tv Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN January 18, 2013 1:00am-6:00am EST
education law in my lifetime -- [applause] straight out of charles dickens. train them for exams, do not let them -- they might start asking why politicians do not keep their promises. no talk of love. the president takes no child left behind and he softens it. a race for the top. there will be 12 winners. the word enterprise, i am a very patriotic american. i like capitalism. it is good to me. the word enterprise is sickening. it has had a pathological effect on our attitudes. these wall street guys who want
to privatize our schools are setting up academies. dr. martin luther king academy of leadership and enterprise. or they will name them for langston hughes, frederick douglass. i do not think a lot people should let them name the schools. [laughter] [applause] they should name it for people they do not like. [laughter] here are a few points. i will be unfashionable tonight. everyone in washington seems to think the way to solve the problems in our schools is to not give them another cent, another penny, to improve and make the schools look like
places that are inviting and respect the value of children. aesthetics count. do not do that, but beat up on their teachers. that is the trend today. [applause] attack the unions. i heard about the teachers union from teachers in l.a. last fall. i flew to chicago to stand with them the day they went on strike. they were right to go on strike. [applause] i will tell you something. i am in schools all the time. when i was a young teacher, i remember this. schools are overwhelmingly -- the teachers are women. you go to a convention, if you are a guide, there are like 50 women for every guy. it is wonderful. i love it. [laughter]
when they scapegoat teacher unions, the ruthless way they do, they are attacking some of the largest unions in this country of devoted, unselfish, inspired, loving, tender, good, female human beings. they are women. it is an attack on female women. [applause] i remember dr. king's last words when he said i have been to the mountain. that mountaintop is something that is a symbol of hope. it is biblical. it is something we would like to get back to. we wish we could get there again. but the dialogue of school
reform is just like the dialogue of health care. there is nothing transcendental in it. there is nothing courageous in it. they are tinkering around the edges of an equity. that is what president obama is doing. fix the schools, they say. fix the schools. a very suggested word. it is a mechanistic terms. as though our schools were out, and our kids were commercial commodities. i hate that word. here is what i believe. i think that is emblematic of the low level of dialogue. my favorite american poet happens to be langston hughes. i read his poetry to my fourth graders. it was considered dangerous. curriculum deviation, i was fired.
i was hired shortly after by the johnson administration. [laughter] my favorite worldwide poet happens to be the irish poet. ts.lilliam butler yea there are lines many of us learn in school and forget. he said, the best lack all conviction while the worst are full of passionate intensity. we need that passionate intensity on our side, on the side of the poor children in this earth. i beg the president to summon up the courage to give us that voice. if he does not, it would be a terrible betrayal of his role and he will miss an opportunity to leave behind a beautiful
legacy in history. it will be his tragedy as well as ours. [applause] >> we are clearly headed to a real debate about austerity. i do not believe austerity is the answer. some people do. there is a big debate in the coming weeks as we get to this debt ceiling debate. talk to me, from your perspective, about this notion of compassionate conservatism. there was a movement 12 years ago to present that as an alternative. what happened to that? >> i would be glad to go down that road but i do not think it is useful. in the 1970's, jack was trying to gently develop a real understanding of how to break through at every level, housing, learning, jobs.
and who i always told people, as a football quarterback, had showered with more african- americans than most republicans knew, had a deep, passionate commitment with every american he met. his heart was big. he did love everybody, to a point where it drives you crazy. you think, slightly less love, jack, it is ok. the use of it by the bush people was a political slogan to show they are softer than the gingrich republicans. they did not think through any serious, systematic program. i want to commend you. sitting here, i had two ideas, sufficiently radical, that would never have occurred without this conversation -- [applause] i did not say right or left. i just said radical. [laughter] one is talk about schools and talk about saving the children.
then figure out what saving children leads you to, which involve nutrition, prenatal care, a lot of things. if you start with saving children, you somehow skip the bureaucracy and start back. want to say to the congressional head of the black caucus, i want to step away out here. >> i cannot imagine you doing that. [laughter] >> i was impressed with the intensity of your comments. [laughter] i think part of the challenge we have in america is the real dialogue that takes more than 90 minutes, or more than two and a half hours. here is my proposal, which i will carry to the republican side, if the congressional black caucus wants to do this. i believe the congressional black caucus members should offer to match up with a
republican member, each going together to spend three days in your district, for example, and you spend three days in the republican district, and those days will lead to a conversation that will help us move back to help the by partisanship and help each side had a slightly different understanding, and maybe start to create french-- friendships from which we could actually begin to rebuild the ability to govern. [applause] >> if you could make it work, i am in. if you could get your side to do it, i am in. that is a very good proposal. >> check it out and tell me how many of your folks are willing to visit. i will find republicans to make sure that happens. >> i love it. [applause]
>> when you are all reflecting together, try to come up with strategies of how you can sever the link with those who control both of your party. [applause] >> i will let rose and say what she wants to say. my warning to the camera operators, i will walk in front of her to get out to the audience to talk to our special guests. they are everyday american people. the truth is americans, our fellow citizens, are doing the best they can with what they have and where they are. every single day. the fight back without government help coming through, on the evil of austerity is real.
>> i was glad i was here. one of the things that is usually absent, there is an effort with the hon neo-liberal agenda, everything should be for sale, to vilify teachers, to vilify anything public. the corporations have been in control and this country is in disaster. i want to talk about the american labor movement, who is behind social security, one of the greatest anti-poverty programs. we have to have -- the president
cannot cut care for the most vulnerable people in our society. medicare is such a critical program. also pushed by the american labor movement. the other thing it does is to set a new high for wages, living wages for people. benefits, pensions. if you can find a job in america, get past the terrorism corporations do. if everything were unionized, we would have wall street on the run. [applause] >> stand up, all three of you. turn that way. we will have a conversation for a couple seconds. i said to my staff that i wanted to make sure i talked to everyday people who can tell their own stories and own words
trying to navigate their way through poverty. let me ask you to thank them in advance for their courage for what they are about to share to come on national television to share their story. [applause] i want to start with mary ann, who is willing to come on national tv to share her story. some of us make bad choices in life. somebody say, amen. those choices put us in situations where you have to wrestle with poverty. there is always a better way. there is a way out. there is an end to poverty. some people to call and find their way out of the situations
they put themselves and. mary ann is an authentic american hero. let me give her a couple seconds to tell her own story about being a substance abuser. as a result of those bad choices, finding herself deep in poverty. i want you to hear where she started and what she is doing now. take a minute and tell your story in your own words. >> first, i do not necessary believed it was a bad choice, as it was a symptom of deprivation. it came to me and we talked about love. i grew up in a middle-class family. it was not about money so much about love and deprivation. i ended up using heroin for 23
years of my life. at the end of my addiction, i was introduced to crack. i thank god for it. it hit me so fast so hard i hit rock bottom so they could treat me again. for the third or fourth time. i ended up getting myself together and going to a french culinary arts schools and vocational rehab. i landed in a place where i had an opportunity to work with men and women just like me. i worked every day. [applause] i had the opportunity to work every day with men and women also suffering from deprivation. they are not just homeless and hungry. they need healing. the approach is that holistic week, we try to empower our students, of which 90% are
either coming back from prison and/or are substance abuse folks. there are an increasing number of people who come to us with mental health issues. we try to shorten the line. we prepare 5000 meals a day that goes to social service agencies that give the folks we were with the support they need. it is not just about jobs and education and housing, but healing as well. [applause] >> how about that? thank you. this is a conversation about self-sufficiency. your thoughts, a quick word about the choices or the lack thereof so many brothers and sisters have when they paid their debts to society. they come out and have that record and draw their efforts. they cannot get an opportunity. they cannot get a second chance.
they cannot get their lives on track. >> that is what greatness is all about. some sense of service and love and self confidence and self- respect. i see it in you and feel it in your spirit. we have to allow that to spill over so it has to do with public policy. not just personal. i want to keep the focus on you right now. i salute you. [applause] >> this is tammy, a 20 year-old mother of one son. 21 now, excuse me. you are grown. [laughter] she found herself a teen mom. she is not the only one in this country and mary ann was talking earlier about the difficulty
many young women have trying to navigate through poverty when you are a mother of a young child. she is a student at northeastern university and studying political science. this is the fight back we are talking about. please say a quick word about what it is like trying to navigate through poverty when you are a single mom and what you say to all of those single moms watching right now trying to navigate the same journey. >> thank you for having me. it is not easy to be able to come and leave my baby back. i was feeling sad. i did not want to leave him. this is a fight for plenty of women, and not only single mothers. single fathers out there as well that struggle just as much as i do. [applause]
i know plenty of them and they struggle. picture this. you are a single parent, but you have to come up with a way how to feed your family, work at the same time to pay bills, and go to school to get an education to better your life. last year, i only made $8,000 the whole year. my food stamps were cut. that was the only way i was able to feed my son, $85 a month. the average family spends close to $500 or more. you expect me to spend $85 and live with that for my son. we had to be sent to a shelter because my mother no longer wanted us living with her. i had to pay rent at that shelter, get food stamps, have my own food in that shelter, and yet i was also a freshman at northeastern university. how was i going to do all of this at once? people ask me how i was doing this.
you are an incredible woman. i am not. i am a normal person trying to fight for my son to have a better life than i did. [applause] i may seem extraordinary because of all of the things i have been able to do, but i am not. i am a mother trying to fight for my child. [applause] i am studying political science because i want to be up there in the future to show that they are the experts. [applause] most are through research. the true experts, counting myself, are out there. i want to be able to, in the future, show everyone else, counting the president, that statistic, that is not my name. i am not a statistic.
i am an individual trying to make my life better. when you ask me how i am able to be a student, pay my bills, get food stamps, but you are cutting my food stamps, so i am not able to pay for food for my son, so, technically, you are taking the ability to feed my son, and then you ask me, how are you able to accomplish all of this? i say, thank god for someone like mary anna who is able to come and say, take pictures of what you experience, show other individuals what you face day- to-day, and i am able to tell other people they are not alone in this struggle. i am afraid every day what i am going to do every 24 hours and how i will be able to pay my bills.
if i make 1 cent more, my food stamps will be cut more. and i will not be able to pay it all at the same time. i am on a scholarship but that can get cut, too. but you expect me to hold up a 3.0 for a 4.0 gpa on my own, trying to work, be a mom, and a student at the same time. but i am a statistic. thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you. say a quick word. tell me more about this program. >> it is to break this silence. there is so much in the national rhetoric, so much shame and stereotypes about people who are poor. witnesses to hunger is about making sure women who are strong have an opportunity to speak back and participate.
tammy is a great example. there are many people among us and all across the country who are witnesses to hunger. they need to speak up to break the shame. there is courage. thank you. they are amazing. >> that person is my mother. she is here tonight. there are two sponsors that made this possible tonight. there are a lot of resources to make this possible. thank you, c-span, for carrying
this conversation around the world. [applause] i also want you to thank the foundation for being our title sponsor tonight. [applause] she is organizing young people to express themselves and raise their own voices about the conditions they find themselves in. you heard me offer those statistics earlier tonight about what is happening, poverty, in the state of mississippi. this is what we are talking about. this young woman is organizing a people and getting women together again to fight back and let their leaders here about the conditions that young people in poverty today are having to endure.
tell me a bit about your work in mississippi. >> thank you for this opportunity. before i start to talk about my work, i would just like to say, bring a prison like my grandmother to the table, who was working at the hotel for 335 b 3:35 in the morning and at night time for the car factory on an acre and a half of land and a three-bedroom house, one bath and, and 20 of us in it. there is the true face of poverty. bring an expert like her to the table. her thing was to make sure we get educated. even as a young child, my escape from poverty was to get a good education. i knew once i got a good education, or at least tried to get a quality education, that
would be my way out of poverty. that is what i continue to fight for. to build young people like me to lift our voices and fight for quality education that puts us on top, not because of our situation or circumstances. it will lift us up out of poverty if we receive a quality education. that is why i push so hard along with the organization i work with. people inside are going inside of the schools and saying to the principals and superintendents, we have a voice. so many times, they do not see young people as equals. until we start to work intergenerationally and learn to value each other's voices and be in the same spaces, because we have solutions to these problems we are facing right now. that is what i am trying to do. bring our voices to the table with organizations behind us to strengthen our voices.
that is my fight and it will continue to be. >> you are a student where? [applause] >> my high school. [applause] >> thank you. jonathan. say a word to me about the agency young people have all across the country that they do not engage to speak up for themselves. i love how she started. her grandmother is an expert. we are taking this conversation to colleges and university campuses all across america. you can sign that letter to the president and you can see the rundown for the next couple of weeks on college campuses, at taking this message to young people and asking them to engage
the president in a conversation about what he will do to eradicate poverty. we will start that worked on right. all of the details and afuturewithoutpoverty.com. our young people who can be empowered about this story. >> there are a lot of good and charitable groups in this country who will give young people an opportunity for their voices to be heard and widely. i support those groups. with a passion. the trouble is there are too few and too selective and precarious in nature. charity is a blessed thing. i never turn it down. but it is not a substitute for justice. [applause]
only government can give us systematic justice in the sense of empowering all of our young people or the wealthiest of the privileged to stand up and speak out, ask discerning questions. in most schools, there is no time to ask questions. you have got to get those students prepped for the exam. do not let yourself get interrupted by asking a question. that will ruin the school day. you will be penalized. one of the most divisive and invidious schemes i have ever heard for improving schools. teacher against teacher.
let me quickly surprise you by ending quickly by saying, i want to hear the voices of young people. i have a selfish reason. that is how i write my book. they are filled with the voices of young children. whenever somebody says, that is eloquent, i say, there is no eloquence like the eloquence of the witnesses themselves. god bless the young women who just stood up. [applause] thank you. >> thank you all. i will start to my left. the clock says we have less than seven minutes to finish this conversation. have you learned a lot tonight? have you enjoy yourselves? [applause]
again, #povertymustend. our website, afuturewithoutpoverty.com. sign that letter. ask the president to give a speech about how he will address poverty. the time right now could not be better. then we could start a conversation. the rest of us will be forced to have a conversation about poverty and then we can get traction on this issue. we can bring these experts together and start to figure out a way to cut poverty in half. i will start on this end. 30 seconds apiece. i have to be off the air at 9:00. whatever your closing thoughts are about the issue.
>> i want to be on that task force. i thank you for asking that to be done. [applause] >> please thank her for being here. >> the safety net is maligned and criticized, but unemployment insurance have worked very well in the severe downturn. the problem is the program has not worked well. it is not tied to the condition of the economy. it needs to be fixed. >> roseann.
>> i am inspired. i want folks to understand they have to engage. they cannot trust those in washington d.c.. we have got to take control in our democracy. i want to talk about the fact this goes back to unemployment. it is a very easy read. it cuts to the chase in terms of facts that there are programs to get through and get 100% employment. do not discount america. take control of america. [applause] >> i forgot to mention, the book is called america's poor and the great recession. ideas about what democrats and republicans can agree on. speaker gingrich.
>> thank you for assembling an amazing group and a fascinating evening. i hope everybody found it as intriguing as i did. it is clear our institutions are not working. there is a need to rethink from the ground up and use all of the various technologies. then have a conference at the end and then give a major speech. i think we do not have the solutions in this city today for an effective speech that really breaks through. he can draw our attention. >> the forthcoming book is called, "a better american future." please thank him for joining us. i appreciate it. [applause] >> thank you for bringing us together.
what an amazing group of people with great solutions. the solutions are there. they are clear. the politics are broken right now. we have two parties that represent. we need a third party to represent the rest of america. [applause] >> "the price of civilization." a great read. [applause] >> remember martin luther king jr. it means much. we live in a culture where honesty is much more of a liability. truth telling can get you in trouble. we can cut against the culture if you get on the love train. fight for everybody. >> "the rich and the rest of us." thank you. last comment. >> we have way too many children
who are hungry and poor. if we will solve polity, we will all do it together. you'll have to have a national plan. let's make sure low income americans are on that love train with the rest of us. [applause] >> 15 seconds. >> a wonderful preschool, fun, joy, love. do it because we are decent people. [applause] >> "fire in the ashes." please thank the foundation, please thank them. [applause] please thank the network. please give a round of applause to c-span for carrying this conversation live. [applause]
thank you very much for joining us. afuturewithoutpoverty.com. god bless you and good night from washington. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] >> coming up on c-span, former senators kent conrad and judd gregg discuss the federal budget and get. and the forecast from the international monetary fund and
the american bankers association. >> the u.s. hopkins of mayors is meeting this week in washington. on "washington journal" we will speak with two mayors, mayor scott smith and mayor stephen benjamin. also, how president obama is delivering upon a campaign promises. our guests are jeff buckley -- jack buckley and tom loveless. >> friday night on c-span, we will show you inaugural speeches. at 8 p.m., ronald reagan from 1981. bill clinton from 1993. dwight eisenhower from 1957.
harry truman from 1949. john f. kennedy from 1961. george h. w. bush from 1989. lyndon johnson from 1965. jimmy carter from 1977. george w. bush from 2001. starting at 8 p.m. eastern on c- span. >> why did you write a book about your experience? >> i felt that the perspective should be brought to bear. there were some things that i felt were not completely accurate. i thought it was important for the story will -- but historical record. people need to understand their different policy options and disagreements.
if you want to prevent this crisis from happening again, the public itself needs to engage more on financial reform and educate themselves. i tried to make the book accessible. i hope people will look into it. >> sheila bair on the government's role in that worst financial crisis. sunday night at 8 p.m. on c- span's "q&a." >> kent conrad and judd gregg talked about ways to balance the federal budget. they spoke for just under an hour at this event hosted by the u.s. chamber of commerce. [applause]
>> first senator gregg. >> thank you, marc. i appreciate that. that was quite an introduction. it is free to be here -- great to be here. they have been a wonderful firm to have represent me. it's also a wonderful to be here with kent conrad, who was a close friend, and i am glad his dog made it through so he could be here. he is a deficit hawk. more important than that he is a thoughtful and conscious -- voice of a conscious for the senate throughout his term on fiscal responsibility. we worked together in a very effective way to try to bring some sort of bipartisan effort into the requirement that we do
something about the debt. it was really, as was mentioned, an idea that we came up with on a long plane ride i think to central america to put together a commission that then threw into the simpson bowls proposal that has become the defining memo for the effort to try to get that is under control. bob zoellick is fond of quoting a friend of his, the foreign minister of australia. we met a few months ago who said to him the united states is one debt deal away from leading the world out of fiscal chaos and disruption. we are. we truly are. we are a nation on the brink of massive economic expansion. from the place that can't is
from, north dakota, you see the change in the paradigm on energy. we will go from an important country to exporting. our cost of energy for as far as i can see will be the lowest in the world and will change the whole dynamic of our markets and how we produce and how productive we are and how we grow as a society, but that is only part of it. we're still the place for all the great ideas come from. whether it is apple, facebook, for my part of the country for we are producing breakthroughs in medical technology. we are a place of massive liquidity. america is still inherently entrepreneurial. we still have people willing to take risks for the opportunity for themselves and the people they employ. the one thing that makes people concerned is our fiscal house, and the fact that we are on a totally unsustainable path, and
that if we stay of this path we will essentially bankrupt our future and our children's future and reduce our standard of living. how do we resolve this? how do we get the one deal, as the foreign minister of australia said? it appears the big bang approach, which was a comprehensive agreement that we put together by the congress, and then was picked up, will not be the way it happens. there will be a trend here, chunk there. we have seen this happening as we have gone over the past two years where we had the events of
august 2011 with the budget control act, which produced a very substantial deficit reduction effort in the area of discretionary spending. it was $900 billion. it also produced the super committee, which did not get results, but it did move the ball the putting some ideas on the table. then you have divided group and a group of six. -- have the biden group and the group of six. it was awful. an opportunity was missed in my opinion, especially by the house republicans to take up what had been a fairly legitimate savings, and what we ended up with was a tax bill. we now have 900 billion in discretionary spending. 600 billion in revenue. the next exercise, in my opinion, has to be about spending restraints, specifically entitlements. that is where the big enchilada is an issue that has not been taken up yet. how do we get to that? there are three pressure points. you have the sequestered, the debt ceiling, and you have the continuing resolution.
the sequestered and debt ceiling fall on top of each other towards the end of february. these to say and republican leadership and the senate, which is served in for 12 years, you never take a hostage you cannot shoot. the problem with the house was they took hostage the cannot shoot when they took the fiscal cliff. if the republican members of congress take the debt ceiling as a hostage, it is a hostage you cannot shoot. as a very practical matter, if we go over the debt ceiling, we do not increase the debt ceiling, republicans will not win the debate. they will argue they are not increasing it because they do not want to control spending but they will not win the debate. what will happen is the white house will pay with cash flow of the interest on the debt. the debt will not be called. what they might not pay our social security checks. the moment the american citizen
figures out they may not go out, the game is over. tenfold. because believe me, though congress can stand up to the senior lobby. so that is not a legitimate process to take the debt ceiling as the hostage. the appropriate goal, whether the debate should occur. the president gets to talk about the faults. -- defaults. he gets to talk about social security. we should be talking about spending. spending restraints. where is the logical place to do this? the logical place is on the sequestered. that is where the next pressure point should be. we should have the debate over how much spending should be restrained and how it should be restrained. the sequester is a 1.2 trillion dollar event.
that is a number that fits neatly into the debate structure. the president got 600 billion in revenue. 1.2 trillion in spending restraint makes sense. the two match up rather equally. people say we already did 900 billion in spending restraint, so that is not fair. i am speaking the partisan position here. but the point is, the debate over the sequestered is the debate over how you control spending. the sequester is discretionary spending event primarily, but the debate on how you put off the sequestered should be a debate about how you dress -- you address entitlements spending. i happen to think there is a pathway for agreement that is logical and a win for both sides. the only way you get agreement is when both sides win. it is something like this, there are series of entitlement changes that do not impact
immediately and leapfrog the president's term in office so the price he will pay will not be significant in the area of political capital, with -- but drew very significant steps. most of the entitlement concern is down the road driven event and the things that basically involve changing the ways we reimburse and tadema's and give people enough time to anticipate the change so they can build a life structure is the go into retirement to handle it. i happen to think what was already put on the table by the president, and that is changing from a regular cola to a chain calculation. it only saves -- only 250-$300 billion. only in washington. it is a multiplier event. it compounds aggressively in the
second 10 years. big, huge event. because inflation is so low, it really will not be fell dramatically by anybody in the near term. also, changing the age. phasing it in over 60 years so that no one under the age of 20 would be impacted by the change we make. nobody. you would have thought we would do it tomorrow. if the president is carrying the bully pulpit on that issue, you can do that. then of course there is a whole issue of changing medicare reimbursement from being utilization and cost plus system to be and out comes about your system. that will take time, but there is a lot we can do in that area that would produce massive savings. so there are things that can be done that would leapfrog the president's term but he scored a huge savings. they are structural.
how do did the revenue side? if you want more revenue, the way you do that is by having tax reform. change the tax laws so they create more revenue. i would be happy to get in more depth about it. clearly there is a path to get this done. i believe we have an opportunity to do it and republicans take the right hostage in the next round. thank you. [applause] >> we have just heard the answer. so we can all leave here feeling very good. i recommend you immediately call your broker and invest any funds you have in cash into the market and tell them judge greg sent you.
-- judd gregg sent you. i think judd is right about this in terms of our overall economic condition, but we do face this extraordinary challenge in the near term. before i get into that and let me thank leading authorities for organizing this. i have so enjoyed joining your team. i get to be the same -- i get to be on the same team as judd gregg acrobat delights me. in the united states senate, he and i were chairman and ranking member of the committee. we were on a trip to central america and south america. during that trip, we came up with the concept of a commission to deal with our runaway deficits and debt. and during those long plane rides, while our wives sat patiently listening to us, we went over how it commission may be fashion, what the goals might
be, how it might operate in order to achieve a result. we came back with the idea of the statutory commission. a commission set in law. when we took that i get to our college for a vote in the united states senate, we got 53 votes for that proposition. unfortunately, in the senate, you need 60 votes. so we were seven votes short. interestingly enough, seven of our original cosponsor of voted no on the day of the vote. if we would have had those seven original co-sponsors, we would've had a commission that is in law and that may have made a profound difference. because we did not, we had to go to an executive order commission, at a commission ordered by the president of the united states, which became the bowles-simpson or the simpson- bowles commission on which we both serve. you may be wondering how is it that come if you had 11 of 18 votes that it did not go to a vote in the congress?
normally, 60% of the vote carries the united states senate. but on the commission, the requirement was to have to have 14 of the 18 agreed. so we were three short. but we did put together a plan that serves a very -- serves as a very good blueprint going forward. and it is a blueprint that i still think has relevance today. i thought, since we're now on the brink of another debt limit fight, that it might be useful to kind of review where we are. as judd knows so well, i am not comfortable unless i have slides and charts. so let's go to the charge. -- charts.
when we look at where we are, if it can start with the first slide, we are borrowing 31 cents of every dollar that's was spent. that is an improvement because we were borrowing 40 cents of every dollar that we spend. so we have some improvement. but that is an unsustainable circumstance. you cannot be borrowing 31 cents of every dollar that you spend. when we look back at how we got in this situation, obviously, deficits are a function of the relationship between spending and revenue. the red line on this chart is the spending going back to 1950 as a share of our gross domestic product. the green line is the revenue line. what you can see is the gap between those two. we were spending a 22.8% of gdp in 2012. that difference represents a
deficit of $1.10 trillion. you can see that we are very close to being at a 60-year high in spending and very close to being at a 60-year low in revenue. so i would say to those who say that we just have a spending problem, i think you have that half right. we have a spending problem. we also have a revenue problem that needs to be addressed. let's go to the next slide if we can. the result of these deficits and debt is that we now have a gross debt that is more than 100% of our gross domestic product. you can see right in the middle, in 2012, the gross debt of united states has now reached 104%. why does that matter? the best academic research, a book by rogoff of harvard reinhardt, it looked at 200 years of economic history and concluded, once you get a gross debt of more than 90% of your gross domestic product, your future economic prospects are
dramatically reduced. future economic growth is reduced anywhere from 25 to 33%. so these are not just numbers on a page. this is a question of future economic opportunity. how will the economy grow? what kind of life will people leave? when you get to a gross debt of gdp, your future economic prospects are reduced. we have talked about the revenue side of the equation, the spending side of the equation. looking at the revenue -- i showed a slide earlier this showed revenue at 15.8% of gdp. typically, if you look at the economic history of the country
in the last 30 years, average revenue has been about 18.6% of gdp. but the last five times we balanced the budget, revenue was not at 18.6% of gdp. it was close to 20%. revenue and the times would balance was close to 20% of gdp. that kind of sets up the question of what the president proposed. because he was calling for $1.60 trillion of additional revenue. remember that that -- he was calling for $1.60 trillion in revenue over the next 10 years. to put that in context, how much revenue are reprogrammed to raise over the next 10 years? that number is $37 trillion. so $1.60 trillion increase in
revenue is 4% increase. we cannot have an increase of 4% in revenue? of course we can. if we put this in context, 4% additional revenue over the next 10 years, certainly, we can do that. let's go to the next slide. the same is true on the sending spending on the spending side of the equation. let me just say that i use these slides on the floor of the senate to persuade my colleagues to negotiate up. when the president laid down his plan and the speaker laid down his plan, i went to the floor of the senate and said, him, let's take the presence revenue number and let's take the speaker's spending proposal, let's take them both. but the them together and let's have a package that actually
gets the job done. because together, their proposals would have met $4 trillion of the deficit and debt reduction, which virtually every economist says is necessary to sterilize the date -- to stabilize the debt and really stabilize the debt and really bring the number down and put us on this drought -- put us on a sound fiscal course. so take the president's revenue proposal, will put $6 trillion, which is less revenue than we had in the simpson bowles proposal -- if you take the same base line, simpson bowles has more revenue than the president was proposing. let's take the savings that the speaker was proposing on health care. he said $500 billion over 10 years. again, if we put that in context, we will spend over 11 trillion dollars on health care. so the spending proposal that
the speaker meat represents 4.5% of the health care spending over the next 10 years. we can't save 4%? really? what company in america face with a circumstance that we have would say, oh, no, that is too tough. we cannot save 4%. yes, we can. let's go to the next slide. especially if you put in context where we are in health care expenditures in the world, the most recent years that we have comparisons with other countries was 2010. we know that we are now at over 80% of gdp on health care in this country. nobody else is more than 11.5%.
the idea that we cannot have additional savings on health care and not hurt anybody is preposterous. we absolutely can have savings in health care. and when you have savings in health care, 40% of that savings flows to the federal government and federal programs because federal government is funding 40% of the health care in this country. so we have big savings in health care. we have big savings in federal government. discretionary savings, the speaker proposed $300 billion over 10 years. again, if we put that in context, we will spend $11.60 trillion over the next 10 years. that would represent a savings of two 0.6%. as judd indicated, we are have $900 billion in savings in the budget control act. so there are substantial savings that have already
accrued in this area. but we can do another $300 billion. we can save another 2.6%. other mandatory, that is the other major canned -- major category. the speaker proposed $200 billion. we will spend $5.10 trillion in this category. over the next 10 years. so that represents again a savings of 4%. what have we begun -- what have we become as a country if we cannot make a 4% change? really.
that is something we should be able to do. so, under the compromise that i propose, taking the speakers numbers, taking the president's revenue, you can see how it wraps up to a total of over $4 trillion of savings over 10 years, which is, as i indicated what virtually every economist says is necessary to get us back on track. we are borrowing 31 cents of every dollar we spend, but we're also on a long-term trend. according to the congressional budget office, if we fail to act, we are failed to a debt
that is not 100% of their gdp. it will be two hundred% of their gdp. -- it will be 200% of our gdp. the budget control act has already dropped discretionary spending to historic lows. you can see and the budget control act, we will go down to 5.3% of gdp going to discretionary spending, down from 8.3% last year. and 13.6% back in 1968. so you can see we are already making substantial changes on the discretionary side now. where we really need to focus -- the judge made this point. medicaid, medicare and other federal health benefits going into dp, looking for two 2050, you can see -- in 1972, we were spending 9% on health care cuts. we are headed for spending 12% of gdp. this is the 800-pound gorilla. this is the problem we have to confront. by the way, social security is pretty stable as a share of gdp. it has gone up a little bit and it will go below more with the baby boom generation. that is not the problem. here's the problem. if you look at the fiscal commission plan, it had -- if you look at current comparisons -- over $5 trillion of deficit
reduction. it lowered the deficit to 1.4% of gdp in 2022. it stabilizes the debt by 2015. it even further reduced discretionary spending. it built on health reform savings, called for social security reform and provided specific things to do to get social security solvent for the next 75 years. and it also included fundamental tax reform that raised revenue. and raised quite a bit of revenue, $2.40 trillion, would have been revenue. revenue not required through raising rates, but revenue that would come through reforming the tax code, reducing preferences, exclusions that are shot through the tax code to actually be able to reduce rates and raise additional revenue. for anybody that wonders, can you really do that? remember that tax expenditures are running $1.20 trillion a year. we are spending more through the tax code than we are through all of the appropriated accounts
of the federal government. this is what happens to the deficit as a share gdp under the fiscal commission plan. you can see dramatic improvement. the fiscal cliff plan, what was just adopted, you'll know the elements here. we turned off the sequestered for two months the unemployment extension was included for a year and the farm bill was extended for a year. but don't let anybody tell you that that had anything to do with deficit reduction. because here is what the congressional budget office says. the total revenue loss from the proposal is $3.60 trillion. that is from extending all the bush era tax cuts, except for
the top 1%, and the permanent fix to the alternative minimum tax -- those two things lose $3.60 trillion of revenue. additional spending, three and a $32 billion. so the deficit was increased by $4 trillion. and that does not count debt service. so we just dug the hole deeper. and anybody that tells you this thing raised net revenue over 10 years, no, it did not. it absolutely did not. because, when you fix the alternative minimum tax for 10 years, that cost you $1.80 trillion. so you picked of $650 billion by raising the rate on the top 1%, but you have permanently fix the alternative minimum tax, which come in below, would generate 1.8 trillion dollars
over the next 10 years. what is bigger? i will tell you that republicans should have been celebrating this as a massive victory, a massive tax cut because, in fact, that is what has occurred here. this is a big tax cut. so i say to you, in terms of what has to happen next, i think it will require the revenue side of the equation and the spending side of the equation to be addressed. let me conclude by saying this. how do we get out of this in the current circumstance? the president says he will not negotiate on the debt limit. republicans say they will not
vote for excess and on the debt limit unless they get substantial additional cuts in spending. i think judd is absolutely right. we have another dynamic at work here. and that is the sequester. $1.20 trillion of across-the- board spending cuts, half in defense and half in non-defense. republicans delight it. democrats don't like it. that creates an opportunity. there's also the question of how long do you extend the debt limit. i think it would be incredibly foolish to renamed on the debt of the united states. -- to renig on the debt of united states. but how long we extend the debt limit, that is open to negotiation. and between the two of how long you extend the debt limit and how you deal with the sequestered gives you an opportunity for another attempt at a grand bargain. revenue and spending restraint,
especially on mandatory programs to get america back on track. we can do it. we have done much tougher things before. this is an next opportunity to put america in a premium position in the world. if we solve this problem, there's nothing that can stop the united states from continuing to be the most important and dominant country in the world. thank you. [applause] >> thank you very much. we will open it up to questions. i would like to start with one. we know what the problem is.
and we sort of know how to solve it. but we are confronted by the reality of the political dynamics on the hill. a republican house that was elected within their districts by large margins and president who won an election. how do we bridge the gap? how do we actually get the deal done. >> we have a system that is incremental in nature. we're not a parliamentary system where, if you control the government, you can move very quickly and aggressively. i have always said that the american politics is played on the 40-yard line. and both sides feel very strongly about their philosophical position. but there is a deep identity of interest that i think needs -- leads to premature should lead
to agreement. if you're the president of united states, there are two events that you know may occur in the next four years, which could totally derail your capacity to do the of the things you want to do about the nation, your positive agenda. the first is the terrorist and weapons of mass destruction. i think this president has been dedicated to intelligence gathering and his use of various capabilities to reduce that threat. and secondly, the issue of the financial crisis driven by the market's losing confidence in our currency because of the fact that they take a look at the church that he has put up there and say these folks can figure it out. and that will happen. it is not a question of whether it will happen. that will happen.
at some point, somebody will wake up in the financial markets someday and say, the dollar is not paid what they claim is worth because they cannot pay it back without deflating the dollar. you don't want that to happen on your watch because it will sidetrack the economy. so the president has an incentive to come to the table and get this issue under control. can you have the republican position -- and you have the republican position. the dna is that you have to get the spending under control. the question really becomes the politics of getting people to go across the aisle to reach agreement.
i don't think the house can do it, to be honest with you. so many seats in the house now are gerrymandered by party. the one thing that happens in those districts, about 65% of the house is now gerrymandered by party. your elected by your base -- you are elected by your base. the one thing you're based won't tolerate -- governing in our system means compromise. you cannot go across the aisle because your threatened immediately on reelection. -- -- because you are threatened immediately on reelection. i think the leadership has to come from is the president. the president has to be interested in to this issue and lead. he has allies in the senate who
are willing and capable of going across the aisle. the senate has a very strong working senator. it is almost half of the senate that is willing to move on very big and aggressive package if they get leadership. and then you take the package it comes out of the senate any good to the presidential leadership and speaker boehner would be supported as long as it came in a way that was structured and you get something done. >> i really agree with that. in a curious way, both sides need each other. hawley debt limit has to be extended. this is not our future spending. this is about spending has already been done.
will we pay the bills that we have already racked up? clearly, we have to do that. the consequences of a failure to extend the debt limit would be extraordinary. to do that, you have to get votes of people in the house of representatives. and they are insisting on additional spending restraint. in fact, we need additional spending restraint. if anything is clear from the charts i have put up your is that we have to get some additional restraint on the entitlement side of our budget. so it does lend itself to a compromise, one in which there is additional revenue, not from reading rates, but through tax reform, which happily something
the country needs anyway. does anybody believe this tax code that we have makes any sense at all? i don't know of a single democrat or a single republican that would sit here and say this tax code can possibly be supported on any grounds. it is not fair. is not rational. it is not easy to abide by. and it is hurting our competitive position world. it just seems to me that we have a continuing opportunity to have a compromise. and one that will get us back on track. it does require leadership. i have always believed it had a start in the senate because that is where there's still a broad middle to really lead to have action. >> we would like to open it up to questions from you all. if you could raise your hand -- i think we have one over here. and if you could please state your name and organization please. >> tony cosell with bloomberg government. you both seem to indicate that there is positive momentum behind tax reform. is that on the individual side? is that on the corporate side? is it on both? how do you handicapped the prospects for that say in the next one year or two years to get something done? >> i think it is on both sides. as you know, and a statutory rate is now the highest rate in the world, in the industrialized world come in terms of corporate tax. our effective rate is substantially lower than that. unfortunately, some companies pay for a close to the statutory rate. clearly, we need to change the corporate tax. that cries out for reform. the individual -- you know, i
just find it grossly unfair that some people who are making staggering amounts of money to pay much less of a tax rate and the -- then the people were working for them. -- than the people who are working for them. >> i think they have made it clear that they're interested in moving this way. i don't see how you get this deficit under control unless you change the tax laws because the template of simpson bowles has two extremely event -- extremely aggressive models. we eliminated $1.10 trillion of deductions. we took a trillion dollars of debt and reduced rates. i think the rates were 9%, 15% and 23%. that's order template makes a lot of sense. there is great senate for this
because the public wants to see rates down to the people invest for the -- rates down so that people will invest. there is identity of interest here + both sides want more simplification and fairness. on the corporate side, i think it is critical that we have tax reform. one of the keys to has to be addressed is the issue of some territorial system. we have trillions of dollars sitting overseas incorporations the cannot give back to tinian and states without paying a 35% tax to get it back. and you have a scoring mechanism that says, if you bring a dollar back and you don't pay the tax on it, the government does not get the 35 cents. so we never get the money back. there needs to be some sort of territorial system and
understand the labor force -- labor opposes this because they think that companies may move more money offshore because they will see a large texas -- i think that is just foolish. to bring the money back care means you will get better investment here, more expansion of capital and equipment here and more jobs here. so we have to go to some sort of territorial system. >> over here. >> thank you to both of you for coming this morning and for your service.
i have to questions. the first one is can you talk about your sense about the potential for interest deduction. the bowles simpson would have modified the mortgage interest deduction. and why is vote -- why is social security technically part of the discussion? >> raising the cap on social security was part of bowles simpson. on mortgage interest, i think, ultimately, there will be a chance that -- but perhaps -- the plan talk about the credit, doing it as a deduction, not allowing it to go to second
homes. i don't think that 500,000 would be adopted. currently, it is a million. i think second homes can be excluded at some point. as part of an overall package. that is if an overall package it's done. as i have indicated. i still remain hopeful that one will be done. it is so needed. and it is hard for me to see this doing -- this done if both sides don't work together. i really believe there is the possibility of getting this done. if it starts, the president
will sign a and it will move to the house. >> i served on the ways and means committee. one thing that was necessary -- first, you had to have the president. secondly, you cannot pick up one group. you never win. you have to do everybody. i don't think there's any question. the four major sources of revenue -- the four major sources of deductions that create revenue will have to be impacted. that includes real estate, charitable, state and local, and health insurance. because that is where all the deductions occur in the
individual side. >> as congress looks at cutting expenditures, rates and revenue, how will it value things that he people today, such as health care expenses, versus retirement savings, which arguably are more of a long-term it to the economy and to people who saved to fund their retirement? >> >> let me just say that my own belief is that we have to be smart about this. i don't think we should do things that would disincentivize savings. if you don't have savings, you don't have investment. if you don't have investment, you don't grow. but our current incentives with this tax code are all upside down. so we disincentivize savings because we tax it. we shouldn't do that in terms of helping people build for their own retirement. that means they need to be in savings vehicles. social security is one, but they also need to be in other tax preference savings vehicles.
i don't think it would be smart to hurt those. >> i certainly agree with that. but i think there's a bigger matter at play, which is the policy of the fed, which is basically creating a situation because of the low-interest policies. where seniors savings are being dis popincentivized in a very aggressive way -- being disincentivized in a very aggressive way. >> we have time for one more question. >> good morning. thank you both for your remarks today. very interesting. another discussion that has occurred among some economists is that is not questioning the fundamental assumptions of what
you have brought here, but the timing, that the focus should be more about stimulating the economy coming folks up and working and then have a discussion of the deficit. because, in fact, the credit is relatively easy. the dollar is still in effect the currency standard. if i could just have your thoughts on that and, just quickly, reducing corporate tax reform discussion will occur in the next six months. [laughter] >> there is always an excuse for not doing things in washington. and the excuse today is, well, you don't want to retard the economy. the simple fact is that the best thing you can do for this economy is to resolve our fiscal problems because it will give people confidence in our future. it will cause people to go on and be willing to invest. and it would say to our kids you have a prosperous life style has opposed to having to pay for our generation.
i just don't accept this argument. surely, there are some short- term things you don't want to do that will contract spending. that will not happen anyway. i just don't see that happening. i think the sooner we get on this issue of resolving our long-term fiscal problems, the more dynamic our economy will be because we have done that. >> let me say that i am in the pack -- in the camp that believes that the major problem in the economy is facing is weak demand. that is not the time to impose fiscal austerity. but it is the time to put in place a plan that gets us back on fiscal track over the longer term. that is precisely what bowles- simpson attempted to do. because we did not impose austerity immediately. we had a several-year gap. but it put in place the long- term changes that gave you an assurance that you were going to get back on track for the 10-year budget period. after all, we have just had the toughest economic downturn since the great depression. i think we have to be sensitive to what you do in the short term.
but that is no excuse for taking action that gets us back on track long term. the happy part about this is the the tax changes and the spending changes that you need to make have enormous benefit, not only in the 10-year budget window -- even if you give several years delay to allow the economy to recover -- but the real big bonus is what great was talking about earlier. the second 10 years and the third 10 years. if you make these fundamental changes now, they pay massive dividends into the future. >> i'm sorry, but we are out of time. you're welcome to come up. i want to thank both senator conrad and senator gregg. in a town where we're used to shouting at each other, when ashley had a pretty intelligent and smart discourse this morning. i would like to remind the
audience that both senator conrad and senator gregg art available for speaking. we hope you will look to them for meetings that are coming up. there is a saying that there is no free breakfast. but this is almost free. the only thing we would like to ask of you is, before you leave today, there is a short questionnaire if you do -- a short questionnaire. if you do it, we will be grateful. i want to thank our sponsors and our partners at the u.s. chamber of commerce. thank you so much. have a great day. [applause]
and c-span.org. >> friday night, we will see -- we will show you inaugural speeches from the last 60 years. ronald reagan, bill clinton, the eisenhower, and harry truman, and richard nixon. then, president john f. kennedy. george h. w. bush, lyndon johnson, jimmy carter, and we will wrap up the night at 11:00 eastern with george w. bush's speech from 2001. speeches from 10 past presidents. >> the greatest honor history can bestow is the title of peacemaker.
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collapse. we should avoid relaxed. and it is not time to relax. i think it encapsulates what we're trying to say. clearly, the collapse has been avoided in many corners of the world due to policies quite often put through by central bankers and eventually by government authorities, particularly the dance economies. whether you look at the you -- the eurozone or the united states of america -- although often at the last hour -- the right decisions have been made. and as a result, the collapse has been avoided. there's still a lot of work to be done. that is why we should avoid the relapse and make sure that none of the decision makers and none of the authorities actually relax. assuming there is a little bit of recovery in sight and because the markets in particular have clearly anticipated good news that it is time to slow down, slow the pace, and go back to business as usual. what does this mean in terms of [indiscernible]
i will mention three key areas. first of all, it is important to pull through policies and put uncertainty to rest. for those of you who followed carefully, we're trying to associate uncertainty and confidence. this is not clearly definite yet in terms of investment, but it is in terms of consumption. removing uncertainty plays a key role in rejuvenating confidence. so putting away uncertainty by following through on policies is important from our perspective. what does that mean? key common challenges along the advanced economies will be about restoring fiscal sustainability. i'm sure you have questions about this issue and i will be
happy to take them. in terms of fiscal sustainability, we are particularly concerned about the medium-term plans. there are clearly some short- term policies that need to be adjusted country by country and with the right chemistry. we're concerned about the medium-term in order to bring public debt down at the pace that is for each country. that is a common feature for all economies, particularly the advanced economies. as far as the euro area is concerned, we feel that a lot has been achieved in terms of policies, in terms of new tools in the tool box that europeans
have available to fight crisis. yet fire walls have not yet proven operational. progress needs to be made on banking union and clearly continued, if not further monetary easing will be approved in order to sustain demand. for the united states, we think that all sides should pull together in the national interest, avoid further avoidable policy mistakes that is threatening -- that is continuing to agree on the debt ceiling and reaching agreement on the medium term debt reduction that i mentioned earlier. for the non-events economies, i am putting together the emerging markets as well as the [indiscernible] countries. clearly, those countries are fearing a much better case in terms of growth. but everywhere i have travelled in the last few months, in africa, in latin america, and in asia, there has always been a concern about the lack of decisive action to address the advanced economies crises. so those spillover effects coming colluding busy so those spillover effects, including -- so those spillover effects, of.including uncertainty, are clear. this is excessively too general. when you go down the list of
but overall, in the main, there is that clear risk, which leads us to recommend to them that they actually improve and increase the buffers that they have already used and which they need to replenish. that is the first imperative that dimension, which is to follow through in policies to eliminate uncertainty. the second point is in our critical of you because it is at the heart of the latest development of the crisis -- which is to finish the reform of the financial sector. we recognize that there has been progress. but the process has been very time consuming and continues to contribute to uncertainty. we sense a sign of waning commitment. there's still a momentum, but it is probably not as crucial as it was and we really regret it. you can see that when we examine the reforms were some of
them are slightly diluted, softened at the margin, where implementation is the late that is clearly the case with bas 03, for instance. there are inconsistencies of approaches, which have laid the ground for possible arbitration. and we believe that it is important for the regulators, for the supervisors, for the authorities to actually resist aggressive industry pushed back. further weakening of capital
lending standards, there have been discussions on the liquidity coverage ratio, which has been concluded and it could have been better. we did not see enough progress on the cross border resolution, which has been recommended by your know by the fsb, but has not resulted in regional and country levels. and we certainly see delays in regulation concerning both shuttle banking and derivatives. the ultimate goal of the finance regulation massive work in is to be completed, the needs to be done on an accelerated rather than a slowdown basis clearly has to do with the
growth of the real economy and that is my third key point. clearly, authorities come up policy decision makers have to focus on the real economy. what we mean by that? i mean clearly focused on growth and not just any growth, but growth that develops jobs. what we're seeing is improvement on certain fronts, but deterioration and certainly no improvement on the employment front, which we recognize as critical from both an economy point of view, but also from a social point of view. they're more than 200 billion -- 200 million people out of a job and two in five of those unemployed people are under 24. there's a clear concentration in
some areas, including in the events economies. so we need growth for jobs and jobs for growth. we encourage policymakers to try to engage. we need inclusive growth and won the chairs appropriately the -- one the shares appropriately the benefits with the population. that applies across the world, both in events economies as well as the emerging markets and low-income countries. i have traveled to quite a few income country lately where we have a partnership where we have technical assistance with programs. it means transforming the energy, subsidies program into cash transfers come into social state units that are properly targeted to the people that
actually need the support and not across the board and generally benefiting anybody, especially those that don't need it at all. finally, we need balanced growth. we need to continue the shift and demand from the advanced economies to the new engines in the emerging market economies. that is one aspect of the balancing that is needed, a rebalancing.
we also mean by a more balanced growth, growth that is more compatible with the sustainability of our environment and the fight against climate change. what does the need for us? i remind you that, in 2013, the imf is stronger, better equipped financially. it has certainly refined some of its tools. we'll continue to strengthen our surveillance, especially on spillover effects and on the financial sector. we will continue to strengthen our support for the entire spectrum of members through lending, capacity building, training and technical assistance. in other words, we're not only serving the needs of a selected group of companies -- a group of countries, but the entire membership. when you look at the world and see where our teams are, where there is building and technical assistance in programs, we are all over the map. and we will continue to push ahead with the important and not complete reform of " and governance. we are in three stages, two are completed. we are certainly short of a few members, one of which is
obviously a key member. that is all everyone into open bar conference with. i will welcome your questions and be address each and every one of them -- and address each and every one of them. i hope i will have the right answer for you. i will not pretend that i know it all. i try to learn a lot in the process. >> thank you, managing director. let's begin down in front. right here. >> thank you. thank you for this opportunity and for this press conference and for talking with us. i am with the russian news agency. you will be meeting the russian prime minister in a few days. i wonder how you view the russian agenda in the context of the aims to have just described. and if you could maybe change something in that agenda, what would it be? thank you.
>> i would not change the venue because i am very glad to go to moscow and st. petersburg at the end of the year. i am happy about the timing. i think st. petersburg will be a little bit warmer, i think. as far as the russian agenda for the g-20 is right because it is focused. to have as priorities the ways and means to restore and maintain growth and create jobs, number one, number two, the continuation and completion of the financial sector reform. number three, using the mutual process to guide countries' economies, i think those are important agenda items. there might be more, but those are the ones we are really concerned about.
and where the imf connection help them provide advice and support. we will be very happy to support the russian presidency on these three agenda items. >> thank you. >> right here in the center. >> thank you for this opportunity. i wonder about your assessment. we saw very frustrating growth last year. and there's no greater expectation that there will be a better result this year. we also have the inflation raising, a very concerned situation in our physical sector.
despite this, brazil is actually one country where we don't have very good economic growth, but we still have job creation. so it is one of those very unusual situations. i wonder your assessment on that. >> in a way, i share your concern about the brazilian economy. it has grown and certainly less than initially expected.
but having said that, the real question is to really end stand whether it is growing at capacity or whether there is an output gap that could be filled in by appropriate macroeconomic policy measures. >> ok. >> i will leave it like that. >> gentleman with his hand up. >> elaborating on the financial reform, you seem to be attributing some of the recent events to push back from industry. i wonder if you feel the process has reached the limits of what it can do at this point and whether we will be left with an incomplete response because of the concerns about credit provision. >> two points on that.
i am always concerned about the push back of the banking industry. it is the nature of the game and it is the constant approach to push back. i might be a little bit -- having observed the profession. equally, i do not think appetite for growth, the need for jobs, and the necessary level of investments is not consistent with having the financial regulations in place with the right level of certainty with appropriate supervision. what the financial regulation reform aims at is to make sure there is security, protection, credit available for investors
to develop activity, invest in the economy, and create jobs. i do not see that as being mutually exclusive. the concern we have about the growth of jobs and investment is supported by the need to have a financial sector that is vibrant, focused on the right priorities, that is appropriately supervised, and that is regulated. regulated with certainty. >> the lady way over here on the right. >> thank you. i am with the portuguese public television. what to expect from portugal this year. what do you expect the portugal authorities to do in the short term? >> thank you very much. portugal has done an extremely good job of reducing the fiscal deficit two-thirds of the way has already been completed. we have just approved yesterday the review and dispersed close
proposals. they are just proposals for the moment. the portuguese authorities have to decide what is most appropriate in the context of portugal and if they have other options that are best accomplished in order to accomplish the fiscal consolidation and preserve the chemistry of portuguese society, that is perfectly legitimate. there is a bit more time to go, a bit more work to do. the end of the program and we hope growth and jobs of the end of the day, which is really what matters. 16% unemployment rate, over 30%
with the young people, that is the key priority. >> gentlemen in the front. >> [inaudible] >> can you wait for the microphone? >> i wanted to know if you shared that opinion. >> i we share the opinion of my chief economist. i will challenge him eventually. at the end of the day, i do not challenge the findings because they have been solidly worked out. clearly, research was done and research is constantly done. the imf does not operate on the basis of principles that are set in stone and forever. the pride of this institution is to constantly questioned, challenge, revisits, reexamined, test the findings and the assumptions in order to be as up-to-date as possible. the numbers that have been used five or six years ago where numbers that had been examined, reviewed, explored, and were common to all of the professionals in the field. you were talking about fiscal multipliers. the crisis that we have come through is unparalleled, has no historical precedent and has reshuffled the assumptions fiscal multipliers. it is a work that was put back under review, and for which the
teams here have concluded that the fiscal multipliers were higher in the context of the unbelievable international crisis. that is the reason why the research departments decided to come out, publish, explain what our new findings were that were clearly informed and transformed by the context of the international crisis. >> gentleman in the second row. >> the fund has now gone into a new program with greece. it seems to have stretched the parameters in terms of debt reduction. how long this can go on without getting a true debt reduction for a country like greece? do you think there is some specific time periods where you need to see that before people will lose faith yet again? >> i am pleased that you see people have regained faith in greece and that confidence has
been restored and this time, it is different. we have yesterday approved to reviews and disbursement of two of charges under the existing programs. it is not really an existing program -- revisited in the sense that we had asked and the partners have eventually agreed that an additional two years were needed for greece to accomplish the fiscal contraction that is still needed. we thought it would be better for the country to have more time. equally, the clear variation from the set of principles applying to the programs, which
has changed, is the renewed financing support and general support on the part of the european partners. the commitment they have made to not only to extend the maturity of their loan, not only reduce the interest rates, but also provide what ever is necessary going forward in terms of additional support to alleviate the burden of the debt and greece. provided that the country delivers on its commitments. you cannot judge a commitment and the delivery against the commitment in a matter of a couple of months. my sense is that it is a matter of a year before the commitment can be measured against delivery. that is very important, of course, and it changes the face of the greek landscape. >> the lady right here. >> russia's central bank has said the world's leading economy are on the brink of a
currency war to keep up with japan and japan's use of the devaluation to boost their competitiveness. germany's finance ministers also said he was concerned about the impact on global liquidity of japanese policy. what are your thoughts of the possibility of a currency war and on japan's monetary policies that seem to be aimed at weakening the yen?
>> immigration reform advocates called on the white house. they discussed policy changes. we will hear from the head of the us chamber of commerce. we will hear from the indiana attorney general. this is one hour.>> good afternoon. i'm the executive director of the national immigration forum and i want to thank everyone for joining us this afternoon for this press conference on the prospects and the growing momentum for immigration reform. there are many important issues for the 113th congress to address. there are few issues that have a past, present, the future of bipartisan support like immigration reform. today's event is another indicator of a new consensus. to forge this new consensus, conservative leaders who hold the bible, wear a badge, or own a business have worked over the last two years and gathered in the mountain west, the midwest, and the southeast to have rational conversations on how to move on nation forward on immigration. these leaders are activating this consensus. we are joined by the highest echelons of america's business, law enforcement, and faith leadership to call upon congress
to work together to pass broad immigration reform that deals with aspiring citizens by creating a road to lawful status and eventually citizenship law respecting those who left in for many years. modernizes the nation's immigration laws legal and orderly, establishing worker programs that serve the needs of our work force and our economy. finally, reform that recognizes the need for safety and security on our border and in our communities. democrats and republicans recognizing the moral, political imperative to create a 21st century immigration process, congress marks the best opportunity for broad immigration reform in nearly a decade. for legislation to pass, it will take leadership. leadership from demonstration, congress, and from faith, law- enforcement, and business leaders.
the leadership that is needed must be strategic, disciplined, and unified. our speakers today are exactly that. our unity of purpose comes from a common crisis in our midst. our consensus lies in a common belief that all americans prosper when we welcome immigrants and empower them to participate fully in our society. we have a broad range of speakers today from these constituencies. i want to start with tom donahue, he is president and ceo of the u.s. chamber of commerce. for years, he has been an
incredible ally, partner, and champion and has pushed to fix the immigration system. >> thank you very much. i am honored to be here. i am pleased to be joined today by my friends and partners in the business, law enforcement, and religious communities to talk about immigration reform. immigration reform is not just a program to be implemented or a problem to be solved. it is an opportunity to be seized. it is an opportunity to fundamentally improve our global competition, attract and retain the world's best talent, secure our borders and keep faith that americans its legacy as an open and welcoming society.
people are entitled to their own opinions on this issue. as we all know, there are many of them. they're not entitled to their own facts. the facts are crystal clear. our current system is broken. everybody knows, everybody recognizes it. it is not serving the interest of our economy or business is or our society. america cannot compete and win without the world's best talent. for example, it makes absolutely no sense to educate foreign students in our universities and then send them home to apply that knowledge and skills to their economy and not to ours. we cannot sustain vital programs for the elderly and needy without more workers, both low- skilled and high skilled, to grow our economy and to provide a larger tax base. common sense immigration reform is an important way to address the changing demographics as an aging society. look at me, you'll understand that.
we cannot harvest our food, sustain our military without immigrants and temporary workers. our current work visa laws contained arbitrary caps that have absolutely no connection to what is happening in the real world. there are very serious the immense in scope and difficulty in implementation and in his current rules. surely we can do better. we have to do better if we're going to have the workers we need. what we need is a lawful, rational, and workable immigration system that secures our borders, provides the workers we need at all skill levels, and protect the rights of citizens, businesses, the undocumented, and those legally pursuing citizenship. we believe immigration reform should include the following
interrelated components. the most secure our borders and enable people and commerce to flow lawfully in and out of our country. we have made significant progress on this front in recent years and we can build on it by deploying our technology, personnel and programs along the border. a lot of the people that come to this nation do not necessarily come through the border. 40, 50% of them just to stay longer than they intended to. we need to design temporary worker programs that would allow employers to use immigrant labor when the u.s. workers are not available.
outdated visa policies are depriving the america of high skilled and low-skilled workers that we need. we need a system tied to market demand and it must go beyond high skilled seasonal and agricultural workers and include other areas, where employers face demonstrated labor shortages. nursing-home workers are prime examples. the caps should go up when the economy is strong and be adjusted down when the economy is not. we need to expand the number of green cards for foreign nationals who graduate from our colleges and universities with advanced degrees. even with high unemployment, we have millions of job openings that go unfilled. either the workers come here to fill those jobs or let me tell you, ladies and gentlemen, those
jobs go somewhere else and when they do, other jobs go with them. we also need a workable, reliable, at national employee verification program. the e-verify program has been dramatically improved. there is strong pre-emption language for state and local laws, no obligation to read verify the whole team. we need safe harbor for good- faith efforts by employers. finally, we need to provide a path out of the shadows for 11 million undocumented immigrants who live in the united states today with the understanding they will meet strict conditions and pay a civil penalty and taxes going forward. and they will learn english, many of them already have. many of them are already paying
taxes. we cannot run our economy without them. send those 11 million people home and it would be ugly. i suggest we will not round them up and deport them, nor should we. let's not forget one fundamental issue. that is true we are or what this nation was built upon. the dreams and the hard work of those who came here seeking a better life. the bottom line on immigration is that the status quo on immigration and our country is a fundamental loser. i am optimistic that this time we have an excellent shot at getting immigration reform done. it is essential to our economy, our country, and our way of
life. we are very proud to be working with the partners on the stage and we will work with others as well and we will make passage of the immigration reform legislation one of our top priorities this year. at this time, i would like to turn the podium over to the vice president for public policy and research. thank you very much for your attention. >> good afternoon. glad to be here with you today. we're delighted to be your standing with so many folks with the business community, folks representing law-enforcement. what you see up here is representative of a large slice
of civil society saying we need to come together to find a way to solve our nation's immigration crisis. each of us has different reasons for why we believe we need to resolve this. for faith communities for southern baptists, immigration reform is a moral issue. it is a basic humanitarian issue. when you think about it as a moral issue, for us, we get our moral guidance from the bible. we turn to the bible. you did not have to read very far into your bible to see how god told his people to deal with the stranger in the midst of the nation that he himself established.
the nation of israel was established by god. he said the boundaries on the parameters and laws. he gave very clear directions for his people in that land on how to treat the non-israelites. you can start reading and you come across the passage that you should love the stranger in your midst like yourself. that is pretty strong language. love the stranger in the midst like yourself. you will not do the kinds of things to yourself that some people propose that we do to the person who is here illegally. when we go to our bible and we read that, we understand that god has an expectation for people with power to treat those who are weak and vulnerable. god has a lot of reasons for that.
we understand that these folks also are created in the image of god. they are as image bearers of god as we are. we should treat them at that level of respect and dignity as well. you cannot do that with the situation we have in this country today. that brings me to part of the humanitarian side of this. it is not possible to respond to the plight of those who are here living in the shadows compassionately without actually speaking to their circumstances and trying to assess them.
i do not know how you can have a clear conscience thinking that we will confine people to perpetual poverty. we've never done that to people. i cannot imagine that we would do today. i cannot imagine that we could do that with a clear conscience. it is not the right thing to do. it is not them humanitarian thing to do. it is not the christian thing to do. we are here in coalition with this broad group of folks because we believe this is a moral and humanitarian issue. we are already engaged. we are busy on the help already. we're also busy in the country helping southern baptist and other evangelicals understand the issues. we just kicked off a campaign.
that campaign calls on christians to spend 40 days reading one bible passages debate about immigration reform. something the bible has to say about immigration reform and reflecting on not and letting godspeed to them about what would be the christian response to the needs of the undocumented here. we believe if you got your bible and you open your heart before god, god will lead you to say, and we needed just immigration reform in this country that will make it possible for us to get these folks on a path towards legal status and on the path towards prosperity. i hope you will go to that website. you can go to the evangelicalimmigrationtable.org. find the information, download the bookmark. join us in the bible reading and prayer campaign.
i believe that god will speak to you in the same way he has spoken to us. immigration reform is a top priority issue for the southern baptist convention, ethics and liberty commission. we do not intend to let this failed. we will stay on top of this until washington, d.c., and our country filing does what is right by the 12 million who are here looking for us to do something to help to resolve their dilemma. thank you. >> our next speaker is attorney general from the state of indiana. he was elected to the 42nd attorney-general in november of 2008. he has been an incredible allied for the issue in the state. >> thank you.
i welcome the opportunity to join with these voices and call upon the federal government to rise above partisanship and rise to the occasion. i only speak as the elected attorney general from indiana, but i can tell you that most of my colleagues, the other attorneys general, all share the sense of frustration that the federal government has failed in its responsibility in the area of immigration reform. we often complain the federal government over reaches into the role of the states. i think it is born of the frustration that a number of states, including indiana, has tried in some way to try to address the issues, that washington has failed to address. we had a bill that was passed that i was required to defend. we followed it all the way to
the supreme court when he arizona case was taken up. i do know how to read a supreme court opinion and recognize, like most of the attorneys general, that it is a federal responsibility. he'll have to understand the frustration of our sister states that are trying to make up for the fact that washington has failed us. this inability to act in washington is not something that states are able to do. states have to act. they will likely continue to try to act in a vacuum, even while there are obvious constitutional questions.
one of the things i wanted to focus on, i work within the criminal justice system and i want to voice some of the concerns of our law enforcement officials. the requirement that our law enforcement officials at the state level somehow be deputized to be ice officials is not something they're willing to do. it is not something that is within their capacity to do. it takes their eye off the ball of maintaining the safety and security of the people of indiana. they also tell me that when they do have a stop and there are these concerns raised among the undocumented, it can turn what would normally be a simple process of issuing tickets into what could be a troubling situation would somebody who is in fear of being deported. you have people who have a family someplace nearby.
the risks that are attendant to this raising the profile of having states involvement is something law enforcement community is very concerned about. finally, as a look at the issue of federalism and we look at what the proper role of the states are and the proper role of the federal government, there's an awful lot of work being done by my colleagues to try to encourage washington to focus more on the role and that they are given within are enumerated powers in the constitution and less on the areas the states are quite capable of doing on their own. immigration is not one of those issues that states can do on their own. it is one of the reasons we have the federal government. this failure of the federal government has jeopardized the role of law and the safety and
security of the people of our state. again, i am proud to join in these voices. the states do not all agree on what the proper federal response should be. i can tell you they all share the same frustration that i have and the people of my state. i will be willing to continue unless and continued to bring this issue to washington until they rise above their partisanship and rise to the occasion. thank you. >> thank you very much, mr. attorney general. our next speaker is the vice chairman of citigroup. from 2005 until 2009, he was the secretary of the u.s. department of commerce, a former secretary served under president bush. before his public service, he was chairman and ceo of a global company. thank you for joining us.
>> good afternoon. 2013 is the first time we're going to take another shot at sensible immigration reform since 2007. there is a lesson that if we do not get this right this time, we will have to wait another five years. it is absolutely essential, it has become a real issue of substance. not an issue of political theater to see who can get the upper hand. since 2007, our economy has not been well served, people cannot find the sciences and mathematicians in the u.s. there are family farms that have shut down.
others have moved to mexico because they cannot find the workers. the whole economy is suffering because we cannot grow without immigration. we are steering in the face of a potential great stimulus without it costing a trillion dollars. we have also seen the human complexity of immigration intensified. the kids who have been born here to undocumented parents, the kids who came here when there were four or five years old. parents who have worked in a job for 15 years and are hoping this is their future, that they can be part of the american dream. every single day, it becomes more complicated. until lawmakers act, president, the congress, we are allowing this humanitarian situation to go on. it strikes me as so unamerican that we ignore it. ignoring the problem does not make the problem go away.
there has been a consensus, i believe, that two things are not going to happen. on one hand, we are not going to round up 12 million people and kick them out of the country. i would be incredibly embarrassed of that was our country's response to this. i do not think we want that blemish on our history. the way we deal with this becomes a permit a part of our history. we also know that the other extreme -- we will not give free
passports to whoever wants them. somewhere in the middle, there is a solution. this is not gone to happen with a tremendous amount of leadership from the president, from congress. from business, law enforcement, from the faith based community. one thing that is different this time for our side of the aisle, the republican side, we have a super pac called republicans for immigration reform. we're going to put money behind the problem. we will support candidates who support immigration reform and give cover to people to come out and admit that that are for immigration reform. if we do not get this right,
shame on us because this is about the future of the country, this is about competitiveness, about who is going to be the global economic leader of the 21st century. if we get it right, the 21st century is ours. that is what is at stake in this effort. >> this is the first time this has ever happened at a press conference. mr. secretary, thank you very much. our final speaker is with the u.s. catholic conference of bishops. executive director of migration refugee services for the u.s. catholic conference.
a former ambassador to five countries and currently oversees the u.s. bishops outreach and service. he is an expert in foreign policy. ambassador, thank you for joining us. >> thank you for the extra ambassadorship. i only had four. i would like to thank the forum. i would also like to thank all of the other members of the panel for their contributions. i am here to represent the u.s. conference of catholic bishops. it is known sometimes by the usccb. the conference has been engaged in this issue for decades. we look forward to this debate and urge our elected officials not to lose this opportunity to reform a broken system.
there are several areas the bishops will focus upon in this debate. first, there must be an automatic path to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented. we cannot and must not fall short of citizenship for the undocumented. where they receive legal status but no chance to become americans. we should not sanction a permanent underclass in this society without the full rights that other americans possess. we have been down that road before and with disastrous consequences. should the party of lincoln embrace a path to citizenship so that all persons in our society can earn the right to pursue the american dream?
i hope so. should the party of jefferson and our first african american president agreed to a bill that sanctions into law a permit state underclass? i would hope not. there will be a temptation to compromise on this issue and provide the undocumented less than full rights, we must resist this temptation. we will give them a chance to earn the right to become americans. it is the american way. second, the bishops will fight to preserve and enhance family unity as a cornerstone of our national immigration system. this has served to the nation over the past 200 years as immigrant families have helped build our nation.
we must not forsake the family in this debate, mothers, fathers, and children, preserving family reunification in and promoting economic growth through our economic system are complementary and not competing goals. finally, we will fight to preserve the right of both u.s. and foreign-born workers in this debate. we would like to join with our labor and business allies in making a worker program that features the appropriate workplace and wage protections so that the rights of all workers and the needs of the business community are served. congress and the administration must seize this moment and reform are broken system.
families are being divided and migrants continue to die in the american desert. the suffering must end. we look forward to working with our elected officials and all of good will toward this end. thank you. >> as you can see by this range of perspective, the differences are not great but the unity is clear. the congress must take advantage of the opportunity to pass broad immigration reform.
i would like to take questions from the press. please introduce yourself, your name as well as your outlook. >> i would like to hear more about the republican super pac. jeb bush, would they be a part of that? >> at this point -- the, we are getting all the paperwork together and we should be ready to go soon. obviously the role of the super pac is to raise money that we can use to support immigration in districts where a republican is supportive. we cannot give the money to a candid it or say vote for this man or this woman. but we can support the concept in those critical districts.
you will have to ask governor bush what his plans are and what he is doing. i would assume that anything related to immigration will catch his interest. but we expect to do this in the right way, a big way, and have an impact. up until now, it has been a lot of working the hill, but we are going to have to put more muscle behind it. >> you have representatives talking about a comprehensive package and talking about several bills related to immigration. what would you say is the right path? >> the answer to that can be found at the hill. at the end of the day they have to make it work. in 2007, we tried a comprehensive approach.
while it is not a flawed approach, and you have to watch out for, you hold back easy things until you get the very complicated things worked out. that is part of the problem of a comprehensive approach. senator rubio has come out with a breakup of the bill into manageable pieces. it also becomes more transparent to the public. we had a 750 page bill and it was dismissed by one word, amnesty. that is the trap of these large
and complex bills. having said that, i think it is a tactical issue and i hope it is resolved as soon as possible because there are so many other problems that have to be addressed. but i think they can both work with the leadership and the will to get it done. >> excuse me, let me make a comment. i do not think this is a problem. there is an advantage to a comprehensive bill. there is a disadvantage to a piecemeal bill, if you pass, for example, issues for educated people to get a visa, and they're taking care of, you lose a certain amount of support for the other issues. i do not think we should decide that. i think the senator is doing a great service by raising this issue. i think our colleagues at this meeting, i met this morning with
the person -- he and i actually talk a lot. i believe we should move forward on all of the arrangements so that the hill will develop an understanding about all of these issues and finally decide whether they will do it in one, too, or three pieces. that is the least of our worry. the fact is they do it. we will continue to talk about a comprehensive bill. >> i am delighted that senator rubio is helping folks take the issue of immigration reform as seriously as he is taking it. he is providing leadership on that and we are appreciative. i think it is great to see movement on both sides of the aisle. whether or not it is comprehensive or individual pieces is to be determined by leadership in the house and senate in consultation with the president.
right now they are working in the right direction. >> going back to what you were talking about, one of the sticking points was the guest worker program and future immigration. i am wondering what type of progress you have made and if there has been any medication between business and labor. i want to know your thoughts in terms of what he was saying about a path to citizenship or a permanent status in the u.s. >> first of all, he and i were pleased to report to each other that our staff is working well together on these issues.
that is one of the issues that has to be resolved. we are both committed to getting a bill and i think if we can come to a resolution on the subjects, we might see in things move more quickly. the question of citizenship is one that has a passionate response from some people. let's take this in a sequential way. first of all, we have to take these 11 million people, 12 million people out of the shadows. we have to give them a legitimate existence, a way they can pay taxes and drive cars and live as human beings. if you want to talk from there to a path to citizenship, i think we can build a consensus around that by the steps would be required.
it would be terrible to say we are going to have made them legal and they would never have an opportunity for citizenship. i think that would say something we would not like. the ambassador and i could probably debate the strategy on how to get from here to there but there is no question what is needed immediately is legalization and a path to get to where we would like to be. >> then you talk about the difference between now and 2007? are you more hopeful this time? >> i believe, there have been more people coming out in favor. there are people who have moderated their stance on this from six years ago and i think part of that is an understanding that no action is very bad for the country.
i would also like to say, because i believe you have an asian background, the question about the future flow is excellent. this is not just about hispanic immigration, or undocumented immigration. this is about immigration from the world. the agents are making a great contribution to this country. africans are making a great contribution. let americans. as we think about the future, this was an issue in 2007. it goes to show it is not just one party with a problem. without the future flow, we are in trouble. without a strategic future, we will have another undocumented problem in five years. and less people want to recognize that reality and do
what is right for the country, we will continue spinning our wheels. i think a lot has changed. we talk about business, badges, and bibles. i think all three of those groups could have done more in 2007. >> do you agree with mr. donahue having different task force for the visa according to the economy? >> there has to be away -- a lot of our laws date back to the 1950's. some to the 1960's. there has to be a way of bringing it up to date. those are things that will have to be negotiated.
i would just say it can't all be managed by a central system in washington where washington decides how many nurses we need, how many farm workers. business will have to play a role and business will have to be the determining factor in order to make this work in a practical way. >> think for a man and that 10,000 people a day retire in the united states, seven days a week. we are a nation with unemployment and with a shortage of people that go to work at specific jobs. the secretary's point is on target. if you try to do this with an
overseer of exactly how many left-handed nurses and right- handed carpenters get into the added states, we are doing the wrong thing. we need to do it on demand. if we have an extraordinary need to be competitive, and many, because of the price of energy and the fact the country is probably will have and have access to more energy than anyone else, you will see manufacturing jobs coming back to the united states. i think right now there is a couple of million people we could hire if they have the skills, if they had the education, if they had some of the other requirements to fitting into a high performance economy. it is hard to explain. how can you have that need?
you also heard the store the other day, they are drilling for a lot of oil in north dakota. not a lot of people want to move there. it is a complicated issue. >> you also mentioned senator rubio. what about the house? are there any republicans who are champions for this? what kind of indication you get they are willing to pick this up? >> just about every issue that comes to the congress, and it is not going to happen. we have seen a lot of leadership in the house in the last session. we believe there is a growing
number of people that would like to resolve this issue. this is a matter of the snowball going downhill. you start rolling and it gets bigger and bigger. i am not worried about whether we can get the votes in the house if we can get an agreement between labor and management and other groups that have the business. if we can get that together, we will get the votes. when you have 14 opinions and everybody disagrees, it is harder to get the votes. >> we are going to be visiting with republican members beginning next week. we will continue to do that on the house side. we have spoken with a number of folks in the house to talk with them about immigration reform. and there is definitely a good development on the republican side.
i am not sure they are as far as long as senator rubio is but i think that as they continue to talk with each other and they continue to talks between the house and the senate, we are going to get to that place. i think the determination is there and as has been said, if the people appear continue to press this case, i think we will get to a point where everyone agrees on what the big pieces are. >> i wanted to share with you some of the things we are doing at the conference. one of the things we will be doing, we will have a gathering of something called a catholic social gathering.
that will bring the 700 or 800 catholics from all over the united states. while they are here, they will have door knocks. immigration reform is one of the programs of this year's gathering of the catholic social ministry. the second thing is we have something called the justice for immigrants campaign. we have begun a campaign to senators and congressmen, asking for their support and asking them to push on this issue. a lot of activity already. >> president obama of course promised in his first term to take a leadership role on immigration reform. it has been disappointing to many he did not get that moving.
he has pledged again to do so. he talked about he wanted to see a bill early on. now he has introduced ideas for gun control. he has another debate over fiscal policy. what does leadership mean in your mind? what to do you want to hear in the state of the union? or is there a better idea something would come from the senate and the president would take a support role? >> it is a good question. part of the problem -- the answer is not another great speech about immigration reform. we need action. this is what happens when immigration reform is important but it is not the number one issue. you can keep on telling it the could you have to take care of the fiscal cliff, which looks like it will go all the way to the end of that term.
i do not think it's going to be over soon. guns, i think that has surpassed immigration reform on priorities. i'm not making a judgment. i'm trying to state some facts. you are right, and this has to become the number-one priority for the president and congress, get people together and say we are going to fix this problem. it has to be more than a couple of nice sentences. >> i would only add that i think it is incumbent upon us as citizens and members of groups and advocates, non-governmental organizations to keep the pressure on the president so he remains focused.
there will be always issues coming up. no one can predict his calendar for the next x number of months. >> we believe immigration reform is different. it has a past, present, and feature of bipartisan support. congress has many issues to grapple with. this range of speakers today shows that conservatives and liberals across the country want this president and congress to act. that is different than any other issue. >> democrats are talking about a path to citizenship. but senator rubio is talking about a visa and access to the legal system we have now. what would you support? >> from the standpoint of republicans, immigration reform.
we support -- we are not going to second-guess people as long as they are making progress. in 2006, one of the guidelines we had was that we did not want the undocumented immigrants to cut in front of the line of people who have been waiting, to do it in a proper way. the result or the solution was a legalization process. they are legal. not everyone wants to be a u.s. citizen. some may want to go home and not
go through the process. if they do want citizenship and a green card, then there is a process for that. the important thing is they are legal and they can come out of the shadows. that was the approach then and we will see how the two parties come to an agreement on what they should be. >> two last questions. >> [indiscernible] >> it is natural for the press to look for the differences. that is how you write a story. if everybody agrees, you do not write the story.
this issue does not bother me one bit. if we get to the point where we have a program, a program to deal with immigration in this country in a fundamental way, we will resolve that question. if you want to know what the resolution is going to be, it will be a progressive issue. we set a series of steps in place to do this as we go forward. i think everybody has said that. there needs to be a process to citizenship. it is something that takes time but we follow it. that is where we are probably going to go. if those are the issues we have to resolve, we are in great shape. if i might suggest, the lady in the back with a camera, we will put you on tv, trying to ask a question all afternoon. fair deal?
>> i'm going to ask if you can come to the microphone. secretary, i will get to later in spanish. so don't go away. >> somebody else stay and do it in spanish. i cannot do it. un poco. >> he said immigration reform is going to be a priority. i was wondering if you can expand on that. what steps besides going on to the hill, what else can you do? we know there is discussion as to move what is going to be in the bill. there is a consensus that there is a discussion as to who is going to present the bill. should it be the white house? or should we wait for a bipartisan bill? what would you prefer to see you presented?
>> let me answer the second question first, in my opinion, that discussion, the engagement, the exchange, these kinds of meetings should carry on for a little while because we are building a sense of consensus between people who had more disagreement an agreement. i think that will move ahead quickly. as the secretary indicated, there are a lot of other things going on right now in the administration. we have to get people into critical jobs. we have to finish the reorganization of the house and senate, which happens every change. i would prefer not to have a lot of one of bill's. i would wait a few weeks or months until we come to a closer consensus and i think we would have a better chance of passing something through both houses. i do not care where it starts.
i would like all three groups have an understanding of what it is going to be and let them go into a back room and figure out what the sequence will be. on the fact of what the chamber is going to do, we will do it in washington and around the country. we have thousands of the state and local chambers are around the country, we have 900 associations, businesses from different industries that have representatives all around the country. we have the millions and millions of people on our grass- roots network. and we will put it that all to work, when the time is right. right now we are building consensus when there are bills to be advanced. we will do at that. the worst thing to do in this town is to talk when nobody is listening. we need to get people ready to listen and then go out and
advocate in a strong way. thank you. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] >> we will talk to the editor of political act. a discussion on how american students stack of against students and the rest of the world. "washington journal" is live every day at 7:00 a.m. eastern. >> it was an important. of history. it should be brought to bear. there were accounts that were not accurate. it was important to present our
perspective. currently, for people to understand there were different policy options, disagreements. if we want to prevent this from happening again, the public needed to engage more on financial reform, educate themselves better. make it an issue with elected officials. [no audio]>> the former head of the fdic, sheila bair on the government's role of the worst financial crisis since the depression. sunday night at eight on c- span's "q&a. >> yesterday vice president joe biden spoke long gun control on the meeting of mayors.