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tv   Washington This Week  CSPAN  January 22, 2012 6:30pm-8:00pm EST

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obama has lost the independent vote there. republicans are trying to pick up those independent voters. where can obama win support, from his base. he has to get out the vote of the african community. he needs to get his base in south carolina out and get them excited about what he is doing and work to get them registered and get them to turn out in november. >> on a question. mitt romney is going to release his taxes on tuesday. that will be one of the story is moving into florida. >> we will -- we were talking about that earlier. i think he is definitely trying to do some damage control. he knows the polls have shown this is not an issue that he has
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done a particularly good job of responding to. it is basically up to him to make the case to voters about why he has dragged his heels on this for so long. it would happen sooner or later. it is not particularly good the day after his loss in south carolina. >> thank you for joining the questioning on "newsmakers." thanks for joining us. >> for more resources in the presidential race, use c-'s campaign 2012 web site. see what the -- use c-span's campaign 2012 web site. >> tomorrow on "newsmakers," a
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look at the current tax rate for executives. then a discussion about the recent shutdown of websites in protest of the sopa act. and a discussion on federal government funding. that is live at 7:00 a.m. eastern here on c-span. florida congressman allen west posted a discussion on conservatism and the african american community. among the participants, congressman tim scott of south carolina and j.c. watts. live tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. >> i have never felt more strongly that america's best days and democracy's best days lie ahead.
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we are a powerful force for good with faith and courage. we can perform great deeds and take freedom's next step. we will carry on the tradition of a good and worthy people who have brought light where there was darkness, medicine where there was disease, food where there was hunger, and peace where there was only bloodshed. let us be sure that those who come after will set us in our time, that in our time we did everything that could be done. we finished the race, we kept them free, we kept the faith. >> find state of the union address is going back to 1952. and what president obama delivered this year's state of the union address tuesday on c- span. it is washington your way. >> coming up, newt gingrich
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joined us this morning on washington journal. we begin with a clip from his victory speech. [video clip] >> there were two debates where people reacted so strongly to the news media. i think there was something fundamental that i wish the powers that be in the news media would take seriously. the american people feel that they have been forced to quit being americans and become some other system.
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guest: i will give a speech on health contrasting obamacare and health care. there was a speech on economic growth. there will be a speech on cuba and latin america. i help once a day to do something positive and clear about positive ways of moving forward as a country to get back on the right track. the florida debate could be a positive dialogue about what would be best for america's future. host: phyllis is on the line with a question.
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caller: we are working for you. i have friends in florida who are already passing out fliers. how bout an import tax we can get out of jobs that? guest: you raise a good point. the fact that the president
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vetoed the keystone pipeline, canadians will produce enough oil to pay -- to take care of central illinois. it makes no sense for president obama to have vetoed that. he is forcing canada into a partnership with china. how can our next door neighbor- china to be a more reliable partner to be united states? the answer is barack obama. your point is well made. every time we turn around, we find another way that barack obama is killing jobs. thank you for your friends in florida. i hope everybody watching will facebook or e-mail or call anybody they know in the florida. we need people power to offset governor romney's money power. get on facebook an e-mail and we will do just fine in florida. host: next we have mary in wisconsin. good morning. caller: i would like to make some points. with this country is broke. we have absolutely no means to rebuild our country.
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we cannot even see to create jobs. can you please address how you plan to put this country back together with our pockets are absolutely empty? host: thank you, mary. guest: i have a sudden loss from sheboygan and my wife is from western -- i have a son in law from sheboygan and my wife is from western wisconsin. we have to go back to the basics. do exactly what any family or any business would do in this kind of circumstance. i want to imply -- apply a new management system that would save $5.20 billion per year. i want to apply new payment systems for american express and mastercard that will save
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between $60 billion and $110 billion per year in fraud that we are paying to crooks. we send that to slow stamps and stood alone and that will save us billions more -- to boot stamps and student loans and that will save us billions more. we do not need a department of energy. we need an energy policy. if we have an energy policy -- you heard the previous caller talked about the need for oil in central illinois -- if we have an energy policy we will be in a position to increase revenues. if we have oil on federal land, we have revenue. i have an aggressive jobs plan. go to and you will see a number of steps i would take to create jobs.
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if we can get unemployment at 4.2%, a number of people will be taken off all food stamps, medicaid, public housing, unemployment compensation and welfare and put into work paying for their families and paid taxes, that would be an enormous step toward a balanced budget -- balanced budget. we have a number of plans at i am methodically and systematically determined to get america back on track. host: and health care is the number 1 driver of our national debt, how would you reform health care? it i helped found the center for health transformation.
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first of all, you want to go back to the doctor, the patient, the pharmacist. that group of people that knows the person should be at the center of health decisions. not an insurance company bureaucrat. we need to look seriously at tort reform. we survey doctors. $800 billion a year is just defensive medicine, giving you a test you do not need, but the doctor once its in the record in case he gets sued. taking the trial lawyers out and putting the doctors back in would move us a long way toward the right thing. neither obamacare or romney-care moves us in the right direction. they move us toward the bureaucratic model that is inherently destructive.
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host: that there is on the phone from silver spring maryland. caller: i met you at the world science fiction convention. i was the one who showed you the first copping out later. guest: this was in baltimore. you have a good memory. caller: i do. i am concerned about the environmental whackos. if you become president, how are you going to stop these people from turning the united states in one gigantic part. keep up the good work. i love the way you told the media off. guest: that speech at the world science fiction convention led to my publishing opportunity in 1984. i will be in florida giving a
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visionary speech about the united states going back into space in the john f. kennedy tradition. you brought back some on the memories from that trip. we have a proposal at to replace the epa. the environmental protection agency is filled with people are of -- who are against american jobs. they believe in a radical vision of the world. last year was the most expensive gasoline in american history because of president obama's policies, which are anti- american energy. the environmental protection agency has a proposal that would raise the cost 25 cents a gallon more. you would have to be totally out of touch with the american people to come up with these kinds of radical ideas. the agency is not fixable. we need to replace it with an
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agency that applies common sense and emphasizes innovation and entrepreneurship and collaborates with local communities and does not dictate to them. host: mark on the phone from maryland. good morning. caller: my name is mark. i have met you twice, once about four years ago. i said to you, if you were going to run for president -- i was lecturing you. it is amazing to me that we have gotten to this point where you are now possibly going to be president of the united states. we ran into each other at a shoe store and we spoke for a minute. i walked away and that was it. i met you a year later at a bookstore in virginia. i believe your faith is strong in god and you love god and i
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pray and wish that you really push that part of what is going on in america. we have so many broken families. i come from a divorced family. it ruined my life. we have so many problems with homosexuality and immorality. i wish i could give you $25 million. i called your campaign headquarters and said, i want to give this guy $25 million, which i do not have right now. dodd bless you. please push the morality issue -- god bless you. guest: thank you and i am glad i listen to you in the shoe store. your voice counts in your voted accounts. bill facebook counts. -- your facebook counts. i am grateful for your support
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and your involvement. i agree with you. this question about whether or not we are going to recognize that our rights come from our creator as we say in the declaration of independence -- we have obligations to our creator for those rights. that is a central problem in this campaign and helps explain what america is all about. that was a good phone call you just had. host: that we get your reaction to news this morning. mitt romney says his campaign made a mistake by not releasing his tax returns. he announced today that they will be released on tuesday. your reaction. guest: it is a good thing. i commend governor romney for doing it. as far as i am concerned, that issue is behind us and we should go on to bigger and more important issues. it was important to set the precedent. his office at the present bank.
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is agreed to do it on tuesday is a good thing. host: mitt romney said there was only one reference in the ronald reagan's book about you and you were not as deeply involved as you plan to have been in the reagan revolution. guest: this is what i do not understand about the romney campaign. they pick fights they do not know about topics they do not understand. he was an independent in the 1980's. he said he did not want to go back to the reagan-bush years. tony dolan was ronald reagan's chief speech writer for 8 years. he would be glad to explain how many years i was active in helping. he knows the reagan library material deeply. he will explain how many references there are to me and how often i worked with the brigantine. if you spoke with -- he would explain how many references
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there are to me and how often i worked with reagan. it is another example of why governor romney has a problem. he does not know what he is talking about. some consultants gave him a clever line. they did not look at the larger truth. i met with ronald reagan's first for one hour in 1974. i can paint with reagan. i was on his side in the panama canal fight in 1976-1977. i was introduced to him at a republican party dinner in georgia in 1979. i campaigned with him in 1980. i kept -- i helped organize the capitol steps events, which was the first time ever a presidential candidate was on the capitol steps with the house and senate candidates. there was a special task force to reach out to democrats in 1981 to pass the reagan economic program. this goes on and on.
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for governor romney to decide to pick a fight about which understood reagan and which of us did not, this was a guy who n 1982 voted for paul tsongas. he should not get involved in a fight that he does understand. host: thank you for being with us here on c-span. >> for more recess -- resources on the present rates, use the c- website. >> tomorrow on washington journal, a look at the current tax rates on equity income earned by executives. then a discussion about the recent shutdown of websites in protest of the stock online
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privacy act. and later, federal government funding. that is all live at 7:00 a.m. eastern here on c-span. lord congressman allen west hopes a discussion on conservatism and the african- american community. among the participants, tim scott and fomer rnc chairman michael steele. monday at 10:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. >> mr. speaker, the president of the united states. >> tuesday night, president obama delivers his state of the union address. the president's speech, republican response by mitch daniels and your phone calls. live on c-span and c-span radio.
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on c-span 2, what the president's speech along with members of congress. throughout the night, go online for a live video and add your comments using facebook and twitter at >> now, van jones. he has an organization called rebuild the dream. this is hosted by families usa. it is
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>> he was named as one of the 100 most important people in the world. we, as health care advocates, are part of the broader progressive movement. as you will discover, that broader progressive movement could not have a more elegant voice been banned jones -- van jones. let me add a couple of personal comments. i also want to tell you that the broad agenda of which we are a
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part is something that all of us need to be more conscious of these days than before. umbrella covers everything from the occupied movement to all the progressive causes that many of us are involved in. i am personally proud to be and has been for some time one of van's supporters. you are about to see why. van? [applause] >> thank you. they may its dark in here. i hope you guys are finished
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eating. in one year, one year from now, we will be back in this room. or a room like it. we will be in one of two scenarios. either the country will have affirmed its wisdom in moving forward trying to get a few more doctors to babies, building on the success of people in this room and across this country, or we will have decided to take a step backwards. whether or not the inherent wisdom that was shown by this white house and the people in this room is honored is largely
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in our hands. what i want to talk about is not the specifics of health care. you know more about that than i do. but it context in which this struggle is taking place. you know, rationally, that it cannot be the case that people cannot be this upset that we might get more doctors to babies. that cannot be the real issue. it cannot be the case that people are this of said -- the opponents of this progressive movement are this upset because a few more americans might be able to see a doctor because they are sick. there is something else going on. what is at stake is what is the character of our country. who are we as americans. what does it mean to be an american. that is going to be the subtext and the context of every single attack ad, every single debate, every single bar room
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discussion, every single discussion in the laundromats will be about who we will be as a country. this is a key issue for us. i get my mind wrapped around it by thinking about my father. my father was born in abject poverty. he was born in memphis, tennessee in a community called orange mountain. orange mountain was one of the biggest black ghettos before harlem over to its. he was born in harlem. his father died when he was 5 years old. because he could not get good health care. one of the last things my grandfather ever said to my father when he was 5 years old was, i am not going to be here. i want you to take care of your little brothers and your little
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sisters. you are the man of the house now. my father was 5 years old. as a child growing up years later, whenever we would go back to memphis, everybody would say to my father, old willie, how are you doing? to me, this made perfectly good sense. at that point, he was old. [laughter] he was probably 35. [laughter] so it makes perfectly good sense to me that they would call my old father, old willie. i did not understand they started calling him that when he was 6. he would walk around at six years old try to be be bothered that was missing, trying to be the man of the house at six years old. they started calling him old willie when he was 6. it helped me understand why he joined the military.
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and got out of orange mountain and came back and put himself through college and put his little brother through college and put a cousin bucolic and then put me and my sister through college. -- put a cousin through college and put me and my sister through college. no one has to give us a lecture about what it means to pull yourself up by your bootstraps. my daughter used to tell me before -- when i first got involved in the activism, son, nobody can give you anything to stop you from being poor. nobody can give you anything that will stop you from being poor. i admire what you are doing, but keep this in mind. if you give somebody some money, you can stop them from being broke. but they are still poor in their mind and heart and spirit. every individual has to climb
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the ladder out of poverty by their own individual efforts. that is the individual's responsibility. i did that. my father did not stop there. he said, society has a responsibility, too. society has to make sure that there is a ladder for that child to climb. a ladder or the child to climb. that is where we have been failing as a country. we have been building this new generation. the ladder of opportunity has been called -- has been kicked over by people who have a financial stake in rigging the rules so they can get more money at the top. the rungs between the latter get farther and farther spread out. that is -- ladder get farther and farther spread out.
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there is nobody in here trying to move to north korea. what we are saying is we want people to be able to work hard and get some where. not work harder and fall further behind. we're old fashioned in that way. we have old-fashioned values. when you work hard, you should be able to get some place. you should be able to give up the morning and go to the dignity of the work place, be respected on the job, come back home with a paycheck. look your child in the eye and you can give the child a better life if you work hard and play by the rules. now you have the people working hard falling behind and cannot
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succeed. yet we have people breaking the rules and who have computers doing 1000 trades a second on wall street. no matter how crazy they are and how many rules a break, they cannot fail. they have been declared too big to fail. that is what is wrong. those of us with old-fashioned american values say the only thing too big to fail are the middle and working-class families and communities. that is too big to fail. our neighborhoods are too big to fail. our children's dreams are too big to fail. the american dream is to big to fail. we will do what we have to do this year to make sure it does not fail. to me, that makes us the patriots, the real patriots. when a country is in this level
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of crisis and change, every issue is just a surface discussion of a deeper issue about the character and identity of the people themselves. who are we as americans? i think this to malts -- tumult in this country is over the fact the should be able to see a doctor. if you are sick, you should be able to see a doctor. that should be a low rung on the latter -- ladder. the struggle has to do with some people telling us that is a foreign idea, a socialist idea. they always point to the founding. notice how they abuse the
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constitution and the founding to justify their agenda. we should take upon it. let me suggest to you that we have something to say about our issues in this country. we know a little bit about this country, some of us. my family has been here for a new local --unknowable generations. many of you have marched and gone into neighborhoods with people who talk about his children should be made into janitors. i think we know a little bit about it. many of you have put your life on hold tried to fight for liberty and justice for all in communities that know little about either. i think we might know a little and mightamerica
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have something to say about that. it might be helpful for us to say something about that while we talk about our issues. america is not just the founding reality. they love to talk about the founders. let's talk about america at the founding. america was born in a contradiction. we have a founding reality that is ugly and on equal -- unequal. jefferson said he trembled for his country thinking that god is just. think about enslavement and marks on the republic. think about the way they had fallen short on their higher ideals. he said he trembled for his country. even the founders had heartbreak about the founding reality. thank goodness america is not just a founding reality.
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it is also our founding dream. the founding dream, we hold these truths to be self-evident that all created equal and that we have a right from the creator to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. that is the founding dream. who are we as americans? americans are a unique people on this earth. every color, class, face, gender, the rainbow people, an imperfect people who have struggled generation after generation to drag the unequal down in reality closer to the beauty of the dream. that is who we are. that is what we do. that is a makes us americans. each generation looks at the
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reality and the dream and tries to figure out what to do to take another step closer to the dream. the beauty of the last century is that the dream builders, the dream defenders won the last century. we won the last century. if you do not believe me, rewind the tape to 1900. does anybody want to go back to 1900? think about 1900. women in a secondary status did not have the right to vote. people of color were not even considered human beings. our rights were in the garbage can. the environment is being trashed from coast to coast. trees were being shot down. pollution was without regulation.
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mother nature was in the garbage. workers never had a day off. there was no such thing as a weekend. there was not one paid a federal holiday. there was no middle class at hardjust people working and a few people who own everything. children were working in the factories. children and working families were in the garbage can. lesbians and gays did not even have a name. they did not even get a garbage can. [laughter] that is 1900. some people looked around and said, this looks great. this is wonderful. .et's conserve this [laughter] [applause]
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thank goodness there were some deeper patriots who looked around. they were appalled. they are aghast. they said that we will never be a perfect nation, but we can be a more perfect union the myths -- than this. they marched, they rallied, they did sit-ins, strikes, voted, some were beaten, some were jailed. some were murdered. their blood is in the ground of this country. by the year 2000, everything they said that america should be, we were many steps closer
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to. the statement that we call the american way of 1900, it was not people trying to conserve 1900. they created that. it was the people that wanted progress beyond 1900 that gave us the middle class, the great american invention, the middle class were ordinary people could build and buy things. they could find pathways of poverty and the middle class. they're all kinds of measures to get us closer to the starting point of equality. they accuse us of being for absolute equality, sharing the same toothbrush. i do not know what they think we want. [laughter] but starting point equality requires real work as a nation
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to make sure everybody can get to kindergarten, see a doctor, have clean air and water, these things are about making sure every american can pursue life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. they can enjoy life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. what i recall that great century -- what do we call that great century when the dream builders won the day? recall that the american century. that is the century that we w on where our ideas prevailed. it made as the indy, the hope, and the beacon -- it made us the envy, the hope, and the beacon for all. the dream builders and offenders were willing to spenstand toget.
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there's a lot of cheap patriotism and gets thrown around. we let them get away with it. we let them set this up as the patriots versus the progressives. it is shocking to me. my father was in deep patriot -- a deep patriot. it is easy to have the ideology that is all about liberty. they have turned into a philosophy. they call it libertarianism. i am african-american. you do not have to sell me on liberty. [laughter] i am for it. you had me at hello on that. you do not have to have a whole political party and all of this. but i have two children.
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i have tried to teach them just one thing. when they learned the pledge of allegiance, they do not stop with the word liberty. they say, "liberty and justice for all." liberty and justice for all, not liberty and justice for all except the gay people, the immigrants. liberty and justice for all. why is that so fundamental? i have a little edu-ma- cation. my parents were tough on me. i had to read those books.
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american values cannot be reduced to a single principle. anybody who does so inevitably runs the country's off of the rails. there is the reason we say liberty and justice. if you only care about justice and nothing for individual rights and liberties, you are driving the country in the direction of totalitarianism, government tyranny with no concern for the individual. we reject that in this country, as well we should. but if you only care about liberty, individual economic liberty and have no compassion or care for justice, you drive the country to corporate tyranny and domination. our liberties are under threat in this country much more from big money trying to by the
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government and the government itself. i love my friends in the tea party. they say our liberties are under threat. i say, you just figured that out? [laughter] come to my neighborhood. really, you think? they get the puppet and puppet- master relationship wrong. they say the government is trying to take over the economy. obama, the socialists. "the government is trying to take over the economy." au contraire. the corporations are trying to take over the corporate -- the government. it is the corporations trying to take over the government. [applause] that is the real threat to our liberty. if you tried to reduce all of the american principles down to one single principle, you
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disable people from defending themselves against the real threat. right now is global corporations masquerading as american corporations that take from this country and do not want to give anything back. i have never seen anything like corporate america right now. they want to be american corporations when is convenient for them. . when is time for them to enforce the fine print on the contract, they want to be will to go in to american court. they do not pay for the american courts. you pay for the american courts, but they are americans. if they have a conflict overseas, and then they are american. when they want to hire workers in the united states on those rare occasions, they did not train those workers or teach
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them out to the. you did through the public schools. then they are americans. if there is some oil contract and the resources are being imperiled, then they are americans. they are americans when it is time to drive the product on the road the paid for. then they are americans. when you ask them to pay taxes or hire an american worker or invest in their own country, surprise, surprise. they want to put their money in other countries called tax havens. when it is time to hire a worker, they want to do it in another country. think about it. think about that. gimme gimme, but give nothing back. does that sound familiar? corporate america would be the worst boyfriend ever. [laughter] [applause]
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we have seen this before. am i wrong? [laughter] ask our business community to pay america back in the form of their wages and taxes, -- fair wages and taxes, that is called return on investment. [applause] if you are an american corporation, you have the best shareholder in the world, the american people. we do everything we can to set you up to succeed. we have a court system for you. we respect your property rights. we make sure you have a trained work force. if he started paying taxes, we could do a better job. if we set you up to succeed and
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you do not succeed, he should not pay taxes. but if you do succeed, you should be proud. if you do well in america, you should do well by america. that is how our parents and grandparents were. why should we have to beg you to do well by a country that has done well by you? it is a cheap form of patriotism to let them off the hook and say the country is supposed to serve them that they are not supposed to serve us. it is cheap form of patriotism to say the epa is a job killer. think about that. the epa. what is the epa do? think about this. we fall into this saying we do not know if we can defend epa
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because the economy is bad. excuse me. the epa keeps americans from buying -- from dying. i do not want to pull out the values card, but the epa has probably saved more american lives in the past 30 years than the department of defense. [applause] think about this. you are mad at the epa? just the mercury rules alone and --ly saved 100,000 eri american lives every year. if you take out the epa, do not call me a job killer.
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you are a kid killer. what would happen without the epa? mercury, lead, poison. the epa is holding back poisons to keep americans alive. how many of my children do you want to kill? let me understand your mouth -- math. how many of my children are you willing to kill for a job? at some point we have to be able to say it is a cheap form of patriotism to have your children sing "america the beautiful," but do nothing to defend america's beauty against the oil spillers and the people who want to put poison into our waters and our children's lungs. it is a cheap form of patriotism to sing of america's beauty and then sell it out for a dollar. there is something wrong with that form of patriotism. my problem with these people is
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not that they are too patriotic. in this country, there is no such thing. my problem is they are not patriotic enough. that is not a problem. [applause] -- that is my problem. that is my problem. [applause] the statue of liberty will be closing to try to fix it up. it is not hard to get there and look at it from across the water. everybody loves to do that. bring the kids. the picture-taking with the statue in the back. [laughter] we love that. you put it on your facebook page. "such a patriot."
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"i just wanted my children to see some of the greatness of america." [laughter] easy, cheap. zero in on that picture to the base of that statue. "give me your tired, corporation, huddled masses who yearn to breathe free." how can you be so passionate about the symbol and have such contempt for the values? those two things do not go together. [applause]
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the color of the skin of a newcomer may change, but our values do not. we are american, and the patriots. send us the folks you do not want and we will turn them into millionaires and artists and give them a chance to be an inspiration to the world. send us the folks you do not want. we will use their genius inside of the system to lift up the whole world. we have done it for centuries. this is the great challenge we have to stand up for deeper patriotism and speak in these terms. the danger we are in is that you are headed into a century that
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has new challenges. that is part of why the health care plan is so important to us. there are new challenges in this century. there is a scenario out there, is a dangerous scenario. we've got to use this fight to get ready for it. we could be living in a country very soon that is more verse -- diverse, racially, socially, culturally, religiously diverse, more diverse but less prosperous. you have a situation which more diversity but less prosperity -- with more diversity but less prosperity, that is not a recipe for common ground. it can be a recipe for a
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battleground. we have to take this seriously. we have opponents who will say, you are right. i finally agree with you. you have said something that makes sense to me. you are right. what we should do is kill the diversity. [laughter] i am making stuff up. [laughter] the worst thing happening to americans is that we're getting too perverse, that it is a weakness instead of our greatest strength. they say to get rid of the immigrants, that it would be perfect if they were not here, but they're still patriots. it is the muslims. they say allah and we say god
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--that must be it. or worse, they attacked the lesbian and gay community. to me, that is the most bizarre. i cannot get my head wrapped around this. they say we must do something about lesbians and gays. really? why? what are they doing? [laughter] you have heard? -- you have not heard? they want to get married! [laughter] and? [laughter] they want to get married! what is my reason to be concerned about that? well, you see, the gay people
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start getting married. then all of the street people have to get divorced. [laughter] there is only so much marriage in america and they won it for themselves. [laughter] and um -- these are serious people. up more just print marriage licenses? [laughter] is it that hard to do? i do not think the real problem in america is the more people want to make loving, lasting relationships with each other. look at the kardashian is. that is not the main problem. [laughter] do not attack a diversity. -- do not attack me diversity.
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the diversity of the country is not our greatest weakness. it is going to be the source of every solution we have. it is because we have every faith, color, class, every kind of human being in the world right here in the united states of america. we get along. not perfectly. but i have been to countries with two ethnic groups that by all the time -- that fight all the time. two. it with two?ake [laughter] in california, they of 36 languages in the elementary schools. they do not fight over that. bring out the lego's and they
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will fight over those, but they do not fight over ethnicity. we're getting better at that. as tough as it is, we're the best in the world at it right now. we make it work. it is a miracle in human history of what we do every day. it is a miracle in human history. [applause] we have a long way to go. taking steps backward is not going to make it better. protect the diversity. restore the prosperity. that is the way forward. how do you restore the prosperity? one way you might want to restore the prosperity is to stop dumping tons of money, more money than any industrial country in a world -- in the
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world into a system that does not give us something back. the health care system is a checke on the good growth of the country. you know more about the mouth than i do. -- you know more about the i found it on the internet. we spend three times as much money in our health-care systems as the entire dp of india. it is wrong, blank google. but i would not be surprised. bddp of india is still relatively small -- the gdp of india is still relatively small. why do our insurance companies
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need to spend three times as much money to try to keep us from getting a pill as the people in india used to live. there is something wrong. there is this argument we have to have now about what is in the way of us being able to reinvent and renew and rebuild the american dream. when i say the american dream, some people react funny and they should. i do not mean the american fantasy. do you know what the american fantasy is? everybody is going to be rich. i am going to ride my credit cards out to the suburbs, give me a mcmansion, an x-box and get a big flat screen tv to cover up the holes in my life.
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i will be happy. that is not the american dream. that is the american fantasy that has led to an american nightmare. that is dying out on its own. there is no defense. but do not throw the baby out with the bathwater. the first thing that dr. king said about his dream in that beautiful speech in 1963 -- by the way, he was 33. did you know that? he was 33 years old -- the march on washington. do not count out young people. you act like martin luther king was 97. [laughter] he was dead at 39. i am 33 -- i am of 43. i would have to call him kiddo. i do not speak or occupy wall
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street. i will speak up for occupy wall street. [applause] they woke up the country and i hope people will stay awake. do not count out young people. the first thing that young man said about his dream, he said, i have a dream, is a dream deeply rooted in the american dream. he was not talking about consumerism. he was not talking about commercialism. he was talking about living in a country where everybody counts and everybody's dreams matter. he was talking about living in a country where you did not have to be born with a famous last name or with a lot of money in your parents' bank account to get to be successful.
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to be a contribution to the world. that should not be reserved for a few. that should be attainable by all. that is worth be spending. we know it is worth it cindy because people were put in the ground, including -- we know it is where the offending because people were putting the ground, including that young man. -- worth defending because people were put in the ground, including that young man. when you think about the kind of victory -- vitriol that these dream killers want to spew into our body politic and say that is what america is all about. if we believe people are born equal and that is part of what makes us americans, that
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starting point of the quality should include being able to see a doctor if you are sick. that fundamental commitment to each other that this child that has a lot of money and this child that has none can at least bring a healthy body to can it -- to kindergarten, the starting point of equality. after contributing to a lifetime with a few hiccups along the way that late in life you do not have to worry about losing everything you build up for your family because you got sick. that you want to have some basic floor, some starting point in the quality so people can rise and fly on their own. is that vision, that dream is to endure and to take another step forward, your heroism has to be
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grounded in something deeper than an abstract technical policy debate. they are not treating you like it technocrat because you are not. that little -- they are not treating you like a technocrat because you are not. it is a piece of a dream, a piece of a deeper division. is another thread in the fabric of the nation we are becoming. is another step toward being the land of the free and the home of the brave. we have to be courageous now. we had hope, we had despair under w. we had hope with obama. we had here with the tea party. we have had all the rage and indignation with occupy wall street.
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now it is time for courage, just her rich, just standing for what we believe, standing for who we are, and to know when we are standing of the shoulders of giants who never gave up on the dream. thank you very much. [applause]
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>> in my enthusiasm, i neglected to ask for index cards. we have 15 minutes. we will have a couple of questions from the floor to bide time. it the rest of you would like to send some index cards up, we have 15 minutes. for those of you who want to have further exposure, let me remind you that at 2:30, van will participate at the annual meeting, which will be in the regency d. you will have a second opportunity, including asking some questions. a-ha. >> he wants me to use this microphone. maybe we could also have the lights. it will be a lot easier to see
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hands than in the dark. if you will fill out the cards -- in the meantime, who would like to ask the first question? we have some walking microphones. >> hello. >> hello. you talked about standing on the shoulders of giants and patriotism. the utmost form of patriotism for which people have died is voting. >> you said voting. >> voting. there is so much activity and discussion about voter suppression. could you speak to that? >> yes. how many people are aware that in the equal number of states it would take to elect a president,
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there are active efforts to make voting harder rather than easier for americans. are you aware of this? this is disgusting. they are geniuses. at a certain point, you have to admire the genius of its. -- of it. they say to themselves, my god. all of these young people taking for obama, 2-1 or obama. we have to talk to those young people and find out what their issues are. we have to find a way to convince them to be a part of our party. never mind. we will just keep them from voting. it is easier. how do they do it? remember when you were in college and you went to vote. did you have to have a driver's
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license in the state you went to vote? no. you just brought your college id maybe you had your home state license. they say you cannot bring your college id. you have to have a driver's license in this state. they are doing it all over the place to knock out young people. they are doing a whole other thing to knock out african americans. when you combine the two threats to democracy -- big money and quiet bigotry -- citizens united flooding in big money and this group -- terrible? it is such a nice name. alec. can alec come by for dinner? they come up with all these terrible ideas and they spread them around. corporations you like to give
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them the money to do it. isn't that terrible? you give the corporations money and they give alec the money to take away the right to voted. remember the white citizens council? this is like the white citizens council on steroids. they are trying to stop americans for voting and it is wrong. thank you for raising it. >> we have already gotten one of the index cards. ken. thank you. question, do you think the american dream movement will expand to focus on the occupied movement which has brought about a necessary change on -- in the nation's dialogue to make a real positive, systematic change for all americans? >> first of all, i do not speak
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or occupy wall street. i speak up for them. just like the student nonviolent coordinating committee. will you stand up? >> i was younger than that. >> i know. i know. i was not going to make you that old. i was going to brag on you for carrying forward the work. that is what i was going to rat on you for. the student nonviolent coordinating committee, where young people were willing to put their bodies on the line. they occupied lunch counters. they occupied the buses that went down south. some of them were beaten and some of them were killed. what about our great heroes is here who has carried that movement forward.
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nobody expected those young students who ririsks their lives to turn around and produce comprehensive legislation to end segregation. we tell these young protesters, sure you are out there protesting. what is your proposal for derivative reform? [laughter] what are your demands, after all? isn't that ignorant? this child has slept outside. on the hard ground. pepper sprayed. chased around by the police. saying, i would like to have a job. i would like congress not to be for sale. they say, but what are your demands? their job is to start the conversation so that the rest of
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us can talk about something that makes sense. they have done a great job, but i do not speak for them. what i will say is that they have given up some opportunities. to turn some of this energy they have kicked up into power. think about that. they have a lot of energy since october, november, december. no power. when it seapower -- the tea party had their protests, they turned those protests into some power. they took over a big part of congress. pretty soon, they were holding us all how sit on the debt ceiling. do you know what, if you go to a tea party rally or a protest right now, about as many people as added these two tables will show up. they are not a big protest force. they have a caucus in the house. they have presidential debates
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that people have to come to. they have turned the protest energy into political power. we have got to do that. the way we do that is to begin to the electionize some of the issues they have talked about, standing up for their right to be free from the student loan oppression they are suffering under. [applause] let's meet just say a few words about this. i am surprised we have been as silent as we have been in the face of this sort of abuse of our young people. first of all, you have to understand why young people are so mad. why? because they cannot get jobs, we know that. you and i told them to go to college. they did not want to go to college. they said, i can learn anything
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i want to on the internet. we said, that is not enough. you are going to college. can i have a gap year? no. i want to see the world. you will see the world when you get out of college. we wanted them to go and they went. some did well and some did badly. when they got out, they graduated off of a cliff into the worst economy since the great depression. they wind up sitting on a couch next to their cousin who has been playing the xbox for four years. and they have debt, they have big debt. they had to get loans because to wish you was going up. not just federal laws, but
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private loans. the bankers went into congress in 2005 and changed the lock so that you can never go into bankruptcy court with your student loans. federal has always been that way. or private. that means they can never get up from under the obligation. when they miss a payment and they miss another one, the bank has no incentive for working anything out with them. their credit scores are destroyed and they are unemployable because we told them what to do. that is wrong. i get a bank loan and blow my money in las vegas, i can go into bankruptcy courts and be fine. if you get a stand-alone and go and is it a bit, you are ruined. if we talk about an agenda that 99% of americans can agree with, you would not have to have
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people protesting. are we going to give them something to voted or? that is the question period about this young generation, let me say this. do not underestimate them. they talk funny. they have piercing is. they make up genders. i cannot always relate. [applause] they talk with their palms. when they get mad. [applause] what are you doing, son. i'm having an argument. they are strange. do not underestimate them. the biggest generation we have
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ever had since the baby boomers, the baby boomers when they hit their teens and twenties, they turn everything around. 1959 looked like "leave it to beaver." 1959, "leave it to beaver." 1969, totally different country. young people got involved. they broke the back of jim crow. you have a way that big coming out. every color in the skittles bag. it walk around with these ipad and iphones. more competing power on their person then the u.s. government had to put a man on the moon. everyone walking is a
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technological superpower. they had an interest in making everything we talked about come true. they stood up in 2008 end date history. there was not a landslide in the country except for them. they made it a landslide. they set out in 2010 and made history. they laid down in the street in 2011, occupy wall street, and made history. standing up, sitting down, laying down, they make history. do not underestimate the young people. we are going to see a lot from them this year. if you listen to them, they can tell us more about what is wrong and what could be right in this country. the attack on their voting rights and the attacks on african-american voting writes have gone unanswered. that is one edge of the system. the other age is to stop local voting. we have to be able to stand up
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to both of them and we will be able to get the job done. >> who would like to have the honor of asking the final, brief question? >> do you have any suggestions -- >> use the microphone. >> what are your suggestions to help us move the message about supporting the affordable care act in the communities, no matter if they are communities of color our communities that are a diverse? how can we build support? >> you are more expert on that than i am. what i know for sure is that the tools that are emerging, both high-tech and high touch, give
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us an opportunity to do a more effective job. part of what we are doing wrong when it comes to the people want to keep building this dream is that, if we talk to somebody about our issue, health care in this case, green jobs in my case -- if they are not interested in my issue, we code them as "never mind" and we move on. we do not aggregate data. if we had the kind of movement where all of us were trying to figure out not would you support me, but what you want to support, we could actually feed that information back and we would be much stronger. this is something that i have been talking to leaders about with rebuild the dream. it does not make a lot of sense. unfortunately, progressives are
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working in our neighborhoods and they get knocked on the door for unions and environmentalists, e- mails from women. at no point do you get the sense that any of these people are talking to each other. i would like to begin to see us -- and part of the reason i put together this contract with the american dream -- is to give us a basis to start cooperating a little better than that. the cooperation for the american dream has 131,000 people to write a document together. yes, it was hard. we did it on line and in person. the tea party did their contract from america. we did 131,000, triple the tea party. we came up with an agenda for
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progressive called the contract for the american dream. one of the bullet point is american health care. i guarantee you that is going to create big outcomes for us in terms of power to move your agenda, my agenda, his agenda, but the whole agenda and the whole country. thank you very much. [applause] >> arizona rep gabrielle
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giffords has announced she will resign from congress this week to concentrate on recovering from wounds she suffered in an assassination attempt a little over one year ago. she made the announcement on our website. here are her remarks. >> arizona is my home. always will be. a lot has happened over the past year. we need to not change that. on the issues we fought for, we can change things for the better. jos, border security, that trends -- jobs, border security,
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that trends. we can do so much more by working together. from thatmember much horrible day. but i will never forget the trust you put in me to be your voice. thank you for your prayers and for giving me time to recover. i have more work to do on my recovery. so to do what is best for arizona, i will step down this week. i am getting better. every day, my spirit is high. i will return and we will work
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together for arizona thank you very much. >> congresswoman giffords is 41 years old. she served as the representative for arizona's 8 congressional district for the past five years. she was wounded at a shooting outside a tucson supermarket that left six people dead and 12 wounded. a special election will be held to fill her seat. >> i have never felt more strongly that america's best days and democracy's best days lie ahead. we are a powerful force for good with a and courage. we can perform great deeds and
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take freedom's next steps. we will carry on the tradition of a good and worthy people who brought light where there was darkness, what where there was cold, medicine where there was disease, food where there was under and peace where there was only bloodshed. let us be sure that those who come after will say of us in our time here, we did everything that could be done. we finished the race and we kept them free and kept the faith. . what president obama deliver this your's address tuesday night live on c-span. -- this your's address. [video clip] share. it is washington your way. >> diana west. after that, prime


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