tv Washington Journal CSPAN April 6, 2011 7:00am-10:00am EDT
and coming up, we will continue our look at the house republicans' 2012 budget plan. we'll talk with the gop house budget committee member. later, we will discuss the u.s.- british relationships including the ongoing nato mission in libya. ♪ ♪ host: is marked al but, determined paul ryan, if the 2012 proposal expected tirana as late as midnight tonight. -- expected to run as late as midnight tonight. as for 2011 spending, the current spending, no shortage of headlines this morning. the government is preparing for
a shutdown this weekend. in the meantime, talks are supposed to continuing today. we will focus most of this three-hour "washington journal" on budget and spending matters, beginning with your phone calls for the first 40 minutes. tons of news here in town and around the country, what is your immediate reaction to the proposal which could get a vote on the house floor as early as next week? the telephone numbers are below. we begin this morning with erik wasson, the budget policy reporter for "the hill," who joins us from our news room. the longer term spending plan, where are the immediate battle lines being drawn? guest: the most controversial
party involved entitlement, medicare and medicaid. it is mostly silent on social security. medicare after 2021 would convert to a type of voucher program, where seniors would be able to choose from a set of guaranteed benefit plans and the government would subsidize that plan. budgetn paul ryan's would also create medicaid is a block grant. it is a state and federal program. this contribution would be capped. it would result in cuts that helped write and balance the budget by 2014. democrats are already leaping on this with fierce rhetoric, calling it an assault on seniors, an assault on the poor. we can expect a lot of that today when the budget is marked up in the budget committee of on
the hill. host: heard the immediate fierceness at the news conference. c-span3, all long session. explain the purpose of the budget resolution and what happens from here? guest: congress has the responsibility of passing a concurrent budget resolution. the official date is april 15, but no one expects congress to have a concurrent budget resolution by then. the budget when they adopted sets the framework that appropriators are supposed to follow as they construct 12 different appropriations bills that have to be enacted and signed by the president by september 30. this breaks down and it is not even clear that there will be a budget resolution this year. budget is so controversial, it will not make it to the senate and there is --
it is unclear if there can be a compromise doctorate. kent conrad has already ripped to shreds in various interviews and statements. host: you point out that it is on the fast track at least in the house. you also pointed out that the republican of ohio is announcing an amendment for the floor next week that would go farther than mr. ryan's plan. guest: ryan has had to defend themselves both from liberal attacks and from some unease among conservatives. as i mentioned, the budget does not balance until 2014. a lot of people on the right are worried about that. jordan has announced he will unveil a budget resolution that would balance within 10 years. as the house majority leader eric cantor has made clear in public, doing so would most
likely involve cutting current benefits to seniors, or making other really deep cuts in the 10-year window. rye and defended himself against these conservative charges by saying that this will whole is so deep and that is why i could not balance it by 2014 -- the fiscal hole is so deep and that is why i could not balance it by 2014. it does not specify what the solutions are. rye and yesterday acknowledge that it would be tempting for democrats to attack on that. and that seems to be the main reason. host: a lot to dig through on his 2012 budget plan. i want to read more. five boys and analysis, erik wasson has a side bar in "the hill." we will walk through them -- a
five-point analysis, erik wasson as a sidebar. we want to touch on the current spending, 2011. we know the deadline is looming and there is no shortage of headlines. "l.a. times," they show a picture of the president and the speaker -- face-off at the white house. where are they? guest: the grimaces and thus does show the state of play. at the white house yesterday, things did not go very well. they have floated the idea of $40 billion in cuts, $7 billion of maung -- above the number that appropriators were looking at. it is unclear how that will play
up. boehner's statement for that type line number and what he calls smoke and mirrors, the democrats looking to get savings out of mandatory spending such as farm subsidies. the plug -- the republicans have pledged to bring discretionary spending, the year to year appropriations budget coming down to 2008 levels. it is a political problem for republicans if they accept mandatory cuts. boehner calls this smoke and mirrors. he wants $40 billion in cuts out of discretionaries, and he want policy riders attached. they come from a menu of bottoms lightdefun -- like defunding in p r, planned parenthood, stopping climate change, it is and clear if any of these would
be acceptable to democrats. there are some that could be. host: your job is to report but not to guess. but if you had to guess, what will happen this weekend? guest: i woke up this morning and it is a liked more likely that we will see a shutdown. we are on a path toward one. the office of personnel as issuing guidance on what to do in the face of a shutdown. all the headlines are screaming that. i view this as optics in the negotiation. each side using this threat to get what they want. but time is running out so we will have to say. host: the first call for erik wasson, abolish a rigid budget policy reporter. we'll take your reaction to the republican plan and go back to him as much as we think we need to.
you might have questions for him. wisconsin is first, john on the republican line. caller: good morning. i have listened to both republicans and democrats. it appears to mean that from what i have heard and read, the democrats are lying about most of the things in paul ryan's budget. host: like what? caller: nancy pelosi stating that 3 million seniors will not get in the meals. my wife and i are on social security. we are in our early 80's. we find that what has happened to us is that we have not had an increase in social security for two years. they will not be an increase or
a slight increase in the third year. that will be an increase of medicare. [unintelligible] host: era, what does congressman ryan say about social security. guest: it does not propose specific cuts to social security. ryan agrees with recommendations by the fiscal commission, at least the ones which would raise the retirement age by 275 to the age of 69. it would deal with inflation differently. basically they take a pass on social security and go for a bipartisan solution. to the caller, we have a lot of rhetoric coming out about medicare. it is important to sift through. the ryan proposal does not actually affects seniors
currently 55 or older. some of the rhetoric you will see about seniors facing cuts in medicare right away are false. however, cbo in its scoring does point out that seniors will most likely have to cover a greater percentage of their health-care costs after the modified about your system goes into effect in 2021. host: here is chairman ryan at the american enterprise institute yesterday. >> in observance of the principle that government should reorient its policies without forcing people to reorganize their lives, the budget reforms will not affect those in retirement in any way. when people 54 and younger become eligible, they will be able to choose from a list of covered options and pick up plan that best suits their needs. more individual choice, more competition. medicare would provide a payment to subsidize its cost.
this plan is identical to the system that members of congress and other federal employees enjoy today. it is similar to the medicare drug benefit which works very well. name me another government program that came in 40% below cost estimates. it has choice and competition. host: erik wasson, you point out that medicare is generating the most news and the most controversy here. how do you see a playing out in the short term? guest: i do not think there's much chance that his proposals will be enacted. ucus, he bach denounced this on the senate floor yesterday, saying it is robbing seniors and transferring wealth the health-care companies. i do not see it enacted before the 2012 elections. but raw and bows to make it a major issue in the next campaign.
an vows to make it a major issue in the next campaign. host: your reaction to the budget plan? caller: good morning. i swear to god i am not in the district. i just wanted to make a comment. with the thought of the government shutdown, i want to make it clear to everyone that they'd better have some backed up contingency plans. if the government shuts down, because you will not be allowed to go into the city. if you have family and friends coming in, i hope you have other plans like a picnic. host: minnesota, larry on the independent line. what have you heard that you like or do not like? caller: i haven't heard anything
from paul ryan that i do like. i have an idea that comes from the former governor tim pawlent y. in minnesota we make sure that everyone at the bottom pays everything. you cannot even tip an employee here because it comes out of their wages. that is from our former governor. another idea -- as long as the corporations have become individuals, why not tax them as individuals? that will take care of corporations like ge walking away without any tax. it really is strange the republicans are always shooting downward, never upward. never at the top. only at the bottom. we could extrapolate this further. maybe we should heard all the poor unemployed in to work camps so that they can all go take care of all the rich. host: larry and minnesota, to
cut you off. the paul ryan proposal, how does it address taxes? guest: it would look to simplify the tax code which everyone would agree is a good idea. it would use the revenue generated by eliminating a lot of tax credits and loopholes to lower tax rates. it will lower the top marginal individual tax rate from 35% to 25% and zero corporate tax rate down to 25%. this is something that ryan said yesterday, a heritage universe -- heritage study that everything that would reduce taxes would create a million jobs next year, reduce unemployment to 4% by 2015. already democrats and other analysts are attacking some of these estimates. but certainly ryan selling this
is a jobs plan, and he believes that by lowering taxes and that debt burden, we will see employment increase in the country. host: "wall street journal" writes it this way. so much for dodging entitlements. robert is on the line for republicans from maryland. caller: thank you for taking my call. i have a couple of comments. both parties seem to be speaking out of the side of their mouths. we are americans and people forget that we need to move toward a common goal.
and that is getting this money situation under control, getting our soldiers back, and taking people out of harm's way. the last caller said something about everything seems to go down instead above. but i have some friends that make a lot of money, and they pay a lot of money. one of my friends pays $700,000 in taxes last year. he does not want anyone feeling sorry for him, but this guy came from nothing. he was a soldier. he came out with a high school education and made it for himself by busting his career and taking advantage of the american dream. everyone has the same opportunity. we should not shoot upward or downward. everyone should go with the opportunities given them. with regards to the budget, there was no budget. the president had no budget. the republicans come out and they want to cut $100 billion?
that is nothing to what our deficit is. both sides are not using common sense with what they are doing. the reporter yesterday, he asked the president about his leadership or something to that regard. i am paraphrasing. the president said that he should at like a grown-up. no, he should like -- at like the leader of the free world. the congress is the legislative body. he is the executive body. lastly, part of the reason that we're seeing an uptick in what is going on in jobs is because of the tax breaks that were kept in force and people are not pointing that out. and the democrats -- and i am not trying to say negative about them but people need to realize that they are going to take the credit for.
host: thank you for your time. erik wasson, on the short-term spending, the president is in philadelphia but he said he wanted to see people back at the white house today if there were no deals. what do expect this to look like? guest: we will see if the president rearranges his schedule. i do not think it is likely. but the principles, the harry reid from the senate, john boehner and the appropriations chairman, back to the white house, you probably could see a meeting with vice president biden. the budget director, jack lew, as well. i am not really sure exactly what is going to happen today. i think it is very likely there will be a lot of meetings, especially what the house and senate, to hammer out a deal with the deadline looming. host: there is the shorter term and then the longer-term, the main topic here.
the house republican 2012 budget plan. the markup is at 10:30 a.m. this morning on c-span. this hearing could one as late as -- one as late as midnight tonight. tullahoma is next. caller: thank you for taking my call. leave it to mr. ryan to kick the poor and downtrodden, not once, not twice, but once more just to make sure that they stay down. how would see his proposal but i would be willing to bet that there is nothing away to take away the company tax breaks. nothing to raise taxes on the upper 2%. but there is plenty in their to kick the poor downtrodden people, kick on the port, pick on the disabled, and mr. ryan is
nothing but a bully. i'm sorry, but he is. he is the very definition. host: "washington post" in its editorial. the first thing to praise is that it exists. he has produced a plan to deal with the debt -- that is part of the post editorial. a lot more in the papers but a lot more calls including rosy from maryland. caller: i work with seniors and the medicare supplemental policies. i do have to say that medicare is a fantastic program.
but on the other hand, i do not see any way or form how you can keep that program alive in the long term. the reason is when you add social security, medicare, and the medicare drug benefit to get a comment you're looking at trillions of dollars that the government is on the hook for over the next 20 or 30 years. how are they going to do that? host: erik wasson, what should the average medicare recipient be thinking as they look at this gop plan? guest: i think i mentioned seniors currently 55 and older, they will have a traditional medicare under this plan. those younger than that, if it was enacted, they would have to expect to choose from a set of plans after 2021, and the
government would provide -- it being scored as $8,000 a year premiums support. once the health care companies are involved, they need to make a profit. they have overhead. so the democrats are saying the cost of these plans will rise rapidly. whereas the premium support is capped relative to gdp and inflation, and we will see. we may see ourselves having to pay the difference. that is something that is being argued about right now. host: congressman chris van hollen, a maryland democrat is the ranking member on the budget committee. we will see a lot of him today. here is his reaction yesterday. >> preserved and in fact increase tax cuts for the very wealthiest americans. they keep in place tax
subsidies, tax. giveaways to the oil and gas industries and other special corporate interests, while they cut education for our kids, while they cut investments in research and science, and while they and the medicare guarantee for seniors and require seniors to go into a private insurance plan at the winds of the insurance industry, constant lowering amounts of support. host: more about the republican plan from utica, new york. mike, what is your reaction? caller: the only ones concerned about the shutdown, i have no concern about it. and there is no money, period. and the time for compromise is over. obama should be impeached, anyway. he lied about cutting spending
when he ran for president. he plunged us into another war without congressional approval. is this guy for real? the time for compromises over. i think they have to settle for the $61 billion cut, not one penny less. guest: the paul ryan plan does very little on defense. it actually is aligned with what the administration has proposed in the short term. robert gates, the secretary of defense, came out and said he had identified $78 billion in savings out of the pentagon budget to use -- to use toward deficit reduction. this plan embraces that. there some on the armed services committee in both parties who do not like that idea at all.
but it does at least do that. the president's fiscal commission in december to a lot more in terms of reducing the pentagon budget. a lot of people suggested closing bases in europe and so forth. this is a big debate in the defense community, about the u.s. role and should we get our nato allies to foot more of the global security bill? this is something that will be debated. but we are involved in three wars now. it is something that cannot really be cut in the short term without affecting national security. host: we are taking tweets as well. we will read some on the air. our address is @cspanwj. chris, thank you for waiting on the democrats' line.
caller: good morning. i would like to asked on the subject of defense spending, if the government is going to shut down, does that mean we will get out of iraq? and on a more serious note, why is defense spending never considered discretionary? host: interesting question. when it comes up a lot. guest: i do not think the budget will drive the decision about iraq, quite frankly. i think it will be something that is made on a national security basis. as to why non-security and security are separated out as budget lines, that is something that has been in place for a long time, chris. that is the way that they do it. host: georgia, joe, a republican. caller: i am fired up. i've been calling for 30 years
and i am a republican but i am a member of the tea party. and we want to be the biggest supporters of paul ryan in the country. we are putting together a coalition of the 27 small business owners. tea party members and small towns that we think they can put across the rhine and planned. we are for mitt romney for president, but we're going to use this coalition, and this is a brilliant concept. small towns and the 27 million small businesses to put across the ryan plan, an ally to be the number one supporter of paul ryan in the in addis states. i am a mitt romney for presidents the border, but i am crazy about paul ryan. i think it would be the most powerful coalition in the american politics, thousands of
small towns and 27 million small businesses. host: summer saying that they ryan plan does not go far enough? caller: who says this? host: the republican study group is bringing their amendments. caller: deeper cuts, i agree with that. we will put together the best plan that we can. i think the it ryan plan has a great possibility to be enacted across the country. we will support any plan that cuts spending. but think about this coalition and your guest. that 27 million small business owners and small towns and the millions of tea party members. we are putting it together and i think it will be the most powerful coalition in the history of american politics. host: to erik wasson now. the point about the tea party --
bring this back to the current year funding, 2011. there's a picture of harry reid on the front page of the "washington post." regarding the 2011 plan, harry reid is seemingly not missing opportunities to mention the tea party and what he thinks is the influence they are having on speaker boehner in this short term process. guest: certainly the tea party plays a major role in american politics right now. we saw a big rally last week, and another tea party-related rally tomorrow on the hill. they are certainly calling for this hard-line. the republican h.r. 1 spending bill passed in february cut $61 billion in spending from this year's budget. the tea party caucus people, representatives michele
bachmann, mike pence, for example, they are calling for a hard-line. behind closed doors, speaker boehner has encouraged freshmen and those on the right side of his party to really keep up the rhetoric. the idea did here -- there is a lot written about john boehner being pulled by the tea party. but the more that they clamor for cuts, the more boehner can go into a room with president obama and say, i just cannot sell this deal to my people. it plays into his advantage. but ultimately, it could also prove a major problem. we have seen some outreach from republican leadership to fiscally conservative democrats, and this has been one of the more interesting developments -- some people see it as a way that boehner can go to the tea
party president and say that i have all other alternatives. others view it as much less than that, just feeling out of long- term deficit deal. host: under 15 minutes left for this initial segment. if we need to, we will go back to erik wasson for more detail. some reaction to it coming up beginning at 7:45 a.m. jason chaffetz, a member of the budget committee, and then 8:30 a.m., jim mcdermott, the ways and means committee member. martin is on the line from nebraska. independent collar. caller: i keep hearing people say that they will compromise. i thought that was the art of politics. if you cannot compromise, you cannot govern. that is why we're in the situation we are in now.
individuals talking about ending the war is, because of the shutdown of the government -- i am a retired military member and i know that those gentlemen will be over there fighting even though their families will not get paid. if the ryan plan is so good in everyone taking a hair cut, but they tell people like me over 60 do you will not have any problems, they will be passed on to your children and grandchildren. i thought that is what that tea party and all of these conservatives were concerned about, what is happening to our children and our grandchildren. host: marvin from nebraska. here is a message from twitter. your opinion depends on whether you are a maker or a taker, that is from twitter.
gop proposes real spending cuts. that is the "washington times." "usa today," democrats-gop bid. is there a democratic alternative coming up, erik wasson? guest: they are going to do another alternative budget but there is the obama 2012 budget proposal. in their analysis, it does bring down deficits by $1.1 trillion over 10 years. i think the democrats are focused on short-term job growth and a major underpinning of the party's approach, short- term cuts would erode job growth. the president is looking at election in 2012. he is very concerned about doing that. a lot from their perspective on
all of this is let's not wound the economic recovery. that is where they're coming from. the president put out a budget in february. their message is that it increases the spending on education, infrastructure, and research to win the future, which is their mantra. host: the second page comes from congressman chris van hollen. he puts it this way. this is ideology on steroids, talking about the republican plan. north richland hills, texas, sandy, a democrat. caller: i am glad that there is a budget to talk about. [inaudible] people like him [unintelligible] i was looking when they were talking about eliminating the
interest rate. i was sitting on my taxes as opposed to getting that. i think to be more applicable for me in the $30,000 range of getting that tax cut. i agree on that, but i think that sense c-span.or[unintellig] [inaudible] host: collar, we got the point. you are breaking up but i think you for calling. we're moving on to missouri where joyce is on the republican line. your reaction to the house gop budget? caller: i think it is great. it is a fresh start. i am wondering why a year ago why they did not do a budget last year when the president, house, and senate were all and
democratic sen. they did nothing before the november election waiting to see what the results were going to be. and then the republican house has only been in session and control since january. and the democrats are sitting back and say, what do you propose? when they have proposed nothing. in the meantime, they treat what treasury we do have as a piggy bank for special projects, just like giving $2 billion for the reinsurance investments for the unions and the teachers' associations, and the fact that ge, president obama is buddy, paid no taxes on $5 billion earned in the united states. where was the democrats' proposal for when they were in control? where has it been since november? and they still do not have one on the table. we do have to make cuts. the gentleman talking about his
children not having social security, i am sure they will not. where did they think these trillions of dollars are going to come from. host: marias on the line from pennsylvania. we're still talking with erik wasson. what is your reaction to the budget? caller: it is totally ridiculous and i like to have a minute to counterbalance all the partyllionaires' tea minions' calling in. if the gop will really serious about a budget, that would be taxing the filthy rich. that would not be giving them more of the tax cuts. they would be taking care of the corporate welfare, 67% of corporations in america play absolutely no taxes. that would also deal with the bloated pentagon budget, which
is an obscenity. and ryan and the billionaire tea party and their minions are going after any group that does not support them. usually they say deficits do not matter. this is usually their mantra when they are in power. but suddenly, there is a trend here, isn't there? as soon as a democrat gets in, suddenly they are so concerned about the deficit, and the media lets them get away with this total inconsistency. why is that? host: murray in cuts old. a tear from. on long island, new york. on the republican line. caller: these people, these democrats, they better wake up. both parties are wrong and eight voted down this road of $14 trillion. if we do not wake up as americans and draw the line
right now, we will not have a country left. they are crying like little girls. 40% of people in this country do not pay taxes. we've got so many welfare people that came from different countries. i lived in new york and i see what is going on. they are collecting welfare and everything. we need to get crazy on everything across the board. everything has to be cut. all little bit of each to get us out of this. it took us 40 years to get into this, these people that call and and what the picture. enough is enough. all of us have got to work together and i do not see the democrat party working together. they are blaming online like they usually do. host: erik wasson, a lot of passion this morning. what is this man for the future debate about spending and budgeting and taxation here in washington? we have a looming shutdown, all longer-term plan on the table --
speak in the broad sense. guest: one thing we have not yet mentioned it is the gang of six talks between republicans and democrats. this was out of the fiscal commission report, which did include both spending cuts and revenue increases. it did get some bipartisan board. tom coburn and my coat crap -- mike crapo, there are talks going on. a compromise, that is going on behind closed doors, but there is a tsunami of rhetoric from all sides. people angry that the wealthy are not being taxed enough, angry that they see welfare cheats, or something like that. the question is, will the rhetoric prevail or will there be a compromise? that is still something there
remains to be seen. host: in the "new york times" today. talking about the gop plan. she writes that the ambitions of the first budget rolled out by the first -- the budget committee chairman cannot be understated. it poses huge political risks -- it proposes challenges for mr. obama as well. here is the passage.
let's hear from our last couple of calls. jason from hollywood, florida, a democrat. caller: the tea party and the republicans have been schering the people because of obamacare. representative ryan has proposed a budget that will get rid of medicare, medicaid, and it will privatize social security. as far as the republican health care, the voucher system is going to be their main focus for the republican health care, to put the american people on a voucher system. that is not health care. they were all getting on obama saying he will ration out health care. he is going to get rid of health care as we know it? what ryan is doing and i am
disgusted to be an american right now. host: from port orange, florida. caller: thank you for taking my call. i wanted to mention that i have just emigrated over here. i've been here for 26 years now. i just got my citizenship about a year ago. after what barack obama was doing, i need to vote to get him out of power. aho lot of people would realize, but democrats are winding, if they had lived in a country that has socialized medicine, they would realize how good we have here. i have friends here from canada and not long ago. i am a little bit nervous, but she was saying that she had to get something cut at her face. if she had not done that before she got down, it would be years before she could get it banned -- done. one of the of the things he
mentioned was social security. the talk about privatizing every time the republicans talk about it, the democrats demonized. i heard on msnbc when one of the commentators misstatement that if you had had privatize social security, you of lost everything when the stock market crashed. i called the mutual fund and got it to go back and said far as it went around, they started in 1991. if you had invested germany in their rather than your map -- your money there is a rather than the government, in 1991 until the stock market reached its lowest point back in 2008, you still what it made eight% a year. host: thank you for your insight erik wasson this erik. , one more time to you. -- think it for your insight this morning. erik wasson, one more time to
you. we have this set down looming. where is everything headed? guest: this ryan plan out there is very appealing to the republican party. it is the message and an internal party documents as much as anything else. i think the fact that it is out there in will be marked up and talked about, it probably is a good sign for compromise. you talk to freshmen and they said that ryan has gone around giving the power. presentations, describing fell role of entitlements and other mandatory spending. none discretionary being only 12% of the budget. they may be willing to compromise on the short-term issues if they can see some movement on these bigger items, which are a bigger driver of the debt. host: erik wasson is the budget
and policy reporter for "the hill." paul ryan's proposal on a fast track for a house vote and a point by point analysis on the individual issues involved. thank you for your time in the detail this morning. guest: a pleasure being here. host: will give more dues from members of congress. coming up in 45 minutes, and jim mcdermott, but after the break, it is representative jason chaffetz on the budget committee. and what more times for your call. we will be right back. ♪ >> this weekend on both tv,
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budget committee. it really is an adult plan. it tackles everything from entitlements, which normally never get addressed, right on through to discretionary spending. it requires an adult conversation, a sharp contrast from president obama's budget. there are going to be flaws, but when i hear the criticisms, i want to hear, let's talk specifics. it is incumbent upon the president and the democrats to put forward a serious plan as well so that we can have that had had discussions. that is what i am excited about. host: dana milbank puts it this way. it continues federal budgets deficits until 24. under the proposal --
guest: what i like about this plan is that it does eventually balance the budget and pay off the debt. in contrast, the president's budget doubles and triples the debt. one important fact that people have to remember, people that are 55 years old and older, there's a lot rhetoric that medicare is going to be changing and social security being privatized, that is absolutely not true. if you're going to make sure they will live up to the obligations we have made in this country to our seniors, 55 and older, then this plan is a responsible way to balance the budget and pay off the debt in a reasonable amount of time. host: a step further on that.
one caller said you are getting rid of medicare. guest: how can they say that? it is unsustainable -- an unsustainable path. we're going to have a massive benefit degrees. we do not actually cut it. we slow the growth and then we change the formula by which we give the benefit out to seniors. if you're 55 years or older, it does not change. for the younger generation, like myself, then it has to change in order to sustain it. host: with the messaging part of this, there will be tons of details in the market. our viewers like that and they take it is one way, how can you get your message across? guest: it requires an adult conversation. i thought many people out there, throwing up bumper sticker slogans. the plan has not even been
introduced and people are talking about getting rid of medicare. that is fundamentally not true. if we're going to have an adult conversation in washington, we will have to get past the normal rhetorical lines and the bumper stickers and say, how are you going to save medicare? there are a lot of as fiscal conservatives that do not want to see a tax increase. we think that we are taxing, spending, and borrowing too much money. we want to be on a path that not only balances the budget pays off the deficit. host: i want to talk about the short term. the government funding running out at the end of friday. do you support another temporary extension? guest: if we have to do this weekend and week out, but that is what we're going have to do it. it is not the proper way to do it. the only reason we are in this is that the democrats did not even pretend to do a budget. the only reason we deal with
this is because the 111th congress did not deal with it. it is important that we understand we are in a debt crisis right now. many of us believe we have to tackle the debt right now. we're not willing to wait another six months and say we will get to it next year. that is part of the challenge. host: here is harry reid on the impact as he sees the republican budget cuts. >> we know the bill is awful. it kills american jobs, but that is not all. it would kicks hundreds of thousands of preschool kids out of the head start program, which all sorts of social scientists and educators say is one of the best things in the country ever for poor people. poor kids. it would deny housing to 100,000 homeless veterans, veterans who are in big trouble of it would
not be homeless, it would slash cancer research by more than a billion dollars. we gave them any different alternatives. and defense spending is available because of secretary gates. host: more of the push back from the democratic side. guest: that early predictable. attacking kids and veterans, that is not true. this is a small portion of the budget and it does not do this sort of -- it does not destroy and take care of these people that harry reid says that it does. that is ridiculous. host: the first call for jason chaffetz is jeff on the democrats' line. caller: good morning. congressman, i'd a question for you. the plan that congressman ryan came out with yesterday, it is
taxing the poor, the working class, but they want to give tax breaks to the rich again. they want the corporate rate from 35% to 25%. guest: i am glad that you're watching. i would beg to differ. you even heard the president when it came to capitol hill when i first came to congress, the concept of the corporate tax, want to broaden the base and lower the rate. you actually get rid of a lot of the loopholes that many of the democrats and myself included would criticize. if you're going to do that, you will find something that is more fair and balanced, and creates less loopholes for people to get around. it would be bad if we were just lowering their rates. but we want to get rid of the loopholes and that is how you broaden the base. that would do good things for the treasury and the economy. ultimately this is about jobs.
i think it is a basic principle -- you tax them more, you get less of it. and we want more jobs. so we believe you have to create a competitive marketplace in the world that we have. we have the single highest corporate income tax in the world. we have to compete with china and india and indonesia and all these other countries who have lower rates than we do. we're trying to be more competitive. this is all about jobs. that is why we want to broaden the base and lower the rate. host: massachusetts, and men, good morning. caller: i am very confused about how medicare and social security funds are spent. let me ask a question because i need an answer. are the funds that we pay, it doesn't go to fund a lot of people who are not paying into that fund and who are near
retirement age? and i wonder then that the government employees who i do not think contribute to the social security and medicaid funds, but yet we who do pay into the fund are paying for all the people who are not paying? it seems to me that people on the government retirement plans pay nothing and are not paying their fair share. is that a correct assumption? guest: it is a little bit of all. there is a lot of different -- misinformation. we do pay into social security. i do not get a lifetime of benefits. but my health care insurance, i pay into that. part of what we are trying to do is to let the american public to what federal workers do. it's an opportunity to choose from an array of plans out there.
a lot of people say that we will put up a voucher and privatize medicare. that is not what we're doing at all. you get a subsidy that will help with your premium based on your needs. i think that as a responsible way to do it. is what members of congress get and the federal workers get. you have to remember with medicare, it runs out of money. if we do nothing, if we stay on the current path, it runs out of money. it means a massive tax increases or massive cuts to benefits. whenever you hear things that are happening are not happening, you cannot tackle entitlements. i think we should get some credit for the republican plan going out and addressing entitlements. and i would encourage democrats to come to the table with a plan to save this. but i do not think it will happen with a tax increase. host: your benefits, we wanted
go back to current spending in the looming shutdown. and a group of democrats said that there is a shut down, no one in congress should get paid. good idea? guest: we voted on something in the house that dealt with this. we want to make sure that members of congress are dealt with just like they do the rest of america. and the rest of the federal workers. i think that is reasonable. host: let's here from baltimore, tony. caller: good morning, congressman. a couple ofcaller: federal emplt were under the old system, they did not pay into social security. that part is true. part number two, as it deals with social security, and the entitlement program, it is my understanding that the supreme court has ruled that we as
americans do not have any property rights, which is separate from entitlements to social security, and as such, ruled that congress are the ones that could alter, come and, or completely do away with social security because it falls under the welfare program. guest: we do pay into that system. what we've deal with the budgets -- what we deal with in the budget that has been put forward, is if the trust fund becomes insolvent, which we know it is going to do, it puts in place a trigger that would require the senate, the house, and the president to submit a plan. if that will bring all parties to the table. at the end of the day, until we have a bipartisan plan, we will not solve the problem. we will take the first step out there. republicans will be criticized. we have done the responsible thing by putting out a plan to
say this is how we hope to solve that. in the case of social security, the trigger mechanism is the right way to bring the parties to the table. host: as a member of the budget committee, congressman chaffetz will be at a markup. our coverage begins on c-span 3 today. this will be a long one. guest: they said until midnight, or 2:00 a.m.. be prepared. host: melinda s. ford, "the hill -- moving this forward, "the hill" reports that there would be a proposal by john jordan that would go further. would you support that? that.: i have not seen jim jordan is one of the best
members of congress, as far as i am concerned. we will need to look at the plant. host: you might want to ask chaffetz why republicans took all revenue, even oil subsidies, off of the table? guest: we will leave we are taxing, borrowing, and spending too much money. 25 cents out of every dollar spent by our federal government. that is not sustainable. you cannot continue with that percentage of your gdp on that trajectory. it is not sustainable. if this plan calls for driving down to less than 20%. we do not believe you can tax your way to prosperity. if you want to grow jobs or the economy, you're not going to tax more. that is a fundamental approach. we have shown that if we cut taxes in other areas like
capital gains, you can drive revenues to the country and increase jobs. steve in's hear from minneapolis, on the republican line. caller: thank you. i have been a tax lawyer for 35 years and practice in many areas of tax law. about six months ago i was so disgusted started my own preparation of taxes that i came up with a 12-point plan that simplified the entire internal revenue code, and it is based on shared sacrifice, primarily lowering rates, getting rid of deductions and credits, and i would recommend it to your reading. it is a three-page plan summary.
you can see it at nickeldimequartertax.com. it takes care of the ge tax problem. i understand our nominal rate on corporate taxation is high, but the fact is many corporations do not pay that much tax. when you look at the total tax receipts from corporations in the country, it is relatively low. it is not a very fair system. my proposal would end double taxation, and we would make sure that all appropriations pay their fair share. host: what do you think of that idea? guest: thank you for doing that. i would like to take a look at it. i would also encourage you to look at the gop plan. we put out, we think,
irresponsible plan. -- a responsible plan. that is what we're supposed to be doing, having this discussion, this push/pull. if i hope people will have a look at it. host: where are the cuts in military spending rights when your -- one viewer. host: i absolutely agree. the budget plan we put forward has major cuts to defense. we will need to be in general, across the board, do more with less, and that includes the military. i differ from a lot of republicans. if i do not believe we are in the right path on afghanistan. i believe the president has failed to define success. if we will spend $100 billion in just afghanistan. i think there are a lot of places where we will save.
why we have tens of thousands of troops in germany? i agree. there are lots of places. host: we have greg on the line for democrats from alabama. caller: good morning. thank god for c-span. i have a comment and a question. how can you change this? i was promised this? i am 53 years old. i worked hard my whole life. i was promised this one i was 18 years old. how can you change this entitlement in midstream and sleep at night? my comment is here, and please answer my question when i am don -- the republicans in this country ruined america. when ronald reagan said we're going to get out of manufacturing and go to a service economy, that doomed this country, and all you republicans are interested in
doing is tearing down everything we have worked hard. why not fix it? bring manufacturing back, a broad and our tax base, and bring the country back together? guest: i did not remember ronald reagan saying we should get rid of manufacturing, but i agree that the policies put in place largely by washington, d.c., have pushed manufacturing overseas. we have onerous epa laws and other things that do not allow us to manufacturing -- to manufacture things. it is good. we need more in this country. my own state of utah, the highest paying jobs we have would be for mineral extraction. the governor's office the day study on this, and i think we need to continue to explore it. for those of you that are less than 55, we have to save this
program because it will run out of money. there is no choice. we think we are doing the responsible thing for somebody that is 53 years old by actually saving the program. remember, we are not spending less. we are slowing the growth, changing the equation. we are doing block grants on medicaid so the state can determine -- no matter what state, the governors have been telling us and pepper in us with questions, saying please, give us flexibility. that is what we are trying to do. take a block grant. let the governors and state legislators figure how to spend the money. that is the responsible thing to do. what i do not see from the democrats is of plan to save social security or medicare. it is not sustainable. host: one of the charts on the gop plan related to the
president's plan -- here is "the wall street journal." host: georgia, james, a republican as on the line. caller: i am glad to hear someone finally address the major costs of about -- federal budget. i get two ideas, going back to a previous caller on the economic keynesian theories, where were the politicians four years ago when things were good? keynes in the economic theory called for government to pay off all of the debt. the other one is the incentives built into our welfare system that rewards people for tearing their families apart. if one parent takes a child away from another parent, they get paid, and this could be hundreds
of thousands of dollars in payments, and if the family keeps and stays together, they will be hit with a tax bill. these are perverse incentives that are driving up costs for medicaid -- i'm sorry -- yes, it is medicaid, and a lot of our prisons and drug rehab. the rates for children from broken homes is tremendous. it is driving up our costs. we're spending good money to get better results. host: let's hear from our guest. guest: good morning there in georgia. the way things operate in georgia will be different than the way things operate in new mexico. every state will be different, which is why we have taken the approach of block grants to the states because we believe they are in the best positioned to take care of their residents and citizens.
there are closer to the problem. we think that is the responsible thing to do. you are totally right. when financial incentives, you get the results you want. i think that is true on a spectrum of issues. george will one said remember this all, nobody ever washes a rental car." i had to think about that. until you have personal ownership, you will not take care of things. host: "the new york times" lead editorial --
guest: hogwash, i do not believe that at all. first of all, we are required to introduce a budget before april 15. unlike last time, we have done that. we have done that in introducing a budget. the timing seems conspicuous, but we have had this on the calendar for a very long time. as far as the shutdown, nobody wants to see the government shut down, but i have not seen the president at the table until we are at the deadline. when this was first going on, we passed the first one. see you had the vice-president flying to europe. there's nothing like a deadline to compel action. i think we will see a lot of action. it is a fluid situation. host: here is a new ap story --
future retirees will pay more for health care. guest: well, look, we are moving toward a premium subsidies that would be means tested based on your own individual's income stances. we think it is irresponsible way to go, and all lines if -- is a responsible way to go, and alliance spending. the current track -- the current trajectory has a running out of money. it totally runs out of money. host: david, an independent. good morning. caller: good morning.
how're you doing? host: we are doing fine toward what is your question? caller: historically, all of our goods prevent on oil, gas, or fuel to get them from one place to another, and that includes groceries down to transportation and everything. so, if fuel prices continue to rise, all of the necessity goods are going to have to go up because of fuel prices. what is holding up the permits for us to drill for or on oil, and how in the world can the united states be competitive in the world if we have to depend on other countries for our fuel? host: congressman? guest: i agree. it was april 1, 1977, after we
had gone through the carter oil crisis that we start of the department of energy. at that point, which were at 30% of imported oil, and now we are at over 60%. that agency has failed. some republican and democratic administrations have failed to make a major focus of this country to become energy independent. it is not easy. it is not easy. we believe we need to pursue all of the above. we have dealt with this in utah. we have national -- natural gas permits. the obama administration, and i'm just stating the facts, they have literally shut down the permitting process, and slowed down to a rate that we are losing jobs. on a bigger, broader scale, for the rest of the country, we are not tapping into the resources we have in our own backyard, and
diciest participating in the middle east, with men and women dying so we can have this oil, which has rapidly risen. the price of gas has more than doubled since barack obama took office. i think it is imperative to pursue all of the above. i would love to be able to sustain our country and just wind, solar, geothermal, but there is not an economic model to make it work. we ought to extract resources in the gulf, utah, alaska, and other places are run the country. we should be personally responsible for our own energy consumption, and we are nowhere close to that. i hope to be part of the solution. host: our guest is serving his second term in the congress. how much of utah do you represent? guest: i have the central, western part of utah, all the
way down to a little place called beaver, one of the most beautiful places on the planet. host: part of your background includes service for the governor, and you're also the co chairman for michael dukakis. you're a democrat. explain the transition? guest: that was before i learned to read and write. do not get mad. i'm just teasing. host: its plan. explain the transition? wast: my dad's first wife kitty. my father married my mother, and kitty married michael dukakis. i help out. i started to internalize that i was a conservative person.
i get to meet ronald reagan in 1991, and i was off to the races. i was 16 years in a local business community before i get involved in politics, and then i had this opportunity to be the campaign messenger -- manager. host: what you think of the tea party? guest: i love it. it is a group of people not normally in the political process, who decided to be part of the solution. these are good, old-fashioned americans to see their country on the wrong track. they want to get it on the right track. they have been demonized. these are good, old-fashioned americans who want to be involved. we should be encouraging people from the entire political spectrum to get involved. host: what could speaker john boehner didn't begin be doing better?
-- speaker john boehner be doing better? guest: he has a big heart. he cares about this country. if people could get to know him the way i know him, they would love the -- the man. host: we have rachel, a republican. good morning. caller: sir, i applaud everything you are doing. i lived and in area that is very poor. the people working are the ones that are feeling is the most. we have 90 girls at one high school in tennessee that are pregnant. no girl that does not finish high school should get a check from the government.
just listening to harry reid talk about head start, he does not know what he is talking about. my entire job has been teachers. any benefit is done by third grade. he goes back home to that mother that does not care enough to finish her own education. why are we pain the worst of the worst to raise america's children? we know they're not responsible enough to drink until they're 21, yet we will be given them a baby? they should be stopped. guest: thank you for the call. i can tell you care, because you're watching the show. you want to be involved. what we are trying to do with the plan we have put forward is empowered the state and the state legislature to increase it to deal with the.
every nook and cranny in the country will be different. we will try to give more flexibility to the state. i think we should neuter ourselves in washington, d.c.. we do not need more power. we need to push things back to the states where we can deal with things i local basis. that is a part of what we are trying to do, and it will be more responsible when it is more localized, rather than bureaucrats trying to swim through a one-size-fits-all plan. host: silver spring,, roger on the democrats' line. caller: i would like to make three comments. an earlier caller talked about 40% of the american people not paying taxes. if you look at it, it turns out to be 75 million people who do not earn enough money to pay
taxes. that is an important part of this. we're talking about cutting taxes on the richest, the rich people, corporations, and the poor people cannot pay taxes. where does the tax fog? it falls on the middle-wage earner? i refuse to call the middle class. they're not class's. these are types of people. on top of that, social security is not a deficit problem. he does not been a deficit problem ever. it has been paid in sioux, and can not tell more than it earns. i would like to be paid into, and it cannot be paid out more than it earns. alibi to see some responsible answers. guest: i appreciate your call.
we used to have 40 or 50 people working for every beneficiary. now we are down to the range of two to three people. the program is not sustainable. we need to come together in a bipartisan way and solve that. in terms of taxes, i am not exactly sure what the exact number is, but there is a significant portion of country -- of this country that does not pay federal income tax, and there are a lot of people that believe you should be paying something into the system. let's remember, we keep talking about the rich, the wealthy, and we cannot tax enough to get out of our problems. if they are paying the highest rates, by far the highest rates, and when we talk about corporations, they employ people. this is where we get jobs. they are not going to be the astronomical size of say the boeing corporation, but they will be mom and pop, the small
places veterans -- employed 35 people. i have such 1 -- such a company in my district. how will they grow that? what i worry about is washington dc -- washington, d.c., for putting so much regulations on that we incentivize them not to hire people. that is why unemployment is way too high. we must become more competitive in the global marketplace. we have the highest corporate income tax in the world. again, i want to broaden the base, lower the rate, get rid of loopholes, and that the country more competitive. host: when you were rights he thinks you are the clearest gop voice he has -- he has heard recently .
guest: again, we want to broaden the britt -- broaden the base, lower the grade. -- the rate. host: you have used the phrase let's have an adult conversation. the president had a variation on that when he came out yesterday to talk about the short-term. >> if they can sort it out, then we have more than enough to do. if they cannot sort it out, i want them back here tomorrow. but, it would be inexcusable for costs to not be able to take care of last year's business, keep in mind we are dealing with a budget that could have gotten done three months ago, two months ago, it could've gotten the last month. when we are this close, simply
because of politics. we are prepared to put whatever resources are required in terms of time and energy to get this done, and that is what the american people respect. -- expect. they do not like these games. guest: i agree with a lot of what the president said. will require his leadership as well. i think there were generally more frustrations with the senate democrats this is been the frustrations. there is nothing like a deadline. host: a couple more quick calls. northampton, pa., an independent. you are up first. caller: good morning. jason, i want to say, keep up the good work. you're a good man. the tea party is getting stronger and stronger every
day, and the progressive socialist are fearing -- they are afraid of the tea party. keep up the good work. also, i have one question, has there ever been an audit of the pentagon? guest: i do not know the answer of that question. if i signed onto ron paul's bill to audit the federal reserve. that ought to happen, but i'm as sure to what degree we head and body on the pentagon. host: maryland, a republican. caller: i have one question, and this is related to the budget -- basically, i am interested in finding out, as to the tax breaks, i always thought that you do not receive revenue from the higher of, the 1%, then we are not really getting much more
money them a lower percentage. on a yearly basis, can you tell me how much revenue goes into the tax breaks? one other question as to ask, are you still living in the capital? guest: you do pay attention. i do sleep on a cot in my office sometimes. my family lives in alpine, utah. that is the point, i guess, but i use it taught in my office to get through the week. in terms of the taxes, i am not sure i totally understand the question you're asking. i believe fundamentally, we are taxing, borrowing, and spending too much money. 25 cents out of every dollar spent in this country is spent by the federal government. we are spending more than we collect. we collect in the neighborhood of $2.20 trillion. we are spending $1 trillion more
than that. in february, whee added $20 billion to our deficit. -- we added $20 billion to our deficit. we cannot sustain that. i do not believe you can get there by raising taxes. host: our guest has been congressman jason chaffetz, republican of utah, budget committee member, second term in the house, who has a long day ahead of him. in about 40 minutes, we'll have a discussion of u.s.-british relations, but coming up the to the break, congressman jim mcdermott, from washington state, a member of the ways and means committee. we'll talk about medicare, medicaid, and have your calls. >> let's look at one of our top winners from our c-span student cam video.
today we go to waukesha, wisconsin, where we need jake bird. hello, jake. why did you choose to focus on health care? >> well, i felt as though the general population really did not understand what the bill meant, and what it said, and i really wanted to make it so it was an easier, easily accessible -- rather than how many pages it was, nobody is going to read that. i wanted to make it so that people would understand that, and it was easier to understand. >> tell us, how have you been effected by the costs of health care? >> well, my dad had a few surgeries' recently because he has crones' disease. in talking to him, he expressed that it is not that it is
hurting us that much, but he sees that in the future it will, and if this does not take effect as it should, it will really hurt. >> how have people in wisconsin reacted to the health care reform act? >> the majority of people i have talked to are pretty negative about it, but i think it is due to the lack of knowledge about what it really means. a lot of people do not understand, so they just kind of push it aside, and say it is not good part >> what are some of the strengths? >> some of the strengths would be that right now children are not excluded because of pre- existing conditions for coverage on their insurance. there is no medical loss ratio. eliminating the doughnut
hole right now. those are some of the pros. the weaknesses would be that this is going to take a while. by 2014, we will start to see it really started to beat better and eight more people, and help everyone, but as of right now, there is not too much they you can really hold onto as excellent, if you know what i mean. there are just a lot of little things, but they will become bigger toward 2014. >> where did you learn from doing this documented? >> i learned so much during this documentary. i talked to everyone in my community, out of my community, sharing this with my family in wisconsin and other states -- is a great learning experience to take an issue that not many people know about and to make
its and initiative to learn about it. >> let's wash a portion of the video. -- let's watch a portion of the video. >> prior to one of my surgeries, they said in need one major hospitalization, and your file is as thick as a phone book, and the bills are just as thick. >> my dad is fortunate. he is a teacher, his insurance has been excellent, but he knows? as -- that could change. waukesha, wisconsin, it is a long way from washington, d.c., where president john f. kennedy once observed there are risks and costs to program of action, but they are far less to the long-range risk and costs of comfortable and action. >> you can see this and other documentaries at student cam
.org. >> "washington journal" continues. it's all our guest is a democrat from washington, congressman jim mcdermott. congressman, when you looked at, or heard about the sections on medicare and medicaid, what was your reaction? -- thought i could not believe he was going to try and sell the says a reasonable plan. you are saying to senior citizens we are not going to cover all of your needs. what we are going to do is give you money, let you go out into the insurance industry, and find a plan. this will cost seniors thousands of dollars more if they have any kind of chronic condition whatsoever. the idea of a guaranteed benefit, that is you get everything covered, that is what we have now, and what you will get now is a guaranteed
contribution. when did you so much money, and what ever you can buy with it a good luck. people will be outraged when they realize what that really means to seniors. host: a fellow member of congress tom coburn writes in "the new york post" -- host: is there a middle ground you would advocate? guest: there is clearly a resistance to any kind of universal program in the republican party. the affordable care act was rated as saving $1 trillion over
the next 10 years, and that means they are getting costs under control. what mr. tom coburn is talking about is if you leave medicare of their long, and do not do anything, just keep paying doctors whatever they ask for, you will have a problem, but if you have a universal plan, you will have control of costs. that is what the president has led us into. he sets up a straw man. you can knock a straw man down, but if you look of the affordable care act, the cbo says this is real. host: the phone numbers are on the bottom of our screen for our guest congressman jim mcdermott. we're talking about the gop 2012 plan which has been released. the big markup is today. our guest is serving in his 12th term. he is a medical doctor. he is a foreign service medical
officer and served in the washington house and senate. he is somehow -- the ways and means committee. we will get your calls as soon as they start coming in for the congressman. here's a little bit of budget committee chairman paul ryan on the issue of medicare. >> in observance of the principle that government should reorients its promises without forcing people to reorganize their lives, the budget reforms will not affect those in or near retirement in any way. instead, one people 54 years old and younger become eligible for medicare, said they will be able to choose from a list of options and take a plan that best suits their needs -- for more individual choice, more competition. medicare would then provide a parent to subsidize its cost. the plan is identical to a system members of congress in europe today and is similar to the prescription drug benefit that works very well.
this has choice and competition. we want to harness the power on behalf of future seniors. host: similar to your plan, he says. her reaction? -- your reaction? guest: medicare's exit better plan. -- medicare is actually a better plan. you have to guess you might guess wrong, and wind up thousands of dollars in of all, and that is really going to happen to seniors when they're put into the same plan we are. they will end up making a wrong guess. besides, at 80 years old, what do know about what will happen next week? it is impossible to do that. that is why you have to give a guaranteed set of benefits. host: before we get to cause,
step back in the broad spends on the gop -- cents, on the gop plan, where would you cut if you were going to cut spending? new guest: it is possible, according to the cbo. if we did nothing but maintain the but level of 2010 spending for the last 10 years, and allow the taxes to expire that were put in under bush, go back to the clinton era tax bills, you would have a 65% reduction in the deficit in this country simply doing nothing in terms of cutting. now, can you cut? defense -- we are ratcheting down in afghanistan, perhaps, where is going on in libya will be over in a few weeks, they tell us. surely, you can cut out of the
defense budget. paul ryan did not cut one thin dime of the defense budget. come on. this is a huge budget that could be cut. host: our first call is from cape cod, mass., and jeff, a republican. good morning. caller: i have been a republican, i have been, and worked on many of the campaigns here for governor. we dealt with this hear about cutting budgets usually, there would be across-the-board cuts and hiring freezes. the balanced budgets were met. one of the persons who did it was chad atkins. he cut the budget severely. there was an offset on revenue also. no proposals from democrats or
republicans seem to have any rationality about the debt or decreasing the budget deficits. they seem to only talk about a few cuts. they are all running huge deficits, even at $600 million a year on a one $0.40 trillion budget of government expenditures. they are still running huge deficits. for every cut, i would like to see democrats offset revenue to equal it. host: it is clear there will be cuts, but there will need to be an increase in revenue. anyone who says anything rather than that is not telling the truth. he cannot do all we did under mr. bush, which is go to war in afghanistan and, a rat, and give huge tax cuts to the american people -- iraq, and get huge tax cuts to the american people. if that is believing in the
tooth fairy. if at some point, we need to get some of that money back that was giving away. when you consider that the top 1% in this country have about 63% of the wealth -- they have 63% of the tax benefit going to them. now, that is not fair. it is simply not fair to cut out school lunch programs and head start programs so that the top 1% can have this huge amount of money. there is going to have to be some cuts, but also some taxes. host: dorothea's on a line from long island, new york, democrat line. good morning. caller: good morning. congressman mcdermott, where does the federal government, as opposed to states, need to exercise authority in our to
protect people? other than defense, there seems to be a fuzzy line between what the federal government is supposed to do, and what is allocated to state rights. guest: it is a great philosophical question that has been argued since the beginning of our country. what has happened over time is this -- we get the federal level have taken hold of programs that the states have simply not dealt with. the reason we have medicare is because the states were not taking care of the senior citizens in their states, and had no way to pay for their hospital bills. the federal government in 1964 said everyone in the country will get the same package. the same thing is true when we went to all of the other programs. medicaid, we said the federal government will put off an amount of money to every state.
what we got was all kinds of programs. we got different programs, and schools, we allow schools to be totally done by the states and by local school districts. in my state, the school district has more to say that anybody else. they do what they want to read the federal government does not step into things on must -- of -- may get what they want. the federal government does not step into things, said his clean water or clean air. you look at the chesapeake bay. as delaware, maryland, virginia, and pennsylvania effected by it. you cannot clean that up by saying to pennsylvania you clean that up. it will not work that way. he need the federal government in some things. if you're going to have justice and equal treatment, you're going to have to have a better
government, otherwise your glenn beck to be careful about where what state you live in. some states have a much better plan than others. host: another half-hour with our guest congressman jim mcdermott, a member of the house ways and means committee from the state of washington. we hear from gulfport -- called port, mississippi. you're on the republican line .ith the congressmen care caller: i saw you say you were tired of the constitution, but the truth is the democrats took over the house and the senate from 2007 on. the spending has been patent we and absurd. you controlled both houses up until this year, and the deficit is unbelievable. all you do is blame george bush.
three years almost, and you have not taken responsibility for nothing. all you do is cry about what the republicans have done. host: let's get the defense from the congressman. guest: the constitution is an interesting document. it is the basis on which we created this entire country. every member of congress, when they walk on the floor, the first thing they do is swear allegiance to the united states of america and the laws of the united states of america, as though they would know what those were. costs three weeks later, they want to sit down and read the constitution. when did this where their allegiance to in the first place? that is the first thing. the second thing is this past week the house leadership came out with a bill that said it we're glad to pass a bill, and if it does not go into -- past
the senate, it goes into law. that is clearly not constitutional. they need a course in 6. some of what is going on is just for press releases because it sounds like it is a good thing. they said they would get here and talk about jobs. they have been here for 13 weeks, and we have not yet passed a jobs bill. let's get down and be serious about what is effected in the american people, the lack of employment, and the fact we have 7 million homes in foreclosures. here they are reading the constitution, and passing bills better absolutely nonsense -- that bill went into the wastebasket without even been looked at in the senate. let's be serious. we have serious problems in this country, and it is time to deal with them. host: "the usa today" --
what would be the basic tenets of a democratic plan? guest: i gave you an outline, keep the spending at 2007 levels, and take back the taxes. u.s. 65% of the deficit gone. host: as simple as that? guest: s. -- as simple as that. when paul ryan said his -- had his budget out, he did not like cbo. only paul ryan can see his unicorn. he created in medicare, which is a good example, -- the cbo said it is going to increase by one $0.40 trillion.
host: we will hear from paul ryan and social security. >> it will send us away from talking about this. when we decided to do is this traitor, which is not unlike the old medicare trigger. it requires a mission out plans to come to the table and act on it. we believe that this probably gives us the best opportunity in chance to get a bipartisan agreement on social security. it is insolvent. we need to fix it. the sooner you do, the better off it is. the deeper the whole we dig, the more we delay. on health care, we are worlds apart. we do not want government-run health care. that is what obama-care does in my opinion. we put specific proposals on how we would do would different, but on social security, there is a chance to come together.
that is why we're trying to advance with this proposal. guest: if you listen carefully, he says they do not want government-run health care, so i guess he is saying we want to get rid of medicare. that is government in health care. we do not want that anymore. we do not want medicaid for the poor. we want to get rid of military health care. we want to give the of veterans health care. he says we do not want government in health care. he is simply plain words that he thinks plays well in the public. the fact is you cannot do a system for the entire country unless you have the government involved in making sure there is fairness. if there is not fairness, you will have all kinds of people suffering, and some making out like bandits. host: pittsburgh, ronald on the republican line. caller: i have to be will quick
suggestions -- when i listen to people talk, and they talk about what the constitution gives the government the right to do, i think it says the government is supposed to provide for the common welfare of the people, and i think that would include our health. they would have a duty to do something for the help of the people. the other thing, people need to be reminded there are three parts of the government. the president, the executive who enforces the law,. if they want the president to make the law, they want a dictatorship. it is like me having an electrician contract to do the
work in my house, an electrician does not do the work, but then i will go blame the architect. guest: said gentleman gives a perfect example of the six of the issue. the congress as 435 people. each one of us represents about 690,000 people. we come back here, and we get together to figure brought the solution for problems for all of the people of the united states. it is not easy. it is a difficult problem to get two or three people to agree, much less for 35. once we've read have written the law, the constitution says we handed to the president to executed. the president is the one who does that. it is not the president who tells us what to do. the president cannot raise taxes. that starts in the house of representatives. in the ways and means community
-- committee, that is where every tax bill starts. the decisions have to be made in the house, and we make them for the people. if you're representing the last guy here is from utah. i am from a big city in washington state. we have different constituencies. there is no way that we could possibly think the same way or represent our people in the same way. we have to represent the people we were sent here by. we have to come to an agreement. compromise has become a dirty word in washington. if you compromise, you have given in your principles. that is why we are at a stalemate we are at right now because the republicans are seen my way or the highway. host: do you see a shutdown this weekend? guest: i am not expecting a solution between now and friday.
if i do not see how they get out of it, unless they pass over all the rules. the rules as we need to have been out for three days. we are past the deadline. 48 -- from aear democrat in south carolina. caller: congressman mcdermott, i was disgruntled when president obama decided to continue the bush tax cuts, and i totally agree with you there. also, i would like to sit debt the citizens united decision of the supreme court is really, i believe, influenced are ready what is happening in the recent elections, and currently, what is going down in wisconsin over the judge's contest. they spent over $4 million in outside money.
it just warps what is really going on, and the will of the people, and we need to address that. in my last point is that all of these corporations that are -- we seem to be trying to talk them into coming back to the country, hiring here, basing their business here, and we give away everything to them. i would say an incentive would be to tell them "fine, you want to outsource jobs, base your business -- business in the cayman islands, that is great, but if you do that, you are not able to access any jobs concerning the federal government." and other words, if you are outsourcing everything and not paying taxes, you have no rights to federal contracts.
guest: you raise a bunch of issues. let me pick the most central region of the citizens united decision that corporations could put as much money as they walk into campaigns. that destroys any limits on campaign finance whatsoever, and it makes the president and congress for sell. all we need to do is have corporations sit around and decide they're going to elect joe blow. that kind of lack of control of the system, i think, is the real danger to the democracy. and that is the fundamental danger -- money from outside corporations will control what is happening in the process. i think we need to have public campaign finance so that i have as much money as he does to run against me.
if paul ryan wants to run against me, we get an amount, we can go on television, and you can decide which would represent you better. it is not that way. i have the advantage as the incumbent. if paul tried to run against me, he would have a hard time running against me. if somebody wanted to put a $10 million for him to run against me, i would be in real trouble, and that is why we have handed the control of elections to corporations, rather than putting it in public finance. if i can not be him, head-to- head, then i do not belong in the congress. host:. twitter -- patty, a bristol township, pennsylvania. good morning. caller: i just want to talk
about paul ryan's 2012 budget. what stunned me was how he basically said everyone who was over the age of 55, everything will be fine, but for people younger than 55, we will have this new voucher system. i am 44. i know a lot of young people coat apparently would be left behind. the thing that bothers me is bed people -- in is that people say they're worried about the future of their kids, all what about my future? our reading is ok for the seniors and millionaires, but for people that are younger, we will take that away from you. host: let's hear from mile, mich., dave, a republican. good morning. caller: mr. mcdermott, i think the problem exists because
there are so many public service workers and they are burdening the taxpayer. when those workers go to work, the taxpayer pays their salary. when they retire, the taxpayer pays their retirement. i know they take their paycheck and contiguous some to retirement, but that is also a tax payer money that pays them. we are burdened host: size of the government. number of workers. guest: let's start, first of all, public service workers are citizens of this country as well. they choose their job to serve the public. it is your working as a clerk in the help apartment looking at whether the meat inspection is done properly, they are doing a public service. if you do not want to have your meat inspected, fire them all.
you could save a lot of money and eat a lot of tainted beef. who would you blame when you get sick? the meat company i guess. if that is the kind of world that you want to live in where you do not want public service, that is a different world than i want to live in. blaming the public workers, the school teachers who are brought knees, that waseour wall street that brought us to our knees. now we are blaming it on the school teachers in the people who are -- you wait, if we do not have it, and in fact i know in my own state the budgets that are coming out of the states, the state parks will not have anyone to open them here yen people do not recognize what
state employees do for you. if you want a passport -- i guess you do not want a passport agency. let's get rid of the passport people appear yen that does not make any sense. to blame the solemn public employees is simply not fair. it is not correct, and it is financially not true peer. their pensions are not great big pensions. and if that is too much for someone to live on when their 65-years-old, then i guess you want to live in another country. i think that is adequate -- it is not adequate, but good enough for them in my view. host: more calls. round rock, texas, independent peer yen what is your name? caller: seth lyles. i am chef. i have a budget to keep in my
kitchen. if i go over, i get in trouble. if i go over continuously, i get fired. ayou all have a budget to keep. we did not even know what the budget is, so we have to trust you. do not go over continuously. we get tired of watching the ball go back and forth and back and forth. host: appreciate your call. let me add this e-mail -- you like that. and i can tell. guest: the republicans ran as into the ditch. when clinton left this country was in the black for the first
time in 30 years, and we were talking about paying down the deficit totally. when george push came in, he went on a spending spree like a drunken sailor. and he was not paying any attention. he was giving tax breaks and acting like this is going to work. we have dug ourselves into a deep hole. there's no question, but you cannot come out of a deep hole in one minute or one year or as they are trying to do in this continuing resolution, fix it all in one year. you cannot do that. if it took 16 years to go down into the hole, how'd you come out in one year? it is possible to be responsible and come forward. the president has come forward. he has offered and offered and offered. mitch mcconnell and john john boehner keep moving the goal post.
i think that at some point the republicans have to stop being children and act responsibly, because closing the government down will create a lot of problems. you may say -- send your income tax reform in, but it will not be processed. they will not send you back the money, because they are on furlough. that is just one place it will hit people. it will hit them in 1000 places, but they just do not see it yet. i have seen this movie before. i was here in 1995 when newt gingrich tried it. if the republicans want that movie to be replaced, that is ok with me. host: susan on the line from pennsylvania. democrat calller. caller: i have a few things to mention.
one would be when i was listening to rep brian like the other lady from pennsylvania had said, he talks about using code words like savings and medicare, which i find very interesting. he also mentioned giving lots of amounts of money to states. let me give you a flavor of our state here in pennsylvania. we have republican governor, the republicans stole our state house and state senate. in the budget this year he has proposed cutting funding to our state pennsylvania universities, which are highly rated consistently, by over 30%. right now they are in committee working with -- working on a bill that will cut certified school nurses out of our schools, risking school safety
of our students. if you give a block grants, do you think it will come back to the schools? i doubt it. host: let's get a perspective from arizona now. caller: i wanted to bring light on the enormousness of our economy and see what the gentleman has to say regarding that. it looks like a big tragedy. we are going into this big fiscal dilemma, but is it true that our economy is very large? is it true that there are plenty of money to pay off this debt over the years? isn't it just a matter of looking at it in the bigger picture? looking at a spread street of it -- spread sheet of it. it is like me having a credit card balance of 20,000 but let's
say i make 40,000 per year. i should be able to pay that off and a couple of years. we should look at it in the bigger picture. host: plenty of money. bigger picture. guest: what you are saying is absolutely correct. the crisis is a manufactured crisis. we have been in debt before. at the end of the second world war we had followed -- borrowed extensively in order to pay for the war, and then we paid it off. in good times you pay off the debt, and did ask -- and in bad times you invest more. we spent more than what was in the accounts in my time. thehave to borrow to play unemployment benefits to workers. some say you should not paid anything. you should have let them go
hungry and be out in the cold. i think it was important to borrow money to pay for the unemployment benefits. we will make that up when the economy picks up in the future. we will have the money and pay off the debt we created. i keep saying it is like buying a house. everyone who has bought a house has gone into debt. why'd you go into debt? because you are investing in your future. if you look at that, you say you do not have a balanced budget, what is the matter with you? we know it is investment, and we are investing in bad times a week to get to the good times. i have no fear about the future for this country. i think we will do just fine, but these guys want to use it as a lever to cut all services spirited this is going on in my state in the state of washington. balladist koreans in the state valedictorians-- val
cannot get into schools because the states did not have enough money to pay for it. you have a real problem in all the states in this country. host: before we run out of time, i want to talk about your house colleague, deborah walters and shultz. but will keep her house seat leave the party. guest: she has a lot energy, but i do not know how she will do that. she is a very confident and skilled woman. this is a lady who broke hurt the ankle sliding into second base playing baseball. she is a go for broke lady. she has taken on a big responsibility. i think she will do a good job, but it will really strained her. -- will really strain her.
caller: i agree with what you said on campaign finance reform. and i said this a long time ago, i think when the 2012 election we should have people put some much for people to run for president, you pay the money with that. now have another question. approval rating. approvalcongress' rating right now? host: why do you bring that up? caller: because i heard so much about it being so low, like 14% approval rating. that is why i wanted to ask jim
what is really the approval rating. host: let's assume it is 14. we have seen those stories. guest: what it basically means is people are worried. they look at 10% unemployment, seven or 9 million homes in foreclosure. very slow growth in jobs in this country. the stock markets are doing well and banks doing well, but ordinary people are not feeling like they're doing well, and they are dissatisfied with that. they are seeing services take away all over the place. they look to was for those services, and they're blaming us for it. i can understand where they are coming from. i understand their anxiety and why they are on the street marching, because everyone is worried.
they see their pension going havingtheir health care wil problems. so in every respect people are worried. i think that we're one to make some changes here, and by the time we get to reelection, we will have a back up and rolling again, at least i believe we will. people will come out and vote in 2012 and make a judgment on us. host: last call from and in california. good morning. -- from ann in california. caller: there needs to be tax reforms done. people are always going to be making the same amount of money. they will be able to tax them, and they do not seem to understand that people react to those things.
host: what would you change? caller: i think that is what they're up there for. maybe a flat tax or something. my concern is that they think people who have a higher your income, that is where things are really volatile. for instance i did not make as much money this year, so my income taxes went down. and when the economy is not good, people who do make more money and are in the upper bracket, they are not paying as many taxes because their businesses are not doing as well. host: one last call from ohio. you have the last call. go ahead. caller: do you recall in history the trojan horse? guest: yes, i do. caller: number two, how could we possibly, all the people that
are supposedly educated, well- educated, be so mentally deranged as to where they would vote against the people who live in the united states? if things go the way they are going, to me it seems like we will end up in a third-rate nation. host: final thoughts from our guest. guest: i think the most important thing in this country is to exercise your right to vote. a lot of people did not vote in 2010. a lot of people got elected, and now we're seeing where did these people come from? they have no understanding of what is going on. they were elected by people who were not paying attention to what they were really saying were trying to understand, and a lot of people who did understand just simply stayed home. i think the worst thing you can do in this country is stay home.
you should go out and vote. if people stopped voting, -- you have to remember hitler was elected by 11%. he got in and work his way through the system. you have to look carefully at everyone who was running and what they are saying, and then you have to go out and vote. i do not care if it is raining or whatever, you have to get out of the house and vote. host: our guest has been rep. jim mcdermott. thank you for your time this morning. we will take a short amount take a look at usair/british relations. plenty more time for your calls on that topic. in the meantime, updated news from c-span radio. >> an update on the budget talks on capitol hill. in a statement to be released shortly, house speaker john painter says he is disappointed but not surprised that the white
house has chosen to attack budgetan briryan's proposal. if he wants to have an adult conversation about solving the school challenges, he needs to lead instead of sitting on the sidelines. meanwhile, chuck schumer says that if negotiations fail and a government shutdown happens, the tea party will be to blame. he went on to say there is a glimmer of hope in talks to resolve a budget stalemate and some progress was made on talks last night between house republicans and senate democrats. if there is a government saysown, joshua log rogan uniformed military personnel would continue to work but stop receiving paychecks. when the shutdown ends, they
would receive back pay. those are some of the latest headlines on c-span radio. >> every weekend experience american history on c-span3. hear first person accounts from people who have shaped modern america on oral history. history bookshelf features the best known history writers of the past decade, in trouble too important battle figures to learn about people and events that shaped the nation. jordan collectors and historians behind the scenes of museum exhibits and historic sites on "american artifacts." american history tv on cspan3
all weekend every weekend. it our schedules online. -- get our schedule on line. follow c-span on twitter. it is the fastest way to get schedule updates. you can join in the conversation and tweet questions directly to our "washington journal" guests. t twitter.com/witt cspan. host: talking now to "sky news" about u.s./british relations. the headline is -- out britain and france are struggling to fill the gap and washington expects
them to do more. guest: the u.s. has overwhelming firepower compared to everyone else. we in britain and france have been cutting defense budgets. just the sheer capability to mount an exclusion zone or in this case to provide air cover for what they hope is the mounting rebels is a huge task. that means planes are having to fly from italy or in some cases all the way from england all the way to libya. there is a practical strain on maintaining this particular corporation. that said, i think the point is accepted certainly in the leadership areas of britain and france that libya is more of an issue for the europeans because it is much closer to home and the military and basin that it is to the united states.
-- and the military base that is to the united states. the public was not prepared to stand idly by and see large scale massacres of citizens, which is what look like what happened. i think there was this great moves of something must be done at the same time there is reluctance to get engaged any further than we already are engaged, particularly the whole boots on theof ground. host: our guest will be with us for the next 40 minutes. he is adam boulton, political editor for "sky news" "skyuest has been with
news" since the start in 1989. he has covered many issues. how would you describe u.s./u.k. relations these days? guest: i think there was definitely a cooling off with the changes of leadership. barack obama, sum and britain say because of his history on his father's side with his grandfather being arrested by the british was said not to be particularly warm towards the colonial heritage, in some early i think it was clear that david cameron felt that the relationship between tony blair and george bush and bill clinton had been a little too close. therefore, i think there was a feeling of standing back. what i think we're seeing now is iraqi president and
prime minister are beginning to learn the world is not so easy as that. you cannot say to the rest of the world we will leave you alone. therefore i think there is a process every discovery under way. -- of rediscovery under way. host: we have seen egypt, libya, tunisia, and ivory coast making a lot of headlines. how do the british folks view all of these different -- guest: i think it is a little divided on how the british public see it. on the one hand there is no doubt that when david cameron suggested britain could no longer be the world's policeman and should not be involved in intervention around the world, there was public sentiment
because they knew what went on in iraq been pretty skeptical about what went on in afghanistan, but, and as i think is where things change, britain and british people do like to see themselves as being players in the world community, and therefore we're back to where we started in terms of being prepared to support military intervention. in a small way i think it is quite similar to the trajectory which the obama administration has gone through. host: there is a story out of paris -- what do the british think about french mindsets now on north africa, on the middle east, on the presidency? guest: there was one headline that was not surrender monkeys
anymore. remember that line from the simpsons about the french being cheesy. i think what we're saying is our right off-center presence in france as he tries to be more assertive, partly because he faces a presidential election next year and the polls suggest he is not very strong. i think seeing the french do their bit is something which the british feel more comfortable with band that very difficult time where france was on one side and britain and the united states were on the other. host: before we go to calls, what is the biggest domestic story in the uk? guest: after the credit crunch of the fallout in 2008, we of course have our election last year, and we elected a government that is giving a
priority to cuts. we had big demonstrations on the streets a week or so ago against those cuts, which are not that dramatic, but they are across the board, across the spectrum. everyone is feeling it from education budgets and health budgets and welfare budget spirit and our equivalent to medicare and medicaid. it is proving in the short-term pretty unpopular. one of the fascinating things is at the moment the administration here and the cameron government in britain are really conducting different experiments. you are not dramatically cutting your but it's yet, whereas we have already started. it is between a rock and hard place. none of the options are particular popular with the country.
host: gene on the air with "sky newsadam boulton. caller: i think that britain was dragged into the war by bush. in fact, i think probably a lot of the pri and people feel they're like to -- a lot of the britons feel they were lied to. i thought they were very relieved to have obama in there. in fact, most countries felt it was good. it was wonderful to get a black president and there. i would like you to address britain's going to war. don't you feel there were not told the whole truth and that is
how it got drug into it? guest: i was not aware of having reflected any personal opinion. i tried to reflect what the polls said. i think president obama remains more popular in britain in europe and maybe at home where people are deciding on the day for how they feel. i think there is appealing, which you can trace very obviously and public opinion that the close personal relationship between tony blair and george bush did contribute to britain getting involved in the iraq conflict as deeply as we were. that was unpopular, and therefore i think the wars at the time, david cameron was picking up on the current popular opinion in terms of stepping back a little bit from
a close personal relationship with the close incumbent, president barack obama. i think since then events have brought them more closer together, and both the president and the prime minister had words about no closer ally or special relationship, which to reaffirm that the country's continue to work your closely together. host: new york city on the republican line. i am calling because i look in history and see a lot of conflicts started by the british and by the british empire and how a lot of those conflicts are still complex we're dealing with today, primarily american conflicts. we look at israel and the state of unrest comes from the fact that england did not properly establish an israeli government. it basically moved people out
and said you people take it. -- they basically moved people out and said you people take it. you guys are making military budget cuts, and we are making military increases. i know that the english are not real happy when we pull out of conflicts or ask for shared responsibility, but we have for a very long time pulled the wait militarily for europe. look at world war i and world war ii, and i do not feel american should have the responsibility exclusively. i think there needs to be more of a unified process. nato is always a last resort. i know a lot of the english are not happy about the war in iraq and the money that was sent to troops. i've never once heard an american complain about having to participate in world war ii. guest: i think you make a very good point.
the fact of the matter is if we look at british operations, even in the recent conflicts, the conflict in iraq and afghanistan, the military effort, which britain undertook, in the end, we were not able to see through completely. we have to admit that we had been over ambitious and what we try, and in both cases american forces came in and took over military control. from an american perspective, it is personally -- perfectly understandable about asking if there is a question about britain to do its bit? . all i can say is that for the size of the country, britain still has a relatively large
defense budget. we're something like six in the world in terms of defense spending. what i would say is that except in the case of the first world war, consistently been prepared to act in concert with the united states around the world. you say a lot of the problems might initially have been created by the britons, but i would argue that the problems -- there may be a certain amount of truth in that, but that is because the democratic outlook on world affairs is shared between the british and the american political culture. host: here is another libyan headline --
this is amid fresh reports of setbacks for anti-government forces, at least in one area to the uk perspective on all of this. is there a link of time, a patient's level with the public and the government level for an operation that may go on for a while? guest: not right now. i do not think people are calling for an exit strategy, for the simple reason it appears that the muammar gaddafi's regime is still in place. it will not budge quickly. there is a feeling that people will be prepared to support that this is in terms of months.
i think all of us, wherever we stand on what is going on in libya, do understand now that if muammar gaddafi manages to stay in place, it will be a mass of humiliation. -- a massive humiliation. host: muammar gaddafi sends a message to barack obama. the front page of "sky news." there is no detail here given on the message. what might the message be? guest: that shows that while everyone is a little uncertain about the extent of the military conflict in which direction it is going, what we are seeing is a lot of diplomacy being paid.
the french party recognized the rebels as an alternative government. the americans and the british are having contact with them. what we understand is this letter from muammar gaddafi is basically trying to generate divisions within the coalition against him by congratulating longer beingon it no longeno part of a crusade against the libyan people. he is trying to say now the americans have handed over military control. this is just a decadent colonialist wart and i congratulate barack on pulling out of it. president obama would deny he is pulled out of it. host: 25 minutes left with our guest.
democrat. andrew, good morning. caller: good morning. i kind of believe, as far as iraq and afghanistan, both conflicts were based on a lot so tof half truths speak. i believe the bush administration and the player administration -- the blair administration were in absolute lie. i think with obama here it is still the same thing. he says he wants to and the wars in iraq and afghanistan. we are still in afghanistan and dragging our feet with iraq. i think the british have been brought into it and duped into it. i do not think they wanted this. tony blair wanted it. it was not with the people
wanted. guest: i think public opinion has changed because of what has happened. if you look at public opinion of the time of 9/11 and certainly at the time of invasion afghanistan, there is no doubt about it at all the british public opinion was to stand shoulder to shoulder with the united states. is i think there was a difference -- i think there was a difference on the question of the relevance of going to war against saddam hussein in terms of connection on what had happened on 9/11. nonetheless, at the time britain did agree to go to war. the british parliament voted for the decision to go to war, and british public opinion airily supported that decision.
since then with the loss of life and really the breakdown that took place in both countries three or four years after the initial invasion in terms of civil order, our public opinion now thinks it is a mistake. there is one big crucial difference between why the british feel more critical of the iraq involvement and american citizens, and that is that we were told by our prime minister that we were going to war because their record to be weapons of mass destruction found. that was the argument consistently. those weapons of mass destruction were not found. at the time the bush administration was much clearer that they felt saddam hussein was a bad guy who needed sorting out. we have had the same ambiguity this time around about the whole question of the regime change in libya.
do this backwards. thoughts of the blair administration. tell us what we will find in there. guest: it was written in the final months of the blair administration, but it goes back over 10 years of his history so there is a lot about domestic events. he was a transforming live prime minister. -- transformative prime minister. it was written from the inside, because i was covering the prime minister very closely, traveling with him a lot. there is a lot of diplomacy in the arguments he was making and
whether they were strictly honest or night. -- whether they were strictly honest or not. there was an election and it was very unclear who had won. eventually you got president bush. we had very similar -- different political system, a similar situation in our election last year were there was not a clear result in the election, there for three political parties -- there for three political parties had to negotiate with each other as to how they would form a government. they formed a coalition, and we have not had for 40 years. host: jeff, republican. you are on with adam boulton. presented then percentag
united states winston churchill after the invasion. it was reported that president obama gave up back to britain. what was the circumstances behind that, and did you except it back? guest: the circumstances are that i think it was tony blair. normally when leaders come to visit each other they have an exchange of gifts. tony blair knew president bush was an admirer of winston churchill and lent him that. at the end of the administration, the bus was returned to the british embassy. it was made clear at the time
that the british would have been happy for president obama to keep it. he chose not to keep it. it was only alone, and that he has a bust of abraham lincoln -- bus of abraham lincoln. i think people try to turn it into a snub of winston churchill, but i do not think that was how the obama administration sought it. -- saw it. host: some in the news recently snub to describe the lack of invitation to the royal wedding that is coming. an invitation to the president. give us insight and expand a perspective on that. guest: i think the royal wedding between william and kate will be a big event, but if we go back
to the wedding of his mother, princess diana to prince charles, what we found is they are not quite full state occasions. on that occasion nancy reagan attended. i have been surprised, i have to say, that michelle obama was not invited. i think the president is making a trip to ireland, england as well at the end of may. i was i surprised that he was not invited. i was a little surprised that michelle obama was not invited. the only thing i can think of is that there is a personal invitation, and perhaps she does not know prince william and kate. host: we have gone on the line for democrats in missouri.
caller: good morning. -- we have donna on the line for democrats in missouri. caller: my first question is doesn't libya send all of their oil to europe? guest: oil is a global market, so i do not think all libyan oil goes to europe. what i can tell you is that because of the rise of the dollar against the pound in britain we are now playing -- the paying the highest prices ever paid because of the libyan conflict partly. caller: my other question is i remember when george bush was bragging about libya was laying their weapons down,, and i have been watching c-span since the
1980's, but did the european alliance come in and have something to do with that? did they leave? guest: libya is not part of the european union, but i went with tony blair twice to the so- tent that muammar gaddafi sets up as headquarters. he wants to come to terms with the west. there is no doubt about it. tony blair lead that. as a result, we got much of libya abandoning its nuclear and chemical weapons program, but it also said it would stop supporting terrorism. that of course was very important to britain, because it
was known that muammar gaddafi had tried to supply the iraq. -- tried to supply the i.r.a. i have to say i was also at the g-8 some in italy in 2009 where the prime minister of italy invited muammar gaddafi to come to the dinner and president barack obama was in certain circumstances where he cannot avoid shaking his hand. it looks as if after that initial opening toward libya, personally things got a little bit too cozy. host: 15 minutes left. first, ed republican from georgia. caller: i would like the viewers to know that we will pass to get
our statue of winston churchill back. we love the english. they have been our allies for a very long time. you have one of the best queens since victoria i would say. i hope she lives a long life. host: going on to the next call. good morning. caller: i would like to make a comment concerning the second world war. i do not know how you can compare the second world war with what is going on in iraq and afghanistan. we were totally lied to. we stayed out of it too long. too many people died. host: let's hear from tony in
california. i am curious to see if the british people are aware of something that the united states is aware of. back when we went to iraq, muammar gaddafi kept his head down and was getting rid of weapons because he was worried that president bush would take his head off. now that the united states has a weak president, he wants to rise to the test. guest: on the last point, i was saying there is no doubt about it, the opening to muammar gaddafi in libya did come about as a result what happened to saddam hussein in iraq. i am not so sure in either case that it is really about the strengths or weaknesses of the obama administration, up because
by giving up the weapons he also consolidated his position as a libyan leader, because he basically said i am not a threat to you anymore. our reply was we will not put the pressure on you. host: scott on the democrat line. caller: this is not have anything pertaining to what you're talking about right now, but i have been wanting to get this out. i have a suggestion on how to reduce the deficit. have all of the congress, a cabinet, and senate take a 10% pay cut. if they would do that, it would start to bring the deficit down. guest: we have a freeze at the moment for all of our public employees for fotwo years.
the reality is given the number of the people on the hill behind you, that would not cut the deficit even if they did it for nothing. obviously the gestures which politicians make are important. i would say to the fan of the queen that after the excitement of the royal wedding in april, next year will be 60 years of rule for the queen, so there will be more celebrations as well. to the uk. how have all of this talk affected the health of the prime minister? guest: in may we have the equivalent of your midterm elections. elections for the scottish, welsh, and local government around the country. frankly the opinion polls
suggest that the labor party and opposition party will do well in all of those, although i should say it looks as if the people who will be hit hardest are not conservatives but the liberal democrat partners. host: harlem, new york. charles comer republican. you are on the air. -- charles, republican. caller: my ancestors are what we're talking about in africa. the libyans have never had weapons. all the weapons were talking about are not there. no one even knew how to operate them.
guest: what i would say is that it is a known fact that muammar gaddafi supplied the i.r.a. with some sort of weapons. there was a car bomb that killed a roman catholic policeman in northern ireland, and it is circumstantial evidence to suggest that was originally supplied by muammar gaddafi some decades ago. i think it is clearly understood there was a threat. as you are on your way back to liberia, maybe you should be pleased by the french and international involvement currently in ivory coast, because we do know and liberia there is a growing refugee problem. obviously if there is a political settlement there, that might take some of the pressure off. host: new hampshire.
dan, good morning. caller: what does your guest think of the british health-care system? guest: the reality is the british health-care system is extremely popular in britain. it is almost a sacred cow like the british public. almost like the bbc. we do have two national institutions that are effectively paid for by the taxpayer, and are effectively free at the point of use. no health care system is perfect, and it is certainly true that within the n.h.s. because the aim is to provide care, in some circumstances you could argue that this does mean
a certain amount of rationing and waiting for access. at the same time, almost no one in the united kingdom needs to worry about health care bill. they are very different systems. they both have their advantages. they both have their disadvantages. one of the puzzling things about david cameron is there are big changes being proposed in the national health service, which basically is suggesting that your family doctor should really decide on your treatment, but they are not designed to save money. they are pretty difficult to explain. he found himself in a situation where he is reporting a national institution, and no one can quite understand why he is doing it. a lot of people are predicting a u-turn on the health care
reforms. host: we have matt from st. louis. caller: my question is from an editorial perspective, do you believe the u.s. and great britain are becoming stronger allies as far as going forward with the promotion of democracies in countries like libya? i think the world would love to see that between the u.s. and great britain. what is your opinion? guest: i think there has been a change. i think if you look back into the last 50 years, what it came to is areas outside of europe and north america, there was quite often a view that a leader might be unpleasant, he might
be a bit of a root worude word. you could use bad dictators for your own purposes, and perhaps we will see this with the case of president mubarak in eygpt. what has been interesting with this wave of people demanding reform across the middle east is a respected of their position on the political spectrum. whether it is david cameron or barack obama or john mccain, there has been a feeling about in this world where we have much greater communication, much greater understanding that there is no alternative, but for most mainstream political leaders in the west to support the need for reform. host: time for a couple more
calls. st. augustine, florida. jason, a democrat. good morning. caller: you need to comment about muammar gaddafi. in the future, how are we going to work less address the issue of being the enemy of our enemy? we demonized iran, but in the help todidn't the cia overthrow a democratically- elected leader? host: hold that thought. one more question. and caller: i have a question. how could a relationship does britain have with israel, in which party supports israel of the most? guest: i think both those
questions put your finger on how wishes of is when you get involved in events abroad. in hindsight, people thought it was a very exciting prospect to get rid of the leader in iran. they did not anticipate the islamic government that would be formed. in hindsight weather in london or washington, people regard that as a bit of a mistake. of course there is the worry now in supporting change across the middle east that we could end up with infamous governments. i think everyone is aware of what went wrong in iran, and it does not appear at the moment that it is the head of the reform movement in the middle east. we have a situation where barack obama and david cameron are supporting that. as far as israel is concerned,
it is truly that generally speaking western european governments, the western union, is not as closely and automatically supportive of the state of israel as the united states has tended to be. that said, that there is absolutely firm support for israel as an independent, democratic state in the middle east, and i do not think there is a question of that changing. again, a bit similar to the united states, it is not something that tends to be a very strong party political issue, that there are elements of the right who are extremely critical of the jewish state's as they see it, but there are also elements on the left who are extremely supportive of the palestinian cause, but within that, there is a general consensus that the hope is that israel persists and