tv Washington Journal CSPAN April 5, 2011 7:00am-10:00am EDT
with california republican representative tom mcclintock, a member of the budget committee, and democrat's chief deputy whip, representative peter welch of the vermont. and we will be joined by the executive editor of "rolling stone." the magazine recently published a story that alleges u.s. soldiers murdered civilians in afghanistan. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] host: on capitol hill, discussions continue on how to keep the government open past friday. more on those discussions and negotiations with the white house later on this program. good morning, and welcome to "washington journal." tuesday, april 5. for the first 45 minutes we will talk about the announcement made yesterday by attorney general eric holder, saying the white house reversed its position on the location for the 9/11
trials. we want to get your thoughts about that announcement and the white house decision. the numbers -- if you have called us in the last 30 days, today is the day to put down the phone and pick up a keyboard. you can send us an e-mail -- and if you are following on twitter -- on the front page of most of the morning papers, and leading most of the morning papers, this story. "about face close code is the headline. -- "the about-face" is the headline.
the first comes from exton, pennsylvania, on our line for democrats. caller: i am pretty disappointed. everyone should be tried in the federal court, in the united states, under the rule of law, with lawyers, etc., and not a kangaroo -- the commission things, that will basically make us the laughingstock of the world once again and do everything again to undermine the rule of law and make this look like hypocrites. host: why don't you think there is a trial the rest of the world can respect in a military commission as opposed to federal court? caller: the military commissions and tribunals, what they are going to the private down -- quantico, the wikileaks guide. it seems like the military justice system is broken. they do what ever they damn well
please. host: north carolina on our line for republicans. what do you think about the white house decision to move in 9/11 trials to guantanamo bay? caller: i think it is just another one of obama's lies, as usual. it is not surprising me. obama has done nothing but lies. he promised to clear out of guantanamo bay, just like he promised to reduce the number of troops in iraq by 2010, you know? this president does not care about the american people. let me get off of the subjects for one second. i would like to say, while i am on air, if the government is shut down, it is because of the democrats and nancy pelosi because she did not pass a budget in 2010. therefore, we are cleaning up our mess. host: phoenix, arizona, on our line for democrats.
caller: good morning. i don't really think of the white house was left with any choice after congressional action. but i find it extremely upsetting that we are trying these people as soldiers and we are not trying them as criminals. i realize there is no choice about that, but clearly they are not soldiers. they could have been tried as criminals. and it really is very upsetting. host: and lot of people described what happened on 9/11 as an act of war and not necessarily strictly a criminal act. caller: my understanding is as long as people do not put on the uniform of their country and fight as a member of a country, that that is a criminal act.
i believe that the first judge who heard hearings on this, i think that was also the federal judge's position was that we were in fact elevating these people to the status of soldier in order to be tried in military court. host: more on our discussion regarding the white house reversing the decision on where to locate the 9/11 trials. attorney-general eric holder went before the cameras yesterday. >> today, i am referring to cases of cholera -- muhammed -- khalid sheikh mohammed -- to the department of defense to proceed in military commissions. furthermore, i directed prosecutors to move to dismiss be indictment handed down in
the southern district of new york in december of 2009. the judge has granted that motion. prosecutors from both the department of defense and justice have been working together since the beginning of this matter, and i have full faith and confidence in the military commission system to appropriately handled this case as it proceeds. the department of justice will continue to offer all of the support necessary as this critically important matter moves forward. the administration worked with congress to substantially reformed military commissions in 2009, and i believe they can deliver a fair trial and just verdict. host: wave continue our discussion on the white house reversing -- we continue our discussion on the white house reversing its decision. new york, on our line for republicans. charlie? caller: for those ladies's information, they are not being tried as soldiers but as far and
terrorists. i have to laugh when i hear liberals say that richard reid, the sheep farmer, was successfully tried in civilian court -- the shoe bomber. that was true. but he is not khalid sheikh mohammad. when he was captured in pakistan he was the number two behind osama bin laden. you put him on trial on the civilian court with all of the headlines constantly on the news, you are going to have a suicide bombings in shopping malls and restaurants. there is going to be a rash of kidnappings and hostage-taking. host: you think this can be avoided by having the trial at guantanamo bay? caller: it will not be televised. host: but there will be covered on the nightly news. caller: not 24/7 like it would be if he were on trial in lower
manhattan. host: harrisburg, pennsylvania, on our line for democrats. caller: that fellow just before me was exactly making my point. americans have become a bunch of chickens. the president wanted the trial -- they are not an army. the world -- word of war came from george bush. these guys are terrorists. they committed a crime in new york. they should have been tried in new york. they should have been judged by their peers in new york and convicted. guantanamo, it is an eyesore -- guantanamo is the reason for the terrorist threats. host: eddie in hazard, kentucky. what do you think about moving the trial to guantanamo bay?
caller: it is a good idea for the military to try this case because with this attack on 9/11 -- became to our soil. more than 2000 people lost their lives in new york city. and i would also like to say this right here, that it is time for this bickering of both parties -- i think the bickering between mitch mcconnell and the speaker of the house -- they ought to give the president of the united states more respect. he is the commander in chief. the same respect i gave to president george w. bush. george w. bush took us to a war that cost us $4 trillion. $4 trillion in debt to china. it is time for the politicians to get off of their backs, stop lame excuses and start working
together. host: brenda on our line for others in virginia. caller: i think it is ridiculous what they are doing. host: what who is doing? caller: having trials at guantanamo. host: i agree that these people are foreigners, and as much as i despise their actions, i cannot condone our government putting the trials at guantanamo. host: we've got a twitter message -- be sure to send us to term
messages at c-span-wj. "the new york times" on the need editorial has this headline. administration gives in to baseless arguments. they write that there are many who continue to power, who view terrorist as much more fearsome than homegrown american mass murderers and the american jury system as too soft to impose needed justice.
that is the lead editorial in this morning's "the new york times." back to the phones. ohio on our line for democrats. you're on the "washington journal." caller: how are you? i think that everything this president does, no matter what he does, the republicans in congress are going to try to stop him. i, too, think they should be done in federal court because just like you got done reading, a lot of terrorists have been convicted in this federal court system. and to not let them do this for all of them is a shame. an absolute shame. no matter what he does, the republicans won't have anything nice to say about him. they are always after him. and i don't like that. host: thank you. our next call comes from virginia. ken on our line for independents.
are you there? go ahead. caller: the fact is, these defendants had nothing to do with 9/11. the family of victims know there renault muslims involved -- were no muslims involved. it was an internal explosions. architects and engineers, 1300 put their reputations on the line by proving that the buildings were not brought down by any airplanes but by internal explosions. so that the whole thing was, of course, flawed. they may be terrorist for other reasons but not because of 9/11. i am president of the virginia taxpayers association and i testified twice before the house ways and means committee so i know what i am talking about. architects -- alex jones knows about this. many people in the alternative news and know that 9/11 was not
brought down by any muslims. people need to know that. host: let me get your thoughts on this part of the "the new york times" article. on the front page, charlie savage rights -- charlie savidge writes -- your thoughts on that? gamma come they made a big deal about the caller: they made a big deal about bringing them into where 9/11 occurred, because we are being told that many muslims -- we have to fear them because they are terrorists and we cannot have a muslim temple and so forth. i am not a muslim. i have never been any muslim temple and never expected to be, but you cannot say that all muslims are terrorists and that is what the media are trying to
make us afraid of muslims, and that is what surrounds of this whole issue, that you cannot have a trial downtown are anywhere near the world trade center was. host: sid on our line for democrats calling from lauderdale, florida. caller: i believe they are criminals and they should be tried in new york city. that is where the crime took place. these are not soldiers. what are they talking about, come back and it's? they are terrorists, murders -- what i they talk about, combatants? those are soldiers? come on. host: the lead story in the "washington times."
new haven, connecticut. john on the line for republicans. welcome to "washington journal." caller: thanks for having me. the real reason why they cannot be tried in the united states is because we are still engaged in their territory. overseas, we are not dealing with the united states policy. we are dealing with overseas policies. and we are in their territory. as long as we are engaged in their territory, there is no way we can hold a trial while still engaged in war. we should have came home and ask them to give those peoples up -- once we have not done that, we stayed engaged for 10 years, which is hideous. russia also stayed in engaged and -- what caused them for being there too long, and they
couldn't proceed with the conviction and we should learn from that because that was all late five or six years previous -- and only five or six years previous. host: john on our line for democrats out of new haven, connecticut. we have also gotten some twitter messages from various members of congress and we would like to share those. this one comes from john cornyn -- you can read the full statement at that address on the screen. next, riverside, california, on the line for democrats. you are on "washington journal." caller: these trials should have been held in new york city. once convicted, put the men present here in the united states. they -- was convicted, put them
in prison here in the united states. these cowards through think aat -- i think if you put prison -- prisoner in folsom who is a terrorist, his terror starts. we have the most cowardice -- the rest of these republican clowns. they are afraid of their own shadow. that is my point. caller: in "usa today" this morning -- this story also features a quote from house judiciary committee chairman lamar smith, republican of texas.
st. louis, missouri. tony is on our line for democrats. caller: the last caller from california had it right. it truly is cowardice. america used to be pretty strong -- especially coming from new york. those were some of the toughest people in the world as far as we were concerned. the problem that i have is actually with democrats. we sit around and let the republicans do all of their talking, and we kowtow if you
notice what is going on as far at -- kowtow. if you notice what is going on with republican governors around the country, you can see they are pretty weak -- weak minded. democrats, stop sitting on your but and for those who consider themselves independents, stop going back and forth and open your eyes and realize and look at what these people are doing. the government is going to be shut down in a couple of more days simply because the republicans cannot govern. host: that is tony in st. louis, missouri. we will take a break from our discussion regarding the white house and its decision on locating the 9/11 trials to talk a little bit about the budget. politico, the top of the page, the headline -- "no spending deal as clock ticks." two stories. the one on the left, ryan budget
will/budget -- and on the right, the president meets with top lawmakers trying to put the, the dump the budget talks back together after frustrated house republicans appear to be setting the stage for a government shut down this weekend. to help us understand a little bit more about what is going on is the congressional quarterly budget reporter. you can read some of his stuff on cq.com, and he is with us on the phone. welcome to the program. guest: good morning. host: what is the latest on the negotiations now between the house, the senate, and the white house on trying to keep the government open past friday? guest: as you said, congressional leaders will be meeting with the president today.
what happened last night was of the two sides appeared to be at loggerheads as far as going forward. the house appropriations committee chairman, harold rogers, put forth a short-term stop-gap measure that would last a week. it would go into effect next week. would cut an additional $12 billion over a week and also fund at the defense department over the rest of the year. that will be talked about today. host: in the headlines for "the hill" this morning -- clash over cuts means shut down more likely. talk about the numbers involved. guest: that house republicans were pushing for a little over $60 billion in cuts over the
current year. and the senate democrats basically started off with the position of no cuts, freeze spending. and they had sort of reached a possible agreement of $33 billion in cuts, which would be in the middle. they have been working on that. senate democrats said that was the number we agreed on. house speaker boehner said we had not agreed on a number. conservatives in the house are pressing for more than $33 billion in cuts. that is where we are now. host: later on this morning, the chairman of the house budget committee, paul ryan, is going to roll out the republican version of the 2012 budget. what should we expect to see? guest: this should be huge.
he is proposing cuts in domestic discretionary spending, rolling it back to even lower than 2008 levels. he is also proposing an overhaul of entitlement programs, it changing medicaid health program for the poor into a block grant program to states, and also proposing changing medicare into a program where recipients would receive a certain sum from the government and make good up to -- could apply it to a private health insurance company. it would not take effect -- it would only affect people who are under 55 right now. it would not affect anybody currently receiving the benefits. but this really would start the debate on capitol hill on
getting control of the long term deficit. host: in "the new york times" this morning, the headline, gop blueprint would remake health policy. what has been initial reaction on -- from his fellow house members on both sides of the aisle? guest: republicans are looking favorably on this. republican leaders, especially in the house, are expected to embrace this today. house democrats in particular began attacking this plan as soon as the details started coming out a couple of days ago. and their basic thrust is that what you are doing is demolishing the guarantee that is provided by medicare and
medicaid. host: we have been talking to paul krawzak from "congressional quarterly." if you would like to read more of his writings, you can find it on cq.com. thank you for being on the program. in "the wall street journal" this morning, house budget chairman paul ryan has this op- ed. he writes --
it goes on to say -- you can read more of what house budget chairman paul ryan has to say in this morning's "wall street journal." and you can see his news conference later on this morning when he rolls out the 2012 budget. we will have that live on c-span 3. you can find more details on our website, c-span.org.
it back to the phones, and our discussion regarding yesterday's announcement by attorney general eric holder that they will conduct 9/11 trials at guantanamo and not in new york. arlington, virginia, on our line for republicans. caller: dittos from arlington. almost humorous hearing democrats complain this morning about the obama flip-flop. but when you look at it, obama really wants to have it both ways. you have air colder saying, gee, fault we have to do this, but charles schumer and mayor bloomberg and other democrats in new york did not want those people in that town. he gets to try to bury his remarks about the election saying it was a black hole of injustice in guantanamo and he
gets to renege on his campaign promise that guantanamo bay will be closed a year after his inauguration -- which he said again after his inauguration, i think. it has been a fast go for obama and if he gets out -- it has been a fiasco for obama and he gets out with a conviction -- host: from twitter -- back to the phones. jacksonville, florida, on our line for democrats. caller: what it means to may is the largest terrorism organization has on again, the republican leadership. they have been terrorizing america for years especially since 9/11. it terrorizing america by telling them that muslims are evil, and they have everybody on pins and needles.
now everything that the president does, terrorizing the people saying how bad it is and how bad off the people will be -- from health care to guantanamo bay. they are the terrorists and it is working because the people are fearful, they are worried about their retirement, and worried about this, that, and the other. and these are supposed to be americans who believe in america and could follow their president like they did george bush. host: does it really make a difference to you where the trials are held? caller: no, it does not make a difference, except the president wants to close guantanamo bay and it would be another factor in the republicans cap if it does not get close. host: the story from "the baltimore sun" -- it the 2012 effort must start today.
you see a picture of him in -- at the white house. also reporting on the president's reelection bid is "usa today." it is their lead story. white house race in may hit $2 billion under the no limit ruling. quoting the executive director from the nonpartisan center for responsive politics, saying -- back to the phones. bob in at petersburg, virginia, on our line for independents. what do you think about the announcement? caller: good morning.
i don't think it makes a lot of difference where they get tried, as much as they ought to be tried and they should have been tried by now. ahead andy don't go try them, it will be a lingering thing. as an independent, i would also like to say bill gates -- : how should run for president and vice president -- colin powell should run. and i think the representatives should be kicked out and we should elect honest people. host: saying is bill gates and colin powell the site to run, we would hope they make the announcement on c-span. "scored bouquet's tax break for private schools -- "court ok's tax breaks for private schools."
back to the phones. conn on our line for republicans. roger, go ahead. caller: i have two. disappeared it is so evident -- and i am sure -- first of all, it is so evident, and i am sure no one will reported, the reason he is doing this is he will be in an election campaign and he does not want anything to ruin it. something may happen in new york, trouble. he needs to get the temperature down so it is out of the way and does not become anything that will take away from his campaign. it is so simple but no one realizes that. the other point -- republicans are stupid. they should have told the democrats we will agree to some tax hikes but we want more authority in cutting. if they did that they would have got anything they want. i don't know who talks to these
caller: good morning, rob. it is pretty difficult to get through on c-span so i hope you'll give me a moment to make a couple of points. i wish everybody in this country would start taking responsibility to read books and to educate themselves. the president is once again trying to clean up a mess caused by the bush administration. there is a book called "the dark side." if you read that book you will understand that with this secret renditions, torture, how confessions are extracted, how we are holding innocent people at guantanamo bay, you would understand if you put these trials and the u.s. court of law, these people may well have to be released because a lot of illegal activities went on to extract confessions. as far as the budget is concerned, we have a media that
has really done a disservice to our countrymen. those republicans, they have been so brow beaten, they don't know which way to go. they should not be making decisions about our budget. host: we will leave it there. henry from michigan. we've got this twitter message from bill, who writes -- back to the phones. satellite beach, florida, on our line for republicans. harry, you're on "washington journal." caller: another case where the jewish lobby has gotten their way. they don't want them going in
front of the american public and telling the reason he attacked the united states is because the united states to support israel. host: is the israel lobby, are they the only people who really want to see the trial in guantanamo bay as opposed to new york? caller: in my opinion, yes, because what other reason would there be? host: we will leave it there. let's go back to the papers. in "the financial times" this morning, the headline --
that is in this morning's "financial times." northlake, illinois, on our line for independents. go ahead. caller: finally got through. i want to say about guantanamo bay. anyone as an american has a right to be on this land. but when you bring them to the united states, we are privileged to have the justice system for us -- not for them. what do you call it, political talking points, of fighting back and forth. come on. only americans have this right. we are privileged. let us get it together. thank you. host: the lead editorial in this
springfield, massachusetts. george on our line for independents. caller: thank you. just a quick observation on the budget. i think it is sad that as a people we have lost the ability to listen to what we are being told. the republicans -- there's a lot of good people, republicans and democrats, but they are supposed to be servants. the thing is, they are servants of the corporations and ponds -- pawns of corporations. until americans realize that, but they are voting against their interests. host: another tweet from a member of congress. from senator jeff sessions who
writes -- tweet we found from the senator sessions, ranking member of the senate judiciary committee. our last caller is maria on our line for democrats. caller: can you hear me? host: yes, go ahead. caller: two comments. one is about the budget with medicare and medicaid. they take it out of our paychecks to fund. i do not understand why they want to cut that. secondly, about the tribunals at guantanamo. i think they should close them. they should give them rights, because we should not be doing
the same thing they do -- trying to water board and things they have done. i am not for this war to begin with. we cannot keep killing people. it is crazy to me. right now we need to be helping the people in this country. like the other caller said, we have to start listening to the people. host: thank you. in about 45 minutes we will be talking to representative peter welch, democrat from vermont, about federal spending and the budget. but coming up after this break, representative tom mcclintock of, republican of california, and the budget committee member, will be here to talk to us as well about the clock ticking down on federal spending.
the government shutting down on friday. and much more, coming up right after this break. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] >> this weekend on book tv on c- span2, the co-authors on why obamacare is wrong for america present their criticism. on "after words" 3 alternate histories -- the jfk administration that never was, robert kennedy's presidency, and re-election of gerald ford and subsequent defeat of ronald reagan. he is interviewed by ted koppel.
also, live coverage by the annapolis boat festival with panels on war, citizens scientists, race, and more. look for the complete schedule on booktv.org or sign up for our book tv alert. >> the c-span video library has just won a peabody award for its contribution to history, scholarship, and public life. now a year old, you can watch every program since 1987. over 170,000 hours of archive the video all searchable, cheryl -- shareable and free. you are watching c-span. every morning, "washington journal," connecting you with elected officials, policy- makers, and journalists. weekdays, live coverage of the u.s. house and nights, policy forums. on the weekends, our signature
interview programs. saturdays, "the communicators," and on sundays -- newsmakers, q&a, and prime ministers questions. you can watch and anytime at c-span.org. c-span, washington your way. a public service created by america's cable companies. >> "washington journal" continues. host: representative tom laughlin talk is a republican of california and member of the budget committee -- representative tom mcclintock. he will be joining paul ryan in the rollout of the 2012 budget. tell us what is in the budget and what is not? guest: the budget is a long-term plan to bring the nation's finances back under control. to understand the situation we are in right now, just think of a family earning $50,000 a year,
but it is not spending 50,000, it is spending $86,000 a year and the credit card tab is running up to $320,000. proportionately that is where the country is now. that would be a family in serious financial trouble and a family that would not get out of it overnight. this is a long-term plan to get the spending back under control and ultimately pay off the national debt. host: in a "the wall street journal" representative paul ryan had this op-ed. what is it that is in this budget that you and the chairmen believe would lead the united states on a path to prosperity? guest: it brings spending under control so we are not crowding out private capital that is desperately needed to buy business expansion for jobs, to provide credit for consumers, to make consumer purchases, and to home buyers to re-enter the housing market. it rejects the one-act -- $1.50
trillion of tax increases over the next 10 years built into president obama's budget and repeals the $800 million of taxes imposed by obamacare. it restores competitiveness to the corporate tax rate so american companies can again compete with commerce around the world. host: the headline in "the new york times" this morning -- republican blueprint would remake health policy. medicare and medicaid costs could be split with consumers. guest: medicare and medicaid are spinning out of control very rapidly. they are the biggest cost drivers within the entire federal budget. what this proposal does on the medicare side is to preserve medicare for those 55 or older, so if you are in retirement or near retirement, no changes in the plan. for those younger workers under
55, it moves us toward the same kind of system that members of congress have, where you have a list of approved plans, you choose among the list, the medicare system will provide a payment directly to the plan to underwrite the cost. if there are any additional costs above that, the individual patient pays. with medicaid, it is simply what a lot of governors had been requesting for a long time, and that is to remove a lot of the federal restrictions, block grants the money so the state to manage it more efficiently. host: talking to representative tom mcclintock, republican of california, first about the budget that will be rolled out later this morning by house budget committee chairman paul ryan, and also the clock ticking on the federal government and whether or not a deal will be struck to keep the government working in operation passed
friday. if you would like to be involved in the discussion, give us a call -- as always, you can send us messages by email or twitter. our first call comes from new jersey on our line for democrats. bonnie, go ahead. caller: good morning, a gentleman. congressman, and the lost decade, the way economists referred to the last 10 years and it has been a lot more than that, the wealth of the nation did not just disappear, it was reallocated. we have 400 families that have 50% of the wealth of this nation. the problem is our insane tax structure and are insane -- our insane trade policy.
150,000 factories disappeared in the last administration, and the term of the last administration. we were told, they are not coming back. they can come back. we had a tariff system. it worked quite well. every other nation in the wotc as tariffs. if you put tariffs on manufacturers taking our jobs overseas and getting tax subsidies for doing it, we could bring the jobs back and we would have a revenue from the working class. we have to stop thinking about our economy based on wall street. it is based on labor. host: we will leave it there. representative? guest: i would warn strongly against raising tariffs. we have plenty of experience doing that. that is how herbert hoover responded to the recession in 1929, the smoot-hawley tariff, a
steep tax on about 20,000 imported products. economists from left to right attributed that to turning the recession of 1929 into the depression of the 1930's. herbert hoover did a couple of other things that the prior administration and this administration did, and that is massive increases in spending. herbert hoover increased the federal budget 60% in just four years. he ended up by taking the federal income tax rate from 25% of the way up to 63%. and the result was the depression of the 1930's. all that franklin roosevelt did is amplify a double down on those policies. the similarities between those terrible years and the administrations of george w. bush and barack obama are pretty striking. it was george w. bush will increase federal spending by a full 2% of gdp. remember, bill clinton reduced by 4%.
it was bush who drove that spending through the roof, produced massive budget deficits and all barack obama has done is take those mistakes and amplify and double down on them and needlessly prolong and deepen the recession. host: kentucky on our line for republicans. doris, you are on "washington journal." caller: i have a question about -- since our government is and process may be of shutting down, i don't understand why -- i don't know what the man's name is offhand, i am an older person -- why he said it this morning that we are going to have that trial for those terrorists in new york that will cost the
taxpayers, when it could be done in the military, which it is already paid for. i don't understand why that and nobody is listening to the people. i will hang up and listen to your answer. guest: there are many of us who believe those trials should always have been in military courts. these are military, that is taking up arms against the united states. that has always been done in a military court system. i have not looked at all the newspapers today but i understand there was a reversal of policy now in that subject in the administration itself. host: great falls, virginia. jack on our line for independents. jack, go ahead. caller: the words out of this gentleman is now -- and use me. comparing the u.s. government and the country to a family.
if you are bringing it down to the lowest level, that is what they are trying to do. but they should understand that the country is not a family. we could continue on -- for example. if one person in the family makes a mistake and costs the family a lot of money, who is responsible for that debt? thank you. guest: the family is responsible for that debt, just like the country is responsible for the debt the federal government is racking up. when you read we are running a $1.50 trillion deficit this year, it comes to about $20,000 for an average family of four. it is not a theoretical number. that is a debt that you are required to repay in your future taxes just as surely as it appears on your credit card statement. in fact, you are required to pay
it back before your credit card bill. we have lots of guys from the irs and making sure -- congratulations, as a result of last year's deficit, you bought a new car. the only problem is, all you got was the payments for the new car. that is what has got to stop and that is why the budget that of the budget committee and chairman paul ryan will be rolling out today is critically important for the future of the country and the future of every family who is responsible for paying off all of the debts that this government is running up. the heritage center for debt analysis predicts that as a result of the budget we will roll out today, next year we will see a million new jobs created in the united states. that is a big step forward. host: more immediate concern to a lot of folks is the prospect the federal government may shut down midnight friday. of the speaker is going to the white house today to talk about
some of this with the president. it is reported in "the hill" newspaper that republicans say $33 billion is not enough. clash over cuts means shut down looking more likely. tell us about where the different sides are and how the different sides can come together in order to keep the government from shutting down. guest: first of all, there is no excuse for the government to shut down. 45 days since the house passed h.r. 1 that would continue funding the federal government through the end of the fiscal year september 30. the reason we are in this mess to begin with is because last congress refused to pass a budget so we have been operating a continuing resolutions. not only did the house provide a full comprehensive plan to get this through the end of the fiscal year, it also passed not one, but two temporary extensions, waiting for the senate to act on h.r. 1.
alternately this is in the senate's cord. the speaker today is introducing a third temporary stopgap to prevent a government shutdown while the senate continues to try to get its act together. host: how far apart are the two sides? guest: one side is trying to bring spending back under control and the other is not. it is that simple. of's put the $61 million cuts proposed by the house -- billion dollars of cuts proposed by the house in perspective. we have seen a 24% increase in spending. the $61 billion of cuts in h.r. 1 is less than 2%. so after a 24% increase in spending, we are fighting a vigorous resistance in the senate to making less than a 2% reduction. if we cannot do at least that in
this first try, we are not going to bring it under control. we are being worn from economists, left and right, that if we continue down the path we are on, we have, at best, five years before the nation faces a sovereign debt crisis and perhaps the financial collapse of the united states. bankrupt countries are not around for very long. before you can provide for the common defense and promote the general welfare, you have got to be able to finance it. the ability of this government to do so is now coming into great doubt. host: back to the phones with tom mcclintock, a member of the house budget committee. next phone call comes from wilmington, north carolina. john on the line for republicans. caller: thank you very much and thank goodness for c-span. i wanted to ask the congressman,
with all the talk on the budget, he also mentioned getting corporate taxes back in line. last week, we saw a report that said general electric made $15.5 billion last year and paid zero taxes. in addition to that, they got a tax credit. google, the same thing. billions in profits but no taxes. isn't that a problem that should be focused on by people like the congress? it is a problem. we have freeloading companies across the country, and that is what the budget begins to address, all of the corporate welfare that is going to politically-favor companies. but the budget overall reduces the broad tax rate, so that companies can compete on a more even field and can be competitive again with foreign companies. host: seattle, washington, on
the line for democrats. chris. caller: thank you for taking my call. along the lines of the question you just received, how do you justify subsidies going to massive agro business? not these farmers, but these major corporation that you are giving subsidies to? hundreds of millions of dollars for some of these soil companies that are making record profits on the backs of the basic working man. also what was ignored in this budget was the cost of the wars in iraq and afghanistan. literally, millions in the budget -- billions in the budget not being considered.
the accounting probabilities show that it was never in line in the first place. i will take my answer offline. guest: i agree with about 95% of what he said. subsidies going to energy companies are out of line. they are addressed in this budget that we rolled out today. the budget brings ever control subsidies down, brings subsidies to energy companies down. it makes a huge step in that direction, and it is sorely needed. with respect to the war, you forgot the new war in libya that the president has plunged us into without congressional approval, in direct violation of the war powers act as well as the u.s. constitution, which reserves the decision to go to war strictly to the u.s. congress.
i believe the war in iraq was a huge mistake. iraq never attacked us, but it was at least a decision that was brought to the congress, and it was congress's mistake, pursued by the bush administration, but at least they authorized it. congress has not authorized a third war in libya. i agree with virtually everything you said. with respect to the indefensible subsidies going to agro business, energy, those subsidies are addressed pretty dramatically in the budget that will be released today. host: we have a twitter message. guest: they probably have not been listening since we began the broadcast. as i pointed out, the heritage
datacenter estimates as a result of this budget, we will see millions of jobs created next year. a project 4% unemployment by the year 2015. huge steps forward. we have to understand, government spending does not improve the job market. it retards the job market because it crowds out private capital. you can see that clearly in the bush the administration. the bush administration increased spending 2% from the gross domestic product of this country. if that was the road to prosperity, the bush administration should have ended with the most prosperous age in that memory. compare that to the clinton administration. bill clinton reduced spending by a miraculous 4% of gdp. he attacked intimate problems on the welfare side.
-- entitlement problems on the welfare side. the biggest capital gains tax cuts in american history. the results were a period of dramatic prosperity in economic expansion and the only four budget surpluses in the last 40 years. john f. kennedy did the same thing in the early 1960's. harry truman, in 1946, reduced the federal budget from the $85 billion, down to $30 billion in a single year. he fired 10 million federal employees. it was called war demobilization. keynesian economists predicted at the time that we would see 25% unemployment rates, a second great depression. instead, we ended up with the postwar economic boom. we know what happened with massive increases in federal
spending. it implodes the economy. we also watch herbert hoover and franklin roosevelt do the same thing. we also know that reducing the burden on the economy actually creates jobs. host: white house press secretary jay carney was talking about the budget yesterday in the news conference. talked about time being of the essence. the president feels he can meet the friday deadline. let us hear what he had to say. >> he remains confident that if we, together, roll up our sleeves and get to work, very quickly, we can find a compromise that reduces spending by $73 billion, protects the investments that are key to our future economic growth, allowing us to out-innovate, out-
educate, and out-build the rest of the world, yes, that can be done. but that is why he is meeting tomorrow and why he made calls over the weekend. host: representative mcclintock, will you be involved in those discussions? guest: no, that is a few pay grades above me. it is good that the president recognizes that time is critical. it is long overdue for him to provide leadership. right now, it is coming from paul ryan and the budget committee in the house. i heard today democrats on the budget committee could be offering their own budget, independent of the president. that gives you an indication of how little faith they are placing in the leadership of this demonstration. host: regarding keeping the government up and running, we have this article from andrew taylor in ap.
how much influence as the party had in this process? guest: the tea party is basically a grass-roots movements of americans who are concerned about the direction the government has gone. it is interesting, if you look at the polling on the tea party, you find they have support generally greater than that accorded to this administration. so they are hardly -- despite vicious attacks on them -- a fringe element. they are very much in mainstream movement. the other interesting thing about the tea party is, it is not a republican movement. about 20% of self identified tea party members are independent and another 20% are democrats.
long before the tea party, we had another name for them, the reagan coalition. it seems to be alive in a new generation. host: there are proposed cuts to planned parenthood and the epa. aren't those relatively small compared to the size of the deficit? guest: you remember what eric dirksen said, using the old currency, a million dollars here and there, pretty soon you are talking about a lot of money. with respect to the epa, we have seen a 35% increase in the past couple of years, so that is a bureaucracy that is growing fast and has a huge impact on the economy. with respect to funding for abortions, there is a large majority of americans who believe government funds should
not be spent for that purpose, and i agree with them. host: back to the phones and our discussion with tom mcclintock, republican from california. next call comes from the erie, pennsylvania. laura on the line for republicans. caller: good morning. representative mcclain talk, i want to say, be not afraid, continue to do this spirit we want a balanced budget agenda to go forward. you rightly said two people before that we have to get this country's fiscal house in order. we cannot afford to spend $800 billion, throwing away on interest alone, giving it to china, throwing out the window.
i think the message is, you have to make it clear -- republicans have not -- to an average citizen and say, i want to take $300 for every man, woman, and child, and throw it away so that we can continue this insanity. it is time to say we want a balanced budget. not only that, we want the social agenda to go forward. what michelle bachman said is true. social issues reflect the fiscal conservative view also. we know what causes poverty and we are spending $100 billion on people trapped in poverty because planned parenthood is saying, continue the behavior, continue to have babies out of wedlock, the number one group in poverty, continue these papers that causes these social ills. stand firm and do what rush limbaugh and all the
conservative people are saying. this is not a compromise. we will not compromise. host: we will leave it there. guest: i agree with you completely that the social policies have huge fiscal implications and need to be addressed as fiscal problems on the budget side. we could argue about a lot of the ancillary issues later once the country is out of fiscal danger. but you are right, these things have indications. when i hear a politician say, i am a fiscal conservative but a social liberal, i have never been able to understand how you can finance social liberal programs with fiscally conservative policies. the math never works out. host: next call from salem, massachusetts. san. caller: -- sam. caller: thank you for taking my
call. i wanted to talk about the possible shutdown of the government. i had a possible tongue in cheek solution. maybe the government should not take a paycheck for the next couple of years. also, if you have to work a real job on the weekends, say, to make ends meet, you might know how the rest of us feel. host: are you working more than one drive right now? caller: i certainly am. working a couple of jobs and going to college. i live in a tiny heatless apartment. guest: i do have to say that members of congress to work along. my schedule is usually 70 to 80 hours a week. be careful what you wish for. you could well end up with a congress that is made up simply of the idle sons of wealthy men.
i do not think that would be much of an improvement. host: scottsdale, arizona. steve, you are on "the washington journal." caller: i had a comment. we have these different crises, haiti, all of these other places we are donating. why not have a fundraiser to solve this problem? get everybody involved and get help from everybody. host: like a telethon? caller: yes, this is the biggest crisis we face. why not have everybody get involved? doughnut what they can. the millionaires and billionaires could certainly contribute a lot of money.
guest: i do nothing that will make a dent in the magnitude of the problems we have. but the good news is, the american people are more deeply involved, more than i have ever seen in my life of public policy. the debates that go inside the capitol building are merely a reflection of a much larger debate going on among the american people, and that is the debate going over backyard fences, dinner tables, over coffee at starbucks this morning. we have watched our country drift off course many times before in history. it is the american people engaging on these issues that has always brought it back. we are watching that phenomenon being summoned again in our generation. even though we have difficult years ahead of us, i have never been more optimistic about the long-term future of our country as i am now as i watch the
american people engaged on our future. host: representative mcclain talk was elected in 1998, represents the second district of california, including truckee. if you want to send him a twitter message, -- back to the phones, cleveland, ohio. lamar. caller: good morning, thank you for c-span. just a couple of comments. i believe the caller from massachusetts was on the right track when he asked the congressman, why won't the congress or anyone there take a pay cut? also, if they were struggling,
if they did not have a pot to do anything in, they would probably understand. host: if the representatives took a pay cut, would it be more symbolic, or do you think you can cut back on the $4 trillion with salaries? theyer: first of all, day would really feel what it is like. everyone is losing their job because of corporate tax cuts, when their jobs go overseas. they would understand what is like not to have a job. at the same time, i believe they have it backwards. if republicans would have looked at a shortage of revenue, instead of attacking spending first, that makes up a lot of this. is on 34hunter on twitter
the same track. guest: first, let me address the congressional issue. congress has cut back its budget by 5%, it has frozen its salaries. it will be freezing all federal salaries. i presume congressional salaries as well over the next five years. revenue is really important. but there is a healthy way and an unhealthy way to get it. the healthy way is to remove the burdens crushing the economy, remove the burden that are making american firm non- competitive in the global market. the unhealthy way is to try to extract additional taxes in a brittle economy at the expense of economic growth. that is why the economic analysis of the budget that is
about to be unveiled shows 1 million new jobs being created as a result of that budget and unemployment dropping pretty dramatically to 4%. host: cincinnati, ohio. ronald, you are wrong. caller: thank you for c-span. -- you are on. taxes come from working people, but the trouble is, they do not come from the rich, because they own the products and services. that is over and that gets passed on to the product. also, when you attack jobs, people do not have money, you are not going to get any taxes. the corporate people at the top have been raping us for the past 15 years and they are getting away with it for free. the people at the bottom are suffering and you say we have to
get control of the budget. i have not seen you try to fix the taxes. i only see you all extended it, extending it. we cannot handle it much longer. guest: let me offer you one of the dirty little secrets about tax policies. corporation to not pay taxes. corporation to not pay taxes. corporate taxes, business taxes can only be paid in one of three ways, either by us, as consumers through higher wages, -- higher prices, by us, through lower wages, or buy us, as investors away from our earnings, usually the 401k. all of that ends up on the backs of real people in the real world. so raising corporate taxes is
really raising taxes on consumers, employees, and on investors, most of which are small investors putting their money into 401k's and the like. also, tax rates will reach a point where you will not have tax revenues. there will be a point where they're putting some much of a burden on the economy that they are actually producing less revenue. i am from california. i have seen that happen several times. host: there is an upcoming vote to raise the debt ceiling. will he be voting for it? guest: i will support an increase its supports the overall spending in h.r. 1 and in the budget we are unveiling today. i will not support an increase beyond those limits. the budget we are unveiling today puts us on a path to not
only balance the budget but to ultimately retire that national debt within a period of time that i hope, maybe, to be alive to see. it will require me eating more broccoli than i care to. so i think there is additional work required in future years, but it puts us on that course, where somebody my age -- i am 54 -- can hope to see that day when our nation is debt free. that is an important step. host: broccoli growers and marketers, direct your mail to representative mcclintock. you have supported a piece of legislation that would prevent the u.s. from defaulting on its debt. where does that legislation stand? guest: that is the companion measure to pass it to me's measure. it basically insurers anyone who is loading the government money,
even if we reach a point where the debt limit is not extended, they will still be paid. essentially, it detects the full credit of the united states. this is a provision that most states already have in their constitution, the first call on state revenues for debt service. put simply, if you are living off of your credit cards, you better be sure to make the minimum payment on that bill first. that is what this does. host: does that put programs in the u. s in danger of not being funded because we are paying creditors -- in the u.s. in danger of not being funded because we are paying creditors from overseas? guest: most of those creditors are the u.s. government, or people, and their investments are safe.
host: more questions with representative mcclintock, member of the house budget committee. our next phone call comes from new mexico. conrad. caller: thank you for taking my call. i am currently in the military. maybe i missed part of what you said earlier. as far as the federal government shutting down, how is this going to affect us, military-wise? i have 11 years in. i am a senior officer. as far as the lower end soldiers, privates, specialists that are just making it that have families, living paycheck to paycheck, how is this going to affect them? guest: it would be terrible. basically, the paychecks would not be going out to the men and
women fighting for our country. that is an unacceptable situation. that is why the house put forward a continuing resolution to fund the government through the end of the year 45 days ago, and the senate has refused to act on that. two temporary measures. one that the speaker is introducing today takes the military budget and the funds it through the end of the fiscal year, and then extend the other spending for the week, while negotiations continue. host: for those who may question the timing of chairman ryan rolling out the budget while the senate and white house are tried to get this continuing resolution situation in check, you would say what? guest: the budget has got to be adopted this year. democrats last year refused to adopt a budget. that is a pretty dangerous thing, the spending blueprint for the government. that is why we are dealing with all of these cr's.
that is why we are dealing with all of these concerns over the shutdown of the government. democrats did not bother to adopt a budget. if you are a family and you are having budget difficulties and you finally go to a financial counselor, the first thing they will tell the family is we have to sit down and drop a budget for you. that is what is going on now. host: there is a balanced budget amendment that is moving its way through the senate, being pushed for fis several republicans. your thoughts on -- put forth by some republicans. your thoughts on that going forward? guest: it is not the alpha and omega of fiscal responsibility. again, i am from california, who has had a budget problem for years, and it is ignored. that is the fault of the people not holding their elected officials accountable.
i feel it is a strong statement that the federal government has to do what every family does with its budget, and that is live within its means. host: after the budget there will be a day-long markup. tell us how the procedure works. guest: it will be a marathon session. we are expected to start at 10:00 in the morning and it will not be over until midnight at the earliest, i am told. it will basically be the presentation of the full budget discussion.esentation those amendments will be discussed on and voted on one after another, hopefully not long after midnight. host: we have been talking with representative tom mcclintock, a representative from california, member of the house budget committee. thank you for being on the program. guest: thank you for having me.
host: in 45 minutes, photographs of those killed in afghanistan. coming up, discussions on federal spending and the budget with peter welch, a chief deputy whip on the democratic side. first, this break. >> the top winner in this year's competition. this year's theme asked students to develop a video on the issue or topic that help them better understand the role of the government. today, we go to knoxville, tennessee. elizabeth is an eighth grader. hello, elizabeth. why did you choose health care coverage and its affect on college-aged people? >> my partner and i found that health care coverage was an extremely controversial topic. it is all over the news. it is a big deal to average
americans. we chose to focus on college students and how they will be affected by health care because health care reform, it's time line will expire in about 2015, so all of those effects will come into play, and we are the class of 2015, right as we enter college. >> so how will you be affected by the health care that passed last year? >> they felt that they were getting some relief on their health care that they have a chance to stay on their parent'' health care nountil they are 26. they do not have to worry about paying for health insurance or another plan while in college. they can just focus on their studies. we will be affected in the same way once we get into college. hopefully, we will not have to worry about our insurance while
we are studying. hopefully, insurance overhaul will be more affordable for americans. >> beyond college-aged students, people in your community, where they affected by the reforms that were passed last year? >> our community has been greatly affected by it, and i imagine most communities around the nation. the reforms are expected to affect everyone. like individual mandates, it is supposed to change everyone's health benefits for the better. >> so what did you learn from the people that you spoke to? >> the interviewee's give us many perspectives on the effects of college students. from the university, we learned how they were adjusting to the reform as they provide students with health care, if they wanted. we got a great chance to interview two college students and a father of college students
and then give us insight on how they are directly being affected by the reform, financially and personally. we also got to interview an insurance agent, two people involved with the health care tennessee campaign. they gave us an idea of how health care is affecting tennessee as a whole, and its statistics, what is happening with the nation. all these different interviews gave us many different viewpoints that helped to tie together our video. we are very thankful to that. >> elizabeth, thank you and congratulations. let's take a look at a portion of her documentary. >> not only does it help them when they are students, but also after graduation and looking for their first job. >> thousands of americans with a pre-existing condition, parents whose children have a pre-
existing condition will finally be able to purchase the coverage they need. >> starting december 23, insurance companies can no longer deny coverage to a child because of a pre-existing medical condition. >> along with the plan and then comes another addition to the health care reform bill. this is a restriction of health insurance companies not covering somebody with a pre-existing condition. the amendment is already in effect for kids and should be put into place for adults in 2015. the reform also impacts college students through individual mandates. >> by 2014, there is a requirement that everybody in the united states has to have health insurance. >> that will be a major change, everybody will be required to have health insurance. that will have a significant impact on college students. >> you can see the entire video and all the winning documentary's at studentcam.org.
and you can continue the conversation at our facebook and twitter pages. host: peter welch of how vermont, one of the democrat's chief deputy whips, joins us to talk about the budget and federal spending. guest: good to be here, thank you. host: the clock is ticking and there are concerns that the government will shut down on friday because there will be no spending and the parties will not have come to an agreement on a continuing resolution. your thoughts? guest: it would be very bad for america if we had a shutdown. the chances that we will have a shut down our increase in each hour that passes. that is no way to run a government. we have been going from short- term continuing resolution to short-term continuing resolution. it would be very bad, in my view, if we had a shut down. host: why do you say that as
time goes by we are getting closer to a shutdown? guest: if we do not have an agreement by the time the clock strikes midnight, from my understanding from the news reports, there is a wide gap between negotiators on reaching agreement. so just on a probable level, if we do not have an agreement today, not having it in place by friday increases the chance for a shutdown. we want to avoid it, republicans want to avoid it. i think speaker baker wants to avoid it. -- boehner wants to avoid it. host: speaker john boehner is going to the white house to try to work something out. if you were in that room, what would you do to bring the two parties together? guest: both parties have the knowledge that we have to do something on spending to have a sustainable budget. what we have now is not
sustainable. there is a debate on how we got here, the bush tax cuts that are unfunded, two wars on the credit card, one going into its 10th year, prescription drug programs that were not paid for, and then, of course, the economy going in the tank, borrowing money to keep us going, which is starting to work, bringing down unemployment. to some extent, that history is important because this is a function of two things. tax cuts we could not afford as well as spending we could not sustain. republicans and democrats like to point to different aspects of that, but in fact, there is a spending issue and revenue issue. both have to be acknowledged. there is also something beyond our control, and that is the economy going in the tank. that required a response.
the real fundamental issue for us is not coming is there a need for significant adjustment in our fiscal situation? we have got to get a sustainable budget. it is whether everything is on the table or we just focus on the cuts. that is where we have a difference of opinion. if we just focus on the non- defense discretionary budget, which is 12% of the budget, it is guaranteed to fail. in a $4 trillion budget, if you are just focusing on the 12%, even if you cut that full budget, pell grants, low-income heating assistance, all of that, you would still have over $1 trillion in budget deficits. we are asking for everything to be on the table. that means the pentagon, tax expenditures, as well as some of the cuts being considered in
discretionary budgets. host: also being rolled out today is the republican budget by house committee chairman paul ryan. looking at $6 trillion in entitlement reforms over a 10- year period. do you think that is achievable? guest: not the way he has proposed it. let me say something about mr. ryan. he is doing a serious job. he is right to be concerned about the sustainability of spending. the proposal he makes on medicare is not so much reform of medicare. reform of health care is essential in this country because the cost of health care. whether it is the government sponsored program of medicare or private insurance or self pay, you cannot have a system where the costs are increasing five times the rate of inflation, profits, the rate of wages.
we need to reform the way we deliver health care across the economy, not just medicare. now ryan plan, as i understand, does not make adjustments in how we deliver care. it says the government will not pay for medicare in medicaid, the way it has done in the past. it will pass on much more of the cost to seniors, in the form of direct payments by the government to insurance companies. with a much higher costs being borne by the senior. so if you have the same system with no cost controls, but all you are doing is lowering the amount that the medicare government program pays in making the senior pay more, you are burden shifting to the states and seniors. it is not a reform of how we deliver services. that is the big design failure from the right approach. host: -- ryan approach.
host: we are speaking to democratic congressman peter welch. jay carney spoke about the president inviting key leaders to the white house about how to keep the government from shutting down on friday. >> earlier today, invitations were extended to speaker john boehner, harry reid, and others to a meeting with the president tomorrow to discuss ongoing negotiations on a funding bill to bring us through the end of this fiscal year. the president has made clear we all understand the need to cut spending and significant progress had been made in agreeing that we can all work off the same numbers, $73 billion in spending cuts this year alone. with the process running short on time, the president will urge leaders to reach final agreement and avoid a shutdown that would be harmful to our economic recovery. host: representative welch, your
thoughts? guest: it is good the president is getting involved. i think he should of got involved sooner. it is beyond the 11th hour. but we have to continue the negotiations, the president has to be involved. we can solve this problem but we need to have a broader discussion about other issues that are off the table. if this is limited to getting all the cuts out of 12% of the budget, the discretionary budget, that it makes the job much more difficult. the second thing that makes it more difficult are these political hand grenades on policy issues that are very contentious. should there be an abortion in the district of columbia with or without federal money? should we close down national public radio? these are types of things where there is a legitimate debate, but if you have as our major objectives, trying to reach a budget resolution to keep the lights on, it is bad to have
those debates injected into this discussion. host: brooklyn, new york. chris, you are on the " washington journal." caller: i have a few comments and questions that i would like you to address head-on. you just mentioned npr. c-span is not funded by the government. why should npr? abc, cbs, none of them do. if you can figure out a separate funding mechanism -- my main point is, the government was never constituted to be a consumer lending agency. there is no reason why the government should be paying for a 35-year-old studying french literature at miami state university. it should not be. if he wants to do that, go to the state. we have great people who work their way through school, like i
did. i want you to realign your understanding of the role of the government, the role of the states, the role of the individual. the fact is, we do not have a revenue problem. we are taking in more money than we ever have in the history of our country. we have a spending problem. stop paying fore 80-year-old to get hip replacements, can we please stop paying for everyone's prescription medication? guest: you have brought a lot of things together in that statement. i disagree with you about it not making sense of the taxpayer providing funds to national public radio for public tv. my point is not to win that argument, or with my republican colleagues. if the real challenge we face of try to bring our fiscal house in order, let's focus on that and
not inject into it debates like this. uni probably disagree on npr. that will divert our attention from solving the fundamental issue that is budgetary. whether we do or do not have funding for npr will not make a difference in the budget. that is the point. the more we can streamline and focus, the better our prospects for reaching a resolution. the debate about the federal government in spending and taxes, in my view, we have two problems. one is a spending problem in certain areas. pentagon spending is enormous. wars on a credit card are not sustainable. then there are programs in the discretionary budget where the president and democrats like me have supported cuts. we also have a revenue problem, in my view. the way washington has worked, in instead of doing direct appropriations, where it is much more accountability -- you can
see how your tax payer dollars are being spent. we have done things through tax breaks. most people when i tell them the oil companies will be getting $55 billion in taxpayer subsidies, they scratched their heads. not so much that they dislike with the oil companies are doing -- they do what they do. but they are a mature and profitable industry, so why would we have to supplement their trillion dollars in profits? that is the way it has been for the past 10 years. why would we supplement that with taxpayer assistance? that is part of the issue that has to be on the table for us to be successful. host: next call comes from all of, north carolina. caller: thank you for taking my call. i have two statements. what about china and one about the budget. first of all, washington
journal, please give the callers a minute to speak. on the budget, we paid the last congress money to solve the problem and they failed to do their job. why is nothing being done about that? every member of the past congress should be fined one month's salary, one month tax paid pensions. if you fail to do it, the same thing should happen to you. but you will not do it because you know american do not have the backbone to stand up for it. on china, we are borrowing god knows how much money from them and we are paying huge interest. and we are still giving them millions of dollars a year in financial aid. that makes a lot of sense, doesn't it? tell the american people how many millions of dollars we are giving china in financial aid. and if you have -- do not know
the answer, you have no business in our government. host: there is your minute. guest: i do not know the answer to that, but i agree with your point. we basically give them a competitive advantage. number one, their labor and environmental laws, if they have them, are nothing compared to ours. number two, the chinese currency is artificially low. so it puts our manufacturers at an enormous competitive disadvantage. that is one of the reasons why we have seen so many jobs go to china and is hauling out the manufacturing base in our country. the point you're making about the u.s. having policies that are unfair to our people rather than passing benefits to other countries, i think, makes sense. the division in congress of not getting this resolved -- you expressed the frustration of a lot of american people and,
frankly, members of congress. what you see on this budget battle, the question is, is it a practical problem to be solved or an ideological battle to be one? that is really the question that confronts many of us. -- to be won? we have to get to around $33 billion to keep the lights on. if we put everything on the table, we can get from here to there pretty quickly, and that needs to include the pentagon, tax expenditures that a lot of folks, and republicans, by the way, to not think makes sense. the ethanol subsidy, for one. if that is the goal, putting everything on the table, then we can solve the practical problem. if this budget battle will be used to leverage other political positions, like npr, closing
down the epa, saying climate change does not exist -- if we're going to use this budget crisis to leverage positions on contentious issues, we are making our job impossible. host: we have been reading tweets from various members of congress. this one is from speaker john painter. -- boehner. your response? guest: i do not know what number he has in mind, but republicans started out with this goal of $140 billion. part of it had been achieved with the continuing congress. we did 10 additional billion dollars in the two cr's. so that gets us to 51. now, the gap that i have heard is in the range of $30 billion
to $40 billion. this appears to be a bit of reversal from a bargaining position that we understand republicans have staked out. but it is real money. obviously, this is just about keeping the lights on under this fiscal year. we are now going to have, of course, the republican proposal presented by mr. ryan for next year's budget and beyond. host: a reminder that you will be able to see the rollout of that budget this morning live on c-span 3. washington, new jersey. bill, on the line for democrats. caller: thank you very much. i have a question. over the last 30 years, the american worker has lost money under the department of labor and george bush. when are we going to do something to rectify that to get
the money back to the hands of the workers who will stimulate the economy, create demand, and therefore, create jobs? that would seem to be the fastest way to get us out from where we are. host: are you still there? he is gone. go ahead. guest: you said it well. that is the challenge. the biggest problem in america is that the middle class is shrinking and falling behind. there is a debate here about how to correct that. the ryan-republican approach, they believe the more we cut the more it will help the middle- class, even though that means less investment in education, for those people that have worked and are now in medicare, that they will have to pick up a bigger cost when they have a shrinking retirement savings.
when you have a really difficult fiscal problem, the country should be acting like a business. i was talking to the ibm folks who came into my office. in 1992, they had 400,000 employees, the company was upside down, not sure if they could meet payroll. they went and review their budget and down every place they could cut. they also looked down the road to see where they could invest in order to make the company's strong for the future. so they have to spend money on certain things that would have a return, and they have to make good decisions on that, even as they cut, and that is what we have to do in the budget. where can we reinvest so that we can rebuild the middle class and do the henry ford thing? increase wages to his employees and to allow them to sell cars and everyone is better off? i think you have put your finger
on the problem. host: next call comes from san diego, california. gloria, you are on with peter welch. caller: good morning. i would like to bring up a subject having to do with cap and trade. in 1991, leon panetta, when he was a representative out of monterey, try to get cap and trade through the house. nobody wanted to do anything with that. what were they going to do with the money? they were going to educate the poor. how do i know this? it was on the front page of the "santa rosa california press democrat" newspaper. for 24 years, this country has been without an effective energy policy. when i take a ride up to the bay area where i am from, and i have to go through livermore valley,
and you see those hills inundated with these windmills, we have had episodes where we have counted maybe eight of them working, parts flying all over the ground. when i want to go to palm springs and i see what is going on there, and i see that area loaded with them, you have to wonder what is going on. refuse thedemocrats energy policy in 1991 because they knew if they took on cap and trade that money would be passed away, just like every other nickel and dime -- pissed away, just like every other nickel and dime -- host: we will leave it there. guest: this country does not have an energy policy, other than a continued reliance on fossil fuels. in the first energy crisis in 1973 or so, the united states
produced 73% of its energy needs and import about 30. now it is perverse. -- reverse. when things happen in other parts of the world, like libya, we get price spikes in oil, and it ripples through the economy and has a real negative impact for consumers. the price of oil going up to $108 a barrel is a big increase on consumers who are paying $4 or more for gas. that is tough on us and our military. that costs taxpayers a lot of money. we need an energy policy. obviously, that has to be -- investment in new technology, clean energy. i do not know why those windows are not running, but where the wind is blowing, they should be turning.
the new energy policy will make us less susceptible to the ups and downs, things that happen in other parts of the world, and can create jobs at home. host: next call is east petersburg, pennsylvania. caller: hi. i am calling because i have some ideas for the budget. i think what we need to do, we need to put everything on the table. we need to cut 15% off of foreign aid. we need to make certain that when you leave congress, your pension is not more than 1.5 times the money you make. if you are voted out, you have to have corporate insurance, like all of us do the other thing is, the democrats did not lose the election because of health care. they lost because they took the
public option out. you changed the tax base. you let people pay 10% of the tax system. the state in which they live, 5% to the federal government, an extra 2% to social security, and that would help us to turn around. host: thank you for the call. in addition to that, social security. in the op-ed section of "the new york times" a former member of the council of economic and advisers on the clinton administration, now director of retarded research at boston college, rights -- -- retirement research at boston college, writes --
guest: i have not read the article, but social security has to be there to provide benefits to all americans paying into it. social security has done a good job on that. the last time we had to make adjustments in this insurance program was with president ronald reagan. he worked out a deal with the democrats speaker at the time, tip o'neill, made some adjustments, and made social security solid for another couple of generations. i think we are at that point where we should sit down and ask the question, what steps do we have to take to guarantee the solvency of social security? social security should be protected, and what steps we have to make in order to get from here to there, should clearly be a bipartisan agreement so that we do not use it as a political football.
but as a security issue, solvency is critical. it is a separate problem from this fiscal challenge we face with the rest of our budget. host: some of the items that the previous caller mentioned, by adjusting some of those, can we save real money? guest: the point she made that was a real common sense is everything has to be on the table. you cannot solve this problem if you only look at 12% of the budget, the discretionary portion of the budget. but if you leave the pentagon off the table, if you leave this tax expenditures off the table, if you leave health-care reform, not just cutting benefits but health care reform off the table, that really puts -- you were in handcuffs when it comes
to trying to solve the problems. she makes a very good point, everything on the table. host: with everything on the table, or percentage of the pentagon spending would you be able to cut? guest: i do not have a specific percentage, but certainly the percentage you will apply to the rest of the economy. there are two issues. how much are we spending, and what are we defining as our missions? there has been an increase in demand because of mission increase. if we get into a war like afghanistan or iraq for whatever reason, how is it that we put that on the credit card and pretend it does not add to the debt is it? -- add to the deficit? we have young men and women serve and they to
come back and they are in a category of their own. we have to make sure we take care of them when they come back. but then we do not ask the taxpayers to share the sacrifice. and this leads to a lack of restraint when it comes to making decisions. host: for those not inside the beltway or familiar with pentagon speak, what is mission creep? guest: that mean to start out with a small bowl. afghanistan may be an example of this. -- that means to start out with a small goal. it suddenly became nation building where we are taking the responsibility of building a nation into a honored nation state. -- into a modern nation state. host: we have this twitter
message -- guest:, the blame game will not get us anywhere. it will be a failure on the part of the american congress. host: another call. this one comes from miami, florida. ernest on the line for republicans. go ahead. caller: i am really concerned about our country and the choices the democratic party is making now. i really do not believe they are on our side right now. they are talking about social security and medicaid. i am on medicaid. i am on disability. i am not afraid to lose a couple
of dollars to save our country from bankruptcy. i think the democrats need to stop deceiving and manipulating people with this idea that the republicans is destructive. it is just ridiculous to see these peoples playing games with our country and our lives. host: we will leave it there. guest: the point that i take of what ernest is saying is the size should be focused on the issues and not the blame game. i really agree on that. there is enormous partisan divide and congress' that gets in the wake of us sitting down and try to figure out how we get from here to there. it reflects to some extent how closely divided the american people are and how polarized our politics have become so the
point that i take out of that is we should sit down and talk and try to solve our problems, and i agree with that. host: reminder to our callers, make sure you turn down your receiver. that way you will not get feedback. the next calller comes from lobo, ky. jennifer on the line for democrats. -- the next calller comes from louisville, ky. good morning. er: i just want to make some comments, okay? i think it will help. i would love to see a lifting of what republicans are putting out for cuts and to see if any of the corporations and things like this, the big people are involved as paying taxes.
also, i noticed bernie sanders of vermont is coming up with something like a public option, and everyone in vermont is really wanting this, and they are agreeing on this. we should have had this in the beginning anyway. they should have come through with the public option. and we need to get out of the war. when i people say we're spending billions, i do not believe that. i believe we're still spending trillions of dollars. host: that's your minute. thank you for calling. guest: i am from vermont, and i supported the public option. one of the major reasons i support of the public option is it would have reduced the cost of health care by well over $100 billion. so why not do the things it can
actually bring down the cost for? obviously the insurance companies prefer -- they do not want a public option because it will cut into their profits. host: rep welch is currently on the agriculture and government oversight reforms committee. previously served on the energy and commerce committee in 2009 and 2010. in very active in the health- care debate. -- and very active in the health-care debate. what is there in the health care law now that you might change had you had the foresight or been able to see what was coming down the pike with the debates were going on last year? guest: i was in support of the public option, because it was a very effective way to try to contain costs and improve quality.
losing on the public option frankly is a setback, but there are very good things in the health care bill that unfortunately the republicans repealed. those are the insurance reforms that people have been fighting for for generations. your ability to have access to health care, even if you have a pre-existing condition. should you be denied health care just because of something no control over? your ability to have a child is born to you with a congenital issue. the ability to stay on your health care coverage after you get sick. if you repeal that come to mean to go back to the days where you get sick and your policy comes up for annual renewal, you do not get coverage. that is not right. this provision allows us to have our sons and daughters going into their first jobs stay on to our insurance until age 26 has provided an enormous piece of mind to parents across the country. host: back to the phones.
greenbelt, maryland. tony on the line. caller: i wanted to find out -- i will make two points. if we're going to have a concerted effort to try to take care of the budget, i would like to see the people who are bringing that issue to the floor say with their own personal household finances are debt-free so they can lead by example. when it comes to social security, why do we continue to tell people they never write to social security when we have no property rights at all to social security. i would like to hear your comment on that pier ye.
i failed the first us because i have a mortgage. i pay my mortgage, because i am free.m not debt -- i failed the first test because i have a mortgage. host: the public option is what the majority of u.s. aid did not want from obama. i cannot tell you how disappointed the majority of the u.s. is today. guest: congress did not pass the public option, because we did not have the votes. we passed in the house, but unsuccessful in the senate. it is a very contentious debate. i strongly supported the public option.
you would continue, just as you do in medicare, to decide who is your doctor and what dr. you want to go to. you have total control over deciding who your doctor is. so i saw it as something that would be very helpful to broaden out access to health care and lower the cost. many people were nervous about it. many people in congress -- the majority voted for it in the house, but in the senate we were unsuccessful. "the washington times" this headline -- guest: what is the question on the debt limit? it is very simple. is america a country that pays its bills? it is very simple.
obligations incurred by republican administrations and democratic administrations. the question is only this, do we pay our bills? we do. i am not going to play political games with the debt ceiling. my view is we should do what is required to make certain we can pay our bills, raise the debt limit so it is required so it preserves america's integrity in the financial markets. incidentally, we did not raise the debt ceiling, we start playing political games or thinking it will send a symbolic message that we're tough on spending, that will have a catastrophic impact on the bond markets, interest rates will go up. it will hurt employment. if you are a homeowner and you have budget problems, you do not start stepping your creditors. you figure out how you go from here to there and pay your
bills. host: nick on the line for republicans. caller: i just had a quick comment and question. with the current crisis and possible shutdown, how come because the budget has already went halfway through the year, how come we cannot compromise half on both sides and go ahead and pass the budget for this year in worry about scrutinizing the next several budgets as they come, and then start slowly coming back instead of putting everything all at once? compromise is what this country was founded on. everyone is staunch on what they believe been and will stick to it regardless of the american people. guest: callthat is basically the
attitude we have to have a. this has to be the beginning. we have significantly reduce spending. -- reduced spending. we are prepared to do more, but i think you are exactly right. unfortunately in this town right now the polarization is as much about political positioning. as a matter of fact, more about political positioning the and it is about problem solving. host: our last call comes from massachusetts. richard on the line for democrats. caller: i know about the new governor and you and bernie sanders all wanted single
payer. explain to me a little bit more about that. ino, the nuclear path yplant vernon. they said it is all right for keeping a running for another 20 years. the plant is 40 years old. they have had a lot of problems. can you be more specific about the health care and the plant. guest: i can. i have sponsored legislation to allow the states do have a waiver so they can implement their own program in 2014 rather than 2017. that makes a lot of sense generally to conservatives. basically what that would do is say to a state is if you have your own way of getting from here to there, maintaining affordability to meet the federal objectives of access to health care and affordability,
do it. if your approach in vermont is single payer, it do it. if you're in another state and think you can go through an insurance-based program and present that, you can have at its. it makes sense to do in 2014, because that is when the federal law goes into full effect. why have a waiver that goes to affect in 2017 so that a state has had to implement a federal program and then if it wants to do it in a better way and wind it in 2017? it makes an enormous amount of sense to have the waiver coincide with the implementation. the vermont much as glacier has -- legislature has the legal authority to vote yes or no on the license of the nuclear plant. they voted overwhelmingly to have a license expire in 2012.
apparently energy louisiana, but the owner of the plant, is indicating they will go to court and try to have their agreement reversed. host: rep peter welch, thank you for being on the program this morning. a reminder to be worse, we will have a rollout of the budget from paul ryan live on c-span3 starting at 10:30. for more details, go to our web sites c-span.org. coming up after the break, a discussion with eric bates, talking about a group known as "the kill team." how officers failed to stop them. plus, an exclusive look at the exclusive war time photographs.
that will be coming up after the break. first, a news update from c-span radio. >> republican national committee chairman in remarks earlier on "the today show" said republicans have plenty of time to mount a challenge to president obama in 2012. he said his candidates have at least a dozen candidates testing the waters. only one has filed paperwork with the sec so far, and that is a former minnesota gov. temple wednesday. a new poll finds that baby boomers are starting to retire and many are worried about finances. only 11% say they are strongly convinced they will be able to live in comfort. a survey finds that one in four surveyed still working say they will never retire. moody's lowered portugal credit
rating ahead o zero's credil's those are some of the headlines on c-span radio. >> every weekend, experience american history on c-span4. 3. here first-person accounts from people who have shaped history. travel to important battlefields to learn about key figures and events that shaped an error during the 150 anniversary of the civil war. every weekend visit college classrooms across the nation as professors fell into america's past. jordan collectors and historians behind the scenes at museums on american artifacts. the presidency, focusing president's policies and
administrations. all weekend, every weekend. get the complete schedule online and signed up to have them e- mail to you using the c-span alert. "washington journal" continues. host: joining us from new york city is eric bates, executive editor at "the rolling stone." he is joining us to talk about "the kill team." you can see the article on their web site, along with the pictures that were taken by members of the group. we warn that some of these pictures are grim and graphic. tell us what happened. tell us what happened and what was the involvement in this group known as "the kill team.
" guest: this was a group that over the course of four months basically went on a killing spree in afghanistan, selecting an armed afghanistans for execution and then planting weapons on their body to make it look like the soldiers have been been attacked. the killed at least four people that we know of. they often took treasures from the body, cutting off fingers and toes. host: who was taking the photographs? guest: it was part of a group of thousands of photographs that soldiers took. some of them were of children, afghan people. some were taken by the soldiers
posing with bodies and the civilians they killed. other photographs we do not know who took. it looks like other soldiers took them. one of the disturbing things is that among some of the photographs it appears there may have been war crimes committed by soldiers of the on this particular unit. there is one set of photographs that shows several afghanistas tied up on the sidef the road. this was another group that did that to those men in the photographs. ourt: we want to onwarn viewers and listeners that some of the pictures can be graphic. this is part of an article that rightwrites --
host: how did this story come to the attention of mike bowl? guest: the store has been reported well. 12 of the soldiers are charge. some have already been convicted in the killings. what mark did is take a look at the complete army investigative record we obtained and really tried to piece together the narrative of how this happened. what is disturbing is that this platoon has been portrayed by the pentagon as road platoon, that they went off on their own and no one diknew they did
this. when we look at the record, it looks like the responsibility for the killings may go higher and wider than the pentagon has led us to believe. it looks like other units may have participated in these kinds of war crimes as well. and host: how unusual is it that none of the officers who may have been involved have been charged with this? guest: what is disturbing is it was sort of an open secret among the soldiers that this was happening here ye. they boasted about it among themselves and to other platoons. one soldier said that the platoon had a reputation for staging killings and getting away with it. it is widely known. the real question is why officers who were involved who were in a position to release
some suspicions about what was happening were not disciplined? the first lieutenant of the unit that did this has been promoted to captain. host: we're talking to eric bates. he is coming to us from new york stone"out th"the rolling coverage of "the kill team." if you want to be involved in the coverage, give us a call. we will remind you that if you go to the rolling stone website to read the article, some of the pictures can be quite graphic our first call comes from pennsylvania. joe on the line for democrats. and caller: i am wondering why a
lot of the other news outlets will not cover this information when we should have freedom of the press, and it takes a good rock-and-roll magazine to let us know the facts. thank you for taking my call. guest: that is a very interesting question. i have been surprised by the lack of coverage in the traditional media and the last week of this report in the release of the photographs. in this case i think the photographs are so graphic and gruesome, television has had a hard time figuring out how to handle this. if they do not have visuals, they tend not to cover things. the rest of the media has been very reluctant to pick this up. part of this has to do with the fact it was u.s. soldiers engaged in this atrocity. perhaps that is something for the american people to really fix.at and experiencnd
host: next up, augusta, maine, on the line for democrats. caller: good morning. i appreciate your magazine. my question has to do with drug use among american soldiers in afghanistan. i have seen videos of troubled american soldiers having to train afghanistan police because they are stoned all the time. and i am wondering if we have been the idea of what the incidence is of drug abuse among american soldiers? my second question has to do with the ultimate impact and cost of this war. we have almost 1.5 million soldiers who will be returning at one point in time who have served multiple tours, and i am wondering if people really calculate the cost of posttraumatic stress treatment
and the cost of compensation and disability. thank you. guest: the first question i cannot speak to how widespread drug use is, but i can say with in this particular unit that was committing the crimes, it was clear the soldiers were basically getting high allot. -- getting high a lot. the way that these crimes came to light was through drug use. one soldier ironically named stoner went to complain to his superiors that the other guys were smoking in his room and did not like it. when the other guys found out that he told on them, they beat them up. certainly i do not think this platoon is alone in drug use. as to the cost and the consequences of returning soldiers, i think we will see
them more and more. we have covered several stories of soldiers returning from iraq who have had real difficulties with posttraumatic stress disorder. in some cases who have killed other people in the state's. i think this is going to be something unfortunately we will see a lot more of an have to grapple with here at home, the consequences of these very young men in these kinds of situations. host: as a matter of fact there is a piece on the incident you referred to. host: back to the phones.
jacksonville, n.c., on the line for independence. go ahead. caller: i am in the marine corps. it is really unfortunate one small group can stand the entire military, because this is not an everyday thing, and it is sad that the ones that are dying every day or the ones that have been captured, it is just sad that this is talked about when all the other things happening every day. is there a concern that this is putting about lights on all the military operating in afghanistan? guest: i would have opposite concerned that stories like these did not get covered enough as compared to the heroism and
other things that soldiers engaged in. because of the nature of the crimes, it is very hard for people to face up to them, so i think it is very important look at them. one of the disturbing things is it is not necessarily a group of small soldiers. the pentagon went through extraordinary leads to keep these photographs under wraps. -- lengths to keep these photographs under wraps. the pentagon set agents across the united states to get photographs and thumb drives across united states to get these so that no one would ever see them. one of the reasons for the court seal is that the photographs would negatively impact the reputation of the military. the judge in the pentagon had the same concern as the callers did about how this would make people look at the armed forces. i think ultimately, while that is a concern, what is more
important is that we look at any possibility of wrongdoing, and criminal wrongdoing, and make sure everyone is held accountable for it. the only way to make sure this does not happen again is to make sure the command structure knows of things kind will not be tolerated and officer in charge will be held accountable. host: how did "the rolling stone" come across these photographs? guest: we a tamed them from a source. -- we obtain them from a source. hem from a source. we have many more that we have not shared. in a lot of cases we felt that we just did not know enough to put them out there and say what
we were looking at. host: two of the soldiers featured in the article feature corporal more lock and david brown. tell us about corporate morlock and why he is central to this article. guest: he was convicted a week ago on three counts of murder. he pleaded guilty to a guilty sentence in exchange for testimony against the team leader who the pentagon is portraying as the ringleader of the killings. he grew up in alaska, not far from the palain's. there is really a question about whether he should have been allowed in the military to begin with. the military has been lowering its standards because they are desperate for recruits. he had a real history of getting into trouble, of getting drunk,
the scene of a serious car accident. only a month before deployment he was charged with disorderly conduct after burning his wife with a cigarette. there is a real question as to whether he should have been in the military to begin with. host: we are talking with eric bates, executive editor of "the rolling stone" we're talking about actions of a group that has come to be known as "the kill team." vicki on the line for democrats. go ahead. caller: thank you. i just want to point out that we as americans are doing this to young men who are willing to find out what their adult life is going to be by signing it over to us, to this country.
i believe the soldiers do not have a sense of value and dignity and as americans over there and their purpose. i think it is no wonder that the suicide rate for the military is so high. i just cannot help but wonder if there are any suicides in connection with this incident. people who were aware of it and just could not bear to be affiliated with it. guest: that is an excellent question, and i think that the point is well made also. what is disturbing is to see the military's reaction to this. while it is admirable they're prosecuting these 12 men to try to minimize it and portray it as only this one group of soldiers,
when there seems to be evidence to suggest that culpability may be wider than that. the military has a responsibility to implicate the troops with the right values and right approach. if you have this degree of a serious breakdown where u.s. soldiers are picking out a 15- year-old boys and gunning them down for no reason, you really have to ask, is the military doing its job and is there more serious breakdown they need to be addressing? host: in an article he writes this --
caller: the problem is guys like you. if you did not fight for this country, you should not be in this position. which you it is all about money and putting your face on television. i would like to see all you people all here pointing fingers. guys like me to our disabled and to ruin us. the problem is with the american people, what would happen if this happened in this country? we fought kids in vietnam. i do not want to hear your nonsense in your stupid magazine. you should be ashamed of yourself. host: have you had a chance to read this article? caller: no, but i have p.t.s.d. host: let me read you a little bit of the article --
i got busted in vietnam. i was not allowed to shoot back. this is what is wrong with the media. host: we're going to leave it there. eric bates, go ahead. ' anger is callers an understandable. they are asked to take life-and- death situations in an instant, and in not battlefield situation there is no question that mistakes can occur and that horrible things can happen. what is really important to understand in this case is this is not a story about the fog of war. this is not a story about civilians under attack and accidentally killing civilians. this is a story about soldiers who decided to kill unarmed civilians who went out and targeted a 15-year-old boy.
they picked him out at random. they called him over and gunned him down. after they gunned him down, the cut off his pinky finger and kept as a trophy. it is very important to understand what we're doing is not meant as an attack on the troops for the soldiers. our concern here is the chain of command. are the folks who were in a position to know about those, and at least have suspicions that something was going on and did not take actions to stop it? the case you just read is a 15- year-old boy who was gunned down. the day after this happened 20 villagers marched on the local base were the soldiers were house to complain to their superiors that the soldiers had killed the boy. the top officers at the base
knew that the villagers were concerned to take this action and protest. that is why we put this out there. and not because we are attacking the soldiers, but we have real concerns that the command structure is being held accountable. host: the last calller was a veteran. meliy was a single incident. as horrific as it was, involving an entire village, what is disturbing is the soldiers were doing this over and over again over a time of at least four months, where they were picking out civilians and executing them. they were also staging the killings to make it look like they have been attacked.
they were gathering weapons that they could plant next to the bodies to make it look like they were enemy combatants. here you have a real calculated mindset over a period of time and the sharing of the photographs of themselves posing with their victims. that is particularly disturbing. host: our next call comes from orlando, florida. bob on the line for indep endents. caller: i am a vietnam veteran. and i can understand someone really doing wrong, breaking the law, but if "the rolling stone" and mr. bates who had never been in combat, if they are so concerned about what is going on, why don't they just threaten to go public?
look what they did to general crystal. i think "the rolling stone" is an outrage, and he should be ashamed of himself for doing this portion of the magazine to come out with this type of information. they could keep this under wraps. it is not necessary to expose the military to the atrocities they were doing. host: before you go, why is it so important in your mind that someone who was reporting on the wars in afghanistan have combat experience? caller: when you are being shot at and you can feel the bullets going over your head and beside you and you see your body next you get shot, believe me, it just crews your mind up.
-- screws your mind up. you do not know who you are fighting. we had a 10-year-old kid come and blow himself up. it is scary. it is absolutely scary. host: eric bates, go ahead. guest: let me reiterate, this is not a case where the soldiers mistook a 15-year-old boy for a threat. this is a case where they saw a boy in the field, called him over, knew he was unarmed and represented no threat and just picked him not to execute him. and this is something i would think that veterans and former soldiers particularly would be very concerned about, because it does besmirch the name of the military and honorable actions
of some of the soldiers. i would think veterans would be particularly a gas that this type of behavior and practically in a position to condemn it. certainly it is true, no one who has been in battle -- who has not been in battle can begin to imagine what the experience is like. the concern is the pentagon operating in secrecy has intended to cover these things up here yet that is why exposure is necessary to make sure everyone knows what is going on in to make sure that those who have committed crimes, and we're not talking about accidental shootings in the midst of a bottle, we're talking about crimes were people were guilty that those people be prosecuted and those in the command position be held accountable if they did not take action to stop it. host: when you notified the pentagon you were going ahead with the story and have these pictures, what was their response? guest: we did notify the
pentagon. in part notified them because we wanted to see what they could tell us about the photographs, and we also notified them because we knew the reaction might potentially put troops in harm's way. we want to give them a heads up that this was coming. they mostly spoke to was off the record, so i cannot tell you what they said, but in one on the record conversation we pointed to the photographs of the men tied up beside the road, and we wanted to know if they were investigating who those men were, the circumstances under which there were killed, and whether u.s. troops were involved in the desecration of the bodies. basically the response of the pentagon is they have no way of knowing in no way of basically figuring out who the men in the photographs were. that was disturbing, because you could see from some of the related photographs that there were marks on the striker vehicles and other identifying signs that any peace
investigator could have to track down what had happened in that incident. there is a real concern, and that is part of the region right we decided to go public with the material, that the pentagon was not investigating this aggressively. host: our next call is from durum, north carolina. stacy is the next calller. caller: i find this all very disturbing. this is coming from someone who supports the troops in the hard work they're doing over there. i think that "the rolling stone" has gone beyond the pale. i know you did an awesome job for what you did to general crystal, and now you are doing a bang up job on what you're trying to portray the military as. i think if you took the same power and motivation to mexico,
the killings in mexico, maybe your subscription would go up a lot more. knowing now that these people are not little sweet, funny maybe you mightits, want to investigate that. thank you. host: eric bates. guest: we have covered the war on drugs quite extensively in the war on mexico quite extensively. we have done at least two or three major features on that. in one case we went to try to track down a major drug lord and meet with him in person. that is an area we have paid a lot of attention to. i think there is a perception that by reporting this kind of atrocity that we're somehow tried to portray the entire military negatively. in fact, if you read the
article, we try to explain exactly the circumstances that the soldiers found themselves in. they were a member of the fifth rigade. burgra they found that the vehicles, which were supposed to provide them with a lot more mobility and armored protection simply did not work. the caliban figured out how to target the vehicles, and this burgrave suffered the highest casualty rates of any in the nine-year war. they were under attack under a daily basis. -- the taliban if you're out to target the vehicles, and this brigade set for the highest casualty rates of any in the nine-year war. they would send out patrol after patrol, never having any engagement with the enemy, and
they were getting very frustrated. what is more is this command structure in this particular case appears to a created an environment where everyone was seen as the televisialiban. here we are in a country where we are trying to win over the population to our side and our point of view, and the soldiers had come to see even children and elderly people as the enemy. they were going out and executing them for no reason. we went to great pains to try to understand the situation that the soldiers found themselves in and explain that to our readers. host: next up. wichita, kansas. caller: good morning. i am a 20-year navy veteran of vietnam. i can understand the vets that were in combat.
i was in the navy off the coast. i can understand their point, but i can also understand we cannot equate just because the taliban beheads people that we can have troops killing people. i do not get the correlation. i am glad for your reporting on this. i also think you for your reporter. thank you. guest: thanks for your comments. importantt is for anyone that supports the troops that they should be particularly vocal in condemning this behavior. host: michigan. don on the line for indepen
dents. caller: i am very glad for your reporting. i did not have to go to vietnam, but i am 72-years-old, and my grandson is on his second tour for iraq. i have seen in my lifetime of fought the germans, japanese, italian, chinese, koreans. this seems endless. your article does a lot of good. hopefully people will learn that perhaps just killing people is not going to solve of blooming thing. when we have these young people who leave their families to go over and they are being told you have to kill the enemy, our so- called congressman, president, leaders are supposed to be adult
enough to know what they are doing. instead of selling their souls to the military industrial complex for money and campaign contributions. host: don in michigan, thank you for your call. go ahead, eric bates. guest: i think it is heartening to hear veterans that recognize this kind of atrocity is beyond the pale. it is not the reputation in the military, it is about making sure crimes are prosecuted fully and accountability is distributed. host: in an update that was posted on your web site, there is a report where a washington times correspondent got a couple of seconds with former defense secretary ron spelled who says that's -- defense secretary
rumsfield who say the "kill team" photographs were much worse than the abu ghraib pictures. put these stories into context for us as far as the people who are reading them and the effects they are having on people in the united states and throughout the world. guest: i think abu ghraib had an immediate effect. they mostly did not involve anyone being killed. people could see the cruelty with which prisoners were being treated by u.s. troops. i think it had a very immediate impact. i think you saw some of the same concerns as you see with the killed team about whether the
higher ups are being prosecuted as vigorously as the troops on the ground who directly committed the wrongdoing. in the case of abu ghraib, very few higher-ups' were prosecuted. even though secretary rumsfield's own right-hand man was dispatched to basically teach the soldiers had to kill them and stimulate the through what reporting. those sorts of higher ups were never held accountable just as they have not been so far in "the kill team." general crystal is a very different issue. it is one for respect of civilian command. we have a military in this country that is subject to civilian control and command. here you have the leading general in charge of all troops
in afghanistan basically openly dissing his civilian commanders. that is a very grave situation and one that has real constitutional issues involved, but was not a matter of immediate life and death. host: in this situation regarding "the kill team" can you tell is the highest commissions officer level involved in this? guest: as of this morning the pentagon released a report that was there was an investigation into the command structure. apparently this investigation concluded that colonel tunnel, while not directly responsible or accountable in the killings had really let the environment group to get out ofad control where everyone in the groups of everyone as enemies
and there was a real search and destroy a mentality that was counter to the military strategy of counterinsurgency, which involves protecting the local population win them over. that said, the colonel was only given a letter of admonition. reprimanded. there appears to be lower- ranking officers that were reprimanded. i have not a chance to see which ones. until this report came out, all of this has been kept secret. host: next up, detroit, michigan. next up is bishop. caller: please allow me the time to complete my thoughts, because i tend to see you cut people off that do not agree with a certain point of view. i am a veteran of vietnam. to study history and see that
people do not follow it or learn from basically lies of history, we are doomed to repeat it. it was not based on a lie. basically the military industrial complex and international bankers and what ever that profit off of the wars, they have a vested interest in dehumanizing us and the enemy. it takes honor away from war. host: we will leave it there. go ahead. guest: the war itself is about desensitizing people to death in killing. we have done articles in the past where we look at the way the military trains soldiers. basically in order to get young people to be ab