tv Mc Laughlin Group PBS May 5, 2013 3:30pm-4:01pm PDT
south of the border. ♪ south of the border down mexico way ♪ >> i believe we've got an historic opportunity to foster even more cooperation, more trade, more jobs on both sides of the border, and that's the focus of my visit. >> president obama met with mexico's president, enrique pena nieto this week. president nieto was sworn in five months ago and has new watershed priorities for his country. one, drug war. mexico wants to curtail the u.s. role in fighting mexico's drug cartels and narcotics trafficking. president nieto wants to limit how much intelligence is shared between the two nations. joint u.s.-mexico operations against top drug king pins may
be subordinated to mexico only controlled operations to protect its citizens against crimes like kidnapping and extortion. two, economic ties. nieto is working to break telecom monopolies in mexico, to rework the nation's tax code, to expand the oil industry. president nieto wants new trade agreements with the u.s. and with other nations. trade between the u.s. and mexico going both ways was $520 billion in 20 126789 mexico is the u.s.'s second biggest export market for u.s. goods and for 22 of our 50 u.s. states mexico is the number one export market. on the flip side, the u.s. is the number one buyer of mexican goods. three, immigration reform. another big obama mexico priority. notably, president obama's endorsement of the pass for citizenship for the 11 million illegal aliens in the u.s.
mexico has long l protection fo who work in the u.s. >> question, what is mexican president enrique pena nieto's principle concern regarding immigration? >> i think what he wants desperately is amnesty and a path to citizenship, ires access for mexicans to come to this country. i think he is remaining somewhat silent because he knows it's sensitive. i know he knows that marco rubio is an indispensable man and not barack obama. mexico is heavily dependent on the united states of america. we gave them a $60 billion trade surplus last year which is responsible for over 100% of their gdp growth. we buy something like 20 to 25% of all they produce. we buy their oil. so there's a real close relationship here, and barack obama doesn't have to be too
reticent in pushing the united states interest when it comes to the cartels and when it comes to the border. >> eleanor. >> i wouldn't call a great relationship where we export all this goods to them, them being dependent on us. i think this new mexican president comes in with a pretty strong hand. the growth in mexico is twice where it is in this country. they discovered some oil in mexico, and i think he's made a decision that he doesn't want to outsource the drug fighting to u.s. police and border guards, that he wants to take over that. it wasn't working under the previous president who had thousands of people who were killed so let's see if his new approach works. the point is, the u.s. isn't the only game for mexico. they're doing lots of business in china and korea. they stand to gain if this immigration policy is reformed, and the president needs him
because of the concern but i think the mexicans are in a pretty strong position. >> they have huge amounts of natural gas and huge a little do a geo bio, a brief one on mexico. >> size. three times the size of texas, 758,450 square miles. neighbors, the united states, shared 2,000-mile border, and guatemala, population 116 million. government, federal republic. gross domestic product, gdp, growth rate 4% in 2012. gross domestic product per capita, 15,300. inflation, 3.6%. unemployment 5%. underemployment estimated 25%. literacy rate, 86% of above ag read and write. >> question, what jumps off the screen at you in that geo file? >> i think talking about to the strong ties economically, we
buy their goods, they bay our goods. the first thing you listed was the drug war. they're losing it. and it is going to affect tourism, a lot of things there. we'll see if the new president can try to turn things around, but the massacre in mexico of people due to this drug war has been absolutely horrific, and it really is a big story there in mexico. it doesn't get enough attention or play here in the united states. i'm eager to hear what can come out of this meeting where we can talk about solutions. and i think kicking the united states out and just turning it over to mexico right now, i don't have a lot of confidence in their ability to battle their own drug problem and their drug war. i think the president would be wise to make sure that the u.s. is still playing a big role in this, because they're not winning. >> mort, do you think -- >> it's spreading over the border, too. >> do you think nieto is cares mat snake. >> i think without question he is charismatic, and he seems to be a lot more progressive and
willing to take on domestic interest. >> talking about the pri? >> the pri has come back into power but they're not the same kind of corrupt leadership with cartels dominating that party as it was when they were last in power, because they've been out of power for awhile. the question now is, he's now going after the telecom monopolies and other monopolies that were built up in that period. mexico was only destination one of president obama's south of the border trip. destination two? costa rica, south of nicaragua, north of panama with coast lines on both the atlantic and pack ocean 0. mr. obama is the first u.s. president to visit costa rica since bill clinton. mr. obama meets the costa rican president and other leaders of the central american
integration system, or sica. sicato encourage economic coop encourage economic cooperation among member states costa rica belize, el el salvador, hondura nicaragua, panama and the dominican republic. question, what is the number one on president obama's costa rica agenda? susan. >> i think strengthening the ties between the united states and this meshings so-america part of the world. i think he went there for a reason, that people feel his attitude has shifted, that they weren't getting a lot of attention from him, and i feel like he wants to strengthen economic ties. he's also talking about trying to help them with their security problems, trying to deal with the gangs and drugs. i think what he wants most of all, when he gets there to talk to these countries, there's many countries involved, getting them to work together to deal with their major security problems there, dealing with their drug war issue and gang problems and the violence, really that has taken
over the region. >> carlos flynn, the richest man in the world, from mexico, he owns the whole telephone and telegraph system. >> and television. >> net worth of $65 billion. >> my recollection, it was over $100 billion. >> he did have part of the "new york times"? >> he had a position. he just invested in the "new york times," enough to have access. >> nieto told him, and he has accomplished this, and this is in process now to break up his monopoly of the system, this extraordinary billionaire, the richest man in the world, and he has or in the process of breaking it up. is that a tribute to nieto? >> carlos flynn is sort of a one-person at&t, and we broke up at&t. i don't think people in this country are hanging on to everything he does with the telecom industry. you brought up costa rica.
the president is on a trip where we need these countries to bye our goods, international -- >> the problem is, eleanor, they all sills more than they bay us from. >> and the rest of the c, in central america, back in the days of reagan, we were fighting proxy wars and -- >> we were trying to get rid of communist elements. john, the key thing in this whole thing, it's amnesty that the mexican president wants. that will lead to to the eraser of the southern states. people will demand immigration, and when that happens you are going to have an entirely different usa. >> you're talking 13 years
minimum for a path to citizenship for people already in the country. if you can't handle that -- >> 13 million illegals in your country, no problem? >> 13 years is not a give-away, and it's not amnesty, so i would appreciate if you didn't always use that phrase. >> it's not amnesty? >> no, it's not amnesty any more than the background checks -- >> what about drugs coming from central america, notably mexico? >> narcotics? >> that's the primary source ever since we finished off the source through the caribbean, but john that's an enormous problem for the united states of america, no question about it. >> cocaine trafficking? >> the mexicans complain because a lot of american guns go down to the cartels. >> it moves up, pat. over land, through colombia, and then through panama. follow me? >> comes through central america.
>> so it isn't mexico originating. it moves that up whole chain. >> but you mentioned mexico is three times the size of texas. that's very big country. >> and it occupies our total southern border. >> exactly. four states, 2,000-mile border with mexico. >> yes. what's the point? >> the point is that's where all those narcotics are coming through, and that's where the war is going on. >> the narcotics problem is somewhat attributed to the porosity -- is that a word? >> the refusal to -- >> mort, there's a larger question, and it's the diversion of -- not that diverse, but it's the attraction to this theater of barack obama. it's our kind of backyard, it's over here. it's not china, and it's not europe. that a wise political move for
him? because we have had successive presidents who suddenly remember we have a hemisphere. we have the alliance for progress. >> 1961. >> remember that? and nicks on went down there and was shot at in his limousine in colombia. >> he wasn't shot at. they tried to kill him. >> what comes along in the course of the inhabitation of the white house for them to remember that we have a hemisphere and it's up for grabs from the point of view of future endowment, if will you, of the history of this president? >> there is a -- it is a wise investment in my judgment, but what we are looking at, of course, is a country which not only is one of the major sores of narcotics, but also illegal immigration. i have flown along that border at night. there are thousands upon thousands of people climbing over all the fences. they get put into these large holding pins and shipped back again.
it is a huge problem. >> do you believe it is mitigated by reason of the somewhat improved economy in mexico? >> i'm sure it is mitigated to an extent, but it is nowhere close to enough considering what the alternative is if they can get into the united states. >> this is part of our immigration issue which is going to be debated in the upcoming week. >> it's absolutely essential. anybody who has been in that part of the world knows the enormous inflow of illegal immigrants. >> the money from narcotics is enormous, but we don't pay attention to latin america for a reason. in asia, 60% of the world economy. that's why you focus -- >> we've got to get out, pat. you can't maintain the platform continuously. exit question. based on their economic platform which of the two wanteds, obama or nieto, is more likely to create strong economic growth in his country, mexico's country or our president? pat. >> mexico because they depend on the united states of america
almost 100% for their growth. >> eleanor. >> mexico, because, yes, they have a wonderful, thriving export market, but mexico because they don't after congress that is on instructing everything the new president is doing. >> susan. >> mexico, because they've got oil. >> mexico, because they start from a much lower base, and they have a much easier opportunity to increase it. we have a giant economy. it's much more difficult to get the economy growing at a percentage rate that you would get with mexico. >> i think it's nieto because he's busting up the monopolies, the teacher's union, he's reforming the tax code, promoting oil and natural gas instead of propping up green energy. obama could take a lesson from nieto and what he is going to be ab e two. syria. stay neutral or intervene? >> we want to make sure that we look before we leap and that what we are doing is actually helpful to the situation as
opposed to making it more deadly or more complex. >> there are ten reasons why the u.s. should not intervene in syria. one, if you break it, you own it. colin powell's victim said about iraq. it's also true of syria. two, most syrian options are not options. there's no such thing as half pregnant. they put us on the escalator to full intervention even if we set out to enforce a no-fly zone it ends in full scale confrontation with the assad regime. three, syria's air resources are first-rate. aircraft will be shot down. some u.s. flight crews will be taken prisoner putting us on the escalator for full-blown confrontation with syria. four, securing chemical weapons depos. that means puts on the ground,
exposing our troops to attack by the very weapons we're seeking to neutralize. such an attack would escalate our involvement to a full-scale intervention. five, u.s. strikes on regime targets. they will turn the tide of the war. that means regime flap, and that means the u.s. must secure assad's chemical weapons. you break it, you own it. six, key elements of al-qaida affiliates. u.s. intervention could facilitate control over chemical weapons. seven, u.s. public opinion. as measured in the latest "new york times" cbs poll is overwhelmingly against military intervention in syria. 62% against intervention, 24% support intervention, 14% don't know. eight, syria is not the u.s.'s problem, it is porks tin's problem. syria is a russian
protectorate. nine, iraq and afghanistan. the u.s. military has engaged in the longest running war since the revolution. it stretches the troops too thin to engage in a third middle east war. ten, it's too late. the toothpaste is out of the tube. if we wanted influence over the syrian opposition we needed to take operational control by arming it 18 months ago before radical islamist elements gained a foothold night. want you to dispute those elements or promote them, accept them, but i also want to know how much credibility will president obama lose if he does not make assad face any consequences. >> john, that was excellent. i agree with nine out of ten. i only disagree, i don't think putin has that much control. there's another point that can be made.
look, on assad's side, he has been good on the golan heights. it's a dictatorship. it's been there 40 years, has not bothered us. on his side are iran and hezbollah. on the other side, the al kay darks muslim brotherhood and groups that say when we wins that it is going to be christians to beirut and others to the wall. obama has egg all over his face, he made foolish statements about red lines and game changers, but he did the right thing when he took his beating politically and did not intervene. >> mort. >> two things. obama's credibility for a president who draws the line in the sand and then doesn't honor it, it is going to definitely reduce our effectiveness with iran going forward. it is going to really persuade a lot of people that you can't rely on what this guy said. having said that i don't believe that the united states should go in, in a big way, into syria. doesn't mean we shouldn't try and help arm and finance the
opposition, the right part of that opposition, because they're having immense effect on a country like jordan, 60,000 syrian refugees are coming into jordan. it's breaking the bank in jordan. jordan could fall apart as a result of. this that would be another huge damage for the united states. we have to find some way to intervene without it becoming a full-fledged military engagement. >> if we did intervene and took over the country temporarily we'd have to secure the chemical weapons. >> yes, one way or another that's something very dangerous. >> very dangerous. >> the president is going to take the egg on his face rather than being pushed into a bad correspond. so he is going to be deliberate about this. in the countries over there, the notion that the u.s. is owed chemical weapons, then we go plunging in, it's not obama's credit. it's u.s. credibility but they have singled out a syrian
general. davidic nay shoes -- davidic nay shoes -- david ignaseous has written about him. but if you want to do a no-fly zone, which they can do, we need russia to stand down. u.n. authorization or no go. >> susan, 20 seconds. >> humanitarian reasons, stabilizing the middle east by getting rid of this guy and making sure chemical weapons don't proliferate there. >> do you favor involvement? >> key reasons why we need to do something other than draw a red line over and over. >> how does this add up, pat? >> i say no but i do believe -- >> quickly, no? eleanor, quickly, issue three. tax the net now? wow. >> there's nothing level about this playing field about tax
strapped states looking for more money and again coming to washington and imposing burdens on other states, states that have chosen to have a low tax burden, states like mine without a sales tax. >> the internet's days as a tax- free domain may be doomed. the u.s. senate is on the verge of passing legislation called the marketplace fairness act. if the bill becomes law, internet vendors with more than $1 million in annual sales must impose state and local sales taxes based on where the buyer lives. his or her place of residence. supporters argue that this law levels the playing field between physical store, retailers who are obliged to collect sales taxes, and on- line vendors who under the internet tax freedom act of 1998 are currently and for the past 15 from from imposing and collecting sales
tax. opponents of the marketplace fairness act, like ebay ceo john donahoe argue that making small internet businesses become tax collectors for every jurisdiction where a consumer lives is an unfair burden. and just how many different state and local sales taxes do we have in the u.s.? well, over 50. according to the d.c. based think tank the tax foundation the numbers are 9,646 jurisdictions. get this, not all on-line retailers oppose the marketplace fairness act. for years amazon had opposed similar legislation. in this go-around, amazon supports the bit. why? ostensibly because of its growing physical facilities that are already subjected to sales taxation in practically all locations. after the senate, the marketplace fairness act must
still pass the u.s. house representatives before it becomes law. >> question. is the marketplace fairness act to impose sales tax on the internet and lighten public policy yes or no? mort? >> it is absolutely enlightened public policy. we should knost a tax of this kind that is isolated -- that ice lace some people from charging it and they get a comparative advantage because they have a lower price point. >> mort is absolutely right. when the internet started out, everything was free but the internet has grown up now and you have to level the playing field. what's fascinating, the republicans seem willing to go along with it. it doesn't seem to bother them. a sales tax kind of a regressive tax, that republicans are an opening in the ideology. >> let me point this out. on the question, is it really a burden on the internet business to collect sales taxes.
isn't there an app for that? some savvy entrepreneur will step up to develop a software application that can manage thousands of tax jurisdictions. it it will be written and copyrighted within days of the passage of the legislation. due understand? >> i do understand, but california does 1.5 seas tax, highest in the country. localities have tremendous numbers. people are going to go to new hampshire or the internet through new hampshire or delaware which has zero sales taxes at the state level and buy through there. >> and they will have what they buy brought to the front door and delivered at the front door. i mean, the whole thing is coz. >> people are going to be -- predictions. pat. >> we shouldn't get into syria, but we will. we are going to be sending arms into the syrians who we believe are on our side. >> eleanor. >> there will be another vote on gun background checks before
congress goes home. >> susan. >> internet tax bill will pass with flying colors this week. >> mort. >> one of the major countries in europe will have a full- fledged economic crisis within the next 18 months. >> the u.s. census bureau misinterpreted the delayed child berth phenomenon. a new international study now says the u.s. birth rate is above the replacement rate so those predictions about the graying of america and a major shift in the u.s. ethnic makeup are not only exaggerated, they are wrong. bye-bye!
wildfires are threatening early, as california faces one of the driest years on record. a look at what may be the start of a hot, fiery season. the world's largest laser at lawrence livermore lab still hasn't reached its goal of creating a fusion reaction, now after billions of dollars and missed deadlines, the program is making changes. and what's in your next meal? we examine the pros and cons of genetically engineered foods. >> with genetic engineering, it's just moving very small parts of that genetic information, and pulling it out of the very precise way, and pasting it back into another plant. an interview with ted gray of comcast sports net about the evolving climate for gay athletes, coming up next.