tv The Journal Editorial Report FOX News October 10, 2009 11:00pm-11:30pm EDT
bitnlriim t. fostvele >> this week on the journal, editorial report, obama's afghanistan decision. the white house weighs its next step and find a four-star antagonist for its war time jitters and health care's big break, the cbo briefs new life into the democrat's reform plan. and offers political cover to skittish members of congress, plus, the administration touts the success of its stimulus as unemployment hits new highs. so, where are those jobs? all that, and the president's peace prize next. welcome to the journal editorial report, i'm paul gigot.
eight years after the beginning of the war an trumped up dispute with his top advisor, president obama considered his next step in afghanistan. the president appears to be undecided how to respond to the proposal by general stanley mcchrystal for a major troop buildup. in a memo partially leaked, the war could allegedly be lost without a buildup. reportedly asked the president for 40,000 more soldiers. >> the president of the institute for study of war, she served as a member of general mcchrystal's strategic assessment team in june and july of this year. welcome, good to have you here. >> thank you very much. >> so, you-- so general crystal has submitted his plan for a counter insurgency strategy in afghanistan. you support that, why? >> i do. in order to have a correct strategy for a war, we actually have to understand first, the nature of the conflict and the
nature of the conflict in afghanistan is an insurgency, that is to say there are elements of the population that are rejecting the legitimacy of the government and trying to overthrow that government and establish a government of their own. of course, the key movements among this are the taliban, led by omar and they really see themselves as the legitimate government of afghanistan. so, in order to proceed, to success in afghanistan, we have to start by understanding we have an insurgency, an indigenous insurgency and sees itself as the government of afghanistan. that's what it's trying to do. >> here is the argument, you hear the opponent. it's bigger than iraq, ill-gore verned and even 40,000 nor troops won't be enough troops to practice a proper counter insurgency in that large of an environment and ungovernable
place. how do you respond to that? afghanistan, first of all, is governable and throughout history, throughout recent history has been governed with the exception of the past 30 years. when afghanistan has been torn by civil war. in order to succeed with the counter insurgency strategy, what we need to do is to protect the population of afghanistan, from the campaigns of intimidation, and campaigns of assassination, that the taliban is engaged in and in critical areas, by critical areas, i mean those that are important to the taliban, those that are important to the government and those that are important to us. so, in order to secure afghanistan, we have to generate population security, but we don't have to generate it across the whole country. we need to generate it in the areas where the insurgency is real and where basically tribes have historically supported the government or historically been anti-taliban, but over time, because we haven't been able to protect the people, have turned ever more passively and actively
to supporting the taliban because it's their only choice. so, rather than securing the whole country weeks just need to secure certain parts. >> so do you think that 40,000 troops is really enough? what do we have, about 140,000 afghanistan soldiers and police and that's not nearly the same number we had in iraq, even though we have a bigger territory here, is 40,000 adequate or should we need more? >> i think that 40,000 is the minimum quantity that we need in order to be able to change the dynamics of the fight. the enemy now has momentum. it now has initiative. throughout the areas in the south. 40,000 troops gives us enough, i think, to secure some of the areas of the south that are really critical. around kandahar, around hellmont and perhaps some of the areas in the east critical around other places. and reversed the process by which the enemy has taken control of these areas.
is it enough to win? i don't know, but it's certainly enough to change the direction of the fight. >> well, what about the argument that in fact, the taliban really isn't the united states enemy. the united states enemy, the people who attacked us at 9/11 were al-qaeda. and we can go after al-qaeda in the border areas in afghanistan and pakistan with a counterterrorism strategy. that is, go back to our bases, use search and destroy mission froms those bases and go after al-qaeda and the taliban really isn't our fight. it's the afghan's fight, but it's not our fight. what is wrong with that argument? >> first, i think we must be clearer of that if fact, al-qaeda recognizes the taliban is the legitimate government of afghanistan and that the taliban and the network, the major group that we're fighting in eastern afghanistan have had longstanding ties to al-qaeda and in particular, to osama bin laden. and in fact, we're responsible for inviting him into the country and those ties persist today. so let us not think that just
because the taliban sees itself as the gft of afghanistan that it doesn't see that government of afghanistan as part of the overall spectrum of al-qaeda governance throughout the region and indeed throughout the globe. there's just the pro vips of afghanistan, but secondly. >> wait a second. your argument would be if in fact the taliban does begin to take over parts of afghanistan which might happen with we withdraw in part or whole, that al-qaeda would in fact come back and use that, those areas as a sanctuary? >> i do indeed believe that that is the case because al-qaeda has explicitly said that it recognizes the taliban as the legitimate leadership and hopes for its return for that reason and al-qaeda needs a safe haven and a sanctuary. so we mustn't delude ourselves into thinking that these are two different groups that have no common ideology or objectives.
so indeed, i do think that that's a great risk. but i think we should also talk about the problems of pure counterterrorism strategy that's been discussed in the white house because what we've learned from our experience in iraq and also from our experiences in pakistan, and from afghanistan, is that in fact we need to have troops on the ground in order to provide the intelligence that we need, in order to conduct the kinds of strikes that we would like to conduct against high value terrorists and without forces on the ground, we cannot succeed in the counterterrorism. >> we can't get that kind of intelligence unless you have boots on the ground. all right, kimberly kagen, thanks for joining us. >> thank you very much. >> when we come back, health care's big fray. momentum bills ahead of tuesday's finance committee vote. giving the skittish the coverage they need. >> and giving support for the
>> democrats breathe a big sigh of relief this week after the congressional budget office declared the baucus health care bill would reduce the federal deficit by 81 billion dollars. the much anticipated cbo score may give political coverage to skittish members of both parties as some prominent republicans hop aboard the reform train. joining the panel this week, the wall street columnist and editor, dan ettinger, joe rago and senior economics writer steve moore. so, joe, we learned this week that miracles do happen. >> yeah, that's right. >> you can have a new entitlement for millions of people and it will reduce the deficit.
how did this he conjer this miracle. >> where to begin, paul? ten years of program, six years of revenue. >> spending on this program doesn't begin until 2014. >> 2014. but the taxes begin next yearments next year. and i mean, you've got all sorts of phantom spending cuts that will never happen in practice, you've got big tax increases on health insurance industry that will be passed down to all-- >> so, 190 billion dollars worth of tax increases on insurers, on device makers, on pharmaceutical companies. >> on hospitals. >> how is that going to reduce the cost of health care, if you tax somebody and they pass-- more and they pass the costs on to consumers, won't that raise the price? >> well, you know, that's part of the reason the situation is so absurd and the way the media and the press is taking, the and the political class is taking this, you'd think they'd be a little bit more skeptical of what's going on here. >> dan, do you believe this or
is this a faith-based exercise? >> well, i think it's a faith-based exercise, but i also think maybe they're playing with fire. clearly, the democrats have decided they're going to get something out of this, no matter how they have to do it. but, i think, you know, the town halls were real. that anxiety was real. people, look, 67% at a minimum have no idea what's going on with this bill. and i think people go into their doctors, they ask them, the doctors probably say to them, you know, i have some concerns of my own. and if what they enact then causes problems in the medical system of the sort that we've been writing about for months, i think there's going to be a backlash against what they've done and a backlash against the democrats who enacted it. >> you know, steve, appears to be some momentum behind this because you have bob dole come out this week and say he was in favor of some of the president's reforms in principle. you had arnold schwarzenegger, the governor of california say the same thing. bill frist former majority leader of the senate come back,
he back-tracked a bit, but enforced it in principle. doesn't this bill have new momentum? >> it does, but i don't think you'll see many republicans vote for anything like the baucus bill. possibly they might get olympia snowe of maine and maybe one or two possible other republicans, but i don't see this as being anywhere near a bipartisan bill in the end and i want it say something about this congressional budget office score because you know, paul, you and i have been in this game a long time and we know that what has been driving these enormous deficits that we've seen for the last ten and 20 years, and what's driving the forecasts of enormous deficits in the future is precisely run away entitlement. we create these programs and the costs gallop out of control and we simply can't get them under control. so this idea that somehow we're going to create this trillion dollar new entitlement and it's going to reduce the deficit, paul, that doesn't test the laugh test to me. >> on that point, they say
they're going to get several hundred million dollars out of medicare. of course, without reducing any kind of quality of care, but they are going to do it. how do they manage that? >> i think the only real cut is about 120 billion dollars that comes out of a program called medicare advantage which gives one out of five seniors private option. >> in medicare, private insurance option. >> private insurance options within the medicare program. but, you know, one thing they have is every year medicare automatically cuts fees to doctors which congress then promptly reverses. >> and calls it savings. >> and calls it savings. so, i mean, you just take, you take these, 200 billion dollars of costs off the books and then fill it back in every year. so you're passing something new you can say you're using it to pay for it when in fact those savings never happened and that's one reason the deficits explode in the future. one they think i want to ask you about is medicaid. this bill is going to expand medicaid in the state. a joint state federal program.
tens of billions of dollars, but there are some senators who are getting a car of out for some of their states. tell bus that. >> well, you know, harry reid. >> senate majority leader. >> senate majority leader. there's a big population in nevada going on medicaid and normally those costs would be split with the states and congress. he gets a huge bailout, michigan gets a huge bailout, there's other elements. new york chuck schumer. >> new york, chuck schumer, they've got the tax on high cost insurance policies, all sorts of politically connected democrats get a pass for their states on those, so, you're really seeing health care for thee, but not for me. >> it's good to be-- when we come back, vice-president joe biden declares mission accomplished and says that the economic stimulus plan has succeeded
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>> we have created somewhere between 750 and a million it00,000 jobs in america. we're reinvesting, we're reinvesting and getting people off their knees back to work. >> that was vice-president joe biden on monday, touting the success of the administration's economic stimulus plan. but where are all those jobs? his remarks came just three days after the labor department announced another 260,000 lost jobs in september. bringing the unemployment rate to a 26-year high of 9.8%. overall, the economy has shed 2.8 million jobs, since the stimulus passed in february. we're back with dan hittinger and steve moore and also, joining the panel editorial board member jason riley. so, steve, we've got 3 to 4%
growth as people are saying in the third quarter and probably into the fourth quarter. that's a growing economy, not great from the lows, but it's growing. so where are the jobs? >> well, you know, you've played that joe biden clip and the joke in washington these days, paul, is that barack obama's going to want to trade in joe biden under the cash for clunkers programs if he keeps talking like this. nobody believes that we're creating jobs like you said, we lost 260,000 jobs last month. we've lost almost 3 million jobs since the stimulus plan was originated. >> why are we losing those jobs? why weren't we seeing new job creation with the recovery? >> where would they come from, paul? everything that we've done in the last year, i would argue, has been bearish for jobs. i mean, we keep loading new class on small businesses and we have bailouts and huge stimulus plans and government spending doesn't create jobs and can't think after single thing we're doing in washington that is inspiring business toss expand
and to hire new workers, in fact, i would argue just the opposite. all of the new taxes and all of the new debt and all of the threats of inflation from all the money creation is actually causing businesses to contract their operations. >> look, 800 billion dollars worth of stimulus, 780 billion, that's a lot of money and they promise if you had the stimulus, you would have unemployment below 8%, with, with the stimulus below 8%, without it they said it would get to about 9. it's 9.8. why hasn't that created jobs? >> well, a lot of that stimulus money has not kicked in yet. >> 3 or 400 billion has. >> in the meantime, one. things steve left out we've raised the minimum wage, that's increasing the cost of hiring people. >> particularly for low skilled workers. >> with the teenage unemployment right now 26%? and for-- >> astronomical. >> and for black male teenagers. even worse. >> 50%. >> it's even worse, but to steve's point, where is the growth going to come from? if you're an entrepreneur, what prospects do you see out there
for you in the obama economic agenda? he is going to increase taxes on dividends and capital gains and he's going to increase taxes on top earners. these are the most productive members of our society. people who create jobs, who expand businesses and build factories, what do they have to look forward to in obama's economic agenda. >> let's elaborate a bit. there's a lot of talk around washington now, trying to reese resurrect a $3,000 tax credit. for each person a company hires, 3,000 bucks, won't that help? >> no, it's essentially a zero sum operation, you're basically taking tax money to hire peter to pay paul. >> and here you're saying, well, look, we're not getting hiring, here is some relief. >> right. >> temporary. >> and also has to be between two years, three years maybe. >> it's only the strongest regions like the southeast and the southwest that are likely to take advantage of a tax credit like this. the northeast, which is flat on
its back is unlukely to really use this sort of thing to hire new workers. >> the other point, it's temporary as you just mentioned. this job that will be created will be lasting only as long as the credit in most cases, i mean, if we really wanted to stimulus growth permanently, we would lower the payroll tax, that's what businesses need. >> steve, some republicans in congress are supporting this nonetheless, eric cantor, the-- who is a member of the house leadership has said he likes this idea, let's talk about it. what do you think, is this, is this a real prospect of passing? >> i don't know, but i'll say this, i think paul, that the republicans are playing small ball when it comes to the economy right now. i think this economy is in a lot of trouble. i think when you look at the collapse of the dollar, when you look at the fact that when you count people that aren't looking for jobs, we've got a 17% unemployment rate. i think we should be talking about major thing to create jobs and goes back to what jason said. why don't we do across the board tax cuts, either cut the payroll tax or the income tax rate for
small businesses and jason, don't forget, you're right about the impact of the payroll tax, but if you look at the health care bill that is passing in the house, they actually increased the payroll tax by 8%, i mean, my goodness, how can we possibly be talking about raising the payroll tax when we have 15 million unemployed americans. >> how big a problem is unemployment going to be going into next year. >> i think we'll see job growth. my worry it's not great, great job growth. >> back to your earlier point, companies have been shedding jobs to restore their balance sheet and they have been cutting it and it's not likely that they're going to start hiring people anytime soon to damage those balance sheets. >> well, let's hope we can get this stuff settled and the issues settled in washington and at least remove the uncertainty and new burdens on the economy and get back to hiring. okay, we have to take one more break. when we come back, barack obama and america's other noble laureate in our hits and misses
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>> time now for had your our hits and misses and this week turning them over to the nobel prizes and jason, you have good things to say. >> yes, a big hit to the eight american scientists who won nobel prize nz chemistry, physics, six immigrants as well which is remarkable. the debate in this country usually focuses on low skilled
immigrants. >> especially from mexico. >> mexico and other parts of latin america, but high skills should be a part of this conversation and if we're going to remain, excuse me, remain on the leading edge of innovation in this country we need to keep the borders open to high school immigrants. >> the big news, president barack obama wins the nobel peace prize. did i miss the peace treaty that was signed in the lays nine months you sure did, paul. what's going on this is an explicit effort to influence the policy of the united states. in its announcements, obama's dep mroimsy is founded on the concept those to lead the world values and attitudes shared by majority of the world's people. look, obama has to understand that his authority and status and power in the world derives only from the fact that he's president of the united states. now, he always says that he will represent the interests of the united states, but i think this prize simply adds to the i had
logical confusion that surrounds barack obama over what he thinks he represents, the world or the american people. >> so, it's interesting, you're saying this an explicit endorsement of american president's rejection of traditional american exceptionalism and embracing a kind of global ""we are the world" set of values. >> i think the nobel committee is trying to push the united states in that direction. >> what does it say by iran, do you think that the l-ahmadnejad could be cowed by the forces of the committee. >> on the other hand the noble committee could do worse than barack obama and have done so in the past with folks like arafat. 's uniquely popular public figure and if the committee wants it give him a prize for good intentions, so be it. no shame in that. >> the emphasis on good intentions as oppose today results. that's it for this edition of the editorial report.