tv Washington Journal Jared Bass CSPAN August 28, 2022 7:15pm-8:01pm EDT
journal. every day, we take your call live on the air on the days news and policy issues that impact you. coming up monday morning, as the primary season comes to a close, we will talk about the outlook of the midterm elections and we will discuss monday's artemis test flight and the future of deep space exploration with a former national -- former nasa deputy administrator. that's monday morning on c-span, or on c-span now, our free mobile video app. join the conversation with your phone calls, facebook comments, text messages and tweets. nal" continues. host: we are joined by jared bass of the center for american progress and preston cooper of the foundation for research article opportunity. they join us for a chat about president biden student loan forgiveness plan. good morning.
guest: good morning. host: preston, can you start by telling us what is the foundation for research on equal opportunity and let us know how you approach this topic of student debt forgiveness? guest: thank you. the foundation for research on equal opportunity, we are a market east organization that we want -- market east organization that we want to improve the lives of people who leased have opportunity. we are focused on lowering the cost of college, health care, energy, pocketbook issues that are affecting americans. my perspective on the student loan forgiveness plan, announced by president biden this week, and just as a refresher, it will forgive the $20,000 of student debt for pell grant recipients, $10,000 for everybody else, and it would also reform repayments
going forward so that people will pay either half or less on their student loans going forward. my perspective on this plan, which is probably going to cost upwards of $1 trillion, according to estimates released by the penn warren budget model is it is not a well targeted use of taxpayer money. to say nothing of the fact that it is being issued by executive order without any debates or any input from congress, which is supposed to have authority over the power of the purse. and going forward, it is also going to create wrong incentives for colleges because president biden has created the expectation that rounds of forgiving student loans are going to be a regular feature of the executive branch's powers, and colleges are going to react accordingly by exploiting increased willingness to borrow, raising tuition, and passing the cost to taxpayers. host: jared, tell us about where
you were, the center for american progress, and your approach to this. guest: sure, the center for american progress is a nonprofit that seeks to deal with current day crises, such as the student debt crisis. right now, we have a crisis where people borrow, where folks go into default, or the realizing the economic benefits and opportunities provided by higher education. they delay in starting a family, a business, investing in communities, and that is a real crisis for all of america. by helping upwards of 43 million borrowers with over $1.6 trillion in debt, we are seeing the president take decisive actions to provide relief to student loan borrowers. these are people who have taken out certificates, and just to the finer point on this, college goers are not just bachelor
degree or graduate degree holders, they are people going to better themselves and taking out loans to go into certificate programs like plumbing, farming, and there are also parents of college students, farmers and plumbers, taking out loans to help their students, as well. we are providing relief through the present action to those people, tilde 43 million people who are struggling with student debt. we have been debating this for three years, and there have been congressional involvement and input, and we are seeing more congressional input through reactions to this, and, you know, we have 20 million people who are going to have their debt canceled in full, according to estimates. and 27 million about who will be eligible for upwards of $20,000 in debt cancellation because of the program. that is helping many students,
helping people who by and large, their families make below $60,000 a year, which is less than the median household income in the united states. we are helping those people. congress does have the power of the purse because they provided the funding upfront. $85 billion will go out to student loan debt right now, and we are talking about the modification of the authority the president has through the heroes act to waive or modify student loan contracts with people, so waive their debt. thank you for having the, and i look forward to debating the discussion. host: we will get to some of your calls. we want you to weigh in and ask our panelists questions. if you have student loan debt, call (202)-748-8000. if you have paid off student loan debts, call (202)-748-8001.
and everyone else, we want you to dial (202)-748-8002. again, we are talking about president joe biden's student loan forgiveness plan caller: -- plan. jared, a big part of the plan is relief for students who went to college on pell grant's. they can get up to $20,000 canceled as opposed to $10,000 for everyone else, as you have mentioned. tell us what are pell grant's? what kind of borrowers use them? and how can people even know if they qualify if they were pell grant recipients? guest: sure, so the pell grant is the foundation of federal aid within the higher education system and goes to the neediest of students. we talked about how a large majority of people who received the pell grant make below $60,000 or their families make
below $60,000, and it affords them the opportunity to be able to buy things like books, housing, pay for educational costs. however, when we talk about the share of the pell grant used to cover college, you see around 80%, so there was a concern around investment that has been going into the pell grant to actually help people afford the cost of college. this is actually helping people who have had to borrow. the other characteristic to the pell grant borrowers, they have to borrow more than counterparts, so this is helping to provide relief or aid on the backend to pell grant recipients who had to shoulder the burden of student debt because there was not enough to go around to begin with. so for people to know whether or not they have got the pell grant, log on to studentaid.gov and use their
id to figure out if they had a pell grant. also, you can go to studentaid. gov/debtreleaseannouncement. there are instructions to figure out if you qualify. this is supposed to help the neediest of individuals be able to afford higher education and better themselves and their lives. host: jared, i will ask you one more question and then i will come to you, preston. many see student debt as a racial justice issue. do you agree, i do you think the plan does enough to close some of the racial disparities om the economy -- in the economy? guest: i think the plan is the first step. the president talked about the announcement and about how this is about narrowing debt. it will not solve it completely, but because of characteristics of black borrowers who tend to borrow more, who have to take
longer to pay off their debts, sometimes we even owe more than we originally took out after 12 years, and providing debt cancellation will help target those things. a large grant of pell grant recipients -- a large population of pell grant recipients are black. i think we are helping the target aid to reduce the racial wealth gap, but it is the first step. we need more actions and policies to actually make more of an effort to narrow the gap. host: preston, we hear a lot about fairness. do you think, you know, if this is a fair policy/ there has been -- fair policy? there has been a lot of talk about what happens to people who already paid off their debt and their potentially left out but they need relief because they do not have any debt to pay off now. what are your thoughts about the
fairness issue that has been raised from the policy? guest: i think if you make a list of all the people who need financial help, most are in the federal government, and if you make a list of people who benefit of this week's announcement, i don't think there will be a lot of overlap. if you never went to college and only have a high school degree and no student debt, you get nothing from this. if you went and got a graduate degree, if you got a pell grant that many years ago, even if you are doing fine now, you will get $20,000 worth of relief. if you went to a community college, yes, there are some people who borrow to go to community college, but that accounts for a small share of outstanding student debt. most people who graduate with an associates degree from a community college graduate completely debt-free. this policy is still going to be skewed toward people who are better off, people who have bachelors degrees and graduate degrees, and the policy will
skew towards younger people who may be toward the beginning of their career, so it may look like their incomes are more middle-class, but over the course of their lifetime, they are probably going to have much higher incomes and end up in the top half of the american society. i do not really think that this makes a whole lot of sense as a targeted policy. if we are going to spend $500 billion, $1 trillion on providing leads to people, why are we at conditioning that on if you went to college, how expensive the college was that you went to, and the timing? if you already paid off your student loans, you get nothing. if you have not, you could potentially get a very big check from the federal government. ny did retirements of ash and why did we -- and why did retirements so people who are borrowing going forward will apparently not get any relief. if we have another democratic president, they may get another round of relief, but that creates a whole other bag of
incentives we can talk about later, but it is arbitrary and not targeted toward the neediest people in society, and i don't think it would be defensible. host: let's get to some of your calls on the issue. first up, jay in riverdale, maryland, who has already paid off your loans, i believe? tell us your thoughts. caller: there was nothing said about that. when donald trump bailed out the farmers for the trade with china to 16 billion, and it was 01% of that money, there is a racial component. we have a score of countries that offer free college or low-cost college, yet, the u.s. doubles their budgets as far as
the military. germany, france, denmark, all of them together, the military budget, is eclipsed by the u.s. so the investment in military industrial complex were a lot of the congresspeople have stocks and interest in, compared to the education of your citizenship and citizenry, this shows that as long as there is a one-time benefit given to average or black americans, then it is fine. host: next up is carol in new york. carol, do you have thoughts or questions? caller: yeah, i have a lot of questions. i'm so tired of everything being black, white, green and yellow.
how about everybody would like to rights? not black and brown rights, not white rights, but equal rights. my partner graduated from school a few years ago, 10 years ago, and the whole ecosystem is a crock, and we are senior citizens, and when he graduated, he paid off student loan completely, so he gets nothing. how about the idea that we, instead of charging the 2% that we would charge to buy a house, the federal government was stealing over 6%, how about knocking those things down? you should be able to get a federal loan for no interest. no interest. as far as this crock on that's gave everything for nothing,
can't people get it through their head that you get nothing in this world for nothing? host: jared, i want to let you respond to the fairness question as a proponent of this policy. how do you respond to those who say it is not right to pay off debt that other people will not be able to reap the benefits of? guest: yeah, so i think, first, i don't think it is right for loan borrowers to struggle for years and not be able to receive it, so we have a few select programs that offer cancellation or 10 years, and it is supposed to offer forgiveness after 20, 25 years, and those programs are not working, so people were promised debt relief, but they never got it. i also think that this argument about people who have paid off their loans, i think that is great area i think it is great that people who have interacted
with the system of positive reactions but not everyone does though. i think that is why the president did what he did. also for folks who struggle to make it through college, i think that is evidence in favor of change, not against it. if the only way to get through college is to make widespread sacrifices for yourself, for your family, and have to suffer, and we should do something about that. we should make the path easier to travel and not just expect people to keep walking down a path that is overgrown, that has brambles and thorns, just because they are able to do it. to her point about future changes, i think that congress can step up to the plate to make long-lasting reforms. she talked about other investments that other countries may. the president doubled down on that stage during his announcement this week, so i think we can look to the future and look to congress to make
changes to our loan system moving forward so that we can prevent this reemerging. host: our next caller is linda in utah, who has paid off loans. go ahead. caller: good morning. the following about student loans, and i don't think a lot of people who have not taken out student loans, understand that it is owned by the federal government, but there are over 20 services on the internet, they make money on the amount of interest you pay on your student loan, and they keep reselling it, and you cannot declare bankruptcy on your student loan because they decide that is against the law. when i took out my student loan, i was 8%. i was unable to load the interest rate.
still, a loan in itself is about a program created by george w. bush, the first bush president, and i think what has really gone on has helped universities who grow, i'm all for universities growing, but it became a crutch that universities used to grow. the more money you pay for tuition. when i went to school, tuition was maybe 2000 to 2000 a year, -- 2000 to 3000 a year. it has caused problems that were not foreseen. host: preston, your thought on that caller's point? guest: i think she brings up a good point in the rising tuition. i think we could stop and think about the implications of the view that canceling student debt is necessary. people take on student debt to go to college, to get a better
education, to achieve economic mobility. if people are doing all of that and not able to pay back their student loans, that suggests that for a lot of people, the promise of college is not delivering on its promise of economic mobility for a lot of people. going forward, we really need to be thinking about, you know, not just how are we making college more affordable, but how are we going to make college deliver on that promise? right now, the cost of college has gone up a ton over the past several decades, a lot of it is due to increases in administration and stuff that is really not delivering value for students, and, also, you have a lot of degree and certificate programs out there which are not providing a lot of economic value. there are a lot of programs where they do not increase student earnings enough to justify the cost, especially at the graduate degree level. you have a lot of masters degrees that do not make a lot of sense. "the wall street journal"
reported last year that columbia university, and ivy league, is selling students $180,000 masters degree in film, where the earnings for students after they graduate from the program are only about $30,000 a year. and they are getting tons of federal money in order to offer the programs. we could talk about increasing the pell grant. we could talk about all of these college affordability moves, but we are not going to fix the problem if we do not actually bring down the underlying cost of college, bring down what colleges are actually spending, and make sure that any federal subsidies are being targeted to programs that are actually providing students with a return on investments. host: let's get another caller. kenny environ, georgia, what are your thoughts -- kenny in georgia, what are your thoughts? caller: my question is for preston, if there are any republican kids out there with student loan debt and they are eligible, i want to hear preston
convinced them that they are dummies for applying, thank you. guest: well, you know, i do not have any resentment for people who are benefiting from yesterday -- excuse me, from this week's policy move. i'm sure that many children of republican politicians will benefit, and i do not resent them in any way, good for them, but i do question the larger policy wisdom of the move. we are at 9% inflation right now. this will probably add 30 basis points to inflation, according to the committee for responsible federal budget, which means more spending. the rest of america is going to pay for it. whether that kind of transfers wealth from the rest of america to small group of student borrowers really makes sense. i really question that. host: next caller is lance in fort lauderdale, sort of, go ahead -- fort lauderdale, florida, go ahead. caller: i think this is
terrible. the underlying message it sends to people is that if you make commitments, you do not have to lead it. this goes through, i don't know, if it goes through, you are going to help out a small group of people, and then the republican -- the public getting loans this year, they will think, i might as well get more loans because by the time i have to pay them back, i can talk the government into forgetting them again. you are setting a precedent for people, go ahead and scan the system. if this was the colleges that were forgetting the loans, this i could agree with. maybe they should think about what they are selling and what it is worth, but as it is now, you are basically telling people a mistake in the system -- people, stay in the system, borrow money, because you never have to pay back, and i think that is terrible. host: conrad in philadelphia, pennsylvania, you are on. caller: yes, how are you doing? my question is for preston.
i wanted to say this, you know if they cancel the loans for the -- the low income people that have filed for loans, you know, they saying that it is going to make the cost of living go up, taxes are going to go up, but, listen, people making under $30,000, they are not in that category, what they're talking about on tv. they have always been poor. we were not born into a rich family, so if a mother and father makes $200,000 a year, they will get $10,000 a month, but people working at mcdonald's, inflation is never going to affect us. we are not in that category. rich people -- they hung up on me. host: go ahead, preston, do you want to respond? guest: sure. i think this kind of underscores the poor targeting issue of
president biden's announcement that we do have a lot of people in this country who might not have student debt who are struggling to get by, and if we are going to target the least, why don't we target the people who are in the greatest financial need. just to give an example, so the child tax credit is something that had bipartisan support, you know, and expanding that child tax credit would benefit people for the lower end of the income spectrum, and you could extend that for decades just for the cost of yesterday's -- excuse me, this week's announcement. if we are going to spend money on america, why don't we spend it on the people who most need the help? not necessarily college and grad school graduates. it just does not make any sense. host: we are talking to preston and jared about president biden's student loan forgiveness plan announced earlier this week. let's listen it now to president biden, explain his plan, and
defend the economic cost during his remarks on wednesday. [video clip] pres. biden: it will pay for the programs many times over. i will never apologize for helping americans, working americans and middle-class, especially not to the same folks who voted for eight to trillion dollar tax cut -- voted for a $2 trillion tax cut that slow the economy, did not to leopard, -- do a lot for economic growth, and was not paid for, and racked up this in norma's debt. just as we have never apologized when the federal government for gave almost every single cent of over $700 billion in loans to hundreds of thousands of small businesses across america during the pandemic. no one complained that those loans caused inflation. a lot of these folks with small
businesses are working and middle-class families. they needed help. it was the right thing to do. so the outrage over helping working people with student loans, i think is simply wrong, dead wrong. [end video clip] host: let's take more of your calls, if you have student loan debt, dial (202)-748-8000. if you have paid your debt off, dial (202)-748-8001. and everyone else, your number is (202)-748-8002. next, we have shelby in albany, georgia. you have loan debt now, shelby. caller: yes. good morning. i have loan debt as a parent. i have three young millennialss. one who did pharmacy five year degree, and two who did -- when did radiology, the other did ob/gyn.
they did receive merit scholarships, but, because of the advanced degrees, -- i'm an african-american woman, upper middle class suburbia lifestyle, so i, though, support holistically because there is a construct that comes from historic -- i am in my mid-60's. they are now 40, so they came from a black construct of sacrifice, a family that sacrificed much, and they themselves are now in the service of having their loans because they are public service, they are serving in the radiologist and ob/gyn and the pharmacist at the v.a., and the radiologist and the ob/gyn is serving the public service for the forgiveness, but let's speak to merit. i called about the merit funding
that we get. the real construct is a historical journey that we did not -- black people, pro-marginal people, i am in my mid-60's, i went through all segregated schools and then at graduate had to be sent north from the south to appear in graduate programs because of segregation, so this is the historic notion that you refuse to explain and include in this conversation. we have not had -- we created a lottery system so that we could give and buy the votes. i remember well when that rotary started -- lottery started in georgia, florida, tennessee has it. primarily middle-class, my neighbors, my neighbors' children, middle and upper-class white children, received the merit because of the historical value and problematic history that this country --
host: i think we got your point, appreciate your call. jared, can you tell us more about some of the other provisions in biden's plan that is intended to address the issue beyond just debt forgiveness? guest: of course. preston alluded to this earlier about the needs to not just have a cancellation to other reforms, as well, so increase in grant aid, also the loan program for giving options, and then strengthening accountability, and the president touched on all of those. first, there was the change to the income retirement program, which was capped at the percentage of the discretionary income, how much of student loan you have to pay back. that is changed from the current plans right now. when president bush started it at 16%, president obama changed
it to 10%, and now president biden is changing it to 5%. and then, also reducing the payment period, so under the plan now under current law, it is twenty-year repayment, you know, repayment window, and it will reduce it now to 10 years for folks who have about $12,000 on their original balance, or under $2000 on their original balance. the caller called up the changes to the psl select program to make it easier for more folks to qualify and have more payments qualify, and we see the benefits of the waiver we have right now. also, the president talked about options for the cost of college, and strengthening accountability within our system to ensure that folks, when they do attend college going forward, they receive college education, get rid of problematic creditors who
primarily go off to colleges, so there is more work that needs to be done, the president is outlining some plans moving forward to help address some of those issues, and go into those issues with more detail, all that so president biden cancel student debt, but there are other things to this announcement that speaks to the payment pause, as well, and the policy under the current administration to the biden administration now will end december 31, 2022. host: let's go to another caller . jane in north carolina. you have student debt. caller: yes. well, i do not have it now. i paid off student loans. i wanted to have a fresh start in life, a start that i did not have. i have no trouble with the president forgiving students.
i will tell you why, i'm originally from ohio. ohio, just last year, they passed a bill to give student vouchers to parents who have kids in private schools. they decimated the public schools, but they gave vouchers to students in private schools to help them pay to go to private school. still, you have teachers on strike in ohio because they are not getting the money for public schools. you do not hear the people in public school saying, well, they should not have got those vouchers. but they got them. and most of those private schools are catholic schools. in cincinnati, there are more catholic schools than public schools. you know, so this game about who gets a "hand" or a chance to get
some of that debt off of them is always about who is getting the money themselves. they have been getting the money for years. host: let's go on to another caller. linda in spring hill, florida, what are your thoughts? caller: hi, please give me a minute. i am very sick and tired of the black/white issue. it should not be that way, and you are creating prejudice. my parents, my relatives fought a new england and died for you. offering that up to me, that is what i'm tired about. student loans. i have no children. i have been paying taxes for student loans all my frick and left, and i'm tired of it. if you cannot afford it, do not go because most of it is stupid. go to a trade school.
go to a different college that allows lower, you know, lower colleges and stuff instead of ivy leagues and crab. it is ridiculous. i do not owe any of you people, -- host: let's go to the next caller in missouri, tell us your thoughts. caller: yes ma'am. i believe that universities who made all this money, the money is in their hands. it is recruiting this money from the universities to bailout these useless degrees, and what it does is it perpetuates itself . most of these people graduate from useless universities with useless degrees and become professors teaching these useless degrees. we have got to stop that. we have got to get the money back from these schools. there was one university called
kaplan that made millions and millions of dollars and went out of business, and sold out to purdue university who does not recognize kaplan university. so, let's go back to the universities, the ones who are the real thieves who stole the money. host: we are talking about president biden's student loan forgiveness plan. this is from a poll that found an arrow majority of americans support for giving up to $10,000 in federal student loans but support waiting for proposals of a larger amount. it shows that 55% of americans support forgiving up to $10,000 of student loan debt, but it goes down to 47% when the number is up to $50,000, and when the proposal is forgiving all student loan debt, support goes down even further to 41%.
we are talking with jared and preston. let's get another call. michelle in whittier, california, what are your thoughts or questions? caller: my question is, what are the numbers of black and minority recipients versus white recipients you got pell grant and loans? host: jared, can you talk about the racial breakdown of schools and if they can or will benefit from the relief, to clearly it comes to pell grant's? guest: yes, as i alluded to earlier, a larger share of black students receive pell grant's compared to that of their white peers, and then the breakdown as far as who borrows more and defaults, you know, basically the burden being harder on black and brown borrowers for sure.
i think what we will both see in the coming weeks and 10 days, based off of the president's plan is who will benefit by race, but, certainly, by the white house's estimates from what they're proposing and other recipients, there will be a chance to narrow the racial wealth gap here, so there is only a benefit to all borrowers here, but it would help to alleviate some of the burden that is shared by lack borrowers in particular. host: our next caller is tim in colorado, your thoughts or questions? caller: good morning. my thoughts of this, you know, i agree with president biden for student loan forgiveness for the simple reason, two of them. one, he mentioned in his speech
ppp forgiveness loans. nobody shouted about that because when you hear some of these politicians who have taken these ppp loans, they have got forgiveness for over millions of dollars. let's talk about 2008, the housing crisis, nobody has went to prison, and then they had the audacity and nerve to go to the government and ask for almost $1 billion to save their company basically being too big to fail, but now because the president realized, hey, i want to take debt off middle-class people who have student loans, if you are not arguing or making a bunch of noise about 2008 and you were not making any noise about ppp forgiveness loans for some of the politicians who were taking those loans and got forgiveness,
be quiet. let it be an equal playing field. you are not whining and crying when the rich go out and commit crimes and then go after the public to save them. that is their welfare program. host: let's let preston respond. guest: well, i want to clarify the issue about the ppp loans because i think that there is a lot of confusion about what these loans actually were. first of all, they were not supposed to be loans at all. basically, ppp was enacted in the midst of an economic collapse. we were emerging millions of jobs per week in early 2020 with the covid pandemic. with the public a sickly set is, we are going to give loans to biz -- basically said as we are going to give loans to businesses and forgive them if they don't lay off their workers. that is what the program was. it was a program intended to make sure businesses had the funds to keep their workers on payroll in the midst of this unprecedented economic collapse.
and it was structured as a forgivable loan program because it was much easier to administer than having everybody apply for grants, and anyone who ever applied for government benefit knows that it took forever, and they wanted to get the money out to go quickly, so it was structured as forgivable loans. there is really no comparison to student debt because ppp was a one time, a one-time program, not ongoing, the loans were always meant to be forgiven, and in contrasted student debt, student loans, the federal government could make $85 billion in student loans over the next year, you know, and even as the federal government is forgiving loans that have been made in the past, you know, there is no thought going forward about what is going to happen to those loans going forward. there really is just no comparison between those two programs as to the bank bailouts and trump tax cuts, i think that you can cast a lot of versions
on the policy wisdom of those. you can say these may not have been the best policies, and i think he would not get much argument from either, but one bad policy does not justify another. if one party passes this massive waste of money, then the other party does not get a get out of jail free to waste a bunch of money, too. we are trillions in debt, and as long as the parties keep up this tit for tat by passing wasteful, expensive policies, we are not going to solve the going forward. host: let's go to robert in washington, d.c. caller: yes, hi, i just went to make a comment about fairness, which seems to trouble a lot of people. i had a student loan. i paid it off. it was 30,000, $40,000 in today's dollars, and i had a job
and i could afford to paid off area what is wrong with that -- paid off. what is wrong with that? a tornado passed, and we all chipped in to fix it up, and i did not know where oklahoma was, i had never been there, but we are americans, and that is what we do. eight guy called in i think yesterday, he worked in the construction sector on the same topic, and you think the construction sector does not get huge government subsidies and subsidizing mortgages, tax abatements, and publicly funded baseball stadiums/ it is ridiculous -- stadiums? it is ridiculous these complaints. stop the whining and get a life. host: our next caller is rob from kansas city, missouri, go ahead. guest: good morning -- caller: good morning, everyone. i love the weight preston softballs all the republican trading of dollars for tax giveaways but is hyper focused on student loans.
if the job of the government is to avert crisis, and we have done that for a long time, student loan is at one point seven point -- $1.7 trillion debt that can balloon into the housing crisis echo we had during the pandemic, so the government is basically doing its job because what you have on the republican side? for student loans, nothing. thank you, president aydin, and thank you, elizabeth warren, for making this happen area i'm probably going to get $20,000 paid off. by the way, if you don't pay your student loans, you know it happens when you retire? they take it out of your social security check, so they have got to fix the problem. thank you. host: we are going to wrap it up. we have been talking about president biden student loan forgiveness program with jared bass of the center for american progress and preston cooper of the foundation for research an equal opportunity. >> c-span's washington journal
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