tv Tonight From Washington CSPAN December 9, 2010 8:00pm-11:00pm EST
mr. reid: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent to withdraw my motion to concur in the house amendment to the senate amendment to h.r. 4853 for baucus amendment number 4727. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent the call of the quorl be terminated. is every without objection. mr. reid: mr. president, i move to concur in the house amendment to the senate amendment to h.r. 4853 with the reid-mcconnell amendment number 4753 and that amendment be considered read. the presiding officer: without objection. the clerk will report. the clerk: the senator from nevada moves to condition occur in the house amendment to the senate amendment with an amendment numbered 4753 to h.r. 4853.
mr. reid: i ask for the yeas and nays on that, mr. president. the presiding officer: is there a sufficient second? there appears to be. there is. mr. reid: i have a second-degree amendment at the desk. the presiding officer: the yeas and nays are ordered. mr. reid: thank you, mr. president. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: the senator from nevada, mr. reid, proposes an amendment numbered4754 to amendment numbered 4753. mr. reid: i ask the reading be waived of that amendment. i have a cloture motion at the desk. the presiding officer: without objection. the clerk will report the cloture motion. the clerk: cloture motion. we the undersigned senators in accordance with provisions of rule 22 of the standing rules of the senate move to bring to a close debate on the motion to c.r. on the house amendment to senate amendment to h.r. 4853 middle-class tax relief act, signed by 18 senators as follows: baucus, lieberman, rockefeller, dorgan, kerry,
whitehouse, pryor, casey, durbin, warner, shaheen, nelson of nebraska, bayh, dodd, conrad, webb, nelson of florida and klobuchar. mr. reid: i move to send it to the finance committee with instruction to report back with the following amendment. mr. reid: the clerk will report. the clerk: the senator from nevada, mr. reid, moves to refer the house message to the senate committee on finance with instructions to report back forth with with an amendment numbered 4755. mr. reid: i ask for the yeas and nays. the presiding officer: is there a sufficient second? there appears to be. the yeas and nays are ordered. mr. reid: i have an amendment to my instructions that is at the desk. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: the senator from nevada, mr. reid, proposes an amendment numbered 4756 to the instructions to the motion to refer h.r. 4853. mr. reid: on that, mr. president, i ask for the yeas and nays. the presiding officer: is there a sufficient second? there appears to be.
mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent that the cloture vote occur monday at 3:00 p.m., monday, december 13 with a mandatory quorum being waived. before the chair rules on this, mr. president, there are some people who need the ability -- anyway, no need to go into detail. for those people who can't get here on time, there will be people getting back here at 5:30, we're not going to cut anyone off. there will be plenty of time for people to vote within reason. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection, so ordered.
a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from vermont. mr. sanders: mr. president, as i think almost everyone knows, president obama and republican leaders have reached an agreement on taxes. it is, in my view, a bad deal, and i think we can do a lot better. tonight i want to speak briefly -- and i think i'll have some other senators join me. tomorrow i intend to be back
here to speak a lot longer about this issue, because i think that this is an issue that the american people want serious discussion about. because, mr. president, i can tell you that representing a small state, the state of vermont, we have received in the last three days thousands, thousands of phone calls from my state and from other states. and what i will tell you is that 99% of those calls was against this agreement. and what i want to do tonight briefly and at greater length tomorrow is to tell you why i vigorously oppose the deal that has been cut and how we have got to move in a very different way if we are going to save the
disappearing middle class of our country. in my view, the american people are against this agreement. they want to hear members of the senate speak out against this agreement, and that's what i will do this evening. now let me tell you very briefly why i am opposing the agreement reached by the republican leadership and president obama. first, at a time when our country has a recordbreaking $13.8 trillion national debt and a cole -- collapsing middle clarks it is unconscionable to me that we could support an agreement that drives up our national debt because we have given huge tax breaks to millionaires and billionaires who don't need it. and here's an interesting irony:
in many cases they are telling us they don't even want it. to the richest people in the world -- bill gates and warren buffet -- have said, thank you, we don't need this tax break. this country has serious problems. use the money on those problems, not giving billionaires a tax break. in my own state, the founder of ben and jerry's ice cream said i would like a tax break, but i don't need it. and you know what? there are millionaires all over this country who are saying the same thing. mr. president, we have been told that the extension of the tax breaks for the rich will go on for only two years. tax breaks for the rich will go on for two years.
maybe that's the case. but i personally don't believe that. i believe that given the political reality that exists here in washington, my guess is that two years from now when this same debate happens again, that these tax breaks for the rich will once again be extended. our republican colleagues have been very clear that they wanted a ten-year extension. hard for me to believe that two years from now they're going to say, two years? that's fine, that's enough, we give up. i don't think so. the difficulty here is that we have a president who campaigned vigorously against extending these tax breaks for the rich, but those tax breaks for the rich are in this agreement. so my fear is that if the president is the democratic
nominee two years from now and he says "trust me, we're going to stop these tax breaks for the rich," i think his credibility might not be too high. so my fear is that in fact if these bush tax cuts for the top 2%, many of whom are millionaires and billionaires, if they are extended over a ten-year period, we are look at a $700 billion increase in the national debt. secondly, mr. president, extending income tax breaks to the top 2% is not the only unfair tax proposal in this agreement th-fplt agreement struck by the president and the republican leadership continues the bush era 15% tax rate on capital gains and dividends, meaning that those people who make their living off of their
investments will continue to pay a substantially lower tax rate than the vast majority of the people in the middle class, people like firemen, teachers and nurses. on top of all of that, this agreement includes an horrendous proposal regarding the estate tax, a teddy roosevelt initiative which was acted in 1916. going to be celebrating his 100th birthday in a few years. under the agreement that we will be debating here, the estate tax rate, which was 55% under president clinton, will decline to 35% under this agreement with an exemption on the first five million of an individual's
estate, ten million for couples. i suspect there are people who are watching this program who are saying my goodness, i don't want to pay a 55% estate tax, so let me be very clear and tell you something that the republicans do not tell you. that the estate tax applies only to the top .3%. 99.7% of american families do not pay five cents in the estate tax. so this is not just a tax for the rich. this is a tax for the very, very rich. and i know that many of my republican colleagues would like to abolish, repeal the estate tax altogether. and that would cost us $1 trillion over ten years to our
national debt. but they are making significant progress by lowering the rate to 35%. mr. brown: thank you for yielding, senator stkarpbdz. -- senator sanders. i hear what you say about the tax burden in this country, that it falls predominantly in the middle class. when i hear you talk about the estate tax, this raises a couple -- no estate tax in the first $10 million of their assets, after they both die and considering they shelter a good bit beyond that. then the tax rate above, only on the dollars above $10 million were lowered considerably in this proposal. what's happening extending the tax cuts? i was intrigued, i guess it was yesterday, when you offered a motion on the floor in light of the fact that a relatively small group of people get huge, huge
tax cuts, that millionaires and billionaires, whether it's the estate tax upon their death, that their heirs enjoy this huge, huge tax break or whether it's they when earning get a huge tax cut. your motion yesterday simply said, if i recall, that everybody on social security would be a beneficiary. that's tens of millions. mr. sanders: over 50 million. mr. brown: 50 million people would get a check for $250 from the government at the cost of, i believe about $13 billion for one year. it wouldn't have been a long-term deficit issue. it would have been a onetime cost to people who wouldn't get a cost of living adjustment this year. the average beneficiary gets about $14,000 a year. we know an awful lot of social security pwreufs live mostly on their social security.
most people have a little bit more than that but an awful lot have nothing more than that. they've got no cost of living adjustment this year because of this complicated formula. what was pretty amazing to me, mr. president, is how the same time that every republican signed a letter, 42 republican senators signed a letter saying they will do nothing else until they get their tax cut for the rich. it's almost like a work stoppage, the republican senators were on strike saying we're not going to do anything around here -- we're not going to work, we're not going to vote yes on anything around here -- until you give me people a tax cut. my wealthy friends and contributors in my state. so the contrast of their saying we won't do anything for anybody else except millionaires and billionaires. we won't even give a $250,000 check to seniors who are making
about $14,000 a year from social security whafplt that check would -- what that check would mean to them, that contrast you made i think was so important to understand. give us some more about what that contrast means with those social security -- mr. sanders: i thank you for your very strong efforts in trying to get that $250 check out to senior citizens. but i think you hit the nail on the head. brown a majority of senators voted on it? it was filibustered again. blocked bay minority of senators, right? mr. sanders: right. we won that vote by 53-45. so we won bay pretty good majority. but around here majority does not rule. the republicans filibustered, as they almost always do on anything of substance, and we could not get the 60 votes because we did not get one
republican vote. but the point you're making is i think gets to the heart of this entire issue. and that is, our friends there are fighting vigorously for $700 billion in tax breaks for the top 2%, $70 billion a year for the richest people in this country, and when we say to them that senior citizens and disabled vets who are living on $14,000 or $15,000 a year need a check of $200, oh, we can't afford that. but we can afford to give a billionaire a $1 million tax break. mr. brown: $750 billion. you say $75 billion a year for millionaires and the billionairesser versus $13 billn once for senior citizens. but in essence that $750 billion, without doing -- getting too much in the weeds in
numbers, but $750 billion over ten years, in essence we're borrowing that money from china, we're charging it to our chin and grandchildren, putting it on their credit cards. they'll pay it off who knows whvment then we're giving that $750 billion to people who are fabulously wealthy already. that's in essence what we're doing is with these tax cuts. but they're unwilling to move forward on unemployment benefits, unwilling to move forward to help a senior with $250. because they -- because they really in some sense are on strike. we're not doing anything until you give tax cuts to the rich. until you give tax cuts to my people. mr. sanders: and that's right. you know, most of us, i'm sure you, senator brown, have received a whole lot of calls from people in ohio, seniors who are hanging on by their fingernails trying to pay their bills, heat their homes, pay their prescription drug costs, take care of their health care needs, $250 a is not to profound
ly -- is not going to profoundly impact people's lives but it will help a little bit. but these guys say, so, we can't afford a $2 check for a senior or a disabled vet, because that would cost $13 billion or $14 billion a year, but we can afford $70 billion a year to go to the top 2%. and frankly i think that is what this whole debate is about. that's what it's b about. what i would like to do is continue for a moment on some of the other observations. senator brown made an excellent point in contrasting the priorities that we're seeing here in the senate, especially from our republican friends. we didn't get one vote, not one, for a $250 check for seniors or disabled vets. but i want to continue with some of the problems that i see in this agreement structure by the -- struck by the president and the republican leadership.
now, some folks may have heard a bit about the so-called payroll tax holiday. and what that would do is cut about $120 billion in social security payroll taxes for workers. now, on the surface, this sounds like a great idea. instead of paying 6.2%, they're paying 4.2%. hey, that's great. my pay check is a bit bigger. that's great idea. great idea. well, let's stop for a minute and ask, where did this idea originally come from? well, the truth is that this payroll tax holiday originated from conservative republicans whose ultimate goal is the
destruction of social security. ah, what does that mean? what are we talking about? well, it doesn't take -- it's not very hard to figure this thing out. if you are substantially cutting the amount of money that goes into social security, by cutting back on the payroll tax, that makes social security less financially viable. now, today social security can pay out every benefit owed to every eligible american for the next 29 years. those of us who believe strongly in social security, that it has worked extraordinarily well for the last 75 years and want to see it work well for the next 75 years, we want to strengthen it. we're looking -- and i know the president, the the senator from oregon has some ideas how to put revenue into the social security trust fund.
those are the ideas we should be looking at, not cutting funding that goes into that trust fund. furthermore, while this payroll tax holiday is only a one-year provision and this agreement says that the money will be covered by, for the very first time, federal dollars from the treasury going into the social security trust fund, which historically has gotten all of its money from the pay troll tax , while the proponents of this agreement say, don't worry about it, it is a one-year agreement, i would make the same argument on this point that i did on the other: a year from now people will be discussing whether we extend that so-called payroll tax holiday, and those of us who say, well, wait a second, social security needs that money, you can't extend it, our republican friends will be saying, oh, you're raising taxes on workers,
you can't do that. can't do that. and then what we were talking about over a period of years is less money going into srkts making it less financially solvent, which is exactly what many republicans want to do. so i think that's a bad idea. and i would tell you that the national committee to preserve social security and medicare, which is led by a woman named barbara kanelli -- i know barbara very well -- and it is what they said about that provision. let me quote. "even though social security contributed nothing to the current economic crisis, it has been bartered in a deal that provides deficit-busting tax cuts for the wealthy. diverting $120 billion in social security contributions for a so-called 'tax holiday' may sound like a good idea for
workers now, but it's bad business for the program that a majority of middle-class seniors will rely upon in the future. conservatives have long dreamed of a payroll tax holiday because it fulfills two ideological goals: lower taxes and weakening social security's finances. the white house claims the 2% payroll tax won't impact social security. however, we disagree." there is, as i mentioned earlier, no such thing as a temporary cut, and the fear right here is that that cut will in fact go on indefinitely.
mr. president, i talked about the payroll tax for a moment. let me just talk about another aspect of the agreement that the president signed with republicans, and that is while some of the business tax cuts in this agreement may work well to create jobs, and some may not, economists on ends of the political spectrum believe that the better way to spur the economy and create jobs is to spend money rebuilding our crunling -- our crumbling infrastructure. with corporate america already signature on close to $2 trillion in cash on hand, the problem that we are seeing in our economy today is not that large corporations are taxed too high, it's that the middle class doesn't have enough money to purchase their goods. creating decent-paying jobs, rebuilding our infrastructure
could seriously address that problem. and what we have right now is, i think -- as i think you know, mr. president, is we have an infrastructure that is crumbling, there are very credible estimates out there that we need to invest in the next five years several trillion dollars in rebuilding our roads, bridges, water systems, waste water plants, our mass transportation, our railroads. china is exploding with high-speed rail. we do not have any significant high-speed rail in this country. if we're serious about creating jobs, in my view, the most effective way to do that is to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure. it makes our entire country stronger, more competitive and at the same time short-term it gives you the best bang you can get for a buck in terms of job creation. so that's another issue. tax breaks for businesses may
work, maybe they woafnlts but i don't think that that type of investment is anywhere near as effective in terms of job creation as investing in infrastructure. fifth point i would like to make on why i think this agreement is not a good one: one of the positive aspects of the agreement, one that i certainly support and i know you do, mr. president, is the need to extend unemployment benefits for millions of workers today who face the possibility that within a few weeks those extended unemployment benefits may end. and these are workers who are experiencing extraordinarily difficult times, for no fault of their own, often caught up in the wall street crisis. they have lost their jobs. and in various parts of this country, it is awfully hard to get a job.
more and more people are applying for gorks and those jobs are not there. we have the moral responsibility to extend unemployment benefits and allow those working families the opportunity to pay the bills and give them at least a modicum, a modicum of security. now, here's the point that i want to make clierntion i strongly -- absolutely -- believe that any agreement has got to have an extension of unemployment benefits for at least 13 months, maybe longer. but when folks who support this agreement say, we want a great compromise. we managed to get an extension of unemployment benefits there. what i would say is that for the past 40 years, under both democratic and republican administrations, whenever -- whenever -- the unemployment rate has been above 7.2% -- and now we're looking at 9.8% --
unemployment insurance has always been extended. so this great compromise is really simply doing what we have already been doing as a matter of cost for the -- as a matter of course for the last 40 years when the republicans ran the senate, democrats ran the senate, republican presidents, democratic presidents. there was a consensus that you cannot leave fellow americans high and dry when unemployment is high. well, unemployment today is very high, so in my view there's not a great compromise. this is simply doing what this country has done under democrats and republicans for 40 years. mr. president, i've been mentioning my concerns about this agreement, but let me also say, absolutely, that there are positive elements to this agreement. i don't want to suggest for a moment that there aren't.
extending middle-class tax cuts for e9% of americans is something -- for 98% of americans is something that must be done, absolutely. as you know, mr. president, during the bush years, median family income declined by over $2,000. what we're seeing in many parts of this country is that wages are actually going down, not up. people are working longer hours for lower wages, because the middle class of this country -- does the middle class of this country need to continue to have that tax break? of course they dovment and i will fight as hard as i can to make sure that they do. so this proposal is in fact an important proposal. and there are other good proposals in there. the earned-income tax credit for working americans, very important. and the child and college tax credits are also very important.
these proposals will keep millions of americans from slipping out of the middle class and into poverty. and they will allow millions more to send their kids to college. but, mr. president, when we look at the overall package, we must put it in a broader context. what will the passage of this legislation mean for the future of our country? and i think one point that has got to be made is that if we pass this agreement as written, it says that we are going to continue the bush policy of trickle-down economics for at least two more years. and to my mind, that is absurd because this is a policy based on all of the evidence that grotesquely failed. after eight years of bush-style
economics, with all of these tax breaks for the rich, we ended up losing 500 private-sector job -- 500,000 private-sector jobs. not a very impressive record. in fact, the worst record in job creation in modern history. now, here's another concern that i have, mr. president, that i think folks aren't talking about enough. this is what i believe will happen right after this agreement is passed, and i'm going to do everything i can to see that it is not passed, and i hope very much that it is not passed. but if it is passed, if anyone has any illusions that our republican friends will not be back in a month or two saying the following, "gee, our national debt is getting close to $14 trillion, we've a $1.4 trillion deficit, and, you know
what? we're going to have to cut, we're going to have to cut and cut and cut, and nobody should have any illusion that in two months there will not be ferro us have debates on the floor of this -- ferocious debates on the floor of this senate on the part of people who want to cut social security, who want to cut medicare, who want to cut medicaid, who want to cut child care and education in general, and environmental protection. tax breaks for billionaires is good. cutting back on social security s., medicare, and medicaid is also what they want to do. and i think senator sherrod brown a moment ago just crystallized it. that's what it's about. we can afford to give $70 billion a year to the top 2%, the wealthiest people, but we can't afford to spend $14 billion a year to make sure that
senior citizens and disabled vets get a $250 check. and that's what this whole thing is going to be. about. tax breaks for the rich and cut backs on all of the programs that the middle class and working families of this country desperately need. and let me conclude, mr. president -- mr. president, i will be back tomorrow. there's a lot more that has to be said on this issue. but let me conclude by saying this: i will give credit to my republican colleagues. in saying that they have been pretty honest and straightforward. about what they intend toured. there's nothing mysterious about t what they want to do is to take this country back into the 1920's. they want to take us back into the days when, when you are old, there was no social security and you had to fend four self in the
waning years of your life, when you couldn't work. they want to ultimately destroy medicare, and i would suggest to all of the senior citizens in this country, people who are 70, 75, 80, people who may be struggling with one illness or another, good luck in going to a private insurance company to get help when you are low income and sick. it ain't gonna happen. they're not going to be there because they can't make any money off of you. you're going to be out there on the street and you're going to be all alone because you're not going to be able to get the help that you need if medicare is destroyed. same thing with medicaid. you know, mr. president, you and i heard in this chamber the great debate over the death panels, the famous death panels that were included supposedly in the health care reform bill that we passed.
well, it turns out that death panels, in fact, are now arising in america, but not because of the health care reform passed here in washington, but in arizona right now, the governor there apparently is deciding that they don't have the money in their medicaid program to provide transplants to people who, without those transplants, will die. that's called a death panel. if you are poor, you need a transplant and you're living in arizona, good luck to you. so, mr. president, let me conclude by simply saying i believe very strongly that we can forge a much better agreement than the current one before us. i believe in my state of vermont
and all over this country that the vast majority of people do not think it makes any sense at all to give hundreds of billions of dollars in tax breaks to the wealthiest people in this country so that we can drive up the national debt and have our kids and grandchildren pay higher taxes in order to pay off that debt. that doesn't make sense to progressively like me, and it doesn't make sense to conservatives out there. so i think, mr. president, the american people are on our side, at least the side of those who oppose this agreement. our job here -- i know it's a shocking idea -- is to represent the middle class and working families, not just millionaires and billionaires. and with that, mr. president, i would yield the floor to you, i
mr. merkley: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from oregon. mr. merkley: thank you, mr. president. i rise tonight share some of my concerns about the -- the presiding officer: the senatosenate is in a quorum cal. mr. merkley: yes, i request the chair vitiate the quorum call. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. merkley: mr. president, i rise tonight to share some of my concerns about the package that has been negotiated between the president and the republicans and has now been presented here on the floor of the senate. now, first, i want to indicate the size of the decision that's going to be made in the next couple of days.
this deficit spending stimulus package is a $1 trillion package. now, let's turn the clock back to the debate over the stimulus we had in 2009. that stimulus was about an $800 billion, only 80% of the size of this package. that stimulus, it had direct construction jobs across america, every community, every county benefiting from increase in production. it also had the making work pay tax deduction. it had a host of small business tax deductions. and it had direct assistance to our states to enable them to meet some of the crisis they were experience in this great bush recession in health care and in education, so we can keep our schools across america open. now, i listened over the last
year and a half to a tremendous amount of a tax on that stimulus package. but this is a much larger decision. this is a trillion-dollar decision, and it is a decision or a package that much less thought has gone into. we have this package now here on the floor. we haven't actually gotten the paper in our hands yet for what's in it. we've had to rely on newspaper accounts of what's going to be in it. and tonight in offices across this nation, folks are trying to get it off the internet and they're going to be trying to analyze it, trying to understand it. but we know the basic outlines. and the basic outlines raise a significant number of concerns. and i encourage, mr. president,
for our citizens to look at this package over the weekend and to share your concerns with your congressmen and women and certainly with your senators. a trillion-dollar deficit. now, there's been a lot of talk on this floor not only about the stimulus from last year but about the size of our national debt. this is a $1 trillion increase in our national debt. now, i would think that that's something that we would be tearing apart every part of and saying, is each dollar being spent to maximum effect? we'd have amendments that would say, hey, we can create a lot more jobs if we spend this few million dollars over here rather than here. so that every dollar gets maximum impact in putting america back to work. but you know what, mr. president? not a single amendment is going to be allowed on this bill as
far as we're aware tonight. i believe that in a decision of this magnitude, there should be amendments that compare the effect of spending money here versus here, about what is going to have the greatest impact in a favorable way for america. my good colleague from vermont pointed out that this reduces the flow of resources into social security. i think we should have an extensive debate about coming to rely on the general fund, which is what the administration says, they're going to substitute payroll revenue for general fund revenue. i think we should have a substantial debate about depending upon general revenue to supply funds to the social security fund. because let me explain this. the approximately $120 billion that will flow into social security from the general fund
under this program comes from borrowed funds. and those borrowed funds come primarily from china. so social security, a program for americans in which we save our own money and invest that money so that there can be a steady income, a modest, a very modest, steady income in retirement years, now is going to rely upon borrowed funds from china? that's the american retirement plan? well, we should be debating that on the floor of the senate and it should be an extensive deba debate, not a debate in which cloture is going to be rushed on monday and then there will be 30 hours split among the hundred members, because we're spending
a trillion dollars of deficit money under this plan. so my first main concern is that we are taking a step to greatly increase the national debt with this plan. my second concern is that this plan 100% endorses the bush tax structure that has so deeply damaged our nation. many of you will recall that when the economy grew under president bush the second that the living wages of working americans actually failed to increase. the economy grew, but the wages didn't grow for working americans.
and that in addition, we doubled our national debt. now that's what happens when you say we're going to create a plan that gives away our national treasury to the most affluent, and we're going to do so in a manner that doesn't create living wage jobs, doesn't reward the productivity of american workers. i'm going to tell you that we made a may -- major decision in 1974, about the year i graduateed from high school, and that was to adopt strategies that failed to link the productivity of american work toers their compensation. up to that point in the post war rather, as our productivity of the nation grew, the financial success of our working families grew along together with that increase in productivity.
but since 1974 the tremendous, spectacular increase in the productivity of our nation, in the national wealth of our nation has been not shared with the workers of our nation. is that the type of america that we want, where many, many work to make this nation a success and do not share the reward? but the bush tax cut structure is the ultimate embodiment of that philosophy of car -fg off the -- car carving off the natil treasure for the very few. i don't think that our success as a nation should be measured by the success of our wealthiest families. i applaud them for their entrepreneurship. i applaud them when the strategies to create companies succeed.
but it's up to us to create a structure that says as the work product increases, we're going to enable all families to thrive. not for a few to thrive spectacularly while everyone else stays on a level playing. you know, back in my home community, the community i grew up in, working class community, three-bedroom ranch houses, so many children now consider it a success if they can simply afford to purchase their parents' home. because it's only their parents home, with the assistance of their parents that they can now afford on a working american's salary. because while the workers share of the national income has not increased with productivity, housing prices have gone up enormously, making it harder and harder for a working family to afford a home.
embodied in these bush breaks that have so deeply damaged our nation, we have a very interesting feature, and that is under this plan that president obama has proposed with the republicans, it says that we are going to extend breaks not just so the wealthiest can enjoy the same breaks on their first $1 million that others receive from the money they're earning up to $1 million. but bonus breaks on top of that. so let me give you a sense of this. the amount of the tax break that is given to everyone who earns their first $1 million is about $43,000. let's round it off, $40,000. under this plan, those families earning over $1 million receive an average of an additional bonus of $100,000 per taxpayer.
$100,000 bonus to the most successful families in the country. wow, that's pretty generous. that's enormously generous. are we going to be generous with our working families? unfortunately, no. under this plan, a family that's earning in the vicinity of $40,000 to $50,000 gets $1,700. a family that earns less gets in the neighborhood of $1,000. $1,000 per working family versus a $100,000 bonus for another working family. $1,000, $43,000, very little for
those who are working to the success of our nation, and a whole lot to those who are spectacularly wealthy already. the structure of the capital gains under this proposal, the structure of the estate tax add to the impact of the income tax brackets i was just describing. so you add it all up. and if you have been spectacularly successful through this recession, then you can count on a whole lot of help, generous gifts from uncle sam. if you've been struggling, if you've been struggling and you're earning your minimum wage, or maybe you're working 60 hours a week each week, three jobs, earning minimum wage, you get about $1,000 under this plan. that sort of reenforcement of
the fundamental disparity between working families and those who are best off, that is not healthy for america. that does not build a financial foundation so families can afford to give their children substantial opportunities. the america that i grew up in, the vision of my father and motor's generation was that we have an america with opportunity for every family. and we are leaving that vision behind with this bill. let me turn to my next main concern. the $1 trillion deficit is designed to be a stimulus. but has it been designed well to spend every tax dollar in a smart way? there are many folks in this chamber who say they're fiscal
conservatives. i'm a fiscal conservative because i believe every dollar needs to be spent in a smart way. well, let's test this. parts of this package get an "a" and parts of this package get an "f." the part that gets an "a" is unemployment insurance. this is important and fundamental to our families. we have always had the philosophy that when there are no jobs to be had, when you cannot get a job through no fault of your own, that we are going to extend unemployment benefits to help families through that rough time. we've always done it, democrats and republicans, until this year our republicans have turned their backs on working families and said not now. we will not support extending
support unless we take it away from some other important part of the budget. and they've said, we will support $100,000 bonuses without taking anything from anyone else. so that unity of support for our working families during hard times it, disappeared this year. and that's too bad. that is really a tragedy. and the fundamental premise has been by my colleagues across the aisle, we're going to hold those families hostage to get a tax break of $11,000 bonus on top of a very basic tax break for the wealthy. hold families hostage for a lot of help for the very few at the very to. those bonus tax breaks are rated dead last by the congressional budget office in creating jobs
in this nation. so unemployment assistance is rated at the top. the most effective way of creating jobs in this nation. it should be. it has been extended and has been extended until this year when unfortunately, it seems that my colleagues across the aisle came all about the fewer and not about helping families when there is no jobs. there's great irony in this. because we don't have jobs in this nation, because of the great bush recession, created by my friends across the aisle. first of all, they tkreg hraeutd the retail motorists and allowed predatory loans and those predator loans meant 06% -- according to "the wall street journal," 60% of families in america that qualified for a
basic, amortizing inexpensive prime mortgage were steered into subprime mortgage. then my good friend said let's let wall street do whatever it wants in packaging the mortgages. let's end the oversight and caps on leverage. so they created securities; that is packages of mortis. and they sold the right. those securities were doomed to below up when the predatory features of the markets kicked in and interest rates jumped from 4.5% to 9%. and we've been dealing since i came into office in the u.s. senate with the tremendous economic bomb produced by the bush policies. the great bush recession that created the unemployment so that people cannot get jobs, now the same folks that created that disaster are saying we're not going to help those who will be hurt by the disaster we created. it's like setting your house on
fire and then cutting off the water to the fire hose. so, if my republican friends are so determined to adopt the very best job creating strategy, we should take it out of this bill or thraoef have a debate on this floor on on the united states senate about whether or not we move those funds to the worst strategy or move it to the best strategy or some other good job-creating strategy. maybe all the features don't need to be a's or a-pluses but we've got the republican worst plan. we've got the democratic a plan. it should be in here. what about some of the other things? one of the very best ways to get our country going are low-cost loans to create energy saving renovations in homes and
buildings. it creates a tremendous number of jobs per dollar spent because it is a low-cost loan program, not a grant program; ranked very high in the number of jobs it creates. we have a construction industry in this country that would love to go to work, and we have three bills sitting here before the senate. we have the home star bill for families to do energy-saving renovations to their homes. we have the building star bill to allow commercial buildings, office suites, industrial site billion-dollarrings to be improved in energy renovation. and the loans are paid back through the energy savings. so it creates a long-term positive in terms of the energy strategy of this nation. works very well for the families, very well for the businesses and puts the instruction industry back to work. -- the construction industry back to work. that's the type of program we should be weighing against the "f" plan. that is from a to f, f for last,
f for failure, f in c.b.o.'s analysis for the worst job creating program which is what the republicans forced into this package. so, without amendments to this package, we can't have that debate. now there is a tradition of saying that the senate is the world's greatest deliberative body. well, don't you have to have amendments to do that? don't you have to have a debate on where to put different pieces of this puzzle to do that? i've been advocating for a guaranteed way to make sure the minority and the majority get to have amendments on this floor. i happen to be a member of the majority right now, but i'll be a member of the minority down the road because if i'm here long enough -- i guess that's a big if -- the pendulum swings back and forth. to be able to deliberate and really wrestle and be accountable before the people of this nation, amendments have to be offered and debate has to be held and votes have to be taken. and that's not being done on this bill as far as we know.
i know there is a possibility. i'd like to praise leaders on both sides in advance if they work out a deal that everyone can offer their amendments or even a modest number of amendments on both sides. because that's the way it should be on this floor. and that's why i've been advocating that we have a regular order that allows amendments. but i'm afraid that monday will come, that deal won't get worked out, and we won't have the ability to have that debate, won't have the ability to be transparent before the american people about where we stand. my good colleague from vermont has shared a concern that i also share, and that is the payroll tax being cut off, snuffed out as a supply of social security, that our retirement plan that we pay for ourselves is being
changed into a a retirement plan financed by china. so the national debt is a problem, the structure of the bush breaks that so deeply damaged our nation being extended in the next decade, that is a major concern; the poor design of the stimulus wherever dollar has not been tested against its ability to create jobs at a time we desperately need jobs; the change in our funding of social security and it's dependent upon chinese funds -- those items need to be debated. they are profound concerns. maybe there are answers that make sense. i look forward to hearing such answers if they exist. hei would like to see those answers tested through amendments offered on this floor. i have an amendment that i'd like to see offered on this floor. i have an amendment that says, take the $100,000 bonus breaks
for the wealthiest 2% and instead dedicate that to social security. let's make sure that our seniors who need basic support in their retirement are well-secured before handing out $100,000 bonus breaks to the very few. well, i don't know if that would pass on this floor. i don't know where people would stand. but i know people should have to declare where they stand so that the voters can decide if they like it or not, so the voters can call and say, we would encourage to you vote this way or to vote that way. the other thing i like about that particular approach is it says, if we're going to reduce the payroll tax in the short term to create jobs, we're going to do something else to make sure that our social security doesn't dependent upon money borrowed from china. i'd like too see the energy tax
credits debated. they are not in this package now as for as we know. energy tax credits pay us back in a number of ways. the first is that currently we import a tremendous amount of oil from the middle east and from venezuela, from nigeria, from places that don't necessarily share our national outlook and a lot of that money ends up in the hand of terrorist organizations. myrtle securitiage iftd -- military security analysts say this is the first set of wars in which we're funding both sides. how are we doing that? through our energy policy, that send funds and the funds are passed ton terrorists. that's not smamplet makes more sense to create our energy here at home. in addition to increasing our national security, spending those dollars here at home on energy we create ourselves, red
white, and blu american energy keeps those dollars near our communities. and when those dollars stay in our community, they create jobs in our communities. it means families get jobs and they spend the money from those jobs in these communities. so it cycles through and through into the retail stores, into the grocery markets, keeping those dollars here, creating jobs rather than shipping them overseas for oil. and it does another thing as well, and that is reducing our energy consumption from abroad largely means shifting from oil to clean sources, and those clean sources will put less carbon dioxide in the air, and that means that we do a much better job in being good stewards of our planet. so, energy tax credits that encourage clean american energy, keeping jobs here, improving our national security and being good stewards of the planet -- why
don't we have that debate on the floor of the senate before we send this bill tack to the house. -- back to the house. another colleague has amendments that say, okay, we're going to vote on a $1 trillion stimulus package that creates a $1 trillion debt. shouldn't we tie it to some kind of triggers for fiscal responsibility that will kick in maybe 24 months out so that we don't head recklessly down a path into extraordinary debt that deeply damages our nation even further? so fiscal responsibility, tie some fiscal responsibility measures to this package. that's a good idea, and i applaud my colleague from oregon had a who is raised that idea, senator wyden, who has done a lot of work on how we can create
fiscal responsibility tied to a package going through now. and we'll say something to the international finance -- financiers. it may serve other things, such as keeping the interest rate low so that fewer dollars go out in interest. these amendments deserve debate on this major decision facing this body over the next few days. so, mr. president, i'll just close by saying, i'm deeply concerned, deeply concerned about the deficit and the debt, deeply concerned about the bush breaks that have done so much damage being extended into the next decade, deeply concerned about the poor design of the stimulus, deeply concerned about social security being made dependent upon borrowing from china, deeply concerned that this package is being put together and may not have the
opportunity to have the debate over elements that should be debated, because if they don't stand up on the floor of the senate in debate, they don't belong in this package. so, with that, mr. president, i say to our friends across the nation, you have a few days only to weigh in. please do weigh in. let us hear your voice, let us consider your thoughts, and let's fully deliberate on this package before we pass it. thank you. mr. president, i note the absence of a quorum. mr. president? i ask you to vitiate the quorum, if it has been enacted. mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that when the senate completes its business today, it adjourn until 9:30 a.m. on friday, december 10, that following the prayer and pledge,
the journal of proceedings be approved to date, the morning hour be deemed expired, the time for two leaders be reserved for their use later in the day and that following any leader remarks the senate proceed to a period of morning business with senators sanders recognized to speak at 10:15 a.m. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. merkley: mr. president, this evening the majority leader filed cloture on the new tax cut language. that vote will occur at 3:00 p.m. on monday, december 13. there will be no roll call votes during friday's session of the senate. if there is no further business to come before the senate, i ask that it adjourn under the previous order. previous order.
of the 111 congress, several retiring senators gave their final speeches on the senate floor kentucky republican jim bunning who's been in congress since 1987 but first, democrat byron dorgan. he was first elected to the house in 1980 and the senate in 1990. this is an hour. leang the >> mr. president, those of usf who are leaving the congress of the end of this year are given the opportunity to make a spebu farewell speech, but more it's an opportunity to say thank yout to a lot of people we awaiting q2 and two colleagues, family, to the staff here in the senatef ands, on our staff and the peopo of north dakota in this case who gave me the opportunity toit's r serve. it's the opportunity for me toms say thank you.day t one of my colleagues the otherpe day talked about the number ofsn people who served in the united states senate. since the beginning of the,918 o country there have been 1,019. people who've served in the united states senate when i
signed in i was number 1,802 ane there have been 212 senators with who might serve to even the years that i have been in the g senate. it's hard to get here and it's r also hard to leave here. the but the senate always continuesa and when finally you do believe you understand that this is the most unique legislative body in no i the world. malae arrived here 30 years ago in congress and when we all show up the first day we feel so vere important, and we believe the way the world rests on our g shoulders and then we began getting mail from home, and i lr have long described a letter that was sort of sent to me by a schoolteacher early on after imz arrived here and her class was to do a project to write tonwas dvorkin in washington, d.c.. and i paged through the 20
letters from fourth grade students, and one of them said u dear mr. dorgan, i know who you are, i see you on television sometimes.telesion, my dad watches you want television, too. boy, does he get mad. [laughter] interest of public service ofo trying to satisfy all of the co. very interests in our country and it is important it seems to me that we do the right thing as best we can and as best we seehd it and the data from that letter showed up at my meetings over -- the years i think, didn't himse. introduce himself but in most cases the people i represented over these years were ordinary folks who love their country, f, raise their families, pay theirf bills, and wanted us to do thef. right thing for our country's lt future. of al now i have a lot of really interesting memories from havinn served here 12 years in the u.s. house and 18 years in the u.s. senate. to the first week i came to washington in the
stopped to see the oldest member of the house, claude pepper. h about him, wanted to meet him.s office looked into his office and his office was like a museum with a lot of old things in it, really interesting things. he'd been here for a long, longf time, and i never forgot what i saw behind his chair, tothe photographs.ville the first was december 17th, making 1903, making the first airplane flight. signed to a congressman clark piper, and behind it a photograph of meal armstrong standing on the surface of the ng strong coming and i'm thinking to myself here is a livingn american in one lifetime and the picture of the person who livedn to fly and the person who flewte to the moon, think of the unbelievable progress in ahe lifetime and what is the distance between learning to fly
and fleeing to the moon.wall i while it wasn't measured andy entered into the car interests while the photographs were onlyn four or 5 inches, apart is measured in education andshment, knowledge, in a burst ofecedent. accomplishments and an unprecedented century. and this country has been t enormously blessed during this m period.e, the hallmark, it seems to me, ot the century that we just self-sr completed wasif self sacrifice o common purpose, a sense of community, commitment tocially - country, and especially, especially leadership. in america, leadership has beene so important in this government. we call self-government.y and there was a book written byb john adams, and john adams described the question of leadership he would travel inprg europe representing the new country and he would write lette letters back to abigail and in his letters to abigail he would ask the question where will the
leadership come from for this country we are starting?ll bectl whoea will become the leaders? who will be the leaders for thit new nation? aga team did next letter to abigail he would ask where with the woud leadership come from and he tres would say there is only us, really only us, there is me, there's george washington,klin, there's ben franklin, this thomas jefferson, there's hamilton, mason, madison, but there is only us come he would p say to abigail. in the rearview mirror ofhistort history of courshee the only usf the human talent probably ever d assembled.it is but it is interesting to me thai every generation has asked the same question where will leadership come from for this country? who will be the leaders? tha and the anstwer to that question now is here in this room. it's always been in this room. my colleagues, men and women tested by the rigors of the
campaign, chosen by citizens of the states to say you lead, you provide the leadership for this country. now for all of the criticism about this chamber and those ino which those who serve in thiscii chamber, for all of that criticism i say the most talented men and women for whom i have ever worked are the men a and women of the united states senate on both sides of this on all. they live in glass houses, the mistakes are obvious andhey painful, and they disagree, then the agree, they dance around issues, posture, delay, but always, always there is thatingt moment to moment of being part tf something big, consequentialr and the moment of being part of something bigger than yourself and at that moment for all of ud
at different times there is thif acute awareness of why we were d sent here. and the rule of the u.s. senatea plays in the destiny ofys thisse country. the u.s. senate is often calledn the most exclusive club in the clus world. but i wonder really it's so in a town from 300 people in a high school senior class of nine students can travel from a deskd in that small school to a desk s on the floor of the united states senate i think it's moree like a quilt work of all of the experiences in our country and allows someone from a small town with big ideas to set in this chamber occupied by henry clay,y daniel webster, harry truman, as lyndon johnson and so many moree and feel like you belong. that's the genius of self-government.abyear a
malae announced about a year ago i would not seek reelection after serving here 30 years, 121 in the u.s. house and 18 in then united statesat senate. i am repeatedly asked as is my r colleague, senator dodd, who ist leading a the end of thheis yean what is your most significant accomplishment coming and while i am proud of so many things isl have done legislatively, the answer is not legislative. i have always answered by saying well, the first month i was here 30 years ago, next month, i the stepped into an elevator on the ground floor of the canon office building of the u.s. house of representatives. that step in to that later changed my life. between the ground floor and the fourth floor, got her name that is an accomplishment from norwegian and this year we
celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary.d my life has been so enriched bya rend wife, kim, and children, ab scott and shelley and brendan and haley, grand children, my gr madison and mason. families are committed, too, to this life of public service, weekends alone, and i am forever grateful to the commitment and sacrifice of my family. want and i want to say a few things about some other people as well. first, there is the staff. -- all loveless would probably sayt but of course i say with much greater credibility i have thes. finest staff in the united states senate. i have been so enormously so prd blessed. i am so proud of all of them they are dedicated to thisan hae country, and i've been blessed k to work with them for many, many years, and then i want to say to the floor staff of the united
states senate, i come here as ty my colleagues and we say our peace and we get involved in ths debates, and the floor staff has such an unbelievable job when you're done speaking we oftenths leave. they are the ones that turn outg the lights. the refrain from rolling their eyes when i know they want to during these dates. but we are the professional and all of us owe them just such af great debt of gratitude. c and to my colleagues, i just -- is nobody in here i kind of feel like will rogers, nobody i don't like. it's a great place with some terrific colleagues and some especially senator kent conrad.a we have been friends for 40 years, 40 years we've been involved in the political fight the p and the political battles in north dakota. a great senator. i said last night at a receptioi the best u.s. senator in the united states senate come
january. but i should have said right now he's an outstanding senator andn makes a great contribution toand this country and congressman pomeroy with whom i've served rte otherom part of north dakoto wree of us to work together onw campaigns 40 years ago, 35 years ago in north dakota and who then for 18 years became three three members of the on the three daks members of north dakota's congressional delegation. it's been a great pleasure and we will continue these friendships, but i say things ts senator conrad especially forond the work we've done together.e p now you know and it shows the will of politics and i love hav. public service.t ve.ays ha john f. ken onedy used to say every other kind of helps herprs child might grow up to be president as long as they don't have to bice active in politicse but of course, politics is thee. way we make decisions about thig america. it is an honorable thing.ng i have always been enormouslyol. proud of being in politics.imesi i've run 12 times in statewide
ve serve elections since age 26. white served continuously in statewide elective office since the age of 26, never outside of elective office statewide, a long, long time, 40 years. able t it's been a great gift to me tor be able to surf, and i am so fow river grateful to the people of want you to represent us.and no and now it's time for me to do i have long and ts wanted to do and that's why i've chosen not to seek reelectionle this year. you. let me be clear to you i didn't decide not to run for the senate despondent because i'm despondent about the state of affairs.e are it's not the case.troubl thesine are difficult and troubling times, however, but i didn't decooide not to run and,a rioose to criticize this to be c institution although there is plenty to be critical of.rdens s burdenth of this institution. this institution is too important to the future of this, country and i could talk by thee way for hours about the chollet
of serving here with individualt i was thinking about the late w ted kennedy when i was jogging n few notes standing at his desk beckham at roel over these yearo i think no one will mind my i ti saying this i think he's the best much as the driver seemed in terms of getting things don ted kennedy full of passion and on certain days when he was agitated and full throated you could hear him out onut the stro fighting and shopping for the things he knew were important for america. think of bob dole on this floor who always seem to have an antenna that knew exactly what was going on, what the mood wase what he could and couldn't do and how yo.u might compromise at certain thaimes. they didn't act like that. i think a of strom thurmond whow at age 100 -- if everybody coul-
no his life story, what anous s. unbelievable, courageous story and one of the things that ver e happened with stdrom thurmond is i was very involved and have always been involved in organ transplantation to save people'l lives, and i did a pressroduce - conference on a dillinger is o introducing on organ transplants and strom thurmond shows up i think he was 90-years-old and signed an organ donor card and he said after he signed the card at age 90i don't know if i havew got anything anybody wants to define gone they are welcome to it. [laughter]rt c. byr and robert byrd, who sat with my colleague sitting now, and theyn just d'ton't make -- don't make someone like robert byrd anymore. i recall one day when another bert c. colleague was on the phone andoe robert byrd got very angry aboud the other colleague was saying it felt it was disrespectful so he rushed out to the chamber ani the other colleagues have left by that time and i don't know that he never understood what vr
happened, but senator byrd,t h being free angry at what anothee colleague said was something disrespectful to the president, onnator byrd recognized and sail simply this, i have been here long enough to watch pygmies strut like collapses. he said they, like a fly in the aeso sable sittingp' on the jury yett observed just what to do i raise and then he sat down. l tha and i thought they don't makethw speakers like that anymore.yrdad the senator who didn't understand what senator byrd had the knees.d men as a treasury of memories i should mention as well one of my best friends who served here, a wonderful friend and i think a great leader for a long white allows well, i just take a treasury of memories from thiser place, and this place, however,w has substantial burdens ahead of it, and if we are going to makee
good decisions and exhibit the courage needed for the kind of future we want, we are going toe have to put some sacrifice onous the line for the country'saboute future. i want to talk just for a bit about a couple of those issues. while there are always biging issues and i've always been interested in debating the big issues, a principal passion has been the support of family go farmers and small business folks every morninthg get a job.e and family farmers out there who live on farms, plant a seed and hope it grows, they riskorning p everything. tu the main streetrned business ows got up, turned the key in the front door and waited becausen they've got everything in theirl financial lives on the line hoping their small businesss toa works.job in t morning e and the worker that goes to a -- job in the morning every day,hat keeryday, and they are the onesr that know seconds to read the ones at the bottom of the econoc
economic ladder than a second shift, secondhand, second mortgage, the know what all. and the question is who speaks. for them? the hallways outside the chamber aren't crowded with people saying let me speak for thoseg t folks.me speakor in the first book i wrote, the first page of a book called takd this job and ship it, the firs page i describe the story that i ts told what franklin delano i" roosevelt's funeral, and as thes lined up here in this capital to and as file past the casket of the deceased president, a journalisg was trying to capture the moodwe of people waiting in line and ha walked up to a man worker who h was holding his cab in front of him standing there with tears is his eyes, and the journalist we, said to this workingman well,oo? did you know franklin delano no toosevelt? dn' and the man said no, i didn't, but he knew me. amd the question is it seems toh me for every generation in thiss chamber, whota knows american to workers and who stands up for
rnin the people could go to work? every day in this country? as i said, there are big, big issues that relate to workers and farmers and business people d let and others in this country. and let me just mention a couple. know you'll know and we know for america to succeed, we've got te fix our schools. 30% of the kids going discordant bridge waiting in our high cont. schools. that can't continue. we can't have schools that are i called dropout factories. we need the best schools in theo world with the best teachers in the world if we are going to edn compete.refo we need substantial educationidf reform. we also have to get rid of this 4ushing debt.row we know that we can't borrow 40% of t everything we spend. we know all of that. b we have been on t a binge and i- got to change. we can't borrow money from cuts china, for example, to give tax.
cuts to the wealthieste i americans.ss these issues. fme for this country to sobersp up in fiscal policy and leadership from this chamber asl well. -- we need the financial industry,t the financial industry that stops gambgling and starts those lending, lending especially to jobs and those businesses that want to create jobs and want to expand.r we need a fair trade policy that stands up for american workers . and we are not going to be world economic power if we don't have world class minute factor capability and it isatin disappearing before our lives. it's all about creating good. jobs and expanding opportunities in this country. it's not happening with our current trade policy. it's treating away america's future, and we know better than that into a box canyon 60% ofeso the oil we use comes from otheru countries, some who don't like us very much. that holds us hostage and we cat can't continue that. p we need to produce more at homee with all kind of energy.
we need to conserve more and wee need to do all of these thingsi, to promote stability and security in this country. jt and let me just say on one and a third issue i spent a lot of time working on, american were here first. we are talking about the first americans. they greeted all of us.ns in mht they now live in third worldun conditions in much of this bettr country. and we have got to do better.e t we've got to keep our promises and honor the treaties.-- and id this congress, let me just say e had the privilege of sharing the congress, however, as tough as it has been has done more on. indian issues than the previousv 40em years. we passed the indian health care improvement act the first time in seven years, we passed the sr act i and others helped writerdy which is important.ecial d we passed yesterday the specialo diabetes provisions that are so important to the indians.ecovero
we put $2.5 billion in the i fas economic recovery act to invest in health care facilities andry necessary in indian country. the we just passed the settlementite which deals with the problem 1 that's existed for 150 years inn which looting and stealing fromr in the interest accounts went on routinely and president obamaho signed the bill last night at 5:30.importt those five things are the moste4 important elements that havelint been done in four years dealing with any issues.s we have to keep our promises and honor our trust agreements. some pretty big challenges. the fact is our grandparents ans great grandparents, they face challenges that were much morety significant as well and they prevailed.s you the malaise of democracy, as yoo know, handle listened politics especially know, the noise of democracy is unbelievable. it is relentless, incessantly -
and it goes 24/7. and we have got the now they're all over the country who are trying to make sounds from the chest seemed like important soum messages from the brain. can find and any paper from anye corner of the country that seems stupid and ugly and we'll find u and hold that up to the light oy the program and see is in this l ugly?s ugly but short it's not america.america. just some little obscene gesture inge the corner. it's not america.'s there's this old n saying that shoes on. get that's what is happening. the this country is full of good.l f it's full of good things, good people and good news.eo everyday good people go to workd to build, create, invent and they hope the future will beyou, better than the past. you know, there was a book called you can't go home again by thomas wolfe and he saidth there is a peculiar quality of the american soul, peculiar
quality of the american soul. as but they have an almost destructive deily, a quenchlessa hope things are going to be better. something is going to turn up. the two margolis going to workhe out and somehow that is been what is in the hallmark ofsp americanir aspiration. i want to finally say this.ollee when i graduated from collegeot with an m.b.a. degree and got my first job in the aerospaceth industry and a very younge age,w the first program or project i e worked on was called the m nd martin marietta corporation building a landing vehicle from mars that was 40 years ago. that program was discontinued after about four years. the new but five years ago, the new two program resulted in firing two
missiles, to rockets for our mas country one week apart.eek we and then at mars. one week apart the rocket is off with the payload. faen they landed, sur 200 million miles later demanded one week apart in the surface ou mars. the payload had a shroud and ita opened up and a dune buggy drove off the shroud, about that big. started writing on the surface k of mars.econd first one did and then a week we later the second one arrived and they were named spirit an opportunity.spiritnd five years ago, spirit and letter to nettie. we drove them on the surface of. mars. it was an american vehicle. it was supposed to last for 90 e days. we are still driving those on the surface of mars. five years later. men spirit very much like old men got arthritis of the arm, and sf
they stayed it hangs with a hasv permanent half salute and it the also has five wheels. e so the wheel about didn't break off but now it is digging a trench about 2 inchesr deeper on the surface of mars and a barely gets there but it does. it gets back there to sample get even a slightly bit deeper into the soil to tell us a little about what is going on. and by the we also fell asleep about nine months or i go and they couldn't reach it. and so it takes nine minutes to communicate by radio ornity electronically with the dofew ws buggies, nine minutes to get a a signal so they sent a signal to a satellite we have circlingnalo mars and headed the satellite send a a signal to the spirit ai the spirit woke up. and so it is to dune-buggying vehicles are traveling on the surface of mars driven by marsre american genius.ius. my point of all of this is first
of all the your employee named during challenging times, spirit and opportunity. and manufacturing 90 days in aportu. driving on the surface of mars five years later. but my point is if we can try to do in buggies with american invention and americananuild initiative can build rockets and do and buggies and drive them on the surface offa mars, surely we sn fix the things important ono planet earth. i'm about to say this isn'tt rocket science, but i guess it s really is. this country it seems to me is an unbelievable place and this is all it seems to me a call to america's future. what where we've been, what we've the done allse these things together ought to inspire what we can do so much more.e bernard shaw once said it is a splendid torch which i am able to hold that for a moment.ent.
well, this is our moment. this is eight.tell if i might tell you that aboutys 15 years ago i was leading aongm delegation of american of congressmen and senators to meet with a group of european members of parliament about our disputet and trade, and about an hour into the meeting the man who led the european delegation has slia back in his chair, leaned acrose to me and said mr. senator, we've been speaking for an hour about how we disagree. tell you but he said her to tell you i something. why can't you should know how ii feel about your country. he said i was a 14-year-old boy on a street corner in paris, u france. when u.s. liberation armyeaid marched. he said an american soldieramern reached of his hand and gave gae that 14 year old boy and apple as he marched past. he said i will go to my grave me remembering that moment what it meant to me, what it meant to mt
family, what it meant to my sort country. back hijust sort of setback in my t chair thinking here is this guy telling me about who we are, a where we've been, and what we w have meante' to others. it's pretty unbelievable, buterw it's enothing compared to where be we can go and what we can be aso a country if we just do the sens right things. the senate has a lot to offer an the american people, and i know it is best days are ahead.that that splendid torch, that moment, that's here and the torture exists in this chambere. as well. and i feel unbelievably proud td have been able to serve here son with these men and women for so long and i am going to go on to do other things but conwell always watch this chamber and those who will continue to work in this chamber and do what's ie important for this country's future and i will be one of the cheerleaders that says good for you, good for you. y you know what's important andyo
as well from my good friend fron tsmazzetti. madam president, i would like to take a few moments to thank all my colleagues and other individuals who have come to the chamber to hear me bid farewell. that doesn't mean i'm not going to spea mk again, that just meal i'm bidding farewell and this is a farewell speech. it's a great fortune of havingrs three wonderful careers drink my life, one is a husband and father of nine children and a grandfather of 40. one is a major league baseball an player for 27 years, and one in public service for 30 years.aboh many people often talk to me about how different my baseball and public service careers are.. but they really are not so bn
different. i have been booed by 60,000 fanm in yankee stadium standing alone on the mound. so you've never cared for stood alone here in the congress as long as i stood by my beliefse a and values. i have also thought that being able to throw a curve ball never was a bad skill for a politiciam to have. i came here to washington, d.c.t in 1987 when the people of the fourth district and northern kentucky gave me a district to distinct honor to serve them.t i did not know then that the people of kentucky would bestow upon me the privilege of. representing the park for 20 years. i have had the same conservative
principal in 2010 that i had when i first was elected to alwy congress. over the years i've done what i thought was right for kentucky and my country. i did not run for public service or fame or public acclaim.ught when i cast my vote i thoughtabt generation of kentuckians nott e the political winds of the time or blowing.e to words cannot express my of gratitude to the people of honor kentucky. for giving me the distinct honor of serving them for 12 years in the house of representatives and 12 years in the u.s. senate. here i stand though in the senate chamber about to say a goodbye after nearly a quarter of the century in congress.
i have reflected much about my desk of henry clay, the great, m kentucky, i am proud to have hao the opportunity to search in a egace in history. l i thought it fitting to discuss the legislative items of which t am most proud. i have three bills the volumeabe particularly proud that i was able to accomplish signing intot law. one of the things i am most proud of during my time in pass congress was helping pass the legislation that repealed the americans under the social security system.urity used to many older americans for working by reducing their social security benefits by $1 for
every $3 they earned if they made more than the earnings limit, which was about $12,000 in 1995. this was an unfair tax on seniors and punished them for continuing to work. i worked hard for many i do noters in both the -- i worked hard for many years in both the house and the senate in get this unfair earnings limit eliminated and finally in 2000, after i had been elected to the senate, it passed and was signed into law. this law has helped many hardworking seniors stay involved in their communities, remain independent, and contribute to society. another bill i'm proud of is the 2004 flood insurance reformation
act. flood in i wrote the last three authorizations of the national flood insurance program.rms at that law provided significant reforms to the program, just in time for the 2004, 2005 hurricane season, includinghadhe hurricane katrina.n have the law not been in place, coast would not have had coverage for their flood damage to their homes. the 204 but is still thegram framework for the framework today. it was not a republican accomplishment for a democratics accomplishment. it was a bipartisan wor accomplishment.ith i work very closely with senator sardines and representative be .
writer and blumenthal to write and pass that law. n while i believe that further changes are still needed to thel program, 2004 law need meaningful changes that put the program on a more sound financial footing. the unfortunately, passage of the of bill was not the end of the story. mor what happened or more accurately what didi not happen illustrats one reason why people are fed un with washington, because government doesn't do what it is supposed to do. fac despite the fact the bill passed both the senate and the h housea unanimously, sina refused to implement all of its provisions in a timely m manner. the most glaring example was the
appeals process, created by the bill for property owners to appeal claims they thought were not settled fairly or correctlyo the law gave fema six months to write the rules. fema instead took almost two years from the date the bill passed to put it even out drafte rules and they probably would not have done it then it was not for the rights of one senator to object. i had to hold the nominee tonisi head the agency, to get the administration and that the to secretary of the homeland security to finally publish the rules. way. gra the third of and grateful was
signed into law is the emergency employee occupational illness compensation program. pad the paducah, kentucky justoperan confusion plant is the onlyent uranium enrichment plant in the. united when i came to the senate, i held the first hearing to look at cleaning up contamination- that the departments of energy left at the site.ring, i after the hearing i focused onhe cleaning up the site.ars a lot has been cleaned up since i first hearing 10 years ago. i also work hard to provide compensation to workers who ills suffered serious illnesses as a result of their employment at pr plant. the d.o.e. nuclear weapons program plan.
this energy employment set compensation program was set up because many workers served our country's nuclear programs during the cold war and their health was put at risk withoutr their knowledge. the first compensation bill passed in 2000, with the help of a bipartisan group of congressmen and senators. i then became aware that d.o.e. was slow walking claimsm mantlep processing and payments to many claimants and their portion of the compensation program. so in 2004, again, with the helb of bipartisan group of senators and congressmen, i spearheaded entire program over to the department of labor, which had
sped up and streamlinedon for compensation for the sick olong with many of myac t achievements, i also had time to reflect on some of theo fix disappointments that i wish i had been able to fix during my time here. i am deeply concerned about the state of the entitlement mare, programs. medicare, medicaid and social m security. it is clear that our government cannot meet its future will obligations and ultimately the american people will suffer memf unfortunately. too many members of congress are willing to look the other way and let the financial problems of these programs faster instead make them hard decisions.
congress just cannot get the courage together to address these in fact, after president bush ts be second election, congressof a briefly focused on the problems of social security solvency. at the time i was a strong supporter of private investment accounts, but certainly realized that the whole system needed an by the end of the debate, i wasf willing to tackle social security reform, even if we didn't donvs. investment accoun. as long as we did something. however, it quickly became apparent that many members of congress, even some in my owne party were n not willing to get tirious about this.s s six years later, congress stilll
hasn't touched social securityam reform and the program is even in worse financial shape.re and medicare and medicaid are in the same position.rious abo in 2006, congress finally gotse programs and passed the deficite reduction act. this bill slowed the rate of growth -- the rate of growth in medicare pay $6 billion in by medicaid by five william over tve years. let me be clear about this. we were cutting spending inams,w these programs. we were just slowing the growth was falling when wey wa did thi.
the longer congress takes to honestly tackle these fiscal it challenges, the harder it will e be to fix these programs. this means bigger cut, bigger deficit and bigger taxe d increases.better health care is another area where congress should have done better. on the other side of the i/o, stubborn refusal to compromise, and more importantly, listen toa the desiremes of the american people on health care reform,s led to the passage of a bill that is one of the worst pieces of legislation that i have seen in congress in 24 years. the health care bill is clearlyf unconstitutional. ame
it will force millions of americans to lose the hope insurance they currently enjoy, internalreve revenue service, ts power to police and tax americans who don't have health insurance and takes overf $500 billion out of medicare programs to pay for new spending. despite all the rhetoric from thede administration and democrt leaders about being transparent and open and willing tockly compromise, it quickly became clear that the only one that republicans support if we agree to everything they wanted to dot well, compromise doesn't work like that.
a compromise means you actually have to take ideas from other people instead of just giving lip service. disantment maintaining all the requirementt was the financial regulation bill passed earlier this year.et before my first election, i in e spent 31 years working in theats security business. that was back when baseball players did not make millions of dollars a year and had to have o jobs in the off-season to payant the bills. eithe and i spent nearly all of my time in congress on either the old house banking committee fore the senate inking committee. cae so this was something i know a great deal about and care about. there were and are real problems in our financial system, but that bill does not -- that bill
is not going to fix them and almost certainly does deceive for the next banking and financial crisis, while at the same time adding more burden ons the economy is struggling to recover.that b bailouts with encrypt the. it made bailouts a permanent part of the financial system. the bill did not force the too big to fail banks to get smaller. he gave them special status. the bill ignored the role of a housing finance and left fannie mae and freddie mac alone. the housing crisis could not have happened without fannie maw and freddie mac.
the senate failed to act on a ad bill to reform fannie and freddie, passed by the banking and that failure is going to eno upf costing taxpayers hundreds f millions of dollars. congress has to do something thin to get them off the taxpayers life-support they have been on his 2008. but unfortunately, that did not happen in the financial reformfr bill. the bill also ignores the federalre reserve failures as a regulator and instead give them more power. and worst of all, the bill did t nothing to rein in the largest single cause of the currentrisid financial crisis and most of their financial crisis the paste
flawed monetary policy by the cr federal reserve. nothing congress has done will stop the next bubble or collapsi at the fed continues with the easy money policies. cheap money will always restore prices can lead to dangerous ma- behavior, no matter -- no amount of regulation can contain it.edl for many years i was a lone critic of the federal reserve, particularly no one questioned alan greenspan, despite his policy is causing two recessionl into asset bubbles. i was the lone vote against ben bernanke in 2006. i was the lone vote because i n eenspa thought hemo would continue to
greenspan monitory and regulatory policy. well, he did. he kept it up, up five monetary. policy and was slow to regulate. and then in 2008, he took the federal reserve is fiscal policy by bailing out there stirrings in later aag.tion in and just about every other financial institution in the country. as we thought even last week around the world, chairman bernanke compromised the fed and turned it into an arm of the u.s. treasury.ot gotte things have not gone better since then either. chairman bernanke is continuing with the easy monetary policy.ic and just ay a month ago startede printing presses again to buy up
more treasury debt. while the fed may be propping up the banks with plenty of cheap money, he is undermining our cen current fee. other central banks are moving continuingntinui to climb. just like the soaring national , debt and entitlement costs, the destruction of the dollar is not sustainable.he congress must act to rein in the chairman of the federal reserve and the fed do for they destroyo our currency and permanently damage our economy and financiaa system. public awareness of what the fee is doing while public opinion of the fed is falling.e had n chairman bernanke has nearly twice as many votes cast against
him this year, then there's any fed chairman in history.is and that's just not outside the fed that opposition is growing.t regional federal reserve bank voting againstd eve that policy. and even some fed members of the fed board are recognizing the dangers of chairman bernanke's n policies. i am more hopeful now than evere that the chairman of the chairman of the fed will not be allowed to continue their flood policies and act as an arm of b. the treasury and the major banks.lect as i stand here and reflect upon my time in congress, i can grati honestly say i am gratified
despite the ups and downs to have had the opportunity to serve my country and serve the people of the commonwealth of kentucky. twenty-five years in a very large portion of my life and my family's life. i think my nine children, barb,, jim, john, cara, bill, bridget, bart, amy and david and my 40noo grandchildren who inspired me to try to make this country bettert and becks are the next generation to live. i also want to give a special thanks to my wife, the mother oa my nine children and my childhood sweetheart from the ba fourth grade.
i thank her for being at my side through all of trips, the late nights i spent in the house andw the senate.hosu she is mypporte better half, who supported and stood amy. she is my lighthouse thatawayg shined in the dark during the service. and she prayed me to my wins in public service and in baseball e and i never could have done anything of these achievements without her. as this chapter in my life comes to an end and i flip the page t into a new chapter, i want to thank very much of the other by people i mn my life listed by ar
without the friendship and hav n support of so many over the able in howth the privilege to represent kentucky in the housee and the senate. as i leave here today, i offer a little prayer for the next congress. pope john paul ii once said, we freedom consists not in doing what we like, but in having thee right to do what we ought. this is the motto i've tried tot live by during my time in what congress.for th i pray that the members of the next congress do what is right for the country, not what is right for their fame and their r future aspirations. astronocal my hope is that congress will focus on the astronomical debt,g instead of continuing down the e
path of spending their future generations into higher taxes o and they lowered standard of living than we have now. godspeed and god bless. with a sense of pride and time, gratitude, i will say for theor. last time, mr. president, i yield the floor. >> coming up on c-span 2, bbc coverage of protests over height and university tuition fees.
>> britain coalition government recently voted to raise university tuition to 9000 pounds per year. that's about 14,000 u.s. dollars. this boat has led to protests and rioting in london. for mark, here is the bbc's "newsnight" program. >> i was to the right, 323. the nose to the left, 302. the aye have it. >> day and night and starts with clash of police officers berglund said house of commons, the government won the dan tuition fees. and tonight, even a card-carrying charles and camilla was attacked by demonstrators. [inaudible] >> will ask the government did
these arguments under scale the scales of the protest or it will architect plans to make students pay more. you're in the studio, the university faces today. it's been an extraordinary day and night on the streets of london. >> admin on the streets today with people who are very young and intensely angry. so does like like this'll be the last title. >> how do they expect us to pay 9000 keeping us in college. >> or life at a student debate at london school of economics. for the future of university education. >> that statute is called knowledge. like the university of education, it's not always about just what it's for. >> university of minister david harkey, kristin hunt and david
churchill. good evening come in the day began with peaceful protest over tuition fees and descended into the kind of sustained violence in trouble releasing in britain. protesters interred, others arrested police officers and others seriously hurt. government vandals vandalize. tonight they were caught up in the violence and king charles car was attacked in central london. we look at reactions to tonight seems in a moment from david willard gave inside parliament this afternoon, the mps debated the controversial increase in tuition fees up to 9000 pounds a year in england. i found i found him in the education sector sectors were about tuition fees altogether. am i came to the westminster bow, the revolt by liberal democrats that the measure passed by just 21 votes, michael crick follow these extraordinary events. this report contains flash
photography. >> tonight, substantial path of substantial london have quietly made house of control. with some of the most serious attacks on all of the british since the war. around parliament square this evening, hundreds of students and other protesters attacked the treasury. smash windows and broken science. these riots stop the false kill innovation. the supreme court was also the cause of it. also under siege, the throne, prince charles and oxford street, mobile phone capture the moment is protesters attacked the card carrying charles and camilla to a royal variety performance. the couple looks terrified and still taken afterwards, show how one of the windows smashed and the car hit with a tear in the
shot struck forth. >> he was terrified. [inaudible] >> enon mistreats one today, this has nothing to do with peaceful protests. this is property that shows some of them have no respect for abundant support or for its citizens. the police had done a tough job today an exception. we thank them for their professionalism as they put themselves on the line to keep london street safe. diesel protest is acceptable. violent protests and criminal damage by law. >> some in central london began during this morning even before the common debate started. i've mounted police tried,
without success, to stop protesters from gathering outside the house of commons. in fact, lib 10 secretary vince cable must've felt almost as beleaguered as he struggled against labor hackles and interventions to make his case by raising the cap on tuition fees to 9000 pounds a year. >> we could have made a decision to count the university systems. we could have counted the funding to universities without replacing it. but instead, we have all said for a better policy that provides a strong base for university funding, which makes a major contribution to reducing the deficit and introducing a significantly more progressive system of graduates payments, some inherited. and i'm proud to go for that measures so they pass.
>> the laborer, john denham, who rebels over her back and curse coalition mps now to follow his example. >> i do know what you're going through. it is very hard to stand aside from friends and colleagues with whom he shared many battles. so say this, after you've done it coming you realize it wasn't half as bad as he thought it would e. before you did it. the self-respecting gains far away any temporary loss of position power or income. and the truth is that in any generous blissful party that might is not the only generous in this. there is usually way back. mr. speaker, this matter, this position matters so much to so many teeple. i say to the house, if you don't believe in it, boast against it.
>> as the protest and the mayhem crew outside, mps inside couldn't hear them, couldn't see them, barely mentioned them. and the debate was tempted by tory and lib dems rebels. >> it isn't too late. there needs to be a proper review of how we can come up with the best system for higher education and indeed i'll post 18 education in this country. >> i urge the government to look again, to think again and to come back to this issue next year, six months time when we can have a proper conversation because we only get into this once. we see the principle of 9000 pounds. i'm deeply concerned about the message that pans out. >> after five hours of sometimes passionate exchanges, they voted. >> the aye's to the right, 323.
nose to the left, 323. >> the coalition majority of 21, exactly a quarter of what it should be, indicating members in both governing parties. twenty liberal democrat mps voted for the government. twenty-one against and five abstain. serve on top of all that done and teased out the leadership, meanwhile six conservatives voted against the government and two abstained. as a result of the scum of three bp is parliamentary aides to resign their posts of the whips. and lee scott of conservative. >> so as in the end, the government went to base both with tuition fees for probably the most difficult issue on the
coalition immediate agenda. the government business managers will be whether the nearly 10% of the coalition mps today fail to support the government. everything about rebelling a parliament is parliament is that it can become something of a habit. the votes in parliament may not deserve violent protests or quell public anger. parliament square has been fled tonight for now, but many demonstrators are inspired by what happened with the poll tax 20 years ago. i too was agreed by mps and ministers eventually dismissed it after violent street battles and deep public hostility. >> michael crick, we have the latest update on injuries after observances. forty-three protesters attended hospitals. thirty-six are taken by the ambulance service and hope officers have been injured the sixth hospital tonight.
janeway university administrator, were going to go through the issue later on. first of all, bush is due with the protest. the metropolitan mark had warnings for scenes that had in building power. do you think they were prepared for this? >> i saw with my own night the metropolitan protest. sadly it looks as if he were violent or in some case for a violent. i think people were very shocked by what they see. i think the police did an incredibly professional job in circumstances. and i think many of the students who came wanted to protest peacefully. it's such a tragedy that a small number of violent protesters can really sort of completely or what could have been an opportunity for people to express. >> i'm not sure about that. it doesn't seem to me that were
in that same situation at all. i mean, we're talking about something. that is a full proposal and i don't actually think that these protest -- i think they are not something that can be sustained because i don't believe the underlying grief his accent. >> you don't believe that protest can offer the politician minds in the poll tax? >> politician is a democracy. we've had the shocking protest by people who are not willing to participate. -- >> one thing we weren't expecting that the car carrying her in strauss and camilla would be attacked. what to make of what happened? because apparently they were separated from the cardinal directions and really they were left alone. >> i think one should be careful of commenting on operational police matters. the police have an incredibly different job to do across london on daily kos this from
another protest break up into different groups, small pilot groups in the ground. >> to be honest, they were taken to the hospital. to think there was an inquiry about the click >> i don't think it's right for me, a politician who didn't have the promise of seeing the work we do. i will say that the police has soured been incredibly resilient and displayed extraordinary courage and incredible difficult situation where some protesters are behaving with extreme violence. >> thank you prematurity. well, thousands of protesters in the capital today have their own reasons for being there, be they university students, school people, academic ratchet taters. paul mason said today with some of the protesters. >> use the occupation, they began the day knowing it would be decided with up to 22 days here, they're already thinking about the things and a vote in parliament. >> i think you really showed
other people but if you are in government and you're organized and unified in your public, that actually government does listen to you. i think that message will be so strong that we will follow it and there's a big society forming that cameron had been passed with the backlash and you can see it just increasing. i think the student movement is at the forefront of that. >> if it supports anybody, this movement is about people like chris, a school student who just turned up from lincoln on its own. >> i like to see myself as independent and free. and for me, being a dad is not free in being able to make choices. and if i go to university or not, will i be able to get a job at the end of this year it >> you might not go? >> i might not go. that is the honest truth. i really do want to go to university, but i come from a
not great -- not brilliantly well-off background. my parents can't support me. for sodas middle class. >> by lunchtime at upwards of 30,000 people lined here were marching through the streets of london. the official leaders of the nus could not bring themselves to take part. the seasoned political spoke think the party changed the whole game of politics under the coalition. >> what has really changed or is this new sense. people thought there's no alternative, you can't resist the government. there's no means means of defeating them because there's an alternative to what was happened to the homeric agenda. that's what is change. people think it is possible. >> i think they're almost the driving force. >> their differing slightly to it. >> we are deferring to the men in white. the leadership in a way because
they are the ones who immediately been invited. they are the ones who are panicking about the impact of the huge amounts of debt if they have university education. with the march reached parliament, it hit a dead-end. nobody knew where it should go. >> it's 2:00 in parliament square and there's nowhere to go other than into the police lines. >> this is where the police begin to lose control. what defenses down, soon there were skirmishes beyond parliament. with the majority did not want to skirmish. they wanted to dance. above all, the very youngest. this is the unlikely force that blew a hole in the coalition in the first time many of them will
get to vote will be at the next general election. with events began to break away from parliament it started the battle lasted long into the night. recharge completely. protesters attacked routine fireworks and some heavy objects. at times, the crowd overwhelms the police and they used their batons freely. the police too suffered numerous casualties. through it all, a sense of a break with western protest has meant in the past. >> are from the slums of london, yes? how do they expect us to pay for university and keep us in college, what's stopping us from doing drug dose on the street
quite >> the day draws to a close quite ugly for the coalition government because the people fighting here in the streets that they been covered in full view of the cameras by and large of a young british people and they just paid that they're going to have to pay for their education. >> the streets around why tolerancing clashes before and didn't movement combo never before before has the government majority teetered under the majority of six farmers and to decide that dog stand. >> paul mason, with the architect has arrived and democrats these. i spoke to him earlier. people amount the liberal democrats can't be trusted. >> no, that not correct at all. where the coalition agreement for implementing the coalition agreement, we knew that it wasn't going to be possible to deliver the pre-election commitments on tuition fees. if we had a challenge, which
responded to, which was to enact policies which contribute to reducing government deficit, while finding other ways of providing something for universities to keep low-cost standards and to change the system they inherited for labor of a graduate contribution to make a more progressive, more related to the possibilities. we've done those things in difficult circumstances. >> so yesterday, nick clegg seem to suggest that this was a compromise were not a need to act with the coalitions. he seemed to be saying this is the best policy possible. what is that? >> in an ideal world, would spend lots of money and everything would be free. when not in an ideal world. what a very, very tough financial environment in which universities and other bits of the economy are very difficult, painful cuts are having to be made. >> and makes it quite clear, before the election, liberal democrat mps find against
tuition fees. now is that because he believed in it or because you thought you'd never get into power and therefore you would never have to actually stick to your principles? >> was a policy of tuition fees and getting rid of tuition fees that have signed up to it. i was part of policy. when we join the coalition government -- >> did you agree with that or not? >> i supported my party -- >> tearjerkers getting rid of tuition fees are not? >> i supported my party's policies. only after the coalition, we have to make compromises, we did make compromises. the tories have dewdrops and their favorite policies. we need a tuition fee or want to be a difficult one. we agreed we try to make the system better and fairer than that the we've done in the context which i've inherited as a departmental minister having to make very painful cuts. some focus not on what happened moments ago because we're having to make tough choices peered
>> output it output it to you that it's inconvenient to remember, but the problem is the liberal democrat that is member decisive interesting is the level democrat except for two gpss voted for the policy, literal democrats voted against the biggest ever rebellion and the liberal democrat that was formed in you couldn't carry a party with you. >> we did as you say have a substantial number of colleagues. we knew when i went to government that this is probably going to be one of the most difficult challenges that have faith. my job as the secretary of state is i inherited a system based on things that they were going to rise substantially. they were fully committed to making very deep cuts in my department, considered universities to read some of the brown reporter. my job was to try and make the system fairer, better and that's what i've -- >> that you haven't been able -- if you can't convince your own
back and just, how do you convince the country? you can certainly hear the noise outside. people see this as a betrayal of principle at the first hurdle. the liberal democrats have failed unexpressed principle. >> no, we haven't filled it all. the first test we have with the coalition and was a difficult test because we entered into government. if you may remember the context come the country needed government. it was a financial emergency. the country when the parties to work together in the first big test remained was entering into the coalition, accepting compromises on things we believed in and were very committed to. >> this is the first evidence of the impact of that. and sure the evidence liberal democrat had two parties now. if the guys in power and the guys in the back inches in your split now and the split will continue. >> no, that is not correct. i think actually we significantly stronger having
been through this very difficult process -- we've met together several times in the last few days to debate with each other how we should do with this. people have strong views, but we are of colleagues. we going to work together as a team. there's no permanent position. we're going to put behind us. >> you've got your fingers crossed on that. >> all my colleagues are now fully committed to the coalition governments, including those who voted against it. >> can ask you one final question because this is that in exercising many liberal democrats. the assertion that this will actually be good for poor students because of poor students poor families are that they are. when you are essentially doing is condemning them to decades of death and i will put about it then off to university. >> i think that is absolutely wrong. we've built into this policy he holds series of commitments, which many will not have been. first of all, i went to graduate from pay any contributions.
if people graduate and they're in low income, take time off to a family and are unemployed. >> with this hanging over their heads? >> is a more progressive system. large numbers of people not have to pay the full contribution. it is going to people's ability to pay. this is not dead in a commercial sense. student loans are not a commercial scheme. they are not affected by it in any way. i'm also hoping people from low-income families in other ways. a scholarship scheme will help with that. we've increased the availability of grant to people in the study university. the assistance has been made considered more aggressive than that was. >> vince cable, thank you very much. so off the trouble, what happened down the student movement? map roger and some protesters at the london school of economics. not. >> yes, kirsty kameny osseous of course one of the most
prestigious universities in the world are at a critical point for generations of leaders. but you can see from the poster under occupation at the moment. all the thing people have been coming back from the protest of students failing to hear through the entrance of the university and appear on the right is where they have been occupying for the past week one of the rooms here. it hasn't disrupted studies here because of large proportion of students here are foreign students were largely unaffected by this whole debate. but the british students have occupied this room here. as you can see here, just tear in this room is where they've been preparing their size, their placards. and here now, they've been glued to the tv coverage tonight, seeing how it's going going down. we've got a group of them here to see how they feel about how the protest is going. i'm going the first of all to sasha came in here, one of the
organizers. asha, let me ask you first of all, how did you feel about a protest that began as a peaceful protest against tuition fees and the news headlines who are watching tonight with attacks on shops on oxford street and the attack on charles and camilla, please been injured. >> we all want peace, but i think it's been completely under barto pilot the police where. i didn't have a glass of water, i didn't see anything from 12:00 until 6:00 and the only reason i could add 6:00 so i faked a panic attack. so realistically, it's not student violence. it's a reaction to the fact that we were stuck, like i don't know how we were stuck there for so long. their kids there come apparent there come a tourist who were there. >> did you see people attacking police at all? >> i thought it made, i saw a
stick. i saw people not moving when they were being pushed. yeah, i mean, people retaliated. they are angry. as their futures. the brothers aren't going to be able to go to university and that's a tragedy. it's a passionate issue, so people are passionate and people might have been bit rough. but it's nothing like -- were not terrorists. >> the police of course can contest that account. sharon, do you feel the protest today was a success? i mean, of bill went regardless. >> i think it was a success and the fact that we kept the opposition up and showed them after the vote winfrey were still going to be there comes a point to protest him is so going to show we're going to do everything we can to make sure they oppose as much as possible. >> so what now? is this occupation, is a sober
now? >> now. no way. >> no? so what to do? >> we went to the chancellor to write a statement and until he does that, were not moving anywhere. >> so you're not moving anywhere? the students are going to be putting out here tonight. there's a paper here from sheffield as well. as i say, dirt going nowhere. >> thank you coming up. we are joined by the university of manchester and peter walston from london school of economics. before i come to you, speaking up on what with sasha sad day. first up, she knew it was the university and she realized it were going to carry on. >> i was shocked when she said we were engaged in the university because they're paying the fees. of course are not going to pay
the fees pay the taxpayers going to provide the money for students, of course, i will be passed onto the university. no fan family have to reach and impact pocket to pay for the child to go to university. when and if they graduate and earn well-paid jobs, appointing a contribution. i don't think that should deter. i very much hope it doesn't detour. >> i think that's exactly the point. people will be deterred from going to universities because of the deception, because of the problem of the 9000 headline feed. one of the iranian dr. lewis said whether people can be as fair. and it is quite clear from the protest, from the petitions that they don't. >> the 9000 for tuition, but you've also got standard of living. >> so you end up with 50,000 by the time to be the university possibly. >> how do you feel about that? >> i have a problem with it. it makes me feel like i don't
have the freedom to do what i want to do. it remains true that those in the poorest backgrounds tend to be the most perverse. >> director question. >> if you look at, for your course at rutherford university come a student on, courts cannot expect to graduate with 40,000 pounds debt. i would call the progressive. i you might argue that after 30 years to wipe off that day. being in debt for 30 years is that progressive. i guess what i want to know from you, david come as you said yourself a short while ago, a few months ago, that the universities had not made the case for being able to charge higher fees. now the fact that i seize up up over the next decade, it has not appeared renouncing a bonfire community subjects being cut. are you telling me that with the troubling if he is, the quality of our education is also troubled? >> i think you put your finger in one of the key challenges.
part of the thinking behind proposals. i think there is an issue about universities providing high-quality teaching experience. i think what we've got at the moment is very strong incentives to focus on research. but there's a large amount of students who don't think they get enough contact time and academics. they think the seminars are too crowded. they do things that the big-name professors don't need to be around teach something much could be to want to change and i think these proposals, with the universities to the students bring something we'll address precisely that. i think you're putting your finger on what many people are frustrated with. to make a really placed in state funding by pushing it onto the student. funding has not been increased. >> it is accepted contributions from the graduate. it's not on the student. you're right. our philosophy is the money should come to the choices of the student. i think what is going to do -- and you can hold me to account
away what you see his universities looking out and see what exactly is the teaching experience we offer prospective students and hockley make sure it is what classes to students who come to this university. that is a challenge for these reforms. they won't be able to get money anymore. >> i think it's quite a false the universities have low standards of teaching compared to their comparative equals the university sector, yet they have ridiculous place. and that's what is going to change. obviously does not do that much. they can rely on always having those applying. i think when the framing questions is that student that policy are angry that our teaching grounds of social science is is being cut by hundreds of cents. were angry about that. we protested peacefully and i was questioning the police areas by police. my friend was completely peaceful with her collarbone
broken. we are angry about the social sciences being cut. and by exercising our democratic rights of peaceful protests come as acceptable were being treated this way? >> before we can one come i must point out a number of officers were injured and students as well. >> i do think that it's sad that interest people who wish to protest have been cut up in violent protests, which i'm sure a small portion of people over demonstrating. first of all, going back to teaching, i think actually are a bit harsh and i think the director of the loc themselves with a one of the things he wants to do is focus is focus one of teaching experience. and also, this is crucial, we are not against social scientists. these are changes that operate fairly across. i'm not sitting trying to pick the subjects the student should do or tilt the playing field or in favor of another. while we believe in us well informed choices by students.
>> thank you very much indeed. today's rise in tuition fees and the cuts in direct funding of university are likely to have a profound effect on universities do we just been hearing. how will the social and fact the cultural campus change. david dawson reports. >> there's a joke that your queen mary's university of london rather enjoy. if an experiment to screener, it's biology. if it's stinks, it's chemistry. if it doesn't work, what will be the outcome of the changes to higher education? well, that is still very hard to calibrate. academics are clear and one thing. it is very much an experiment. >> that have to be a godlike economist psychology politician to know it's going to look like because the government is so radically changing the rules that we don't know what it's going to look like publicly until four, five, six years down the line. >> focusing simply on the rising tuition fees, they distort the
wider picture of higher education funding. >> so does the fees feast of will be charged to the potential to be trouble. designing places like this will not be awash with cash? the extra income from students will be offset sometime more than offset by the reduction of the amount of money from general taxation. >> at present, universities get paid by central government per student in four bands. the top is the medicine and dentistry is 14 and a half thousand per student per year. the lowest ban from our classroom-based courses typically offers the humanities currently overdid 2641 pounds per student per year. look at what the changes will need. in the future, that toppings that is being cut to 10,794 pounds, with the bottom goes to zero. the government will not be hoping to fund those courses at
all. >> when tuition fees was at their current levels in 2004, there what was referred to as toughies. another is in many cases the government contribution to top that. professor simon castle is the principal of queen mary university of london. it is a concern that they will be in future too much emphasis on earnings and not enough on learning. i think we should be asking the question of what was the fundamental purpose of higher education? it is certainly to improve skills and individual employability. they're actually wider functions map. the robust in the current debate as we become too focused on university for skills for increasing employability and increasing income. it should also be about rotter benefit to society, enriching society both for technical advances and also cultural advances us well.
>> crucially which courses they choose. >> students at the moment are not only going to the university to improve, they are going there to study a subject that they love. without personal development, both in academic terms and personal terms. however, there'll be a rising tuition fees, the majority of students who are now going to university to improve their future guilt of income and improve their graduate prospects. >> i'm worried about the nature of this policy, which does seem to me like a rather huge gamble with a few hedged bets, if you like him in a progressive direction around the edges. the campbell which the government itself can't be sure how it's going to turn out. they are throwing him to estimate individual choices of students but the outcomes may be. we can plan for the various outcomes. we can conjecture, to market analysis. we can to plan budgets for the next two years. redoing all of those things, but
we do feel this is an unnecessarily -- raphael this is an unnecessarily large campbell. >> the farmer's market at queen mary suggest a more businesslike administration, looking at ways of maximizing revenue. customers who chose this is to chevron assents shopping for an education spending their own debt. a couple of decades ago, mr. next it was to preserve. now it's part of all the lives of all young people. some were the results of these current changes will be further move towards commercialization. >> there was no public universities be more businesslike, but they're not businesses. they are core values and universities come which have existed for hundreds of years and will continue for hundreds of years to come. and those are to do with a generation of new knowledge, the creation of knowledge and the dissemination of knowledge through multiple channels, which is treating the graduate