Skip to main content

tv   Washington Journal  CSPAN  February 4, 2010 7:00am-10:00am EST

7:00 am
[captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] host: it is thursday, february 4. massachusetts set to get a new senator, senator-elect scott brown said to be sworn in today. in nashville, the tea party convention is set to get underway. on capitol hill, leaders from both comcast and nbc before house andç senate panels to tak about the proposed merger. we are here for three hours. lots on the table.
7:01 am
we will begin with our discuss and about political parties and the deficit. ççççwe will show you evan 's question to the president yesterday in the session the president had with democratic juáhq)e he talked about how the public perceives the party's and their approach to the deficit. we wanted to hear your thoughts about that as well. host: we are going to start with a clip of the president yesterday with senator evan bayh of indiana. publicly would describe himself as a moderate on budget issues. he also found out this week he will have a challenge from the man who used to hold his seat, dan coates from indiana, has been a lobbyist and now has decided to seek his own seat back. let us listen to evan bayh's
7:02 am
question to the president which came at the end of the televised session yesterday. >> çcitizens are making sacrifices and yet we want our earmarks and pet projects. they ask,ç why can't washington make the same sacrifices. i think it realized the other party does not have much credibility. they had you a $1.30 trillion deficit. vice president cheney famously said in his opinion deficits didn't matter. it just flat out said it. that is wrong. it is bad economics. so we've got a job to do. but acting many people across the country candidly lookç at s and say, i don't know if the democrats are willing to take on. they think we want to tax to much and spent to much and do we have the backbone to stand up and make some of the hard decisions. to your credit, you called for some things that are not always popular in our party. the first thing i noticed when you put intoç affect the non security discretionary spending freeze you got kicked in the shins by some of the left wing
7:03 am
blogs and you called for more restraints on earmarks, but to your credit because of the bad things. my question to you, speaking to independent, conservative democrats,ç moderate republicas who know we have to do this, why should the democratic party trusted and are we willing to take some of the tough decisions ahead this country in a better direction? host: we will show you the answer the president gave, or part of it because it was long and involved, but part later on. but he saw in the clip that senator bayh that republicans don't have credibility on the issue but also ask whether and not democrats can take on the challenges and be seen but a public to be about to take on the challenge. political parties and the deficit is our topic. you can also send us an e-mail and sent a question by twitter. a couple of related stories as we think of the deficit. the front page of "the financial times did tiered companies and market section, has a story about u.s. bond rating.
7:04 am
moody's warned u.s. operating. -- rating. that story made it to the front page of "the washington times" this morning. in their lead, they put it this way. inside open "the financial times" is a story by japan thatç gillette is put on the table. grim outlook for japanese bonds. they had a lost decade there. in the news analysis, here is what they say in the paper.
7:05 am
we put some issues on the table. let's get to your comments. political parties and the deficit. the first call is from virginia, keep on the democrats' line. ç-- keith. your comments, please. caller: i would like to say the democrats will gain trust and already have. the fact the republicans co- sponsors decided to reject the previous bill shows an unwillingness that they really care to reduce the debt.
7:06 am
i would just like to say that the midterms will look pretty good for the democrats because the people will know they are here to serve the american people and reduce the deficit. host: thanks for your call. texarkana, texas, joe is next. he is an independent. xdcaller: going back to whatç u first showed -- moody's bond rating, ifç you believe in that why you put that in the situation you are in? so, the democrats and republicans -- having solid footing. people have to believe in those things. how are they going to get the american public to even think they can go by a performance rating to put their ira's a 41 k in. as far as what the president said yesterday about discretionary spending, there are some many ways they can straighten it out but they cannot even come up with a
7:07 am
health care bill to get it straight -- they are not working for the american people. host: san antonio, texas, john on the republican line. caller: how are you doing today? host: very well, thanks for your thoughts on the deficit and either party. caller: i have to agree with bayh -- everybody sayst( money, but i disagree -- everybody seems to one to blame somebody. i would much rather see them beç serious and cut the government and half because the government does not create wealth, the only create that. yet he wants to hire 2000 -- or 100,000 more debt workers, per se, because somebody has to pay for everyone they hire. but they want to blame something that happened eight, 10, 20 years ago instead of saying right now we got to do this and cut. the republicans learned a lesson.
7:08 am
they learned the lesson, big government is not in answer. i wish the democrats would learn the same lesson. host: florida, bill on the democrats' line. caller:çç i live here in flora and i see what they are doing down here, they are using day laborers to work on their highways out of day labor halls where they are resting the day laborers for being homeless but letting them work on the road and highways and collect trash. we need more government workers that have -- host: we lost the connection. next is raleigh, north carolina, jeff on the republican line. caller: good morning. the american people need to realize both political parties are at fault. the republicans have done their
7:09 am
spending, the democrats have done their spending as well. but i think their main issue is not health care -- the main issue is not health care or the economy, i think -- or national defense, either. i think it is the transition of our system as a whole. we are moving further and further away from capitalism toward socialism and the american people areç waking up and i encourage everybody who might be foggy on what i talking about to go to their local library and read the difference. with the spending the democrats are doing to increase government, they are going to increase taxes to reduce puget -- reduced tribute to public programs -- we distribute to public programs of the bubble bogan's putting money into capital markets, private enterprise, butv:w3xd both polil parties have been guilty of over spending over the past years.
7:10 am
the sad thing is, as a result of both of them selling us out 30 years ago, either through tax incentives for impressing government regulations on our labor so now we are in the fix that both parties created 30 years ago. if everybody would get educated and we would be on the same page when it comes to revitalizing our economy we would be successful. thank you. host: jeff from of credit. let us hear part of what the president had to say in response. >> i will tell you why the democratic party should be trusted because the last time the budget was balanced it was under a democratic president who made some tough decisions. [applause] i think it is pretty straightforward. bill clinton made some very hard political decisions. some of you were there in congress. you know how tough those votes were. you got no help from the other side. but as a consequence, the
7:11 am
economy took off and you had a $200 billion surplus at the end of his presidency. so i think he deserves enormous credit. of those of you who took the boats took enormous credit. that is why we had, we should have a credibility. but we are still haunted by the debates that took place from the 1970's, the 1960's, and that hasn't completely worked through the political mind-set. so we are still saddled with this notion of the tax and spend model when, ifç you actually look at its,ç we have been very fiscally responsible. host: we are talking about the political partisan the deficit. the next call comes fromç cliv, independent from shelby, texas. hitting it right on the line. he is telling the congress what
7:12 am
we are up against. we are not in the past, like he said. we are dealing with the future. and we are not -- not uneducated people. just small people living our lives and try to do the best we can. we can hold on, we can survive. we just need our congress and senate, the people who are supposed to be leading the nation, to give us what they promised us. most of us struggling, hoping when it these days we may make a hundred thousand dollars a year. host: of giving us what they promise -- what are you thinking about? what was the promise? caller: it started with george washington right on up to date. we know our history. i just wonder if our congress and senate does. host: sliwa calling from shelby, texas.
7:13 am
fred, democrat from boley, maryland. ç-- bowie, maryland. caller: i have a problem with the democrat and republican party. when the president has to stand up and teach the parties are history, it is a shame. they don't know what to do in this country about anything. it is very clear under president bush administration, we are now facing one of the largest deficit in this country. while he was concentrating on two wars and his partner in crime cheney and wild howl a burden to go in and -- allow halliburton to go in and make millions of dollars, it is shameful. and then while he is in office they look the other way and allow the credit when there's,
7:14 am
the bankers -- credit lenders, the bankers, still take money from the american people. he had no way of controlling that were doing nothing about it. and this is the problem we find ourselves in. because now we have obama in the office and he has to straighten this mess out and that is always the case when a republican administration gets in,xd host: here is a twitter -- a storyç about the spending on health care from our gdp. here is "the philadelphia enquirer" with the lead. qa record share of all u.s.
7:15 am
spending and the largest one- year jump. cleveland, ohio is next. john on the republican line. caller:ç first, thank you for your courage about bringing on the moody's report about the u.s. bond rating. everyone forgets we are a very wealthy country. the international economist kind of looked at us to think, why is america so fearful of facing its own responsibilities. inçó england, in europe, all of theq places that socialism, they pay $8 a gallon for gasoline, in canada with their health plan they pay $4.50, $5.50 for gasoline. we areç waiting in america for the opec folks to raise the price and take all of our money. çi think senator bayh and, as u began your comments, and the president's response, asking,
7:16 am
did we have the courage to face our responsibility. çsenator bayh is from indiana where budget deficits are illegal. they have to have a balanced budget. çthe president answered by saying, we have been fiscally responsible. i apologize to the president by saying, who is kidding? we justç borrowed $1.30 trilli. local bankçç with mike incomey would last me out of office. america could add 25 cents to a gallon of gasoline, sacrifice for the work, sacrifice for troopsç, reduce our budget deficit by 25% of to 35% in that one decision and i think senator s)question to a president was, do we as a country, never mind democrat or republican, have the courage to face the responsibility that weç are overspending our capacity to sustain what we are doing.
7:17 am
ççhost: what do you think the national response would be? caller: i think everyone would be fearfulç and shaken up. just like george washington had to sell the whiskey tax at the çbeginning of our country or president lincoln had to sell tax increases to sustain the civil war, just as president roosevelt had to institute programs of rationing and sacrifices -- or president truman had to do courageous things. we look at our president as a leader and not an ostrich. çmr. obama has to decide, is he an ostrich, which they say you put your head in the sand which puts unfortunately a lesser attractive portion of the anatomy in the air, for a president who has his head up and looking at where we are going. i think the nation is going to be fearful but i thinkç the president's and the congress have to look at their deeds,
7:18 am
which is the budget deficit,ç d ask and we continue this. i think that is what movies did at the start of your program and i think blaming health care -- come on. we love to blame things. the reason health care is 20% of our gross domestic product is the other 80% is not doing its job. host: thank you. we got to let others in. chris has this to say on twitter -- allen, independent from pennsylvania. caller: thank you for showing clips of obama's press conference yesterday. i thought it was very interesting, just like his one in the house with the republicans. i think you could really tell that at the heart, republicans want to balance this budget and reduce deficits and i think you could see evan tbi's comments
7:19 am
and say democrats really do as well. how do we get there? i thought obama and the press conference with the senate, he was giving credit to the balanced budget -- not even addressing long term deficit -- but the balanced budget to clinton in the 1990's although clearly it was newt gingrich in the house. my memory is he shut down the government, making them make the hard choices, and there was even at that time i think an amendment, they were trying to create an amendment that we would have to have balanced budgets in this country which would have been amazing, and what the do? they sat down and did it anyway. because they knew they could. i don't know if it is just because people's personal -- personalities that mesh with the time that got it done, but obama should be going to some of these republicans who were there
7:20 am
at the time and say, how did we get this, what did we do? instead of trying to make it another democratic victory. i would say, i think everybody should also watched the speech that newton gingrich gave the other day, i think it was in baltimore, the latest republican conference, it was great. i think people need to realize we need ideas and new to gingrich acted like, let's look at -- host: i have to jump in because there are a lot of callers. thank you for your contribution. çjohn, democrat, williamsburg, pennsylvania --ç is in williamsburg or williamsport? caller: williamsburg. çhost: i'm -- where is that? caller: i am from the hampton roads area. host: i thought itç was
7:21 am
pennsylvania. you are in virginia. caller: i an not a political person. i basically did not know president obama before you came in office. i did not vote for obama, i vote for hillary clinton because i thought they did a good job when he is in there. as i hand it -- see him have of the office at this time of distress, i am proud of the way he handles the situation. as far as overspending, it is amazing how gullible the american economy is an american people are as far as overspending because when the president first came here this country was totally near bankrupt and everyone suffered from it. we seen it coming. we seen at the depression and recession. we were buckling our belts -- republicans and democrats, we had serious concerns about this economy and sends the president came here and make these decisions of the economy has rebounded, regardless of democrat and republican, you
7:22 am
have to admit it rebounded and now we are on a tract of success and not of failure. as i listen, i hear people, instead of looking at the positive, when to go back to the negative about this administration but the positive thing is that the stock market is up, our money is start to gain value, jobs are recovering, we are stable. these are things you can't avoid to see. and then they want to make an excuse of overspending. but the fact of the matter is, if we would not have spent we would not have had anything. if we would not have spent money to the contras would have died. host: i am hearing on the one hand or other hand. how do you feel about the level of spending? caller: i think the level of spending is necessary to accommodate this economy. without spending, we can't grow. host: thank you for your call. williamsburg, virginia.
7:23 am
one earlier caller talked about the event the president had last friday with house democrats. in a minute we will tell it -- show you a question he0had from jeddah and sterling from texas -- jebç hensarling from texas. in "that bill" this morning --
7:24 am
host: that is from "the hill." from "the politico" -- ç back to your calls. i]çthe parties and the deficit fayetteville, north carolina.
7:25 am
good morning to mike. caller: the president, when he gives a speech, ignores the fact his own party -- this would be the fourth year congress has been controlled by democrats. all spending in the united states originates in the house of representatives and passed by both houses of congress. so any of these deficits that have been run up in the past four years can be laid solely at feet of the present. he was also a member of the same senate voting for some of the trash he is complaining about today. i have to worry when i listen to the first three speeches, including the first one after he got elected where he has a habit about wining about everything, put the blame back on the guy before him. 1 1/4 speech, at west point, i said i will listen to the speech until he winds, i got to only hear a minute of the speech before he starts shifting blame. this guy has to understand he is the leader of theçó country. he is commander in chief -- cheap and not whiner in chief.
7:26 am
and a republican shares of lot of blame for what they did in the years they were in charge of the house and senate before the democrats took over three years ago. they overspent. they did a really stupid things and they were punished for it. the democrats should be punished for the stability they are engaging in this particular year. thank you. host: juliet on our independent line from richmond. caller: when he does make his speeches he does make mistakes in a lot of the things he says but nobody ever called rex and. it is like he can't be corrected. they always blame it on the bush and he did all the blame for everything but obama what he said about the republican party not helping clinton -- he has made several in the last several days, just like working out the other day and he was talking about this house bill, and the deficit, and he even admitted
7:27 am
that the health bill had been about the death panels and not be able to keep your own doctors. he needs to be called out. he needs to be called out on stuff that he is saying wrong because it is not right to lie to the american people. thank you. host: this twitter message -- "the wall street journal" is reporting about the arizona senate race with senatorç mcca, attested by the right flank. xd ççhere is michael phillips'e on this --
7:28 am
that is more from the arizona primary, the senate race. we promise you we would show you the question from the gop house members. this is jeb hensarlingç asking
7:29 am
the president about budget and washington. >> you are soon to submit a new budget. well the new budget like the old budget, triple the national debt and continue to take down the path of increasing the cost of government to almost 25% of the economy? >> caller: with all due respect. i have to take this last question as an example of how it is very hard to have the kind of bipartisan work we are trying to do because the whole question was structured as a talking point for running a campaign. look -- let's talk about the budget once again. i will go through it line by line. the fact of the matter is, when we came into office the deficit was $1.30 trillion. 1.3. so, when you say suddenly i've got a monthly budget that is
7:30 am
higher -- monthly deficit higher than the annual deficit left by republicans, that is actually not true, and you know it is not true. host: of the parties and the deficit, that is our conversation. shreveport, louisiana, brenda, a democrat. caller: thank you very much for giving us the outlet. i do hear some good comments from all sides and i'm glad to hear that. i'm hoping we can change the dialogue and its battle between the parties. i hear a lot about socialism from this president. he gets accused of that the lot. i don't think we are moving toward socialism. in spite of the fact that nobody wants to blame bush and his administration, the truth is we have to learn from our history or we are going to repeat it. we gave our corp. -- or congress gave the corporation's huge tax breaks and subsidies called corporate welfare.
7:31 am
they took the money and then took our factories and jobs and put them overseas so they can pay cheaper labor and save money in that respect. according to the gao or the government accounting office, in 2005 we paid it corporate welfare more than we did social programs that everybody seems to hate. the bottom line is, we are fighting two wars i am a mother of a soldier who served three tours in iraq. and my first response is, we have to support our military. but we make those sacrifices in this country. during world war ii, our parents made sacrifices. they were out there collecting cans. so we can't keep borrowing from china. we can't keep running deficits. but nobody wants to be realistic about the fact we are going to have to pay for this and in order to do that there are going to have to be sacrifices. we are going to have to pay more in taxes. whether it is a war tax, a war
7:32 am
bonds. i don't know. but we cannot keep blaming each other and not finding any solutions and we cannot keep asking our military families to do all the sacrificing. if you want to fight terrorism, fine, but you've got to sacrifice, too, and that means paying higher taxes in some form or another realistically. host: brenda, thank you for participating. we are talking about the political parties and the deficit. nashville, tennessee, rye and under what is getting set to cover the tea party conference -- ryan underwood is getting ready to cover the tea party is. marcia blackburn and michelle bodman decided not to attend, but the larger question is, what is the significance of the meeting this weekend? guest: i think a lot of people have their eye on the tea party in general especially after the
7:33 am
erection of scott brown. we really started to see things kind of all eyes turned toward the tea party convention after that because there was a sense that this is a real political force to be reckoned with. yet, nobody really knows what to make of it. is it a new party, what is it? i think some people are looking to this convention for an answer to that question, obviously looking ahead to the 2010 election. host: how will you as a veteran political observer determine the answer to that question? guest: it is really one of these things -- kind of wait and see what happens. one of the things about this event is that it was organized by people who really grew out of this protest grass roots movement. kind of behind the scenes, the
7:34 am
logistics have been tough. i know there are a lot of national media kind of scratching their head about how do we cover this thing. i'm talking with reporters i work with. our basic game plan is just to go and kind of see what happens. in some ways,ç i really don't know what to expect. some of the workshops will be focused on grass roots training and stuff like that. but you never know what kind of personalities emerge. they got sarah palin to come, and that will be a big drop. but i think to be determined really what this group is. again, is it going toward the formation of party force to be reckoned with or is it really meant to be continuing at a protest movement? host: c-span will be there for a number of sessions. we did not get their ok to cover all the sessions we asked for
7:35 am
but we are covering a number of them. are you able to send reporters to a recession you are interested in? guest: know, at all. we got radio silence from the organizers. i spoke to the press yesterday and it sounds like they had a similar situation. we frankly don't know what to expect. host: what about the charges that this is a money-making gamut for the organizers because the 500 + dollar a tendency? ç $? guest: we have a heard that. some of the volunteers of the organization, tea party nation quit and left the organization up over that. but i think what we are hearing -- we talked to sponsors, we talked to attendees, we had a story talking to some of the ho were coming and i think everybody is looking at
7:36 am
+(lc@fan networkç with 600 like minded kóçxdpeople and we have not ho much from the people who were actually attending that there is a big problem with the price tag.
7:37 am
certainly in the early days we heard last spring from a lot of ron paul supporters who had been it who, again, were not happy with both parties. again, when we talk to people who are coming to the event, it is not as if they want to form a new party, rather, look to perhapsw3ç real power in indivl races across theçfá country. host: just from an impetus point of view, scott brown, most reports he would be sworn in february 11, but he will be sworn in today. do you think that will change the mood in the room? sq%ei+ w3çin someçw3 waysqçóñr i heae impact scottçç brown has had e from outside theqççtm conventn talked to inside.
7:38 am
çñrñ23w3çthey point to that ae there is strength in the movement. but really we have not heard a lot about scott brown. i]ç
7:39 am
7:40 am
-9we elect people out as -- out of a charismatic features. we have become a nation of a culture of entertainment. we spend more time on "american idol" watching that than paying attention to what is going on in our country. we are now paying for that, i think. it has been a long time coming and i think it is sad to see. host: next is -- independent from grand rapids, michigan. fifth caller: thank you first fees -- for c-span. host: talking about the deficit
7:41 am
and that two parties approach. caller: i have a good idea. i am getting tired of the democrat and republican line -- i have been a democrat most of my life but more toward independent. what i would like to see is our legislatures take a half cut in pay, pay for two-thirds of their medical benefits, have term limits and when they get done with -- done getting any kind of extra funds or anything like that. as far as getting medical help after their term in office, go to the va is like the rest of the people who serve the country. and i think we need term limits. so we don't have so many people in there. host: thank you. next is a call from queens, new york, victor on our democrats line. go ahead, please.
7:42 am
caller: it is amazing to me how the republican party, when they are out of power, the deficit is that but when they are in power, it is good. a deficit is a deficit, especially huge deficit that we have is bad for any party. and we can't be spending like this foolishly and expect that the country is going to do well. we are fighting two unnecessary wars for a number of years. we are not holding people responsible who made bad decisions. those two wars, especially the war with iraq, was a ridiculous decision and nobody has paid for their voting for that war. ms. clifton, pelosi, they voted for it. they showed bad judgment. we have told our people that we eqac responsible when they make atrocious decision is like going into that second war with
7:43 am
iraq. totally unnecessary and look at what it cost us. not only lives of of the young people but the money it cost us. it is just ridiculous and we don't hear anybody that is being voted out because they voted for the war. all these people voted for that war should never have another position of authority again because they showed a very poor judgment. host: thank you, victor baird this morning another event is happening. a tradition in washington since eisenhower, the national prayer breakfast produce see a live picture appeared to have a pool camera covering all the media. it has been traditional for the president to go and speak to this even. there are many members of the house and senate who are traditionally in the audience. there is also a controversy surrounding the breakfast this year. it is written about in a "the new york times." for more than 50 years the national prayer breakfast has
7:44 am
served as a prime networking events, bringing togetherñiñi ti president, members of congress, foreign diplomats and thousands ofñi religious and -- leaders fr prayer and supplication.
7:45 am
a government watchdog group sent a letter to the president and congressional leaders urging them to skip the prayer breakfast and yesterday they sent a letter to us asking us not to televise it this year. the executive director of the ethics group says this is -- it is a combination of the intolerance of the organization's views and the secrecy. we really thought the answer to something that has questions is not to shut the camera down and not let you see it, so we cartelizing it this year as we have every year since we have been here. if you would like to see the comments about this, they posted that letter on their website that outlines their concerns and you consider website on the screen right now. that prayer breakfast will be live on c-span2, and as you watch it, understand it is not a government sponsored event even though there are many politicians in the audience, and that will be the last word on it. portland, oregon -- oregon, john, independent on the political parties and the deficit. caller: good morning bit it is
7:46 am
funny, the irony. the republicans -- the democrats, too, they all overspend. the republicansñ&r just try to y we don't need to pay for it. they get tax cuts during a war. the democrats cutting taxes to a little bit, on different people. but they spend the money, they don't want to make the painful cuts and i think it is funny that we have democrats cutting social programs and the republicans get off as they do the same thing except the cut taxes in the middle of the war and they don't pay for it, do it off budget and somehow seen as being fiscally responsible and obama some how reckless with his overspending. and the same thing with the letting the space program die. i can't believe we will rely on russian rockets to put our astronauts in space. what good american president would ever preside over the loss of prestige in this country like that?
7:47 am
it is ridiculous. both parties have run this country into the ground and everybody keeps pointing their fingers at each other, left and right, but they all have their hands in the cookie jar. host: last word on our open phones. these themes of the economy and the deficit will continue throughout the program as well as the second theme of transparency. later on, senior budget analyst at the heritage foundation who is quoted extensively in a " "washington times" colorado this morning. the mother jones bureau chief will talk about the proposal by reporters and in many internet activists about a regular question time, with the president and members of congress coming out of the two sessions. in just a couple of minutes, people in both parties point to small business as a real engine for the economy to spur economic growth. there is a big debate about what
7:48 am
policies in washington mightçó spur back on. we will be joined by kyle kempf , senior director of government affairs at the national business association. >> "in-depth" welcomes british historian and former adviser to margaret thatcher, paul johnson, author to over 40 books. his latest on winston churchill. join the three-hour conversation with the phone calls live from london sunday at noon eastern on book tv's "in-depth" on c- span2. >> it is really easy to complain about the issues. i tried to be entertaining, informative, and relevant
7:49 am
obviously but in a way that offers solutions. >> progress of talk radio host and author of 30 books, thom hartman is our guest sunday night at 8:00. >> for educators, c-span offers the new c-span we redesigned web site to make it even useful for teachers with current and timely c-span videos for use in the classroom. you can find the most watched video clips organized by subjects and topics. the latest on education news and chance to connect with other c- span classroom teachers. it is all free. sign up at the new c-span >> "washington journal" continues. host: senior director of government affairs at the national small business association, making his first visit to c-span. good to have you here, mr. kempf. let us start with an overview of small business role in the u.s. economy. how many jobs, what percentage
7:50 am
of gdp? guest: it is the backbone of the u.s. economy. net estimates as they create -- responsible for 99.7% of u.s. employers. they are really the backbone of the economy. host: what defines a small business? guest: a lot of definitions. most generally, anything under 500 employees is what we go by in our organization. host: last week we heard the white house may redirect some of the tarp funds, moving money to things like small banks, tax incentives and the like. what -- how are you getting involved in this debate? guest: the small business lending fund, we are generally supportive. it would transfer $30 billion of the tarp fund to this new special program.
7:51 am
the prose is that the stigma that is attached to the tarp fund would not be there for the new program and other proposals -- community banks were not eager to be associated with tarp. there's a negative connotations with that. and community banks are some of the biggest blunders. they have much smaller assets -- community banks are some of the biggest lenders. they have much smaller assets that make a and a large percentage of the loans. >> i am announcing a proposal to take $30 billion of the money that was repaid by wall street banks, now that they are back on their feet, said that $30 billion and use it to create a new small business lending fund that will provide capital for community banks on main street. [applause]
7:52 am
it is the small local banks that work most closely with small business. the use would provide them the first loan, the watch them grow through good times and bad. the hormones of the smaller banks provide to credit for small businesses, -- the more loans the smaller banks provide to credit for small businesses. if you combine it with my proposal to continue waiving fees and increasing guarantees for loans, all this will help small banks even more of what our economy needs and that is ensure small businesses are once again the engine of job growth in america. >host: are your members telling you access to capital is their largest problem? guest: it is a large problem we just did a year and economic survey and 39% said they had difficulty accessing credit. nearly 80% said they have been impacted by the credit crunch. host: some members would welcome
7:53 am
this new program that would give them lower cost money? guest: i think they would welcome a program that improves their ability to access credit. host: small businesses in general, are the customers there? guest: there is some issue of demands. a lot of banks cite that as reasons they are taken less loans but they're also less -- other issues. the program has built in the incentives to get community banks to actually make the loans once they got the money through the larger banks -- received obviously top funds -- community banks think incentivized to increase small business lending by decrease the dividend rate in return. host: we have been talking all morning about the budget deficit. we want to show a clip of judd gregg talking to peter orszag, budget director, about this program. this debate about the use of
7:54 am
tarp funds. >> let me tell you what the law says, let me read it again because you don't care to understand the law. the law is very clear. to the moneys recoup from tarp shall be paid into the general fund of the treasury for the reduction of the public debt it is not for a piggyback because you are concerned about lending to small business and you want to get a political event when you make a speech in new hampshire. that is not of this money is for. it is to reduce the debt of our children that we are passing on to the children. you ought to at least have the integrity to be forthright about it and say that is what you are doing. you are adding to the debt our kids are going to have to pay back. when you are claiming at the same time that you are being fiscally responsible. host: talking to peter orszag in that exchange. this is not fit per se a small
7:55 am
business issue but it goes to the point whether or not people want to take this money because there might be a stigma attached. can you talk more about attitude you found? guest: the is concerned -- the legislative fix, it requires legislative action and there are 39 republican senators who signed a letter to the administration asking any remaining tarp funds be given back to the treasury to reduce the national debt. there will be political problems to overcome to increase small- business lending. host: the small business association created an official response to the tarp announcement. you can read it on their website. let me move on to another key aspect, tax incentives for hiring new employees. how much would this affect your members? guest: it will affect them if they hire new employees but it
7:56 am
is unclear whether it will be enough incentives to do that just for the tax incentives. $5,000 tax credit is nice but not enough of a break to make you hire a new employee if you were not already going to. host: because you have to sustain the salary. guest: and there are benefits associated with a new employee. host: what is your organization's prescription, drawn from polling and talking to members, about what what best tell? guest: our members asking for, number one, economic certainty, which is obviously a huge issue, and more access to capital. also asking for affordable health care, in our gear and economic survey. 20% of our respondents said a decrease workforce because of the rising cost of health care. a fifth of all small business owners, which is a very dramatic number. they are also asking for not increased taxes.
7:57 am
host: let us get to calls and talk to people. we hope you -- we will hear from small business owners on what you might want from washington and the debate on how to best help small businesses. our guest is kyle kempf. let us begin with a call from colorado, chuck on the -- excuse me, anne on independent line. caller: this is sanne. i would like to make a comment to put this $30 billion into perspective for all availability to small businesses, three smaller banks. it is pretty much agreed upon that aig, one business received $180 billion in one year. so i think this is a really wise
7:58 am
measure by the obama administration in conjunction with all of the other supports to small businesses to add just $30 billion towards creating loans for small businesses. and since there is no political will for a public works program like in the 1930's for the government to create big bureaucracies to create jobs, this is a really good focus on small businesses, including the $30 billion. host: thanks. guest: that sounds good. host: gaithersburg, maryland, chop on the republican line. caller: however you, mr. kempf. and i am a small-business man. 37 employees, full-time and part-time in four retail outlets. guest: are you a nsba member?
7:59 am
caller: yes, i am. but it seems like nobody talks to the real small businessman like myself. people say $250,000 a year, if you make over that. for a small businessman that is llc -- if your company makes $250,000, your income has to come out of that, and you have to have reserves for capital expenditures, receivables, inventory. when you are all said and done, if you are able to take personally $80,000, $100,000 of profitability a year you are still being taxed on $250,000. this is what the government does not realize. borrowing money, you have to have the income and ordered to pay back the loans and you still have to read -- meet the criteria of banks. most small business people don't own the buildings. they rent. they don't have assets to secure
8:00 am
these loans and order to maintain their business through this crisis as far as capitalized in the business to pay for losses until such time business turns around. they've got to find a way to take the people who are making money and are employed, to spend money because our sales are down 25%, to 35% in this crisis. until the consumers bark -- start spending, they need tax cuts for the consumers, i don't care what level, but people who come in and buy goods and services for small businesses. that is what needs to be generated. not lending. host of i missed in your introduction, -- have you lay off people? caller: yes, i have. i had to cut schedules and work skeleton crews. .
8:01 am
host: let me get a response.
8:02 am
guest: lot of that is familiar to our association. 64% of small-business owners had experienced a decrease in revenue, the highest level since we started asking the question. there are a lot of issues with decreased revenue, decreased profitability. the issue with the expiration of the bush tax cuts, for those making above $100,000, families above $250,000. this is important to many people. the money they are making is not necessarily going into their pockets. only 17% of small-business owners are key corps, the rest
8:03 am
are pass through entities. host: bethlehem, pennsylvania. bill on the democrat line. caller: good morning. i have a question. you know when mcdonald's delivers food, it drops off one guy who puts boxes on their rollers, and it goes to the back of the restaurant. you look at these people in haiti -- first, who makes those rollers? could those people in that business provide this to the government and say, we can feed those people faster rather than
8:04 am
using 30, 40 men passing boxes to each other. it might be something to look at. it could help business, at the same time, helping them. host: his example may have you explaining something larger, government contracts. their ability to small business. we know the administration is talking about increasing trade. guest: small business plays a significant role in the government, although we believe insufficient. the government set itself a goal of 22% of contracts going to small businesses. they do not reach that goal very often. the last few years they have been right around it. 20 percent time is a reasonable number.
8:05 am
-- 20% is a reasonable number. they do that a lot of competition to the procurement process. they are also on the leading innovators of the economy, so we think they should be playing a larger role. that might have been an anger for example, -- a perfect example, the rollers. we are supportive of the administration's efforts on that front. they've recently named an administrator, and they aren't working to improve all of that. host: how can the federal government to better support small businesses? is it a question of trade policy, trade promotion? guest: probably both. financing is another big aspect
8:06 am
for small businesses. host: does the promotion come from the government, governments traveling? guest: it is about to change. there will be in increased to the commerce department for its export promotion. host: as we talk about small business and its role in the economy, in the light of legislation moving through congress, charlie on the republican line. caller: i am trying to figure out if i have a question or not. i had a small businessman, and tax breaks do not remain main much -- mean much. host: what kind of business are you in? caller: a furniture store. we are a micro business, only
8:07 am
about five employees. host: are people buying furniture? caller: earlier in the year, we were rolling, but wait until january numbers come in. in january fell off the charts. host: what are you reading into that? caller: i am not sure there is a sustained recovery. tax breaks will not be important for these businesses who cannot make money. host: is there any thing, in terms of policy that can come from washington -- caller: employment. that is really my question. what is the administration going to do to preserve and create these jobs? if people have money, they will spend money on furniture. it is economics, but it is not rocket science.
8:08 am
guest: there is a limited arena where the administration can do things on job creation without spending a lot of new money. they are a bit hamstrung in that regard. host: there is a story in the "washington post" related to this --
8:09 am
any comments on that? guest: i think energy efficiency component is interesting. it is a potential win-win for a lot of small business owners. most of the people who do energy retrofits our small business, and they have a lot of room to engage into efficiency efforts. we could save 30% of our energy bills by making some modest upgrades. realizing that sort of savings is significant for the small business owner making them. so there is of a lot of potential there. host: this from twitter --
8:10 am
back to phone calls. long island. pete on the republican line. caller: good morning. the first thing we have to do is cut government down to the bare bones. we laid off our employees. when things get tough, the government has to do the same thing. i would also suggest cutting the corporate tax from 45% to 12%, like they did in ireland people will get more confidence. the policy that the president has that is all over the place. every week there is something new. people in business cannot have confidence. the people who have money, they do not have any confidence to do
8:11 am
anything because they are worried they are going to be taxed. cut the capital gains tax, too. make the whole world want to invest in our country. that is how you get the economy going. it will take some time. president ronald reagan did it, it took two years, but he created a lot of jobs. there is another great man, former house speaker newt gingrich. if he was president, the economy would be back in shape. host: anything to respond to him? guest: president obama did call for a small suspension of the capital gains tax, which will be helpful, but it is not a huge part of the industry.
8:12 am
but we are supportive. host: if tax cuts from the bush administration are allowed to expire, how will that affect the economy? guest: a lot of small business owners are passed through entities. a lot of the people -- the money that they show on their forms are not necessarily going into their pockets but back into the business. host: next phone call. mike on the republican line. caller: i have cut off my credit cards and i will never did another dime to the republican party. i abandoned them. i only voted republican because it was the best way to get a conservative into office. the problem with our leadership is they are beholden to their parties. they are not beholden to their
8:13 am
convictions. their constituents. i think the best solution is for having a high degree of sensitivity to their constituents, who are center- right, who can form coalitions with like-minded members in the senate. that could derive their power from a coalition like that, rather than from their parties. my second question is, what do you think is the number-one reason why small businesses would hire more employees relative to what the government
8:14 am
could do? guest: their business is growing, and they need another hand to help out. it is not clear that the tax credit will provide that incentive for most small- business owners. host: following up on the discussion about increasing exports, we have this twitter -- guest: the trade deficit is a huge issue it is the hot sun to -- not something we really focus on. there is some growth opportunities there. host: talking about health care, with all the debate going on, what do small business is
8:15 am
most want in terms of the health care package? guest: sba has been arguing for a broad health care reform since 2004. we advocate cost containment, creating affordable coverage. as i mentioned, 20% of our respondents said that they had to reduce their workforce because of the rising cost of health care. that is a significant amount of the owners. those are two key issues. host: pennsylvania. brian on the republican line. caller: i was wondering, if the government could get out of your way and decreased their spending, and instead of messing with taxes, if they could just leave it alone. that would give you the
8:16 am
certainty to move forward. guest: to some degree that would be helpful but there are other federal agency that helps to facilitate a lot of small business lending. we are supportive of an agency like that, their goals. they are really trying to help small business i) grow, and they do a pretty good job with their relatively of limited means. host: i wanted you to respond to this tweet -- is that the way it works? guest: i am not sure. host: new jersey.
8:17 am
maggie on the democrat line. caller: the caller from long island, that is indicative of what we are in the situation we are in. the middle-class, a capitalist economy is not naturally occurring. it needs to be created. it was basically created from the new deal that was established. corporate taxes -- yes, we have the highest in the world, but the truth is, it is 35% they do not pay because of the allotments by the government. what happened in the ronald reagan at ministration, it must not only a transfer of wealth, but a transfer of power. what had happened to small
8:18 am
businesses is they became successful run and then be investing in their businesses, hiring more employees, we went through a time of acquisitions and mergers. the group that had to pay for that was the working class, the labor. now over the past 30 years wages have decreased. jobs have disappeared. we are a consumer-based economy. 70% of the economy does come from consumerism. if people do not have jobs -- someone said that he had a small business but no one is there to buy his products. without the support of the middle class, there will never be a consumer. people do not have money to spend. for the lastú30 years people have been spending on credit. now the bill is due.
8:19 am
we need jobs, we need a strong middle-class, and educated middle-class. that is what will spur our economy and make small businesses capable of being strong again. there should be investment in small businesses but we have major monopolies where small business does not have a fighting chance. we have to correct that. government is not the problem but they are representative of office and can certainly take care of our problems from laws that create regulation and oversight. host: thank you for your call. guest: she is right, consumer demand is a significant issue right now. until that picks up, they will
8:20 am
continue to summer. host: she also said small business has a disadvantage compared to large corporations in terms of tax policies. is that the position of your organization as well? guest: i do not know if we have a distinct position on that, but it is clear small businesses are at a disadvantage when it comes to a lot of policy areas. host: she brought up the topic of education. i wonder if that debate is also occurring in washington. no child left behind his being reauthorize and will be be discussed as a policy. education, creating jobs, customers. as well, creating a work force for your members. guest: finding and educated,
8:21 am
well-trained work force is a conviction for small business owners. especially because a lot of them are unable to offer health benefits to potential employees, which puts them at a distinct disadvantage. host: here is another tweet -- springfield, missouri. link on the independent line. talk about small businesses. caller: first, the organizational structure. most of them are scorps. the way taxes market is and they pay taxes on corporate rates. the ones that are not ccorps
8:22 am
flows back through the tax of the original owner. so there is no double taxation. host: you have answered the question of our hotdog analogy. caller: yes, said there is no double taxation. the bush tax cuts, only 2% of small businesses have income in excess of $250,000. the expiration -- obama had said no tax increases for people making less than $200,000, and most of small businesses are there. so only those businesses making more than $250,000 would be affected by the expiration of the bush tax cuts.
8:23 am
a lot of the small businesses that make in excess of that have more than one owner. if you have two owners of the small business, and they each own 50%, and they make five and a thousand dollars, that would flow back to the two -- $500,000, that would flow back to the two owners. the increase of the rate is only three percentage points which means a small business affected by the expiration of the tax cuts, the profit that goes to the individual taxpayer would only be paying an additional
8:24 am
$3,000 out of every $100,000. host: thank you. what is the bottom line about the policy? caller: the expiration of the bush tax cuts does not have an adverse affect on small businesses. the problem is, as i see it, from the government's standpoint, is they have failed to recognize the current recession is identical to the depression of the 1930's. the problem is the average person does not have any money to spend. small businesses hire people because they needed employees to provide a service to their customers. if they do not have any customers, they will not hire anyone. they will not hire people to expand, regardless of tax credits, because they do not
8:25 am
need them. host: thank you. in his summary, he got us back to where we started. moving on to another phone call from florida. kathleen on the republican line. caller: good morning. i have a question. in my neighborhood, small businesses are owned by people who do not speak like me, do not look like me. what i would like to know is, how did this occur? how did they become business owners in the black community? what did they do when they went to the bank to get their loan? how did they get approved? when i went to the bank to get a loan five years ago, and i had
8:26 am
an idea for a computer phone, which is on the market now, i was denied. can you answer that for me? every small business in the urban community is basically owned by people who cannot speak like me, from other countries. guest: no, i do not know that i can answer that. i do know that black-own small businesses is one of the largest growing sections of that community, as well as hispanic- owned businesses. host: are there extra programs for minority-owned businesses? guest: absolutely. there are some special lending programs for disadvantaged, minority businesses. there are contracting issues are
8:27 am
there are things set aside for minority, women-owned, the veteran-owned businesses. host: the small business administration, how is its structure? guest: it is a federal agency. we have slightly less than $1 billion in our budget. host: we have time for a couple of more phone calls. frank on the democratic line. florida. caller: i used to work for a small business. you said before that most small businesses turn their money back into the business. they do not turn their money back into the business. that is a lie.
8:28 am
i worked for two people. each took $8,000 in salaries, $60,000 in bonuses. they had everything from toilet paper to caviar shipped to their facility. i was in charge, so i know. every year we would have to resupply. we were called a factory but we were not manufacturing anything. host: where is this story going? how does that help us understand the plight of small businesses? caller: i do not think small businesses reinvest their money. every christmas we would fire
8:29 am
six, eight people so that we could resupply. then in june, we would rehire. that is the way it was done. they did not take any money out of their pocket. they can afford to makepay more taxes. guest: i did not mean that they we invested all their money back into the business. the way the tax code is set up is it does not demonstrate what investments they would make. host: last phone call. also from florida. chuck, go ahead. caller: good morning. how is everyone? i wanted to question the whole notion of a service economy. small business is fine, it is a driver, and that is where most
8:30 am
people work, but not too long ago, everyone was talking about how wonderful it was to have a service economy. we were changing from a manufacturing economy to a service economy. to have a service economy, you need people buying service is. if people are not manufacturing things, having regular jobs, the service economy paul on its face. -- falls in its face. i do not know why, under the 10th amendment, states can gain control of small businesses within their borders. i think we need to revise the
8:31 am
10th amendment, take the power, of the hands of the federal government, returned to manufacturing. one thing the constitution does do is give the federal government the ability to legislate and control commerce. that means bring those jobs back to this country right now so the american people can get working. everyone wants to make the case -- i cannot remember the word -- protectionism. there is. host: i have to jump in. he was talking about the service economy. when you look at the makeup of your membership, what percentage of businesses are in manufacturing as opposed to services? guest: i am not terror, but a significant part of the economy is small business manufacturers, and they are hurting right now.
8:32 am
as the furniture store owner called, there is a lack of demand in manufacturing, too. host: so as we close, what is the message that you want to leave with the audience? guest: we think right now there should be a continuation of the stimulus provisions increased sba lender guarantees through 2010. that has had a huge impact on small business lending. 36% fewer loans made last year. since those provisions made into effect, there has been a significant uptick. we would like to see some small business credit card reform as well. host: thank you. much more on their policy positions on the nbsa website. when we come back, brian riedl,
8:33 am
a senior fellow at the heritage foundation. we will continue to talk about the debt and the deficit. >> after meeting with president obama, senate democrats this morning hold a news conference to talk about their agenda and jobs legislation. live coverage at 9:00 eastern. after that, we will be joining an oversight hearing looking at the inspector general's report for homeland security on the amount of money spent for contras, retreat, and other off site activities.
8:34 am
also this morning, we are covering a hearing looking at the proposed merger between comcast and mtc -- nbc universal. live coverage at 9:30 eastern. >> it is easy to complain about the issues, the policies of today. i tried to be entertaining, informative, and relevant, but in a way that offers solutions. >> progressive talk show host and author of 30 books, thom hartman is our guest. >> this weekend, nobel prize- winning economist joseph stieglitz on the collapse of the economy.
8:35 am
watch "washington journal" 4 conversations, comments, and your phone calls about the public affairs. c-span, covering washington like no other. host: we have been talking about the budget deficit and national debt this morning. brian riedl is our guest, a senior analyst at the heritage foundation. he looks at the numbers. you gave the washington -- "the washington times" fodder for their headline today. here is what they say --
8:36 am
those are some strong words. we heard from the treasury secretary, peter orszag, and the president, all suggesting they are serious about the deficit. they put a freeze on discretionary programs. guest: a small sliver. host: what is the real story? guest: under the president's budget, the deficit would total about $9 trillion over the next 10 years. to put that in context, that would double the national debt. and it is not just temporary. we have a $1.50 trillion deficit this year. even as late as 2020, he would
8:37 am
still run trillion dollar deficit. the problem is, although there are some small cuts, there is a huge spending, health care entitlements, cap and trade. it will be the biggest time of spending that we have had in peace time. host: looking at these percentages of gdp, how does one measure that? guest: just like a family would decide how much that they have is acceptable based on how much income they have. a mature country with a higher gdp can afford more debt. typically, a percentage of gdp, has been about 40%. 40% of our income has been matched by the dead. under the president's budget, it would be up to 80%.
8:38 am
by 2020. that is virtually unprecedented, and it would keep on rising. once you get to 70%, 80%, you start to cause problems. other countries stopped lending to you. host: let us open up the phone lines for you. the phone numbers are on the screen. one of the charts i want to put on the screen comes from the treasury department. they look at who holds our debt. we hear so much about the chinese and their ability to affect our standing and policy because of the ownership of our debt. but when you look at this, they are 14% of 25%, is that correct?
8:39 am
guest: partially. they only own about 8% of total debt. overall, the percentage of our debt owned by foreigners and foreign governments has doubled since 1995. it is still not the majority, but it has been growing. the fear is, the more it is owned by foreigners, the more unstable it is. they could stop buying it for they could use it to shape foreign policy. in the short term, it is good that foreign governments are buying our debt, because it means we do not have to supply in ourselves, and interest rates are lower than they would otherwise be. host: i started out with a story that moody's could be issuing a warning that our bonds could be downgraded. what does that mean? guest: right now the u.s. is considered the safest on you can buy. that allows us to get away with
8:40 am
paying lower interest rates on it. moody's is saying that the debt is going so high, we may not be able to fully repay the debt. if we lose our aaa rating, we will have to pay higher interest rates in order to get people to buy our bonds. that will raise interest rates in the economy and will affect anyone who want a loan. host: i am getting a tweet asking you to remind everyone where the rarheritage foundation comes from. guest: we mainly support conservative standpoint. there are a lot of people who have been putting their money in the s&p 500 the past few years.
8:41 am
over the long term, interest rates will go up. once people say -- feel safer putting their money back into the stock market, we will have to induce people with higher interest rates. but right now, if you want a safe investment, u.s. bonds are the safest game in town. host: during the bush administration, there was criticism that the cost of the war's was off budget. does the obama's administration bring them back into holistic accounting? guest: that's simply mean they were founded on an emergency basis. in the final budget deficit figures, it included more spending, they were just funded with the word emergency next to it, so it was not subject to caps. president obama puts most of the spending in his budget, except for the $30 million search for afghanistan. at the end of the year, and you
8:42 am
cannot get away from it. all the spending will end up in the final outlays. host: when any administration talks about cuts in discretionary spending, what is discretionary, what is non- discretionary? guest: 40% of the budget is discretionary, health, education. that is the part that congress goes through it and determine how much they will spend. the other 60% is mandatory, entitlements. social security, medicare, medicaid. this is on autopilot. they do not even look at it. the general danger is these mandatory programs are growing very fast on autopilot and may eventually squeeze out the discretionary programs. host: explain this chart. guest: that is the long-term
8:43 am
unfunded liability in these programs. over the next 75 years, medicare is going to run a deficit of $36 trillion, which means spending will exceed the amount it takes in in premiums and in taxes. social security will have its benefits exceed the amount we take in by 6.6 trillion. this is what is driving up the real long-term problem. we have a combined $43 trillion in our future medicare and social security spending, and congress will need to address that. host: friend from georgia. democrat line. -- frank from georgia. caller: hell, we have all this concern about the budget now? in the bush years, the budget
8:44 am
did not mean anything to them. but all of a sudden, the budget means everything. why is this? guest: first of all, at the heritage foundation, i was criticizing president bush about the deficit. president bush spent a lot of money and it pushed the deficit up, but the issue is a comparison. under president bush, the deficits averaged $250 billion a year. however, right now the deficit is at $1.50 trillion during the recession. over the next 10 years, the deficit will regularly be over $1 trillion. so the issue is degrees. as a matter of fact, we are on course to run up more debt in
8:45 am
the next eight years under president obama than we did under all presidents from george washington to george bush combined. as a percentage of gdp, that number is going to grow quickly. debt is growing faster than it was under president bush. host: anna on the independent line. caller: i am an independent, but i am a ron paul girl. this is what we want those spinous democrats out of washington, as well as those conservatives that have been screwing things up. it is so unpatriotic. tell us where the country stood on december 31, 2008, -- and i do not care much for the president, but you are doing
8:46 am
nothing but fanfare. tell us the truth. where were we december 31, 2008, and where are we now? give us more credit. you are part of this. he would be more credible if you compared where we were under george bush and where we are now. i will take your answer off to the air. host: compare what exactly? the size of the debt? caller: yes, both short-term and long-term. guest: the day president obama took office, the national dealt held by the public must $6 trillion. when president bush took office in was $3 trillion. the day he left office in 1 $6 trillion. since president obama took office, it has gone up $2 trillion already, although some of that was spending from president bush.
8:47 am
we are on our way to reach a debt of $20 trillion by 2020. that is what really concerns me. going from $3 trillion to $6 trillion under president bush is tough, but when you look at going to $20 trillion, it is child's play. host: another tweet -- guest: that is not really the case. a lot of people blame it on the bush tax cuts, but they did not cause these massive deficits. in 2007, even with the war, the deficit was only $162 billion. furthermore, president obama wants to continue most of those tax cuts and he would still run a deficit of $9 trillion over the next 10 years. if it was all president bush's fault, we would have had
8:48 am
deficits much bigger under him. the real driver is social security, medicare, medicaid, net interest spending. if president obama passes his health-care plan, that could increase the debt, too, but it is not a tax cut, the war, mostly social security and medicare, medicaid on on a pilot. host: lesley miller send this message -- guest: that is one way to reform it. right now on social security payroll tax on your first $100. medicare, you keep going. -- first $100,000. the problem i have with that solution is that is a large tax
8:49 am
increase and it does not fully closed hole in social security. i would rather see reforms on the benefit side. i think raising taxes by that much would cause huge economic problems, but it is a fair point. it would close part of the deficit. host: pamela on the republican line. san bernadino, california. caller: i would like to find out what they do not do an audit on the federal reserve, a non- governmental agency. madison was afraid that factions in the government could cause problems. when a family starts to project their income, what they need for the next year, you know what your expenses will be. we had an invasion of 30 million illegal immigrants coming into
8:50 am
the country, along with more than 770 businesses leaving the country. we cannot sustain this kind of loss. my question is, why don't we abolish the federal reserve and return it back to the treasury? guest: that is a big question. in terms of auditing the federal reserve, they are reasonably public about their way of making decisions on interest rates. mr. bernanke does testify regularly on capitol hill explaining what he is doing, and why he is affecting monetary policy the way he is. some, like milton friedman, have suggested that we could replace federal reserve with a computer that could determine these interest-rate formulas. perhaps that would be better. federal reserve policy can be subject to certain criticism. i do not hoknow how we would do
8:51 am
this. there is disagreement on the way they have handled the recession, and that is fair. host: another tweet -- guest: $3 trillion of the deficit? over the next 10 years, if we expended all the tax cuts, for everyone, that would be about $3 trillion. the deficit is much bigger than that. the base line is $11 trillion. if you got rid of all the tax cuts, we would still have and $8 trillion deficit over the next 10 years. president obama is not talking about doing that. only for those making more than $250,000 a year. that is only 1/5 of the tax cuts. if you want to get rid of "tax
8:52 am
cuts for the rich" it is over $16 billion from a deficit of $11 trillion. for those who believe that is good policy, that is a fair argument, but you are not going to balance the budget by raising taxes by $600 billion in order to close and $11 trillion deficit. host: la plata, maryland. caller: it seems this young man that i am looking at has a very short term memory. i see his mouth moving but i cannot hear him. actually, c-span, just the other day, had someone from the heritage foundation. let's get down to brass tacks. go back to what happened a short time ago when mr. bush was in office.
8:53 am
we had all of these great tax cuts that were supposed to benefit the general public, which was not the case. that is your ultimate goal, to destroy all social programs, young man. let's be honest about it. own up to it. certainly, what you are saying -- it is your job to know these facts and figures, but you are incorrect. i do not think i have a question but basically a statement. guest: she did not dispute a single number i had, so i do not know how to respond. in terms of my secret agenda with social programs -- you do not know me. if you want to know my views on that, perhaps you should ask me. president bush's tax cuts did help the economy in the short term. we had good years of growth, lower tax rates for americans,
8:54 am
we did create johjobs. the recession we are in right now is a result of the housing crash. furthermore, for those who think that all the tax cuts were so bad, i do not see a clamoring to get rid of them, at least from those people making under $250,000. the reality is, we cannot tax our way out of this problem. if we were to try to balance the budget by raising taxes, we would have to raise taxes permanently by $12,000 per household. that is the size of the deficit by 2020. you cannot tax your way out of that. you cannot even do that to the rich. you would have to catch everyone. the reality is, spending is a long-term problem, so let's bring in the unsustainable growth in spending and have a
8:55 am
government that we can accord -- before. host: one more tweet -- guest: first, when you are in a whole, stop digging. cannot pass an expensive health care plan, cap and trade plan. second, repeal stimulus spending. it is not working, we are losing jobs. third, we have to go after wasteful spending. we spend $100 billion a year on overpayment. another $100 billion at year on corporate welfare. $150 billion that the government auditors and it does not work. finally, you have to go to where most of the money is. social security, medicare, medicaid. that accounts for nearly all the growth. it will probably require more
8:56 am
means testing on social security and medicare. we may have to ask some seniors who are upper income to pay more of their benefits and receive a smaller subsidy. we may have to raise the retirement age, but what we do not want to do is raise taxes $12,000 per household. host: you have your bachelors in political science from the university of wisconsin. paymasters of public affairs from princeton. you also worked for tommy thompson. also a budget at -- analyst for republican mark green. next phone call on the topic of the budget, deficit, debt. wilmington, north carolina. jack on the independent line. caller: good morning. i would not dare question --
8:57 am
obviously, you have a tremendous grasp on the numbers. you went through them so fast, i will have to go back through them. i have been working all night long at a factory. i have two questions for you. i was coming on when you were explaining where we were at the end of 2008, and where we are now. if you could go over that for me again. my second question -- i will take that response off the air -- when the president is submitting a budget and we hear how that would grow the deficit in the out years, could you explain to me how that works? when i hear 10 years out, not not in the process, we may have another president by then. so how do you lock us into that
8:58 am
budget? thank you. host: thank you for the good question. guest: at the end of 2008, the annual budget deficit was about $453 billion for the year. total debt held by the public was just under $6 trillion. at this point, we have a deficit of $1.50 trillion. debt is just under $8 trillion, quickly heading toward $10 trillion. in fairness, some of the increases that have been immediately, as soon as president obama was inaugurated, was from spending bill signed by president bush before he left. when i am counting the 2009 deficit, i think we can blame both president bush and president obama. now that we are in 2010, president obama foley owns the budget.
8:59 am
in terms of protection, if policy was implemented, how would they influence next 10 years. these models can be unreliable. it is true, future presidents can change any policy they want and change these numbers, but one thing i mentioned earlier, most of the government's spending is on autopilot, social security, medicare, medicaid. that does not go through the budget every year. when the president makes changes, a lot of them will go on autopilot, and it will be tough to reverse them. so in that area, it becomes somewhat predictable what will happen in 10 years because it is hard to take those programs offered autopilot. so the long-term numbers are serious. if anything, it is worse than
9:00 am
the numbers suggest. when you look at some of the assumptions used, i think long- term deficits will be even bigger than we are projecting. host: shall be on the republican line. georgia. caller: i have been a social security recipients since september. when i hear on and on a social program -- i do not know how i feel about that. i also work part-time. in my estimation, if they never put social security funds in the general fund, it would probably be self sustaining and i would not be lumped in with welfare recipients. . .
9:01 am
one area of reform is to say perhaps bill gates and warren buffett should pay more than 25% of medicare part b and d, perhaps they can afford 80% or 90% or 100% and have the
9:02 am
taxpayers subsidize less. but those parts really blow up. where the senior pays 25% and taxpayer pay 75%. on social security, the program is self sustaining and it -- only until about 2015. starting in 2015 the payroll tax will not be enough to cover all costs. that is when we have to start taking money out of the general fund. 10,000 seniors a day joining social security and over time there will be not enough and payroll taxes to pay the benefits and that is why we need to start looking at reforms." host: paul from fairhaven, massachusetts. on the democrats' line. go ahead. guest: when you start talking about deficits, you never been in -- mention about how bush blew a surplus before going to deficit spending and we have two unpaid it wars, medicare
9:03 am
that was shoved down our throat in a three-hour hearing from speaker dennis hastert which you never hear about their i want to go back -- i want to move ahead and go forward. you always talk about tax cuts for the rich. they had the tax cuts. we can't afford to cover this country anymore. they have to pay their share. guest: well, president bush was covered earlier in the show. when he took office we had a surplus of $236 billion. president bush and then went on a very large spending spree -- education, no child up behind, farm subsidies, medicare drug benefit, pork, highways. the heritage foundation was criticizing him every step of the way. and therefore the tax cuts. but let's have perspective.
9:04 am
$236 billion surplus under president bush in 2000, to a deficit of $162 billion by 2007. so you had some shift from surplus to deficit that was caused a much more by spending increases than by tax cuts. i don't know why the caller left out the spending increases under president bush. that is a problem and i criticized president bush for it. but for context, by 2007 the deficit was $162 billion by -- as a result of the policies and the war, i should add. right now increasing deficits even after return to peace and prosperity president obama is forecasting a deficit of $1 trillion. if president bush's policies all responsible for trillion dollar deficits why did not we have in 2007? obviously something different is happening. a huge serve -- surge in spending. caller: of course it is
9:05 am
disappointing that c-span gives credibility to discredited organization such as the pseudo intellectual right wing think tanks that mask -- host: tom, we have people from think tanks from all over the policy spectrum of the time because they contribute to the debate. caller: i don't question that. i have been watching c-span for several years. but certain ideologies have been exposed as detrimental to our progression. so c-span gives credibility to entities that have proven themselves discredited because of fear of right-wing attacks of being unbiased. the truth is not biased. it is what it is and we should respect that. this man's organization is idolizing entity of ronald reagan and ronald reagan is the
9:06 am
igniter of our debt problems and he is the one who put us in the situation where we spend, aside from the budget and takes us into these enormous debt so every debt that followed him has been in on this because we all shifted into a right wing frame of thinking and that is as a result of these think tanks that shape our political discussion. host: already -- ok, tom, we already five minutes over because we started late. guest: i wish to the caller was a little more open-minded to listening to use the disagrees with. president reagan did run some budget deficits that were very small by today's standards and following that we end up with budget surpluses in the late 1990's. so i am not sure how deficits in the 1980's that were eventually eliminated could be responsible for budget surplus of now but you may not like the heritage foundation but the numbers i'm giving you come straight from the white house and congressional budget office of your concern said be with them.
9:07 am
host: this person's to -- we will be back with another voice, david korn, washington bureau chief of mother jones. we'll talk about his proposal along with others to institutionalize a question time for the u.s. government. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] >> "in-depth" welcomes british historian and former adviser to margaret thatcher, paul johnson. his latest book on winston churchill. joined a three-hour conversation
9:08 am
with your phone calls for paul johnson, live from london, sunday at noon eastern on book tv's "in-depth." >> it is easy to complain about the issues. i tried to be entertaining, informative and relevant obviously but in a way that offers solutions. >> progress of talk radio host and author of 30 books -- sunday night at 8:00 on a "q&a." >> now for educators c-span offers the new c-span we designed the website to make it more useful for teachers. c-span videos for use in your classroom. you can find the most watched video clips organized by subject of topics, latest in education is and a chance to connect with other c-span classroom teachers. it is all free. sign up at the new c-span
9:09 am
>> "washington journal" continues. host: this is david corn on the screen. he has been nice to the program for 20 plus years. guest: i think so. host: his current place of business as mother jones where he serves as washington bureau chief and very active in online community, especially twitter. last friday as he and many others were watching president obama with the house republicans he sent a tweet out that says we should make this permanent. you put your money where their mouth is. there is a group. guest: what i said was. what was happening while i was watching this remarkable event, present a moment take a very direct questions from republican leaders and getting into them, i said more than once, this is fantastic. you can be on the twitter severe people were rushing to their televisions to watch. that citizens and journalist
9:10 am
should call for this to be done on a regular basis. people started re-tweeting that they support the idea. and then the person who runs a great site, that follows how they interact with technologies and a twitter saying, you write a draft petition and we will get it out. so in the next couple of days i put a few paragraphs -- i cannot say paper, but i e-mails a few paragraphs and we quickly realized that this is the type of endeavor that could not fly with just one win. -- wing. he and a few others reached out to people on the right, conservative bloggers, internet technicians and consultants who work for the republican party and we quickly found there was a tremendous appetite for this that transcended ideology or a
9:11 am
person standing. we did this very much on an ad hoc basis, in between taking care of kids on the weekend during a big snowstorm and everything else. people were travelling. and we put together a couple dozen, one of the most politically diverse groups that i have seen. you have the person who runs move on with grover norquist, one of the key conservative public -- republican strategist. glenn reynolds, a very prominent conservative blogger. it you have a democratic consultant and mark mckinnon, adviser to george w. bush and john mccain, and the founders of the day, with tbi, craig's list. so it quickly came together. what was encouraging was, as we were pulling this together, it did not take a lot of time to agree on the four or five
9:12 am
paragraphs calling on the president and house republican leaders to make those sort of exchanges called question time, to make them happen on a regular basis. we set up a petition, demands i sound like a pitch man on tv. we got a lot of good attention from the media and throughout the blogosphere. our site crashed immediately because there was too much traffic and it is back up again. thousands of people are signing it and we are getting responses already from the white house and republican members of congress. host: the site on the screen, you can join the petition if you are interested. what are the people asking to have happen? guest: very simple. we don't put a lot of details but we simply call on president obama and the republican leaders
9:13 am
by name -- john boehner, house republican leader, and mitch mcconnell, senate republican leader, to agreed to hold a question time, these exchanges, on a regular and frequent basis and have them be open to the public so that it is televised, webcasted, whenever people want to do. we don't go into the detailsç f how often or when or where or who will sponsor it because, you know what, last friday they show them they can do it pretty well on their own. there was not a lot of negotiation beard -- negotiation. it was a good model. yesterday the white house press briefing i asked bill burton, who was doing the briefing that day, whether the white house would commit to this. host: can we show the answer? here is the answer from bill burton, deputy press secretary. >> david axelrod has talked about this a little bit what he
9:14 am
had to say was that part of the reason why friday was so successful at the gop conference was that it was the spontaneity that occurred. it is going to be hard to sort of recreate the spontaneity that happen. the president thinks there is more open dialogue. he will look for more opportunities to do things on camera and have open discussions on important issues. but in terms of regularly scheduled event, i don't have anything further on that. host: spontaneity would be lost. guest: i would say there is so much spontaneity in the state of the union -- a lot of official traditions that have no spontaneity to any of it. it is not the spontaneity that this group is calling for. i am hesitant to speak for the group, because it is very ad hoc. we don't have meetings.
9:15 am
but i think from the e-mail that got sent around last night in response to this, it is quite clear about what we are asking for, what people signing the petition are asking for, is more transparency and more candor. what i liked about the event on friday was that it was competition, really. it was a competition in terms of ideas and political presentation. each side -- and if you did it regularly -- each side would really have to show up with their best stuff. their game would have to be on. if they want to come out and it can't speeches, one side, if the president just a can speeches while the republican leaders came up with good, strong questions and seemed to be on the good -- more give-and-take, you could imagine who would be perceived as winning. i don't think spontaneity has anything to do and why this should or should not happen. host: i want to hear what you think and why are why not question time would work for
9:16 am
the public citizen's and work in our constitutional form of government. call us with either questions and comments. of all numbers are on the screen. we will take a message by twitter, says this is where it all began. the list of the members who are signed on to the me and question time i think is on our website, certainly on bears. you can see the bipartisan nature of those who are involved in this movement and we would like to hear what you think about it. let us hear from a call from miami gardens, florida. carl, are you there? caller: yes, are you there? wonderful. the idea is very good and i think it will add a flavor to the political arena. the president having to speak in the type of dialogue between the parties and himself.
9:17 am
i think, in all fairness, the middle-class, basically which would be labeled conservative, i think they have more or less deported social conservatives and they regret, but the children who go off to college and really apply the academia and their parents sort of like resent the fact. and i think what is happening is, so you now have -- host: carl, i'm going to stop because i think are taking us in a little direction. you like the idea. let me give you a flavor of british house of commons question time. for those of you who have not to ended on sunday night where we have been televising it. >> he talked about the hereditary principle, only one leader in this house who inherited his title. what's a -- [jeering]
9:18 am
what a lot of rubbish? what a lot of rubbish. the reason he is in favor of the alternative vote is because it is election time. this is a man who got the leadership election, will block off the general election and now he is trying to fiddle with the electorial system. he must think our whole country is stupid. have another goal -- go. why are you doing this? >> this is a man -- [jeering] he promised us christmas to show the substance of the conservative party if we were in government. we had to confusion over married couples allowance, tales of a public spending, exaggerations' over crime, retreating on hereditary principle and now supporting it over the house of lords. this is a conservative party in a complete model, no manifesto, they don't have the substance to be able to govern -- governed the country. they are a shambles.
9:19 am
host: would that ever work here? guest: i don't think it would happen here. you have to admit there is high entertainment value to that. but the biggest difference between our system and the british system is our president, the person who runs the government is also the head of state and is not the party leader appeared in the parliamentarian system you have the person who is prime minister who gets the job really because he leads the party who gets more votes. so it is a lot less deference afford it to the prime minister. -- before did it to the prime minister. what happened on friday in baltimore is a frozen moment. here, with our cable news cycle and what happens with twitter and the internet and blogs, we go through issues very fast. we turn three stories. there is no real time. and there is no pause for reflection or for getting deep
9:20 am
into matters. we have 20 news cycles today. it it seemed for the least those 90 minutes things slowed down, there was a real, honest debate, and that is what gave it its value. if you started off trying to do that repeatedly or on a regular basis and it devolves into something that didn't bring that to the public any longer, then maybe it would be time to put it to pasture. but right now there is no point in saying it may go wrong so we should not do it. if you could replicate what happened on friday, i think most americans would say this is just fantastic. don't have to take the british model and follow the british model, but we could follow the model we already have. we could call it the baltimore model. host: new york, kathleen, republican line. caller: i watched the question and answer thing and i did not find that interesting. it seemed to be the same old
9:21 am
same old, and president obama is as disingenuous as ever. he lecture is -- lectures. the republicans, i watched all the health care debates, they were left out of it. and president obama says we would need to help, but every time they did -- whether there were doctors, senators, they were just voted down party-line vote and everything. guest: but it seems to me that if you believe the president is being disingenuous -- i will take issue with that one way or the other because that is not believe the point. but if you believe he is being disingenuous, then if the republicans have strong leadership they should be the to call them out on it, catch him, and confronted directly rather than have to appear on c-span -- not that there is anything wrong going on c-span -- and airing their complaints or doing it on conservative talk-show, radio, conservative radio talk shows.
9:22 am
they can go up to him face-to- face and square off and say, listen, we begin our being disingenuous. and they commit the best they can make. and then the rest of us, the citizen, can decide whether the republicans have a case or not. just as the president, who i thought made some strong rhetorical points on health care, he can get up there and they can either defend themselves and we can see it. the point is, this is not going to make politicians tell the truth any more than they might otherwise. the point is to pit -- put two conflicting sets of ideas squarely on the table and let the public see how they are defended and really engage in a way that is done without extreme rhetoric and without name calling. although i do believe each side should have the right to say, listen, i don't think you are being honest, i don't think that is right, let me explain why, and try to win the argument with
9:23 am
a factual presentation. host: you and i were both in washington with an horlick experiment with openness, 1995 when newt gingrich came in as speaker, declaring a new level of transparency and he opened the cameras -- his session, to allow would to be televised. as i recall, the speaker did this for a number of weeks and shot it all down because it became too acrimonious, to hostile. are there any lessons for that -- from that? guest: things can always go poorly. we are not talking about questions time as the only form of communication between republicans -- say the opposition party, and the present. because it is not about barack obama and the republicans, it is about a president and an opposition party. there will be grandstanding when this happens. no doubt.
9:24 am
it may get acrimonious. but it is just one form. there still should be private meetings. i would like as much transparency as we can have, but there is obviously value with the president calling in members of congress privately, whether it is to cut good deals or just to try to be persuasive and try to work out disagreements. so this wouldn't supplant that it would add to that, and i think would be the foundation for the ongoing political debate that we have day in and day out of that we see on c-span and the cable stations and the blogs. president obama campaigned on bringing change to washington. we candidate how much change that has been in the last year. i think he himself admitted he is frustrated there has not been enough change. this is probably one of the easiest forms of big change. the republicans invited him, he
9:25 am
came and they kept the tv cameras on. it did not take a bill. there was no debate about it before hand. somewhat encouraging that, yes, they can change without a lot of fuss. host: we were originally told the q&a would be off-camera and we have plans and our coverage and we did not find out until about an hour before the coverage that it would be open. host: -- guest: i heard of the reporters were told they could walk in and they had to leave and they were surprised. that is why there was not a lot of build up. the audience was not as big because people were not prepared until later in the day. i think if you had advertised in this before hand on c-span for the cable news shows, a lot of people would have been sitting and waiting to see this. host: 1 twitter -- one of
9:26 am
twitter message, comparing friday to yesterday. guest: of president obama went to a democratic senate meeting and did the same thing. it was far more cans. -- canned not all of them, but the first four or five were all from loanable seeds and all basically ask questions, how can we work together to produce more jobs -- all from vulnerable seats. they obviously don't want to hurt the president. they want good sound bites in a tough reelection fights. it can only go so far. in the petition that we have, demand question
9:27 am
we say they should consider doing this within the parties as well, with the present taking questions from members of his own party like yesterday. but i think yesterday showed that our main threat -- the biggest value here comes when it happens between a president and the opposition party, when you really have a clear demarcation, clear line of the date, g-8 line of debate and that will augment the ongoing debate -- that will augment the debate that we are having. caller: hi, david. it is so different, the question time in at the british system and this system. last week when i heard the
9:28 am
president was going to the republicans, i thought any political operative of assault would force him to put it on tv and the debt at the last minute -- political operative worth his salt would force him to put it on tv and they did at the last minute. mine is more a comment than question. the parliamentary system in britain, they run on a particular manifesto. they printed this thing, this book, a manifesto and they say this is what we will do when we get and the government. the opposition is the opposition. in america, republicans act like they are in opposition but they are the majority. and the reason why is because the democratic party -- i am not a democrat, i'm a technocrat. i can go either way. i like things that both of them say. i'm pretty conservative
9:29 am
fiscally. host: desmond, i would jump in so we can get some of their voices in here. guest: i want to come in on the point he made about the gop not being happy of the outcome of the event on friday. i think a lot of us -- my impression was i thought and as particular session, barack obama got the better out of it. but the interesting thing is that since we came out with this bipartisan, cross-partisan not ideological call for regular q&a between president and republicans, the white house, as we saw earlier, shot down pretty quickly yesterday. the story -- i don't know if you are putting up right now. yes, the storied the politico did last night shows house republicans seem to be more supportive -- the story of the politico put up last night. john boehner's spokesman saying we will consider the proposal
9:30 am
and other republicans saying flat out we want the rematch. that again speaks to me about the power of the idea. i can understand why the president does not want to be committed to doing this on a regular basis because there may come a time where it does not serve your political purpose. i can understand why the republicans, after feeling like they might have been vested on friday, want a rematch to show what they can do. but the point is this is really not for the benefit of the present opposition party, but to the benefit of the american public. barack obama speaking to the senate democrats yesterday was very eloquent about how sometimes we have to get away from the politics of what is good for us and focus on the politics and the policy of what is good for the american public. this is the type of thing that, yes, you go in this knowing some days it may be good for you and some days it may not be good for you but it is setting a high
9:31 am
bar and a great example of how a debate in this country should happen. if you can't have our highest elected officials of our lands get together and have a civil conversation -- it can be pointed, it can be sharp. you know me, i liked good fights, the debates, but if they can't do this and show how it can be done, who can? host: the site is other is a position -- we are not advocating it. but if it happens, we would televise it. there -- that is our role. willie, republican line. caller: good morning. a first-time caller. host: yes, sir. what do you think of the idea? caller: i think it is a great idea. my only trepidation is that it probably will not gain momentum
9:32 am
from either party because i think both parties have a vested interest in keeping the electorate uninformed, unlike to o'neil who once said that -- tip o'neill who said monday that is the money milk of politics, i think an unformed electorate is the mother's milk of politics. to this idea, which i think is a great idea, would smack that right in the face and i think both parties would feel some vulnerability if we were to head down the road. i align myself with the previous caller. i think it would be great for the american public. but i think it would cause some trepidation on the part of both parties. >guest: i think is probably right. there might have been thinking
9:33 am
after the advent -- why did we keep the cameras on when we decided we were not going to? it we give president live time to get the better of us. judging from the political story we talked about, i am guessing there is a political discussion from the republican leadership whether they should commit to this or not. but by and large politicians are going to be cautious and prudent and do what they think is in their best interest. and unless millions of people get involved and demand something better and forced them to do the right thing, they are not going to be for change that much because all of these people who are in positions of power now got there by using the system as it is. and if they tinker with it, they understand that there are risks attached to that and there are some politicians who are bigger risk takers than others. so i think, you know, it is a
9:34 am
compelling simple idea. it -- if you go to the web site and look at the number of people who signed up from very different political views and some will have no identifying ideology -- the founder of ebay and we dpz it would just like the idea of new ways of communication -- wilipedia who just like the idea of new ways of communication. whether we are they are anybody can force a politician to do something that is not in the direct immediate interest is a big question. host: there are two stories and "the new york times" about transparency and the obama administration. health official cannot guarantee openness in talks. kathleen sibelius told congress wednesday she could not guarantee greater openness over legislation to limit the nation's health-care system. i am not a principal in the negotiations nor is my staff. her comments, he writes, canes
9:35 am
-- came about five hours after president obama affirmed the need for openness on for missing the health bill. another 1 "white house memo" from peter baker in "the new york times." fewer news conferences but still taking questions. over the last few weeks president obama has taken questions from unemployed and ohio, students, from youtube users, senate democrats and even house republicans and almost everyone it seems but the white house press corps, which you are a member. after a year and office mr. obama managed to do what every modern president may have wanted to do, effectively shut out reporters to work just a few feet from all office. he has not had a full-scale white house news conference in seven months, the longest stretch from any president in decades and a practice of not taking reporters' questions at day-to-day events as other presidents did. guest: on the first point, about not broadcasting the
9:36 am
health care talks -- i mean, you probably more than anyone were familiar with barack obama's campaign promise that we would put it on c-span, which i thought was a marvelous way to do it. now, i don't think anyone expected every civil conversation he had with every single member of congress to have a camera be there but there certainly were key meetings that were not on c-span and, in fact, the last week or two after months of the white house basically denying that they had broken a promise here, the president has come out and said, listen, i probably should have stated it differently, i did not realize how difficult it would be to put everything on c-span. so he is -- has kind of acknowledged he did not keep that promise. i am not sure he would say he broke it, but he did not keep it.
9:37 am
i do think that i would like to see c-span and everybody -- that there be even greater transparency than there has been, and there certainly are meetings and decisions that could have been for cameras. but they weren't. on the bigger question on how the president is interacting with the news media, well, the white house is both right and wrong on this at the same time. the media world is a lot different and people who work on the traditional media have to compete more with other forms of media that citizens in value just as much and maybe some cases even more. you can't say the only way to reach people is to go through "the new york times" and "the washington post" and maybe two other big newspapers and therefore they get of access to the present. they can reach people through
9:38 am
blogs, websites, twitter feeds, and so it is almost the matter of physics. there is only so much time people in the mainstream media will get less of that. going seven months without a press conference when you are talking about transparency and having an open administration, i think is a bit excessive. there still can be -- instead of going out for a round of golf, the president could hold a press conference. they are actively deciding not to do so because it is not in their interest and they are obviously worried that the message -- that have less control of their message to do this. the last time he had a press conference was one of the few times he made an ill advised remark about the arrest of skip gates up in cambridge, and he called the cops basically stupid for doing that. that led to a whole episode that
9:39 am
ultimately the white house managed to deal with but probably would have preferred not to. so i do think while you can youtube and talk to non in mainstream media, there is still plenty of opportunity to have press conferences and to be more forthcoming and more forthcoming with people who are not in the mainstream media -- from mother jones magazine. i also read for, or the national review, weekly standard, or something on the other side. this is one area where i think they have been a very conventional, in that they wanted to control their message as much as any other president ever had and they do it pretty well. host: tampa, florida, rita on the democrats' line. caller: in order to have a fair question and answer the president, republicans also have to be honest and
9:40 am
transparent. for example, the previous guest from the conservative heritage foundation said when bush left office the national debt was $6 trillion. the documented fact when he left off as he left the national debt of over $10 trillion, not his lowball figure of $6 trillion did the guest: the thing is, if there was a question time, i think you would have a lot of fact checking going on as well. the republican leader got up there and used a figure that was not correct. either the president could call him on it or vice versa. if the president chose not to, maybe it was not familiar with that particular fact boyd, -- factoid, i am sure some of these nonpartisan fact checking organizations -- politifact. -- there are several out there who do this.
9:41 am
they would be on top of these right away. this would be a high-profile event where you would not gain by relying on spin or bad facts. i think he would be called out pretty fast. host: do you mind staying for five more minutes? hawthorne, new jersey, sarah on independent line. you are on the air. caller: good morning, david, i followed your work for a very long time and always enjoyed it. i will sign on to the website today because the demand question time is just a long overdue -- probably about eight years overdue, i would think, at least. i would like to also make a suggestion that with this new supreme court decision to include corporations as being full people, i think it is only fair we also demand our politicians cover their suits with big patches from corporations that support them. guest: like a mascot drivers.
9:42 am
but a cut exactly, -- caller: like nascar drivers, exactly. we need full disclosure. guest: i think you and i would probably agree on this issue. our coalition -- i hesitate to call it that. we are just a group of people like this one idea. i don't think we will be taking on other issues. i may be wrong. maybe something else will come along and grabbed our imagination as well. but i do hope in the days and weeks and months ahead, the ramifications of the citizens united supreme court decision is fully debated. the president seems to be interested in -- by the republicans. i still think there will be some legislative remedies introduced. it would just be another great issue for the president and the democrats to have a good argument with republicans over that if they don't support these bills. host: arkansas, you will be our
9:43 am
last on this. charles on the republican line. hello, charles. my fault, i have to push the button. caller: good morning, i have two statements. first of all, the question and answer that they had, the question was asked and the president answered. the questioner never had a chance to rebut what the president said because he stood up and said anything he wanted to and then they went on to the next question. the reason we are in this problem in the first place as the newspapers have not done their job in the first place. "the new york times" and "mother jones" they are extreme left. you did not know anything about acorn until after this gentleman got elected president. you did not know anything about the needs of dunn, did not know anything about non -- jones, the self-proclaimed communist he appointed, you did not know anything about these people
9:44 am
because the newspapers never did their job. to tell people what his background was, what his relationships were, and so the question and answer used to be on c-span -- i used to love it, you had a democrat and republican, but you don't do it anymore because they dominated. they did not say, you have two minutes to answer this question or whenever. but c-span still tries to do the best they can. host: we will go back to your comments for david corn. guest: i can't sit here and argue with you in your depiction of the media and your critique of the media and my own critique of the media which may not match your critique of the media, but putting that all a side -- that is the point of -- putting aside the of the
9:45 am
debates, if you really believe that the media does not do this job in questioning democrats or republicans, presidents or leaders of congress, and there are key matters out there that need to be addressed, here is a form where if you are an opposition leader and you believed that the president has hired someone who should not have been hired or doing some that should not have been done, and if the media is not covering it, that is not stop you from asking him very directly about it. that actually would probably bring media attention to the issue. and if you don't have your facts straight it would bring negative media attention to yourself. this is just another forum in which people can look to their elected representatives. there are people who feel actually -- you may not find it hard to believe, that the media does not call out the republicans and what they believe are false statements, and if that is the case you can look at the present, if he happens to be democrat, to do
9:46 am
that and if he does not you can be disappointed and you can register your disappointment. it is another way to air these matters and to really look at these leaders and to judge them and their ability to talk about things that need to be talked about in a way they need to be talked about. one more plug, i'm a pitch man this morning, susan. host: you got the mowed down getting the name out there. suppose you get 100,000 names on the list. how easy it progressing? guest: it is not as if we will show up to the white house with a box. the idea is to get the idea out there, have other writers and bloggers and politicians to make a great time in. the petitioners -- petition is a device to show support. i think if we got 10 million in
9:47 am
a week, it would be hard for politicians to ignore that. but that is probably not going to happen. we may have to take a few swings at this, maybe a few bites at the apple before it happens. it may not happen in the next week or the next year. but the idea is squarely out there, bipartisan not ideological cross partisan support. republicans say they are considering it, the white house is not too keen, and we will keep asking. host: thank you for being here. what does it a name once again? guest: host: we will continue for 13 minutes with the program, open phones. we talked about the budget this morning, talked about more transparency, small business and the economy. if you would like to follow up you have an opportunity. while. we are getting the calls, people have been looking into the budget to and mimi hall from
9:48 am
"usa today" has a look at homeland security and said the budget will curb the board of programs -- that is "usa today." let's go to indianapolis, tony
9:49 am
on the republican line. caller: good morning. i would like to ask a question. you always have all of these numbers in the paper about how much the house bill is going to cost. i would like to know how much is that -- of that bill, if they can break it down for a family of, say my wife and i. i am on the downside of 50. and i would just like to know if i can plan a budget, how much extra the health bill will cost me. my wife and i, neither one of us has health insurance and we don't mind having the health insurance but if it is going to be $4,000 or $5,000 a year, i don't think we can afford it. host: it is a difficult question to answer because there are house and senate versions of the bill without agreement on either. the fate is really unknown. there are not specific numbers or places to send you right now
9:50 am
to answer that is requested. "the washington post" has two stories on its front page. google to enlist the national security agency to ward off an attack.
9:51 am
back to phone calls. iowa city, iowa. tricia on the democrats' line. caller: i wanted to call and make a remark regarding the people who seem to have a one opinion on what is going on in government. i'm wondering if those people have watched the c-span coverage of the subcommittees and the committees that go in in the senate. the filibusters have brought the congress to a halt. i can't understand why people do not watch more of that and see what has happened. the other thing i wanted to talk about with the democratic problems right now it in the
9:52 am
elections is, i feel the democrats have lost the ability to keep the public with them when they took the public auction of -- public option out of health reform. people did not believe there would be a change in washington and i think we lost a lot of those independent people. host: i want to show you a live picture from the house energy and commerce subcommittee -- and right now they are questioning brian roberts, chairman and ceo of comcast and jeffrey zucker, chairman and ceo of nbc on the proposed merger. we have live cartridge of that right now on c-span3 and on our website you see mr. roberts on the screen. this afternoon the gentleman will be going across capitol hill to the senate side and if
9:53 am
the hearing continues we will have live coverage on our internet site. missouri, carl, it independent line. you are on the air. caller: my comments are relative to the budget and the young man that was on there from the heritage foundation. first i would like to say that every member he " it was incorrect. iowa buono if he does not realize what he is looking -- i don't know if he does not realize what he is looking at are pulling things out of the air. anybody with a computer can log on to the treasury department and get the debt for any day. the day george bush left office, the national debt was $10 trillion. also historical financial schedules of a government are on the website and contrary to his
9:54 am
statement that deficits during the bush administration was 100 and some billion dollars, the federal funds deficit during the bush administration average of about $660 billion. anyone can get to the government site for the historical financial tables. and with respect to the deficit, usually around 28, 29, or 30. for example, in the 2009 budget submitted by the president, historical financial tables are in there. host: let me ask a question. thank you for going back and looked bad. what is your level of concern about the state of the debt right now? caller: but think about that is
9:55 am
that it really should not have been a surprise to anybody in congress and the country if they were paying attention. it has been developing for a long time. for example, the 2008 federal funds deficit was $724 billion -- i think the young man on their quoted somewhere around $400 billion. so if we take the deficit for 2008 and just add to that of the decrease in government and come taxes collected as a result of the recession -- in contact is collected as a result of recession for 2009, $600 billion, you are at one trillion 3. host: we have to stop you because we're four minutes left and a lot of callers. thank you for participating and
9:56 am
adding more data to our discussion about the debt and deficit. let us go next to reenah, nevada, dave on the democrats like -- reno, nevada, dave on the democrats' line. caller: the guy from the heritage foundation, i notice he honed in on social security and medicare as the culprits. you know, and then -- they always do. it is like, okay, any spending on people is like a forbidden. that is going to be bad if you are from the heritage foundation. oliver history if you look at the military and the street -- all over history if you look at the military industrial spending, looking at vietnam, not only the spending but the terrorism we inflicted on other countries, we killed the 3 million people in many countries and spent untold billions,
9:57 am
millions of dollars, for i think personally i think it is for the military industrial more than as much as it is anything. but at any rate, in 1970, from what i read it, from 1974 -- 1970 forward the right wing managed to infer that the media is left wing and therefore we need to have another voice in the media, that being anybody who wants to say anything about anything whether it is true or not, rush limbaugh, what ever, glenn beck, whenever, so they manage to say that we need to have a voice on the other side so david corn's concept of an open debate is very relevant and we should have its. i would imagine the republicans
9:58 am
wouldn't want it, my feeling, because they are more apt to back military industrial 100%, whereas the democrats might do it 70%. host: great, thank you for the call. "the washington post" lead is on the toyota safety problem. toyota problem service in 2007. federal probe little notice.
9:59 am
ruskin, florida, good morning, you are on c spec -- c-span open phones. republican line. caller: i would like to say this administration lacks common sense. how will you explain adding 30 million people to program and not raise taxes or ration health care or something like that? obama says he will take care of 30 million but they said there were 46 million so that still leaves 60 million uninsured so it is still not going to work. how many people would have voted for obama if he campaigned on taking over general motors and taking over banking and taking over health care and taking over this and taking over that. and he is talking the health care -- he will start tacking in -- taxing immediately, but you will not get benefits for three or four years but would you buy a car and make payments


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on