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tv   Washington Journal  CSPAN  May 19, 2015 7:00am-10:01am EDT

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june. a look at the affect their western drought could have on the u.s. economy. jim tankersley joins us. you can join the conversation on facebook and twitter. host: with the memorial day holiday looming, senate and jordi leader mitch mcconnell -- senate majority leader mitch mcconnell said they will stay in town until certain things are considered. in the house, legislators would work on a bill that would give a two-month extension which faces a deadline may 31. president obama unveiled a series of measures designed to improve relations between the community and law enforcement.
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it was during the speech that he spoke about society's role in lowering crime. in our first 45 minutes, we want to hear from you. your thoughts if society has a role in reducing crime. you may agree with the president or not. call us up and express your thoughts this morning. in rural areas (202) 748-8000. in suburban areas (202) 748-8001 . if you are a member of law enforcement and you want to give your thoughts on the role call us at (202) 748-8003. the front page of the star-ledger paper out of new
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jersey highlights the trip to kansas yesterday am specifically spelling out details. highlighting the fact that the president counted -- touted the headquarters in a meeting with police officers and young city residents. he listed some statistics. violent crime in camden down 20%. murder down 47%, drug markets cut 55% and 911 response times down to five minutes. the city tracked in a downward spiral with candid and its people facing big challenges. -- camden and its people facing big challenges. the president spoke about the role he thought society has in reducing crime. here is some of what he had to say yesterday. [video clip] president obama: if we as a
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society don't do more to expand the opportunities to everyone who had to work for it, we will see conflict between law enforcement and residents. if we as a society are not willing to deal honestly with issues of race, then we can't just expect police departments to solve these problems. if communities are being isolated and segregated, without opportunity and without investment and without jobs, if we as politicians are simply ramping up long sentences for nonviolent drug crimes that and up devastating communities, we cannot even ask the police to solve the problem when there are no able-bodied men in the
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community. host: there are the president's thoughts and some of the things that society has to play. those are his thoughts, feel free to express yours. [indiscernible] force of -- (202) 748-8000 four suburban areas. if you live in rural areas (202) 748-8002 and for law enforcement (202) 748-8003. if you want to make your thoughts known on the twitter and facebook pages even one posting in the last few seconds on his thoughts in reducing crime. this person saying the way to do that is to take guns off the streets. let's start off with roland who lives in district heights maryland. what do you think about this idea for society's role in reducing crime. caller: i think the president nailed it.
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i am driving right now so i don't have long but i think he nailed it. everything he had to say i am in agreement with. as far as guns on the street, guns need to be taken off the street. some people have issues with that and i personally do not see the need to have guns everywhere. they should be more controlled so that we don't have kids with guns or fools with guns, that is one of the problems that the police have. they deal with so many fools in the street that when they come across a person who is normal, they are still thinking about whom they dealt with the hour before or the night before and they are not always cognizant of the difference of people. host: so how would you describe
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the relationship between communities and law enforcement? caller: it is fair. there are problems in my community. most of which i am not a part of or abreast to but i am aware of. there is a great police residents and they are constantly busy. the streets are busy and are extremely active trying to control things. host: let's hear from michael in a suburban area. caller: good morning. this is a great conversation. one thing i was thinking is we need a definition of what society is. everyone who is listening and anybody who calls in, everyone has a different definition of what society means.
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do we have a blanket definition we can branch off from? society is just government programs or community -- i don't know what we would say it is. host: i think to the thoughts of the president let's just say community as an arbitrary statement. caller: so community in general. so society equals community than of course communities and society have a direct role in what happens -- in a way it is the youth, the type of experiences that the youth are going through and the information that the youth are receiving from their parents and their priests. host: sorry about that, i think we lost the connection for a little bit but we move on to jim
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in chicago. caller: this president is a joke when it comes to the urban community. the crime in chicago is off the charts and he doesn't do anything to help it. he seldom comes here to address a problem. unfortunately in our society the morals have gone downhill. they make excuses for bad behavior. so this president's talk is cheap. until you come to a city like chicago to address the problem and deal with black on black crime it is nothing because he hasn't done anything. camden might be an example that it is only temporary because society goes along with bad behavior there is a lack of morals and the church is doing nothing about bad behavior. host: didi fredericks off of
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twitter saying a vigilant society is helpful on a local and national level. ed is from your he pennsylvania -- erie pennsylvania. caller: i was watching the speech before this and he nailed it. the e military of the police department and getting out into the communities, that is what will put a stop to this. you can call it society or community but it is all of us together. host: what is the best way to do it. what is on top of that list? i think the community out reach like you mentioned the salvation army, there are a number of
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churches. the schools that bring in people that is all part of the community. society, you get to washington and you have a different version of it. they can't get anything done. the president made perfect sense. camden is a good place to start. if they can do it, any city can do it. host: one of the proposals coming out of the announcement was a decision by the obama administration to ban military grade equipment to local police departments, that was in response to incidents across the country. they have a lifting of some of
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this equipment that includes tracked armored vehicles weaponize aircraft vehicles and it includes firearms and ammunition 50 caliber or higher including grenade launchers and certain times of uniforms and bayonet knives. there is a listing there in the washington post. that is just one of the proposals that came out yesterday. it deals with society society's role in reducing crime and you may have thoughts on that as well. urban suburban rural and law enforcement, you have one of those areas that best finds you pick the line and give us a call. rachel is up next. caller: top of the list for me is single gendered school with uniforms for boys and any girls who come pregnant out of the school and to be sent to another
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program. that will send a message that it is very important how we behave. we pay a penalty for misbehaving. >> from twitter another person adding thoughts saying if society demands of zero leniency policy when prosecuting criminals, the fear of legal penalties will effectively curb crime. don is in kentucky. caller: crime in this area is a problem, you have the police and community cooperating together. people growing marijuana you see a picture on the courthouse steps of marijuana plants they have confiscated from an elaborate set up in a growing
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operation and everything and people doing this say there are growing it for medical purposes. you don't have all that when you're growing it for medical scale. the people still support the police but the whole society is breaking down because of the leadership in washington and the person at the top. i never thought i would live long enough to see people marching in the street to say we want dead cops and where wanting them now. they are taking from -- their cue from the man tearing the country down in his objective to turn it into a third world country seems to be obvious. he shows no leadership and no support for israel and all of the things this country stood for for a long time he is in opposition. people take their cue from the top that is why when they rise in the streets as we saw in
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baltimore and people saying they get to go shopping looting burning, stealing because we are an oppressed minority. that is hogwash. host: the drug problem there in ashland kentucky is this a recent thing or has it developed over the last few years. >> it has become much more pervasive in the last six years because people see no support from washington. no support for them. host: i think your pets are commenting as well. so bella from staten island, new york. urban. caller: i live in staten island now but i was born and raised in new york city and i also know the history of new york city. less than 100 years ago this city was ridden with crime.
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they were the immigrants italians or irish who came here and lived in abject poverty. how did they get out of this crime situation? they had jobs that were included in everything and people seem to think now that crime is synonymous with african americans and that is your ignorance. looting and burning and all of these things were done right in this city. please read the epic of new york city to see that the more things change the more they stay the same. one thing about the drugs. drugs in the poor communities start from the top. these poor people do not on the planes ships factories and distributors to bring these into the community. no one is looking at those people. they are never considered to be criminals and they are. thank you c-span is the greatest
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thing that ever happened to the united states of america because you get to hear other points of view. african-americans are not synonymous with crime and all more people are not criminals. host: this is mattie. go ahead. caller: as i said, i believe that everybody is blaming president obama for everything that has happened in society since abraham lincoln. but president obama does a good job and he tries to tell the people the truth like start from raising your families and try to start raising them with morals and values so that they won't commit crimes and go out in the neighborhood like wild people. president obama is doing all that he can and everyone was to blame everything on him but it is not his fault.
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people and the communities need to get involved and curb these problems they are having. they said the police should have grenades. the police don't need grenades. they are doing enough damage with the guns but as i said the police, the community and the president and all of us need to try to work together to solve these problems. because they took religion out of schools it has grown to be a bad thing. host: tim from minnesota. hello. caller: i just saw an interview by somebody with 10 us smiley and he wrote a book called death of the king. what he was saying was there were three things, racism, poverty and militarism and i really believe that because i still see that today. host: as far as a societal role, do you think there is one? caller: a societal role?
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yeah, people getting together and getting rid of the hatred. host: how our community relations between law enforcement and the people in minnesota? caller: where i live it is really good. somebody really close to me just got shot a few months ago in the stomach and almost died. i felt like the police here were outstanding. host: that is tim in minnesota. if you're just joining us society's role in reducing crime is the topic we would like to get your thinking on stemming from the president's speech which you can see in full length on our website. if you what to call in and give your thoughts and improving relations between police and community.
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for those of you who live in urban areas and the rural areas and law enforcement if you are a member of law enforcement, (202) 748-8003. political reports that the state department will not really certain e-mails taken from hillary clinton private server until january. josh writes that proposing a deadline of 2016 could to complete its review and the public release of 55,000 pages of e-mails that she turned over last september. the proposal came monday night to that device is filed in january and the department's plan would result in this been completed by the end of the year and factor in the holidays they would ask the report for the proposed completion date in january 2016.
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more disclosure about fees taken for speeches given not only by hillary but chelsea clinton as well. part of the story says that the foundation reports fees associated with each speech and some of these are already known. the new one reports speeches she made at colleges and universities. last june mrs. clinton faced a backlash from the las vegas review journal reported at the university of nevada was paying her 225,000 at a university fundraising event and students called for her to reject the fee and a spokesman declined to confirm the amount but said such fees were paid through private donations. your thoughts on society's role in reducing crime. caller: i enjoy your show. i am calling to find out if it
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is gospel that you can get a couple representatives from the state that have marijuana legalized, if it has been a positive thing or if the revenue is good. host: in colorado and washington state? caller: yeah just finding out if they can see how that has been panning out. host: do you relate drug policy on the state level to reducing crime and a reduction there. the state of wisconsin our drinking of alcohol is way out of hand. i don't smoke rwanda and i quit drinking years ago i'm just wondering because there is a lot of revenue and we could help our infrastructure or something to lower the crime rate.
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maybe get small amounts of marijuana legalized i just want to know how it's going. host: thank you for the suggestion. columbia, south carolina in an urban area. caller: thank you for c-span. everybody is hitting on the point. the bottom line for those of us, i am in south carolina now. i was wondering to help those steered toward black colleges how to fill out applications and so forth. i am glad -- glad the president hit on the armor to take up of the community but we know there are people who will benefit from these contracts. the bottom line for all of those black males who are 55 and older who used to be those young people back in the 70's, now our
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young people still need us. we have to come out of our coffins with our crutches and canes and help in some way. i know it is difficult to help guide some of these young guys and young ladies. we know we are up against the music and working and so forth but everybody who has been calling your show has hit some point and those of us who are older and climbed out of the projects, who stayed in school, who understood how to protest yes we did burn and loot back in the 70's, but we had some people to help guide us. the older cats help guide us. if we really want to save our society, we have to find a way to help our young people who are
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angry and who have these felonies. so i hope that president helps take off the felonies now of some of these young guys for their nonviolent so they will have a chance. host: do you think young people will listen to an older gentleman like yourself? caller: once they find up who he was or that reputation we had back in the day, we had gangs. the black liberation army they were a gang considered militant brothers. we had the black muslims. there is a lot of us who are still alive. those cap's parents and my son who is a police. my daughter who is a parole officer who has islamic names.
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we understand us older guys we understand how they want to define radical islam and what that really means. we understand how it goes when the politicians want to take our funding. they want to give it to certain groups at least a 1% for contract. we understand how that is. the bottom line is we all want to live. this is our community and our society so just do the best you can. host: edward is up next in springfield, massachusetts. caller: thank you for accepting my call. i'm 50 years old and was raised in the south bronx and most of the crime is committed by fatherless young man. there was a study that came out that 36% of whites are fatherless 58% of hispanics are
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fatherless and 72% of african-americans are fatherless. the breakdown of our family -- of our society has begun with the breakdown of the families. and we should build good citizens and it should begin at home and be reinforced in the schools and solidified in our places of worship to we should be proud to be americans and we should do our best to be american citizens. if they don't like what is going on they should leave it. post: that is edward. the washington post has a piece saying the united states is sending an interrogation team to question the first islamic state detainee. writing that a team known as the high-value detainee interrogation group was sent to iraq to question a detainee
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notified only as the mother of site f. her husband was killed this weekend after a team of delta force soldiers descended on a militant compound. a defense official speaking on the condition of anonymity that the woman will be asked for information about where and how the group had gained custody of foreign hostages and held them there it and that is something we will talk to her about so we can learn how isis conducts on-the-job operations. let's hear next from ryan, new orleans louisiana. caller: can i speak for one minute please. i am from new orleans and i will say two things. the black man is targeted. down here in new orleans every black man is indebted to the system. every black household is indebted to the system. either you 04 tickets or you 04
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parole or you 04 something to the system. and all they do is snowball and it is a shame. how every black household is indebted to the system in new orleans and it is the judges the lawyers and the police that are the real criminals. our people down here -- don't tell me that my people are trying that my black brothers are trying. they have so much racism in louisiana and new orleans that you go on these jobs, they can't be no step and fetch it because we are runaway slaves down here in new orleans. so every black household in new orleans is an dented to the system some kind of way. you pay from your work you're
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paying your money to the system and they are hiding us. they hide speed traps down here and you are indebted. i am 44 years old and i grew up in new orleans. i am still in debt to the system. yet the hide because you have -- i want to say to everybody, keep your head up because some of the has to do something. host: darryl from jacksonville, florida. caller: i wanted to call in and chime in on this, i think it starts at home. i am living in the suburbs right now and i grew up in the hood but i know growing up with a single black mother, it was hard and she took her time to raise us and she made sure that we weren't out in the streets and
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running and selling dope or -- even though dope was right outside our door. if you have a parent home making sure you're doing what you're supposed to do it is hard and today's society because everyone wants those new jays they want to get something for their child that is nice as opposed to putting that in a college fund. we also need our fathers back home a lot of these dads are getting locked up for nickel bags of weed when that is just not something you should be getting locked up in america. that is one of the biggest issues and if we stop doing the pay to go to jail thing where these jails are getting paid to lock people up and hit these quotas. i am ready to go vote we have our mayor election as well as the sheriff but they are saying
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we don't have enough police on the force but every time i ride home from work i see four chilling at the gas station all day everyday are you we have enough police we just need to stop up locking so many men to be able to police our own kids and i think that is a big factor. host: here is donnie from georgia. caller: i agree with a lot of what some of the brothers have been saying. two or three of the caller said that it starts at home and i agree with that. like the previous caller my mom made sure that i was in the house at a certain time at night and when i got into trouble there were consequences to pay. my mom taught me discipline and when she remarried i had my stepdad there with me to teach me and to show me the right way
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and i still had contact with my biological father. i had influences plus on's and uncles -- aunts and uncles teaching me right from wrong and consequences. they also taught me to respect authority. to my dear brother in new orleans i just want to say, we know there is racism. racism exists all over the world but what are we going to do as a black people despite the racism. we cannot sit back and sit on our hands and say there are white people who don't like us and we will just sit here, we cannot have that attitude. we have to fight back and work hard, many times we have to work three times as hard but we can make it. we know there is racism, but what are we going to do? that is all that i want to say. host: donnie from georgia.
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the new york times did a story about a recent ceremony presided over by ruth bader ginsburg. what that might say about the court's decision. wearing her black robe with her signature white collar, jude -- justice ruth bader ginsburg presided over the marriage on sunday afternoon of michael khan , a longtime artistic director of the shakespeare theater and charles mitchum. the most glittering moment for the crowd came with the special emphasis on the word constitution. justice ginsburg said she was pronouncing the two men married by the power vested in her by the constitution of the united states. no one was sure if she were highlighting her own beliefs are giving a hint to the outcome of the case under consideration by the supreme court. caller: thank you for taking my call. i think the main problem is the fact that there is so much
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discrepancy between those have and have-nots when crime and punishment is doled out. rand paul's son william on tuesday appeared in court for his third crime. he was arrested earlier for drunken assault on a flight attendant. and then he got drunk and smashed his pickup into a parked car and total that. i thought i will watch and see what he receives -- a lot of times when you are a college kid boys will be boys. if you are a black or poor kid stealing a pack of cigarettes you will get hauled down and you will get read the riot act.
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the flight attendant assault the judge dropped the charges. on the first one it was a drunken and disorderly at the racetrack. this third time, when he crashed the car, he was not arrested and i don't think if a young white boy that is poor or a black person had crashed their car into a parked vehicle drunk and they said on his arrest that he was belligerent, i was surprised that the judge only gave him a suspended license for 45 days and a $700 fine which for rand paul, his kid in college that would be -- like nothing.
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so until we look at all of the different classes of people and what happens to them when they commit a crime, if you are a banker and make millions of dollars a year and you rip people off of millions then it is ho-hum. thank you for taking my call. host: al from charleston, rhode island. caller: pedro, i lived in a predominately black area and i want to tell you there may be some racism that it is not trouble and like people are talking about. you can look to the blacks that come to this country from jamaica, or africa, they move along. they get jobs and they have families and they buy houses. i'm telling you that the
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difference is north american lack has been ruined by the democratic party and their politics. the last article was last thursday he can speak to this much clearer but i am telling you the racism becomes racism when people see how minorities at. where i live now the major city around here all the murders and shootings every other night it is all by blacks and browns. you cannot stop people from having a negative feeling when that is all they see. it is constant. it is a shame. i see -- most of my friends are black. they come over from africa or west indies and they get jobs and they progress and raise families and talk to their kids. you don't see it in north american black populations. the one black who called a while
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ago from virginia, he hit the nail on the head. he said there could be some racism but we as a people have to lift ourselves up. host: that is al from rhode island. the front page of the journal taking a look at the efforts in the united states. this talked about what is happening in libya saying leaders in syria passant money traders to fighters raising new concerns that the militant group is now gaining traction and the islamic state had solidified its foothold in libya as it searches for ways to capitalize on rising popularity. the core group benefited by pointing to the benefit from affiliates. gains in north africa marked the first expansion of a reach outside the middle east. >> i think that the president's
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general premise and the solution as that ideally we would have a culture where society along with our law enforcement works together to reduce and prevent many of these disconnects. i agree that would be great and there are some communities in the u.s. that mirror that practice and that is wonderful. but there are these urban areas and the culture is so far from that ideal practice. everyone needs to come up to par the standard of this ideal that it takes a village to raise a child as a solution to these major problem's, it is in position. we need a more detailed and short-term resolution to what we
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are going to do today. i would've hoped that had something to do with a big push toward police training with the community or which they are placed in. to have a federal or country norm, i think we need to dumb it down to training police for the community they are located within. i will also comment that one of the things from the president's proposal had to do with was the restriction of all of these weapons. all these high-tech caliber weapons that are not really what is affected on the day-to-day interaction between a police officer and a minority in an urban area read that is not going to solve the solution for
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what can happen with one bullet from the lowest caliber gun. i think that while it is idealistic, that society helps out with the connection between the residence and law enforcement, i don't think that is something the president can say will be the solution and something we can really measure short term. this is something asking for a cultural shift which manifests itself in a number of years. so what are we to do in the meantime? host: twitter has a new user, president obama. he started a twitter account yesterday. hello twitter, it is barack. really. six years in, they're finally giving me my own account. first of all, talking about some of the reaction the president got after going on twitter.
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one person wrote potus can you waive my student loans? another offered, since congress is a bunch of people shouting opinions at each other, you should feel right at home. white house aides made it clear that mr. obama was unlikely to spend much of his valuable time scrolling through posts and said he would not be sending direct messages but insisted that the words on the account would be his. sometimes he will type the words himself as he did on monday. other times he might dictate a message to a staff member. in a few cases, someone else might prepare a post for his approval. richard in florida talking about society's role in reducing crime. caller: society and reducing crime, definitely.
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however, the biggest crime we have is called white-collar crime. and the banks and people who are in the top level of the income brackets they don't go to jail for committing crime. the guy at the bottom does. if you look at the housing market at 2007 2008 and the way that was manipulated and corrupted, very few people went to jail. that is going on today and in fact i just read a story where the banks and -- they were convicted of manipulating the interest rates and corrupting the economy and they paid a fine and no one was sentenced to any jail time.
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it has basically become almost a way of life where they manipulate the money. if you go into a store and find out the inflation, you can see where a loaf of bread three years ago was one dollar and a quarter and today it is $2.75. if you use that as an example of what is happening to our dollar and economy all over the country. i'm very concerned and worried about it that the dollar will lose purchasing value and possibly collapse. this is what i think russia and china are basically waiting on to happen. then we are in big trouble. host: one more call. in maryland. you are on. caller: thank you for taking my call. i do agree with the president
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and i appreciate his stand on this, it has been phenomenal. i believe that society has to play a role, however, whether or not society lays a role the onus is on the government whether it is a state or the federal government. we do not need militarized police in our society. we need to get out there it we need to police to get out and communities. i saw something this morning on my way to work where they were talking about ohio. where the police in the mid-offices get out and get to know the people and talk to them and engage. so if we have that i believe the police will not need to get the gear to deal with the community.
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so it gets someone to comply. i do appreciate the presidential take on this and i think he has done a phenomenal job. i say that we get more politicians takes on this. host: thank you in laurel maryland. we will start our conversation with one of two legislators joining us this morning. the first is representative david jolly from florida. he will talk about highway trust issues. later on in the program, the representative from new york who will talk about the current patriot act and the discussions going on about whether or not we will get renewed in the current form or change. all of that in just a minute. ♪
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>> here are a few of the book festivals we will be covering this spring. we will close out may at book expo america in new york city where the publishing industry showcases upcoming books. then we are live for the lit fest with pulitzer prize-winning author lawrence wright. that is on c-span2's "booktv." >> the new congressional directory is a handy guide to the 114th congress with color photos for every senate and house member, plus bio and contact information and twitter handles.
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district maps, a foldout of capitol hill, a look at congressional committees, the president's cabinet and federal agencies and state governors. order your copy today through the c-span store. >> "washington journal" continues. host: our first guest of the morning's representative david jolly, a republican from florida who served on the appropriations transportation subcommittee and serves the 13th district of florida. what is the best way forward as far as what to do about the highway trust fund? guest: we need a permanent solution. we fund the highway trust fund traditionally on a multiyear bill. we have authorized the projects and we know the infrastructure projects required to keep the nation moving. the question is always, how do we pay for it? historically this comes from the
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fuel tax. the federal fuel tax has continued to fall short in funding sufficiently the number of projects we have. this opens up a broader come -- conversation. did congress authorized too many objects? at the end of the day we have a very significant shortfall and once we identify the resources we can get a multiyear bill. host: there will be debate today or at least discussion about a two-year extension. guest: two months. unfortunately. i think we need a multiyear bill. you have a delta each year of $16 billion of the shortfall so where does that money come from. the numbers are the month -- numbers. everybody has a different opinion and the president wants to institute a new 14% corporate tax across the board. republicans are reticent to do that and at the end of the date we need to find a revenue
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source. there is an idea called repatriation which would allow the on shoring of off shoring corporate revenue and that might be a way to pay for the bill. that is something we should entertain in a way that doesn't slow growth. the business community has said anything below 10% tax is something they would consider acceptable. if we are able to do that and take a repatriation formula and fund two to four years we don't need an increase in the federal you will tax but it might make politically possible the idea of indexing the federal fuel tax. as fuel efficiency standards continue to improve the revenue from you will taxes continues to decrease and many states including mine of florida have indexed their federal fuel tax much like we index other cost-of-living programs. it is something we should put on the table because if we can get
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a repatriation revenue source to get us down the road at the same time instituting an annual index, in three to four years when that money has been used for infrastructure, the federal fuel tax will have caught up. that is a reasonable point of discussion and hopefully we will get there. but construction jobs and community infrastructure and quality of life and moving america forward even though planes are in a different bill the highway trust fund needs to be funded in a multiyear capacity so the construction community can have certainty and every american has better passage through roadways. host: because you are talking years that is fine but there is -- is there support for even a two-month extension? guest: there is. the concern is if we would do it for the end of the year -- i don't know if we have the votes.
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nobody wants to kick the can down the road. congress has a responsibility. we knew this deadline was coming and obviously we had some transition after the elections. and new leadership, we have to prioritize spending. i hope we get it done by the end of this two-month extension. host: representative david jolly from florida during the numbers are on the screen. (202) 748-8000 four democrats. (202) 748-8001 four republicans. (202) 748-8002 for independents. we have a little bit of a statement and we will listen to and get your thoughts on it. [video clip] president obama: we shouldn't be thinking smaller today, we need to be thinking bigger. so my hope is that we have a chance to have a serious
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discussion and look at all potential revenue sources. what is absolutely true is the highway trust fund has consistently gotten smaller and smaller and inadequate for the needs. what is also true is patchwork approaches three months or six months at a time doesn't make any sense. we need some sort of long-term solution. guest: we do need a long-term solution but i would note that the president didn't offer a solution. he just prodded congress. the president's solution is new taxes. that is in his budget. we have the secretary of transportation before our committee and he was proposing all types of new spending none of which fell in the budget act at the president proposed and congress agreed to. so i asked the secretary where does the revenue come from. i said what do we do if congress
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does not implement additional taxes and he said my budget is my budget. he could not pivot off the fact that the president plans to pay for this through new taxes. i don't think that is right and if we want to be very objective, there is a $16 billion deficit in the federal fuel tax. it is perfectly reasonable to say did congress authorized $16 billion on too many projects should we just pay for the projects we can afford? that is not the conversation anybody is having. the way the federal budget process works, the president proposes at the beginning of each year his spending plan and his tax plan and it is proposal. congress has to an act spending to support that. the president has a luxury of saying i would like all the objects. it is christmas every day.
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he doesn't have to make the hard decisions about how to pay for it. if the president really what's a pay for these rogue rams then he should use the leadership of the white house to say i want to increase taxes because that is his proposal and he should own that and sell it to the american people not to suggest that congress isn't doing its job. host: richard is in north carolina on the republican line. caller: i would like to say, you have a transportation fund, why is mitch mcconnell spending money for transportation in his state and district to pad the pockets of his constituents and the highways are falling apart. the politicians are using the money from the trust fund from the rails to trails and building
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museums that has nothing to do with the highways. you're just looking to pad your own pockets, the same thing you did with social security. you robbed it and robbed it and don't have anything to show for it except that we have to do something now. . when are you going to spend the money for what it is used for rather than everything else to pad your pockets? >> that is a great point i share your frustrations let me walk through a couple of the good news stories. your reference to senator mcconnell's project in kentucky i am not familiar with the specifics but understand the way the process works. the highway trust fund is funded through federal fuel taxes and that pays for highway projects. on the other side of the ledger is discretionary spending. that is the annual budget each
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year. that is the decision that congress makes to spend on the fence for transportation or education. here is the good news, on the discretionary side of the ledger , discretionary spending has been reduced over the past five years from $1.4 billion to around $1.1 trillion and it is continuing to be reduced. the accounts for the project you bring up in his home state those accounts continue to be reduced and they should be. the projects in the highway trust fund, those really are just used for infrastructure funding. but here is an area where your concerns should be talked about more. we do use the highway trust fund and the federal fuel tax for a number of projects not specifically related to
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passenger vehicle activity. so rails, mass transit, those types of transportation activities, many are still supported through the federal fuel tax. we can raise the question should we have a different funding mechanism for rails? for mass transit? that is the conversation we have. that $16 billion delta drops to $2 billion. you cannot leave them unfunded so how do you fund that? i will tell you on specific projects that is a completely different set of the federal budget i understand your concern congress has continued to root out directed spending for wasteful projects. we've limited resources and we shouldn't be wasting taxpayer dollars. host: the democrat line, hello
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ralph. caller: in the first few minutes i didn't know if this guy was democrat or republican but the first thing out of his mouth is we will raise taxes. the highway tax on gasoline hasn't been raised in 20 years? if we went back 20 years and we indexed that thing the taxes would be higher. but he is not a scientist so global warming doesn't exist and therefore we should kill all the mass transit things. he is so afraid to even mention raising the gasoline tax to where it was 30 years ago in real terms, because the oil companies own these guys. they are against global warming which in my opinion is a crime against humanity. the guy is another republican clown with the same line. it is terrible. guest: let me address a couple of your concerns.
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the federal fuel tax was considered for an increase when democrats controlled congress and was not implemented. it is not politically palatable in republican congress either but the reason why is that american people have not embraced the notion of a federal fuel tax increase. if there was this is one of those areas where members of congress are elected to represent the interest of their community. some have suggested a federal fuel tax increase is appropriate. i'm going down the road saying maybe we consider an index. maybe that is where we meet in the middle for those who suggest we need a tax increase. we will find a solution. i would suggest democrats could not pass a federal fuel tax increase when they had control of the house. it is silly to suggest republicans might do it when the republicans cannot get it done
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-- when the democrats cannot get done either. i understand global warming. we have not had the opportunity to meet. i'm a republican who suggested the climate is changing. the issue is, what is the appropriate and responsible role of government in responding to that. is healthy to have the debate. i appreciate your concern. it is important that we have that debate in congress about what is the appropriate response of the congress and the government. we can get that done. host: is there a change that needs be made to the formula for the gas tax revenue? guest: that is a great question. i come from florida. florida is called a donor state. for every dollar floridians pay at the gas pump, we say about $.88 back. $.12 is going out. there is a conversation that is being had called devolution which would suggest you keep the
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federal fuel tax, you turn it into a state-based fuel tax reduce the federal tax, increase the state tax, keep the money in the state. that would be additional funding mechanisms or infrastructure projects in florida but it would come at a cost to other states. we are nowhere near that. it is important to recognize we have an interstate highway system. we have interstate commerce. we cannot devolve the transportation system of 50 system -- a 50 different states. there is an interest in keeping this interstate. it is my responsibility to begin to talk about how do we continue to keep more floridians fueled tax dollars transportation tax dollars in our state. the founders set up regional representation and i would be failing to do my job if i did not talk about this concept as we consider transportation funding. host: here is michael from indiana. caller: good morning.
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my question is, the funding mechanisms you talk about are all internal. 5% of the world's population half of the foreign cars are sold here. why do representatives, congress refused to acknowledge we will be dredging out ports -- instead of 12,000 containers, 20,000 containers on ships? i drive a lot on the highways. why not mexican trucks that identify themselves? why don't we tax the people were try to use our markets to subsidize the roads they are tearing up into pay for the dredging of the harbors? we export corn and soybeans, recycled steel. let these countries that are using our markets help pay for this burden. guest: i could not agree with
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you more. i think that is a great point. you mentioned trade and i would like to talk about how we run these in structure projects orders come up -- borders come up ports, etc.. are we a nation that embraces free trade? one of the concerns of free trade when it comes to job loss and other industries shifting? those nations we have free trade with, the united states does run a surplus. we do very well in the international trade community. i have great concerns about the current trade debate that is being had. i'm not sure it is the right time were congress and the white house are trying to go. i think there is a lot more debate we need to have on this issue. paying for ports orders, etc.
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brings up the concept of user fee. an international company international -- should they be paying for it? is it the responsibility of the entire country to pay for our infrastructure or should we's shift the burden on those who use it? a toll is a perfect example. it is the people who use the roads that pay for it. should we do that with all of our transportation, i do not know that that is the final answer. you are seeing more people talk about user fees at the state level as they continue to look for revenue sources to pay for the infrastructure we need. host: alan from stanley virginia. independent line. caller: i would like to make a couple of comments in reference to the callers this morning. a couple things left out of the
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equation. everything we are talking about this morning, if we had good management, if we understand how to negotiate and be accountable and responsible with the money we have, we could take care of things in the country. the problem is between the politicians, republicans and democrats, there is a lack of leadership responsibility. no one wants to be accountable. if you scratch my back, i will scratch yours. unless we change those things we will continue to want more and more money. whatever amount of money we come up with now, it will never be enough. it never is. you can take local government, it's a government or federal, it is always more but no one talks about being accountable responsible, learn how to lead
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and manage money properly. i don't think we have to be a genius to figure this out. a lot of good ideas and what the congressman is saying and what some callers mentioned as well. we can get these things done but first we have to have a change in how we do things. thank you so much. guest: if you were in the studio, i would buy you a cup of coffee. you articulated my political foundation. we can get this done. the answer is never just more funding. we saw that with the veterans affairs administration crisis. not simply a funding issue, a management issue area the amtrak debate we are having now, we will identify if there are resources needed to address the tragedy that occurred. to assume right away that it is more money, that is irresponsible from our government to consider that funding is always the answer.
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it is a matter of having a mature conversation about management, using resources we have. i mentioned we have a $16 billion shortfall between the amount of authorized transportation projects and the amount of revenue. academically we should have this conversation. at what point were $16 billion in additional projects authorized that we knew we were not going have the money for? a lot of this is new to me. this is the first time i've run for public office. i'm trying to control a lot of the creative legislating for creative interpretations of how we get is done. i'm trying to confront it on both odds of the aisle but do it constructively -- on both sides of the aisle, but do it constructively. i say i believe in the idea that congress works. we are made up of 435 different actors.
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it is the responsibility of each of us to find solutions together. host: you brought up amtrak. on the day of the crash, the appropriate -- the provisions committee made a decision for funding amtrak. guest: the appropriations committee consideration of the transportation bill which includes funding for amtrak that had long been scheduled for the wednesday morning that ultimately followed the tuesday night tragedy. there are some questions, should it have been postponed. i think that would have been a fine decision if leadership had decided to postpone it. let's talk about the dynamic. funding for safety and operation for amtrak was funded at the same level as last year. those who wish to play politics with this, i believe it is a stretch to far and it is a little offensive.
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let me share with you the timeline. to the point about both sides of the aisle trying to score political points, it is wrong. tuesday night, the accident occurs. appropriations committee hearing was scheduled for 10:00 a.m. the officials from ntsb, the inspectors, did not arrive until 10:00 a.m. that morning at the crash site to begin their investigation. at 10:00 a.m. wednesday morning the investigators are just arriving on-site. by 1015 -- by 10:15, my colleagues on the other side of the aisle suggested they knew why it occurred and it was all about funding for amtrak and they offered over $2 billion in new spending on amtrak. amtrak is funded at $1 billion a year area by 10:15 they decided if we spent another $2 billion we could have prevented this accident. it was irresponsible governance
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in my opinion. leave the politics out of it but to jump to a conclusion and suggest we need to spend $2 billion more in taxpayers money before the investigators have even begun their investigation i think was the wrong thing to do. about two hours later, the first story broke about human error and speed which demonstrated to me it was the typical washington rush to judgment. we saw it in the va crisis. how do we throw more money at bad management? if there are additional resources necessary for a specific fix with amtrak that would have prevented this, of course congress is going to embrace that. host: like the technology that would slow the trains down? guest: exactly. they already have the resources to do it. they have announced they are going to implement that in the northeast corridor. 2008, congress passes a law that
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says by 2015, and track has to implement positive train control. they are missing the deadline area did -- they are missing the deadline. $3 billion to implement ptc in the northeast corridor. it is a combination of leadership and resources. the appropriate role for congress is to consider what is that combination and make a responsible decision. not rush to judgment like the democrats did and play politics with what is a national tragedy. hopefully by the time we get to the fore cooler heads will prevail. host: peace in the washington times we have seen over the years about the privatization of amtrak. guest: i would like to see amtrak privatized. you have to go back to the beginning of amtrak. the reason we have amtrak, in
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1970, private rail service completely failing. the economics of private rail service, given the interstate highway system in the growth of airlines, by 19 it 70 -- i 1970, the private rail system is collapsing. amtrak was a bailout. we saw the birth of amtrak. some suggested it was intended to be a temporary bailout. it turned into this legacy we have, which is wildly popular with those are use it. for those who do not, they still do not understand why taxpayers subsidize this. amtrak operates at a loss of nearly $300 million a year. this year, amtrak, a for-profit corporation will operate at a nearly $300 million loss in congress will step in and cover that loss in addition to sending another $800 million
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on top of that. over $1 billion in taxpayer money for a for-profit company that is losing $300 million. we are a ways from a privatization solution. the whole system of collapse if congress stepped out tomorrow. more toward a user fee model as best we can. host: representative david jolly, joining us. tony, from california, go ahead. caller: i want to let him know that i know amtrak is quasi-government. he said there is politics in everything. he is playing politics now. it is so disheartening to listen to elected officials come on here and say things about things that can't be done. he doesn't want the president to
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think it is christmas day and that congress is not doing everything. congress is not doing everything . i do not know how some of these officials get in office and go in congress and do absolutely nothing just to oppose the president. you can smile and laugh all you want to because the american people know that you guys are not doing anything for this country. you're not doing anything to move this country forward. thank you. guest: i appreciate your conviction. the congress, the president politics, it is all about a contest of ideas. we each subscribe to our own ideas. it is not a fight against each other. it is a fight for what we believe is the right future for our country. a lot of times we all get concerned about the gridlock and debate and acrimony. i do.
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our founders established the system of collective decision-making. the process can be discouraging at times. i understand that conviction and share that concern you have. my reference to the president he is the president of the united states. we disagree on a lot of things but he deserves our respect. i will tell you this, how do we pay for the projects? that is not a political question. how do we pay for national priorities? some people would suggest more taxes are ok. we simply don't have the revenue . and this president took office in 2008, our national president -- our national debt was at $10 trillion. from 1789 to 2008, we had accumulated $10 trillion in debt. when this president leaves office with the coalescence of
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the congress as well, we will be at $20 trillion. in eight years we will have doubled the amount of debt it took 220 years to accumulate. my comments are trying to inject responsibility into the decisions we make. i've no interest in serving in a body that continues to accumulate national debt and compromise what i believe would be the national security of the united states if we see an economic collapse. i appreciate your concern. we challenge each other with ideas when we are in the congress. it is important that we keep it civil and we have a healthy discourse. host: what did you do before you were elected? guest: i worked for my predecessor for a number of years. he served in my district. when i left his staff i had a private law practice. i started off as a small
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business person. for the past six years i had to figure out how to employ people and manage payroll. i got to learn what it means to sign the front of a check, not the back. how to go without paying yourself to keep your employees paid. i never intended to run for this office. it was not something i had in my plan. providence sometimes prevails. host: you say you were a lobbyist? what type of industry? guest: i represented colleges and universities, a couple small businesses in my district that supplied counter id devices to the militant -- counter ied devices to the military. people like to talk about their lobbying term -- i talk about advocacy and the importance of advocacy and stand by my private sector career every day.
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mark lunsford lost his daughter jessica to a sexual predator. he built a coalition of surviving parents to advocate before congress and the white house for greater penalties but also to give marshall service authority to go after these guys . to give them jurisdiction to go after absconders from the sex offender registry. i met him in an airport one day. he shared with me. market been successful -- mark had been successful in getting this legislation passed but then we don't fund the activity. he needed help getting funding for the marshall service to go get these guys and he was not able to get it done. i said to mark, we're going to do this. we got about $60 million for the marshall service to go after bad guys. you can call it lobbying if you want. but it is advocacy for the right reason. it also shows the direct
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engagement of the american people with their elected officials. host: kay oklahoma. caller: my question for representative jolly is i was under the impression that the stimulus package provided funding for infrastructure. there was the joke about it not being all shovel ready. my question is, what happened to that money? guest: let's talk about the amtrak issue. the last caller suggested there are politics involved in this. if we go back to the independent caller earlier this morning who suggested we need better management, that is at the heart of this debate. in the stimulus bill, $3 billion
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was provided to amtrak specifically for the northeast corridor or to implement new technology in 2009. to be having a debate in 2015 about why positive train control is not implemented drop the northeast corridor is not a funding debate. that is a management debate. it is ok to hold people accountable. we all balance it. i serve on the committee that provides the budget to the veteran affairs administration. we're coming off a year where the va is defined more by its failures that its successes. in my district we have wonderful people working at the va. was there a failure in leadership? certainly there was. that is a management issue. i try to work with the leadership but at the same time
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we have an oversight authority. any organization there is a natural tension between the board of directors and the president or ceo. how do you give sufficient confidence in your leadership but at the same time provide sufficient oversight? i think washington post failures are more defined by the leadership than resources and the suggestion that we keep throwing money at problems i think is the wrong direction. i consider myself a republican because i do not think the answer is always in more spending. host: buffalo, new york. chris is up next. caller: thank you mr. jolly. representative jolly. my comment is that if this country wanted to show the world how powerful it once was, that
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is all he would have to do is raise taxes and it would scare the hell out of the rest of the world. everybody knows we have not raise taxes since president bush was in office. every other tax that was raised was due to a program going up. the word in my opinion -- the worst line that was ever spoken in government was ronald reagan saying i am from the government and i am here to help. why would we elect republicans who are against government to run government? guest: i appreciate that phone call. let me share with you. i may left government
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conservative. -- a less government conservative, not a no government conservative. there are times there is safety net that only the government can provide. that is what i support investing in early childhood education and department of labor programs that deal with dropout retention and invest in our youth. i'm trying to identify a way that we can make ged courses for adult dropouts more affordable. i believe there is a limited role for government. infrastructure is one of those areas. here's the issue when it comes to taxes. i don't agree with the notion that we need to raise taxes. i think we are overtaxed and i believe president obama put a tax package through the did in crude -- did include tax increases on the wealthy. it is important to remember where the true drivers of the deficit are coming. every time we talk about how to
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refund my money for transportation or other national priorities, we have to talk about what is crushing our debt, mandatory spending. social security, interest on the debt. if you go back to around 1960, those programs consumed only 30% of our budget. 70% of our tax dollars to decide on how to we protect -- how we prioritize those. that was 1960. today, medicare, medicaid, social security, that is eating up about 70% of our budget. that means only about 30% of our taxpayer dollars are eligible to address natural -- address national priorities. in my lifetime, those programs will consume 100%. i like to use the opportunity
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anytime we talk about concerns or discretionary spending on government activities, we have to talk about long-term reform to our mandatory programs. if we can come together and agree to an entitlement package once and for all that reforms long-term drivers of our debt, we will have plenty of taxpayer dollars without raising taxes to pay for all the priorities we need. host: representative of david jolly -- representative david jolly of florida, our guest. caller: i would love to know where the stimulus money went. i would look to see that accounted for line by line. i have a feeling the unions took full benefit of most of that money. thank you very much. guest: i will use that at an opportunity to share with you legislation i am cosponsoring. it is called zero-based budgeting. a colleague of mine from florida
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is leading this. it is the notion that each year we should start at zero and determine what our priorities are as opposed to taking last year plus budget -- taking last year possible's budget and proposing we increase it by a percentage each year. host: the associated press has a story taking a look at contenders for marco rubio's seat. guest: my heart and soul is in the house. i set iran for our class -- i set iran for office a year ago. i serve my community in the house. too many people run for one office just to get to the other. i do not know that i have interest in serving in the united states senate. as i continue to focus on the
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house, the state of florida has an open senate seat that we need to have a qualified candidate to represent the entire state from pensacola to jacksonville to tampa to my hometown of an ellis county. that deal has yet to develop. i am not making specific lands to run for the senate. my plan is to run for reelection in the house that i have not ruled out considering the senate. i am very patient. everyone gets all a flutter. anybody that is elected to something has to consider, should i run for that. that is not my approach. i'm going to keep doing my job. let's get into the summer and see what happens. if there is a well-qualified candidate that i'm confident concert the people of florida, i would be happy to get behind them -- that could serve the people of florida, i would be happy to serve them.
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our race last year became a national race. the anchor of the i-4 corridor. president obama won it twice and yet as a republican i won the seat in the house. in my able to articulate a republican conservative message that appeals to people from all walks of life? can i articulate a responsible governing message that mainstreet understand and all of our communities parents teachers appreciate? perhaps so. i think that was part of our message in a special election where i was able to win a seat barack obama had one for the race for the white house. florida is a diverse state. you will see on both sides of the aisle, people considering running for this united states senate in the state as diverse as ours. host: which of the two men do
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you support? guest: i think they're both were markable candidate. jeb bush brings incredible experience and marco rubio is a shining star of the republican party right now. forget the next august and one of those gentlemen is excepting the republican nomination it will be an exciting time. host: which you favor? guest: i lean more towards jeb because it is his experience. i think we need people in every office, particularly in the federal government, that are experienced, qualified, they have been tried and tested. they had the ability to lead. i see that in jeb bush. he has special qualities. barack obama reset that mold. he came in with a short career in illinois and he captured the white house and the imagination
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of the american people. he reset the model for what we look for in president. you also have to look for was he qualified? that is something the nation can continue to debate. host: here is byron from louisiana. caller: i would like to ask the comes minute question. he is smart enough to know he could cure the social security problem in one vote. all you have to do is index the deductions on income to the cost of living and let them go up east year just like he does his salary. that would cure the social security problem. they will not admit that. i would like to ask him, did you sign grover norquist's pledge to never raise taxes?
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guest: i appreciate that. i understand your concerns. congress does not continue to raise its salary. members of congress are paid just fine. i think it is been level funded for a number of years. how do we get to social security solvency? what is on the table is always the retirement age, means testing. you mentioned indexing the social security tax. i'm not sure that is something i would support. i think we already tax it fine. here is where i think we need to go with the entitlement programs. republicans have had their balanced budget approach. changes to medicare in the cost of health care, creating a voucher program or premium support program for people at 55 and under. that is not something i support. i voted against our republican
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budget for a number of reasons. i think changes to medicare were too aggressive. on the other side, there seems to be a lack of acceptance that we are facing this debt with as a result of social security and medicare and there is a lack of conviction to do anything. why don't we take -- the actuaries behind medicare are obvious. commerce ignores them. -- congress ignores them. let's take reforms but instead of implementing them as aggressively, why don't we suggest if you are in the current system now promises made, promises cap, you get what you have rightfully earned regardless of your age. if you are entering the workforce tomorrow and whatever that age is, you're going to have a new social security
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program. it will still be the best in the world but it will likely include a number of these changes we have been talking about for means testing to age of retirement. the woman changes for those yet to enter the workforce so they have an expectation that those promises can be kept. host: new hampshire, this is ray on our independent line. caller: thanks for taking my call. my question is, do you think the gas tax is becoming obsolete? within 10 years, average miles per gallon for a car is supposed to be in the low 50 miles per gallon. we are seeing more and more electric cars which don't pay any gas tax but still use the roads. should we go to more of a mileage-based system? that you pay by how many miles you drive? \guest: you hit on a great point.
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this does go to the user fee conversation. when the federal fuel tax was implemented it was one of the original user fees. if you were driving a car, you were buying gas to get on the road so that gas tax is your user fee. with increased fuel efficiency, electric cars, you are seeing reduction in federal fuel tax. you are seeing free riders if you will. those who are riding in electric vehicles are paying very little towards the infrastructure they're using. a suggestion of using a per mileage basis. i do not think we are there in 2015. yet the forecast 1015 years out we might be getting their. the issue is in protecting the privacy of that information. we do not want the government tracking where you are driving. there is a way to put dumb technology on a vehicle to not -- to measure the number of miles driven. the fuel tax will be obsolete
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one-day. it is a question of when do we get there. it is a responsibility of congress and the administration to prepare for that. not preparing for the downfall in the federal fuel tax revenue is what got us into this whole or got previous congresses into this hole. host: the usa freedom act. where do you stand on whether it should stay the same or changes the made? guest: the patriot act, all those bills for me, simply question of due process. how do we balance national security needs against personal liberty? i think -- i support the usa freedom act. section 215 which authorizes both -- which did not authorize book collection -- book collection.
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i do not support a continued authorization of 215 because i think it in fringes on the constitutional liberty for instant visuals -- for individuals. required agencies to go to the court, get permission using search specific terms so that we know what they are collecting is actually relevant to the national security threats we are concerned about. it is a matter of due process. the usa freedom act injects appropriate due process into that. host: representative david jolly our guest. thank you for your time. we will our conversation taking a look at the patriot act. deadlines looming for that act. for the representative talk about it. our next guest, jerrold nadler of new york.
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if an extended drought could affect the u.s. economy. all those discussions, coming up. ♪ >> book festivals we're's covering this spring. we will close out may at expo america in new york city with the publishing industry showcases their upcoming books. our three-hour live in depth program with pulitzer prize winning author lawrence wright in your phone calls, this spring on c-span 2 plus booktv. >> the new congressional directory is a guide to the 114th congress with color photos of every senator and house member plus contact information
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and twitter handles. district maps, a foldout map of capitol hill and a look at congressional committees federal agencies and state governments. order your copy today. it is $13.95 plus shipping and handling at >> "washington journal" continues. host: our next guest is representative joseph nadler who serves on the judiciary committee and other committees. the usa freedom act, is that something you support? guest: i was one of the authors of it. it makes a number of modifications in the patriot act. section 215 of the patriot act which i opposed initially authorizes the collection of information that is "of any tangible things including
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information relevant to a terrorism investigation." we saw 15 years ago that was too loose. reasonable suspicion, prospal calls that probable cause -- probable cause. bush and obama had misinterpreted that and they have said all telephone calls are relevant. all internet traffic is relevant because within that there might be something you want to see so they have gotten general warrants. you can look at all form calls for the next six months. they have done that every six months. bulk surveillance which is unauthorized e.on what we thought we were doing when we passed a bill -- beyond what we were doing when we passed the bill. what the usa freedom act does is it stops bulk surveillance. it says you cannot get metadata other than the actual content of the phone calls without some
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individualized suspicion. it has to be narrow enough of a term. it cannot be an entire zip code. it has to be very specific and you have to describe it and get the warrant. that is the key. you have to get the warrant for individuals, which is what the fourth amendment mandates. the fourth amendment was written because americans were opposed to the british general warrants for writs of assistance. this goes right back to the general warrants. it stops that. it also -- the government goes in for a warrant in a secret situation. there is nobody to oppose it. the court hears one side of an argument such as, everything is subject one warrant and issues a decision which remains secret.
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this is an outrageous decision that you can have general surveillance under the bill which is contrary to the law and no one challenges it because no one knows it exists. this bill sets up a core of people in court whose sole purpose is to argue against the government in these secret court hearings. the court hears both sides. it also says when the court issues any significant opinion that has to be public. had that law been in effect when this interpretation by the court years ago had taken place -- it might not have taken place. the moment it would've been done, it would have been public and the would've been outrage. congress might have acted immediately. host: there are those were resisting to making changes in the senate. chief of those is the senate majority leader. a little bit about his concerns
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and get your response. [video clip] >> the bill passed the house does not require telephone companies to keep the records. i fear the house passed bill will end the program. i want to reassure everybody there are safeguards in this program. nobody at the nsa is routinely listening to your telephone conversations in order to intercept any actual discussion. they have to go to a court, get a court order. this has been an important part of our effort to defend the homeland since 9/11. we know that the terrorists overseas are trying to recruit people in our country to commit atrocities in our country. we saw an example of what i'm talking about in the boston marathon massacre. i don't want us to go dark and i am afraid a house passed bill will be the end of the program
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and will not be able to have another tool we need to combat this threat from overseas. host: he says it is the end of the program if the act is passed. guest: it is the end of the program if the act is not passed. i would rather they expire than continue as they are. i think most members of the house feel that way. we have 338 votes for this bill. this bill will be adopted by the senate and the program will go dark. it is more important. i don't believe the program as run now is vital to national security. no one has been able to show these surveillances have had any positive effect on national security area the senator manchin the boston marathon -- the senator mentioned the boston marathon bombing. it had nothing to do with this. there are always threats but we have to balance liberty and security.
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i think the usa freedom act ounces it well -- balances it well. there are no safeguards in this existing law. this interpretation by a secret court went on for years. the second circuit court of appeals said last week that it was a gross misinterpretation of the law and probably unconstitutional but we would not know about it if mr. snowd en had not done a public service and revealed it. host: (202) 748-8000, our life for democrats. -- our line for democrats. (202) 748-8001, for republicans. (202) 748-8002, for independents. concerns have always been the metadata. guest: if you know every phone call that i make, who i make it to, who i receive it from, when i make it and how long the
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conversations are, you can learn a hell of a lot. do i call the shrink often? do i call some woman who is not my wife full-time -- was not my wife all the time? geoeye call someone involved in certain kinds of businesses -- do i call someone involved in certain kinds of businesses? you can learn a lot without listening on the actual conversation. host: has there ever been an instance where someone at the nsa uses that information the way you describe? guest: i did not say use it inappropriately. i said it is inappropriate to have that information. has anyone used it inappropriately, i do not know. we cannot know. it is a secret program. host: jason is on from colorado. caller: i want to make a few comments on the national debt.
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the taxes being raised. government officials should not make more than minimum wage since the government is telling the american people that minimum wage is acceptable. guest: the government is not telling people that minimum wage is acceptable. what democrats are saying is that the minimum wage is too low and ought to be raised. you want to have policies with people earning as high wages as pops -- as possible. host: our topic, looking at the patriot act. tim from kansas. caller: representative nadler, i appreciate you being on the show today. i want to cover, when george bush came into office, the pfizer law was intact. the pundits come out and said,
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the president is authorized. we need this to be passed. my understanding was when senator feingold was on c-span, i watched him he explained the act said the president could wiretap anyone without any notification but within 72 hours they had to go before a court judge to have it authorized. the bush administration did not think that was enough time and congress amended it to propose a 15 day until they were able to wiretap without court approval. that was not sufficient either and that's when they change this to where they went out and wiretap everybody. so few of these have ever been denied. the court is only denied two or three requests from the
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government to intervene and gather the type of data. as far as the patriot act is concerned, the national security letter program. fbi director mueller testified in front of the house subcommittee that nearly 30% of these national security letters had nothing to do with terrorism. host: the caller put a lot out there. guest: i'm not sure how many questions there were. there has been tremendous abuse of the national security letter program. amendments years ago to greatly rein it in. one of the things that the usa freedom act does is to rein in some of the abuses of the national security by the msl program. when you get a national security letter, the fbi issues
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a letter, let's say you are google and the national security letter says tell us all the activity of so and so, you cannot reveal that you have gotten that. there is a gag order. one of the things we do in this bill is to change that law to say in most circumstances you can reveal and oppose the gag order so you can tell the party of interest. the person who lost information they want -- the person whose information they want. it deals with some of the worst ones. host: arnett a, democrat line. caller: what i was calling about was the collection of the metadata. the way i understand it is that the nsa is collecting telephone numbers, dates and times.
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there is no other information there. the telephone call can come from anywhere. my granddaughter lives in texas but she still has the same area code on her phone when she was living in missouri. you don't really know where the call is coming in from. i thought that if someone they had targeted -- they wanted to find out if they were connected with america, they would then come to nsa and ask them to run a query and they would have to go and get an authorization to further follow that number. guest: i'm not sure i understand the russian. -- i am not sure i understand the question. metadata is all the information about the telephone call other than the content. it can be invasive of legitimate privacy and that collection has to be restricted.
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under the existing program, you get one warrant to verizon or at&t and that warrant says give us all the phone calls made in the united date on your system for the next six months. you just keep repeating that. the court gives a blanket reauthorization. how is that relevant to investigations? presumably within the universe of all phone calls is relevant information. what we do is say you cannot get that warrant for the metadata unless you can point to some specific individual or small group of people or building or something and show the court some reasonable suspicion to believe that information is relevant. that is the kind of privacy protection that minimally you
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want. host: what demand does the freedom act make on telephone companies? guest: they as a matter of course keep the information. they have always kept it for at least 18 months to two years. it does not demand they keep it a number of years. no one raised that as a problem. host: tom, go ahead. caller: i am asking the question for mr. nadler, why mr. gotti can't use the court to investigate hillary's e-mails that are stored? what is the big question? guest: forgetting the question of the literacy of mr. dowdy's -- mr. gowdy's investigation the court has a limited restriction -- limited
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jurisdiction. it is supposed to deal with questions of surveillance when you cannot publicly go into a regular court and ask for the warrant or subpoena because of national security. if not want russian spies to know that you are looking at them. mr. gowdy's investigation is public knowledge. if he has good legal grounds for getting a warrant or subpoena, he ought to go to court and use those grounds. secret courts have as little as possible to do. inherently, it is a compromise against due process. you do not want secret courts. you only have it because the world of anti-terrorism, not everything can be public. host: clarkston washington. milton. caller: hello?
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host: go ahead with your comment or question. caller: mr. democrat nadler. good morning to you. i am calling from the republican line. guest: fine. caller: i respect you people with all my heart, mind and soul. the question is you've got a democratic commander in chief in your office and he leans on the republican party. he does a good job. i'm well pleased with him. it is you people, you democrats. i need you to support your president. guest: i suppose i will answer the question the way any other member of congress would. some will be more accurate than others.
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i support the president when i agree with them and i do not support him when i don't. being a democrat, i find myself in agreement with the president most of the time on certain issues like this so-called trade agreement. this agreement on national security and this usa freedom act, we wanted to go further than the administration to go last year and they -- but they have caught up with us. host: what is your main opposition to the president on these issues? guest: i do not know where to start. this is an agreement negotiated in secrecy. a member of congress can go read it. yes, i can go to a secure room and read parts of the agreement. i cannot take notes, i cannot take and aid with me unless they are security cleared. i am not even allowed -- it is hard to talk about it.
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what good is that? an agreement ought to be negotiated so that people see the agreement, 90 days devoted up and down. -- that may be voted up or down. it is a violation of the sovereignty of the united -- of the american people to do it. these agreements that we have had, everyone says nafta has had the same promises three of increased trade, good for business. every single case, we have greatly increased our trade deficit, lost jobs and it is best it has hurt the middle class -- it has heard the middle class -- hurt the middle class. it should be public. the so-called labor and environmental provisions have never been enforced. that goes by this administration
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too. i think this agreement is likely to be destructive of american jobs and likely to increase pressure to offshore american jobs. downward pressure on wages. i think these trade agreements as nafta had been one of the major reasons most of the money that is come in during economic expansion have gone to the top 1% and why the middle class is being shrunk. if we could see the agreement send it out for a few months to the economists, to the public schools, to the universities, get comments back, see what makes sense, have an amendment process, then we should consider it. the way it is now, a secretly negotiated agreement, no labor no environmental and then it a 90 day up or down vote and not have time to examine it, no. host: (202) 748-8000 for
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democrats. (202) 748-8001 for republicans. (202) 748-8002 for independents. he says, with much of the opposition coming from his own party, democrats have lost confidence in the leadership of the man who led us out of near depression. mr. obama's own party would be tripping him of the same ability to negotiate trade agreements that every president since fdr. guest: mark fasttrack was invented by richard nixon. we refused to give it to president clinton in 1997. i do not trust the president on trade. not this president or the last few presidents. the u.s. trade office is dominated by the multinational
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corporations. results of been disastrous for the middle class. i do not have confidence in this u.s. trade office and i do not have confidence in a secret process and i do not want to see the power that was enjoyed by previous presidents that they should not have enjoyed extended or granted again. enjoyed extended or granted again. we should have a much more open process. host: zack and indiana. caller: i'm in minneapolis. i am involved in some -- it seems like the government creates the problem by allowing unlimited immigration from these countries there are a problem. and then they spy on everyone else to find out who the terrorists is. why not stop them from coming in in the first place? guest: we do not have unlimited immigration from any country, so
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i do not know what you are referring to. we have an asylum program which is very limited in number and process. if people can show, once they are here, they cannot claim asylum from abroad, but once here they know they would go to their death or persecution is to be sent back home, then they are eligible to apply for asylum. terrorism, you want to keep terrorists and potential ones out of the border if you can figure out who they are. terrorism could also be homegrown. you have to fight terrorism whether here or abroad, in ways that do not destroy american liberties. we think the act is a reasonable cover my eyes. some criticisms say that the freedom of information act is not go far enough. i have comes with a section that
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says surveillance of foreigners are broad that comes back into this country for someone here talk to someone abroad, and you start surveying -- surveilling the person here, we have to control that. the u.s. freedom act is not do that but we have a chance to do that and the appropriations coming up. host: henry in new jersey. caller: good morning. a question about the unemployment extension plan. they said it -- they shut it down for the first time since 1972. now it is bouncing around and the senate. they told me one republicans got control, things may happen. i have not heard anything for over a year -- guest: i do not know who told you that. the republicans are the ones who oppose extension of long-term unemployment benefits. for the first time ever from a recovery of -- a recession, it has not been extended.
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they are not talking about it now because republicans control both houses. i am not accusing them. they are up front. they have shouted from the heavens that they are opposed to extended benefits of unemployment. they think it leads to more unemployment. i think it is ridiculous. as long as they are in control they will not have it. host: north carolina, grady hello. caller: i have a question about -- i have a question about the trade agreement. host: go ahead. caller: on this trade, what happens if we do not sign the trade agreement? by not signing the trade agreement, how many jobs are going to be made? guest: i do not think it is a question of how many jobs will be made by not signing, it is a question have -- of how many
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jobs will be lost if we do sign. i do not have a figure off the top of my head, but from the last few trade agreements, it is a very large number of jobs to be lost. it becomes easier to give offshore jobs to people -- two countries that pay people $.30 an hour. we will lose a lot of jobs, but i cannot tell you how many. a major problem with this trade agreement is the investor dispute system. it is in some of the previous agreements but it is becoming used more. any foreign company that objects to any american regulation or law by american, label cigarettes that are dangers of public health, you name it whether federal, state, or
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local, can object to that law and sue the country or state or city or county and say because of that law or regulation we are losing profits. pay us the difference between what we are making now and what we would have made except for your environmental or safety law or whatever. this case goes to a private corporate tribunal, from which there are no appeals. corporate lawyers representing corporations sitting in a private tribunal saying to the united states congress or state legislature or city council that you cannot enforce your law and if you try to it will cost you hundreds of millions of dollars. under a similar provision australia is being sued by an american tobacco company, saying we will lose profits because you insist on having labeling on the package that says cigarettes will kill you, or something. this could endanger american
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provisions environmental health, or safety provisions. almost every law we have, we would be seating -- cedining to a corporation. host: representative nadler is with us to talk to you. (202) 748-8000 for democrats. (202) 748-8001 for republicans. (202) 748-8002 for independents. david from oklahoma, good morning. caller: good morning. i think it is ironic we are carrying on this discussion when this weekend, we are going to be decorating the graves of millions of americans who sacrificed everything for this country. it seems to me that what i am being asked to sacrifice is that somewhere, there may be a
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recording of the lemon chicken recipe my mother gave me over the phone, and it does not seem like much of a sacrifice for me to make in comparison. burying lives -- this nation or any nation can exist without any sacrifice on the part of its human components, i think that is a major flaw in your argument. i simply do not agree with you. guest: we have almost 300 33 million these days, first of all, not 233 million. no one says we should or could exist without any sacrifice. our soldiers, sailors, and people, police officers -- we all make sacrifices. we pay taxes, half of which goes to defense and so forth. we want to maintain liberty. that is why this country was created create to maintain liberty and freedom and --
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quality and liberty, basically. one of the reason we does against the british was because they used jenna what warrants were of the kings officers could , in and say show me everything you see. there was no privacy. the fourth amendment was written so that you cannot do that. you have to describe particularly what you want to search and seize any have to give probable cause or reasonable suspicion to the courts on why you want to see that. all i want to do is risk -- is restore what we have always said that you cannot have general invasions of privacy. you have to have some good reasons a court will agree with on why the government needs that information. the metadata can be very revealing of all kinds of things about individuals, which is none of the government's business to
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know unless that person is reasonably suspected of committing a crime or participating in it terrorist network or something. we have to balance our liberty and security, and we can. where you place that balance is what we have been debating. host: carlos in chicago hello. caller: good morning. how are you doing. i want to make a comment and then i have maybe two questions. mr. nadler, i agree with you because i support, definitely our president, and i do not support everything that he -- all of his policies, but i support most. an example every household had to get a cable box or cable just
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to watch c-span. this became mandatory to where it is all households to have the freedom to even watch tv. then when he came into office, i did not support that. we were talking about the nsa surveillance program. as i am watching that -- if i am on the phone and i have studied this law, so if i say the word "allah" that will set off a trigger within surveillance programs. now my freedom is taken away, to wear as an american, i was told i have the freedom of speech. who am i talking to? guest: i am not sure what the question is, but i agree that the government's power of surveillance and observation have to be limited. what the gentleman referred to is someone mentioning the word "allah" says often all grow them
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in a computer that bring suspicion on you, that is a violation of privacy and freedom of religion. we do not want this. i also want to say, i am gratified that you say you usually support the president as do i. i think he has been good on most things. on the surveillance, i agree with him. the one major disagreement i have with the president is trade. host: arkansas, george. hello. go ahead. caller: good morning. if obama wishes to keep his campaign promise that he would renegotiate nafta, i would be fine with that. then we could look at tpp. that is my comment. i would take it off air. thank you. guest: i wish we would renegotiate nafta for the
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better. i think the administration would say tpp is a renegotiation, but i view it for the worse. host: california, joseph for representative gerald nafta -- jerrold nadler. caller: good morning. it is about crime in america. i have been here 66 years from france after world war ii. it is a problem the government has created and self-inflicted. imports have eliminated all the jobs. we have 100 million people who cannot find work. i heard that on c-span, someone said that. about the guns, we need to get rid of all of them. i have never even held a gun except the old cowboy movies. you need to get -- stop
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importing. restructure the whole economy and manufacturing base. a job for everybody. get rid of everybody's gone, including the cops. we do not need them with guns. host: guest response, go ahead. guest: you can't nor should you stop all importing. imports are important to the country. exports as well. the problem with the trade agreements we have had is that contrary to the promises made when they were being debated -- yes, they increased exports, but they also increased imports by a much greater factor. before nafta, for example, i forget whether we had a trade surplus next to a small trade deficit, now we have a large trade deficit. huge trade deficits.
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when the president or others supporting this trade says every $1 billion in exports means how many millions of jobs, but every $1 billion of imports means the same -- the losses of the same number of jobs. the difference between our exports and imports the deficit , have bloomed and would again under the tpp. that is a problem. that is why we oppose this kind of agreement. i do not oppose all trade agreements. you could envision trade agreements that would be to the benefit of this country, but when you have 1000 page agreement, it is not free trade. a free-trade would be 10 pages long. these 1000, 5000 page agreements are carefully negotiated on multiple sus -- on multiple subjects and they have not been
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balanced. what we know this one is highly imbalanced to the detriment of our working people. host: richard in d.c. independent line. caller: i have heard you been called the brightest member of congress and you have justified a this morning. i want to ask if you believe that congress really is a co-equal policymaking body including foreign policy with the executive ranch -- branch. in the trade agreement, for example, you can say the nations that want to discriminate against israel through boycotts, divestments, and sanctions, have to desist from such maneuvers before they get free trade with america, full free trade with america. also there are always criticisms about the president's foreign and middle east policy but in response to the
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authorization for use of military force can't you set down the conditions that should be there for the president's intervention? for example, the rules we learned from vietnam and other missteps in which were followed in the first gulf war and later as guidelines to the president, so when he uses military force we know what will happen and have an and the strategy. with respect to iran white and you not send on the markers that iran is a perpetrator of terrorism, abuse their people just as isis does? they are trying to control at least foreign nations in the middle east and beyond and so forth -- what can we not refer to those things? and they are threatening genocide against israel -- can we not refer to those things and the iran legislation? guest: about half a dozen
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questions, i am not sure where to start if i remember all the questions. congress is a co-equal ranch of government if it will assert itself. a limit is can i get the votes and eight particular direction in both houses. ever since world war ii, presidents have run roughshod over congress and congress has ceded too much power to presidents in terms of getting us into wars since world war ii. whether you're talking about president reagan invading grenada without congress and the authorization or president obama going into libya and a dozen others, i think they were all unconstitutional actions. in none of those places was congress able to or perhaps willing to oppose it. it is also easy for congress to let hard decisions be made by the president and criticize it afterwards if it does not work and not criticize it if things work fine. but that does not help
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congressional power and it does not help the democratic government. you raised some real questions about iran. iran is a major threat to the united states israel, and other middle eastern countries in different ways. the worst thing that could happen would be for your on to get a nuclear weapon. it would lead to a nuclear arms race and eight -- an unstable region. iran cannot be trusted said not use them or even give it to a terrorist group. the question is how to stop them. we are working out an agreement. until we see the details of that agreement, i would not be able to say whether it is out of it or not. assuming that the inspection and enforcement verification is adequate it be the best of the
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alternatives sick avoid having a nuclear weapon. one of the the agreement. the tough guy alternative with republicans one thing that, primus or netanyahu, senator menendez -- walk away if the agreement is not good enough and go to harsh sanctions and you will get a better deal. the problem is twofold. if we walk away from an agreement that the europeans and the russians and chinese think is a reasonable agreement they will not join in sanctions. we will have weak sanctions. the f-300 missile deal the russians made with iran is part of that. they are looking time not make a deal. if iranians walk away, you may not have weak sanctions. when you apply sanctions you are making a bet. the bet you are making is that the sanctions you have imposed
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combined with the low price of oil, rings about the economic -- to the regime that is so close that they cry uncle in the year and a half before they acquired a nuclear weapon. i do not think that is a good that. it probably end up with a nuclear weapon. the third alternative is war. if you can get an agreement that is unenforceable and will keep you from getting a weapon, that is the best way. the key is if you can get an agreement that is unenforceable. we will not know that until we see the terms. a lot of people are trying to put conditions that we would love to see on this agreement. you cannot have this agreement unless you run recognizes israel or at stops threatening to destroy it or stops sponsoring terrorism or other things. the problem with that is if you put those conditions on, you will not get an agreement and
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they will probably get a nuclear bomb. all of those things are major problems. we have to oppose them the iranians, in other ways. if this deal comes to fruition, it it is only to stop them from getting a nuclear bomb. we still have to oppose their terrorism, their malevolent genocide when it comes to israel, their hegemonic activities in the middle east, all of us which would be much worse -- much worse if they had a nuclear bomb. if you try to put too many problems on the agreement you will not be anywhere and you'll be settled with a nuclear-armed iran. host: quick responses to two questions. the highway transportation fund. what will happen because of the deadline? do you think a deal will be reached? guest: probably without my vote
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they will extend it just two months. because we can get away with extending a then. the highway trust fund, there is still money for two months, but that is it. we have kicked this down the road 32 times so far and we are just about at the end area we are spending about $50 billion a year on transportation. we should spend about $80 billion a year. it is like catching up on a $7 trillion backlog to get roads and bridges and mass transit and amtrak up to a safe and reasonable condition. the gasoline tax is wasting us. we last raised in 1993. it is inflating. it is not inflation sensitive so it is worth less and less. we keep saying we want to be energy-efficient in public policy and use less ask -- and use less gasoline. we either need to raise the
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gasoline tax or bring another revenue source or both, because the system can not exist at the level it is at now. we are spending about 1.7% on infrastructure. europeans are spending about 4% to 5%. the chinese, 9%. we used to spend about 4.5% pre-reagan. if we are at 1.7% the chinese at 9% and the europeans around 5% our economy will get less competitive because you need efficient highways transportation broadband eight good interceptor for your basic economy so we can compete. if you do not, we lose economic strength, which is will go down, jobs. we have to maintain the basic infrastructure, which we did for 200 years. we were the pioneers. we have to get back to that. host: what is the best way forward for amtrak? guest: on the reasonably.
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amtrak became a public corporation because the freight railroads won its are abandon passenger service. we did not want them to do that so we nationalized it. it got funded at a reasonable level. we spend less than 2% of our transportation budget on rail. 98% on highways. 80% on mass transit -- 80% on highways. 50% on mass transit. 2% on rail. an adequate. host: representative gerald naylor, thank you for your time. our next guest is from the washington post. jim tankersley talks it was about a story about the drought and the potential damage that could beat down to the economy with a long-term lack of rain. ♪
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>> here are a few of the book festivals we will cover this spring on the tv. we close out may at the expo america in new york city, were the publishing industry showcases their upcoming books. the first week of june we are live for the chicago tribune and israel lived fast, including our three-hour live in depth book program with author lawrence wright and your phone calls. that is on c-span 2 booktv. >> the new congressional directory is a handy guide to the 114th congress, with color photos of all the members contact and bio information, and twitter handles. also district maps, a full doubt map of capitol hill, a look at congressional committees, the president's cabinet and federal
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agencies and state governors. order your copy today through the c-span online store at >> "washington journal" continues. host: the "washington post" jim tankersley joins us. he is an economic correspondent. good morning. you take a look at the topic of drought in the west and connected to the economy. how do you connect that? guest: water is life in the west. the fight for water has defined the west or so many of the ache fights over time. we are in a new one. it is not just the old type of water fights we are used to, which is farmers versus fish or lawns versus word or not rural areas can get the water they need. what we have now is the new economy of the west, the most vibrant, important, growing economy and the country, versus the old economy, which is the
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lifeblood of the rural areas and the bread basket of the country. there will be real questions as the drought worsens and then you have competition over this precious resource. the question is can we find enough ways to properly -- water and be more efficient in how to use it. host: you talk new versus old economy. agriculture, which depends on water. but then you look at the tech and telecom sectors. guest: tech and telecom depend on waters in different ways. they use a lot less than agriculture. agriculture uses 80% of the allocated water in the west. now. -- for the amount of money and production you get from water, tech is more efficient than agriculture. the people who -- tech is
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people. the people who run and work in the big tech economies, run apple and google and the things you know about, live in a water-stressed place. in order to keep them living and working, they need more water in the future. the second reason is that actual tech products require some things that are water-intensive. whether that is the cooling for a server farm, which keep all your data in the cloud or it is the microchip processing that happens in arizona, if you want a computer or something that works on high-tech, you need water-intensive things to happen. many of those things happen in the west. host: what happens with a long-term drought, who was working on this? guest: i looked at a study done by researchers at arizona state
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university. it seems wild now, but what it happened -- what would happen if the colorado river dried up for a year. they look at a year without water, what happens to the economy. 60 million jobs go away. they go away in health care and tech and government, even. the lowest, displaced jobs sector of all that is agriculture. because there are not a lot of people working in agriculture anymore. this is the conundrum of the west. we eat the food that comes out of that water, but there are not a lot of jobs that depend on it and the growing sector there's growing job sectors, will be really hurt by the water drying up would be the ones in the high-end areas. host: we have a map looking at drought across u.s. it is the west that is hardest hit, particularly california. can we see an example of what you're talking about practically working out of
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california? guest: we see a lot of conflicts now outside of the agriculture sector. governor jerry brown has exempted farmers from the water reception so far. you see a lot of these classic can people in los angeles, when can they water their lawns? there is continued environmental tension, should we keep giving fish allocations of water? the most interesting thing about that map is if you overlaid that with a map of the most economically productive, vibrant, fastest-growing cities in america for advanced industries, you would find big overlaps, particularly in california, washington, oregon utah, you see that the important dynamic economies are smack in the middle that drought. host: so that is the potential impact of that drought. if you want to ask our guest questions about this, (202) 748-8000 for those of you in the
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eastern and central time zone's. (202) 748-8001 in the mountain and pacific time zones. if you want to treat your questions or comments, you can do that at @cspanwj. so what study did you -- gained your interest? guest: i have long been interested in water issues. i lived and worked all across the west and understand the tensions. i felt that i was reading coverage of the drought in a lot of great stories, but they were not getting at that question of how could this impact this dynamic, economic phenomenon we see now. as i get into that, i found study -- i found the study, talk to at least 30 people. there are a lot of people thinking about this in different pieces, but very few thinking long term, how do we make the choices to allocate this water in a way that is most helpful. host: on the state-by-state
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level, our people already making or thinking about contingency plans for these issues? guest: i think locked by block almost. companies have to think about what are we going to do if we cannot get water. i talked to one of the guys at at&t who things about water a lot. they have to think, how do we get it, how can we be better uses of water, use it more efficiently? that would be a good outcome if big companies found more technological ways to use water especially if they can disseminate that to the bigger users. there are people looking at those solutions. but we would like to have more companies working on those kind of things, but that requires debtor pricing of water so you can take profit off of not using as much of it. in the west, water pricing is haphazard. it varies by state, water district. in some places it is easy for a user who has water terror cell
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that to someone else. in other places, it is not. a more functioning, unified water district is something a lot of economists go back to when i say this is how we do better. host: that hear from georgia pennsylvania. hello. caller: i would like to know how hard it would be in order to dig a rich -- ditch from the drought areas to the columbia river, where -- host: keep going, george. caller: i had to turn my tv off. how hard would it be to take a ditch and how costly would it be to date a -- dig a ditch up to the columbia river and put some of that water and put into the roosevelt dam, where california
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gets most of its water from? -- there needs to be some way of getting water from the columbia river to keep it from going out into the ocean all the time. all of it. we need some way to get some of it down into the drought areas. would you comment on that, please. guest: as a child of oregon, i can tell you that people in oregon have been worried about the scenario since i was born and probably longer than that. there are reasons that they would worry about it. they do not want their water resources diverted to california. on the other hand, it is clear that overall, not to endorse a particular plan, building better water storage and infrastructure including type
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lines or whatever, is a way to buy time. if we can store and move water more efficiently, there will be more to allocate and there will be places where they have more water than they need right away. in oregon, they use a lot of that water in the columbia to hydropower, including the see that lights up my town. i am partial to that. it will be eight big question to wrestle with because those projects are expensive. who pays the cost of egg if researcher projects and how we got them permitted in environmentally sensitive areas. these are the policy questions. host: anthony in new york. hello. caller: hello. thank you for spending your morning with us. it is called a cut now and it would be plausible but would it not be better to overpopulate what is basically a desert?
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i realize we have a large population, but it is like having waterfront homes that will be continuously larded. you cannot fix the problem -- you have too many people in an area that is very arid. it is it a desert. more importantly, your study group -- what about the fallout red activity from -- radioa ctivity from fukushima. that will have a serious impact on the economy, especially with imports. all the stuff we depend about from japan or china is going to be polluted or highly radioactive, not to mention the whole coastline and the fisheries. the economy is on potter collapse because of human it -- human inability to referring from these activities. i do not think we should have gone with a nuclear technology, because it is not a plausible
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technology for this environment. guest: to be honest, i have not spent much time talking to folks about what the long-term economic effects of fukushima would be for the global economy, but i can speak to your first question about population. this is another one of the paradoxes we face in the west. it is a place where a lot of people want to live and keep moving. when people move there, they tend to cluster in innovative areas and produce innovative things. you could hypothetically say it would be better if silicon valley where in a place where it would not have to worry about fighting for water resources but where will that place bn where -- how will you move the engineers and the folks who like living in california who are the back tone of this innovative economic -- economy. that is something the markets
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and policy makers will have to sort out over time. between water scarcity and hype housing, will there be an exit is of high talent from california to some other places that cost less and have more natural resources available to our less than focus of scarcity fights. host: william, go ahead. caller: i thought about this a lot over the years. all they talk about is these pipelines and people complain. they do not want them across their lands. they could put a pipeline in from, say, memphis out of mississippi and philip lake mead and everything out there to have two pipes in case one failed. and we got water running out of our years in mississippi. and phil it up -- fill it up out there. host: is is and infrastructure issue as well? guest: yes.
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mississippi is -- of the mississippi is obviously a very large body of water. i used to live in ohio, are they worried about lots of water in the great lakes and they are worried about pipelines being built into the west. these take infrastructure projects will cost a lot of money and will be very ambitious over the next decades. it will be a question of who pays for it and is it -- whose interest is it into put those diversions in? the colorado river supplies water to nine states across the west. it is huge and massively diverted. we have seen this before. we are talking about it on a much grander scale. we're also talking about in the context of a world where drought
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will get more frequent and extreme in the west and their needs are going to be higher. host: could the drought affected the economy. that is the topic we have with jim tankersley. (202) 748-8000 for those of you in the eastern and central time zone. (202) 748-8001 four mountain and pacific. judy is on the phone. caller: i want to make a practical suggestion. we are out west and affected by the drought. i look at the farms around here and the ranches, and ice very inefficient irrigation practices -- and i see very inefficient irrigation practices. i was looking about farmers to change over to more conservative water practices on their farms in order to reduce the amount consumed high agriculture.
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i would like to know what you would think of that idea. guest: i think incentive programs to encourage water efficiency are absolutely going to have to be part of the solution, particularly in farmland. in a lot of areas, in idaho in california, the central valley there are inefficient flood irrigation techniques being used. they could be replaced. but you need to give people a financial incentive to do that or -- i suppose the water district could mandated -- by giving folks a carrot to use water more efficiently will free up water for everyone. that will be a solution that most economists i talked to would support. host: ray from illinois. go ahead. caller: good morning. i have an idea, which i have not heard yet.
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why could we not use the ocean and desalinate it, as they do in israel? there is plenty of water in the ocean. guest: great question. they are already working on in california. there are desal as they call them, plants all over the place starting to pop up in california. the short answer is they are asked -- they are expensive. it takes a lot of money to operate those plans. compared to other ways of getting water, the expense of that is till quite high. as we hope with most high technology things, the more we do it, hopefully the cost will get lower over time. that is the hope with desalinization. host: this is a federal government issue, how do they look at it? guest: right now -- there is federal in water. the interior department does a
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lot in terms of water infrastructure across the west. we will probably see calls for a much larger federal role. i would also say there is a big fight about federal water allocations in terms of fish. the feds have a part of play in this fight between native tribes and farmers and this has been a big thing in oregon and california a long time. the federal government has a role to play in that and has been called on it repeatedly. the endangered species act has a role. it is a federal problem. but most water allocation happens at a local level and we need solutions from that level as well. host: amherst, new york hello. caller: this is a great show. i want to talk about some things you mentioned and propose solutions. israel was considering importing
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more water from abroad. now, they have reverse osmosis lands that is so efficient, i think it is $46 per cubic meter, it and i think they have an excess of water. i think it will help restore the dead sea and the jordan river and the aquifers that have been depleted. the way they do it is the use of the abundant natural gas from offshore to produce electricity and in turn from that produce high efficiency desalinated water, but of course california they hate natural gas offshore expectation and hate gas on species and environmental grounds, they will not do that to produce low-cost energy which means low-cost water. the more important thing is a proposal or axiom from a world
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bank economist i spoke to years ago. he said when you price water at its full replacement cost, a lot the problems will go away. modest proposals that the federal government and navigable waters of the united states indicate or even mandate that water be priced at its full replacement cost. then it will sort out whether you water lawns or avocados or lettuce or kill swimming pools. those are thoughts for this morning. -- for phil swimming pools. those are my thoughts for this morning. guest: was every economist i talked to who deals with water agrees pricing is paramount to getting water allocation correct. we do not have pricing now, for a lot of reasons, that reflect the actual cost of water, the actual value of water.
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there are all sorts of proposals out there for how to do it. if we could get to a place where water is priced appropriately and then the market can start allocating it better, i think that is a great start for how to solve this problem. host: martin from pennsylvania is up next. caller: i would like to bring in the issue of long-term regional water planning in addressing the issues of the drought in -- and other situations in the west. in new mexico, the rio grande, they addressed this issue with a comprehensive plan. the recommendations included several hundred pages of science, environmental tech, and various other analyses in regards to water issues. what happened was that the geopolitical entities were not up to making the hard decisions.
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it requires sacrifice in terms of balancing growth with renewable supply. i think that is a fundamental issue our political governments are not prepared to address the issue of growth in the context of balancing it with renewable resources. i would like you to discuss that a little. and see there are options on the table, but that our politics are dominated now, by political corporations and other influencers, which make the decisions for the people. guest: i think the political system is ill-equipped as it stands now to make hard choices for big problems. we have seen that in a lot of things. even just the one problem of climate change. it is not the only area we are struggling to make choices and adapt. let's look at one example in particular.
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when you have in water allocation is this future conflict. if you think of it as dynamic high-growth cities where a lot of people live that do not use the bulk of the water that is allocated versus lower growth, rural areas that really depend on a lot of water for their of economies, that is a tension where you might expect cities to win in the long run because they have more money and economic power. but the rural areas have legacy claims on the water there are important and will be difficult in many cases for the urban interest to overcome. if you care about rural areas, there are economies are not doing nearly as well in this recovery as urban economies. if you care about quality of opportunity and quality of -- the quality of economic growth,
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it should give you pause -- would it be fair to deprive rural areas of the one economic lifeblood they have, in some cases, especially when they do not have oil and gas extraction in some of these communities which has been a driver of rural growth where we have seen it. it is a conundrum that the political system is struggling to deal with and i think that are market mechanisms will help politicians by making the choices more market-driven and less political. host: you talk economy and the drought. what about terrorism based on water, whether it be water or skiing -- what about tourism based on water, whether it be water or skiing. guest: yes, a lot of matin towns have boosted their ski rafting ecotourism mountain biking. they worry as well.
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i talked to the mayor of park city, utah. he said they did not get any snow so they had to make of their own. to do that, you need a lot of water. they feel confident they security water resources they need for the long term, but they are not serve every -- they are not sure every resort town house. we will see this conflict. if you drain the river to keep the city semiconductor plans going, you do not have much rafting. these are the problems of the new industries, even in the historically high water use areas. host: dave from california. caller: i would like to make a comment. in the middle east, you are in the middle of the desert. are you there? host: go ahead. caller: they are out there and they have these allergens asian -- desalination. all you have to do in california's have desalination.
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you could get water and then sell it to other states and would give millions of people work. it will be the best thing for california because eventually you're going to need the seller nation because otherwise the colorado river will? up and then people -- they need to go to desalination. it is simple. why would you not? you said the price, the political system, but if they thought the way they thought now like the republicans, we would not even have hoover dam. they do not one or the roads rebuilt in the 1950's. you have to get with it. i do not know what the politicians are thinking about it you could get desalination and california and send that water to other states and put millions to work. if you're worried about the environment, stop drilling for oil. guest: it seems like the salinization -- desalination is
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a big favorite. as a technology, it is exciting and has promise that it is also expensive, which is why it is hard -- though there is an argument to be made the federal government should pay attention to the water if researcher to help mitigate the problem. the caller brought up one thing. he talked about groundwater. even as we talk about all these problems with trout across the west, as many have written the west is slowly or not so slowly depleting its groundwater resources. if you think the problem is bad now, if those wells dry up and they take a long time to read charge -- if the aquifers start drying up, we have even more of a problem even if i were water you situation remains unchanged. we are spending down stuff from the banks that when i get wheedled anytime soon. host: we already see lower water in the colorado river? guest: it has run low in many
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places for a while. we keep seeing record lows in lake mead and across other big storages across the west. even the snowpack, which is relied upon in a lot of states to provide water, has been low in places. this is going to be an ugly summer. a lot of folks predicting wildfires, a lot of other things, because of a lack of rain. it is not just using the water that comes out of the river that is the problem, the economic problem drought causes, it is a variety of things. host: (202) 748-8000 for eastern and central time zone's. (202) 748-8001 four mountain and pacific time zones. we are talking about the drought and its effect on the economy. jim tankersley talks about it.
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he takes a visit to dictator dust to decatur, tennessee on the front page of "the washington post." guest: this has nothing to do with drought, but to cater bill -- decatur bill -- decaturville was the star of a clinton avenue. they had a garment plant that employ thousands of people. women with sewing needles, with wives of hog farmers, that factory had close and production had been moved to el salvador. the town was economically devastated. unemployment hit 20%. bill clinton and al gore, who had been to the town many times as a senator they talk to folks from the town in a tv appearance in nashville. their campaign advertisement lamented the loss of the jobs,
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blaming the george h w bush administration was -- promising clinton what invest in america. years later, it is fair to say that town is still waiting for that revival that you could have taken away as having been promised to them. rings got a little better in the 1990's. unemployment dropped. there were a few, new, smaller garment plants that sprung up. bill clinton signed nafta, which for some folks in town running the new plants say totally undercut them from a price standpoint. the plants shut down. the recession hit hard in that town. 9% unemployment. one in four in the county is on food stamps. it is a beautiful place with proud people, just a lovely region near the tennessee river but folks are still trying to figure out what is the next economic life raft. what will be the next big thing?
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23 years is a long time to wait for that. host: the cover story on "the washington post," and you can read online. jim tankersley writes about economic issues for that paper. we are talking the drought and its impact on the economy. mike, go ahead. caller: i just want to say that the more water california wants to get, all the city councils from sacramento to stockton they just want to build more subdivisions. i am wondering that the more open spaces that you pave and concrete over, how does the groundwater replenish itself? don't you need open spaces for rain to soak into the earth to replenish the groundwater? it seems like the farmers and ranchers supplying the food are really getting it hard out here.
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i do not care if you are vegetarian or person who likes to eat meat. the farmers and ranchers are the ones who need to be really concerned about it. i will take her comments off air. guest: thank you. i think you should be concerned about farmers and ranchers in this environment. there is going to be less water for them. we should all be concerned that if we cannot use water more efficiently in food production food will get more expensive. if farmers and up selling water rights in places around stockton, for example, to cities then yes -- and fouling fields for it, then we will have less food and the price of food could go up. this is what farm groups warn about when they say they need to have a high allocation of water. on the other hand, i think we would worry about places --
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cities in the bay area in particular, southern california, even sacramento, which have had dynamic economic growth, which is good for the whole country. if you limit their population growth, you see housing prices go way up, you could end up with people who could benefit from living there and contribute to a very high dynamism, economic sectors being shut out, more or less. this is a puzzle in terms of how do you help the people in the rural areas, help with a broad food consumer, and help make sure that the engine in the west has been the engine of growth in america and the recovery. you do not want to slow that down is what most economists will tell you. how do you make that work in harmony. host: don in ohio. caller: i want to ask if you
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will do an article on our prices of food that have skyrocketed because of the gas prices. the other one is -- with this water shortage, that they are going to be -- will prices jumped more and more in food and beef. the other is this tpp is -- if they are saying it will help the farmers when they ship it overseas which will jack our prices out of sight, because they will ship them overseas. could he do an article on tpp and the prices that have already been jacked up tremendously. guest: thank you. i have not done a food price article and a wild, but it is always interesting. there are two prices and the economy that matter in people's minds, food and gas, because those are the prices that are posted in front of you when you
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go to buy it, which you do all the time. we have had relief in gas prices, though they are starting to creep back up a little. absolutely doing another piece on the transit expectations would be good. host: jim tankersley's piece could be found on the "washington post," website. that is . he covers economics. we go to the u.s. house already in progress. the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. the chair lays before the house a communication from the speaker. the clerk: the speaker's room washington d.c., may 19, 2015. i hereby appoint the honorable mike bust to act as speaker pro tempore on this day. signed, john a. boehner, speaker of the house of representatives.