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tv   [untitled]  CSPAN  June 7, 2009 10:00am-10:30am EDT

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about health care. there is a piece this morning in the paper about how some states could be modeled for health insurance providers across the country. any lessons for washington? guest: be careful. as you look at health care reform there's not just the goal of access. there is also the goal of maintaining costs and improving quality. if you look at the models they are, specifically for massachusetts, they expanded access but the program costs more than they predicted. dramatically more. if they go down that path with a standard benefits set and forced insurance mandate -- a government competing with the private market in many other features like that -- they could be creating more access but go
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the opposite direction in costs. most people want to be in charge of their own health care with a doctor. i think it is the wrong direction in that regard. host: thank you for being with us, governor tim pawlenty. every day the "washington journal" gets under way at 7:00 a.m. eastern. tomorrow, these guests. also, more on the auto industry dave mccurdy, with the alliance of automobile manufacturers. and the national security adviser jim jones will begin a review on a plan to expedite the
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public release of classified documents. we will have the perspective of stephen from the federation of american scientists on the project of government secrecy. that is all tomorrow morning. thanks for being with us. enjoy the rest of your weekend. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009] . .
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>> this is still not acceptable. it's a high unemployment rate and it's increased over the last month. what i see are more job
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seekers. >> when you see that the highest unemployment in 25 years, what's your reaction? >> i don't like it. i don't think it's acceptable. and i think we still have to be very vigilant and focusing in on riges of the country that really need help and assistents. and that's what i've been doing is touring some of the states hardest hit, particularly in ohio and in michigan and other parts of the country that have very high unacceptable, unemployment rates higher than this figure. >> we have two reporters here from different parts of the country. >> as you know, your home state is one of those places hard hit at 11% unemployment rate. there are four other states that are over 11%. michigan has 12.9%. what is the administering doing particularly for those states particularly hard hit and when it comes to the long term under
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available to the states, and many states are benefiting from an extension of unemployment benefits. that went out and gave a $25 increase for anyone who is drawing down unemployment insurance. additionally some states that have gone so far as to change and modify their laws to receive funding under the ui modernization act will now be able to get moneys to help provide coverage for part time workers. and in many cases women and people that have to move on because a spouse has moved to oods location or they were a victim of domestic violence. this is an additional source of funding. and i would say to you that in two weeks i will be able to announce money for the creation of job training programs that will address green collar and renewable energy sebtors that we believe will show a good potential of growth if we make those investments now. >> are you -- what evidence are
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you seeing that the stimulus money, i'm assuming that some of the green retraining money is coming from the stimulus. what evidence are you seeing that the stimulus money is having an impact on the unemployment rate in those states and nationwide? >> i would phrase it in this manner. the recovery program had different aspects to impact our communities. one was to allow for a one-time augmentation in social security for seniors. $250. the fact that you also saw a $25 increase in ui benefits weekly is also more disposeable income. and then with people taking advantage of tax credits and what have you, many of those filers are seeing their returns coming in now in the last three weeks. so i know that all of that has helped to couple to create more consumer confidence and people are helping the retail industry which is what i saw in the figures that i reviewed on friday that there was a little increase there, not as much as
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i would like to see but certainly there is some -- something happening out there in the community. >> steve. >> madam secretary, let's go back to if green jobs. you and i talked about this briefly on the telephone the other day. you visit d ohio and michigan and one of the places you went was a company called glass tech which is making some promising advancements in solar energy and manufacturing. but glass tech employees may be a couple hundred jobs or employees, there's another company called sunlight that a number of members of congress have talked about. but sunlight employs a hundred people. how can these small but promising companies possibly absorb the tens of thousands of jobs that are being lost in the auto industry? >> it won't be a silver bullet, but i will say to you that we are encouraged that there will be funding available through, say, the department of energy to help expand those kind of manufacturing jobs. and i think the beauty of the plant that i visited the glass
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tech corporation is that they are already installing wind shields on cars for foreign and domestic. but the same type of equipment that they are using that they developed as state of the art will also help to manufacture solar panels. and i was privileged to see the plant and the process that occurs. and they would like to be able to sell more of their quimet world wide. i guess my answer to you is we definitely need to see some investment, more research dollars put that way. and i believe that members of the cab in the have had their attention drawn to places like that and what would be encouraged to help support those kind of activities. >> does it concern you at all that while they want to sell their product worldwide, they also have facilities worldwide in india and china. so those jobs might not be american jobs? >> i would tell you that if they were to expand, i'm certain there would be other opportunities in other surrounding states and perhaps other parts of the that region.
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i gezz that's where my perspective comes in, where i believe that the jobs that we create first and foremost should be helping american workers and my i guess in my opinion i would say that i'm going to do everything i can to make sure that we retool, we provide education and training opportunities so that the most people that were recently laid off and dislocated in those regions of the country have an opportunity to either get into a health care career or an it career or say in an entirely different area, but to make sure that there are capabilities that they will achieve, that they will be able to grasp once they get the education and training, and if they have to be mobile and in some cases they may, that they will have that opportunity that there will be a job at the end of the day. >> getting back to the auto industry. general motors just filed for bankruptcy, chrysler is in bankruptcy. one area where there is potential large job loss is the
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cut backs in the dearlyships that chrysler and gm announced. i was at a hearing last week with a number of senators really grillingscutives from chrysler and gm about the dealerships closings. they plan to close about thousands of dealers and that could result in hundreds of job losses. will they push them to ease back on these dealership closings or at least extend the timetable for these dearlies to get rid of their inventory? >> i know it's a very pressing situation, no doubt about it. people are losing their jobs. i would say to you that those kind of decisions are going to have to be made between chrysler and the uaw because those are contract tull agreements that they reached and i'm not privy to those kinds of discussions that have gone on. i would hope, though, that we would be able to help those people that are now being told that their plants, for example,
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saying in the automobile industry, that their plants that are going to be closing that they have some advantage or some preparation to be able to at least know how to get into the unemployment insurance area but also be able to get into a training program. we did that in ohio recently working with senator shared brown. so i think that kind of rapid response you have not seen before, and i really think it is important to talk about those kinds of things. >> but when it comes to the dealers in particular, there's a real point of contension between the companies and the dealers as to how much money these dealerships actually cost them. and the government now is in a position where it has clout with these companies. and if dearls are saying we've got lots of inventory that the company has forced us to take on that we're now not going to be able to get rid of, we're going to be stuck with these cars, isn't there an obligation for the administration to try to intervene in situations like that and mitigate the potential
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job loss and the problems that might take place there? >> well, i'm certain that other cabinet members that are more closely involved in those discussions are probably looking at that issue. but i will say that the president has made an effort to say that we want to encourage people to turn in their old car and use that as a down payment to acquire another vehicle. we also want to beef you have beef up our ability to bring in more fleets. so that's something that i think is an incentive as well. certainly it's not everything but i think it's a good start. >> speaking of trading in cars, do you expect cash for clunkers to pass soon? >> i think it's something that is certainly interesting to think about. and i think it will be an incentive for people. i think the public is interested. i believe. and i know it's shg that is used in other countries. i just met with the foreign labor minister from germany who told me they have a very
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similar program for about the equal amount of money that they're using right now. they typically sell more efficient smaller cars. so i think that the concept isn't really new but certainly something that we should possibly look at. >> on friday the vice president announced plans that the president will outline in greater detail in the week ahead in trying to encourage faster stimulus spending plan to create more jobs. can you pree view what we're going to hear this week? >> i would just say to you that in my department in about two weeks we will be shug our grant solstation for the green jobs that we've been talking about for the training and planning and preparation. >> which will mean what? >> which will mean $500 million that will be available for different states and lo cals to be able to come in partnerships with different organizations, public and private, and hopefully draw down the money to target the kinds of jobs that are going to have meaning
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for different parts of the countries. so that's $500 million and $250 million that will also be issued in health care careers and also in i.t. >> why is it taking so long to get the stimulus money out? you mentioned grant solstation. is there a way to get this money out quicker as it's progresses? what are some of the complications in getting this money out? >> a lot has to do with making sure that the appropriate guidance and guidelines are followed and that states are notified. in many ways it's working out a contract tull agreements with the different states too to make sure that they understand what our guidelines are and just two weeks ago we issued our guidelines. so it does take time. but i would say that this is the first time i've seen the amount of money coming out so quickly. it will be coming out quickly. in terms of you've got to remember, he just signed this piece of legislation in february, so this is kind of a rapid response, i would say,
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according to what you've seen in the past. at least in terms of what i've seen in the last eight years. >> hie has a chrysler stamping plant that will use roughly 1200 jobs. you mentioned it part of your announcement in ohio. i was talking to the mayor asking her about that response and she said they're grateful for that money and that will help the workers. but she still wants to know what about the community? what about our loss of tax revenue and infrastructure? what about the hit we're going to take to city services and we may have to lay off employees as a result of that sf because the recovery act has money that's based on building new infrastructure to create new jobs. that's not their problem in twinsberg. they've got infrastructure but they're losing the jobs. so what's your response on behalf of the administration? >> i would say to you that the money that is we did provide for that particular plant will be useful because it will help
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those people get into training programs immediately, but it will also help to provide what we call wrap around services so they can be eligible for some form of health care, education, training, ui benefits. so it is something that we're starting to do with folks that we know are going to be terminated. and i think that, again, what we want to try do is make sure there are other agencies are working with us hand in hand and focusing in on where the job creation will be so that we have the capital. as you know, part of the struggle that i heard visiting the two states that i was at in ohio and michigan, is that businesses need to have more capital. so i think that some of the movement that the administration has made by allowing for more lending to occur through department of energy and through sba, those kinds of incentives i think are going to be good. it takes a while, keep in mind, to make sure that all the t's are crossed and i's are dotted
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but i believe there will be some relief for people who want to expand into these industries where we can put auto workers into or anyone else who may be attracted into these new jobs. >> and i'm sure it's appreciated but i'm not hearing anything that goes to the immediate needs of twinsberg ohio, which not long ago had 1200 employees and sometime next year is not going to have that and that's a lot of tax revenue to do without. what is your advice to the city? >> i think it's something that we're all very concerned about. i know that in my own state of california we're also faced with many of our cities having to cut back on a lot of their services. i think part of it is localities and sta governments have to also readjust their budgets. many may have spent more than they should have when times when things are good and we have to think differently now with the revenue that we do have. i know it's going to be hard but i think that this
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administration is one that's really listening to what is going on. and when i went out to visit the communities out in ohio, it was very clear to me that the workers there, while many have lost their jobs or will, i could see the tenacity in -- and their body language that they are very much concerned, invested in wanting to keep the manufacturing base here in america. and i believe that our government and our president is very commitmented to that. and certainly i am. >> madam secretary, speaking of readjusting budgets, your home state of california is the trying to undergo a major budget adjustment. there's a huge budget crisis there. the state has had trouble or anticipates trouble borrowing money and has asked the federal government for guarantees for short-term borrowing. will the administration do anything for california and for other states, states are major employers. the money funnels down to local governments.
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there's a lot of jobs at stake. will the administration do anything to try to help these states deal with short-term cash flow issues, credit issues in terms of federal gaurnts or other federal assistance? >> well, i can't tell you that i am directly and intimately involved in those discussions but i do know that there has been reaching out, so to speak, from the governor and the state of california and the treasure and talking to people in the white house. and i know that california is of great concern because if that economy collapses it could have very profound impact across the globe. so i know that i and others given the opportunity will try to do as much as we can with our discretionary money in terms of that we have to try to focus on in those areas. i know that we have tremendous foreclosure problems. there's been some i think leveling off a bit where people are now getting into first time home buyers are utilizing those incorrectives that the government has put out and people are able to draw down on
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some credit. there was a little encouragement there with people purchasing autos in this particular survey that we jist saw for this past month that. it's certainly not where it needs to be. but then again, every state in the union is struggling from this. >> is the state's economy collapsing? >> i would say that it is in very dire situation and it does need attention. but i would -- i believe that the state lawmakers there, as a former lawmaker myself, that sometimes you have to make some hard decisions. and pain has to be spread out so i understand that there's negotiations going on now. i know the governor has his plan and there's some resistance. i think part of the problem you see is that you have such a high standard touf meet to raise taxes and ref new. you have to have a two-thirds vote and which is very high and somewhat unrealistic to reach. >> we have seen banks that are too big to fail get tral
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assistance. we have seen auto makers that are too big to fail get federal assistance. isn't california too big to fail? shouldn't there be some, if we're extending aid to these other private entities, shouldn't the government have a responsibility to make sure that a state the size of california doesn't run into the type of problems that's going to result in thousands of additional job losses? >> i would agree that we've already begun to address some issues with respect to government, because we did make moneys available in health care through medicaid and also i believe we helped to postpone some of the layoffs that were occurring in the state because of unemployment insurance, that whole structure, they also received some money to be able to put in so we could administrator the -- administrator the program because of what happened in the unemployment crisis. but we also saw money going into our schools. but i do know that that was,
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that helped at least for a short time to keep people at their jobs. >> madam secretary, your predecessor bragged in a speech last year that the department of labor had about 15% less money than a decade ago. and she thought that was a good thing because she said that proved you could do more with less and osha had downsized with fewer employees. safety and health administration had a 42% reduction. and the g.a.o. also found that there were fewer wage and hour enforcement actions. now, the department counted that it was working on higher profile cases because that would have a bigger impact. and the bush administration said, look, factory, office, and injuries and deaths have gone down. i have a feel you might not agree with that. are you doing anything to change that focus. >> well, i would hope so. because i know that some of the
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reports issued by the g.a.o. and members of congress have brought to our attention and to the public that the department of labor has not kept up to pace with respect to investigations that should be done by osha and also by wage and hour. and i do believe that now is the time to make that shift. and we did get some additional help to do that in this recovery program. and i hope in the following year we'll be able to do that as well. i think that's what our role is. our goal is to help people find employment, but also provide safety and protection in the workplace. so if you go into your job in the morning, you should be able to go home to your family at night. >> what about the staffing levels and also any changes in role making because there was some last minute role making. >> i would just say that we are taking a review, examination of many of the what they call midnight rules that were passed by the previous administration. we have suspended some of those and are taking a look and will go out again and talk to the
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different stakeholders, and then we'll come back and make whatever nofsery changes we deed -- necessary changes. >>? >> we're looking at a rule regarding the visas that deal with farm workers. the rule that was put in place three days before president barack obama was naug rated would have lowered the wages and put more farm workers in harm's way, lowering their wages. and they would would have had incur more personal costs. i don't think that levels the playing field for other farm workers in the country and farmers abiding by some good practices. >> how high do you think the unemployment rate is going to go? and what do you say to people who keep hearing that there are signs that the economy is improving, that the recession is ending, and yet the
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unemployment rate continues to rise? how do you explain to people that dynamic and how high do you think it's going to go before it does start to go down? >> i couldn't give you a particular figure as to how high that's going to go and i wouldn't want to. i guess my message to you and to the public is that in hard economic times like this, that are unprecedented, we always receive the lagging figures for workers -- dislocated workers to get back. so that is going to lag and that may continue to contract. and my hope is that however we'll start to see at least some other changes that we saw this last month, where you're actually seeing, say, fewer people getting in the lines of unemployment and people that are now at least stabilized in their workplace for the time being until we see more growth. so i don't have a quick answer for you except to say that i would hope that, again, the
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resilience of the american workforce is very important. i just see hope. i see hope in the ice of people that i saw struggling in cleveland, ohio, and in chicago, places that i've been, miami, laws, and looking at the future down the line i know that there are many young people who have a lot of hope who i've met who are working in construction jobs for the first time and maybe have not had all the opportunities that other people have had that are now beginning to see that there's hope for them that they could get into a career and help provide for their families. it's amazing what the american spirit is like when you go out into the different communities and neighborhoods to see what is happening. >> should people expect more pain, more job losses at least through the end of the year or beyond? is it unrealistic for people to think that this is going to turn around relatively quickly as some of the other indicators are suggesting? >> i would say that it's not going to turn around as quick
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as you and i would like to see it. we've been in this situation now since december of 2007 and in communities where i lived in los angeles county we saw upwards of unemployment in 9%, the still of eel monte and that was almost a year and a half ago. so there are a lot of people hurting and cities that have higher rates of unemployment that i found in ohio and michigan and other parts around the country that need our attention and help. and that's what we're going to do to play our resources and help those people out on the ground. >> the president has talked quite a bit about the need to do a better job preparing high school students for college. i'm wondering whether we're sending too many kids to college right now. college graduates are having a tough time finding work. something like 20% of this year's college graduates have found jobs so far. but i'm wondering, shouldn't we be doing more to prepare people for the trades, more plumbers?
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more carp enters? do we need to change our thinking about this? they're working at restaurants, working at bars. >> i will be honest. i think part of what we need to do is when we retool, we're retooling for good jobs that are going to pay well. so i would think that for example we certainly need more people in math and science, we need more people in engineering. we need people to get into these new renewable energy industry that is i think are really going to pay off. so many other countries are so far advanced than we are in this area that i would hope that we could continue on that path. but also keep opportunities open for those dislocated workers, many who don't have a high school education who won't be able to get into community college but may be able to get into a short-term program, an apprenticeship program. we have the electrical workers unions that has partnerships and they help train people,
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turn them around from typically electricians to those now installing solar panels and a new grid system. so i think that there are opportunities for those that don't want to go on to college and maybe don't have the means to do it but could find other alternative typeses of training that could help them get into good paying jobs. >> what sectors of the economy give you the most hope and what are you worried about the most? >> i would say this last month we saw an increase of 24,000 jobs in the health care arena. and given that we're looking at health care reform, i think that fits very nicely, the notion that we need to expand services and health care as the baby boom generation, our generation continues to live longer. some, maybe not as healthy. we're still going to have needs, but you're still going to have that person standing next to you administratoring whatever midssn or treatment that you need. so we need to get more people into the health care arena starting at the bottom and moving up. and also retooling o


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