joetower.com. wants to get rid of all of the entitlements for all the people. they've spent a lot of money. when clinton took office, the public debt was $6 trillion. if he paid off $500 billion. this.ushie boy that did
does the many jobs he created? -- guess how many jobs he created? zero. these are funded they have been working on it for 30 years. someone who brought up the chicago tribune, the baltimore sun, and all the other newspapers and laid out 5000 reporters, and then you had john murdoch, who owns the other half. you have to go on the internet. host: let's hear from our guest, michael tanner. guest: koch brothers did start the cato institute. it is a very tiny percentage of our budget. i am not sure they gave this you're not. it is maybe 3% of our total
budget. you could take what you want from that. host: delaware, independent line. caller: a couple of statements here. i consider myself an independent. i am not a bush fan or anybody's fan. is that the democrats just voted out of office that left without giving us a bill of any sort for a budget? and they passed it down the road to the republicans. i even heard house representative being interviewed, democratic, now what is their problem. and on the other hand, i heard this lady talk about bush created zero jobs. that was the case, we would have been in the great depression of few years ago. i don't understand all these things that people have to say. you have to evaluate both sides and will learn the truth for what it is. guest: we did not have the
budget last year. we are using a continuing resolution which runs out on march 4. that is what sparked all the talk of a government shutdown. if you do not pass another resolution to carry the money on, they do not have spending authority. it is not that unusual. we have that thing go on under democrats and republicans, part of the broken this of washington. we often have these continuing resolutions. but we do not have a budget that we are operating under right now. ahead atre looking 2012 and beyond. back to the current situation, one fewer by twitter writes this. this person is responding to the earlier caller says that the prestigious down a government. the congress controls the spending. guest: they share the responsibility. the house of representatives has
the power of the purse. the senate has to agree with that and the president has to sign it. if anywhere along the way they do not come to an agreement, then theoretically the government would shut down. one side proposes the budget and the other can agree to it are not. if the senate said yes to the budget just said yes to the budget that passed the house and the president signed it, but they are going to disagree and they are at loggerheads. i suspect there may be a short- term continuing resolution for a couple of weeks to run month. they will continue these negotiations. they will have some sort of budget cuts to get the budget -- to get the republicans to go along. it will probably not get all $61 billion. host: michael tanner has his top-10 problems with the long- term budget. number four, it is suggested, is locking in past spending increases. guest: domestic discretionary
spending increased by 21.4%. we had enormous increases. they came on top of george w. bush's increases in domestic non discretionary spending. we have had enormous growth in government over the last few years. now they got -- not the president is saying to freeze it at this level. that locks in all the past spending increase. bill clinton was spending a% of our gross domestic product, we would be a lot better off. host: you use that in. no. 5 in your peace. guest: right now is 23.8% of our gross domestic product, the second-highest a percentage that we have had since world war two. the president's budget would increase that to about 24.8%. the republicans right now are supposed to be getting tough and
having draconian cuts. that would bring it back to 23% of gross domestic product. under bill clinton, we were at 18%. we have enormous growth in government over the last 10 years. host: our guest is michael tanner from the cato institute. you can read his article at "national review." we have a call from winston, north carolina. caller: i keep hearing people talking about discretionary spending is only 18% of the budget. 80% is still pretty good chunk of money. it should be cut. i do not want to see people hurt but there is a lot of waste, fraud, and abuse out there. the thing i do not hear from a lot of the comments coming in is that people do not realize that both parties have done this year. and both parties need to come to
the table with cuts. maybe they should do something with, like, each side bring cuts and neither side can throw out the other side's cuts. so that they all get through. so the republicans cut the democrats cash cows and the democrats cut the republicans cash cows. host: let's put that question to michael tanner. what cuts would you recommend? guest: calling for entitlement cuts, i am not saying that we should be cutting discretionary spending. the caller's right. that is only 18% of the budget. there are certainly a lot of things that we could do without. but if you want to bring the budget back into balance, you want to start reducing the national debt, you first of all have to include defense, another 19% of the budget. you have to make some serious defense cuts. most importantly, he will have to go after the entitlement programs, and deal with medicare, medicaid, and social security, the big three. if we do not do anything about
them, by the middle of the century, those three programs alone will consume every penny that the federal government brings in. there would not be a dime for a street sweeper someplace. all we would do is in essence is have a pension program for a country with a little army tacked on. host: there is a common theme on the general level, but did deeper. guest: social security, we're going to have to reduce the level of benefits for the future generations, and nothing for current retirees are people nearing retirement, but for future generations we have to bring down the level that government provides, and there are a number of ways to do that. beyond that, we often offset losses by allowing younger workers to privately invest a portion of their social security tax for personal accounts. in terms of medicare, we will have to move some sort of defined contribution proposal,
the way paul ryan has suggested. individuals be given a flat dollar amount, opt out of the traditional medicare system and into the private insurance system with a flat amount that they will have to spend. host: roy on the line for democrats. caller: i am calling about this deficit and this shutting down the government, which i totally disagree with. you do not have to shut down the whole government. i believe they could be done in portions much like you do your water rationing. half days. you have water one day in the other half the other day. if you shut down the whole government, and you'll be hurting a lot of us at the bottom. we are in the spot because i believe personally nafta killed
large gdp when the jobs when overseas. if there are no jobs, there is no gdp. we need to repeal nafta and bring jobs back, put some people work. and company profits, they are making it in taiwan, china, the middle east, mexico, everywhere else, if tell them that they need to get their factor is back up and going and get these people back to work. i do not believe you should touch medicare. for social security. i think you ought to scrutinize the food stamps, planned parenthood, and there are a lot of ways to save money. host: a lot of ideas out there, mr. tanner. guest: there is a lot of waste out there. but you could eliminate every domestic discretionary program the federal government has, not just a waste and fraud, but eliminate a number of programs altogether, and you would still
have a $700 billion deficit this year. there is simply no way to balance the budget without dealing with the fence in the entitlement programs. host: number six of your list, higher taxes. guest: the president always says he will reduce the budget deficit by increasing spending by $1 trillion and then by increasing taxes by $2 trillion in saying it is a reduction. the reality is that there is over $1 trillion of new taxes in this budget. and frankly, that is not good for economic growth. host: the tear from arcadia, florida, richard, an independent. caller: actually, government shutdown is not really a bad thing. usually what happens is that it is a political ploy. 25% of government, it could be shut down permanently tomorrow and most of the people would
never know it. remember what happened in california back in the 1970's when the cut taxes 50%? lot of agencies were overstaffed in most areas. and the people really did not notice it, the difference. our government is involved in so many things. they own the banks, the tarp program, they went out and bailed out a bunch of banks that they wanted a bailout. some they did not. they are involved in the auto industry. general motors, president obama hired the president -- fired the president and hired someone who would never been in the auto industry. they are involved in the housing industry. 50% of foreclosures of all the house is now were brought up by freddie in fannie. so the taxpayers are going have to deal with that. now president obama and his obamacare health care, now they are involved in health care.
if they run the private sector the way they have run the public sector, we are doomed to failure. we need to get them out of our industry in and out of the private sector, and the free enterprise system altogether, and that the businesses and the people who know what they're doing take control. guest: i think what the caller really latches on to is the importance that this is not just about the budget deficit or the amount of debt. it is about the size of government. the congressional budget office projects that and as we do something drastic by the middle of the century, the federal government will consume 43% of our gross domestic product. state and local governments take another 15% or so. you are at near 60% of everything produced in this country being consumed by the government. that is a waste that no economy can stand. even if we had no deficit and pay for every penny of that 43% of gdp in federal spending, we
would still suffer under that weight of government. host: there is something that you have written. at no point has the president propose that we actually balance the budget. would you hold a republican president to the standard? guest: i certainly have. i wrote of book about big government conservatism under president george w. bush. i suggested he was the most profligate president in post-war history. lyndon johnson had been surpassed. it is a bipartisan spending spree. i do not think the balanced budget is the key. it is smaller government. if we had a smaller government taking 43% of gdp and the budget was balanced, that was worse than in government spending 10% of gdp and having a small deficit. host: david kendall is with a group called third wave. he wrote about why he thinks the
budget is a success. he says it is only good as the debate that it engenders. if congress does not have to vote on it, and it rarely does. measured by the standard, for the bomb was budget is a resounding success. republicans have attacked it as a job killer. but it does fear the impact of cuts to heating assistance and numerous other programs. but it nudges the debate forward. guest: the success of failure, i guess. this budget was seen as so far out of touch of economic reality that it spurred serious debate. if that ultimately leads to reform of the entitlement programs and serious cuts in the defense spending down the road, then we can give the president dubious credit. host: peter, a republican. caller: thank you for taking my call. i have an issue -- it seems that
are around the world there is a lot of talk of not letting the dollar being the measure of what we use. they want to dump the dollar. my question is, what effect will that have on interest rates that we pay in that type of thing? it seems to me that if the interest rate shot up, that the budget would just go berserk again, and the way out of whack. i'll be quiet and let you comment. host: first explain what dumping the dollar would mean. guest: many countries use the dollar at the reserve currency. that is why china invest so much money in the country. the dollar is still considered the standard for global currency. that is what people like to put their money into. if that were to fall because people do not believe that we can repay our debt, we're not
considered a credit risk anymore, people started fleeing the dollar and using something else as the standard currency, then we would have serious problems. we would have to learn that investment backed by higher interest rates. that means we would have to pay more in terms of debt payment on the interest on the debt. that would start the cycle that would really harm the economy. host: the headline in "the new york times." the treasury secretary went to china on saturday. -- took direct aim at china. the currency was still substantially undervalued and that recent steps taken by beijing to justice by you were too small. what is your take on this interaction between the u.s. and china? what does it mean for our economy? guest: china is our no. 1 creditor. we are financing a lot of our debt with chinese money.
if we were to lose that chinese investment come we would have to raise interest rates in order to lure people back to take our that, and higher interest rates means higher debt payments. it is a bad sequence. host: from tennessee, james, a democrat. caller: president obama is running on spending in history. their reason he has some of spending because he is paying out summits unemployment thanks to mr. bush who killed 52 of the frigid 57,000 factories. they went out of business during his administration. furthermore, this person you have up here, i have not heard a thing about raising taxes. on the top 2%. if you raise taxes on the top 2%, they leave that money in their businesses and they build more business instead of taking it out and sticking it in some
foreign swiss banks somewhere. if not paying little or no taxes on it. they would get things going again. host: let's hear from our guest. guest: the wealthy pay a disproportionate share of taxes. if you look to the top 20% of income, they'd play 40% of income taxes. that is disproportionate now. but even eat you did away with the bush tax cuts and assume and had no impact on the economy, he would still have an enormous budget deficit, about $700 billion. you really cannot tax our way out of it. to give you one number to show you that you can i get there by taxing the rich, our total unfunded obligations in this country both in terms of our debt and for the obligations we cannot pay for in so security and medicare is in excess of 900% of our gross domestic product. every millionaire in america, the wealth is about 100% of gdp.
if you confiscated every penny owned by every millionaire in america, you would not make a dent in the total amount of debt that we have. host: i want to remind our viewers to have a civil conversation with our guests here. michael tanner has written about his top 10 reasons why he does not like the obama budget. no entitlement reform is no. 7. code and number eight and talk about other cuts. $87t: we've heard about billion in defense cuts. if you look at it, this is the old washington game of reducing the rate of increase and call it a cut. the fact is that under the president's proposed budget, defense spending would actually increase. so you have the president increasing defense spending, republicans will say we cannot possibly cut defense spending,
and yet defense spending is 90% of the budget. you can i get to a balanced budget without going after defense spending. -- you cannot get to a balanced budget without going after defense spending. we are spread so thin around the world, fighting to wars, we have to go after that if we want to get serious about balancing the budget. >> the lead editorial in the "new york times" talks about cuts that the defense department missed. the pentagon is to jettison the engine formula the guarantees its services accustom share of taxpayer dollars. they have looked for ways to justify their budget chair. updating the formula to reflect a more realistic division of labor would bring significant savings from the air force and navy while protecting the army and marines from the multiple combats and the strain on family members during the last decades. guest: is more important to look
at the strategy. you cannot keep all the obligations we have, the troops and over 100 countries, fighting wars around the world, being the world's policeman -- you cannot do that and simply cut back on the resources you're giving the troops. that is sending the troops into battle with less than many. they need to look at the strategies, cut back on obligations, and then right size the defense budget to meet the new obligations. host: george will talks about a wrestler going to the mat. he will be our guest on "newsmakers" today at 10:00 he says it looks like an ongoing insurgency to wrestle in the party. guest: i think the leadership among the republican house would of been very content to make symbolic cuts and let it go. i think the republics study commissioned pushed a lot harder. but they could go farther. they bought at a proposal for cuts that did not include any cuts to foreign subsidies.
even they are falling short. host: jim jordan will be our guest on "newsmakers. that is here on c-span, about a half-hour discussion with a couple of reporters. he is the new chairman of the republican study committee. let's hear from dallas, texas. pat, an independent. caller: am i on? thank you. sir, your statistics -- first of all the debt that we have is a deficit, and even the long-term debt is because of the greed in the fraud that wall street and the financial institutions created for us under the bush -- under bush, the last president. and there was $9 trillion that
he left office and a deficit of $1.3 trillion. one statistic that you are way off on, as far social security is concerned, there is $2.6 trillion in this social security trust fund which will pay all promised benefits, full benefits to the beneficiaries for rigid until 2037, and will place close to 80% after 2037. the trust -- the bonds, u.s. treasury bonds, they are guaranteed by the full faith and credit of the united states congress. guest: those bonds aren't guaranteed by the full faith and credit of the federal government. they are part of the debt, part of the $14.3 trillion of debt
that we have because they have to be repaid. where can the government that the money to repay debt? they don't have anything. in the cigar box out beyond the treasury department. right now and forever social security is running a cash flow deficit. it is spending more money than it is taking in in revenue. the wait continues to pay benefits is redeeming those bonds. but you have to take money out of the general revenue of the federal government. that is part of our deficit spending. so security is in deficit right now. i can go back to the clinton administration with pointed out that this also security trust fund is an accounting measure of how much the government owes so security. it is not a national asset that can be used to pay benefits. caller: we have to -- when franklin roosevelt took over in the 1930's, only 5% of the work
force for government employees. today is going on 25%. you have to cut somewhere. you could take agriculture and combine it with energy because we are growing our energy. you could take education and combine it with the interior, because they are all -- the teachers are all for three months, they could work in the parks. you have to find ways to eliminate this. i think you will have to have doctors, nurses, and hospital bill of rights. you cannot bite the hand that feeds you. you cannot sue the doctor that jurors you. if you want to go to a hospital, do not sue them. of bill of rights for them. guest: we do need to give more freedom to doctors and patients. that is one of the concerns about the new health care law. if it's far too much of that control into the hands of
bureaucrats. in terms of the larger point, traditionally we brought in about 80% of gross domestic product in terms of taxes in this country and we have been spending about 21%. that is why we have been running a budget deficit in the past. right now we're up to 23.8% of gdp. that is an enormous growth. tax revenue is down to about 15% in part because of the recession in in part because of the bush tax cuts. even if you brought that back to 18%, if you have a better than 5% gdp deficit. the growth of government is the real culprit here. host: several more minutes and a few more calls for michael tanner. more about the 2012 budget request. these are figures from the ap and reuters. the president's proposal would end 12 tax breaks for oil, gas, and coal companies that did it $46 billion over 10 years. it will reduce or cut 200
federal programs, the savings according to the white house about $33 billion, the pentagon budget cut by $70 billion over five years, and there would be cuts in community block grants by about $300 million. what do those numbers say to you? guest: some of those are cuts in projected rates of increase. but there is no doubt that the president is making some cuts and i give him credit for that. there certainly seems to be broad recognition that we cannot spend what we were. but it is not anywhere near the reduction in the size of government we need. host: on the spending side, they have $148 billion in research, including 32 billion for biomedical research. $77 billion for the department of education. $53 billion over six years for high-speed rail. $36 billion in loan guarantees for traditional nuclear power
plants. is that worth it in your view? guest: we're not getting much bang for our buck. if you look it all that, the form of education, a department of energy, in the last 10 years under both president bush and obama, we've increased spending by more than 100% if. can anyone actually say that we have done anything substantial in exchange for all that money? host: no. 9 on your list, you say they are a lot of funny assumption. guest: in terms of unemployment, the president assumes it will be below 8% in the next few years. no economist i know of predicts that. and the rate of growth is predicted 0.5% faster than coming out of the last recession. we're back to the rosy scenario. host: no. 10, you say there is more money for obamacare. guest: he continues to fund the
health care bill year. in terms of the debt and deficit, i think the health care bill will add substantially over the next 10 years several hundred billion dollars -- up believe about $800 billion to the deficit over that period of time. in terms of patients and doctors, it will lead to more government control of health care and a loss of freedom for everyone. host: maryland, scott on the democratic line. caller: thanks for c-span. i'm concerned about the possibility of the government shutdown. i've been a government employee all of my life. i were to the post office after high school and then i was an ensign in the navy in noaa work for the department of commerce. -- and now i work for the department commerce. there is a probability that i will not get paid for a while.
and i have to get paid, it is a nuclear research which uses a nuclear reactor. i would have to show up for work and not get paid and i do not know how long that could last. i was wondering which guest would say to that. guest: i have sympathy for your situation. in terms of government shutdown, the entire functioning of government would not stop immediately. there is money in the pipeline that government can continue to use. it will privatize its spending. we would first pay interest on the debt that we have to do to avoid default. it would pay the armed forces in the essential functions of government. it will essentially be a lot at things that show up in the media, closing the washington monument, national parks will shut down initially. and sooner or later they will pass a budget, and when they do, you will be paid retroactively. host: ted from michigan is on the line.
caller: i am a dutch immigrant, a marine corps in vietnam veteran, and my father emigrated to america when the russians invaded hungary. i have two comments. number one, public employee unions have to remember that they work for the people of america and that the government is not a corporation. there should a shared sacrifice. that is number one. number two, america can no longer of ford the military bases that we have around the world. the last the red, we have all worked hundred -- the last i read, we have over 400. because of that, we got into korea and south vietnam because of the communists. south korea is a much wealthier country than north korea. they have a much bigger economy
, a greater population than north korea. why do we have all these bases all around the world that we cannot afford? guest: your final thought. the caller is actually correct. one wonders why we still have on forces in germany to protect against the russians moving across the river. the soviet union does not exist anymore. yet we still have cold war military bases. we're defending south korea and from north korea when south korea is perfectly capable of its own defense. in many cases, the americans impose our way of doing things on them. we need to rethink our strategic position around the world. we cannot afford to maintain an empire or be the world's policeman any more. host: cato.org is michael tanner's website. he is a senior fellow at the
cato institute if you would like to read his article. you can go to national review.com. coming up, we will talk about the unrest in the middle is. we will have a 45 minute segment with ellen laipson, president of the stimson center. but in a couple of minutes, we will talk about a program called e-verify. our guest will be the director of the program. in the meantime, political cartoons now.
>> i recognize there will be plenty of arguments in the months, and everyone will have to give a little. but when it comes to difficult decisions about the budget, we have found common ground before. >> this week president obama sent congress up 3.7 trillion dollar budget for next year. if you're the details from the administration including cabinet officials and watch reaction from house and senate members online and the c-span video library. search, watch, clipped, and share -- is a washington your way. >> "washington journal" continues. host: our guest is alejandro mayorkas, director of united states citizenship and immigration services. he is here to tell us about a program called e-verify. what is it and when did it start? guest: 90 for having me. e-verify is a worth authorization verification program. it is a program that u.s.
citizenship and immigration services at ministers. it is free to employers and is a tool that enables them to verify that the new hires that they are about to employee are authorized to work in the united states, are lawfully authorized. host: we have 225,000 businesses using the program. how much growth is they're moving forward? guest: rapid growth, on average about 1300 businesses signing up for e-verify. the growth is an exponential. host: why have such a program? guest: it is an employer's obligation to ensure the lawfulness of its workforce. there can be consequences to an employer, should the employer had in its work force of undocumented workers.
this is a tool that the government makes available to employers at no cost to assist them in making sure that they are complying with the law. ♪ -- our guest will we ♪ will be with us for about 40 minutes. alejandro mayorkas, and the phone numbers are on the screen for this segment. we're dealing with the e-verify system an undocumented workers. we will get to your phone calls in just a minute. if you are in business, what should i know about this? guest: we enter into a mayra memorandum of agreement with the employer. -- a memorandum of agreement with the employer. we enable the employer to access the social security data base through our agency to confirm that the individual who has submitted i-9 documentation which establishes the employee's ability to work, all lawful
presence in the united states. we allow the employer to check in that government data base and confirmed the authorization of the employee. host: for more information on the program, 1000 new businesses signing up according to your agency. they require the use of the program for federal contractors. 98.3% of workers put through e- thereby were automatically confirm this work eligible in 2010. guest: we are proud of the programs accuracy. an employer will carry our system to determine whether the individual but for the employer is in fact authorized. usually within a matter of minutes, we can confirm the work authorization of that individual. we are extremely accurate in identifying a work-authorized employee has in fact work- authorized.
host: how much are you spending on the program? guest: congress is very supportive of the program. we received an appropriation of over $100 million a year to run the program, to build improvements to the program, to establish monitoring and compliance efforts, so it is a very robust and well supported program. we're grateful to congress for that support. host: we will get plenty of calls, i am sure, from one side of the other. what is the biggest issue brought to your concern about the program? guest: i think it is appalling. there is concern about identity fraud, individuals to submit false documentation in order to circumvent a lot. e-verified is increasing its ability to add to the five identic fraud -- to identify a did to defraud.
but we're working with other agencies to combat it more competitive -- more effectively. host: the secretary of homeland security, janet napolitano, was asked about e-verify. but for people she had to say. >> it expires next year. i am told that only 11% of 7.7 million employers in the country participate in e-verify. i would ask you today to things. do you support a permanent reauthorization of e-verify? and second, how can we improve the participation rate? >> yes, senator, we are adding companies to keep that -- e- verify at approximately 1600 a week. when i was governor of arizona, i think i was the first governor in the country to require our
contractors to use e-to verify. i think that one of the things we want to be looking at is not only permit reauthorization, but as i said earlier, a culture of compliance in the employer community, that this is something that they need to do, they do not like it but they have to pay their taxes. it is part and parcel of being in this country. you have to make sure that your employees are legally inside the united states. guest: the secretary captured perfectly. we are signing up at a rapid clip. if you take a look at the success of the program and its popularity, it is free to employers. in 2007 we had about 24,000 employers utilizing e-verify 2.5
years later, when you're at 250,000. host: calls coming in for alejandro mayorkas first let's go to davis, california, a republican. caller: my question is for him. i have a reverence for both of you. i am a young students. first of all, i was wondering what the process in which you screen companies to use your e- verify process? i definitely see its value in what you do. i just want to know how you do that? host: the screening process. guest: we validate the legitimacy of the employer is utilizing e-verify through a number of means. we use the available information through various
services to ensure that the employer seeking to utilize e- verify is in fact legitimate employer. host: are there certain types of companies most often involved right now? guest: we have employers in certain business sectors, administrative support for example, support services is the type of businesses that uses e- verify with great frequency. we see a greater popularity in certain industrial sectors. host: dallas, texas -- mark, good morning. caller: all, if you allow me, i have a brief commentary and then a quick question. as a registered democrat, as an african-american, i have firsthand experience of the devastating effect on our community of the illegal immigration, most recently i applied for a job that i was
qualified for, but i was told in the interview that i would have to be bilingual. it is my opinion that african- americans in this country do not understand that president obama is not doing everything he can come in number one, to secure our borders, and make sure that legal don the commended of americans are given the proper fairness in hiring practices. my question to you is -- what can a person that experiences discrimination, that is told by a potential employer, you must be bilingual, where we know, undocumented workers are there and employers are not taking advantage of e-verify, what can we do as individuals to help your organization or to bring some sort of justice for the american worker? guest: let me say with respect
to the e-verify system specifically, some aspects of discrimination follow side my jurisdiction. but with respect to e-verify is to be used by an employer to check all lawful ability of the employee to work. once that employee has been hired, it is not a tool to screen potential employees before they are hard -- in order to ensure that it is now used for any discriminatory for improper purpose. host: petersburg, is kevin on the independent line. caller: i was curious why we could not use that money for rejecting your system is a good idea, but why can we not use that system just the fight
immigration? why can we use our money to go down where everyone is coming across instead of trying to go to the corporations? they are not going to fix it. they do not care. they are saving money by hiring. i was curious how you plan to make the law something that has not even been fixed. deal with the real problem. guest: if i can, and i appreciate the question, there is funding from congress for a wide number of tools to combat illegal immigration. congress appropriates funds to enable the department of homeland security to secure our borders. e-verify programs and other work force -- worksite enforcement programs are built on the basic foundation that individuals come here illegally in order to
secure work. if in fact we insurable lawfulness of the work force, and prevent the hiring of undocumented workers, that financial magnet will be removed. that is one of the core principles of the e-verify program. host: a recent "washington post" ps. i want to read a little bit. in an early indicator of how congressional republicans will legislate on immigration, house gop leaders are and then expanding an inquiry into an enforcement program that allows employers to check the immigration status of employees. it has been championed by the chairman of the house judiciary committee immigration panel. many business owners believed that other house republicans want to make it mandatory. many farmers wanted to stabilize the agricultural economy which is heavily depended on an
undocumented immigrants, and jeopardize millions of jobs held by american citizens that are upstream and downstream of farm labor. guest: we believe in the e- verify program, in its accuracy and its importance in securing a lawful work force. the legislative issue that the congressman raises is something for the legislature to decide. we are working to ensure that e- verify is indeed capable of handling a much larger volume queries than it currently enjoys. host: as a permanent program, what you think that further debate on the hill will look like? guest: there is six a great interest in seeing expansion, whether voluntary or mandatory. host: lawrence on the republican
line. caller: can you hear me? well, i am a u.s. citizen. my wife is not. i'm former u.s. military. we had a child over in germany, in constitutionally she will not be a u.s. citizen. so we came back here with their child because of what is now a u.s. citizen. we both served in the military. i feel like that this e-verify system will target my children. it is not my fault that i was deployed into another country and she is overseas and has a kid. i do not think -- i think it is wasteful spending. guest: i appreciate the question. most importantly i appreciate you and your wife's the service in our military. i think the key issue that you have is not necessarily with the e-verify program, but rather
with the immigration laws and how they affect the status of your child. i would suggest that indeed you see appropriate counsel with respect to this. that is the core issue that you'd be interested in. host: texas, the democratic line. caller: i have one statements and one question. there is a lot of gangs in my area of southeast texas. after i got laid off, i took i job -- a job. anyway, the thing i have a
problem with is, i have seen -- and in not saying it is just mexicans. it is different groups that are taking over our jobs. when i found out that all they have to have is a driver's license and the last four digits of the social, i am thinking, heck, i can make up water digits of the social. so getting to my question, i've heard him talk a lot about the employers, but not how he verifies the employees. that is my question. guest: frankly, there is more that an employee has to present to an employer to document that
employee's authorized status, the ability to work. and with respect to identity fraud, as i mentioned, we are making significant improvements in the e-verify program to ensure that an individual cannot try to circumvent our nation's immigration laws. for example, this past year we started to use of photographic data base to ensure that the individual that come before an employer with documentation, that that individual appearance matches the passport photograph that the government has in its data base. we are ensuring that the truthfulness of the representations from an employee are in fact assured. host: the program is voluntary, but one of the work by twitter asks -- will there be fines for employers? guest: this is something our sister agency, immigration
enforcement, commonly known as ice, is working on very successfully. it has worksite enforcement efforts under way that are new and innovative they provide for consequences for employers who violate the law, who knowingly employed unauthorized workers. and that is why we encourage the use of e-verify as a tool for an employer to ensure he is in compliance with all law and up to speed. host: president obama nominated alejandro mayorkas for the position of director back in april 2009, and the senate unanimously confirmed his nomination. the u.s. immigration and citizenship services has a $2.9 billion request attached to it for the next year. explain the scope of your
agency. guest: we are funded primarily through the key is that immigrants and non-immigrants pay us. we have about a $2.9 million budget, but 90% is from the fees that the customers pay. the balance is appropriated from congress. will we do is administered on nations lawful immigration system. we extend benefits. immigration benefits such as the revered and critically important united states citizenship to people who established their eligibility for immigration benefits in this country. host: let's go to new castle in the u.k., steve, good morning. steve, go ahead. caller: my question is on the subject of immigration.
as a highly skilled migrant worker, an employee in the united states, to you e-verify consider-would reduce -- do you consider that e-verify would reduce the ability for u.k. citizen to obtain employment in the united states? there is not such a system in place here. as a skilled migrant worker, -- ans guest: there is a lawful regime for the introduction of skilled workers into this country. it is premised on the foundation that those skilled workers should be able to come to this country and contribute their talents and skills so long as they are not displacing eligible
united states workers for those same programs. e-verify does not discourage the introduction of that talent into the united states. what it does discourage and seeks to prevent is people who are not authorized to work here from doing so. host: omaha, neb. -- about 20 minutes left in the segment. john, good morning to you. caller: the first question is, if the program is free to employers, why is it mandatory that every employer participate? and my second to you, [unintelligible] my background is, is it required that the employer participate in the program [inaudible] or did they know that they're going to go back around check on them? guest: i didn't get the second
question, but with respect to the first question, congress established e-verify as a pilot program. it has been reauthorize the number of times. it is congressional authorized as a voluntary program. congress is looking at its voluntary status, whether or not it should be mandatory as we speak. nur position as a administration, is that in the mandatory aspect to it should be considered in the context of comprehensive immigration reform. in a review and overhaul the nation's immigration system as a whole. host: what is the agency's approach to focusing on more businesses, to make the program grow? how do you go out there and market this program? the right word? guest: that is exactly the right word. one of the things we are looking
at is how to increase the use of e-verify. how can we expanded? in 2011, we are planning and marketing rollout strategy to spread the world with respect to the benefits that e-verify provides and the tools it affords employees. host: when someone was -- someone does not want to take part, what did they say? guest: of hurdle for us is a perceived burden on employers. we do not have that view. we need to educate the employer community with respect to the ease of the e-verify program. host: well the technology get better? how does it work? guest: we can receive far more queries then we are currently receiving. it is a very effective and efficient technical tool. host: the answer from
jeffersonville, ky. caller: i have just a couple of things to ask, ok? the first one is, this started happening years ago. a few years back. ok? why didn't anyone pay any attention to this before it got so bad and got out of hand? in my next thing that i want to make a comment on, our children, young people that are very educated that were born here, i mean, i feel like, why should they be -- why should it be held against them because they were born here? they did not know anything about all this. but they are very intelligent,
with the law hypowe have lee on the line from california. hi low. chris: good morning, guys. i have two quick questions. one, for mr. mayorka. what are your hot spots in the united states. sfrean? atlanta? florida? new york? going let me stop you there and you can take that first question. our use of e verify and what our gentleman calls hot spots is significant. in fact california, texas, arizona are three of the states where we see the most arearies regarding e verify. there are 3-6 states that fall into that category.
caller: why is it the afl crowe -- the afl-cio holds the position they hold? going there's concern whether you are authorized to work or being harmed by the e verify program? and we've taken steps to ensure that doesn't occur. hypowe recently heard semple states have some variation of e-verify. can you sprain how this whole program is put together? >> well, let me state this. arizona passed a law for mandatory e-verify, and the state's antibiotic to pass a
mandatory e-verify program when federal law provides it to be a voluntaryy program is an issue before our united states supreme court now. and i believe it will be decided this term. hyporoad island. elaine, democrat. how are you? caller:fine. i have a comment then i'll mention something about e-verify. when i saw the march in washington, i saw none of them with the u.s. nag that we fly. i saw amish white and green maffsh -- marching for their rights and please come in legally. try to make a better life for yourself. as far as the e-verify, ok? we had it here in road island. i think they may have had two
complaints on it. we have over 40,000 immigrants in our little state and the first order of business was to reas i understand it this e-verify saying it was unfair and the people in congress right now in the state of robredo. road island, they are trying to put it back in and they are pretty sure they have the votes to put it back in and even override this food governor's freedom. if we're looking for a job, we have to have our social security card and background checked so what's the difference between that and e-verify? i justin don't understand it. >> i think your point was captured and find out me about, and by way of education. our country needs to do a very good job about benefitting
employers and employees about e-verify and explain how it does not pose the complaints many come play of. >> how are you? caller:i think it's a social problem with the e-verify program which is in effect by nine illegal immigrants gain food and other things in the country. e bay is like pushing them on the ground. pushing them to try to get jobs legally. it's easy. some guy in the u.s. trying to get a job at -- as at e quinn. yes, but the suspense of -- while the e-verify is commendable. i think it's a new troords
towards social problem. social problems in the long run? >> i think that the gentleman' scoppings really not with respect to e-verify as a tool of ensuring a lawful workforce. i think the gentleman's scomment one that resonates insofar as that we in reform is overdue. we need address the situation in this country and the who are iter. it's the -- that's a very good question. and i don't know the answer to that question, paul, whether we have a list of the actual employers who do use it. i am going to go on our website www.uscif.glove and see if i can't find an answer to that
question right now love program. hey, say. caller: good morning. going good morning. caller: i think your organization or government department is spinning your wheels, because i've been a resident of arizona for 25 years out here. i've been involved in real estate business. and these illegals that are down there, many of which have been there for 10-12-15 years living and working in arizona, can all get identifications that fraudulent and make your system of e-verify absolutely worth it. and if you don't believe that they are here, come down to arizona and act that they are illegal. i'd like your answer.
hypomr. mayorka. depoip i addressed your question earlier. that we are developing new tools towards fraud on behalf of employees or and friend of the lawyers. and c, we work with immigrations and customs enforcement and we also partner with prosecuting agencies to ensure that fraud is dealt with as it should be. hypodo you worry about the cost increasing as the program increases? going i think the tools and innovation will cause the rate to go up. caller: i agree. i think you have a good program there, myself. but i wrote into my son during
conversation and said three or four years ago, you know, we went have any problems. i own a small trucking company. now, if i hauled marijuana and broke the law with that truck you'd confiscate it, is that right the government would. >> well, all they have to do is instead of fining the employer for hiring an illegal or a bunch of illegals, like they have at a meat packing implant -- >> they have 300. comp indicated piece of legislation for the farm or whatever. help the they won't hire them. if they don't hire illegals, they won't come. it's very simple. caller: yes. going i think the gentleman is speaking to the consequence regime available to prosecutors
and enforcement agencies with respect to employers who knowingly hire unauthorized workers. and i think that's a matter for the legislature to address. hypogood morning. caller: good morning. mr. mayorka you have amazing patience. this is not about immigration polyit's about improving the data on the i-9 form. i signed up to be one of your employer agents where i'm going to be a third party i had an will do that process for the business at a reduced price. so this is if -- so thst going to create jobs for them. going thank you. host: there are thank you for
your call. going there's -- guest: it's a very accessible program. host: i wanted to ask about your recent trip to kenya. why did you go and what did you see? caller:our agency is very involved in the refugee program of this country. we represent approximately 75,000 refugees around the world i we want to see our operations there. and i will tell you, paul, i saw extraordinary poverty and despair. and amidst that poverty and amyths fove to me it was
previously unimaginable. there was the u.s. stande immigration services refugee team interviewing people and bringing a ray of hope to the world's most vulnerable 67 i was, again, very proud to be a part of the agency of which i'm a member. host: we have pau on. welcome to the show. caller: i got a comment and a question. for mr. mayorka. hyposure. -- host: sure. caller: instead of changing the whole planet, it's making things tougher. it also makes the lives of those who come to work, no matter if they come by border,
i know they are breaking the law and everything, but basically they got kids. fur going away from miami to then there's a marking piece. and they'll understand there's lawyers, attorneys from china and india and brazil and from mexico. they are cleaning houses in america, washing bathrooms. and it's not fair for the people from arizona to turn against them and make or send those people back home, you know. and then immigrants to the job tho that americans want to do, you know, sees doctors, cheaping houses. a friend of mine calling me from the hospital. and the doctor from india was there. assisting them. and then they stayed funny
thing was the doctor was super smart, but they could not understand him because of the language, you know? i just think that the o'bam could be tough and try to make a comp hencive immigration go through and show the american people don't decide of the increase, you know? that brings power for their economy. they work very hard no matter if it's 95 degrees or 100 degrees. they work. it's dependable, reliable and cheap labor. host: mr. mayorka? guest: i appreciate the comments. let me say by words and by deeds, our president has spoken resident informantly and feveibilityly about his beliefs in this nation as a beacon of hope of opportunity. and he has been a vigorous
proponent offs comprehensive immigration reform unfavorably since he took office. >> and our last caller. david. how are you doing? caller: really quick comment and they been then a question. i find it hard to believe so many are suppressing their work ing. but e-verify, how will that affect the wages once these people are realized? like will you get -- many people in this country have been competing illogically. didn't seem to be a problem until we had a market crash and
now they want to throw people out. i just think, i don't know, i think people come here to work, make a living to better their lives. so as an american, born here, i don't have a problem with people who don't want to come here and work anymore. >> let me state e-verify is a program exited at the other end and if he is hired by his employer, he has the authorization to work. s that somethings that dedicated to ensuring the lawfulness of a workforce and a program that has been in existence on a voluntary basis for a number of years now. host: the director of u.s. citizenship and immigration services uscis .glove if you want to learn more. thank you for your time on the
e-verify program. guest: thank you. host: we have a little more than 40 minutes to go in this sunday edition of wash wash. we'll talk about the unrest in the middle east. several countries there as we know this weekend. in the meantime more news from espn room. >> and the news stories being >> senator dick durbin. republican senator lindsay gram and the u.s. ambassador to the united nations, susan rice. hear a re-air of cyston only on pore and hillary clinton. today chris wallace hosts with
republican governor scott walker. lieutenant governor and missouri democratic senator claire mccassical. then hear the state of the union re-air. donald rumsfeld talks about his new memoir then chuck schumer of new york and republican senator dick lugar of yanina wickmayer. then finally at 4:00 it's face kind of do too. >> and paul rine and the ranking deafment than to committee, the five-network the talk shows are brought to you by as a public service of company. those programs begin with nbc's feet in press and 1:00 abc's this week. 2:00's fox news sunday and at 4:00, face the nation from cbs. listen to them all on c-span radio. 91.1 f.m..
you can down led to station as an iphone ap or listen online at c-span radio.org. >> what we face today is that the american dream the under attack. but we are fighting back and we will get it back. >> today on c-span's road to the white house. herman cain, former chairman and c.e.o. he is a 20 12 republican candidate. watch him in plymouth new hampshire. c-span's road to the white house today. >> donald rumsfeld was the oldest and youngest to serve as u.n. secretary.
>> what you really believe. because people who don't have that and only go in and see occasionally simply don't want to do it. >> tonight, he'll discuss his philosophy of presidential staff leadership. the process of writing his memoir "known and unknown" and address some of the critical and positive reviews on c-span's q&a. >> "washington journal" continues. >> president and c.e.o. of the simpson center joins us. as we look at the middle east protest. >> well, first of all, there's no doubt sworled change. there's a bottom rumbleling going on that because of information technology and
because of the trance parents eye of the age in which we live, it's been able to move extremely rapidly across borders and is uniting at least parts of the populations with diverse population. it's not necessarily going to lead to the same nouk all cases but for sure this is a moment in which arab world says we want freedom, too. they watched eastern europe. east asia is changing and finally this and these sort of grievances are being brought to the surface. but conditions are different in each kin. not all going to produce democracy anytime soon. in the united states it's a dilemma and an opportunity. thinkity yithes has always wanted to see more reform, believing that democratic systems in the long run are more stable than an athor taryn system.
we've always forged these partnerships with some because of the immediate need. the flow of oil, isolating the bad guys in the region. 3wur in the long run i think the united states can embrace this kind of change, and reallocate our attention and resources to try to help the wannabe democrats of the region. host: we want to get your comment for our guest and questions for our guest ellen. guest: we work on problems of international security. host: how are you funded? guest: by many member sources. mostly foundations. most recently we partnered with government talents and anyone who wants to support us. we're non-profit and we get our funding from a lot of sources. we'll leave the phone numbers at the bottom of the screen and
these people -- we saw this headline. so we saw the protesters. we saw the violence in the last couple of days. we're reeding about a little bit of a cooling. cooling in talks. what's happening? guest: well bahrain is a very small persian gulf country. we think of it as a place of extraordinary wealth. but it's an eye land and has a causeway to saudi arabia. but less than a million people pop late it. it's a countries that lessen dowd in terms of natural resources, oil, etc than its neighbors and has created a kind of banking, open society to some extent. but it has deep societyal fishers and a ruining family.
they've ruled for a long time. mostly very peacefully. but what we've found, and this is a 10-year story if 23409 a 1-year story, demands from the shiah majority to have more rights and participation. the government made a choice to crack down more like iran in the green movement over the last year or so than the way the other arab countries not saying that would be so aggressive in try to suppress the demonstrations. now the royal family is saying oops, that didn't work and saying the crown prince, degree from georgetown. very personable young man, to now try to engage the opposition. not clear that the opposition thinks this is an offer they should take yet. they are having a debate on whether this will compromise their principals too much >> let's stay in bahrain just a
minute and dig deeper. you had leaned on bahrain to show strength with the obama administration putting pressure on them and going back to u.s. polythere. >>s the, after all, one of the commands of how the u.s. central command and so the naval command presence there has been a very successful partnership for quite some time. and it's somewhere we operate our naval forces in the entire persian gulf and arabian sea. it's part of a support system for the words that -- the wars we have been conducting in afghanistan and now no longer in iraq. but it's no trivial matter if bahrain is no longer a friendly environment from which to operate. also given what we have seen in tunisya, cairo and popping out yesterday. i think they are increasingly
sure that tell our friendly partners in the region, start talking now. don't think violence is going to win you, even if you could temporarily reimpose stability. that's not going to be a solution in the long run. host: where is that? why is that? why are things happening there as well? and we read this headline in reuters that the separatist leader has been arrested. guest: it's a country that has one of the most disadvantageous profiles of anyone in the renal, extremely young population. much more so than egypt and other countries. and it was only reunited in the early 90's. so basically less than 20 years since we've visited a single entity under same president. he's been in too late. but anybody who stayed in power
for a very long time built up resentment. has a croney class around them that has benefitted from incumbent cases more than they. but it's not an internal insurgence as i, a sectarian revolt in the north. the saudis have always worried about yes, ma'am any stability and has a leader that's a lot less popular than he used to be. so that and al qaeda can who view yemen as their base in the the -- guest: there's a place we've got instablet that may not get on this path. host: let's go to texas. ana, democrat, good morning. caller:don't you think all of the unrest, i'm 62 years old.
kind of mimics what went on during the civil rights bhood shed. beatings. all of this unrest until bhacks got their rights a lot of this -- a lot of these guys were -- have been in power for years. and i mean years. and we have supported them with money that's drained united states. and i never hear in all we're talking about cairo. bahrain. iran. teheran. i never hear or see anything mimic what went on in the united states and how people feel about it. being in older black america, i understand how those people feel, but i also know that this
country has -- all of those countries in order to get what they want. and then these students who we have educated over here go back and these younger people take back, because they are much smarter and much more educated than our kids are in the united states. and that i can back and they will their parents and their younger siblings what has happened in this country and how bhacks got in the street and whose heads were beaten and water hose were put on them. and nobody said anything not any other country. not france, not israel or anybody. host: let's hear from our guest. guest: well, i think the analogy of the civil rights moment is an interesting one and rimets us in a way that this is a universal people. people who and try to insist on get a fairer share of whatevers
the they may be looking for. political space. economic rights, ability to participate in public space. so i think the analogy is an interesting one and certainly the shiah in bahrain might feel a strong some darity with the civil rights movement in the united states. each case is a little bit different in terms of what the legal and constitutional parameters are in which people can use collective action. what are some of the precautions will be? but as for the u.s. propping up countries, it's true that we can look thaft story as a very dark one. but it's kind of a two-way trait. i think they tried to encourage processes of reform. we accepted that there would be cultural differences. some of these countries still have the tribal organization. it's still a very powerful way in which power gets distributed. and people get to have a say.
so oui not nalls a position guest: but i think i would shade it a little bit. y, the united states always put our own security interests and access to oil etc, very high on our list. but in various ways, different presidents have pushed for times for reform in the middle east. maybe not strongly or clearly enough. but even the economic relationship when we give ate we're also so i don't see it as just a one way to we have on the phone is a darsen rag bond. can you explain to us what's happening in the exalt of kwlemen and elsewhere around the country today. paint a picture for us if you could. caller: sure. glad to be with you.
today was quite peaceful in the capital. there were demonstrations outside the yuferte of is a na, which has been the focal point of the demonstrations here. but what we saw today was markedly different than yesterday and the days before where we saw violence clashes between the head of dallas were shawn or prawn. and make sure you're separating the two groups. the pro government protesters from the anti-government ones and it was quite boyce rouse. the anti-government group were still calling for regime change and democratic freems and the pro government's supporters were basically saying the president needs to remain in order to pemb stability in yemen. host: what are you looking for
then the rest of today and in the coming days to see how this might shape out in yemen. chris: today president poll no. give our supporters here. and was -- apologized to loyalists attacking journal international speedways. he sort of vowed to oversee a dialogue between the ruling party and the opposition. really, he seems to be trying to take every effort possible to dalm streets down. the protests begin peacefully and suddenly erupt the latest could be until thures. there's definitely a meet
testify that's how i've felt not to turn back now. there's a new oldness on the streets of sanaa. everybody i spoke to said we want to have another egypt and tunisia. this prince somey has been in control long tough. oui not proceeding. -- and baja rain if somebody did that to, a on headline it said u.s. fears unrest in yemen could strengthen al qaeda. what are you writing here? caller: well. certainly yemen is probably the most significant country concern for the united states when it comes tom chronic terrorism after afghanistan and
pakistan. there's all kinds, the organize rn peninsula. tried to a couple times, over the past year. so there is a concern here that the al qaeda here lives to off of the yemen instability and it could get strong ir. but at the same time the protesters on the street are keeping mandates for islamic sustaining. and certainly, it was almost the opposite of what i series for. and in a place like yemen, it relate depends. it could pose a serious challenge to the obama administration and at the same time if there is some sort of dramatic change in leadership. it could also pose an opportunity for the administration to for or to
actually, depending on what happens afterwards, of course, to really quell or sport tennis. >> tennis, i'll be stpwheg from the capital of yemen. caller: my les. host: was there anything there that struck you? guest: i think it's useful to remind you that many people would prefer to stibbling their rise in the knowledge here. they'll know this when there are street protests, i'm going to stick with the leader because he knows how the control the instrument of power and they enjoy the status quo. peoplem in society, so it's always a matter of toe. also it reminds us it's a harder to form a consensus over what change is desirable.
egypt and tunisia were important. because they were in some cases homogeneous societies. egypt has about a 10% christian minority. but what you see as the crowd gets bigger and bigger, lots of people we used to not see politically active want to associate themselves. so yemen, libya. countries where a few hundred people are showing up for demonstrations but not hundreds of thousands, maybe society will reach that barcelona. thank you for joining us. caller: good morning. caller: the uprising in egypt, what's going on, could that be
targeted snipers killing each and one who have peaceful rand civilians. so my question to you is there's, not counting the days of libya. and muammar can a depoffy as the u.n. what has the human rights or what are they -- the human rights talks -- where is the u.s. helping the helpless people? and where is the justice here? >> thank you for calling. we're talking about libya for the first time. a newspaper says libyan forces are firing upon furenls. up to as many as 200 people killed in the country. go ahead. guest: i think the casuality rate in libya is the outliar. it's clearly the one where the regime has used the mostals havals.
part of the problem with libya is it doesn't if it into any particular part of the war on terror. even the western ambassadors that has been here we don't really have an easy, trusting relationship with the libans. so i do think you're right. it deserves more attention. the humanitarian effort is worrisome, but physically getting there to be able to access the libyan population that may need help right now. it's hard to imagine exact liz how thank will occur in libya. it could be that this is a one-man shote. and his arab friends suggest he give up power, this is the guy whose been de finet of every institution that he's been a part of. he doesn't believe in traditional politics.
condescending towards the other arabs and would rather be seen as an afternoon legislative country >> mike is a lot of zphirps >> yes. host: what else is different about that? guest: well, it may be that the control of the family. the regime is a little bit less strong in some of these second dare cities, and where the labor and economic conditions may be worse. so people may be more agitated because of that. >> phillip, republican for phillip sten son. >> good morning. guest: yes. these countries, how do they intend to achieve prosperity without a foundation? they have no natural resources and they don't do any economic exporting.
>> well, the countries are mixed obviously we've got the oil exporting countries in the gulf. even egypt exports some oil. but you are right that they still have a challenge to diversify their economies and job creation will be a challenge. job creation is also about whether you've got your popping and resources in a sustainable -- guest: the arab populationings grew so quickly that they couldn't keep up. even though they were experiencing an economic growth. north africa has done a very good job with the association agreement with the european unit and factories re mark it yellow. so these cases are not basketball interest change, in
particular but also egypt. pretty high level of education. people in this secter. they are moving from primary products up to various higher levels of production. so i'm not discouraged. but i do think we saw each of our uplifting. people don't get along. they have rising expectations for a betters life. they were doing better if the family level of income was there. but fell -- felt kind of presumption not given the medical ewhere the can you explain what they are trying to achieve. caller: it's an interesting sort of transition now, and it's a little scary to watch. because they suspended the parliament and constitution and
they are naming a group of hopefully very independent and distinguished jurors and professors and representatives of political grouping to very quickly redroost constitution. i think one of the worries is that the military council that is currently ruling egypt. he thinks that can always be country because -- possibly rewriting a constitution. we saw it in iraq. we've seen it in european countries. and elsewhere. if you really want citizens to understand what you're giving them in terms of traditional rights, etc. there's a whole pub you go indication of it to rewrite a constitution. host: in 2002 after a quarter of a century of government service, key physicians including vice chair of the national intelligence council and special assistant to the
u.s. permanent fch i have a question directed towards your guest. it's about the united states government's reaction to these so-called un -- in the middle east. these are not new. you could see the similar resolutions in back in the central and eastern europe. and in those countries, that he had choice to doopt radical change. those countries who adopted a radical m transition, they had better competitive illegal
trance person so my question is the s why is the united states supporting radical transition as opposeded to gradual transition? and it's because it hits you that gradual transition will lead to more. it might lead to more dictatorship and corruption and it might be less democratic than we think. >> well, i find it a little hard to generalize and i'm not sure the current obama administration is going to take it slow. i'm not sure thats that currently their few. their view. i think they understand there's exntations and they are fairly dramatic change in the middle system or political cultures. the uncans in which the folks in the street actually achieve something, which to date really is just in egypt and gentlemen
egypt. you know, the comparison to eastern europe is a little bit problematic, because these are countries that had early experience and some of the things we know are preconditioned to true sustainable democratic behavior are not flebt all of the free world. repaint is going to start. very progressive student, the fch do you think this country 4 put out the participation i need. tunisia after independence and in the 196 0's was considered one of the most progressive in the take care of her family.
sally said if you don't have a over the from all the food he gave you, but -- i do think the kimmy case after call is a strong power. we have some interest this helping the international economic system, the flow of resources, etc, move in a predictable way, according to some rules. so while we are kind of emotionally with the protesters and saying isn't it a disgrace? the our interest it'ssts are not always going to be the about that. host: let's hear from judy from london, england. good morning, judy. caller: good morning. yes. i'm a u.s. citizen. thank you for also giving this
opportunity. my question is even thoughs the about the legal case, could -- come and maybe -- can this also be an african story, because all those come from the middle east, they pass leaders of all that 20-years plan. which is also the kind of plan or country was there any way to comment and maybe relay all the media, can we also direct from that that it can also be an african story? i am thinking the demock demock cri in yourself. >> well, i think in over hero 40 countries, many have made lot of progress in the last decade. some countries they have the same issues of high-yield
unemployment and the longevity of people in leadership positions, so it's certainly positive that some of the people have developments that will stop that. but it will also stimulate road but they nobody knows. >> is moving? democracy had the same directions? so it's hard to tell exactly which cuvens would compare closely to egypt. but let's remember tunisia panned those countries are more represented by africa. so certainly to temperature them, it would be a great country to talk about, because it has it's own period of turbulence and exciting properties through change. and the egypt connection also
believes in -- host: what's happening in sudan? caller: the house voted almost namsly on su session. so we're now june where a lot of legal measures have to be taken but will happen later this year. >> baltimore. independent line. good morning. caller: thank you for having me on. i truly love c-span, and i walk fch thank you for having me. i really just have a comment. i want the ghost tell me whether or not she agrees. i any that america is really powerful. and not just our government. it's our people. our technology. as operations, the way we live. the way we rides our families. there's so many great things
about america and people all around the world, they really get to see that now with thed a vent of facebook and 3/4. i have friends i have not ever met across the world but i have via facebook. and what's been happening in egypt and tunisia, some countrys are going to be slower than others but any country that trifes rule by force or by kings or queens is not going to be the same. even china which is a communist country, i guess you could call it now, even with them, third-place won't be able to hold their people. and have tchome whatever the government says. host: let's hear from our guest. >> guest: it reminds us that how the united states participates in this country.
we call it soft power. it's not just by moving ships and tanks around but that's in some ways we were part of this story in egypt and tunisia. because young people in those countries just as you said were very much are influenced in lifely ways by social media and thaunts really came out of american kul chir. so i don't think we fully understand that other parts of our society. not just our government but our culture and government and neck ethat he was going to be doing. u.s. and muslim fworled -- looking at entrepreneurship. trying to engage the businessmen across the muslim
world to be more successful in job creation. and i've also worked a lot with civil society including trying to make sure the spread of internet freedom is part of the messageals of an at of let's talk to the caller mentioning china. host: security of police officers asking if journalists in the lower right here, to leave. this is outside of mcdonald's covering people outside of the restaurant. a planned protest today in beijing. they are looking at the middle east for inspiration, by the way. speak to us a little bit about saudi arabia as well because we have this peace in "the new york times." that's unrest in saudi arabia and it's bubbletting up.
they write that as pro democracy uprigse spreads. the regions have a i'm well, i think this face very difficult time for saudi arabia. let's remember at the very end they still want mubarak to stay in power and made that view known to president o'bam hay. one of the reasons perhaps president obama didn't come out quickly and forcefully in terms of the eyippings management process. they and ba rang are two countries that work closely together. bahrain, less than a million people does rely on the saudi for various kinds of support and cooperation amid some suggestion that maybe. so the strong preference would be to restore stability as
quickly as possible. friday, saudi arabia struggles with clean it foff with different men and women congregating in one place together. this is pretty hard for them having created such a controlling culture of the separation of the people and how they behave in public faith. they have expanded some of their perities pa toirs habits. there are various outlooks to fighter. we are the power centers. we know with iraq becoming a
much more politically lifted country, the saudis never can quite tell who is on top. and third-place don't necessarily trust a shiah-majority government. and so all around the saudis some scary things have been happening. i recall the instability in yemen is also truly considered because of the stability that came with it. so they still need for silence host: time for a couple more calls. google map displays how close bahrain is to saudi arabia. connected by a bridge as our guest pointed out. manchester england, edward, you're on the line. twoip i jst wanted to make a comment on the call er from spain and i i if also there was another caller.
i think it was the one before last who said we're just counting on american power in the world. he made a comment on the u.s. ruling by force. and my question is where is this power in the world and they are right chris from all of these countries and even looking at the opinion on the subject, we have someone calling the united states from spain asking what the united states is going to do. and like, why is this always our responsibility? host: what do you think they are thinking about the united states and what is going on? >> well, they've done something similar every in the theeps that would generate if so they
are struggling with the issues of being nervous about my integration from countries that are not able to employ their young people. so they try to focus on economic instruments. there's a lot of culture and educational exchanges between europe and north africa. in the end i think it's fair to say the europeans sometimes are not very quick to react foff cuba is like a mini united states. host: callers on the republican line. caller? caller: yes. i was trying to figure out what do the other countries think about deknock cri in the nation's -- democracy is the nation's capital? and i would like to get in contact with the guest, because i know the united states isn't
utilizing foff a fosm in terms of our own democratic concept. there's a certain discomfort. for those woff us who would like to believe we live in a mature democracy, we still have things we need fix our own democratic processes and practices and i am interested in that how do 34u78s think for the tour of engage, it could be enhanced and improved. but there's a definite land of interest. in terms of how we plan our international engagement. but it would be great to have