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tv   Washington Journal  CSPAN  April 23, 2011 7:00am-10:00am EDT

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>> this morning -- next.shington journal" is mccain was injohn libya yesterday meeting with rebels and talking about increased support by the united states. that's what we're going to be talking about for the first 45 minutes of "washington journal." good morning. today is saturday, april 23. as the senate and house continue their two-week recess, many of the members are traveling. as we showed you, senator mccain took this opportunity to visit
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with rebels in be benghazi. that's what we're going to be discussing for the first 45 minutes of the program, senator mccain's visit, and what it says to you about the u.s.'s role in libya. the numbers -- host: if you called us in the last 30 days, today would be the day to get in touch with us electronically. you can send us an e-mai e mailr follow us on twitter. here's the way it was reported this morning in "the new york post." "raiders" is the headline. it says to senator john mccain called for sweeping new support for the rebels yesterday as he
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visited, quote, my heros in benghazi while the pentagon admit the attempts to out of muammar gaddafi are failing. mccain was mobbed by a crowd of joyous rebels. mccain called for, quote, every appropriate means of assistance to the rebels." we'll get back to a little bit more of that and other stories in the ups regarding this story. first let's go to the phones. youngstown, ohio. mike, on our line for democrats. good morning. caller: good morning. how are you doing this morning? host: mike, what do you think about senator mccain's visit to benghazi and what it says about the u.s.'s role in libya right now? caller: i think it's the same old story. korea, vietnam, they see money over there and they're going after it. i don't trust any of them i
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think that they'll do anything special interests tells them to do. that's really all i got to say. thank you. host: san antonio, texas, is where our next call comes from. robert, go ahead. caller: good morning. host: good morning, robert. what do you think about the senator's visit? caller: well, i believe he's trying to give the world the message that america's there, and we might be there to stay no matter how long it takes for us to, you know, do what needs to be done. but i believe it's almost like, you know, when america starte started -- when america was giving the people in the middle east weapons and, you know, artillery for the battles against the russians. we help other countries with our money and all the weapon that we give them and training, but
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sometimes they don't give us anything in return. what we need to remember is we need to create some kind of contract with them that if we help them and free them, they need to in return give us maybe some of the oil or some help with, you know, whatever they can help us with after we help them so they don't go against us like other countries do, you know, like in the past have. that's all i want to say. host: robert, before you go. let me get your thoughts on this part of the article in the "the new york post" this morning. "no world leader has visited the rebel strong hold in benghazi so far but french president sarkozy, the most hawkish, as agreed to in principle to visit, a top aide said yesterday." meanwhile, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff said coalition attacks had reduced
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gaddafi's ground forces by 30% to 40%. caller: it does say a lot, not only about our country but what we believe these people are doing in their rights for freedom. but we need to remember that if they're going to create a government, they have to create a government that's going to work. they can choose for themselves, but we americans help in the fight against gaddafi, but we also have to help them construct a constitution that will better their future. host: let's move on to ron in eagle river, wisconsin, on our line for democrats what do you think about senator mccain's visit and what it says about the u.s.'s role in libya right now? caller: i think senator mccain should retire. i think he sticks his nose into a lot of affairs and stirs up a lot of controversy nearly to
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stay in the news and spotlight. it's not about libya. it's about senator mccain again. and i just feel -- i sympathize with the people of libya, what's going on right now, but i think our role right now is limited and it should stay that way i think the rest of the world needs to take a lead, and it needs to go ahead and let the libyan people decide this and give them -- you know, sure, how do you recognize rebel leaders? i mean, you might have rebel leaders in one town and then you have more rebel leaders in another town. until it's over with and this controversy is brought to a head, a conclusion, it's hard to recognize who will be a leader.
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host: michael on the island of manhattan, in new york, you're on "washington journal." caller: oh, yes. i happen to live 12 blocks from donald trump. in economic terms, here's what's sad. the norwegian f-16's together with the british tornado jets, both oil-exporting nations, took out three years of exports for libya. how is that helping the country? but i do want to bring out -- because i look at it in economic terms. but i do want to bring out something about trump. host: let's stay off of trump for right now. if you want to go in economic terms, in economic terms what does senator mccain's visit say to you about the u.s. role in libya? caller: i think he's going to the wrong issue. if you bomb his oil exports, you bankrupted the country whether
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the rebels take over or gaddafi stays in power. so i think -- you know, like we knocked out iraq's oil supply for three years. and now we're paying -- going to go to $5 a gallon. can i bring out one thing on trump? may i? host: no. not at all. we're going to move to carl on our line for republicans. caller: yeah. hi. how are you today? listen, rob. here goes mr. mccain playing the charlie brown, trying to kick the obama football. listen, libya is in north africa. remember the north african campaign? i was in the korean war. we don't want to get involved in all of africa's problems. and that's exactly where that will take us, to all of africa's problems. thanks, rob. host: all right. and manassas, virginia, on the line for democrats.
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go ahead. caller: good morning. i am originally from west africa. i know very, very well gaddafi's role in all the civil wars that took place in that country, he was behind the civil war, the most terrible civil war in the continent. he was behind it. so if obama had not pulled back when he just went in -- i'm sure gaddafi and his family would have been on the run. but by pulling back he led to now they have to deal with so that's why -- [indiscernible] this situation has taken too long so now we are paying the price through the higher gas prices. it changed the conditions on the ground. if he had just continued, a week, two weeks, it would have been different by now.
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host: we're going to leave it there. this from an article in the "the washington post" this morning, the headline "signs of progress buoyed by libya rebels." they write in a news conference in benghazi after leading with rebel leaders, mccain urged the obama administration to formally recognize the rebel transitional national council as the country's legitimate government and called on nato to intensify its air campaign, especially in mesrata. he applauded this week's decision to use predator drones. mccain and mullen both discounted gaddafi's claims echoed in complaints of some congressional critics of the u.s. intervention, that the rebels had been infiltrated by al qaeda. quoted, i have met these braves fighters, and they are not al qaeda."
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mccain goes on to say to the contrary, they are pate rats who want to liberate their nation. we should help them do it. back to the phones. kennebunk, maine, you're on "washington journal." caller: good morning. i actually voted for mccain but was very happy the next day when obama run and was very proud for our country and have been disappointed steadily. i think mccain is just completely showing us how out of touch our senior politicians are. he should get back in our plane, come back to our country, and take care of our problems and let the countries deal with their problems as they see fit. host: when you say our senior officials are out of touch, you mean that they should be spending more time here in the united states or that somebody else should be talking with the rebels from the u.s. government? caller: i think it was a complete mistake for us to go to
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libya. we have enough wars that we cannot pay for, don't have the money for. "don't understand the common sense of this at all. if i run a business and if i don't have the money to buy inventory or pay my bills, i'm out of business. how is it the country can just keep borrowing money and these guys with several homes, limousines, and jets can run our country into the ground and look the you and smile and toll you, well, we have to go to libya now? host: vincent, you're on "washington journal," republican line. senator mccain has never seen a war that he doesn't like, it seems. with our country being so broke, we keep spending more and more money on these adventures overseas. i wish senator mccain would come home and concentrate on our country's money problems that we have ourselves. host: this is what byron york had to write in the weekend edition of "washington examiner." can you find his piece at
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washingtonexaminer.com. "mccain: risk-averse nato losing ground in libya." byron york writes -- at just the moment when it is no longer possible to define the venture as a success. host: we're talking about senator mccain's visit to libya, with the rebels in benghazi, what it says to you about the u.s. role in libya.
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next up, miami, florida, on our line for democrats. george, you're on "washington journal." caller: good morning, rob. i agree with the last caller. mccain hasn't seen a war he doesn't like. he's a warmonger. he's just looking for ammunition to use against obama. host: george, let me get your response to this. this is from a "baltimore sun" article from the "tribune" newspapers by patrick mcdonald. mccain calls for arms aide to libyan rebels. and in it mcdonald says that mccain reiterated his opposition to deploying u.s. ground forces to assist the rebels, trying to depose the long-time leader, gaddafi. what's your response to that? caller: well, i empathize with
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the people over there. i really do. but i empathize with my brothers and sisters here in the united states. and they're crying broke all the time. why don't those people over there who have all the oil get together and supply whatever they need for these people? host: well, let me give you a little bit more from the article in the "baltimore sun." it says that he, mccain, did urge the united states and other countries to help deliver more arms to the rebels. he cited the precedent of the 1980's war in afghanistan when washington funneled weaponry through pakistan to islamist rebels fighting the soviet-backed regime. >> again, i still haven't -- he just wants to be in the news. he doesn't -- i haven't heard him say anything about the problems going on over here with social security, with the problems that's going on right
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now with the country being broke. he hasn't seen a war he doesn't like. host: back to the phones again. our next call comes from jacksonville, florida. sammy on our line for republicans. go ahead. caller: good morning, rob. i think it's about time for somebody -- obama sends a million dollars worth of cruise missiles over there and then he leaves the place. he was out campaigning, making speeches. at least when they got rid of hussein, obama said gaddafi had to leave, and he's still there. he's out campaigning.
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i think it's a good thing mccain's over there to try to help the rebels. i appreciate you taking my call. host: thank you. in the "new york daily news," "libya rebels need help. u.s. should train anti-gaddafi forces, accord tock senator john mc-- according to senator john mccain. on the line.stal caller: good morning. we all know that mccain is a republican, and republicans are for big oil. so mccain going to libya is just showing their ulterior motives of the republicans. i can understand if mccain was going to sudan or rwanda or these country that really have nothing to offer the united states but are constantly in turmoil. but he's going to libya which
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contains oil. and i believe that mccain feels not for the people, but by keeping the war going what he's basically doing is trying to keep the oil prices high. in closing, mccain needs to mind his own business. we have so many issues here. republicans are always crying about how we don't have enough money to fund social programs, help the poor. but yet we're over in libya, you know, wasting taxpayer dollars. i am for helping a democratic society, but to what point do we help another country? host: crystal, are you still with me? caller: yes, i'm still here. host: the folks in senator mccain's office and the senator himself would probably tell that you as the ranking member of the senate armed services committee that it is his responsibility to visit places like benghazi. caller: but it's also the president's responsibility to,
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as the head of state, to set policies for wars and things of that nature. mccain is pretty much -- mccain is always flip-flopping and undermining the president for the republicans. and it's going to be to a point -- what if we have to go to war and someone attacks us? we're not going to be able to defend ourselves. host: sorry about that, crystal, hampton, virginia. this is the lead editorial in the "financial times." the headline maintaining the pressure on libya. they write, the western intervention in libya may have ahe verted a bloodbath in ben dasy but it has not toppled the regime.
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host: we're talking about senator mccain's visit to speak with the rebels in benghazi, libya. and what it says to you about the u.s. role in libya. manhattan, new york, again. mable on our line for independents. caller: good morning. thank you. i'm agreeing with most of the calls we've heard already. i disagree with mccain going over there. number one, how does he know who the rebels are? nobody knows who the rebels are? what these people are, fighting against gaddafi, is mercenaries. and they could be made up from up, the disease, the black water, whatever. they're over there to take his oil and resources. they don't care who runs libya or any other country. they just want to take over his country. that man has a right to his own country. they should leave him alone. that's not just an arab country, that's an african country as well. i'm sick and tired of them
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calling it the middle east. that is not the middle east. that is northern africa, all of that, israel included. i'm devastated that they should be attack an african country at this time in history. leave those people alone. let them run their own government. he was not killing his own people. show me the bodies. where are the bodies? i haven't seen one body yet. i'm disgusted with this whole thing. i wish they would live him alone. and mccain is a true warmonger. host: as we continue our discussions about mccain visiting libya, we're going to look at some other stories in the papers this morning. the lead story in "the washington post," syrian forces kill dozens of protesters, bloodiest day of uprising, president bush calls on assad to change course now. by friday the number of people confirmed dead in at least 10 towns, cities, actists and witnesses saying government
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forces shot into crowds, beat protesters with batons and used tear gas against them. it was the biggest single-day death toll in syria's uprising offered no sign that the damascus government might give in to swelling demands. unlike the authoritarian governments that fell quickly in this year's arab revolutions, the syrian authorities appear to retain tight control over the army and the police. you can read more about that in this morning's "the washington post." back to the phones. hickory, north carolina, on our line for republicans. thomas, you're on "washington journal." caller: first-time caller. i'd like to say that i don't think we have any business in libya. gaddafi hates islam. they're building another muslim state over there. that's all they do. that's the only reason the arab nation backed them. so i think we should get out. mccain should be home tending to our business. thank you.
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host: thank you. next up, washington, d.c. james, on our line for democrats, you're on "washington journal." caller: yes. i'd like to say there's never been a war since world war ii. everything has been conflict. and all these conflict that we had, vietnam, always about the rich man getting richer. and president obama, he's already in the conflict by going into these countries, bombing them. the money that we as citizens have to pay for the bombs to replace. not the president of the world. he's president of the united states. mccain is senator of the united states, not of the world. this is why you have the u.n. and i want to go back to what we do as people in taking care of this country and stay out of other people's business. thank you. host: several stories in the papers this morning like this one in the "financial times" with the headline "u.s. drone
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kills 25 in pakistan." rocky relationship, added strain, protests planned against the campaign. a u.s. drone attack kills 25 in pakistan, this is from the baltimore sun. a u.s. missile strike killed at least 25 people friday signaling that washington's use of drones against militants along the afghan border will continue despite intensifying opposition from pakistani leaders. there's also been some talk of the use of drones in libya, as well. but defense secretary gates was talking about the use of predator drones. and this is what he had to say. >> i think this is a very limited additional role on our part. but it does provide some additional capabilities to nato. so, no, i don't think there's mission creed at all.
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>> predators, and the day after, a-10's. >> i think the president has been pretty clear to us that the primary strike role has been turned over to our allies and our friends. if we can make a modest contribution with these armed predators, we'll do it. but i don't think any of us see that as missionary. our discussionue regarding senator john mccain's visit to libya over the latter part of this week talking with rebels in benghazi. we want to find out from you what you think this signals regarding the u.s. role in libya. we have an e-mail from d.w. in seattle, washington who writes, we can't afford a role in libya or if we can, then we can afford health care and social programs domestically. mccain's visit is bizarre in my opinion. that's d.w. in seattle. these drones and cruise missiles are costing a lot of money. personally, i'm tired of this ad
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hoc empire that citizens of the u.s. get nothing out of but grief. austin, texas, on our line for independents. tony, you're on "washington journal." caller: i think mccain should be arrested under the patriot act and tried for treason. the c.i.a. has told us these rebels have al qaeda elements in them. and he wants to give aid and comfort to what the c.i.a. tells us are known al qaeda elements. so if i did that, killing muslims in some mosque in pennsylvania did that, they would arrest these people and take everything they had and ruin their lives, put them on no-fly lists and every other thing. host: tony, let me stop through for a second. in the "new york times" this morning, they quote senator mccain. the senator says, "i have met
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these brave fighters and they are not al qaeda." he goes on to say they are libyan patriots who want to liberate their nation. his comments came after a brief visit that include meetings with members of the transnational council led by mustafa abdul a former interior minister who both defected when the uprising began in february. caller: yes. and our c.i.a. has told us that they are. remember the famous mccain saying amidst the economic meltdown? the economy's fine. the economy's fine. mccain has a long history of lying to us about this. the facts are that we already had ground troops on the ground. they don't want anyone to win. they want this thing to be an extended bloodbath. they want continued profits. the fed wants to send -- us to pay for endless wars.
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now -- another quote you read, rob, he told everybody that we needed to be supplying them like we did afghanistan against the soviets. we call that the taliban. we call that al qaeda. so he's saying that we need to go to libya and do what we did in afghanistan, start another al qaeda. then he turns around and says but there's no al qaeda in libya. itt: we're going to leave there, tony in austin, texas. next up, ken from michigan on our line for republicans. go ahead, ken. caller: i didn't vote for mccain, but i thought what he did was a very brave act i think we should support the rebels. let me also -- to the comments of louis farrakhan a few weeks ago. i don't know if people remember, he got paid by libya -- what you
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call, an agent in 1996, $5 million. i don't know if this was reported. i think mccain telling obama we have to support these rebels if we want to support democracy and freedom. host: we're going leave it there, ken. we've got the twitter message. "mccain must be see nile. clearly some of his screws are coming loose." back to the phones. federal way, washington, on our line for democrats. go ahead. caller: good morning. i was living in libya in 1958, 1959, and 1960. came back to the states in 1961. there was a king there at the time. and the people were doing fine under the king. it was just that the major part
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of the population was impoverished. they had some rich areas and some well-to-do people that lived there. along comes the cuban missile crisis, and we had to move out of there. because in negotiations, we had to get our missiles out of libya. host: what does this have to do with senator mccain's visit to libya this week? caller: i'm sorry. i believe that the people were doing well than and they will do well when he is gone, gaddafi.
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no matter what happens, he will be eliminated because of the fact he bombed the airliner. host: greensboro, n.c., jane is on the line. caller: we don't have the right to tell other countries how they govern themselves. i don't know how this came about. who knows who the rebels are supported by? that goes for the rebels in egypt and libya as well. i don't understand why we think we have the right to say that a government of a sovereign
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nation is correct or incorrect. i really don't. that's all i have to say, really. host: mississippi, on our independent line. caller: the caller from austin, texas was absolutely correct. the rebels have a history of forcing gaddafi to adopt a more extremist islamic mind. mccain went to egypt to make sure that the barbaric structure in egypt stayed in place. the egyptian military is now cracking down on the protesters from tahrir square. the bahrain government has asked saudi arabia and others to come into their own country to oppress their own citizens. they have broken the geneva convention again. arresting doctors and forcing them not to join the protesters -- not to treat the protesters. mccain is a warmonger and to be
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arrested for treason host: in " the new york times" -- you can read more of that in the international section. birmingham, alabama, on our line for republicans. birmingham, turn down the sound under television. caller: i will take it off. host: what do you think about the visit of senator mccain and what does it say about the u.s. role in libya? caller: i would like to make a statement. i know i represent millions of people in this country. we have not won a war since world war two. i am 80 years old. we are still in korea, vietnam
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and the rest of it. we lost 600,000 men in this country in a civil war. let the moslems kill each other and say of their, thank you, sir. host: " the wall street journal"--
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back to the funds, topeka, kan., on our line for independence. caller: i think the john mccain trip to libya represents the u.s. supporting their interests which is the only thing it seems we have ever done. the last war, the democrats have said we should not have gone into baghdad. if you look at the atrocities committed by saddam hussein and compare them to gaddafi, i think they are a lot worse. at the same time, for years we have been backing these brutal dictators while preaching liberty and freedom out of the other side of our mouth.
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i think this process of nation building is a little bit played out. we need to mine there on business. democracy is not something that can be given to people. it is something of a have to fight and earned for themselves. host: let me get your response to this -- what do you think about that? caller: i sympathize with the people in that country. i think they need to fight for this.
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i think the interest of europe is mainly represented in this situation, not the united states. since europe gets most of their oil compared to the united states from this country, they need to be the ones backing these people. host: omar, minn., on our line for republicans. caller: this is about oil, naturally. this is still a humanitarian mission. mccain has done a wonderful job by going there and i think we need more state and to jump on board from all countries of the world to go there also this is crucial. this has to happen more often. i am thrilled with the impact of nato and what they are doing by letting the united states off
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the hook and taking care of some of this stuff that has to be taken care of. they are doing wonderful. we have to take care of libya. absolutely, we have to do it. i am absolutely amazed by what is going on in the world right now. this is about democracy. caller: we will leave it there.
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host: more on that in " the new york times"this morning. washington, d.c., on our line for democrats. what do you can't about senator mccain going to libya? caller: i think he needs to write down the street and get
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some control of the millions of illegal immigrants that are running around crossing the border in arizona if he wants to do something to help the american people. i have traveled to libya in the 1980's along with tens of thousands of others that were invited by the libyan government to study white, black, second, third generation of african- americans to study the green book theory which is another form of democracy. i heard about this dictator government and this was contrary to what we heard was going on. when i started to reach out to different libyan government agencies, everybody was closed mouth because they knew what was being portrayed over the media was not exactly what was going on host: have you stayed in touch with some of the people you traveled with in libya? what are they telling you about this? caller: i did not even know
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these people. i did not stay in touch with them. i am saying that i never kept my eyes of libya. many african-americans don't know that it was a libyan government that gave homage to the freedom fighters in america that were fighting for our civil-rights. they were helping us to gain our freedom in the united states. host: we will leave it there. another break from our discussion regarding centre mccain's visit to libya to tell you about "newsmakers." the man overseeing the america's drug policy will be our guest pretty talks about the white house plan to battle prescription drug abuse. the prescription drug problem has grown larger than the heroin and cocaine problem of the
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1980's and 1990's. he talks about combating drug violence at the u.s. border. he is explaining how doctors get into the practice of providing so many prescription drugs and how prescription drug of view got out of hand in the first place. >> why are doctors providing these kind of drugs to so many people? >> about 10 or 12 years ago, the medical profession came to the conclusion that they were under- treating pain. that was probably quite true. the pendulum now has won quite a bit the other way. the number of prescriptions being written. the other difficulty around the medical community is in the fact that they don't actually have as much information in training and education about addiction and pain management and tolerance and dependents as we would like to see them have. i think that is what they would like them why are these drugs so
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addictive? >> it is synthetic heroin and away. they can be absolutely as addictive as people that use or inject heroin. the other part is that people don't recognize because it is a prescription that it may not only be addictive but i can also be quite deadly. >host: you can see the entire interview on "newsmakers" tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. on c-span and it is up -- and it is also available on c- span.org. we will be talking for the next couple of minutes with laila fidel who is -- we lost that call. we'll go back to the newspapers and our discussion of center -- senator mccain's trip to libya. he'd met with rebels in been
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ghazi. back to the funds, and john in grosse pointe, mich., are alive for republicans. caller: first of all, i am glad to see a little bit behind the scenes shot in your cspan studio, thank you. the cia must have a good handle generally on what is occurring there.
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we should be using that after what happened in iraq. a couple of years ago, john mccain was in kuwait. he was confused between the al- qaeda relationship to iran. he was corrected by joe lieberman in an interview that there were holding. the other thing is, the john mccain visit, who is he representing? if he is representing himself as an individual, it does not have a lot of meaning. he is still fighting the vietnam war, i believe. i'm about his age or so. we backed the chaean fight -- chadean fight with gaddafi which they won. with that in mind, i don't know what to make of john mccain's visit. i don't know who he is
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representing. host: thanks for the call. we now have laila fidel who is with "the washington post." we are talking to her this morning by telephone and she is in mizrata, libya. from the last caller who asked john mccain was representing. is he over there as a private citizen or a representative of the u.s. government? from your reporting as the cairo bureau chief and the co- author of this article, who was representing? guest: i don't think he was representing the american government. i think he was representing himself. he said his piece about the opposition but i don't believe
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it represents the line of the u.s. government. host: even though he needed cooperation from the administration the state department in order to take that trip? guest: yes, it has been unclear whether he represents the line of government or not. that is not something that has come out of the white house. it has not come out of the state department or the u.s. envoy there. host: tell us more about who he met with. there's a picture in the post this morning. he was in talks with a representative of the national transitional council in benghazi. guest: he was a spokesman of the transitional council which is the defacto government of the opposition. he is also the deputy to the head of the council.
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he also met with other council members. he was speaking to the council which was not elected but is said to be representative of the eastern region for now as they continue this war. they maintain that benghazi is not their capital and aaa is there a true capital. when gaddafi is ousted, that were -- that will be where the government will be located, in tripoli. host: two missiles had apparently been fired by nato warplanes and struck the gaddafi compound in central triple the early saturday but caused no injuries. is there an update on the missile attack? guest: no, i don't have an update on the nato attack. i have little communication
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here. the attacks are some things -- are something that the opposition is welcoming. they believe gaddafi is residing in tripoli. they have a number of deaths of they are suffering. 400 people have died in mizrata. there is a very hot and heavy death toll among civilians. older people, as well as armed fighters. host: is senator mccain still in libya? where else does he plan to go? guest: i don't believe he is still in libya i assume he is not leaving benghazi. the convoys that have come here have all gone to benghazi.
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mizrata is too dangerous for anybody like visitors to visit. i would assume-- host:laila fidel joins us by phone and that you for joining the program. if you want to read more of her reporting, you can find it in this morning's "washington post." you can get that in hard copy or you can find it on line. coming up in 45 minutes, a discussion on new foreclosures for lenders. enter the break, a discussion on u.s. manufacturing jobs. you're watching "washington journal," today is saturday, april 23. ♪ we will be right back.
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♪ >> all this month, we have the to the top winners of the studentcam video competition. meet the top three winners and see their bills this monday, tuesday, and wednesday morning started watch their documentary's at 6:50 eastern and meet the winners live during "washington journal" at 9:15. you can see the videos anytime on c-span.org. >> on c-span 3, an artist texas back to the 19th century white house. pepperdine university professor looks at the presidential election of 1800 between thomas jefferson and john adams and white house photographer on what it is like to document the life of a president and the
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podcast. >> "washington journal"continues . host: we will talk about how globalization affects the american economy and manufacturing base. our guest is a research fellow and a contributor to "the washington times." we want to take a look at some of the numbers, talking about u.s. trade in february, 2011, exports are at $164 billion, imports, $210 billion. this gives us a trade deficit of about $45.8 billion. the january trade deficit was only $47 billion. the trade deficit seems to be going down. guest: we have to be wary of
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focusing on a month-to-month fluctuations. there is fluctuations. there are fluctuations in the business cycle, in trade flows. february is not as long a month as january. there tends to be a little dip in the february trade deficit. there's another seasonal factor going on. because of a big holiday over there, much of the chinese economy shuts down. china is obviously a huge source of exports into this country. when the chinese economy shed staff, it is a heavily export- oriented economy, it will have some impact on the u.s. trade balance. and it has. host: what is the impact of buying more goods and services overseas by americans? guest: to put it in the most simple terms -- from the manufacturer's standpoint -- the manufacturer who makes his product here and who employs
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workers here -- it reduces his orders. he does not have as many customers as he would have if u.s. trade flows have been more evenly balanced. we are talking about net rate flows. this is the effect when you subtract exports from imports. in theory, you can make up on the export side but history teaches clearly that is really tough to do. you can increase exports. we have. it has been almost unheard of in the past 30 years or so to increase exports enough to close the trade deficit. it is difficult to do. host: kind of companies are being impacted? guest: it is the whole range of manufacturing companies in the u.s. they have been affected by about 20, 30 years of seriously inapt and wrongheaded u.s. trade
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policies. we feel it has contributed to a major hollowing out of the u.s. manufacturing sector. , depressed production. because production has not risen as much as it should, employment is down and wages have been sagging for about 30 years now. that is also on heard of in u.s. economic history for wages to be flat or sagging for that long a stretch of time. host: we are talking with alan tonaldson. we're talking about how globalization affect the american economy and manufacturing base. give us a call, the numbers are on the screen. you can also send us a message by email and twitter. you wrote an op-ed in "the
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washington times" on march 22 about obama not getting trade finance critic president says he wants to double u.s. exports over the next few years. to win kris' u.s. jobs. can the u.s. export its way out of this trade deficit? guest: not in the way the president has been telling us. there are two reasons -- one is that increasing exports alone does absolutely nothing to increase production like a gross domestic product or employment. you have to increase exports enough relative to imports to improve the trade balance. since we have been running such massive deficits for such a long time, it means that you have to export orders of magnitude more than you import to narrow the trade deficit. that is the only way in which trade flows can or change in
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trade flows can be used to strengthen the economy on balance. it is fine if we promote exports pri it is great if exports increase, but if nothing is done to start limiting imports, the net economic effect and that is what is important, will be either zero or negative. host: why does not follow that that would mean if we are shipping more overseas than we have to be producing more here in the states? wouldn't that mean more people are working? guest: when you are talking about the effect of trade flows which includes imports and exports on the u.s. economy, you have to account the effect of imports as well as the effect of u.s. exports. if more imports keep coming in than exports going out, the
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level of orders that manufacturers and other u.s. producers -- we don't drive only manufactured goods, which trade commodities, agricultural products -- manufacturing dominates u.s. trade flows. if the net of fact is more imports come in, the effective trade as a whole, both sides of the ledger, the effect of trade as old as to reduce orders, reduce growth, reduce employment. in this current economic climate, that is the last thing the economy needs right now. host: our first call as we discuss america's economy and manufacturing base comes from port orange, fla., democratic line. caller: thank you. what does the united states tax
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policy -- does it have a high level of impact on the level of manufacturing jobs we can gain or lose? i am asking because a few weeks ago, i saw a program on a television show that showed many corporations such as general electric who open up po boxes in switzerland in order to take advantage of a tax law there. they basically pay zero taxes and because they can escape these corporate tax rates in the united states, they keep all of their operations and all the manufacturing operations and the jobs overseas. i have heard there has been efforts to try to adjust to this tax law in 2009 but there is a lot of lobbying efforts and rod
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blagojevich pushed off the table. -- and the rod blagojevich pushed off the table. guest: -- when the of law got pushed off the track table. where do we put investment, where we create jobs? the big business desk led groups
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have met a big point of saying that u.s. corporate tax rates are the main factor driving american production and driving jobs overseas. it is really difficult to compare tax policies for different companies because they can be so radically different. you get into an apples and oranges type of situation. 35% corporate tax rate that is constantly cited is a disincentive to create jobs and to keep production here. it is that a paid by almost no big companies. the main reason is that there are special breaks. that many industries get. these companies have enormous accounting departments and enormous lobbying operations. they are good at evading taxes. the posted rate is often much
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higher than the actual level of taxes that they pay. companies are good at manipulating text figures. there are clearly steps that can be taken to improve u.s. tax policy but the main steps that have to be taken to bring jobs back here on the trade policy front and that is where we have been deficient. host: this is from arlington, north carolina, on the line for independents. caller: the only solution to the economic situation is where the
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funding is coming from the war is that we are in to be in this economic situation. guest: there is no question the war's these the -- this country has been fighting for the last 10 years and a global counter- terrorism operations plus the new conflict in libya that we have just gotten into, no question they are very expensive. this is a decision that the american political system has to face more squarely. how we finance our wars and wars are necessary and worth paying for in the here and now? there is no question.
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it means we consume much more than we earn. it has to be financed. how do we do it? we borrow. what does that do? it increases the economy's debt burden. so we shouldn't overlook the very important role that our chronic massive trade deficits have been playing in fueling that federal deficit. host: next up, laurel, maryland. tom on our line. you're ornt "washington journal." caller: good morning. i would love to follow up on a
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previous caller talking about the tax question. fair tax.org talks about there being approximately a 23% cumulative tax or let me say a cumulative price increase on our products due to income tax. now, if you believe that figure that would suggest that perhaps our products at 23% overpriced overseas and our comports are at a 23% disadvantage on our products relative to our compports. and i don't hear this talked about a lot by either party or the press. if we took the recommendation and replaced the income tax with a national sales tax or the fair tax, wouldn't that make us a little more competitive with our products flowing back into the united states? guest: there has been a lot of talk lately in washington about fundamental changes in the u.s.
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tax system. the fair tax so-called fair tax is one idea that is ostensibly designed to shift our tax strategy so that it focuses more on taxing consumption rather than taxing income. there are various other versions of these consumtion taxes that have been floating around and in principle they have a lot going for them. as we know, however, these kinds of massive tax system changes are incredibly difficult to actually carry out because so many vested interests have so much at stake with the individual tax breaks that would have to be somehow eliminated. and once again, we have to recognize that the posted level of taxes that corporations, especially multinational corporations ostensibly pay is
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much higher than the actual level. one other important point is that there is no question that big changes are needed in u.s. tax policy, and that these change ks improve american competitiveness. at the same time, we are not going to tax reform our way back to competitiveness with a country like china because a country like china is a third-world country. it provides its own citizens, for better or worse, with third world levels of services. we're a first world country we're a much higher income country we've grown to expect first world levels of services. and we shouldn't be ashamed of this. and i'm not so sure that we should focus our competitive strategies so tightly on reducing the level of services that we get which will be the inevitable result of the kinds of massive tax cuts that folks have been talking about. again, obviously comprovements
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can be made, obviously there's alet of wasted government spending. but to pretend that waste in government is constantly cited by politicians, that's far from the heart of this problem. host: alantonlson is here to talk to us about globalization and its effect on the american economy. our next call from palm coast, florida. chuck on our line for independents. caller: good morning. alan, i was wondering if you could from my perspective here at the street level, we need to have manufacturing jobs in this country for people who aren't going to rise to the level of the corporate big wig. they're just average citizens. and if we aren't all gainfully employed in this country, then
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our count is going to fall flat. and when corporations take our jobs overseas and sell the products back to us with this kin nard that we are getting these cheap products, please explain to me how that isn't an act of treason against our own people. caller: well, i'm not really comfortable with words like treason maybe because i'm a washington policy analyst and we're not supposed to talk in a way like that. but this caller is absolutely right and i would add that not only is manufacturing the only sector of the economy with any historical track record of enabling working class people to lead mid 8 class lives, which has been a phenomenal accomplishment which we should be immensely proud of but it's also the sector of the economy that is critical to restoring our tax base.
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one big reason that our national finances are a wreck is because the outsourcing of manufacturing jobs and production due largely not exclusively, but largely to u.s. trade policy has greatly slivered the tax base. and -- sliverled the tax base. and as a result because menches have been less able to rely obtheir incomes and earnings to maintain their living standards, they've had to rely on borrowing. what got us into this economic and financial crisis to begin with? overborrowing. so without repairing and revioletizing the manufacturing base, it will be compossible to repair -- compossible to repair this country's -- host: the "wall street journal" had this article. shift hiring abro. sharpening debate of the compact of globalization.
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why guest: they're share i am mens responsibly for the economic crisis that we're still struggling to overcome. this article as well done as it was didn't go nearly far enough because it seemed to swallow the main rationale that multinational company spokesman provided for this boost in hiring overseas. they said well what do you expect? that's where most of our customers are. absolutely false. couldn't be more false. how do we know this? because if we look at the trade flows of these same companies and we only unfortunately have got data up to 2008 but they
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are running collectively massive trade deficits. what does that mean? that means that they comport more from overseas than they sell abroad. so obviously their principle markets, their main customers are still in the united states. and as that previous caller mentioned, all too often these companies go overseas not to supply foreign markets which is the line that they have been peddling shamesly for 15 years now, they largely go overseas to supply the american market to take advantage of all the arbitrage of possibilities that are created by trade policies that encourage them to send these jobs and this production overseas. host: give me an example of one of those arbitrage that encourages these companies to do their business overseas rather than manufacture their goods here. guest: the one widely cited is
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wage arbitrage. wages often in foreign countries are much lower than they are here. we have just been talking in the last few minutes about a second very important form, tax arbitrage. but what is almost never mentioned is what you might call subsidy arbitrage. many of the main trading companies that we do so much business with are mass scombriveziesers of their own industries, their own growth and their own job creation. they use their national treasuries to help manufacturers keep prices artificially low for reasons having nothing to do with free trade and free markets or even capitalism, frankly. this is what we are up against in this world. we are an outlaw in that respect. we have our own subsidies obviously especially in the agricultural sector but in manufacturing almost none. and these companies are very good at playing this subsidy argetrauge game and it's critical because it's the
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subsidy game that affects high value capital intensive so-called advanced manufacturers, the kind of manufacturing that everybody agrees this country noods to remain strong in to remain a first class economic power. host: before we get back to the phones, explain how the manipulation of the value of a country's currency works to help im prove. guest: major form of arbitrage, and the chinese practically wrote the book, although japan is also guilty, south korea, many countries guilty. by keeping the value of your currency low, you keep the value of your goods low. again, for purely artificial reasons vis-a-vis the following competition. so when a chinese product comes into this market, whether it is made by a chinese company ara u.s. company, it automatically
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enjoys a 40% price advantage over its u.s. counter part. and again, for reasons having nothing to do with low chinese wages or generally low chinese cost level, the chinese government policy and chinese government intervention in trade flows, the reverse happens, too. when a u.s. products tries to get into the chinese market it faces the 40% price disadvantage. so how can you you expect a balanced trade flow? host: we're talking with alan here in washington, d.c. and also contributor to the washington times. our next call comes from miami, florida. joe on our line for democrats. caller: good morning. how does the current currency, this situation affect with regards to the fact that the chinese are basically looking for a place to park cash
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because they can't really get returns on what the interest rates so low is they're buying up a lot of american resources? so if you really figure in the fact that most of this trade that's going out of the united states is actually resources actually raw material, actually agricultural which is subsidized, that if you really strip out all of that our trade balance is much worse than even the numbers show. guest: that last point is a great point because a very large percentage of u.s. exports not only to china but globally are agricultural products and other commodities. and one reason that they've done so well is that we've had such strong prices in those sectors for the last few years. so absolutely if you strip out these what you might call price leaders from u.s. trade flows, u.s. trade flows look even worse. and the sector that takes the
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biggest hit in effect is manufacturing. manufacturing is punching way below its weight when we're talking in particular about u.s. exports. in fact, manufacturing share of total u.s. exports has fallen from about 65% or 64% back in the late 1990s. punching way below its weight. and what's alarming is that manufacturing is the sector of the economy that creates a disproportionate share of our high wage jobs especially as we were talking about earlier for working class people. host: in the "washington journal" weekend edition this morning, dollar declines speeds up with risks for u.s. the dollar's downward slide is accelerating as low interest rates inflation concerns and massive federal budget deficits undermine the currency with no relief in site sight for the lar. the downward pressure on the
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dollar is widely expected to continue. in the context of what we were discussing earlier about lower currency values for countries like china, japan, et cetera, are we moving into a segment in our economy when we're trying to either by accident or by design trying to out-chinese the chinese? host: guest: that's what a lot of people say. but we have to remember that as long as china in particular retains that currency peg, we can't out-chinese the chinese because as the u.s. dollar sinchings, the chinese juan will synch too. if it was a freely traded currency, sure. but that's not the case and if the obama administration is relying on exchange rate policy on a lower dollar to solve americas' trade problems, it's
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going to be very disappointed. host: also the author of race to the bottom. back the phones and our discussion on america's economy and manufacturing base. how it's being affected by globalization. our next call comes from michigan on our line for republicans. gordon, you're on the "washington journal." caller: coming in today. you really kind of got on to my topic. i've been trying to understand the reason and the consequences behind the fed creating money and if it's just a way for the president to get an extra trillion to do something with. it's confusing to me and i wish somebody could explain that. guest: well, i think it's really simple. the fed has been printing money like nobody's business because since the economic and
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financial crisis struck, starting remember in the summer of 2007, washington faced a very fundamental choice. it would let markets work their will and the american economy would take a deep dive, a deep nose dive much deeper than it actually took. or it could try to subsidize american living standards and prop up economic activity. and that's exactly what's been happening. not just in terms of housing but student loans and consumer demands generally. not to mention finance. the financial sector was saved by massive federal bailouts. but much of the economy got bailed out one way or the another. economic activity has been kept up artificially. that's why i don't think that this so-called recovery is real. it's purely fueled by artificial government stimulus.
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one day that stimulus is bound to run out. we won't be able to continue this high wire act indefinitely. the falling dollar is a big sign of that because it means that nallen creditors are finally long after i would have thought they would have run out of patience, finally deciding we don't want to keep financing this massive dead beat that we have been so far. again, i think we can continue to kick this can down the road for a while longer but no thinking person would characterize that as a truly desireable policy option. we need something more. and what we need is to realize we've got to produce our way out of this economic crisis. we can't spend our way out, we can't borrow our way out. and producing our way out requires a revitalizing manufacturing at home and that
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in turn requires fixing u.s. trade policy. host: back to the phones. east lake ohio, tom on our line for democrats. go ahead. caller: hello there. host: you're on with alan. we're talking about how globalization affects the economy. caller: i've been listening. i've been waiting for somebody like this guy to come on the tv. i'll tell you, he hits the nail on the head so that fellow from florida. but to me, you missed a couple of things. i think that these manufacturers are trying to get rid of unions and also they want to get away from e.p.a. and a few other things. now, in my personal opinion, there's only one way that we're going to get out of this. these corporate people have got their minds set on nothing but
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money. if they turn around, this country turns around and realizes that we need to operate as americans, and this guy ken burns has got the right idea and i think channel 5 is beginning to talk about the same thing. we need to start loving america. host: tom in east lake, ohio. we're going to leave it there. i want to show you some figures that talk about the share of total u.s. manufacturing exports. you were talking about manufacturing our way out of this situation. this chart shows growth in annual compound annual growth rate between 2000 and 2010 for different manufacturing sectors. for example, in textiles and apparel, the growth rate for manufacturing dropped 2.1%. for food and beverages, the
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manufacturing rate increased over those ten years by 6%. chemical, plastic, rubber and petroleum products up almost 10%. transportation equipment up almost 4%. machinery including appliances, electrical equipment up about 4%. computers and electronic products down about 3%. and other manufactured products up almost 6%. so my question is, where is it that the u.s. needs to increase its manufacturing in order to export to other countries what they want to buy? >> you know, that's a question that sort of raises a very important issue, and that is the extent to which washington should try to shape the country's not only economic profile but its manufacturing profile. it's the so-called picking winners and losers issue. now, nobody who knows anything about mesh history can douth -- american history can douth that
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the u.s. government has done this time and time again and the track record has been pretty good. pick agricultural. we have a big department of agriculture right down pennsylvania avenue and it not only hands out massive subsidies it does a great job of predicting. we have a national institutes of health, way up rockville pike which has played a critical role in making the american pharmaceutical industry the world standard so there's no question that washington can take very constructive steps to strengthen manufacturing. i think without further study what we can -- we can really only say that we should try to focus, not exclusively, on the high value industries. and i mean by that capital intensive industries and technology intensive industries. and the reason is a, the jobs
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that they pay are the highest earnings by far. and second, they generate the greatest amount of technological spinoff. they involve more learning, they incorporate more technology so they help to generate, they play an outsized role in generating the kind of technological progress that we all agree that this country needs to keep promoting to keep getting ahead. so again, this is a subject that really needs much greater study than washington has actually given it. but what we do know about manufacturing and about manufacturing trade flows and about manufacturing wages, everything we know so far tells us that the high value capital intensive sectors, that's where we need to focus. host: weaf twitter message from save republic who wants to know,
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guest: as everybody who has driven along a road knows there's a lot of infrastructure repair that needs to be done and it's very, very very beneficial economically because it makes the economy and the society more efficient and also creates lots of rather good-paying jobs. it also uses disproportionately materials made in this country so that multiplier effect is actually very big. and in our system right now, government is largely responsible for u.s. infrastructure. so there's no question more infrastructure spending would be a very, very good thing. at the same time, we can't pretend that infrastructure spend ago lone or even large sli going to get us out of this hole especially over the long term. it's extremely beneficial over that short run especially if these projects can indeed be quote shovel ready.
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that's been hard to do. but over the longer term, we need to strengthen our national capability to produce high value sophisticated manufacturing goods that incorporate a great deal of technology, great deal of learning, a great deal of advanced processes. if we can't remain strong in those fields, then over the longer term our national economic prospects are really pretty dismal. >> host: our last call comes from arizona. linda on our libe for independencents. guest: good morning. i have a suggestion then i have a question for both the guest and the host. number one, i think since nobody is producing any bills and has anything to do with making jobs, that we should look into a government private situation meaning giving
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microloans to people to group together. now, the way this would work, it would have to be locally. esop, employee owned companies. my formula goes like this. you take 100 people, you give them $5,000 each. this would be paid back through payroll deduction. set up your employee-owned company. i'm going to concentrate on solar because i live in arizona. and this, the president signed the tarp at no mass solar in colorado. which builds photo volume takes as well as installs them. people who work for employee-owned companies retire earlier with more money. this could be used in many ways in all manufacturing, any time that we can take the raw materials ship them across the
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pacific, have a manufactured the there and ship them back cheaper than we can build them on our own main street, there is something very, very wrong. host: we're going to leave it there. go ahead. guest: there is indeed something very, very wrock with that and that's why linda's idea has to include buy american provisions. it is completely unacceptable to award tax breaks in any form to businesses that source their products and create jobs overseas rather than here. and that in fact has been an enormous weakness of the obama stimulus program. and i was looking this up last night. that stimulus program spend $787 being and about three quarters of that has actually been spent. that's about $640 billion. but since it was passed and since that money began flooding into the u.s. economy, we have
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run up trade deficits of 875 billion, which means that every single dollar of that stimulus bill has leaked overseas and then some. so the net effect is that the obama stimulus program has stimulated more growth overseas because of the president's failure to address our trade policy problems. the stimulus program stimulated more growth and more employment overseas than it did here and as a result it increased the nation's debt burden. again, the last thing we need at this point. host: alan, contribute tor the washington times and author of "the race to the bottom". thank you very much for being on the "washington journal." guest: thanks for having me again. host: coming up, a discussion on new foreclosure rules for
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lenders. but first, this break. today we go to seattle, washington. hi, leo. caller: hi. >> why did you pick homelessness as your topic? >> because it seems like such a big issue that no one really thinks about any more. i think people have just gotten used to it and i think that needs to change. >> how was your community directly affected by homelessness? >> i think all communities are affected by homelessness. from far away you just see someone as a homeless person. but then when you talk to them, you can say, oh, that's david, that's eye sack. but the most important thing we can do is just stop seeing them
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as homeless people. host: in the shooting of your shoo, how many homeless people did you speak with and what did you learn? >> we spoke with three homeless people. and i learned that they're just people like us. you know, from far away they don't -- you might think they're scary or something but they really are just people like us. >> you spoke with a representative from an organization called solid groupped. what is that and what are they doing? >> solid ground is an organization that does a lot of things that helps homeless people. every year they help around 50,000 people. they provide housing and get people back on their feet and do a lot of other things. >> what other organizations did you speak with about homelessness? >> i spoke with kneel from real change and they sell newspapers to people that are homeless and then the people who are homeless sell the newspapers for $1.
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and so it's kind of like a gateway job because you don't need an address and you don't need education. so it's like, it's a way for them to make money and not to be on the street corner. but they still don't need a job. >> what federal programs exist to address homelessness? >> i think there's more than you think. they have different housing things. but a lot of the experts that i talked to said that if they used the money for effectively they could probably get more out of what they spend. >> so what further role should the government take in addressing these issues? >> i think they really need to step up and do more because it's such a big issue. other issues they really like stand down on. they spend so much money. but homelessness has been going on for so long and they haven't done anything about it. or not enough. >> in the process of making your video, on the production side, what did you learn? >> i learned that homeless
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people are just like us. they've had unfortunate things happen in their life. but when it comes down to it they're just like us. and if people see that, you know, it will really improve. >> so what should people take away from watching your video? >> i think that if people just think about homelessness more. because if we're not thinking about it, there's no way we can start to solve the problem. >> thank you very much. and congratulations. >> thanks. >> let's take a look at a portion from leo's documentary, homelessness many american crisis. >> sometimes they go mental health issues. drugs. you know. people don't appear to have a lot of compassion for people that are homeless. they want to box them in, label them, stereo type them. >> we can put people in categories like that it helps people get through their days without having to then look at homelessness and deal with it.
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>> on any given night in america more than 640,000 men, women, and children are without housing. >> if we have a problem, we have probably a family, a network, a network of friends, a network of maybe a church or a school or we have people who will hold us up if with with fall down. and a homeless person has lost o all of those contacts. >> i think the most common stereotype is folks are homeless because they're not trying hard. that they're lazy or victims of their own lack of initiative. rsh so should the federal government spend our tax money to help these people? >> i think there is definitely an important role for the government to play in ending poverty and ending homelessness. >> you can see this at student cam.org and continue the conversation at our facebook and twitter pages.
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>> david clark writes for reuters and is here to talk to us about new foreclosure rules for lenders. bank regulators following a an investigation announced new rules last week in an effort to curb past and future foreclosure problem. tell us what some of these new rules are and how it's going to affect the lenders and also how it's going to affect the people trying to hold on to their houses. >> well, start off this all came came about toward the end of last year when there was a lot of things in the paper and came up that the banks and mortgage servicers weren't following the proper procedures during a foreclosure process. so the banking regulators conduct add review of this through the end of last year. and the result of which was earlier this month 14 of the largest mortgage servicers entered into an agreement to overhaul or reform their mortgage servicing processes. among the things in the
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agreement are now if you're being foreclosed upon you're supposed to have a single point of contact at the lender, one of the frustrations for borrowers were getting notices from the bank that they're drink went on a loan or being foreclosed upon but they can't get anyone to actually answer their phone calls. so that's one thing. another is there was a process known as dual tracking where you might be in the process of trying to enter into a home loan modification program where maybe your monthly bill would be lowered so you could keep up with the payments and stay in the home but at the same time you were receiving notices that you were going to be foreclosed upon and this was frustration for borrowers. and also a big issue on capitol hill, lawmakers were critical of this. so they made changes to that program. now that will happen a lot less. probably one of the biggest problems is the banks are going to be required to go back over two years, to review any of their foe cloreshs to make sure that they're done properly. they're supposed to hire an
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outside third party to do this. which has some critics who feel it's a little bit of a light slap, that the banks may hire someone sympathetic to them. the regulators say that's not true, we'll make sure they will hire someone who will do a good job. but this is supposed to review foreclosures over two years. and where they find any problems and financial damages to the home owner, they're supposed to compensate them for those. but it's a little unclear right now exactly how that will work. the lenders are supposed to hire that outside firm and then the consultants whether come up with a plan, the regulators will review that plan and improve it. so there's open questions on how that will work. >> what if the people who are hired by the lenders determine that the house in question or the person who was getting the loan in question should not have lost their house, shouldn't have been in foreclosure to begin with? is there any sort of redress as
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to how i get my house back? >> that's a good question. if the house has been sold it's going to be difficult to do that. but most review is looking at financial injury. so somehow this outside consultant will decide possibly get the amount of your home back or whatever the financial damages is determined that would be what you get back. but one thing that's been somewhat controversial is that the regulators and the banks, one thing they maintain is that people weren't foreclosed upon who were making payments on their home. that most of the people where there were legitimate problems were not -- were not making payments on their home. there's been some consumer groups who have said that's not, we shouldn't make a broad statement like that until there's a more thorough review. but that is one thing that the lenders and regulators maintain. >> one ofert things you wrote for reuters came out on thursday, april 7 under the headline, banks signing foreclosure deals with u.s. regulators, most of the 14
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lenders involved in a probe over mortgage servicing abuses have signed agreements with u.s. bank regulators to clean up how they deal with troubled borrowers. banks and reg lares still have to sign the agreements and an announcement that a final deal has been reached could be made within the next few days. the regulators involved in the agreements with lenders which include some of the largest u.s. banks are the office of controller -- comptroller of the currency, the federal reserve, and the office of thrift supervision. break down for me how these three government entities are involved in this process. >> well, so bank regulation probably not surprisingly is sort of a complicated system here in washington. there's a few different regulators. so primarily it's the federal reserve that oversees a large banks, holding companies. the comptroller of the currency is a division of the treasury department.
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which oversees large national banks. there's some overlap of the federal reserve will oversee parts ort banks that the comptroller oversees. then there's the office of thrift supervision which oversees savings and loans. and that agency is actually going away as part of the new d.o.d. frank financial overhaul law. the office of thrift supervision is being folded basically into the occ. as well as some other agencies. and then a fourth bank regulator is the federal deposit insurance corps, the fdic which most people see a sign at their bampinge and they're insure your deposits up to $250,000. so these ages -- agencies will do similar work. in this review, they got together and did the four of them along with the fdic did this re view of the mortgage servicing, the mortgage servicers and came up with a sort of joint agreement on what
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the lender should do to fix their systems. host: you also wrote an independent review of u.s. bank foreclosures over the past few years will help regulators determine the fines banks will have to pay for mortgage servicing abuses. acting comptroller of the currency said on thursday. this came out last week on thursday, april 14. so in addition to sort of revamping this system and going back and looking at the foreclosure procedures, some of these banks if it's found that they were, that they did abuse the foreclosure process will have to pay fines in addition to reimbursing the home owners? >> that's right. that's still a big question that's left unanswered, is what type of penltses the banks will have to pay or the mortgage servicers will have to pay. both the federal reserve and the occ have made it clear that there is going to be some sort of penalty how big it's going
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to be is an open question. comptroller walsh have said that fine in part will be determined on what is found by this third party review which is supposed to be more comprehensive than what the regulators did. i think one thing we should also mention is it's not just the bank regulators looking into these problems. there's other parts of the government that are as well. there's a probe being led by the state attorneys general that is not concluded and they are aggressively looking into this and they are conducting their probe along with some in concert with some other federal agencies. the department of justice, housing and urban development and a couple other agencies. so not a single track of investigations. and that's been an issue in the review. initially all the agencies involved, the federal government, the banking regulators, department of justice and h.u.d. and state attorneys general had expressed a desire to announce a single
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settlement with the servicers. maybe have different parts but at least announce at the same time that we have concluded our work here, and here's what's going to happen to the lender. now, the bank regulators said, well, we felt we had to go ahead first. we didn't want to wait any longer because the negotiations with the lenders and the states was taking longer than they had originally anticipated. so host: so there's some talk that the bank regulators, maybe they were undermining the state attorneys investigations, at least that's what outside observers are saying. both the regulators and state ag said no the settlement will not impact. that there's nothing that will prohibit the state attorney generals will pursue overhaul or larger fine. host: we're talking with david clark with reuters about new forechloe sure rules. if you want to get involved, the numbers are on the screen.
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our first call comes from arizona. mike on our line for republicans. you're on the "washington journal." caller: good morning, gentlemen. mr. clark, locally, the political forces that be here have an open policy or philosophy or whatever when a caller tends to or is designed to maintain property prices at a high value. which there's nothing wrong with that. but it seems that if one's political forces were removed from any kind of pricing assistance, that, and letting the real estate prices, the real estate market sink by the
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true market value, this would be of benefit to persons selling because they would be selling more property. maybe not as much profit. but that lower income persons would have more access to housing, buying housing. could you comment on that? guest: well, one of the issues here is sort of overhauling the whole government's role in the housing market, particularly what do you do with fannie and freddie? which are the sort of mortgage giants that are currently run by the government. housing prices are still down and they're down from a year ago. foreclosures play at least part of a role in that if you talk to economists and outside experts. if there's a lot of for closed properties in the neighborhood it reduces your housing price. so the caller's question, at least as far as it relates to
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this probe one of the points of doing this is to try to get the sort of foreclosure mess behind the housing market. as long as there's still all these properties and a lot of foreclosures going on, the feeling is that the housing market is not going to recover and that prices are going to remain low. and then obviously how the housing industry is subsidized and what gort policy is part of a much larger debate. host: our next call is also from arizona, feenism, greg on our line -- phoenix. greg on our line. caller: good morning. i think if you clear the water of all the sharks that are in this kind of business, it's kind of predatory, a lot of focus is given to home owners. but there's people with the same problem and no one is coming forward, no politicians or businesses are saying well let's help out the renters, too, from apartment complexes overcharging them.
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and then on top of all that, you really need to look at how the seg with you from the high school student talk about homelessness because it's going to keep on going around and around because the money doesn't just disappear. who is taking advantage and benefited they need to be brought to charge. thank you for listening to my comments. host: greg, in not necessarily apartment complexes but if you are a renter in a house and you're paying your rent on time, is there anything in some of these new proposals that's going to protect you from being forced out of your house because the owner of the property that you're living in wasn't doing his job or her job in paying the mortgage? >> not really. maybe indirectly. but this review and these changes to the servicing industry are really geared the relationship between the home owners and the lender. so it doesn't really address
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the rental market. it's much more focused on home owners and lenders. host: republicans out of louisiana. you're on the "washington journal." caller: i was wondering if there were any rules that were going to stop the predatory type lending. i know when i took my loan, i unfortunately had was forced into an arm that was supposed to get out of in a year and then katrina hit my home and ended up flooding and the bank would not give me any of my insurance money to repair the home until after i actually did the work. and so i could not refinance the home and they ended up jacking up my interest to almost 25%. and that's a usery rate in louisiana and how -- there has to be something to stop banks from treating people that way. host: dave clark, are the new rules going to protect a guy
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like tommy? >> so he's talking about predatory lending and that's been a big issue here during the past years in the financial crisis where lenders and mortgage brokers, where they pushing loans on borrowers that they knew they couldn't afford because these loans generated more fees? someone has a was a riskier borrower they had to pay more fees. so in this settlement it doesn't really take on predatory lending. but there are other -- i mentioned earlier, the new wall street or financial overhaul law sort of goes by the name d.o.d.-frank as well. there are aspects of that that try to take on the issue of predatory lending. for instance, this past week the federal reserve put out a new proposal required by the law on the type of standards that a lender has to follow when giving out a loan. and it sounds almost like common sense but what it says is you have to make sure that
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the person you lend to has the ability to repay the loob. and so you think -- loan. you think that would be standard procedure but it goes toward the problems during the financial crisis. one of which was people were able to get loans with just sort of stating their incomes. so the lender didn't check that you made a certain amount of money. you could say this is how much i made. they're nick named liar loans. you didn't have to provide any information about your income, about the amount of debt debt you have. you know, outside of your housing bills. so what this rule says is the lender has to go go out and verify your income, how much debt you have, if you're actually able to afford this loan. so it sounds like common sense but there were some things that went on in the financial crisis that didn't make sense. so these rules are aimed at going after these practices. the banking industry says well
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we've already made a lot of those reforms because we don't -- we're suffering under this subprime loan market so we're already requiring people to provide a lot more documentation when they take out a mortgage. but anyway, those rules are intended to kind of address that predatory loan. >> dirty water sends us a twitter. back to the phones. grand rapids, michigan. rebecca on our line for democrats. >> hi. i just wanted to -- i had a couple of well a couple of things. all three of my kids were hit by this in different ways and the one daughter that my one daughter had to move and she makes a ton of money. you know, she's the had perfect
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credit her whole life but she went on one of those fast track or something. and she had a buyer for the house and, you know, brought them down the bank and the whole she bang and then she moved and once she's moved she finds out that the people are calling her and saying the bank won't answer their calls and that person finally ended up buying another house and it was just crazy. but another thing that really upsets me is that i had another daughter who evidently the payments went up or her husband's wages went down and i can't remember which. but she would send checks to the baveragee. they wouldn't be the total payment. they would be short say $100 short. so like she would send $1500.
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and they would send the check back. >> would they send any explanation with that check or they just sent the check back? >> no they sent an explanation. this is not your payment. and we will not accept it. >> rebecca, we're going to leave it there. so there's an issue of fast tracking that she talked about and also these checks being sent back. >> right. and i think we're getting back to the sort of problem. i don't know if that's in the scope of what the regulators were looking at there. this really focused more on the foreclosure problems. but overall another point we should probably make is sfars looking at the mortgage servicing industry, the probe is really just one part of a series of things that the regulators are looking at. in addition to this, they hope to have a sort of more comp hencive rule or overhaul of the mortgage servicing standards
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out later this year that might address some of the problems that the caller brought thaup would be broader than just necessarily the foreclosure probe. but so there's, it's not -- there are some critic whose say they should do it all at once. they're doing it piecemeal. there's what the state a.g.s are doing. but regardless, there is going to be a broader rule of overhauling mortgage servicing standards coming out later this year. >> according to an article in u.s.a. today these are some of the changes for mortgage servicers. give distressed home owners a single contract. don't foreclose if modified mortgage isn't drink wunt. increase supervision of third party vendors and create process for remediation requests. one of the don't foreclosed if modified mortgage isn't drink wunt. if the mortgage isn't drink
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went, if the person is making the payments, why would the mortgage servicer go ahead and foreclose on them anyway? >> that's one of the problems that this probe was looking at. if you're selling -- if someone is not able to keep up with their hometown payments, oftentimes there's the bank itself or the lender itself will have a home mortgage modification program and they're also government home modification programs. you know, the success then is open to debate. but one of the problems that was found is that lenders weren't looking toward those modification programs, and they're beginning foreclosures, if someone is eligible to say for instance ok well they couldn't make this monthly payment but maybe if you stretched out the loan a little longer or lowered the interest rate then their monthly payment would have dropped and they could in fact keep current on their mortgage. so that was one of the problems that was found, is well people weren't doing this and that the sort of oversight of the modification program was a bit of a mess getting to the point there of where perhaps the
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paperwork wasn't being done correctly so this person was meeting the pamingts under their modified plan but they were, whoever was doing the paper work was looking at the old payment schedule and that created a problem. >> our next call for dave clark of reuters comes from houston, texas. hatie on our line for independents. go ahead. kinchingtsdz guest: yes, sir. i -- -- caller: yes, sir. i'm calling to see what you can do. fha loan and that's what i have. and this is the loan care. they have been changed hands about three different times. they have on here 7.5% interest with the payment. they went up to 8%. saying all this and all that. and this is what they did and i called the f.h.a. loan, that's what i have here. told let me get it straightnd up. they're supposed to have been getting it cleared up and everything out there and they
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still are not doing this. and i'm trying to think, i have the money but they went up to $1,000 some be when it's supposed to be just 688. they went up to -- we forced insurance on you. and i'm paying 1800 and somebody with 3,000 and something dollars. how can they do that? and i'm trying to see what can i do with that? because i've tried everything. i had to show them with my closing is supposed to be 7.5 and i have a set. so how can they do that? >> for david clark gofment ahead. guest: i don't know the particulars of this, the caller's loan. but it was an instance where a foreclosure had started under this new system and you are foreclosed upon, you can contact as part of this third-party review you can have them review whether or not this
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was being done properly. you could do that by contacting your lender and saying i want to be part of this review, or you could contact one of the regulators saying i want my loan as part of this review. if it falls outside of that, i don't know the particulars though of the person's loan. host: we got an e-mail from someone in ohio who writes. . .
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we will see. the lenders have to do a better job of tracking where the loan is and who owns it through the securitization process. that has been a problem. when someone is foreclosed upon, they go to the bank will court. it is not clear who owns the mortgage. that is a problem. they are supposed to have a better system for tracking where the mortgage is as it goes
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through the securitization process. host: the next call is from carlsbad, calif., on the line for democrats. caller: this is how we got into trouble when the foreign countries bought the loans. we do not know who originated them. we cannot track the owners know. -- we cannot track the owners now. if you try to buy a house and are not an investor, you will not get the loan. why would the lending banks lend to a person who only has 30% down when they can get an investor who will pay cash for the house? it does not matter if you give them the full price. they do not want you. they pick the investor every time. we bailed out the banks and now we are going to slap their hands for what they've done in the past. i do not think they will be able to do much with the banks.
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the banks and insurance companies own us. obama was not able to do anything with them. he had to give in to them or he could not have gotten his other plan through. guest: that has been a big question in the process. are the banks and lenders really being punished enough and cracked down enough for the abuses customer can see the tension at played between the bank regulators and the attorney general' continuings the probe. there are some state attorneys general that feel they're being too aggressive or not aggressive enough. there is a question out there as to what type of penalty to the lenders should pay for wrongly foreclosing on people, not properly servicing the loans.
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one issue is that the banks did not have enough people. they did not hire enough people to run the servicing programs. when the foreclosures started to ramp up, they were overwhelmed. they were taking shortcuts. we had all of these problems. there was definitely pushed back when this was announced. they should have been more aggressive cracking down and there should be large funds that go along with the changes to the system. the states are still looking at this. the justice department and hud are looking at this. hell much more the banks will be hit by this has yet to be determined. -- how much more the banks will be had by this has yet to be determined. there is definitely tension out there about whether it went far enough. host: there is a story about
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the oklahoma attorney general saying he is prepared to break ranks with the coalition crafting the settlement. why is the oklahoma attorney general going off on a separate path? how different is he from the other attorneys general? guest: you have 50 states. it is hard to get them to agree on much. a certain number of states were going to look into the servicing problems, began negotiating with the banks come and try to reach a settlement. it is led by the iowa attorney general, tom miller. after the election last fall, there was a change.
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more republicans were voted into the state attorneys general offices. not all of them agree with how aggressively he and others are going after the banks. you mentioned oklahoma. there's also the virginia attorney general and taxexas. some of them are saying that the settlement is too aggressive and will wind up hurting the housing market. on the other side, he had people like the new york state attorney general who feels he does not want a global settlement to preclude him from going after the bank's on his own in his state. he does not want a settlement order that says he cannot go after them. that is an issue. they are not necessarily in a fight. a lot of this came up about two months ago. there was a proposal from the attorneys general to the five
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mortgage servicers. that is largely big banks. that was leaked. it called for a dramatic overhaul of the mortgage servicing standards. it included a requirement or push to do principal writedowns on loans. that is not just lowering monthly payments and reducing the amount they owe as a way of making sure they can stay in their homes. the banks were critical of the proposal. they said it appears that it will allow people to strategically default. someone who can make their payments besides the may be better off financially if they stop making them to enter some sort of loan modification program. some ag's have said that is an
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excuse. that would not be part of the settlement and we would make sure you cannot do that. host: reuters has been writing about new foreclosure rules for lenders. one of the articles is about setting foreclosure fines. you confined that on reuters -- you can find that on reuters.com the next call? caller: my comment is different from the last comment about lowering the principal balance. i am in the capital of the foreclosure capitaissue in cape, fla.. a lot of good people doing that because it is more convenient.
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i think it would be unavoidable to circumvent that if you were to adjust the principal balances. my original question was about insuring the ftse -- fdic. i heard that they have only $1 for every $10,000 that the back the federal deposits. i am wondering if that number is close to being true and the fact that the fdic has a 99-year payout if the banks should go bad. guest: the major role of the fdic is that the insured deposits up to $250,000. i did not catch the exact specifics of the numbers he mentioned. i have never heard any doubt that the fdic would be able to
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meet the obligation. they have a fund that they use. they will wind down failing banks. a lot of community banks are failing. the fdic will take them over and try to sell off parts of them. it comes at a cost to the government. they have the funds for that. it is filled by the charges they put on the banks. it was depleted. they have a plan in place now for making sure it gets back up to speed. as far as the exact question about the fdic not being able to meet its insured deposit obligation, that is nothing i have heard. host: some once sent us this twitter message. how did these loans come into being? guest: a lot of banks did it. a lot of savings and loans, some
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of the big names to hear like countrywide. over the past decade, they became more prevalent in the lead up to the financial crisis. host: did they think there would not be any blow back from lending money to buy a house to someone with a did not know if the person could actually pay the loan back? guest: you can look back and wonder what people were thinking. one of the issues you are looking back on is that people who were lending money for originated the loan were not keeping the loan. they were selling it off into the market through this complicated securitization process. the criticism of that looking back is that if you originated a loan, you do not have much incentive to make sure someone can repay. it does not hahurt you in
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particular. you are not collecting the payments on the loan. it has gone into the securitization market. there was the idea that by spreading the risk, it would never become a problem. obviously, it did. there are changes in the financial reform law intended to address the problem. there is a complicated rule of there being debated. it is a proposal. the intent is that if you are securitizing the loans, you should have to keep skin in the game. you have to retain at least a partial interest, 5%, of the loan. there is the idea that you will not gather up a bunch of junk loans, securitized them, and it will not hurt you. the idea is that you will be more selective. this will incentivize giving out
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loans that people can be paid. host: there is an article this morning regarding j.p. morgan chase settling in military mortgage sea. the bank has been ordered to pay to settle a lawsuit that accused the bank of overcharging members of the military for their mortgages there was a congressional hearing and public outrage. is this tie into the rules being changed? is this supper? -- is this tie into the rules being changed or to make is this separate? guest: there is a specific lot about how military members can be treated in the process. it turned out that for deploying troops, j.p. morgan and other banks were not following the law.
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the couple in the story is sued the fakes. they have settled. that was in the review the regulators did of the lending industry. that was one of the problems they found. they did not have the processes in place to make sure that someone who is deployed is not being subject to foreclosure or whatever problems were coming up. they are specifically protected. they were not being protected. host: our last call for david clarke comes from new jersey on the line for republicans. caller: like to make a few comments that you could say our questions. the first is in regard to the new foreclosure rules that are uncertain. there are a number of old foreclosure laws that can be relied on to escape the responsibility of paying back a
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mortgage or a loan in its entirety if the bank fails to do every single thing they must do. there is a national uniform commercial code. there are also state uniform commercial code. there are truth in lending act. there is the real estate settlement procedures act. there is the homeowner's equity protection act. there are a number of laws that can help people avoid being evicted from their homes. most people might find this difficult to do on their own. upu can go online and look a predatory lending. you can go to organizations. s yourn go to legislatuor attorney general. you must fight. host: david clarke, you have the last word.
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guest: the caller brings up a good point. there are existing laws intended to protect borrowers. the probe found they were not being enforced. you mentioned the truth in lending laws. i was talking about the new rule that says you should make sure they have the ability to repay. that is an expansion of the truth in lending long. -- that is an expansion of the truth in lending law. it is very complicated, as anyone who has been caught up in a can say. host: we are going to take a short break. when we come back, we will be talking about a male world -- the mail recall -- mayoral recall drives in the u.s.
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>> this weekend, through a series of 14 paintings, the artist takes us back to the 19th century white house. the pepperdine university professor looks at the effects of the election between jefferson and adams. white house photographers talk about what it is like to document the life of the president and the presidency. get the entire schedule online where you can also press the alert button and have our schedules emailed to you. >> this weekend, in a covert affair, she recalls their careers in the process during world war -- in the oss during
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world war ii. also this weekend, examining the americanization of what a, beginning with the arrival of missionaries in 1820. you can find a complete schedule on line. >> 2/3 of the american people depended on the network news as their primary source of news and information about the president of the united states. all were hostile to richard nixon. >> go inside pivotal moments in history online at the c-span a video library. watch and share every c-span program from 19 evans ridge in 1987 through today. -- from 1987 through today. >> the congressional directory
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is now available. it has contact information, including twitter addresses coming information on the white house and supreme court justices. >> "washington journal" continues. host: tom cochran from the u.s. conference of mayors is here to talk about the mayoral recalls. the internet is fueling a spate of recalls against mayors in cities across the country. is it just the internet puling these recalls? is something else at work? guest: we have a lot of anger and frustration in our country. the bloggers and social media
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are a wonderful thing. we saw what it did in egypt. it took out a dictator. the fact of the matter is we now have blogging going against local government and mayors. mayors need to know about it and understand. social media is good. we use it all the time. the conference of mayors is 79 years old. we believe it is time to educate our members on what is happening. recall is up over 50% from 2009 to 2010. it is destructive and costly at a time when we have terrible financial situation of the local level. host: we have information on mayoral recalls. in 2010, there were 57 attempts. that was in 19 states.
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that was up from 23 attempts in 2009. 15 mayors were recalled or resigned. that is up from five in 2009. the recall attempts this year are 15. our people more and great -- are people more angry or do they just have a more expedient way to express that? guest: you have a perfect storm. we have the great recession we have been living with since 2008. the great recession, many people saw the stimulus package of $84 billion. they did not feel like it came to main street. they feel like it may have gone to wall street. a small amount of money came
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directly to cities. we have jobless recovery going on. we have high unemployment. people are asking where their jobs are. wall street has a job. where is my job? people who are angry and frustrated cannot get to their governor, congressman, and president. mayors go to coffeeshops, synagogues, churches, movies, bars. mayors are everywhere. they are at soccer games. people are angry and taking it out. we're trying to say to our mayors, if you are corrupt, that is one thing. but we have a low threshold in many of the local areas. as a membership organization, we're saying to examine the statutes. it is very costly to of local elections. when you can beat butler -- yukon beat butler last month,
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they did not say to go again. they will wait until next march. in america, you have an election. unless the city mayor and government are correct, we say to have the elections when they are to take place. let's not have them because mayors fired lifeguards or changed parking. this is how trivial it is. it is based on heavy ego retribution. in many cases, there is a daddy were box -- daddy warbucks the 90's. in chattanooga, the person funding and said he was the head of the tea party. $3 million were spent in miami- dade. $2 million were spent in akron, ohio. it is costly and disruptive. the mayor needs to be bringing
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economic development to his or her city from china and across this country. for building the economy after the recession. we are in the jobless recession. -- we are in jobless recovery. we believe that recalls are not the way to go. host: we are speaking about mayoral recalls across the u.s. if you would like to get involved in the conversation, call us. you can also send us messages electronically via email and twitter. you said any person coming to serve needs to understand this is happening with the recalls. budgetary decisions made in the
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tough economic climate are likely to trigger more anchor. you go on to say that if they do not have a web site or blogger, they had better get one. is this the way they will be able to hold onto their jobs and fight the recalls? guest: we are on the internet. everyone is on the internet. we toppled governments with the internet. this is going on with the bloggers. we think it is time to call the attention of vermeer's to this that it is happening. we went to a wonderful school of journalism and got into what we needed to do to get our message out. no one was listening to talk radio. the mayors were not paying attention to it. we argued that they had to use it in a positive way. social media and the internet is
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being used as a positive thing with the governors. you have got to realize that some of the bloggers are telling malicious lies. really 30-minute documentary on this -- we have a 30-minute documentary on this. it shows you exactly what is going on in three cities that we , andd -- omaha, akron chattanooga. we urge viewers to look at that and see graphically what is happening. it is better to see what is happening than just talk about it. host: will show the website during the interview so the colors and viewers can see it. in addition to your question or comment, tell us who york mayor is and whether or not you think
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that person is doing a good job or not. we have lost columbus. let's go to lansing, mich., on the line for democrats. rita, who is your mayor? how is he doing? caller: he is doing a fabulous job. i have blogged with mayor vanero all the time. it is a great source to have people get their opinions out there. we have rick schneider in michigan tried to take over -- trying to take over the mayors positions all over the state. he wants to make places where rich people can park their yachts on public land and make it private. i do not know what this country is coming to. it really worries me. people from the commerce department are supposed to be looking out for us.
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they're trying to shut us down and quiet our opinions. we should be able to voice our opinion, especially on the internet. you can talk to other people who feel the same way and recall people who need to be recalled. guest: he is a great mayor. i know him well. he is a great fighter. he stood up for the autoworker'' during the great recession. i am very happy that you have joined with him. i recently saw him on television about the situation with the governors. we congratulate you. stay in touch with us for more information about recall fever is spreading across america. host: albert is calling from austin, texas. who is your mayors and how is he doing? caller: he is doing well. i think the more important part of our city is the city council.
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they are not doing a very good job. we're going to need to do some redistricting around here. beyond that, this is an interesting topic. most political revolutions start -- most start -- all start at the local level. i understand his concern about the cost and money factor. that is an issue. he has a point. the other caller was talking about voicing your opinion. we do have a right to voice our opinion. it is even if that detriments our city or state. it is up to the people. that is part of democracy, the people have the power. host: how long is the mayoral
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term in austin, texas? caller: i believe it is four years. host: how long will you give them before you are dissatisfied enough to call for a recall? caller: i do not think texas has the recall ability. i do not think we're able to recall mayoral votes unless there is a criminal after. host: your response to a albert? guest: it is a free country. he is right. we understand democracy. we have transparent city council meetings. the mayors are dealing with people all the time. you need to examine what the bloggers are saying with lies and graphic images that are not accurate. we cannot be so open-minded about this that our brain falls out.
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host: we have an e-mail message about benton harbor. they fired all elected officials. are you familiar with this? guest: no, i am not. host: "usa today" says that most people light recalls. spivak says that is the point of democracy and mayors have to except that. it is part of the challenge of being a public elected official. guest: i appreciate professor spivak's work and agree with him. if people want to recall, they have the right. as a membership organization, we're trying to show the threshold is very low. in akron, ohio, it was a certain
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percentage of the last election. the mayor had no republican opposition. the turnout was very low. i think it was 3200 votes that was all he needed out of 270,000. we think the people in akron, ohio, have a right to recall. we're saying to the mayors to examine the statutes. these do cost money. $270,000 was spent on the recall. he has 13 years on the city council and 24 years as mayor. they did a recall. it cost the city to hundred $70,000. he won by 75% of the vote. you have a person involved in what i call "ego retribution." i have seen it and witnessed it. it is on hour documentary.
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it is not accurate. i went to akron and interviewed city council people disputing serious accusations put into the recall effort. host: we go back to the phones. our topic is mayoral recalls across the u.s. we're speaking with tom cochran from the u.s. conference of mayors. who is your mayor and how are they doing? caller: in 1978, the mayor was dennis to senate -- dennis kucinich who dealt with the city bonds. he had a three-year term at the time. in a huff 4-year terms. -- they now have four-year terms. in the recall, it was 60-40 or closer. the person who replaced him as
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mayor one year later was robert lloyd to bitch -- was rob what blagovech. guest: i am not familiar with the recall statute of cleveland. it is next door to akron. i am not familiar with it, but i do remember it. that was the situation that is not exactly the same as what we're talking about. we are talking about minor decisions and major economic decisions that mayors have to make. they have to balance their budget. mayors have to balance their budgets. we would like for the president
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and congress to sit with the mayors in city councils around the country. they balance their budgets every year. we could help them with the mess we have in washington. host: cathy in okeechobee, fla., on the line for independents. go ahead. caller: they q. so much for any efforts you are making towards helping correct -- thank you so much for any efforts you are making towards helping correct elections. you know in florida what has been going on for some time. west palm dominates most of our economics. we have a mayor who did a little time somewhere in texas. all of a sudden, we have someone else.
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it goes higher than our mayors. they are dealing with what is handed down. it goes to the governor and president, all of our representatives. people like me who are seniors and disabled, the main thing we should try to do to make a change is try to not participate in these rising prices and taxes as best we can do. on sunday, just one day we come if we would not buy gas or one thing, just one day. if you have to, that is one thing. we could show a difference. we are the consumers. itt: we're going to leave there. i want to refer to the "usa today" article we have been referring to today. it says that most mayoral
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recalls fail. alvarez was ousted by most of the voters. guest: that is an economic decision. there is no corruption there. that is what i am trying to say. it is a new phenomenon. you are not subject to recall if you raise taxes or just employee benefits, etc. it sounds like i am getting in the weeds a bit, but this man was not corrupt. a billionaire spent $1 million on this recall. the cost of the election was $4 million. these are costly operations. they are somewhat disruptive.
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it was the largest recall in the history of the united states except for 1938 when they had won in l.a. you did not have as many people in l.a. as you have now. based on economic decisions he made and not on corrupt charges of malfeasance. host: the next call comes from west hills, calif. on the line from republicans. tom, who is your mayor and how are they doing? caller: our mayor is regosa. think he is doing a reasonably good job. he is trying to fight the teachers' unions and make some reforms. there is an old adage to be careful what you wish for because you might get it.
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i would encourage all of these people pushing for recalls to consider the person who gets in after the recall may not be better than the one who left. it could conceivably be worse. guest: the largest recall was gov. gray in california. it is very easy in some areas to recall a major or county official. you cannot recall a senator. you have to impeach them. it is a constitutional issue. i want to thank him for commending the mayor. he is doing wonderful things with benefits and negotiations. he is leading on transportation that will be great for the nation.
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this brought to my mind the governor situation and how difficult it is to recall the governor. it is so easy to recall a mayor based on tough economic decisions they are making in the tough times we live in in 2011. host: leonard from cleveland, ohio, is on the phone. who is your mayor and how are they doing? caller: the mayor is mr. mark elliott. the city is doing well. we lost some employment with the ford plant in neighboring city. they are taking a hit, but it is doing well. it is a shame that people forget that local government should be more powerful than the federal government. we should be able to subject our
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laws. the federal by the money we pay -- fica money we pay should be reversed to the city governments. the republicans and democrats say this or that. they are elected officials. they raised their hand. they have the duty of care to the people and citizens that elected them. according to the constitution, they should be compensated. every year, wages go up. pension benefits go up. this that and the other for the federal government mess. host: we will leave it there. are there more democrat mayors be recalled or republicans? is it fairly even? guest: i do not think there is a pattern or partisan way to have
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to raise taxes. as the mayor of new york said, there is not a partisan way to do a pothole. the states are hurting. the states are passing the burden down to the locals. the caller is correct. the money goes to washington. it goes to the states. it does not go back to the cities. it is a tough time with foreclosures going on. people are asking what happened to their jobs and houses. we have a situation where the mayors are having to deal with lots of anger and frustration. even though we're coming out of the recession, there is still anchor and frustration. it is being felt that the local level. host: randy is on the line for republicans. >> citrus heights is a suburb of
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sacramento. the sacramento mayor is doing a pretty good job. i liked him even though he is a democrat. your guest this morning seems to be using a lot of the language, the class warfare language i am hearing, like we're supposed to be angry at rich people or wall street, as he said. far from it. the great recession has focused people on what their government is doing battle all levels -- on what their government is doing at all levels. when we see people line to our faces to get into office replying to our faces to get into office and do something completely the opposite -- when we see people lying to get into office in in doing the opposite of what they say they will do, people are getting involved and areing people out when they sa
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not doing what they say they will do. people are tired of arrogance cks.non-responsive career hawk host: we have an article talking about the sacramento kings. they may be leaving sacramento and going to anaheim. if that happens, do you think kevin johnson may face recall? caller: no way. it is not his fault. they're talking about putting a tax initiative on the ballot to pay for its. kevin johnson when not be held accountable for that. he is doing everything he can to try to keep the team here. i do not know if it is going to happen. one of the main guys interested
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is trying to buy the dodgers now. who knows what will happen there. guest: let me make an observation. the mayor in seattle was defeated. a lot of people thought it was because the basketball team moved to oklahoma city. kevin johnson is a wonderful mayor. his active and doing so much in education. he is active in doing so much in education. he is trying to keep the kings. i would not want kevin johnson to face a recall 30 days after if he lost the kings. we are not in class warfare. we are just trying to point out that the recall statutes are very low. people are upset about congressmen who say this and that and do not do it. a lot of it is transferred
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level at the local because they cannot figure out what washington is doing. mayors are trying to balance budgets and keep cities going during the greatest recession we've had since the great depression. host: the next call comes from queens, ohio. catherine is on the line for democrats. caller: it is cleves, ohio, west of cincinnati. i have a couple of comments. you have made several references to people being bloggers on the internet and same dishonest things about people. it happens every day with our president. everybody says he is not a legal citizen because they cannot see his birth certificate. he has repeatedly showed his birth certificate, but they do not believe it. the voters are very angry. our tax dollars are being used
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for things that do not benefit us. it benefits people on wall street. people on main street never get to see it. that is the reason why we are so angry. if we had the ability to recall in the state of ohio, we would recall the governor. he did not run and say he was going to eliminate jobs. he said he was going to produce jobs. in the state of ohio, it is the opposite. that is just like in most states in the midwest. guest: she is an example of a person angry about what is going down. she is an example of what is happening. i do not want to give in to the bursting issue. we will let mr. trump handle that. -- i do not want to get into the birthing issue. we will let mr. trump handle that. in omaha, the mayor was elected.
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one hour after he was elected you have a blog start against him. we believe mayors should be aware of this. we're educating them on this. she is correct that is maliciousness going on in the social media in some cases. you have to be aware of it. if you do not have a blog, you need to have one to correct this. host: we have this item from the san francisco -- from "the examiner." the mayor was recalled last year. he was accused of abusing his power. citizens discovered he has served more than a decade in prison on various charges. is that a case of buyer beware?
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the previous mayors served a decade in prisons in ohio and illinois. should the electric have been aware of this before and not have to go through the recall process? guest: there are 23,000 cities in the united states. every now and then, you will have this in america. you will see something on tv about a beautiful person in prison 30 years ago. this happens. we saw one last week. the citizens should have been aware of that and decided as to whether a person has gone to prison can be elected. i am not familiar with the case. that is exactly what i am talking about. host: tony from miami, fla., is
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our next caller. caller: i am calling about michigan. the problem there is not a recall. the mayor has not been recalled. the town has been taken over under a law passed by the new governor. he and his friends have an eye on a park donated to the children in 1918. it is a low income town. the average income is $10,000 a year. it is mainly afro-americans. rachel maddow had an item about the town the other day. it is very sad. the mayor is still in office. the governor has a right to take
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him and other elected officials out of office to take over the park. there are wealthy homes and a golf course overlooking the lake. host: tell us about how the documentary came about. guest: it came about because we started noticing a lot of recalls going on. i was aware that many of our mayors were not as involved with social media as they should be, i think. we have been promoting the internet to save money and communicate. we notice trends in the nation. we believe we should talk to the
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mayors about the trends. i became concerned about the cost of the recall elections. i also became concerned that many mayors run a hard race. they win the championship. then they start governing and could get a recall. they are not thinking about it. they just have their inauguration. they're looking for a police chief. they've been sworn in. they're feeling good about themselves and then they get hit. i think that is unfair. we, as an organization, are trying to revise our mayors to examine their local recall and state statutes. we think it is important because it is government destruction. the mayor should be spending his time on bringing economic development. the mayor of omaha told us after the recall was over, he brought
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in three or four hotels and conventions to the city. as soon as he gets elected, he has to go back into a recall situation. he cannot govern. he cannot bring in economic development. he spent all of his time defeating that effort. he feels like he is behind but he is catching up. he is a great mayor in omaha, nebraska. host: thank you for waiting. caller: your guest is talking about the expense of a recall. i would like to know who pays him. where does he get his money? does it come out of the mayors pocket or the general fund? in my town of houston, we have wells and radiation. our mayor has gotten together with dhs.
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will not tell us what wells they are. the previous mayor did a deal with dhs. right now as we talk about this, this gentleman calls its economic development. when a political official pays back a political contributor to build a hotel or unneeded arena at taxpayer expense, when an elected official gives away taxpayer commons and sells them to cover his debt for his staff, the recall is a lot better than the guillotine. host: we will leave it there. guest: is covering some things i am not aware of in houston. i am executive with 41 years' experience. i run a national organization in washington, d.c.
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my salary is paid for by the dues of the cities that have been a part of it since 1932. -- thehe city's pay the cities pay the dues. they are paying for the documentary not to throw the mayors out. do you see a conflict there? guest: we're trying to point out that mayors need to examine -- we're not against recalls. we just think that mayors need to examine the recall statutes. we believe the threshold is too low. the recall can take place and cost the city a lot of money. we do not need to be spending that at this time. that is our position. host: phoenix, ariz., jim is on the republican line. caller: thank you for taking my
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phone call. i have been listening to this gentleman up there. it is obvious he is for the mayors. we have a mayor out here in phoenix. he is very corrupt. his girlfriend is a lobbyist. he awarded the largest contract in our history to a transportation company that is french. it has nothing to do with american values. host: is there any kind of movement to try and recall your major? caller: we have so many people out here -- i am not involved in recalled. i live in phoenix, arizona. i see what this man is about. he is for the mayors. we have a mayor who is correct. he has been fighting our county sheriff. he fights everybody. we do not like the illegal
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immigration staff. he turns around and says he will do what he wants no matter what we think. host: we will leave if there. guest: i have been working with this organization for 42 years. i believe in mayors, the cities, and good government, and the metro economies. i believe that increases support for the national economy. i am proud of being pro-mayor. that is understanding that if the mayor violates the law or is corrupt, he would be put in jail, tried. this has nothing to do with that. this has to do with recalls based on economic decisions. it is a new trend in america. we have to get used to it. it will continue to happen until we get out of the great recession.
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host: we will take our last call. caller: i want to point out that i am from connecticut. we have no rights up here in connecticut. we do not have the right to recall. we have to get a lot of signatures to get a referendum. the only thing we can do is vote on constitutional amendments. we basically have no rights to recall anybody. we are very interested in doing that, our little town here in having recalls. our board of finance and board of education are the ones who run the town. we do not have a mayor per se. we do not have a mayor per se.

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