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tv   Washington Journal  CSPAN  December 28, 2009 7:00am-10:00am EST

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looks said at some of the high- profile cases on the docket for next year and the possibility of another vacancy on the high court. then, a look at how president barack obama is handling the economy with the center for economic policy research and an economics professor. "washington journal" is next. .
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host: about phoning, in remember, make sure you call any c-span ram in the last 30 days, give others a chance to call in this morning. you can also reach us by email and by twitter. email is, and our twitter handle, is cspanwj. and we will get to those shorting, get to your calls shortly as well. looking at the front pages of many newspaper this is morning, a couple of here from the newseum. this is "the atlanta journal constitution," their headline, air travelers tell of tighter security. it's also the lead headline this morning in "the miami herald." front page, expect tighter security. the "usa today," it's their feature front-page piece, i'll read just a bit, new questions, new scare, airports ramp up security, warning system reviewed. and they write in this article, taking off your shoes is no longer enough. security agents may pat the soles of your feet, work up
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your legs to your waist and run a wanda cross your whole body. bags may be searched even after they pass the scanner. bathroom breaks may be eliminated for the last hour of international flights. blankets on your lap on those flights are verboten, too. forget about that extra carry-on bag and those controversial body scanners that you can see under passenger clothes? they could show up at some airports. that's just a bit of the story this morning from "usa today." we'll read more as well and other headlines, but we'd like to know your experience, too, and your response to our question. is it more security needed? we'll get to your calls momentarily. a posting this morning on by nate sill vemple he writes about the number of airline incidents and the odds of airborne terror. this is at, nate silver write this morning -- he puts up a posting by james joyner, who was a guest
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on this program a couple of weeks ago. james joyner, a conservative blogger wrote, there have been precisely three attempts over the last eight years to commit acts of terrorism aboard commercial aircraft, all of them clownishly inept and easily thwarted by passengers. how many tens of thousands of flights have been incident-free? let's expand joyner's scope. over the past decade, there have been, by my count, six attempted terrorist incidents on board a commercial airliner that landed or departed from the united states. the four planes that were hijacked on 9/11, the shoe bomber incident in december 2001, and the n.w.a. flight 253 flight on christmas. we're going read more from this posting and go over some of the stat stex from the bureau of transportation statistics. we want to get to your calls first. rockville, good morning to you on our democrats line. what do you think? is more security needed? caller: good morning to you and happy new year to you and yours. host: good morning. caller: i cannot believe that
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an unsophisticated creep was able to get on a plane and virtually cause a midair holocaust. and now the administration was thinking about having the trials in midtown manhattan, bringing prisoners here to the illinois state prison to be incarcerated? we still haven't learned yet. this is the most despicable breach of security since 9/11, and i will not support any more people coming here until those issues are resolved. now, i am -- the administration needs to get up and deal with this situation, and we don't need any policy rhetoric or this name calling. this is a very national serious incident. host: thears there's a post this morning, the focus on the president does indicate that president obama may say something about the incident, and the administration's efforts sometime this week. to new york city, michael is on our independent line. your thoughts. is more security needed?
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caller: absolutely. good morning. host: good morning. caller: is more security needed? absolutely not. people need to do their jobs. what happened in this ebt, there was a man in a suit, very well dressed man who got this nigerian on to the plane without a passport. so this man should have never been on the plane to begin with, number one. number two, this man's father, who is a very high level banker in nigeria called the f.b.i. and told the f.b.i. that his son was an extreme radical. so between the fact that the father called the f.b.i. and informed them on his son was an extreme radical. and then number, two the guy didn't have a passport, so he shouldn't have never even gotten on the. and then number three, who is the well dressed man? they need to look at the videos and see who the well dressed man s. why is the mainstream media not bringing up what i just brought up?
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host: michael, thanks for the input. secretary of homeland security janet napolitano was on "state of the union" yesterday. it's possible we'll hear more from homeland security today as well. here's what she had to say about the incident. >> one thing i'd like to point out is that the system worked. everybody played an important role here. the passengers and crew of the flight took appropriate action. within literally an hour to 90 minutes of the incident occurring, all 128 flights in the air had been notifiededed to take some special measures in light of what had occurred on the northwest airlines flight. we instituted new measures on the ground and at screening areas, both here in the united states and in europe, where this flight originated. so the whole process of making sure that we respond properly, correct, and effectively went very smoothly. host: as we come back from the homeland security comments yesterday, here's how "the new york post" is playing it this
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morning, front page, "clueless: homeland chief on air bomber: hey, no biggie." louisiana on our republican line. wesley, good morning to you. caller: good morning. appears wanted to let you know, he quit flying commercial aircraft about eight years ago. host: can you tell us who you flew for? caller: what snarle host: yeah. caller: well, i was not a pilot. i mean, i'm talking about as a passenger. host: ok, go ahead. caller: the last time i flew, my wife and i were both completely disabled. i'm a disabled veteran, and every time when we go through, had a little metal clips on my suspenders, and they would nearly undress me and pat me down, and the last time i flew, we actually missed our flights because of all the investigation of me and my wife. host: well, if that happens all the time to you, isn't that the kind of thing where you kind of give yourself, instead of the usual one or two hours, you
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give yourself three hours -- caller: oh, that wasn't the problem. host: yeah. caller: we couldn't get through the line until they was ready to take us through. and we have to go in a wheelchair everywhere we go in an airport because we can't walk. but anyway, one other reason i quit flying commercial aircraft , i've learned that they're taking uncertified aircraft mechanics to work on the airplane. i worked on airplanes for 29 years, and when i heard that, i said no more, it i'm not flying on commercial airlines anymore. and finally i said i can flying anywhere i want to any time i get ready. but the airlines are overkill in one area and underkill in another area. and believe me, i enjoyed flying all my life, but because of that, if i can't get over there, i'm just not going to go. host: juan ate on our democrats line, is enough being done? is more needed for airport security? caller: no.
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i've got two comments to make and then i'll hang up. host: ok. caller: well, number one, i think with the amount of security that you already have to go through now is the missing -- but i think he was right in a way. with the sophistication now, and i was a medical librarian at u.c. for 30 years, that can be carried on the body. i mean, you had the c.i.a. come into our line sexrear take stuff out that people can carry . people in the united states are going to have to decide whether they want to go in through i think what they call body searches or that kind of carrying on. because it's no longer a question of civil liberties. i think it's a question of whether you want to get blown
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off the plane or not. that's number one. and then my final comment is that one of the things that i heard over and over from passengers were the young man was so young. and these kids who are doing this, these are not fringe people seemingly. he had a $2 million apartment in central london. his dad apparently in frustration called our embassy because he was scared that he was going to do something. i think we're going to have to be a bit more like the british and become a bit more sophisticated in worrying about not only al qaeda outside of the country, but our home-grown young men and women in&those studying inside our country. host: let's look at how the story is being reported in a couple of british publications. "the sun," 25 brits in bomb plot with a picture here of the
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suspect over the weekend. also from the u.k., "the telegraph" this morning, detroit terror attack, yemen is the true home of al qaeda. this is an article in the "telegraph" online t. may be harder to contain a smile, but the frightening truth that emerges from the christmas day attack on flight 253 is that both standpoints are equally true, shuffle from the country to country, target bid dronse, electronic eavesdropping and security procedures, al qaeda and its associates are both desperate and inventive. next up is jim on our republican line from raleigh, north carolina. jim, what about airport security? caller: maybe we need to take a page from the israeli page book. we are still in denial that there's an international of al qaeda plot against the united states.
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when we start fighting it like a war instead of a criminal investigation or possible criminal activity and we'll be all the better. i'm just surprised that no one is called in and said this is george bush's fault. host: explain that a little bit more. what's your reasoning -- what's your reasoning behind that? caller: what? host: that this is george bush's fault. caller: well, i said i was surprised that no one has called in. host: oh, i see what you mean. caller: after the 9/11 commission came out with their report that there needed to be more cooperation, interagency cooperation with these watch lists, it does amaze me that they were able to miss this, especially with the state department having to walk in source reporting this individual. so hopefully they'll get their game together, because this was a very, very lucky incident that we thwarted, especially
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with passengers. but they're going to have to take another look at it always. host: it might be that we hear from the administration further this week. politico is reporting the president may have something to say, a statement about it this week. his spokesman, robert gibbs, did have something to say about it yesterday on "face the nation." >> the president has asked for two reviews to take place as a result of this potential terrorist attack. the first is a watch listing review. this individual was on a list of what's called a tides database list baseded on the information that the government gathered from his father. that put home a list of 550,000 people that different departments and agencies can log in. the select list, which is for second screening and the no-fly list are far smaller. they encompass in total about 18,000 so. we want to ensure that all of the information that needs to
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go to decision makers it gets to where it gets to go. the president has asked for a review of the procedures, which in some cases are several years old. secondly, the president has asks the department homeland security to ensure that somebody who might be carrying explosives like this individual was can't get through a screening stage like they did in amsterdam. host: another half-hour or so for you to weigh in. is more needed in terms of airport security? there's a two-page spread on the story, the system worked, but they have a piece here on missed clues about the attempt on christmas. he had a one-way ticket from lagos to amsterdam and amsterdam to detroit. he checked no bags, carrying just a small backpack. the suspect's banker dad had warned the u.s. embassy in november that his son had become radicalize and had mean a danger.
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the ongoing assault on al qaeda in yemen, including two massive rounds of air strikes at terrorist leaders, should have heightened vigilance for revenge. and they also write here in "the daily news," an al qaeda operative in yemen made an online video december 21 threatening the u.s. for revenge on the air strikes, saying, "we are carrying a bomb to hit the enemies of god." and a look at the suspect from "the daily news." am illinois, good morning to phillip on our independent line s. more airport -- good morning to you, phillip. go ahead. caller: happy new year, sir. this is such a complicated course here. as far as more security at the airports, granted, it could be a little bit more secure, a little bit like i've heard the zearls, it's like a four-hour wait to get on a plane compared to america. they say two hours. so i think they're a little bit more strict on their operations.
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as far as the terrorists -- he's on a terrorist, possible terrorist list, but he's not on the no-fly list. i think this has got to do with the homeland security. wasn't that because of all these organizations that didn't gain their knowledge to find out about these culprits that did 9/11? and is it the same problem that's going on? they can't -- if a guy's on a possible terrorist list, he should be on the no-fly list. isn't that kind of like common sense? host: so what's that bar where you raise somebody up from just being on a watch list to a no-fly list? what's the bar that the government should set? caller: what would be the bar? if you're on the list, you should at least have a double check on your person. i mean, you know, take him to the side. there's no reason -- see, america's got the idea that the more people we get coming to this country, the more money they'll bring here to spend, it
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to tourism. and it's one of our few industries in america that's still going. they want people to come here to the united states f. they slow it down, they think they're going make it too tough for people to come here to spend their money. host: phillip, thanks for your comment. let's hear what the folks sitting at say. anthony writes, no changes necessary. i'm done with the fear factor that is so easily exploited by the right. caller was correct. do the job. back to the blog of nate silver,, writing about the incidents of airline terrorism. he writes, the bureau of transportation statistics provides a wealth of statistical information on air traffic. i'll look at both domestic flights within the u.s. and international flights whose destination was within the united states. i will not look at flights that transported cargo and crew
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only. i will look only at flights spanning the decade from october 1999 through september 2009 ininclude sifment over the past decade, he writes, according to b.t.s. there, have been 99,320,309 commercial airline departure that is either originated or landed within the united states. dividing by six, we get one terrorist incident per 16,55 already 385 departures. he further writes, these departures flew a collective 69,415 million plus. i don't need further math there. that means there has been one terrorist incident per 11 billion miles flown. this distance is equal to 1.4 million trips around the prim tevert earth, 24,000-plus round trips to the moon, or two round trips to neptune. you can read that full post online at fivethirtyeighth dodd dovement here's quaker, pennsylvania, and james on our republican line. is more security needed?
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caller: how you doing? host: doing fine, thanks. caller: unfortunately, i wish not. i just noticed the way we attempted the scenario. we just accept more and more of these little losses of out of liberties, like carry-on water bottles. and that's the way that, you know, it's the frog in the helped water we're going lose. also, europe is slowly surrendering their freedom of speech because of their populations to appease them. as arnold said, this is the way civilization has dirksde not by murder, but by sue side. i'm listening to the day after this attempted attack. listening to c-span, i did not feel i was living in the country i was born in. i mean, 75% of your call hers a knee-jerk reaction that was either against our government or against america or against -- even white people. there was like 60% of your callers were black. it seemed like they have an allegiance to this guy coming in. it's very disturbing.
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nobody talked about where this guy is from. i haven't heard -- let's talk about nigeria. is nigeria a place where -- it's a beautiful you're to be i can't, but muslim country? no. what is nigeria? it is a par tradition country. north and south. the muslims live in a certain area, and the christians live somewhere else in the south, i believe. host: well, i'll follow up on your comments, james, to bring us more from the "wall street journal" this morning. incidents spark concern about terror in nigeria. this morning in the "wall street journal," despite the violence along this religious fault line there, has been little evidence so far to suggest al qaeda or like-minded groups have established a significant presence. in recent months, there have been isolated incidents that have alarmed western officials. u.s. open ferbles have long worried west africa could become vulnerable to the sort of terrorist networks that are attractive in north and east africa. that's from this morning from the "wall street journal." here's bridgeport, connecticut.
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good morning on our democrats line. what about airport security? caller: good morning. this is waveg what will i remember richard clark talking about during the 9/11 commission. he said we needed cohesive response toss any and all possible threats. what i see is that you had a nigerian individual calling in about his son, and nothing was done about that. during 9/11, we had british open ferbles calling the f.b.i. and nothing much was done about that. the caller, two callers ago, stated we give them carte blanche to come in here and let's say be tourists. and i can recall personally, in fairfield, connecticut, the days inn, the terrorist stayed there, and that had a lot of middle eastern people that could have provided any type of material to them. and if the police are too busy profiling, then things like negligence are just an apparent issue that are going to be
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allowed to occur. host: mariano, thanks for the call. next up is north carolina, asheville, and lou on our independents line. good morning. caller: good morning. thank you, c-span. host: you bet. caller: first off, in light of the richard reid shoe bombing incident, i'd like to reference the republican callback a few moments ago with his cynical remarks about bush. no, i don't think this latest incident was bush's fault at all. but as an independent, i'd like to add in reference to the richard reid thing, whether we need more security, i'm wondering how long it's going take now that we'll have to remove our yrnt wear now at the airport. thank you. have a good day, america. host: thanks for the call. memphis, good morning to -- hi, go ahead. caller: i think that -- i see now why so many young men were picked up from different countries aren't world and taken to black sites, because it's very easy to condition these young men to do these
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kinds of missions at a time when people are trying to take our government away from us and needs them to do this to try to put fear into the whole world and to us and everyone. i'm conservative, and i think we need to go back to our constitution, preserve the rights of our people, and we need to stop turning our government over to people who care nothing about us, nothing about the world, nothing about creations. i think these guys -- how did that guy get burned when he's sitting there like he's dazed? somebody has tampered with his mind and sent him on a mission. host: the politico writes this morning about what this could do to the administration's plans on guantanamo. the bomb plot complicates gitmo plans. they write that this morning that yemenis represent almost half the remaining prisoners there. new hurdle to see the resettlement could spell more trouble for president barack obama's plan to close the
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island prison while transferring a limited number of detainee toss a prison in the u.s. six yemeni nationals were returned home earlier this month, and officials hoped more transfers would follow. that's this morning in politico. here's washington, d.c., deborah is a democrat. what are your views about airport security? caller: i flew yesterday from detroit actually to baltimore, so no increased security at all. host: none? really? caller: it no no time at all to get through security. there was nothing extra. host: what's the secret? it sounds like everybody else was encountering it this weekend. caller: there was absolutely no change at all. got through in record time as far as i could tell. so there was absolutely no difference. i wonder about the attention paid to africa for one thing.
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and i believe that the state department needs to put more attention into africa, and i think it's always a question of too little, too late. there's a lot of attention obviously paid to the middle east, and this is maybe a minor issue, but i think africa gets underrepresented in terms of the amount the state department pays, and also counselor training and how much more work officers might need in terms of screening. there's lot of attention paid to families coming over here, and they can't stay, but i question where the focus is. host: so you see the man, the srnings it's a breered issue than just his radicalization or alleged radicalization in yemen or elsewhere, but it's an issue that needs to be addressed by the u.s. with african nations.
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caller: i do. well, with african nations and with policies in general, who they let in and don't. i think it may opinion a question of switching focus. host: thanks for calling in this morning. mitch mcconnell, the senate leader, was on yesterday with "this week" and talked about his response, saying more needs to be done. here's what today say. >> well, our leader on this issue, senator susan collins of maine, suggested to me yesterday when we were talking about this, a question she's going to be asking, which is how does a person on the terrorism watch list get a u.s. visa? i mean, particular when will you consider that his father was concerned about his son's proclivities this fall. i think there's much to investigate here. in addition to that, he obviously had some kind of connection through yemen, and
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we know that there was dan imam in yemen who may have been the inspiration for the fort hood attack. there's much to investigate here. it's amazing to me that an individual like this who is sending out so many signals could end up getting on a plane going to the u.s. host: sebring, florida, next. richard, is more airport security needed? on our independent line, good morning. caller: good morning. happy new year. host: happy new year to you too. caller: it's been great listening to you for all these years. i think it's about anybody could have guessed this was going to happen, bill. i mean, janet napolitano, that's where the problem starts, and president obama is going around the world telling our enemies and the terrorists that the u.s. is going a bad country and needs to be punished. janet napolitano, i mean, having her at homeland security director, i mean, it's almost a joke. when she was the governor of arizona, she wouldn't even give the state police the weapons they needed to fight the drug
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cartels. so consequently, they moved in and took over the city. now, what scares me, if it hadn't have been -- then she sits there and tells us that the system works as tell used. the system failed big time. if it wasn't for a dutch citizen who jumped on this terrorist and was able to disarm him and mitigate the situation, we would have 290 dead people and possibly dead people on the ground. host: what was the one thing that failed the most? was it a -- a caller mentioned earlier this guy should have been on the no-fly list. is that the biggest missed opportunity? caller: it's a glaring failure. it reminds me of 9/11, when these reports from our intel agencies set on the desk of our president clinton and sexrobe no one investigated, and we had
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the pictures and the background of all the terrorists in the report that the intel people and they did not act on them. host: thanks for weighing in this morning. about 15 more minutes of your calls up until 7:45 eastern on airport security. is more needed? other stories in the news this morning, the protests in iran over the weekend, iran battles reinvigorated opposition, clashes leave several desmed this is the front page of "the washington post" this morning, and i will pull this off for an update. the b2b online -- the bbc has reported on monday that iranian state television is saying that 15 people have been killed in the confrontation between the opposition and security forces. i'll show you some photos this morning from "the washington post" there, it and i will warn you that some of these photos are graphic of the violence in tehran over the weekend, as we continue taking your calls. orlando, here is frances on our
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line. go ahead. caller: good morning. airport security of the country is just a laugh, a big laughing matter, you know? a terrorist is a terrorist, like a smuggler is a smugglinger. no matter what you're smuggling, a terrorist is a terrorist. once he is a terrorist, he should have been investigated much more thoroughly. you don't have to be on a no-fly list. he should not be allowed to travel. host: so as soon as his father turned over his name to the embassy or whatever, he's put on a watch list, he should have been -- there should have been heightened awareness. caller: oh, sure, certainly f. you're a terrorist, you're a terrorist. caller: probably a billion
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times out of the last 20 years or so, we had the president of our campaign, we had people there that were calling and nobody get there. now, you know, here we go again with this fear mongering. i guess the next thing we have to do is take all your clothes off and go walking through the checkout, in the news, i guess, me and my wife flew to las vegas. i'll never fly again. host: what happened on that flight that made you say you don't want to fly? caller: oh, they almost wanted to -- this has gotten crazy. you know, all them -- even when obama was campaigning, you had
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people out there saying kill him, kill him, kill him. did anybody else get arrested for that? so that's my comment. host: a couple of looks at x-ray technology that you are encountering or will be encountering, two types of x-rays. the x-ray back scatter is one. also the millimeter wave screening in the "new york times" this morning in a look at airport as cross the country in the "new york times" that are using the him i meter scanner that you will begin to see more of. to centreville, virginia, and alicia on our independents lien. what do you think about airport security? caller: i have two comments, first of all. airport security, i think airport security right now is fine if we had properly trained t.s.a. inspectors who knew what exactly their job was. but i think the biggest breakdown in this case was the breakdown that we had at 9/11, everybody had information and
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there was no coordination, no way to coordinate that information to avert any type of terrorist activity. and then the second comment i wanted to make refers to a caller a couple of calls ago who stated that she felt the state department hadn't been paying enough attention to africa. if you remember correctly, hillary clinton's first major trip was to africa. she was reaching out to the african nation. she was there for seven to 10 days, and it is fabulously noted and chroniclized on the website as she went on the trip. the only thing i think people took away from that trip was the comment that she made when she was with their press and they asked her who was really making the decisions, her or bill clinton. and that was what people took away from it. they don't realize that the state department en -- and after that comment, i looked to see why she was even africa, and i realize what had she was attempting to do there.
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so i think before anyone jumps on the state department, they have made africa a priority. they did go before congress a couple of weeks ago. senator clinton was there when they were talking about the war -- or secretary of state, excuse me -- talking, mcchrystal talking about the war, and a couple of senators commented on how much work the u.s.a. was doing, the good work that the state department was doing there, and that they needed funding for at least 30,000 more people to go in and go make the kind of contact on ground to get africa in shape. so that's my comment. host: alicia, thanks for those comments. back to the blogs for a meant. the blog of nate silver this morning on the odds of airborne terror. he writes further, that assuming an average airborne speed of 425 miles an hour, those earps were a lot of for a total of 163,331, 261 hours. therefore, there has been one terrorist incident per 27
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,221,ly 77 hours -- 877 hours of airborne tration operation. this blog is at this morning. politico's blog -- the hill, this morning, briefing room writing about senator lieberman's appearance yesterday on "fox news sunday," yemen will be tomorrow's war if preemptive action is not taken. you can read that at jim, good morning, republican line. hi there. caller: you know what really bothers me is seeing this person that pay $50,000 a year to en cars rate this guy. that money will grow, that cost. we got to take care of him for the rest of his life n. 10 years, in 20 years, that will equal over a million dollars so. people saying why, don't we have capital punishment for this incredible act of terrorism where he could kill 200 or 300 people at a time, and that was his goal? why not have capital punishment for terrorists? host: so an attempted -- you're
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sagan attempted terrorist attack like this should have capital punishment. caller: we're already strained major well our costs. you had a call twore calls ago asking why we would commit capital punishment on this fellow. but at the same time, he's going to ask the government for benefits tomorrow where is my medical benefits? where is this? where is this stpwhift but yes, we've got extra costs for men to goat a plane and blow it up. for that kind of heinous crime, put him out of their misery. who cares if it's seen as a jihad? host: it's a busy travel week, and the "chicago sun-times" writes about o'hare airport, " is safe not safe enough"? powder would have been detected by proper equipment, feds vow sweeping review, headline courtesy of the newseum. to jacksonville, good morning, florida. jamie on our democrats line. what are your thoughts?
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caller: yes, hi, good morning. i have several points. i certainly agree with the calmer earlier that talked about coordination services. not only national well our zpeeb our own agency, but also internationally as well. i also see a huge gap in terms of the consistency of the screening at airport around the world. we seem to do a fairly decent job here in our country, and certainly we have our alert grading and those kinds of things, but i don't know internationally if we're really coordinating those services across country lines and they're also tending to the same kinds of alerting system that we have. i mean, why was this guy able to get through screening of an airport outside of our country? host: is your thinking that
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perhaps he would have been caught if he had -- let's say he was flying from -- caller: from detroit -- host: from detroit out of the country or treat to l.a. or whatever? caller: possibly. possibly so. not saying for sure, but i'm thinking it would have been harder definitely for him to have got through our screening process heempletinalt saying that it's perfect, but i'm sthage our screening process here is a lot more stringent than it is in other countries. i think if we as a global community could have a more consistent screening process across those lines, i think that would help also. host: we appreciate your input. it was a bit of a deja vu in detroit. in fact, that's the headline this morning in the "detroit free press," flight 253, deja vu, it does feel surreal. this is the story about the second concern over a new year jan passenger that flew into detroit yesterday, same flight, and it turns out that everything was ok. he was simply ill, having spent
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a long amount of time in the bathroom, but it was not a terrorist incident. pittsburgh is next. john on our g.o.p. line. go ahead, john. caller: good morning. bill, i just have been watching, you know, bits and pieces of all this stuff. i saw the homeland security, napolitano is her name? host: yes. caller: make some remarks that just baffled me. i can't believe she'd come out and say that the system actually worked. and if you kind of connect the dots with not only her comments, but, you know, eric made a remark that, you know, simply stated the facts, didn't say anything more, you know? it's what he's not saying that skerns me.
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but concern seems to me like these top officials, even something that president obama said, you know, really shocked me, he made a comment a couple of months back where he said a few weeks, i'm not sure when, but he said something that he had planned to do something, you know, regarding this terrorism issue, but not till america knew what it was to fail. that may not be verbatim, but he said something, that you know, he was going to do something once he realized that, you know, what it was like to fail. host: new york's peter king weighed in on the not over the weekend. he was a guest on "face the nation." >> i think we have to face up to this reality. we live in a dangerous world where islamic terrorists to want kill us, and yes, there is some brief violation of privacy
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with the full-body scan. but on the other hand, if we can save thousands of lives, to me we have to make that decision and we have to come down on the side of saving thousands of lives. and that's why i think it's important for the president or the secretary to be more out there and remind the people just how real this threat and was how dead it will is. for the first three months of this administration, they refuse to use the word terrorist. and even in a speech at west point, the president did not use the word terrorism. this is a teaching moment to use the president's term, and i believe that he or the secretary or the vice president or the attorney general should be out there reminding the people this shows how dead this will enemy is, this shows how real this enemy is,hy we have to do everything we can to protect the american people. host: and donald writes, do the scanners peck up things inside of the stpwhode balls the next step will be to surgically implant someone with an explosive. here's sterling heights, michigan. brian on our independents line. what do you think of airport security?
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caller: right now i believe that the security is fine. i don't think that is a huge, major problem there. i want to bring zpwup that i never heard anybody talk about yet. this much omar guy was on some sort of no-fly list. how many names are on that list? how many names are on that list? who is checking these lists? that's what worries me. we don't know how they find this one guy's name out of, what, 500,000 people. i just find this to get some information on who is watching these lists? when do they check the lists? it's just absolutely incredible how we have so many names on the list, but yet no one is even looking at the list except the people getting on the plane. thank you very much. host: here's california. john on our republican line, go ahead. caller: yes, i think that -- host: john, make sure you mute your television or radio so you
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won't be do that, and we hear your comments on airport security. go ahead. john, i'm having a little trouble hearing you. sorry about that. massachusetts, let's hear from daniel, last call on the airport security issue, go ahead. daniel, make sure you turn down your television or radio. folks, it will feed back if you don't do that. so mute that and go ahead with your comment. daniel from -- make sure you mute that television or radio. we're just going to confuse yourself. go ahead. caller: it's well needed. we all know that airport security makes, you know, great jobs, and the reason why, you know, people -- they continue is because the airplane have to keep their jobs.
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why can't we do something like what the between ease do? >> they approve of it. so we can also do this. that's it. host: one story from the "new york times," percy e. s.ton, the story of the death of percy e. sutton, political trailblazer, dies at age 89. he's a pioneering figure who represented malcolm x as a young lawyer and became one of the nation's most prominent black political and business leaders, died in a manhattan nursing home on saturday. he was 89 years of age. they write that entering politics in the early 1950's, mr. sutton rose from the democratic clubhouse it is of harlem to become the longest serving manhattan borough president and, for more than a decade, the highest ranking black elected official in new york. coming up next, we're going
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take a look at the supreme court midterm here with greg stohr, who joins us from bloomberg news, to talk about cases the court is considering, ones they've already reviewed, and what's ahead. that's ahead. we'll take a break here and be back with your calls, too, here on "washington journal." >> unprecedented, on the record conversation with 10 supreme court justices. >> quite often in many of our most famous decisions are ones that the court took that were
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quite unpopular, and the idea that we should yield to what the public protest is is quite foreign to what it means to have a country under the rule of law. >> tonight, chief justice john roberts and associate justice john paul stevens, interviews with supreme court justices, 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. and get your own copy of our original documentary on the supreme court on d.v.d. it's part of c-span's "american icons" collection, a three-disc set, including programs on the white house and the capitol, one of many items available at >> tonight expanding broadband to rural and underserved areas of the country, an update from blair levin, the f.c.c.'s broadband initiative executive director on "the commookt fors" on c-span2. >> "washington journal" continues. host: greg stohr, harvard law school graduate and reporter for bloomberg news, supreme court reporter for bloomberg news, here to talk about the supreme court and their 2010
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agenda. the 2010 term. we'll start with -- at the beginning of this most recent term, there was talk about a possible retirement among the justices. where is that now? >> the talk centered on justice john paul stevens, the oldest justice at age 89, and there's always talk about him because of his age, even though he appears to be very much at the top of his game. but at the beginning of the term, it came out that he had only hired one law clerk for the term that would begin in october of 2010. and typically he would have hired four, his full crop at that point. so the thinking is that perhaps he's making it possible for himself to retire at the end of this term in june or july. host: greg stohr is with us until 8:30 to take your calls and comments and emails and tweets about the supreme court. so if up to the start dialing, go ahead and do that as well. the supreme court -- the term, or the last term ended up in september, and it was justice
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society owe mayer's first case, the case on campaign financial reform, tell us about that case and when might the court reach a decision on it. guest: a lot of us thought they would have decided it by now. they heard arguments in september. that was the second time they heard arguments, which is highly unusual. host: why in september? guest: they didn't have to do it in september. they chose to, presumablely to speed it up so that -- the speculation is that people would know what the rules are as we head into the fall elections, which is the reason many of us thought they would decided case by the end of the year. they have not. and so we're anticipating probably soon after they come back, in a couple of weeks in january. host: when do they come back for the second half of the term? guest: whatever the second monday in january is, the 11th, i believe. and they will have several decision days then and could decide at any point. host: greg stohr with us until 8:30.
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all this week on c-span, we're breg you interviews with supreme court justices, part of our documentary at 8:00 eastern and midnight eastern all this week. and justice sotomayor will be later in the week. i wanted to ask you, from your observations so far, what do you make of her? guest: she is a very active justice. she's very engaged. she asks as many questions as anybody up there. with any justice, you're going to have a learning curve. she does not seem to be at all inhibited. you know, gets right in there. it's a little early to say for certain how she's going to come out from a philosophical standpoint, but so far the signs you see from questioning makes it seem like she'll fit in the liberal or liberal to moderate camp of the court. host: have you seen any opinions yet? guest: there was one written opinion. the word was workmanlike. it was not an especially interesting case. usually the first opinion they'll have a relatively
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noncontroversial opinion. hers was unanimous. you know, everything so far is very consistent with what people saw in the confirmation hearings. host: a call on our independent line. joe from baltimore for greg stohr. good morning. go ahead. caller: yeah, i'd like to talk about immigration t. has to do with the supreme court justice version. i think that the way you could, you know, not the immigration, but the people coming in, i think a good way to stop them is if you put about 5,000 marines down at the border a half a mile part from each other with machine guns, you'll stop everything that u need to stop. host: well, the court doesn't have any immigration cases, but they do have a case coming up on guantanamo do, they not? guest: they do have a case on guantanamo that actually touches on the immigration laws. the question there is whether
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inmates who have been there for seven years or so, whether in the case of some who have been cleared for release, who everybody agrees are not dangerous, whether they can be released into the united states. this is a case of a number of uighurs, muslims from an area in china who say that if they get sent back to china, they would be tortured there. so far the united states has not been able to find a country willing to accept them. so they are, in a technical matter, released, but not really able to leave guantanamo. they're living in special facility there. the government argues that it would be a violation of our immigration laws for a judge to say that these individuals have to be released into the united states. host: you write about a case coming up, government worker privacy gets a high court review. the supreme court will decide whether a california police officer's constitutional rights were violated when the department reviewed personal text messages he sent and received on government-issued
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pager. tell us more about this case. guest: that's a case that got a lot of attention a couple of weeksing what the court agreed to hear it. it is just about government workers, although the reasoning can certainly apply to some private contacts. the question is a fourth amendment context question about how much of an expectation of privacy a government worker has in those pagers or other personal devices that they have. in this case, the officer said that even though it was a government-issued pager, my superiors had implicitly said to me, you know, you can use it for personal use. in fact, if you go over the limit on characters, you can pay for it yourself. and as long as you pay for it yourself, we won't look into what you're actually using it for. it turns out he was using it for, among other things, sexually explicit emails, and he sued the police department for invading his privacy. host: and the ninth circuit held that they overruled that. did they overrule the lower court in this case? guest: the ninth circuit said
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that there was -- that there was not -- i'm now getting a little turned around here in who said what. but the fundamental question is whether there was a reasonable expectation of privacy. that's kind of the catch phrase. host: when might the court -- when are they going to -- guest: the court will hear arguments in this case in march or april and rule by june. host: i have a question for you, a tweet, how can we disassociate the court from political influence as soon as that it can really address the core interests of americans? guest: it's a good question. it's an ongoing question. there are times when the court is very involved in political questions. obviously the bush v. gore case is the prime example. in the majority of the court's
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work that people don't pay attention to are not the hot-button cases. most people who don't follow the court closely would be surprised at how many near unanimous rulings there are when there isn't that feeling to it. on those hot-button cases, though, you often have a divided court, and then when it comes time for a nomination, those are the kinds of cases that capture the attention of the public and the white house and the senators, and we end up sort of debating those and thinking about the court in very political terms. host: rodney, good morning, for greg stohr. go ahead. caller: good morning, gentlemen. i hadded a question regarding the court's proper position on tort reform. as you recall under bush, many agendas were pushed through to try to revert toward reform as it relates to issues such as medical liability and malpractice. certainly that would be relevant under the current healthcare reform that we're
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looking at now in the cost ratio involved there. product liability, government sovereign and unity and government liability and statute of limitations and corporate persons, how do you think the court will look at those issues? guest: this court has, over the last few years, been very skeptical of the plaintiffs. in case after case where you have trial lawyers pressing a security suit or a consumer suit, a patient product liability suit, usually the court sides with the defendant in those cases. in the last term, there was a real shift -- shift may to be strong of a word, but it was striking that the biggest such cases, the biggest product liability cases, the consumers actually won. there was a case involving drug lawsuits, the case involving tobacco lawsuits. it will be -- what i'm really
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interested in is to see whether that is the beginning of a trend or whether that was kind of a one-off year and the court will sort of return to the general pro-business type of approach. host: in reading the opinion on that case that you mentioned, did you glean anything from that that would indicate why they may have -- why they may have changed their view in that one case. guest: these cases tend to be issue-specific, case-specific. it's hard to generalize too much. that being said, there was one development involving justice clarence thomas who is actually one of the justices less willing to preclude a product liability suit. he said in the drug cases, he is not willing to say that congress preempted -- in other words, precluded a state law product liability claim unless congress said so explicitly. in that case, congress had not done so explicitly. so at least with that justice, there's a sign that he's going to be a real tough vote for the
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business side to get. host: fulton, georgia accident next up. franks, democrats line, hi there. caller: good morning. listen here, we talk lot about this congress, set up for our constitutional law. that supreme court is going to have through the constitutional law thing again, balls the thing is that it's been broken constantly. you look at civil rights, you look at all these constitutional laws that we got as far as people's well-being, and then did you into the part where we have these laws that are supposed to be in effect to keep our constitutions straight. this supreme court is going to have to include it and make sure people thand this is a living, breathing science, and it needs to be -- it needs to be in process of working for people. and everybody else in america,
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you understand what -- host: thank you, frank. follow occupy his comment a bit, on the constitution, specifically the second amendment, balls the court will have a case coming up in march. it goes back to the d.c. case that they handled a couple of years ago. what's ahead when it comes to the second amendment guns right zphace guest: the case you referred to earlier involving d.c. said there's an individual right to bear arms. what it didn't say is whether that right applies just to the federal government in d.c. in that case or also to the states. host: because that case was about d.c. guest: that case was about d.c., which the court assumed was basically part of the federal government. the question now is whether the second amendment is, as they say, incorporated by the other parts of the constitutional amendments so that it applies to the states. this is a case arising out of chicago, which has a handgun ban and some other restrictions. and there are a number of interesting aspects to the
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case, but basically if the court torp say it only applies to the federal government, the second amendment would be far less effective than most people think it is. host: based on what the court has said so far, any indication of how they're going to rule in that one, the leaning of the court so far in this? guest: based on the fact that they talked in that case like it was a fundamental right, which is the type that the court usually says is incorporated and applies against the states, it would be surprising to a lot of people, to most observers, if they did not also say that it applies to the states as well. host: here's a call from warner robbins, georgia, and ivan on our independent line. hi there. caller: hi there. good morning, gentlemen. just had a quick question, and that is, concerning the text messages, i was in the military, my wife was in the military also. for them to say to him that to be able to use this phone for a text message for personal use, if it wasn't in writing, which
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i don't understand how it would be occur, then maybe he shouldn't have been there. but to me, this is only my personal opinion, common sense would tell you, if you're using a work phone or if you're using a pager that is issued by the government, you can pretty much guarantee they're going to look at it, nation you put in there. that doesn't make any sense. .
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guest: no paycheck cases. there may be one in the pipeline that may come up in the next term. but there are none on the court's agenda right now. the national security docket tended to focus more on the guantanamo cases. host: you -- he commented on the text messaging kansas in your view that if you should be yourself using government property -- on government time. a lot of these arguments, by the time they reach the court, they have been argued over and over so you are left with the fundamental question of what's the issue is about. the justices do get into detail, don't they? guest: in these cases they have to go into some detail because it does go to what the officers
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should have believed about the pager. the caller is correct there is nothing in writing. he actually did a good job making the case for of the department, there was no expectation of privacy. in this case, the justices will have to drill down into the facts of the case to figure out what people in the department thought was the case. host: we occasionally get the opportunity to air the same day of oral arguments from key cases and have done so in the past. but as a reporter, what is it like to watch the oral argument? guest: it is the best part of my job, from my standpoint. it is fascinating. it is never what you expect. you get to see a great interactions between the justices appeared you get to watch in the demeanor, who is interested, who seems board. host: do you think you will
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learn more about the case from what they say rather than the braves or synopsis? guest: it depends. it is often the case that what you think the case is about, before when you read the briefs, before you go into argument, is not what they think it is about. it is not that they are necessarily right but you learn a lot more about their thinking. it is one moment when all nine of them are focused on the same case. the same issue. so, it is really your chance to see their competing ideas up against each other. host: what is the challenge reporting on the oral argument where you may be tempted to stray into analysis of body language of what -- but they are hinting. guest: when you come out of the argument you won't understand everything. the justice may say something and you are not quite sure what he or she is getting at.
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so the challenge is usually to figure out what of the most important things and to avoid being led off to a tangent where a justice through something out but it does not necessarily reflect what they are thinking. host: massachusetts, rich on the independent line. caller: i agree with the guy a couple of callers that, that the supreme court should go over the constitution because apparently the politicians don't understand that. the constitution. the other thing that gets me activated when they say we are a country of laws but we don't uphold some of the laws like the illegal -- we can't ask them if they are illegal if they go to a hospital but if i go in without my insurance card i have to have money on me to pay. the supreme court of to strike -- straighten this country out because this country says one thing and does the other thing.
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the laws are only abiding to certain people, not the government. they have all these investigations. investigating themselves. host: any thoughts? guest: on the first point, it is certainly true that this is a more -- that we think of the court more in political terms now than people did 50 years ago. and perhaps even 30 years ago or 20 years ago. every nomination, even when it is not going to shift the court, is being looked at very strongly in political terms. that is just part of the age we are in. it is reflected not just in congress's consideration of court nominees but the health- care debate and anything else. host:. , pennsylvania. tom is on the republican line.
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caller: the opinion of the people -- i recall the 2000 election where the supreme court installed george bush into office. and i lost faith in the supreme court after that and then when that's -- that lilly lead better case was such an absurdity, you have to ask a question of what planet are these guys on. guest: the case had to do with age discrimination suit, basically equal pay suit. the question was whether they discriminated and number of years ago, beyond the statute of limitations, and it still has a present-day effected -- the woman receives lower pay than
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are male colleagues because of the discrimination years ago, whether she can sue and the supreme court said, no, she can't. congress came in and reversed that. that is actually a good example of the system working in a way that it should work. the court interprets a statute, may be right or wrong, but if they get it wrong congress can come in and say this is what we want. what the constitutional ruling to the does not work the case of the terms of bush b-girl -- bush versus gore. host: what were the judicial aftermaths of the 2008 ruling? we know the political aftermath. did that change the relationship between members of the court at all? guest: there were certainly hard feelings in the short-term. they say, justice is uniformly say no, it didn't, it did not change the way i work with
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colleagues. indeed, they are used to on really, really import issues, disagreeing with each other strongly and facing very sharp criticism from one another. there is no, on the surface, reason to think they have not moved fast that case. host: you wrote earlier this month about a case, christian both -- christian group rebuffed by a school. guest: it will be heard this term. a christian group at a public law school that has a rule that if voting members of the officers have to abide by its tenants, and tenants include, of course, faith-based and also say that homosexuality is wrong, read the bacon be recognized as a school group -- whether they can be recognized as a school group. they said, no, this like any
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other student group you have to accept anybody who wants to be a part of you. one of the interesting things in the case, a lot of people watching did not think the court would take it because the ninth circuit ruled, a short ruling, favoring the law school, judge alan brzezinski, a relatively conservative judge. the court is willing to second- guess a judge who is highly respected in conservative circles, it is certainly striking and perhaps might mean they want to move a lot of little bit. host: othe underlying issue, and the echo of the supreme court voiced doubt decision a dozen years ago in terms of members who are homosexual? guest: of there have been a number of variations of this. you get questions about a group
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that, you know, once to associate with people who believe the same things and are involved in some way, either public money or public support, and in that case, the boy scouts 1 and in this case, given the court agreed to pierre the appeal from the christian group one might think they may have a leg up to start with. host: scranton, pennsylvania, kevin on the democrats' line. caller: how are you? did anyone ask you about the corporate finance case? i don't know the name of it. host: corporate finance case? the one -- does that tell me a little bit more. caller: what the corporations can be considered a political -- whether they can donate money. guest: yes, the campaign case.
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we talked about briefly but have not gotten into the details. it is a potentially far-reaching case and i think it says a lot about what the roberts court is going to be. it is a case where -- and i think he asked the name of the case, too. citizens united. in narrow issue that they agreed to hear last term, a group called citizens united -- they had a movie they put together called "hillary, the movie" which was highly critical and the question was whether there were restrictions on their ability to air it on pay-per- view channels. the court could have favorite citizens united on narrow grounds, saying this is not a typical corporation, not like general motors trying to spend a bunch of money in advance of an
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election. even though citizens united is a corporation, it is an added as a group and it goes to the core of our first amendment rights to be able to air this video. instead the court decided to go much further in what it was considering. here a second round of arguments on whether to basically abolish all restrictions on corporations spending their own money in advance of an election. they would have to potentially overrule a couple of precedence to wipe out the restrictions. they don't need to reach that issue in this case but they re- argued explicitly did to give companies a labor unions freedom to spend money on election issues. host: port richey, florida, steve on the independent line. for greg stohr. guest: it is probably the same
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case. i have been waiting for this decision to be made this term, and i haven't heard anything about it. the corporation still have as much of a voice as individual citizens. guest: of this case would ease sensually give them -- this case would be essentially give them the same ability of individual citizens to spend money as long as they are not coordinating this spending. it there still would be restrictions if they were donating to a campaign or coordinating advertisements to a campaign, it would essentially say that like, as with individuals, you can spend what money you want to advocate for or against a candidate. host: a couple of twitter comments. that term is being used by a
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couple of viewers. is that a legal term? guest: it is largely excepted across the law that a corporation does have rights just like an individual. it has first amendment rights, in this case, it has other rights. one other note in the case, during the argument, justice sotomayor's first argument, she questioned the notion. maybe we got off on the wrong track many years ago when we in essentially equated corporations to an individual. we are down that track and it is too late to go back. host: springfield, massachusetts. democrat line. caller: i have a question about the constitution. it is not exactly about a pending case but i have a particular case that -- well, i was arrested by the massachusetts state police and i was assaulted in the booking room of the police station. it was because i said something
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that the officer found insulting. they don't have to videotape the booking process. there is no chance of legal recourse. i have no evidence because it happened in the station. the fbi refused to investigate. i am wondering how i can take it to federal court and if there have been cases in the past and the courts similar to this? guest: elwell, i don't want to give legal advisor. but certainly based on what the caller said, there would be a federal claim under probably section 1983, that would be the most dreadful word. but it is obviously a factual question. as he says, witnesses would tell a different story. but in terms of it being a claim, if you are be in a police
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station there certainly is a claim. host: former enron skilling had a case, honest services fraud. what was the case about and what were they supposed to rule on? guest: there is jeffrey skilling, conrad black', a formr media executive, and a public official in alaska. basically there is a law that says you cannot -- it is against federal law to deprive someone honest services. the law fits -- it makes the most sense applied to the public context. if a public official is supposed to being doing some difficult public and instead doing something else, that person can be prosecuted. in the case of skilling and conrad black, the court was considering how about all it applies in the corporate context. in a private context.
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of those men were convicted of other things as well. they were convicted of either taking money either from their corporation or in the case of conrad black, getting -- i am sorry, i misspoke and jeffrey skilling. but basically accused of profiting from looking out for the loan interest when they should have been doing the job for the company. there is also a public official who was convicted of honest services fraud, even though he didn't violate the alaska state rules. basically the supreme court is trying to figure out how broadly law applies and whether it is so vague in the way it is worded it does not say more than what i said. host: was the skepticism on the partisan justices? guest: yes. the court heard arguments in the black and alaska case and was
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skepticism whether the law was clear enough that it could be constitutionally applied. it came from across the spectrum. host: allen from boynton beach, florida, on the republican line. caller: my question is regarding the old way that people used to go to court. i mean, like to hundred years ago in the united states -- 200 years ago in the united states when they first invented court for all people. the first thing is someone would have a claim against you, then you could go meet your accuser and it would be very gentle and light -- gentleman-like, the whole attitude. when i got a ticket, and when i get tickets for driving, it seems like it still has that structure, yet it seems to have a barter system against to that
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sort of old structure that it had where you barter -- the cost of having this whole court where you get to meet your accuser, and the cost, you are board against it. i'm wondering now with these terrorists, the threat of this and the trial, i mean, the structure is still there but we are sort of swaying against it. are we looking at totally destroying that, the old structure of meeting your accusers, and with terrorism, are we looking at a completely new structure of how the courts are organized or structured the about the united states in both criminal, local, federal? are we looking at a new kind of course structure? host: thank you, alan.
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guest: first of all, we are a much bigger country. things are done from more of a distance in all aspects. the litigation system is much more paper driven than it used to be. the whole process, the whole discovery process in the federal system is that you spend a lot of time in pulmonary work before you get into trial. -- preliminary work before you get into trout. in some respects more complicated. host cut 10 more minutes with greg stohr from bloomberg news, he covers the supreme court. we will bring it interviews with the supreme court justices, starting tonight with the chief justice john roberts and also john paul stevens. we spoke earlier about his possible retirement. are there already interest groups working on the side, bubbling up names of possible
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replacements for justice stevens? guest: that has been a permanent campaign in the last few years. barack obama and -- and his advisers started coming of names not only before the vacancy but before he took office. he interviewed, i believe four candidates. certainly people will look at other candidates. among them are at the solicitor general, certainly somebody who would be at the top of the list. and certainly the opposition is doing roadwork, too, already building of a case for opposing her or whoever the nominee will be. host: louisville, next. bill from kentucky on the democrats' line. caller: the first time i have never picked the phone up and called in. listen, i got one question. just have a question regarding
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what happened in afghanistan, hamid karzai, and the whole situation that occurred in their election system. it seems a bit hypocritical with us in this country -- what is the difference between what happened there and how that unfolded in regards to the election process and what happened year with a burst -- bush versus gore in the 2000 election and why was that considered in afghanistan considered corruption and what we did hear considered, i don't know what that would be considered if not corruption, considering we had an election process that ended up, someone appointed a president. host: any parallels? guest: fascinated so many are interested in birds -- bush versus gore, a case that stuck with people.
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the fundamental difference would be that in afghanistan that allegation is fraud and in the u.s. the issue was a very, very close election and a disagreement over how you count those votes to figure out who actually got the most. host: "the new york times" has a story about a recession. they write -- the u.s. supreme court, are there is -- are they seeing cases related to the economy and recession? guest: usually cases take longer to get there. as far as the economic collapse of a last year so, no. certainly there are issues out there that people are talking about. the constitutionality of, say,
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the tarp money and how that was used. constitutionality of the health care over -- overhaul. one case that does fit in and little bit, there was a board set up to oversee the accounting industry in the wake of the enron and worldcom collapses, they're looking at the constitutionality of that board. it is a fascinating question. the big get -- basic issue is whether the board is so on it tumbled to the president that it operates as an on constitutional independent branch. host: on health care, there were points against the bill in the closing days of the debate on constitutionality. looking ahead, if it passes, the conference passes and the president signs the bill, will there be constitutional challenges and how quickly can something like that make its way to the federal courts to the supreme court? guest: there will certainly be
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constitutional challenges. no question. whether they succeed is a matter of debate. typically those things will take several years. in some cases, the court can get involved more quickly if there is an urgency to it. in this case, at least not on the service, not that kind of urgency to get involved more quickly so we may be looking at three, four, five years before the supreme court actually hears the case. host: albuquerque, steve on the republican line. caller: i would like a question -- to ask a question about eminent domain get you are using words like constitutionality. how did that take precedence over individual rights? i will listen to your comments, thank you. by. guest: that gets into the question of property rights. the constitution does protect property rights. the case that perhaps the caller
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is thinking about the data lot of attention was a few years ago where the supreme court said it is constitutional -- not saying necessarily a good idea -- but constitutional for a government agency to take by the eminent domain some private property and transfer it to another private entity for economic development as long as it is part of a comprehensive plan, not just a shift from a person a two-person beach. it was 5-4 and a big out why and what happened in response was a number of states tightened their roles to restrict the ability of government agencies to take property for that reason. host: as congress may legislative action on that front? guest: it is going on more at the state level. certainly there has been attention at congress but the supreme court clearly left it open for states and four local agencies and the elected
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officials to listen to people who say we don't want this kind of taking and that is where the action has been taken. host: dayton, ohio. alonso. caller: i'm calling about a case out of cincinnati, ohio. i am not sure if it came across the supreme court agenda or not. however, in 1984 -- i think in the 1980's, all the way up into the 1990's, really a black mark on the women's movement. there was a case concerning tier 3 rape statutes. the woman out of cincinnati in 1984 that was raped supposedly. at that time during the berlin 1980's, they were sending a lot of women -- a lot of men to
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jail, understand, on the charge of rape when really, you know, like, nursery school teachers, so on. and they did a lot of time in prison. now they started a thing in ohio that says that if you can't prove that you are not a tier 3 rapist -- this man was convicted in cincinnati, ohio. host: alonso, i will get follow- up from you. the have any thoughts? guest: i am not familiar with that law -- if not a whole lot i can say. obviously the issue of sexual predators has been a big one. there is a supreme court case in this term that goes to whether sex offenders can continue to be held after they completed their federal prison sentence. host: has that been heard yet?
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guest: it has not. i believe it is january. host: greg stohr, appreciate the midterm update. supreme court reporter for bloomberg news. in just a moment we will spend an hour talking about the obama administration, their first year on the economy. c-span lurking all this week at the first year of the obama administration. we are joined by dean baker and peter morici for economists' views on the obama administration and the economy. first a news update from c-span radio. [no audio] when a young man with a u.s. visa in his pocket and explosives hidden on his body was about to board a flight from amsterdam to detroit. secretary napolitano said "our system did not work in this instance." per comments coming one day
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after saying the system did work. but the secretary said her words from mr. they were taken out of context. the secretary went on to say an investigation ordered by the obama administration will look at why the man was allowed to board a u.s. down the flight on christmas day despite being on a terrorist watch list. as mentioned earlier president obama expected to make a statement on the incident sometime today. violence in iran continues today. opposition activists say iranian security forces rounded up at least seven prominent activist today, this after eight people, including the nephew of the chief opposition leader, or killed in anti-government protests. one opposition leader compared the current government with the regime ousted by the islamic revolution's three decades ago. in north korea, border guards apparently detained an american missionary as he walked into the country. robert park, 28, was caring letters calling one of korean leader kim jong-il to shut down the country's political prison camps and step down from power.
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there has been no word from lynne cents. those are some of the latest headlines on c-span reappeared -- c-span radio. >> all this week a rare glimpse into america's highest court, through unprecedented on the record conversations with 10 supreme court justices. >> quite often in many of our most famous decisions, are ones that the court took that were quite unpopular. and the idea that we should yield to what the public protest is is quite foreign to what it means to have a country under the rule of law. >> tonight chief justice john roberts and associate justice john paul stevens. interviews with the supreme court justices, it o'clock p.m. eastern on c-span. and get your own copy of the original documentary on the supreme court on dvd, part of c- span's american icons collection, a three-disc set including programs and the white house and capitol. one of many items /store. >> this thursday, a day of
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tributes to u.s. and world leaders, including the dollar lahman, ted kennedy, ron reagan, walter cronkite,: power, and robert byrd. new year's day look at the new year. russian prime minister vladimir putin discusses his future from his annual call-in program. a presidential adviser on the global economy. the creator of the segue and a co-founder of a guitar hero on innovation and entrepreneurship. and the arts of political cartooning. >> "washington journal" continues. host: for the next hour it is the obama administration and economy. we are joined by dean baker, economic and policy research, and university of maryland economics professor peter morici. thank you for joining us this morning. we will take a look at the president's comments from the signing of the stimulus bill earlier. but i want to get iraq on where the administration started this year -- a wrap on where the
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administration started this year, what they did in response to the economy, where we are now and what is ahead. this is back in february, the signing of the stimulus legislation. >> i don't want to pretend that today marks the end of our economic problems. nor does it constitute all of what we are going to have to do to turn our economy around. but today does mark the beginning of the end. the beginning of what we need to do to create jobs for americans scrambling in the wake of layoffs. it the beginning of what we need to do to provide relief for families were read a will not be able to pay next month's bills. the beginning of the first steps to set our economy on a firmer foundation, paving the way to long-term growth and prosperity. host: dean baker, the president saying it does mark the beginning of the end.
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did it? guest: it marked -- things were getting bad less quickly, so losing 700,000 jobs a month if you go back to the beginning of the year, and last month only 11,000 and my guess is we will probably lose more in the december data. but the economy is deteriorating less rapidly. not a great thing to say but i think the stimulus did play a positive impact. should people be satisfied? well, looking at double-digit unemployment. the projections, congressional budget office, double-digit unemployment through much of 2010. even 2012, projecting unemployment still over 7%. still losing close to 200,000 homes a month. if you are looking at the economy people still looking badly. so things could have been worse -- i think they definitely would have been worse without the stimulus. probably over 11% unemployment. host: at the top of the economic
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agenda for 2010, what would you put there? guest: i would say another stimulus package. you have to do something to boost jobs. it is criminal talking but unemployment over 7% for four years. host: peter morici, you saw the president of the beginning of the term. where are things now and likewise what is the priority for the administration? guest: it is important to recognize stimulus spending has a short-term positive effect in terms of how well it is structured and how effectively executed. however, this was the great recession because with great structural problems in the financial define mandell sector and trade sector. we have banks that -- financial sector and the trade sector. with banks -- that basically continues. last quarter gdp growth. all of that and more, the rest of the economy contracted, all of it in more were financial sector. paying it in bonuses, never mind
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profit, bonuses than the economy grew in the third quarter. on trade, you had the problem with china. the president campaigned he would do something about it. it timothy geithner said it was a problem when he came up for confirmation hearings. now have amnesia and there is no problem at all. if we have another stimulus, it may help. however, it would have to be more effectively structured than the last one and is still doesn't fix what is broken. the financial structure that is out of control, getting us ready for another crisis, and another set of trade problems with china as the economy -- host: congress has not come through with the financial regulations it needs to? guest: one of the basic problems we have through democratic and republican administrations is the white house and treasury has not been leading when it comes to financial regulation. and has been letting dodd and frank -- congress overseeing the
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regulators. and even now if you look at the process of financial regulatory reform, very little leadership from the white house and even less from treasury. as a consequence, politically motivated financial reform in congress. you've got to remember that one of the best places for democrats to raise money is wall street. it is no accident the average pay at goldman sachs is going to be $700,000 in this recession year. host: dean baker, would see financial regulation through congress this year? guest: we may see a bill get through. but peter is right, the structure, month -- most of the meat was taken up. derivatives, most were saying we have to regulate derivatives, aig, assets traded in the trillions of dollars and that led to the meltdown and bailout and they say let's regulate derivatives. there is an end user exemption in the house bill you could drive a truck through. anyone who wants to trade on
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regulated derivatives can. so there -- anyone who wants to trade unregulated derivatives can. guest: this reminds me of a scene out of a spaghetti western where the army is putting the throne of rome, that imports come up for auction. the level of corruption we see in the triangle between the two congressional committees, big contributors on wall street and larry summers at the white house is so pathetic that it makes me cry and worry about the future of the country. host: let us hear what our viewers have to say. you can always reach as by e- mail as well. brad on the republican line.
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caller: i believe what the obama administration did not address along with the bush administration was job creation. a lot of problems in a lot of countries it is caused by unemployment. if you don't get people back to work, you have serious problems. that is pretty much all i have to say. guest: we have very weak job growth in the bush administration. but in fairness we had a bubble economy. he walked into the collapse of the stock bubble. he didn't have good answers to that and it was not until 2004 that we regain the jobs lost. a very weak job growth vendetta again, as peter was saying, the stimulus could have been better directed. one thing i have been very impressed, in germany a work share policy where they encouraged companies instead of laying off workers, have them work shorter hours and a
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remarkable story is that even though the downturn has action been steeper than in the united states, there's been no increase in unemployment rate. a really remarkable story. there are things we can and should be doing to get the unemployment down. host: gettysburg, >> , pennsylvania. betti on the democrats' line. caller: my question really has to do with infrastructure. at the very beginning of the administration i had written a letter to stephen wright -- not getting into why i wrote it -- one of the things i was concerned about was the fact that we were not going to begin with infrastructure. i had a sense that was not going to happen. it seemed to me that even though during the roosevelt administration when the ccc was developed and we had all of the public works jobs all over the nation to put people to work, my question to you two economists
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this morning, is how would that kind of program -- is a possible that kind of program would work today and what would be impediment to success? host: peter morici? guest: only $100 billion of the 787 billion was or is the structure. the obama administration essentially asked congress to write a bill, so all congressman hung on to the bill would ever their pet projects were and there were a lot of tax cuts which did not do much good, we learned that in the bush administration, his stimulus did not work because of that. one of the basic impediments is getting the money out. congress is so suspicious of the federal bureaucracy, kind of like a parent that does not trust a child, that they have so many networks of inspectors general and things of this nature that a federal official cannot spend $2 on a park at meter, leave 50 cents early and not have an investigation in a
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published report. as a consequence of the money is slow getting out. my feeling is if i could spend $400 billion instead of $800 billion, i would make it that you couldn't look out the window and not say a heart had not paid for by stimulus. i would simply say to state and local governments on bases of capital formula, $50 billion of have to spend within 90 days, 100 billion in 180 days -- the exact numbers with a workout -- but get it out fast and tell them, we will have spock -- these of the principles have to follow. but going through the department of transportation -- one of the reasons americans is so suspicious of health care is we have such an incompetent civil service so policed by inspectors and accountants of all mankind that is simply cannot get anything done. now but congress was due to the poor federal reserve. host: on the stimulus bill, your
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thoughts, particularly on infrastructure i guest: think it is a mixed bag. i do agree with what peter was saying -- we should spend more, the thing is getting out quickly. but all along we have been in a situation where everyone was saying, well, we don't want to commit to much infrastructure because it will coley affect the economy to we recover. the first in less package in february 2008, exactly what was said and that is why very little when to infrastructure there. again, the same attitude last year when president obama was putting his back as ford. i think we should put money into it. there is a lot of the infrastructure that can be useful rebuilt. the tracks -- track record as a little more mixed than peter suggested. some has been spent. the story is look where we had been successful in getting out quickly and try to replicate. guest: one of the basic problems is instead of in this structure, let us go into pet projects. president obama's -- green
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buildings. a bunch of architects' drawing up plans for buildings to be built in 2012 or 2013, or electric cars. guest: a lot was retrofitted. guest: has a lot of retrofitting been going on? but what about grain buildings -- a lot of architects working and so forth. the obama administration says a lot money has not been spent when the job numbers are bad, and the money has all been spent and things look great when the job numbers are good. a bad month black october, we have not got the money out, good numbers and november, it work -- he has the most flexible view on earth. look at the johns number for that month -- if it is bad, we have not got the money out and if it is good, it is all out and making gangbusters' work. host: there is still money to be spent. guest: 400 billion next year and 200 billion the following. guest: we should agree on this -- just to be clear, the impact,
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the stimulus from the spending depends on the rate of spending. guest: and how it is spent. guest: but the rate of spending, we are pretty much at the maximum rate by fourth quarter 2009. we will stay at that rate through the first quarter 2010 and second quarter 2010. guest: would give the biggest bombs in gdp the first two quarters next year. i think we would of gotten more if we spent on bricks and mortar is in shambles, but instead, a lot of pet projects. data field day on the hill. the latest estimate is package the house -- not a lot of that is the infrastructure. a lot is having fun again. host: a lot to cover. lake ozark, missouri. ron on the republican line. caller: thank you. mr. peter morici, i appreciate it. guest: dean baker is a good economist, too. thank him, too. he is working really hard for you even if he is on the other
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side. caller: i am not an economist. i have had my own businesses for years. i am so sick of what they have done to this country. the stimulus package, as you just mention a few minutes ago, or a few seconds ago, was a total joke. they haven't done anything to stimulate. instead they promote all of their ideals, they're far left calf and tax, far less -- cap and tax, far left health care reform and all they have done for anybody who wants to start a business, grow a business, increase the economy, is put up some any roadblocks and question marks that no one is willing to take a chance or take a risk and allow the american public to do what it does best, which is work
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hard, be deficient, get the government out of our way, get back to the constitution -- and i am just so frustrated. i have lived my life pretty much as a normal american. never went without. in the past year i pulled two of my own teeth. host: dean baker, go ahead. guest: i agree the stimulus is not as effective as it has -- should have been. i would have liked to obscene different things done. to my mind, the point, if you want to criticize economists for doing a badly, why are we here? why are we sitting here with double-digit unemployment? why are we losing $1.50 trillion of output. that is where the economist messed up. we let a huge housing bubble grow unchecked. told lee unpredictable. i was out there yelling about
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it. peter might have been, too. to this was totally predictable and an incredible failure. i am happy to say -- the obama administration could or should have done more but a much bigger issue is letting this happen. by the way, if we want to talk about blame, the fact that ben bernanke is likely to be reappointed to the federal reserve board -- host: there is a disconnect. if the economists were warning, -- guest: we were considered heretics'. we like free-trade, but what we have with china is economic suicide. one-sided deal. i was an international trade professor four years. it is based on balanced trade. exchange rate suggesting -- it is not happening. with regard to the financial sector, like milton friedman, i was always in favor of free- market but you have to have aggressive antitrust. we had a chokepoint on wall street were eight or nine institutions is controlling the
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flow of capital from a large pool of fixed-income investors and what they are doing is ripping off huge profits -- profits for themselves. we have to look at the way of doing business. how can it be the u.s. economy is flat on its back and goldman sachs is paying itself the kinds of bonuses it is this year? i can tell you. chuck schumer, a democratic senator from new york state was chairman of the democrats senatorial reelection -- lots of contribution. the president, when he went to wall street to give a speech, he had many fund-raisers on wall street. we are talking about here, political corruption. we need lawyers rather than economists now. host: do you agree with peter that is behind it? guest: absolutely. goldman sachs is really amazing. guest: j.p. morgan, too. guest: you have a situation last year, september of 2008, they were on the edge of going out of business. there was a run on the banks,
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goldman and j.p. morgan. they went running to the fed and they said we need special permission to be treated as financial holding companies, which you will have the protection of the federal preserve board and fdic. government guarantees. that is fine, but then you have to act like a commercial bank. but they are not, they are acting like hedge funds. we have banks in effect hedge funds gambling with taxpayer dollars. guest: think about what you're hearing. liberal economists associated with liberal think time, generally speaking, business school economist conservative -- both saying the white house is behaving inappropriately to the financial sector -- codling banks. i call corruption but think about what you are hearing. we have gross mismanagement, whether from the right or left, when your show. think about this. one was the last time you could get been bigger and peter morici at this table for 20 minutes and not disagreeing? but we are there right now. host: california, mike on our
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independent process line. guest: by the way, this wasn't a set up, was it? they thought they were going to get conflict. guest: they make sure we check their weapons. host: all right, mike, go ahead. caller: i would like to get your take -- my libertarian take on health care reform. a lot have been made about petty corruption of democratic senator -- guest: nothing petty about caller: it. : the special deals. money to louisiana and nebraska. deal with aarp to sell out seniors. what critics miss this is the core governing principle of the major parties. cynical game -- carver of the country and give the piece is to winning coalition. they don't see how the children and future generations are
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always in the losing coalition of the crooked deals. they have no bones. our political class already burdened them with $100 trillion in entitlement timebomb spirit of what is the democratic solution? new, costly entitlement, which is only going to speed the day of fiscal reckoning. america's children will be stuck with a colossal tax bill. to me it is like a bitter irony that america was founded on the principle of no taxation without representation. guest: first off, just to clarify entitlement -- it is a health care issue. if you look at social security, costs rise gradually and there is a simple reason, we are projected to live longer. i have been on panels with these 20 years old, saying what a new baby boomers doing -- it will making a possible to live longer. the other story is health care. if health-care costs continue to rise as projected we pay for
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roughly half, a little more than half, through the public sector -- medicare, medicaid, schip. if we don't fix the health care system, then we are talking more something that will wreck the economy and the budget. the most important thing is we cannot afford it regardless of whether we are paying through the public sector. i think what is unfortunate about health care reform -- we did expend -- extend coverage, so i think it is a very good thing. thinking of my own case. i have of insurance now but if i did seriously ill and those my job, lose my insurance. this will give me protection. but we don't do anything in this bill, are not nearly enough about cost. that will confront the insurance industry, drug industry, and highly paid medical specialists. host: peter morici, you talk about the cost of medication in your op ed in "the baltimore sun." it will increase costs, reduce quality. what do you propose -- the staggering number of people
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losing health insurance each month? guest: women, like dean, i believe we need health care reform but we did not take on special interest -- wait a minute, like dean. everybody is covered over there and they are not dropping that. i do a lot of work with the bbc -- they are reasonably satisfied with our health system. you could have a private insurance like dutch have, single payer like british, but you have that something different than what we have and what we have done with this bill is raise a lot of taxes, pour more money into a broken system. we have not taken on the special interests. why? they make large political conditions. again, corruption at the white house. how bad has it become? how cynical has it become one of majority leader of the senate, the man who runs of the senate was confronted with but nebraska deal to get a 60 the boat and he said, well, just about every senator has something in the bill for him and says something
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about their competence and they don't. in other words, if you are not selling your soul or principles down the river for a few shekels, there is something wrong with you as a senator. with a corrupt leadership in this country right now. it is incapable of leading as effectively. the only good reason i can give dean for voting for republicans now is to probe the scoundrels out and if they don't do a good job we throw those scandals out. but right now this bill is being written by a bunch of scoundrels. host: phil is on the republican line. go ahead. caller: i have been over the last couple of years reading and of economics probably to make myself dangerous. guest: you are dangerous, sir. caller: i read marx for the first time, adams met -- adam smith, and i starting to read milton friedman and for christmas at that keynes
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economic theory. and about six months ago i started reading robert hicks, the libertarian. his take on economics is that there really is no solution other than an ultimate collapse. i've got a couple of questions. is it inevitable? is his ratchet theory with the growth of government swallowing more of gdp, and more and more freedom, etc., is that where we are heading? if it is not inevitable, what is going to correct it? throw out one set of scoundrels and and let someone who will fix this thing or go in the cycle of electing more and more scoundrels? another question i have is, what would you recommend to make me less dangerous? what should i read about economics that would make me less dangerous in polite company? host: dean baker, i will let you tackle one of the two and peter will have the other. guest: i am not a fan of
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corruption -- maybe because i grew up in chicago -- guest: i grew up in new york. guest: grew up with robert daly -- he is hard to beat. but i'm not happy with the way things get done in congress but that is not qualitatively different from the way things a been done a long time. horsetrading. what bothers me more than someone getting their road force and delight that are the wholesale deals about, we are going to let the drug companies just get more money, the insurance industry -- those of the big things. guest: if you want somebody on the take, the drug companies -- i am very happy to give the senator from nebraska a road, a bridge, tunnel, in exchange for him taking on the drug companies and offer him to break his principles. even if you might not agree. but if you follow people's principles as opposed to them selling them out -- guest: we have to take a big interest, and we failed to do
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that. and following up exactly what peter was saying because it makes the right point, we could compare all the other countries -- i am thinking of the ones with a bigger mess comparable, germany, canada, they all spent half or less of what we do person on health care and yet they have longer life expectancies, they are not dropping dead. one thing i propose, i kind of did this as a joke, suppose we let people on medicare have the option to buy into the health- care system of germany or canada or england, whatever, and we split the savings with them. it would be a win-win. i do believe in free trade. guest: there you go. books to recommend. -- host: books to recommend. you would hate to promote your own book. guest: far be it from me to exit at that level of corruption. but a good principles of economics book as opposed to the extreme books to the right or the left. get born bush and fisher or whatever they are teaching -- go to your local community college
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and ask what they are using the principles of economic and read that and get a broad view of economics. you might find it interesting, and you can do that. you can push through a book like that and learn a great deal. much better than reading amrx. -- marx. host: cleveland, steve, democrats line. cleveland, tennessee, i might add. caller: when you look at economics, the way things are run. when you live and a small community, around 35,000 or 40,000 people, and then you have a large influx -- influx of people coming into a small community with not too many manufacturing jobs, how can that be economically sound for that community when there are not that many jobs available and when you get an influx of people coming inside the community and take those jobs away from some people that live there, that is
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very, very wrong. host: steve, why are folks coming in? talking about immigrants or what? caller: yes, exactly. host: what is the industry? caller: we have at least four major manufacturers here that are pretty much, i would say the average of 10, $12 an hour jobs that really helps the community as far as some of the families who live here. host: i will stop you there and follow up with a e-mailer -- both of you cannot a shot, immigrant workers, and also art e-mail from corporate jobs. .
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guest: you have to consider why they are willing to take those jobs. in new york city, you see them cleaning buildings at night. you cannot get native-born americans to do that kind of work. it is a very complex issue. guest: i think the most important part is getting the exchange rate right with china. we have not had a consistent position. we would like china to raise the
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value of their currency but -- >guest: the white house is too busy getting down on it. guest: if the obama administration wants china to raise the rate, they have to say this. we can do this unilaterally. you have low value for the l uan. guest: administration has convinced the american people that is china's sovereign right to set the value of the dollar. guest: it will have two in packs. it will raise the price of chinese imports. that is a negative thing. it will be more incentive to purchase domestically produced goods. guest: economists say that
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things would be more expensive at wal-mart. are you better off making $15 an hour in an american factory paying $30 for a coffee maker or being unemployed and being able to get the coffee maker for $20? host: let's talk to rick on the republican line. caller: the only one in congress with common sense is ron paul. host: that book was about the founding of the fed. caller: getting back to the economy, this is being done by planned with the illegal aliens. it is meant to bankrupt the nation so that they can bring the call for the one world
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government. this is crazy. the plan for the north american union a european style economy here. it is one step towards the new world order. it is was a fairy in l -- uciferian. host: the bulk of economists increase and higher energy taxes. they see the advantages but so much hostility that they will not praise them audibly. mr. mankiw sees economic policy being set by the general public. he says the public has a way of forcing politicians to do things they thought they would never do. what is the chance of other taxes increasing in 2010?
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guest: i think it will be unlikely. we do have the energy issue. i think we should do something about global warming. people talk about the bad things we do to future generations if we let the global warming continue unabated. that will be a bad thing to do to the future generation. i do not see anyone willing to raise taxes. i want to go back to the immigration issue. if you take the jobs that immigrants are taking now, a lot of them are low-paying jobs that native-born workers do not want to take. that is because the situation has deteriorated. the meatpacking industry is a great example. 30 years ago, it was heavily unionized. that did pay and benefits. there were a lot of people willing to take the jobs 30 years ago. they have used immigrants to break unions. as a result, they are much lower paying jobs. there are more foreign workers
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willing to take the jobs. guest: i think the ratio of what you would have to pay for other jobs would be higher today. americans have become accustomed to cleaner work. i think of what my grandparents did in the textile industry in new york city in the 1920's and 1930's. meat-packing did not look nearly as bad then as it does now compared to being an insurance printer. cap-and-trade well put taxes on manufacturers of the way it is structured. obama says he has a great deal from china and from copenhagen where the american manufacturing will not be disadvantaged. if you want to believe that one, we're going to be the two starting guards for the detroit pistons. [laughter] host: we have jasper from taxes
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on the independent line. caller: most of these people are well educated and everything. why do they not say the truth? i am calling on the independent line. number one, the democrats and republicans are two of a kind. republicans want to send jobs overseas. the democrats want to bring illegals into the united states. why? to lower the wages for all the big corporations. number two, as far as the health field -- deal, they said they would not let the illegals be on there. number three, they will. obama is going to rush legalizing illegal aliens in
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2010. they are going to have to do that so that they can be covered. you know that. the american people know it. the democrats and republicans are out for lower wages, at sending jobs overseas to bring the united states to turmoil. host: dean baker. guest: neither one of us is happy with the trade policy. the bigger issue is the exchange rate. that would reduce the number of jobs going overseas quickly. guest: they like to use the excuse that the jobs would go from china to indonesia. the indonesians would have to intervene in their currency to keep it from rising. that is observed -- absurd. they will not do that. have you ever seen the larry summers disclosure statement before going to the white house? he took one of its $75,000 for a
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speech at goldman sachs. -- he took $175,000 for a speech at goldman sachs. they do not want us doing anything about exchange rates. one of the biggest lobbyists against manufacturing in united states is one of the biggest banks in new york. it is a good thing that of people who work on wall street are far away from the people who have access to pitchforks. host: someone from new jersey says they agree about the corruption in congress. the situation was at least as bad and the republicans. is there no hope for reform? guest: it is hard to say that the treasury department has changed from the bush to obama administration. the difference between the treasury department's is the difference between the sixth and seventh floor at goldman sachs. the sixth floor has republicans. the seventh floor has democrats.
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they just switch them around. we have a basic problem in that the treasury department is not run by someone who is particularly knowledgeable about economics or banking. it is largely controlled by goldman sachs. guest: we do have some people in congress on the left and right. it is interesting. there was a bill to audit the fed. i think that is good. alan grayson and ron paul are opposites. guest: there is a minority in the congress with people discontented with what is going on. i do not think picking on the biggest bully on the playground is a good idea. guest: think it is appropriate to target ben bernanke. he was at the fed.
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it was their job to stop it. host: we have about 20 more minutes with peter morici and dean baker. we will be switching topics in terms of home ownership. the home ownership rates could slump. what has the administration done and what still needs to be done in terms of the housing market? guest: they have made low- interest mortgages available to people through fed policy. they have the program that is to allow people to stay in their homes through mortgage modification. those are the main programs. they have had relatively little impact. you still have close to 200,000 foreclosures going through each month. some people have been helped. it has been scattershot. a lot of people were not helped.
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a lot of people have been able to take advantage of the programs. i cannot think this is the best way to go about it. you still see a lot of people losing their homes. there's no way to avoid that, but you can help many of them. guest: we need to let the housing market play itself out. the support received from the fed with interest rates below 5% has been counterproductive. we have over subsidized mortgages. we need prices to stay down. housing has become too expensive for ordinary people. if you are a young person coming to washington and take home $2,500 per month, you have to pay that much for a single room apartment in washington. that tells you that the price of department is too high. there's going to be an adjustment in the housing market. if someone owes more than a house is work, no restructuring program will ever solve that
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problem. that is what we are up against now. the bush administration is responsible for the mess, but telling people they will not have to go through this is silly. guest: you could give people the right to stay in their home paying the market rent for their house. they will lose the house but be able to stay there. they will lose the mortgage. they will be able to pay the market rent. if they cannot pay that, they are still out of luck. guest: that is going to require an abrogation of contracts. it is going to require legislation. if the obama administration wait until things are in a panic and then comes up with a fancy program and expects the banks to miraculously make a cure. a banker cannot tell a bond holder to size up 1000 mortgages and take a new deal by
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snapping his fingers. host: are those investment products still in existence? guest: these people bought houses. they took mortgages that were bundled together and sold to fixed income investors. we've been making collateralized debt obligations since the savings and loan crisis. good quality loans are a good way of raising capital for small banks to make loans. the problem is we were making bad loans on overvalued properties. guest: there were being rated investment grade. guest: the only solution that moody's is to board up windows and send them home. they are the most corrupt place on earth. anyone who said this was a worthwhile investment had to be on the take. they were. host: death is on the republican line. -- beth is on the republican
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line. caller: i admire professor morici. you had a caller say he has started researching the economy and it scared him to death. you mentioned bernanke. he is the expert on the great depression. i have encyclopedias published in 1993. when you look in those, isolationism is not mentioned as a cause of the great depression. what is mentioned is rampant speculation, making loans to people who could not pay them back, the absolute control of the banks. it is exactly what is happening to us. it also mentioned that in the 1920's, there were a series of small depressions. in 1930, it crashed. there was a small bill that put restrictions on agricultural products from canada and mexico.
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it was repealed after two years. it was never really in effect. the act was passed after the great depression happened. 60% of all products still command united states without tariffs or any protection. when i hear people say you are an isolationist, look at the great depression. i wish in your spare time that you would go back to the sources and references before clinton, before 1992, before the free traders made the whole. what was the cause of the great depression? guest: i do not think that tariff caused the great depression. we went into the depression in 1929.
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i agree it was not helpful. it did make things worse. in terms of the size of the downturn, it was a relatively minor factor. the people who tried to blame isolationism -- i think it was counterproductive and not helpful. but it was not the cause of the depression. guest: we should not fool ourselves into thinking we can live our lives in isolation from the world. with the size of the global population, in human beings have to specialize in trade for their to be enough resources available to meet their needs. trade needs to be reasonable and fair. it has to permit everyone to profit. we're operating under a model where china gets 99% of the water and the rest of us get a few drops and die of dehydration. we have to get that fixed. president obama's is suffering from a stiff case of amnesia.
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i have a feeling that larry summers used part of the $5 million to buy some of those pilla. host: i want to ask you what you think that decade has been like. paul krugman calls it "the big 0." he says it was a decade in which nothing good happened and none of the optimistic things turned out to be true. it was a decade with zero job creation. the headline employment number for december will be slightly higher than that of december 1999, but only slightly. guest: i think that is right. we have enormous potential.
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what determines long-term well- being is productivity growth. with good productivity growth in the three decades after world war ii. we had a long drought with weak productivity. the was an upturn in the 1990's that most people associate with information technology. that has continued through this decade. because of bad management, people have not benefited. we're sitting here with double- digit unemployment. i think. none k -- krugman is right. it is a tragedy. guest: you cannot allow about one thing and not much about the broader world. he does point out that the dow jones did not make progress on an adjusted basis. corporate profits still group. where did the money go? it went to hedge fund dealers,
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bankers in new york, and things of that nature. we're operating under a simple model. productivity rose at 3%. wall street is 4%. the rest of us get 1%. they've called on congress to enforce that model. it sounds radical in front of congress with what i am saying. american companies are productive. they're innovating in wonderful ways. they're taking the jobs abroad because the administrations have created an environment for that. guest: i want to go back to china. i agree with you about a policy on china. i blame wall street more than china. guest: fixing the exchange rate is reasonable? guest: we are giving them options. guest: it is to the benefit of
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goldman sachs. i do not know why people ask barack obama questions about the economy. it is j.p. morgan and pulls the strings. guest: we had given china and menu and told them they could fix the exchange rate but let goldman sachs do with a one in china. let's tell china no if they do not fix the exchange rate. do not let obama off the hook. they control the policy at this point. guest: i cannot make up our mind if it is a provincial capital of the empire of beijing or of goldman sachs. the answer is probably both. host: with a call from houston, texas, on the democrats' line. caller: how many people do you talk to in a month?
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host: are you talking to me? what is the point of your question? caller: mr. oricmorici as an animated personality like keys on a game show. the things we're talking about our series. i agree with the previous caller. it is a tool used to keep the american people divided and conquered. you throw out those republican terms that americans will not do any jobs, but they are not being given. guest: what is the question? host: she was commenting on your performance on the program. i will give you a serious economics question that came from email.
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talk about the relevant fiscal policy multipliers and why they are so difficult to estimate in a time of such high unemployment. which estimates of the tax and government spending multipliers do you trust? guest: the multiplier is somewhere between 1.8 and two. if you spend a dollar, he should get an additional $2 in gdp over five years. most of that is front and loaded. -- most of that is front and loaded. it depends on how you spend it. if you do it through infrastructure spending and not many of the materials come from abroad, then you are going to get that pop. if you give it to people with a tax cut and they go to wal-mart
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and buy imported goods, you will not get much of a pop. they use different multipliers for different types of spending. i even thought those were high. unfortunately, we've not gotten anywhere near 1.8 or we would see different indicators from the data and we have seen. that is where i come down. guestthey want us to talk like economists and it gets complex. if they want us to talk to each other, we can do that. we will have three viewers, our mothers. guest: i may be more conservative on the government's spending multipliers. we have evidence of taxes for more normal times. people now have heavier debt burdens. in normal times, you give someone a 500 attacks.
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and they do not spend much. when you have someone who has just lost a lot of equity, they are much more likely to spend it. guest: you have to consider the condition of the state and local governments. a lot of them are furloughing people. i teach the same courses but do not get paid for the eight days. by giving the government days, they did not create a job. at a time when people are increasing savings, he will not get the same pop out of the money that you would normally get. that is the problem. they did not spend the money properly. a lot of local governments have bloated themselves with the rise in property values. they do need some adjusting. we do not have the government employees where we need them.
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the dow host: under of minnesota is seeking to limit his state's spending. he is pushing a possible amendment to the constitution. guest: in terms of state governments, that is destructive. i will understand he is considering running for president in 2012. it is difficult to do that. health care costs are rising more rapidly than other costs. unless you are going to have big cuts, you are going to run into big problems. he is probably being disingenuous. guest: the instrumentality of the state and the city of -- he won that giving them less aid for education -- you wind up giving them less aid for education. you have to understand the the 50 worst welfare recipients are the state governments.
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after wall street, the next 50 guys are the governors. they're running to washington to get them to pay for a new initiative while shifting the burden of taxation down to the mayors and county executives. a lot of responsibility is imposed on the counties and states. there are counties closing libraries because they cannot handle the medicare expenses. it is difficult to make national policy when you are imposing national program burdens on counties to resolve. host: let's go to pennsylvania. dan is on the republican line. caller: i want to tell a personal story. it has to do with what you talked about earlier with immigration. a year ago, i was laid off from
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a job in the construction field. i thought the immigrants were taking my jobs. i thought i would try to play their game. i went down to main street for three days and stood on the corner and watched american people, homeowners and small business owners, stopping by and picking up the immigrants. they left me standing there. part of the problem may be the american people think of ourselves as being lazy, as not wanting to work. i have one comment to make. awhile back, the politicians were making comments about the economy. all we're hearing about now is health care.
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that is all i have to say. guest: we spent more time in the senate recently debating the health care bill than we did the entry into world war ii v. the only time the senate spent more time debating was the entry into world war i. i hate to tell you this but the senators are out to lunch. jim benning lives for hearings with ben bernanke. after we did that 50 big welfare recipient of awards, i think we should give them to the 60 democratic senators for chewing up so much time. i do not think you will like what comes out of it because of the cost. they did not take on the big
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issues. how can you give them credit for that? host: let's get one more call from mississippi on the independent line. caller: i have a question about the great depression. it is called the grand illusion. in 1929, there began a great reckoning for the speculation that occurred in the years before. as wall street declined, the fed issued more liquidity to the market. that stopped it for awhile. it was only a stopgap measure as things begin to free fall. do you think we're in a new grand illusion? will there be a world wide crash? is the liquidity of long-term
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measure to try and stop something that is going to happen anywhere like the great depression? guest: rubini is the only person more consistently pessimistic than i am. i am concerned about how we will get over it. we have not put in the controls that we need. we're watching morgan stanley and goldman sachs run wild. that is a recipe for more trouble. it does not necessarily mean a great depression, but it is riggeirresponsible. guest: people were essentially buying houses on margin this time. people were getting a five-year mortgages with blue rates under the notion they would be able to refinance in five years at higher value. they were betting that the houses would keep going up in value for ever.
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it did not happen, just like the stocks that they bought on margins. with stocks, you can clear it out quickly. the houses are still out there. it takes much longer for the market to adjust. there are too many houses in america. it will be awhile. roubini is ian example of a literary phenomenon. economists always said that the world is coming to an end. a lot of people are talking about the bible. he is now credited with calling the bubble. he is now running around saying the world is going to and again. once someone gets credit for something, people listen to him for ever. it is like a cult with people waiting for the world to end and it does not. host: we're going to ask our
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viewers about the fed and whether it has to much power in a minute. guest: it does not have too much power, but it did not use it effectively. guest: it needs more congressional oversight. host: thank you both. we will be back to ask you if the federal reserve has too much power. first, an update from c-span radio. >> the british home secretary it says the 22-year-old was placed on the united kingdom watch list after he was refused a student visa. secretary johnson says people on the list can travel through the u.k. but cannot enter the country. he added that u.s. authorities should have been told that he had been placed on the watch list. there's violence today in pakistan. a top official says an attack
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has killed 20 people and wounded 60. many of the wounded are in critical condition. the interior minister said the suicide bomber detonated his expose of a the start of monday's procession. the israeli defense minister says iran will have the technology to build a nuclear bomb next year. they will be able to produce one in 2011. israel rejects their claim that it is designed to produce energy and not bombs. those are some of the latest headlines on c-span radio. >> the columnist and author of four books takes your calls and females. it is three hours with michelle malkin on "book tv."
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>> "washington journal" continues. host: does the federal reserve have to much power? we will take your telephone calls, emails, and tweets. we will get to your calls in just a minute. this is from the "kansas city star." said chief bernanke -- the fed chief bernanke faces critics in his bid for a second term. it says we cannot overlook the fact that he has presided over one of the biggest economic catastrophes we have had as a country. that is what demint said at
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december 8, 1917 meeting of the senate banking committee. they are placed calls on his nomination. it did clear the committee. it awaits a final vote in that u.s. senate. "the wall street journal" says the banking panel backed him for a new term. does the federal reserve have too much power? caller: this is tom sheets. the federal reserve does have to much power. we need to get back to the system that we do not have regulators regulating and giving money to every bank in the country at a reduced rate. i was listening to your guests a little bit ago. they are both professors.
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they were talking about how the politicians are being bought and how everything is correct in washington during it is also correct in our colleges. they get money from big corporations. the last vestige in this society that is correct is -- corrupt is farmers. it works. when the free market is able to work. host-- it works well when the fe market is able to work. host: we go next to pittsburgh, pa. on the independent line. caller: good morning. i want to say ditto to tehe last
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call. i agree. i have my doubts about congress. congress has been -- what needs to be done is true campaign reform. host: kentucky, kim. caller: i think they have way too much power. i do not think it needs to go back into the hands of congress. i do not think mr. bernanke knows what he is doing. i think they need to get someone in there that is not going to vote for anything and everything that mr. obama and congress want. congress gets what they want from the federal reserve. host: you are looking at video
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of chairman bernanke. his nomination cleared the senate 10 days ago. after the vote, senator dodd acknowledged the risk of a protracted battle on the floor. he said it might serve the poetical purpose of causing disruption in the marketplace but it is not in anyone's interest for that to happen. those are the comments of senator chris dodd, the head of the banking committee. we go to san antonio, texas. this is rich on the democrats' line. caller: you had a gentleman that talked about the creature from jekyll island. he sounded all little bit like a conspiracy theory guy. the government essentially operates on a credit card. everything that they used to
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fund the operation of the federal government is done on borrowed funds, whether it be from china, saudi arabia, the european union, or the federal reserve. the founding fathers set up our monetary system based upon a gold standard. everything the federal government does now is on a debt based currency model. that coupled with the fact that banks create money through the fractional banking system creates an empire of debt. it does not seem to be addressed in the mainstream media. the entire monetary system is based on a debt based, fraudulent model from the federal reserve. we need to look at eliminating this private corporation and putting the issuance of currency back into the hands of the people. we need to get back to sound money. thank you for taking my call.
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host: we have a tweet from harvey. bob is a republican caller. caller: of like someone to explain in detail at least 20 points with what the federal reserve does. it is too powerful. is a non-elected position. the other point is that we have been listening to mr. greenspan for many years before mr. bernanke. mr. greenspan has admitted that he talked gibber jabber for many years. what i would think the new gentleman will do any differently? -- what do we think the gentleman will do any differently. he will not do anything
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differently. this is a non-elected position. we do not know what the federal reserve does. this is where they want us to be. host: this is a story from over the weekend. it writes that greenspan was the first fed chief to become a celebrity. he was nominated by the post by four president. he was portrayed as a near genius for much of his record long run at the fed. his stark dimmed since the economic dry ride -- his star dimmed after the joy ride. he helped to encourage the house in bubble by prompting bad loans to unqualified buyers. a caller asked about the duties and mission of the federal
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reserve. it is the central bank of the united states. you can go to their web site for a definition. host: good morning to scott on the democrats' line. caller: it is obvious the federal reserve has not made any think more flexible or secure. with the constitution, they do not have a right to exist. i hope to talk to my conservative brothers. put on your common sense hat. realize that capitalism is based on greed and it does not work. in europe, they have a socialist model. as soon as the crisis hit, they
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took over the banks and got everything under control. they are now doing fine. take this in stride. we can do that. host: does the federal role in that? what is the connection? caller: they have no right to exist under our constitution. it will even be a constitutional government or not. what will we be? host: ben bernanke was named "time" magazine's man of the year. they interviewed him for that. one of the questions they asked was about the money being taken in being used for entitlements. a lot of people say it is not
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sustainable and the only solution is some sort of tax. they asked if he would be in favor of the alternatives. his response was that the one block he strongly advocated was a lot of arithmetic. that says if you are a low tax person, you are responsible for finding ways to save on expenditures so you do not have the north -- so you do not have a big imbalance between income and spending. it is incumbent upon you to figure out where the revenues will come from to meet the spending. i think that is congress's main responsibility. does the federal reserve have too much power? caller: yes, i think it does have too much power. i have been a republican for many years. i do support my senators.
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i also voted for one democrat in congress because he does follow conservative values. he does not go along with everybody in the democrat party. it is not just the federal reserve. i think that pelosi has too much power and is ruining our country. thank you. caller: i believe the fed has way too much power. why in 100 years has this bank not been audited one single time? host: we have john from ohio on the republican line. caller: i think the federal reserve has too much power. they put mr. madoff in jail.
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host: we are talking about china's currency. this is a headline from "the financial times" this morning. it is talking about the chinese premier saying that beijing will not given to foreign demands for its currency to strengthen, taking an increasingly defiant tone amid mounting international pressure. trenton, missouri, is up next. we have kimberly on the line. i am doing well. go ahead, kimberly. caller: i have been raised a democrat all my life. my father has always been a very straight democrat who votes with his party. i feel like the democrats to change quite a bit in the last 10 years.
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they are not the democrats of my father's day. they do not seem to help a small businessman. they were in office for two years and did not do anything until obama got in there. who knows if what they're doing is the correct thing? host: we are talking about the federal reserve, the power of the federal reserve. we mentioned that ben bernanke's nomination has cleared the committee and the next step is the floor. this next headline is from "the new york times." 75 obamof obama's nominees have
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gotten through committee. senators cleared 35 nominees by unanimous consent, far short of the 60 the administration had been hoping to get through by the end of the year. the next call is from alan in taxes on the republican line. caller: i sometimes wonder if i am the only person in the country who has a copy of something called a " committee on government oversight and reform. it is a commissioreport commissy someone in california. it came out july 7, 2009. it points out the culpability of
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fannie mae and freddie mac in bringing on the financial crisis. i hear about people wanting to beat up of banks, bernanke, and the fed. i think we should take a hard look at fannie mae and freddie mac. that is all i have. host: we talked a moment ago about the founding of the fed in 1913. this information is from the fed website. they conduct the nation's monetary policy by influencing the monetary and credit conditions in the economy in pursuit of maximum employment, stable prices, and moderate long-term interest rates. they are also in charge of supervising and regulating banking institutions to ensure the safety and soundness of the financial system and to protect the credit rights of consumers. they maintain the stability of the financial system and
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contained systemic risks that may arise and provide financial services. here is newark, new jersey. leo is a democrat caller. caller: i do think they have too much power. they were created in 1913. before they were created, the united states was a sovereign nation. she did not kno0 anybody any mo. a certain group of people were trying to establish a way to print money. that is when they came up with the federal reserve act in 1913 to create the federal reserve to print money. according to the constitution, only the treasury department is supposed to be able to print money. that is what i thought.
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i was going to finish up by saying that obama cannot help african-americans. his job is to save the jews. that is the problem. host: vincent is on the republican line. caller: they have way too much power. they print money out of thin air. it creates a lot of inflation. host: this is the front page of the marketplace section from "the wall street journal." late shopping puts retailers ahead. it was a late boost from procrastinating consumers with an extra day of shopping that helped to lift total retail sales by 3.6%.
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the spending is up slightly for the holiday compared to last year. we have john on the independents' line. caller: the fed has created too much power over the years. it is not like it was when it was first set up. host: it has created too much power? give us an example of that. caller: as the gentleman was saying before, they are basically controlling our gdp coming out of this country. they are the ones that. the money. they are -- their the ones that print the money. they set the interest rates. the interest rates being so low for so long is what created a lot of problems that we got. i used to be republican.
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if you look back it when jimmy carter was president, if you took out a loan on your part it was 12%. but you are getting 11% on your money. but big money and big influence has really come to control this money. host: was that a better situation when you said you were getting 11% on a savings account? caller: yes. we were getting 11% on savings accounts and paying 12.5% to get a car. people were able to save money and put money back into the economy. then reagan came in and everything switched around. we got nothing on our money.
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they took all of our money. that is the way it has went. also, when the republicans got full control of the house, the senate, the president passed some of the laws that they passed. that really gave us problems. host: here is a tweet. good morning to julien on the republican line. caller: i do not think they have too much power. i think it is how it is delegated. it is important to put money back into the system. they were giving the money to banks and corporations. they are not delegating the money. they are sitting on it. if you want the money to flow
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and the country to get back, the money has to go full circle. host: this is on the health care debate from "usa today." house democrats say they recognize this and that reality on merging bills. two house democrats who favor a government-run insurance plan acknowledged sunday it might have to be sacrificed as negotiators worked out a final agreement with the senate. the no. 3 democrat in the house of representatives appealed to obama not to yield on the public option. he set out conditions for yielding himself. he was asked whether he could vote for a final bill that does not embrace the public option. he said that he could. he added that we want the public option to do three things. create more choice for insurers, create more
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competition for insurance companies, and contain costs. we have are from indiana on the democrat line. -- we have arthur from indiana on the democrats' line. caller: i think the federal reserve act should be cut down. our politicians are running for office. they make outlandish promises. they are thinking about this money tree that has been created back in 1913. it is all counterfeit money. it is taxation beyond your imagination. it is too much of a shock to cut it out. we need to phase it down. the amount of money they can
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create, they can cut it down every year. pretty soon, our government would come back into reality and figure out they cannot fight these wars and be the police of the world. we will be on a more realistic basis for our thinking. i think that is what we need to do. it has gotten way out of hand. host: here is one more story. it is about the bush library in texas. it holds all things 'w'-- that is the article. the still-evolving american history is meticulously guarded in a climate controlled warehouse. it includes 68 million pages of documents, 375 females --
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emails, cowboy hats, and much more. that is about the bush library been created in texas. we have one more call on the fed. does it have to much power? ed is from north carolina. caller: the federal reserve is archaic. we need a paradigm shift. the person who has the best thing on it is a guy here in pittsburgh who wrote a book called, "small is possible." he is basically saying 20 to have our own local currency. we do. it is called "plenty."


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