tv Washington Journal 04122022 CSPAN April 12, 2022 7:00am-10:04am EDT
boyajian talks about the shift in global balance between democracies and a talker sees. join the conversation with your phone calls -- autocracies. join the conversation with your phone calls and tweets. "washington journal" is next. [video clip] >> a couch you have to assemble is still a couch. a package that includes the parts you need to assemble front you have bought a gun. host: that was president biden yesterday at the white house, taking executive action to regulate so-called ghost guns, part of his approach to reducing gun violence. this morning, we want to hear from you. how do you think gun violence can be reduced? you can see the numbers on the screen. 202 is the area code for all of
them. (202) 748-8001 for republicans. (202) 748-8000 for democrats. (202) 748-8002 for independents. how do you think gun violence can be reduced? you can also send a text message. please include your first name and city. (202) 748-8003. you can make a comment and continue the conversation on our facebook, twitter, and instagram pages. just remember @cspanwj is our handle. here is the lead story in usa today. biden restricts ghost guns, calling them common sense. president joe biden took steps to rein in the use of untraceable firearms that law enforcement officers say turn up frequently. he goes on to say the commercial manufacturers of ghost gun kids will have to be licensed and must add serial numbers on the
kit. commercial sellers of the kits will have to be licensed and run background checks on potential buyers before a sale, like they must do with commercially made firearms. president biden announced he is nominating a former u.s. attorney from ohio to serve as director of the bureau of alcohol, tobacco, firearms, and explosives. the federal agency known as the atf is responsible for enforcing gun laws. that is what we are going to talk about this morning. how do you think gun violence can be reduced? here is more of the president from yesterday at the white house. >> the gun lobby tried to tie up the regulators and paperwork for a long time. the nra called this rule extreme . extreme. is it extreme to protect police
officers, to protect children? extreme to keep guns out of the hands of people who could not even pass a background check? the idea that someone on a terrorist list could purchase one of these guns is extreme, just basic, common sense. if you buy a couch you have to assemble, it is still a couch. if you order a package like this that includes the parts you need to assemble a functional firearm, you have bought a gun. take a look at this. you can see the picture down here, maybe. this is a gun. it is not hard to put together with a hand drill at home. it does not take very long.
anyone could order it in the mail come anyone. a felon, a terrorist, a domestic abuser can go from a gun kit to a gun in as little as 30 minutes . host: that was the president at the white house. the atf proposed a rule that would change the federal definition of a firearm to include the parts used to make ghost guns. the rule has been making his way through the federal regulatory process for nearly a year. the announcement noted the agency issued the faneuil -- final rule. the gun owners of america said it would immediately sue to halt the new rules, which it said violate the second amendment. the group director federal affairs accused biden of trying to create a national gun registry and end the online sale of gun parts without passage of
a law. lou in illinois, how would you reduce gun violence? caller: i watch the news every minute i can during the day. we have gun violence all over the country, every city, every county. we need a federal registration of guns, a federal registration of gun owners, plus we need severe penalties if you are possessing a gun that is not registered with the united states of america. i would recommend a 30 year prison term for anyone keeping and bearing a gun without a registration. we register pilots, managers, podiatrists. why should we allow people to have guns in this country
without being registered? it is ridiculous. my kids are out of school. i cannot imagine what it is like to have your kids go to school and worry about them every second of the day that the kids are in school that someone is going to come in with a gun. we have to do something at have to do it today. host: this is politico, writing biden's solution to the politics of rising crime focuses on guns. from this article, democrats are on the defensive on violent crime but have a built in advantage on gun violence prevention policies, according to the executive director for a gun safety group. if we are worried about whether democrats -- or if we have made substantial progress, if those are short of top political
concerns for democrats they need to look at gun safety got gun violence prevention, taking on the gun lobby is core part of their strategy in advance of the midterms. ray is next in indiana. what is the solution to reducing gun violence? caller: enforce the gun laws that are on the books. chicago, all those people that are dying. the people getting arrested have multiple firearms infractions, violations. in indianapolis, they let them out on bail and he shoots another person. we have people out there with five, six, multiple firearms violations. enforce the laws on the books. we do not need more laws. enforce the laws on the books. host: john, california,
republican. what do you think? caller: there are plenty of regulations already. the previous caller was right. you need values and some family units. that would deter the violence and put emphasis on staying with the family and showing up for the family and so forth. that has to come from them and their leaders. until you get that, you're going to have problems. host: david is in independence, louisiana, independent line. caller: my -- i would like to make an entry into the journal. when i was a kid in elementary school in the 1960's, we had 30 young men in the class and
everybody was taught to be a young american. we were proud to grow up with our values and all and everyone in the class had access to guns, weapons, and ammunition. we do not like our classmates and our teachers, but we did not shoot up the school or movie theaters or soccer centers. there is something wrong with this new crop of children. they get too much light or too much water or not enough fertilizer. i promise you something is wrong. the guns are still there. you have guns in this country from hundreds of years ago. you could stop making guns right now and it would not change anything. we are so slow here in louisiana that i'm going to yield my time
to the next caller. host: that is david's thoughts on reducing gun violence. ken in illinois, what are your thoughts? caller: people keep talking about the fact that they have a right to own a firearm in the second amendment. they don't. if you read the second amendment carefully, what you discover is a relationship between the federal government and the states allowing states to have militias, what we would today call the national guard. the national guard keeps weapons in an armory. they do not take them home. that is all it says. it is not say anything about individuals having weapons.
the federal government will not tell states that they cannot have militias. one of the reasons that the founding fathers did not let the states have militias is they did not want a standing army. that is where coups come from. host: you have given us two examples. how does that reduce gun violence? caller: we reduce gun violence by -- there is no reason, in urban areas, the police for a few years should have a metal detector in their hands and check everybody for guns and they cannot carry them. the supreme court says we should be able to carry a gun for self-defense. if someone is facing you with a
weapon and you have a weapon stuck in your pants, you do not have a chance in hell of getting a weapon out to shoot somebody. host: we are going to leave it there. two callers from illinois so far, one in the suburbs of chicago. this is the wall street journal opinion on what the president did yesterday and talking about chicago, murder capital of the midwest. violence in chicago is so routine these days it barely registers as news. in case you missed it, gunfire killed six more people and wounded 21 others between friday night and monday morning in the city. it goes on to say that democrats blame guns for the violence. president biden announced a new regulation on firearms,
including restrictions on privately made weapons, yet illinois already has strict gun laws. it requires a license for gun ownership and universal background checks, among other rules. chicago bands assault weapons and leisure sites. it limits the sale of handguns and restrict sales at gun shows. this amounts to much of the progressive gun control wishlist but is not making chicago safer. the wall street journal writes the real problem is the lack of political will to stop the mayhem. between 2020 and 2021, chicago cut its police budget by 63 million dollars. crime spiked. the city responded by increasing police funding. it shrunk the authorized force by more than 600 members between 2019 and 2022 according to data from the mayor's office.
this is max of stockton, california. what is a solution to reducing gun violence? are you with us? caller: i am with you. i hear everybody call in. i am in central california. california, people are not going to like to hear this, but the liberal district attorneys and management of the state is the problem. the old saying is guns do not kill people, people kill people. that is what is going down. we just had a bunch of shootings in sacramento, a guy let out early that had a list of crimes in his background as long as his arm. they keep letting these people out. they do the shootings, multiple shootings come up killing a lot of people, and then they let these guys back out. give me a break.
how stupid can we all be across the united states? if we are going to let criminals out and continue to be all over the street doing this and then let them across the border as well, we deserve what we get. host: we are going to leave it there. here is what attorney general merrick garland had to say about the action the president took on ghost guns. these changes are long overdue, despite changes in technology. federal regulations have not been updated and more than 50 years. since 2016, there has been a more than tenfold increase in the annual number of ghost guns recovered by law enforcement in criminal investigations and reported to atf, amounting to tens of thousands of guns, including guns recovered in connection with homicides and attended homicides. the changes represent one part
of the justice department effort to double down to protect our communities from violent crime and gun violence that often drives it. the next call is david, independent line. is there a solution to reducing gun violence? caller: yes. i am going to use a little history and try to be fast. in 1823, mercury that is in the ammunition cap was invented. they do not even know what fulminate and mercury was in 1793 when the ratification of the bill of rights was passed. that tells you that the second amendment is open for interpretation on just that one thing, fulminated mercury.
people would not attack it the first time senator moynahan brought this up, they went crazy. the conservatives run around with their hair on fire. he shut up because he got tired. regulation of that particular kind of ammunition, not the guns -- the guns do not kill. it is the bullet that kills you. if they would regulate that, it would take time but criminals could not afford to bootleg or smuggle it in because they get paid by the pound. you know how much ammunition ways. it would cost $25 -- $25,000 for a box of bullets. host: we are going to talk to cecil in virginia. do you have a solution? caller: leave it to the
imagination but there are several problems arising from our current circumstances. one is you have the gun lobby, who often are able to lobby congress or contribute financially and then allow them to write bills to preserve the industry. we are the biggest merchant of guns on planet earth. it is primarily the european values. we claim to be democratic but we are rolling back the wheels on democratic rights for many people. the children was crying out of the ground from their soul and neither branches of government, when they were rolling the wheels of a solution, to save their lives. we in this country are the murder factory.
we want to be the example of excellence through the world, yet we are the ones driving the human pillage on the planet. host: thank you for your viewpoint. earlier this year in orlando, the nra talked about how they viewed president biden's approach to guns. [video clip] >> no matter how hard biden tries to blame us for the violent crime he enables, i am happy to report that americans all over this country are not buying into his agenda. instead, they are out there in record numbers buying guns. last year, five point 4 million americans purchased a firearm for the first time in their lives. you know why? because all of them can see what is happening around them and their country. they want to be able to protect
themselves and their families. they pick up the paper and see the daily news stories of another violent robbery, another murder in another part of their community that they always thought was safe. they know that joe biden and his anti-gun allies care more about protecting criminals than protecting those law-abiding americans. host: and back to your calls on how to reduce gun violence. if you cannot get through on the phone lines and still wants to make a comment, try the text line, (202) 748-8003. include your first name and city if you would you can continue the conversation on your social media site as well. is there a solution out there in your view? caller: the solution is in
portland, oregon. the solution is we need to put our law back in force. the other solution is there is ghost guns out there and i understand that, but at the same time people that own ghost guns are ones protecting you and me. what i mean by that is our country is founded on freedom. my dad would kick my butt. the only time we ever used a gun was for hunting. if you're going to kill something, you had to eat it. the thing is our america is built on freedom. the only way we are going to have that is to keep it in line.
host: this is marvin in charlotte, north carolina. good morning. caller: good morning. thanks for having c-span. my comment, we need to have stricter regulations to make better gun control and the laws in the books and go from there. we need that. i cannot quote any special dates or historic fact. host: i apologize. it is difficult to hear you when you have the volume of your tv up. if you can turn it down so everybody can hear you clearly. james in florida, democrats line. where in florida are you calling from?
caller: central florida. enforcing the laws that we have on the books is correct, but i have a problem here, the ghost guns, where you can order it online and have it delivered to your house and put it together and you do not have to register it. that is wrong. and gentlemen said it is the liberals fault. it is not. in 2020, they released a bunch of people out of prison at that time because of fear of the covid. the blame game is everybody's fault. we all have to work together here. republicans, democrats, independent.
what president biden did yesterday, signing the executive order to control the ghost guns, i support that because that is one weapon that you cannot locate the owner of the gun. the rhetoric about the liberal'' fault and everything, it is not. it is a problem under the trump administration too. host: thank you, james in central florida. we mentioned the president has nominated somebody to head the atf. here is a little bit from yesterday. [video clip] >> our office partnered with the atf as they investigated the deadliest home arson in cleveland history. it killed nine people, including
eight kids. i saw the atf partner with the fbi and our office to find and bring to justice a bigot who drove from indiana to toledo to torch the largest mosque in ohio. last and not least, i have partnered with the atf for decades and is crucial fight against gun violence. whether it was taking a single violent recidivist off the street in maryland or putting together a racketeering case against a violent gang in youngstown, ohio, i have seen the atf work with other law enforcement to make so many of our communities safer. as we emerge from this pandemic, we have to recognize that many americans still face fear and isolation, not because of a virus but because of an epidemic of firearms violence.
it is not a new problem and it has many causes. that is why it is going to take an all hands on deck partnership approach to address that issue. the atf will be there. host: we are talking about ways to reduce gun violence based on what president biden did at the white house. here is a couple of suggestions via twitter. steve says as we did go to the moon in the 1960's, we need to put resources into research and development of nonlethal self defense technology for weaponry that can disable a mass murdering perpetrator without enabling the one with that weaponry also to become a mass murderer. another treat is -- tweet is -- we will find out in a minute.
in the meantime, we will listen to brian and washington, d.c. caller: my main concern is that you just had that guy on from maryland, the attorney general or talking about the atf. host: steve dettelbach, the new nominee to head to the atf. caller: i want to saw a program on 60 minutes this spoke about the atf and how they were going after gun dealers who were selling guns and that when they went after these guys and wanted to take licenses further up and higher up in the department they were pressured not to prosecute these guys. i live in d.c.. we do not have one gun shop in this city, but guns are coming
in from north carolina, south carolina, virginia, and everywhere else. i think you probably heard of the iron pipeline. they are distributed by dealers into our city and no one is prosecuting them. no one is going after them because they know they are selling guns illegally, guns that are going to end up on our streets, and these things need to be addressed. i do not see that happening. it seems like we want to talk about everything after the gun is sold but we are not talking about how it is actually getting on our streets. that is a problem. host: conrad, philadelphia, republican line. is there a solution to reducing gun violence? caller: i am going to make some suggestions. let's start from the beginning. first the nra gave money to republicans, democrats, independent elected officials and so our elected officials
start taking money to run their campaigns. then we would get cooperation out of them. the people getting killed are not cutting checks. my opinion is if they want a gun solution they can find it now. all they have to do is say you people with firearms, 30 years in jail. if you commit a crime with a gun, life in prison. look at other countries. none of them have the problems we have. put your guns down. host: this is frank in new york, democrats. good morning. caller: let's see. where can i start? this country has a history of violence. from the first boat that landed
in this country, violence. enslaved people, violence. the war between the states, violence. we have history of violence and the only way it is going to end is with more violence. we just had an insurrection in our capital. violence. nothing is going to change. the only thing that is going to change is separating the goats from the sheep. the goats are already running the country and more sheep are joining the goats. host: let's hear adam in greenville, north carolina, republican line. what is your solution? caller: i have a solution to gun
violence. most gun violence that happens in this country is from cities and they are basically from gang bangers and gang members. what i have been saying for years that i think would reduce the violence majorly is if all known and documented gang bankers were immediately sentenced to death. then i believe people would be too scared to go into gangs and it would not be worth it to them . that was stop gun violence immediately. host: do you think that would pass constitutional scrutiny? caller: i do not think so, but i believe it would be an immediate solution. host: are you a gun owner? caller: i am not. host: this is from the reno gazette, the host of the
district of conservation podcast. here is what she had to say question -- what she had to say. since the early days of the republic, americans have built firearms. as technology evolves and improves, so have the types of firearms that have resulted. home gunsmithing is a uniquely american concept and 3d printing is prohibitively expensive. criminals are not manufacturing their own firearms. they are stealing them or obtaining them illegally. instead of criminalizing custom gun builders and buyers, lawmakers should focus on the real problem, preventing unlawful firearm possession and locking up repeat offenders of crimes involving guns. can is in florida, democrats line. caller: good morning. host: go ahead.
caller: everybody has touched on what i am about to say. you could take guns away from everybody in this country but there would still be gun violence. until you do something about the gangs and the crazies going around shooting people in schools and things like that, you are not going to solve the problem. we need to get back to like it was during the days of prohibition and elliot s -- n ess. get rid of gangs through harsher sentences through the country. anytime anybody commits gang violence. that would do more to stop it than trying to take guns away from everybody. there have been gun murders as far back as i can remember and
nobody has ever committed a crime with a gun. host: do you think the state of florida has enough elation's on the books? -- regulations on the books? could you go in florida to a gun store and buy a gun and take it home with you? caller: if i pass a check. host: how long does that take? caller: i am not sure what it takes now. it has been so long since i bought a gun. host: ed, ohio, republican. is there a way to reduce gun violence? caller: they need to prosecute the laws on the books and hold people responsible for their actions. that is nowhere in our government when they want to raise money to get people out of jail.
they do not think people that commit crimes should be in jail. there is something wrong with that. they say the death penalty don't deter people from killing people, but if you sentenced somebody to death and they die they don't kill nobody else. our country was born on the right to bear arms. we will be ruled by kings and queens and be under a dictatorship if we did not stand on our own and fight for our freedom. years ago, they killed people for stealing. they hung them. you cannot steal a horse without getting hung. they need to hold people responsible for committing crimes commit may be crazy people in hospitals, but there has to be something wrong with people that commit the crimes and it is not the inanimate object that does it.
look how many people die from car crashes. are you going to outlaw cars? host: what do you think about what the president did yesterday when it comes to regulating ghost guns? caller: what he did is illegal. he is not supposed to make laws. he don't follow the constitution and he don't care about the constitution. he does what he wants to do. he is more of a ruler than a president. what do you think about that? host: this is greg in michigan, democrats line. you are on the washington journal. caller: let's get ourselves together here. we kill more children and more police through guns than any other country in the world. gun ownership in the united states has become a religion.
guns are more important than god. it is terrible, what we are doing to ourselves. more guns than people in the united states. we have to do what australia did. after a major shooting, 40 people dead, they did a program of outlawing assault weapons and a buyback. it works perfectly. australia has no major gun shootings. guns do kill people. it is guns and it is insanity. we have to get rid of guns. the nra goes to russia. they venerate putin and putin does not even allow every citizen to have a gun. we are in a situation that is pure madness right now. host: this is mike in new york,
independent line. caller: good morning. i look at the issue as economically driven. if you look back at reaganomics, which turned to supply-side economics, which turned into trickle-down economics when you do it for 50 years, statistically if you look at gun violence since that point we have gone off the charts. it was a wonderful time as that collapsed, the american dream collapsed. we entered into the age of a lawless government where lobby groups and legalized bribery is the way of the nation.
wall street, fossil fuel industries. they are never sent to jail. i think we have a desperate nation that is on the verge of total collapse. host: now that you've identified the problem as you see it, what is the solution? caller: i do not see a solution. you have all our branches of government owned by corporate interests, call it what you will. the media is controlled by 5, 6 companies. public services can no longer exist by public finance. they have to resort to corporate
money. host: let's hear from tim in pennsylvania. caller: on the ghost gun issue, i read quite a bit, and a lot of literature i read his conservative literature that deals with firearms. i do not see at all where the problem on the streets are the ghost guns. if you know anything about firearms, it takes a lot of knowledge of a firearm. you have to be a real craftsman, especially a semi automatic, to put that gun together. if you would take apart one of these modern, sophisticated semi automatic weapons, you are left with a bag of tiny screws and springs and you have to know exactly how it goes back for the weapon to operate properly. i do not see gang vapors -- gang
bangers doing that with ghost guns. as far as the problem of people shooting each other, i do not think you could ever fix it because of the left nest going on -- leftness going on in the world. you have to be a demented person to pick up a gun and deliberately aim it at somebody and pull the trigger and kill them and take life. that comes back to the lack of discipline in the schools, the breakup of the two parent family, people growing up with moral values, people getting away from a sense of religion and sense of purpose and a sense of higher being. that is a complicated issue when you get into that. if you wanted to go back and fix that, you're talking about re-centering america morally going back 20 or 30 years long before lgbtq, long before they
took discipline out of the schools and ruined the two parent family. that is such a complicated question nobody wants to touch it so it is take guns away. that is an ignorant answer. host: james, texas, democrat. caller: thank you. i have to disagree with just about everything i have heard. the problem in our society is an imbalance in power and possession. when you have 95% of the wealth and 5% of the population and the bottom is constantly in competition, as long as you make the payments you get along but if you step out of that they are going to come get you. americans have always been a violent people. from the beginning, we have murdered each other at a higher rate than the rest of the world and you cannot blame it on the lack of morality of the people at the bottom of the scale.
it just does not work that way. until we have equitable society, there will always be resentment from those without. host: given your view and what you have just said, do you think with the president did yesterday , his executive action in regular and ghost guns, will be effective? caller: it is a chip at the armor. the complication of creating a ghost gun is beyond the reach of most people. guns are available. we have never allowed the second amendment to get a little bit of a check and there have to be modifications. a society where every household can potentially have the right to carry weapons of mass destruction cannot like assault
weapons and higher capacity magazines, things like that, if we want to have guns in society how about this? you can allow a hunting rifle or hunting shotgun or single pistol, but if you have people up here with thousands of rounds of ammunition in high-capacity weapons, you are allowing it to happen. host: david in massachusetts, independent line. please go ahead and give us the solution from you. caller: the solution is tough. the first thing is how can gun violence be taken away or whatever? guns take away life. we are looking at killing a life. through the years, morality have changed about what taking a life is all about. part of it becomes if we can
take the life of an unborn child why respect anything beyond that? that's the most defenseless person. these children are being brought up saying, i can kill. i can do what i want. i agree with the man from pennsylvania about morality that we have lost over the years. i do not know if there is any solution to that. i do not think it is taking away guns because we need guns for protection. host: terry, ormond beach, florida, democrats line. how can gun violence be reduced? caller: i will make three quick points. i believe we should do as the japanese do. before you get a weapon, you have to take a psychological test to make sure you do not have anger issues outstanding or mental problems. if you own a gun, it should be a
felony to sell or give that gun to your relative or friend or coworker. reinstate the assault weapon ban that george w. bush abolished as a favor to gun manufacturers. host: next up, ron, texas, independent line. caller: i feel like the cat is out of the bag. i do not think there is any solution to the problem. it is like climate change. it is inevitable. there are so many guns everywhere, streets, households here and to recover those weapons would be a massive task. i feel it is a waste of money to even try. that is my opinion. host: are you a gun owner? caller: i am.
i have been all my life. i really enjoy guns. host: are they easy to obtain in texas? caller: they are. host: have you ever thought about buying a ghost gun? caller: no. now i am intrigued because of what i am seeing on television. that is kind of the way it is. if you're talking about banning weapons, everybody and their brother is out trying to get a weapon before the band kicks in, so i just enjoy guns and i have no desire to do anything illegal or hurt anyone and that is where i stand on that. host: greg in mechanicsburg,
pennsylvania is next calling in on the republican line. caller: you have done a different job than most hosts. you get more callers and especially the first half hour. i think that is good. as to your question, follow the science. dozen hunter -- does hunter's dad want to follow the science? pope found she says follow the science. where are the crimes committed? let's go there and take away all their guns. if we did that, it would not be popular among the mainstream media or the white house because the problem is in the inner cities. do you think that anybody -- do
you think that anybody that commits all these crimes cares about what hunter's dad did yesterday? they are laughing at him. they are not going to order anything to be delivered to their house. that just allowed somebody to trace the weapon they ended up using. they are going to steal it. they are going to buy them illegally. they are laughing at the president like i hope most americans are and in november please remember all this. host: melissa is on the air, lake charles, louisiana, independent line. you're one of the few women to call in this morning. caller: thank you for having this topic raised. i am concerned because the callers do not seem to understand how the country was founded. even the most basic principles of freedom and liberty. a large part of that is our
second amendment, our right to bear arms. that is what keeps america free. that is why the japanese did not invade. there are so many factors involved with this. it is such a large topic. the president, his son is a prohibited person. he lied on his federal firearms form. he should never have been a gun owner and his girlfriend who was his deceased brother's wife, threw his gun in a trashcan across the street from a school. they never recovered it, supposedly. that is irresponsible gun ownership by a permitted person. host: are you a gun owner? caller: i am not. but if i need to be a gun owner today, i am not a criminal so i can go and pass a background check and purchase a firearm because this is america and that is how it should be. if i need a gun today, i can get
one because i am not a criminal. that is what we need to secure in this country. host: susan is in walton, new york. is there a way in your view to reduce gun violence? caller: the way to do it is go to the inner cities were gun violence happens and find out who is selling the guns on the streets there. it would be simple enough. my opinion of the right to bear arms is we have a right to bear arms. my family was in the service during world war ii. some of the family was in vietnam. soldiers have fought for our country and should have the right to have their own guns in their own homes. we had a double homicide. i live way out in the country where it takes 25 minutes for any police to get to our area
and i was home alone. my husband had gone to work and my older children had gone to school. my youngest daughter and the state police came to my door and asked if i had seen anything that night when the homicide took place. i had not, but they said, do you have any arms in the house? my husband is a hunter and i had a double barrel shotgun. i told him it was loaded and said i will use it because there was no way i was going to let my child to be in danger. i think everybody has the right to protect themselves. i would not use a gun frivolously, but i think every person should know they have a right that is responsible with guns and i did have hunter safety. i think the honest person is being punished because of the bad person and it is not right. host: thank you for calling in.
ray, north carolina, republican line. caller: thank you for taking my call. i am not a gun owner, but the solution to reducing gun violence is simple. what is needed is changing hearts and minds. you can cover the world with gun laws and take away every gun in existence but unless you change the hearts and minds and motivation of people, you're going to have problems. a gun does not have a mind to do violence and choose to do violence. a gun does not have a heart. host: that is ray in north carolina. darlene is next in las vegas. caller: good morning.
i live in las vegas. i have lived here all my life. i have been a gun owner for 32 years. my dad is a gunsmith. there are 40,000 gun laws on the books. only 2% of them favor gun owners. the rest are meant for all those bad, terrible people. a little directed information for you, it has been illegal to manufacture ghost guns of any kind since 1923. it is still on the books. as of 1989, the supreme court legislated that the police are not responsible for your protection. you are. as far as i understand the constitution, my rights come
from god, not the government. i would like people to get off my second amendment right because i have never done anything wrong and 32 years as a gun owner. host: have you ever thought about purchasing one of these so-called ghost guns? caller: there is no such thing. you can buy parts and manufacture your own gun. it is an uncomfortable thing to do. as far as ghost guns made with a 3d printer, they are garbage. because of the heat from igniting a bullet. they are good if you're lucky for two shots. they are not the gun they are made out to be. gun laws say i can buy parts if i want to check on whether it is a receiver. i can assemble it. ghost guns come with numbers. they have serial numbers on the parts for a reason and no
respectable, licensed dealer would touch it with a 20 foot pole because to do so would lose every bit of licensure they own, so i am sorry that 3d printing those guns -- think about using a potato gun. they are worthless. they are not what they are made out to be. this ghost gun garbage is just that. it is a problem in search of a solution. host: you seem very knowledgeable about the issue of guns. is it because it is a hobby for you or is it a profession? caller: i grew up in a family that has been in nevada since 1947. grandfather and father are both gun smiths. in my family, turning 21 you're
given a gun. we grew up around them. we are taught you do not point a gun unless you intend to use it. you do not just fire it once. you empty it so the bad person cannot get up and take it away from you and do you harm. that is what we were brought up with. host: we are all aware of a few years ago the tragedy from the shooter in mandalay bay. caller: that was horrifying. host: is there a way to stop somebody? caller: you can write all the laws you want. you cannot legislate crazy. that is not going to happen. i am sorry that some people have ill intent. i am sorry there are some bad actors, but more people die from automobile accidents and medical mistakes.
440,000 people die a year for medical mistakes. we do not outlaw doctors. they are still everywhere last time i checked. host: thanks for your time. susan in florida, republican line. please go ahead. is there a way to reduce gun violence? caller: this is the best state in the union. i am calling because of the gun violence. i do not believe it is the guns. it is the person using the gun. we had a problem in parkland where many kids were shot and i can tell you it was the child. it was not the gun. it was him. he was mentally ill and this is what happened. host: that is susan in florida on our republican line. i want to thank everybody for calling in this morning to talk
about this issue. we will have an open forum later in the show and you might have a chance if you did not get to voice your view to do that later. you can continue this conversation on our social media sites and always text in a message as well. coming up, we are going to talk about tax reform issues. our two guests are there, kyle pomerleau of the american enterprise institute, and matthew gardner of the institute on taxation. we are going to look at democracy and its status across the world with annie boyajian. ♪ >> there are a lot of places to get political information, but only at c-span do you get it straight from the source.
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host: and no one washington journal, the discussion about potential tax reform and what the status of the tax system is today. joining us is kyle palmerlo, with the american enterprise institute. he is the gentleman with the glasses on. and matthew gardner is with the institute on taxation and economic policy. thank you for joining us. i want to start with you, mr. palmerlo. has there been any tax reform since the 2017 tax reform that president trump got through? kyle: reform, of course, is not an easy word to define. but no, there hasn't been any major reform since the 2017 tax are torn -- reform proposal. there have been a lot of tax
policies that have changed since then. the latest in the most significant has been during the covid-19 pandemic and the economic response during that period. lawmakers used the tax code to respond to the economic downturn whether that was expanding the losses businesses could deduct on taxable income or sending economic impact payments or expanding the child tax credit for individuals. host: and were those important or significant positive steps? kyle: those were temporary, so it is not as though -- i would not categorize them as a move towards another tax code. the economic impact payment, those were important to provide temporary relief to households in the case that there was a huge loss of income due to lockdowns where people lost their jobs. the expansion of lawsuits to
soften the impact of the economic downturn for large businesses. and the child tax credit expansion was in 2021. those were important, temporary payments for children. host: from the institute of taxation and economic policy, was the 2017 tax act significant? was it an improvement on the old system in your view? matthew: it was certainly significant in that it blew a big hole in the budget. we know that it reduced tax collections from the personal and corporate income tax side. and it was also an important missed opportunity. we talk about the difference between reform and non-reform and kyle is exactly right.
reform is in the eye of the beholder and it hasn't been the main goal. what we were trying to do in 2021 and 2020 was get through one of the toughest times in recent american history. it is hard to remember but in 2017, things looked a lot different. corporate profits were already near or at record highs. the economy was growing. and there was an obvious need to sharply reduce tax collections. we faced an ongoing systemic long-term budget deficit that only got worse. what i would have loved to see in 2017, what a lot of us would have loved to see is a more systemic look at tax breaks, loopholes, and this gap between the statutory facts -- statutory tax rate and corporate tax rate.
they continue to get away with glee paying very little tax on very large profits. -- with legally paying very little tax on very large profits. [indiscernible] and how to reduce the federal corporate income tax rate without systematically asking questions about how to make sure we are taxing uniformly while providing low income protection. and now we are in a place where the corporate income tax is still near historic lows. the federal tax revenues as a whole are at 50 year lows. and we only have the hard questions left to answer. which taxes do we increase?
i would say it was a missed opportunity. host: we are talking about potential tax reform and the current tax system. we want to get your input as well. republicans, democrats, independents, you can see them. 202 is the area code. 748-8001 for republicans, 748-8 000 free democrats, and 748-8002 for independents. what has president biden proposed for tax reform and what would you like to see proposed? matthew: one, and the most obvious, there is an issue with what to do about -- most of what
is on the individual side expires in 2025. president biden and almost all democrats have said the thing to do is to allow these to expire when they are scheduled to or even to undo many of them. [indiscernible] undoing those even sooner. the other category is coming up with new ways. biden has proposed most recently a so-called billionaire tax which would take some helpful steps toward taxing elements of income -- and we are not very good at taxing income from capital gains. [indiscernible]
the president has proposed a plan that would implement it. and make an important step toward more fairness, more sustainable revenues, and a step towards taxing unrealized capital gains for the first time ever. and kyle mentioned the important low income tax credits for working families and families with children that were part of the solution. those are gone now. anymore working families are back below the poverty line. so the biden administration has prioritized expanding those temporary assets of the earned
income tax credit for low income workers. it's part of the plan for a democratic congress person. host: what would you like to see on the table? kyle: i will continue with the theme of what is reform and what is not reform. i think biden has put forth a lot of things that are not reform, in my opinion. there are a lot of things that matt may have already mentioned like rate increases. he has targeted them at very high income households as a means to make the tax code more progressive. at the same time, there are aspects of the budget that he is looking for that are reform. he has been working to negotiate and push reform to the tax treatment of multinational corporations.
also, he has been looking at the reform of the tax treatment of capital income. one young provision i think matt mentioned was under current law, if you are an individual and you hold onto an asset that appreciates through your life and you pass away, you pass that asset to an air -- heir, the gains that you accrue throughout your life go untaxed. and biden wants to tax those gains at the point of death. another aspect of biden's proposal where matt and a -- and i may start to disagree is biden has put forth a number of minimum taxes. a 15% minimum tax on large corporations. currently in the build back better act. and also a 20% minimum tax on
very high network households that have unrealized capital gains. the reason i don't call those reforms as i don't think minimum taxes really count as reform. those are the types of proposals used to avoid reform. they calculate taxes under nary circumstances. what i would rather see is a more robust debate about do we want the tax code to have a different tax base altogether. do we want to tax the unrealized gains of individuals that hold onto assets in the united states? i think that would be a more fruitful debate and would lean
toward a more reform tax codes. as opposed to having all of these taxes tacked on. in my last point here that i also would like to see, matt mentioned this, too, is revolution of the temporary provisions past. this includes the individual income tax that is scheduled to expire at the end of 2025. it also includes a number of business tax provisions. it is not very good tax policy. host: we know what president biden has proposed but a couple other proposals include proposals by joe manchin and kyrsten sinema.
it want to increase the tax rate to 39.6 percent on ordinary income, 28% on capital gains. senator sinema 5% surtax on and over $10 million and an additional 3% surtax on income over $20 million. mr. gardner, are you in support of those minimum taxes? matthew: on the mansion-cinema front, you're describing there is a basic disconnect between the two of them. kyrsten sinema says she is ok with us less aggressive surtax at the top. joe manchin said he is ok with undoing -- [indiscernible] which is great.
but we need to be much more aggressive. i think kyle and i agree on the point that could pick a way of reforming the tax code, the minimum tax we have a corporate income tax. no matter how many legal tax breaks you claim, you can't get the effective tax break. this is by the time it was repealed. having said that, as i mentioned discussing the 2017 cuts, there is a more organic systemic discussion of evaluating tax
breaks that we should be having. the choice to do a minimum tax, an acknowledgment that we cannot or won't go into the tax code. look at every single tax break and ask if it's working, and get rid of it if it's not. that's what we ought to be doing. in the real world, we have this system that is governed by money where there is much greater access. in that situation, it basically gives a hair cut to the value of all these tax breaks collectively without repealing any of them. it will not deal with the inefficiencies of the tax breaks, right? but it will raise a substantial
amount of revenue and get us closer. it's not well -- the system we are working with, it is probably what's most attainable at this time and it would raise a lot of money that we really need. host: let's take some calls and hear from our viewers. dennis in miami, florida. we are listening. caller: ok. good morning. i will try to tackle a real complex issue with a really simple solution. wealth inequality in this country is going on for maybe two or three decades or more. and, you know, if everybody paid
their share, especially corporations and rich people, then that would balance domestic spending significantly. host: we will leave it there. kyle, dennis talked about income inequality and paying your fair share. would you address what your spin or your views are on those issues? kyle: this is a really hard one to answer in my opinion because fair share is certainly in the eye of the beholder. and right now, it is true that -- a couple of facts here. inequality has risen over the past couple decades. there is certainly debate over
which the extent -- over the extent to which it has risen. the type of income that is reported can depend on the tax system that you have which can distort your measure of income inequality. i think it is safe to say that inequality has increased and that has put a lot of pressure on the dressing. -- on addressing the tax code. the second factor is the federal tax code when talking about the state and local tax code is certainly quite progressive. that's because the individual income tax that is very progressive and it raises half of the federal revenue. the corporate tax is highly progressive. the payroll tax is a regressive tax that offsets that, but on net, we are a progressive tax system at the federal level.
that leads us to the question that is much harder to answer which is what is fair share. if you ask people what their opinions are, what share of income should the top 1% pay, you'll get 30 different answers as the political system tries to answer that. somewhat unsuccessfully. but certainly we have a progressive tax code that reflects the fact that we think the high-end come individuals should pay more and low income -- than low income individuals. the take away here is that we should first inc. about how progressive the tax code already is before we start jumping in to significant tax increases. host: mr. gardner, is it true that half of the taxpayers in
the u.s. do not pay any federal tax? and in your view, should they? matthew: over the last couple years, during the pandemic, extensively there has been extended stimulus relief to many families. there have been years where the share of u.s. taxpayers with zero federal income tax because it was during the pandemic. they have identified these years as what they are looking at. as kyle mentioned, looking at the federal income tax is really missing a big part of the picture.
it is only the federal taxes overall -- [indiscernible] the federal income tax is the only major tax that we are well-positioned to add some fairness to the taxes. it's necessary to have a progressive federal income tax and it is necessary to exempt low income families just to get to a place where we have a moderately progressive closure with taxes. and this is sort of the baseline non-pandemic era federal income tax policy. especially if they treat low and middle income families, the product of a bipartisan consensus. we have low income measures like the standard deduction that the first x thousand dollars --
[indiscernible] we have exemptions for most social security benefits based on the sensible observation that retirees with undisclosed security income should not have to pay income tax on it. and we have this broader theme that the federal income tax should not push poor people into poverty. it is one thing to observe -- c-span.org -- [indiscernible] and you have to add the provisions that make this. do you want to reverse this? i don't think americans could. and i think fairness is in the
eye of the beholder. but there has not been one marketable continuity in pulling taxes over time. people do not like that the best off corporations are not paying their fair share. something greater than nothing would be good. people believe this is a problem and they are mad about it. there is a commonality to this data. this idea that it is a bad thing that a substantial share of low and middle income americans that are below the poverty line are not paying federal income taxes, a bipartisan majority of americans would really agree on that. host: the next color is robert from coral springs, florida. good morning. caller: i am trying to shift the
conversation and stay with taxes. president biden's promise to reduce student debt i think is a lousy idea. i don't know which class it benefits the most. i think about the young kids that have just taken out loans. i think about the young students that have just finished paying off their loan that would not benefit from this proposal. my question is, and perhaps those gentlemen can confirm this, if someone has a $50,000 outstanding student loan and it is forgiven, people never talk about the fact that the irs treats a forgiven loan as income and they have to pay tax on it immediately. $50,000 in a 10% tax bracket is $5,000. if you can't pay $150 a month, you can't pay $5,000. if i'm wrong, please correct me.
host: who wants to talk about student debt and whether or not it should be taxed? kyle: i can take this quickly. i believe that -- i can trim number which piece of legislation was passed during the pandemic. lawmakers paused the inclusion of that forgiveness of student loan as income. for a temporary time, it is not taxable. but looking outside of that, generally speaking, yes. when a loan is forgiven, that is added as taxable income. i think that should be considered income and should be taxed. i think that is reasonable policy. there is an exception to this. there is a program run to the department of education that if you have a loan through them and
you work for 10 years for a nonprofit, your loans can be forgiven. and that forgiveness will not be taxable. it depends, but generally speaking it is taxable and i think that that is sound policy. host: if you want to participate in our conversation about taxation and the biden administration proposals, 748-8001 for republicans, 8000 democrats, and 8002 for independents. charles reding, the irs commissioner spoke recently on capitol hill and i want to get your response to what he had to say. >> with respect to our current 2022 filing season, we are off to a healthy start. in terms of tax processing and the operation of our i.t. systems.
through april 1, we have processed 89 million returns, issued 63 million refunds totaling more than $204 billion. there are two distinct filing seasons. taxpayers that she to electronically file who requested direct deposit are receiving their refunds within approximately 21 days. many individuals have received those individuals within three or four days of the submission of electronic file. with respect to taxpayers that submit paper returns, processing is first in-first out. we are processing 2.7 million returns received in calendar year 21. taxpayers that choose to file a paper return at the end of that particular stack. host: how is the irs doing? matthew: i think that clip gives you an indication of how effectively the irs has been
underfunded for the last decade. it has been this effort led by republicans going back 25 years to take away the irs's funding. it has plummeted on the high-end individual side and for national corporations. the only group getting audited are low income families which is an absurd violation of what we ought to be doing with tax enforcement. now the agency doesn't have the funding or staffing to do tax returns on time. it is a testament to what happens when you don't adequately fund government. there is an implicit belief among folks who want to see a smaller government that you can just apply this policy area and
spending area that people would notice. in the irs has been enforcing the law, an indicator that it's just not true. we need to restore the inflation adapted cuts. we need to get to a place where the irs is no longer outgunned and outmanned when it comes to auditing these super sophisticated multinational corporations that are playing the tax system like the piano. we need to get to a place where the irs can audit people where they think a huge amount of the tax gap is showing up. not just based on what they report to do. kyle: i agree that the irs needs additional funding. and i want to key off of something matt said. i personally think that taxes
should be lower and that the government should be smaller. but i think that is exactly the debate we should be having. we should be debating what level of taxation we are comfortable with, what level of spending we are comfortable with. and from there, the agencies should be well-funded and operate properly. i think that reducing tax collections and reducing funding for the irs is an inappropriate way to reduce federal revenue. and i am also a consumer of the irs services. i have to pay taxes and if i have a question, i need to call them. i have been disappointed in the type of service that i get into think it does reflect that funding as well overtime. for conservatives and i call myself one who want to see the government smaller, i think we
lead with that. argue that taxes should be lower overall. but i think the irs still needs to be funded to some degree so that the taxes that people have to pay are straightforward and easy. and part of this, tax reform is what we are talking about here, i think tax reform would help a lot in this regard. that there's a lot of the tax code that is simply too complicated. overlapping provisions that you earn a certain type of income -- certain reforms can address that to make that simple as well. that is also something that people should think. that taxes don't have to have
this difficulty from the start. host: the next call is john from virginia. go ahead. caller: good morning. i want to echo some of the comments i just heard. i think the other side of the tax equation is spending. i think we should take a close look at how we spend our money as well as how we collect our money. for the u.s. government. i look at federal tax policy from the point of view of individual liberty. we should be essentially trying to limit the growth of government to ensure that we actually have the liberty that most of us say that we want. the u.s. national debt and the consequences of that debt, the reason i'm calling into c-span this morning. oath political parties -- both
political parties favor their supporters and that's fine. but we need to favor taxes and spending to bring down our debt. i think it weakens our country overall. greater taxes essentially means less liberty in my opinion. i would like to hear the comments of our moderators and people from the industry and see what you have to say about that. host: let's start with kyle from the american enterprise institute. kyle: a couple of things that i would like to address. the first is government debt and spending. i think that you are right that lawmakers should not just be looking at the tax side of the equation, they should be looking at the spending side. asking if this is the proper level of spending. that might also help us answer the question, what level of
taxation do we ultimately need? i think from the perspective of a small government advocate, there is somewhat of an issue, a challenge that voters tend to like the spending they are receiving now. and for example, cutting social security, medicare and medicaid, which are the biggest drivers of federal spending is difficult politically. lawmakers may not be able to do that. and added to that challenge is that the u.s. has an aging population. the demand for medicare and social security are going to go up and spending is going to go up. and i sort of reforms that address government debt will look at the spending side and the tax side. those cuts can't be the only thing that occurs.
and i will leave it there. host: matthew from the institute of taxation and economic policy. kyle: kyle's -- matthew: kyle said a couple of times that i think he's right that we need a more organic discussion about how to balance our budget both on the tax and spending side. we know that as a nation we have not balanced our federal budget since 2001, the first year of the bush administration. it's a problem we consistently failed to deal with. and regarding a taxes are too high or low or spending is too high or low, look at tax collections overall as a share of the economy. they are a lot more than they used to be. [indiscernible] and they are not growing rapidly at all.
we have these underlying systemic problems with the way our tax code is supposed to be working. and those fixes inherently involve collecting more money in a fair way. the solution has to involve revenue increases and sustainable revenue increases that broaden the base and get rid of these tax breaks, both on the corporate and individual side. in terms of spending as kyle also alluded to, there is nothing approaching a consensus or a majority of feeling on spending that is wasteful and should be gotten rid of. and the challenge we face with our historically low growth in taxes from climate challenges to what everyone acknowledges is a crumbling infrastructure to the aging population with baby boomers retiring. these are incredibly challenging
things that we cannot avoid. that we need to have a valuable tax system to deal with. but it simply flies in the face of reality and public opinion to say that we are somehow going to substantially ramp down the spending side. a chronic unwillingness of congress to deal with this in good times and bad, but especially in good times when we could have dealt with these issues. and once again, we are now paying for it with interest on the national debt. 20 years ago, it was a big issue under the bush administration. it went away for a while and now it back. -- it is back. we all want to spend money on paying down interest on the national debt, it does not
provide anything for us. it will not be of service. it is the underlying consequences of past decisions not to deal with this. the challenges are unavoidable and not going away. we know there are gaping holes in our tax system. and we know that a big part of the reason there are holes in the tax system is corporations at the best off americans are finding way to avoid taxes legally. i think it needs to be a big tax component in dealing with these issues. host: thomas is from minnesota calling in on the democrats line. we are talking about tax reform. go ahead. caller: i looked at prior tax policies and if we look at 1963,
we know that during the eisenhower administration, there was a tax on wealth, taxed at 95%. jfk initially spent more on these taxes. he went on from there and went on to break additionally lower taxes. that assault continue through about 60 or 70 years. the accumulation of vast sums of money, this notion that we have to lower the cost of medicare and social security, it's another way of framing the issue
to tax the working class. and if you're like me, someone who is 50 years and retired. [indiscernible] it is a political agenda and is openly a direct assault on democracy. kyle: i will talk about the tax rates from the 50's and 60's. it is certainly true that the u.s. used to have much higher statutory tax rate, exceeding 90%. the tax code did something different then what the tax code does today. what also happened at that time is that the base of the individual income taxes has been broadened quite a bit.
the level of income at which those top rates at 37% apply is much lower than it was back then. so the number of taxpayers facing those rates is much lower. rates that high are bad. that is not good policy. it's very distorted. you would rather have taxing a broader base at a lower rate. once you start raising rates up that high, it creates a much greater reward for avoiding the tax. if i can avoid tax on one dollar, i can save tax at a rate of 90%. if you think tax avoidance now is bad, it would be much worse when rates are much higher.
bring the rates down and you tax more income, you reduce the incentive and the opportunities for avoidance. i think reform in the future should continue moving in that direction. matt has made this point multiple times and he is absolutely correct. we should be looking at credits and deductions that could be scaled back, reformed, or eliminated to broaden the tax base and collect the same amount with lower statutory tax rates. host: nelson is in florida on the republican line. we are listening. caller: good morning, gentlemen. i'm 73 years old and i've been hearing this debate virtually my whole life. and the reason for this ongoing debate is because of general resentment on the part of the
two political systems that exist in this country. you have the so-called have-nots that resents the haves and the money that they make and you have the haves who resent the government subsidies that are received by the have-nots. in this debate is the primary reason for the ongoing political conflict that exists in our government today and which continues to perpetrate this ongoing scenario, just what it means to have fair taxation within the public. i think the most important thing the government has to do is to ensure that the gdp of this country grows. it is the only way that it will ever be able to address the
ongoing growing national debt which is now rising at the rate of something like $1.5 million to $2 million a minute. all of this is very interesting. it is nothing new. i don't see any resolution to it to be quite honest. host: let's get a response. matthew: [indiscernible] i think a big part of the problem is that our political debate has this disconnect between what is going on with taxes and what is happening on spending.
they are overwhelmingly geared towards the haves. and we should be thinking more about mitigating inequality through the tax code. there is this underlying problem that the tax system and the spending side are operating on completing different tracks. -- completely different tracks. this are the consequences -- these are the consequences of the supply-side ideology of president reagan. the idea that taxes are on their face bad things. the money we collect as a nation -- and of course, that's ridiculous. when you use tax revenue to build the economy and build better transportation, better health care, better education, all of these things build well.
-- build wealth. when you think about the system more organically, i think it will be a lot more possible for us to have a tax system that is sustainably helping create income and wealth and our economy. not just at the bottom end where it is desperately needed, but across the board. it is a long-standing debate. we will be a step closer to that. the specific proposal that the biden administration has put out, the good thing you can say about the biden administration's approach so far rhetorically is they are absolutely identifying more spending in a sustainable taxes to mess things we just need.
-- tax system, things that we just need. we are seeing a more holistic discussion right now and i think it will continue. host: matt gardner's with the institute of tax policy and kyle is with the american enterprise institute. we appreciate you joining the washington journal for this conversation on taxes. we have an hour and 15 minutes left in this morning's "washington journal." up next, we will do our open forum. any public policy issue you want to talk about, we want to hear your voice, hear your views. we will go through some of the news today as well. here are the numbers to dial in on. republicans, democrats, independents. republicans, (202) 748-8001. democrats, (202) 748-8000. independence, (202) 748-8002.
we will be taking those calls in just a few minutes. >> c-span has unfiltered coverage of the u.s. response to russia's invasion of ukraine. bringing the latest from the president and other white house officials, the pentagon, and the state department as well as congress. we also have international perspectives from the united nations and statements from foreign leaders all on the c-span networks. the c-span now free mobile app and see scandal --c-span.org/ukr aine. watch the latest videos on demand and see the latest tweets from journalists on the ground. c-span.org/ukraine. c-spanshop.org is c-span's store. shop products, apparel, books, home decor, and accessories. there is something for every
c-span fan. every purchase supports our nonprofit operation. shop now or anytime at c-span shop.org. washington journal continues. host: we have a report from the hill newspaper, reporting consumer prices rose 1.2% in march. 8.5% over the last 12 months as the war in ukraine drove inflation even higher. this is data released by the labor department. they often released economic data at 8:30 a.m. on tuesday mornings. this is from the wall street journal this morning. democrats struggle to find a winning midterm message as they work to settle on a campaign strategy for november. democrats need to better sell the public on what they see as mr. bidens wins, pandemic
stimulus, and infrastructure spending, while making clear that they will work to bring prices down. while some past foreign policy crises prop to the public to rally around the president, the war in ukraine has not had that effect for mr. biden. a recent nbc news poll show seven in 10 voters had low confidence in his ability to respond to the crisis. the same numbers were concerned the u.s. would set -- send combat troops to fight in ukraine, is that the president says he will not take -- a step the president says he will not take. and voters believe the country is headed in the wrong direction and 62% said their family income is falling behind the cost of living. we want to hear your views on public policy issues and we will begin with william in morris, new jersey. william, please go ahead. caller: i have a few easy
questions. i'm an independent over 80 years old. and i think taxation would be fair if there was an annual tax on net worth over $20 million. two, -- it is unfair to convert ordinary income to what they are taxing instead of capital gains. and three, it changes ordinary income to capital gains and it is unfair it is taxed at such a low rate. host: william, are you an investor? caller: i'm past the age of being an investor. i will be lucky if i have five years to live. thank you. host: louis is next.
what public policy issue is on your mind this morning? caller: as far as taxes, i have a special way to speak about myself. i do collect food benefits. [indiscernible] it just really helps me out. i don't worry anymore because of food benefits. and we can go in there and do more business with up close and
personal programming. it was really from the very beginning -- and i'm just worry free as a college student. and needing money to survive a year or two a deal with life. i just wanted to reach out. host: thank you for calling in with that. washington post, event at uva reignite's the fate of upcoming speech by former vice president mike pence, reigniting debate over free speech of the charlottesville campus. the response to the event was intense. tickets were snapped up at 500 people are on a standby list. posters for the event were defaced and others mocking it were taped up.
an editorial at the campus newspaper said the university should not give a platform to pence equating hateful rhetoric to violence. that sparked outrage over cancel culture, limits on free speech, and concerns about censorship. at an event last week called what should we do about free speech at uva, analysts spoke to an audience of about 100 students, professors, alumni, and others with the university president emphasizing protection entry speech should be about principles rather than politics. pence is expected to speak at the university on tuesday as part of a national tour on college campuses sponsored by the young america's foundation and c-span will be live with mr. pence's speech from charlottesville, virginia, this evening. you can watch it on c-span.org or on the c-span now app. this is an article in associated
press this morning. philadelphia is returning to indoor mask mandates because of the rise of the latest omicron variant. and this is in politico. bidens new favorite is michael barr. he is looking to nominate him for the sec. chip is in florida on the republican line. caller: how are you doing? i was just thinking about markets. i got robbed by a financial advisor, so i quit. maybe we take gas and oil off of the stock market. the greedy people don't care about their fellow americans or the country. they keep on raising the oil and raising the gas. that was the predicament today because people need to loosen up oil and gas. forget it. thank you. host: valerie biden who is the
sister of president biden has a new book out. and according to the washington times, she is blaming supporters of former president donald trump for the scrutiny that her nephew hunter biden is receiving relating to contents from his laptop and a federal investigation into his taxes and foreign business deals. her book is out now. and another new book coming out in the fall is former secretary of state mike pompeo. that will be published in the fall. steve is in alexandria, indiana. steve on the republican line. what is on your mind this morning? caller: my problem with the administration we have here now, when trump was in office, he actually didn't increase the debt at all. they said he did, $7 trillion, but he didn't.
he didn't increase it a bit. it didn't increase until 2020. trump was reducing all the regulations in the country and headed in really good shape. -- had it in really good shape. but this administration seems to just skyrocket. covid came in. trump had no control over it. seems like the democrats took over control. and i just think that we need to bring back some of trump's policies and we would be in a lot better shape. host: this is robert in georgia on the democrats line. augustine, georgia.
-- augusta, georgia. what is on your mind? caller: what's on my mind is oil prices. when something comes up, the armed forces get involved. first it was the japanese to attack pearl harbor and they were cut off. and there was the cartel. and each time, the armed forces are in play and we are more independent with electrical cars. and we have that in the process. it is seriously considered at all levels including the military. it is simple enough. not too many words with explanation of things that were done in the past. host: politico. donald trump, peter teal, and
dozens of house republicans who kicked cheney out of the house and gop leadership are backing harriet hagerman which is her primary opponent. mitch mcconnell, mitt romney, paul ryan are back in liz cheney. normally being booted out of leadership might put a crimp in a members fundraising, but this quarter liz cheney outraised elise stefanik of new york who replaced her as the house gop chair. elise stefanik reported she had raised over $2 million in 2022. the cheney camp is prepared to announce it raised $2.94 million in the first quarter of 2022, bringing her total fall for the cycle to more than $10 billion -- more than $10 million. william, independent line, good morning. what is on your mind?
caller: what is on my mind has never been mentioned yet on washington journal. when president biden was vice president he met ida i with vladimir putin. he had eight years and i do not know how many times he met with vladimir putin. vladimir putin is a very intelligent man even though he is a criminal and everything else you want to call him. he sensed joe biden was weak, because he knows he can get away with it. that is about it except for these gas prices that is killing us senior citizens that have a limited income. i just filled up my dodge pickup and it took $115 and it was not quite empty.
california is all run by democrats. i was a lifelong democrat and i came up when trump team in. say what you what about trump, he is mean, he says what is on his mind, but by god we had good policies. i wish everybody a happy day. host: bill is next in richmond, virginia. caller: hello. i have a plan that would give us a fair tax plan and treat everybody equally. the problem right now is we have two kinds of individuals. you have people who are born with wealth and people not born with wealth.
our tax code puts too many blockades to prevent people who are not born with wealth from obtaining wealth. we should favor people who work for a living over people who have wealth and they will not have to work to maintain their lifestyle. i would think the way to correct that would be having an adjustment in our tax code that would allow earned income, that is income that people work for, there should be an adjustment of $40,000 that would allow people who are born without wealth to obtain wealth or build an estate during their lifetime. the tax code the way it is now, there are too many roadblocks to
people who are not born with wealth. roadblocks to prevent them from building and estate. -- from building an estate. i think earned income should be favored over investment income. the backbone of the country is people who are working for a living and not people who are just living off of their inheritance. that is my point. host: bill from richmond, thank you. rory in california. good morning. caller: i am talking about the border. i am in california, but in texas they are contracting detainment officers for when the rush begins. all of those aliens that were not vaccinated and were dumped
all over the place, apparently in philadelphia, where they're having the masks, they are there . a lot of them are beginning to die. where is anybody who is vaccinated maybe gets sick for a few days. they are coming in. a lot of places they're trying to break in because they will not feed them or give them money in certain areas. everybody in that state, they are starting to get ready to shoot people who try to break into their house. it is a sad state of affairs. biden would not let them be vaccinated because -- they are topping people all over america that are raving with covid-19 and are dying. host: can i ask where you are seeing this information about people ravenous with covid and being dumped all over the country? caller: i am looking at working
part-time in texas. they are all infected. they are dying. they are. just being sick. a lot of them will not give the hospital. they are dying. those who are vaccinated are only getting sick. talk to the state of texas, top to the cities. host: that is rory in california. this is janice in louisiana. democrat. janice, you are on. caller: about this gun situation , this is disgusting for me to think we are killing each other. to make it short, everyone dealing with guns should be licensed and insured.
handled gun sales like selling automobiles. you must have insurance, must have license, meeting gun owners have been given training in new owners listed and licensed do not be allowed to wear guns loud your waist -- around her waist walking around -- around your waist. guns must be secured. everyone carrying guns should be going to a gun club to practice shooting or a shooting contest. all should be insured. i am an 84-year-old woman and in my youth i was taught by my father to respect a gun, how to keep it and use it to shoot at targets in safe areas, and never point a gun at anyone, even an empty gun. i hope we get over ourselves killing each other in this
country. thank you. host: thank you janice for calling in. a text from tom in cincinnati. how can we lower our taxes with millions of people walking across our border every year? in more news, president trump endorsed dr. oz for the senate in pennsylvania it has raised eyebrows among some of his base. you can read about that in several different news sources. in iowa, senator chuck grassley's top democratic challenger is knocked off of the iowa primary ballot in a procedural motion. former representative was picked up the democratic primary ballot for failing to submit the proper number of petition signatures to qualify for the race. she says "this misguided midnight ruling is an outrageous and partisan gift to the washington republicans who
orchestrated this meritless legal action." that is in the washington times this morning. also from the hill newspaper, why the latest rise in covid-19 cases is being treated differently. washington, d.c. has been hit with a string of high-profile cases in congress and the administration and cases in the city overall on our -- are on the rise. new york and other areas of the northeast are seeing increases with philadelphia announcing it will reintroduce a requirement people wear masks in indoor public places. there are important ways any common spike in covid-19 cases fueled by this variant of omicron is likely to be less damaging than previous searches -- than previous surges and
that may need -- that may lead the nation to treat new rises different. while there are rises in the northeast part of the united states, they are not signs of the massive spikes that hit over the winter. that omicron variant spike affected many people, helping provide them some immunity against the current outbreak in addition to the immunity provided by vaccines and booster shots. next call is noelle in bayonne, new jersey. go ahead. caller: i was compelled to call in after your report on the comment made by valerie bided. i find it to be absolutely comical considering that she is now using the same old tired excuse of blaming trump and his supporters for any smears that may be coming up towards the bidens. in 2021 hunter biden admitted to
many of the things we have come to know as true in his book "beautiful things." as far back as 2016, senator grassley and senator johnson were already investigating certain business activities of the bidens. what the bidens are now relying on his a grants of the american people. they are relying on this heavily. we know there was a heavily publicized pole that reported upwards of 40% of democrats admitted to having known about the contents of hunter biden's laptops and hard drive they would've voted differently. i am calling in compelled to say how absolutely hypocritical those comments from valerie biden are. host: patricia is next in georgia. democrat. caller: thank you for taking my call. i think nato should go ahead and
interfere in this ukraine war. i'm not afraid of vladimir putin and nuclear weapons. they probably do not have that many. nato needs to wipe russia off the map. as far as donald trump, he is the one who needs to go to jail. these people are retarded that are constantly backing him. these people are just retarded that keep believing in him. that is all i have to say. thank you. host: grant is calling from dixon, california on our republican line. good morning to you. caller: good morning. are you there? host: we are listening. caller: i'm a first time caller.
it is my birthday. i've been working since i was 15. i am a lot older than that now. i have not gotten anywhere with any republican or democrat president in my history. here is joe biden, openly saying your constitution does not matter. it is not for you to decide what government does. it is for the government to decide what you do. this is silly. i wonder where the 81 million votes he supposedly received, where they went. i cannot find them anywhere. i cannot find anybody that voted for biden in california.
i have not heard one. they are doing it all over our government. like the last caller said, do not believe your lying eyes, believe what i say. host: grant in california, happy birthday to you. reno, nevada. independent line. caller: good morning. i am sorry, thank you for hosting the show. it is nice to hear people from across the country exchange ideas. you did not hear much of that with the talking heads. it feels like people shouting at you. i wanted to respond to what the gentleman said. he was talking about the high gas prices and how hard it is. what is hard in our country -- i
am 45 and have been working hard , i work as a delivery driver in an essential industry. there is such insincerity from republicans and democrats. it is worrysome. i do not own a house. my uncle is nearly 80 and he owns four houses. we love each other. we have lots of arguments. i call him a rent profiteer. there is a lot of profiteering in america, and the problem with the international economy is it is also tied together, so when we oppose sanctions on russia -- when we impose sanctions on russia nobody puts on the news that in march congress passed a law that investors can still collect their revenues from investing. we are at war but we are supporting the war.
the fact that generations in america are not being able to invest in homeownership and become a part of the fabric of this country is really a crying shame, and it is very distressing. it is not that republicans are right and democrats are right. the lady who said russia probably does not have many nuclear bombs does not have a real tether to reality. if we were leaders for democracy, we would sit them down and make the ward stop. the world economy is too intertwined and the oligarchs running america are similar to oligarchs in any country. thank you very much for your time. host: thank you for calling in and participating. one more guest segment coming in. coming up, will be looking at the status of democracy around the world with annie boyajian of
freedom house. that will begin in just a few minutes. ♪ >> there are a lot of places to get political information. only at c-span you get it straight from the source. no matter where you are from or where you stand on the issues, c-span is america's network. unfiltered, unbiased, word for word. if it happens here or here or here or anywhere that matters, america is watching on c-span. powered by cable. >> c-span has unfiltered
coverage of the u.s. response to russia's invasion of you raid, bringing you the latest from -- of ukraine, bringing you the latest from the president and the state department and congress. we also have international perspective from the united nations and statement from foreign leaders, all on the c-span networks, the c-span now mobile app and c-span.org/ukraine, our resource page for you can watch the latest videos on demand and follow tweets from journalists on the ground. go to c-span.org/ukraine. >> c-span shop.org is c-span's online store. browse through our latest collection of c-span products, apparel, books, home to core, and accessories. there is something for every c-span fan. shop now or anytime at c-spanshop.org. >> washington journal continues.
host: on your screen is annie boyajian of freedom house, which is what? guest: where a nonprofit organization that works on democracy and human rights around the world. host: how are you funded? guest: public donations and private donations. we do advocacy research and programming. our advocacy researcher -- our advocacy research is primarily privately funded. -- host: the u.s. is one of the funders. what does the u.s. contribute? guest: about 80% of our budget. host: according to the freedom house 20 to report, the threat to democracy is the product of 16 years of decline in global freedom. 60 country suffered declines
while only 25 improved. as of today, some 30% of the global population live in what you call not free countries, the highest portion since 1997. only 20% now live in free countries. can you talk to that? guest: i can. we have tracked another year of decline in democracy around the world. this is been driven by authoritarians becoming increasingly aggressive at home. we also see increasing extension of that repression abroad. we have countries that are committing acts of transnational oppression, where they are causing dissidents abroad, the murder of jamal khashoggi being one of the most famous examples. we have also seen backsliding in democracies. there is no region in the world that is exempt. we are seeing this globally. host: you mentioned turkey. do you consider turkey to be a
free country? guest: we have marked troubling declines in turkey. host: is it a democracy? guest: we rate turkey as not free. there are a lot of reasons for that. targeting of the opposition. lack of judicial independence, lack of free and independent media, which is something you see in countries beyond turkey. host: turkey as a member of nato. guest: that's right. host: hungary, is that a free country? viktor orban was just reelected. guest: we rank hungary as partially free. we were concerned by tactics mr. orban -- is a common tactic of
dictators and authoritarians, it is not about stuffing a ballot box. it is about setting up a system in your favor. in hungary opposition had hardly any airtime, media is not free and independent, there are challenges to traditional independence. we see that beyond hungary. host: vladimir putin was elected by a big majority of russians. there? -- fair? guest: you could say it was not a fair election. you have opposition politicians in prison or poisoned. what we saw vladimir putin doing ukraine is a big example of why these issues matter to us in democracies far from russia. a lot of folks thought the invasion could not happen and it did. host: annie boyajian prior to the region -- prior to the
invasion, where did you rank ukraine? guest: we have ranked as partly free. we have noted struggles with corruption but ukraine was on the right path. they had worked to start addressing those challenges. they had voted out folks who had been taking the country on a challenging path. unfortunately the progress they had been making is now -- they are focused on the war there. host: at the university of chicago former president obama spoke about russian and vladimir putin. here is what he had to say. >> vladimir putin represented a very particular reaction to the ideals of democracy, but also globalization, the collision of cultures, the ability to harness
anger and resentment around an ethic known nationalist pathology, and what we are seeing is the consequences of that kind of toxic mix in the hands of an autocratic government that does not have a lot of checks and balances. i think it is also fair to say that it a bracing reminder for democracies that had gotten flabby and confused and feckless
around the stakes of things we tended to take for granted. democracy. rule of law. freedom of press and conscience. host: "flabby, confused, and feckless." is that what democracies are doing with regard to some of the autocracy going on around the world? guest: unfortunately, we have not done the job we should do in defending our values and helping stand with those around the world who are also trying to promote democracy and some of these regimes. democracy is not about your side winning. it is about leadership that insurers free and fair elections , judicial structures, free and independent media. backsliding in democracy is in
part a result of valid discontent folks feel with democracy. democracy itself is not perfect. we have a generation of folks who had lived only under democracy and we feel the weaknesses. democracies make mistakes. the great thing about democracy is if it is strong and protected we can course correct and the people can hold folks accountable. we can choose new leaders. it is incumbent on us. hopefully what happened in ukraine as a wake-up call. we need to do that at home and stand with the men and women thrown in prison around the world for trying to defend these values and help support them. all of us are better off, we are more prosperous, we are free or when our rights are upheld and respected. host: you have the gist of what we are talking about with annie boyajian. we are talking about the status
of democracy. (202) 748-8001 for republicans, (202) 748-8000, (202) 748-8002 for independents. we will begin taking those calls right away. does the u.s. have a special responsibility to promote democracy around the world? guest: i think it does. we are no longer in a unipolar world but the united states still has so much influence, even after january 6, the negative impact that had come in the negative message that sent. that was a wake-up call. folks do not expect that to happen. we still here when we are talking to partners and allies about the importance of u.s. leadership, and for those of us who have enjoyed decades of rule of law, not perfect, summary deficiencies we have to address, polarization, the legacy of
racism, but we do have a responsibility to help folks around the world defending freedom. host: 30% of the global population lives in nonfree countries, the highest since 1997. china, not free. guest: that's right. china is an interesting case because repression there is already so strong and everlasting years we have seen it get worse. there is the acts of genocide against the uighurs and widescale detention. restrictions against religious freedom. restrictions on the internet. what chinese leaders are saying about russia is interesting, because the chinese government is promoting vladimir putin's propaganda, but there are folks within the chinese internet to try to put pictures of what is happening in ukraine and those are being taken down, those are being censored. they're trying to post remarks of solidarity.
the algorithms are being changed so those are hidden. we are deeply troubled. china is the country we noted in our report on transnational oppression that conducts the most widespread campaign of transnational oppression. the u.s. recently had indictments of some of those cases. host: annie boyajian we heard from a certain sector of the population over the trump administration that he was a threat to democracy. did you report that or find that in your annual report? guest: we were deeply concerned with a lot of the actions president trump took. attempts to undermine the election. for months in the lead up to the election he was talking about how it would not be the -- it would not be free and fair. in united states folks who had concerns about fraud were able
to take those concerns to court and they were given a fair look and no widespread fraud was found. the system help. the fact that we had a violent invasion of the u.s. capital, that there were many folks who were there peacefully protesting. peaceful protest is a fundamental tenet of any democracy. there were also folks who violently invaded and attacked police officers. the fact that some of president trump's encouragement lead to that is deeply troubling. we did talk about that in our report. host: over the past winter prime minister trudeau shut down some of the trucker strikes happening in ottawa. is that a threat to democracy and free assembly? guest: we saw a restrictions like that or even some of the covid restrictions that took place can be used to shut down free expression in a way that is not helpful for democracy.
host: let's take some calls and begin with j in indianapolis. you are on with annie boyajian of freedom house. caller: can you hear me? here is my question. thank you so much for c-span. my question is if her organization sees a correlation between the decline in democracies and a growth in world population. that is my question. guest: we do not track growth in world population. our methodology is online and i would encourage you to take a look. we look at political rights and civil liberties. i would say what we do see a correlation is as we have seen a decline in democracies and democracies stepping back from global leadership, we have seen this correlating rise in aggression from authoritarians
attempts to reorder rules international bodies to win leadership slots at international bodies, increase cooperation and coordination amongst autocracies. for a long time the united states was one of the only options for getting support. now would be authoritarians can turn to china. we see that correlation. host: thomas is in kansas. republican line. caller: i wanted to comment that we need to fix our own democracy at home. some comments she made about the media being one side or the people being led in a certain direction. i think we experience that here in the united states somehow. a lot of the media either ignores stories or does not talk
about them were has particular points of view, democrat and republican. transparency. like on the border and at january 6. i cannot imagine some of these people who i believe had a right to be express their views and they did not want them to be there. the ones that committed violence, they need to be accounted for. the rest of them, if they are being held and have families, and they are being held in jail just because they had a different point of view, that is not democracy. that is all i have to say. thank you. guest: thanks so much. you have underscored the need to have access to a wide variety of media sources. that is one thing, that we have been concerned about press freedom in the u.s., criticism of the press, we still have a
lot of vibrant options. folks can come on c-span, you can call in and say i agree or i disagree. that is one of the great things about our country. we do not see that in a lot of countries. thank you for underscoring the importance of that. host: our next call is from richard in missouri. good morning. what is the comment you would like to make about democracy around the world? caller: democracy around the world is one thing, but democracy here at home. hillary got more votes and she did not get to be president. there is gerrymandering. i do not think democracy in this country will last very long the way we are going. we have people like hawley and the guys from arkansas and the other guys. they are like the dictatorship. i will see what you have to say.
host: i want to pick up on something he said. redistricting and jeremy 90 -- redistricting and gerrymandering. is that something you look at? guest: we highlighted gerrymandering as one of the big challenges for the u.s.. it is not a partisan issue. it is about folks in power wanting to set up districts. we see problems. you are right. the caller has underscored some of the issues we have to understand in this country if we want to protect our democracy at home. we can disagree about the challenges the u.s. bases or how to solve them, that is the beauty of it. it is that dialogue that helps us strengthening and improve our democracy and gerrymandering is counterintuitive to that and diverts the will of the voters. host: when you mentioned coming on c-span and being able to express your view, it reminds me
of this article. mike pence is speaking tonight at uva. there were protests and people that he should not be allowed to speak. it turned into a conversation about freedom of speech and cancel culture. is this something you've investigated. the shutting down of free speech? guest: it is interesting you raise that issue. the u.s. core the overall score did not decline but this issue of free speech on campus is one of the things we did note as a challenge. it is about more than campuses. we believe as long as that is nonviolent, you should be able to listen and express your views. you should not be afraid to hear a different opinion. it is a difference of opinion that can make us better. i personally would encourage folks who do not want to hear from vice president mike pence, please show up and ask them any questions you would want. hearing concerns helps make all the stronger.
hearing responses makes up stronger. at the hill we would always do an exercise of what of what is our policy position, great, but what are we missing, what are the weaknesses of this argument? that is an important intellectual exercise. host: who did you work for at the hill and what topics did you cover? guest: i have been gone for about a decade. i worked my way up to legislative director on senate and the house. i started with senator brownback . host: both republicans? guest: that's right. host: is marine le pen a threat to democracy in france? guest: it would depend on action she takes, but the rhetoric has been concerning. it is interesting she has moderated some of the things she has said. the importance of upholding institutions, of upholding free
and independent media, welcoming refugees, following international law, adhering to eu law and agreements, we think that is very important. it'll be interesting to see how the runoff elections go. host: roger in pineville, north carolina. good morning. caller: i agree with you with the democracy issue in the rest of the world. the thing i'm concerned about is democracy here. it seems like we are being ruled by executive order as opposed to going through congress. i know donald trump had a bunch of his. joe biden is out of control. it is just not. -- it is just nuts. i do not blame joe because he is not really in charge anyway. i worry about that. in suppression of information. that is what i worry about. guest: i do not know the
breakdown of executive orders across administration but i know it is a widely used tactic regardless of party. i think the congressional research service has reports on that. one of the issues you have touched on is a concern for us also, which is the functioning of government, and the interplay between the legislative branch, the judicial branch, the executive branch, and polarization has made things more challenging. even in working on issues that typically would have been more bipartisan are now more challenging. you are absolutely right that we need to make sure the guardrails for the legislature and the executive and the judicial stay in place and keep our democracy strong and functioning. host: pat buchanan, longtime politico and columnist and here is what he wrote on april 5.
"if we make global democracy the measure of success in the great struggle of our time, our victory and defeat in that cause depends on political decisions and internal choices of scores of nations not our own. when did the internal politics of other lands become the business of the u.s. or the yardstick of our success as a nation? to make global democracy our goal in this century's great battle is to allow america's success or failure as a nation to be judged and measured by what other nations, not our own, succeed or fail in doing." guest: p is right. nobody can impose democracy. it is also no longer the case that what happens in a country stays within that country. obviously vladimir putin's invasion of ukraine is case in point. there are plenty of other examples. it is very important.
they are one in the same as security issues. this idea of countries reaching into democracies to surveilled our opponents or even kidnap -- let's think about the news of a critic of the iranian regime in the case that hit the news but there was a plan to kidnap her from her home and put her in a boat and take her back to her country for the great crime of speaking out against them and criticizing them. if we want to all be free and prosperous, obviously there are folks in the u.s. who are not as interested in foreign policy as some of us in washington. if your desire is to have low weed prices, what happens in these other countries does matter and that goes back to what we talked about at the beginning not to impose
democracy but to withstand with billions of people who are trying to live in freedom to exercise their rights and defend that in their own country. host: iran is a democracy, correct? guest: this is one of the things that is so fascinating. it is a testament to the power of the word democracy. a lot of authoritarians who do not have a democracy talk about democracies. russia and china call themselves democracies. the democratic people's republic of korea. this goes back to the idea that democracy is not just election. it is not just majority rule. it is where folks can express their opinions, have the person who they want, they can vote freely. this idea is just -- you can just say democracy or have a fake election, it is not a democracy. host: robert in florida, good
morning. guest: i was on a train from germany. the trade was loaded with young chinese girls from china. i do not know if democracy, but they seem to be free to let their people travel the world. guest: absolutely. there are so many folks who travel all over. i think the folks in china who are not free to travel are the ones criticizing president xi jinping, would be peaceful uighurs just trying to live their lives and educate their children and practice their religion. more than one million have been in internment camps. acts of genocide. folks trying to share their faith. folks talking about concerns over climate change or concerns over the quality of audit. those are the folks you will not find traveling on trains anywhere.
host: president biden met virtually with india's prime minister modi yesterday to discuss russia and other political and energy issues. where does india stand? guest: we saw declines in india this year. we are concerned about some of the trends there. host: because of mr. modi? guest: in part because of some of his actions. surveillance of journalists. lack of religious freedom. what is happening in india it really does matter and it is very important for the united states and others to work with folks in india to try to set it on a good path. the status decline we saw in india as part of the reason why we have the lowest percentage of folks living in a free country because india is a big democracy. host: what is happening to our neighbors south of the border in south america and central
america? what is the trend you are seeing? guest: it depends on the country you are talking about. we did see bright spots in equity or and chile but there are still rule of law challenges across south and central america , again, the targeting of journalists, extrajudicial killings, lack of judicial independence. it is a region that does not always get the attention it should. we are certainly very -- we are proud to stand with folks working for democracy. host: wasn't there an election in chile where the socialist one over the conservative? guest: there was an election. i am not a chile expert but the fact the elections were largely free and fair, folks had topped about his plans as a reformer.
we will have to see how that plays out. an election does not spell total success. host: mary is in front royal, virginia. caller: thank you for having me on. i have a strong feeling about the work this lady is doing. she is working all over the world with autocratic countries trying to make sure democracy is not falling through the cracks. here in america, we have dropped the fairness doctrine. in doing so split us as a people because we either watch this news program or that news program. they do not come together most of the time, which means we as a people do not come together most
of the time. to me, that is the beginning of degradation of a good society. it worries me. host: thank you for that point. what about the polarization of our media, our smoke stacking of what we watch, what we learn, what we want to be reinforced with? guest: is a deep concern. i would encourage everyone watching this to seek out diverse sources that do not align with your views. look for independent media. be careful what you are sharing. disinformation and misinformation, propaganda and fake news. we see russia, we see china seeking to extend propaganda into the u.s.. so much social unrest ahead of elections. it is very critical we pay attention. host: how is social media used by a like russia or china to
foment unrest. how do they make that happen? guest: some of the content ahead in elections that were shared but had factual inaccuracies, there was research done that tracked it back to russian propaganda arms. what is so interesting about the government of china is folks do not have access to all of the same social media we do in the u.s. there is not free and fair internet. host: annie boyajian, if you wanted to learn about russia, is there a neutral or open press there in any form, or in china where you can go? guest: there folks doing great work. last independent news source in russia had to close down. they try to reopen a european branch. it is deeply troubling. for any of us, if we are only
watching one set of content over and over, it sinks and eventually and you are not thinking critically. for folks in russia there are a lot of folks who believe vladimir putin's narrative about ukraine. the same thing in china. it is not safe for folks to try to do independent journalism. they try. even in hong kong we are seeing arrests of journalists. host: did you rate russia as not free or partially free? guest: we rated as not free. i hope i got that light -- i hope i got that right. host: carl is in kentucky. republican line. guest: good morning. communism is something you have taxation only. we just vote to see how much of your money they will take from you and we will give to someone
else we think needs it more than you do. what god puts in you to do -- that brings you godly glory. it gives him godly glory. communism takes all of that away. why do we have a nation that believes -- that says it believes in such godly ways but they want to steal, take someone else's money. host: i think we got the point. let's look at that more broadly. rates of taxation, does that play into democracy or freedom? guest: we look at rights and civil liberties and not the economic rights. i think the caller hits on a good weight. we would say -- on a good point.
we would say democracy is not perfect. it is the structure that allows folks to choose and flourish and enjoy their own rights best. that is what i would highlight. host: there is an election in brazil. how did we rate brazil this year? guest: bolsonaro. i am not a brazil specialist but we are concerned about the trajectory and with the way things will play out. we are keeping a close eye on some of the rhetoric targeting of critics, brazil is one of the countries we are watching closely. host: was brazil rated partly free or free? guest: i believe it was partly free. host: next caller. caller: i want to say to democrats, republicans are not your friends. they do not want to work with you. they do not want to do anything
partisan with you. i do not understand why the democrats do not understand that. the republicans will take over this country and do everything crazy and crooked and the democrats will not say anything about it. there is nobody out here speaking crazy like these republicans on the democratic side. when independence try to say something they will bash the independence but they do not say anything to republicans. democrats are weak. i used to be a democrat. now i vote independent. they need to get their act together and get somebody on tv speaking like republicans to get our voters point across and let them know we mean business because right now it is an embarrassment to our country. thank you. host: how many countries could reese get on national tv and voice a strong opinion about something like that? guest: great question.
only 20% of the world lives in a nation we rate free. that would be a best shot. we have 30% some in the middle where it would depend on the contrary. that is one of the great things about this country and highlights the need for us to overcome polarization and work together because that is how our democracy will be strong. host: when it comes to things like libel laws in england, aren't they more strict than they are here. you have to be more careful about free speech. guest: there are differences in england and europe about the way free speech is used. in united states we have the first amendment, as long as it is nonviolent speech you are free to criticize and insult. some of our european friends take a different view so we get into good conversations about that. we think the first amendment is quite important. host: when you are compiling your annual report, are there strong disagreements between the
europeans and the americans and other countries that may be participating in this? guest: we have a methodology on our website. a set of questions, political rights, civil liberties, elections, media, things like that. our authors go through and answer those questions. everything is tallied. a room full of country experts, regional experts, we talk through, does that sound right, here is the verified information. it is very robust and lively and i hope folks can take a look. we have individual reports also. host: this anyone from russia or china participate in the freedom house report? guest: we talked to a lot of folks from all sorts of closed nations. we get our information, we are not just sitting in washington looking on the internet. we have folks who are deep experts in their own countries,
academics, journalists, things like that. host: what is happening in africa? guest: it is interesting you would say that. this year we saw more coups than we have in previous years. sudan, maui, chad. i think a case like sudan highlights the need for governments to stand with folks trying to defend democracy. we have seen signs of hope in the overthrow of omar al-bashir. now there are challenges and struggles. we need to address that. host: you are saying you saw hope in an overthrow of a government, of a dictatorship. guest: we did. it was folks taking to the streets that led to him stepping down. it was not hope in a coup, but hope that people finally felt
like they could go out and express their views despite great risk to their safety and the attacks that did occur, they were able to effect change in their country. host: william is next for annie boyajian. democrats line. you are on the air. caller: good morning. could you explain to me how you would disburse the words freedom and democracy. freedom house, could that be called democracy house? it is a question i have had for quite some time. thank you for your answer. guest: the story of our name is an interesting one. i mentioned we turned 80 years old. we were founded by folks like eleanor roosevelt and wendell wilkie. folks may know that the nazi headquarters was called the brown house, so they chose to call us the freedom house to set the marker for what we stood
for. host: james in south carolina. caller: good morning. i am more concerned about democracy at home. i feel like we have lost some of our moral standing. let's look at what we've witnessed in the last five years. let's look at donald trump. i have problems with trump. his policies were good and he loved his country. we as americans sat and watched two bogus impeachments. at every turn this man was beat up. for all of you people talking about how nice the democrats are , threatened conservatives, threaten people who work for donald trump, and we watched for his whole presidency, we watched the fbi participate in a lie. we watched the cia participate in a live.
and then january 6 happened. i do not condone it. self-inflicted wound. when you make the american people believe, people on one side who voted for trump, when you make them believe the election was unfair, this is the kind of thing you create. we need to stop and think about what we are doing to our children in our schools and everything else. if we fix democracy at home i think the world would be a better place. host: thank you. guest: i think that is exactly right. if we fixed democracy at home the world would be a better place. there are 70 needs to address in our own country. you've highlighted the need to have free and fair investigation into things that happen in any country. we see a need for this. that's one of the things that is lacking in autocracies. there is a big concern and something we should help folks do.
technical assistance for learning how to do those types of investigations. cannot agree more about fixing democracy in the u.s.. host: most free country, least free country? guest: most free country tends to be our european nations. the least free countries tend to be north korea, china. it changes from year to year. host: is there any country we have not talked about he wanted to make sure to mention? we've got talked about indonesia, japan. guest: great question. i would encourage folks to take a look at what is happening in sri lanka. that is a case where we are seeing folks take to the streets in protest. that is one we are watching. i would want to end on a high note because our data is often depressing. even in these closed environments, the fact that folks still do take to the streets and change does happen and you do see bright spots
against all odds, that is what gives us hope day after day and we are so inspired by the folks we are able to partner with. host: the role of religious freedom in this report? guest: cap fully one of the things we look at. the ability to worship freely, we have gotten some questions on that. host: caller: i have a question about parliamentary democracy such as the u.s. or angry -- or england who give money in other countries elections to influence political parties in those countries. the united states and the england gave a lot of money in all the elections in world war ii in italy to -- the u.s. government did not want left parties winning.
in -- we say we are a democratic parliamentary democracy but we give a lot of money to influence other countries, to put those in power. in ukraine, the groups in the united states that affiliate -- with the u.s. government gave money -- even supporting a armed violent coup d'etat in 2014 where they killed ukrainian policeman to put a government in power in the united states favor. what is your position about parliamentary democracy intervening in other peoples country and interfering with their sovereignty and that has been going on for years. host: in america's past as well, so. guest: it is about the people
choosing that they want -- what they want. we think one of the great forms of support is when you are in the country where there is no opposition to be on television where you get arrested for being a member of the opposition, providing technical assistance to train folks, how do you get your message out and how can you get desk strengthen your work so that support is what we are talking about when we talk about fair elections. host: kevin is in washington dc. caller: i heard of a interesting system called preferential voting where you can vote for your top candidates instead of just one and it takes a lot of money. under preferential voting, you
can vote for everyone except candidates or -- host: we have to leave it there. guest: he was talking about right choice voting. host: thank you for being with us. and we will go live to the middle east institute. mike waltz of florida is talking about u.s. policy in the middle east of the biden administration. thanks for being with us. >> our voices from a branch of u.s. government that plays no last an instrumental role in a u.s. foreign policy. i would say that is the united states congress. we will start to fill that gap when it -- with a conversation with congress and mike waltz from flo