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tv   Washington Journal  CSPAN  June 8, 2010 7:00am-10:00am EDT

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economics and examine the chinese economy and its effect on the u.s. we love more about the supreme court nomination about -- of all in a cake in. "washington journal" is next. . . benefits, medicare payments to doctors. you can watch the senate on c- span2. president obama leaves the white house for wheaton, maryland,
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outside of d.c., where he will host a health care town hall meeting. "the wall street journal" says the president will reopen oil drilling, shallow waters but with new safety requirements in place. the continuation of a very busy week here in the nation's capital on june 8. as we continue to follow the money here in washington, we find this story. off-lead in "the washington post."
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we will cover the peter orszag speech on all of this on tape today. we will show it to you a bit later. we want to get your thoughts on this latest proposal by the white house to cut 5% of the budget across the agencies. we will read more but here are the phone numbers first -- the post goes on to say that republicans have that leslie hammered obama and congressional benefits for their role driving budget deficits to record levels.
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they go on to put this quote from rahm emanuel -- water down, massachusetts. curt on the line for democrats. what do you say? 5% budget cut across the board. a new proposal from the white house. caller: does not seen it is actually accomplishing much. i don't know, i really don't see the point in 5% cut on this. i think what we need to do is we need to raise taxes. we are way over due to raise
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taxes. host: what kind of taxes? caller: corporate taxes need to go up. maybe not so much raise taxes but more on lines of stop tax cuts we have had. there are too many exemptions. even tax cuts for married people. i'm married myself but i really don't see the logic of getting married people tax benefits. i think we need to back off from that sort of thing. host: kurt from massachusetts. don't cut, raise taxes. connecticut, what do you make of this 5% proposal? caller: i think if it is done right, it is ok. there should be a drastic cut in the military budget because we are spending, what, $700 billion a year and we are not solving that much. we have not called bin laden and
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dave do not have a defined mission. i don't want to see them hit the scene years any harder. we paid -- i don't see him hit the seniors any harder. we paid into social security and the money was taken out to pay for other things. host: you are saying cut defense, protect seniors. where else might you cut to achieve the 5%? caller: i would say some aid to foreign countries. i don't know why we just gave israel more money and they have health insurance. and other countries we should not be giving aid to, either. we've got to help our own country first. it and we've got to get tougher on letting people into the country and taking, like, illegal aliens and taking advantage of our medical system. we've got to take care of our own people first. host: previous administrations have yet to justify programs but
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budget analysts cannot recall a time when they were ordered to volunteer programs for elimination -- obama will also asked congress for new authority to lead agencies keep half the savings they identify.
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agencies must cut 5% of their budget. the new news out of the white house. new hampshire, barry, a democrat. thanks for waiting. caller: 5% is a joke. rearranging the deck chairs on the titanic. they need to cut some elected%. i'm a retired army officer, pilot, but we stayed too much on the military. would you pay a private in the army 30,000 a year you could not field a sizable military if you need it. but you need something drastic along the lines of what ron paul is recommending. this is just a joke. host: there are some points about defense in this piece in "the post." it is modeled on defense department program aimed at encouraging military and civilian bureaucracy to find $7
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billion to help cover the cost of combat operations. similar programs of also been used successfully by state and local governments. moving on to woodbridge, virginia. kevin, republican. good morning to you. hello, kevin. caller: i'm sorry. good morning. i would say there is at least 5%. i'm not sure i agree with the previous caller that we could do 50%. but again, involved with some local budgeting in the town that i didn't. it is amazing how folks just think the budget should be the same as last year plus 5% or + 7% there does not seem to be any
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concerted effort to look for savings. so, 5% should be easy. it should even be a little more than that. host: lauren from indianapolis on the independent line. caller: i was thinking rather than cutting some of the areas -- again, i think the 5% number of business school. i would think the government to look at outsourcing some things. the first one that comes to mind is the postal service, especially since the gao, their own accountants, issued a report, i think earlier last year saying jal is projecting they will lose billions of dollars in the next few years unless something drastic about. why not let somebody like fedex, who already successfully runs liberty services, and whether they want to approach the postal service. host: from a congressional and goal, "the post" piece says that
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house leaders are discussing the budget plan -- madison, nebraska. steve, republican. caller: i think 5% is a nice start but we really need to do is go in and start cutting some of these programs -- i mean, some of the wasteful useless programs. i would put a plug in for that youcut website which actually gives people the opportunity to actually see what some of these programs are. host: how about your own viewpoint?
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you said cut several programs. any particular ones in mind? inler: i've got hundreds mind. i mean, there's no bill -- limit. three or four of them -- host: which ones? caller: department of defense, i mean, i would cut the education and turn it back to the states. anything that the states can do, the federal government does not need to be involved. keep it simple, down to the lowest common denominator. the only thing congress does when they are in session is passed laws. with only takes three months out of a year for them to do what
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they are doing. it is just make work projects. all congress is, it is a make work job for them. host: that was steve in madison, nebraska. tacoma washington is on the line with matthew. back to the democratic line. yes, sir. what are your thoughts? caller: i think they should increase the size of high schools and do it like college style teaching, 50 kids in each class. host: what would that accomplish? caller: you would have less teachers. host: would that help the kids? caller: i don't know. it won't hurt them. it will prepare them for college. also, i would not give people cash of they are unemployed. i would just give them food stamps, maybe a little bit more money than they get out for food. but i would keep it strictly food money. host: asking about this headline
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-- obama is cuts in agency budgets. talk about a 5% figure. peter orszag, budget director, will talk about it today. we will be covering it. part of the "doing what works" program. he is asking for these voluntary ideas from agencies. we are asking your thoughts on all of this and we will do this for another 25 minutes or so. there is some republican reaction to this idea. they are dismissing this spurt of presidential activity, they write, vague promises that will have little effect until after the election.
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scottsboro, alabama. don on independent line. caller: i think congress and the senate should take a 5% pay cut. also i think that the military -- not the military servicemen but the military industrial complex should be cut by 5%. and also i keep hearing people talking about the taxes that the corporations pay and saw on cbs a couple of years ago about -- i think it was in the cayman islands where they had this one office, had a telephone there, and all of these companies were registered offshore to evade taxes.
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so, i think that corporate taxes should go up because a lot of them don't pay any taxes, you know? they used these offshore accounts to evade taxes instead of paying their fair share. host: maury on the republican line from montana. caller: good morning. first, i would like to say there's got to be something in the military budget that we can cut. bases in just about every country as near as i can figure out. probably i would like to say the food stamp program. i go into the store every month in the beginning of the month when i get my check, social security, and i see all of these young people with food stamps and they are buying bags of chips and soda pop.
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i think if there is some kind of voucher program for food it would be a lot better than just letting them go spend the money on whatever they want. host: to the oil story this morning. we will continue to cover lots of related events on capitol hill and all through the week, as we take a live look beneath the gulf of mexico, as work continues. this front-page photo, as we get started telling you about oil stories in "the washington post." brown pelican chicks wait at a rescue center in fort jackson, louisiana, to be clean. a tough way to spot -- start life, is the headline. another headline below -- bp had a history of problems. internal inquiry showed a firm continued to ignore safety and environmental rules. that is from "the washington post." here is that story on drilling
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itself. "the wall street journal" makes it the lead. obama to reopen drilling. new rules on shallow water exploration. obama administration, facing rising in anger over the drilling moratorium -- that is "the wall street journal" story. as for the leak itself and the cleanup, here is what the president had to say yesterday at the white house. the the here's what we know. even if -- >> here is what we know, even if we are successful in containing some or much of this oil we will
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not get the problem completely resolved until we have the relief well completed, and that will take a couple more months. we also know there is already a lot of oil that has been released and there will be more oil released no matter how successful the containment effort is. that is why it is so important for us to continue to put every effort that we have -- booms, skimmers, vessels, hiring local folks and local fishermen's, equipping them with the skimmers, getting every asset that we have out there to make sure we minimize the amount of oil that is actually coming to shore. host: with that there is this story, off-lead in "the new york times." they write that staring day after day, americans are struggling to make sense of all the numbers.
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before we get back to calls, one more quick program note. it is the exxon valdez court decision on oil spill liability caps, subject of a hearing over at the senate judiciary committee today. they are going to look back at this 2008 supreme court ruling reducing exxon's liability in that spill from 1989. it happened today at 10:00 a.m. eastern time over on c-span3. district heights, maryland, on the line for democrats.
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john, would he make of the white house number? 5% cut across the budget. caller: it seems to me that they need to go into the government and find the waste and abuse and fraud and then deal with it. that has been a program ever since i have been paying attention to politics. it never gets done. it is always just business as usual but they throw it out there to divert the people's minds. what i want to say. give me a minute, please. i'm so disgusted with this administration because most american people forgot about all of the money that has been lost in that iraqi war, with the contractors, the military industrial complex. we lost billions of dollars in that war. that is why the states are broke now because all of that money was sucked down that hole going to the iraqi war and nothing has been done about it. i remember hearing on c-span where they said the accounting
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office do not have enough government accounting to keep up with to find out where all of our american tax dollars went. then they turn around and drop all of that money on the bankers, them before they give the money to the oil companies because they gave them the money that they needed, and it seems like a time it turns around nobody has been held accountable. the american people are being asked to pay more and more but never an accountable for the tax dollars. host: thank you for your contribution. joe, bethlehem, pennsylvania. independent line. caller: this is joe from bethlehem, pennsylvania. i think it is asinine what is going on in this country. because i'm an independent because the republicans are a total waste, ok. it has nothing to do with tea party. and the democrats are doing 0. people in this country, 5 million are unemployed. the exhausted their 99 weeks are
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unemployment and the government does not care. ok? something has to be done. people are losing their homes and everything and no one cares. host: joe from bethlehem, pennsylvania. i want to tell you more about the president's day. he will leave the white house a little later this morning and had out to wheaton, maryland. not far from washington, d.c.. he will meet senior citizens in a town hall setting. the issue is health care. it is live on this network at 11:40 a.m. eastern time. white house correspondent for "the new york times," could you began telling why it with all these things going on the president is doing a health care town called -- town hall? guest: it is a passion of the present. but more immediately, a number of the provisions are about to take effect. this week on thursday $250 rebate checks will go out to
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senior citizens -- some senior citizens -- to help them pay for their medicines. over the summer and into the fall, other provisions like high risk pools and a consumer web site will go into effect. the white house is concerned that many americans are confused about the law, they did not know what it really means. president obama in essence is going to start a sales pitch to try to convince americans that the law has benefits to them and also to explain it to them. >> not just the president himself. your by line and the headline from over the weekend -- white house and allies setting up. a full-court press. guest: that is exactly right. this bill was a tough vote for many democrats, especially in the house, who supported the president possibly at the risk of their political careers. you have folks like anita dunn, former communications director, and in the grossman, to form the
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new organization that will both act as a public education operation but also a political operation to be back the tax on this bill and to defend democrats voted during the midterm election season host: how much will you see the president out and around the country during this election cycle? guest: i think you will see him a lot. senior adviser david axelrod tells me that the president believes in his bill, he will support democrats nationally -- not only on this, but on other issues -- but he will campaign for those who voted for this bill with special relish, he said. he will talk about this on the stump. he will be active. we know this is going to be a tough year for democrats. probably almost certainly will lose seats and the president wants to do what he can to keep these losses to a minimum. host: what else should we know about implementation of the health care law beginning now
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and the months ahead? guest: it is very complicated. it really is a mass of reordering of the nation's health-care system. it is not just months ahead of the years ahead. the law will not be fully phased in until 2014. but coming up soon will be a lot of consumer-friendly provisions. i mentioned the medicare checks. would also say on july 1 the establishment of a new high risk pool that will help cover hard to ensure people. it probably won't be available to everybody on july 1 because some states want to do their own pools. also around that time we will see the new consumer website that will allow people who are buying insurance to compare one plan to the next. then in the fall on september 23, some of the really popular provisions will go into effect, like banning insurers from discriminating against people with pre-existing conditions. we have already seen that
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companies are now starting to allow -- young people to stay on their parents plans, that is ahead of schedule. for the advantage of the white house, a lot of these really popular provisions are going into effect right away while some of the unpopular ones, like the mandate for people to buy insurance, the requirement, will not go into effect until later. host: white house correspondent for "the new york times." thank you for stopping by this one. watch for the president at 11:40 am eastern time. it merely -- fairly short trip up to wheaton, maryland. we continue to ask your thoughts on this headline. it comes from the white house. they are asking agencies to cut 5% of their budget, to come up with a list that -- of things that are not high priorities or don't match the president's priorities. peter orszag will speak about it today and he wants the list by mid september.
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san antonio now, john. republican. what do you think? caller: i guess 5% sounds good. of we don't need the part education, department commerce, department of energy. half of the government, we don't need. ok? is ii don't understand, don't think people who called in so far this morning understand anything about taxation and money. that is to say, you had a few callers the said that corporations need to pay taxes. think about that for a minute. we are going to charge a corporation on their profits 50% tax. ok, what ever. any kind of figure. what is going to happen to that 50 percent that we get from the corporations? it will be passed on to the consumers. unfortunately, very few people i think in government understand that because you keep hearing
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government workers, congress setting the same thing. we just need to cut 50% out of everything the government does, including this health care. we don't need them to tell us how to live our lives. it seems that we are heading in that direction. the more they take from us the worst off we get. host: let us hear from susan on the line for democrats out of harlem, new york. caller: good morning. two points. i just want to comment on the last caller. you know, you don't want government but everybody -- i'm tired of the hypocrisy that you call on the government to deal with this oil slick. make up your mind. if you don't want government, that is fine, but then the control your corporation that devastates our environment and let them do it. but my point is, let's talk about black water. let us cut them. you have like eight parallel
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military. we have a military. now you privatize the sector that you have where they are doing things the military can do. they have been costing us because they have been doing things they should not have done or -- get rid of them. get rid of the parallel private entity that we are paying for with our tax money. that is where you can start the cutting. that sector. host: a couple of more oil- related stories. "usa today" has this headline. experts say red flag was not heeded. the number of spills more than quadrupled this decade according to government data. that is one of their lead items. also this story about the oil spill in the gulf of mexico.
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courts are seeing -- ports are not seeing an impact so far. it could change if the slick grows significantly. we will see what happens. that is page 3b story. more about the economy. the chair ben bernanke was interviewed at the wilson center by sam donaldson. a portion of what he had to say. >> there seems to be a good deal of momentum in consumer spending and investments. and so, my best guess is we will have continued recovery. but it won't feel terrific. the reason it will kill to read it is because it would not be fast enough to put back 8 million people who lost their jobs within a few years. it will take a while. even though technically we will be in a recovery, the economy will be growing, the unemployment rate will still be high for a while.
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that means a lot of people will be under financial stress. >> this -- host: this piece from "the financial times." the financial crisis inquiry commission accuses goldman sachs of "abysmal response" in requests for information. that is an "the financial times." new york city, barbara, back to the budget cut its. caller: i have a couple of ideas. number one, i would raise taxes on all corporations, especially those who have their work force
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offshore. i would raise gasoline to $5 a gallon. i would cut the interest deduction for home mortgages. i would cut charitable deductions. i would cut medical deductions. i would tax educational institutions, religious institutions. eliminate the military base is not on united states soil, including guantanamo. keep medicare at 65 but raise social security to 70 and take the cap off of social security. everybody would pay into it regardless of their income level. i would do that the first week and then i would think of some other things the second week. host: a lot of ideas. north carolina. mark on the line for democrats. caller: i have like four points. for the oil, in our sound, the body of water, like some people have a day -- bay, the dredged
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keeps it clear. if they could dredge it and suck the oil out and figure out a way to separate, almost like a vacuum cleaner that takes the stand out of this area and redistributes it. if they could do that for all live -- it must -- for oil, and must be booked to workable. the space program. why are they cancelling the shuttle? they spent billions of dollars. when they go spend billions of dollars on something and then they trashed it, it seems like they wasted a lot of money. the third point it is social security. they need to start giving back -- if they are going to take a percent from other branches or whenever, services, they need to give some back to social security. the last, the guy said about
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food stamps, i don't get them any more, but i like chips and soda. just because somebody likes soda, it is not up to them to tell me i can't have a soda. but like i said, i have not had food stamps and over a year. have not needed them. i had people tell me i needed them but i said i did not want to be under the scrutiny. host: appreciate your contribution. front-page photo of "the new york times." bloody day in afghanistan, the right. american medic helps a canadian soldier heard by an explosive device. insurgents killed 12 nato soldiers monday, including seven americans. the story is on page a-12 of "the leader times." to the helen thomas story. of course, she retired monday, as we heard, after making controversial remarks about israel. the former white house spokesman gary fleisher is quoted here --
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she did the right thing by announcing her visitation -- ari fleisher. if total here of helen thomas posing a question to the lbj -- this is a photo here of helen thomas posing a question to lbj. how about those proposed budget cuts? deal. here's the all of these people calling in need to wake up. we have to freeze our federal budget right where it is at. these economists that are smart said the end is in sight. the united states of america, folks, we are bankrupt. we have to freeze this the budget, stop spending money. that is the end of the story. all of this other stuff is just nonsense. stop spending our money. they are boring money by
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billions. we are in trouble. the united states is almost into a depression. the american people better wake up and throw all of these incumbents out of office. listen to what i just said -- fire your incumbents right now. because we are bankrupt. the united states is almost ready to collapse, no joke. have a great day. host: kevin, independent caller from indiana. caller: i kind of disagree with the last caller. the united states is one of the greatest countries in the world. budget cuts, i think we just need more responsibility. instead of just giving it grants out and the big dollars to people who don't necessarily need them as much as others. i think they may be should just
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be more responsible with the taxpayers' money. on the wars, i think if you just pay attention to when we have our wars, it is usually when we need something to have been, as not enough jobs or the economy is not going so great. it always seems like we have some big tragedy. i fit washington needs less lawyers and basically -- i think washington needs less lawyers and basically more people will understand what life is about. host: budget cuts front and center in europe as well. here is the "washington post" piece and a photo of britain prime minister dave cameron. largesturope's countries pledged an assault on government spending as the year remained weak and imf issued a fresh call to restructure ailing european economies. this is about 1 minutes worth of
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the speech by the prime minister yesterday on all of this. >> i have been an office for a month. and i spent much of that time discussing the chancellor, government officials, the most urgent issues facing britain today. and that is our massive deficit and our growing debt. it how do we deal with these things -- how we deal with these things will affect our economy and society, indeed our whole way of life. the decisions we make will affect every single person in this country. and the effects of those decisions will stay with us for years. perhaps even decades to come. and it is precisely because these decisions are so momentous, because they will have such enormous implications, and because we cannot afford either to duck them or to get them wrong, that i want to make sure that we go about the urgent task of cutting our deficit in a way that is open, responsible,
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and fair. host: a little bit more on the moves in europe. the move by officials in britain and germany was a reminder that the crisis is being felt not just in weak nations but ones that serves as economic pillars. a couple of more minutes on the 5% budget figure, cutting of the budget. that is the figure, 5%, coming from the white house today.
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new york, bart, a democrat. caller: first come equipped remark. helen thomas crossed in line with her remarks but to hear ari fleischer the disseminated so many lives to help a murder millions of people around the world i really don't need a lecture from him. but, you know, the problem we have here is obama is planning politician again. what i want to know is what the first week he did not come in -- he came into office, he did not say this to the law where we said medicare could not negotiate prices has to go, and we should have started negotiating prices. the woman who had a laundry list of cutting things. some of them were good ideas, in my opinion, some of them are not. but the 5% across the board is a great way of saying, well, we are not going to raise taxes on my buddies in wall street past
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39% even though in europe the tax might be 60% or 70%, because we need those guys to make the money supposedly for the rest of us. but they may be making money but not paying their share of taxes. just to remind everyone about europe. for every lunatic who thinks obama is destroying this country, first consider the fact that the country might have been destroyed before he came into office and recognize that these deficits are pretty much worldwide and that across the board in our world people can't make a living because there are extraordinarily wealthy people and corporations doling out this small amount that they will allow poor people to share. we have the resources in this world but too many resources are controlled by too few people and
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corporations. host: thank you for your participation. a couple of quick stories out of "the washington times." the georgia governor, sonny perdue, republican, is heading for cuba on a trade mission. he actually did it yesterday. met with officials from cuba's chamber of commerce, part of a two-day visit to explore his states trade and tourism possibilities. they point out that the schedule did not include a meeting with fidel castro or his brother. also and "the washington times, what just below the fold, u.s., no peacenik.
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"the washington times" there. one last call from mike from atlanta, republican. good morning. caller: good morning. i'm 65 years old. i have been around a long time. hopefully you can hear me ok. i has been getting a terrible echo. host: we are good. caller: i served in -- back in the 1970's and 1960's and shocked to find 40 employees under me, i could do the mission with five. i think the problem we got is a totally bloated government, and starting with congress. congress used to have only a few employees supporting a congressman and today they have
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hundreds. i think that is where we ought to start. cut back everybody to some formal level, say, 1996 or 1986 and say that is the target number of inquiries for this department across the board, reducing federal employees back to a level where they can be efficient instead of stumbling each other's feet. host: this phone segment on the agency's cutting 5%. we will hear more from peter orszag, budget director, and a speech we are covering on tape. we will have it for you tonight. we will take a short break, maybe a five-minute break, and when we come back we will focus more on primary day. 12 states are active in runoff elections. we will run through the mall and continue to take your calls. our guest will be bob bob benenson -- bob benenson from cq we keep -- cq weekly. but next, bp said up 20 claims
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centers across the state's. one of these centers that we visit it is in a town in southeast louisiana. we spoke with a local residents. here is a look. >> i work at a processing plant for shrimp and we have been greatly affected by the oil spill with our hours being reduced. normally this time of year we would work over 100 hours a week and now we're getting a 20 or 30 hours a week. that is how we make our living. saving money for the winter time and all of that. it is really hard right now to do what -- when you are used to having the income coming in. however, bp has been good to us. they have been giving us the money and helping the new way they can and we greatly appreciate that. but we just need people know it is not just the fishermen.
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if the fisherman don't catch, we don't work. we all have to go into the other and help each other. we do appreciate the help we are getting. >> you are at the claims center. >> i was asking for information. she was really nice and answered my questions. a lot of the times you don't know what is going on. you hear so much. i have come today to find out for me and other girls at the factory to work with me. >> did you file a claim? >> i had already fouled my claim and i saw the money and i wanted to see how the second part would work. >> the mind saying how much? >> i did receive $2,000. >> to cover for what? >> my household living expenses. i am not getting any salary, which normally i would be. however, it does not cover everything but it is a big help. >> you also work at the strength from? >> i have been there for 30 years. this is what i pay my whole way. it is really not enough money to
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survive on. >> filing claims? >> i filed one clean. >> how much did they give you? in the $2,000. >> much the need to cover expenses? >> $3,000 a month. >> talk about the shrimp plant. are there any ships going right now? >> they are giving people turns. 24 hour shift -- now they have so many workers, they have to rotate them. it is just not enough. i think it closed the season now. how much lower can we go? we make enough money from may until december to survive from january until may again. we are used to that. now we will not have any unemployment -- nothing to survive off of. >> what i'd be here to do today? >> i'm here to see if they can give me the other 500 that i heard they were giving the other
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people, 2500. some of them did get the 2000, went back to get the 500 and give it to them. >> what is the process like when you go in that door? what is the process? >> that is a slow process. the people i dealt with were very nice, but it is very, like, degrading. like you are asking for a handout you don't deserve when it is not our fault. we would rather be working full- time like we always do. but we can't when they close the waters down on us. the fishermen can catch. >> degrading the we are treating with the fact that you have to ask? >> that we have to ask for a handout. >> it is a lot of questions. >> a lot of questions we should not have to insert. we are proving our point that we do work in the shrimping industry. it is embarrassing. >> what kind of questions do you
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get asked? >> different kinds of questions -- you know, personal questions. well, ok, if we are proving through our check stubs and taxpayers that we work for the company, why does someone asked if that is sure the way i make my living? well, yes, that is how i make my living. it is like you are asking for a handout from somebody and you don't deserve it. you don't want to ask for a handout. you would rather be working. we could make more money working. by the time you make your house payments and health insurance, after we went through katrina and all of that, and the insurance went up, we have made it. but now this, how long is it going to take for us to recover from this? >> that is another point. >> we don't know. will we be working next year? we don't know. we have no idea. >> what did the owners of the factories tell you?
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then he does not know. he is trying to help us. he had another plant in dulac and he had to close down entirely. all of them were laid off. >> if it doesn't come back, what will you do? >> we don't know. i have been there 19 years and she has been there 30. tell me, what do we do? >> "washington journal" continues. host: at the table is bob benenson, senior analyst at "cq weekly." primaries, run off, a very significant day that intel as a lot of stories about november. but let us get right to it. the state that has lots and lots of people talking is arkansas. what is at stake here and what is this race between senator lincoln and the lieutenant governor and become so competitive?
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guest: first of all, of today's primaries this has the most immediate impact. blanche lincoln is fighting for her political career, if she loses, she is done. blanche lincoln is a classic southern democratic centrist, which means she is a bit more moderate, conservative on some issues than the democratic mainstream. although there are some democratic activist, labor unions who really lobbied against her, who don't like that. in another election year, middle-of-the-road incumbents like blanche lincoln sometimes are regarded as a thoughtful and the liberty. but for party activists they say, no, we want these members of congress to vote the way we want them to vote and when we don't, sometimes we face party rebellion. this has been a particularly
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difficult primary season for incumbents already. utah's senator bob and judy utah senator bob bennett, pennsylvania senator arlen specter going down to defeat. this will be an interesting test to see whether the party unity and ideological purity becomes an overriding issue for incumbents. host: neck and neck in arkansas. any late polls? guest: all the polls show it is very close. if you show the tenant governor bill halter with a small lead, but within the margin of error. but all you need is 50 percent plus one. host: what is he bringing? guest: something different. that is what much of the challenger candidates are doing. they are saying, these people who have been serving in washington are part of the problem. we need to get a fresh-faced and new blood. he is running with the support of a lot of liberal activists who just feel that blanche
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lincoln has not been with them as much as they want him to be on health care, organized labor issues. they are sending a message of saying, no, we are not going to tolerate these variances from the party line. bill halter is not a down the line progressive or liberal, but strong enough on in of key issues that democrat activist voters care about, and those of the ones who vote in primaries, and certainly primary runoffs. it is hard enough to get to the polls on the sprinkler summer just for a primary. then having to combat three weeks later, like the democrats had to in arkansas, is a whole other thing. host: bob benenson is a senior political analyst and spent many years covering legislation and politics. he will get to your calls in just a couple of minutes. the phone lines are all the bottom of the screen --
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let us stay in arkansas for a few minutes. who is this person likely to face? guest: the congressman from northwestern arkansas. arkansas traditionally had one very strongly republican district, this visit. he won outright in the republican primary. the did not have the brawling that blanche lincoln and bill halter has had. he is an experienced politician, a conservative record -- record. and if this turns out in november to be a strong republican year nationally, it will be it harder either for blanche lincoln or bill halter as the upset primary winner to hold the seat. not impossible. arkansas traditionally is a
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southern state that has swung least strongly to the republican party during the transitional period, from the 1960's on. host: we need to get to california. a couple of important races there. on the senate side, the gop side, three republicans are vying to try to unseat senator boxer. who are these three republicans and what have they brought to the race? guest: karlene dear reenah -- carly fiorina is still today but highest ranking woman in the business world. i should say, she held the highest position in the business world as the chief executive officer of hewlett-packard computer company. when she entered the race, it looked like it would be a two- person race between her and devore, very conservative,
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activist tea party candidate in the race. everybody expected that she would try to play kind of a mainstream centrist conservative republican role against the very hard-line conservative. but tom campbell, former u.s. representative, he ran for the senate against dianne feinstein, the of the democratic senator for california back in 2000. conservative on fiscal issues but more moderate on social issues. he had been running for governor. well, the governor's race got to be this huge big spending affair between a couple of very wealthy candidates and he felt like he could not compete there and switched over to the senate race. now carly fiorina is positioned between a moderate candidate and a conservative candidate. what she has done, appealed very strongly to the conservative base, which is pretty much the majority of almost every state republican primary, and it looks
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like she has boxed out devore on the issue and it has become a race between campbell and fiorina. it will be interesting to see what the impact of that is, the republican gubernatorial primary. meg whitman, the former ebay ceo, and the state insurance commissioner. host: one more question about the senate race. president obama went out to campaign for senator boxer twice this year. how the any of these republican senate candidates fare against senator boxer at this point? guest: looks like it could be a competitive race. there are some polls that interestingly show that tom campbell, because he is a bit more moderate on social issues -- remember, california has been trending democratic over all in its politics for about two decades now. so, a hard line secured -- conservative candidate on social issues will be challenged.
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but the problem is not everybody votes in the california republican primary. it is likely that one of the more conservative candidates could come out of there. if that is true, then barbara boxer mike reestablish a bit of an edge. it will be close and competitive race and very expensive. host: watch for victory and concession speeches through the evening. we will focus on several of the key states. off -- our guest is bob benenson. our first call is from toronto, ohio. we will show you a map from "the wall street journal" of the u.s. essentially the dark states are the ones who have action today. bernie, a caller from ohio. i think he cannot wait any more. we were talking so long. guest: i apologize. host: it is my fault.
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linda on the democrats' line from the mexico. go ahead. caller: my question is about carly fiorina. i did not know when she left hewlett-packard. at the time it is my understanding that she was fired. but i have not heard one word about that. host: what does it mean it is true? caller: it means to mate she probably was not bowing as good a job and she would like us to think she was. because i do believe she was fired. and i would like to know the truth. host: would that make heard less and effective elected official? caller: it would make it less attractive to me, yes. legacy as fiorina's head of hewlett-packard appears to be a matter of significant debate in the business world. there was a very interesting profile of her in "the new york times" magazine this week that
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you might want to access online which really goes into a great deal of detail on that. there was a lot of controversy over her decision to push ahead with a merger of hewlett-packard with the compaq computer company. in the short run it did not appear to of the benefits to hewlett-packard as seemed to have been promised so there was an uprising on the board and she was fired. today there are still some people who stand by that decision and say, yes, she just wasn't do it and of job. others who say in the long run the merger with compaq looks better than it did in the short run and she deserves to be given a reconsideration. .
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caller: my goal is to vote all incumbent out of office. our government has been taken over by the corporations and i don't know any other way to get the point across we are not going to take it any more. one problem is every voter thinks their guy is a good guy
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in congress and until we can get over that, we are not going to be able to change governments. most voters are robot voters. guest: that trend seems to be changing if you have seen it in the "washington post." host: support low for elected officials a new post poll. it shows 29% americans say they are inclined to support their house representative in november. 29% only at this point. this trend seems to be changing. guest: that is a serious danger sign. that doesn't mean only 29% of the people will vote for their incumbent. what is interesting in actions like this, presidential elections tend to focus people's attention much earlier on but mid term elections, they don't necessarily tune in. even in a period like this with
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a lot of talk about voters being activated by concern over the economy and issues. turnout for primaries is not particularly competitional. we have a dicey situation for campaign strategists. people may just not tune in until the last few weeks of the election. whoever runs the most effective campaign will be in terrific shape. in almost all cases even in this atmosphere the incumbent will have more money, the party infrastructure and campaign organizations. that is a big advantage. it comes down to people who might say let's throw the bums out. but when they get the comparison and you talk about all the wonderful things they do for their constituents and how bad the opponents are, it levels the playing field a little bit. it is a difficult atmosphere.
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host: tiffany now on the line for republicans from georgia. they have a special election runoff. go ahead, tiffany. caller: yes, i'm calling from georgia and i don't really have a question. it is more of a comment. i just wanted to say hi to john stuart's show. i love the show. thank you. host: there is a special election there in georgia in the congressional district. guest: well, that is one of these interesting situations where in the first roupnd primay whoever the top two vote getters were wind up going to the runoff. this is such a republican district, a district that was vacated by a long-time
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congressman who was a democrat when first elected but he was one of the handful who switched after the big 1994 republican takeover in the contract with america election. so, this is republican versus republican so this won't change the balance of power in kopblgs. a former state rep named tom graves quit the state legislature to concentrate on this house campaign. and a state nor named lee hawkins are fighting it out. both are quite conservative, southern republicans and i'm sure they will vote a pretty solid party line. host: back to california. governor schwarzenegger is headed out. who is running and what are the dynamics and what is the likely outcome? guest: this is a situation, you are talking about the an anti-incumbent atmosphere.
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california is in a tremendous economic mess. it benefited from the economic boom that we had earlier this decade and it -- like a lot of places that were growth areas during the early part of the decade it crashed harder than a lot of places. a huge number of foreclosures, high unemployment, double digit unemployment and it was accustomed to thinking of itself as the golden state, the place that was kind of an american paradise. so, you had a situation with schwarzenegger becoming governor where you had a republican governor, democrat controlled legislatu legislature, gridlock, stalemate. budget problems. all kinds of situations. so, it has been kind of a pox on both houses an makes the governor election this november
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a bit of a tossup. jerry brown, very familiar figure in american politics, he was the youngest governor in modern california history or since the 20th century began. he served from 1975 to 1983. if elected, he will make his comeback as the oldest governor of california. he's had an interesting career. after he served as governor he ran for president a couple of times. he served as mayor of oebgsd, now state attorney general. and so he has had an enduring career. the question is in an rather where there seems to be a fascination with new, different, whether the republicans can cast him as a retread as the same old business or whether they will be able to -- whether he can say it is a new thing. on the republican side it a
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shootout between meg whitman former c.e.o. of ebay and steve poisner. he started as a moderate republican and has turned sharply right and has been trying to challenge whitman by saying she is not conservative enough. that is -- she is adamant that she will be tough as nails on, say immigration on border security. the big difference in that race is meg whitman made a lot of money running ebay and she is spending a lot of it running for governor. and ppoizner is not poor and he has more than $20 million spent. but whitman is pushing nine figures in the primary. at least $80 million of her own
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money. even in california that is hard to compete against. host: one of those races we will be following. might be on the air until 1:00 or 2:00 a.m. waiting for results from california and nevada, which we will talk about in a couple of minutes. a call now from savannah, georgia, leonard, democrat, on the line. tkpwhrao good morning, fellas. you are talking about specific races. a few weeks ago there were the predictions about the democrats losing so many seats and our power swing withing, maybe losing control of one of the houses. that talk seems to have died down the closer we get to actual elections. so, in a macro sense what is the outlook for the balance of power
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in the united states congress? guest: well, enough seats are in play for the republicans in their takeover bids that there is a possibility, if the circumstances are really clicking for them they could get control of one chamber or the other. again, i have always felt that campaigns matter and the candidate matchups matter. i think that predictions as the caller suggests that say the die is cast already, five months out from election day, are premature. we have discussing that the poll shows that voters across the board are unhappy with their incumbent. the same poll you referred to by the "washington post" showing
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that three-fifths of the voters are disapproving of the republican party. so, the dynamic this year has not been the democrats coming down and republicans coming up. it is basically the democrats coming down to the low esteem at which the republican party has been held the last couple of election cycles. host: we will let one of our viewers ask this question via twitt twitter. guest: the influence that the tea party has involves mainly voter turnout. i think most polls of tea party participants show that they are people who have mainly adhered to the republican party over the last few years. many of them are self-described independents.
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because of their conservative viewpoints in most cases they would vote for republican candidates. so, unless the republicans nominate candidates who are too moderate, too liberal, to generate any enthusiasm, most of these voters will vote republican. so, the question for democrats is, can they close the enthusiasm down? tea party activists are fired up. if you are fired up enough to go to rallies, to go to town meetings an berate your congressman, you will probably be fired up enough to vote in november. democrats were the fired up people in 2006 and 2008 and they had their own motivating figure. president george w. bush who they were strongly opposed to. they won all of these big victories in 2008. can they generate that same enthusiasm especially since a lot of liberal or progressive
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voters who great expectations from barack obama's hope and change campaign and then those expectations meet the gritty reality of the legislative process here in washington and they may feel like the president hasn't accomplished the kind of sweeping change in washington that they felt they were promised. and if that is the case, whatever the polls say, even if the support for the parties is relatively equivalent, it only would take a mall percentage of greater turnout on the other side to swing coif sees. host: to tuscaloosa, alabama, an independent voter. caller: you are talking about the power shift. first everybody was against the republicans, then everybody against the democrats and whoever has the most money wins but what i don't like the
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republica republicans, the democrats got in and they got the balance of power and you have seen it for the democrats. that is the my mother and us grew up democrats but switched to republicans because the democrats ain't got a lot of power and at the keeping the republicans down. they don't want the republicans to have anything to do with everything. host: comment on the shifting winds over time. guest: it is interesting, the last 20 years or so, most of the election outcomes have really been more against than for. very rarely in the last few decades have you had a figure or a party that was personally popular enough to making people want to go out and vote for them. obama was one of those candidates in 2008, generated a lot of enthusiasm.
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ronald reagan was one. but those instances are few and far between. starting in 1992, when you had the first wave of populist rejection of the establishment embodied in the campaign of ross perot, came out of nowhere and drew 19% of the vote in a presidential election and bill clinton won over the first president bush, two years after they electeded bill clinton for chan change, they threw the democrats out of congress and elected republicans. republicans thought they would use that to capture the white house, bill clinton made a comeback in 1996. you have seen that in the last couple of years with the swings. first, the people outraged by president bush, put the democrats in control of congress and white house within months
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after president obama takes office and the democrats have complete control of the federal government. there is this wave back. so you have a base party about a third of the electorate each then the group in the middle called independents not affiliated with either party but within that group there are a number who are either mainly republican voters or mainly democratic voters and once in a while they will split the tickets. then you have a constituency it is hard to gauge but 10% to 15% that is truly unaffiliated and they basically don't like either party. they don't think either party is working in their personal interests. and they have been swinging back and forth opposing whoever is in power. whether ross perot or bill clinton or newt gingrich or barack obama or the tea party.
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that is who they are attaching themselves to and that is why our politics keep swinging become and forth. host: south carolina, a state with a lot going on today. easley, south carolina, pat on the republican lane. -- republican line. caller: i wanted to ask do you think nancy pelosi will be voted out today in guest: no. no. host: any other thoughts and perspective? what is the most important race to you today in south carolina? caller: i think the governor. i kind of want to go with nicky haley is probably who i will vo vote with. i'm not sure yet. i hope south carolina can get back to the morals that we stand for, because what our governor done was a disgrace and it
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shouldn't happen. i just hope that south carolina can get back to morals what we stand for. host: thank you. take us deeper. this has gotten a lot of play. guest: it sure has. whatever your position on the morals of the state are, i think everybody down there must have a desire to get back to some political comity and a little less of the rancor we have seen the last couple of years. the political mess really started last year when mark sanford, two-term governor, seen by some people because he was kind of an icon class particular kevin tough figure, one of the first governors to come out strongly saying we are not going to take all the stimulus money after the bill was passed. some were talking about him as a
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potential 2012 presidential candidate. then we know, he disappeared a few days, his staff said he was out hiking appalachian trail and he came back and admitted an extramarital relationship with a woman in argentina. so, this destroyed his political career, created disruption, raised questions even about whether the republicans in this very republican state could hold the governorship. it is such a conservative state that that seems likely. but the primary for the republican nomination has not been at all pretty. nikki haley regarded a fresh face, very conservativeers well liked by a lot of the conservative activists, drew an early endorsement from sarah palin which has a lot of symbolic value to a lot of conservative republicans, came
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out of nowhere, surged into a lead in the primary over some very experienced figures. lieutenant governor andre bauer and henry mcmaster. gresham barrett. then rumors started circulating that there be a scandal and a conservative blogger said he had an inappropriate relationship with nikki haley. then a political consultant who is associated with andre bauer one of her opponents said he, too, had an inappropriate relationship. she firmly denies any of this. that she has been totally faithful to her husband during the entirety of their marriage. but it just throws the whole issue of personal morality and behavior in the spotlight again. the polls taken indicate that
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most of nikki hailey's republican supporters are sticking with her. she may have a problem because you have to have 50% and whoever finishes first doesn't get 50% will have three more weeks of this. then when you get in the he said, she said things involving personal behavior, somebody really telling a whopper of an untruth. and if it is the other people, then shame on them. if it is her, she has a political problem. host: we have a couple of calls from maine, another state voting today. we will get to them but we have to get out to nevada. another competitive race. this is on the g.o.p. side for the right to take on harry reid in the general election. who is out there right now and
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who has the best chance of taking down the majority leader? >> this is an interesting situation. members of congress who serve long careers work their way up the ladder, those who have leadership ambitions scramble up to the top and get harry reid is that person. he represents a state, nevada, that is politically competitive. where he would be vulnerable to a challenge. and over the past year he has been a political lightning rod, carrying the banner for the democratic agenda which contains a lot of items on the liberal progressive agenda particularly the very controversial healthcare bill. and he's been in the middle of the pitched partisan battles. then he has to go back to a
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state where not only is the electorate at best centrist but because of a population boom senators serve six years. since the last time he was before the voters in 2004 the population of nevada grew by a third so there is a third that never has voted for or really seriously considered harry reid as a candidate. his approval ratings dropped sharply and polls started showing him running well behind almost all of the major republican candidates. two problems for republicans. one is that they didn't really max out on the candidate recruiting. they were hoping that congressman dean heller from reno or john porter who represented suburban las vegas for a few years would be their candidate. neither of them decided to run for the senate. the candidates they have running are -- do not have necessarily
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distinguished political track records. you have the state republican chairwoman and danny tar containian, a developer, ran for office a couple of times but best known as the son of a famous basketball coach jerry tarkanian. and sharon angle, a very conservative former state assemblywoman ran for congress, lost the republican primary a couple of years ago and has caught on very strongly with conservative activists. voters in nevada are now -- they may not like reid but they are starting to say reid has been a senator this long, he has a powerful position and all the influence, do we want to surrender that for a new candidate just as a protest?
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so, a lot of voters say i'm voting for anybody but reid. this is really an anybody but reid situation. host: more about nevada. "wall street journal" writes the g.o.p. feud bodes well for reid. that is page a-2. poland, maine. janet. democrat. hi, janet. caller: hi. host: are you from poland, maine. caller: no. host: we will get to you next. go ahead, sir. caller: first off, on the call from south carolina i won't name names but i believe south carolina lost its morality back as far as lee at water. with regard to florida, what is the chance of charlie criss?
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guest: for an independent candidate, third paerty candidae charlie crist has a better chance than most. he is the incumbent governor. he does come in with a size believe political base. his ability to win the election would really depend on his ability to win independent voters who mainly would be inclined to vote democratic and some moderate republicans who just regret the strong conservative teufpl of the former -- conservatism of mark rubio. but also to go on to democratic turf. the democrats most likely nominee has a pretty liberal voting record for a state like florida but doesn't mean he can't win in a three-way contest especially. but charlie crist is a substantial figure and voters --
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what is interesting is this was one of the republican party's prize recruits. they begged him to run in the spring of 2009 when it bail apparent that mel martinez was not going to run and was resigned and was replaced. but the problem is -- and this is again we talk about candidates embracing somebody. charlie will i crist's big problem is when barack obama came down to promote his economic policies in february charlie crist not only introduced him at a speaking engagement but gave him a hug. and for a conservative voter in florida that is totally unforgivable. host: to maine again. republican voting on a house governor and other state offices. paula. caller: yes, hi. i just want to say about -- a
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few things. you talked about swing voters. i used to be an independent. i just switched to republican because there were people that were urging me we are going to do something, you know, get together and there are a lot of good republican candidates for governor this race. most of the democrats, however, have taken advantage of maine's clean elections money which we have here with taxpayer funding to fund the candidate. it is ironic because we have spent millions of dollars on the campaign we we could have taken the money and hired them all. is ironic. but that is the way politics works and the media and printing presses get their money because of the advertising that the candidates do. host: any thoughts? guest: well, there is the ongoing debate and it will probably never end about what is the best way to finance
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campaigns. there are people like the caller who don't believe in public financing and feel like it is a waste of taxpayer money and the candidates should go out and raise their own money. what is interesting though, and it sounds like she would also be an advocate of limiting campaign spending because she did comment that media advertising and -- is very lucrative and that the taxpayers wind up paying for that. but when you try to limit campaign spending then you run into constitutional arguments that campaign spending is the equivalent of the first amendment freedom of speech and the supreme court has consistently ruled it is unconstitutional. host: as we begin to wrap up we will ask you if there are any races we haven't talked about that you want to mention but we will take a couple of calls
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first. virgin, utah. charlie, independent. caller: thank you for taking my call. been a couple of years since i talked to you. people seem to be upset but they shouldn't be because we are getting the best government with money can buy. with all the lobbyists, about 500 per congressman and senator we are getting what we expect. if we didn't have any lobbyists maybe the senators an congressmen would listen to their constituents. host: to big bear lake, california, terrence, democrat. hi there. caller: yes. i would like to know from the gentleman which of the candidates running for governor is more likely to balance the budg budget. the $20 billion in the hole. which will take on the task of
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handling the pensions for the state? guest: i will have to leave that to the voters. everybody has their own plans. republicans tend to promote deeper cuts in the state budget and oppose tax increases. the democrats usually propose more of a mixed plan for the state government. they are a little more wary to suggest anything that resembles a broad based tax increase. if it it was easy to balance the budget, it would be done. the problem is that in principle everybody says we need to reduce spending. but when you talk about cutting spending, that impacts
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constituencies directly. those are not the budget cuts they want. it is always pork barrel spending is spending in other people's states an districts. host: we have time for one more call from ohio alex, independent. caller: good morning. my brother is in the army and he has -- he works as a communications analyst. i believe he is in qatar. i'm not quite sure on that. however, an analyst two chairs down from him intercepted a message from a terrorist with a message yesterday as a matter of fa fact. a group calling themselves the silver chiefs -- you will excuse me -- he had a message issued to
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the government about the primary elections in this country and how they are so silly. and i'm just not sure about that. i don't know if it is the whole freedom thing or if it is the jihad thing. but i just don't know about that. -- host: your point from alex in ohio, where else should we have our attention? guest: it is very interesting primary for governor of iowa. terry branstad served as governor four materials from 1983 to 1999. he is seeking a comeback and wants to calendar the current democratic governor in november. he faces two challengers. it looks like a more competitive one is a businessman who was the republican nominee for lieutenant governor in 2006.
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again, this is one of these party sacramento versus conservative activist primaries. that is very interesting although endorsements don't necessarily mean anything. i hate to keep referring to sarah palin laying her hands on candidates and giving them her blessing. but in this case branstad trying to fight the in picture that he is not kevin of it enough it might bolster him. host: we have had the senior political analyst from c.q. watch us through the evening. we will bring you the results here tonight deep into prime time. maybe until 1:00 or 2:00 in the morning with the west coast races. we will have speeches live and taped from winning and losing candidates tonight. we will take another short time-out then talk about china and its economic conditions, its
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relationship with the u.s. economically. our guest will be from the peterson institute. meantime, some news from c-span radio. >> it is 8:35. in the headlines two more american troops were killed in afghanistan today. pushing the losses in that country to 23 in over a week. the latest deaths as insurgents step up their bombings and other attacks head of a major nato operation in the taliban stronghold of kandahar. president obama is turning his attention back to healthcare as he holds a town hall meeting at a senior citizens center in wheaton, maryland. seniors will be able to listen by phone and ask questions at dozens of gatherings around the country and you can hear and watch live coverage starting around 11:40. kenya's president is asking the u.s. to lead a greater effort to stabilize neighboring somalia, a
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country without an effective government for 19 years. kenya's leader speaking today with vice president joe biden who is in the east african nation the birthplace of president obama's father to press for political reforms in the country and discuss the situations in somalia and sudan. finally, japan's incoming new prime minister named his new cabinet today keeping core members in miss but adding several fresh faces including a former model. the prime minister hreblgt said he will honor an agreement with washington to move a key u.s. marine base to a less crowded part of okinawa an issue that led to the downfall of his predecessor. those are some of the latest headlines on c-span radio. >> congressional hearings the senate judiciary committee holds
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a hearing on the decision producing exxon's liability in the 1989 exxon valdiz oil spill. that 10:00 a.m. eastern on pap 3. then we look at the activities of hezbollah in the middle east. among those testifying the coordinator for counterterrorism and former bush administration ambassador ryan crocker 3:00. this morning president obama will be hosting a health care town hall meeting with senior citizens in wheaton, maryland, just outside washington. seniors across the country can participate by phone join the president health and human services secretary kathleen spwaoel kwruls. that is -- sebelius. that is 11:40 eastern. >> we have three new books. abraham lincoln the supreme court and who's buried in grant's tomb each with a unique perspective and something new to you about lincoln, the nation's
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highest court and the great lines of the america's president. go to each a great gift idea for father's day. >> "washington journal" continues. >> a look at china's economy now with the senior fellow at the peterson institute for international economics. you are just back from china. what did you learn? guest: the economy is booming. the authorities are trying to slow things down a little bit in the property sector and they are worried about what is happening in europe pause europe is their biggest export market. i think those are the key takeaways. host: how worried are they about the u.s.? guest: i think they are relatively government -- confident the u.s. recovery is strong. they believe the possibility of a double dip is pretty highway so the primary focus is europe.
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host: to the machinery of the economy in china and we will talk about the impact on the u.s., why do at the need to slow the economy? guest: they are growing above potential, the fourth quarter was 11% to 12% which is certainly above their long-term potential growth. when any economy is above the long-term pokes growth you are going to generate eventually inflation and a lot of distortions and dislocations. they want to bring it down slightly. host: to europe, their biggest concern is what at this point with the connection to china? guest: i think the biggest concern is europe will not recover strongly. we saw the first quarter growth in europe is a small fraction of 1%, very weak compared to the united states. they think because of the sovereign debt crisis from greece and spreading to other countries that governments across the region will cut fiscal expenditures and that is likely to weaken economic growth
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going forward. they are worried about a slow european recovery that could be slow for a number of years as many economies in the region try to get their fiscal house in order. host: the phone numbers are on the bottom of the screen. we are talking about china's economy and specifically the impact object u.s. trade. nicholas lardy has a ph.d. from university of michigan, talked in many places, currently senior fellow at the peterson institute for international economics. back to the u.s. an china, you said the chinese are not as concerned about the u.s. as they are with europe. they feel fairly confident. but explain in laymen's terms the connection between the chinese economy and our economy. why are the two so linked? guest: the main linkage is trade. china is the the biggest ex-porter in the world and we are one of the biggest markets so they are concerned about the pace of growth in the united
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states because that determines how much americans buy and that is a big factor in determining what the chinese are abe to sell to us. so they are interested in the underlying health of the u.s. economy. host: we will get a lot of calls on how much debt the chinese are holding, u.s. debt. why is that important? guest: we have run an external deficit for many years in the united states. we have to borrow money from the rest of the world to finance our excess consumption. china has been one of the biggest suppliers of the loans that they have made to us and they take the form of chinese government holding treasury securities and other dollar denominated financial assets. bond issued by fannie mae, other government entities like that. host: what does this mean for peop people? begin here in the u.s. and speak about the chinese people. what does it mean in their homes and they if out and about? frpblgt in the u.s. we see it
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mostly consumer electronics. most of them are produced it china. iphones, i-pads. all of that. go to best buy, circuit city, many it not most of them are made in kline. on the chinese side they are buying a lot of capital goods that help their investment programs that discriminate their economic growth. so it is a symbiotic relationship. china has a large surplus in the trade with the united states and has had for many years. host: before we get to calls we know tim geithner the treasury secretary was recently in kline talking to them about trade and monetary type issues. how are the tkpwofpts getting along these days as they talk about the dollar and trade issues? guest: i think reasonably well. i think there was a period four to six months ago where we were hitting bumps in the road. i think those have been mostly patched up. the relationship is constructive and productive. i think that they had a good set
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of meetings in beijing a couple of weeks ago in the so-called strategic and economic dialogue that was led by the treasury secretary and secretary of state hillary clinton. host: how about your own meet g meetings an visit to china? what were you doing? guest: i was in beijing talking to primarily to university based economists looking at what china has to do to sustain the economic growth over the long run. they have had a record run. they have grown more rapidly for a longer period of time than any other country in recorded history. and many people were worried there were factors that could drag down the rate looking ahead. so the question is what kinds of policies should the government be adopting to sustain their rapid growth. host: what are those factors that could drag them down? guest: the factors that could drag them down is underconsumption. overinvestment. too much reliance on exports and more structural issues like the o one-child family policy in in effect for a number of decades
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means their labor force growth is entering a period of very slow expansion. so, demographic factors. and pollution. the environmental cost of high growth that china has had particularly the last few decades is a major constraint. host: i will read the phone numbers for the benefit of our radio listeners as well. [the numbers are on the screen] host: our guest is nicholas lardy senior fellow at the peterson institute for international economics. more about the chinese economic figures here. the total g.d.p. in 2009 $4.9 trillion. how does that compare to the u.s.? guest: it is a small fraction of the u.s. and in in per capita terms it is even tynier. so, in terms of per capita
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g.d.p. we are 10 to 15 times ahead. it is still a very low income economy. host: they have a labor force of 813 million people. what does that mean? guest: about half of them are in the curl sector where productivity is low. a substantial portion have moved into the modern sector into manufacturing and into the services sector. china has the biggest manufacturing economy of any country in the world. they are massive producers of a broad range of consumer goods we talked about, also footwear, textiles, apparel. increasingly machinery. they have the biggest automobile industry in the world now and they are major producers of a broad range of machine tools and other kinds of capital goods. host: how would you describe the two countries and their need for each other? how important are they to each other? guest: i think it is a symbiotic relationship in part because of some of the structural factors. we don't save so much so we need
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to borrow. they have excess savings to lend. they have an export surplus that we have taken in supporting our high consumption levels. they hold our debt in turn. so, it is a symbiotic relationship i would say. host: here are the calls now. charlotte, north carolina. jacob, republican. welcome to the program. caller: how are you doing today? host: fine. caller: i wanted to call and voice my concern with current spending levels and how they relate to the worldwide economy. spending within the u.s. i'm 20 years old so i'm not well seasoned in the realm of political thought. but it seems to me like with spending as high as it has been the last 10 years with our massive overseas empire, we are in 140 countries, how is that going to be sustainable to keep that sort of spending up over
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the long haul, the next 10 or 20 years? host: before we get an answer let me run this story by you. the president, the white house today asking all agencys to trim at least 5% from their buckets. they want details, they want the information by september. what does 5% mean to you? caller: that doesn't mean anything to me really. i'm 20 years old. and i personally have done the research and the 1996 republican party platform called for the cutting of the education department complete thely and i was awe struck we i saw that and it looks to me leak 5% here and there doesn't add up to much. we give foreign aid to israel and money to pakistan and give money to -- i don't know. we are spending so much and it seems like 5% is a drop in the bucket. host: thank you. guest: well, i don't think
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there's any doubt long term we have to cut our budget deficit. we have to bring our debt down as a share of our total output. the president has made a number of commitments to do that. he's appointed a bipartisan commission to give him some ideas. we will have to see. in the short run we don't want to cut too fast because we are in the recovery phase and the stimulus which has involved a great deal of additional government spending has been very important in generating the relatively strong growth wore now experiencing. so we want to take place are off and over the next three to five years get on what is referred to in economics as a more sustainable fiscal path, which means increasing revenues relative to expenditures by some combination of higher taxes or lower government outlays. that will reduce the deficit and in turn over time assuming we can still grow fairly rapidly it will lead to a reduction in the
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total size of our debt relative to the size of economic output. that is what we should be aiming for. host: dean for democrats from laurel, maryland. caller: good morning. my question is framed from a point of view that china has a long history of a lack of respect for individual rights. we hear recently workers committing suicide and plants that are largely producing american companies' goods. what does china need to do to begin to provide mature rights to workers? and is china willing and able to take those steps being a dictatorship? guest: well, i think that the premise of the question is correct. china does not provide workers the same rights that we would expect to find in most industrial economies. they have a single union that is controlled completely by the government. they don't negotiate on wages and working conditions.
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and companies tend to be in the driver's seat. having said that, the company that has a lot of attention recently for suicide has a fairly good record. they have better living conditions, higher wages, more amenities provided to their workers than in many other facilities. the big down side is workers are required to work significant amounts of overtime frequently in violation of china's own labor laws which are not always enforced. host: that being said, business day section of the no, times today have a head lien as china's wages rise export prices could follow. the cost of doing business is going up they say the coastal factories are increasing hourly payments to workers, minimum wage standards are being risen. if they allow the currency to appreciate against the dollar this year as many are predicting the relative cost of manufacturing in china will almost certainly rise. what are your thoughts? guest: wages have been going up
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in china for many years so this is not new. maybe a little more rapid at this time. the key thing to keep in mind is particularly in the assembly factories which dominate on the southeast coast, producing such a broad range of consumer electronics, the cost of labor represents a very small portion of the total cost of production. so, wages may go up 20% but if in the wage bill is only 5% of the total cost, that will not translate into much of an increase in terms of what u.s. consumers would see. so, in some products maybe a little more but in consumer electronics which is our biggest category of import from china, i would not expect to see a big feed through to prices from the higher wages. host: john is on the line from lancaster, pennsylvania, independent. go ahead. caller: yes, i have a question. i would like to tphknow, we are consumer based economy and if we
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don't produce what we consume i think that the only thing we have been creating the last 30 years is a mountain of debt. could you explain to me how we benefit from moving our production over to china? guest: well, i think to begin with some basics, the united states still produces more manufactured goods than any other country in the world. we produce about 25% of global manufacturing output in the united states. that is roughly the sail share we produced 10 years ago. so, a lot of people have the impression everything has been outsource and it is all being produced in in china or somewhere else. certainly a lot of goods are being produced in locations but we are still producing about a quarter of all manufactured goods. we are able to do that pause productivity has risen and the workforce has not risen much because output per worker is growing rapidly and they get higher wages. in many cases, to be competitive
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you have to produce broad. caterpillar makes a huge amount of heavy construction equipment in china. they can not make it in the united states and successfully ship it to china. the cost of shipping giving the size and weight is prohibitive. so, when you have a big market like china companieslike carter perform and others are going to prefer and are to make product in china to be able to sell it successfully there. there are many american countries like that. host: we have a call from east like, ohio, tom on the democrat line. caller: good morning. my question is primarily what does the chinese need that we can produce? host: flipping it around. what do the chinese want from the u.s.? guest: there is fairly broad range of things. we start with the obvious ones like aircraft. they are one of the biggest purchasers of aircraft. they purchase a lot of computer
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chips, integrated circuits. huge on intel and other companies like that are selling billions. they are the big he gest importf toes things and a large portion of them are made in the the united states. they also are the biggest market for soybeans and u.s. produced cotton. so it is a range of things from sophisticated manufactured goods to certain agricultural products in in which we have a strong competitive position. host: our guest has written a couple of books on china. one is china the balance sheet. our guest is nicholas lardy senior fellow of the peterson institute. next call is springfield, missouri, bruce on the independent line. caller: good morning. why are we doing business with china first of all? they are and always will be -- why are we not building more
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companies in this country to bring jobs back? we have people out of work, many people out of work. the country has gone downhill since world war ii. and it has been taken on the aspects of rebuilding every other country in the world and giving money to all other countries. we borrow money from china to give money to other countries. it does not look like our government has done their job to protect our country from these overseas industries. host: not an uncommon refrain. guest: well, if you take the long-term perspective it certainly is true the united states is a less dominant force in the global economy than 50 or 60 years ago in a period after world war ii when most of eur e europe, the soviet union and so
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forth were devastated by the war and we survived in a relatively strong position with a very strong industrial base one that grew substantially during the second world war. so, it was inevitable that our size of our economy relatively to the globe would decline. i don't think that is a reflection of failure on our part. we still are the biggest manufacturing power in the world. we have the highest standard of living. and we gain enormously from trade with other countries. we buy things from them that we can't produce or we can't produce as cheaply and sell our goods to the rest of the world. and sophisticated economic studies have been done this show we are gaining roughly a trillion dollars a year from the trade liberalization that occurred the last several decades. so that is several thousand dollars per family we are better off as a result of or trade relations with the rest of the world. host: this a question about the individual in china.
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what is their purchasing power? guest: workers in factories in south khaoeuchina may be earnin a month take-home pay which strikes us as being extremely low. but they would be among the better paid workers in china. one of those things, they buy loot more in china than in the united states. it is a low income country. services cost less. some goods cost a lot less. so, the money goes much further in china than the united states. incidentally, i don't think we are selling any shoes in china. china is supplying the rest of the world about billions of pairs of shoes each year. they are the largest producer of shoes. host: from spending to saving, what is the savings rate in china? how does it compare to the united states? is it important? guest: if we look at the howls hold sector which is what most
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people look at in savings, in the run-up to the financial crisis u.s. households were not saving any money. in some periods they were dissaving, going more into debt. so the rate was negative. since the the financial crisis it has gone up. americans now on average are saving about 3% to 4% of their after-tax income. in china howls hold save about 25% of their after-tax income. so we are at opposite ends of the spectrum. we have one of the lowest savings rates in the world and china is relatively on the high side. not unprecedentedly high. but 25% versus 3% captures in. host: lincoln, nebraska, marvin. democratic caller. caller: hello. this is marvin. i'm a handyman and i work for a large real estate company in california as a property
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manager. but eight years ago the chinese goods started coming in to big box stores. people wanted the cheaper prices for the things i install but the problem is the quality is so poor that i'm worried five years later the houses will be burning down because there is no copper in the wiring and as of late you can't even buy a paint brush. they are made in china and when you open the bag they fall apart before you get them out of the bag. i think our infrastructure is really under attack by the shoddy quality of chinese goods. host: product standards there. guest: well, it true china does compete on price and quite a few goods and in some kinds of goods they will be relatively low quality. they won't last asslong and won't provide the service from a more expense serve product. but wove free choice. if you want to buy something cheap that lasts a while it a
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free choice. host: one thought from the "washington post," the headline is chinese close ranks on criticism of u.s. the americans are dismissing military officer's outburst of a chinese rear admiral but this appears to be common in beijing and they have a picture here of an officer in the people's rib legislation party and he says u.s. arms deals with taiwan were proof the u.s. china an enemy. i want to read a little bit of what this rear admiral said. everything that is going right in u.s. relations with china is because of china. everything going wrong is the fault of the u.s. he accused the u.s. of being a hegemon and saying the bulk of the bile is with taiwan he said
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they prove the u.s. views china as an enemy. so plug in this whole military and whole military aspect of all of this and what folks inside the government are saying. . they did not buy anything. nor have the internal, domestic disputes. the legislature could not agree on a spending bill.
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president bush had proposed in his first term. finally, they put a bill together. this package had been discussed nine years ago and was one of the movement grew. it was a massive sale. the chinese have responded very quickly. they want to bring pressure on the united states. host: do issues like taiwan or any other geopolitical issue in the world, whether it is iran or something like that, do they all come back to the trade issue? guest: in u.s. diplomacy, they try to keep them separated. we have some objections with
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china participating with iran. however, we want to get their cooperation on sanctions with iran, so we tried to do with these things in separate tracks. this compartmentalization is never perfect, but we have to look at the overall relationship to see how things are working. host: next phone call. robert. caller: i have been investing in china for some time. the accounting standards in china, my concern is with some of the company's, how do i know that i am getting what i'm believe i am getting in terms of investment potential? do you see the future of china are merging to such a degree
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that they may come second only to the u.s., in terms of the economic situation? guest: on the investment concern, i think most americans looking to invest in china have to buy stocks that are traded either in china or in hong kong. for a number of reasons, hong kong is a more important market. those companies are subject to strict regulatory and accounting standards, so most americans do not have the opportunity to buy into chinese companies not been listed through an exchange and subject to accounting standards and transparencies. if you have the chance to buy into an unlisted company, that would be unusual. that is when i would worry about accounting issues.
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host: overall growth? guest: china has had a growth of roughly 10% for the last decade or so. i think we can predict that that will come down. in the next few years, it will probably closer to 7, 8%. that will still be very respectable. but it will be decades and decades before, if ever, they match the united states in terms of per-capita output. they are a big economy, in part, because of their 1 billion people population. in aggregate size, china could match the united states in a couple of decades, but on a per- capita basis, which i believe is
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sometimes more meaningful, they are much further behind. host: next phone call. caller: what you are talking about is a wonderful but we have run trade deficits with china for 30 years. everyone says the deficit does not matter, but they do. the trade deficit has cost us 7 million jobs, lower wages of the jobs that are left here. our people are being inundated with tainted drugs, tainted food, shoddy goods. you heard it before. also, our intellectual rights are being eroded. guest: i think we have to start with the basics. americans undersave and
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overcomsume. and that leads to a deficit. -- overconsume. we can overcome this if we saved more. you cannot have it both ways -- have a consumption-driven society where people just use credit to pay off their income -- and manage the deficit. for the most part, we have only ourselves to blame. i agree with some of the other comments that china has not done enough to protect our intellectual rights, and that some of their products are shoddy, but in our country, we do not put much effort into inspecting goods coming into the country. we have almost no inspectors at
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the border. the agency is responsible for this are chronically underfunded. if we won high standards, we are going to have to enforce them. host: hot springs, arkansas. go ahead. caller: that man who said he invested in china and lives in the united states, i think he is wrong. he needs to invest in the united states. why is it that chinese, the vietnamese come anybody from another country can come here, buy a house, set up business, and if they go out of business, we are the ones that pay for it. host: we are going to let those
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philip is online. -- is on the line. caller: i had a question about minister forth and his policy on foreign aid. how many of average jobs have gone on to china via foreign aid money? guest: we do not give any foreign aid to china. i do not think there is any connection between jobs going to china and foreign aid. there are not a recipient of foreign aid from the u.s. government, never have been. host: barbara, seattle. go ahead. caller: i wonder -- i am concerned about powered drums going to china, but i am also
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reject about our job s -- our jobs going to china, but i am also concerned about the taxes. your guest need to get them into the community and talk to people because he is talking from a small window of his own intelligence. guest: i sympathize with what i see as some of the underlying points from the caller. we still have the strongest economy of any other country, highest living standards, and i do not think anybody should tell us short. host: next phone call. dan on the democrats line.
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caller: i had some comments about the economy. we have enough natural gas tapped and capped in the country to convert every vehicle to natural gas, get away from foreign oil, and employ 9 million people immediately. i just wanted to know why we are not attempting to do something like that? host: connect that to china, if you can, at all. caller: they are picking up their production. all we are trying to do is get our feet back on the ground, as far as natural gas. host: thank you. in energy connection. caller: both countries are
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similar in a couple of respects. both have large natural gas reserves. both of our countries, over time, certainly have the potential to reduce our dependence on imported oil by developing domestic resources. that would certainly improve both of our economies. host: charles, republican, good morning. caller: thank you for having me. about natural gas, i would also like to point out it has half a carbon footprint of oil. i have a real economics question for you. if the united states tied our corporate tax rate to the tax rate of other countries -- which are now about 40% -- and then
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pursued other areas with the policies like we used when maine got help of the great depression -- when we got out of the great depression, how would a country like china respond? we have to airfare wars in the airline industry. when it comes to china to follow a similar path? caller: we'd -- guest: we do have a tax structure that is not as advantageous to companies. we may be moving to a value added tax. that can be rebated when products are exported, as happened everywhere else, and would make the u.s. more competitive in the global marketplace. i think it would be an
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improvement for our overall economic welfare. host: nicholas lardy, thank you for your time an update on u.s. trade. we will be speaking about some documents released regarding supreme court nominee elena kagan. we will learn more about her opinions on various issues. our guest is from the associated press. first, more news. >> it is the busiest day of the year so far for congressional and gubernatorial elections with 12 states holding primaries or runoffs today. in arkansas, blanche lincoln is in a runoff against the lieutenant governor. california has a republican primary in the race to succeed term-limited gov. arnold schwarzenegger. people who buy prepaid cell
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phones could find themselves under increased scrutiny. new york democratic senator charles schumer and jon corzine have introduced legislation requiring consumers to produce identification before buying these bones, which have been used by terrorists because they are hard to track. the bill has bipartisan support, but civil liberties groups are raising privacy concerns. in an interview with nbc's "the today show" the president said, tony hayward would not be working for me. also in the interview, he said he considers veteran white house correspondent's helen thomas' comments controversial, but was sad to see her career and. she retired on monday as a columnist for hearst news
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service. finally, an administrator at a new jersey high school said one of the two terrorism suspects arrested over the weekend was considered so dangerous as a student that he was caught outside of the classroom with a security guard present. the administrator did not elaborate. the two tried to fly above kennedy airport on sunday, allegedly to get terrorism training in somalia. >> congressional hearings are back in full swing today on capitol hill. this morning, the senate judiciary committee holds a hearing on the 2008 supreme court decision reducing exxon's liability in the 1989 oil spill. later this afternoon a senate foreign relations committee look
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at the activities of hezbollah. among those testifying, daniel benjamin and former bush administration ambassador ryan crocker. and this morning, president obama will be holding a health care for senior citizens lunch in wheaton, maryland. there with the president will be kathleen sebelius. >> we have three new c-span books for you, "abraham lincoln, " "the supreme court, " and " who is buried in grant's tomb?" each is a great gift for
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father's day. host: our guest is julie hersh field davis of the associated press, talking about some documents talking about a later occasion. who did the documenting and how much has been released? guest: the bill clinton presidential library in arkansas released 46,000 pages of documents from the land taken's -- elena kagan's time as deputy counsel. those will probably have some of the more potentially controversial documents that are actually written by her. a lot of these are written to her. this is just the first batch. host: what has been the most interesting thing so far? guest: you can really see how
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she worked in the policy process and was a pragmatist. it is clear that she worked for a democratic president and work on those things, but she also found ways to deal with abortion, welfare, some on the more hot-button issues. that is what bill clinton tried to do, so it is not surprising to see that in the documents. but her critics and supporters will both find things that they will like and not like about her in this. you can see what is available -- host: you can see what is available so far on our website. republicans, 202-737-0001. democrats, 202-737-0002. independents, 202-628-0205.
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our guest has been a congressional reporter, working with "congressional quarterly" working on a lot of other issues. she is here to talk about the release of these documents. speak specifically, if you could, about some of these issues. begin with abortion. guest: she was instrumental in helping president clinton craft what was, at that point, and would still be considered a controversiall stand on my term abortion. they were looking to amend the technique, but wanted to make sure there would be acceptance for the health of the mother. president clinton vetoed one version that did not have that
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exception. there was a big debate and you can see kagan riding various speeches and letters for the president, explaining how they arrived at the middle ground. host: you mentioned welfare as well as part of the document released. guest: one of president clinton 's major initiatives was the welfare overhaul, which was controversial with both sides. there are small issues on the margin where she, as one of the top advisers on domestic issues, had to win in -- weigh-in. the law was pretty clear that it did not extend to the a nano care, for example, to illegal immigrants and welfare recipients.
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she made a judgment call on what the law would allow, but critics on both sides of the aisle will find something good is like. host: detroit is our first phone call. on the independent line. i think she is gone. where are you calling from? caller: ocala, california. i have an idea that i have been trying to get out. with our trade deficit, i think we should have an international lottery headquartered in washington, d.c., sponsored by the government. we could bring in billions of dollars. at the same time, is qualified, if a foreigner wins, they have the option of becoming a resident here and spending their winnings here. i think it would be a good idea because it would bring a lot of
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the money back that we shell out. host: anything there related to the supreme court? he seems to be off topic. we have touched on abortion and welfare. what other high-profile issues have you seen come forth with these papers? guest: there was a debate about assisted suicide and whether or not we needed a law. it was a fairly lively debate in and out of the administration whether or not it was necessary, to leave it up to states. you can see, kagan said, she thought it was a terrible idea. the administration came out with the position, and they told
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every reporter that these were not her views, per say, but were hurt considered opinions as a policy adviser who was trying to channel president clinton's views. assisted suicide, that is one place where you can see that she weighed-in on the issue. host: here are the phone numbers once again. republicans, 202-737-0001. democrats, 202-737-0002. independents, 202-628-0205. cicero, illinois. walt. independent. caller: i followed the clinton family and their practices for years.
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this lack of disclosure is just typical. guest: there has been a lot released, and there is still a lot to come. there is another 200 pages that president clinton asked to keep confidential. that was given to the senate judiciary committee, who is holding a hearing on kagan's nomination, but not to give the public access to it. they are releasing quite a bit. as i said, there is quite a bit that can be seen as controversial in any of these papers. you have her weighing in on abortion, assisted suicide, gun rights, immigration. there is quite a bit there. one of the interesting things that does not have direct bearing on elena takekagan's
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nomination, you often can see president clinton's notations on these documents. it does offer -- i do not know if it is unprecedented -- but it provides a wide window of what happened in the administration when she was there. in the release on friday, she was the deputy director of the domestic policy council. that was from 1997 to 1999. previous to that, she worked in the white house council office. there was quite a bit of wiggle back and forth in those years, so people want to see those papers as well. host: independent caller.
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go ahead. caller: i wanted to know if anybody knows elena kagan's position on campaign finance reform? i wonder if the american people, and the other institutes, could reverse the decision of the supreme court on finance reform? i believe the political system should not be in hand of big corporate money. host: campaign finance reform, have you learned anything more about her position? guest: i do not know if there is anything that is new. she argued on behalf of the government in a previous case, in which the supreme court said
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restrictions on union and corporate givings, basically, they account for a free speech violation. she argued against what the supreme court ultimately did, and i think that is one of the reasons she is getting a lot of criticism from republicans and conservatives. they believe she was wrong and they cite the supreme court's ruling against it as a reason that her nomination should be viewed with skepticism. host: tucson, arizona. peter. caller: good morning. i would like to know your opinion on the gun rights issue? guest: there is quite a bit in the files about gun rights during the time -- finally -- when she was at the domestic
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council. there was holon being debated on gun-control on capitol hill. it is clear that she is working very hard to help clinton advanced gun-control initiatives, like background checks at gun shows, assault rifle limits, etc. there is very little ambiguity there. you can argue whether or not the documents really reflect her own views personally or those of the administration. there is one memo in particular where she and her boss are saying to president clinton, we are going to give you a memo soon on ways we can aggressively and quickly enact gun-control measures before republicans and national rifle association can mobilize against them. they referred to a news article that sort of the lays out the
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strategy. host: queens, new york. democrats line. dexter. caller: i remember just before her nomination, chuck schumer was looking to become president. for some reason, he was the one that was labeled as more moderate. a republican president would never have a moderate person on the court. i wonder what this says about the democratic party and the ideological neutrality that they
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have compared to republicans, who are so much more philosophically committed to their positions? guest: it is pretty clear what we have seen from what she has pitchesaid, she is more moderatn those on the far left. however, what some democrats have noted privately about her nomination, it is really more pragmatism and the realism about the political times we are in, than anything else. she is well qualified. she has quite an extensive background in the issues that she would be dealing with on the court. she was the solicitor general. her resume and writings were scrutinized back then, but there was not as much attention on it back then. she is a pretty safe nominee
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because of her previous background and with president obama having a lot of political problems in front of him, midterm elections on the way, there was a consensus in the party that you do not want to push your most liberal possible candidate, someone that liberal activists would prefer above anyone else. this is not the environment when that kind of person can get through. host: can you tell us anything about immigration in the papers? guest: there is not a lot on immigration policy but there is some on whether or not benefit need to be limited to immigrants, illegal immigrants. you do have some instances where kagan and the rest of the domestic policy staff say that such and such will not be available to illegal immigrants. there were a couple of issues
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that arose with regard to health care. there was an issue of illegal immigrant parents and u.s. citizen children and certain benefits available to children were somehow not going to be because of their parent's status. they wanted to make sure that the children could get the benefits, even if their parents situation was murky. host: many of the documents are available at our website, c- chicago, thank you for waiting. independent line. caller: i am vaguely aware of the supreme court decision some time in the 1990's that told corporations their primary duty was to make money for their shareholders, and to put that
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ahead of community, employees, longevity of the company. i wonder if there is anything in the documents that relate to that decision? guest: i am not aware. i would have to learn more about it. host: 1 is this so important to you, caller? i think we lost them. next phone call. john. caller: i just wanted to say -- host: chattanooga, tennessee. andrea. caller: good morning. , i have a question. i want to know -- good morning, i have a question. i want to know -- host: i think we lost her. how important are these
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documents to the process? guest: very important. she has not been a judge, so we do not have the voluminous rulings to read through, like sonia sotomayor. we do not really know what her brief, what her style might be. particularly, republicans have been eager to see these papers. what kind of legal views and decisions does she make, is she really moderate, is she liberal? a couple of memos surfaced before these documents, some having to do with partial birth abortion, and democrats were concerned about the position that she took. there is a lot of curiosity about their about how she waited on these issues because this is the last chance of the senate
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to read into her before she is nominated. if you ask top republicans, they will say that her nomination is coming too soon, particularly, because the documents are coming out in batches. there are 20 days between now and the hearing and there are 100,000 pages out there. there is anxiety on the part of republicans that they will not be able to see what they want in time to craft those questions or concerns that they want in the hearings. host: asking about a document releasing process itself. how does that work? what happens, who speaks to who? calleguest: 8 is the prerogativf
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-- it is the prerogative of the judiciary committee. here is what we are looking for, we need these documents. in this case, the white house, president obama's staff also to expedite the release of the document and said that the president did not claim privilege over them. that helped the process. it is really up to the national archives, who oversees the presidential libraries across the country, to go over their papers. you will see in the various files redaction sheets where things have been taken out, if there was personal information on them, if there was a phone number, address. they have to go through it and make sure everything is ok to be released to the public. host: mississippi. thank you for waiting.
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steve. caller: yes, sir. i want to ask a question. i see the release of these kagan documents. it is overwhelming that we continue to nominate activists into the supreme court. because of the release of these documents, this nomination of her should be revoked. host: let me if step in. how do defined activist, and how do you know if she is one of them? caller: when you read what she stood for in the past, and this goes for any conservative or liberal activist nominated to the supreme court. once they get in there, they begin to legislate from the bench. we can see that this will come from the release of these documents. we do not need that. we need more independents that
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are on an equal boundary where they cannot be swayed by a party. host: have you read, or will you read these particular documents? caller: i have not read all of them, but i have read enough to know that she is an activist. this is going to be a problem. i just wanted to know julie's take on all of these activists being nominated. we all know that they legislate from the bench. guest: you make an interesting point. the hearings on the nomination, if approved, is going to be a forum on just that issue. republicans will say that democrats just want to nominate liberal activists to the court. democrats will enter that when president bush was in office, he nominated and they confirm two
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justices who have been conservative activists and have overturned generation of important rulings on issues, like labor, civil rights, campaign finance, it goes down the gamut. depending on 1's political view, you can either see what she has written and see as someone as a liberal activist, or you can do and as somebody who wants to follow the law to the letter on issues that democrats considered to be the most important of the day. there is quite a bit in there that shows she is not indoctrinated liberal. there are some positions she took against president clinton that were anathema to liberals, that were of great concern to them. i do not think that you can itemize anything in the documents that really portray her as an activist.
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it is clear she has strong views. it is clear she was good and articulating those views and brought forth the process to bring forward those issues. but she does not come across as a crusader, as someone who is trying to skirt the law. i think it depends on your political views, whether you consider her and activist or not. host: we are talking about the release of the documents by the clinton library regarding the work of elena kagan. st. joe, missouri. julie. caller: i have a couple of comments.
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one thing that bothers me is that he mentions that she has great empathy. in my view, and that they should not have anything to do with a supreme court justice. it is supposed to be about the constitution and law, not about feelings for a particular people. host: anything else? you said you had more. caller: yes, i had heard the press had tried to get some ideas from her brother, who supposedly has a radical liberal list views, and the press was shut out of his classroom when they tried to do that. i wonder why we do not see that in the press. host: have you seen that in the press? guest: yes, one of the papers released was her senior thesis
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from princeton university where she wrote about socialism. in the acknowledgment section, she references her brother and how he had been an inspiration to her, in terms of her course of study in the issue. of course, the press wanting to know about her, try to track him down. i was not one of them, so i cannot speak to that, but i understand he was not speaking about that issue. that is just another example of how desperate people have been to get information on what her real beliefs are. on the ad but the question, -- and that the question, i believe you are referring to -- empathy question, i believe you are referring to sonia sotomayor. i do not believe he used those words to refer to elena kagan.
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however, i am pretty sure he would not want to make that mistake again because when he said so initially, that is something that republicans jump on, that it was inappropriate to have borne a justice. however, when he introduced elena kagan, we have heard democrats say the same thing, that she understands the impact of court rulings on people's lives. that is a positive that people should be looking for in a justice. republicans take issue with some of that and say that it is an inappropriate consideration for a justice to be making. host: cheryl. reston, virginia. are you there? caller: can you hear me? i wanted to make a comment on
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activism and then make another comment about elena kagan. this notion of judicial activism is really a red herring. the supreme court is a coequal branch of government. it is their goal to tell us what blogged is -- the law is. in doing that does not constitute being an activist in some sort of negative way. when it happens on the right, you do not hear many complaints, but when there is a progressive decision, the right and the press does a great job of seeing this idea as negative, which is unfortunate. with regard to the judicial nomination, it is not clear to me whether or not elena kagan is the nominee that i wish she was. it seems they all have to be middle of the road, non-
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controversial in order to get through. as a progressive, i wish obama would have come or will in the future, really go for it and nominate a truly progressive, liberal scholars that can equal justice scalia. he was very influential. i would love to see someone do the same thing on the left and provide some balance. guest: it is pretty clear, as you said, and that he did not pick the person that could be seen as the scalia of the left. i would have to agree. in this political environment, it is unlikely that you are going to see someone chosen who is that.
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people will seize on previous writings or rulings and can have a difficult time in the confirmation process. i will say you never know what you are going to get, particularly when you have someone like kagan. she has not been a judge. someone pointed out to me the other day, quite astutely, that justice john paul stevens, who she would be replacing, had not been seen as a liberal icon, however he is now. one thing people say saykagan is -- about kagan is that she tries to bridge the divide, is a consensus builder. there is a pretty stark divine right now on the supreme court. from what we have seen so far,
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she will not be sitting on one side of the spectrum consistently. for folks who wanted a scalia of the left, we may have to wait more. however, we do not know how she will be yet. host: we have gone over a number of controversial issues. which are most likely to invite the best exchanges? guest: for sure we are going to hear about abortion rights, gun rights, as we did with justice sonia sotomayor's confirmation process. i think we will hear about campaign finance. she argued that for the government and was defeated on that score. in terms of the political dynamics, republicans and democrats are focused on that.
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this is a midterm election year. social issues tend to draw the most heat, if not cast the most light come on these nominations. i think we can be sure that we will hear more about those things. -- most light, on these nominations. what kind of judicial temperament do we think she is going to have? host: folks can go to c- to check out these documents. how easy are these things to read? if you have to be a lawyer, have a law degree? guest: i would not say that. as someone who has covered washington for a while, they are very interesting and revealing into the way that the west wing works. you see the patient from the president, people passing notes
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to each other. pretty lively debates sometimes playing down over e-mail. in particular, she was involved in the race initiative that president clinton undertook. that was quite controversial. there were some egos battling there. it is interesting to me. i do not know if the public is going to eat it up. unlike the information that we had with sonia sotomayor, they are not in court, so they are digestible. heavy in policy, but not legal language. host: next phone call. independenct line. caller: finally the if there are 100,000 pages of stuff out there, nobody should be rushed into making a decision.
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that is part of the problem and that i, as an american, have now. none of these bills are being read. i do not think that is right. it is time that people started doing the job that they are paid to do. basically from what i have heard this morning, once you take our guns away, it is ok to kill our children, and that we can give these illegal people all the rights that they want. it is getting old. i would prefer any of the senators out there, listening, i hope they know what they're doing. we are getting tired of these people running our lives.
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these people are running our lives, depending on what they think. i do not think anybody should be confirmed completely and clearly. i did not care how long it takes. guest: she has laid out the republican's case pretty perfectly. this. jeff sessions -- this is what jeff sessions has been saying. both sides would say that they want to have a thorough confirmation process, a process that is a debate, not just a rubber stamp. at the same time, president obama has made it clear he wants her on the court by the time the court comes into session in the fall. congress will go on a summer vacation after the first week of august as they always do, so they are on a schedule. patrick leahy of the judicial
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committee set the hearing date of june 28 to keep them on that schedule, so she could have her hearings, which will take one week, and then be debated by the senate, and be confirmed before the first week in august is out. so as much as both sides want to have a debate, there is a deadline. i think a lot of republicans are uncomfortable with that right now. host: we are going to be there live and on the senate floor when they take it up. any part of you that thinks the time table will slide? guest: there is a chance. republicans have now ratcheted up their warnings that they will ask for a delay if they do not have enough documents. they do not have the power to actually postpone the hearings. they can insist on it, but it is not part of their provocative as the minority. but there are certain rules that
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they could use to draw on the hearings, to prolong the vote in the committee. as far as i have heard, the chairman of the committee has shown no appetite for postponing this. at this point, june 28. host: 46,000 pages released so far. 160,000 total. guest: and we do not know if they are going to release the rest of it in one big batch or not. one of the next badges will be willbatches will be -- batches will be more from her mouth, from mouthpen. you see -- one of the next batches will be more from her mouth, from her pen.
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it should be quite interesting. host: next phone call. caller: i want to point out the real problem of this country is the system of user read. everything is basically a side issue. i want to ask your guest, in her opinion, what does the federal reserve to for the united states? host: anything you want to speak to? why do you bring it up? caller: i want to follow it up with my opinion on what the federal reserve does for the united states. basically, they take the power of approval of the money that is spent by congress out of the hands of the american people. host: can you connect that to the supreme court? caller: the federal reserve is responsible for 9/11.
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guest: she has not weighed in on pure economic issues. what is clear is because she was in the clinton white house, she believed in the government's limited role in all sorts of social issues. health care, helping people get back to work. she had a huge role in crafting a family and adoption policy for the administration. these are all things that she believes the government has a role in. i imagine her views and history of policy work would not fare very much here, but there is nothing directly about economic policy. host: georgia. margie, democratic line. caller: i have a couple of questions with the amount of
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scrutiny that is given to each candidate for the supreme court. i would like to see potential centers and other congress people -- senators and other congress people's backgrounds as closely scrutinized. in regards to empathy, civil rights, the right to freedom of speech, etc., are these not human empathy rights? host: anything you want to respond to? guest: on scrutiny, i think most people would agree. keep in mind, this is a lifetime position she would be confirmed to, if she goes through. there is quite a good case to be made for a higher level of scrutiny than you do to term- limited members of congress.
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on empathy, i'm all come back to what i said about the debate when it comes back to congress. the proper role of the justice. most democrats will say that a justice's role is to think about the impact of the ruling on a person in the real world now. conservatives, more often than not, republicans, will say that that is inappropriate. you think the constitution as it is written, and that is the rule. host: florida. gerald on the independent line. caller: pontoon beach, illinois. host: sorry about that. go ahead. caller: i have two issues.
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i placed a fax design to the white house for a solution to this oil spill. i am not also understanding why the saiseanate cannot take their discussions to the governor, and then the governor can take that to the president. host: anything about the supreme court? caller: they are just justices from courts around the united states. guest: actually, the senate judiciary committee is having a hearing this morning. right now they are occupied with this. with this.


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