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tv   Washington Journal  CSPAN  April 13, 2012 7:00am-9:00am EDT

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the news, politics, and social issues with michael kinsley from "bloomberg you." then a discussion on the airline industry. . [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] host: good morning. welcome to "washington journal." the world is watching after north korea's failed missile launch yesterday. what the implications of that are for the north korean state. this morning, we're going to
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talk about domestic politics. the fate of the senate will control whatever happens to the person in the white house and where his programs will go. we're going to open up with our discussion with you about the 33 senate races, the ones you're watching in your home state or if you've gotten a eye on an interesting one around the country and which of those will end. determining the united states majority. our phone lines are open. you can join us to talk about u.s. senate races. -- good friday to you year going to join senate races and let's start by giving you an
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overview of the statistics. the senate breaks down this way. a 51 democrats, two independents who caucus with the democrats and 47 republicans. and there are 33 races this year around the country. the democrats are defending 21 seats -- jennifer duffy is in the cook report. nice to have you with us this morning. of those 33 seat, how many are competitive? >> caller: well, right now, we have seven democratic seats that we have in our column meaning they're too close to call. there's one seat, nebraska that we have in the likely republican
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meeting that we think democrats are not going to hold on to that seat. for republicans, they've got three seats in tulsa. we expect this to grow. host: yesterday on our "newsmakers" program, we interviewed the heads of the two party senate re-election campaigns committees. and asked each -- was asked what the odds of your party holding party after november. the democratic representative was definitive, we're going to keep power. the republicans say we have a good chance. based on the numbers you have right now, who's right? caller: you know what, i think that's probably republicans are right. they have a chance. host: can you tell us the specifics?
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caller: maine is the most fascinating race i've watched in a long time. you have primaries on both sides and democratics and you have an independent candidate, former governor angus kick. but what he is telling voters right now is he's not going to declare a party.
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guest: and he was like to in his words, shake things up. so it's going to be very interesting. he could decide the majority. host: yesterday referring to this interview, the republican interview believes he's caucusing with the democrat. for the united states. there's a the line is tied up. host: i'm going to play a clip for you. again, each party's representatives was asked which is the most vulnerable senator and we're going to have you comment about their picks. let's begin with guy cecil of
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the democratic senate campaign committee answering. >> on maine, you know, two months ago, the republicans had a 100% chance of winning me senate seat. until the far right wing of their party continue to push out the last landful of moderates that serve in the united states congress. now i think the chances of the republicans holding on to that seat are probably less than 25%. host: more comments on me seat. caller: i don't disagree with what guy cecil said. now angus kings the frontrunner in this race. i saw a poll this week, he's only at 56% in the three-way race, but at the same time, you know, it's hard to put this one in the bank until king says what he's going to do. host: and we have one more clip. this one is talking about the
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scott brown-elizabeth warren race. >> guy, who is the single most vulnerable republican? who is not coming back in january 2013? >> scott brown. >> why? >> it's only a two-word answer. there's a couple of reasons. one, scott brown is out of touch with the voter offense massachusetts. i understand that he will use every photo on possible to go to the white house to talk about the fact that he co-sponsored a bill that got 93 votes in the united states senate. not a profile encourage but at every opportunity where he had a chance to stand up against his own party, to really stand up on the votes that matter, he has failed to take that opportunity, whether it's tax breabs for the biggest oil opportunity, that's simply out of touch with the people of massachusetts.
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the very draw that you saw, he said guy said he didn't stand up for anything that's real. he's one of two republicans that voted for that bill with the republican leadership we thought that was -- that bill should not be passed. he stood up and said that was the right thing to do for massachusetts. national journal said it's the second most independent senator out of 100. nobody believes what elizabeth warren and others are selling on him. host: jennifer? caller: in someways, both are right. brown is the most vulnerable incumbent. but where i think he's wrong is his statement is he's out of touch with massachusetts. i think that he has done in everything he can to be, you know, bipartisan. there are always going to be votes that democrats can pick on but i think he's going to be -- that's going to be a great race.
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the talent scott brown has is overcoming that r after his name, especially in a presidential year in massachusetts. i mean, he is going to -- he's going to have to sort of deal with these voters who are used to voting straight democratic tickets. he loses, i don't think it's because, you know, he's out of touch. it's simply because he's a republican. host: well, we could keep you on for the full 45 because there's so many interesting races to talk about but thank you for setting up the stage for our audience. we'll be talking to you as the year progresses and be looking at the cook political reports continuing analysis of the senate and house races. thanks, jennifer duffy. caller: thank you. host: let's get your phone calls to tell us about the senate race that you think is particularly interesting. facebook and tweet us. let's begin with a call from cincinnati and this is jerry who is a democrat watching what race, jerry?
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guest: yes. i'm interested in all of the races across the united states. but for the simple fact is the u.s. senate is the most segregated of political body in the united states. we do not have not one black senator in the senate. this is a problem because there's no diversity. basically what you have is a group of frightened men -- white men, most of them came back in a time when there was segregation and they believe they were better. if the senate was actually integrated and more blacks because i'm a black person who can represent our interest, i feel like it would work better. until the senate is diversity,
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it is not going to function as a body because these people have their own agenda that they represent. i would like to stop will and bring this the america attention. there's not one black african-american in the united states senate in 2012. host: sharon brown, seeking re-election in ohio. next up is charleston, south carolina. we've got lines asking you about the senate races you're watching around the country. which ones you think are most interesting and which ones do you think might determine the majority who has the power? next up is martha, republican in charleston, south carolina. hi, martha. caller: thank you, susan, thank you for your work, as usual, at c-span. host: thank you. guest: of course south carolina
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politics is so much different than maine where i feel maine is the independent state historically and also in your -- when you're living there, just full of independent people living there. host: we just heard angus king who is not saying what party he is going to caucus with. do you have some views of angus king? guest: oh, yes, when he was governor of maine as an independent governor, he did so much and he got me to read tom freedman for one thing. but i do think susan collins and limbs you snow, even though they are republicans, they are independent republicans.
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i think it's more important to be independent than republican or democrat. host: martha, i want to keep you on maine for just a second. john is a democrat for a senate. he served as governor of that state as well. he is in the house of representatives. what do you think of the matchup between the two? >> guest: see, we don't vote in maine. i can't comment about baldacci. we don't vote there. i just want to comment on former governor king. host: let's go to irene. guest: good morning. i think in maryland, we have a very fine race between ben garden and mr. mules and garden is going to be a handsdown winner and in massachusetts, that's where i'm originally from and frankly, i think that scott
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brown is out of the loop. he is not going to be re-elected and certainly i do contribute to that lovely great elizabeth warren. and also i think that c-span certainly has been pushing for the republican party for the -- for the last week, you had the head of the baptist church or whatever his status was and then followed by somebody in the -- somebody to do with rentals or whatever it was. and then follow with the republicans. when are we going to have a good democrat on there? host: we sure keep tabs on people from both party who is are on the program. but we're not pushing for any side here this morning. coming back your senate races, will you tell me what issues are most important to you this year?
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guest: certainly, scott brown and elizabeth warren in massachusetts. host: not the people, the issues. what the issues that are most important? guest: the issues are that scott brown is pushing for the republican. host: ok. what does that mean? i'm trying to get to what matters to you. guest: i do not live there. and the only thing i can tell you is when i visited there about a month ago, everybody that i knew as they're all for elizabeth warren. host: here's what i'm trying to get it. what matters as policy issues or how the country's going that determine which is candidate -- guest: the policy issues are fine. [laughter] host: all right. thanks. i'm going to move on because we're talking past each other. thanks for your call. next up is thatty who is a democrat in houston, texas. you're on the air. guest: yam. -- yes, ma'am. i'm looking at the senate race and it's so one-sided, you know.
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everybody don't care about everybody. these poor people need help. right now, my husband fought the wall and everything else, they're not helping enough at all here. hudson and everything else and i'm just like to romney person. if they get in with this, she's rich so she has enough to help premium with. she was talking about getting peoples in there that had to work, had to take care of -- she didn't have no money. we need people in the senator race. and just like this man was saying, even the democrats up
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there, they are so minnie mouse, they don't want to speak out like the republicans. and they're not doing that. we need somebody i don't caring? they're white, black, ladies, and we do ladies and everything else in the senate race that is going to speak out and not just stand back. and you know, that's in the senate race and in the house, you know, of that. this is my comment here and i would love to come back and she can tell me with that too. host: thank you. shawn, a democrat there. hey, shawn, good morning. guest: good morning. i appreciate c-span. i love waking up in the morning for "washington journal." and nebraska's supposed to be a non-partisan but i have people who are running for a senatorial seat to be anti-government, anti-obama, anti-health care, anti-abortion, anti-immigration. i'm voting for bob carrie as a
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democrat because i want more democratic representation for my state. host: bob carey has been out of nebraska for quite a while living in new york. he was the head of the new school university. how much does he have to reintroduce himself to voters in your state guest: he doesn't. he has a good history here. he was a very good governor. he was a very good senator. i'm skiferede the one who is are running that don't represent my point of view. again, i don't want to be anti-government. i don't want to vote somebody into government to be anti-government. host: and what are the issues most important to you? guest: i stand behind president obama with the patient protection health care law.
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i don't understand why the conservatives constantly want to fight against the lazarus. they're already there. i think that patient protection faurnlt care law was a very good thing. i have a job. i have health care. therefore, this mandate means nothing to me. it only asks me to stand up, be a citizen and pay for my own health care. host: ben nelson is the retired senate in nebraska. there are a number of names on both sides to be the next senator from nebraska. next is a call from oklahoma. this is bonnie who is a republican. bonnie, you're on the air. good morning. bonnie? guest: yes. host: welcome. guest: yes. -- caller: i was just thinking about the ladies in houston. i'm tired of this rich poor man.
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how about a job. when jesus said that judah carried -- toward the -- and judas said why wasn't that sold and give to the poor and jesus told him he said it's not because you cared for the poor. it's because you have the bag. that means because he was wanted the money himself. so i think that people need a job and i think romney can give them that job. host: all right. thanks, bonnie, for your call. next up is a call from ohio. senate race going on in ohio and
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our caller, john, is an independent there. john as an independent what, do you think of the race? why does it matter? caller: well, because everything online. take example of me, i was fired wrongfully because i wasn't in the union. they fired me on the 16th. and we have no right. we have no right. i've been out of work since 2005. i've been waiting on these people calling me back. ain't done it. that's what's wrong with the. i used to make $40,000 a year. look at all this money you people lost out on taxes. host: the economy is going to be number one for you when you're looking at a senate candidate. do you know who you're going to support? caller: right now, my lady pays 15%. but we can't vote for romney, not if she's making $15%. why should we get romney in there? host: but we're talking about
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the senate this morning. and shari brown is running for re-election. are you going to support him? caller: i really ain't stayed up on this charlotte brown guy. i don't think -- free masons run this country. it don't matter. host: thank you. jody says we in arkansas traded an historical blanch lincoln for a do-nothing john bozeman. even when a rep, he voted for the g.d.p. 100%. next up is a call from dallas. we're talking about interesting senate races. who controls the senate after november? kevin, republican in dallas. you're on the air. caller: yes, ma'am. i vote republican for the state. both for presidency, i vote for democrat can. i'm a supporter for rick perry for the state but as far as the senate is very important that we
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need to vote because today, these folks get up there and they think about themselves. they vote for themselves on some of these bills and it don't make no sense. they get up there and they go -- based on their own -- using their own opinions and they need to stopt they need to start working together and we need to get throughout and vote. host: thank you. baton rouge, louisiana. doc is an independent there. good morning, doc, you are on the air. go ahead, please. doc, go ahead, please. caller: good morning. like i said, i'm independent, however, i'm watching all of the races. host: why is that? caller: all of them. and i just want to make sure that if democrats -- as few democrats get elected as possible i'm afraid that mr. obama will be elected again and we need to get as many republicans and as many independents in there as possible.
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this country is in a bad, bad situation and it's going to get a lot worse if he gets elected and has a democrat house and senate. so i will be looking at making sure that republican or independent gets elected. host: what about your own race? which one are you focused in the most? caller: probably mary landrieu and we've got to get rid of her. she is an absolute democrat clone. she's got to get out of there. she wants to give away everything that she can. you know, there's what, 47% of the people in this country do not pay any taxes at all. and 50% of those get money back from the government. how in the hell does that
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happen? host: thanks for your call. in indiana, long-term incumbent is facing a primary challenge. this week, he had a primary senate debate with his competitor. let's listen in to a little bit of it. >> we need to protect social security and there are at least two votes when mr. luger went the other way. there were two calls go to people who were in the country illegally. i would have voted the opposite way in those votes. i would not have accepted those votes. that's the kind of protection we need to provide for that fund for our older citizens. >> that's unfair. i did not have votes for illegal social security payments to persons. host: just a glimpse of the senate race in indiana with longtime incumbent dick lugar. here is a reporting from that on the hill this morning. and his challenger mr. mourdoch holds his own against luge for the indiana senate race and the
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story leads this way. there are a lot of stories in the newspaper about campaign fundraising. the lead in the "new york times" this morning. campaigns plan maximum push to raise money. and in "the washington post," here's one from the off-lead. companies see the pitfalls of political giving. firms targeted for ties to group that encouraged stand your ground. this is where people in the public are going after companies economically when they were involved in political issues in the the washington times this morning, decades old law opened doors for big-money donors. and luke ross writes --
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host: years before relaxed campaign finance rules allowed groups to spend money on ads. few people legally ran those same types of ads all by themselves. you can look at some of the names on that list.
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kathy kylie is on the phone to tell us about the f.e.c. and its review of whether or not the campaign committees can allow you to use your cell phone to main make instant contributions to campaigns. caller: you were talking about big dollar contributions because of citizens united and some of the changes that evolved after that. but this is about small dollars. and it's really an interesting issue. the question is whether or not campaigns will be able to solicit contributions by tax. the campaigns are interested in doing this. in 2010, after the tremendous success that charities have
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raising small dollar contributions via tax after the tsunami in south asia. and that year, the f.e.c. did not allow it because of a lot of technical reasons which we can talk about, but now, both a democratic and a republican consulting firm, two different organizations banned together and they are asking the f.e.c. to reconsider this. and one of the things that i think is most interesting about this is one of the ways that they are -- one of the innovations they are proposing to get around one of the f.e.c. objections is what is essentially brokers. brokers who would analyst the -- ebroker who is would handle the contributions and take cuts. host: what are those cuts likely to be? guest: according to the proposal that was given to the f.e.c., it could be as much as 50% of every donation. the brokers are taking some risks here. there's no question about that. one of the things the f.e.c. are
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asking for, they want the money to move quickly through the system. and the problem is from the f.e.c.'s standpoint is the -- under the texted donations don't get paid until your cell phone gets paid. your cell phone bill. so what the brokers would do is they would be the con wits for the minute. so essentially, they're purchasing your pledge and paying it forward. and depending on how reliable a campaign's contributors are seem to be, it could be as little, quote-unquote as 30% or as much as 50% on the dollar. host: and so this is a whole new industry, you suggest might be growing up? guest: exactly. and what is interesting about this from my perch is this democrats what a big business
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politics has turned out to be. we really do have a political industrial complex and this is just one more potential facet of it. and it does make you wonder how much vested interest there are out there who have great interest in their not being reformed in politics. a great interest in further complicating the system because there's money to be made in it. host: will people be informed that 40%-50% of the contribution will be going to the media? guest: that is a great answer. and the f.e.c. would have to some sort of a public hearing and it will be really interesting to see if they require that. host: kathy kylie is the managing editor of the sun life foundation telling us about the federal election commissions review of -- allowing you a to use mobile devices to make
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instantaneous donations to campaigns. both parties told us they were counting on this and it would be a major factor for small donors for their campaigns. thank you. we're talking with you on this friday 13th morning about senate races that you're watching across the country. which ones you think are interesting and if it's in your home state and if you think some of them will be determined about who will have the senate majority after november. next up is a call from twin lake, michigan. carol is a democrat there. carol, good morning, you're on. we're talking about senate races. which ones are you watching? caller: i'm in michigan. and dum -- am i still on? host: we're listening. yes. caller: ok. and i just would like the people in the country to realize what's
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happened in michigan because we have now a republican governor and a republican congress and they are just ramming through so many awful things and they've got this management thing where they take over either cities or now they've taken over some school districts. and the people in michigan sign petitions to get this on the ballot, whether this should be -- and when they took the petitions down, they came out and said the font was the wrong size and they threw all of these petitions out. and i haven't seen anything in the news. we've heard about this from -- what was that program, tom? rachel maddox. and the newspapers here in michigan aren't saying anything. our newspaper in our county, now
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they consolidated and we don't get hardly any public news. it is scary. i think that republicans -- i think they've gone just power crazy. host: all right, carol, thanks. there's another michigan caller on the line behind her. this is amanda, republican in roseville, michigan. amanda, you're on. good morning. caller: good morning, susan. i'm here in michigan so i know exactly what she's talking about. snyder, the governor is like taking over, acting like a dictator. although i'm a registered republican, i consider myself libertarian. and i think we should change the party's names to a constitutional republic party and globalist fascist party.
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and i'm not sure if debbie or carl eleven is up for re-election but i would like to see them go. they've been there too long. just like dingell has been there for 40 or something. we need to get rid of the old and in with the new and stick with the institution and stop calling people who want the institution to be the law. and stop trying to change it. and that's just -- i don't know what else to say but what's going on in michigan as far as the governor goes, he's acting like a dictator and it's wrong. host: thanks for your caller, amanda, from michigan. debbie stab gnaw is in the race for michigan this year. next is another ohio caller. this is joe from cleveland. you're on the air. hi, joe. caller: hi, c-span. thank you for c-span incidentally. i'm supporting brown because
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he's the solid backer of affordable health care law. i work with a number of republicans where i work and they were all against this affordable health care law. but guess what? they announced they're going to close our company and move the work to canada and tennessee and now, some of the gentlemen that were totally against the affordable health care are realizing that that's really going to help them in the transition between this job and the next job if it takes maybe a year to get reemployed. and all of a sudden, it's not such a bad idea. it's funny when it doesn't affect you. it's terrible. but when all of a sudden you're affected by bad things happening, it becomes wonderful. host: joe, how is the ohio economy? are you seeing any signs of recovery? caller: well, the ohio economy
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isn't doing so bad but like i say, they're closing the plant that i work in and move the jobs to canada and tennessee. and poland and probably china. host: thank you for your call this morning. good luck with your job situation. bellevue, nebraska. another nebraska caller is on the air. and this is ronald who is an independent. good morning. caller: hello. i support really neither side in this senate race that's coming up this year with bob carey. that's because both parties i feel are really, really bad. you have both parties say that they're morally righteous but neither sigh is questioning their own opinions. moreover, they're accepting lobbyist money and they're engaging in basically somewhat the same policies. both sides are trying to support the war. you've got the president fight the war and you've got republicans saying that the war in afghanistan is fine too.
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i feel that both sides really aren't -- and we really need to reform or we need to adopt a system that allows us to have more political opinions. host: and where do you see change like that coming in the system, ronald? caller: i don't. which is pretty bad, actually. i just feel that we need a leader that can finally like stand up for multiple opinions and respect those opinions and argue about these opinions but we don't have one. we just have two leaders right now. you know, mitt romney and barack obama. really just argue and they don't respect the other's opinions. like you have the whole ann romney thing yesterday where the president was backing off the comment in the democratic commentator because he wanted to be in favor of the -- and you have the romney team attacking barack obama and his allies and
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distorting the issue for their own political advantage even though that moral liskly, they should be -- moral liskically, it's a respectable issue. host: thanks for your call. on facebook, danny anson is commenting on the nebraska senate race. he writes -- host: our next caller is from virginia where it's an open senate seat. jim webb is retiring.
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caller: we have our primary coming up at the end of this month with jane racky and george allen and george allen will probably win. host: are you happy about that? caller: it doesn't matter because george alan is going to vote republican and tim kaine is going to vote democrat. so really, you're voting the majority party. it depends on how you go. tim kaine is a barack obama wanabe. so i guess i'm hoping for jamie to pull out some kind of miracle and we have somebody with an independent brain and you're going to washington. host: and what matters most to you issues-wise, john? caller: issues-wise, i'm a paul ryan guy. i love paul ryan.
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i've written him letters and i would take a couple of years off and work for him for free. i think we had a lot of problems facing the country. ain't nobody facing the problems. that's my biggest issue. host: ok. thanks for your call. next up is bradenton, florida, and this is charles who's a democrat there. good morning, charles, you're on the air. caller: i want to say a couple of quick things. first of all, i'm a democrat but i'm also a christian. instead of everybody being a democrat or a republican, we should be an american first. we need to put people that work together instead of all this arguing and all this fuss that's going on right now because after all, they are working for us. they're not working for big money. and if our courts can do something about that, then maybe they should be really judicial people and not just activists. thank you. host: thanks for your call. another florida call up next. scott is an independent in st.
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augustine, florida. go ahead, please, scott. caller: hello. my call is basically c-span. you guys say you're fair, you're not. you have republican-only call-in shows. host: and we sometimes have democratic call-in shows and we sometimes have women-only call-in in shows. caller: i've never seen them. i've only seen republican-call-in shows. that's all i've ever seen. host: well, scott, if you had watched this program last friday, it was women-only at that point so you're not watching all the time. caller: of course not. i'm not watching all the time. host: so how can you -- caller: because you're too republican. it's funny watching you guys, you know, kind of buck up the republican party is like watching you try to put the bat together humpty dumpty. host: ok. caller: right now, just sit there and say you're fair and balanced, you're not.
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you're like talk news. host: if you don't watch all the time, how can you critique? caller: because every time i call in here, it's republican-on call-in show. it's republicans only. i bet you your next guest is republican. host: thank you, scott. as a matter of fact, you're right. it's the republican representative of the trustees of medicare. we're going to be talking with his analyses of health care. and later on, michael kinsley. we do keep an eye on our guests and our balance over time. next up is michael who is a democrat. go ahead, please. caller: thank you for taking my call. i'm assuming you're a citizen and i am very concerned about what's going on with the health care and with social security. and what i see -- [inaudible] it's going to put us in debt. social security is not -- what the problem is having tax breaks
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and not being able to pay for those. that's the only debt we're in. has nothing to do with kansas. -- social security. [inaudible] the democrats are the ones that supporting social security and the republicans are trying to change it and i'm against with that. host: michael, are you still there? caller: yes. host: so we're talking about senate races this morning. bob casey, your senator wants to be re-elected. you're going to supporting him. caller: 100%. i love casey. he upset santorum beating him by almost 20 points. yes, i'm 100% behind bob casey. host: thank you so much. alfred, i can't in thomasville, alabama. good morning. caller: good morning.
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i enjoy your program. i've been watching from the very beginning. host: thank you. do you have a senate race that you're watching? caller: of course. we have a senate up for re-election this time around. why is the race interesting? caller: because of the power of the u.s. senate. i mean, gee whiz, i mean, excuse me? host: i'm listening. go ahead. caller: yes. we have a phone delay problem here. but i just want to congratulate c-span. the last -- excuse me? host: please finish your thought, alfred. we are listening. caller: yes, i appreciate that. this delay here is kind of confusion or what have you. but -- host: all right, sir. thank you for your nice sentiments and we appreciate it. let me close with this. gary on twitter after we're
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gusing about who might control the senate, he offers this thought -- we'll be back later on in the program. michael kinsley will be here. we're going to be talking the week in the news. so much going on both nationally and in the campaigns. we'll be talking with him about what he's watching. and up next as i mentioned, we're going to have a discussion about the health care law. our next guest has done some calculations on what he thinks the cost will be to society. he's going to tell us more about that. >> the pope hand picks this
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person. and this person decides when the pope is dead. he hits him three times in the head with a silver hammer and calls him his baptismal name. which carries on the romans. and although even today, the pope isn't dead until the cameraage says he's dead. >> saturday night on "after words." dick treece. and also this weekend on book tv, former pennsylvania senator arlen spector. sunday at 8:00 p.m. book tv, every weekend on c-span2. >> our specific mission is to work to see that human rights remain essential company of -- component of american policy and that when we are evaluating our
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foreign policy moves globally, human rights can never be the only consideration but it has to be part of the dialogue. >> katrina lantos swett is the president and c.e.o. for human rights and justice. >> when we abandon our deepest values and that -- when they were talking about torture as it relates to the war on terror or the vet policy with russia, you know, and the up coming issue of whether or not the u.s. congress should pass the accountability act which is we don't need to go into the details of that policy issue but whether or not we're going to stay on record of saying human rights matter. they matter in russia. they matter in china. >> more with katrina lantos swett saturday night at 8:00 on "q&a." >> april 15rks 1912, nearly 1,500 perished on the ship called unsinkable. >> once the lookout bells were
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sounded, they sighted an iceberg ahead they struck it three times, ding, ding, ding, which is a warning saying there's some object ahead of the ship and it doesn't say what kind of object. with the lookout then did, he went to a telephone mast and called down to the officer of the bridge to tell them what it is that they saw. and when the phone was finally answered, the entire conversation was what do you see? and the response was iceberg right ahead. and the response from the officer was thank you. >> samuel helper on the truths and myths of that night, part of "american history tv" this weekend on c-span3. "washington journal" continues. host: let me introduce you to our first guest, charles blah hawes, a public trysty and based
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in george mason university in the washington area as senior scholar. he spent sop time at the national economic council under president bush and has a career in public policy and exhibition. thank you for being here. you've made some news about your analysis on the health care law and its ultimate costs. what are your findings? guest: well what i try to do is give something of a before and after picture of the health care law just basically measuring where would the budget be if this law had never been passed and where is it now and how do they compare. and what i found is that the law will add about $340 follow the federal deficits over the next 10 years, about $1.15 trillion in net federal spending over the next 10 years and that's under a optimistic scenario in which all the cost savings work out as planned. host: that number contrasts with the analysis by the congressional budget which found that it would reduce the
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deficit. how can you be so far apart? guest: it's the crux of the paper in some respects because i think my deficit different result is not because i disagree with congressional budget office. i use the congressional budget office as a basis of my own work. what the congressional budget office does is something different from what i did. they score the effects of legislation relative to a score keeping convention, a hypothetical baseline scenario and that baseline scenario was different from actual law. c.b.o. in their publications is very transparent and explicit about this. they say these are the score keeping conventions we're directed to use. we're differ from the actual law in the following respects and these are the findings. when i was reading through it, i thought this is very interesting in the sense that i had not seen anyone conduct an analysis of the effect on the budget relative to the literal change in law and no one seemed to have
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done that. so while the c.b.o. analysis, i have no problems with it and i am exemplary with it in my study, they ask a different question than the one i ask. i ask how does this budget fact -- how does the law effect finances relative to previous law. host: the medicare systems have two public trust yi, one republican and one republican. -- one republican and one democrat. the white house was challenged that president obama ok'ed your point and here you are as a major critic of the cost of his big initiative. his response was he doesn't sigh subsidy your intellectual direction and he says however, your numbers with motivated with the timing. guest: i have not entered into a lot of impassioned policy controversy surrounding the law. there's all sorts of controversies surrounding the
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health care law from the constitutionality of the purchase mandate to whether the new independent payment advisory board is a good thing or a bad thing. will people be able to keep their employer provided insurance under the law? all these controversies and i don't have not expressed any opinions about the merits of the policy choices in the law. i have calked study on a very narrow fiscal point which is what is the net effect on the law on the federal budget and i try to stay out of everything else. host: i ask you whether or not it would be only to do a simple sort of back of the envelope calculation for people so they could understand how you came to the analysis. can you do that for us? guest: i can try. this is what i've come up with. but basically, the c.b.o. score in 2011, in 2011, found that relative to the score keeping convention, the law would put us $210 billion to the good, basically. now that was before the suspension of this one provision of the law, the class program
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which has since been suspended. host: which is long-term health care insurance and they were hoping many americans would buy into that and there would be an increased revenue, correct? guest: right. c.b. sandovement everyone else agrees we no longer expect these savings from this program that we're credited this program to arrive during the first 10 years. so if you adjust last year's analyst for that -- analysis -- then we get to what's the difference between the c.b.o. analysis which is relative to a score keeping conventioning and my analysis which is relative to prior law. and there's about a $475 billion difference between those things. and so that puts us from $123 billion to the bad -- or to the good to about $350 billion to the bad. and i also give credit for about $6 billion of savings beyond what c.b.o. did. host: so from a policy
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perspective, big issue driving the numbers in the health care law is what? guest: i would say it's the fact that the new cost commitments under the legislation substantially exceed the cost savings under the legislation. there's a lot of parts of this law and many of them costs a lot of money. there's a very substantial expansion of medicaid and ship that costs hundreds of billons of dollars over the first 10 years. there is the creation of these new health exchanges and the subsidies costs hundreds and billons of dollars. there's an extension of expansion of the spending authority of the medicare program. it would be able to send out full benefit payments for many more years. so that is a new spending commitment or certainly an extended spending commitment that costs real must be so you -- money. and you add all of the savings together and the new costs exceed the cost savings by over $340 billion even in a best case scenario. host: we want to open up our phone lines. the cost on the health care law vs. its benefits.
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and we would like to involve you in this discussion. our guest is -- we're going to talk policy with him if you'd like. phone lines are open. you can also tweet us at c-span wj. i described your job. tell people what the public trusty are responsible for? guest: sure. we finance social security and medicare programs. there radio six trustees. four of them are government trustees. secretary of treasury, secretary of labor, secretary of h.h.s. and the commissioner of social security. in 1983, they were -- two were added. my fellow public trusty, the democrat is robert riceshower who i have a wonderful relationship and i'm very privileged to work with him and with the other trustees. and the public trusty positions were added in the 1983 reforms out of a sense that there needed to be two eyes from the public
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looking over the shoulder of the government trusties and vouching for the projections, the expression they use was furthering public confidence in the projections. i have been a student of the trustees projects and i've before in support of it and my experience as been so positive and the high opinion i have of the process prior to becoming a trusty as been more than validated by my experience. host: so trusties in your opinion now looking at the -- from the outside and now being inside do a job for the public? guest: absolutely. and i will say this is a little bit of cheerleading for the trustees process but there are a lot of things in government that have very difficult to project. economic cycles, budgetry consequences but if you look back at the history going back years before i became a trusty, if you look at the social security projections in particular, by the standards of government projections, you've
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been remarkably accurate. we've had a pretty accurate picture of the unfolding social security financial problem for several decades and that's a great credit to the work of the ack rares and the objectives of the trustees process. host: i want to get the public involved here. let's begin with a call from texas. pete, you're on. good morning. caller: good morning. it's a pleasure to talk to you. i started my business in 1969 when i put up my first production plant i turned over the business to my two sons in 1999. and there was about 700 workers and employees we had. what we're facing is all these high taxes. obama's going to raise the tax to 39.6%. and there's a 3.8% surcharge on people like us that are making business. there's also a medicare -- an additional 3.8% on medicare with no ceiling. so that ends up at 47.2%
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marginal tax bracket. now you have eight to 10% state and local taxes and that's damn near 60%. so what we have decided, we've just about had it with this government and this president so my question to you is have you decided as to how many businesses are going to shut down because of this health care law? because i told my sons why in the hell should they work for the government when you put it on an hourly basis seven to eight hours a day with these strictly far government? that's my question to you. how many people are going to shut down their business because of their health care law? host: got it, pete. thank you. guest: well, i guess the short answer to the last part of that question is that i have not done that analysis. what i've done is a very narrow analysis of just what is the fiscal effect of the legislation? what i show is the legislation on balance is going to add to the federal deficit of course, no one can say for certain how
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we're going to finance the mushroom and federal deficits that's out there. that's a very difficult thing to assess the impact of but what i've shown is the net effect of the law is to add to federal thoughts. you made one mention of the additional 3.8% tax under the legislation that's referred to as the so-called medicare unearned income contribution. . if you look ultimately down the line, we would be projecting more of that tax. whether that would be politically sustainable or that, i don't know. but certainly should that all ot revenue is going to materialize because we could end up with the
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alternative minimum tax. there is substantial pressure in congress to relax a from one year to the next. host: a question on twitter. guest: the answer is no. i cannot explain any of that. i have no insight into health care stocks. host: i think the point of the question is the private sector attempting to bend the cost curve is seeing profits and this is a very good business. guest: yes. there are a lot of policy controversies. this cuts to a point that i want to make. a lot of people supported and opposed this health care law for different reasons that are very important.
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what i have tried to do is stay out of that policy arguments. there are many reasons why this health care reform law was undertaken. not all of the provisions of the law are necessarily bad. what is it going to do to federal financing? host: a question here from an op-ed says -- here is the paragraph.
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i bring this up because the objective that everybody in the system seems to have it is bending the cost curve. guest: exactly. i make a point by saying there are two important arguments. its effects to the federal deficit and the effect on total costs. this law fails both tests. it would add to costs and .spendin e this deficit obviously, the motivation and goals of health care reform our various. there were multiple objectives for health care reform including humanitarian objectives of trying to accomplish a lot of different things. with respect to the disco
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yardsticks, the effects on spending and deficit spending those are the few things that the left and the right have agreed on. we need to bend the cost curve downward. host: our next phone call is from california. a democrat, you are on the air. caller: good morning. i am sitting here watching the program and it is scary because i am on dialysis. medicare has done away with everything and i will not be able to live because i will not be able to afford my treatment. it is important to me that health care stay intact as well as social security. i just wish you would rethink it because it helps me when i get dialysis to afford it.
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thank you. guest: beyond a very compelling story that the calder just gave, this is very important to the point of my paper. medicare finances are in important part of this equation. there is a bipartisan commitment to upholding the solvency of medicare. one of the effects of the affordable care act is to extend the solvency, the measured solvency of the hospital insurance program from 2016 to 2020 for. what it means is that the measures that the congress has to take in order to keep medicare solvent are now somewhat relaxed going forward because we are showing medicare to be solvent for eight additional years. that is not in the fact that is accounted for in the scorekeeping convention showing
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a favorable score for the law. i would say that with respect to the viability of medicare, you have a bipartisan commitment to upholding that. i do think the caller should remain confident that the medicare system will be kept solvent as it has for several decades. host: sasha asks on twotter -- -- on twitter -- guest: the way that -- the way i would respond to that is by saying if you were to say what is the net cost of no negotiations for drug prices relative to what we have, i would have to say the answer is 0.
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what was established was a system of competition between private plans with direct negotiation by the government to hold down costs for medicare part d. it has certainly added to the federal cost commitments. one cannot fault with what was done with holding down those costs. the cost of medicare part d have come in considerably lower than what was projected. in terms of the net cost relative to alternative choices, i think medicare partd is one of the few places where prices have come under budget. host: this was a big policy initiative. did you support it? guest: i was working on social security at the time. we have wonderful people we worked with at that time.
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they all were important health care experts. at that time, i was working on social security and retirement policy. host: next is winston-salem. you are on. caller: thank you for taking my call. my question is for mental health. medicare has a cap of 190 days lifetime. we well know that is discriminatory. is that going to be eliminated with this new health care policy? no one seems to be able to answer this question. maybe this guest can answer this. guest: i think the honest answer is i do not know the answer to the question. i have no knowledge or expectation that this law has changed that but there could be
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something i am not aware of that speaks to this. host: from an accounting perspective, this question asks -- guest: that is a great question. here is how i would put it. i think cbo would say there's is not the best case scenario but their best guess of probabilities, pros and cons. what i would say about my papers -- i have put together three scenarios. they certainly do not spend the full spectrum of possibilities. they measure best case and worst case from the standpoint of legislative risk. future congresses of polled all of the cost savings envisioned in this law. the pessimistic scenario is one
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in which congress acts more like they have in the past. you could have participation by sean shins for-- host: here is a good a follow-up on twitter. guest: i would say my numbers do not contradict cbo's. we are asking and answering different questions. i support and use the methodologies and assumptions that cbo has put forward. they have scored the law relative to a particular scorekeeping convention. i have scored it relative to prior law. there is really no conflict between the two analyses. host: west virginia, good morning. caller: as i recall, medicare
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was enacted in 1964. i would like to know the difference between the projected cost that medicare was going to be and the actual cost that occurred. i would also like to know what the effect of lawsuits have on the cost of health care today, especially in the pharmaceutical industry. host: thank you. caller: this is actually a very important question in the sense that costs for new programs like medicare almost always end up being a lot more than envisioned. sometimes the cost of what was previously enacted wind up more than what was previously projected. back in the 1960's, we had one picture of how cost inflation was going to be.
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health care cost inflation has been much higher than that. that is one reason why costs have come in higher. there is the tendency once government programs are established for congress to expand them. social security is a fantastic example. when it was first created, it did not have cost of living adjustments, disability, and a lot of things that it has now. it did not have a much more generous formula that social security has today. this is very important for the evaluation of this health care law because it sets up a new program of subsidies for health insurance purchased on exchanges. it is very likely the cost of that will be higher than what we are projecting. host: to give you a sense of our debate, here is "the washington post" --
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right below that, the headline from "usa today" -- sks you --, jamesa ask aks you guest: i doubt it is morris and 50%. -- it is more than 50%. in social security, the potential fraud is limited because you are sending direct payments to people and administrative costs are low. even in medicare, the vast majority of payments are appropriate payments. there is always work under going to make sure fraud is tracked down. there have been instances over
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the years of a fraud being discovered. i have a lot of concerns about the medicare program but it runs relatively well in terms of taxpayers getting value for their money. dr. michael kinsley works at a think tank. the fiscal consequences of the affordable care act are easy to find. for our guest, the next call comes from florida. caller: i just had a question. they say the health care law at $340 billion to the national deficit. what are obama's numbers? what is the difference between what the new health care law is
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going to add versus what it has added in the past? guest: the second question is what i steady. we are now $340 billion over the next 10 years to the worst relative to the prior law because this law was passed. as to the numbers that the white house has cited, they have shown a favorable impact to the budget deficit. i am not disputing that analysis, but it is of a different question. it is relative to a hypothetical scoring convention rather than an analysis of the actual change in the law. i was trying to examine how this legislation changed our budget relative to what was in the law before which is not reflected in the numbers that showed a
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favorable impact in legislation. es to that viewer goins t point and says -- guest: although obviously i would disagree with that characterization, i do think that that comment reflects a nature of the few substantive criticisms that have been made of my paper. no one seems to be saying that i have the answer wrong. i think there is the general acknowledgment that my analysis is correct. some people believe i am asking the wrong questions. that it is not meaningful to compare this legislation to prior law. prior law would never have
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have never happened anyway. i agree that the current law is not going to play out over the long term. he would have to say the same thing about the point of comparison used for this legislation. that is a scenario where the government runs deficits forever and ever and there are no bad consequences for that. that is not probable e there. the point is the net effect of this legislation relative to where we were before. host: item going to throw one more motivation question on here. this is emma who writes --
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from a policy standpoint, do you believe that the so-called entitlement programs are beneficial to society? guest: absolutely. i would not be a trustee if i were not committed to upholding the integrity of these programs. part of what i am doing although i did not do it wearing my hat as a trustee, i regard it as a public duty to try to inform the public as to the consequences of the decisions that the federal government makes. this is something that i understood before my paper was released and it certainly was driven home after my paper was released, which is that a lot of people have investments in this legislation, both pros and cons.
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i would simply say i tried very hard in this paper not to speak to the broader policy questions and broader objectives on to which this law was based. i am trying to put forward information as to the fiscal effects of the law. people can decide that means we should make repairs or not. i want to be sure the public understands the real world consequences of this law. host: from vermont, you are on. good morning. caller: i believe the inherent form of the law. i think corporations should be removed. therefore you remove the process which might be as high as 30% and you let doctor's care for their patients without the burden of having to communicate
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with the clerk in a health care facility. it is noteworthy that max baucus, the democrat who receive large amounts of money from hmo's blocked president obama's plan which would have solved those problems. thank you. guest: let me start by saying one other thing i really tried hard to stay away from doing was getting into the motivations of the legislative choices that were made in passing this law. i believe people on both sides of this debate are well intended. people from the white house were well intended pursuing this law. i think the opponents of the legislation are well intended. often when you put forth an analysis like this, you see concerns expressed. i am not a believer in that.
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i do not subscribe to it. i agree with one thing, which is that we have a tremendous amount of inefficiency and our health care system precisely because a lot of the meeting of costs are passed around the party's. i think life would be a lot simpler and costs would be lower if we lived in a hypothetical, alternative universe where you did not have these other third parties to go through. unfortunately, we have to recognize what our financial consequences of the policy decisions are that we are making. host: a question by e-mail -- guest: i have not. obviously, there are sometimes
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proposals to expand medicare out of the belief that by widening medicare's insurance pool to include people who are healthier, you might hold down the rate of cost growth in medicare. i am not a believer in that. i believe one of the fundamental problems we have with inflation is the extent to which the federal government subsidies of health care insurance purchases derive health care demand and drive health care cost inflation. i am not an advocate of expanding medicare to include other age groups. host: here is a comment on twitter. guest: again, i am just putting out information. first of all, $340 billion is a net deficit figure.
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it is not a cost figure. the net cost added is over $1 trillion over 10 years and a lot more beyond that. if you are talking about the cost of this legislation relative to the wars which were finite in their duration, obviously the cost of this law will be many times that in the long run. host: next is a call from kentucky. good morning, john. caller: my question is this. i am a vietnam veteran and 100% service connected. i can go to a b a hospital and get total care for free, and yet i have medicaid and medicare. why is that? guest: we are speaking to the broader array of federal policy choices that have been made. i know certainly a lot of the policy choices that have been
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made reflect the desire to make sure people who serve this country in a military capacity receive adequate care. i think that is a high priority for this nation. do we have the balance right and have week over committed ourselves in terms of health care subsidization by the federal government? probably so. the specific situation referenced is reflective of the high priority of the country place in medical care to people who served the country. host: from bill on twitter -- guest: not at all. this is actually something that is good to speak to. i read this paper in my capacity as a senior research fellow. it is not something i released in my capacity as a trustee.
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it is not actually issued in my capacity as a trustee. we have six trustees. there is a diversity of opinions on all sorts of issues. this particular issue is the physical consequences of the affordable care act which has many provisions that go far beyond anything pertaining to medicare. i am writing about something that is not narrowly focused on the medicare financing question but is a broader federal government budget question. it is not something that is directly a function of my capacity. host: again, this is what the report looks like. the next call is from kentucky. go ahead. caller: two point i would like to make. one is about the size of this bill. we talk a lot about projections.
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i am not criticizing the projections. i am simply saying people have to understand that projections are guesses. nobody really knows what the full impact is going to be. there are a lot of good intentions, but they are not always affordable. we need to understand that. there are millions and millions of people in this country. the second point i want to make is that gentleman who called up and said he would curtail working. when i was a young man, i had someone come out and put aluminum siding on my house in august. he said that was the last job he was going to take that year. after that, he said every other time he makes as to go to the federal government. people do not understand that.
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good intentions cannot be afforded because they want to be benevolent. we have to use our heads. guest: i strongly agree with that point, that these cost estimates are highly uncertain. one of the point i try to make is the $340 billion deficit worsened in the assessment i have made it depends on a lot of assumptions. it depends on everything working out. it may not. if you make different, plausible assumptions, we are looking at a deficit of over $500 billion over 10 years. i agree with the caller that it is prudent to make additional cost commitments before we are certain that the savings in this law fully materialize. we have to be sure that the projected savings are sufficient
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to fund the cost commitments. they are just not. host: this is a call from the state of missouri. good morning. you are on the program. caller: yes, good morning. i was originally a republican, and then i went democrat, and back to republican. i was a nixon republican. i am also and eisenhower republican. and also have democratic use. however, as far as health care is concerned, this whole policy is a debacle because of the blocking of president obama's push for having the health care
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option. it really bothers me because of the fact that, number one, you have a system that -- it -- wh at was it? it is ridiculous. you put it on one page. number two, it should not be profit-motivated. no healthcare. there should be health care for all. number three, by and the veteran, a disabled veteran. 10% service connected. totally disabled under social security. number three, as far as the medicaid/medicare thing, when you have to give money to a
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it should just be one thing. nobody should be playing out in the ridiculous amount -- host: we are going to stop their. let's understand how medicaid block grant work. guest: i would say that medicaid is a less efficient program than medicare. precisely because some of the phenomenon that the caller mentioned. you have the funds passing through more hands and a greater disconnect between the normal things that cause financial discipline in other markets and the things that cause great financial discipline in the market. medicaid is a program that is affected in many ways by this law.
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you have a situation where the law would affect a substantial expansion. that is another one of the things that adds to the fiscal consequences of this law. host: this comment from twitter -- guest: there are not know costs. certainly, the cost of the federal government directly providing subsidization for all of that coverage is a substantial additional cost for the government. host: the last caller for you is from tennessee, a democrat. caller: i was wondering about sse and ssi.
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guest: that is a good question. many people sometimes confuse ssi which is a means test the program with social security because it is administered by the social security administration but they are financed in different ways and have different eligibility rules. my view is that ssi has always remained more politically vulnerable simply because unlike social security, it does not have this public ethic of having a self-financed program. when people do not feel like themselves are benefiting from that program, they are more inclined to cut it. social security is very different. there is a strong sense that people paid into social security
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so more people are protective of it. yes, it is probably politically a more vulnerable program in an era of budget constraints than social security. host: the last question. have you done an analysis of what the costi structure will be to the law? guest: basically what they find if they strike down the mandate, that would improve the federal financial outcome by about $282 billion over the next 10 years. he would have fewer people on medicaid, fewer -- you would have fewer people on medicaid. striking down the mandate would cause problems in the private market because you have all these other mandates in the law.
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insurance premiums would go up by 15%. it would ameliorate some of the damage of the law from the federal perspective. striking down that alone would cause a host of problems to the consumer. the best outcome would be if the law in its entirety would be struck down. host: charles blahous is one of two public trustees of the social security and medicare system. you can find more online of his cost analysis. thank you for being here this morning. we have another segment coming up. the report on how airlines are doing, delivering their service to the public. we will learn more. coming up next, michael kinsley will be at the table. we will be right back.
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>> i walked out after the iowa caucus victory and said "game on." this game is a long, long way from over. we are going to continue to go out there and fight to make sure we did the barack obama, win the house back, take the senate, and the stand for the values that make us americans, that make us the greatest country in the history of the world to be a beacon for everybody for freedom around the world. >> rick santorum and did his 2012 presidential bid. -- ended his presidential bid. follow his steps online at the
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c-span radio library. -- c-span video library. >> when we are evaluating our foreign policy moves, human rights can never be the only consideration but it has to be part of the dialogue. >> the president and ceo of a foundation for a human rights and justice. >> when we abandon our values, whether we are talking about torture or the policy with russia and the upcoming issue of whether or not the u.s. congress should pass the accountability act, whether or not we are going to stay on record and say human rights matter, as a matter in russia or
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in china. >> more sunday night at 8:00 on c-span. >> "washington journal" continues. host: we welcome back on this friday the 13th -- you are a risk taker. michael kinsley is at the table. he has been commenting on the national scene for most of his adult life from his position at bloomberg. this ties into what i wanted to ask you. one big story this week is the trayvon martin case and the other is the mommy wars about the value of women working at home. what do these stories say about the kind of things we talk about? guest: the trayvon story is a serious one and says our work
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to eliminate racism in this country is not over. you cannot really say much more than that. the mommy wars story is ridiculous. host: why is that? guest: it is three-quarters of our politics these days. people say someone it says something that obviously they wished they could take back. then someone on the other side says they are terribly outraged by it, which they aren't. they are actually delighted because they have something to bash the other side with. a couple weeks ago, when that mitt romney aide made a remark about etch-a-sketch.
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they bashed him for it, saying they were terribly offended, when they were delighted. it is just one long series of episodes like this. the serious things about politics do not even come up. host: are these in fact a substitute for serious discussion or a proxy for serious issues? guest: i think they are a substitute. host: given the vast communications systems, the fact that everyone agrees there are serious problems, how does this nation get to a serious discussion? guest: that is a great question. i guess it depends on politicians willing to discuss the major issues. host: do we have those? guest: well, we don't.
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the big issue -- the problem is, there are no answers you can give that will not cost you votes somewhere. the big issue is the budget which you were just talking about with your previous guest. no one has a solution to that that is not going to require a good deal of unpleasantness. politicians do not like being unpleasant. host: is there a lack of -- is it exacerbated by modern communications? or do they use them to their advantage? guest: i guess it is exacerbated because it happens so fast. there was a remark on anderson
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cooper. it took no time whatsoever to become what everyone was talking about. it is a lot more interesting to talk about that then the stuff that the previous guest was talking about. host: we would like to open up the phone lines for michael kinsley. he has been riding recently about the buffet role, health care and. please join us by phone. we will put the phone numbers on the screen and we will also take your comments on twitter. let's dig deeper into your thoughts about class warfare. what are you seeing that has resulted in your column? guest: it is namely i had trouble with that column because
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i had a lot of thoughts about class warfare that did not add up to anything coherent. these are various terms they get used in class warfare and maybe what they mean that are not obvious. i think -- actually it fits the model i was discussing before. people claimed the main energy of the issue is people blaming other people of committing class warfare. the republicans say the democrats are practicing class warfare anytime someone argues that wealthy people perhaps should pay more income tax. then the democrats say the republicans are practicing class
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warfare by -- well, by claiming more of the income -- host: a proxy of this debate has been the buffett rule. this is from "the financial times" -- when you look at the buffett rule, what do you see that debate being about? guest: the interesting thing is i do not think you could argue against it. mitt romney paid 13.9% of his income in taxes when he made $23 million, i believe, last year.
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that is not right. however, the trouble is if you are going to have tensions between the classes, you have to draw a line somewhere and say these are the people who pay more taxes and these are the people who ought to pay less. that line was $250,000 in president obama's campaign for election. that in the general culture and in the general discussion of who ought to pay taxes became the line. now because of the buffett rule, that line is $1 million which moves it rather far and reduces the number of people who will have to pay more taxes and essentially eliminates any chance that employing something like the buffett rule will solve
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our fiscal problems. host: when you think about income taxes or tax revenues in this country. what should they be designed to do? guest: the purpose of the income tax is to raise money to do what the government needs to do. host: how important is fairness? guest: fairness is very important. then you get into "what is fair? " i think is fair to expect -- it becomes class warfare and a bad thing when people imply that it is evil to be making more than a million dollars a year. president obama went out of his way to say there is nothing wrong with people making that much money. just that you ought to recognize that it is not hard
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work and it is not dedication that are primarily responsible for people making that much money. most of them would agree, they are lucky. if you are lucky, and we are all lucky living in this country, it is not a terrible thing to ask you to contribute more when we have terrible fiscal problems. host: the other side of the argument -- about 50% of the public pays no income taxes. is that fair? guest: there is a school of thought that everybody ought to pay at least $1 to make sure everyone has skin in the game. i do think that the people who do not pay income tax is because they do not have much income. i do not lose any sleep over
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that. host: the first call comes from new york. richard is the republican. caller: good morning. people have been talking about serious issues all along. ron paul has been talking for 30 years about the dangers of class warfare and the war on drugs and the war on these other foreign countries, sending troops all around the world. they want everybody fighting -- the white, the blacks, the homosexuals, the jews. our country has been hijacked by these international bankers. for obama to see he does not have authority from congress -- it is ron paul or nobody. real serious issues instead of paris hilton and whether she is wearing panties or not.
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i thank you for c-span. had a good day. guest: i respect ron paul because he is, i would say, one of the few politicians who is and consistent. i give him a lot of credit for that. host: let me tell you about michael kinsley's background. he is a harvard graduate and studied law. harford has been batted around in the news recently that -- harvard has been batted around in the news recently. guest: that was ridiculous. this makes you wonder about mitt romney. he has spent more time at harvard. he has two harvard degrees. if you think no one would point that out -- what does that say
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to say that? i think this is a good example. if he could do it over again, he would not have said that. to pile on him for having said it is unfair. host: michael kinsley spent six years on cnn as a co-host. as well as a moderator of debates on pbs. a new ruling from the ninth circuit court that public television stations can except political advertisement. is that a good thing? guest: they are not supposed to have advertising at all i thought. i missed that. what was the argument that they could not? postcode they were restricted and now they can take political
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campaign advertisements. they are expecting to have an appeal. guest: there are charitable contribution rules. i do not know. host: before bloomberg, he has been at many publications. "the new republic," "the economist," a founding editor of an online magazine, "the politico." guest: right now i am just writing a column. i'd like that because you can read something in the paper -- i like that because you can read something in the paper. host: you have a megaphone. guest: yes. it is leverage.
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if you get five ideas, you can assign them all. host: next up is california. go ahead. caller: i think you have a good issue. is michael kinsley the guy to make it? you just pointed out that he was on "crossfire." talk about a program that turned things trivial and upside-down. you have people like hillary rosen who gets on these programs and she is an operative. they are an operative for these parties. we talk about the word " objective journalism." journalism used to be objective. but there is no definition to things anymore. guys like michael kinsley are really operatives for the democratic party. guest: i am not a shell or an
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operative for the democratic party. i cannot even remember the last time i met a democratic party official. who was the third person? host: hilary rosen. guest: she is a democrat certainly and a democratic consultant and also employed by cnn as a commentator. i think cn and tries certainly to balance the they want to have people who they feel are good on television who can represent the various views. they have her and many republicans, too. host: when you were on "crossfire," it was during the early days of political tv.
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guest: i left years before they took it off the air supposedly because it was too contentious. if you turn on cnn nnoow -- host: what do you think of the state of the three networks with round-the-clock discussion? guest: i think it is better now with a more or less explicit conservatives channel, and more or less liberal channel, and then cnn that tries to play it down the metal. host: jack is a democrat from jacksonville. caller: good morning. i would like this guest to talk about -- i think that people
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have misconstrued a point. somebody on the democratic side, defend that point and th. like the american people are stupid and we do not understand the point that she was making. when it comes to mitt romney, people seem to think that we do not know that he constantly changes things like the american people do not know. i would like him to talk about contraception. the war on women and things of that sort.
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democrats to not try to pass laws like that. when they went way past he did, -- host: thank you very much. the contraceptive discussion. guest: i think that is an example that most republicans involved hadn't gotten with. host: of the first one was on ann romney and he suggested it went too far. guest: criticizing her went too far. yes, of course it did. she should not be criticized at all for staying home and raising her family.
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host: president obama yesterday said families are off-limits, but the front page in "the wall street journal" says she is actively involved in speaking and being on twitter and other places. michelle obama is a very involved in the president's reelection campaign. does that make them fairer game or are they off-limits? guest: i think they have to go further before they become fair game. ann romney had a funny quote, saying "they should have come to my house when i had five boys making trouble." if hillary rosen could take that remark back, she would in a flash. to hold it against her and stop campaigning about all of the
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other issues and discuss this one is really absurd. host: tennessee, a republican there. good morning. caller: good morning. i am calling about this envy thing. the haves and have nots. i do believe the 99%, and i am one of those because i am retired, and my children -- we have all gone to school and they are better than what we have. how many more things can you get 1%?you can't get to the why are we envious and not happy? i would say most of us are very
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happy and satisfied with the lives we lead. this president should stop trying to divide this country. guest: i think the president has been very careful. i believe and i think he wronges ther ie is nothing with being in the 1%. he is in the 1%. if you have been fortunate enough to be in the 1%, it will not kill you to pay a little more when we obviously need to. host: we have quite a few people on twitter who have known your career for some time. one of our viewers on twitter asks if we could take time out of the discussion to hear about your efforts with parkinson's
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disease and how new medical treatments are fairing. guest: i do have parkinson's and had had it for 20 years. i have had it probably longer than that. i was diagnosed 20 years ago. i am doing pretty well. i feel very fortunate. i take a lot of pills. i had an operation five years ago which was relatively rare then but is now quite common. i carry two pacemakers in my chest and they send electrical signals to my brain. i do not know what impact they have on my politics. hey don't cure but they ameliorate the effect. host: has your experience with the health care system informed your opinions about the health care lobby? care lobby?


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