tv Washington Journal CSPAN May 18, 2015 7:00am-10:01am EDT
representatives discuss income inequality in the united states, its root causes, and what should be done about it. as always, we will take your calls in june can join the conversation on facebook and twitter. washington journal is host: good morning. it is monday, may 18, 2015. with plans for a busy legislative week on top, before the annual memorial day recess, house will be in at noon today, and the senate will convene at 2:00 p.m. meanwhile, this morning, we will take up the topics of congressional ethics probes and the issue of economic inequality in this country. with rapidly unfolding events in iraq and syria over the weekend, we begin focusing on the u.s. military efforts against the so-called islamic state.
a week after a u.s. raid eliminated the key isis leader the group yesterday captured the city of ramadi. this morning, we are asking our viewers to weigh in on the fight against isis. more than nine months after the first u.s. strike against the group, has it been worth the effort? our lines are open. give us a call. democrats can call at (202) 748-8000. republicans, (202) 748-8001. independents, (202) 745-8002. you can also catch up with us on social media. on twitter, facebook, or send us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. a very good monday morning to you. we begin with this headline from "the washington times" -- the story on the islamic state. the story noting that just one day after u.s. officials announced the killing of
leader, the terrorist group took control of the city of ramadi, gaining control of the entire city, according to the associated press reported from iraq. "the new york times" put it this way -- despite fighting in recent weeks in a bid to save the city, eight marked the biggest victory so far this year for the islamic state. the iraqi government had announced last week that they had a new offensive to retake the anbar province, which ramadi is the capital. yesterday, the special forces soldier, ryan zinke, from montana, talked about the u.s.
effort against isis. here is a bit of what he had to say. [video clip] >> they are instead -- outstanding of individuals -- outstanding individuals, and this is a great operative. we have no plan in syria, what to do overall. you have in the eastern part of iraq, iranian forces, senior military leadership. i'm not sure how we will ever remove them from the territory of iraq. this will be an enormous problem for the president, as well as the next president, what to do in iraq, and our policy of doing it from afar, especially in the territory of iraq, by and/or operations alone is not working, it will not work. the kurds are isolated, and the sunnis now see disenfranchise. >> you served in a ramadi, right? >> i did.
>> you are hearing the iraqi forces having the upper hand over isis, but it is this back-and-forth going on. >> ramadi is a large city. it is enormously difficult to do operations. they left the headquarters. i think the headquarters is symbolic. it does not lead to a greater plan of retaking ramadi as a whole. when you have a script where we will just do it or operations alone in the territory of iraq what happens is the forces that we want to target will move their forces to relocated with hospitals, schools, and make it very difficult to conduct air operations. host: we are asking our viewers this morning for first -- our first 40 five minutes, is the u.s. effort against isis working? we will put the phone numbers on the screen for you to call in. the editorial board of "wall
street journal" also picking up this topic writing, u.s. forces succeed while iraqi forces are rerouted. it writes that it undercuts assurances that the war against islamic state is going well. the reality is that the political limitations that the white house has put on u.s. military planners has allowed isis to take hold. other members of congress going on sunday shows as well, including senator dianne feinstein, of the intelligence committee in the senate. she was on abc's this weekend talking about that special forces raid the happen on saturday. [video clip] senator feinstein: my assessment is that it was a success, the kind of want to punch that we need to do more of. i believe that if we are not going to put troops on the
ground, then we have to use our special operations forces. to go in and collect intelligence also be able to capture people that might be able to be helpful. this is the second time this has been tried in syria. the first time it was not successful. that was to rescue hostages. now, this was, i think, a picture-perfect raid. everything went according to plan. host: another member of congress weighing in on this is republican lindsey graham, a man expected to possibly be in the mix as a presidential nominee or candidate. he writes in his twitter page over the weekend on saturday, great job to the troops that killed the top isis leader, good call by president obama, but this does not make up for the lack of strategy. he writes, the bottom line is that president obama is doing the least possible when it comes to destroying the islamic state. he intends to pass this problem
onto the next president. we want to hear your thoughts this morning, your assessment on the military efforts against isis. do you think the u.s. and coalition partners are winning? we will start with andre calling from georgia. life for democrats. caller: good morning. i do not think that the effort is being want. i think it is not being won by the coalition. at any time, the u.s. military could go in and retake iraq with no problems. we would have casualties, of course, but we would be able to be taken. the coalition, the iraqi forces, they have to stand up and fight for their country. we cannot keep hearing the stories about soldiers laying their arms down and running. that would never happen with american troops. we would fight to the death. you have to get these coalition troops -- saudi arabia, whoever
else who is involved -- they have to be more involved. but we talk of a ground troops those are the ground troops that need to be over there. we could send special forces into do certain jobs. when it comes to an all-out ground invasion, i don't think we need to send american troops. host: it something you are in favor of the current strategy, try to get other coalition partners to do a better job on their end. caller: that is correct. we are using air power. we do have -- i think our navy is over there. we have vessels over there who are supporting this, but we need coalition troops to go in and take these cities, and take isis out. we need iraqi troops to keep weapons in their arms and fight. if they were to come over here we would have citizens, not even army, but citizens taking up arms, protecting our homes.
iraqis, they need to do more of this. host: entree from georgia bringing up the idea, or at least the possibility, of ground troops and discussion that that has sparked in this country. here is some of the most recent polling on this issue from cbs news. their poll from earlier this year in february noted that 57% of americans are in favor of using u.s. ground troops against isis. 37% opposed. that is up from back in october of last year where 47 percent were in favor. 46% opposing. you can see, as soon as september 2 the supporting, it was just 39% in favor, and the majority, 55%, opposed. you can see those numbers changing over time in some of the polling. we want to hear from our viewers this morning, your take on the u.s. effort against isis. do you think it is working? here are a few more headlines
that americans are waking up to this morning, in the wake of the islamic state taking ramadi. iraqi forces retreat as militants seize ramadi -- one of the lead stories in "richmond times dispatch." here is the "miami herald" -- key islamic city falls to isis fighters. here is jail from texas. caller: i just want to say that the u.s. has done all he can in the situation. haters are going to hate. we cannot do much more. we have people here who are actually part of this, which is crazy. it is all the freedom we have, and people take advantage of it. i appreciate it. host: david is in madison heights, michigan, life for democrats. good morning. in the u.s. winning against isis? caller: can you hear me? host: yes, sir. caller: thank you for taking my
call. please, with all due respect you really should change your name to "conservative span" now that fox news is your main contributor. other than that, i think it is a great thing that president obama is doing. republicans could not get bin laden, president obama got bin laden. he is decimating isis as we speak. i think it is positive not negative. republicans cannot govern. republicans just want war war war, and more war. we all know that. as far as lindsey graham, i do not think he has any credibility at all. i really think this is a positive. i hope that isis never gets on our soil. they want a black mark like they did with bush. they want a black mark on
president obama. i do not think they will get it. resident obama, keep up the good work, and every voter out there both these republicans out. thank you very much. host: that was david in michigan. david, try to be as balanced as possible this morning. he's that is paid for by fees from cable companies, offered as a public service of the cable companies. try to be as balanced as possible. we will take calls from all three lines this morning. tony is in district heights, maryland. my for independence. good morning. caller: are you there? host: yes, go ahead. caller: i totally agree with the last caller. a republicans, all they want is more. they make money from war. war is a business.
so is terrorism. it benefits republicans. terrorists benefit republicans because they are donors -- their donors our counterterrorist companies, like boeing halliburton. it will not end. they want a never ending war. he keeps them in office. these congressmen, or whoever else. this is ridiculous. i do not care about isis. no one is thinking about isis. a lot of isis personnel are probably iraqi. they do not want is over there getting their resources. that is the only reason we went over there. it has nothing to do with terrorists. at that thing to do with terrorism. it is all about their resources, all about oil. host: toady in district five, maryland. we will show you a map of the latest areas of islamic state control. you can see, the brown areas on this map from "the wall street journal" showing the areas that
the islamic state controls. ramadi here. just 80 miles away from baghdad. according to the "usaid today" story, ramadi is the capital of the anbar province. the story noting that the militants had seized control of much of the area last year, held by us-led airstrikes. fighters have made gains against the islamic state elsewhere in the country, it including re-creating the city of tikrit. some of the data of u.s. efforts overseas in iraq and syria. let's go to sam waiting in michigan, line for democrats. good morning. caller: two quick things. first, while we should never have gone into iraq in the first place, i am tired of carrying
iraqis on her back against isis. we should get out of there and let the chips fall where they may. the second thing i would like to ask, rhetorically, perhaps representative graham, is when does criticism stop? i'm not sure that we need a representative slamming the president quite so hard. they can criticize him, but they are talking sedition, as far as i'm concerned. host: we will get back to calls in just a second. we want to update viewers on what is happening this week on capitol hill. to do that, we are joined by neil of "cq weekly." what is the schedule ahead of the effort by members of congress to get out of town in time for the memorial day
recess? guest: that is always a challenge. it is the challenge was again this week. there are a couple of must pass bills that are sitting on capitol hill. one of which is some sort of action to provide a stopgap authorization for highway programs which lacks in at the end of the house, we see that the chairman of the committee -- chairman of the house in ways and c means committee will extend authorization for a couple of months, but it does not provide new money. the big question is how much money will be out there.
that will be a question for the summer, for how to find highway projects going forward. the other piece, which is currently awaiting consideration by the senate is some sort of legislation to reauthorize nsa surveillance programs. those programs, under section 215 of the page react, including what to do about the bowl collection of phone records. it is not clear how that debate will go. i am literally, as we speak right now, about to be on my way to philadelphia, pennsylvania. the reason i am headed to philly this morning is because man paul , the libertarian leaning republican from kentucky is holding an event at the national
constitution center, where it seems likely that he is going to announce what his plans are in terms of either filibustering the legislation on the page react -- patriot act, or what exact we he will do this week. there is lots of moving parts. and the trade promotion legislation is still before the senate. host: i should note for viewers who want to follow the nsa story , viewers can check it out on "roll call." here is the latest story -- rand paul's and is a filibuster val complicates senates memorial day getaway. before i let you go, stay on trade for a minute. the majority leader in the senate talking about trade promotion authority and what will happen on the senate side this week. what is the majority leader, mitch mcconnell, trying to do this week? guest: the majority leader told
george stephanopoulos yesterday on abc's sunday morning program that he wants to get the trade promotion authority, and trade adjustment assistance combination bill -- the fast track bill, as well as the funds to help workers who might be displaced as a result of trade -- to get that passed through the senate before the memorial day break. i will tell you that late last week senator john soon, number three in republican leadership was saying that because there was not cooperation on the side of the democrats, that there was possibility that that measure would sleep into june which seems like a reasonable assessment. unlike the highway situation or the nsa surveillance situation
the trade bill is the one that does not have a firm deadline. the president and republicans in congress, want to get it done, but it is not an urgent priority. host: niels, we appreciate your time. safe travels to philly. guest: thank you. host: we are back for about the next 25 minutes talking with our viewers about the u.s. military effort against isis in iraq and syria. you feel like it is working? a lot of news is we can coming out of the region. we want to get your thoughts. our next call is from jamaica, new york. good morning. are you with us? caller: how are you? host: good, go ahead. caller: yes sir.
a senator said that if the russians are willing so are germans. they should kill each other -- [indiscernible] you tell me that on this earth deaths in syria -- where is the leadership? in iraq, where is american leadership? your viewers should understand, if the jewish state was not there, there would have been no wall in this part of the world for the last 1000 years. host: william is up next in
waldorf, maryland. line for republicans. your thoughts on the u.s. effort against isis? caller: first of all, thank you for having me on. thank you for taking my call. i enjoy c-span. i pretty much watch it every morning. i want to say that winning the war -- we are doing the best we can. i think people sometimes forget how long it takes to try to set in a democracy, or set in democratic ways with individuals who have not been in that type of society before. when you talk about trying to push policy in, and help people, it will take time. using companies to do this has been going since the beginning of the time. look, this is business. sometimes you have to use businesses to get things built
and get society built. i have a problem with the whole concept of every republican being about war. it is not about war. it is about getting it done right. when you have a different set of opinions from different people, who we put in congress, and in the white house, it will take time for them to get together and get on the same page. president obama has done a great job. host: how much more time do you think will be needed here before societies can be built -- the islamic state would have to be defeated over there -- how much longer do you think american people are willing to give to that effort? it has been over nine months since the first bombing strike against isis last year. caller: wait a minute. isis is just another segment of al qaeda and other groups. we are talking about people that
have been fighting each other in different types of sects for what? 1000 years? it is not just the islamic state. once they are defeated, there will be people who will be upset and will want to do something else. there is going to be another issue. it is trying to get everybody on the same page, and get a system of government that works in that region. host: on our twitter page, richard writes that the middle east equals war without end. just saying, referring to an earlier caller, iraq was ours in the first place, it seems like it doesn't belong to anyone especially the u.s.. kerry is up next from florida. good morning. caller: the morning.
i have a comment and a statement. thanks for taking my call. i totally disagree with the fellow that was just talking from maryland. his comments about obama being terrific, or great, in iraq. oh my god. obama and hillary -- i don't want to place blame but come on, people. ramadi -- thousands of soldiers were killed there -- how dare us not protect that stronghold. other thing is the airstrikes -- it is nothing. isis is nothing. we could oblivion them immediately. this is a joke. it is not going to take time to get rid of isis. you go, you take care of it, you load of the bombers, and you get rid of them. we do not need boots on the ground. here is the deal. if i hear another democrat talk about how terrific obama has
been on the mideast, look at egypt. morsi was sentenced to death. look at saudi arabia. look at the snow that we got. nobody respects this president because he does not lead. he is letting everything go to hell. host: that was carrying a florida. over the begin, speaker of the house john boehner putting out a statement of his own following the special forces raid. he writes, i am encouraged by today's good news, i remain gravely concerned by isil's assault on ramadi that threatens the stability and sovereignty of iraq. he notes that last week, the house passed bipartisan legislation to support the efforts against isil. it improves a pilot program to counter propaganda efforts, and
reaffirms our effort to work with the sovereign government of iraq. the u.s. house of representatives, he notes, take seriously our role in defeating terrorists networks, defending our hamlet -- homeland, and allies. that is from speaker john boehner. speaking of the special forces raid. after that successful mission on friday, "the wall street journal" notes that there is some speculation about future possible similar operations. friday's operation has led to speculation that the white house will increasingly be more amenable to authorizing these types of operations. pentagon officials say that there is no plans for change in policy saying, we are going to conduct these types of operations whenever we can this is not opening the door anymore, it has been open, and will
remain open if we have the opportunity. betty is up next in indianapolis, indiana. caller: thank you for taking my call. first of all, i want to say, the past 44 presidents, including obama, is that. guess what, about obama? he is the greatest of all-time of all of them. even though he attacks presidents, -- attack terrorists , but the same time he respects and islamic countries. the dude -- compared to all the rest of them -- obama is the best. hands down. who ever is the next president, they will have big shoes to fill. host: how do you think that for against the islamic state is going to? caller: i will tell you what, let muslims handle their own business. we need to stop being global cops. we need to spend money in domestic issues, quit spending
on foreign affairs. host: do you think the president is wrong in his strategy -- in this coalition that he has helped to build? caller: he is wrong. he needs to start putting more money in infrastructure. and other social programs instead of war. get with the republicans -- they are never going back to the white house. host: speaking of and for surgery, a subject that we have talked quite a bit about over the last 1.5 weeks or so, since the amtrak the relevant north of philadelphia. the amtrak line -- amtrak announced on sunday that it is resuming full operations in the northeast corridor. "the washington post" noting that the ntsb will continue to investigate the possibility that the train was struck by an
object. continuing to follow that story. another story coming out of the amtrak derailment. here is one from "then your times" this morning. if you want to read up on that it is an today's -- in today's "the new york times." the possibility of implementing seatbelts. the editorial board noting, exploiting the fear and grief of the train wreck in philadelphia won't help anyone. trains are still the safest form of transportation amtrak carried nearly 12 million
passengers in the busy northeast corridor last year. friends and critics of amtrak could easily wait until the facts are collected. bacteria calls on the topic of the u.s. military effort against isis. do you think it is working? is the u.s. winning? leslie from sacramento, california, nine for democrats. you are not. caller: thank you very much. i think we are making some progress. i agree with the caller before me from indiana. of course, the lady from florida -- when i hear republicans talk -- i have been in combat, i'm a retired marine. the comments they come up with border on nothing but hate and racism. i just sick and tired of the sis crap.
we would not be in this garbage is bush wouldn't have jumped in in the first place. they are the people who should be accountable. all of them should be in jail. have a nice day. host: fred is up next on brooklyn, new york, line for independents. good morning. caller: how are you today? host: i am good, fred. caller: one of your caller said that the muslims take care of themselves. i am a muslim, and i'm also from the middle east. in my opinion these people welcome isis. they are paid by saudi arabia. these are terrorist organizations. as we support saudi arabia, and
don't tell them that they have to stop financing terrorist organizations like boca how rahm -- boko haram. we will have problems with terrorism all over the middle east, and eventually at home. host: let me ask you a question that rick raises on our twitter page. rick asked if those in the region will not fight isis or actively promote them, why should we? caller: we are helping saudi arabia and saudi arabia are sending soldiers to fight with isis against us. we should make clear to them that this is enough and enough is enough. host: all right dennis is up next in hot springs, south dakota, life or republicans. good morning. caller: good morning. thanks for taking my call.
what i believe isis wants is for us to put boots on the ground in iraq. they will slaughter us and drain our finances, resources, and our troops will suffer a bloodbath. netanyahu says that israel can do it unilaterally, but they want us to do it, why? so the u.s. can conduct a proxy war against iraq and is iran for israel. host: you talk about the boots on the ground, do you disagree with the use of special forces in the raids like the one that we saw over the weekend in syria? caller: yes, but that is really a small victory when it comes down to it. look at all the iraqi soldiers that are running away.
all the isis combatants are taking over our armored vehicles, weapons of all sorts and is going to be a never ending war. it is going to drain the u.s. treasury. we are already $19 trillion in debt. that is more dangerous than being overtaken. host: that was dennis and south dakota. we are talking a u.s. military efforts against isis in iraq and syria, after that special forces raid that killed a senior member of isis that was lauded by so many over the weekend. news yesterday that the key iraqi city, just 80 miles west of baghdad ramadi, was taken by islamic militants. is the u.s. winning in its
efforts against isis? more than nine months after the first missile strikes against groups. joe is in lakeland, florida. good morning. caller: good morning. first of all, i would like to say -- give kudos to our armed services serving. our ward should no longer be financed by american people. we should have a tax increase first of all. that is how war should be funded from now on. if we are going to go to war, we should go to the american people and say, listen, we need a tax increase to authorize this more, and move forward that way. secondly, there is only one way to win in the middle east, and that would be -- i'm not trying to say to do this, but it would be to kill everyone. that is the only way you can win in the middle east. you cannot fight an ideal or religion. it will be ongoing into
perpetuity. isis and isil, and the monster that we created in iraq, and now moving into iran, is a perpetual problem. everyone talks about the problem we have at home, and being world cops. we cannot do both and fun both -- fund both. host: this is from our twitter page, we cannot swoop in and take a isis and think the job is done. it is an ideology. you agree with that? caller: i totally agree with that. it is an ideology. if one of us were killed, our cousins and uncles would get into the fight. that is what is happening over there. host: how do you win the battle over that ideology? caller: that is just a, we
cannot win it physically like the way we are doing. if i were president, he is why i would attempt to do. i would attempt to call everyone in. all the leaders. i know obama has tried the strategy, and it has worked as a mistake -- to some extent. call them off-site, if we could get them out of the region, have a sitdown in sweden or something, and try to work things out. host: does everyone include representatives from the islamic state? caller: we would have to. they are the ones active in the region. we could not go into that without those people having a voice at the table. that is what is happening, they do not have a voice, they see a void, and now they are coming in, try to make sure they have a voice. a lot of people do not know there is regional money, and all kinds of things like that, which american people cannot grasp.
we cannot send our kids over there to fight this thing. host: that was joe in lakeland, florida. one other issue that we have talked about on "the washington journal" over the past week, on friday, we talked about george stephanopoulos and the money he gave to the clinton family foundation. issues that that had caused the abc anchor. he apologized for those donations and not disclosing those donations. here is a bit of the apology. [video clip] george stephanopoulos: over the last several years, i have made substantial donations to several charities, including the clinton global foundation. i should have made additional disclosures on air will be covered the foundation. i now believe that making personal donations was a mistake, even though i
specifically did it for efforts to stop aids, support children, and poor countries. i apologize to all of you for failing to disclose. host: in today's "usa today," theater schweiz or, the author of the book "put in cash," who was offered by -- interviewed by george stephanopoulos. his own thoughts on the stephanopoulos donation. he writes, what i did not expect going into the interview was beheaded in hand journalism that has contributed to the news media's crisis of credibility and in particular, the americans mistrust of news media broadly. if he had disclosed his donations to the foundation that i was there to talk about, perhaps i would have put his aggressive posture of his interview in context. he notes that his on air
apology, he does not disclose the into heaven six, he was a featured attendee and panel moderator at the clinton global initiative. he was an attendee in 2007, he wasn't 2008 analyst, and in 2009, he served as a panel moderator. in 2010 and to those 11, he was an official member. he writes that media personalities have one thing in very short supply, that is time. regular participation in foundation of its show a deeper commitment to the klinsmann just the donations. that is peter schweitzer in "usa today turco we have just a few more minutes in the first segment of "washington journal" on u.s. military efforts against isis. you think they are working? in light of that makes news that
has come in. ashley is in lakeland, florida. my for republicans. good morning. caller: the morning. i wanted to respond to say that in response to the baman that claimed that the woman's comments were racist and hateful. it is not about racism and hate. it is about facts. what she said were true. there were 165 airstrikes over there. what we are doing is not just -- just not enough. also in response to the man who said you cannot stop an ideology. he is right. what you have to do is wipe out the whole colony. it is just that simple. host: ashley, when the caller was talking about reading everybody around the table and inviting members of isis to be at the table, to try to get people on the same page, you would disagree? caller: no, i would not disagree. honestly, i believe if you're going to bring somebody to the table, you have to try to
come to a close, and bring together and agreement. host: sandy hook is next with ruth. caller: did i just get disconnected? host: no, you are on the air. caller: i'm sorry. there are some a comments that make a lot of sense. i think the size thing of all is that history repeats itself. unfortunately, when the president first came into office , he said we will not look back and we will not analyze this whole thing. we are just going to repeat and repeat because it is only just recently that when jeb bush said he would go back and, the even republican say, wait a minute, it was a mistake. we have not really been willing to take an honest look at it. i think it is pretty hopeless. host: frank is an walden, new
york. good morning. caller: -- host: are you with us this morning? frank might have stepped away from his phone. you have to be there when we go to you for the call. that is it for this first segment of "washington journal" this morning. up next, we will be talking to paul singer, "usa today"'s politics editor on lawmakers accused of accepting improper travel from a state oil company. eight are, we will be joined in a special roundtable discussion to talk about income inequality in the united states. he will be right back. -- we will be right back. ♪
>> tonight on "the communicators," members of congress on nsa collection of phone records, privacy, and net neutrality. section 215 authorizes meta-data collection. last week, we found out that the second district federal court agrees that this patriot act never really authorize these programs. these programs are a legal. the nsa would tell you that the programs were authorized by section 215. then, the court proceeded to write a warrior that covers every single citizen. i think our founding fathers would be appalled. >> i think our policy is out of date.
we have copyright policy from 1976. a lot has changed since 1976. we have electronic communications privacy act which was done in 1986. i started working on e-mail in 1989, when mostly people could just send you a to summon else that they lived with. now, we have e-mail as a standard form of communication. one of the most popular forms of communication, and yet, we still have a situation where a piece of paper and a test or -- in a chest drawar is subject to a warrant, but an e-mail is not subject to a warrant standard. >> i think the issue that the sec brought out is that -- the internet needs to be open and free. any time the government gets involved, there is this open ended pandora's box. what would it be to next? in the judiciary committee, we pass hearings but we are simply
saying at this point, let it be an issue for congress. let it be an issue for the elected officials, which it on the radar, but not put in place by bureaucrats who have no consequence from the populace. >> tonight at 8:00 eastern on "the communicators" on c-span2. >> "washington journal" continues. host: paul singer is "usa today"'s politics editor. he comes to talk to us about an issue that has garnered the attention of the house ethics committee. please explain what the house committee on ethics is and how it is different from the similarly named ethics committee. guest: there are two different
bodies. the ethics committee is the body that polices the behavior of members of congress. they can punish members of congress. they can give advice on ethical matters. they can even suggest the expulsion of a member of congress for a real violation. problem is that for years, the ethics committee did nothing. prefer to not actually punish, or mock, or investigate other members of congress. in 2007-2008 congress can great -- created this group called the office on congressional ethics. it is a board. whenever they see something that is maybe an ethical violation the review at first. then, they pass their review on to the ethics committee, with a suggestion either, this is nothing, dismiss it, or, this is something, you should investigate it.
host: that is how the process is supposed to work. paul singer tweeted out last week amid the news headlines about the 2013 trip to azerbaijan that this story is really about how the house ethics process is still a mess. what is this trip the garnered so much attention? guest: the trip itself is unremarkable. members of congress are not allowed to take travel, free travel, to places from other governments or lobbyists or corporations that have lobbyists . the rules are clear. again, they do not want big corporations paid to take it to las vegas for $10,000 and party it up for the weekend. this trip -- it was a nonprofit group paying for travel to azerbaijan -- a couple of nonprofit groups actually. members of congress submitted their nose to the ethics committee saying, we would
like to take the stress to azerbaijan, and also turkey. the ethics committee said ok go ahead. the problem is that those nonprofits were basically fake. they were created by the government controlled oil companies of azerbaijan, largely to pay for this trip. it was over $100,000 of travel free gifts -- again, posing as an educational trip, paid for by a nonprofit, when in fact, it was a lobbying trip paid for by a government who wanted help with their oil pipeline. host: we should tell viewers, if you want to ask any questions on this. paul singer is the person to ask. we will put the numbers on the string for you. republicans, democrats independents can all call in. first, why is the showing a
divide between the ethics committee and the office on congressional ethics? guest: there was a story last year, i think in particular the "houston chronicle" digging up the oddities of these nonprofits. they began to investigate these members of congress and said, something is wrong. somewhere in the process, the ethics committee contacted the office of congressional ethics and said, we are doing our own investigation. you can stop now. host: and the ethics committee -- we should remind viewers -- is controlled by congress itself. guest: that is correct. and they are the ones who can punish members. the office of congressional ethics cannot punish anyone, they can only make recommendations. at some point, they stepped in and said, we have this, you can back off. the ethics committee said, no,
we will not back off, we will continue investigating. no one knows what happens in these meetings, but what it looks like is the ethics committee approves this trip in the first place. now, members of congress are mad because they are getting in trouble for taking the trip. at this committee says, we will straighten this out. the office of congressional ethics is saying no, let us straighten this out, you did it wrong. host: we can show our viewers the names of the 10 members who have been identified in those documents. those who took the trip. one of those is yvette clarke also a member of the congressional ethics committee. we should say, what has been the response from these 10 members? guest: almost unanimously the ones who have spoken have said we did not know. we got an invitation to go on
a chair, we ask the ethics committee for approval, we did the trick, and we had no idea that it was improperly funded. i do not judge that answer. i do not know the case well enough. the office of congressional ethics appears to say, there were oil company logos everywhere, you should have known this was being sponsored by somebody. you got carpets and other gifts worth thousands of dollars. "we thought they were cheap carpets" -- that kind of stuff. host: how do we know that this investigation? how do we know all the details that are in the report? guest: that is the best part of the story. the office of congressional ethics, like i said, they were created in 2007-2008. this is the first time one of the reports has leaked. the wash -- "the washington post" got a draft report.
normally the report is received in confidence, that the community deliveries, and have 90 days before it is publicly released to make a public determination. in this case, the thing leaked. no one had ever seen a leaked report before. it is fun for people like me. host: if you have questions for paul singer, again democrats (202) 748-8000. republicans, (202) 748-8001. independents, (202) 745-8002. we will start on a line for democrats, thomas is calling from illinois. good morning. caller: i appreciate you taking my call. this is a very interesting program. you are talking with the congressional ethics investigation. i understand it is operated by congress, or that office. the problem i have here -- being
the fact that it was mentioned that something recently leaked out. if you consider the fact that this just leaked, then congress itself needs to be investigated because there are a whole lot of other things that have not been leaked that should have been leaked. these people need to be prosecuted and take out of office. not voted out, kicked out. immediately. not 90 days. immediately. not just congress, but there is a lot of stuff going on in washington, d.c., that needs to be cleaned out. what they really need to do is repent get baptized. host: that was thomas in illinois, bringing up a number of issues. guest: thomas is right about how this is supposed to work. we are supposed to find something that looks suspicious it is supposed to be investigated, fully vetted, and returned with some sort of verdict so that the public can no whether or not something went
wrong here. i think the danger of an ethics progress with something leaks out, people lose faith in the process. members of congress said it will not take part in a process if it will become a public issue in which they are in the middle. the reason the office of congressional ethics exists in the first place is because the ethics committee never did anything. as thomas said, where they kicked out for -- will they became doubt for doing wrong things are not? it looks like no one can be accused of doing anything wrong. host: on the house i, that office created by the house on march 11, 2008. it is governed by eight members on a board of directors.
they can not work for the federal government. there 2015 budget, 1.5 million dollars. what happened before 2008 that led to the creation of the office of congressional ethics? guest: this was part of the democratic takeover of the house of representatives in the 2006 election. you will remember, because of course, we were working at "roll call" around that time. it were a series of scandals in the house. nancy pelosi and the democrats ran their campaign around a "drain the swamp" theme -- to get rid of corruption in the house of representatives. i think the most famous one was the fully scandal where a member of congress was exchanging lewd text messages with an intern, a
page, i think it was. pelosi is running on this "drain the swamp" platform. she wins. democrats take control of the house, and they created this panel. they created a task force to determine how to reform the ethics process. before that, literally, the ethics committee had rules that said eventually, no one can file a complaint, except for a member of congress, and the two parties had agreed to never file a complaint. so, you had this process where the ethics cops were handcuffed to their own deathesks. host: that leads to rogers question, can the ethics committee be brought before the ethics committee? guest: that is a very good question. a member of the ethics committee can be brought before the ethics
committee. in theory, that person would simply be excused from the ethics committee fora period of time. it is members of congress policing themselves, essentially. there is no other place where we would see that, and expect that kind of behavior. host: leaders of that committee -- charlie dent is the chairman. linda sanchez of california, the ranking member on that committee. let's go to lucas, line for independents. caller: good morning. quick question. did the members of congress after this trip get money -- give money to this oil company in azerbaijan, or has it been at any actual effect of the trip? was a just an enjoyable trip? guest: that is a good question. we have not found any effort by any memory of congress to help
this oil company after the trip. and, we have not see any money or campaign donations going back and forth. this looks like a trip where they took a gift they were not entitled to take. they may have excepted some token gifts. the process did not work the way it was supposed to work. a fake nonprofit paid for your travel. there is no evidence that any member of congress was swayed by this trip to take some kind of action. host: you think this changes things in the future? guest: i do not know. there are several ongoing cases in congress that have led two questions about whether the
rules need to change. i am sure your viewers remember the conversation about the lawmaker from illinois. several news outfits were investigating this guy. there has been a response on capitol hill. we should -- change the way. there was a conflict of interest problem. a member was voting in favor of their own companies they owned. and member of congress was not punished. "we will change the rules," but the rules have never changed. should we fix the process? maybe. we will see. host: paul singer of "usa today
." kobe with us for the next half-hour -- he will be with us for the next half-hour. good morning. caller: good morning. my question is, why are the congressmen or women traveling to azerbaijan when we have all these problems here at home? didn't we hire our representatives to represent us and to get america well again? guest: right. this is a fundamental question with all foreign travel we explore. you would like members of congress, particularly if they are involved with foreign policy, to be traveling to
countries and getting an idea of what the world is like on the ground. we have members of congress going to iraq and iran all the time. ir aaq and afghanistan had been a huge policy problem for the past decade and a half. so it makes sense that a member would go. you don't want to say a congressman doesn't go where important policies are going on. azerbaijan might be a fairly thin issue brief to attract that many members of congress. it is basically our closest alley near iran. they have oil. it is a former soviet republic. there is a lot to learn. i leave it up to the voters to
ask the question. is this where we should be having members of congress spending their time, or should they be spending it in baltimore or san diego or someplace in the united states were things matter. host: again the phone numbers 202-748-8000 for democrats. 202-748-8001 for republicans. 202-748-8002 for independents. interesting suggestion from twitter. guest: right. this is again, i cannot give you an opinion about this because i do not have an opinion.
american politics is still privately funded. american politics is privately funded. that means when a congressman wants to run f reelectionor, he has to ask for private donors for their money. that leads to ethics questions. busy just trying to satisfy the people who run for office? i do not make a judgment that that is inherently corrupt asking private sources for money. it opens the door to questions. if anybody gives you money, it is fair to say, what did that person get back? did the congressman do something he shouldn't have done. host: rick, good morning. caller: good morning. long time watcher.
a question about the so-called lined trust fund -- blind trust fund. i would bet you will find tens of thousands of halliburton stock in the chene householdy. why is it that question asked during debates? do you have a blind trust? do you plan on having a blind trust? i find it hard to believe that anybody, that they are going to invest their money and don't have a clue as to where it is going. guest: every member of congress and every politician running for a federal office have to fill out every year a financial disclosure form. on that form there is a check
talks that says, do you have a blind trust. if so, hasn't been approved? at think it is the ethics committee that improves these blind trusts. you have to be saying, i take all my money and stake it into this account and i don't know how it is invested. all your allowed to know is whether it performs. you write in how much it earned and with the investments were. there are blind trusts and they are publicly declared. the safest place to have your money is in a blind trust or you can say with a piece of paper that someone has certified, i don't take control of those decisions. host: we talk about the house
ethics process. guest: in the senate, there is no office of congressional ethics or secondary panel. it is just a committee which does with the house ethics committee used to do. they look into things they find interesting and never publicized the enormous bulk of them. host: good morning, blind for democrats. caller: good morning. listen, i remember al gore and bush, the younger one, when he was running in florida. they had a lot of people not able to vote in the democratic
areas. they came out with computer systems. when obama ran for president the second time, it would go for mitt romney. should we go back to the old machines to stop gerrymandering on that area? guest: there is an interesting discussion. some people believe a paper ballot is a more reliable ballot. there has been a lot of work done. electronic voting issues are now aging out. the first round came up after the 2000 presidential election. if your software is old, is there a new machine we can buy? it is an interesting
conversation. more and more jurisdictions are going to all electronic online voting. it is a never ending question. elections for president are all carried out at the local level. it is the state that controls the election and how you vote. the rules are different in florida than they are in oregon. host: the house administration committee looks into these issue. guest: that is correct. congress is responsible to make sure upgrades are being approved. the proper policies are in place and that states are making sure they have the most modern equipment. host: florida line for republicans. good morning. caller: good morning.
a long time watcher. public approval of congress is around 20%. i want to know if the expert can answer this question. how many members of congress have been disciplined in the last 50 or 60 years by the so-called ethics committee? guest: that is a really good question. it is hard to count. i have gone back -- jim traficant was expelled in probably 2002 or 2003. he was a congressman from ohio convicted of taking kickbacks. went to jail and was expelled from the congress. there was a fairly dramatic moment.
the house had to vote to expel him. it came through the justice department first. there has been several dozen cases over the past seven or eight years since the new process has been in place. members have gotten various punishments. they may not be what you consider to be proper punishments. sometimes they get a letter saying you shouldn't have done that. the trip to azerbaijan. a similar case some years ago. members of congress took a trip overseas. they shouldn't have accepted this gift. that trip had been approved by the ethics committee. members of congress were part --
required to pay back part of the trip. they could use campaign funds to pay for that. so how much punishment was that? charlie wrangle got a letter saying yeah, well, you still did something wrong because your staff new this was improperly paid and you should have known. so, that kind of punishment. how about the ones got a report saying you did something you should not have done, what we're not going to issue a punish ment against you. there are several dozen of these. you can see a list of 45 or 50 reports. host: the question of how many have been expelled.
it is hard to say how many members of congress resigned after there was an ethics investigation. guest: for someone like aaron schock reporters fine something out that looks suspicious. they continue to dig and look for more details. they discover there is probably some wrongdoing. no one could prove what aaron schock had done wrong. we don't have sabina power -- subpoena power. the justice department begins to investigate. the congressman steps down. once he steps down, the ethics committee has no jurisdiction. there is some of that. there is a string of lawmakers who have quit after we have
begun investigating them. host: jim writes on our twitter page-- tom is up next from missouri. you are on with "usa today's" paul singer. caller: first time i have been able to get through in almost two years. i have a comment about ethics. in 2010 after the republicans went into office. they got their assignments in washington and all. a big majority hopped on a plane and flew over to israel. the american taxpayers shelled out millions of dollars every year to israel. this to me is an ethics
violation also. back about the first of this year there was funding for all these children coming up from south of the border, to house them and feed them and get them straightened out before they sent them back. they were trying to get the funding for this. in the senate, this is strictly for here and these children south of the border. some intact -- someone tacked on extra funds and gave $100 million to israel. that is totally wrong. guest: there is two different sides of this question. we give billions of dollars in aid to israel.
a gets back to the previous question about, why should they go to azerbaijan. going to israel, given the military tension at how much we rely on israel, you could argue it makes or sense to go to israel than to go to azerbaijan. they were using a loophole, funding a nonprofit to travel overseas, that was pioneered by the israelis. apac, and organization, the israeli lobby in washington. they created a nonprofit to pay for traffic for members of congress to go to israel. advocates who have argued, this
is working away around the rules, israel paying for travel. to some degree, they were using a loophole that israel had pioneered. host: dallas, texas. ray is waiting. caller: good morning. i am a big fan of c-span. love it. in my estimation, i feel something has got to get fixed. i feel the way lobbying works -- i wanted to know your thoughts about a revamp or a rebuild on how lobbying works. i understand that might be hard to do, right?
why not create a lobbying combine. call it the national lobbying combine. we cannot keep people from lobbying. there is lobbying for good purposes. there is lobbying for nefarious reasons. if we could make everything go through a website not a penny of that money ever lines a congressman's pocket. it goes toward funding whatever endeavor who was willing to lobby, whatever they are trying to lobby for let their money do the talking. guest: a lobbying combine. the their conversation about public funding of campaign. instead of being able to pour
all my money into one campaign and saying here, go, run, i would put my money that would distribute donations and campaign money to candidates based on the amount of support they could get. the problem is basically this. do you want to pay money into a lobbying comp time that also allows for lobbying by oil companies, tobacco companies alcohol companies, companies that produce pornographic material? all of those companies have a right to have their voices heard in washington. lobbying is in the first amendment. no restrictions on freedom of religion and congress shall make
no law to prohibit the citizenry from making a redress of grievances asking members of congress to address my grievance. that is lobbying. who is a nefarious lobbyist and a do-good lobbyist? it is a huge challenge. i want our sisters of the poor to be able to lobby congress on 80 the homeless, but i don't want halliburton to lobby congress on my morning -- on more money for contractors to do bad things overseas. host: just a few minutes withhost: paul singer of "usa today." the phone lines are on your screen. we have talked about the
azerbaijan trip. what do you know about other investigations? guest: how much can i tell you? we do not know of other active investigations going on at this moment. we know there are some active investigations. we do not know what they are about. these reports are put out on a regular basis. do not say who or what or why. host: that is your job as a reporter. guest: who could it possibly be? we do not actually know who is under investigation. the ethics committee has a penalty power. they said over the past dozen months, we are looking further into this. that could go on for years.
which is one reason why they created it in the first place. i think we're looking into an allegations against congressman singer. that is all they say. ik could be yearst. he never gets his reputation back. host: let's go to tim in colorado. you are on with paul singer. caller: thank you for taking my call. a question about blind trusts. when anybody can give a billion dollars to an election, the question of ethics seems humorous. a question about blind trusts. i read president obama put all his money into u.s. treasury notes, which seemed like such a
logical thing to do. invest in the country. if i was hiring somebody to run my blind trust and you are still there to make money for cheney, you know where to put his money. it seems like a true blind trust, throw all your money into t-notes if you are a politician while you are in office. host: and perhaps some financial incentive to make the country do better. guest: i did see the clintons had done the same thing, moved money into treasuries. you avoid the question of conflict. if i am no longer investing in individual corporations, i cannot be accused of favoring one over another.
some of these members of congress become pretty wealthy based on their this is acumen. they know better than to invest all the money in treasuries. little profit, maybe. it is not a great business strategy. you should diversify. i appreciate the call. may be say, your job is to worry about the people. members of congress and other politicians, your job is to our about the people's business and not your own. focus on your public service. and then when you leave, go back and make a lot of money.
host: while and wonderful proposes this -- guest: that is interesting. lobbyists are where politicians go first. if i need $1 million to run for congress first thing i would do is call a lot this works for the banks. there are lobbyist say they are thrilled if they don't have to give more contributions. host: hjim, good morning. caller: thank you for accepting my call. a lot of these freshmen representatives -- they are
dynamic, lockheed. one even named his company the two rivers, tigers and euphrates. guest: you mean to trade on your military background? interesting question. it is a challenging issue. being in the military, part of the reason these people became public servants -- i was in the military, i served my country. that is something the american voter has shown is a benefit to a candidate. i have served my country. we all want to say thanks for that service.
see that as a resume boost. now you are a member of congress. should you be making movies or banking on your military service? it is a fair question between my military service is proof of my commitment to america versus my military service is something i will later cash in on and make a bunch of extra money. host: bob is waiting in new york on our line for democrats. caller: good morning. when it comes to ethics violations, you have the coyote guarding the hen house. i do not know how you're going to be able to bring about ethics violations in a serious way. there is never any real penalty
when companies are found guilty of ethics violations. or congressman for that matter. there is never a thing where companies are as a result of a guilty verdict they make all these bargains. they should be disallowed from their ability to lobby. i and sure you have all of the different things that have been handed down against the companies that have done rings wrong. i think it is an idea to take the right away from companies to do the wrong thing guest: that is my job part in
this is where a free press matters. i know of course free press always matters but this is one example. if your company, production company is config did of that practices overseas -- convicted of bad practices overseas, my job as a reporter is to notice when the congressperson takes money from coffee mug incorporated and to write a story that says, congressman smith took $10,000 and there was a fundraiser that raised warty thousand dollars at coffee mug incorporated headquarters were they have been making their money by enslaving people overseas. it is my job as a reporter to find that out.
there is no way that numbers of congress sitting on equities committee will tell members of congress not to raise money from people with soiled reputations. that is why you have a free press. host: a comment from mary on twitter, ethics or absent in washington. they went on a junket. a lot of members get out of town away from capitol hill. or there any trips being funded by groups that might fall into the same sort of story line that we are talking about? guest: the beauty about most of these trips is we do not find out about them until after. we frequently get no notice at all they trip is going on. occasionally, you will get a notice tomorrow we are going to ask, why, see place. --x, y z place.
we do not find out about the reports until several months later. i frequently say we should camp out by the rayburn building at the end of the recess and see the buses unloading. that is all members of congress in their booty. anybody who is interested, go visit the rayburn building see where they are coming home from. host: it might be easier to get a subscription to "usa today." we always appreciate you. guest: thank you. host: next we will be joined by michael consol and scott winship talking about income inequality in the u.s., and coming up at 9:30 today we will be opening up our phones. democrats only talk about statements made by senator
minority leader harry reid about hillary clinton. we want to get an idea of whether hillary clinton is your option for 2016. we will be right back. ♪ >> tonight on the communicators members of congress on nsa collection of phone records privacy, and nick neutrality. -- net neutrality. >> it authorizes the meta-data collection, the bulk collection. last week we found out that the second district federal court agrees that this patriot act
never really authorized these programs, that these programs are illegal. the nsa would tell you that they were authorized by section 215. they proceeded to write a warrant that covered every american citizen. >> we think our policy is far from being up-to-date. we have policy that is woefully out of date. we have copyright policy since 1976. we have the electronic communications privacy act which was done in 1986. i started working on e-mail in 1989. now we have e-mail as a standard form of communication, one of the most popular forms of communication, and yet we saw the situation where a piece of paper in your desk drawer, law
enforcement would need a warrant but over e-mail it is not subject to a warrant standard. >> the issue the ftc brought out , but the internet needs to be open and free. what is it going to lead to next? in the judiciary committee we have had meetings were they cannot answer all the questions. we are simply saying, let that be an issue for congress, and the elected officials, but not be put in place by bureaucrats who have no consequence from the elected populist. >> tonight at 8:00 eastern on the communicators on c-span2. "washington journal" continues. guest: there has been a lot of
talk already on the 2016 campaign between the richest americans and the rest. we will be talking about that on "washington journal" and we are joined by matt and michael. president obama in 2013 called this economic inequality issue that defining challenge of our time. would you agree with that? guest: yes. the doubling of the top 1% of the income share, runaway income at the top. a real hard hit meeting class. median incomes are down 8% since 2000 and the precarious market situation, a lot of unemployment continuous employment. host: talk about the growth of any quality. are we hearing so much about it because this is an issue that is running away? guest: i think we have heard a
lot about it the financial races because we dodged another great depression, there has been a lot of economic anxiety. inequality was high before the financial crisis and we tended not to hear all that much about it. there was no occupy wall street were not talking about it as the defining challenge of our time. i think as it continues to expand we will see inequality as an issue. host: talk about the roosevelt is to move the policy prescriptions that your group recently put out. guest: we just released a big report called rewriting the rules. people talk about weak economic performance over the past 10 15, 30 years, they tend to emphasize things like globalization, technology, and skills. we really wanted to emphasize
public policy decision, the rules of the economy how labor markets are set up play just as much of a role and certainly a greater role than is commonly acknowledged. a lot of these changes we argue have not aid the economy stronger and in some cases, like financial deregulation, may have weakened it. we think it is within our capacity to rewrite these rules. host: for viewers who want to check out the report it is rooseveltinstitute.org. if your income last year was under $20,000 748-8000. between 20000 and exceed thousand -- and $60,000,748-8001. a line for
those who made over $100,000, 748-8003. guest: i think income inequality has been overstated as a problem. the research that i have done and try to highlight that others have done does not make a very strong case in my view that if you care about any quality of opportunity, that income inequality ought to be the thing that you target. i am more concerned about upward mobility from the bottom. i think the way to do that is to do experimentation at the federal level with programs trying to increase the skills of kids, change the behavior of parents. i think we have federal safety net programs that have bad incentives were people are discouraged from working saving, marrying.
i think we ought to have some reforms in the area of higher education finance thing but i would not tend put forth an agenda that specifically is trying to reduce income in the alley. host: hr two -- a chart to demonstrate what we are talking about. the blue line on the top is the top .01% of earners in this country and the red line is the bottom 90% in this country. you can see the percent change in real income since 1980, staying flat for the bottom 90% and going generally upward for the top .01%. michael, is it just a matter of getting people more ability to break into that top point 01%? guest: no, we do not believe so.
these are symptoms of our economic delays. -- malaise. we really need to tackle the underlying illness and that is that there are a lot of rules that are channeling wealth upward, redefining finance, corporations, labor markets, intellectual property. all taken together it creates this to virgin's. -- this to virgin's. divergence. it is not a recovery that is broad-based. the 1% looks like it is coming down to -- back to 2007 levels. these trends are very likely to continue forward. host: in terms of changing the policy regime, is it a matter of heavy taxes on that .01% to try to move money down? guest: there
is also things political scientist call market conditioning or pre-distribution, everything from labor market regulation to the minimum wage that set of the market. i think it is time we pulled it back. host: scott, i imagine you do not miss fairly agree. guest: lots of disagreement. i think the story they want to tell in the report that the rise income inequality beginning in the early 1980's facilitated by these rules changes that he talks about have had negative consequences i think a big problem for the report is the timing of the story does not work out. the growth in income slowed starting early in the 1970's, predating the run-up income concentration by a decade. productivity slowed in developed
countries around the world countries that had a lot of inequality, countries that did not have that much. there are a number of instances like that where the financial sector has become a bigger share of the economy. this is not something where financial is asian -- financial-ization has affected. hopefully we can have a discussion about trends in living standards as well. the chart you referenced visually downplays how much there has been income growth for the middle class the congressional budget office indicates that it's been something like -- it has been something like a 40% increase since 1979. we are almost back to the levels that were essentially all-time highs for living standards. host: scott winship's website
manhattan.i-institute.org and rooseveltinstitute.org. we want to hear from our viewers and we have divided them from income last year. peter calling in from valley cottage, new york for people who went -- who made between $51,000 and $100,000. caller: i want to talk about the 800 pound gorilla in the room. the research report comes from 1945 to 2013. as immigration slowed between 1945 and 1970 incomes increased. when immigration increased the
incomes went down and then went flat. crs reported that the foreign-born population of the united states surged from 9 billion -- 9 million to 20 million in 2013. incomes of the bottom 90% dropped 7.9% from an average of 33,000 621 to 30,980. there are other contributing factors, globalization, out sourcing, declining utilization trade deals that are bad advances in robotics and tech elegy. when you have a weak economy or slowly growing economy you will not be able to absorb all these people. we bring in 1,002,000 immigrants legally every year that are competing with american workers. this legalization effort that
was being pushed a year ago they want to double that. host: peter is an valley cottage, new york. in your report the roosevelt institute talked about this idea of immigration. guest: certainly having a large part of the labor force essentially be in the shadows of labor law and not having basic right, basic protections, the ability to go to law enforcement or other types of agencies is a real detriment to other workers who have to compete. we feel you can make the labor floor much better for everyone by incorporating people formally. there's a lot of different ways to measure this but my understanding is that immigration has fallen quite dramatically it's the great recession, and there may be outflows. we do not see this renaissance of working-class wages so there are other factors at play. host: scott winship, did you
want to jump in? guest: i think i do agree with what mike said. the research literature is all over the place on this question. i do think that the caller brings up an important point which is that a lot of the in the report could have benefits but a lot of them could have cost as well. i think a lot of them that are not as rarely discussed in the report whether that is more spending on federal policies that would increase deficits or economic growth that way. i agree with mike about overall how important immigration has has not been for wage trends over time. host: in terms of spending, henry wants me to ask you do about under investment in american infrastructure and american workers. guest: i think the infrastructure problem in the
u.s. this is a bad time to cite the literature on this given that we just had this horrible amtrak accident but i think they have made a pretty strong case. a researcher that has been on blogs, he makes a very smart -- a very strong case that it has been overstated. we want to maintain our infrastructure spending for sure. i think what the recovery showed is that even when we boost spending on infrastructure it does not have very strong, especially short-term impact on employment distribution so i think infrastructure has been oversold. host: income inequality, the income distribution in the u.s. is our topic for the next five that it's were so on "the washington journal." jim is up next, kitty hawk north carolina.
good morning. caller: good morning. one of the problems i think we have in this country is the low savings rate. without money in the bank it is very difficult to negotiate any kind of union contract or just discuss those possibilities with your management. i can recall my grandmother -- my grandfather was a cabinet maker and my grandmother had this jar in the pantry and she saved one dollar or two dollars a week. i said what is that money for? she said it is for a time when we go on strike so i can pay the mortgage and feed the family. i think that is one of the major problems in this country. earlier in the day on another network i heard that people between 55 and 65, 60% of them have no retirement fund.
what is going to happen to those people in the next 10, 20, 30 years, living to the tune of 80 or 90 years old? host: michael? guest: there has been a big experiment with 401k. people just have not historically ever received that way. it is differently to save off of yourself. people generally retire off a government pension or private engine. the gap there is pretty big and sterling. we have seen internationally were a lot of these private savings institutions -- an experiment of the danish penso ion section. we call for bolstering social security. i think the reason for the decline of the strike which
happened much earlier, in the 1940's after a lot of change in the labor law, it rings down the strike level do not want to blame it tubing much on individuals. we think it is really a structure -- a function of labor law that has caused that change. guest: i think this is one of these crises, the retirement savings crisis that has been overstated. there is really good research showing that our official data that people use to gauge the adequacy of retirement savings and how much income retirees have is really understated. incomes of older americans. i think it is a misreading of those sorts of statistics that lead you to conclude we should spend more on social security, which is really going to eat the rest of the budget along with medicare as things currently stand, even if we do not expand it.
i think that is a real trade-off. host: income inequality is the topic of our roundtable this morning on "the washington journal." here is a another chart showing the wealth share in the united dates from 1913 to 2012 of the top .1%. you can see once it was passed 2010 or so that number over 20% of the wealth share of the united states is held by those on top. we are talking about income inequality. calvin is up next, winston-salem, north carolina. good morning. caller: good morning, and kudos to c-span for the continuous excellent job you and your team do. host: i appreciate that. caller: the nature of a capitalist system is to have built in income inequality. going back to the fight of
europe which was the predecessor for our current american capital system, there will always be those who have the capital and those who will seek to work using their capital. income inequality is built in. the second thing i would like to mention is a book called "the millionaire next" by a couple of doctors that was published back in 1996. it points out a couple of things, and piggybacks on with the gentleman mentioned millionaires live next-door and are inconspicuous because a lot of their habits, their saving and spending habits, the values that they have in terms of emphasizing education, deferring immediate satisfaction to look at the long-term benefits of a decision, that is what really makes people wealthy and prosperous. i do not think it is a total government thing more tonor do i think
we have to let free enterprise solve the situation. host: scott? guest: i think the caller makes an interesting point that there are people out there that are millionaires who we might not expect were identified as much. for somebody who tends to worry less about inequality than other people it is hard to understate how much inequality there is in the united states. the inequality between mary ellis than who is -- larry ellison, who is often the richest person on the charts in america, and mitt romney, is as great as the inequality between the top 1% and the average middle-class family. it is astonishing how high inequality levels are in united states.
i think you need to make a case why that is a problem. host: do you want to jump in? guest: they said earlier, you want to include sociology individual and family decisions. we think those tend to be overrated compared to the normal conversation. a general tendency toward inequality, of course, we have always had inequality in the company -- in the country. one thing we have noticed is that a lot of those things change very rapidly. ceo salaries relatively flat and certainly do not have the explosive characteristics of after 1980. there are different ways to set up with some people called the varieties of capitalism. ones that are more inclusive that work better for more people and one that channels income to
the very top. host: john from pennsylvania, made between $51,000 and $100,000 last year. caller: 100 years ago upton sinclair said something like if it is difficult for a person to understand something, if their salary depends on them not understanding it, you can take the manhattan institute heritage foundation, american enterprise in two and club for growth, you can apply it. as far as the income inequality, the facts are there to back it up it would be nice if c-span had the roosevelt group on as much as heritage and the other groups. you guys definitely have the right wing think tanks on their tubing much. as far as income inequality
goes, the facts are out there. host: scott, do you want to talk about your group and michael, i will let you do the same? guest: the manhattan institute is a free market think tank in new york city. we advocate the government play a role where it can help but generally we are a lot more worried about government failure than market failure. i was at the brookings institution before i was at the manhattan institute. i think the caller is identifying some problems there that are on both sides of the aisle for sure. ultimately i would encourage him to read my own stuff on inequality and see whether i have the facts wrong. host: it is manhattan-inst itute.org. and the roosevelt institute. guest: we were to keep the legacy of franklin and eleanor
roosevelt life. we started a think tank in 2009, financially -- primarily focused on the financial reform. host: roosevelt institute.org if you want to check out that website. laura, good morning. caller: it is both my husband and that -- my husband and i making that we are now retired. i wanted to address president obama's conference on inequality because it seems like he was blaming whitey instead of addressing the fact from all these institutes, especially the heritage in the tiered -- heritage institute, the number one grouped are single female-headed households.
one income and barely with a high school education. if you wait and get married then you will have two incomes and you will yield your way up and you will save. he did not address the fact that lacks account for 12 to 13% of the population but have 70% to 80% of out of wedlock births. these kids that are raised in ingle family households -- in single-family household have more problems. if you wait and get married and commit to the mother of your children then you can work your way up and not be trapped in poverty. host: michael, i'm going to let you jump in. guest: what we have emphasized is that the causation runs both ways. sociologists have talked to poor women who are not getting women. -- who are not getting married
but they find their economic conditions are too unstable. a lot of times they cannot find men stable paying jobs. we want to say the causation runs both ways. economic performance can cause weaker marriages. people who have higher student loans are likely to delay marriage. in the report we do emphasize mass incarcerationn, an important policy change that is influenced income for particularly people of color. it has really -- an attempt to lock a lot of people out of the labor market. we need a good bipartisan effort to evaluate our criminal justice. host: what do you think applies here? guest: i think the caller has a
point that the upward mobility in the united's eight is -- in the united states is more of a problem of upward mobility for african-american. family structure is a big part of the problem there. i would add a couple of other things. i think another very big problem is the extent to which people of color are concentrated in neighborhoods that are poor. there was a big report that just came out by a harvard economist. it essentially found that if you grow up in a poor neighborhood it impedes your upward mobility. the other point of my family structure is important, it is much broader among the african-american community among people who do not have a college degree. two thirds of seven-year-old i think was the last research i saw, or living with just one parent. i think this is a national problem that transcends race.
host: we have about half an hour left on our income inequality roundtable. anthony is waiting in atlanta georgia, and made between $25,000 and $50,000 last year. caller: good morning. host: good morning. caller: i wanted to make a comment about something you said at the beginning. the .01% doubled their wealth. my question is, what do you guys feel like would actually help the inequality gap? you say education reform but people are going to school and then they are coming out in debt. i just do not see where it is going. do you know what i'm saying? host: scott winship, i will let you start. guest: let me identify a couple places in the room court where i
agree -- in the report where i agree with remedies. government is unfairly protecting incumbent organizations or businesses, or where we are overpaying for things as a contractor. i think in the report they talk about defense contracting. if you live in washington, d.c., you cannot help but notice how many very wealthy people there are. i think there are areas where we could increase competition and if we included some deregulations that helped smaller businesses break into markets are currently we have got large corporations lobbying to keep them out, that is something that is hurting the national economy increasingly a lot of conservatives would get kindness and oppose this crony
capitalism. host: michael? guest: i think people has widened his suggestion that everyone should get one more year of education than i thought was necessary. a lot of it returns to higher education and has kind of plateaued out. i think the caller is correct in that and our report has a lot of different suggestions. one is emphasizing employment -- unemployment. if we decreased unemployment you would see a lot more broad income growth. a higher minimum wage -- a higher tax margin, provides a disincentive to step up the salaries. doing something with corporate governance.
we discuss them in the report. host: tallahassee florida, for the line that made under $25,000. caller: i just wanted to say that i noticed over the years in my retirement -- i worked 35 years in the private business. my husband worked for the state for about 35 years and after he retired, unfortunately he passed away with cancer, but he had over 300,000 in his retirement working for the state. i would like to know how the state employees and government employees and up with so much in their retirement while private workers do not fare so well. i will take my answer over the air. host: scott winship. guest: i think the major reason is what is called
defined-benefit retirement plans are more comment in the government -- or more common in the government sector. your employer guarantees you a fixed amount of income based on how many years and your level of income upon retirement. in the private sector workers are contributing to themselves. a lot of people on the left wish that we had more of the former, the defined and if it's plans -- the defined benefit plans. what we are seeing in the public sector is that pension plans been severely underfunded and it is questionable whether a lot of folks, especially starting out today, or ever going to see that retirement savings in the end.
if it ends up that employers have to take back some of their promises and say, we will not get as much as we promised you. younger workers are getting less generous packages so near retirees can get the full commitment that was promised to them. it is sort of an unsustainable model. host: michael is this a place where there is some agreement? guest: i would have to know more about the plan. he has social security for one third, private savings, and employer pension. no matter how that was in play in the 1950's, that is mostly gone now. we need to rely more on private savings and employer pension so we should think more about social security. host: on the line for those who
made under $20,000 sam. caller: thank you for the very interesting topic. the past couple of calls have been towards retirement more than income equality. i am fortunate in the fact that i was able to retire relatively young, because over the past 10 or 12 years i saved almost everything i need. a caller earlier talked about the benefits of two incomes or being married and how that was wonderful for saving money. so we have divorce and get rid of a freespending wife. when it comes to the inequality argument, what causes it, how to solve it, and cetera, it comes down to as far as i'm concerned that the unions have been decimated. business, republicans, conservatives, capitalist went
after them with a vengeance and consequently, they have been knocked down to very, very small membership. if you go back to the glory years of the 1950's through the 1970's, my father was a union member, worked in a factory and need a good enough living that we even had small home on the lake. you cannot do that nowadays. you take a look at those charts, the host showed when earlier were the upper income folk, their income has skyrocketed whereas the middle class working class has stayed flat. what more proof do you need? there are other charts out there that show wealth, ownership of wealth, where the top 1% owned about 50 to 70% of the total wealth of the country whereas the lower 99% or 90%, whatever
the number, bones practically nothing -- owns practically nothing. i do not presume to be as smart as your guest, but nevertheless the fact exists that income inequality exists and it has gotten worse, not better. host: michael. guest: i like his point that a lot of callers were talking about retirement. what other people care about is security, will they be homeless when they retire? in addition to helping provide a broader base of income, -- i think that is the thing that need to be emphasized more going forward. i want to hear from a voice, and not be trapped in the 1970's.
there is a real opportunity going forward but we could end up in a world where it all goes to the 1% were we are broadly -- or we are more broadly prosperous. host: john, good morning. caller: good morning. i was calling to say something about the 1965 reform. that is when all these inequalities started. these people that got this welfare, and it has totally run rampant for the past years. the income, the parts were they get earned income credit, that is tax reform and it is ridiculous that the government has supported these people.
i understand, if you go out and work, there are jobs out there. people can get a job. even picking up trash alongside the road or whatever. they would rather sit at home and not do nothing. that is my feeling. i would like to hear what they say. guest: i think the welfare system we have in the country did have a lot of problems with it around discouraging work. i think it still does to a pretty large extent. in the 1990's we implemented a number of reforms to cash benefit that people received. they were time-limited, there will work requirements. they were sent to the states in the states were allowed to be much more flexible about the rules. we made it a lot more difficult
for poor people who did not work. at the same time, the caller alluded to the earned income tax credit which made it easier for poor people who do work. the research has showed that it really induced a lot of lower income people to work. single mothers work a lot more today than they did. their incomes are higher so i think it was a successful package of reforms. i think we ought to build on it. it is really a different issue than inequality and the changes in inequality that we have seen over time. guest: i think the earned income tax credit is a good program. if a person works full-time, should they be in poverty? i think as a society we tend to think no. it is a mixture of making employers chip in more and tax members -- taxpayers chip in more. president obama and marco rubio
have proposed to extend. host: you bring up some of the statements that are being made on the campaign trail but several talking about it. why are we hearing so much about it? will it be a key issue in the 2016 election? guest: if we had really high income growth year after year like in the late 1990's this would probably be a different conversation. people think if unemployment gets low 6% we will see more wage growth and we have not. if that trend continues, it will make us really examine how our country is working. it is bad for dialogue about inequality. host: scott, are you surprised
hillary clinton is talking about this, marco rubio is talking about this? several members of congress also appeared guest: -- talking about this. guest: jeb bush, it really is an issue that i think a lot of people are going to talk about in 2016. i think you will see inequality of opportunity is a bipartisan issue and people will have different selections based on whether they are on the right or left. if hillary clinton is the nominee, she and her husband had done very well since leaving the presidency and i think it will be tricky for her to talk about inequality. host: we have about 15 minutes left to talk about this topic with our roundtable of experts. we will go to marry grace from cranston, rhode island on the
line for those who made between $51,000 and $100,000. caller: i want to thank c-span for having both sides speak as you always do. i know some folks get disgruntled but i always think you are fair and balanced. with that, my question is for scott. you talk about how marriage really hope with -- really helps with any, putting both incomes together. have you ever explored the variables of gay and lesbian and how they can contribute? they have had so many problems in trying to get equal right. in some states as you know, they do not allow gay marriages and so forth. i would like to know if you explore that. guest: i have not personally. i think you have to distinguish a few issues.
marriage is important for inequality. it is more for inequality between the middle and the bottom versus the top 1% and everyone else. when you think about inequality i think you have to distinguish between those two issues. i support marriage equality. will it effect can come and equality, probably not. it is just the numbers of gays and lesbians are very small and not all of them want to get married. certainly philosophically i support it. host: michael, and he thought? guest: i generally agree. host: marianne is in pennsylvania on the line for those who made under $20,000 last year. caller: good morning. until this country decides to take the jobs and look at them as important instead of paying sports players so much money
because they can knock a ball so far were movie stars or ceos. a few years ago at the beginning of the 2007-2008 i wound up getting a job as a casework in -- a caseworker. we started out at $27,000. i have a bachelors degree and a teaching certificate. it is a burnout job also. i lasted two and-a-half years and i was the third person to leave that year. until we decide -- teachers, even teachers in 1998, i made $27,000 as a substitute teacher. we need to decide what is important and what is not. people are putting their money in the wrong cases but they do not seem to care as long as they have their thumbs on their
phones and looking down. pay attention, america. spread the wealth around. host: that is marianne with her thought. cornell is next in new jersey for those who made between $51,000 and $100,000 last year. caller: good morning, gentlemen. the problem with income and equality is that -- and i do not want to totally blame the republicans -- but the problem is that they do not want to have the wealthy to pay just a little more so that we all can prosper. i live in new jersey where we have the highest taxes and insurance in the country. i will be 59 in february but i'm still scuffling and wondering
how i am going to make it in retirement, and i have been working two jobs for over 20 years. i do not see an end in sight. now the problem is that children and grandchildren do not have a chance anytime -- the top 1% to 2% owns 90% of the wealth. if you were to double the minimum wage you would still have problems. host: before we go to the panel when you say children and grandchildren do not have a chance, you mean a chance to move up into a different income bracket? caller: to survive where wages are. the top 1% to 2% do not want to let the wealth spread around.
the decline in unions, the unions are what created the middle class. the problem is, in the public sector unions are a little higher because it is usually friends and family and they are not going to mess up. but in the private sector unions are down to 7% or less. host: i got your point. scott winship, mobility issues. guest: i think it is important to distinguish between the state of things and whether things are getting worse or not. we do have upward mobility in the united states that is too limited if you start in the bottom fifth. there is about a 40% chance you will remain there. president else, there's only a 30% chance you will make it to the middle class or higher. is it connected to income inequality? there, i do not think there is a
whole lot of evidence. economic mobility has not fallen. there was a new paper that came out in november that was looking at mobility in canada, sweden and the united states and it found for men the united states does not have worse upward mobility than canada and we. -- and sweet. den. i think it is problem to be clear about -- i think it is important to be clear about what problem we are addressing. host: i want to show viewers this chart from business insider, the probability of a child to enter the top 20% based on their parent's quintile. can see the chances going up as the parent's income goes up.
guest: the most important decision that a child will have -- will make his who their parents are, and they do not have that decision. any quality has gone up in the past 20 and 30 years and opportunity has remained relatively flat. it was increasing in the 1980's according to research from brown university. if we look at the past couple of decades it is flat but low compared to peer countries. our inequality is high but our opportunity is high compared to the countries of europe. host: just a few minutes left with our panel. we will try to get as many of your calls as we can. we have been waiting on dover, florida. caller: i am retired but i did
want to tell you my story as fast as i can. i was not just very poor, i was very, very poor. my dad had a fourth grade education, my mom had eighth grade, and when jobs were scarce -- i am 83 years old -- they followed food and vegetables. when i was a teenager they went to new york and worked and i stayed. we never got one red cent of government assistance. when i got out of high school i went to work at a bank and worked for four years. i happened to marry a man who had three degrees. he had a degree in accounting, theology. he ended up getting a teaching
certificate and also a masters in administration. he was a schoolteacher. he chose to teach school because he loved it and it was important to him and because he saw how children that did not have moms at home, they did not do as well. he insisted that i stay home and take care of our children and run the home. that is what i did. he never made a living but we lived off of what he made. i will guarantee if you figure that every dollar he made from the time he started working until he passed away three years ago, he did not make a million dollars in his lifetime. but right now, i am worth a half a million. it is not what you make, it is
what you do with it. host: as you look back on your life story that you just told us, is there one policy that was especially helpful to you? is this something you felt like you and your has did on your own? caller: do i feel like what? host: was it federal policy that was held or was this something you did on your own? caller: we did it on our own. we never got help from anybody. and yet i raised three kids and one went to college. every one of them said mom, i had the best childhood a kid could have. we furnished all the balls in that gloves and fishing poles and kick balls and everything for the whole community. we were just -- and all the kids
wanted to come to our house. i was at home and my kids could bring anybody home as long as they were decent because i ran this house. they all knew who was in charge. host: it sounds like a great place to grow up. thank you to the caller for watching. guest: i think she brings up a really interesting point that we have not really touched on, a little bit around unions in the 1950's and 1960's. one of the things that has changed over time is that a lot more women work. a lot of women choose not to and certainly i want to support that. but a lot of women wanted to work more than they did in the mid-20th century. reorganized our institutions our rules in a way where really discouraged married women from working. we believed that a single male
breadwinner should be able to support a family on his own. we paid men a kind of bonus in that sense in order to essentially maintain this traditional arrangement of men working and women at home. that has changed over time as women have got more opportunities in the work lace. -- in the workplace. this is why you see wage stagnation for men, the shift from the old world to the modern world where women have benefited, where men have lost the kind of illnesses they got in the past, and where to some extent income has shifted to the top. folks in the top have realized we are not in this world where we believe that men should be able to support a family on one income, so i think that is nothing that has changed over time. host: michael, about a minute
left, were thought? -- your thoughts? guest: it has become a big issue in the 2016 campaign as people look at the issues around childcare and family leave that affect the ability to maintain a career. it does show there are a lot of social norms that really do affect the income distribution. the roosevelt institute, we think a first step about making a main debate about that policy. host: it is the roosevelt institute if you want to check out their recent paper on income inequality. scott winship. thank you. coming up today on "washington journal" we will talk about harry reid's comments on the state of the democratic party field.
we are asking democrats only to call in for this. is hillary clinton your only option for 2016? you can start calling in now and we will be right back. >> the new congressional directory is a handy guide to the 114th congress with color photos of every senator and house member plus bio and contact information and twitter handles. also district maps, a foldout map of capitol hill, and a look at congressional committees the president's cabinet, federal agencies, and state governors. order your copy today. it is 1395 plus shipping and handling -- it is $13 $.95
plus shipping and handling at c-span.org. >> we will close out may at book expo america in new york city with the publishing industry showcases the upcoming books. on the first week in june, we are alive for the chicago tribune ventures fast -- printers fest. lawrence wright and your phone calls the spring on c-span's 2's book tv. >> washington journal continues. host: in our last half hour of today show, we are asking democrats only to call in on this question. is hillary clinton the only option for democrats in 2016? we want to hear your thoughts. we split up our lines regionally in this segment.
the reason we are asking this question comes from some comments that senate minority leader harry reid made on msnbc on friday. he was asked about the democratic field in 2016 and said hillary clinton is the sole all-star in the democratic party. here is a listen to the interview. >> right now we have hillary clinton and that is it. there is not another barack obama out there. there are no all-stars out there. she has a clear field, and i am glad she does. >> so senators and other former governors, you don't think that will be -- >> i love bernie sanders. great guy. he is in the race. every place he goes, he develops conversation. that doesn't hurt hillary at all. host: democrats, what do you think about those statements and to the question is hillary
clinton your only option in 2016? just democrats in this segment. mountain and pacific areas 748-8001. hillary clinton will not be the only candidate in the democratic primary process. bernie sanders has already said he is announcing. here is some news from the "washington post" this morning and their politics blog the fix noting that martin o'malley is inching toward a presidential campaign. he set a may 30 announcement in baltimore, maryland. that is the fix column talking
about some of the latest news in the democratic field. martin o'malley. we will hear your thoughts and start with charlotte in iowa. good morning. caller: good morning. she doesn't really go over the issues. she is vague and stays back. she doesn't really talk.she doesn't have decisions . bernie sanders comes right out and says we will take care of this equality. we need to raise the minimum wage. he gets it. he comes out with stuff where she kind of sits back. she is too old. she has been in it too long. she is just old stuff. bernie sanders a letter but that's a little bit more of a better candidate.
host: yesterday one was asked about the hillary clinton candidacy. >> i think there is more discontent with establishment politics, with the greed of corporate america than many people perceive. i think we have -- i will not deny for one moment that we are going into this race as an underdog. even in terms of money, we have been in this race for a couple of weeks and have raised over $4 million because people are sending on average $43 per contributor to bernie sanders.com. we have over 100,000 contributions. >> is this going to be a civil debate with hillary clinton? i asked that because many critics will say even if you are talking about issues and not personality or the fact she is establishment, you have to go after a leading candidate with a
hard edge. are you prepared to do that? >> let me turn around to you. i have never run a negative political ads in my life. people in vermont know. i believe in serious debate on serious issues. i have known hillary clinton for 25 years. i like hillary clinton. i respect hillary clinton. will the media allow us to have a civil debate on civil issues, or is the only way you are going to get media attention by ripping apart someone? host: we are asking democrats only in this last 30 minutes of today's washington journal. is hillary clinton your only option in 2016? mario in huntington, new york is up next. good morning. caller: first and foremost, i
respect what was said. hello? host: go ahead. caller: we are looking for issues. we are not looking for politics to review to other apart. second of all, hillary clinton has an opportunity to express herself in a meaningful way. she can come forward and explain the negative press she is getting based on all the situations she is facing with the finances and equality, whatever they are trying to hit her on. she has an opportunity to come forward and address the situation. she has an opportunity as a single democrat to really define the democrat's position and get
a hold once and for all. host: judith is up next from california. caller: i have been a democrat for quite a while. i was once a republican before ronald reagan came along. i didn't like his trickle-down theory. i think it is a complete failure. the trouble is it seems like the moderate democrats go along with a lot of this theory with the republicans. i like bernie sanders because he tells it like it is. the taxation of the wealthy and big business, they are not paying their fair share to support our country, to support our infrastructure. the regular people are not getting anywhere, the middle class and poor. what i think happened was reagan
to the wealth -- reagan took the wealth of the middle class and poor and give it away to the 1%. the whole world is like that now. there is no free market. host: you mentioned you like bernie sanders. he acknowledged he is an underdog in this primary race. do you think there is a chance hillary clinton gets knocked off by anybody whether it be bernie sanders or another democratic candidate in this primary? caller: i think bernie sanders will make her stand up for some issues that regular working people want addressed. that is the income equality like you were talking about. host: is that a victory for bernie sanders if he changes the debate as opposed to actually winning the primary? caller: i think it will make a debate because of hillary's of the by herself, there will be no debate.
she comes here to silicon valley to the big ceos and gets her money just like obama did. i mean every day these people are cashing out on their stock options. this should be done away with -- stock options should be done away with. regular people can't even find a job because i have outsourced them. host: pats is up -- pat is up next. caller: good morning. i will be voting for the platform, regardless of who the candidate is. i am hoping bernie sanders and elizabeth warren will help determine what that democratic platform is going to be and will hold hillary's feet to the fire. host: how likely at this point do you think it will be a hillary clinton? caller: i think it is pretty certain it will be unless something should happen to her
or something should happen in the world that would completely shake things up. she has the experience, the knowledge. i think she would make a good president, and it would be nice to have a woman president. i think the fact that the democrats are offering the best benefits of their policies to the average person in this country and not just the 1% will make them winners. host: here is the latest university poll from a seven -- from may 7. hillary clinton has an early lock on the first in the nation residential test. apparently undamaged by a nationwide flood of negative publicity. that compares to 61% clinton showed in iowa in a february survey. bernie sanders has 15% among
democrats with 11% for joe biden and 3% for james webb and martin o'malley. another 7% are undecided. that is the polling of the likely iowa caucus-goers. we want to hear from our viewers this morning. earl is in silverdale, washington. good morning. caller: hello. i am a 60-year-old. [indiscernible] host: it is hard to hear. let us try to get your phone line better and we will come back to you. anthony is in new jersey.
good morning. you are one of the democrats we want to talk to this morning. caller: i believe anybody but clinton, abc. her time on the stage has passed. after benghazi, she should have taken responsibility like people who are in charge should read i think bernie sanders is the conscience of the democratic party. clinton views politics strictly as an enrichment. maybe at one time they cared but i have seen nothing in common with her with your typical democrat if there is one out there nowadays. host: do you think bernie sanders is in it to win it? or do you think he is in it to change the debate? caller: i think he would like to win it, but i don't think -- he is facing the 800 pound gorilla in the room.
i think he is too far to the left to attract the middle. there is no one else on the scene right now that catches people's fancy. unfortunately, hillary clinton has money and name recognition. if you look at her resume, she should make a great president. i think she is too prone to not wanting to be tarnished. host: anthony in new jersey. here is a story on the front page of today's "washington post" sensing a voter shift. the story noting hillary clinton is running as the most liberal democratic presidential front-runner in decades.
if you want to read more on their story today, it is on the front page of the "washington post"." michael is up next in oregon. caller: good morning. i am a lonely democrat in southwest oregon down here. i have been a lifelong democrat, and so has my father. i watched this party erode from its principles. i can't -- i really like james webb. i like bernie sanders for bringing up issues. i don't think he can be elected. i am going to try to go with a democratic platform and have as
much impact as i can on that since i have moved oregon. i am not as involved in the caucus program like when i came from washington state. heather really has too much baggage -- hillary has too much baggage. i don't like that for what we have to do for the party. we have to build the middle class again. the issues hillary is going for is for grabbing the easy vote. the young people see this as a nonissue. they want to see america come back to the principles and rebuild the middle class were a working family can work maybe one parent and go on vacation. those they seven gone for 10 years. host: you don't think bernie sanders can win. besides hillary, who do you think can win? caller: i think james webb. if we can get some money behind him, james webb can do it. bernie sanders can bring the
issues to the forward part of the platform, i hope. james webb can win if he gets the right amount of money. host: why? via think he has more crossover appeal in a general election? caller: i think he does. i think with what he has done with veterans and his work in the government in the state he comes from, a tough state. he looks the camera right straight andin the eye. host: we are talking to democrats only in our last segment of the "washington journal"." getting your very early assessment of the democratic primary field. charlene is in lakewood, washington. caller: good morning. i just want to say i am going to vote for hillary. i think there is too much negative information on the news or media. i think the cockburn h brothers
are blocking her to the best of their ability. she has the resume, ability money behind her. you have to have the money. she has the name recognition. she has a resume that is outstanding. nobody can compare the resume with hers. if they will talk about her making $30 million between her and her husband this last year what about the look and? -- what about the republicans? when did romney mention how much money he made in bring his -- made and bring his tax papers forward. hillary is our next president. i am going to stay with her. i am on her team. i am an active democrat in this area. i am going to work my but off to get hillary elected. host: how do you think she has
responded to questions about the clinton foundation? caller: we are still a long way out. let her get her chips all in a row. let them do their dirty work. get all their dirty work out now and yap about how hillary is not the right person. she will get there and answer the questions. she is a darn smart lawyer and knows what she is doing. she will win this election. host: that is charlene in lakewood michigan. lucille is up next. good morning. you are on the "washington journal"." caller: hello? host: turn down your tv and go ahead with your comment or question. caller: ok. i don't think hillary is the only option. i think bernie sanders -- he has
a very good chance of winning the nomination and election. i think the media builds up hillary is the only option for the democrats. she is not the only option. you should come out into the country where all the people live and hear them discuss this upcoming election. i hope bernie sanders gets the nomination. i will certainly vote for him. i don't have anything against hillary, but i prefer bernie sanders. the ideal vice president would be elizabeth warren in my estimation. i think the media in general has a love-hate attitude to hillary. on the one hand, they say she is the only option.
on the other hand, they are constantly trying to tear her down. it is interesting to watch. host: if you want to watch hillary clinton today, we are covering one of her campaign events on c-span's road to the white house in mason city iowa. that is live at 3:45 p.m. you can check it out on c-span3 this afternoon. for our last 10 minutes or so, we want to hear from democrats only. is hillary clinton your only option in 2016. host: robert, good morning. caller: good morning. hillary rodham clinton used to represent walmart. she is the 1%, just like barack obama, george bush. i am voting bernie sanders. i don't agree with everything he says, but with regards to the working class, he is correct
about the tax evasion that has been going on for years and years by the big corporate entities. that includes clinton and romney and obama and bush. all these guys are tied to one another. i am voting bernie sanders. host: that is robert in arlington heights, illinois. should note a few other appearances of u.s. officials today including john kerry. he is in seoul south korea. "washington post" noting this. is visit comes in the wake of fresh provocations from north korea. the washington post story noting this.
"washington post" also with a story today on the number two at the justice department. sally yates was confirmed to be the deputy attorney general. the story noting one of the priorities will be to follow through with the criminal justice reform efforts that began by eric holder during his time including the push to give clemency to nonviolent drug offenders who meet certain criteria last year. this is her first interview since taking the job. it is in the "washington post" today. keith is in arlington, virginia. good morning. go ahead. caller: jim webb. he is the only guy that has a
character what we used to expect from presidents. he is the only candidate from either party that has been in combat as a soldier. we are in a perpetual state of war in this country and we need a president who know something about that, and not on a theoretical level. that's it. the clintons, hillary clinton will sell out anyone just like her husband did with nafta and all that stuff. you can't expect anything out of these people. host: if not jim webb, who is the bench of the democratic party? who are the up and comers you are looking to? caller: there's nobody. there is jim webb and then everybody else is a professional politician. since hillary is on the republican side, if jim webb does not run, it will be a terrible thing for the country because all you will get is
slob. doesn't matter what side it comes from. professional liars and lawyers and the whole nine yards. host: his or anybody outside of politics you think could step in and try to lead your party in the future? caller: that is a very good question. i am not aware of anybody outside of politics who could do that. i can't really answer that one. jim webb is essentially out of politics right now. other than him, i am not interested in 2016 at all. host: got time for just a few more calls this morning. don is in los angeles california. good morning. caller: i am voting for mr. saunders. i think he is the best candidate for 2016. i think hillary clinton is more of the same of what we have been seeing the last few decades.
some of your previous callers have already stated this. not much difference between the republicans and democrats. they get their money from the same people. hillary clinton is attached to wall street. i understand mr. sanders is the underdog but i am voting for him anyway. as an african american, i am an underdog to muscle why not. host: an earlier caller said that don't think bernie sanders has enough crossover appeal for a general election. how does he go about generating the appeal or would you want him to change? caller: i think if more people know what he stands for and his platform, i think he will appeal to a broader mass. it is true the media is already behind hillary clinton for the most part. she has the higher visibility. i think what he should go for is showing how his platform can appeal to the general masses as
a group. otherwise, the other people will continue to overshadow him. a person like myself who gets involved in studies this issues knows he has a platform but most people tend to go for what is most popular. what is most popular is not always what is best for the general public. host: let us go to suzanne in carlsbad california. caller: thank you. i was going to say i love the program. hillary is from a past decade. she is a person that has been there forever and ever. i am with webb. he is honest. he has military background. he is sharp. he i would say is above all of them for trustworthiness. he calls it the way it is. he is younger and strong. the media for some reason is in
love with hillary. at her age and what she has been through, i cannot imagine they are going to give us -- theit doesn't make sense to me. i feel like all democrats are robots marching on to the end. it has to be hillary or nobody. host: you talk about jim webb being a candidate you like. he is at 3% in the latest poll of likely iowa caucus-goers. does that matter to you at this point? caller: it doesn't matter because the people in iowa look at different things that people in california, chicago, new york. iowa does not represent the
entire u.s. host: she is our last caller in today's "washington journal" and you can catch is rebecca tomorrow morning at 7:00 a.m. eastern. we will now take you to the national press club where an event is just getting underway that will feature a former cia deputy director offering his assessment of the agency's counterterrorism successes and failures over the last 20 years. >> we all remember me 2, 2011, the day osama bin laden was killed in pakistan. what are some of the other cia's counterterrorism successes and failures over the last 20 years? my guest today mike morel is a good person to answer the question because he was probably involved with most if not all of them. mike morel is one of the country's most renown security professionals. he served as cia deputy director