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tv   U.S. House of Representatives  CSPAN  April 19, 2011 10:00am-1:00pm EDT

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it has been. it is something that the health- care system has gotten better at. the government has started collecting information from hospitals, and the mission is to get the information out there. once we hit 2014, and people start buying insurance through the exchanges, that is also supposed to be the time frame for getting more information out there so that you can be a wiser consumer, wiser purchaser of health care services, upper right now, absolutely, not the users fault. host: we will try to go back to raleigh for a quick question. -- to molly for a quick question. caller: i am a physician practicing in fairfax county. i do expect effect -- i do take medicare and medicaid, so i speak from experience when i say that medicare patients -- if they were injured and then go on to medicare when they are
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eligible, they take more responsibility for their care and seem more concerned about what it is going to cost, and if something does not need to be done, they do not want it done. they have paid into the system, and because they are also cord to be responsible for paying for some of these tests or studies that they have performed. medicaid patients on the other hand, and i appreciate what everyone has to say about this, but medicaid patients have absolutely no skid in the game. they go to a hospital for a problem and not one penny is billed to them. host: unfortunately we are running late and thank you so much for joining us today to talk about all of this. we appreciate your time. guest: thank you. host: we are going to continue looking at what the bipartisan commission had to say about tackling the nation's debt and
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deficit. tomorrow we're going to look at what they had to say about defensive security spending and then on thursday alice is a commission member and we'll talk about overhauling tax policies. then on friday we are going to wrap up with social security solvency. our guest will be another commission member, andy stern. thanks so much for watching today's "washington journal." we'll be back tomorrow 7:00 a.m. eastern time. kapp kapp coppingscoppings -- [captioning performed by natonal captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] >> coming up in just a few
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minutes, president obama hostings the several town hall meetings focusing on his debt and deficit reduction plan. he unveiled that proposal last week. you can read it online at c-span.org. that is set to get under way at 10:15. we'll have it live on c-span. later ted turner and t. boone pickins will talk about energy issues. that's at the national press club here in washington and you can see it live at 1:00 p.m. eastern. and live on our companion network, c-span2, objectives in afghanistan and iraq. that will be at the center for american progress. and now take us up to 10:15 and the start of the presidential town hall meeting, here's how president obama's base reacted to his latest policy initiatives. this is from today's "washington journal."
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>> i know some of you have felt frustrated because we had to compromise with republican issues. people are frustrated because we didn't get things done in the first two years. there have been times where i've felt the same way you do. host: are you frustrated? guest: on some issues i am. i think there is a disconnect between washington and the country, the profound economic crisis we face. so everywhere around the country that i travel i see the effects of massive unemployment, foreclosures, a real pain and the proposals being debated in washington would do very little to address that. i think that's the underlying problem that the president and the congress face.
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dd he in the speech, articulated a vision for why we needed the government to do something we cannot do for ourselves. he says that we rely on each other to do certain things that we cannot do alone. that was very positive. what i am troubled by is that we seem to only talk about the deficit, at a time when there is another crisis, which is the unemployment crisis. host: here is the headline from last week's washington post. why? guest: we have unemployment rates across the country where half of the people in the neighborhood are unemployed. this is a social catastrophe.
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we see no proposals from anybody to do anything about that crisis. it is coupled with a foreclosure crisis, and thousands of people continuing to lose their home. i think the frustration that i feel is the same frustration that millions of americans feel, that the government is not responding to that intense pain and suffering. host: front-page headlines. why should president obama and deal with the deficit, when you look at those headlines this morning? guest: how did we get into this problem? the bush tax cuts for the very
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wealthiest people in the country, a massive redistribution of wealth in that direction. we had wars that we cannot afford in cannot pay for that are still going on. and a huge economic calamity brought about by deregulation of the corporate sector of the financial sector. the solution to the deficit problem is to get the economy moving again and to invest in jobs right here in america through infrastructure, aide to state and local governments, to stop the hemorrhaging. the solution to the deficit problem is taking the jobs problem seriously. host: here is a side peace in the "washington journal." -- piece in the "washington journal."
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guest: it is important to understand in the last 20 years, 80% of the gains in our economy have gone to the top tax top 400 households have been reduced by one-third. that is a dramatic reduction. that would be real money making a real difference in bringing our deficit down. we need to cut defense and get out of a foreign entanglements that are reducing our ability to invest at home. we need a major investment in infrastructure to get the economy building again. the economic recovery package did not go far enough.
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that was the problem. it had imported programs to get the country moving again. it was not bold enough to jump- start the economy to a level we needed it to go. host: some say this country has not responded to the financial crisis as they should have let other countries. they are saying opposite of what he said. those countries had austere programs, which has helped them with their economy. the u.s. needs to start doing the same. guest: we are seeing what austerity looks like in the united kingdom. they see a slowdown in economic growth. they are on the verge of going back to a beast -- severe recession as a result of that. the real issue with the report is that the republicans are threatening to potentially hold ever countries creditworthiness
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hostage to some of the most extreme proposals to destroy medicare, medicaid, and so security, the foundation for social contract in america. they are playing with the picture of the country. host: sedation not agree to touch medicare, medicaid at all -- so you agree that they should not touch medicare and medicaid at all? guest: some measures were included in the health reform law. paul ryan did include some of that in the proposal he released. giving vouchers for medicare is essentially transferring thousands of dollars from the most normal people -- that is not who we are in this country. there is enough if we take a different course and increase taxes on those that can afford to pay.
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host: the latest poll numbers are seven points below where they were in the most recent other poll, nearly matching the worst level of his presidency, have fisher message appeal to independents, which president obama needs to win the election? guest: they are hungry for something that speaks to the crisis they see in the country. we had the worst financial crisis in the country in 70 years. nobody went to jail. we had a regulatory reform package that was not tough enough. foreclosures and unemployment continue to increase. what is the other path? a robust alternative, investing in jobs in this country, that would be the winning recipe for independents. host: santa barbara, california.
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caller: jesse jackson jr. commented on the eye patch from unemployment. pad for for unemployment. i have heard many say there are many jobs, but there are too few people educated women to take these jobs. -- educated or willing to take these jobs. guest: we have five unemployed jobs in this country. no amount of job training by itself will solve this problem. we need a robust program to create jobs in the united states
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of america or we will have a 10% unemployment as far as the eye can see. there are important investments the country can make to retrain workers were emerging sectors in the economy. a growing occupation for hearing of baby boomers is one area for work. we need a bold job creation agenda to get out of the pickle we are in. host: what does your group do? guest: we are an advocacy group organization for low income people and people of color. host: medicare and medicaid? guest: a big part of your job. host: democrat line. caller: i have a question i
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would like to ask you. how much of our money was spent by average government to help relocate the companies that moved to foreign countries? where can i find names of our elected officials who voted to fund these moves? is there anyone who has traced a product from china or wherever it came from a back to the united states to find out who is paying taxes, if any? how can we get out of this mess until we get jobs back in this country? guest: we have had a perverse tax policy that has rewarded companies for offshore and jobs from the united states to other countries -- offshoring jobs from the united states to other countries.
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we have not done what we need to do for those countries that do not have wage protections like we do. a big part of the strategy for getting the economy moving has to be to insist that other countries around the world have those same kinds of standards. i would recommend an organization here in washington, the economic policy institute, on the question of trade and how it relates to our economic future. host: georgia, independent caller. caller: my question is about medicare. our 65 senior citizen pays a certain amount of social security ever month. i have not heard anyone talk about that. every time we look, the public and get us in trouble.
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what will get us out of the economic mess we are in? guest: people do pay into medicare and they pay premiums. what the republican plan would do if implemented is increase the amount people paid by $6,000 a year. that is a radical change in the structure of the medicaid program and a radical cost shift to people that cannot afford to pay that amount of money. it is a. dangerous proposal that would undermine american -- undermine medicare as we know it. public investment to create jobs at a time where the private sector is not doing so. that is what our strategy has to be to get the economy moving again. president roosevelt responded to the suffering in the country by creating safety net to address
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people out of work through no fault of their own and cannot find a job. host: we will continue our series, looking at what the bipartisan commission recommended when it comes to medicare and medicaid. did you agree with what the debt commission said? guest: i did not. i thought it was wildly out of whack in terms of what is proposed for spending cuts and tax increases. their plan would continue this radical redistribution of wealth from ordinary working class families to the top 1% or 2% of the country. the plan is no road map for a prosperous, thriving, equal america. host: we will get into that more as we continue our week long series on the different issues. a reminder that president obama
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will talk about what he wants to do on the debt and deficit, kicking off a three day trip that begins in virginia with a town hall meeting. live coverage at 10:15 a.m. eastern time. let's go to california. are you there? we will move onto a democrat in washington, d.c. caller: you mentioned that you are an advocate for immigration reform. i do not think anyone has looked at how much money is spent on people who are here in this country illegally, as far as some of the grants that organizations get.
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they benefit people here that are illegal -- that are here illegally. some rights are given to children who were born here -- the parents of children who were born here. if they have a disability, they have benefits that citizens have put into the system are benefiting the some that are here illegally. guest: immigrants pay more in taxes in this country then they take in benefits. people here illegally are in eligible for almost all of those benefit programs, with the exception of emergency room care and public education for children. the larger question that the caller is getting to is, is
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immigration the -- a part of the reform for this country. i think it is. they have brought energy, and many other things that make this country unique. this generation is no different than prior generations. it is a piece of what we need to do to thrive in the 21st century. host: gallup polls showed that hispanic voters are not happy with president obama. guest: they have reason to be troubled. the president made public commitments to move immigration reform in his first year of office. it did not happen. many understand there were competing priorities on his plate. this administration has supported more people than at any other time in the united states history. this means that we have a families being separated where
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someone is undocumented, someone is a citizen. there is enormous pain, suffering, and anger. that is what is reflected in those numbers. host: will they possibly vote for the republican candidate instead of obama? guest: the question is whether the president will respond to the failure with an aggressive policy to deal with the can. it is unlikely that congress will do anything regarding immigration reform for the next year and a half. obama could say that we will focus our resources on people that pose a genuine threat to the country and will not support students who have only known the united states as their home. we will not support
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housekeepers, people with deep roots in the country with u.s. children.i they are an important fabric of our country. we need to focus the resources on security threats. host: what do you have behind you as far as resources? what can you mobilize for president obama? guest: we work with an organization that organizes people all over the country in low-income communities and people of color. we organized people to participate in the political process. we registered voters. that is a source. only when people participate can we overcome the extraordinary influence of organized money and worker money in our society.
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ordinary people have to organize and set out -- participate. people always have a choice in an election. they have to exercise the right that people have fought for and died for in this country. people cannot sit on their hands. we encourage people to register and participate in come out to the polls for what ever candidate they think is supportive of their community's interest. we think maximum participation of everyone in the american society will produce the best outcome in terms of policies. host: michigan. caller: i was pretty sure that back in december that they had settled on increasing the bush tax cuts and that was in order
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to prevent [unintelligible] it would not have been wise to cut them in the state that we were in. this lower rating that we are getting from the s&p, obama's plan is to rob peter to pay paul. the problem with president obama is that he is running out of peters and has more polls. -- pauls. that makes the problem worse. guest: i think it is important for the caller to understand that inequality in this country, the gap between the rich, middle class, and poor is at the widest point and it has been at any time in the 20th century.
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80% of the prosperity of the last few decades has gone to the top 1% of households. there is an enormous amount of concentration of wealth that has occurred because of tax policies and other policies. it is only fair to ask those with the most resources that have benefited the most from the recovery -- we encourage people success, but it depends in part to the help of the rest of society. they have an obligation to contribute back. it is only fair that they do so. caller.ndependent schola caller: i was with you until you spoke about immigration. you are very wrong on your comment. as far as the stimulus plan, it was not focused on what it should have been focused on.
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it was focused on retiring police. it should have been a focused on on building machinery. i'd like to get a pair of american underwear made in the united states. there is none. you cannot find it. they are all overseas. they should have financed to start entrepreneur worss these facilities back up again, so that we can compete with these foreign nationals. these multinational business people who are not american citizens are using us as a market. guest: i think the recovery package did include a number of very important provisions.
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i agreed with the caller that more needs to be done in that regard. we have infrastructure at every level -- investing in that would help broadbased economic growth. we need aggressive policy to get credit in the hands of small business people, who do create jobs and wealth in the country. we have had a shrinkage. the big banks are not lending to small businesses. we need aggressive policies set up by the federal government to stimulate the credit extensions of people can higher, as -- hire others in those manufacturing sectors. host: next caller. caller: you let people speak their own troops on the liberal side. truths on the liberal
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side. it appears that this gentleman has not read the poem ryan plan. it does not say that medicare recipients will pay an additional -- has not read the paul ryan plan. it does not say that medicare recipients will pay an additional $6,000. host: that is the beauty of the program, that you get to call in and challenge our guests. guest: it would give vouchers to the medicare benefits at a level that is far inadequate to buy private insurance on the private market. the cost of medicare is substantially lower, because we negotiate a lower rate. there are not administrative costs associated with private
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insurance. they get the same amount of money to buy a policy that is $6,000 or more expensive. go to the website that analyzes how the host: let's go next to westminster, calif. caller: 1 think about myself in california, i am the son of an immigrant. i understand what it is for someone to try to become a citizen. my mom was legal. the thing is, in california i have watched what has happened to california. our immigration in california has gone from so many illegals
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it is unbelievable. wages have also gone down. i am a construction worker. i have worked in the trade 22 years. i also talk construction for 17 years. -- taught construction for 17 years. illegals are in the union. they are taking the jobs that should be going to our veterans. and you really do not know too much about what really truly happened. host: let's get a response. guest: the truth is we have entire sectors of our economy. but state agricultural for example. agricultural for example. we have a whole sectors of the economy that depends on immigrant labor. the united states has an interest in making sure that we
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do not have two glasses of worker in this country. one that has no ability to bargain or exercise the rights, because that will depress wages for native-born workers. they have a path to citizenship. it is in no one's interest to have a second class group of people in our country to bring down labor conditions for everybody. it is in the country's interest to bring them out of the shadows and let them participate fully in our society. host: let's go to don next to his in an independent in new jersey. -- who is an independent in new jersey. caller: i have been watching you for many years and i am sick and tired of people saying it is his fault, her fault.
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do not ever look in the mirror. you have to say i accepted -- i voted for these people that have these ideologies, that is what is causing us to go down the tubes. it is simple as that. we have a president in office. before he got in office, i was all set to vote for him. the more i heard him talk, the more i said he is a candy man. host: what about the republicans? caller: there is no republicans. they are conservatives. just like there are no more democrats. they're all liberals. they will not take care of you. i am sick and tired of hearing about the rich. the rich create jobs. yes, they can go where they can create the most money, and that means china, brazil, india,
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because the atmosphere here for the american worker. host: i think we got your point. let's stick to 2012 politics and get your thoughts on the republican side of the ideal. here are some pictures of potential candidates. of these, who do you think represents the best challenge to president obama? guest: honestly, i am no >> we'll break away from "washington journal." president obama today in the first of three town hall meetings today on his deficit and debt reduction plan. >> hello, everybody. [cheers and applause]
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hello, everybody. thank you. thank you so much. everybody, have a seat. have a seat. all right. it's good to be back. good to be back in annandale. good to be back at nova. how is everybody doing? i want to make a couple of acknowledgments, first of all. congressman gerry connolly is here. [applause] dr. george gabriel, the provost of northern virginia community college is here. and the president, bob temp lynn, is -- templin, is here. [applause] it is great to be back. i keep on coming back because joe biden tells me to keep on
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coming back. i tend to listen. i always say vice president joe biden's best quality is jill biden. she can't be here because she's teaching all day and she doesn't skip class for anybody, including the president of the united states. what i want to do is just make a few quick remarks at the top and then i'm just going to open up for questions. this gives me a chance to get out of the immediate environments of washington and hear directly from voters and have a conversation with them. so i'm grateful that all of you took the time. you know, last week i laid out a plan to get america's finances in order. it was a plan for shared prosperity through shared sacrifice and shared responsibility. so before i take your questions, i want to talk a
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little bit about this plan briefly because it goes to the heart of what's happening at this campus and schools like it all across america. and my plan does two big things. first, it cuts spending and it brings down the deficit. we all know how important that is. just like any student on a tight budget, and i assume there are students on a tight budget -- let's have a show of hands, how many of you are on a tight budget? i've been there. just like you, america has to start living within its means. for a long time washington acted like deficits didn't matter. a lot of folks promised you a
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free lunch. as you recall, we had a surplus back in 2000. 11 short years ago. but then we cut taxes for everybody, including millionaires and billionaires. we fought two wars, and we created a new and expensive prescription drug program, and we didn't pay for any of it. and as the saying goes, there's no such thing as a free lunch. so we were left with a big deficit. as i was coming into office. and then we had the worst recession since the great depression. and that made it worse because in a recession two things happen. number one, the federal government helps out states and localities to prevent teacher layoffs and firefighters and police officers from being laid off. and all that costs money. it requires more money to
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provide additional help to people who've lost their jobs or in danger of losing their home. the federal government is putting more money out. because of the recession, it's taking less money in in tax revenues, so that grew the deficit further. now, if we don't close this deficit now that the economy has begun to grow again, if we keep on spending more than we take in, it's going to cause serious damage to our economy. companies might be less likely to set up shop here in the united states of america. it could end up costing you more to take out a loan for a home or for a car because if people keep having to finance america's debt at a certain point they're going to start charging higher interest rates. we won't be able to afford investments in education or
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clean energy or all the things that we care about because we know it will help drive our economy and create jobs. so we've got to tackle this challenge. and i believe the right way to do it is to live up to an old-fashioned principle of shared responsibility. that means everybody has to do their part. so what my plan does is it starts with combing the budget for savings wherever we can find them, and we had a good start a few weeks ago when both parties came together around a compromise that cut spending but also kept the government open and kept vital investments in things that we care about. we need to build on those things, and i'm not going to quit until we find every single dime of waste and misspent money. we don't have enough money to waste right now.
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i promise you that. we are going to check under the cushions. you name it. but finding savings in our domestic spending only gets you so far. we are also going to have to find savings in places like the defense budget. you know -- [applause] as your commander in chief, i will not cut a penny of it that undermines our national security. but over the last two years the secretary of defense, bob gates, has taken on wasteful spending that doesn't protect our troops, doesn't protect our nation. old weapon systems, for example, that the pentagon doesn't want but congress sometimes keeps on stuffing into the budget. well-connected special
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interests get these programs stuck in the budget even though the pentagon says we don't need these particular weapons systems. we began to cut those out. secretary gates has found a lot of waste like that and has been able to save us $400 billion so far. i believe we can do that again. $400 billion, even in washington that's real money. that funds a lot of pell grants. that funds a lot of -- [applause] for communities like this one. will also reduce health care spending and strengthen medicare and medicaid through commonsense reforms that will get rid of, for example, wasteful subsidies to insurance companies. reforms that -- reforms that can actually improve care like making it easier for folks to
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buy generics drugs or helping providers manage care for the chronically ill more effectively. and we can reform the tax code so that it's fair and it's simple. [applause] so that the amount -- [applause] so that the amount of taxes you may doesn't depend on whether you can hire a fancy accountant or not. and we've also got to end tax cuts for the wealthiest americans. [applause] let me say, this is not because we want to punish success. i suspect there are a bunch of young people in this gym that are going to end up being wealthy and that's good. we want you to. we want you to be able to go out and start a business and create jobs and put other
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people to work. that's the american way. but we are going to have to ask everybody to sacrifice, and if we're asking community colleges to sacrifice, if we're asking people who are going to see potentially fewer services in their neighborhoods to make a little sacrifice, then we can ask millionaires and billionaires to make a little sacrifice. the -- [applause] we can't just tell the wealthiest among us, you don't have to do a thing. you just sit there and relax and everybody will solve this problem. especially when we know that the only way to pay for these tax cuts for the wealthiest americans is by asking seniors to pay thousands of dollars more for their health care or cutting children out of head start or doing away with health insurance for millions of
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americans on medicaid. seniors in nursing homes or poor children or middle-class families who may have a disabled child, an autistic child. there's not a tradeoff that i'm willing to make. it's not a tradeoff that i think most americans think is fair. no matter what party you belong to. it's not who we are as a country. we're better than that. it asks for shared responsibility. here's the second part of the plan and that's why i'm here at campus today. make sure that we live within our means, we still have to invest in the future. we still have to strengthen the middle class. we still have to grow the economy.
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so, yes, we have to save wherever we can and my proposal makes some tough cuts to some worthy programs and services if we were in better times i'd continue to fund. but i tell you what i'm not going to do. we're not going to reduce the deficit by sacrificing investments in our infrastructure and we're not going to allow our roads and bridges to grow more and more conjusted while places like china are building new roads and airports and thousands of miles of high-speed rail. if we want businesses to locate here in the united states of america and create jobs we have to make sure that america is here to compete. we have the best roads. we've got to have the quickest trains. we have to have the fastest broadband networks. that's who we are. some may want to gut our investments in things like
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clean energy or medical research or basic science. that's not a viable choice. america's always been the world's engine of innovation and discovery. that's who we are. that's how we pros paired. i don't want -- prospered. i don't want other industries to lead tomorrow. i want new technologies invented here in the united states. i want new solar panels and wind turbines and fuel-efficient cars and advanced batteries all to be made here in the united states of america. i want us to invest it right here. [applause] i mean, let's take energy as an example. folks are out there dealing with gas that's four bucks a gallon. it's just another hardship, another burden at a time when
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we're just coming out of a recession and things are already pretty tight for folks. now, whenever this happens, just like clockwork, you see politicians going in front of the cameras and they say they have a three-point plan for two buck a gallon gas. the truth is the only real solution to helping families at the pump in the medium and long term is clean energy. that's how we'll save families money. that's how we'll reduce our dependence on foreign oil. we've got to develop new technologies to lessen our reliance on a fuel that is finite and that we have to import from other countries. including some very unstable parts of the world. and that's why i think that cutting clean energy investments by 70%, 70%, which has been proposed by some in
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congress, would be such a mistake. finally, and i know this is near and dear to your hearts, we're not going to reduce our deficit by cutting education and eliminating college scholarships. [cheers and applause] in a world where our students face stiff competition from students from other countries, why would we make it harder for you to compete? we feel what matters is right here. more than 10,000 students at this college, at this college alone, are relying on pell grants to help pay their tuition. it's almost 3,000 students at the annandale campus alone. 3,000 students just at this campus. how many of you who are in the audience have gotten a pell
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grant to help you pay your way? how many of you can't afford to pay another $1,000 to go to school? i know what this is like. scholarships help make it possible for me and for michelle to go to college. it's fair to say i wouldn't be president if it hadn't been for somebody helping me be able to afford college. that's why i think it would be such a huge mistake to balance the budget on the backs of students, by cutting scholarships by as much as $1,000, forcing students to go without them altogether. i just spent two years making sure we weren't giving subsidies to banks and that we were giving money to students in the form of more grants and better deals on their loans. i'm not going to undo that after all the work we've done the last two years. that's not a smart way to close
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our deficit. [applause] so that's the bottom line. just as it would undermine our future to ignore our deficits, it would also undermine our future to ignore the promise of students like you, young people who come to this school to get a degree in the hopes of living out a better life, giving your children and your grandchildren the better life. that's the core of the debate that we're having right now. both democrats and republicans agree that we should reduce the deficit. in fact, there's general agreement that we need to cut spending by about $4 trillion over the medium term. and when folks in washington agree on anything, that's a good sign. so the debate isn't about
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whether we reduce our deficit. the debate is about how we reduce our deficit. and my view is we need to live within our means while still investing in our future. cutting where we can while investing in education, investing in innovation, investing in infrastructure and strengthening the safety net provided by programs like medicare so that they're there for this generation and for next generation. [applause] and here's the good news. i believe the democrats and republicans can come together to get this done. it won't be easy. they're going to be some fierce disagreements. shockingly enough, there will be some politics played along the way. there will be those who say that we're too divided, that the partisanship is too stark.
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but i'm optimistic. i'm hopeful. both sides have come together before. i believe we can do it again. and here's why this is important. ultimately this debate is not just about numbers on a page. it's about making sure that you can make the most of your futures, that you can find a good job and achieve the life that you're studying for in a nation that's prosperous and rich with opportunities for anybody who's willing to work hard to get ahead. that's my focus. that's where i think about first thing i wake up in the morning, that's what i think about when i go to bed at night and that's what i think about all the hours in between. that's why i'm going to need your help. this is probably my most important message today. i'm going to need your help. i can't afford to have all of you as bystanders in this debate. i want everybody to be in the game. i want you to hold me accountable.
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i want you to hold all of washington accountable. there's a way to solve this deficit problem in an intelligent way that is fair and shared sacrifices so we can share opportunity all across america. but i can't do that if your voices are not heard. there are powerful voices in washington. there are powerful lobbyists and special interests in washington, and they're going to want to reduce the deficit on your backs. and if you are not heard, that's exactly what's going to happen. if you are heard, then we're going to meet this challenge. we are going to secure our future. we're going to make our country stronger and more prosperous than it's ever been before. with that i want to take some questions. thank you very much, everybody. [applause] thank you. thank you. thank you. thank you.
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all right. we got some -- testing. there we go. so we got some people in the audience, our wonderful volunteers with microphones. when i call on you if you could introduce yourself, wait for the microphone so we can all hear you, and then introduce yourself and try to keep the question, you know, relatively short. i will try to keep my answers relatively short. i'm going to go boy, girl, boy, girl. just to make sure things are fair. all right. let me start with this young lady right there. that's right. you. yes, you. i'll call on you, too. go ahead.
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>> i'm a student here at nova. and i'd like to know your plan to cut $4 trillion in the next 12 years, if any of that is towards the education budget? >> no. you know, what we've done, even as we're making all these spending cuts, we actually think that education spending should go up a little bit. and -- [applause] the reason -- the reason is not that money solves all the money in education. it doesn't. but whether it's k-12 or higher education, money does make a difference if it's used intelligently. so, for example, what we're doing at the k-12 level is we've designed a program called race to the top.
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it's a pretty straightforward program. what it says to school districts and states all across the country is, in addition to the usual money that you get for disadvantaged kids, the usual money that you get for disabled kids, most of which is given out in formulas. so it just depends on how many kids are there and how many kids are disadvantaged or disabled, we're also going to have a little bit of money that we save to give to schools and school districts that are really digging deep to reform themselves and to find new ways to improve performance. so if you are doing a great job in recruiting and training new teachers, if you're doing a great job in lifting up schools that are underperforming. and there are about 2,000 schools in the country that are
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what are called dropout factories. i mean, they just are not doing the jobs. so if in that state you say you have a special plan to make sure those schools are doing a great job. if you've got innovative programs in math and science education, if you're doing some things that increase accountability, improve excellence, then we're going to give you a little extra money but you have to reform to do it. so the idea is not just spending more money for its own sake. it's trying to improve performance and real reform. that's what we're doing at k-12. now, what we're doing at the community college and university levels is we've redesigned some of the programs like pell grant and student loan programs. as i mentioned, it used to be that the student loan programs used to go through banks and they would skim billions of
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dollars in profits even though they weren't taking risk because the federal government was guaranteeing the loans. so we said, well, let's just give the money directly to students. that will give us an extra several billion dollars that we can use to provide all of you additional scholarships, higher levels for your pell grants. but we're also working with community colleges to see, can we make sure that the programs at the community colleges are as effective as they can be to provide the training and the skills you need to succeed? so, for example, one of the things that we're doing is identifying, where are the jobs of the future can we get the private sector and businesses to help design curriculums ahead of time so that young people when they go through and if they're taking out these loans and making these big investments they know there's going to be a job at the end of
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the tunnel? so we need more money but we also need more reform. and in order to provide more money for education we're having to make some cuts in some other areas that, you know, are going to be difficult in some cases. i mean, i just mentioned the defense budget, for example. you know, there are certain aspects of the defense budget that i will not touch. for example, making sure that our troops have the equipment they need to be safe when they're in theater. [applause] making sure that -- making sure that when they come home veterans are getting the help that they need for posttraumatic stress disorder or to be able to go to college themselves. so there are certain commitments that we make to our men and women in uniform that are sacred and we can't cut back on those. but as i said, there's some
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weapon systems that just don't work. there's some that may work but we don't need. there's some that we just can't afford. so we're going to have to make some difficult decisions on some of those issues. and let's face it, there are also some social services programs that don't work. i mean, you have to be willing to examine whether some point you're paying for it is working. that money could be used for someone else to help people. we have to have a much more rigorous review of how effective it various programs are. some work and some do not. if they don't, we should eliminate them. ok? the giants turned -- a
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gentleman's turn. >> i have lived overseas for the past 15 years. i find something interesting. medicare will not pay for any expenses overseas. it has to be here in this country. that cost the government money and it cost me money. it is good for the health-care industry would you be interested in changing that? >> i think you're raising an interesting point. first of all, medicare is one of the most important pillars of our social safety net. [applause] i want everybody to understand what the debate right now about medicare that is taking place
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between democrats and republicans is. you are going to need this as this debate unfolds over the next several months. the house republicans just passed a proposal and their main plan to reduce our long-term deficit and debt is to turn medicare into a voucher program. what would happen would be, right now, seniors -- when they are on medicare, you basically are able to get the care that you need and medicare covers that for you. what would happen under this proposal is you would get a set amount of money. you could then go out and buy insurance. if the voucher you were getting was for $7,000 and the
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insurance company said it will going12,000, well, you're to have to make up that difference. it is estimated by the congressional budget office, an independent, bipartisan refereed in congress that determines these things -- the figure seniors would end up paying twice as much for the health- care as they are currently. at least twice as much. it would get worse over time because health care inflation goes up faster than regular inflation. your health care costs keep up going up and up ca. the voucher does not. each year, more cost is coming out of pocket.
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that would fundamentally change medicare as we know it. i'm not going to sign up for that. we are going to have to reform medicare and our entire health- care system in order to improve quality for the amount of money that we spend. we spend much more money in this country on health care than any other industrialized country. our outcomes are not better. that is will we started doing with health care reform last year. we said let's not just dump these additional costs on seniors. that is not a solution. how do we actually make health care costs lower overall? that means we work with providers to say how can you do
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a better job of providing care to the chronically ill? 15%, 20% of patients account up to 80% of the costs. treating those illnesses in a comprehensive way some of the overall cost to the system goes down. can we stop with the five or six tests, all of which cost money, and just give you one test and get the result e-mailed to have when you deal with? that can save the money. there are a whole host of steps that can make a big difference in reducing health-care costs overall. even if you are not on medicare, the overall cost of health care
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is being driven up for you. you are paying about $1,000 per family in extra costs because of all the uncompensated care that comes in, all the medical errors that take place in hospitals that end up costing the system as a whole. we can squeeze those inefficiencies and we can maintain medicare as we know it, and still reduce the cost to the federal government and to everyone in society. uh-oh. we do not need any health care, do we? to get your question, then, my preference would be that you don't have to travel to mexico or india to get cheap health care. i would like you to get here in
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the united states of america, that is a high-quality. so before we went on the path of you can go somewhere else to get your health care, let's work to see if we can reduce the cost of health care here in the united states of america. that is going to make a big difference. medicare is a good place to start. medicare is such a big purchaser. if we can start changing how the health care system works inside medicare, then the entire system changes. all the doctors and hospitals will all adapt to these practices. the same is true for prescription drugs. we want to start doing a better job of negotiating better prices for prescription drugs here in the united states so that you don't feel like you're getting
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cheated because you're paying 30% more or 20% more than prescription drugs in canada or mexico. re-importation is a short-term solution. why should drugs that are invented here in the united states and of being more expensive in another country? the reason is because drug companies can get away with it here. we should change some of those symptoms -- systems to make cheaper for everyone. thank you. right here. hold on. can we get a microphone here? >> hello. at a late student here northern virginia community college. i am in my second career. my question is, i will be eligible for social security in
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15 years. i am part of the baby boom generation. i don't know if there will be social security when i get ready to -- i probably will not retire for another 25 years. >> you look pretty young. you look like you have a lot of career left in you. >> i figure another 25 years i will be working. i am concerned that it may not be there when i need it. >> let me talk about social security. the big drivers are health-care costs. we have to get control of medicare and medicaid. that is what is skyrocketing really fast. health-care costs are going up a lot faster than people's wages and salaries. social security is a problem,
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but one that we can solve much more easily. so the first entry to your question is, social security will definitely be there when you retire -- so the first answer to your question is, social security will definitely be there when you retire. i am confident about and that. if we don't do anything on social security, if we do not touch it at all, then by the time you retire, or maybe just a couple years after you retire, you might find that instead of getting every dollar that you were counting on, you are like getting seven 5 cents out -- 75 cents out of that dollar. the population is getting older. more money starts going out this coming in.
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so we do have to stabilize social security's finances. we can do that with some modest changes. unlike health care or we have to work with providers and get much more substantial for forms. with social security, it is a matter of tweaking how current works. politically it is hard to do. right now you only pay a social security tax up to a certain point of your income. a little bit over $100,000, you don't pay social security tax. how many people are making less than $100,000 a year? don't be bashful.
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for the vast majority of americans, every dime you earn, you are paying some in social security. for warren buffett, he stops paying at a little over $100,000. the next $50 billion, he's not paying a dime in social security taxes. if we made an adjustment, that would do a significant amount to stabilize the system. and that is an example of the kinds of changes we can make. so we're going to have to make some changes in social security. it is not the major driver of our deficit. i have proposed, let's work on social security. bus stop confused that with this major budget debate that we're having -- let's not confuse that with this major budget
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debate we're having. that is the problem that is going to require some hard work and some bipartisan cooperation. ok? all right. john in the white shirt -- gentleman in the white shirt. there you go. >> i am a student here at nova. i am concerned about the clean energy solution. with the deficit we have, most of those solutions and alternatives are far more expensive than the things we have in place now. how are we going to reduce the deficit and develop clean energy alternatives? >> it is a great question. [applause]
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then start with gas prices because -- let me start with gas prices. you can sit down. i will admit to you in has been awhile since i've filled up at filled up at the pump. secret service does not let me drive anymore. thatt wasn't that long ago i did have to fill up my gas tank. if you got a limited budget and you just watch that hard earned money going away, the oil companies will once again probably make record profits this quarter. it is pretty frustrating. if you're driving out of necessity to work and you cannot
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afford to buy some fancy new hybrid car and you're stuck with the old beater that is giving you 8 miles a gallon, that is pretty frustrating. now, i wish i could tell you that there was some easy, simple solution to this. teacher that a lot of what is driving oil prices up -- it is true that what is driving up oil prices -- there is enough oil out there for world demand. the problem is, is that oil is sold on this world markets and speculators and people make various dbets. they think maybe there is a 20% chance that something could happen that might disrupt oil upplies, so we will bet
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that will goes up and that spikes prices significantly. we are now in a position where we can investigate if there is unfair speculation. we will be monitoring gas station to make sure the reason any price gouging and is taking advantage of consumers. the truth is that it is world commodity and when prices spiked up like that, there aren't a lot of short-term solutions. we have for medium-and long-term solutions. one solution is making sure we're increase the production of u.s. oil. we have actually continually increased u.s. production, so u.s. production is as high as it has ever been. we only have about 2% or 3% of
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the world oil reserves. you say we should be using traditional sources. we have finite sources when it comes to oil. that means we have to find some replacements. there are a couple of alternatives. one are biofuels. i was done in brazil. -- i was down in brazil. we should be able to develop technologies where we are building more efficient biofuels then we are currently using. we use -- most for ethanol comes from corn. it would be better if we could get farmers to work with industries to figure out whether we can use wood chips or elegy or switch grass or other -- or
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algae -- or other biomass that can create fuel that is competitive with gasoline. point number two is we should be looking at electric cars and how we can produce more effective electric cars, cheaper electric cars here in the united states. texter largely is feasible to get a car that runs 150 miles per gallon or maybe on no gallons of gas. you just get your car and plug it in your garage. whatever energy is stored in your car battery goes back into your house. at night, it is recharged and you're ready to go. harbert cars and electric cars are more expensive than regular
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cars. parlay that is because -- hybrid cars and electric cars are more expensive than regular cars. the more you produce us something, the cheaper it gets. remember what used to cost to ford flat screen tv -- for a flat screen tv or a laptop computer. the same thing could be true for electric cars. we're trying to increase demand on electric cars. the government has a lot of cars. we're saying, let's make sure 100% of our cars or energy efficient cars, to create a better market for those cars that can help drive costs down. we have increased fuel efficiency standards on cars. that will save about 1 20
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billion barrels of oil -- 1.8 billion barrels of oil. consumers -- when they go to buy a new car, that car lot better mileage -- that car will have better mileage. there's one less component to this. we still have to have electricity. how do we produce electricity? coal is something that is plentiful in america. will the saudi arabia of coal -- we are the saudi arabia of coal. dirty.cheap and 3 it can create the kind of air
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pollution that is contribute to climate change and also contribute to as much of kids nearby -- contribute to asthma of kids nearby. what we said is let's invest and clean coal technology that potentially can capture some of these particulates and some of the carbon dioxide going into the atmosphere. if we can do that in a cost efficient way, that would be helpful to us. we have to look at other ways of generating electricity. solar and wind right now are more expensive than coal or natural gas. that doesn't mean it will always be the case. in these will not develop the technology to maximize our ability to capture and store electricity for those means. i mentioned a natural gas.
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we have a lot of natural gas in this country. extracting it from the ground, the technologies are not as developed as we would like. it could create pollution in our ground war, for example. we have to make sure that if we're going to do that, we do that in a way that doesn't poison people -- it could create pollution in our ground water. we have to develop all these alternatives, all of them will require some investment in new ways of thinking, new basic science, new research, and typically no single company is going to be making those investments. it is not profitable for them to do itj. the federal government has stepped in and said, we will make this investment in basic research and then let someone else make money off of it.
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that is how we invented the internet and the gps system and the bar codes. those were all federal investment that spread out through the economy and made everybody richer and better off. that is what we have to do with energy, as well. all right? thank you. [applause] turn.lady's right here. >> hello, mr. president. i'm a history professor. are you encouraged to see more of the bipartisanship like the gang of six that has formed recently, addressing some of the concerns you have mentioned. do you think we'll see more of that? >> well, i am encouraged that
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over the last four or five months, we have been able to strike some deals between democrats and republicans that a lot of people did not expect us to be able to do. our conflicts and are disagreements tend to get more attention than our agreements. the easiest way to be on tv is to call somebody a name. [laughter] all right? if you say something mean about somebody, that will give you on tv. if you say something nice, you think, that is boring, i'm not interested. there is a huge opportunity for us to be able to work together, practically on this deficit issue. we now agree that it is a
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problem. everybody agrees about how much we have to lower the deficit by over the medium term and we have to deal with long-term health care costs in order to get this under control. it is pretty rare washington says, this is a problem. everybody agrees on that. and everybody agrees on how much we need to do to solve the problem. the big question is, how do we do it? there is -- i don't want to lie to you. there is a big philosophical divide right now. i believe you have to do it in a balanced way. i believe you have to have spending cuts, but you cannot cut things like education or basic research or infrastructure down to the bone.
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i believe that people who have been blessed in this society like me and have a very, very, good income can afford to pay a little bit more -- nothing crazy. just the back to the rights that existed when the oakland was present. that wasn't that long ago -- just back to the rates that existed when bill clinton was president. that is a fair thing to do, especially if you make sure bet singers are still getting their medicare and kids are still going to head start. i think most wealthy americans feel the same way. i want to live in a society that is fair. not just out of charitable reason but because it improves my life.
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if there are young people that are going to good schools and of opportunity, if i'm driving by announcing homeless folks on the streets -- why wouldn't i want to have a society where i knew that the american dream was available for everybody? so the question is, how do we achieved the same goal, can we do in a more balanced way? the house republican budget that they put forward, they did not just not ask the wealthy to pay more. they cut their taxes further. we just had tax day. nobody wants to pay taxes. i looked up by tax reform and said, hmm.
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there was a moment where you looked at the figure you're paying in say, wow, let me think about my position on taxing the wealthy. [laughter] i understand that. nobody volunteers and says i'm wild to pay more taxes. but it is a matter of values and will we prioritize. i don't think my taxes should be even lower. i think america wants smart government. it wants a lean government. it wants and accountable government -- an accountable government. according to the republican budget that was passed, we would have to eliminate transportation funding by 1/3.
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remember when that bridge in minnesota collapsed, with all those people on it? there was a big cry, how could this happen in america? the national society of engineers, they looked around and they give this a d when it comes to infrastructure. our roads and bridges and sewer system are all deteriorating. we don't have a serious high- speed rail infrastructure in this country. our broadband lines are slower than places like south korea. so what -- we cut transportation by another third, and will happen to america? we're going to the bridges collapsing everywhere? are we going to continue to of
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airports that are substandard? we realize that china and south korea and all of europe all of better infrastructure than we do? and with the businesses will come here and invest? at some point, companies may say, america has a second rate infrastructure and it causes too much money because our trucks are going over those potholes and getting emessed up. that is a choice we will have to make. this debate will be important. i will need all of you involved in this debate. you have to make your voice is heard. -- you have to make your voices heard. i want you to be able to talk to your members of congress and
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say, yes, i'm serious about reducing the deficit. i want limited government. i do think we have to make investments in basic research and infrastructure and education. let's do it in a balanced way. we can come up with a compromise that is effective, that puts america's fiscal house in order, but also allows us to win the future. that is my goal. thank you very much. thank you. [applause] ♪
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>> president obama at northern virginia community college in annandale, va. we will let you know that we will open our phone lines for a thoughts on the president lost comment. the numbers to call our 202-585- 3886. we will get to those calls in just a moment.
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>> president obama, the first of three town hall meetings this week talking about his plan that he announced in his speech last week. we'll put up or fall mons -- will put up our phone lines for your thoughts. we will show the president's speech again this evening about 7:00 p.m. eastern. we will of a closer time in our program scheduled. about 7:00 p.m. eastern or so. let's hear from callers. san diego is first on our republican line. this is jim. caller: what does this man not understand? it comes out of a whole thing goes down to the lower 48 states. that is a lie. anybody who was study the
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resources will validate that this is enough to keep us going for years and years and years. i have no idea why he is pushing this green crap. guest: we're bringing -- host: we have a discussion on energy. ted turner and t. boone pickens will be talk about the pickens plan. maine is next, ann. go ahead. caller: thank you for taking my call and have an opportunity to have my voice heard. the speech was nice. i think he was talking to the wrong people. he needs to look in his backyard. how much did members of congress spend it decorating their offices?
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i saw four boys on the hill. they were painting. their supervisor sat on a bench. host: where was this? caller: on capitol hill. the need to step forward because we need to -- we are betraying each other by our silence. there is no point in complaining to the executives. they were taking example -- advantage. the money going to pell grants. i used to teach. the money going to high school make its -- they don't through the first semester. that is money down the drain.
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look at the want ads. there was a time when employers required a high school diploma. it doesn't mean anything anymore. when i contact a member of congress with a question, all like it is a form letter offering to send me a newsletter or flag. members of congress on the committee should be required to respond to communications from the public, even if they do not live in that state instead of addressing them off. host: thank you. we're taking about 10 or 50 minutes of calls on your thoughts of the president's plan. the first of three stops this week. the president will be heading to california for a town hall at the headquarters of facebook in palo alto. next up christina in rochester, minnesota. caller: 2 like for taking my
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call. -- thank you for taking my call. host: glad you got through. caller: there are a two important issues that i don't think the american people understand. our oil gets sold on the world market. the world market sets the price of our oil even though it is our oil. we do not own the oil, the oil companies do, when it gets pumped out. we cannot control the price. president obama talked about the speculators. i keep hearing that government does not create jobs, private industry does. how private industry do roads or bridges?
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a government contractor. those are not government workers, but they have a job through a government contract that the owner of the company makes his money off of. government does create jobs. i'm not talking about the irs or the police of the fire department. i'm talking about everything else that because of the government contracts, people get jobs from private industry. if it weren't for the government, there will be no private industry jobs. host: let's go to our republican line. sandy is a republican. caller: on the news, i heard has latchedrto rico onto our social security system. they have just been letting the people their right and left get
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on to social security for disabilities. he went on to brazil. he said we're going to help you with the technology for drilling. if we want to be the first to buy your oil, we have will hear that we can be drilling offshore, but he is totally cut that off. they have to be accountable and clean it up. there will be accidents. our people are out of jobs that drilled the oil. but he is going all brazil and say we will buy it from them. we have to get away from other countries' oil. i watched an interview with him with a texas reporter. host: when was this? caller: this was last night.
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channel 8 news reporter. he had four interviews. host: the local station in texas? caller: yes. he let that reporter had ive it. it shows what an arrogant president he is. caller: i voted for president obama. i am disappointed in what he does and how everybody axed in congress to each other. host: that was our question this morning on "washington journal." caller: the war was supposed to end. the troops were supposed to come home. they are supposed to be doing things -- in the constitution it is the common welfare of the people. there is rich and poor and the country. nobody has anything.
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my husband and i worked hard and we saved our money. when these jobs are sent overseas, the companies that send these jobs overseas should be made to pay into social security and taxes for those jobs that were taken away. host: the president has some other appearances this week. this comes in the middle in the debate over the 2012 budget. they just passed the budget for the rest of 2011. lots of debate ahead on the debt ceiling. we have a tweet from speaker boehner. he said will help create jobs. host: we're taking your
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reaction on facebook, as well. let's get a few more calls. rich in ohio on a republican line. caller: it seems like jobs, jobs, jobs. we have a problem of philosophy of steel from the rich with a gun and give to the poor -- of steal from the rich. are we going to invest in the future with the right things? the first items that come off the list, the ones that pay off in the future. if we eat that golden goose, don't complain about the golden eggs. host: kim from minnesota, independent line. caller: michigan. i disagree with the deficit reduction plan.
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we taken $2.2 trillion and we're spending $3.7 trillion. need to cut $1.7 trillion so that we're then on a balanced budget. some programs are going to be hurt. it is about time people started doing something to take care of themselves. host: michelle in atlanta on our democratic line. caller: thank you so much for taking my call. i hear all the critics calling in and saying things like, we have to cut the deficit. we should not go to other countries. they talk about drilling here at home. did everybody missed the bp oil spill?
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do we not know what is going on as far as the proper safety things in place so that other people are not killed? they are saying, drill, baby, drill. you have to be careful. they keep talking about president obama needs to start looking -- the lady talked about the plants or whatever. that is small potatoes when we're looking at cutting the deficit in places where we know we're going to get a substantial amount of money. people that make more money, the millionaires and stuff, do their fair share. host: part of the deficit plan is to let those bush tax cuts expire. he addressed taxes in his comments.
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he said we cannot tell the wealthiest among us that you don't have to do the thing. one more call. let's get to cavan in wisconsin, independent caller -- let's get to kevin. caller: i am a veteran. we have a lot of issues in wisconsin with their own state currently and with the republicans pushing this nationwide. i have never seen this in my life. president obama was elected as a democrat -- if we were in recession, put a democrat in office. we have a surplus with clinton. the deficit was balance, at least, or close to appit. we put a republican in office
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and -- host: do you think the proposal is it realistic way to do that? caller: i believe there are both sides. i don't think republicans have a right to do this at time. but the democrats, as far as obama goes, he needs to be doing this as a part of a cycle that happens in the united states to balance out. we're not communists. we are not socialists. i did not won a dictatorship. host: kevin, thank you for your service. fred in louisiana on a republican line. caller: hi, sir. the key to c-span for what you're doing. the president indicated -- thank you for c-span. the president indicated -- i have an idea.
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let him do some carpooling. let him take mr. paul ryan or some other conservative -- to give a speech and they could answer questions from the group one on one. he takes one, the other one takes one. he wants openness and fairness. it doesn't get more fair than that's host:. thank you. -- it doesn't get more fair than that. host: thank you. we're focusing on the debt and deficit this week on "washington journal." a link to the website -- a live tour website which will lead to at our website, c-span.org.
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tomorrow we will focus on defense and security. every morning this morning act now on the clock 15 -- 9:15 on "washington journal." we will take you live to the national press club for a discussion on u.s. energy policy. t-boned pickens will talk with ted turner about energy. -- t. boone pickens. a discussion on u.s. objectives in afghanistan. one panel looking at counter insurgency. the next panel on negotiate for peace with the taliban. all that on c-span 2 at noon. >> todd, donald rumsfeld on this new book, telling his role in the bush administration. you'll hear about his decision making during 9/11 and its
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strategy on the wars in iraq and afghanistan. >> we talked about all the things that could go bad. women not find weapons of mass destruction. it was right there. sent to the president and nsc members. i was on a program with all raleigh -- o'reilly. wonderful idea. lustily enemy every single thing we might have a problem with so they can go about doing it. that is not the kind of thing you tell the press or talk about public. there is a list of page after page of things that's people in the government thought about. that was circulated and people were worried about. >> watch this discussion tonight at 8:00 p.m. on c-span.
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tonight, a discussion on race in america. griffonear from will and spike lee as a joint a panel of journalists to talk about media coverage of minorities. >> a you say you cannot get enough footage to make the case this was -- are you saying you cannot get enough footage to make the case this is a racist organization? you don't think you can capture that on tape? like they don't care if it is true or not. they should say, that is a dead issue. anyone who brings it up is ridiculous. if you get a phone call and they say, the support donald trump? your answers should be, no, he is an idiot. he is trying to hustle me out of my vote with a dead issue. i did not supporte him. >> watch this discussion tonight
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at 8:00 p.m. on c-span 2. >> the c-span networks. it is all available to on television, on-line, and on social meet networking sites. find our content any time at the c-span video library. it is washed in your way -- it is washington your way. provided as a public-service. >> a discussion on political unrest in the arab world. speakers include peter ackerman, founding chair of the international center on nonviolent conflict. also, jack goldstone, a george mason professor.
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>> thank you, david. it's a pleasure to be here at cato. thank you ev >> thank you for coming. curiosity about events and north africa. why did the dictators who seem to be immovable suddenly find the strength of their regimes fail and their power dissipate. i think peter is absolutely correct, the skills and the power of the deliberate campaign of the nonviolent resistance are the immediate answer, these movements in tunisia and egypt were not spontaneous outpourings , they were the fruit of years of oanizing which had produced numerous student demonstrations and labor strikes but it took years in certain
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locations for the organization to strike a chord and draw th support that was necessary to strip away from support from the leers i would say i also believe it important leaders in many ways created their own weaknesses and vulnerabilities and was the combination of this vulnerability by the ruling family and a well-organized will fall out campaign of civil resistance that produced a rapid change what were those weaknesses? in fact the regimes in tunisia and egyphad become classic instances of with the fury of revolutions call a neo patrimony of regime. that is a regime that does not recognize the normal functions of law that invest so much power
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and a chief executive in places themselves in a sense of of the law and disposes of the wealth and resources of society largely as he is fit. now rulers who had that type of power had many letters to keep themselves in power. usually they would use patronage to gain the support in the military and security forces, and among a variety of eltes. and if managed well, the use of patronage can keep them in power for decades. indeed, many personal sticklers stayed i powe for years sometimes throughout their lifetime. such a regime can also slip op. it's possible indeed tempting to occur. what type of mismanagement in
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particular can we see in tunisia and egypt and i will get to the cases of libya and some of the other countries in a couple of moments. first, in order to keep money flowing to the regime to fuel the patronage, an authoritarian leader in the modern world usually has to invest in some degree of foreign investment, educational improvement, productivity gains. but this effort at modernizing society in and of itself creates potential problems. what an education by into this part of the regime or will they find reasons to oppose it with a gain a certain amount of material benefit from improving the econo feel they have a stake in the regime or reason more people be shunted aside and excluded from the games that
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arise. in other words the dictator has to play careful game with patronage. if necessary to win over the key segments of society but not to alienate or exclude those who are also seeking to gain the benefits of growth. it's a tough game to play and sooneror later most such and dictators cave in to the pressures from their family members were from cronies or even the feeling of invincibility that comes from a decade after decade in power and the start treating more and more of the national wealth and more and more of the growth in the economy that something exists for the benefit or thebnefit of those closest to them. what happened in both tunisia and egypt is that regimes that started out as defenders of their countr succumb to temptation to create a naow circle of cronies whose
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corruption became the first noteworthy, been a source of natural revulsion. the situation in to nisha was one in which although ben ali wasn't himself as corrupt as some other rulers, his family members essentially started running a protection racket challenging every business that stock its head up and gained a profit to contribute a share of those profits to the family purse. building seaside mansions, dictating terms, taking advantage of their closeness to power, ben ali's family's undermined his moral authority at the same time they enriched themselves, family members, sorry, i should say. now, it is a critical factor as dr. ackerman pointed out for the regime to keep the pillars the leaders of the economy, the
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aders of the military, leaders of the security forces on the site of the ruler. that is also a of a rift in that inhalators strong business leaders to emerge allow the strong military leaders to emerge they would become potential rivals and so to the plea we will see tse neo patrimony all leaders try and make themselves indispensable by not creating any visible successors, not even creating a process for the succession, and trying to keep potential rivals at a distance. one commonactic is to divide the security forces so that the regular army and the police, the intelligence forces all have separate commands which report independently to the leader. this allows him to keep these
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forces separate with an eye on each other as rivals we can control them. but it also makes it much easier for one of these groups to defect if they feel a situation is going against them. it's also the case that the leaders because they don't prepare an institutional path to succession ofelooked words family members at the end of the day as the way to secure the regime and patrimony in egypt even though no one foresaw a revolution analysts had been warning for years that the ccession as hosni mubarak aged was when to be a moment of great risk there were no obvious successors, there were no strong rivals, and mubarak seemed more and more interested in shifting the succession to his son,
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jamal, who hadn't come up through the military, who wasn't a particularly popular figure, and indeed who had been enriching himself through his banking career and access to foreign investment and sales of each option property. the succession was going to be a problem in terms of keeping the elite on the side of the regime. but what we didn't anticipate is the regime's would face in 2010 2011 a perfect storm of global changes. first, prices which had risen sharply in 2007-2008, and we thought that's an exceptional event, well, they looked forwrd again in 2010, 2011. problems in a major wheat producers and rice producers, restrictions of imports led to
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an increase of about 50% in the price of the core steeples between the middle and then the 2010. now, governments and north africa had been subsidizing, they had been subidizing energy committee and in guaranteeing jobs, all part of the patronage based safety net designed to keep the population on their side. but since the late nineties under pressure from international financial agencies to reduce the subsidies, these regimes had been cutting back on the volume of subdies, on the number of milies who qualify for them and more and more families faced market prices for some or all of their basic needs. they felt these price increases. in addition, the number of young people had been building up rapidly in these societies. we are familiar with the concept of the large number of young people compared to adults and
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that is found throughout the world is who. what had been happening in march of north africa in the middle east the was a huge surge that is a recent increase in fertility combined with hollen child mortality that led to huge increases, 50% over a few decades in a number of young people who had survived to become active young adults but not actively employed. those government uaranteed jobs that have been the way to assure the loyalty particularly of the educat youth had sarted to run ot. and so while unemployment was modest among people who grown-up in the 70's and the 80's, for young people born in the 90's and reaching the late teens and early 20s just now, unemployment
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was horrific. officials on and when it was perhaps 25% in the middle east that's double the rate of youth unemployment elsewhere in the world, but unofficial estimates suggest that as much as half the population under age 30 didn't have regular jobs. we know that in egypt only about half of the men under 30 were married. very unusual in a family centered society, but that reflected the inability of people to get jobs that would allow them to start a family. so the sharp impact of the rising prices fell upon societies with high rates of unemployment, low rates of marriage and therefore exceptionally large numbers of young men who were not attached to the social order by marriage of employment, and frankly felt not only frustrated and poor, but humiliated. they felt the system was denying them the dignity of a job and
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family, denying them the dignity of any control over their own lives, and it was this type of struggle to express themselves with dignity that led him to se himself aflame after he had been humiliated by an official of the tunisian government. and people reacted to his self a malaysian by understanding the degree of english, despair and humiliation. he felt by saying we don't have to do this anymore. and starting small with a student movement that gained advice on the civil resistance from veterans of this movement, reaching o to labor, student and labor organizers planned days of resistance in a rural towns and cities first indonesia where the movement spread
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quickly with a fruit vendor expressed his rage to herself a malaysian, spreading to the capitol where the military fairly quickly resolved that although the mission was to defend the country they wouldn't kill large numbers of their countrymen to defend a regime that was widely seen as corrupt and even a threat to the national welfare. in egypt, labor and youth groups assembled and called for resistance on brilliantly national police de a new holiday that was supposed to celebrate the police and people turned out in the streets and said we will celebrate the police. we will ask them to stand up for the country and therefore against a corrupt leadership that is damaging our nation. and though there were some episodes of struggle, there were real risks of violence a
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threats against protesters hat escalated to a tax by both uniformed and non-uniformed security forces, the young people and their supporters from the labor movement, from the muslim brotherhood they all agreed on one thing. now's the time, now the hitchens. after they saw what happened in tunisia at it was possible to wrest control away from a dominant leader. just as an two nisha the military in egypt, which had been increasingly excluded fom the fabulous wealth seized by the civilians in jamal nagareda's circle decided they wouldn't turn their guns on people who were simply asking for the government to be accountable. and as the protest escalated, it wasn't clear what would happen. but in many cities throughout egypt, people for the first time
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set i'm going to stand up. i feel like a citizen. i'm proud to be in the egyptian today because i am acting to control the destiny of myself and my country. the movement spread not only through protests in the square or alexandria, but at the very end when mubarak seemed determined to simply leave power with his recently eleved second in command professional strikes, lawyers, doctors, professors, shutting down critical institutions persuaded the military that mubarak had to go. this vision, this belief, this power is now spreading throughout the middle east. even syria, a country that people assumed was on lockdown and in which this was the kind of country in which things could t occur. civil resistance to first
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reached in a town that has now spread to dozens of cities throughout the country. and the leadership is already on the defensive. they are trying to decide do we strike back with more violence or would that be counterproductive as it has been already? when a regime has lost legitimacy in the sight of its people, striking back is no longer a way to gain strength. it may gain power briefly, but it does not resolve the situation. let's talk about libya in a momenthere we see exactly that. and syria the government is now concerned. how much can we give, where is the line at which people will accept a change without calling for more? we see a example that isn't really a state. the gadhafi family has their own regiments, loyal mercenaries
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were tribally affiliated groups that are not a part of the regular military. rather these are troops that have been trained, they are called in the press loyalists and that is an accurate description. many of the mainstream institutional militaries have already defected as have many buaucrats and leaders. the question now is will civil resistance be enough? we are seeing enormous bravery in he more technically advanced and better train forces of the loyalists the of come is in doubt this is something perha we can explore and questions. i simply want to say tat civil resistance began the struggle here. it's not clear whether the civil resistance alone will in it. and this is where nato needs to make a determination. and where the world has to decide is this indeed one of those cases where the
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governments can work effectively for the freedom of others? or is this a case where the government effort well as they often do make things more difficult and move the goal further away? every one of course once a prediction now. what's going to happen in the middle east? is the muslim brotherhood going to rise t power? will more extremist ilamist groups takeover hijacking these revolutions? or will they move smoothly to a space outcome? my answer is none of the above. what we've seen, however, that should give us hope is that in the last 30 years there has been a major global shift in what happens in the popul revolutions, such as those that took place in egypt and tunisia. up through the 1980's, there were many revolutions against dictators.
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overthrew in mexico, john in china, cuba, there are many others. with the prevailing vision that intellectuals held was the view of virtually dictator, the way to achieve freedom was to form a revolutionary party, arm of that party and overthro the forces of the old regime. unfortunately none of those are the resistance movements as the doctor said led to fredom. the strains of the military campaign, the ruthlessness required to take power to read over and created a ruthless of authoritarian one-party states. since 1986 and the people power revolution of the philippines, we've seen something different happened. the prevailing models, the model of communism in china, cuba or the soviet unin, even a model of an islamic republic in iran had lost their appeal.
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people who want freedom, who want to be free of an intrusive state that mismage as their economy seizes national wealth and strips away their dignity. people who are striving to reclaim what they call the normal free life, the last thing they want is to enter a society that looks like iran or the soviet union, and they are aware of that. global communications, the internet, al jazeera, network tv and radio have separate divisions of different societies and the iranian model, the soviet model, the chinese model do not look equally good. the chinese model of the free markets with a firm hand has some appeal especially in parts of the third world struggling to catch up economically. but for people who have just struggd to rid themselves of repressive govnment, the attractive model is for
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democracy. is this move will functioning consolidated democracy? at first, no. this time. dr. ackerman spoke of patients. after a revolution that takes five to ten years to be consolidated and stable what we've seen in georgia and serbia that after dictators have been driven from the scene, the impetus to struggle for work and find a way to maintain democracy to make it work remains strong. dictators in the last 30 years, not in indonesia, not in the case as i've mentioned has led to an ideological extremist authoritarian regime. it doesn't mean that can't ever happen again. but the odds of history suggest that the people of egypt and
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tunisia will continue struggling towards democracy. there may be backslides to the authoritarianism. there may be episodes of instability. there may be concernsbout a rule of law. but it takes time. ev our american and united states struggled under the articles of confederation for a dozen years trying to figure out how to make democracy work. now that we have the constitution in many languages, we have a model when front of us but we shouldn't assume it's a model that translates i all respects. so i'm optimistic but called for patience and seeing what will happen. and i watch like the rest of the world with a society about what might happen in libya or to mention yemen or syria. i am, however, glad to see the tide of democracy finally washing ashe north africa and the middle east. [applause]
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>> thank you, jack. let me know if there are those of you that can to see the film we have another flm that we are showing friday of next week april 29. it's a sneak prview of a pbs documentary that updates mulken friedman's free to choose with my colleague, johanna nordenberg, hosting and traveling to some of the places friedman did. so look on the web site for that event. now that the open up to questions. be sure to wait until you are called on and a microphone gets to do so that everyone can hear the questions. yes, right here. >> regarding the the military situation in libya, it seems to me that this isn't that difficult. i understoodhat they perhaps have only 10,000 men under arms and thathe already has. does that also mean that a
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substantial number of the rank-and-file and 7,000 supposedly the rebels have about a thousand people which doesn't seem like much. but that seems like something nato can handle. perhaps the italian army can be involved, perhaps the foreign legion. what are the chances, the possibilities, the consequences of the sort of thing? >> i wish it were that easy. you're correct that in military terms if we were not concerned about the civiln damage, if we were not concerned about the image among the billion muslims in the world of the western armies invading another muslim country, it was just a matter destroying gadhafi's defensive capability, that could be accomplished. the problem is the boundary between somehow trying to do that, while not creating a
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massive disruption and resentment of thekind that took place in iraq. we don't -- we want to end the civil war might and libya as soon as possible. we don't want to plunge the country to the greater civil war. as to what is to be done, the good news is that the scholarship on the civil war suggests they in the either with a victory by one side or another, or a hurting stalemate and which both sides are persuaded that they can't defeat the other and therefore the only way to resolve the situation is through some type of a third party negotiation. i think at this point what nato is tryg to do is not become an object of hatred by anyone in libya. they want to be a key player people turn to to settle things one way or the other. they want to create a situation where gadhafi cannot impose his will for what the country, and by treating that type of stalemate i think they hope to
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openhe way for turkey or the gulf cooperation council or someone else to negotiate a solution. there are already kind of rumors of such discussions going on. gadhafi said they would fight till the last bullet but they will run out of bullets and they will run out of targets as long as nato is able to keep their military foes limited to one half of the country. so i think that is the strategy right now. limited force, minimal civilian casualties, stop the civil war, create a stalemate that leads to negotiations. >> in the back. >> thank you. i'm with the u.s. africa 2017 task force and i am the lead for the special operations division at the carnegie endowment, there
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was a panel with a british minister for the international development and marina and the former deputy of libya, not deputy come after they finished talking, i made a statement. i said with all that you have said, do you see an eminent popular uprising against the political class in those countries and in arica? and before iinished i said listen, from what we know, there's going to be n uprising in which the polical class. i said what you need to do, what america needs to do is support free and fair elections. [inaudible] get out of libya, don't mess with libya, don't mess with gadhafi, because you are in for a big surprise if you continue withhat you're doing.
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>> i don't think either of our panelists is doing that. [laughter] but if anybody wants to respond, you can. >> let's take another question. >> yes, in the front row there. >> you mentioned that 27% of the violent revolutions have succeeded, and we now have violent uprisings in libya and yemen. can you distinguish what it was above the 27% exceeded the differentiated them from the remainder that did not? and are there any parallels to yemen or libya crux that is what support other than the fact that the one can be distinguished from the ones that lost? >> we haven't done that study. the purpose of the study if you
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look at the pamphlet on the international non-violent confct the study is in there and by the way it is turning into a book called weiss of resistance works which i commend it to all of you. it is a seminal work that is the debt-ridden. but our purpose was to show that the dynamics create lower probabilities of success than the corresponding on violence. we re forcing -- we didn't do the study to determine why the other 73% were more successful or less successful than the 27. if i may, the reason that ther are several reasonswhy the doubling of probabilities for successful nonviolent resistance exists, it mainly has to do wi the staying power. if you are in the process of losing a violent insurrection, you lose my basically having the insurrection small group of people detached from the population be destroyed. and the author terry and has the dilemma not being able to
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destroy the opposition it seeks obedience from so the civil resistance movement a great deal of staying power because it is limitations on what the authoritarian can do. some commanders and the the vantage of the civil resistance over armed insurrection, but what about the armed insurrection, the database is pretty small. >> we had 323 conflict and two-thirds were violent, i'm sorry, we didn't do that study. perhaps we should have read in fact i would suggest we maybe should in the future because it might create some interesting conclusions and in fact we had to gain the civil resistance where we inject into the civil resistance movement violent tactics to see with the amex are, and i guess if we are better schooled into what tactics and more successful than others, we might have a more
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credible way of integrating the to to see how that plays out. so, it is an omission, sorry but it is an omission. >> i'm happy to try to respond to that since i've studied revolutions per my career. i think the answer is the regime's the fall to both violent resistance and nonviolent resistance are regimes having difficulty holding elite support from a financial or personal reasons to begin wit. if you attack a strong unified regime, you generally fail. now the lot of people historic kleeb, revutionary leaders have believed that power comes from the barrel of a gun. they've chosen military options, they have attacked a strong and unified government and the field. that is unfortunate. and if the use of violence, they are more easily identified and
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that makes them easier to crash if they are isolated from the population in general. violent groups cannot cause a revolution acting by themselves. the need to be strongly integrated with and supported by the general public. this is something we learn from the warfare and the don't do the organizational work and they don't do the political work, they won't succeed. now that's also true of nonviolent resistance. nonviolent resistance has simply gained much greater awareness as a tactic that can succeed. in recent years, people have chosen to attack the former rebegovernment's less often with rifles, recognizing that makes them more visible, more vulnerable and often repel the popular support. but using nonviolent means allows them to gain favorable media attention control the popular support more readily. but the basic conditions need to organize come and get popular support coming you need to attack a government where the
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connection is between the leader and the supporting pillars that holds in both types of resistance. >> we have a question in the back. go ahead and bring the microphone down here to be ready. >> todd palmer from cato and the network. i would like to ak the discuss sense to describe what happens after the resistance, mubarak is also pretty much all of the same guy is the first win power but they changed the faces of the top. does their need to be a deep look at the political institutions, and i will address the question to the executive as weekend of the constitution. we had george washington which is one rason w ours has worked pretty well. he stepped down after two terms. most places the chief executive when he's commander-in-chief decides stepping down is not a good idea [inaudible] he said the problem is the
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system for afra and he supports that it's less likely to lead to 20 years later the same thing is to happen because [inaudible] tire rent in pwer. do you have any thoughts on whether there should be a follow-up move to prevent the west minister style space institutions as opposed to the exit of systems in which the present is also the commander in chief for the military? >> may i start? >> for some the conflict in egypt particularly isn't over. many of the participants in the group don't feel it's over. they feel that things are not necessarily going the way that they had hoped. and they've asked us what they should do about that and what i said to them is go back to thinking about the ingredients
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that led to success in the first place when they are all in place. and that's what i said in my opening remark is if you want to know what happened in egypt in the future, you have to understand the dynamics of how they geto this point. so, in every single nonviolent resistance movement success depends on three things. the fit is the capacity to unify around a vision and organizational structure that would see the leadership to a group of people to respond to. that probably wasn't completed before events overtook and surprised everybody in resistance, so that still needs to be done. there still needs to be a more sharply rendered vision of what the future needs to be. to get by many more groups of diversified by gender, by geography, by whatever is required to get that and i think the tactics that got them their protests have to be diversified
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and other tactics that are destabilizing so that you can continue pressure on he military elements that might be considered in recalcitrant. of course like keep telling them is that they have to plan every day for the next day and the day after. they have to come together with a thought about how they're going to mobilize, how they are going to push back, how you're going to integrate their tactics with a larger vision. so these ements of unity and modify what discipline planning, which is the key ingredients at the start are still the key ingredients at this point. i don't know at the end of the day with the final structural solution would be, but i think they are far from that right now. right now the battle was still there. >> there are two keys t resistance turning into a successful regime. one is transforming a social movement into an effective political party. that's not easy to do. a lot of people think the work
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is done when the social movement has achieved immediate goals. but there's a lot of work that remains in building a party structure that can consolidate those gains. sometimes revolutionary leaders get outflanked by people who are better organizers so we may see that happen. the critical factor for the long run is the one you point to. whoever becomes theirst president of the new egypt whetherit is someone else, will say at the end of the constitutionally mandated term-limits step down and peacefully hand over power to whoever succeeded him? this is the george washington nelson mandela moment. it doesn't need to be cared as much a leader whodoes this but it needs to be a leader that accepts the rule of law and is willing to elevate leaving a democracy behind us more important thanis own political poer. do we always find that? no. if we don't find it, what
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happens? two options, one it may degenerate back to the amount of authoritarian and some, or it may require another round of popular protests. my elief is that younger people who have seen the power and learn the method of organizing are not going to go away. they will be allergic to this risk and if they keep organizing and keep communicating there will be an effecte check on the system. >> we have a question right here. >> i'm going to be a little bit critical but while agreeing with the analysis that's gone on in most of the council. first of all, tunisia had the best demographic picture in the muim world, and fertility has been dropping in every country but palestine for example for decades now because of the reason you felt as the mortality
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rates drop twice as fast as fertility rates, and then use element of tunisn has to do with the population, not the numbers. they don't have the numbers and tunisia. in terms of the protests there was no -- the most important protest is for anybody that has run, i doubt anybody remembers that come october 18th, thunderstrike. the tunian opposition was badly organized as the libyan one so there wasn't the labor movement. a significant was in the south -- >> get to the question. >> what we are seeing is to countries that have had a successful oppression and change of regime. one country in the civil war, defending the chaos. major protests going on and seven with minor but importance. we have 19 countries, all of
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whom would be on the front page of the news relative to the normal political such region. so i would like the panelists beyond the sort of ingredient for the revolution approach and beyond the sort of tactic for the regime change approach to think about this world historical moment, this wave of change and you were just getting at it right now. and how looking at we should be on the right side of history. >> welcome you point to a very happy trend i'm glad to discuss and that is the number of countries in the world that have some form of space government has been rising steadily. it's a strong global trend as the fall and mortality in the fall when fertility. the only exception was during the period of the great depression in the thirties we had a rise of fascism. but since then we've seen an uninterrupted expansion of democracy and in a sense, you could say north africa and the middle east, middle-income
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countries, growing educated youths way behind the rest of the world even behind sub-saharan africa, and it was overdue for there to be some type of the space movement and reform. i think that's right but the other factors i mentioned help explain why it can together now. i will say this about to nisha. tunisia the fertility dropped 20 years ago and so the number of under 20 is the lowest of any arab country that actually gives them good prospects for democracy because they have not quite as much volatility but the engine number of youth and to nisha, 20 to 24 is about two or 3% lower than the other countries, may be 10% lower than yemen but still relatively high. this is ayouthful region. >> okay. we have time for to more questions. we are going to take one there and one here. >> yes. i think using the terminology dictator and popular movement is a bit misleading.
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according to caroline dhaka, there's a number of ships that were unexpected and then they went to sierra and not long after there were missile attacks. also in the mediterranean is the shortest route from the east coast of the united states. you have to go out of the uez canal. there's no other way and that is near yemen, and also the supertankers. the oil tankers to the suez canal and the somali pirates according to have about c fair hostage. can you talk about the impact on the national issues such as shipping, oil, u.s. support of the military and the defense of israel? >> i'd like to just step back with this question and leave that to you. >> the work we do i not about tactics. it's about linking tactics into a strategy and the importance of developing a strategic theory.
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as a skill based activity tt might occr under any set of conditions, and that in fact you can take two steps of onditions and get different results and the differen is based on the fact one group is working with greater skill than another so i just want to a that clarification, but i will leave that question if i can to you. ..
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>> although it will take a decade or two to play out. i think the questions that you raise are very important, but ev the issues of trade through the canal, whether pirates will be controlled, all of this is part of the bigger question of what type of governance structure is going to replace the monarchies and dictatorships that have prevailed in the middle east for the last 30 years? are we going to see accountable popular movements? if so, are they going to align with the east? west? independent? and how well will they control their borders? all of those are questions we can't answer yet. >> all right. last question right here. >> my major question is ho gives a damn? it seems to me what you have ben talking about is changing the political structure of nation. if you leave power in a centralized format, which neither of you have addressed,
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if you are a military dictatorship, use the existing structure, coup d'etat model, and civil society, you want to remain in power. after it's over, who cares? market economies and other forces can disperse power, all democracy does is disperse political power. political power is the danger, not whether it's exercised by the mob or dictator. at least that's what i believed in at cato. >> i think to you want to talk about, fred, the prospect of property rights, i think as a result of the civil resistance, the advancement of property rights which is something i know is a concern in my opinion will be much, much higher than it was on mubarak. nobody had admit they had in property. you couldn't get contracts. there was no mortgage market. let's see what happens when we play out ha a secular
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government looks like and open to the rule of law and property rights. then we can see whether we give a damn or not. i personally do give a damn. i'll see what the profess says. >> let me give you two anecdotes of people who are care and directly affected by this. i teach a course on democratic. i had a student from lebanon. the key poit i tell my students, it's a mistake to think of democracy simply as electoral competition for power. if all it is in people choosing which nastier, corrupt party steals from them, it's not a serious choice. what democracy is about is really a way of holding government's accountable and protect human rights and market choices that allow people to realize their control. the student from lebanon said, you know, i never understand that democracy was about human rights and freedom. it's that thought that was
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penetrating into the middle now. i see this in the second anecdote. which is a person in syria who was interviewed just in the last week who said wewent out in the streets to shout. that's all we felt we could do. as more and more people joined us and as yo start shouting, i started to feel for the first time like a real syrian who matters. a citizen of my country who had a voice. those are messages of democracy that are very different than, you know, your concern. now there's always a risk that democracy can be taken over. but the people who are making these revolts and organizing and taking the rsks, they have vision of freedom, self- realization, government, and citizen accountability. that's what heir target is. that's what they are shooting for. >> thank you, jack goldstone, thank you peter ackerman, we should probably do the event in a few months.
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i suspect there will be more to say. now let's go upstairs and have a glass of wine. [applause] [applaus [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011]
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>> in about 15 minutes, turner enterprises ceo ted turner and t. boone pickens will talk about renewable and alternative energy on renewable plan energy. >> tonight, former defensive terry dahlov rumsfeld on his new book detailing his work -- former defense secretary donald rumsfeld on his new book detailing his work. >> we talked about water all the things that can go bad. one of them was that we may not find weapons of mass destruction. it was right there, written, center around to the nsc members and the president. we thought about those things. i was on a program with o'reilly. he said, "would begin at ellis?
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what do not tell us all the things that might go wrong?" great idea. tell the enemy what might go wrong. that is not the kind of thing that you tell the press to talk about publicly. but there is a list, page after page, of things that people in the government thought about and talked about. it was circulated and people want it -- people worried about it. >> watch that tonight at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. tonight on c-span 2, a discussion on race in america. you'll hear from will griffin and film director spike lee as they join a panel of trellised to talk about media coverage and minorities. >> you mean that -- a panel to talk about media coverage and
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minorities. >> you do not think that you can capture that on tape? they do not care whether it is true or not. the news media ought to say that that is a dead issue. anyone who brings it up is ridiculous. if you get a phone call and they say, hey, do you support donald trump? your support -- your answer should be, no, he is an idiot. he is trying to puzzle me out of my vote with a dead issue. no, i do not support him. >> that is tonight on c-span 2. >> this year's student competition asked students from across the country to consider washington, d.c. through their lands. today's winner held to understand the role of government. >> low voice -- and have been
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shown visions of the future holds. and i tell you [inaudible] there will be a city [inaudible] there will be a great noise and confusion and the earth will shake. >> with those words, john hendricks, accurately prophesied the city of oakridge before it happened by four years. americans wanted to get the bomb before the germans did in several plants were constructed for the war effort. -- r the war >> the big plants, the other
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three, cost $478 million. those two plants together cost $1.1 billion. it cost $16 million. >> oakridge national lab is the largest lab in america. it includes many fields of study, including computer and biotechnology is. >> a lot of different projects that deal with energy technology. we go from very fundamental plans to applied science, so we can get more electricity, better materials for the electrical
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grouid. >> computing is huge. they have a great computing center. the neutron source is a great use a facility to look at materials and learn some of the most fundamental things about the things we use every day and how we can improve them. there are too many to even talk about. >> this is one of the finest in the world. >> of the kind of research that goes on is one of the kind in the world. no one else has that capability. >> with great projects comes great responsibility. >> we do not get money from the government directly. our staff write proposals that are grants from the government. >> they get a substantial amount
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of money from the government every year. they get $1.67 billion per fiscal year and $34 million of the $780 billion in nea recovery act. >> i think we have been in very good shape because the whole nation understands that energy is a big problem. a couple of years ago, gasoline was front and center and it was in people's radar screens that we had to do something with energy that was more dependable. >> i believe in this new industrial nation -- industrial revolution, america's workers can lead the world. >> without a doubt, the projects are better forre
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the environment and community. >> you have deep thoughts and write papers. census and engineers are coming up with new ideas that will translate into technology and into jobs. >> however, mr. hanley has a different believe. >> it will probably not immediately impact your daily life. but it is the kind of research for defense that will not help it, but makes something worth defending. >> it is arguably the center of the surrounding area otherwise known as oakridge. if the center of the city disappeared, the economy would suffer, lives would be affected dramatically. >> we have over 4500 staff members there. a good part of them come from oakridge. even in knoxville, the surrounding counties, a lot of
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our employees are there. >> the help -- it would be devastating to oakridge. if you look at our community, at oakridge, at anderson county in particular, we're doing pretty good. if you look at the surrounding counties, the rural counties, they do not have a lot of industry. industries that have been there in some capacity have gone away, unfortunately. so unemployment rate is quite high. oakridge employs a lot of people from the surrounding county. it would be very tragic if of ridge national lab lost its funding. >> even though it would be devastating, it will not happen anytime soon. what is in the future? >> i can see it having an impact on this nation.
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we tend to work in large teams to solve major problems. the energy issue will be with us for a long time. the investments in this country are made in energy, not just to help us have cars that go places and taken to school and soccer practice, but, more importantly, we need electricity that is cheap and available. >> i think the lab is the hot rock in oakridge. it is a great place that generates a lot of jobs. it generates a lot of new technologies. they are on the cutting edge of science and technology. >> no country has the national laboratorresearch laboratory the have. they have one major awards in science. >> it will not be going away anytime soon, not now or any
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time in the future. because of all the government's support, the future for the lab is very bright. >> go to studentcam.org to see all the videos. our top meet one of winners in this year's competition. students produced a news about an issue of a core topic that helps them understand the role of the dead pro-government. today, we go to not so, tenn. to hidgodge. ian haunc why did you focus on the oak ridge national laboratory. >> it is right in our backyard. all the members are interested in energy. the lab does a lot of research
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to do more efficient energy. it fit the theme well that, whenever it started back in world war ii, it has close ties to the federal government today. >> what is it best known for? >> oakridge is known as the secret city. it was started back in world war ii as part of the manhattan project to make uranium for the bomb. it is known for that and, today, is known for continuing that research and innovation along with its close ties with the federal government. >> what impact does the lab have on your community? >> the biggest thing that it does is supplied us with jobs, not just research jobs, but community jobs. an entire city grew out of these labs and out of that grew thousands of thousands of jobs. the lab itself has thousands of
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jobs. one of our interviewees works to funnel people into the lab who supply the materials to build buildings there. >> what role does it for the government play with the lab? >> the biggest thing that it does is it funds of the national lab. it does this through programs that the department of energy. >> you interviewed michele buchanan, the director for the physical sciences lab. >> one of the biggest things that we learned is how the lab works financially. we learned how they basically apply for grants for each individual project. that is how they get the money for all the variety of things that they do. we also learn about different projects that they do that added h how those
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projects affect our daily lives. >> what kinds of projects are being conducted at the lab? >> there is a huge range of projects, from computer technology and biotechnology. there is a distillation neutron source, a gigantic adam collider, which stretches to atoms together and figure out how they work. you also have hydrogen cars that will reduce carbon emissions. and you also have this ongoing seen of white weld that started after world war ii. -- of y12 that started after world war ii. i would like you to appreciate all that blood has done since world war ii did what it does now read what it can do in the future. >> a lot of different projects
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to deal with energy technology. we go through very fundamental to highway technology. >> there are so many -- computing is huge. they have a great computing center out there. as i mentioned before, the dissolution neutron source is a great use a facility -- the things we use every day and how we can improve them. there are just too many to even talk about. >> the lab contains the distillation neutron source, one of the greatest atom smashers in the world. >> it is one of the kind in the world. no one else has the capability of. >> you can see ten

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