tv Taiwan Outlook PBS October 14, 2013 7:00pm-8:01pm PDT
as u.s. congressional leaders get set in the coming hours to sit down at the white house, the president warns not all issues will be solved in one go. the tea party republican wing digging in its heels for a fight coming up against thursday's deadline to raise the debt ceiling. could the battle over spending and health care go all the way and punish the rest of the planet into recession? we will ask our panel. the hour begins in the newsroom. >> these are the headlines. we are open to suspending new sanctions against iran if progress is made on the nuclear issue. three red cross workers and one
red crescent volunteer are freed by government in syria. three other aid workers are still being held. victory for france's national front after a recent poll put the far right party in the lead in next may's european election. first, and a letter to barack obama, nine american senators from both sides of the aisle have said they are open to suspending the implementation of new sanctions against iran if it suspends uranium enrichment. israel's prime minister says that easing pressure on iran over its nuclear program at this stage would be an historic mistake. the comments coming a day before western powers begin a fresh round of talks with tehran. the government has already rejected one of their key demands. >> uranium produced in iranian plants will not be shipped abroad for enrichment.
the top nuclear negotiator in tehran said the move constituted a red line that iran would not cross. next we will not allow uranium enrichment to be suspended, not even for one day. the enrichment itself is nonnegotiable. the extent and level of enrichment is negotiable. for various reasons, we will not agree to ship even one gram of uranium outside of iran. >> his comments come before talks in geneva where iranians will get around the table with representatives from the u.s., u.k., france, germany, china, and russia, in a bid to ease the crippling sanctions placed on the country in recent years. western powers are concerned that iran has surplus stocks of uranium enriched 20%. a swift and simple process would take that up to weapons grade uranium, which could be used to make a nuclear warhead. the p5 plus one countries look to cut production in the 12,000
centrifuges currently enriching uranium. secretary of state john kerry said the window of diplomacy was cracking open. the talks are the first since president rouhani this year, seen as a moderate, many believe he will be able to secure a deal with the west after 10 years of stalled negotiations. quick so far, the talks have brought no results because iran's policy has been offensive and aggressive. now, iran's policy is to seek dialogue with the west. but if the west doesn't give a positive response to the approach coming from iran, then iran's return to previous policies will definitely be inevitable. >> tehran has also come under pressure to close the nuclear plant where much of the high- grade enrichment is carried out. moving on to the release of three out of seven aid workers kidnapped in syria on sunday.
according to the syrian observatory of human rights, jihadist are to blame. >> relieved, for fellow aid workers have been set free after more than 24 hours in the hands of gunmen. >> we could confirm they were able to get out. we have not spoken to them yet, but they seem to be in good health and safe. >> red cross staff have been working in a northern city. armed men reportedly opened fire on their convoy. the region is largely under the control of rebel groups, including jihadist fighting to oust president aside. according to syrian state television, terrorists and
rebels are behind the attack. three other aid workers are still held hostage. their whereabouts remain unclear and the ngo demands their immediate release. >> we are here to serve the syrian people. we are delivering water. we deliver food, health, we do a lot of things, and we expect that all authorities respect independence, neutrality, and give us safe passage. >> since the start of the war 2.5 years ago, kidnappings of aid workers have kept rising, hampering rescue operations and aid delivery. at least 22 volunteers run the syrian arab red crescent have lost their lives. the u.s. accuses both sides of war crimes, including targeting ambulances and preventing medical assistance. to russia, were more than 1500 people have been arrested in a raid targeting migrant workers. this after moscow was rocked by some of its worst rioting in years.
it was sparked by the killing of a young russian man, allegedly by a muslim migrant. >> rounded up, searched, and arrested, over 1000 migrants were detained in moscow on monday after anti-migrants -- riots broke out over the weekend. thousands took to the streets in protest after the murder on thursday. any believe he was stabbed by a foreigner, prompting a wave of anger directed at non-russian citizens. outrage echoed by the far right fringes of society. >> this was done to provoke the russian people. i'm not saying let's crush them. this is what they want, by provoking us. >> russian authorities have created dozens of new detention camps, where some migrants are held indefinitely, while simultaneously carrying out a whites gail campaign of raids, arrests thomas and eventually, mass deportations. in recent years, deportation has
been a point of contention. tensions between russians of slavic origin and muslims from the northern caucuses are common. many migrants say they are the victims of racism. >> there are migrants everywhere around the world. there is not a single country that doesn't have migrants. so i don't know if the state should decide whether to drive migrants out or allow them to stay. i don't know. they need to decide. it's not our decision to make every >> undocumented migrants account for an important sector of the russian economy. it is estimated over 3 million people are working illegally in the country, often in low-paid or menial jobs. >> british police are questioning for men this monday over an alleged terror plot. all british nationals of various origins occluding pakistani and algerian.
this after a series of raids across london. at one point, special ammunition designed to breach doors are burst tires. scotland yard says all the men are expected of commissioning, preparing, or investigating acts of terrorism. in other news from london, police arrested a man who was carrying a knife as he tried to enter buckingham palace. queen elizabeth wan't home at the time. officers apprehended the man and then found a knife on him. the results show a real desire for change by the french. the leader of the national front won a by election in the southeast of the country, the latest sign the far right party is benefiting from discontent with the ruling socialists and the opposition conservatives. >> a blueprint for future success. that is what the national front can take from their latest
election victory. the party had won this seat in southeastern france back in 2011 before the vote was declared invalid. the second rerun of that election confirms their support in the region. but the far right party still holds only two of more than 4000 seats around the country, a fact seized upon by the prime minister. >> it is a very right wing county. it has already had a national council. let read remind you -- >> the national front victory as part of the bigger picture. it has always suffered in france's to round electoral system because the other parties have worked together to block our right candidates in the runoffs to each. >> the national front one, but it was only a by election. that doesn't mean that everywhere in france there will be others, but the national front is pushing up in the polls. we can put this in context, but
let's not hide the rise of the national front. >> a recent survey of voters but the national front in the lead with four times the six percent support if registered in 2010. far right parties do tend to perform better at a european level. that is the real test for the national front, french local elections in march. next more than a million muslim pilgrims from all around the globe gathered at mount arafat in saudi arabia. they came on foot home of by bus and train, amid tight security and high temperatures. this year, the number is down. the saudi government cut quotas by 20% from abroad over fears of infections from the mers virus which is killed more than 50 people in saudi arabia. that is it from the newsroom
from now. overture france while for the debate. -- over to francois. >> congressional leaders are meeting at the white house with a possible breakthrough insight. nerves getting frayed on day 14 of the partial shutdown of the u.s. government. lawmakers and the president coming up against another deadline, one that has the whole planet worried. if by thursday congress doesn't strike a deal on raising the debt ceiling, the united states could default on treasury bills am a bonds that traders the whole world over assumed our -- our safehouses. we will ask if the fight in washington could really push the u.s. back into recession, and whether john boehner can override a right flank that is ready to stand its ground at any cost. the u.s. president also seems to have leadership issues. barack obama is accused of lacking the stature to stare down the minority.
today in the france 24 debate, whose fault is it? with us is susan guggenheim, of the texas tea party patriots political action committee. thanks for joining us on france 24 debate. the, thank you for being with us. also with us is amin ouazad. and our very own douglas herbert . you can always join the conversation on facebook and on twitter. let's begin with you, douglas. this meeting, as we go to air, already barack obama warning that not everything is going to be sorted out in one go. >> the stalemate is going on. the talks broke down over the
weekend. they didn't really make any progress. a lot of it is down to the personalities and the competing parties in the senate. mitch mcconnell and harry reid, no love is lost between these two men. they have found it very difficult in the past and right now to have a meeting of the minds on this issue, but they are under a lot of pressure. owing into this meeting at the white house, which is going to have all of the congressional leaders on the plus the vice president, plus the president. the clock is ticking down. the democrats since that they have the stronger hea hand. this is all speculation and subjective, that the republicans are ones on the defense at this point. the republicans will be blamed first. they seem to be divided at the moment, having more trouble controlling dissension in their own ranks. >> susan guggenheim, do you agree?
greg's sorry, -- >> i think we always need to come back to the premise of the problem right now. we have a government that is divided for political reasons. there are several parts to the government. we have the president on one side, and then we have the congress, which is also divided in two parts. one of the two parts, the house has the majority of republicans. >> what douglas herbert was saying is that those republicans are divided. >> they are divided, but so far they have stood together for once for the last 15 days, i would say. right now they have not been divided in the position to take,
because they have been elected on a specific agenda and they are trying to respect your commitment. >> so it is true that it has not come to a vote yet. there is another piece of good news to tell you about. it is columbus day in the united states. means even if stocks are missed on wall street, trading is light. if the meeting falls through tuesday when offices are open in the u.s., what will the markets do? >> in august 2011, we had a lot of volatility on the markets, even with the commitment. we have to expect that from thursday night, we will have probably a spike in volatility in the markets in the u.s.
>> what does that mean in plain english? >> it means we will have a large increase in volatility at this moment, as we have seen in august 2011. afterwards, the question is to know how this will be managed by investors. if we have an agreement, and can be managed, but we are seeing at this moment, to converge to a more stabilized situation. if we have no agreement, it will be more and more complicated to manage. >> many have warned of a so- called lay up -- lehmann moment, the unforeseen consequences of the decision to let that wall street investment bank go belly up in 2008. it proved disastrous for the whole world's economy. over the weekend, the head of the monetary national -- international monetary fund
weighed in. >> if there is that degree of destruction, that lack of certainty, that lack of trust in the u.s. signature, it could mean massive disruption the world over. and we would be at risk of tipping yet again into recession. >> a risk of tipping yet again into recession. we are still am a for the time being, the nerves have steadily -- held steady so much. is she right? >> there are two things happening. one of the things is if the u.s. government runs out of money, so the congressional budget office estimates that the government will run out of cash by the end of the month -- there will be a forced reduction in federal spending. that is no federal deficit. greg's today is the 14th of october. the end of the month is a long ways away. >> by the end of the week, we
will run out of the ability to raise funding, using financial markets. then by the end of the month, we will run out of the $30 billion in cash that the u.s. government has to pay its expenditures. >> so if you're watching the show from around the world, you have u.s. treasury bonds. what happens on friday if there is no deal? >> the second problem is that if there is a default on u.s. treasury bonds, -- >> will there automatically be a default on treasury bonds? >> it will be a partial default on most bonds. not all of them. there are multiple treasury auctions happening every week, so that would be a partial default. what it would mean is there is a credit event, which means that u.s. treasury bonds are not considered risk-free anymore. >> a credit event? that is like discomfort at the dentist. [laughter]
>> in economics, what i teach, and people have been teaching economics like that for decades, we use u.s. treasury bond yields as like the risk-free benchmark. now, like last week i was talking about this, and i was telling my students, people have been saying that for decades. now i cannot say anymore that the u.s. treasury bond is risk free, because there is uncertainty. banks will have to offload part of their treasury bond holdings if they cannot see this as a good collateral, something that is risk-free. >> so come thursday night, if there is no deal yet, it is potentially a lehman moment. >> potentially a lehman moment. call it whatever you want. i think it is an important event, yes. >> do you agree? >> at think we are underestimating the risk. it has always been assumed that
treasuries are risk-free. an actual default of the u.s. treasury debt is unprecedented, and nobody is exactly sure of what the consequences will be. which is why the international monetary fund and the heads of all the major banks, the head of jpmorgan chase, warned about this risk. we don't know the consequences. the consequences are probably far more severe than what we are talking about here. >> but so far, the markets have not panicked yet. do they think that everything that is happening on capitol hill is grandstanding and they will pull a rabbit out of the hat at the last minute? >> the market does tend to believe that some solution will arrive before thursday, because there must be a solution. because the consequences are so great. i disagree that the markets have not reacted. we have seen the biggest two- they drop in several months. you have confidence at the lowest level since the
lehman crisis. if this continues for a couple more days, the situation will deteriorate very rapidly. >> when we had the lehman brothers crisis in september 2008, every investor could say we have treasury bonds. that is the safest asset we can have. now, the risk is on this asset. that is why we have to be very clear, if there is no agreement, currently investors say we will have an agreement at midnight. everyone wants to have this solution. if we do not have a solution, what will be the non-risky asset, the safe asset? we don't know.
all the markets are based on this issue. there is one asset which is without risk. what will happen? everything will change dramatically. >> on the political level, for this reason there has been talk of whether or not the u.s. treasury could actually invoke the u.s. constitution to overstep, that is if we were to come to thursday, there was no agreement, note stated authority to borrow money for the u.s. government. could you invoke the 14th amendment, actually a purity of's cure provision, that basically says the u.s. public debt shall not be called into question? it is an obscure clause in that 14th amendment, but people have been talking about it as sort of an is kate hatch, possibly, for barack obama and the u.s. treasury. >> am suggesting obama invoke that 14th amendment, which, as
you say, says the validity of the public debt of the united states shall not be questioned. the president at a press conference last tuesday ruled out the option of railroading through a new debt ceiling limit without congress. quick see start having a situation in which -- if you start having a situation where there is legal controversy about the u.s. treasury's authority to issue debt, the damage will have been done, even if that were constitutional, because people would not be sure. what matters is, what are the people who are buying treasury bills thinking? >> i think he raises a good point there. the whole point is about the confidence of the market. while it may technically be constitutional, it does raise the issue. the u.s. treasury secretary has said if the u.s. goes into default, because there has been talk about various maneuvers he could make, he is questioning
whether that is even legal for him to do to pay debt. it brings up all kinds of legal and constitutional issues. >> we are definitely playing with fire here. we have a situation and we don't know what the consequences will be. there could be a tipping back into recession. susan guggenheim, at what point should we take our foot off the gas and say all right, let's try to strike a compromise? >> i think first we have to put things back into perspective. i think there is absolutely no reason for the default to occur. there are several ways that can prevent it. let's go through two or three of them. first, there is a full faith and credit act that was passed last may him and that would prevent
this to happen by forcing the government to always pay their debt first. that is the first way. second, every day there is a lot of money that is coming in and they have to decide what they pay in what they don't pay just like they decide whether to shut down or not shut down. just like they are deciding these events to keep open for people who protect military -- there is a governmental decision. they decide what they pay in what they don't pay. quick so we have to do this on a day by day basis? >> pretty much, yes. >> is that how you run a government? >> absolutely not. we are trying to scare the
public and blackmail the house into taking in and passing what, according to the right, they have not wanted to vote funding for. so there is no reason it should happen. again, we have a lot of means to avoid this. >> so the republicans are being blackmailed, or is it the republicans themselves doing the blackmailing him about tying the health care bill that passed to the shut down and raising the debt ceiling? >> they have proposed a lot of ways to avoid the shut down altogether. >> so why not take health care off the table? >> because it is essential. the republicans that have been voted into the house to reason, the platform they were voted on
and elected on was to decide obama care. they are trying to exercise their duty, they're right, and their commitment to the american public. this is washington versus the american people right now that we are seeing. >> john pierre what is your reaction to that? >> that is not right. there were a sufficient number of republicans that were willing to vote with the democrats to pass a clean resolution. it is not the republican party, it is a faction of the republican party that is holding the entire country hostage with this suicide type politics. >> we can go back and fourth. repeatedly, day after day, bills have been sent to the senate and reid has refused to put any of
them to the vote of the senate. so we can go back and forth on who to blame. >> can you just tell me why the house did not allow a vote if they actually had a majority? >> they did pass a vote to defund obamacare and to pass everything else, so that there would be no excuse, move on and keep the government open. >> but why did the house speaker refuse a vote on the clean bill? >> because they did not want that vote. they did not want the repeal of a obamacare. >> exactly. >> will take a quick break but we will be back. the debate continues, both here in the studio and on capitol hill. ask my republican friends know very well that this shutdown is for one reason, and one reason only. it is because they want to delay, defined, destroyed health
care for the american people, and they are ready to destroy the american economy unless they get it. like my constituents, i think the gridlock in washington needs to stop. you have any hope of solving the challenges before us, be it this shutdown or a debt crisis. democrats cannot simply refuse to negotiate. you have to be willing to work together.
following them for the top of the hour for you right here on france 24. we are open to suspending new sanctions against iran, so say senior u.s. senators. on the condition that progress is made on the nuclear issue. he talks on tuesday in geneva. three red cross workers and one red crescent worker freed by the government in syria. three other still being held. a vegetable warehouse in moscow closed, hundreds of workers arrested after about -- a violent anti-migrant process there. russia for russians, chanted some demonstrators. i guess you call it. since, germany's bishop of bling flying ryanair to wrong to explain his extravagant lifestyles to the pope. he spent 31 million euros on a look serious new residents, just when pope francis is stressing
humility in the church. though stories and much more for you at the top of the hour, right here on france 24. >> this is the france 24 debate. we are heading toward a thursday deadline for raising the debt ceiling, which as our panel explained, with vince in the u.s. and perhaps the whole world into uncharted territory. with us from corpus christi, texas, susan guggenheim of the texas tea party patriots political action committee. jean pierre larochelle, and felipe wachter, as well as douglas herbert from our international affairs desk also joining us in this conversation. on twitter, some of your reactions. if the government is shut down, why are we still paying taxes?
a lot of people don't really understand how this partial shutdown works. fixed the thing is that the government is shut down, if there is no budget that is voted by the house and by the senate, and that is signed by the president of the united states. part of the republican party is holding the entire nation and potentially the entire world hostage by refusing to put forward a bill that does not include a repeal of the affordable care act, which is called obama care. i don't like that word, actually. but the affordable care act, and the problems, there are about 500,000 federal employees furloughed because of that. that is, they are not working. about 350,000 defense employees are still working because of
extraordinary provisions that allow them to work and to be paid. i think in the long run, both sides have a point that republicans and democrats should agree on reductions in federal spending, because federal debt is unsustainable, but the problem is the decision-making process am a we are moving from one unsatisfactory solution to the next unsatisfactory solution . we should take a longer, broader view of the problem of expenditures and tax receipts. >> a longer, broader view, because if we don't, douglas herbert, we could be going from one crisis to the next. >> that is exactly what barack obama has been saying. politicians have been using brinksmanship again and again to extract a lyrical concessions. -- to extract political concessions. the two parties are steeply
pitched against each other. the game is trying to bring your opponent down rather than trying to seriously debate issues and get to the core of the issues. you could argue fundamentally the problem is in the system itself. the republican house, a lot of those seats are secure seats for certain republican members in the sense that their districts or carved in a certain way. it is called gerrymandering. they carved soap or try sleep -- there carved so precisely that they are locked in their. it is a structurally broken system in that respect, which is why you keep seeing this stalemate getting worse and worse. >> nonetheless, we have been talking about the onus being on the republicans part. a lot believe the onus is also on barack obama. the global collapse could happen, why doesn't obama negotiate?
there is the feeling that obama has not shown the kind of stature needed to count down his opponents to reach a deal. >> there has been a lot of criticism leveled at obama. it was reported last week there is not been such a lack of leaership in a president in exactly that, getting the two sides together. the degree of partisanship in washington is that such unprecedented levels of adversity between the two sides, it is hard for them to come together at this time. he needs to be doing more. i think it is difficult with the political environment as poisoned as it is, but we have no other choice. it is a long-term problem. we are talking about these short-term crises, but it is a
long-term problem that will continue until we get to a solution. the problem is not the debt ceiling crisis at the budget. >> the latest polls show it is still a majority of americans that put the onus of the blame on the republicans for the shutdown. paul krugman, new york times columnists wrote a column about a week ago in which he said "it has been obvious for years that the modern republican party is no longer capable of thinking seriously about policy. party members believe what they want to believe, and any contrary evidence is dismissed as a hoax, the product of fast, liberal conspiracies." that shows the divisions. the two sides are not talking to each other. they are convinced that they both have their own version of the world as it is and her own truth, and never the twain shall meet.
>> the president has already played down whatever talks are taking place now, saying not all issues will be solved. just like in europe, waiting for the german elections to take place, are basically the financial markets will be in standby mode until the midterm elections of november 2014? >> it could be, but i think it is interesting, at this moment, it is just an ideological debate between the tea parties and liberals. what kind of american society do we want? now is the same kind of discussion, but in the middle you have what you call obamacare . it is a tangible issue.
in 2011, it you could discuss and find an agreement. you can say i do not agree totally, but it is for the good of the nation or whatever. in that issue, there is clearly -- one side wants obama care to be dismissed and the other don't. who will stay on the road? who will keep this issue -- in economics we call it a game of chicken. who will jump out of the car first? the point is that maybe on thursday night, who will jump? in that case, it will probably
lose a large part of its credibility. if it is obama, it is a nightmare for the government. if it is republicans, it is a nightmare for them, but for different reasons. it will be very hard to manage after that. >> republican tom richmond morgan griffith of virginia has likened the fight to the american revolution. he said that those fighting the british created the greatest nation and the best form of government, but they did damage to the economy in the short run. in other words, it is a fight worth having. and so what if it does damage to the economy in the short run? susan guggenheim, do you agree with that? >> in fact, i think we are back to the same question and answers. right now, one of the goals of
the big fight is to break the spine of the republicans. of course the majority of the media is on the left. on the other side, facts are facts. the republican house has voted for all the money to fund the government except -- they had the right to withhold the money from programs that they don't agree with. that is a fact. so is obama care good, bad, or indifferent? everybody is entitled to their judgment. but if harry reid and president obama decide to continue to refuse the money to run the government, it is their
responsibility. >> but do you agree that, like that congressman from virginia says, that this fight is the same thing as the american revolution? >> yes, and i agree with him that we are in a game of chicken. the american people, the republicans are under heavy, heavy pressure not to give them like they have done so many times. the last time we had the big debate again, it is coming up again in three days, about reaching the debt ceiling. the president and the senate said bo to raise the debt and we will negotiate and discuss that after. what has happened in the last six months? nothing. so once again we are three days away from that date, and it is important to separate the two
topics. >> a quick question, obama care, a term that people don't like to use. be affordable health care act, was passed by majorities in both houses of congress. it was validated by the united states supreme court. you can argue that the last presidential election hardly was waged on that issue. is there any legality even tying this issue to the government spending and to the government budget? it is a done deal. it is a closed chapter. moveon. >> it is not. obama care is terrible. is increasing our taxes. it is increasing the national debt, increasing government borrowing. there has to be a stop, and this is the time to do it. >> do you think even if you agree that obama care is bad policy for the yes -- for the
u.s., that it is worth jeopardizing the entire world economy over this issue over a law that was already approved by both houses and approved by the supreme court? >> i don't think we are jeopardizing the government and the world. all the money has been voted to fund everything in the government. those are -- those who are blocking and refusing any negotiation, it is not like it was to repeal it. one of the proposals is to postpone it for one year. some enterprises have been exempted. >> all they are asking is that
american people are all treated the same way. they want to be treated the same way. let's postpone this. >> it's not just the base, the republican leadership also saying at this point, now is the time to have this argument. >> it is about stemming the tide of debt and deficits that threaten to wash out an entire generation's opportunities. preserving the american dream. that is what this is really about. the longer we go on settling for maybe next time, for this notion that putting things off until after the next election is ok, the harder this is going to get there it >> that is the chair of the armed services committee in the house of representatives speaking. >> if you look at some neutral reports produced by federal
agencies like the congressional budget office, you actually see that federal debt is unsustainable under a variety of scenarios. it is not like cherry picking your assumptions to get unsustainable projections. it is projected that federal debt will rise to levels above 100% of debt over gdp ratio, which is not sustainable. once debt over gdp ratio reaches 98%, they go to unsustainable trajectories, and they reach a point where we have to borrow to pay the debt service. it is like a household that has to borrow to pay for that service. >> in 2009, the federal budget deficit was 10% of gdp. today there is more revenue coming in. it is down to 4%, the largest drop in 40 years. >> the main point, and we
discussed a lot of sustainability. of course we have improvement, but the question is, it is about reducing expenditures. maybe we could be increasing taxes. it would be simpler than reducing expenditures. that is the main point we have seen out in california. we could start by decreasing expenditures come you can improve the situation. in the u.s., clearly the level of taxation is too low. even describing a rosy scenario, you cannot imagine being on a balanced budget. there is something wrong in the
taxation level. that is a real issue. everyone wants to raise expenditures. >> let me get susan guggenheim in on this. the last election, voters in california had it on the ballot. they voted to raise their own taxes, and the economy there has picked up considerably. do you think taxes are too low? >> i would not take california as an example of what we need to do, but our taxes are unbalanced, that is for sure. right now we have a situation where more than half the population does not pay taxes. that is a very bad situation where half of the population does not have a role in what is going on. they are takers, they don't contribute.
execute are saying the poor are not paying enough taxes? >> half the population of the united states is considered poor. i think maybe we need to redefine what is the poverty level also. the poorest of the united states would be the joy and pride of most of the countries of the world. we have to put things in perspective there. quick's i think the discussion is quite right that the problem in the u.s. is primarily on the revenue side. we have or print revenues at historically low levels. the contribution of four per taxes towards total revenues is at 1/5 of what it was in the 1970s. the level of corporate contributions is reduced dramatically. corporations are paying an
average of 17% of their revenues and taxes. as far as half the country not paying taxes is thrown around quite a bit by people, but it is clearly not accurate. that is just referring to federal income tax. most people are paying payroll taxes and other taxes and paying a much higher rate than mid- romney and other alien errors, managers -- and other billionaires pay. >> i would agree partly when you say that participation to the taxes of corporations is not what it should be. the problem is right now, their protection of big corporations. big corporations don't pay their fair share of taxes. small corporations pay an
abnormal level of taxes. >> i just want to remind you very quickly, a couple of years back, there was a plea to be able to pay more taxes than his secretary. one of the richest man in the country, if not the world. he was pointing out that situation. >> when you look at the level of taxes, i don't think he is generally paying his fair share. >> do you agree that corporations are not paying their fair share of taxes, and when you point out that people on welfare are not paying taxes, it is quite understandable because they cannot afford to pay taxes. you are not trying to say that half of the people are on welfare. >> one final point before we wrap up. we mentioned at the outset that
there are divisions on the republican side. conservative commentator charle krauthammer has deemed the 80 republicans the suicide caucus. most of their districts are in the south of the united states, and we can show you a map where a lot of the dogs there are below -- a lot of the dots are in the south of the united states. are we in a situation right now where there is this sort of -- i guess you could say this new ire , akin to what existed in the 19th century? some people are comparing it to the civil war. >> there was an unprecedented level of decisiveness in the u.s. we clearly sought in the last elections, and you clearly see it in the house and senate. you see this partisanship and division at new levels. as the rest of the people on the
panel have been pointing out, they are just not talking to each other like they were able to in the past. i think it is at that point right now. >> we will leave it there right now. i want to thank our guests for being with us. before we go, say hello to our media watch segment. >> the french broadsheet of record on the pathetic spectacle of washington. that is the headline of the editorial. they call it an ultraconservative element holding the world hostage. they speak about the spectacle unfolding in front of our eyes. it is a very bad omen. they go onto say that even if a last-minute solution is found, has unveiled how dysfunctional the u.s. situation is, pointing out how a minority can hold the majority hostage.
also on the back page today, writing from beijing, she says the asian perspective is quite similar. if you look at the recent summit in indonesia, john kerry was off on the far right, obama being held hostage in washington and center stage of the chinese and russian premier. u.s. off power and u.s. credibility, this is very bad. she points out in that article that the chinese premier, on his way to valley, stopped off in malaysia -- on his way to bali. he became the first to address the indonesian parliament. also in the columbia journalism review, they have been looking at the european papers and how they have been reacting.
a kindergarten fight in a sandbox, the kidnapping of democracy, all over extending health care coverage, which am a european perspective is quite odd indeed. this was in yesterday's wall street journal, it has hit normandy with the d-day memorial site being shut down. this is the pilgrimage of a lifetime for a lot of u.s. veterans coming over to normandy. some of them now being made to climb cemetery walls to gideon. -- to get in. would you like to restart america in safe mode? what about this new yorker cartoon. that, ladies and gentlemen, is the switch that turns government on and off.
we move onto to the other big media stories of the day, the last edition of the international world tribune, it is moving on to become known as the international new york times. you have a lot of pieces explaining, trying to put a positive spin on it, saying papers change names all the time. they are playing on the nostalgia, giving a look act on their website of all the famous front pages going back over the years. this is all part of a survival strategy for the paper that is going global, along the lines of the huffington post, with different editions in different languages around the world. you have here the chinese edition. it is all about survival strategy in making the paper profitable.