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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  November 22, 2013 8:00pm-10:01pm EST

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base or talk about that in this forum. ..
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>> he was elected wisconsin's governor in 2010. in 2012, he was the first governor to keep the seat in a recount battle. he wrote about that in his new book. copies were at your seat. on to the mechanical details and we are on the record, no live bl blogging or tweeting while the breakfast is underway.
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finally, if you would like to ask a question, do the traditional thing and send me a settle non-threatening signal and i will do my best to call on who i can. the governor has a 10:15 appointment and will not be able to linger for the bloody mary portion. with that, thanks for coming. >> thanks for having me. i will leave most of the time to taking questions. but probably the simplest thing people ask is why did you write a book. it was simple for me. people in my state and around the country asked to learn more. they knew about the protests.
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they read about it. saw it in pictures and on television. most people i knew asked about the recall. not only mine, but the other recalls for the state senator's and lieutenant governor. and a lot of people said what was the full story and we write about it in the book, the what, why and most importantly the why. that is the focal point of this book. i point out before throughout the week, if people are looking for a typical political book where you learn about my life you will not learn that in this book. you will to go to by bio on the web. this book is about wisconsin and the only thing that strays is a
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little bit on the chapters of my prior county executive experience. and that put into context where the support came from. they came from my experience as a county executive and frustration because years ago, long before i was governor, when the democrats were in charge, they reduced local aid to government but didn't get local officials tools to deal with. we tried to make choices at the time and too avoid layoff and the public employee leader un n unions said no. it was a key part of why i made sure of that. and if changes were made they
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were done in a way they would give the tools they needed to affect the changes. our reforms would have saved more money than reduced. and more importantly, the reforms have worked. yesterday, we announced unemployment rate done to 6.5 percent. when i was running before, it was 9.2 percent. we finished off shy of $760 million surplus and there was a deficit coming in. we lowered tax and this is the third year in a row the property taxes have gone down, fully funded rainy day and pension fund. we have made investments in
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education, higher e er educatio a lot of other areas because we made decisions over the years. and the book tells the details of how, but it tells the people and experiences what i and my family went through and members of the legislator went through and many stories were not told. >> that was a great slogan and i want you to talk about how realistic it is. the employee pay was a big part of wisconsin's budget problem and making employees contribute more on health care and pension made a big impact. medicare, medicare, social
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security and americans want more benefits of all kinds and they are willing to pay for. you talk about big, bold positive solutions being the answer -- are there big bold positive experiences that come to your experience at the state level for the different probl problems? >> they are different at the federal, state and local but they have the same tenants. the things you value the most would have been cut just as much as the things that don't have a high value. what we did was initiate reform. those were a part of it. and the biggest in the state were most of the school districts had to buy from one company. by pulling back on collective gardening, school districts can bid on health insurance and
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districts are saving tens of millions. and other changes beyond the fiscal leave are happening. at the federal level, it was more than half of the budget; aid to local government. so anything we did to balance the budget, besides massive cuts, required reforms in those area and same thing at the national level. and those areas you have to in act reform and many of them don't happen to current beneficiaries. we made the changes to current ones and balancing the budget and you make a convincing argument there are schools and governments better today than they were in the past. >> your co-author said at aei your moderate in temper, but not
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in policy. and you write moving to the center, doesn't mean you have to move to the center. how do you think you will fair with right-to-life positions, which are a good deal more st n stringent then the 2/3rds that want to overturn roe versus wade. >> i am focusing on being governor and i have worked hard twice to be that and i will do it again next year. but if you look as a parallel and other governors and last year's election, there are 20 states with republican governors and many are in places like
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wisconsin, ohio, new mexico, they have republican governors but carried by obama. they have republican governors and probably more conservative than our party's nominee on all situations. as governor, we focus on what matters to the people: economic and financial issues. i am pro-life and i don't apologize for that but i don't focus on it or obsess. democrats seem to be obsessed with the issues because they realize voters in our states focus on economic and fiscal issues. the leadership they see is coming from the republican
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governors. much more so than opponents. >> mr. gilbergilbert? >> governors like to contract their ability to get things done with gridlock. but there vast majority of them, chris christie excepted, like to control the governor's mansion and i am wondering how that experience is transferrable to washington where we have to divide the governor and when the differences between the parties with acutely entranced. >> it is part of the reason why i am not talking about 2016 but focus on 2014. not because i am up for reelection, but we should not be
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overlooking it because what we learned and many other battleground states learned in the 2010 election, was if you want to get positive reform down, you need a team to help you do that. everything switched from democrat control to republican control in 2010. it is similar to neighboring states as well. for me, other governors and state leaders, that empowered us to go out and make bold reforms that would have been much more difficult if the changes were not fully intact. so that is why we need to focus on the 2014 election to help senate candidates win in the state and hold the majority in the house as well and make a convincing case to the american public that gives the party a chance to show we have been
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effective in w the states and chance to do it in washington. >> are you saying you think washingt washington? >> it has been done in other places with republican governors. chris christie is probably the best with the pension he made. who would have thought you would get significant pension reform? but that took the governors and working with a handful of democra democrats. but i do think it is preferable. the wisdom you all talked about for years is that americans want divided government. they have seen in the last few years that is not a good thing. instead of checks and balances what we have is a lot of
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gridlock. we made the case in wisconsin and said the people in our state, going into the 2010 election, overwhelming felt like we had an economic and fiscal crisis. i ran like we were conducting a job interview with the people of my state. i said here are the problems, and we all spoke about the same things and so much and so consistently if you had asked me at a forum what my mother's maiden name was i would probably say fitch. and once we got in, the week after the election, we got together in the capital with all of the new members and existing members of the legislator and i said it is put up or shut up talk. and the reason i said that was
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voters changed everything in terms of party control and state government in wisconsin that year. i said if we come back and we are a little bit different than the people who are in power before, if we are just a little less bad than we were before, we have every right to be thrown out two years from them. it is put up or show up time. we need to show we were elected for a purpose. and hthat is what we did. >> john? >> your party gained seats in the senate last november. this is not like governor lacy who was reelected in 1974 and had a robust agenda.
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why have you not considered extended the collective bargaining to police and firefighters? you ruled out at the last monitor breakfast the right to work as synder pursued in michigan. why have you not pursued the more aggressive agenda? >> i will tell you the trust his history on that. we have pushed an aggressive agenda. titlement reform has been pushed. unlike almost every state in america, if you are an abled body adult without children you cannot get food stamps unless your working or enrolled in a training program. every other state has a waver for that requirement. we want to make it easier it for
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people to get work not usiste t usistence. -- assistance -- and we expanded school choices across the state of wisconsin and broadened the opportunity for home schooling and charter schools. when you look at otherp republicans and we talk about what we have done and voter id and other issues we have done. most people know us because of the 100,000 protesters on that issue. but there are plenty of other reforms. we started the university of wisconsin flex option. the first public school in the
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country to do the books online for free and offer the app so people can use online, laboratory credit and other things to get credit for that. there is aggressive reform we have done, just not one of the ones you have mentioned. >> jane? >> there are three names on the republicans side that were listed for 2016 and you are all good friends. who do you think would make the best president? >> i was asked who i thought the ideal candidate was and not just from wisconsin and i said a current governor because i think governors have the executive experience, but importantly, i think there is a sense people want an outsider.
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i think paul ryan is the opposite of that. it is going to be hard not to be impressed with his tenacity for reform. i ad volunteer -- advocating for him to be on the ballot. governors make good candidates though. it is rare we elect a member of congress and there is a reason for that. my focus is on 2014 because of my election, but also because it
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doesn't matter as much in 2016, if there is not the likelihood the new president has a party in charge in both chambers to help him or her get the job done. >> why were republican governors in nearby states, i am thinking of rick synder in ohio, why were they wrong taking the money? >> i will tell you why i made the choice and not the alternative, but every state is different. we were presented the false choice of you take it and put your taxpayers at risk. and i was reminding reports last week why i thought that was a prudent decision and people said why don't you take the medicaid expansion and i said you want me to depend on the federal
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government that can't get a website up and going to depend on payments for the amount of money we will get. today my most recent budget, i had to put $600 million more in state medicare because the federal government backed away from previous commitments. i think the federal government isn't going to be able to fulfill the commitment. and i think it will slip away in the future. but we looked at other states that said no and missed out to help the people. in our state, we didn't take the false choice. we picked a third option and because of the supreme court decision i was able to use that so we transition every above
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poverty and transitioned into the market place and that will include the federal exchanges. everyone living in poverty, for the first time in the state's history is covered. he raised the eligibility to 200 percent in that category, but didn't put enough money in so it was capped. so people have been living in poverty on a waiting list for medica medicaid. i eliminated that and everyone living below is covered. i will have 224,000 people insured, reduction in medicaid, and have everyone covered and i have not exposed people to cost >> you think the governor made a mistake? >> every state is different.
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i could actually insure there were fewer people uninshurninsu more people having access. for of the information about expanding medicare, i don't know why that is a good thing. 10 percent were on the program when my son was born and today it is 20 percent. i don't think having more people on medicare is the measure of success. i think a better alternative is say how many people do we help no longer be dependent on the government. we need to have systems in place that help lift people out of poverty. >> we will going to neal next. susan page has declined >> reading through your record, you said the immigration policy
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problems could be fixed if we had successful immigration. and every democratic senator is voting for legal systems that will bring one immigrant for every teenager in the country. is -- would you describe that level? >> what i think, and i don't get caught up in bills and legislation being proposed, but i was elected to governor the state. if you want to come into america today, legally it is very difficult from my point of view to do so on a timely basis. we have people from mexico, germany and if we have people that want to come, work hard and live the american dream, we should be embracing them just
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like people embraced by ances r ancestors from germany and every one of them followed a legal path and we should find a way to make that easier and timely to do. access isn't the biggest problem. it is the time it takes to come into the country. i would open to door making sure people can come in legally. people that want to live the american dream is what the country is based on. we are a nation of immigrants and a nation of laws. so often in the city, people look at the symptoms and not the larger problem. the symptom is the issue with whatever the number is of people in the country without legal status. but there is not an effective
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way at the front door to make a possible for people that want to come into america to live the american dream. >> governor, what is your position on same-sex marriage? has your few on that issue or others involving gay and lesbians changed? and is this an issue on which the republicans should take a stand for traditional marriage and against same-sex marriage? >> it was resolved in our state in 2006. i spoupport and voted for it th defines marriage between one man and woman. in the 2010 question, i said governor doesn't have a direct say on it. for that to change, it would take two consecutive legislation
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meetings and involve the people. we have also have non-discrimination laws in place that work effectively. >> your views on the issue haven haven't transitioned? and should this be an issue that helps define the republican party? >> i think much of this talk and discussion last presidential election was because there was a larger void on fiscal and economic issues. if you don't have a plan about improving the economy and people's life and don't have a clear plan to the american people about what you will do to balance the budget and take care of the debt and do so in a way that is responsible to our grandchildren then this raises
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to higher levels. i think it is resolved in my state largely and i don't spend my time focused on it. that is not what people elected me to talk about or focus on. >> thank you for being here, governor. when you said the divided government was the conventional visdom -- wisdom -- and now it is causing gridlock. i am curious your thoughts on the fillbuster? >> it is interesting when there is big debates like this and videos of opposing party members coming out from the past and make for interesting discussions out there. i think in general that execu
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executi executives, be it a governor, or president, if he or she wants to put people in to run portions of the administration, deference should be given if people are ethical to the chief executive in terms of the appoints they make to executive positions. i understand there is a larger concern about judicial appointments. and their concerns with this president or president bush depending on the party. that does warrant a larger level of scrutiny because at the federal bench you are talking about lifetime opponents and that goes beyond the election cycle or given term. so it makes sense to have a higher standard and not blow it up as frustrating as it is.
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i think that is where the difference is in terms of deference. >> carl? >> governor, thanks for joining us. wisconsin is one of many states with the voter id law. how many fraud did you have? >> i can give you a stories in the past. >> is there a substantial amount? >> well one is too many. if my vote is compromised it is as a concern >> i ask because there are efforts of numbers to try to find voter fraud and they are very few. >> there was a talk about there was few, if any, over time we have seen the district attorney, a democrat, prosecute along with
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state prosecution others. you are not talking about tens of thousands, but it a significant amount of them that were done by democrats. but to me, the law i signed into affect provides state issued id card to anyone that requests it. >> what do you make of the argument that the democrats are saying voter id laws are design today make it hard for elderly, and minorities who don't have a drivers license or id. >> i think that is insulting to
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the people you are saying; that they don't have access to the things essential to survive. >> going back to the the talk here, how would you deal with governing? >> i think you have to fix the front door. i don't is have a plan. i don't what the magic number here is, but if people are here illegal how many do we know are here? i don't know what the magic number is. but i know the plans being d
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discu discussed in washington are not dealing with legal immigration not working in the country. >> it is common for people in your position, running for office, to talk about political polarization as a bad thing and everyone to get along and lower the temperature. but the experience in wisconsin has been record voter turnout on both sides. so i wonder having gone through this experience, is polarization is a good or bad think? >> i think getting people focused -- for a second to answer your premise, although what you said is accurate in part. what we did, or i would argue we did, is we pushed aggressive reforms by taking on the status quo. and i hear time and time again
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from voters before i was elected from across the spectrum who said i am sick and tired of politicians who say one thing when they get elected and back down once they are in the office. set aside the issue, don't insert collective bargaining. when you talk to voters across our state, voters say they want people who are going to stand up and have the courage and not wilt under political pressure and do what they said they would do and make those commitments. so, to me, i think the polarization came in large part and not because of what did in reaction -- particularly when
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the national unions came in. i saw a story about a teacher in wisconsin and i would go read to the kids and meet with the teachers and the second or third was was why do you hate teachers so much? and i said with all due respect, ma'am, if you go to youtube and type in my name, everything i do is on there. there is someone out video taping whatever i am doing or saying. you would be hard pressed to find any video tape of nowhere you can find me saying anything but praise for the students. you don't have to agree with me, but the people making you feel like you are under attack are not me or lawmakers. it is your union leaders because
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they need to mobilize you to get politically involved. it is why in the end, the most surprising thing people find in the book, one of the exit poles so that 1-6 voters in my state who were voting for me were intended to vote for obamacare. 1-10 voters in my state shows up on the list for me in support and also for obama. polytiyti polytically -- politically -- that doesn't make sense.
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but they felt we were a four-some. they said, both of our peters opponents, didn't feel the void to tell people what they would do. my opponent was i am not scott walker, i hate scott walker. and the republicans nominees were similar, i am not obama and we should all dislike him. on the center, they wanted candidates to wanted to lead. >> will? >> thanks for being here. you and other governors have talked about the lawmakers on both sides. jindel said they should be make the party more. and you said the next president needs to make a stamp on washington and what is your advice to republicans in congress or republicans running
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for congress? what should they be doing to improve the brand and take over the senate? >> clearly going out as they are running next year for the senate particularly. they need to be focused on the key issues. we still have in large part, if not a crisis, some very serious economic concerns. not just for an economy as a whole but there are too many people and some are recovering in america, but there are still too many not coming through.
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if you are living in poverty, we have speeches saying they want to lead you out. we want everyone to have a recovery and not leave anything behind. that is what the republicans need to embrace across the board and in the senate elections. so we cannot be viewed as the party of no. in the states we are successful, that is what is happening. we are optimistic and speaking in relevant terms. at the national level, budget and obamacare, if we go to the american people and i say we in the larger sense, if republicans go to voters in their district and say here is the plan and alternative that is market driven and lower the cost of business and make our lives better. they go to the american people and say this is what we need to do to stimulate the economy. those are compelling issues out
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there. and the feeling in america, at least i hear it from people talking about washington, is not just focused on republicans, but everybody here. they think people in washington fight for the sake of fight. voters don't mind fighters as long they are fighting for them. >> is there anything to look forward that would be implamatic of what you are talking? >> there are bits and pieces. i would like to see a more aggressive focus on a
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market-dri market-driven alternative to americans. americans are frustrated with the website and the program itself. the keiser foundation talked about the coverage gap. interesting enough, it mentioned in the report that i am the only state that doesn't have a coverage gap. and we have a competitive market in the state and that is the overwhelming majority. 90 percent are covered. and we have an aggressive program to help people living in poverty without access. the cost is our biggest challenge. the cost to small business owners and setups and starting up with 5-10 employees and get eaten alive because they don't have the base to get affordable health care. obamacare doesn't do a thing for
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that. if you are buying off the single market is making it more difficult. so those are the sorts of things that need to be talked about. >> governor, this came up briefly earlier, but i would like to take another chance at it. why is right to work a bad idea
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for the whole state? you have essentially the right to work for the public sector, why not the private? >> it isn't. i supported it in legislator. i just said in the past that there was so much attention and focus that my employers said things need to cool down in the state and get focufocused in th state. they appreciated that from the larger context but they said they need to get back on track. people like what happened. but there were people that were frozen and wanted a sense of stability knowing what was coming next. beyond that and for us in our state, a small percentage of private sector union based to begin with, the vast majority are covered because in our state, the 300,000 public s servants have the right to chose. >> it seems like during the last presidential election there was a lack of focus on the fiscal issues and maybe the democrats brought in other issues. but in the primary process there is a focus on social issues. is that in your view a distraction that carries over into the general election? or from keeping the party
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selling their message on fiscal issues? >> i think it is a by-product of the way the system has been in the past. one of the best things is the rnc is focused on changing the process. and not solely directed at the issues, button gin r-- but in general -- they are talked about may moving the convention to june, and shorter debates and more focus on the caucus. those were things we highlighted would be useful. when you have 23 debates that is unmanageable. and what happens is, and you know this, not social issues, but on any issue because the candidates running then, and any
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in the future, are similar on economic and fiscal issues. what happens is you start trying to find very narrow issues that define minute difference and those take a larger part of the debate. so it isn't to say they should be pushed out, but have a higher level of prominence because that is a handful of issues that are different. i think it makes sense to have the bread and butter of what the party is about. and i think that process question is one that probably out of all of the things the rnc is talking about doing is most significant. >> governor, social issue question here as well. when you were saying it isn't relevant as people think it is
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on the subject of same-sex marriage. do you include abortion as one of those that is not as high profile as it seems to be in the debate? do you think that some of the most conservative lawmakers need to be moderating their views in order to win national or state-wide elections? and what do you think about the fact that a third or so abortion clinics in texas are now closed until january? >> on the texas i cannot comment because i am not familiar with on the details of that. but the larger issue on social issues, no, i am not saying moderate your positions. i talk at the end of the book about how i think persuadable
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voters in the swing states decide the elections. what i found in my state, and the data i referenced, our people that voted for me and obama are not people that need a litmus test on every issue to be aligned with them. they want people that are leading, bold idea and aggressive in putting them out. so i think it is mistake on principle issues for any candidate, left or right, to come out and say to win an election i need to change my fundamental core principles. i think voters want to respect -- they don't want a perfect replica of someone on
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all of their issues. they want to know that person respects them and has a willing to stick to their principles. and i am pro-life, but if someone isn't, i have found people not having an issue voting for me even though they don't share my views, but the things i focus on are economics and financial things. if i was hiring someone to be the chief executive of a company i had. and i said here are the two things i want them to focus on: development and sales because they are good at that. it would not bother me, well it would, but i would get over it,
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if they were a bears fan. i could live with that. >> does that mean that voters who have a different opinion than you on things like gay marriage/abortion don't need to worry that you are going to do anything to change laws in that area because you are more interested -- >> i think they can ask me about those. but much of the debate and the questions asked earlier, much of the debate, those candidates have little to do with. i got asked about same-sex marriage. i said it is in the constitution and i don't have anything to do with it. i am not hiding an >> it is
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a mess. that is why i called the special session to delay it. it would have been great to say i told you so. but instead i will not let the people in my state who are depending on the state working fall through the cracks because of the failures of the federal government. that is what is at stake. this isn't a new consent -- concept -- we said in february, what we were doing and why. i said it is the law, i might not like it, but it is the law and i will not ignore it. but we said after reducing the
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budget all the way through the time it passed was that if thex changes were deferred we wrote we will be post poponed equival with the delay. we found after weeks and weeks of hhs on a weekly, and sometimes daily bases, telling my office thatthi -- that things -- were working. and threw our hands up and said it isn't going to work to make the transition by the end of the year. i called a special session and we will defer it for three
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months. and we will reinstate a successful program we had before called hurts, which is a high risk insurance pool and people can pay a high amount and get access to health insurance in the state. all of the things we did got pushed out because of the federal mandate. but we had we will extend that for three months and asked to give us a change, but they have been reluctant to do, and that is in many counties in the state we actually have more qualified health plans available outside of the exchange than we do in the exchange. and we asked them that if someone qualifies it will free
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up the volume through the exchange. it is the law, gives us the option of doing that, but we have said since day one, the difference was we assumed if there was a delay, it would be intenti intentional where congress would say it is not there yet and pushing it back. so we have to change it because it is practically not working. >> i want to ask a question about your policy and hot button topics going on. and you have the iran nuclear negotiati negotiations and the agreements in afghanistan. looking ahead to 2016, what are the foreign policy experiences that you bring to the ticket and
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what is your larger critique of obama's way of handling it. >> i was going to tokyo and stopped to talk with george shultz and that is interesting to talk to him in general. we talked about an hour & half. it was at the time the debate with syria and i asked him it. if you know he was a marine in world war ii and he went through boot camp before going into the war. his sergeant told him this is your firearm. it is your best freiend and you
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will live and sleep it. but don't point it at anyone you are not prepared to shoot is the most important thing i can tell you. you might say this is an world war ii vet telling stories. but per my assessment, one of the biggest frustrations i have as an american with what is going on in foreign policy is you have a president who spent too much time listening to a political team and not a policy team and pushing things that might not have full set of reality in terms of policy implications but might sound nice at the time. and i think that is dangerous whether you are a democrat or republican. i am not ad voluntevocating abo
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read line. but when you say something it has to mean something to your allies. i mentioned something in by book about the monday before the budget reforms, i invited the cabinet over in madison and maple bluff and it was a brave heart moment. i talked about how regan took on the air traffic controls. and initially people thought we would take on union issues here. but it wasn't about that. i pointed out that in my humble opinion when regan took on the air traffic controllers it had a
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profound impact. at that point, that sent a message around the world that this was a serious president. this was a president who wasn't going to say something and do something different. and i think in many ways where you can trace part of the end of the cold war back to that element of early on. ...
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>> to cut things. one, without being insulting but you make my point about how the media seems to be more possessed with social issues than do average voters but with that aside, in terms of the president i don't know. i haven't spent a lot of time focusing on that. the things we try to do in terms of marriage in general to support not just marriage but families is to look at ways you can help lift people out of poverty, look at ways you can make it easier to get work or ways that you can help with early development particularly when it comes to reading. those are the sorts of things we think help strengthen families and strong families make strong marriages. the same thing in the gain in terms of reducing the number of origins -- abortions the whole spectrum
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everything from safe havens to prenatal assistance to making it easy for adoptions and a whole spectrum of things as well. at the national and federal level that is not something i focus on. >> unfortunately we are out of time and we hope you come back soon. >> thank you. >> safe travels. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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>> first of all increasingly men are tied up and away with work in ways we might might find disturbing in a natural and when i look at someone like mrsa mayor who was chosen to be the ceo of yahoo! when she was visibly pregnant and was asked how much maternity leave do you want to take and she said basically none, the fact that such women exist is not the way i would do it. i took plenty of maternity leave but i feel like that is a growing -- that is the kind of woman that there can be space for and the fact that there are some stay at home dads who are happy dads and do not all entirely live in portland oregon, that's okay too.
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>> earlier today state department spokesperson jen psaki told reporters north korea confirmed through swedish officials that it detained a u.s. citizen. this follows reports that an 85-year-old man named meryl newman a korean war veteran from california was taken into custody by north korean officials as he was about to leave the country. here is more about that now. >> just a quick question, is there any indication and i know you can't say that much but is there any indication that the identity of mr. newman, that there might be another mr. newman? c. i don't have any speculation on that. we have all seen comments of his family members. i do have a couple of updates. i still can't say very much given the privacy act we were issued so i don't have an update
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on the specific reports of the recent u.s. citizen but for everyone's knowledge without a waiver of a u.s. privacy we cannot comment or confirm details of specific cases involving u.s. citizens. that is the policy. i can confirm that our swedish protecting power has been informed by north korea of the detention of a u.s. citizen. we are working in close coordination with representatives of the embassy of sweden to resolve this issue and they also have requested actually on a daily basis access. >> is there any concern about this particular citizens health issues given the many reports about his advanced age for example? >> well given i can't confirm the identity of a detained individual is hard for me to speculate on other specific details. >> would that go to the swedish
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embassy's request for daily visits? >> it's not daily visits. they have requested on a daily basis and obviously they have not granted that access. >> and as ambassador chang have anything scheduled with north korea? >> he is in washington and i can confirm he is physically at his desk that i know he's in the building. >> they invited him again because they canceled the previous meeting? >> i'm not aware of any other invitation and i don't have any other updates on its plans. >> thank you. >> has the swedish embassy given any reasonable reason why they haven't granted access? >> i don't have the level of detail. not that i'm aware of but i'm happy to check if there are more specifics. >> can you tell us when the swedes were given that
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information by north korea? >> i don't have the specific data but i'm happy to check that information and we can provide. >> is there any reason -- they haven't told the swedes anything? >> i think i was what was asked by joe. i don't have an update with that and i will check and we can provide on that front. >> can you tell us about when the citizen was taken into north korean custody? >> i know there have been laws of reports on that. i don't have specific details and that isn't something we would be able to share publicly anyway. next a look at u.s. fiscal policy and the financial system. we will hear from financial experts who examined u.s. financial system five years after the market crash of 2008 and how middle-class america is doing.
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this was held by the "national journal" and the atlantic. it's two and a half hours. >> good morning and welcome. my name is elizabeth baker and i'm vice president of the atlantic and have a to welcome you this morning to the session on fiscal future on behalf of the atlantic and "national journal" and my colleague ron brownstein who is the editorial director and also on behalf of the allstate corp. which is our partner for the series the heartland monitor poll and in particular thinks tucson jacob to who is vice president of marketing and corporate relations for allstate. atlantic media and allstate have had a terrific partnership dating back to april 2009 looking at what's been happening with the middle-class in these months and years since the economic downturn in 2008. the middle-class is obviously central to the customer base at
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allstate and allstate has been an inspiration and trying to understand how the middle-class is faring through a series of quarterly polls that we call the allstate "national journal" homeland monitor polls. what you will hear this morning is the result of the 19th of those polls. interesting that it comes just about five years after the financial downturn so in this particular poll what we are looking at his holistic layout the middle-class is feeling about the economy, how they're feeling about how they are faring and how they are feeling about the future as well. also interesting that today's presentation comes on the day after we have set a new record in the stock arctic, the 40th record here today, the dow cresting at 16,000. the dow up 22% this year and the nasdaq up 31% cite couple of interesting that drops for this conversation about how the middle-class is faring. in addition to you all here we have livestream viewers watching along with us so welcome to
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those audiences and welcome to the c-span audience as well. we are delighted to have you with us. we encourage everyone in the audience and at home and in their offices to tweet and join the conversation in that way and you will see some of the tweets tweets happening on the screen here using hashtag h. anna: p fiscal future and you can follow us at atlantic underscore life at mj life events. we will have time for q&a throughout the morning and we will welcome your questions and we would ask if you don't mind to please silence or cell phones. i would now like to introduce sanjay gupta vice president of corporate relations for allstate. sanjay is a marketed executive with years of experience in joint allied financial where he helped to lead the global branding efforts and was behind a plot of the rapid growth of consumer deposit is missed. prior to allied he was a senior vice president of global consumer and small business ranking of bank of america where
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he spent seven years and was in key marketing roles at federal express. again many thanks to allstate and now welcomes sanjay gupta for his opening remarks. [applause] >> good morning everyone and thank you elizabeth. thank you for joining us today right before the holiday week coming upon us. elizabeth has been a wonderful partner for hours and it's been something we have been doing for many years as elizabeth said and in fact this is our 19th -- and much like when we turn 19 there are things to be concerned about and things to look forward to. there can be no question that today's poll reinforces what we have seen in our previous heartland summaries that are we seem to be headed in the wrong direction with the president and congress falling to new lows in public ratings. most of our poll results point
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to the growing sense of mistrust and lack of optimism regarding the economy. 88% of americans say the economy is not fair or -- despite the booming stock market as referred to in the recovery and housing prices over half the people still believe we are in a recession. and what is worse is nearly half also believe the actions taken by the white house will decrease opportunity for them moving forward. when it comes to their own personal finances and responsibilities, it's surprisingly far more positive the point i will return to shortly. so we expect the pessimism has been fueled in no small part by the current political stalemate especially the inability to show direction on the federal budget. and in the wake of the federal
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shutdown nearly three in four americans are not in the least confident that congress and the president can reach an agreement on the budget by january. so taken together we have not seen such dark clouds on the economy since we began polling on these issues back in the depths of the recession. in fact all they matter and dictators such as syndicated underscore americans don't trust their leaders and the issues they care most of our bike having access to jobs and education for their children and a chance for secure retirement are seemingly -- in fact you can say the only part of government that is listening to the people is the nsa. [laughter] one could say that this overwhelming lack of confidence is having a direct impact and
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itself becoming a tremendous drag on economic recovery. while our polls clearly indicate the people are dispirited and some are still hurting if you turn to a micro level of analysis specifically on how we deal with finances we get positive numbers. according to a recent survey most americans feel self-assured in their ability to successfully make their way through these uncertain economic times. they believe they have the necessary knowledge to make the right financial decisions and are realistic in what they can afford and hope to save. and at meeting their financial obligatioobligatio ns. let's take a look at some of these numbers. 80% of americans are considering all aspects of their lives from personal finance to family life to their health things are going up surprisingly and a solid majority surveyed believe it's realistic for them to pay their day-to-day bills make their monthly mortgage payments and
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pay off their debt. moreover when it comes to the american core values of fiscal responsibility and initiative they remain markedly resilient. 84% of americans definiteldefinitel y have a financial plan to manage their personal finances even if things aren't gore and according to their plan. half rely on personal retirement savings rather than on government programs and in more than one in three preferred to handle their own finances. an astonishing 87% americans feel confident they understand the information they need to make the right financial decisions. despite that i find it remarkable that the american people are so resilient and quite frankly it is this american tradition of individual responsibility, more specifically the ability to control one's financial decision
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and destiny that makes this country unique. and the foundation of the culture and political and financial system. the corp. valley could ultimately be in jeopardy. just imagine if suddenly it had less partisanship, more compromised and policies to generate sustainable growth. the poll numbers on trust and economy would rise dramatically. and shadow those clouds of pessimism so why are we deeply troubled by today's findings they do provide a basis for encouragement. the american people want to put aside their interest in were towards the collective good of the country. that confidence that this is still possible. this offers us hope and a sense
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of optimism that things can change for the better. thank you again for joining us this morning and i look forward to hearing from our keynote speaker and the panel and alternate back to elizabeth. thank you. [applause] >> thank you so much sanjay and thanks to allstate for this terrific partnership. we are going to kick off this morning with the headline interview between ron brownstein and sheila bair the former chairman of the federal federal deposit insurance corp.. ms. sheila bair surf from june 2006 through june 20111 f. we would agree the most tumultuous periods in the history of the nation's banking system. she was working to bolster public confidence in the financial system and bring more stability to it. prior to joining the fdic to us at dean's professor of financial rate it a policy for the isenberg school of management at the university of massachusetts amherst and she has received
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numerous awards including the john f. kennedy profiles in courage award. she has twice been named as the second most powerful woman in the world why "forbes" magazine and she was named by harvard university and "washington post" magazine as one of seven america's top leader so we will hear from sheila bair and she will be interviewed by my colleague ron brownstein. ron has had two stints with "national journal" and atlantic media. in between he was the national affairs columnist and political correspondent for "the los angeles times" and while there was twice a finalist for the pulitzer prize for his coverage of presidential elections. he is the steady hand behind the editorial coverage across the company and writes often for "national journal" and the atlantic is a weekly column in "national journal" and is covered lots of beads for us in washington as correspondent and west coast correspondent for sometime as well. welcome to the stage ron brownstein and sheila bair.
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thank you. [applause] >> thank you elizabeth and thank you sheila bair for joining us. somehow it seems appropriate after your tenure in washington to be on the -- adventures coming out. not to steal ed reilly thunder but the big story in this poll is if you look at roughly the top third of the socioeconomic ladder people at the college degree people and families above the median income and with a full-time worker they are feeling pretty good about the financial system. they are feeling it is a reliable pathway toward getting to where they want to go in their life. they are investing again and participating in 401(k) is in the market. below below that there are still enormous skepticism that comes through in the poll with people
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without college degrees about the financial system and reluctance to be participating in it. i guess i'm wondering when you look at these perspectives which would point at them as right or maybe are they both write in different ways? >> i think they are both right in different ways. they invest in the stock market so they are enjoying the lofty valuations we are seeing right now. some people have lost their jobs or suffered pay cut tax so the recovery has been driven happily by inflation so stock and bond valuations have gone up in upper income people seem to own those assets classes and lower income people do not. then you have seen low-wage growth decline for the bottom two years so we talk about this inflation rate. if you're wages are dropping even 1.5% inflation can be somewhat problematic. i think they're both right in
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their perspectives and so testament to the uneven nature of this economic recovery. >> what is the most important thing we can do for public policy that we are not doing to widen the circle of people who are achieving some level of financial stability? >> i think we need to focus on jobs. we need to focus on making our economy more competitive in this global economy. i've advocated for universal tax reform and we have huge inefficiencies in our tax code that have skewed allocations so it creates a lot of frictions. infrastructure spending. there are ways we can compete in this country through lower energy costs and better infrastructure better trade workforce political certainty and those are traditionally the strengths that is strengthen the economy economy that we are not focusing on them for not focusing on producing things. business services that other
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people want to buy. we are trying to go back to the broken model we used a cheap credit fueling growth and it's not sustainable. >> you have raised the question and raised concerns about whether in fact monetary policy is discouraged people. >> it think it is. our gut tells us there are distortions in the market and i think that's true at the household level and it's very concerning with my own personal finances. if you're a corporate ceo looking at here share price is saying this is nice but how much of that is me and the real value of my company and how much of that is the fed? it makes you conservative so you don't want to make those long-term investments. you want to sit on your piles of cash and that's what people are doing. >> as you look in the polls he feel the uncertainty about what people to the extent they have money, what did they do with that? one of the things that is striking, one of the sharpest
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discrepancies in the poll is those without college degrees below the income very leery of the stock work it. which has as you pointed out come back where we are at 16,000. should we be encouraging your tax policy or otherwise? do we want a wider circle of people investing in the market? >> i think traditionally younger people with a very long investment horizon can take the ups and downs of the stock market. yeah i still think if you are in long-term horizon that then make sense to do but getting in now, it will go down and come back up hopefully but i do think there are a couple of problems. a lot of people make enough money -- unlike a bank account where you put small amounts in to be
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sufficient for a park ridge account you need a minimum, that money that a lot of people just don't have. also the lack of understanding as well as some of the well-publicized aberrations in stock market pricing are problematic. we have a lot of market fragmentation in the stock market right now so you see technical glitches in a short-term death spiral and people say that in the paper and say why would i want to put my money in that? broad index funds and well-established fund companies long-term investment still makes sense but i understand why people are worried. they're still huge hangover from the crisis and much of it is best -- justified. >> another experiment in social policy ran over 20 years over the clinton and bush of
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frustration was a concentrated effort and systemic effort to encourage more people to own their own homes and in fact we did have a big increase from 64% of the population owning their homes up to a high of 69% in 2005 and now does come back substantially since the crash and fallen faster and further among african-americans and hispanics than among whites and a larger decline of wealth to where the gallup -- wealth gap at q., it is the widest it's ever been since we began keeping stats. given where we are now do we want to encourage people to go back up and do we want to get homeownership? should policy be encouraging encouraging in the end more families particularly at or below the median income to buy their own homes and do we want to get that number back up? >> the first i would make is supporting mortgage finance with
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confused -- confusing homeownership. we did get homeownership up by a significant percentage but let's face it the vast majority of refinancing were not purchased mortgages and they were constructed to generate financing with a high introductory rates of 9% or higher jumping up to 13 or 14% after couple of years. so people get a little cash out and that is consumer spending and it contributed to our economy but again was not a sustainable model. the traditional model of owning a home making payments and letting that equity wealth, yes i think that is still a smart thing to do for people who are ready for home who understand what it means to make their regular mortgage payment and to be responsible for your own repairs and the insurance and all of that. when they're they are ready for it, yes that all income levels that's a good way to accumulate
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wealth but there's a difference between federal grants and subsidized mortgage finance and those that subsidize homeownership and wealth accumulation and i hope we will not make that same mistake again. >> just to be clear to you or do you do not see the effort to decrease homeownership? did that contribute to the crisis? >> so, no. well, it was a rationalization for the crisis. a lot of mortgage retainers and securitizers and a lot of gses were making a lot of money off of it and rationalizing this is word people get mortgages. a lot of african-americans and latinos who lost their homes did not become new homeowners. they probably had fixed rate mortgage through fha that got refinanced out in sub-prime loans are some of them actually own their homes and were pushed to get cash and take up his mortgage.
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i don't want to go back to that. i want to repeat my earlier point homeownership doing if you're fha and low down payment is fine as long as there's counseling and you have past histories of making utility payments that can show you the people are ready for the next step. you don't do them any favors by giving them a mortgage and home that they don't understand that they can afford and they will eventually lose the house with a lot of heartache for them and their families. it's not the best way to go-go. >> youness theme of the great divide one of the biggest diversions is in the poll was attitudes toward credit. basically using credit is a positive force in her life allowing them to in effect are all from their future. below that still enormous doubt about the entire system is dead and whether it leads them to create a risk an opportunity in their lives.
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.. >> there was a $2 charge, and so, okay, that would have been fine except the next bill came,
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and it was a $10 late fee on the $2 charge. i ignored it, called customer service, correct it, let it go, and it -- later, my husband and i were applying for a construction loan for property we just bought, they pulled my credit report, which i don't check, and they whackedded be by a hundred points for this. that was amazing to me. it has taken forever to get it fixed. computers blindly, no human interaction, no common sense of people looking at things anymore. of course, you have to deal with the credit card issuing company, the retailers, the credit reporting agency, all moving pieces to get everything fixed on, so i thought it was an important lesson, one, you can't ignore the stuff, and even if it is silly, you deal with the system because it exists. for me, on that, but i think,
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two, you know, this lack of -- this automation which is not just a financial services, but, particularly, for large financial institutions -- >> ladies and gentlemen, direct your attention to the main atrium for our main performance for the black watch that playeded at the white house. [laughter] >> talking about automation -- [laughter] >> so, yeah, nay are everywhere. you know, i think, look, you know, bags, especially large bags, there's too many large algorithms, i'm not your customer. it's annoying. >> what kind of grade do you give to the consumer finance protection? >> i give them a good grade. >> you do? >> i do. they have a mortgage lending standards out, struck the right balance, there's pressure on them, i hope they hold their ground, and starting to examine nonbank credit providers and low income people typically using
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nonbank providers, and some of them do good things and others are quite high cost, and borderline abusive credit products, so i think there was not a lot of regulation of the nonbank space and mortgage originators in particular. most of the mortgage brokers originated sub prime at least were not banks affiliated, but they sold the banks, so we needed more -- we needed more lending standards, supervision of the nonbank providers, and that's a healthy thing, and i wish banks would stop beating up on them because i think over time this is having a level playing field on consumer protection. >> more broadly, dodd-frank, what are you most on the mystic about the way it is implemented, and what are your concerns? >> yeah, i think gary ginsler did a good job getting the final rules on derivatives, and so that's good. my own agency did a great job with implementing the lion share of what we had to do, the title
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2 mechanism for large systemic institutions. large progress on that. we saw last week eliminating the holding company, they used to give large financial institutions saying, we think it's less likely they get financial support going forward. the consumer bureau, i think, has done a great job so i think those are the highlights. the fed's done a good job with the stress test, but the fed, really pretty much, none of the big rules they deal with the systems stability, you know, enhanced financial standards for large institutions, what they call the surcharge on capital, liquidity rules, a work in process, they need finalized. i hope that that space in particular we have more priorization of getting the rules finalized. the rule drags on this long. >> what's the feeling on the filibuster? inevitable, the chair of the fed, good thing? >> yeah, i mean, i supported her. i don't agree with her on monetary policy, but you don't
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need to agree with somebody on everything to support them. she's an intelligent, highly qualified -- i think she's open minded, listens to people, i hope she continues to listen, listen to the response they get in the surveys, drill, push this, is it helping main street, and i think it is. again, it's creating risks and distortions that could come back to bite them. >> you know, another red flag, not the first to show this, but it is just a reminder how thin a slice of the country is participating in really saving for retirement at this point as we move from define benefit and contribution, only 37% of people said they had an employer sponsored 401(k), half, almost half are behind where that he should be for retiermt, and half is overall, you look at the lower two-thirds of the ladder. on the other hand, you know, we have this long term pressure in the federal budget, not only the deficit, but the fact that more of the expenditure's shifting
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towards entitlement programs for the elderly, and it's tough to find money for investing in kids. something's got to give here. >> for sure. >> how do we, at the same time we have a public strain on our ability to fund retirement and see numbers that look like a train wreck coming down the road in terms of individual's ability to save op their own, how do we square that circle? >> well, you have -- how much time do we have? look, i think we need entitlement reform. i do. i think you do it now. it's going to be a while before the social security trust funds exhaust their reserves and so do it now. savings over time and pain is less than when it actually happens. you can do that with revenue increases, you know, slowing the growth of the future benefit increases, do it, you know, that's what we did in 1983 faced with problems with social security, but we need to deal with it now, i think, because if
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you wait until then, the solutions are limited, and that's harsher. for younger people, yes, that's the other reason, you know, i worry about what are my kids paying for this if we don't dial it back? we are not investing enough long term in their futures, and we have this horrible problem of short termism where we only want to deal with problems that are right in our face, and we don't get smart and deploy our federal dollars in a way that makes long term strategic sense. again, reform the tax code, rid the special benefits. >> one is a way investment income is treated; right? >> absolutely. personal and corporate, but for personal, get rid of pref renne issue treatment of capital gains. no reason why anyone earned the labor, earned money in labor rather than investing money, why pay higher taxes? that makes no sense to me at all. yeah, the pain of that, if you can broaden the base, rid the loopholes and exceptions, get
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the top rate down. the hit on that is less severe, or if you are worried about the middle income folks to have some, you know, everybody gets $5,000 of capital gains tax free or something like that. you could do some kind of an adjustment like that, but overall, the hedge fund guys, say, okay, tax rate that's half of what you and i pay, i think that's ridiculous. >> a last question. you know, among the many provocative ideas that you put out over the last several years, one was that regulators should face a lifetime band on returning to the -- to the companies they regulate. >> yes. >> i want you to talk about that, but i want your thoughts given that on the former treasury secretary and at a private equity firm, tim geithner. >> well, look, especially with examiners, you have to have some very, very tough post-employment restrictions, and even on the rule-writing process now, you
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know, i think everybody trying to do is good job. that's -- i don't think people write rules, examine banks with the idea i'm getting a job, and the people impact the by actions later on, but it does, it starts -- you start looking at entities, the way that you -- you regulate, you see the world as they see the world, and it skews your judgment, and longer term, your career path is to get back into the industry, do you want to make waves and controversy, get a rep constitution as a troublemaker? i'm sorry, but even the best people affects their decision making so at least for institutions regulated, no, don't go back to work for them. i would especially for examers like to see it like the foreign service, a lifetime commitment, lifetime calling. pay them more, train them better, give them international -- it's huge to have more give and take between u.s. and non-u.s. regulators. there's a lot of mistrust and misunderstanding of each other, a problem in the crisis, and with tim, you know, i wish him
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well. well, he did not regulate, and it's, you know, everybody, face it, everybody in the financial sector benefited from the bailout one way or another, and i wish him well. in the world of a revolving door, it doesn't give me heart burn, and i wish him the best. >> okay, we have questions. i have a microphone, we have one over here first maybe. go ahead. >> i'm dr. caroline, a physician, my late husband was marty slate who ran the benefit guarantee corporation in the clinton administration. i've been a fan for a long time. my question is how will you go about taking the money that's slashing around in the stock market, and move this from the financial casino into the real economy. there's corporate profits, companies are just sitting on it, and they are not investing
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in the production of goods and services. >> right. >> good question. >> well, it's a very good question. i think, look, if you're a eng, and share price, me or the fed, i think they need to get out. they have to do it gradually. there's going to be pain. i don't see any way to get around it, but we have to find out where we really are, and in -- start focusing on growing the economy. the real economy, not threw credit infused asset bubbles, but making things more efficiently and better quality and better craft than the foreign competitors. that's where we need to be focused, and that has to happen with fiscal policy, and the answer is with the president and congress enthe fact that they can't even fund a budget or put together a strategy for our economy, making this economy more competitive is compelling, so, you know, perhaps we need to
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start with reform of the political system, and i know all this takes time, but there's experimentation, especially on the west coast, of having runoff elections, rid of primaries, top two vote getters, and that's the final election in november, more sen tryst can dates through that process, but short term, we need leadership. you know, when i worked in the senate, i looked back, we had the 81 tax cut, 82 deficit reduction act, 83 social security compromise, tax reform, and it did lead to additional economic growth, and those were not necessarily popular. there were a lot of issues that were angry, and everybody locked arms and said we have to do this for the country, put country first, and they did it. i think even this day and environment, you can succeed if you have a principle physician, good for the country, explain it, articulate it, and execute on it. i think you can still get reelected for office, but that they are running scared right
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now, and it's creating dysfunctionalty. >> another question. i'm a retired hud official from california. i -- as you say it, this takes time, and i wonder how much time -- >> well, yeah. >> i wonder about, really, the income gap. i'm reading joseph, reading -- read tom hartman, the book on the crash of 2016, and i wonder how much time we have, and how frightened should we get the american people or how concerned should we get the american people on this issue? >> well, it is problematic. when we did the stimulus bill, you know, the stimulus bill in 2009, i'm not a fan of it. it was more short term shop, sugar high stuff, and things are good again, and they were not. we talked about infrastructure structure then, and the famous shovel-ready, and they take too
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much time. if we did it, we would have had jobs by now, better roads and better waterwayings, so we need -- we need to get off the short term thinking. we have to think longer term. if we start now, same with entitlement reform, wait until the problem is on us, the options are limited and much more severe to deal with, but without changing culture and mind set of the political leadership, i'm sorry, i wish i had a good answer for you, but i don't. >> a final question, a minute left. we have case studies here with nonprofits and others that are trying to find ways to help people manage their money better and get themselves in a better, long-term future. in a time washington has trouble moving in any direction -- >> that's right, yes. >> -- what's the role of solutions that can come from washington from the problems we're describing? >> well, i think, you know, in the near term, don't look to washington.
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the state governments are doing a lot better jobs. ngos on their own, frankly, have to step in, fill the void, better corporate leadership would be nice too, so, you know, maybe -- look, i think for wealth accumulation and lower income families, first and foremost, we need better wages, and that's hard to do. all the research shows that automatic savings where, you know, certain amount is automatically taken from the paycheck, don't have a 401(k), banks set up buyers for you, banks encourage that the fdic offer very, very low cost savings accounts for lower income people to have automatic and direct deposit because of automatic savings vehicles. i think there's things to do through leadership of responsible banks, through the ngo community, and then, you know, i wish corporate america, too, would look at the model, and there's a company called # -- called costco.
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they pay the ceo $250,000 a year. they have good wages for their workers. they give them health insurance, and they are quite profitable doing a good job for the shareholders. do you really need income disparities in what you pay the employees and top management, and, really, do you get -- don't you get more value and productivity by giving folks better wage and peace of mind with health care coverage? perhaps corporate america and the business schools could rethink how we think corporations are more productive, and that starts with paying employees better and giving them health insurance. >> thank you. thank you, a great conversation. [applause] >> yes. [applause] >> i would also say i encourage everybody here to -- we have extensive coverage through our partnership with all states of the issues discussed at the next, and now i will turn over the stage to my colleague, the chief correspondent, and he's
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discussing the first case study with mary dupont. with that, michael, the stage is yours. >> good morning, everybody. i'll get started. it's great to be here today to talk about stand by me. i'm the director of financial empowerment for the state of delaware, and stand by me is a statewide financial empowerment program that's a priority of governor jack markel so when he came into office, he decided this was going to be a priority of his administration, and we work together, and we formed a
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partnership with the united way of delaware, which is also a statewide united way, to create a financial empowerment strategy that is available to all delaware. we're not strictly focused on low income delaware. this is available to everyone. okay. okay. these are the types of issues that we're seeing since we started in may of 20 # 11. we've worked with about 3,000 individuals providing them with personal financial coaching, and these are the kinds of issues that we're seeing is that people have a lot of debt for a variety
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of things. medical, student loans, credit cards. we see people supplementing their income with credit, very low credit scores, lack of access to financial services. a lot of people using the fringe financial sector, payday loans, title loans, rental furniture, monthly expenses that exceed income. the ability to just pay bills and make ends meet, no savings or safety net, and this all adds up to really debilitating stress over these issues. that interferes with other goals in life, such as advancing in the work force, getting ahead in school, raising a family. these are the kinds of things that wake you up in the middle of the night.
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sorry. okay. timely got it. i think it's interesting to look at the median income because what we're seeing is that the national household income, we have income disparities across the races. the median national income for whoits is 57 thousands, and in delaware, we're doing a little bit better. it's 62 ,000 for african-americans it's 33,000. in delaware, it's 42, and 39,000 for hispanics, 35 in delaware,
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and 68,000 and 85,000 for asians and pacific islanders so we see asians fair the best in this economy, but i think it's really interesting to see that what we're talking about, there was -- during the conversation with sheila, we see that, you know, we're talking about two-thirds of the population that's struggling to make ends meet so stand by me is an initiative where the governor is actively involved, and using the leverage of his office, we have been able to engage sectors throughout the state of delaware, so we're working with employers, nonprofit
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organizations, national partners, the state's faith based community, k-12, colleges, and higher education, and we're also working with targeted constituencies, people with disabilities immigrants, child care providers, and the most amazing thing to me, before coming in the government, i did work in the nonprofit sector, and this is not a job that the nonprofit sector can do alone. we have to have state government involved. in order to get real muscle behind the work and in order to bring everybody to the table so this is what stand by me is, and we over perm financial coaching. we work with people on budgeting, debt, credit, basic money management, making ends meet. we offer workshops which is a
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way to engage people, they're interactive workshops. we do a lot of work on financial services, mepping people to just navigate the financial mainstream, but mostly helping people to get out of the payday loans that they're tied up in, people, a lot of people come to us with multiple payday loans that are totally out of control. we're offering an array of consumer friendly financial products to try to provide alternatives to this. we help people navigate the financial system with post secondary education. those with the college degree ultimately earn more, but getting the college degree today is so complicated. just applying not only for college were also paying for it
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and getting financial aid and student loan debt, again, this is something that is a real problem. we work woo debt consolidation, foreclosure assistance, tax preparation, ect. so in how are we really going to be able to use this model to change what's going on in our country? the empty seat at the table is what i -- how i look at it until we're really able to effectively engage state governments. now, there's a lot of cities that have got involved, but states need to be involved in this. i can't tell you how amazing it is to work in the state when people know this is important to
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the governor, automatically, the doors open. automatically, conversations are being had with employers, with post secondary institutions, with school districts. everyone is suddenly interested, not just in how do we offer financial literacy because it's not about financial literacy. it's about one-on-one helping employees, helping students to understand more about how to get through these systems. doors open when governors are involved. obviously, governors are important people, and they have a lot of things to do so the governor doesn't have to be on a day-to-day, but just staying, making this a priority makes a big difference, so in delaware, what's -- the way that we're really looking to change the tide on this issue is that everyone has collective
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ownership. this suspect just the nonprofit sector that has to do the job. this is walgreens. it's shop-rite supermarkets. it's the hotels we work with. it's the community colleges. it's the high schools. we're all working together, and all of the different agencies and state governments, we're coming together to work on these issues because ultimately the financial security and the financial success of our constituencies is going to influence the success that each organization has so its employees are waking up in the middle of the night or they are not able to get to work because the car broke down, and they don't have money to fix it, or if students in college have to drop out because they are not -- because they can't figure out how to pay for living expenses
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as well as for tuition and books. these organizations are suffering. it's that ah-ha moment. if anything good came from the crisis, people are starting to recognize this is important to all of us. so this is how our program is structured. we actually have raised money through the private sector because when the governor came into office, his first job was to cut services and to start to cut down because the state as well as others was in a major fiscal crisis. this is a priority, but we have to find money through the private sector. through the partnership with the state and united way, we've been able to raise the money, and we've contracted with one nonprofit partner in each of our
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three counties, yes, we're a small state, and then we partner with businesses where we offer stand by me as an employee benefit. we partner with community colleges where we offer stand by me as a roars to students and their families as well as to the staff, and we're also in the high schools working on college access programs. you can see all of the different -- we're working not only with large companies, but we're also working with child care centers where we've integrated stand by me into the states' child care quality system so that as child care centers bring stand by me in and offer it as employee benefit, they also get credit towards the increasing quality of the child care center.
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one can college access so we work with k-12 and the department of education. child care, we work with the office of early learning. the governor is a big advocate for people with disabilities so we have a full-time financial coach that works at the division of vocational rehabilitation helping people with dates as they go into jobs, helping them to plan, put together a budget. this is the constituency that we're serving. fifty-three percent report they have little to no control over their finances. fifty-seven percent report being extremely to somewhat worried about their finances. interestingly enough, as i said, everyone is invited to participate, and we're everywhere. we make it easy for people to access, yes 72% are women.
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i guess we're more willing to ask for directions when we get lost. [laughter] fiftyfifty-two percent are african-americans. we are also seeing that although we have no guidelines, the majority of the population we serve are low to moderate income. these are the services we've provided. we help people, as you can see, it's grown. the program has been up and running for about two and a half years. we're helping people with all of these different services, and here's what we're seeing. what are the issues that people are working on? the big one, credit and debt. credit and debt is a major problem that not only


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