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tv   Washington Journal  CSPAN  May 4, 2015 7:00am-10:01am EDT

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then we will talk about the patriot act. host: the u.s. house is out of session this week, but the senate is back. they will spend a good chunk of the week on iran and look at congress's role in the deal on nuclear weapons. the president is in york city to launch the my brother's keeper organization. it he will make an appearance on david letterman. then carson, carly fiorina, and my cut can be will be announcing this week. the curfew in baltimore will be lifted. one headline reads that
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democrats and gop blame each other for the mayhem in that city. ofhow do we increase economic opportunity in inner cities in america. if not by phone, you can weigh in on social media. you can leave a posting at facebook. you can send this an e-mail. as we get started on this monday morning, there is an op-ed piece in the washington journal. he is the ceo of the baltimore-based business. he talks about his experience. he writes that the supply chain management company that he
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started is in downtown baltimore. the real cost -- we might be if
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the higher more of these baltimore ends. he continues to write that the most direct way to offer hope to discourage people is to hire them. the business community has a simple message. help us help you. you can read the whole thing at "the wall street journal" today. the "washington times" has this story. democrats and the gop in each other for this mayhem in baltimore. we speak broadly about inner-city poverty.
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a new political fight corrupted sunday. this is john boehner on "meet the press" yesterday. >> there is a broken tax code. how about we find a way to educate more kids, half of our kids get an education. they get a diploma they can't read. would you look at the inner cities, these families are trapped in bad schools that don't provide a real education. look what you get. we have 50 years of liberal policies that have not worked. it's time to look at all of
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these programs and determine what is working and what isn't. until we start to find programs that actually work and we provide opportunities and a better education, we will have more of the same. >> what works? >> educating more of our kids. that takes government money. if money were to solve the education problem, we would have solved it decades ago. host: gwendolyn is up first in cleveland. caller: good morning. i am a retired principle. we do two things. i put students in jobs in the neighborhood. the owners provide job training.
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we teach the students between age 13 and 17. they learn of worth it -- work ethic and how to go for a job interview and make a resume. host: what has been the larger impact in the community? caller: we are training the students a work ethic. they learn how to the jobs in the morning and they learn how to work and get along on the job. once they complete at least two summers in that program they become eligible to receive a college scholarship. we have given out over 32 college scholarships. they learn a work ethic and how
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to go on the job. that needs to be a national effort. i am finding that my small businesses, the reason they don't have workers is because they can't afford to pay them. i paid the students. we need to provide funds to pay students that are working. we can provide jobs for those young people. host: thanks for calling from cleveland. john is calling from a florida. good morning. caller: i offer a different perspective. as a 70-year-old and a child of the 60's, what needs to happen i
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think is the same thing that happened for all of these immigrant groups that came in and went to work and pulled up themselves. what they really did was found to business. i am african caribbean american. we were called the black jews back in the 50's and 60's. i think right now they have been very active in baltimore. they need to refit all of those abandoned buildings. they can create jobs. also, they can teach entrepreneurship that everything that is sold and used in baltimore be done in the black
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community. host: 220 this morning -- to twitter this morning -- we need to bring manufacturing back to america. passive infrastructure built and bring back manufacturing. those people will be working construction and manufacturing and spending their money. that is on facebook this morning this is a call for minnesota. we look at the front to jump "the baltimore sun." the national guard will pull out and the mayor is saying much of the unrest has been settled. lawrence is an independence -- independent color. caller: we spend a lot of time
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teaching kids about diversity and bullying. we need to teach -- teach kids about freedom and entrepreneurship and stop looking at the minimum wage. we need to teach kids to create their own value. host: how do you do that? how does it get paid for? caller: the process is understanding that we have an opportunity to not rely on other people. in terms of getting companies to create jobs, we live in an antibusiness climate. you can't have people running around shouting businesses are bad and try to create jobs. i know there is a happy medium, but we have to understand that wealth is built by capitalism
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and not just having social programs. somebody has to pay for them. we need small, medium, and large businesses in order to provide a tax base to create wealth for the individual and families and institutions and the broader society. host: jim is on the line in virginia. he is an independent color. caller: good morning. host: what is the best way to increase economic opportunity in the cities? caller: i am from georgia. i have noticed a lot of companies -- a lot of inner-city people are working and getting $10 an hour.
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they don't get vacation days. they don't get sick days. it takes away from the family life. they are also working two jobs in poverty. they can't get an education because they don't have proper jobs. they are getting paid a living wage. that does not support the family. i think that is a real issue in america today. all of our jobs are temporary positions. most of these people want to become full-time workers and they never do. they stay in a cycle of doom over and over again. i think that needs to be addressed. host: more of your calls in a moment. the story moved over the weekend.
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it's about $130 million that went into a section of baltimore. this is a photo from the piece. it is a street peddler showing -- selling produce. the neighborhood unemployment rate is well above average. the headline of the piece says why couldn't $130 million transform sand town?
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that is in the "washington post." the former maryland governor was on "meet the press" as well. he is a potential presidential candidate. he was talking -- asked about
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this money not being spent correctly. >> we haven't had an agenda for america's cities for at least two decades. we have not had an agenda for america's cities since jimmy carter and that era. we have left cities to fend for themselves. because of the dedication of a lot of mayors and good people throughout the cities in america, cities have been coming back. we see more younger people moving back to the city and we haven't decades. it's one of the higher numbers of any city in america. the structural problems that we have in our economy, the way we ship jobs abroad, the way we fail to invest in our infrastructure and american cities, we are creating the conditions. speaker weiner and his crocodile tears about the $130 million that is spent in the bucket of what we need to do to rebuild
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our country. we need an agenda for american cities and stop ignoring people of color and act like they are disposable citizens in this nation. that is not how our economy or country is supposed to work. host: how to increase economic opportunity in inner cities, thanks for waiting. what you think? caller: there are a lot of young black people who have college degrees who are way underemployed. some of my family, i mother has four grandchildren and they all have college degrees. they are underemployed. the corporations in america they are not employing them. that's all i have to say. host: how should that situation be changed?
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can you tell? caller: i feel that the corporations -- i feel that the corporations -- i can go to the bank, i don't want to say the name, you walk in and there are tons of people from an overseas country that are employed there. charity begins at home. if you want to do charity, begin at home with american people. i don't mean to be cruel. there are some of black people who do go to college and do good. i know the focus is always on negative when people do something negative. it's like all of those people are that person and that's not true. host: sorry to cut you off. eric is calling from georgia on the democrat line. what do you think this morning?
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caller: this problem is several pronged. let me give you a few. when i was 13, i am a child of the 70's. when ronald reagan, the jesus christ of the republicans and the way they trade him, he came in and destroyed a lot of programs that helped a lot of people. i am a product of one of those programs. i forget what the acronym meant. it was basically a job for the
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summer where you either worked at a boys and girls club, some type of day camp. it was basically big kids looking after little kids. when he came in it and started cutting social programs in order to outspend russia with building nuclear weapons that probably won't ever be used when he cut those programs, i saw like night and day the younger people start going to the corners and selling
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narcotics. host: bring this to present day and the question. how do we improve the economic opportunities now? caller: to improve economic opportunities, government isn't the total answer. it's going to be a combination of things. the government is going to have to start those programs. they will only help people in the cities. they will also help in the rural areas. host: go ahead and finish up. caller: it's more like -- there
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is no middle class anymore. you either have it or either you don't. host: that was eric from georgia. robert writes on facebook. here is a little bit more from john boehner on "meet the press." he was asked if the united states is in crisis with police and african-americans. >> you've got to scratch your head. when you hear about these
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charges and then brought -- that have been brought, it's outrageous and unacceptable. host: let's hear from fate in chicago. thank you for waiting. caller: good morning, c-span. a few things, first of all this is the criminal injustice system when you dehumanize and denigrated so many people. it's becoming a recurring theme. african-americans are reduced to hashtags. we shouldn't have to even say that. black lines matter.
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cities have a stronger economic ace when you have both parents a mother and father in the home. i think it was "the new york times" that said 1.5 million men are missing from the community. that 1994 crime bill needs to be looked at again. there is no training. the training for men especially that were incarcerated, they took that out of the prison system. the recidivism rates are even higher. they are not able to get jobs when they get out of jail. they are not trained. in african-american communities, we have no access to capital. when i was coming up, we used to have black businesses.
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the money would turn over more than one time in our community. we have no business base in our community. host: we will take more of your calls in a couple of minutes. it is shaping up to be a busy early part of this week with presidential politics. we want to talk by phone with an associate editor from "the hill." the first big headline of the day is ben carson. this as an event that will happen at 10:00 today. talk to us about dr. ben carson and what he brings to the race. guest: he is a retired neurosurgeon. he is a famous narrow surgeon he separated conjoined twins.
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he brings a lot. he was bought up -- brought up in detroit. he has made personal responsibility part of his credo. he has become known as a the grist critic of president obama. he came to political fame in 2013 when he spoke at the national prayer breakfast. he was very critical of the affordable care act. that was memorable. president obama was sitting just a few feet away. that in geared dr. carson to conservatives. host: that is one name. we are also hearing carly fiorina is getting an today. mike huckabee once again at will run. what do they bring to the race? guest: i think carly fiorina
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will be the only woman in the race on the republican side. she plays up her business experience. she is the former ceo of hewlett-packard. she was fired from that post, but she is presenting herself as a non-politician and someone who brings the expertise and decision-making skills from the business world into politics. governor huckabee is a different character. he is expected to announce in his hometown on tuesday. he is a beloved person by social conservatives. he ran in 2008. he won the iowa caucuses that year. he was much less lavishly
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funded. host: as this gop field expands come when -- expands, what challenges are there? guest: there is the matter of trying to make themselves distinct ends and out from this large field. for the party as a whole, one will be the televised debates. they will start some months before any votes are cast. the field is growing all the time. we expected to grow very large. there is a question if it's practical to have televised debates with 16 or 18 candidates. if people think that is not plausible, then the party has to find a way to whittle that field
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down without the accusation that they are being arbitrary or undemocratic. host: throw money into the equation for these candidates. where will they be getting their money? how much do they need to continue to get the message that they put out? what are their challenges? guest: dr. carson a political action committee has raised $15 million. i think we are in an era where money is an issue. governor huckabee is beloved among social conservatives. a small number of very wealthy benefactors can really make the
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candidate competitive, even if they have difficulties in pulling. -- polling. some people will pour money into your candidacy. it can really give you a much longer lifespan politically speaking than would have been the case in 2008 or 2004. host: we will be watching these three candidates in the next few days and see who else enters the race. thanks a lot for your time. guest: my pleasure. host: back to your calls. we have about 15 minutes left in this section. this is a follow-up to the baltimore story. here is a photo. this is the archbishop leading a sunday service, in west
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baltimore. we will take a call from lewis in georgia. caller: hello. host: what would you like to say? caller: agriculture is probably going to be the way of the future. vertical farming -- turning fields into community agricultural projects. the cost of commercial fertilizer will force this nation to make changes. efficiency is going to be critical. that's about one of the best ways that we can create jobs. host: things, louis. brian, washington, d.c., independent. caller: good morning. i have heard a lot of great calls. the gentleman that called from georgia really nailed it when he was talking about ronald reagan. he was talking about programs.
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in the job corps programs that ronald reagan basically abolished, it was actually an apprenticeship program with young people coming out of schools, working as a electrician's, whatever they needed. they were getting a small stipend, but also learning a skill. when they finished, they went right into the union. the same with other programs. this has been a long time coming. besides the fact that we have people who do not want to invest . when you look at baltimore those homes, there have been boarded up, they have been there for the last 30 years. i was born in the 1950's. that is nothing new. we don't have to just look at baltimore. we can look at detroit, l.a. all these major cities that have those same boarded-up homes that it seems like no one really
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wants to do anything about. host: appreciate your thoughts, brian. here is another democratic voice from capitol hill. we will go back to "the hill" this morning. democrats linking baltimore violence to dearth of government health. there is chris van hollen. here is some of what he had to say. [video clip] chris van hollen: i think there are some systematic underlying problems that should be addressed by government, both at local level, state level, and federal level. just last week, we had a big debate in congress over a budget that came to the floor. that budget frankly will make poverty worse in places like baltimore. we put together alternatives that would improve the situation for families in baltimore and elsewhere, and we have not been able to move the agenda forward.
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yes, it is time for people to come together. we need civic organizations, the private sector, and yes government as well. the debate going on in washington right now, while it is often abstract as far as numbers, the real world impact it can have will make a difference in people's lives. that is why for example, the child tax credit, that helps millions of americans. the proposal in congress would scale back the child tax credit. it would actually put millions more of americans in poverty. we have proposals to improve childcare, early education, and also expand the early income credit, something that republicans say therefore, but have not put the money in the budget to address. host: here is a photo from "usa today," hundreds praying at city hall.
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the governor larry hogan saying, let's get people coming back into the city to visit the shops that were really devastated this week. stacy is on the line from indianapolis. democratic caller. good morning. caller: good morning c-span. thank you for taking my call. i just like to say, i am a 70-year-old mother of five. i have one son and four daughters who are adults now with grandchildren. i wanted to talk about the fact that everybody is saying that fathers need to be in the home. my kids father was in the home for years. but he left me with that one son that was 12 years old at the time and four daughters.
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he had agreed to pay child support and things. in the state of maryland, i lived in baltimore, and discovered -- i could not even send my daughter to public school. the school'ss -- when i heard they were put out of schools on that first day on monday, and they had to walk home. it's like the school system did not care what happened to them. they just do them out on the street to walk home. i said, what did they think would happen? that is the way it is in baltimore. the school system needs to be reformed. they need to take more care and
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the children of baltimore. they have no music. there is violence. they just care. it was so awful. i had to send my daughter to a private school in baltimore in order to -- in order for her to be safe and learn and everything. then, i eventually moved because it was so depressing for me. i had to work and everything. yes, fathers need to be in the homes too, but there are mothers who do not get on public tv abusing their children because they are doing something. host: thank you for calling from
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indianapolis. i want to point out this "new york times" article. it is all about a study finding surprises on upward mobility. they write that in the wake of the l.a. riots 20 years ago congress created a program called "moving to opportunity." the results were deeply disappointing, they write. the vouchers did not seem to earn more in later years than otherwise similar results and children did not seem to do better in school. the program's apparent failure has haunted social scientists and policymakers, making poverty seem all the more in track double -- intractable. it was found that poor kids who grow up in some cities and towns have sharply better odds of escaping poverty than elsewhere. they go on to say that the feelings across the city of
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baltimore being trapped in poverty seem to be backed up by the new data. among the nation's 100 largest jurisdictions, one where children faced the worst odds of escaping poverty is baltimore. john is on the line now from aurora oregon. caller: thank you for c-span. one of the problems is for years now, our industry is leaving our cities. our big industry. you can look at detroit. they all moved out. they need to -- this is probably going to get some people riled up -- but they need to reduce the corporate tax to bring industry back to the states. we also need to revamp obamacare
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, or the national health care plan because people are being cut back on hours because corporations have to pay because of the law. we also need to stop allowing illegals to come across the border because they are taking american jobs. education is good. it is necessary, but i know a lot of people that are college graduates. they have a college building have to pay. and they cannot find a job. here in oregon, we lost all of our timber industry. the schools are having problems now because we get a lot of state tax dollars from the
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timber industry. now, they want to raise school tax. this has been coming for a long long time. it all boils down to -- we need to stop worrying about the rest of the world and their economic problems because we are having -- starting to have our own. host: we get the point, john. we will hear now from joe in parkersburg, pennsylvania. caller: good morning, sir. thank you for letting me speak this morning. we have to consider the source of the volume of regulations that we have passed or imposed on businesses over the last 35 years, in my lifetime, since i
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started as a businessman. we have a model for success in this country. we were the greatest nation on the earth. what we have now that we didn't have when we were the greatest nation on the earth. we have a bunch of bureaucrats that were hired because congress passed laws that were paid for by rich people who don't want little people to be successful. we need to reduce the regulatory burden on business in this country. it is horrible. just to get a building permit to change a sink and a little rest are in our town. it is totally out of hand. it is no wonder that no one wants to put new things in their houses. we have to consider these regulations and the source of them. 70% of them aren't regulations because they are good for us,
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they are regulations because someone paid a congressman whether was in the best interest of the people or not constitutional or not. we don't need to be scared of isis and the nonsense in the middle east. we need to be scared of the people who thought it was good to pass a law firm parent who does not know how to discipline a child. host: if you have not heard, in the news, two gunmen are dead. this was in a parking lot outside of a provocative contest for a cartoon depiction of the prophet mohammed. garland's city government issued a statement saying that as the mohammed art exhibit event was coming to an end, two men drove up and started shooting.
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the gunmen were both shot and killed. one of the bigger newsmakers out there this morning. marion is calling from chicago. we at time for two more callers. marion is first, democratic caller. caller: i was thinking, the other man who went on, he brought up a program. i think they should move trade schools back into the black area so that some of these people, the young people, would be more interested in learning how to build things, wiring, and stuff like that. that is the kind of school that i think would help in all the poor areas, black or white. other thing i went to say is that every time something like this happens, we start talking about getting schools, helping the poor, and nothing ever happens.
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i think that everybody should demand, in the united states, how many black young men have been murdered by the police. we want the real report, not the edge of it. i think that nobody knows how many black men have been killed murdered, and killed by the police. they always say, the white people, they kill white people too. no they don't. they don't kill as many because white people would be raising a whole lot of hell if their kids were killed by the police. host: that was marion from chicago. columbia, tennessee, it is well. -- will. caller: c-span is a wonderful program. it provides a window for all
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three branches of our government. if you give me at least a few minutes i have three important facts about america's future. the first thing is our children and education. i'm a retired schoolteacher. i have seen over 30 years a going downward. our children are going through a road of shame and distraction -- destruction. we have three branches of our government that have no ethics or morality. finally, using the institution of a marriage in the family and you throw that out. you have these single-parent families that are trying their best to raise the children they love, but the sad thing about it is that these children are growing up without fathers. what happens? it gets back to the sad
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situation. there are problems with families having same-sex marriage, they are having legislation and taxpayers dollars going into abortion clinics. you know, the civil truth about all of this, we go back to the structures. jesus said simply, he called the rulers of his day -- you know there is only one solution to this problem. what belongs to god, you better render under god. host: the words of will there from tennessee. thank you for all of your thoughts. i imagine we will continue this conversation in the coming days and weeks. we will take a short time out and then turn to the u.s. economy. our guest will be eamon javers of cnbc. later, tim mak of the "daily
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beast" to talk about the patriot act. some of the key provisions are set to expire, we will learn what congress is doing about that next. we will be right back. ♪ >> remarkable partnerships, i counted women, their stories in "first ladies" the book. >> she saves the portrait of washington which was one of the things that endeared her to the entire nation. >> whoever could find out where francis was staying, what she was doing, who she was saying, that was going to help sell papers. >> she starts her own radio station, how do you do that?
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with color photos of every senator and house member, plus bios and twitter handles. plus, a district map a foldout map of capitol hill, plus a look at the present cabinet, federal and state governors. order your copy today. it is $13.95 through the c-span store at >> "washington journal" continues. host: at the table now, eamon javers. cnbc reporter. how are you doing? how is the economy doing? guest: not so good. the gdp came out last week for the last quarter. it is not a good number. it is below what wall street was expecting. it is a measure of broad economic health of the united states here traditionally, the first quarter can be a little tricky. we had some bad headwinds. some bad weather, earnings that
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are struggling from corporations because of the strong dollar. it is ironic because we think of the strong dollar being a great thing and the treasury secretary talks about wanting a strong dollar, but when you get one you find out it can be tough on u.s. corporations, particularly multinational corporations. the job report also not good for the last month. all of that taken together indicates a pretty significant slowdown in the u.s. economy. host: are there any bright spots within all of that? guest: no. no, there are. the u.s. technology sector continues to impress people all around the world. and if you are u.s. consumer gas prices are down. that puts more money in consumers pockets. if you are spending $50 per week a year and a half ago, you are spending $30 now. that is a little windfall for people. people seem to be saving
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that money, not spending that. that is not necessarily what analysts would have expected. goldman sachs put up a report saying that they expected people to spend that. right now, people seem to be holding onto their money. host: we will put the numbers on the screen for our guest, eamon javers. we have numbers on the screen for republicans independents, and democrats. we will get your calls i just a few minutes. guest: you should have lines on the screen for bulls and bears. host: that is an idea for next time. stock market, how is it doing? guest: we have been floating up to about 18,000 in the dow. we seem to be in a holding pattern in the u.s. stock market. really what is happening in the stock market is you see an entire group of folks on wall
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street waiting for the fed. it is all being about anticipating what the federal reserve will do about raising interest rates. there was in the dictation of that would happen as early as this summer, and now people seem to happen that that will happen in the fall. at some point, the fed will have to raise interest rates. you cannot have near zero interest rates forever. they will be very cautious as to how to do that. the whole game on wall street is anticipating what the fed is doing and reading all the signals that they sent as janet yellen and her team try to figure out how to get out of this low interest environment that we have been in. host: connect this to the average ch person out there what this means to their life. guest: the fed is deciding how much money is in the system and what interest rates are for savers in this country. this has been a very tough few years for people who are saving money, living on interest from an earnings that they -- from
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earnings that they earned earlier in their career. that is a tough spot for people. what the fed is trying to do is stimulate growth and an area where we have not had much economic growth. the balance is how to do that without creating inflation, and potentially disastrous run away like we have seen in history. the massive bond buying program that the fed engaged in with that, you would have seen a spike in inflation. we have not seen that. inflation seems to be in control. a lot of people are scratching their head as to why that is. ben bernanke said about the fed bond buying program as they were some practice but not in theory. all of the people who wrote the textbooks are trying to figure out what is happening. we are engaged in a massive historic experiment as the fed
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gets more and more active in the u.s. economy and trying to figure out how to resolve that it will be janet yellen's theyi challenge. host: before we start taking calls, i want you to connect what is happening here, in the economy, to the situation in baltimore and around the country. we just out a lot of time on how to improve economic opportunities. guest: i was in baltimore last we, the day after the riots . i was inside the cbs that burned down, and the check cashing place. heartbreaking. you talk to the leaders in baltimore, and they talk about all the efforts they went through to get that cvs on that corner. this is all about hiring people in that area. also, providing opportunities to people in the opportunity to shop and live comic their prescriptions at the cvs.
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leader spent so much time to get those businesses to locate there and to see them burn like that was heartbreaking for so many people. it really is a story of lack of economic opportunity and frustration and anger as it is about policing and some of these other things. host: we saw the partisan back-and-forth on the weekend -- over the weekend on the sunday shows, but realistically can the congress of the white house get together and do something that represents an infusion of sorts? guest: i hate to be a cynic but this congress on this white house seem like they don't have a whole lot of overlap in terms of areas where they agree. we're not see a lot of productivity from congress in general. i would not predict some sort of stimulus or a package for baltimore or for america's inner cities is the idea -- because the idea that they could come together with a common recipe resolution, i'm a little
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skeptical on that. host: let's go to the phones for eamon javers from cnbc. glenda is at first from texas. caller: how are you? host: doing great. caller: yes. i was listening to the program as far as the economy and everything. the economy used to be just fine until they outsource jobs. another thing also, the corporations that get the greater profit of the companies. i realize now that they have investors to where they are being given profits, and everything is passed down to the consumer. my concern is that if you live in america, you should have interest concerns for the american people. the american people are working and doing their portion, and the corporations are outsourcing capital gains.
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you know? it is not so much that -- what the american people are not doing. it is a sad situation because i remember back in the day when there were opportunities, you could go and find your jobs. now, the jobs are overseas. and they expect us to continue to pay into the system. guest: that is a big piece of american economic history, the loss of u.s. jobs to outsourcing. the global economic economy has been tough on the workers especially on the low-end. the recipe for bringing that back is all about more education for folks at the bottom of the economic totem pole. that is a tough thing to do. whether or not you can create enough jobs to provide for all of those folks.
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you go back to baltimore and that is sort of what we are seeing in baltimore. that had been a major industrial city. the hollowing out of the manufacturing base their leaves hundreds of thousands of people in baltimore who would have been employed in some of those big business industries -- those industries are gone, opportunities are gone. you see people going from manufacturing jobs to service jobs lower ability to get pensions. all of that impacts workers and their families. host: are any other cities similar to baltimore? that have seen what baltimore -- doing something differently? we're trying about buffalo cleveland, detroit. guest: you have seen a major effort in detroit trying to turn that city around. i grew up in philadelphia. the loss of the navy yard in philadelphia was devastating for
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a generation of workers. that sort of massive industrial employment may not come back to the united states. you may look 50 or 60 years ago and the most important company in the united states was general motors, which employed 600,000 people, or something of that order. today, the most significant company is apple, which i think -- someone will check me if i'm wrong -- it employs something like 50,000 people. yet, apple is the biggest the employer in the economy. you look at the amount of hiring the people need to do in the technology sector to produce real gains and it is a lot less. it is a different beast. host: we have karen, republican color. good morning to you. caller: excuse me, i'm a little bit nervous. my question and statement -- i agree so much with that woman from texas. you mentioned that although our
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gas prices have been reduced significantly over the last year, you seem to believe that people are holding onto money. the truth of the matter is that no one is holding onto the money. we find now that we have to spend more on food, groceries taxes have risen. especially here on long island i could speak personally. property taxes have risen. why? no one is paying -- saving holding on to their money. it is being spent on other things, besides gasoline. thank god we have a reduction in gasoline. that is the only thing that has been holding families together. i can tell you, my daughter has two children. she spends a minimum of over $200 per week on groceries, just to sustain to growing young boys
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and a husband. i could tell you, i have gone with her. that is not even meat. everything, you scrutinize, because nothing is a product of america. it is very very difficult today. it is part of the frustration that we families feel. i'm a senior citizen and i raise d my three children. i did not have these stresses that the young families have today. there is no assistance for middle-class america, for middle-class families. then they are talking about congress talking about taking away the benefits of owning a home, for instance. that is a scary prospect. host: that was karen. eamon javers. guest: you talk about the middle class, you talk about this woman from long island, and she is right. the frustration is real.
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we went from a middle-class where you can support a family with one earner, and now we have a middle-class where it takes to earners. that is a real reduction in living standards for a lot of families. she voices that very well. the challenge for politicians and policymakers here in washington is to figure out what they can do about that when the reality is -- there is no magic dial in the oval office that turns the economy. we will hear in 2016, all of the candidates talking about how they will improve the economy. in reality, it is a very complicated thing. there are titanic forces at play, globalization, technology, immigration, all those things are huge things that are not necessarily controlled out of washington, as much as politicians tell you that they can control it. they're kind of writing on the back of a tiger in many ways. host: let's look at the march
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job report numbers out there. the bureau of labor statistics purporting that 40,000 jobs in professional and business services, 26,000 in retail trade . 11,000 fewer jobs in mining. the report little other change in other areas. how does the white house look at these numbers t? guest: the white house has been saying for a long time, we had a number of jobs of over 200,000 jobs per month. that is the benchmark. we did not get that this last time around. what the white house always says is it is good but it could be better. they never want to pound her chest -- their chest and declared victory. especially because the last caller, a lot of people are not feeling growth in the economy. what you see in those numbers is my favorite statistic the
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growth in jobs that eating intricate establishments. that seems to be doing well. there are a lot of these jobs but they do not necessarily pay well, or come with the benefits that you can support a family on. you see people leaving those mining jobs and going to service sector jobs. that will have an impact on families. host: from "usa today" -- job gains should jump as 200,000. even pessimistic are likely to be surprised that job gains are not better than the measly 126,000 reported. guest: i'm old enough to memory 2008 when we r were losing jobs.
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to gain jobs is always a good thing. yes, economists and wall street would like to see us back over 200,000. all eyes will be on the number on friday because that will tell you a little bit about what the fed will do and is market is so held up on the fed and when they will raise interest rates. host: let's hear from randy in michigan. caller: good morning, paula. thank you for your program and thianks to all the people who bring it. eamon javers, sorry if i mispronounced it. guest: i answer to anything. caller: i really thought that the fed had more of a polls on the economy then wall street -- than mall street i have been retired for a while.
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you brought up apple and that really sunk in. i worked down in flint, michigan and we had over 60,000 gm employees just in the flint area. now you talk about apple having 50,000. i guess i'm just out of touch now. you know, i see the challenge they had is how do you get back to mass employment. when i walked into buick, there were thousands of other people walking under theat roof. guest: someone will check be on that apple statistic. i should probably google it while we're sitting here to make sure it is right. gm was a mass employer, so much so that people would say what is good for gm is good for america. now you look at apple that does
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not employ in a mass way like gm did. the migration of tech knowledge -- technological growth is great if you like your iphone, not necessarily great for u.s. jobs. host: what is the strength of the u.s. dollar down? give us a little bit of an education. guest: it is near an all-time high. it matters because we always talk about a strong dollar. theit sounds like a very good thing. the problem is that it is difficult for exporters in a strong dollar environment. it makes it more responsive for foreigners to buy american goods. any american company, like caterpillar, for example, who wants to sell around the world, makes it difficult. that is weighing on corporate earnings. you see it from everything -- see it in everything from dow chemical's to harley.
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it sounds good, but it will be difficult for companies. host: to georgia, a call for a eamon javers of cnbc. caller: i went to first talk to you about structural inflation. the fed's target is 2%, and what that means to every day ordinary americans. the second thing i was a point out is the previous caller said, are we talking out of both sides of our mouth? we have baltimore which used to be a manufacturing hot point there. there is one reason we are manufacturing in china and that is because regulations and wages are lower. we are fighting over here to increase the minimum wage. are we ever going to get out of the little cycle of beating ourselves over the head that we are making ourselves less competitive by enforcing these strange roles that prevent us from selling overseas and what have you?
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i will let you guys talk and see what you think about that. guest: no question that regulations are less in china. you go over there and breathe air, and you can smell it in beijing. there is no question that the wages are less there. i think the question is for the caller, could americans live on a chinese wage? i think the answer is no. i don't think you can find any americans that would be competitive with chinese wages. the rural chinese population that has come in and making the products that we use i don't the you could find americans that could live on that money. there are shipping costs transportation cost, but that would be very difficult. host: sea of tranquility on twitter asked about tpp.
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and pretty big deal in washington. they want to know what that would mean to the u.s. economy and jobs. first, please explain what this is about. guest: this is trade protection authority. you get a balance between global traders who want to have a global economy with low barriers for trading across different country borders, and then protectionists who say, we are losing jobs, money, and we need to raise these barriers. i have not been following the tpp debate full-time, as i cannot tell you where it stands in the washington process, but ultimately this is a battle over what kind of economy we want to have globally. do we want to have an economy where it is easy to trade across borders core do you want more protectionism and more friction
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to try and protect american jobs from erosion? host: if you want to read more, "usa today" is one place to go, the editorial page. the view is that the trade deal triggers an angry, fat-free uproar. the opposing view is that the trade pacts are costing millions of jobs. we have ruth on from houston. caller: i think it would be so cool if we could, like switzerland, send all of our young men, and women today, who graduate from high school off to the military for one year. they will learn how to stand up straight, salute the flag, the correct english -- speak correct english, get settled on what they want to do with their lives, and after one year, they can come on out and make their way into the culture.
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being family-oriented, clean of drugs, their hair cut, they know how to dress, take care of their belongings. not sitting around doing nothing , waiting to become criminals. our criminal system will fall apart when our young men start taking responsibility for themselves. host: words of ruth there from houston. anything you want at? -- add? guest: you wonder who would pay for that. the pentagon has said for years that they like the all volunteer military. they like the quality of soldiers that come in. they're motivated, want to be in the army, not dragging their feet. they are easier to train and deploy. question about the military then is -- is the military a fighting
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force or a social force? the caller wants to see as a social force and the pentagon, a fighting force. host: back to campaign 2016 and what the emerging candidates are starting to say about the economy. i want to start on the republican side. are there differences that are starting to come out in the republican side on the economy? guest: yes. the challenge that they have is that even though the economy is growing, they want to talk about the failures of the obama administration to fill the deep hole that we got in and 2008 and 2009. without seeming like they are talking down the recovery that has happened. it is a balance. on the democratic side, you will see hillary clinton, and possibly others -- hillary is a tricky situation. she has to talk about how she can improve the economy, without bashing president obama, who she worked for for several years
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as secretary of state. republicans will have to say, i will fix it, but everything is getting a little better. you have see republicans continue to criticize the obama administration for the lack of job growth, even though we have been, until last month, growing for 200,000 plus for many many months in a row. people are not feeling it in the country. the economic recovery happens when your brother gets a job. if you have a brother-in-law family member, or friend, you feel that in a way that resonates with people. once that starts the to change people start to feel it. gas prices are helping but people do not feel it in their guts yet. the political battle in 2060 will happen over -- 2016 will
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happen over the economy. host: we will take a call now from james in fort worth, texas. democratic caller. caller: good morning. thanks for c-span. quickly, i think we would all agree that the growing a quandary -- growing economy needs a middle-class with money to spend. we have unionbusting, right to work on the tax burdens being shifted down. we are in a concentration of wealth and ownership at the top. if you look at any economy industry, every economic empire has failed for that reason. you concentrate ownership and wealth at the top. you brought the working class for being able to make a down payment on a home, for example. they do not get the tax break and the deed. the problem with our economy a symbol. it is corruption.
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it is congress giving big business everything you want. you have the evangelical family at the a banquet table pushing all the same policies. corruption is the problem. it is not class, race, culture, character. it is corruption. that is my comment. thank you, sir. guest: book, corruption is a drag on any economy. you see the around the world. you talk about the rise of inequality and the united states, which the caller started with. this is a significant shift in american history. we will see an errora now where the top is doing well, very very well, and the rest of the country is struggling. the political dynamics of that will propel will be political dynamics that we have not seen in recent years. it will be a challenge. host: an individual on
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twitter wants to know how started businesses are doing. how are we doing? guest: job growth comes from small businesses and startups. i was out in silicon valley twice this year and you see that area, there is a ton of money out there chasing business ideas. some people are concerned that the amount of money chasing these ideas is too much, we are seeing too much money and small business startups. in silicon valley, there is the idea that it is getting -- insane amount of money'. it is a little bit of a return to the days of the 1990's, late 90's, the.c dot calmom boom. you are seeing huge growth.
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then you go to west baltimore, where i was last week, and seeing the ability for small businesses to be there. host: we should note that the. frank it will -- dot frank is celebrating an anniversary. guest: that was put in early in the obama missed ration to rein in wall street's successes. the critics say -- well, you have critics on two sides. on the right, they say it is over regulation, too much centralization that washington should not be detained to the markets what they should and should not do. on the left, critics say that it did not go far enough. we should have broken up the big banks done more to constrain wall street's pay and incentives. ultimately washington took a midcourse on this and did not
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break of the big banks. now we are seeing a legacy of that where banks ultimately, a lot of them are bigger than they were before the crisis, largely because we saw a flurry of mergers during the crisis itself, some of the mandated by the government, or encouraged by the government. now, years later, the legacy of dodd frank seems to be fairly next. there are critics on both sides still. they are still writing rules rolling out the implementation of doctrine, it is a huge piece of legislation. host: harold on the line. caller: good morning, gentlemen. it is my birthday today, i'm 84 years old. host: happy birthday. caller: thank you very much. i will set you, i thought i had enough to retire 20 years ago and the amount that we have to
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pay back has been devastating to me. i'm getting .25% on my money, which is not much that is left now, and my inflation rate has gone out of the roof. mill, gasoline, everything has gone up. i tell you something, i don't know what these older people do. people that have lived so long that they can't get any money on their money. it is deflated, half the price of what it was 20 years ago. another thing i just looked up on google, it is 47,000 people that apple hires and 76,000 around the world. guest: thank you for checking. they may be turned off my phone before i came on. host: his initial point, 84 years old, and worried about money. probably a common concern. guest: that is why guys like harold should be cheering for
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the fed to raise interest rates, even though others are worried about the effect it will have on wall street. for people living on savings, this has been a very disastrous time, if you are just living on accumulated savings. god bless harold who has a birthday today. americans are living longer. people are planning on 15 or 20 years of retirement will suddenly have a play out for 30 years. how do you manage your money over the amount of time of not working? that is not something that the retirement system was built to necessarily handle. host: we have talked about older folks, what about some of the younger folks and college debt? beer reading -- we are reading so much about this so-called bubble. what is the effect on the economy? guest: it is devastating.
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the amount of debt that they are taking on. analysts say that college is still worth it. you look of the numbers, and people with college degrees do much much better than people with a high school degree, who in turn do better than people who do not have icicle degree. it affects your entire career. i did a story for nbc news a year ago looking at now multi generational college debt. parents who are still paying off college loans as their kids go off to college, and what you see is that parents are not able to help their kids. families are flatlining in a way that economic growth over generations, you would expect it to snowball. instead, these parents are still paying their own loans, and they cannot help the kids, and in turn, kids are taking even more depbt. host: lucretia in new york. caller: good morning.
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i have answers for you. i know the people need answers. i mean this for the upcoming presence, i went answers for the american people. this is what i want. are you ready? i would like to see every poor person -- i want them to get on job training. paid while they go. i want a buy-in. all those abandoned houses out there, all those buildings i see out there that are empty, i want those people to buy in. even if it is minimum wage, it has to equally balance what the government has given us to what we can buy into under the governments's wing. what do you say about that? guest: the question with all of
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these things into will pay for it. if you are talking about rehabbing an enormous tracts of housing, you are trying to people who are not working and putting them to work, somewhere you need the economic demand for those people to have jobs and you need someone paying for the rehabbing of the housing you're are talking about. these are tricky questions. there are people who would say you could raise taxes and pay for it that way, and other people would fight raising of taxes and say it is not fair to use my money that way. host: james, a democrat. caller: i am calling about nafta. i remember when that came through, ross perot debate of bill clinton about the benefits of nafta. he said it would destroy the working class of america. after the first year, 5000 companies left the united states of america and went overseas. in 10 years 60,000 companies
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did not go out of business, they went overseas. to me, this is a very simple equation. the jobs went because of the american government. ross perot was right. he said we will make richer men and it will destroy the american working class. guest: ross perot famously said that that giant sucking sound you hear will be all of the jobs being sucked out of the country. in large part, we have seen a trend of job with the country. we have also seen a trend of companies leaving the country tax aversion, leaving the united states to lower their tax bills. what you see is that companies are machines that exist to make
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money and profits. they are not necessarily patriotic institutions and do not think it is there priority to hire one nationality or another. they feel that their priority is for their shareholders and their board and they will do what they can within the bounds of the law to do that. host: if you want to read more about nafta, you may remember a man who was bill clinton's chief of staff. he defends nafta in "the washington post," with "lessons from nafta to." it did not shape the -- it shapes the interests of the unite states, and the
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transpacific partnership can continue. let's go to steve, republican caller. caller: thank you for washington journal. what you are talking about involves regulations and capital gains there are on companies. regardless of nafta, we are not competing. we have higher regulations and high capital gains on our businesses. that needs to bee lowered. also, we need to secure the border. you have illegal immigrants, that is not helping. people do not know this, but there was a. -- there was a period of time when they shut off the border. i'm not recommending that, but we need to do better. a lot of people talking about education. i think that education is a mess. they do not train people for the jobs that are available. they waste too much money on academics that won't help them
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get a job or help them become a good american. there is a lot to that about being a good american, and being proud of the country. a lot of the colleges are not teaching that. i think that is part of the problem in the riots and the young people that are not train and do not understand how america is supposed to work. if they know how to do the right thing to get a job, then they will have a better chance of getting a job. of course, none of that will work if we do not limit immigration and allow our businesses to be competitive by cutting regulations in the capital gains tax. guest: on immigration, obviously, such a cultural touchstone issue. the counterargument is that ultimately you will need younger workers to pay for things like social security for american retirees. at some point, in an era when
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american birth rates are declining and relatively low you will need an influx of new workers. from it and economics perspective, the question is where do you get your workers? host: next up is byron from tennessee. caller: i think a lot of our problems directly reflect on wall street and the manufacturers themselves. i will give you an example. i was looking for a miter saw and i was looking at the dewalt. i was looking at their prices, and i was looking the manufacturers, they were all manufactured in china. i went and bought one for $99. that is a big difference between $99 and $600. they were both made in china.
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i think these businesses are promoting the higher wall street and i just -- to me it makes more economic sense, to buy a lower product. i think wall street and the manufacturers of the economy in bad shape. guest: i am actually taking note here. if we had this same conversation five years ago we would have heard a lot more about wall street, a lot more complaints and anger toward wall street. that dissipated since the crisis. there was a moment where people were marching in the streets protesting wall street, angry at the bonuses and the pay and the bailouts, and that is gone as
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far as i can tell. the fascinating -- it is a fascinating shift in what people are angry about. the root causes are the same, but the targets are shifting. host: what is the single most important thing you will be looking at with the economy to see what the fraction -- to see what direction it is headed in? guest: this friday we will see if we get back over that 200,000 jobs per month increase that we need to move forward. host: thanks a lot, eamon javers. we are halfway through this monday edition of "the washington journal." we will switch gears and talk about the patriot act. its key provisions are expiring in less than one month. tim mak will talk to us about it. later today as well, in our weekly section on "your money," we will be joined by john sopko the special inspector general to
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afghanistan. we will be right back. announcer: here are a few of the book festivals we will cover this spring on book tv. in the middle of may we will visit maryland for live coverage of the gaithersburg book festival with tom davis and mark frost. as well as david axelrod. and we will close out may at book expo america in new york
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city, where the publishing industry showcases upcoming books. in the first week of june we are alive for the chicago tribune printers row lit fest. with pulitzer prize-winning author lawrence wright and your phone calls on booktv. announcer: the new congressional directory is a handy guide to the 114th congress, with color photos of every senator and house member. plus bio and contact information and twitter handles per it also, district maps, a foldout map of capitol hill, and a look at congressional committees, the president's cabinet and federal agencies and state governors. you can get it through the c-span online store at announcer: "washington journal" continues. host: our guest is tim mak of
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"the daily beast," and he is here to talk about an upcoming deadline, june 1, for key provisions of what is known as the patriot act. give us a one-on-one of the patriot act. what is it when did it start why, and what has been happening? guest: it was a law enacted after 9/11 in order to give greater surveillance powers to the intelligence community so they could track down some terrorist plots and increase national security. we have a lot of urgency right now because some of the provisions in that act are inspiring on -- are expiring june 1. there are three provisions. one is section 215, and that is the legal basis for the bulk collection of metadata. this is information about american callers, the length of their phone calls, where they were when they made them, who they called. two others are the lone wolf
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provision and the roving wiretap provision. lone wolf is what allows intel services to target people who do not have any existing connections with known terrorist groups. the roving wiretap provision is what allows a subpoena or a wiretap to target multiple devices and multiple mediums of communication for the same person. host: in the decade plus since the patriot act, what has happened? in terms of the benefits, the pluses, who is saying what has happened, and what are the critics saying? guest: it is hard to find actually uses of this talk metadata collection that yielded hard evidence for being able to prevent a terrorist plot. you can see how it might be useful. there have been things overseas, for example, where they try to track down terrorist cells,
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where you track them by finding who is calling who at what time, and it is creating a map. we have not had that in effect in the united states, but where you -- but you could see where it might be useful in the future. host: phone numbers at the bottom of the screen for tim mak . we are talking about the patriot act. phone numbers are democrats -- 202-7 48-8000. republicans, 202-748-8001. independents 202-748-8002. previously as reported on politics at politico and "the washington examiner." tell us about the deadline coming june 1. they are saying it is really earlier, because congress is on vacation going into june 1. they do not have a lot of time. where are things in congress?
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guest: there are a few options ahead for congress. they could just let the provisions expire, which i think sounds something like libertarians prefer. rand paul might prefer the sunset of these provisions. another thing you could do is what senator mcconnell has done, along with senator burr. that would be a straight authorization. we authorize the provisions without changes through 2020. the third option is called the usa freedom act, which is something that would reform the nature of these provisions in a way that tightens up how frequently you could use and collect bulk information. host: rand paul sent this tweet on day one in the oval office, i will end the illegal assault on your rights. can i count on your support? before we get your calls -- in
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the basic sense, is there a need for something called the patriot act? what are people on the hill saying? guest: there is a wide variety of opinions. since we brought up rand paul, we should bring up other 2015 -- 2016 presidential contenders. marco rubio says we absolutely need these provisions, even though we have not seen them used at least in public or evidence of their use they could be useful in the future, and it could be useful for thwarting a future terrorist attack. you have another who is a cosponsor saying we need to see those revisions, reform them, tighten them, make sure we have some oversight over the courts that allow for the searching of metadata. host: what is the white house saying about all this? guest: they have been a little bit quiet. it is not clear what their position is exactly. they set in 2014 that there needs to be reform of existing law, and the president has made it so that intel -- the
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intelligence community needs to ask a court before searching -- before this bulk collection of data. host: "patriot act faces curbs supported by both parties," "fears of post-snowden europe are reflected in house bill." "a bipartisan wave of support has gathered to sharply limit the federal government's sweeps of phone and internet records. they point out that an identical bill in the senate introduced with the support of five republicans is gaining support over the objection of senator
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mitch mcconnell, republican of kentucky, facing the prospect of his first policy defeat this year since sending it to the majority leader." guest: this is an issue that crosses party lines per you have people like senator leahy, who is a democrat, keeping up with stringent conservatives like mike lee and ted cruz to get reform through on privacy to protect privacy as opposed to those who are saying we need to keep these provisions for national security. host: let's get to those calls. ernie is up first. thanks for weighing in red. caller: i am looking for any stats on since the patriot act was passed, connections with city police. have they gotten meaner and harder to deal with in taking
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more liberties against the citizens in the city? host: what do you think? caller: i think it has been increased highly. the no-knock policy, things like this that were in the patriot act, that they say was in the patriot act, the release of the freedom of information act and things like that, have all been stepped on, as far as i am concerned. guest: thanks for the call. one thing that is true is that we have not known about bulk metadata collection for a long time. it operated many years in citrusy. what it does, it has a secret court which allows wall -- which allows law-enforcement to search it. and have his not occurred, it would be unlikely that we would be discussing the issue. however, since it has occurred, privacy advocates have been advocating quite strongly on this issue to try to get some reform to rein it in, because
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that is not what it was originally intended to do. host: thomas. no, that was thomas. let's try bill in dunsmore, california. caller: dunsmuir. i am one of the guys who has said it has to go, a fascist act that goes against the constitution. two weeks ago we had a bunch of military who came into this town, started blocking off access, heavily armed, will not tell anybody what is going on. another one of those fascist acts, militaristic acts, under the guise of the patriot act or that guy who just called, he is right. since we have militarized the police department, and the whole institute of the government, it really needs to go. it is extremely dangerous and it needs to go. host: let's hear from our guests. guest: a couple of points.
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first there is a misimpression that the patriot act is expiring on june 1. it is just several provisions of the patriot act that is expiring. the vast majority of the law will remain in place, regardless of what congress chooses to do. a second thing is that the patriot act is generally not related to a lot of local law-enforcement matters. that is, when you talk about -- those are not generally related to the patriot act, they are related to other laws and other kinds of law-enforcement methods. host: from twitter, "how many terror acts has the patriot act prevented?" guest: it is difficult to answer that question. you could see that is a deep critique of the act itself, because so much of the things that are done under this act are done in secrecy. the u.s. freedom act requires the disclosure of more information and statistics about how long -- how login the bulk
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metadata is used, and which companies have been asked for information. host: tim mak is a first-time guest on "washington journal." he is senior congressional correspondent for "the daily beast," and he will be with us for about 25 or 30 more minutes taking your calls, and let folks know about the numbers again especially those listening on radio. democrats, 202-740 8, 8000. republicans, 202-748-8001. independents 202-740 8-8002. peter is on helmet head island. -- peter is on hilton head island. caller: i think the patriot act is an institutionalizing of martial law, and it is a slippery slope, is like when you go to war. if you do not call it what it is you allow the citizens not to understand what is going on.
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so i think the patriot act really should be abolished, and if we need that type of control over the civilian population, we should just go to martial law, which then shows in daylight what horrible things are going on. guest: i think your caller touches on something. so much of this is done in private, so much of the surveillance of the united states -- we would not even know about it, if it had not been for certain leaks and a hard work of a lot of national security reporters out there. it is frustrating, i am sure, for a lot of people who find out about these programs, which were created now out of the intention of law, but due to law-enforcement interpretation of them. host: ed, st. thomas, virgin islands. caller: good morning.
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i just wanted to ask quickly what about the constitutionality of this entire patriot act business? host: what do you mean? tell us more about what you think. caller: i am not quite sure what i mean. i am just -- i just wonder what the legitimacy of this huge set of restrictive -- seemingly outlandish fear-instilling stuff to keep us "safe" is all about. host: ed, do you prefer to just let things go and sunset, or are there provisions that you would want to retain? caller: i would get rid of the whole thing and look at something a bit modified from that.
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that typical provision. host: thanks for calling. when he uses the word "modified," what do you think that means in terms of what the folks are thinking? guest: what that means is creating more transparency for what is happening in the pfizer courts, for example. what the u.s. freedom act does, which is being considered on the hill, it creates an advocate in the court that argues on behalf of more transparency. previously, the court was the judge and the government. the government makes the case that there is a national security interest in providing the information, and the judge makes a determination. there is no one representing the case against the government. host: who are the chief sponsors of the freedom act on the bill? guest: donor sensenbrenner has
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been one of those. it was interpreted by law enforcement. host: how about on the senate side? guest: on the senate side you have people like senator leahy and senator lee. why the diversity on both sides of the spectrum, saying we need to more transparency in how we do surveillance? host: we have mike on the line, from alexandria, virginia, a republican. mike, are you there? caller: as i understand it, the patriot act, the original provisions were intended to close the -- since we have the patriot act in place, he would allow for us to catch the 9/11 folks who were hiding out in san diego, tracking and to a safe house in yemen.
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it has been reauthorized by congress several times, and each iteration that it has been reauthorized, congress was fully aware of the metadata program. it had been approved several times, seven times over the last several years. the idea that congress did not approve these programs and was not aware i think is misguided. provisions in the freedom act or a tempting to address issues at the pfizer court. i do not think it is fair to say that an advocate would provide additional oversight at the court, and in a criminal case when folks -- when prosecutors go to get search warrant or subpoenas, grand jury subpoenas there is not an advocate there in the criminal court, so why would it make sense -- why would we make it harder on law enforcement for the intelligence community to get legal process
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for intelligence purposes as opposed to criminal purposes? it just does not make sense to me. host: tim mak? guest: a couple of things. on the original point that you said yes, congress was briefed. but the public was not able to know because most of the stuff was classified. the snowden links, -- the snowden leaks -- we would not have been able to ask the right questions or talk about the things we are talking about today. as with regard to the advocate issue, you make a fair point. the fact is that until now, there is no one arguing the point. there is only government side and the judge. no one is saying, it is in the interest of the national security of the united states to release this information. [laughter] host: those in congress arguing for greater civil liberties
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protection who a couple of years ago could have met in a couple of phone booths. that has proponents of the metadata collection straining to gain support. "i think people are reacting to a program they do not know." senator burr said, asked about turning back the momentum against him, conceded, "i have got a big task." since the president declared an end to both metadata as it currently exists, little has changed, according to intelligence committee members. anything you want to add to that? guest: the president has basically laid out a proposal in january of 2014 that would involve companies pulling the information, not the government. host: there is a headline from "the hill." "white house stop short of veto threat on clean patriot act
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renewal." "clean" means what? obama is seeking changes that would end section 215 of the patriot act, which is what we are talking about. matt has been waiting from plano, texas. a democrat. good morning, matt. caller: good morning and thank you for taking my call. one thing we need to think about is, i am not so much worried about what they know, it is what they are doing on the inside. there are numerous examples in history, and i know some people are going to get offended i this, but if you look at church, there are numerous examples of churches because they are such a sacred private organization, there are numerous examples of wrongdoing that happened in a church. i do not mean to suggest that there is rampant corruption or whatever going on, but any organization that has a secret,
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at fort meade or the nsa people need to be concerned. the other issue that concerns me is private companies and data mining companies are already collecting information on us. when they start teaming up with the federal government and the nsa, where does it stop? information is power, so people -- it is just like the fed. people have been talking about auditing the fed for years. i think we need an audit of the nsa and our national security apparatus. thank you. host: with that, and interesting tweet -- how can you have transparency when everything is done in secret gecko guest:? guest: this is a criticism not only of the nsa, but more broadly. it is very difficult to have transparency if an agency is built upon the very premise of creating secrecy. when you have the cia director saying that he will authorize
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both secrecy and transparency, what does that mean? probably it means that the foundation of the agencies, the cia, that we are talking about here you probably will have a greater balance toward secrecy. that is probably the case with the nsa as well, and it is very difficult, which is why lawmakers are passing laws, trying it in statute, that they need to provide greater accountability so we can find out what happened -- what has happened. host: an independent caller named steve. hello, steve. guest: thank you for taking my call. -- caller: thank you for taking my call. i have a question for you. to me there is a dynamic between transparency and security. traveling the world, seeing the holes that we have open transparency, and we tell people who are doing the wrong acts that these bills and activities are made to capture, the technique and the way your
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tracking them, they then change their techniques so they are able to operate under that radar. example, osama bin laden, as soon as he found out that we were tracking specific types of the commission, -- of communication, he stopped using them. so we go back to the bombs and the d.c. sniper, it changes everything. all that transparency is going to tell everyone how we are guarding our safeguards. so it seems to me instead of having open transparency, we knew do -- we need to do the basics of our co constitution. host: tim mak? guest: there is a delicate balance here between ensuring accountability, so that our government and actors do not do wrong, they do not in -- they do not abuse their power. then there are methods that the
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government uses in order to find and track down terrorists. we have to have some sort of balance between people knowing what their government is doing and not tipping off terrorist groups as to how we are tracking them down. host: we have amy from boren, texas, an independent caller. good morning, amy. caller: good morning. i know this is going to sound really way out there, and i am not a nutcase, but there is a lot of talk about domestic terrorism. that is why they have surveillance. but it has already happened. in 2008, not only the country was nearly knocked down, but the world. nobody was prosecuted because they do not have enough information. but they do. it is all right there. if they have been collecting everything they say they have been collecting. it just depends on who is in charge, and that is my problem with the whole system.
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i think that it can easily be used to help those in power and not the regular person. that is all. host: thanks, amy. guest: i think what your listnereener is the deep suspicion that everyone feels. i think she was referring to the 2008 financial crisis, and how there have not been any people held responsible on wall street for it. i think more broadly, it is related to this issue of the government and whether it is being accountable to the people, whether it is properly acting to safeguard american interests. host: another headline out there from tech companies line up behind surveillance reform bill. how do tech companies feel? guest: the tech companies are
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the ones that actually get requests for information. the thing is, they have always wanted some reform of the situation. although they have been very hesitant to be on the line holding all this metadata on behalf of the government, and then being asked for the information at points of great urgency. you can understand why they would be a little bit hesitant to do that. they had wind it up in the usa freedom act, which i think they believed is preferable to the status quo. host: travis, called chester from -- called chester vermont -- call chester, vermont. guest: i'm going -- caller: i'm going to move away from a democratic peers. i actually fall on the side of the nsa. after 9/11, we asked what could we have had in place that would have enabled us to catch this plot before it happened at of the answer was in large part the metadata data collection
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program. there is a saying out there -- fool me once, shame on you. fool me twice, shame on me. if we do not learn from our mistakes and we get rid of this program, in my opinion it is the height of idiocy. the other thing i wanted to mention is that, yes, we have had a hard time proving that this has prevented any terrorist attacks since 9/11. on the other side of the coin, they have not proved it has done any harm to anybody. what do you have to say to that? guest: i think what anti-surveillance advocates like the aclu would say is that this is a matter of principle, a matter of whether people should be -- their information should be regularly collected by the government, the privacy breached in this way. they would say on the principle of the matter, this is not useful, has not proven to be useful. the white house has not shown that it has been useful. at the same time it is a breach
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of the privacy of americans, their information, their calling details, and their connections. host: mark, chico, california. you are on the air, mark. no ahead please. caller: yes, good morning. thank you, tim, for being on. i feel that it violates our first and fourth amendments of the constitution. i know that they are using it for catching people using drugs. i live over on the west coast and i know they are flying drones over us. they are picking up people that are growing pot, and they are just picking up way too much information that does not need to be picked up.
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it is just not right for america to be spied upon. i just wonder how you feel about that. thank you. guest: this is part of an ever-growing debate on the use of surveillance. i think a lot of people who feel that their privacy rights are being infringed upon, there is a lot of new technology. you mentioned the use of drones. nowadays everything from your local law-enforcement to the federal government can use drones. you can go out and buy a drone yourself and attach a camera to it and fly it over something. it leaves -- it leads to all these impressions about privacy whether you can go out and purchase a drone, fly it over a field and take images of your neighbor's backyard. guest: how about the issue of drones, that he just talked about? guest: there have been a lot of
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tricky questions about it because you can see the usefulness, but you can see the dangers as well. there is the danger of using these and how they might create traffic in the air, how they might collide, how they could be used as a terrorist weapon, for example. these are questions that need to be asked. host: have other countries adopted similar laws to the patriot act? guest: yes, there have been a number of laws passed in the western world, similar to the patriot act, after 9/11. canada passed new surveillance legislation, but probably the most wrought sweeping -- especially because the united states has the most robust intelligence community in the world, it has been the patriot act. host: there is a tweet here -- "simply put, people demand secrecy but put their whole lives up over facebook and social media, all over the internet." kansas david. good morning, david. caller: i would like to make two
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comments about the data mining that was going on back in 1998. they had congressional hearings on it. there was even a witness that was on one of the channels being questioned by the senators. he was telling him how he could take somebody's name and get all of the information that they had , their phone records financial abilities, all their debts, all kinds of information that these companies were already data mining and selling them to companies all over the world. the government was in on it because they had it building through computers that processed
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every phone message that goes through the whole united states everywhere else, and detects words like "bomb," "explosion," certain things like "al qaeda," and stuff like that. the computers would flag those and the people in those buildings with the servers would go back and listen to the messages to see if they needed to be followed up on. that was back in 1998. the congress and the government is trying to hide the truth, which i do not feel very good about them doing that in the past. that is all i am saying. i listen to you out there. guest: there is a question, and i think that should be clarified, whether the nsa is looking at the content of phone calls, for example, between two americans. they insist they do not have the
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bulk authority to do that. the nsa has insisted that the content of the information is actually not snooped on. it is the metadata. you might fall on your cell phone receipt that phone numbers that you call, the length of time, in addition, where you were at the time that you called. host: we touched on the 2016 candidates a little bit. are there differences out there? we talked about senator paul. guest: we talked about the three options that congress could do going forward. let the authorities just expire, which is where i think senator rand paul feels more comfortable. you have people like ted cruz. or you can keep all the existing authorities. you have people like senator marco rubio. these are the presidential candidates who are in congress who might have something to say about this issue.
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so you have this wide variety of issues on the republican side. one of the things that most distinguishes the republican field is not the issue of economic policies. it is education, national security, and how far the candidates are willing to go on the in delicate balance between privacy and security. host: he is not a presidential candidate, but tom cotton is featured in politico. "hawks and libertarians square off in congress over surveillance authority." "senator cotton is preparing for battle against senator paul and the libertarian renege -- and libertarian wing." host: how do you see all this playing out in the senate? guest: senator tom hunt really has a lot of fans on the
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republicans, the hawkish side. he will probably even be more vocal in the coming weeks about the patriot act. it is a super interesting story, simply because he does not follow is a sting narratives. he does not have the need democrat or republican storyline. it is not republicans versus democrats, it is republicans versus the republicans and democrats versus democrats. host: time for a phone call. robert is standing by from nashville, tennessee, a republican. hey, robert. caller: good morning. i had a response from mr. tim mak. tim? guest: yes, hi. caller: good morning. i am a former nsa correspond er, and i have to admit 90% of
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the surveillance done is not for foreign bodies but for our own citizens in this country. please be aware, americans. guest: well, the nsa has insisted it does not collect the content of calls between americans without a warrant. host: miles from oklahoma, a democratic caller. did i say that right, miles? caller: yes, sir. thank you, c-span. host: welcome. caller: ok, i have two points. ok, 1 -- i was in special forces for quite a few years and did my secret stuff overseas and everything. the united states did not know what we was doing, and we did not hurt the united states. now, we still got that going on
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but the patriot act, when it came in, it put down laws and everything for the united states , and, tim, you said they were in secret. what it does is we have the government that is supposed to protect the people. for the people, and by the people. and this has gone by the wayside here in a few years. thank you. host: tim mak? guest: i do not want to at all malign people in the intelligence industry. it is not a presumption that because there is secrecy it is a bad action as well. people are looking into things that the government does, and there is the temptation to cross the line sometimes. we have a fibrin democratic
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system in which people should be able to know what the government is doing -- we have a fine line democratic system in which people should be able to know what the government is doing whether it is constitutional or whether it is the law. host: what about text messages? are you -- are they also within the scope of the blanket data search? guest: metadata, i think, would include messages. the content of the messages, not that but who they were sent from, when they were sent. host: david from illinois. caller: good morning. during the summer of 2001, an fbi agent by the name of choline brownlee discovered that illegal aliens from the middle east were taking classes on flying airplanes in venice florida
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and the aviation operator was a little suspicious of these people because they were not concerned about learning how to take off a large airplane or land airplanes. they were only concerned about flying them in the air. prior to that time, a few months before that, the authorities had learned that al qaeda was planning some type of activity in this country, some type of terrorist attack involving airplanes and crashing them into buildings. so it was not necessary for the patriot act, for the government to know what was going on. the government just simply dropped the ball. by the way, those individuals in venice florida, were taking those plain lessons. those were some of its apertures on 9/11. that suit -- those were some of those saboteurs on 9/11. so there you go. if the government had responded
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properly to these provisions they could have prevented at least some of the activities on 9/11. host:guest: supporters of the patriot act would say that one of the intelligence failures prior to 9/11 is that it did not have a very good method of intelligence sharing. after 9/11, they created the department of foreign security and new methods for departments to share information. it is not that the government did not have the information out there, it is that they did not collect -- they did not connect the dots enough to prevent an act of terror. what the patriot act allows us to connect the dots better in part. host: james from wisconsin, an independent caller. guest: with this coming election, and jeb bush as a potential candidate, given the bush family connection to the terrorist history in the cia and everything, i think that the cia and the defense establishment is going to be desperate to want to
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add jeb bush to be their candidate. and also be the president. i wonder if there is any potential of another 9/11 type of public scare that would help along, and with the patriot act prevent that? guest: i cannot really speak to that but i would say i do not think it is likely that the cia is going to do anything quite that dramatic in order to -- host: what else should we know and what us to be would looking for as the debate winds down? guest: you are going to see a mad rush on the house and senate floor to find some way to reconcile the usa freedom act with opponents who just want this to continue as it is. look closely at how senator mitch mcconnell reacts to what is possibly -- like you mentioned before -- one of his first defeats as senate majority leader. host: tim mak is senior congressional correspondent for "the daily beast."
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thanks a lot for your time and your update on the patriot act and where it is heading. one more segment left on this monday edition of "washington journal," but we will take a timeout first to change our guest. and then in the segment on your money, we will be joined by john sopko. he will talk to us about the money being put into rebuilding efforts in afghanistan. we will be right back. announcer: tonight on "the communicators," we spoke with three members of congress with shared interests into medications issues and legislation. minnesota senator al franken virginia congressman bob goodlatte, and congresswoman
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doris matsui. senator franken: if they had been allowed to be you buy time warner cable, it would have been less choice for consumers. representative goodlatte: it is legislation dealing with the nsa and the fisa court the court dealing with regulations about the gathering of telephone metadata, and this bill which passed the house with a big bipartisan vote. we are about to bring it up again. fans, metadata collection and storage by the government. representative matsui: if you
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saw the net neutrality debate, that was unbelievable in the sense that people understand that the internet should be free. there should not be people who get access or not. when that occurred, that whole energy that happened with that when chairman wheeler, because of the overturning of the open internet order -- when he had to have a new proposal out there, when he hinted that there might be prioritization, that means that the internet provider to the end user, which is the customer in essence, that they may have to pay after sees -- after formulating comments? that was unheard of. announcer: tonight on "the communicators" on c-span2.
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"washington journal" continues. host: this is our regular segment about "your money." we are talking about afghanistan reconstruction, a much money is put out and what is happening. our guest is john sopko, special inspector general for afghanistan reconstruction, also known as sigar. the figure is $110 billion so far. how has the money been spent. what has been a college? guest: quite a bit has been a commerce. the real question is could we have done it -- quite a bit has been accomplished. the real question is, could we have done it better? it is a lot of money that has been spent. it is more than we spent on the entire marshall plan, in world war ii. we have another $6 billion to $8 billion we will spend every year for years to come.
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host: dig right in in terms of how things could have been done. give us a couple of examples. guest: there are so many. but a classic example, we have spent billions of dollars to pay the salaries of the afghan police and the afghan military trying to develop a system to pay the salaries, and we do not even know how many troops there are. we do not know how many police there are. there are probably host police -- ghost police and ghost troops because the systems are so poor. we bought a $600 million airframe. we bought 20 planes to support the afghan military. the planes could not fly, the afghans could not maintain them. basically we had to scrap them for about $.40 on the dollar. there are just numerous examples of problems in afghanistan. host: how many of these reports have you put out so far?
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guest: i think we put out a couple hundred reports. when i came, we were putting out -- i think we are up to 30 reports per quarter now. i think we have gotten better in finding the problem. host: on the bottom of the screen, the numbers for our guests. john sopko these=== inspector general for afghan reconstruction. $110 billion appropriated for afghanistan reconstruction. our understanding from sigar is that $15 billion is left to be spent as of march 2015. u.s. government is committed to spending billions until the afghan government is able to sustain itself. how many troops and police -- most troops go to the term. explain more about what that is,
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at how is it that we do not know the numbers? guest: well, we have to rely on the afghans to give us those numbers. every morning, if you were in the military or the police department, there is a roll call the rollcall tells you who is present and what are their qualifications. we know -- we no longer have this ability at the country level. we do not have this ability below the core level. most of it is by hand. none of the systems talk to each other. we just give the money directly to the ministry of finance. we have never really designed a system, never really forced the afghans to actually follow their own rules or regulations. for example there is about 300,000 id cards for the police. they never got the id cards back until the police resign or
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leave. you only have 150,000 police, but you have 300,000 cards floating around. so you use the card to get paid, get food and a lot of things. the ministry does not -- the ministry defense does not even have id cards. these are just basic problems with designing and hr system. i am very happy that our military out there and the pentagon are finally addressing this problem, and we have identified them. host: how are they addressing a? what do you think guest: reasonably might change? guest: they are actually bring in experts from the pentagon? i briefed my staff just last week, who designed personnel systems and designed systems to protect our money. remember, this is our money going directly to the afghans. we also are conditioning -- and i am very happy that general campbell in general summit night
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were working on this conditioning money going to the afghans based upon them actually following our lead and following our requirements. this is something we have talked about. i have been harping on that for three years. the gao and others have, too but we have finally got a team out there who is taking it very seriously. i think the difference also is we actually have a willing partner on the afghan government that wants to fix the problem. host: which we will talk more about in a little bit. let's get to calls for john sopko, special inspector general for afghanistan and our guest has more than 30 years of experience in oversight and investigation as a prosecutor, senior federal government advisor. john sopko takes the first call from clinton in sioux falls south dakota. clinton is a democrat. good morning. caller: it might be a little bit
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off-topic, but i was just wondering why are we spending $110 million when it does not benefit americans? host: thanks. talking about the money spent. we got a tweet -- shouldn't it be spent here? isn't that better use of the money? guest: that is a policy decision. i do not mean not to answer the caller's question, but i do not do policy. that is the president's team and is congress. in afghanistan that is where the attackers could have attacked us on 9/11, so we get a policy decision to go in there kicked the terrorists out, hope create a government that would keep the terrorists out, and that it would be supported by the people. obviously we would have to spend money. we did. if you look at the entire
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expense, we have spent about $1 trillion in afghanistan. that is the war fighting as well as the reconstruction. so actually reconstruction is a pretty good dollar for your value. it is a lot cheaper than boots on the ground. that is why we are there. i cannot question that policy. i think it is a policy that i believe in, but that has been made by the policy. host: developing afghanistan's mining industry, the oil industry, the gas industry, how much money -- guest: you are alluding to a report that we released just this week or last week. this should have been a high priority -- develop trillions of dollars of oil in minerals in the ground to help afghanistan sustain itself. otherwise there will be a decline in the state. unfortunately, the organization -- we have two organizations working on it, two u.s.
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organizations who never end of the talking to each other. you have one called the task force security and operations run by the pentagon, to develop the minerals and oil and other industries, which is kind of an odd role for dod. usaid is a traditional organization. as far as we can tell, you have dso, which was funded to the tune of $800 million that accomplished nothing other than spend a lot of taxpayers dollars. it was so bad in coordination. they were required to courtney. we were told in our latest audit -- they were told to coordinate. we were told in our latest audit -- we have a number of audits and investigations dealing with it. it was a good idea, but it was poorly executed. host: mark, fort lee, new
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jersey, a republican. caller: listen, someone has written a book about hezbollah and at some point they intercepted some money that was being sold as counterfeit american currency. skid loads of it, billions of dollars. billions it or millions, anyway. when they found out it was election currency, it was not counterfeit at all. we were spending so much money there, throwing it away. all of our foreign aid is being funneled into the pockets of cronies and patrons and nepotism and everything else. this is a do-gooder's view of the world, and they are not doing good to the american people. our roads, our bridges are collapsing. we have jobs paying pennies to work for the day. this is disgusting. it turns my stomach. i am tired of all these people telling us how we need to help
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others and we are not helping ourselves. $19 trillion is paying for all of this, $19 trillion in debt. host: john sopko? guest: again, i do not do the policy. i just see how it is carried out, and i do agree with the caller. there has been a lot of waste fraud, and abuse. we wasted a lot of years in reconstruction. i do not think we asked simple questions -- the afghans -- do they want this project? do they need this project? can they use this project? we never really considered corruption. afghanistan is one of the most corrupt countries in the world. we never designed programs to protect ourselves from that. we never took into consideration the security situation. so i agree with the caller on their point, although i would make the distinction that, actually, reconstruction and redevelopment is a very efficient way, if done
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correctly, far more efficient than sending troops on the ground because the troops cost a lot more money and a lot more lives are at risk. just keep that in mind. that $1 trillion we spent in afghanistan, only less than 20% dealt with reconstruction. the rest was war fighting. host: let's get to the new leadership in afghanistan shroff gandhi. -- ashraf ghani. guest: i am very impressed with him, addressing problems. for the first time it looks like we have a willing partner who wants to particularly address the problems of corruption. we brought the case to his attention dealing with a $1 billion fuel contract that the afghan ministry of defense was
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letting. the price was fixed in dubai and it would cost the afghan government over $200 million which means it was going to cost the u.s. taxpayer because it was taxpayer money. we brought that case and the allegations to our military. our military went over, and we did not just brief somebody in the afghan government. we briefed the president. the president took charge. he fired generals, canceled the contracts, and started to investigate it himself, and we have been supporting him and his team on this. so this is something new. we never had a team in the palace that cared. they talked about corruption, but the usually blamed it on the united states. then you got a new regime that looks like they are trying to do something to renew that number of contracts. so we are very impressed.
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however, i am like president reagan. my job is to adjust and verify. host: we have a half hour left with our guest, john sopko. chapel hill, caller: i just want to thank c-span for allowing everyone to call in. ok. i have a few questions. how long have you held this position? who held it before you? who came up with the idea of sending $600 million? my question is, why are we not building schools? host: first, to the position itself. how long has this position been around? guest: sigar was created by congress in 2008, unfortunately about eight years too late. the first person who held the position actually resigned under
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a lot of pressure for not being aggressive enough. the position was then vacant. they had been acting for about one year or so and then i was appointed by the president three years ago. who made the decision on buying the airplanes that didn't fly? we are trying to find out. you may wonder can't you find out? isn't there a name on the paperwork? we are in afghanistan and the paperwork is hard to find. more importantly, we have a criminal investigation going looking at this. i will tell you, we will hold people accountable for buying planes they do not fly. if it is criminal, we can turn it over to the department of justice. if it is civil, we can prosecute that in a civil case. holding people accountable like firing them are reprimanding
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them we have no authority on that. we have to turn it over to the various agencies, including the department of state agents. that is one area where we have had problems. we have identified a lot of waste and abuse. as far as we know, no one has lost the job or even a promotion , or gotten a loss in their salary because of all of the problems. we have identified departments and that is a problem with the government, and personal accountability. host: from twitter a viewer would like to know more about your office. give us the basics. what is the budget? are you in good shape? guest: we've approximately 200 employees. they are split between auditors
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and investigators. then, a support team of analysts and management specialist. we have about 40-42 and afghanistan. the rest of back here working the u.s. portions of the cases and audits. we have gotten strong support from the administration. but mainly from congress. we have gotten all of our budget requests, which is about $56 million. we have a problem right now, and i think a be the caller -- i think maybe the caller had seen some press on this and that is that out of the blue, we were told that we would have to reduce our staffing by about 40%. we were told that by the state department.
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now, i have a problem with that. not that i think we should have a lot of people over and afghanistan, especially if they're not working, but my people are working. we have a new cooperative government that we are working with, but i am an independent inspector general. you read my statue, it talks about independence right through it. since 1978 ig's determine their staffing. when we submit our budget, we do not submit it through the agencies, we submitted directly to congress. so, for the state department, who we investigate, to tell me how many people i need to have in afghanistan is in direct cottage into my independence. it is similar to the wall street banks telling the bank examiners how many bank examiners you should have. or the teamsters union and the american trucking association telling highway patrol in new
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jersey you will only have 20 guys, we will tell you how many guys he will have watching the highways. this is absurd. so, we will fight the cut. we may cut our staff. if our staff has nothing to do there is no reason for them to be there. remember, i'm trying to save money for the government, i'm not trying to waste government money, but it is our decision. host: back to the phones. bill has been waiting in north connecticut. caller: thanks for c-span. i am tired of all this military spending. and u.s. military aggression. we spend more money than on any other 10 countries in the world on defense. we are always looking for a new enemy. if iran gets a bomb, and it
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will hurt us, we forget about the monroe doctrine. we tell people to stay out of makkah, get we are meddling in other countries. all these politicians, all they want to do is have continuous wars on and on so that they can bring more money into their districts for the military. it is really disgusting. it is what will take our country down, just like rome. you can only go so far with it because before military spending used to prop up the economy because it was put on the tab, now there is no tab to put it on because the united states is broke. we should have only making decision on wars, veterans who have served in the service. guest: well, i understand the caller's frustration. i think a lot of people are
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frustrated with the government. all i can say is that -- you know, i will paraphrase what churchill said, democracy is the worst form of government. the united states has a lot of problems but i don't know anyone else doing it better than we are. he has an opportunity to voice his opinion, he has an opportunity to vote, to petition congress. i keep reminding people at state and aid, we are the only government who created something like my office. we have 30 or 40 independent inspector generals who are appointed by the united states and the very next day, they start investigating his policies. i don't know any other country in the world.
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i tell aid and stay, if you want to sell democracy, tell them about the ig concept. i get calls from germany, it england, sweden, latin america, and they asked me, how can we create sigar? how to create an independent agency totally separate from the executive branch. i think that is a wonderful sign. host: your term, does it have a specific link? -- length? guest: i serve at the discretion of the president. my agency is a temporary agency. i believe in temporary agencies. it goes out of existence when the amount of reconstruction funds go below 250 --
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$250 million not yet spent. we could be around for a while. host: from twitter, one viewer wants to know, where does the money come from? is a part of the foreign affairs budget? guest: there is an account which is the overseas contingency account. it comes from state and other accounts, foreign affairs as well as military. what is interesting about reconstruction is that 60% of it is coming from dod. a lot of the reconstruction money has been in building the afghan army and police and providing the with salaries, bullets, you name it. host: one march week -- one more tweet, how does the war on
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afghanistan compared to other wars? can you compare? guest: i can't really compare. i will throw this out, we have used government contractors going back to the end of our independence. ironically, someone told me, if you look at the famous picture of george washington going across the delaware, the guys rowing are contractors. we have always used contractors. we have always use contractors. they are better to use and have more flexible than actual government employees. host: clarence is calling from decatur, georgia. caller: good morning. first of all, the last question, where does the money come from? it comes from us, from our pockets, from the taxpayers. that is not my comment.
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my comment is that i'm retired from the military, i spent two years in vietnam. i have seen how much money has blown it goes down these rat holes, and here we are talking about $10 billion. yesterday, "the washington post those quote made a big deal about the money spent in baltimore over the last 10 years which is a small fraction to the money spent in afghanistan, which we do not know what the outcome will be. yet, we cannot spend and we are condemning the people in baltimore and the leaders there because of what happened to 130 million dollars. shame on this country. shame on us that we can go around the world and spend $110 billion and feel good about it, when people are
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upset that we spent $130 million spent in baltimore. shame on us. guest: i agree with the caller that we should not waste this money. that is basically what my job is, appointed by the president to make certain that somebody is there who will find people who are stealing the money or miss you think the money, and try to hold them accountable. i agree with him. we have to keep in mind, the amount of money spent on foreign assistance is miniscule in comparison to what is spent in the budget. i do not know the exact number, i think it is 1% or 2%. we are not talking about the biggest expense of the u.s. government. keep that in mind. we cannot tell it's our budget by cutting all foreign aid. i think that would be cutting
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our nose off this by ourselves. this is a way to do democracy building around the world. it has to be done. it is very risky. it has to be done well. that is what my argument is. let's think before we spend. we probably spent too much money in afghanistan. too much money, too fast, too small of the country, with two little oversight. that is the big problem in afghanistan. i think even the afghans, bashar gotti -- ashraf ghani has said that. host: give us some more insight as to how it is like on the ground there? everything, from freedom of movement, cooperation with people, you mention paperwork the you cannot find. in the bigger picture, if you could. guest: look, it is getting more difficult to get around because of the security situation. i remember when i started coming
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just three years ago, i could travel around most of the country. i could go to to heart rot kandahar -- herat, kandahar. we traveled around without military escorts. we don't have any people in those cities. another city that is very dangerous. it is very difficult to get around. it is very difficult to get sources. we cannot go out and talk to the afghans in many places outside of the wire. they have to come in to see us. we get a lot of information from them. we use afghans as sources. they do monitoring of sites for us. we tried to come up with other
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means to do it. this is not your normal ig operation. my auditors whereby javits -- where black jackets, my agents are carrying machine guns when they go out there. this is not your ordinary situation. host: as you mention security there is this headline in "usa today." afghan deaths, injuries up 70%. a number of afghans killed in the police and army are worded, the number is up 70% in the first 15 weeks of 2015. lisa, you're next. caller: i do not understand for myself how we can spend so much money overseas helping everybody else with the budget that evidently we do not know what
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the roof is because we keepp raising the roof. we are so in debt, even our great-great-grandchildren will be in debt, yet we cannot help our own veterans. why we have ain fundraisers on television when we cannot even help our veterans? but we can spend billions of dollars overseas supporting people who do not even really want our help? i do not understand. host: thank you lisa. we have heard this theme a little bit in the second. anything else you want to respond to? guest: i think the afghans -- again, i have to go back to -- they did not invite is there, we came. we are trying to fix and help fix a country that has been in war for 30-40 years. it was the home of terrorists who attack the united states.
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we madee the decision to get in there, catch those terrorists , kill as many as we could, kick them out, and try to form a government that would keep them out. now, you have isis appearing there, there is some evidence of that, at least it is reported in the press. i think it is an important issue. we cannot ignore the rest of the world. if we do, we do so at our peril. i will only say that. again, i do not do the policy, but obviously, i believe in an important foreign-policy tool which is redevelopment. host: and terms of how the money moves, for that last caller, a twitter viewer says, could you take any leftover reconstruction money from afghanistan and use it here? guest: that is up to congress and the administration. i do not recommend that, but we do recommend programs being
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killed that are not working. host: other headlines, this is from "the hill" -- another damming afghanistan reconstruction report. what is the reaction? guest: very adjusted, they support them. i was told by a ranking member last week that we are their eyes and ears, we speak truth to power. we do not varnish what we say. many of the reports that they get back from various agencies who are trying to protect their budgets and programs are just happy talk. that is the role of the ig. we speak truth to power. we have gone strong support, and i think you can see it from the appropriators and others. host: let's hear from robert in
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jonesville, louisiana. democratic caller. caller: yes, sir. i appreciate c-span, i watch it every day. i watch these republican congressman in the house. every time we turn around, they say, we are broke, we don't have any money. also, i'm a self-employed contractor. anyway, i just can't imagine, it blows my mind that we spend $110 billion to rebuild something that we tore up when afghanistan ought to rebuild its own places. what blows my mind is the budget that was passed i paul ryan, he wants to make medicare of voucher plan for old people. yet also, they took away the meals on wheels deal for old people. and they want to cut social security for old people. a lot of republicans don't even understand what is going on.
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anyway, i watch c-span every day as far as the house and the senate. what blows my mind is i can't believe the congress would give $110 billion to rebuild something that we tore up to help the people. why are we in their rebuilding everything when afghanistan ought to rebuild its own of a structured? what we need to worry about is our own infrastructure here in the united states and promote jobs and rebuild our bridges our roads that are filled with potholes in every state. it just blows my mind the way that congress -- i mean they do not care about nobody but themselves. host: all right, we get the point. guest: once again, i do not do the policy, i just see how it is carried out. i know the caller may not like the answer, but i think that is a question that should go to
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congress and the appropriators and off the writers. i will say this, i harp on this a lot, but the fact that you have c-span, you have voters -- and i hope whoever called votes, can see what is going on on a regular basis on the hill, and you see government officials like me come in, and i am subject to questioning -- i think it is fantastic. i'm not doing this so that i get another invite and more coffee from c-span, but you do have great donuts. what is really important is that most of the world does not have it. just like they do not have ids, they do not have a free press. going back to what the caller said why don't the afghans do this? they only raise $2 billion in taxes. it costs $5 billion to $6
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billion. you see the gap. we are doing that. as far as rebuilding, we did after world war ii. we helped rebuild germany. we helped rebuild italy, who was part of the axis, and we helped the rest of europe. this is not unusual to do something like this. host: time for a couple more calls. wes, harrisburg, virginia, republican for john sopko. caller: good morning. this is wes. i am a world war ii vet and ex-employee -- x government employee. as background. i'm really interested in the government and of it, namely the employees in need, real intelligent, dedicated employees
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who are not merely bureaucrats but have training and are kind of backdoor policy writers writing be contracts. they have to be exposed to what they are writing the contacts about, and other words, have the knowledge of that comes with experience and learning. i really appreciate your being an independent investigator and finding out about the subjects. i wrote a specification for dump trucks for the army, and everyone was criticizing it for being a white elephant and wasting government money. the result was that a dump truck carries dump gravel and dirt.
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it is not the means of transportation, so we had one hell of a fight to get quality dump trucks from the tradeshows and going out to the field, and getting the information. have fun with the rest of the day. host: thanks for calling wes. guest: i think wes, that is a great point that you make. that is one of the issues if you read our report. we have contracting officers who never are in the country, or do six-month tors, or you get some poor sergeant who knows nothing about electrical requirements. and they're building a hospital he doesn't know, but he has to
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sign off on this. unscrupulous contractors will wait when the new guy comes in who is on a short tour, who knows nothing, and say, + all of this. that is why we get so many buildings that fall down, so many problems with construction. i think wes is totally on point. we need career contracting officers, career contracting officer reps and they need to be there longer than six months, for one year or more. if we did that, and we inspect the buildings before we cut the checks, we would have saved billions in afghanistan. this is not just a complaint with the military, it is a complaint with the aid and state and other agencies. that is what we are fighting you can see it in our reports. host: andrew, independent. caller: hello, i want to thank
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c-span for putting on a good radio show. i had a couple of questions. one was whether there were publicly issued reports regarding the money that is spent, and the other question i have is whether the compliance related to any of this money what were some of the controls over the money being spent? thank you. guest: all of our reports are public. that is our policy. if we finish our report, it is up on the website. if it is worth writing, it is worth publicizing, unless it is classified a violates the rights of individuals. for the active control requirements, there are some. there are many control requirements on the money being spent, most of them were waived or ignored by contracting
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officers who did not know what they were doing. we find that time and again. we are not holding the contractors accountable. we are not holding the co's ncoand cors accountable. people get in the country for a short amount of time. the common, and then they are gone. all they want to do is sign off so it looks good on their performance reviews. that is a serious problem. we are starting to do a number of "lessons learned" reports. i hired a sharp team who are subject matter experts who lived and worked in afghanistan who will be performing these reports. i hope the caller will come back in a few months when we issue the first one, and we will issue a series of them, so that we do not make the same mistake again.
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whether it is syria, lebanon, someplace in africa, it doesn't matter. we can't keep repeating this. host: jason from san diego, california. caller: good morning, i will be brief. you mentioned, a hospital being built. did we provide a health care system for the afghan people? guest: yes we do. we spend millions of dollars per year, as well as some of our allies. we pay for salaries of the doctors, clinics. we have allegations that many of those clinics do not exist or are not open. we build hospitals and clinics that even the afghans did not know we were building until we gave them the keys to it. yes, we do support their health care system. host: we are just about out of time, what is next for your office? guest: we have a lot of reports coming down. actually, one that i spoke of
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dealing with this headquarters we call it the 64 k, 64,000 square-foot headquarters that cost the u.s. government $30 million we've promised to find out who was behind this which the commander in afghanistan did not want. we also have a report looking at the dod organization about some problems with their extract of work -- extractive work. we have a report coming out on the rule of law programs which have not been done well. we have a number of audits coming out dealing with how we handle refugees, which is a big issue. again, we have a problem with lack of capacity. plus, a number of criminal investigations will be breaking. those are some of the issues that we are looking at. we came out with a list of serious problems, and about
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seven of them i talked about here. we're folk in focusing on those issues. host: you can read more at thank you for all of your calls questions, tweets. we appreciate your participation. we will be back tomorrow, as we are every day, for another edition of "washington journal." we hope you enjoy the rest of your day. ♪ [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] >> the