tv Inside Washington PBS June 23, 2013 6:00pm-6:31pm PDT
captioned by the national captioning institute --www.ncicap.org-- >> as we go back to normal, it is going to be scary. it is going to be kind of volatile. >> this week on "inside washington," detox the economy. is your 401k vulnerable? >> don't panic. you have enjoyed the ride so far. >> this is not a situation where we are rifling through ordinary e-mails of german citizens, french citizens, european -- american citizens, or anybody else. >> president obama's european adventure. >> something as complicated as immigration reform should not be passed without broad support.
>> house conservatives crackdown on immigration and get tough on abortion. but the farm bill goes down in flames. and in afghanistan -- a military milestone as the u.s. edges towardtalks with the taliban. >> we remain focused on moving toward negotiation because we feel it is the best path toward a political solution and political reconciliation. >> friday morning's "wall street journal" headline -- turmoil exposes global risk. the wall street journal asks -- have markets become giant crack houses? investors have certainly been acting like junkies lately. "washington close -- post" the
u.s. triggers global fears. "new york times" -- global sell-off reaches beyond the u.s.. what triggered this? a comment by ben bernanke. >> we will continue to reduce the pace of purchases in measured steps through the first half of next year, ending purchases around mid-year next year. >> i believe the english translation of that is that the fed is essentially going to have to take the training wheels off the economy and cut back on bond purposes. are we at the point where people should be afraid to open their 401k? >> they should not be. yes, you're going to have some movement on the interest rates, but on the other hand -- i mean, we cannot keep this going forever. this was designed to get this through a tough patch, and it has. >> this sounds like detoxing to me. you do not take the heroin addict off of heroin cold turkey because you could kill him. you have to do it gradually. does this mean that the economy
is improving? >> the reason for the panic is that there are people who believe that the economy is not getting strong at the rate that bernanke it does and the whole thing is a house of cards that could collapse. and do not know which analogy to use. he has been pumping in the heroin, if you like, at a pretty high pace. he did not say cold turkey. he said next year for six months i might begin a slight tapering, and everybody goes crazy. what has happened to my dealer? >> good news, bad news, or don't we know? >> i don't know. i am sure there is somebody who knows somewhere, but the very folks who pray and genuflect before the free market are saying wait a minute, i have to get my fix. ben bernanke is returning to a belief and the confidence that the united states economy can
thrive without this -- whatever you want to call it, illicit drug, a stimulant, wild turkey switching to chamblis. i do not know what stimulant they are looking for. >> i for one am grateful for the fact that bernanke has been able to supply some sort of stimulus to the economy when the congress were unable to do that and it was clearly needed. and now he is doing what a normal person would do. he is saying i am going to take my foot off the gas gradually, and the whole market goes bananas because they like their little welfare package. >> they are afraid interest rates are going to go up. >> congress was unable to provide a stimulus? it has been running trillion dollar deficits for four years in a row, the biggest in the history of the galaxy, more than twice as high as the bush deficit. congress has been unbelievably
loose with money. add on to that the fed buying of bonds and pushing down interest rates. we have had the biggest double stimulus in american history and we are growing at 2.5%. that is not a healthy situation. >> the reason the recession ended and why you see the gradual return to economic stability, the fed was easing monetary policy to do this. what should it have done? >> and fiscal policy. >> suppose there had been a stimulus? suppose the fed had not intervened? where would we be now? >> weeping. >> let it be historical noted, after a financial crisis comparable to what this country went through in 2008-2009, there has been a 20% loss of prosperity. that has not happened in our country. we are an island of prosperity in a sea that is not nearly as
prosperous. why? in spite of been bernanke? i don't think so. i'm sure others can make that case. but the fact is, because of policies, because of the economy, the united states has gone through suffering, but not anything comparable -- >> and it was not just president obama who realized that. it was president bush too. >> i love the analogies. islands, streams, heroin, wild turkey, chamblis. that is a heck of a weekend. >> president obama's not so excellent european weekend. >> tear down this wall. >> the wall belongs to history, but we have history to make as well. >> comparisons are erroneous, but sometimes irresistible. five years ago, president
obama, then a candidate for president, delivered a speech to an audience of two hundred thousand people. he became barack obama superstar. this year, president obama spoke to an audience of about 6000, all invited, at the brandenburg gate. what a difference. >> it certainly was. to be fair, this was an invited crowd, and god knows why. perhaps if they opened it up they would not get enough people. but it shows that when you are the leader of the free world, you have a lot of uncomfortable truths you have to deal with, and not everybody loves you. i do not know what advance man thought this was a great idea, but somebody ought to go out and shoot him. >> what did you think of the president's speech? >> which speech? >> the one he just made. >> there was nothing in it. he had one idea.
we have syria in flames, iran going nuclear, jordan reeling, egypt going to hell in a handbasket, and he is talking about arms reductions with the russians. of all the issues on the planet, it is the least important. even putin was shocked by how unimportant it was. and he has no interest in it. it was kind of a misdirection play. look over here because everything else i am doing is in collapse. >> he got nowhere with vladimir putin on syria. >> he did not expect to. you do not go to berlin to talk
about syria. there is no cold war anymore. there is no divided germany anymore. you go there and talk about issues of concern to the world, europe especially, which is nuclear weapons. >> but -- >> that is a context in which to review these things. >> if the cold war is over, as you said, what is the difference between us and the russians in the level of weaponry today or a lower level? there is zero chance of a war between us and russia. it is a complete irrelevancy. >> it is relevant because of stockpile of nuclear weapons -- it is relevant. and you have to do something about it. >> to nina's point about a good advance man, do you think he appeared to be a disadvantage here? >> and think it is a pretty good rule of politics that you never have a crowd that is too small for the room.
ideally, what you want to have is a room that is full of people who are enthusiastic and responsive. >> if you have a small crowd, you book a small room. >> they chose the brandenburg gate for obvious reasons. it is historic. it is iconic. but when you have 4500 people, which i think is the total number that were there, it is dwarfed by it. but i do believe that by reducing the number of nuclear weapons, which president bush, to his everlasting credit, did and pushed to do, and with the support of leaders like dick lugar, who was able to accomplish things. it was a positive step. i agree, that was not the place for a syrian statement. i don't know what the syrian statement is, quite frankly, in berlin or anywhere else. >> when does the president
assure his allies that we are not spying on them? >> to do it publicly -- >> don't worry about it. >> when i was in germany, we learned that the french had an agent inside the american embassy in and bonn and had had him there for 20 years. we do things to each other. but we don't talk about them publicly. now, he had to say something. the world had heard the story, so we had to say something. >> it is an unhappy twist of fate that in a country that was famous for spying on all of its citizens in daily life, a country that would be particularly sensitive about this, that is where he goes and where all of his meetings are, and that he would be forced, in
some sense, to deal with this issue there. do i think the germans do the same thing? absolutely. do i think we save their bacon sometimes with our surveillance activities? absolutely. do i think we need to talk about surveillance activities more? absolutely. >> are you worried about the germans spying on us? >> unbelievable. >> everybody spies on everybody and always has. for god's sake, everybody is shocked? of course you spy on your enemies, that's for sure. and you spy on your allies to make sure you know what is going on. i know we have to make a statement and we all have to pretend we are upset about this. you think the germans do not have spies everywhere? >> i do want to come back to the putin matter.
if there is anybody who did not qualify for miss congeniality at the g-8 meeting, it was vladimir putin. there was no mention of assad in the final document. he used all of his moral outrage talking about the rebels, deservedly so, who turned out to be cannibals by eating the innards of one of their vanquished foes. there is precious little progress made there. >> i have been doing this show for a long time and i think first time we hav discussed cannibalism. >> we believe the way toward each other sometimes. serious. >> syria. any good news there?
>> the real story is the sending of missiles and small weapons to jordan, the most president obama has acted in a way that i do not think will have any effect on the outcome, smalarms. but we are sending missiles into jordan because jordan is the most pro-american arab state in the region. it is very weak. it is now has half a million refugees, and it needs protection. we created a vacuum when obama left iraq and did not leave behind a force to exert some influence, particularly control of the iraqi airspace. the jordanians are under fire and are really, really worried. we are repositioning our forces. >> what a conclusion. jordan is the most pro-american nation in the region and we lost all these lives and treasury in iraq, why would iraq
not be the most supportive of the united states? that country -- we did not have a status of forces agreement because their president did not deliver it. the president of the united states wanted it, could not get it. what are the iranians doing? flying over iraq. iraq allows them privileges. they have never said stop it. this is our iraq. >> it is not our iraq. >> we created it. >> obama washed his hands of it. >> iraq is a good lesson in what we do not want to have have been in syria, in some ways. >> just a fact, and that is the architect, a champion of going to war in iraq, paul wolfowitz, made the case that if we went,
the war would be paid for with iraqi oil funds. news? iraq is producing oil. the biggest consumer? china. so we went to war so that china could have oil. anybody that talks about the status of troops agreement with the iraqi government, which is now in bed with iran, is delusional. >> i thought we retiring about -- were talkg about syria. >> the reason it is under iranian influence is because the american president -- we were the ones who were going to train the forces. we had complete control of iraqi airspace. it is now under iranian control, essentially. obama washed his hands. you can make your argument about whether we should have
been there -- [crosstalk] when obama got into office, war was won and he walked away. >> he wanted to stay but we needed to have a status of forces agreement to protect troops there. if he had agreed to stay with a -- without a status of forces agreement, he would have been impeached. >> the bush administration could not get one either. >> it was iraq that could not deliver that agreement. >> obama offered with the general said we needed, a presence of 20,000. obama said 3000. maliki said, you're not serious.
>> immigration reform must, i mean must come and be grounded in border security. that is what the american people believe. i have said for weeks that border security in the senate bill is not sufficient to solve the problem. >> not sufficient to solve the problem. >> they are adding about 20,000 new border patrol agents as one and about 7,000 miles of fencing. is that going to do the trick? >> if you have a problem, throw money at it. >> been bernanke. >> absolutely. >> i think it is probably going to buy the votes necessary in the senate to get the votes they need. >> but then what happens in the house? >> we saw the implosion of the farm bill.
a bill that is historically bipartisan. the senate passed it with 70 votes. it goes over to the house, and boehner and cantor apparently did not know they did not have the votes. from their own people. they were told by the democrats that it was falling apart. i cannot imagine what happened. >> a lot of this had to do with food stamps. nancy pelosi called it amateur hour. >> this is not the first time this has happened. the leadership has taken the legislation to the floor and then had to back down. they could not pass it with their own caucus. the democrats were prepared to step up. this is an imperative food stamp -- a punitive food stamp amendment. >> the work requirement. >> the thing fell apart.
>> on immigration reform, i think the real action is in the house. i mean in the senate. what is unfortunate is that everybody is looking at the proposals that will get the votes and not looking at the content of them. the amendment you are talking about is kind of shock and off. -- alwe. you are pulling a number out of a hat. 20,000 new border agents. but what is important is not the input. it is the output. we spend twice as much today, per-capita, on public education as in 1970. test scores are lower. inputs are irrelevant. it is the output. what is important is what happened in the senate. there was a proposal to say that the path to citizenship can only begin when you know that you have 100% security at the border and 90% interdiction. that failed to happen. i say without an effective
measure of output, you cannot have immigration reform. >> i would like to see the input-output used as well on defense, where we have doubled the budget in the past 10 years. >> touching a dollar of defense somehow threatens american security. gallup asked one question, would you allow illegal immigrants to become citizens after a long waiting period, if they paid taxes, if they learned english and passed a criminal background check? 87% approve of this. including a 86% of republicans. republicans can oppose this and really make themselves the whigs of american politics. >> if this does not get through this year or very soon, republicans -- and lindsey
graham said it -- they will be walking themselves over a cliff. >> why are republicans focused on abortion again? they passed a very restrictive abortion bill through the house. why are they focused on that? >> that is the element that controls the republican party now. >> it is the trial. >> the guy killed three babies. >> it is an opportunity. question. should you have abortions in the last trimester when it is essentially a child because it could live outside the womb? here we have a case where the guy actually killed the children after birth. you have to ask the question, if he had done so 30 seconds earlier, before the birth, would it have been ok? >> there are doctors who do
horrible things, occasionally, and they are criminally prosecuted. it is not just in abortion. >> change of subject. do we want to talk prisoner exchange with the taliban? >> we are pleased that the qatari minister of foreign affairs issued a statement clarifying that the name of the office is the political office of afghanistan and not the political office of the emirate's of afghanistan. the sign on the door has been taken down. >> what is in a name? in this case, plenty. president karzai was plenty upset about that. the responsibility for security has passed to the afghan hands this week. talks have resumed with the taliban. how about these talks? good idea? bad idea?
>> the way we just heard about is real amateur hour. >> these administrations arranged to hold talks in qatar, and no one notices that the taliban put a sign on the door that is their name when they were the ruling party in afghanistan pre-9/11. what they are saying is we are a government in exile. it was like in the vietnam war when the vietcong claim legitimacy. we ignore it, and it is not to be ignored. the talks themselves will go nowhere. the importance is, for the taliban, it gives them stature, statehood and legitimacy, and we treated it as a wording issue. >> in the vietnam talks, we fought for weeks and months at the table. >> i think the administration got suckered. their understanding was that there would be no flag, there
would be no sign like this, and the taliban went ahead and did this. they believed it would be long, messy and ugly. it is going to be longer, messier and uglier than they thought. >> karzai is in a pickle because he is going to get this country and he is going to get the taliban also. the taliban will not go anywhere. they will continue to oppose him. they are trying to buy time to get out of there and they are taking too long to do it. i do not know why we have to wait until next year. every american life lost there is wasted. we are getting out of there. why would you have somebody there for another year. >> a war that was started fighting al-qaeda ends up fighting the taliban. >> i agree, and a war that was actually winnable. i have to agree. i do not understand why this
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