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tv   Washington Journal  CSPAN  December 14, 2009 7:00am-10:00am EST

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. host: later at 8:00 a.m. eastern, the chief operating
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officer for the national community reinvestment coalition. we'll look at homeowners and help for folks refinancing their homes. litter at 9:00 a.m. eastern rodriquez is a former counter- intelligence analyst and currently out for near east policy. -- that is later it 9:00 a.m. where our guest is a former counter-intelligence analyst. off speaking of which we will start the program looking at senator lieberman is role in the debate. yesterday he said he would vote against the bill in its current form. we want to know what you think about that. just a reminder, if you have called any c-span program in the
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last 30 days, giving others a chance to phone in this morning. you can reach us by e-mail or tweet us. we'll get to your calls momentarily. make sure that you turn down your phone when you call in this morning. here's a look at the headlines of the political section of "the washington times'" worse is that both were guests yesterday on face the nation. >> the basic bill, about two thousand pages from the senate, but on these compromises that my friends don't agree on -- they agree that they were interesting enough to get analyzed by the budget office. senator harry reid says that if you let them out the will gamal. we are in a difficult position. we don't know what is in them. on the one part of it, the medicare buy-in, the opposition
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to it has been growing. though i do not know what is in it i have a hard time to vote for it because it has some of the same infirmities' the public option did. it will add at taxpayer costs, add to the deficit. it is unnecessary. the basic bill which has a lot of good things in it provides a generous new system of subsidies for people between ages 55-65. and also choice and competition. there are not 60 votes for health care reform in the senate now. host: senator lieberman yesterday said he is against the bill in its current form. also here they write that senator nelson, the nebraska democrat also criticized the medicare proposal as "the forerunner of single-payer." it may even be more direct and the public option. the public option would have
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allowed a government-supported insurance plan to compete with the private sector. at the other end of the democratic sector, many top liberals have said that a strong public option is essential to their support. your thoughts, comments of senator lieberman and by extension that of senator nelson? to dallas for our first caller. caller: i believe senator lieberman likes to get the spotlight, likes to keep his name in the news. it is the one thing he is against, but first he said he was against the public option and we tried to pull him in. try to see forget him to vote with democrats. but one thing i'm very curious about, they keep on coming up with this figure send it is 50,000 who do not have
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insurance. they say it is too costly. what i take the 50,000 and if we give them a $1 million policy, a $50 million is a lot cheaper than what this bill is proposed to cost. they don't talk about having this people insured. host: here is ohio, mike on the independent line. caller: i think that senator lieberman -- senator lieberman is a flip-flopped. host: what do you mean by that, mike? caller: seems to back the corporate weasels who have hijacked this country. he supports a corporate, international fascism. i think he should maybe move back to israel. host: oregon, david on the republican line. your thoughts?
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caller: i think that senator lieberman is cribbing go when he supported president bush and is now coming out against this crazy democratic plan -- more power to him. we need to have more democrats come over. they should come over to support the republican agenda. host: here is a look at the politico this morning. it says that we burmasenator lieberman's opposition means that carried ithe terri reid mee tied to the 60 votes needed. host: good morning. caller: yes, i have a few questions.
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i want to know why senator lieberman is so against the public option and reform. i believe he is going crazy, has lost his mind. he is not the same command they used to know. then, i believe this would be the great help to the people. i have been on disability since 1996. and again just a minimal income per month. i'm not able to afford health insurance for myself and my wife. i went to the doctor the other day, and he gave me a prescription for my coughing and my cold. host: who provides your health insurance? caller: medicare. host: things for the input. the senate was in of the weekend
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and here is the headline. this is larry next up on our independent line. caller: good morning. thank you for taking my call. i think that senator lieberman has got some insight on what is going on. i think he has his finger on the pulse of the thoughts in america. why i say he has the insight into that, when i think what would happen if they managed to push this through -- it will push the republicans back into office next year. they will de-fund it and we the people will suffer because the whole system will be an even worse chaos. unless they make this bill much more balanced, something needs to be done, but not this nonsense. and it will push us so far into chaos.
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we may not be able to come back from it. host: the senate is back for more debate today. the next call comes on our republican line from nashville. caller: how are you? i watched c-span every morning. when it comes to mr. lieberman, karl rove promised us republicans that if we got him then he would tout the republican line. he works for the insurance company, not for the citizens here. that is the way that he is. he has always been like that. host: peter, you're calling on the republican line. is it senator. -- did you vote against him in the past? -- did you vote against senator
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lieberman? please explain. caller: sometimes four, sometimes against. yes, definitely. he has always been the way. the people here, there are many better very angry with him. host: midmorning on the line for democrats from in and they'anna. ok, rather bethesda, md. caller: i think senator lieberman's moral compass is skewed. he favors banks and insurance companies. it is clear where his sympathies lie. caller: hello. this senator lieberman,
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everything going on in congress right now is about him. he was to put himself in the spotlight. he and john mccain are still running for the 2010 election. they're so delusional that they forgot the election is over. senator lieberman still has bitterness over the election. he has changed to become an independent. he knows that he was born a democrat. he is doing this because it is about barack obama. he and john mccain, john mccain can put those on the floor that make el cents. since john mccain used to be an independent who always brought people together. -- he put the bills are before that make no sense.
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senator lieberman has something within him, bitterness toward the president. host: about 15 more minutes of your call. here is something that says that senator lieberman tells harry reid to his face, all votes against the current health care bill. in a face-to-face meeting on sunday he said he would vote against the bill that includes a public option, or provisions that would extend medicare. he read the comments publicly known again on "face the nation." here is the headline on "the new york times." to portland, a republican caller. caller: it sounds to me like we're not very close to a bill in the senate on health care. i don't think the mainstream media has been telling people
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just how divided the democrats are on health care bill. that is what i heard from that interview yesterday. democrats are divided. host: are democrats are divided or are the so-called centrist democrats divided? caller: since they need all 60 voting for the bill, and the democrat divided is a democratic-divided senate. host: this is a regular feature in "the new york times" -- with the end in sight, some issues to watch. abortion is one of them. he writes the democrats worked through the weekend to hammer out a deal over the divisive issue. the goal on all sides is to remain consistent with existing law and to prevent federal money
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from paying for abortions. good morning, florida. caller: i would support senator lieberman, and a republican or democrat against this bill. the other gentleman who called in -- $50 million could insure these people for maybe 10 years. they are hurting the elderly, the disabled. what gets me, medicare is going broke. they are playing a ponzi scheme came on us. host: this is a delray beach from florida on the democrats' line. caller: senator lieberman represents himself. the insurance companies also in hartford, conn. the republican line has not
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changed. it has not since the time of fdr. i remember that time. i was a kid. he was called the communist because he wanted social security. now even bush went around trying to break up social security. they are afraid not to break up medicare. on their cars republicans have only one gear, and that is reversed. they do not know how to go forward. host: here is jane. caller: hello. senator lieberman is just disgusting, even when he was running on the vice-president line he still ran for senator.
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as someone said, he is only out for himself. this bill is only for people who can already afford insurance, not for those who cannot. it is for the insurance companies' who turn people dow and deny coverage -- is for the insurance companies to turn people down and deny coverage. it is useless with the current bill is. host: back to "the new york times." a look at some issues up for debate. democrats face a barrage of republican criticism of the cost of the bill. ramona, a republican in
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virginia. caller: good morning, and merry christmas. this will shock a lot of people, but i wish all lot of peoplthatn and senator liebeanr president. i think that it would be balanced, exciting. host: who was the other one along with senator lieberman? caller: cerebellum. i know, i know what you're thinking. -- that is sarah pailin. host: how much support do you think you would get? caller: from the thinking people it would get a lot of support because senator lieberman is a thinker. he does switch because that is what we need. people keep saying that we need
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three parties. he is an independent. host: but would he pass the republican, the litmus test for candidates? do you think he would pass with a lot of conservative republicans? caller: the thinking republicans, is all that i can say. i don't know how the real conservatives would feel, and i don't know how people who are anti-jewish would feel, but i still think that he would be a great president or vice- president. host: thanks for the idea. a couple of other headlines looking to copenhagen and the climate summit where president obama will head at the end of note week.
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the oklahoma center plans to rain on the climate talks -- and this relates to senator inhofe. the final week of the united nations climate change some of was down to about a between president obama and the self- described "skunk at the picnic." senator james inhofe will stay long enough at the climate summit him that his group will not pass the climate change bill. here's a headline this morning from "the financial times" concerning gov. schwarzenegger. he urges the u.s. to lead the way in climate change. he tells cities to act. obama's struggle wins sympathy with gov. schwarzenegger. one more story from the guardian
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this morning in the uk concerning tony blair. he urges a leaders to secure a deal in copenhagen as time runs short. with ministers, titans, and celebrities flooding at the danish capital, the former british prime minister said that a compromise was possible. it is likely to fall short of the actions recommended by scientists to avoid dangerous levels of global warming. here is chicago. doris? caller: senator lieberman showed his colors when he supported john mccain in the primary. i have no clue why the democrats allow this man to keep his chairmanship and to caucus with democrats. he is really a republican. we have a progressive majority in both houses, but party is being controlled by right-wing corporate democrats. host: wouldn't you agree that
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senator harry reid has needed his vote? caller: no, we need reconciliation. will not get nelson, senator lieberman, senator lang can. there is a good democrat considering a run against lincoln in the primary. the people in arkansas need to look at him and get rid of people atblanche lincoln. these people really republicans. we have allowed the democratic party to move to the right and if we do not look out for the people and get these corporate democrats out of the party, we're looking just like the republican party host: to inverness, florida, an independent named richard. caller: james ross?
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host: please turn down your television. texas, scott, on the republican line. caller: senator lieberman for being an ex-democrat is surprising. his showing some logic and reasoning on the subject. he has shown that for anyone who uses a little logic there is no way that we can afford this. democrats are calling an and whining about not being able to afford insurance. they can sure afford cable to watch this show and a bet that they are talking on cell funds and other amenities they must have that the figure rid of to buy their own health care. some complain that healthcare is a right. you do not have a right to my
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labor. none of you democrats have a right to my labor. host: he this story says that disputes threaten the passage of the health bill. she writes the next 48 hours will be critical to the fate of health care reform in the senate. democratic leaders struggled to settle disputes. by midweek senator harry reid must begin the process of ending debate on the $848 billion bill. she also writes that most of the unidentified lawmakers have refused to commit until the cbo delivers a cost analysis on the coverage alternatives offered last week.
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seth, good morning. caller: yes, i just wanted to say that it is a shame what senator lieberman is doing right now. i never had much faith in him. as democrats we do not realize that many democrats in office right now are really democrats. they tend to vote republican. although i would like to keep an
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open mind about the debate, they are unwilling to budge. they seem to want to derail everything. we need a healthcare bill that will work for the people. unfortunately, they don't care about anyone but themselves and their interests which happen to be the insurance companies. host: thank-you for all the calls on this topic. david covering the healthcare debate for roll call this-- the pressure is on a little. this is david drucker writing in "roll call." guest: that is correct. part of what is going on is that there is no scoring yet for this
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potential compromise to the public option. most democrats do not know what that compromises supposed to look like. so when they're asked questions about what they can support, they naturally will sort of default to the easiest and safest dancer which is, i will not support anything i do not like or which cost too much -- the safest answer. host: what is the reality of when the congressional budget office will come back with a cross-analysis? guest: today, tomorrow, next week -- we really do not know. the other thing i just heard, politically the polling, public polling on the health care reform bill is not good. it just as everyone a little skittish. there is also a hurry, people
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tried to get this done by christmas. whenever you have a fast schedule a think it adds pressure. it makes it more difficult for senators to jump on board and do something big. they are always worried it will come back to bite them. host: let me ask you about the comments of senator lieberman and senator nelson. what does that do to the debate? caller: it obviously makes it more difficult for harry reid to come up with 60 votes. politically republicans do not like it and see no reason to support it. as a lawmaker you do things because it is politically beneficial, or else because you believe in it. in this case the republicans have neither.
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that includes olympia snowe. this is who ben nelson has always been, but when democrats were in the minority it was less of an issue. joe lieberman is a little bit of a surprise only because on social issues, things like this he is usually more democratic. he has been clear all the way through. he would not vote to get out of the bill if it included a public option. the reason he does not like the public option is because he does not like expansion of government. of all the members of the democratic conference who are threatening not to support, i believe him the most because he has been consistent. if he does not like something he tends not to go along with this. host: tell us a little about the
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mechanics of the debate. he said that at press time they were still working out an agreement on amendments. we read that there will go back to the dorgan and in them. guest: the schedule is up in the year. now that the appropriations omnibus bill has been taken care of over the weekend it is really about health care. there is the question of what amendments will give votes and which are not. i think that if harry reid got a positive score for the compromise to the public option that they might sort of try to move immediately go us fast as they can to close out debate and begin the budget process. host: that was an update on health care bill returning to the senate today. thanks for the debate update, david.
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up next we will take a look of the meeting today with the white house and leading bankers. i will speak to the financial writer of the politico right after this. >> keep up with the latest, watch live coverage on our companion network c-span 2. it is unedited and commercial- free. it has updates from reporters and now for iphone users, follows with the new app.
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>> now available, c-span is abraham lincoln, great american historian on our 16th president. a perfect gift for the historian in your life. from his early years into his life in the white house and his relevance today. and now in digital audio to listen to any time. learn more at /lincolnbook. "washington journal" continues. host: we're joined by eamon javers. facing what else pressured to increase lending. in a meeting financiers will
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tell obama they're ready to step up to promote recovery in additional steps. what is the president going to tell them? guest: that they need to be lending to lend to credit- worthy businesses. these are the job creation engines of the u.s. economy. they can i give credit to expand and grow because the banks are so frightened by the global economic meltdown last year that they are unwilling to loosen standards. the banker is going into the meeting arcana caught in between. on the one hand, the white house is telling them to lend more, and on the other their bar regulators tell them to lend less. be careful you are not lending to those who cannot afford to pay back loans. that is what got us into all this trouble in the subprime mortgage meltdown. host: you said that white house
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political people like david axelrod are telling us to win more, but regulators say the opposite. they to ramp up capital ratios and cut back on lending if you see default risk on the rise. this might be the second or third time the president has met with this group of prominent bankers? guest: it is the second time he has met with the mall. the last time was back on march 27. at that meeting he famously told the folks, look, and the only thing between you and the pitchforks out there. he meant the anger over the a.i.g. bonuses. the president was positioning himself between a populist anger and the bankers themselves. host: he did not sound any family air last night on "60 minutes." let me play this short clip and asking how it might impact the discussion today. >> i did not run for office to
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be helping out a bunch of fat cat bankers on wall street. the only ones who will be penalties fat bonuses are the ones who have not paid back that tarp money. >> do you think that is what it did about as quickly? >> in many cases a things of note that tells me the people on wall street still do not get it. they are still puzzled over why people are mad at the banks. let's see. you guys are drawing down $10 million bonuses or more after america went through the worst economic year it has gone through in decades? and you guys caused the problem? and we have 10% unemployment? why'd you think people might be a little frustrated? host: he used the term that cracked bankers. guest: it is a flash of anger from him. he is stepping up the rhetoric. it mirrors what we see in the public. the public is extremely angry
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ha. for barack obama to the route terms like fat cat bankers must make them once a little as they head and for a meeting with him this morning. host: presumably some of his public stigma will be written ahead of time. do you have an inkling? guest: we do not. presumably he will talk a little about what he just told some of the bankers and the meeting today. they have been prepping all weekend. these are equal parts diplomacy and business negotiation. there is a lot of symbolic pieces to this. host: we want to give viewers in on the conversation. -- to get yours and on the conversation. -- to get viewers in on the
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composition. citicorp is announcing that they will repay $20 billion from the tarp money, the so-called bailout money. is this coincidental? or is it time for this meeting? [laughter] guest: citigroup has been working on this for a while and bank of america repaid there's last week. the banks have been extraordinarily eager to get out of the tarp program. there brands of them as the weak ones in the herd. halken feinberg is announcing a tight pair restrictions for midlevel executives at these companies. last weekend with the new announcement for the rest of the top 100 most highly-paid
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employes who are not generally be able to earn more the governor thousand dollars per year which is relatively low on wall street. that is extremely painful for those folks. they one to make more money than that in the banks want out of the government restrictions as fast as they can because the government cannot tell private banks what . to host: -- what to do. host: here is how our first caller. ñrcaller: there is a shared responsibility on this problem we're having. president ali keeps blaming doctors and health-care insurers. he keeps blaming everyone except the people who helped calls this which was congress. -- president obama keeps blaming doctors. i'm really tired of him calling
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people out whether or not they are the fat cats. they contributed heavily to the democratic party. of like to see some account will be for chris dodd and barney frank. president obama is traveling very fancy on the tax paradigm. if he were really concerned -- on the tax payer done. if you were truly concerned when he cut back on his entertaining, eight nights, traveling to pick up awards? and stop all the taxation? to redistribute wealth not only in the u.s., but worldwide? host: thank you, marie. there is certainly blamed for politicians going around. guest: barack obama does not want to be seen on the side of
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bankers at all. all the spending is necessary to finance the bailout we saw last year -- it is causing a lot of anger. you hear that a lot. the president is caught. he does not want to be on the side of those who cause the problem. you hear from republicans the anger at congress and over fannie and freddie. it might plan to some of the troubles for chris dodd from connecticut, chairman of the senate banking committee who has been viewed as extremely close to wall street in the financial industry. he has been making strides to distance himself over the past year. he will face a tough reelection next year. host: next up, baltimore, peggy on the democrats' line. caller: good morning.
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i called to say that i do not understand when we worked we put taxes in. we never got a raise, but we stepped up to the plate when we did not have enough taxes. when it comes to the banks either we don't have enough money to even ask for a raise or loan. i don't understand why this is president obama's fault. we as americans have supplied the necessary taxes. we have never used anything, but then you find out that your bills at the white house before the president got there were not even pay. what does that say about the past president? ok, so he goes out. his wife, his visiting other
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countries. host: we will get a response from our guest. guest: the president has been a little more overt in his recent speeches to talk about some deficits run up by his predecessor, george w. bush. the white house's eager to say all those republicans on capitol hill complaining about deficit spending now, most of them voted for eight years worth of deficit spending under bush and are extremely frustrated by the fact. only now are the screaming about it under a democratic president. host: let we talk about the balance between opening up for more lending, preserving capital.
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guest: a lot of the investment bank's cut extremely over leveraged. that is where the crisis took off. what regulators and experts have been saying is that you have to ñ in some perspective. you have to raise your capital ratios, the amount a bank has on hand in cash to tap into. so, the banks have been trying to do that, and yet they come here to washington and are told no, we want you to lend more. they're frustrated because there trying to do the right thing to put themselves on stable footing. host: is there a concern by the treasury that the banks to do pay off their tarp money, concern that there is still in stability there? guest: always.
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the people at the treasury have said they would like to keep some of the tar money in reserve there. the idea of just allowing the tarp line of credit to return to congress to be spent on a jobs bill or something is not entirely popular at the treasury building. they feel they need a little wiggle room in case the economy takes a double-dip. it is seen as a possibility. they believe the worst is over, but they have been scarred. they look like a little reserve on hand. host: "usa today" headline. they have a list of the financial meeting line up to do. michigan, on the republican line. caller: i used to be a futures trader.
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to seexd some of these situatios that the banks and these people got bailed out for is unbelievable to me. when i was trading i was responsible for my own debt and if i lost money came from my own pocket. it is disheartening to many americans to see these guys get bailed out, whether it be a bank or insurance company. they made these derivative trades and get billed out for having made a bad trade. it is unfair. it has many americans upset. anyone with half a brain can see through to see special interests are still running the show in washington. guest: that is what president obama is talking about. these people brought you the financial global not done. it makes americans angry to see them getting a $20 billion bonuses. he is tapping into that anger. it is true. it is inescapable that those who made the bad debts, disastrous
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decisions have largely been rescued. most have not really suffered any major financial consequences. some of them who worked at lehman brothers or otherwise are out of work, but many are doing just fine. there is a boom market on wall street and in the stock market right now. the dow jones is up substantially. for those on wall street still in the business times are pretty good. for the rest of americans unemployment is 10%. you cannot get a mortgage loan. your house is under water. that disparity between wall street and the real country is just extremely dangerous. host: the u.k. announced last week there would give a one-time tax, 50% for bonuses over 25,000 pounds, about $40,000. france followed suit.
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possibly other european nations will as well. our american bankers concerned about that sort of legislation going through congress? guest: for now, yes, they're very concerned. they view washington as very unpredictable. it is not viewed as likely to happen here in the u.s. although the french and british said they hoped it would. they hoped by announcing their measures in the same week they might urge other countries, at read the united states, would do it as well. when you look at the political anger between both democrats and republicans there is an enormous amount of their of revenge- minded pieces of legislation. the idea could catch hold very quickly. host: there has also been talk of a financial transaction tax
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to pay for funding afghanistan operations. guest: wall street will say it is horrendous. capital is very fluid in this global economy. they would say transactions will just take place offshore. who knows whether that is actually practical. it is a threat. host: next up is chandler, ariz. on the independent line. caller: what i want to see a obama do today is just kick some ass. i am an old white guy and-a cried when obama got elected. we're finally getting away from the old guy network.
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now i just see him bail and a banks and we're sitting out here as taxpayers. i had to claim bankruptcy to stave off foreclosure. my bank would not work with me whatsoever. i want to see obama do something for the taxpayers who have built up the banks now and say what you try to work with the people were going through foreclosures? guest: yeah. yeah, and that is what obama will say to these bankers today. he will say we need you to work with average consumers, help them solve their financial difficulties. one the frustrations we hear over and over again that is totally valid is the idea that the wall street banks got help when they were in tight financial difficulty, in a screaming financial pain. they got a check from the government. my house is under water, my small business went bankrupt.
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i have a problem right now. i'm not getting billed out by the government. you hear it again and again and again, and people know it is true. the obama folks know it is a huge problem. they also argue that the bill is absolutely necessary. he called the tarp program the most unpopular program ever, but completely necessary. they feel that the u.s. economy would be a smoking ruin right now as the club's continued unabated. they certainly understand the political frustrations out there right now. host: this reporter writes that the president's leverage is limited. nine out of the 12 banks have repaid money from the tour. the virginia-based banking consultant says that the meeting is nothing more than political thedaater.
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there is also a picture here of larry summers who yesterday was on the "state of the union." he had some tough words for bankers. >> it was irresponsible risk- taking that brought the economy to the brink of collapse. it was their irresponsible risk taking in many cases that brought the economy to collapse, and frankly, after the asian financial crisis and after the savings and loan debacle and after that 1987 stock-market crash and other things, it was not the first time. and they do not get in some cases that they would not be where they are today, and certainly would not be paying the bonuses they are today if their government had not taken extraordinary actions.
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extraordinary actions not friendly with the motive of helping them, but with the motivation of helping the economy. but of which they nonetheless were the beneficiary. for them to be complaining about serious regulation directed at making sure this never happens again is wrong. host: he used the term " "irresponsible risk" and it would seem that the banks are doing all they can to avoid doing that again? guest: that is clearly true. you can say with some certainty that that interview with larry summers yesterday and the barack obama interview on the "60 minutes" were a coordinated attempt to increase pressure on banks. the white house does not want to be the best friend of j.p. morgan or goldman sachs. the reason you saw so much anger
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a couple of weeks ago when goldman sachs executives were quoted in the "vanity fair" magazine saying they thought they would have been fine without the ability and would not have gone under without government assistance -- the first-rate people in washington to no end. the entire financial system of the u.s. would have collapsed, and goldman sachs right along with it. ñito hear them saying banks, but no things and we did not need the help -- in washington that is the height of arrogance. you have wall street's problems looking at washington with no understanding. you have this culture clash with all at stake. lloyd blankfein will be there at the white house. goldman sachs announced last week that they are changing composition of their top executives, the 30 most powerful will now get special stock instead of cash bonuses at the end of year. it is designed to keep their
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interest in line for the next five years or so with goldman sachs, so they don't get paid unless the firm does well. that is designed to appease reformers. reformers say you give a executives incentive to loot the company in the short term without incentive. many think that is what happened with the 2008 meltdown. host: goldman sachs field the aig gambles. the firm says the problems were hidden in some of these financial products that aig had a cause a downfall. guest: goldman sachs is one of the biggest beneficiaries of the a.i.g. bailout. a.i.g. turned the bailout cash to their counter-parties -- goldman was one of the top beneficiaries of that bailout money. for months after word officials
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involved refused to say who the counter-parties were. it was suspicious and weird. we were trying to get the information for a long time after the a judge a bailout. several months later they finally put out a list of the counter-parties. xdgoldman sachs were on the list and so were several foreign banks. host: next up, fla., on the line for democrats. caller: good morning, all that i can say is from what i hear america it is nothing but a big, the tangled web of confusion. my feeling is that we were in such dire straits that the only way obama was elected, him being african-american, is that america is looking for a scapegoat. we're talking about too big to
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fail, the banks. the market is basically too white to fail or too white to be wrong. therefore, everything happening, the government that existed was run by white america. from the comments made over the last 11 months with obama in the white house, the familiar with bankruptcy of the economy, all the bad things are being blamed on obama. there again we pretend -- race, race does not exist in america, but it does. people were so desperate when they found out they were losing their 401k's that they would have voted for anybody they
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thought could save them. guest: clearly the economic meltdown of 2008 was the reason barack obama was elected. when you look of the election cycle back in september obama and john mccain or neck and neck. when the stock market crashed use of the spread open up. john mccain had some very uncertain mood is. who said he would come down to washington to fix it, but did not. but obama did not make as many dramatic moves, but appeared to be a little cooler under fire in such a major crisis. you began to see that gap open. obama owes his presidency to the stock-market crash. voters said that is the guy we trust. now that he is president he does have to handle it. voters said we sent you their.
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voters are very impatient and sometimes irrational, but that is the deal when you get elected. host: i want you to tie that into this meeting today at the white house. diare the bankers largely opposed to that legislation? guest:ñi 2 large pieces of it. they do not like the consumer financial protection agency. it's still must go through the senate. it is viewed on wall street as potentially dangerous to them. it is because they make a lot of money off of credit card fees. the agency would go after all those fees involved in the credit card world. there are many hidden fees in that world and it is very lucrative for banks who are
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desperate to raise capital. they don't want to be told those fees are inappropriate. host: there is a remedial action from the house on credit card fees, right? guest: yes, and there are all kinds of proposals out there. the banks don't want to see a new federal bureaucracy, full- time forever going after this. one of the things we're told the president will say today as he meets with the bankers is that they ought to stop resisting this consumer financial protection agency and the whole banking reform package moving on capitol hill. host: new orleans, good morning frank, a republican caller. caller: the meltdown happen a lot of people were saying that there was a lot of blame to be given to the individual person who was taking loans they could not afford a. but when you really look at it
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you also see that congress was to blame for asking for some of this legislation that could have restrained bankers. bankers were to blame because they did things they should not have. going forward, some bankers are saying that the government is asking them to make loans again to people who cannot pay. in the look of the context of business owners, small business -- does the data show there are small business owners who are qualified but still not getting loans? what does the data guest: show that is a good question. what the president says -- and i have not seen the data myself -- the president says there are small businesses better qualified for loans which can i get them because banks are too scared to land right now.
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that is a defensive posture that might be understandable, but the president says it is hurting our economy. host: it also comes at a time when the interest rates must be the lowest in history? guest: absolutely. presumably, the tail end of the recession is a good time to start growing in preparing a foundation for later. everyone assumes the recession will be ending soon. we might see the stock market continued to rise. small businesses want to be in a position to take advantage of that. . .
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on our independent line. caller: how are you doing? i wanted to ask why didn't they take the executives from goldman -- -- goldman sachs, j.p. morgan chase, when they needed taxpayer executives making billions of dollars all of these years, why didn't they use their own money to put back the company instead
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of using taxpayer dollars? or else break the company's down like they were supposed to. everybody knows it is not capitalism, it is fraud. guest: that is a good question, too. the reason why they did not use their own money because there are very few executives, i cannotñr think of any, personal net worth anywhere near the size of the bailout. they needed a lot more money than anyone executive could possibly have in his own bank account. but this question of bank -- breaking up the banks is what we heard a lot. there were reformers is said these banks are too big, and the idea of too big to fail, if a bank were to collapse it would ruin the entire global financial system and therefore we have to inject it with money. reformers to say just right of the banks. instead of having one's citigroup, let us break into 10 so if anyone makes some decisions and collapses, it will not recall through the entire system and the system will survive and u.s. taxpayers will not be on the hook. this is something the obama
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administration chose not to do as one of the reforms and they are getting a lot of heat from it, particularly on the left. host: thank you for joining us this morning. in our next segment we will take a look at homeowners helping homeowners with refinancing and we will talk to jim carr, from the national community reinvestment coalition. first, an update from c-span radio. >> as we have been discussing, president obama meets with financial industry executives of this morning. following that meeting the president will deliver a statement on the economy. we will have a for you later on the schedule. in the afternoon the president welcomes the president of lebanon on to the white house. while the economy is the bulk of the white house meetings today, violence continues in afghanistan well today taliban fighters killed 16 members of the afghan national police. admiral mike mullen, chairman of the joint chiefs, speaking earlier to reporters said he is
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deeply concerned about the growing level of collisions between afghan militants and extremists taking refuge across the border into pakistan. he made the comments after arriving in kabul to discuss the upcoming surge appeared the u.s. military is commenting on last week bombings in iraq in a statement to the associated press. the military said it warned iraqi officials about possible attacks in baghdad on the same day that bomber struck government sites in the capital last week. however, the information did not include specific actionable intelligence. those bombings killed 127 people. an update on the americans being held in iran. the country's foreign minister said three americans jailed since crossing the border from iraq in july will go on trial. no word on when the proceedings would begin or the specific charges, but in november authorities did accuse the americans of spying. relatives and the u.s. government said the three were innocently hiking and accident
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across the to iran but the foreign minister speaking earlier at a news conference said the americans had suspicious aims. those are the latest headlines on c-span reappeared -- c-span radio. >> ahead of the u.s. energy information a social -- administration has projections for energy supply, demand, prices until 2035. live coverage at 9:30 a.m. eastern on c-span3. peterson pugh commission and budget reform hosted a discussion on the federal debt. participants include former budget office director is and former house budget committee chairman jim nuzzle and joan. live this morning at 10:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. as congress considers reauthorization of the elementary and secondary school act, educators and activists, and government officials discussed ways to eliminate the so-called achievement gap. live coverage today at 1:00 p.m. eastern on c-span3.
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"washington journal" continues. host: jim carr is chief operating officer for the national community reinvestment coalition here to talk about refinancing mortgages, particularly those who are under water in trouble with their mortgage. i wanted to point out a chart in sunday's "the new york times" about interest rates. low, low rates is their charred. -- chart. the peak in the mid navies -- mid-1980s and the 1990's, and now interest rates are at historic lows, going back to world war ii. why can't folks get refinancing with rates so low? guest: there are a number of reasons, bill. first and foremost, the number of households under water, meaning the mortgages are currently worth more than the actual value of the homes is at a historic high. that is a major problem. in addition, the lenders have
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not really tightened up in terms of what they require for consumers to actually -- have really tightened up in terms of what the required. we've gone from reckless, irresponsible lending where consumers didn't have to provide any of -- information literally, just stay there and, uh, state assets and get these loans that were not sustainable, to a point of where now the lenders are really not in that position at all. they have gone actually way to the opposite end. you have to have a very high credit score, you have to document everything. particularly, for those consumers whose mortgages are upside down, the house has lost value pretty substantially, they are in trouble. host: let's take a look at those numbers. "the washington post" had an article, foreclosure relief program is stuck in first. some of the figures, around 31,000 or 4% of the 720 about some people in the program, making home affordable, modified
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their loans, 30,000 have been disqualified. that number, 728,000, you are with the national community reinvestment coalition. is that a big number? guest: of that number needs to be many, many times higher. that the -- we are on route 4 record foreclosures this year alone. host: how does that compare to other years? guest: a normal year would be 300,000 400,000. recent years, and believable. last year, 3.3 million. we are talking a foreclosure crisis not only astronomical in terms of absolute numbers but it is still growing. when you dig under that number, 4 million, in fact you see we could see even more foreclosures were it not for a number of the programs being put into place creating moratorium on foreclosures. if those moratorium were not in place, if those loans currently
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-- for example, you add it is -- mention the of ministrations home loan modification program, foreclosure mitigation, if those don't convert to a long-term or permanent loan modifications, sustainable, you can add those to the pile as well. host: we want to give our viewers involved. host: the house on friday passed a financial regulations bill. one of the and then is defeated was one by john conyers and others that would have allowed bankruptcy judges to write down or unjust mortgages. would that have been a good thing? guest: bill, that is one of the most powerful tools that could actually move this foreclosure crisis forward in terms of modifying loans. essentiallyñi what it says is a home would be treated like any other major asset -- a luxury
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yacht, rental property. in the event you are struggling to pay your mortgage, you have access to a bankruptcy judge and that judges -- not talking consumer advocate, but that bankruptcy judge will be able to look at the consumer's perspective, from a consumer and lenders perspective, and strike a reasonable deal that would allow them to maintain their home and at the same time be something working in the interest of the investors as well. that was defeated. the problem was that of that lot alone would resolve -- could result as much as 30% of the crisis at no direct cost to the taxpayer. it is what the administration asked for at the beginning of the year when it put forward their making home affordable program. congress almost passed it. the house passed it, the senate didn't. that was a real loser for the program because that was the compelling aspect. we do not have anything that could compel behavior by server serves.
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host: specifically what is the strongest thing that could compel server serves -- servicers guest: avenue there was a third party that could intervene and take a look of the consumer circumstances and not give everything to the consumer but on balance say, this make sense to the consumer and makes sense to the investor. if they knew the consumer had their records, and they would be much more efficient and effective evaluate a loans and either approving them or not approving them. what we have right now is complete the intransigence in the system. host: are beginning cases were providers say it is cheaper to let it go to a foreclosure rather than modifying? guest: not that it is cheaper. it is just the servicersñi and collectible bunch of fees as it goes to foreclosure and ultimately the, during the process. there are lots of incentives, financial incentives, and there
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are reasonable ones but they can't compete with the enormous number and amount of fees a servicer and stacked up, and just sending the consumers through the tortures of foreclosure. that is why they need a compelling reason. this is an incentive, it makes sense. financial incentives are good but this is a compelling reason that says we need you to understand, we are in the middle of a national crisis. if i could say one other thing, there is some talk of recovery. but it is a jobless recovery. that jobless recovery is not a recovery in a sense of that it is unemployment, the largest driver of the foreclosure crisis -- not the products, they worked their way through. we have in all -- whole new set that will be coming next year. right now foreclosure is the largest driver. as long as the problem that caused the crisis in the first place, foreclosure, continues to get larger and larger and taking on a life of its own now, then we won't really recover until we get people back to work and we will not been back to work until
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we resolve the crisis. it is very circular. host: walter, a republican, indiana. caller: thank you for taking my call. i appreciate it. i came from old school. my mom and dad said the first thing you pay is yourself, take 10%. you don't need a new car, fancy clothes -- you need security. that sometimes means you have to go without for the longer purpose. host: i am going to let you go -- we do ask our viewers to give you 30 days before calling again. guecaller: i think he's said a lot of things -- the kind of answer my question what you were on hold. so many people don't have jobs right now. correct me if i'm wrong, but i believe it is not a requirement that you have to have a job to
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get some of these loan programs -- no job, you might not apply. just curious, you're called community reinvestment coalition there. you touched on irresponsibility of lending practices that led up to this. you go back to the community reinvestment in 1997 -- everything was loosened and banks were forced to loan irresponsibly and then the government stepped in and back everything with fannie and freddie. it was just a snowball that rolled downhill. we see where christopher dodd is in the polls -- he was in it right from the beginning, all the way through, getting a sweetheart loans, no? you seem to have the same name but you don't seem to agree what went on. and now our government is continuing to borrow and cent --
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said a poor example. almost thing they want to make businesses take loans they probably shouldn't be taking. where is the good example from the government? guest: you raise a lot of issues. let me walk through a few. one of the reasons that he -- we hear so much about the reckless loans, and most people now have come to understand that there was a lot of irresponsible lending. but they are aiming in the long direction. they are aiming at the community and the borrowers as opposed to the financial institutions that offer these data products. for example, you referred to the community reinvestment act. the federal reserve board actually did a study because they wanted to purge the misperception offered in the market -- only 6% of these problematic loans, 6%, were excellent covered under the community reinvestment act to low and moderate income households. so almost 95% had nothing to do with that act. in fact, it had to do with wall
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street investment bankers and others not covered under cra. the second thing is about the government's writ irresponsible spending. i absolutely understand your concern about the deficit spending. we really -- we are in a mess. but here is the problem. the problem is, how do you get out of recession? the best way to actually pay down the debt is to have people employed and paid taxes. so the question is, how we get people back to work? even the most optimistic economists right now is expecting these high levels of unemployment to last for the next two, three, four, as many as six years. that is one of the reasons why the deficit spending, if it is actually creating jobs, would be the most powerful way to reduce the deficit. but if it is spending for miscellaneous and furbelows activities that don't create jobs i am completely with you. we are -- ourselves a deeper and deeper hole. host: jason in rockfalls, and
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illinois. democratic column. go ahead, you are on. caller: is lending three or $4 on the dollar for the consumer or the person actually getting loans, isn't that the practice? why is a regulatory system behind the banking institutions lending two, three, $4 on the dollar, to keep more people on their homes? guest: i am not exactly sure what you mean by the question of letting $3 or $4 on a home to keep their home. one of the things i can say is the programs to address of this financial crisis have been upside-down from the very beginning. what i mean by that is going back to last year, when we realize the banking system was having a problem and banks began
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to fail one at a time and ultimately a systemic failure, ultimately what the banks have more problem loans that will offer to consumers who were not able to pay them back. i could go into those problem loans did bill asks me to go into them. the short of it is we had a lot of problematic loans and the system. the way to help the banks would have actually been to in the subsidies at the consumers to allow them to maintain their homes. instead we aimed almost all the subsidies to the bank. we sent trillions -- most people focus on the $700 billion tarp as if that was the real bailout, the real was over $12 trillion, depending on whose estimate, as many as $23 trillion if you look at the special inspector general for the bank bailout, came from the federal reserve, fdic through loans, investments, guarantees. here's the problem in bailing out the banks. the consumers are still failing
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on a homes. as much as we are giving to the banks, the consumers are still failing so they keep sending more and more problems to the banks and one of the reasons why, as the bailout has continued and a lot of people are celebrating the are now returning to profitability, lending exactly still falling because the banks are not helping. just one last thing. while we are celebrating a return and putting back into the banking system, we are on route to one of if not the largest number of banks failures in american history this year. fdic insurance fund is now depleted. so we are still in a crisis mode simply because we have not addressed fully the concerns and the challenges of those consumers who are going to foreclosure. as long as we continue to have millions of foreclosures every year, we continue to have a real negative drag on the economy as well as sending more toxic products to the banks. host: what is the role of fannie
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mae and freddie mac and refinancing? guest: they are planning a major role in refinancing now. they are part of the administration's new refinance program and it started off working really well. ñrit is a well thought out progm on refinancing. it allows you to refinance if you are as much as 125% upside down, meaning your mortgage is valued as more than 125% of the actual cost of your home. that is a solid program. the problem we are facing in this market is not so much refinancing, but it is the loans in imminent threat of default or are actually already in delinquency heading to foreclosure. host: you mention the second wave in 2010. how big is it? guest: a huge wave. one of the big challenges, we started with a lot of unfair deceptive products and mostly at
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households who really were not sophisticated about the market. so when they were told how the mortgages work, which is not accurate, in terms of how the housing market worked, we did not all of the sudden wake up one morning and find 3 million of 4 million people just reckless in america. something happened systemically. a lot of bad products were entering the system. most of the first products that failed tended to be for middle income and moderate income households who just won not that sophisticated in the market. -- were not as sophisticated and the market. a whole new wave of loans for people with higher credit scores. pay option arms. they don't begin to reset until the middle of next year and into 2011. almost $200 billion worth of those loans. they will reset from minimum payment to fully amortizing loans such as the lone resets on those loans when they reset on average would be more than
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$1,000 a month. that is $12,000 a year. you can imagine there were lots of consumers particularly in this environment not prepared to step up to the plea to pay $1,000 more for month. that is the crisis still waiting to happen on price -- top of the crisis we have right now. host: then, republican, california. go ahead. you are on the air. caller: i have a loan with washington mutual. chase came and take over from wamu, went through all the rigmarole, all led what is 30 affixed at lower interest. we have high scores on our credit. we have a lot of income. they refused may.
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and the appraisal was double what i old. what is my next recourse or what can i do to get out of the interest on late and get into 30 affixed with a lower interest rate? guest: from what you are saying, you are a perfect candidate for the administration's loan refinancing program. i don't have the details on your file so i can't tell you exactly why they would have turned you down. we hear stories like this all the time so it is not surprising people are getting a run around rather than refinancing as well as loan modification. here is what you can do. united states department of housing and urban development. if you will then, go to their home page and they will have on the home page very prominent, loan modification and loan refinancing. xdthey will explain the making home affordable loan modification program and the refinancing program. just read through that. it is very consumer friendly.
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you can tell immediately if you are eligible and if you qualify. if so, it will give you instructions right there, including a telephone number as well as other web sites to go through directly to get help. just go straight to hud. host: taylor, atlanta collar on independent line. caller: good morning. i have two questions. late last year they were discussing tax relik for those people who withdrew from their 41 k programs, retirement programs, to sustain their mortgages, or to those who have taken from their retirement fundñr -- unemployment. is there any discussion of tax relief for those people as far as penalties for early withdrawal of 401k?
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guest: i have heard some discussions about that. i am one of the number of people who believe some types of exceptions, given this extraordinary crisis, particularly for emergency issues like dealing with a home, loss of a job or something like that. but i can honestly say i have not heard of any legislation that is excellent past or currently debated. but don't take that as a sign that it isn't being done. i know lots of people have been talking about that here in washington but it is an issue, those 401k plan and others, that i have not followed. host: the home market makes the front page. cover story, can the home market bounce back without more help?
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host: tell us a little bit about the home market, not just the refinancing, but the whole market and help your looking for for new home buyers? guest: i smile that i hear the positive news is coming. it is more positive news built on a host of federal subsidies just working its way through the system, coursing through the rain -- veins of the market, in a way that just does not speak to sustainability. for example, tax credit for new home purchases now being
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extended to purchases for homes for anybody, whether a first- time home buyer or you just want to buy a home in the market. there is nothing wrong with these programs. at least the militant types of programs are important for an economic recovery. -- these similitudes types of programs are important. but are you addressing the fundamental problems negatively affecting the assistance of assimilative putting you on the road to recovery or are you really put on a bridge that goes nowhere because at the end of the stimulus you still have the underlying problem. the problem in this particular case is you are attempting to use stimulus programs as a substitute for addressing the real fundamental problem. as long as the have 4 million to go into foreclosure, saying you have a lot of housing sales going, you have to ask yourself, what is happening there? we are in the middle of recession. sport is to the stimulus affect -- part as tax credit and part
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is a lot of these homes are being sold at distress sales, 40%, 50%, 60% of the value. that is not a healthy market. host: san mateo, california. valerie, democratic caller. caller: i'm wondering why the banks don't split their mortgages -- 18 year loan for half of the mortgage now -- loan, and the remaining 12 years collect the other part. why do these consumers think they should just be off the hook for the loans they borrowed? , and the banks carry a couple hundred thousand for 18 years? guest: your question suggests
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two issues. you said." something, i though, about why is that consumers think they should get all hot and then would the banks being willing to do some unusual or super normal things to modify the loan. the answer is it is an interesting thing. what is in the best interest of the banks and investors actually is in the best interests of the consumers. those two parties are different from the ones who actually service loans, will have a different financial incentive. this has been the disconnect all along. for example, when homes have gone to foreclosure, it is called loss severity in the industry. the lender or investor losing as much as 60% or more of the value of the home when it goes all the way to foreclosure instead of having modified it and lost maybe 30%. in some cases, less than that and in some cases, maybe a little more. in most cases actually better than allowing it to go to
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foreclosure. most people have been scratching their heads over the better part of the year asking, why is it these loans are going to foreclosure, costing such an extraordinary amount and answer is you have a group of people who manage these loans, the servicers, and their incentives are different from investors and consumers and they don't have a compelling reason to participate because the law that would actually give them a reason to really be much more aggressive and assertive in modifying these loans has not passed congress. it is unfortunate because we are bailing out the financial industry and putting billions of dollars of now to help support consumers, but the law that could have one of the most powerful immediate effects would cost nothing to the consumers, we just can't get it passed the bank lobbyist on capitol hill, which, by the way, being paid for a the same financial institutions that the american taxpayer paid out. the consumers stepped up to the plate, taxpayers, bailed out the
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banks and the banks to around and send an army of lobbyists to capital to work in the opposition of the best interest of the same people will bail them out. this crisis is going to be written about and textbooks and history books for years and nobody is going to believe how completely, almost awe, strange, some real has been this whole dealing with the crisis. host: the president is meeting with them of the white house. what the expected hear about mortgage market and refinancing? guest: we have seen a lot of previews. that is, he is going to pound the table and say they need to step up to the plate and do the right thing. the question isn't what it is he going to say to them, but what they are going to say to him. the fact of the matter is the largest banks that received the greatest subsidies are showing great profits, on roads to get near record bonuses, and at the same time the lending, which was the whole purpose of bailing them out, had actually been
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dropping precipitously, like a rock, for month after month after month. what we need to hear from them is what are they going to do to actually contribute to the economy, which was the whole purpose and bailing them out. that is why i am saying a lot of people were saying, well, the bank bailout is a success. it is a success if we ended but foreclosure crisis from a success if we are lending again, putting the economy back to work. but it is not a success if the only thing we haven't is improve bank earnings for those institutions were bailed out -- if the only thing we have is improved bank earnings. that is not success. host: keith in palm bay, florida. caller: the started hitting on a really good for a minute. the economy seems to be built on artificial basis and not the free-market -- the cars for clunkers, making people by early and everything and taking away
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the future sales. until we reset and are allowed to fail, we are going to be in big trouble. like me taking out another credit card to pay off another credit card. a new said earlier the government is creating jobs -- you said earlier the government is creating jobs but the borrowed money to do this but the average job is created at a cost of $200,000 to create a $50,000 job which that person does not even pay texas -- taxes so we are perpetually putting ourselves deeper in the hole. i think you are right that it is more of the buyer beware because kids are graduating from school and then of the culture of different countries but they don't know the difference between a fixed or adjustable mortgage. i don't see buying adjustable mortgage even allowed and subprime. we use subprime to pay off our credit, we got it at a high interest and after five years of living in it, used it to pay off
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our credit and we used it in the right manner instead of spending it on vacations and stuff. i think it takes both sides to tango. it was the bank's fault to take advantage of the people and it was a lot of people's fault for using their house equity as a piggy bank. guest: just a quick comment. i think that was a really insightful point. and i think the extension, when you talk about public policy from what he said, was really good. for every one of these transactions -- a lot of people say it was all the banks fraught -- fall and some people say all the consumers fault. let us assume the reality for every bad loans there was a banker and a borrower. so the point is, if you are going to bail out one side or the other, why not bailout the one who will bailout both sides or at least be evenly distributed in the way you address the crisis? we have not been evenly distributed. we act as if the banks were taken advantage of completely
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and the consumers, all the consumers were exploiting the banks and that has been a big problem. let me just say real quickly on the john ensign, the jobs created when you stimulate -- jobs side, the jobs created in the economy -- the problem is you can't stimulate the economy while ignoring the fundamental problems. you have to both do the stimulus things as well as address the fundamental problems and that is something we've not done a good job on. and be aware if the government creates jobs, like the cash for clunkers, or even if they put people directly to work in public-service jobs, those people would pay taxes and putting people to work is the best and fastest way to bring down the deficits that we are having. iworking america does it work to bring down the deficit. so if you are really concerned about the economy, we should look at two things, fundamentally addressing the
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foreclosure crisis and fundamentally putting people back to work, not just short- term stimulus but when you are hearing in terms of the long term because his job crisis we have will last into 2010, into 2011. it does not mean we will have growing unemployment in 2011, but it means of the levels will be very high, at least 9% for the next couple of years, 8%, as much as 8% in 2013. most americans won't accept that. it is not healthy. and we need to address those problems. host: jim carr, you can read more about his organization that for the next half-hour or we will pick up the conversation on jobless numbers in particular those of college graduates. "the baltimore sun" court our attention. diploma falls off as tickets to a job. many recent graduates and wait
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out economy by getting advanced degrees.
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host: the question is morning as about the unemployment situation for college graduates. is it worse? what is your spirits? the numbers are -- host: just to wrap up the senate work in the weekend. susan crabtree's story in "the hill." senate passes $1.10 trillion spending bill.
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host: the senate is back today to resume debate. you can see live coverage on c- span2. the house is in today as well. you can follow house coverage here on c-span. scott, cleveland, good morning on our independent line. caller: i don't think they are looking at the macro problem. you can have 1.5 million h1b these is and you cannot outsource all these jobs to third world countries. the e. leakey economists and business people believe in the model which is a comparative advantage model -- eat economist. it is explained in the book "how the failure of our politics
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undermine our prosperity." they believe in this model even though it was proven wrong by an mit graduate. we are not going to be able to compete with third world countries and these politicians just don't care and they don't get it. host: columbia, missouri. chuck on our democrats line. caller: i am on the wrong side of 55. when i was their age and even younger, it was common knowledge the democratic party was the parting of the worker, the blue-collar worker, and the republican party basically management and upper-class. this has been kind of mottled and lost in the interim in that time period. but you have to realize that warren buffett came on here a month ago and said that this economic crisis we have is the equivalent of pearl harbor. so they ask, what of the solutions? one of the main ones was the
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senate, the congressman, need to get together and not be butting heads. and i think the young people today need to recognize that republicans in particular do not want -- not only not see democrats succeed but they don't 1 bluecollar workers because they tend to be democrat and it is almost to the point of being traitors to me if they are just saying no to everything to force creation of new jobs in america. host: about 20 more minutes of your comments, unemployment, how it impacts college grads. a story on the death of paul samuelson, and i teach economics professor, no ball -- nobel winning theorist. the type of economics, the headlines in this morning's "wall street journal." paul st. alisyn, whose analytical work laid the foundation for a modern
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economics, died yesterday after a brief host: paul samuelson dead at the age of 94. pamela on the republican line. caller: i am a registered republican and voted republican all my life and this year i voted for mr. obama to be our president and i cannot understand why use that at 54 years old after working my entire life i cannot find a job anywhere and the thing is, it is not just college students, it is teenagers, people my age, people 30, 40, we are outsourcing
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everything in this country. why? why are we not working? americans have a backbone. host: what john did you most recently have? your career field? caller: i owned a bar up until 2004 and then i worked in the restaurant industry, which i had already been -- always been in. even with that, people can't afford to go out and eat. they have to buy groceries. don't get me wrong, nothing wrong with eating at home, but there is no excess money anywhere. what is going on? why is it that debt collectors -- say you vote a bill. the call you up and demand money, paid in full. host: "the chicago tribune" has a front-page story not particularly about unemployment but employment. "6 but still at work." some refuse to this ship -- some
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refuse to miss ships over job security. the thing college grads have it worse? caller: yes, they do have a bad. however, you got to look at it this, too, everyone does. everybody. but the kind of have it worse because they are are already invested in their school and everything that they dreamed four and a still have no job. but you also have to look at it like this, where is all the money that the bailout went to? no one can seem to track it. i don't see anybody getting a job. we don't have any new jobs for me. all i see are jobs being lost. i just wondered if anyone had ever thought that perhaps all of that money bailout and everything that went to make a
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look like we were going to get some kind of help has gone as a reassessment for industry being moved out of the country. maybe we are paying for that? anybody thought that maybe we are paying for all of that money to go out of this country to set up businesses in foreign countries to manufacture? host: the front page of "the denver post" looks at stimulus spending and the headline is about the impact of that spending locally in the denver area. host: clinton, maryland. the democrats' line. caller: can you hear me ok? i am listening to these people calling in complaining about the economy and this, that, and the other, yet they have representatives in washington who are there for the insurance
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companies, health insurance, banks. all of these lobbyists, they are not there to help them out. they will not pass any laws or bills to of the american consumer. forget it, you are out here on your own. get that in your head. these people, everything the president offers as an incentive to help the economy, people say, no. you are out here by yourself. get it in your mind and realize nobody cares about you but yourself. thank you. host: if the jump page on "the baltimore sun." vancouver, washington. on the republican line, ethan. caller: my name is ethan. my thing is, where are the degrees we need to beginning for future jobs? everybody tells me, five years ago, what degree to get and now it is nothing.
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host: ethan, what was your degree in or what are you working on? caller: i am just a social transfer but i was thinking about nursing, but now everybody tells me in my state nursing is going down in employment. host: columbus, ohio. elizabeth, independent caller. caller: as far as being more hard up when you are graduating, i have to say i majored in unemployment many times over the years and now i'm a mother with two daughters who are schooled online. they will graduate two years early at least. host: from high school? caller: they go to school. they have an online school, no black and mortar. host: what is the plan for college?
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caller: one of the things i wanted to bring up is the fact that one of the things i think would help people get a better idea of of the kind of -- i am sorry, the kind of political system we truly have and be educated more about the united states and what kind of jobs you should do would be to reinvent programs like this the and programs that would be available for high school or even college graduates to give them real world experience in places where they are needed. as volunteers or for credits against their student loans or credits against future education. but so many high school kids come out and don't really understand the difference between a democratic republic and a socialist country verses
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the free-market. and the responsibilities that we have as a government to put money back into the economy. host: you said your two daughters will graduate two years earlier, they are 16 or so? what is next? you talked about a vista site program. did you find them mature enough for those kinds of programs? caller: i do not think there are ready and up for college. because they are on line, it is fine -- according to their ability instead of the classroom. our plan is to take at least one year for each of them, travel, see the volunteer opportunities that are out, not just in our cities but other places. but the volunteer at the main
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library and help with the tutoring program. they have the experience being able to convert their free time in to something productive. but i think they need to see more of the world. i think it really would be a benefit to the united states for kids to go into college with a better view of what we really do need instead of having someone on television saying, major and nursing. host: thank you for your call this morning. about 10 more minutes about but, situation -- employment and tuition for college grads. this is from "the baltimore sun." in this article, they " a woman what the university of pennsylvania saying i think this will be marginally slightly better next year, she says. she is with career services at the university of pennsylvania.
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host: this is according to the woman here at the university of pennsylvania. about 20% of the class of 2009 reported going to graduate or professional schools, many of today's college students go on to advance betting that this recession intensified the trend as students sought a haven. peoria, illinois, michael, democratic collar. caller: i think the situation is actually worse. if i remember correctly in your earlier segment you mentioned about unemployment has not been high since pre-reagan
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administration. i think currently sense of the reagan ministration we embraced trickle-down economic theory and it hasn't shown to be -- as of right now if you look at what is happening with wall street and the bankers, we really need to worry about with that theory and increase in the future. host: mesa, arizona. debbie on the republican line. go ahead. sorry. caller: i just heard a gentleman say republicans, i guess, they are all just people, they don't represent construction workers. my husband and i have owned are on contract in business since 1975, and i know a lot of contractors and a lot of people who were construction and they are all republicans. republicans are for small business, they are for lower taxes.
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the mortgage crisis, i worked for a couple of years at bank one, and i did a lot of collections. i was a very respectful collector. i know those banks could have written those loans -- re- written those loans -- and put the payments a couple of years instead of foreclosing and putting people out on the streets. the banks will foreclosed, they put people out on the street and now the government is giving $8,000 to other people to buy those homes. and if those other people could have a for the homes they would not need the $8,000. we are going to turn around and get those homes back. the best thing this country could do is put a moratorium on foreclosures. in my home town there are 300 children without homes.
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that town has a population of 9000. i read in colorado there is a tent city. it is time we did it common- sense, quit foreclosing on people's homes, work out a deal host: i'm going to let you go, thank you for plugging in. a couple of international headlines. i would caution you on the first one, difficult photograph. italian prime minister silvio berlusconi, the front page out of canada. his face bloodied by an attack at a rally in italy yesterday. a statuette was hurled at the prime minister. a bloodied lip, broken teeth and also a broken nose. if we will show you this morning's "guardian" newspaper out of the u.k. and british prime minister gordon
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brown and his visit to canada car. he was the first prime minister to stay overnight and either iran or afghanistan. a look at the british prime minister with black beard and helmet. -- flack geaar. "new york *" on the -- "the new york times" on the british review of their involvement and the iraq war. it depicts nation as frustrated sidekick to u.s. juggernaut. witnesses depicted britain as little more as frustrated sidekick's to the american juggernaut with only marginal traction in the planning and execution of the invasion of march 2003, or in the way that mr. bush, his top officials at american general's conduct of the occupation that followed. in effect, witnesses presented britain as a disregarded a voice of diplomatic and military prudence, unable to restrain
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zealous american officials caught up in the aftermath of september 11 attacks. illinois, david, independent line. caller: i am with campaign for liberty. i think we need to recognize bill clinton signed nafta in the early 1990's and all of the jobs that stayed were low wages and all the jobs that left, we lost. [audio breaking up] host: i think we lost you. britons and, florida. chris on the democrats' line. caller: a lot of problems these college students are having, with manufacturing going down. george bush turned fast food restaurants into being added into our equation of how many industry and manufacturing jobs we have. fast food, putting food together
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in a line is not manufacturing. that is how he made his manufacturing numbers looked so good when he tried to fool people. we spent $1 trillion in iraq and he said it would pay for itself with the oil we get back so really these republicans should not be complaining so much because they would get it back. thank you for taking my call. host: a couple of last headlines before we wrap up -- fallen barrier in but little fanfare. the story about the new mayor in houston. newly elected mayor just happens to be a lesbian. i will pull this off and show you the front page of "the houston chronicle." a picture of the mayor-elect, how parker won and what lies ahead. "the houston chronicle" and their analysis of the election in houston over the weekend. 11 newspaper to look at this morning, inside "usa today." white house backed out for the
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holidays. photos from inside-the white house that will greet bankers today as they meet with president obama. last call, from rome, n.y., james an independent line. caller: thank you for taking my call. i wanted to comment in the but about the unemployment -- on the unemployment. i was making $40,000 to $50,000 between salary and commission. what is going on now, with the amount of the economy and what is going on, the tree is getting shaken. these companies are taking commissions and your benefits and cutting them so bad that you can't even afford to live and pay your bills and then eventually you have to go look for another job which cost you more money. i ended up getting fired because --
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host: what job did you get fired from? caller: i was going insurance selling, home and auto. i used to do mortgages, unfortunately. i caught a big brunt of this, maybe $1,200 a month i lost almost instantly and i have not been able to recover for two years. in my hometown, there is one full time job in the newspaper. this guy is blowing money on construction jobs, which i know a lot about, i used to do that, but these things last a few months. this is not creating a job, somebody who is going to work every single day for the next 10 years. host: i think we lost you, james. thank you for the call. "the washington times" we showed you inside the white house. on the ellipse, a lighting of the national menorah, white house chief of staff rahm emanuel. that will wrap up for the phones
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this segment. we turn our attention to homegrown terrorism. matthew levitt, former fbi counterintelligence analyst. now with the washington institute for near east policy. recent cases of homegrown terrorism. first, a news update from c-span radio. >> as the president meets with financial executives this morning, citigroup says it is repaying $20 billion of the money it received last year from the government. citigroup originally received a total of $45 billion. the government owns the balance, which it plans to sell. president obama is the focus of an internet statement today from al qaeda's that the leader al- zawahiri. accused the president of cheating the arab world by peace talks. he urges a muslims and palestinians to wage holy war and praised muslim militants fighting in pakistan. three days of meetings with north korean officials wrapped
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up and stephen was war, special envoy to north korea, says he is encouraged. in moscow to of a russian officials he remarked in a briefing earlier that north korean officials acknowledge the appearance of the six-party talks and a joint statement of 2005. in a statement and calls for the north to end its nuclear an update on the climate some of this hour. developing countries are refusing to produce a bit in working groups, putting it talks in copenhagen into disarray they are demanding that rich countries raised pledges for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. meanwhile, a senior official says the meeting by five world powers on iran's nuclear program has been counseled. to china's opposition. the u.s., china, russia, britain, and germany plan to meet on friday in brussels. those are some of the latest headlines on c-span radio.
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>> head of the u.s. enmr!y information administration announces projections for u.s. energy supply, demand, and prices for the year 2035. live coverage begins at 9:30 eastern on c-span3. the peterson-2 commission on but to reform was to the discussion on the federal debt. participants include former congressional budget office director, alice rivlin and douglas faults-e kendrick -- holtz-eakin. and as congress considers reauthorization of the elementary and secondary school act, educators and activists and government officials discussed ways to eliminate the so-called achievement gap. live coverage at 1:00 p.m. eastern on c-span 3. "washington journal" continues. host: matthew levitt is the counterterrorism director for
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the washington institute for near east policy come here to talk was about what is becoming known as homegrown terrorism, particularly in the wake of the five young men arrested in pakistan in the last week or so. reports from pakistan indicate that that country's judiciary will not release those five suspects to the united states. what is behind all of this increase, or is there really an increase and what is called homegrown terrorism? guest: we are seeing the product of a radicalization process that for a while we were noticing in europe and has now come to the united states. for the past couple of years, people have been saying that europe is very different from the united states, larger and less integrated muslim population. but because of the internet, the ability of people to travel nowadays, -- of information to travel nowadays, we are
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seeing people being radicalized. we have seen fit to give in cases come in dallas, minneapolis, here, work people from the united states went to pakistan and did surveillance for the mumbai attacks. we are in the crosshairs of what we've been seeing in europe for some time, domestic radicalization of a radical islamist nature. host: in the u.s., a number of these cases, the individuals are second generation, children of immigrants, and not so much in europe. guest: in europe they are second, third, fourth generation. here, we are just beginning to see what the trend is going to be. my real concern in the united states is that the way we are dealing with this as a government is by approaching it with the terminology of combat in the violent extremism. to me that is an hour late and a dollar short.
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what is driving them to this radical literature on line, what has been sending them to pakistan or somalia to carry out actual attacks -- we have two american suicide bombers in somalia -- is a radical ideology. it involves more than just law enforcement. we have to deal with the radical ideology that comes before the pilots. that is difficult and it -- that comes before the violence. that is difficult in the united states. but you cannot scream a fire in a movie theater. this means dealing with a radical ideology, and competing with that narrative. host: matthew levitt is with us until 9:00 the eastern. we will get your calls momentarily. talking about homegrown terrorism. you were part of the presidential task force that released this publication, "rewriting the narrative -- an
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integrated strategy for counter radicalization." was as a counter to the -- was this a counter to the report released in march or was this an obama administration initiative? guest: it involved an equal number of democrats and republicans, people advising the campaign's of barack obama and mccain. whoever occupy the white house, they should have good thinking about how to deal with this for a difficult problem. -- this very difficult problem. one of the things we concluded is that we have to deal with this radical ideology. but when we look at europe and the united states, how people were being radicalized, it was not only because of conflicts abroad. it was not only because of iraq or afghanistan or gaza or
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chechnya. is often because of some local grievance. you don't have a job, you don't fit in with your society, you don't feel comfortable in north africa where you came from, but you don't feel comfortable in the northern suburbs of paris. part is what is -- part of what is happening to people in gaza and his radical, violent narrative feeds into individuals and they feel the need to respond to the local grievance, because that is part of the large global grievance. host: you used the term "radicalizer." talk about the people from the northern virginia area that went to pakistan could one of them was recorded by somebody online. what can you tell us about this case? guest: we know of the individual who goes by the name s aifullah.
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the reason why the pakistanis are so interested in holding on to these americans from northern virginia for a while, to find out about this radicalizer -- when someone can speak a language in speaker slang and draw you to a radical cause, how effective that can be. in minneapolis, we saw similarly, the individual of smalley descent radicalizing -- of the somali descent radicalizing people. there were cases in texas, cases in illinois, where people thought they were going to blow up federal buildings and only did not because u.s. law enforcement figure out what they were up 2 and give them fake bombs. host: 1 the fort hood shootings happened, were you surprised? guest: a think everyone was surprised --
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host: surprise that major nidal hasan had not been caught earlier -- guest: you get shocked when a tragedy like this happens, and doubly shocking when he gets of the details. we don't want to preempt the investigation, we already know that he provided a power point invested -- power point presentation to colleagues were he said that suicide bombers was a legitimate thing. some of the reviews by supervisors, the fact that law enforcement knew that he was in contact with an american yemeni cleric that had ties to the 9/11 hijackers -- there have to be alarms that go off, otherwise we see the consequences. host: democratic caller, go ahead. caller: good morning. thanks for c-span, first of all, and thanks for having the gentleman on. it is my understanding that he studies terrorism. please don't cut me off, but the
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way. it is my understanding that the city's tourism but it is that -- is that just terrorism committed by followers of islam, or perhaps all home from terrorists and the united states? for example, i would like to have him comment on the 45 acts of terror that happen within the united states within the last -- four or five acts of terror that happened within the united since the last 10 years of so. timothy mcveigh, the man who shot up the holocaust museum, the man who killed three police officers because he was afraid that there were going to take his guns. the man who killed the doctor george keller just recently -- george tiller. it seems to me that there are far more acts of violence in america right now. i'm a white anglo-saxon got, but it seems to me that there are more acts of terrorism in america right now done by the far right wing and by christian
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terrorists than anything you see by islamic terrorists that come from the united states. i would like to comment on that. again, thank you for c-span. guest: the caller makes a good point. there's a lot of the violence out there. most of that the examples the caller said are not technically acts of terrorism. a focus on international terrorism, not domestic terrorism. we have seen a sharp rise on threats against president -- which should be proud of the fact we have an african-american presidents, and that should be a great cause for concern. with that timothy mcveigh attack, many people assumed read what that was by muslim extremists, and was not. -- many people assumed right away that was by muslim extremists, and it was not. these cases to demonstrate, including acts coming from the
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united states and going abroad, or a tax being plotted abroad for the united states, predominantly by radical islamists. that is not to say muslims. the problem is that with islam. it is with a very small, violent, ideologically driven element. that is the big way that we are facing today. and, of course, does not mitigate against the fact that there are other types of terrorism and violence. to deal with in this country. host: don from oklahoma, independent line. caller: good morning. my question is do they really think that moving these people from guantanamo to the united states for trial -- what either one of you guys want to serve on the jury? with the terrorist problems we have in the united states, that we know are out there, would you
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want to put your families in that kind of peril over the coming years, if you were to be on the jury to convict them? i mean, to me that is probably the silliest thing i've ever is moving up here. leave them down there and try them in a military tribunal and get them over with, were you don't know all the tourists are and that kind of stuff. -- who all the jurors are and that kind of stuff but i don't know anybody with the people i talk to in my home town, this area -- i cannot find anybody who would say, "i would like to be on that jury." guest: since september 2011, we have had success prosecuting terrorists here in the best gues -- in the u.s. guest: we have proven that our system can deal with the terrorist threat. i've been an expert witness for
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the government in over a dozen terrorist cases but i've never felt a threat to my life. i never felt that there was a threat to the lives of those jurors. the question is whether or not it is spared to bring these people here for a -- military a -- it is smart to bring these people here for the military tribunal. i think it is a great tool to use for our counter narrative, that we are not allowing the terrorists to change our system. a trial in an american court, not a military tribunal -- the cases that cannot be tried in a military -- an american card will be tried in a military tribunal. -- court will be tried in a military tribunal. i think it is a very powerful counter narrative. host: jim is next from florida on the republican line. caller: my name is jim.
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i want to first said i'm not an arab, and i have been republican for 20 years now. i think that the fellow there just talking about arab terrorism is a mistake. i don't think that -- i think that these people have a cause that they are fighting for, and that is why we are not going to stop this. i think that causes the terror that the u.s. -- that cause is the terror that the u.s. is doing -- the u.s. government, not the citizens -- the terror that they are doing in other countries. they are fighting for a cause. for you to just call these people terrorists is really an injustice. i don't think they are terrorists.
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i think they are freedom fighters. this is coming, mind you, from a republican, ok? i have been republican a long time. so let me -- i would like to hear your comments on that. guest: first, i don't think i said "abarab terrorists." i said islamist terrorists. the are driven by an extreme islamist ideology. i would disagree with the college of these individuals have the cause. al qaeda and -- with the caller that these individuals have a cause. al qaeda does not have a cause other than bragging about the global islamic caliphate -- then bringing about a global islamic caliphate. i wonder how the caller would explain what they did to us on
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9/11. there is an ideology and needed to contend with and compete with that -- and we need to contend with it and compete with it. it is something different than your standard 1970's, 1980's freedom fighter terrorist group that is just trying to gain independence. that is not the case. host: back to the five arrested in pakistan -- while it appeared to of and radicalized and went to pakistan and the nest to their families come in terms of offenses -- unbeknownst to the families, and in terms of offenses, it appears that they are the gang that cannot shoot straight. they could not find the way to the context, or al qaeda spurned them. would you know about that? guest: i do not know if we can call them keystone cops said. -- keystone kops yet.
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this guy saifullah was not significant enough to dodge for them on his own. -- to vouch for them on his own. they are careful about making sure that only allow people from the west to come in once the have a certain number of people to vouch for them. another thing to mention about this case that is very important is that their families went and most american organizations went to the authorities and told that we did not know about these individuals. the muslim-american community came to the fbi and did the right thing you can imagine how difficult that must be for a parent. seen cases in the united kingdom where bomb plots have been thwarted because families came forward. that is extremely significant and to the credit of the muslim- american community. host: "the washington post"
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wrote that muslim american organizations and jolted by the spate of cases are abandoning their hesitation to speak out about the issue. two groups, the muslim public affairs council on the council on american-islamic relations, said this week that there would launch a counter-radicalization programs aimed at young people." guest: we want to make sure that they did not just condemn al qaeda, but other groups committing terrorism in the name of islam and other things, such as hamas and hezbollah. it is not ok to blow up losses of civilians so long as they're not our civilians. iit is a very slippery slope. but these organizations have done is a very positive step forward. we need to start a serious dialogue where we find the baseline for agreement on what is and is not acceptable in
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pursuing political or other goals. for those groups that do not have political goals, like al qaeda, we need to deal with them through law enforcement and intelligence. host: assuming they do come back from pakistan, what charges are they likely to face in the u.s.? guest: there are two main possibilities. one is that they are seen as ne'er-do-wells who are led astray by a radicalizer, and instead of prosecuted, they are given therapy, etc. that might be the case from what we knew with some individuals. but some of them are believed, from what law enforcement is saying off the record, to be hard and individuals who radicalized the rest of the group. -- to be hardened individuals who radicalized the rest of the group. providing funds at such route to a terrorist group is a federal offense. host: paul on the democrats'
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line. caller: my question is what do you feel the effect of the statement of clinging to the bible and guns has on the topic? thank you. host: hudson, florida, ron on the independent line. caller: good morning. the real terrorists in this world of the united states and israel. -- are the united states and israel. you know, when you remove the democratically elected government and install a dictator and support the dictator with money and weapons, and people fight back against that, you call that terrorism. i have known people that have been to gaza that have seen firsthand the oppression -- israelis won't even let them
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have enough food. they have to smuggle food in to feed people. if people fight against that, you call the terrorism. israel has over 250 nuclear- weapons. host: thanks for the input. you mentioned earlier that issues like guantanamo are not necessarily the driving force behind radicalization of american muslims. guest: what i said was that they are not the only thing. people plugging local grievances into this larger global grievance. not to say that people are not motivated by the plight of palestinians or the way we should not result the israeli- palestinian comment for the right reasons. i cannot disagree with the caller what more could the united states and israel not the reasons for this -- i cannot disagree with the caller ron more. the united states and israel are not the reasons for this.
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israel and the palestinian authority were about to sign a peace deal. what hamas wants is not a state, what it wants is to destroy all of israel. al qaeda was targeting us long before we went into afghanistan and iraq could those are issues we need to be aware of. in terms of the phraseology of bible and guns, i don't think that is particularly useful, and using words like crusade feed into our adversaries' conception of who we are. we need to be careful with what i describe as the tax cut of terrorism, because we can feed into our adversaries -- the lexicon of terrorism, because we can feed into what our adversaries' propaganda if we're not careful. the united states tries to minimize civilian deaths in war, israel tries to minimize civilian deaths in war. the book makes mistakes, but there are seven countries and their protect -- they both make mistakes, but they are sovereign
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countries and they protect their people. bugle blowing up civilians for political purposes is terrorism. host: next call. caller: i have a comment and question. a man called in and ask what you guys were going to do about the millions of americans who are out of work, and he who are completely fed up with the corruption and the free and the criminals that have our government on lockdown -- and the free and criminals that have our government on lockdown bird will be american people stand up and take back our country, our blood and treasure, that is being stolen? i cannot really sympathize a lot with the government's position, i do not see the citizenry interested because we sit on our big but while this government runs amok all over the world.
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i cannot blame people for being angry with america and its allies and policies, because i am angry. are we going to be terrorists when we have a revolution in this country? host: is there anger that is feeding some this radicalization? guest: there is plenty of anger. lots of people get angry over lots of things. how do you express that anger? there are legitimate ways and illegitimized if the caller is so angry that he commits acts of violence, you are breaking the law i help law enforcement catches you. if you express your anchor through -- you are breaking the law and i hope law enforcement can disagree if you express your anger through legitimate avenues, all power to you. with billions of people in the muslim world, the vast majority are wonderful people who abhor
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violence. this tiny fragment of the population believes they can engage in violence with anybody that is not like them, including fellow muslims. you see them killing fellow muslims of the past few years, one of the reasons why, ironically , their ideology is getting less and less tractions, because they are killing more muslims than anybody else. host: with the online recruiting of potential radicals and terrorists, "terrorist group or operatives and freelance recruiters kroll social networking sites open to establish relationships with young men who seem ideologically committed and physically able to commit violence in the name of radical islam." the world has changed a lot since september 11. what are the challenges facing
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the fbi and law enforcement agencies to track that? guest: the scope. the internet is massive and it is a powerful tool for change and it is a vulnerability. the we these people were first noticed by saifullah when garrett posting positive comments on youtube. -- when they were posting positive comments on youtube. we really need to figure out a combination of technical tools and other tools to get better insight. we don't want to crack down on these things, we don't want to change who we are as americans, we don't want to curb freedom of speech or the positive force of the internet. what we after recognize is that it is being used as a tool for adversaries and in that sense is a vulnerability.
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how do you balance that with democracy? that is what we are facing today. host: john on the democrats' line. caller: i have a question about this fear of terrorism. i had a cute numbers here, and these are just rounded off. every year, 100,000 people go to the hospital and died from malpractice, infections, different reasons. 40,000 people are killed in automobile accidents. 40,000 people are murdered every year. 45,000 die because they don't have any health insurance. if we add those up, the last eight years, that comes to about 2 million people. and we are still worried about 3000, unfortunate as it was, that died eight years ago. what should i be afraid of? going to bed at night?
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somebody breaking in my house and shooting me? dying in an accident on the way the hospital? being killed in a hospital? host: john, are you saying that the government cannot make efforts to prevent those sorts of attacks in the future? caller: i am saying that the government should not be trying to terrorize the american people with this fear of terrorism. guest: i think the caller's last statement sums it up. there needs to be a balance, but what's terrorism apart is that it terrorizes. -- what sets terrorism part is that it terrorizes. al qaeda what a lot of people watching and a lot of people dead. if individuals who believe you can kill as many people, as many innocents as possible, if your cause is just and the to the and of -- we know there are individuals trying to get their hands on weapons of mass destruction, for example.
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the colors statistics were a little bit sobering. -- caller's statistics were a little bit sobering and there are the things you have to worry about in the morning. but the government needs to do more on other things, too, notwithstanding. host: "the christian science monitor" -- "are more citizens joining jihad?" guest: yes, without question. we will see this trend continue if the method is combating violent extremist abroad if we get engaged in rewriting the narrative and competing for people who are stressed and have a local, legitimate grievances, we can engage and counter- radicalization and prevent people from being radicalized. otherwise, as things stand, the policy of combating violent
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extremism will continue to be a day late and a dollar short. host: matthew levitt with the washington institute for near east policy, the counter- terrorism director, and co- author of this report, "rewriting the narrative." can folks read this on your web site? guest: yes, sir. the entire report is online for free. host: thanks for being with us. guest: thanks for having me, bill r. host: we will talk about the federal employees health benefit plan. our guest has written about it and about medicare. we will talk with him and take your calls right after this.
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>> keep up with the latest on the senate health care bill. watch live coverage on our companion network c-span2, the only network with the full debate on edited and commercial free, with updates from the reporters and editors of the congressional quarterly-roll call group. and follow the debate with the new c-span radio iphone app. find out more on c-span's healthcare hub. this week on "the communicators," more about neutrality and its possible effects on the wireless industry. tonight on c-span2. >> "american icons," three original documentaries from c-
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span, now available on a dvd. i'd unique journey into the cut comes of the three branches of the american government. see the supreme court through the eyes of the justices could go beyond the velvet ropes into the willie -- to the rarely seen spaces of the white house. explore the history, art, and architecture of the capitol, one of america's most symbolic structures. it is $24.95, plus shipping and handling. order online at c- host: on your screen is walton francis, who has a brand new book out called open for putting medicare consumers in charge -- "putting medicare consumers in charge." thanks for being with us this morning. first of all, what is the fehbp? guest: this is a program that has been around for 45 years,
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providing health care benefits to its own workers. 4 million federal workers and retirees in the program and includes about a million people. -- 8 million people. host: how long of government employees been able to access this? guest: relief from day one. before it was enacted in 1959 or 1960, there were similar plans, it just that the government was not sponsoring it. we have an over-50-year history of active enrollment in multiple different health plans. host: the topic of the book is fun and center, because the senate reports -- is front and center, because reports indicate that the center may consider an expansion of fehbp to allow non- government employees to be part of that, in addition to broadening that medicare age
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eligibility. is that a good thing? guest: the devil is in the details, and we do not know the details yet, so it is hard to say. a separate risk pool for uninsured or other people who may join who are not federal employees -- assuming there is flexibility to provide benefits and compete for businesses and so on, it could be a great idea. it is not a new idea, by the way. it has been produced -- proposed number of times over the decades. in this case it is viewed as a supplemental, small set of plans, maybe just one or two. host: how important is fehbp to companies like blue cross and aetna and united? how big a piece of this this is it to them? -- a piece of business is it to them? guest: it is a big chunk, but not as big as you would think.
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it is a big program, but a lot of insurance companies don't even bother competing. there are not that many federal employees and their geographic area, then it is not worth it. host: your book is a about the lessons from fehbp. what did you find out? doing an analysis of the program, how does the rate on cost containment and employee satisfaction? guest: the compared fehbp and the original medicare. you have these two competing models. i found that fehbp outperform the medicare on cost control, outperformed it hugely on benefit improvement over time, controls from a much better, almost immune from pork barrel, a special products, that sort of things, whereas medicare is rife
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with that kind of intervention. one of the reasons the plant is so popular is that you get to pick your own health plan, and not stuck with one plant that the fortune 500 employer might have put you in. host: i think in the beginning of the conversation you said something like 4 million people are part of fehbp -- guest: well, 8 million people, including independence. host: what agency oversees that? what type of bureaucracy runs that? guest: the office of personnel management, which is sort of the human resources agency of the federal government, and it has a lot of responsibilities, including the federal pension system for retirees. it has fewer than 200 people. it is a $40 billion program, 250 health plans in total participate. it is run by the early a handful of people.
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-- by literally a handful of people. host: federal employees have their own special line. and the regular lines. here is roseburg, oregon, mike, a democratic caller for walton francis. are you there? caller: yes, i am. can you hear me? host: yes, we can. caller: thank god for c-span. i am almost feeling like it is the government's prevailing attitude of the thing, to go out it -- to go at it with a band- aid rather than digging deep. like you were talking about before with the banks, it is like a band-aid effect.
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how do i put this in words? what i voted for obama -- when i voted for obama, i was really hoping that we would see serious change, and in the famous words of peote townshend, we were not going to get fooled again, and it is certainly looking that way. again, let's take care of all the corporate people, let's take care of all the lobbyists, the insurance companies, the lawyers, and forget the people. the bottom line -- if this thing comes through and president obama since this thing without any government option in it, i am appealing must occur off my bumper. -- peeling might sticker off my bumper. guest: i understand his feelings exactly, and despite all the problems with the bill, trillions of dollars that is not
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necessary to accomplish the primary purpose of the bill -- leaving all those issues aside, the fact is that they promised the uninsured in america that they will have access to health insurance. that is the bottom line purpose. whether or not there is a public plan is a footnote sort of issue. it is an ideological red flag, but it is not essential. those who oppose say that it opens the door towards the single payer system. it takes on the larger context that way, but in terms of what the average american would have available with health insurance, it is not a huge issue. host: you write about the political debate over health care. in sharp contrast is the medical history of -- is the political history of medicare. "fehbp has been relatively uneventful. its political history would put readers to sleep, were not so
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short. nothing in its history has been remotely as controversial as the medicare catastrophic coverage act." there has also been talk about this expansion of fehbp in the senate bill. and there are concerns raised about whether the office of personnel management, hr office of the federal government, as it were, if that is a large enough office and if it can handle the task of the huge influx of people using fehbp. guest: it would be duck soup for them, frankly. negotiating with a handful of other plants or maybe the same plans for additional contracts -- that is not huge and would not be a major issue. there is the question of why is that agency doing it, but running a health insurance system is not done well or widely throughout the u.s. government, and they are
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strange bedfellows here. department of labor uses a plan that large employers use, opm has a system where plans consigned and negotiate and set rates and benefits that make sense -- can sign up and negotiate a separate and benefits that make sense. host: we have a retired federal employees on the line. green valley, arizona -- caller: no, you got the wrong line bridgette diebold? you got a lot -- you got the wrong line. should i hold? host: this is can in north carolina. caller: in it the worst times in our nation's economy, it surprises me that the federal employee health plan encompasses
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such a great service that it does to the federal employees. 8 million people who already have 10, 15, 20 days off. i did a little bit of research on the health plan, and you guys, if you of 25 to 30 health plans while the rest of america, quite a few of us, do not have any health plans to you get badging dollars from the taxpayers. -- you get matching dollars from the taxpayers. just last year, the new democratic congress voted to give the federal employees increased at some leave for family leave on -- increased absent leave for family leave on top of the days that they already have off with a paper to the comment -- the time that they already have off with pay. recently a survey has shown that some of the stimulus money, one of the largest sectors of job creation has been with the federal government. host: thanks for the input.
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your response. guest: there is no question that overall, federal employee compensation is quite generous b. it has been overwhelmingly valuable feature, job security and health benefits program, while it is a good and solid program, is not overwhelming in the generous compared to the fortune 500 employers. plan generosity is no better than average. what makes it unique is the choice among the plans. some people prefer hmos, some people prefer fee-for-service, others prefer ppi was. -- ppos. host: according to your book, the most recent number of choices 252 per -- 272. here is our retired employee, i
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believe. green valley, arizona? caller: yes, it is. i am a retired federal employee, and i worked 21 years for an association, and now i have been retired 13 years the man ahead of me really kind of got my dander up, because we did not get paid extravagant amounts. in fact, my compensation was lower than some of the other people in the private sector. we paid a lot of money for our own plans. i am on a fixed retirement and it is going to go up in january to $166 a month that i pay that i pay my medicare -- $166 a month that it pay, and i pay my medicare. host: how much would you say you
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pay out of pocket? each month for each year? caller: i have two conditions. i have a hard conviction -- i have a heart cononnd i see the doctor frequently. i am also a three-year cancer survivor. it takes a big chunk out of my monthly income. i also have drugs that i have to take because my heart condition. guest: i think she is a really good example of what a good insurance system can do for people. the fact is that although her coverage is expensive and she has elected to take medicare as well as the federal employee plan -- you do not have to do that -- paying close to 100 percent of her hospital and doctor bills, depending on the plan she is in. this is an example of what is available to people around the country. host: here is another retired
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federal employee -- no, on the republican line. omaha, nebraska. caller: yes, this is catherine. it is amazing to me that there are two people that just spoke -- this one trillion of us. you want to get down to dollars and cents. this part i want to know -- the book of walton -- where would i get that information? it is so needed. i really cannot believe i am listening to your show. we have a terrible storm here. having been retired now since 1990 by -- since 1995, there is much that i've experienced, and i really cannot give you all of my personal details, because i've already answered some of your surveys. i will let you look of those if you have all the statistics. host: i will let you answer the
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question about where to get the book. guest: there are actually two books. the one we are merely discussing is -- the one we are merely discussing this sort of a scholarly book. it is available at and amazon and other places you can buy it. the other is the open season guide. that is the guide to health plans for federal employees. host: that comes out every year? guest: that comes out every year, and you can get that book. host: in your book, you have a chapter on the natural experiment, fehbp versus medicare. what did you find? guest: as i said before, we found that the program has
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outperformed medicare every which way. benefits, cost control, all the things i mentioned. right now it is in a bad patch, because the federal work force is aging very rapidly and all the people are a lot more expensive. -- and older people are a lot more expensive. also, it has a problem in that the federal government recently gave a tax preference to its own employees, private employers already have. is uncle sam that pays the difference -- the right pocket and the left pocket, where you have the ability to control costs. many of these are being paid by the taxpayer rather than out of the enrollees pockets. host: the medicare advantages
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-- did they improve the program? guest: the hugely improved it. in some respects, they are better than the fehbp in some of the design features. the party program has been a resounding success -- part d program has been a resounding success. it has controlled costs exceedingly wel. it has been an extremely successful program. the medicare and a program, together with the prescription drug program, has contributed to lowering the cost of the original medicare. host: democrats line, calle, we. caller: there is a few points i want to make here.
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the federal health care plan should be for everybody for this reason -- i am not knocking the ones we have, but for this reason -- i work 70, 80 hours a week, and before i receive compensation for services that i provide, the united states government takes money from my family before i get it. therefore, i believe they have responsibility, if they are going and buying lavished jets and taking care of themselves well, i think it is a responsibility that they have. the second point i want to make is that throughout this whole discussion, i just believe that everybody who has a problem right now -- you have constituencies around the country who have it, who have federal health care and all this health care.
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if everybody has to have health care. we cannot have a sick society working. host: thanks for your input. guest: that is what the health- care debate and health care reform is all about. i don't think there's any question that the congress intends to pass a bill for people who cannot get or afford insurance. the costs of these particular bills are rather bloated, this is the least, a political judgment that people can make it but there is no question that it would help in that kind of situation. host: 1 viewer writes -- guest: well, it is cheaper, i am sure, because the state of delaware pays the premium cost. that is a separate sort of issue.
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but actually, opm does a great job of providing benefits and holding costs down. the main issue of the costs with fehbp is consumer choice. over time, as i said, it outperforms medicare and cost control, and it does a performer and has over time the private- sector generally. -- does outperform and has over time the private sector generally. this could work but it depends on how it is set up. host: here is jeffersonville, vt., republican color. -- republican caller. caller: good morning. host: you are on, go ahead. caller: i'm retired military
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person and i am covered right now i try care. i pay 90-something a month for try care. when i'm 68 -- i pay 19 at that something a month for tricare. this does not make sense to me. guest: first of all, that is another big government insurance program and it has its own set of rules and procedures. it is for active duty and retired. what he is referring to is that he mentions that it requires that when you turn 65, use and for medicare. -- you sign up for medicare. medicare is the program for all people in this country. i do not see that as -- for old people in this country. the total cost of parts a and b
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be ttogether -- people paying every small part of the cost of that package of benefits they are getting. host: what you think of expanding it to -- what do you think of expanding it to folks age 55 -- this is the poll showing people strongly in favor of it. guest: strongly opposed. this a government-run program, a public plan, and not, as i've shot in my analysis, and nearly as successful as the fehbp. i would want more of something that is not working well? -- why would you want more of something that is not working well? and the idea of putting more people into medicare over time
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is that we're putting health insurance in the federal government, and i think that is an awful idea. host: our next caller. caller: fehbp is wonderful. there are no pre-existing conditions, and we pay 25% and the government pays 75%. i think that is the same split as the private sector. i compared my plan recently with my brother, and the total overall,-our plans, blue cross blue shield is to wonder dollars cheaper a month. -- is $200 cheaper a month. it should be open to everybody. it just drives me crazy that it is not -- i thought that ever since clinton did this back in 1992 -- i think the reason they don't want it to go to people is that congress does not want to admit that the government does something very, very well,
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and the government does a lot of things very, very well. the typical thing is to- government -- is to bash government. another thing is that they want to protect their thieving doctors, or as the thing as the thieving lawyers are -- who are as thieving as the feeding the lawyers are. -- the thieving lawyers are. guest: that is very eloquent. yes, it is a successful program. and both the house and senate bills have features that are sort of like the fehbp. the health insurance exchanges are modeled in part after the fehbp. but did not provide for the kind of flexibility and benefit design and competition that has
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been the hallmark of this program. host: your book looks at the costs of medicare and the fehbp, with medicare the darker and more precipitous growth. but doesn't that -- is that because there are more costs on the benefits side? guest: what i do it in my analysis is to compare change over time in per-enrollee basis in percentage terms, not dollar terms. it turns out that medicare has, over time, not shown itself, despite herculean efforts -- there have been a lot of innovations in payment methods, but if not succeeded at slowing down the growth. host: if i am a federal employee and today is the last day of open season, would you go to
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collect the data on choices from fehbp? guest: it is complicated. we have to choose health plans breed is not a one plan fits all systems -- we have to choose health plans. it is not a one plan fits all system. host: and with open season, that is it. guest: it is a once-a-year deal. caller: i'm a retired federal employee, and the problem i had with my plan is that i cannot find doctors in my area that wanted to work that cheap. it is hard to find preferred providers. as far as the new medical bill goes, i see tha


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