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tv   Washington Journal 12262021  CSPAN  December 26, 2021 7:00am-10:01am EST

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former senator joe lieberman, economist and activist heather mcgee and former president shall candidate andrew yang, among others. olive -- all of that plus your calls, tweets. ♪ host: good morning. it is sunday, december 26, 2021 day one of the authors week. later today we will be joined by jonathan alter to talk about his biography of jimmy carter but we begin with a question for you about personal debt. the average american has over $50,000 in debt when you include all types from mortgages to student loans, car loans and credit cards. we want to know how you handle your personal debt.
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where you think it is ok to carry debt. what kind do you prioritize when it comes to repayment? phone lines split by income levels so if you make under $30,000 a year, (202)-748-8000. if you make between $30,000 and $60,000, call in at (202)-748-8001. if you make between $60,000 and $100,000 a year, (202)-748-8002. if you make over $100,000 a year, (202)-748-8003. that number you can also text us this morning. please include your name and where you are from. catch up with us on social media on twitter @c-spanwj and on facebook at you can start calling in now as we talk about personal debt and your approached personal debt. having this conversation in the wake of this recent headline,
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household debt in this country passes $15 trillion for the first time. from the federal reserve bank of new york numbers on how that $15 trillion is made up. most of it mortgage debt, $10.7 trillion in mortgage debt. student loan debt $1.6 trillion, auto loan debt $1.4 trillion, credit card debt $800 billion in the third quarter. those are the main types of debt we are talking about and we want to hear from you about how you approach personal debt. what is your repayment strategy? where do you prioritize? having this conversation at the end of 2021 and in the wake of the announcement from the biden administration about extending that student loan payment pause through may 2022.
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biden made the announcement on pausing federal student loan repayment. a chart -- sorry, the notes on the macroeconomic data, total household debt increased $286 billion in the third quarter. mortgage balances, the largest component, rose $230 billion, credit card balances increased in the third quarter $17 billion. some numbers on that first time crossing the $15 trillion threshold when it comes to personal debt. phone lines if you want to call in, it is (202)-748-8000 if you make under $30,000 a year.
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if you make between $30,000 and $60,000, (202)-748-8001. between $60,000 and $100,000, (202)-748-8002. if you make over $100,000, (202)-748-8003. we turn the phone lines over to you. beth on the line for those who make under $30,000 a year, good morning. caller: good morning. i just retired and the only debt i have is my house. live way below my means. i have the past 10 years -- hello? host: yes, it is your house that is the main debt. how close are you to paying off your house? caller: not very close but with the way the market is it would sell quickly. i have been approached a couple
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of times about selling it and i don't even have it on the market. host: whereabouts do you live? caller: i live in a small town in northern michigan. host: have you ever thought about selling your house? would it help you right now? caller: not really because the housing market is so tight. where would i go? host: do you carry credit card debt? caller: no, nope, and when i tried to get a mortgage it affected my credit score by not having a credit card. host: before you go -- caller: pardon? host: do you mind if i ask how old you are? caller: i am 62. i retired early because of the pandemic. i worked 41 years as a nurse. host: how much longer would you like to have worked had it not been for the pandemic?
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caller: i would have worked another four or five years. i am not totally retired. i can always go back. host: thank you for the call this morning. some stats on average american debt by age in this country from a recent business in centerpiece. debt peaks around middle age and americans pay off their debt going into retirement and keep the debt balance is low when they are in retirement, especially people over 70. for those under 30, the largest source of debt is student loans, the second largest source of debt in this country. personal debt behind mortgage. the next call from germantown, maryland. caller: i am in a weird situation. i am 40 something with no debt, no student loans. i did not graduate with student loan debt.
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but i have always been a renter. every year i sign a one-year or two-year lease. that is the only debt i have. my car is paid off. but because that one year debt is always coming up, to me it is not mortgage but it is still a debt because i am on the hook for paying. that is half my yearly income. even though i do not have any other debt that housing that is always going to be part of my life. even if i get a mortgage in this area, which is not possible. host: we talked about president biden extending student loan debt repayments, extending the pause on it through the springtime. what are your thoughts on that as a young person and calls among democrats to cancel student loan debt altogether? caller: i am on the record on this. i have many friends with tens of
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thousands of dollars of debt. i do not want anyone to suffer the way they have suffered. i know they are on the hook for that debt for decades and their wages will be garnished if they cannot pay it. i know it gets bad for them. and if that was forgiven, i would have zero complaints. my parents might have their complaints i will be honest, but the reality is having someone on the debt for tens of thousands for decades? i am not opposed to that. host: why do you think your parents would have complaints? caller: they helped pay for our college. most of us did reasonably well as far as getting scholarships but we still -- i did -- but family members did and family members still have debt. if that got forgiven by the
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government, i would have zero complaints. i am sure they would not complain because they put thousands of dollars into that already. why would they be complaining? that is a huge burden off their chest? host: thank you for the call. this debate about student loan debt whether it should be canceled altogether has played out with frequency on the house and senate floor. this was jimmy gomez, the democrat from california, on the house floor last month in one of the quorums talking about student loan debt. this is what he had to say about the debt and student loan debt places on young people today. [video clip] >> the current generation's debt after the great recession ballooned to historic proportions. that is why you have trillions of dollars in student loan debt on the backs of 47 million americans. you know what? these are dreamers, these are people who believe in the
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american dream that say, you know what? i was told, go to school, work hard. it does not matter if you go to the best school and take out debt because it is going to come back tenfold. in the past that was the case but we don't see that now. we see the debt that has been put on their backs because we under invested in higher education. we under invested in k-12. it is crippling people to living their version of the american dream. and it is so severe that people are starting -- and it pains me and depresses me -- they are deciding, i would rather not go to college because i don't want to have debt. think about that. like, that is the decision people are making now. i would rather not have the best opportunity to achieve the american dream because the amount of debt will prevent me from living that american dream
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once i graduate. i think that is shameful because these are the folks that are renewing this idea to live a more just and perfect union. to refresh that idea generation upon generation. it is unfortunate because who does it impact? it often impacts immigrants, people of color, blacks, latino s, single mothers, single fathers. they are taking on higher burdens of debt and when they graduate they sometimes go to get jobs because they want to his back that don't pay them that well. we saw that in new york times article that a graduate from a school of social work graduating with $112,000 in debt getting paid $50,000. this is something we see time and again.
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people want to believe in the american dream and they have to care about canceling student loan debt to refresh the potential of millions of americans to buy their first house, to raise children, therese business, to grow our economy. i think this is something from americans on all sides of the aisle could agree on. host: democrat jimmy gomez on the house floor last month. during that same debate it was texas republican chip roy who offered his thoughts on what it would mean for the federal government to forgive its entire portfolio of student loan debt. [video clip] >> fascinated to learn that i serve in the united states house of free stuff because that is what i have been hearing nonstop this entire week. there is an unlimited supply of money and resources apparently, an unlimited supply of dollars we can print while devastating our economy, devastating the
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american dollar, and transforming our society by encouraging americans to believe there is free lunch. there is no free lunch. my wife is the product of a single mom growing up in texas. her mom worked multiple jobs to send her to college. she worked hard to go to college. she left with $70,000 of debt despite going to two the top universities of texas. she is not asking those to get repaid because she went there with free will. she went there and made a choice. she could have chosen a different path. she chose to take the debt. i did the same thing when i went to law school, university of texas. i might not have chosen to go to law school if the loans are not been available. i would be fine. what is the fundamental problem?
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why has the cost of education skyrocketed in my lifetime at an inflation rate multiple times over? virtually every other product except for health care. why is it up 3000%? is it perhaps because we are subsidizing the holy heck out of it? thinking perhaps there might be a correlation between availability, massive widespread availability of subsidy loans, k-12 and higher ed? do we think there might be a correlation between the because it has skyrocketed? no, no, no, my colleagues on the other side of the aisle say, we are not the party of big spenders. we have a chart with $1.7 trillion with another chart saying cancel student debt. who is paying for that? does anybody in this body give a rat's rear end about who is
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paying for what? no. then they will come out and say, $3 trillion of tax cut. they don't care about economic opportunity but fine. why don't we have a conversation about spending and taxes? no, no, we don't do that. we just spend money we don't have. host: that from a recent house floor debate on canceling student loan debt. student loan debt the second largest source of personal household debt in the united states behind mortgage debt. student loan debt over $1.6 trillion at this point. more stats before we leave the topic, during the past decade federal student loan debt has jumped more than $500 billion. today more than 40 million americans hold student loan debt. talking to you about your
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approach to personal debt. want to hear your stories, how you prioritize your debt, what you pay off first, where you think you should carry debt. tom from new york on those who make over $100,000 a year. caller: good morning. happy to be here. i come out this discussion from two perspectives, one as somebody who has debt and somebody who has worked in the student loan industry for most of my adult career. i can lend my perspective on the current issue as well if you care to hear about it. in relation to personal debt, all i have at this point is my mortgage which is about $40,000 and scheduled to be paying that off entirely end about five or six years. my wife and i are very adverse to debt. we try to avoid it at all cost. we tried to make payments on time and not stretch them out over months with exorbitant
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interest rates. we are hawkish about controlling our debt and the level of debt we take on. host: whereabouts in new york is your house with $40,000 left on the mortgage? caller: it is an important in queens, new york. it is not a house but still property. we have been paying the mortgage for about 20 odd years now. host: sounds like you are not the person to carry credit card debt. caller: i have one card. i'd pay the bill every month so there is no balance at the end of the month. i feel good about that every month. we both have this aversion to debt and the mortgage is the only thing we have. host: a lot of discussion on the house floor and one of the reasons we did this question, members of congress will occasionally say, why can't the federal government run its checkbook like americans do at their dinner table?
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paying off the credit card every month, borrowing low. as we approach $30 trillion in the federal government's debt what are your thoughts on those discussions? caller: well, the fiscal gets overtaken by the political in my view. take the issue of student loans and forgiving all this debt. that potentially is a huge cohort of educated borrowers who will feel gratitude toward the party that forgave that debt. you know, as i said, i have been in the student loan industry for quite some time. i had a student loan, i paid it off. i never asked anybody to pay it off for me. i was party to a contract and i adhere to my end of the bargain by paying it off. i have to say, i work in a school and i work with student
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loans and i cannot begin to tell you how many instances i have seen of borrowers who make foolish borrowing decisions about debt. people who attended five or six colleges, borrowed at each one, and don't have a degree to show at the end of the day. in some cases they have $40,000, 50,000 dollars of debt. most of the debt, i think you will find this in your statistics, is at the graduate level. one question we don't ask is do people really need graduate degrees to pursue a career? my take on this is that, you know, we have to refocus on the length of time it takes to complete a degree. if you reduce the program of study for a bachelor from four years to three years, the incentive to borrow as much declines. colleges are not innocent in
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this regard. i think colleges have to start looking at their cost structure and come up with innovative ways to control cost and reduce the incentive to borrow. i am in full agreement with the congressman from texas that if you arm people with subsidies they are going to spend it and colleges are going to take advantage. host: to your final point before you go, what were your thoughts on the child tax credit that had been going out every month? it was not extended before congress all the democrats trying to extend monthly credits in the build back better act. caller: again, going back to your original question, the political versus the fiscal, there is a political motive for all of these spending programs. it is to buy allegiance and votes.
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i am not up on the tax credit news but i think that is the general rule. when you throw money at people you are trying to buy their allegiance in regards to the ballot box and that is what is going on with the student loan discussion as i see it. host: thank you for the call from new york. plenty of charts on this topic of personal household debt in the united states but here is one of them from the federal reserve bank of new york. the percentage of balances that are 90 plus days delinquent by loan type, the highest percentage of balances delinquent comes on credit card debt in this country, just under 10% of balances delinquent when it comes to that category. student loan debt approaching 5% and the auto loan debt just
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below that, mortgage debt at the lowest and has been going down since 2010. at one point approaching 10% delinquent in 2009. abram out of st. petersburg, florida for those who make under $30,000 a year. good morning. caller: yes, go ahead. host: do you carry much debt? caller: i have no debt. go ahead. host: what is your approach to your finances? caller: my finances are very much in disarray. i try to support as many people as i can. host: how do you try to support
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people? caller: because i work my ass off. host: this is mike in california on the line for those who make between $60,000 a year and $100,000 a year. caller: good morning. how are you doing? host: well. go ahead. caller: i think the article you showed at the beginning of the program was convoluted. it is using mortgage debt and, you know, as their main base mortgage debt is not really debt. it is paying off an asset you have and in most cases a very appreciating asset. those numbers are so large because we have mortgage debt,
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it is being used to tell a huge debt but it is an asset. host: you are still paying interest unless you are paying off only the principal. caller: sure you are paying interest but unless you are somebody that is not very savvy you are paying less than 3%. my financial account is getting the over 10%. i got 7% i am making on the money i am not paying my mortgage off with. host: you are correct. mortgage debt making up seven $10.7 trillion. is the student loan debt, the $1.4 trillion in car loan debt, $800 billion in credit card
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debt, are we in a good place as american households on those three kinds of debt? caller: well, if you look at the auto loan, that is the same as a mortgage. you are paying for an asset. that is definitely depreciating but it is still an asset. credit card debt is $800 billion. if you matched that up against how much money is spent, that is a drop in the bucket. and student loan debt, student loan debt is because of some really bad -- there is a lot of fraud in student loan debt. are you kidding me? you go to school to learn how to take somebody's temperature and you pay $10,000 for that? that is fraudulent. and a lot of people, especially low income people, are doped
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into that kind of thing. and because the government subsidizes it the people go out there and do it. look at all the medicaid ads on television during the medicaid period. because that is a subsidy that is available but me as a company, i just want a piece of that and i get a referral for getting them into a new clan. that is the stuff that creates all the debt. host: that was mike in california. we mentioned already the 40 million americans who hold student loan debt. over 90% of student loan debts held by the federal government. here are the numbers on the other main debts. household debt, there is over 500 million credit card accounts open in this country. there is around 250 million auto
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loan accounts and just under 200 million americans have mortgage debt in this country. rick in new york on the line for those who make under $30,000 a year. caller: good morning. how are you doing this morning? host: i am doing well. go ahead. caller: i have no debt. i am 69 years old. i grew up during the time when you worked, you put money away, you bought savings bonds. when i bought my place i put half down on my place. when i could i made two payments. i paid my house loan off eight years early. these kids that got these high price student loans, you know, something they should do is push kids toward trade. school they earn the paycheck and at the end they have no debt back to the schools. i got two degrees.
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are they going to give me money back that i paid for my education or not? host: did you have to take out student loans to do that? caller: no. i did it and i made the payments as i went through school. i was in the military. you could go through and make your payments. the other thing we got his credit cards, i remember when you had to be 21 years old to even think about applying for a credit card. 18 and these kids get onto it and they run the debt up and they don't have a job to pay it back. host: thank you for the call from new york. stephen in cumberland, maryland for those who make under $30,000 a year. caller: i am way below $30,000 and i am 83 years old.
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i have had a rough life. back when i was young things were tough. you could not go to school a lot of the times. the range of debt today is unbelievable. the government is throwing money away. they keep pushing money out. our grandkids are going to have to pay that back somehow. i don't understand. host: this is mark on twitter saying, america was founded on debt but what is the line for too much debt? i guarantee it is way bigger than the government is telling us. what the government is saying, according to the latest reports, the macroeconomic group for the new york fed tracks the
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household debt numbers in this country. it is the center for macroeconomic data at the new york fed. the federal government also has a financial stability oversight council. that group founded in the wake of the financial crisis in 2008 looking at various aspects of debt and household debt as part of that. according to their latest report, which came out a week ago on friday, this is what they said about that $15 trillion in household debt held by americans saying stresses on households have moderated significantly over the past year, aided by extraordinary policy actions including economic conditions and some lessening of the severity of the covid-19 pandemic. government policies including enhanced unemployment insurance and direct stimulus payments
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have supported household balance sheets, helping many households build up a buffer of liquid assets. nonetheless, some, like those in forbearance and dylan would seek and those employed in sectors hard-hit by the pandemic, face significant stresses. that was their lead into the section of the latest report on household debt and the debt held by individuals in this country. that is the financial oversight stability counsel. bill, columbus, ohio, you are next. caller: calling because i don't know why you are so upset with paying off student loan debt. should those who did not go to college get money from the government? i dropped out of school at 17 and i am on pace this year to
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make $84,000. i don't understand why they are obsessed with paying off people's debt when they chose to get that their self and how it is our responsibility to pay off their debt. used to go to college and you said you were going to make a million more dollars in their lifetime. i don't understand. host: raleigh, north carolina this is mike. good morning. mike, are you with us? go ahead. caller: with regards to debt i have a bunch of notes i could spend hours telling you about. i am recording this for posterity. my wife is 68 and i am 65. we are health-care workers and we are still working. we have worked for everything we have gotten our life ever. our house is paid off, our cars are paid off, everything is literally paid off. we came from working-class families in upstate new york
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that are very poor. my wife and i had about $100 to our name. we were probably in our late 30's. i went to college in my early 20's. my father threatened me that he was going to cosign on this loan for that i would be responsible. i paid that offer early in life as well. all i can say is, especially in regards to the student debt relief, i am about as left-leaning as they come but i am totally against this. just looking at our example if you want something in life, you're going to have to pay for it and work for it as well. that is all i have to say on the matter. host: you say you are as left-leaning as they come. a big priority for democrats is extending the monthly enhanced child tax credits so checks
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continue to go out on the 15th of every month. how do you feel about that trying to help families with small children? caller: well, this is a tough point because i came from a working-class family where everybody worked in my family. we did not ask for them, we did not expect, and it was below our standards to go on any public assistance. it was beneath us as my grandparents and parents would not allow it. they came to this country penniless. as far as that goes my heart goes out but i think if we keep on funding families like that, i just don't know what to say about that. i don't have an honest answer. all i can tell is that story about us. host: thank you for the call from raleigh, north carolina. from that debate over extending
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the monthly enhanced child tax credit this is democratic senator michael bennett of colorado on the floor of the senate from earlier this month. [video clip] >> in my town they all say, michael, we are working really hard but no matter what we do we cannot afford some combination of housing and health care, higher education, early childhood education, if we can even find early childhood education or daycare. we cannot save. we feel like our families are going to live a diminished life than we did and that our kids will as well. i brought a few photos today to the floor to share some stories with all of you. this is april pratt from el paso county. she lives there with her three daughters who are ages 8, 2 and a half and one and a half.
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when april was pregnant with her youngest daughter her husband tragically passed away. she is the sole breadwinner for the family and although she works full-time at the local school there is not much left after her mortgage, diapers and groceries for three young kids. let me say that again, works full-time, works full-time. before the child tax credit april said she quote, "i was having a lot of anxiety every month about whether i was going to be able to afford my bills. it was eating up a lot of my attention. " thanks to the child tax credit she can afford for her two youngest daughters so she can work. she said if i was not able to avoid childcare, i would have to quit my job.
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without the child tax credit april said she would be quote, "forced to use my credit card to fill in the gaps and that debt accumulates and that becomes crippling and my family would not be able to get ahead." she said it was quote "nice" our government is finally doing something to help working class families. finally, madam president, after we cut taxes for the wealthiest in this country by more than $5 trillion since 2001 we finally have a tax cut for working families. we should be making it permanent. host: democratic senator michael bennett on the floor from earlier this month. for a different take on government spending and funding government programs this was from the debate over funding the government. this is congresswoman marjorie taylor greene, republican from georgia. [video clip]
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>> the american people are $29 trillion in debt thanks to congress. this congress wants to borrow more money and more time to figure out how to run the government and how to pay for it. that is an outrage to the american people. you want to talk about courage and responsibility? do you know what courage and responsibility is? it is learning how to manage the people's money. the people work hard every day. they have to pay the taxes and then they have to trusted this house, this body and the senate to create a budget, but every time it is a budget that puts them further and further in debt. it is an audacity -- the audacity of congress to borrow more money and not be able to come up with a budget that makes sense and that we can pay for?
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what an outrage. what an irresponsibility. that is not courage. that is not responsibility. that is out of control behavior that this congress needs to rein in. this government should be shut down. do you want to know why? because the people in here, the people in here cannot control themselves. the people in here don't understand how to balance a checkbook and the people in here do not deserve, deserve, their responsibility on how to spend the american people's money. $29 trillion, $29 trillion, badham speaker. shut it down. host: marjorie taylor greene on the house floor. taking your phone calls talking about household debt and how you manage your debt when it comes to your family. stephen in lexington, kentucky for those who make over $100,000 a year. caller: good morning and thank you for having me.
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i am in my early 30's. i started college when i was 17 from a working family like everyone else has. i want to tell you most of the callers are living in a skewed reality because they are older. i wish 20-year-olds and 30-year-olds would call in more often because school is not the same as it was in the past. my dad is always complaining, oh, all these kids are complained about school. back in the day a book cost $10. now it costs $500. it is not the same, guys. you are living in a skewed reality. i just had my first child. i would love to have no debt to help her but i have student debt i am paying off religiously and it does not get easier. host: how much student debt do you have if you don't mind me asking? caller: i left with $50,000 and him down to $20,000. i would little help but if i
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don't get it, i will keep working hard. host: even if you don't get it, would you wanted to be there down the road for other students who just graduated? say you pay off that $20,000. would you be supportive of canceling student debt? caller: absolutely. i think people need a leg up sometimes. they need some assistance. not everything is given to you but, jeez, have some compassion for your fellow americans. host: did you receive the child tax credit? you talk about your new daughter i believe. caller: i have not. i have not received it. i am hoping that goes through next year. she was born in july of this year. i never received that. host: thank you for the call from lexington. susan in new york, good morning. you are next. caller: good morning. i am calling because my husband and i have never had any debt. we have been married 51 years
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and every time we bought something we paid for it with cash because instead of buying a car brand-new we always bought secondhand. we have always had a garden every year since we were married. we have always worked hard, we burn our own firewood so we don't use a lot if -- a lot of fuel. our three daughters went to college and paid for it themselves. they had student loans and they paid them off and they got good jobs. i don't understand why these kids say they can't do it. you teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime. you give a man a fish and he never learns how to fish. that is how i brought my kids up. if you learn how to control your spending and you learn how to save and work hard, you will get
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ahead. i cannot understand why we should hand people money for college because if you earn it, you appreciate it. if some of the else paid for it, it is not fair. it is not fair to the kids you had to work and the kids were going to have to pay off the debt for this country. i don't agree with giving people money. if you want the money later on when you get older and you get cash from the government, you help the kid get through instead of just taking the money. it is not fair. host: susan in new york. this is teresa in lagrange, kentucky. how much debt does your family carry? caller: i don't carry anything because i grew up and i was a single mom. i did not have credit and all that stuff either or anything. my question is, these educated
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people that are up in politics and in think tanks and things like that, if a family or single mom can budget, why can't the government? there is something with that way of thinking. host: how do you feel about over $29 trillion in federal government debt at this point? caller: kind of silly. for educated people, why can't they budget? host: c-span viewers know the . if you break that down per citizen in this country, it is $88,000 per citizen. the debt per taxpayer comes to
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about $232,000 per taxpayer. if you divide that over $15 trillion in household debt in this country across all americans, you are looking at close to $50,000 in household debt in this country. brad from michigan. you are next on the line for those who make over $100,000 per year. caller: the people calling in our equating micro and macro economics as if they were the same thing and there is a big difference. i implore everyone to look at modern monetary theory. essentially every deficit we have in the federal budget is a surplus on somebody else's book. all the deficit we have been accruing is people's retirement. when people are complaining it is over $22 trillion it is not a matter of balancing a budget, it is a matter of how
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macroeconomics functions in the modern world. it is disingenuous to see marjorie taylor greene talk about the deficit without saying the majority is a surplus in people's retirement plans. host: what about household debt? caller: household debt, they are equating the country's deficit to how their house works but it does not work that way. the citizens are money users versus the government being a money issue or. this is a fiat system. it is not a gold standard. when a politician talks about the deficit it is usually trying to confuse people that this deficit is an investment but we don't want to invest in the things that help like education or health care. we would rather invest in military or their own pension plans. host: do you think politicians should talk more about the $800
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billion in credit card debt and what that means for americans, about the $1.6 trillion in student loan debt and what that means for young people? caller: i believe that would be more honest of a conversation. shows like this are good if we can get economists on to explain the difference between the fiat system and the gold standard and why the deficit we are pulling is good, as long as we keep inflation low and pay off the debts and don't default. host: thank you for the call from michigan. a web sit have shown a couple of times and where a lot of this household debt information comes from as we were gathering this info to have a conversation with you. focusing on the different types of household debt. milton, baltimore, maryland for those that make under $30,000 a year.
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good morning to you. caller: good morning. i want to thank the last caller. he was perfectly on point with his points. what i wanted to say is what i tell other people. debt is actually a way of increasing or advancing your standard of living. if you want to make money, but you don't have the money to get where you need to go in terms of transportation, then you go to the credit to get a car which allows you to make money. whenever you take out debt you are taking out debt to get an increase in something. you are able to use what you are paying for. you are getting the value of the object while paying it off and hopefully at the end of the
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cycle you can get a resale value and get your money back off the original cost of what you paid for. get something newer. that is the whole purpose of debt, to increase your viability of being able to afford or increase your standard of living. host: do you think americans are good at managing that debt? caller: that is the issue. if they are not, that is their problem but nobody else should suffer the consequences of them not being able to. just like student debt. you are using somebody else's money to get a better education. if you use somebody else's money, naturally should pay them back for them being kind enough to let you use their money.
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by them letting you use the money, sure they want a little more in paying them back in terms of interest. if the interest accrues, it is your appreciation to use that money. but some people get into deep debt and they cannot afford to pay it off. that is the whole issue. credit is not the issue. host: thank you for the call. tim and wisconsin for those that make between $30,000 and $60,000 a year. good morning. caller: yes, sir. can you hear me? host: yes. go ahead. caller: i agree a little bit with what the last couple of callers said but it comes down to what others have said too, plain common sense. you take out the debt you pay the debt. if you do not think you can can't afford it, then don't take out the debt. get a job while you go to
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school. we also need to hold the universities accountable for student debt. tuition has risen the last 20 years. some of these universities have billions and billions of dollars of endowments. they have to take responsibility for the student loans too. but when you go to college, like the 1970's or 1980's, you could get a degree and go into some big business because you had a degree. everything is so specialized now if you go to college to get a general studies, god bless you. you are not going to get a job. you have to look at what fields are open,
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blue being credit card. that sure my problem -- product type and age. california, blind for those who make between $30,000 and $60,000 per year. caller: yes, good morning. i want to talk about the student loan debt. i think representative davis, he had the right idea as far as programs for students should take advantage of programs. i took advantage of the programs when i went to school, i did mechanics and stuff. the programs held out the
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students a lot, and they need to take advantage of those programs to find out which ones that are available and also, you do need to help out some of our, you know, single parents out there, especially the lady earlier who had three children and she needed to be able to keep going. and going strong with her job and getting her confidence so that way we should be able to help her out. as far as people like that go, they should be able to get help because our government is helping out. we are able to help out other countries that don't even really want our help, but we are still doing it. host: that child tax credit that we have returned to a couple times, that has been a fight on the floor of the house and senate whether to extend it into
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2022 and beyond. does that represent the kind of hope you're tracking about? -- you are talking about? caller: as long as it is going to the people who really deserve the people who are making six figures per year. but the single parents that are struggling in between thousand dollars and $60,000 per your, definitely they should get it. especially because of the pandemic. we are still coming out of the pandemic you who knows if they catch the virus, and they are completely out of work weeks and they have no support. people live paycheck-to-paycheck and, you know, most of them are single parents. host: thanks for the call. one last this segment. if you did not get in this segment we will return to the conversation toward the end of the program today.
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this is john in illinois, good morning. caller: good morning. i paid off my student loans and i don't think credit is a bad thing, you know, especially if it is an investment in something. i buy things all the time for hopefully a low price and then i sell them for a higher price and i have to use to get that done, so be it. host: what are the main kinds of debts that you have? do you have mortgage debt? caller: not anymore, i paid off the mortgage. i paid off my student debt and my mortgage. i do have credit card debt, that is pretty much the only debt that i have now. host: do you pay it off completely every month? caller: no, not completely every month, i will say that. but what i do is, like i say, i manage nie finem, i live fine, my he does on, my light is on, i
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am watching you want you right now. such a bad thing, why would warren buffett have data and donald trump have debt? why do billionaires and millionaires have debt? because in some ways, debt is a good thing as an investment. host: thanks for watching, thanks for calling and p thanks for all of our viewers are called and in this first hour. stick around, plenty more to talk about. up next is the beginning of the washington journal annual offers week series, and we will take it off with donovan altar -- jonathan alter on his book "his very best: jimmy carter: a life." stick around for that conversation. ♪ [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit]
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announcer: tonight on q&a, author and distinguished senior fellow at the ethics and public policy center george weigle talks about some of the people he profiles in "not forgotten." >> henry hyde, sargent shriver and other here. these were people who went into public life and public service get things done. and some of them were sparkling speakers like henry. some of them were for norwegians like skoog jackson. some of them were charmers. but all of them wanted to achieve things not so much for themselves, but for their country for their constituents, for the common good. announcer: george weigle tonight at 8:00 eastern on q&a.
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you can also listen to q&a and all of our podcasts on our new c-span now app. >> in 1787 from may to september, james madison gave 167 speeches, tax 72 motions and served on four committees of the constitutional convention in philadelphia. to preface his new biography, most importantly, madison authored the virginia plan, a bold call for a total redesign of national government that set the agenda for the convention and establish the foundations on which the constitution would be billed. at that time, james madison was 36 years old. madison was america's first politician. >> book notes plus is available on c-span now or wherever you
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eat or podcasts. >> sunday, january 2, a civil war historian joins us to talk about the early intellectual history of the united states, the civil war, and the reconstruction era. his book titles include "redeeming the great emancipator: gettysburg" and "robert e. lee: a life." join the conversation with the phone calls, comments, texts and tweets sunday, january 2 at noon eastern on book tv. . announcer: washington journal continues host: we are kicking off the annual offers week series this morning all week long featuring top writers from across the political spectrum on a variety of political and public policy
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topics, and we begin today with jonathan alter and his biography titled "his very best: jimmy carter, a life." good morning to you. the comparisons between jimmy carter and joe biden continue to happen. here is one from just the past week from cnn. biden's economic ratings are even worse than carter's is the headline from cnn. is that fair to use jimmy carter as shorthand for failed or bad economic policy? guest: not really. i think it is not fair to use him as shorthand for a failed presidency. as shorthand for a failed economic policy, i think he could be ok as a crude historical analogy, but it is premature. at this point in his presidency, jimmy carter was more popular
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than joe biden is at this point in his presidency. the economy was not that bad at the end of 1977. but the carter that people remember, as people talk about, is a very simplistic memory of him, is the jimmy carter of 13% inflation and 21% interest rate. it cost at those times in the late carter presidency, you know, $15, $18, 19, even 21% to borrow money this comparison between joe biden -- as we know, what are interest rates now? 4%? inflation is still in single digits. it is just premature to lay this all on joe biden at this point.
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and it is basically a political attack masquerading as economic analysis. host: you mentioned those approval ratings. one year or almost one year into jimmy carter's presidency, not too bad at that point in his presidency compared to joe biden, well below just over 43%. and yet, as you point out, these political attacks, they tried to tie the two men together. i want to play one example of it. it was earlier this month in ohio's senate race. one of the candidates in that race, bernie marino is his name, literally showing a clip of jimmy carter before turning to joe biden. >> my parents came here for the american dream, a dream briefly crushed by jimmy carter. failed policies causing massive inflation. now joe biden and the socialists
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are rewriting the same playbook. they are spending trillions of dollars on money for illegals, tax cuts for new york liberals, and it is leading to crippling inflation. they are getting richer. you're getting poorer. i will stop biden before he destroys america. i'm bernie moreno, and i approve this message. host: you mentioned a simplistic comparison to try to do that. his joe biden running the same playbook that jimmy carter was running? guest: no, no he's not. but a couple of things about that. first of all, it is only relevant to quite old voters. i'm 64, i was in college when carter was president. this is an appeal that might work for fox news viewers in their 70's, but younger people
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tend to be inspired by jimmy carter, particularly his post-presidential work as a global icon. and in terms of economic analysis, inflation wasn't caused by jimmy carter. i mean, he suffered horribly from it, as did the american people at the time. you will remember his predecessor in office, president ford, some older viewers might remember those, younger viewers read about this. the inflation which really originated in the era of the oil embargo -- arab oil embargo went through the ford and carter administration. because carter had given his share of the federal reserve, rosen got the credit for ending
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inflation. the other thing i might add briefly is it suggests socialists spending by socialist jimmy carter. carter actually cut the budget in this fiscally way too conservative for many democrats, which is why ted kennedy challenged him for the nomination in 1980 and, you know, basically couldn't get a hold of inflation but it wasn't his policies that caused inflation. and actually, we found out later and economists now know that government spending which throughout the 1970's, everybody assumed this is what causes inflation. actually, not the case. we've had this tremendous amount of government spending under book, craddick and republican administrations in the last 20 years in particular, and until
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we have these supply disruptions and other recent problems coming out of covid, we didn't experience that kind of inflation. the connection between government spending and inflation has been severed by experience. host: he is the author of the book "his very best: jimmy carter, a life." kicking off our annual author series. you can join the conversation this morning. jonathan alter will be with us until the top of the hour at 9:00 a.m. eastern. you talk about the appeal to the older generation, making this comparison to jimmy carter. i wonder, did bill clinton and barack obama face these kind of
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comparisons to attempt to tied jimmy carter to their presidencies, their economic policies? guest: yeah, they did. i mean, jimmy carter has been for republicans what herbert hoover was for democrats 40 years after fdr be hoover in 1930 -- beat hoover in 1932. just kind of a punching bag, a way of trying to cut other democrats down. and democrats contributed to that five shunning -- by shunning carter at many democratic conventions since he was president. most democrats didn't really want to be connected to him. but carter was such an active former president that his successors all had to deal with him. i actually deal with in my book,
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in some detail, with his very fraught relationships in particular with the clinton, but also with barack obama, although obama, i reviewed for the book and i also interviewed george h w bush about jimmy carter as well but barack obama said very nice things about carter, but out his 2008 convention, he didn't want carter there or in 2012. his involvement was minimal in part because of some things that carter had been saying at the time. and then carter felt kind of abandoned by obama when obama was president and a little hurt. at one point, early on in my
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conversations with jimmy carter eisenhower you describe your relationship with president obama? this was when obama was still in office, 2015. and he snapped. i have none. that is kind of the way he felt about it. in obama, basically that he didn't have the bandwidth basically given everything that was going on to have a real relationship jimmy carter. but i think a lot of it was that carter was what i described as a full on secretary of state who did a number of good things, particularly 1994, when he prevented wars in both haiti and north korea. but if you are president, it is pretty hard to have this guy who is out of office who is acting
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too often on his own. the conversation with george h w bush that i had was especially interesting in this regard because at first, he and jim baker had a real good relationship with former president carter because carter is doing some really good things. like, for instance, talking to ortega about leaving office in nicaragua after he lost the election which solved a huge problem for bush and baker. but then at the onset of the gulf war in 1991, carter wrote to the heads of state of the members of the security council, telling them not to go along with the united states, which, you know, bush understandably was enraged about. and he said to me, we only have one president at a time, you
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really shouldn't be doing this. even democrats agree that that was not the right thing for jimmy carter to do, although bush, like obama, believe that in retrospect, carter's presidency was seriously underestimated and misunderstood. so this is a complex story about a very complex man. it doesn't lend itself to these simplistic comparisons that people make. so i'm actually, right now i'm writing a piece about the carter-biden comparison and it is kind of a long piece because the shorthand doesn't work. you have some things that they very much have in common. coming to office as healers. carter boycotted the olympics. biden is, on a diplomatic level, boycotting the olympics but he is smart enough not to repeat
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carter's mistake of making the athletes stay home. we could go down the list on a number of things they have in common and the many things they do not have in common, which i'm happy to explore. host: where are you writing that piece? guest: i probably shouldn't say this. i've been in journalism long enough to be careful about this, but it was mentioned by the washington post, so it will be in the post sometime in the next couple weeks. host: i thought you might mention your newsletter to see if viewers might go there to see it as well. guest: so my newsletter is called old goats ruminating with friends. what i do is i sometimes write columns. i did write a column last summer when my wife and i went to
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georgia for jimmy and rosalynn carter's 75th wedding anniversary, which was quite an event. i wrote just this past week about joe manchin. so sometimes i write about what is going on in the world and other times, most of the time, i do interviews that are in text, so they are much easier to absorb, much faster to absorb than a podcast with all kinds 60, 65, 70, who have made major contributions to this country and are wise and experienced individuals in a wide variety of different areas. some of them are, you know, former politicians like al franken, but more recently i did an actress who supports henry winkler, actors and directors.
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scientists, other people who are doing really interesting things and that had interesting experiences. i am one of those people who believe that just because you get a little older doesn't mean you should be put out to pasture like some old goat. somegoats, greatest of all time in their fields and others are just use the accomplished people. host: is the website that viewers can go to. jimmy carter, plenty of callers to talk about the former president. durham, north carolina, democrat. good morning. caller: good morning. i would like to know if you spoke with jimmy carter while
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you researched for his book, but my main question is did you discuss the signing of the panama canal to go back to panama and the reversal efforts by george w. bush senior targeting panama, having the target of noriega as a direction for people to look at as opposed to understanding that that was an important thing to reverse for george w. bush, and that the bombing of the people and the refugees that are still living in refugee positions and the weapons that we used on the panama people that was experimented with to go invade iraq. that legislation was a big -- for that policy or whatever jimmy carter did, a lot of people just really didn't understand that the panama canal
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was something that was not u.s. interests to allow to be overturned. guest: yes, this is a great question, i'm really glad you asked it. it is one of jimmy carter's most overlooked achievements, the securing of the panama canal treaties. this was an enormously heavy loss. so, it required two thirds of the u.s. senate, and two thirds of the country was against it. in part because ronald reagan at that time, former governor of california, was going all over the country saying we tilted, we own it, we are not getting it back. to answer your first question, i talked to jimmy carter on many occasions including about this. and when i was preparing this book.
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in one of the things that we discussed was the extraordinarily heavy lift involved in turning over the canal to the panamanians. the first thing to understand about it is that he prevented a major war in central america. the joint chiefs of staff believe that if we did not complete the handover of the canal to the panamanians that we would have to have a force of at least 100,000 troops in panama in perpetuity for the foreseeable future. so this is one of the things that convincing number of responsible republicans to support the treaty. so it was ratified in the senate and the canal was then and is to this day under the control of the panamanians. so it was not reversed. i just need to correct you,
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there. the carter policy was not reversed. reagan came in and he could have easily abdicated the treaty the way donald trump did with the iran nuclear deal more recently. he did not do it because everybody knew it was a good idea what carter had done. then what happened is when reagan's successor came in, panama was no longer under the control of omar who had been killed in a plane crash. he got along very well with the carter administration, was actually deeply involved in this super colorful effort to try to get the hostages out a couple years after, got the iranian hostages out.
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he was replaced by manwell noriega who got into this argument with the bush administration and the united states ended up invading panama in 1989, and that, i believe, is what you are referring to in your comments, and that did have some very, very negative effects anticipated some of the goodwill that jimmy carter had created not just in panama, but throughout latin america. we saw a major shift from autopsy to democracy -- autocracy to democracy, which had a lot to do with the panama canal treaties and also carter's human rights policies. it is now, in many parts of the world, we are moving back toward autocracy, but carter's human rights policy has given his
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republican successors. come a very helpful for human rights throughout that region. host: from the panama canal to energy policy. go read carter's address to the nation on energy, saying that the man was a prophet. the nice thing about c-span, you can watch it for yourself. this is a two clip from that speech just a few weeks after jimmy carter became president of the united states. this is part of what he had to say in fireside address on energy policy. >> the amount of energy being wasted is greater than the total energy that we are importing from foreign countries. it will also stunt -- emphasize
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research on solar energy and other renewable energy sources, and will maintain strict safeguards for necessary auto -- atomic energy production. now split among more than 50 different agencies, departments and bureaus in the federal government. later this month, i will ask congress for its help in combining many of these agencies need new energy department to bring order out of chaos. congressional leaders have already been working on this for quite a while. we must face the fact that the energy shortage is permanent. there is no way we can solve it quickly, but if we all cooperate and make modest sacrifices, if we learn to live truthfully and remember the importance of helping our neighbors, we can find ways to adjust and to make our society more efficient and
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our own lives more productive. utility companies must promote conservation and not consumption. oil and natural gas companies must be honest with all of us about their reserves and profits. we will find out the difference between real shortages and artificial ones. we will ask private companies to sacrifice just as private citizens must do. all of us must learn to use less energy. simply by keeping our thermostats lower, we could save half the current shortage of natural gas. there is no way that i or anyone else in the government can solve our energy problems if you are not willing to help. i know that we can meet this energy challenge. it is a burden that is borne
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fairly among all our people and in order to solve our problems we did not sacrifice the quality . -- the quality of our lives. host: jimmy carter giving that fireside address with a sweater on any white house with a thermoset has been turned down. jonathan, do you agree with the viewer on twitter who says jimmy carter was -- when it came to energy policy? guest: yes. a couple of things in that speech, which was not the malaise speech that came 2.5 years later, and that was -- actually, carter never used the word malaise. this was very early in his presidency. people later mocked the carter sweater saying he looks like mr. rogers. at the time, he was very popular and even the sweater was seen as a kind of stroke of shrewdness.
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but what happened was that his energy legislation got bogged down a little bit like what is going on with biden and build back better. it ended up passing it, but in pieces so he never really got very much credit for it. he would go back to the country on several occasions to talk about energy and it was a downer, especially when a couple years later, things started to fall apart. but he was a visionary environmental and energy issues as well. that is why i would describe him as a political failure but as a substances -- substantive success. i think people know that he put solar panels on the roof of the white house which ronald reagan then took down and they were not put back up again until obama.
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but they don't rise up beyond that symbolism. there was a tremendous method was done legislatively. the first federal funding, clean energy technologies, the first requirement that utilities use clean energy. believe it or not, they were under no such requirement until the carter administration when there were no incentives for doing it. in fact, they were disincentives for using clean energy until carter, like when that bill passed, he got more legislation through in four years then either bill clinton or barack obama did in eight years. not to mention, republican
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presidents who had so much less legislation that was approved. and among those was these pieces of energy legislation that the president largely ignored at the time. i talked -- the press largely ignored at the time. i talked to a number of reporters who confessed to this. they were more focused on trivia. he was attacked by a rabbit. he was jogging and he stumbled. these things contain huge stories and carter, in some ways, was asked for it because he was not political enough about his own presidency and he paid a big price for it. but what ended up shrouding these major accomplishments in a variety of different areas at home and abroad. host: this is christina, independent, good morning.
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caller: good morning and thank you for letting me speak you. i've seen you speak many times and in some ways i agree with you. i have several things to compare carter and president biden with. and so much of it is political because, as i see it, i'm going to be 76 and a couple days, so i've watched a lot. i was divorced. back in 1975, i got a federal nursing loan and was able to get a career to support my children because their father really didn't. and i spent an awful lot of time watching c-span, and my biggest problem is i think the american people have -- they don't think things through.
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things go in one ear and out the other. the republicans are so good at nothing. we are also an instant gratification society. we want it and we want it now. and we don't realize that a lot of these things take a couple years to show up where the improvements are. host: let me focus on one part of what you talked about. jonathan, she talks about being good at marketing and how much that is a part of politics now. how much was it a part of politics in jimmy carter's presidency, and was he good at marketing? guest: he was great at marketing when he was running for president. he just seemed like such a freshfaced. he was an obscure former governor who went from 0% in the polls to the presidency. he was just very talented at
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selling himself as a candidate. he understood which parts of the new south story to emphasize, which parts of the old south story to leave behind. and a lot of my book is about jimmy carter in the jim crow south. the fascinating story of him. he said he never claimed to be part of the civil rights movement. but by the time he ran for president, even though he had never met martin luther king jr. , that in his relationship with the black community was very helpful to him and a lot of other people were trying who
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really understood campaigning. but when it got to the presidency, he made this separation between campaigns and governments. and when it came to governing, he really didn't believe much in marketing. when the election got closer, then he started to think more about marketing the way he had in 1976 but by that time, he was up against the great communicator, the great marketer, ronald ragan. and he just got blown out on that level and level of optics and imagery. i think carter just viewed the presidency difference he and his wife, carter is 97.
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miss carter is 94. they had one of the most astonishing partnerships, and she was always the more political one the panama canal changes would be a perfect example. his predecessor did not want to touch that because he knew it was unpopular. so he would do that over and over again which is against the marketing interests we are talking about. and she was saying don't do this, it is not good for you politically. and he said if it is the right thing to do, we've got to do this. i think i am going to win, but we need to do it now. this is part of the story of the carter presidency, his pollster
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was not actually in there with carter all that much. he was around the time of the so-called malaise speech, but carter was not lending his present to governing my polls. host: this is william on the for republicans. caller: good morning. i was listening to the energy issue and when one looks at the term of inflation, you have to consider the fact that gasoline is his substance that is used in every portion of our economy. it is for delivery, is for moving vehicles. it is just a critical part of our economy. jimmy carter didn't have quite the resources that biden had, but biden turned around and
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undermined the fact that we wake energy-independent. to me, i just don't understand how that issue occurred and that is a direct result of an asian. moving the cost of all goods, everything that we do, and asking opec to give us more is not the right answer. president biden should go back to be energy haven independent, whatever that may take. guest: you make a couple of really good points. particularly, the 1970's. and carter was very focused on energy independence. he wasn't just a solar guy. he deregulated natural gas,
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which was very controversial and very unpopular and with many other democrats, it will use fight in the late 70's. in order to move us toward energy independence. but i guess where we maybe would part ways a little bit is that even though i strongly agree that gasoline costs -- well, throughout the economy, the way to play -- fight inflation is to not think in a matter of giving the fossil fuel industry what it wants. it is also to use the federal reserve and that is where the
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main tools are. this goes back to the spent share in the 60's who said that the republican fed chair said the job of the federal reserve is to take away the punch bowl just from the party is getting good. and that is what chairman powell is in the process of doing. they will attempt to control inflation next year by raising interest rates slightly. they won't have to do it in the ways of the 15, 19, 20 1% because we are not in the same trouble that we were in in the late 1970's. i think it is fair to say that biden isn't do anything to fight inflation would not be accurate. there are some things on the energy side, other tools that
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were established. and most important, he is backing the decision of the fed to begin to curb inflation with its monetary policy which is the single best way to do something about inflation. they can be painful for people when interest rates go up a little bit, but we're going to find out next year whether biden's on inflation is working and i think it is really premature for anybody to see that biden is failing in his fight against inflation. host:host: just about 20 minutes left with jonathan. the beginning of our annual washington journal offers week featuring authors -- author's week featuring authors on a variety of topics all long this
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week in the 8:00 a.m. eastern segment of the washington journal. his very best: jimmy carter: a life. that is the topic. caller: good morning. i've always been an admirer of your commentary. i appreciate the fact that you have written a book about jimmy carter, warts and all. he is a man i've always admired, especially his work with habitat for humanity. i think he personifies the best of what ex-presidents are able to do instead of enriching himself with his ex-presidency, he went on to do brighter and greater things. when my son went to auburn university in alabama, he met president carter at one of his -- and his church, and went to
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one of the services. in my son was so greatly influenced by the graciousness of this man that it made my son want to be more involved in politics, to actually help people who really do need the help. i came in late into the conversation. could you speak to me about this recent story they came out about president carter, i believe he was in the navy and he actually helped to defuse a nuclear reactor of some kind in canada? guest: i'm glad you brought that up because my book is the most complete account of the incident, as it was called. if you really want to know what happened in making 52 at the experimental nuclear reactor in
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ontario, you really do need to get my book. am sorry to put it that way. so at the time, jimmy carter was a top aide to the father of the nuclear navy in one of the most fascinating individuals in all of american history. carter called him the greatest engineer who ever lived. the most important project of the middle part of the 20th century establishing nuclear power submarine and deliver aircraft carriers which colin powell and others have said was the single most development to winning the cold war. you responded to a call from canadian authorities.
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it was all hands on deck, meaning all highly-classified, all people like carter with highly classified programming new something about it. remember, this was at the very beginning of the nuclear age, not long after the atomic bombs had been dropped at the very beginning of the average to develop peaceful nuclear power. we were a long way from nuclear power plants, in the experimental phase. there was radioactive water all over the facility. carter reached a team of 2000. they get on a train, they go there. he can't even tell his wife where he's going. the authorities understood that you couldn't go into this wreck for more than 90 seconds without probably being killed by the
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radioactivity. so they couldn't just have the unseen experts. they needed to have other people. and then mocked up on a tennis court a mockup of the reactor so that whenever a team would go in for the 90 seconds, they would know which bolts to change and valves to turn in order to gain control of this meltdown. so, carter supervised eight teams of three. and when he had his moment, he got out in 89 seconds. but it was really like going into combat. remember, at that time, the estimates of how much radioactivity they would be exposed to was way wrong. they actually had much more
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exposure than they thought, and i think afterwards, everybody expected that they would not be able to have children. carter at the time had three sons. 15 years later, they had --. it turned out that he could survive this better than they thought at the time. it was a courageous thing for him to do. it means and not skeptical of nuclear power, but in the skeptical of the people who were engaged in fear mongering about nuclear power. so when they have the incident at three mile island when he was president, which he got very involved in, he kept his head, as he did, on most things and responded appropriately.
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the contrast between the response of the authorities and the way he responded to the covid crisis in early 2020 was really start. and coming out of three mile island and those other attention to detail was the creation of the federal emergency management agency, fema, which along with the department of energy and the department of education were established in the prior administration. then, of course, he was the first president to diversify the federal government and the judiciary even though he had no supreme court nomination. they pointed five times as many women to the federal bench as all of his predecessors combined including ruth bader ginsburg. this is a complicated story about a very complicated, sometimes cold man. sometimes difficult man who nonetheless embodied a sense of
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decency and commitment which we son not just to his post- presidency. it is not as simple as that. many things he did write despite the political failures. and as you mentioned, going back in time to the years when he was young, just fascinating full of all kinds of things. not just the nuclear meltdown, but all kinds of other things he was dealing with over the course of a great american story where he starts out as a barefoot boy
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coming up in the jim crow south. goes off to the naval academy, get this training, has this astonishing experience, and when his father dies he goes home, back to the jim crow south not long after that incident that you mentioned, and the sheriff is using cal prods on 13 euro black girls and carter is caught in between. he knows segregation is wrong. he has stood up against it when he was in the navy. but when he was in the grip of what is going on in the south, it takes him a while. that story of what happens to him before he is president was, for me, at least as interesting as what happened when he was president or after he was president. habitat for humanity was just the beginning of the kinds of things he did to improve human lives.
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host: one headline about it from the militaries or website. that time that jimmy carter saved canada from nuclear destruction. we are running short on time. what i want to do is take a couple callers. this is dan out of virginia. caller: i'm outside the beltway and i appreciate your story about carter, but tell the truth. carter got elected like trump did. he got elected without the democratic party and of course, one of the first things he did was get rid of the limousine so that when hamilton, jordan and the other guys went up to capitol hill, they drove in they couldn't try to find department spots.
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he did not follow winston churchill's rule, and the rule is they put the dictators in power. well, jimmy carter's biggest mistake was not keeping the shah in power. he was a good guy. keep the dictators in power and all of our politicians still hold the clans and tribes together. please tell the truth about jimmy carter. host: and we will take your comments. first from florida real quick, and then i would let you responded to both. caller: yes, good morning. i wanted to ask your guest about president carter's record. i hear about how president cara challenge human rights abuses.
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what specifically did carter do to address human rights abuses, not just in lab america but also in china and the soviet union to mark 90. guest: you know, i have a tremendous amount in this book which i believe. both of the subjects of the callers raised, on the question of the shah, i don't believe he could have stopped the iranian revolution. i explained why in the book. his biggest thing was one thing a shot into united states for medical treatment with precipitated the seizure of the hostages in toronto which contributed in a significant way to the end of his presidency. but in terms of human rights
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policies, human rights policy was -- there are other dictators are other dictators around the world who hear supported. but he stood up against not just latin america for human rights, but a lot of republicans credit him for helping to win the cold war by standing up to dissidents in the soviet union which is a very misunderstood part of the story. it wasn't just in latin america that he was standing. -- for human rights. many other countries and the law. china is a more complicated story. i have a whole chapter. carter normalize relations with china, and carter believes this
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would be the most far-reaching decision of his presidency because that normalization is now the foundation of the global economy. he turned human rights in china. the day that he left washington after the norms the important meeting was overlooked by the historian summit in 1979. he said to him, how about the rights of christians in china? when i was a little boy, he said i sent missiles to missionaries in china. missionaries, bibles and churches. any said let me think about it. and the next day as he was preparing to leave he said to jimmy carter, look. missionaries are bad for my people. i can't let them in. 100 years ago, but i see no
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reason why you shouldn't be able to be a christian in china and read the bible. and the government printed the bibles, but nonetheless, there are now millions of chinese christians which makes jimmy carter indirectly, he and i kind of joke about this, the greatest christian missionary in human history because of the large number of christians in china. as far as other dissidents in china, he has stood up for them in recent years. as every president knows, that is a very, very tricky thing that you negotiate. these are gray areas. that is why i just want people to understand that if they really want a full picture like the first caller talked about, the truth about jimmy carter, nobody can fully get to the truth. there is no such thing as a
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definitive book. historians will be arguing about these things for years. i just have to say i go very deeply into all these issues and many more. i tried to do it anyway that is engaging and there are answers to pretty much all of the questions that we didn't have time to get to that are contained in my quite long but. -- book. host: what i do want to get you before we leave is jimmy carter and liberty university addressing the graduating students back in the 2018. his views on equality and america and the world and the 21st century. this is just about two minutes of that speech and i want to come back and ask you about it. >> let me just quote one verse of scripture.
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there is neither slave nor master, for you are all one, all one in jesus christ. so far, we americans have had a hard time adjusting to this concept of equality. before the civil war, were between the states finally ended slavery, in the 1920's and then 40 years later, we had a swaddle in our country of granting white women and then black women as well the right to vote. more recently, we have been struggling to end racial segregation. even now, some of us are still struggling to accept the fact that all people are equal in the
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eyes of god. [applause] when i was in the navy and also when i was president, i want the united states to be strong enough so we never have to prove that we are strong. but there are attributes of power that go beyond military strength. it is the same as those of a person. our nation should be known as a champion of peace. our nation should be known as a champion of equality. our nation should be known as a champion of human rights. we should also be admired for our generosity to other people in need and other values.
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in other words, for those principles that never change. there's no reason why the united states of america can't epitomize these high virtues. despite all these challenges, we have already outlined, maybe to your discouragement, as a christian, i believe that the ultimate fate of human beings will be good, with god love prevailing. host: jonathan alter, on those marks from 2018 and in our final minute and a half year. jimmy carter's legacy on equality in the world. guest: well, i think there is a reason that he has become a global icon and that is that for all of his shortcomings, all the warts, all of his political failings, he is not just a symbol of decency and
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peacemaking. look at just the place where that speech, which was one of his liberty university, founded by jerry falwell, who had done so much to defeat carter, he believes in reconciliation and human rights and equality and he has devoted most of his life to advancing those ideas. in that sense, he is a genuine inspiration to all of us, whatever one's party politics in a troubled time. not necessarily through political office he only held political office for 12 of his now 97 years, but throughout the rest of his life as well. he was trying to do what was
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right to advance these very deep and american inspired in many cases ideas, freedom, equality, peace. and this is an inspirational time and why when i was working on the book i always found carter to be a wonderful vacation from our own time, even though the 1970's were in some ways very similar to what we are going through now, just because the quality of his character and his decency and his persistence and his demands and himself to be better and to do more come through throughout his life.
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host: jonathan aklter is the author. thank you so much for this time on this sunday morning. coming up, for about the next half hour or so, asking you this question that we began our program with this morning -- what's your approach to personal debts. having this conversation the day after christmas as we round out the 2021 as the debt passed $15 trillion paid what is your approach to personal debt. the phone lines are split by yearly income, if you made under $30,000, (202) 748-8000. if you make between $30,000 and
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$60,000, (202) 748-8001. if you made between $60,000 and $100,000, (202) 748-8002, infer those who make over $100,000, (202) 748-8003. call in and we will get to your phone calls after the break. >> at least six presidents recorded conversations while in office p here at those on the new podcast, presidential recordings. >>'s easement focuses on the presidency of lyndon johnson -- season one focuses on the presidency of lyndon johnson. not everyone knew they were being recorded. >> certainly johnson secretaries new, because they were tasked with transcribing many of those conversations. in fact, they were the ones who
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made sure the conversations were taped, as johnson would signal to them through an open door between his office and there's. -- and theirs. >> i want it right quick. i promise you i will go anywhere. i will stay right behind. >> residential recordings. find it on the c-span mobile app or wherever you get your podcasts. >> we believe one of the greatest characteristics of being american as we are striving to provide equal opportunities. >> she spends video competition, students across the country are
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giving us a behind-the-scenes look as they work on their entries. if you are a middle or high school student, you can join the conversation by entering the studentcam competition. create a five to six minute documentary using c-span video clips that answers the question, how does the government impact your life. >> no matter how large or small you think the audience will receive it to be. no that in the greatest country in history of the earth, your view matters. >> remember that content is king. member to be as neutral and impartial as possible in your portrayals of both sides of an issue. >> c-span awards $100,000 in cash prizes. you have a shot at winning the grand prize of $5,000. entries must be received before january 20 2022, visit our
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website at >> "washington journal" continues. host: conversation with viewers about personal household debt. we want to hear how you prioritize debt, what do consider the debt and bad debt. having this conversation as household debt surpassed $15 trillion for the first time last month. these are the main drivers of household debt, mortgage, is the lion share when it comes to household debt, $10.7 trillion of household debt is made up of mortgage debt. student loans, $1.6 trillion in student loans across some 40 million bowers. -- 40 million bowers -- borrowers. one plan for $20 in auto loan
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debt and $800 billion in credit card debt some new news last week on student don't let -- student loan debt. president biden last week announced that he would be extending federal student loan payment pause through may 1. this is the press secretary speaking about it from the white house briefing room last week. [video clip] >> the president announced extension of the pause on student loan debt through may 1, 2022. the jobs recovery is one of the strongest on record but nearly 6 million jobs added, the fewest americans filing for unemployment in more than 50 years and overall unemployment down from 6% to 4.2%. we know some student loan borrowers are coping with the
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pandemic anytime before resuming payments. this gives the administration time to manage the ongoing pandemic and strengthen our economic recovery. the department of education issued a statement and will continue working with hours -- borrowers. i would also note for all of the students with loans, the president renewed the call for all to do part by taking advantage of all of the resources. host: on just one aspect of household debt, student loan debt. president i'm not going as far as some democrats had hoped and asked him to an it comes to canceling student loan debt, but the -- president biden it going
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far enough as some democrats had hoped and ask him to cancel student loan debt. barbara out of oklahoma city on the line for those who made under $30,000 this year. good morning. caller: i don't even know where to start. i just don't get why we have all of this on here. i am $20,000 a year. that is what i have made my whole life. they have me stuck in this and here we are fighting for $15 an hour poverty wage. may have of straggling and struggling and struggling. i don't understand why you never have show where trump has stolen money from people.
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we always talk about the border. that mechanic is biggest -- he brings them in every day and not one time has c-span said that, nor have you said that about his university. why tell we have a show about that? our approach to our personal debt, i want an approach to what is going on. c-span, you are lacking in your shows and let us talk about what we want to say. host: we do that near every day around here. that is our open forum section of the program and we will get to that later. we did have so many calls on the first hour, and we couldn't get to them so we are returning to managing debt. we will have open forum before
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the end of today's show. andy in kentucky, good morning. the line for those who make over $100,000 a year. how much debt do you carry? caller: zero. host: no credit card or mortgage? caller: absolutely not. i was poor when i was young. we didn't have shoes to wear. i wasn't going to stay that way and my teachers in school wouldn't let me stay that way. they said what do the three letters in jobs stand for, j b. -- job. just over broke. it is the only way to guarantee being rich, you have to start your own business. host: what line of work are you in? caller: i don't have work.
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i own businesses. host: what kind of businesses do you own? caller: i prefer not to say. host: this is bobby and alabama on the line for those who made under $30,000 this year. how much personal debt do you carry? caller: yes, i try not to carry any debt, but at this point i am retired. during my employment years, i made under $30,000. host: i am listening to you. caller: the only debt i call a necessity, you have have an automobile. i worked and paid my mortgage off. i helped my children throughout
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their school loans even when i had retired. i helped them pay off their school loans and i don't it's fair for the school loans to be forgiven totally. i know people who have school loans that have never paid them back. i have a nephew just doing whatever he wants. he is making $100,000 a year but his school loans are in default. i worked hard and i taught my children and we scared -- shared the student loans. i talked them responsibility and i taught them to live within your means and don't let anyone else convince you are try to keep up with the joneses. live according to your means. i don't trade my vehicles peered i keep them as long as possible. that is the way i try to keep my debt down.
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if i have an emergency or to make a repair to my home, i don't want to borrow money. i have prepared myself to take care of myself and not depend on other people to live. host: according to the stats from the new york fed center for microeconomic data, student loans growing and balances by $14 billion in the third quarter. we noted the continuation of the pause on federal student loan debt repayment. the federal government with the lions share of student loans, over 90% backed by the federal government. to texas on the line for those who made under $30,000. go ahead. caller: good morning. a quick word.
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almost four years ago before i turned 60, i the of my husbands social security as a qualifying widow. we paid of credit cards in the early 1980's and state out of debt our entire life. except for the mortgage or cars. host: do you think most americans are living like you and managing their personal finances that way? caller: everyone is living beyond their means. i have friends who are living beyond their means. they had to buy the bigger house, car. they are living their lives like the joneses. we did not want to live like that. we chose not to live like that. my husband died 20 years ago suddenly. financially i am set for life.
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we never made $100,000 a year. we were just very specific about our debt and staying out of debt and saving money. host: what's your biggest financial concern on a month-to-month business? caller: are you talking about food, housing? host: what is your biggest bill, yeah. caller: my biggest bill would be my property taxes on my house. my house is paid for. host: have those gone up in allen, texas? caller: they have gone up, but it doesn't matter, because i have over a million dollars in savings right now. i can live of of my husbands social security and draw a small amount, and i am living. -- living the dream i guess you
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could say. i worked hard and saved money. we were very frugal with our money. now i get to do what i want to do. host: this is kevin and elkridge, on the line for those who make between $60,000 and $100,000 last year. caller: good morning. how are you? host: what is your approach to personal debt? caller: the first is don't own anyone anything and save as much as you can. invest and try your best to not get into too much debt. i heard a lot of people prior talking about student loan debt. i have a student loan debt but no one talks about the problems that student loan debt brings. i grew up poor and didn't have a lot of money and my family didn't totality. as a young black kid growing up,
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all i saw was go to college on television. as a kid, you sign the papers and you don't know what to expect and don't understand it. but no one talks about it. you have been pushed in whole life to go to school and when you finally go you understand it is a financial burden linked to that forever and the job you get may not be enough to pay it back. you try to pay it back but then you are trying to find a place to live, pay for a car, and establish yourself. and the mentality that we have in this is that i got mine and you should get yours and everybody has a different story. the president made it clear when he was running that he was going to reduce student loan debt that has totally changed. host: at what point should you
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cancel student loan debt or be on the hook? where would you put it if it was up to kevin in elkridge, maryland? caller: just being able to put a number. he said $10,000 across-the-board . that gives relief to everyone else who still might be there for a $50,000 or $40,000 and now they have less. but giving a number to take a to get an incentive to pay it off. host: and is it fair to give someone who is making $100,000 or $200,000 a year on wall street, should they get $10,000 off their student loans? caller: is afraid that wall street doesn't pay their taxes? we have to make weight -- make sure we are fair across the board. why are mom and pops and younger generations stuck with the bill?
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be fair across the board. everyone should pay taxes and everyone should be able to have assistance if need be. but that is not the case. host: maureen in new jersey on the line for those who make under $30,000 a year. go ahead. caller: my approach to personal debt is don't acquire any. i had a credit card once when i was 18 for $300. i wrapped that all up. i won't get a credit card. i am never planning on ever buying a house. that was part of the reason, the major reason why i dropped out of college with the years ago. it was the student debt.
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i couldn't afford it. they counted my parents income, which they were not paying for me to go to school. host: what do you do now? caller: am a big quince -- i am a banquet server for weddings. host: so you operate without a credit card? caller: use a debit card. it is an atm card. now i am actually able to go back to school and now i can qualify for grams. host: are you going to have to take out student loans to go back to school? caller: no, i won't take out any student loans, not like that, absolutely not. they are predatory loans.
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the federal government isn't doing enough to step into it. i know people say, when i went to school, they paid their fair share. it is not how it was done. it was naaman like that for me 20 years ago. the amount for me to even go to the community college, the prices are outrageous. a class that you have to take or two credits that are supposed to teach how to go to school. it makes absolutely no sense. it is ridiculous. host: this is fred in new berlin, illinois on the line for those who make between $30,000 and $60,000 a year. go ahead. friend, are you with us? -- fred, are you with us?
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caller: my comment is for the lawmakers is to forgive the interest part of the loan. i think it is a good idea to get a good education. maybe the government should not be collecting high revenues on the backs of the students so the students can feel good about paying back there debt instead of -- and by knocking off the interest part, maybe everyone could agree. host: this is linda in utah, makes over $100,000 a year, doing what? caller: i am a contract administrator. when you say debt, are you
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taking the amount you take for retirement and the amount you owe? if you do that i am debt free. but if you take that i/o right now without taking money out of retirement, i do owe money and a big portion would be the student loan. i am calling because i like the guy earlier that said job, just above broke. he was truthful that working for other people he was just about broke. i feel bad for the person who said we should tip the banquet people. i have always wondered why do restaurant owners feel that giving a waitress to dollars an hour is ok and it is my job to make up their wages when they,
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the owners, have two or three homes. the one thing on student loans, it is very predatory and the banks are making a killing on it. most of the money is owned by people. met anything more predatory than them. host: the federal stte of the student loan debt, jumping by more than $500 billion over the past decade. some 40 million people hold student loans. it is the second are just total when it comes to types of household debt. mortgage debt by far is the most at $10.7 trillion of household
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debt held by americans, auto loans $1.4 trillion, credit cards hundred billion dollars. we are asking what is your -- credit cards over $800 billion. here are some tweets. uncle said student debt shows how intelligent people can do dumb things. this tweet saying the economy runs on debt and usually this result in a better life for people but when debt is managed properly. this is jenkins in georgia on the line for those who make between $60,000 and $100,000 a year. go ahead. caller: i am retired and i was listening to each and everyone and thinking back in 1940i was working for one dollar a day. and then -- thinking back in 1940, i was working for one dollar a day.
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i have worked and i have retirement plus my investment. it has been a blessing. host: jared out of portland, oregon, good morning. caller: good morning. i have a thing with personal debt. i have no credit card debt. i have no car loans to pay. i have no mortgage. i do have medical bills and a student loan debt. these are two things i don't think i should have to pay. i am not paying as much as i should and it will be there for a while. i am kind of a conscientious objector. i also think the system is rigged in a weird way, as the
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federal government itself doesn't manage their debt well. we are not teaching our kids about how to manage money. it works if you manage your debt well but it is almost impossible to do that. host: why don't you think you should have to pay your student loan debt? caller: i think the money i got while i was going to school did help me through, when i got into the four-year university into upper grad, i wasn't getting the support i was paying for for that school. i wasn't getting a great product in return at all times and i think in our country the higher education should be free. host: do you mind if i ask what your degree is in? caller: i didn't end up finishing? host: what do you do now? caller: i am an educator? host: at what level?
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caller: first grade. host: how has it been in first grade for portland, oregon? caller: we did virtual school for a year. we are in school with masks on. host: how much learning loss was there in that virtual year for first-graders? caller: i don't think the first raiders had much of a problem. they missed a year of socialization but they didn't seem to notice the difference because they had never really started kindergarten yet. the kids that are older, fourth-grade, fifth-grade, there is definitely a disconnect. they started a journey on education and it was taken away from them. there was a social impact on them. caller: would ever be supportive of a virtual school again? should we prioritize keeping
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kids in school regardless of what happens with covid in this country? caller: i think the spread of the disease is the most important thing. it will negatively impact our kids and virtual school but it is up to all of us tell socialism in the best way we can pay there things we can do as a society to help our kids along. it takes everybody, not just the schools. we need from models. we need to be creative on how we deal with them day-to-day. the parents do a great job but they could do better as well as the educators. i would rather do the virtual learning and keep everyone safe. host: this is james in alabama on the line for those who make over $100,000 paid what line of work are you in? -- over $100,000.
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what line of work are you in? caller: i am a retired police officer. when i was a young kid, when i graduated i had $10,000 in a savings account. i always worked. have to take responsibility. the guy in oregon, you started asking him questions, he won't even take responsibility to pay his debt back. this country has gotten away from that, being responsible. you sign your name on the paper, you pay it back. that is the way it works. i am debt free, and i have just a high school education. host: sam in sherwood, arkansas, you are next. caller: good morning and merry christmas. can you hear me? host: yes.
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caller: i was in college back in the 1990's, that was during the clinton administration. with all respect to the gentleman with alabama, he said, i have worked all of my life and i am debt free. i have worked myself. i came from a family under middle-class. i have worked since i have been 15 years old. i wanted to go to college and help this country and i wanted to be a u.s. diplomat. people who say with the work part-time job, it is not like that anymore. at the state university with the
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tuition, room and board, fees, you are looking at $17,000 to $20,000 a year. parents i'm sure don't have that kind of money in the bank account to hand over to their kids. back in the 1990's we didn't have grants like we did now. we were forced into taking student debt. i feel like the government promotes it because to me it is economic slavery. a lot of people i'm sure in my position agree with that. i really think government could help. they use the debt with the
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student loans against you. i wanted to be a diplomat and help might country. i graduated with honors in college. i went to graduate school. when i applied to get into intelligence work, they thought i was an excellent candidate. the reason i didn't get in was because i owed too much student debt and they said that was a liability because i could be compromised in some ways by a foreign adversary because i was in debt. host: that is sam in sherwood, arkansas. the last caller in this segment. wanted to leave some time at the end of the program for our open forum.
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the phones at this point open for you to call in on this sunday morning to do what we often do, let you lead this program. any public policy, political issue. the phones are open. republicans, (202) 748-8001. democrats, (202) 748-8000. independents, (202) 748-8002. as you are calling income is of each wary, -- as you are calling in, this of actuaries, the leading advocate of peaceful reconciliation and a black majority rule died today in cape town, south africa and he was 90. the south african president
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called the leader giving meaning to the biblical insight that faith without works is dead. the cause of death was cancer. the arch missive -- the arch ship -- the archbishop diagnosed with cancer in 1997. he worked as an archbishop of cape town and lead the church to the forefront of black south africa's decades long struggle for freedom. his voice was powerful for nonviolence in the anti-apartheid movement. he won the nobel peace prize in 1984. and as you saw, a white house medal of freedom awarded to him by former president barack obama in august 2009. and now your phone calls in our open phones segment. any public policy, political,
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state issue paid go ahead and call in. stuart from petersburg, virginia, go ahead. democrat. caller: my concern is money being appropriated for infrastructure. i am hoping that this infrastructure money, and the oldest city and i have a museum and i hope i get some money. it is the pocahontas black history museum. they run 24 hours a day
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documentary. a man came in last week to do a documentary. it is very historical location and museum. how i live, i have a gofundme page and people send money from all around the world and that is what keeps my head afloat. i hope some of this will be in the infrastructure. host: how did you get into the business? caller:, has been on pocahontas island. they got their freedom and when i retired i determined i needed to save the artifacts and the history because we have some of the oldest churches also. i tried to tell the story to all colors that come by. it is everybody's history.
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host: thanks for the call. james in lafayette, indiana, independent. what is on your mind? caller: form. i'm a $40,000 one year of my life -- good morning. i made $40,000. i paid my house half. i don't own any credit cards. i would like to talk with young people and i always ask them what the difference between a five dollar bill and a hammer is and no one seems to know. when i told them the answer, they are amazed. they are both tools and if you use them correctly, money won't be a problem for anyone. host: a caller earlier described debt as a tool, if he used it correctly it is a tool you can use to advance your house, your
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car, but if you use it correctly, it can be done right. do you agree with that that any kind of debt can be used in a good way? caller: that takes a lot of common sense that most of us don't use common sense in this country. i don't do that. i did it by saying i make this amount of money and i can control this amount of debt. host: thanks for the call from indiana. rick, alabama, democrat, good morning. caller: they queue for taking my call. the voting rights act was passed -- thank you for taking my call. the voting rights act was passed in 1965 and i want to ask the question, what are be going to be doing in 2065? will we still be saying this
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is a great country? we need to finish this up and make it permanent or not. waving a carrot in front of minorities faces and saying this is a great country does not make this a great country. host: kathy, new jersey, republican, good morning. caller: first of all, i really appreciate the people who are black and i will say this much, this country, thank god for the black people in this country praying because they are keeping this country safe. the reason i called in, tbn, the leader died and no one said what his cause was. i would like to know why he died. they are so opposed to getting
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the injection for this covid. i don't know what they are doing. if anyone knows what he died, i would love to know what it is. i think it is interesting they are putting down covid. host: are you talking about the trinity broadcasting network? caller: yes. host: james in alabama, independent, good morning. caller: your form is actually marvelous. i was born in 1960 on a plantation that my mother's father ran. i ran the land and my father married my mother and from there my father began to work
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construction. built our own construction company. prior than that, they got the 80 acres we live on during the depression. by the time i graduated from high school at the top of my class, i had a choice to go to the university of alabama on a scholarship. my whole school -- my high school counselor got me an internship. i got married to my high school sweetheart and we were a 17-year-old parents. we worked hard and we instilled in our children that it is about god first, family, and business and community. i have served two terms on the
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county commission. after that i ran for state senate seat. i lost in 2004. i recently ran as a democrat and i am running for a seat as an independent. it is all about god, hammock, is this, and community. we can't -- it is all about god, family, business, and community. it is all what you believe. i put god first in my life. i have been a pastor for 22 years. right now i am in the hospital and got his still blessing me from my hospital bed. we have to live on what we need and not what we want.
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most of all, we walk by faith. host: west wishes to you to get well soon. kay, new york, what is on your mind? caller: i was surprised when you are listing the types of debt that medical debt wasn't listed, because i think that is one of the number one causes for bankruptcy in this country. i worked my whole life and grew up in poverty in indiana. i worked full-time and i went to a state school in the 1960's. i came out with no debt, but then i moved to new york city in 1971, and decided to go to law
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school which is private. the tuition was $10,000 a year and i was -- i mean $10,000 for four years. i had to borrow the tuition. that was 10,000. i was earning after i graduated $20,000. i am surprised at all of the people calling in who seemingly have never had serious medical issues. i have had my own and then my husband was diagnosed with terminal cancer. the out-of-pocket diet that i -- debt that i accumulated was impossible. host: did you put it on credit cards? caller: medical expenses credit
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cards. i was paying one credit card with the other to handle medical debt. the other thing that happened was we stopped enforcing antitrust laws in the early 1980's and i always worked for the multinational global corporations. i would get a job and twice it happened to me. the first week my husband was -- might company it was acquired by another company and they did a large downsizing. and i continued losing jobs and having to spend a year or more finding another job and carrying medical debt. i guess people have been really fortunate. host: there is some $800 billion in credit card debt in this
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country and as you pointed out, some put medical. auto loan, $1.4 trillion. $10.720 for mortgage debt. the average american if you do the math, their share of the household debt in this country comes out to about $50,000 on average. richard, elkins, arkansas, good morning. caller: good morning. i would like to comment on the reverend guy you had on friday morning. i found him to be a hypocrite of the worst kind. i don't understand him. he was a man of the cloth and trying to save souls. instead he was on national
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television spreading hatred and divisiveness. he sat right there and said republican, democrat bad. i think men needs to take a little walk. i just found his statements to be very bad. host: did you attend services for christmas? caller: no. i was raised a catholic, but because of like that for reverend, i kind of drifted away from organized religion, because couldn't stand the way they preach one thing and do another. i do believe in god and god knows that. but i cannot handle the way they interject politics and other
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things into religion. that's not what religion is for. host: that is richard in arkansas. the segment he was referring to, we had the reverend jim wallace join us to talk about the role of religion and eighth in politics. you can watch it in its entirety at host: next caller. caller: i like to say i am a man of god and god is real. i want to tell everyone out there, if you have any problems, talk to god. you don't have to be in the same religion, you can still wish in god and he will save you. i couldn't have made it without god. i started my own newspaper 11 years ago and have written for
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some of the largest black papers in america and your faith in god. he will keep you going and keep you motivated. anytime you have pressure on you late at night, turn it over to god and you will be saved, because god is real. thank you. god bless you. host: just a few minutes left. you can keep calling in. (202) 748-8000 four democrats. for independence, (202) 748-8002 . for democrats, (202) 748-8001. it is our annual c-span authors we we feature writers across the political spectrum on a variety of topics. today we talked about jimmy carter and the biography of the former president. tomorrow we turn to senator joe
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lieberman to talk about his book, "the centrist solution: how we made government work and can make it work again." that is tomorrow on our program. back to phone calls. jim, silverspirng. caller: i am frustrated at this discussion because the structure leaves out an important question. i think the dominant feature of the american economy over the 30 years has been the gradual decline of working-class people, even millionaire executives, but the wages have been going down and down. i think the most important feature of that is that the gross domestic product each year is $20 trillion, yet each year,
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taxes are paid on only $10 trillion, half of what everybody in the country creates every year is in the hands of people who will never pay a tax on it. i really think that we have to talk about redistribution. i think the best solution is to recognize that humans are the capital of a society. consider humans and the business owners consider them an expense item. the republican party never want to allow the federal government to pay any expenses for human care. they hate obama care, hate increased minimum wages, hate free education. the republican party is taking a businessman's view in which the
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end result will be that workers are all slaves, paid nothing, and the owners can say, we are great businessman. the republicans always talk about debt, but every time they get in power, they raise the debt. what do they do with it? they dump it on the wealthy. host: what line of work are you in? caller: i am going on and on. thank you. i am doing that. host: what line of work are you in? caller: i am a retired professor of physics and i am speaking -- i like the former collar i was a catholic all of my life. i was told that whatever i pray
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for god would give me. i prayed as a seven-year-old in the working-class district that franco would win the civil war -- spanish civil war. once i got to be an adult, i realized how that happened and i can only conclude that my church is giving its people a real tilt towards fascism in the modern sense. i am saying that is because they learned to live with the roman emperor and never changed their ways. host: just a few minutes left. nancy in munro, north carolina, republican, good morning. caller: this is nancy from charlotte. host: what is on your mind? caller: i want to praise
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representative chip roy from texas just a few weeks ago when we were recognizing the pearl harbor incident, he gave a moving speech on the floor one evening that i listened to. i was very moved by it. i wish c-span would air that speech again if at all possible. more americans need to hear that speech. it had to do with our are men who are going to stand up for our country. it would behoove anyone to hear that speech as to where our nation is headed down the road. i also heard on that same evening broadcast from the floor , a representative from arizona who talked about the debt and
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had charge and made much sense about what we needed to do to try to get rid of some of this debt we are carrying. fortunately i cannot -- unfortunately i cannot think of his name but he was from arizona and seemed very knowledgeable and do what he was talking about. he said he talked many times on the floor about the economic debt crisis we are in. host: donna in louisiana, republican, good morning. caller: good morning. i know c-span prides itself on being unbiased and you mentioned you will have some authors on next week. will you ever have the author on that road the book, "laptop from
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hell?" host: we do take your suggestions on this program and have the dialogue to hear from you. when nita -- juanita, kentucky, you are next. caller: i would like to comment to james in alabama. that man had it spot on. james, if you are still listening, i just want you to know that the lord is good and he is going to bring us through all of this. i appreciate how hard he has worked all of his life, because i have done the same thing and the lord has stayed with me. we need to ask for his help. thank you so much for taking my call. host: before we go, the washington post today, lead
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editorial with 21 good things about 2020 one. you'll -- about 2021. you will start to see these wrap ups. these are the final good things about 2021 from today's column. they note the 20th good thing was a surprise asteroid almost hit earth in 2021. the good news was that it missed. the 21st good thing, let's not forget the very best thing about this year, it's almost over. that is the editorial of the washington post today. that is it for us. we will be back tomorrow morning at 7:00 a.m. eastern and 4:00 pacific. in the meantime, have a great sunday. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit]
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