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tv   Mc Laughlin Group  PBS  July 23, 2011 12:30pm-1:00pm PDT

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from washington, "the mclaughlin group," the american original. for over two decades, the sharpest minds, best sources, hardest talk. "the mclaughlin group" is brought to you by at&t.
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rethink possible. issue >> the problem we have now is we're in the 11st hour, and we don't have a lot more time left. >> the white house and congressional republicans continue to argue this week over raising the debt ceiling. that is the upper limit on the amount of money the u.s.
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federal government can borrow at this point in time. that limit now 14 trillion 29 billion dollars. the treasury department says the debt ceiling must be raised by august 2nd, one week midnight from monday night. if the ceiling is not raised, the u.s. will not be able to pay its obligations, include defense spending, social security, medicare, medicaid, the stalemate continues to center on taxes. president obama wants a debt ceiling deal to include tax hikes on wealthy americans, but republicans say tax hikes will hurt business investment and risk taking, both of which mean more jobs, sorely needed with the national unemployment rate of 9.2%. but republican senate minority leader mitch mcconnell says president obama wants to make government bigger instead of making investment, risk taking, and a competitive economy bigger. the senate minority leader says
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that mr. obama wants big government, not a big economy. >> republicans have tried to persuade the president of the need for a course correction. but weeks of negotiations have shown that his commitment to big government is simply too great to lead to the kind of long-term reforms we need. >> question. when the negotiations started, president obama was looking for a big deal. $4 trillion in spending cuts and tax hikes. has the big deal turned into a big fizzle, pat buchanan? >> it has not, john. did it for awhile but now it is back, and we're talking about something close to adds 4 trillion deal. the president is deep in negotiations with boehner and cantor, and here are the terms. you raise the debt ceiling, at the same time there are 3 trillion in cuts, and they deal with social security and medicare. there is no revenue enhancement. however, you get together some kind of commission which what it does, john, it drops tax
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rates in return for giving away these deductions, exemptions, allowances, breaks, which in effect is pure reaganism. there's one problem with that. there's a penalty if nothing is done by the end of 2012 the old reagan tax rates for the wealthy go back into effect. john, there's possibly a big deal for this reason. there is weeping and gnashing of teeth in the democratic caucus, in the senate, and in the house over what obama is dealing with boehner. >> boehner's got his problems, too. >> well, boehner -- i think cantor is in on this deal, it appears. of course, this is as of a okay. eleanor. >> well, the republicans have blinked. grover norquist has given a pass on some tax revenue hikes, and so there's suddenly more negotiating room on the revenue side, and the democrats are now going to start squawking, but
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that's the way the deals unfold. i think if after all this they produce a mouse it will be a total embarrassment for everyone. already a lot of damage has been done. the confidence in government in this country and around the world. >> let me get this in. okay, invoking reagan obama, please, give me a break! >> raising the debt ceiling has invoked the memory of the 40th president of the united states, ronald wilson reagan. president reagan raised the debt ceiling during his two- term presidency 17 times. here's an example. in 1987, how ronald reagan badgered a democratic congress, both chambers, senate and house, democratic, into raising the debt ceiling. president reagan then scolded the 87th congress. >> congress consistently brings the government to the edge of default before facing its responsibility. this brinksmanship threatens the holders of government bonds
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and those who rely on social security and veteran benefits. interest rates would skyrocket, instability would occur in financial marks and the federal deficit would soar. the united states has a special responsibility to itself and the world to meet its obligations. >> bruce bartlett, you worked for ronald reagan. how did he handle the situation? >> the debt limit problems? well, he had a big problem, as you just saw, and he also wrote a letter that democrats are using in 1983, begging the congress to raise the debt limit. every president has had this problem. it's often referred to as a tax on the party that happens to control the white house. it's just something you have to suck it up and do. >> did it work for reagan? >> yes. well, the debt limit has always been increased. we've increased it something like 100 times since 1917. >> was it a pay off for the economy that was positive? >> there's not a negative.
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if we don't raise the debt lip it we have very serious problems, and it's absolutely essential that we raise it promptly. >> by 1987 ronald reagan had engineered a robust economic recovery that had generated 8% gdp growth and up to 400,000 new jobs a month. obama, in contrast, has barely achieved 2% gdp growth this year. new jobs range from 2,000 to 18,000 a month. when it comes to handling the economy does president obama have a credibility gap? >> he certainly inherited a mop worse problem. although they both took office at time of recession, reagan took office in an inflationary situation, which made anny nor mouse amount of difference in terms of how the economy copied. obama took office in a deflationary situation that has made fed policy and other policies i am potent. >> the congressional democratic committee is running an ad
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featuring ronald reagan as prototypical of what obama is doing. do you think that's legitimate? >> sure, anything that works to any party is going to be legitimate. but let me read something to you, and you tell me who said this. the fact that we are here today to debate raising america's debt limb sit a sign of the leadership failure. leadership means that the buck stops here. instead, washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. america has a debt problem and a failure of leader shi. americans deserve better. who said that? barack obama. >> when did he say it? >> in 2006. so you know, a lot of people are on both sides of this. >> he was in the senate. >> yes. >> have conditions changed to justify him taking a reverse position now? >> there's never been a big battle like this before. the republicans did this, the tea party said this is the terrain on which we're going fight, and we're going to get budget cuts. >> this is a big issue here. >> the big issue here is that
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we are in an unsustainable deficit position going forward. it is going to break the financial system of this country unless we get it under control. we've had the largest deficit ever, and hat not had the benefits in terms of the economy. we also have the worst unemployment numbers since the 1930's, and they're not getting better, they're getting worse. the 18,000 number that you mentioned, which is the lowest job creation, was just this past month. >> so it's 9.2% unemployment. >> 9.2% in the way they used to calculate in employment. the unemployment number really is 16 to 18%. that's the real unemployment number. >> if we're going to compare job creation, george w. bush was 800,000 jobs negative. the debt ceiling spike happens to be a political football, and generally the congress goes along. whichever party is in power takes the hit. but people now see on both sides there is an opportunity here to get on top of the crisis we have in this country, and that's a good thing. >> hold on, pat. the question is whether or not
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obama speaks out of both sides of his mouth. you heard what mort read, and you hear what he's saying now. you heard what he's saying now. what do you think of the -- at least the verbal inconsistency? >> i think he came into office wanting to do a budget deal at some point, but he was prevented from doing so by the economic crisis, and now i think he's getting back to what he really always wanted to do. so i think he's -- it sounds like he's talk out of both sides of his mouth, but i think he's simply going with changing circumstances. >> is there anything wrong with that? isn't that what a politician is supposed to do, respect the conditions of the times? >> absolutely right. >> the reality, john -- >> what's the rap against obama? >> you're right, he's nixonian. he's moving dramatically to the right. he's got $3 trillion in budget cuts, and there's no tax increase coming but a commission to cut rates -- i mean to reduce rates on taxes, get rid of loopholes. >> can we get out of the algebra, please, and move on?
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exit question. assuming congress and the white housework out a deal, what kind of a deal will it be? a, a big deal, as in $4 trillion of deficit reduction? b, a medium deal, $3 billion. c, a fizzle, meaning a short- term extension that kicks the can down the road. pat buchanan. >> it's going to be between 3 and 4 trillion, and as of now it will be a victory for the republican party. >> that's what i was going to say. the one thing we know is pat will see it as a victory. i think each party will have to give up something, and the leaders, john boehner and the president, will be seen as historic partners in a deal that finally begins to try to deal with the deficit that was handed to this president. >> 3 trillion deal, no tax increases, obama folds on the revenue issue. that gives the republicans cover to vote for an increase. >> right on, right object. 3 trillion. >> in effect, both parties have to agree because it's going to be tough enough across the board that unless you have
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bipartisanship on this thing it will never get done. so it's going to be in the issue two. rupert's humble pie. >> this is the most humble day of my life. >> media mogul rupert murdoch and his son james answered questions this week before members of the british parliament. the murdochs were grilled about accusations of cell phone hacking and bribery. members wanted to know what the murdochs knew and when they knew it. murdoch was asked by members how and why these events occurred. >> i feel that people i trusted, i'm not saying who i don't know at what level, let me down, and i think they behaved disgracefully and betrayed the company and me, and it's the debt to pay. >> the case that most angered the public was that of milly dowler, the murdered 13-year-
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old school girl in 2002 whose phone had been hacked. murdoch himself introduced the milly dowler case. >> absolutely shocked, appalled, and ashamed when i heard about the milly dowler case. only two weeks ago, eight days. >> question is the scandal now contained or is it spreading? mort. >> it's certainly to some extent continuing, let me put in the way, because it's gone beyond the specifics of this hacking case. there is a sense that there is a culture of british journalism that is just always on the attack and at any cost they're going to get some kind of a story or another, and in that sense i think the -- and the role of the tabloids, hugely influential, the sun has 20% of all british adults reading that. >> he's got four tabloids. >> yeah. four newspapers. they're not all tabloids. the sunday times is not a tabloid, and the times is not a
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tabloid. but they have huge influence on that country. they don't have the kind of idealogical -- >> what's the point? >> the point is that he is still enormously influential and they're being very cautious how they deal with him but this has changed the whole attitude of the british minister david cameron said this. >> the parliament hearings began tuesday when british prime minister david cameron was on a four-nation trip to africa. cameron cut short the trip to return to address the murdoch matter before parliament. cameron was asked whether he had discussed with rebekah brooks murdoch's now withdrawn $12 billion bid to acquire the mighty british sky broadcasting satellite system. rebekah brooks was murdoch's chief person and the editor at the news of the world in a, quote unquote, personal friend of the prime minister. >> that is why rebekah brooks was quite able to say at the house of commons yesterday that
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there wasn't a single conversation that coul taken place in front of the select committee. >> question. is cameron insulated by the fact that rupert murdoch and rebekah brooks were also extremely close to the labor party's prime minister, gordon brown? >> no. >> no. >> no. >> especially because gordon brown has come out and said that his medical records were hacked into for a young son with cystic fibrosis. besides, this linked account are the ones that are occurring right now. cameron is acting as though his government could fall. he called for a very strong investigation. i think he will probably eat pie, but he's on very shaky ground. >> let put -- >> my thoughts, please. he's in a coalition government with a liberal party, and they're like two scorpions in a bottle. so tin treeing over there is really -- >> john, here's the key thing. first, i think the murdoch
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papers, some of these other newspapers that are non-murdoch may have done similar things. that will be helpful. secondly, the key question is does this jump the atlantic, where rupert murdoch's got the wall street journal, the new york post and fox news. murdoch's enemies are trying to dig up anything that connect some crime over there while they say the individuals are over here. that means it disqualifies them from having television stations. >> it will connect? >> i think they're trying to bring it across the atlantic, and i think it may succeed in a minor way. >> there are two congressmen, and they both want hearings. >> john, the fbi is looking at it, the justice department. you can bet every -- >> if there are hearings in the congress this is going to take awhile to develop and good away. >> the issue is whether or not there's a criminal offense, and a criminal conviction in england, at which point it's going to affect the ability to own stations. >> go ahead. >> you cannot in the united states own tv stations if there's a criminal conviction. if fox or news corp is held to
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have a criminal conviction it will threaten this particular situation. i don't believe that will happen, but that's certainly a risk. >> the empire is at risk. >> as far as cameron is concerned, i want to make one point. murdoch's people met with cameron 26 times in one year. that's what makes him vulnerable. >> your thoughts. >> i think it's important to understand that newspapers in britain play a very different role than they do here, because you don't have paid political advertising. you cannot run for office in britain without the support of a major newspaper chain. everybody needs murdoch's support. i think that eventually this is going to fade away. >> do you remember the phase willful blindness in connection with enron crimes? >> yes. it's looking the other way. >> do you think -- willful blindness will obtain in the case of prosecuting and perhaps convicting rupert? >> they may try. >> and his son. >> they may try.
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>> willful blind sentence. >> i don't think rupert has any -- hold it. i don't think rupert, as of now has any kind of criminal liability whatsoever. the people have a problem are below him. >> when you have a hot story, the editor, the people above say, how did you get that? it's diagnose to be very difficult to insulate the people at the top if these allegations prove true. >> let's see if we can >> thank you columbia, challenger, discovery, endeavour, and our ship atlantis. thank you for protecting us and bringing this program to such a fitting end. >> before daylight thursday morning, atlantis, the u.s. space shuttle, returned to earth. this landing brings the curtain down on the nasa space shuttle, a 30-year program. it began with nasa's first shuttle launch april 12th, 1981, 30 years ago. last year president obama gave nasa a new space challenge. launching american astronauts
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on space exploration journeys to asteroids and eventually to mars, all to be engineered through the private sector. nasa will provide limited seed money to the private sector. >> so the point is what we're looking for is not just to continue on the same path. we want to leap into the future. we want major break-throughs, a transformative agenda for nasa. >> the space private sector is not wasting any time picking up where the u.s. space shuttle left off. for example, a california co space shuttle left off. for example, a contract worth cp billion. space ex has developed a capsule called dragon and a rocket called falcon 9. private sector companies like space spa are keeping nasa alive and in space. president obama hopes that partnering with the private for
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greatest space fearing nation, as president kennedy termed us. >> question. sat good idea to outsource american space exploration by giving nasa contracts to the private sector? i ask you bruce. >> yes, i do. the important thing about nasa was manned space flight, which adds enormously to the cost. you can do a lot of stuff on the cheap, and we ought to be doing it. >> right, they farmed out the heavy lift capacity, and while it would be lovely if the government had all the money to fund it themselves, the money is not there, and this is the only way to keep space exploration going forward. >> are we supposed to go to the moon and colonize the moon? wasn't that part of the deal? if we don't do it, the chinesel you know that. >> i tell you what, why don't we wait for the chinese to do it, then we'll figure out where we want to go. they'll
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the fact is the financial crisis and the recession were not the result of normal economic cycles or just a run of bad luck. they were abuses, and there was a lack of smart regulations. so we're not just going to shrug our shoulders and hope it doesn't happen again. >> the consumer financial protection bureau, the cfpb. that's how president obama intends to prevent another great recession. the new cfpb mandate is to protect consumers by preventing unfair, did he creptive, or abusive business practices. the bureau will oversecret card companies, mortgage lenders, and lending banks. president obama says that instead of going to existing oversight entities, the federal trade commission, the federal deposit insurance corporation, or phepbt the department of housing and urban developmentment, the cfpb will be a one-stop shop for consumer protection. >> we cut the bureaucracy and
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put one consumer watch doing charge with just one job -- looking out for regular people in the financial system. >> but conservatives say the cfpb is bfb -- bad for business. the u.s. chamber of commerce, the largest business lobby in the world, says the bureau will crack down on businesses. that means fewer choices for consumers. so says the u.s. chamber of commerce. >> we think consumers benefit from having choice, and by yes you reduce the choices consumers have. >> do you think that president obama is more motivated by winning the election two years, a year and a half from now, in the formation of this board which is pro-consumer, and you saw the way he described what he described. do you think it was -- this is a political contriveance more than a substantive idea? >> no, i'm sure there's always
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a small amount of politics involved but there is a real issue, and that is, a lot of the consumers, particularly in terms of credit card loans, interest rates that were overcharged, fees that were added on to those things, we're frankly unaware of the cost that they would be facing, and i have to say an abuts on the part of a lot of people in the financial world. i think this is intended to address that, and i think quite legitimate. >> mort, there's no oversight for this group as things stand now which is why the republicans are fighting it. they want an everysight board, they want the borrow's budget to be set by congressional regulation, and bank regulators to have veto power over anything the cfpb does. isn't that reasonable? >> everything is reasonable but i don't think it is reasonable because in fact it will not work in that format. there really has been some serious abuse going on. if you saw the interest rates and the fees that were charged on the consumers, it really was an outrage, and i think this is a response to that and a
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legitimate response. >> mort is exactly right, and the reason that this agency is popular with consumers is that they know that they don't have a voice in washington. elizabeth warren became that voice, and in more normal times, the president should have been able to appoint her to this commission. it was her idea. she has been creating it for the last year but she can't get nominated because republicans have turned her into the devil lady. she's calm, she's smart, she's nice. >> what's the republican objection to the? >> they want to do away with the agency. they don't want this kind of scrutiny. they want to go back to what they were doing before, and they've done that. >> they think that she is irretrievable left wing. >> she's gone, john. she's in the going to be there. >> i know, but she's made the appointees already to the cfpb, whatever. >> obama has made his appointment but the republicans want to hold it up because they want it to be a board, three
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republicans two, democrats, running it, rather than this single individual. ma after they do their initial good work to be a real burden and weight on business costs more than the benefit you see. >> this goes back to mcconnell. the federal bureaucracy is too big. it's herniating. >> they should sunset them. >> bruce. >> republicans need to kill this in the crib because they're afraid it might become popular in the future. >> would you encourage them to do so on merit? >> no, i think it's a predictions. pat. >> john, after greece, portugal, and ireland, there's another country that's going to have real problems and need a bailout, and it's a member of the euro zone. cypress. >> eleanor. >> elizabeth warren didn't get the appointment to head the consumer commission that she created, but i think it's a
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very good shot that she will run for the senate. >> interesting. bruce. >> rick perry will be on the republican ticket next year because the republicans haven't won an election since 1972 without a texan on the ticket. >> can perry defeat obama? >> no. >> the unemployment rate is going to continue to get worse and this is going to put obama's political future in great jeopardy. >> fannie mae and freddie mac mortgage giants will stay in existence but congress will reform them. bye-bye! 
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