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tv   U.S. House of Representatives  CSPAN  November 1, 2011 1:00pm-5:00pm EDT

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of the candidates have to say about that. >> governor, that was a matter that was taken care of but why don't you explain how? >> and give you a little history on this bill. you know, since the year 2000 each year our unemployment insurance trust fund paid out more in benefits than they took in in contributions. and the legislature allowed that to continue and so the trust fund kept dwindling in size. now, as long as times are good, well, that's ok. we can get by. but then the recession hit us and all at once we had thousands and thousands of more people on unemployment. . unemployment than we've ever had before, and so our trust fund went to complete zero, like the trust funds of about 30, 32 other states. the federal government for years has had a program that covers that in times of this kind of distress and the states have to
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borrow the money from them to continue topate unemployment benefits. so what we did was set up a task force and we brought business, we had the chamber of commerce, kentucky chamber, represented the kentucky association of manufacturers. we had labor represented, and they got a task force together. and i said, guys, we got to resolve this. we have to get this fund back on its feet. and so they came up with a proposal and we passed it. and the general assembly got republicans and democrats both to support it and we passed it and that is going to take care of getting the fund itself back on its feet. because what they did is they compromise. some of the benefits came down. some the contributions eventually go up and the compromise was reached among business and labor and the fund will be back on its feet. the only thing that's left is the interest payments on the loan. and at that time the federal government was pushing off any requirement to pay the interest. because we're in the middle of a recession. and everybody, including
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everybody on the task force, assumed that that was going to happen for a while. so they didn't address how we're going to cover the interest. well, as we know what happened this last summer, i mean congress can't agree on the time of day. much less continuing to push off anything or to make any decisions. and so interest came due i think september 30, and so we paid the interest. and we're going to get folks back together and they're going to come up with a plan to present to the legislature in january to address the interest issue and it'll get addressed. >> the question was, what is the fund source of the interest? and the governor's answer should be, he wrote a cold check for $28 million because he did not have the authority to write the check under the budget. there was about $10 million in the fund and what he plans on doing, if he comes back in in january is to try to get an assessment put on, all of the employers in this state, not one republican voted for that task force reform because we understood that the benefit
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levels had to be at least the same as our surrounding states. tennessee has a million more workers, a higher per capita income and the governor claims they have unemployment rate as high as ours. they borrowed $40 million and they paid it back and a billion dollars is on the back of kentucky employers and the governor says he's taken care of the problem. the problem is that if benefits are too high, are out of line with the surrounding states and we have a proposal to make the benefits, the average of the surrounding states that will solve the problem and you can't solve it by not take a firm stand to recognize it and the problem is there. this will bankrupt small companies. >> well, bill, you know we passed the compromise and in the senate, you can't pass a bill if you didn't have republicans voting for it, so they voted for it, along with democrats. because everybody knew that it was the best compromise that you do in these kinds of situations. this happened back in the 1980s when we had a recession and the same kind of compromise was brought together then. and both sides gave a little bit
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in order to get the trust fund back on itset. >> yeah, both sides gave a little bit. this bill did not pass in the regular session because we demanded in the senate for the benefits to come in line with the surrounding states. we got into a special session, it was passed, because that's the best that you can do without a leadership role by the governor. the governor ought to recognize that a billion dollars by small state is crippling for our business community, just like he doesn't recognize the unfunded liability in the pension plan or doesn't think we need tax reform. he doesn't accept the fact that we need right to work and we even said that we'll do it by local option. >> on the phone, lindy casespear. a question for the candidates, please? >> caller: hey bill, senator williams has been really fond through the years talking about those who would rather kurps the darkness and light a candle.
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actually, he knows full well that back in 2002, that there was a bill that had -- gamblers with addictions that would let the people vote on casino gambling but he stopped it. he has stopped it since 2002 and every year thereafter but now he wants to place all of the blame to steven beshear. it belongs to david williams. he stopped it. i want him to explain why since 2002 he has stopped gambling and would not let the people vote on it all the way back then. no, it's a scapegoat to blame steve beshear when it is david williams. >> all right, mr. casebier? a former member of the state senate that was a republican, now a democrat, works for steve beshear. good to have your employers to call in, governor, to make these false statements. the bottom line of it is this, i'm not for expansion of a gambling. i won't vote for the expansion of gambling. there are members in the
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republican caucus who are for it but never been enough votes to vote a specific proposal that's been put forward. it's governor who hasn't been able to get it advanced even through the house. gambling is such a small part of the total issues we have. the governor wants to use that to cover up the other issues and raise millions of dollars to disparage many of his employers coming in. it's good talking to you, lindy. >> it's both party's fault. >> on the gambling? >> on all of kentucky's problems and expanding the gambling is meant to be an answer to our economic problems. >> how would you get it through the legislature, mr. galbraith? >> because i would -- >> how would you? >> i would not give credit to the parties. i would give credit to the individuals who put it through. i'm not worried about party legacy like everybody up there is. oh if i do this the party may look bad. fore i do this the membership will support me. i don't care about the parties or their leadership. i care about the individual members up there who have good ideas who want to come to the governor's office and will get
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the full governor's backing. i don't care what party they are and neither of these gentlemen are capable of that kind of indiscrimination. >> let he ask you quick questions on some other issues. susan is planning to introduce a bill in the 2012 legislature calling for a statewide smoking -- a smoke-free law. would you support the legislation, governor? >> bill, i don't think that the state's quite there yet. i know that local jurisdictions are doing that and i think they're having good experience and i think we'll need to do more of that to get people sort of used to the idea and to see that you know this isn't bad. in actually works. i think eventually we'll get there. i just don't think there's enough sport in the legislature yet. >> mr. galbraith. >> i think if restaurant and other places ought to have smoking areas as long as they meet a local -- i think it's another big
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brotherism. >> not the secondhand smoke? >> sure i believe those things. matter of fact i've got emphysema because i smoke cigarettes. i department pay attention to my mom when she told me they were bad for myself. we've got technology to put people up in a capsule. we certainly if the business owner wants to make an investment and high ventilation and -- where his smokers to smoke and if it will not bother anybody else and by golly putting that money into the business they ought to have the right to do so. >> would you support this legislation? >> i won't get more personal than that, but i do believe that there's too much opposition to this as a property rights issue. i do not think that it would serve anyone well to advance legislation at this time or to advance statewide smoke ago. >> one time a couple of years ago you did propose it and -- >> i have never proposed it. >> not the legislation. >> not the piece of legislation. i said if it came forward i
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would vote for it and i've boon. >> would you do it in this occasion? >> no, i will not vote for it now because there are strong opposition in my district and across the state as a matter of property rights. i am still a strong advocate of not smoking in public and of having as many places smoke free as possible. >> up to curb illegal drug activity and the manufacturer of methamphetamine. should pseudo fed rin only be allowed to consumers by prescription, governor. >> bill, meth is a big problem in our state and we need to do more to combat it. i think there's general agreement in the prescription drug area on what we need to do. we need to be requiring everybody who prescribes to be a part of our casper system which is the monitoring system. we need to pass legislation to crack down on these pill meals and get the entrepreneurs out of the business of running the pill mills. when you get into the meth area i don't think that there is yet
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consensus on exactly what other steps to take. some are advocating making it a prescription and requiring anybody who wants any cold medicine that has it in it to go to the doctor, pay a co-pay if they're on a plan and get a prescription and then go get it. that bothers me. because i mean we've got millions of people who just need to go buy cold medicine and to make them do that, that bothers me. at the same time, you know, we've got a system now that is working some but you know because you have to -- you have to buy it. and i want to hear more about this and i want to gain more understanding of maybe some of the nuances we could work into this. and there isn't any question in my mind that we need do more of what we're doing. making it a prescription, i'm not quite there yet and i think by this next session we'll be looking it the in some form or fashion. >> senator, are you in favor of this legislation? >> pseudo fed rin is a larger
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problem than just meth use. sudofedrin. labs can be coke bottle and little bottle and a danger on our first responders, to our police officers, or our firefighters, emergency. so i have supported revictions on access to pseudo fed ren and the best approach to restrict access remains out there. but the truth of the matter is this. that it is not included in most cold medications, contrary to what the governor would lead you to believe. there are not millions of kentuckians that need pseudofed rin. a small population that can even take pseudofed rin. children are not supposed to take it. high blood problem, diabetics. the one making all of the money off of the pseudo fed rin that every cold medicine has pseudo
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fed rin in it and it doesn't have it and most people don't need to take pseudo fed rin and treated well without it. >> so you do -- you are in favor of the legislation? >> i would number favor of restricting access -- >> pseudo fed rin. >> restricting access. >> and whether by prescription or by casper, and right now you have to sign a book and they keep it behind the counter and that sort of thing and they have what they call smurfs and that's being that they send in to sign the book, there's very little central recording or enforce want of that kind of situation. you can go down to bearing county and asked our friend sheriff eaton what happens when you come up on a lab, now he's referred now chris, i hope that you are watching. i am glad that you recovered but he almost lost his life and lungs. now this is a more serious problem than the people that just sell pseudo fed rin to be able to just say, well, it's cold medicine. i hate to hear anybody use the term that the governor used to say that inconvenience people. it might inconvenient some people to make it less
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accessible but it will save lives if these labs don't kill people. >> mr. galbraith, quick. >> i believe with restricting pseudo fed rin. i have change changed my position on that. at first i thought it was too much brotherism. i've seen the raphonce of the methamphetamine. i've seen the explosions, i've seen the loss of life and it is a very dangerous substance out there and it's being misused and i think that the government does have a right to restrict it. >> this question to open up a discussion on mountain top removal but it comes to us. who writes knowing that global warming, stating a fact here is real and that your stance on the so-called war on cold is contributing to a catastrophic results to our world and future generations. how will history reflect on your stance on cold versus the damage it does to global warming, mr. galbraith? >> now d. riley and i are against mountain top removal. we need coal. coal is an essential in this state but mountain top removal is the most destructive method of destracting that coal.
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we've got to support a lot of the deep miners that they agree with us. it replaces miners and human beings with machines. destroys the earth and as a private property advocate my main concern is that it floods over into other people's private property and filling up valleys and destroying the streams. they talk about creating flat-tops up there for industry. only 10% of the land that's been flattened in eastern kentucky has any kind of utility or any kind of development on it what so ever so it may be that we're overselling the fact that we need flat land up there. i think that the law's in effect right now. on the books. forced to the maximum. i think if they had been might not have lost those 29 other miners in the other state and so against mountain top removal but not against coal. we think there are less destructive and more miner friendly ways of obtaining it and selling. >> governor? >> bill, first of all, i firmly believe that we can both mine coal and protect our environment. matter of fact i know that we
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can because we do. are there rules and regulations on the books right now that help us do that and it is a balancing act, obviously. i mean when you surface mine, you disturb the surface. no question about it but the general rule is that you're required to put it back to the approximate original. you can only thus particular type of mining when you come in in advance and convince people that there's a higher and better use of that property to leave it flad after the mining as opposed to putting it back to approximate original contour. hospitals, airports, subdivis n subdivision, new housing, things like that and so we enforce those rules. we make sure that we strictly enforce the rules. and i think we've got control of that situation. and i think we're both mining coal and keeping 18,000 jobs and
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at the same time protecting the environment. and you know right now, we've got problems with our epa in washington. they're making some arbitrary and unreasonable decisions about permitting and those kinds of things that -- i mean they change the rules about every three months on us without changing the rules. they just start making changes and not approving permits and we've tried and tried and tried to work through this with them, and finally we there to sue them. we joined the kentucky coal association and suing the epa because we couldn't get any response. >> what good would that do? >> well, what good it does is we're challenging their right to just by fiat change these rules. they're supposed to go through a rulemaking process to change the rules and they haven't done that. you know the rules on the books would -- if they filed them right now we've got about 76 permit backed up, some of them over two years now, and there's no reason for that. they can say yes or no. >> senator.
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>> abramson expressed on the mountain top. an issue to permit, he said the other night would have to discuss it and insinuate the governor would never issue a mountain top. the mountain top removal is the most extreme form of surface mining and as the governor aptly stated you have to convince that there's appropriate use for that. the larger problem that we have, the governor has also appropriately stated and that is the arbitrary nature of the environmental protection agency, that's the reason, governor, i wonder how in the world you can support barack obama. because he started the war on coal. he wages the war on coal. and you know what education is there in the second kick of the mule? he told us he was going to shut down the coal plants, shut down the coal mining industry, bankrupt these people, and yet you continue to support it and act like you're wanting to stand up to him. he was not going to -- president barack obama is not going to have an experience like on the
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road to damascus where unblinded about coal mining. he's against it and you support him anyway and it could bankrupt every coal operation in the state but just as importantly, the electricity that runs these lights here will go up significantly if barack obama stays in office, and you spent $800,000, part of that coal severance tax money to remod will a bill next to the governor's mansion to put wind turbines and solar panels on without any mention that you were going to educate the public and the schoolchildren about coal. coal is our ace in the hole and i'll be proud to be it from a coal-producing state. >> governor, do you want to rebut that in any way, respond to it? if not we'll go to a phone call. >> well, in terms of mountain top removal, there has not been an application since i've became governor for mountain top removal mining. we have renewed several of the current mountain top removal permits that were all issued before i became governor and if
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and when we get one, we'll look at it under those rules and if it meets those rules, we'll approve it. and if it doesn't, we won't. >> phone call from michael hollingsworth in laurel county. mr. hollingsworth, a quick question please. >> caller: yes, i was wondering, i asked senator williams along with the other two candidates, what are your stance and what are you going to do for the ldbt community about the hate crimes that is going on here in kentucky? i know that lexington, louisville, and covington, all three, have three ordinances, but what about eastern/western kentucky, and south/central and other parts of the state that is having problems now, what is your all stance? what are you all going to do? and you know, and stop playing politics and think about the people of the commonwealth. >> all right, mr. hollingsworth. thanks for the question.
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mr. galbraith. >> yes i'm a galatarian folks. i think everybody's precious but nobody's special. you know hate crimes ought to be -- ought to be cast into the same category as any kind of violent crime toward anyone. i have a lot of gay friends, personal members of my family are gay. but i think that everybody ought to be protected under the same set of laws. somebody attacks you because you are gay, ought to be treated the same way and attack you because you are a stranger. it doesn't make the difference what the motivation is. someone treats you violent they must pay the same cost. like i said i'm a galitarian, i think that everyone's equal. no one's special. >> i think that criminal laws that we have in kentucky, if purposely enforced, protect any citizen from any violent assault. and i don't believe that special privileges or protections should be given to people, predicated on their behavior. >> governor?
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>> i think we've got laws now in the books that will handle that kind of situation. and you know, communities right now are enacting some fairness ordinances but i don't think they usually go towards criminal conduct. they're more toward hiring and things like that. but i think if purposely utilized our laws can cover any crime like that. >> gentlemen, most people would agree that this has been a pretty rough campaign season. there had been some tough campaign ads. some name-calling, some personal attacks across the board. regardless of the outcomenext tuesday, what kind of relationship will all of you have with each other on november the 9th? >> well, bill, as far as i'm concerned, the election's over on november the 8th. i think i'm going to win. and i think i'm going to win pretty handily. and i think the bigger victory that i have is going to be a stronger message that goes out,
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and that is, folks are really tired of this dysfunctional kind of politics. you know you look at washington, d.c. right now. i mean, my gosh, you've got a bunch of adults up there acting like a bunch of kids in a food fight. you know they -- they're all up there putting their personal, political ambitions ahead of the interests of this country and it's disgusting to watch and we don't need those politics here. we've had some of it here and i think there's going to be a very strong message sent. we don't want obstructionist kind of politics. people expect us after election's over with to put the partisanship aside and to be kentuckians first, and democrats and republicans second and to sit down and work together on these issues. find the common ground and move this state along and i'm going to be willing to do that. i've done that for four years. you know that's how, quite honestly, i've gotten anything done p i've got a republican senate and a democrat house. i balanced the budget nine times and i've had to get people together on both sides to do
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thatp we passed pension reform. i had to get democrats and republicans together do that. we passed revision of all of our tax incentive programs. had to get both houses to do that. time and time again we have done that because i have put partisan aside and brought the parents together and that's what we've got to continue do and we've got to do it better than we've been doing it and i think a victory for steve beshear, a big victory for steve beshear, will send exactly that message. >> senator. >> governor beshear is the most partisan governor ever to 7 serve in the commonwealth of kentucky. he spent his entire time disparaging the republicans in the kentucky state senate and pulling any kind of trick that he can to take over the senate. he talks about obstructionism but he has no examples of obstructionism except stopping a billion dollars in debts that we did, stopping increases on businesses, stopping all these things that would have cost kentucky jobs. the truth of the matter is this has been a nasty campaign and you're looking at the author of
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most all the ads, sitting right over there. his name is steve beshear. he wants to talk about people forgetting and forgiving. he should lead by example. and run a positive campaign like i've run, talking about issues. he should go to fore ups that mr. galbraith and i have been to all over the state. he's refused to talk about his agenda because he doesn't have one. now, no matter how this campaign turns out, i'm going to be out there fighting for kentucky citizens, either as governor of the commonwealth of kentucky or president of the state senate. >> as president of the senate, do you want to say anything about the relationship you might have, if he's re-elected? >> you know the bottom line of it is, is i think that governor beshear hasn't a relationship with anybody in the general assembly. either in the house or in the senate. he has been irrelevant in the budget process. he's not balanced the budget nine times. we have an unbalanced budget
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right now and he hasn't had an agenda and you notice tonight he hasn't talked about an agenda for the future. so i'm focusing on the next seven, eight days in this campaign to try to give the people of kentucky an opportunity to have a leader who has a bold plan that will create real jobs. >> the total focus in this is to present the people of kentucky with an alternative who doesn't care who gets credit for doing what's right for the people. folks, we don't care whether democrat or republican. if you've got a good idea, we want to do it. we don't want to burn any bridges. i've been very civil with mr. williams throughout this whole time because he's got some good ideas and i think if he's president of the senate and i'm governor that we can get some good idea passed through this. he's been ineffective and doesn't have any plans for kentucky. not done anything in the past. will not do anything in the future but i don't hold that against him. i hold it against the two-party system that have had to -- in such gridlock up there, that neither side will give to the other side.
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folks, we don't need it. only an independent can get up there and untie that knot and invite the best intention to both parties to join together to start draelgs these perennial problems. >> one thing, bill, one example of what obstructionist politics is all about in the commonwealth of kentucky. the dropout bill. raising our dropout age from 16 to 18. i mean it's been 16 since the 1920s. everybody thinks we ought to do this. i mean, the house of representatives, twice, overwhelmingly has passed this bill. now, both republicans and democrats -- i mean they've come together to pass this bill. let me read you a list of the groups that are for this, including the kentucky association of school administrators, the kentucky chambesh of commerce, the kentucky association of manufacturers, big brothers and big sisters of kentucky ana, family resources and new service center, jefferson county teachers association -- >> your point is well taken. >> on and on and on.
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>> besides senator williams who were opposed to that bill, weren't there. >> he won't let it on the senate floor to be voted on. >> you were not a very effective member of the legislature. you were always a back bencher and you haven't learned anything about the legislature when you left there. no one person controls the kentucky statehouse or the kentucky state senate. >> are we going to have a chance to have closing statements? >> the bottom line of it is this, the data is not there. that increasing the dropout age, increases or improves some any individual's chance from graduating from high school. the data's not there and a lot of opposition to it and you're talking about tens of millions of dollars of unfunded mandate which you didn't provide for. >> i want to get a word in on obstruction. both parties are obstructionists. if the other side has an idea, the other side is an obstruction to it. it doesn't make a difference. we need to change that whole mentality, folks. we need to get some cooperation up there. you cannot vote for the parties who have -- you need an independent, look i was going
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to -- already elected. give us your vote, please. >> are you two willing to allow mr. galbraith to have the last word tonight with just a few seconds left? he go for it, gatewood. >> thank you very much. look here, folks, you will never get another chance to do this in your lifetime. you will never have another alternative to these two parties, dysfunctionality in your lifetime. you better take advantage of it now. you know not making d. riley's fabulous ladies. she'll do great for the state of kentucky. god bless kbroup god bless you united states of america. >> thank you, all for being here on kentucky night. tune in friday night at 8:007:00 central on comment. join us again next monday for our election eve edition of kentucky tonight, and tune in next tuesday beginning at 7:00, 6:00 central for a full evening of election coverage. thanks for watching and for ket, >> in our "road to the white
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house" coverage takes us to des moines this friday night for the ronald reagan dinner. among the presidential candidates speaking friday in iowa, rick perry, newt gingrich, michelle bachmann, ron paul, and rick santorum. coming up in just a few minutes over on c-span3, the joint deficit reduction committee will be meeting. they'll be hearing from the chairs of last year's two debt commissions. alan simpson and erskine bowles, and former senator pete domenici. starting right about now. you can follow that on c-span3. also online at u.s. house coming in at 2:00 p.m. eastern. we'll have that live here on c-span. in the meantime a preview to this afternoon's meeting of the suche committee from this morning's "washington journal."
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guest: they have been meeting in secret so much what we know has been kind of leeched, trickled out so it's been tough to really get a handle on exactly where they are. however we do know that last week there were two plans, one by each party that were, again, leaked. we don't even have written documents or anything like that. but quite different. the democratic plan calls for about -- it's a $3 trillion plan. about $1. trillion in spending cuts. about $1. trillion in tax -- $1.3 trillion in taxes. the republican plan is about $2.2 trillion, about 75% of that
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is spending cuts. no tax increases. and that has really been the sticking point. the taxes. and basically the democrats have been resistant to tax increases and republicans have -- i'm sorry basically the democrats have wanted -- want a balance approach between tax increases and spending cuts. and the republicans have really resisted against any tax increases. host: "the new york times" this morning has this editorial, tales from the super committee. democrats were willing to cut too much, in their opinion, but republicans won't give an inch on taxes. where do they go from here? guest: good question. there's a lot of theories out there. they still have a little over three weeks. the deadline for the
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supercommittee to come up with a plan is the day before thanksgiving. three weeks is an inattorneyity on the hill. -- eternity on the hill. i think we'll really start seeing some major movement here maybe 10 days, even a week before that deadline. host: what is leadership saying in both democrats and republicans, and then the split in leadership between the senate and house? what are they saying about what the supercommittee is doing and what they are hearing from these leaks, etc.? guest: leadership is pretty much across the board has tried to take a hands off approach. when you ask leaders of both parties, both chambers, most of the time they'll just say something to the effect of, we are just going to defer -- we have appointed these members to the committee and we are just going to defer to their judgment.
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now, certainly, these two plans that we saw that were released last week, the democratic plan and republican plan, would not have been plans without the blessing of leadership. they are actively involved. it's very behind the scenes. guest: when you say the blessing of leadership, the democrats' proposal that we went through that you outlined, which by the way also includes $400 billion in medicare cuts, $100 billion in medicaid cuts, $00 billion in appropriations cuts -- $400 billion in appropriations cuts. and a new formula to calculate social security benefits. is that the blessing of both senator majority leader harry reid and house speaker nancy pelosi? guest: again, we don't know. i guess is the short answer. but i don't think that plan would be in draft form right now without the blessing of both of them. host: there are a bipartisan
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group of lawmakers, about 100, led by heath shuler and congressman simpson, democrat and republican, they are expected to release a letter asking the supercommittee to go big. find $4 trillion in savings. do you see an appetite from any members of the supercommittee to go big, $4 trillion? guest: it's possible. $4 trillion has been the magic number for some other deficit reduction commission that is we have seen in the last year or so. the simpson-bowles commission which came out at the end of last year which was kind of a template for some other deficit commissions and deficit plans for the past year or so. i had a $4 trillion mark. i think it's possible. it's -- even the democratic plan -- the $4 trillion has been pushed a little more by the --
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actually quite a bit more by the democrats than the republicans. even the democratic plan released last week only calls for $3 trillion. close, but it's not $4 trillion. i think we'll be hard-pressed to see a $4 trillion plan, but maybe something in between the $2.2 trillion that republicans proposed and the $3 trillion that the democrats proposed. host: you look at both of the proposals by the democrats, their initial proposal and the republicans' initial proposal, where are most of these savings coming from when you talk about nondefense spending cuts? guest: a lot from health care. even the democratic plan called for about $500 billion from health care, from medicare cuts for medicaid. host: the elderly and the poor. guest: right. there's different ways you can do that. spread out over 10 years. and there's different formulas
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you can do. it's not always just taking a hatchet and whacking $500 billion off the plan immediately. by and large we are talking about benefit reductions, maybe some caps on -- for certain amount of years, how much -- what benefits are. yeah. host: it was mentioned former deficit proposals put forward by the likes of erskine bowles and alan simpson, two former senators, when they worked on that bipartisan deficit commission, they are going to be testifying today before the supercommittee at 1:30 p.m. eastern time. live cooverage on c-span3 -- coverage on c-span3 and c-span radio. the committee will also be hearing from pete domenici and others who worked on their own deficit reduction proposal. we also touched on what
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leadership is saying and house speaker john bayner talked about it yesterday. here's what he had to say. >> the two co-chairs of the committee, jeff hen ---hensarling, and pat murray, a senator, neither of them are going to compromise on their principles. but i believe that they share a commitment to finding the solutions. finding those areas of overlap between the parties and getting this job done. common ground. without compromising on principles is the recipe that produced some of the greatest policy milestones in recent memory. host: democratic minority leader nancy pelosi also talked about the deficit reduction committee and what she expects from them. we are reacting to news. here she is last week. >> assuming that they are
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responsible leaders, knowing how important this agreement is, the message it will send to the world, to the markets, to the american people, the confidence that it will build, it's a missed opportunity. it could be worse than that if we do not do this. and it is -- it behooves all of us to be as open as possible. agnostic. i know -- we all know what we believe and we can be true to our beliefs. in terms of how we get there, if there's a new way of thinking about proposals that are put on the table, bring them on. host: you saw the top republican and top democrat in the house. their views on this deficit reduction committee. we want to get your thoughts, take your questions. sean lengall is our guest. here's a tweet from florida gordan, democrats will remember the democrats on supercommittee who endorsed deep social security cuts. expect to be primaried.
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will social security be on the table? guest: that's one area that both sides have had some semblance of agreement on. both of these plans that came out last week, republican plan, democratic plan had proposed pretty complicated measures that basically would slow down social security payments or maybe push people into -- push more people into a higher tax bracket to save some money. that very well could be an area of compromise. it also could be a sticking point as well because many liberal groups, maybe unions, maybe rank-and-file democrats are absolutely opposed to touching social security. host: politico front page says social security appears on
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deficit agenda. saying it's gaining some traction. a move that's been politically unsinkable for years. we'll be talking about social security and the status of the social security trust fund and what the supercommittee might do coming up here at 8:30 a.m. eastern time. patrick, democratic caller in fishkill, new york, go ahead. caller: thank you for c-span and enjoying your guest and the program here. if you allow me to complete my thought i would appreciate it and maybe follow up with a response. it's all about health care. the health care costs and the rise in costs are really hurting the economy. and medicare in my opinion and i don't understand why it's not, if you allow me to committee my thought i would appreciate it, don't understanch why medicare is not opened up. i pay $500 a month to my company. i would much rather -- why medicare is not opened up to younger and healthier people,
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80% of people with health insurance do not use it. you have 20% that are really using it. i pay $6,000 a year. i would like to buy an individual plan with medicare and give that money to medicare. i use about $200 of my insurance a year. and the government could have my $5,800 along with millions of people like me and raise a fortune of money. you got to get in to get out is abold -- an old song from genesis. host: we got your point. guest: the health care cuts proposed by the democrats has caused considerable pushback within the democratic community, within liberal groups. the afl-cio came out last week and condemned pretty strongly that a democratic plan and it was over cuts. basically felt the democratic plan had gone too far.
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the democrats are actually kind of getting some pushback from both sides on this. host: alan, republican. caller: good morning. i would like you talk about baseline budgeting. my understanding is that the budget automatically goes up 8% every year if nothing is done. if the budget was allowed to only go up the amount of inflation and any other increases were specifically put in, i think that could make a huge difference in the budget. in balancing the budget. thank you very much. guest: caller makes a great point. we haven't actually seen that come out of this committee so far, but that certainly could be something they'll look at. host: here's another tweet from our viewers. if you go to was j. i say let the cuts happen. referring to the automatic cuts.
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i would love to see the government cut spending. this panel is a sham. is there any way to get around this november 23 deadline? guest: sure, if the committee fails to meet its november 23 deadline, and that's certainly -- certainly could happen, then what would happen is there would be -- let me back up. the goal is by november 23 to find $1.5 trillion in savings. in other words, cut $1.5 trillion from the debt. which right now is just under $15 trillion. if they don't reach that goal of finding $1.5 trillion, then there's an automatic trigger, this is written into the law that created this committee a few months ago, then the
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trigger's $1.2 trillion automatically would be cut. half of that -- roughly half of that would be defense, the other half would be other spending. so one way or the other the deficit will be cut through this process. it's just a matter of how much. host: could they pass something by november 23 that includes some cuts but then have sort of punt on bigger items and let the committees take that up? guest: that's another scenario that this committee might actually just punt and just sort of give the appropriations committees just vague orders, ok, this committee cut, that committee cut that much, and just sort of let this work out in the committee process. which is how it's normally done anyway during a normal year. host: let's look closer at the republicans' initial proposal that they put out last week.
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from your reporting, $1.5 trillion to $2 trillion in total deficit reduction over 10 years. 75% of the savings could come from nondefense spending cuts and 25% from nontax revenues. tax increases not on the table for republicans. are they going to hold firm or are you hearing possibly any flexibility on that? guest: well, i mean there is some sort of gray area in that is reforming the tax code. depending who you talk to that could be considered a tax increase. might not be considered a tax increase. i think we are going to see -- we are not going to see reforming the tax code coming out of this committee. that's an incredible long, laborous process that the tax writing committees will have to do. i think we are going to see this committee basically instruct the tax writing committees to, all right, you must reform the code
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in this way or that way or get some sort of general direction. but so far the republicans have held firm on actual tax increases. host: this is the front page of "c.q." today. conservatives weary of deficit compromise. some so unhappy about the outcome of debt limit and discretionary spending showdown are expressing doubt that the joint deficit committee will produce anything they can support. tracy, independent in lansing, michigan. tracy, are you there? i think we lost tracy. diana, democratic caller in athens, ohio. good morning. caller: good morning. i would like to read you something out of the paper that's in our community. and it says, medicare yanks license and then gives them back. i'd like to read you just a little bit here. it won't take long. regulators fighting an estimated $60 billion, medicare fraud,
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medicare providers and quickly reinstate them after appeals hearings that government employees don't even attempt. federal prosecutors say the speedy reinstatements although helpful yet snagged on tempts osh -- making matters worse, they have failed to collect a single stap many from the bonds. host: medicare fraud. is that anywhere in these proposals? guest: certainly waste and abuse is something that i think everybody on both sides wants to trim. but i think both sides realize that just sort of going after waste and that's a very subjective thing to begin with. is not enough. we have to do some major reforms. estimates. democrats say we have to also
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increase tax. host: without increased revenue what happens to social security, medicare, medicaid, defense, and the national debt? guest: well, again, what you talk to democrats they will say that there is no way to significantly reduce the debt without increased revenues. republicans feel differently. i should say that the true revenues -- republican plan does actually include some new revenues. but they are not tax increases. revenues such as selling public lands, selling the wireless spectrum. selling portions of that. so there are ways to actually raise revenue without raising taxes. but it certainly depends on how
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you -- who you talk to whether tax increases have to be a part of this or not. host: richard, independent in florida. caller: good morning. congress has made itself irrelevant by not doing their job. they haven't -- for example, they haven't declared war since world war ii yet we have been involved in hostile actions probably 20 or 30 different countries. they don't legislate. hardly. and that's why we see legislating come from the judicial branch. they don't -- the constitution requires them to monitor and control the monetary system, which they turned over to the federal reserve 100 years ago and that's why we have inflation that's probably 3,000% just in the last 50 years. host: that's richard's thoughts. mike a republican in louisville, kentucky. caller: i think it's time we quit living in a world we are
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democrats, republicans, independents and work together as americans and buckle up. everybody's going to have to pay. we need to vote for who we think will do the right thing not just because of republicans, not just because of democrat or independent. but there's scripture in the bible that says a house divided will not stand. host: mike, are you willing to support cuts to medicare and social security? caller: well, some of the fraudulent stuff, absolutely. some of the stuff's been so -- i am on social security, ok. i worked most of my life and i draw $780 a month. yet i would even say that it's hard for me. my wife has a good job, thank god. but i would be willing to forgo like maybe even credits we get
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on our medicines and stuff. now companies are paying -- letting you buy drugs for your heart and stuff like that. costs only $5 instead of $60. we all need to pull together, period. host: all right. mike, in louisville, mark, independent caller. caller: yes, good morning, c-span. host: good morning. caller: good morning, america. i have a suggestion to the supercommittee. until we learn to come together and realize that we have had trillions of dollars stolen from us, we don't have a jobs problem or a revenue problem, we have a -- i have been trying to get this evidence to the authorities for the past five years. but i have been completely ignored. if this money was returned to the american taxpayers, then they would have the money to start businesses, to start up
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jobs. that's the problem. we have a very small number of people stealing a whole lot of money. host: we'll leave it there. you heard from the previous caller that he's willing to take less of a medicare benefit. is that a sentiment those on the supercommittee hear enough of? what are the poll numbers showing? what are the politics of this? guest: again, it's hard to tell because we haven't seen a unified supercommittee plan. we are just seeing these divergent two-party plans. cutting entitlements is -- when i say entitlements i mean basically, medicare, medicaid, social security, or some difficulty reforming them, slowing benefits down will be a tough sell across the board.
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it depends on how much. i think if -- the devil's in the details here. if reform means slowing down the rate of inflation rate so maybe your benefits will not increase, increase as much over the next 10 years or so, that might be something that people could support. i hadn't really seen many -- i don't know if there are any poll numbers on these plans that came out last week. everybody is waiting to see what they do. host: the papers are saying this morning that the supercommittee today when they meet at 1:30 p.m. eastern time is going to feel the pressure on these politically touchy issues like medicare and social security --
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we are covering that hearing today 1:30 p.m. eastern time c-span3 and c-span radio. roger, democratic caller, nashville, tennessee. good morning. caller: good morning. how you doing. caller: i wanted to say, congress can figure itself out. people not fortunate enough to have jobs and stuff like that, is really -- you know. and i just feel like they basically come together and get rid of all these democrat, republican, independent because it's really going to hurt this country in the years ahead. that's how i feel. host: all right, roger. linda has this tweet. selling public lands and other holdings often to foreign interests it is a better idea than us paying for our own mess.
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gene, a republican in illinois. what's your question or comment? caller: good morning. thank you for taking my call. i'm retired law enforcement. and i would just like to say that social security, those of us retired law enforcement, public pensioneers, we have paid into social security at a full-time rate. when it came time to draw social security for most of us, we would have come back half. thank you. i think that the supercommittee needs to put this in his notes committee that the law enforcement folks, federal, state, and local, who paid in full to social security are only getting back half. where has that money gone to? this is not fair to us who served on the frontlines on our streets and highways, not to mention the number of officers that have been killed in the line of duty. for what? for all that money to be gone by the wayside for social security. it's not fair to us who have
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served. thank you. host: gene, are you talking about social security or pension? caller: talking about social security. we paid into social security at a full rate. i was required to do that. federal officers, secret service, f.b.i., everybody who has been required to pay into social security, and when it came tomb for me to draw my disability, i was cut in half because i was a public pensioneer. i think that's unfortunate and it's unfair to us who gave and those who gave their lives nor their -- for their community. host: all right. democratic caller -- we'll go to a republican in park ridge. john, independent in delaware, go ahead. caller: i was wondering. what are they doing to indirectly stimulate the economy? for instance, if they were going to reduce capital gains tax on the american companies and keep
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it on other companies, for instance, then they could therefore stimulate jobs and reduce the debt. is there any direct way they are trying to do this? host: referring to the supercommittee. are they addressing the economy outside of deficits and debt? guest: sure. the two are linked at the hip. and i think that is something that definitely everybody on every side would agree that if the deficit is lower, the debt is lowered, our economy would improve. so it's -- so, yes. host: what about the push from democrats to include the president's jobs act? the $447 billion jobs act? they are doing something on jobs. guest: that's a side issue here. that's not part, at least so far, what the supercommittee is looking at or at least as far as we know. again, they have made over -- they met about 20 times and 15
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have been behind closed doors. year not really sure -- we are not really sure what they are discussing, what is on the table. but the jobs bill, the present jobs bill basically is a separate issue. host: have they said when they are going to say something publicly? guest: no. they have joked that they basically taken a blood othe. an oath to secrecy. and that's been -- it's been tough reporting on this because when they come out of the meeting it will be 20, 30, 50 reporters waiting around and they come out and smile and either say absolutely nothing or they'll just give some cliche sound bite. so they have been -- they are unified in the sense that they have been very good at keeping a lid on what they talk about. host: how were these initial proposals by the democrats and republicans leaked then? guest: these were basically
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strategicically leaked through aides. these were plans that they wanted to have leaked. this wasn't just -- host: these are trial bawloons? guest: yes. exactly. host: to see what the reaction would be? guest: right. 78 -- and -- right. so even the leaks were intentional leaks. host: here's another tweet here, it's simple math, close tax loophole, end bush tax cuts, drug importation, tariffs, and cutting the fat out of government. juanita, democratic caller in illinois, good morning. caller: hi. >> "washington journal" live every day at 7:00 a.m. eastern and you can find it online in our video library at the u.s. house is gaveling in momentarily for a short session of speeches. we expect them back at about 5:00 this afternoon for a couple of bills. one, reaffirming in god we trust as the national motto.
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another calling for a five-year moratorium on cell phone taxes. any votes called will be after 6:30 this evening. senate is also in today. they did pass what's called a mini bus, a bunch of 2012 spending bills including commerce and transportation. and that passed in the house earlier -- in the senate earlier this afternoon. and now to the house floor here n c-span. conroy.
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chaplain conroy: loving god, we give you thanks for giving us another day. as we meditate on the blessings of life, we prayner blessing of peace on our lives and in our world. our fervent prayer, o god is that people will learn to live together in reconciliation and respect is the terrors of war and dictatorial abuse will be no more. as you have created each person, we pray you will guide our hearts and minds that every person of every place and background might focus on your great gift of life and so learn to live in unity. may your special blessings be upon the members of this assembly in the important, sometimes difficult, work they do. give them wisdom and charity
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that they might work together for the common good and bless all peacemakers in our world. may your eternal spirit with them and with us always. may all that is done this day in the people's house be for your greater honor and glory, amen. the speaker: the chair has examined the journal of the last tai's proceedings and announces to the house his approval thereof. pursuant to clause 1 of rule 1, the journal stands approve the pledge of allegiance will be led by the gentleman from illinois, mr. schilling. mr. schilling: i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. the speaker: the chair will entertain requests for
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one-minute speeches. for what purpose does the gentleman from illinois rise? mr. schilling: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today in support of our veterans and wish to focus in on a particular specific street in illinois. in the town of silvas, second street holds so much history from the korean war and world war ii. on saturday, october 29, 2011, the people of silva celebrated the anniversary of memorial park. in honor of those who lived on this street and whose families made the park their own, i rise to designate it as hero street memorial park earlier this year. the brave men who fought in world war ii and the korean war were the sons of mexican immigrants that came to the united states and volunteered their lives for their country. when america entered these wars, 78 residents from this
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street, from 35 families, helped defend the united states and her allies. eight of these brave men died for our great nation. their names are tony pompa, frank sandoval, joseph sandoval, willie sandoval, carlos solis, peter macesa, joe gomez and johnny. in hon hor of these brave men and those who fought by their sides, the community renamed the street in 1967. four years later, a memorial park was built on second street and in 2007 a monument was aed. my resolution recognizes the sacrifices of these brave soldiers and what their families did to support our country during a difficult time. we can never forget those who gave their lives for this great nation and this resolution will ensure we do not. this resolution will not cost anything, just the time we should spend in honor of our veterans and those brave men
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who gave their lives. on behalf -- behalf of the grateful nation, we honor those the heroes of memorial park. the service of all those who sacrificed and their families should never be forgotten. i yield back my time. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from texas rise? >> request permission to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. poe: mr. speaker, once again the department of justice is using taxpayer dollars to sue states for a job the government refuses to do. the federal government won't or can't enforce immigration laws, so south carolina has been forced to take matters into their own hands to protect their citizens. we've heard this tale before about the federal government suing states like arizona and alabama. in this case, the administration says that the south carolina law will interfere with and undermine the federal government's control over relations with foreign governments. the federal government is more
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concerned about not hurting the feelings of other countries like mexico than it is protecting our country. the attorney general has made it clear he will continue his crusade against the states who try to crack down on illegal entry. next up on the list, utah and georgia. for what? upholding the law. meanwhile, sanctuary cities get a pass from the federal government. we hear the rhetoric that illegals are here to do jobs americans want do. now south carolina is getting sued for doing a job the american government won't do. protecting the security of this nation and enforcing the law. that's just the way it is. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from illinois rise? >> request permission to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. speaker. seven months ago, this body passed house resolution --
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excuse me, h.r. 87 . a common sense bill to protect farmers, ranchers and job creators from redundant and needless regulation. we passed it overwhelmingly with bipartisan support with more than 50 democrats voting yes and sent it to the senate. unfortunately, as we know all too well, the cul-de-sac at the other end of this capitol, the senate, once again did nothing. their inaction has real world consequences, as yesterday those repetitive and burdensome regulations were forced in by judicial fiat. mr. hultgren: while they failed this opportunity to act and help our economy, the senate does have other chances. i urge them to take up the forgotten 15, bills we passed for jobs here in the house. move the forgotten 15 an help get our economy moving again. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from south carolina rise? >> i ask permission to address the house for one minute and
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revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman from south carolina is recognized for one minute. mr. wilson: sadly, mr. speaker, 14 million americans are still without a job. the unemployment rate has been about 8357b9% for the last two years theasms vice president acknowledged, this administration is responsible for the current economic conditions of our cupry. house republicans have sought to introduce legislation that will create jobs and put american families back to work. by empowering small business owners, simplifying the tax code, encouraging entrepreneurship and growth and maximizing nestic energy production. house republicans have focused on john creation by passing over 15 job bills since january. house republicans have provided realistic solutions to america's economic woes. now is the time for liberals in the senate and this administration to change course from the failed policies of borrow, tax, and spend. in conclusion, god bless our troops and we will never forget
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september 11 and the global war on terrorism. the speaker pro tempore: the chair lays before the house a communication. the clerk: the honorable the speaker, house of representatives, sir, pursuant to the permission granted in clause 2h of rule 2 of the rules of the u.s. house of representatives, the clerk received the following message from the secretary of the senate on november 1, 2011, at 9:44 a.m. that the senate passed without amendment h.r. 394. that the senate passed, without amendment, h.r. 368. that the senate passed senate 1637. with best wishes, i am, signed sincerely, karen l. haas. the speaker pro tempore: the chair lays before the house another communication. the clerk: the honorable, the
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speaker, house of representatives, sir. pursuant to the permission granted in clause 2h of rule 2 of the rules of the u.s. house of representatives, i have the honor to transmit a sealed envelope receive fled white house on november 1, 2011, at 12:19 p.m. and said to contain a message from the president whereby he submits a copy of the notice filed earlier with the federal register on the national emergency with respect to sudan. with best wishes, i am, signed sincerely, karen l. haas, clerk of the house. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will read the mess am. the clerk: to the congress of the united states, section 202d of the national emergencies act povidse for the automatic termination of a national emergency unless, prior to the anniversary date of its declaration, the president publishes in the federal register and transmits to the congress a notice stating that the emergency is to continue in effect beyond the anniversary date. in accordance with this provision, i have sent to the
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federal register for publication the enclosed notice stating the sudan emergency is to continue in effect beyond november 3 20, 11. the crisis constituted by the actions and policies of the government of sudan led to the declaration of a national emergency in executive order 1467 and the expansion of that emergency, and with respect to which additional steps were taken in executive order 134-12 in october of 2006 has not been resolved. these actions and policies are hostile to u.s. interests and continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the united states. therefore i have determined that it is necessary to continue the national emergency declared with respect to sue tan and maintain in force the sanctions against sudan to respond to this threat.
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signed, barack obama, the white house, november 1, 2011. the speaker pro tempore: referred to the committee on foreign affairs and ordered printed. pursuant to clause 12a of rule 1, the chair declares the house in recess until approximately
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>> just outside the u.s. senate chamber, reporters gathering, possibly to hear from republican and democratic leadership after the party lunch meetings. they will gavel back in at 2:15, earlier today they passed a spending measure by a vote of 69-30 which includes funding. under way at this hour, the joint deficit reduction committee is hearing from the heads of last year's debt commissions, the simpson bowles commission, alan simpson, anders kin bowles, also alice rivlin, she's testifying now as did her co-chair former senator pete domenici. you can follow that on c-span3
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and online at [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011]
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>> the u.s. senate has gaveled back in after their party lunch meetings. it's possible we'll hear from democratic or republican leadership so we'll stay live here. meanwhile, the "washington post" two-chamber squad reports that democratic leadership is headed to the white house. they write that nancy peso see -- pelosi, steny hoyer and other democratic leaders are expected to meet with president obama and vice president biden in the oval office at about 3:00.
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>> i should do it this way more often, look how many of you are
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here. by the time i get here, usually you're all gone, most of you, anyway. interesting thing has taken place here in our country. virtually everyone outside of the senate chambers and the republicans in the senate chambers believe we should be creating jobs and they all believe that we should be creating jobs by having a small tax on people who make more than $1 million a year. 76% of the american people feel that way. the majority of the republicans feel that way. the vast majority of the democrats feel that way. independents feel that way. everyone feels that way expect the republicans in the senate. the bill that will soon -- we'll soon be working on on the floor today will start -- we'll start talking about it, is a bill that will create hundreds of thousands of jobs. every state is like nevada. nevada has a situation that's certainly more intense than others, our construction
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industry has been whacked at least in half. this would create almost 4,000 jobs in nevada. in the construction industry. roads, railways, our airports, and other places. so it's really difficult. it's difficult to understand what their reasoning is. trying to protect people who make more than $1 million a year, people who have had their percentage of the american economy grow by some almost 300% in the last 25 or 30 years. and my republican friends, these four folks, are being led like puppets by grover norquist.
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they're giving speeches that we should compromise on our deficit but never do they compromise on grover norquist. he is their leader. so i repeat. everyone outside the senate chamber believes that we should create jobs in the way that we're doing it. talking about norquist, alan simpson testifying before the joint committee today, he sent to his republican colleagues earlier today about grover norquist, quote, the only thing he can do is try to defeat you in your re-election. if that means more to you than your country, you shouldn't be in congress, end of quolet, alan simpson. so we want to get our jobs bill done. of course the subcommittee is working -- super committee is working hard to get their job done but it's impossible to do with grover norquist leading the
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charge for the republicans. >> sir, you said earlier in the year that social security should never cribblet to the deficit and so in the deficit reduction area, entitlements are fair game but not social security. do you support the plan that the -- the proposal the democrats advanced to slow the growth of colas. >> any questions you have about what's gone on in the super committee, talk to the 12 members there. i'm not negotiating this deal, they're doing it. >> what are your expectations about the deadline? >> my expectation, what i thought would have been really good for the country and the world would be to do the grand bargain, the big deal. the talk started with boehner and the president, the speaker and the president, months and months ago. but my friend, john boehner, is -- want this is grand bargain without any sacrifice to their
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people that have most of the money in this country. >> is failure an option? >> well, hey, listen, this is something we move, i read to my caucus today what happens in sequestration with domestic discretionary spending. the cuts -- 800,000 kids and their families would be taken off head start. sequestration. 00,000 children and family no head start. and a long list of other very brutal cuts. i would hope we can get something done there. if they can't get it done, they can't get it done. it takes two to tango. >> are you going to bring up the house-passed bill this week? >> it's my understanding the republicans want a vote on this. that's fine with us. however, to give you background on this, this provision, the withholding provision came about in george bush's administration.
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it came about because contractors were cheating and not paying the appropriate taxes and stiffing subcontractors. so the president and his people, with our assistance, decided there should be something done about that. and we did. the problem is, that we were in the process causing a lot of people grief that hadn't done anything wrong. so the bill that comes from the house, i think we should amend it. i think we should amend it to make sure that those people who are not delinquent in their taxes, they get the benefit of what we're trying to do. those that are not, don't. those that are delinquent in their taxes, still withhold from them. >> i think you mentioned the housing crisis in nevada, the worst in the nation, it was also revealed that a number of executives of fannie and freddie got million dollar bonuses.
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>> a gag reflex in front of all you would be improper, that's how i feel about it. >> are you frustrated you haven't gotten a single republican vote on the sflegs and do you see anything different coming up? >> i don't think frustrateded is the right word. i'm disappointed that the republican caucus has ignoreded the wishes of the american people. i am not making these numbers up, everybody. 76% of the people support what we're trying to do. that includes republicans. i'm not frustrated, i'm terribly disappointed. one last question. >> [inaudible] >> i've spoken to the republican leader. he wants to bring that forward. i'm not going to stand in the way of his bringing it forward.
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although we would have an amendment to it. thanks, everybody. >> comment from senate majority leader harry we'd. -- harry reid. we'll stay here live in the ohio clock corridor outside the senate chamber, we're expecting to hear from republican leaders as well. senator reid had a number of comments about the joint deficit reduction committee. that hearing is under way. they are meeting now. you can follow that live on c-span3. >> we thought we'd give you the other side of the story here. the thing that we ought to be concentrating on in the senate
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is passing legislation that enjoys bipartisan support. the house has passed 15 bills and sent them over to the senate, almost all of which have broad bipartisan support. we are looking for ways to cooperate with the administration in passing legislation that we think will help us deal with this economic crisis in which we are mired. the other side's approach seems to be to try to craft measures they know can't pass. most of which have had bipartisan opposition. and then complain about not being able to pass legislation. first i would remind everyone here that the first two years of this administration, they got everything they wanted. the biggest items obviously were the stimulus, the health care bill, and the financial
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regulation bill. all of those are in place. they're law here in the united states. and unemployment is 9.1%. the american people last november said they wanteded to stop that and try to go in a different direction and we are open for breakfast -- for business to do those things we agree with the democrats on. the three trade agreements are a good example of that. we were looking forward to a signing ceremony on a bipartisan basis, but alas, the signing was held in a room without cameras. now we have the 3% withholding that the house passed, overwhelmingly, that the president says he would sign, and i would hope that the senate majority would be willing to take that up and pass it and send it to the president for his signature in the near future. instead, we're going to have another partial stimulus bill later this week, we'll be offering our alternative to
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that. but i fear that nothing will happen on either one of those measures, in fact, we could be passing the 3% withholding the president says he would sign that passed the house overwhelmingly and again be looking for things on which there's bipartisan agreement. there are quite a few things upon which there is bipartisan agreement. we would hope to focus on those in the remaining months. with that, i>> americans are sth the economy and it's time to call it what it is. the obama economy. it's not fair to blame the president for problems he inheriteded. we agree with that. but it is fair to hold him responsible for making it worse since he came in office. and since he's come in office, unemployment is up, debt is up, home prices are down, there's been an increase in individual insurance premiums and the misery index, the combination of
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unemployment and inflation, is the highest it's been since 1983. that is why we call on the democratic leadership of the senate to bring up the forgotten 15, the 15 laws, or bills, that the house of representatives has passed and sent to us that would help us go step by step to make it easier and cheaper to create private sector jobs. that's the right way to deal with what is now properly described as the obama economy. the president, as he travels around the country on his bus tour likes to talk about income redistribution. what he ought to be focused on is economic growth. that's what's going to create jobs. and as the leader has mention -- mentioned, they had the run of the place for two year, they put in place all kinds of new policies, all of which have been implemented and all of which we're now seeing the effect from. it's clear they don't work. so what the president is now asking the country to do is to raise taxes on the people who
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create jobs, pay for policies which have already been proven to be afailure. it seems like the opposite remedy from what the country needs right now and i believe that there are things we can do together and the president's out there talking about things he knows won't pass, as the leader has said, there are a number of things we can work together on that would be good for job creators in this country and would lead to greater economic growth but instead, this president and his allies here in the congress seem fixed on this idea that doubling down on what has already been tried and proven to fail is a wise strategy. we disagree with that. we've got a whole agenda of things we would like to do here in the senate. as lamar mentioned, we've got the forgotten 15 bills that have passed the house of representatives, many with broad bipartisan support and we'd like to be able to take those up over here. but they seem to be intent on the political strategy rather than the one that actually is
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going to lead us to job growth. >> government regulations continue to make it harder and more expensive for the private sector to create jobs. last week, five different departments of this administration said no, no, it's not the regulations, they're not a problem. just to remind them of a recent gallup poll that's come out, when you ask small business owners, what is their biggest concern, their biggest concern are regulations coming out of washington. and in just this past month in october alone, there have been 265 new final regulations at a cost to the american job creators and american people over $5 billion, that's approximately one new regulation every three hours. on a second matter, i want to talk a little bit about freddie mac and fannie maye. the american taxpayers know that they have -- and fannie may.
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the american taxpayers know they have bailed out fannie mae and freddie mac to the tune of $100 billion. now we learn that 106 the administrators, executors -- executives have received bonuses in a totalle of $12 million. i'm calling on the president of the united states to cancel those bonus and explain to the american people, the taxpayers who bailed out freddie and fannie, why he continues to reward failure. >> on the meeting in open session today, what are your expectations for an outcome? >> this joint select committee was set up to succeed. i assure you i wouldn't have been part of crafting a process that reduced the number for success in the senate to 51 and eliminated the possibility of
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amendments if i was not interested in getting an outcome. my view is, on really difficult challenges, divided government is actually the best time to do it. not the toughest time but the best time to do it. it is challenging to try to get people to -- to get people together. you've written stories about the debates that go on inside the committee and that i can confirm went on between myself and the president earlier this year. we have differences about the approach but we know our entitlements are in trouble, we know social security went into the red for the first time this year. this is not spin, this is fact. we know they're all going to have to be adjusted at some point or they're not going to be there. my view is, why not now? why not now? we have divided government, divided government means you can sell it to the american people, that this was necessary.
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it also means that neither side can use it as an issue in the next election. so i have high expectations that -- for the committee or i wouldn't have been a party in creating it in the first place but i'm not going to speculate. i know you all are in the speculation business but i'm not going to speculate about what they may do, but it was created to succeed, not to fail. >> would you support something that capitalizes on the increase? >> we're talking about what to do with regard to infrastructure. funding, there are a variety of different proposals. we will probably offer infrastructure alternative to this week's version of the president's stimulus package. infrastructure is pretty bipartisan and pretty popular. so i think at some point we'll come together here, whether it's this week, i don't know, but you
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know, we'll probably do up to a two-year ex-tense -- extension no later than early next year. i can't give you an answer as to what i would support or oppose but everybody knows we have a crumbling infrastructure, infrastructure spending is popular on both sides. the question is, how much are we going to spend? and we'll continue to talk about that. i'll take one more. >> the democrats got everything they wanted they didn't get cap and trade, didn't get the health care bill they would have preferred. aren't there things they didn't get? >> they didn't try on immigration, on cap and trade there was overwhelming bipartisan opposition. so i think, you know, they didn't get that but there were democrats that didn't want it either. if you look at the big stuff they were trying to do, the only thing they forgot to do was
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raise taxes, i'm amazed they didn't get around to that, that's something they're interested in. this is the obama economy as senator alexander pointed out -- pointed out. they reshapeded government policy when they came to office in a dramatic way. they moveded us, i believe, a long way in the direction of becoming a western european country. the results are on full display and the american people have an opportunity next year to answer the question how do they feel about it? thank you. >> the senate has gaveleded in for a period of general speeches after passing a portion of 2012
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spending on a bill that includes agriculture, transportation and other departments. senator this is afternoon will get a closed door briefing from defense secretary leon panetta, an update on afghanistan, pakistan and iraq. meanwhile "the washington post" reports that democratic leaders of the house are headed to the white house to meet with president obama and vice president biden, steny hoyer and nancy pelosi will be there, reporteded to be at 3:00. the u.s. house will be gaveling in late they are afternoon, probably around 4:45 eastern, among the bill one that reaffirms "in god we trust" as the national motto, another calling for a five-year moratorium on cell phone taxes. we'll have more when they gavel back in. more road to the white house coverage on friday this week. the ronald reagan dinner, expected candidates include rick perry, newt gingrich, rick santorum, ron paul and michele bachmann. live coverage on friday on c-span2 at 8:00 eastern.
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>> watch more video of the candidates, see what political reporters are saying and track the latest campaign contributions with c-span's website for campaign 2012. easy to use, it helps you navigate the political landscape with twitter feeds and facebook updates from the campaigns. plus links to c-span media partners in the early primary and caucus states at /campaign2012. >> would you continue your statement, please? you'll receive the answer in due course, do not worry. >> i'm prepared to wait for my answer until hell freezes over if that's your decision. >> he was the u.n. ambassador for president kennedy in the cuban missile crisis, twice ran for democratic president and lost. adlay stevenson is featureded this week on "the contenders." from the stevenson family home in illinois. for a preview include manager of
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his speeches and other videos, go to our special website for the series, >> white house economic council director sperling yesterday addressed the economic club of washington he talked about economic policy, president obama's jobs plan, tax reform and the deficit reduction negotiations. he also serve as assistant to the president for economic policy and this is an hour and 10 minutes. >> thank you. we're pleased to have as our guest gene spurling. he's on the president's economic council. he has held that position since he replaced larry somers left. prior to that, he served as counselor to secretary of the
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treasury in the beginning and first two years of the obama administration and brings a wealth of experience to that position. as many of you know, the director of the economic council coordinates and helps develop economic policy for the administration and the president. the experience he's brought to that is he had the same job in the clinton administration. in the beginning of the clinton administration, he served as deputy head of the national economic council under bob reuben. when bob reuben became secretary of the treasury, he became director of the national economic council. he's held that position before and has been involved in 11 straight years of democratic economic policymaking, more than any other one individual in terms of consistently working with democratic administrations to make economic policy gene is by background from ann arbor, michigan. he didn't go to university of michigan, but is a die hard wolverine fan.
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we went to university of minnesota on a tennis scholarship he went to yale law school where he also continued his great academic pursuits and university of minnesota he was a member of fie beta kappa. -- of phi beta kappa. in law school he began to get involved in political matters, worked for the cue draw -- dukakis campaign. he was recruited by people he met in this campaign to work for bill clinton and his campaign and ran the economic policy unit of the clinton campaign in 1992 and then went into the clinton administration. in between democratic administrations, he's done many things. when he left the clinton administration, he joined brookings as a scholar, also the council in foreign relations and also set up center for universal education to help children around the world make sure they do get -- they do get education.
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in addition, he was a consultant to "the west wing." he was interviewed by a writer for "the west wing" when he was seeking that position and that writer subsequently became his wife. gene is now married with two children, he resides in washington, now, and is well known, i think, among other things for his enormous, enpsych low peedic knowledge of economic policy. but also for his workaholic tendencies. i would say over the last 11 years he served in democratic administrations he probably per hour is the least well paid person in washington, d.c. so it's our great pleasure to have gene make a presentation now and then after his presentation, we'll have questions and answers. thank you. gene? have questions and answers. gene? >> thank you, david. the last time i saw was at the y
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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.
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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-
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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
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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
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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.
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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,
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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 --
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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,
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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
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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 --
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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,
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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?
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>> 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
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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.
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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.
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-- 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
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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
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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
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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
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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?
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>> 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.
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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
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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
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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]
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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
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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.
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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
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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.
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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
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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.
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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.
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>> 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
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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]
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>> 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,
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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
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lives. >> thank you very much for the interview. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] in about an hour the house is expectsed to start legislative work, one that reforms "in god we trust" as our motto. and cell phone taxes. it will gavel in probably about 4:45 eastern. ongoing on capitol hill, the joint deficit reduction committee is hearing from the members of the debt commission from last year. that's pete domenici, they're hearing from his co-chair,
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rivlin. and simpson. that hearing has been under way since about 1:30 this afternoon, continues live online at and also over on c-span3. tomorrow morning on "washington journal" we will hear from budget committee member bill pascrell about today's discussions in the supercommittee. this morning the focus was on the future of social security. host: so let's just begin by talking about social security. what is the social security trust fund? guest: social security was set up as a pay as you go system. in other words, the taxes and benefits were supposed for approximately equal but there
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was always an understanding that social security would need to have a reserve. the trust fund is, if you will, the home for the reserve. the committee then arises, well, what do you do with the excess funds in the reserve and the decision that was made was that the safe thing to do was to put the reserve into u.s. treasury securities. these are not marketable securities. you can't buy them. the trust fund can't sell them. but they do earn a rate of return that is equal to the average of over the maturity spectrum of existing marketable social security securities -- treasury security. host: how did the excess get into the trust fund in the first place? there were more taxes than beneficiaries? guest: actually, there was always a plan to have a reserve and the question is, what do you set the taxes to be relative to the benefits that people are going to get? it was deemed prudent that the
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trust fund have a reserve equal to about one year worth of benefits because the economy weakens, you could be in a situation where you need to make a modest draw on that. in the early 1980's they got to the point where the trust fund was so depleted that there was -- the calculations at the time had the trust fund -- the program at one point within a month of not being able to pay benefits because it was so low. so there was then a reform of the system which involved a big increase in the social security program's operating surplus and at that point a significant trust fund balance built up and we're now at the point where that's beginning to run down and that's why we're having this conversation. host: right. because "the washington post" sunday probably saw this
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headline, "social security adding billions to u.s. budget woes." debate over the runaway national debt gathered, it went cash negative. now, is that social security or is that the trust fund? guest: well, here we're talking about the operation of the social security program and the cash negative characterization is a comparison between the tax revenues that are coming in and the benefit payments that are going out. so what is happening at this point is because the benefits are now greater than the tax revenues coming in and that is projected to go on forever at this point, unless there is some kinet -- kind of a change in the system, we are now at the stage where the trust fund, to make up the difference, has got to take its treasury securities, give them to the treasury itself and tell the treasury, please, in exchange for this, give me cash.
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now, for the treasury to be able to do that, the treasury has to go out and sell securities on the open market. so we are now at the stage where for social security to pay its benefits on a monthly basis, it must, the treasury must borrow from the public to get some of the cash. and that is the cash negative situation that is described in the paper. host: borrow from the trust fund, are you saying? guest: what happens at the end of the day is that some of the trust fund securities are redeemed. to get the cash to redeem those securities, the treasury itself, not social security, not the trust fund, but the treasury must sell plain vanilla, everyday, marketable treasury securities to the public to raise cash to give to the trust fund to pay the trust fund for those securities.
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so at the end of the day when the exchange is done, the treasury is borrowing from the public to pay social security benefits. host: so is the social security trust fund solvent? we hear that all the time, that it's solvent and it will be. guest: the social security trust fund has a fairly significant balance. the current estimates has the balance in the trust fund lasting until i think it's something like 2035. however, you can't wait that long because, of course, when you get to the end of that process you're in the kind of a situation we were back couple months ago when we had a debt limit crisis. you know, this is not the kind of situation you want to allow to come to a, you know, to a dramatic conclusion. it would be better off for all concerned if we made adjustments so we wouldn't come to that moment at the end of that -- at the end of that process. host: what policies, recent policies have led to the
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situation that social security is now cash negative? guest: well, the biggest change in the last four years has been the financial crisis. which, of course, is not a policy. but there was a significant difference in the situation for social security. if you go back just two years -- and this is after the crisis was actually known, the understanding at that point was that this cash negative point was not going to come for another seven, eight years, so the downturn in the economy resulting from the financial crisis has shifted a lot of things draw matcally, one of them is the situation of social security. host: explain that more. what happens? people are unemployed, therefore, you don't have social security taxes coming into the coffers? guest: well, it hits you on both sides actually. one point is people who are not employed are not paying social security taxes. the more subtle point, and this
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is when you really get to the painful situation that we have in the economy today is that people who lose their jobs in their early 60's take their unemployment benefits, get to the point where the unemployment benefits are essentially gone and unemployment benefits are not terribly generous to start with. we have extended benefits for a while, but there are folks who get to the stage where they believe that the best choice they have is to retire early and begin to collect social security benefits. so where he actually have an increase -- so we actually have an increase in the number of retirees as a result of an economic slowdown. host: so instead of retiring at 65 they're retiring at 62? guest: and these are folks who may very well planned to have worked longer but they find they don't have that option. folks in their early 60's very often are not the people who
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leap to the top of the cue for the few jobs that are available because people, employers figure and, you know, this isn't necessarily the nicest thing in the world to think about but somebody who is 62, i invest in this person to get them up to speed on this job, three years from now he's just going to retire anyway. should work that way but particularly if you are 62, if you send out a lot of resumes and nobody answers, you might very well come to the conclusion, hey, i am wasting my time. social security is the best option i got. i'm going to retire early instead of working later as i always wanted to do. host: let's take a look at some facts about social security. the trust fund, about $2.6 trillion is where it stands right now in the black. beneficiaries in 2011, about 59 million people. by 2035, that number is likely
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to jump to $91 million. $49 billion deficit last year in social security. $46 billion projected in 2011. taxes imposed on income up to $106,800. after that, no social security tax, is that right? guest: no social security tax, right. host: there is a one-year tax holiday cost of about $105 billion. how much is that impacting social security solvency right now? guest: in fact, the general fund makes the trust fund whole for that loss. however, that is a shortfall that in the longer term, you know, it weighs on the overall budget. host: phone calls are lighting up for you. matt, democratic caller in san diego. you're first. future of social security. caller: yeah, thanks. i noticed that you mentioned the $106,000 income that people are taxed on. how many years would social
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security be solvent if congress stopped appeasing wealth and started taxing everyone on all their income? guest: you have two basic choices of how you do that. one way is you tax the additional earnings and you pay benefits on that -- those additional earnings. that would -- would not solve the problem. the other option is you tax people on those additional earnings and you don't pay benefits on those additional earnings. that would solve the problem for a nanosecond. social security would be in balance. this year when you got to next year and reassess where it stands, you understand you don't have 75-year solvency. this is an issue that has been argued back and forth for a long time. the icons for supporters of social security, one by the name of bob ball, who passed
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away two, three years ago, who was one of the negotiators in the 1983 social security settlement, was adamantly opposed to increasing the payroll tax ceiling without paying benefits on the additional contributions that people would make. his argument was and personally i'll just say i think it's a sound argument, when you get to the point where you are not providing individuals with a rush on the contributions they make, however small, if you don't get something for paying an additional contribution into the system, you get into the zone where people start talking about whether this is in fact a retirement program or a welfare program. and at that point the consensus in the public that has held this program, and it is one of the most important things the federal government does, it's absolutely essential, and the
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financial crisis i think makes that very obvious right now. this is a program that the american people need. if we get to the point where we do not have that strong consensus, we run the risk that at some juncture out in the future we start making changes that takes that program apart. in the interest of fairness, i think we want to look at this in the sense that when people make a contribution to social security they do get a return on that money. host: currently, what is the return on that money? if you've paid in to social security your whole life, how much -- how much on average are people paying in versus how much they'll get out if they're retiring at 60 years old and living for 30 years -- 30 more years? . guest: it varies by income. the average retiree is getting a
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small inflation adjusted reform on investment. some getless but when you get to very high income earners over a lifetime it may well be that the return on the contribution is, in inflation adjusteded terms, getting down to zero or even negative. it's important to keep in mind that the retirement system is only a part of what social security does. we also have disability protection, which can be very important for people, particularly people who do physical -- physically demanding work. at the current time, i believe 20% of all beneficiaries are actually disability beneficiaries an their families as opposed to retirees and their families. there's theals survivors program for family breadwinners who died before reaching the age of
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retime who have children below a certain age, so there's kind of a -- a kind of an insurance benefit to that. we do speak of social security as a social insurance program and it covers more contingencies than only retirement. host: what was the original intent as far as what people pay in versus what they'll get out? guest: it's not clear from the history just how far people were able to project what was going to happen with social security. and of course whatever plans you made in 1935, world war ii threw that for a loop. however, the beginning of the program, you had what you might consider to be an immature program and -- which is to say you had an entire working age population, the population of retirees at that time, was relatively small. so of course if you were 66 years old when social security was created you got benefits an
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never made a contribution system of the rate of return on your noncontributions was pretty high. over time, however, we have gotten to the stage now where we refer to this as a mature system, where the people who are retired today, we can do the math but essentially they have had a full working career paying into the system. so over time, very naturally, the rates of return have gone down. there was a little bit of a surprise on a couple of things, one was post-world war ii we had a quote-unquote baby boom, as you know. if you go back to the time between 1946 and 1964, when the baby boom was going on, the perception really was that those were what birth rates were and the assumption was we would go on forever. it was close to a decade after that before people began to figure out that birth rates had
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dropped fairly substantially. so that made a difference. the other thing that has happened is that families are having fewer children, which was not always fully anticipated, and also, people are living longer. which in the very long run is the really important factor for social security. the baby boom will be gone, lower mortality rates, greater longevity are looking like they'll be the rule forever. host: a tweet here, if it's trust fund is solvent in 2045, does that include interest on the funds? or is it solvent longer? guest: that includes interest. there are a couple of bend points, the first one, which we have passed, which is the subject of the newspaper article is that the system, in terms of cash flow, not including interest, has gone negative. the second bend point will be where the interest alone on the
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trust fund is not enough to enable the trust fund to pay its benefits and at that point, we actually start eating into the principal of the trust fund. then you get to the final bend point which is, we have eaten up the principal and the trust fund is exhausted. host: what happens then? guest: by law, the benefits must be constrained to the amount of tax revenue coming in and it is projected that at that point, there will have to be an across the board benefit cut. this is not new beneficiaries, this is all beneficiaries, the 88-year-old widow, at that time, along with everybody else, will have to take an across the board 25% benefit cut. that is the kind of legislative threshold, like hitting the debt limit that you don't want to flirt with.
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host: rick, a republican, englewood, florida. caller: my question is, with all the i.o.u.'s put in the trust fund itself, how can you say it's solvent until 2045 if those moneys were never put back? thank you. guest: the statement of solvency with respect to the trust fund is an argument about the accumulated balance that is in the trust fund. that amount is, of course, subject to variations in the performance of the economy, the changes in the size of the population, which relates to the longevity of the elderly, the birth rate for the young, although when we're looking out 20 years, we're pretty certain about what the native population is going to be. it also relates to rates of immigration. so the 2035 date, in terms of
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the balance that is in the trust fund now, is somewhat sensitive to developments but it is relatively predictable. i think the thrust of your question, rich, has more to do with the meaning of the trust fund, given that the rest of the budget has not been kept in balance or in surplus. that's an economic question and a financial question that, you know, is very much at the heart of the debate in washington right now. we want to be sure that the finances of the united states are sound so that social security obligations can be met. host: an independent in illinois. caller: good morning, people, i'm 73 years old, i have a couple of comments and then a question, sir. first of all, social security, as of 2009, our congress has
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borrowed $13,750,000,000 out of social security and that hasn't been done since reagan. that's when it started. if that money was compounded with interest we'd have over $400 trillion more. question. if the would end the war and bring the troops home that would be $-- that would be two trillion, 10 billion dollars a year, could that be put back into the social security fund? also if the president would use the power of tariffs and sanctions and put tax on all imports, maybe the jobs would come back and we'd have people working to supply the fund again. host: all right, we'll leave it there. guest: with respect to the amount in the trust fund. even though the federal government has run budget
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deficits, that does not affect the accounting for the trust fund itself. in effect, the -- what we have to have to back up the trust fund is financial strength in the rest of the budget. the amount of money that you quoted is not the amount of money that has been deducted from the social security trust fund. in an accounting sense, what's been deducted from the social security trust fund is only the benefits that have been paid and the social security trust fund has been credited for the payroll taxes that have been paid. for perspective on the other numbers you quoted, on the war, war spending is not $2 trillion a year, it's less than $200 billion a year, more like about $100 billion a year or maybe even a little less than that. host: the $2 trillion comes from total cost over the years.
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guest: that would be 10 years' worth, assuming that we're not going to draw down the current level of activity as has been anticipated to happen. but even at current rates, i haven't looked at the number recently but the budgetary cost of the war is, i believe, only about $100 billion a year. the total defense budget is about $600 billion and not all of that, of course, is devoted to the war. most of that is actually the standing force. on the question of tariffs, this is getting into one of the sensitive parts of the u.s. economy. the way the united states cemented the great depression was through enactment of protective tariffs. the sense at that time was if we could keep imports out, there would be more opportunities for
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americans to produce. the problem that you have there is that we also have americans who are working to export. if you don't import, you are not going to be allowed to export. and what happened in the late 1920's, early 1930's was, if you will a war of trade barriers, where the united states was a very early actor, enacted tariffs, other countries enacted tariffs, trade shut down. what we found happened was not only that we were not able to produce for export but also many of the -- much of the export production is based on imported raw materials and other components. so it wound up shutting down the economy rather than helping it to strengthen. the so-called smooth-holley tariffs are one of the mistaken
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economic policies in u.s. economic history. you'll find a lot of people who will -- a lot of economists, almost all economists will agree that that is not a road we want to take right now. host: we're talking about the future of social security. this is who gets social security. retirees, earliest eligible age is 62. the disabled. spouse or child of social security recipient. spouse or child of a worker who died. independent parent of a worker who died. the maximum benefit about doctor rs,366 monthly for workers who retire at full retirement age in 2011, higher benefits possible for whose who delay full retirement age. our guest is the vice president of the committee for economic development and an active member of the bipartisan policy center debt reduction task force. eers a tweet. population nearly doubled since
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social security enacted, still grows, should be enough if managed properly to pay the bills. guest: a growing work force is an important component of a solvent social security -- social retirement program. one of the problems we have in putting that in perspective is you've got geezers like me who don't want to pass on and as a result of that, the relationship between the number of people who work and the number of people who are collecting social security benefits is changing in an adverse direction. right now, we have approximately three workers for every retiree. as we go into the future thambing ratio is going to shift -- into the future, that ratio is going to shift and by the peak of the baby boom on that relationship, we'll be more like two workers for every beneficiary. so in fact, although growth in
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the population seems like a big number, growth in the retired population is even bigger. host: a democratic caller, john from arkansas. good morning, john, what's your question or comment. caller: yeah, what do you think about taking from social security to pay s.s.i.? guest: right now social security has its own problems. s.s.i. is a program that is paid for out of the general fund. as such, it has in effect a blank check. it is a quote-unquote entitlement and everybody who is eligible for s.s.i. gets paid. one of the things that has been under discussion in policy recommendations for changes in social security, we try to shore
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up this program's finances, is to increase the minimum benefit in social security. that would displace and actually make better off the s.s.i. benefits to many of the folks on that program right now. a lot of people would argue that's a better way to go to make sure that as many people as possible who worked for low wages, might have had interrupted work histories because of job loss, childbearing, whatever, could still get a social security benefit. host: what prompted this discussion today is the headline in "the washington post" on sunday, "social security adding billions to u.s. budget woes" the negative milestone came early. can you explain that? guest: when we got into the stage where the reality of the
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1983 social security reform became clearer, it was leer at some point we were going to start holding on to the trust fund, using the trust fund to pay benefits, one of the calculations that was made was at what point do we in fact have to start using the interest on the trust fund to pay benefits? so we have been looking at the calculation of when that date would come for some time. as i mentioned earlier, before the onset of the financial crisis, that was a decade away, 15 years away, the financial crisis hit, that clearly affected the numbers. but still people were looking at the end of this decade for that crossover point when benefits exceed the tax revenues coming into the trust fund. now all of a sudden, essentially after it happened, people did the accounting for 2010 and discovereded lo and behold, we
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already have reached a point where social security tax revenues are not sufficient to cover ben fis. host: business insider dean baker, co-director of the center -- economic policy research wrote a piece about "the washington post" article and takes issue with it, saying it's entirely the "post's" inventions, saying it has nothing for the law that governs social security benefits. under the law, as long as there's money in the trust fund, it will be paid. guest: this is whether you're concerned with the law or
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reality. having social security off budget is the equivalent of a play being off off broadway. we've taken it off budget twice. the effect that has on reality in the federal government's finances is approximately the same as if all the adults out there. -- adults out there, when they're snarfing down halloween candy today and tomorrow, declared that that candy was off diet. you're still eating it, it still affects you, you can't get out of it that way. the problem with this cash flow crossover is that we are now at the point where, to be able to pay social security benefits, the treasury must sell securities to the public. host: is the treasury able to sell securities to the public? are there people buying them? guest: that's the point.
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under normal circumstances, when people were talking about saving social security first, the point of the argument was let's make sure the financial standing of the united states government and united states treasury is so strong there's no risk that the treasury department will not be able to go into the market and sell securities and raise cash to finance social security. so that was the point that you were in fact making the trust fund sound by making the overall federal government's finances sound. we are now at the point where, because of the financial crisis, because of the near collision we had with the debt limit, people with beginning to wonder if people will look at the finances of the federal government an say, holy cow, i don't want to
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own their paper. now there are a lot of circumstances around that, the united states is still viewed by many people as a safe haven. and you know, one economist interpreted that as being equivalent to saying that the united states is the best-looking horse in the glue factory. there are other nations out there that are trying to sell paper in the open market, they look worse than we do. we could get to the point where investors start looking at treasury paper and saying, i don't care if this is the best looking horse in the glue factory, i don't want to take the risk that at some point they're not going to be able to pay interest, as in the near-miss with the debt limit. host: and could the situation with social security drive that discussion? guest: social security is a relatively minor part of that problem.
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if we want to solve the overall budget problem, the biggest problem is the growth of health care costs. however, even in the near term, we have a large budget deficit, the debt is rising much faster than anybody anticipated, particularly if you go back just to the beginning of the financial crisis. people thought that we were looking at having a debt equal to 60% of the size our economy in 2022. it happeneded last year. so the due date, in effect, moved forward by 12 years. a tremendous deterioration in the budget. if we get to the point where the treasury department gos with its securities, holds an auction and tries to sell them in the open market and we done have sufficient buyers, social security will be unable to pay its benefits just as other federal agencies and federal programs won't be able to pay their bills. we should never have gotten here. we should have maintained sound
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government finances but right now we are where we are and we have got to be concerned about the consequences. host: pat, independent, dallas, texas. caller: yes, i have a few comments and then a question. first of all, it's my understanding, i don't know if it's 2035, 2037 or 2041 but the trust fund has $2.6 trillion in it and it is solvent until one of those years and after that, it will pay 75% of the benefits. so -- what has happened over the last 25 or 30 years and as an example during the bush years, every budget cycle they took $150 billion to $250 billion of our payroll taxes and used it for other programs and then put the t-bills in there, just like we borrowed from china. they're not going to default on what we borrowed from china but they want to default on what
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they borroweded from we the people. we will get better. our economy will get better and when our economy gets better the solvency, the year of the trust fund solvency will go up. host: let's take your points and get a response here. guest: thank you, pat. the solvency of the trust fund in an accounting sense, that's absolutely true, there's a balance in the trust fund. the estimate is that in thed my 20830's, that balance will be exhausted. right now we're at the stage where we have to take the interest we owe to that trust fund to pay benefits. that means that to get that money to get that cash, the u.s. treasury must borrow from the public. in order to do that. so we are as sound as the ability of the treasury to borrow from the public. the economy will get better.
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i certainly hope so. i have a great deal of confidence in the united states of america. i'm not going anywhere. we are in a stage where if we want to make sure that that happens, we are going to have to get the budget of the united states in order, we're going to have to take control of our financial situation and that means stopping the growth of our debt, which right now is faster than the size of our economy. that can't go on forever. we have a lot of different kinds of obligations. we have an obligation to provide for the national defense. we have an obligation to pay benefits to social security contributors. and we have an obligation to make good on our borrowings to people all over the world, including in the united states and including the government of china, which owns a lot of our paper. if we do not take care of, if we
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do not meet our obligations to people who have lent us in the past, we had better be prepared that people will not lend to us in the future. if they don't lend to us in the future, then we will not be able to raise the cash necessary to provide for the common defense to pay social security benefits, to keep the national parks open, to inspect our food, and a whole list of other things. they're all in that basket together. so right now, our priority ought to be making sure that the nation's overall finances are sound so that we can meet all those obligations. host: politico reporting this morning, social security appears on deficit panel agenda. they're holding a hearing at 1:30 in the afternoon.
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what are the proposals out there to help with social security? how do you get more money coming in? guest: there are several packages of ideas out there, going back historically, we know that the -- what the cookbook is, the ingredients are listed, the question is how do you put them together. among the ideas, one is to increase the amount of income against which social security payroll taxes -- tax is levied. host: right now it's up to $186,000, you're taxed to that point and no more after that. guest: the usual benchmark was we wanted to have about 90% of total earnings subject to tax. every time that has been -- there's been an attempt at hitting that number, the estimates have been wrong. a large part of that has been that more more of employees'
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wages come in fringe benefits that are not taxed. almost every plan out there i was solved in the debt reduction task force, it was part of our plan, part of the bowles-simpson plan was to increase over the a period of time the amount of wages subject to the payroll tax. to get back to that 90% threshold. you want to do that gradually because the people who feel that, you know a lot of times you hear people say, let's get bill gates, raise the ceiling so that it covers all earnings. bill gates won't feel that. the people who will know it and will be affected most by it are the people who have earnings that are just above the current threshold. for those folks that tax increase will be the most noticeable an the most painful. host: what is the percentage of tack for social security?
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guest: social security itself is 6.2%. then you have the medicare tax, and it's the medicare tax by the way that is not capped at all, that's another 1.45%. the social security tax is capped. the usual proposal that folks make who are, you know, have spent their lives working in this stuff is to increase that amount gradually, more than is determine by the current formula so we get up to the 90% level. right now if you did that instantaneously, you'd be up to about $200,000 close to tax. host: who led the bipartisan debt reduction task force? guest: our co-chairs were pete domenici of new mexico and alice rivlin, the founding director,
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vice chair of the federal reserve board and a bunch of other things. host: and the two of them will be testifying before the supercommittee, live coverage on c-span3 and c-span radio. danielle, republican, from ohio, last phone call here. caller: ok let's make this very quick and bust this bubble right here, right now. in 1944, the united states supreme court ruleded in helvering vs. davis; which is on the social security's webpage that social security is not and never has been a trust fund. it is not and never has been a retirement format. it is called nothing more and nothing less than an income tax which is paid into the u.s. treasury and to be spent by the congress on whatever they desire after it is paid into the treasury. you can shake your head no but
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it's right there on the supreme court webpage, it's there on the social security webpage. so for you to constantly sit there and say trust fund, is a myth at best, hypocritical at worst and a lie outright. host: let's get a response. guest: i like you too, daniel. in one sense we are saying the same thing. the trust fund was set up so that social security could keep track of a pay as you go system. and the goal was, and it was a means of discipline, the way it was set up. if you're going to increase benefits, you've got to increase revenues. and it was designed to make sure that you kept track of that and that you made sure the system paid for itself. there is that trust fund out there. it is used for that purpose. it can be overstated in terms of its economic importance. the most important thing we have to recognize right now is that all of our finances really rest
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on one thing and that is the financial soundness of the united states of america. if the treasury department cannot with a straight face go into the financial markets and borrow the money that it needs for the united states government as a whole to operate, then everything that the united states government is trying to do is in trouble. so what we have to do as a country is to make sure that our finances are sound. if we do that, we'll be protecting social security. we will be protecting the national defense, we will be protecting everything that the federal government does and we'll have a happy ending to this story. i hope that's where we wind up. host: thank you very much for talking to our viewers. guest: thank you. >> the u.s. house should be gaveling back in in about 15 minutes. a couple of bills today, one reaffirming "in god we trust" as the national motto, another call farce five-year moratorium on cell phone taxes.
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live coverage of the house here on c-span when they come back in. earlier today the senate passed a measure that contained a number of 2012 spending bills, a so-called mini bus passing 69-30. following that, harry reid brief red porters on the upcoming senate agenda. they're expected to work on the second installment of president obama's jobs plan, a $60 billion package for transportation infrastructure. following the majority leader's remarks, we hear from the republican leaders. we'll show you as much of these two briefings as we can until the house comes in. >> i should do this more often, look how many of you are still here. an interesting thing has taken place, virtually everyone
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outside the senate chamber, outside the republicans in the senate chamber, believe we should be creating jobs by having a small tax on people making more than $1 million a year. 76% of the american people feel that way. the majority of the republicans feel that way. the vast majority of democrats feel that way. independents feel that way. everyone feels that way except the republicans in the senate. the bill we'll soon be working on on the floor today will start talking about it is a bill that will create hundreds of thousands of jobs. and every state is like nevada. nevada has a situation that is certainly more intense than others. our construction industry has been whacked at least in half. this would create almost 4,000 jobs in nevada. in the construction industry. roads, railways, our airports, and other places.
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so it's really difficult about -- it's difficult to understand what their reasoning is. trying to protect people who make more than $1 million a year, people who have had their percentage of the american economy grow by some almost 300% in the last 25 or 30 years. and my republican friends, these poor folks, are being led like puppets, by grover norquist. they're giving speeches that we should compromise on our deficit, never do they compromise on grover norquist. her is -- he is their leader. soy repeat, everyone outside the
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senate chambers believe that we should create jobs in the way that we're doing it. talking about norquist, alan simpson testifying before the joint committee today, he said to his republican colleagues earlier today about grover norquist, quote, the only thing he can do is try to defeat you in your re-election. if that means more to you than your country, you shouldn't be in congress. end of quote. alan simpson. so we're -- we want to get our jobs bill done. the supercommittee is working hard to get their jobs done. it's hard to do with grover norquist leading the charge for the republicans. >> senator reid. >> sir you said earlier in the year that social security should -- doesn't contribute to the deficit and so in the deficit reduction area, entitlements are fair game but not social
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security. do you support the plan, the proposal that the democrats advanced to slow the growth of colas? >> any question you have about what has gone on in the super committee, talk to the 12 members there. i'm not negotiating this deal, they're doing it. >> senator what are your expectations of the supercommittee with the deadline looming? >> my expectation, what i shouth would have been really good for the world and the country would be to do the grand bargain, the big deal. it started with boehner and the president some time ago, the speaker and the president, months and months ago. but my friend, john boehner, wants this grand bargain without any sacrifice to their people that have most of the money in this country. >> is failure an option? >> well, this was -- this is something we move. i read to my caucus today, what happens in sequestration with
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domestic discretionary spending. 800,000 kids and their families would be taken off head start. sequestration, 800,000 children and families, no head start, and a long list of other brutal cuts. i would hope we can get something done there. if they can't get it done, they can't get it done. it takes two to tango. >> are you going to bring up the house-passed contractor withholding bill? and how will you offset it if you are? >> it's my understanding the republicans want to vote on this. however, give you a little background on this, this provision, the withholding provision, came about in george bush's administration. it came about because contractors were cheating and not paying the appropriate taxes and also stiffing subcontractors. so the president and his people with our assistance decided there should be something done about that. and we did. the problem is that we were in
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the process causing a lot of people grief that hadn't done anything wrong. so the bill that comes from the house, i think we should amend it. i think we should amend it to make sure that those people who are not delinquent in their taxes they get the benefit of what they're trying to do. those that are not, don't. those that are delinquent in their taxes, still withhold the money from them. >> the housing crisis in your state -- you mentioned the housing crisis in nevada, no doubt the worst in the nation. it was also revealed that the number of executives at fannie and freddie got million dollar bonuses. i wondered about your response to that. >> well a gag reflex in front of all of you would be improrpe. that's how i feel about it. >> do you see anything happening differently on the super
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committee? >> i don't think frustrated is the right word. i'm terribly disappointeded that the republican caucus has ignored the wishes of the american people. i mean, i'm not making these numbers up, everybody. 76% of the people support what we're trying to do. that includes republicans. so i'm not frustrated, i'm terribly disappointed. one last question. >> [inaudible] >> i've spoken to the republican leader he wants to bring that forward. i'm not going to stand in the way of his bringing it forward, though we would have an amendment to it. thanks, everybody.
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[captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] >> we thought we'd give you the other side of the story here. the thing we ought to be concentrating on in the senate is passing legislation that has bipartisan support. the house has passed 15 bills, send them to the senate, almost all of which have broad bipartisan support. we're looking for ways to
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cooperate with the administration in passing legislation that we think will help us deal with this economic crisis. -- crisis in which we are mired. the other side's approach seems to be to try to craft measures they know can't pass. most of which have had bipartisan opposition. and then complain about not being able to pass legislation. first, i would remind everyone here that the first two years of this administration, they got everything they wanted. the biggest items, obviously, were the stimulus, the health care bill, and the financial regulation bill. all of those were in place. they're law here in the united states. unemployment is 9.1%. the american people last november said they wanted to stop that and try to go in a different direction and we are
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certainly open for business to do those things that we agree with the democrats on, the free trade a-- the three trade agreements were a good example of that. we were looking for a to signing ceremony on a bipartisan basis but alas the signing was held in a room without any cameras. now we have the 3% withholding that the house passed overwhelmingly, that the president says he would sign, and i would hope that the senate majority would be willing to take that up and pass it, send it down to the president for his signature in the near future. instead, we're going to have another partial stimulus bill later this week, we'll be offering our alternative to that. but i fear that nothing will happen on either one of those measures. in fact, we could be passing the 3% withholding the president says he would sign that passed the house overwhelmingly and again be looking for things upon which there's bipartisan agreement. there are quite a few things.
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upon which there's bipartisan agreement. we would hope to focus on those in the remaining months. with that, i turn it over to mr. hodges. >> the americans are struggling with the economy, and it's time to call it what it is -- the obama economy. it's not fair to blame the president for problems he inherited, we agree with that. but it is fair to hold him responsible for making it worse since he came in office. since he's come in office, unemployment is up, debt sup, home prices are down. there's been an increase in individual insurance premiums and the misery index, the combination of unemployment and inflation is the highest it's been since 1983. that is why we call on the democratic leadership of the senate to bring up the forgotten 15, the 15 laws, or bills, that the house of representatives has passed and sent to us that would
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help us go step by step to make it easier and cheaper to to create private sector jobs. that's the right way to deal with what is now properly described as the obama economy. the president, as -- >> the president as he travels around the country on his bus tour likes to talk about income redistribution. what he ought to be focused on is economic growth. that's what's going to create jobsful as the leader mentioned, they had the run of the place for two years and put in place all kinds of new policy, all of which have been inched and all of which -- implemented and all of which we're seeing the effect of and it's clear they don't work. what the president is now asking the country to do is raise taxes on the people who create jobs to pay for policies which have been proven to be a failure. it seems like the opposite remedy from what the country needs right now. and i believe that there are things that we can do together and the president south there
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talking about thing he is knows won't pass, as the leader said, there are a number of things we can work together on that would be good for job creators in this country and would lead to greater economic growth. instead this president and his allies here in the congress seem fixed on this idea that doubling down on what has already been tried and proven to fail is a wise strategy. we disagree with that and we've got a whole agenda of things we would like to do here in the senate. as lamar mentioned, we've got the forgotten 15 bills that passed the house of representatives, many with broad bipartisan support and we'd like to be able to take those up over here. they seem to be intent on the political strategy, rather than the one that will lead to job growth. >> government regulations continue to make it harder and more expensive for the private sector to create jobs. but last week, five different departments of this administration have said no, no,
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it's not the regulations, they're not a problem. just to remind them of a cre rent -- recent gallup poll that's come out, when you ask small business owners, what's their biggest concern, their biggest concern are regulations coming out of washington. in just this paths month, in october oalone, there have been 265 new final regulations at a cost to the american job creators and american people over $5 billion. that's approximately one new regulation every three hours. on a second matter, i want to talk a little bit about freddie mac and fannie mae. the american taxpayers know they have bailed out fannie mae and freddie mac to the tune of $170 billion. and now we learn that 10 of the administrators, executives, have received bonuses in a total of $12 million.
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i'm calling on the president of the united states to cancel those bonuses and explain to the american people the taxpayers who build out freddie and fannie, why he continues to reward failure. >> what are your expectations for the open session today? for the outcome? >> well this joint select committee was set up to succeed. i assure you i wouldn't have lightly been a part of crafting a process that reduced the number for success in the senate to 51 and eliminated the possibility of amendments if i was not interesteded in getting an outcome. my view is, on really difficult challenges, divided government is actually the best time to do it. not the toughest time but the best time to do it. it is challenging to try to get
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people together. and you have all written stories about the debates that have -- >> we break away here, the u.s. house is gaveling back in for the work this afternoon on three bills, including one that reaffirms "in god we trust" as the national motto. 20. recorded votes on postponed questions will be taken after 6:30 p.m. today. for what purpose does the gentleman from virginia seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, pursuant to house resolution 375, i move to suspend the rules and agree to house concurrent resolution 13, reaffirming "in god we trust" as the official motto of the united states and supporting and encouraging the public display of the national motto in all public buildings, public schools and other government institutions. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the concurrent resolution. the clerk: house calendar number 23, house concurrent resolution 13, reaffirming "in god we trust" as the official
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motto of the united states and supporting and encouraging the public display of the national motto in all public buildings, public schools, and other government institutions. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from virginia, mr. forbes, and the gentleman from new york, mr. nadler, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from virginia. mr. forbes: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous materials on house concurrent resolution 13, currently under consideration. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. forbes: mr. speaker, mumes -- i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. forbes: mr. speaker, when our declaration of independence was penned, it was unique in that the writers of that document recognized that the rights that we have as american citizens didn't come from some committee in this body, some resolution or even from the king, but rather came from god himself. in 1814 during the war of 1812
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frances scott key noticed through the battle fires that were going on a unique thing and began to pen what would become our national anthem when he wrote "the star spangled banner" and mentioned "in god we trust" was the motto of our great nation. the 39th congress of the united states in 1865 during the civil war which threatened to tear this nation apart, authorized "in god we trust" to be placed on certain coins including the dollar, the half dollar and the quarter dollar. the 43rd congress in 1873 authorized "in god we trust" to be placed on coins as the secretary of commerce would so desire and secretary of the treasury. in the 60th congress in 1908 congress mab dated that "in god we trust" be placed on all gold and silver coins. in the 82nd congress of the united states in 1951, the
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senate chamber had "in god we trust" placed over the entrance door in the senate chamber. in 1955 president eisenhower approved legislation requiring the motto to appear on all coins and currency. in the 84th congress in 1956, congress officially adopted "in god we trust" as the national motto of the united states. and in that congress, the senate said it was important for the spiritual and psychological value of the country to have a clear and well-defined national motto. in the 87th congress, this body authorized "in god we trust" to be placed right behind where you're standing, where it so stands today. in the 107th congress, we reaffirmed the pledge of allegiance and once again our national motto. and in the 109th congress, the senate reafimpled the -- reaffirmed the national motto. in the 110th congress in 2007,
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congress said that the dollar coins that we had to put "in god we trust" on the edge of the coin back to where it belonged in the front or back of the coin. in the 111th congress in 2009, this body authorized "in god we trust" to be in the capitol visitor center and be mandated that it be placed in here. mr. speaker, what brings us to today? there are a number of public officials who forget what the national motto is whether intentionally or unintentionally. there are those who become confused whether or not it can still be placed on our buildings, whether it can be placed in our school classrooms. almost a year ago, the president, in making a speech across the world, said that our national motto was e pluribus unum. a part of this very structure that we are standing in here now, they did not have the national motto wherein they inscribed in the stones that our motto was "in god we
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trust." we have the cause of those omissions, many people confused today when we changed it, what happened to it, can they still display it in rooms? so we believe that today is fitting that we come together as a congress and reaffirm that great national motto do what the senate did a few years ago and our national motto is "in god we trust" and encourage them to proudly display that motto. mr. speaker, i hope and urge adoption of this measure and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. nadler: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. nadler: mr. speaker, although the american people are concerned about restoring our economy and creating jobs, today we are returning to irrelevant issues that do nothing to promote economic growth to put americans back to work.
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we've seen this before. in the 107th congress we passed a bill to reaffirm the phrase "one nation under god" in the pledge of allegiance and reaffirm our national motto. we re-enacted into law word for one making "in god we trust" our national motto just to be sure. now, no one threatened it. no one said it was not the national motto. this resolution today, which has no force of law, simply restates the national motto once again. why have my republican friends returned to an irrelevant agenda? irrelevant because it does nothing. it restates existing law that no one is questioning. why are we debating nonbinding resolutions about the national motto? the american people are demanding action on the president's jobs legislation. they are demanding that we deal with the budget fairly and effectively. they are demanding fairness for the middle class and for the 99% of meashes who don't write
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million-dollar checks and hire expensive lobbyists and make huge campaign contributions. and yet here we are back to irrelevant debates, when people run out of ideas, when they have nothing to offer a middle class that is hurting and has run out of patience. what happened to republican pledges that we weren't going to do these kinds of symbolic resolutions any more? symbolic because after all it changes nothing. the national motto remains the national motto as much today and tomorrow as yesterday. what happened to republican pledges that we were going to focus on the business of legislating? that was earlier this year. make no mistake about it, some have taken a decided divisive tone when talking about the national motto. some same political adversaries are somehow less godly or less patriotic and views the motto to drive home that point or try to drive home that point. i think that kind of
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divisiveness defies national unirit which in times like these is important. rather than trying to one up each other, we should be working together to try to solve our very real problems. mr. speaker, let's get back to the work we were sent here to do. let's stop playing the kind of social issue games that do nothing to move the nation forward. the national motto is not in danger. no one here is suggesting that we get rid of it. it appears on our money. it appears in this chamber, above your head. it appears in the capitol visitor center. all over the place. we don't need to go looking for imagined problems to fix. we got enough real ones to worry about. this resolution is a waste of time, a waste of effort, and, again, remember that this country is a country for all people. whether they are religious or not, whether they believe in god or not, whether they believe in one god or not.
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the first amendment said we should not make a law prohibiting the free exercise of religion. this is not an establishment of religion but restating this when no one has threatened it, when no one has questioned it, is an exercise to tell people who may not believe in god you don't really count. you're not really americans. the establishment clause is there to protect religion from government and government from religion and to separate the two. this resolution is saying we don't want to separate the two. if someone were threatening the national motto then maybe it would be necessary. as is this is simply an exercise in saying we're more religious than the other people, we're more godly than the other people and by the way, let's divert people's
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attention from other issues like unemployment. we shouldn't go looking for imagined problems to fix when we have enough real ones to worry about. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia is recognized. mr. forbes: with all due respect, i'd like to respond to my good friend saying this is irrelevant, nothing to offer the middle class who is hurting when he says this is just a symbolic gesture. mr. speaker, there are those who believe that the declaration of independence is just a symbolic document, just words. there are those who believe that that flag behind you is just a symbol and the pledge of allegiance we make to it just words and there are those who believe "in god we trust" right up there is just words. so many presidents of this united states realize, there are far more than words. they are the very fabric that has built and sustained the greatest nation the world has ever known. and i challenge my good friends
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who would dare say that that declaration was just a symbol, that pledge of allegiance just a symbol, in god we trust just a symbol, to dare say to president lincoln when he brought in in god we trust and he talked about that and he embraced it during the greatest conflict this country has ever known, the civil war, he was just wasting his time, it was irrelevant, he wasn't doing anything to that nation who was hurting. or to say to wilson during world war i when this nation was at a very difficult time that it was just irrelevant, it was just words, it did nothing at all, or to say to president roosevelt during world war ii when we didn't know we had the freedoms that in god we trust gives us the opportunity to have and that flag gives us the opportunity we have would embrace this nation, that in god we trust and lead this nation, just words. or john kennedy or dwight eisenhower or ronald reagan


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