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tv   Washington Journal Open Phones  CSPAN  May 20, 2022 10:14am-11:04am EDT

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watch at 9 p.m. eastern on c-span, c-span now, our free mobile video app, or anytime online at >> c-span is your unfiltered view of government. we are funded by these television companies and more including buckeye broadband. ♪ >> buckeye broadband supports c-span as a public service along with these other television providers, giving you a front row seat to democracy. panwj. we begin with floor remarks. mitch mcconnell was talking
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recently about the president's role, his argument in rising gasoline prices and the overall economy. [video clip] >> yesterday, the average price that american families pay for a regular set an all-time high for the 10th day in a row. 10 straight days of record breaking gas prices. getting to work, running errands, driving to church. visiting loved ones, hitting the highway for a modest family vacation. all of this cost 88% more at the pump today than it cost when president biden put his hand on the bible last year. it is not either memorial day yet. the unofficial summer driving season has not i -- even begun. to be clear, this is not just president putin's price hike. the year 2021 saw the biggest gas price increased in three
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decades and that was before russia's escalation in ukraine. farmers and ranchers, truckers and small business owners are struggling to keep their tractors, 18 wheelers, and other work vehicles full of diesel. in addition to having to fill up their own, working families are paying for high fuel prices again at the checkout counter. one constituent in johnson county road to my office and said rapidly increasing gas prices are making it difficult for everyday people like me to make ends meet. he said he is facing rising costs but stagnant wages. another in ashland described driving past a gas station on his way to work and seeing that prices had hit $4.25 a gallon. it is fortunate to be able to pay those prices but worries other was will start having to give up things to put gas in
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their car. a third said the biden administration has decided to kill blank -- kyl -- he noted with disturbing disregard for the situation facing american families. since day one, from the keystone xl closure, president biden has put american energy independence on the chopping block. a lot of americans suffer and the far left digs in deeper. just yesterday for example, secretary granholm said this was more reason to accelerate the supposedly green energy transition that democrats are trying to force on the country, literally for years. they forgot that their preferred energy sources are not yet reliable or cost-effective.
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host: the leader of the republican party of kentucky on the floor talking about gas prices. is that her top economic concern? that is our conversation with all of you this morning as president biden touches down in asia earlier this morning. he visits south korea and japan on this sick state trip. he visits a semi conductor plant by samsung earlier this morning and gave remarks about the impact of the production of technology that it can have on the u.s. economy. [video clip] >> this plant makes the most advanced semiconductor chips in the world. semiconductors power our economies and enable our modern lives from automobiles to smartphones to medical diagnostic equipment. when it comes to the most advanced chips like the ones made here at samsung, there is only one -- it is only one of
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three companies in the world that makes these chips. it is an incredible achievement. because these little chips are only a few nanometers thick but they are the key to propelling us into the next era of technological and -- advancement. artificial intelligence, quantum technologies, 5g and much more. things we have not even thought of at this point. this plant also reflects the close bonds of innovation between our countries. much of the technology and machinery used to make these chips was designed and produced in the u.s.. by uniting our skills, and our technological know-how, this allows the production of chips that are critical to both our countries and essential sectors of our global economy. thanks to the incredible $17
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billion investment that samsung announced last may, soon to the u.s. in a facility like this one, a manufacturing the best chips in the world. thank you. host: president biden in south korea earlier this morning talking about our partnerships with asian countries like south korea and the importance of the supply chain and impacts of jobs in america. we're asking you this morning to tell washington were top concern about the economy. roger in illinois. you make under $30,000. welcome to the conversation. kick it off for us. good morning. caller: good morning. you have to understand the oil market. do you recall when the oil market was at $40 a barrel? when saudi arabia and russia were fighting's in terms of the capacity of how much to produce? saudi arabia has kept on almost
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$2.5 million -- 2.5 million barrels a day. that does have an effect. the u.s. has to make clear to the world that the oil market is responsible in terms of what the economy is doing. host: but is that were top economic concern? caller: corrects. the way the market is acted, look at the profits that will companies have made in 2021. the use and billions. host: so what should be done about that? caller: i think president biden is doing the right thing. we have to move to some other aspect of new technology. we have to move away from fossil fuels. the environment is important. in my opinion, what is happening in terms of new advances in
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technology would make our life much better. the republicans want to go back to digging oil. this is not the way to resolve the issue. that is my concern. host: roberts, in indiana. good morning to you create under $30,000, good morning. caller: good morning. i top concern -- my top concern is blankets and what i mean by that is that recently we have seen wage increases. before that, for almost 50 years, we did not see any kind of raise in the people and what they brought home. and what that could buy. right now, with inflation, it is
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taking away everything that was gained by the workforce, as far as wages and that along with inflation just seems like it is a never ending cycle. that is not a good term but the lower class just never seems to get a toehold to move up. why don't we have smaller companies? rather than just -- making these type of -- that way, one goes down like abbott nutrition for example. host: i understand your point. the congress passed yesterday a bill to address the baby formula shortage. let me read from the washington post. a bill passed unanimously in the
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senate and with bipartisan support in the house would allow mothers in the wic program who by half the formula in the united states a broader choice of formula during supply chain crises. that is one piece of legislation they have put forth. the president also implemented the defense act which allows them to bypass certain regulations and get more on the shelves. another headline to share with you on that is this shortage is expected to extend into june, according to u.s. officials. the situation continues here in the u.s.. with baby formula, the manufacturers, at least three of them, including abbott nutrition, their executives are going to be testifying before lawmakers next week on the house side. it will also hear testimony from the fda commissioner on this issue. we'll have coverage of it. go to our website
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yesterday when the fda commissioner testified, we covered the as well as you can find on our website at his stature top economic concern? seeing the shelves empty without the baby formula? if you are a new mom, we want to hear from you on that. some other headlines to share with you this morning. here is the washington post front page. xers are saying more of -- experts are saying that a recession may be on the way. the essay headline on the front page of the wall street journal this morning. the s&p 500 index is near bear territory. the benchmark is down over 18%. below the headline, rising rates. the prices cool off home sales. below that is another one. borrowers struggle with car
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loans and credit cards. do you fear an economic recession? is that top concern? stephen in new york. good morning to you. caller: good morning. republicans complain about the economy, drug prices, gas prices, inflation, and the price of food but listen carefully. they never speak up or propose any solutions. neither when they are in office today right or pass any legislation or solve any of these problems. in fact, they complained about the deficit only after they get $3 trillion to billionaires. host: so tell us what is your concern when it comes to the economy? what do you fear? caller: my concern is that the multinational corporations that run these countries will continue to raise their prices
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because inflation does not come from anywhere. these corporations which are making record profits are raising their prices just to make the american people suffer until president biden is out of office. that is what this is all about, i think. also yesterday republicans voted against the defense act to make more baby formula created -- more baby formula. host: democrats are making a similar argument to speak on the floor when they put price gouging legislation about gas prices for a vote. listen to, during yesterday's debates. kim schrier, democratic congresswoman, and a member of the energy and commerce committee explained the rationale and provisions for her bill. [video clip] >> at a time when people in my district and across the country are feeling the pain of high prices at the gas pump, congress sees to be to being all we can to bring down costs. gas prices in my neighborhood
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were already high at five dollars a gallon. but now for no apparent reason, just over the past week, prices are up another 10% at $5.50 a gallon. meanwhile neither the price of a barrel of oil or the cost of refining has changed. this is a problem. what is infuriating is this is happening at the same time that gas and oil companies are raking in record profits and then putting those dollars into stock buybacks. we understand when demand out shifts of supply and prices increase. but here is the thing. russian oil made up only 8% of our portfolio. the prices at the pump jumped more than 20%. that just feels like gouging. some might even call this profiteering. enough is enough.
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gas and oil companies should be held accountable to be transparent about their pricing and should be penalized for unconscionable excessive or extreme price hikes during a national emergency. many states already have logs on the books that defined price gouging during a time of disaster or emergency. yet, no clear federal laws prevent price gouging. the federal trade commission needs more tools to crack down on price gouging and to protect customers. this bill will give the ftc the ability to go after gas and oil companies and retailers that in a time of crisis? prices without justice -- a time of crisis jack up prices without justification. my constituents deserve their prices. what is happening right now feels wrong. it feels like gas price -- price
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gouging. the price of a barrel of oil has fallen in the past month but gas pump prices have -- are at an all-time high. the ftc needs the power to investigate and crackdown when there is true evidence of price gouging. i came to congress to stand up for the people of my district and i will continue to look for opportunities to go to bat for them and get some relief from economic pressures we are all facing right now. host: from the house for debate yesterday over gas prices. you are asking you to tell decision-makers in washington were top economic concern as the debate at the economy -- as they debate the economy nearly every day out here. it is your turn to let them know your concern. amy in gray, georgia. you are making under 30,000. that is how we have divided the
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lines. under 30,000, (202) 748-8000. between 30000 and $60,000, (202) 748-8001. over $60,000, (202) 748-8002. amy, let's hear from you. caller: good morning. i am going to be fine. economic ups and downs happen throughout life. but my main concern is the fact that one of our two political parties, the republicans, have turned into an authoritarian party and by economic health is not going to matter if i did not have any rights. media needs to do a better job instead of hyping this economic downturn and put in -- it in context of how the economy works. the major political party
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becoming authoritarian is different. host: ok amy. there are some bright headlines in the usa today of the economy. the economy could recover all jobs lost during the pandemic. the u.s. is on page two recover all 22 million jobs. overall, the nation lost 4.2% of its hundred 52 -- 152 -- jobs. the rebound has been decidedly uneven. of 557 industries analyzed, 57% still have payrolls below pre-pandemic levels. 1 in 6 is still down at least 10% according to the research to -- the research group. this is a text from ray in colorado who writes to say my primary concern is the creation
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of a new money by the federal reserve. we put gold and silver in the national supply to compete with currencies and cryptocurrencies. then you have economy in a lot of trouble created by and done nothing to decrease gas prices. in california, six tillers $.49 to $7.59. anthony, you make over $60,000, what is your concern from the economy? caller: i took my retirement in 2020 because it seemed like the optimal thing to do at the time. this is a huge mistake because now that $65,000 has turned into a very small amount of money. my chief complaint -- my chief concern is that while congress is putting relief packages out,
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i do not think they are addressing the long-term issue of our economy being out of control and no one is getting any use out of it. we need to put some real measures into place that allowed the working class to get real relief and a look -- in a long-term manner so that we can all get out of this hole we are at. you remember the great depression took almost 10 years to get out of. we are just now sitting to get into this back in 2019. that is my chief concern. host: what measure would give you economic relief? caller: thank you. unfortunately being retired means that i am not working. but i tried to put in for part-time employment which would give me about $10,000 a year, there is not any. only full-time jobs are
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available and of course employers are looking for younger people. host: you said he has six to $5,000, and now it is down? -- $65,000, and now it is down? caller: it is down, yes. host: what happened? caller: taxes and insurance and things like that. host: what happened to that money? caller: everything started to bounce out of control. i just went grocery drip just shopping. a three dollar bill went to a $500 bill. -- a $300 bill went to a $500 bill. we have the expenses. my gas bill just jumps. i am so surprised. i sent a message to them and asked why. host: anthony, i want to bounce
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this off of you. so kari arrives in the washington post opinion pages that president biden has the means to reduce inflation, why is he not acting? he writes that the appeal of most or all of former president donald trump's tariffs would be the single most effective way of reducing inflation in the near church. as a reminder, a terror is a tax on goods paid by the u.s. consumer who buys those goods. by definition, it is inflationary. it raises the price of goods and raises the price of domestically made equivalent goods as well. if a monster sells for more, than ford mgm voters also -- then ford and gm motors also raised their prices. in march, the institute for
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international economics produced a study that reversing most of the truck tariffs would reduce inflation by 1.3 percentage points. many endorse that study concurring that the trade barrier was the single biggest microeconomic measure by some bot -- by far that can be taken to alleviate inflation in the near term. the second would be immigration reform. this is the time to reverse restrictions on immigration. many are still in effect which have caused severe worker shortages in industries such as farming, construction, and health care. we lost that color but any of you can react -- that caller but any of you can react as well. would you like to see this action taken by the president to deal with inflation? reversing tariffs from the trump administration and the immigration regulations as well. carol in colorado springs.
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good morning. caller: hello. host: high, harold previewer on the air. caller: who was the congresswoman from washington that beautifully sums up price gouging with the oil companies who made billions just in the first quarter of this year? now, why did they make billions? because they wanted to buy back stocks. because they wanted to increase the stock value on the market of their stocks and make themselves the owners. now, i am sorry. california just announced last week that today have over 100 billion extra dollars surplus
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because of sales tax. that is unbelievable. you mean california is the only state along the water, along the coast, that has a surplus? i cannot believe price gouging, which has as you mentioned just about five minutes ago, you showed a headline that 6% of houses are down 6% in sales price. i will tell you why. the prices are too high. americans are addicted to watching television and seeing these beautiful houses that everyone has. everyone does not have that. 80% of americans with paycheck-to-paycheck.
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our taxes are too high. ask senator rick scott why he wants to increase taxes? every five years, social security and medicare. which means if reefs take over the house and senate in five years, -- if rupert -- if republicans take over the house incident in five years, we are in danger of losing social security and medicare. i am 76, i have a pension and make social security and medicare. now i have to worry about senator scott who stole when he was head of the insurer of a hospital chain in florida and nationwide actually. host: did you listen to senator scott's speech on this on his proposal? did you listen to the entire thing or did you listen or follow some reporting on it? caller: i actually looked it up
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on the internet. but his entire proposal included which is the sunset every five years and every five years, that means the house and senate is in republican hands -- if in republican hands were destroyed social security and medicare. host: what was your source? caller: unbelievable. this guy not only is a thief and his net worth is 250,000 -- 200 $50 million. if you spend any time in jail for-- host: i'm going to leave it there. top economic concern is our question this morning. stephen, under 30,000. hello. caller: good morning. i would like to say that the worst thing for the economy is that the debt is the highest in the world.
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host: our debt as a nation? caller: yes. we have the world's worst debt. host: and that's is her top concern? caller: yes. host: carlos in augusta, georgia. over 60,000. what do you think? caller: the federal reserve is my concern. because i remember when obama was in office early in the recession -- hello? host: yes, we are listening. he said the federal reserve very concerned? caller: yes. we are walking a tight rope right now because the administration under obama -- over an eight-year period of time, he got us out of the
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recession. now, under his administration and including trump's administration, they never aros. now, they don't know what to do coming out of this pandemic, so many people not working. now they are trying to thrust everyone back into the job market. we are just in unprecedented times. host: what did you think about the move by the federal reserve recently to increase interest rates to try and cool the economy? caller: they should have raised it a little higher than they did. they moved to slow. america's appetite right now coming out of the economy, and we are still in the covid. host: let me share with you the washington post headline we
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shared with you moments ago about more economists saying we could be heading toward recession. from there reporting, recession risks are high, uncomfortably high and rising, said the chief economist at moody's analytics. we need some very adept policymaking from the fed and a little bit of luck. this week, the former goldman sachs chief warned of a very high risk of recession. the wells fargo ceo said there is no question the u.s. economy is heading toward a downturn. former fed chair ben bernanke said the company could be poised for stagflation, a slowing economy combined with high inflation. those concerns, amid data that points to economic cooling, particularly in the interest-rate sensitive sectors that are already feeling the brunt.
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new home construction slowed in april, mortgage demand continues to decline. your top event -- economic concern. kevin in windsor, connecticut making in between $31,000 to $60,000. thanks for calling. go ahead. caller: that caller from colorado hit it on the money. the republicans get in, they get rid of social security and medicare, plus, what these red states are doing, rigging the elections, putting their own secretary of states in, that plays a part in the economy. these people in the red states, people are losing their right to vote. that is not freedom. i'm afraid that we are going to lose our democracy and go to an autocrat country. host: what about the economy,
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kevin? caller: we all have to work together, democrats and republicans. enough is enough. host: what about undoing the tariffs that former president trump put in place? caller: if that would help, more power to it. it seems like everyone is for themselves these days. we have to stick together and be united. host: congress came together to pass $40 billion more in aid to ukraine, approved by the house yesterday. there is also talk that the senate will quickly advise and consent the president's recommendation that finland and sweden become nato members.
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the president yesterday talking about that in the rose garden with the leaders of those countries, saying that he will try his best to fast-track their application. savannah, georgia, under 30,000. good morning. caller: good morning. i have something to add to this conversation. i think we need more mobility for people around this country. when i say that, i mean mobility other than cars. we need trains, electric transportation, light rail, take the burden off the individual. host: why do you say that, what would that do for the economy? caller: it would put more money in individuals pockets to put into other places of the economy, rather they're in their
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own car, their own gas tank. host: wellington, florida. good morning. caller: good morning, gretchen. my big concern has to do with the lack of real competition that exists in the american economy. i am saying that because you have so few companies in each sector that dominate the sector, they operate almost like oligarchs. it is not real competition taking place. in florida, i bought my house six years ago. in those six years, this house has acquired almost $200,000 in equity. that makes no sense whatsoever, it is not sustainable. the price of rent in florida is skyrocketing.
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you have so few people with so much money, they are coming into the communities, buying houses not to flip them, but just to increase the rent being charged. where are people going to be able to explore opportunities if they cannot find a place to live? do you know what the definition of a small business is in america? in america, a small business is less than 500 employees. how does that make sense? that is a political ploy. every time you hear these politicians talk about the small business, they are not talking about a small person. there is a point where tax to goods will begin to have diminishing returns. it is beneficial for the companies and the people that own those resources, but 50% of the population earns less than $30,000 a year.
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that is not sustainable with what is going on in the economy. structurally, there are changes that need to take place. over is basically controlled by three major companies. the people that operate the stock market, there are just a few big players and they dominate what is going on. host: let me pick up on that point on the stock market and share some headlines with you. worst may may not be over for the markets as stocks fell again yesterday. in the business and finance section of the wall street journal this morning, they have this headline, eight stocks lead the downturn. the percentage point contribution to the s&p 500 17.2% decline in total returns this year is mostly because of
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these eight stocks, apple, microsoft, amazon, alphabet, meta platforms, tesla, nvidia, netflix. it is these stocks that have contributed to the decline, from there reporting. they found the s&p has tumbled 18.2% in 2022, 17.7% when accounting for dividend and stock distribution. the stock markets former darlings have fallen even further. meta and nvidia are down 43%. the other five stocks have dropped between 23% and 36%. what did you think of that? caller: i think it proves the point about these large businesses. there are a few big players in
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the stock market. their decision to buy or sell can result in a 20% shift in what goes on in the economy. can you imagine these guys talking to each other, the level of control they have over what we do and what happens in the lives of the average american? if we had real competition, there should not be that kind of power that is generated by any one company or person in terms of their decision-making. it should be millions of americans. that is what makes us stronger. i always say we have the walmartization of the economy. i would rather have 200 or 300 small businesses in my community where i go to buy my car, that money stays in the community. i go to buy furniture, that stays in the community. when we have these big companies coming in, they are just sucking
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money out of the local economy, they become filthy rich, and then they tell us that they will forgive people's debt. host: more from the wall street journal reporting. apple, amazon, tesla, the parent companies of google and tesla, have gotten so big, they account for 25% of the s&p 500. the s&p 500 down 18% in 2022. let's go to paul in plantation, florida. we are talking about the economy and your top concern. what is it? caller: the stock market is tied to inflation. the reason that it is down is because they don't know what the fed will do about raising interest rates. my main concern is how beautifully the news media and
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the democrat party are gouging the brains of people into thinking that there is price gouging going on with the oil companies. many times have oil companies been accused of this, investigated, and found not to be gouging? do you recall that in the trump administration a barrel of oil actually dropped to zero? the price per gallon was approaching below two dollars a gallon. host: do you attribute that to the lack of demand during the pandemic, people being at home? caller: why weren't these oil companies price gouging? no, that is not true. the reason is there was so much oil being produced they could not store it all. instead of making money, they
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were having to pay for storage because the oil was not moving. we had 30 tankers offshore that were being paid just to sit there. don't tell me there is price gouging going on. allow me to explain to people a few markers that they can realize. the biden administration is lying, and they should know better, ok? the price at your local gas station changes from week to week, but the production of oil does not change from week to week. so what causes the changes in these prices? it is futures. oil is not priced on current production, as the biden administration wants you to believe. oil is determined by futures. here is how futures work. please give me the time to explain. if you are an oil company and
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you have a large amount of oil that will carry you through three months but you realize that because pipelines have been shut down and requirements for drilling have increased, you will not be able to produce oil in the following three months. so what will you do with the three months where you have a lot of supply? you will get as much money out of that as you can because you know in the future you will not have as much. that is what is happening. the biden administration shut down the pipelines, so oil companies realized, in the future, they will not be able to get as much supply of oil for themselves and the world market. it doesn't have anything to do with refining. it has to do with how much oil comes onto the world market. oil companies know they cannot produce as much money and put it on the world market. if they could, the price of oil
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would go down instantly. it would not take months. host: i understand your example. gary in fort myers, florida. caller: good morning. i would like to start off with, i have the luxury of living in florida, being managed by a team here -- i know this is a push for desantis -- but we don't have the trouble that the majority of the country is having, especially in the urban areas. i think we have a managerial team. i listen to the guy from colorado who claims that we are going to take away social security and all the benefits. where are they getting this stuff? you did try to challenge him on his source and you realize that he, like most democrats, they don't have any answer. when you ask them a question directly, they don't answer, they spin it out.
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then the guy with the rail idea from georgia, light duty trains and everything, it sounds great. but it will be billions and billions of dollars to make this stuff. they think it is going to -- somehow save the taxpayers money. in reality, the taxpayers have to pay for those things. i don't know, i just think the managerial team running our country right now, especially mayorkas, he is a championship liar. host: we will stick to the economy. michelle and auburn, maine. good morning. caller: my top concern is simply paying for the things that we need most such as groceries, gasoline, home heating oil. i do like the previous caller's
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idea of more mass, transportation options but i don't know what that would look like in a state like maine. we have some of the longest commutes. we are one of the highest estates depending on home heating oil. i am really worried about next winter already honestly. host: how much did you pay this past winter for oil to heat your home? caller: $1200 for 200 gallons. last year i paid $600, so it doubled. host: do you know when you are paying for groceries versus in previous years? caller: a bag of chicken wings is $35 at my local market. i have never seen anything like that. host: the chicken wing story is a headline on drudge report. caller: i saw that, and i said,
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i saw it at my local store. i grew up in new york. i know that milk is much cheaper in new york. that is something that people don't know about here in maine, but it is over five dollars a gallon now. $5.08 is what i paid. it is outrageous. one more thing that i want to point out that not many are covering. i am a mom, i have children. normally this time of year i would get the child tax credit, the tax returns that would help us get through the spring and summer. because the way the monthly payments were structured last year, families are not getting the refund at the time when we need it most. a lot of families are struggling more than ever. that is just another thing that has been on my mind. host: how much money do you have
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after you pay these bills that are increasingly higher, how much do you have left over at the end of the month? caller: now that it is summer, maybe $100, $150 just for discretionary spending. but that would be down in the negatives once october and november comes. host: because of the heating bill? caller: absolutely. that will crush families in the northeast, especially in maine. host: have you talked to your senators, members of congress? caller: i have called senator collins' office, jared golden here, but that's a great idea. we need help. i don't know if it is federal help, what we need, but we will need help getting through.
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the low income heating assistance program typically gives $700 in assistance for families, but you'll be looking at $5,000 to heat your home. host: michelle in maine, thank you for joining the conversation. let's go to larry in albany, georgia. good morning. caller: good morning, america. i want to say a couple of things right quick. in 2009, under obama, i want you to know that vice president biden helped save our economy during that time in the recession. they can look it up. now, this president, speaking to
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those 18 to 55 years old, president biden saved millions of lives when he started with the covid-19 all over the world. one of the greatest and smartest presidents in the world. now with the oil situation, he has given millions and millions of gallons to the oil companies to give to you to lower the prices, but the oil companies are price gouging. the oil that he has given to you, they are not letting that go right >> you can watch the rest the program if you go to we will take you like to discussion with white house economic officials on the state of the u.s. economy hosted by the center for american progress. live coverage on c-span. >> an average of 500,000 jobs per month in wages have grown


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