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tv   U.S. House of Representatives  CSPAN  August 21, 2012 5:00pm-8:00pm EDT

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it requires us to do things better and smarter. that is a challenge, though. we cannot do business as usual. that will not work. we need new approaches. a few things to think about -- we have to avoid the polarization. i hope we talk about this on the panel. i think we will need all of these. there is no silver bullet. we have a lot of silver buckshot. we have to figure out how to use them all. we have to figure out supply and demand. there is no single solution. there are a few lessons we can look at first. we have to focus on the big wins, where there are lots of opportunities. jason talked about this house a few countries and a few commodities are responsible for most of the co2 emissions.
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it is those couple places that are causing the problem. we can focus. a handful of commodities and countries are causing co2 emissions from agriculture. on water, we can look again. it turns out these four consume 75% of the agricultural water. india consumes more agricultural water than every other country on the planet combined. if you want to do something about south asian water, you know where to go. we have to find these low hanging fruit and pick them. agriculture is dominated by large businesses and government agencies. it is not exactly silicon valley. there is not a lot of innovation. it is a conservative enterprise. how do we take this the article farming, gmo, whatever, and
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scale it to the globe? one of the things we have been talking about is we have been building the earth, laboratory collabatory. i can go in and say hello, i am in brazil and deforestation is happening around me and i tell you what is going on. here is what is happening on the ground and here is the solution we have come up with. having local innovations scale through social networks. this could work for food and network innovators to solve problems because that is where the innovations are going to happen, but they have to be brought to scale. we need the tools to do that. can we solve this problem?
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agriculture will be crucial. we have to get this right. we do not have a choice. this is a quote , barbara kingsolver -- the very least you can do is figure out what you hoped for. when i want is so simple aiken almost not say it. enough to eat, and enough to go around. the possibility kids might one day grow up to me there be the destroyers are the destroyed. that is about it. hopefully this will motivate our panel today. thank you very much. [applause] >> your next to me. jason, then chris, dan.
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no problem. thanks, that was a great overview. my interest is now common in the time we have remaining, to go from 50,000 feet down to the ground and looked for examples and stories -- look for examples and stories to help people understand these things are happening now. i will turn to you, jason. when we first met, you told me a compelling story that is etched in my memory. it goes like this -- if you want to save the tiger, you have to save the forest. if you want to save the forest, you have to freeze the footprint of food. how does that work?
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have come to the realization that if we do not get producing food right, we can turn out the lights and go home. that will be the challenge of the next 40 years and 150 years as we try to figure out to dealing with consumption. there is no silver bullet, i would agree. but i think the issue is we need to put our -- we need to measure. we need to get much more involved and measurements. if we start measuring things, we will manage them. we have to manage the plant. what should we be measuring? waste is one of them.
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waste is one out of 3 calories. that is one measure of waste. another measure is all of the land, the nitrogen, the pesticides, and that went into the third of a crop that was wasted. that means the efficiency of production was 33% less than we thought it was. we are wasting a lot of other things and we need to look at if we are going to manage things, we should manage our calories. i do not -- i know that does not solve all of the issues but that is the cornerstone and the most comparable thing we can look at. what crops produce more per acre? which do we have a lower rate -- waste rates? those are the kinds of questions we need to begin to look at. i would add a couple of things that i think are important that
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john did not touch on, or that i think are important going forward. we are not moving productivity through current genetics the way we would like to see it. that does not mean we should stop focusing on genetics and all of those things. we need to focus on crops that matter in places where consumption will increase. it may not be corn and soybeans. those are not the crops that africa depends on. we need to look at genetics, and genetic engineering. can we identify markers and traits from within species so we can increase productivity? increased drought tolerance, increase resistance, reduce losses, etc.. there are a lot of things that
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can be done. we cannot afford to choose a technology and put all of our faith in it. but if we are going to double food production in the next 40 years, which systems can do that? can we double productivity with organic productivity, fair trade, with conventional, intensive? these are the things we have to start measuring. we need to be agnostic about technology been strong on the measurements. go forward that way. the other issue is land. they are not making any more of it. there are two issues -- no harm is going to invest and sustainable production if they do not have land rights. in africa, most do not. if you want them to invest in
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irrigation, if they do not own the land, they are not going to do with a. you mention how much land we are bringing into the -- but that masks the fact we are losing land the other end. we are up to 4% in terms of the actual change, excuse me, 0.4%. what does that come to? it means that we need to start rehabilitating degraded land. let's go to the old land where we have new technology. farmers in brazil can make more money growing soil than they can soybeans. it increases the net value of the land more rapidly than the sale of soybeans into the market. we need to look at all of these things. >> chris, chris reij is a
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sustainable land management specialist in amsterdam. he has spent a long time working in africa. africa is one of the great challenges to food productivity and stability of soil. chris, the perception is that it is a disaster. tell me i am wrong. >> i went to my bed and put on the telly and stumbled across a program on pbs. a documentary about niger. it is the kind of documentary
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that leaves you depressed. he saw a lot of undernourished children -- you saw a lot of undernourished children that had died in the meantime. the question is, the way we look at this, it is able but of a basket case. i would like to elicit an opinion poll. how many people think that there can be a major success story at this very moment? how many people have the courage to raise their arms? i see about four or five. more than that. 90 or more think there is no major success case. i have a surprise for you.
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we did a steady in niger in 2005 -- a study in niger in 2005. we came across something we did not expect. since 1985, farmers have begun to protect and manage -- they had done cell at a scale of 5 million acres. which meant it was one of the largest to transformation ever. what farmers had been doing was creating new systems. about 200 million new trees. none of them -- have been planted. these were protected and managed.
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what the farmers have been doing is creating new assets. i ask, why have you done this? they said we had to fight the sahara. they said, we had to fight the dust storms because if you look at the situation, they had one or two trees on an acre and now, 20 years later, they have 20, 40, sometimes 50 trees on an acre. it has reduced wind speed. the wind speed, and now we have to plant our crops once instead of three or four times. we have more shade for the crops, so what they have been doing is adapting themselves to climate change and also may have been sequestering millions of tons of carbon in the streets. at the same time, and have
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created a new production system which is -- they have created a new project system. if we harvest very little, we can survive on the trees. some people have asked me, if you're telling this story, we know many people are suffering and there is a food deficit. what about your beautiful story? it is a difficult question and then decided to send some researchers to the field to do a survey in an area, a district with high population density is. well, -- densities. well, this district had produced a surplus.
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the same was the case for an adjacent area. there is a relationship between the surprise. there is a second success story and is under-highlighted. i think it fits nicely with what has been said by jonathan. since the middle of the 1980's, a lot of investment has been made in restoring destroyed lands. we are talking about land which is as hot as -- hard as the floor of this meeting room. it has happened at a scale of more than a million acres. how has it been done? simple techniques done in the
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hard, crusty soil. what about the impact? after the farmers had done this kind of lands transformation, the crop yields were 500 kilos, 1,000 kilos, sometimes more. it was a big difference before and after but something else embers which economists completely overlooked. i went to a village in 1994. the villagers said you have shaved off your beard. do you know what happened in our village? i said, no, i do not now. they said -- now at this moment
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there are at-four meters. they said the ground level has, by 40 meters. i went to the well which has -- was close by and it was true. i said, how do you do that? they gave me one word, allah. i started probing a little bit. in 1994, when you began making all of these -- pits, all the water was running off our land. oh, they say, even if you have a rainstorm, -- i went back to the village in january 2012. what happened was in that
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village, you had four things around the wells. they had increased those quite rapidly from 4 to 10 when i got back in may. they are transforming them into permanent gardens. you see areas now or they harvest 13 tons of raw onions. it is being exported to markets in nigeria. what was the challenge? we see a wide range of successes, small-scale, medium scale successes. farmers investing in trees. we see a vast effort in investing, using simple
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techniques and recharging at the same time, the groundwater table. the challenge for the future, let us build on existing successes. >> scale it out. >> scale it out. we know what to do better now than 30 years ago. >> there are great examples of those who have a little making a lot of what they have. now come to the united states, which has a lot and a question i would ask, i have dan glickman here, a former congressman, secretary of agriculture and now a co-director of a new policy initiatives. . you have been an observer in issues across the united states
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for a long time. the question is, what role does the united states play in helping catalyze of us toward feeding that planet of the future? >> i want to complement john in jason on their presentation. look, i am a politician. last week the united states senate passed a farm bill, $100 billion over five or six years, and i would say none of the subjects were talked about. none. this bill passed 2-1 and it was heralded in the washington post as the first major bipartisan piece of legislation this congress has passed this year. with all of this massive polarization, somehow the united
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states senate passes a farm bill that deals with how we're going to pay farmers in the united states. there is a disconnect from what i am hearing here and what i am hearing the political leaders in our country deal with the issue. and mention that to you, and i heard it in the panel this morning talking about how scientists need to communicate better, we are not going to get away from government working on these problems. that is not going to happen. if we believe in democracy, you can do some of this in the corporate world, but governments are going to have a big role to play. the united states has played a good role in terms of helping the hungry people around the world. we have provided one half of all humanitarian systems in the
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world. we still do, although we do not have as much food anymore. the u.s. has been a great leader in this effort. in recent years and months, this administration, has encountered and developed a new program called feed the future which is led by hillary clinton. its goal is to help the developing world feed itself and not rely on u.s. food assistance around the world. there is some progress being made and there has been some discussion and i think the issues you talked about are very much part of the efforts in west africa as well. but the fundamental issues we have talked about today are not a part of u.s. farm and agricultural policy. we have to figure out connecting the two.
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the world of politics, and not just united states. this is western europe and japan as well. connecting the world of politics and the political power of agriculture to the world of the future and doing it sustainably without ripping up the world and all the kinds of things we are talking about. i talked about, we can do these things. we can waste less, but i want to give you three statistics that indicate we have a tough road to get this done. in 25 years, u.s. and foreign aid to africa and south a share dropped from $8 billion a year to $3.4 billion a year. from 17% to 3% in the amount to
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help people feed themselves. in the 1980's, 25% of u.s. foreign aid went to agriculture. 6% by 1990 and 1% last year. the total budget of the united states on foreign assistance is 1%. 1% of the 1% is going to the most important problem in the history of the world. the rest of them are not doing much better, to be honest with you. the share of a bank lending, which is supposed to be the big institution, their lending fell from 30% to 16% to 8% in 2006. here is to disconnect. this is probably the most important problem in the world.
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most politicians do not think it is a problem. how you change that disconnects? there was a lot discussed about agriculture research. i think they have talked about this. the percentage of our dollars, in real terms, and the amounts going into research from the united states is falling. some private dollar research is going up and it is great the big companies are doing research and some of this valuable. but most of it is not geared to long-term solutions that we heard about today. if you want to do a lot of things they're talking about doing in terms of better use of the soil, all of these things and if you look at a research budget that has gone to hell, and that is not true of all research. we find the national institute
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of health, which has ample dollars. the pentagon gets all lot of research dollars every year. i am not saying what they get is bad but for whatever reason, agriculture is not viewed in the same capacity as defense or health. that is an attitudinal change we have to deal with. tin years ago, aspin would have never had a discussion about food. it would have been viewed as not important. farmers, it is a cultural thing. we will always love them because that has been the history of the world and the poor people in suffering countries will get financial assistance and that is it. but now we see we are all inexorably week together. -- linked together.
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we have to make this a priority. when i went into congress, i tried to get on the appropriations committee and they put me on the agriculture committee. i thought my career was over. [laughter] i am from wichita. my dad was in the scrap are in business. i did not know anything about it. -- scrap iron business. i did not know anything about it. what i am beginning to see is that these issues are becoming as important as economic security, political security. whether it is in the sahara, and libya, and the other place in the world. africa, a 28% of the general assembly. it is a big deal to get them to become self-sufficient into it
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in a sustainable way. i agree with everything that has been said. the big challenge is politics. between what is right and what we actually do on the ground. >> i'm going to get specific. i am here and we talk about the climate is changing. the world is getting warmer, it is getting the dryer. i am a farmer and i need new friday is of the drought- tolerant crops. new varieties of salt-tolerant rice because the sea is rising. how do we get to that research going so that in 10 years when we need those kinds of things, who is going to make that happen? we can talk about politics but the need is here right now to get these things moving and they
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require a long attention spans and on funding. how do we get to yes? jason? >> there is the issue of seeds and genetics. something that is being worked on is to map the genome of the 25 most important food crops in africa and train 90 aas breeders using 21st technology -- 21st century technology to use much more modern technology to get results quicker. and i think that is important. i also think it is important to focus on the crops that have the potential for more productivity. corn right now produces 5% as
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many calories as bananas in coaster rica and yet all of the research is on corn. sugar producers more calories and bananas, but we need to start getting back to the calories. what is going to feed the world? part of it is local. it is to salmon -- dissemination of new practices, of varieties that already exist in some places. wanting that is happening is finding ways to graft new varieties because stocks are already adapted to local places. you can get productivity to happen much more quickly. this is not a simple issue but we need to focus on a productivity side of it. >> we have to move away from the seeds will save us policy.
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we need investments in the ore from crops. the genetics of the main crops are not improving any more. you think about gmo, those folks have claimed they are improving yields of food around the world. this is demonstrably not true. studies have shown this is not true. the investments have been in crops we do not eat. 10% of the farmland is in gmo crops are now. cotton, canola oil, soy beans, and corn for feed. none of those feed people. there is no price -- rice, wheath, the investments have gone in the wrong places. you would put those dollars into other technologies that actually feed people. a lot of these crops are
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important. on the management side, and what we are seeing in the dirt. get it to work better. heaney a little water as a basis and you do not need the gmo's. weird looking for that technological fix and it is a fallacy. it is a wrong-headed approach. they have to go to the right people in the right places. >> i was in tanzania last year and i visited a women's farm, a vegetable farm. by using fertilizer more intelligently, they were able to increase the yield to three times. there are no magic techniques. they had a dealer who operated as an extension agent. the problems were greater because they did not have roads and sometimes their contracts were not good because they did not have the sanctity of the contractor. there were a litany of problems
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beyond the stop we're talking about. -- the stuff we are talking about. this act created the land grant college and it has been replicated around the world. nobody has done it as well as we had. the purpose was to create an environment where we could produce enough food for ourselves and for the rest of the world. a lot of wonderful work is being done but it has gotten stale. the management has gotten stale, the kind of research has gotten stale, everything else in life, if you are in there for a long time, the effort seems to reinforce what you have been doing as opposed to finding new ideas to do this kind of thing. it is also, it has brought in a lot of the type of folks who might be able to jump-start us in this effort. i repeat the fact for the folks
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in this room, the importance of this problem, you probably would lobby your government on issues like arms control but our ability to produce food for the future will in large part, not entirely, in large part it has been, will the united states of america make the effort to bring -- be the prime catalyst to get this done? if we do, we can really lead to help solve these problems. >> that means a different kind of farm bill. >> i do not think you will get a totally different bill. since the days of joseph in the book of exodus, we have had this situation of farm policy that is not necessarily market-driven.
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the difference between now and then or even 40 years ago is we are probably in for a long-term period of an equilibrium of supply and demand in the world. when i came to congress, the purpose of the farm bill was to reduce production, and get prices up so farmers could stay in business. those days are changing because the population growth and everything else. you have to keep the pressure on. an awful lot of people are seeing these things happen. they want to move toward a more modern era. you have people like jason and jon speaking to the long-term picture. we are never going to and from those in this country. after all of us die in this room, every united states senator represents a state and
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every state has agriculture. that is a truism that will be there until we have a revolution and change our form of government. >> i will let chris talk and then i want to open it to questions. >> i want to come back to the aspect of the future. a strategy which has been developed, i think that trying to tackle the problem of ensuring security is probably the wrong way. if you look at africa, there is a conventional way of promoting development. it is based on the way we do things. it is about using more chemical fertilizers, expanding irrigation, improving market access, many of those activities have been tried in the past and have not been successful. i think we need to start
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developing other kinds of the green revolution. let me make a prediction. it is probably true of for most of africa, it will be true for the regions in latin america, and maybe even parts of the united states. trees are going to be the pillar of agriculture because -- we have more in regular weather, we have more droughts and rainfall. trees continue to produce. trees have to be part of the system. if we look at the current policies, no mention whatsoever of systems. >> the great depression, out of that came shelter belts and
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trees in america. that was one of the great attributes of the 1930's and '40's. one thing i want to say, the g- 20, i am not sure they accomplish much more, but agriculture and global food security was on the agenda at the highest levels for the first time ever. >> i am going to open it up to questions. please raise your hand. how about here in the middle at the table in the center? >> i am diane. i read the editorial recently that said the large industrial farms are getting the bulk of federal subsidies. i put it in the context of the messages of "food, inc." that
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environmental and farming is an unsustainable long term. how do we square that picture of a massive subsidies for large, industrial farms that are really hurting the family farmer? or the organic farmer? >> the truth is, in terms of the subsidy payments, most of that is not going to industrial farms. most of it is going to large family farmers. you had a structural change, consolidation has occurred but by and large, with respect to the primary crops that it subsidized, by and large they are not megacorporations.
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they are family farms because they produced a book of the crop. there were athens by the senators to try to read-target those program payments and make them focus more on family size producers and get more of the benefits to fruit and vegetable growers because they have not participated as of yet. but they are not getting the checks you read about. most of those are going to the crops that jason and jon mentioned. most of those are grown by a larger family operations. >> it is a very popular belief in america, and i grew up in a farm my name. -- in maine. they are part of our dna as a
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culture. there is also a myth that smaller farms are necessarily better performers when the signs look sad, almost always the opposite is true. -- when the science looks at this, almost always the opposite is true. or scaling up to do precision ag equipment. i do not know if that is the best predictor for the environment. a bigger difference is, what are you growing and how are you growing it? it is not necessarily the size. we love the idea of a mom-and- pop farm but they are consolidating into large businesses and they are getting efficient. sometimes that is good. >> way in the back in the red.
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>> do we have the capacity to look at the farm bill in the 50 year increment? i would assume that would change .ow we look at production >> as long as we have elections for the senate, the answer is probably no but that as ye have to have well-managed and funded research. researches longer term. -- research is longer-term. how those dollars go into things that address the long-term problems. >> it is interesting, if you look at the global landscape, which is what i try to do, i do not focus on the u.s., we need to have a discussion about what is important to try to optimize. there is no agreement a lot of
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people have assumptions and the assumptions are diametrically opposed. we need to figure out how to use social media, get people to begin to think about issues and agree on what the basic data is and where we would like to go with it. we have not had that kind of discussion. that is when you can start making progress. we cannot work on a thousand things. we can work on five or six. >> the 9 live just fine nations -- nine largest foundations in this country, i cannot remember the web site, it tries to develop a longer term domestic and international farm policy that addresses the issues you are talking about. never before have these companies, and involved to this
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extent that they have started to. >> let me finish what i was going to say, we spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to get consumers to buy better products. the average consumer spends 1.8 seconds in the grocery stores. in europe, it is maybe three. they must be -- do a better job. but it seems to me what consumers say obverses what they do is misleading. this gets back to the issue of having more and form discussions. can we build consensus? it is about voters. that is where a lot of these decisions will be decided. what you are going to spend on food, etc. >> is the
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web site. >> more questions? here on the left. >> a question for chris reij, national policy makers that are supporting these kinds of things, like what you mention in the shared? what kind of attraction isn't getting -- in niger? what kind of attraction is its getting? -- it getting? i was -- i saw what is happening with trees, yields have grown by 95% going from two times to 8 tons per hectare. the average yield in most of the
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farmers is barely two times. >> the national policy makers and most of the african countries do not seem to be aware of what is happening in the field. most of the international policy makers are disconnected from reality. there is an office in the hague or washington or whatever. in niger, many of them do not know about the transformation that has occurred. may i tell a small anecdote? i was in a plane from paris to nigeria and just before departure, a beautiful young woman comes insists next to me. after two minutes, she started snowballing asleep, she was snoring.
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-- started falling asleep, she was snoring. lunch was served and we started talking. she asked, what are you coming to do in our country? i explained what i can to do. i was coming to niger to a company in a delegation from nigeria which was coming to learn from niger's experience. she was very surprised. she started asking a lot of questions. if somebody asks questions, i took my laptop and showed her the satellite images of 1975 and 2005. she was so interested. at the end, she said i won't give you my business card. -- will give you my business card. personal assistant of the wife
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of the president. i said, that is not bad. she said she would call me tomorrow. next morning, the phone rings. there she is again. can i make an appointment with the presidency? i said, of course you can. so, the same evening, i am talking to the director of the cabinet about niger and the discussion lasted about one and a half hour. he was interested. next day, i am in my hotel room and i get a phone call. can you make a powerpoint for the president of the niger which he can present? [laughter] i dropped all of my work and i called and i said, you can come and pick up the powerpoint.
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later i got a message from rio that the president had made stops in paris and in london where he made speeches and he had used the powerpoint. i used a trick. i started the powerpoint with that and then the story about the re-greening. he also used it in rio. and he will talk to his fellow presidents. there is something we can all too and it is a local solution. and it is a low-cost. it does not require big investments. it is sustainable. combats climate change.
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-- it combats climate change. >> you have gone viral. white shirt. >> in a book, she criticized the use of food and water for cattle. but obviously the world is not going to stop eating meat. how much resources do vat grown meat required? >> that is a good point. the meat question. corn and sorting, think about this, if you go to illinois, if
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you took the calories that are actually in those corn and soybeans and wheat could eat those, and you do not want to, it tastes like -- you do not want to eat that. but you could sustain on and calorie basis about 20 people per hectare of land. 20 people per day, if we eat the plants. but if you look at what we actually deliver in terms of hamburgers and other things that ends up on our plate, we feed about three and half to four people. that is about the same as in nigeria. we grow a lot more and we waste a hell of a lot more of that. that is a losing proposition. getting to the biotech meat, there are people in stanford
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thinking about this. it may be a hard sell to replace your fill it -- filet mignon, but fish may not care. maybe instead of feeding them animal protein, you could feed them synthetic protein. that would be a tremendous boon for the environment. ora if you could get mcdonald's to convince people that is what a hamburger response to taste like. they have done it to us before. [laughter] maybe we can mix this stuff in with the meat. you know what i mean? there might be a protein conversion efficiency, converting plant protein into more meat-like protein would be great. right now there is nothing happening at a commercial scale but there are some interesting applications that could be very cool. >> this is an area where we need
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to be on the same page in terms of the data appear in 60% of all of the land used to produce food also grows cattle. 60%. 1.3% of the calories come from beef. do have to ask, couldn't we better with that land? probably 90% of that land could not be used to grow crops because it is erodible, steep slopes, etc. on the other hand, of the beast that is consumed on the planet, 85% is never fed grain. it is dead grass. if you look at india, china, brazil, africa, they do not feed grain to cows. we do in the u.s. and we feel a lot. we do in europe as well. but not most of the world. the question is, can we use 30% of the plant to produce 5% of
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the calories? -- land to produce 5% of the calories? these are the kinds of questions we need to start asking if we are going to manage this plan a sustainably. >> one of the things, we should look at every acre we have and ask ourselves, how many people can we keep alive on this acre of land with the least amount of harm to the environment, social systems, and so on? a lot of and -- a lot of places maybe grazing cattle is the best thing to do. but cutting the amazon to grow beef is insane. having i what do nothing but beef is insane. -- iowa do nothing but beef is insane. we have to treat each acre differently. keeping that matter, how many
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calories, how many people got to be alive today and how much harm did you do to the environment in creating that food? we do not ask that question. >> some of the remember that years ago oprah winfrey was sued by the texas cattlemen's association under the meat disparagement act. she said meat was not good to you and she repeated some of the arguments that have been said here except she made them much more romantically. the case was tried and she could asked for a better lawsuit. one of the best things today is that the ability of consumers are the important factor of all this to make these judgments. people now want to know what is in their food. at the department of agriculture, they just published a thing called my plate.
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it says you should have half of your plate in fruits and vegetables. a quarter in derry, nats, and then and eight in meat -- dairy, nuts, and then an 8th in meat. the other side of the coin, is what is the government doing for taxpayer programs? 80% is for wheat, corn, rice, and soybean which is used to grow meat. 1 foot is on the brake and 1 foot is on the accelerator. the reason for that is politics. i go back to that phrase that talk about all the time. it is up to you, to influence this debate. >> that is probably a good place to stop unless we have any
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final comments. thank you to our panel and all of you for being here. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] >> tonight, comments from president obama as he attends a campaign rally in reno, nevada. speaking about education and the economy. you can see it at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. >> i know there are those who criticize me for saying complexities, and i do. some issues are not all that simple. saying there are weapons of mass destruction -- discretion does not make it so. saying we can fight a war on the
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cheap does not make it so. proclaiming mission accomplished certainly does not make it so. >> three days after september 11, i stood where americans died in the ruins of the twin towers. workers in hard hats were shouting to me, what ever it takes. a fellow grabbed me by the arm and said do not let me down. i wake up every morning thinking about how to protect our country. i will never relent in defending america, whenever it takes. >> c-span has aired every minute of every major convention since 1984 and our countdown continues with a week to go and tell our live coverage of the republican and democrat conventions on c- span and online at
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all starting on monday with chris christie. and also senator john mccain and former governor jeb bush. other speakers include julian castro, michelle obama, and pour president bill clinton. >> the briefing tomorrow on the economy and the budget outlook. that is wednesday at 11:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. and later, our roads to the why house continues as joe biden told a rally in detroit. president obama has an 8% lead over mitt romney there. his comments will be live at 3:00 eastern on c-span. now, a discussion on the latest developments in the presidential
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campaign in what is expected for congress and the upcoming election. from "washington journal," host: ed o'keefe is with "the washington post." he is the 2chambers blogger. what has been evolving as the big story? guest: certainly, this element with akin and the comment he made using the phrase "legitimate rate." -- rape." certainly the type of situation that could throw off what republicans thought would be a reliable pickup for them, the democrat wes been pulling behind the three republican opponents should is facing until earlier this month when akin one. -- won. today is the day for him to
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decide whether he will stay put. if he does stay in, he has won more out by the end of september were he could ask a judge to be dropped off of the ballot. if he stays put, he will not have the support of the national republican senatorial committee, a group that likes republicans to the senate. crossroads of gps, this group by karl rove has decided to pull out if he becomes the nominee. if he stays in the race and begins to fall back, that throws off the balance of power in the senate, at least when it comes to republicans who were hoping to get above that 50 seat mark. if it will be much more difficult for them because it will have to find another race to target in hopes of taking the majority. >> other places and images for the candidate. to people like karl rove reacting to this. what about members of congress? are they being asked for their
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responses? guest: sure. they were yesterday. scott brown faces a difficult race against the democrat, elizabeth warren, who was the first out of the gate. she said he needs to get out of the race. a republican who is leading the parties messaging say he needs to get lost as well. candidates from new mexico said he should go. they said that what he said was offensive. his democratic opponent turned it around and said he should perhaps leave the race. and of course, you had a mitch mcconnell say that akin should spend the next credit for hours thinking with his family about the future of this campaign, which is a senate speak for get lost. we will see whether or not he he said advise. host: congressman paul ryan is
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running for vice president. the official nomination happens next week in tampa. what is it like to have a member of congress on the ticket? how rare is that to have a house member on the ticket? and what is his race mean for fellow members of congress? guest: if you remember the house, you are right. the two i can think of that have experience was gerald ford, who was not elected but was appointed to his role, and it jack who ran with bob dole back in 1996 and had served in the house. it does change the dynamic. what it does most of all is it hides candidates. it ties democrats to the vote to have taken in support or against budgets that were
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proposed by the then-house budget chairman. democrats were nothing short of gleeful when this happened. they have spent everything they can to tie republican candidates to anything ryan supported or proposed over his 14 years in congress. host: if you'd like to join the conversation, here is the number to call. let's get to the phones and hear from stephen, a democrat, joining us from buffalo, new york. caller: mr. o'keefe, i am concerned that many people are not addressing the main problem, which is a massive disconnection from the natural world. it can best be stated by quoting england's for most anthropologist when he said
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that all of modern man's problems stem from the difference between how nature works and the way man thinks. no one is discussing this. what basically you can see is that they definitely follow environmental policies. -- pathologies. it leads to a complete ignoring of a physical reality. for example, this constant use of the word growth. you cannot grow infinitely on a finite planet with finite resources, especially water. i think this is a major problem, not as we go forward as americans or europeans, but as members of the human species. not understanding the foundation of life itself. host: let's talk about how environmental issues are coming into play. we saw mitt romney talking about cold. -- coal.
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we saw president obama talking about wind power last week. the campaign politics back and forth. ed o'keefe, how are you seeing environmental issues play out? guest: as i understand it, he has essentially called on the congress to end tax credits for wind power which is becoming an increasingly popular use of energy or way to create energy in iowa where you have these large windows being constructed, the thousands of them on the farms, especially in the western part of the state. the sought lawmakers stepped back. republican lawmakers said they disagreed because it has been a big plus for the state. it has the potential to become a factor. environmental issues are taking a backseat to broader discussions about national security and what ever the daily distraction is.
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if you could boil your argument into a 30-second commercial, i am sure political consultants will take your call and find a way to work it in to the campaign. host: republican caller. illinois. caller: about the remark the congressman made, which is outrageous and it should be condemned, and he should step out, but i did not appreciate the president try to use that remark to push his agenda on the issue of abortion. i thought that was disingenuous of the president to take advantage of the situation. guest: what was most interesting about yesterday is the president went to the
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briefing room at all. our colleagues have complained that he had not given a formal press conference since the g-20 meetings in chicago a few months ago, or in mexico. so, he showed up and took three or four questions, and the first thing out of the gate was this question about senator akin, and he made it clear that he disagreed and he made the point that it was a reminder that perhaps men should not be making decisions on the health of women. yes, certainly that is a loaded statement and appeals to his base, liberals and pro-abortion and abortion supporters who have long argued that men who served in washington or are on the supreme court should not make these decisions.
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it is notable that he took questions, and that he weighed into a congressional campaign for a seat with someone that is a strong supporter of his, in senator mccaskill. host: the caller talked about environmental issues and what will be discussed. debateook at the schedule. domestic policy is the issue at the university of denver. then, foreign and domestic topics at hofstra university in new york, and then foreign policy that lynn university. "thekeefe is with washington post." eric. democrat. caller: i feel the congress is not going to change until the
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makeup changes. you have the senate, which is basically all white, male caucasians, growing up in a time where people were separate and unequal. if you had 10 blacks and 10 hispanics, they would have to work on immigration, unemployment, and it would not be polarized. you would have a diversified congress. the senate is what is stopping the progress. most of these people are elected by majority white people. president obama has a coalition. the republican mitt romney, what they're looking for, 75% of
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the hispanics voted, and 90% of blacks voted for obama. host: the diversity -- is there any chance you'll see more diversity? guest: if democrats have their say, you will see more women. that is something they are very much pushing for. you see female candidates in new york, california, missouri, nevada, north dakota -- there is real pressure. there is a record number of women to be running. on the republican side, you could pick up one more hispanic
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in texas who is facing democratic opposition that is not polling as well as he is. that would bring the number of hispanics to three. depending on how things could go, it would be more diverse. it would certainly not be as colorful as the caller would like, but you might have more women, and women have argued that the more women that are there, the more bipartisanship there could be. host: ed o'keefe, you were on the road. tell us about your trip. guest: we went to five congressional districts in five days. we started in des moines, iowa,
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then into southwest iowa. tuesday was the fourth congressional district between congressman steve king and the former first lady vilsack. that was a competitive one there the democrats were hoping they could somehow win and beat back stephen king, who is a popular conservative spokesperson. wednesday we were in the 16th district of illinois, a newly drawn one where the republicans expected to win easily. he was not around. he was doing his obligatory national guard service. we then headed to the chicago suburbs where there are several seats democrats hope to win,
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with the eighth district between joe walsh and his democratic challenger who first ran in 2006 and is a former veterans affairs assistant secretary. in the 11th district in illinois, there is a race between a former democratic congressman -- why he would want to get back in, who knows, but he does. that is in the south of chicago. all five races reflect the matchups the congressional candidates are facing this year. you have well-known, well- funded democratic challengers against republicans with broad national followings, and then you have close swing districts where it could be a coca-cola against pepsi election, where it could be turned on or -- turnout or personality.
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it is a good reminder of where the american psyche is right now. host: outside of the beltway. guest: exactly. host: michigan. judy. caller: in michigan here, in the primary in august, i voted to get debbie stabenow out of there. she is a democrat. i do not like her very liberal ways. how does that go in the fall and november since that was just a primary? i would like to see more social
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conservatives in november and take this country back the christian nation we were once upon a time. guest: that race looks like debbie stabenow,will win. that could be a kind of race republicans look to and say that is within striking distance. if we throw more money, perhaps we could knock senator debbie stabenow off. she is also chairman of the senate agricultural committee, which is trying to get a farm bill passed at the end of september. if she is able to pull off a deal, that would help her in michigan because she could say we have been able to strike a deal with republicans and come to a bipartisan consensus. it is not known how that will go, but not only is she facing a tough reelection, she has a
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tough job when congress gets back here. host: ed o'keefe, five in five days, and you observe that midwesterners love paul ryan, and also that people are not warming up to mitt romney. tell us about the dynamic. guest: our luck was phenomenal. we had planned to go to des moines for four weeks and it just happened that paul ryan was in there which it was there the same week. -- was there the same week. in the course that we were talking to people, you get the sense of this is a genius pick because they think we know this guy, he is not from the east coast, he is not an elitist, and i said does this mean mitt
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romney is an unknown, east coast elitist, and she said yes. this is a republican. mitt romney had flip-flopped on many issues. paul ryan they know is a strong conservative. that helps to bolster mitt romney's chances and make it easier for republicans to sleep at night knowing they will vote for this republican ticket. talking about paul ryan, it seems that nobody likes personally mitt romney, and may appreciate that he might unseat president obama, but they have no personal warmth for him. if it comes down to personality and less about policy and president obama's record, you could see it go against the
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president. other pundits have said that. ted cruz said if it was about personality, the president will likely be reelected easily. host: michigan. the independent line. caller: i just wanted to speak more in generalities than to the specific, but i hear everybody calling in to say i am proud -- i'm a proud republican, i'm a proud democrat. what are these people proud of? this is not democracy. this is a two-party system. it stops being a democracy when it is a two-party system. they could do the same thing, but then fight for your amusement.
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they are asking you to take cyanide, but they are asking if you want berry or orange. if you want a smack in the ribs or upside the head. guest: if i were you, i would look at the survey from the kaiser foundation that looks at independent voters and tries to explain who exactly they are and it sounds like you are one of them. there are a lot of disaffected people that might vote in a democratic or republican pattern generally but overall are dissatisfied with the process and a two-party system. this was a great piece by our polling director and our chief correspondent. they spoke to about 3000 randomly selected adults.
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about one-third of voters are considered independent, and about half of them are not committed or have not made up their mind. one of the more interesting things, and your rhetoric there reflects what we have discovered -- words democrats used to describe republicans -- the three most commonly used were, bad, greedy, and crazy. words that republicans used to describe democrats -- socialist, idiot, liars, and then just the word suck. you are not alone. host: here is one of the headlines in "the washington
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post." we are talking with ed o'keefe, "washington post" 2chambers blogger. let's head to new jersey. good morning. caller: it is funny that republicans will wear flip-flops one year, and now they're trying to get mitt romney. is it important to be accurate? you wonder why ron paul and chris christie are so popular. they are blatantly honest, right or wrong. nobody knows the facts. host: what do you think of ron paul?
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caller: ron paul is honest. i think he was short-changed. he never got as much credit. host: what will the role of ron paul be as we head to camp the and watched the -- watch the republican convention get under way? guest: he does not have a speech, but i think his son rand paul does. he has maintained a low profile, especially since mitt romney shored things up. he has not said much. he had his final house financial-services meeting with his great nemesis federal reserve chairman ben bernanke a few weeks ago. those have always been legendary exchanges. otherwise, he is preparing for retirement, so we will see how visible he is, how much he will speak out.
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he is an obstetrician. when asked, he had no comment on the comment from senator akin, but he is certainly someone that is still long admired, and there might be a lot of focus on what his son decides to do index four or eight years. host: let's take a look it the issue of medicare. we will take a look at an advertisement in the 12th congressional district of pennsylvania. [video clip] >> the candidate said he would oppose medicare, then voted against obamacare. he joined the liberals in one of the biggest tax hikes in history, putting more than
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450,000 pennsylvania seniors at risk. clearly, he is not on our side. host: a republican advertisement. how will we see this issue of medicare play on both sides? guest: just like that, the black-and-white footage, the ominous announcer, try to lead people to think the candidate in focus is trying to destroy medicare. one of the more illuminating discussions i had was in illinois with steve king, the incumbent congressman, and he said the idea that democrats continue to attack us for ending medicare as we know it, and if you have watched television, you know what we are talking about, and he said that is just a completely false and hollow argument. if i caught one hair out of my
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head, we have changed my hairdo, but this will only effect people older than 55. four days later i was in the suburbs of chicago at a senior center with a democrat running against joe walsh who was just about the rise in medicare plan and she essentially says the plan would create a voucher system and allow you to go ahead and negotiate your own insurance, and i turned to a woman in the audience and esther what she thought -- asked her what she thought. she said it the only thing she knows is that the plan was to end medicare as we know it. on the flip side, they are saying the health care reform plan changed the formula, passed the more costs to seniors, and therefore also changed medicare. we will see which argument works. democrats are more experienced
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at using this as an attack. host: ed o'keefe, you mentioned going to the congressional districts in the midwest. irv pushes back and says the midwest of illinois does not like paul ryan. as far as i'm concerned, he does not represent me. maryland. mike. republican caller. caller: i almost did not know where to start, but i want to respond to the first caller at the beginning of the hour. hello? host: yes. we're listening to you. caller: the first caller was talking about growth, and how nobody wants to talk about growth, saying that we cannot have infinite growth and a
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finite planet. i thought that was interesting because when we are talking about economic matters, we are talking about the creation of new wealth. we are not talking about men building more and more stuff. we are talking about the creation of new wells, and the creation of new wealth is something that absolutely has to take place in order for the modern world to exist. the modern world is based on this debt money system, and without continually creating wealth through a lending of money, you just do not have the engine, the fuel that drives the engine. guest: i'm glad to have this discussion, if only through the phone lines. host: another observation you got on the road was that voters do not care about congress, at
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least not yet. congressional -- conventional wisdom tells us most voters to the answer to think about political choices until after labor day. we want to hear more about that in a moment, but first this from twitter, our congressional and senate seats more important than the presidential election? guest: it is interesting that that question gets asked because i have spoken to more than one dozen voters and i had several said -- say i will vote for president, but the president cannot do anything without congress. it is congress that will determine this. arguably, there are some voters that believe congress is the more important vote than the president, especially considering the balance of power in both chambers is so close and either president will
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have to work with both to get anything done. you can talk about mitt romney or barack obama and why you like them or do not like them, the advertisements you have seen and the issues you heard for 10, 15 minutes, but as the about congress, who is your congressman, do you know anything about them? you get blank stares. you do not have to apologize. he still have to go and a half months -- you still have two and a half months. last week, a gallup reported just one in 10 americans approve of the job congress is doing and they do not have much of an opinion on their local law maker. it shows you there is a lot of time left for mines to be molded. perhaps those attack advertisements could still sway
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voters. there is also confusion with the redistricting process, why parts of the country are not sure who their congressman is. host: long beach, new york, grace. independent caller. caller: what i want to say since the new congress has gotten in, they have not done anything but taking long vacations. we have nothing to say about the congress. all we know is they are on vacation. guest: that is the point also made by voters. the number of votes cast and a number of bills passed is lower than previous sessions, and i do not think any lawmaker denies that, but they will then turn around and blame the other party for slowing things down, and that makes it challenging.
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i will say this. i went to five congressional districts. i spoke to seven congressional candidates. two were away. when was on vacation with grandchildren. the other was doing two weeks of military service. i can guarantee the others were working hard to win your vote, if only to make sure they have their jobs after november. host: yesterday, president obama took a look of what congress will face after the election. [video clip] >> alternatively, they could go ahead and vote for a bill we have said will definitely strengthen the economy, and that is giving everyone that makes two and $50,000 a year or less a break on their taxes. republicans have voted that down once.
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it is not likely that they will bring that up again before election day, but my hope is after the election people step back and recognize that is a sensible way to bring back the investments. -- to bring down the deficit. host: president obama speaking yesterday. how much are members of congress facing questions from constituents about the building fiscal issues that have to be done before the end of the year? guest: it is starting to hit people that a lot of things have to be done. the voters i spoke to were not as familiar with sequestration as those of us in washington are, but trust me, it is a term you will get to know. i think the understand the face a daunting september and october and a more challenging lame duck session the matter who wins, and then come the new year, several challenges including the fiscal cliff,
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sequestration, tax reform, and a host of issues. the president feels he has a plan that has not been addressed by either chamber. there are only about 10 legislative days left in september and october before the election in november. they have to have a new farm bill. they have to sort out what to do about the postal service. plenty of things to do. host: hershey, pennsylvania. bill, democrats lined. caller: i cannot help but notice the flag behind the gentleman. i'm wondering why is not flying at half mast to mourn the death of democracy. the state i'm living had worked to expand the right to vote,
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but the gop and our legislature has turned back the clock. i think we have entered the hall of fame, where the hall of shame for the states that have been brisk the voter suppression -- that have embraced voter suppression. guest: that is a sleeper issue. you have voter i.d. challenges in ohio, pennsylvania, florida, and it will certainly be an important issue. and somebody said to me last week, this is not just an issue about laws and voter fraud, it is the fate of a few swing counties, try to effect the outcome and turn up in those areas. the suburbs of philadelphia, cleveland, columbus.
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that is a big issue in the commonwealth, ohio, florida, and other places host: denver, colorado. george, republican. caller: good morning. i was calling about paul ryan and the congressman from missouri. i think for the most part one is as legitimate rate, and in the bill but they sponsored together, they said something to the effect of forcible rape. is that not the same thing? guest: it depends on who u.s., -- you ask, but from my no understanding what -- my understanding, what akin was referring to was a bill that would do something with abortion restrictions
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regarding forcible, or as the congressman put it, legitimate rate. it is an issue that is out there. it is an issue democrats are trying to tie congressional candidates to, because they see it as an opportunity to sway independent voters and tire republicans who sponsored this bill -- tie it to republicans response to this bill. host: ed o'keefe, before we let you go, one other issue facing congress right now is this trip to israel. we saw the freshman republican from kansas to decide to go skinny dipping their. that is getting attention. there is speculation about who was involved, and now there is an opinion piece because it could cost the gop seats. play out what has happened, and
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what the repercussions could be. guest: there is an education trip that is tied to apac, and they travel and visit religious sites. last august they held this trip primarily with freshman republican lawmakers, and at one point they went into the sea of galilee, where the bible says jesus walked on water, and after some heavy drinking, at least one congressman admits he went in in his birthday suit, and he has admitted it was a lapse in judgment. there were other congressman there including keith sutherland of florida.
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quayle said it was a religious experience, and he did not do anything inappropriate or see anything in a prepared where it could throw elections, it is -- inappropriate. where it could throw in elections, it is with conservative voters the sea of galilee is a holy site for jewish voters and evangelical christians who support these congressman in those districts. the opponent for ben quayle has made issue of this, and his campaign told me they were not surprised he was involved, referring back to a time when he admitted he used a pseudonym to write stories i read adult- themed website. he says this is consistent with frat boy behavior.
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host: ed o'keefe, 2chambers, with "the washington post." thank you. >> president obama continues his campaign trip in nevada tonight, expected to speak about education and the economy. comparing his education policies to what mitt romney would do. live on c-span at 8:00 eastern. >> there are those who criticize me for seeing complexities, and i do, because some issues are not that simple. saying there are weapons of mass destruction in iraq does not make it so. saying we can fight and or on the cheap does not make it so.
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and proclaiming a mission accomplished certainly does not make it so. >> three days after september 11, i stood where americans died, in the ruins of the tin -- twin towers. workers in hard hats were shouting to me, whatever it takes. a fellow grabbed me by the arm and said did not let me down. since that day, i wake up every morning, think about how to better protect our country. i will never relent in defending america, whatever it takes. >> c-span has aired every minute of every convention since 1984, and the countdown to conventions continues, with a week ago to the republican national convention, on c-span. all starting next monday with the gop convention.
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also, john mccain and former governor jeb bush. democratic convention speakers include tokyo castro + first lady michelle obama and president bill clinton. >> coverage continues tomorrow as joe biden told a rally in detroit. michigan is considered a swing state, although recently obama has an 8% lead over mitt romney there. comments will be live at 3:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. by 2003, china will have 200 million college graduates, according to a joint report by the center for american progress. reports showed stark differences in investments between the u.s.,
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china, and india, in a cits casing. >> good morning, everyone. i am the president of the center for american progress. thank you for being here. we are very excited about today's he that. i want to have a special thank you to the group we are cosponsoring the event with, and have worked with over the last year. the center for the next generation is a new organization dedicated to ensuring we are tackling issues that ensure our next generation will be successful. i can think of no better topic than today's. today the center for american progress is releasing this joint report titled the company -- its
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details the strategies of china and india, and other countries in investing in their young people, to ensure that they are competitive and their countries are competitive in the decades to come. we have a lot of conversation about economic competitiveness in our country and what to do to make our economy stronger. the center for american progress has devoted a lot of resources to network. we put on this subject because we recognized that other countries are not just looking at competitiveness today, but looking at at for the next several decades. they have real strategy's they have developed to do that. front and center is looking at their human-resources. the area in which they can affect human resources the most is education of their children.
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looking at children not only in public education, but in pre-d k as well. should recognize other countries have an expansive view of that, and that means human-resources in education, and that is at the heart of what this report is tackling. but china and india have strategies to ensure competitiveness, and it means increasing investments in young people, in schools, pre-k, and also ensuring the flexible policies for their families. we look forward to a good discussion today in which we are able to highlight those facts and statistics. i would say that both parties have to ensure that they are stewards for economic growth in the long term, and that is what it is important to look at the issues of human resources in
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this time where we have a lot of heat and perhaps not so much light brown the policies our country will take on and the next decades. i want to say a few words about the authors of this report, and we are very excited about the result, and it has been a long- term effort, because getting data from china and india is not easy. i want to thank donna cooper, adam hirsch, our economist, and ann o'leary. it is my task now introduced matt james, president of the center for the next generation, and he has worked on a whole range of issues that are critical to economic competitiveness, from education to health care and to add expertise on these issues, and he puts atenter --
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stake in his work children and their needs. it is my great honor to introduce matt james. [applause] >> morning, everyone. this is a great day for us. this is the release of our first big report, and let me thank nnera for kerr and john podesta, in the early days, when the center was operating in my family room, they were constant colleagues who helped me think to the issues about how to set up the center, and we could not be here without their advice. thank you. let me thank donna cooper and adam hirsch for their hard work. this is not easy. the quality of the work is absolutely fantastic, and we are proud to be releasing this debate.
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let me thank my colleague and o'leary. she was one of the first big hires for the next generation. i said i think i just hired the smartest person i have ever worked with. ann has been a terrific colleague and friend and we are at the beginning of the work we will do for the center. that meet explant what the center is about. it is a partnership of between me, and a business plan in california, and his brother, a nationally known children's advocate and we came together to try to make a new organization that will be focused on the primary issues that will affect the next generation of young americans. the first program areas are advanced and agee insisted ability and children and family issues, and we operate both here in on a national basis, but also in our home state of california. the way to think about us is it
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is a strategic and nations organization which will frank these big issues with partners but the center for american progress, also an organization where we produce some of the best policy and research material. that me also thanked our bipartisan pulling team, linda lake, and bob carpenter, for their work in putting together a fascinating voter survey the companies this report. it is clear that americans want their political leaders to be focusing on an education, and then what governors to think about this. you know that. it is cleared this is an issue that in the next -- after the next elections, we are hoping there will be a strong focus on. we think this is the nation's
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greatest asset -- to our young people. those countries are expanding opportunities for their young people to the degree they will have millions more people than we will competing for the best jobs and make it competitive global coming in a few years. but we do about it? how can we maintain the competitiveness of the united states? the competition that really man of letters tries to put this into perspective. china and india have embarked on ambitious program to prepare their young people for challenges and jobs of the global marketplace. here are some stark numbers. by 2030, china will have 200,000 -- 200 billion college graduates. like 2020, india will graduate four times as many as the united states. the disparity relates to the human capacity of china and each have populations four times
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greater than the united states. china and india are investing in their future more than ever before, while the united states is fighting to keep up. frankly, we are doing a poor job to make sure we educate all our young children who want to compete for the great jobs that will be coming in the global economy. the united states with a much smaller population cannot afford to squander the talents of aryan people if we hope to compete. it is well-known that the united states does not perform as well as students and other countries. that is not days. we are 14th in reading, 25th in math. what is less well-known is that if you compare reading scores of students from our wealthiest schools, they would outperform students from all 34 countries measured. but students from our poor schools would rank 33rd. if you look at mathematics, all our students from wealthy and
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poor schools harper and letting my mathematics academic record, which was mediocre. what are china and india doing to prepare more of their young people to greg root from college? three things. they start early. india plans to increase the number of children entering school from 26% to 66% by 2018, while in the united states half of our children receive no early chocolate education, and we lack a national challenge to increase enrollment. they educate their people for the challenges of the future. china has spread traded over 1 million cut credit the year in areas of science, technology, and math, while the united states graduates fewer than half that number. what we're doing is not enough,
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and imagine what will happen if investments in our children continue to decline. they inch for their students are taught by highly effective teachers. china is improving the quality of teachers as the numbers that are training explodes. the number of teachers with bachelor's degrees has increased 66% in a years with touse leslie of primary school teachers having an advanced degree. our teaching corps is not attracting the best and brightest. in the united states, high- school students who choose to enter undergraduate programs for education have sats course in the bottom third of all students test its. this stands in stark contrast with other countries, like finland, which successfully recruit teachers. if we're to make a commitment our competitors are making, we need strong political leadership to move forward.
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also the will to make education a national priority. for today, luckily, we do not have to look far to find strong political leadership and commitment. i am honored to turn the podium over to jack markell cal, governor of delaware. he is a champion of children. he is a national leader in the area of school reform. he is the co-chair of the common force standards initiative, and he led delaware's efforts in the race to the top initiative. governor mark carroll, it is an honor for you to be here. >> >> it is great to be fair. and what to think matt and center for the next generation. this is the defining issue of the day, and this is a terrific reports. the fact his businesses have more tauruses than ever about where they will locate jobs.
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there are 3 billion people in the world looking for jobs, and there are 1.2 billion jobs available. we are truly in a global work four jobs, which means we are in a war for talent, because jobs are going to go where the talent is. the numbers are absolutely stunning in terms of the investments and the result, and india and china are not the only ones, and so this report outlines the the for a comprehensive national strategy, and in the absence of such a movement, we have incredible work under way in our state that i would like to share with you. there are several efforts underway in the delaware that begin to address the competitiveness challenge, and it starts with the recognition, at least a belief on my part, that what we have been doing in our country of the last few years is the academic equivalent of having our kids are to play
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basketball by sheet in an a-foot basket. you can get very good. the problem is when you get into a game and you are competing against players who had been shooting a regulation basket. the reason i say this is every state is required to administer a state standardized test. these tests do not have anything to do with each other from what state to the net. they do not have to measure the same thing. what we end up is something akin to what garrison keeler talked about in lake woebegone where every kid is above average. if you look at the result that these states have and compare them to the national report card or to the international test, the result in the state tests can be higher. if you tell a kid that their profession based on a test administered within their borders, but then they have to compete with college and jobs for people who are not from within their borders, you are
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not being honest. i believe a dose of honesty is in order. one of the first things we did in our state after i took office is we raised the bar, and we set to parents and teachers and students across our state, even though kids do not know anything less than the new before, fewer will be judged to be proficient. that is not a popular message to deliver. we thought it was one that was in court and one that we thought was honest. number one, we are raising expectations for students with higher standards and with a world-class aaa. which provide a high-quality curly chocolate harker did these, especially for highest needs students. we are trying to transform the education profession. we are using data in a new way, and i want to touch on each one of these. restart about raising expectations. when it comes to raising the bar for all students, we also
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focused on the adoption of common core, and we thought that was necessary, and i had the privilege of serving with the former republican governor of georgia as a co-chair of that effort. the common core standards are a set of fewer, hair, and clearer standards that will increase in structural rigor and make it easier for states to share resources. in delaware, we are focused on making sure all educators understand how construction should change with a common core. we are developing systems and accountability to make sure those shifts are under way. this is very difficult work. it was difficult enough to get all the states to sign on, but as with most things, it is more difficult when you get to implementation. right now we are heavy duty into implementation, and across the country we are learning what it is going to take to make, court real. there also are raising the bar for thins by expanding our world
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language opportunities, and i am excited. over the next five years, we're opening up 20 emergent schools. these are schools within schools where students spend half their school day learning and a new language. we're starting the 346 students across the state. half of them are doing chinese, half, spanish, but not only will they be learning those languages in those classes, but they will science and math. it is an economic development issue, because if you think about linkages we have in this country with companies based all over the world, we do our kids ate this service when we began to believe they can be successful just with english. we are excited about this particular opportunity. the goal it is we will reach more than two dozen students
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over the next 10 years. -- more than 10,000 students of the next 10 years. in fourth grade, they will be able to take their families to a country that speaks spanish or chinese and navigate. by ninth grade they will be able to pass their ap class. this initiative capitalizes on a very well known fact. students in early years, they are critical for development and learning. that leads me to talk about our early childhood investments. there is clear research that the most effective economic development investment a state can make is in early childhood education. to the extent you have ever met a 5-year-old kid who is already behind his peers, who already has a deficit in their vocabulary, that is a tragedy. we are tackling this had on in our state, improving both access
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to and the quality of early childhood education. in 2011, we did have some additional money come on the table. i had room for one new investment. i decided to focus on early childhood education. there is a lot of research, some of which is referenced in today's report, some of which comes out of the federal reserve bank in minnesota -- the most effective development investment a state can make is in early childhood education. we invested state resources. we won the second race to the top brand. as a result, over the next five years, we will increase from 2280, 2280, the percentage of -- 20 to 80, the percentage of poor kids in delaware enrolled in a quality preschool in delaware. my view is that that is a true
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game changer. our efforts will focus on four main pillars, one, school readiness, second, about strengthening the quality tracking program. this is not just throwing money at a problem. we have a terrific program in delaware, called the stars program, where early childhood centers know there are external mouse and the need to reach to get a certain rating. we are addressing the health and development of the whole child. we are building a professional and effective early childhood work force. for a lot of kids, this is one of the real challenges. so many centers to not have the challenges they need to invest in quality staff or in materials. our program is going to change that. we are also focusing on working with teaching professionals in a -- taking that to the next level. we know that our focus on building a professional work force has to go beyond early
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childhood, which is why the third effort we are focused on is transforming the education profession. shows,y's report clearly the top performing systems around the world are those that recruit and retain top performing educators. in delaware, we are focused on doing a number of things. one, conducting of -- meaningful about relations of educators and performing -- giving leadership opportunities for the most effective educators. we are committed to creating opportunities to give educators the opportunity to take on more responsibility and earn more while still keeping in the classroom. teachers feel they need to get out of the classroom to learn more and build their career. we are focused on changing that. we are also adding coaching initiatives for principles. this is important. when you talk to teachers and estimate they care about, they care about compensation, but
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also the kind of working environment in the school. do they have the effect of instructional leaders? so much of our principles time is taken up as -- in being an administrator. you were surprised by how much time a principle is focused on dealing with companies because the bus was late, dealing with food service because a parent complained, what ever it is. we have several initiatives underway to try to transition our principles to be more of instructional leaders. we have additional pathways to get into teaching positions, things like tfa and house residency program. we're focused on professional development. a lot of teachers around the country spill -- feel the money we spend on professional development is often not well spent. we feel we have to wrap that up
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significantly, which leads us to my last area i want to talk about, which has to do with the use of data. it is stunning how little good data the education community has historically had in terms of understanding has students are doing, giving them information on a timely basis to teachers, principals, and other staff so that they can change their approach. we are really -- we believe we are at the cutting edge of changing that. -- in delaware. it is about a new focus on transparency and performance and using data throughout the system to determine what is working and to challenge our thinking about what is not. this is all possible because two years ago we introduced a new assessment and delaware. before that, we had one assessment, that was typically administered in the spring. the results can back in the summer. it was of no use to teachers who
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might want to say, ok, how am i doing, what can i change to improve performance? that has all changed in the last year. we have the new assessment. we finished the second year of it. is several times a year. teachers can see in real time what kind of progress their kids are making. if you link that with the -- teachers see it, principals see it, and the kind of conversations this opens up, the dialogue among educators, is very powerful. we have just about every public school teacher in delaware who sits down several times a month with five tiers. a table of five people. they are looking at what the data is telling them about student performance. i sat in on a number of these, including math teachers who were teaching kids to add fractions with different denominators. the data was telling them that the kids are not making the kind of performance they had expected.
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they reached out -- they took it upon themselves to reach out to a nearby school but was having better results to ask those teachers, what kinds of worksheets are using, what approach are you using that we are not using here? it is very powerful. we have our superintendents -- they get together and monks themselves once a month. periodically, they get together amongst themselves. they go to the front of the row and say, here is how we're doing in high school math, middle school reading -- the data is clear. we are looking at the same data. we are not making the progress we thought we were making in middle school reading -- what can i learn from this other superintendent here? this ties back to the professional development issue. many teachers in our state tell us that this hands on meeting haven't -- that they have several times a month is some of the best professional development they have ever done. we also have periodic meetings
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between our department of education and our districts. we share the data with each other and ask questions about what they are doing to improve. they meet with the superintendent, board members, local teachers union representatives, so that everybody is operating from the same facts. this is a very parvo conversation. we think this is very data oriented, very transparent. this is a useful tool. i had the opportunity we could go to sit down with delaware's teacher of the year -- she is the fifth grade teacher in our smyrna school district. she was telling us how powerful these opportunities are to sit down with colleagues, drill into the data, talk with your peers about what they could be doing differently. everything from early childhood to better use of data to working with their teachers -- we also know that we have a lot to do.
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the report from today clearly says, even in states that are doing the best, they have a long way to go. none of us can sit still. it is very clear that all of these countries around the world are doing the opposite of sitting still. they are investing massively into human capital. we know that identifying what comes off the plate at the state level is very important. we cannot afford to do everything. that is why -- i really tried to drill in and figure out what is working and what is not working and what is critically important so we can do less of what is not working. our department of education is examining how we can better organize the department to try to transition from a been a department that is historically focused on compliance to being a department that is focused on support. it is my view that that is something, as secretary duncan has done nationally, he has been terrific with the support of
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state. i have also, in that area, trying to figure out what is not working, recently sought a few weeks ago an executive order requiring public hearings in our county so we can hear directly from the public -- teachers, parents, everybody else, what is not working. to the extent that we are imposing regulations that have no benefit to kids -- we had better hear about it. we cannot afford to keep doing that. finally, the last thing, maybe this is easier to do in a state the size of delaware, we work really hard to keep everybody at the table. that includes the business community, the teachers' union, principals, the disability community, parents -- is important. we do not have any luxury to have any fingerprinting going on. to the extent that anything wrong is going on, the best solution is for us all to talk to the other.
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we have spent a lot of time on collaboration and keeping people at the table. that has been viable. that is my message. i want to give the local cents from the perspective of a governor. a lot of great work is going on in many states across the country. i had the privilege of working as the chair of the national governors' association. i can tell you that the issue of competitiveness is not just the issue of the day. we spend a lot of time trying to compete to get jobs, but companies have to decide first that they want to be in this country before they decide on one state versus another. we have a lot of work to do together. i appreciate the center for the next generation working with the center for american progress on this report that highlights critical issues. i look forward to working with all of you. thank you so much for having me. [applause]
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>> governor, thanks very much. we all appreciate your leadership on education. next up, we will hear from eric hanushek, a senior fellow at the hoover institute and stanford -- stanford university. he's a renowned education economist. as we have discussed, this is not just about money. he has made a critical contribution focusing on, with policy makers, how they can better use their resources for education. after that, we will hear from jonathan lost, part of our bipartisan survey team that has produced a survey for the center for the next generation the looks of voter attitudes on competitiveness and education. >> thank you very much for having me. thanks to the two organizations for sponsoring this great report.
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when i look at this report, i think that it is starting to move the discussion in exactly the right way -- the talk is not about tomorrow, it is about decades from now, about our children, not about what is going on today. it is what it will look like in the future. i want to run through a few things. as the governor mentioned, della is one at -- delaware is one of the top three states in terms of improvement in measure performance on math and science over the last two decades. you should put a little extra weight on his comments. let me see if i can -- what i am going to start with is a very simple little syllogism. that is, the future of the
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united states, in the long run, depends upon its economic growth. if we remain the same, we are presently doing all right, but everybody else will move past us. that is one of the arguments of this report. the second thing is that -- this gets a lot of lip service, but it needs more than that. that is, the only thing, in my opinion, that matters for long run growth is human capital of the work force in the united states. that is what has led to our success in the past. that is what will propel us in the future. this report has made a great contribution in pointing out that it is the broad investment in our youth that is going to make the difference in this country. it is not whether we regulate
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this in the marketplace for whether the tax rate moves by 1% or 2% -- what will matter is whether we, in fact, invest in our youth and they get the results. finally, aramark that runs through this report -- a remark that runs to this report that will not be central to my talk but is clear -- we have had a lot of discussion about distributional issues in recent times. the only way we will solve our distributional problems is by thinking about good investments in our youth and what that means. let me fill in a few details. this report is important because it makes the statement that other nations recognize what has made united states strong -- and
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our investment in the human capital. in particular, what is highlighted is a china and india, which are not very good economies right now, but in 20 years may look entirely different. that is the message here. so what we want to think about here is not how they are investing -- there is a lot of that in the report -- but what they are doing. in particular, it is that they are models for commitment to the future that we do not quite see in the same regard into the united states. it is the challenge to the united states future -- not that our nation will fall apart or we will go into a long recession or anything if we do not invest today. it is that we will not keep pace. we will not have the standard of
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living at the forefront that we are used to. we will not be doing the kinds of jobs that we are used to in terms of technological leadership and so forth. that is the key. so let me try to simply underscore what investments in human capital mean. i will try to talk about the value of increasing the skills of our work force. we have measures of the math and science ability of our students -- the assessments that we see regularly, that the governor mentioned. what is less recognized is that performance on these tests is an extraordinarily powerful predictor of what economic growth looks like in the future.
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extraordinarily powerful. this is the thing that matters. what is missed is the magnitude of this economic effect. if you just sit back and say, oh yes, we know education is important, let's do more of it. you are missing the point. let me try to put this in a simple table that comes from some work i did with a colleague in germany. economic growth and the impact for the future. in particular, i am going to say, what does the u.s. future look like if we could be at the level of germany, canada, or finland, which is up above us? what would it be if we actually made no child left behind work? i will give you all four of those in a second. if the future looks like the
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past 50 years, then we know that improving performance up to the levels of these other countries will change our growth rate, which will change the future g.d.p. of the u.s., and we can calculate, in dollar terms, current dollar terms, what would be the impact of these. here is a table you will not believe. i hope you can see this. the first row of this is calculating the present value of added gains to our g.d.p. over the next 80 years, the lifetime of somebody born today. the expected lifetime of somebody born today, expected gdp. germany, canada, finland. these are levels of performance
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that are increasingly farther from us. the first number, i have the wrong thing -- the first number on that chart is in the upper left-hand corner -- it says, getting up to the level of germany has a present value of $43.8 trillion. that is above the $16 trillion g.d.p. we have today. that is three times the current g.d.p., the present value of getting up to germany. look at canada -- when i was going to graduate school, we used to refer to it as the 13th of a reserve district. it is kind of like the u.s. if we can get our performance
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levels, an index of the quality of our labour force, up to that of canada, it is $82 trillion. finland, it is too cold, but except for being too cold, if we could get to that level, it is $112 trillion in present value, compared to our $16 trillion g.d.p. today. if we could actually make nclb work, operationally get everybody up to basic levels on the international math and science tests, that is worth $86 trillion. it is not a trivial matter. the second row of this says that, what proportion of this is about future g.d.p.? future g.d.p. gets bigger -- those numbers do not mean
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anything to you. germany is like getting an increase in gdp of 6% every year for the next 80 years. canada is 11.4%. finland is 15.8%. nclb is what%. let me translate that into another thing that might make sense to you -- about half of our population works, draws salaries. what these numbers mean, double these percentages, this is the average increase in the paycheck of every worker in the united states for the next 80 years. just getting up to germany, which is not too far ahead of us, but they are working hard at pulling away, that is like a 12% across-the-board increase in salaries for every worker in the
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united states for the next 80 years. you get up to canada, that is a 20% pay increase. in my reckoning from california, that looks like it is worth doing something. what we know is that other countries are doing it. first, the report underscores how china and india are mimicking the u.s. investment in human capital that has made a strong in the past. secondly, another aspect, canada and india have the world's most massed -- had the world's most mastaba economies for a long period of time. suddenly, they said, what are
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the economics that will make these investments in human capital even more important? they are doing that more dramatically. we see all these other countries surpass the u.s. in terms of school attainment, years of schooling, and higher- quality. very few people outside of this room -- this is the room that understands it, but very few people understand that today the u.s. has a lower completion rate of high-school then the average developed country. if you go out in the street, walk down to h street and ask somebody, they would say, we are probably first in the world in terms of the amount of education. that is not true, neither in quantity or quality. this report is really important, in my opinion, because it says
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that we have to think of a broad investment in our youth. we have to worry about the family, make sure that they are helping out, because they are incredibly important in education. we have to worry about the support network, the early childhood development, and the schools. in the past, we have done two things. first, everybody in the united states, including the people down on h street, say, yes, we have to do more about our schools. it is more lip service. if anything, it calls for a deepening what we are doing now. we will have slightly smaller class sizes, this, that, the other thing. reading on thursdays and so forth. this is without thinking about what it is that actually creates
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higher achievement and better performance. i myself could probably go farther than the report in terms of saying that the essential component, at least in the school in part, is the quality of teachers. that is not doing more. it is making better choices, getting better people in, keeping the good people, getting rid of bad people. every time i say getting rid of bad people, people tent's up, but it is a combination of making better choices to insure the quality of our teachers is higher. it is a need to do something different rather than more. we have tried to be more strategy, very dramatically and consistently over the last 40 years. more has left us flat in terms
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of performance and outcomes. we have to do something different. this line is for the governor -- we need political leadership here. we need governors to stop saying, we have got to do more, and governors to say, we have got to do better. that is where we are, in my opinion. [applause] >> thank you. my name is jonathan, i am with lake research officers. i want to thank anna matt and the center for american progress. as a child to teachers -- a child of two teachers -- we wanted to perceive a -- conduct a survey to see how american voters perceive america's
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standing in education in combination with the support -- report. if you went to that person on the street, they would want america to be in the leader, but they are not necessarily sure that we are at the moment. we asked the question, over 1200 registered voters, likely 2012 election voters, samples of african americans and latinos, a survey conducted at the end of july -- one question that we asked was a follow up to a question that had been asked in 2011. once again, a plurality of americans do think that the united states is falling behind other countries when it comes to education. we asked a question in another way as well. a plurality of voters believe that other countries are surpassing the united states when it comes to education. we asked in a couple playful ways -- we saw that a majority of americans think the future innovators will come from other
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countries. our voters want our leaders to prioritize restoring america's leadership. they want to increase investment education, particularly executives. the next president, the state's governor -- more so than their leaders in congress. interestingly, they are willing to pay more in taxes if those funds are dedicated towards education, especially k-12 education. majorities would pay more in taxes for education. majorities would pay more in taxes for education per student and reduce spending in other areas. we found majorities across party lines, with and to pay more in taxes. on the left side, we asked a question from 2011. 40% of voters felt the united states is behind other countries, 22% even, 20% ahead. today, 25% say we are ahead, 25%
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even. on the right side, our schools in india and china surpassing, catching up with, or the same? 44% say they are surpassing schools in the united states. 13% say they are the same period 10% state farm behind. two different approaches -- very similar results. these answers are consistent across party lines. on the left-hand side, we ask, where will the next bill gates come from. on the right side, where will the scientist to cures cancer come from? more people say united states than any one country -- 35% say the united states will produce the next bill gates. we explain to that was -- the founder of microsoft carried 31% believed the united states will produce the scientist to cures cancer. the majority on the left-hand side, 52% of voters, said the
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next innovative leader will come from another country. 25% from china, 15% from india. on the right-hand side, where will the china -- a scientist who cares cancer come from, 47% say from other countries. the party voters place -- this is a high one. 70% of voters when the next president, whether obama or romney, to make a strong american leadership and education and increasing investments in education a top party. 42% a top priority. 36% a high but not the top priority. these are consistent across party lines. among democrats, for the president, they would like 90% to be a top party. among independents, 83%. among republican voters, 61%. governors level, 85% of democrats, 70% of independents,
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69% of republicans. at least 2/3 of the voters across party lines one restoring american leadership and education to be the top party or a high priority. not only did it wanted to be a priority for their leaders, but they are willing to put their money where their mouth is. we ask this in two ways -- will he be willing to pay more in taxes if the funds are dedicated to education programs? we also asked half of the sample if they would be willing to pay more in taxes and reduce spending in other programs. the majority across these education levels said it would be willing to. the dark blue bar says they are willy -- very willing. the light blue bar is somewhat willing. the total numbers, k-12, 62% are willing to pay more in taxes. that is 81% of democrats, 59% of
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independents, and to to 7% of republicans. at the higher education and pre- k level, it is more consolidated around democrats. and k-12, across party lines there is a desire to personally pay more taxes if those funds are dedicated for education. similarly, paying more taxes and reducing spending for other domestic programs -- majorities of voters would do so for all three education levels. the partisan dynamic is very small. the consensus is around k-12. 70% of democrats, 64% of independence, and 55% of republicans say they are willing to pay more in taxes and cut elsewhere to help education programs. that is where voters are coming out on this. i will turn it back to you. [applause]
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>> thank you very much. i am ann o'leary, director of the children and families program at the center for the next generation. i am delighted to be back from my home base, wearing my new hat. the center for the next generation is a new think tank based in san francisco, dedicated to improving investments in children and families, and investing wisely in children and families, and gaining political will. we are focused on how we can use strategic communications to get people focused and think about these issues, backed by high-quality research. that is what we are doing here today. i am delighted to be joined by eric hanushek, who you just met,
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from stanford university, bob carpenter, a co-author of the survey, a chesapeake beach consultant and a longtime well- respected research serve their -- sureveyor, puckett -- focus particularly on republican service. we are pleased to have done that with you. marilyn reznick, director of education research at at&t. we're delighted that maryland is here with us. before starting the discussion, i want to reiterate my thanks to the center for american progress and particularly those who worked very hard on this, the co-authors on the report. terrific work, digging hard in the data from china and india. we appreciate that. also thanks to neera tanden and michael, who provided guidance drought. let me start with marilyn, we
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have not heard from yet. i want to go back to the report and say little bit more about what the things are that we are finding. particularly, what we see in the business community. matt start by telling you a fact you want to reiterate -- in china, but 2030, we will have 200 million college graduates coming out of china. that is more than the entire united states labour force. we have 100 to 5 million people in our labour force. the other fact, as we highlighted, -- 150 million people in our labour force. the other fact, as people are retiring and we get new individuals into the labour force, we have the less educated labour force today. new entrants are less educated and those retiring from the u.s. labor force. really, a change in how we are doing things in the united states. marilyn was mentioning us -- to us, the commitment at&t has made
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to the type of people did feel the need to hire into their work force, they only hire people who have some type of post secondary education and training in terms of new entrants. they are doing this at a time when there is a scarcity of individuals who are going to those jobs. i would like to turn to you -- could you say a little bit about what type of commitment to feel this community is making and needs to make in the future as we look at what our competitors are doing? >> thank you. at&t, like every company investing -- like every company, invest in education because we need a smartphone skilled work force to be successful in an increasingly competitive -- a smart and skilled work force to be successful in an increasingly competitive work environment. investing in education may be the most important thing we can do to help america remain a leader in a global economy.
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we invest a lot medication to increase high-school education -- graduation rates and better college anddents for careers. a lot of companies are investing in education. in spite of those investments, all the good efforts to run on in this country to improve education and work force development, we still are not able to find enough workers with the skills that we need to fill the jobs that are available today. if you look at the graduation rate in this country, both high school and post-secondary, those numbers are only going to get worse. then, when you look at what china and india are doing, that is real cause for concern. that is why we need to do more. >> thank you. when you say -- could you say more about the type of investment you are seeing other corporate community members investing in? for many years we had a business roundtable, how they are
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stepping up to the plate. the governor of delaware today said they want to make sure businesses at the table. what are you seeing in terms of how we get businesses like at&t more involved in this debate in a public way? >> we do have to do that. we have to engage a broader part of the business community. it cannot just be a handful of companies that are believers. it cannot this be the business roundtable. it needs to be all businesses. we need to work to engage more of them. we chose to focus on particular -- a particular problem in the country, but other companies are looking at early childhood education. in fact, i think there is a growing sense of urgency in the business community, particularly around k-12 education. we have to be careful that it is not just k-12 education tree by the time we get the students out of high school and -- we need to
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make sure that post-secondary institutions are prepared to except the students graduate -- accept the students, graduate more of them faster, and have them prepare to enter the workforce. >> let me check on something -- one thing that we found in this poll is that there is a very strong commitment to k-12 education. they just presented, 60% of voters said it would be willing to increase their taxes -- 68% of brokers said it would be willing to increase their taxes. 50% of republicans said it would increase their taxes for funds dedicated to k-12 education. when we look at higher education and others -- could you say more about what is going to take in terms of political will on some of these issues? one thing we saw in this report, it sounds like we know what to do, but what we need is
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-- maybe you could speak to what we saw in the k-12 numbers, your analysis of these numbers. >> certainly. one thing that maryland said, the public is ready to -- marilyn said, the public is ready to follow the business community. he saw the numbers mccullough jonathan presented in terms of the willingness to pay more taxes across the board, whether you are a democrat, republican, or independent. we see higher numbers among parents, which is not surprising. in terms of how we move forward from here, the public, as jonathan pointed out, the public believes it is a top priority. the next president and the next congress should be focused on education. when you think about the high versus top, and all the things
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that a governor or member of congress or preston has on their plate, to make it a high priority if not a top party is still an important statement. when you are in a 80% or 90% of the public wanting a focus on education, that speaks volumes for what elected officials should be doing. in terms of moving forward, it is really convincing our elected officials that it is a priority, not just that those of us in the room or at think tanks around the city or the country -- it is the public that is ready. voting members of the public, those that are likely to vote in the 2012 presidential election, wanted focus on education and a willing to pay for it. that is what needs to be delivered to both sides of the aisle. on my particular side of the aisle, we see 60% or more saying, sure, i will pay more in
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taxes for a commitment to education. >> it is a fascinating number. i want to highlight to concede a said. one, i want to highlight to the audience that this survey was of voters likely to vote in the next election. that is really important. the other thing that he said is that parents are higher on these numbers. one of the thing that is so fascinating -- things that is so fascinating, in the last few weeks we have seen a shift, a lot more people talking about medicare, what we need to do for our seniors. that is obviously critical part of who we are as a society. we want to make sure that our seniors, the greatest generation -- >> you can see all of this at c- span a dot or. president -- president obama is campaigning in nevada at a community college. he is expected to speak at a --
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speak about education. send us your comments. ♪ >> hello, reno. [applause] hello. it is good to be back in nevada. well, first of all, could everybody give them a great round of applause -- her a great round of applause? she was outstanding. i also want to a knowledge a dear friend, a great friend of working people, not just here in nevada but all across the country -- your senator, harry reid, is in the house.
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[applause] there he is. it is good to see all of you. let me point out, every time i come here, the weather is really good. you guys have a pretty good deal here. it is beautiful. we flew over tahoe, which, well, i would like to pretend that there is a big campaign of and there. but i cannot really pretend that that is the case. but it is wonderful to be in the state. it is great to be at truckee meadows community college. i came here today to talk about
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what students are doing here every single day -- your education is the single most important investment you can make in your future. that is true for every single student here. it is true, whether you are talking about a community college or a four-year college or university. i am proud of all of you who are doing what it takes to make that investment. not just the money, but also the long hours in the library, because i hope you are spending long hours in the library, in the lab, in the classroom -- it has never been more important. if the degrees students learn from this college -- that is the surest path he will have to a good job and to higher earnings.
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it is the best tool that you have got to achieve that basic american promise, that simple idea that, if you work hard in this country, you will be rewarded. the basic bargain that says, if you work hard, if you are willing to put in the effort, you can do well to -- well enough to raise a family, own your home, put away a little for retirement. you'll not have to worry about being bankrupt if you take -- get sick. maybe you can take a vacation once in awhile. most importantly, you know you will be able to pass on to your kids more opportunity and the possibility that they can do things you could not even dream of. that is what america is all about. [applause] making sure that those doors of opportunity are open to everybody -- that is the reason
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i ran for president. that is what my presidency has been about. that is why i am running for a second term as president of the united states. [applause] >> for more years. -- four more years. >> here is the thing. your education is not just important to you. it is important to america's success. when we invest in your future, we are investing in america's future. the fact is, countries that out educate us today will out compete us tomorrow. we cannot afford to lose that race to make sure we have the most highly educated, most skilled work force in the world. when companies and businesses
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are looking to locate, that is what they are looking for. i do not want them looking any farther than reno, nev., the state of nevada, the united states of america -- we have the best workers in the world, and i want to keep it that way. [applause] your education is getting more important. i am not telling you anything you do not know. more than half of new jobs over the next decade will require some form of higher education. i do not think this is any news to you -- higher education is getting harder and harder to afford. it is tough for a lot of folks. over the past 20 years, tuition and fees at american colleges and universities have more than doubled. the average student who borrows
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to pay for college now graduates with about $26,000 in student loan debt. living with that kind of debt means you have to make tough choices, is especially when you are for starting out. it may mean putting off starting a family or buying a home. it may mean you do not have enough savings to try to start that new business idea that you have got. when a big chunk of each paycheck goes just towards servicing your loan debt, that is not just talk for middle- class families trying to make it, it is also not good for the economy. it means you are not spending that money with local businesses. i want you to understand -- i speak from experience here. michele and i know about this firsthand. we did not come from wealthy families. my mom was a single mom. was a blue-collar
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worker. her mom was a secretary. her parents never went to college. both of us graduated from college and law school with a mountain of debt. when we got married, we pulled our liability, not our assets. [laughter] we got poorer, not richard. -- richer. we paid more on our student loans and our mortgage each month and were finally able to buy a condo. now we are supposed to be saving for college education, but we are still paying off for our college education. we landed good jobs, steady incomes, but even with that we only finished paying off our student loans about eight years ago. think about that. i became president, three and a
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--i was a u.s. senator about seven years ago. i had been working, michelle had been working, for over a decade before we got all our loans paid off. here is the thing -- i am only standing here before you today because the chance that that education gave me. i can speak with some experience and say, making higher education more affordable for young people is something i have a personal stake in. it is not something i believe in abstractly. it is something michelle has a personal stake in. we believe in it because we have been in your shoes. we know what it is like. [applause]
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we understand that, unless you provide those runs on the ladder of opportunity, young people, many of whom are more talented and michele and i, may not get a shot. that is why i have made this one of the top priorities. it is part of what is at stake in this election. when all of you walk into that voting booth in november, you are going to have a choice -- part of it is the choice of how we treat education in this country. i say this because putting a college's education in reach for working families does not seem to be a priority that my opponent shares. look, a few months ago, governor romney told a crowd of young people just like you that, if you want to be successful, you want to go to college or start a business, you can adjust, and i am quoting "borrow money, if you
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have to, from your parents." [boos] did your parents have a whole bunch of money to lend you? my parents did not have a lot of money to lend me. i bet a bunch of your parents do not have a lot of money to lend you. it is not because they do not want to -- they do not have it. when a high-school student asked governor romney what he would do to make college more affordable for families, governor romney did not say anything about loan programs that help millions of students earn a college education. he did not say anything about work study programs or college tuition. he did not say a single word about community colleges or how important higher education is to the future. here is what he said -- "the best thing i can do for you is
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to tell you to shop around." to shop around -- this is his plan. that is his answer to a person hoping to go to college -- shop around and borrow money from your parents if you have to. that is not an answer. not only is it not a good answer, it is not even an answer. there is nothing in parent wants to do more than to give their kids opportunity that we never had. [applause] there are very few things more painful than a parent not being able to do it. we are still fighting back from the worst economic crisis in our lifetimes. a lot of parents out there are working really hard, still struggling to make ends meet. i do not accept the notion that we should deny their children
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the opportunity of higher education and a brighter future just because their families were hit by a recession. think about all of the discovery, all the businesses, all the breakthroughs that we would not have had if we told every american that wanted to go to college, tough luck, too bad, you are on your own, shop around. this country has always made a commitment to put a good education in the reach of all who want to work for it. that is part of what made us an economic superpower. [applause] that is what kept us at the forefront of science, technology, medicine -- this is not just a new commitment we have made. my grandfather had the chance to go to college because, after fighting on behalf of america in
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world war ii, he came back to a country that decided, you know what, we will make sure that every veteran should be able to afford college. [applause] my mother was able to raise me and my sister by herself and go to college because she was able to get grants and worker wicker school. michele -- work her way through school. michele and i would not be here without the help of grants and student loans. we're only here because the chance of our eshoo -- the chance that education davis. i want every person to have that chance -- that education gave us. i want everyone to have that chance. parents have to parent, young people have to stay disciplined and focused, but if you are willing to work hard, a college education in the 21st century should be available to
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everybody, not just the wealthy few. [applause] whether it is a four-year education, a two-year program, higher education is not a luxury. it is a necessity. every american family should be able to afford it. that is what is at stake in this election. that is a reason i'm running for president. i want you to understand -- i am not just talking the talk, making promises. since i took office, we have helped over 3 million more students afford a college education with grants that do not make it difficult. [applause] unfortunately, the economic plan of governmegovernor romney cut
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education by about 20%. the grants that we have used, that many of you may be taking advantage of -- those grants could be cut so deeply that 1 million students who have been helped would no longer get scholarships. it would cut financial aid to nearly 10 million students a year. here is the worst part -- they are not making these cuts to reduce the deficit. they are not making these cuts to create more jobs. they are doing it to pay for a new, $5 trillion a tax cut weighted towards the wealthiest americans. [boos] does that sound like a better plan for a future for you? it is a plan that says we cannot afford to help


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