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tv   Nancy Grace  HLN  October 2, 2009 10:00pm-11:00pm EDT

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what i'd like to know is in the past have there been this arbitrary cutoffs and is this the way we should go when states -- what kind of incentive would we be creating in these states? >> well, i don't want to oh, please. >> i will say, though, that the change in unemployment rates during recessions where states clearly somewhat depends upon the industry mixes in those states. but there really does seem to be sort of a state level, you know, where some states start with a higher unemployment rate even before the recession. so i don't see a simple story to which states are going to jump above the level you talk about and which aren't. i don't see a good way of sort of predicting that during a recession. >> do you know much about the history of these extension of unemployment benefits and if they were set at a certain rate for which states, which unemployed get them and which don't? >> i don't know very much. >> ok. the changes in temporary
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services, i think i read somewhere this morning that your numbers are going to show that actually they've seen job loss in temporary services, is that right? >> yes. temporary health services lost 2,000 jobs. >> didn't you tell me before that actually an increase in temporary help can be a sign that that's what companies do first, they hire these temporary workers, so it can be a good sign that it's going to lead later. so what up do think this means? >> well, this is a moderation actually in law in temporary help. the last five months temporary help has lost something around 9 or 10,000 jobs a month. 2 thousand a little bit of a mod erracial. i would say even a moderation of the temporary help jobs is probably not a bad sign. >> so in other words it actually has moderated and gotten better. so this argument that companies start hiring temporary workers and then eventually hire permanent workers could still stand true. >> yes. >> thank you. >> thank you very much.
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the dr. hall, i just want to talk a little bit about how this, the and people of color. in particularly, what industries have women and people of color lost the most jobs? .. . african-americans have lost a lot of jobs and manufacturing, and wholesale trade, in terms of percentage. information services. it's actually been pretty broad. for hispanics, it's also been pretty broad as well. although their job loss probably was in construction work more so
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than other groups. >> where you finish. >> you know, there are some >> you know, there are some areas hasn't been job loss for certain groups. for example, education and health, hospitality or hispanic. they have actually had some job increases over the past year. >> one of the most alarming statistics is with regard to african-american teen unemployment. i think it was up to 40.8 percent in september. and that was up from 34.7%. is that correct? while you are looking, if that is accurate, what is the significance of that?
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>> well, that is accurate. >> normally, i mean, is the teen employment rate significant in regard to what you could tell, to contributing towards a families stability financial stability and having the funds to do what they need to do to survive? >> well, certainly african-american teens are being hit much harder by the recession and the most always are. it's gone up quite a bit that it's been absolutely and probably should have implications for family finances. >> do you have any reasonable explanation for that? in other words, why that number? we are approaching a 50 percent of african-american teens, and i
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assume these are people who are ready, willing and able to work, don't have jobs. >> i don't have a good explanation. i'm not that familiar with economic research literature that would explain that. >> has the unemployment rate for color leveled off? >> it has slowed down pretty much like the overall unemployment rate. is still probably roughly leveling off but it's moderated a little bit. >> and women in recent decades in increasing proportion of women's, 55 and older are working and this trend has continued during this recession, while decreasing proportion of men 55 and older are working during this recession here can there be reasons for the difference other than a recession has hit male-dominated industry harder? >> there might well be something
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more are going on. because the differences are fairly surprising. >> why do you say that? >> well, the big differences for women 55 and older, their unemployment rate is doubled during this recession. but the employment to population ratio which will give you some idea of the labor participation, that has gone down for women 55 and older. so really what we see is an increase in labor force participation by women that age. >> well, could some of that trend has to do with the fact that many 55 to 64 year-old women, older men who have retired or taken by alps are no medicare eligible, women ages 55 to 64 are jet eligible for medicare, and because their husbands are no longer working they no longer have health
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insurance through a spouse. perhaps these older women are returning to the label force in order to obtain health insurance? >> that's quite possible for our data is not going to tease that out and take that for sure but it's early, but it is consistent with that. >> my time has expired, ms. klobuchar. >> make you very much, mr. chairman. commissioner hall, we talked before about this dramatic difference between unemployment with varying degrees of education. and i always like to see what the trend is here, and i think you have remarked before that compared to other recessions, and correct me if i'm wrong, those without a high school degree were really soft hard with this recession. what is the employment rate now for let's start with college graduates. on employment rate. >> the unemployment rate for college graduates is 4.9 percents. >> four point nine present. what is the unemployment rate for a high school graduate?
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>> 10.8%. over double. >> 10.8%. then what is the unemployment rate for those without a high school degree? >> 15%. >> is that relatively the same margin we saw last month or has there been any changes to their? >> it's pretty similar. the unemployment rate for less than a high school paula dropped a little bit, but it may not be statistically significant and there may be some issue of folks dropping out of the labor force as well. >> do you have postcollege greet unemployment for people have an additional degree? >> yeah, we do. we don't have the data with us. >> i would like to see that. it would be interesting. lederle, you have not quite double the unemployment rate where you don't have a high school degree, but almost. been really above the national on implement rate even with a high school degree, and insignificantly below if you have a college degree. is that a correct
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characterization? >> yes, it is. >> you can see why we are so focused now and the president is on trying to make sure that high school students get some college education. so we're going to continue to pursue that. i think it's very important. the second thing i always like to ask about because i think people are stunned when they learned that our soldiers will come back from serving in iraq and afghanistan, the group that we categorize in the age group who have served in the armed services since september 11, 2001, that they're on employment rate has been traditionally higher than the unemployment rate of your average citizen in the united states. so where is that this month's? >> well, for gulf war era to veterans from the unemployment rate is 10.6% as opposed to nonveterans where it is nine points 3%. >> and you and i have talked before about, this was worse earlier in the year, is that
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right? is always slightly above the national unemployment rate? >> is generally a buffet. >> it is always above the. i think if it has been more about that? >> i'm not sure if it was more in 2009, it's been about the same gap. i'm not sure about whether 2008. >> i think somewhere, well, it was up further than 10% rate. but i think people would be surprised by that because we want to make, when those who serve us, we want to make sure they have a job. and it's difficult because those that left in the middle of the beginning of this recession, come back and maybe the company work for isn't there anymore or they have significantly reduced their employment. so that is a change. another thing i wondered about was the discouraged workers, and these are people who work full time who would like to work full-time, right, but they can only find a part-time job. or people, is that the
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characterization of discouraged worker, or should include those that can't find a job at all? >> yeah, there's a broader category called marginally attached. >> what is marginally attached to give? >> these are people who want to work, but they haven't looked within the past four weeks. so they aren't counted in the labor force because they haven't looked lately but they have looked in the past year. >> so they are not included in his unemployment rate? >> know they are not. >> so this person i mention in my opening statement who has sent out 60 resumes and in 60 places and go to all of these interviews, if at some point she said i can do this anymore and takes a month off from looking, she wouldn't even be included in the unemployment rate? >> that's right. a 9.8% unemployment rate doesn't include people who are discouraged or part-time for economic reasons. >> when you include forgetting the marginally attached once, if you include these people that want to work full-time but are
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only working part-time, who have significantly reduced hours, and significantly reduced money as a result, once the unemployment rate when you include in? >> it goes up to 17%. >> where is that compared to the trend of the last year? >> that's up significantly. change over the year it is up by almost six percentage points over the past year. >> so do you think it's possible for some of these people who are unemployed and then left on part-time jobs but it's not what they want to be? >> yes, that's quite possible. >> very good. thank you. >> thank you very much. dr. hall, let me ask you. the last month when you were here, the last time you were here, you sounded relatively and cautiously optimistic. is that a fair statement? >> yes. >> how would you describe your position today?
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>> i think this report is very similar to a couple of months ago. >> and that's what i thought. >> i was a little more enthusiastic because it was a clear moderation from prior. now we're not in a common position where we are at a plateau right now with the job loss is still significant but it isn't as high as it was before. >> now, this cash for clunkers program, when you consider that, did you expect to see more or less impact as a result of that, or no impact? did you have any idea? i know you don't have a magic ball, but certainly when you see all of the commercials and all the news, you must -- considering what to do, i'm sure you had some thoughts. >> well, we did see a couple of months of pickup in employment and automobile dealerships. in particular.
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we didn't see a lot in the manufacturing of cars. that wasn't surprising because a lot of the sailor coming out of inventories. and if they wind up being an impact on production of cars, it is likely to come later. later than when actual program is going on. >> so it would not surprise you that at least a slight pickup in the future report or two with regard to manufacturing since i think they said they sold over 700,000 cars? >> that's right. although again it would be hard for us to measure that. but that is where i would expect to see some sort of impact. >> consumer balance sheets have,
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while personal consumption spending help explant predict expand employment in the retail sector sometimes there is a bit of a delay, so even if consumption picks up, this would be a lagging effect of the labor market were sometimes businesses will take a little time. >> you were talking briefly about savings, and what is the significance of people saving, i guess it means that they are not spending, and that does not help too much, or does it? >> in the long run, it can be obviously good, because people have to replenish their savings, but in the short run, it can delay a recovery a little bit
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because people are being cautious and increasing their savings rather than spending. >> retailers saw their sales increase due in large part to boost in auto sales. result retell job losses slowed sharply in august. slowing in the retail job area? >> it's hard to say. you know, we lost 39000 this month. we averaged about 20000 lost over the last five months. i would guess that if consumption in retail sales continue to stay up that at some point we will see an employment index. >> so if president obama called you right after you got out of his hearing and said, dr. hall,
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just give me your assessment of where we are. what would you say? >> i would say right now we're at a bit of a plateau where job loss is significant, but it's nowhere near what it was earlier in the year. in fact, i would say the job loss that is actually made in the range of something like a normal recession. were as that six-month period where we had 650,000 jobs lost a month, and that was beyond any normal recession. in fact, that was unprecedented. >> that was tsunami like i take it the. >> yes. >> ms. klobuchar? >> thank you very much. to follow up more on this savings issue and this lag. is there some point where consumers, i think smartly have been saving more money and realizing they have to protect themselves from economic downturn. but is there some point where people realize they just have
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these repairs matting to their homes or in my case the saturn were last winter you couldn't even get the window of when it was 10 degrees below zero. but i still kept it, agers opec is there some point where people realize that they have to replace some of these vehicles will make the repairs on their house, and they start dipping into the savings? >> yes. is one of the characteristics. i think it's part of why it takes a while for recession to work out, is people are repairing their balance sheets and getting comfortable getting back to normal spending levels. but that does always happen. >> ben bernanke, the chair of the federal reserve, has been suggesting that our economy may be out of a recession. is predicting some growth, although he still says that he predicted above 9% unemployment through the end of 2010. do you agree with those protections? >> well, without predicting, i will say --
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>> of course, you don't do that. >> i would say it has worked in the past recessions, it does take a little while for the labor market to catch up. >> i think it's hard for people to understand that wall street is doing better. the stock market is doing better. to explain how the economy may be recovering while job losses really do continue to mount. there's predictions that were going to see an increase in the unemployment. so could you explain his? >> i think a lot of it has to do with what we've been talking about with consumers. consumers have to get i think we need to get consumer confidence back up your consumers have to get comfortable. increasing spending levels, getting back to spending. and in businesses have to work through their typical patterns. one of the things that really does happen in the early stages of expansions, after recession,
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is businesses sometimes are slow to bring workers back on board because they take productivity gains for a while but that's part of why we did this lagging labor market recovery sometimes. >> one of the areas that when we look at some of the government policies that we have undertaken, one of the ones i keep hearing about at home is the first time home buyers tax credit but that has been realtors practically cheering. think of months in june in minnesota, we had a 20% increase over the same month a year before in new home sales. or home sales, period. what are you saying in the housing market or maybe you don't collect that data, but i know there have been some increases there, but it doesn't appear yet to have gone into the new home construction. >> let me first say that employment in real estate act to increase this month by about 6000 i believe that's the first time in a while. it does look like the new home
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sales, i haven't looked at that data, that it is flat and maybe picking up a little bit. there's an issue of inventories. once sales pick up and they are existing home sales of course go on the market. in terms of the labor market, construction, i can tell you in the past when new home sales pick up, employment in construction, it takes a while for that to pick a. in fact, it takes probably between a year and a year and a half for construction employment to start to pick up one's home sales, new home sales start to accelerate. >> very good. thank you very much. >> let me ask you this, and talking about new home sales. i assume that there would also at some point be a relationship between new home sales and the manufacturing, certain manufacturing areas such as refrigerators, stoves, and air conditioners and of that nature.
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when do you expect to see that with regard to what's happening now with the home sales situation? >> yeah, i think probably the store is probably going to be similar. it's a little hard to track all those things with new home sales because people just replace refrigerators. they don't always, aren't always buying refrigerators for a new home. i haven't looked. i suppose it tracks real well with new home construction. once it starts to pick up it will be a broader pickup in some of these related areas. >> and someone watching this right now has a bs degree, and out of work, and they were watching this right now, you were to tell them where they would have the best chance possibly to get a job, because
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i'm sure there are a lot of people in their position. based upon what you see and what your research shows, what would you say to them? what areas would you tell them that they might want to look? that is, geographically, and what kind of job might be what to look for to have their best chance of getting a job of? >> that's a good question. because it's very hard for me -- very hard for me to offer advice on that. in part because i haven't looked at that really carefully. also, you know, -- >> but we know there are certain parts of the country where the unemployment rate is lower, is that i? >> sure, it is lower in some places. >> wouldn't have a bearing on any kind of information you might put out to them? >> sure. >> why don't you start their? >> okay. i will do that.
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i can tell you where states that have the lowest unemployment rate, in general the northeast region has lower unemployment rates than the rest of the nation. although it is not a lot lower. is about 9%. but there are a number of states -- there's not a real rhyme or reason to. i will just mention some of the state. and rehab is up on our website so people can take a look. north dakota south dakota, nebraska, utah, virginia, montana, wyoming are all the states with the lowest unemployment rates right now. and it's a fairly long list of states that have below average unemployment rates. >> some idea of consumer confidence. i think it is so easy, dr. hall, for us to say that the sky is falling. and if we say the sky is falling, it has a tendency to
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make people believe the sky is falling. and i think it has a tendency to add to the problems. that is, i don't think we should be over opted mystic but i think we need to call it like it is. if we are moving in the right direction, we need to say that to the american people will be clear on that. but we also need to keep in mind as ms. klobuchar has eloquently stated when we have come from. and i think it's fair to say that we have come a pretty long way, haven't we? >> yes we have. >> why do you say that? >> well, we really have moved into, at least right now, we have moved into a period where the job loss again as i said, somewhat like a normal recession. we really did have a six-month period of job loss that was absolutely unprecedented. and back on our benchmark revision from january 1 to that job loss over that period.
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we had a lot of businesses close encounter that's not happening any more. . . >> recessions do windup it affecting everybody, but this particular session was so broad and so the that it probably impacted all groups more seriously than the past couple of recessions did. i thought the last recession was rather notable because it was a mild recession, but it was actually a recession were that consumer spending never really turned negative. consumers actually cut spending in the last recession, and in
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the past one, it was not the case at all. grady? >> thank you, mr. chairman. we have a lot of national views from up here on employment going back to these companies, small, medium, large that meet on a weekly basis. consistently, what happens, what is their experience in the economy and what do they see moving forward? they arrive at the same conclusion, you and congress are the problem, clients and customers are delaying decisions because they seek proposals to raise energy and costs dramatically, to increase utility costs, to raise health care costs on every side of the business, they see proposals to raise income taxes on small businesses and new proposals to really punish our u.s. companies
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that are trying to market their product round world. their clients and customers are frozen because they are waiting to see what this hand of government is going to do and they are convinced we are slowing this economic recovery. last week, i had a manufacturer, a small manufacturer, pretty good sized construction company, one was an employment firm telling me that they are not seeing the orders for part-time employment and rehiring back retail or manufacturing. numbers today sort of bear that out, the index of total private aggregate weekly hours declined sharply last month, total private hours declined overall including in manufacturing. they don't see the indicators that show that people are making those decisions. can you tell us your
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observations from the numbers today? the numbers are going down. >> yes, they are. these numbers still don't show a healthy labor market. we have significant job loss. also we have most of the job loss in four sector is the weakness is very broad. so we still have some work to do, we have some improvement to go before we see the end of the decline in the labour market. let me say one thing as well. i think of a recession as an illness. there are phrases that the economy goes through the recession. we have been in a phase where the job losses have been around 300,000. this month a the last.
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past rich edson, a the job loss has been around 0. the next phase, we have significant job growth. if i'm trying to be encouraging to folks, there are normal phases for recession, and i don't want to predict when a past recession goes through these faces every time. >> tell me, you testified recently our ability to sell recently our ability to sell products around world hane%g@@@ we have to sell american products and services throughout the world, yet we have seen a major decline in that we do not have a trade agenda right now.
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other countries are passing america by, signing agreements that give advantages to their companies over our american companies, and you have a rash of new proposals, one of which is included in the house bill that actually punishes companies for selling their products around the world. we have an example at this meeting were one of our companies as a project in algeria that employs 28 workers, but there are almost 400 workers back in easton that support that and designed it, proposed the, operated, and in a sense monitor it. they were saying that other countries are aggressively courting our investment, opening up areas to it energy, lowering taxes, yet america is doing just the opposite. energy costs, increasing taxes on u.s. companies. do your numbers track jobs created by selling american
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products throughout the world? >> in a sense they do. weekend tell you where the product are sold, but the products could go anywhere, the united states or abroad, they could go abroad and come back. >> you don't break out the export jobs. is there a way, is there a model that you can create or try to make the estimates as you look at a number of different criteria, is there a way to track those things? >> it is difficult. we are sending surveys to establishments. the people in the establishments may not know where their products are winding up and that it's to be difficult to track that information. there are some research studies that could be done. with our particular surveys there's no way to separate out
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the exports. >> thank you, amy klobuchar. >> mr. chairman, i was listening to congress and brady's questions, and we share a belief that we need to promote more american product exports. i am chair of a subcommittee of focused on export promotion. we are having a hearing next week. i was thinking about this argument that somehow all the problems we are having right now, this unemployment rate is somehow caused by uncertainty about government policy. the two areas we have been discussing in congress are health-care. how is the health-care sector doing with unemployment? >> the health-care sector gained 9,000 jobs this month, the last five months it averaged 24,000 jobs and during worst of the
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recession it still gained 25,000 jobs per month so it has looked relatively recessionproof. >> where we are having the major debate, arguably facing the greatest uncertainty, has actually, in its response to government policy, has seen increase in employment? >> the health-care industry has not shown obvious signs of the recession. >> what about the energy jobs? you haven't mentioned those. >> let me see though. >> i'm from houston and i can tell you how we are doing. >> i am looking at the entire country. in our state we have seen increases from wind and solar. we have gone up in the energy area. >> i have to get that information for you but we do have data on mining employment, and employment related to oil exploration and things like
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that. >> north dakota has the lowest unemployment rate. they are really an energy bastion with renewable and will. >> we have had significant job growth related to energy, even during the worst of this recession when gasoline prices were high. employment declined, there have been months,s where it grew a bit. >> when you look at past recessions, where we have -- you have said before that as congressman cummings describes, the effect of this recession, a near depression and the beginning was catastrophic compared to other recessions. but as you described this lengthy recovery which is still going on, it mirrors some other ones, maybe not in the length,
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you see similar signs. is that right? >> yes. >> to those of the recession have major economic debates over the heads of the citizens? health care and energy and those things? >> maybe, but this argument that fact we are debating major issues that are affecting the middle class doesn't make sense, but you don't have to answer that policy question. i just wanted to end by saying first of all i appreciate the detail that you bring to this committee. it has given me and people who are watching this on c-span some understanding of the issue and long term complexity of it. from my perspective, what you have told us is we have seen a leveling off of this job loss. but we are facing significant issues here. we are seeing recovery in
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certain sectors and certain parts of the country, we are continuing to see significant unemployed people. as i always do i want to end with these real people stories as we look at this extension of unemployment benefits issue. that is 8% unemployment. someone wrote in a i am worried, as the winter is around the corner, i have worked all my life, i am 54-year-old, i have been employed, unemployed for 24 months, where are we to go? we cannot wait for years. a woman named barbara from minnesota, my husband was laid off in march of this year from his union construction job and is currently using his unemployment benefits. two of our adult children are looking for work after being laid off. what are we supposed to do? my husband has been looking for a job since march. we need to remember that while some people on wall street may
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be recovering there are plenty of people on main street who are going to need help. thank you very much, commissioner paul. >> thank you, miss amy klobuchar. i want first of all to thank you, commissioner all, for the before i give my concluding all your service. difference on capitol hill and so many other places and they bring the balance and information and things we need to get our job is done. we wish you well and we thank you very much for your service. also -- [applause] -- let me say
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this. yesterday in our transportation committee hearing, one of the things the secretary talked about when the stimulus package was getting a lot of complaints from his own party, the republican party, what he said was i am going out there, i am seeing people who have jobs, as a result of the stimulus, a month ago they were drawing unemployment. as i listened to amy klobuchar, i am reminded, many people who are fortunate to have jobs, so many people who have lost their jobs, people who never thought they would be in this position but they are. but the fact still remains, this president constantly reminds us, a set of circumstances were inherited that were very unfortunate.
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as a philosopher once said, it is not the hand you are dulled, it is whether you properly rearrange them. to work for you. that is what we're doing. will that hand you the results that we want tomorrow or the next day or next month? probably not. but we do know that based upon what i have heard today and last month, we are on the road. one of the things that you said, and will finish on this, these recessions apparently go up and down just like an illness. you have good days and bad days. my father, a former sharecropper, used to say life is like a caterpillar, two steps forward, three stepped back, steps forward, two steps back,
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eventually it gets where it has to go. i do believe that if i listen to you very carefully and the memory of my father, that is how we are proceeding but at least we are going forward which is good. we thank you and with that, this hearing is adjourned. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009]
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>> tonight on c-span, a look at the current state of health care legislation with senate minority leader mitch mcconnell. also a republican and democratic viewpoint from senators john isaacs and. then, diplomatic talks with iran on its nuclear program. two capitol hill reporters join us on tomorrow's "washington journal." first, an ethics investigation and center john incident
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stemming from his affair with the wife of a former aide. then, jonathan allen describes the to health care bills drafted in the senate and political hurdles to merging them. plus headlines and your comments, live on "washington journal," every morning from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. >> justice o'connor insisted that we have lunch every day when we were sitting. now, clarence, you should come to lunch. she was really sweet, but very persistent. i came to lunch, and it was one of the best things i did. it is hard to be angry and bitter at someone and break bread and look them in the eye. it is a fine lunch, very little work gets done there. it is just nine people, eight people, whoever shows up, having a wonderful lunch together. it is wonderful.
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>> hear from all the supreme court justices about the history and tradition of the court. see inside this historic and beautiful building to place is only available to the justices and their staff. watch c-span's feature documentary. it all starts sunday at 9:00 p.m. eastern. for a special preview, join us sunday at 8:00 p.m. eastern for "q&a". earlier in the day on capitol hill, senate republican leader mitch mcconnell spoke to the press. topics included health care legislation just completed by the senate finance committee. reporters also asked about nevada senator john ensign's extramarital affair. this is 15 minutes. >> good morning, everyone.
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let me just make a couple of observations about where we are in health care, and i will throw it open. the committee wrapped it up last night. the bill will lay out there apparently until tuesday, at which point they will have a vote, and then that bill will go over presumably to a courtroom in the majority leader's office for some kind of effort to merge the help committee bill and the finance committee bill. no matter what the merger does, what we know for sure about this proposal, the core of it, will include half a trillion dollars in medicare funds over 10 years and hundreds of billions of dollars of tax increases on both individuals and businesses. that we know for sure, and that is the core of the proposal.
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i am completely confident that that will be a part of the final package that we end up deciding whether to go to on the floor of the senate's. these are the core problems and that the american people were responding to in august. the poll data is pretty constant, pretty steady that people do not think this is a good idea, and this will be an important debate about the future of the country. with that, let me throw it open. >> what is your current understanding about how the democrats plan to deal with the question of cbo scoring as the process goes forward? >> what are you looking for in that regard? >>, i think there are procedural problems as well. we saw a heavy-handed tactic, for example, when the health insurance companies were told to shut up, and commenting on the substance of the bill to their
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clients. we sought a reluctance -- we saw a reluctance in the bill to put it up for 72 hours to make it available for reading. this is a very important issue. we should not try to do it in the dark, and whatever final bill is produced should be available to the american public and to members of the senate, certainly, for enough time to come to grips with it, and there should be and must be a cbo score, so we will look at how the majority decides to try to advance this proposal. we are going to insist, and the american people are going to insist, that it be done in a transparent, fair, and open way. >> if they do not agree to it formally, is there anything the gop will do it informally to make sure that it hangs out there long enough for people to
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read it? >> i think they are unnecessarily creating a big issue for themselves. all the queasiness on this bill is on the democratic side. and then, they want to add to it these tactics which are indefensible, such as a gag rule on american corporations who do business with the government, such as not making certain that we have adequate time -- not only as senators, but the american public and those who are interested in this -- to read it. i hope they will remove those obstacles. it would make it a lot easier for him. it does not change the core substance of the bill, but at least the american people would not have the impression that we are trying to sneak something by them. >> the "new york times" has uncovered what they say is evidence that senator and and
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arrange for a lobbying job before the cooling off period, blind of donors, and proceeded to help the lobbyists and clients get meetings with federal agencies. do you think the ethics committee should investigate this whole matter? >> i really do not have any observations to make about the matter. >> he can still effectively serve, though, in light of how he allegedly used his office? >> i'm sure you have read this. this has some pretty damning suggestions of not only violating rules in the senate, but also a criminal violations. as a republican leader, did you reach out and ask what is going on? >> i don't think today is a day to make any observations about the matter. it just appeared in newspaper today. >> so you have not reached out to him yet? >> i do not have any
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observations to make about the matter today. >> [inaudible] an extension of unemployment terms benefits. what is your comment on that? do republicans supported? >> i do not know that the procedural argument is as important as the news of today, which is that unemployment is now 9.8%. if you recall, earlier this year, there was an effort to rush through an almost trillion- dollar stimulus bill, and the rationale was it would hold unemployment to 8% less. and we were told last month that the job loss was slowing, but in fact, the 263,000 jobs we lost in september is about 62,000 more lost jobs than we had in august. job loss is picking up. the unemployment percentage is
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going up. i was really incredulous when the vice president said about the stimulus package a little while back -- and this is a direct quote -- "in my wildest dreams, i never thought it would work as well." we do not see any evidence whatsoever that the stimulus package is having an impact on this growing problem. i hope the economy is beginning to show some signs of recovery, but to most americans, the way they judge the economy is the unemployment rate. >> [inaudible] >> we probably will act on something like that. i'm confident that with unemployment like this, we will be dealing with issues sometime in the future.
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>> there are two members of your conference named in this and sen matter. observations aside, ongoing investigations aside, as the republican leader, how concerned are you about the image and credibility of the republicans in light of the involvement of these two senators? >> at the risk of being redundant, i really do not have anything to add about the newspaper article that was in the "new york times" today. >> on health care, why is it that with your criticism of the bills that are out there, the republicans have not produced a plan of their wrong? >> we do have plans. for example, if i was in a position to write the bill, i would start first with doing something about the serious
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problem of job losses against doctors and hospitals. i would move next to equalize the tax code. as you know right now, if you are a corporation providing health insurance for your employees that is deductible on your tax return, but if you are an individual purchasers, it is not, and it makes no sense whatsoever to give this tax benefit to corporations and not to individual purchasers. i would incentivize well as programs. we are all familiar with the great success the safeway company has had by targeting obesity, smoking, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, lack of exercise, and actually improving the behavior, really, of the choices of their employees, and bending the cost curve as well. with regard to insurance, i do not see a good argument for not having the ability to purchase insurance across state lines and thereby increase the competition. so there are plenty of things -- i do not know anybody in my conference -- not a single one -- who thinks we ought to do nothing. we think there are a number of problems related to cost and
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access, and those issues are obviously interconnected. when we get on the bill, there will be ample opportunity to offer alternative approaches to what the majority is likely to lay before us. >> with the ideas that you just set out, why not work those into a bill -- >> we are not in the majority. the majority has the responsibility to go forward, and we have the opportunity to amend, and we will have plenty of amendments. >> wendy baucus panel convened, there were a lot of misgivings -- when the bacchus' panel convened. yet, most of what senator baucus proposed seems to have prevailed. republicans gave it their best shot, but there and it's apparently did not get anywhere. -- but there are amendments -- but their amendments did not get anywhere.
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>> they have a majority. they ought to be able to do anything you want to. the question is will they? are there on members comfortable enough with a proposal that takes $500 million -- $500 billion out of medicare over the next few years and raise billions of dollars in taxes on both individuals and corporations -- are they comfortable for that? if they are, they should have enough votes to pass it. let me tell you how this issue is connected. if you are an employer and thinking about hiring, and you are looking at the cost of hiring an employee, and you look at this health-care bill, are you incentivized to expand employment or not? i think the answer is you are not. so there are many things we are doing here that are in heating the economic -- impeding the economic recovery.
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employers have to look at all of these additional government actions and reach some conclusion about whether we are going to have the kind of environment you need to have to have a robust economy, so i think this proposal is going to have a dampening effect on what is already clearly a very difficult economic situation that seems, at least for the moment, to be getting worse. certainly getting worse in a way that most people look at. anyone else? >> would you favor taxing employer-provided health care benefits, tax and the individual? >> i don't think we ought to be raising taxes in a recession. i just mention in response to her question the kinds of things we think ought to be done to improve what is already the finest health care in the world from a quality point of view. i'm not looking to raise taxes
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on anyone. we want to try to target the cost of health care, try to drive down that cost, try to reduce the number of uninsured people -- we all agree it would be great to reduce the number of uninsured. the things that i mentioned would target those problems. >> most economists think that taxing all those benefits would create incentives for individual users -- >> i don't think we ought to be raising taxes on anybody. our health care is already pretty expensive. it is 16% of our economy. some people think we are spending too much already. so we want to try to reduce the cost of it if we can buy things other than raising taxes. which in many ways is likely to do the opposite. i'm going to take one more. paul. >> this week is the one-year anniversary of tarp passing. do you feel like tarp has been successful?
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>> i think it has six it -- i think it succeeded in stabilizing the banking system. but i do not think that was a permission slip for the government to go further and take over banks. when we voted for it, we thought it was going to be used to purchase mortgage-backed securities, and it ended up being used to invest in banks. we were somewhat disquieting by the way in which that money was used, and i do not think the government ought to be running banks, insurance companies, car companies, taking over student loans, and taking over the health-care system. many of us who supported the tarp measure this time last year felt it was, as alan greenspan put it, a once in a hundred years occurrence that would not benefit from no action at all. we were told that the problem was these mortgage-backed securities, which were toxic, in effect, and that the in effect, and that the government needed to try to ge


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