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tv   Washington Journal  CSPAN  March 21, 2015 7:00am-10:01am EDT

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then a discussion on the u.s. tax code. and maryland state delegate corey mccray talks about his efforts to ♪ host: the obama administration topping the technique called fracking. it would allow companies to disclose the types of chemicals used in the process. there is a temporary suspension in the iran nuclear talks. march 21 is the self-imposed deadline of the talk. " wall street journal" is urging counterparts to not rush disclosing
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counterparts. you may have seen this week that the starbucks coffee company announced a new initiative called "race together." in encourages employees to engage in conversations about raise with people buying coffee. you may think this is a good approach, or you may disagree with it. for the first 45 minutes, we want to discuss what this means for race relations. if you live in the eastern are central time zone, (202) 748-8000 is the number four calling in. (202) 748-8001 if you live in the amount no pacific zone. if you want to post on twitter on facebook, or you can send us an e-mail, if you go to the company's website, it you can read the
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press release and why they are doing it. "race together" is what employees have been voluntarily writing on cups this week. if you got a copy of -- a copy of "usa today" there was a pullout on race relations. it also has a picture of that ceo of starbucks as he was talking to members of his company about this effort. it was on their website where howard schultz talked a little bit about the philosophy behind this initiative. [video clip] mr. schultz: we should come
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together and provide some opportunity to discuss this as a group of people. i've had people say to me, i have a subject that i think you should touch. the issue of race relations and what this could turn into. if we keep going about our business, and ringing the starbucks register every day and ignoring this, then i think in a sense we are part of the problem. i do not feel, candidly, staying quiet as a company, and in this holding is who we are and who i want us to be. host: there is a little bit of the philosophy behind the scenes of this "race together" initiative, again, an effort by starbucks to engage in conversations about race in the united states. perhaps you have thoughts on it whether you agree or disagree with it. i get, the number, (202)
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748-8000 four people in the eastern and central time zones. (202) 748-8001 for those in the mountain pacific time zones. posts on i c-span page on twitter, @cspanwj. is how you leave thoughts there. you can send an e-mail at part of this pullout in "usa today" has a lot of features. when did you first become aware of race? there is also quays, a true or false quiz asking about race. again, all in the means of fostering conversation and tak ing a look at this issue. do you have thoughts on this whether you agree with it,
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disagree, or not sure. we will start in new york. james. james, what do you think of this effort that starbucks is doing? caller: in my opinion, personal opinion, i don't think it makes any difference, either way. you walk into starbucks with an opinion about race, you order a cup of coffee, and they start talking to you about race. at the end of the day, when that person takes a cup of coffee and walks out the door, they will have the same opinion. the person at the counter will move on to the next guy. it just doesn't matter. how you feel is how you feel. in my personal opinion, i was raised -- i had filipino friends, puerto rican friends, i didn't see color. that's just my personal opinion. host: again, your thoughts on this initiative. we heard and from one in new
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york. mike is in tallahassee, florida. what do you think? caller: it's a good start. summaries companies be diverse these. all kinds of people. maybe they could start right there. hiring different people. it's a good conversation. good thing. host: do you think it will change opinions going forward? mike has left us. you heard the previous comment from of your, a viewer. one of the people who chimed in on this was kareem abdul-jabbar. he said --
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again, kareem abdul-jabbar weighing in on "time magazine" website. you can see it there. (202) 748-8000 for those of you in the eastern and central time zones. (202) 748-8001, mountain pacific time zones. conversations are happening on our social media channels including our facebook page, ms. launched this week, -- this launch this week, you heard the ceo of starbucks talking little bit about it. employees voluntarily writing "race together" on cups. charles and arkansas. what do you think of this effort? caller: we were doing great with race relationships until this president basically was elected.
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i didn't vote for him. when he got in, i thought this will actually help. he has done the complete opposite. the people that he has selected that have been in his cabinet have done completely the opposite. host: what do you think of companies like starbucks taking up this issue? not even specifically this initiative companies engaging in conversation. caller: well, i haven't been back into the store for for five days since it started, so i can't tell you. host: do you think it is an appropriate venue to have this kind of conversation? caller: no, i don't think -- they better start reading all the people that are smart and have a great attitude towards
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race. instead of listening to what the president and his minions come up with. host: paul on twitter says, i'm not a fan of the coffee, but this idea is very positive. we are all members of the human race and that is what matters. you may agree with paul, you may have thoughts like the previous caller, or thoughts of your own. brooklyn, new york. go ahead please. caller: yes, i think it would open up a conversation about racism in our country. for some reason, there is a denial now. it's only because the population has been dumbed down to the true history of the united states of america. obviously, it's not going to make any major difference. as you hear, racist people have their views and is not going to change. but, it will keep in the forefront that there is a racial problem in the united states.
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the better conversation could be something around those people going to their elected officials and changing the laws and the economic situation that generate conflict between people economic, educational, and jobs. if it would generate a conversation around that, and they can start by making sure they pay people more than the minimum wage, that would be a great example. host: what do you think of these kinds of conversations taking place in coffee shops? does it helps? caller: it of a matter of it's a coffee shop where the bus. as americans, we should be communicating about challenges happening in our country all the time. the fact that people have a problem with talking about that anywhere shows you, and documents, and proves the racial problem in the united states. it is on the ludicrous for anybody in 2015 to be vague
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about the history of this country. it is a reality. black folks are not looking to just move around white people because of the color of their skin it's about economics housing, education, and the ability to raise a family is a real issue. somehow, racist people think we just want to wrap around our arms around them. we are trying to make our own community. in new york, we are fighting with elected officials now to protect our families from police brutality. elected officials are hedging on not doing that. it is a systemic problem that goes past a coffee shop. host: that was vincent from brooklyn, new york, giving his thoughts this morning on the initiative from starbucks. he mentioned legislators. some legislators this week weighing in.
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from michigan, steve stockman saying, wait, implying that your customers are racist is it popular. rep is it a menu cleaver saying in the face of so much conflict it's warming to see an effort rooted in dialogue. lots of thoughts on this this morning, you may want to add yours. ron from pontiac, illinois, go ahead. caller: good morning. i think it would be very healthy in the context -- what i would do is i would go in and start with the democratic party from the compromise of 1850 the civil rights to the civil rights act and i would include -- and my question to him --
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[inaudible] host: i apologize, ron, your line is breaking up. from kentucky, pat, go ahead. caller: i would say it's probably not any good because you're hard-core races are going to go in to starbucks in the first place. the only way i could say in doing any good is the teenagers or something like that, but they don't drink coffee. if you're a hard-core race this i doubt you would even go into starbucks. host: are you a starbucks customer? caller: no, they don't have them in my area. host: i was going ask you if someone engaged you in that kind of conversation in a coffee line somewhere, would you feel inclined to even have such a conversation? caller: no, probably not. when you go to get a cup of
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coffee you're thinking about going to work, or whatever you're not thinking about discussing race at that time in the morning, whatever. i don't think i would want to talk politics when i get my coffee. host: let's hear from mike. mike is in st. cloud, minnesota. how are you? caller: i am fine. how about yourself? host: fine. go ahead. caller: there's no problem. an honest conversation is the problem. people are afraid to approach the subject. you get to a certain point in the conversation, and there is anger and resentment things that we can't get past. a lot of people don't know how to be honest about how they really feel because they are a e afraid to offend each other. the feeling is animosity pain.
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honest history of the past is a lot of people don't want to expose the history. a lot of people don't want to have a honest conversation black or white. blackstone one twoo say things -- blackstone want to say things. a lot of things blacks will say may cause people to be uncomfortable. host: even if you take it to coffee shop, you think of a conversation happens, there is a point where it becomes uncomfortable and people won't want to engage further in a neutral place like a coffee shop? caller: the problem with that is a lot of the people they really need to have a conversation are
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probably on the lower economic scale in the beginning. therefore, they're not going to starbucks in the first wave. people who go to starbucks are may be intelligent enough to have the conversation. they may be would have a decent conversation. they would be further down on the economic scale anyway. you know what i mean. it may help, but the people who really need to have the conversation are going into starbucks. they probably need to expand into other places. that would probably be a more beneficial -- would be more beneficial. host: terry adding to the conversation on twitter saying coffee and conversation makes sense. aaron schock republican representative from illinois and announcing his resignation this week.
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"washington post" announcing that the justice department is investigating. saying, it is not clear how far along the investigation is. shock spending from his taxpayers and campaign accounts on some mileage reimbursement. preston from omaha, nebraska. we are talking about this initiative from starbucks called "race together" look at race relations. what do you think of it? caller: i think you should talk about race relations. if you don't talk about it, it's acting like it doesn't exist. and ignoring something never solves anything. i work for a public company, and i went to a company a couple of
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weeks ago, and the alarm went off. i work for delivery company. they got where you can get in, push a code to get into the door. i got in there and the motion detector went off. justice be the story up, i was talking to a white friend of mine and i told him i was in a place when the alarm went off, delivering packages. i came out and some sheriff would have been there and saw me with my little electric device in my hand -- you know, i was just kidding that he might have shot me, or whatnot. you know what's going on in this country. host: what do you think of starbucks -- companies like starbucks taken up issues overall? caller: if a public company is going to take up overall it's a good thing. it does bring out into the
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public. it's not saying that people are braces that come in the starbucks. it's saying that they are trying to bring to the forefront an issue that has always been there . the president, being black in this country has brought it all the way up to the forefront. now can be dealt with. you can deal with the problem that you act like doesn't exist. it's hard for white people to talk about because it doesn't affect that many. if they talk about in the wrong way, they may face being auster sties -- ostracized from their groups, given the cold shoulder. talk about the wrong way, don't go along with the program. they have to be careful about the way they come to the conversation. host: thank you from nebraska. edward from d.c.. go ahead. caller: good morning.
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i had opportunity to go to starbucks this friday. i didn't get into a conversation about race. i think that the priest at the starbucks have -- the baristas at starbucks are put in danger by possibly going into an inflammatory conversation. possibly any barista at starbuck has better business since then the ceo. host: thomas is up next from maryland. go ahead. caller: hello, how are you doing? as far as discussing race, i don't want to talk to blacks about anything. i've fed up with them. they are rude, violent and very racist. i don't want anything to do with them. they are being given ever every opportunity in this country possible, and there's still whining, crying.
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here all the black colors calling in. they make a hero out of this michael brown who tried to smash that police officers face in. he got what he deserved. host: roger from connecticut. next. i'm sorry, i pushed the wrong button. roger from new haven. caller: good morning. i'm concerned about this starbucks. i think it is a ploy by the company to bring more customers aidin, and by patronizing a certain racial group, it's a way to increase their base. i know i go to a starbucks in the new haven area, and you might see maybe one or two black people in there in the morning. from what i see, they're not have a coffee drinkers.
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maybe an afternoon or something, they go in and hang around. you have time to talk like you are in the greek agoura, or something. that's not the way it works. you might see two black people in there. it's a black community. really, basically new haven is. they're just not coffee people. host: roger, if you go into starbucks in the next few weeks and someone tried to engage in a conversation with you, would you take it up? caller: i wouldn't be current with them, by would probably say, look, i don't think this is an appropriate place. i think by virtue of the fact the go into a coffee place like that, you're going in there to get coffee, you keep on going. you are not there to be stopped. it is not a disco, or place where you meet. it's a place were you go, you purchase coffee. that's idea.
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host: that was roger and connecticut. people who looked at the business aspect also had all beds. -- op-eds. ronmsey from twitter saying this is more about public relations than race relations. again, we're tying mothers race initiative -- we are talking about this "race together" initiative. a formal rollout as of yesterday. we are asking your thoughts not only about the initiative, but
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what it does for the conversation on race relations. (202) 748-8000 for those of you in the eastern and central time zones. (202) 748-8001 for those of you in the mountain and pacific time zones. there was a survey done on those who do not have health insurance and who may be anal penalize. d. (202) 748-8000 they showed some of the results in graph form this morning. here are some of the questions. americans often to go without health insurance, face a penalty. of all currently uninsured
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those who are unaware of the penalty, 41%. those who go uninsured when informed of the penalty, 12%. we will hear from the next caller from new mexico. good morning. caller: good morning. i think it is a great idea. it would help a lot if they would just pray and the death -- print the definition of racism on the cup so that we are all starting from the same place. i have been following what's going on in lancaster, new york with these football teams and lacrosse teams. besides from the washington bread school -- redskins, these are schools, and places for educating people. i would like to see a lot more conversations like that and have
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people take a look at the conversations going on a month after, new york. -- in lancaster, new york. host: thomas, go ahead. caller: thanks for c-span and "washington journal." benjamin netanyahu cried about anti-semitism and the jewish people, they cried about anti-semitism rising around the world. why do we deny that there is racism in the world? why shouldn't we talk about a? host: you are saying that with efforts like starbucks trying to foster or push this conversation along, what do you think specifically of that? caller: eisai -- i say it's a
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start. it may not be the best, or the worst. like i said, you hear the cries of anti-semitism all across israel and the jewish world. and we deny it in the united states. host: samuel from california. your next. good morning. caller: good morning. my dad's heritage is jewish. my mom is native american. i think that diverse the is great. i don't think you need coffee to tell you to love your fellow man. you should know that in your heart. i think it's good that they're doing this, but you should already know that you should love everybody no matter what. that's the way i feel about it. host: not only did he hear legislators earlier weighing in on this, people from the media world as well. one person saying, i don't need
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a 16-year-old barista to lecture me. crystal right, i think i'll go into starbucks today and see if my order for non-black is rejected based on my race. gwen ifill from pbs saying honest to god if you start to engage me in a raise conversation before i've had my morning coffee, it will not end well. specifically, what do you think about the effort? (202) 748-8000 for those in the eastern and central time zone. (202) 748-8001 for the mountain at pacific. we will go next to eric. eric is from alabama. hello. caller: yes, i wanted to make a comment. people don't realize how much race has slipped accidentssince
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reagan was president. we have seen it in police hiring. if we don't start talking about some of the benefits, and things that the white people have, the black question is not really represented like it should be in washington. host: eric -- i don't mean to interrupt, let me ask this. what do you think's passivity about the effort by -- think specifically about the effort by starbucks? caller: any talk is good. you need some action to go along with it. talking is good, to get you started. there's been a be some topics to discuss and places like that. a needs to be done, i think it
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is one step. a good step. host: george from frostburg maryland. your next. caller: good morning, jose. look i am a disabled veteran. i think what starbucks is doing is an exceptionally good idea. they are taking a risk on their business, but this needs to be done. several years ago, i reported to the medical center being mentally and physically abused him i congressmen. as a result of doing that, the department of veteran affairs literally vilified be. -- me. the retaliation that i've been subjected to as a vietnam war veteran is unbelievable.
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people refused to talk about this, but the victims of this abuse will be destructive to the country. england tried to ignore it, germany did this stuff, and they don't have a big anymore. this is crazy. somebody has to talk about it to preserve this country. if they don't, it will take us down like it did in the civil war. host: that was george. there is a story in "then your times -- the new york times" saying, in some ways it has passed, democrats have been given greater opportunity to amend bills than republicans when mr. reid was leading the majority. occasionally cap, senders have to
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work on friday. mr. mcconnell has been impeded by internal struggles in his party. the latest mess, a stalled sex trafficking bill and mr. mcconnell's related refusal to bring a confirmation vote for president obama's nominee for attorney general. it was the discussions and the hold up for the nominee to replace eric holder that was part of a conversation posted by "having to post -- huffington post" and posted on their website. here's a part of the interview. [video clip] president obama: she has been a great prosecutor. she has prosecuted terrorist in
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new york. she has gone after organized crime. she has gone after public corruption. her integrity is unimpeachable. by all accounts, she is a great manager. the fact that she is now been lingering in this limbo for longer then the five previous attorney general nominees combined, makes no sense. we need to go ahead and get this done. >> what you think is behind it? president obama: senate dysfunction is part of it. part of it is just a stubbornness on the part of the republicans to move nominees period. >> they say they're holding up the nomination until they get to the human traffic bill with a controversial abortion issue in it. present obama: you don't hold attorney generals hostage for other issues.
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this is their top justice position. them a is eric holder available to stay as long as possible? present obama: yes he is. and republicans really don't like him. the best way to get rid of him is approved the red alledge. -- approve loretta lynch. host: the, las vegas, nevada. go ahead. caller: good morning. i applaud the ceo of starbuck. i love starbucks coffee. the thing that i come up with -- whites do not like to talk about race because of guilt. they have racism against a whole lot of minorities. i get angry when they it always wants it through that up in our faith. always playing the race card.
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the united states has a bad history. racism is still going to be here forever because it is embedded in the children. lacks are racist too. it is both parties. i've been talking with white people asians, spanish, name it . i'm not afraid of talking, i'm an old lady. host: what you think of these sets the conversations taking place in coffee shops? caller: i have had those conversations. it's nothing new to me. i've had them with a white people in the casinos. i bring it up. i can tell right off the bat who is a racist, when they don't want to talk about a? right there shows me that there's guilt. that's guilt because they want to push all of the dirty things
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that they did under the carpet. i bring it up every place i go and i have been doing it for years. i'm 72 years old. i know. i've been active in protest, and so forth, from way back. nobody can talk to me. i can see right through them. host: that was thedelores in las vegas. next is rich. caller: i've been watching c-span for 16 years, and this is the first time that i've picked up the phone to talk to you guys. starbucks must be doing good thing to stimulate this kind of energy over here. we have to put into perspective that these caucasians, white people in america. they can't be white people when they go to europe. they will be caucasians again. we're seeding into this. if we take a perspective over
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the coffee machine, it's a great thing. coffee can stimulate a lot of energy. i congratulate the ceo of starbucks bringing this all to the floor. it's all about the caucasian perspective, trying to destroy people of color because of our spiritual perspective. we can exchange money and talk about the fact that we exist as a people at the same time. i think it is very stimul ating. i was dollar going through the same thing. it's called identity crisis. her mother is caucasian and i am newbie and -- nubian. right now, the child is suffering. on the birth certificate, it is blank. there is a blank space on her
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birthday does get, and they are blank spaces on the birth the tickets of other interracial children. it is deep. host: on twitter global money saying how is anyone supposed to have a real conversation about race in two minutes at starbucks? if you are following fracking, it's probably a term you know. here's the headline from ""financial times" this morning -- obama moves to regulate fracking. rules were announced on friday to minimize the threat of water contamination from fracking. companies that drill on public lands would be subject to stricter design standards for wealth and for holding takes and ponds.
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the liquid injected into fracking wealth consist of -- fracking wells consist of mostly water and sand. to industry groups immediately filed suit to block the measures. they called the rules a reaction to unsubstantiated concerns. donna from west virginia. we will try you one more time. let's move on to don. don lives in taylor, michigan. good morning. caller: good morning. i want to thank c-span. thank you, pedro. the bottom line with all of this is that we need this. if we would leave byive by the supreme
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law of the land, all men are created equal. they should put women in there too. no one talks about -- that's our supreme law. if we don't enforce that, we don't have anything. what's going on with any of this, what we talk about every day, if we had to use the constitution, the supreme law of the land, we wouldn't need all this. you have to love yourself to love other people. bottom line. we've got to use the constitution. we need it more than ever. we see it with the right wing fascism of the republican party. thank you. host: mrs. gilbert from oklahoma. -- this is gilbert from oklahoma. caller: this is a very simple solution and that is the real history of america. remember, blacks were introduced to this continent in 1619 by the
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dutch and were sold. we have always had indentured servants. the whites kept running away to new york, philadelphia, and other places. they cannot be identified. this is the first time in the history of the world that slavery was depicted as those who have darker skin. america, there is no other group that has been patriotic to this country than blacks in this country. blacks have fought in every war of liberation, and received nothing in return. look what happened with george washington's army. one third were blacks who fought for freedom and got nothing return. host: gilbert, do you support the starbucks effort? caller: absolutely. it needs to be discussed. why are we running away from it. we talk about the liberation of jews in europe. it's history. host: robert from ohio.
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good morning. caller: good morning. my name is robert. i like reading the bible a lot. one versus very important. both they bondsman that thou shall have -- this is the lord talking to moses. i don't think god right here is against slavery. not only that, he wants you to have possessions of them. you need to inherit them from farther to his son -- father to son forever. that is first 46. -- verse 46. host: and you think that applies to modern-day? caller: i think that's what they
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used in civil war. i don't think god is against slavery. georgeia practiced a slavery that was evil and bad, you had luck fighting for the confederacy. they had their own army. host: that was robert from ohio. joyce from north carolina. caller: hello. yes, i think this is very courageous of starbucks to do this. good morning to y'all. anyway this is something that has been lingering for years and years. abraham lincoln. i salute him. you know, he didn't think it was right for slavery. you know israel, israelites
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were enslaved. so many different nationalities have been enslaved. all in all, it's wrong. i mean -- he came out with another amen come meant to love one another. anybody who thinks they will just be one race and have been is just lost a whole point. host: joyce, as far as the conversation happening at starbucks, do you think it will change opinions? caller: i think it might. it's a favorite drink for thought. you know. maybe not. they may be rushing the work. they may not have time to really talk about it. at least it's on the cup something they can bring up when they have a little time.
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maybe at work, may be the bus wherever. host: that was joyce. in "the new york times" a panel is looking at the benghazi request on clinton server. it says, though secretary clinton alone is responsible for causing the issue, she alone does not get to determine its outcome. that is the committee chairman trey gowdy of south carolina. he says, that is why the interest of transparency for the american people, i am formally requesting she turned over the server. on twitter, on this conversation we are having on "race together"
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-- it's well-intentioned but difficult for many. keith. caller: good morning. this is key from new jersey. any initiative where they try to get people talking is good. as far as some people getting their minds wrapped around the fact that they been living a life up privilege for years and years. i'm a veteran of the united states military. i've never seen anyone disrespect the president, barack obama, like i have. for some addition one to sit in his office and tell him to shut up. people who have prospered by slaves, we need to get all of those people out of our congress and senate. they are old, and not willing to accept -- they letting the rich
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get richer, and control our country. anyone in the organization, in the congress, senate, they are not looking for the people. -- looking out for the people. it is treason. those who worked for hitler, they had the best scientists and came to united states. they hire them for nasa. these are the people running the government. their self-serving. host: the last call we will here is from ken. ken is in florida. caller: good morning. listen, let me qualify my statement. my family was ousted in the 1920 race riots. i am a retired senior enlisted in the military. i'm living now in 15 countries.
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back in oh -- so we can have that dialogue between one another. this is the greatest nation on the face of the earth. qualify that by saying that i went to two continents and 15 countries. i don't see any country that i've gone to. my friend, and my friends, this young man that called earlier can say openly that he despises and resist dialogue between any of god's people. this is the only nation where we can do that constitutionally, legally. our political process invites that. this is dialogue. even distress, the unpatriotic tone of this country, that is
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part of politics. the party that is not in office, it's what they want. they want to be back in office. what did they do? they step on the marginalized. they underestimate the political process. and the people involved. that's the way our founding fathers set it up. so what do we do? i don't care if starbucks, walgreens, walmart, wherever we can get together, let's talk. not only talk, let's react with one another. that's what we did in the military. that's what were doing now in the military. we are reacting. we showered together, custody together if, fight with one another. at the end of the day, greater love than this that a man lay down his life for his friends. what a program. host: that was canned. can from florida.
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one more story about iran, taking a look at the negotiations over the nook your deal. the bbc reporting that iraq's president saying that progress has been made. saying quote there is nothing that can't be resolved. six world powers are negotiating a deal with iran aimed at limiting the activity, with a late march deadline. coming up, we will take a look at diplomatic security. you may have heard about caroline kennedy, the u.s. investor in japan receiving death threats. fred burton will join us next to share his thoughts. april 15, around the corner, the one thing you don't want to deal with is scams. we will hear from daniel mitchell from the cato institute
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about that. representative adam schiff of california, the ranking member of the intelligence committee will be on "newsmakers." in the program he does about isis and its influence over the region. [video clip] representative shiftchiff: i'm very concerned. frankly, the way they are open about it. with billboards. the iraqi government wants to reclaim their cities, and do it sooner rather than later. while i understand that impulse at the same time, if they go rushing into places like mosul, and they want to substitute real readiness in the form of an iraqi armed force that has strong sunni complements as well as shiite, they may lose the battle.
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if you have iranian dominated militia is going into suge knight talents -- going into sunni towns they are going to drive the tribes even further. that would be a terrible course of events. i worry about it in terms of defeating isil, and in terms of the long-term situation in iraq if iraq becomes some sort of satellite for iran. i think a lot of what is happening turn some expectations on their head, that many had before the iraq war, when people thought these are traditional enemies, see have the iraqis and the persians, they don't speak the same language, they are not part of the same at ethnic group, and yet you see how
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dominant iran has become in a iraq. host: our first guest this morning joins us from austin texas. fred burton was the chief of counterterrorism for the state department bureau on diplomatic security. good morning. can you tell us a little bit about your previous job when you worked for the state department and what it means for the world of protection and safety for those diplomats serving across the world. guest: i was hired as a special agent with the diplomatic c security service in 1985. this was a study done after the horrific embassy bombings in beirut in 1983-1984, as well as the bombing in kuwait. the state department realized
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they needed many agents in order to combat international terror. host: tell us a little bit specifically then what that bureau does. the contours that takes on when it deals with the mac security. what issues are we dealing with? guest: the organization today is not the same as it was in 1985. from a historical perspective the state departmentt's office of security has been in existence since 1916. in essence, it was the first global international federal law enforcement agency that was responsible for everything from as be a notch to terrorism, it's a crime around the globe. today, the mission has morphed into a paramilitary kind of operation where we are protecting diplomats, and very high threat environments, such
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as pakistan, afghanistan, and this past week in saudi arabia, which appears to be facing a whole range of different terror threats. in essence, any place where you have a u.s. embassy or consulate, you have a state department special agent thereof responsible for security. host: you mention saudi arabia. we heard instances of south korea, death threats against the investor to japan. tell us about those instances diplomatic security, what it tells about the level of security going on. guest: it shows you the range of threats that diplomats face today, and the challenges the facing them. you have places that are historically considered as low threat environments, such as japan, or south korea. yet, these threats are constant. if you move into some of the high threat areas like iraq or pakistan, you will have an endless threat stream where
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various terrorist groups are planning to conduct terror operations, specifically against diplomats. the challenge is how do you protect these diplomats that are required to get out, mingle in certain areas, and yet ensure that they can be adequately protected. it is a daunting challenge. in many ways, it is very very difficult to try and evaluate this because you're looking at it on a tactical basis for moved to move. when things go bad in this business, they go really bad, as evidenced by benghazi. host: did we see a change in how diplomatic security is done, or at least a change in philosophy -- did they got the change any that? -- did in benghazi change any of that? guest: they desperately need, in
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my assessment, to create an undersecretary for diplomatic security. if your viewers can think of the organization on the same kind of playing field as the fbi or u.s. secret service where there is a directory that runs the organization, predicated upon the threat resources, and need and yet the state department has historically played that position under an administrative and management. i'm not optimistic that bub will change in the first sealable future. the other problem is the diplomatic security service lacks a dedicated training center. if you think about this in context, that the eye has their own, the secret service has their own, and yet the diplomatic security service does not. there's no other organization that has the same sort of threat overseas. that is something that is
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desperately needed as well. host: fred burton joining us from austin, texas. the topic is security at the like embassies across the world. if you want to ask him questions about it, (202) 748-8000 is a line for democrats. (202) 748-8001 are line for republicans. for independents, (202) 745-8002 . mr. burton, doctors about when security threats are being evaluated in these world wide spots. one of the questions that need to be answered? what is asked? what kinds of things they looking at on the ground to determine what level of security is needed? guest: there is a two minutes amount of oversight today post benghazi with threat assessments created in-house with intelligence c community.
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specifically, there's an office called the intelligence and threat division. they look at every threating telephone call, bald threat, letter, e-mail that is threatening an individual. they work with the host government where these threats originate from to china -- to try and identify the threat involved. with the ambassador in tokyo this is the kind of case of work behind the scenes, and usually there is a public press announcement once it reaches a level host: we have seen pictures of the first lady in japan and we know the securitien tragedy she travels with. do diplomats get that whrefl on the ground? guest: it depends on the protectee. in years gone past when we
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protected the likes of yasser arafat on visits to the united nations it would be similar to a head of state kind of protection detail. but you raise a good point with some of the presidential first led visits overseas. the burden is on the respective u.s. embassy and predominantly the regional security officer who is the diplomatic security service senior agent in charge is responsible with working with the u.s. secret service advance teams and local police to ensure from a lodge jest particulars perspective -- logistics perspective everything is worked out. any time you see the visit] ing abroad or first lead, any cabinet level official the state department special agents are working to ensure that comes off in a very safe manner. host: if we see these kinds of efforts going on how much of the responsibility -- you talked about the secret service and
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diplomatic corps. how much responsibility does a host government have in these preparations when it comes to security? guest: first and foremost, the lost nation is responsible for the safety and welfare of all official diplomats in that country. that is where the state department works very closely with local law enforcement to ensure that there's adequate security in place. the challenge becomes in some environments how do you operate in the hostile environments when you look at resources like we saw in benghazi to make sure you have contingency plans and adequate backup. because in many cases backup in some of these areas can be an aircraft carrier away. if you look at what happened in south korea with the slashing attack on the u.s. ambassador i can tell you that is every act's nightmare when you have that kind of attack that takes place. you also have the sorkinuth korean
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police responsible for protecting the ambassador and it is my understanding the police officers that were there were unarmed. what happens in this business there is a sense over time that individuals can be complacent. when you are on this job 99% of the time nothing ever happens. but when it does happen it usually unfolds very quickly and it is critical to have the situational awareness to identify it unfolding beforehand or at least to identify individuals that pose what we call a protective intelligence threat to this protectee at that specific viennaenue. caller: fred burton talking about diplomatic security. the numbers are on the screen if you want to call us.
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we have calls lined up for you. the first is from donna from west virginia, democrats line. you are on with fred burton, donna. go ahead. caller: my question is, it is evidently a very tough job to tkodo do. however, i'm looking at the way the world is now anger hostility that is out there. how much is this costing the american people or these foreign countries to deal with diplomats who really are unsafe in the first place even in the united states to go in some of these fortune countries. to me, it is unthinkable that we would put those people in that position, first. second, how much are we spending
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to protect them? and what is it worth to america nowadays to deal with anything in another country? guest: well, donna raises some very good points. when you look at the diplomatic security service i believe it is the largest bureau inside the state department with the largest budget, which is one of the issues from a bureaucracy or turf perspective inside the state department, which is whys that -- which is why that has been a roadblock with an undersecretary that could manage this amount of money and resources. so, inside washington whoever controls the budget controls everything else that follows from that and that can be the challenge. but it does cost a tremendous amount of money. i don't know the numbers off the top of my head the latest
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figures to do this around the globe. the cost of protecting diplomats in places like afghanistan or pakistan is one figure compared to what it would cost to protect the u.s. ambassador to japan or south korea. host: mr. burton does the host company contribute costs when it comes to those security measures? guest: yes, indeed. when you look at this from a fortune security or law enforcement perspective, if you can envision the u.s. embassy in london you are going to have the perimeter protected by british police and british security and then typically you will have a contract guard service that is paid for by the state department diplomatic security to protect that facility. then you are going to have the agents inside like i used to do working to ensure that these programs an procedures -- and
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procedures are being followed and so forth. host: what were some of your posts in protection? guest: my job was in predominantly the counterterrorism division of the state department where i spent 14 years doing nothing but terrorism response to attacks that took place on u.s. diplomatic facilities or u.s. diplomats or americans that were harmed overseas such as in hijackings or various other terrorist attacks. i also investigated the last united states ambassador killed in the line of duty before ambassador stevens in benghazi and that was ambassador arnie rayfal in 1988. he perished aboard pac-1 carrying the president of pakistan and he was aboard that flight that crashed in pakistan. so if you look at this in
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context and i have seen a lot of media get this wrong by before ambassador stevens was killed the last one was ambassador rayfal in 1988. caller: mr. burton, congratulations on your career. i find it depressing the fact that you have to sresinvestigate incidents that srhave occurred and not had any intelligence on matters where you could have protected people. i'm concerned about these guys that are going over to foreign countries, former soldiers, and fighting with different groups against isis. do you have any comments on that that? thank you and have a good weekend. guest: thank you for those kind words.
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i failed to mention that the state department in domestic assignments have special agents assigned at various field offices around the country and part of their job is to do protection here domestically on visiting dignitaries and conduct passport and visa fraud. many are signed to the task forces around the nation. but your concern nor the foreign fighters is a real one. that is factored into the threat matrix overseas as you protect diplomats and one of the issues that domestically we face but is a huge challenge trying to keep track of american passport holders that have left the united states, traveled abroad and perhaps could come back to carry out a terrorist attack here. host: mr. burton there was a story out yesterday the head lane was talking about the fears that the united states has about the islamic state making inroads into libya. part of it was based on a report
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from the state department circulated by the diplomatic security bureau. talk about that role the report gathering and intelligence gathering when it comes to hot spots in the world. guest: this is an intelligence community product. but as you look at in essence, how it pertains to specific protection of diplomats that falls upon the diplomatic security service to assess and in essence they don't operate in a vacuum. they are looking at intelligence feeds from the c.i.a., n.s.a., d.o.d., f.b.i. and they are looking at and assessing on a very gran few similar basis the -- gran few similar basis the threat as it pertains to a venue or city and closely monitoring crime because crime affects the safety and security not only of tourists but travelers and expats expats. but if you look at libya it is pretty much lawless at the
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moment and the state department very much will have to evaluate when it is safe and secure to try to go back in to open up a diplomatic mission. there lies the rub, pedro. when you look at what happened to ambassador staofrpbs in lybia -- stevens in libya i have locations that are stood up under expeditionary diplomacy and they are put in places like benghazi or mogadishu where you have to put diplomats in these areas and the diplomatic security service is saddled to protect them but the physical security standards of the locations where they are housing the diplomats are ones that aren't up to snuff because you don't have months and in some cases years to build a physical security structure that meets the physical security standards that surface after the horrific
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bombings in beirut in the 1980's. there is a balance in essence to foreign service is going to say their diplomats need to be out in the field to do their job and there is nobody left to protect them but the diplomatic security service. so they are constantly moving resources from location to country to protect the diplomats. it is a daunting challenge. don't get me wrong. the acts on the front line are the best and the brightest but that takes its toll when you are consistently working and living in these high threat environments it is no different than being on a battlefield and the same kind of challenges that the u.s. military face. >> adrian from california, democrats line. go ahead. caller: organicgood morning. thank you, mr. burton, for the work that you do there in diplomatic security. i know that you have a lot on
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your plate and i have a lot of respect for the work you do and tireless hours that you put into it. with respect to caroline kennedy that threat that is going on and you have a [inaudible] i just pray every night that you guys are protected and that i know you are doing it for the united states and thank you for all the work you do. thank uyou for the country. guest: thank you very much for those very kind words. host: lubbock, texas republican line. bill go ahead. caller: yes, your guest is quite amazing. i find it quite amazing. sir, please listen. back in the day and i looked in
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the time period you served i was back in that same time period that you were but the question that i have is back in the day we had more ground intelligence. we had more active ground intelligence because we were in the area a lot more. with the situation in some of the places in the world we don't have the same ground intelligence. we are relying primarily on technology intelligence. do you find if a guy was in the same position you held back in the day do you find it is more difficult for the same guy holding your position now than what it was back in the day when we had more ground intelligence, more real world intelligence is what i'm trying to say? guest: well, i think you raise a very good point. it has been my experience that we you start unpacking the success rate at some of those terrorist attacks, whether ben goes si -- benghazi or east
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africa there are usually a failure of two points. it is a lack of human intelligence or hument or lack of intelligence inside the organizations that can specifically let you know exactly what is coming down the road. because once that attack starts to unfold it is very difficult to try to prevent it from occurring. you can look at that in beirut or in the streets of boston. you need human intelligence to tell you what is going to occur. the second failure point is lack of tactical analysis. it has been my experience that after the attack has occurred whether 9/11 or the attack and murder of ambassador stevens in benghazi the intelligence that were collected before the attack but it has been difficult to make sense of what is coming down the road. that brings you back to the first point where you need human
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sources inside of organizations which is a dirty business. nobody likes to talk about attachmentthat. you have to penetrate the organizations and get humans inside and if you can't you have to rely on the technical assets and that is organizations such as n.s.a. or other kinds of communications intercept as well as fortune liaison -- foreign liaison, which is critical. you need a very robust foreign intelligence liaison. for example, you may get very good intelligence from organizations such as the jordanians or the egyptians or in some cases the israelis that can help you make sense of the puzzle and fill intelligence gaps. host: mike from ohio. go ahead please. caller: yes. thank you for everything you do to keep our embassies and everything safe. how is our ambassador of south
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korea doing? he was viciously attacked a little while ago. i guess 80-some stitches. i would like to know what his condition is why this happened to him. he was in one of our allied countries, south korea and benghazi was in a war torn area where we lost four good americans and why isn't there any kind of outrage about this guy sitting in a restaurant almost having his head beheaded and how much money have we taken away from security of our embassies in the last six or seven years? i will take yourance off the air. -- your answer off the air. guest: to your first point in our business we considered the attack on the u.s. ambassador as a protective intelligence failure. the attacker was well known to the south koreans. he had previously attack ded another foreign ambassador.
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this is the type of person that needs to be tracked and monitored all the time. the state department and u.s. secret service do that on domestic basis here for individuals that perhaps historically threaten the president so you know whereabouts. the protective detail will pictures of the people that potentially could show up and at times it is not unusual for acts to go out and physically surveil people like this for that period of time so you know exactly where they are and in case they start moving toward that venue you can radio ahead or the agents can intercept them and conduct a street interview. when you have the largest pot of money inside the state
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department itting easy for it to be poefrp the for other things -- poached for other things deemed critical for the foreign service. when your bosses are the ones making those decisions to reallocate the funds what are you supposed to do about it? that is why in my assessment the state department needs a director that is on the same par as the f.b.i. or u.s. secret service director that has autonomy that reports directly to the secretary of state and he or she can control the resources, money, mission and at times look the secretary in the eye and say sir or ma'am this is a bad idea, or we can do this mission but it is going to take x number of resources to get the job done. host: mr. burton there are stories in the paper today the panel looking at been gassy in washington, d.c. it -- benghazi
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a has a request for the can clinton e-mail servers. what information would you be interested in seeing about the e-mails in question particularly when it comes to benghazi? guest: my last back was on benghazi specifically so it is an issue that i have followed very closely. to be frank, i felt sorry for the special agents that were there. the agents there were given an assignment and they did not have adequate resources. they didn't have the physical security that should have been in place to get the job done. but in many ways the mission has always been that way. the state department has always sent young men and women into harm's way and the agents are left to do the best job they possibly can. that is the nature of the job. but we you look at benghazi specifically, it is quite clear
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to me and it was quite clear to everybody that was there that this was a terrorist attack the moment that the first round was fired. so, how it developed into a video driven event as part of the message inging post-benghazi is the kind of issue that i'm sure that the benghazi committee will be looking at. but i'm not surprised. you are in washington and you know the politics that surround any kind of presidential campaign and it is important that the message is consistent. those are the kinds of things that really need to be unpacked when you look at some of the e-mails. host: when it comes to benghazi, much was made about the role of the marines when it comes to their role in regarding the diplomatic embassies. specifically what role do they serve? guest: that is a good point and i apologize to all the former
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marines that may be watching and not mentioning them earlier but the paper security guard program has been partnered with the diplomatic security service for many many years to safeguard u.s. diplomatic missions around the globe. but the presence of u.s. marines in uniform in certain locations is a political decision. that is a foreign policy decision. and when you start looking at the lack of marines in benghazi that was a foreign policy decision that was made by the u.s. embassy. ambassador stevens himself and washington to determine whether the u.s. phraeurpbs can be there -- manners can -- marines can be there. if it raises the threat profile or will the presence of the u.s. marines be a deterrent. there is no doubt in my mind knowing how good they are that if you had a marine security
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guard detachment on the ground in benghazi that would have been a game changer. so that is one of the issues that i think has been looked at in the various committees as a result of the study of benghazi. host: fred burden ton former deputy chief of correspondent -- counterterrorism and a couple of lines about stratford. what is it? guest: stratford is a geopolitical intelligence company and we provide analysis of economics geo politics, terrorism and security around the globe. we try to make sense of the world. we have a website. w wfrpb wfrpb www and we have products for viewers that are interested that want to become familiar with the kind of work we do. host: caller from michigan
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democrats line. henley. caller: good morning mr. burton. i would like for you if you could to bring your threat assessment a little closer to home. last night i watched a very interesting program called "vice" and if that program i saw where we have militias who are very well armed here in our own country who are preparing for what seems like war against our own government. i believe another caller tried to elicit an answer from you but i think you misunderstood the caller who talked about private security fighters who go over to the foreign countries and fight against isis who are actually americans and who come back here and train with the militias that we've here.
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i noticed in that program since president obama had been elected the hate groups had exponentially again up and the one ranch was no fluke when the u.s. government backed away from that fight because knees militia -- these militia are well armed and prepared for battle. i'm wondering what your company's threat assessment of domestic terrorism is, how congress is now actually trying to have legislation passed to have it illegal especially the conservatives to have it illegal to use drones against person citizens in our own country. could you please talk a little bit about your company's assessment of that threat? guest: thank you henry, for the question. you are right, i did misinterpret the previous caller's question along toes lines.
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when you look at organizations such as white hate and cyber nation organizations i have located in austin we've the republic of texas and some militia groups inside of texas. there is no shortage of hate groups targeting jewish synagogues jewish facilities your soft target threats and you are correct when president obama was elected the white hate movement has grown significantly significantly. but, having said, that i do think that the f.b.i. here domestically and joe montana terrorism task force -- joint terrorism task forces and a.t.f. have done a good job keeping tab on some of the organizations. the calendar we saw last week -- the challenge we saw last week in mesa, arizona where you have the hammer skin nation operative
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in essence start shooting people it takes a tremendous amount of resources in order to surveil one potential lone wolf, whether that lone wolf be of a skwreudjihadist variety or white hate variety. so it becomes a very logistic challenge for federal law enforcement and state and local law enforcement to keep tabs on these individuals 24-7. this is why intelligence on movements on these individuals is so critical. the soft threat is one here in the united states that will persist in the foreseeable future. in many ways the federal government has protected their facilities to the point that the threat has been pushed on to the soft target into the special event arena into large hotels into gatherings such as
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marathons or here in austin we've the south by southwest event going on now. and the cost of protecting these facilities for local law enforcement is astronomical. host: chris from spring hill, florida. you are on next with our guest fred burton. caller: first of all, thank you very much for c-span and "washington journal." i can't agree with you more mr. burton about the marines and their capability. i live next to one of the biggest paper bases at a time and they were great guys. my question about the benghazi thing has been bothering me, we could not know what happened unless we were there but they kept saying they couldn't get assets there for like 12 hours but how long did they know how long it was going to last before it was over, number one? number two, 12 hours?
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guest: when you look at this in perspective and you do raise a good question. you have agents that are deployed with ambassador stevens that are there to perform a protective duty. you had a perimeter breakdown in security where the militia that was hired to help protect the facility disappears in many ways once the attack starts to unfold. having said this, you do have a short distance away some very brave and dedicated shooters that are there with the c.i.a. base and these operatives rushed to the aid of the agents trapped inside of benghazi when the facility feelswas under fire and they
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did a remarkable job and saving lives and probably preventing additional casualties to unfold. then everybody moves from that location back to the c.i.a. base and that is where many hours later the mortar started to rain down and resulted in the death at that location. i think that to a man that i talked to at the scene that unfolded that night, the mortars that were coming in took everybody by surprise. it was something that was not anticipated. i think the challenge with these cases -- and they have been historically in every case i have worked -- in many ways all of us are brilliant after the fact but trying to predict these kinds of events and then the domino effect once they start to unfold becomes the challenge.
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you can unpack any national catastrophe going back to, direction, deally plaza when -- dealely plaza when president kennedy was assassinated. why was there not a countrier attack group there was no to and why was he in an open limousine. that was a decision by staff. we do learn from the tragedies and try to fix certain things going forward. and diplomats are better protected today as a result of benghazi on very basic things. for example, what killed ambassador stevens was the fair when it was hit in the building was set on fire. when i was an agent going through basic agent training i never learned to protect people when individuals set the building on fire but the state department has worked with the fire department in new york city to address that kind of issue.
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you can't foresee every possible event that is going to unfold we you are in some of these volatile areas. you can only try to get in front of the threat and fix them going forward. host: san francisco, california lawrence is next. go ahead. caller: hi, mr. burton. i'm a retired u.s. marine and vietnam era. i believe that our issues of people inserted into regions whether in the military or government service have a reasonable expectation for having the best chance to not only defend our interests but defend themselves. and if reasonable measures are not provided to provide them with correct intelligence and responsible security evaluations i'm going before benghazi to the
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valerie valerie plame incident the woman who was a c.i.a. operative whrs area of expertise was weapons of mass destruction, boss identity was spread out or given out and it seemed to be because of the views of her husband joseph wilson, an ambassador having been deployed into the region to report his findings about subjects of interest in regard to the region. tell me what you think about that issue and that story. what correct challenge use of intelligence was embodied during the george bush administration about those issues? guest: intelligence in many ways is not a perfect science. in essence you are dealing at times with intelligence gaps and trying to make sense of what is known known. informants lie.
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informants lie most of the time. when you are relying on single source informants in most arenas it can be gold, for example, we worked an informant that led diplomatic security to the computer of the mastermind of the first world trade center bumming. so, they can become a nugget of gold. having said that, they can become disastrous fending on the vet -- depending on the vetting and assessment of certain information they are bringing to the attention of the intelligence community. but i think that post-iraq and post- post-w.m.d. iraq the intelligence community has done a pretty good job vetting intelligence information to make sense as to what is unfolding. at the end of the day in this business when things goed about,
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things go bad very, very quickly and that is just the nature of the job at times. and it is not for everybody. you can look at some of the federal law enforcement agencies that are partner agencies with the state department and they don't have the same kind of challenges that diplomatic security does in places like yemen or lebanon or iraq or pakistan. on any given day all of these places somebody is planning or someone is looking to to try to kill you. that is the nature of the job. you can either dwell on that every day but if you do you can't do your job. you can hope that you have great terms intelligence, you have people looking for hostile terrorists that are planning to kill you and everybody comes to work as a team to keep the diplomats safe so they can get the job done. host: here is kenny from missouri, republican line.
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caller: mr. burton, i would like to thank you for your service. i'm also a manner. i want to know if you can give us an update on the yemeni situation? what is the status? i will take your answer adjust line. guest: it is my understanding that the mission is closed due to the threat. i know for a fact that would be the kind of issue that would be closely monitored by diplomatic security either from an adjacent nation as well as back in washington washington. but i don't know the status currently of sanaa when it comes to what the long-term estrogenstrategic plans are to maintain a mission there. i know it is the kind of issue that is very dynamic. that's a perfect example of the kind of threat away face today globally. i don't know if many viewers
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have been monitoring this but pretty much all of the diplomatic facilities in saudi arabia have been shut down for the better part of a week and that is no doubt due to a very persistent and laser focused terror threat. so this is a very dynamic effort to monitor it on a global basis. host: this is the former deputy chief of counterterrorismor the state department and currently intelligence vice president for intelligence at stratford in austin, texas. gyp being us to talk -- joining us to talk about security as diplomatic establishments. before you leafve you mentioned in a best practice way the formation of an undersecretary. aside from that what would you advise this administration to do to improve diplomatic security? guest: i think critical is that meaning they have to create a director on the same playing field as the secret service or
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f. f.b.i. to be held accountable for global security. the state department desperately needs the diplomatic security needs their own training facility so they can train against this kind of dynamic threat. those are the two critical points that need to be done because if you can do those everything else would fall in line to better protect diplomats. host: fred burton from austin, texas. thanks for your time this morning. guest: thank you for having me pedro. host: coming up we will take a look at issues of taxes with tax day on april 15 and we will talk about some scams and what congress or if congress might undertake the topic of tax reform. dan mitchell from the cato institute will join us. later on he spend his 18th birthday in jail and got elected to the maryland state office and now he wants to make sure those who get out of prison in his
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state get their voting rights back. cory mcyeah -- mckrey. we have a posting on the internet to talk about their issues. this week the senate budget committee from wyoming took the airwaves to talk about the issues important to their party. here is a little bit of his statement. [video clip] >> it is time to start talking and stop acting. washington must live within its means like families do every day and deliver a more effective and accountable government to the american people that supports him when it plus and gets out of the way when it should. we didn't get here overnight and we won't fix it jeff night but we -- overnight but we can solve this crisis with we act now. republicans are putting forward a responsible plan that balances the budget in 10 years with no
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new tax hikes. it protects the most vulnerable citizens and strengthens the national defense and improves economic growth and opportunity for hard working families. a balanced budget means real accountability in washington and ensures programs actually accomplish what they set out to deliver. a balanced budget supports economic growth for hard working families. it creates real opportunity for americans to degree and prosper. a balanced budget allows americans to spend more time working hard to grow their businesses or advance in their jobs instead of worrying about taxes and inefficient and ineffective regulations. it also means our job creators can find new opportunities to expand or economy. most importantly, it means every american who wants to find a good paying job at a fulfilling career has the opportunity to do
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just that. that is what a balanced budget means for our nation and it is what the american people deserve deserve. host: daniel mitchell is with us senior fellow who focuses on tax reform and policy and joining us to talk about tax issues. guest: good morning. sorry to be here to talk about such a depressing topic. our tax code is a 76,000 page monstrosity that is medicalstone around the economy and the only people that benefit are the people surrounding us. lobbyists, insiders, politicians. they are the ones who get the fat retainer fees and get the campaign contributions. special interests. they treat it as their own sand becomes. i think the american people are fundamental ly fundamentally disserved by the tax code.
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it started in 1913 and for the hraslast 102 years it is like a ship with more barnacles and more barnacles and now it can't function well. host: in the house said the ways an means committee is paul ryan. he talked about tax reform. where do we stand on that? what is the potential of seeing the way we do taxes in the u.s.? guest: i'm not terribly optimistic because there are fundamental differences philosophical, ideological differences 2010 the parties on this. first of all i should say a lot of politicians republicans an democrats don't really care about tax reform. they like the game and fact they can manipulate the code here and rake in contributions and. the problem is they are far apart. it is not like the 1980's when you had democrats who understood high tax rates were not good for
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the economy and they were able to work with reagan. but now you have on the left the principled democrats genuinely want class war far as a goal and republicans want lower tax rates. they both may degree on simply stations and loopholes that are un unjustifiable but there is such a disconnect what the code is for not to mention the elephant in the room which is we have a large federal government now and because of entertainments and demographic containing the burden of government spending will rise without reform and as that burden of government spending rises you better believe there will be pressure not to reform the tax system but to containing it in ways to extract more moan from the productive sector of the economy and that is another philosophical point of disagreement. so i'm not as you can tell brimming with optimism that there will be bipartisan agreement to fix the mess. host: it is the point of disagreement and philosophy that i think go a little lined something you put out called the
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dirty tax scams. you talk about scams as we come to april 15 but you talk about philosophy and it comes to the tax code. talk about what you are trying to accomplish. guest: the i.r.s. every year for the past several years puts out their dirty dozen tax list and it is a bizarre combination of i.r.s. saying watch out there are fraudsterses who may want to trick you out of money by using the tax code and calling pretending to the i.r.s. that is part of the i.r.s. dirty dozen list. the other part of it sis basically wagging their finger saying these are the laws and you better obey them and you better not have a bank account overseas without reporting it, make sure you are declaring all your income. you better make sure you are not overstating expenses. it is a combination of paternal inch and threatening and brow betting you better obey always. the problem is that at no point
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does the -- i suppose it is not their responsibility to do this -- it would be very nice if somewhere on that list the i.r.s. said by the way we are not responsible for the tax laws, the politicians who have spent the last 102 years creating this thing, we are in charge of enforcing it and our job is easier and taxpayers with be easier if we could clean out the stables of all of the different loopholes preferences, deductions, executions that make it so complicated. if we'd a simple fair tax system i would argue something like the flat tax a lot of these complex and scams and frauds that the i.r.s. is warning about would disappear or become minimal. host: if you want to ask dan questions about the tax system, the reforming of the tax code and flat tax the numbers are on the line.
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host: there was a hearing this week inspector john for tax. we will show you a little bit and come back to our conversation. [video clip] >> first one is the phone impersonation scam that is on top of the dirty dozen list. it is the largest and most pervasive scam and claimed thousands of victims in every state represented on the committee. here is how it works. the intended victim receivers an unsolicited phone call from a person claiming to be an i.r.s. agent. the caller using a fake name terms the victim a made-up badge number and claims they owe tax and they are criminally liable for some amount owed.
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they may know the last four digits of the victim's social security number. at the threaten by stating they failed to pay immediately the victim will be arrested or face other criminal sanctions such as losing their drivers license. i myself received one of these calls at my home on a saturday. there have been over 366,000 reports of calls averaging between 9,000 an 12,000 each week. as of march 9, 2015, over 3,000 individuals have been victimized by this scam by paying a total of $15.35 million or an -- $15.5 million. the highest reported loss by one individual was a staggering $500,000. one particularly sad story a member of this kphrae forwarded a -- committee forwarded a letter where a person suffered a
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death after the calls. to help educate taxpayers we're reaching out via media in conjunction with the i.r.a. and federal trade commission as well as providing testimony to this committee in hopes to eliminate this abuse. host: scams the top on their list and your list. your response. guest: i have two responses. first i'm glad that the i.r.s. and federal trade commission are trying to warn american citizens against there kind of scam. i hope away find these people and hang them up by their ankles in the public scare and pelt them with rotten eggs. you think of horrifying people being bilked out of their money but we have an i.r.s. that is
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incredibly powerful and the presumption of innocence doesn't exist so you are guilty until you prove yourself innocent and i.r.s. has power to seize assets and do all sorts of things. so the average person out there who knows the i.r.s. is very powerful and knows the tax code is complex and they can't figure it out they are willing to believe even though they try to file the taxes honestly or maybe i made a mistake because i don't understand the intricacies even the standard 1040 form the book is so thick so they get phone calls and get terrified, scared of the i.r.s. and have their money stolen. if we had a simple and fair and decent tax system i suspect that kind of scam would have far less power if the i.r.s. department have such extraordinarily powerful enforcement authority maybe people wouldn't be so scared and bilked into losing there money so i'm angry there are criminals but we make it so
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easy for the bad guys by having a tax system that terrifies the average american. host: we have phone calls for you. first is westminster, colorado gene democrat line. caller: good morning. thanks for c-span. i would just like to reference the republican film clip that you showed right at the beginning of this segment where at the end of his first sentence he said blah, blah, blah with no increases in taxes. look at me, a middle class retired man. how much more would the average tax paying citizen have to pay in tax increase in order to get some of these programs better fund ed funded or keep them in existence and i will take my answer off
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the air but i'm just interested in a dollar figure relating to an average american citizen because the word tax increase people think their taxes are going to go up 75%. but we all know that is not realistic. if you could comment on that i would appreciate it. thank you very much. guest: it is a hard question to answer because it depend on your answer of properly funded. i think a lot of what happens here in washington shouldn't happen, that the federal government shouldn't be operating the department of housing and urban development. properly furnisheded to me means a much smaller central government where every american who pays taxes would get a tax cut. on the other hand, if you believe that government should be a lot bigger, if you think america should be more like greece or france or one of the european welfare states and because of demographic that is
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baked into the cake. to be properly funded you would need a dramatic increase in the tax burden not only higher income tax rates but if you look at what comparing america to europe value added tax which is like a giant national sales tax, higher payroll tax. it is all about what properly funded means. my definition of that i suspect gene, might be different than yours and it certainly would be different than some of my friends in the more left wing think tanks. host: host:or kneel oror -- cornelia is up next. caller: i was hoping you could explain the difference between say a flat tax and fair tax and how that might effect the average individual. also i think one of the scariest parts frankly of our current healthcare system that
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we have is that the power of the i.r.s. to collect and go into your bank account and basically just kind of take care of all the monetary part of that and the old saying power corrupts and total power krpts absolutely. a friend of ours a farmer and a veterinarian he told us recently the i.r.s. is doing a triple investigation of him as a person and his business as a veterinarian and he farms on the side with his brother and one of the demand they were making is, for instance, when he purchased chemicals that he would prove to the i.r.s. that he actually sprayed that herbicide on his crops and he said how do you go become and prove to the i.r.s. through actually sprayed a herbicide on the crop.
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please address the power of the i.r.s. and how that affects our daily lives. thank you so much. guest: thank you for the call. the example you gave ties in perfectly to what we talked about earlier with the phone scams. people are terrified of the i.r.s. you hear anextck dotes and you lose the presumption of innocence unlike if you are a accused murderer or rapist or burglar. the i.r.s. has this huge power. your other questions now the i.r.s. balls of obama care -- because boys of obama care the i.r.s. is more involved with health care but your big question which i can talk about for hours is the flat tax or fair tax. i will try to make it simple. the flat tax acts as your income one time at one low rate and fair tax is the national sales
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tax which taxes your income one time at one low rate when you spend it. but both of them in effect are different sides of the same coin. one low rate, no double taxation in the current system 2010 the capital gains tax, corporate income tax double tax on dividend a single dollar can be taxed four times and you get rid of the hundreds upon hundreds if not thousands of deductions preferences, executions and loopholes in the tax code. they are both simple and have a low rate and no double taxation but i will go back to what i talked about earlier with pedro. there are fundamental philosophical differences. the flat and fair tax are both based on the notion you should not have class warfare in the tax code. some cannot accept that and that is where i'm pessimistic about our chances much getting tax reform. host: a viewer on twitter said i
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had no problem with the complicated tax code but the flat tax to give further relief to the wealthiest. guest: that gets into the laugherlove of a tpfr tpfr ever relieve curve. in the 1980's we took the top tax rate 70% and brought it down to 28%. a lot of people like perhaps the twitter listener would have said that is unfair, the rich won't pay enough at the treasure will be starved of revenue. if you look at the break down of tanks returns each year in terms of broad categories you can look at what happened to tax collections from the rich defined as $250,000 a year or above. in 1980 when the top rate of 70% the rich declared $36 billion of income and paid $19 million of tax. by 1988 when the tax rate was down to 28% and all these people were saying the rich
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won't pay anything it turns out the rich declared more than $350 billion of income and paid $99.7 million for the i.r.s. in other words at a 28% rate the i.r.s. collected five times as much revenue from the rich. so what i would say to everyone who is listening if you really want to soak the rich don't have a punitive tax system because it simply encourages them to use tax planners, last, accountants and lobbyists and things like that. have a is he simple and fair low rate system that says to rich people if you invest your money productively and create wealth and jobs and generate income for you, that is good for all of us and that is into one of those philosophy differences. there was a fascinating pool in england england, english voters and the labor party which is akin to the democratic party they were asked -- they asked all the people but
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they asked would you favor high tax rates even if it led to less revenue and the labor party voters said yes. in other words they wanted the tax code not to be a tool of generating revenue but of punishing success. if you are punishing success so the government gets less revenue that means the economy has less jobs less productivity less growth and income. so i have to fundamentally ask what do we want. do we really hate rich people so much that we are going to hurt ourselves just to try to punish them. i don't think that makes sense. i don't want to reward rich people. i don't want them it use their political power with lobbyists an accountants to get the lap holes and preferences in the code. i just want a low simple system so if they earn income good for them they pay a reasonable tax but we don't have this special interests gimmickry. host: if you want to learn about the u.k. system there is a story on the cbs market watch site that looks at u.k. and how it is dealing with tax returns.
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dan mitch sexual our guest from the -- dan mitchell is our guest. ken from pennsylvania on the independent line. caller: i'm really all for some kind of major tax reform but i really have a question about congress's ability to constrain themselves from spending. if we have limited budget they are going to have to deal with the issues of this country and issues of entitlement and everything. i was wondering what daniel's thoughts were about congress's ability to overcome their own humanity to procure more votes when election time comes again. guest: that is a great question because if we don't learn to restrain growth there is no way to get good tax reform because whenever you do tax reform there will be winners and losers. in order to make tax reform
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possible you need to make sure that the number winners outnumber the number of losers. you probably are best able to do that in an environment where you can actually make tax reform also a tax cut. on the other hand, if government is growing faster and faster because of demographics and entitlement and politicians say we can only do tax reform if it is part of a tax increase the number of losers will dramatically outweigh the number of winners and politically i don't think that is very possible. which is one reason i hate to say this i'm a little pessimistic about the chances not just of the next two years because of divided government in washington but in the long run we face a fundamental challenge of whether or not we are going to become more like europe because of the entitlement program and that i think is just a huge threat to good tax policy. >> as far as selling this to the public don't we like our deductions and that may get a hrartd sell to take them -- hard sell to to take them away? guest: yes because i give
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speeches on tax reform and taxflat tax and so many people will tell me not just privately after a speech but as part of the q&a session i just don't trust them in washington. sure, if eui knew we were going to clean out the underbrush of all the preferences and exclusions an loopholes and [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] guest: a lot of people say, i would like the system, but i simply don't trust washington to deliver it and sustain it. host: our democratic line. hello. caller: i have a question about
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-- first we were talking about the flat tax. this gentleman seems to have an answer no matter what the question about it. my question is, do you -- host: are you talking about the grover-norqueist tax? caller: yes. guest: i'm sympathetic to what americans for tax reform is doing with that tax break. caller: you didn't answer. do you agree with it or not. guest: i thought saying i am sympathetic means i agree with it. if you want, i'll say i agree with it, if that makes you happy. caller: to my understand, what
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you are saying means taxing the poor and giving the rich a privilege. guest: i don't think that's true. if you look at a lot of the corporate tax loopholes, they obviously benefit the rich. if you look at some of the itemized deductions, overwhelming thatly that benefits the rich. if you look at charitable contributions deductions. a million dollars and they get their name on the been -- building and they get a tax deduction for it. i'm talking about tax deductions for the poor because the poor don't have tax deduction liabilities to begin with it. where it is challenging, is you have some middle class people, they do benefit, and not only from the state and tax deduction but also from the home mortgage interest deduction, and so the
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question is, under tax reform, you will bring rates down enough to offset these deductions. the question is, is that going to go? will they trust washington to keep the system? or will they say they will take away my deductions and take away my tax rate. i don't know how to answer that question, to be perfectly honest. host: james from mississippi, go ahead. caller: i have a suggestion that turned into a question. we should all have a -- we should all pay our fair taxes. you pay 15%. you pay 15% no matter what you make. either way these income credits,
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i don't believe that if you do not pay taxes into the system, you should ever get back more than you paid in. i never believed in that no way. you shouldn't get back money from the government if you are not paying or haven't paid going in. that's my statement. guest: he's making the argument for a flat tax in his statement there. the flat faction does have a fairly generous -- no one would pay tax on the first $24,000 of income. above that you pay a flat rate.
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if i make twice as much as one of my kids, then i take twice as much tax. i do think it is a very fair system. the bulk of your question is about the earned income credit which is a redistribution program operated by the i.r.s. it is government spending, and people get so-called "refundable credit" when they file their taxes and have very low levels of income. i have two comments about the earned income credit. first, i don't think it is the job of the i.r.s. to -- to write a welfare program, so i think that should be part of the welfare system. i don't think the federal government should be part of the redistribution of wealthy. i think -- one of the best suggestions is when we took the money and sent it back to the state. we had much better decisions in terms of people getting jobs,
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child poverty. why don't we do that with the earned income credit? i think the -- i think that's going to be a big winner. not just for poor people but also taxpayers. host: chris from ohio go ahead. caller: i have a couple questions for mr. miller. i would like to preface it by saying this nation is growing in both population and the economy. would you agree with that? guest: yes. it is not robust growth. it is actually the weakest recovery we've had since world war ii. but we do have growth scomprks it is population growing as well. caller: so it is not "tragic." i wanted to preface my statement with that. my question to you is, you made reference earlier to the
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productive sector of the economy being punished i guess it was by the tax system. i'm wondering what percentage of the population do you feel is this will "productive" sector. and what are all the rest of the american u.s. citizens that are not productive? does this relate to the amount that you are getting -- giving back to the economies? what percentage? guest: what i mean by productive sector of the economy is the wealth generating stratia of the society which is the private sector. the government of course gets its revenue from the private sector. sometimes government gets that money, and i suppose does productive things -- rule of law, court system. you know, roads and education can be done effectively but a
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lot of times, the government takes money from the wealth generating part of the economy and then misspends the money and wastes it. we have a report from the gao that we have a record waste in programs. i would argue a lot of the programs even when they are running efficiently are still doing things the federal government shouldn't do. one of the things i did at the cato institute is, i believe we would all be better off if the federal government reduces work in the pleist economy in order to get more growth and jobs creation. let me give you an example why this is important. if your economy only grows 1% a year, if you are a big place like france or italy, it takes 70 years to double your g.d.p. on the other hand if you have a
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fast growth economy like hong kong or singapore, you double your g.d.p. in 15 years. think about that. 15 years doubling your g.d.p. or 70 years doubling your g.d.p. that's why whenever i talk to the president elect i try to convince them, the government is not a fixed pie. what you need to do is figure out how to get the economy to grow faster because that's how all of us will be better off in the long run, especially our kids and grand kids. host: our guest is daniel mitchell from the cato institute. caller? caller: yes. i am curious if you folks have done any studies on all of the tax bills that pass congress -- by the way, i'm a tax practitioner -- and in many of
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these tax bills never get put into the internal revenue code so in effect they never become public knowledge. and my question is does any directory exist of these uncut codified tax provisions that i can see? guest: of course they are all on line. you have all the i.r.s. letter ruling, which i'm sure you as a tax practitioner are already familiar with. but here's the problem -- nobody can figure it out. i remember "money" magazine. i don't know if they do it anymore, but for years they would take a hypothetical family's tax return and send it to 50 tax preparers. invariably they would get 50 different answers. they would be wildly different. and who knows what "money"
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magazine's panel of experts said was right. people are terrified that the tax code is so complex, they don't know if they are giving the right answer. the i.r.s. has such incredible power and the tax code gets so complicated every single year. to me, i want to rip my hair out because it is ordinary people that wind up getting hurt by this. the big companies, the rich people they have all the lawyers and professional advice they could ever see to maneuver and manipulate the system. which is why i want to throw the whole thing out and replace it with a simple system like the flat faction. yes, rich people might have lower tax rates but they won't have all the loopholes, but they wobet -- they won't have the ability to manipulate the system.
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host: how does our deficit get satisfied if we operate under this system? guest: that's why i'm saying, unless we learn to control the size of the federal government, i am very concerned about tax reform. any government that requires -- of course this would be pressure from the politicians to generate more and more revenue. in that kind of environment, the losers out-number the winners and it is just a simple analysis that it is difficult difficult to get tax return done in that envirnede. if we -- we didn't have an income tax until 1913. we did fine. as a matter of fact, we grew faster. now that the federal government is so much bigger and growing larger it does make it a challenge of how do we figure out how to generate revenue in
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the least damaging way possible? frankly, if we become more like france and greece and we have government concerning 50% of g.d.p., there is no way to have a good tax system. as a matter of fact, we will have that monstrosity we have now, and it will impose a giant national sales tax. host: caller, go ahead. host: mr. mitchell, i propose a fair tax, a head tax, whatever you want to call of $100 to be collected by each state on april 15. the money is to be invested into tax bonds. at the beginning of each year the money would be released into social security and veterans systems. green card families would be required to pay the head
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tabblings. at the end of each year, like indicated, the states wouldn't pay the interest from its investment. i just want your opinion of my proponents proposal. i've written to my congressman, and the response i get does not even relate to the question i propose. they say things that they have introduced to congress and things like that. i would like your opinion on a head tax of $100. believe it or not my next door neighbors, they had a head tax a year ago it was $10. i don't know if it covered their expenses.
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caller: part of me, i find that appealing, because if you are benefiting from public goods, then you pay something for it. obviously under the current stism, poor and lower middle income people are exempt from paying tax. they peja stojakovic role taxes and things like that. the problem is, if we take your idea and simply layer it on top of what we already have, i don't think that's the problem. i like the idea that everyone should pay something, but on the other hand i am also sympathetic to what you say about the flat tax that everyone has an opportunity to work. i am conflicted because i see benefits on both side. caller: you keep saying over and over again redistribution of wealth and hammer it home that the poor are taking from the
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rich. well, that phrase works both ways. yes or no? guest: it does work both ways. a lot of rich people and political insiders use the system to their benefit. that is why i want a flat tax. i don't want the tax code to punish people for being rich. on the other hand, i don't want a system the rich people can manipulate to their own advantage. equality under law. i think that principle should be reflected in our tax code where everyone is created equally. you made 10 times more, you pay 10 times as much. otherwise, try not to have the federal government under our economy through a tax system that is so complicated that the average american is terrified of dealing with the i.r.s. fundamentally -- and this is a good way to put it paid row -- we have to ask ourselves a
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question will be a better country if we become more like france and greece or if we become more like hong kong and singapore? . host: our guest is daniel mitchell from the cato institute. a new interesting story from cory mccray, and we'll talk to him about that when "washington journal" continues right after this. >> here are some of our featured programs this weekend on the c-span network. eric foner on the issue of pre-a
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-- on the underground history of pre-abolitionists. and later, michael weiss "isis." and the national museum of health and medicine to view items from their civil war collection, including artifacts related to president lincoln's assassination. let us know what you think about the programs you are watching. call us at 202-626-3400. e-mail us at comments at c hfl span.olg. or send us a tweet. like us on facebook. follow us on twitter.
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>> now isis rears their ugly head. we shouldn't be surprised by that. we can't undo decades of soviet era and saddam hussein issue stuff in eight years. afghanistan, according to the president's announcements, we currently have 10,000 troops there in a training year. we're going to drawdown to 5,000, and then zero the year after that. i would think we will see a similar effect. that army will be very shaky. >> on "q & a" the failed u.s. tragedy in iraq and iran and what we should have done differently. >> "washington journal" continues. host: joining us on the program
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now is cory mccray. he is a delegate in the state of maryland. he's here to talk to us about voting rights for felons. host: why is this important to you? guest: i think this is important because these are the same people that face challenges with housing, transportation, employment and they are our friends and neighbors. host: how does maryland currently deal with this? guest: ex-offenders have the opportunity to vote after parol. however, they would like to change that to -- so that felons can vote. guest: many states vary. d.c. has a law.
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the closest we have to the state of maryland is probably pennsylvania and d.c. host: this is a personal issue for you. tell us about your story. l before becoming in the house of the maryland delegates. guest: being in and out of the juvenile facility i know personally the effects it can have. i'm an electric -- electric tradition -- electrician. i felt that apprenticeship saved my life. i didn't know there was something bigger than my neighborhood. as i learned a trade and became an entrepreneur, i realized that life was bigger than the neighborhood i was living in. that was a great opportunity for me. i'm hoping that with house bill
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980 that ex-offenders can avail themselves of the opportunities i had. host: when would their rights start according to this plan? >> i think -- guest: the day after they leave prison. when you are a candidate if a person looking for voters, if i can see you, you can vote. host: 202-704-8,000. for republicans -- force
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202-748-8001 and independentends, 202-748-8002. guest: republican senator bates has supported this. in the house we had extraordinary amount of support there. there were 51 co-sponsors for this bill. it went through ways and means. i think it has a great amount of support. host: because there is bipartisan support, do you think -- guest: the state of maryland as the world reshapes itself, i think there is a different push. i think there ises -- i think
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there is not as much resistance and i think people feel it is the thing to do. host: when did you decide this issue was the right thing to do? caller: we see -- guest: we see the bipartisan within the chamber, you realize this is going in the right direction. host: you are working on a state level. what do you think on a legislative level -- especially being in the shadow of washington, d.c. -- do you think there is an appetite to re formulate voting rights when leaving prison? guest: i think there could be possibly be there. i do know more about the state of maryland. host: this is cory mccray, a member of the maryland house of
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delegates. if you have questions about voting rights, you can call our phone line. democrats line. go ahead. you're on. guest: thank you. caller: what are -- what about marijuana conviction. here in maryland you lose the right to carry a firearm but not to purchase one. i guess the definition of misdemeanor conviction gets blurred with the at a time of dell indicates. in maryland you can't carry a misdemeanor for a basic
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conviction. now i learned that the commissioner -- i went for a pardon. it's been over 10 years. maryland law states that that law will be nullified. and that's what's going on. guest: in reference to firearms, sean, i am not aware of that. host: where does the law fall?
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guest: it falls under all crimes. all crimes, voting rights will be reinstituted after you leave prison. caller: thank you for having the delegate on. i want to say that i am in favor of past prisoners getting their voting rights restored because right now we have a situation in maryland and across america where we are not having people come out and vote. we are in a situation where people that have the right to vote are not representing themselves. we need people that have the voting rights to vote. so the more people we can get engaged, maybe we can have a f -- better united states.
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guest: i think william is right on tone. these people are paying taxes. they leave prison and pay taxes. one thing we cannot say -- myself pedro -- we can't say anyone else that just left prison has to stand on that side of the street. the best thing we can do is not make it look like we're better than them. caller: how many states are felons robbed the voting snl i was allowed to vote when i lived in illinois, but when i moved here to virginia, i can't vote because of my felony record. my next question is, will it be possible for a felon to vote void some day sfl
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guest: 13 states give you the right to vote, plus d.c. and i am hoping that one day ex-felons have the right to vote when they leave prison nationally. host: is there a way of thinking across the united states? guest: i see utah, pennsylvania, indiana. i think there is a bigger push. communities that i represent 1-2 people have been in poverty. as we talk about the high poverty rates, as we talk about the many challenges, it is going to be very very imperative, that we engaged all of our -- that we engage all of our population.
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ex-offenders are part of that population. host: next caller. our guest is cory mccray from the delegate of maryland. caller: i believe everyone should be allowed to vote. if you look what happened in ferguson when you have 67% of the population falsely arrested and if you look at all the places in the sowlingt where they have been false falsely arrested and lost their ability to vote for simple things once they pay their debt to society they should be able to vote and do anything else. they have to pay taxes and find a job and everything else. guest: james is absolutely right. when you think about politics -- politics surrounds everything we do. no matter what we do, politics
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surrounds it. i would like to repeat -- if you are not sitting at the table, you want a menu. and i believe we need to get them a seat at the table. we can't address issues of unemployment transportation, things of that such. host: talk about your experience after you had your voting rights re-instilled. guest: i wasn't a super voter. i didn't start voting until bush 2. when i needed to contact the mayor's office, i started to pay attention to, who do they really listen to? they pay attention to the people that vote freak weptly. i think this is an excellent opportunity. one of the things i think about are these local races pedr.
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when people are disenfranchised or not participating in the process, that creates a challenge. i think when we were in front of ways and means. there was -- he spoke about not being abling to participate and you see everyone else expressing joy because they participated in a process, and one of the things that he's going to die with is that he was not able to participate in sump a great moment -- participate in such a great moment of our history as an african-american and vote for barack obama. host: caller. you are on, sir.
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go ahead. caller: thank you for taking my call. i want to comment on the voting rights of felons. look, the only reason that the delicate -- delegate here is advocating voting rights for felons is because the majority of the people in prison are black, and the reason they are in prison is because they committed a crime. once a person murders someone and you want to turn around and give them voting rights? absolutely not. no, no voting rights for felons. they sold away their citizenship as far as i'm concerned, and they don't have any voting rights.
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guest: when you have 1-2 people making under $25,000, when you have food deficits in your neighborhood, when you don't have smarkts, when you don't have restaurants, it tuesday create a lot of challenges when young men and women, when the first thing they walk out on the street and they see drug dealing going on their school isn't performing at the same critical -- they are facing more challenges. there are challenges that happen. i'm not going to make excuses for that. one thing we all can agree on, once you do your time and you leave that penal system, once again you are paying taxes. you have to get to work. they have kids too. they have boys and daughters going to elementary school, middle school, high school. and they have to participate in
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the process. they have to become engaged in the process. the best way to do that is to make sure we push each other up, not push each other down. host: 0 "job hunting with a criminal record ." more than 23 sfates have expunged records for -- states have expunged criminal records for certain offenses so that low-level offenders do not suffer exponentially." guest: this is a real subject. that's why the governor of our state of maryland, governor hogan, a republican, said he would support the second chance act. he knows this is a problem. the house knows this is a problem. the senate knows this is a
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problem. this is a problem that needs to be addressed. host: caller, you are next with our guest cory mccray. caller: my question is in response from the caller from ohio, one of the first two callers that called in what do you do for people that want to participate in the political process and they don't have the ability to participate in the political processful -- process. you say when felons come back, they do pay taxes. my question basically is, what
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is the legitimacy of giving felons legitimacy in the process. guest: i think the validity comes in, they have served their term. they are living next door to us. they are our friends, they are our families, they are our neighbors. they are people we care about also, and we want to make sure they engage in the process. host: democrat's line. hi. caller: yes. i believe in second chances. someone should be able not only to vote, but if you can't participate, you are going back to prison. you must be able to get a job.
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one of the most ridiculous things in this country is -- does that amake sense to anybody? second chance has really got to be expanded. thank you guest: i think that is absolutely correct pedro. 10 years ago many people would count me out, but look where i am now? i hopped into that apprenticeship program by accident. my mom called the department of license and regulation and said send me every apprenticeship you have in the state of maryland. she said, cory, i want you to fill out every application you can. it was a great opportunity. not only did i go to school for free, i got paid to go to school. i got paid to learn a trade.
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once i was able to do that, then i became an entrepreneur. so many young men and women have faced the same challenges i have. they are not bad people, they are just people that may have went down the wrong road at some point. they made a bad choice. we all make bad choices more or less and sometimes it is just dependent on whether you get caught or not. host: one of the things you do is you are a landlord? guest: yes. i try to make sure we have affordable housing. to be honest with you, that's why i was interested in political activism. a gentleman approached me and said, what are you doing to give back to the neighborhoods you own houses in? it took people that were ahead of me to just say, step up and
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do better. step up and do better. host: dee on the republican line. caller: what can you do at the local, down at the bottom of the county level, to get people to wake up. i wonder if the solution might be be to check in to all these little funky deals that the folks that make the will yous for us get caught doing their naughty stuff if they become felons. i wonder how fast we can get it changed so that the world foregives and they all tell you the first time you meet them, i'm a christian. i say oh, my goodness, how nice. does god know? you guys be careful. i'm worried about when you speak up for good stuff.
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guest: i think how we engage people is we make certain we have those conversations with people. when i was going through the campaign we knocked about 15,000 goors. i know when we were also knocking doors we were solving problems. one of the things i was running into is one of my people that can't have heat or energy. when you start to introduce programs at home it is' whole different level. windows, roofs. you start helping people right there at their door, that is when they become engaged and that's when they believe in the process. host: how did your past as a felon affect your campaign? guest: i think once people met me they knew i had good intentions. i don't think they -- i think they knew i general write withinly want to help. as a husband, as a father of
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three, knowing i have a matter of time i have to dedicate to my children kennedy, reagan and c.j., this is when people saw that we can be the change we want to see. there are a lot of people that face the same challenges in impoverished neighborhoods, and they say that's a real person. that's a person that went thrup the same challenges that i have. if they don't know that, they know their brother went through the same challenge they know their uncle went through the same challenge. that's when they say, we can make a difference. i think it is rubbing off on a lot of people in the city of maryland. host: what is there to help people become more politically aware when they come out of prison?
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guest: i would say make sure you get involved in community associations. make sure you help bring up the start -- standard in those communities. host: democrats line. good ahead. caller: good morning, pedro good morning, cory. i want to tell you a story about my daughter. my daughter was arrested for theft and they was given two years in jail. she spent two months in jail. when she was released, she paid all of her crimes, she paid all her restitution. that's been seven years ago. she has been just revoked from probation. she has been revoked for not going to behavioral health. her parol officer. he's one of the coolest people i've ever known. she goes in to report, and she
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gets the other probation officers to scream and yell at her. she comes out crying. they put a big sign on the door, that probation is for parolees. i don't know what to do. her probation officer said he can keep her on probation as long as he wants. he did revoke her. my daughter is going through a nerve russous breakdown. he's making her now drive all the way from the kentucky border 45 miles away. she doesn't have any money. she's just a waitress. i don't know what to do. she's going to be on probation for the rest of her life. i don't know what to do about these cruel probation officers we have around here. they feel their name is god with
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a g. guest: i would say, everyone is governed by bosses. i would reach out to the person who is responsible for these people. as you mentioned about your daughter, she has paid her restitution. this is a lot of people just trying to invest in -- just trying to work and pay for their houses and just be successful. host: after prison, parol probation, and poacht sentence? what time period is that? guest: it can be very challenging, pedro. lthodse that have already restored the rights of
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ex-felons, not the ones that have had a real situation for our ex-felons. but i think, those stories, their voices have to be amplified because they are all around us. many host: go ahead, caller. caller: i would like to say that is a very common tale, the gentleman from virginia mentioned, and he needs to google a lawsuit entitled landon v. kroll. it comes out of a probation violation case that got sent into forever. the reason i called is this context it keeps coming up in is
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working and paying taxes. and that's all good and valid reasons. but the very basis of having been convicted, the type of crime and the type of sentence, that's as important a reason to remain a voter because so many of these laws we have involving things known as "con sensual crimes" most notably the war on drugs, but i am a convicted felon since 2001. in 2008 i moved to pennsylvania and did some vote every registration work. i started to hear from people i was talking to in the streets that they had this idea that they themselves had lost their voting rights. this stuff comes into existence as just another back door racially motivated disenfranchisement option. just like, again with the war on drugs it is unconstitutional
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to declare chinese people illegal, so let's find something culturally unique about them, opium, and make them illegal because they are a labor surplus after the railroad was completed. each one of these substances was criminalized, it was to identify a specific racial group. so those of us who have had a conviction yes, the tax rate is great, but the very basis of those arrests and convictions should be a primary motivating force when it comes to making voting choices. you have these draconian unrealistic people. that's how we got to a point where -- i'm going to be 45 this year. in my lifetime the united states has seen it's prison population multiply times 10.
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guest: so many people so much confusion, pedro. people aren't sure. they don't want to break the law again. once you release that parol on them and you say once you are out of prison, you can vote. host: are people ininstructed when their voting rights are taken away and when they are not? guest: with house bill 980 we do have education that tells people that they can vote and they can register to vote. house ways and means asked, due have data that says people are confused? i said no, i'm living it. i have friends. i said i'm trying to bring people along. they say cory i can't vote.
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i said why not? they said well i'm on parole. i said you're off, right? they didn't know they could vote. they were able to re-- it is a complicated process. host: democrats line for our guest. go ahead. caller: i'm a long time viewer and this is my first time calling in. i would like to thank the guest for being on c-span. the first thing i would like to say, the republican out of florida, not necessarily -- according to the department of justice report it also has to do with profiling why the prisons are majority blacks, as well. just the fact that revenue is being used with this profile,
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the parolees and probation people, they have to pay to the state. could you address the issue about the disenfranchisement of the black vote because of nelons -- felons not being able to vote? could you give me an idea what to do in my state in order to help felons get their right to vote? and could you tell me about no reputation -- you know, taxes -- taxation without representation. thank you. i'll take my answer off the line. guest: i want to say, thank you for being a first-time caller. but i think you are absolutely right like i said, these folks are paying taxes. they face challenges, finding employment. if you think about the district i represent, the 45th district,
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you think of the high population of ex-offenders, i have one of the highest populations of ex-offenders -- oliver, clifton park. there will are so many challenges. that's why the poverty rate is so low. that's why 1-2 families are making less than $25,000. that's why we don't have smarkts. that's why we have food deficits. it is imperative that we engage people and get them involved in the process. what i would do, you can feel free to reach out to me cory.mccray. i can put forth the -- host: how long have you been a legislator? guest: 60-some days. host: what political lessons have you learned in those 60 days.
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guest: it is about relationships. make sure you have breakfast and dinner with your colleagues, because it takes both chambers to get it done. it is making sure you are prepared. i had an apprenticeship bill with the voting rights. it was so much that went into it to make sure people heard their stories. one of the initiatives i did was conversations with cory. i believe i had a grassroots approach. i tried to make sure every month i was bringing back to my neighborhood. i couldn't -- make sure i told them what was going on, what was some of the legislation they had. another initiative that i always enjoyed was making sure i had an e-mail i respond to everything. when you send a hand-written
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lettering, i send one back. i think my constituents really enjoy that part. i really feel like i'm received well. host: republicans line. go ahead. caller: i am a convicted felon. 35 years ago, i loaned a phone to a person and they used it for a drug dealer, so i am a cannot victed felon. i an am an employer. i average almost $0 million a year. i pay for wages and the property and taxes and i still can't vote. i can't own a fairarm and trust me -- i'm white. this is a very rural area and i contribute to society i haven't
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been convicted of anything criminal since then. i can't vote. i can't go hunting with my friends. i can't go around here -- there is a lot of deer hunting. i can't go with my friends to shoot a deer. host: why has it taken so long to have those rights restored? as far as your state is concerned, why is it taking so long to have those rights restored? caller: i don't know. i can vote in mune al pal electrics, but i can't vote in the state, i can't vote for president, i can't vote for government, things like that. guest: when you think about
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dundalk and ethics, which is what senator stanley represents, when you think of senator bates in howard county, i applaud them for the tough decisions they have made. i applauded delegate edith patterson, she said this is from western maryland to the shore. she said we had ex-offenders returning as citizens into our county. host: caller, go ahead. caller: i am also a green party member. my party has taken a stance against this. i am very impressed with delegate mccray and i hope he continues on this. i think we have to follow the money. this is part of the criminal industrial complex that was
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created. it has created good jbs to the exclusion of many. it excludes many good, smart apeople in our communities that we need part of to be our voice. i am a family member of a convicted felon. i think this is an outrage this is the way our country is going. i think we need total reform starting with criminal zation of drugs. guest: i would like to say, thank you, thank you, thank you for your support. a lot of people fail to realize these are our family and friends. these are people we deal with every day. hopefully transportation opportunities, those opportunities that are growing within the state of maryland, those industries growing within the state of maryland, hopefully they can open up. host: do you support decriminal
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zation of marijuana? >> i do support decriminal zation of marijuana. -- i support decriminalization of marijuana. host: caller go ahead. caller: in 1974 we went into prisons and talked to these inmates before they got out to find out what their needs were going to be. that worked well because you had people from the community working to make sure that -- they came back and they got help. the recidivism rate was 85% in the nation at that point. in my program, we had 500 clients in the first year and the citizen rate was 15%. all it takes is for anyone to know any kind of statistic the majority of people that are felons are people of color. there is no doubt about that.
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it breaks my heart because i have a son who is a felon, and he hasn't received a job yet and that's bad. really, they are going to be suceptible to gog going back to prison. not that my son was every on the corner because he worked three jobs, but it is hard for people, black people to -- i was a prison wardon for 20 years in the state of connecticut, hamden, connecticut, and we had a people that became the ward. he had received a pardon -- host: i apologize, because we are almost out of time. we have to leave it there. guest: i would like to say to mr. rogers, like you said, the recidicvism rate, the best way to stop crime, is to engage
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people. we all have family members. i said it once, i've said it three times, these are the people next to us, these are our family members. he talked about his son having three jobs. i remember going to construction site leaving at 3:30 a.m. and then going to the next job after that. we want to be part of the community, the best way to do that is involve people in the process. host: delegate mccray. thank you for joining us. guest: thank you for having me.