tv Washington Journal CSPAN December 22, 2009 7:00am-10:00am EST
conservatism ver. "washington journal" is next. >> the senate this morning goes forward with the health care bill. on another round of budget is coming up in about 20 minutes on the senate floor. they're heading for a final vote on christmas eve. that book is setting the stage for the house and senate to try to compromise on the two different bills before anything becomes law. good morning on this tuesday morning, december 22, 2009. more details on the senate version of the health care bill in the papers today including the so-called "sweetener deals" senators. the fall numbers are on your screen.
-- the phone numbers are on your screen here is the headline this morning in"the wall street journal per-qu" $10 billion in funding for community health centers. party sanders of vermont threatened to vote against the bill said that the federal government will recover medicaid recipients in nebraska. center ben nelson was behind that and no new taxes on cosmetic surgery.
there was a tax on tanning salons. there is higher medicaid payments in states thatáé are frontier state. certain nonprofits are exempt from tax on health insurers in the bill. that is some of the fine print in this bill. we want to know from you this morning, does the dealmaking matter in the end? here is senator riegle met yesterday. >> we just completed a bill, $600 billion for the defense of this country. you'll know how difficult it was to pass the bill. one way we were able to do that
piece of legislation is we had to do a number of different compromises. as you know, that dealt with extending the safety net, food stamps. we were not able to put the child tax in error because senators did not want that very bad legislation is all about. it is the art of compromise. in this great country of ours, nevada has many different problems than does new hampshire. michigan has many different problems than those georgia. we have wide range of different needs throughout regions of this country. some of those are basic health care delivery problems and others are because of the unemployment situation. this legislation is no different than the defense bill we just passed it >> we want to hear from all of you this morning. host: does the dealmaking in the senate matter to you?
one controversial issue was the abortion issue. medicaid bent federal funding for abortion but 17 states and the district pay it out of their own funds. it is order to reach middle ground in the bill before congress which will provide federal subsidies to millions of people to buy private insurance plans in a new marketplace or exchange for the deal reached by senator ben nelson and other democrats would allow those people to purchase insurance plans with abortion coverage but that would have to write two separate print checks. .
disappointed in all the deal making and people getting deals and people getting things for other states and i wonder why our representatives did not give us anything for our state. i also disappointed that this bill is being pushed through so quickly and people are not getting to know really what is in it. it is my tax money and i want to know what i am paying for. host: would you continue to watch the debate as it unfolds?
the house and senate have to get together and come up with compromise language that will happen in january before each body then passes a compromise again and send it to the president's desk. will you continue to watch? caller: i have called every representative who will accept my phone call. e-mails. i just feel like this is too fast and we really don't know what we are getting for our money. as i said, i am a taxpayer. this is my money they are playing with. this is my body this is my children, this is my grandchildren. and i am very concerned. host: thanks, pat. if we are showing on your screen a coverage of the senate, live coverage, as they do another round of votes on this health care legislation. of course, we continue with our gavel-to-gavel uninterrupted live coverage of the senate on c-span2. also there are other ways to follow this health care debate in the senate.
you can listen to highlights on c-span radio, you can review the debate on our website on the health care of with live streaming video of the senate floor and complete video archives including a debate on the bill, amendments, briefings from leadership and other key senators and the latest from reporters and editors of cq roll-call group. and we have a new iphone application to follow the health-care debate, c-span radio iphone, it is free and you go listen to c-span, c-span2 and radio. massachusetts, rep on the independent line. does the deal making the matter? caller: as the situation is now, i'm dead set against abortion. however, the only way i would be
for abortion is if, one, the woman is raped or incest -- that is the only way i would be for it. host: all right. a little bit more about what is next if the senate goes through and past is their version of the legislation. here is "the new york times." it is unclear whether the house and senate will appoint a formal conference committee or just work out differences in negotiations with the democratic leaders and committee chairmen from the team -- two chambers. in any event, white house officials expect to play a huge role. it also says here that --
33,000 for a family of four, the senate would expand eligibility to 133% of the party level, 29,000 for a family of four. many advocates for low-income people prefer the house approach. another difference between these house and senate bills. ed on the republican line, what do you think of the dealmaking? caller: allows a state of affairs in this country has got itself in. how can anyone watching what is going on in washington right now not feel abused that our taxpayers are being favored on certain states for votes. i agree with the lady who just called on the democratic line. i called my senate -- senator, sherrod brown, and he gives me this answer that means nothing to me. he will not listen. not only did i call him, but i probably called during the course of the last week 25 u.s. senators. most of the time the voice
mailboxes are full, you cannot leave messages and when you do they are very kind to your suggestion, yes, we will let the senator know and i know darn well they don't. these people already set their path, know where they aren't going. , went to know is if this thing can get repealed when these rascals get thrown out. host: terry on the democrats nine. all the cut -- caller: thank you for taking my call. also i am really a great fan of c-span. i think it is great we are able to see our government at work. a few days ago i saw on c-span2 a policy discussion about health care in which one of
the persons talked about an article written in the 1994 after the clinton debacle that was called the institution, stupid, explaining that the reason why health care has not been passed in this
country was due to the fact that the senate doesn't work. and what we have seen over the last couple weeks is proof positive that the senate doesn't work. it's absurd that you have 40 republicans that are not interested in trying to work on some kind of a compromise that could pass muster and, yes, it is upsetting that ben nelson can get the deal he can get for the state of nebraska. but the problem is, when you don't have a single republican vote wants to step up to vote, and this will require 60 votes to pass, what you going to do? guest: here is " the new york
post." gop blast kickback help fix. welcome to nebraska, 1.8 million. residents, cornhuskers. corn is the nation's -- it is that nation's largest producers of corn and cows of -- outnumber
people for to one beard, never export is spam and pro sports, none. clinton's fame, home to world's largest porch swing. the other nebraskan republican was on the floor talking about the deals in the bill and here is what he had to say. >> less than 24 hours at the announcement of that special carve out for nebraska, virtually no warning, no preparation to speak -- 2000 people gathered in omaha, neb., nebraska and ends in one voice crying foul. nebraska ns are frustrated and angry that our beloved state got thrust into the same pot with all of the other special deals that it cut here. in fact, mr. president, they are outraged that a back room deal for our state might have
been what it puts this bill across the finish line. there should be no special deals, no car out, for anyone in this health care bill, not for states, not for insurance companies, and not for individual senators. host: republican senator mike johanns on the floor talking about those so-called sweeteners in the senate health care bill. we are getting your reaction. michigan, barbara on the independent mind. caller: i love what everybody has had to say on your show this morning. i think the whole thing was ridiculous. i don't see where it is going to help any of us lower income people who used to be middle- class people. i can't afford part b on my
medicare, so i don't have it. i have a sick daughter it will probably has over $80,000 in medical bills. doesn't have insurance. took over six years to get my daughter diagnosed with something pretty simple. the whole thing is ms. it is discussing and it is a mess -- and i am against abortion on all of this. i would never go have one but i don't feel i should have to pay for one. host: texas, jerry on the republican line. caller: i believe it is both corrupt and unconstitutional. corruption is designed as dishonest exploitation of power for personal gain and be a constitutionality of that would call under the equal protection clause.
these people just amaze me with their ball. it is an unbelievable. host: in about five minutes, the senate will start its next round of voting on this health-care legislation. there are three procedural votes that are stacked back to back. as i said, they are expected to vote at 7:20 a.m. eastern time in about five minutes. c-span2 will have live coverage uninterrupted. continue with us here for the next 50 minutes to get your reaction -- 15 minutes to get your reaction of the dealmaking. " the baltimore sun." it says democratic leaders in congress are compiling lists of the immediate benefits that will spring from passage of the bill which is up for a vote in the senate on christmas eve.
another bars insurance companies from setting lifetime benefit caps or rescinding insurance because a person is filing claims. that is " the baltimore sun" this morning. st. petersburg, florida. caroline on the democrats' line. caller: i'm glad they did the bill because i live in florida -- a democrat got a deal that anybody on the veterans plan, which i m on florida, it will not change as, we will keep the way it is. host: what does it mean for you? how does your medicare advantage plan work? caller: a place for everything. it pays for the doctor, no coal pay. there is no pay for it specialist. i am with wellcare -- and i
don't have to pay for anything but my medicines and the co-pay for generics is nothing and name-brand, not that much, either. host: how do you get into medicare advantage? caller: you go to a company that has appeared there are so many. they advertise all over in the paper so you can get any other. mine is with wellcare. host: you think it is fair florida gets that perk over other states? caller: very fair. you get what you deal for. it helps me, so, yes. host: this is the opinion section of "the wall street journal." he writes of a rahm emanuel, chief of staff for president obama, has a wager. that is what he calls it. it goes like this. it was the democrats' failure in 1994 to pass a health-care bill that ushered in the gang bridge takeover of congress.
in his own meetings with democrats, former president bill clinton pressed the same line in arguing to democrats on capitol hill. if mr. rahm emanuel is right, once the health care legislation is passed and mr. obama spends as a huge victory the american people will forget their objections and the democrats would get credit for passing historic reform. if so, it will be some achievement because it means building on a health-care package supported by fewer than 38% of americans. if the marriage to matter by contrast passing the bill could prove more costly than failed. mr. obama has been unequivocal in his public statements and it is tell if this legislation it will reduce the deficit, help small businesses, maintains that is " on abortion, offer choices. all the promises look different when the details emerge and learn what change really means. it the president's promise of the not hold up all of these statements will be chopped into campaign ads that cut right to his credibility.
as far as allies in the senate, the 60-40 party-line vote to close debate means that every democrat can be held up as the deciding vote. oregaon, joyce on the independent line. caller: i can't believe the american bar so gullible. not one person in the listening audience and a country -- 2008 contract, that you have to stop -- start paying for the item now and you don't get it until 2014. it is just ridiculous. and guess what, you have to pay for someone else does, too? it just doesn't make sense. i do know something has to be done. the republicans are idiots that they have not done some big all along when they had power to fix some of these insurance company abuses. but this is not the right thing and not the right time. host: as we are taking your phone calls we are showing you
live coverage of the senate, the next round of voting in this health care bill. in the chamber this morning health and human services secretary kathleen sebelius somewhere in the chamber right now. union, missouri, gregg, republican line. caller: i think the president of the united states and the democratic party is committing a fraud against the american people and i think america needs to wake up and they will see in six months or so what is going on with the economy and so forth. keep in mind, this is just costing us money and they don't have a clue what is going on. thank you. host: 1 state is not happy. -- or city. the mayor of new york's city, disgrace of a health care prescription for disaster.
this is the senate health reform bill is packed with a bagful of coal for new york. governor paterson and mayor bloomberg said it would force the city to close 100 health clinics and below the 1 billion all and the state budget and threaten struggling hospitals, nursing homes and other facilities. that is " in your post" this morning. despite that, " the new york times" is endorsing legislation in the editorial section. a bill well worth passing as their editorial. ken on the democrats' line. caller: i am a college student so i have a completely different perspective. i am just glad they passed at least a framework because it could be a decade before they have the political capital to do anything again. if they failed with this. that was pretty much it. host: just so you know, h. h. as
secretary -- i misspoke, she is actually in the senate gallery which is the seating that wraps around the senate chamber, for those of you who have been in that room before. flint, michigan, independent line. caller: i think the bottom line is just like a southerner was saying, $638 billion for a war, an absence of any war that could ultimately take lives it is nice to see that in -- at least in this case it is almost kind of a balance whereas we are trying to insure people, children who don't have health care. i guess the last comment is that, you know, republicans were in office and they had offered rate -- and they did not do nothing. with all the bright ideas they have now and the objections, they had more than ample time to rectify the situation in this country and they did nothing.
the republican party is nothing but a party of gimmicks. if there was a move to criticize the way -- obama, republicans will get on board. host: "the washington post" editorial is also endorsing the legislation but says as the bill moves forward in conference negotiations with the house that congress should keep key provisions to help control costs. that is the editorial in "the washington post." eugene robinson also writes in " the washington post" his peace. once the idea that universal health care is signed into law, under this legislation, it would be all but of possible to the race. over time, idea will be made it into reality. he says with a system now in which americans go bank -- bankrupt trying to pay hospitals and doctors to keep them alive, when you have an opportunity to change and as, you take it, even if it means winning ugly.
you this all the republican line. good morning. caller: this is an absolute travesty. i and calling as a person who is just outraged at the deal that ben nelson took. i actually called the governor's office there and he is actively opposed to money coming into the nebraska like that. not to mention that they also have another sweetheart deal that cuts off for the rest of the american people and february of 2010. but nebraska get an extension until august of 2010. tell me how that is fair when it comes to hospitals. i keep hearing about children are going to benefit right away -- no longer being able to dave -- not have health care coverage because of pre-existing conditions. what did we do with regard to schip? me and my husband are responsible parents, we take
care of our children. i love the way the government this entitles people, say you go out and bought his children and the government will take care of it and then when you look of those who make between 40,000 up to $100,000, we will be what so bad when it comes to our coverage we will not be able to afford it. you tell me how it is fair, carol, and down in florida i love the way asked her the question the biggest fear -- of course, because she is getting everything taking care of down there in florida. absolute travesty for this country. host: minnesota, the white on the democratic line. caller: -- host: dwight on the democratic line. caller: i am sick and tired of people say this is terrible and said they don't want to pay for abortions but tax dollars. i doubt there are people making a quarter billion dollars a year policies. but the vast majority, including myself, we don't pay an
appreciable amount of federal income-tax. so this business about my tax dollars is ridiculous. and we have a clinic in a farming to hear it, they built new, and you go in there for a visible and their 83 people there. -- there are not three people there. their primary care facilities to don't have enough patients. the truth is, if you increase the population of patients coming to them and get them to stop spending half their time on the phone arguing with insurance companies, even with lower reimbursement rates, doctors will come out better. doctors want to buy a large to provide patient care. and i think if they were given the opportunity to do that, they would do so. insurance companies, on the other hand, have been allowed to descend in what has been called a wink obscenity. it is a for-profit business that act -- absolutely does not care. host: another headline in the money section of "usa today."
new lot expands cobra coverage. thousands of unemployed will not have to worry about starting the new year without health insurance. president obama signed legislation allowing laid off workers to receive subsidized over premiums for up to 15 months. previously the subsidy expired after nine months. the extension included in defense spending bill approved by congress of the weekend and signed by the present monday, also extended cut off for eligibility for cobra subsidy to february 28, 2010, from december 31, with unemployment at 25-year high, 1 and 14 million are eligible for subsidized cobra coverage. long beach, new york, and joe on the independent line. caller: i didn't want to call but i have just been so angry. i have just been angry at you using the word debate. are you watch in the debate? there is no debate. what we see out front have nothing to do what is going on. it is in the back room where the deals are being made, where votes are being bought, where payola is taking place.
this is the worst of the worst. i was watching two democrats, they were on bill moyer's show, and there were saying how disastrous this bill was, how terrible it was so bill moyers said you will vote for, he says, no, i would hold my nose and vote for it, the democrats have had something, we have to have something, the elections are coming. they are going to hold their nose and vote for it and ran this down our throats of they can say they gave us something. they are giving us nothing but a back room deals, politics as usual. we voted bush and cheney out because we could not stand the laws, thought we were bringing an honest people and we are getting more lies. we have to throw all the incumbents out. host: did you vote for president obama? caller: no, i voted for -- i can't think of is named -- he was an independent with the car company, he was always making sure -- ralph nader.
but we have to vote the incumbents out to get our country back. host: a couple of headlines. jobless funds are in crisis. it says the vicious -- recessions jobless toll training on the planet compensation funds so fast that according to federal projections for the state programs will go broke within two years and need $90 billion of loans to keep issuing the benefit checks. currently 25 states have run out of an unfunded money and have borrowed $24 billion from the federal government to cover the gaps. also this morning in " the new york daily news" is the headline about rudy guiliani, new york city bought a former mayor, it says america's there but not new york senator. in an announcement expected today to the former mayor rudy guiliani said he will not run for u.s. senator but will endorse republican rick lazio -- not run for senator anything else and will endorse l
rickazio for governor, the end of a long political dance. maine, bill on the republican line. good morning. caller: the health-care bill that is going on now, i want people to think about one thing. it seems americans aren't is -- interested in health, they are interested in finding ways to get somebody else to pay for their poor health choices. and the incentives for this thing are all in the incorrect place. for instance, consider that if you could do something like -- if you could manage five poets and run 3 miles an hour and you can do 80 situps inside of 30 minutes, you will get three health care. if you can't do that -- something to shoot for -- shoot for. and if you could perform these tasks you can get free health care and 3 miles within 45 as
the government will cut you a check. if we turn this around and focus on health, maybe this is a way to bring the cost down and nobody is even talking about being healthy. host: thanks, bill, for the call. the senate, as we have been saying all morning, has been voting and it looks like votes are underway in the senate. procedural vote dealing with the health care bills enactment date. after this vote will be two more votes, stacked back-to-back, roll call. live coverage on c-span2. also you can follow it on c-span radio and go to the health care of on our website for live streaming video of the senate floor. it also has all the archives of this health-care legislation and debate as it happened over the last year and also a new application for your iphone is available, it is free, and you can listen to c-span, c-span2 and c-span radio on it as well.
we are going to take a break from this health care debate for the next half an hour and talk to lawrence korb of the american -- center for american progress about the cost of war in afghanistan. at the top of the hour we will return to this health care debate. we will be right back. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009] >> christmas day, a look at 2010 politics including republican congressman eric cantor -- and thus aldrin on the legacy of apollo 11, a discussion on the
role of moslems and america and the world, and later a former cia intelligence officer on u.s. strategy in al qaeda and afghanistan and starting at 8:00 p.m. eastern, remembering the lives of will in the public, jr., and senator ted kennedy. >> now available, c-span's book -- "abraham lincoln." a perfect gift for the history buff in your life. a unique perspective -- $66, journals, and writers, from his early years to rise to the white house appeared on hard cover and your favor bookseller and now digital audio to listen to any time, available where it is sold. >> "washington journal" continues. host: of lawrence korb is senior fellow for center of american progress out with a new report, paying for the true escalation
-- 10 ways to cut base line defense spending to fight this war within our means. what are you recommending? guest: basically saying take a look at your regular defense budget. there are about 10 programs in their in which you can delay or cancel without jeopardize a national security to pay for the $30 billion it is estimated, to put the extra troops in afghanistan. host: of these 10 programs. and you can show the viewers. ballistic missile defense, virginia class submarine, ddg 1000 destroyer, v-22 are spray -- these are names of defense programs and some of them, they will mean something to some people in certain states and that is a job. guest: they will, but if you take an example, virginia class
submarine. for the past decade they were building one a year and we would like move to two. given the other priorities you have, why not keep that one. you will still build the same number but you will not do it as quickly. the same way with joint strike fighter, f-35, yes, we should go ahead and build it but you are rushing it now and you still have a lot of problems to work out and if you rush it and have the problems when you build it and congress will end up canceling the whole program. not only do we think these would be fiscally irresponsible but i think they will help national security in the long term. host: you served under president ronald reagan from 1981 through 1985 as assistant defense secretary. what is your recommendation to the pentagon or congress about how you go about cutting programs that mean jobs in their states and that are popular programs. guest: i think this is a time for americans to sacrifice. these wars are the first words
in our history, significant conflicts where we not only have not had a draft, still relying on volunteers and really overworking in a particular the ground forces but americans have not been asked to make any sacrifices. not only -- not only did would not raise taxes but cut them, and because of that we have tremendous budget deficit that in the long term will hurt americans in their pocketbook as well as national security. host: talk about the history of paying for wars verses when you served verses now. how has it evolves? guest: if you look obviously world war ii, we have war bonds, people basically let money to the government to pay for. we had rationing and higher taxes. the korean war, we have higher taxes. even in vietnam, a very unpopular war, at the height of that war, 1968, not only did we pay for it but we balanced the budget. one of the things that president johnson did was to cut, if you
will, baseline or regular defense programs because you are saying, look, we've got to spend this money, the wars are more important so let's focus on what we have to do here and now. host: you make the claim that if you make cuts to these 10 different areas, that it could save some $40 billion in the next fiscal year. immediate savings. guest: in other words, we say pick 30 out of the 40 because that is the cost of the extra troops. but this should just be the beginning of us beginning to pay for awards. host: if you raise our save about $40 billion, that gives president about $10 billion to play with. if you escalate the troops by 30,000, it as around $1 million per troop. guest: that is right. host: you also talked about how much afghanistan and iraq has caused over the year. us put it on the screen.
guest: basically what has happened is we have run up budget deficit every year going back to 2001. defense has been a big driver but the cost of these wars because we as americans don't save enough, we have to borrow this money from abroad. for example, the chinese hold close to about $1 trillion in american debt that they could dump on the market, for example, and calls us all kinds of economic problems if that is what they desired. host: there is a lot of talk, there was recently, of talk of a war tax proposed by david obey, chairman of the appropriations committee. what are your thoughts? guest: right now is not a good time, unfortunately, because the
economy has not yet recovered. we don't want to be raising taxes. we should have thought about this in the beginning and when the economy gets back on track i think this is something that you want to take a look at. we have to make a big decision if we want to continue the bush tax cut coming up in a year or so and i think that would be a good place to start. maybe we ought not to do that. we need to make sacrifices to pay for the wars. host: how do you give members of congress and obama administration to listen to a report like this? guest: hopefully going on a show like yours. you know, the role of what we call think tanks is really to speak truth to power. this is our job. this is what you need to think about. if you don't want to do it, obviously that is your decision. one of the great things about this country, you can do this, you can get it into the public domain and there will be members of congress who will take a look and say, maybe it does make sense because we can't have it all.
host: have you given members of congress a preview of this report? guest: you are first. obviously they are focused on health care now but we hope when they come back and take of next year's defense budget, which according to some reports, it is not only going to make these cuts will will go up in real terms -- which is second, before you do that, let's think about the fact that you are fighting this war. host: how much is it expected to go up? guest: it is expected to up -- go up about $18 billion over the baseline for this year. host: let us get to phone calls. lancaster, pennsylvania. john of the independent line. caller: the biggest entitlement program and the u.s. budget is the military. they passed without linking almost a $700 billion per year budget the other day. so, your effort is a good start, but it is ludicrous to think that they can pass this bill
without even thinking about it. you know, fighting over $80 billion a year for a defense budget. it is just beyond me. what happened to the three trillion to five trillion that came out of the week before 9/11. there was a three to five trillion dollar missing a lot of money that the defense department had built up over a number of years. that has just fallen silent. said the biggest entitlement program by far is the military budget. it is the biggest pork -- you were talking earlier about this deal with certain states getting certain things. 50 states do the same thing and all 100 senators do the same thing for military stuff. guest: john makes a good point. senator mccain pointed out yesterday and the president actually sign the fiscal year
2010 defense appropriations bill, about $4.2 billion in their in programs that the pentagon didn't ask for. we didn't even get into that because we are talking about next year's budget. for example, they added another engine to the joint strike fighter. that is going to cost more money for the program in the long run. it almost $500 million. obviously we need to take a good look at that as well. johns of the point is when president bush came into office he had bequeathed -- had been bequeathed a it surplus of this decade. not only did we not keep it but we doubled the national debt. and then his point i think is a little high on the estimate about the pentagon -- it can't account for a lot of the money that it spends and no doubt about the fact that in the last decade the pentagon has not been well managed. the cost overruns on the weapons programs that we are building just escalate, like $400 billion
in growth of the existing programs. host: year marks vs budget cuts to programs, is it easier to say no earmarks? guest: one has to be careful because one person's earmarks is another person's strategic -- congress is a coequal branch of government. for example, the congress saved the patriot system. where would we be without the missile system that we used in the first persian gulf war? i think there are things congress does that make sense. what you got to be careful, something like a second engine for the joint strike fighter that makes no sense, because of a couple of companies lobbying congress. host: henderson, n.c., daniel won the republican line. caller: good morning. what i've got to say is there are ways we need to take care of this. i don't know how much gas we
burn every weekend in -- different state. but first thing, veterans should not have to pay for this because -- if they spent time over there, we put a dollar tax in a different state, in each state on a different weekend to pay for this war, $1, and if you don't want to pay your dollar, don't go nowhere that we can -- by your gas before the weekend. but that is the way it has been done, and it works. i don't know what that would calculate to, but i don't think the war fighters should have to pay for rent on the veterans. i think the people here at home will haven't been there, that is who should pay for it. guest: i think it is right. first of all, the veterans budget is not in the defense budget. that is separate. $110 billion. we have been urging for years we've got to spend more on
veterans. the point that is well taken. americans are not sacrificing but somebody's got to make some sacrifices so we all feel a part of this effort we are not recommending cutting any military pay for any military benefits. we are talking about programs that you are building that makes no sense. for example, why do we have over 5000 strategic nuclear weapons? the cold war is over. we are negotiating with the soul -- so be it. why not bring them down to 1000 and you could save 10, $12 billion a year doing that. host: the democrat line. guest: i would like to inform america this morning that $600 billion a year over 10 years, that is $6 trillion that we are going to be spending on the military, just the pentagon. but if you add nassau, the cia, state department, other arms of the military-industrial complex -- nasa. we are spending over $1 trillion
on this military industrial complex and over the next year as you can kiss that $10 trillion away and you are not going to be any safer than you are today. guest: tom makes a point -- you look at the pentagon budget but that does not pay for everything for the military. there is money for the military and other agencies. for example, our nuclear weapons primarily funded in department of energy. if you say, how much was spending on defense, and they say 520 billion but another 13 billion or $14 billion in the department of energy that you have to pay for. we are just focusing here primarily on the pentagon and the department of energy but there are things in other agencies. if you add it all up, we are spending more on national security than the rest of the world combined. host: how did you come to that figure? guest: you look at what everyone else spends and what we spend an hour total is more than the rest
of the world combined. host: does not line up to our commitments of around the world? guest: basically what it means -- but we are not talking -- we are talking about in the budget if you caught -- count the war supplementals, it is really not going to endanger national security. host: florida, dennis on the independent line. caller: good morning. i got a comment. i think c-span is the pantheon of cable television. what i wanted to ask mr. korb is, how can you sit there and tell us we need to cut back on defense spending and making all of these remarks when you oversaw one of the largest military expansions in probably the last decade or generation with the star wars and the military expansion under reagan -- what happened to the star wars initiative? so you are sitting there telling
us we need to cut back on spending and is and that and, sir, you were in the forefront of the biggest military spending we have seen. host: let's get a response. guest: in the first reagan ministration we did increase defense spending significantly because of the 1970's we let it go down drastically. a lot of the bill but was for military pay. i was response will form manpower -- with a pay raise to the troops because they have been falling apart. we gave them housing allowances key to the areas you live in rather than being the same for the whole country. after we did that, we cut defense by the sec and the administration. and i pointed out on here, will recommend cutting in, what dennis refers to as star wars, ballistic missile defense. even when i was working at the administration i thought we should keep it, as president reagan did, in research and development. he never deployed it. his successor decided to deploy
it even though it had never been adequately -- missile defense. we have put missiles and the ground in an alaska and in california even though the technology has not been proven because president bush was determined not to let the democrats cut it back when he left office. i remember president reagan sitting at a meeting where people were saying, gee, you've got to deploy this thing, and he said it, it has not been tested yet. so i think you have to put it into context. host: in what administrations, if you can, generally say where mistakes i've made that has led to the situation we are in now with programs being overrun and cost exploding? >> i will give you an example. when dick cheney was secretary of defense he tried to cancel v- 22 osprey -- and i agreed with and 100 percent. and president clinton kept it going because it was a
convenient way for him to show that he was "tough on defense." right now you are spending over $100 million for each of those and there are lower cost alternatives. more than that, it took so long to develop and had so many problems it wasn't ready to go when we went into iraq and afghanistan and we were using outmoded equipment. those are the type, i think, mistakes that have been made. as a mention, president bush rushed to deploy the missiles in alaska and hawaii even though it had not been adequately tested. host: when it comes to v-22, what stage -- guest: pennsylvania and texas. the a interesting thing is when then secretary of defense cheney wanted to cancel it, using his words, he called it a turkey, and it was kept alive with those delegations would support by president clinton. people forget, we had a lot
accidents with that. dozens of people died as we were trying to push this technology, which simply wasn't ready and was much more expensive than the alternatives we could have gotten. host: titusvilleflorida, jack on the republican line. caller: guess what -- he just answered my question, everything. osprey has got ago. i want to know, who saved it? he said, it was clinton who saved the project. and it has killed so many soldiers, it is not funny. i don't know if the navy pushed for it or what. i agree. host: what is your experience with the v-22, it sounds like you have been following it. caller: i have watched it very carefully and it is a no-no. it has murdered -- not just killed. as mothers of the troops who died in that stinking aircraft. guest: again, the marines wanted
it. it is in the navy budget. of course, marine corps is in the navy department and in itself would not have the and the marines posted and with the pennsylvania and texas delegation and the support of president clinton's the kept it alive. in fact, what they set up was of the tilt rotor caucus -- it takes off like a helicopter and flies like a plane. it was republicans and democrats and president clinton kept going and president bush kept it going and now it is in president obama's budget. host: clearwater, florida, arlene. caller: i can't believe what i am hearing. you are talking about sacrifice? americans overwhelmingly don't support these wars. i don't know what world you live in but this country is broken. we are on our knees, in debt up to our necks in china and our
infrastructure is crumbling. i have been wondering, of this health-care bill has gone from lukewarm to awful, a long it will be president will talk about slapping import tax on us and i see it is in the cards. where are we -- when are we going to admit the fact that we cannot keep waving the flag and screamed about loving jesus. we are in real trouble here and we can't being -- the police to the world. guest: arlene makes a terrific public, a lot of americans are opposed to the war but their elected representatives, let's not forget, but both for the war in afghanistan and iraq. in the senate, only 23 senators who voted against going to war. and if their representatives do that, then i think they have a responsibility to decide how to pay for it. go back to vietnam war, even more unpopular than these wars because we still have a draft and president johnson in his last year in office cut base line defense programs, he also
did raise taxes and cut some of his cherished domestic programs and left office with the balanced budget, the first president until president clinton will have a balanced budget. host: you noted that the top of this over the last eight years direct cause for afghanistan and iraq has cost about $8 trillion -- guest: $1 trillion. host: 8 years, $1 trillion. most borrow from overseas. d. have an idea of the figure of the one trillion, how much borrowed and is most are from china? guest: i would say the vast majority is borrowed from china and japan. but again, it wasn't just the wars that caused the deficit but you also had the new medicare prescription drug program that was not paid for. you also have lower taxes. the other thing -- not only did we not raise taxes to pay for this war but we cut taxes twice. and so it was a combination of all of those things.
i do know china holds about $800 billion in the american iou's. host: william of independent line. caller: wondering why we as a nation, the united states, spending so much energy converting some much of our resources into efforts that are ultimately lost? what i mean, we spent so much time and money training our troops to send them over there to fight and we spend so much of our funds building weapons and vehicles to send over there and get blown up. there is no value added, there is no reason or logic to the chaos of fighting, so why do we continue to look at proposal upon proposal and ways to escalate and continue pouring money into this -- guest: again, i think william makes the point that our leader made it earlier. our elected representatives did a vote to go to these wars. i mean, i think president bush
was correct to go into afghanistan, that is where the attacks from 9/11 came from. iraq was a complete perversion and had nothing to do with 9/11. saddam was a terrible person but there are a lot of terrible leaders in the world. by doing that we end of expending tremendous amount of blood and treasure for nothing that really help our national security. i think that is the key thing. does it help or hurt national security. i applaud president obama by saying, if we are going to start getting out of afghanistan, can't stay here forever, we will give it the best shot but there are things you do to protect security without the 100,000 people there indefinitely. host: why did you decide to look at the cost of escalation treats and afghanistan and proposing budget cuts? guest: it came up again. congressman obey to his credit raise the tax issue. president obama, at the end of that speech at west point said basically in the final analysis, our ability to protect our
security in the world is going to be influenced by how well we handle things at all. i thought, this would be a good first step. i think in the long term getting the budget back in balance. i think that will be the ultimate goal. but the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step so let's take a look at this. the president talked about it, the country knows about it, and if congress supports it, let's think about paying for it. host: the book and read this report online. guest: americanprogress.org host: louisiana, clearance on the republican line. caller: i don't understand this individual. he is talking about defense spending. i retired from the army in 1984 i got a raise every year and i got a notice yesterday this year i will not get no raise and i don't understand that. on social security -- that taking money away from us people already served in the army so i
would like your response. guest: clearance, let me tell you, i also did military retirement so i know what you're talking about. that is not in the defense budget. the way that works -- and basically there is no social security raise -- they take a look of what happened in the economy and when in -- whether there is inflation. one of the good things in our economy right now is very low inflation. in fact, federal reserve has the interest rate basically at 0. but that does not come out of the defense budget, clarence, because that was already charged years ago. host: one of the options you present for cutting back is scaling back research development test and evaluation funding. why is that? guest: basically in the department of defense, in addition to buying weapons you also do research and development for the future. i take a look at this and going back to someone we talk about under president reagan, had a large defense budget, if you take the height of president reagan's defense buildup, put it into this year's dollars, how
much would you be spending on research and development test and evaluation -- $20 billion less than we were spending now. maybe take a look at that and say, why are we doing these things when we got these immediate problems now? the matter how much you spend you can't buy perfect security. it is all about making choices. we are saying, look, you are it -- we are in this war, you decided to do it, if you don't pay for it will hurt your security longer run than during research on a particular future weapons system because it your adversaries have your money, they also have power over you. host: franklin, tenn.. caller: americans are resoundingly against these wars. we rely to with weapons of mass destruction. we do not want to pay an additional war tax and you had better not there to hide it from us in a black budget. let the u.s. -- u.s. and u.k. oil companies pay for the wars to extend the trans afghanistan pipeline. we caught anyone a terrorist who
fights back against our building and furnishing a pipeline, supposed the fittest and 2014 and amazingly the war is supposed to end around 2014, too, we even sent people to the u.k. -- from the u.k. to was that the stand to force confessions to justify the attack. rumsfeld n.j. 17 wars in five years. every dollar spent to kill people should be spent productively in health care. .
we are in a process right now where the parliamentary is set up in the senate. there are a number of amendments and debate still. you have the actual health care bill that was amended into the senate bill into the base bill. on top of that you have a manager's amendment. it makes a number of changes to the health-care bill that is being amended into the base bill. right now we are in the middle of the process of letting those votes happen. every time they do these because of the senate's role, you have to let 30 hours run that cut off debate to make sure that there is enough time to debate. we are in the middle of that series of a votes. we are looking at a number of hours. this will happen on thursday, final passage, before we get to the last step.
they're going to the column entry procedure of having a vote, awaiting a set time, and having in other -- parliamentary procedure of having a vote, awaiting a set time, and having another say. >> in the meantime, could republicans yield back time and have a vote earlier, and is there any indication they will do that? >> the senate can do basically anything it wants to do by unanimous consent. there has been some rumors that the republicans might agree to not require that the clock run for the full 30 hours in between votes. we are expected to have another vote tomorrow afternoon leading into christmas eve.
the possibility of them yielding back time and giving staff and lawmakers a chance to get back to their families in a christmas is a possibility. republicans have made it clear that they will fight this down to the last man. even though it looks like they do not have the votes to stop this at any point, the democrats are united. republicans have lost as far as that is concerned. making the political stand and the show of resistance right up until the senate seems to be a priority. republicans have been unable to back out of this point. >> the democrats were successful 60-39.
any idea as to why one was not able to vote this morning? >> not yet. the boat is still going on right now. we have not had a chance to grab everybody. i am standing outside the chamber downstairs. it is somewhat surprising that republicans that made such a priority to oppose this and that some are missing the boat. i do not know if we should read something into that. it is 7:00 a.m. in the morning over here. maybe some are still getting out of bed. we do not want to read too much into this. >> we are waiting for one senator from wyoming to join us this morning. and when he is making his way from the chamber over to our area.
we will talk to him about the health care debate. going forward, even if they get the final vote, it is not the last stop here. the house and the senate have to come up with the compromise bill before it becomes law. lobbying has already begun. >> yes, it has. it is one of the significant policies. the house bill was worked on some time ago. it gives us a chance to rewrite some of these bills into a measure. what we are seeing right now is a lot of lobbying by interest
groups who see it as their last chance to change a provision they do not mention either bill or hold onto once they do. we are seeing a push by a lot of lawmakers to hold onto their own provisions and policies they want to see. many aren't getting into position. one has the senate health committee. he was talking about how there is no public plan in the senate bill and they will not get one in the conference report that democrats will come back and revisit this. there will be a public auction in future legislation. you can take that at face fell you or said they will come back in a few years and write a public plan or you can think to yourself, maybe he is trying to appease liberal members of the carcass, in the house and the senate. and make it harder for them to
compromise and come to terms with the fact that there is not going to be a public plan in the conference report that comes out. >> what legislative vehicle can be added to this in the coming year? >> i have not had a chance to talk to other senators about this. i do not think it will come back into a public plan option in 2010. coming back and fighting the battle again when they have other legislative priorities to deal with over the ninth few years is not seem to being a good political strategy. i think there is a lot of pre
conference positioning in trying to make people feel better more than anything. >> what the sticking points? >> one is how the bills have raised revenue. the senate bill is leaning heavily on the attack and high- cost insurance plans. the house really oppose that. they raise revenue in completely different ways. that will be a big fight. a lot of policy pieces. we're talking hundreds of billions of dollars here. a severe lack of commonality between of them. >> thanks. when we come back, a senator will join us and give us his view on the legislation. here is an update on c-span
radio. >> more on the senate health care debate from lending gramm. he appeared earlier and commented on concessions given to nebraska senator ben nelson saying, that is not change you can believe in. you can hear the debate live or what it live on c-span2. president obama sits down with small community banks this morning. there will discuss the economy. the session is a follow up to a similar meeting he held with some of the top bankers. and the fbi is investigating a hacker attempt that led to tens of millions of dollars stolen. it was with the citibank subsidiary protected over the summer. this may have occurred up to a year earlier. the hackers are connected to a
russian cyber gain. citigroup denies the report. president obama said fiber crime is the most serious economic challenge we face as a nation -- or one of the most. he is announcing the appointment of an executive at the fiber security coordinator for the government. that is some of the latest headlines on c-span radio. host: the senate continues to vote on health care legislation this morning. joining us now is a republican of wyoming. put your doctor hat on. what is good in this bill for doctors and what is bad? >> thanks for having me. i wish i could be in the studio with you. we are adding three roll-call votes. they are in the middle of the third. my name is at the top of the alphabet so i voted quickly and ran over here to be with you.
i practiced medicine for 25 years, taking care of people in wyoming. the doctors will tell you that there is no dealing with a lawsuit abuse in this bill. the number one place you can save money in health care in this country is with the overuse of tests, exams, things that do not help anybody get healthier or be well. they are there to cover the doctorate in case something goes wrong with the patient. they want to make sure they can say that they did everything they could to order the mri or the cat scan. it is not just what the doctor's patients now practice insurance which is a business expense passed on to patients, but the additional tests and exams that
are higher than what the doctors pay that cost everybody in the country. those numbers are staggering when you talk about when you order tests on patients that will not help them get better -- 95% of doctors say they would rather treat the patient and have to give these unnecessary tests and exams. mental illness is treated by insurance the same way as other diseases. of work done something in the wyoming state and a continued to support that. unleaded see that included in the bill. this bill, too much money and will add to the deficit even though the president has promised that it will not. it will cause insurance premiums to go up even though the president has promised it will not. it will cut medicare by $500 billion.
what this is not the end of the road for the legislation. the compromise legislation must become up with. is there any way that use -- that you see can make this bill better. what can be added? >> i have only been in the senate for a couple of years. i offered 19 amendments and harry reid said no amendment. i tried to offer four amendment. i think these would strengthen the bill. i think if you do not buy insurance and have to pay the fines and taxes, i think it should go into an account with your name on it to you can use that money to buy insurance instead of going into the federal treasury.
i think that would strengthen this. if you like your doctor, you should keep it. it is because of these medicare cuts, they are having a harder time seen the doctor. what is the harm of allowing someone to see a doctor and make that contract in a private way so they can go to a doctor of their choice. that amendment has been rejected. they promised that health care premiums will go down. let's give the insurance commissioners the red that in any given state if the premiums go up faster than the consumer price index, none of these mandates would apply for that state. i think those things would make this bill better and fairer for the american people. you talk about a conference.
we will see if there is one. i think the president is going to out of desperation will pass anything on his desk that he can sign. it is obvious that they are interested in signing anything then actually getting it right and getting costs under control row and helping -- under control and helping people in america. there are huge differences between the house and senate bill. i do not think the wyeth cares about that. i think they are concerned about getting something to the president's desk as soon as they can so they can sign it. i hope the american people can have more to say over the christmas holidays with their members of congress. host: we have daniel on the republican line.
caller: as a legal aid, my question is simple. how are you going to pay for this that you cannot ask the people with health insurance. felt and criminalization is a violation of the fifth amendment. -- self culminates in -- [unintelligible] in 1935, the u.s. supreme court stated in the case that congress does not get the constitutional authority to require a six -- a citizen to buy anything. how are you going to lower the cost in this bill?
guest: that is a quest -- a great question coming in from defiance, ohio. it is a discussion that we had early this morning. many republican senators were investigating the mandate that citizens have to buy a product. can they say you must buy the fact there is a lot of discussion that we will see about that. 20 states have a draft model legislation from the american legislation council -- 20 states are introducing legislation to say exactly what the caller from ohio is asking about. id is stay out of our state. you cannot tell people in our state what to do. it could get all the way to the supreme court in the years ahead
with the discussion on what the rights are of individuals, state rights and individual rights as well as what the constitution really says about this. he has researched this and knows what he is talking about. caller: your party said something about lawsuits when they controlled everything for six years. secondly, if we could ignore the doctors of the ama -- if they can ignore the media and 44 senators to get milliards from and charles companies -- could get millions from insurance companies and all the republicans are interested in the elections in 2010 and who
fought medicare every step of the way. if he can't ignore all of the selfish reasons and pay attention to the working core of this country. we are the people that help pay for all of your health insurance. they cannot afford -- if we can focus on this, they will still be the neighbor who loves others as themselves. host: what do you think? guest: you are right about the abuse of lawsuits. those are raised the care -- cost of care for americans. they did not do that when the republican party was in charge. there are a lot more lawyers on
capitol hill than there are physicians. people from all different backgrounds serve in congress. i am a physician and a another is an accountant. we bring real-life experiences. i have spoken to people from all sorts of backgrounds. and of which you are talking about when you talk about the working poor who make our country work every day. they get their kids that every day to go to school to get an education. i think it is critically important. i am distressed as to how this bill has been put together. many special interest groups are meeting with the president at the white house. there were cutting deals -- whether it was the insurance companies or the drug companies. now they are asking for special protection.
you do not want to watch the sausage being made. but what is going on right now is sausage getting a bad name. one called it bribery. another called it corruption. for people to a sellout of their votes after their state has been given a $100 million prize. one of your guests coming up will be in a situation where they are talking about that with the louisiana purchase in the omaha state. all of the money going to specific senators who had concerns about the bill including one from vermont. they put in a $10 billion program that he supported. i think discussion of legislation should be based on principle. if somebody begins the bill on principle, i think we can respect that. this is turning into pay off and
politics. it is the worst of what you expect to think of our elected members of congress. host: the clock begins again. another 30 hours until and final debate. should republicans allowed a final vote to go for it before christmas eve? >guest: harry reid is the majority leader who set the schedule of the senate. no one else and put over that period he is the one that called the senate at 1:00 a.m. in the morning yesterday to vote. he had one person brought in a wheelchair in a snowstorm. we follow the schedule he set. the rules of the senate of five.
host: missouri on the democrat'' line. caller: i would like -- for health care, it would be a little bit cheaper -- we could help health-care if we put a 10% tax all beverages. the reason i in saying that if let's take soda pop which has a lot of sugar in it. it is not healthy. a 12 pack of beer, same situation. for every drink you get, -- what i am saying is if i have seven
drinks at the bar, by that time i am well loaded. that is the dissent that could go toward health care. the same if i pick up a 12 pack of soda pop. that is just my suggestion. guest: there are a lot of different ways to pay for this. that is one of the ways discussed. he makes an important point. about half of the money we spend is on 5% of the people. they eat too much, exercise too little, and smoke. they usually do not eat healthy foods. it causes heart disease, diabetes, cancer. 5 percent of the people are causing the cough.
. did when people to develop healthy habits, it will be better. there are no incentives in this bill for individual changes in healthy behavior. there is money for walkways and jungle gyms and street lamps hoping that someone will exercise, but there is no individual incentive to say -- help someone say they will get their blood sugar under control, exercise more, lose weight. those would keep down the cost of care. host: republican line, georgia. caller: we got our visual together and pray it really
hard. how hard did you prayed that i did one of our members [unintelligible] did you pray hard enough senator? host: he was referring to a senator that was not part of the round of voting this morning. guest: they needed 60 votes in favor today. that center is opposed to the bill. whether he was there or not the not make any difference. that is why he was not there this morning. host: do you know why he was not able to make it this morning? guest: i do not. host: independent line.
caller: i had a question about the bribery issue. i have another one. regarding northern new jersey. how do we get people to address the problems of the legal era? i was on c-span in june, and one person said it would 30% -- i do not mind helping our neighbors south, but why do we have to pay for people to do not belong here that -- ? guest: these people show up in emergency rooms and receive care. the people that pay their own bills and that playing for themselves as long as those here illegally. this is a problem that was supposed to be covered in the bill. there is continued debate.
one person made a speech about that. there was debate as to whether illegal immigrants would continue with coverage. they continue to use health care services. it is the taxpayers of america that continue to pay for that. host: democrat slime. caller: i want to discuss republicans speaking on what americans want on insurance. a lot of poor people need insurance desperately. you have not been in contact with the poor people of the country. i am retired. i have insurance from my job and medicare. there are people who do not even have it. i am willing to pay whatever i
can to help supplement the needy people -- needy people of this country. host: what would expand medicaid to more countries that 5 the expansion would give coverage to those people. the debate is will they be able to get health care. if they get a medicaid card, we know that doctors and hospitals are reimbursed so poorly that many do not take the patients on medicaid. that continues to be a problem. one person said it is like giving somebody a bus ticket when a bus does not come by very often. that is the problem. making sure they can get care. one american think it affordable care, i think this would raise taxes and cut care and forced
prices to go up. americans would not have better care or higher quality care. host: we hope you can come back again. thanks for your time. we are waiting for a democrat from louisiana to join as. we will ask her about her votes this morning and how she plans to vote on the final passage of the senate version of care. good morning. caller: i wanted to say that for years and years we are sure they have been talking to their kids about how wonderful it is to live in a democracy that is by the people and for the people
and of the people. this bill proves that maybe this is no longer true. i am a volunteer parent that has been working against drug legalization for 30 years now. we have testified to in many states, even in those with the hopes that marijuana is madison which we are against. the chair of the committee would announce that before you take -- you give your testimony that this bill is going to pass, but you can call if you want to. you have to almost force them to allow you to speak. this bill, a health-care bill is overwhelmingly opposed by the american people. there are going to sweep it what over our heads anyway. i am feeling very discouraged now. i hope that everyone will look
south carolina on the democrats lined caller:. -- caller: when they say that this is not going to cost anything -- a seat part of the payment coming out of medicare. it may not relate but why did they stop selling savings to help finance the government? host: we will leave it there. joining us now is a democrat from louisiana. senator, it appears that this bill is on track for a final vote sometime this week. you support this legislation.
look forward for us in a conference negotiations. what needs to stay in a final bill in order for you to support a final bill that caller? guest: this bill must address cost containment. it must be paid for within the context of this reform and reduce the deficit over time. some have entered this debate to make sure the federal government can afford health care in the future and individuals can also afford it. right now we are on major directory towards bankruptcy. there are 750,000 families that filed for bankruptcy every year
because they cannot afford their medical bills. we have state experiencing budget difficulties. we are spending 16% of our gdp. anything change that makes this bill increase costs over the long term then my vote will be lost and so will several members of the democratic senate. host: what would drive up costs? >guest: taxing high cadillac plans expensive health insurance premium plant. there is an expensive coverage which is driving up costs. people do not even know how much
insurance they have because they get it through their employers which write it off. there is no accountability there. that is one thing that must remain in the bill. it is difficult. it has to remain in this bill for the senate tuesday committed. there is another thing that must stay. there are some insurance reforms that are much stronger. part of our goal is to reform the market of health insurance. we do not want americans to be viewed by health insurance companies want any longer. i believe in the private market. it needs to be reformed. senator rockefeller has worked
very hard on this division. many think no bill should leave here without a strong private sector insurance reform. host: what about what needs to be added in these negotiations? anything else you are looking for? guest: there may be provisions that i am not aware of. in most important thing that i have said to many of our caucus but particularly to the more moderate members is the cost containment, that we do not have a government run system, there are exchanges established for individuals particularly the subsidies in small businesses in all states to be able to provide the kind of health insurance they want for their employees. i think this bill will stand the
test of time. republicans are blaming everyone else but themselves for the five-year period they have only themselves to plan one they have walked away from the negotiating table. we started out wanting bipartisan support on this efik. -- on this effort. we reached out to republicans to pull together a bipartisan compromise. the republican leadership walk away. they made a mistake. i think the test of time will show a solid effort and they could build. host: rick on the democrats' line from detroit. caller: i have a network that i
am wondering is a cadillac plan and what i'd lose my coverage under this plan? if i did, the new insurance, would i be able to pick up my insurance costs? guest: do you work in a dangerous job like construction or an office related job? caller: i work in food service. guest: if your plan is more than $23,000 a year, it will be taxed through whoever your employer is. instead of sending that bill to the taxpayers of america, they will find a more cost-effective plan that at the same value. then the taxpayer will be happy to subsidize a more efficient
policy for you. the taxpayer cannot continue to finance plans over 25,000 or $37,000. the average plan in america is valued between 12,018 thousand. we feel very confident that he will be able to get excellent coverage in the private market for less than 20,000. we will give you up to 23,000. if you are in a high risk area job, over 26,000. but taxpayers cannot keep subsidizing over that period let me say one other thing that i think you will be happy about. right now you and your employer pay those employees -- premiums through your hard earned money
and that of your employer. right now, insurance companies do not have to spend those premium dollars on your health care. they can give profits to their shareholders or executives. there is no basic requirement that based on the percentage that they take from you to fund your care. you -- under this bill, that process is stopped. insurance companies will have to spend 90% of the money they take from you on you instead of taking your money and spending it on everyone else. that is a key reform provision that we have fought for. host: next call. caller: thank you for c-span. i think it is unconstitutional to force people to buy insurance
from a private health company. some of that too big to fail? will she admit that this is not neutral? guest: the government cannot require every american to purchase insurance. i was not for a government run plan. i am for shared responsibility. everyone has to go to the private market and find insurance. you are incorrect to say that you are only going to have one plan to choose from. you will let multiple plans to choose from.
all federal employees have 34 choices of plans. there are 14 in rhode island. we are hoping that people will have anywhere from 10 to 40 choices in the private market. if you make less than $80,000 a year, you will be subsidized to buy the insurance that you want, not that it will be required that you have it, but you can buy and choose your own insurance. the reason we have to do this and some are arguing against this, but right now, we have so many people getting out of the market instead of in, the ones that remain in are paying much more, even more than just their own. the only way to fit this and the
hospital association agrees and many experts agree that the only way to fix this is to get everyone in america into the system and let everyone pay their fair share. host: your colleague on the senate floor is on the floor right now saying the louisiana tech players are facing tax increases, billions of dollars in debt. how do you respond? guest: he has not lifted a finger to help pass this bill. when this bill passes, every family in louisiana that has a child with cancer or diabetes will be able to have health insurance for the first time in a long time. perhaps in their life. insurance companies will not be able to take premiums and not
send it back to them by giving quality health care. the american trust fund has everyone to strengthen that system. we have had to raise taxes and fees to pay for this bill. we have had to cut waste, fraud, and abuse to pay for these changes. over time, many people will be benefited by these changes, including those families that live in louisiana. host: republican line. caller: my observation is that this health care bill is a redistribution of wealth. it should be called healthcare welfare. look at the big picture. there is a household that as $10,000 of credit. it is all maxed out.
some responsible party in the household has to say we do not have any more credit. then the other person says, maybe we will ask our neighbors to help us. that is not the way america is supposed to work. individual responsibility. somebody has to say no to senseless expenditures. that is why republicans say no. call them the party of no. there is some more credit and yet the white house says we need for something else. sorry. guest: you are making a great argument for the bill and not against it. the bill requires individual responsibility on the part of every american. there is no more free ride. we are not having other people
pay for others' interests. every american must take personal responsibility to go to the private market to buy the insurance they want to buy. the government is doing the best job they can to help subsidize middle income families up to almost $90,000. that is not a lot of money when you have four kits or even a couple of children. we know it can be expensive. there is no more free rides. this is going to be every individual taking his viability. the government is putting in place to help individuals and small businesses. host: the 300 million in this bill that was set aside have been dubbed the louisiana
purchase. you were not a supporter at the beginning of this whole process. now you have become a defender of the bill. talk about how you have come to this position now and your thought about people calling it the louisiana purchase. guest: it is an unjust criticism. many people do not believe this. i cannot be bought. that is not what i am supporting this bill. i am supporting this bill for a number of reasons. i think it's the right thing for louisiana and for the country. this provision is not just for louisiana but any state that faces a disaster. the republican governor of my state called us to a mansion a year ago in a public meeting at a press conference and said this
is the number one priority. in his view, louisiana was going to be treated unfairly. we agreed, we are not asking for special help. we are asking to pay for everything we have paid in the past as in the future. when katrina hit, many federal money poured into our state. because wages were increased because the labour market constricted and the presence of prize went up. many were charged five times. as a result, it pushed them into a very different reimbursement category that we have ever been in before. the government's -- when the
heat gets turned up, fight even harder. that is what i am going to do. i am proud to have fought for that. louisiana was going to be treated like we were connecticut for a much richer state. we are not. this is about the reality on the ground in louisiana. our entire delegation goes up. i asked for it to go into the bill. any state that suffers a catastrophic disaster will be held under this provision. i make no excuses. i am proud to have done this. it is one of about 12 thing that i asked to be in the bill.
otherwise i would not have voted for it. host: florida on the democrats' line. caller: if we put through a renewable energy industry, it will save as eight trillion dollars. that will easily pay health care even on a public plan. we would have more doctors and engineers. health care, education and industry is key. >> i could not agree with him guest: more. i am supportive of the direction you're going in. we need to do more so that we do not have to import our oil.
we want to produce more domestically. and move more quickly to alternative energy creating all sorts of wonderful domestic jobs whether it is wind or solar. we can save a tremendous amount of money. you hit on the right piece here. this issue is one of leg of the stove. -- stool. health care must be reformed. the next big thing could be energy -- energy jobs. i have been working on all three and looking forward. i hope we can convince the republicans to come on board. centigram has indicated interest.
we cannot trying to hold to the status quo. host: florida, democrats line. caller: justify a how they can force individuals to pay for something that they do not want. for her to sell her vote along with ben nelson and others make it more political prostitutes. guest: you are dead wrong. my vote for this bill had nothing to do with the fact that my republican governor at our delegation to fight hard to get change for any state not just louisiana but any state including your own that might be hit by a natural disaster. i make no apologies, and you are dead wrong.
the government has the responsibility to acquire individuals to take personal responsibility for themselves. the government cannot pick up the entire tab for people that will not or cannot or will not get insurance. there is no more free ride here. everyone will have to do their part. we hope with the subsidies be a place in this bill that we can make it affordable for all families. if we do not, people in my state will be spending -- right now they are spending 30% of their average and come to try to find that health insurance on the market. we wanted them to spend 10% of their income to find good insurance and save the taxpayers of america. that is what we intend to do and that is what we are going to do. host: on the republican line.
caller: i feel like one person is a judas. for her to sit there with a grin on her face -- she knows she is lying. bobby jindal is not for this. host: the senator has already explained what happened there. guest: we have to listen to a situation like this. i will be very clear. i am doing nothing but telling the truth. gov. bobby jindal does not support this bill. he does support this provision. he asked for it. it is a worthy and justifiable provision. i will say it again. i did not vote -- i voted for
this bill because it will lower costs for americans. it'll give us the reform we need for all consumers in our country. it will expand the lives of medicare and reduce the federal deficit. it will bring efficiencies to a system that is abusive and out of control. and as some people to not believe that. i have been elected three times to the united states senate. i will probably be elected again. and he. -- thank you. host: can you tell us how this will lower costs that gues? guest: we are spending 15% of our gdp on health care.
other countries are spending a% of their gdp. if we can take this off. if we can into this cost curve, the government will save money and every taxpayer in america will save money. small businesses right now have virtually no subsidies. they have reductions but no credit. they cannot buy health insurance with that. they are painful dollar for a limited choices. the federal -- they are painfu dollarsgulpaying full dollar fod
choices. we are hoping that costs will go down and there is more competition in the private market. these exchanges will create private market competition just like the way that prices at target are kept locked -- low because kmart is a competitor and walmart as a competitor. if walmart raises its prices too high, everyone will shop at target. there is only one plan out there you have to buy and it is expensive in health care. when we finish this bill and these exchanges come in, there will be more poises. some of my colleagues believe that is hopeless and we could not do that. we should create a government run health care plan. i fought hard against that. it is not there in this bill. i think private market reform will work. we will say.
>> about 50 people are scheduled to testify on a state panel and the small community of sterling in the northwestern part of the state. were this morning on possible cia presence abroad. a parliamentary commission has found that the lithuanian approved a u.s. request to set up a secret prison in the country, but says it is unclear whether one was ever established. the panel based its findings on the testimony of top lithuanian politicians and nsa officials. the probe will be launched into the case. u.s. officials are concerned that the release of three american hikers held in iran may be used as a bargaining chip. a prosecutor in tehran claims 11 iranians conducted in europe are being held in the u.s. and the iranian officials are increasingly mentioning the cases together. the president -- iran dismissed
a deadline today to swap enriched uranium for nuclear fuel, and cleans his government is 10 times for then 1 years ago. mahmoud ahmadinejad in remarks earlier, they come a day after a protest for a moslem cleric who died over the weekend. >> "washington journal" continues. host: jim gilmore joining us this morning, the new president and ceo of the free congress foundation curato. do you agree with the free congress -- with the politics of it? guest: the free congress condition is there to offer a bipartisan solution and other
solutions for the country. i do not agree with what is going on with the health care program. this is an effort to nationalize health care and extract more wealth for people -- from people at a time of recession. the congress is out of touch with the people. the public does not support this bill. i think that we should not be supporting it, but the goal of the free congress foundation is to put people together and come up with positive solutions. by then that will help. host: is that your plant in health care in the next month as you take over this group? guest: 41 of the issues. we need to make for the free congress foundation a real player in the thinking of this country. we've got to address the high cost of government spending which will result in higher taxes. to cap and trade it will become of the road and that will nationalized the country. there are things being put into play the " nationalized and regulate much of the country.
we of environmental issues, foreign policy issues, and we have our core traditional values issues that the free congress foundation has always addressed. host: do you have a game plan? guest: i do, i think it is to put together the best thinking of a can of people around washington and a round the country that are in touch with people. we should offer of bipartisan solutions. this is very difficult. all you see right now are only people -- the only people that want to offer bipartisan ideas are liberals. they say, we are going to offer a bipartisan solution, but they never deviate from their left wing type approaches. the conservatives have put together a a good reforms and good programs and have appealed to people in both parties for the best interest of this country. but moving the a country to the 6"tx÷interest of this country. host:s do bipartisan solutions
contradict with what some have called a purity test for conservative candidates? guest: i think that we are to be very cautious about purity tests. even people in the conservative movement do not agree on everything. but what is very key is that the american be borne out looking for purity kick-purity test. they're not looking for stricter ideology. they're looking for a of solutions. the mckever report to work together to create solutions. -- they are looking for people to work together to create solutions. there is an ideology in washington that puts people out of touch with the concerns of the regular people across the country. conservative thinking, which is putting more money back in the pockets of the people, giving more control over their lives, better education opportunities -- these are the long term opportunities.
harness the productivity and the inside of the american people. do not impose government solutions for everything. host: your thoughts on the tea party movement. guest: a do not know much about them. it looks spontaneous and like an expression of anger and frustration on what is going on in washington. the people imposing these radical ideas for an hour or out of touch with the people across the country. host: you say you do not know much about them, but you are taking over this republican group. some might find that a bit surprising that you do not know much about the tea party movement. guest: the fate -- the free congress foundation is a 501-c3, not strictly republican group. it is to put good ideas across the board that appeal to people in a bipartisan way. people in their regular community are looking for those kinds of solutions. the tea party movement is a group of people right now that are expressing a certain frustration and anger, and there is a role for that right now because there seems to be no way
to get your voice heard, particularly when you see this whole debate going on right now and key senators make a decision because their state gets a whole bunch of money. lwfi have been the governor of e state of virginia. i understand those pressures, but if you're going to take a medicaid program and impose it on the state and basically give free medical care to people across the country, then you will have these kind of pressures and strains. we have to buy new approaches to the future of this country. host: how will your group differ from the american conservative union, the heritage foundation, the other republican groups out there, the other thing takes a hearing washington? guest: there is a tendency to want to -- to what a group like ours too often do something in a niche and begin to say that we are all different. my thinking are now is that we have got to be relevant to the discussion going on in this country. the people of the united states are calling out for help. they need different approaches
and different ideas besides those left-wing approach as we are seeing in the congress today. they want positive offerings and positive solutions that will empower people more. if we are doing the same thing -- the same type of conversation that is going on with the american conservative union, with the heritage foundation, that is fine. but it will not all be identical. we'll probably reinforce each other. how is the host: free congress foundation is -- how was the free congress foundation funded? guest: by donors. we would like people to go to our website and just like anyone else, was to arrive on the support of the community. we have also received grants from other nonprofits from time to time to work on different projects. we need to have a broad based a grass-roots support as well as a donor. host: before we go to phone
calls a want to talk a lot this article in the "washington times" by michael steele. -- about michael steele. he is charging for a species that he gives -- for speeches that he gives when egos are raising money. do you agree with that? that he should be getting a speaking fee on top of his salary? i think guest: is worth writing about to the public -- a a guest: i think it is worth writing about a bookend for their own opinions, but i am a former prosecutor and the former chairman of the rnc among other posts. i think as long as it does not conflict with the work he is doing as national chairman, and a long as the committee is aware of his activities, than it is of to the committee to make those decisions. but it is not uncommon for people to have some outside employment.
host: and what do you think of the jobs that michael steele is doing? guest: he seems to be very vocal, fighting the good fight on behalf of the republican party. but what i want the congress to do is to -- what i want the free congress foundation to do is to continue its mission as a 501-c3 and support good ideas. host: first phone call for jim gilmore, ark., democratic line. caller: i have been involved in the study of constitutional law since about 1983. i was kind of disturbed at ms. landrieu's got -- argument this morning that under the commerce cockle the government could mandate the purchase of product to the private citizen. in all of my city in all of these years i have never
anywhere found that authority mandated to the federal government. i would like mr. gilmore to respond to mr. andrew's comment that the federal government -- ms. landrieu, and that the veteran norman could mandate that. guest: -- that the federal government could mandate that. guest: it is like a big ponzi scheme. they are forcing everyone to pay in at this point. the increase we have seen in the last decades, what is the result of that? you will end up with increased deficits. that will inevitably result in higher taxes. this is just part of the bigger health care debate.
rivera americans are struggling and saying, how can i make ends meet when the government is going to come after more of my money? the direct answer is, i think it's a cultural and -- a cultural change in the united states when the government can force people to go into a program of their design and make them pay for it. i think it is a serious problem and goes beyond the classic principles of taxation. host: south carolina, our mckeown line. -- republican line. caller: from what you can tell, is there federally funded abortion? guest: i know they have gone back and forth about it and there has been plenty of argument about it. i do not think federal funding of abortion is a corporate leader. frankly, everything is kind of job in the air right now. we just got seven stern asked --
and journals and look around 180 degrees because his state was going to get a bunch of money. it is a very serious problem going on in washington right now. the bottom line is that we do not know at the end of the day whether the abortion or anti- abortion provisions will be in this debate. a big we are to keep a close eye on it. host: under the deal that senator ben nelson struck in the senate version -- and as you say, the senate will have to work this out -- but the deal struck with the weekend would allow people to purchase insurance plans with abortion coverage, but it would have to ride two separate premium checks. your thoughts? guest: i think the money is irrelevant if they're going into and some other types of
programs. the point is, is it a corporate for federal tax dollars to be spent on federal -- on abortion services? i think many would argue that it is not appropriate. host: as a former governor, what do you bring to the table to the free congress foundation? guest: i think is broad experience with these kinds of issues. historically have been a political combatant, but i think now was the time that the contribution i can make is in trying to offer solutions that can attract people from both parties and from the community of independence in these country. but it cannot be in these same kind of a government controlled, left wing to approaches of we are seeing right now. it has to be in tune with the reddick concerns of working people. that is where art -- with the regular concerns of working people. that is where i was in virginia. we get people back more of their own money.
we tried to build up on education to want to build opportunities for jobs. these are the approaches that i think people to run the country are concerned right now about and they recognize that cap and trade, a government controlled health care, high spending, deficits, taxes, these kinds of approaches are putting more strain on them when many of them are out of work and seeking jobs. host: sarasota, fla., and then . caller: mr. gilmore, i take it your against income tax and property taxes, too, because those are both mandated by the government, right? that is my first question. my second question would be, the bankers at village the federal reserve with our taxpayer money, would you say that -- the bankers that pillage our federal reserve with our taxpayer money, would you say that they work for a conservative or liberal? guest: i'm not sure of the political affiliation that the bankers had, and i think that we
have got to make sure that there is a great oversight in the banking community to be sure that people are not taking advantage of. but the other question, which is obviously a bit of a tweet, no, i'm not opposed to all taxes. i understand that in a society like ours we have to tax a broadly. but i am opposed to a program that runs of spending so much, that creates these giant types of benefit programs that end up inevitably with higher taxes and reshaping government and reshaping the american society and culture. i think that is the thing that people are concerned about. they want to see practical klum -- solutions to the problems they're facing. that means jobs, education and opportunity. closing all of that off and overtaxing people is not the wrong direction we should be going. inevitably, that is going to follow with a program like this. there's no way you can run a deficit of this country and the health care of this country in
such a way as to not end up with not -- with higher taxes and deficits. that is a reality. host: alison on the democratic line, good morning. caller: good morning. my question is, basically, i understand that this bill will allow a lot more people to medicaid and i'm already on medicaid because i'm disabled. my question is, does that also mean since there are more people on medicaid there will be fewer services? because as it is now, we have to go through a lot of processes and reauthorization -- pre authorization to get things that doctors describe -- doctors a
subscribe and medicaid says, no, you cannot have it. host: do you know what it will be for those states and those residents in states that get medicaid if you had to the roles? guest: here is, i think, the answer. i think you know you are going to see that increased demand on the services for health care in this country -- they are actually running it up now pommells to infinity. they are forcing everybody in this thing. -- almost to infinity. their fourth in the body in this thing. -- they are forcing everybody in this thing. if you increase demand and more people are trying to get the services, there will be less of it to go round. that is just reality. by the way, when you reduce the supply services and have more demand, inevitably, costs go up, not down. that is simple economics. everybody really knows that. if you increase demand and
reduce supply, cosco up. then what happens? if the government says, we're just going to forcibly reduce the costs. -- reduce the cost, you end up with rationing. a lady like the one that just called will be looking at health care demand that has gone up with less of it, what is going to happen? the same thing that has always happened. the government will say, you have to wait for this, apply for that, with six months for this. -- wait six months for this. host: jim gilmore is the former governor of virginia, former rnc chair committee, and now the president of the free congress foundation. washington, go ahead. caller: good morning, ma'am. i was in the military.
i'm retired. i worked as a civilian. in both ways by unpaid medicare taxes. i'm getting ready to go on -- i'm 66 years old, going on 67. it comes out to $511 billion per month that goes back into the treasury. there will add another $30 million. the where is this money being spent if medicare is going broke? and we're going to have to pay for this health care plan. guest: i think there is a very serious problem. one of the proposals that they had, which i think is now not operative was to increase more eligibility for medicare.
you can add more people to the system. that is going to mean additional costs. we already know that medicare is nonrefundable under current conditions. sooner or later bowl -- not a brief -- is not fun dable under the current conditions. this will bring crisis and we will live to look at the pump is a government and how they are spending money. we will need to makeçó a thorouh assessment. one thing we know is that right now with a deficit program that is in place -- a full cost the deficit over $10 trillion in the next few years. you need to correct the problem. you need to balance budgets and control spending. what are we doing? the exact opposite. we are adding a health care program that will add more money to government spending. cap and trade is coming up the road. that will add more burden on
businesses trying to start a business and create opportunity. by the way, those businesses will be mandated with respect to health care. i think the american people know inherently that this is a problem. they know we are moving in the wrong direction and insisting upon some changes and that is why they're not supporting this health care there. -- this health-care out bill. host: georgia, comparegood morn. caller: this health-care czar will make rules that he can implement. and i seen it on other channels. you cannot demonize these insurance companies. they have been doing the same thing for years. people have a smoke cigarettes
are a higher risk. obese people pay more. smokers pay more. georgia is already doing it, they are subsidizing [unintelligible] people could get complete coverage for $30 a month right now. host: we will leave it there. mr. gilmour, any thoughts? guest: well, a couple. the medicaid program is an unending program that is totally out of control in spending and putting giant pressures on the states. losman lee, medicaid will break the states if we do not do something to begin to control these expenses.
but the way to do that is not just build this same type of benefit program up even greater and greater and greater. the more government is involved with a gracious of services, they will be shifting money from one group to another. and ultimately, increasing the taxation on the american people. the what i hope the free congress foundation can do is to offer some different approaches. right now, all you are really hearing out of washington is, are we going to do this or not, are we going to support this or not? are the democrats going to be repaired -- united behind this or the republicans' quest to be opposed to this? what have recently addressed the uninsured in this country and find ways to help them -- why can't we simply address the uninsured in this country and find ways to help them? make sure they have opportunities for jobs and educations of that they can define their own lives and get some health care decisions on the road. instead, we have this try program that will cost all of
this money and increase the deficit, no matter what they tell you. they would be back later for higher taxes and they will tell you thatñr they will just tax te rich, but they will end up taxing everybody or reducing the benefits. you just cannot have it both ways. ñihost: alexandria, va., barbara on the democrats line. caller: you write a few minutes ago talking about this is an opportunity and i really do believe that if they do a strategic plan to get more access to more people, in the end, it is, to drive the need for health-care workers, more clinics, more doctors, more training. it does not even matter if those are students from abroad getting board certified over here. but there is an opportunity. it will not be an immediate turnaround and pay off. this is a huge thing that we have to do because the system that we have right now is insolvent. i would say that what a socialist isn't for me and
everybody else paying -- is for me and everyone else paying when someone without insurance shows up at the emergency room. it is paying for everyone else as health care who does not have çóanyb. why would we not do this now? it was not done under eight years of prosperity. it was not done under bush. the only thing they pushed through was medicare party. -- medicare part d. and we got this doughnut hole seniors considering how expensive drugs are. guest: i appreciate your comments. it would be fun to talk with her and try to get some additional solutions. the opportunity is with all government right now, which is so bloated and so big. you just saw it recently. they're not playing with their own money out there. their plan with mine and with their -- and with yours and we
have got to do something to get a handle on government finance and government spending in this country. as far as what you were saying a few minutes ago, i think it would have been great if we could have agreed on certain things. i think the reform a a or the pre-existing exclusion decision is almost a consensus in this country from left to right on republican to democrat. you cannot just exclude people because of pre-existing conditions. we need to do something to help those who do not have health care, but to take a system like this and forced people into the financing ponzi scheme because they cannot otherwise have this loaded type of program any other way, that is not the solution. my hope is in working with knowledgeable people and the support of the donors, like your viewers here today, that we will offer some new and different ideas so that we are not just
saying it is the liberal approach or no approach. we do have a choice between -- a choice for people between the liberal approach and a conservative approach. a conservative approach draws upon arbor synergy and liberty of people and uses those strengths -- opportunity and the liberty of people and uses those strengths to create better opportunity. ñihost: what will the free congress foundation be doing as congress takes its break-in january -- rightxd nowxd and cos back in january, what will you be doing to the impact this debate? guest: much of this health care debate is past us now, but this is not going to work very well. as the years go on ahead, there will be need for changes. i think the left understands that. they're just trying to get anything they can get so they can come back in future years to tweak and dacron and, frankly, make it worse -- and data on,
and frankly, make it worse. i think thatñi the free congress foundation should be a participant in the relevant issues of the day. we ought to be talking about government finance. the health care issue is a subset of that. what are we going to do to get control of the high spending in this country and the high taxes and deficits? what we going to do about the form policy in this country and the american national interest? that is an issue that we have to be talking about. environmental issues are coming up the road. if cap and trade is put forward and something goes along with a copenhagen type of program, all of this will be dominated by in our medalists. that means your costs and higher -- by environmentalists. that means fewer costs -- higher costs and fewer jobs.
host: one last call. richard on the republican line. caller: this is charles on the republican line. host: sorry. caller: right now,ñi [unintelligible] harry reid did a bum rush this thing through congress, and i know you know what this is. you were a state trooper. to start a year when the republicans -- what they did is days -- is they tried they're
stonewalling tactics and tea parties and all of these ridiculous things. you worked with the republicans here in richmond, va. and i'm glad to see that you are working with a group where people work together. what happened to republicans? they say they want to participate, but you know it is a political thing. host: charles, we will leave it there. guest: i do not think that we shall be put in a position where one group or another stonewalls the other. what iñi was governor, i reached out to all communities in the state. we put the card text into place in virginia, it was designed to
put more money back in the pockets of the regular people. the left and liberals have been relentless enemies of the car tax cut. ever since that time, they continued to oppose it. i think is a good program for people. i have worked with people across party lines. governor wilder, who was from the opposition party, is a good friend of mine brighton -- and i talk with him all the time. i then we need to set a new idea out there, that is, that we can freshen up and find some different ideas that do not exclusively come from the left. some ideas that really depend on the liberties of the american people and the empowerment of the american people and to draw upon the excitement and creativity and productivity of the american people, and create some value there were people go to work and get jobs and do something exciting. that is really the only way out. host: why did you decide to become the president, ceo of the free congress foundation?
guest: i had been on the board for many years. however dissipate in public affairs, and have been and probably always will -- i had partisan pit in public affairs, and probably always will. but i also want to play a role in the life and thinking of this country. this free congress foundation needed some leadership and it was an opportunity to come in and bring some fresh new ideas and to brighten it up and make it the voice that it traditionally has been. polymeric a a initially started the free congress -- paul weyrich started to the free congress foundation back when in the left control of the government back in the 1970's and here we are again. i think they have a role to play. host: we appreciate your time. up next, we will talk about the foreclosure crisis with feet short of the hope now lies.
we will be right back -- with face schwartfaith schwartz of tw alliance. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009] >> c-span, christmas day, a look ahead to 2010 politics, including republican congressman eric kanter and nbc's david gregory, buzz aldrin, and fellow astronauts on the legacy of apollo 11, a discussion on most american and the world. later, a former cia intelligence officer on u.s. strategy on how kite in afghanistan. and starting at 8:00 p.m. eastern, remembering the -- on
al qaeda in afghanistan. and starting at 8:00 p.m., remembering the lives of americans. >> a unique, and debris perspective scholars, journalists, and writers, from his early years to his life in the white house and its relevance today. abraham lincoln, in hard cover at your favorite bookseller and now on digital audit to -- audio to listen to any time. c-span.org/lincolnbook. host: faiz schwartz is the executive director of the hope now alliance. -- a faith schwartz the executive director of the hope now lines. we see loan modifications are not happening as quickly as they could and those that are getting
them are doctors -- and many of those that are getting them are defaulting again. what is the situation? guest: that -- this year, there have been over 3 million solutions offered to borrowers with permanent modifications and repayment plans verses 7 under 50,000 foreclosure sales of homes. -- 750,000 foreclosure sales of homes. the government is in the process of loan modification offers lower payments to bar wars while they're in the process of documenting those mortgages. i think is important to note that when a bar were read -- read defaults, it could be consumer debt or perhaps unemployment. host: the hope now alliance helps to reduce these mortgages that are under water.
what does your group that is -- do that is different from the federal government? guest: we have been servicing giving in industry, and on private housing counselors to try to keep these homes from foreclosure. we work with the government on any tools available. today, the make a home affordable program is probably the number-one program being used. in fact, that voluntary program becomes mandatory when the servicers sign it. that is the first defense in getting the modification. if they feel that modification, there are other options to keep them out of foreclosure. -- if they fail that modification, there are other options to keep them out of foreclosure. the government's program is actually -- if a borrower has 37 -- 31% of their income making a
mortgage payment, they can lower at two% to get to the affordable payment. they can even lower the principal. those types of restructuring have been appalled -- across the government. then they look at alternatives or repayment plans to keep people from foreclosure if that is a better outcome for both the homeowner and the investor. host: in the role of hope now? guest: we are facilitating all the tools of the market. we work closely with the government. we host of reach events with the government across the market in regions at risk. we were just in los angeles during that war was off 1500 families who met with counselors, servicers. host: how many people have you helped modify their mortgage payments? guest: this year alone we about about 2.6 million non-government
workouts. someñi aren't modifications and some are ketchup -- some are modifications and some are catching up programs. somewhere around three or 4 million people have been helped through this process this year. host: have you actually lower monthly mortgage payments for consumers? guest: yes, of course. that is happening across the market with or thought the government program. what the government introduced is a subsidized program of taxpayer dollars. never before have more resources been put to this problem to lower payments and extend opportunity for sustainable mortgages. every quarter, the fdic had a program that allowed you to lower those rates, extend terms, and keep people on affordable payments. host: if the home water goes through the open allies and its aim hormone -- if the homeowner
goes to the hope now alliance and gets a home payment modification, or other fees that are tacked on the go into effect later on? guest: your question is, are there hidden fees or penalties associated? host: yes. the allies has signed a for the government program, so they will follow thatñr protocol. and a great thing is that if they do not qualify because they have a lower payment already, it may still be worth it to modify that loan in a different way, held the borrower stay in that home if they want to stay and they may have a different format. again, what ever is in the best óinterest of the borrowers, homeowners, and investors. host:ñi lincoln, neb., nancy coe on the republican line. çócaller: my question would be e
health care bill, they mentioned the lean on homes if you could not make your health insurance premium payments that are required by the federal government. i haven't -- wonder of the impact of these loans that are in effect right now. guest: any lenient need to be looked at for modification on the mortgage, but this is an adjustment for the borrower. they still have all their debts to pay. we are a big recommend a of a third-party counseling. host: washington d.c., maria, and again in line. caller: my question to you -- my
daughter and her husband, between them they make $100,000. [unintelligible] she lost her job for about six months and it was the second job. where can they go because they have been calling everywhere and they are not able to get financed guest:. : that is a great question. refinances -- not able to get financed. guest: that is a great question. if there is not equity in the home, and sometimes that is difficult to do. you are talking about a real issue that the second line of defense is to modify the loan, which means getting more
affordable payment. disruption in income can be a significant factor in whether you qualify or not for a refinance. call 888-995-hope. and you can also go to the website of hope now for counselors in d.c. jpmorgan has a lot of good programs in place. host: mark on the independent line. caller: six months ago, i contacted hauope and they triedo help me. and it has been a wild and nobody should be able to help me out. i lost my primary job. i do have one job, but i only
make only $10. i fill out papers, nothing happens to me. i do not know if there's any hope for me right now. guest: sir, suntrust is a great member of the hope now lines and 888-995-hope would be a great way to get escalations from them. the test would be, do you have enough income to qualify for an affordable housing be made to keep your home. and hopefully, you do. but you can work that through. and there is a formula that is applied to all mortgages. and if it is a fannie mae or freddie mac program, that is definitely part of the program if you are eligible. i urge you to keep calling on that issue and find out if resolution. host: president obama recently
pushed the banks to be more proactive in either reevaluating these hormones. what has been the home -- the holdup? -- in reevaluating these home loans. what has been the hold up? guest: when you are using taxpayer dollars to subsidize a modification, you need to document its fully, have all of the income documentation verification, hardship affidavit, fraud affidavit to make sure that all of this income is legitimate. once it is documented, then you are eligible for the mortgage and document verification is one of the holdups. we have a new web portal called loan port which will keep the documents and work with counselors and servicers to make a better files to execute. host: run on the republican
line. caller: we went to countrywide and then it got transferred to bank of america. we have been working through that whole program and the first they told us, well, the qualifications are that you have to be more than three months behind on your mortgage, which will work. then they said we would definitely qualified. -- which we work. they said we would definitely qualified. and we get contacting and they would say, would you are still under review, you are still under review. eight months later, they contacted me again and i said, we are trying to go through the hope for homeowners program. and they go, okay, let us check on that. they came back and said you do not qualify because you are more than three months behind. guest: there are a few different scenarios. haut formal mourners is
actually a government fha program. -- hope for homeowners is actually government fha program. they will review your file to see if you are eligible for the modification. in fact, they need to do that in foreclosure. that is the question to ask, whether you are eligible. again, call 888-995-hope if you're having any questions on that. host: georgia, independent line. caller: i'm actually expecting twins and i lost my job during this process and my income has been drastically reduced. i have more king with bankamerica and they tell me that because i refinanced my
house to get out of an arm that i am in eligible for any government programs. it looks like i am out of hope, too. guest: i do not know your situation. there is something called a net present value test that every loan has to go through a review of what you owe verses what you make. and i know if that is what you have had applied -- i do not know if that is what you have had applied on your mortgage. i do not think we have solved for the unemployed homeowners who wants to keep their home. there is not a great program that is uniform across the market but i would talk to a third party who cares about your situation to explore every avenue. host: with the industry like to see congress or the obama administration to do something to add for the sport -- to add to this program for the unemployed?
guest: the situation where you're looking for actively implement and you want to stay in your home, is there a temporary situation for six months to a year and then perhaps a modified, restructured loan to get you through this. host: how much does of now reduced -- how much does hope now reduced your mortgage payments? guest: on average, $500 to $600 per month. host: next phone call, curtis on the democratic line. caller: i am a disabled veteran, vietnam. because of my income, they could not help me. but what they did is they refinanced my first home, but i have two mortgages.
they got me in a situation where my home appraised at $200,000. then it dropped so bad to $130,000. i am unable -- in a situation where they refinanced by first loan -- my first loan guest: the good thing is that you refinanced your first mortgage and that is important. there is a new program that has ruled out for second mortgages, which would ask all of the servicers and banks to sign up to modify the second mortgage. that is a new process that the government has ruled out. gmac is one of those servicers as well as others. i urge you to keep talking to gmac and others to look at where they can help with the second mortgage as well. host: next call, scott, republican line in georgia. caller: right now, i'm
unemployed, do not have any income and it seems like there is no program at all for someone like myself. i called your home number there and they could not do much for me. i contacted the bank and they do not want to work with you at all. they're just sitting around waiting to buy of everybody's property back for 20 cents on the dollar is what i think. and yourization is just kind of speaking with one to a and nad. ducouer really meeting dealt a a, it is just not there. host: i do not disagree -- guest: i do not disagree that there are not enough tools for the homeowner. it is incumbent upon us to look ahead ways to help people 43, 6, or even nine months what they are looking for reemployment.
the banks want to keep you in your homes because they will take huge losses. host: on average, what is the average salary on those that seek help from hope now and get help? guest: i'm afraid i do not know. but what i do know is that we started, it was a kind of subprime problem. now it is a high credit score with higher loan volume that is sometimes under water on their home. you could owe more than your home is worth. those are the issues facing all of us. caller: i have a question about the first mortgage and then the refinancing. in many states such as california, you could walk away
from your first mortgage and not hurt your credit, but when you refinance -- and i do not think that a lot of people know -- you are stuck with that. it is just like buying a car. is a very big difference between your first mortgage and refinancing and isn't it dangerous to refinance when you should have walked away from it? guest: i do not think so with record low rates. if you want to stay in the home, refinancing is a way to do that so you have a better mortgage verses walking away and looking for a new mortgage, which will take time and your credit availability to buy a new home. i think it is preferable to refinance and modify if you can before walking away. host: on the line for democrats, to shut in houston. -- patricia and in houston. caller: i am purchasing a home from a gentleman who got a loan
from a of the bank. he bought a home and i'm buying it from him. the interest rate is ridiculous. i'm having a hard time trying to get someone to refinance for me. guest: i do not feel like i know quite enough. it sounds like someone is going to give you the financing directly to buy the home. the rates are the 4% to 5% range. you do need more of a down payment to get those kinds of rates from fannie mae and freddie mac. that is your opportunity to get lower rates directly. host: keith on the republican line. caller: my wife and i have been trying for a year, since last january, to get our mortgage company to help us modify our mortgage payments of it without -- so we would not go out into default and they have put
option -- put us off. every time we contact them they tell us to fill out of work that we have done it multiple times. then we send it in and they put us off again. we have been trying for a year to get them to help us. what do we do? guest: have you worked with any third parties like housing counselors across the country, or the hope hotline? a third party can get the documentation and push it out to your lender. because there's a lot of good access and held out there from a third party if you are not getting the support you need. caller: yes, we have tried that. we tried someone locally that was affiliated with our mortgage company. we got on conference call with them and us and we tried to resolve this matter and they still put us off. they will not help us. guest: i would escalate. pat 888-995-hope -- at 888-995-
hope they have an escalation program. host: how many banks are signed up for this escalation program? guest: there are 80 + people sign of for the government program, which is well over 90%, 95% of the market. we are well covered. host: conn., sandra, independent line. caller: me and via -- me and my husband have chase mortgage and our mortgage has always been paid had it. this is that i have lost my job and keeping their mortgage current has been a bit of a struggle conflic. we got a hold of the jays and has them if they would modify our interest rate and they said because we owe more than a home
is worth, they could not do it. we got ahold of another and they said dagen we should cut back on expenses. guest: right now, only fannie mae and freddie mac investor properties have the refinance option, which is of to 125% of the homes value. other investors will not refinance. that means modification is your % even though you are current, the mortgage needs to -- the mortgage companies to get your margin of, what has changed, and then assess the will situation. if you right into health @hopenow.com we can help you with that issue. host: next call is chris on the democratic line. caller: think what has happened
is that these congressmen have taken millions of dollars of campaign contributions from the banks and then voted to deregulate the same banks. they have not been prosecuted at all. interest-rate swap derivatives are about to hit the market and when those hit the market, the banks will collapse and all of these mortgages that are trying to float right now, the price of property will continue to fall. if a collapse in the united states and tricking people into financing property right now is unbelievable horrible. you are basically stealing their remaining well out of this country. the $750 trillion of unsecured debt with the swap derivatives, and now they want this health care bill that will bankrupt this country? they want to fund abortion which kills babies? and they want to violate my religious rights and freedom? host: chris, we will leave it
there. guest: i do not follow the legislation. my job is to help people get solutions to day to stabilize the housing market. those people that need that help should get the hell before they go to foreclosure. host: what about chris his thoughts on another impending wave with commercial real estate? guest: i think is a serious situation. my hope -- my focus is on the housing front. remember, millions of people do not go into foreclosure and maybe some of them do read your fault. they will go on the market, they will be foreclosed on. but we still save millions of people from doing that and holmes going to the market. again, more of a stabilizing factor. host: thank you, we appreciate your time. as you know, the senate debate on health care is under way. on health care is under way. they had a an earlier round of