tv Politico Policy Conversations with Governors - Part 1 CSPAN February 23, 2019 9:00am-9:27am EST
are ready ton, we roll right in. are you ready? kentucky has been amongst many states where teachers have gone on strike over salary and retirement benefits. why do you think cutting spending for the state's pension crisis is the way to go? other states, like illinois, other issues.iple bevin: on a median and absolute basis, the cost was never low. concern is about proposed changes for future employees.
paid or benefits perspective in terms of what is now in place, where there was concern is about proposed changes for future employees to an existing pension plan. this is a problem only in kentucky but in america. conservatively, $4 trillion to $5 trillion of unfunded liability in public pension plans, for teachers and any other number of local, federal, state employees. this is a problem but is going addressed in america, including in kentucky. i am bringing it up, because it needs to be discussed. people are concerned about the idea of changing anything. false promises, whether they are known to be false or not, are problematic if they are not addressed, and we have promised people in america benefits for andh actuarially financially there is no capacity to actually pay what has been
promised, and we need to start having frank conversation in america. i have started doing it in kentucky. contentious, mostly because people have been confused and afraid. our legislature has got to look at structurally the pension case, in kentucky, in our structurally did we have the ability to deliver on the promises that have been made? because we have a legal and a moral obligation to do so. have been promised something, the state has an obligation to fulfill that promise, but does it have the ability to feel that promise? that is the question. daniel: the criticism of that conversation i think is what you are really talking about our severe cuts. gov. bevin: not at all. this is a structural change for people on a going forward basis. a dollar a dayu
for the rest of your life but i do not actually have the -- they are not even in the system now. they cannot promised them the .ame as current it is a simple concept purely driven by financial and mathematical. ortalk about a $4 trillion $5 trillion problem, that is an absurdly large number. there's no capacity. we start to confuse things like high $3 trillion and high $5 trillion, and we have made a lot of promises.
there is no ability to pay for. the federal government can print money. now, a the federal level $21 trillion a, i am telling debtanyone still buying with the confidence that we will pay it back, good for us, but $21 trillion is a lot of money. daniel: you said it is going to be contentious. you sent a letter to the mayor of louisville where you call the crisis contentious. why do that? gov. bevin: [laughs] that is exactly what i am talking about here. people are oblivious that they do not have the capacity to pay for what has been made. it has meaning. athink so often people look
it as an insult. it is not. there are meanings to the word. this means something they are not aware of. that is another way of saying the same thing. daniel: i guess the letter -- gov. bevin: because he has problemsecause all the in this case, because louisville kentucky,gest city in he wants to say the mistakes budget,their instead of putting into their own pension system, now they are because i shortfall, have been talking about this for a year. he and i have been talking about this, multiple article -- multiple articles published in the newspaper about this. saying it is at fault come up in capitals kentucky. at fault, the capital of
kentucky. really? it was published. daniel: many governors want to expand education. better approach? gov. bevin: again, every state, just like every company, has a finite amount of money. for example, the reason there have been cuts to anything is because i am the first and only governor in the history of kentucky that has fully funded the pension obligation. save, how actually rries much money you need to put into the pension system to that of bare-- to, at a
minimum, to maintain the current solvency of the pensions. no one in the history of kentucky has actually put that bare minimum in. has.the only one who it is billions and billions of dollars. things thatpeople they love them for, but he did not bother to put in the money. piper will road, the get paid at some point. let's be honest, i am putting billions into the pension system. it comes from a finite of money. if there is a finite amount of money, then it is going to come
from all of these places, as you mentioned, and any number of others. decide how to diversify a limited number of assets. senators,publican tennessee valley, 49-year-old power workers, do you think the state should step in and subsidize an economic plan, or is it better to allow it to come back? gov. bevin: this is a free market. in the free market, everything into,ou and i are glaring hotel rooms, and the like it when they actually come on. much of the world does not have that luxury. we have been blessed with that in this country. 72 hours of cold weather.
coal isy, incidentally, the largest producer bar none. 20% ofbout 27%, generations in this country. whether you like it or not, that is just a fatality. understand the cold weather, the amount of electricity in this country goes up. time, when it was cold, they like the electricity. demand, have a huge when there is more demand for electricity's as normal, we only sort in america. confidence that it will be
there is coal. you cannot say it will blow more in terms of wind or it will be sunnier. so during the polar for text, the contribution was essentially 0, so when we most need of it, it was not available. a function of reliability, we cannot afford during illegal hot, ad cold and/or geological disruption like an earthquake, messing up the pipeline, we cannot afford to not have access to energy. purely about being pragmatic. one source or another of electricity. your administration is pushing community engagement changes.
this is still causing litigation. you think this will survive? gov. bevin: is there anything in america that is not tied up in? litigation? if people do not like something, they sue. survive? litigation no. it will end up being set aside, which is good. what we're asking for is a grant to kentucky, and we are given that first fight, we use medicaid dollars, for in this case, able-bodied people like those of us in this room, who do not have dependents, to do something in exchange for the benefits they are precedent. medicaid is for people who are frail, pregnant, women with
children, but we provide a safety net to. this is people like us. what we ask for is the ability for them to do something, and that is the engagement party asked about -- part you asked about. theew up will be low poverty level. i was an active duty officer in the military. this withoming at non-sympathy, this is empathetic. i have been there. i understand it. what i know is medicaid for people like us is not intended to be a destination in life, it is a way station. getting them engaged is likelier to produce better health outcomes. there have been some differing definitions of what this is. critics will call the work
requirements. your supporters call it engagement. can you talk about the differing definitions? gov. bevin: it is insulting work. at what point in america did we start insulting work? when did the desire to work become a bad thing? that is insane to me, on the one hand. that said, there are several different avenues a person could utilize. they could work 20 hours a week, ir an able-bodied person, or, f for some reason they are not able to, they could also be in school 20 hours sleep, they could be in a training program 20 hours week, they could be taking care of somebody who might otherwise be receiving service from the government. there are so many different on ramps.
they are not just disingenuous. there is not a community in america, there is not one or more of those options available to people. and people that are out in their communities, doing it for all of these things, people that are poor to do more in their environment, in their life, likely better health choices, they will feel better about themselves. these are all good and desirable things. for those people, if they do not have time to do the, they have jobs. i mean, there is no reason whatsoever for anybody to seriously be opposed to the idea of people like you and i doing exactly what we are doing. opposed to other people doing any kind of work. daniel: a trending issue in kentucky has really as an
example of what is going on with this debate nationally, it is viewed by democrats as a gold standard on obamacare. you are shaking your head right now. gov. bevin: i tried not to. oragreed we would not nod shake our heads or under a firm one another, but i am smiling. here is what i will say. here is the reality. i am smiling -- "it was considered the gold standard"? come on. it was the biggest canard. it was a website. it afforded people nothing beyond what healthcare.gov affords people, and when we shut down and converted people, we actually had more people using not acare.gov, so it was gold standard, it was a website
on which people signed up for medicaid. newsflash, people have been signing up for medicaid long before this existed, and they still are. much money was spent, your money, on his website. from american taxpayers to build this website. a force democrats to that was the gold standard. they probably made it out of gold. i don't know. but they wanted to because they had to believe that money was not wasted. it was wasted. we have achieved nothing intentio in terms of functional. daniel: puts switch to -- let's
switch to trade negotiations. how do you feel about the president's trade negotiations with china? americain: we need in to have modernized trade policies with all of our global trading policies. this is a very dynamic world. if you look at america and china, the two of us together comprise 40% of the world's gdp. that is phenomenal wealth production. it is a function under what circumstances and under what policies. parts of the economy, without question, but they have emerged. we have historically dealt with nations, giving them in the case of china, trade organizations, emerging status.
once they have emerged, we need to do it in a different manner. is doing that. secretary ross is involved in a conversation. it is not easy. we're doing it on multiple they are not done linearly, they are not done in documents, they all offset one another. byple who should not be hard that, this is all good and healthy and constructive, moving us into 21st-century reality. 9:00 the effort. is it perfect? no. in the end, they won't be, either. if we get things that both sides can deal with, it will look like. this is the president. it is not unique to me.
he will initiate calls, but he will always take and/or return a states,m governors of republican and democrat alike. this is the guy engaged in a ,egree that in our lifetime there has never been a precedent politically who has reached out as much to the states as this president in this administration. gladould be grateful and that at least he is willing to have a conversation. the willingness to engage in the informed by the opinions of beyondis so many degrees what the public has been largely led to believe. and i am grateful for it. daniel: if you could change one thing on his approach to the straight negotiations, -- these
trade negotiations, what would it be? gov. bevin: it would be remarkably unprofessional for me to advise in a public forum what the president should do on trade arecy, but generally there consequences for every single thing they do. sometimes even if he does not in setting, but i think generally we are the right thing, which is continuing to modernize.
daniel: alison lundergan grimes -- what do you think of that? gov. bevin: her career is over for a number of reasons. she has been accused from an years by members of staff, members of her own party, and people who have considered her to be a friend of doing things unethical and illegal was voter information. for politicalion office, including some who maybe running against her in a particular instance. it is beyond inappropriate. i do not care at what level this is happening in government. the government should not be up inside people's businesses. the fourth amendment is there for a reason. should have an exhibition of security, especially in the hands of government officials. she was in violation of that, clearly. in voter registration
and cyber security, a 2008 report came out. can you describe in detail what kentucky plans to do in 2019? and these are figures when you and senator majority leader mcconnell are up for reelection. gov. bevin: you are, including what is in your pocket, vulnerable to cyber attacks. wordnot want to use the oblivious twice, but quite literally, this is a massive album in america. cyber security, we have to become more engaged. you can now communicate with your washing machine. accounts,to your which also might be linked into your phone. of course it is a concern for kentucky. it relates to many other things. what we're doing is increasing
our security. i have hired recently some individuals with an extensive background, and we talked about the army war college in general. military,ent, in the working on this exact issue, among others. he is now the head of technology in kentucky. i will say with absolute confidence there is not a cio in america that is not qualified, that in a state is going to be protected against this. >washington has already allocatd $80 million daniel: for cyber security threats. how are you using that money, and is that enough? is amongn: again, that the respective states and how they use it. in fact, that would barely pay for one website in kentucky.
do we need to upgrade? we do. when he to do more and more electronic voting, which is what we have in kentucky. we do not have ballots. they are written on paper, but they are scanned electronically, and it is that electronic upgrade that needs to take place. daniel: one poll found your approval underwater. you announced you are running for reelection, with state senator ralph alvarado. how is this change point to
help you? gov. bevin: let me address the first part of this. this is for those of you who do not follow kentucky politics. there has never been a poll ever taken since i have been a candidate for governor ever done by anyone, including people who want to be supportive, that has ever found me of the on anything moik