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tv   [untitled]  CSPAN  June 23, 2009 10:30am-11:00am EDT

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is fair as far as mr. obama is concerned? do you think there is every time mr. bush's policy should be discussed by your company? caller: i would say that if host: i would say that if you took our same coverage from 2001 we would have heard different sentiments depending on your political party. but it would be different whether it is a democrat or republican in the white house. >> "washington journal" is live every day at 7:00 a.m. eastern. we're leaving this now as the house is meeting for their morning hours. legislative work starts soon. four bills deal with veterans issues. now live to the house floor here on c-span. the speaker pro tempore: the
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house will be in order. the chair lays before the house a communication from the speaker. the clerk: the speaker's rooms, washington, d.c. june 23, 2009. i hereby appoint the honorable sheila jackson lee to act as speaker pro tempore on this day. signed, nancy pelosi, speaker of the house of representatives. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the order of the house of january 6, 2009, the chair will now recognize members from lists submitted by the majority and minority leaders leaders for morning hour debate. the chair will alternate recognition between the parties with each party limited to 30 minutes and each member other than the majority and minority leaders and the minority whip limited to five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentlelady from north carolina, ms. foxx, for five minutes. ms. foxx: thank you, madam speaker. i rise today to celebrate the
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150th anniversary of allegheny county, north carolina. allegheny county was created by an act of the north carolina legislature in 1859. the county sits astride the appalachian mountains in the north carolina high country and boasts some of the most beautiful mount yea scenery in north carolina. since its creation in 1859, allegheny county has been called home by countless hardworking north carolinians from farmers to small business owners who know the value of a hard day's work. one of allegheny's most notable native sons, robert taughton, served here in the house of representatives for 42 years from 1911 to 1953. congressman taughton -- daughton was chairman of the house ways and means committee for 18 of his years in congress. he also played a decisive role in creating the blue ridge
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parkway which we all know is one of the most beautiful scenic roads in america. today allegheny hosts a 6,000 acre park named in his honor and known for its excellent wildlife viewing. the blue ridge parkway itself also cuts a scenic path in the county just a stone's throw from the county seat, sparta. it is a place of unique beauty and character right off the beaten path. from the pristine waters of the new river to the distinct sounds of its local bluegrass musical heritage, it is a one of a kind place found only in the great state of north carolina. the people here are friendly and welcoming, good-natured, and full of common sense. i'm proud to represent them in congress and proud to join them in celebrating the 150th anniversary of this fine
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county. madam speaker, i would also like to speak briefly this morning about the run away federal spending that we are seeing occurring in this congress. here are the facts on spending from this year. a $2 trillion deficit for f.y. 2009. the second traunch of the tarp allowed to be spent, $350 billion. the stimulus package, h.r. 1, $787 billion but over $1 trillion with debt cost. the omnibus appropriatis bill, $409 billion. president obama's budget increase total spending to $4 trillion in 2009 or 28% of g.d.p., the highest federal spending as a percentage of g.d.p. since world war ii. federal spending is out of
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control. republicans in the last week or so have offered many, many amendments, most of which were designed to cut federal spending. however the democrats don't want to hear those amendments. they say they wld take too much time. apparently the democrats can't spend the people's money fast enough. republicans believe congress has the time to practice fiscal discipline. republicans are going to stand up for the american people and fight run away federal spending. madam speaker, the other issue that needs to be addressed is the misleading comments made almost every day on this floor about the uninsured in this country. we hear over and over again a figure that 47 million americans don't have health care. that is not true. first of all the number of people who are uninsured in
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this country is only 45.7 million. 9.5 million of them are illegal aliens. 12 million of them are eligible for public programs but they choose not to participate. 7.3 million have incomes of $84,000 a year and choose not to purchase insurance. only temporarily uninsured 9.1 million. that brings us to 7.8 million who are american citizens, lower income, and long-term uninsured. we have to continue to correct the misleading numbers given on this floor every day by our colleagues across the aisle. we are going to continue to do that. with that, madam speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back her time. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from virginia, mr. connolly, for five minutes.
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mr. connolly: thank you, madam speaker. madam speaker, i rise today to highlight the economic health care reform. as my friend from north carolina just indicated there are a lot of misleading statistics on health care. in fact we just heard a few from her. we have heard a great deal about the human cost of failing to reform health care. 46 million americans lack health care insurance. a child without insurance, for example, is five times more likely to die of appendicitis than a child that has access to health care insurance. the loss of any life is truly incalculable. however there are those who would rather avoid talking about that child. they prefer to talk of the dollars and cents of health care. those who worry only about the cost of reform, i would like to discuss the tremendous economic cost of doing nothing. we know the cost of doing nothing. without reform small businesses will pay $2.4 trillion in
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health care for their employers over the next decade. reforming the system and controlling costs could save those small businesses $800 billion by 2018, and save $168,000 jobs unless we do nothing. currently 46 million americans lack health insurance. we know the economic costs of that. in 2008 federal, state, and local governments paid $42.9 billion to reimburse the uncompensated cost for visits to health clinics and hospitals. by the uninsured. that place as tax burden on every american of $627 a year, madam speaker. if we continue doing nothing, the tax burden in inflation adjusted dollars will nearly triple by 2030. a health insurance cost continue to rise, and they l. and as more americans find themselves unable to afford insurance, and they will, those reimbursement cost also skyrocket. we know the cost of doing nothing and we cannot afford
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that cost. americans have the most expensive health care system in the world. true, the quality of care at the highest levels is second to none. however the dramatically rising costs each year render more and more people unable to access that quality care. as chairman of fairfax county, virginia, board of supervisors one of the primary concerns i heard from county retirees was the rapidly rising costs of health care. senior citizens and those on fixed incomes were especially concerned that the ever-growing premiums were forcing them to choose between health care and other necessities. private industries also feeling that pinch. companies such as i.b.m. have begun to eliminate retiree health care benefits altogether precisely because of rising health care costs. in 1960, health care costs in the united states were 5% of our gross domestic product. today they represent 18% and if we do nothing, the cost also rise to a staggering 34% of our entire g.d.p. by 2040.
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madam speaker, our children will be paying seven times more for health care costs than we pay in 1960. that level of cost increase is unconscionable and unsustainable workers currently receiving 34r0euer provided health insurance are faced with two devastating scenarios, either the level of care is reduced or the health care costs rise each year far outpacing their rides in wages. for many workers they see both in a double whammy of paying more for less. this is evident in the growth in the average employer sponsored health insurance family deductible. in just seven years, madam speaker, from 1999 to 2006, the average deductible grew 50%. for firms with less than 50 employees, the deductible increased from rough arely $1,00 in 1999 to over $2,000 in 2006. currently 43% of those smaller firms offer their employees health care coverage. as costs continue to rise, this
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will shrink, and more americans will find themselves uninsured and unable to afford unaffordable options. if we continue to do nothing, government spending on health care will suffer equally. spending on medicare and medicaid currently 6% of g.d.p. will rise if we do nothing to 15% by 2040. studies have shown slowing the cost growth in health care by 1.5%age points a year will result in dramatic decreases in the federal budget deficit. by 2030 federal deficits will be 3% of g.d.p. smaller than it otherwise would have been saving us hundreds of billions of dollars a year. something my friend from north carolina indicated she was concerned about. if we do nothing, we condemn our future to rapidly increasing budget deficits, a dearth of funding available for other government functions. madam speaker, i support comprehensive health care reform. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the chair will receive a message. the messenger: madam speaker, a message from the senate.
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the secretary: madam speaker. the speaker pro tempore: madam secretary. the secretary: i have been directed by the senate to inform the house that the senate has passed with an amendment h.r. 1777, an act to make technical corrections to the higher education act of 1965 and for other purposes in which the concurrence of the house is requested. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to clause 12-a of rule 1, the chair declares the house in recess until 12:00 noon today.
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>> this is the fifth day the committee is making changes. live coverage under way on c- span3. he helped clear plan is making its way through several committees. -- the health-care plan is making its way through several committees. today's senate and health committees are reviewing it. tomorrow the house commerce committee looks at the business aspect. you can follow our coverage on our web coverage on c-span.org. president obama was to hold his first rose garden conference today, but high temperatures have moved that in doris. white house spokesman says the president will open the
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afternoon event with remarks on healthcare reform, and i ran's disputed elections. all of his -- and iran's disputed elections. >> how is c-span funded? >> through donations? >> you get a little bit from the federal government. >> maybe from sponsors. >> they might get government funding. >> the worst? >> c-span is funded -- 30 years ago america's cable companies funded c-span. no government mandate, no government money. >> the federal reserve meets this week to discuss the nation's economic progress. this morning "washington journal" talked with a former official about the economy, including the deficit. it is about a half-hour.
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-- treasury undersecretary and has a new book "the road ahead." as the fed meets, a lot of eyes on what it is doing or not. your observations. guest: big challenges and doing the steps the undertook last fall and what speed. many are concerned those interventions could lead to inflation will lead to questions about the fed's independence. so i think it is important for them to lay out a strategy and if you like, an exit strategy over the coming months. it does not have to start right away but just outlined what is going to be. host: i want to share the view of themishkin from columbia university business school -- you of frederick mishkin. s estimate regulator, what is it and how would it work? guest: there are lots of definitions, that is the problem. a lot like that because it takes
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care of risks out in the system, but it is not defined very well. i think what is most important is to find a way to fill some gaps that were left in the regulation. and if you like, de-conflict some of the regulators. i don't think you need a whole new apparatus for that. some kind of council or a way for the regulators that exists now to communicate, would be the most effective way. host: how so? guest: if you get the people in the same room in their task is to make sure there is nothing that falls between the cracks, they will be able to work out if they have the right mission. in particular, giving the federal reserve a whole new set of powers raises questions, certainly in my mind. host: i want to share with you and our audience -- and, by the way, the phone lines are open and the numbers are up the bottom of the screen. i want to read just a short part of today's "the wall street journal" editorial, saying bernanke at the creation.
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they write today that as the federal reserve's open market committee meets today amid a debate over how and when to remove the flood of liquidity that has poured into the economy in the last 18 months, that officials say not to worry. they are as vigilant about inflation as ever. which is itself a reason to worry. we've seen this movie before, when the fed's failure to act in time gave birth to the house in bubble, credit mania that led to the panic of today's recession. will it make the same mistake now? guest: i think they make a very good point. no question back in 2003 and 2004, interest rates were held a very low, even at 1% when the recession was three years behind us. so the real question is, what will happen going down the road. the stage is set, unless the fed makes the corrections that they say they will to have inflation and a loss of independence. going back to the bad old days of the 1970's when we have high inflation and high unemployment. it very good point to make and it is a concern.
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in our book, a number of people raise the question with the vice-chairman of the fed, don kohn and he responds sang, don't worry, we will take care of it. but it does not mean people should not worry. host: one thing we like to do is educate the audience of how the government works and specifically how the fed works. how does it work? what is its role? guest: its role is to maintain low inflation in the economy so you did not have the value of the dollar deteriorate over time, to maintain confidence in the currency, and it creates the building so that we don't have big recessions and that we have long expansions, that as its ultimate responsibility. host: of the first up is ricky from louisiana on the independent mind -- in the first up. caller: good morning. the statement he just made sure is laughable. they are in business to maintain low inflation and stability in the economy, they have failed.
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i want to know, there is a bill before congress right now that has 336 backers. hr 12 07 -- hello? host: go ahead. caller: hr 1207 to audit the fed. considering they have not been audited since 1913, considering they have taken trillions of our dollars and refuse to tell us where they are at, sir, i want to know two -- signs of things, and want to stay in line and i know your disingenuous answer will not answer my questions. one, do you back 1207 come auditing of the fed, and, two, i would like to know why we need the fed. they simply have taken the right to print our money and they learned back to us at exorbitant interest rates that a loan shark would love to have and not one penny that we paid in and come
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tax goes to one single service but pays for the debt that they are laying on us 40 owning us our own money. so, sir, could you answer those two questions? i would like to stay online because i would like to come back after you did not answer this one. guest: i would be very happy to try to answer both. i think the idea of having more transparency, if you like, however you would want to do that, through auditing or just providing affirmation i think it is very important. i think the federal reserve could provide more information about its portfolio, about how it is making its decisions in these unusual times and how its programs are working. but there is no question, in my view, we do need to have a fed, we do need a central bank. its role should be very clear to people, it is to keep inflation low and to maintain the purchasing power of our currency and to try to make the economy stable.
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that is its goal. the more it can do that goal, the better. " cut the answer your question? caller: they felt that what he just said. if he said that their goal is to go ahead and maintain stability and keep low inflation, they have failed. guest: let me answer that. that is another question is, have they failed. as i was talking to steve a few minutes ago, there were some problems in keeping interest rates way low, and that accelerated the housing boom and led to the bus and i think that was part of the financial crisis. there is no question, in my view. although we are still debating the cause of the crisis. i think the lessons from that is don't do the same thing again. make sure that you do take care of the threats of inflation, make sure the actions are taken and i think we will be much better off as a result, and in fact, we did have good economic performance in much of the 1980's and 1990's, long
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expansions and very short, relatively speaking, recessions, so i would like to go to that period when the fed was quite credible. host: -- unprecedented policy regime, which in? guest: at interest rates are effectively zero, quite unusual. it has expanded the money supply and major amounts. in one measure, it increased by 100 fold and it has done that in order to purchase more the securities, in order to make loans to aig, in order to support the treasury, buying intermediate treasurys. so that is what is unprecedented. we have not seen it before. and i think everybody agrees we have to get out of that mode before too long. host: from your perspective, we have seen this boom and bust and some people saying we are seeing so-called green shoots where the economy is turning around. does this feel any different from past potential recoveries?
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guest: for right now the main thing things have stabilized from last fall, which was a terrible panic, if you like. so i see it is stabilization beard the real question is whether we will see a recovery coming out of this or whether it would be kind of flat or l shaped. i think the jury is still out. things are unprecedented now. so i'm hopeful the economy will begin to recover, but we are not there yet. host: john from new vernon, n.y., on the republican line thenew bern. caller: i have a question concerning the board of governors of the federal reserve, and more specifically, why it is that the private corporation known as the federal reserve has governor's from othr banks, and more disturbingly,
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actually foreign banks. in other words, what i am getting here is really the fact that the federal reserve' is a bank that is in business for profit by other bankers. host: thank you, john. guest: of the board of governors, they are all appointed by the president of the united states and they are confirmed by the senate. there are other participants in the decision making, something called the federal open market committee that makes the decisions about interest rates. and those are presidents of regional banks around the country, all the way from new york to san francisco. and those are appointed by local people. they are approved by the board. but the reason for those of the participants, it goes way back in time, if you -- so much power and one board or center, it is a way to diffuse, if you like, and
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get more participation from other parts of the country. some people complain about that now, but that is the original purpose. but i do think it needs to be thought through and examine because we do have a much different economy than when the fed was founded at the beginning of last century. host: our guest is one of the contributors to this new book called "the road ahead for the fed." john taylor, former treasury undersecretary in the bush administration, serving the first term of -- under president bush, dr. at stanford university, senior fellow at hoover institution and teaches economics at stanford. welcome to the program. caller: good morning to both of you. i have maybe three questions, if i could stay on the line. host: can we stay on the line? caller: do you know tim adams? guest: former colleague at the
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treasury? host: second question? caller: of the second question is, -- the second question is, what area were you undersecretary? guest: international affairs. caller: that is what tim was. here is my question. the bush administration was fundamentally established as a corporate model government, which did not sit well with me because governments and corporations are difference. the first treasury secretary, paul o'neill, i liked, -- the price of loyalty, what happens with him. john snow -- paul a came -- lcoa and john snow came from cs
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x, so they had business experience on the ground with employees. but then with henriette -- when henry paulson came in, he came from goldman sachs, and that seems to be a problem these days with respect to people on goldman sachs -- from goldman sachs and never seem to get away from goldman sachs. guest: @ thank you. i worked very closely with paul o'neill and john snow and was in a position of heading up the international division before tim adams, two people with remarkably long and strong cords in the private sector. and i think it is important to have people with management experience, executive experience. washington, of course, is a lot different, and and in ministration at any time is different than a corporation. but those skills i think are important. i think we need to find ways and government to be more effective and more responsive. and it is much more difficult,
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in some sense, because of all the players, turf battles, debates about how to proceed. but i think it is important to get that right. host: let me go back to the editorial that focuses on ben bernanke and his role as the fed share. it says mr. bernanke will need political courage we have not seen since paul volcker was chairman. to prevent another bottle. they are talking about the housing and credit card bubble. -- to prevent another bubble. host: he did had amazing courage and strength -- guest: he did have strength to counteract the problem in the country, the loss of confidence in the dollar. he took action and was criticized for it, but stuck with it and passed a better situation with his successor, alan greenspan, who did a very good job. host: but some point to his
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policies as one of the reasons we are facing this situation today. guest: i am one of those critics come out because towards the end of his very effective term, the fed get too easy. -- i am one of those critics, because towards the end of his affective term of the fed got too easy. we can look back at that and learn lessons. the most important lesson is don't do that again. i call it get back on track. get on what was working in much of the 1980's. that will be a much better economy. i don't think we will have this kind of serious crisis if the fed had been kept on track earlier. the importance for chairman bernanke is to get back on track. host: i realize this is a simple question with a complicated answer, but how do you get to the goldilocks economy? guest: the fed is

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