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tv   C-SPAN Weekend  CSPAN  May 29, 2011 10:30am-1:00pm EDT

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now for medicare reform at large. i think they will try to get around $1 trillion in spending cuts. they will look for some ways to rein in medicare spending without doing a total overhaul. they'll have to figure out how to deal with this problem of revenue is because democrats will not back this plan without something, taking oil subsidies off the table. they will need something. >> where the democrats saying this is a victory for their position on medicare? a majority chose the republicans and the tea party who are harder on the debt issue. >> this was as conservative a district as a confined in new york's debt, -- new york state.
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it is outperforming anything the democrats should have been per forming a ninth district. >> medicare was the major issue. >> there were flooded with medicare adds. in all honesty, the democratic message on medicare is the republicans want to end medicare as we know by turning it into these voucher programs. they say it is easier to communicate than the republican message which is basically if we don't do something now, it is unsustainable and it will crash. it just gives the average voter -- they have not really -- the republicans and not to my good job of communicating to the average citizen. >> the center said the media is
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contributing to the pollution in this country. >> i think that's true. once the presidential campaigns, it will be difficult to make progress on these issues because we will be looking at how much jewelry this guy bought his wife and whether or not sarah palin, what ever. it becomes muscle -- much less about the issue and more about the individual. this time around, there should be a commitment for the news media to explain this. this could be a seminal election. presumably, you have present obama laying out a plan for dealing with the debt problem. he is committed to that. a republican is offering a very different vision. different vision. people should be journalists by
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exploiting people -- to people what the problem as some of the realistic way of solving it is. realistic way of solving it is. >> to the public understand the ramifications and hal on target is senator coburn's description of the scenario? >> people agree it would be relieved that we don't address the debt. spar is the public, they are schizophrenic. they say you have to cut spending and adjust the debt. you may trade off by not giving themselves security. at 69 are having a smaller benefit. once you go through that for every program like medicare or
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farm subsidies, then you've got a small amount of things on the table and that is not enough to do it. >> we thank you so much for being here this week. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] >> people often say to me how much of your time do you spend riding and how much time you spend doing research? that is a great question. no one ever says how much of your time do you spend thinking? that is probably the most important part of it. >> tonight i partsi of our interview with david mccullough, his writing process "and the greater journey." you can download this another podcast online @/ podcast.
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@podcasts. >> david saks went on patrol to clear roads or of ied'sd the talk about security in the province of and the status of the training of the u.s. army and police. he recorded his experience while inside a military vehicle after it struck anied. you can watch his report tonight at 9:00 eastern here on c-span. former president bill clinton cautioned democrats not to misinterpret the result in the new york house election race where a democrat won in a district held by republicans. he said while he disagreed with the republican proposal, something needs to be done. news interviewed on a range of issues by the pbs news hour correspond glenn eiffel.
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this is about one hour. >> in the spirit of the conversation that the pearson foundation has been having, i want to talk to you in a bipartisan matter. tim pawlenti announced his running for president. he said last week he feels that americans are not looking this
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in the eyes. he said they need to slash budgets without regard to sacred cows. is that possible? >> this is the worst time to cut deficits, in the classic sense. there is a chance that if there is the zero demand for private capital, it is not quite that low, but interest rates are virtually zero and there's very little activity in the private sector, if you cut a public investment at the same time you will lose more revenues in
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declining economic activity and declining tax revenues than you get in the spending cuts. it will be interesting to see what happens in the united kingdom. the early results are not particularly encouraging. the theory of the cameron budget is the same theory -- that the european central bank seems to be driving which is even though interest rates are functionally they think there is a confidence premium in doing this right now when things are fairly flat. the work that pete peterson and
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michael and a whole group in the peterson foundation has done is based on dealing with this over the long run. my view is that you deal with it over long run and tell the american people the truth. i think we can work through this. some people will say that the election in new york yesterday for congress proves that is not true. i completely disagree with that. the republicans ran to the left of the democrats on medicare in the last election. they excoriated us for all these savings that are embedded in congressman ryan's budget. they claim we cut medicare but what the democrats did was to cut the reimbursement rate for medicare and antigen put the money in lengthening the life of the medicare trust fund and closed the doughnut hole in the drug program. this is saving money because we are also requiring a discount
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on drugs bought in volume which we should do. >> do you think this race in new york was a referendum on this issue? >> it was about medicare. [laughter] the only point i'm trying to make is it was an inevitable consequence of the fact that republicans ran to the left of the democrats. they attacked the democrats for cutting medicare which was not true and the democrats decided to keep what they had done a secret so that the attack would certainly work. go figure. [laughter] it happens but you should not draw the conclusion that the new york race means that nobody can do anything to slow the rate of medicare costs. i just don't agree with that. you should draw the conclusion
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that the people made a judgment that the proposal of the republican budget is not the right one. i agree with that but i'm afraid the democrats came to the conclusion that because congressman's proposal is not the best one that we should not do anything. i completely disagree with that. there are lots of things you can do to bring down medicare costs. when i was president, we passed a medicare reform bill, bipartisan, and it said 50% more than was estimated in the first two years. it was so much that congress went back and actually increased some of the reimbursement rates and still, over a 10 year period, this is more than a decade ago, it saved 23% more than the congressional budget office said it would, more than $70 million of the decade. you just can't do this. how're things different from
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when you left office? >> the deficit problem is worse. we had never run permanent structural deficits of any time before 1981 when the american people bought the argument in the 1980 election that the government was the source of all evil and there is no such thing as a good or bad tax. that was the beginning of america's involvement with structural deficit. the debt of the country was quadruple between 1981 and 1993. we had four surplus budgets, about $600 billion, and my last budget was mostly president bush's first year. we were in recession and he proposed tax cuts but continued to propose them so we doubled
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that again in the next eight years. then we have the financial meltdown which devastated the revenue stream of the government. this is a more severe problem. it is more severe because i became president at the tail end of a traditional business cycle recession. when we had clearly high real interest rates to cause the deaths. this recession was caused by a financial meltdown and the recovery has been slow even with the zero interest rates. is like with japan winter after their collapse. these financial real-estate deals take longer to get out of than traditional business cycle recessions. >> democrats and oversell the idea that in the years you were president, everything was rosy. now that the republicans have been in charge for eight years ago -- and the democrats adjusting over, they think they should fix it. >> i think they are
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fundamentally right that the approach they took was better. if you look at last 30 years, we only get higher when things are messed up. people want to feel effects. in 1994, we lost congress because people did not feel fixed. we were vulnerable to claims we were proto socialists. in 2010, people did not feel fixed yet. in fact, many good things were going on underneath the surface including the return of america to real prominence in manufacturing and the race for clean energy technology. i hope those two things will not be reversed. i still believe the same dynamics will take hold and we will have a bipartisan resolution.
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people will want to see some progress on this. >> there is a new poll out today which shows more people are concerned about the potential of raising the debt ceiling and a government default. the argument is that this administration has said that will be a disaster if the debt ceiling is not raised. >> nobody knows what will happen. in a lot of these areas,polling can be useful but you cannot be paralyzed by it. in the end, people hire the president and congress to win for them. and to win for america.
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many things i did as president or unpopular. 80% of the people were against the mexican bailout. the majority were against what we did in bosnia. there were lots of other things. we lost congress over these things. you have to make these decisions based on what you think the and will bring out. if the end does not bring you out of life for a decade, you are toast. when we have elections every two years, is impossible to guarantee positive results from all of these structural changes. i think that is what happened in 1994 and 2010. >> is an leadership about bringing people along for the tough decisions? >> absolutely, but i think we'll have to do their -- what you
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have to do there, there has been no national presidential address yes. of american defaulting on its debts. there should but not yet. i am not sure it will happen. >> whatever the polls say, if we defaulted on the debt once for a few days, it might not be calamitous. if people thought we were literally not going to pay our bills anymore than they would stop buying from us. one of the really troubling things to me about the decision to maintain all of these big tax cuts and not address some of the other structural problems of the debt is that we borrow increasing amounts of it from countries that enjoy big trade surpluses with us. as a result of that, we should have been going to a future that
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was lest totally dependent on finance, housing, and consumer spending and add more manufacturing and green technology. that require us to have more trade agreements and to vigorously defend the ones we've got. the people of this money, trade enforcement's dropped 80%. could you get a loan if you knocked the tar out of your personal banker? this will take time to work out. think that the democrats or republicans should conclude from the new york race that no changes can be made in medicare or no changes can be made in so
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security or no changes can be made on taxes and no changes can be made that will deal with this long-term debt problem. we cannot allow ourselves to be so paralyzed by the president's and people's preference for president certainty and benefits that we stop creating the future. america has always been about the future. >> we have this immediate logjam, whether it is the gang of five or the meetings happening with vice president joe biden trying to negotiate the basic agreement which is about whether there will be revenue increases. you are in the room and you want to go for to some agreement. how'd you do that? >> i think you have to say that
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our revenues, when i was president, were very low but that is because our growth rate was so high. there is a revenue premium to high growth rates of high growth rates are not achieved by low taxes and loans to get rid of fiscal responsibility. that is the real lesson of my eight years. arithmetics matters. the blast and what great new ideas that brought to washington and i always said arithmetic. the idea that the lower the tax rate the better things will be has been debunked for 30 years. how many times do we have to see this movie before we know how it ends.
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? you could have taxes that are too high or too stupid. we have to say what of the good of the federal revenue for somewhere between 20%-22 percent and no more but robust growth rates and someday they would be lower again like when i was president? yes, they probably contact -- can i get that low. yes, but they probably cannot get that low. the grandchildren of the baby boomers are more numerous than their parents. we will have demographic relief in about 18 years and for medicare in about 20 and that will be a good thing. i think you have to make the point. we may have some room for tax reform here. one of the really impressive accomplishments of the bulls
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simpson commission pointed out how much money there is out there in the so-called tax expenditures. i would favor returning individual rates to where they were when i was president. maybe even across the board but certainly for the upper income people. i think you should do something with tax expenditures. on corporate taxes, i have a different take. i raised corporate taxes because the thought was important. it is very important to be internationally competitive. our rates are fairly high compared to our competitors but our loopholes are also fairly high. if you got rid of a lot of the tax expenditures on the corporate side, you can actually lower rates and still raise the same amount or more money and
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that would make us look more competitive and be more competitive. then everybody would have to pay something. you could not have some corporations paying 35% and others paying 10%. >> you talked about arithmetic. one of the pieces of arithmetic that the pedersen foundation has been on the table is reducing or eliminating the home mortgage interest deduction. that is a sacred cow. is that a reasonable recommendation? >> i think it can be reduced. there is no question that the $1 million it contributes goes to inflation. the absence of it is not a determined -- a deterrent not to get a house. i think that is something that should be reduced.
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you need to look carefully at these income levels and see how much inequality has increased. we need to try to structure a tax this that -- that does not aggravate bit. one of the reasons america is not more productive and a growth rate is not higher is that from world war two-1980, the bottom 90% of americans had 65% of the income on the top 10% had 35% as of 1% have 9%. it was inequality to reward people for working hard and having good ideas and starting new businesses and putting people to work and not so much constricted to capacity to build a great middle class from a growing economy. in the last 30 years, the numbers have changed. they are 90%/65% and that is dropped to 52%. the 35% has gone to 48%.
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that is too much inequality. it is not sustainable. it is the kind of thing you get if you have all your economic growth and financial center spending on housing. that is what happened before the meltdown. not enough attention has been given to america's economy before the financial meltdown in the last decade. we only had 2.5 million new jobs. some of it was 9/11 in the aftermath but most of it was we did not have a source of new jobs for this decade that was supported broadly diversified economy. that is what i think about that. people like me, i think should pay higher taxes. i think we should be careful on home mortgage deductions, not to do anything that would aggravate the quality of the middle-class and lower levels. the only time in the bottom 20%
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in come increase in percentage terms as much as the top 20% was in the second four years of research because we had so many jobs that a titan of the labour market. health-care costs increased only as much as inflation for the first time. it was also because we have a lot of reports for working families and single mothers and work force. in spite of that, we did not do anything to stop the increasing inequality benefiting the companies. in the back of our minds, we should realize that as a command of this increase more jobs, we should read more consumers and that requires that the income distribution supports a middle- class income and allow poor people to work their way into it. >> we solicited questions from the public direct to you. we also have a facebook audience. the winner question -- why is
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there some much focus on reducing entitlement programs as opposed to the military or other forms of spending? money is.where the i think you have a point. non-defense discretionary spending is only 13% of the budget. there are savings to be had there. the gao did it -- did a big study which determines all the different programs, like 19 different adult literacy programs which is a small example, but there is a few billion dollars there. it is not a significant amount to reduce the deficit but it is a significant amount in terms
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of reinvestment in our future. if it were me, i personally favor looking at that study and implementing all of those things like we did under rebel rough -- up like we did with al gore. i would like to see that money reinvested in non-defense discretionary spending that is future-oriented and green technologies and bring a bag manufacturing and biotechnology, reauthorization and expansion of the new market initiatives which records investment in relatively poor areas in america. that is what i think should be done there. there is money there but it is not dramatic. on defense, i agree with you but defense is 4% of our gross domestic product. medical spending is 17.2% and almost half of that is government insurance.
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there is a lot more money than health care. also, on social security, it was meant to be self sustaining and with the retirement of the baby boomers, it will not be any more. i think there are progressive and fair and decent way to propose some security i think medicare and medicaid cannot produce savings in good conscience unless they are part of a comprehensive plan to bring down a rate of inflation in medical costs. you can have medical costs going up three times the rate of inflation every year. america is spending 17.2% and canada is at 10.5%. america ranks somewhere in the high 20's in the overall effectiveness of our health-care system. everyone assumes we cannot do anything about this. if you break down where we are
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out of whack with the rest of the world, you see that the biggest category is rooted in pain for procedure instead of medicare and having no comparative study of cost that outcome. i think pennsylvania still the only state in the country that requires all the hospitals to fire -- to file what they do for different procedures. the second-biggest, by far, hardt ministry of costs and cost margins for the added to the way that we finance health care. that is one of the things that is a source of problem between the republicans and democrats. republicans want to put more people in the insurance system and climb consumers will have bargaining power.
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it is just not true. in 2009, the depth that the recession in before the passage of the health care bill, at the health care companies raised rates climbing, "i am sorry. i know we did not have cost raises but we need these huge reserves for when this turbo obamacare comes in." as they did not have it obamacare to blame and 5 million lost insurance, 3 million with the medicaid, and a balloon hit the state government. you simply cannot have an unregulated de facto monopoly and most states, one or two companies have 80% of the market. you cannot have 30% admen costs in our system, which is what it is the cap the insurance companies, the hospital's, the individually insured, nobody
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else is over 19%. that is $215 billion per year and we cannot have that. now, there are other things. we have it too many riad missions and medical errors. if we had here for sterilization procedures, we would save a lot of lives. the va hospital, a government entity, it is the first hospital network in the country, apparently, to uniformly applied these procedures to try and reduce infections, remissions, and the costs associated. that is a problem. the american people are about 15% of the problem. our lifestyle choices, and obesity, diabetes, they are all the results of $150 billion of this. according to the mckinsey study, we pay about $66 billion more for medicine than we would
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if we lived in any other country including the pharmaceutical production. >> and yet, mr. president, even supporters of the new health care law, over which the public is still split over, they say the new health care law may not have done enough to address all the things you're talking about to bring health care costs down. >> i agree. my position, when i was making appearances for the last campaign, i said the law was not perfect but that it was a huge, complex issue. we should continue to improve it, not repeal it. the argument for repeal, i can get you in one second. i know this is a complicated issue and will not talk about malpractice reform, and of life care, or other things, but the real reason there was a big twist in the repeal is one mine in the health care law which said, "if you are an insurer in the big plan, 85% has to go to
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your health care and nonprofits or promotions. the insurance companies acted like it was the end of the world. in minnesota were more and more plans pay for health care and not a procedure, they are already at 91% statewide. if you take blue cross blue shield of north carolina, for example, it is already at 87%. it is not an unreasonable requirement. i believe it will hold. these things will really bring down health-care costs compared to competitors over the next decade, but we have to do much more of them. basically, there should be a national system like pennsylvania that has real reports on a regular basis about costs and results so that really will give consumers power. it will give those insurers who want to bring down costs the power. it will have a huge impact if we do it. >> can i give back to the defense spending question for a moment. you said health care problem --
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health-care savings are a bigger problem. >> we do need to include defense. let's look at where we are. this gentleman's question about why there were so much focus on the, most people in the congress believe that we need a strong defense, and we do, but increasingly are national security is affected by climate change, resource depletion, the soft are conflicts of religious and other political conflicts. national security will have a broader meaning here, protecting the borders and all of that. i think some of these weapons systems need to be eliminated. congress eliminated and unbelievably we have the joint strike fighter, spending a lot of the money trying to develop, in which i'm believe in. why should every service have to have its own fighter plane? it was a good idea. when they save money on that,
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they turned around and said they wanted to give a company a contract to produce another engine. the government of it finally, but the marine corps also asked to eliminate a fighting vehicle that was being produced, a $5 billion articles. we have 11 carrier battle groups in the chinese navy has been dramatically modernizing with these great diesel powered submarines that go fast and quiet but they only have one aircraft carrier battle group. do we need 11? every time you do that, someone in america loses a job, but if the money is properly reinvested come you get more jobs. that is what happened when we have the base closing in my first term. we use those resources to build a different kind of economy. there's no question that defense will have to be a bigger part of this than it has been so far. >> there are economic trade-offs
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at a time when the economy still struggling to rebound. he did not have to do with the struggling economy as you were attempting to do these big things. how does this administration deal with the economic trade- off? for instance, deciding to increase corporate taxes and a strong argument to be made that you are slowing down the economy by doing so. if you lose a job when you cancel weapons program, if you cancel the homeowner's assistance, no matter how you interpret the actual effect, the actual message or sending is your taking jobs and support away at a time when we're not back on our feet yet. >> i already said what i would do would be to combine, first, timing is important, and most of this should happen next year, not this year. >> because? >> because the economy is too weak. >> not because of the election? >> some of this will start
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before the election. it should be driven by economics. secondly, i think there should be a real effort this year to take the gao study and every thing that we know to cut as much peripheral spending in the non-defense discretionary budget that we can and reinvested in things and will create jobs. mostly in the manufacturing, green technology, and incentives to invest in other areas. i think our corporate tax rate can be lowered in the way that will be an incentive to invest in america and will raise as much or more money if we would not lower the rates before we got as much or more money out of tax expenditure limitations. it is not just individuals to get tax expenditures, so do corporations. the corporate rate looks high, but the bizarre thing is that some people pay it because of
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their operations are in the america and they do have had access to deductions, and others pay next to nothing. i think we can bring the rate down, but we need to bring the tax expenditures down. then on the individual side, again, relating to creating jobs, we may want to move away altogether from the system of taxes, labor at middle and lower levels, and income and tax things more. you could get rid of the payroll tax altogether which is a big deterrent to creating jobs if you imposed a progressive back tax or to have a tax on pollution and it would create just as much money and could
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invest more of it. my problems, with the current dilemma that we are in now, we need to get rid of this that, but we need to do so in a way that brings back investment. what happened when i passed the deficit reduction was that we got a big drop in interest rate, a spike in bond prices, a rise in investment from an 92% of jobs or private sector. right now, we do not have a strategy to get their or an easy path even though the banks have over $2 trend in the cash and $160 billion in bad mortgages. whenever we do, whenever complex we do should be designed to trigger more bank lending more investment from corporate surpluses in the united states said that we will get enough economic activity that will really reduce revenues if we make these other changes. >> is the paul ryan approach
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dead on arrival? it is the wrong -- is it the wrong argument to be having? >> i the key is wrong to say that no matter what happens and the matter with the circumstances are that we will not touch taxes. i have already said that i would not be a guess lowering the corporate rate as long as we did not lose the money and make sure that everyone pays something. wheneversition is that tax rates exist now are perfect as compared with anyone paying $1 more. the only way to make the tax system more perfect is to have to produce less revenue. i think that is wrong. i do not think the democrats can say the same thing about medicare, social security, or anything else. i think is medicare proposal is, on its merits, wrong. there's no reason to believe that if you cut a check to all of the people on medicare that of a sudden they will have
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market power and drive down medicare costs and will be better off. and the of probability, what will happen, particularly if they dismantle some of these other cost controls is that medical cost controls will continue to go up and older people will use less coming get sicker, die quicker, or they will be more poor because they will have to spend so much on health care. in other words, the problem is rising medical costs. medicare is a part of a whole health care system. it has a toxic rid of inflation and spending based today that not is sustainable. it is a major reason that people do not get a raise is. employers try to provide health care to people in a down economy that will take whatever increase revenue the allocate to labor just to pay for health care premiums and have nothing left to give pay raises. ipod congressman ryan for making a suggestion, but on its merits of those not work.
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that is, i hope, the lesson we will drop from the new york election, not that we cannot talk about medicare and we have to be to go around. -- have to tiptoe around it. to go back to a popular opinion question, we need a much deeper commitment than we have had to make sure that americans understand the american health- care system as compared with others. americans are still historically averse to caring about or absorbing what our competitors are doing in some areas. we have to know what our competitors are doing in every area of and it has to matter to us. >> i know you did not mean to say, to heck with the election next year, but is there room any stomach for actually grappling with these issues, not on the just for the president but for congress? >> they could reach a bipartisan
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agreement -- >> and that is a big "if." >> even if people disagree with the particulars, when president and congress made an agreement the end of the year over the taxes, i did not agree with all of it, but i thought we should take it because it was the best deal he should get and i thought the republicans who took it, from their point of view, it was the best deal they could get. the american people supported it even though there were things that almost every american did not like. there is a real hunger for us to do things, so i think a lot of these polls will shift if they reach an agreement. i would not put it past the president and congress to be able to reach an agreement next year because it is an election year and because the republicans now have a majority in congress and they want to hold the. >> how you know there's a hunger to do something big? you talk to people all the time
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and travel the country in the world. where do you get that from? >> i said there was how to make an agreement. -- there was a hunger to make an agreement. we have not done enough to educate the american people. that is what we are doing today. the main benefit of all of this is to register in the people's psyche that this is a huge problem. none of us have a vote in the congress and unless you are in the congress, you do not have a vote. unless you work in the treasury department, you may not have an impact. i think that the american people want us to work together to meet the big problems of the country. the on the problem we have now is that we are not a young country anymore. democracy inest history now.
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every society that achieves enormous success at some time reaches a point where they have to reform or suffer the consequences of decline the institutions no longer serve their purpose for which there were established as much as they preserve the traditions of the leaders and the constituents of the institution. people get more interest in the holding on than creating a future. there is some of that in america now. we have to create an appetite for the future again by showing people but the negative consequences of not doing it and also the positive consequences of doing it. the purpose of this issue in the negative consequences of not meeting the debt. we also need a pretty picture about the positive consequences of creating the future which requires us to deal with the debt. >> my next question is about greece to the political consensus.
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i want to put it in the words of one of our members of the public who wrote in from boulder, colorado. "what is the likelihood that incumbents will vote for any kind of that compromise versus holding the party's line in order to get reelected? >> the likelihood is greater that the democrats will do it and that the republicans in the water district will do it. if there are any changes in revenues, there'll be taxes, revenue increases, and those districts were the tea party can control the primary, or to this situation which causes senator bennett his job in utah because he dared have a conversation about health care reform, that was a caucus situation and that is a problem. i think it is different from district to district from state to state, but there may be
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enough votes for a bipartisan consensus, and i think it will be erotically easier to get the democrats to vote for a bipartisan consensus that republicans that they come from districts where the anti-tax theology school can declare them a surtax and bashed them to elect oral health. -- banish them to electoral hell. >> why you think that? >> because we have proved that we will do things that are controversial and a lot of us -- the only thing that i think is working for the democrats now in taking on controversial decisions is how many of them got a b for during the right thing on health care and the stimulus. that is partially our fault because like i said, we did not have a national campaign. for the first time since 1998, we ran a national campaign without -- images election
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without a national campaign. with the same result got in 1994. i still think that democrats will vote for a combination of spending cuts and revenue increases, either from eliminating tax expenditures or changing the structures, and they are more willing to do it. i think the democrats would vote for some changes in medicare, but they would want to believe that they would actually work to stabilize health-care costs and not just make the overly more pork and more at risk. >> what to the national message be? do should be something like this, bigger, smaller? >> dealing with the debt is a precondition of creating the future. in an independent world where the people that are buying your debt are the same people that are selling products with undervalued currencies, you
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cannot be in a position where you cannot enforce your trade laws. i supported 300 trade agreements including china, but we enforce our trade agreements. the world trade organization, contrary to assumptions, does not need it unilateral assistance from america. you negotiate and fight this through and work for the details. you have to assess things like the relative currency values if you want to have a balanced economy with a manufacturing sector and not be totally dependent on finance and consumer spending, housing, and so my view is that we should say that is a part of it, but not the only part. we will be able to sell this debt reduction. a lot better in bringing the deficit back toward balance of
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we also have a positive picture of the america we're trying to create, the kinds of jobs where trying to create, with a lot of other issues here. college graduates are having trouble finding jobs now. we dropped from first to 12th in the world for the first time since world war two in the percentage of in adults with four-year degrees. we are still first in the percentage of young people going to college, but we dropped to no. 12 in degrees. with a lot of things we can do that ordinary people will understand more than the details of cbo scoring for the seven things you need to do to get health care costs under control. i think the political strategy here should not be to run away from this but to marry this for a positive program to put america back to work and a picture of what will look like if we go through the changes. if the public will not buy, then we are stuck with where we are. i think we should give them a
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chance before we give up the ghost. they have not had a fair chance to evaluate a real balanced plan to create a different future yet. >> since you left office, people are much more scattered, not only on what issues are number one, but also we are at war in more places come intervening in places where it is not exactly war, and the headlines are on people's cellphone that drive the day are not just about this issue, and a matter how compelling it may be, but it makes it more difficult to come up with a consistent, cohesive message for democrats or republicans in an election year. >> i agree with that, to a point. there are more sources of information and more things being done that are hard to put in a clear pattern. that is what happens if you lived in a world with an instantaneous transmission of information. clear borders look more like gnats than walls. when you get to it, that is at
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the heart of this little stat we have seen unfolding in america about what should be the final steps between the israelis and palestinians. they are sort of a microcosm of the larger global interdependence and you can actually see it there. i agree with all of that. but the fundamental problem think we have in america -- let me contrast america with brazil for just a minute. a guy named bill bishop, a local democrat, from austin, he started off with a story from the one republican family that lives in his very democratic voting precincts in austin were john kerry beat president bush to read one. this guy loved his republican neighbor, their kids played together, they spoke, disagreed, learned together, but everyone
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else was mean to him so he moved to another neighborhood where president bush beat john kerry for one. -- 4 to 1. the argument made was both neighborhoods were worse off. we're not as sexist, racist, homophobic as we used to be, but we just do not want to be around anyone who disagrees with us. you are all laughing because you know there's something to it, right? he actually describing development and a developer may dave fortunes outside of los angeles by doing a profile and finding out the people who wanted this development divided between republicans and democrats. it was a one story development. one side for the republicans and another side for democrats. i could not make this up. the republican development had
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sidewalks, basketball courts, and the democratic development had rooms for yoga mats. [laughter] i swear to god. he sold all the houses in a nanosecond. by contrast, i was in brazil on the edge of the rain forest. this was for a sustainability conference. they have serious problems in brazil. 95% of their electricity is to outside sources, so they want to build three hydro plants. they have to be on rivers that flow fast and all the ones left are in the rain forest. they have competing sustainability arguments. serious problem. what was the difference? i was at this nice little conference center with every oil company, every utility company, the head of the green party, the head of the indigenous tribes, one of which will be totally destroyed if one of these is
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built, and all these people whose interests are affected, and they are sitting down having an honest, civil conversation at a two-day seminar where the all listen to each other and tried to work through this. i do not want to be pollyanna here, but this is one hell of a deal until this last deal when brazil had slippage. they reduced it rained first annual destruction by 75%. little known fact. all of the loggers are out, but they are still putting -- >> do you fantasize about having a conversation here? >> we should try. in the end, we have to listen to people who disagree with us. it cannot be possible that either the democrats or republicans are always wrong. it cannot be possible that 100% of us are proceeding in bad faith. i basically think that the country has been badly hurt in
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the last 30 years by the adoption of two ideas. one in the business one in government. the business idea was that corporations are now really creatures of the state but independent entities just like citizens in nation able to do whatever they want and they're on their responsibilities to their shareholders. since people and hold shares for 15 seconds down before they sell them, what that means is that corporations have become operative. my generation's was taught to those who went to business schools, that corporations were a creature of society and have a responsibility to all the stakeholders. yes, there stakeholders but employees, customers, the communities in which they were a part. the primary governmental idea we had was the one that ascribed to the 1980 election that the government will screw up the two party talks. the same is true of the founding
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fathers. his about everything that has happened in the last 80 years is horrible. the government always occurs at. there's no such thing as a bad tax cut, a bad regulation, this or that, as opposed to government. it has not worked. look at the job numbers, the deficit numbers, the growth numbers, the productivity numbers. look at the numbers. if we can break out of the theology and get back to evidence and experience and aspirations of ordinary people, i think we can have bipartisan cooperation. i think the democrats are going have to be willing to give up may be some short-term political gain whipping up a fear on some of these things if it is a reasonable social security proposal, a reasonable medicare proposal. we have to deal with these things. you cannot have health care devour the economy. >> one more question for you. i would not be a reporter if i did not follow up on an illusion you made to the peace process.
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did all the sound terribly familiar, the debate and the the last four or five days about the 1967 borders? >> it is a tempest in a teapot. first, i think what the president said was to mesh shorthand and raised a lot of questions, but also remember what prime minister netanyahu said yesterday? the midst of the things in the headlines, he also said that if he made a peace agreement with the palestinians that he was well aware that you have to give up some much of the west bank that not all of the settlement should be included in he would have to close some. >> he never said that out loud. >> no. that has been totally overlooked and he deserves credit to say that. it was so hard on sharon to get out especially to the settlers living there.
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when mr. netanyahu was prime minister before i was president, saying that the '67 borders were a reference point is nothing more than saying that as a will look to on the map. if prime minister barack said he was willing to give up 94% of the bank with land swaps in return for stricter requirements on the palestinians including waiving the right of return, that is 94%-96% of what? the 1967 borders were the reference point. that is what the president meant. i also believe that before they get back to the table, israel is entitled to know that in the and there will be recognition of a state of israel. my recollection is that president of boss -- abbas has already said publicly that he
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would accept the deal that arafat was offered. they give that up when they signed in 1993 with a knowledge of are not. but the israelis always said there are some families have been in northeastern, northwestern israel for ever that our descendants of the lebanese camps. if there is going to be a peace deal that it needs to be a jewish state and a palestinian state, have a majority. everybody knows that. i even offered as a part of the deal when i was working to raise $10 billion, real money back then, to resettle the palestinians out of refugee camps either in a new state of palestine, u.s., canada, or where else the wanted to go where people would take them. i do not think we should get too
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carried away here. if you look at the map, and the operating map that any of these negotiators have used, it is clear what the boundaries were before and after 1967. and is also clear that because the piece was not made in 2000, or the intervening years that the land differences will be great. when i was president, you could get 97% of the israeli settlers on 3% of the land. now you have to take 6% of the land just to get 80% of the sellers. i did, to minimize the difficulty, but do not let this thing get off of the tracks here. what the president said in a prime minister netanyahu said have been juxtaposed. you can overstate the divide here. as long as they're both willing to keep talking, i think they should. two other things that i think were not mentioned by either and
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i think it is a mistake to forget. one of israel's legitimate compliance with arafat was they were never too sure they had a partner for peace. although in 1998 when we had a lot of things going, with the only year in the history of israel that no one was killed because of the security cooperation. the second argument was that even if we made peace that their neighbors would never accept them and there's no question that king abdullah of saudi arabia's peace initiative includes all of the arab countries but syria and other muslim countries around the world promising political, economic normalization. if i were prime minister, i would want to get that at the same time, but if he got his simultaneous peace signing with of these countries, that would be worth something. neither the president nor the
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prime minister, i think spoke about that, but those two things should not be ignored given the recent developments in the arab world. >> there is an opening for an envoy because george mitchell stepped down. >> i have great confidence in a the secretary of state. they do not need me. [applause] >> i will let you get away with that. i went to and with the final question back on our main topic. you said in an interview that we are in a race against time and circumstance. is this true as well about that and spending? you think that the current president appreciates that? >> yes and yes. this is really a lot like climate change. you know if you do not change these teheran's that something really bad happened. you just do not know when. you do not know precisely what
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form it will take. but, yes, i think we are in a race against time. secondly, the debt problem is already constraining our options as a country. it constrains our ability to develop a more diversified economic strategy by undermining our ability to get investment capital as opposed to consumption capital and by undermining our ability to enforce our trade laws. that discourages us from doing new trade agreements. i think it is terrible we have not already done this with columbia. the one with panama has been approved. if they made some improvements along with career, that is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. it is terrible. we are paying a price for this now, but when we get to the point where interest rates will
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start to rise again with more of balance and more global growth no matter what happens. the criticisms that are going on, i do not think he should get started raising interest rates in the value of the dollar yet. it would have only slowed down our recovery. the matter when he does, when the economy comes back, interest-rate going up. the percentage of the budget as now constituted that interest payments on the debt will go up. that means you will not be getting anything for set bending relatively less on medicare, defense, non-defense discretionary budgets. all you will get is spending more money out the door. that is another argument we ought to make for the american people. we are itching to have changes in all these other spending programs to pay our interest rates to other people if we do not deal with this. yes, i believe the president will do things which will be
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politically risky arguably to him and i'd think if he was not prepared to do it that he would not have passed vice president bided to chair this budgetary group. you just do not do that. you cannot do that. if you get added for being and serious in a context like that, the president can pay a terrible price. yes, i think he will do the right thing there. >> president bill clinton, thank you so much. >> thank you. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011]
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>> at the same event, a bipartisan group of senators working on the 2012 budget deal discussed the ongoing talks. known as the gang of six, there were interviewed by pbs " newshour" senior correspondent judy woodruff. this is about one hour. [applause] >>rnoon everybody. i'm delighted to be here. you have such an interesting program so far. i think it says something about our great country that the issue that has everybody's attention, the sexiest issue around is the
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budget, and that is what we are spending all day long on. it is important as everybody here knows, and just to introduce this next to discussion, i think everybody's aware that since late last year a small bipartisan group of senators has been working to try to forge a consensus agreement on how do we address the nation's long-term fiscal imbalances? coming off the work of the simpson-bowles commission you heard from them a little earlier, this group has reportedly, they have been very careful about what they have said in public but they have reportedly been talking about all issues, including cutting entitlements, including spending of a nature we are going to try to talk to them about now and including tax increases. there has been a lot of speculation about what they have been doing. they have been remarkably good i would say from their perspective in terms of not talking to the press, so i think a real testament to the importance of this gathering today that they
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are prepared to come and talk to all of us right now. so ladies and gentlemen, please welcome senators saxby chambliss, mike crapo, dick durbin and mark warner. [applause] [applause] >> senators thank you very much and i just complemented you as a reporter normally we don't compliment people for keeping things a secret, but it has been remarkable, the degree to the work you have done has been kept under wraps up i'm going to start with you senator chambliss because you and senator warner were sort of i guess the two originals in this group and it quickly expanded to include others. let me start with you. where does your work stand right now? we know you have had a sixth
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member and senator tom coburn. he fairly publicly stepped away last week, and today we were supposed to have senator conrad. he is the last minute had to be on on the florida senate because of the senate debate of coming both coming up at 5:00. give us a sense as of today, where do your discussion stand? >> first of all let me say judy that what you mentioned is exactly right about the fact that if we could have six senators said in a room for almost six months in this town and the contents of the discussion, that is the way the senate used to work and our goal was to make it work that way from day one and these folks have just been tremendous to work with. we have talked about a lot of sensitive issues obviously, and this issue in and of itself is so complex that every time we would reach a point of mutual common ground on one issue, then something else will pop up.
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and that happened during the course of all of this, and at times all of us became frustrated but we always came back together. fortunately senator coburn made the decision last tuesday to exit the group and is he said, take a break. i am not giving up hope that tom is going to come back. this needs to be a bipartisan agreement if we are able to reach one, and we have gotten close. and we are very hopeful that at the end of the day senator coburn is going to rejoin our group but i can't think when that is going to be. >> senator durbin, you have been a member of this group from the outset. how hard is it been for the six of you to sit there, three republicans and three democrats, to talk about these issues? >> it has not been hard. i think we like one another and that helps. we have a different point of view on some issues and we have
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tried to work through them. it almost sounds like a legislative process, and it is something that we want to encourage and i hope that if we can move forward from where we are today, that it will be a model for our colleagues to join us toward a solution. i know what the alternative is as the majority clip in the senate with 53 members needing 60 votes. i can tell you it is a very difficult task unless you have bipartisan cooperation. with a divided congress between the house and the senate, it is obvious as well. so, it has been difficult on an issue basis. not difficult on a personal basis. we have come to like one another and we have shared a lot of popcorn. >> senator crepeau, is everything really on the table and we have been told it is spending in all its forms and its taxes, revenues. is that the case? >> well, yes. everything is on the table. everything has to be on the table. that does not mean however that
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we are not engaged in a difficult process of crafting the compromise is that can deal on a comprehensive basis with the paradigm shift in america's fiscal policy in a way they can get 60 votes on the floor of the senate. that means some things will not he on the table in the end after they have been negotiated out or they will be negotiated into a form that was different than most people were looking at them. put absolutely everything has to be on the table. i was listening to the earlier discussion about tax policy which you referenced, and frankly i for one agree that we need to have very significant tax reform. we need to change the pair dime in america from continuing to debate over whether to raise taxes and on whom home or whether to tax -- cut taxes and how that plays out and instead focus on developing a tax code that will be more competitive globally for our businesses, will be more fair, less complex
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and less expensive to comply with. that will be a huge part of the solution. >> senator warner they really -- i want to press a little bit more and whether ripping is on the table because what one hears on the outside is that one party is implacably opposed to revenue increases. the other party and implacably opposed to any sort of significant entitlements changes. so how is the dynamic inside your group any different from that? >> this is reiterating what you all talk about all day long. you know but this is the most predictable financial crisis we are approaching in our lives. and we have used government's traditional tools already. we have used monetary policy. we have used fiscal stimulus. we shot those bullets already. so i feel kind of like the country or the congress is film and the ways and that car is headed for that cliff.
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we felt like somebody needs to put the brakes on. somebody needs to say let's not drive over the cliff and figure this out. there are ways and you know we took the simpson-bowles report as a starting point. when you can cut tax rates, look at tech spending, government spending by different names as governor daniels said tax expenditures, cut back on those, generate revenue and actually for folks like kant and i maintain or improve the progressivity of our tax system. there are equal ways on some of the stuff that is just math with an aging society and with increasing medical technology. the notion of how we make our entitlement promises, keep them in a fiscally sustainable way. we have just got to grapple with it and this is one where i can speak for myself. social security does not contribute to the deficit. the idea that it is on a
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sustainable path just as untrue. this month was 65 -- when life expectancy was mid-50s. with the aging population, with 17 workers for every one retiree 1950, three for everyone now we have to make sure the promise of social security is there. so i think there is a real, and i am a new guy. but these senators and can't coburn and kent conrad and tom coburn. i found that there was a willingness to discuss everything on an intellectual basis to kind of check your partisan hat and i still believe in terms of a comprehensive approach that this is the best possibility. if we can start with a bipartisan group in the senate, that is the way to move forward. not just in terms of short-term debt extension but in terms of the conference a plan. >> senator chambliss you said you all are working off of the
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simpson-bowles commission report. why not just about that report? >> it is easy to say you want to just take that report and put it into legislative language but the fact is that there were several options in the simpson-bowles plan on different issues, and we have had to go through and we have had to look at those options, decide which ones we think are best, number one but at the same time decide which one of those options we think is going to get 6-d votes. tickets we can go through all of this exercise and we can take all of these arrows that we have been taking for the last five months and if we don't develop a product that is going to get 60 votes and we haven't gotten anywhere. and the overall concept of simpson-bowles is a very good foundation to build on and i think all four of us as well as common kant would say we have taken simpson-bowles and even improved it in some areas. >> do you want to give us an example? >> no.
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[laughter] >> we that's a ways you can actually get a pass. >> i mean we have taken some specific areas of the reform package whether it is revenues, where we look at it is not increasing taxes but increasing revenues and anybody that thinks we are going to repay this 14 trillion-dollar debt we owe and by the way even though we are down to five, that $14 trillion is still owed. so when we say we are continuing to work that is why we are continuing to work. it anybody who thinks we are going to solve that simply by cutting 12 to 14% of the budget really is in thinking seriously about this and that 12 to 14% is the discretionary portion of the budget. that is why everything has to be on the table as mike alluded to earlier, and we have taken the plan and we have expanded it and we thank have made a better from the standpoint of both the spending reduction, both from the standpoint of reforming the entitlements as well as looking
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at the revenues and well we are reducing tax rates, all of ronald reagan, we are going to increase revenues follow ronald reagan. it is exactly the same approach that was taken back then. ..
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sit down and make some values judgments. are all of these things important for the future and growth of america? hid from my point of view, some of them are not. some of them are. what simpson said is if he eliminated all of them, if you eliminate the entire tax code and then took the savings, 1.1 trillion, and dedicated anywhere from 80 billion to $180 billion a year then to the rest and dedicated it to reducing marginal tax rates, you would have a dramatic decrease in the marginal tax rates of america. 40% or more in many instances so here's the question. is it more important to you to have a marginal income tax rate, 40% less, if you take a complete mortgage deduction you have today. good question, write?
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it's an important policy question. maybe that isn't the place we go to make the change, but at least let's go through the exercise to find out how we can reduce rates in a progressive manner. remember what i said on the spectrum reduce rates and a progressive manner and at the end of the day have more economic growth things that frankly should have gone a long time ago. >> is that the kind of thing that you can come to agreement on? >> yes, depending what the outcome is and that is why the hard work of working through the various compromises that have to be made is so critical. again, i come back to the point that one of the most important and powerful parts of the fiscal commission deliberations and out comes was the change in paradigm with looking at the revenue and as you've already heard from richard the fact is we will have a debate and promote a debate with our activity about just
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exactly where in the tax code should we make the adjustments and how much should those adjustments be and how should they work out? but the bottom line is we are committed to creating a tax code that is flat, broad and has a lower set of tax rates the will of result in increased taxes for american citizens and ultimately will generate a phenomenally more powerful economic engine that is critical. one of the pieces of the solution to our fiscal problem. >> i hear senator warner this discussion in the last few minutes that may be the revenue side may end up being easier than the entitlement side. >> i'm sure this has been thrown out today. spending is a 20% of gdp. revenues are roughly 15.3%. 60 year low. it doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize it can't be continued as a you've got to have a mix help you can get a
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tax cut the will be fair, progressive the will generate revenue and most of the time balance over the last 80, 100 years they've generally been 19.5 to 20 per -- 20.5. how you can cut back on the internet programs, it consisted of all, have that safety net and sometimes it has been very aggressive at making sure the purpose for government in terms of taking those most in need get protected, and i think that we have made so much more progress than most have assumed, and on top of that i think what we also work through how to take this idea. there's a lot of ideas going on but how you get a process that can get through the senate and get it through the house and signed by the president. >> one thing you have to remember when we are talking
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about revenue, we talk about reforming the tax code to make the corporate much more competitive for corporations around the world, and right now with japan doing what they've done recently, the united states stands to be the highest corporate tax rate of any industrialized country. that's not right. the same approach of the corporate side as we have a preference on the personal side we can lower those corporate rates down to something that is really meaningful and significant and will put corporations and american positions to also broaden the base by stimulating the economy and adding jobs, and that was the purpose and that's been our purpose also. >> said the u.k. and revenue from the corporate revenue side or the this revenue neutral? >> on the corporate side is intended to be revenue neutral. >> senator dorgan, what about that?
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>> here's the way i see it. we have a nominal corporate income tax rate and the natural corporate income tax rate and depending on your sector of the econ become if you are a small business, you're probably closer to the actual stated corporate income tax rate. if you are a larger company as we learned with general electric not too long ago, you may have zero corporate tax rate, so the tax code reward certain sectors of the business and their taxes are much lower. i think what you're trying to achieve is to try to create an opportunity for economic growth here by lowering of marginal corporate rate doing it in a fair fashion so at the end of the day we don't give up on the revenue that comes in from the corporate asset. that is what we are wrestling with. it isn't easy important and the
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most to say in this group about it when it comes to what i'm trying to do i really honestly believe there has to be a safety net in america. there are vulnerable people in this country who will be vulnerable because the economy and the status in the life and the like and there is more vulnerability today among many people because of two things. the first of which is the disparity in income where. savings took a hit not that many years ago. pensions fumbled away of the banking proceedings and so when people talk about social security, it isn't about some program dating back to franklin roosevelt it is literally their safety net and they get nervous when they hear us talking about it. i happened to be around in '83 when we went through the bipartisan exercise and extended social security. what was interesting when i was
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dhaka on a bipartisan basis clearly to save social security it didn't cost either party a seat in the next election. it wasn't an issue. front row over here, she remembers that. they're really wasn't an issue because we had done it in a bipartisan fashion and we did it for the good of social security. >> senator chambliss, is it that kind of discussion at that level your hat in the group or has it gotten more granular than that? you still have any philosophical discussions? >> will obviously you can't have a discussion about the policy without getting a philosophical. but we have gone beyond that. i mean, we know where he's coming from. let me tell you, we've had some pretty strong philosophical arguments. [laughter] we know where tom coburn was on the other extreme is coming from. but we've been able to sit there and get beyond those philosophical arguments and say okay we know where you are, dick or we know where you are caught thomas. but look, we've got to figure
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out some way to find the common ground on whether it was entitlements or whether it was revenue policy or what. i will go back to what i said initially. it's the way the senate was designed to work and i am proud to be associated because it has worked >> you may have just called me an extremist. [laughter] >> extremism in the pursuit [laughter] >> senator crapo, when all you're doing this from senator chambliss a minute ago used the word a row. you and he and senator coburn in particular, not to say democrats haven't been taking some arrows to that, but particularly you've taken some on your side from those who believe that the taxes just should not happen and i think if grover norquist of americans for tax reform, there's other names i could mention. are you truly able to function ignoring all that opinion out
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there that is making itself known to you on a regular basis? >> let me tell you, when we first voted for the fiscal commission report the knives came out. right? and they haven't gone back in a sense. when you are seriously talking about reforming the entire fiscal paradise of the united states of america at a fiscal crisis like that which we face, we are talking about everything literally being on the table and being open for discussion. and the groups that i think sometimes like to create conflict but rather that is right or wrong the groups that have an interest in the outcome are these phenomenally broad number of issues are engaged, and i would say that the hero is one way to put it, the attacks have been on both sides in tents. nevertheless, we can get past that, and frankly i think a lot of the groups are going to be happy when they see the outcome
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because a lot of the fear they have are not as real as the product that we are working with. the bottom line is that we have to continually remember that the status quo is also an option. it's not a good option, and in fact i think that it's probably the worst option of any of the options we have in front of us as a nation. but as americans understand that, then they become much more willing to engage in a serious kind of discussion we have had in this group that has helped find ideas and we think the downside of the box or working on the new paradigms' we can find ways to achieve the objectives we have across the political spectrum in ways the will provide popular support and political support. >> i want to pursue that because there are folks out there saying it's great for the six of you or five of you to be working on this but in the real political world is going to be very difficult to turn what you doing to their real legislation.
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how do you look at that? >> look at some of the markers out there. 64 senators, a number of weeks back who said that's a boy, stay at it, and you guys. you'd be surprised the number of senators who view it as one in or the other whose it to everyone of us individually stay at this because what is the alternative? the alternative is a potential debt crisis without the tools the government has headed the past in terms of fiscal and monetary policy. interest rates of traditional levels that would take an economy that is slowly starting to recover but is recovering to grind it to a halt at a time when you've got potential, a mother debt crisis in europe, and stability in the market, the notion that we would step up and try to put forward something that is transformative, the
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coalition government in the u.k. had a deeper problem, and the have stepped up. we have a different political system. i think there is an enormous sense as we found saxby and i have done a road share of this, you could have the groups that want to preserve the status quo in this town and americans want to do their part. they want to be for something as long as everybody has scanned in the game. a lot of plans they put out so far have been accurate or not trade is disproportionately one part of america versus another part of america barry to much of the burden. the notion of what we are going to put out or get to is something every but people have scan in the game and like we will have the enormous amounts of folks stepped up. >> we do from day one this was going to be a difficult process in and of itself but even if we as a group of six were able to agree selling it to our
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colleagues is going to be even tougher. so we have not had any complicated feelings about that. it's always been understood that it was not going to be an easy sale and that's why it's been difficult and why it's been so difficult at the end because in the end negotiations with major issues are always once you kind of put off until the end, and that's kind of day where we are and that's why it got so difficult credit the end. >> coming to the end does that mean you're close to coming out with the report? >> i ask because you've got the negotiations underway with the vice president biden and you were just telling me there is discussion come in a formal discussion about the groups. is that accurate? >> it's very informal. i kept john cline allows less mitch mcconnell priced to where we are, not the details necessarily that we're we are on
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the process of way through this it in the very first day we sat down together and started visiting on this. >> how was this track different from that track? >> we are not integrated with them at all other than the fact you get democrats and republicans sitting down at the table in the caribbean and obviously we are in our group with the of the focused on as directed by the president i think rightly so is the deficit and what is it going to take to get 60 votes to raise the debt ceiling? we've always been more focused on the longer-term issue because they are not going to solve the 14 trillion-dollar debt. i don't think that there is any way. that's what we have had our sights on from early on. >> how do you see your timetable? how do you see this on folding going forward? >> i feel all four of us would like to sit here today and tell
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you that come next week we are going to roll out this plea and everybody's going to be totally happy with but number one, we are not there and secondly, when we get to that point and we still hope we will, it's going to be a plan that everybody is going to dislike in some respects because all of america is going to have to share in the sacrifice if we are truly going to get this debt under control and address what mike mullen the chairman of the joint chiefs said is the number one of the security interest of our country, and that is to start paying down this debt is as referenced a minute ago spending now. revenues down here. we've not only got to get it in balance, we've got to get revenue above spending so that we can start page that mortgage. if we don't do that, then we are not going to show the good faith in the marketplace of the people buy our bonds are going to require a share.
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so it's going to be a difficult process at best to convince folks and we are not there yet and we can't say that we are going to be their costs to be cut next week or the week after. >> senator durbin are you convinced -- i'm going to ask each of you, that you can sell the rest of the senate on what you have come up with? >> we don't know until we try, and at this point, i think we all say this with your concurrence from political parties not to quit because i feel people are seeing the alternative. they know what happens when we debated the continuing resolution and came close to closing down they don't want us to quit. they may not agree on the particular is the understand that our process is the only hope of a bipartisan process
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people are getting on both sides trying to reach a common goal putting aside our own politics, democrats and republicans, trying to see what is good for the nation that is what the mission is all about. 11 of 18 moving koret of a bipartisan basis. that's a pretty good thing. we wouldn't be sitting here of the stage as likely without the good work they have done. i think there would be a gathering of delivering at some point, not sure when. i hope there would be. we will tell you when it comes to vice president biden even the president the have been encouraging to us without knowing the details in particular because they feel that we are going to add a voice, a positive voice to the ultimate solution. >> the reason i'm questioning this, senator crapo, is we see the difficulty the converse had dealing with short term budget challenges. this one is far bigger than that over a long period of time and i just wondering where does your
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confidence come from? >> you asked the question where's the confidence but also the timetable. if you did about it i probably as my colleagues have been asked 100 times if i've been asked once why are you going to pick out a plan or when will you reach fidelity? and i keep saying we will reach finality when we get a deal and we are making progress in our truly doing something i haven't seen that in the united states senate for a long time and that is to sit down as republicans and democrats and try to bridge the differences between our parties and our politics and america's politics of the most phenomenal the broadbased issues of our time. we are dealing with everything from social security to the entitlement system, medicare and medicaid to the spending structure on the discretionary side of the budget to however revenue system including defense and the mechanism to enforce
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that to stop congress from getting around it widget historic we does come and this we are trying to do on the basis that develops the partisanship so my answer to the question as to how we find the confidence to go forward is in the response we get from not only a work colleagues but people across the country. i said a minute ago the knives were out and they are. the special-interest groups across the country are ready to fight any proposal and they are geared up, but at the same time i can't tell you how many times every day i am contacted by people who say don't quit. don't quit because we are counting on you. >> one other point senator coburn wrote in "the washington post" he talked of the work of the group but he said this ought to be done by the entire senate. could this work be done by the -- >> clearly if and when we get to that point, the entire senate this isn't going to happen if 60
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plus say yes obviously whatever we put out we change, but we think that we have to make this -- one of the things we felt all along to do this sequentially and take this in bite size the force of the status quo will stop it. you have to fool the same so that everybody kind of at some point says i don't like that part but the son of a greater good as we are all going to to get there because my fear is that what came out of the potential government shut down which i was frankly embarrassed about was a growing lack of -- our growing institutions up to the challenge. so as important as the debt crisis is, there's also the fact we have to reaffirm our institutions can take on these big jobs and get something done, and the only way the idea that there is going to be a one-party solution is just plain wrong.
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and i think we will and do have that chance to be debt starting point and we are going to surprise a lot folks and need all of the folks that have been involved in the peterson institute and others who care about this issue to not hang back. you can't just come and be part of the audience and listen. we are going to need you to say to be out there urging and if a democrat who supports this year, republican to support a democrat because it's our future. the intimacy of the challenge is something we've got to step up and i think it's our job to at least get that started and these guys have been the ones to start. >> in closing senator chambliss how do we know when you're about to announce something? you come to work with -- >> white smoke. [laughter] >> welcome you know, there is no timetable that we have. this wasn't we are going to get this done on the sea are or
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something of rolled out to have the vote by the time the debt ceiling vote takes place. our statement has consistently been we are going to roll this out when we get it right and that maybe next week i would hope senator coburn will join our group and the six of us will be able to root out sometime soon, but we don't know. >> that is a tantalizing answer. this is the first time all of the senators have come together, four of the five senators have come together to talk publicly. so we are especially appreciative. senator chambliss, senator warner, senator crapo, senator durbin, thank you so much. [applause] >> we are live on the streets of
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washington, d.c., looking out at memorial bridge with a view towards virginia and arlington memorial cemetery in the background. spectators are lining the road as the 24th annual rolling thunder motorcycle rally makes its way through town. the procession began at the pentagon in arlington, virginia. there will be motorbikes rolling across the bridge into washington ending up at the vietnam veterans memorial on the mall. they have gathered every memorial day weekend since 1988. they're here to honor prisoners of war and service members missing in action. thousands of bikers from across the country started gathering at the pentagon parking lot this morning for the rally and for the start of sarah palin's bus tour that kicks off today. take a look as the bikes passover memorial bridge.
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many of the bikers are veterans themselves. the group was founded by veterans of the vietnam war. they named their organization after the continuous bombing campaign of north vietnam in 1965 known as "operation rolling thunder." we will be bringing you looks at the rally throughout the day here on c-span. also today, president obama will be traveling to joplin,
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missouri, to attend a memorial service for the victims of last week's tornado. we will have live coverage this afternoon. tomorrow, the president is expected to nominate army chief of staff dempsey as the next chief of staff. after that, he will be at arlington national cemetery for the annual memorial day wreath- laying ceremony. >> today, we look at the history and the literary life of the tampa-st. petersburg area. plus, a look at the book industry with local booksellers. also, american history tv and on c-span3 from the history museum. in look at the hidden history of ebola -- angola.
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the c-span local content vehicle is in tampa and st. petersburg with historians, authors, and civic leaders today on c-span 2 and 3. >> next we will take a look at testimony from last week from elizabeth warren, a special adviser on the consumer financial protection group. there were accusations from republicans that she improperly interfered in resolving mortgage foreclosures. she said the justice department and other agencies sought advice from her and her staff. as a treasury department adviser, she is in charge of setting up the consumer financial protection bureau, part of the dog-franc -- dodd-frank law.
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>> originally the hearing was set to a cop. are you not able to stay? >> the change the time quarter times the last 12 hours, including waking people up at night last night to change the time again. >> let me be direct with you. i never made a single phone call about this. be very clear about what you are saying. we have two additional members. we have eight minutes remaining on the floor vote. if you will not stay around for the questions, we are going to stay around and finish this out. i never heard that you had to leave at 2:15. >> congressman, you might want to have a conversation with your staff. when they asked to move the hearing, we said the only way we could do this is if i could
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leave at 2:15 for a meeting. >> all right, we're going for questions now. you are recognized for five minutes. >> i apologize to the witness, dr. warren, for the rude and disrespectful behavior of the chair. the snarky comments about the senate race and the questioning of your veracity when there is documented evidence that you are been totally truthful indicates to me this hearing is all about impugning you because people are afraid of you and your ability to communicate in very clear terms the threats to our consumers and constituents. i congratulate you for installing such fear in the committee on the majority side and in some aspects of the
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business community. they understand how effective you are in getting the message out to the american people that there are better ways to do things. that being said, one of the major questions being asked is whether there is indeed be a need for your agency -- in light of the fact there are seven agencies all with authority in this area -- these seven agencies have been around for some time. during that time, have the financial products, and easier to understand? has the type gotten bigger? have they shrunk or gotten much more incomprehensible? >> during the time these agencies have been around, i believe financial products have become more complicated and more heavily laden with fine print that effectively make it impossible for consumers to compare risks and costs. >> in respect to the question
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regarding the comparative salaries, would you be willing to speculate on the average salary of the people writing financial agreements, mortgages, and credit-card agreements for the major corporations compared to what the consumer financial protection perot would be paying? >> i could not begin to speculate on the difference between the salaries of the government officials hired into the new consumer agency to try to oversee the market and the salaries of those who are writing the financial products, particularly falfor the wall stt companies. i suspect there is a large differential. >> i suspect you are right. i will yield back the balance of my time in a second so that we can get out of here. >> a member went to vote is
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coming back to ask his question. the same thing for another. we will give you 15 additional seconds. >> the title of the hearing involves accountability of your agency. i want you to talk about what kind of accountability there has been in terms of the credit card companies, mortgage writers, and so forth over the last decade or so. it seemed to me that is where the real accountability issue has been -- that the consumers have no way to hold those companies accountable for the products they offer. >> we have seen little accountability among the largest financial-services providers and among the largely unregulated financial services providers both before the crash of 2008 and after the crash. that has been really hard on american families. it has been hard on the one
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they've gotten their feet tangled in credit-card agreements and pay loans that were deceptive. it has been hard on them when they thought they were doing sensible things on mortgages only to learn that there were going to lose their homes. it has also been hard on others in the economy, people who did nothing to get involved with financial services but have lost their jobs. companies, small businesses, the companies they're working for, the markets have dried up. it has been hard on community banks and those who worked so hard day in and day out to work with their customers to be the relationship lenders and be there over the long haul. they are getting crushed in a financial turnaround that was not their fault. the problems have gone everywhere. the problem is the lack of accountability is squarely on the industry. this agency will do its best to turn that around. >> i congratulate you for your work and thank you for your service.
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>> my understanding is that your staff made an agreement with professor warren that she would be available to this committee for one hour. pursuant to that agreement, if she accommodative the late breaking request by your staff at 9:00 p.m. last night that she appeared at an earlier time than previously scheduled, you would allow her to leave 1 hour after that at 2:15 p.m. in keeping with the agreement. it is now 2:15. she kept her side of the bargain. it is time for you to keep doors. our respect her -- i respect her schedule and the flexibility she showed to accommodate your wrequest. you should dismiss this witness and get on with the remainder of the hearing. in fairness, we were here. >> i appreciate it. in reaction to you as ranking member, the original agreement was that we would have a 2:00 p.m. hearing in order to accommodate boats that were expected to be it 1:30.
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knowing that the professor is very busy, we do not want to keep witnesses here while week recess to go vote. we changed the time in anticipation of the vote we were about to have. rather than gamble in -- gavel in, go vote, and come back for questions, we tried to work with the witness. in the exchanging of emails, your government affairs staff for talked to mr. hollar and asked for confirmation on this. up and said heou would do the best to get too out of here, but we need to accommodate people's questions. >> i know you sound like you have already decided. according to my staff, he changed the time a few times.
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they bent over backwards, moved things around, agreed that she needed to be out of here by 2:15. peter and his staff knew this. i want to make this clear. i know you were going to do what you are going to do. out of respect for this one, she has her own limitations. she is trying to protect our constituents. -- out of respect for mrs. warren, she has her own limitations. she is trying to repprotect our constituents. >> the day of the hearing was chosen by mrs. warren. we worked with her staff and gave the number of options. they came back with different options. we accommodated those options in the context of the hearing room. we're here because of the unveiling of a picture in the
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main committee room. we accommodate her schedule. that is why it is on this date. in skipping this vote as are you to have this debate rather than allow for a few additional minutes. >> i am going to get my vote in. really think i am saying is that at the rate we're going, it looks like she will be here until about 20 of, at least through >. >> the members will have five minutes apiece. i am not trying to cause you problems, but we're trying to accommodate folks. if you are willing to stick around, we will have two numbers with questions. >> you are causing problems. we have an agreement for a later hearing. your staff asked us to move around. we have to change everything on my schedule to try to accommodate more time. >> i appreciate that. the original hearing was 2:00. >> i had to be out at 2:15
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because there are thother things now scheduled at 2:30. >> removed the hearing so you could get questions in. >> you told us one thing. >> i did not tell you anything. we rearrange my schedule to accommodate you. >> it was a simple request. your staff had a request. my staff was trying to accommodate you. we will get two out of here in 10 minutes. >> we had an agreement. >> you have no agreement. >> we have agreements for the time the hearing would take place. >> this is not the case. this is not the case. >> mr. chairman, you just did something -- i am trying to be
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cordial here, but you just accused the lady of line. >> she is say we made an agreement i never made. >> you need to speak with your staff. they have moved this around 50 million times. she has to go to another hearing. >> not to another hearing, to another meeting. congressman, i would be glad to answer questions for the record. we can do that if you will send as questions for the answerecore will do that and they will be a matter of public record. >> i certainly appreciate that. i will try to accommodate you. i want to be clear and make sure this was on the record. there was no agreement about departure time. i want to make sure to the ranking members that i did not make those representation. i conferred with my staff before this started. the reason we moved the times was those -- was so she would not have to wait during the middle of a vote. i understand your frustration. i would ask you to see my side of this as well.
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we thought we had you for more time. i thought i had you for more time. >> i am cool. i just want to make sure she is treated fairly. >> i understand. we have had more debate on this than the questions remaining. ms. warren i appreciate your service to our government. i do. i am trying to get on the record a few of the things we are seeing counter to my questions of you back in march. it is instructive for this committee on the construct of this enormous bureau that you are constructing. that is what congress wants to have this oversight. i thank you for your testimony. i will dismiss you now. i will ask the two numbers -- members not being given an
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opportunity to ask questions to submit them for the record. >> mr. chairman, thank you very much. >> that testimony was from tuesday. on wednesday, two democrats reacted to the exchange between congressman mcinerney and professor warren. representative jackie speier and earl blumenauer spoke out on the house floor about the committee members treatment of professor warren and called on him to apologize. here are their remarks. you know, i rise regretfully this morning and sadly this morning to dcuss what i believe is a true transgression that took place in our house yesterday. i was appalled by the behavior displayed by the chairman of the subcommittee on tarp and financial services. after repeatedly changing the time of yesterday's hearing with professlizabeth warren to discuss the republican
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majority's efforts to terminate the consumer financial protection bureau just weeks before it was to be born, the chairman began the hearing with a petty partisan swipe alluding to whether the witness may or may not be running someday for the u.s. senate. as if, mr. speaker, political ambition is tab auto around here. while -- taboo around here. while the overall tone was contentious, it is to be expected. because the goal is to paint the consumer protection financial bureau is something that's bad for consumers. why? because this new consumer bureau's mission is to make wall street play by the rules. what a novel idea. but you see, wall street believes that it can take care of itself. as it turned out, the hearing was a wonderful opportunity for americans to see not only how
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far the influence of financial institutions reaches into congress but also how competent, confident and unflappable a public servant professor warren is. hopefully the president can head the cftc. mr. speaker, professor warren answered every question posed to her the entire hour for which she was asked to testify. when members were called for two tes the chairman asked her to stay and wait and ms. warren said she would be released at 2:15 and had another meeting at 2:30. what followed was a scene had it happened in a junior high student council meeting would have been stopped by the faculty. our committee is without
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supervision. the chairman made the same requested a nuseyem by professor warren. she asked that the majority staff had changed the meeting several times including a 9:00 call the previous night to move the hearing from 1:30 to 1:15 to accommodate the congressional calendar. professor warren through her staff agreed to the change and was told she would be done at 2:15. pretty simple, right? this iwhen the chairman crossed the line and told professor warren, you're making this up. that's right. he called her a liar. a witness at his committee who juggled her schedule to accommodate him and advisor to the president of the united states who was given an oath at the start of the heang to tell the truth and nothing but the truth, he called her a liar. mr. speaker, i ask today that the chairman of the
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subcommittee, the gentleman from north carolina, mr. mchenry, immediately and sincerely apologize to professor warren. i also believe he should apologize to the membe of the subcommittee, both in the majority and the minority, for denigrating the proceedings of a body and pledge to never allow the political agenda to interfere with the common decency and respect that the rest of us understand is absolutely necessary in order to do the people's work. however, ion't hold my breath because this is part of a much larger strategy by my colleagues on the republican side to paint everyone in public service as liars, cheats or otherwise as despicable. on the same day that chairman of the oversight committee did virtually the exact same thing to mr. hayes, the deputy secretary of the department of interior, advising him not to answer a question because he's under oath, implying that certainly anythi the deputy
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secretary might say would be untrue. mr. speaker, we need to do better. regardless of political affiation, the american people demand it. civility and common respect are not signs of weakness or capitulation. they are hallmarks of a functioning democracy. you know, an apology probably won't be forthcoming but civility must be restored to this house or at least school monitors to prevent spitballs without objection, so ordered. mr. blumenauer: thank you, mr. speaker. i was shocked yesterday at the exchange that occurred between our colleague from north carolina, patrick mchenry, and elizabeth warren, the woman who has been cast by president obama to establish the new consumer financial protections bureau. you know, to have a woman of impeccable academic
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credentials, a woman who for years predicted what was going to happen, had a potential solution, and who has been adamant in her support for trying to unwind this mess, to have her being attacked, to have her at one point being accused of somehow doing too much to communicate with attorneys general who are trying to get a fair shake for homeowners who have been cheated, speaks volumes. not just sadly about the republican subcommittee, but about the republican approach. for heaven's sakes they shouldn't be blocking her nomination, she should be embracing it and working with us to make sure it never happens again.
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>> the house is out from memorial day but returns on tuesday for votes. later in the week, they will take up spending bills for fiscal year 2012, including homeland security and veterans' affairs. they also plan a vote on a stand-alone measure to raise the debt ceiling by $2.4 trillion. that could come on wednesday and thursday. we will have live house coverage when the members return. the senate is out until june 6. you can watch live coverage of the senate on c-span2. next the federal deposit insurance chairman urged congress to increase the debt ceiling. she made the remarks of the house financial oversight committee hearing. the dodd-frank act passed last year. her last day in office is july 8
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when her five-year term expires. is her opening statement to the committee. >> thank you for the opportunity to testify today. much has been written and said about the events associated with the recent financial crisis and the factors that led up to it. my written testimony summarizes four factors that i consider the most important.
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excessive reliance on debt financing, incentives, arbitrage, and an inadequate resolution three were allowed subsequent companies to become too big to fail. the ftse was created in response to the most serious financial crisis in american history to that time. -- the fdic was created in response to the most serious financial crisis in american history to that time. working with our regulatory counterparts, the fdic has played an instrumental role in addressing the recent crisis. our actions have helped to restore financial stability and pave the way for economic recovery. my written testimony includes a comprehensive account of those actions. i am proud of all that the fdic has accomplished in the past five years. my greatest satisfaction lies in the knowledge that through the
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failures, we maintained protection. we maintained the 78-year record of no losses to any insured depositor. we did it without borrowing a penny from taxpayers. we still have important work to do. our first task must be to follow through on the dodd-frank reforms that will stop too big to fail. at the heart of the crisis, we lost the necessary tools to resolve financial companies in an orderly manmanner. we are forced to have bailouts that kept them from having the same accountability that applies to other companies. too big to fail represents big capitalism. unless reversed, there will be more complexity in the financial system, more risk-taking of the risk of the public, and in due time another financial crisis. the dodd-frank act provides tools to restore discipline and put an end to bailouts under too big to fail. for the tools to be effective in
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the large institutions to be resolved in the next crisis will only be if you show the courage to fully exercise of power under the law. this framework will critically depend on the ability to collect information to determine if they are resolvable under bankruptcy. it will also require the o willingness to actively use authority to require structural changes will before the crisis occurs. unless organizations are rationalized and simplified in advance, there is a danger that the complexity could make resolution more costly and difficult than it needs to be. these authorities are being shaped now. if properly implemented, they can make the financial system more stable by restoring market discipline to systemically important institutions. if we fail to follow through on the measures now when market conditions are relatively calm,
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we will have no hope of preventing bailouts in the next crisis. a testament describes the role played by excessive leverage among financial companies in bringing about a crisis. strong capital standards are fundamental to maintaining a safe banking system that supports economic growth. supervisor processy is will always have risk-taking to some extent. guidelines to me difficult to enforce. objective capital standards are easier to enforce and provide an additional cushion on losses when mistakes are made. skeptics argue that requiring banks to hold more capital will raise the cost of credit and impair economic performance. experience of the crisis shows the social costs are extremely high in a downturn and the lack of an adequate cushion makes it difficult. the mass of deleveraging that occurred during the crisis led to the most severe downturn
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since the great depression. loans and leases held by the fdic-insured institutions have declined by nearly $750 million while unused loan commitments have declined by $2.5 trillion. trillion's more were lost with the collapse of markets and providers. i would like to highlight the urgent need for congress and administration to address the rapid growth of u.s. debt that has doubled in the past seven years. financial stability critically depends on public confidence that can never be taken for granted. there's no greater threat to our future economic security and stability and an inability to control the size of the u.s. government debt. as strongly as i feel about the issue, i feel just as strongly that not taking action would be calamitous. we risk permanently destroying the trust investors have placed in our nation for more than two
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centuries. i urge congress to commit to responsible increases in the debt ceiling. as i conclude, i with like to share one of the central lessons i have drawn from my experience as chairman. the most important attribute of effective regulation is the courage to stand firm against weak practices and excessive risk-taking in good times. it is during prosperity that the seeds of crisis are some. it is then that overwhelming pressure is placed on regulators to relax standards and allow higher concentrations of risks. the history of the crisis shows many examples of when regulators acted too late or with not enough conviction may fail to use the authority they had or failed to ask for the authorities they needed to fulfill their mission. as the crisis developed, many in the regulatory committee remained behind the curve in addressing the dangers. regulators are never going to be popular or glamorous whether
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they are to make timely manner or fail to act. the best they can hope to achieve is the knowledge that they exercised trust in good faith in the interest of financial stability in the broader economy. think you very much. i would be happy to answer questions now. -- thank you very much. >> we're downtown on the streets of washington, d.c., now near the lincoln memorial and the vietnam veterans memorial. bikers and supporters make their way through town on this memorial day weekend. they gather here every memorial day weekend since 1988 to honor prisoners of war and service members missing in action. at the start, there were about 2500 people participating. today, reports expect numbers in the hundreds of thousands. the rally is named after "operation rolling thunder" in 1965. it was the continuous bombing campaign in vietnam.
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we will be bringing you look throughout the day at a rally here on c-span. >> the number of bikers interests gather for the weekend. the president will be traveling to missouri to attend a memorial service for the victims of last week's tornado. we will have live coverage this afternoon starting at about 3:00
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eastern. tomorrow, the president is expected to nominate the army chief of staff as the next chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, succeeding admiral mike mullen. we will take you live to the white house for that announcement tomorrow morning at 2:00. after that, we will be at arlington national cemetery for the annual memorial day ceremony. that will start at 2:50 eastern. all the coverage, here on c- span. >> people often say to me, how much of your time he is been writing and how much doing research? great questions. no one ever says, and how much of your time to use been thinking? that is probably the most important part of it. >> tonight in part two of the interview with david mccullough, his writing process and latest, "the greater journey." you can also download this and other podcasts online at c-
12:49 pm >> next, a discussion of national politics and the 2012 presidential race from this morning's "washington journal." this is 50 minutes. at host: we want to introduce you to judd legum, the founder and editor of "think progress." also joining us, guy benson, political editor. thank you both for joining us. let me point you to a poll to start off with. taken by abc news, rankings rudy giuliani and others in the republican field as far as to how others are responding. rudy giuliani, sarah palin, mitt
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romney, they are the top three. lower on the list, michelle bodman, but pawlenty, ron paul. booking at all of that. booking at the list, how it stacks up, looking at the polls, what does that mean for the 2012 elections? guest: two of those caught three may well not be running. and fld feels that presents challenges for the eventual nominee. were likely to have a very competitive and win the battle fo the republicanomination. i also think that you do not yet set a candidate on the republican side that is galvanizing people. as far as the commentary, there
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is a lot of support around tim pawlenty. but in the general public to see that he is not making it through yet. it is going to be an interesting year, publicly, and the president and his advisers are probably feeling pretty good about the shape of the republican field so far. host: where are the republicans going to be registering, do you think emma caller: there will always be concerns. they make this very competitive and challenging for the president. particularly whether the underlying economic coitions in november of 2012, but as far as a candidate that has emerged that has motivated the republican base and shown the potential to draw in independence? we haven't seen it yet. it does not mean that someone will not emerge, but if you look
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at the field, sarah palin, rudy giuliani, mitt romney, we have seen them before. we do not have that star quality person with potential to break out yet. >> we have people all over the country in iowa, south carolina, reporting on what is killing donkey -- reporting on what is going on, and i urge everyone to check us out. we all launching the side again on tuesday. host: our next guest joins us
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guest: this might be boring television, but i agree with almost everything he just said. those caught thr, really only one of them is clearly going to run. i spoke to one of the former advisers of rudy giuliani last week rise if you jump in. why would you not, if you thought you had a path to victory? rah palin, her contract with fox remains intact, so they do not think she is running. this is a name recognition game at this point. these are all high profile names. mitt romney probably the last the month of three, if you had to rank them in terms of national name recognition if we had been sitting around four years ago, we would have been nodding your head that hillary
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clinton would be the nominee an barack obama would have had a spirited campaign. all some of the someone is going to be the nominee and that will be the galvanizing the people want to see. people do not want to see barack obama reelected. in 2012, some people say that a cardboard box to be him. i am not convinced of that, but if it comes down to an external factors and republicans are able to put forward someone who is credible and plausible, you will have a real shot. host: how long before the front runner has to emerge? guest: gosh, i do not want to rush the process. it is what we do in washington,
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and was into has the momentum this week, next week but when a first boat people last week said that any decision from governor hammond is months away i do not think that that is unhealthy for her or anyone else. host: tell us about town hall dot com. guest: we are apolitical aggregate. we have loads of original content over there. we have a heavy focus on a horse race politics. by colleagues and i will travel the country throughout 2012, giving everyone lots of fun, exciting, conservative information. we actually just had our be
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launched two weeks ago. if you have not been there in a while, check it out. host: i and all that time, you are a radio talk-show host as well? guest: guess, actually it airs tonight in chicago and washington, d.c. host: you can contribute to the conversation as well. for democrats, 202-624-1111. for republicans, 202-624-1115. for independents, 202-624-0760. if you want to reach us by e- mail, is our twitter address. what is the most important thing in your mind, looking at 2012? guest: one of the things we have seen emerge is the issue amount
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medicare and how would will play into the 2012 election. obviously in upstate new york we had a district that was a solid coervative district, one of four in the state won by john mccain in 2008. you saw the democrats be the republican in that district. there were factors there that would not be duplicated in every single district. but i think that you have to look around the country. there are 97 districts that are more favorable to democrat in that district and in the i think that all of those members in the house voted for the plan and they are going to have to answer to that. you have the republican front runner who still will not
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aner this relatively aner this relatively straightforward question, do you support e paul ryan plan? he will not answer that question. id is a situation where there is an uncomfortable nature on the part of some of the republicans with this issue. it could play a major factor as far as tipping or some of these swing districts. host: the new york election, is that a harbinger? guest: there is wishful thinking of both died. people on the left call this a referendum. huge problems coming up for republicans. the paul ryan. and you have some conservative sang that there was a fake, third party, phony tea party candidate that muddied the waters.
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republicans were fighting a two part battle and it was an anomaly. i d't think either analysis is accurate. new york 26 with a strange case. i do not think we will see those circumstances replicated, although i am sure that the left if hunting everywhere for fake tea party candidat. on the right. legitimate concern, not so much on the viability of the rise and when, but more of how we will talk about that issue. if jane corbin waited and waited while kathy hopeful slammed her every day and she won that discussion, corralling that narrative, but the time: even realized she had to address it, it w


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