Skip to main content

tv   Real Money With Ali Velshi  Al Jazeera  May 7, 2015 10:30pm-11:01pm EDT

10:30 pm
tomorrow. there is trouble ahead for hillary clinton. we will take a closer look at the newest allegations that her husband the former president made millions in foreign cash while she was secretary of state. also on the brink - ali velshi got a first-hand look from athens where the economic crisis took a toll in the crucial market. plus, the geography of inequality in america.
10:31 pm
a stunning look at how a few miles geographically can put families worlds away financially, i'm david shuster in for ali velshi, and this is "real money". hillary clinton's path to the white house is not getting smoother, her husband, former president bill clinton says he will continue to receive speaking fees from foreign entityies, and that focuses attention on conflict of interest. it's fuelled by a book released this week claiming that bill clinton hauled in millions during foreign interest during his wife's tenure as secretary of state. and it was higher during the period clinton was at the state department than before she
10:32 pm
arrived and after she left. the book reveals within months of the speeches, the foreign groups and individuals paying for them saw hillary clinton's positions and state department policies change. the allegations that paying bill clinton was an effective way that foreign interests could get favoured policies actions comes amid another piece published in the "business times", the author saying bill clinton accepted more than $2.5 million from 13 u.s. corporations and fraud associations lobbying the state department under hillary clinton. the list include the national retail association, and others paid $200,000 in the 3-month period that they lobbied the state department. once hillary clinton took over dell received $28 million in state department contracts. now, it's true that these
10:33 pm
allegations about greed and conflict of interests come more than nine months before votes will be cast in the 2016 presidential primaries. at this early stage of a presidential campaign, first impressions can be lasting. there's no denying a poll showing 54% of american voters say that hillary clinton is not honest and trustworthy. we spoke with david schroeder from "the business times" who wrote about the payments made and asked whether the payments were made to the clinton or their charitable foundation. here is his response. >> this is the key point here is that this is money going into ostensibly the clinton's personal bank account. money from companies that were actively lobbying hillary clinton's state department for government policies. most of the governments that gave the money gave it to bill
10:34 pm
clinton personally in the same lobbying reporting period that the companies were actively lobbying the state department, and as you alluded to major state department contracts that come out at the other end. >> were these contracts that some companies never received from the state department. that's a key point. these contracts in most case the size were larger and the companies had never gotten contracts from the state department. a marked increase and in some case never getting them before or getting contracts from the secretary of state. >> did you get a reaction from the clintons or dell to the story. >> there was no reaction from the clinton campaign or bill clinton, he declined an interview with "the business times", dell and other companies
10:35 pm
said to us that they paid bill clinton in a way that was separate from their business before the state department that there's nothing to see here. 13 companies that were actively lobbying hillary clinton's state department were paying bill clinton. and again money going into the clinton's bank account, not the philanthropical empire. >> you made clear there's nothing wrong with bill clinton accepting fees for speeches no matter how much he wants to charge. is the issue that at the time he's married to a high-level official, that that's where the conflict of interest may come in? >> yes that's the question where was the line drawn, was there a line drawn. the clinton state department was supposed to have a conflict of interest agreement with the president obama administration to avoid speaking fees for firms that presented a conflict of interest with the state department. you may think that a firm that
10:36 pm
is actively lobbying hillary clinton's state department for various policies it would be seen as a conflict of interest for the firm to pay effectively the clinton family. >> tell us about what some companies were hoping to get and did get from the state don't. >> sure. you have tech cops lobbying on visa reform h1 v. high tech visas, other technology based terms on cyber security and the contracts come into question with firms looking for government procurement contract. somebody on facebook accused of you being a water boy for the kochs. do you have an agenda representing the kochs conservative interest. >> it's the first time we have been accused of that. our reporting focussed on jed
10:37 pm
bush chris christie and led to an investigation of chris christie in new jersey. we looked at hillary clinton rahm emanuel. the key is to remember that real journalism, not partizan journalism looks at all candidates and is willing to scrutinise them and that's what we are willing to do at "the business times". >> what do you make by the clintons that they say there's no smoking gun no evidence to link any payments to the clinton or the foundation with influence over hillary clinton. >> i'm at a loss for that. in the sense that we know that money went into the clinton family effectively its personal bank account to bill clinton. and in many cases contracts from the state department came out. if you are going to say there's no suchling as corruption -- such things as corruption unless you have an email saying
10:38 pm
"give me the money, i'll give you the contract", that can be your opinion. but that wasn't the case with george bush, alleged to take money from oil companies, democrats saying it's a problem. suddenly it's not a problem to democrats, and there's hypocrisy there. for journalists, we have to look at the money going in and policy going out. and shine the light on them so voters can make an informed decision. >> is that what makes emails leaked, that there may have been information in hillary clinton's emails about some of this? >> certainly. i mean, look, any time that a government official is hiding something, you have to ask the question why are they hiding something. i have no information to say that there were or weren't emails about various emails coming into the clinton foundation or policy coming out.
10:39 pm
if they don't exist, if they are gone not open to public scrutiny, yet you have the money, the evidence indisputable of money, policy and contracts going out. the question is why were those emails omitted. i'm not saying there was something in the emails it's definitely a question worth asking. >> david schroeder. coming up, ali velshi reports from greece where he's found rock-bottom real estate prices thanks to a major financial crisis. short of money, faced with tax hikes. many greek owners are desperate to off-load but find few willing or able to buy their homes.
10:40 pm
10:41 pm
10:42 pm
. >>. >> we don't have the mentality to pay taxes. >> our taxes are not being put to good use. >> this is not just now, it's a legacy left from our parents. >> reporter: the clock is ticking on a financial time bomb that is greece. if it explodes greece could limp out of the eurozone and financial market could suffer pain. monday is looking like a moment of truth for european finance minister meeting in brussels at issue, whether they'll follow through and give greece 8 million in bailout. greece is desperate for the money, because on tuesday it has to pay the international monetary fund 850 million, and it owes creditors another $9 billion. a financial squeeze creating a huge conflict for the left wing government led by alexis
10:43 pm
tsipras. he won after railing against austerity, but the greek creditors, i.m.f. and the bank demonstrated greece cut debt and pensions and raise taxes to boost revenues. the need to raise money forced the cyprus government to back away from earlier promises to get rid of a controversial real estate tax, a tax many citizens came to hate. four years ago after the major bailout the government imposed a broad property tax. it has become permanent and led property tax revenue to sky rocket. last year, for example, the tax raised $4 billion for the greek government. but created a burden for creek home owners. many of them kont afford to -- cannot afford to pay and lost their houses to foreclosures it's a reason a real estate market is in trouble. >> home prices plunged by 13%. last year they fell about 6.5%.
10:44 pm
many greek citizens are short of money, following recession, are desperate to sell their homes. they are not finding many buyers. some abandoned their home. ali velshi saw a troubled state of greece's real estate mark. he talked to the president, the association of athens real estate ate and a wealthy neighbourhood in a home that's been on the market for several years. >> this is a beautiful house. it needs repair but why is this house vacant for so long? >> translation: it's a very large house. in a villa, in a high end neighbourhood. it's 900 scare meter on a loft that is 1500 square meters. this is a neighbourhood where a crisis has been hurt the most. the house was built 15 years ago, and has been vacant for
10:45 pm
five years. it has not been maintained. >> reporter: how much was the house worth before the crisis how much would it sell today? >> 6 million, now 2 or 2.5. >> reporter: so 2. million for a house that is 6 million, sounds like a good deal. why has no one bout the house >> translation: greeks can't afford the money. if they good we cannot afford how much tax the government will pay. they haven't announced the new prices, there's state tax, and that's the burden for most. what was the situation for the people that lived in the house. >> translation: prior to the crisis a family of four lived here. due to the crisis the owner went out of business. so we cannot afford to upkeep the house and pay the real estate taxes or declare the
10:46 pm
income the government was saying the opener was supposed to have. >> reporter: the government says a lot of rich people are avoiding taxes. but you think the real estate tax is bad. . >> translation: in a time like this when we have trackicly no growth and are unemployed we make a lot less money than they used to you can't afford to have taxes. this qualifies people buying or living in places like this. >> i know you said it's hard for a home owner to avoid taxes. until changes that the government made what are some of the ways that home owners avoided paying taxes. >> translation: right now you cannot avoid paying taxes. ultimately the government will end up repossessing the house from you. until then in the past few years, what will people do to avoid paying taxes? >> translation: when first the
10:47 pm
tax was imposed, it was collected in an effort to make sure it would get paid. now some people disconnected the electricity or the utility company cut it off. these people cannot escape paying the taxes. ultimately the debt must be paid to the tax offices and owners must pay, no matter what. >> reporter: tell me about the taxes on houses before and now. >> translation: the problem lies in the fact that for 10-15 years people paid next to nothing in property taxes. in the first few years real estate taxes went up drastically an a new law came in effect where greeks have to prove they make a certain income it stay in homes in residential areas like this. if they do not have the income you have to pay taxes based on a supposed income. >> reporter: we heard stories
10:48 pm
people covering a swimming pool pretending it was under construction or was smaller than it was. did these things happen to a void taxes, and when did it start? >> back in the day greeks were taxed on the living space of the house, so basements were excludes houses, car garages, patios. right now that's not the case. the entire footage of a house has to be declared. because if it is not. you can't sell the place. you don't include the areas and pay the penalty for this, if you don't, you can't legally sell the house worlds away financially. coming up, the geography of opportunity in america.
10:49 pm
10:50 pm
when it comes to engaging inequality in america, some of the widest gaps come down to geography. the measure of america compared average well being to americans
10:51 pm
and broke down the data to the level of congressional districts. the wider gaps occurred. researchers gave the 18th congression 52 ranked out of 10. well being in some is ranked out of 10. the gap between the two districts is the widest making california the moment unequal state. the well being rankings take into a town average life expectation si earnings and access. based on the criteria some of the top congressional districts in terms of wellbeing are metropolitan areas marked in black, like los angeles, new york city san francisco and washington d.c. bottom districts are rural areas, colours here and in the south. a co-authored report
10:52 pm
"geographies of opportunities", talks about financial districts, and ignoring health and education give misleading saying nools on how people are doing. wealthy districts have better access to health and education, what is different about your study? >> you would be surprised that the metrics don't always march in lock stock together. so there are parts of country and drops that are doing well that don't earn that much. what are some of the those communities. i think a lot of americans don't know that latinos don't live whites by four years. latinos on average have lower levels and tended earn less. >> is that attributable to less smoking and drinking. in part.
10:53 pm
latinos out live whites because they binge drink and smoke at lower levels. the other interesting thing is they tend to have family support and social cohesion that protects them in terms of health despite the fact that they'll we worried. there are laws allowing the poor distribute to take funds in wealth communities. the consensus is that these programs have not made a dent. what is the solution. they spent 6-7 years wrangling over health care focussing on doctors and medicine yet the bang for your buck in terms of a longer healthier life is more to do with conditions in which we are born work and grow old. the solution is vesting in neighbourhoods and communities to cover conditions for a long
10:54 pm
and healthy life. >> you mentioned the disparities, investment in wealthy communities. we saw that everywhere. you have manhattan, which has a lot of money. and just a few miles away in the bronx. it's a different story. there seems to be a disparity. when we ranked every congressional district there's 436, the biggest differences are not between states or one part of the country or another. within states, and sometimes like you said about new york city within small geographic areas. what we say is this work is for policy makers philanthropists or business leaders, to understand where are the areas that are surging ahead and doing well, parts of thriving america, and where are the parts that are struggling, and what can we learn in terms of these data
10:55 pm
focussing away from only economic metrics to understand challenges of these communities. surging ahead. that we are trying to learn something from the communities a lot of people in the economic world, financial reporters look at things like inflation, g.d.p. in terms of showing where the growth is. you didn't include the statistics like everything else. why not. >> if we pay attention, overrely on them we get misleading signals. look at the example california number one ranked district. high tech. the very bottom district in the whole country, also in california, around bakers field. that district is an agricultural powerhouse. if you look at productivity it would seem it was doing well. in the central valley, the
10:56 pm
difference is $20,000 much life expectation si is shorter. educational rate is low. it's important. economic measures are very important for how the economy is doing, or how ordinary people are doing, and regarding the people in bakersfield making an average of 20,000. what explains that given there is ample opportunity to work in the agricultural sector. >> exactly, not only that that part of the country is literally the fruit basket feeding us fruits and veg tails. hundreds -- vegetables hundreds of thousands rely on food stamps, what accounts for it number one, investment in education, and poor schools in the area, and less opportunity for completing some education beyond high school which leads to job prospects, and which also often leads to chronic stress impacting people's health
10:57 pm
you compared another part of the country to south-eastern kentucky. you compared to life expectation si in gaza and the west bank. saying it's the same. is that fair. >> i would say it's fair. it's unfortunate, we look at the congressional distribute in the u.s. was the highest longer lines, and the shortest lives. in one place we found people living as long as japan, and in the other, as long as gaza and the west bank. the numbers come from raw data they are object ty, you know analysis of how long people are live. how is it that we can have disparities within the country. what is happening in the places that are living as long as one of the longest lived countries, and what can we learn. >> what is the most important take away for policy makers who look at this and figure out what to do about this.
10:58 pm
>> in the report we give a bunch of recommendations on boosting the index for all americans, and pay attention to those left beyond. in health it is to focus less on doctors and medicine and more on whether kids can play safely, get exercise whether communities are walkable whether there's fresh fruit and vegetables and whether jobs are economically secure good wages and conditions and predictable schedules, or none of those things, which means that people live with a toxic stress which is bad for the heart and blood vessel. >> sara co-chair for measure of america. fascinating study, we appreciate you sharing with us. next week - the team behind "real money" is proud to bring you a new programme on al jazeera "ali velshi on target
10:59 pm
itself, don't miss it. 10:30 eastern, starting monday. that is our show for today. i'm david shuster in for ali velshi. for everyone here at "real money", thanks for watching. >> we're here to fully get into the nuances of everything that's going on not just in this country but around the world. >> if there were no cameras here, would be the best solution. >> this goes to the heart of the argument >> to tell you the stories that others won't cover. how big do you see this getting? getting the news
11:00 pm
from the people who are affected. >> people need to demand reform... >> we're here to provide the analysis... the context... and the reporting that allows you to make sense of your world. >> ali velshi on target only on al jazeera america not justified - a federal appeals court reveals a secret program collecting millions of phones is illegal. is the programme needed to keep america safe. counting the votes. the u.k. has its close egeneral election in decades. congressional review - a rare bipartisan vote in the senate gives congress the power to weigh in on an agreement