tv Washington Journal CSPAN January 24, 2011 7:00am-10:00am EST
♪ ♪ host: they look at the dome, where the u.s. government will take place this week. the house is that today. the senate is back tomorrow. you are watching "washington journal." today is monday, january 24. 30 years ago, ronald reagan was sworn in as president, ushering in a new age in american politics. later this year, the nation will also celebrate ronald reagan's 100th birthday. we want to find out what you think about the reagan legacy. that's what we will be talking about for the first 45 minutes of the program this morning.
if you are sending us an electronic message this morning, the e-mail address is journal@c- span.org. you can also follow us on twitter. on the front page of "usa today" this morning, the cover story is an interview with former president george h.w. bush, who served with the ronald reagan. "recalling the private real genius man that he was." it begins, "when george bush first met ronald reagan, he instantly liked his political rival and partner."
host: more on that interview in just a little bit. also in the "usa today" op-ed section, they're talking to several different government officials about their feelings regarding the reagan legacy. the first is from president obama. "reagan saw we are all patriots ." "he recognize that each of us has power to shape our own destiny. he has faith in the american
promise and the importance of reaffirming values like hard work and personal responsibility." host: we are talking about the reagan legacy 30 years later. texas, our first call this morning on the "washington journal." craig on the line for independents. go ahead. caller: thank you for c-span. i'm a vietnam veteran. i was also stationed out of california. i knew reagan as a governor and as a president.
like most presidents, there's a good, bad, and the ugly. the good parts were his wanting to decrease nuclear arms. the bad part was, when he took over, there was less than $1 trillion in debt. after reagan economics, we had $4.5 trillion debt. the dismantling of the manufacturing, and it started about that time period -- like i said, there is good. i respect the man. i thought he was a decent american citizen. i do not rate him as high. he tried. host: illinois on the line for democrats. you are on the "washington
journal." caller: i think he is the start of all the trouble. he tucked the unions away with the airline pilot people. he broke that union. he started ruining all the unions. he sent everything overseas. he put us in the hole we're in now. i think he is the worst president who has ever lived. he ruined america. that's why we have the problems we have now. thank you. host: throughout the morning, we will be showing you some video we have in our archives. if you would like to see some of that video of ronald reagan, you can go to our web site, c- span.org. c-span.org is our web site address. go to that site and you can find
plenty of video of our 40th president, ronald reagan. silver spring, maryland. anne on the line for democrats. you are on the "washington journal." caller: i think ronald reagan was an extremely corruptive person. his own biographer called him a liar. he deregulated things in the worst ways. he even deregulated old age funds -- old age homes. it has been totally disastrous for our country. he redistributive the wealth, but he distributed it upward in a way that has been exceedingly corruptive influence.
the problems we have now, not just the budgetary problems in terms of the money the government owes, but why we owe it and how we owe it. he should be totally condemned. host: we will leave it there. one of our twitterers has sent us this message. >> reagan defeated the soviets, thanks to the economy, and inspired a nation's resurgence with his communication skills." boehner writes about a man who shaped our times. "from its very first moment, the presidency was a call to arms. he declared government is not the solution to our problem.
government is the problem. it struck a chord with a small town, small business people." host: we are talking about the reagan legacy. marino valley, california, on the line for republicans. mike, you are on the "washington journal." caller: reagan is one of the press -- is one of the best presidents we've ever had. he does not issue the budgets. he just amidst them. he was able to basically bankrupt the soviet union, which is one reason why it fell.
i went to europe. i was ready to defend myself as a republican. i found that in 1980, people were happy that president reagan was in office. they felt there was a change coming. he did help the united states win the cold war. though the budget did increase, it was a mutual thing between the republicans, the democrats, and president reagan. he did a lot to bring self- confidence, assurance, and pride back to the united states. i think we owe him quite a debt. host: mike, are you old enough to remember president reagan when he was governor? caller: i turned 18 in 1976.
host: ok, so the answer to that would be no. caller: i remember him as governor, but not his actions and so forth. host: let's move on to annapolis, maryland. ed, on the line for independents. what do you think is the reagan legacy 30 years later? caller: his legacy is -- most of the intelligent republicans, which i was one of before he played his games -- the bipartisan bickering that we have now is a full legacy of him. i watch what he did in california and it was very, very disturbing. thank you. host: one of the earlier callers talked about reagan and talking to reagan in the post-vietnam
era. in "usa today" this morning, there's an article by john mccain, who talks about an unshakable faith in america. he talked about when he came back from vietnam and what reagan meant to him. he said, "our country has a long and honorable history. a lost war or any other calamity should not destroy our confidence or weaken our purpose." host: back to the phones. lookout mountain, georgia a, on the line for independents. caller: good morning. thank you for taking my call. i hope i do not lose my signal.
host: you are doing fine. caller: my comments on the reagan administration are as much a comment on the 1980's as it is on the man. i have lived in france for nine and a half years. i returned to the united states to my hometown of washington, d.c. in 1982. it i recently opened my own business on 18th street nw washington. one day i was startled and afraid because of tanks and all kinds of artillery. it was literally a parade of artillery and tanks coming up 18th street. i was in my shop and i was afraid. it turned out to be an arms bazaar heading to one of the
major hotels. i knew there were american arms dealers living in france. some were very wealthy. they were essentially selling arms to the middle east. host: what does this have to do with ronald reagan? caller: ronald reagan had a policy of free rein to selling arms to the middle east. i believe that we knew at that time. there was no oversight, not on banking and not on arms. i think part of the problems that we have today directly relates back to the 1980's, which was a time of great decadence. host: more on meehan cover story from this morning's "usa today" --
caller: thank you very much for c-span. i was in the military when reagan got shot. everybody felt that pain right away. we did not know if it was going to be another kennedy assassination. less than three months before that, john lennon had been shot and killed, which affected a lot of people. i think that one of the greatest things -- it is a horrible thing about the reagan legacy is that so many people told so many bad things about him, such as the iran situation and the ability of us to have the actual truth about it. we felt very much be trade in the military when we heard what was going on with that -- we
felt very much betrayed in the military when we heard what was going on with that. host: when you heard president reagan's explanation and that he did not believe that any laws were broken and if they were, he was going to take responsibility. how did that sit with you? caller: he did not take responsibility. he said, "i cannot recall." wendy -- when the kurds were killed by chemical weapons use by saddam hussein, we found out it was our government who sold it. when bush one came over and said that we had to prosecute this war because this guy killed the
host: you will be unable to see the state of the union address live on c-span. you can get all the details on our web site, c-span.org. tallahassee, florida, bob on the line for independents. caller: thank you. host: what do you think is the reagan legacy 30 years later? caller: i heard ronald reagan referred to as great so many times. i think we will all live long enough to see the results of what i called the great trickle- down trickster. thank you. host: florida on the line for republicans. you are on the "washington journal." caller: hello.
host: go ahead. caller: i am a republican, but i'm not a reagan response -- i am not a reagan republican. what he did for cutting all these taxes, which actually raised the local and state income tax -- it closed down all the help for the mentally ill patients. i think what he did was wrong. if i may say, the kid who was in virginia state who shot all the people was terrible. i want to say that the teacher
-- i just think it was a little -- i would like to term it reverse racism. she just had an agenda. i think that it needed help. host: we're going to leave it there. countryside, illinois. phil on the line for independents. you are on the "washington journal." caller: i think president reagan was a good man and he meant well. i did not think he had the intelligence to run the country on his own. i think that two of his advisers, bush and cheney, who advised him to take our money standard of the gold standard -- that crippled us. he took credit for what carter
had done. paying off our national debt was due to the 14.9% bond that was sold by carter and completed after reagan got into office. i do not think he had the intelligence to be president. host: how would you characterize his advisers to other advisers that have worked in the white house? caller: in my opinion, i really believed cheney and bush had so much power behind the scenes. host: we will leave it there. in "the financial times" this morning -- "u.s. business leaders have struggled to increase -- to embrace specific deficit reduction proposals, amid fears that they could end
up footing too much of the bill when it comes to redress in the country's public finances." host: the topic of cutting spending was one of the issues that the new majority leader -- the house majority leader talked about on sunday on "meet the press." this is what he had to say. >> everything, david, is on the table. we have got to do with families in this country are doing and what businesses are doing.
you have got to learn to do more with less. you cannot afford to sustain this level of borrowing and spending. everyone knows that. we have to be very good and disciplined and make sure we are cutting what needs to be cut and focus on growing this economy. >> raising the retirement age. >> those are specifics. the starting point in any plan has got to be -- we need to distinguish between those at or near retirement. anyone 55 and older in this country has got to know that their social security benefits will not change. it is for all the younger people. for those 54 and younger, we are like to have to have a serious discussion. host: that was cantor on "meet the press" on nbc. we are talking about the reagan legacy 30 years after his first inauguration. there were some items in the op- ed page in today's "usa today."
one is by sam donaldson. he said, "my respect for reagan only group." "as far as running up the national debt, it was reagan, not george bush or president obama who put us on the upward trajectory. forcing soviet communism on to what reagan called the ash heap of history was not such a bad way to spend the money." host: sam donaldson goes on to
say, "yes, i grew to respect as a leader."s kansas city, missouri. carl on the line for democrats. you are on the "washington journal." caller: in 67 years old. crewve a cab when reagan's was running against ford. they're a bunch of racists. those people may have been sick. his old business about the southern strategy -- plus the school lunch program. he should have been in peach. -- he should have been impeached.
his adviser was up for investigation. he should have been impeached. he made a pact with argentina. reagan -- i agree with the woman who talked previously. he is not a bad guy, but he did not have the intelligence. history's revisionists are writing him out to be a hero. i agree with the comments about carter. we're fighting this war is on social security. it is disgusting. host: dallas, texas. tom on the line for independents. you are on the "washington journal." go ahead. caller: reagan was the first
president that i was old enough to vote for. i went into the military at the same time periods the comments about him -- soviet, communism, ash heaps -- it is completely accurate. the previous caller who was talking about revisionist history -- i see callers remark about the economy and its decline every day. very few people seem to take into consideration the change in the global economy. after world war ii, we had no competition. anyway, we cannot blame our economy on presidents. i thought he was a great president. thank you. host: thank you for the call.
over the weekend, senator conrad was also talking about spending cuts. this is what he had to say. >> i was part of the president's fiscal commission that made a proposal, a very sweeping proposal, to reduce the debt by $4 trillion over 10 years. i think that is required. a balanced plan that does have the spending cuts. yes, we have $1.5 trillion of spending cuts in the fiscal commission's plan. will also have to deal with the entitlements. the american people reject that. the american people say, "to not touch social security. do not touch medicare. do not touch the fence." that is 84% of the federal budget. by the way, they also do not want to touch revenue.
you are down to 16% of the budget at a time we are borrowing 40 cents of every $1 we spent. there needs to be leadership to help the american people understand how serious this problem is. it will take a lot more than cutting foreign aid and taxing the rich. host: we are talking about the reagan legacy 30 years after his first inauguration. it if you want to see more of some of the video we have been showing throughout this segment of the program, you can go to our video library and you can see all sorts of video. there is president reagan dancing with first lady nancy reagan and one of the inaugural balls. there's a shot of president george h.w. bush. you can find all of that in our video library.
next call for our topic regarding the reagan legacy -- john on the line for independents. caller: we talked to the governor of north dakota. remember? host: i thought i pronounced it. caller: you said hogwash. host: i would never say that. caller: i would like to remind people of the iranian hostage situation and the way ronald reagan lied and cut a deal with the iranians to win the election. i would like you to have pat buchanan on the air one of these days and put him on the spot about those questions and how they laughed about it in the oval office. have a great day. host: how much of the release of
the iranian hostages and do you think was controlled by the incoming administration versus the iranians themselves? caller: i agree wholeheartedly with the first vietnam veteran that was on the air. like i said, get pat buchanan on the air one of these days and ask him one of those specific questions. host: we would love to have pat buchanan on the air. if you are watching, the imitation is for you to come -- the invitation is open for you to come and join us on the "washington journal." john, on the line for independents. good morning. you are on the "washington journal." caller: at a time when comcast and everyone is closing in on the availability of media, the show is great. as far as the reagan legacy, i would advise everyone out there
that can read to please go find a book called "the clothes have no emperor." it details the facts of the 1980's. he helped blacklist many people falsely. he switched parties because it was more lucrative. he became governor of california. everyone laughed at the idea of him becoming governor. he latched onto the rapidly growing religious right and was whisked into power because he was able to be bought to do things like the previous caller talked about, the october surprise and getting the hostages out. host: john, i did not mean to cut you off. back to the newspapers -- in the
international section of "the new york times" this morning. "afghan report reviews and concerns about scrutiny of private security firms." "a special committee appointed by appointedkarzai -- appointed by mr. karzai maybe excel rain efforts to push them out of the country." back to the phones. arlington, georgia. raymond, on the line for independents, you are on the "washington journal." caller: it is unfortunate we can only call c-span every 30 days and i have to call to talk about reagan. i have to tell you that i extremely enjoy what i'm hearing about reagan. two things about reagan that i
remember -- i remember when he got shot. i believe i was 17 at that time. i did not really know anything. i do not remember knowing anything about government. i'm not going to say how i felt about when he got shot, but it let me know something. apparently, he was doing something wrong. the second thing i remember -- i believe it was in my first year and a half in the military. [inaudible] that is the only thing i remember. i remember him not being good at all. host: in "the wall street journal" this morning, "held ndenate bounc
"the number two senate democrat, richard durbin of illinois, said in a later appearance on a program that it was possible. republicans could force a vote on the repeal." harry reid does not plan to bring it up. you can read more about that in "the wall street journal" this morning. also this morning, "the richmond times dispatch" talks about george allen intending to maybe throw his hat in the ring again.
if any of the viewers remember when reagan declared martin luther king day, he was challenged. people wanted to take a look at the fbi file. he said, -- i wonder if anybody remember what year that was when he declared martin luther king day. my second question is about david stockman. i'm surprised he is coming out of hiding, but i'm glad. i wonder if anyone else remembers when he resigned as reagan's treasury secretary, he published in "the new york times" editorial page editorial never readagan opots
anything about magazines and comic books. does anybody remember reading this editorial in reading where he said that the reason he resigned is because all of the reaganots agreed that their plan was to spend all the money? you can look this up. host: we will leave it there. president reagan signed the bill that named martin luther king's birthday a national holiday in 1983. it was first observed -- 1986 was the year when we first started to get that as a federal holiday. tennessee, harold on the line for republicans. you are on the "washington journal." caller: first of all, i thought
.he world of ronald reagan i thought the world of george bush, a senior. on march 17, 1983, the strategic defense initiative was initiated. it was developed in 1969 when the war was going on in vietnam. in 1983, we were facing the evil empire. in india and pakistan, there are 80 to 90 nukes. in the former soviet union, we do not know. it could be up to 17,000. we also know about north korea and its situation. the strategic denniand a stiff s allowed us to have -- strategic defense initiative [inaudible]
i cannot clarify or identify my exact location. we're in a critical situation. we do not need to cut defense spending. host: in "the washington post" this morning, the department of housing and urban development is taking steps to ensure gay men and women -- gay men and lesbians do not face discrimination when applying for federal housing assistance. host: more on that in "the washington post."
cal on the line for democrats. what do you think about the reagan legacy 30 years later? caller: [inaudible] i remember all these boxes of people on the street. i remember him slamming the doors on the mental health department and kicking out all these mentally disturbed people. the thing i remember most is him flooding the black community with all the cocaine from el salvador. that is his legacy. i hope he burns in hell for what he did. host: james in buffalo sent us this e-mail.
host: back to the phones. hawaii, eddie on the line for independents. you are on the "washington journal." caller: aloha from paradise. i'm 57. i was in the latter part of the vietnam war going through rotc when the plug gobbled on vietnam by president -- plug got pulled on vietnam by the president. people -- he was a great actor. i believe someone remarked that he was never in the military.
he played cards and the military, but he was never there -- played part in the military, but he was never there. america has got to look at itself. i cannot understand the republicans and the way they hoard their money. why don't all these rich republicans donate the money to america's deficit? they have millions and millions and millions. they're trying to get more. why don't they take that reserve fund they're working on, the $70 billion or something, and put that straight towards america's debt? host: we will leave it there. al-jazeera sites palestinian offering 2008 to cede parts of
democrats. go ahead. caller: go ahead. i would like to say that i think ronald reagan was a great american, a great politician, and a good actor. i would also like to remind everybody that he was -- that while he was in office, his way of taxing and his idea of reaganomics, which has lasted the last 30 years, has increased the number of people that are in property. -- that are in poverty, increased the number of rich people, and cut the middle class. poor people are increasing as a direct result of reaganomics and that kind of taxing. i'm sure mr. reagan loved this country a lot and i'm sure he did a lot of good.
in that respect, the trickle- down economics does just not work. host: in "the washington post" they have a feature on ron reagan, his son. you can go to the style section of this morning's "the washington post." in about 45 minutes, we will be talking about trade and the global economy. coming up next is a discussion on regulation and job creation. you are watching "washington journal." today is monday, january 24. we will be right back. ♪ ♪
from members of congress. >> do you solemnly swear to support and defend the constitution of the united states against all enemies? >> the senate returns to work this week, including the new class of freshmen senators. learn more about them online with c-span's congressional chronicle. find a full video archive of each member. congressional chronicle at c- span.org/congress. >> this c-span networks provide coverage of politics, public affairs, nonfiction books, and american history. it is all available to you on television, radio, online, and on social meehan network -- social media networks.
it's washington your way. the c-span networks, created by cable and provided as a public service. >> "washington journal" continues. host: we are talking about regulation and job creation with diana fuchtgott-roth, who is the director at the center for employment policy at the hudson institute. welcome to the program. in the previous segment, we were talking about the legacy of ronald reagan 30 years after his inauguration. you bring up the connection between his statement on regulations and a statement that the current president just made. guest: in 1981, ronald reagan issued an executive order that the cost of regulation has to be lower than the benefits. in order -- in other words, the
benefits have to exceed the costs. this was one of the beginnings of regulatory reform. jimmy carter had moved in the direction of looking at the cost benefits of regulation. ronald reagan continued that with his executive order. president clinton also had an executive order in 1993. host: taking a look at the executive order, it says that the general requirements in promulgating new regulations, existing regulations, and existing proposals -- all agencies shall adhere to the following requirements. administrative decisions shall be based on adequate information concerning the need for and consequences of proposed government action. regulatory action shall not be undertaken unless the potential benefits to society for the
the costn outweigh to society. draw a line between this executive order that president reagan put out and the recent executive order that president obama put out. is it basically the same thing? guest: it is interesting that president obama should have been complying with a lot already in the past two years. we have the office of regulatory management. the should already have been evaluated. all the executive branch agencies should have been complying with this. if president obama is suggesting this is new, his administration has been breaking the law up to this point.
host: in your opinion, what moved president obama into making this declaration? guest: i think he wanted to show that he cared about jobs. he knows the regulations can stifle job creation. he wanted to show that he ca res. there are many regulations and laws promulgated in the first two years of the administration that are now on the web site, the regulatory information website, that caused immense hardship to employers. it made it very difficult for them to hire new workers. if you take one example -- in the health care law, if you have more than 51 workers in your firm, you have to pay a penalty of $2,000 per worker per year if you do not have the right kind of health insurance. having a basic plan with catastrophic health insurance -- that is not enough.
it has to be a qualified plan. otherwise, you would pay $2,000 per worker per year. if you have 48 workers -- you are going to say, i'm not going to hire more than two. -- how can ito say contract out work so i do not have to play -- have to pay the penalty? that is a big disincentive to employers. and then you have the financial regulation law that set up 29 offices of minority and women inclusion for financial firms. if you are a financial firm, you have to make sure you have their inclusion of women and minorities. that's not the same as anti- discrimination. under the law right now, is a minority or woman applies for a job and you do not take them on the grounds of gender or race, you have broken the law.
this means you have to have inclusion, even if no one has applied. you could be breaking the law. host: we are talking about regulation and job creation with diana fuchtgott-roth, who is the director of the center for employment policy at the hudson institute. if you would like to get involved in the conversation, please give us a call. we will also take your twitter messages and e-mails. i wanted to read a part of a column that margaret carlson wrote, talking about obama "is
adopting the mindset of republicans that believe that if businesses is regulated at all, is regulated too much." if the republicans have not gained control of the house of representatives, do you think that the president, as carlson writes, would be adopting the mindset of republicans? guest: if we had not have had the dramatic swing in the house of representatives and president obama might have thought that everyone liked his proposals and we would have continued on the same way. the other factor is the high unemployment rate. unemployment has been above 9% for approximately the past 18 months. this is just devastating for the president and his -- and the
possibility of being reelected in 2012. jobs are the first thing on everyone's minds. their own jobs, whether they might lose their jobs, their neighbors, and their families jobs. these regulations really interfere with job creation. construction affirmative action is one on www.reginfo.gov. it would require contractors to have affirmative action for women and minorities on site. for example, if i applied to a construction site to build one of these buildings that are being built in washington, d.c., they would have to consider me. i'm not suited to work in construction. i do not have the physical strength. this is calling for affirmative
action. you do not want to have quotas for women on construction sites. host: there's no mention of qualifications? clearly, you are not qualified. tell us if you have any other qualifications you have not told us about so far. clearly, you are not qualified to work in construction, but there may be women in the workforce who are qualified. guest: yes, but it's already illegal to discriminate against them. when we talk about affirmative action, we are talking about people being hired who are not necessarily qualified. host: let's go to the phones. our first call for diana fuchtgott-roth is from edward, on the line for independents. go ahead. caller: i enjoy what you're saying. she is very good. she knows what she is talking about. the united states labor department has failed us.
they drop all the charges that were made and the complaints. the labor department has been a flop. the department has duped us. i want to go back to affirmative action. a lot of women were hired. on top of that, we had the entitlement act. we had the executive order that deals with the veterans. it is a shame the way the labor department destroyed the unions. this country has set up jobs and what have you dealing with minorities. the minorities are not really minorities. [inaudible]
all these people that come into this country -- they have taken over the market's concerning unemployment. host: that is a good question. there are many anti- discrimination provisions in the law. this is not only enforcing other current anti-discrimination laws, but it is trying to go further. if you look at the website, they have a discrimination, non- discrimination compensation data collection for all. last year, the congress and the senate did not pass a paycheck act that would have had all the employers turn over the government their workers' wage,
se , and earning. here they are trying to do it by themselves. they want a role that will be used to conduct established specific industry-wide analysis. they want to collect this data to check employers, not just federal government contractors, but industry-wide, looking at men, women, people at different races, equally. they are moving ahead on this front, even though congress refused to pass the bill that would require the data collection. host: next up is robert from kansas city. caller: the unions are not necessarily evil, because the employers do not treat people like people. they treat them like they are a product.
we needed these regulations to treat them fairly. the more regulation i will like to see is that if you ship your job overseas, you move with your family and your brothers and your sisters, all cannot leave this country with your job. that is only fair. thank you. guest: if we had everything made in the united states, everything would be more expensive. sometimes shipping jobs overseas means that corporations can create more jobs in united states. imagine if everything you had to buy was made in america. many of the more expensive -- many would be more expensive. we are giving them a choice of buying products. choice made in china are less expensive. during christmas, we can provide
more for children. we have more free trade that encourages our companies to create more jobs here to export abroad. that is why it is important that the senate to ratify the free- trade agreement that president obama just signed shot -- signed in the south korea, but also another that has been sitting there for five years to allow our country to create jobs and export to those countries. we need to export for them. about 40% of americans work for companies that do that. host: david on our line for republicans. caller: good morning, just to comment, it seems to me the economy is regulated to maximize revenues for the
government, not maximize the benefits for the citizens. being in new york in singing an enormous government class in our state, -- and seeing an enormous government class in our state, you cannot regulate and exploit that many people. there are not enough people working to satisfy the needs of this regulatory government. that is my general statement. i will leave it there. thank you. guest: i think it is very true. every regulation gives the government an opportunity for favoritism and corruption. if you look at the waivers in the health-care bill. the 300 waivers issued to say that these companies do not have to provide this provision this year. the question is, how did they go about choosing the companies that get the wafers? -- waivers?
some do not have to spend the state amount on health care benefits in 2011 as written in the law. every regulation has opportunity for this kind of [unintelligible] . we saw the new financial protection bill can restructure companies and the question is how are they going to fix those companies. are they going to be better to their friends than their enemies? that is why we want to have clear and open regulations as possible. host: we are talking with the director of the employment force -- center for employment policy. she has been sharing with us some information and if you would like more honest, you can go to her website. it will take you through the regulatory agenda.
guest: there is a way you can click on the agency, such as the epa, that has hundreds of regulations, and you will get a list of the regulations being considered by that agency. it will give you a complete list of them. president obama read it. it will help pc hell card regulations are affecting job creation. -- it will help you see how regulations are affecting job creation. host: next caller. caller: with the regulations we have today, is causing jobs to go to china. i feel like -- i had to do some
more from my house. i went to get products, and they were made in china. can we not even make a nail without it being made in china? what about the other products that we need in the use? are we sending jobs to china? what are we going to be? host: is there a regulation that said you had to use a specific kind of nail on this job? caller: it is 10 cents a nail or 20 cents a nail, that is the way i look at it. host: wilson in virginia. guest: this is a real problem. it is going to drive more jobs offshore, making more products here in a united states more expensive.
the president talks about alternative energy, but to think about where those solar panels are made such as in china. we need well-paying jobs here in the united states. we are looking at gas and coal exploration industries. but we are buying solar panels from china. there is a company in massachusetts called evergreen that closed its solar power plant and is shipping their jobs overseas. what we need to do is have a clear and consistent regulation. but no regulation that it does not involve necessarily shipping jobs abroad. the regulation of carbon is going over what congress did last year. last year, they did not pass the cabin trade energy tax bill that would have made energy more expensive -- cap and trade
energy tax bill that would have made energy more expensive. you can find out more information by looking morered gov.info dot host: our next call comes from chicago, illinois on the line for democrats. caller: thank you. i have two points. what country is this young lady from? guest: i was born in england. i came here when i was 9. i got my citizenship when i married my husband when i was 27. ored to meet d to ronald reagan when i got my
citizenship. caller: my next point. excuse me, hello? host: mail, go ahead. , go ahead. caller: ok. we saw the rise of these right- wing the think tanks during ronald reagan. host: i need you to get back to the conversation of job creation. caller: she did not mention that the democrats put in a bill that the pentagon had to buy only american-made a solar panels. we are trying to get back on track. they cannot buy solar panels made in china. host: we will leave it there, and doors. thanks for the call. guest: it does not mean that the
rest of the country has to have those provisions. the pentagon may be limited to buying solar panels made in a united states, but the rest of the country would by solar panels from china and windmills and other kinds of products like that. we have good jobs here. the interior department is not allowing any drilling now in the gulf of mexico because of the bp oil spill. that happened last april. it is january now. when are all of those workers. to be able to get back to work? over -- workers going to be able to get back to work? over 30 oil companies are affected by that. we need to get this work going back -- getting back to work in the united states. host: there was an op ed in a
paper where the president talks about job creation. in your opinion, does what he put out clarify matters as boris regulations are concerned in your mind -- as far as the regulations are concerned in your mind? guest: it means there will be a closer look at regulation. some of the major regulation of agencies that are being worked on, they may look at the epa not regulating carbon until the unemployment rate is around 6% rather than 9%.
he has also talked about spending on infrastructure and how that will help create jobs. this is something that the private sector can do, in terms of building roads and bridges. he has to take an approach that not only is he saying it, but he also means it. host: new brunswick, new jersey, delores. caller: i am 50 years old. age discrimination is the problem. laws on the books do not address that. and some laws are using race, age, gender, anything. what can be done, even though discrimination is very hard to
prove, but what is out there to help us find jobs for those over 50 years old? guest: the equal opportunity employment commission enforces laws that are against age discrimination and discrimination on the basis of race. if you feel that you have been discriminated, you need to contact your lawyer and make a case. you can complain to thee.e.o.c. -- the e.e.o.c. host: we want to remind our audience that we will be looking at to the aging population in the night it states and look at the gm- political implications -- in the united states and look at the geo-political implications.
next caller. caller: we should name of state capitals in washington, d.c. asks [unintelligible] and we will should stop the government -- and we should stop the government from accepting any individuals that would be very constructive. an example is selling lemonade at the lemonade stand in the government said she had to have a $75 license to sell lemonade on a street corner. think about that. all of the little strings that to the government is putting on industry is why we do not have a viable industry in the country. that thinking. host: and probably why we do not
have more lemonade stands. guest: the increase in this and minimum wage has affected teenagers. the teenage unemployment rate is about 25%. the minimum wage that rose in three segments from $5.16 an hour to $7.25 an hour, unemployment insurance, workmen's comp, they have to pay about $8 an hour. we are telling teenagers that if you have skills less than that, you are not allowed to work. we will not let you into the workplace. it affects individual initiative. my first job was scooping ice cream at baskin-robbins. it means said companies are products that have
already been made. and teenagers will not get a chance to work there and learn the work ethic that they need. host: our guest is the director for the center for employment policy at the hudson institute. before that she was a chief economist for the united states department of labor fro 2001. -- the parliament of labour. -- department of labor. she will be our guest for the next 13 minutes. miami, fla., go ahead. caller: what i would like to find out from the guest today is you are saying that
regulations have created problems. were these regulations [unintelligible] that is my first question. my second question is i would like to know where the institute funding is coming from to figure out whose views he is expressing -- she is expressing. guest: this is from a non- partisan think tank. one person specializes in housing. another specializes in energy
and in general economics. he is also a columnist for the sunday times. this is a very big problem and some people have suggested that the inconsistency in the government taking out some companies and letting others go bust has contributed to the meltdown. the government has made itself into the bailout chief. with the new financial regulation bill being legalized, the government can restructure this that might cause systematic risk to the economy. this is a very different role than it used to be. before, if a firm was in trouble, it went bankrupt. it is very different now when
the government can restructure it. it means that investors may not be willing to invest in the firm, because their assets make it taken away, just the way that creditors and bondholders in the auto companies, chrysler and gm, lost assets when it was restructured and 40% of the assets were given to the united autoworkers in contributions made to the democratic party. if we make any revisions to the financial regulation law, as well as taking away the minority and women inclusion, we may want to go to the bankruptcy proceedings and a book -- and believe the restructuring to bankruptcy courts, rather than the government. host: cambridge, massachusetts. caller: i just want to say the republicans are pretending that if we build them in, they have a
solution to the problem that is going to fix people from being on the planet, with millions being willing to work for a few dollars an hour and millions for a few pennies for an hour, from what i read. i was looking at world war countries such as india and africa -- third world countries such as india and africa. the republicans say they have solutions for problems like this. we have clean air. when the republicans get through, we will not even have clean air. [unintelligible]
host: we will leave it there. tell us about the development of these regulations, change between administrations as far as these executive orders go. guest: the executive orders concerning the cost and benefit in calculation of the regulation. fat is gone by an office that deals with regulatory analysis -- that is done by an office that deals with regulatory analysis. the meeting the regulator was jimmy carter who broken up several areas. he broke up at&t and the regulated the telephone industry. this agency has been continuing to look at the cost and benefit analysis.
i am familiar with the secretary of the labor department. she works on deregulating and reducing the burden of regulation. the bush administration created millions of jobs in the united states. the epa is trying to regulate carbon. this would drive jobs abroad. it affects 6 billion people in the world that work for pennies an hour. we want to make the united states a business-friendly environment. we want to give every company a reason to locate here and work here. our corporate tax rate is now the highest in the world. at the beginning of this year, japan had the highest one in the world, but they lowered their
tax rate. we need to look at this. there are many assets abroad and billions that stay outside that belong to american multinationals. they do not bring it in because of the repatriation tax rate. host: president obama was in new york state on friday talking about his goal to help with job creation. we will listen to what he said and get your responses. >> the economy is growing, but not fast enough to make of for the damage caused by the recession. the past couple of years was about pulling our economy back from the brink. the next two years, our job now is putting our economy into overdrive. our job is to do everything we can to ensure that businesses can take root and people can
find their jobs and america is leading the global competition that will determine our success in the 21st century. host: your response? guest: job creation is important. we have a 9.4% unemployment rate. many have been out of work for six months or longer. it is much harder to get people who have been out of work for a long time back to work than those people that are recently unemployed, because they use their job skills and networking skills. job skills and networking skills. this is not the first time the president has talked about this. but policies the not change to make this happen. we need to change the policies
to make it easier for businesses to create jobs in the united states, stop regulation that is driving business is overseas to the 6 billion people who want to work for pennies. host: kathy on airline for republicans. -- on our line for republicans. caller: one person says a position that he has dreamed of his whole life. we should be very wary about mr. obama who says he wants to rewrite regulations for businesses. i think the combination of him and someone else has to be a scary thought regarding rewriting regulations. it does not mean that it will be good for businesses.
it may be much worse, but we will not know that until they are implemented. can you speak to this man's position and how he may work with obama? thanks. have a great day. guest: this man is one of the most powerful people regarding regulation in the administration. he has written a book called "nudge". [unintelligible] having employers automatically enroll workers in pension plans and then have them opt out rather than waiting for them to sign up for the pension plan themselves. what he needs to do is take a close look at which regulations make it harder to have jobs here in united states. such as having affirmative-
action quotas for women on construction sites. he needs to get rid of those. host: our next call comes from akron, ohio. steve is on the line for the independence. -- independents. caller: under regulation, no regulation, it does not make a difference, because you cannot trust anybody in government at all. i worked in government, and i know the corruption in regulatory government' was greey business or anything involved with employment production or what have you is so like the mafia corruption in america. you might as well get rid of all of this expensive regulation and let people go crazy and do what they are going to do. whether you have it or not, it does not work.
look at the guy from -- a multi- billion their debt retired, but that the people from enron, watch the movie "soakwood." host: we will leave it there. guest: one of the best enforcers is the marketplace itself. you are absolutely right that businesses are greedy. they do things for a profit. that is why it is important to have competition. other companies, and they have a product. that is not something you can do if the government comes and does it for you. a smaller example is an industry where in the new york times there was a front-page article where the government would take over pharmaceutical research, because they do not think there are enough pharmaceuticals and new drugs coming onto the market. so the government wants to
invest time and money to do this themselves. there is mitigation in that industry that makes it difficult for these drugs to come to market. the government will take it over for us. an example is like the allied ipad, nook. they are not offering them to make it easier for consumers but to have the biggest market share. businesses are greedy, but we have a hand in that. that is why when we get innovation in technology -- that is why we get innovation in technology. host: our guest will be with us for the next five minutes.
thanks so much for being on the program. guest: thanks for the opportunity. host: in 45 minutes, we will talk about the demographics of the u.s. population trade after the break, we will talk about trade and the global economy. first is an update from c-span radio. >> a new survey finds the more hopeful outlook for the overall u.s. economic growth. industry economists say it is gaining strength with more firms expressing positive hiring plans than they have done in more than a decade. "the wall street journal" reports that the president's adviser for the financial wars on iran, north korea, and al qaeda, is leaving his post at the treasury department. the white house is set to nominate david cullen to succeed him as the under-secretary for
financial intelligence. he is one of the few senior members of the president george w. bush's national security team to stay on under president obama. and defense secretary robert gates is preparing to lift a two your old order banning new military commission cases from being filed. if he does so, the first prisoner likely to face new charges will be a saudi national accused of the bombing of the navy destroyer in 2000. those are some of the latest headlines on c-span radio. >> every weekend on c-span3 experience of american history tv starting saturday at 11:00 a.m. eastern -- at 8:00 a.m. eastern. hear eyewitness accounts from events that shaped our nation.
top history professors and the leading historians delve into america's past. american history tv, all weekend every weekend on c-span3. >> "washington journal" continues. host: the commerce of international trade secretary is here to talk about commerce and trade. how successful was last week's visit by h presidentu -- visit by president hu of china? guest: that trip was part of an ongoing effort to make sure we have a balance in never trade relationship. we have a trade deficit with china, and we are working hard to increase exports. during the first 11 months of last year, we increase exports
up to $82 billion, a 34% increase with china. as part of the talks leading up to the trip, we were able to work on issues that affect that the relationship. we were pleased with the visit, and we think we made some progress. host: in terms of overall praise for countries outside of the u.s., how much of that percentage was done with china? guest: it is a significant amount. among the emerging markets, it is one of the countries that we are paying attention. china, brazil, india are becoming more important trading partners. nevertheless, mexico and canada, which are long time trading partners, are still second and third trading partners for us. host: we are talking with francisco sanchez.
our topic is trade and the global economy. if you want to get involved in the conversation, give us a call. the numbers are at the bottom of your screen. we will also take your messages through e-mail and twitter. guest: i met with the ministry of commerce, the foreign minister, their technology and innovation people. we talked about issues that affect our ability to export, the fact that american companies ability to compete in the market. some of those issues i mentioned earlier, they have indigenous innovation, an effort by china to increase innovation within
their own country. that is a worthy goal of any country. we do not condemn that. but there are good policies and bad policies. we encouraged them to promote policies that do not prejudice foreign companies and are consistent with international trade principles. we made some progress in that area. host: what do you mean? guest: there was some discussion within the chinese government to restrict the purchase by government entities, only products created for the innovation of those products were created within china. that would be very detrimental to american companies. host: our first call comes from maryland on our line for republicans. caller: thanks for taking my call. i could not stand the organizing
for american people that were continuing to call the last few seconds, so i wanted to call in. this is regarding tariffs. when you look at labor costs here in america, the production costs in america of versus european countries, japan, we do have in fermenta regulations, labor laws, things of that -- we do have some regulations, labor laws, things of that nature. some sources say that tariffs -- can they help americans get back to work? i will take my answer offline and thanks very much for c-span. guest: the caller is right in that emergency -- emerging markets such as india, china, and brazil, in many cases they
do not have the same regulatory structures that we do. perhaps an advantage is created. we worked very hard to reduce trade barriers that can hurt american companies from competing in doing business with those countries. one side of the equation is trying to break down trade barriers in the countries that hurt american business. on the other hand, what we do here, we tried to create a level playing field at home. countries that have companies that dumped products in our country, dumping product is selling it below what you would sell it in your own country, we have laws and ways to combat that. unfair subsidies is another way that we make sure we create a level playing field. i think reducing tariffs in general helps create the free flow.
i am not sure that raising tariffs here is the best way to go. it is important that we create a level playing field both at home and abroad. host: and there are a guide and pamphlets put together. this one is called doing business in iraq and describes iraq as a market with strong long-term economic potential.
how are these kind of pamphlets or publications put together and what kind of a benefit is it for a country -- a company trying to do business with a particular country, in this case iraq to go through this particular guide? guest: we had a team of trade specialists that help put these guys together. the international trade administration office, we do trade admissions, and we have a service where we will help companies set of all of their meetings abroad and give them basic market information like this guide. i took a trade mission to iraq in october with 14 u.s. companies, including boeing, general electric, some engineering firms, construction management firms. while there are still challenges
in iraq, emerging opportunities, spending over $80 billion in infrastructure and products over the next few years. it a great opportunity for american companies. we provided those -- we provide them with that information and a whole host of services. host: we have the top five importers and exporters from iraq. back to the phones, our discussion on international trade and the u.s. economy.
pennsylvania on our line for democrats. caller: good morning, gentlemen. how are you today? host: fine. caller: years ago you look at the american economy and products, and i always had issues with the quality of the things that we made in the united states. many things we make in the united states are very good. but you can look at a rack of clothes and tell the ones that were made in the united states and the ones made in japan or china or other countries. they were better quality in terms of neatness. we have to go back to producing things that we can compete with those countries. if you look at something made in china or japan and something that is made in the united
states, the quality would be even better than those things made overseas. host: we will leave it there. guest: i think america can compete with any country in the world. we are still the top manufacturers in the world. we make some of the finest airplanes, some of the finest machinery, medical devices. there are a lot of areas where we excel. one of the things that has given us a comparative advantage is that we invest more money in research and development and innovation than any other country around the globe. this continues to give as a competitive edge. i am confident giving aid level playing field, we can compete with just about anybody. host: next caller. caller: if i were to get a small
business administration loan, i would have no confidence that i could pay it back, because i would believe that i would get rid of by the chinese. by the chinese. host: if you got that low, what kind of product would you like to produce? what kind of product would you like to produce? caller: i do not want to talk about it specifically, because i do not have a patent get. host: you are concerned that those in china will still your idea and undercut your business? caller: they may change it somewhat. i think the law is you can
change it 40% and get a patent. so i think they would rip me off. there are legitimate tactics to improve an invention. basically, in my situation, they would rip me off, and i would not be able to make any money. host: what is out there to protect that? guest: he is right. historically, we have had concerns not just in china but also on -- in other countries regarding intellectual property rights. our international trade and administration along with u.s. trade representative's work very hard to strengthen international property rights protection. you mentioned, what were some of our successes during the china visit? this is an issue that we give focused on with our counterparts in china. we need to continue to do that, because there are still challenges on intellectual
property rights with china. what i would tell the caller is that china is not the only market to focus on. there are a lot of other places. if he is interested on moving forward, we would be happy to work with him on loan advice along with looking at markets that may be a good fit for his products. host: tennessee, republican line. caller: i am interested in a -- here in the united states, we have a many regulations about bringing a product to market as far as environmental and so on. how can we compete with other countries where the regulations are not as strict, so they can import the same product but cheaper? how can we in the united states compete with that kind of a situation? host: thanks for your call. guest: president obama recently spoke to regulations and the need to look carefully at the
regulations and make sure that we are not keeping regulations on the books that hindered competitiveness. he is undertaking a process right now to look at regulation as effective competitiveness. the caller's question is not only right but timely. the obama administration is taking steps to make sure that the regulation does not hurt competitiveness or try to minimize its impact on our global competitiveness. host: in "the wall street journal" this morning, there was this op-ed, obama is free trade opportunity. here is what they write.
are you finding this atmosphere to be more excepting in willing to work with the president as far as working on free trade agreements? guest: president obama has been clear that he recognizes free trade is an essential part of the global marketplace. we need to work hard to open the market, increase our exports. he has been very supportive of
moving the free trade agreements that we have pending moving forward and dealing with certain issues that are still involved in various agreements. it remains to be seen how open congress will be that they are moving forward on these free trade agreement. we will bring the korea trade agreement to the congress very soon. i am optimistic that when we lay out the opportunities to strengthen our economy's growth and create jobs, we will see the support to ratify the caribbean trade agreement. -- korean trade agreement. host: we will show what one person had to say about this topic and then get comment. >> we need to open new markets
on the services around the world. we have a free-trade agreement right now with south korea, panel, and one other area. they have been languishing because of the fact that speaker nancy pelosi refused to bring them up and president obama did not send them out. he has indicated a willingness to bring of these agreements. we want all three to be brought up. the colombia and panama deals were brought up before the korea deal was done. that will create jobs here in the united states. host: your response? guest: i agree with the congressmen that we need to get these three deals modified -- ratified. not all trade agreements are
created equal. one thing president obama is committed to is to make sure that we bring free trade agreement to congress. we have taken the best interests of american business and workers and farmers into consideration. we as an administration support ratifying all three of these agreements once we work out any pending issues we have with them. host: back to the phones, and democratic line. caller: i had a couple of points. i will try to be as brief as possible. i think we need to be very careful like the secretary just mentioned about the free-trade agreement. we have a de been- industrializing a lot of our manufacturers.
one person mentioned about the missed regulations. these trade agreements can hurt our economy. we should be concerned about hu jintao before he came here said the dollar would be soon eliminated as the world reserve currency. if those things hold, we could be in some trouble. i think those are issues that need to be addressed. i believe and employment -- unemployment is not accurately counted. they do not count of those that have explored all forms of benefits. [unintelligible] we should not give people false hope. host: we will leave it there. guest: one tool that we have to expand exports, and i would say
that we have 17 free trade agreements with countries around the world. generally, these have been effective tools for increasing exports made by american businesses and workers. if you take oil out of the equation, last year we had a trade surplus with the 17 countries with which we have a free trade agreement. 44% of all of our trade in the world happens with these 17 countries. these 17 countries represent only 10% of total oil gdp. if these agreements are negotiated properly, they can be an effective tool to create american jobs and increase exports. host: twitter has sent us this message.
guest: free trade is reducing or eliminating tariffs, for example. we have to be concerned about nonce tariffs -- non-rarriffs trade barriers. we have to look at public good but some things that create a barrier for trade. we have to create standards and regulations as well as tariffs. if we can harmonize them and reduce tariffs, we can do more for good and have more exports by american companies. host: we are talking about trade and the global economy with francisco sanchez. he previously served as senior policy advisor to president obama during his 2008 campaign,
and has also been the chairman of the hispanic national leadership council and for an organization and the u.s. department of transportation under president clinton. our next call comes from new jersey. caller: good morning. thanks for c-span. i only know what i read in the papers. it is apparent to me china is practicing the old fashioned mercantilism. we have been playing into their hands for a generation. i know from the moderator's comments, there is a particular interest in aviation. we see that ge is helping china develop their domestic commercial airline industry. isn't it clear that the pattern,
which has been established in other industries, will be in this aviation where we will teach china how to make commercial aircraft. the day they will load their first airliner will be the last day they buy eight boeing aircraft, which is one of our major exports. -- by a boeing aircraft, which is one of our major exports. guest: he is right that the chinese and the long-term plans are looking to build an aviation industry. what i can tell you is that boeing is not only one of our biggest exporters, it is our biggest export. one of the things that makes boeing such a successful company is it is constantly innovating. the landscape the commercial aviation business is going to change in five or six years.
china will not be the only country that will build a commercial aviation same sector. there will be other countries as well. boeing is well-prepared for this competition. i am confident that with our aviation, we will be able to compete now, but well in to the future, because of innovation. we still need to work very hard as it relates to making sure we have a level playing field in china and other emerging markets. host: new york, the democrats' line. caller: the problem with the trade agreement is that it disproportionately favors the transnational corporations over laborers. i can give you an example. transnational corporations can go anyplace they want to go.
their factories, technology, where -- they can go anywhere they want to go where they can find cheap labor. unions, which we have here in united states, are not allowed into these countries. they are not allowed to form unions or petition for higher wages change environmental standards. that is why we were able to create a middle class in united states and be able to form unions. if they cannot do that in countries that we trade with, [unintelligible] cannot. this is the problem with average trade agreement. host: we will leave it there. guest: the obama administration is committed to make sure we have enforceable provisions on
labor and environment in the free-trade agreement. that is what w have in the last couple of free trade agreements that we have seen ratified and any negotiations that the obama administration takes will include the labor and environmental provisions. i should say that free trade agreements, if done right, can be beneficial for american workers and businesses. we need to engage countries on free trade agreements. south korea, which has very much been in the news recently, they have trade agreements with several other countries. they are negotiating once with six others into the european union. if we are left behind and do not negotiate or ratify these -- this career free trade agreement, we as a nation ofkor -- we as a nation will be at a competitive disadvantage.
like career, you can point to many other countries that are also moving forward in a free- trade agreement. if they are done right, they can be very, very beneficial to the american economy, american business, and the american worker. host: senator john kerry and representative richard neal have an op-ed piece in this morning's "washington times." they talk about free trade with core reappeared they write that the united states and south korea reached an accord that improves the pending trade agreement. are you confident you will be able to get that trade agreement
through congress? guest: i am confident because if we make the case, which is, career is currently our seventh largest trading partner. once we sign and ratify this agreement, you will see an increase of over $10 billion in exports, merchandise exports, to correa. this will support 70,000 american jobs. so, i believe that we can make the case because it makes sense for the american economy, it makes sense for american business and the american worker. host: massachusetts. rob on our line for independents. caller: i wanted to make a comment on your relation between regulation and competitiveness. we can't base our regulations based on their competitiveness. if so, we end up with a country that has regulations that allow all the things that happens wherever -- china, brazil,
dumping environmental waste and treating workers poorly, and all those kinds of things. if we want to be competitive, we have to get rid of all the regulations that we have and they don't have and i don't think we can live like that. the second thing i wanted to ask was on trade policy. we don't have an industrial or trade policy in this country -- not industrial policy, which is essentially what the chinese have and why they are so competitive. is it bordering on mercantilism? a good or bad thing? why don't we have an industrial policy? guest: livni first speech to the caller's comments on regulation. i cannot agree more with him that regulations are there, in many cases, for public health, for our economic well-being. so, competitive business -- competitiveness should not be the only filter through which we
look at regulations. however, it is appropriate to see the impact on competitiveness. this should be one of the filters through which we take a look at regulations. this is what the obama administration is going to do. with regard to industrial policy, yes, i think an argument can be very -- a very strong argument can be made that chinaberry does -- does very much manage its economy. this does present certain challenges. there is a debate in this country where we seek to have a free market and free trade and let the market decide the flow of goods and services. these are challenges that we struggle with and are working with our trading partners around the world, to set rules that are fair for everybody. in some cases, we are having more success than others. but it is a fair question, and
it is a challenging one that we all need to take a hard look at. host: next is michael from sharon, pennsylvania. on the line for democrats. caller: good morning, c-span, and mr. sanchez. i am wondering with the give- and-take of any trade agreement, isn't it inevitable that we are going to end up with a global wage more in line with a second world country? second, in regards to the economy, if the country would have had a war tax in place, with the economy be in the shape it is now? i appreciate your thoughts. thank you. caller: -- guest: let me address your first question or comment. what we have seen with emerging markets like china, their wages tend to go up.
you actually are seeing some companies consider moving back here. or you are seeing more foreign direct investment, looking at the u.s. as a place to do business. so, i believe that as you have strong, growing economies, they tend to have upward pressure in labor costs. with regard to the second question, i am not an economist. i will probably be for that to brighter minds to talk about whether a war tax would have helped our economy. host: van kirk, a republican, sends us this e-mail -- dan kirg. guest: yes, we actually do have
trade surpluses with many countries. as i mentioned earlier, the 17 countries that we have a free trade agreements with, we are over all running a trade surplus when you take oil out of the equation. we also are a net supplier of services. we have a surplus on services around the world. that doesn't mean we don't need to do better. particularly in some cases. china, for example, we still have a trade deficit that it is just unacceptable and we are working hard to reduce trade barriers to make that a more balanced commercial relationship. host: rob on our line for republicans from troy, new york. are you there? rob? caller: can you hear me.
host: go ahead. caller: ok. yeah -- i'm here. i worked in automotive business on and off ever since actually the 1960's. i noticed that this over the years, more and more parts are made from china -- like your routers, brake drums, all of that stuff -- rotos. and the corporations have buyers over there. and all of these haggling prices, getting them down for the corporations to make a profit. electrical parts are almost 80% made in mexico. what i have not seen any of the politicians getting up and saying, or even the consumers, to get a grass-roots movement going to say, look, sears, say advance auto parts, all of the above, hey, we spend a lot of
money with you to buy this stuff, why do you not give the american manufacturers a chance to make this stuff? host: mr. undersecretary? guest: there is no question that certain aspects of manufacturing have gone offshore. the areas where we continue to be competitive -- aerospace, medical devices, machinery, all of these areas are areas where we continue to excel. i think the key for us will be to continue to be a country that invest more in innovation, more in research and development. if we do that, we will continue to be a leading exporter of manufactured goods. they may not always be the same goods. things will change. but it is very important, i believe, to continue to make that investment so we can
continue to have products that are made here. there is no question that we cannot just be a service nation. we need to have a mix of manufacturing and services. host: nick on our line for independents is calling from st. louis, missouri. caller: just once i would like to have c-span have a representative against free- trade. i would like to tell you is that i worked with ralph nader and ross perot against nafta, clinton taking bush, sr.'s, naphtha and pushing it. i was there when they pass -- past the permit free trade china. since then free trade has proved itself to be a total failure. our economy is in a total quagmire. our industries have been destroyed. we have been de-industrialized. free trade is a communist idea
that requires nations to have their borders open to free flow of capital, labor, products and services, across all borders. when you do that you destroy the integrity of the nation state. we have to compromise our laws to accommodate free-trade. the free trade of labor means people can flow into whatever nation the wanted to the extent we will no longer recognize ourselves as a nation, because what we have here will be owned by countries all over the world. the total united states of america destroying mechanism. it failed for 10 years. host: we will leave it there. guest: let me just say a couple of things. exports in this country support over 10 million jobs. if we look at the world -- the united states is not an island to the world. and as more and more countries look for ways to facilitate
trade, if we are not part of that conversation, we get left behind there are -- and left behind. there are countries in south america where we sold a lot of agricultural goods and a sign free-trade agreements with canada and the european union and they are no longer buying from us -- they are buying from canada and the european union at least in that sector. i think we have to find a way to create free trade agreements that are fair, that take into consideration worker rights and the environment. but we can't isolate ourselves from the world. host: we have facts and figures from the international trade administration regarding general trade. in the first 11 months of 2010, u.s. exports of services totaled $496.1 billion --
i wanted to ask you, you, sir, are going to be attending the asia pacific economic cooperation meeting later on this week. where is it, who is going to be there, what are you going to be talking about? guest: the u.s. is the host of the conference of this year, and it will take place in a number of cities. the small business component -- and there is that -- will take place in big sky, montana. i am very privileged to have the u.s. delegation -- head of the u.s. delegation to that particular meeting. let me tell you a little bit why it is important. they have over 2 billion consumers, the 21 nations that make up apec and it represents 50% of global income.
it is a very, very important part of the world and that area that we are paying attention to so we continue to have strong opportunities for american business, american workers, to take part in that very important market. host: next is wayne county, west virginia. joe on our line for democrats. caller: first, i would like to say thank you for c-span and i would also like to again challenge c-span to do a program about mountain top removal mining that we are suffering from. fair trade should be fair trade, not free trade. the gentleman who called ahead of me is absolutely right. we transferred our wealth to a communist nation that we fought two wars with. you don't have the right to vote, right to go to church, to form a union, no human rights enforcement, no environment of protection.
you talk about our corporate tax rate being so high. that may be true but we have more deductions than any other country in the world. we just need to start taking care of america, people. if you go to china and you want to get into retail industry or you want to have products manufactured for retail, you have to build through walmart. we have to invest in america. if it takes terex to level though playing field and -- tariffs to level of blood playing field and get rid of nafta that is what we need to do. host: sorry to cut you off but we are running out of time. secretary, would you like to address his concerns? guest: i could not agree more with the caller that trade agreements need to be fair and the obama administration is committed to making sure we have labor -- enforceable labor and
environmental provisions. we need to recognize the united states cannot act in isolation from the rest of the world. we need to be at the table to make sure we negotiate the best deals possible for the american worker and american business. host: undersecretary of congress -- commerce, francisco sanchez, has been our guest. guest: thank you for having me. host: in just a few minutes we will be talking about the aging of the u.s. population. if you had a chance to see sunday's "baltimore sun," their lead story, a grim time to be older and jobless. pushing unemployed workers over 50 into homelessness. one of the issues will we talk about in just a few minutes. but first, this news break from c-span radio. >> it is quarter past the hour. treasury department will sell over 460 million warrants it holds from citigroup tomorrow. it is the latest effort to recoup costs from the $700
billion financial bailout. the sales will add it to the profit the government realized from its $45 billion bailout of citigroup. general motors reported sold more cars and trucks in china last year than it did in the u.s.. for the first time in its 102- year history. gm's sales were up 12% worldwide as it recovers from a 2009 bankruptcy. today the company adds another shift to a flint, michigan, truck plant to handle increased demand. google says it awarded $100 million worth of equity to outgoing ceo eric schmidt. google, inc., said in a filing that the stock and stock options will be granted february 2. those are some of the latest headlines from c-span radio. >> you are watching c-span, bringing you politics and public affairs, every morning it is "washington journal," are live program on the news of the day.
weekdays, watts live coverage of the u.s. house and weeknights, congressional hearings and policy forums, supreme court oral argument. the weekends, our signature and did you programs. saturday's "the communicators," and on sunday, "newsmakers," "q&a," and "prime minister's questions. " it is all searchable on our c- span video library. c-span, the public service created by america of's cable companies. "washington journal" continues. richard jackson is director of the global aging initiative at the center for strategic and international studies and is the co-author of the global aging prepare in this index which provides a quantitative assessment of the progress countries worldwide are making in preparing for global heating. welcome to the program.
guest: my pleasure. host: what was this -- your incentive to write the index? guest: there is an enormous amount of concern about the consequences of the aging of the population in today's rich countries, particularly the fiscal burden that rising old. benefit -- rising old age benefits. and weather systems are robust enough to buy an adequate income for the old. as we looked at the issue we realized there was not a level -- level playing field measure that allows comparable comparisons across countries. we wanted to know which countries were best prepared, which were worst prepared, and most importantly, to draw policy lessons. h., the headline in yesterday's "baltimore sun," -- grim time to be older and jobless. rough economy pushing some unemployed workers over 50 into
homelessness. it is this an indication of, one, how tough it is to be older in this country and, two, where the united states fits on a scale of countries and how they take care of their aging population? guest: actually i think it is more of an indicator of how tough the current economy is. in fact, my understanding is older workers have actually shared better than younger workers in the current recession, which is something of an historical anomaly. for the first time we see higher rates of youth unemployment. overall, the united states does quite well on income adequacy for older people, for the elderly, compared to other countries, particularly in the middle of the income distribution. for middle-income retirees.
our problem is we do not have robust old age property protection. there is a problem in the lower end of the income distribution. host: we are looking at numbers supplied by the center for strategic and international studies. this one looks at the elderly, age 65 and over, as a percent of the population in 2010 and then again in 2014. it on the far left we have the united states -- on the far left, we have the united states, are aged population, 65 and over, is 13% of the population, and in 30 years ago up to 20%. you can see the growth in the aging population in countries like the united kingdom, canada, france -- italy looks like one of the countries with the largest growth in the aging population. 20% today, 33% in 30 years.
germany about the same. japan, 23% now ages 65 and older and in 2040, 36%. what is the significance of these numbers and how you use these in for said the cut -- facilitating this? guest: it is actually not well understood in the united states, that we are at the opportunity and of the spectrum in terms of the aging challenge. the retirement of the baby boomers -- they start turning 65 this year, in fact -- will present a big fiscal shock to the budget, a shock to the labor market. it is going to be a difficult challenge to cope with. but we are actually the youngest of the rich countries today. and thanks to our relatively high fitch -- fertility rate and substantial net immigration, that we do a better job at assimilating, we will still be the youngest and by an even wider margin in 2013 or 2014.
it is not the massive size of our age wave that is the problem. it is rather the below -- low national savings rate, the expense of the health-care system, which acts as a moat -- multiplier, and the political system that seems at the least having difficulty making meaningful trade-offs between competing priorities. host: the gaps between the correct -- correct -- current numbers and what it will be 30 years from now, another 30 years from now, 27 day, i guess, well that gap gets smaller or is it going to continue to get larger? as the population age 65 and older -- will it continue to grow and be a larger portion of the population or at some point
-- guest: that is a good question. and the united states, it will plateau. all the upward shift in the age structure occurs between now and 2030 or 2035. after that, the older share of the population stabilizes permanently at this new, higher level. a few of the other fast aging countries with very low birth rates will continue to drift upward spike a little bit, but essentially the age shift will be over by 2040 and it will stabilize at the new permanently age structure. host: our guest will be talking to us about economic, social, and geopolitical and demographic implications of the u.s. aging population. if you want to get involved in the conversation, the numbers --
we have a special line this morning for those 65 and over, 628-0184. again, if you are 65 and older, that is the number. the first call comes from philadelphia, the line for others. richard. caller: what is the income level when you are talking about aging population -- the low income level, what is that level? the other question is, black males, how does that affect those over 50 in relationship texting to the economics and
age? guest: good question. in the gap index we did not look at some of living standards -- we don't look at dollar amounts of income did we measure adequacy by looking at the income of the old relative to the income of the young. certainly in the middle of the income distribution, we are talking about household income for the elderly somewhere around 25,000 to $35,000 a year. a particular challenge for the black population, particularly black men, is that life expectancy is lower, which means that often the black population does not get the same payback on
social security. and because lifetime income was are lower, property rights in old age can be somewhat -- poverty rates in old age can be higher. one indicator where the united states does poorly relative to other rich countries is, indeed, the share of the elderly living in poverty. host: in the index country ratings, the numbers supplied to us by you and the folks at csis. one category on the left is fiscal sustainability index, and on the right, index adequacy. explain to us the differences between the two indices and why in the fiscal sustainability index, the united states is at 11 and income adequacy, the united states is number three?
guest: the two basic dimensions of the name -- of the old age retirement challenge, as society's grow older are, number one, making sure that public benefit systems are fiscally sustainable, that they don't impose an outsized crushing burden on younger generations. so, in calculating the fiscal sustainability index, we look first at the projected magnitude of old age benefits spending. we are talking not just pensions, not just social security, but also medicare and medicaid and health benefits. we look at the fiscal room that country -- countries have to look accommodate the rising burden. a big burden in the future may be because for concern, but the real question is whether a country could afford it. we look at how much room countries have to raise taxes, how much room they have to
borrow. finally, we look at the dependents of the elderly on public benefits. how much of an income of a typical household comes in the form of a government check? that tells you a lot about how political easier difficult it would -- maybe for reform in the future. in some european countries in the middle of the income distribution, 70, 75%, maybe 85% comes in the form of government benefits. that makes reform much more challenging. on the adequacy side, we look at the trend in the income of the old relative to the income of the young. in a sense, it is really a generational equity perspective. are we providing income is in retirement that enables people to maintain their living standards relative to the younger generation? the u.s., indeed, does much better on adequacy than it does
on fiscal sustainability. and a big part of the reason of the poor fiscal sustainability score is we have simply run out of room to accommodate the benefit growth. we pre-committed so much of our possible future tax dollars to paying the interest on this huge national debt that we have run up over the past couple of years. host: in terms of benefits provided by the state, and a person over 65 is better off in india than the united states -- an absolute delight guest: in absolute living standard terms, absolutely not. u.s. elderly are much more affluent, even at lower income levels, then most of the elderly in india. what india's relatively good store on -- good score on the index is that older people, compared to younger people, in terms of social expectations about living standards in that
country, the old are doing relatively well compared to the young. host: let's take a call from richard in the sioux falls, south dakota. richard is 65 or older. welcome to the program. caller: i would like to point out the fact that you talked about intergenerational -- what we are running right now is an intergenerational ponzi scheme, where we are stealing from the future. a right now the u.s. -- right now the u.s. is technically insolvent. if you were to calculate all of the wealth, nonprofit organizations, you would not have enough money to take care what we promised to everyone. and then to what they are going to have to do is cut dramatically -- not just small bits. but anyone under age 55, this not want drastic cuts in the current u.s. system, basically putting their children and grandchildren and a total third world country in 30 years. all you have to do is read any
report from the federal reserve that comes out. you see a report each december and it gives you the information. a if you don't want to delve into the information and let people from washington drawn on, it is fine. it does not mean they have the answers. the answers are are in the math. if you want to take the time to do the math, you configure this out. host: sorry to cut you off. we will let it go there and get a response. guest: i will try to keep drawing to a minimum. -- droning to a minimum. i think the basic point he is making, pay-as-you-go benefit systems, where current workers are taxed to pay directly for the benefits of current retirees -- and that is the case with our social security system and also with medicare. we have had something which is called the trust fund, but the trust fund does not actually affect any economic savings.
the system is on a purely pay- as-you-go basis. they as ecosystem works great when there are lots of workers and the relatively few retirees. but as a society -- this is what a ponzi scheme metaphor comes in or the chain letter scheme -- you run out of new joiners. simple arithmetic, nothing to do with ideologies. and the burden on the young necessarily increases if you want to maintain the same level of benefits for the old. and that's it is a problem for almost all of the rich countries because almost all of the rich countries set up the system on a pay-as-you-go basis. host: peter out of triangle, virginia, on the line for republicans. caller: i just want to throw a couple of things out there. a first of all, i am 51, all for raising the unemployment age
doesn't 75 -- instead of forcing insurance, force employers to pay for retraining those between 55 and 65 so they can work through to 75 in service- oriented-type jobs. that way you can't open up the opportunity, -- can open up the manufacturing in the country. the connection between this conversation and the last segment is we need to focus on the united states. i don't care about other countries. they don't matter until we get our shop and order. we are dictatorship -- potato chip and a bowl of rocks. we should spend the next three, five, 10 years to get things together in this country because we were once a beacon of democracy and all the things that come with that, and we are no longer are. as long as we are promoting everyone else instead of taking care of ourselves, there will not be manufacturing, there will be nothing for the elderly -- although i consider this conversation a good one.
as long as it is not more talking points like the last segment. guest: let me start with what happens in the rest of the world matters and the loop back around to the retirement age issue. we live in a globalized economy with globalized capital markets. if the eurozone tanks, that affect investment portfolios, and indeed, not just wall street, but main street in the u.s. we are mortgaging our future, if you will. or to put it in more neutral terms, we are borrowing a lot from china. history teaches that the bar were always seeds leverage -- cedesere always se leverage. some of your opossum most
expansive welfare states have undertaken -- some of your's most of dance in -- expansive welfare states have undertaken in tom and reforms. they have indexed benefits. meaning that -- and this is the case in sweden and germany. as well as italy. meaning that as the ratio of workers to retirees falls, benefit levels are automatically adjusted to take into account the demographic shift. yet the united states, we have not managed to come around to any consensus on that issue. there are, i think, lessons that can be learned. as for the retirement age, i do think that that is the central response society's need to make. with the social security retirement age, which is now 66, headed for 67, if that had been indexed to longevity, had gone up along with life expectancy,
since the system was founded, it would now be 72 or 73. heading for 77 or 78 by the 2030's. yet, a proposal to raise it a year or two more by the simpson-bulls commission -- since and-bowles commission has caused controversy. it couldn't -- host: jane on the line for over 65. caller: you look at china, the one baby roll and now you have all these men who cannot find brides. you look at america, we have the abortion laws and now we are running out of young children and we are getting older. you look at the epa and the rules and regulations driving industry out of the country. something you mentioned, you have a program about the price of food, the cost of food. nobody mentioning the fact that about half the people around
where i live get the food stamp cards, and they did not even look at the price of food because if it is free you do not care. it has driven up -- and one local store the price of food has gone up dramatically -- in one local store. guest: i am glad that somebody raised china. because if we begin to feel overwhelmed by the magnitude of the challenge we have in the united states, we should consider the challenge in china. china by 2013, an incredible fought for anybody my age who remembers that when the problem in china was a runaway population growth. china by 2013 will be an older country than the united states. the problem isn't that they can't afford the overly-generous benefit promises, the problem is that older people, the vast majority, don't have pensions,
they don't have health care. they depend on the extended family still for support in old age. but the government told them to have only one child. so, there is an enormous humanitarian -- crisis looming in china posit feature, -- aging crisis looming in china's future. could be a speed bump in their economic rise. host: new jersey, you are on the with richard jackson. caller: i would like to bring in -- do we count the illegal immigrants in our country presently have also use the future -- to use them as a tool? certain countries like mexico had a big population under 25, as well as all of the middle eastern and even countries. it does not seem to me we use our policy -- foreign and domestic policies -- for the
right of american workers. it is more for multinational corporations. which brings into question, what is an american company? they are allowed to separate profit -- like, gm, it overtook selling cars in china, but they don't pay taxes on that money because they divided. gm division china. -- is like that also. it seems to me at our foreign- policy is to benefit the multinational corporations and the few at the top at the expense of workers not only in our own country. and domestically there are illegal immigrants working and not paying taxes, as well as americans. everybody is not willing to pay taxes. we forget social security and medicare is what makes our country great, the regulations to protect workers and people. it seems to me the german on tv and callers want to strip america of the value of what is right -- it seems to me the gentlemen on tv and the callers.
guest: let me address the substance of the caller's question. yes, in fact, the projections do take into account estimates of illegal immigration. an interesting but little-known fact is that the official projections made by the social security administration implicitly are assuming a continued inflow of illegal immigrants in the future. this is built into the projections. a good demographer has to look at what is happening and say, well, this is likely to continue. but the paradox is, on the one hand, you have one agency of government trying to shut that down and on the other hand you actually have that underpinning. the reason it underpins it, contrary to what people believe, most illegal immigrants to pay payroll taxes.
on the larger question of globalization and trade, i have no expertise to speak to the tax issue that the caller raised. but i think that just about any economist would agree in that's in the long run -- that in the long run, trade and a globally integrated economy will benefit both sides of the equation, and what we have to deal with are the near term this locations and special adjustment burdens placed on particular groups of workers in particular industries. host: another set of numbers we want to look at from your study. cumulative percentage change in working page -- working age population aged 20-64 and the total population. it goes from 2000 to 2014.
the change in the working age population goes up 15% in the united states over a 40-year period while the total population goes up 27%. on the other end of this, you have the working population, working-age population going down 28% in japan and the total population going down 15%. is japan just not growing, or are they shrinking? what does that mean? guest: in fact, the united states will be the only major developed economy, major rich country, that will experience any major population growth over the next two or three decades. that is due both to relatively higher fertility rate.
we are at the replacement level. on average 2.1 lifetime births per woman. we have not entirely forgotten to have children, as the japanese and some european countries have. we also have a substantial net immigration. we will add 100 million people to the population over the next 30 years. europe will lose 100 million. and the population decline in the faster-aging european countries like germany, italy, and spain, it is very steep and significant. japan is ground zero for global aging. the japanese government suggests the date where there will be only one japanese citizen living. host: our guest is from the center for strategic and international studies. ohio, another caller, 65 or older. go ahead. caller: good beautiful morning
to you, rob. mr. jackson, how were you? guest: i am fine. how are you? caller: i am fantastic, but even that. one quick suggestion and then three points for mr. jackson. if there is any possibility we could light up c-span on occasion? everyone's and while it will be nice to have someone on there with a sense of humor -- every once in awhile. host: they tried to ward us off, a. that chance will probably not happen. any questions for mr. jackson? caller: we can take care of a lot of domestic situation if we reduce the tremendous amount we spend in the pentagon and on the military. military bases in 130 countries. i think a good bit could be redirected. number two, remove the caps on social security. why do people stop paying at 102,000 or whatever? that would make a big difference. no. 3, social security has
always been based on the number of workers and the worker in this country today, given technology, is now producing 30-35 times a worker in 1935. i contend that the money put into the social security trust fund was based on productivity, corporate productivity as well as numbers of workers, it would solve a lot of the problems. i do not know if you can see what i am saying, but i think it is very simple to see that productivity has grown drastically while the number of workers have not. why not base it in some way, shape, or form on a formula that includes not only the number of workers but the productivity of those workers and that amount be put into the social security trust fund? host: we will leave it there. thank you for the call. guest: first of all, i think there is a misunderstanding not just among the general public but apparently members of congress about the composition of the federal budget and how
much money goes to different purposes. you could zeero help the entire department of defense, shut it down, and you would not gain enough savings to cover the projected growth in social security and medicare over the next 25 or 30 years. there may be important economies we can make in defense, but there will also be new challenges. there may be important economies we can make on the discretionary side, maybe some programs are wasteful, all lived their usefulness, but you could cut everything from national defense and national parks and still not balance the budget. number one. two, on social security, yes, you could raise the max cap, and you could also make non-earned income -- right now the payroll tax is a payroll tax, as the name implies.
it is on earnings, wages. you could fund social security out of general revenue. its universality as an entitlement programs -- i would hesitate to go down the road. to fund it primarily out of general revenues, it no longer is a jump -- insurance program but a welfare program and is subject to all of the same pressures that welfare spending is. host: the next caller comes from michigan on the line for republicans. caller: i kind of flipped over because usually you talk about things -- i am 67 years old. what i heard on daytime news on one of the other channels yesterday morning, they were talking about reducing of some of what i get, my social security benefits. i go to a senior somewhat
useless on the weekends and everybody is scared to death that they will get cuts in their social security benefits. i can't afford it, sir. what the cost of groceries and everything -- with the cost of groceries and everything, i am scared and had a hard time sleeping. guest: listen, sir, let me try to reassure you. there is not a proposal by any of the various fiscal irresponsibility and deficit reduction in commissions -- fiscal responsibility and deficit reduction commission or any on either side of the aisle that would reduce in any significant or substantial fashion, benefits, not just for people now aged 65 and over, but benefits for people aged 55 and
over. that is just a non-issue. host: joe in san jose, california, calls on our line for democrats. caller: gentlemen, good morning. no. -- number one, when you turn 40, nobody wants to hire you anymore. and you want to extend social security. i have friends who work in computers -- he turned 40, two years later they let him go. i said, why, and he said, i am too old already. then i got into electronics when i was 50 but i know somebody like me and he said i am going to train you. at 50, that is how i got into it. then the younger kids, the look at you as if you are -- that is their attitude when you are working with these kids now.
number two, gasoline prices keep jumping. as long as there is no control on it, no cap, this country is not going to get on its feet. a good example, the president's -- the president sent to hundred and $50 to help me buy drugs -- $250 for drugs and then gets one up and it cost me another $250 to buy gas for a month. guest: energy policy is beyond my mandate today, but on the issue of being difficult for older workers to find jobs, that is a real problem. but let me make two points. first of all, i think that
problem will ease in the future of as we begin to see relative scarcity is -- scarcities of people in the entry age labor market brackets. number two, retirement ages have actually begun to rise already. the labor force participation rate among the elderly in the united states plummeted between about 1960 and 1990 and has since begun to rise. finally -- i said i wanted to make two points but let me make a third, if i may. i think the problem will ease to the future -- in the future, but to the extent it doesn't, it will be very important to create a special category of eligibility for social security disability benefits, where you
have different and more lenient criteria for eligibility for, let's take a worker's age 65 and over or 60 and over, that recognizes certain professions where you cannot continue to work as easily or that employment opportunities may be less for older workers. but i think these problems are manageable. the big question is we have to take this marvelous longevity dividend we have enjoyed, not as extra years of the end of life of retirements, but continued productive engagement. i think we owe that to the future. host: on our line for folks 65 and over, packed in dallas, texas. caller: good morning. mr. jackson, the confused me. i will be 70 in april, and i am a c-span junkie.
social security is not pay as you go. $6 trillion in the trust fund. now congress and the president have borrowed from both trust funds -- medicare and social security -- and they secured the debt with u.s. treasury bonds just like the debt of china and other countries. but the social security trust fund is solvent until 2037 and will pay, i believe, 76% of all promised benefits after that. but when you are saying we are on a pay-as-you-go basis, you really confuse me. and president obama, who i voted for, he promised he was going to raise the cap on social security. if you are really confusing me -- i guess you want to put elderly people on their knees
and really -- guest: let me try to clear up the confusion, if i may. i do have a 91-year-old mother, who just turned 91 and i would not want to put her or any other elderly person on their knees. yes, social security has accumulated a large trust funds. the buildup has occurred because the payroll tax revenues that the system has been collected as the baby boom has been swelling the ranks of working age adults, has exceeded the benefits it has been paying out. the trust fund has real meaning. it has a legal meaning. it does not have any economic meaning. the trust fund constitutes budget authority. now we are really getting into washington jargon. what it means is that when benefits begin to exceed tax revenues, which in fact they are already doing, the trust funds
presents it to treasury and treasury has to pay them. for treasury to pay them it has to either raise taxes, cut other spending or borrow from the public. the trust fund does not have any economic meaning. it is an asset if to social security but a liability to treasury and the two net zero. this message -- our next call comes from glen on our line for independents from kansas city, missouri. caller: good morning. i was just listening to the discussion with mr. jackson and i guess i am wondering why 100% of the conversation seems to be focused on government solutions which, you know, have not worked well with the social security system. what efforts are being made to
promote the private side retirement program so that social security just becomes a supplemental funds available -- supplemental fund? people talking about corporate taxes and raising the cap and this sort of thing, whereas, if we took that productivity and ramped up the economy again -- which is normally in a fairly ramped up mold -- mode, we can change the culture in terms of private side retirement funds. guest: i and glad you raised the issue of the private sector, and particularly, funded retirement savings. i think of the two big win-win solutions, if i am allowed to
use that cliche, to the aging challenge are increasing retirement ages and increasing funded retirement savings. these are the two means, the two best means and perhaps the only means to help maintain an adequate living standard for the old without imposing a new tax or family burden on the young. the problem on the private side, we do have many tax incentives aimed at encouraging higher participation in employer pension programs of various types. we also have ira's, as listeners know. yet, private pension coverage remains stuck and has been stuck , 50% about the mid-1970s'
to 60% of the work force. voluntary does not get you all the way there and that is the experience of other countries. i would favor a mandatory add on, mandatory savings account that could be structured, in addition to social security, or as a standalone. but i think that is a crucial part of the solution. host: joe public 7 has this twitter -- illinois a, phyllis on our line for democrats. caller: i did not get in on the 65 and older line and i am in my 70's. what i see in my part of the country is, there isn't any direction over a lot of the programs, farm subsidies, all
these free programs, and i know it goes from one end of the other. i am in my 70's and my husband is in his 70's, and we both get social security plus a pension and he works three days a week and i babysit. there are people who have just as much as we do, driving new cars and vans that get circuit breaker and the other programs. i think there needs to be a stricter direction of all of these programs, starting from the rich to the poor. i think that would help this country so much. host: thank you. we are running out of time. richard jackson? guest: thank you. i have a moment to respond to the hammer? great. i could not agree with you more. everything does need to be on the guest: we need to