tv Washington Journal CSPAN July 15, 2012 7:00am-10:00am EDT
systems after the supreme court upheld barack obama's signature health care law. while they split on committee meetings like homeland security, many took time to address their stances on the controversial provision of the affordable care act passed by congress in 2010. most republican governors said they would rate -- they would wait until after the presidential election before deciding how to implement law. host: we want to find out what you think. you approve of your government's performance? where do you think the performance could be improved? our first call comes from arizona for republicans. caller: good morning.
especially because -- i support governor janet moore wholeheartedly. because she is not only opposing illegal immigration, she is taking a stand against the drug cartels. people of the united states have to know what is going on. these drug cartels are not on the operating here in arizona. there are spreading across the united states. this law that obama put an to have an 800 hot line to report trying to stop that is with the drug cartels. >> d.c. the governor working with other governors in the area to try to address the
immigration or border problems as you see it? >> yes. i do. it is not illegal immigration. it is stopping drug cartel of violence before it spreads to this country. >> we're going to move on to glendale arizona. we want to remind all of our viewers and listeners that when we pick up, make sure that you turn your television down so we do not get any feedback. it helps the conversation process. go ahead. caller: i could not disagree more. i think jim brewer is a disgrace and embarrassment. she does not represent our state well at all. being a democrat dan arizona is kind of a lost cause. >> is there an area where you think you might see some area in
the performance of governor bruce? -- brewer? or is it a lost cause? >> they keep wanting to implement and circumvent the federal law. federal law always trumps state law. . it cannot even keep the highway west stops (>> -- the cannot even keep the highway rest stops open. host: addressing veterans' issues, this is what he had to say. [video clip] like many, we have established day and wounded warrior program that is providing a network of a broad community-based services.
we have several major hospitals, particularly the one in roanoke, virginia. it really helps these for turning -- these returning soldiers. a very cutting-edge thing is being done. and amount of volunteer resources that we get to make that a good program. talking iraq how you approve or disapprove of the job you're governor is doing. but which is heard the virginia
governor talking about issues in virginia. whatever you want to talk about regarding the performance of your governor. by all means, give us a call, e- mail, or tweet. host: thank you. hooray for c-span. my governor is rick scott. i did not vote for him. i think he is doing a good program -- he is a good job. we have a program for future scholarships. the state will subsidize the education based on your grade point average. but that was what obama was
trying to do with the tax reform as well. it is pretty ironic that when a republican doesn't, it is not ok. when a democrat does it, it is ok. those not in washington can find it online. the headline is a list of u.s. citizens. the federal government has agreed to let a lot enforcement database challenge the people's right to vote if they are suspected of it -- of not been u.s. citizens. your thoughts of how the governor is handling that? caller: unbelievably think that is the right thing to do. i am a republican, but across
party lines. i think if you're not a citizen, you should not be able to vote. host: next up is of red in charleston. caller: i do not support nikki haley as our governor. she does not have the experience to make the decisions that the governor has to make. finally, in asia does not want to hear any arguments that does not meet her preconceived notions about particular situations. a nice example would be the recent a veto of our program, which has had a major contribution to creating the culture in our industry and supported our natural resources in the state for many years, including developing housing standards that might lead to helping us in the case of hurricanes.
host: we have a tweet here. host: the you agree with that? caller: i would strongly agree with that. if you cross our state line, when you go from north carolina to georgia on i-95, our roads are one of the best. will not spend any money on our infrastructure in many years. but particularly, we have not spent any money in this time when money was available to help us develop our infrastructure. we have huge problems with getting the men and haley to support things that the developer of the charleston port. there supported the bottom of the port and arizona.
host: your thoughts? caller: york had a couple of calls on jan brewer. i am so opposed to that woman. i think she is a limited, first of all. she is everything that i am against, which, she is just pro corporation. she does not do anything to support the people. been one of the things that she did is we have lottery money that was dedicated to public transportation. she took that to balance the budget. when she was getting reelected, she practically dismantled and eliminated the department of commerce to form her own quasi
governmental commerce authority that she was the head of, along with corporate and industry. it is the idea of getting business into the state. we are a corporate-run state. it is a right-to-work state. i moved from california. that means no unions. i think she is terrible. she never got reelected. chu is not elected the first time. she's just a cover for the senator who took over, and security. that is how she got elected. host: we will leave it there. we got a tweet from north carolina.
well, we have a clip from governor perdue. [video clip] >> we have branded our state as the most military-a friendly state in america. it has been my passion to lead our state's efforts with the military. if you all are interested at all, we would be glad to give you a template for what we are doing. part of the reason our basis is so successful is because we of a huge number of hundreds of thousands of veterans and families. we have done all the things you need to do.
caller: good morning. first, our like to set an example of how state government works against the federal government, here in virginia did pretty much stayed stated that there has been job growth. -- stated that there has been job growth. we haven't. if virginia has put in place policies that cater to business growth or what have you. i do support him. not just because i am a republican, but i saw the previous administration and where it's changed from that aspect. one quick point i do want to make, it is amazing how have seen the president bus through the state of virginia to get votes.
we had a terrible earthquake that rocked this whole state, pretty much. the governor had to come out of his own funds because we were not getting federal funding from the spirit that speaks a lot of volume. think about that for a minute. when the matter to this president? recognize what really is at stake this election. host: sorry about that. the richmond times talked a little bit about president obama's visit to virginia yesterday. host: you'll be able to find that on our web site. charlotte, north carolina. jo is our next caller.
caller: thank you for accepting my call. on to say, our governor has done a great job under the circumstances. we have a republican-controlled house appear. i did not blame her for not running again. with that last talking about the president does. nobody seems to understand or think about, this is a republican congress that has denied everything and blocked everything that this president has tried to do. every state that has republican governors, with disenfranchise states. they cannot win a fair election. host: jim is on our line from independence. caller: i was listening to
everybody's displeasures their governors. it is like a bar where he said, if you think your numbers are bad, wait till you hear mind. we have one of the worst credit ratings in the country. our state is broke. hours. is broke. the killings that go on in that city, the taxes are so high. the corporations and going right over the state lines in wisconsin and indiana. host: who duking says morgan affect an economy? would it be the mayor or the governor? caller: well, with a democratic- controlled legislature. host: do the mayor and governor seem to be on the same page? do their work together?
caller: they always try to work together. when you increase taxes on businesses state-wide. host: all right. we are going to move on to shreveport, louisiana. your on open " washington journal quoting caller: -- "washington journal." caller: good morning. thank you for taking my call. my governors, the most nike people i've ever seen. host: why do you say he is and i leave? -- the most naive people i've ever seen. host: why do you say he is naive? caller: he runs all over the country and tells the lieutenant
governor that he is out of the state. i've never seen anything like it. it is a tragic situation with him thinking that he has a reasonable chance of being selected as a vice presidential running mate with mitt romney. caller: you think he has a good chance? host: -- caller: he has virtually no chance of getting anything. host: your live, talk to us by your approval or disapproval. walter? caller: the man needs to tone it down. he is becoming a proverbial new jersey joke. host: could you start over again? we didn't hear everything. caller: i suspect he is doing
something sadder halfway decent, but he is too confrontational. host: how do you mean confrontational? caller: too much in your face. everything is a big argument. host: and you think that is causing him not to get things done for the state of new jersey? caller: definitely. like with the teachers. the way he would not speak to the teachers. host: all right. let's move to amarillo, texas. we have jacob on . go ahead. caller: yes, sir. i do not approve of rick perry's job performance based on two specific examples. he has gone against obama, president obama and the entire
house of representatives. there was a mexican citizen who was arrested on charges of murder and he was sentenced to death. he was not given representation by a mexican attorney. rick perry was strongly urged by the president and the house of representatives to provide that so we can have the sort of representation at our citizens are arrested. and the other specific example i do not approve of is i just recently heard after the supreme court approved that obama's health care policy, rick perry, i read in the news, he rejected the majority of that plan.
that is then this morning's "the washington post." you're on "washington journal." you do not have a governor. i guess we're talking about the mayor. caller: i guess we can. everyone needs to be accountable for themselves. host: we will leave it there and move on to mike on our line. caller: i was fire of the first caller who called about the drugs in arizona. that is more like a situation where the cowboys are dressed like indians. basically, the murdering setter going down by white racists are
down there. host: talk to me by your governor in new york. caller: he is doing a good job. he is paying attention to the people. he is giving us what we want. he is doing a very good job. host: all right. tore going to move on republicans calling from jacksonville, florida. caller: can you hear me? host: i sure can. talk to me about your governor. caller: i think he is in a terrible job because he has turned down all kind of money that obama has tried to give our state. he is against anything that the democrats want to bring in for
jobs or anything like that. i think this whole issue about the voting -- and i have a fierce of florida will do something like they did with bush and gore with the voting. with the of voting rights. i think people need to be watching him continuously because he is against everything. i just think we need to get him out of there. i do not know how we got in any way. "los in this morning's angeles times."
host: back to the phones and our discussion about your approval of this or -- or disapproval of your governor. melvyn, you're on "washington journal." caller: thank you. i am calling in regards to martin o'malley. he estimates fantastic job. not only that, if he is doing a great job on the national stage. america will be well-served once he goes forward with his national progress. i want to say that in 2014, once our governor has kept his nose clean, he's got to come back and get stephanie because she is a fantastic, great mayor who will
serve this country well. melvin in baltimore talking about governor martin o'malley. we have a sound of him addressing the conference yesterday talking about veterans issues and mental health. [video clip] >> in 2008, we addressed it mental health needs of veterans suffering from trauma-related injuries and stress disorder. that created the behavior all advisory board and the maryland commitment to veterans program. it is shared by our lieutenant governor. and detaining access behavior to services. together, we have invested about $6.4 million.
it has allowed us to make that critical connection between our veterans and needs of services that are available. host: the article in this morning's "baltimeore sun." in one particular part of the article, he writes that some governors estimate that even when the federal contribution for medicaid expansion drops from 100% initially to 90% by 2020, the expansion will not cost its money . host: back to the phones.
robert on our line for independence. go ahead. caller: good morning. you're the reason i watch every morning. i am an avid watcher. mike scott, personally, he is really upset me. he made it legal for all politicians to be able to accept contributions from major corporations. he passed that along. then he refused the transfer rail. instead, they will put toll roads on i-4. host: let's meet played devil's advocate. i imagine people would say that with toll road's you'd be collecting money.
what you think? caller: you still have to pay people at the toll booth. plus, your collecting money for people are writing rails going back and forth from tampa to daytona. it could expand all the way down to miami. there are a lot of meetings going on over in tampa and orlando needs to be connected with it. driving down the road down i- four is a nightmare to begin with. i think the rail of the whole lot of good. host: we move on to joe on our line for republicans. go ahead. caller: as you know, we have beverly perdue. she is clueless, like a deer in
headlights. i cannot the she has been running the state. i think she is been taking all her orders from the obama administration. host: why do you say that? caller: she is in lockstep with this afro-socialist president. she agreed to for acting so the republican legislature drafted a bill to approve a refracting. she vetoed it. she is a loser. the democrats have been running the state for the last 400 years. they have destroyed it. host: we will leave it there. caller: good morning, sir. we have a unique situation here in michigan. we have a governor who is not a politician.
host: a republican, correct? caller: i frankly disagree with him. but i give him credit. host: give me an example. caller: recently we had a thing about a voter i.d. laws that republicans were trying to put through. they figured it was a slam dunk. he said, i generally see that we have a problem here. this is not something we should be addressing. host: what is the biggest problem and how is the governor addressing it? caller: that is a hard thing. we are indicative of what is going on everywhere. i think our biggest problem is the economy. it would be really nice if we started addressing problems by getting more people to buy things, rather than giving
opinion, a more screwed up system in terms of anything. everything they were ever promised just evaporates. i realize is is tough. especially with detroit. our people are leaving. host: from detroit, michigan. on the topic of accountability, governor scott walker in wisconsin at the national governor's conference address that issue on friday. [video clip] >> the one thing i did get frustrated in our state, whether it's this thing the federal government dictated this, or whether it is saying -- and i will raise an issue that will probably be passed. people say collective bargaining prohibits me from paying for performance. picking issue on the right or left. blame whenever it might be.
what i just hear from you or not others as too many excuses. it is too easy to say, it is not my fault, because collective bargaining. the federal government did is we have to do. in the end, employers do not give a you-know-what. i'm not putting the burden on either of the two of you. i am just putting might the venting out loud. that does not cut it for our employers. host: we're talking about, do you approve of the job you're governor is doing. he is mentioned in an article this morning in "the new york times."
second term. he is doing it at awesome job. to be in a red state, he and our congress are doing awesome jobs. they both are democrats and support the president. they're both doing an awesome job. host: we will move on to our lines for republicans. caller: our governor is doing a fantastic job. yes our budget on the plus side. he was a pioneer in getting government out costs under control. we're right-to-work in our state. he is great. i think walker is doing a wonderful job, too. you had this buffoon camped up their taking his 100,000 viewers
is going to change the vote there. it was hilarious what went down with walker out there. host: how do see the relationship with washington and indiana in terms of what governor dennis has been able to get accomplished? caller: i care about indiana. washington is a cesspool to me. people call in here and think the government is going to pay this medicare. where do they think the government's getting this money? a bunch of idiots. yet three or four people calling in and saying they were republicans. there are just a line. it is embarrassing what c-span has turned into now. host: all right. we will leave it there. and this week's "examiner."
let me tell you about our governor. ok. this guy is the absolute worst governor we ever had. he is one of the worst among the nation. let me tell you why. he has this tea party on steroids and agenda. let me give you a few examples. he is taking away money used for social programs to help the poor. you name it, he has taken away. he is crippling education by raising state tuition and cutting back on public-school budgets while he is giving money big time to corporations. here is a few extraordinarily bad things. all right?
there are about 780,000 voters that are potentially disenfranchised because of a voter i.d. laws that he has. here is something that most of the public. i'm surprised that it is not making the newscasts. this man is doing for acting in pennsylvania and putting chemicals into the ground that he refuses to reveal to the public what those chemicals are. in fact, he has put a gag order on doctors in the state's say that doctors will lose their licenses they reveal the chemicals to the patients. host: we will move on to shirley. caller: good morning. i want to thank you.
thank you c-span for all the to do. it is important to hear every side irritability benefit the i think our governor is doing a fantastic job. with a paper here that pokes at him every chance he gets. he is not taking a salary. he sold the plan that the loss to the governor's office. he uses his own expenses. i think we should stand behind him. when a person with his qualifications. did he is brilliant. he is great. betsy and behind our governor. host: we will leave it there. another tweet. host: our last call comes from washington on our line for
democrats. barbara. you're on "washington journal." caller: good morning and thank you for c-span. i want to give a shout out. she is our washington state governor. she is a strong believer in social justice and equality. i as he did say, in general, the party responds for those things. she is always supporting yesin, teachers, the environment. she progresses, which i know it's a bad rap sometimes. she is progressing towards a more perfect union. it has a history which includes republicans and democrats. it has nothing to do with communism, fascism, socialism.
host: we are going to leave it there. coming up, a discussion on the issues facing the state of iowa with the republican governor, terry branstad. and then later ron, we'll be talking with dr. jill stein. she is the green party nominee for president. she'll be talking to some of the green party platform. first, i looked at what is coming up on the sunday shows from c-span radio. >> c-span radio rea errors. topics on the program include the presidential election, the economy, and a tax reform.
also, the president and ceo of the naacp and the president of americans for tax reform, grover norquist. a former democratic congressman was president obama's first white house chief of staff. fox news sunday follows at 2:00 p.m. eastern. also, republican strategist karl rove. cnn estate of the union airs at 3:00 p.m. eastern. david axelrod. a massachusetts democrat.
face the nation from cbs completes the lineup and there's at 4:00 p.m. eastern. republican paul ryan and then stephanie cutter. obama for american deputy campaign manager and kevin madden, senior adviser to the romney campaign. again, five talk shows beginning at noon eastern on meet the press. listen to them all on c-span2 radio. i find a sad -- find us at 90.1. or go online to cspanradio.org. >> this weekend. >> it does from the beginning of
the nation right up to the president. that is important for us. we will reflect the larger story of american democracy. today at 7:00 p.m. eastern and specific. also, more from the contenders. our city of political figures that ran and lost the changed political history. he never ran for political office before ramming the nomination. he would never hold office. he would become an unlikely ally to fdr. at 7:30, this weekend on c- span3. "washington journal." host: the nation's governors are meeting in williamsburg va.
the national association meeting, we will have live coverage of the meeting starting at 11:00 a.m. this morning. even find out more about our coverage on our web site. joining us is governor terry branstad from iowa. guest: vdot do good morning. great to be with you. host: several headlines have to do with governor -- with medicare expansion. what is the overall reaction in iowa to the decision that was handed down a couple of weeks ago by the supreme court? guest: well, i charity health and human services committee for the national governors association. i think you cover our meeting. euro lot about the problems --
you heard a lot about the problems. this is expensive. it falls and the states as was the federal government. now the federal government is $16 trillion in debt. stir $40 cents of all the money they are spending is barred money. they are trying to tell us to pay 100% of it? i do not think they can afford it. i know my state cannot afford it. we have taken a different approach. in fact, last february we unveiled -- we shared with the rest of the governors will we're doing. we're try to get people to take ownership of their own health. we are working with the largest health care provider.
they have nutrition scoring on all the foods they sell. with communities across the state to help people take ownership of their own health and focus on nutrition and things like that. we feel it would be wrong for the state to buy what to buy into this federal program which has a requirement for maintenance of effort. we have seen time and time again, the federal governor will embark on some program and mandate the state's or local communities pick up the costs. a good example is special education, or they mandated all of these costs on states and local school districts. the federal government has failed to meet its obligation. we think with the financial mess, we do not want to make a false promise. instead, we want to look at ways
we can save across the state. in my state, we're one of six states where most of them pay nothing or their health insurance. most people are paying a lot. the lieutenant governor and are leading the effort to lead by example unbilled. all of our state employes did that, we would save $100 million. if that were said to counties and cities, we could save hundreds of millions of dollars. that would give us the opportunity to partner with the private sector in looking at ways that we could see that more of our people do have health coverage. host: in this morning's "baltimore sun" there is an article about a different perspective.
host: talk to me about how the situation is different and i what then it is in maryland and why you see is a bad thing and governor o'malley sees it as a positive thing. guest: he is one of the was partisan democrats in the association. he just raised taxes. university of maryland just came out with a report pointing out that the last time he did exactly what obama was advocating and increased taxes on higher income people, a lot of people left the state of maryland. most of them move to places like virginia were the taxes are lower. i just think that his estimate on this is way off base. it looks like it will cost the federal government is $0.50 trillion dollars.
anyone who looks at this realistically can say it is not affordable or sustainable. they're cutting taxes and regulations. i think that is a recipe for growth and opportunity. you could see it, and i contrast that with this is illinois which has also raised taxes. therefore billion dollars behind in paying their bills. the of the most unfunded liability for their pension system employees. the biggest debt per capita. we want to do as governor walker has done in wisconsin and as republican governors across the country have been doing. that is, reducing the size of -- the size and cost of government so we can attract private sector investment and create jobs. host: we're talking with terry
branstad. he is coming live with the national governors' association meeting is wrapping up today. we would like to get folks involved in the conversation. the numbers are there on the screen. the number to call for our republican line is 202-737-0002. the number to call for our democrat line is 202-737-0001. the number to call for our independent line is 202-628- 0205. we have a fourth line for iowa residents. 202.628.0184. that is for iowa residents only regardless of political association. it can also send this question by e-mail or twitter. our first call, from new york. robert, your on washington journal. caller: i have to give to
questions. guest: good morning. host: [unintelligible] the american economy is not that strong. why is the public news media and not following up? bad number two, we think about that romney and his offshore accounts overseas. thank you so much. host: governor? guest: the second question about governor romney. first of all, as i understand it, his investments are in a trust and he does not manage any of them himself. he has been successful businessman.
i was impressed with how he rested the olympics in salt city. that is exactly what we need. someone to rescue the country. -- we're in debt. when its owner understands how to create the jobs. i don't know what the governor and mayor have done. .ost: let's move on to randy you're on "washington journal." caller: our governor likes to put up the cost of government. we could collect his $65,000 pension called from the last time he was governor. he points out that his family is deeply involved in egg
subsidies. there are what -- a lot of ways to reduce the cost of government. people don't make anywhere near that and have to pay all their health care costs. thank you. guest: that is the reason i am leading by example. when i was the president, we paid about 30% of our insurance. i took a pay cut. university president pays a lot more than the governor. i doubt roughest job because of bad. i want to do all i can to lead by example. i do not think it is fair when
some many people are struggling. i want to do all i can to help people. . >> what about the caller's contention mentioning you're collecting retirement from your first go round as governor during your second go round as governor? guest: well, first of all, i would point out that this is the same retirement system
that all public employees have in iowa, counties, city, school district, and the state, and i earned this for the years of service that i had. i served in the legislature, i served as lieutenant governor, i served as governor, and so i'm not going to refuse to take what i legally earned, and as i said, even when you count that, i'm still making less than half of what i did as president of demoines university. so i was willing to make a significant financial sacrifice, because i love the state of iowa, and i want to do all i can to grow our state's economy. i inherited a financial mess. the previous administration had a big scandal with the film office. we've cleaned that up. we have reduced the size of cost of government, we're i think 718 fewer employees than when i took office, and we are focusing on how we can become the healthiest state in the nation and how we can attract good paying jobs.
i have a goal of 200,000 new jobs and raising family incomes by 25 percent and restoring iowa to the best in america in education. i'm proud of our ambitious goals and we're working hard for it, every day. host: let's move on to demoines, iowa, david is on our line for iowans. david, you're on the washington journal. caller: hello, hey governor. my question is -- >> guest: hi david. caller: the affordable care act, it's not affordable. everything our government does do, we've got everything from our social security to medicare, it's all broke, going broke, so how do they think this is going to work? everything the government does, the federal government does, doesn't do it right, so how does everyone think this affordable care act is going to work? the money comes from us. guest: david, you're exactly right and that's the point that i made, and that's our panel. in fact, david vellinga of
mercy hospital in demoines was one of the presenters aft the health and human services committee yesterday and he pointed out what we're trying to deal with the croppic care issues and how we're working together in a public-private partnership but you're right, the federal medicaid program has been one of the biggest out of control spending entitlements in the country, and the last thing in the world we need to do is add to it another 15-$17 million, 17 million people, without adequate cost controls. we need to revamp and change the whole system and the federal government obviously in eight years, increasing the national debt by more than a trillion dollars, 40 cents of every dollar they're spending is borrowed money, and just imagine what's going to happen when interest rates go back to a more normal level. right now, the federal reserve has purposely kept interest rates at rock bottom, 1 percent. ef 1 percent that the
interest rates go up is going to intk the object li gages -- increase the object li gages of the federal debt by $160 billion. the federal government is broke, and they're deep in debt and when you're in you're in that situation you need to quit digging and that's why we're saying this is something that's unaffordable, unsustainable, and we need to repeal it and start over again. hoat hoat governor will be -- will you be implementing the changes in the affordable -- implementing the changes that are excluded in the act? guest:y reviewing that. as i understand you've got two choices. either you can put together an exchange yourself, possibly partner with other states or let the federal government do that. we're looking at what the state of utah has done. utah has probably done as between as any state in terms of managing their health care. they have among the highest quality and lowest cost.
in the state of iowa we also have relatively high quality and lower cost than most other states. so we're trying to look at what makes the most sense for iowa. we have a group that's studying that, and i think the deadline on that is the middle of november. and so we'll make a decision as to what makes the most sense for the state of iowa. host: that middle of november date, that comes after the election? guest: yes. i think it's the 16th of november. host: so is it conceivable that you're putting off the decision on this until after the election to see if governor romney becomes president and if there becomes a republican majority in the senate? guest: yes. because we don't want to go through a lot of uns in expense if indeed this is going to be repealed and replaced. i think the american people are going to have an opportunity to vote on this and decide whether they think this is something that is affordable and sustainable or
whether it is it isn't. i think the evidence clearly shows the federal government can't afford to do this and it doesn't make sense to embark on an expansion of an entitlement program when indeed all the economists tell us that america is in dire financial straits, and we've got to bring these entitlements under control, and that's going to take some tough decisions. we don't want to become the next greece, and in fact, already, the financial future of america is looking bleaker and bleaker unless we dramatically reduce the magnitude of this federal debt. and you have to pay interest on this debt, and the federal reserve eventually is going to have to bring interest rates back to a more reasonable level and when they do then the cost of interest is going to go up substantially for the federal government. host: we're talking with governor terry branstad, republican of iowa. he's coming to us live from williamsburg, virginia, where they are having the national governors association meeting
this weekend. at that meeting, democratic governor jack markell of delaware talked yesterday on the "washington journal" about the affordable care act and his particular view on individual states moving forward with health care reform. we're going to see what governor markell had to say and then give governor branstad a chance to respond: >> [[video clip] >> there's been so much vitriol about the affordable care act the people have forgotten how unacceptable the status quo is and i can tell you when i was running for governor in 2008, health care was the number one issue i was asked about and that came from people who were concerned about rising costs and it came from people who were concerned about having access. and importantly, the affordable care act addresses both of them. i'm not convinced that a single payor approach is a good one. it's not something that i would support in delaware.
i think we've got now with the affordable care act the outlines of a good first step, but as i said earlier, there is plenty for us to do in each of our states to focus on and improve and sort of moving from the sick care system to a health care system and we'll certainly be doing that in delaware. host: governor branstad, your response to your colleague from delaware. guest: well, i guess the one thing i disagree with him on is that it controls costs. indeed, it's driving up costs and what we're seeing is the cost of health care is continuing to go out of the reach of too many people. that's why in iowa we've taken a different approach. we've partnered with the private sector, we set the goal to become the healthiest state. we started our program by encouraging people to start somewhere and walk and we had 291,000 people participate in
that. we're going to -- we're encouraging people to do health risk assessments, identify their own risk and work on things like exercise and nutrition, not using tobacco products, all those kind of things we can do to control health care costs. but having the government add 15 to 17 million people to the medicaid rolls where medicaid is already -- has already been one of the fastest growing uncontrolled parts of the budget at both the federal and state level makes no sense. and that's the reason why we just feel we've got to look at this thing realistically an recognize there's no free lunch in the federal government. the other thing that really concerns us is this maintenance of evident requirement. like so many federal programs, if you buy into it, then you have to continue, even when the federal funding is diminished. and i think if you remember how we got into this, it all goes back to senator ben nelson, who insisted that the
state of nebraska get protected from the tremendous cost increases for medicaid, so they called it the corn husker kick back and of course he had such a negative reaction he decided not to run for reelection, as senator from nebraska. but then what they did after the democrats lost that senate seat up in massachusetts, you know, in one of the most democratic states in the country, then they decided to just add 100 percent reimbursement for the first two years to all the states, and that adds another half trillion dollars to the cost of this. and there's no way the federal government can afford that. already we see every year for the last several years that obama has been president the federal debt has increased more than a trillion dollars. it doesn't take an economist to figure out that you can't do that with your own budget, you can't -- 40 percent of
what you're spending can't be borrowed money, you can't get by with that very long before you're in deep trouble, and that's the problem for our country. host: our next call from governor branstad comes from memphis, tennessee, arthur is on the "washington journal", your question or comment for the governor? caller: it sounds like the governor is drawing a pension and working for the government, anyway. and the republicans, they always complain about the government but they always take the money from them. and as far as mitt romney is concerned, he burned all that money to rescue the olympics from the federal government. he didn't do it himself. thank you. host: governor branstad, there's an article in the ""washington post"" with the headline: army gardner and tom bols write four years ago iowa launched president obama toward the white house and it
has been a special place for him ever since but he returned here tuesday as an embattled incumbent trying to rally supporters to turn back a stiff challenge for mitt romney. republicans are surprisingly bullish on their candidate's chances in a state where obama has deep roots and where the unemployment rate is well below the national average. democrats, including the president's advisers, concede this year's campaign will be nothing like the relatively easy one obama had four years ago. so talk to us a little about how you see the campaign on each side, and how it's working its way through iowa. guest: well, there's no question that iowa launched obama, he won the caucuses, beat hillary clinton, and also the senator from north carolina in the iowa caucuses, but at that time, he campaigned as a unifier, somebody that would bring the country together, and he's been just the opposite. he's been a very divisive and
a -- president, he's not been a leader and consequently there's a lot of iowa voters, especially a lot of independents that supported him four years ago that feel betrayed, they feel that this class warfare is personal attacks on romney, the personal attacks on the entrepreneurs and business people that are creating jobs is counterproductive. it's beneath the president of the united states. i remember when ronald reagan ran for reelection, his theme was morning in america and he talked about all the good things he was doing to reduce taxes and regulations and grow the american economy. this president is doing the opposite. he's trying to blame everybody else for his failures and for the big debt that we have in this country. and i think iowans are intelligent enough to see through that. just since obama was elected, the democrats, when he was elected, had 112,000 registration advantage. today, it's exact opposite. now the republicans have a
21,000 registration advantage and the most recent thing that he's done, for instance, endorsing one of the most controversial social issues such as gay marriage, which really the president has really no really role in, he's doing that just to raise money from his liberal friends in california and other places. iowans feel that is absolutely wrong. we rejected three people on the iowa supreme court on that issue. so republicans having misgivings about romney have now solidified behind him, the independents and many whom supported obama last time feel betrayed. i think iowa is very much a battleground state and i think there's an excellent chance for governor romney to carry it and i'm going to do all i can, because i'm working hard every day to reduce the tax and regulatory burden and the federal government is doing just the opposite. the ep -- the e.p.a. is
trying to impose cap and trade by regulation and now we see the h.h.s. restricting religious liberty for our catholic schools and hospitals. we think this is wrong. and we even had the department of labor trying to basically outlaw the kind of work that i did on the farm when i was a kid, not only on our farm but working with my uncle and working for our neighbors and we just think that this administration is out of touch with middle america and with the hard working people that we have in the state of iowa, and we need a leader, and i think mitt romney has the experience of being able to rescue the olympics and create jobs in the private sector, and that's the reason why i think in the end, he's got an excellent chance to carry the state of iowa and win the presidency. host: some numbers from the 2008 presidential election
results in iowa. the president, president obama, carried the state with 54 percent of the vote. senator mccain got 44 percent. and all others, about 1.7%. in the 2012 iowa caucus results among those who went out and caucused for the carious republican candidates, senator rick santorum, former senator tore, got 24.6, in a dead heat with former governor romney, 24.6%, representative paul, 21.5%, and former speaker newt gingrich had 13.3%. those numbers from the demoines register. back to the phones. west plain, nebraska. robin on our line for republicans. robin you're on the "washington journal" with iowa governor terry branstad. caller: hi governor. guest: hi. caller: the tenth amendment
rights, your tenth amendment rights -- >> guest: we're going to support the tenth amendment. by the way, your governor, david heineman is the chair of the national against association, he's doing -- gb -- governors association and he's doing a great job. we were at the original home of the first governor of virginia, patrick henry and thomas jefferson, we had dinner there last night, and obviously, they felt very strongly -- in fact, patrick henry was one that insisted that there be the ten amendments to the united states constitution, including the tenth amendment, which reserve all rights not enumerated in the constitution to the states and to the people. host: back to the phones, lagrange, illinois, philis is on our lines for independents. we have lost philis, on to
diane in desoto, kansas. you're on the "washington journal". caller: good morning, governor. it seems every week the president comes out -- with a new directive and i heard one this week that's outrageous, apparently he's giving the states the option to eliminate the training and work requirements for welfare benefits. and what i read was that he says or his administration said that this had been requested by both republican and democrat governors, and i find this outrageous. and i want to know what the -- has this been discussed at your meeting, and is it true that the republicans and democrats both want this ability? thank you. guest: well, it is outrageous, and i know of no republican governor that wants to emasculate the
welfare reform. he was governor back when that was approved. in fact, tommy thompson, former governor of the state of wisconsin, who was a real leader in welfare reform, has indicated nobody else -- if nobody else sues he's going to file suit to prevent the president from doing this. this is outrageous. what happened, when we passed welfare reform back -- this was during the clinton administration, we saw a lot of people move from welfare to work and we were able to reduce not only the welfare rolls but also the medicaid rolls, and we also helped people to move out of poverty into good paying jobs, and we are working every day in iowa to help retrain people so they can upgrade and improve their skills so they can get good jobs. and i think taking this work requirement and job training out of welfare reform and doing it by an administrative
edict is illegal and inappropriate and hopefully it will be overturned, but it shows the arrogance of this administration, undoing one of the most successful and popular changes that's been made, and one of the few things that's been done in recent years in the last couple of decades to actually reduce the cost and the burden of these entitlement programs. host: winston-salem, north carolina, another terry, this one on our line for democrats. you're on the "washington journal", terry, you're on with governor terry branstad. caller: good morning governor branstad and i would say if you would please check the record to find out the person with whom you hold such high esteem, ronald reagan, if you will check the record, he raised taxes every single solitary year that he was in office. if you wish to see who -- >> guest: no you're not right about that. i can tell you what happened is he reduced the tax rates,
but he eliminated a lot of the loopholes and as a result he helped grow the economy. we need to do that again. and if you look at it, when reagan took office we had among the highest top tax rates in the country and when he left office, we had much lower competitive rates. and that's a fact. and you know that. and anybody that can check that out can look at what the rate structure was. now, he did eliminate a lot of loopholes and frankly, that was a good thing and that made our country better. i can say canada has done that as well, and today, canada's economy is stronger than ours because they've reduced taxes, they've followed the reagan example, and unfortunately, we have a president here that's trying to raise every single tax he can imagine, and always attacking the very entrepreneur business people we need to invest and create jobs this this country. host: our next call comes from iowa city, iowa. mike, you're on the "washington journal". caller: yes good morning governor. i retired last year at --
>> guest: morning mike. caller: with the state of iowa. and i'm appalled at your attack on the collective bargaining and reducing benefits of the good workers of the state. i just wanted some comments on that. guest: voluntary. caller: the thing is -- guest: first of all it's not an attack on collective bargaining. what i said, i'm going to lead by example and the lieutenant governor and i and we're encouraging other employees in joining us since we're only one of six states where most state employees pay nothing towards their health insurance, we think this is a way we can set a good example in help reduce costs, and i think people should have some skin in the game so contributing 20 percent, which is a pretty small amount compared to what most people in the private sector and nonprofits and certainly self-employed, paying 100 percent, so we think that's a right and fair thing to do, and i think the vast majority of iowans were
appalled to hear that we had 88 percent of city employees contributing zero to their health insurance. host: governor, i want to point out that we have an article from the green bay press gazette.com, with the headline "florida and iowa bargaining voter rights for ex-felons". iowa does not have a photo i.d. requirement to vote, but it is one of two states. the other one being florida. to reverse prior executive actions that made it easier for citizens with past felony convictions to restore their voting rights affecting hundreds of thousands of voters in iowa and florida. tell us about that. guest: well, i campaigned on this issue when i ran for governor again. my predecessor -- i should say, yeah, my predecessor and the one before him, governor culver and also, governor will sack, governor will vac signed an executive --
vilsack signed an executive order, said once a fellon completed his sentence he got the right to get his job back and run for public office, even if they had not paid court costs or paid restitution and i support felons earning their voting rights back but you have to balance the rights. if they have not met the penalty they've received because of commiting this serious crime, a felony, they should not get their rights back, so what we've established is a simple procedure where once they've completed their time, they also then make application and show they've paid their court costs and fine and restitution if required and then they get their voting rights back, so we've got a good system, it balances rights and responsibilities, and i put that in place the day that i took office,
that's the way it was done for -- as long as i can remember, prior to that time. i just think it's wrong for felons to -- we have $400 million of unpaid fines and court costs and when you tell a felon you don't have to pay it, that sends the wrong signal. we need to say yes, you can earn your right to vote and run for public office again, but you do have to complete the obligations associated with your crime. host: next up is robert on our line from independents calling from redding, pennsylvania this morning. go ahead robert. caller: i'm trying to find out another way, how this guy could be governor. he has, you know, he retired, he got a pension, and the other thing is where most of these senators and all that, when they get out of office they have the best health care, then they're crying about the people that ain't got no health care, where it's costing the taxpayers always millions of dollars. but these guys are not in
office no more but how can they have -- them and their family can have the best health care? host: governor branstad. guest: let me say i was president of a medical school, demoines university, i gave up that job which meant i had no health care, i spent one whole year running for governor -- well, i actually, what i did, i paid for my own health care under the -- there is a situation where if you leave office, if you leave a job, then you can get health care but you have to pay 100 percent of the cost of it, so i did like a lot of other people have done that are unemployed, i paid 100 percent of my health care costs and now i'm elected governor again and i see state employees are paying zero. so having just paid 100 percent, i don't think that's right. that's the reason why i said when i ran for governor i want to see everybody have some skin in the game and contribute and that's why i'm
voluntarily dribting -- contributing 20 percent, i'm encouraging others to do the sail and then i'm hopeful in the future through the collective bargaining process we can get the unions to agree with us that it's fair and the right thing to do for people to at least contribute 20 percent towards their health care. i think if we're all in this together, we all need to contribute, we all need to work on doing the things we can to reduce our risk factors through health risk assessments, through not using tobacco products, through exercise and nutrition. i'm proud to say that i work very -- worked very hard this year to lose enough weight to wear my army uniform. i got out of the service 41 years ago. we had a special honor and recognition for military and veterans on the 30th of june and i was able to wear my uniform for that event. i'm proud to do that, rowd -- proud to have served the country and proud to serve the people of iowa again and i believe that if you're interested in public service you've got to be willing to make the sacrifice, and like
i said, i left a job that pays a lot more than governor because i love the state and i want to make a difference and i'm proud of what we're doing. host: our last call for governor branstad comes from iowa, ackley, iowa. bart is on the line, go ahead. caller: governor, just would like to thank you very much for running, we needed you, you're doing a great job. guest: thank you. host: governor, we're going to give you the last word. guest: thank you very much, bart. host: tell us about some of the top priorities for the state in your mind going forward. guest: well, our top priority is jobs and we're working very hard, every day, to reduce the tax burden. especially the commercial property tax. in iowa the commercial property tax is too high. we got it through the house two times this last legislation, it died in the senate, the last night of the session and we want to get a republican senate that will work with me and pass the systematic reduction of our commercial property taxes so
we can attract more business and jobs to the state of iowa. we're also working to reduce the regulatory burden and make state government more of a -- really partner with the business community, as we seek to protect the health, safety and welfare of our citizens but grow business and good jobs in our state, and i'm very proud of the progress we've made. the unemployment rate has reduced from 6.1 when i took office to 5.1. we have got the state budget balanced now. we've restored the money that was taken from the cash reserve and economic emergency account. so as we look to the future, i'm confident we can reduce the tax burden, reduce the regulatory burden, and continue to look at how we can attract good paying jobs and grow the iowa economy. very proud also of agriculture, which is going through some challenges with the drought right now, but agriculture is today the strongest part of the iowa economy and through
biosciences, we're looking at all kinds of new ways to add value to that, create more good jobs, and we see this whole science technology, engineering and math, being a way to get the educational system focused on the skills that the workers of the future need. host: governor, you bring up agriculture and we've got a last tweet for you, this one from fromtone who wants to know do you receive farm subsidies. guest: no. i don't. in fact, i own 17 acres, and i have voluntarily put 7 acres of that into the -- not in the farm program, but instead i just seeded to prairie grass so 7 acres of timber and 7 acres in prairie gas. it's a beautiful -- we have a log home there in boone county, so i am not a participant in the farm
program. i have a brother that's a farmer, i have three nephews that have completed their college and gone back and joined the farming operation, they've raised cattle and they, of course, corn and soybeans, and it's a pretty dynamic agriculture operation. item glad we still have members of the family that are involved in family farming, but i am not an enother -- an owner and not a participant in that program. host: we've been talking with governor terry branstad, governor of iowa, live to us from williamsburg, virginia and we want to thank you for being on the program this morning. guest: you're welcome, thank you. host: we want to remind our viewers and listeners that you can watch our coverage of the convention, the national governors association convention in williamsburg, starting at 11:00 a.m., on c-span. coming up on the program, dr. jill stein, the green party nominee for the president of the united states. and later in the program, we'll be talking about changes that you should be
expecting to see, coming up in the u.s. postal service, with reporter rachael bade. before we go to the break we want to show you dr. jill stein yesterday at the green party convention, talking about president obama, governor romney, and how she sees the future of the country. here's a bit of what she had to say, she'll join us after the break: >> because voting for either wall street candidate, for mitt romney or for barack obama, gives a mandate for four more years of corporate rule. every vote they receive is an endorsement of the deadly trajectory that we are on for the american people and the planet. it's time to change that plunge into catastrophe. and that change starts with voting for real change.
every vote we receive is a vote for democracy, for the 99 percent and survival for the planet. to achieve that future as president i will work to deliver a new green deal for america. a package of emergency reforms to put 25 million people back to work and jumpstart the green economy, and that economy will put a halt to climate change, a halt to unemployment, and make wars for oil obsolete. [applause] the green new deal
reforms not only our economy but our financial system and our democracy. and it's not just an academic idea. it's based on a program that actually works. the new deal that got us out of the great depression of the 1930s. it's time to bring it back and put it to work. host: dr. jill stein is the green party presidential candidate and joins us here after being nominated yesterday in baltimore. dr. stein, tell us about the green party platform and what kind of specific changes are you proposing that would make the green party administration different than what's being proposed by the two mainstream candidates. guest: the green party, i think it's fair to say, is the only national progressive party that is not funded by corporate money. in fact, probably the only
national party that's not funded by corporate money. so that gives us incredible liberty to be able to meet the needs of the american people that are not being met currently. so we share certain things in common, i think you could say, with the democratic party platform, as it used to be at any rate. many people think we are now the real democratic party because we have the liberty to propose real solutions that meet the needs of the american people, so first and foremost, we are talking about jobs and not two or 3 million jobs, but a jobs plan that really is commensurate with the magnitude of the problem. we do have a jobs emergency. we're talking about 25 million jobs through a program we cl the green new deal because it would essentially eliminate unemployment, it would jumpstart the green economy
for the 21st century and in doing so, it would basically put a halt to climbat change and make wars for oil obsolete. so that's number one. we have a jobs emergency, let's fix it, we've done it before, the model of the new deal. let's put it to work now. why aren't we doing that. we could. the stimulus package of 2009, you may recall, had a lot of tax breaks and subsidies for corporations, but unfortunately, that doesn't create jobs. it did create some, but not enough to really get us out of this very entrenched severe repression in which we have -- recession, sorry, in which we have so many people who are chronicle unemployed. -- chronically unemployed. we're talking about health care as a human right for everyone. so we're actually calling for medicare for all. it works in the way that medicare works. people love their medicare, don't want government to mess
with it, even though it is a government-created program. the overhead in medicare is just 3 percent, while in our current private health care system, the overhead is 30 percent. so medicare for all basically covers everyone, comprehensively, puts you back in charge of your health care, and saves us actually trillions of dollars over the course of the next decade by eliminating that massive, wasteful health insurance bureaucracy and by putting an end to medical inflation. those are two of our major polices and i'll just mention quickly, we're also calling for free public higher education. we've done it before through the g.i. bill, we put millions of returning soldiers after world war ii through college for free and we know the numbers. for every dollar we taxpayers invested, we received about $7 worth of benefits to the
economy, to tax revenues and so on and finally, we're calling for downsizing the military. let's take it back to this -- before this massive expansion of the last decade where the military doubled. it hasn't made us safer. it has actually made us less secure because we're pouring effectively a trillion dollars a year into some bloated military industrial security complex. we want to bring about half of that back into our economy and give us hundreds of billions of dollars to meet our needs here at home. host: it is dr. jill stein and you are a doctor of? guest guest general medicine for adults, internal medicine. host: do you think this gives you a better perspective on how to handle or tackle the health care issue than the current president or the republican presumptive nominee? guest: you know, i think it would be fair to say that i've experienced the health care system inside out, upside down, backwards and forwards, so as a consumer, as a member of a family, and
as a provider. so yes indeed. and further, because i'm not taking money from the pharmaceutical companies and the insurance companies who have actually written the bills, it gives me a lot of freedom to actually do the right thing. and finally i would add that in massachusetts, we already have omabacare or romneycare, or whatever you'd like to call it, for all the difference between them and it has helped some people, particularly the poor, but it hurts other people. this is what studdies show after four years. it pits the working poor and the near poor against the poor. that's not a way to solve our health care problem. furthermore, when you get sick, you find that oh, it was great having that piece of paper but it actually doesn't cover you. people are still struggling with serious coverage problems, even under omabacare and romneycare, so it's not a solution. it's actually a distraction, intended to take the wind out
of the sails of the real movement that is growing for health care as a human right through medicare for all. host: dr. jill stein joins us in our studios to talk about the green party platform and her candidacy. she announced that she was running in october 2011, at the nomination -- got the nomination yesterday at the convention in baltimore and will be talking to us about what's happening with the green party and her candidacy moving forward. and some of the challenges in breaking through the two-party system. if you have calls: here are the numbers:
caller: i was wondering if the green party candidate were elected as president, she would govern cargoo i don't think there are any green party members in congress. there are none in the house of representatives, there are 435 house of representatives, there are no green party members there, there are no green party people in the senate. and further, i just wondered, are there any green party people elected -- legislators in the 50 state sledge slatures? i sort of think you should build the party from the bottom up rather than the top down.
>> guest: really good questions. first, it is very clear that we are not really governing right now. we have two entrenched parties who are unfortunately hamstrung. they both have their arms tied really by their funders and their lobbyists and they disagree and they can't sit down and talk like human beings and figure out a solution. so in many ways exactly what we need is something from outside of that wall street-sponsored 2-party system. and here's how it would work, and i can say that we've actually done this in massachusetts, even while being out of government and we actually see this happen. you may recall with the sopa bill and the pipa bills, the stop online piracy act that the public was so alarmed about we did not want censorship of the internet and we did not have an advocate on capitol hill and
the media wasn't filling us in on it but basically every day people got out there and blew the whistle and we mobilized ourselves, we weighed in with our elected officials and boom, it was dead. that should be the model, actually, for how we either move or don't move bills and legislation, that the public deserves to be informed and empowered and to direct their representatives to direct them. and the president, if she wanted to, could not only be commander in chief but org kneeser in chief and be sure that people knew there's a health care bill for all coming up next week, here are the three reasons why it matters to you, now go call your elected senator and your congressmen and will and let them know why you need that bill. host: james ard sent us this tweet and says mass care teaches citizens to be more like europeans and cheat the system. it's the end of civil society. guest: well, i guess that's
one point of view. on the other hand, we have a good health care system right now under medicare. that provides health care much more efficiently than the privatize dollars system. we got something that's working, why not make it work. you can get yourself trapped into certain kinds of ideological ways of thinking that limit your use of what's actually working and not working in the real world, to take health care as an example, we know the privatized system is not working. now that the extreme court has limited the medicaid expansion. it's not going to work. we know that from massachusetts. there's a track record here we can actually look at. i'm a medical doctor.
eye training, i tend to look at the facts on the ground which is important, you know, when you go to your doctor you don't want them to ignore your blood pressure and your cholesterol, you want an evidence-based approach, strategy. so we can do that in the area of policy. we can actually look at what's working and what's not, and bring our community values to bear on that, as -- on that. as a grinoo i'm not anchored in a particular ideology except our community values and the understanding that in order to meet human needs and have jobs and a workable economy, we need to acknowledge that we also exist in a finite world with limited resources and those are environmental resources as well. the economy and the environment can work together. host: our next call for dr. stein comes from dorothy who identifies herself as a member of the green party. she's calling from richfield, new jersey this morning. go ahead dorothy. caller: hey mike.
i heard you this morning at your convention where you were nominate and i felt as though i was listening to myself. i've been saying the same things for years, this needs to be repealed, we need to take our country back, we have to stop calling social security, medicare and medicaid entitlements. social security is not insolvent. and we have to convince people that government is not the boogyman, government is us, and i am very inspired and i will certainly work to help organize green party members during this election cycle. host: dorothy, before we let you go, can you tell us who you voted for in the last presidential election and what appeals, what is it about dr. stein that appeals to you over the two mainstream candidates? caller: reluctantly i voted
for barack obama. because i could not vote for john mccain. but i was not thrilled with that choice. i feel that dr. stein embodies my beliefs as an american citizen because i think this is my country, it doesn't belong to the corporate entities that are running it, we've become a blew tokracy, and that -- a plutocracy and that scares me. host: we're going to threeive there. dr. stein. guest: thank you very much, dorothy. i think the american people agree with you to look at polls, people are not happy with the choices that they have. a recent "washington post" poll around the turn of the year actually said that about
9 percent, one out of two every people, felt we need a third party and they would seriously consider voting for one. your concern for health care as a human right, for a finance system that is regulated that can't exploit us, take us down with waste, fraud and abuse, the american people want to see that system regulated, we want to preserve medicare and social security. so there is enormous public agreement with you, and again, as a noncorporate-funded candidate, i actually have the unique ability to bring the voice of the american people into this election and ensure that when we go into the voting booth we don't have to simply give a mandate for four more years of wall street rule that has been so destructive to our jobs, our wages, our economy, our health care system, the off shoring, the free trade agreements that continue to
expand under this president. this is the kind of choice that the american people are clamoring for, thank you. host: maverick cents this tweet and writes dr. jill stein, please give us your position on taxes, contrasted the rich, middle class and the poor. guest: yeah, well over the last several decades we've seen a real shift in the tax burden. wealthy, profitable corporations used to pay what was about 5 percent of our gdp in taxes. that's a huge -- it's a substantial portion of our tax base. and that has shrunk over the decades. it has shrunk, actually, to about 1 percent. so those who can most afford it are not paying their burden. over the last couple of years, we saw some of the most profitable corporations pay nothing in taxes, absolutely zero, including g.e., whose head is the chair of the president's jobs council. so you know, in addition to
dodging their taxes, they're also off shoring our jobs. so we need a tax system that meets the needs of the american people. we need for example to tax capital gains like income so, that working people aren't paying a higher percentage than millionaires and billionaires like they currently are. we also need to put a tax on wall street transactions so that we reign in this reckless speculation on wall street that's been so harmful to the economy at the same time that we bring in hundreds of billions of dollars every year to support the economy and the civil society that we all benefit from. host: next up a quall from antwon, calling from washington, d.c. this morning, antwon, you're on with green party presidential candidate dr. jill stein. caller: good morning, c-span, good morning, dr. stein. the first caller kind of like stole my thunder because when we first got started, i was
thinking to myself like how's there a party that wants to go to the top but hasn't have a strong foothold in america at the bottom with our state legislators and i was wondering if you can get more hold of that, then you can build your platform and then become president but because republicans and democrats are so ingrained in our psyche to the root, where you where you have to battle with small before you can battle it on the biggest stage. guest: a good call antwon and i appreciate the question and certainly in running this race we intend to do both, that is, encourage the growth of an opposition party, a party that can really stand for every day people, for the things that we need, for jobs, for affordable higher education, for health care.
we want to promote those needs at every level possible. i myself really subscribe to that theory, and for most of my activist life, i have worked at the state and local level only. what tipped the balance for me was last year, hearing the president put medicare and social security and medicaid on the chopping block and offer them up as a way to solve the debt ceiling crisis, and i kind of, you know, for me, that was just the breaking point. i said i can't be quiet about that. thank goodness, there is a national level of green party, which is effectively the only opposition party out there, thank goodness there is a national level, because i certainly wasn't part of that national level work at all, for all the reasons that you say. we need to be building locally. that's where grassroots democracy is strongest and where it builds from. and when i heard the president saying well, let's start biting into medicare
and social security, i felt like oh my god, we can't let this go unchallenged. so the reality unfortunately is that we have some real emergencies before us right now. the economy is in grave danger, you know, we have been seriously wounded economic -- economically by waste, fraud and abuse on wall street and it hasn't been fixed, it hasn't been contained. the dodd-frank bill is extremely watered down and the process of them establishing its regulations make it even more watered down. so it's not working. we have several new crises that are just beginning to unfold now and we could get taken down again in the nigeria weeks or the next months. we're still in a very precarious position economically. we're continuing to off shore jobs, wages are continuing to decline, the president is holding up gm as the model for recovery. gm, where workers' wages have been slashed while corporate profits continue to skyrocket. this is not acceptable for the american public. we deserve a voice in this
election now. host: lydia is our next caller on other line for independents calling from woodstock, illinois this morning. good morning lydia. caller: good morning. i want to offer up a canon. you have to have an organizing principle to rally around, the following quote from dion, quote, in the end, we will conserve only what we love, love only what we understand, understand only what we are taught. that is magnificent. now, as a small business owner of not only a corporation, but another business, i will rally and produce support, i will offer up -- i will make sure we have some format on the square and i will develop processes not through the venue of money, which is what has happened to both parties, but i think you also need
business support, and i do feel with the canon as i proposed, we will have the opportunity to redesign our goals and the destinations that this country deserves to have. thank you. host: lydia, before dr. stein answers your question, talk to us about why you identified yourself as an independent, rather than being a member of the green party. caller: well, because i had that number available, and i worked yesterday, i did not see her program, i saw it earlier this morning, and when i called in, i called in as an independent, which i really am. i'm representing a corporation as i'm speaking right now, and i do feel you have to have corporate reform, and it has to start on the local grassroots level. host: all right we'll leave it there. guest: beautifully said.
you are right on the money, that the solutions here depend on all of us, they depend on respect, they depend on a sense of community, an understanding and love. you know, this is about reestablishing our community. and i agree with you. corporations are an economic tool, and they can be used very productively to benefit our communities. and as you said, the problem now is that the economic model has been hijacked. we have a particular form of predatory and crony capitalism which is kind of -- which has kind of run rampant and which is hurting small businesses, which is putting them out of business. in fact, small businesses and entrepreneurs are a threatened species in the american economy now. there's been a recent report documenting how they have
just -- their numbers have been slashed over the last couple of decades, as the big corporate multi-national model has really squashed our independent small businesses. and the green new deal, which is our economic plan, would help small community-based businesses become established and grow, in the same way we would also help worker cooperatives and establish public works and public services. so we're talking about a diversified economy where small businesses actually have a really critical role to play because they are a part of our communities. and i have to say that women in business and women as members of our community are really critical because of the perspective that we bring as parents, as those who are chiefly charged with rearing up our children. we bring a certain inherent community perspective to it that you bring in your voice.
and i hope you'll send your quote to my campaign website which is jillstein.org and you can send us suggestions and information there, as well as signing up to volunteer and be the campaign so thank you so much. host: next up is carmen, carmen is calling on our line for greens from hamilton, montana this morning. go ahead, carmen. caller: good morning. i really, i think the same way the greens think. i think that, you know, america has a gigantic cancer and that's why it's dying. it's because we're all under corporate rule. and it's really sad. because so much suffering take place under that. we go to war, go steal other peoples' resources, give all the money to the corporations, they pay no taxes because they're multi-nationals. people like me that go over
there and facilitate, we suffer our whole life. we've got other friends, brothers and sisters in the hospitals and nobody goes to see or anything, then they sit here the rest of their lives while the rest of the taxpayers take care of them, like the economy has walked off with about $300 trillion. host: dr. stein, go ahead. give guest carmen, i thought i heard you say that you were a vet or speaking for vet concerns. that went by me quickly. but i do want to agree with you that there's something wrong with this picture when the 1 percent has effectively tripled its income over the last couple of decades while average wages are going down and american families are struggling to hold on to their homes, one out of every three homeowners is under water, and at risk for foreclosure. the numbers who don't have health care, we have
36 million recent graduates and students who are effectively indeantureed servants because they owe these huge unforgiving loans because they can't get jobs and carry the unemployment burden, and i agree about our vets, that our servicemen and women, both while in service, as well as out of service, after service, they are not receiving the support and the respect they deserve, they have the highest -- the suicide rate in the armed services exceeds the rate of battlefield deaths. these servicemen and women are having to recycle their tours of duty one after the other. it's part of a system which is exploiting people, exploiting the planet, exploiting our economy and the american people have had enough. and this is the time we want to turn the braking -- the
breaking point into a tipping point. and we will do that in this election. host: we are talking with dr. jill stein, candidate for the green party, they ran in massachusetts and received 21.3% of the vote in a three-way race but boss to incumbent thomas stanley who received 56.9%, she was the green rainbow party candidate for governor of massachusetts in 2002 and finished third in the field of five candidates with 76,530 votes, about 3.5% of that vote. in 2010 she was a gubernatorial candidate and received 32,816 votes out of 2.2 million votes. she's the co-author of-in harm's way, taxic -- toxic threats to child development", published in 2000 environmental threats to aging people, published in 2009. we've got a tweet from
fishing sam who wants to know do you support a full audit of the federal reserve. guest oh my god yes -- guest: oh my god yes, of course, as quickly as possible. i think that the federal reserve needs to be brought into the public domain so that it actually serves the american people, not only in terms of being audited so that its actions are transparent and it is accountable, but also, so that its polices really serve the american people and our need for credit and a monetary policy that supports the needs of every day people. this phony economy of high finance, you know, is really taking over our economy. 40 percent of corporate profits now, a huge chunk of corporate profits, is now occupied by the financial services industry, which is mostly about speculation, is about rearranging the chairs on the titanic here. it's not actually about creating useful goods and services. so reforming the fed is
really critical. host: we also have a tweet from chris grey, who writes your voice is needed, hope you can make it into the debates. it would be nice to have a beauty to look at then. and along those lines, we've got a chart here which talks about ballot access. right now the green party is on the ballot in 22 of the 50 states, and the district of columbia. there is a petition in the works in 18 of those states, and you're not on the ballot in i -- i guess that leaves ten states. so talk to us about ballot access, access to the debates, and how it's not that easy being green. guest: and it's not that easy actually being part of the 99 percent these days, and i say it's not a coincidence that the 99 percent is struggling, and independent politics is really struggling
because the 1 percent, the very wealthy, the economic elite, has hijacked our political system and our polices, and part of what they have been able to do is shut out the voice of every day people, including through independent noncorporate parties. so that means we have to keep track of -- as a national campaign that's not part of the machine, the political machine, we've got to figure out our way on to the ballot in 50 different states. they all have different rules, just a mountain of minutia that you got to keep track of. lots of signatures that have to be collected. not so bad in some states, but in others, we have to collect 80,000 signatures in a relatively short period of time, each state has its own start date and stop date and rules about who can collect and all that. so it's an elaborate system for ensuring that the political opposition can't get a foothold.
host: will you have access to any of the debates featuring the other candidates? guest: we hope so. and it's very much in our hands. the current criteria for participating in the debates is that you have to reach 15 percent in public opinion polls. so our hope is that the many people who otherwise don't have a voice, people who are trying to hang on to their homes, who can't afford health care, students who are indentured servants, people who are struggling for medical marijuana which we support and the other campaigns have been very much on the war path against, if these constituencies get word that they actually could have a voice in this election we think there will be enormous support. we could not only get to 15 percent, we could get to 50 percent, and maybe even more than that. so i really encourage people to go to our website, jillstein.org and make this
campaign your own, because it is your voice, and we are here to serve you, not corporate america and the 1 percent. host: this we got from the "new york post" this morning with all sorts of charts and numbers, and whatnot, talking about the two mainstream candidates. but here, it says among major national polls, only reuters shows president obama with a lead above three points. he's plus six, 49-43 percent. twenty-two, rasmussen and the washington times, have romney up one,le real clear politics average has obama up one, 46 1/2 to 44 1/2, nowhere in there do they talk about a 15 percent approval rating or support rating for the green party candidate. guest: exactly, and it's a catch 22, because they won't -- much of the press won't
cover you until you are known and if you're not covered, you won't be known. same holds for debates. how can the public even know you exist, let alone what your polices are and whether they you or not if -- they support you or not if they don't have the opportunity to know you? this is new. when the women used to be in control of debates the threshold was far lower and our debate the -- debates informed voters. look at the republican primary debates. they weren't limited to well known candidates meeting that threshold, those debates were intended to introduce a wide variety of candidates to the republican voting public. our debates ought to do the same thing. debates should not be about deciding who the winner is among a hand-picked few that have been chosen by corporate america. every day people deserve to
learn about lesser candidates who simply don't have the corporate funding behind them, and then let them make that decision. so there's a bad rule to start with about 15 percent, about but it's going to be hard for us to change that rule. on the other hand, i think it's not impossible, by any means, for us to get to 15 percent. look at what happened in tahrir square and tunisia, they did not have political party support and they did not have corporate or media support, but word got out, especially among young people who did not have a future, and the support for a democratic revolution, the word went out, really fast. who tbh their right mind would -- who in their right mind would have thought that an entrenched dictator in egypt was going to be booted out within three weeks? it just went like that because the time was ready and in many ways, that time is right. we are heading for that breaking point. the american people are at
it. and we want to turn it into a tipping point in this election, and people can help make that happen by going to the website, jillstein.org and becoming part of the online facebook, internet communications, e-mail network that gets the word out. host: back to the phones. norman, oklahoma, karen is on our line for republicans. karen, you're on the "washington journal" with dr. jill stein, green party presidential candidate. thank you for waiting. caller: good morning, dr. stein. i always hear people dog the rich but they never say thank you to people for giving up your money to pay for section eight, you know, food stamps, medicaid, and i have a couple of questions. how do you intend to pay for medicaid for all? it's only cheaper because the doctors don't get paid full price. and how long will the wait be to see a doctor when they all quit? and what even can you do with those service members that you're want to go put on the
unemployment rolls? at least they get up and go to work. host: all right karen, we'll leave it there. guest: so how do you pay for medicare for all? right now, when you pay for health care, either through the tax base or paying directly, or it's being taken out of your wages, 30 percent of your health care dollar right now is going for pushing papers. you know, when you go to the hospital and you got to fill out all those forms or are applying for insurance and you fill out all those forms, well, there's a lot of people keeping track of all those forms, so 30 percent of every health care dollar is basically going for those forms and figure out who gets paid and the rules of your insurance company and who your provider can be and if you have a heart attack which hospital you can go to and what medicines you can receive and how long you can stay in the hospital. it's just a mountain of bureaucracy. why should you be paying for bureaucracy? under medicare, people love their medicare, now, it's true, medicare has been
messed with and certain things have hurt the finances of medicare, and doctors pay -- doctors' pay has been limited, and but for most people, that's not the driving concern. you know, the concern is how they're going to pay for health care. and the cost of medicare went way up when this medicare part d got put into it by george bush. it's basically a giveaway to pharmaceutical companies. if we didn't have that giveaway to pharmaceutical companies, medicare would be in pretty sound financial condition. so we're talking about an improved medicare for all. it pays for itself and more. host: all right. next call comes from norm on our line for democrats, calling from collinsville, illinois. good morning norm. caller: dr. stein, congratulations on your nomination. guest: thank you norm. col i saw the presentation -- caller: i saw the presentation of the green party platform yesterday, i don't think that it's
liberal, i don't think it's republican, i think it is common sense for everybody. could you please comment on what needs to be done with the homeland security act and patriot act, and another thing is the green party supporting -- for social security, having the fica tax taken out, all the way up, no matter how much somebody makes? it's ridiculous. we could finance social security for the rest of this century. thank you very much and good luck. guest: thank you very much, appreciate it. and your response, nawm, is what we hear all the time from democrats, from republicans, from tea partiers, from right to lifers, from independents, that we can have differences around the margins in particular polices but people are so hungry for a human scale politics, for a politics that's real, that's
not 100 percent scripted, and polished, and where the script is being written by the corporations. you know, people want to take their democracy back and this is our chance to do it. so thank you for recognizing that and for being a part of that. yes, social security is under attack. there's absolutely no reason why people are even talking about social security being insolvent. because as you say, there is this giveaway in the tax base for social security, in the employment taxes, so working people are paying a much higher percent of their wages than the rich. so absolutely take the cap off of it and the problem is gone. the issues on homeland security, on the patriot act, and i would add to that the national defense authorization act and hr347 which is the criminalization of protests, our civil
liberties are under attack. and i would adhere that a lot of libertarians are agreeing with our campaign as well, that we need to restore the basic fundamental american principles of a government which is of, by and for the people and not bought and paid for by wall street. and we also need to restore and protect our civil liberties which are gravely under attack. they are under attack by george bush. many people thought by voting for barack obama that we would get them back, but what happened was exactly the opposite. what he did was write into law, to quodfy the violations of george bush so they -- to codify the violations of george bush so they will be with us. we've got to change that. host: mark in washington defines himself as being part of the green party. go ahead mark. caller: good morning dr. stein. guest: good morning mark. caller: hi. i'm not really a member of the green party but i do have a few questions and i could very well vote for the green
party. guest: uh-huh? caller: this question is regarding the tax structure, we have three main taxes that come out of the peoples' tax, that the average every day person sees, and that is social security, medicare, and then your federal withholding tax. and my suggestion would be lift the cap as you just suggested on social security, and have each of these taxes ind of each -- independent of each other where one funding stream cannot be borrowed from another funding stream, and then have to absolutely fund each tax separately via the income tax and corporate income tax and personal income tax, and then that way people know where their money is going. host: mark we're going to
leave it there because we're running out of time. dr. stein, your response please. guest: great. and you know, it's worth looking at these suggestions. i think we already agree on some of them, as you suggested. yeah, and i think we do need to have accountability. and i think part of the reason that we're looking for ways to secure our revenue streams and know it's not going to be wasted, that it's not going to go to some corporate welfare, you know, people don't trust government, and for good reason, and it's gotten us into trouble, and i think that all these problems would be so much easier to solve if we had a government that we trusted and we felt like it actually is us. it's not a surrogate for, you know, the economic elite, for corporations. yeah, i specifically agree with you on principle and the details are worth looking at
so send them to our website, jillstein.org. host: before we wrap up we want to show a tweet by roseanne barr, she says i wish jill stein good luck, she is the best candidate running, the green party needs cohesion now. at one time ms. barr was being talked about as a possible running mate. can you tell us what that situation is now? guest: i have so much respect for roseanne, which is -- i think ought to be the example and leaded way for other people of means, of incredible reputation and talent. for her to put herself out as she did over the course of this race is wonderful and my hope is that we can keep roseanne involved. i know she is busy and she has a new program that's under development, so it was an incredible gift that she took the tile out that she
did, and i know she struggles to balance these commitments. so we currently have a v.p. and we've chosen a vice presidential candidate whose name is sherry hunkela, who is -- she's a national coordinator for the poor peoples' economic human right s council and she is full-time full-time on it and i think we chose sherry because she is the person for the job and she's able to commit herself 100 percent to it. i would love to keep roseanne involved in the campaign to the extent that her other commitments allow her to do that. host: dr. jill stein is the green party presidential candidate and has been our guest on "the washington journal", thank you very much for being on the program. guest: thank you very much, rob and great talking with
you. host: coming up, when may we see changes in the u.s. postal service? that's the discussion we'll be having with reporter rachael bade, but first, what's coming up on c-span radio. >> on the sunday shows the topics today include the presidential election, the economy, and tax reform, and you can hear replays of five network tv talk shows on c-span radio, beginning at noon eastern with nbc's meet the press, today host david gregory talks with senior adviser to ed gillespie, the assistant democratic leader, dick durbish -- durbin, along with senator jon kyl, also the president and ceo of naacp, ben gellis and president of americans for tax reform, grover nor wist. at 1:00 -- norquist, rahm emanuel, chicago's mayor and former democratic congressman, he was president obama's first white house chief of
staff. also on this week is new hampshire republican senator
kelly ayott, noted as a possible running mate for mitt romney. for us nooks sunday airs 2:00 p.m., chris wallace welcomes rick scott and terry branstad, iowa republican and strategist karl rove and democratic consultant joe trippe. cnn's state of the union followings at 3:00 p.m., candy crowley welcomes a senior adviser to the campaign, david axelrod, then governors bob mcconnell, a virginia republican and duvall patrick, massachusetts democrat. also on the program, agriculture secretary tom vilsack. face the nation from cbs follows at 4:00 p.m. eastern with host bob schiffer talking with house budget committee chairman republican congressman paul ryan. then stephanie qatar, obama for america deputy campaign manager, along with kevin madden, senior adviser to the romney campaign. that's five network talk shows beginning at noon eastern time brought to you as a public service
by the networks and cnn spavment. the lineup again, noon
eastern, nbc's meet the press, 1:00 abc's this week, two, fox news sunday, 3:00, state of the union, and at 4:00, face the nation, from cbs. listen to them all on c-span radio, washington, d.c. area, nationwide on xm satellite radio. find us at channel 119. listen on your blackberry, download the iphone app or go online to c-span radio.org. >> when you realize that these armies or remnants of armies were not coming to his aid but were trying to escape to the west, that's when he collapsed, when he felt he realized finally it would come to an end and it was only a question of suicide. >> historian antony beevor with a look at the second world war. >> his main objective was simply not to be captured alive by the russians, he was afraid of being paraded
through moscow in a cage and being spat out and ridiculed and all of rest of it. he was determined to die and eva braun was determined to die with him. >> antony beevor on sunday's q & a. >> host: rachael bade is a writer with congressional equally and is here to talk about us about postal reforms in the congress. >> thank you for having me. host: tell us, why can't the congress and senate seem to get together on how they're going to reform the postal service? guest: for about a year now the postal service has been waiting for congress to give it a makeover, basically pass reform legislation, the $200-year-old agency is finding itself floundering in the age of the internet based on the decrease in mail which kills revenues. in order to restructure it needs congress to pass a bill to overhaul it.
now, the senate passed a bill in april, but ever since then postal reform has been on pause. we're waiting for the house to act. the house has a bill that it has marked up and it's ready to go since october, but it hasn't moved. so some of the reasons people think it hasn't moved, you know, we have daryl issa, the sponsor of the bill, republican of california, he's saying it's a matter of time before they do anything, it's a schedule issue. there's been some speculation as to whether or not gop leadership and issa have to both pass the bill. i think it tends to fall flat, however, because when the bill is marked up in committee it had support from all different kinds of republicans, very conservative republicans, fiscally very austere republicans but more traditional republicans as well, so i think it will have the votes and right now it seems to be a matter of home. host: looking at numbers regarding postal reform from the senate side, as you mentioned, they passed their
bill in april, with a 62-37 vote, and it among other things reduces mail processing centers, closing some 252 down to 125, it places restriction on closing rural offices and waits two years to suspend saturday delivery. and on the house side, if we have those, as you mentioned, this is a bill that is cosponsored by representatives issa of california and ross of florida. this allows the postal service to end saturday mail delivery, streamlines the postage rate, establishes financial -- a financial control board, restructures annual prefund money and transfers $11 billion in surplus retirement money. explain those last two, the restructuring of the annual prefund money. what does that mean? guest: so if you're following postal debate, you hear this
word prefunding, a lot of people talking about it, especially the postal unions. basically what the prefund is, in 2006 congress decided the postal service had a huge financial liability in the future when it came to a whole bunch of people who were about to retire from the postal service and they were worried that the postal service wouldn't have enough money to pay for these benefits, so congress passed a law basically requiring the postal service to pay for about 40 years worth of retiree health care benefits in advance over a ten year period, so the payments come to be about a little over $5 billion every year. the problem with that is that the postal service doesn't have any money right now so for the past two years they've been having to ask congress to kick the payments down the road, they can't pay them, they don't have enough money, so you hear this debate about should they get rid of the prefunding requirement, and then just let the postal service take care of the future liability in the future, or should they keep these prepayments and restructure them so they're not as expensive. host: the transfer of the
$11 billion in surplus retirement? guest: that's actually in bill's postal bill, that's in the senate overhaul and house overhaul, that's basically a pot of money the postal service had overpaid into federal retirement accounts and it's about $13 billion now and it's growing, and basically, both pieces of legislation would allow the postal service to access that money and use it to give financial incentives for postal workers to retire early, to just depart on their own accord, talking about $25,000 payments for each person. host: you mentioned that representative issa said that this is a scheduling, but it seems like there's enough items in both bills that are similar enough that they could pass them in both sides, have something to go home to their constituents with in october and november and say listen we're actually getting stuff done in congress. guest: i think they do have enough in common they could just pass a simpler bill and then do the rest of the overhaul later. for instance, the 11 to
$13 billion overpayment. however, i don't think lawmakers are talking about it yet. i know that some aides have suggested that that could actually happen. or that's an idea. but it doesn't look like they're going to do that. so i think some of the other reasons why we're seeing delays with the house taking up the bill is that there are two totally different sentiments when it comes to postal reform in each chamber. in the senate you had lawmakers who were utterly freaking out about postal closures and the constituents saying oh no our constituents don't want this to happen we need to stop this and patrick don who said he wouldn't have any closures until may 15th so senators said we have until may 15th to pass a piece of legislation and their legislation would basically delay a lot of these closures since they don't want them so they passed the bill in late april, sent it to the house and said hey guys can you pass this, so they don't close many post offices? the house has a totally different sentiment. even daryl iss has actually scold dollars the postal service for waiting to make the closures, he says you
don't have enough money to keep them operate, they're operating at a loss and you need to do something. you need to like step up these closures, so the urgency is not -- i wouldn't say it's as strong in the house as it has been in the senate. host: we're talking about postal reform efforts on capitol hill with rachael bade of congressional quarterly, if you'd like to get involved in the information, the numbers are: host: you can also get in touch us by a social media, twitter, facebook, and e-mail. we'd love to take your snail mail questions, but that would take too long to get here, so you'll have to get in touch with us via social
media. ours first call for rachael bade comes from cleveland, ohio, paul on on the phone with the "washington journal". caller: thank you for taking my call. i'd like to actually say that representative issa's plan only has one co-sponsor. there are two other plans in the house that have over 200 co-sponsors that he will not allow to come up for a vote. i think that's a big problem. because issa's plan wants to eliminate door to door delivery all together. as far as the loss to the postal service, 96 percent of our losses are due to the prefunding requirement in the fers payment, and plus, they've stolen 50 billion plus from the civil service. that's all i'd like to say. thank you. guest: okay, so you bring up some good points. yeah, there are other bills in the house. they are introduced and sponsored mostly by democrats. democrats in the house, they are looking at this
prefunding as a huge problem, and something that should be completely, you know, gotten rid of all together. i would say that issa brought up his bill, although it only has two sponsors, it has a lot of support from republicans and obviously republicans control the house, so even though there are a ton of sponsors on the other bills the chances of them actually moving are slim to nil because they're mostly democratic support. as for the -- your last point, that the congress has stolen something, about $50 billion in crs money, for listeners who are not familiar with retirement benefits, basically what he's referring to is a retirement account that the postal service, some say, has overpaid about $50 billion into, between $50 billion, and $60 billion, and so some lawmakers favor giving back not just that $13 billion overpayment, but also, this huge pot of money that's in a
different federal retirement account. now, the government accountability office has done a study on this and basically, they've said that that was not an overpayment. the government accountability office said that was a legitimate contract that was signed back in the 1970s and even though there is a little extra money, that goes beyond what the postal service owes for federal retirement of its workers. that was agreed to, a few decades ago. so the gao is saying if you give that money back, that's going to be taxpayer money you're going to be taking out of that account and if you take out $50 billion from a federal retirement account, we're going to have to fill it somehow. so the gao suggested that that was not a good idea, and ever since then lawmakers have kind of back pedaled, no longer supporting giving back that bigger pot of money but rather the smaller pot of money. .
that it would take money away from management if they were to default. with the financial condition of the's service, it could possibly happen. that is not -- with the service, -- the's the postal service, it could happen. a lot of democrats and social servants do not like that bill. host: we have a sweet -- a tweet. massachusetts. james on our line for
republicans. caller: i have three points. the first point is, if they put more postage on junk mail that i keep throwing away. number 2, the government should get out of the post office system altogether and let the postmaster and roll run it. they would make money. those are my comments. host: james from massachusetts. guest: you are not the only person to save the postal service should be privatized. a lot of conservative-minded service -- people agree. they want to maximize profits. delivering mail to both parts of wyoming or too small towns that
are ours from civilization is not profitable. it costs a lot of money. the postal service spends a lot of money delivering that mail every day. what is left to happen to people who live in the mountains and the desert and in the middle of nowhere. are they not going to be allowed to get their mail? are they going to have to pay an exorbitant amount because the postal service has to spend more on fuel and send more labor out to meet them? there is this idea, this universal postage idea, that people should be able to send mail and receive mail. that is not going to happen anymore. you favor getting rid of saturday delivery. there are lawmakers who want to do away with saturday delivery right away. the postal service wants to do
away with that in itself. some say if you do away with saturday delivery, senior citizens will not be able to get their medication. a republican and co-sponsor of the senate bill does not support that proposal. the unions say if you get rid of saturday delivery, you will be putting 70% of the mail on pause for the weekend. people are definitely talking about that. as for pay more for postage, the postal service is capped from increasing postage by x amount of dollars. that is not being talked about in either bill right now. however, the postmaster general has asked to raise rates in the path and he could do that again.
he will need permission from an independent agents to do that. host: our next call comes from johnny in south carolina on our line for democrats. thanks for waiting. caller: the post office wastes a lot of money on things that could be used for other things. there are robots that are supposed to move mail around. they spend thousands of dollars. the post office pays them to sit home and do nothing. they paid managers these bonuses every year for doing nothing. host: as a former postal
employee, what would be the top remedy you would put in place to save the system? caller: they need more oversight. that is what they need, some oversight. host: from congress? caller: no, from management. guest: it is interesting you bring up bonuses for postal service employees. that was brought up on the floor. there was an amendment adopted that would cap the pay of posstal -- posstal service -- postal service executives. they were making more than the head of have a agencies were making. they were being held over year after year until somebody
retired. after they left, they did not have that happen anymore. they adopted an amendment that would a cap that -- would cap that. i would not some -- not to be surprised if that passed the house. host: we have a tweet from jan -- next up on our line for posstal w -- postal workers is dan. do you think we should go back to using horses? caller: yes. the problem with the post office is that we are the only federal agency that pays presell health
care. just because people live in alaska, they should not get their mail. we should compete with fedex and ups. the last comment is we need an oversight in management. management system around and does nothing and waste our money. host: dan in new york. guest: 3 comments he made. the first one was about the refunding. -- prefunding. i do not think they will be getting rid of it altogether. democrats do not favor that. we will see a huge restructuring. maybe to reduce those payments. it will still be there, just a
little less of a burden than it is now. regarding remote areas, that goes back to what i was saying about the counter argument to privatizing the postal service. you are saying the problem is postal management. i think some of the supporters of issa's bill would agree with you. they are trying to set up this commission that would have oversight 0 -- over management tips. they would have power in approving changes. they would be in charge of approving everything being -- the postal service would be in charge of.
most people do not want to see polls go -- postal services being limited to 1 or 2 people. host: bruce, you are on "washington journal." caller: i am 71 years old. we had a post office on miracle mile and they closed it. i had to go to santa bell to buy stamps. back in the early 1970's, they tried to close down saturday delivery. that was stupid. did not fly. the postal service works. thank you. bye. host: burce -- bruce?
guest: saturday delivery is a big thing. eventually, we will see it disappeared. -- disappear. i think that is something we will see because postal management wants that. that is where you see the postal work. they have been losing billions of dollars every year. this year, they will be losing $14 billion. last year, they lost $5 billion. congress delayed a $5 billion bill that they owed at the end of the year. they have this prefunding pavement. he's attracted what they owed,
they would still lose money every year. that continues -- if you distract -- subtracted what they owed, they would still lose money every year. they are going to have to look at the runways of doing things. host: on may 4, you wrote under the headline, postal service says it will release plans for rural office closures. has been -- the posstal service
released these plants -- postal service released these plans? guest: the postmaster general wanted to close about 5000 rural post offices. that was the plan up until mid- may. they had pressure on them not to close these facilities. lawmakers were angry they were making these plans to close places where people gather and people would be mad if they see their rural post office closed. they put forth a plan for this. they will offer it them. that is glenn to save them an estimated $6 million.
we do the last part of their journey. we do the leg. if they deliver everything they take in, they lose money. delivered toible to live every person in the united states and take a profit. i take trucks all day long from fedex to ups and we finished off the last leg. i never used to take trucks from them. they delivered to every person they take pages from. they would lose money. it is the postal service. how can you put a 45 minutes stamp to alaska and turn a profit? fedex and ups send us their stuff all day long. i take it in.
we get it to the customer. they turn a profit. we do not. they are profit-making entities. host: hold on a second. i want to read a tweet along the same lines. he said 95% or more of their packages are paying extra for the guys in the brown shirts. is it 90 5% from your perspective? caller: i do not know about that. i take trucks from them all day long. sometimes they are stacked up behind each other so we can do the last part of the journey. we are a service to america. we are not supposed to turn a profit. the republicans want to put this profit-making formula on the post office. we cannot turn a profit to deliver mail to every person in
this country. we cannot do it. they know it. host: let's do this. they pick up the packages and my office and then they take it down to your distribution center and deliver it across the country and then someone from fedex delivers a? it? caller: i do not know that. i'm just taking their tracks all day long. i never used to take fedex and ups trucks and now i take them all day long. guest: what happens is they take in a lot of mail. they sent it most of the way. the last few miles they have been relying on the postal service with some sort of partnership to take those packages and deliver them to folks.
i know i have read something about the increasing reliability on the postal service from fedex and ups. i know they are increasingly using the united states postal service to deliver. that is actually an area where i believe records are growing for the postal service. i would expect to see that continue to grow. we are not supposed to turn a profit and republicans want to turn a profit. republicans are not concerned about profiting the u.s. postal service as there are about sustaining themselves. for the past few decades the postal service has not taken any money from the u.s. government. they had a self sustaining organization.
that iskages we send, what holds them all. people are worried that they will have to turn to congress and ask for money to keep themselves open to keep paying these postal workers. i think the argument is that they need to be self sustaining, not that they need to make a profit. that is what everybody wants them to do. host: back to the phones. thank you for waiting. caller: hello. what i see here is my carrier. he said that there are managers where he works that really did not do much of anything. in the last summer and spring within a two month time frame there was a person following him
around with a stopwatch and a clipboard. you would think that that would have some affect on his route in speech. i do not know how they structure this. nothing ever changes. i am sure the person following him around is superior to them and get paid even more. that is just one thing. this seems to be almost cultural. in the 1980's, the general had the boards of all these organizations. they do not make the difficult decisions. they give it to things they should not -- they commit to things they should not. the feature catches up to everybody. that is where we are. i think we ought to bail this organization out. we need the postal system. it ought to be carved in stone what the future will look like and how it will be structured. host: we will leave it there.
guest: you are comparing them to the gm board's when they're saying that managers are not willing to make tough choices. i would argue the opposite. the postal service is wanting to make tough choices. some people say that these tough choices are too tough and they will end up hurting themselves. they are willing to close half of the mal heril. they're willing -- mail. they want to get rid of overnight delivery. did they seem to be trying to look forward. the problem is they're waiting for an overhaul. nothing is really happening right now. they are able to do a few things on their own but a lot of this they need permission from congress or congress will pass
legislation to prevent them. i would say they are forward- looking. the question is what is going to help and what is not going to help. you said we should build them out. -- bail them out. that is not a popular sentiment. people are seeing the federal debt and budget. they are worried. they want cuts. they want us to have a way to balance our budget. some people want to do that. bailing out the postal service is not really a political option right now. the thing is to get them on their own 2 feet. the question is how we're going to do it. i do not think you give them any money. they have been able to do this on their own. that is what lawmakers want to do. >> nexhost: next up is ted.
caller: since the postal service became a private business, and they diversify some of their services and open up money transfer services or something like all these check cashing places? they have the locations to do this. have they ever talked about diversifying and adding new services to the post office to make it more saw that? -- solvent? guest: that is in both the bills. the postal service is not a private entity. it is a government organization. both pieces we give them more flexibility to look for different ways to make revenues. the house bill would allow the
postal service to put advertising on their postal trucks. you might be saying taste the rainbow sundae. the bill would allow them to shift this so they could make profits that way. there has been talk about allowing them to work with states so they could offer a fishing licenses or notarized letters. the bill would also set up its own commission that would be charged with finding these new ways to make money whether it is due products or services. they can kind of a boost revenues. host: next up is a family member of a postal worker. go ahead. caller: thank you. i am a family member of a long-
term postal employee, for over 20 years. i have a three. comment. comment. it is very difficult bridge if it is easy for the government to collect our money but not return it. the problem or as simple as returning the money, this is a simple solution. secondly, cutting those profits will increase the unemployment rate across this nation. the labor unions and the people of the postal service need to protest the government and demand them to give legislative power over their organization and not cut their jobs. this needs to be brought to the attention of the public at
large. host: we're going to leave it there. >> be said they need to get back the overpayment money. that is referring to the pre mandate. we agree on that. it'll be interesting to see if they pass legislation. they can use this to start restructuring. the bigger pot of money is not really part of the equation. the accountability office has said that was a legitimate payment. it is not like they were stealing money from the postal service. they're saying if you give that to fillwould bthey would have that void.
you are worried about the unemployment rate. i can say the postal service has said they're not planning on doing that. they're going to reduce the work force through attrition. they have been able to reduce the workforce to about half a million postal workers. doinge planning to keep this. so far no lay offs. no announcement of layoffs. it is a promise that they will not have to do that. if it comes down to crunch time who knows what happened. maybe that will be in the cards that they do not get the restructuring they need. host: thank you for being on the program. we want to tell our listeners a little bit of what is going on. we begin the o