tv [untitled] CSPAN June 24, 2009 8:30am-9:00am EDT
moving along. it is 10 times higher than any increase since 1960, so it is on a completely different order of magnitude, and that is the kind of thing that we really need transparency, to say do we really want to have that tremendous amount of liquidity, and what does that mean for inflation? your caller is right on track. it is a very good bill. host: thank you so much for being with us today. guest: it is a pleasure joining you. have a wonderful day. host: coming up next, alaska senator mark begich, a democrat from alaska, will continue the discussion on defense and security issues. we will be right back.
>> as this year's supreme court term comes to an end come here chief justice roberts talk about the core's work. then a panel of experienced court watchers, including linda greenhouse, jan crawford greenberg, and ted olson, review the decisions handed down this year. live coverage on c-span, saturday morning at 9:00 eastern. >> july 4 weekend on book tv, discover and unfamiliar side of our nation's first president. we are live from fort washington's mount vernon estate with historian and author john ferling. join our conversation on sunday, july 5, live on "in depth." >> how is c-span funded? >> through donations? >> i think they get a little bit from the federal government. >> grants and stuff like that.
>> made the sponsors? >> they might get government funding. >> the viewers? >> how with c-span funded? 30 years ago america's cable companies created c-span as a public service. no government mandate, no government money. >> "washington journal" continues. host: senator mark begich joins us. guest: thank you very much. good to see you. host: good to see you as well the 2010 defense authorization -- what should we look for? guest: i am going to each subcommittee listening to their presentations. as we go to the subcommittee, there is voluminous paperwork, but i think what you look for at the end of the day, one thing i noticed is a very bipartisan approach in how we deal with the issues. there will be some amendments,
no question about it, but i think generally there has been a lot of good work. each subcommittee, to present the full market process that starts today, a budget that i think most people agree with at the end of the day. i talked about missile defense and the importance of that program. there are some others with troop strength that i know a couple of senators are very interested in in making sure that we have the right amount as we make this transition from iraq into afghanistan, making sure that we have enough troops over the next 14 to 18-month period. ndf-22, d.c.-seventeens -- the f-22, the c-17's but that will probably be all supporters together on it. host: you can talk with senator
mark begich. the republican line is 202-737- 0001. democrats, 202-737-0002. independents, 202-628-0205. what did you talk about as far as the priority of missile defense and where it will be going in the future? guest: for those who are watching and listening, ford really is up north in alaska, 400 -- fort greeley is up in alaska, 400 miles north of anchorage. the c-17 is a great cargo ship used around the globe. we talked about the missile defense system, the impact that will have and how dynamic the program has to become a meaning that it should not just beat as it is today, as -- meeting that
it should not just be as it is today, but where we have to be in the long term with missile defense. it also give us a firsthand look of actually going into the silos, which is important because it is nice to see all the documents and the paperwork, but until you are physically there and understand the logistics and how close we are and the apparatus that is set up, you do not have a good feel of what is going on there. in the case of secretary gates, he was keeping an open mind on missile defense and how that will grow and be dynamic over the next several years. i think the issue right now that we're dealing with is a very tight budget, and all aspects across the board, and he is balancing where he can. the good news in all this from my perspective is that he talked about robust testing, which is important, as you develop missile defense on any level,
you cannot stop testing. some viewers talk about the 1960's and in 1970's, and what was going there. to imagine that you could shoot a rocket off and hit another rocket in a very small space thousands of miles away was a difficult prospect. there was a commitment to continue robust testing, to look at the missile defense system and look at it as an evolving, changing program, which is important, from my perspective. as you can imagine, i think there are continued improvements we need to make their. there are 44 potential silos constructed at fort greeley. we are in discussion today. today will be the start of it for the start of authorizations.
host: from the democrats' line, herndon, virginia, michael joins us. caller: good morning, how is everybody? my question is basically for the republican that just left. he is on the committee, and why did we send our troops to war when we did not have enough supplies, the equipment was old, it did not protect anyone? and now you guys are talking about missile defense. are you getting us prepared for something? guest: thank you, michael, for your call. i can only answer for my time in the last six months as a new member, a freshman. that is one of the questions that i talked a lot about what i campaigned. do we have the supplies, are we equipped? do we have the necessary troops and the support not only from our country but across the globe? when i campaigned i talked a lot about afghanistan and how we
were totally under resources there in terms of troops, equipment, and other aspects of how to deal with long-term sustainability in a country, making sure that the government has strong governance and long- term economic growth. one of the things i talked a lot about during the last six months was if we are engaged in any conflict, we have to make sure our troops are well-prepared, that they have the equipment necessary, but also the other piece of this question -- of this equation is what is back home? what i mean by that is when a soldier goes overseas, many times, especially now with almost 70% in the military having military families, where if you go back 30 or 40 years ago, it was the reverse, single men basically fighting the wars. today is a different ball game, and we have to have the resources back home to support the families of these soldiers overseas. one of the efforts i tried to make over the last six months of my time here so far is we are
engaged in some complex. we need to make sure they are well equipped and have the supplies and equipment that are the best grade possible. the other issue when i came into office, i know there is a discussion by the administration early on to add more troops to afghanistan, around 17,000, and about 150 additional trainers, which i felt was way low. the idea of the trainers is to create a self sustaining government, meaning that the government of afghanistan can move out all of our forces there. today the obama administration over the last several weeks has committed not only an additional 17,000, an additional 4000 trainers. host: senator mark begich is also on the veterans affairs committee, the congress -- the commerce committee, and you are the former mayor of anchorage? guest: correct. it is important that mayors
always kept track of an issue. the thought about how we were going to implement a program down the road. my view is that if we pass something, you have to continue to think about what the implications are not just for today but for generations to come. host: on the republicans line, jamie joins us from pennsylvania. caller: i paid a lot of attention to the republican debate, and i like a lot of what ron paul says about our military around the country and around the world. we have the military in 30 countries, which is quite a lot. why can't we just scale back our military to, say, 65 countries and limit the amount of money we're spending? we are borrowing 49 cents of
every dollar that we spend. i am wondering why that cannot be done, because 65 countries to me sounds like a lot, and that would cut the number in half from where we are today. i will take my answer offline. thank you. guest: thank you for your question. when you are stretched over 130 different countries, you can imagine the wear and tear on our military, on our system here, and what tradeoffs have to occur. in a lot of ways, carrying a heavier load, this is where i know president obama is aggressively approaching as well, as both republicans and democrats view it as a non- partisan issue when it comes to engaging our allies around the country, around the globe, to step up to do more than one they are doing today. your argument is a very strong one, one that i know, again,
between republicans and democrats. where is the national community with some of these conflicts and what we have to do? there are a number of countries considering moving out of their commitment or their current obligations there in afghanistan. we have to engage them and make sure they do their part. that is part of the stretch that we have. it is a very good question, when that does not have a very simple answer, but my comment on it is that we need to engage in international cleaning more. many countries have participated, and i give him great credit. when i was in afghanistan, which i just came back recently from a three-day trip there. afghanistan and pakistan, there is no question that some of our allies were doing an incredible job, but there needs to be more. i was very impressed with the work they were doing, the country -- where they saw
afghanistan going. host: you had the chance to talk to the head of missile defense and asking him questions. you said that missile defense is often used to defend against north korea, but he also said that it could be used to defend against iran. was that surprising to you? guest: it has always been about north korea, and there are some significant issues that we need to watch when it comes to north korea. but i had made the comment that north korea, it is important that we have a strong missile defense. i made a slight comment that there was minimal attention on iran. everybody jumps to the microphone and said absolutely not because of the impact of what iran could do. that was, i would say, news to
not only myself but other members. they indicated in a very important impact. what changes the discussion from my discussion is i would call the political discussion. i am focused on fort greeley, alaska. my view is that both iran and north korea are threats. it is an important discussion and arguing point, and that is probably one of the points i will bring it up during the debate or for the next couple of days when we go through authorization. host: on the independent like mcdaniel is calling from michigan. -- on the michigan line, daniel is calling from michigan. caller: hi there. this is my voting res. -- my voting record. i voted for reagan, bush,
clinton, gore, kerry, obama. guest: you are definitely independent. caller: anyway, what do you think about obama and the republicans who say he was not strong on the situation in iran? guest: a lot of people are talking about that, and i think he had a very good, measured response. in the sense of what is going on in iran -- and i think yesterday he was a little more aggressive, but careful and cautious -- i think we do not want to be at the center point of the conflict in iran. it is amazing that we have this debate going on when you listen to most international folk to look at international affairs, they think the president has done a good, measured response in guard -- in regard to what is
going on in iran. we can see on tv individuals putting their lives on the line to get video on tv through whatever means. i think we need to be cautious and very measured. i think the president has done a good job here. i know some disagree, they want to be more aggressive about it. but if you take the next up with that question, usually they do not have the next answer. it seems like a lot of politics when this is a fairly significant issue internationally. we should be very cautious, but at the same time watch it as a measured approach, and not become the focal point of aspects that are going on in iran. host: christine is on the democrats' line. caller: good morning. first of all, i think you are doing an absolutely fabulous job at the congressional senate
office. i hope you stay in for a long time . two quick questions. are we fully ready, anti-missile already in the united states? and then one quickie i hope i can just ask you environmental question. are you concerned about the families that were killed in alaska? i am sorry to get off topic, but i am very interested in that. guest: one second, i missed the 90- >caller: the wolf pack. there is a big deal over there about the wolves. i feel really bad about it. guest: i will try to go all three the -- i will try to go through all three of those very quickly.
what is the accuracy and are we prepared? the response was, the accuracy rate was 90% or better, which is very strong when you think about the technology and what your doing with the missile defense system to now, saying that, i think there are issues, as i have broad out with regard to alaska's fort greeley. i know the leadership said absolutely not, we are in great position. but i would say if you searched on down and you notice the data points -- for example, north korea has done 40% of their missile launches in the last period of three months since we made this decision or the administration has proposed its decision of limiting the expansion of fort reallgreeley. maybe it is clinton, but i think
it is a show that may want to make sure that that maybe it is coincidence, but i think it is a show that -- saying that on the other two issues, the environmental question. i do think that the issue of the wolf debate in alaska as a constant debate. we have had now the republican initiatives. two have passed a limited area of wolf killing. the third says we should have wolf killing. we believe in alaska, the management of our wildlife is very important. it if you look at everything from wildlife to fisheries, we do very good management technique up there to ensure that the wolf, fish, bear,
terrible, moves -- we are managing it in a very careful way because we not only have everything from system centers, alaska natives that utilize animals for assistance lifestyle. we have sport hunting, non- sports hunting, people like myself who are -- my family goes out fishing and we eat fish a lot in our household. once a week, it's not multiple times. it is a very careful management system we have in alaska. from the outside, sometimes it may not look as well done in a sense as some people might like to think, but i think we do a very good job. the issue of wolf pack's is very controversial not only on the country, but at times within alaska itself. host: our final call for senator begich, shane on our independent line from iowa.
caller: we spend more money than every other country in the world combined on our military. but nothing is being done about it, it seems, when i talk to congressman. as far as the iran stuff goes, it is very frustrating because i participated in protesting, actually, the ongoing war in this country back at the rnc and was witness to 200 -- and was witness to hundreds of people being illegally arrested and illegally detained, as well as dozens of reporters. this happens here every time we have convention's over the last eight years, and it is still happening under obama. my question is when is this going to stop? when is the media going to show the atrocities of what is going on in our own country that we call democratic.
it happens in our country right here all the time. when is this going to change? guest: libby is probably better to answer that because i cannot control the politicians. back to your first issue, and the sense of funding. i think a lot of ways the freshmen, especially today, 30% of the united states senate have changed. i think the freshman there are more inquisitive and cautious about spending. we are focused on how to deal with the national debt, the deficit, and expenditures. when of the more reason bill that passed the senate was concerning a informed procurement within the -- there were plenty of votes to pass it. past. the idea is to get a handle on the expenditure, where in some cases the first phase of spending was sometimes 40% or
more than what was projected. i agree with you. i mean, when we have a project like that that are expensive or way of course, there has to be some control in some efficiency. that is one area that you are seeing, at least from the freshman standpoint, that just because we have a system, it does not -- there is a moderate group of democrats that are more fiscally responsible, fiscally focus, and you will see a lot of that coming out in the next couple of years. the media covers what they cover. i think a lot of ways, i think in the sense of iran, they are doing a credible job of doing as much visual as possible to whatever information they can get, which is healthy for us. with regard to the convention, covering those, i cannot give you an answer to that, but there are a lot of issues that, once
the press are made aware, they tried to cover, but that does not work all the time. i will not defend them, i will let them do that. guest: senator mark begich, thank you so much for being with us. coming up next, economic reporter from "the wall street journal," sudeep reddy. now an update from c-span reopen the >> president obama travel to michigan and missouri next month. he will travel to st. louis to throw out the first pitch at major league baseball's all-star game. major league baseball is focusing on consumer to service throughout the summer in conjunction with the president pasquale to service. -- with president' obama's call to service. the report goes on to say that the younger kim is overseeing
the handling of two u.s. journalists, laura ling and hanna lee, who were detained earlier in north korea. defense secretary robert gates signed an order yesterday creating a cyber command to oversee pewter networks. -- to oversee computer networks. the new headquarters will be based at fort meade, maryland, just outside washington, d.c., and will be under the offices -- the auspices of the u.s. strategic command and the last -- the u.s. strategic command. finally, south carolina governor mark sanford is telling the newspaper that he was in argentina during his unexplained five-day absence, not hiking
along the absent -- not hiking along the appalachian trail. he told a state newspaper that he arrived at the airport today. he said the last minute decision was because he wanted to do something exotic. governor sanford said he returned after a five-day absence because the trip turned into more of a fuss than he ever expected. those are some of the latest headlines on c-span radio. >> "washington journal" continues. host: our guest is "wall street journal" reporter sudeep reddy. thank you for joining what is today's meeting expected to do? guest: the fed releases a statement at 2:15 today after its meeting, and it will be the typical statement outlining its views on the economy, but also its prediction on what it expects to do with policy. this has been a very long
paulist -- this has been a very long process for the fed from the beginning of this financial crisis in the beginning of the summer of 2007 when it struck home mortgages, mortgage-backed security, and all those risks. the fed started with lower interest rates and has finally taken the interest rates down to the level of 0.5%, down to the level of zero. engaging in several types of credit programs to try to give it a little boost to the economy, and given the kind of dire state that we have been in for the last month. so the fed expanded that in march by buying the loans from treasury securities, and there has been a lot of concern over whether the fed would try to increase that beyond the $300 billion target that they had set, and whether they would try to make other adjustments to the program. we are expecting in that
statement some sense of what the fed plans to do, both with its conventional interest-rate tool, and how long it expects to stay that rolow. we are obviously still in a pretty weak state for unemployment, for the job market, for the overall economy, so they are trying to gauge where they are with that before making other major adjustments. host: is more attention being paid on this now because of the economic situation? guest: absolutely, there is. because we are in such a precarious moment right now, nobody really knows whether the economy is coming out of this. we went through this free fall in the autumn and into the spring. the overall economy declined at a 6% annual rate per month, and that is a pretty steep drop. certainly we are already in the longest recession since the great depression, just over 18 months now. the concern has been whether --
there is one in the early 1980's that was deeper than this, but is obviously a very bad recession. people are paying close attention to what the fed is doing and whether it is going to boost programs that will get us out of the decline we are in. host: give us a call -- republicans, 202-737-0001. democrats, 202-737-0002. and independents, 202-628-0205. how is the fed fare under president obama's plan? guest: what it does is it rejiggers the responsibilities of financial leaders. one of the concerns throughout the crisis was that there was not a single solution looking over the entire system, the entire financial system, looking over the broad economic