tv Politics Public Policy Today CSPAN October 31, 2011 8:00pm-1:00am EDT
[captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> coming up, herman cain at the national press club. in an hour, president obama sons an executive order dealing with the shortage of prescription drugs. then one house economic adviser gene sperling checked the economic club of washington. later, house speaker john boehner on jobs and the economy. >> would you continue your statement, please? you will receive the answer in due course, do not worry. >> i am prepared to wait for my answer until haile -- until freezes over, if that is your
decision. >> he was a former governor of illinois, and twice ran as the democratic nominee for president and lost. adlai stevenson, this week on the contenders. why friday at 8:00 p.m. eastern. for preview including more of the speech and other video, go to our special website for the series, c- span.org/thecontendores. >> republican presidential candidate herman cain was at the national press club today, talking about his economic plan and foreign policy. he was asked about allegations of sexual harassment that were in a weekend news story. >> good afternoon.
welcome to the national press club. i am the 100 for the president of the national press club. we or the world's leading professional organization for journalists, committed to our profession's future through our program in coming events such as this, while working to foster a free press worldwide. for more information about the national press club, we would invite you to his and our website and to donate, you can visit our website there as well. on behalf of all our members worldwide, i would like to welcome our speaker, as well as those attending today's event. if your applause in our audience, we always remind our larger audience that we note that members of the general public or attending, so it is could not necessarily evidence of a lack of journalistic of the activity.
our reluctance are also featured on our weekly podcast from the national press club, available for free download on itunes. you can follow the action today on twitter. after our guest's speech concludes, we will have a question and answers, and now it is time to introduce or head table guest. first of all, from your right, and i will ask you to stand up briefly as your name is announced, the national political correspondent with the gannett national bureau. sofia -- nathan hirsh, i am told he just got a new job at congressional quarterly. the vice-president of communications and chief foreign-policy adviser and security advisor for the campaign, a guest of birth speaker today. from npr, she is vice chair of
our speakers committee. chief of staff for the herman cain campaign and a guest of the speaker. allison fitzgerald with bloomberg news, also a vice chair of our speakers committee. a reporter with usa today and past president of the national press club, who organized today's event. kanawha, i think we succeeded. rich lowry, a guest of the speaker. a reporter for the washington post and a new member of the club. good to have you here today. theresa werner is a free-lance tv producer and chair of our board of governors here at the press club. chris battle. please give them a round of applause. [applause] with the words "let herman d.
hermann" our guest " bob schieffer on face the nation yesterday. our guest bigger is the front runner for the republican presidential nomination. the former godfather's pizza ceo has so far defied the labels in political categories that soften categorize our political conversation. he has generated bus and a bit of recrimination for an edgy campaign video featuring his chief of staff puffing on a cigarette. >> key to told me today he has been asked to autograph a cigarette. [laughter] even years after the fact, the 1991 parody of john lennon's "imagine" has become a viral video hit. one thing is clear, he is connecting with the voters in this early electoral season who have indicated they are not wedded to the front runner so parker. they have turned the race on its head several times over.
in the last electoral cycle, early on it seemed like the republican might be fred thompson or rudy giuliani and hillary clinton would be the democratic. who is herman cain? the son of a cleaning woman and a janitor who often worked three jobs, our guest speaker graduated from morehouse college with a degree in math, earned a master's from perdue in computer science. he began his career as a computer analyst at coca-cola where his father worked as a chauffeur to the ceo. he moved to) where he rose for the right to manage 400 burger king stores. pillsbury made him ceo of its unit of godfather pizza. in 1996, he became ceo of the national restaurant association, a trade group that lobbies congress. he has worked for the koch family that seeks to reduce government regulation of industry.
he also served on the federal reserve bank of kansas city. as a candidate for the republican nomination, his signature policy is999 which would replace the current tax code with a 9% tax on business income, personal income, and federal sales tax. we plan to let harman the hermon before the q &a and find out how he plans to help america. give a warm national press club welcome to herman cain. [applause] >> thank you. good afternoon. [laughter] i normally speak to audiences that are live and nice to know that your responding back. i am delighted to be here.
thank you for that introduction. before i begin, i want to take a few seconds to recognize the gentleman who has worked here at this club for 44 years and who has some special coincidences with me and my campaign. his name is mr. mr. andrew price. [ [applause] while chatting with him as he was serving at the head table, he was asked how many presidents have you served? he said about eight. which means that i would be number 9. [laughter]
[applause] some things you might call coincidental -- [laughter] i call it a good sign. about three weeks ago, we started hitting the top tier of those running for the republican nomination. for a couple of weeks now, i have gotten used to what it feels like to be near the top. as a result of today's big news story, i really know what it feels like to be number one. [laughter] renewing america -- wheat in deep need to renew america because america has become a nation of crises. we have an economic crisis. in national security crisis. we got an energy crisis, a spending crisis, a foreign
faulty policy crisis, a moral crisis, and the biggest crisis we have is a severe deficiency of leadership in my opinion, in the white house. [applause] this is why i believe we need to renew america, by fixing the stuff that is broken. there is a difference between a typical politician and businessman which means that there is a difference between herman cain and those vying for the republican nomination as evidenced by senator santorum's comments at one of the recent debates. politicians are interested in proposing things that they believe can pass. businessman propose things that
fix the problem. that is what i do. that is what i have done for over 40 years. i want to spend a few minutes addressing two of our most critical issues that we need to be bold about in order to begin the renewal process for this great nation. let's start with national security. my national security philosophy is an extension of the reagan philosophy. his philosophy was peace through strength. the herman cain philosophy is peacekeepers strength and clarity. we need to clarify who our friends are, clarified who our enemies are, and i happen to believe we must stop giving money to our enemies.
[applause] the reason we need to clarify who are friends are is such that we can tell the rest of the world who we will stand with such as in a herman cain presidency, there will be no doubt that the united states of america will stand firmly with israel. [applause] mark, you have this audience pretty well trained to be objective. they are not applauding because they may be accused of lacking one candidate over the other such restraint on the part of the press, i applaud you. [laughter] we must let the world know who our friends are and who we will stand with. i don't believe you need to
have extensive foreign-policy experience if you know how to make sure you were working on the right problems. establishing the right priorities, surrounding yourself with good people, which will allow you to put together the plan is necessary to solve the problem. when i went to godfather's pizza in 1986, the company was supposed to go bankrupt. i had never made a pizza. [laughter] but i learned. the way we renewed got father speaks as a company is the same approach i will use to renew america. that is, if you want to sell the problem, go to the source closest to the problem and ask the right questions.
i talked with customers. i talked with young people who worked in the restaurant. i talked with managers, assistant managers, the office staff, franchisees', suppliers, and i asked them why is godfather's failing? after listening and distilling the feedback, it turned out the reason it had gone from the darling of the restaurant industry when it began in the 1970's, in the 1980's rather, until now, it was on a failing trajectory. they were trying to do too much with too little too fast, it had lost its focus. that is what i believe it is america's problem.
we have lost our focus. in order to renew that focus, we must address its most pressing problem boldly. the second point about foreign policy is that i also have what i term and what we term foreign policy common sense. you don't announce, in my humble opinion, that you will pull the troops out of iraq, reduce the troops in afghanistan, and then sent an e- mail to the enemy and let them know what you're going to do. that is not how you fight wars. number three, relative to the conflicts we are engaged in, i would do something that apparently this president is not doing. i will listen to the commanders on the ground because they are closest to the problem. [applause]
the second biggest crisis we face -- this economy which is on life support. when you have an economy on life-support, you cannot tweak around the edges. we got 14 million people out of work, millions underemployed, college students asking me what they will do -- what i will do to help them and a graduate from college. i said to get this economy growing so you can find a job when you get out of college. right now, it will be difficult for them to find jobs. the latest projection is that this economy as opposed to grow this year at a board -- at about 1.6%.
that is anemic. we can do better. when you consider the fact that we will grow at 1.6%, and we have been at this anemic rate for several years now, and china is growing at double digits plus change, even on that small base and our base being much bigger, we run the risk of losing our economic superpower status. this is why we propose a bold solution to grow this economy. it starts with throwing out the current tax code. we have all complained about it for decades. politicians have complained about it for decades. we know it is unfair, it is unclear, and it costs us billions of dollars to try and complied and file according to
the tax code -- billions of dollars to stay out of jail. we should not have to be on the defensive when it comes to paying our taxes. [applause] we throw out the current tax code. and then pass our 999 plant. [applause] how sweet it is! as jackie gleason would said. [applause] let me give you some additional description about how and why we came up with that. we want it to be simple 9-9-9. we wanted to be transparent.
there are no hidden9's. [laughter] we wanted it to be efficient so we have -- don't have to spend billions of dollars just to file and we wanted it to be fair, not fair according to washington's definition of fair but according to webster's definition of fair which means that everybody is treated the same, no loopholes, no loopholes. secondly, we are often challenged on why you would introduce another component for government to tax us on, the sales tax, by introducing a national sales tax. the trade-off is i am willing to fight and defend keeping the national sales tax rate at 9% in place of throwing out an 82,000-page tax code that allows the government to try and pick winners and losers, that allows
the government through the irs to harass us and those of you who have ever been something -- through something like that know what i'm talking about. the idea is we want to broaden the base. if we did not end in the national tick -- sales tax fee, the only way we could generate additional revenue is to raise taxes. what we have done is effectively lowered taxes to the lowest possible rate for everybody. two misperceptions about the 999 plant would like to clarify -- first, there is not a 909 plant. we have a poverty exemption built into the revenues that we would raise such that people would be able to deduct the
poverty level for their family size. if a family is at poverty level, their tax rate on that middle 9 will be zero. that is not a new plan. it has been in the analysis all along. we did not call it 909 but we allowed for that deduction in generating the same amount of revenue. it is not a new plant. i have not tweaked it because of the criticism. as i mentioned in one of the debates when i was attacked by my opponents, they did not read the whole plan. we also have something called the opportunity zone. opportunity zones would be cities that would be able to
qualify if they compete with other cities for even more generous deductions such that cities will have an opportunity to help get themselves back on their feet like detroit where we were a week or so ago. detroit need some help and so the opportunity zones are not more entitlement programs. they are empowerment programs which is how we will renew this nation. we also have the objective of replacing five taxes with these three. according to the analysis we did, we replaced corporate income tax, personal income tax, capital gains tax, the death text, and the biggest tax that people pay, the payroll tax
and replace it and collect the same amount of revenue with 999. yes, it is a bold idea and a bold plan. but america cannot wait. 14 million people who cannot find jobs cannot wait. people who are underemployed cannot wait. some of the criticism has been that it is the vat. i don't care what you call it. if you want to call it a vat, it is one rate, one point. we are simply taking invisible taxes and replacing it with one visible attacks. when you buy a loaf of bread, it is estimated that that loaf of bread contains at least 30%-
40% more cost because of the taxes that have to be paid along the way. you just don't see them. the farmer pays taxes on his profit if he makes a profit. the flour miller pays a tax. the baker visit tax. the truck driver that delivers the bread to the store pays a tax. and the grocery store, if it makes a profit, pays a tax. who do think pays those taxes? we do, the consumer. we are simply taking out the embedded taxes which are invisible and replacing it with a 9% retail sales tax. the other question that often get is how we came up with 999? why not 10-10-10 or 888?
being a mathematics major, real simple -- 888 not enough revenue. [laughter] 10-10-10, too much revenue. for the mathematicians in the audience -- [applause] it is called a simple regression analysis. i am thrilled that it came out a 999 because of 10% is good enough for god, nine should be enough for the federal government. [applause] and so, i am a firm believer that we can renew america but we've got to get this economy
growing. we also have got to get our spending down, not just the rate, but how they define spending cuts in washington, d.c. we have to get the absolute amount down and i happen to believe that the american people are ready for this renewal which is why i am running for president of united states of america. mark? [applause] >> thank you. we really appreciate your willingness to be here today. we have had a number of other presidential candidates join us at the podium. we have that presidents -- we
have had presidents and we appreciate your willingness to take part in a civil discussion of the cheap issues of the day. it might be said that one reason we have more cameras here the might otherwise be the case is because of a story in politico today that talks about some accusations of inappropriate behavior when you're at the national restaurant association. i understand you addressed to these allegations and this may be the time. can you now confirm that these allegations were made and that there was, in fact, a settlement of any kind? >> i would be delighted to clear the air. [laughter] [applause] #1 -- in all of my over 40 years of business experience, running businesses and corporations, i have never sexually harassed anyone. number two -- while at the
restaurant association, i was accused of sexual harassment, falsely accused, i might add. i was falsely accused of sexual harassment and when the charges were brought, as leader of the organization, i recused myself and allowed by general counsel and might human resources officer to deal with the situation. it was concluded after a thorough investigation that it had no basis. as far as a settlement, i am aware of any sort of settlement. i hope it was not for much because i did not do anything. the fact of the matter is, i am not aware of a settlement that came out of that accusation. per the article, two anonymous sources claiming sexual harassment -- we will not chase anonymous sources when there is
no basis for the accusation. i would draw your attention to the three people mentioned in the article that were at the restaurant association as past chairman, chairman, and incoming chairman of the board who would have known about this if it had turned out to be a charge with validity. it was not. as a result, i have never sexually harassed anyone and those accusations are totally false. [applause] >> would it be fair to say you are asking the restaurant association to help you further shoot this down to the extent they might have for their records if indeed there -- they could look at their records and that might have affected their insurance or they might have had
to pay -- to make that payment? will you get back to us and verify or should it down? >> no, there's nothing to shoot down. the policy of the restaurant association is not to -- that information. unless they have changed the policies, i was chairman of the board, as far as we are concerned, enough said about the issue. there is nothing else there to dig up. >> do you think that one from rivals might have helped put that out there? [laughter] >> i told you this bull's-eye on my back has gotten bigger. i have no idea. we have no idea the source of this witch hunt which is really what it is. we have no idea. we have been busy trying to get my message out. >> perhaps if you work aggressively to affirm or deny in the coming days, we have had to deal with this issue today and we appreciate your willingness to answer the question of the podium.
another issue that is out there that people have been asking about in recent days is the abortion issue. you clarified that to a degree yesterday abob schieffer. in an earlier interview, you indicated there may be exceptions where abortion should be allowed. you have seemed to have vacillated on this a little bit in the last few weeks. under what circumstances would an exception be allowed to an outright ban and have you only come to this conclusion in recent weeks which has led to this apparent change in direction? >> let me state what i stated because part of an interview that i did was taken out of context. i am pro-life from conception period. i have been that way for many, many years. i have not changed. i don't plan to change. i have been consistent. in that one interview, the
reporter tried to pigeonhole me on a specific case involving a hypothetical situation. what if it were my granddaughter? they took that piece out of context as i was trying to explain it to come to the erroneous conclusion that i am something other than pro-life from conception, and the story. >> how far are you willing to stand behind that feeling that you have that abortion should not be allowed? would you back legislation to outlaw it? >> yes, i would. >> and there would be no exceptions allowed? would that be at the federal and state level? >> i cannot determine the state level but i would support that at the federal level if that legislation were to come to my desk. >> what about in choosing pretty important nominees. would you allow that to be in an issue that would allow you to vet a nominee?
>> there will be no litmus test. we need people that will enforce the constitution and those of the kind of people i would point. >> and of course, that would not be a key issue to determine whether you select a certain nominee. >> correct. >> in terms of where the place is for government in our society, you just talked about you having a certain feeling, a certain stance on abortion -- how do you determine where government should intervene on a given issue such as abortion and where it should stand back?
we had ron paul here a while ago and he is at one extreme of that equation, a so-called libertarian. where you put yourself? >> i go back to the founding fathers. in the declaration of independence, they said that endowed by their creator, you and die, with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. the interpretation is that you can pursue happiness in this country as long as you don't infringe on somebody else's liberty. you have the liberty to do what ever you want to do in this country as long as you don't infringe on somebody else's life and that includes the life of the unborn. [applause] >> we have a number of questions
about your 999 plan. one person asked how this differs from a vat. you indicated that maybe it doesn't. they said your answer at aei did not address that. >> with the example of a loaf of bread, you've got five taxes embedded. the current code is a vat because you have five. we do it one tax so we don't care what you call it. there is one tax rate imposed at the end at the retail register. that is how it is different from many vat. >> the economists are predicting dire consequences for economic recovery if we can address the housing crisis.
how would you address that specifically? >> one of the first things that i would do to address the housing crisis is to get this economy growing. it all gets back to economic growth. this is why we're so confident that our economic growth and jobs plan is going to boost the economy. we have also done a dynamic analysis to show that the unemployment rate will be reduced. if you've got people going back to work, they've got money, they might go out and buy a distressed home. if you have a growing economy, people who are underemployed would have a better opportunity and one of the biggest things that will help the housing market is an economy where businesses are excited about growth. when i served on the board of directors of several corporations leading up to running for president, part last three years, the conversations in the board rooms or how to
grow the company. we did not have conversations about how do we stay the same or get smaller. you don't talk about that. that is not what boards are supposed to do. we have a $14 trillion economy because we have run this economy because businesses have ground. they are talking today in this environment, board members are talking about how we survive. survival is not what will grow this economy. the certainty of a new tax plan called 999 will cause businesses to get excited and b n/a mode to grow again and that is the best thing we can do to help the housing slump. [applause] >> mitt romney has said to let the foreclosure crisis play itself out. aside from your plan, would you
allow that to happen? >> i would do one other thing prior to that. ever since we have been in this economic decline, this administration, through the fdic, has meddled in the business of smaller banks and community banks. i would like to eliminate the new requirements they have imposed under the guise of it protecting banks from failing. it has had unintended consequences. it has caused more banks to fail when they ratcheted up the capital coverage requirement for banks, i know of community and smaller banks who got rid of some business transactions simply because they were trying to meet an artificially to buy requirement with the federal
government. -- too high requirement with the federal government very we need to allow the community banks and medium-sized banks and small banks to do what they do. one of my guiding principles is if you want to solve the problem, go to the source close to the problem. it is not washington, d.c. and the big banks. we need to get government out of the way of small and medium banks. [applause] >> to go back in history, there are those that might have said government was out of the way while the housing crisis was created. was there a proper role that government should have been involved with that of all that? how did they miss the boat when you're talking about keeping the government out in the first place? >> government did not miss the boat. government created the boats. [laughter] [applause]
government put the holes in the boat. if you go back to the financial meltdown of 2008, it all precipitated because of the practices of fannie mae and freddie mac. [applause] fannie mae and freddie mac is the roots of why we had holes in the boat because of the practice of bundling mortgages, the practice of fannie mae and freddie mac making it too easy for banks to sell them bad mortgages that were bundled. fannie mae and freddie mac have not received the oversight they should have received for at least a decade because chris dodd, head of the oversight committee in the senate, barney frank, head of the oversight committee in the house of representatives, yes i am naming names -- [applause] because they did not do their jobs.
there is evidence that the book said fannie mae and freddie mac have been cooked but they did nothing about it. i'm not mad at you will, i just get passionate about it, you understand. [laughter] if the government has not made it too easy for banks and mortgage companies to bundle up those mortgages, we would not have had that part of the problem. yes, wall street has some blame and this but not total blame. the derivatives market was not properly defined in terms of what businesses can do. to give you an example -- everybody in here is familiar with enron. that was probably the early precursor to someone who pushed
derivatives too far to the edge and it caused the company to decline. i believe that needs -- their knees to be some responsible regulation relative to the derivatives market. at this point, i support totally rebuilding the dodd-frank legislation and let's do it right the next time. [applause] >> you are targeting the two congressional leaders that had oversight roles. was the bush administration not to blame? >> the bush administration tried to get legislation passed but because he did not have a republican majority or a super majority, the legislation was blocked several times. i think the legislation, if i recall correctly, was introduced by senator john sununu and that can be looked up. did they have a role? yes, but they made an effort to do something about it but because they did not have the votes, they were not able to do
anything about it which should have started with providing the necessary oversight. >> let's go back to they 999 for a moment -- >> good [laughter] >> it was said that none of the gop tax plans would do anything but leave a $9 billion tax deficit. >> this is richard lowry, co- architect of the 999 plan, senior economic adviser to the herman cain plan and i will allow rich to answer that question for may. [applause] >> thank you. the plan as it is designed to bring in the same revenue as the current code will. the issues regarding the deficit are a function of
spending and spending restraint will be handled separately. what we are trying to do with state 999 plant is figure out how to generate the requisite amount of revenue and do the least amount of damage to the economy in the meantime. >> with a bold plan like 999, the projected growth in gdp is going to be much higher than we are experiencing today. to get our hands around spending, my current plan is to do an across-the-board cut in all federal agencies day one. secondly, do a deep dive into all the agencies and find at least another 10%. i know the government accounting office documents of waste and duplication all over the place. when you have 535 members of
congress looking out for either their pet projects or somebody else's, it will not happen, or looking out for their friends. i am told i don't have any friends in washington, d.c. [laughter] i believe we will be able to cut a lot of spending going on in washington, d.c.. [applause] >> those members of congress will not leave upon your election. it has been demonstrated with the effort to cut the budget now that it is hard to hide -- find agreement between the two parties and the white house. how do you draw the same 535 together when you just said that is what they fight for? >> great, great, great, question. it is called the power of the people. by keeping solutions
understandable, that the public can understand, they will put pressure on their members of congress to support that legislation. i respect the united states congress and i will work with them, no question about it, but there have been times when compromise has just about killed this country. my campaign itself is evidence that the voice of the people has awakened and it is the voice of the people that will put the necessary pressure on congress to pass legislation that they understand and that will be the kind of legislation that i will propose. former senator dirksen who
popularized the statement "when they feel the heat, they will see the light." the american people will be the heat. [applause] >> student loan debt exceeds credit card debt and graduates are having trouble and how might you address the problem of the expense of getting higher education? >> the issue of addressing the expense of higher education, i happen to believe letting the free market sort it out. you have more expensive colleges and universities. you have less expensive colleges and universities and people have a choice. colleges and universities are competing for students. >> the free market is starting out now and students are paying the price. is the system find?
shouldn't believe we artificially tamper with the free-market system. that is one of the problems that i see with the government in general, tampering with the free market situation. relative to the student debt, i don't have a position as to what we should do about the student debt. it is unfortunate but is something we will have to deal with. >> some of the biggest budget challenges ahead involve long term entitlements. how would you work with both members -- members of both parties about the huge differences decades out with massive deficits. >> i believe these programs which we call entitlement programs must be restructured. we can no longer say we will raise the retirement age and reduced benefits and think that
will solve the problem. it will not. we have to restructure the programs. for example, i am a believer chilean model how they got off this broken security system. even though we will collect the same amount of revenue will 999 and it will go to the social security account, i happen to believe that we need an optional personal retirement accounts system so we canwean this nation of a broken system. they did a inchile and 30 other countries around the world when they recognized we have a problem. we have long recognized we have a problem but we simply have not done anything about it. that will change. relative to medicare and medicaid -- remember one of my guiding principles that if you want to solve the problem, go to the source close to the
problem. i plan to go to the states and get the states to help us restructure medicare and how it is administered rather than try to come up with a one size fits all set of rules out of washington, d.c. we have to restructure programs, not reshuffle them. >> you will have 50 different solutions? >> you will have 50 different groups working on a solution but not 50 different solutions. states learn from one another. >> how much of the current president's political problem is caused by people not being comfortable with the nation accepting the first black president. where we stand with race in our country today? beingon't think people uncomfortable with this president has anything whatsoever to do with his race. it is bad policy that people have problems with this president. [applause]
here is where we stand on race in america, in my opinion -- instead of us coming closer together, we have become more divided because of part of this administration playing the race card, the class warfare card, the economic and equity card in order to turn people against one another, the millionaires' tax -- all that is part of the class warfare card. as a result, there is more racial tension than there had been. the fact that the tea party movemen is not just one group of people. every organization that has members have mobilized their members to get involved and be a part of this voice of the sleeping giant i talk about
because they do not like these policies. the tea party has been painted as a racist organization. i started speaking at tea party is in 2009 before it was cool. [laughter] april 15, 2009, and the people who attended these rallies have only gotten bigger. while i'm on the subject, if you don't mind, some people have even made the assertion that the only reason i am doing so well trying to get the republican nomination is because white americans, the republican party conservatives, are trying to send a message that we are not racist. come to some of our rallies. join us on our bus tour. you have to follow along because there is no room on the
bus. you will come to the conclusion that i have come to and that we have come to. this man eight white people can't pretend they like me. -- this many white people can't pretend like me. [laughter] [applause] >> i'm not sure you get an answer. [laughter] about where we are with the status of race relations in our country today. your parents worked very hard and you have had tremendous achievements. have we made much progress? is there a possibility that two men of color could face off in the election? >> i will elaborate a little more -- i grew up in the 1950's
and 1960's in atlanta, georgia. i was in high school at the height of the civil rights movement. then i went to morehouse college. the civil rights act of 1964 was passed in the voting rights act of 1965 was passed and that opened the doors. we had to make some political changes to open up more door. dr. king touched the hearts of america and the world and helped to bring that about. he was one of our greatest leaders. i am a beneficiary of those two changes in our loss, no question about it. la --ws. i happen to know other black americans, brown americans who are beneficiaries because institutions have opened up. corporations have opened up. corporat corporate america has opened up. is there presence of our
institutions? yes. it will probably always be there but for people who are interested in pursuing their american dream, don't put race in your formula. it is not there more than a mile. be there -- it is not there more than it might be there. that is how i address it. we have come a long way but yes, we also need to do more work to make sure that we put the word united back in united states of america [applause] >> as we move into the softball question >> -- you mean there are softball questions? >> when did it first occurred to you that you should run for president of united states? >> the day barack obama signed
obama care is what really occurred to me. [applause] many of you may know that i was a radio talk show host and for five years leading up to president obama getting elected -- leading up to running for president, rather -- when president obama took office, i, like many americans, i did not vote for him by the way to don't get carried away -- i, like many americans were hopeful that he would at least be a good president. i never wished him to fail. that is not good for this country. when i saw his policies and his lack of leadership exhibited, i became deeply concerned. obama care is not something the
american people wanted. they did not want that solution. we have the best health care in america and i am an example of that because of having survived the stage for cancer. we have a health-care cost problem and i believe in order to address the health-care cost problem not more government but less government and allow the free market to deal with it. we are weaker economically in america. we are weaker in terms of our dependence on foreign. oil we are weaker militarily. my priority will not be how, when, where we cut on defense. there are areas we need to invest in defense in order to rebuild our military might. because i have been blessed to have achieved my american dream, by and notcajillionaire
but i climb the corporate ladder couple of times per my wife and i moved back to atlanta and i was on my way to cruise control. and then the country got off track. i felt i needed to look at using my skills, talents, and abilities possibly to help get this nation back on track. it did not start as a consideration until after president obama took office. >> we're almost out of time -- a couple of housekeeping matters to take care of. we have upcoming luncheon speakers like tom brokaw on november 3, the u.s. postmaster general will be here and on december 4 jim in, cantore from the weather channel will join us for his view in journalism. as we always do, i'd like to present our guest with the traditional npc m freeug.
[applause] -- coffee mug. my final question, if you can join me for that -- you chose to sink at the home of pressure club [laughter] i thought i would -- of the omaha press club [laughter] would you like to give it another shot? >> would you like the same song? 9 >> whatever you like. >> let me first said that it is demanding enough to speak a dozen times a day, let alone to them also have to sing. however, [laughter] i will take advantage of this
opportunity but if i come to your event, don't ask and don't expect it. here is why -- my faith is a big part of her who herman cain is. it is a big part of how i made this decision. it is a big part of this journey that we are on and this is a journey, not just my campaign, but this nation. senses it and -- since it is an opportunity for me to share a sy for me to share a little bit of my faith, i will. graceing will always be my form of praise for it was grace that brought me liberty
[captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> i would likely to thank our national press club staff. thank you, and we are adjourned. >> watch more of the candidate and track the latest campaign contributions with c-span's campaign 2012 web site. all at c-span.org.campaign2012. >> president obama signed an
executive order today aimed at preventing shortages of prescription drugs. this is five minutes. >> to united states rightly takes pride on having the most innovative most successful drug industry in the world, and as a consequence, the health of a lot of people both here in the united states and around the world is actively promoted. but as we also know, occasionally there are problems in our manufacturing, distribution of drugs and how accessible they are the people. recently, we have seen how the potential of drug shortages for vital drugs, including some cancers can really have an adverse impact on patients and those who are caring for
patients. sometimes we run out of or run low on certain types of drugs, and that drives up prices and decreases -- increases patient risk. i have a couple people here who have had to navigate problem. jacob knows what it is like, and the center where he was receiving chemotherapy ran out of the drug. when that happens, you have pharmacy managers like bonnie who have to scramble to make sure their patients somehow find the life-saving medications that are necessary. over the last five years, the number of these drug shortages has nearly tripled, and even though the fda has successfully prevented an actual crisis, this is one of those slow problems that could end up resulting in disaster for patients and
health-care facilities all across the country. congress has been trying since february to do something about this. it has not yet been able to get it done. and it is the belief of this administration, as well as the folks like bonnie and jacob, that we cannot wait for action on the hill, we have to move forward. i will sign an order today that directs the fda to stepped up work to reduce the drug shortages and protect consumers. we will still be calling on congress to pass a bipartisan bill that will provide additional tools to the fda and others that can make a difference, but until they act, we will go ahead and move. as part of this, we will required drug companies to let us surely about potential shortages a weak response to sicily. if we find out the crisis --
prices are being driven up because shortages are being made worse by the manipulations of companies or distributors, that we are making sure that we stop those practices. we're on to empower the fda and the apartment of justice to and does -- to investigate any kind of abuses that can lead to drug shortages. the combination of tools that will be contained in this order can make sure that the lifesaving drugs are available and if we start seeing shortages we are able to count those ahead of time so that suwannee does not have to scramble as a pharmacy manager and jay does not have to scramble as a patient. this is something that needs to be done. i want to thank the leadership both the fda administrator and that secretary of health and human services, and i still are urged conagra's to move forward
to build on this exit of order so we can provide even more tools. i want to thank bonnie and jay for helping inspire us to get this done. with that, i'm going to sign this bill -- or this executive order, excuse me. there you go. thank you very much, everybody. [unintelligible] i enjoyed our meeting with tony blair. thank you. >> white house economic adviser gene sperling at the economic club of washington. followed by house speaker john boehner on jobs and economy. and then more about how congress is dealing with the economy from former president bill clinton. >> he is on. this is the first time that i
have seen in my long tenure in politics where the heat, the real heat, because if these guys cannot come up with something, they will not want to go home. >> on tuesday the deficit reduction committee will hear from alan simpson and peaks amid cheap. dominici.te co watch what you want when you want on the c-span video library. now the head of the white house national economic council gene sperling was at the economic club of washington monday, talking about jobs, taxes, and the deficit. because of technical problems, we are only able to show you a little more of an hour of this event. >> after larry summers left.
prior to that, he served as counselor to the secretary of the treasury in the first two years of the obama administration, and brings a wealth of experience that position. the director of the national economic council ordinates and helps develop economic policy for the administration and the president. the experience that he is brought as he had the same job in the clinton administration. at the beginning of that administration, he served as deputy head of the national economic council under bob rubin, and later he became the director of the national economic council. he has held this position before, and has not been involved in 11 straight years of democratic economic policy making, where more than any other one individual in terms of consistently working in the democratic administrations and a key economic policies. he is from an arbor, michigan. he is a diehard wolverine fan.
he went to the nervous the of minnesota where he was recruited as a tennis player, won a scholarship, and played as captain as the university of minnesota tennis team. he went to yale law school where he continued his great academic pursuits. at minnesota he had was a member of phi beta kappa. after all school he began to get involved in public policy matters, but also worked for mario cuomo in the early 1990's, and then was recruited in the new caucus campaign to work for bill clinton and he ran the economic policy unit of the clinton campaign in 1992. when he left the clinton administration, he joined the workings as a scholar and the council on foreign relations and
set up a center for universal education to help children around the world make sure they get education. he spent time as a consultant to the west -- to "the west wing." he was interviewed by a writer and the writer subsequently became his wife. gene is now married with two children. he resides in washington now and is well known, i think, for his enormous encyclopedic knowledge of economic policy. he spent 11 years working on economic policy matters, but also for his workaholic tendencies. for the last 11 years he probably per hour is the least well a person in washington, d.c. it is our great pleasure to have a gene make a presentation, and later we will have questions and answers. gene? >> thank you, david.
the last time i saw david rubinstein was at the kennedy center last sunday night. he was introducing jack black, ben stiller, and will ferrell. and today he introduced me. i have now arrived. that never happen my first time are riled. i am always happy when people mentioned that i was consultant for four years at part-time writer for "west wing" because in washington all of you think it is way cooler to have worked for the fate west wing instead of the real one. while the real west wing has been the highlight of my professional life, the fate west wing has been a highlight of my personal life. it is where i met my wife, who
many of you have got the deten to know. a very happy to be here. there are so many friends out here. i'm so happy to be here with david rubenstein and has given me advice and counsel since my first days when people said since i stayed up very late at night i reminded them of another crazy man who worked in the white house in the carter administration, and i later learned that that was david. anyway, thank you all for having me. mike tock today is simple and direct. -- my talk today is simple and direct. to sustain economic growth now we need a bold, and the jobs plan to inject a man, help as recovery takes hold, and have a meaningful impact on jobs over these next 12 to 18 months, and,
two, a balanced plan for long- term physical discipline that includes saving entitlement and revenue from the less fortunate while continuing to make sure we invest in the young people and the economic dignity of our working families. i will start with the imperative for all action to start jobs. there are those of you who will recognize the need for a jobs plan. those who make the case for inaction at this moment usually do so, usually state as the reasons that we already tried the recovery act and they claim it cannot have an impact. that we cannot afford a new jobs coming backe we're from a financial crisis we have to be passive and patient and that a bold, immediate effort is inconsistent with focusing on
longer-termed structural issues in our economy. i will address each of these arguments, but even combined, they fail, because in the current economic context, unemployment is simply too high. the projections for near-term growth are too weak. the risks to the economy, to elevated, and the national price of long-term unemployment to profound to sit on our hands and do nothing. to those who say as an argument for inaction that the recovery has failed, i will highlight two basic facts. in november when obama was taking over an economic policy, the blue chip forecast projected the economy will contract in the fourth quarter of 2008 and in the first quarter of 2009 at an annualized rate of 1.65%.
in other words, they were projecting the economy would be near 2%.t pace in december, that projection had gone to 3.25%. what do we know now? what we know now that we have better information. during that time, the economy contracted at an annualized rate of 7.8%, nearly 8%. actually, in the fourth quarter of 2008, our economy was contracting, losing growth, at a rate of 8.9% a year. it was the worst six-month period since records of quarterly growth work at first in 1947, other than that. of demobilization in 1946 after war ii. it was the worst six months on record since the heart of the great depression.
the worst record since the heart of the great depression. with the passage of the recovery act and the financial rescue package, growth actually returned to our economy by the third quarter of 2009. one half year later and private sector job growth returned in march, 2010, a year after we had lost 800,000 jobs in a single month and a year earlier and recovery from the previous recession in 2001. we are big boys and girls. we understand the president's opponents will continue to make the next the arguments -- to
make the speedy argument that since we have much further to go in thinking ourselves out of the whole the president inherited that therefore that is evidence that the recovery act did not work. but let us be serious in one crucial regard. using the experience of the recovery act, which is critical to bringing our economy back from a contraction of nearly 8% a year and a loss of eight and a thousand private-sector jobs a month as an argument that any future effort to inject a man to create jobs is futile is but a cynical argument and one without merit. it may be that it prevented the second great depression does not read well on a bumper sticker, but is peppery description of policy decisions that help and improve the lives of tens of millions of our fellow working
families. some have suggested to me that even if the recovery act was the right medicine for the economy in 2009, that today we should just sit tight. they will argue, often citing the work people, that as recoveries following recession- induced by terrible financial crises are inevitably going to be long, slow, and painful, we simply should just wait and be passive as the slow process of healing unfolds. i am not sure i would ever agree with this interpretation, but if we were projecting 3.75% growth next year and a conversation was simply about the pace at which unemployment was headed down, we could at least have a conversation about how quickly one could expect action to further accelerate growth and lower unemployment.
but that is not economic moment we face today. it is not the economic outlook we foresee over the coming year. we have an obligation to take a sober, non-political look at the state of growth and employment in our country today, the risk that it could get worse, and what it would mean for our country if we did nothing and simply allow the consensus economic forecast to come to pass. with regard to the risks, everyone understands the value of taking out insurance against ive events in our personal lives. the administration projects the economy is still to add to the private sector jobs the been created this year. most forecasters agree with this assessment. even though the blue chip financial forecasts found a 35%
chance of a double-dipped recession among their nearly 50 forecasters, it is our hope that with the uptick in some recent numbers those odds might go down. nonetheless, it is still fair for all of us in policy positions to ask, when you already have 9% unemployment and 14 million people out of work, is it worth taking out some insurance against even the prospect, even the relatively less than 50% chance that things could get worse? if you thought there was a one in three chance that your house was going to burn down, you would find home interest of the bible. likewise, the value of taking insurance out for our economy today is alone strong basis for taking bold action in the
immediate future. remember in 2010 when we have passed separate payroll relief, the price of gasoline was $3 per gallon. we did not know that the error spring and defense outside our control was " pushed prices over $4 a gallon in some parts of the country, but there's little doubt that the insurance we took out in the form of the payroll tax relief has provided a crucial question to prevent consumer spending from falling and putting us in a stronger position than we would be otherwise. but even if one decides that the need to take interest out against unexpected events at this time of high unemployment is not persuasive. the case for action, if standard projections bear out, is overwhelming. right now, the blue chip projecting 2% growth in 2012. the conference board is projecting 1.1%.
jpmorgan, 1.7%. imf world economic outlook finds 1.8% growth for 2012. as such growth would be the load the trend growth, it would hardly be projected to even bring unemployment down below 9%. this type of growth should be unacceptable and unsatisfactory at any point in any recovery. in any context, it constitutes less than turning a blind eye to our national crisis of long-term unemployment. while washington today is focused on the political punditry over the ups and downs of the american jobs act, it is long past time for all of us to realize that long-term unemployment is our true national economic crisis. and that choosing to play politics as usual or sit on our hands in the face of this crisis
is both irresponsible and inexcusable. that death of a recession this president inherited and the difficulty of recovery from a -induced ly r recession has forced us to consider it a lot worse and a climate in our lifetimes. 44.6% of the unemployed is now -- has now unemployed for more than six months. 75% of them have been unemployed for a year or longer. consider this -- the average length for the unemployed right now is 40.5 weeks. that is the worst on record. it is almost twice the length of the highest prior record, which was 21 weeks during what was a
very painful recession in the 1980's. this is a matter of the highest economic importance. we know that very long spells of a plum and cause harm to workers, to families, and to our long-term economy, that shorter terms and more typical out of unemployment do not. we know when you lose a job it is always painful, but when you are in voluntarily out of work for a year or two years or more, you lose your home, you health, the family. economists have used the term to describe where and a lot -- where elevated and employment can reduce our productive potential. being out of work makes it harder to re-enter the work force. if you lose your job today, your
chances of being employed in the next three months are box one in two. but if you lost your job for six months, the chances of the next three months is about one in four, gets worse and worse the longer you are unemployed. and an economist at university of warwick sound there's no circumstance that has a greater negative impact on mental health than being unemployed for six months or longer. and economists found a permanent job loss results in up to a 100% increase in mortality rates for the next 20 years. on top that, the national employment law project found that a four-week survey of online job advertisements, over
150 examples of companies explicitly saying if you're unemployed, do not apply. do not apply signs that were -- now being put up for those who had the misfortune, usually at no fault of their own, of finding themselves in the dire straits of long-term unemployment. of course, concerns about the cost of long-term unemployment lead to one of the other rebels in the case for inaction, which is that a diploma is purely a structural problem. some argued there are more than three made jobs openings and this shows that all our problems are simply due to a mismatch between skills needed to fill current spots and the skills possessed by an unemployed workers. as recently described by those, there's little evidence for this case. here is the simple math. there are over 14 million people
looking for work, full-time work, not even counting the people who are halftime looking for full-time work and 3 million job openings. that means there is newly -- there is nearly five people looking for every job that is open, far higher than any people looking for jobs before the recession. no questions that skills mismatch issue is a and a poor long-term issue that we should be committed through education and innovation to fixing. recent research by the new york fed makes it clear that explains only about 1/5 of the rise in employment in the recent recession. with this and other evidence, it suggests the overwhelming cause of the ottoman crisis we face is a lack of economic demand, and the real irony we face here is not so much that structural unemployment is driving high
employment right now, but instead that if we fail to act, we will create a new and deeper structural unemployment in our economy. we will by sitting on our hands allow legions of our colleagues, our neighbors, to be disconnected from the work force for unforeseen periods of time. this takes me to a final point on the subject, which is that a lot of what we do in economic policy is try out policies that prevent this cycles that i necessarily take away the value in our economy. we have bankruptcy laws that prevent credit rushes that would unnecessarily destroyed the value of company or the future of someone who has failed once. steve case will tell you what a difference it would be if a debtor prisoner inside of a
second or third chance was what happened to len gonchar nor who failed their first time. we do not allow bankruptcy, a rush of creditors again because it unnecessarily leads to a downward cycle that hurts our economy. we have deposit insurance to prevent the vicious cycle of- runs on banks, and we try to promote policies like our neighborhood stabilization plan and the american jobs back to prevent a downward cycles in neighborhoods. if we see sections of up to 2% growth right now that inevitably mean that the prices of long- term unemployment will get even worse, we are in essence saying that we know millions of our friends, our neighbors, fellow citizens are destined to a downward cycle of economic opportunity that will cause long-term damage to them and our
economy and that we are choosing to simply sit back and watch. a great nation, facing the worst crisis of long-term and apply it in our lifetime, can certainly do better. at president's american jobs tries to deal with this challenge in two and a waste. it has the smarts demand plan for next year that independent economists have projected result in up to 1.9 million more jobs next year, that is 150,000 more jobs per month than is currently expected and up to 2% higher economic growth, the difference between 1.5% and 3.5% growth it was planned to its completion. it includes elements like the payroll tax cut which uses an existing structure to get a significant amount of money in the pockets of every worker every two weeks into doesn't call will provide work customers and more cash for the small businesses who have been hit
hardest by the financial crisis. further at this moment, there is -- the american jobs also is a major investment in creating jobs by the rebuilding our infrastructure. there is just no sound reason not to make a major investment in our infrastructure right now. let me be clear about one thing -- there is nothing fiscally irresponsible about deferred maintenance. if i choose to cancel my direct tv, nfl subscription, with, which the lines at 6-2 i am not going to do, i would say $230 in consumption. if i decide not to fix that i did my basement, i would just pay more later. at this moment, with interest rates at historic lows, with an overflow of the unemployed construction workers anxious to get back to work, when the macro economic impact would be the best and manageable, how can we
passed by this moment to address the deferred maintenance in our schools, roads, railways, and airports? how can we let this moment pass? what is the rationale for not acting? the second thing the president did when he announced his act on september 8, to dow's 11, is but a national focus on this challenge of long-term unemployment by making it explicitly one of the four major planks of his plan. that meant, including every responsible idea we can identify, from outlawing hiring, discrimination based on being unemployed, to tax credits for people who but a ploy for six months or longer, extra incentives for veterans. we proposed the misleading reform out of plumb it interest in the last 40 years. every aspect of the reform is designed to make and implement insurance more of a bridge to work. and hiring people to use their
u.i. to connect for short-term jobs or to start their business or as wage interest out older workers get back to work or for companies to include work sharing over layoffs. we are no doubt disappointed that the republicans in congress have blocked the american jobs act. but that should not be our major disappointment. our most profound disappointment should be that they have not even come forward with an alternative plan that in the top independent forecaster could possibly estimate as spurring growth up to 2% next year or adding up to 2 million new jobs. at this moment the republicans' main alternative is the best to get a host of long-term measure , some good, like trade
agreements and then reform, some not so good, like repealing the affordable care act, but all having one thing in common -- they have nothing, absolutely nothing to do with sparking demand or job growth in the next 12 or 18 months so that we can get this recovery better chance of taking hold or give hope to the long term on a point of getting back to work. these plants are therefore not really jobs plans. they are plans to sit by while our national crisis gets worse. franklin roosevelt argued during the depression of when facing great national challenges our obligation was to try and try, expert and experiment until we get it right. yet the republicans in congress so far cannot live up to teddy roosevelt's admonition to get in the rain and get a shot. there is no question that the
right physical package for policy at this moment is to combine this strong demand in the short term with a balance, long term plan for fiscal discipline. the two are not contradictory. they are as complementary as good hitting and pitching. and together they are exactly what we need to maintain confidence that the economy is going to pick up, america remains a place for companies to make a long-term investment, and we will not face a debt crisis in our country in the near term for a share. those who suggest we cannot afford the act are being penny wise and pound foolish. nothing will hurt our current efforts to get our path is a steadily more that if our economy stays weak or if we allow long-term and implement the weak economic projections and potential. furthermore, when you pay for the jobs planned as the president has proposed, the long-term cost is just the lingering interest from the jobs planned, while the ongoing
offsets lead to net deficit reduction each and every year for the foreseeable future. there is a reason that even their rivlin-does she plan, when of the most efficient plants the together by bipartisan outside group, including the most robust injection of temporary demand come complete payroll tax holiday to ensure our recovery takes hold. if we are to succeed in achieving strong that is a reduction, let's be honest -- the single most critical ingredient will be the washington reaching a consensus that we must have a balance in our deficit reduction strategies. there is no single barrier that stands and away more of same fiscal policy and the fact that the sizable proportion of the republicans in congress have taken a pledge that there cannot be a single penny of revenues in any significant deficit-
reduction act. is notbsolute pledge a historically republican position. in 1982, president reagan raised revenues. in 1983, he and ted o'neal include the revenues in fixing a social security. in 1990, the elder president bush were to get a bipartisan agreement that included revenue and the visits. in 1997, we had a balanced budget agreement where republicans agreed to continue all the revenue increases from the 1990's and the 1993 budget agreement. every independent bipartisan plan has called for a mix of revenues and entitlement reforms. a letter calling for reductions from republicans and democrats include an endorsement of a mix of revenues and entitlement cuts. prime minister cameron has as much as 1/3 revenue in his
budget. the spots us from making progress for a few critical reasons tricks everyone knows the way you achieve bipartisan deficit reduction is through people holding hands and jumping together. to conclude, it is with this that we can best move our nation toward the shared prosperity that should always be the aspiration of this country. thank you very much.
>> so you are not point person in negotiating with republicans? >> i often have ben part of the team. we stand ready to. david, you cannot do this thing we make no differentiation. the president very clearly has continually reached out. he over the summer, we all know, was willing to go further on entitlement savings, take on more sacred cows, risk taking opposition from his base of supporters in the interests of getting an agreement. it is the president who has put out to the supercommittee proposals in detail that would cut agriculture subsidies, affect federal retiree benefits,
that talked about adjusting beneficiary changes for medicare. so when you have this of the inability to come together, you cannot just decide that your analysis is that it is a pox everybody's house, that everybody bears the same responsibility for the failure to come together. you have to look. and others part of the 19797 balanced budget agreement. i was one of the people who encouraged and supported us calling to the extra mile at every point to try to get a major budget deal with the speaker. so i am very much for bipartisan negotiations, and i want to make clear, i believe there are many republicans on
the hill who want to be part of the balanced agreement. you have seen the gang of six, a few republican senators in the bowles-simpson who are willing to raise revenues. this is not a democrat- republican issue as much as a portion of republicans who are blocking from coming to a compromise of a budget agreement that includes revenue savings together with entitlement savings, including medicare as part of a bipartisan -- >> you do not have a majority of democrats, cannot get 51 democrats in the senate, to vote for it. i thought the democrats did not support the president's jobs bill. >> that is not the case.
we have sometimes 53 out of 53, 51 out of 53, 50 out of 53. one of the people -- have been here a while, as he said, you have been here a while. getting 96% of your own party is pretty good. you cannot look at -- the reason we're having trouble is that there is a complete inability for any one to come over. i understand what i did in my talks today. i did not say, here is the american jobs at come our way or the highway. i presented the case for action. i presented why we as a country cannot sit on our hands and do nothing. >> why did the president not
meet with bowles-simpson -- why did he not meet with them at that time? >> he chose those two men. he chose representatives that were very much about reaching a bipartisan agreement, moving toward the center. he was very supportive of their actions. we do not or did not agree with everything in the bowles-sim pson plan, we understand the way you make progress in deficit reduction measures is to create the mechanisms where you bring both houses and both parties together. every successful effort we have ever had as that characteristic.
that does not mean it always works. it was very close to working over the summer, but just failed. none of us know for sure how the supercommittee will turn out, but that notion where you bring democratic and republican leaders together from both the house and senate to hold hands and jump together is the only hope you have. nobody wants to put their political life on the line for a plan that they find out is going nowhere or is going to pass the senate, but not pass the house. if you are interested in actually getting things done as opposed to getting a good op-ed at on the back, what you want to do is exactly what this president did, which as soon as we got down with the yearly c.r ., agreement that took record,
within five days of that, the president put out a $4 trillion framework over 12 years and called for both houses and both parties to come together. add the biden group and that was the first effort. bulls simpson bipartisan commission was called together by this president. biden negotiating process was pulled together by this president. the president and speaker boehner -- and i give him credit for being willing personally to reach out and put revenues on the table as part of the deal, even though he could not ultimately deliver that deal -- i give him credit for trying. in each of these cases, it was the president was trying to create a mechanism that is the best hope for bipartisan deficit reduction, and i promise you, whenever it comes, it will come in this form. it will come in this type of -- it will not be because the
president of the united states goes out with an independent group's plan. it will be because he brings both leaderships of the house together. that is what happened in 1993 and in 1990, hot hot for, and hopefully that is what will happen this year with the supercommittee, and if not, there will be a process like that in the future. the president was focused what the process and the mechanisms to word that had the best potential to get the job done. >> the stimulus bill that not have republican support, so the president did not the republicans there. do you support the fact that he was republicans to support it and it was not likely to succeed, and you said at the time there was a good economic impact from that stimulus bill, which has not seem to have that impact.
why do you think people should say this past -- why should people believe you now? >> people say to me it is hard argue that the eggs are better than they would have banned. what i just presented to you once they are way better than they were. you cannot make everything a political argument. yet to digest the following facts -- our economy was shrinking at the rate of 8% a year when the president took office. 8%. we have not seen that since the great depression. we were losing jobs at 800,000 and month. expect your economy to add 2 million a year? we lost 2.3 million in three months. by the second half of 2009, just six months later, our economy was back to growth is not
something you can take for granted. there was no guarantee that was going to happen. that happened because this president took a very bold politically different actions -- difficult actions, and the fact that we were creating jobs, albeit much too slowly a year later, in march of 2010, a year earlier than took place after the previous recession, again did not happen by accident. so i totally agree that the deep financial crisis that we inherited was a very deep hole and that it is discouraging how long and tough it is to climb the way out, but i wholly refuted and disagree and to speak anyone who suggests that the recovery act did not have a major impact in helping ensure our country to not go into a great depression and instead
went to growth. what was the stock market in march when we were doing the financial rescue plan 6400. one out of five people was betting it was going under 5000. you cannot take for granted what happened. the idea somebody would use the recovery act as an argument suggest he should not do this type of demand injection for jobs is totally misguided. 2009,remember january where was the demand in the global economy to eur? europe? what industries when people were seeing their house values going down? had united states not go in and inject the man into the economy, had we not taken the type of action, the stress test, and the action on the automobile -- we
could have faced an unforgettably painful economic. -- economic period. we understand our opponents are pretty is the fact that things are not as great as any of us would like to suggest. but nobody who is not political is serious, nobody should buy into that. >> the and implement rate today is 9.1% as we count it. no president since fdr has been reelected and the rate was above 7.2%. where the you think the unemployment rate will be at the time of the next election? >> i will not make projections. whether or not we do something about job growth right now is calling to determine in part that outcome. i'm here making the case for a jobs act because i fear that if
we just sit by and allow the standard economic forecast to take place that we're going to grow 1.5%, 2%, that we are going to be sitting by passively while we do serious harm to many of our workers and our economy. remember, you expect that you need growth to be about 2.5% just to stabilize employment, just to handle the new workers who come into the workforce, just to stabilize. when you have 9.1% unemployment, you need growth to be much stronger than that to bring unemployment down, and as i just described, you need unemployment growth to be stronger than that to encourage workers, companies to look beyond the best young people coming out of college and the start giving those who have been unemployed a year or longer
a second chance to get back in the workforce. rather than us handicapping or banking, the right thing we should be acting. we have a chance as a country to take action that would meaningfully affect -- moody's said with the jobs back in the project for put two% scion growth. -- 4.2% growth. so whether or not we'd do something bold and immediate like what we have proposed, even if it has different elements or slightly different composition, is the single most crucial thing we can do to being able to answer that question in a way that suggests the chance that the unemployment rate coming
down our but as opposed to bad. >> the president has said the economy is in worse shape than he thought was going to be when he was a candidate. and it is a problem is bigger. why do you not support eliminating all the bush tax cuts? that would pick up $500 billion the year. why not get rid of all of them as opposed to people in the top 2%? >> because i think at this point that hit on working families struggling in this economy would just be too great. i am not convinced that we need to do that to achieve deficit sustainability. for example, we have already put $1 trillion into a deficit reduction agree to over july. the president then put forth his job -- his plan to the
supercommittee. that plan does have a seat of that revenue portion, but it only $250,000.'s that plan together risks that down as a percentage of our economy. i do not believe that if we were to let all of the tax cuts expire and have working families making $70,000, $80,000, suddenly facing a $3,000 higher tax increase that that would be good. and so i think we still believe that we can get our deficit under control, bring our debt down as a percentage of our economy, and do so by asking for sacrifice broadly, but by asking for revenues to come from those two had income of $250,000 and
over. >> where would the president like to see the capital gains rate? >> i do not have anything any different to say than what was in our budget. i do think there are areas that we think -- what the president has spoken of is the fact that we should be concerned when very, very well off people can take all their income under preferred rates so that somebody making $100 million, etc., is simply paying 13%, 14%, 15%, and you have a situation where the net or even the incremental taxes of people who are teachers, fire chiefs, firemen,
are higher than those who are the very, very most fortunate. the idea of the buffet rule would be if we with the tax reform and bring down everyone's rates, if we were to reduce tax expenditures, that it was important to be able to say to the public that this would not mean those who are the very most fortunate would be able to, in the fact, they effective rates that were dramatically lower than that. and that is what we put out. i think that is very reasonable. i think the public supports it largely, i just saw a poll saying those who make over a million dollars support that put the ball as well. >> under the buffet role heavyset that rate? >> were setting up a double for
tax reform. right now one of the openings you have seen from at least a few of the republicans in the senate has spent -- has been to raise revenues through tax reform. we wanted to put out what our principles work for tax reform, and one of the things we wanted to say was be supported the idea low ring expenditures, raising revenues, but luring everyone's rates. in doing that we wanted to have certain principles. when of the was we did not want the tax code to get less progressive than it would be today or in the absence of the sun setting of the bush high- income tax cuts, and the second one was going to be if you're going to be taking down rates and taking alkylates for those in the highest income brackets,
it was the essential to say there would be a floor under which the rate would not go, and that was obviously something warren buffett had spoken about quite a lot, and the point there is that that is not even the principal that will affect most people who are very well off. it will only affect those who are somehow able to organize their income so that all of their income or the overwhelming majority is at preferential rates. again that is a principle that has wide support, so because we do not know exactly the metrics of what tax reform will become we wanted to put that out and the progressivity principle out. you have worked for mario cuomo, obama, and bill clinton. >> that would be a great question to answer. [laughter]
up there with who you love more, mom or dad? greta and your answer to that question is? >> my answer to that question is that i have lived a charmed life as a progressive policy wonk. the privilege i have had to work for people who are of such intelligence and commitment. that is not to say that there are not other people who would be great leaders to work for, but all of them were so intelligent, so thoughtful, so interested in the details of public policy. when i was asked about ron barack's book about
obama, i was so upset about the thesis that he was being dragged along by others. i sat in march in a six-hour meeting in the roosevelt room on whether we should go forward with our stress test. the fact that the economic team did not totally agree to meant that the president had to sit there at the most complex financial issues imaginable and go back and forth quizzing some of the top economists and financial experts in the world and then making what ultimately proved to be a very wise call. that is not something you can do without both an enormous amount of intelligence, without you being the one who was running the show, often because you're economic advisers will be divided at times and you have to make the call. >> as you brief him every day, who sits in that meeting?
>> we spent quite a bit of time with him, but sometimes it fluctuates. the budget negotiations with speaker baiting -- speaker boehner, it was almost a role in meeting. if we send him for -- we send him economic update each and every day on quite a variety of issues. >> the does he handle the economic issues as well as or better than bill clinton? >> [laughter] rahn told me at the very beginning not to ever take clinton versus obama questions. there's nothing to be gained from those.
they are both very smart policy people, trained as lawyers, who i think come to expect as i would, and probably you as well. who i think, added from a very discerning position. -- come at it from a very discerning position. they come at it from a year high understanding of economics, but also -- a very high understanding of economics, but also with realism about what works and what will be perceived. you have to have a core of the guiding you when you make these decisions. when you are in that room and you have absolutely determined that the right thing to do is just going to be terrible politics and you decide to still go forward. when the decision it was made on
chrysler, i was part of the team in advocating strong weight to that. you could not argue to the president that this was politically popular at this time. it was not. you could not argue that the stress test, the financial rescue stabilization were politically popular. but each and every moment he did the right thing. he did the right thing for the economy knowing he would probably pay a political price for that, but it was the right thing to do. >> is the white house satisfied with the way the volcker role, as is proposed, are you in support of the regulatory proposal that is in front of the people? >> we obviously, in doing financial reform, we were very active in the legislation. obviously, we do not control all of the regulations put out by independent regulators because
they are independent. that said, i think we looked at the ball rolled off, as he noted later, it was released 35 -- the volcker rule, as he noted later, it was really 35 pages. the rest was commentary. and i think the basic t, the basic purpose, the basic goals are in place. >> are you satisfied with the occupied wall street movement? do you have any comments on that movement? >> i think the frustration those people face, i think they see what was historic effort to stabilize our financial system. they, like us, are still unsatisfied with the state of the economy and feel a sense of unfairness in how the economy has rewarded the different segments of the public, not just
in the past couple of years, but in the last 10 or 12 years. i think we understand that. i cannot try to say that i can say much more, other than i think our goal always has to focus on what the tangible elements that we can do. i feel bad i cannot any more than you -- i do not have any better insight than the people here as to the media and the exact composition and the exact issues are, but i will say that we are putting forward tangible, real choices for people. we are asking for a jobs out --
jobs act that does ask for compensation from the most fortunate among us. if jobs at that we feel will put people back to work and make them feel -- a jobs act that we feel will put people back to work and make them feel the economy is working again. for mortgage refinancing and student loans, we're going to take up those issues, too. but what do you think the chances are there will be a sequestration? in other words, that the super
committee will not come to any resolutions? >> as i say to people, i might know.ow -- i don't it was the joke about somebody that it's more educated they do not know, but at a higher level of sophistication i would say that i am probably more informed than the average person. but i still think is very difficult to predict. i think the good news is that i think that particularly, you have seen many democratic leaders much more open to being part of a grand bargain. over the last year, a lot with the leadership of president obama, he has been much more open to taking on difficult issues on medicare and other entitlements from democrats if they can be part of a grand bargain.
i think there are republicans who want to be part of the grand bargain, who understand intellectually that, of course, you can get serious, fair, sustainable agreement. but unfortunately, even those who feel that way, and i think speaker brainard did for a time , -- speaker boehner did for a time, they are blocked. you have to hope that the public message, that that people still care about what the public says. they overwhelmingly support balance. they overwhelmingly want us to work together. they overwhelmingly do not want either of us to take absolutist positions. i just have to hope that over time, that will force an agreement. and i will say that having lived here and having been part of the white house in 1995, when things seemed pretty died in october and november of 1995
when we had to shut down. but three months later, president clinton and bob dole were sitting in the oval office at trying to balance out -- hammer out a balanced budget agreement. i still believe things can turn. i am still hopeful. every day, i talked to -- not every day, but often enough i talk with rising republicans in positions of responsibility who want to be part of a solution. i think they have to be willing to overcome the opposition and their party in the same way that president obama was willing to help move his party to move toward a grand compromise. >> does the president support you in supporting operation twist? >> on the -- on that, the
clinton economic team, the obama economic team, we respect them both, so we do not comment on whether we supported or not. and we think that is a hallmark of our system. we, as an economic team, often talk to the federal reserve and to the chairman about policy issues. i meet with him once a month. tim geithner meet with him more often than that. he does come in and we have small meetings with him on the president. i think what we try to do is make sure we are using their expertise, make sure we are consulting with them on issues like housing, make sure that the chairman has a chance to speak to the president to tell him his views. but on the other hand, always
make sure that we keep the line clear that they are independent and that we are not seeking to influence them in any way. >> what about the so-called belen chinese tariffs? with the president veto that bill or signing it becomes in its current form? -- or sign it if it comes in its current form? >> i think we share the aspiration of that bill to try to create a more level playing field between us and china. there is little question that their currency is not determined by market forces. and that puts our workers and companies at an unfair disadvantage. we have said that if the bill is moving forward we want to make sure it is consistent with our international obligations.
we had some concerns in those areas and would want them to be fixed. but i do not think there is any question that there are challenges in our relationship, economic relationship in terms of a level playing field. and within our international obligations, that is something that we, as a country, need to address more. >> let me ask you a final question. if the president is reelected, would you expect to serve another four years, and you would be 16 years in democratic administrations -- do you have that much energy left? >> your questions to seem almost to be a seminar of what questions should not be asked. hypothetical and personal hypothetical. >> you are very good at avoiding
the direct answer. [laughter] but hope springs eternal that you might slip. [laughter] >> i am obviously not going to answer the question. >> do you still enjoy what you are doing? >> i feel so privileged. i mean, to be able to have this position as national economic adviser for two great presidents, two democratic presidents in my lifetime is one i take enormously seriously. i feel incredibly privilege, but also just in the enormous sense of the responsibility, knowing that you can be involved in choices that if done correctly, you can improve people's lives and choices that is done poorly, can have negative consequences. as a personal matter, it is a
different experience. my last time i was there i was single. i could be there every day, seven days a week. i now have two kids at home. thank god for technology that allows you on weekends to stay home. but unquestionably, at 52 years old and two kids at home, you have to keep a greater balance in your life at this point. i had to blow off a meeting today to go to a halloween parade with my 5-year-old. >> was that a meeting with the president? >> [laughter] it was not with the president. that would have been a tougher one, but i think he would have very much respected that choice. life is much happier being married with two children, but it does require constant choices and balance in a way that i think makes my life roger, but does not allow -- richer, but
does not allow the 100 hour weeks that both you and i have done at different times in our lives. >> thank you very much for the interview. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] >> coming up in a few moments, house speaker john boehner on jobs and the economy. in about 45 minutes, more about how congress is dealing with the economy from former president bill clinton. and then a forum on economic policies during the clinton administration. >> every weekend, left the c- span networks be your source
for public affairs, nonfiction books, and american history. on c-span it is politics and public affairs event. c-span2 has books and authors and american history tv on c- span3. all of our programs are available any time at the c-span video library. the c-span networks, it is washington your way. >> house speaker john vader is urging members of congress to find a common ground -- house speaker john boehner is urging members of congress to find common ground. this is about 45 metts. -- 45 minutes. [applause] >> some of my equipment is falling off here. thank you, jim, for an overly- generous introduction. at the risk of this sounded like a mutual admiration society, let
me thank you for the extraordinary transformation that has occurred here during your tenure. it is absolutely spectacular, is it not? [applause] and this center started before gary greg got here, but you can hardly recognize before and after. gary, you have an absolutely superb. thank you for your leadership. [applause] today, as gary indicated, we celebrated a first. this is the first time in the 20-year history of the center that we have had a sitting speaker of the u.s. house of representatives. as the second in line to the presidency right after the vice- presidential, and one of the few congressional offices specifically mentioned in the constitution, the speaker of the house plays a uniquely important
role on capitol hill. our guest today has performed that role exceptionally well. this is a moment of great challenges for our country. to many of our neighbors are what -- are looking for work. here in kentucky is one of 10. spending and borrowing by the federal government, which has exploded in recent years, is catching up with us. and for the first time ever, america has suffered a downgrade of its once pristine credit rating. but history has a way of giving america the leaders it needs in such moments, and speaker banner is one of those leaders. john boehner knows the struggles that small businesses face because he once faced them himself. growing up across the river in ohio, he worked at his dad's tavern, a place called andy's café. the mop the floors, waited
tables, tended bar. he put himself through college working odd jobs and night shifts. he tarred roofs, refereed kids in sports teams, drove tractors, and worked as a nice gesture. through hard work, he put himself through school and graduate from college -- and became the first member of this family to graduate from college. he ran a company that represented manufacturers in the packaging and plastics industry. they had only a few clients, and the company was barely hanging on when the order passed away. john took over and suddenly found himself the president of a struggling small-business and he turned it around. along the way, john learned a lot of important lessons. he learned how to meet a payroll. he learned what it means to go -- to wrestle with government red tape, and most of all, what it takes to create jobs.
john learned that it is the hard work of the men and women in america's private sector, not government spending, that drives this economy. he learned we must look to the private sector to grow, and to create opportunity. john boehner is a small businessman had a hard to, and despite -- at heart, and despite a sending to the highest congressional office, i'm sure he would tell you he will always be a small businessman at heart. in the house to work alongside the ghost of one of my -- my heroes, henry clay. he used the office to his dovish the house of representatives as the body closest to that -- to establish the house of representatives as the articles as to the people and to make clear their will.
john leads a new house of representatives today that he pledged would reflect the will of the people, focused and determined to put our nation's broken fiscal house back in order. and in the 10 months he's been at the helm, john has made good on that promise. for the 100th of congress, the right man has met his moment. -- the 112th conagra's, the right man has met his moment. ladies and gentlemen, to join me in welcoming the speaker of the house. [applause] >> good morning, everyone. [applause] thank you. [applause] well, good morning, and happy halloween. i want to start by thanking senator mcconnell both for his
french and for the honor of being invited here today to address this impressive institution here in the bluegrass state. senator mcconnell and i spend an awful lot of time together and i could not be blessed with a better partner. he is a man of integrity and one of the best legislators that i have ever worked with. i am truly grateful for his friendship and for our partnership, and i'm deeply honored that he asked me to, and be with all of you here today. i also want to thank our host, dr. ramsey, the president of the university, and dr. greg of the mcconnell center, who happen to get his doctorate from the university of ohio, which is located in my district. also, senator mcconnell told you a little bit about me growing up, a big family and working around the tavern.
the lessons i learned growing up are the lessons i need to do my job every day. we learned to get things done together as a family. if you grow up around a bar mopping floors, washing dishes, waiting tables, tending bar, you have to learn to deal with every character walking through the door. trust me, i need all of those skills to do my job. [laughter] but i am a product of the free enterprise system and i was one of the millions of small business people and around the country who make our economy grow. i got involved with the government because i saw politicians killing the goose that lays the golden egg. and that is, our free enterprise system. i decided i would do something about it and ended up running for office. trust me, i never thought i
would end up being speaker of the house. but the things that drive me to get into this business are the same things that drive me today. as a small-business person, i thought government was too big, i thought they spent too much, and i did not think it was holding it accountable. i do not see it as one bit different than the first day i walked into the u.s. congress almost 29 years ago. today, i speak to all of you at a time of great challenge for our country, and frankly, our country's economy. and whether you are one of the students at the mcconnell center, where one of the thousands of students that pass through these doors every year, the condition of our economy is something that millions of young americans are facing today. the unemployment rate is stuck at just over 9%. we had a national debt that exceeds, or nearly exceed, the
entire size of our economy. in millions of americans are out of work. because of government's seeming inability to focus on these challenges, it is also when conference -- confidence in our government institutions is at an all-time low. i have been speaker of the house for nearly a year. it is more clear to me that never what some of the obstacles are in washington. my message today is simple. i think that our government has never been high, but -- opinion of our government has never been high, but it does not need to be this low. the american people need to see that despite our differences, we can get things done. we need to start by recognizing that common ground and compromise are not the same thing. let me explain. common ground and compromise are commonly end -- and mistakenly
looked at the same way. and i think it is done by both sides of the ideological spectrum. i would prefer the term, and ground to compromise. i do believe there is -- common ground to compromise. i do believe there is a significant difference. the american people want leaders who will stand on principles and stick to those principles, who will keep their promises and fight for them. but i also believe equally that the american people expect us to get things done. they expect us to seek common ground and to act on it. common ground does not mean compromising on your principles. it means finding places where your agenda overlaps with that of the other party, locking arms and getting it done without violating your principles.
it too often, a common ground and compromise are assumed to mean the same thing. as a result, we sometimes see people with good intentions on both sides of the aisle operating out of an aversion to common ground because they do not want to be viewed as compromising on their principles. as a result, this mistake brings in less functional government and mistrust in our institutions of government. i do not think we can afford to let that happen. the jobs crisis demands that we seek common ground and act on it where it is found. we did that on the trade agreement the several weeks ago. the president signed a lease -- these three trade agreements into law that have been in the works for five years. these agreements will result in the creation of some 250,000 american jobs. they were enacted with bipartisan support and no one
violated their principles to get things done. the same thing occurred just last week in the house on another jobs belbacha by diane black of -- another jobs bill by diane blog of tennessee. imposes a 3% surtax on small businesses. the president passed it easily. in both of these cases, the trade bill and the irs bill, we found common ground and we acted on it. no one was compromising their principles. we were doing with the american people sent us to washington to do. and they want more of it. and i think we need to continue to focus on jobs. my colleagues and i have a plan for jobs and it has been our focus for this entire year. i gave a speech lacks -- last month at an economic forum in washington and i talked about the need to liberate our economy
from the shackles of government. as a guy who ran a small business, i certainly believe that until we get away from a government that is constantly battling, manipulating, and micromanaging our economy, we will not see lasting job growth in our country. i realize that president obama and vice president biden are probably never going to agree with that statement. it is probably going to take a different administration to do the things that i truly think are needed to turn our economy around. but that does not at all costs of our obligation to work together to do what we can do -- that does not absolving us of our obligation to work together to do what we can do to find common ground. we can make a difference in the crisis our economy faces. i want to highlight three bipartisan bills that are opportunities to begin the process of finding got -- common
ground, and building on the bipartisan efforts that have come about in the last month or two. the first bill was introduced by one of my colleagues in the house, bob gibso. it is designed to eliminate costly and duplicative permit applications. pesticide use is already heavily regulated and all this does is create new burdens and requirements for farmers, ranchers, and job creators. this bill temporarily stops it. 57 of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle voted for it, that is nearly one-third of the democratic office. -- caucus. today, the court order goes into
effect. it should have been stopped months ago. it is disappointing that the deadline has arrived and that this bipartisan bill has not been enacted. but the senate still can act and it is a clear opportunity for common ground on jobs. october 6, the house passed the house resolution 2681, it regulatory act. we have some strange names for these bills. nearly 20% of our nation's cement plants will have to shut down if these new cement regulations her go into effect. literally eliminating thousands of american jobs. this bill gives federal regulators additional time and guidelines to develop a achievable governing emissions from manufacturing facilities. the extended time line is to
ensure that we do not have should -- do not have plants shutting down and putting people out of work. when president obama came to a bridge over the ohio river between ohio and kentucky, he did this at a -- an event at a concrete plant called hilltop concrete. and the jobs of the workers at the plant may end up being in jeopardy because of the rules that we intended to stop with this bill. 25 democrats voted for it, including one of their leaders. i am certain that president obama wants to protect the jobs of those people at hilltop concrete. and if there are differences, let's work through them, because i do not believe there is any reason we cannot get it done. another one of these bills is the epa regulatory relief act, a bipartisan bill sponsored by a
democrat and republican. it gives federal regulators additional time and guidelines to develop achievable governing emissions from industrial, commercial, and institutional boilers and incinerators. it is pretty arcane. but as the rules were being implemented, it is pretty clear that if you are operating a boiler, you have huge new requirements that you have to meet. we have 41 of our democratic colleagues in voting for it. it is a bill that will protect millions of americans jobs. both sides worked together on this. there was no reason to compromise. we found common ground and we were able to get this done. the danger is that the overlap will end up in some political pawn game in washington d.c., held hostage to a broader
debate while the two parties clashed over their various philosophies. listen c'mon -- listen, there's too much that we agree on to allow this to happen. and i believe it is up to you, the young people entering the workforce at the end of the school year, to get this done. the current generation of students that will graduate from schools like this one at a time when our country faces questions about its role in the world, our competitiveness is declining while our debt is increasing. if you are a student here at the university right now, or at another university, there is no one who has more at stake than you do. as a consequence of the that the united states faces, there's the possibility of a downgrading of
our credit rating, thereby, increasing the interest cost on the nearly $15 trillion that we have added up. we must deal decisively with the spending epidemic in our government, and specifically our failure to deal with entitlements that have caused spending trillions more over the next decade than what we bring in. we have caught a glimpse of how disruptive this can be in response to what happened over the summer. we were pushing up against the deadline to increase our debt limit. the stock market plunged, and frankly, i think it rattled many americans. but here again, a place where we need to search for common ground. the super committee is tasked with finding at least $one. true trillion in savings -- $1.2
trillion in savings to reduce the deficit. nobody thought the committee's job would be easy, and clearly, i have not been. i do not think anyone is at all surprised. but our hopes here in the days ahead is that we can find common ground. everyone knows that we cannot solve the debt crisis without making structural changes to entitlement programs. you know it. i know it. president obama knows it. if we do not make these changes, the programs will not be there for your generation when your -- when you need them accurate i think everybody understands this. the fact of the matter is, strengthening these programs will be good for our country, and nothing would send a more reassuring message to the markets than by taking bipartisan steps to fix
structural problems with medicare and medicaid and social security. judge handling of texas, and patty murray, a democrat from the state of washington -- jeb handling of texas and patty murray, a democrat for the state of washington could not be more different in their ideals. but they will work together and find areas of overlap between the parties in getting this job done. common ground without, -- without compromising on principles is the recipe for some of the greatest milestones in recent memory. the 1986 welfare reform law is probie the most important domestic -- is probably the most important domestic reform law of this past century. it happened because both sides knew it had to be done.
they locked arms and got it done. the same kind of effort can lead to success on jobs now, and on our debt. i know this is personal for me, and for senator mcconnell as well. we want these things to happen. i did not take this job to preside over some partisan screaming match. i took this job to be speaker of the whole house, so we can truly listen to the people of our country, those who truly hold power in this country, listen to their priorities, and get step down. -- get stuff done. as i said earlier, faith in government has never been high. it does not have to be this low, though. i think it is natural to have doubts about the government. americans have had a healthy skepticism of the government since our founding. but we should never lose faith in our country or the system the
founding fathers designed for us. it has worked and kept the nation's strong for two centuries and i believe it will do so for centuries in the future. i want to thank all of you for the honor of being here with you today and i look forward to your questions. thank you. [applause] >> thank you, speaker boehner. in the same spirit of common ground, i should note that we have a number of dignitaries in the audience today, and i cannot name them all, but at least we should acknowledge that our yarmouth is, john your mus with us today, and our mayor,
greg fisher. [applause] no use of the cards coming down of questions. let's begin. dash,l call on john weber the first question from the audience. >> thank you, speaker banner. the first question i have deals with president's jobs bill and his recent actions. i would like you to comment on how he is doing and how congress would respond, as well as how you might pass some of the legislation in pieces. of >> as i made clear in my speech, i think is our job to find common ground. about a month ago, the majority leader, eric cantor, and i sent the letter to president obama outlining the similarities between our jobs bill and his jobs bill where i thought there was common ground.
i expect the we will continue to work in a bipartisan manner to address the issues where you can find common ground. with regard to the president's activities over the past week where he has decided that maybe the constitution does not matter, it is the president who taught constitutional law, if i am correct, so he understands article one, section 1 of the constitution gives congress the power of the purse. we will make sure that we are not violating the constitution while we are trying to find common ground to get the economy going again and get the people back to work. >> catherine? >> thank you, mr. speaker. we have a question from a young woman in the audience wanting to know what your favorite part of being the speaker is. >> well, probably doing events
like this. anything outside of washington is a lot more fun than being inside washington. i think mitch will agree with this probably. it is where america has its big debate. and regardless where people are on the ideological spectrum, their representatives come to washington, 535 of us, and we have a battle of ideas. and yes, we argue and, yes, we fight. but 95% of my colleagues, i think, are doing exactly what their constituents want. democrats or republicans. you know, the other 5%, we will not talk about them, all right. but most of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle are honest, sincere, and fighting for what they believe in. but that does not mean it will be real pretty every day.
being outside of washington, you are not in the middle of the pressure cooker. it is a lot more fun. a day like this is a lot more fun than sitting in my office looking at mitch -- [laughter] trying to figure out how we are going to solve the problem of the day when no one wants to do anything. >> thank you, mr. speaker. a member of our audience asks what your opinion is on the wall street movement. >> i understand the frustration with the economy and it is not producing jobs like they want. and frankly, under the first amendment, people have the right to speak out and to protest. but that does not mean they have the permission to violate the law. beyond that, you know, i lived
through the riots over the vietnam war in the late '60s and early '70s. you can see how some of those activities get out of control. some of us have lived through the race riots of 1968. that was clearly out of control. i would hope that these demonstrations will continue to be peaceful. >> thank you again for being with us today. it means a lot to all of us in the room. what you think is the future of the health care bill? >> the affordable health care act, or at least, i think that is what the title was. i call it obama care, and now apparently the president wants to call it obama care. in my view, i think it will deliver the worst health care system in the world and bankrupt are comour country.
i think it is doomed for three reasons. it could be the courts that decide the individual mandate for every american to buy health insurance, they may rule it unconstitutional. secondly, there will be an election coming up in a year. it is pretty clear that republicans and some number of democrats will have to go. and thirdly, it will just fall under its own way. over the course of this past year, you have seen various parts of this bill kind of fall away because it was not thought out very well, or it cost a lot more than people think it should have. there was one provision in the the long term provisions in obama care that the administration has decided not to go forward there. the provision was an amendment offered by a republican senator,
during the debate, and it said they could not proceed with this long-term care program unless it was actuarially sound for the next 75 years. that is kind of the basis for how we look at big entitlement programs. and because of that one provision, they could never see where this was going to be viable. frankly, i think we ought to take the same provision and apply it to the rest of obama care. if it is not economically viable and affordable over the long term of the program, then we probably should not proceed. [applause] >> john? >> mr. speaker, another member of the audience refers to the tax policy under both presidents clinton and bush, and the respective economic boom and recession and wondered what the
gop's evidence for tax cuts as an economic stimulus would be. i believe the more money will allow the american people told, whether they be families or small businesses, is money that will either be spent, save, or invested, all of which is good for the economy. while there is a role for government to play, money that goes to the government does not have the kind of a multiplier effect that it does when left in the private sector. and i am a big believer that the government should only take what it needs. the problem we have in washington is a spending problem. i have watched it for 20 years. mitch has watched it. we have spending that has been out of control and needs to be brought under control. what i was a first-time candidate in 1990, i said this. i said, the sooner we tackle our
entitlement spending, the easier it will be to make changers -- changes necessary to insure those programs are around for the long term. that was about 21 years ago. what have we done over the last 21 years? at best, and that around the edges. now what is happening is that we are chasing a runaway train. there are 10,000 baby boomers retire in every single day, people like me. 10,000 people on social security and on medicare. people are living longer and accessing medicaid benefits. this is not sustainable in any way, shape, or form. and the changes that need to be made, we are not talking about horrendous changes in the system, but small changes that will have a big impact over the next 10, 20, 30 years.
that is where senator mcconnell and i are focused as we look at this debt commission, the super committee, and the job that it has to do. but we have a spending problem, the big one. -- a big one. >> we have another question from the audience. someone wants to know about what your plans are for educational reform. >> when it comes to education reform, the secretary has been in conversations with both democrats and republicans trying to find a way forward. just like any big job that you might have around a house, breaking it down into smaller pieces gives you a chance to get the job done. the chairman of the educational work force committee, john klein from arizona, has taken the elementary and secondary education act and broken it
down into about five pieces. i think we have passed about four of the pieces. and frankly, all of them will pass -- passed with bipartisan support. the fifth piece will be more difficult because we are into the accountability part of the law. but i think it is time we take a very serious look at our education system. the facts are this, about half of america's kids get an education. maybe a bit more than half will get a diploma, but only about half of them are actually getting an education. i do not think we can compete long-term only educating half of america's kids. the current educational system, the structure that we have was designed over 100 years ago when most families had two parents there. the kinds of distractions in the evening were not as prevalent
and people did their homework. we have different needs today and bigger challenges in trying to find ways to educate today's children. and regardless of what kind of household a child might be born in, i think our society owes every child a chance at a decent education. that is not happening today, and it should happen. >> rose? >>, mr. speaker, how you feel about the president's promise to with fruit -- withdraw troops from iraq by chrichristmas? >> we all want our soldiers to come home. we have sacrificed hundreds of billions of dollars in treasure and thousands of american lives to try to help free the iraqi people from the grips of saddam hussein and to help those
people fight for freedom and democracy. we have nearly 10 years' worth of effort. all of those lives and all that money and my concern is that if we just walked out of iraq, we are risking everything that we have spent. the iraqis clearly are not capable of defending their borders. they have no ability to secure their space. they do not have the types of logistical things they need in place. they do not have the infrastructure in place that is needed for a country of its size. and right now they have the iranian regime just continuing -- the iranian regime just continuing to foment the discourse throughout the middle east. nothing would see them happier than to see us go because the iranians would attempt to fill the void quicker than you could
blink your eyes. there is some discussion about the state department for filling a lot of these missions rather than our military. i'm not sure the state department is capable of this because they've never done it, but we will continue to monitor this very closely. [applause] >> tyler? >> mr. speaker, a member of the audience today tells us she has historically allied herself with the republican party, but being fiscally conservative, she feels more more -- more and more alienated from a party every day precaution does the republican party plan to bring her back into the fold? courtney their party is what i would call pure. -- >> and neither party is what i would call pierre.
and you will not get pure when you have a two-party system. but we need to focus on what brings us together as opposed to those things that divide us. by focusing on what unites us, i think that helps. secondly, i would say this. if we are listening to the american people and following their will, it will bring our party closer together, and i think both parties closer together if we will listen to the american people and act on their desires, not our own. [applause] >> we have time for one more question. >> the last question we have before you today -- thank you again for coming on behalf of the mcconnell scholars and the rest of the global community. the last question i have for you today revolves around a bridges
project that is central year in louisville, kentucky, and in cincinnati. how do you feel about infrastructure spending in those cases of the areas? >> it is one of those areas that was contained in the letter that majority leader mcconnell and i sent to the president about a month ago because there was area for common ground. more needs to be spent to repair, replace, and in some places, build a new infrastructure. the problem is, nobody wants to pay for it. as a result, we have been looking through the last four years or so with most of this being contained in the highway bill, and reauthorize in this for three months, four months. i spent the last 10 weeks focusing on where we find the revenue to do something significant for our infrastructure.
the second part of this is, we will find a new source of revenue for infrastructure. and we need to look at what we are doing with it. it may not surprise some of you that there are 116 federal programs financed out of the highway bill. if you look back over the years at what we have done with highway funds, we have built some highways and some bridges, and we have built some sports stadiums and we have beautified everything under the sun. we have frittered away more highway tax dollars than you could ever imagine. if we're going to apply the revenue, we will clean up this mess so the money tree does get to the kind of projects that we all expect. and why do we need to spend five, 10 years going through all of the regulatory nightmares that it takes to build a new bridge, for example? why can't we streamline this process?
[applause] we have to streamline this process so we can get the project's start and end done. lengthening all of this, all it does is drive the cost up more and allows us to do that much less when it comes to rebuilding the nation's infrastructure. i want to say thanks for the opportunity to be here. as you can tell, senator mcconnell and i are great friends, kreag partners, and we work at this. it does not happen -- great partners, and we work at this. it does not happen by accident. i really appreciate the opportunity to be here with all of view. i am just a regular guy with a big job. thank you. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011]
>> mr. speaker, this has been a great honor for us. and we would like to present you with a small token of our appreciation. join me one more time in thanking the speaker of the house, john boehner. [applause] >> coming up in a few moments, former president bill clinton and house -- on how we are dealing with the economy. and then gop candidates herman cain at the national press club. on washington journal tomorrow morning, we will look at the deficit reduction committee.
you can call in with your questions about the solvency of social security to joseph minarik with the committee for economic development. and we will be joined by jon wonderland, policy director at the semi foundation. he is encouraging the deficit -- i am prepared to wait for my answer until freezes over if that is your decision he was the un ambassador for president kennedy during the cuban missile crisis. he twice ran as the democratic nominee before president and lost. adelaide stevenson is focused -- adlai stevenson is focused on.
the to the website for the series. -- go to the website for the series. >> the heat is on. this is the first time that i have seen in my long tenure in politics where the real key -- because that they cannot come up with something and watch this great job on, they will not want to go on pure >> we will hear from alan simpson and peak demand and she and alec -- erskine bowles and alice rivlin. you can watch this online at the c-span video library. everything is archived and searchable. watch what you want when you want. former president bill clinton says in economic inequality is not sustainable and encourages lawmakers to overcome their differences to work on the economy. he spoke for an hour on friday
at an event hosted by the clinton foundation. >> i first met bill clinton in 1991. i was 21 years old. the first political event i have ever attended, and i had been given the honor of being the person meeting the governors motorcade. i was very excited about the process. in reality, it was a little less glamorous. it consisted of standing in a parking lot in a cold rain storm in boston with the wind blowing waiting for the cars to arrive. then i got to show them where to park and that was the end. i was greeting the motorcade, not the governor. but hearing him speak for the first time that day, his energy, his hope for the future, his optimism -- they came through and inspired me. it inspired me to cut some
glasses, not to go to school some and to go to new hampshire and work on his campaign. up there, i got a great job. i got to go door-to-door looking for people who might vote for him in the primary and distributing what was a revolutionary technology -- of vhs tape with his biography on it. [laughter] it looks something like this. it was the first time it had ever been done. bill clinton understood innovation. on election night in new hampshire, i had another job. i was stationed in the phone room where we had wired up a bunch of lines and we were getting calls from every courthouse about the results as they came in. when they did, it was my job to take a piece of paper and run -- yes, physically run -- from their to the suite with a governor was staying.
what would you run that information over there? at that point, we did not have and i've done or even cellphones. all we had was -- we did not have an iphone or even cellphones. all we had was tennis shoes. i thought it was incredibly apropos of what was going on today. that night when bill clinton came back in that first primary election and when those men, mickey kantor and bill clinton, went on to serve in our government, we began the motion toward the global economy. they were leading us to that economy where resolve global production and global innovation. and they pushed upward to where we saw global production and global innovation. it drove innovation so much faster than if we had decided to go along.
we saw samsung developing cellphones. we saw the blackberry come down from canada. this is now the way that we communicate. what did we see as a result of that? the two most advanced measures of those devices -- devices, they are american companies that no one in the country would have imagined would be making phones when bill clinton was elected president -- apple and google. they are the world leaders and innovations driving us forward. that is all because of the decisions they made in driving that for. it drove us into that global competition and we won. we're the ones with the leaders as a result of that decision. [applause]
as much as i love my job as a runner, i decided i needed a new job. partially as a result of the hope and optimism bill clinton inspired in me, i became an internet on to the north. i started my first -- internet entrepreneur. i started my company and we grew them taking advantages of the new possibilities that bill clinton on lease. i learned something that bill clinton already knew. america's economic success is built on innovation. great innovation is not an accident. it comes when the public and private sectors work together. when we left for during world war ii with sonar and radar and penicillin and atomic energy, it was not an action -- an accident. when we went to the mound and tackle problems we never even thought of, it was not an
accident. -- when we went to the moon and tackle the problems we never even thought of, it was not an accident. over the last 20 years, while we watched our and that -- a rpanet become the internet, it was not an accident. the government was funding the primary research and development and getting us to the expensive, risky, and daunting first steps that allow the private enterprise to come along and build on top of that foundation. that is what bill clinton knew about taking this into the global economy. we heard so many people talk about this but it was something where decisions matter. and he knew that have this thriving economy you had to invest. we heard about it all belonged but i will talk about two investments he made that did not
get mentioned yesterday. one in the public sector. he put money out so that we get higher 100,000 new police officers -- we could hire 100,000 new police officers. crime was out of control. that is when i first moved to the big city. president clinton invested in our police and turned it around so that we're living in an urban renaissance, where our creative classes are flocking to the city, powering our economies and san francisco and right here in washington. he knew that investment has to come in the private sector very bad as were the jobs and wealth are created in this economy that allow us to do what we want to do in this economy. there was the biggest boom in history in investment in the infrastructure we needed. as a result today, we have high-
speed internet almost all over our country because that investment was made in response to his policies. that is what his leadership did. he made all of these investments while balancing the budget. it is hard to imagine today in the congress i was in two years ago, that we had those surpluses, we had a path to the future that was fiscally responsible. that was a result of all the hard work of the people you saw on the stage today. one more thing i want to mention that got left out of much of the panel as it often does -- the renewed sense of hope and optimism that president clinton brought to our entire nation. it inspired me to go start businesses, it inspired a whole generation of new entrepreneurs to go out and take that leap of faith, to quit their jobs, to take risks, to innovate and
create the new industries that drive our economy forward. every president faces a different set of circumstances and challenges. there is no cookie cutters solution to drive an economy as complex as ours. in 1992, bill clinton embraced innovation and let the world for two global economy and brought the public and private sectors together to invest in america and balance our budget. to do it all with hope and optimism about where we were going. the results speaks for themselves. 22.9 million new jobs. reductions to people living in poverty. 4% unemployment. real wage growth for all americans across every income bracket. and an ever more connected global world. it is my great honor to introduce the 42nd president of the united states, william jefferson clinton. [applause]
>> thank you very much. thank you. thank you very much. thank you. thank you very much. thank you for bringing me back to georgetown. i want to thank scott murphy. i wanted all of you to hear him and i thought the students could identify with them, and he did start out with the kit you 20 years ago." two years ago -- actually less than that, a year ago, the day before the election, i was with him and his congressional
district in upstate unit -- new york. we had 1200 people for a breakfast at 7:30 a.m. in the morning. i thought that maybe he would escape the tide of 2010. and he did not. scott is my 2010 version of what happened to marjorie in 1994. people got the fever. they only elect democrats when things are screwed up. [laughter] and they want to feel fixed, and they did not feel fixed yet, and so in this sort of anti- government fever, some time but people are swept from office that should not be. i hope i live long enough to see him go back to congress. he really understands the economy and the country. i am delighted that he is here. i am honored by his introduction.
my staff heard me say when i came back, that they introduced me at speeches and has rallied, and in three minutes, he shows he understood more about our economic strategy than 95% of the people that i talk to. so thank you. i want to thank all the members of by administration -- thank you, bob rubin, for speaking and moderating the panels and all who participated. i was so proud all over again. basically, i could've had a lobotomy and succeeded as president because of them. there were is so good and you saw that. i am very grateful -- they were so good and you saw that. i am grateful for them to be here and those of you here who are not on the program. a lot like to think georgetown for letting me come back here to where we all began this 20 years ago with a three speeches i
gave outlining, as they said, the philosophy that was driving the campaign. one of those features is reprinted in the program you all have. in than i think you have this little page which summarizes most but not all the things that we did to try to drive the economy. i like to especially say i am grateful that professor of one's is here who was my international economics professor in 1967. 1967. [applause] and he is -- i am really proud of him for many reasons. he is an egyptian, and all those young egyptians should be modeling them. 40 years after i was his
student, i saw him at the georgetown contribution to the multi-universal -- multi- university complex. thank you for being here. i want to say one other thing. at the end, gene sperling was telling you about the run-up to the government shutdown. which led to all the cooperation later. he mentioned that we had a big fight over medicaid because the republicans basically wanted to end the guarantee of health care to poor people and just cut a check to the states and i would not do it. i did say to dick armey who is basically at that point, he and newt gingrich and tom delay or in the oval office with the democrats, dick gephardt and bob
dole and tom daschle watching the food fight unfold. i did say to dick armey when he was getting very macho with me -- [laughter] i tell them, you have to understand, i don't care if i go to 5% on opposed, you will have to get someone to sit behind that desk before you get this done. all the president's -- all the democrats were thrilled. all of our liberal base always thinks the president is going to cave. just like the conservatives are always afraid the republicans are going to cave. anyway, we had this meeting and then they left and the meeting was adjourned. the democrat's home around afterwards and they were all so happy. al gore looked at me and said,
that was really great what you said, but i think you should have told him that you're going to hold out even if you when all the way to 0%. wattages top 5%? -- why did you stop at 5%? [laughter] and i said, how, if we get the 4%, i am going to cave. one lesson is that you have to keep a sense of humor here. i was aided in that because in 1999, at the very end of my term, we celebrated the 30th anniversary of america's walk on the moon, when we had an astronaut walk on the moon. surviving participants came back to the white house and we had a wonderful event. nasa actually brought me a vacuum packed moonrock the was
carbon dated as 3.6 billion years old. so every time you see the president entertaining a far and later, if they are there in the two chairs and there is that little roundtable -- so when you meet with other people in congress, you either meet in the cabinet room or you're in the oval office, but the president is not sitting behind that desk, you sit in those chairs and everyone sits in the sofa and there is a table in the middle. i put the moonrock on the table. every time the temperature started a rise in the last couple of years, i said, look at the rock. the rockets 3.6 billion years old. believe me, we're just passing through here. so everyone take a deep breath and let's figure out what we are
going to do. [laughter] [applause] that rock -- that moonrock did more to lower people's blood pressure than any madison edicine by any -- ma devised by any pharmaceutical companies are. i would like to close by saying a few things. i am deeply grateful for what has been said and the contributions made. but when i came here in december 1991 and in november -- which started in november -- the country at that time had many manifestations of the economic realities gripping us today. it was already obvious that we were going -- undergone a big
increase in the inequality in income. it is so easy to say speeches around a world because i get to say the same thing updated. it is not healthy for a country that depends upon the idea of opportunity, the idea of social mobility, the idea that having a job or starting a business is way more than just turning in, or staying busy all day. it is fundamental to human dignity. it is the fire of human imagination. so when we have 9% unemployment and know it is really 50% if the labor force participation rates were the same today as then, and their many people in the numbers that -- that are not in the numbers because they have part- time jobs instead of full-time jobs. it is about the economics.
it is important to say that. if like me you were born around the end of world war ii, or for the next 15 or 20 years, and you were halfway intelligent and halfway diligent and you showed up and let this go, the one thing you never had to worry about was whether you could stay gainfully employed. and support yourself. the first job i ever had was cutting lawns when i was 12. i talk my way into a job for a guy that owned a little grocery store across the street from my house when i was 13. he let me set my first business, selling used, and votes.
i sold used, and books and made $300 and it was the dumbest decision i ever made in my life. if i had saved them, they would be worth a quarter of a million dollars today. [laughter] by the time i got out of law schools, i had done more things, and since then, i'd count my foundational work, but i never had to work -- worry about whether about what iraq had to make a living. -- worry about how to make a living. what it does to a country of a substantial number of decent people who are perfectly intelligent and perfectly able to be productive and perfectly willing to get up every day and do what they are supposed to do go months and months and months without jobs or are weighed down
by paralyzing that an even more by paralyzing -- or are weighed down by paralyzing the debt or even more by paralyzing doubt. they decided they would play the game to the end. most people would have been broken by doubt if they have gotten mancur re -- banged around by -- the way that sightless did, mostly by self- inflicted wounds, which is how most of us do. but they kept playing the game. i wanted americans to feel good about our country again. i wanted people to get up and feel that they could play the game and have their dreams and pursue their dreams and that
their kids would have a chance to take their drink -- chase their dreams. we designed this economic plan for the realities of that time. but the values behind it, that we needed a society where there was an opportunity for all, another way of saying we should be shooting for shared prosperity, that there was responsibility from all, another way to say we all should carry some load, that there was opportunity for all, saying that we cannot afford to be divided. we need to create an environment that widens the circle of opportunity and includes more people. in my opinion, that it has a totally different attitude toward immigration than a lot of people do today. i do not think that americans are being kept out of work because there are illegal immigrants in the country. i don't think that is hurting them. [applause]
our economic strategy began but with turning around the deficits. to equalize the chances and not by passing the earned income tax credit. most everything that was set up here is consistent with my memory except college up to one thing, bob rubin, the reason the senators were saying as laura said that one of $500 billion reduction in the debt, is that what we were being told that by the bond market people. i used to give him unsehirted hell, why should the bond tradesman force me to do this? while they said it will not take
it seriously until we see a middle-class humbled for 12 years suffered just a little more so wall street can make money? we had these talking heads on respectable networks, they were sitting there saying, bill clinton is not a series president unless he really sticks it to the middle-class. that is how you prove you are a reputable person. it is not like these people had their income going down for 12 years in real terms, show us you are a real man and punish those people. you're laughing but i'm telling you, if you could go back and look at the commentary of the time, it was to me revolting. i was out there living with those people i was governor of arkansas for 12 years. there were one of the few that had grown manufacturing jobs. i knew what was happening people's lives out there. why did these people unwashed
and say you are not a real man -- in washington say you are not a real man into used ticket to the middle class? -- until you stick it to the middle class? i have to knowledge the presence of the man who passed away after brain cancer and he was a very funny guy. how my going to get the votes this? rubin says the bond market says we have to bring the deficit down $500 billion. he looked to me and said, tell me had been how many votes the bond market has? we have all these conversations. one tax the senate would not vote for because it really was a carbon tax, it was really a
carbon tax. and it was not concentrated on gasoline. it was spread broadly throughout all energy use. it would have been much easier to pay, much less burdensome, even though the gas tax did not amount to much because the oil and gasoline prices were so low. some marjorie had to walk that line. you had these congressmen and said, that would not vote for gas tax. it was a lot of crazy stuff. but it was important to back up and see the big picture. the big picture is this -- we had a growing middle class and a booming economy, although we had some recessions, from the end of world war ii to 1981.
in 1981, we began the era of anti-government. president reagan's inaugural address said that government is the problem. that was the code word for most -- except for 1995 and 2011 -- that was code for saying taxes are the problem. regulations are the problem. that is always the problem and the answer therefore is always less of it. then there was a sudden discovery of being concerned about spending levels when a democrat got into the white house. it happened in 1995, it happened in 2011. but if you look at it, it is
basically -- beginning in 1981, we did something our country had never done before. we had never consistently run big deficits in peacetime before. however. -- not ever. in the beginning, it worked because we only have $1 trillion accumulated debt in 1981 and almost all of it was held by americans. so we could take on some extra debt. from 1981-1992, we took on debt. we went from a $1 trillion national debt to a $4.50 $4.5 trillion dollar debt. in due was great, it was like going to the -- and it was great, it was like going to the candy store and eating all the
candy you want and never having to go to the dentist. the problem is, and if i were totally cynical, i would be happy about this because that is what elected me president, it amounted to a decade-long stimulus program. not like president obama's much defamed stimulus program, which actually work much better than people give it credit for, and i will talk about that. it worked fine for the first eight or nine years, because we had never done that before. in normal economic times. but then the competition for money between the private and public sectors got sufficiently vigorous that interest rates one out and the value of the dollar had to be kept high so that we could attract foreign investors to buy our debt, and it was a killer for american
manufacturing jobs. the first president bush had to bear the burden of what he had rightly first called voodoo economics. i felt bad about it at the time. we have become very good friend since we are both out of office, but i liked him at the time. it was a cruel historical irony that he had to bear the brunt of the theory that he knew was wrong in 1980 and said so. it violated the laws of economics. people ask me all the time, what did did your economic team bring to washington, and i say, arithmetic. [laughter] me in einstein, we really broke new ground. [laughter] i figured that it to end to was for in little rock, it probably would be in washington. -- 2 and 2 was 4 in little
rock, it probably was in washington. but shared responsibility, where everyone plays a role, that is still the same. and it is more important than ever because the world is growing ever more interdependent. the first part of our effort was to take a gamble. even though the economy was weak, if we cut spending and raise revenues, that it would lower interest rates enough that there would be an investment boom and the private sector-led growth. a 92% of the jobs created in those eight years were a private sector jobs. it was the highest percentage in 80 years. because there was more growth than we thought, the budget was 90% balance by the time we had the balanced budget bill. that is one of the rigs that erskine -- one of the reasons
that erskine could give them a reduction in the capital gains rate and we could both agree on a child tax credit and more credit for adopting children and special needs children, because the work was done. i sought a hilarious article in one of the press outlets, primarily conservative ballot, showing that nothing we did have anything to do with balancing the budget. they and they pointed to a congressional budget office study starting in -- looking in 1997-2001, the net effect of all of that just on the numbers was to add $10 billion to the debt, which is like 3.5 cents talking about the numbers today. all they did is prove how important a vote in 1993 was. that was the work that did not%
of balancing the budget. -- they did 90% of balancing the budget. but the american people -- this is probably my fault although i did my best -- and maybe they never understood, there was a difference between invest and grow economics and trickle-down economics. and so in 2001, in the face of all the evidence of war work better, we went back to trickle- down economics. we doubled the debt of the country again before the financial meltdown. so the question today, what is today's version of getting back to shared prosperity and shared responsibility?
and i would like to say just a couple of things. first of all, i wish i had been able to make our economic plan permanent, especially after marjorie sacrificed, for which i did give my firstborn to her son in marriage, for which i am very grateful. [laughter] but it did not, and it did not because there is a persistent appealed to this anti-government philosophy. what did bruce reed say? measuring the government for funeral, but is still alive and well. we were organized in reaction to an unaccountable overreaching british empire.
we did after all have founding fathers who thought the most important thing they could do is to both limit and divide the government. they decided to give us a bill of rights, executive, legislative, and judicial branches, and state and national governments. so they were worried about the abuse of power. everyone of us, number one, believes that criticizing the government is a part of our birthright as citizens. we can all linked -- we can all think of a law that we disagree with foreign official the week of went overboard in the exercise of his authority. everyone of us can. so we americans are always of a
divided mind about how much government is enough and how much government is too much. the dividing line defines the parameters of the debate between liberals and conservatives or republicans and democrats. but this dominant under current since the 1980 election the government is the problem has been an irresistible paradigm for people discussing this and reporting on it. i still read the papers and i see a conservative defined as someone who takes the anti- government position, whatever that is, no matter how radical or on conventionally conservative it is. there for anyone who disagrees with that becomes a liberal. it makes it easy for reporting but it is a distortion of the traditional political philosophy.
when i was trying to bring in a into that with these three speeches, trying to break out of the government as the solution, the government is the problem. so as you look at the government problems that they face today, what i like the first-aid is the obvious. what i like to state first is the obvious. we had high interest rates and slow growth and an overvalued dollar anodyne manufacturing sector here, the manufacturing sector is about dead, but the interest rate is 0% and there is almost no demand. do i think that that that is still problem? i do. do we need dramatic response to it? i do. i think that erskine bowles and alan simpson did a good job with their commission report, but
remember what the recommended -- do this with vigor once again growth back to the point that you will not throw us into recession. so thank you, erskine, for what you did on that. it is a great thing. [applause] but there are some things that are relevant. i went back and read some of the things i said when i was trying raise taxes on upper-income americans. when we raise the corporate tax -- i brag on business. i brag on people making money. i said, the only people i'm upset about our people that take advantage of the tax code, getting rid of jobs down here, but i bragged on the idea. we should never be against success. one of america's greatest 6 characteristics is that we do not resent people who do well.
when i was a kid, if i ever like i resented somebody or -- who did something better than me, my mother was likely to spank me. as a kid. we were taught that it was a character defect if you resent it somebody else for their own success. you should applaud their success. you should pull for them. abraham lincoln said that it did america could have wealthy people, because it fostered industry and creativity and effort in the rest of us. all the other hand, as an economic matter, if we need to pitch in and do what we can, then those of us who have gone all the gains of this decade just as i did wish to make our contribution. that is the contribution we can make. one of the things that bruce reed said that i would like to
keep in mind. every debate that the president and congress are now having, one of the reasons that i asked marjorie ted cast a vote and say the economic plan, one of the reasons that i put all of our members on the hot seat and they lost their seats by voting for the assault weapons bill and the brady bill, is that in every well-developed political system, the present and the past are always better represented than the future. the future does not have as many votes or as much money. the future does not have as many lobbyists. no one can be elected to represent the future who has more freedom of movement than the president. the president is subject to the
lobbyist, subject to the pressure, subject to the negative ads, but at least you have a big megaphone and you can talk to the american people. you can travel around. no one else can speak for the future if the president refuses to. but i do not want to kid you. i caused a lot of mine -- a lot of the people in my party to get beat for voting for the economic plan or for the assault weapons ban and the brady bill. i lost a lot of sleepless nights. i still think about it. i wanted scott murphy to be here because i want indic make a comeback because he is simply gifted to be a casualty of the moments -- a momentary sniff of
anti-government fever that hit us in 2010. we've got big things to do. i appreciate the fact that the president's is still trying to reach out, but also is striking his own course. i like a jobs plan. i think it would have helped. i like the student loan plan, which is a national system of what we made optional, the direct loan program. you see all of these kids dropping out of school and student loan defaults at a record rate, that is because college costs went up 7% after inflation. everything that i did in my second term, the biggest increase in student aid since the gi bill, and then the 2007 congress passed another huge increase, and it was all blown away by the costs and the condition of the economy. so the president supported in
the congress passed and he signed a national direct loan plan which was supposed to be put in in 2014 and the attractive put as much as possible in in 2012, which basically says to every college student in the country, you never have to drop out of college again, because of how much money you have to borrow. because you can pay it back for up to 20 years at no more than 10% of your discretionary income. it will not include your basic living costs. oprobably.ing at 6% [applause] this is a huge deal, because unemployment among college graduates is half the national average, and for people with postgraduate degrees, it is 2%.
this is important. i support the president on that. i support what he is trying to do with the jobs plan. i think that we should try to figure out a way to repatriate some of that corporate cash and use it to fund the infrastructure bank. it has some bipartisan support in the senate. maybe we can get it through. maybe we should take private capital and sovereign walled into an infrastructure bank and put the american people back to work. i think we should retrofit every school, every college, every hospital, every museum, every relatively unencumbered commercial building in the entire united states over the next few years and i am very proud of my governor, andrew cuomo who signed a bill allowing the cost of retrofitting to be put on the bill of every new york, under in a way that allows
you to never pay more than your electric bill for you just pay it to the savings. i think we ought to do that. thatncouraged by the fact fannie mae and freddie mac apparently agreed to allow some people refinance their mortgages down to the 4% level, 1 million or so, but there are 20 million americans who have not defaulted, who have relatively small amounts of mortgage money out, $150,000, at average interest rate of 5.6%. the mortgages are owned by the government. if they already finance at 4%, it would put billions back into the american economy, a stimulus with the deficit spending and no tax increase. -- with no deficit spending and no tax increase.
to get back to full employment economy, we have to clean up the mortgage debt. someone has to come up with some more money. the federal government has $50 billion in tarp money. i know it is politically controversial because some people bulk -- people believe we should not help people who should never have taken the mortgages out in the first place. the problem is, everybody has been hurt by this. they're people who did not do anything wrong and their house is now worth less than their mortgage. they have never missed a mortgage payment. but in general, i strongly support what has been done. remember, we get our jobs growth as they all said and ascot amplified by accelerating information technology and trying to spread it into every other aspect of american life as quickly and cheaply as possible.
hear, the president outlined a strategy of doing that with green tag, -- grained tech -- green tech, which accounts for $54 billion in positive trade balance for us. in bringing back manufacturing jobs, which we can do, as long as they are high and jobs. in dublin exports and in infrastructure. oubling exports and an infrastructure. the only other thing i want to say about it is this. online neera -- only neera got to say this. the difference between what is good policy and what is
horrible. we used to fight this all -- what is scorable. we used to fight this all the time. the best policies would help the private sector as much as they helped the budget and the medicaid. one example. a health care system in western pennsylvania has many doctors. they promise you that if any medical procedure performed a new -- on you that requires you to go back to the hospital within 90 days, you can go back and they will pay for it all. their premiums will not go up, your copiaay will not go up. how can they afford to do that since returned to such an
intimate part of health care? they operate on a best practices manual continually updated with all 700 doctors. they implement. guess what? their error rates dropped almost zero. hospital remissions have gone down. their inflation and their health care cost has gone way down. that is just one example. pennsylvania was the first day in america to require all major hospitals tipper gore -- to report both the results of their procedures and the costs. for three years running, they found there is no correlation between what people pay for health care and what quality they get. the biggest correlation is in , y, z, is the more of these procedures that they work,
the better they get at it. i like to see both parties in congress at least give -- and erskine's report writes about this -- how we should accelerate the authority of the secretary of health and human services to amplified these money-saving changes. instead of doing something dumb on health care which might be unfair to fixed-income people, if we can bring our health care costs closer to our competitors because we have the leverage to do it now. i've already said more about this and i meant to but it is not healthy to live in the past. these things i have said are consistent with taking the philosophy we had then. shared prosperity, shared responsibility, a community of we are all part of an going forward.
i was thrilled to see them passed the trade bills with korea and panama and colombia. i know a lot of people in my party think it was a mistake but i think it is wrong very look at where our trade deficit is. it is 50% in energy imports, and 50% with countries that we do not have a truly comprehensive all encompassing trade agreements with. when you negotiate this and import them, and mickey did not say this, but he negotiated more than 300 trade agreements, but they also enforce them. timmy got back into the business of being in debt. -- then we got back into the business of being in debt. it became more and difficult to enforce our trade agreements, because no one gets to select your banker. you would not do that either.
in essence, but what the president has tried to do is to apply these principles of sharing the future, put us back into the future business and to make it a shared future of both the prosperity and responsibility side of allegis -- of the ledger. i believe that there is evidence that some members really would like to see this happen. we can still have an election next year and argue about who can be elected and who has the best ideas. but we are in a tight here. we cannot just not playing the game. we need to up our game. again, it tickled me to see all those commentators on baseball
saying that that was maybe the greatest world series game ever played last night. it certainly was not the prettiest. too many errors.w texas pitched too many walks. but they played. they played all the way to the end. so if you ask me, did we make some mistakes, yes, we did. we made some mistakes. could we have done this, that, or the other thing better? probably. but the and brought us out all right. -- the end route is out all right. he once got an article for me which i treasured called
clinton's stealth anti-party policy. -- anti-party policy. -- anti-poverty policy. 100 times as many people move from poverty into the middle class and our years than in the reagan years. it only matters when you finish this. all that matters because the people are better off than you started, where the kids have a better future, and whether things are being brought together or torn apart. all this will seem like a passing argument. i know that i'm old enough now to note that the intelligent people in the congress in both parties have to know that. however ask them all to go back and remember, number one, you
have to share the future. the burdens and benefits. until we get back to that, we are not going anywhere. we cannot sustain this level of inequality. number two, there is not a single, solitary example on the planet of a truly successful economy that is pursuing this militant anti-government theory. you can be a little to the right or to the left, but all the successful countries have both a vibrant private sector and an effective government. i was thinking about that today because i knew we bring up the btu tax. in 1991, a conservative government in sweden pass the most in need of all carbon taxes. -- passed the most unique of
all carbon taxes. it was 100% refundable. the government trusted people if they knew what the carbon was doing to the climate, we trust them to make a good decision. on sure my counterparts in sweden said, are you out of your mind? -- i am sure my counterparts in sweden, said are you out of your mind? guess what? that trust was well-placed. they grew their economy 50% with no increase in greenhouse gas emissions with 100% refundable carbon tax by showing what the burden on the environment and the economy in the health care of the country was. by putting a price on it, showing people, and giving people their money back, lo and behold, they make intelligent decisions. that is the conservative liberal debates we should be having in
america, not as anti-government fine. -- not this anti-government thing. i was very proud that confidence in the federal government had gone up again, that people saw it as a positive force in our lives, not the answer, but a partner. i was proud that we have moved 100 times as many people from poverty to the middle class. and i thought that people could have their dreams again and think about tomorrow again. so i asked you again to ask yourself, is a better to have a partnership or an anti- government strategy? is it better to believe invest and grow war in trickle-down? is it better in shared -- to believe in shared prosperity or you run your own? i do not believe is a close call. we are so nervous about whether
we have too much government, that every once in awhile we lit the casket and we have to deal with the aftermath for a while. everyone needs to calm down and do what we know is best for the future. thank you very much. [applause] >> the clinton foundation event included a panel discussion on the economic policies of the clinton administration. this is about 45 minutes. >> ladies and gentlemen, please welcome to the stage the
affected president clinton's early years and set the tone to drive growth and opportunity for jobs throughout the 1990's. i know you remember the except in a speech at the 1996 democratic national convention, when he spoke about seeing his job as building that bridge to the 21st century. for a lot of people, that was new information. for those of us in this panel, it was all the news. every day, i think he came and talked to us about his central organizing mission of his presidency. that was to manage a this transition between the cold war industrial mindset that had
dominated thinking since the 1950's, to a new platform. that platform would embrace change and it would embrace a spirit of innovation, which i think helped create a lot of that new technology that came out in the 1990's. it would empower america to compete, and compete successfully, in what is today and knowledge-based global economy in an interdependent world of the 21st century. you guys all had the responsibility of taking this visionary's of vision and making it real. you ran the departments. you ran the agency's. you had to set up the goals, objectives, and timelines to make it real. let me start with gene.
can you give us a sense, since you were so heavily involved in not only the policy, but the execution of the challenges of governing when the economy was evolving so dramatically? >> i think the president had for us a fairly clear three-part frame, the need to restore fiscal discipline and trust in government, and to have an aggressive investment in the future, which was very much based on the vision of his transformation of the 21st century, skills, technology, and innovation. the third was to embrace globalization with the human face, the president's expression, rightly for seeing that this became harder after he left, as the globalization put
more pressure between eight supply chain and being able to establish that was working to lift families and workers. i think he really foresaw that. i think it in fused everything we did. as you know more than anyone, erskine, the first thing we had to do was get the balanced budget agreement. it is interesting. if you look at what allen and laura were talking about -- vice-president gore used to love to say the 1993 deficit reduction was one example of the law of intended consequences. we actually thought this could lead to an investment-led recovery with a drop in interest rates, that uncertainty being over, could fuel investments.
at the end of 1996, when i became director, we faced a little bit of the opposite. the markets had now assumed there would be a balanced budget agreement. what i would hear from people is "if you fail, there will be a negative surprise." interest rates were low. there was enormous confidence. even though the president, i believe -- president clinton would have cut the balanced budget deal with bob dole in the spring of 1996. we had to come back in 1997. we had the pressure to maintain the confidence and not have the negative surprise of not getting the balanced budget agreement. that was the first thing we had to do.
for us, it is not just getting the budget balanced. we wanted to get the child tax credit, increasing the reward of work. we were able to get the first major expansion of health care through the chip program as part of that. that was the fiscal side. on the open market side, i think that is where the president succeeded, but i think he felt frustrated at times, because he wanted to be able to put together this compact. the open markets would become a more serious development and a more significant investment in workers in training. i think we pushed the workers as hard as we could, but it was never quite his vision. i think one of the reasons he went to dumbos by the end was to make sure people understood the
full depth of our vision. we pushed everywhere we could. we did get the one-stop shopping, the training programs across this country that came in 1997. we always had that sense. you had to have the training. you had to have the education. that had to be part of the investment budget, as well as the globalization with a human face. i think we also saw very much, in everything we were doing, that we were not only doing the normal education and accountability standards, but were looking for the education that was connected to the bridging to the 21st century. we discovered things we could do. we could not get a new authorization. we took existing authorization
and build up a huge technology initiative to close the digital divide. we made great progress in areas like that. the basic notion that the president took a very hands of development of the internet was one of the huge things that happened. over and over again, and ceo's -- and co -- nco's would say to me they never believed the government would know when to keep their hands off. so many people up here give the president credit for this. the president did not really like this concept that there was a rate of unemployment that could only go down to, at the time, 5.5%, without fuelling inflation. we did an intervention. it was the only intervention i
remember on the economic team. we got bob cain. we got larry, who had mostly been working on international policy. we came in to say, "you have to stop saying that at 5.5% inflation goes up. every economist says this." the president says, "i know that is what you think. lay off." larry summers and i debated whether the president had an insight or was just lucky. i actually think it was kind of an interesting thing. when the new rule book was being written, when the old rules are changing, in a strange way, the president of the united states, who is meeting constantly -- when the rest of us are having meetings, he is talking to entrepreneurs. i think he had a sense, before most of us did, that there was
something happening in how people were managing inventory and supply chain. he would say, "you are not talking to the people i am." he did foresee something profound was happening. point,o allen -- alan's presidents always get both more credit and blame then they will deserve in the economy. but the issue is do you push in the right directions. do you lay the foundation of economic confidence? you laid the foundation of discipline. this was and administration that wanted to promote the super information highway. you want to support globalization and find a way to do it. those are the things that laid a foundation. you make your luck. in '93, there was a tipping point moment where things could have gotten worse, or you could
fuel a positive cycle that turned out to be fantastic. you have to judge the president in their term by the hand they were built. did they move things in the right direction? did they laid the foundation? we can look at those three fundamental priorities, shifting the economy to the 21st century. i think there are things we are dealing with that turned out to be harder after we left. we certainly did not have to deal with the worst recession since the great depression. i think for the hand we were dealt, but the president laid out as our organizing principle, it absolutely helped produce what was an unprecedented period of shared growth and shared prosperity over the last 100 years. >> i remember when we were negotiating the balanced budget in 1997, president clinton never
saw that as an arithmetic exercise. he wanted to balance the budget. he always told us we have to balance things the right ways with our priorities. i can remember coming back to the oval office after one of the final negotiations with gingrich and lott. i had to spend months locked up with them, and you owe me a lot for that. i remember telling him. he said, "did you get it?" i said yes, sir. we got the health care insurance for millions of kids. he put his arms around us and said, "that makes a difference in people's lives." that is what drove this economy in the right way. one of the things in the domestic policy council, as senior adviser to the first
lady, was the education reform effort. president clinton did so many great things, creating real public choice, going from one public school to 2000. he was the first politician i've ever met that truly understood the juxtaposition between education and economic development. talk to us about what his policies were and what the effects work. >> the mentioned one thing i want to focus a little bit on and come back to. what was remarkable was that the president had an experience as governor that helped shape his views of education. much of the work he did stems from the work he did as
government in 1989. the movement we have had over the last 20 years to ensure that we are raising our standards in schools for everybody, but we can compete in the global economy because we are so good in insuring the standards are moving in the right direction. that cut started by the president when he was governor, which he carries through. obviously, education is a partnership between state, local, and federal governments. i think what was remarkable was we had changed the conversation around education from being
simply about local schools and state budgets to a national enterprise. the president saw these investments as part of the way the united states would compete in the global economy. i think one point to mention about the differences we are seeing today, these kinds of investments in the future, in the budget negotiations with the republican congress, there was a strategy similar to the republican strategy today, which was to cut everything. he stood strong against that effort. we were able to maintain those investments and consider the future, as well as grow them in the future.
part of that is because of the foresight of the 93 plan, but also the rejection of the '95 budget the republicans wanted to adopt. if we look around the world today, we see what has been a disaster for other countries like britain, and what has been a disaster for us as well. >> would you talk about education, about the key to the future of the country, if you do not have the highly-educated, highly-trained work force. there was no way we could succeed and be a knowledge- based global economy. he stressed to us that if you set standards here, people would perform beyond their own expectations. rodney, in your work at department of transportation, maybe this came from his time as
governor. most people when they talk about infrastructure talk about a bridge or a road. president clinton sought it more as a broad approach. tell us about the approach he brought to infrastructure and how it helped the economy grow and create jobs. >> clearly, he saw it as more than concrete, asphalt, and steel, access to opportunities. he used images metaphorically all the time -- the bridge to the 24th century. one of the key challenges to us at d.o.t. was to come in line with the broader vision of transportation, so we would be talking about more than just concrete, asphalt, and steel. i think we were able to accomplish that by getting notes
from you -- nos from you on a number of times. we tried to influence your state of the union address. we usually wanted to have something we were working on mentioned in that statement. i tried that with erskine, two in one sense no avail, as relates to my approach to get the project mentioned. it was a connection between the ports of california, and their influence to the global economy. he said no, but then he came back to me for something in the 98 state of the union address. he said there is a new approach to getting our economic house in order, and it is getting the
budget right. but also strategically investing in things that would take us into the future -- education, health care, technology, and transportation. we took your state of the union address and basically mirrored all the things we were working on at transportation to connect with those initiatives. we were the tuba in welfare to work. access to jobs. many individuals had to get to jobs in suburban or rural areas. that is how we made transportation resonate. the other thing is that we sought to go beyond just the political team that you established at d.o.t., and to connect with all of those career staff members. when you are talking about the staff then of 100,000, that is a
lot more than the political staff. we made the case to them that we were going to try to get their numbers, meaning the bills passed that we need. we have passed the major aviation bills, the surface transportation bills, but we had to get them to buy in. what we said to them is that we are at the table, not on the periphery. we are there with technology and transportation. we want to make sure that with that opportunity we have something to say. we engage the career staff to engage with us to think about transportation and make the case that it is about more than concrete, asphalt, and steel. it is literally the means by
which we get to educational and job opportunities. sometimes, it is a way that we envision difficult decisions that have to be made. it is the stony road retried. but approaching it that way, not only did we gain a seat at the table, we were able to pass our major legislation. the performance plans and initiatives were rated number one in government. we took the efforts seriously. we said with this opportunity to be at the table, let us make sure that we have earned every right to be there. people who are shocked to learn cabinet members were trying to influence
things. i can see it on their faces. >> i learned pretty early that one of the key roles of the chief of staff was the word no. you are right. the president always wanted to make sure he wanted us to be fiscally responsible. he wanted to drive a balanced budget. but we have to remember and invest in the future. we have to build the bridge to the tour de force century. we must invest in education and infrastructure. one of the infrastructure problems was investing in broadband access to the internet. i remember him calling it formed to market infrastructure in the 21st century. that would create the jobs of tomorrow. you had a kind of rough go
there, when the president talked about the era of the government is dead. you were able to effectively manage and say we were able to do more that -- more with less in housing. >> when you talk about the bridge to the future, that is a concept that was thought of as a bridge into the next century. there was always, to me, a frame in the president path spirit, logic, and history -- in the president's spirit, logic, and history that was about the civil rights agenda. democrats are democrats because that are the children of franklin roosevelt and the new deal, and of the great society, and president kennedy's articulation of it.
i have had the opportunity to visit with the president for a lot of years. he would come to san antonio to make speeches. hillary worked on issues in rural areas. this was a person articulating a different way to bridge the growth issues and economic issues, and involves the social justice agenda. it was hard to take on the responsibility of being his outreach to cities, which were so troubled. i always felt it was, in clintonia some -- in clintonia being a was like boxer. one punch was growth.
republicans were thought to be better at managing the economy generally. as you heard in the last panel, the rubin-benson agenda of getting to balance and fiscal responsibility with a trust for growth was clearly he in one of those punches. the second punch is how you make that work for people. it is not gdp just to make it grow. you make it work for people. it provides wherewithal for the students that were present. it provides the wherewithal to make other things happen. it is not just social programs. it is ways to make the economy reach people. programs like training and school performance, college
financial aid, home ownership to give people the opportunity to build some wealth -- people who lost jobs in one part of the country need to be retrained. then, systemic changes, not just programs, like changing the public housing system, focusing on teacher training, and providing support in policing. opportunities could be increased. to me, these were always two sides of a battle. this was a growth agenda, but not for growth path sake. it is to fill the capacity to have -- not for growth's sake. it is to could fill the capacity for sustaining growth itself. the asset was always those two
sides, working together. as you say, there were elements of it that make it palatable. there was the idea of reinventing government to figure out the third way, discussed in those days as not growing, but steering -- using current growth and steering it in the right direction. those are concepts that were well articulated by the president and vice president. >> and made an enormous difference. you had 2 we will big jobs -- you had two big jobs, including at commerce. you were involved in passing the free trade negotiations in china the president believed would bring new jobs and opportunities to america. talk about what affect you think that had in the economy.
>> i am just happy to be here. >> you knew i wanted to say that. >> yes i did. >> in the campaign, when it started, gene and i were each 6 feet tall. if you want to be short in stature, work with bill clinton. i am so grateful to be again with my colleagues i admired so much and learned so much from. i am grateful. second, i am really grateful -- after 32 years of friendship, you have to sit and listen to me, president clinton. [applause] let me just add a plank to this platform that has been laid out so well by both panels, and so
impressively. we were going to in gauge the world. -- we were going to engage the world. engagement, the new world, globalization. we had to take advantage. there were a number of ways to do it. first was to bring people out of poverty, which we did, for 15% to 11%, the greatest reduction in poverty in the u.s. in history in any time. take the people in america who are doing well and let them grow. african americans -- over 30% growth in their -- growth in their income. women did better than ever in history in our economy. those were critical. invest in technology, infrastructure, and the programs henry was talking about.
we had to figure out how to engage the world, build our markets, create jobs, and take advantage of the economy. we were talking earlier to bill clinton. in august 1992 in the campaign, you were faced with a very difficult decision. the question was whether you would say to nafta "know without labor and environmental and agreements -- no, without labor and environmental agreements" or "yes, but we should have labor and environmental agreements." that sounds like a small difference, but it was a difference that could win or lose the campaign. that is what we had to do. we had many arguments about it.
i have to tell you is this gentleman sitting in front of you has the most cuts of anybody you have ever met. he knew nafta was the right thing to do. to engage the world, we had to start with our own hemisphere. but we were going to have labor and environmental things. we got them done. it was the first time in history a trade agreement had labor and environmental agreements attached. that was the beginning of 300 trade agreements in eight years. without charline as my deputy, i would never have gotten any of them. the fact is that if you are going to have a rules-based trading system, but not free trade, we need open rules-based systems.
bill clinton gave three speeches here. he talked about it again at american university in 1993. he talked about it in 1992 in los angeles, the world affairs council. it set the stage not only for those of us who worked for him. it set the stage for the world to understand the u.s. is going to compete, not retreat. we were going to lead. we now see the product of this. we are the greatest trading nation on the earth. we were not when he started. [applause] >> as usual, my job is to get this program back on time. neera, can you talk to us about health care a little bit, the
progress and the effects it had? >> obviously, president clinton put forward the health insurance program you on negotiated. it was one of the most progressive hallmarks of the president of's tenure, because it was the largest in richmond of health care in 30 years at that time. the economic impact is twofold. we know the continuing challenge in the country, the challenge we face today for many families, the biggest reason people go bankrupt, is because of health care costs. families did not have to go bankrupt because of children's health care costs. we live in a country where children did not have health insurance. president clinton went after
that with his team. most importantly, we forget this issue in today's debates around these things. the health insurance program provided state budgets. when we are looking at the debates today, medicaid expenditures are one of the best ways to help address some of our economic challenges. and when these programs are threatened, we should also recognize we are not just cutting programs, but are limiting economic growth. that is not exactly what we did this program, but that is in keeping with what secretary cisneros mentioned, the importance of not just economic growth, but policies that speak to how we should be as americans, and make sure we are
writing the injustices' -- righting the injustices. if it were not for the work of the clintons in 1994, we would not have the progress we have made in health care since. >> the president is not here now, so i can say this. >> he is over there. he just sat out of your sight. >> i want to say something that would sound like pandering if i said it with him sitting right here. a big part of economic leadership we have is just leadership. this is important to the students who are here. it is his natural instinct to be optimistic, which is a central
part of this program. and a subset of that optimism is a belief that you just have to work on it all the time. if it was to play -- if it was to place some other approach, his idea was to do the right thing, the thing that would work. it may be called small ball on occasion, but let's do something. we have to show up every morning and hit it fresh. what i am saying is we have an economic program in the abstract. it is fueled by the instincts, motives, and leadership capability of the person driving it. we were lucky to have that. [applause]
>> i cannot count the number of times president clinton would come up to the east wing of the white house. for those of you who do not believe the president knows what is going on in the country, he would read dozens of magazines and newspapers. he would have some article that he had torn out of a newspaper. some person in oklahoma had gotten a raw deal. he would give that to me and say, "go fix this." that is what he felt was his job every day, to wake up every morning and make america a better place. he wanted to do something positive every day. that was leadership, in his eyes.
[applause] >> gene, we close this down? the 90's were not a time when there was a lack of partisanship. people talk about partisanship today, but i still have some scars that show through. tell us what you attribute the progress, particularly on economic issues, that we made after the budget battle of 1993? >> you never want to look back with rose colored glasses. it was pretty brutal in '95. we all know that. of course, a lot of times people want to say what brilliant strategist we were when the government shut down, except we were not trying to
shut the government down. the president was trying to get an agreement. we were trying to work in that context. we were smart, i think, strategically in letting people know that we were the reasonable ones, trying to get an agreement. but we wanted to. it was a serious negotiation. this was the failure of speaker gingrich, to be willing to move more to the center in the way that bob dole, i believe, would have been willing to do in the senate. it will always be one of my favorite moments of the presidency that the president was willing to shut the government down. everybody thinks it was medicare. it was actually a medicaid discussion with majority leader
armey that day. that is when the president said, "i do not care if it all comes down around me." we were not going to do the block granting and cutting of medicaid. that led to the government shut down. i do not think any of us knew for sure how that would turn out. it was not some great strategy. i think the public responded by essentially punishing the party they thought were the most recalcitrant. what was nice about the time of them was people seemed to actually care about public opinion in retrospect, it is kind of refreshen. when people were moved, they did respond. the end of 1996, when we started the second term, what was great about that was at that point the
president wanted to get a balanced budget agreement. he was willing to, regardless of the politics, do that. you had a republican majority at that point that essentially did want to get well, showing the could work with this president. i think they forged the moment where there really was, among the leadership, a sense of mutual self-interest in wanting to get there. president clinton said to me recently that it seemed kind of hopeless. that was in september and october of 1995. the mood turned around. you would hope that would be a lesson for right now, that it seems there is a portion of the house of representatives that is immune from public opinion. that could turn around and should give us some hope.
one experience that is relevant to today, although it does not always work, is the history of getting difficult bipartisan agreements. it is when you get the leadership of both sides and both houses in a room. it does not always work, as you saw over the summer. but it is the only chance to have. the 93 experience -- one thing from 93 that was maybe not the best phrase, but you took a difficult vote in the house of representatives and then the other house decided to not even put that forward. you took a difficult political vote. you put your butt on , and it did not happen. members of congress do not want to take a difficult vote, put their careers on the line, and find out the other house is not
even going to bring it up. what we did in 97, where we first had the process, where we met with democrats -- we were all there. what that allowed for -- the same thing happened in 1983 with tip o'neill and ronald reagan -- is a moment when you can hold hands and jump together. you reach an agreement and everybody knows there will be political coverage on both sides and both houses support that. whether or not the negotiations over the summer bore fruit, whether the super committee bears fruit, that is still the most promising way to get an agreement. i think 97 really showed that. i think the other positive is one that does happen, you do build a bit of personal trust. that can seem hard to believe
when people are such tough adversaries. but you do work together, and that does create windows that open. i think the fact that sometimes we had to work together on some of the trade agreements built a certain report. i think that allowed us, for example, when we passed the new markets tax credit, to pass something in 2000, in an election year, with the support of the speaker of the house, that has meant tens of billions of tax incentives for low-income communities henry sought to fuel as head of hud. we went through the worst, and you cannot always solve it in the room. but i think it is right to be on the side of trying. at the end of the day, i think the public eye like parents in the front seat when the kids are
arguing in the back seat. when you are a kid, you think your parents care who gets the better side. the parents want you to get along. ultimately, the public does want all of us to work together. if you can make that clear, as president clinton showed in '95, you may not bear the fruits immediately, but over time, i think the public rewards those who are trying to bring everybody together, who are willing to compromise and do not see that as a dirty word. just to make the point, you almost had a balanced budget agreement in '96. that is how quickly things turned from october and november of '95. you should have seen the president and bob dole sitting alone in the office, with their note pads, cutting the deal alone until politics took bob
dole away from doing that. ultimately, it created the environment where we started the year with a clear mission. we knew, as you know, we had one call -- to get a bipartisan agreement. it can take a while. maybe it can take a year, but that is the mission. i think what happened between 95 and 97 with president clinton will be a model for what will happen in this time as well. >> nothing in the world positive happens without leadership. public service is a great honor. president clinton, we thank you for giving us the chance to serve. [applause]
>> coming up in a few moments, the gop candidate herman cain speaks at the press club. president obama sons and executive order dealing with the shortage of prescription drugs. white house adviser gene sperling. and house speaker john boehner on jobs and the economy. a couple of live events to tell you about tomorrow. the subcommittee holds a hearing on international organized crime at 10:00 a.m. eastern, here on c-span.
reports out of the department of justice and the treasury. later, the joint deficit reduction committee will hear previous bid proposals. the will include the cochairs of the committee on fiscal responsibility. that is at 1:30 p.m. eastern. republican presidential candidate herman cain was at the national press club today, talking about his economic plan and foreign policy. during the event, he was also asked about allegations of sexual harassment, a major weekend news story. [applause] >> thank you all. thank you. good afternoon. >> good afternoon. >> i normally speak to audiences
that are alive. it is nice to know that you are responding back. it is nice to be here. thank you for that introduction. before i begin, i want to take a few seconds of my time to recognize a gentleman who has worked at this club for 44 years. his name is mr. andrew price. [applause] while chatting with mr. price as he was serving us at the head table, he was asked how many presidents have you served. he said, "about eight," which
means that i would be number nine. [applause] some things you might call coincidental. i called it a good sign. about three weeks ago or two weeks ago, we started hitting the top tier of those running for the republican nomination. for a couple of weeks, i have gotten used to what it feels like to be near the top. when it comes to today's big news story, i really know what it feels like to be number one. renewing america. we indeed need to remove america, because america has become a nation of crises. we have an economic crisis, a
national security crisis, an energy crisis. we have a spending crisis. we have a foreign politics crisis. we have a moral crisis. and the biggest crisis we have is a severe deficiency of leadership, in my opinion, in the white house. [applause] this is why i believe need to renew america. the fix the stuff that is broken. there is a difference between a typical politician and businessman, which means there is a difference between herman cain ran of those fighting for the republican nomination, as evidenced by senator santorum's comment about one of the recent
debates. politicians are interested in proposing things that they believe can pass. businessmen propose things that fix the problem. that is what i do. that is what i have done for over 40 years. i want to spend a few minutes addressing two of our most critical issues that we need to be bold about in order to begin the renewal process of this great nation. let's start with national security. my national security philosophy is an extension of the reagan philosophy. the philosophy was lead through strength. my philosophy is peace through strength and clarity. we need to clarify the who are friends are. clarify who our enemies are.
i believe we need to stop giving money to our enemies. the reason we need to clarify who our friends are is such that we can tell the rest of the world who we are going to stand with, such in any came presidency, there will be no doubt the united states of america will stand firmly with israel. [applause] mark, you have this audience pretty well trained to try to be objective. the on not applauding because they may be accused of liking one candidate over the other. such restraint on the part of the press. i applaud you. we must let the world know who
our friends are and who we are going to stand with. need to haveve you extensive foreign-policy experience, if you know how to make sure you are working on the right problems. establishing the right priorities. surrounding yourself with good people, which would allow you to put together the plan is necessary to solve the problem. pizza went to godfather's in 1986, the company was supposed to go bankrupt. i have never made a pizza. but i learned. the way we renewed godfather's pizza as a company is the same approach i will use to renew america. that is if you want to solve a problem, go to the source
closest to the problem and ask the right questions. i talked with customers. i talked with young people who worked in the restaurant. i talked with managers, assistant managers, office staff, franchisees', and suppliers. i asked them why is godfather's failing. after listening and distilling the feedback, it turned out the reason godfather's had gone from the darling of the restaurant industry when it began in the , until now it0's was on a failing trajectory, was that godfather's was trying to do too much with too little too fast. it had lost its focus.
that is what i believe is america's problem. we have lost our focus. in order to renew that focus, we must address the most pressing problems boldly. the second point about foreign policy is that i also have what we term foreign policy common- sense. you do not announce, in my humble opinion, that you were going to pull the troops out of iraq, reduce the troops in afghanistan, and then send an e- mail to the enemy letting him know what you are going to do. that is not how you fight wars. number three, relative to all of the conflicts we engaged in, i will do something apparently this president is not doing.
i will listen to the commanders on the ground, because they are closest to the problem. [applause] the second biggest crisis we face -- this economy, which is on life support. when you have an economy on life-support, you cannot tinker around the edges. we have 14 million people out of work, millions underemployed, college students asking me what to do when they graduate from college. i said, "get this economy going, so you can find a job when you get out of college." right now, it is going to be difficult for them to find jobs. the latest projection is this
economy is supposed to grow this year at about 1.6%. that is anemic, and we can do better. when you consider that we are going to grow at 1.6%, and we have been at this anemic rate for seven years, and china is growing at double digits, plus or minus some change -- even on that small base and our base being much bigger, we run the risk of losing our economic superpower status. this is why we propose a bold solution to grow this economy. it starts with throwing out the current tax code. we have all complained about it for decades. politicians have complained about it for decades. we know that it isn't fair. it isn't clear. it isn't clear.