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tv   U.S. House of Representatives  CSPAN  August 5, 2010 1:00pm-5:00pm EDT

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youtube to collect money. you see people getting absolutely hacked to death in brutal attacks. kidnappings for ransom were up last year. organizations like al qaeda in the islamic my grab and al- shabab received tens of millions of dollars as a result of kidnappings for ransom. .
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>> then i asked two very brief questions. on the delay. three months is a long time. the n.c.t.c. index was available at the end of april. i am curious what kind of editing it does require that it took three months, particularly when there is a congressional deadline? >> i am afraid that is my story and i am sticking with it. i was picky about how it came out. >> leaves questions weabout if there were any changes. >> there is material that either needed to be included in it, it is called 7120, that is
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now being filed separately having to do with economic issues and broadcasting. that is not included. >> my other question, and they're not looking for a long policy explanation on this, but in the report talks about iran being the most active state sponsor of terrorism. others remain unchanged. if you look at the n.c.t.c. data, not one of the state sponsors is mentioned as being a sponsor any attack. the only time iran pimm is mentioned when it talks about the global overview against attacks against the government. i am curious as to what the most active supporter or most active state sponsor means what? money that is going into groups that do not actually conduct any
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attacks? >> i would not say that. we have had continued terrorist activity from hamas and hezbollah. >> barry knapp, but they did not make the list. -- fair enough, but they do not make the list. >> you will certainly see within the number of people killed in iraq, i have no doubt that there are people that have been killed as a result of iranian ammunitions that made it into iraq. heigl really get the kind of an permission that would allow you to describe specific countries conducting attacks. in the case of cuba or north korea, i do not have data that suggest they conducted any attacks.
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>> i am not suggesting that they actually conducted the attacks. it does not translate into a huge number. it does not seem to translate into much of anything, unless i am missing it. >> the facilitation would not make it into our data at all. the syrian support to hamas will not be reflected in any of the data i have presented in the charts. >> there were a lot of incidents in iraq that ultimately can be traced back to iranian support, so i do not think your conclusion is a correct one. >> just to follow up, but i have
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another question. he does have a good point. you continue to say that iran is the biggest sponsor of terrorism, but areas you're looking at -- pakistan, afghanistan, although there have been incidental information about iranian involvement, the support for the major areas do not seem to be coming in from iran. >> a few points. it has been true for a long time that the predominanct actos and instigators of violence in the world today are not state sponsors, but rather that groups
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like al qaeda and their affiliates. that has just been true since al qaeda really came on the screen, in practice the kind of indiscriminate violence that was completely at variance with a state sponsors wis smaller number of casualties. the other ending the need to calculate in is that when it does happen, it can happen on a rather large scale. you need to the bank back to the conflict a few years ago and skated by hizbollah with israel -- instigated by hezbollah with israel. and i am saying that when it does happen, in --sinc -- i am .
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firing missiles is a terrorist attack. >> my question is about al- laykeh. yousef sai seem to city as an operational by. i am wondering if you think in terms of priorities and rising importance, he is rising to the level of bin laden. i am wondering if you're thinking of capturing and killing him. and also you mentioned that they are looking toward america and presenting a threat to america. what do you attribute for the groups that primarily have been regionally based, focusing their attacks on regional actors, and
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now they're looking towards the united states. what do a tribute to that kind of shift? >> a lot of questions. on the second one, t.t.p. in the otherand the others groups thate the ideology that is identical or variants of the al qaeda ideology have always had this choice and going at did in your enemy or the far enemy. in according to the situation in which they're operating in, they might find it more advantageous to operate in one or the other. it says what in the report? >> that they are increasingly a very capable organization and threatening the american interest. >> that is true. you said targeting america. it is certainly true that the recent targets, particularly in
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mumbai, was out of the al qaeda playbook. it clearly was a desire to kill westerners, israelis, the usual kinds of targets. i think it is important that people understand that this is not just a preacher a particular gift, but that he is indeed involved quite centrally, quite directly in terrorist activities. i do not think it is useful to have the kind of hall of fame listing for terrorists, but there is no question that this is a particularly dangerous individual who is sophisticated not only in his rhetoric, but also in his tactical capabilities. >> do you think accusing
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[inaudible] what do you say on that? >> ok. we have expressed our concerns about behavior in the region to the austrians on m on numerous . we see it as the best hope for saddling the conflict, the long- running conflict in somalia.
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as for al-shabab the attack they have claimed credit for is an unwelcomed event, and hope it is not a harbinger of more out of area of tax for them -- and out of area of tax for them. we are looking at it very closely. there have been plenty of indications that they would like to, like the other groups we have talked about, it diversify their portfolio of attacks. >> coming back to the most active state in sponsoring terrorism. you mentioned support for hamas schieda-- could do have any acct that they have been involved internationally and terrorism? my other question is about al qaeda.
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it said they remain the major threat currently, but you talk about al qaeda or the affiliate's ofs? most of the task dimension were carried out by affiliate's. >> you are right that we're somewhat indifferent in the speech. we should either say al qaeda leadership for the core or the broader network that are acting in league with them. certainly our concern is the broader one, although the core remains probably the most capable unit within the entire network. on the issue of hamas, they have been responsible for the killings of americans.
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they observing -- they are observing somewhat of a cease- fire. >> in the report you mentioned [inaudible] what is the relationship between the terrorists of its inside pakistan? >> let me put it this way. we are concerned about any indications of the spread of radicalism and pakistan. many of the areas that are identified as a pittance have pockets of militants in them, radical terrorists for some time. we have seen some areas that
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have been more worrisome before. the pakistan thpakistani milital recently spoke about this. i am sorry, the second part of your question. the wikileaks -- i want to reiterate the wholesale of classified material -- we have been forging a much better, more trusting relationship with pakistan and the story. the documents ran up only through december 2009. the president unrolled a new policy for afghanistan and pakistan at that time. we feel that with a strategic dialogue with the new policy in afghanistan we're building a
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much better relationship, and one that is bringing the country together to confront the common threats we face, and we continue as part of that broader relationship to encourage pakistan's continuing strategic shift to take on terror. we think that that is probably where we will leave its. >> a couple of questions about domestic radicalization. there was a report that the u.s. muslim population was not as radical. what happened? what changed? to the extent you can, what is the evidence that he had and that operation? he says he is apparently under a death threat from his government. to go this is the state department, so i am -- >> this
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is the state department, so i am reluctant to offer too much information on what has happened domestically. the fundamental points our population of a certain size, it is inevitable you'll find more people over time turning up as radicals. i do not think the fundamental assessments of the differences between the american community and communities and other countries is wrong, i just think it was at some point bound to happen that we would seek greater radicalization. one could also said that in enforcing a component of that, it has to do with reaction after the ethiopian invasion of somalia, which caused a great deal of anger, and it has been noted that we have seen a number of americans of simoleon
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ancestry going to east africa. that is probably a considerable part of it. anything you wanted to add? ok. >> what is the evidence he is involved operationally? >> there is a considerable body of it, and i cannot talk about most of it here. >> the reports say you have information about the relationship between the government, but you are not sure about the kind of relationship. can you elaborate on that? >> i can only say that we have heard the charges from bogota and we're looking at the report very carefully, and we urge all countries to observe their responsibilities under international laws are not to host of terrorist groups. >> but that means the u.s. government is clear that there is a relationship between this? >> i said we were looking at the reports and try to ascertain the
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truth of them. to g>> could you explain the difference what is the difference between not cooperating in the fight against terrorism and sponsoring terrorism, because there were some all outspoken voices trying to sponsor of terrorism in foreign countries. >> tw there areo -- there are two different statutory process these that have different criteria. we do the evaluations about whether other countries are being cooperative in counter- terrorism efforts. that is one thing. another is whether or not they are actually actively sponsoring terrorism abroad. we have a number of countries that are not cooperating, but
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that have not been listed as state sponsors. guinness will love being one. -- venezuela being one. >> do you expect something will change? >> i think the political relationship will speak for itself. we would like to see them cooperate, and the door is open to cooperation. >> in the foreword of the report it said there are questions that you are asking, the government is asking about what causes terrorism, and one of the questions is, our actions toward results in the creation of more terrorist. i am wondering if you could expand on what you are talking about. >> i do think that is something that is very much at the center of policy-making and deliberation. it very much exper a sefeccectsr
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involvement in certain parts of the world. it is how we will view any connecticut action because i think we have a more precise understanding about the relationship, and i will not claim that we have fully cracked the code on this, but we have a better standing relationship between the use of force and radicalization of those watching it. >> halwith any country harboring terrorists, with a ever want our presence? you are talking about terrorists and the certain places, and certainly we would not want to -- >> at the same time, it does not
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mean we should use force there. there is a wide range of different circumstances in which we find terrorists. the question is what the appropriate way is to deal with them, what threat to that posed to us, what are the long-term implications for our security and ability to work with countries in that region? just to give you an example, we have heard a lot about terrorist attacks. it is obvious that using course there is a solution for us, given what our interests are and given all the other means at our disposal to deal with the problem in a region like that where we have capable partners and kindle capacity. we can deal with their regional problems -- they can deal with
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their regional problems themselves. you have to ask what is the best way forward. >> i was wondering if you could give me the names of the militant groups that iran is continuing to provide support to and guidance to these groups. and also where i can find evidence that the forces have been providing training to taliban afghanistan? >> we have no classified information we can provide on that. >> so we should just take this forward at that? -- so we should just take this at word for that?
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>> we have not mention any of them by name? i will see if i can get back to you on that one. that is only in the classified information. >> i am wondering where i can find that. >> i do not believe we have classified any of the intelligence. i will look into it. >> one more question on what designated a terrorist organization. do they have to commit acts of killing people or just not to cooperate with the u.s.? >> for organizations that have to be foreign, they have to carry out terrorist attacks or intend to carry out terrorist attacks. theoretically if we saw a group information that was going to carry out an attack, we could designate them and practice.
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however, there are some groups out there, i do not think we have designated any before they have carried out attacks. >> one more question. to go i'm sorry, you cannot ask all of the questions. >> wikileak talk about the taliban and afghanistan. do you see any sign of north korea supporting military groups? >> let me be clear about north korea. we have seen those reports. we are looking into them. the secretary and others in the administration had been clear that if we find north korea is indeed a sponsoring terrorism, obviously we will revisit the issue of the lifting of the state-sponsored, but it corref y were deliste, and d, in clear
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they had not supported any terrorism in the past six months. you raise interesting and important points, and we're looking at that. >> you are looking into a report about your documents. >> these work press documents. >> there have been other elements. there was an assassination attempt against an exiled senior north korean leader in south korea, and out of course these arms sales. how long does this process take, the designation process? >> it is a fairly laborious process.
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it involves asking all sorts of questions regarding what is not or is a terrorist action. it is a very complicated process, but it has to be waterproofed, at withstand all different kinds of tests, and not something that we do overnight. i am fully aware of that issue, and we are looking at it quite carefully. >> one more question. >> perhaps i miss something, but can you explain why you say it was bound to happen. that there would be a radicalization of said populations on the question of home grown terrorism. you mentioned the 14 indictments today, are those all new cases or are they related to cases that we knew of previously
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about this emollient american community? >> on the new indictments, i have to refer you to the department of homeland security because i do not have them handy. we heard they were coming, so i do not know the exact circumstances. bound to happen probably sounds a bit more deterministic then i would like to sound, but i am just suggesting that in any large population there is a probability that some small fraction of people will ultimately be attracted to any particular ideology over time. we have seen this in lots of different contexts, whether it was the christian identity movement and timothy mcveigh.
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there are large number of nasty ideology's going around. and someone, for whatever complex reason having to do with personality and social circumstances, will be attracted to it. i do not think there is anything genetic or culturally determined about this, it is just probabilities' overtime, and that's, i think, is something we have to live with, and i think it is probably something that it is a cautionary note. we have been fortunate we have not seen greater radicalization. we think there are good reasons we have not seen that in terms of the structure of our society and openness and integration of emigrant communities, but we've nonetheless have to recognize that this happens in the last year or two.
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>> i am curious whether the group in iran, to the extent they attacked iranian civilians, are those included in here? i know they have not been designated a terrorist organization. >> they are in the statistics. >> they did not only cover designated groups, because there are many groups out there than we have been able to designate. >> thank you very much. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] >> this week the senate is expected to confirm elena kagan as the next supreme court justice. watch the debate and vote live on c-span2.
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keyspan networks. now available in more than 100 million homes. provided as a public service. >> earlier today we covered a briefing on the fiscal condition of social security and medicare. we will hear from several cabinet members of the state -- tested on the social security board of trustees, including timothy geithner, kathleen sebelius, and hilda selice. this is about 20 minutes. i want to acknowledge the hard work and could treaticontribute.
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president roosevelt signed the social security act into law, creating a program that tens of americans of mmillions of ameriy on to this. president johnson signed an amendment to the law providing health insurance for older americans. the sheer presence of all, signed into law the affordable care acts -- this year president obama signed into law the affordable care law. this will also takes major steps to bring down the rate of growth and health care costs over time. the positive impact of these reforms is made clear by the trustee's report. medicare's hospital insurance fund is now expected to remain solvent through 2029, 12 years
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congress than was projected last year, our record extension of the life of the h.i. trust fund. the shortfall has been reduced from 3.8% of taxable payrolls to just 0.2 0.6% of payroll and projected costs for the medicare supplementary insurance program over the next 75 years presses s share of gdp are down 23% from what was projected in last year's report. -- the shortfall has been reduced from 3.8% of taxable payroll to just 2.6% of payroll and projected costs for the medicare supplementary insurance program over the next 75 years. these are very encouraging
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projected improvements in the financial position of these critical benefits for americans. it is important to note that for the benefits and these reforms to be realized, they have to produce large improvements in efficiency and productivity. they have to be allowed to work. congress will have to stick with them. of course, both social security and medicare still face considerable challenges, but today's reports are evidence that with resourceful and responsible policy-making we can achieve the very substantial improvements and limiting the rate of growth of health-care costs. thank you. >> today as a trust the, i am pleased to join my colleagues to report that the outlook for medicare has improved greatly, compared to this time last year.
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thanks to the passage of the affordable care act. the trustees' report backs up the findings of the report issued earlier this week but the senate for a medicare and medicaid services and concludes that the reforms in the new health-care ball will extend the solvency of the hospital insurance trust fund by an additional 12 years until 2029. the report also shows that these reforms from developing new models of care to rewarding quality to cracking down on fraud and waste, and accused have cut the projected 75-year hospital insurance shortfall as a share of taxable payroll by more than 80%. pour the supplemental medical insurance trust funds, at which helped medicare beneficiaries pay for physician services and prescription drugs, the report projects a balanced budget for the foreseeable future, but for
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both trust funds the report shows that we have a lot of work left to do. to achieve the gains projected by the report, we must continue to work hard with our partners across the country to implement the reforms in the affordable care act effectively and on time. as we work to secure medicare's future, we are also committed to honest accounting. that is why president obama and i have asked congress to pass a permanent fix to the sustainable growth rate formula for doctors so the projections can be based on the most accurate information. that is why i am pleased to announce that last month i reestablished a panel of experts that will review the reports with a special focus on -- from health care spending. the panel will hold the first meeting in the near future, so its recommendations can be incorporated into next year's report. medicare, as secretary geithner has said, is a promise to all
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americans made 45 years ago that if you work hard, you can retire knowing that medical bills will not force you into bankruptcy. today we have taken another very critical step towards peace securing that promise. -- towards securing that promise. as we move forward, we need to continue in their work to strengthen medicare for today and tomorrow. i will pass it over to pull thhs celise. much of the projected improvement in medicare finance is due to the program changes under the affordable care act, which will take effect in coming years. this highlights the importance of making every effort to assure that the affordable care act is
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successful it -- successfully implemented. due to recession, unemployment remains near its peak. loss of wages or income has a severe impact on the likelihood of many american workers and their families. it also erodes payroll tax base and revenues needed to pay current program benefits. as baby boomers, workers are retiring faster than the active workers, we shall sit security benefits will begin to expire rapidly in 2015. we note in particular that the social security disability insurance trust funds are projected to be exhausted in 2018. new policy should create more jobs with better pay that revitalize the middle class. more good paying jobs mean more revenue for these programs.
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new policies are also needed that would enable older workers to continue working to delay collecting optimizing the security benefits. the affordable care act potentially adds tens of millions of additional people to the health insurance marketplace. policies are needed that rein in costs, even as we expand and promote equality, not just for medicare but for everyone. a more efficient health care system would make medicare problems moeasier managed. financial challenges facing social security and medicare remain. this administration looks forward to appearing the fiscal commission's recommendations on the ways in which we can address the imbalances between income and costs of the program. by working together we can find solutions to make sure the programs are sustainable so
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americans workers can continue to count on them in the future. thank you very much. >> in the 1934 fireside chat, president roosevelt described his social security proposal in this way. i believe what we're doing today is a necessary but the elements of what americans have always doing, the fulfillment of old and tested american ideals. he then went on to compare its legislative proposals with the renovation of the white house complex. while i am away from washington this summer, of long-needed renovation of the addition to the white house office building is to be started, but the structural lines will remain. the artistic clients of the white house building where the creation of master builders when the republic was young. the simplicity and strength of the structure remains in the face of every modern test, but within the magnificent pattern
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come at the necessities of modern government business require constant for reorganizatireorganization. our new structure is part of the fulfillment of the old spirit and it is in the spirit of rebuilding that president obama established the national commission on fiscal responsibility and reform. on december they will make -- in december they will make recommendations for social security. i have two wonderful children that have entered the workforce in the past year. one is being called up for military duty in october. the other starts teaching inner- city children in the next week.
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what is important that americans will continue to honor social security. to help this debate stay civil and fact-based, i do want to ask the members of the media who have joined us here today to be very precise in their descriptions of the phrase " trust fund exhaustion." while it will reach exhaustion and 2037, it does not mean there will be no money left. it means if congress takes no action at all, we will be able to pay 78% of our current level of benefit payments. that would be a bad result, but a far cry from having no money for benefits at all. this has caused many young people to despair about social security. i urge all of you to be careful with this critical and often
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misunderstood term. the agencies had been revitalized, despite the huge were closeworkloads caused by hr unemployment. an aging i.t. infrastructure is being replaced with the state of art system. i am excited about the next 75 years of social security, and i think all of you should be, too. thank you. >> we will take a couple of questions. down front. >> secretary, do you expect a civil debate over what the deficit commission seems to be leaning towards recommending, at which of course is raising the retirement age slowly? do you expect the debate when democrats consider themselves to
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be protectors of social security? >> we will have to have a debate, and we can always hope it will be civil, but i think you are a little head of the commission. it is clear -they have been deemed to take a broad look at the changes that will bring the commitments and resources more into balance, and what he did is a asked those men and women to step away from politics and take a careful look at how best to restore gravity to the fiscal position. they are in the process of sorting through what it will take and how best to achieve that, but we do not have any sense today, and i do not think they do, on where they will find consensus and what proposals they will introduce. we're looking forward to the recommendations. we will have a chance to reflect on them, as will the country as
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a whole, and ultimately the president and congress will have to come together and continue the progress. we're seeing a lot of progress today and the reports, but continuing the progress of restoring balance to the long- term fiscal position. >> if the commission would recommend freezing the retirement age ,-- >> people are gordon have different views -- people are going to have different views on what is appropriate. these are national challenges that will have to come with bipartisan solutions. we have a terrific model in the commission that president reagan established to undertake a previous set of challenges and social security to best model the commission we have had and
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under the basis that the president warned this commission, and they are working very hard and they are terrifically capable people. we are very hopeful they will find a way to help us build the process of a consensus. >> you had all once in a generation opportunity with health care a lot. -- with the health care law. did you miss the opportunity to keep the program solvent? 12 years does not seem like a lot. >> i will let the secretary speak to that, but let me make the following initial points. if you look at the full scope of these reports come and you look at what cbo provides in terms of its analysis, and the analyses from a wide range of independent analysis and experts, these are
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very substantial improvements in the rate of growth in health- care costs that make a very substantial improvement in our long-term fiscal position. and much larger than anything we have ever considered, much less embraced as a country over the last several decades. it is a very promising said of reform. the future is uncertain. those reforms required that week see substantial improvements in efficiency and productivity, but look at the full mix of the change in estimates and you will see a very substantial reduction in projected growth in health-care costs on a scale that make a very substantial improvements, and tha in that piece of the fiscal responsibility. taco>> it is a true and
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transformation in the delivery system of health care in this country. not only the productivity increases, but the notion that we're changing emphasis and focus into entirely new areas on prevention and wellness, on increasing quality that currently things we paid for, and pay way too much for. if indeed those transformations are as successful as the pockets of those practices indicate, if we can bring these to scale and drive that sort of productivity but quality across this country, some of the underlying assumptions will be much more robust. cbo, for instance, does not even score prevention and wellness because they do not know have to do that. if we have fewer diabetics, far
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less disease, the projections will look very different. if we cut dramatically into the 20% of americans that smoke and end up with far fewer diseases. there are a number of initiatives that are contemplated by the passage of this act that do not show up in the economic projections at this point, but we think hold enormous promise for a far lower cost well into the picture at a different rate of growth over overall health care spending. to co>> [inaudible] >> not that i know about. i think it may have more impact on the social security fund overall when the medicare funds. i think there is a balance in
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that program, but given the fact that we are likely or have seen the bottom of the economic downturn and are now slowly recovering, we are optimistic that these targets can be met. >> last question right here. >> can you get into more detail on how the [inaudible] has handled this. >> unfortunately it is 23%. this report is based on current law. that is what our legislative mandate is that we must deliver a trustee's report based on the lot as is. built into the report is an s.g.r. reduction. this is why we continue to provide a cautionary note.
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the president has suggested and very strongly supports a permanent fix of the s.g.r. he feels that congress really needs to tackle this as a long- term solution, because if you look at the projections just over the next three years, we would have a 32% cut in medicare provider rates, which would be untenable. if you want to destroy the medicare program, the fastest way to do this would be to drive providers out of the program, and i think that cut would do that. we intend to work on not only the short-term, but the long- term. congress is intent on having a fully paid for s.g.r., and the impact on the trust fund would not be significant. we would have other areas to pay
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for the fix. the report reflects current law. >> thank you very much, everyone. >> senator john for not speaking live on the house of -- the floor of the senate where debate continues on elena kagan's nomination. earlier this week the senate approved a bill funding teacher jobs and medicare for the state. nancy pelosi has called the house back into session on tuesday to vote on the teacher jobs bill in order to get it to the president as soon as possible. live coverage oof the senate on c-span2. the senate working on elena
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kagan's nomination. we have an archive of materials, and we're breaking down the debate into individual speakers and you can watch what your senator has to say on the nomination. that is all at >> book tv has been finding out about the new books coming out this fall. >> jimmy carter for every day of his presidency he wrote in his journal. this is a very intimate look at the white house years. this is super top-secret. this is bob woodward, and almost everything he does is meaningful. this is talking about the specific points in his administration where he had to make major decisions. >> learn more about these and other books coming out in the fall preview this weekend. for the latest in a non-fiction
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authors and books, watch "bu ook tv" where every weekend. >> c-span radio is available nationwide, online and around the world at now listen to it on your phone with a partnership with ocaudio now. it is free, but check with your phone service provider for any additional charges. even more available on your phone. >> now a senate hearing on efforts to prevent and prepare for a terrorist attack using weapons of mass destruction.
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the first panel features officials from the densest department and fema. this is about one hour. forward nding >> good morning, everyone. our hearing deals with government prepared is in response to terrorism attacks. i particularly want to thank senator cottle for his interest in the subjects. -- particularly want to thank senator kyle for his interest in the subject. n't really want to talk too much about because it quite frankly is rather frightening. and i think all of us very much
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want to make sure that we do everything we possibly can to prevent a terrorist attack, any terrorist attack in this country, but particularly those that use weapons of mass destruction. the 9/11 attacks shocked a nation as we witnessed the slaughter of thousands of americans from all walks of life. united states government and the international community responded quickly and in unison to defend freedom and democracy fr al qaeda and terrorist organizations around the world. that struggle continues today against an enemy determined to strike again in the united states using more powerful and terrifying weapons. the 9/11 commission wrote that, and i quote, we need to design a balance strategy for a long haul to attack terrorists, to prevent their ranks from swelling, at the same time protecting our country against future attacks. we have been forced to think about the way our government is organized, the massive departments and agencies that prevailed in the great struggles of the 20th century must work
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together in a new wa so that all the instruments of national power can be combined, end quote. it has been nearly -- it has been nearly nine years since the 9/11 attacks and the united states government has undergone a dramatic change. congress created the depament of homeland security, which involved the largest reorganization of government since the creation of the unified department of defense after the end of world war ii. we have created an array of new intell jens in law enforcement agencies designed to disrupt, and respond to a terrorist attack in the united states. we have se a sharp increase in the amount of classified information of programs and u.s. government which requires careful oversight by this subcommittee, the congss and the courts. today's hearing we will examine one piece of our government's preparedness and response to a terrorist attack. specifically the subcommittee will examine what would happen if the unthinkable happens, terrorists are successfulfully able to launch an attack within the united states using a weapon
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of mass destruction. a weapon of mass destruction attack can occur through the use of chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear weapons. before introducing our panelists, let me turn to the ranking republican member, senator kyl, for any comments that he might wish to make. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and, again, thank you for holding this hearing. our preparedness for an atck by weapons of mass destruction is an issue of vital importance. unfortunately as you noted, with the passage of time, it receives little attention. whilunfriendly nations have had the ability to inflict great damage with weapons of mass destruction and terrorist groups have sought the capacity to do so for some time, our government is not sufficiently prepared for such an attack. one threat to which the government is particularly ill equipped to respond is the threat posed by an
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eltromagnetic pulsor emp attack. when a nuclear weapon is detonated hundreds of miles above the earth, the resulting radiation would interact with the earth's atmosphere to produce an electromagnetic pulse. the rating emp waves could cause severe damage to electronic devices and just a single weapon could affect much of the united stes. people aboard planes and those on life support systems at hospitals would be the first casualties. without powerful medical care, od refrigeration, gas pumps, water purification, the death toll could climb to staggering prortions. unfortunately a successful emp attack would not require high level of military or nuclear sophistication, a relatively crude nuclear weapon mounted on a scud missil for example, could be launched from a ship in u.s. waters and inflict massive damage on the united states. in 2001, congress established a commission known as the emp commission to assess the threat to the united states from an emp attack. the commission investigated the
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potential impact of such an attack and released findings in 2004. shortly there after, the subcommittee held aearing to review the findings and recommendations. chief among them, the commission concluded that several classes of potential adversaries, including terrorists groups, have or could have acquired the capability to attack the united states with an emp weapon and potentially inflict great damage. as the commission stated in its report, the pentagdepending on attacks, major infrastructures could result and a recovery would be long and difficult and would degrade the safety and overall viability of our nation. the commission also found that the damage to our vulnerable infrastructure would be catastrophic and the recovery process would be lengthy and challenging. while there are many topics that will be discussed today, i look forward to hearing an update from our witnesses on the current risk we face from an emp attack, as well as the steps we
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may need to take and have taken to prepare for such an attack. and hope that the subcommittee will continue to pursue this matter, do our part to make sure the federal government can respond to such an attack or any other attack of weapons of mass destruction. thank you. >> thank you, senator kyl. our first panel consists of three witnesses on our first panel was glenn fine. mr. fine is the inspector general of the department of justice. he worked for the department of justice office of the inspector general since january 1995. and which recently released a report entitled "review of the department's preparation to respond to a wmd incident," which i'm sure will be of great interest to this committee. we also have on this panel james bakker, mr. baker is an associate deputy attorney general at the department of justice with responsibility for national security matters. gain his career in the department of justice in the criminal division as a federal prosecutor during the clinton
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administration. and last we have steward beckham, mr. beckham is director of the office of thenational capital regional coordination of fema, and has 26 years of experience as a leader in the public and private sector, the national capital region is one of the prime areas of concern and interest. and we very much welcome all three of you re to the committee. you may proceed as you wish. we'll ask you hold your comments to five minutes and your entire statement will be made part of the record. mr. fine, we'll start with you. >> thank you, senator cardin, senator kyl, thank you for inviting me to testify about the department of justice office of the inspector general's recent report regarding the department of justice's readiness to respond to a potential weapons of mass destruction attack. the potential use of a wmd poses a serious threat to the united states. one of the greatest concerns is that a wmd would fall into the hands of terrorists or that
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terrorists will develop their own wmd. because of the importance of this issue, the oig evaluated the readiness of the department of justice and its components to respond to a potential wmd attack. we also examined the readiness of department field offic in the washington national capital region to respond in a coordinated way to a potential wmd attack. in my testimony today, i will briefly summarize the findings of our report as well as the department's response to it. first, our report concluded that the fbi had taken appropriate steps to prepare to respond to a wmd attack. the fbi's developed a wmd directorate to manage the fbi's wmd operational response. and other activities. the fbi has developed plans and handbooks to guide its staff in responding to a wmd attack. the fbi also regularly participated in exercises and provides training specific to wmd incidents.
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in contrasto the fbi, however, we found that the department as a whole did not have adequate policies or plans for responding to a wmd attack. we concluded that the management of the department's response program was uncoordinated and fragmented. in addition, we found the department personnel, other than in the fbi, received little training in the unique requirements associated with responding to a wmd incident. while the department and its components conducted some training on continuity of operations and all hazards response, little of the training focused specifically on a wmd operational response. planning specifically for a wmd incident is important, because the actions taken to ensure public safy and security may differ from those taken when responding to an incident involving conventional explosives, for example. under the national response framework, esf-13, the department of justice's designated as the lead agency for coordinating the use of
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federal law enforcement resources to maintain public safety and security if local and state resources are overwhelmed during an incident. the department delegated the responsibility for implementing these activities to the bureau of alcohol, tobacco, firearms and explosives. hower, we found that the department and the atf were not prepared to coordinate federal law enforcement activities under esf-13. our conclusion was confirmed by the esf- staff, one of whom told us in the event of a wmd incident, we are totally unprepared, right now being totally effective would never happen, everybody would be winging it. because the washington area is a potential target for terrorists, we also examined the preparations of department field offices in the region to respond to a wmd attack. in this region, department components regularly work together to prepare to respond to various incidents that may occur during special vents, such as presidential inaugurations and visits by heads of state. however, outside of special
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events, only the fbi had a wmd response plan and had conducted wmd specific training. when we asked officials from atf, the dea and u.s. marshals service in the u.s. capital reege finan region if they were familiar with the response, they were not. someere not aware of esf-13 or the role as the coordinator in the event of an esf-13 activation. this lack of awareness is problematic because it could inhibit a coordinated response and valuable time could be wasted in providing needed resources. our report made five recommendations to help the department betterrepared to respond to a wmd incident like designating a person or office with the authority to manage the department's wmd response program, updating wmd response policies and plans, and establishing effective oversight to ensure that the department and its components maintain wmd response plans and participate
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in training and exercises. in response, the department stated that the fundamental conclusions of our report were sound, that the department concurred with all our recommendations. since the report, the department has created a committee, the emergency preparedness committee, and five subcommittees to address emergency response issues throughout the department including wmd response issues. in general, we believe the department is taking our report seriously, and the department's actions can help improve its preparedness to respond to a wmd attack. however, we believe it is essential that the department aggressively and expeditiously address the deficiencies identified in our report so that it will be better prepared to respond if a wmd attack should occur. for our part, the oig intends to continue to monitor the department's progress in this critical area. that concludes my prepared statement and i would be pleased to answer any questions. >> thank you very much, mr.
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fine. mr. baker? >> mr. chairman, mr. chairman, ranking member kyl and members of the subcommittee, thank you for theopportunity to testify here today on the department's role in responding to wmd attack. i have submitted a written statement for the record. i would like to just make a few grief points in my oral remarks today and respond to any questions that you might have. first, preventing terrorist attacks on the united states, including those that involve wmds is the highest priority of the department of justice. second, should such an attack occur, the department must be prepared to respond immediately and effectively in the aftermath of such an event. among the various components of the department of justice with wmd-related responsibilities, the fbi has the lead in preventing such attacks from occurring, and responding directly to such an attack should one occur. we have concluded the fbi is generally well prepared to respond to a wmd attack.
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the inspector general has also concluded that the rest of the department is not as well prepared as it should be to respond to wmd attacks. we agree with that conclulgs. in addition, the inspector general made several remmendations on how we should improve the readiness of the department to respond to a wmd attack. we agree with all of his recommendations. currently as you mentioned we are in the process of implementing those recommendations. and my written statement describes in detail what we're doing, including the committee that the inspector general referenced. let me be clear we will not be satisfied unless and until the department is fully prepared to respond appropriately to a wmd atta. the american people are entitled to expect nothing less. we are martialing a great deal of resources on this issue. further, we will put into place an orgizational structure and oversight mechanismsto ensure that we maintain a proper state
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of readiness as long as the wmd threat persists. unfortunately for all of us, we expect that to be a long time. we also look feeorward to worki with the committee and subcommittee on all the emergency preparedness issues and we appreciate the opportunity to discuss those issues here today. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you very much for your testimony. mr. beckham? >> chairman cardin, ranking member kyl, and distguished members of the subcommittee, i am steward beckham, director of the office of national capital region coordination, ncrc. ncrc is located in the department of homeland security's federal emergency management agency. thank you for inviting me to appear before you today to discuss preparedness in the national capital region. the ncr is the fourth largest metropolitan area in the united states and compensates the district of columbia and parts of maryland and virginia. under the homeland security act of 2002, congress created ncrc
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to oversee and coordinate federal programs for and relationships with state, local and regional authorities within the ncrc to enhance the domestic preparedness. to fulfill its mission, ncrc has built and continues to foster strong partnerships and collaboration with state, local and regional authorities in the ncr. as an example, i represent dhs and fema's member of the senior policy group. the senior policy group is compromised of the homeland security advisers and chief emergency managers of virgia, maryland and the district of columbia. the senior policy group plays a key role in sustaining a coordinated regional approach to homeland security and stressing integrated decision-making and planning in the ncr. to ensure adequate and coordinated all hazards and catastrophic planning, the ncr invested in regional planners who work on a series of plans including some that are relevant to a weapons of mass destruction event in the ncr. further, ncrc partnered with the
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office of personnel management to draft the ncr federal concept plan of catastrophic planning assumptions in fy-2011. the plan will facilitate increased collaboration and integration of federal planning efforts with those of state, local and regional partners. within feelima, they assist the ncrc as the lead agent for ntinuity planning for the federal executive branch in showing continuity of national essential functions under all hazards. ncp also provides continuity planning materials, training and assistance to the ncr as well as alert and warning information to the american public. homeland security partners across the ncrc pursue coordited communications and information sharing, equipment purchases and training and exercises. this close alignment strengthens the region's capabilities to address all hazards including weapons of mass destruction.
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examples of the ncr include interoperability where we're working on two infrastructure projects, the interconnected government net works and data exchange hub. these two projects represent technology advancements that provide responders with the data theyeed anytime and anywhere. second, metro rail tunnel response operations. this program will provide emergency equipment caches at each underground metro station and design the prototype of a tunnel rescue car. third, the ncr's rveillance network is eye disease surveillance system that captures health department data to provide early detection capabili. the system has been fully operational since 2004. fourth, the ncr has installed an information sharing system called links. this system links local, state d federal law enforcement databases. currently there are 25 ncr
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agencies participating. the ncr partnered with baltimore and the haton roads area to expand links and join the three urban areas together in march of this year. fema and the department of homeland security have provided over$600 million to ncr partners since the inception o the department. through the state homeland security and other grant programs. these programs support planning, training, equipment purchases, and exercises for wmd and all hazards preparedness. this in addition to significant preparedness efforts funded by the individual jurisdictions in the ncr. additionally, ncrc and other spg members developed the ncr first hour checist to guide coordinated actions dunghe initial response to an incident in the ncr. with ncr partners, the ncrc plans and participates in exercises and drills for both anticipated anunanticipated events, exercises are administered and coordinated by
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the ncr. this group's frequent planning and cooperation serves to integrate and strengthen all hazards preparedness whether for natural, man made terrorist related incidents. such coordination will be essential in the event of a terrorist attack affecting the ncr using a weapon of ss destruction. in conclusion, ncrc's established working relationships support broader fema efforts to maintain and enhance its relationships with state and local partners. during a response to an incident, within the ncr, the ncrc would support fema region 3 and the federal coordinating officer by providing situational awareness and participating in the unified coordination group. if needed, we would send agency representatives to operations or communications centers to facilitate information sharing. in the event of an incident in the ncr, ncrc stands ready to support fema's core mission and our federal, state and local partners. building on decades of regional
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collaboration, we work every day to build and sustain an integrated effort to prepare for, prevent, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards including wmd terrorism. should an incident occur in the nationalapital region, fema has estlished a course of action to mobilize and coordinate a well organized response and recovery. thank you for allowing me to testify and i am happy it to answer any questions the subcommittee may have. >> let me thank l three of you for your testimony. and let me start, if imight, about the seriousness of what we're dealing with. if there was a successful terrorist attack, using weapons of mass destruction, it would not only -- could not only cause significant number of casualties, but it could very well comprome our infrastructure and ability to respond to the crisis.
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it would also create significant fear and panic within the community. and therefore it becomes even more critical to have clear leadership and clear control of the resources that are available forthe response. and therefore i was particularly interested, mr. fine, in your report, as to where we are with a single person in command and the types of preparations that were being done to update the plans. and quite frankly, it is rather disturbing, mr. baker, to see that nine years after the 9/11 attack we still do not have in place the proper functioning plans in the event of the successful attack using weapons of mass destruction in the united states. so i understand they're good people. everybody is trying to do the right thing. i mean that, intentions here are
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clearly the right intentions. there is a lot of things going on in the department of justice. there is a lot of areas as far as protecting the safety of this country is concerned from all types of criminals and people who want to do harm. i understand that atf has a lot of things it needs to do and has been challenged a lot by what has been added to that responsibility by actions of congress. but i really want to focus in on how we're going to implement this. i hear, mr. baker, your comments saying you accept the ig's report and are moving towards implementing the five remmendations. let me just give you a related issue. this subcommittee held a hearing last week on passportfraud. it was not our first. and we had several reports by government agencies of failures
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and when there were commitments made to correct that, they were not corrected. so how are we going to be -- what assurances can you give us, mr. fine and mr. baker, as to how you will both be proceeding to make sure that these agreed to recommendations are, in fact, implemented? >> senor cardin, i think it is an important issue and it is important we remain focused on this issue as time goes on, as we get further and further from the 9/11 attacks, i think there is a sense of complacency that developed and we need to be focused on this issue because as you point out, the effects can be catastrophic. and we saw that the department had plans, but they had n followed through with the plans. we saw the department had designated the atf as the lead agency for handling esf-13 activation, but had not provided
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leadership, resources and oversight. that's what needs to happen here. we hope r report will have many some impact on this and we think this hearing can have some impact on that. we'll monitor this. we will not simply do a report and hope the department implements the recommendations. we'll monitor the follow-up at the department, ask for them to tell us exactly what they have done, exactly how they're going to implement the recommendations, exactly what the progress is, and we will follow through on a regular basis with updates so that -- so we cannot let ourselves become complacent as time goes on and we intend to follow through with the monitoring of the department's reaction in response to our report. >> mr. baker? >> yes, senator, thank you. i guess just a follow-up on that. that's definitely -- i worked with the inspector general's office now for many years and on several differenreports they have prepared reviewing activities i've been involved in, in particular, for example, and that's been my experience, that they do -- they're very doggedn following up, issuing a report and following up and so they keep, you know, the
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agency's feet to the fire on all different things. that's one thing i know will haen and that i know the inspector general makes regular reports to you. obviouslthe committee having an interest in this and subcommittee, i'm sure there will be follow-up and monitoring. you'll be monitoring what it is we do. but in addition to that, receiving the inspector general's report, i can tell you, was not a matter of happiness with the leadership with the department. the attorney general and the deputy attorney general, gary grinler, are responsible for all areas of the department. the acting attorney general was not happy about receiving this report. i work directly for him and he and our office are seized with this issue at this point in time. we see it, i think, based on the recommendations that the inspector general made and in addition our own review of the department's readiness as first and foremost a management issue. we need to do a better job of managing this issue. there are tremendous resources in the department.
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there are extremely dedicated and conscientious people but i think the department is a large place, there are many components that have different pieces of this, as reflected in the report, the fbi has a critical piece of it and is actually well prepared to deal with it. other departments, other components of the department have responsibilities in this area too. not only to respond to an attack should one occur, and, for example, under esf3, support state and local authorities, that's a critical responsibility we have. we he to do that. also, we'll have to be ready from a continuity of operations, continuity of government perspective to carry on our business and keep doing what it is that the department of justice does every day around the country, should something happen, for example, as you referenced in the national capital area. so all i can say is that we're seized of it, the leadership of the department is seized of it and we commit to do a better job. that's what we have to do. >> i thank you for that response. and as you pointed out, it go
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well beyond the implementation of these five recommendations. i think these five recommendations are a start. but it requires also, as you point out, the management structure, commitment to keep this current and to fight off the danger of complacency as time goes on without incident. this issue may not be as front and center in the public's attention as it needs to be within the department. so i would just urge you to, first, mr. fine, and mr. baker, keep us informed, this committee, as to the implementation of the five recommendations so that we will expect regular reports as to the implementation of these five recommendations, but mr. baker, as you pointed ou it does go beyond the implementation of the recommendations. mr. beckham, i want to ask you about what's going on in the nation's capital.
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i am concerned about w well you are coordinated with the local governments, prince georges county, maryland, montgomery county are part of the region directly. and i guess i have twouestions for you. how do you coordinate a potential attack in the capital region with the loca governments, and does that -- is there a strategy for how that is handled if the attack were to occur, for example, in maryland, would there be a different expectation of the response from the maryland partners or how is that coordinated? >> well, senator, in terms of wmd event, quite obviously it would be at the highest levels of the federal government in terms of the concern and the response. our particular office, the ncrc, we work regularly with the homeland security advisers for
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the three state level jurisdictions in the national capital region. so i would be reaching out in the first instance to the homeland security adviser from maryland. and giving him the appropriate information that we would have available. and not through directly through my office, but i'm certain he would be in touch with those county level jurisdictions in trying to determine what their situation is immediately following the attack and what resources they need or what the condition is that is present at that time. obviously, again, since it is such a high level incident, the president and the secretary of dhs would be intimately involved. and most likely within the first hour after an incident like that, the secretary at a minimum would be hosting a call with homeland security advisers in the region and may even be nationwide because of the severity and significance of the attack and would be giving out the information that would be
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available to her at that time. and she may have already been briefed by other departments throughout the government. >> thank you. i'm going to turn to senator kyl because it is my understanding that there may very well be a vote called in the next few minutes. if that's the case, i will leave as senator kyl is conducting his questioning, and when he's completed, he'll take a brief recess and we'll reconvene as soon as i can get back from the vote. >> mr. chairman, that's what i was just in the ante room communicating about and it is now unclear when the vote will occur, which was supposed to occur in two minutes. but now it will probably be delayed a little bit. >> nice having someone from the leadership on our -- nice to know. >> well, i hear it may be any minute. so we'll move on. mr. beckham, can we -- i apologize for having to step out. given the catastrophic potential
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of an emp attack, do you think it should be included as one of e national planning scenarios? >> my understanding is that the department level, the dhs level, that particular scenario is on the list of incidents for the risk analysis divisi. i don't know exactly what level that -- or i should say degree of preparation they have taken to date, but i know it is on that list that they have. >> would you take back concern on my part that it should be considered and planning should exist for a response, and appropriate action for such an attack? >> yes, sir, i certainly will. >> appreciate it. >> let me thank our witnesses. we will proceed then to the second panel. the record will stay open for questions from the committee and i would just ask you in the
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event of additional questions are asked that you respond to them as promptly as possible. once again, thank you, all, for your testimonies. >> thank you very much.
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well, let me welcome our two witnesses on our second panel. colonel randall larse colonel larsen is the executive director of the commission on the prevention of weapons of mass destruction, proliferation, and terrorism, also known as the wmd commission. before that appointment he was the national secur adviser to the center via security at the university of pittsburgh medical center from 2003 to 2009. as a graduate of the university of pittsburgh, i welcome you here today. on the second, we also have dr. michael frankel, the former executive director of the commission to assess the threat to the united states from electromagnetic pulse attack, also known as emp commission. the emp commission is charged with identifying any steps that should be taken by the united
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states to better protect its military and civilian systems from emp attack. we'll start off with colonel larsen. yoneed to turn your microphone on, though. thank you very much. >> mr. chairman, senator kyl, i'm occasionally asked if testifying at the senate is an intimidating thing. it can be in some cases, to make sure i wasn't intimidated today, i made sure to have a 6'8" paratrooper sitting behind me here. a proud to introduce the general. he worked for us until he joined the army. i'm proud of his commitment to defend this nation and i'm proud of all who serve in uniform today in this difficult, long struggle we have. unfortunately, mr. chairman are, and senator kyl, i'm not proud of the progress we're making in the field of biosecurity. working in this field for 16 year it is frustrating to watch this. senatorgraham and talent, january 26th, gave their report card from the wmd commission.
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for preparedness to respond to a biological act of terrorism, they assessed a grade of f. you need to remember, in 2008, in our commission report, they said bioterrorism is most likely wmd. that bothers me after 16 years working in the field. now, my prepared statement has a lot of details about things you can take a look at. in my summary, i want to point out two things. because we can have all sorts of authorization bills and appropriation bills and executive branch can have strategies and policies, but if we don't get these two things right that i'm going to talk about, then nothing else is going to work. now, senator kyl, i assume you're a cardinals fan. kind of follong what they're doing in training camp. how many coaches do you suppose the cardinals have? it is extraordinary in the nfl. you got wide receiver coach, you got a running back coach, a quarterback coach, and you got a linebacker coach, you actually -- they have -- some of them have assistant coaches and
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a he coach, all necessary to make a complex system work. how do you think the cardinals would do this year if they did have a head coach? that's the problem we have in biosecurity in america. senator talent made that very clear when we reased the report card. more than two dozen presidentially appointed senate confirmed individuals with some responsibility for biodefense, not one has it for a full time job, and nobody is in charge. now some witnesses will sit here and tell you, you know, this biodefense is very complex. it is a doj, it is hhs, it is dhs. it is dod, it is epa. as former military officer and chairman of the military department national war college, i'll tell you the most complex thing u.s. military did was e allied invasion of europe in june, 1944. pretty complex. do you think you could have told general eisenhower, it is too complex for one man to be in charge? he wouldn't have believed that and neitherwould i. until we have someone in charge, until you have one person sit at
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this microphone, with authority, responsibility, and accountability, today you got to call two dozen up here to figure out what's going on to do your oversight responsibility, make sure we're spending money the right way. the second thing that we got to get through, senator cardin, i assume you're a raven fan. they got probably one of the best defenses in the nfl. maybe one of e best ever. if ray lewis was sitting here beside me today, here's what he would tell you about our lack of preparedness for biodefense. you know, in training camp right now there say lot of discussions going on, should we have a 3-4, a 4-3. when are we going to use cover 2? on second and long, when do we really go from the nickel package to the dime package? that's important, technical details, the kind of details they spoke about first panel, all that kind of stuff. but if ray were here, he would tell you, if you don't have the fundamentals down, all that finance sy stuff doe't count. i don't think we have the fundamentals down and the number one fundamental is for the
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senior political leaders in both ends of pennsylvania avenue to understand the basic issue of biodefense. it's an ise that is -- you can't get the intelligence community up here to give you a briefing. i would be happy to address that in questions. what you need is a briefing by the department of homeland security office of science and technology on the population threat assessment. have your staff call dr. beth george. senator graham and talent, if they were here today, they would tell you that was the most impressive and important briefing they had. what that tells you is there any question what the intent of is of al qaeda come here and kill a lot of americans. wmd commission said bio is the best way tdo it. what that population threat assessment will tell you is what is possible, what could a team of six people do with $50,000, $100,000? that's what you need to know,
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that's the best thing you can do, i'd be happy to answer your questions. thank you very much. >> thank you very much, colonel larsen. i'm going to apologize, i'm going to go over and vote so we can ep the hearing open and i'll be back in hopefully before senator kyl has completed his questioning. >> dr. frankel? >> mr. chairman, senator ky thank you for the opportunity to come testify today. my name is mike frankel. i have srved as the executive director of the mp commission during the entire span of its activities. i should mention that i am acally a physicist and not a lawyer, so if i blow some of the nuances, i beg your indulgence in advance. perspective of the emp commission was provided in our
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published reports. i don't want to go over them in any detail. what i would like to do today is simply briefly review some of the classified findings of the commission and in particular update you on the response to those findings by the government. now, electromagnetic pulse is associated with any above the atmosphere detonation of a nuclear weapon. and that includes nuclear weapons of even unsophisticated design. since the geometrical line of side effect at a few hundred kilometers will span the entire united states in its footprint. for assessment purposes, a scud, which might reach an altitude of about 100 kilometers, it is sufficient to encompass a good part of the eastern seaboard with all its great density of people and infrastructure. such an emp has in fact been seen in the past, briefly,
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towards the end of the united states and soviet union testing experience when various electrical breakdowns were observed with high altitude detonations, burnouts, power supply breakdowns, et cetera, et cetera. the emp generate on the ground from such a detonation would not immediately damage a human being. indeed a person wouldot even feel it, but it will affect all of the electronic circuitry which surrounds and sustains him. depending on the severity of the exposure, many thousands of components may need replacement in the power grid. indeed it was the assessment of e commission that the power grid was likely to collapse from the cumulative damage that would be incurred. should that damage include numbers of high voltage transformers, which are as big as a house and no longer
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manufactured in this country, recovery cou take on the order of months to even years. i should mention that it is not only ground-based systems that are endanged by emp, but our entire low earth orbit satellite infrastructure woulde endangered as well. this is because not if you will because of a direct emp interaction, but because of a high altitude detonation artificially pumps the radiation belts which are ready up there, or creates new ones, and subjects satellites to environments they were not designed to survive in. this has already happened. in 1962, at the -- towards the end of our testing program, the star fish detonation above the atmosphere by the megaton or so essentially swept the sky clean
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of all commercially known satellites at the time. they all died within six months of the detonation. including telstar, the first telecommunications satellite. what i would like to take my last minute or so discussing is the response of the government. there it is, if you will, bipolar. the response of the military infrastructure to the findings and recommendations was very positive. most of the recommendations were concurred with by the department. they kind of squirmed at the notion that we would want extra reporting requirements, but pretty much all the substantive recommendations were accepted. an action plan was promulgated by the secretary, funds were palmed against it and activities are ongoing. in contrast to that, our
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department of homeland security for the civilian infrastructure recommendations, we could detect no resonance through the recommendations we directed at them. i would say the recommendations have simply languished. we could not find any individual or office at the confirmed level for which policy and direction for emp matters was part of his portfolio. so there was no belly button, if you will, within the department to address these significant issues. i think it was already mentioned that even though the department has brought -- has identified 15 planning -- national planning scenarios for disaster planning, including a nuclear scenario involving smuggling of a weapon, there is no thought given to the notion that the very same device might lauhed at altitude
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and used in an emp mode, if you will. so they have got a good chunk of the nuclear problem, which they're addressing, but there is a component of it they're simply not addressing. protection of the nation's critical infrastructures from the emp threat is both feasible and well within the nation's means and resources to accomplish. a number of these actions also reduce vulnerabilities to other serious threats to our infrastructures, thus giving forth multiple benefits. i'd like to thank the committee for this opportunity to present my views of this most important issue. i've provided expanded remarks to the commission as part of the record and invite me question a you y may have. thank you very much.
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>> thank you very much, dr. frankel. what i'm going to suggest is that i've got a couple of questions that i can ask both of you for the record. but let me preview what they are. both of you, i think, put your finger on a key problem that is obviously bugging you both, namely, lack of a specific person or group within the various agencies that are specifically responsible for dealing with these two threats, biological probably is most probable as you noted, colonel larsen, and extraordinary amount of damage lasting months, as you said, to our entire country that could result in the event of an emp attack. dr. frankel, the reports and the work that so the question i'm going to pose to both of you, and not to
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y to necessarily answer right here, but both of you have some familiarity with the workings of government by virtue of your service on these commiions. what recommendations do you have for this subcommittee to procedurally effect the result that you're trying to achieve? in oth words, do you think that it would take reorganization legislation? i always am dubious of rearranging the deck chairs. do you think that administrative action is necessary? does it have to come from the very top, the president? in other words, both of you are expressing frustration that sensible recommendations have not fully been implemented because nobody's specifically in charge and you must have some idea as to how we could solve that problem roehr than saying it's just a problem.
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in 30 seconds each, and then we'll have to recess, a quick response. colonel? >> the letter that was sent to president obama last year about this time. they said weapons of mass destruction is such a serious long-term threat you should make the vice president the t wmd coordinator for the nation. there's only two people in this town that cabinet secretaries call sir, and the president's too busy. and he can also speak. if the vice president, not just this vice president, but every vice president, as long as there's a wmd problem, if that was his primary charge, that would fix a lot of problems. >> let me say, he's got a lot of other responsibility, too. he's in charge of -- i forgot, now, the jobs under the stimulus bill and the jobs you should under the starke treaty. he also has a lot on his plate. >> can you think of any job more important than protecting american from weapons of mass destruction? >> no, i can't. >> i know he's a busy man. it's priorities.
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>> good recommendaon. doctor. >> yes. what we found was that coming down from the top, direction from the top is just indispensable. we found many competent people within the various nooks and crannies of the dhs. some of them, in fact, knowledgeable, especially people that would come over from the national communication system when it was absorbed into dhs. but without a requirement, without a direction from above, it's simply not going to happen. so it really has to be -- i mean, i would suggest that the secretary have a reporting requirement. it has to be at a confirmed level in order to make things ppen in the department. well, both ofou raise a very difficult problem. i'm working on it in two other specific areas i won't mention to try to get -- yes, there's a superficial commitment to a
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particular cause, the government has to address, and yet the depth of that commitment is highly questionable because there just doesn't seem to be the commanders intent following down with sufficient robustness that everybody else gets the message and specific people assigned to carry out the responsibilities therefore have the priority to do that. let me recess the meeting. i'll have some questions for the record, and then when the senator comes back,
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off for justnd, because it loo ben carden is back in the room and likely to ask questions of mr. frankel. >> the subcommittee will come back to order. i want to thank senator kyl for filling in there for a moment. i understand a response to one of his questions that colonel larson, you want to give the vice president, some work more to do. >> those are your former colleagues. senator graham and talent wrote that letter to preb about this time last year. not just this vice president but every vice president, and maybe it would take some action by congress or whatever. maybe you need a larger staff or whatever, but i can't think of an issue more important to the defense of america than protecting us from wmd, and by the president making that gesture, the vice president is
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in charge of this, as we said when you weren't here, there's only two people in this town that every cabinet secretary calls sir, and the president's probably too busy. but the vice president has a lot of political clout. he also can speak on equals with governors, which is very important. a lot of the homeland security things, wmd. so maybe that's a bridge too far. that's what senator graham and talent said. i would have said -- my opinion was at least we need to have the biodefense policy coordinating committee back, bringing the very senior leaders into the white house to look at this. that was there in the clinton administration and the bush administration. and it went away in the obama administration. there was also a special assistant for biodefense in the clinton and bush administrations. there's not today. so if you can't go to the vice president, at least that level. >> it seems we're talking at two levels because the inspector's report was very complimentary of the fbi in the way they've organized no-in response to a
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terrorist attack using weapons of mass destruction. the inspector general's report points out that they have a person who is designated as the coordinator, they've done their training, they've taken this issue very seriously. that is not true in other agencies within the department of justice and certainly not true within the department of justice generally. but i the point that i think you raise, colonel larsen -- i'm sorry, dr. frankel, i didn't hear your testimony, but i certainly have -- know of your written remarks -- is that you need an overall coordination in addition to the agencies being adequately prepared. you need the force and authority of the administration, the president, behind this issue. and i think that is very well pointed out. the complexity here is that there are so many different
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types of weapons that could be used, and the unknown can be extremely frightening. i looked at the different scenarios, and the different scenarios predict the number of casualties from a few to huge numbers and the potential damage to our infrastructure from modest to extreme. so you really do need training. you need chain of command and you need training. and one of the disappointing parts was the atf training missions so far have not been concerning weapons of mass destruction. they've had training missions but not dealing with the potential biological weapons or nuclear weapons or other types of weapons of mass destruction. so i understand your recommendation for having a manager, having a coach, having a person who is looked upon with a great deal of respect and
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authority to be able to bring the type of importance in all agencies, both public and private, to the response. other than the point person in the administration, are there any other specific recommendations that either one of you would make that this committee should be looking at so that we can be adequately prepared for any eventuality? >> i had made some recommendations in my -- or i had noted some -- what i felt were lax in my expanded remarks. national planning scenarios, for example. the department of homeland security has identified concern over a nuclear event. they've expended billions of dollars, in fact, developing
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sensors meant to interdict such smuggling operations at ports. there's a great deal of attention being paid to the problem. it seems odd to us that a component of the nuclear program is simply being ignored. the kind of emp attack doesn't require the smuggling in with all the dangers that is required. it doesn't require very accurate aim. you just need to toss the thing up there, more or less. so there are certain advantages. i'm not saying it's more likely or anything like that, but it's a component of the problem which simply seems to have been ignored, and we do not know -- we sent the letter to the secretary, asking to augment the 15 planning scenarios or to
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augment the nuclear planning scenario to consider all of the nuclear scenarios. haven't gotten any particular response. and i think that goes to the other issue which was discussed while you were out for a moment. the lack of a bellybutton within the department who has as part of his portfolio the setting of policy and direction for the department. my own recommendation was not as ambitious as to engage the vice president, though surely i would like to do that, as well. but there are surely other ways of identifying at the confirmed level in the department someone with authority who would have as part of his portfolio these particular issues. and we were simply unable to make any progress with dhs, and
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we believe that in large part it was because of that. it was nobody's particular responsibility and, therefore, recommendations languished. by the way, i wouldn't even say that they were, you know, rejected. they were just -- nobody dealt with them. >> thank you. >> mr. chairman, could i make a quick comment about emp? the commissioners did not specifically address emp, but as the executive director, i had dr. peter zimmerman do a study for me, and he came back and his conclusions of his several months' research agreed with most of what the emp commission said. but one thing i think is being left out here is i think perhaps the most likely emp threat to america is from that thermonuclear weapon out there at 93 million miles. we know that's what's going to happen. about two years until we get more solar activity? weather we get a nuke or a scud, nobody can predict it. but it's that much more
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reliable. and the sort of actions we need to take as a nation to protect our electrical grid particularly, the sun can certainly do that, and there are several cases in history that i'm sure is in your testimony report that i think we need to get that out. ened it goes back to my point about fundamentals. if the senior leaders understand these issues better, then i think they will take the actions as required. >> well, i think both of you -- i think your comments have been extremely helpful. this is not the last of our subcommittee's interest or the judiciary committee's interest or the senate's interest in the subject. this is a continuing oversight function that we hold very high on our priority list. protecting americans is is our top priority, whether it's from terrorist threats or whether it's from other types of events. we know that we are not as prepared as we need to be. we saw that nine years ago. we know we've made huge progress during the last nine years.
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we have. we are better prepared today than we were before september the 11th. we know that. but we're not as prepared as we need to be. and it's still a work-in-progress. and i hope that this hearing will give us some of the information necessary to make sure that we do properly oversight the agencies that have this responsibility. the hearing record will remain open for one week for statements or additional written questions from members of the committee. and if there are additional questions, we've asked our witnesses if they would respond as promptly as possible. i have spoken several times about the >> live from the senate floor, the final debate on elena kagan's from nation to the supreme court. the full senate will vote on the nomination in a little over 40 minutes from now at 3:30 p.m.
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eastern. lawmakers will be making their final remarks about the nominee, including the majority leader harry reid and the minority leader mitch mcconnell. you see senator patrick leahy there. >> massive corporate spending on elections. that is such a jolt to the system. >> a couple more details. senators have been asked to vote from their seats on elena kagan, and the senate has confirmed that democratic leaders have at least 60 votes for the nominee, the number needed to ensure confirmation. you can see the bulk live on c- span -- you can see the vote live on c-span2 and we have some of her speeches and papers online.
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you can watch what you're senator has to stay on the nomination. that is that >> we are not ruling any options in, but we are not ruling any options out. >> this month is the 20th anniversary of the first gulf war. this is online at the c-span video library. all free. every program since 1987. watch what you want, when you want. >> c-span programming -- politics, history. it is available anytime on c- span radio. nationwide, it is available onsirius xm satellite radio. we have seen spansradio apps for your iphone and ipad. c-span radio is available
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anytime. just call -- it is free. check with your phone service provider for additional charges. c-span radio -- even more available, on your phone. >> richard lowry, editor of the national review, was on this morning's "washington journal." >> richard lowry is the editor of the national review. let's begin with the midterm elections. e midrm elections, some saying it is highly competitive. republicans may take back control of the house and maybe the senate. and it is going to be one of the most expensive. how deep the republicans are bearing right now. guest: i think if it were held today it would be a massive, historic blow out. we will see if that holds. the key indicators, perhaps the most important is the president's approval rating.
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"usa today" gallup poll, really scraping bottom for him. if you just take averages, a better indicator, he is still upper to mid 40's, very much in the red zone, and you look at the economy with unemployment above 9%, you look of the status of washington and congress in particular, 11% approve of congress. they are down to relatives, paid staff and trial laers, i think at that point. and did things as a blout is growing. whether the environment changes radically or something happened to change it before november is an unknown, but if it were held today i think it would be 1994 probably plus some. host: what issues do you think could turn it around for democrats? guest: i do not think theres really any issue. that is the problem. it is really a reaction against the agenda that they pushed, which i do't think president obama was particularly forthright about on the campaign
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trail and it has come as a shock to people, what they have gotten from this administration and from this congress. he ran as a sort of a winsome, moderate-sounding guy and instead, every way possible, has pushed the growth of the federal government as much as he can. you have some of left saying we did not give the public option, things of that nature, but the health care bill, for instance, it was as left most as plausible. the reason why they did not get the public option, it was not possible to push through congress to ve a push the e syst -- unless something changes, i am thinking some external event or me unimaginable republican meltdown, a joe barton comment apologizing to bp times 10 is going to be hard to see how the democrats could turn it round. it's got a lot of the passion on the right is coming from the tea party movement --
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host: a lot of the passion on the right is coming fm the tea party movement. but we heard one member calling this morning saying he is n crazy about republicans, either. he plans to vote because it thinks it is is his responsibilityut not crazy about voting for republicans and putting them back in power. how do republicans tried to harness that passion and get them to vote for them? you saw that in the missouri race, the primary race on tuesday. roy blunt, not a favorite of the tea party movement but yet was able to win. guest: a couple of things going on. one -- a part of the great usefulness of the tea party movement is it is another vehicle for limitedovernment conservatism that is separate from the republican brand, which is a very helpful thing because the republican brand has not yet recovered. the democrats covered themselves, looking at these polls when the republican party standing is still quite low. i remember doing the same thing
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in 2006. i would look at the terrible members of the republicans in congress and look at the numbers of the democrats and say, they are not doing so well, eher. and this is not just a referendum, it is a choice, etcetera, etcetera. but at the end of the day when people are sick of the status quo in washington, it is the party that is in control that is going to pay the price. host: let us go back to the first part of the statement. you said the tea party movement helps republicans. guest: it helps limited government conservatism. it is a vehicle for that conservatism that is not the republican party, that is different from the republican party, at the time the republican party's standing is still quite low. host: there is a pew research poll part of "the national journal" cover story about the tea party. the headline is tea party paradox. what helps republicans now could hurt them later in two -- heard
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them later. inside, it goes to this pupil -- over the last decade the public has grown more conservative but less republican. guest: that would parallel what i was saying but i was not thinking of the longer-term trend, which is interesting. the other broader trend, opinion that has been remarked over the past 18 months is just on every single measure -- a lot of them having to do with the economy and spending, understandably, given what we have seen in washington -- but on everything else -- a gun rights, abortion -- there has been this surge of conservative opinion. whereas in some of the questions you get some of the most conservative answers you got never. -- you have gotten ever. we are a center-right country, a cliche, but as our respects, true, but a lot of the center- right sentiment was depressed at the end of the bush administration because he was so unpopular and proceed to be so incompetent and once he was gone and began to be forgotten a bit,
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you have seen the sentiment bouncing back and you have a huge mismatch. you have that sense of a bouncing back, at the same time you have these historic democrat majorities in congress that partly product -- this is how elections go, so i am not whining -- partly a product of just the timing of the financial crisis where everything was exactly right to inflate those democratic majorities to have subsequently gone on an ideological bent of that run exactly counter to the way public opinion is running. host: "the national journal" says this -- the very fors leading to the republican surge in 2010 may be a painful dilemma for the gop thereafter. the tea party movement just a leading indicator -- the rise of the de-branded publican. what is the bnd of the republicans, or what should it be? guest: i think it should be the sober limited government party. the party of responsibility.
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not just in government, but in reporting responsibility at a personal lev -- promoting responsibility at a personal level of people out there, promoting the virtues of self- reliance and orderliness. i would like to see a limited- government conservatism that has an added mixture of league isn't in the 19th century -- abraham lincoln, the great whig before he was a republican. it is hard to go back to the 19th century and match up the whigs and democrats today -- but aspect of them that i like is middleclass values and the real emphasis on economic aspirations. and to the extent that you are going to have government action, if you want it to the government action that promotes individual initiative andakes it easier for people to rise economically within our society. host: one of your recent pieces
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dubbed the attack of the adults, you pointed to two republicans that you think represents the future of the party. guest: mitch daniels and chris christie. chris christie has just been extraordinary. to go into new jersey, the state outside of perhaps california or illinois, that has been the most mis-governor did recent years and has the most powerful public sector political complex, and to go in and balance the budget when he has and has been able to bring trenton to heal and the teachers' union, extremely powerful, to heal, in six months, is just an extrrdinary accomplishment. mitch daniels, also extremely impressive. circumstances much less dire. he did not take office in the midst of a budgetary crisis, but also, like christie, have build a constituency for a limited government conservative than --
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conservatism. has slimmed down the budget. and daniels tells his people all the time, we have one goal -- we want to increase the net the pole -- disposae income of the hoosiers in here in indiana. i would get some complaints now. i did see the movie. that is going to be theoal of government. i think that is a very good -- i think republicans nationally can take that admotion to heart. host: karl rove rights in today's "wall street journal." echo in the comments about change being seen on the gubernatorial level. tallahassee, florida. it dawned on independent line. caller: thank you four mccall and good morning -- thank you for taking my call, and good morning. i have a financi issue that has been on my mind as of late regarding both parties. i am an independent. i have nparty affiliation.
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as of late, it seems that republicans and conservatives both have been drumming against the spending that has bn going on by the obama administration. but basically saying none of this stuff has been paid for. i just don't understand how they could say that went under the bush administration, mainly the iraq war, that was not paid for and was run up on the credit. i want to g your guest opinions on how you can't reconcile the spending that went -- how you can reconcile the spending that went on during a republican administration while drumming against the spending going on under the obama administration. thank you. guest:ntirely fair question obviously. the thing about hypocrisy is it works both ways. if the bush administration deficit spending was bad, there is no reason the democrats would
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want to do it on a different order of magnitude, which they have. we are not a fan at the national review of bush's fiscal management. but if you look at the deficit, i believe,n 2007 -- don't take this to the bank -- but something on the order of a couple hundred billion dollars. it was nothing on the order of what we are seeing now. it's supposedly is not working and practiced. no one feels it working and practiced. and i think it's time to admit it was a failure and to begin to adopt it, a prudent program of as you taret. host: under that tenure, though, some of the republican leader who are in power now
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were in power then when they controlled the house and senate and they approved president bush's fiscal plans. and so does it concern you at all that when voters are going to the polls and they look to see who might be back in charge, are they going to see the same faces, that might be minority leader john boehner and mitch mcconnell? guest: great. to cut spending and they forgot that part of the mission and that's one of the reasons they destroyed themselves and their majority. there are a lot of others, the unpopularity of the iraq war, the sense of corruption, the sense of incompetence inhe bush administration. but that they got away from that core part of their brand. host: well, then, are you calling for new leadership? guest: well, i think in you attitudes certainly. and i think, i he that some
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of these guys have gotten the message. i think they realize how significant the tea party is and that they need to get the message from the tea party. i think initially there was a lot of fearfulness and misunderstanding not knowing what it was about. the tea party is an extraordinary thing. it's a grassroots movement that is -- represents a great burst of constitutionalism in this country that just would have been unimaginable two years ago. i think the republican party needs to listen to what the tea party's saying. host: let's go to the republican line. john in boston, you're on the air. caller: hey, rich, the massachusetts people are moving up this way. anyhow, let me ask you about why are we giving these zillions of dollars to the
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states, just to give the unions money? guest: it's part of it. again, it's a knee jerk theory that spending creates growth and if you don'to the spending there will be massive layoffs of teachers and this will depress the economy. and i think instead states should take a co-2 fro indiana, from -- could you from indiana, from -- cuerom indiana, from new jersey. they saiwe need to move to a private sector driffer economy. we need to stop the spending, let the states that have been prove will he gait, take their medicine, tighten up their belts. host: with the economy on certaigrounds as federal reserve ben bernanke has said that right now is not the time to cut back? guest: well, i think the fed -- i kind of agree with christina ror.
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she stated back then, if you need stimulus to deal with the investigation, it's much better to do it with monetary policy than fiscal policy. i think a lot of those reasons have been born out. one, it's slow to get through the pipeline. two, it's likely to be inefficient. is it really the fact that state-level education departments are the prime driver of the american economy? and if they have to cut back at all we will have to teeter back on the edge of depression? i just don't believe it. as the caller mentions, there is a lot of democratic constituencies in play here. what they want to do in any circumstance is shower money on them and this is just a good excuse to do it. host: veronica on the democratic line from california. good morning. caller: good morning. thank you for taking my call. you know, i truly listen to my friend there, my brother there.
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when he's saying we need an attitude change, that's a real-life thing. we people in america whave been allowed to be blinded, i mean, totally blinded. we will go through our republican sisters a brothers. all of the ethnic wars towards one another, hatred toward one another, greed, greed, greed. it's all i, i, i. the republicans say i have a business. u have a busins because you have to have good health, strength and get -- is it worth it? think if you didn't have that health. you would beut here just like everybody else. what we're supposed to be doing, sir, take care of the poor, take care of the children. host: let's get a response. guest: well, i would say in response t my sister that obviously we need some minimal safety net for people who can't take care of themselves or who are in truly dire
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circumstances. i don't think anyone argues that. what we're dealing with in washington lately is -- or for a long time is just massive government activism that goes well beyond that. and what you want to do is create and environment that is condusive to entrepreneurs taking risks. you know, these are pele that might start a business on their own. credit cards who are putting it on the line because they might have an idea that might work. you want to do everything you can to encourage them rather than to scare them and make them worry about what other unforeseen expenses might be coming down on their heads in the future very soon, whether it's taxes or new regulations. so i think that's the ke constituency. obama should have alys been thinking about in everything he did with regard to the economy. instead, all those entrepreneurs haveeen the forgotten end, to use a phrase
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from the dression. host: we are talking to rich lowry from "national review." you can go to twitter at here is a tweet. the republicans don't dare revert to their big spending ways with the tea party breathing down their next. jim on the republican line. caller: can you hear me? host: go ahead, jim. caller: i am still a registered republican. however, i don't intend at this time to support the republican party any more unless -- again, this is bage unless -- you talked about it. i heard a couple of people calling this morning talking about it already. we are waiting for the so-called leadership of the republican party to put together another contract with america-style program that they
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can put out here that people can get their hands on, they can read, they can discuss it among themselves, they can look at it. for instance, start with the economy, one. jobs. ok. the government doesn't create jobs, right? ok. well, then what are you going to do to ensure that we have a flourishing free market in our society? we are waiting for concrete things. i listened to so-called leader boehner -- i'm starting to get emotional. i have to calm down. i listened to him on one of the sunday shows sunday and he basically -- oh, i got so upset. he sat there and went through all of the republican talking points. the same old crap that millions of americans out here are sick of hearing. host: jim. caller: we want something concrete.
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host: jim, if republicans take over, should john boehner be the house speaker? jim, are you with me? i lost him. all right. guest: the reaction is probably no, i'm guessing. jim's right. they are trying to come up with a contract document. there is pressure from within the republican caucus and especially from republican consultants on the outside not to do anything. not to put forward any sort of agenda because you'ronly -- the theory is the only target to shoot at at the same time they're sinking very much of their own. we think that would be a mistake. it's important to put a substantive agenda out there. i don't think this is what they would endorse but something on the order of focusing in on spending which the republicans have complained abt so much. you know, commitment to get back to -- and i don't think this would strike people as radical -- fiscal year 2008
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levels of spending. i would roll back the obamacare, which is $1 trillion in spending which is supposedly paid for, although very -- everyone is very dubious about that. and then theres about $500 billion of medicare cuts. i would use that kitty of money to explore some real reforms of medicare. not to do the kind of -- they have meat axe style kind of providers in that health care bill. instead, trying to stoke some competition within medicare. but you do all that and to me that's a serious step towas a more responsible fiscal policy. host: all right. let's go to paul in k hawk, north carolina. independent line. good morning, paul. caller: yes, good morning. thank you for taking my call. the caller said before me stole a little bit of my thunder, guess my main question to your
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guest is -- what specific programs would he cut? would he cut spending for the war? would he cut national security, social security? i hear a lot of republicans -- and i understand their frustration. i understand they're the party out of per, but i hear a lot of talking in generalizations about cutting this and cutting that and responsibility. i guess my question is -- when and what are the republicans' specific answer to saving this money? what programs are they going to cut? you know, it's easy to talk in generalization. i guess what i'm asking is -- host: all right, paul, we'll get some specific recommendations there. guest: i am not prepared to go to the budget line by line. if you go to fiscal year 2008 levels that would be a quite sizeable percentage cut that i
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would be perfectly comfortable applying to most every domestic program. and if you repeal the obamacare and captured those medicare reductions i think that would be another big chunk. host: erie, pennsylvania, harold, republican line. caller: how is everybody at c-span and mr. lowry? how are you doing? guest: how you doing? caller: i am doing fine. i am the republican party. the democratic party is the yes, yes, yes, yes, yes party. if i can remember right, i think it was the first couple weeks when obama took charge when they had the first republican-democrat meeting one of the republicans brought up something and esident obama -- i respect t president's sitting, he said, i'm in charge now. and that's exactly what happened. he's in charge. the democrats are in charge.
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the democrats have been in charge for four years, not 10 years. i mean, not -- the republicans for six years. the democrats ha been in charge for four years now. they haven't done anything they said they were going to do. they had the majority then and they have the majority now. and as far as i'm concerned, the subject that was covered earlier today, the teachers and the unions and that, the unions are the ones that are benefiting from this. the children aren't benefiting because the educational system has been a failure for the last 30, 40 years. and it's getting worse and worse every day. some of that money will go to the educational center in washington, d.c.
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some of the states will get up maybe a third of that income. host: all right, harold, we'll go on to marry -- mary on the democratic line from michigan. caller: unfortunately i think i'm wasting my call. the prior answer by mr. lowry was so ridiculous. i just find it amazing that he could answer that the budget cuts should be according to the 2008 situation. i read columns and they actually, republican economists actually criticized their own economic policies over the last 30 years. and admit that they have been totally wrong, that they have only practiced tax cutting.
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so that as they kept cutting seices and programs to the people they've created a situation wher we are destroying -- and, also, they're admitting that the deregulation has caused such an imbalance that it's created the wages of working people to be at the purchasing power at the middle 1970's whereas the rich got richer by 300 times as much as the 1970's. host: rich lowry. guest: ok. so there is a lot to take on there. i didn't find that op-ed she referred to particularly persuasive. i think the main thing that happened that created the housing bubble and the financial crisis when iturst was that the fed was too loose for too long and it pumped a bunch of excess liquidity into
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the system, and when you have that happen you will see malinvestment. on top of that you have every single instrument that the federal government had as diosal used pump up homeownership as well. and to kind of lower underwriting standards and to get as many people mortgages, whether theye able, really, ableo afford them or not and it created a catastrophic bubble that we're still paying the price for. and i don't think that was republican fiscal policy. and in fact the fact that you had the bush administration, republicans, arguing that at least e aspect of this problem, fannie and freddie, had to be better regulated. and you had "the ll street journal" editorial page constantly banging the drum on fannie and freddie warning they were a potential disaster to come and we faced that dast --
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disaster. and i think barack obama was producing a reaganite policy we would be in a better way. and he had a recession. and we knew that taxes were going to go down, regulation was going to go down, inflation was going to go down, interest rates were going to go down. we know one of those things now. in fact, the opposite. so we are storing up trouble for the future. and a lot of obama policy, cash for clunkers is the signature initiative, are based on stealing demands from the future to try to get it into the present for a band-aid on present demand. and that's obviously just by definition a short-sighted policy. host: the "financial times" is saying that president george w. bush saying his fourth coming memoirs decision points that the self-dubbed decider took in
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office be put back until after the midterm elections. do you think that's a good decision for republicans? guest: that's interesting. well, i wasn't aware of this. first of -- i heard of it. anything that reminds george w. bush at the moment is not helpful to americans. they're probably glad of that. i think history will vindicate him in certain important respects. with regard to iraq, assuming that it turns out and they actually form a government. but the -- his decision to undertake the surge was extremely important one, teamly brave one. excuse me. host: let me get you a drink of water and we'll go to phone calls. oklahoma city, scott, republican line. go ahead. caller: yes, gretta, i preciate your shown and i appreciate mr. lowry to come on saying what he's saying. i agree with a lot of what he's saying. as a -- a guy i was working
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for, "the national review," he's a neo-conservative, as is william f. buckley, the founder of it. and i just heard something that i had to comment on because it shows how so-called consvatives have drifted and become something other than constitutional when he was talking about safety nets in that we need to have safety nets well, that's something that was -- that's been advocated only recently by those who call themselves conservatives. as a john burke society member i am aware that article 1, section 8 of the constitution that gives all 17 powers to congress that they have doesn't mention anything about safety nets. and here we are ev justifying giving money away to foreign regimes, you know, governmen, that we didn used to talk about. and republicans are just much doing that as anybody else.
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my own congressman, to cole, is very much responsible for handing out free money to foreign regimes. and it's totally unconstitutional, which we had a change of heart in which those that call themselves conservative call themselves constitutional. that's why the tea party is as strong as it is. host: your thought. guest: a lot in that thought. i am not a neo-conservative. you can look at the various definition of neo-conservative and they don't match bill buckley in the least. he wasn't a convert to conservatism in the 1970's in the way that a lot of neo-conserve tists were. he wasn't part of democracy abroad in fact, he was famously skeptic on the iraq war. something that was -- we parted
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ways on. so wasn't a neo-conservative. that's wrong. i think if you get back to the vision of the constitution where we have no foreign aid, i think that's quite a radical proposition. we've always had to have as a country a robust foreign policy abroad. and look no further than thomas jefferson whose constitutional scrupeles, i don't think anyone can question, he waged war on the barbary pirates and took the louisiana purchase. both of thingse thought in the context of the day couldn't be stricy justified under the constitution in the most radcally strict construction -- radically strict construction but he realized was necessary to the national interest and the growth of the country. so even jefferson came to have a more flexible interpretation
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of the constitution thanha absolute straitjacket that the caller's invoking. host: "the hil newspaper this morning had this headline is chairman waxman sees a bright side to november losses. the november elections wil likely weed out some of the most difficult democrats that leadership lawmakers have dealt with this congress. in an interview with "the hill," the ners committee chairman expressed -- energy and commerce committee chairman expressed confidence that democrats will control the house and expressed some that won't be here next year. chad on the independent line. good morning. caller: good morning, rich. guest: hi, there. caller: i'm an independent here in michigan. and there's a lot of talk about independents and what that means. i kind of wanted to talk about this idea that -- of the narrative. i think what mr. lowry is
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perpuating and what the republicans, the conservative, the new label, has certainly benefited from for quite a number of years is the power of the narrative. and early on in the program mr. lowry talked about what he conceived the typical conservative. austere and sober individual. you know, laying out just the cold, hard facts as they are. however, you know, the facts of story have never born this conception of republicanism or conservatism out. when you look at some of the charts through the years you'll see that actually -- you talked about the reagan conservatism. the deficit has actually grown. and i think this kind of speaks to this concept that has been talked about, starving the
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beast and this notion that during republican times they raised spending on defense which is hard to argue against. it rlly against. and theyalk about cutting taxes. again, very difficult to argue again. then that puts then the following democratic administration's kind of in a jam where they're put in position rhetorically and sometimes fincially to have to cut the very things that speak to their identity as democrats. it's very clever but i think this narrative, this idea of a narrative is so powerful that the narrative that the conservatives, the republicans perpetrate overwhelm the facts. we see the effects of that. i'm rather dubious as to whether it will work this year. i guess i'd like to hear mr. lowry speak to this, the idea that the narrative is powerful but the idea that you actually have to have democrats around so you can live like republicans.
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host: chad is an independent caller from michigan. go ahead. guest: well, those are very interesting points. one, i think the caller is right in what he's saying impolice italy, starving the beast does not work. it's failed as a theory. the beast is of tooth and claw and is eating everything in sight. i will say a couple of things. one, republicans have not been great fiscal stewards, certainly during the bush administration, but the obama administration is taking spending up to an entirely different level. you know, 25% of g.d.p., you know, up to the highest levels it's been since world war ii. even if you didn't like the way republicans handled the budget in the last decade or so, that doesn't mean you have to sit back and take spending at that amazing rate. two, let's not forget that newt
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gingrich and dick army and those elected in 1994 -- armey and those elected in 1994, and i say it, extremely hard on the deficit. they basically went on a suicide march to balance the budget. bill clinton resisted them, beat the heck out of them politically and the fight over the government shut down and eventually there was a settlement subsequently. and if you look at that period, federal spending did grow at a very slow rate and it helped balance the budget. of course, the ultimate thing that balanced the budget was robust economic growth, and this is where reagan had that -- there's that great line that people like to quote. he said the deficit is big enough to take care of itself. if you actually sue pro-growth policies and keep the spending basically under control and the economy grows, you will get more revenue and you will over
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time be able to balance the budget. and that's exactly what happened in the 1990's. unfortunately, now we have a massive geyser of red ink coming. we have policies in my mind might as well be consciously designed to suppress growth. that's certainly going to be their effect over time and a combination of those two is disastrous. host: here is e.j. young's column this morning. is the g.o.p. shedding a birthright? he said, rather than shout, i'll ask the question in a civil way. dear republicans, do you really want to endanger your party's greatest political legacy by turning the 14th amendment to our constituon into an excuse for election-year ugly? and he quotes lindsey graham in here which he calls the nation's most reasonable nservative. putting forth the idea that you amend the 14th amendment. he says, drop a child snow can a strong believer in the right to life use such a phrase? guest: i've read that column.
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one of the things i thought was notable about it, e.j. does not engage at all on the legal merits of the question. i think folks who argue the 14th amendment was never intended to have this effect where the children of people who are here illyly who really aren't uer the jurisdiction the phrase in the 14th amendment of the united states become citizens. so on the legal merits i think folks like lindsey graham are absolutely right. the question becomes a political one. is this really a fight you want to wage? how important it will be on the effect of legal immigration i think will be negligentable. i think people that come here to emergency rooms to have children is just ridiculous. it probably happens but it's a very few number of people. the main thing is the jobs magnet. and, two, you know, how is it going to play politically given that negliable effect.
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you know, the initial polls -- host: republicans? guest: yes. the initial polls show that people oppose illegal immigrants hing children who are citizensere. but i just think the effect on the latino community, the effect over time, the monkey with the 14th amendment will not play well. and it's just not the mai issue. the main issue is enforcement. i support any reasonable measure towards a real enforcement regime. i think what arizona is doing is absolutely correct and unasailable and john bolton's decision on putting on hold that law was absolutely ridiculous. but i don'think, and i haven't thought about this a great deal so i reserve the right to change my mind, i n't think going this 14th amendment route would make sense. host: one last phone call. richard on the republican line
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from crarls bad. make it quick. caller: do you believe that social security, the retirement age would have to be increased and the benefits reduced in order to extend full equality to same-sex couples? guest: i don't think i get that connection. do you? host: no. sorry. do you want to weigh in on raising -- guest: every c-span experience you have to be flummed by one call. host: do you think they should raise the social security age to tackle the deficit? guest: absolutely. host: what do you think about medicare? guest: it will have to be scaled back as well. my colleague, james capretta, wrote extensively of how the payment structure system in medicare not only drives up costs in medicare it drives up costs across the health care system because it's -- medicare is so influential within that system.
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and this is what i was frying to talk about a lile earlier. taking the savings that democrats have endorsed in medicare and use it to try to reform the system. can i address the henry waxman thing? host: really quick. guest: that is really insane. what he's saying, the troublesome members, i'm assuming he's talking more moderate members of the democratic caucus. these are what nancy pelosi talked about as majority makers. here you have a very liberal guy and a very safe seat sayayi see you
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>> this is the senate. they are voting on a minute taken. she is expected to get if your boats that sonia sotomayor york, who last year received 68 votes during her senate confirmation. we're going to continue to watch during the rest of this vote.
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>> once again, eminem taken has passed the threshold necessary to be confirmed as a supreme court justice. the senate continues to vote. -- elena kagan has passed the threshold necessary to be confirmed as a supreme court justice. i want to tell you about our kagan hub. debatereaking down the and to individual speakers. you can watch with your senator
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had to stay on the the nomination. see that at the website. >> we're not ruling any options in, but we're not ruling any options out. >> this month marks the 20th anniversary of the beginning of the first gulf war. look back at the key players and even as the became desert storm. online at the c-span video library, all free, every program since 1987. watch what you want, when you want. now the discussion on taxes and fiscal policy with treasury secretary timothy geithner as the former congressional budget office director. this is moderated by the president of the center for american progress. we will hear about the administration's proposal to announce the bush era tax cuts to expire wallace -- while extending others. this is just under an hour.
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. >> good afternoon and welcome, everyone i am the president of the center for american progress. in just a few minutes we will hear from treary secretary tim geithner who i would like to thank very much for taking time to speak today. i'm also pleased that we've done something a little unorthodox to and brought douglas over to offer a divergent view on today's topic of the impending expiration of president bush's tax cut. this is the second joint event with the organization, the american action forum, and i would say that given the toxic partisan climate in d.c. right now both sides can claim credit r not trying to kill each other at least yet. but seriously the leadership i think of both i believe it is critical for the country to try to reestablish a serious and respectful diaogue between the left and right. so welcome, everyone and thank
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you once again for all of you joining and in my view the congress as in a golden opportunity to kill two birds with one stone. it can and should extd tax relief for middle class filies while the country winds its way out of recession. it can also make a dent in the long-term structural deficit and president bush speak of tax cuts for those of the topics by year. but progressives and conservatives are shaping up for a fight over whether or not these high end tax cuts with the fact the wealthiest 2% of households showed a sunset as scheduled at the end of this year. we wholeheartey say yes as the progssives who expressed great concern over the long term deficit outlook allowing the top rates to revert back to rates that existed when i served in the white house under president clinton. we will take a meaningful $700 billion out of the cotry's long-term budget deficit without impeding the growth of the overall economy. i think that dodd will argue that despite the blow to the fiscal discipline extending high income tax cuts will be critical r creating jobs and sustaining
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economic recovery. but in my view again, neither economic analysis or experience there's the argument out. cbo ranked high income dead last on a range of practical investments that could help spur job creation and the president's council of economic advisers found one-third of the money saved from this continuing tax cuts of the top would create twice as many jobs if it were invested in prevenng layoffs from teachers, police officers and firefighters and in that regard i am very glad the senate finally mustered the 51 boat that it put up on the board today that is necessary to provide the needed relief to the states to prevent the worst of these layoffs. i think of course one other factor weighs heavily on our side of the argument and it's called history. we provided you with a pamphlet that we produce here that goes through some of the numbers about what progress of economic policy produced. i'm not going to go through that in the interest of time, but i
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would say that we do have eight years of history under the progress of economic policy that produced strong job growth and wage growth and id so with tax rates we are talking about moving back to. but with that i would like to turn over to doug before the cicatrix the podium. as you all know, dug recently founded and serves as the president of the american action forum. users of staff director of the congressional budget office and chief economist of the counc for economic adviser. he was also the top economic adviser for the mccain presidential campaign. thanks for coming over today and the stages yours. [applause] a to z. thank you to the american progress for posting and everyone for coming today. before turning to secretaries geithner i want to do two things. the first is to introduce the american action for all of which i am the president.
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it is a center-right think tank dedicated to policy education, policy ideas whichre consistent with the principles that we feel have served this country so well respect for individual freedom, reliance and private-sector, small efficient government is targeted toward its unique abilities. but more than anything else, we are dedicated to a debate over the substance of the policy ideas, the idea that there can be principled discussions about the differences that separate the center-right and center-left and it's in that spirit we are here tday with the center for american progress in hopes of a stop washing a genuinely productive dialogue about this and many other issues that face our country. time will not permit me to disagree with mr. podesta. [laughter] but let me briefly outline where we might begin the disagreement. first and foremost, it is essential to recognize that the deficits that we face in the next decade and beyond our deficits driven by spending problems common of insufficient tax revenues.
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all of the production is done by other the administration's own budget or by the congressional budget office show tax is rising above historic levels of gdp and despite that we face deficits that are a trillion dollars as far as that can see in particular administration budget these policies still end up with a deficit in 2020 that is larger than the deficit we would expect next year. so this is not a solution to our deficit problem. i also think it is imperative to look at this from two perspectives. number one is growth. in this economy, wehave households suffered in the aftershock of a severe financial crisis and recession, the of damaged balance sheets, they are inact doing the right thing trying to repair the balance sheets between the rise. they are neither positioned more should be expected to power this economy forward in a substantial way. governments are in a comparable position the state level will indeed our federal government. that means by the process of elimination we need to be focusing on the business community and on fun net
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exports, the business communy is in this instance really important to pay attention to the small businesses. if you look at the data that can out from the in plymouth report daybreak of employment growth by the size of business. in their numbers since employment began to rise in the 189,000 new jobs created in the private sector, 90% of them are under 505, 30 present under 50 employees. we need to take caref small businesses to raise taxes in the way that the administration is proposing to tax heavily the 50 billion -- $500 billion of business income reported on individual tax returns. this is at risk 20 to 30 million jobs in an economy that is desperately in need of employment. some prospective of the new york durham and the fundamentals the long-term economic grow raising taxes at this point in the way the administration is proposing is not going to be a step in the right direction. finally, i think we need to look at this from the perspective of the tax reform.
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we have a tax system that is badly broken. the essence of tax reform is to have a broad base of low rates. everything we do in the policy should be viewed to the land of taking a step towards reform to raise the marginal rates and preserve and i naturally narrow base is a step exactly the wrong direction for the tax reform only i don't think this country ould do and so for those and many other reasons, i am going to disagree in advance with the secretary and after the facts of mr. podesta. .. he had an important stand as undersecretary of international affairs. he has served at the international monetary fund for two years. he held a very important post with one of the linchpins of our
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financial institutions as president and ceo of the federal reserve bank of new york. he was one of the key figures in the valiant efforts made to combat the financial crisis that we have been through over the past several years. the main reason for his presence today is that on in january 26, 2009, he became the 75th secretary of the u.s. treasury, and i am glad to invite him to the podium today. thank you. [applause] >> thanks to both of you. [laughter] thanks for having me here. i want to complement those of you on what you do. you are engaged in this noble effort to raise the basic quality of public debate to get people that are analysis, better ideas. that is ve important. it won't deliver on its own, better judgments by your country's leaders but we raise
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the probability and get better choices over time with institutions like yours engaged in this noble effort. again policy analysis and ideas for my compliments to you for doing it. we face as you know some ve important choices as a coury in the next several months and we need to make those choices carefully, guided by what will be best for the middle-class and bess best for economic growth. over the past two decades washington has given the country a useful lesson in the consequences of two very different approaches to economic policy and fiscal policy. in the 1990s, sound, prudent responsible fiscal policies lead to large budget surpluses along with significant investments in the middle class which helped contribute to a period a very strong economic groh and job eation led by the private sector with broad-based gains in income for all americans.
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washington then changed course, abandoned those basic disciplines of budgeting and borrowed to finance very expensive tax cuts toward the most affluent and a substantial expansion of governme programs unpaid for. the result of course as you know was a huge increase in our national debt from a relatively slow job growth and stagnation for the middle-class. we are liing today with the damage caused by those choices and as we started a decade we have compelling evidence of what works and what does not work for middle-class americans and for main street businesses. the debate we now confront us whether to extend tax cuts for the middle class, which are due to expire at the end of this year and whether to allow tax cu for the top 2% of americans, those with annual household incomes of at least $250,000 toxpire as scheduled.
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this decisn is about more than just the impact on our future deficits and debt, although that is critically important. it is a decision that will impact economic growth and the fairness of our tax policies. now the president's commitment is to restore policies that will help the middle-class and lay a foundation for better long-term economic growth. the president believes and i believe that extending middle-class tax cuts is an essential part of that commitment and is essential to continued economic recovery. these tax cuts mean roughly on average $2000 per year for a typical middle-class family but given the size of our fiscal deficits and debt, those inheted deficits and debt durden, we have to provide th tax relief in the fiscal responsible way and they believe the best way to do that is by allowing the tax rates for the
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top 2% to go back to levels last seen at the end of the 1990s which as you know was a time of remarkable economic growth and economic strength. there are some who would suggest we should hold the tax cuts for the middle-class hostage until congress extends the tax cts for the top 2% and permanently repeal the estate tax too. that would be a mistake in my judgment. at the middle-class tax cuts are not extended americans will face a sharp increase in taxes and a sharp fall in disposable income. this would be a responsible and it would be unfair especially given the fact that so many americans are still suffering through the effects of what we learned last week was the worst recession in post-war history. allowing the tech is to expire would slow recovery. now there's that suggested we delay by extending all the bush tax cuts temporarily for a year or two but the world is likely to view a temporary extension
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of the income tax cuts for the top 2% of saeb prelude to a long-term or permanent extension and that would hurt economic recovery as well by undermining confidence we are prepared to make a commitment today to bring down our future deficits. fiscal discipline and responsibility requires hard choices and we have to be prepared to make them. the president has proposed to terminate or reduce government programs we do not need and cannot afford. he has proposed to freeze non-security discretionary spending and doing so will by 2014 bring non-security discretionary spending to its lowest level as a share of the economy since the 1960s. this wil be required difficult choices and even painful cuts to government programs and effort we have undertaken in our two past budgets i an effort secretary gates in particular has been leading at the department of defense. now in the context of those
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efforts to establish discipline on expenditures, asking the top earners in our society to forgo an extension of recent tax cuts has to be part of the compact to restore fiscal responsibility in washington. some on the other side of the aisle insist on extending tax cuts for the top 2% ofamericans as a condition for extending the middle-class tax cuts but permanently extending the tax cuts for the top 2% would require us to borrow 700 lien dollars more over the next decade adding significantly to an already unsustainable level of debt. that would be a mistake. but who would benefit from that mistake? only again the top 2% of americans who tod earn on average roughl$800,000 per year. now there are some who have argued against stimulus, who now say extending the tax cuts for
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the top 2% is just a form of stimulus that the economy needs today but analysts from the cbo, congressional budget office to goldman sachs recently concluded that extending tax cuts for the top 2% would be among the least effective forms of stimulus. that is because the top 2% of the least likely to spend those tax cuts. certainly not in comparison to the 98% of americans who make less than $250,000 per year. while they would surely welcome expanding tax cuts it is not likely to change their spending habits. extending the tax cuts for the top 2% for one year would require the united states to borrow an additional $30 billion the top 2% would save most of that increase in after-tax income. now for we had an additional $30 billion to spend to reinforce recovery most economists would agree with the cbo it would be better to direct that money to tax cuts for the
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middle-class and to promote business investment and even more effective in terms of the bang for the buck to use those resources to provide additional support to states so they n keep teachers in the classroom and police on the beat. over the past few weeks, some myths, old ones and new ones, have surfaced. there are some politicians who argue tax cuts pay for themselves. bad is a long discredited idea. there is absolutely no evidence to support it. conservative economists and policymakers today are embarrassed by the argument and they run away from it. there is a second myth out there that by allowing the tax cuts for the top 2% to expire we are going to hurt small busesses. doug made this point. this is a political argument masquerading as substance. letting the top income tax cu risk spire will affect less than 3% of small business owners.
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97% of small businesses in this untry would not pay a penny more due to upper income cuts expiring. some of argued even if only a few percent of small-business owners make over $250,000 per year those few make up a substantial amount of what is called under this definition of small business income, but this argument apparently counts anyone who receives any type of partnership or business income as if they were a small-business. by the standard every partner in a major law firm and every principle in a major financial institution would or could count as a separate small business. and executive who has fees would also count as a small-business owner under this overly broad definition. if you actually want to help small businesses get needed tax relief as opposed to using them as a cover for supporting tax cuts for the most well-off,
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those people should be supporting senate passage of of the smal-business jobs act this week before they leave town. this bill, the small-busiss jobs act, along with important credit and lending initiatives calls for a zero capital gains taxes for long-term investments in certain small businesses and calls for a significant expansion of the ability of small and medium-size businesses to write off new investments. the policies putin place by the prious administration prior to this great recession have left us with a terrible legacy of challenges. the legacy of the crisis is millions of unemployed americans the country national debt swollen by eight years of deficit spending and growing income inequality. we live in one of the richest economies in the world but one in eight americans is on food stamps today. america is a less equal country today than it was 10 years ago in part because of the tax cuts
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for the top 2% put in place in 01 and 03. the most affluent 400 americans in 2007, who earned an average of more than $340 millioeach year or that year had-- paid only 70% of their income in taxes, a lower rate than many who consider themselves mile class americans. now we are in the midst of, and we have been for the last two and a half years at least, a very important debate about the best way forward for our economy, the appropriate role of government in the economy and we may disagree about the role of government in promoting better health care or retirement security or public education for our citizens and even where we share those objectives and of course many of us do we may disagree on how best to achieve them but i believe there's no credible argument to be made that the purpose of government is to borrow from future generations of americans to finance an extension of tax cuts
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for the top 2%. the president believes and i believe that we should keep taxes as low as possible consistent with funding the essential functions of government. that we have to pay for the programs we decide as citizens the government should provide and we have to do it in a way that both promotes economic growth and despair. we can't pretend that deficits don't matter, and it is encouraging today that we see moreepublicans expressing concerns about future deficits. borrowing to finance tax cuts for the top 2% would be a 700 billion-dollar fiscal mistake. it is not the prescription economy needs right now in the country can afford it. with that, i'm happy to having-- to have a little conversation. thank you. [applause]
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>> in e interest of being a good host, doug i will let you have the first question. >> as i am sure you are aware of the cbo looks each year the president's budget and their analysis of the president's budget says for the next0 years despite the fact that that budget includes tax increases on thousand or 250,000, we never have a deficit under $700 billion. we end the decade with a deficit of $1.2 trillion. the debt-to-gdp ratio is 90% and in 2020 we are borrowing $900 billion to pay interest on previous borrowing. how do you reconcile your deep statement about interest in depth as a control when your own budgetary plan takes those tax increases and spends them so much we have a larger deficit in 2020 than we do in 2015?
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>> the cbo numbers and the omb numbers both show that with the president's policies, we cut our deficit in half as a share of gdp over the next three to five years. cbo has estimates that leave us with a deficit slightly higher as a share of gdp live by veers t than the president on estimates. there are i think roughly one percentage points apart but they show appropriately that with, by allowing the recovery act to expire, by making sure that we contain discretionary spending, by supporting this package as a fair progress fiscally responsible packet for tax policies we can make dramatic reductions in reducing or long-term deficit as a share of gdp. for exactly the reason you are suggesting dou which is future growth depends on competence events and the americans to
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bring those deficits down that is why we think it is responsible and prudent to make the tax cuts for the top 2% expire as scheduled. again if you don't do that you are going to be adding another $700 billion to the future deficits and i think that will risk undermining confidence in our ability as a country to begin to dig our way out of this deep fiscal hole, so that direction now, we acknowledge that this program of tax policies is not going to solve all the problems in the country. even if congress embraces and adopt the president's policies and submits to the discipline on spending that we propose, we are still going to have unsustainably high long-term deficits. we don't get them down far enough and for that reason the president taking a page out of-- bipartisan commission of men and women from congress on both
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sides of the eye of national experts in fiscal policy and economics and asked them to step away from politics and try to figure out how to build a coalition around changes in policies that will get us but we need to do. so i agree with you it is really important that is why again it is a good reason for why it is a prudent step today to let those top 2% cuts expire on schedule. >> let me follow up on that for maybe an unusual perspective which is i find it a little bit ironic to centrist democrats who have been allowed over the last year in saying that deficits are a problem and need attention have been the quickest to move towards letting these high-end tax cuts slide for a year or o and i want to ask you to speculate on their motivation but i will ask you, what do you say to them about the effect? you suggested to some extent in
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the speech but to the audience would you say about the effect of growth from the policies he laid out in your speech? >> again i would start by saying that you have to recognize that the best, the central obligation we face now is to make sure we have this economy moving again. to dig our way out of this hole, reinforce recovery. not just short-term economic growth but long-term growth prospects in and you also have to recognize we do not have unlimited resources. we have to make choices. governg is about recognizing that we have limited resources and i do not believe that it is abe prudent use of limited resources to again borrow huge amounts of money to make possible the extension of those tax cuts for the short-term. now, if people think there is a good case now for more stimulus for the economy we should have the debate about what is the
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best form of stimulus and again think it is fair to say that economists across abroad spectrum of the political spectrum, the economic profession would not rank those tax cuts to the top 2% anyhere close to the most powerful forms of stimulus and because we have limited resources we are going to make sure every judgment we make that takes a dollar of resources, it a dollar of-- we are using to support things that have a very high return and again because, you know the economic arguments, i don't think there is a good argument to make that the best use of the resources is to extend the taxes for the high-end. small business gives lots of good examples and again what we are trying to do is to find things that have a very high return that was part private investment that will have the highest contribution in raising
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employment at the lowest possible cost to the taxpayer. >> l's go to that debate, which is her closing phrase, this policy of raising marginal tax rates, raising taxes on google-- dividends will spark tax growth. >> what we are proposing to do is to say for 98% of americans and for 97% of small-business owners, that we leave their existing tax rates in place, but we are also proposing to make sure that tax rates that are important for investment, dividends and capital gains, don't rise beyond 20%. we are also proposing to extend a variety of important tax cuts for bunesses to spark investment. we are also proposing to make sure we are using tax resources to help make it easier for people to complete college in a
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very difficult economic environment. that mix of tax programs in our judgment again, is more pro-growth and more fiscally responsible so thank y for that again. >> again, we are not talking about cutting anyone's taxes. the question is whose taxes will rephrase and for how long? that is the issue that is on the table. it has been framed by you and otherss a stimulus issue when i believe deeply it should be framed as a growth issue. we are past the point where the economy is falling. we have an economy that is growing, growing unacceptably slowly and the pain has been for by many millions out of work so it is past time for sugar highs, stimulus. you yourself say household specters badly damaged are unlikely to spend. changing stimulus is about stufng money into households, a big chunk of the stimulus
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given to state and local governments, again unlikely to spend. why not air on the side of caution and not raise any taxes on the business community which is uniquely positioned to power us at this point in time and we come back to the argument about small business which i believe is more than political budweiser being framed as stimulus when we should be past that and when even the framework doesn't match the problem we have. >> it is alwayabout how you balance what is best for growth, what is fiscally responsible, what is fair. those are the things you have to balance in the choice we face is how best to balance those objectives and again i do not believe that given the fact we do live with little resourc we don't have unlimited choices now, that to take $30 billion the prospect of $700 billion over 10 years and use that to again extend tax cuts that only
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go to 2% of the top earners in the country is likely to have probably the weakest impacts on activity as almost any of the alternative uses including th tax code for those limited resources so thais the case. again i think it is very hard. it is very hard to make the argument that we can afford to add that additional debt burden over the 10 year period, given the basic damage to confidence presented by the long-term deficits and i don't think we get much positive back on grover. >> i just want to acknowledge, you know i am not a fan of the deficit outlook. it is deeply unfair. this is one of the most unfair things we will see but i never thought i would see congress outspend a republican congress and now we have and that is a problem. >> that is a very important
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point. it is worth pointing this out. you know the deficit we started with which was $1.6 trillion is a function of lot of things that have happened over time. it is a the concept of two reception-- recessions. 1 mile one and one deeply severe one but also a consequence of a choice of how to govern and a bunch of choices to suspend and abandon basic disciplines like paygo and finance very expensive expansion of entitlements in tax cuts. now, the recovery act and can jb did a very modest additional anchormen to that budget deficit, to not have broken the back of that financial panic. i am very confident and we have evidence to support that recently, that we would have had much worse growth, much higher unemployment, much more business failure and much worse damage from a fiscal position.
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so i think we have donthe best mix available of progrowth policies to break the backs of financial panic recognizing of course those had to be temporary and we need to make sure we start the process w of digging out long-term. >> we will get to questions from the audience here in a secd but i think the focus really is on growth. this was the centerpiece of the bush economic program, were these high-end tax cuts that produced 2.3 million jobs before the recession. nearly double that many were lost before you left office. we had growth that was half as strong as it was in the 1990s. medium household income declined for the first time since the 1960s by actually a whopping $2100. wage growth nudged up only $300 for women and actually fell $2000 for men. the expected growth of these
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high-end tax cuts, i think we have got actually a proven record on this and it leads me to ask, i am almost tempted to ask doug, why would anyone want to embrace extending that record? i think we also, there is also an issue that is sort of embedded in all of that which is that we ha talked a lot about the wage gap that began to really growing again during what do they call it? the wealth gap that continue to expand as it has over the last 30 years. is there now a recovery gap? are people at the high-endow? we have seen the stock market bounce back to 51% from its bottom. we have se bonuses come back, at least the ones that get reported in the newspapers. corporate coffer are up 31%. the pele at the top really
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seemo have begun to experience recovery as opposed to the ddle class and particularly the long-term unemployed. the tax policy embedded in your approach gets at this recovery gap we are currently experiencing? >> absolutely. financial crises are brutal in and the pain falls much more heavily on average americans, not just on the they are going to be living with the consequences much longer than the rest of the economy and all though the overall economy has been growing for over year and although the ovell averages and show a job creation the beginnings of increase in income growth, those averages mask an economy at has parts that are really quite strong, really encouragingly strong like you see in high-tech. you see the evidence in exports rate despite concerns in this community.
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uc business growing at a rate of but you also see large parts of the economy that were hit hardest by the crisis still facing probably the toughest economic environment americans have seen in generations. anybody in construction, anybody in real estate at the epicenter of the housing crisis and of course lots of small businesses across the country still facing a really difficult environment. support to the parts of the economy still in crisis. are using our limited resources as carefully as we can to make sure we are getting the impact on repairing tt damage. targeted support for small businesses to states and local government is a very good, very essential policy. we are fhting very hard for that but again we have to do all that and still recognize we have got some basic obligations to
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everything and i think one thing we learned in the last decade is deficits do matter. it is not free and it is important for people to recognize that you have to balance those things in a way that is more fair, better for growth, better for the middle class so absolutely, john. >> there are a lot of companies sitting on a lot of cash. what is going to take them to hire people and to give them-- is it going to be on the demand side with middle class and is >> that is the necessary are increasing demand and try to sidelines. large shares of cash today? it is really for two reasons i think. one is they didn't come into this crisis with strong balance
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sheets. that is a good thing for the country. it is partof why growth came back more quickly. that is distinctive economy and the best way to explain it is just that the scars of this crisis were so deep and so traumatic that it has left people very much more tentative about how strong growth is going to be and until they see that are still being very careful about how they put those investments in. the good thing is to say private investment is growing at a really rapid rate now and we hope we can sustain it. it is probably not going to be ite that great but i think it is encouraging. >> can i come back to one thing doug said? is that okay, doug? >> okay, then i'm going to sagree. >> is is important to recognize that for policies the president has proposed, for non-security discretionary spending by the
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federal government, if adopted by the congress, we believe non-security discretionary spending at a remarkably low level as a share of the economy, lower than what prevailed during president reagan's term and i said in my remarks lower than it has been since the 1960s. so we are not proposing and do not believe in proposing a set of policies that don't recognize are responsible burden for showing that we are willing to cut things that don't work and hold things to a, or restore things to a much more modest share of gdp as a whole. >> a couple of comments which i won't even disguise of the question that the first is, i will say this lovingly that there ws a president other than president obama who had a large deficit and said i will cut in
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half by the end of my time and i will do it by freezing non-security, non-homeland spending and we have seen that movie before and i think that is why people are skeptical that they believe that any tax increases will be used for deficit reduction because the track record on that front quite frankly collectively is not very good. if there is a memo in a chore,. >> what is important for people to recognize is our deficits today like when we came into office were roughly 10% of gdp but have a bad as a share of the economy is the combination of the temporary recovery act stuff which will expire and th effects on the deficit of the recession, so even with-- and from higher transfer unemployment benefits that come in a recession so even if nothing, i shouldn't say it quite this way but say nothing happened in washington for the next four years.
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>> nothing is ppening in washington. >> but if we suspended, then you would ee a very sharp reduction as a share of the economy. now, i agree most people look at america over the last decade or able to show and deliver the kind of choices on how to use limited resources that average american milies on all of us. the press and can enforce that. we are proposing its but we are going to live by a proposed budget to get us back to balance, get us back to a stable position. >> can i make one comment and the question? and running the horserace between the '90s and the first part of this decade i think wod be fair to recognize that the '90s have a bubble which read lead to a recession. they were beneficiaries of the
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peace dividend from a union and the economy in this decade has suffered from corporate governance scandal, oil price out the effects of tax policies on economic growth is notç the. here is my last seriousí question. >> i try to be careful not to say that. i will leave it leave it to the outcome. in 2008 we send out checks to government which is conceptually identical to extending temporarily middle-class tax cuts. those checks did nothing to stimulate consumption, household spending or the economy. why are you confident that this approach will work? >> are you saying we should let the tax cuts for middle-class americans expire? >> the proposal is to extend them temporarily which is equivalent to having them.
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>> what we propose and it is probablyorth stepping back for a second. the recovery ct which of course came alongside various programs by the federal reserves, essential programs to restore liquidity as well as the efforts made to recapitalize the financial system had very substantial tax cut, pretty necessary substantial support r states and investments in things that matter for long-term growth. that package of measures, quick-acting in a the two years were very powerful, incredibly powerful and stopping the freefall in growth. if you just look at the graph of growth or equity prices or concern about the future of the world, the financial system, trade and finae, that turned when people saw congress legislate that package and the things we did to help fix the system alongside the fed. they were very effective.
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again, what we are proposing to do is to let americans understand that we are going to extend those tax cuts for 98% of americans. in the presence first two budget we propose to do that over the full 10 year window and to do it in a way that is responsible consistent with the obligation we also have to bring down the deficit substantially this year as the economy recover so that is why i think for those two reasons i think it is good policy but again you have to judge these things all against the alternatives. we are judging things against alternative choices and again to take the alternative path which is to say we are going to borrow from the future to extend the tax cuts for the top 2% i do not think would be a prudent, responsible or effective program of the use of resources. >> we will take a question from the press here identify yourself please. >> mike elkin. you just mentioned the economy
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has been suffering for a brady of reasons in the excluded mentioning trade. october 1 you have an opportunity to label try and egg currency manipulator. considering that since her last round of negotiations have only raised 1%. >> a very important question and i guess i would say a couple of things in context. china is very important to the united states. exports to china in the first four or five months of this year were growing rapidly doubled apace of exports to the rest of the world so the growth uc and china, the reforms he see in china as they shift towards an economy more driven by domestic demand are providing very substantial benefits to american workers and american businesses and you can see tht just the cold numbers. now, china as you know about six weeks ago i think took the
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essential step of restoring flexibility to exchange rate and making it clear they are going to allow that exchange rate to appreciate in response to market forces over time. they are only at the beginning of that process and what matters is how far and how fast they let it move and of course we like everybody else are watching that closely and everybody can watch how fast that will move. its worth remembering that when they last let the exchange rate move in the period between 06 and 08 it moves 20% over a two-year period not. it is very hard to judge from the initial movement again how far and how fast they are going to let it go. what is important to us and all of china's trading partners as they lead to depreciate significantly in response to market forces. >> the administration supports dividends going from 15 to 20% but are you working with lawmakers on our way to pay for it because budget rules prevent
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that from happening and then business issue again? does mr. holtz-eakin agree with the estimate by aj pt that only 3% of small business would be impacted by letting the top rates expire? thanks. >> you are right that the extended dividen requires refines and resources to make that possible and yes we are working with congress to find a way to do that. the question is why it is h again we are trying to figure out what is the best, most progrowth package of tax measures, the most responsible for the measures and again but we think makes the most sense for the country is to make sure that 90% of americans in 97% of small businesses see continuity in their tax rates and that w keep rates that are very important to capital investment like capital gains divends fromc8 rising dionne the level
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that would help investment that you are ght to point out we have to find a way to pay for that and we are going to have to do that. i don't want to speak to how we do that. that is obviously something we have to work with relative members of congress with but it is important to do that. >> for those in the audience that didn't get the bis of that questioned the budget discipline that congress has reimposed, that they abandoned in 2002 or before the 2003 tax cuts that reimposed last year requires paying for this particular increase to be able to not have that go back to ordinary income. >> the short answer is i agree with the eimates of two and 3% that have been dumb but it doesn't matter how many tax?? returns go to the treasure. what matters is the amount of economic activity affected by tax policy and because of conscious attempt to integrate the business andersonal income taxes we have income reported on
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individual returns.x >> do you want to point out again though that a lot of the small businesses on those returns are not what probably most people think of as small businesses but partnership income, people who have taken a? corporate form that allows us to pay personal taxes and it is not ordinary business income that is being accounted for a think. can i just say something? >> i will defer to the secretary of treasury but i want people t÷ understand this. my point on this is that there are traditional objectives of policy at play here. one of them is to integrate the business and personal income taxes so that all taxes will be appropriate whether directly through wages or indirectly through business act t be. the second is to have a tax that does not discriminate unfairly among alternative forms of business, skills of business and
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to set out as an objective to draw a line that says you are small and you are large and treat them differently is at odds both with the integration issue and with the traditional goal of tax policy. as i said my opening remarks i believe bush should be ruthlessly focused on progre tax reform because we are going to need every ounce of growth we can get. >> we might actually agree on some of that. >> again, the question is, doe that objective of what would be ideal for abolition of tax policy over time justifying leaving in place tax cuts to a very small fraction of american businesses, given that fact that we have these competing very important imperatives not just of growth of fiscal responsibility so that is a question. i dot think we can elevate elegans in the near term at the expense of that basicobjective.
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i think it would be a mess-- expensive mistake as i said. i.c.e.. >> i think we have time for one question from the gentleman in the aisle and en we are done. >> i have auestion on the outlook of the u.s. economy and the international market. there has been a growing concern about the economy and the japanese yen is getting stronger and hit a 15 year high yesterday chairman chairman bernanke said the outlook is unusually uncertain and weaker public conception growth is fueling concern. >> the american economy is growing. is growing at a moderate pace. it has been growing for 12 mont. some parts of the ear are accelerating as you see in private investment.
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infective you just put together spending by households and by rate of growth in spending accelerate, not moderated as we get into this recovery. but, it is ve important to recognize that we are still living with the scars of a very deep, germanic financial crisis. they are going to last for some time. it is going to take us a long time to repair the damage caused by that crisis. it is our responsibility, our obligation to do as much as we can to reinforce that recovery to reinforce growth and make sure you see growth extend to the parts of the economy that are still suffering the most, still suffering the worst economic conditions we have seen in generations. that is why we are working so hard to help convince the congress to move forward with additional incentives, help it credit markets and state and local governments. there is a very good economic
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case for doing that. we have is they want to do it in a way that is responsible fiscally but it is important we do that. it is i think worth noting that we have really adjusted with amazing speed and force to get through this crisis. we have had a huge adjustment already in the housing market and the real estate market. you have seen a very substantial deleveraging necessary of the financial secretary to get itself back to a stronger financial position. you are seeing households have made substantial changes already in reducing their debt durden and saving a larger fraction of income. those are very encouraging, very helpful adjustments. the business cuts so savage in in their peak of the panic because they were frankly scared toeath has been just devastating for the basic sense of financial curity, economic security and again that is going
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to take time to repair but the american economy is in a much stronger position today to manage echoes of the actions we took to break the back of the financial crisis and to begin to repair the damage and begin our job is to make sure that we are reinforcing growth and making sure we see growth extend to the very substantial parts of the american economy that are suffering so much from the american crisis. >> please join doug and me in thanking secretary geithner for with us for this conversation. [applause] >> please remain seated until the secretary has left the room. thank you. [inaudible conversations]yt÷>
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the senate confirmed the elena kagan. five senators joined the democrats and independents to confirm the nomination. one democrat, ben nelson of nebraska, joined 46 repubto finf materials of the speeches and materials and the breakdown of the debate as well as kagan 's papers. >> we have been running about the new books coming out this fall. >> this is a very intimate look at the white house years of jimmy carter. this is top secret and almost
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anything that bob does is meaningful. this will be one of the biggest titles around. this is not a sweeping manhunt by george bush. this is about having to make major decisions. >> for the latest in nonfiction authors and books, watch "book tv," every weekend. now today's pentagon briefing. he called on the web site wikileaks to return all the documents in their possession and to delete them from the headlines.
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>> wikileaks is asking the defense department for help in examining documents that they obtained in the unauthorized manner. they have made sno request to te department of defense. these of the property of the u.s. government and the contained classified information. we demand that they returned immediately to the u.s. government on versions of documents obtained directly or indirectly from the department of defense databases or records. the public disclosure of a large number of our documents has already threatened the safety of our troops, our allies, and afghan citizens working with us to help bring about peace and stability.
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public disclosure of additional defense department classified information can only make the damage worse. the only acceptable course is for them to take steps immediately to return all versions of all of these documents to the u.s. government and permanently delete them from its web site, computers, and records. a final note, the web page constitution a brazen solicitation to u.s. government officials including our military, to break a law. their public assertion that submitting confidential material to them is safe, easy, and protected by law is materially false and misleading. the department of defense demands that they discontinuing any solicitation of this type. >> do you have any mechanism
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where authority to compel them to deal as you are demanding proof do not consider -- as you are demanding? >> i think we have described the private who is charged with leaking other classified information to the same organization as a person of interest. i know of no update to his status sense our initial description. at this point, we are making a demand of them, we are asking them to do the right thing this is the appropriate course of action and given the damage that has already been done and we hope that they will honor our
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demands and comply. we will cross the next bridge when we come to it. if it requires compelling them to do anything. if doing the right thing is not good enough, then we will figure out what other alternatives we have to compel lem to do the right thing the judge to compel them to do the right thing. this matter has gotten the attention of this department and the entire government. the fbi was brought in very early on. the department of justice is also involved. those are two entities who have the authority to approach this through the legal system.
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that is not what i am announcing. what i am announcing here is a request a of wikileaks to do the right thing she will return to us all of the information that is passed to them and to expand it from the website. >> when you look at these records and you come to the conclusion of how harmful this is to be released? >> these 15,000 documents which they claim to be withholding as part of out of a minimization in harm exercise are not in our possession. we don't know which documents
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they are referring to. we have some ideas and we are doing some pro active for in the event that the documents we suspect they could be are indeed the documents they are threatening to post. that is where i leave it. >> has there been any discussion or decisions unchanging and tightening security rules? clearly, there are challenges. >> i think he addressed this last week when this first broke. i think fundamentally, as they said to you a few weeks ago, and he believes that one of the things that makes our military the envy of the world is that we instill an incredible degree
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of trust and responsibility in our most junior officers and enlisted so that this organization is not top heavy, this is effective from top to bottom. i think as troubling as this episode is and again, we don't know who is responsible, i don't think that he wants to jeopardize the business that has been going on for decades in this military. there's a problem, the fact that information gets out into the public domain is a serious breach. we are taking measures internally to reinforce existing rules and guidelines and to make sure that people are aware of and are being more vigilant about enforcing them.
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>> you have called on them to do the right thing, by your standards they have not done the right thing so far, what makes you think they will suddenly have a change of heart? >> i don't think we're very confident they will. they show no indication that they appreciate the gravity, the seriousness, of the situation they have cost. -- they have caused. the innocent people who have been put in harm's way. i don't know that we have a high degree of confidence that this request or demand will prevail upon them. we're certainly hopeful of that being the case. i don't know what to expect. we have heard so many different things from so many different people.
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i do not know what the truth is. they claim initially to have reviewed these documents and then we learn that they have only learned up -- looked at 2000. they claim to have reached out to the u.s. government for assistance and then we find out, it was through their partner, the new york times. there have been many contradictory statements which have caused us to question the motivation, their credibility. this is an opportunity for them to turn a new page, to recognize the situation that they have created and to try to rectify it. if indeed, the claims that they have made through these parties, communicated to us are serious, if they are serious about engaging with us, but they
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should reach out to us directly. we will consider how to proceed once something like that happens. the easiest way to solve this, we are not looking to have a conversation about harm minimization but how to get these perilous documents off of the web site as soon as possible, return them to their rightful owners, and expires them from their records. that will help to minimize harm that has already been created. >> you said, "return to their rightful owners. >> these documents belong to us.
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>> what are they copies on the internet or are these documents missing from u.s. military possess andion? -- possession? >> we want whenever they have, returned to us and we want whatever copies they have expunged, erased. >> what about asking "the new york times," to return them? >> i think that we will review the documents. >> i don't believe that they are currently in possession.
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>> we are not looking to have a conversation about can we help you redact them? if they want to have a conversation about how they returned the documents, we are happy to have that. >> do you have any confidence that they will do the right thing. question about the remedies that you have to compel? >> this is the appropriate first that. we will see if this requires further steps. >> will this have legal remedies? >> we are the department of defense and cannot make that judgment. we are not alone in that endeavor. the department of justice is also involved and they will have
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to make judgments about how to proceed. we are going to compel them, to prevail upon them to do the right thing and return the documents and raise them from their web sites so that no more additional harm is done and the potential database for all of our enemies that hangs on the air and provides an opportunity for them to mind, looking for weaknesses in force protection, tactics, techniques, and procedures. how we cultivate sources, all of this stuff is potentially out there for people who wish to do us harm to take it is and it just. we are trying to prevail upon them to do the right thing. >> it has been out there for some days or weeks, it is it too late?
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why didn't the department do this before? >> what is the status of you in knowing exactly what is out there. we are going through all of this and you don't know. are you now for the first time basically negotiating? >> i think that we are not negotiating with anyone. we hasn't made very clear and explicit demands. we are asking them to do the right thing. we are asking them to return stolen property and to no longer publish stolen property. if we can get this and -- off of the internet and compel them to return that, that is a long -- the right thing. that is why we're taking steps.
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>> why did you take this that days ago? >> there is information on how to proceed but this is the decided on course of action. >> what is the status, what do you now know about what may have? you know what they have. you said that the task force is looking at it, do you know what they have in totality? >> we know what is on the web site. we have, the task force that we have to review this material has been working as described. they have a 24 hour operation. they have about 80 personnel. they have gone through 70,000
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documents that are on line. they have done about 400 keyword searches through the 70,000 documents that are on line. looking for areas that are of particular concern to us. they take whatever they find and then they create batches of those documents. once we have done that, there will be a painstaking and evaluation of every single document. we are notifying the appropriate entities as we find things that are of concern. whether they are foreign
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governments, if there are afghan citizens who are named. in this case, if they are afghan citizens, we are informing the command in kabul who is sharing the information with this aborted commands in units so that they can take the right action to safeguard those people. we believe we have some idea of what those 15,000 documents could be and are reviewing what we believe to be. >> you seem to be confused.
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>> i'm happy to hold your hand. >> why didn't you move sooner? we are evaluating a purpose courses of action. the world has had access for these -- to these for a week. >> we are trying as best we can to mitigate the damage caused by this and compel them to take those documents off the internet and return them to their rightful owner, the u.s. government. >> can you say how many afghans citizens on name to?
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>> i will not get into how many or what kinds of people. there are many which have been found in these documents. as such, that information has been shared with the command. they will make suggestions on how to proceed. house with in this task force, it is still growing. it could grow. we have personnel on hand who are coming in that could take it to about 125. they're going through this, the personnel they have our people who are intelligence analysts who we have gotten from bia and centcom and


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