tv American Politics CSPAN February 20, 2011 6:30pm-8:00pm EST
john boehner believes that, too, and said that they could lose hundreds of millions of jobs and said, "so be it." will you comment about setting the stage for the cuts that people might feel are necessary, beyond your own constituency? guest: right now, the comments by congressman jordan reflect the fact that they think the public understands that we are broke and that cuts are going to need to be made. when he said, "so be it," i think he also thought the public was with him. the public is ready to accept some pain, some sacrifice to get this deficit and this debt under control. and the democrats, so far, at
least on the house side, are betting that that is not the case. they are playing traditional politics with social security and federal jobs and saying the voters will not go for it. host: what is the most interesting thing you have seen this week? guest: the vote on the second engine for the joint strike fighter. the pentagon and the white house are happy with the engine. there is one made by ge that members of congress have liked. the conservatives in the house and those that support that were able to defeat the second engine. i do not think that story is over. the rank and file defeated the leadership, particularly john boehner who has a lot of jobs associated with that second
engine in his region. host: your most interesting thing? thing? guest: they do not know how it will turn out -- things that are coming to the floor. that would be a change from the last couple of years, where things have been very scripted. host: thank you both for being here this week. >> donald rumsfeld was both the youngest and oldest person to serve as secretary of defense. >> you have an obligation to tell the truth. people who did not have proximity and only go in and see him occasionally simply do not want to do it. >> tonight, he will discuss his philosophy of presidential staff leadership, the process of writing his memoirs and address some of the books critical and positive reviews. >> you are watching c-span,
bringing the public and policy affairs. every morning, it is "washington journal" connecting you with policymakers and journalists. watch live coverage of the u.s. house weekdays and congressional hearings and paul -- public forums. on the weekends, you can see our signature interview programs. on saturday, "the communicators" and others. you can also watch our programming anytime online at c- span.org. it is all searchable at our c- span video library. c-span, washington your way. created by america's cable companies. >> syndicated columnist and rate -- radio talk show host, herman cain said he is still in exploratory mode for running for president in 2012. he spoke at a lincoln dinner.
this is about one hour. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] >> i am not officially in exploratory mode. i am the first, foremost exploratory presidential candidate here. the others are getting all of this press and they haven't declared anything. i am not a declared candidate, i have to say that, but i have put together my formal exploratory committee and it is going great.
this is my fifth time here. i love coming here. i have got people working, lining up meetings for me in south carolina. vigil lyonnais strategy, i knew that was dead on arrival. how can you ignore the early primary states and think you're going to go to florida, the waters are going to part in your going to get the nomination. i think he did it that way because he might not have really cared if he got it or not. if you really wanted, you have to get out there and work. >> [inaudible] >> thank you. you have heard me talk. [laughter]
how many people -- look what happened, they encourage you to come out tonight so you can hear my long speech. mile-long -- my warm the speech will be a little better than michael speech. -- will be a little better than by cold speech. [inaudible] >> thank you. people ask me all the time why are you running. i tell them the reasons why.
but another reason i run is the things you all have said. that has inspired me, when you say, it makes you a believer again. that is encouraging. that is truly, truly encouraging, so thank you. i wrote a commentary that said the president is no place for on-the-job training. we see what that does and it is not working out too well. it is great the guys are here. i appreciate it. they are going to have
traditional new hampshire turkey and i am looking forward to that if they let me eat it. you went and got a real job. [laughter] good to see you. how are you, young lady? i have met you before. [inaudible] thank you very much. we need all the free help we can get. how have you been? are you enjoying your new job? good.
i appreciate that. thank you very much. how are you? >> [inaudible] >> there are some lawyers i like and you might be one of them. nice to meet you. wonderful. god bless you. >> i am concerned about america's moral foundation. it needs to be taught to error children and grandchildren. >> the you have administrative
leadership in the school here that tries to prevent you from teaching that andrea instilling cultural values? >> yes. >> that is not right. >> i don't think so either. i think we should be able to express what ever are religious views are and that should be respected. >> i agree. one of the most disturbing stories i read recently was in illinois, a judge overturned an injunction filed by an atheist objecting to students having a moment of silence. the fact they filed for an injunction that they did not want have kids to think about whoever they want to think about. we have got to the point where this political correctness is killing this country.
they might think about god, so don't give them a chance to think about it. that is ridiculous. i applaud you for what you do. i admire teachers and you know what i say to teachers? i say on behalf of all of those knuckle here -- and knucklehead parents who don't think you, thank you because they don't thank you enough. they do not realize what you put up with. >> i know you remember names. >> one of my secrets is i write it down, so let me cite your book. -- let me sign that your book. that's another reason i will remember you. [inaudible]
i think it is beautiful. what level do you teach? >> preschool and title one kindergarten. i have them at 4 and 5 years old. >> awfully nice to meet you. thank you very much. this guy looks familiar. for youied to a dinner recently? >> you did. [laughter] [inaudible] byte came up here and i thought i'm going to get to see you anyway. you are low -- >> you are looking well. thank you for coming.
it's always great to see you. >> thank you. i appreciated. -- i appreciate it. would you see if they have any lemonade or water? >> [inaudible] as long as he brings me my lemonade, that will be fine. >> [inaudible] i'm going to listen to you tonight. i have read a little bit of this already. >> so you collect these little things?
minutes with us. >> it is my pleasure. good to see you again. always a pleasure. >> we seem to keep running into you at a number of different places. i know that there is a youtube of you up speaking at cpac. it got very good reviews. what do you think of the spirit there as opposed to other years? >> higher. i believe conservatives in this country and the people at cpac exemplifying the growing citizens' movement. i went last year and the energy was sky-high. some people were wondering whether or not this year it was going to go down. no, it did not.
they had 11,000 attendees there. the energy from the people, you could just see it whether you were walking through the legs of a hall or doing a radio broadcast, it is a lot higher. i think this is indicative of the movement across the country. that is one of the things that is encouraging me to form this exploratory committee i've launched three weeks ago. >> have you made the decision yet or have you just launched the exploratory committee? >> i am at the exploratory stage. as soon as i become a declared candidate, i become unemployed. you can thank mccain/gold for that. -- mccain/fine gold for that. >> i would have to say you have
a long road to go. any candidate does at this point. i feel it's just going to get harder and harder depending on what happens. you are a financial person, a member of the federal reserve out of kansas. lately i have been hearing a lot from the international markets where china wants to put their currency as the reserve currency. in the last couple of days, we saw the imf publicly coming out and saying the dollar, not so much anymore. i attribute that to the last couple of years. do you think the president -- the present administration is putting us into that situation? >> this administration is putting that in that possess some starting with the debt. if we had not run up the amount of debt we have run up in the last two years, nobody would be
talking about changing to another currency as the reserve currency for other currencies around the world. it starts with our debt. the fact that we have $4 trillion in the national debt compared to what was run up under george bush, it is out of control and the american people know that. china is basically testing the waters. they know that they own more of our debt than any other country in the world. think about that. that is a national security issue. not only are they putting more of our debt, now they want to propose their currency as the reserve currency. that is dangerous. here is how we fight the problem. bring down the debt and supercharge the economy. if our economy is growing at a
robust level instead of an anemic level, and the debt is coming down, which is what i would propose doing, for it to come down and not go up, the value of the dollar goes up. >> one of the things we have seen, you are known as a tea party event speaker all over the country. we are seeing the efforts of the tea party movement going past the november 2nd election. we sought this week were with the republicans made their contract with america and said we will cut $100 billion and the senate walked away from that. the folks that had been elected by the teat party, the freshman, making their ire can we set 100 billion and we're holding you to a because the people behind us
are holding us to it. do you think that would give you an advantage going into the next election cycle are coming into the primary? >> absolutely. i was speaking at tea parties before to parties were cool. i started in early 2009. the first tea party i gave a speech at was las vegas, nevada on april 15th. i was there to give a professional keynote speech. while i was there, that he party people in las vegas were organizing -- that tea party people in las vegas for organizing for april 15th. they invited me to speak and guess what was so encouraging about that? they were expecting 600 attendees. they got 2600 attendees that day. i said to myself, self, something is happening. what i started to hear about
other two parties around the country, i said something special was going on. with all of the deportees that started to blossom up, -- with all of the tea parties that started to blossom up, people were having a month fourth of july, always up to november 2nd, and the thing i kept asking myself is if all of this tea party energy, is it going to convert itself into votes on election day? and it did. and those that are trying to kill the two party citizens movement cannot. they can say it is going to go away, but i can tell you cpac is an example that it is not going to slaughter about, it's just going to get stronger. >> do you think the movement is strong enough? two years ago, everyone made it
out to be a fringe types of the environment. government has to keep on rolling the way it is and the movement got larger and larger. do you think that is going to help in cutting the budget? >> yes. >> do you think mainline establishment republicans are getting the message? >> i think they're finally getting the message because they have seen the results of november 2nd. they have seen what happens if they try to walk away from promises like the $100 billion on the table. they have seen their office is getting flooded on a regular basis with females and phone calls because people are much more informed and involved and -- flooded on a regular basis with e-mail and phone calls because people are much more informed and involved. a lot of liberals and democrats
in this administration do not get it. i really hope that they don't until november 2012. >> we are certainly coming up on that time or a decision is going to have to be made by you and a lot of other folks coming into new hampshire. but one of the things i saw today, a couple of days ago that struck me. the new senator from pennsylvania, his headline was a really smart guys knew i could not win. is that going to apply to you? >> i love that. that is exactly what many of them are saying about me. i have titled myself the dark horse candidate. people have said i don't have a chance. the whole list of naysayers, politically what i have discovered is what i started floating the idea of running for
president or doing an exploratory committee, i would talk to friends and acquaintances and groups in washington d.c., and said the beltway, some of them holding public office. then i talked to real people, like the people here in new hampshire, nevada, ark., all over the country. the people i talk to in the sea all have the same reaction. it is impossible, you cannot win because they are thinking about the traditional, top down run for office model. every day outside the beltway was encouraging me -- everybody outside the beltway was encouraging me. i believe the electorate, not the political elite, they are already for a non-politician to run the country. >> we have seen that in new
hampshire where a supermajority in the house, a large freshman class, all of them belong to the liberty and freedom of movement, a can to the t party. -- ken it to the tea party. doing their duty and returning home, do you think that model is coming back? it's not so much that we have new citizens come in and serve, but are they willing to go back? getting the professional politicians that have given us this $1.5 trillion deficit and running that deficit up. >> i believe that model is coming back and it is on its way to washington dc. it starts with selecting the right conservative president who goes out of focus on the right problems and knows how to get
the nation focused on the right priorities, a president who will surround himself with the right people and put together the right common sense solutions for our problems and then inspire the electorate to keep the pressure on the members of congress to do what is right. one of my guiding principle is that when the public understands it, they will demand it. when they'd feel heat, they will see the light. some of them are finally feeling the heat. >> do you think those in the administration, including those i would deem progressive republicans, getting the message that government is supposed to serve us, not tell us how to live our lives? every time we turn around, this administration says you need to live your life this way. we need to have this kind of energy and you btps kinds of food, you have to do certain
things in a certain way because we know what is best. do you think the american citizens will put up with that in 2012? >> absolutely not. that is one of the driving forces behind this citizens' movement. the fact that this administration shoved this health-care and attrition down the throats of the american people, the american people not only did not need this particular legislation, they did not want it, but they did it anyway. that is pure arrogance toward the american people. when nancy pelosi says you have to pass and and we will tell you what is in it, that insult the intelligence of the american people. the american public is not going to put up with that anymore. that is why it opens up a huge opportunity for someone like me, problem solver, not a politician. >> one of the dangerous trends i
have seen is that congress is making itself irrelevant. when he looked at obama care and the data financial bill, there is a lot of -- d theodd the financial bill. you are going to tell the american people what you are going to do. if you're the president, that sounds like a nice idea and give you the imperial presidency. if you decide to run and if you are elected as president, having that amount of power, having a boss out congress in your hands, is that something you love or something you would hate? >> that is something i would love for the following reason. >> to hold all that power in your hands? >> i would love it. if you get the right president, it's a good thing.
if you get the wrong president, it's a bad thing. second, the president's responsibility is to lead. you have a -- you have 535 members of congress. they are not going to put together a strategic plan for america. a strategic plan for america. they are not going to be able to do it. that is why we have the office of the president. secondly, the reason that the founders set it up the way they did was that we needed to have a leader. here is the other big difference between me if i were president and current president and most of the others. i would be a president of the people, a president by the people, and a president of the people. let me tell you what i mean by that. and president of the people, i
am one of the regular folks. a president by the people, a non-politician can be elected because of the citizens' movement. that is why i would get elected. and a present for the people. i would truly represented the people because that is the way it should be. when i propose some of these ideas that i think congress should get behind, i will spend as much time explaining it to the people as i would spend explaining it to congress so that people can see the light. that is the difference in the president i would be. >> you are basically showing the people, here is a suggestion. what if they decide they do not want to go that way.
in this day of social media, would you be able to hear? would you have the opportunity to listen and say, i was wrong. zig and the people said, let's zag. >> absolutely. someone said the president had lost touch with the people. he was trying to explain away why they were having so much trouble rolling out obamacare. the president puts you in a bubble. that is true if you do not organize properly. if you create czars on top of 16 cabinet positions, that puts you in a bubble. i would surround myself with the right people and we would have
common sense solutions. i do not have to stay in the bubble. my job would be to be out and staying in touch with the people. that is the president also job, not allow himself to be put in a bubble. >> thank you for stopping by our leading blog site. there are people who would like a few words with you. i feel foolish spending the time because we will run into each other during the campaign. >> this is my eighth time in new hampshire. i will be back. i quote one of your famous sayings, which is "live free or die." >> thank you very much.
>> you know it is always a pleasure. it is always great to see it. great interview. >> just make sure i know when you are coming back. take care. >> i do not know what c-span is going to do with all of this footage. [applause] >> i had about a pages of notes to try to get through hereman's -- herman's life. he was raised in atlanta, georgia by loving and hard- working parents. his father worked three jobs to provide a better life for his children. he earned a degree in mathematics from morehouse
college in 1967. shortly thereafter, he married the love of his life and they started on their journey to achieve their dream. he earned his master's degree in computer science from purdue university and then spent six years working for the department of the navy. i have to stress that he was not in the navy. he worked for the department of the navy. he was a mathematician working on fire control systems. shortly after that, he joined the coca-cola company and started climbing the corporate ladder working in mathematics for coca-cola. after a successful career as coca-cola, he moved to the pills berry company -- pillsbury. in a short period of time, he rose to be one of the
youngest vice president of the company at the age of 34. it was an exciting thing to be, but it was not what his like's bol was. goalnt back -- his life's was. he went back to working at burger king. he worked his way up to burger king, which was owned by pillsbury and took over a division which was the lowest performing division in the united states. in three years, he took it to the highest regional performing position in the united states. he knows how to get things done. his next adventure was the ceo and president of got father's pizza, which he saved from bankruptcy -- godfather's pizza, which he saved from bankruptcy
in 14 months. he was on the board of directors of the federal reserve bank of kansas city and was elected their chairman. he has written three books. "they think you are stupid," "why leadership is common sense," "develop the better speaker in." until last week, he hosted a radio talk show called "the herman cain show." he has written numerous columns and serves as a commentator for fox news business. the other thing that he is that i think is one of the best things is he thought cancer and has one won.
he has battled it with his bass and his energy. with that, i would like to introduce mr. herman cain. [applause] >> thank you. i am delighted to be back in new hampshire. bill sort even more delighted that you have decided to come out tonight -- i am even more delighted that you have decided to come out for this lincoln- reagan dinner. thank you for honoring me by inviting me. i am delighted to be here. one of my heroes, dr. benjamin e. mays, the late president of morehouse college, used to remind the young man of morehouse, let it be born in
mind that the tragedy of life does not lie in not reaching your goals. the tragedy lies in not having goals to reach for. it is not a calamity to die with dreams unfulfilled. but it is a calamity to have no dreams. we are here today because our founding fathers had goals and dreams. it was their dream of the greatest strain -- the greatest country in the world that inspired them to fight for liberty and freedom. it was our founding fathers who
defined what are called the spirit of america even before it was popular. they defined the spirit of america when they said, "we hold these truths to be self- evident, that all men are created equal, that they are in doubt -- are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights, among those are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." that defined the spirit of america. today, we have some people who want to rewrite that spirit of america. by leaving out the phrase "endowed by their creator."
but there are those who refuse to let the spirit of america bb find our written. our founding fathers had a dream redefined or rewritten. i had a caller on my radio show. i was talking about our founding fathers. i was reminding them of the declaration of independence and the preamble to the constitution and reminding people because a lot of people have never read it or they have forgotten. i even read to them the gettysburg address because i define the gettysburg address as the greatest memorial day speech ever given, but not on memorial day.
i got this caller who called and said, mr. cain, i do not understand how you as a black man can be sitting there praising the founding fathers. many of them had slaves. how can you possibly be giving them all of this recognition and praise when they had slaves? your forefathers. i said, sir, you miss the point. foundingng father's -- fathers had the wisdom to define this nation at a bar higher than themselves.
even though they had slaves, they did not set the barlow. did not set the bar low. they set the bar where it should be. they gave the nation the opportunity to work up to the ideal that all men are created equal. and they did. that is the spirit of america that some people forget. the spirit of america was reflected by inspirational leaders. i was reminded of that today at henry's hours. house. you can read about the things i would do in that booklet i left with you. i will not talk about that tonight. ludwig came up to me before he
was about to leap and said, i agree with all of your eye -- before i was about to leave and said, i agree with all of your ideas, but they are not new. these are ideas that have been around for a while. ludwig pointed out, the problem is going to be, how do you get it done? he said, we are going to need inspirational leadership to get those ideas implemented. abraham lincoln was an inspirational leader. in one of the toughest times in our history. a lot of people remember abraham lincoln as having freed the slaves, and he did with the proclamation. yet there were those who, even
though he had issued that proclamation, they tried to drag this nation back into the mode. we got the 14th and 15th amendments because there were men in this country who did not understand what it meant to have all men are created equal. that is the spirit of america. abraham lincoln exemplified that inspirational leadership that brought america through one of the toughest times it had ever faced. he did not just three the slaves. with a proclamation. he freed the slaves by keeping
america together. he kept united and the phrase, "united states of america." we have had other inspirational leaders in the toughest times of our nation. john f. kennedy was one of those inspirational leaders. yes, he was a democrat. but he was an inspirational leader at a time even though he served a short time. he served the people first. , not his party. then there was ronald reagan, who many of us remember so well. i was just a young man just beginning to pay attention to politics and government. ronald reagan was president. it appears as if the longer the time goes that he was here on
this planet, the more all of us appreciate his inspirational leadership. reagan had the ability to capture and communicate the spirit of america. that brought us together. the spirit of america that caused the united states congress to do many things that a lot of people did not think reagan would be able to get done. now we have and we face some similar daunting challenges. many people in this room, along with me, believe this nation is on the wrong track. [applause]
america is getting away from those bal use envisioned in the dream of our founding by others. they set the bar high. they were the founding fathers. we must be the be thin think fathers of those same ideas and those same -- the defending fathers of those same ideas and those same values. as many of you have heard me say, it is not about us. it is about the grandchildren. one of the questions i always can ask and i always enjoy answering is, why are you considering running for president of the united states. it started in 1999 when my first grandchild was born. the first time i look into that little face, the first thought
that went through my mind was not what do i do to make sure she gets a good education or a great start in life like my parents wanted and like you want for your children or grandchildren. it was not about what i do to give them a great start in life. the first thought that went through my mind, so help me god, was what do i do to make this a better world. i did not know where it was going to lead. i did not know it was going to lead to this lincoln-reagan dinner tonight. [laughter] that was the first thought in my mind. two days ago i was entered --i was interviewed by a reporter. she asked me a question that i had never been asked in the years i had been doing
interviews. it caused me to stop and ponder. i told her the story of how my first grandchild inspired me to consider running. because of all the issues we face. she said, you said your granddaughter inspired you. how is that different from how your children might have inspired you? i thought for a moment. when our children were born, we focused on their future. when our grandchildren were born, we focused on the future of america. ask any grandparent and they will tell you. when people say, why are you
considering such a crazy thing. ? you never held public office. i say, yes, i wear it as a badge of honor. [applause] that is a good thing. then i turned the question back around. i say, you are right. most of the people in elected office in washington, d.c. have held office before. how is that working for you? we got a mess. it was albert einstein who said, if you keep doing the same thing the same way expecting a different result, it is insanity. maybe it is time for somebody who has not held public office, but who is a proven problem solver. the spirit of america rises when
america is in its darkest moments. abraham lincoln demonstrated that. ronald reagan demonstrated that. we are now in one of our darkest moments again. to believe we are all put here on this earth to make a difference with whatever time we are blessed with individually or collectively. some of us can run for office. some of us can be a commissioner. some of us can be supporters. some of us can head up our county party. some of us can teach school. all of us have talent. almighty charges us to use to make a difference in
this life no matter what it is. even lawyers. [laughter] i told someone earlier, i like some lawyers. i do not dislike all of them. there are some good ones in this country. we were all put here for a purpose. that is one of the things i had to pray about and pray about and pray about. what do i do with the rest of my life given the fact that i have lived my american dream? my parents were able to achieve their american dreams by owning a house. they both walked off of a firm at the age of 18. my father walked -- they both walked all of a farm at the age of 18. my father what awful big farm with the clothes on his back. my mother walked off of a firm
bank at the age of 18 with a shopping bag and everything she owned. their dream was for their sons to get a better start in life and we did. go to school and get a good job. i asked my mother, what is a good job. she kept saying, i want you to grow up and get a good job and get a good indication. i said, what do you define as a good job? she said, a good job is when you go to work every day with a shirt and tie and you work in air-conditioning. [laughter] [applause] i said, mother, i want a good job. but they wanted us to achieve our american dreams. what we face today is that the american dream is on the attack
because america is on the wrong track. we are fighting back and we will get it back. [applause] we will get it back. [applause] the movement has already started. all of you have been a part of that movement. we saw the first evidence of that on november 2. when i woke up on november 3, i breathed a cautious side of relief. i was concerned that all of movement and' it is the enthusiasm might not show up at the polls, but it did. we finished phase one. now we are working on phase two to take back the senate and the white house in 2012. [applause]
a lot of people say, you do not have a chance. i say, you do not know much about my history. i love it when they say, you do not have a chance. there was a professor at a university in macon, georgia. he was quoted as saying, herman cain does not have a chance. he is going to get 1% or 2% in the primaries. i was asked, what we think of this man says you do not have a chance? i said, thank you for the encouragement. he does not understand the spirit of america and what the people can do, not just what the politicians can do. what the people want, not just what the political elite wants. if i recall correctly, the beginning of the preamble to the
"wetitution still sets, says, the people." so on this lincoln-reagan dinner i am please to be asked to participate. it is historical figures like lincoln, reagan, dr. king, my father, who inspired me to want to leave this nation and this world a little bit better. that is what we all want to do. with the time, the talent, and the treasures that we have. you are the spirit of america. movement going on
across this country is the spirit of america. i happen to believe the spirit of america is going to show up again. not just on election day, but all the way up to election day, november 2012. it is going to show up in bigger rallies, bigger tea partiers, a bigger turnout, greater involvement to keep their feet to the fire. this movement is going to continue. that is what gives an unconventional ,never having held office candidates like me a chance. the reason is simple. it goes back to paraphrasing the last line of the gettysburg address. because if i run for president because of the spirits of america and the spirit of my
forefathers and the spirit of the founders and the spirit of your our fathers, and if i run and if you elect me your president, i would be a president of the people because i am regular folk just like you. i would be a president by the people because the professionals are not going to be let me. the people are. i would be a president or the people. you would never have me try to jam legislation down your throat that you did not need or want. that is what a president for the people would do. as the gipper reminded us about the spirit of america and the challenge that we have to leave
this nation and this world a little bit better off for my granddaughter and all the other little faces, the gipper reminds us: freedom is onmore than one generation away from extinction. we cannot pass it on to our children in the blood stream. must be fought for, protected, so they can do the same. one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our grandchildren what the united states used to be like when men were free. i do not know about you. i am not going to have that
conversation with my grandchildren. i truly believe that the spirit of america is not going to allow the united states of america to become the united states of europe. not on our watch. [applause] thank you. >> great job. thank you, sir. >> thank you very much. thank you so much. you are very kind. thank you. thank you.
>> i have just been overruled. you better do what you said you were going to do. better do it now. [unintelligible] >> we want a picture here. >> do you want me right here. go over a little bit. okay. >> god bless you. >> smile. >> this month, visit the public and private spaces of america also most recognizable home, the white house. c-span provide a rarely seen a
look of the presidential residence, and takes you to the lincoln bedroom, the oval office, and focuses on the president and first family is that most influenced what it looks like today. there are interviews with president obama and the first lady and comments from george bush and laura bush. the white house. inside america's most famous home. this weekend on c-span. >> now a discussion and analysis of president obama's this year 2012 budget request. this is 25 minutes. continues. host: michael tanner, a senior fellow from the cato institute. you have written about what you see as the "top 10 obama budget failures." there is so many to choose from. the first printer you make is that there is a red ink as far as the eye can see. tell us more. guest: that's right.
this is not a budget that eliminates the deficit. in fact, the deficit never gets below $600 billion over the next 10 years, and by 2020, it is back uto $700 billion. this is not something that will eliminate the red ink that is runng the country. host: number two -- greek-style debt. guest: the total debt would increase by $13 trillion under the budget over the next 10 years. it would take us up to a budget deficit or national debt of $26 trillion. it is more than 100%f our gdp. of everything that has ever produced in this country, we would owe more than that in over a year. i think that is a level we are not seen anywhere except in greece or portugal or ireland. it is a scary level of deckebt. host: more spending,
unsustainable debt. what does the present proposed? guest: he wants to spend more money on high-speed rail. that is symbolic of the idea that special interests top national interests. at a time when we really are drowning in debt, the president is proposing something that might be nice to have in good economic times, but is unaffordable today. host: we will give to the last rest of the top 10. michael tanner is a senior fellow at the cato institute. phone number is at the bottom of the screen. separate lines for republicans and democrats and independents. before we get back to your list and the calls, we hear from the president from this past friday on the budget. >> in a world that is more competitive than ever before, it is our job to make sure that americ is the best place on earth to dousiness.
part of that requires knocking down barriers that stand in the wake of a company's growth, which is why i have proposed lowering the corporate tax rate and eliminating unnecessary regulations. it also requires getting our fiscal house in order, which is why i have proposed a five-year spending freeze that would reduce the deficit by $400 billion. that is a freeze that will bring our annual domestic spending to the lowest share of the economy since eisenhower was president. now, to really get our deficit under control, we will have to do more. i want to work with both parties to find additional savings, get rid of excess of spending wherever it exists, whether it is defense, or health care, or spending in the tax code in the form of loopholes. but even as we have to live within our means, we cannot sacrifice investments in our future. if we want the next technological breakthrough that leads to the next intelo
happen here in the united states, not in china or germany, but here in the united states, then we have tonvest in america's research and technology, in the work of our scientists and engineers. host: michael tanner of cato. the president saying he wants to do witcorporate taxes, wants to do more. what is wrong with all that? guest: he did not propose all of that. he wants to deal with entitlements, t there is no reform in this proposal. in title and is where the real money is. the domestic discretionary spending is only 18% of the federal budget. you could eliminate every bit of discretionary domestic spending in this country and we would still have a $700 billion deficit. you are not going to get anywhere by freezing spending on those programs. you have to go after entitlements. host: he used the word investment, which has gotten a
lot of play in the press from the other side. it is spending as far as other people can see. but he is making the point -- it is needed to help build the country for the future. what is your take? guest: this is an ideological divide in this town. the president clearly believes that ecomic growth comes from government action it appeared thathe government spends money, develops programs and that is what leads to economic growth. on the other side, are those that believe that the best thing government can do is get out of the way, lower taxes, lower regulation, and let the private sector do those things. host: do you see that the budget deficit would be cut by $1.10 trillion? what do you see in that figure? guest: there is a little bit of smoke and mirrors there. the president assumes a rate of growth that is much higher and the congressional budget office or private-sector analysts have estimated. if he did not get that, you will not get that kind of budget
reduction. the president suggests there are all sorts of cuts coming in spending coming out of the health care bill, although most outside experts believe the health care bill increases total government spending. so i think that you have a lot of rosy scenarios a built-in. host: the first call for michael tanner is from pete, in michigan, republican. caller: thank you to mr. tanner for coming on the show. appreciate it. i have a question. first i would like to comment on the earlier question about the government shutdown. republicans do not shut down government. you go back to texas during the redistricting, democrats left the state of abn a bus. now they are doing it in wisconsin. if you go back tohe new gingrich congress, bill clinton is the one who shut down the government, the house of representatives. so obama is going to have an
opportunity to shut down the government, but i think it was positive in 1995 because what happened after the government shutdown was the deficit was reduced that year. and then the two years following, we had a balanced budget. my question to mr. kantor is, in my lifetime since 1960, the budget has only been balanced four times and that is when republicans have controlled the house and the senate. and that has only been -- the problem and said only control the house and senate nine years and four times they balance the budget. host: what is the specific question? caller: do you believe that if obama shows the government down that it gives us a better chance to get a balanced budget because we'll see a republican senate in two years? host: thank you. michael tanner. guest: the caller does make a
point, but the other part of the equation is you had a democratic predent. you had divided government. all studies show that it grows a government less and spend less money than it does when they are of one party. we talk a lot about obama spending. you have to understand that the second most profligate president of recent history was george governw. bush. you had a republican congress and senate spend money like there was no tomorrow. you need the checks and balances that two parties put on each other. host: i should ask you about the wisconsin story. it is playing itself out for a week no over proposed budget cuts. what you make of what is happening there? guest: i think you really have a struggle for power. what you have our union to have, for a long time we had a democratic-controlled governorship and legislature. there were tightly tied in. they got a lot of good deals. now you have republicans that control the governorship and
legislature. they are trying to take back that part. a struggle that is very good -- democracy. host: struggle in new jersey. the governor puts out his budget this week. will you see more and more of this all around the country? guest: we are already seeing that in ohio. you will see that in york, where andrew cuo, a democrat has proposed strong budget cuts. has refused to raise taxes, has put through one of the toughest property tax limitation measures in the country. you will see this all over. host: is the fight easier at the federal level than the state level? guest: the states have the advantage of being required to balance their budgets. 49 states, their balanced budget -- constitutional or statutory requirement. they have to balance their budget. i guess that focuses the mind in a way that the federal government has not appeared we
are busy fighting over whether or not we should fund the president's teleprompter when we have $1.65 trillion in dt. host: india, france is on the line for democrats. good morning. -- francis on the line for democrats. caller: i am almost 74 and i've never heard so many lies in my life. i would like everyone to go to joeter.com. wants to get rid of all of the entitlements for all the people. they've spent a lot of money. when clinton took office, the public debt was $6 trillion. if he paid off $500 billion. this.ushie boy that did does the many jobs he created? -- guess how many jobs he
created? zero. these are funded they have been working on it for 30 years. someone who brought up the chicago tribune, the baltimore sun, and all the other newspapers and laid out 5000 reporters, and then you had john murdoch, who owns the other half. you have to go on the internet. host: let's hear from our guest, michael tanner. guest: koch brothers did start the cato institute. it is a very tiny percentage of our budget. i am not sure they gave this u're not. it is maybe 3% of our total budget. you could take what you want from that.
host: delaware, independent line. caller: a couple of statements here. i consider myself an independent. i am not a bush fan or anybody's fan. is that the democrats just voted out of office that left without giving us a bill of any sort for a budget? and they passed it down the road to the republicans. i even heard house representative being interviewed,emocratic, now what is their problem. and on the other hand, i heard this lady talk about bush created zero jobs. that was the case, we would have been in the great depression of few years ago. i don't understand all these things that people have to say. you have to evaluate both sides and ll learn the truth for what it is. guest: we did not have the budget last year. we are using a continuing resolution which runs out on march 4.
that is what sparked all the lk of a government shutdown. if you do not pass another resolution to carry the money on, they do not have spending authority. it is not that unusual. we have that thing go on under democratand republicans, part of the broken this of washington. we often have these continuing resolutions. but we do not have a budget that we are operating under right now. ahead atre looking 2012 and beyond. back to the current situation, one fewer by twitter writes this. this person is responding to the earlier caller says that the prestigious down a government. the congress controls the spending. guest: they share the responsibility. the house of representatives has the power of the purse. the senate has to agree with that and the president has to sign it. if anywhere along the way they
do not come to an agreement, then theoretically the government would shut down. one side proposes the budget and the other can agree to it are not. if the senate said yes to the budget just said yes to the budget that passed the house and the president signed it, but they are going to disagree and they are at loggerheads. i suspect there may be a short- term continuing resolution for a couple of weeks to run month. they will continue these negotiations. they will have some sort of budget cuts to get the budget -- to get the republicans to go along. it will probably not get all $61 billion. host: michael tanner has his top-10 problems with the long- term budget. number four, it is suggested, is locking in past spending increases. guest: domestic discretionary spending increased by 21.4%. we had enormous increases. they came on top of george.
bush's increases in domestic non discretionary spending. we have had enormous growth in government over the last few years. now they got -- not the president is saying to freeze it this level. that locks in all the past spending increase. bill clinton was spending a% of our gross domestic product, we would be a lot better off. host: you use that in. no. 5 in your peace. guest: right now is 23.8% of our gross domestic product, the second-highest a percentage that we have had since world war two. the president's budget would increase that to about 24.8%. the republicans right now are supposed to be getting tough and having draconian cuts. that would bring it back to 23% of gross domestic product. under bill clinton, we were at
18%. we have enormous groh in government over the last 10 years. host: our guest isichael tanner from the cato institute. you can read his article at "national review." we have a call from winston, north carolina. caller: i keep hearing people talking about discretionary spending is only 18% of the budget. 80% is still pretty good chunk of money. it should be cut. i do not want to see people hurt but there is a lot of waste, fraud, and abuse out there. the thing i do not hear from a lot of the comments coming in is that people do not realize that both parties have done this year. and both parties need to me to the table with cuts. maybe they should do something with, like, each side bring cuts
and neither side can throw out the other side's cuts. so that they all get through. so the republicans cut the democrats cash cows and the democrats cut the republicans cash cows. host: let's put that question to michael tanner. what cuts would you recommend? guest: calling for entitlement cuts, i am not saying that we should be cutting discretionary spending. the caller's right. that is only 18% of the budget. there are ctainly a lot of things that we could do without. but if you want to bring the budget back into balance, you want to start reducing the national debt, you first of all have to include defense, another 19% of the budget. you have to make some serious defense cuts. most importantly, he will have to go after the entitlement programs, and deal with medicare, medicaid, and social security, the big three. if we do not do anything about them, by the middle of the century, those three programs alone will consume every penny that the federal government
brings in. there would not be a dime for a street sweeper someplace. all we would do is in essence is have a pensionrogram for a country with a little army tacked on. host: there is a common theme on the general level, but did deeper. guest: social security, we're going to have to reduce the level of benefits for the future generations, and nothing for current retirees are people nearing retirement, but for futureenerations we have to bring down the level that government provides, and there are a number of ways to do that. beyond that, we often offset losses by allowing ynger workers to privately invest a portion of their social security tax for personal accounts. in terms of medicare, we will have to move some sort of defined contribution proposal, the way paul ryan has suggested. individuals be given a flat dollar amot, opt out of the
traditional medicare system and into the private insurance system with a flat amount that they will have to spend. host: roy on the line for democrats. caer: i am calling about this deficit and this shutting down the government, which i totally disagree with. you do not have to shut down the whole government. i believe they could be done in portions much like you do your water rationing. half days. you have water one day in the other half the other day. if you shut down the whole government, and you'll be hurting a lot of us at the bottom. we are in the spot because i believe personally nafta killed large gdp when the jobs when overseas. if there are no jobs, there is no gdp. we need to repeal nafta and
bring jobs back, put some people work. and company profits, they are making it in taiwan, china, the middle east, mexico, everywhere else, if tell them that they need to get their factor is back up and going and get these people back to work. i do not believe you should touch medicare. for social security. i think you ought to scrutinize the food stamps, planned parenthood, and there are a lot of ways to save money. host: a lot of ideas out there, mr. tanner. guest: there is a lot of waste out there. but you could eliminate every domestic discretionary program the federal government has, not just a waste and fraud, but eliminate a number of programs altogether, and you would still have a $700 billion deficit this year. there is simply no way to balance the budget without dealing with the fence in the
entitlement programs. host: number six of your list, higher taxes. guest: the president always says he will reduce the budget defit by increasing spending by $1 trillion and then by increasing taxes by $2 trillion in saying it is a reduction. the reality is that there is over $1 trillion of new taxes in this budget. andrankly, that is not good for economic growth. host: the tear from arcadia, florida, richard, an independent. caller: actually, government shutdown is not really a bad thing. usually what happens is that it is a political ploy. 25% of government, it could be shut down permanently tomorrow and most of the people would never know it. remember what happened in california back in the 1970's when the cut taxes 50%? lot of agencies were overstaffed
in most eas. and the people really did not notice it, the difference. our government is involved in so many things. they own the banks, the tarp program, they we out and bailed out a bunch of banks that they wanted a bailout. some they did not. they are involved in the auto industry. general motors, president obama hired the president -- fired the president and hired someone who would never been in the auto industry. they are involved in the housing industry. 50% of foreclosures of a the house is now were brought up by frdie in fannie. so the taxpayers are going have to deal with that. now president obama and his obamacare health care, now they are involved in health care. if they run the private sector the way they have run the public
sector, we are doomed to failure. we need to get them out of our industry in and out of the private sector, and the free enterprise system altogether, and that the businesses and the people who know what they're doing take control. guest: i think what the caller really latches on to is the importance that this is not just about the budget deficit or the amount of debt. it is about the size of government. the congressional buet office projects that and as we do something drastic by the middle of the century,he federal gornment will consume 43% of our gross domestic product. state and local governments take another 15% or so. you are at near 60% of everything produced in this country being consumed by the government. that is a waste that no economy can stand. even if we had no deficit and pay for every penny of that 43% of gdp in federal spending, we would still suffer under that weight of government. host: there is something that you have written.
at no point has the president propose that we actually balance the budget. would you hold a republican president to the standard? guest: i certainly have. i wrote of book about big government conservatism under president george w. bush. i suggested he was the most profligate president in post-war history. lyndon johnson had been surpassed. it is a bipartisan spending spree. i do not think the balanced budget is the key. it is smaller government. if we had a smaller government taking 43% of gdp and the budget was balanced, that was worse than in government spending 10% of gdp and having a small deficit. host: david kendall is with a group called third wave. he wrote about why he thinks the budget is a success. he says it is only good as the debate that it engenders. if congress does not have to vote on it, and it rarely does.
measured by the standard, for the bomb was budget is a resounding success. republicans have attacked it as a job killer. but it does fear the impact of cuts to heating assistance and numerous other programs. but it nudges the debate forward. guest: the successf failure, i guess. this budget was seen as so far out of touch of economic ality that it spurred serious debate. if that ultimately leads to reform of the entitlement >> tomorrow, the low and come home energy assistance program, which has been targeted for spending cuts. the national taxpayer's union
president describes hidden taxes. and james thurber describes our recent presidents have dealt with this matters. "washington journal" live at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. on tuesday, the u.s. treasury consumer financial protection bureau considers the credit accountability and disclosure act. participants include industry executives, academics, and consumer advocates. you can watch live coverage at 9:00 a.m. eastern on eastern -- at 9:00 a.m. eastern on c-span 2. >> c-span, created by cable. it is washington your way. it is washington your way.