tv [untitled] CSPAN June 23, 2009 1:30pm-2:00pm EDT
>> i wish we had a stronger president internationally. and his biggest push was health care, health care, health care, i don't think that's the main concern of the country right now. >> host: the president is creating a white house counsel, he will sign an executive order on that today. to cape canaveral in florida, carol on our democrats' line. >> caller: hi.
i'm very disappointed that obama did not make a statement about the treasury bond situation, the 1.34 billion that we can't decide whether they're fake or stolen. and i am amazed that there's no reporter that asked that question. che leads me to believe that the questions are filtered. this has been a hot topic on talk radio. but, you know, and i think there has to be a statement made about this. it's absurd that it's been almost a month and we can't decide, you know, and it's just very interesting that the amount is the tarp amount, and there needs to be a statement made about this. >> host: the only question the president got about the financial situation was about the federal reserve and about ben bernanke saying that the president did support the fed chair bernanke saying also that the federal reserve could have done a better job in anticipating systemic risk in the markets. next up is virginia, frank on
our independents line. hi. >> caller: hi, sir. this is really the first news conference where i thought the president just seemed at ease and handled himself quite well. i really was impressed with his, the way he dealt with the reporters. and then the other side is the reporters, i guess, are all part of the white house press corps, i think. >> host: well, most of them are, yes. >> caller: and i do think that -- this is what i thought. i said to myself, gee, it's like the white house press corps is like they act as if they're in a cocoon. i think we'll probably know more when, when this gets analyzed. >> host: well, tell me what you mean specifically by cocoon. one caller mentioned they hadn't
asked about north korea, another said they didn't ask about treasury bonds, explain what you mean by cocoon. >> caller: what i mean is they're encapsulated with the thinking that goes on inside the beltway and maybe a little bit outside the beltway that, in other words, if there were a reporter there from, say, nebraska or ohio or from some other places you might get some different questions. that per se does not bother me that he was asked, not asked a question about this or that. but i just think, you know, and i watch the washington journal and, you know, that, i get a lot of news from that. but overall i thought it was, i really thought he did real well. >> host: frank, thanks for the input. next is san antonio, texas, katz run on our republican line.
hi. >> caller: hi, how are you? >> host: fine, thanks. >> caller: i must say i've never been impressed with him. i think a person who never handled anything as a manager is kind of winging it, and i think it's unfortunate for our country. i think a person that walks in and gets voted for the economy should leave everything else aside until he recovers the economy. i don't believe that he is genuine when he tells us that he really wants to work on things. i think he came in with a preset agenda, and he is carrying it out, but it's not the agenda of the people, it's the agenda of obama. he should concentrate on doing what he said and what he got voted for which is to do everything that he can to help the economy. we all knew that the stimulus thing was not going to work. it wasn't meant to work. you know, we got robbed as a people, and we should demand that that stop because it's not going to make any difference. he did not mention that there were sources that said that if the stimulus didn't go by, that
we would be better off. i think this president is taking our country in a very bad way to a very bad end, and i just pray that we're able to make it after he's gone. >> host: next up from billings, montana, on our democrats' line, this is carol. hi. >> caller: hello, how are you? >> host: fine, thanks, go ahead. >> caller: i would just like to make a remark about president obama this morning. isn't it refreshing to have a man that is knowledgeable and can answer questions intelligently no matter what the question is? aren't we fortunate that we did not end up with a mccain administration? we would be in the same boat that we were in for the last eight years. we've got a president that's trying to pull us out of a hole that the republicans have dug and dug ask dug. and all we can get out of them is the party of no with no intelligent answers or advice to help the country along.
>> host: a few more calls here, a look at the president from just a new minutes ago in his 55-minute or so news conference. of course, we'll give you a chance to see it again later in our program schedule and online as well, c-span.org. miami, florida, next and this is marie -- excuse me, marie is here on our independents' line. welcome. >> caller: hi. first of all, i wanted to say that i have never been as involved in politic as i am right now during this administration, and i think it's a great thing that president obama is always keeping the people informed by his new, his news conferences. and i think if we just gave him a little bit more support because we have to remember that he's only been in office for a little less than six months, and rome was not built in one day. and there is a lot of issues, and i think it's great that he is trying his best to address
every single issue important to americans and all around the world. >> host: lots of questions in this news conference about iran, the associated press reporting today protesters staying off the streets of tehran as troops in riot gear patrol the city to prevent gathers. here is peach tree city in georgia, alex on our republican line. >> caller: hello, good afternoon. i had my call before, i'll try not to be too nervous. >> host: welcome, glad to have you. >> caller: i am a republican and have not supported barack obama in his election bid, but i've been very much in favor of most of his initiatives. i think he has a very common sense approach. i was upset a little bit today, though, on one of his answers regarding health care when one of the reporters tried to nail him down about the problem with employers purchasing health care
for their employees and them seeing something cheaper for them in going, in switching to a government plan and thereby not the market force operating, but because there is no market force. that's one of the big problems, there's no direct consumer in health care. but that, in fact, a government program could obsolete all other options. and he chose two answers to that question that were upsetting. one was that he said those other people who support free markets and think they can work which kind of made me take a step back that he would not put himself in that category, and second, he went around the issue again. he didn't answer the question directly. he just went back to the old thing that in a market the one
that is best should win if market forces work. but everybody knows that the problem is we don't have a direct market, and he really, he really failed to answer that question when he was asked very, very clearly. so as much as i do support his initiatives, i can't support him constantly sidestepping direct issues and the real truth. so i just had to say that. >> host: well, we welcome your come plants. more -- comments. more later on, that caller from georgia mentioning health care. debate continues, mark-up sessions continue on capitol hill. the senate health committee coming back in at 2:30 eastern to resume their mark-up session. u.s. senate coming back in here on c-span2 to gavel back in at 2:15 eastern, we'll have that live for you. senator john mccain joined us on this morning's washington journal, health care among the issues, also iran and north korea. here's part of that half hour
long segment. >> host: senator john mccain, good morning, sir, thanks for being with us. >> guest: thanks, steve, it's nice to be back, and best regards to brian lamb. many people have said that we were separated at birth because of our resemblance. he's done a great job and so have you all all these years covering the capitol in a dispassionate and objective fashion. >> host: we're delighted to have you back, let me begin with the situation in iran. the president's response, has it been appropriate enough? >> guest: no, it's not been enough. the president is having a full-blown press conference later on today, and, i mean, no one could watch the film of that young woman dying in the streets of tehran without being deeply moved, so i would imagine and anticipate that the president will come out more strongly today. >> guest: what advice would you give him? >> guest: follow the example of our founding fathers who
declared that all of us are endowed with certain inalienable rights. senator webster, daniel webster who when the greeks rose up against the turks in 1823 and i'd love to get you the full quote where he said of course we have, it's our duty to stand up for people who are struggling for freedom. and ronald reagan when he gave the evil empire speech, nathan sh ran sky said that it spread through the gulag like wildfire after the berlin wall came down. people behind the then-iron curtain said you were our hope and our beacon. that's what america is, and it's interesting, of course, to see that the prime minister of england, the chancellor of germany and the president of france have been far stronger in their comments. and let me clear up again,
steve, i'm not for sending arms, i'm not for interfering, i'm not for anything except for what we have done throughout our history, and that is lend our moral support to people who are literally sacrificing their lives for the fundamental belief that they ought to be able to peacefully disagree with their government without being beaten and killed. >> host: in the five months since he has been in the white house, have you had a chance to have private conversations with the president? >> guest: not private, i've had a couple of meetings where there's only one or two other people in the room, but not just the two of us, no. >> host: how's he doing? >> guest: well, i think he has succeeded in getting his agenda through. unfortunately, it's not a change in the climate in washington. what it is, and it's been done for a long time, it was done by republicans, you pick off two or three republicans, and you get your legislation passed. that's, that's been effective, but it's not a change in the
climate. but most of all i think he's mortgaged our children's futures. i think he has committed generational theft by laying this incredible deficit on, on the american people and futuregen rations. we can't -- you just had sitting in this chair one of the smartest economists in the world. he'll tell you you can't spend money like this without sooner or later paying a heavy price for it. who thought five months ago we'd own automobile companies, world's largest insurance company, banks, financial institutions, etc. , and yet there's no way out. and despite rhetoric, we just passed through the senate and the house a bill that was supposed to be for afghanistan and iraq, had a billion dollar and it's closer to 3 or 4 billion dollar cash for clunkers. what does that have to do with iraq and afghanistan? nothing.
it has everything to do with the special interests. and so i'm very worried about the economic impact of this spending on the future of america. that's my great concern and, frankly, our national security around the world whether it be north korea, iran, registrations with russia -- relations with russia, in our own hemisphere, there's many challenges. >> host: we'll get to those issues in a moment. richard is on the phone from newport, north carolina. good morning, richard. >> caller: good morning, sir. thank you, senator mccabe, for your -- mccain, for your service. i would like to ask one thing -- a couple things, really, but first, when are you going to stand up as a conservative, get some guts in a republican party up there and stand up to these stupid people for wasting our money up there? and second, when are you going to pass a bill that at the end of your first term you don't get
a full retirement or whatever you've been getting up there while the rest of us people out here have to work 30, 40 years just to get a half of what we were getting when we were paid? >> guest: well, richard, i have been standing up, my friend, i'd be glad to provide you with a record of that. i've fought against the stimulus package, i fought against this budget which is simply out of control, and i will continue. but also i will continue to provide alternatives to the american people in the path and direction that i think we should go. for example, on health care i still think we should remove the employer-provided tax benefits to the employees and give every american family a $5,000 refundable tax credit. rather than have a government health care system which is the path that we're headed on. it's hard to pass bills if you don't have a majority of votes,
but i understand your frustration. sometimes i feel it. the american people's approval of the way we do business here is very low, and i'll continue to fight and serve the country as best i can. >> host: ken is joining us from greens bro, north carolina. good morning. >> caller: good morning. i have a couple things here. the first is why is government continuing to spend money on health care instead of fixing the problems of medicare and medicaid before spending this money? >> host: cep, we'll come back and follow up on your second point. senator? >> guest: well, the problem is that medicare and medicaid, the costs are out of control. the original estimate when we passed medicare was a very small -- i've forgotten now, i'm sure -- >> host: $500 million back in 1965. >> guest: now it's $105 billion, i think, is the number? it's that the costs are completely out of control, and
the key to it is is competition. and better ways of providing health care as opposed to expansion of an out-of-control system that is now one-fifth of our gross domestic product. go ahead. >> host: ken, your follow up? >> caller: the second point was in view of the favoritism that the unions have gotten with gm and now with the possibility of taxing on health benefits, i find it real interesting that $1.5 trillion plus or minus a little is only going to cover 12 million people with health insurance which is very conveniently, roughly about the same number of illegal aliens we have in the country? what are your thoughts on that? >> guest: well, i think part of that 47 million, as i understand it, are people who are in this country illegally, but perhaps it's rell -- relevant to our
conversation that last week there was a congressional budget office estimate report, and by the way, the congressional budget office is generally nonpartisan, that showed that the plan that we are considering in the senate under, in the committee, the help committee that i am under would only insure one-third of the uninsured and would have a cost of a trillion dollars just for that one-third of the 47 million. in other words, 16 million people would receive insurance. if you do the math if we want to insure everybody, that's $3 trillion. and so far the democrats who are running this without any consultation from us as far as writing the bill is concerned have not come up with any proposal as far as whether employers would be required to provide health insurance for their employees and what the so-called government option is. so here we're looking at a bill that only insures a third of the
uninsured and costs a trillion dollars for that one-third. this is, this is quite an interesting 'em bowl owe that we're in. >> host: you have been to iraq on how many occasions? >> guest: you know, i've lost count, but i would imagine it's eight or nine times that i've been to iraq. >> host: there's an e-mail from james jennings: host: is an e-mail -- guest: >> guest: well, private contractors issue is being addressed whether it be people who are building things or whether it be the security forces that are provided to -- including members of the iraqi government. i'm sure that there are jobs that need to be created in iraq. i am pleased at the economic progress that they've made. they've just recently upped
their oil output. they've just been through several years of a terribly savage war, and it's going to take a while to rebuild their economy. and they make a lot of mistakes, and when they do things that don't particularly please me from time to time, but they are a functioning democracy. and by the way, i think they might have had the fact that their democracy might have had an effect on their neighbors in iran that also want that same kind of freedom. so there's a lot of problems in iraq, there's still corruption, there's still assassinations going on, there was yesterday or the day before there was a huge car bombing that killed, like, 100 people, so they're a long way from there, but they're also a long way from saddam hussein who bloodily repressed anybody who ever put their head up, so we're pleased with the progress we've made there. >> host: we're talking to senator mccain in his fourth term, and you're seeking a fifth next year? >> guest: yes.
>> host: next is bonnie from middletown, new jersey. good morning. >> caller: good morning, and good morning, senator mccain. to start off you spoke about deficit spending? well, deficit spending, there's a difference between investing in the nation and what you referred to as private interests. and during reagan's time we went from being the biggest lender nation in the world to the biggest debtor nation in the world. now we're trying to invest in our people. but my main issue is your view on health care. 90 percent of bankruptcies are due to catastrophic illnesses, and with unemployment rate creeping towards 10 percent, that's only going to become more so. you're offering a $5,000 credit, tax credit towards health care? well, my insurance costs $20,000. so -- collectively between my employer and myself. how is $5,000 going to help? and the cost of health care is
due to the private interests. it's the health insurance companies and -- that are driving up the costs with a private, with a public plan and certainly with a single-payer public plan that would be eliminated, and i don't understand your reluctance to a public plan if you're so concerned about competition. isn't that what helps the economy and regulates our market? we would be offering an option that would cause competition. >> host: and, bonnie, we have this tweet from susan golden along the same lines saying that the key to health care is competition. where has the competition been for 40 years? senator? >> guest: that's why one of the major cornerstones of my campaign was to reform health care. look, everybody knows it's broken. if you need a $20,000 health insurance plan, you are in a very expensive market. bonnie, to start with the shot
that you took at ronald reagan, i think if you look it up, you'll see that when he took office in 1981 unemployment was in double digits, interest rates was 21 percent, and inflation was double digit as well. because of the excesses of the previous years, and we went through some tough times, and then went through the longest period of economic growth in the history of our country. so if -- i'm very proud of the record that ronald reagan had not to mention winning the cold war without firing a shot. we want to give every american refundable tax credit so that they can go out across state lines, which they can't now, and shop around for the health insurance that they need and want that would take care of their family. now, according to the statistics that i have a $5,000 refundable tax credit would get them an affordable and adequate health insurance policy. you are in that bracket which is
very generous health insurance plan. and it's a long story, but at the -- during world war ii when we had pricing wage controls, employers provided free health insurance -- health benefits and increased them, and they were tax-free. if you take away the tax credit for it, if you put in a taxation for health insurance if employers provide it and at the same time give every american a $5,000 refundable tax credit, if you do the math, you will find that almost every american family would be able to go out with greater competition and provide, and receive a health insurance that's suitable to them. if you want the government to run health care, you want the government to run automobile corporations, if you want the government to run institutions that are generally more efficient and better run by the private sector with competition
and when big foot government comes in and competes with the private business of america, they obviously have significant advantages and according to the cbo report this plan that's before us would crowd out which means push in private health insurance companies out of business and inevitably lead to government-run health care. i don't think that's what we want. they have it in other countries where they have rationed health care, and there are really great delays in receiving even elementary health care needs such as operations, and that's not what i want for america. if you think that should have a public health care system, i respect you view. i disagree with it. >> host: lynn wants to follow up on what bonnie was saying:
>> guest: i don't think they do. to start with, and second of all it's interesting that when someone wealthy needs health care no matter where they are, they come to the united states to get it. the quality of health care in america is the best in the world. the problem is not the quality of the care. the problem is the cost of care and the inflation associated with care which has to be brought under control. wellness and fitness, prevention, rewarding people for good, healthy behavior, there's a whole range of options. we can exercise them to bring health care costs under control. including what mayo and a number of other health care providers are, and that is payment for an overall treatment, not an individual procedure. so there's a lot of ways we can reform health care and bring the cost down and keep the highest quality in the world without going to a government-run system.
and again, in those countries that have government-run health care systems, they ration health care, and there are delays in receiving some operations. in some cases if you're too old, you just don't get 'em, i am told. so that's not the system i want and, again, i respect those people that want a government-run health care system. >> host: bill is on the phone from memphis, good morning. >> caller: good morning. senator mccain, thank you for your service. you are one of the most honorable men i've ever witnessed on tv. >> guest: thank you, sir. >> caller: we should all be on the level and as square as you, this place would be a lot better. i have a question with north korea. that's a problem. how big of a problem and i wish you were at the helm. that's the only, that's what i would like to know. >> guest: well, thank you, bill. as we speak there is a u.s. ship -- in fact, happens to be
the destroyer named after my father and grandfather that's tracking a north korean vessel that there is published information that may be carrying weapons or technology that are nuclear in nature. now, it's common knowledge in testimony last week in the senate that the north koreans and iranians were working together on nuclear, on the development of or nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles. so north korea does pose a threat in their proliferation of nuclear weapons. the israelis had to attack and destroy a facility in syria that was being built with the assistance of the north koreans. some very serious situations in north korea. now the u.n. resolution is inadequate is the kind of description i can give you because they say that they, that
they, we cannot board one of these ships but follow it into port and expect the people who run the port to have the inspection. well, this ship that we're talking about or at least one of 'em is headed for myanmar. they're not going to inspect the ship and among other things it could refuel and head towards iran or head towards another unfriendly country. so we should in the interest of national security if we know -- and we have intelligence capability -- that a north korean ship is carrying technology or weapons or systems that could endanger the national security of the united states of america, then we should board those ships. >> host: let me ask you about another foreign policy issue. this morning "the new york times" say the news from afghanistan is grim, they're talking about the failing forces from within the country and saying that the taliban must be confronted head on to turn around the war. ordinary afghans must begin to trust their own
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