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tv   Washington Journal  CSPAN  January 17, 2011 7:00am-10:00am EST

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is next. ♪ host: you are looking at scenes from the 1963 march on washington. many civil rights leaders of the 1960's and 1970's were there today as we celebrate what would have been his 82nd birthday. we celebrate it on the third monday of every january after the wall was signed into effect by ronald reagan. today we are finding out about a new generation of leaders. we want to find out from you which of these leaders most embodies the legacy of martin
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luther king jr.. for democrats, 202-737-0002. for republicans, 202-737-0001. for independents, 202-628-0205. if you have called us within the last 30 days, sent us an e-mail or if you want to send us a twitter message, send it to a set -- send it to us at spanwj. which current leader most embodies the legacy of martin luther king jr.? "how would king calm the water" is an editorial from "the new york daily news."
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host: our first call is from detroit, michigan this morning. jerry, who most embodies his legacy in your mind? caller: i would say that along with jesse jackson -- i would
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say jesse jackson and all sh -- al sharpton. the people that are most demonized. host: why you think that he -- that they embody that legacy? why are they most demonized? caller: like martin luther king in his day, they were demonized by the white conservatives. they face the issues that still exist today. racial profiling, police brutality, things like that. pate crimes that still occur. host: next is arlington, virginia. good morning. caller: hello? i am a democrat. i read a lot about the martin
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luther king. none of the american leadership have the knowledge and idea of how to lead this new generation. no one compares with martin luther king. host: thank you very much. next is houston, texas. republican line. good morning. go ahead. caller: i am on the air? host: yes. what do you think -- who do you think most of bodies martin luther king? caller: ron paul. he has consistently trying to throw off the shackles of the enslaving of currency. i think that ron paul finishing the federal reserve banking system -- will be free our currency, we are a free people.
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thank you. host: thank you for the call. pensacola, florida. thomas, you are on. thomas, pensacola? caller: hello, yes. i -- uh -- yes, sir, i happen to believe that -- yes, sir? hello? host: go ahead, thomas. well, we will leave that there. "mlk -- faith visionary" is the name of the of bed in "usa today -- op-ed in "usa today."
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host: back to the phones. betty, albuquerque. you are on. caller: dennis kucinich. host: why is that? caller: because he is supporting a department of peace rather than a department of war. i think that martin luther king would be totally supportive of that idea. host: thank you for the call.
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here we have a list of the 2011 african american leadership survey on the grio. throughout the first portion of the program we will be referring to that list as callers call in. who do you think most embodies you are -- mlk? you are on. caller: i think that it should be phyllis ben thnis. i saw her on "book tv." the press has demonized every
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one of the black leaders who have stood up. jesse jackson, al sharpton, the press has demonize them. this lady, you should have her on. thank you. host: thank you for the call, kelberg. next up is jackson, mississippi. democratic line. sorry, independent line. jackson, go ahead. caller: i believe that it is barack obama. he is the human embodiment of martin luther king's legacy. he is that legacy transcended. i am sure that martin luther king did not believe that we would have an african-american president so soon. this is not too long after martin luther king's time.
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host: thank you very much for your call. he mentioned president barack obama, who is no. 2 on the list of the 25 most influential leaders of all time. you can find that list greensboro, n.c., democratic line. caller: good morning. at the martin luther king's birthday. i feel that no single leader embodies the rev. king today. he would be very sad about the over it -- over use of reverend jackson and sharpton and the misuse of them. he would not like for us to just use one spokesperson, but to expand our horizons. he would be upset over the
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ministers who have failed to teach the lessons of hate. host: what will it take to get those people back to where they might fit into that legacy? caller: for one thing, the media is going to have to capture and go forth, seeking those people with the most expertise in media today. instead of just limiting it to two or three people. there is so much talent, in order to get all the voices, the most effective voices, you need a broad scope of people being questioned in surveyed. -- and it surveyed. host: thank you for the call. this is from "the washington times."
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host: back to the phones. nashville, tennessee. david. caller: good morning. host: who in modern leadership
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most of the prize with the martin luther king legacy. caller: i think that mike huckabee would be a good example. he follows the example of our father, god, as martin luther king also did. host: thank you for the call. gainesville, florida. caller: thank you for having me on. host: who in your mind most embodies the legacy of martin luther king? caller: i think that it is dr. west. i saw him on a c-span program with tavis smiley. he really hit upon the ideals so well. why are we still in afghanistan? why is there no agenda for urban people and for poor people?
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when you make things better for black america, you make things better for all america. we are a better country for dr. king. we are a better country for reaching out to the gay community. we are a better country for including women. for upholding the ideals of peace and democracy. host: thank you for the call. the lead editorial from "the new york daily news."
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host: they have exurbs of the letter, if you want to read that you can go to the editorial of "the new york daily news." georgia, republican line. caller: barack obama, without a doubt. he is a living example of what martin luther king stood for, preach, and spoke about every day. i think that it is obviously barack obama. host: the next up is fitzgerald, ga.. sorry, we lost them. let's go to browntown,new jersey. republican line. caller: good morning. host: new jersey. caller: to me my take on this is
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a celebration of james earl ray. happy james earl ray date. to harlem, new york. are you there? [echo] caller: good morning. thank you for taking my call. i would be in agreement with the second person that i heard, he said cornell west. i would not have thought of that. but i am agreeing with him. cornell west speaks to the ills of america. when we still have people like rudy giuliani, the leader in mississippi --
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host: haley barbour. caller: thank you. these people are intent on holding on to jim crow. intent on holding black people in segregation. i do not know what to say. i would agree with the young man that said cornell west. as far as the war is concerned, i would ask the world to forget america. host: we will live it there. thank you for your call. "the obama's get a new invite."
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host: back to the phones. this time we will go to parkman, ohio. tricia, you are on. caller: i feel that martha collins, an educator from chicago, is a wonderful person and a wonderful educator. she taught her students and they became superb students threw her educational skills and her interest in using classic children's literature and basic math.
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encouraging the students from a very early age. i feel that educators of her quality can make the biggest difference in our country. host: also in "the washington post" this morning is this story about black leaders and child poverty.
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host: more of that in a second. first, we are back to the phones. new jersey? new jersey is gone. let's go to milwaukee, democratic line. caller: yeah? host: go ahead. caller: i am thinking -- i am thinking -- hello? host: yes. caller: i think that barack obama closely embodies what dr. king embodied. he addressed the issues. host: yes? caller: he addressed the issues
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that were swept under the rug. health care, different things like that. he brings things to the forefront. no one cared about the garbage workers. but he made these fringe issues a priority. that is about as far as it goes. towards the end he became more radical as far as speaking out against the vietnam war and things like that. i would think that on issues like that, he never would have advocated what is going on in afghanistan. barack obama addresses issues that speak to bill little people, so to speak. host: we will leave it there. more from the article on black leaders moving to address child
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poverty. this is by christa thompson from "the washington post." host: next is hunts still,
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alabama. -- kempsville -- huntsville, alabama. caller: yes. the night that dr. king was murdered i was over to my father's house. i was on my knees and i asked god to raise up a black man who would be a leader for all of the people. when barack obama came on the stage i knew that it was definitely barack obama. host: thank you very much for your call. from "the associated press" this morning, other items in the news. "the swiss probe evidence that the u.s. mission to geneva and
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called an unauthorized detection program similar to ones in norway and denmark. the swiss government has denied the u.s. authorities permission to conduct such programs for security reasons in geneva and that the u.s. embassy." we are talking about what leaders today are most embodying in your mind the legacy of martin luther king jr. billy, matthews, n.c.. caller: i am 50, right outside of charlotte, north carolina. growing up we had our first black mayor. he made most of us understand that we have the ability to get past race. he has worked with the school
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system, working with the majority white community and the minority black community -- this was before the hispanic community moved in. he talked about how what dr. king was hoping for in community after community it was about getting past the hatred and realizing that we are just people. thank you. host: district heights, md., you are on. caller: i am 67 this year. i remember him very well. as far as i can see i do not see anyone in the political field. there are some in social areas and education who speak certain things. but there is no one the i see so far that he loves this -- that lows this nation to the point
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that they will stand up to anything that might taint the image and dream of america. that is what he did. it was about justice for all people. he started with his own people and he went to the top to be a man of the world. host: if there is no one in politics that embodies this legacy, give me a name of a person in the social circles you are talking about. caller: people were talking about dr. west. i have listened to him. many people have dismissed his character, but i am talking about the love for the dream, the love of for democracy that we embody in this country. they talk about certain things. he started with civil-rights but he moved to the pinnacle of human rights with every person
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on your. he was willing to give his life for that for america to be the light in the world that it was meant to be. host: we will leave it there. back to the papers, the associated press is reporting in "the washington post" that the u.s. that has increased.
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host: the house of representatives gets back to work today, we will be talking about that with mike lillis. capitol heights, tony, your on the line. who most embodies the king legacy these days? caller: the first person that i came across was dick gregory.
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i was looking at his videos, along with c. copely. the king wrongful death trial, a total blackout from the mainstream media. no books have been written about it. no coverage but i lot of facts came out in that trial. their work conspirators working with the u.s. government to assassinate king. [unintelligible] host: we will leave it there. on twitter we have this message --
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host: grand prairie, texas. you are on "washington journal." good morning. caller: good morning. i know that you can only mention one, but i would have to see jimmy carter and president obama. i pick jimmy carter because he made a bold and brave statement, that there was so much conflict and fighting against president obama because of him being black. i totally agree with that because of the hatred in america. president obama took a brave stand by even running and becoming president of the united states of america. because of the hatred against the black people of america. that made him a hero as martin luther king jr. was.
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they knew that they were coming in line with hatred that been around for hundreds of years. thank god that martin luther king gave his life for this. president obama stood in with all of this hatred thrown towards him. not because he was a democrat, but because of his color. host: we will leave it there. we have just gotten this item from "the associated press." minister, it is not clear whether he will be supported in the government."
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los angeles, independent line, you are on "washington journal." who most embodies the legacy of martin luther king? caller: i think dr. congressman ron paul. host: why is that? caller: he is always advocating for competition, standing for the freedom of the american people. multiple politicians do not stand for the people. host: let's move on to battleground, washington. john, good morning. caller: i do not see anyone to they that matches his character. he transcended white, black --
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to me he spoke the truth. he did not do it for his own personal glory. for political reasons. he did it because he just spoke the truth. the dream is for everyone. white, black, anybody. that is just how i see it. host: thank you for the call. linda, democratic line. good morning. caller: i think it is president obama. he surrounds himself with different people from different backgrounds and educational histories. he has a strong religious upbringing and believe. having those types of morals, surrounding himself with people, getting input from people of different economic backgrounds and stratas of the american society, that is what caused him
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to win the election. i do not think his be in black was significant historical the, not as much as the fact that he was able to bring these people together as a force and say that we want a change, being that change, changing in more than one way that history and pulling together that coalition all of the way across, it was significant to me in terms of martin luther king because he had done the same with civil- rights, working with people to make life better in america and not just for blacks, but for everyone. host: the lead story in "usa today" this morning. this is from greg zoroya.
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host: next, baltimore, maryland. republican line. robert m. -- robert dempster -- robert? caller: public figures today are much different than public figures decades ago. host: what you mean by different? caller: the difference is that their intentions -- i think a lot of our public figures today have ulterior motives. barack obama, before they said
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he had a strong christian background. not exactly true. he did not become a christian until he moved to chicago so that he could run for office. ironically. when you look at barack obama and his health care legislation, remember that health care is different from civil-rights. civil rights should be in doubt upon every american as in the constitution. health care on the other hand is a privilege. this is why i think he does not embody the ideals of martin luther king. what martin luther king went after was a lot more basic and essential for a person to survive and thrive in america. host: from little bird, new york, steven wright's this e- mail.
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host: pagano beach, florida, democratic line. who in your mind in politics or out of politics today most embodies the legacy of martin luther king jr.? caller: nobody. no one has the heart. no one has the love like dr. martin luther king. host: why is that? what do you think is missing? caller: it is just ridiculous. i have sat and listened to the tone -- i will not tell you what racism is, but whites in their voice, it is unbelievable to me that since 1980 -- i could not
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believe it. after having treated my ancestors like dogs is unbelievable. if anyone had a heart like martin luther king, it is my mother. she always said love, love. that is all but i heard coming up. -- that is all that i heard coming up. in 2011 this is what is taught in people's homes. host: we will leave it there. the lead story from "the baltimore sun" this morning is on health care, republicans looking to go beyond the repeal of the obama overhaul.
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host: we want to show you a couple of interviews, one of which was done by the attorney general, eric holder last week. ok. we will hold off on that and show you that as we go into the break in a couple of minutes. let's go to fort walton beach,
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florida, independent line. go ahead. caller: he is not black, but i feel like glenn beck would be a good person for this. he is a political figure without being a politician. he fights for the rights of all americans. liberty's given by god. host: all right, houston, texas. go ahead. caller: i do not think that any of these personal politicians or activists and body martin luther king. he did not go out and advocate that people overthrow government, he worked with government to do it. politicians know only care about how much money they can get from lobbyists.
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same way with professional activists. how much money can i get from donations or the government and how much of it can i keep for myself? i think is funny that the other caller said glenn beck. he is the same way. he is simply trying to get whatever money he can. michael barry out of houston, he does try to enlighten people. he is not near the legacy of an ok, but he does bring to light modern feudalism. barack obama got elected by the majority of the population. there are some elements of america that are racist but i think the vast majority of us are happy to have him as president.
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i do not think we should have bailed out the auto companies, but we never hear about the fact that his mother is from kansas, only that he is a black guy from africa. it is about what we are given. host: montgomery, alabama. go ahead. caller: if anyone embodies the spirit of dr. king, it has got to be the rev. al sharpton. helping so many people, the katrina survivors. thank you. caller: in "the new york times" this morning, they're talking about the chinese president hu will be in washington this week in a meeting with president barack obama.
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host: there is more regarding this visit in an "the washington post's" this morning.
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michael greene writes -- host: back to the phones. seattle, washington. caller: i think that the individual that most meets the question is morris dees of the southern polity loss -- southern poverty law center because of his work.
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he took a very bold stance representing a black woman against the klan in the south. i find it beyond belief that this early in the morning c-span has offered us an opportunity to have a constructive dialogue, but an individual calls in to say the positive comment about james earl ray? you handled that very well. good day, man. host: next caller, good morning. caller: by thing that [unintelligible] aka barack obama reminds me of martin luther king. both of their histories have been sealed in you cannot find out anything about them. it is time for the white people to get together and take the country back from jews and --
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host: we will leave it there. in a few minutes we will be talking about a discussion happening this week in congress with mike lillis of "the hill." we want to show you a couple of items about martin luther king jr.. the first was a speech made by eric holder last week at a ceremony commemorating martin luther king jr.. we also have an interview from 2007 with representative john conyers, former chairman of the house judiciary committee. >> each year we have this opportunity to rededicate ourselves to the dr. king's dream of rededicating social
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justice and service to others. his enduring legacy is proved that the contributions of a single person can help to improve, inspire, and transform an entire nation. with these powerful words and deeds, with great grace he helped to blaze a trail that allows me to stand on the stage as our nation's first african- american attorney general. his dream of a more just in inclusive world remains one of his greatest guideposts. improving access to justice, expanding opportunities to learn and serve. the work of our diversity management initiative, current employees with an opportunity to uniquely contribute to the work of the justice department. in the decades since dr. king has called for moving things
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forward, in the half century since the travel here to the justice department's to share his dreams and visions with robert kennedy, great progress has been made. it may be tempting when you look at the accomplished attorneys and public service individuals in this great hall to think that the nation's struggle for equal opportunity has ended. that is not true. we have more work to do and further to go. the best way to remember his work is to reach out to someone in need and make an ongoing commitment to community service. great needs can be met by america and beyond. making sure that our nation's observance is not simply a day off, that it is a day on. a day of national service. building on the progress that dr. king helped us to achieve.
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>> "washington journal" continues. host: mike lillis is a congressional reporter for "te ill." h thank you for being on the program. guest: thank you. host: the lead story in "the baltimore sun" this morning is about health care. what is the plan for republicans this week? guest: to repeal the bill. it is a simple bill that they have offered, declaring everything that was passed last march will be eliminated. the final vote will be extended in the house on wednesday afternoon. is expected to pass the house with john boehner in the majority. the question is what happens afterwards.
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host: what happens afterwards, it will go back to the senate and may ultimately end up on the president's desk. at which time he is most likely going to veto it. what is the actual purpose of they cannot get this passed? guest: they want to make a political statement. but they ran on a campaign pledge to repeal the health care bill. it was controversial and unpopular in some parts of the country. republicans said it was not just the economy, but it was democratic policies epitomize by the new health care bill that swept them into office in november. host: republican congressman jeff blake was interviewed on sunday on "face the nation." he talked about the health-care debate.
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>> i think that you will see a more civil debate and we have had otherwise. i do not think that the substance will change that much as republicans are committed to repealing the law in the house. obviously. but i do think that the town will change and i think it was a good decision -- tone will change and i think it would this -- i think it was a good idea to put the decision off for one week. >> speaker john boehner said that we would stop this job destroying legislation instead of job killing legislation. can that possibly continue on here? or am i just being a pollyanna? >> i think that republicans and democrats alike will realize that if we tone down our rhetoric, the debate can be more effective. taking a cue from the movie
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industry. looking at the top grossing movies, they're almost always pg or pg-13. it is better to have a more civil tone and the debate. -- and the debate. host: your thoughts? guest: he is exactly right. the tone is going to change. but he was quick to clarify that substantially democrats still support health care. it is an ideological divide. he mentioned job destroying the supposed job killing. there are a lot of symbolic gestures that we will see like that. at the state of the union address they're going to go democrat, republican, rather than boy, girl.
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in terms of actual substance these guys do not agree on what the government is supposed to do end out there run the country. -- supposed to do a and how they run the country. host: the first call this morning comes from cheyenne, wyoming. caller: why is it that republicans claim that they are for all of this austerity, cutting the deficit in waste in congressional office and all of that, why would they want to have several hours of debate and then voting on this repeal of health care when they know it will not be passed? all of this will cost money in salaries, time that could have been spent on another bill or what ever. guest: good question. they have been criticized for
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that. they said they would come in and cut spending, work on the deficit, that kind of thing. and then their first vote is symbolic of health care reform. i do not have an immediate answer except to say that several hours of debate in washington is not a long time. if you remember the hours of debate they have last year. for them to be able to do it in a few days, that is pretty quick as far as washington, d.c. goes. host: james, independent line. michigan. you are on the line with mike lillis. caller: this is carter in mississippi. of -- host: ok. caller: because of the situation, democrats,
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republicans, t partiers -- tea partiers, the people suffering around minimum-wage rural areas -- there is so much money being wasted by and the usda. i am on section eight. the money that they're paying people to keep these places up, they're wasting this money. i have tried several times to contact people in washington about this. as far as the people were concerned -- can you help me with that? thank you. guest: i have to plead ignorance, but i do not follow the usda very closely. as far as your initial question
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about jobs -- we just popped out of the recession except for jobs, still lingering at 10%. mentioning those philosophical differences between the parties, that is what you will see entrenched in the coming congress. over the next few years the democrats will run on a policy of spending a lot of money. they really expanded the deficit, due in the unemployment insurance and keeping things from going even higher. republicans as a philosophy object to that. they will be telling us to cut government by giving tax cuts and tax breaks to businesses, trickle-down economics allowing us to grow ourselves out.
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over the next few years you will see a lot of head-in between the white house and the senate's. john boehner and the republicans in the house over spending and the role of government in reducing. host: lawrence, idaho, you are on with mike ellis -- mike lillis. caller: there are good parts of the health care law. but i understand that there are laws that our constitutional. democrats and republicans need to step backward to dictate what is constitutional and what is not. host: give me an example of something that you see in the health care law that you think is unconstitutional. host: forcing -- caller: forcing
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all americans to purchase health care is unconstitutional. the reason being is that the lot of americans cannot afford health insurance. are we going to lose the health insurance that we that? of or are we going to be able to keep the same benefits that we have now? host: this is the big sticking point. they are mostly talking about individual mandates. it is going to go out to the supreme court. a lot of states have already sued. this is something that is simply going to have to work its way out in the court. in the meantime it is important to recognize that there are 50 million people, at least, without insurance in this
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country. we argue that they can choose not to have health insurance. but at some point they are going to need health services. it is expensive to pay for that. the question is to is going to pay for that. should the patient pays for it themselves? taxpayers? hospitals and doctors? should they pick up the tab? free markets in the health care world exists only in the sense that we are willing to allow uninsured people to die and treated. thankfully we live in a country that does not allow that. but we should not kid ourselves by thinking that these costs are absorbed by hospitals and doctors. they are picked up by everyone else. the republican idea, that in
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1993 when clinton was trying to reform health care, they made the argument that this was a personal responsibility. no one should pay for your health care, you should pay for it by yourself. now they are saying that it is unconstitutional. host: house republicans are coming back from a weekend retreat by a baltimore. they were there for three days. it was billed as an issues conference. can you talk about what was done there and what they were trying to do guest: they are trying to get on message. these conferences -- what they were trying to do? guest: they are trying to get on message. these conferences are kind of strange. you are not in the room, you have to rely on leaks. you do not know exactly what
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they are talking about. they wanted to go back to their pledge to america, which they revealed on september. -- in september. lower government, balanced budget. enormously broad talking points for which they do not have any specific solution. saying that host: the democrats are going on there retreat this coming weekend. i believe they are going to annapolis. what kind of things do you expect the democrats will talk about as they prepared to do battle with their republican counterparts? guest: good question. all indications are they are enormously productive in passing legislation. they had to go out on a limb in
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a couple of the bills, even though they had a 75-member majority. now, but not that they're happy to be in the majority -- not that they're happy to be in the majority, but they have a much simpler task, and that is to be the republican voice. just to say no to everything. the republicans offer something and all the democrats have to do is say no. there are a lot of, a number of blue dogs and moderate democrats. she might lose a straggler here and there. for the most part pretty liberal democratic caucus right now. she will be uniting them to oppose everything the republicans put forward. she has given it of having harry reid in the senate.
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-- she has the advantage of having harry reid in the senate. host: her office is smaller. i host: back to the phones. atlanta, georgia. to restore on for republicans. go ahead. heresa on for republicans. caller: i do not agree with republican sitting with democrats at the state of the union address. in i think it is a cheap trick.
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i think it is a cheap trick to take attention away from obama majority and the house. where was the bipartisan shift in the beginning when democrats did not want bipartisanship? i do not think the republicans should do it. and we send the republicans to the white house to stop obama's aggressive agenda. i do not been this is the way to do it. thank you. -- i do not think this is the way to do it. you are not alone in that assessment. there are others that have had similar criticisms. the difference is there is a member of congress that has been shot, and recognizing they're not going to agree on anything, they want to send a message to
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the american people that they even if it doesa something as meaningless as sitting together during the state of the union address. kevin mccarthy came out and said it is a good idea, a good message to the american people. the assassination attempt on a congressperson is not -- is a very rare event. this is how they're chosen to respond. they've chosen to respond. it is a chance for the new members to showcase their numbers. it sends a message that we won and we are here to fight peer
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ye. host: our next phone call. caller: we supported the big three. my point is when we were starting to lose our business, the first thing to go is we would get pay cuts and benefit ♪ ♪cuts. and government seems like there is a sense of entitlement where they do not consider treating it like a member of our are sold. is there a reason they cannot go back to basics. and obviously defense is important. and you know, space, and stuff that is important, but not as important. and when they balance their books like a person would in ridhome, why can't stathey get
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of a lot of the fat? host: sorry about that. we lost or call. guest: the short answer is there were able to get away with it for a long time, and it became have it. lawmakers are nothing but perhaps creatures of habit. your seeing this right now with defense cuts. secretary gates is proposing to cut just one marine vehicle, and the guys wear the vehicle is being made, the guy on capitol hill saying that is jobs in my district. this is going back into the 1970
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boston 1980's when the debt started to crescendo, and it has been at republicans and democrats watching all of this happened. they have done it because they have been allowed to do it and have a piggy bank in asia where they can borrow money from china, borrow from japan. it really has not hurt the economy. it does help the economy for a number of years. now they're looking at it and saying how did we get here? everyone is conflicted. it is not really a partisan issue. host: texas. rachel on the line for independence. caller: you will have to excuse me, i am a little nervous. and during the bank bailout everyone accused obama of bailing out the banks. for two years they called him names and everything. then we heard bush say he was responsible for bailing out the
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banks. i do not know why no one came to his defense before bush started on this. another thing, the stuff they're talking about health care, the fact that if you have insurance you no longer be able to keep insurance. that is a lie. and i wish someone in the media would finally start telling the truth. host: we will leave it there. regarding the activities in the house of representatives, particularly after this week, this week will be tied up mostly with the house voting on the repeal of the health-care law, what comes next? what are the top three or four items that the new speaker wants to accomplish in this congress?
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guest: it will mostly be spending bills. not only because this was their pledge to america, but the budget is one of the first things you do as you come into the year. they have paul ryan, republican from wisconsin, who will be working -- had a series of hearings on the budget. then you will also have the debt ceiling debate that will come up early. that is a tough vote for republicans because they ran on a campaign pledge of balanced budgets. the debt ceiling, they're not allowed to go above 14 trillion dollars, but they will have to. there is no way around it. in a lot of the conversations that were happening in baltimore over the weekend for what can we get in return for the tough votes in march or april, whenever that will be? that makes us look bad. we will get spending cuts from
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the democrats in return. host: omaha, nebraska. go ahead. caller: it is a complete ways for the republicans to focus their time on the health-care bill. we all know it will not get repealed. second, referring to the bank bailout, i am republican that was for the bank bailout, because i believe without it we would have lost countless jobs. all of the aig people would of been out of jobs. i thought they were crucial, although unpopular. third, the debt ceiling. i do not think republicans should get anything in return for the debt ceiling, because we need to raise the debt ceiling. i did not believe we should accumulate more debt, but we need to keep the government
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operational. the simple idea we should let our government go out of operation simply to prove a political point, which they're trying to do, is astounding. they are putting the safety of the american people are risks over trying to appease the tea party, and i think that is entirely unacceptable. thank you. host: john in a mall. omaha. in guest: you are exactly right, it was a bush-era program. it happens in late 2008. it was henry paulson who said we have to do this thing. it was supported by democrats and republicans. it was big and controversial, and there is still a lot of debate about its effectiveness
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and that sort of thing, but a lot of economists are in agreement that it has saved them a much tougher economic time. i think what the debate is now is because that was an $800 billion bill or something like that, all that was not spend -- the republicans want to take the money that was not spent in pay back the deficit. the obama administration, one to ce you have the money, you did not want to give it back. that is where the debate has gone just to clarify that a little bit. host: talk to us more about the raising of the debt ceiling. how close are we to facing some sort of a government shutdown the way the clinton administration had a face-off with new it being bridge?
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-- with newt gingrich? guest: often times congress for its history, but they're not shortsighted enough that they have forgotten what happened with newt. clinton came out of that smelling like a rose, and newt retired a few years later. john boehner does not want to make the same mistake. they will ask for something in return, but they will raise the debt ceiling. host: we have more on the health-care debate from senator gillibrand.o brakirsten if we can go into the chamber, what you're going to
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create is an image of the congress deciding that we're going to work as a body, not as two separate sites, and that is a very good place to start. the conversations about health care are very meaningful because one thing the government brought up is if we can move the conversation to what about the bill to want to change? that is a legitimate debate that we should have a. after the bill was written, a lot of small businesses said there is a lot of paperwork i have to fill out. we can change that. that is something we can absolutely agree on. talking about repealing the whole piece of legislation, let's break it apart. are the tax cuts not something we can all agree on? i think it is. making sure we have more choices and competition, that is american value, something we agree on. in making sure everyone covers
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preventive care, we should probably keep that. i think the president's call to action is extremely meaningful for that reason. all he is saying is that our democracy has to live up to the expectation of our children. that we have to solve the problems of the day. in a very significant issue is the economy. in -- a very significant issue is the economy. host: michael willis, go ahead. guest: she mentioned that one specific provision where both parties actually agreed.
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it is not a new tax, does the new filing requirement. it saves about $70 billion by closing the tax gap. both parties have heard enough anger from small businesses that they have said we have to go back and get rid of it. the senate tried to put that out last year and they cannot agree on how to pay for the 17 billion. they agree on the policy. i think it is something that will pass this year. one of the very few things in that bill that both parties will agree on. host: another issue that is getting a lot of attention, especially in the wake of the shooting in tucson is gun- control. he wrote last week that speaker gaynor says no to new gun control. homeland panel cheap is thas at odds with gop chief.
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host: is this going to be a big issue that will create an internal fight? guest: i think a lot of gun control activists are hoping so. all indications are that this not an issue that will hang long. e around very the political and arm is not right for gun control. very different in 2007 after the virginia tech shootings. both party stepped in and recognize that something needed to be done to keep guns out of
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of the mentally ill. and it was supported by the national rifle association. now there are pushing, asking the question of winning to return to the bill? the answer across the board from a lot of democrats is no, we will not go back. host: back to the phones. jenny on the line for republicans. in caller: good morning to you both. i wanted to make a comment about the health care first. they have made it mandate. ok, if they do not want it mandate, who will pick up the, you know, -- the taxpayers will end up paying. when you are in a group like some of the federal employees, they are in a group of insurance
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plans, but their insurance goes up a lot of other places goes up. and if they do not want that in there, then i think that they should be the ones that have to pay the bills. because i do not think it is fair to other americans -- my insurance goes up, and this is probably in the last 15 years, it goes up every year. i believe this is one of the reasons why, because we are paying for people that do not have health care. as far as the state of the union, ok, it is a one-time evening, and who cares who's side -- if you want to sit on one side, fine. fine. you don't, as far as the one congressman,
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he says 1,000 feet away, but that will not make a difference, because that is ridiculous, because if someone wants to shoot you or whatever, they are going to find a way to do it. host: jenny we will leave it there. guest: i will start with the gun control issue. thank you for the call. a lot of criticism peaking for that reason. the logistics of it. how do you know they are carrying a gun? how does this is a note congressman is and the general vicinity? -- how does a citizen know that a congressman is in a general vicinity? host: we are talking with mike lillis.
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congressional reporter for "the hill." after a week delayed by tragedy, house such ship back into gear. that is in today's issue of "the hill" on line and also and hard copy. you are on "the washington journal." go ahead. caller: good morning, gentlemen. thank you for giving me the opportunity. i was really disappointed with my republican party. they are creating rhetoric every time, and that is now how they won the elections. if you go any time in the history of winning, --
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that is what is coming up with health care. obama's health plan. stop killing health plan. that peoplery to say like rush limbaugh are being paid so heavily to do it. in i do not want to say anything more than that. and as a free country, i would never like a person like rush limbaugh to speak even in a small -- host: we're going to leave it there. the debate this week is regarding health care specifically. is it going to be strictly along party lines or might there be some democrats who are going to be speaking out and also talking
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about repeal of the healthcare bill? guest: it is a good question. eroded -- devoted on the role that or govern health care debate. -- they voted on the rule that will govern health care debate last week. you have a lot of democrats who won very narrowly in november. they were critical of keeping speaker policy as -- pelosi as the minority leader. in when asked about whether or not he would support repeal, he said it is not only a bad idea, immoral to do it. you are seeing some of the moderates have the potential of swinging back.
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you can see nancy pelosi reigniting -- uniting these guys. host: john on the line for republicans. caller: i would like to make a point about the news. and i am down the middle. hannity or o'reily, i have to watch cnn to get all the information when politicians get voted into office, the american people have spoken. i wish someone would explain to them if they won 53% of the votes, that is not the american people. what we would like to see is nothing to do with fox news, but i was watching fox news and had
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a couple on. they both wanted health care for everybody. what gets me is the bankers that make all the money, that is their job. when you have health care, get someone like it same vincent's hospital in new york that is a nurse making 140. then you have the guy in the insurance industry that is making millions. bankers were still making money people in the medical profession their job was to help people out. it did not have to do as much with money as it was to help people out. host: we will leave it there. guest: getting back to the partisanship question, you are exactly right that congress winds an election, and even if
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they just 150% of the vote, they often treated as a mandate. you have seen criticisms of that going back to two years ago when the democrats had the majority but also a conversation during the bush administration. they tend to overemphasize the victory and not point out that the margins are not always as large as the would like to believe. on the cost of health care issue, this is the biggest concern. this is why they have passed the reform bill to begin with. health care costs are rising faster than inflation. they're rising faster than wages. it is why getting people injured is so important because you cannot afford the services that you sometimes need. the reform bill is a universal coverage bill. what they did not do is control
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cost very well. no one has really said out loud how will you get costs under control? a lot has do with the salaries of some of these guys. host: william from baltimore, maryland. go ahead. caller: i have two questions. one regarding the care that seniors are permitted to get to prevent an traded conditions that affect other parts of the body. if the health-care law is repealed, what would happen to seniors that would be denied
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that intervention? the other thing is the question of we as people in the united states, the reading of the constitution, is there a part of the constitution that to be allowed to be considered for having this? host: give us your reading of the overall response to the reading of the constitution. did that get the attraction that the republicans were hoping that it would or was a more seen as a photograph our opportunity? guest: i think it was seen as a photograph opportunity. it had bipartisan support. there was a minor scandal because they're not reading the original document.
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and i think it was a reference to that, they did not read the paragraphs. the founding fathers had written that. there is still in the region of documents, and there were not read. i also -- but lost a little bit of traction for the republicans who were hoping to make it a bigger issue is the point was you cannot propose a law without also justifying its constitutional reason for being there. yet a first several laws that they have put forward did not include that as well. -- get the first couple of false that they put forward did not include that as well. host: our last call for this segment comes from houston, texas. go ahead. calle caller: good morning. i am calling about health care. hello?
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i have lived through this for many years now. when i was working, i have health care. do you know if anybody had helped the insurance, the taxpayer that is paying for that, anybody that does that help health care -- that does not have health care, that is what i was doing. i lost my job. then when i did not have it, the insurance went up so high i cannot even afford it. they have nervy enough to tell me i had to wait for seven or eight hours in a chair. i finally got some insurance that i could afford.
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host: we're running out of time. n why is the republican people keep on repealing health care? host: we're going to leave it there. you have the last word. the republicans are repealing, but they also want to replace it. they say they have ideas to bring down the cost of health care for people like yourself. one idea they have is right now when you buy insurance is regulated by the state regulator. there are a handful plan to contused from. the one to open that up so that someone in virginia can buy from california and across state lines. they say that would bring down the price, because there is increased competition. and a lot of criticisms from
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democrats and consumer rights activist. it is a conversation we will have this year, and you will hear a lot about it. host: kinky for being on -- thank you for being on "the washington journal" this morning. after the break, our discussion will focus on fiscal health of the states. first, a c-span update. we will be right back. >> martin luther king jr. is eldest son addresses gathering today in atlanta marking the 20th anniversary of the federal holiday named for his father. dr. king is the only american that was not the u.s. president to have a federal holiday named in his honor. dr. king would have been 82 on january 15. meanwhile, president obama and first lady michelle marked the day with community service.
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members of the president's cabinet and other top officials serving in communities across the country. in a statement earlier this weekend, the president say dr. king dedicated his life to others and asked all americans to volunteer on projects that benefit the needy. an update on progress women differed. earlier today doctors upgraded her condition from critical to serious. the washington post reports that the trial for the gunman accused of trying to assassinate gaby gifford will be moved to california because of extensive pre-trial publicity and arizona. federal officials say san diego would get the part because it is one of the closest judicial districts to arizona. those are some of the headlines on c-span radio. >> it is time to up load your video for it to the student camera documentary competition. get your video to c-span for your chance to win the grand prize of $5,000.
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this year's topic is washington, d.c., through my lens. for details, go to >> i believe the best way to carry on dr. king's work is to make an ongoing commitment to community service. in >> on the 82nd anniversary of dr. martin luther king's birth, use the c-span video library. find a program, watch it, and share it. >> starting tuesday the house takes up the repeal of the health-care law. watch the debate in final but live on c-span. go to to watch it on line. "washington journal" continues. host: the deputy director of
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the budget policy decisions. welcome to the program. your group does wrote an article fahey and was updated in december called the state's continuing to feel the recession's impact. what is the current fiscal state of the states? are they getting better or worse? >> the question is what you do when the bombs drop out? the state and the people that served up in crushed by the national recession and its aftermath. state revenues have never collapsed to the point they have in the past few years. what that really means is people's needs are rising in an economic crisis, and the resources available for states to meet the needs have shrunk dramatically. people are starting to feel that in all kinds of ways, whether it is college tuitions making it almost impossible to go to college and get a good job, or
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whether it is seniors and health care, cutting off school days or closing libraries, laying off cops and firefighters. at every level people are feeling this. it is really causing quite a problem. not just for the people but the national economy as well. when the private sector is faltering, state and local government spending is an important drive for the economy. to the extent that which this crisis persists, it can threaten recovery and it will persist because the sheer is looking like the worst year yet, even though revenues are said to pick up a little bit. the help the states have gone is almost gone. -- the help the states have gotten is almost gone. host: tell us a little bit about
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some of the remedies that governors, either democrats or republicans, are trying to come up with in order to set their state fiscal policy right. guest: that is certainly a bipartisan crisis. what has been happening over the past couple of years is first states have cut spending dramatically if. they have cut spending so much they're reaching a point where it threatens the economy and threatens the future. most they have also raise revenue. they have said we need a balanced approach. there is no single way to solve the crisis this serious. they have also been raising revenues. states do not have a lot of options in tough times. they have to balance the budget from year to year. they cannot read monday so there is no either or choices. money.n not print monethey cant
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in one state the governor is saying no new taxes and the other the governor is saying maybe new taxes if the citizens want them. guest: i think that what
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governors will find out. a lot of governors ran on the platform of cutting taxes. when you are an office and have to make the numbers add up, traditional you see people take a different approach in realize if they try to solve the problem by cuts alone, you do not make the investments you need and do not create the building blocks of a strong economy. host: we want to look at some of the state's balanced budget requirements. unlike the federal government, every state except vermont is required to balance its budget by constitution or statute. states generally cannot pay for ongoing expenditures using borrowed funds. tell us about the exception of vermont. and guest: i am not sure why that is. require a balanced budget. vermont is the only one that
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does not have that requirement. host: the states generally cannot pay for ongoing expenditures by using borrowed funds. if they cannot borrow the money, and some are insisting they will not raise taxes, where will the cash come from? guest: they will cut and cut and cut. the quality of life will supper. as i mentioned, states cannot have a lot of options. it revolves around a combination of cuts and taxes in using reserves. most aids went into the recession was very healthy reserves. texas, which has the biggest reserve in the country, so far refusing it. you see a lot of help from the federal recovery act. host: we are talking with john ure, the deputy director of
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uthority.'s fiscal acti caller: i heard very little about how the paybacks of the billions have been paid back. what fund does that go into? what was it supposed to do? hos guest: it was supposed to help financial institutions that were in huge trouble, and for the most part it has done that. host: next up as philadelphia, pa., on the line for democrats. philadelphia, go ahead. caller: one of the major issues is how they have allowed k street to run around.
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as ip to powerful leadership in washington, oftentimes i hear from them and asked them the question do you think you will maybe see a secretary of commerce or secretary of education or even a deputy secretary that is a regular person that has experience? most of the time they say no, you have to be connected to get those types of positions. i think one of the things -- i think it is one of those things hurting as in this country. guest: they are usually people that have a reputation. i think that the state level you see a lot of people filling positions that are there more for their qualifications and their connections. not everyone is standing in line to be a stakeout officer at a time when state budgets are in the deepest trouble they have
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ever been. i can see where you might say that is a problem, but we have to hope for good people. host: we had this twitter message that said this -- guest: that is a good point, and at the state level as well. some of the states that are in the first from right now are states that during the boom years of 1990's decided to cut taxes. one of the things we have to worry about as the recession lifts and finally revenues returned to where they were before is the ability to cut the taxes again. to cut them, it is kind of like saying to someone at the bottom of the deep hole,
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i have a shovel for you whenever you need a ladder. you cannot make the problems worse. the national economy would be better served if the bush tax cuts had not been extended. we all know what had to happen for the deal that got worked out to happen. states need to take a look at this and be careful. this is not the time to be failing to make investments. if you start to cut taxes in a crisis like this, you could face the consequences. host: next up the silver spring, maryland. caller: i disagree with you there. i think the millionaires and not be taxed as high as they are. if you look at maryland specifically, they had hundreds of hundreds of million dollar shortfalls in the budget. that is mainly because we have millionaires leaving our state. they have to remember 5% of a
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millionaires income is more than the average person's 10%. in you have to keep that in mind. second of all, you have to keep in mind to are the job makers? the people that are the billionaires' are the ones that create jobs in this country. you cannot deny that. 50% of small-business owners makeover $250,000 per year. they will be affected by the tax. we all know small businesses are the top breeders in the nation, so how could you possibly say that raising taxes on these guys would somehow benefit america when ultimately they will be the ones making the jobs and the decisions about who to cut in hire? hirand who to guest: i will respectively
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disagree. there was a study showing that millionaires are not leaving the stage. and they were moving down because of the recession and when it did to their investments there were not millionaires anymore. they're not leaving. a lot of studies have shown the same thing, when you raise taxes, some people will leave it. the vast majority will stay in the state and this they will get a huge net gain in revenues that can use to provide public safety in schools and everything else. a lot of people create jobs. i do not want to say because you are a millionaire, you are creating jobs. and you may be investing the money overseas. becausesing jobs middle-class people are getting laid off by corporations whose profits are increasing. i do not think we can say this as simple as raising profits on the wealthiest people, there will be a downside. host: next up is port charlotte,
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florida. mike on the line for independence. go ahead. caller: i have a comment that leads to me a question. the gentleman is misinformed about what is going on. here is the thing. how do you justify the tax structure? is there a way to adjust things so there would be a flat tax. i understand this has been proposed before and there was a lot of support for it, but it went nowhere. i believe a flat tax is the way to go. it would eliminate all of the class controversy, and basically disruption into what is going
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on in everyone's lives. secondly, i would like you to address the fact that most state taxes in certain states, and how does that affect your opinion on how this goes as far as states' responsibilities? guest: good question. , but youirness issue ma make a good point. gov. christie said we all have to sacrifice, and then he failed to renew a tax increase on people making over $1 million and raise taxes on the poorest people in the state. you make a good point there. those states that have an income tax have a graduated income tax. impactlps neutralize the
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of sales taxes and property taxes, which are not based on the ability to pay. some states have no income tax or sales tax. new hampshire has neither. when it comes down to fiscal responsibility, the bus system is for the state to have a sales tax and income tax. taxes that can grow with the economy. a lot of states that have sales taxes have not updated them in your so they reflect a time when people spend more time on things and the and in services. -- than on services. we found that if states raise their tax rate by 1% and only $500,000 perg $5,00 year, there will be additional revenue. host: our next call for jon shure comes from detroit,
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michigan. matthew on the line for democrats. caller: i would like to know if vermont has a balanced budget. they're the only one without a mandate. is there budget balance? host: on the front page of "the detroit press" they're talking about politics works that could be cut. -- the holiday perks that could be cut. state workers get paid days off on the day after thanksgiving, veterans day, and the eaves of christmas and new year's day. what you think about that? if they were adjust that to help balance the budget, how would you feel about that? caller: i think there are better
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ways than that. i do not think cutting people's holidays are a the way to go, but that is my opinion. guest: thank you for the call. i will be in detroit later this week, so please work on some warmer weather if you can get it. i do not know why vermont does not have the same requirement. they're really in the same situation as most dates. they have seen the revenue collapse and they're trying to deal with it. host: in the article it says the overtime cost of each holiday is about 1.7 $5 million. -- is about $1.75 million. guest: i like to think that is a lot of money, but in the course of the state's budget, that is not a lot of money. michigan was in a recession
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before we had a recession. and obviously auto industry caused a lot of problems in that state, so they're having a tough time picking out. host: kentucky on the line for republicans. go ahead. and callecaller: the question is what makes your guest think that revenues will turn to the level that they were? i think we're in for a long line of decline as far as the economy is concerned. we have given away most of our productive ability in this country. guest: i take a lot of issue with that question. usually after recession ends, it takes states to to three years for the revenue to recover. the last thing that it's good again after the recession is employment. if you are not working, you taxes. paying it usually takes two to three
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years after a normal recession. this is the worst recession since the great depression. how long will it take this time? the answer is nobody knows. i have heard people say it will take a decade. we know this will be a really bad year as governors are proposing the fiscal budget that will start july 1. it is an open question as to how long it will take to come back and what it will look like when we do come back. "the new york times" they have this about illinois.
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host: what it seems to be saying is that businesses are not necessarily at first to raising taxes, but want a stable environment to do business. guest: when illinois raise taxes last week, some state governors made some smart the comments about bringing business to their state. what businesses need are trained workers. they need a clean environment. they need a good transportation
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system. those are the building blocks for transparency. illinois did take a step in the right direction, and the taxes are so highly competitive with its neighbors. host: more numbers. states have close budget shortfalls over $430 billion for fy 2009-2011 combined to balance the budget. they had to address 2011 gap's totaling $130 billion, or 20% of budget's in 46 states. guest: you cannot make it sound more dramatic than it is. it has really been an incredible crisis. it does not happen in isolation. at the same time this is happening, people's needs are going up. more people are on food stamps and have lost their jobs and health care. never has it been more important to be educated and get a good job just since the recession
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began, demographics are an issue. 7000 more children in school. you cannot base this crisis only by saying if we tighten our belts. the people who say that it is really be careful what you wish for, because since the recession began, 400,000 state and local government workers have lost their jobs. and that can send a ripple effect of job loss throughout the economy. host: state budgets and taxes, according to your organization, state tax collections adjusted for inflation are now 12% below pre-recession levels and over 30 states have raised taxes to at least some degree, in some cases quite significantly. guest: that is right. we're starting to see revenues go up a little bit. states are saying our revenues
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are coming up above expectations. that means they have gotten good at being pessimistic when it comes to estimating what revenues will be. we do think that is stopping. it is kind of like you fell off the top of the building and you have worked your way back up to the second floor, so you have a long way to go. host: jon shure. our next call comes from king george, virginia. on the line for democrats. thank you for waiting. caller: i want to clear up the idea that only rich people create jobs. we have a very small business. we have three part-time workers. we're doing our part, even though we are not rich. guest: thank you for saying that. it cannot be more important. when people argue for a tax increase, they make it sound like it will hurt a lot of people.
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small businesses are not always that big. in most states, if you raise taxes on people making over $250,000, you would probably be raising taxes on something like 2 percent of the population in the state. it is a disservice to a lot of people and small business to say they do not create jobs. it is also a disservice to people that work for small businesses. host: there is a twitter message that asks why should the government workers be the only ones immune to layoffs? guest: they are not immune to layoffs. that is the important part. they are far from being immune to layoffs, but there is another issue that is interesting, because sometimes the undertone is to say people in the private sector do not have the pension benefits they to have, do not
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have the health-care benefits they to have appeared in the issue there is what is happening in the private sector is a tragedy. people have lost their economic security and retirement. they have lost the health care they need. that is bad for them and the economy. for people to say the way to solve the problem is to take it away from people who are fortunate enough to have it in the public sector, that is kind of like saying if i am sick, i should get well by you getting sick, too. this is not the time to be putting workers in one sector against workers in another. we need to make it better for everyone. host: chris in the bronx on the line for independence. caller: it seems to me like states like california and illinois pay tremendous amounts of money to the federal government. were places like mississippi and alaska raceme -- received a
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tremendous amount of money. guest: money comes back based on income. that is all right. money is supposed to go where it can do the most. if you live in a wealthy state and you were upset your money is going to wash in, move to a poor state -- money is going to washington, then moved to a poor state. california requires a 2/3 vote to reduce the budget. sometimes california is trying to struggle against situation with two hands tied behind their backs. host: there is an article in "the new york times" today. the budget plan was found to be
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a good starting point. he used a stealing assessment -- a steely assessment. guest: you are right. some of california's problems go way back. they passed proposition 13, which limited local property taxes. that seemed like a good idea at the time to a lot of folks. then the state had to step in and pay for school costs. the political structure of california, which allows a small , hasity in the legislatoure
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been a problem. people often say, are other states going to go the way of california? probably not. but california has been hurt by the housing bubble and everything else that has made this recession such a persistent problem. host: back to the phones. you're on "washington journal." caller: good morning. thank you. it would be a good idea -- i do not know about encouraging the states to lower -- get tax breaks, whether they are large or small businesses. they have a hard time in getting health and pension plans for their employees. it seems like the government agencies -- i don't know if they get bigger breaks because of the
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things that they are offering. for example, to members of congress, it goes to a federal level. whether congress gets pension plans, it seems it is lopsided compared to what your average american. -- compared to what they get. i wonder how you would respond to that. guest: a lot of the tax breaks that states offered to businesses, the heart -- they try hard to compete with each other. a lot of those tax breaks have been proven not to create jobs. if you run a business, any customer, taxes are a small percentage of what you pay. if your profits are low, your taxes or even lower. give them a tax break in a bad economy, they are not going to hire anybody because they are not going to sell anything.
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they need to provide health-care benefits for their employees. the federal health care reform, which the repeal of which will be debated this week in the house, is going to help small business to do that. it will be easier for them to provide the kind of protection that people need. host: michigan, larry, on our line for democrats. caller: these people talk about states having better revenues and everything else. host: go ahead, larry. caller: these people talking about -- everybody is in debt. talk about -- about the health care debate that is going to the golan. it is a big force. -- about the health care debate
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that is going to go on. gas will it $4, up $5 a gallon $4, $5 perll has will hit gallon. guest: they invest in the future. some of the reasons why things are so tough, there are a lot of factors. sometimes, not making investments in the past makes it tough in the future. i hope we can learn from this and make sure we invest in schools and health care and all the things that bring prosperity in the long run. the question is, states making the decisions today, they want to take advantage of prosperity, or will they not do that and things will get tougher? host: there was a headline in ""the wall street journal."
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write -- cities are scrambling to refinance tens of billions of dollars of debt this year. guest: we have heard people saying they are not worried about it. there are not worried about it at the state level because they can get the revenue. locally, that could be more of a problem. we have seen some increase in defaults. that is a small percentage of the bonds that have been sold. it is important for the government to borrow money for the right things. infrastructure, buildings, bridges. they have to be careful they don't make the mistake of borrowing excessively. i think that some of the people are overblowing the potential for that crisis. host: ohio, independent, jeff.
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you are on "washington journal." akron? are you there? co-head -- go ahead. caller: i have a question about our governor. our governor campaigned on a jobs, jobs, jobs -- he turned around and he refused almost half a billion dollars for a rail project. i just was wondering if you have any insight as to why he did it. maybe there wasn't details about it that would cost the state more, or whatever. but it just seemed odd. guest: thank you. governor kasich said you better get on the bus with me or the
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bus will run you over. it sells a key prefers buses to rail transportation. it cannot make sense for governor christie in new jersey to turn the money to build a tunnel under the hudson river that would decrease housing of dallvalues in new jersey. i hope the issue is not that some governors are so tied up in ideological positions that they do not see the need to invest. this is a crisis of meeting human needs and try to shoehorn your ideology into the crisis is not the most practical way to solve it. host: chandler, arizona. caller: having psychological crisis, i would like to talk about the cost of war in states. the total cost of war in california is $144 billion.
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you can go to your city -- host: what are you talking about? caller: the cost of the wars in iraq and afghanistan. a tiny amount of that could cause lasting peace. this amount of money that we're spending on war could buy a lot of health care. if you wanted to fix the health care problem, we should get in front of it by finding all the allied health education that anyone wants to take. let me finish. host: municipalities are paying for the war? caller: the portion of the de bt that is theirs, i suppose. guest: you could go back and visit the wisdom over the course of eight years of both funding
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it war and cutting taxes. never has any president tried to do both at the same time. clearly, there would be more money available that could be assisting states and could be doing other things. i get the gist of what you're saying. -- i get the jist of what you're saying. caller: i would like to ask your guests -- when the government's gear ready to cut and balance the budget, why do they always do this on the backs of the poorest people? medicare, medicaid, food stamps, they always go to the poorest people. can you explain that to me? guest: the vast majority of the money that states spend is spent
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on education and health care. a lot of the money spent on health care is for programs like medicaid, which is for people who don't have coverage through their employer or cannot afford their own coverage. you're raising a good point. a lot of the cuts that states are implementing during the course of this recession is in fact hurting the people who are in the worst shape. look at new jersey and now michigan is talking about reducing their earned income tax credit. that helps working people who are trying to work their way up the ladder. the push back check comes when -- the contention it will cost -- jobs and the people will leave the state. there is no question that to the extent cuts are trying to predict states are trying to solve this crisis through cutting, people getting hurt the are hurting the most.
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host: this report from center on budget and policy priorities talks about $60 billion in the 2009 federal stimulus and 2010 jobs bill remains to help with 20 11th fiscal problems. if the states are looking for assistance, how did they go about looking to get part of this $60 billion that is left over? guest: the federal recovery act that was passed was a big help. help balance budgets. it is beyond numbers. it helped people keep their jobs. help teachers and firemen and cops keep their jobs. last august, more money was approved by congress. the attempt to make a bigger did not work. congress is showing no appetite for doing it. it would be a good investment.
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to the extent states are cutting spending, that hurts the national economy. states cannot put money into a shredder. they put it back out in salaries and contracts and services. as the government spends more, states spend less. it is like filling a bathtub the same time your opening the drain to let water out. host: john from vancouver, washington. caller: good morning. our governor in washington came on television the other day and she said in order for the state of washington to get out of the problems they are facing, she listed in order what people could do as a state. you need to rely on yourself. you need to rely on your family. you need to rely on religious groups that you are affiliated
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with. and rely on the state. the state no longer has any money. i propose the reason the state of washington is in the problem is in it is because she has taken that list previously and slipped it. that is all i have to say. guest: i am not entirely sure i catch what you are saying. the governor called for a balanced approach. she has looked at the revenue side of things. i think she is making the point that everybody needs to help. people are in such tough times. sometimes you hear people against taxes say government should be like a family. tighten your belt. in reality, that family also says, how can we get some more money to feed a family does not say we have four kids and we are only going to feed 3. persius expressing the frustration that many feel.
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host: our last call for jon shure from center on budget and policy priorities comes from alabama. caller: yes, sir. everybody talks about fiscal responsibility, everything can be fixed. get employees and have bids for the jobs and employers to do the jobs for the safety or even the federal. except you cannot say, you have to pay so much to do the job or you have to pay $20 an hour because this is a federal -- whatever it is. the lowest bid, that is the job. you are talking about high-speed rail. if there was any money to be made in high-speed rail, the
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private industry would have made it. look at amtrak. amtrak is now -- is losing $30 billion a year. since 1977, when they took amtrak over to government. they have been losing since then. host: we will leave it there and go to jon shure for his last comments. is st: let's not blame th crisis on working people. dollar for dollar, they are not paid more for people in the private sector. to say if the private sector could make money on it, they would. there are a lot of things we need government to do that the private sector cannot make money on. maybe the private sector cannot make money on schools or public safety or environmental protection, but we still need
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those things. we rely on government to do things for all of us for the common good. there is always a profit in that. host: we have been talking with jon shure from center on budget and policy priorities about the fiscal health of the states. thank you for being here. we will be talking with heather peeler, a chief strategy officer with corporation for national & community service. but first we would like to show you an interview we did back in 2007 with representative john conyers on martin luther king and making martin luther king day a holiday. >> when martin luther king was assassinated, i was able to introduce the first bill to make his birthday a national, legal holiday. and i called corona stock came -- credit scott king to get your
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approval before i did that. -- coretta scott king. it was finally signed into law. it has been celebrated and observed for many of those labor organizations, for collective bargaining. it is a legal holiday, a paid holiday. dr. king has been a person who has shaped my political ideology more than any other one person i have ever met. i have had the honor of meeting quite a few national and international leaders. getting the bill into law was very difficult because many people felt that america was not ready to honor the birthday of any black person.
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but certainly not whoo challenges government as the king did. his opposition to the war, his fight for racial justice, and his many marches, protests, and struggles and out of court, when he took on the very government itself in trying to make it better. with all non-filing protests, at least for his part, although -- with all non-violent protests. he was injured many times. continue to persist. we have marches. stevie wonder came in and marched with us on his birthday on january 15. and then stevie wrote a song, "happy birthday, dr. king,"
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which inspired and recommitted millions of people. >> "washington journal" continues. host: heather peeler joins us now. she is the chief strategy officer for corporation for national & community service. welcome. guest: the corporation for national & community service is the federal agency charged with leaving -- leading the service sector in the united states. we enabled millions of americans to become involved in the communities, to work together and to address those issues that are most critical to our neighborhood and to the nation. if i could take a minute to tell you about some of the programs we offer through the corporation. one of are most well-known programs is americorps.
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americans commit to taking a year to work in communities and working through community organizations, non-profit organizations large and small. we support almost 4000 non- profit organizations doing the important work in communities. organizations like teach for america, habitat for the manatee, big brothers, big sisters, and smaller community organizations, as well. what members are doing, they are helping families in need to secure safe and affordable housing. they are running after school programs throughout big brothers, big sisters. in addition to americorps, we have a couple of other programs. host: we want to let folks know that there is stimulus money that was received for this.
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$200 million to support an expansion of americorps and the americorps vista programs,, funding for more than 50,000 americorps members. where was this money used and how was it used for the expansion of the americorps program? guest: the money was used to go into communities all around the country. in almost every state, this that members and america members were deployed in community organizations. some of the things that members did were hosting job fairs, conducting workforce development programs, conducting financial literacy programs, doing the kinds of things to help americans who were in need get back on their feet. host: what is the corporation for national and community service doing today to get people involved in what is being called a day of service? guest: today is a day of
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service. it is the mlk day of service. people should take time out of the day -- today is a day on, not a day off -- to get involved in their communities. get involved with local nonprofits or through informal means such as helping out a neighbor or shoveling in members walk. they're more than 13,000 service project that are taking place today. more than 1 million people will be taking the time out to get involved, we anticipate. one thing that is unique about today is that in honor of the federal holiday, we are asking people to take mlk 25 challenge. met to 25 axed a service -- commit to 25 acts of service. host: we're speaking with
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heather peeler from the corporation for national & community service. if you want to get involved today -- 202-737-0001 for republicans. 202-737-0002 for democrats. 202-628-0205 for independents. you can also send us messages by e-mail and twitter. our first call comes from williamsburg, virginia. caller: hello. this is randy o'neal. i own a small business. it is a mobile fitness facility. i travel from school to public housing, any host organization that which -- that once a fitness component that affords not for profits and schools and other mentors to come in and work with children write in their own neighborhood school or corner. sally, i find a lot of -- sadly,
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i find a lot of not for profits that are unsophisticated and do not have any real tool to reach the children or orleans they hope to engage. so i would suggest that to create new opportunities, america starts social of entrepreneurial programs that will focus on the participants -- with a modest fee and challenging these not for profits and government organizations that say they are trying to do the same thing. and show up on those corners and do it for less money with better facilities and data outcome. host: thank you for your call. guest: and thank you for all you are doing in committees. i think you have a good point. in order for nonprofit organizations to provide their program to do their services,
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they need support and resources. that is one thing that the corporation for national & community service does. we have motivated individuals going into communities and working with these organizations who are often under resource. this to members are working in that nonprofit organization to help them take a vintage of community resources like randy's programs or others -- to take advantage of community resources. host: todd on our independent line. caller: you have all these job fairs in search helps like michigan works. that is all great. but the problem is the trade agreements -- they are sending jobs overseas. i don't think the media gets it. i went back to school.
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there are no jobs out there. don't you get? -- don't you get it? the jobs are gone. guest: i think you are sharing a concern that many have. people are a great need around the country. that is the role of the corporation for national & community service, to support citizens and to enable people to come together across sectors of the government -- the government and private sector cannot do it alone. when citizens can come together and work across sectors, we have the potential to make a difference in people's lives. host: the corporation for national & community service is not necessarily a job placement or job assistance organization. guest: it is not a job assistance entity. but we do not support non-profit organizations that are doing
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that work in communities. another thing about national service is that it does have a dual bottom line so that those individuals who are engaged have an opportunity to make a difference in the community, but also change their own lives. through service, individuals are developing job skills, they are developing leadership skills, teamwork skills, the kinds of skills that are attractive to employers. host: dallas, texas. you're on the line with heather peeler. caller: i was wondering how you have responded of programs have grown or not grown in light of the recession. i'm a college graduate. i wanted to give back to the community and to establish something that was a common thread. host: tell us about the process
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you went through. caller: i went online -- i have a lot of friends in the peace corps and teach for america. i went to americorps and looked at all the programs that they have. i send in my application to habitat and to the americorps website. i heard back in the interview process was very smooth. i'm doing resource development -- fund-raising, marketing, and pr. guest: to life for committing to service and working in communities to solve problems. your question about how we're responding to needs in light of the recession -- as you mentioned, we have been going through a growth spurt. we have additional resources to invest in national service so that there are more individuals
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who are available to work on some of the things that you just discussed. and i think one of the important things to note is the reason why we have seen such support is because i think folks recognized the value that national service breaks to communities. national service members like you are working in community organizations, you are mobilize additional volunteers. your attracting new resources to these nonprofit organizations. the multiplier effect is something that i think makes for a powerful equations and something that is worthy of investment. host: tennessee on our republican line. caller: i am a radical republican. i am puzzled about all of the talk about revelation. i am aware of 1881, that
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reconstruction ended for those people who were coming out of slavery. my grandfather who came out of slavery, he was a republican who worked with the american society. there was a lot of progress done before 1881 when -- there was a deal with the southern states. we are 100 and nearly 50 years -- nearly 150 years and there is no deconstruction with our community. and so i just wanted to make that point. i think it is an important point. host: let's move onto saginaw,
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michigan. ed. caller: president lincoln started the civil war. he started all this. how come we don't celebrate his birthday? host: back to our topic on day of national service with heather peeler, chief strategy officer with the corporation for national & community service. she's here to talk about martin luther king day of service and the role that the corporation plays in implementing public service programs around the country. morgantown, tennessee. ben, you are on "washington journal." caller: poverty -- why is it that democrats and republicans want to cut everybody's so security checks -- social security checks? the price of food goes up more and more everyday. the gas goes up.
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host: will leave it there -- we will leave it there. guest: individuals and families continue to suffer, continue to be challenged and making -- in making ends meet in today's economy. the role of national service is really to bring people together. everyday citizens along with business and government, for folks to work together to address these problems. host: next up is illinois, sammy, on airline for republicans. sammy? caller: yeah, -- can you hear me? host: do you have a question? caller: my question is for have their -- heather. i agree with reaching out to the
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community. the way i see it is, helping people get back on their feet, the economy is bad. the best thing to do is to reach out to the communities. i do not know if you would agree with me. there are a lot of hurting people out there. i think we just need to reach out to the communities and let them know they still have a chance. host: you have been talking a lot about americorps. tell us about the senior coprs program -- a senior corps program. guest: we work with over 500,000 older americans across the country. members are doing a variety of different activities. we have a foster grandparent program where seniors are able to be mentors and tutors for young children. also, we have a senior companion program where seniors work with
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home-bound seniors or veterans to insure they can remain living independently in their homes. finally, there is a program. it is essentially a group of folks that whatever is needed in communities. you'll find them many call centers, food banks, organizing neighborhood patrols, essentially out there working alongside with their fellow citizens to make a difference. host: in april of 2009, president obama served the most sweeping expansion of national service in a generation. explain to us what the act did and how it has expanded your operation? guest: first and foremost, the act asked us to direct our resources and programs to those issues that are most pressing to
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the nation. specifically, the act identified a couple of areas where they would like to see national service be mobilized to address. issues of education, economic opportunity, disaster services, veterans and military families. environmental stewardship. these are some of the issues that are challenging our nation. the act asked us to be very direct about how we are working to address these. the act also laid out paper pass ford for growth for the operation to grow from 75,000 when the act was passed to over to interfere 2000. that growth trajectory -- to ,000.250 to help communities address pressing problems.
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host: the service aims to provide $5.7 billion over five years to promote volunteerism. guest: yes. one of the benefits of committing a year to national service is that you have the opportunity to earn an educational award. members can use that award towards college or they can if they are eligible, pass that a ward off to another family member. the purpose is to recognize the contribution that these individuals are making in communities and also to provide them with a pathway to opportunity. national service enables individuals to develop job skills, skills that will be important to employers. many of our partners intensely
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work with those individuals who may have challenged backgrounds, who perhaps it might not have that high school diploma. they get involved in national service. the earnest education award and they are on the pathway to opportunity. host: back to the phones heather peeler for, chief strategy officer for a corporation for national & community service. brooklyn, new york. good morning. caller: good morning, heather. i am a c-g because span junkie. i have been under employed for the past two years. i am astounded that this information and these programs and what they do for the community don't get out to the community more. most people i know don't know about americorps and big
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brothers and big sisters. many do not have the internet or de matha access to the internet. you gave me an idea about maybe trying to get my officials give this information out. i have been trying to get my elected officials to get hot lines in their offices so that they can be available to the community. if you're not listening to the story and you're not out there, they cannot to shake hands when they want to be elected and they disappear. we have to come together to make them accountable. host: thank you for your call. guest: thank you for sharing your perspective. this is one of the reasons why mlk day holiday has been positioned as a day of service. we see this as an opportunity to engage millions of americans around the country and to help people to get on this pathway to
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service and two civic engagement. there are thousands of defense happening all over the country today. if you go to, you will come up with a list of opportunities for you to get involved in your community. caller: good morning. is there -- you answered my question five minutes ago. i wanted to go back to school and take the advantage of whatever assistance was available. is there a number i could get where i could call? is there a 1-800 number the maybe i could try to access assistance? guest: unfortunate, i don't have the 1-800 number at the top of my head. if you go to national myspace, you will find
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information on how to apply to americorps to get involved. host: ohio, you're on "washington journal." caller: thank you. i want to piggyback with three of the caller is hitting on the project that i have been working with. we're trying to recognize that the efforts to change the schools for the better and keep students in and all that stuff are faltering largely because we have not been able to involve the parents. that is a given among educators. junior highght before received my doctorate. i see steady deterioration in this area. many people would like to see things happen. the existing nonprofits are not
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able to -- i was director of the nonprofit for a number of years. i know how it is to get trapped in the details of your own organization as they are and the difficulties in responding to new were supposedly kind of on the edge things and to get approval from the board of directors and that kind of thing. i would like to know if there is a policy that controls what you do in the corporation for national and community services, which says you must work through existing nonprofits. guest: thank you for your question. we do work through existing nonprofits, but through e van the mlkda day e
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observance. one option is to identify a local nonprofit in your community. another is to create your own project. is that spirit of entrepreneurship and the ingenuity that our agency is all about supporting. we recognize that the solution to challenges do not come from washington, d.c. the solutions are in communities. one of the important roles of the corporation for national & community service is to provide that, for for people to get involved. host: the last caller talked about education. tell us about the connection between the corporation for national & community service and teach for america. guest: teach for america is a program that takes college graduates, trains them, and deploys them to underresource to schools, those in need of
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qualified teachers. all of the participants are actually americorps members. so it is the way in which the federal government can support these kinds of community solutions that are innovative and provide a different way for communities to address these complex issues. but teach for america is only one of the education-related organizations that we support. about 40% of our funding and programs are directed towards addressing educational issues. depending on what community ego to, it could look different. solutions are locally driven. host: how are the teachers in teas for america -- are they paid through corporation for national & community service or through the state's? guest: they do receive the
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education award that is available to americorps members. the work with us multifacetedly. the corporation provides that platform for people to get involved and for community solutions and organizations to come together to try different kinds of programs that are really addressing the most pressing issues of the nation. host: if you want to call the 800 number for americorps, we have that. 1-9 =800-942-2677. 1-800-942-2677. caller: thank you from c-span. i have a question for heather.
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i am a senior citizen. recently in georgia, we have had the snow that turned to ice. i have been trapped in a my house for six days. i was not able to get any help. is there an organization for the senior corps -- you said they have people that help them get ice out of the trombley so you could get out of your property. is there an organization in georgia that would help people in this situation? my fear is that they are predicting another snowstorm like we had last month. i am devastated by not being able to get out of my house at all. host: do you have a computer in your house? caller: yes, i do. host: you can go to their website.
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guest: you'll find information about the senior companion program. host: next up is scott on four independent -- on our line for independencts in new york. caller: oneonta, new york. i know what you do has a great intentions. we do have a need out there. there is something -- a shifting that needs to occur in the country. maybe the triple bottom-line approach. in terms of calculating what the costs for everything is in the country, whether health care or education. the new served america act is out there now. are they trying to address this
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or trying to break the cycle of people stock without little fair wages? people don't have the access of food through the internet. how do we connect the intentions with the actual reality of people on the ground and what they will be able to do once they put that service in in terms of having a job. it will give them a stake in the country beyond his having the information, how they connect that to a real livable wage and a life beyond that. host: thank you for your call. guest: we have a network of state offices. we work closely with state governors through the state's service commission. if you are not able to access our web site for information, you can contact our state offices or the state service commission in your community to get more information about the
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kinds of programs that are available. host: it is not too early to think about kids that are still in school, middle school and high school, what they will do for the summer. you have a program of summer of service that puts young people on a path of service and provides five adult education rewards. and the youth engagement zones. tell us about that. guest: these are programs to help young people begin on the pathway. through learn and served america, we work with over a million and a half young people around the country, building upon that concept of service learning. that is when you integrate the curriculum in the classroom with service opportunities. through summer of service or through the programs that we have the run through the academic year, young people are
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staying motivated and improving their academic performance while at the same time they are giving back to their communities. you'll see projects that these young people are doing like they are running recycle programs and cleaning up streams, serving as pierre mentors to their fellow students. it is quite amazing -- serving as a peer mentors to their fellow students. they work with their teachers. they funded the curriculum. they identify -- the kids identify the product they want to address based on the needs they find in their community. you could have a science class that is working to clean up local stream. you could have a history class that is working to collect oral histories and a local nursery home. it is a variety of programs, depending on what the interests of the students, the kirkland,
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and the classroom they are engaged in. host: heather peeler is the chief strategy officer with corporation for national & community service. caller: i am from st. louis. our city was named one of the top-10 worst places to live because of the crime. where i'm finding -- what i'm finding out is a lot of young men -- this is will we have to understand. we addressed the fact that these laws are not fair. we have young african-american men who are serving 10 years for nonviolent crimes. they let child molesters out in four years. there is a discrepancy in the law. what are these men -- i take applications in the committee all the time. i have men in their 30's. the first thing out of their mouth, are they felons?
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addressing the penal system and why we have 70% of our males that are in jail for non-falling crime or drug-related. -- for non-violent crime. host: is there anything for national committee service that addresses recidivism rate among youthful offenders guest: we do have a couple of programs that are doing that. we have programs that are seeking to engage those individuals who are having the hard not life -- the hard knock life. they engage them in service. those individuals are getting their ged's and developing job skills and finding a new pathway to a career and to employment.
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host: douglas, ga. lee, you are on "washington journal." caller: i have a question. is it possible to pay our debt with more debt? host: what does this have to do with a day of national service? we will leave it there. drew in minnesota. caller: good morning. this is a wonderful. -- this is wonderful. we have a nonprofit organization here in minnesota it is called faith in action. they have been growing and growing and reaching out to aging adults, handicapped, and poor, and immigrants.
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i was listening to a lot of your callers that were calling in. there is a program where they helped shut-ins, they mow their yards and shoulder sidewalks -- and shovel their sidewalks. they help volunteer instead of sitting in jail all day. it is a wonderful program. host: is this tied to the corporation for national & community service? caller: they might get some funds from there. i have been getting on board. i have been trying to help them. host: what to folks out there in minnesota doing today to further the day of national service? caller: i don't know how it is tied in power we have a love
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volunteers here in mankato. working with county governments, if those nonprofits were to go down tomorrow, county and state government would have their hands full trying to help all the folks that are being held right now. host: true, thank you for your call. -- drew, thank you for your call. guest: they thrive and be able to provide the kinds of services that citizens need. the corporation enables people like you, me, anyone who wants to get involved through formal or informal means to take action in committee. if you go to, you can find a list of different opportunities for you to get involved and to come together with your fellow citizens to address some of the issues of
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the most challenging for us. host: pensacola, florida. caller: good morning. happy martin luther king day. i just want to say and congratulate you for all the great work that is going on for the corporation for national & community service. as a minister, i realize that church has not taking a full stan of opportunities that the government gives because of the generation -- of the separation of church and state. you have had a clause where you help initiate small nonprofits to get into a special class is. you ask if you're a new applicant to get funds. because of that, i want to know
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what you do to help and what will be done and how money would be allocated. it gets trickle-down. what is going to be done and what is going to be done to help the small fire starters to get started and to be effective in such communities? guest: that is a great question. we're doing a couple of things. if you go to our website, we have a resource center that is available for emerging nonprofits that just getting started. you can learn about how to engage volunteers, what are the best practices and so on. that is one opportunity. second, most of the decision
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making for our grants here at the corporation for national community service are decentralized through our state offices and the state commission. a lot of those decisions are being made at the state and local levels. that does not necessarily give the large national nonprofits like just a leg up. it allows us to support those emerging organizations that are just getting off the ground. host: next up is morris, minnesota on a democrat line. caller: i'm calling from morris, minnesota. what i wanted to share is an appreciation for the minnesota green corps program. we have a program in minnesota that was funded through the corporation for national community service call the green caorps.
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it is a statewide program. we have 26 full-time members all across the state, working with local governments, educational institutions, nonprofits, and doing amazing work. i work here at the center for small towns in morris, minnesota. we have five part-time members who are out in rural minnesota, just really helping people. i appreciate the support. guest: thank you so much. you touched upon the fact that there are so many ways for people to get involved. people can make a difference. if you go to, whatever your passion is, whether it is the environment or helping seniors


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