tv Today in Washington CSPAN July 20, 2010 2:00am-6:00am EDT
infrastructure aconstruction, alternate energy, high-speed rail transportation, and administration -- the bush administration sort of just casually tended to ignore it. now, i don't think anything indicates clearly the priorities of that side and this side. we've been struggling for months to pass unemployment insurance and be told, you've got to pay for it. . without paying for it. we can't help people who are struggling to find work with $360 a month, but we can help multibillionaires with their estate taxes. and i would argue that if you want to invest in the productivity of america, help working people get jobs and work, they'll pay their taxes,
they'll work hard, they'll contribute to their community. now, we have got to deal with the deficit, but the notion that the $34 billion we're talking about today in unemployment compensation is going to rank with the $3.28 trillion that these bush tax extensions will cost the country, it's not even apples and oranges. and yet glibly and ideologically, we can't pay for tax cuts. and yet, the deficit is the most important problem we face. it doesn't make sense, and it particularly doesn't make sense to americans who are out there desperately looking for work. now, again, when you look at where this deficit came from, i remember in the 1990's when we stood up as democrats without any republican help and passed an economic program that
resulted in not only deficit reduction but a surplus, not only economic growth but strong employment growth through the 1990's. and when president george w. bush took office, he was looking at a significant projected surplus. he was looking at solid employment numbers and a growing and expanding economy. and in the eight years he was in office, he took that surplus and not only turned it into a deficit but he increased the national debt more in eight years than had been done in the previous history of the country. and then again to have my colleagues on the other side suddenly discover the deficit's important, it wasn't important enough for them in the 1992' 19s and vote to stand with us, balance the budget and have a surplus. it wasn't important enough in the bush administration to adopt
programs and policies that undercut that fiscal stability, undercut that surplus and put us into a precipitous economic collapse, and now it's important. it is important, but when we talk about this issue of unemployment compensation, it is not central to this debate. robert bixby, president of the concord coalition, who has been throughout the years one of the most consistent in terms of fiscal responsibility, put it well. in his words, "as a deficit hawk, i won't worry about extending unemployment benefits. it is not going to add to the long-term structural deficit and it does address a serious need. i just feel like unemployment benefits wandered on to the wrong street corner at the wrong time and now they are getting mugged." well, that's what's going on here. they're just mugging a program that the american people need,
just -- it's close at hand, it can invoke this notion of responsible deficit reduction. you know, where was all this responsible deficit reduction talk when they were proposing medicare part-d, a huge, huge benefit to the pharmaceutical industry, without any payment, the largest expense of entitlement which does add to the structural deficit? because year in and year out, when you get to th be 65 years oacialtiond you qualify -- 65 years old, you qualify for part-d. unemployment benefits, countercyclical, people pay into it, build up we hope the trust funds in the states and then when you meet a point at which you need it, it should be there and it should be there now. the other point, too, i think is important to make is that for every dollar of unemployment benefits, there is $1.90 of economic activity. this is a stimulus measure also. at a time when we're seeing a
fragile recovery, we need to put more muscle behind the recovery. so not only are we giving people the chance to just make ends meet, when they take their unemployment compensation and their other resources and go into the marketplace, it provides increased economic activity. and, in fact, if we don't have this increased economic activi activity, there is a -- a danger that this recovery will be very slow, painfully slow, and that would be unfortunate, because what we measure in terms of economic recovery is measured in american families by the opportunity to send children to school, by the opportunity to provide a little bit more for their families. and if that is inhibited over months and months and months, then those who suffer are the american family. there are other aspects of this. for example, in the joint
economic committee estimated that by the end of 2010, this year, 290,000 unemployed disabled workers -- these are individuals who work but have a disability -- will exhaust their benefits. now, if these individuals choose to finally drop out of the labor market and go on to the social security disability rolls, to go through the process of being qualified and approved for disability, over the lifetime, this could result in $24.2 billion in costs contrasted to the721 million this year that would be -- this group that would receive benefits. it's a simple issue here. do we want to keep people in the work force or at least keep them working for -- looking for work with unemployment benefits or do we want them to say i'll give up, i'll simply declare i can't work again, i'll go and see if
my disabled can be covered by social security disability insurance and i, for the rest of my life, will collect my social security disability, even though i'd really like to work? that's another aspect of this problem. so we have a challenge, a challenge tomorrow when we greet our new colleague from west virginia, is to stand up and extend unemployment benefits. once again, if we look at history, this should have been done weeks ago on a strong bipartisan basis, putting aside the relative politics of the moment and concentrating on what we should do for the american people. tomorrow we'll have a chance to do that and i hope we do.
>> does he have the votes to succeed this time? >> democrats are making positive noises about the fact that he has the 60 votes necessary. they will have the very newly sworn in senator, who is replacing senator robert byrd, who passed away a few weeks ago. senator goodwin will be sworn in only 15 minutes before the vote scheduled at 2:30 tomorrow afternoon. in an addition, there is a possibility of up to three republican moderate senators, all three of whom in the past have supported short-term extensions of unemployment benefits as well as another republican from ohio who reported the extension in the past.
the mass of the democratic caucus leadership is saying they do expect to have the votes to overcome this tomorrow nig. >> what is the next step for the bill? >> that depends on the republicans. procedurally, there would be up to 30 hours of debate, which they could in sissonne -- could insist on. republicans would allow some of the time to be handed back so they can move to a final vote more quickly. i doubt whether or not he would do that tuesday. it seems they would move to a final vote on wednesday, and whatever they do, it seems pretty certain they would have sufficient support for final passage. at that stage though, the bill
has to go back to the house for one more roll of the guys over there. >> why has the issue of extending unemployment benefits been such a challenge for democratic leaders? >> it has been a microcosm for the distinct strands you have. you have very serious concerns about the fiscal finances of the federal government. we all know the story of red ink and escalating debt. at the same time, you have a u.s. economy still struggling to keep the recovery going, and democrats clearly believes the need to provide a sufficient base for the recovery through the likes of benefits and other programs is necessary.
there trumpeting the concerns over the debt and saying to do them but on the basis of which they did not add to the federal deficit. >> if it appears they moved to unemployment benefits, why did the president make a statement talking about republicans and their approach? >> it seems to me his message was calculated to test to make sure the votes were there, as we have seen several times through this process does been a number of votes for democrats thought they had sufficient votes, and at the last minute, a republican and changed their minds. i think the president's message was calculated to put pressure to insure they will side with the majority appear reagan and
>> -- maturity. >> thank you for joining us. this segment is 40 minutes. "washington journal" continues. host: jane oates with the department of labor, assistant secretary for employment and training. talk with us about unemployment benefits. guest: thanks. i am delighted to be here. host: president obama will turn up pressure on the senate to pass an extension of unemployment benefits monday morning, according to a white house official who said that obama will tell the story of americans in need of the extension and he will have strong words for republicans who previously supported and of one extensions under republican presidents but refuse to offer relief for middle-class families today. talk with us about where we are at here regarding the extension of unemployment benefits. guest: has been eight weeks for two and a half million people since they got the last check.
acting we all know -- we hear the stories about how long an american can live without a paycheck. clearly an unemployment american is having the most of the coke in making it. so, we are really optimistic and really hopeful that the senate will -- delighted the president is taking such an active role. host: you are assistant secretary for employment and training administration. what is your organization's role in working with states to get unemployment benefits to citizens? guest: part of the department of labor that works in direct partnership with the states to use the unemployment compensation system but also the work force investment system, which is the system of training and information versus those who are -- so those that are dislocating get the information they need to get back to work. guest: host: states have different ways of doing things. the new breakdown how will vary from state to state?
guest: first of all, each state -- and we provided a map for your viewers -- each state has legislation that is kind of the umbrella for how the state will administer unemployment compensation. this year we put out millions of dollars of the state can modernize. part-time workers in most states are not eligible for unemployment. even though we know that many people can only work part time because they cannot find full- time employment. h., we have two different maps. a top us through them. guest: the multicolored map tells you where we were in may when the extension -- when we were still giving three tiers of benefits. that tells you the weeks each state offered. the map with the fewer colors is what is in existence today. i did many will have questions of how many weeks i am entitled to and hopefully this
affirmation -- and i know you will put our 800 number -- they can get specific information. host: the number that she mentioned is the part of labor pulls the 3 line -- 877 -- us2- jobs. if you like to call land -- how is the unemployment insurance program set up? who is responsible? guest: normally the states are the ones who pay. normally they are 26 weeks and the average benefit is right now across the country $300 a week. but each state puts their ceiling, each state decides what the maximum will be in their particular state. under the recovery act, congress and the president put two new programs into being, and both
are 100 percent federally funded. when you hear people talk about 99 weeks of eligibility, anything between 26 weeks and 99 weeks is 100 percent some -- 100% covered by the recovery fund. host: anything you are involved in all in terms of job training and to problems of how to find a job? guest: yes, our office also runs the one-stop career system. we know we have given you the service locator website. if folks are not aware where they are in the communities. they can help you write your resume, ramp up your skills or put you into a full-fledged longer-term training. i would really encourage everyone not to wait until they have exhausted their benefits to visit that one stop. because the sooner you get ready retooling, the soon you will be ready to take a job. host: in "the new york times" by peter goodman, after job
training, still scrambling for a job. talk about the record 6.8 million americans who have been officially jobless for six months or longer. the profile of one gentleman who was trying to find a job in new york, in brooklyn recently applied for welfare benefits because it cannot find the job. he said the training was fruitless -- no one is hiring. mr. goodman reports that 100,000 americans have enrolled in the programs only to remain out of work. it intensified skepticism as training for a cure for unemployment. what advice you have four folks thinking about going into some of the job-training programs or taking on debt to go to college for some work force prepared as training. guest: i think people uncovering that should really think carefully about it because it is something that haunts you years after you are placed in a new job. but i think the article, if you were to read into it, it clearly says we are seeing improvement in how we are focusing job-
training on jobs in demand. his story is tragic. we don't want anyone to go through training and not get a job at the end of the training. but clearly the training has to be aligned with labor market information. that means a line with real jobs available in your community. we are finding -- and the story says that jerry -- says that -- when people are lined up the " right training they get a job right away and if you look deeper and the story, someone trained in machine design, clearly said he finished training and got a job next day. i don't want to minimize. this economy has been really tough on older workers and young workers, especially people of color. we see double-digit employment -- unemployment in african- americans and latinos. that is a huge, persistent problem that we will have to do a heavier dose to respond to. host: in the story from "the new york times" it says the obama
administration argues expanded job-training already delivered success. it talks about how women are having more success finding jobs after they are given job- training. peter goodman reports that among those unemployed for six months or longer at the end of may, more than 60% were men, according to the bureau of labor statistics. more than 39% in their mid '40's or older. it can be harder for them to find a job. guest: absolutely. no one is sugarcoating the fact that for every single job today there are five people on and floyd looking for that job. so, clearly when you know that the supply and demand is not working in your favor, the more tools you have in your tool kit,
the better chance you have of being the person who gets the job against the four other competitors. host: i mentioned the numbers you can call. we also have a line set up for unemployed callers. let's go to texas, john, republican. good morning. caller: i question is on unemployment, the benefits. those thousands of college graduates went to school and cannot work because they cannot find a job, but they don't get anything on the extension side -- not what was paid in, the first 26 weeks digging after that when congress extends some think it is taxpayer free money. the second part, how many of these people in the texas workforce commission or all of them across the country are calling to make sure that everyone who is on unemployment is out there looking for work rather than take in the word for it because a lot of things -- times people can sign up on the
internet and there is no oversight and that is where fraud can come in because people can sit there and sleep late. i think of anyone is on the extension side of on and on the benefits, that ought to be out there from 7:00 in morning until 5:00 in the afternoon looking forward. guest: thank you very much, john. let me answer your first question about college graduates. to be eligible for any state for unemployment benefits you have to have worked full time. unfortunately many of our college graduates have worked part time to support them -- themselves while in college but have never been full-time employed, so therefore there are many few that are eligible for the basic 26 weeks and all of the federal extensions are billed on your eligibility for the base 26 weeks but is second point -- we cannot agree more. we think that the states, in partnership with federal government, are really trying to vigorously pursue the fraud
component of ui. actually states randomly search, check with people about where they are searching. some states force you to send in cards every week about who you actively searched with. and then the state randomly follows up. we are doing on-line tools for states to work on this. so, this is a persistent problem and one that, if you know of someone -- and this could be all of your color -- if you know someone fraudulently using this system, please call our 800 number and you will have our commitment that we will go after fraud in that system as -- rigorously as weak hand. host: floor -- fort lauderdale, florida. independent line. caller: this is a broader question. talking about fraud within the system right now. i am looking at the big picture -- the fraud taking place on the
balance sheets of large banks and timothy got near's program programs toiehner's recapitalize the banks, and this could be very encompassing what is happening in the labor market right now. we are all scrambling right now but the big fraud is going on and i would hope that you would support somebody like elizabeth warren to help out people who feel it is necessary to go out and commit fraud because there are no jobs in the unemployment field. guest: elizabeth warren is such a leader. my time as a staff person on the senate, i got to see her work and she is just a terrific advocate for working people and doing the right thing. in terms of secretary dieter --
geithner, to be honest my only interaction with him is when we have to sign the checks for those borrowing out of treasury. i know the department of labor undersecretary solis is working on fraud to make sure we get every ounce of money the taxpayers are asked us to oversee with such care to the benefit of the american people. i have to assume that directive is coming from the president, and i have to assume secretary geithner and his dad is doing it with the same diligent efforts that we are. host: texas, tammy is a democratic caller. good morning. tammy, hello. you are on with jane oates. caller: i just have a couple of questions. one, there are a lot of people in texas who have lost their unemployment benefits and there are no jobs down here. president obama is trying to do his job.
has congress ever tried about trying to work on what we get paid and tried to make bills on what we get paid? back withcongress get god and quit demanding -- there are people out of work and they get paid every month and we can get their bills paid but there are no jobs out there. president obama is trying and nobody wants to help. guest: hopefully we are going to see the first to changing congressional action in the senate tomorrow when, god willing, they vote to extend unemployment benefits, which they have not done in eight weeks. in terms of jobs, hoping people who've exhausted benefits will look at opportunities they have with the department of labour. we just put out $75 million to the states for a concept that is as old as the hills and somehow
has been lost over the last several years, on-the-job training. that means this money will be used to actually put people to work with real employers and tried to give them an audition. we will subsidize up to 50% of the wages while the training is going on for up to six months. and those folks will walk away having a relationship with an employer and having something real on their resume. we are very hopeful that this will be so successful that let -- next year when congress comes back they say let us do more. we do this with internal money that we have through the national emergency grant money, and we think that this could be a game changer. i firmly believe one business sees somebody who is talented, they are not going to let them go. they are going to say i want that employee and i will not let my competitor pick them up. i hope you will be in touch with your local work force board for you or for the folks in texas, where -- these 99 errors are a real concern for all of us.
not just for people who have temporarily lost their benefits because the senate has failed to act, but we think that they 99ers, who will not get any more benefits even when the vote happens tomorrow, need something different. notice, i am not saying something new because on-the-job training is not a new concept. it is just a concept that we dusted off we took off the shelf. host: you may have those who have expired benefits even if the government does act. what about the people who get caught in the window, if the senate does act benefits can be continued. how does the process even work? guest: your state will be in touch with you on how to reactivate benefits. this is very difficult for the states. i don't want to minimize the fact that the states are working with antiquated i.t. systems, and when they have this kind of paused, it takes them a few days just to get it back together. some are the states are still
programming with cobol, people out there who have studied things in college know that it was a 1970's and tension and not a 21st century invention. but the state will get back in touch with you. and if you have any questions, again, called the 877 number that is on the screen, because we get you specifics on your state once the vote happens tomorrow, how long it will take for your state to get up and ready. host: louisville, ky. republican line. good morning. caller: yes, my comment is -- i realize these people need that money. and i want them to get it. get it out of the stimulus that is unused, just like the republicans are saying, and not increase the debt? let's be reasonable.
guest: i think everyone is very concerned about the debt. in fact, as we are preparing our f y-12 budget we are at a 5% decrease across every domestic department. the president has really given a firm directives that we are going to do what we can at each department to reduce the deficit. hear what i have to say to you, the stimulus money is spent. it is out there trying to do what is meant to do, create jobs, give people temporary assistance where needed. but unemployment has been something that our nation has done as an emergency any time we have had a recession. and i hope we are not going to try to balance our federal budget and reduce the federal deficit at the of hard-working people like you. we can't say to people, we are not going to give you your
unemployment check because we are worried about the deficit. and i hope you would agree with me -- i am happy to tighten my belt act eta. i think everybody in this administration would be happy to tighten their belts but for people will are worried about how they will pay their rent, how they will put food on the table for their children, i don't think -- this is the time for us to not pass this extension and denied them the money. i know this is not what you were suggesting, but for right now there is no other source but to add to the deficit for what i think are critical needs. host: let us go to walt who is from denver, an independent scholar who is unemployed. caller: how are you doing? you talk about college people. i am an early-year-old person. i left the work force about a year before this whole thing blew up and went back to college to retool because what i was doing, i knew i was not going to be the to do it until i was 65 or 70 years old, so i took the
opportunity to do that. now i paid into the system continuously for 30-plus years and took some time off to go to school, graduated, got a bachelor's degree, so forth and so one, and i just can't find anything. there is nothing out there. even in my old career field, it is in a depression. that is in a depression right now. so, there is really nothing for me out there. people are looking for experienced people in the field. i am a career changer, so it kind of knocks me out. in the old field there's nothing there. i can't get anything from anybody. guest: walt, i am so sorry for
yourself which. you did the right thing, trying to retool, not having a crystal ball being able to look into the future to see what will happen with the job situation. the unemployment system does not help people like you unless it you can go back and file a claim. it sounds like you were in school for a year. it is hard for me to give a definitive answer without knowing all the facts. but if you did voluntarily leave your last job, you would not be eligible. the reason for separation is one of the defining elements of the unemployment situation, unemployment compensation such addition. but what i can suggest is you go to your local one-stop. you may be able to get some help. you definitely will be able to assistance in job search. you may be able to get somebody at your local one-stop who can look at your skills from aviation -- you did not tell us what you were retooling for -- but looking at your skills
wondered decades and aviation, with what you are retooling for, they may be able to really up figure out what area of you would have such a great customize resonate -- resume. i know colorado is hurting just like other states, but i encourage you to go into that one-stop, get what a professional and see of they cannot map out a better job search plan becking get you a job quicker. host: "the new york times" profiled one unemployed woman, terry sadler, who lives in kentucky. jesus says and not worry about tomorrow but -- because tomorrow will worry about it self. it is clear she has trouble mustering enough faith.
are you hearing about a lot of these personal stories? guest: when the secretary travels, when i travel, people are always coming up to us saying, we are searching, we are looking, there is nothing available, we are retooling, doing what we need to do, and it is tragic. we can't afford get that work is such an important part of how american citizens -- we can't afford get that work is such a bore part about americans define themselves. in her case, people are leaning on their religions, churches, food banks are overwhelmed with a need, they are leaning on families. everybody seems to be trying to help in this situation. but for many, many people, it has now gone on for a year or longer. and they have just exhausted every resource that they have. host: lancaster, south carolina, democratic column. good morning.
go right ahead it. caller: i have two questions. i worked at a job over 37 years and they went somewhere else. i hear about -- it makes it seem like we are being given the spirit -- and this. did we not pay unemployment -- into unemployment for the 30 years i worked. my second question is, he said the maximum was 99 weeks, if i understood it right. guest: yes, with the federal extension. caller: and the first question -- and paying into unemployment, did we not pay into unemployment? guest: actually unemployment is funded through an employer tax, so your employer pays it. 0.8% of the first $7,000 you make every year. that is what the employers pay. literally because of your hard
work you put into that, in terms of your work but in terms of actual dollars it is 100% employer funded. host: carl, republican, west virginia. caller: i am a very conservative person but i am a compassionate person, too. but i recall going up and down and apalachicola in the 1950's and i remember lyndon johnson in the great society -- you recall that? guest: yes, sir. caller: what happened there, he made us all dependent on the federal government and there was no incentive for anyone to try to help themselves. so, you know, the way i see it, if you really want to help, why don't you do something about paying child care for single moms so that they can work? .
on the child care issue, we do have child care subsidies. we certainly are able to pay on a sliding scale for mothers who are wage earners to get them some support in child care through programs with some of our training programs, but through our partners in the federal government helping with services. we agree with you. we think single moms really are making a decision made it is it worth it for me to go to work? there is really nothing left to
support my child, so the federal government does have those programs, and single moms listening around the country should make sure they are listening to their eligibility, and just as they should look for food stamps and a program that gives mothers with young children the ability to access food. this is a program to make sure you are able to give your children what they need so they can stay healthy. host: it says some conservatives argue lengthening jobless benefits may job-seekers to choosy. court seattle times" argues that extending unemployment is making travel hunters too choosy.
what is your reaction to that? guest: i spent some time in seattle with senator patty mary a few months ago and we met with hundreds of people. this was months ago? -- this was months ago. they were panicked about not being able to find a job. unemployment replaces about one- third of your wages. very few people can live on one third of what they have been accustomed to living on. i think it is just the opposite. i think people are taking the first jabr available in many situations because they are afraid there is not going to be a better paying job coming down the pike. i would say these benefits are
lifelines. they are not allowing people to be choosy. they are allowing people to feed their children while they're waiting for the first job that comes along. host: how let's talk with tom from vermont. hi, tom. caller: good morning. i'm calling about the letter that came out july 8 that terminated unemployment a matter what your they were on because the unemployment rate was verified to fall below 6.5% unemployment. and i think that is great that vermont is doing so well and i would like to credit jim douglas, bernie sanders, patrick leahy and also brian dewpoint for these efforts. however, what do all of these people do who are still unemployed, looking at all aspects, in the hardware stores
and food places and everything else who cannot find work? because i i understand -- because i understand that the census workers are no longer working and we are immediately cut off immediately. guest: i apologize, i am not familiar with the vermont letter. but i can tell you a number of states sent letters are to folks explaining the delay, buand many states have done very worried that the federal government would never act on the extensions. if you would call the number that is on the screen, if we can get you specific information about the letter. and the triggering off in states where the unemployment rate has gone there and may very well be a problem, but because of the timing of this letter, i am hesitant to give you a more thorough answer than that. but i am happy to do it later
today once i have reviewed the letter. host: states with high unemployment, including nevada, michigan, california and ohio, those are all in the 12. -- 12% to 14% range. those with low unemployment include new hampshire, nebraska, south dakota and north dakota. guest: those governments in those low unemployment states would be quick to tell you that it is still double what their unemployment rate was a year ago. i think everyone is struggling. clearly mining in the western states has been a huge help, states like wyoming and montana and the dakotas. they have rarely relied on their natural resources. but in those states that are battling persistently high unemployment -- rhode island,
michigan, california have been double-digit for 14 months. when you think about what that means, how do we attract businesses there? i was just with the secretary in north carolina at a new business last week that may be separators for the lithium batteries really hoping -- i know the president was in michigan during the same thing -- that company has doubled its work force with stimulus dollars. i think there we are finding in a gray area -- when people to years ago started saying what is a green job, we started looking at solar panels, these new lithium batteries. i know i spoke to a company in south carolina that 100% of their business is international. maybe the lithium battery will lead us back to what we will agree is a balance.
host: listed call from a democrat line in maryland, good morning. -- let's take a call from the democrats line in maryland, good morning. caller: how can they take somebody's wages away from them? some people that do the job do not make enough to make ends meet. so, when you get unemployment, it is really not enough. when you combine them both and a look at what is going on in this country, out in the world can people say -- howl in the world can people say we do not need unemployment? a lot of people need unemployment you do not have jobs. guest: i hope lots of callers are listening because your to senators have been supporters of this from the beginning. lester is hoped that they can convince their colleagues -- let's just hope that they can
convince their colleagues in the senate. this vote would give them the extensions they need until the end of november. only have to 99 weeks so that they can put food on the table. host: mark from texas, good morning. caller: i am a republican, and i just turned 47 in june. i lost my job in may of 2009 after 12.5 years with city financial -- citi financial. i have not been able to find anything. of course, my benefits have run out. if i am getting ready to lose everything. again, i am a republican. these guys have got to vote on this thing who. the benefits have run out. i do not have anyone to turn to.
i do not know what to do. guest: mark, i am so sorry, first of all. people who have been hard- working like you, nine years with the same company. that says that you were a good worker and your company valued you because in that industry, you would have been gone before. i hope that you have been able to access the opportunities, the services at the local one stop in texas. i spent some time before joining the administration in new jersey in saudi financial sector collapse while i was working for governor corzine -- and saw the financial sector collapsed while i was working for governor corzine. people who worked in the financial sector could easily be trained to be middle school
or high school math teachers to get the job they needed or to be a part of the community. in second place where we had a great success was a back room and financial-services at hospitals. if you could work with numbers, you could easily learn the skills to do all of the new building that is coming in health care. all of the things that were lined in health rit -- health i.t.. i would still encourage you, and i know this is very difficult to hear. i hear of your frustration, and again, i give you great said the. but let me give you some advice. get into that one stop if you have not already, some down with a career counselor. look at your hard skills and your soft skills and try to get real live with something else through some retraining. host: ron in missouri and the
independent line. good morning. caller: i hope so. i have been working all my life and i'm trying to find any jobs that are out there. i do not care what is, cutting down trees. [unintelligible] host: ron, your breaking up on us. unfortunately, we lost him due to recession. let's move on to gail in ohio. caller: i have been off unemployment over a year-and-a- half. i went back to school to do medical assisting. now i am finished and can't find a job. if there are jobs in this small town, they are all taken. imad how to drive 30 miles from my own just $49 to $10 -- at the
-- just for a $9 to $10 job. now i'm living off of my 401k. i have no money coming in. i am still supporting a 15-year- old, trying to get him ready for school, taking care of him. no medical at all. i got some for my son. i do not know what else to do. i have tried all i can possibly do and then you have people that say we are lazy and are being picky. i am not being picky. i am just trying to find a job. host: since you did the retraining, the uc that you would have been better served -- and do you see that you would have been better served if you have retrained into a different
field or have followed different paths? caller: yes. i thought this would be a good feel to get into, but now they are saying i have to have experience. i am state certified. i went into phlebotomy medical a assisting. i have my state certifications, but they are saying after our experience. host: we are hearing this from a lot of callers, that they lack experience. guest: especially in their mid to career changers. that is why we went with his on- the-job training model. we think that -- and gail should look into this. ohio is a state that is going to look into this. we think that getting people into the employers will help get them higher. i would use this as an example, the incredible increase we have seen in staffing services.
you know, all of the kinds of folks that give temporary help. they have seen an increase for the past eight months. it tells us that employers want to take a look at someone on the job site before they hire them. hospitals can participate in this. gale said she had training in phlebotomy and things like that, hospitals can be a great place to do this. and again, it may just be enough. the folks of the business, whether a hospital or other, will want to take a look at that employee. host: let's move on to david, republican collar. caller: i am a 36-year-old man and i am a strict southern conservative, but this issue has really made me rethink that. i feel that my state and my own
party has turned their back on us when they put their stamp of approval on other big spending and they say they cannot support this. i will be voting democrats this time. that is something i never have done. my question is, does it matter if you work for years for a company or 30 years -- work for four years for a company or 30 years? once your approved, and you get your pension? guest: my blanket answer would be yes, but i would encourage you to call us so we can give you the specifics of the case. when used the example of four
years or 40 years, that would on make a difference. but six months would make a difference in terms of eligibility for unemployment. that is why you need to give us your specifics when you call in and we can give you and specific answer in terms of your state law and your job experience and the eligibility that you would have. but for most people, if you were eligible for the base 26 weeks, you would be eligible for the federal extensions. host: let's go over that u.s. department toll-free line 1-877-
in a little less than an hour, a discussion of guantanamo bay. after that, larry kudlow on regulating trade and taxes. later, a forum on u.s.-china relations. the senate judiciary committee votes tomorrow morning on the nomination of yelena kagan been -- elena kagan being on the supreme court. you can see that online at c- span.org. you also find her other appearances on c-span and passet hearings on nominees. kenneth feinberg, the administrator of dozen bp gulf oil spill -- the bp gulf oil
spill forum. he spoke for a little less than an hour. n and i have known each other for about 0 years. we -- 30ears. we both worked together on catol hill, he was working for senator kennedy, a i was d come to capitol hill after completing some time as an assistant u.s. attorney in new york and also has clerked for chief judge fuld in the new york court of appeals. ken is a nati of massachusetts, graduate of university of matts at amherst, and after he left senator kennedy as chief of staff in 1980, he set up the washington officer for kay shuller. in that position he was appointed by judge jack weinstein, a judge from the southern district of new york, to help the special master for
the -- [inaudible] litigation. and ken did such a good job in getting that resolved that he was subsequently appointed for a number of special litigation matters as special master, for example, in the des contraceptive litigation. subsequent to that, ken started his own firm, feinberg company, now feinberg, rosen, and in that position he was asked to do a number of other things in the alternative dispute resolution area, in the mediation area. until recently probably best known for having been the special master in the 9/11 compensation fund, and he did that pro bono, distributed some $7 billion to more than 5,000 members or victims or the families of the victims of the 9/11 accident and tragedy. subsequent to that, he was appointed as a special master to help administer the virginia
tech funds relating to those killings. and then most recently ken has been doingwo things. one is serving as the special maer relating to the compensation for those who perceive, executives who received compensation under the t.a.r.p. funds and also, as i think everybody knows, he's recently appointed by bp and by the administration to help administer and serve as the administrator for the bp $20 billion fund. and in that context ken, i think l make some remarks today about what he's doing in that regard. so i'm very pleased that ken is able to be here today. ken and i also worked together on one other matter. in my capacity as the chairman of the kennedy center, i get the chance to work with ken who's also, because of his love of classical music and opera, he's president of the washington national opera. thank you very much for being here, ken. [applause]
>> i want to thank david for the introduction. he's correct, we go back a long, long way to our days working together in the u.s. senate, and whatever we do, whatever david does, whatever i do nothing is as difficult as chairing the kennedy center and being president of the opera, i assure you. [laughter] i assure you there is nothing quite like that. david's correcthen he says that i've been a scial master in some tough assignments. that's a legal term, special maer. i once said to my wife, you know, i'm the special master for the 9/11 fund. [laughter] and she said, that's fine with me, but if anybody calls me the special mistress -- [laughter] there's going to be trouble.
you might wonder how can we in a few minuteslend the work that i'm doing for secretary geithner as the special master for pay, a.r.p. executive pay, and bp? how do you blend those two in just 20 minutes? but you can. because if you look at both of those assignments, there is a common denominator. every once in a while, founately not that often, but every once in a while wills a public -- there is a public policy dilemma. it requires public policymakers to think out of the box. now, put aside the issue of whether or not you agree with the resolution of that public policy. put aside the merits of whether or not a special master for pay
is good idea or a bp $20 billion fund is a good idea. put that aside for a minute. but understand that what is unique about these assignments, agent orange was another one, the 9/11 victim compensation fund, virginia tech, other examples. the conventional way of resolving these dilemmas won't work, and whether it's government or the prive sector a decisionis made that we better go off and try something new. it may not work, but conventional resolution won't get the job done. now, when it comes to treasury and pay, my job there was made eyes -- easier by the fact that congress spoke. like in the 9/11 fund, congress spoke. and congress said for those
seven companies that received theht taxpayer assistance and t those seven somebody at treasury ought to set their pay for the top peop. for the top people. congress delegated that assignment to the secretary who delegated it to me. and for those seven companies, aig, citigroup, bank of america, chrysler, chrysler financial, gm and gmac, congress said, treasury, feinbe, set the pay of the top 100 officials in each ofhose seven companies until they repay the taxpayer. once they repay the taxpayer, they are out from under your thumb. so in 2009 i at the request of
th secretary, i determined and calculated the actual dollars for each of th top 25 officials those companies, and we established a regiment of pay for -- regimen of pay for individuals 26-100 in each of those seven companies and only those seven companies. i did that in 2009. citigroup and bank ofmerica, for reasons you can ask them -- one being to get out from under my thumb -- borrowed money from the taxpayers to get out from under my jurisdiction, and they did. so in 2010 there were five companies. chrysler financial which is in runoff, they're out from under my thum so today as we heat here this morning, there are on four companies left. but as to those four companies, unti they repay the taxpayer
their pay will be established by a treasury official. congress has spoken. now, i would have thought as to that assignment there would have been a great deal of criticism. government regulation of private pay is none of the government's business. i would have thought that. i would have thought that would have been a big issue. turned out to be a nonissue. turned out to be a nonnish view -- nonissue i think, i've concluded, for two reasons. first, feinberg's only dealing with 100 some odd officials. what are we getting excited about? it's a side show. it's a rather very limited role that i'm playing. and if you really want to see impact on pay, don't look to what i'm doing which is relatively modest. look to the oer initiatives that are out there being
promoted by this administration, the regulatory reform bill is about to become law,orporate governance reform, secretary geithner has taken the lead on the g20 in trying to make sure that competitive pay in the united states is not disadvantaged by foreign pay. the sec and commissioner shapiro with her transpancy rules, sheila bair at the fdic, the federal reserve, there's a lot more going on on executive pay than my limited role. that's one reason there hasn't been a human cry. the other reason there hasn't been much criticism at all is because, after all, these companies survive because of the american taxpayer. so when you talk to other corporate officials, their basic approach to me is i have no problem with what you're doing. those companies only maintained their financial ability because the taxpayer came to the rescue. why shouldn't they have their pay set? don't touch my pay. but in terms of those seven
companies, why not? the taxpayer is a creditor of those companies. why shouldn't there be some say in what these companies get paid? now, because of that there hasn't been a great deal of criticism. i am somewhat surprised at the degree of interest in what i'm doing. why if i'm only establishing pay for a very small number of people is there such interest in well, i think there is a reason. again, two reasons. first, at a time of great economic uncertainty pop list fervor is very high. people are upset. unemployment rate's high. people want to know what are those wall street guys getting? it's a historical thing. it was no different in the guilded age o jpmorgan or whatever. if you look at american history,
there's always a tension between wall street and main street. and what you find at this time in america because of economic uncertainty people are focused on pay more than they might otherwise be. the second reason is a vry practical one. i'm the only fellow in government who takes rather vanilla prescriptions about pay and actually calculates to the penny what somebody ought to make. and that, i think, allows people to hone in not on, well, it's very important that compensation be tied to performance. you know, what else is new? but, and that means that this rson should make 800,000r a million eight or three llion or 600,000. for that reason this tends to be a good deal of focus.
now, the one remaining issue i've still got to deal with within the next week or so under the statute, i've got to look back at what 419 companies received in terms of t.a.r.p. assistance, how much bonus money did they give out and should there be an effort under the statute to try and recoup some of those funds. and that project's been underway now for about three months, and it involves 419 companies, not just the seven. this is a purely voluntary program. i can't enforce efforts to reco money. the question is, should i try and get any of it back from two years ago? we're finishing up that lookback and those decisions will be rendered by me sometime, i think, within the next week or so. there's been some interest among 419 companies as to whether
there'll be an effort to recoup any of those dollars or impose any other or voluntarily suggest any other remedial steps to prevent excessive bonuses going forward. so that's pay. and what makes the pay assignment so interesting is its uniqueness. the assignment from the secretary who has been unbelievably supportive of my role while at the same time, as the president has said, we are not micranaging these companies. this is a very narrow, limited role that i am engaged in. so that's one assignment that i juggle these days with a second assignment quite different in scope, magnitude and source, but similar in that conventional thinking won't work. wp bp.
now, is altogether different from pay. the administration and bp on their own -- i have nothing, nothing to do with it -- decided to set up an alternative mechanism for resolving bp claims. bp agreed voluntarily, no legislation, this is a voluntary compact. bp agreed to put up $20 billion to pay claims arising out of the spill. and bp said if $20 billion is insufficient, and i hope it is sufficient, but if it's insufficient, bp will honor all supplementary financial obligations in the gulf. so now i have this assignment of designing, implementing and administering a $20 billion escrow fund designed to pay
eligible claims. and that fund will, i believe, i'm recommending, will be a fund that will last for three years. and during that three-ar period i will evaluate, analyze, determine independently what individual individuals, businesses, small businesses, large businesses in the gulf impacted by the spill should receive. now, i'm totally independent. i do not answer to the administration, nor to bp. it's very, very clear when i spoke and accepted this assignment from the administration and from bp that i am an independent actor. this is a program that everybody voluntarily can enter into. they don't have to. any fisherman, any businessman,
any real estate owner, any motel, any crabber, oyster harvester, food processer, anybody can decide, i want nothing to do with this. i'rather go to court or implement my other legal rights. go ahead. you're crazy to do so though. go ahead if you want. because under this program you'll receive, if you're eligible, you will receive compensation without having to go to court for years, without the uncertainty of going to court since i'll be much more generous than any court would be, and at the same time you won't immediate to pay lawyers and costs. so you ought to come into this program. and until you know exactly what you'll get to the penny, you're under no obligation to waive any
right you might have to litigate against bp. in fact, as i've announced, anybody who needs money immediately who's eligible can come in and immediately receive a check for six months' emergency payment. you have to prove it, but you'll get six months' payment without any release. if you decide after that to litigate, you still keep the check. i mean, who wouldn't come into this program? and take that which is offered with no obligation, and then at the end of the day when you'r offered a lump sum payment for all present and future injury calculated by the administrator. only then when you know that amount do you decide whether or not you want to take it in lieu
of going to court. it is, to my way of thinking, an easy call. but do not underestimate the problems associated with human nature. i've seen it over and over again. do not assume everybody sees these funds; 9/11, virginia tech, agent orange, this one. do not assume that people automatically will opt into these programs. people are skeptical, angry, disspiritted, worried about their financial certainty, their financial future. human nature being what it is, you have to sell these programs, and that's why i've been spending so much time in the gulf. you cannot do this program from washington. impossible. you've got to go down there to louisiana, alabama, florida, mississippi.
i've received tremendous support from the governors of those states. i've received support from the attorneys geral. i was the phone the other day with attorney general mccollum in florida, very helpful. i plan to meet with the attorneys general this week or next to meet with them to talk about their concerns. this -- i am nod adversarial to the people in the gulf, i'm trying to distribute the money. at the same time, i'm trying to corral the claims, you see, so the courts don't get inundated with cases. there are certain tragedies in american life where public policy seeks a creative alternative to conventional thinking, and that's what pay is about, and that's what bp is about. now, with bp let me just give you two hurdles to success, substantive hurdles.
one, how attenuated will you allow the claims? mr. feinberg, i own a restaurant in the north end of boston. i have the besthrimp scampi in the city. i can't get gulf shrimp. where's my money? highly unlikely. at some point you have to say as a matter of public policy and law claims are so attenuated they can't be compensated. mr. feinberg, i own a motel on the beach. there's oil there, and i've lost customers. pay them, pay the claim. i own a golf course 50 miles from the gulf. i'm down 30%. people aren't coming to play golf. dubious. but where do you draw that line? that's a judgment call, and you look to the law, pollution control act, but the law only helps you so much. at some point you have to mke a call, so one challenge i've got,
these claims are eligible, these claims are not eligible. judgment. i could be wrong. you people could draw the line somewhere else. that's one problem. problenumber two is a corroboration problem, a problem of proof. mr. feinberg, i was making $5,000 a month as a fisherman. now i can't fish. pay me 5,000. okay. wh do you have to corroborate? corroborate? what do you mean? prove. it was a cash business. nothing illegalbout a cash business. what's your proof that you were making 5,000? do you have a tax return? i lost it. okay. you lost your tax return, okay. do you have a profit and loss statement? do you have checkbook, check stubs, something? no, i don't, i have no paper. will the ship captain vou for the 5,000 a month? i mean, i cannot just pay claims.
don't assume that there's only one way to do these things. that's not true. with these assignments, it's creativity, it's practicality, it's coming up with incentive-based alternatives that will voluntarily chann people into a better way, win-win, of resolving these public policy dramas that come up. i believe that thanks to the secretary and the peoplat the treasury, i think that the executive compensation approach in a very narrow realm worked.
it really did. it worked and i think also the bp program, once it's up and running next month will work. it will work. because you create creative ways to voluntarily entice people to participate. with very, very little downside ri, and that's the challenge. so i think, i want to thank all of you, you don't say no to my friend david. who has been a friend and an ally for many, many years and i jumped at the chance to be here. this is a very, very distinguished group. i think substantively, you understand better than most what i'm trying to do and i welcome now the opportunity under david's approach, i follow his lead for q & a. thank you very much. [applause]
>> now, can -- when you first got into the business of alternative resolution decision making, you were appointed by judge jack weinstein in new york, how did you know him and how did he know of you, and have you ever thought, had he not appointed you, what you'd be doing now? >> i knew judge weinstein becae we had both clerked for the same judge 35 years apart. so he's still sit, judge weinstein, he's 88, he's still sitting in the eastern district in brooklyn, and he appointed me, because he knew of my work for senator ken dirks and thought -- kennedy and thought that this would be the right assignment for me in dealing with the vinam veterans and with the veterans administration. now if he hadn't appointed me, would i have been just a lawyer and done other things? i assume i would have. like all of you, like everybody in life, can you plan a little bit, but you have never know the twists and turns and what will
happen in your professional and personal life, so who knows what would have happened, but it worked out fine. >> you did the 9-11, that i assume was very emotionally grueling because you were dealing with enormous am of debts. how long did it take you to ultimately come up with the procedures and when people got paid there, did -- was it publicly known what each person got paid? >> took me aboutix months to come up with the procedures to pay almost 3,000 death claims, world trade center, airplanes, pentagon, and about 2300 physical injury claims. mostly respiratory claims. there weren't many traumatic injuries of 9-11. you either got out of those planes or buildings or you didn't. so it took us about six months to set up the procedures. the program ran by statute for 33 months. and so all but 94 people came
into the program,. >>nd normally, you've had legislation that would guide you about how you would do these kinds of things, you have no legislation in the bp situation. do you need legislation or do you need any guidance from any other authority? >> guidance is fine. guidance, i welcome. we don't need any legislation. this is a purely private contract compact, between the administration, the justice department on one hand and bp on the other,ith the goal of setting up delegating to an administrator, me, set it up, run it, pay it. and i've asked for and received a good deal of input, suggestions as to how best to do this, but ultimately, it's my call gentleman. >> and you're now taking over a procedure that bp had already implemented. could you explain what they were doing before and was any money distributed before and who does a lot of the staff work, how many people will you have working for you? >> i give bp credit here. bp has pai out on its own,
preme, about $200 million in claims. mostly, but not completely, wage loss claims. a few business claims as well. bp, which is not generally in the claims processing business, has tried its best. it retained contractors, there are roughly 1600 people working in 35 offices throughout the gulf, processing claims, receiving claims, all of that will transition in the next few weeks. to the gulf coast claims facility, which i will administer and we will continue to accelerate claims, hopefully emergency claims will be paid within a couple of days of requesting emergency funds, and there after, over the next three years, we'll process claims. the challenge is going to be, you know, long-term injury.
fishermen, you have a fishing boat, i think that you'll be unable to fish for a year, so here's a lump sum check. no, no. i think i won't be able to fish for five years. you think that, don't take the check. go about your business and litigate or do what you will. >> suppose somebody does take the check, they think they're going to be out of business or harm for a year and then it turns out that it was more than a year. can they come back or do you have to make one check and that's it, that's all they get? >> don't come back. if you sign this release, your releasing your right to come back, but a, if you don't think that the period that i'm covering in this check is worthwhile, a, don't take it. you haven't lost any rights. b, come back next year. the fund is going to be in existence for three years, so come back next year. >> and you'll have a better feel for this. or c, take the check.
d i think this is a generous check, i've checked, i've looked around, i've asked people. we think you'll be able to fish or what have you. that is entirely voluntary and entirely it's up to you. >> now on 9-11, did you review every single payment and will you be reviewing every single payment here? >> i signed off on everysingle payment and i will do so here. now, when you sign off on these payments, that doesn't mean that every single individual or every single business crosses my desk. you come up with a methodology, you know about this, economic loss, lost profits, business interruption claims, you come up with a methodology for shrimpers, for charter boats, for motels, for restaurants, and that methodology must be consistent, you can't be biased in favor of one or another, you have to apply the same methodology, so once you start streamlining this process, it
becomes relatively easier so resolve these claims, becaus basically you have a process in place that is systemic and coistent. thother problem you have to worry about is fraud. nothing undercuts the credibility of these programs. more than fraud. in 9-11, we had 7300 applications, 35 were fraudulent. fabulous. we had checks. we watched it. internal and externa auditing, with bp, i've go the help of the criminal division of the department of justice. very, very important. and we'll have internal auditing and investigatory procedures. now the final point you make on your last question, will everybody in the public know in 9-11 or in bp, is all of this information public? of course not. of course not. if i disclosedo government, state, local, federal, the names of every individual, their
address, how much th received, nobody would sign up for these programs. this is private, individual, proprietary information. i'll provide me general statistics, aggregate statistics about the claims, how long it takes, how much money has been distributed or for what types of claims, but the individual information must remain private and confidential, otherwise people will not -- you mean to tell me my information is going to washington, tohe internal revenue service or to the --? absolutely not. it will be -- it would be a huge barrier to voluntary participation. >> and how long -- how many people will it take to administer the bp program? you have hundreds of people to help process these claims? >> well, we subcontract out. rit now, as i said, bp hired 1600 people in the gulf.
i don't think we need that many people. once we've systemized, you're going to be able to file a bp claim entirely online, if you want, electronically, never even go to a claims office much. so -- office. so we'll streamline and systemize the office. we're in the process of doing that. bp didn't do that. bp was putting band-aids on the problem as you would expect an in -- in an emergency situation. the best news is that the oil stopped. until the oil stops, it's very hard to corral the claims. you don't know how many claims, whether the oil reaches a certain area. now that the oil has apparently been stopped or the leak has stopped, it will make it lot easier and quicker to get a handle on the universe of claims. >> now on the 9-11 situation, you did that pro bono, and how were you able to spend that much time pro bono, you do have to make a living, you just gave that as a gift to the country? >> i gave it as a gift to the
country, but let's be more pragmatic, when i did the 9-11 fund, i was a special government employee, as i did now, with t.a.r.p., so i'm not an official government employee. i'm allowed in both 9-11 pro bono and t.a.r.p. pro bono, to maintain a private practice, while at the same time working in these public policy areas, so i was allowed to benefit, to benefit from my law firm practice, i didn't practice very much, but to benefit from my law firmractice, while at the same time taking on these assignments. >> now in bp, if somebody has insurance, it's a business or individual has insurance and they come to you for a claim and you pay them, can they still collect insurance or you don't care about their insurance? >> i certainly do care. it's an upset. to make them whole, if they have received money from their insurer, especially if they've
received state assistance, unemployment compensation, for example, use that as an example, mr. feberg, i was earning $5,000 a month, i've received $800 a month, from the state of alabama. how mu can i get? you can get $4,200. we're going to offset the $800 that you've already received from your insurer. now your insurer, the state certainly has a subrogation claim to recoup the $800 and we'll deal with that. >> if somebody comes to you for a claim and a year later, they subsequently file for insurance, you wouldn't know about that? >> it's too late. you got paid and if you got your insurance later, good luck to you. >> of all of the assignments you've taken in this area, with would you say has been the most difficult to get your hands around and what was the most emotionally grueling in. >> they're all emotionally grueling. the 9-11 fund was a horror, because congress passed that law 11 days, days after 9-11.
so you were dealing with people distraught, mr. jones, i'm here to give you $2 million. you're here to give me $2 million? mr. feinberg, they haven't recoveremy husband's body from the world trade center and you're here to offer me money? how dare you. offer me money. i want my husband back. 9-11, do not -- bp, do not underestimate, when you go down there, mr. feinberg, i don't know what i'm going to do. i'm a sixth generation oyster harvester and my oyster harvesting days are over. now what are you going to do for me, mr. feinberg? how can money possibly replace the heritage that my family built up here in the gulf? this job, all of these assig assignments, require a certain perspective, emotional
perspective, on what people are going through, and no matter how creative you may be in coming up with a program that reasonable people would claim is very reasonable and makes a lot of sense, you've still got to sell it to people who are emotionally distraught and that is a big part of what i have to do here. >> now, when you are the most famous, until presently, i guess, the most famous person who came from brockton, massachusetts, but is everybody else from there speak with that same accent that you have? >> last week in the gulf, i told somebody in biloxi, mississippi, that i speak like a southerner. south bostonner. and i think most people who live in brockton, massachusetts, some of you are from massachusetts,
we sort of cultivate the accent. >> so it comes in handy. where did you get your love your classical music an opera? >> there's really interesting story. myove of classical music, when i was 9 years old, i began studying in brockton for my bar mitzvah. and the cantor -- >> four years early. >> i was a slow learner. and the cantor in my synagogue in brockton was an emgrant from vienna and he got me interested as a youngster in opera and some of thieves assignments, opera and classical music saved my sanity. >> is it true you have a room in your house where you play
classical music at great volumes and this is how you relax now? >> it's one way. i've got technologically a nice system with thousands of operas and c.d.'s, classical music. i mean, some people read, some people play softball, there's a lot of -- go to the movies. you do what works best for you in terms of trying, 9-11, i must have gone to the kennedy center or to carnegie hall or the metropolitan opera three nights a week, otherwise you'd go mad doing these assignments. and you've got to find some outlet. >> have you ever considered going on to the opera as a performer, or not yet? >> well, now that you're the head of the kennedy stern, david -- it shal center. >> we'll work that out. we have some time for questions from our guests, i don't know if there are mics out there, but people, i don't have any cards,
but anybody, raise your hands if you have questions. here's a qstion right here. >> ken, what did you learn from the victims compensation fund? to what's going on in bp? >> what you learn from all of these assignments, including bp, is how diverse human nature is. the reaction of people is as dirse as human nature itself. some people are angry, some people are skeptical, some people are uncertain. some people are incredibly hopeful. thank goodness you're here to help. one size does not fit all. and you better be prepared for a wide range of emotional reactions to what you're trying to accomplish. >> ok. other questions? here's a question right here.
>> joint center for economic studies. do you think that $20 billion will be adequate? >> well, i hope $20 billion will be adequate. the good news is that bp has publicly stated that if it is inadequate, they will continue to honor all additional financial obligations that confront them. i hope it's adequate, but remember, the $20 billion is not just for me, and the private program. out of that $20 billion comes government claims. so depending on the size, eligility, scope of those government claims as well for cleanup, that $20 billion is all encompassing. so we'll just have to play it out over the next few months. we'll get a much better handle if the oil is gone, stop the
leak, we'll get a better handle on the claims and then a lot will depend on where i define the eligibility criteria, how many people come into prove their claim. i hope it's enough. >> you said 9-11, 54 people -- >> 94. >> gentleman 94 chose not to go through your process. how did those people actually fare in the litigation system. >> 94 people opted out of the program. 3% opted out of the program. and all of their cases were settled. >> so you don't know whether they did financially better or worse, nobody knows? >> no one knows, but i'm sure they didn't do as well. not after they went through all that trouble, waited that many ars, paid their lawyer, costs of ligation. >>o most of the people in the 9-11 case, did they hire lawyers when they came into your system and were the people who come into the bp process the lawyers or not. >> they don't need lawyers. they're more than welcome to have lawyers. i like lawyers. i'm a lawyer. if you have want a lawyer, by
all means have a lawyer, really, but in the 9-11 fund, the american association of trial lawyers stepped up and provided pro bono lawyers for 1500 people. i think we'll have some sort of pro bono program in bp as well if you want a lawyer. >> can you please describe the infrastructure or the team you need to build to administer the bp fund, where do you get the people, how do you subcontract, so forth. >> well, i've received a fair number. i'm a very popular guy these days from vendors interested, you have to hire people locally, really, i got a letter from senator bitter the other day from louisiana, ken, i hope the $20 billion will go in local banks in the gulf. you hire local people who are trusted by the community in terms of receiving the claims, sitting with them, helping process the claim, evaluate it, so we've hired a -- bp hired a claims adjustor firm from
hammond, louisiana, that has spread out over the gulf, so as we're setting up the infrastructure now, i'm focused primarily, not exclusively, but primarily on local people. i met with the mayor of new orleans a couple of weeks ago, he's great. ken, we're sure you're going to do a great job. we want your headquarters here in new orleans, that's where you should be headquartered and senator landreaux angovernor riley and others, governor jindal, all very, very helpful, but all urging hire local, hire local, hire local. >> in your t.a.r.p. role, how did you find the exutives when they were pleading for additional compensation, were they effect testify generally or not in their pleas to you? >> i think they were effective. they weren't pleased. i think they were fatherly effective. -- fairly effective. i didn't deal with too many
c.e.o.'c.e.o.'s. mostly you dealt with vice-presidents for human resources, you dealt with general counsels, you dealt with nsultants. >> we worked it out. it was -- it was difficult, but i think it was fairly collegial. people read the statute, they saw what i had to do. and i think it worked out. it worked out ok. treasury was particularly helpful. the deputy secretary of the treasury, at my request, i would go and see him, and neil was just -- and the secretary, very, very helpful in this whole project. >> and is the $20 billion escrow fund, is that safe from claims from other bp creditors, and in the case of that -- what you do with that $20 billion, while you're waiting to pay the
claims, is it sitting there or waiting to be invested in anything or not yet actually in an escrow? >> is this the carlyle group king this question. >> i'm sure we could get a good return for it. >> it's not on my watch. it's interesting. the he is crow fund, the $20 billion, i'm just drawing on it. i don't know as we sit here today, i think the administration and bp have still not finalized the escrow, so i can't really give you answers to those questions, because that's beyond my jurisdiction. i'm going to draw on those moneys, but i'm not a custodian of those funds, i don't really have much of a say right now. in the terms and conditions of the fund. >> and as you know, there were some views, not justbp might have been at fault, some of the people who constructed the rigs and so forth, but that's not something that you're worried about and other people may -- other companies may have to contbute to this $20 billion or those people will deal with bp separately? >> i have nothing to do with anybody but bp.
clearly, those companies don't have to contribute. they may want to at some point, not on my watch, somebody who comes in to this voluntary program and gets a check for the fund is not releasing anybody but bp. an ultimate chec member, the emergency money, you don't even have to release bp. with incentive to come into the program and corral the claims. so we'll see what others do. right now, i'm focused on setting up the program, trying to get as many people as possible to participate, give themmergency payments, without any obligation at all and only down screen when you file for a lump sum check. will you then make a decision whether you want that check in return for releasing bp only, or whether you want to reject the check and litigate. >> and when you -- were you approached first by bp and almost simultaneously by the administration, how did that
come together? >> bp twice, two meetings with bp, and then rather suddenly, all within two weeks, the administration through the justice department, the associate attorney general, justice has been fabulous here. they've been very, very cooperative in trying to set this program up. tom walls the point man and those are the people i've dealt with. i haven't dealt with anybody at the white house. it's been the associate attorney general's office at justice and it's been bp in houston. and tom milch at arnold & porter here in washington. >> ken, can you describe your role earlier when you were working for senator kennedy, you're not the head of the kennedy library, is that right? >> my day job. >> and in that role, you are doing what with the kennedy librar it's the 50th anniversary of kennedy's inauguration i coming up. >> that's rig.
the j.f.k. library foundation, i'm the chairman of the board of the foundation, the library of course is a national presidential library funded by the taxpayer, but there a foundation that i chair, probably about sip members of the board -- 16 members of the board, designed to perpetuate e legacy of president kennedy and the 50th anniversary is coming up, there are various projects underway, there's a great event thanks to you and otrs at the kennedy ceer, celebrating the 50t 50th anniversary of the election of president kennedy and our charge there is to sort of perpetuate the legacy and the memory of what president kennedy stood for in the country. >> all right. my last question will be, ken, do you ever have any self-doubt? you seemo be a very confident person. is self-doubt ever one of your emotions? >> these assignments, you'd better have a great deal of self-doubt. you're up at 3:00 a.m., trying to figure these things out.
self-doubt and criticism, public criticism goes with the territory. because if i'm right, that you've got to think out of the box, and you've got to be a little bit different in the way you approach these problems, so you don't have a whole lot of precedent to guide you. very, very important that you have that self-doubt, very, very important that you reach out to as many people as you need to -- get ideas, bounce ide off people. that's why, with 9-11, john ashcroft, its attorney general, fabulous, helped me on that. virginia tech, president steiger at virginia tech, secretary geithner and neal wolen, bounce ideas, at my request. now, bp, justice department, bp, the attorneys general, the
governors, haley barber, ken, i have one bit of advice for you. get the money out, time is the enemy. time is the enemy. very, very sound advice. so self-doubt goes with the territory, it's a good thing just make sure it doesn't paralyze you. at some points you make a decision. others make it differently. you make that desion, move on. >> ken, on behalf o other americans, i don't speak for the whole country, but i do want to thank you for what you've been doing for our country and helping in this resolution an on the 9-11 matter and on behalf of >> "washington journal"
drama news story of the summer. tell us more. host: -- guest: there is a bad aspect to the economic problem. you see these business roundtable and others that are really in a blood war with the white house over taxes, regulation, spending, trade, they're all very outspoken about it. the ceo of verizon started this about one month ago. people that pick up on that are asking for business investment tax relief. they would like to have much greater certainty about a rash of regulations coming out of health care, financial bank regulations and other areas. many economists believe that a business investment would be the best job-gainer.
we have a very iffy economic recovery. my own point of view on this is that the white house should listen to what businesses are saying. we have the highest corporate tax rate of the large countries around the world, we should from more -- promote more business investment. president obama has done this with the smallest companies, why not make it universal for all american businesses? the war between the white house and big business is not a good thing for the economy. host: what are some of the key criticisms you have about the direction the president is taking? guest: the fears of higher taxes are difficult. it affects the cost of investment in new projects. for my money, you want to create jobs, you need help the
businesses and capital to finance them. why would we raise those tax rates on capital or any form of investment? with taxes rising in the obama care health care program, that is one key point. i note that businessmen i have interviewed on our show, they are concerned that these significant budget deficits and a large volume of over-spending, it sets up a strong possibility that tax rates are going to rise in the future, even more than people are talking about right now, which is a deterrent to investment. this massive confusion about the cost and implementation of these regulations, we just had a bank regulations bill passed the senate last thursday asking of corporate end user is using the market to hedge derivative
positions for crops and agriculture, interest rates or currency, things of that sort, airlines hedging jet fuel, will they be able to do it? how expensive will be? in general there are a lot of factors working against the normal function of business. you want to clear up that uncertainty. there is a lot cash out there, as much as $2 trillion by some estimates, sitting on corporate balance sheets. the trick is to put it to work. right now there seems to be a fear, a worry on the part of business that the future is so uncertain. without this new capital we will might get a healthy recovery. host: you write "the best thing to come out of the administration this summer was timothy geithner's pledge to me to place a limit on tax rates for investor capital gains and dividends.
no one wants to see an increase in these tax rates, but at least these pledges mean that the tax rates will stay low." what is the implication of that? guest: if secretary timothy geithner and have his way, the bush tax cuts expire at the end of this year. those are across the board. personal tax rates for all income levels, plus capital gains, dividends, and the estate tax. what he told me in an interview that i had with him about 10 days ago, his preference and the preference of the white house is to take the dividend's tax, which is scheduled to expire at 15%, not to let it go to 40%. he would like to cap that at 20%. the capital gains tax is scheduled to go to 20%. he would like to put a cap on that. the health care bill will raise that more in a couple of years,
but that aside. i thought that timothy geithner was the least instructive. i would rather not raise those tax rates at all. but at least there is certainty that those key investment tax rates will stay historic low. i gave him high marks for that. the trouble is, that is just one piece of the pie. a lot of people in business are worried that we will not get certainty regarding a myriad of other issues. i think that timothy geithner was instructive, for a few days the stock market responded positively. those investors and firms, you want to know that your after-tax investment return is going to be high and up to justify whatever cost or expense it takes to start a new project that might hire jobs. what we need to do here, i think, clear up these confusions and uncertainties. no. 2, to tell you the truth,
business is taxed too much. i would like to see that change. i would like to see full-fledged tax reform, get rid of the loopholes for large firms and small firms. you would see a much better jobs recovery if we help business, not government. host: doug, good morning. welcome. caller: having the capital gains tax lower than income distorts the economy. the difference in taxation will move money away from wages and into profits, artificially expanding the financial sector, making a bubble more likely. capital gains and regular encompass more likely contributing factors in the great depression and the recent
recession. we should gradually moved to taxing capital gains the same as regular incumbent, letting the free markets work. guest: i have some sympathy with that view. what the caller is saying is interesting. i do not agree that the capital gains tax caused the financial meltdown. far from it. but i will say this. i do not know why we tax savings and investment. the $1 of income that you are on the job should cover all of that. why tax it a second time as capital gains when you sell an asset you might have purchased with the end come? why tax, for example, the so- called death tax or inheritance tax? it has already been taxed
several times. why not simplify the system, get rid of the credits, deductions, and exemptions, make it so that you can put it on a page or two, keep those tax rates in line, do not tax savings at all. why should we tax capital gains and dividends? we have taxed at once, do not do it. we should not tax capital. we should try to tax consumption as much as possible with a neutral tax system. i do not agree with the caller 100%, but he makes some good points. host: ocean city, good morning. caller: it was reported on your channel about seven minutes ago that there was a mistake from the treasury department in terms of closing the chrysler and general motors dealerships, that it will cause more job losses. there is a tug of war between
the government and that particular study. i was wondering what your view was on that. host: looked -- guest: look, regarding the mistake, that is a generic criticism of the government's takeover of general motors and chrysler. although i am not an expert on every detail, basically, given the shrinking volume of sales and a shrinking market share of those big car companies, the government deal when they took them over was to abolish a bunch of the dealership, which caused massive layoffs of course. look, i oppose those bailouts. my view is that if a company is failing, be it a car company, a bank or insurance company, you go into chapter 11 or whatever your bankruptcy procedure is, you sell the assets, restructure and invested.
regarding general motors and chrysler, any way that you slice that, they were going to lose staff and dealerships. they had lost so much market share in the car business. foreign car companies operating in the united states, be at honda, toyota, bmw, mercedes- benz, we have not done a very good job. perhaps they could be restructured now. there was no way around the fact that they were going to lose jobs. if that is what this debate is about, i guess it is a certain inevitability. i wish that the government had not taken them over. host: let's take a look at comments made last week by christina roemer. she is talking before the joint economic commission. guest: in our report we estimate the impact in two ways. the first is a model-based
approach. this approach uses multiplier estimates based on historical records to estimate how the recovery act likely translate into employment. the second approach that we used to estimate the act depends not on policy multipliers estimated from past history, instead uses statistical procedures to project the likely path of employment based on information available until the end of the first quarter of 2009. comparing the actual path of the employment of a forecasted baseline. this approach indicates that the recovery act as raised employment relative to what it would have been by 2.5 million jobs as the second quarter of this year. of the jobs saved or created, 800,000 are due to the public investment outlays that have occurred so far. . have occurred so far. the projectio approh yields a
talking about. you know what i would like to see? how many jobs have been destroyed by this stimulus package? how many jobs went by the wayside, because the private economy was not able to raise either significant capital, or had enough freedom to create new jobs from business investments. in other words, all these actions have consequences. when you wereo money you're, -- you're pulling it out of the economy. when you raise the wages, you're raiseing the cost of hiring a teenager that may not have all the experience. these attempts to model the economy are very misleading. they have almost no credibility. this is a political operation. this has nothing to do with fundamental economical
analysis. host: larry sumers who is the president's chief economic advisor writes -- to support recovery in the short term, and also to reduce definites constitutes a mixed message. host: can you react to that? guest: my thoughts are this. and i think i wrote it in that article you referred to. this week the senate is going stike up the unemployments benefit. it's going to unup to two years. i'm not thrilled about that, because i think at some point, like europe, you start creating incentives to stay unemployed.
but i would vote for it just on humanitarian grounds. but here's what i would add to it. jobs torque, economic growth torque. by listening to what they tell the white house. lower the corporate tax rate, or go to full cash expensing for the writeoff of new business investment. if you ran those two policies, you'd be helping the unemployed safety net, and you'd be putting some real pro growth torque which right now is in the middle of a capital strike. i don't think you can spend your way out of this resession. this economy is so sub par, and the jobs aspect of it has been so -- i'm an optimistic guy, but i would like to see some
shifts in these policies. >> calling from minnesota's independent line, you're on with larry kudlow. >> yes. i agree with you that we have to change the loop holes. but how can we do that when congress is bought up by these secret companies and are set up in the cayman islands where they are paying no taxes whatsoever. so how do you expect us out here to trust anybody in congress at the present time, when they are bought off by these corporations? guest: thank you for calling. i agree with you. this is a monumental task. look, i saw it in the 1980's, in the middle 1980's was a tax reform bill that got rid of tons and tins of loop holes and
-- this is a reagan tax bill. reagan and others. as close to a flat tax as we have ever gotten, and i wish we could go back to that. the caller is right. it's a monumental political task. but if you sat people around a table and said look, we've got to change this code and restore incentives at the margin wherever we can. we've got to make the united states competitive. my friend, fred smith, he's a good example. he's the founder. he remains the c.e.o. of fedex. the world's greatest transportation company. he has, for years, campaigned to improve manufacturing and transportation. make america competitive on tax rates. we're the highest now in the
world. japan just cut its tax rate. they were tied with us. europe is around 25%. why is the united states so high? same thing with business investment expenses. allow the tax write-offs immediately. make it easier. make it more profitable after tax, and make it easier on an accounting case to invest. let's get rid of these lobbyist items. because you won't need them anymore if you have a low tax rate system. the same is true on the personal tax rate. you're going to have this that will report out after the elections. the guy running it, erskine bowles who was bill clinton's former chief of staff is someone who has my respect. he negotiated a great budget deal in 1997 with the newt
gingrich congress. they lowered capital gains tax and spending and helped business, and the economy grew nicely during clinton's second term. hope springs eternal. maybe we can get some good leadership. host: an investment banker that served during the first clinton administration has an editorial in "the new york times" that is called obama's business plan, and he shares concern about the relationships between business and the white house. after the u.s. exame enter of commerce complained that --
host: now, he says though, -- lg such fierce criticism, corporate america should remember the president's actual record and he says the business community should mak host: what does the business community need do to mend this relationship? guest: well, i don't know. roger is a smart guy. a smart guy. i have not read his article. but i thought the white house really miss that opportunity. they held their own mini jobs summit last week. and the chamber of commerce was criticizing them. so, this business-white house war continues. i don't know why. bill clinton was in that meeting. i don't know why they didn't come out with a more constructive statements saying,
look, we hear business, we hear them on taxes, we hear them on regulations, we hear them on spending and we hear them on deficits. the opinion polls show that business is really just saying what ordinary voters are saying. so, i don't know why they could not have more constructive policy oriented instead of saying we wish we would not fight, which i hear way -- they are saying. sending this letter that they are distressed about the battle. deal with the substance. quit playing politics. and business and the white house have to sit down together and hammer out some new, constructive policies that will grow the economy faster and will create jobs faster. that is what we need to do. the public, i think, is really unhappy with this award going on between business and the white house, or business and congress or wherever the war is. it is a very unseemly thing. we need to pull together that is
a cliche. but address each other's concerns, for example. i don't see it happening. it is all being postponed, i guess, until after the midterm elections where you will have a big turnover in the senate and house. maybe we will just have to wait until then. host: a comment on twitter? -- well -- guest: well, presidential rhetoric has keyed off on fat cats and that, on business flying airplanes and so forth. so, i think mr. obama -- and i think he has acknowledged that he has been -- sometimes as rhetoric has been too harsh. just noticed on his speech on saturday, i think, his radio speech, he blasted republicans for attacking poor people.
this is politics. there is nothing i can do about that. but there has been a lot of anti-business rhetoric from the administration, and not only from the president but others. i wish he would not. i have no control over that. you know, it is funny, the fat cat idea or rich people, these are very divisive -- we should not be punishing success in this country. that is my philosophy. we should reward success, and entrepreneurship. we should encourage the non-rich to get rich. we should leave the doors of opportunity as wide open as possible we don't -- as possible. we don't have to raise the attack -- top rate to punish the rich to redistribute wealth. these are very statist policies, very district -- extreme policies. oddly enough, the policies europe seems to be rejected and they are moving more toward conservative fiscal policies at the same time the united states appears to be moving toward a more liberal left policy. it kind of boggled the mind.
i think that is the source of a lot of political unrest in the country. but here is the bottom line -- let us grow the economy. let us look at some basic blocking and tackling policies to grow the e economy. let us try to take the politics out of this. host: oscar, democrat in texas. welcome. caller: thank you. mr. kudlow, i would like to ask you one thing. have you ever been laid off? and i want to know this -- you keep talking about the other countries, this is not the other countries, this is the united states of america. you cannot run your country like other countries do. this country never has been run that way. you know that. and what you need to do, too, is you need to get out of monks the people that used to work --
among the people that used to work would don't work now, those that are on unemployment that would like to work and see what is going on. guest: i don't address the what he is saying. i spent the last 20 minutes talking about an emblem of policies. i have been laid off, by the way, and my own life. i have had difficult times and good times. i understand all of that. i am trying to say, here is the way to get people back to work. let's not borrow from europe or other place. my point about europe, however, and this may be an important point, york looks like -- at least some of the countries are starting to belt tightened government. i don't think you can have government spending as into prosperity. i have seen some sensible corporate tax reforms coming out of europe, which i like. in fact, you look at the last 10 or 15 years, europe has lowered its personal tax rate and it has lowered its business tax rates.
so has asia. asia has done the same thing can so, i am worried that the united states is not near as competitive. i have the ceo of eli lilly, the big pharmaceutical company, on cnbc and my show about a week ago and he had written an op-ed piece in "the wall street journal" that says we are losing our innovative edge. we used to have the fastest rate of innovation in the world and we dropped way down -- i think he mentioned the '40's. that is crazy. we don't want to burden america with taxes and regulations and uncertainty and spending. we don't want the government to take over. i don't want my own rhetoric to go too far, here, but i am saying to this caller there are sensible pro-growth policies to diminish the tax and regulatory and spending barriers to economic growth. there are sensible policies.
and i think there is a bipartisan movement developing -- it may not materialize until after this election but i think one is coming that will change a lot of this stuff. host: he is host of "the kudlow report" and those of a radio show syndicated nationally and a background. he served during president reagan's first term as a social director for economics and planning, office of management and budget where he was engaged in the development of the administration's economic and budget policy. formally -- economist and senior managing editor -- director of bear stearns and co. and began his professional career at the unreserve bank -- federal reserve bank of new york. republican from franklin, pennsylvania. caller: i laud you as a host, and to mr. kudlow, i cannot
appreciate and of what you said. i am calling literally from the heart of where many things started. technical notes -- please, don't cut me off, i will not digress. from -- to tie it is no where oil was started in 1859 there is a 40-mile stretch, could you believe that at one time the largest oil refinery in the world was just outside of franklin, called eclipse. i checked with different sources including local library archives and they said eclipse -- but my technical points. for anything on monday, the hundred dollar bill, the county seat where i'm calling from -- the man from texas said you had been laid off, i have been, too. i do independent vehicle research and troubleshooting but i am hoping in the near future, sooner than not, to become a
spokesperson or do voice-over work for public service work or for the medical or environmental communities, only as a technical point of that. because of what my sister had to onetime -- host: let us get a response right now. guest: sorry? host: do you have anything to say question of guest: i don't. guest: i know titus' bill was a big oil place -- that part i get. host: du get people talk about unemployment and changing jobs, d feel a palpable change vs five years ago? guest: i think the e-mails i get very worried e-mails. one of the things that troubled me is that so much pessimism --
like to call its uncertainty, but it is very pessimistic. there are people who have come to expect the worst rather than the best, in terms of future development and outcomes. very troubled by that. i have been around a while. my career has been back to the early 1970's. we have been through bad down terms but we have always come back. we of great resiliency. america is a great country. we have a tremendous amount of economic freedom. i was there what reagan when he reopened the door to economic freedom. and i think helped launch the boom worldwide. you know, i watched the democrats doing it. look, bill clinton, i may not have agreed with everything booklet ended but basically i felt that mr. clinton, working with a republican congress, would like the third reagan term. many years ago john f. kennedy lowered tax rates across the
board, for corporations and individuals, for businesses and individuals. that was a democrat. you've got some outstanding democrats in congress. in other words, we have the capabilities of pulling us back with strong growth policies. i don't like all of this negative psychology. i don't know what the heck to do about it except promote my own point of view and credo and tried to explain to people why we can do this better. i have nothing personal against president obama. lord knows i was in the group -- george will hosted a dinner right before he was inaugurated with the so-called conservative pundits, i'd like president obama, i just don't like his policies. i think they have taken a left turn. and i think the elections will probably straight in and out. my point is this -- american comeback. america can come back. i think that has to be more optimistic thinking. it is easy for me to say, but that is my view. we can get back these lost jobs
in five years if we employ the right policies. we can balance budget in 10 years if we employ the right policies. there are a lot of very constructive policy options out there that may not be well known right now but may come to the fore after these elections. host: mr. altman in his op-ed piece about president obama's business plan and folks writing to us on twitter are mentioning what mr. obama inherited, which, of course, the situation from the bush era. how much do you blame the bush years for that kind of sit which in the country is in right now? what would have happened if we continue down the path? guest: well, listen, george bush has to take blame for that. no question. i am not going to make it a partisan thing at all. the financial meltdown, which was the singular fact -- first of all, but over easy federal reserve policy, the chief u.s. dollar, those occurred under george bush's watch, a housing bubble which i happen to think had a lot to do with easy fed
policy, it had something to do with fannie mae and freddie mac and they're easy liberal lending policies, and it also had to do was mistakes made by mortgage lenders and wall street, who may or may not have reacted to easy money but they took risks they should not have taken and it knocks for the books right. these all occurred under mr. bush's watch -- whether he called them, i don't know, but they are on his watch. you had pretty close to a bipartisan policy in 2008 when a financial meltdown occurred. it was basically bipartisan. looking back on it, i don't know whether tarp was the right thing to do. maybe we could have guaranteed the inter-bank deposits and the debt which was essentially done. maybe tarp was a big waste of money. but the point i am making -- bush will be held accountable, no question about that. i am not here to make a case, obama versus bush.
what i am here to do is to say, we know what has worked in the past, and my own view is, we have gone way, way, way too far on government spending. we have gone beyond the safety net, way beyond the safety net. the government is getting entangled in parts of the economy it does not know anything about. we need to allow entrepreneurs and businesses to take to the front, to take the offense. that may sound like a cliche but we think it is a tried and true policy path. and i think we are going to see a change in economic policy direction. host: let us check in with don, independent caller from the mexico. host: good morning, libby and mr. kudlow. i want to start off by saying that we buried ronald reagan. not sure you are aware. the second point i would like to make is that the sec saddled with -- settled with goldman
sachs and there was a settlement for $550 million. and as i know, you are quite familiar with abacus, quite familiar with paulson and company that made $37 million on these hedges of the subprime. and as you know, mr. paulson himself made a $3.7 billion. it's collected response. guest: listen, i did not approve of that. i thought goldman sachs may tremendous mistakes. whether the committed fraud is an interesting debate. that is a legal debate. the settlement with the sec was not specifically aimed at fraud. goldman acknowledged the mistake. they said they would change their management practices but they did not acknowledge the fraud and the sec chose to settle for 550 million rather than taking them to court.
i think goldman should have disclosed -- and i said it this last april when it came out -- should have disclosed mr. paulson's involvement in the creation of this mortgage bond inched and. i guess i -- bond instrument. i guess i agree with the colubrid the point about we bury ronald reagan. that is a stupid point, he is buried and gone to heaven, may he rest in peace. it is his ideas that live on and his ideas and successful stewardship of america coming back in the 1980's that had such a positive influence. mr. reagan and those of us who served with him a not have been right about every single thing that happened, but his big picture idea, from my standpoint, which is lowering the tax and regulatory burden, getting the inflation rate down with paul volcker, and really encouraging an upbeat entrepreneurial country -- this is what we need. i don't recall ronald reagan ever turning around and blasting
a businessman or a banker for making too much money or living high off the hog, that kind of rhetoric. i never recalled that. reagan was uplifting. he said, here's the problem, here is the solution. he was a man devoted to more entrepreneurship in the private sector and not the expansion of government. so, my great hope, unlike the call, is while reagan has passed a way, his ideas will move on. host: juanita joins us from cincinnati, ohio. the democratic column. caller: hi. i am sitting here listening to this man. i have a journalism degree from ohio state. and i never had such god awful in my life. but i have two statements to make. no. 1 -- we had something in school called content analysis. in the eight years when mr. reagan was president -- here in
cincinnati -- his policies designate -- devastated my people. you could argue that until you are below. i have lived here. i worked with the people. i have lived in cincinnati all of my life. he may have been wonderful for you, but for this community, his outlook and policies were devastating. guest: well, you know, this is a political debate and i did not want to get into that. there is no question the economy prospered under reagan. i would leave it there. i did not feel like going through that stuff. host: jim, republican from portland, oregon. caller: i have been watching your show and i have to say that i agree with you wholeheartedly on everything that you say. my big question is, it seems so simple. it seems so easy. i just don't understand why the liberal hierarchy in the you not
-- white house, capitol hill, does not go along with these policies that are approved from the past. i agree with you wholeheartedly about reagan. guest: and it was clinton, also, i just want to add that. libby, you were quoting my friend roger altman, who was the senior treasury official during the clinton years. i have quoted or talk about erskine bowles, who was bill clinton's chief of staff during the second term. my free enterprise jet -- free enterprise jack beady free enterprise -- free-market ideas, are not just republican ideas. republicans, unfortunately, departed -- you had a lot of spending and regulating in the 2006 session of congress, and actually it happen before, too. so, republicans can lose their way. these are just universal
principles of free enterprise that i am giving you today. they are free market principles. i would say this. it in the current atmosphere -- i wanted to repeat this point, libby, because this is a big weekend in washington. there is going to be a huge debate about these unemployment benefits extension. i just want to tell you that i believe on humanitarian grounds we ought to extend the darn thing but i don't think it is that big a deal. but we also couple it -- this is where i totally disagree what is going on -- we ought to couple it with some new tax incentives for all of a business, all of business, large, medium, and small, to help create jobs through greater investment and to provide incentives. that is all. we have had too much emphasis on transfer payments, too much emphasis on the safety net, and not enough and this is on basic economic growth factors. that is my point of view. host: tony, independent line
from georgia. caller: hello? host: you are on the air. caller: mr. kudlow, kenya. -- and your mean? guest: i can, sir. caller: for the last 30 years since the reagan policies have come in, wages have been flat, the wealthy people have to look more money from anybody else and it took -- did not give nothing to nobody. guest: well, i will just say the pie grow larger. more or less -- let's say, if i get my number is right. we created something like 40 million-plus jobs in the 1980's and 1990's and we came from a devastating position where we had a lengthy recession. really, the economy was a downturn in 79, 1980, '91, '92.
we had interest rates that were 20% on the short end. we had unemployment in 1982 during reagan's first years of 10.8%, higher than the peak of this recession. the peak of this recession i believe was 10.2% late last year. reagan's unemployment rate peaked higher. and a few simple common-sense free-market-oriented policies helped get us through that. and those policies were copied all around the world. not just reagan, not just thatcher, but all around the world. look at china, look at india, look at the emerging countries in latin america. you had tremendous movement toward market-oriented economies. nowadays, if you look at imf or oecd that were originally cost file to reagan, they have now come around to the free market point of view. i am just saying, let us not lose that in the usa. let us combined a safety net with a real pro-growth
entrepreneurial policies. that is why i am worried that there is too much taxing and too much regulating in the air. how these things ultimately develop, we will see. but that is not the past -- the government cannot punish but reward people who do well. host: one last caller, nagy, a democrat in new jersey. caller: the reagan economic policy took us from being the largest lender nation in the world to being the largest debtor nation in the world and as far as your corporate tax policy, yes, highest tax bracket, 35%, that is what i am paying but at exactly did exxonmobil pay, less than nothing because the corporate welfare that our taxpayers gave them? you want to change the situation and bring jobs back here and lower the unemployment, why don't we fix the crazy trade policies and bring back the good old days of terror so we do not have any more mergers and
acquisitions created by reagan's policy and the trickle-down theory. they collectively that there to get a response. guest: i would say trade protectionism would be one of the stupidest things with a possibly do. it was one of the causes of the great depression. i would also say, while i don't say the precise figures, exxonmobil -- i hate to say it, but i guess the caller does not like oil companies -- exxonmobil is one of the largest tax payers in america. look at the facts before you start railing on. and trade protectionism would be a loser. one positive on that -- mr. obama last week did say that they're going to go after the south korean trade deal and a panamanian trade deal and the colombian trade deal. that is something that would help business, that is dumping that would help consumers and would create jobs. i hope the president follows through. free-trade along with lower regulation and lower tax rates and smaller government, in my
>> now we're going to turn to the role of media and internet in informing perceptions. we have an exceptionally strong team as we've already had on the other topics. she is a moderator for the china television and anchor or the domestic and international affairs. she's also been a journalist here in washington. and she's also worked in radio. so those 06 you who think radio and television is biased one way or the other, she can balance the two out. she will be followed by jim, the chair in u.s. media at the university of sydney. by jim fallows, who is the chair in u.s. media at the university of sydney, a national correspondent for the atlantic monthly, has been an editor of "u.s. news and world report" and recently spent three years, was it, in beijing.
so he has recent experience living there. we'll begin with miss tian. >> thank you very much, ambassador roy. i see you have got all our information on hand. it's a very heart-warming feeling coming back to washington. i remember last time i waved good-bye to this city, there was a sense of vulnerability in the air. it was seven years ago, right after the war in iraq, and now coming back, even though there is still the impact of the financial crisis being felt here, but i see, at least i sense over the past few days staying here, growing sense of confidence in the air, so on that, i feel so happy for my friends here in the united states. seven years have passed, many years have passed over the past few years, but many things happened.
china has grown. the u.s. has changed, yet the two countries have realized the increasing importance and urgency to draw upon some strategic policies towards each other for the long time to grow. so on that point, i really want to express my appreciation both for the kissinger institute and also for u.s./china center for your academically open-mindedness and your continuous encouragement for all of us to investigate and brainstorm some of the biggest trends when it comes to this most fascinating and therefore challenging relation in the world. having said that, our topic today is perception. wow. last time i checked, in the dictiona dictionary, it's supposed to be a psychological term, not a foreign policy term.
just to follow your words, ambassador roy. and what does it mean, really, perception? you probably could help me to understand this very complicated english explanation. what one perceives as a result of interplays between past experiences including one's culture and the interpretation of the perceived. sounds complicated, at least it sounds very tricky. so on that tricky question, i'm sure both sides will find them controversial, if not notoriously emotional. when we talk about notoriously emotional, of course people will come up with the word "press" and yes, ladies and gentlemen, now let's talk about the press. as the media practitioner, i can constantly feel the existence and the evolution of perceptions, the two countries, the two peoples, the two media,
have about each other over the past few years. as a former washington correspondent, as a chinese tv host, hosting two flagship shows on cctv, china's biggest television broadcaster, and also as a columnist for "global times" which many consider as the most nationalistic newspaper in china and as a blogger, as many of you probably are sitting here in the audience and microblogger i am now, also, and also shall i say maybe a fanatic already on the microblogging because it's developing really fast here in china. so many kinds of medias are active here in china. before we really tackle what exactly is the perception of the chinese media, can i just update you, i know many of you have been traveling to china
frequently. maybe for the sake of our audience of c-span, update you a little bit about exactly what is the chinese press, what made the chinese press. in china, brief introduction, 7,000 kinds of periodicals and magazines, 2,000 different kinds of newspapers and the number certainly is growing all the time. my home organization, cctv, has 18 open public channels and you can imagine there are also many, many other tv stations, they're at different kinds of local levels across china. meanwhile, the new media is developing dramatically here in china. we have, you know, of course new websites, social networking websites, and blogs, microblogging and the text messaging. you name it, there are so many kinds and the ownership is also complicated. it's not like the old times, everybody is supposed to be the
propaganda machine of the government. it's very diversified. you can find public owned, government owned, private owned, commercial media, joint venture, even total foreign invested media. so the media is not like black and white in china anymore. having said that, though, there's another thing i need to brief you about. how media is being influenced, what type of perceptions media is forming right now in china and how they formed those perceptions. there are several factors if i could just go through them very quickly. for example, the general decline in the influence of political ideologies in china, the growing public sophistication and sometimes skepticism toward policies in china, and also the diversified intellectual debates and increasing contact with the west and the r the world, and of course, the intense competition in the media market. the competition in the media
market is dramatic, i have to say, even my home organization once again, cctv, it is not like the government will bring you all the cash and therefore, you do whatever program you want to do or what the government wants you to do, but rather, it needs to be commercially independent. in other words, the media are shouldering various kinds of roles. they are a state-owned public broadcaster. they are also public tv, they are supposed to inform people, and they are also commercial entity. they're supposed to make their own livings. so these are the very complicated issues revolving the growth of chinese media and that's already a very long introduction. so now let's go to the exact perception that media is having about the united states and how that is really impacting the
common people in china or on the government policy in china towards the u.s. as we said earlier, since it's a very complicated picture in china already about the media, it's very hard for me to use the next maybe seven minutes to sum it up as to what are the perceptions, how is it influencing, so i took the liberty secretively to narrow it down to several questions and i wonder if you would agree with me on these questions. the very first question, mr. ambassador also mentioned that at the very beginning of this talk, is the perception of the chinese media that the united states is weakening while china is getting stronger, and therefore, it is time for china to challenge the united states. that is true. well, i think it's a very timely question and also strategically important question, because there's ongoing debate in the
world today whether there is a power shift from the united states to china in the world. so how can we understand that. let's take a look at some of the so-called apparent challenge that china is posing toward the united states. one of those issues, most recent one, would be about yellow sea, the possible joint military drill between the united states and south korea with the u.s. suggesting that it's likely to send george washington aircraft carrier to the yellow sea with the chinese saying that is going to touch on our fundamental interests and therefore, we are against it, and that is still in the air whether things can be decided or not, depends on the trip of secretary clinton i guess after the 21st of this month. but let's take a look at what china media has been saying about this. i took the sample of two newspapers in china.
one is supposed to be nationalistic and rhetorical. the newspaper i work as a columnist for, "global times," and the other is sovereign weekend, it is believed to be a liberal newspaper based in southern part of china. let's see how they cover the story. "global times" as always being an affiliated paper of the "people's daily" it used an editorial which is named "don't let the yellow sea drill become the start of u.s. strategic blackmail against china." in it, it argues and here i quote, the yellow sea should be a prohibited zone to the pentagon, china's not a weak country, it argues, the united states cannot treat china as if treating nobody, if the pentagon can imagine it can turn back the clock 100 years and do whatever it wants to china, then it was making its biggest ignorant strategic mistake, end of quote. it's hard to read the rhetoric.
the sovereign weekend, one would imagine probably they are going to take a very different approach because these two newspapers compete with one another in the chinese market. one is going to this extreme, the other is going to that extreme. but ladies and gentlemen, not necessarily in this case. and here is what i found in the last edition, latest edition of sovereign weekend. there's a story called, let's see what it's called, okay, the u.s. is only one aircraft carrier away from china. wow. it sounds threatening, doesn't it? so the only difference between the two papers is that southern weekend instead of using rhetoric are trying to line up what are the possible disadvantages china would have
to face if u.s. send "george washington" aircraft carrier to the yellow sea. so one would argue that probably this would show s how much the strong perception chinese media is having about the united states and how much that is really impacting on the chinese public and how much that is contributing to the very strong attitude chinese government have about the united states. but it may not be the case. let me just go through a little bit more on that research. messages sent by the two newspapers certainly has been received by the chinese public. i am blogging on one of the most popular microblogging on one of the most popular social networking sites in china and here's what i found during a
very dull sunday morning in washington, d.c., closed myself in the hotel room. here's what i found. there are july -- from july the 11th to july the 18th, there are 1,433 microblog messages on this very specific subject about the yellow sea joint drill and of course, compared to the comments about the world cup or about paul, as some of you may know, the most popular figure during the world cup, which is 90,000 microblogs about them, this of course is very low figure but for this story, it is certainly at the top of the list. so after reading through the 1,423 of them, here is the number i found. as you said, we don't have many survey companies in china so i have to do it myself.
50% of those who are sending those microblogs, they clearly stated that the u.s. is threatening china and china should fight back. 45% did not give any personal comment on the story but provided a web link to the news stories on the subject in the chinese media. 2.5% said china should maintain or remain cool-minded and come up with a cool strategy afterward and there were also 2.5% who said china would not dare to do anything towards the u.s. of course, there are several microblogs that didn't really say anything or at least, i don't understand what they are saying. once again, one might take this example as one explicitly showcase of the theory that china with the hard line attitude adopted by the chinese press is challenging the united states and therefore, confirming
the notion that we mention ''ed in our first question. i would argue that yes, china and the chinese press in this case is challenging the u.s. however, it does not have much to do at all with the perception that china has or the chinese media has about the so-called assumption that the u.s. is getting weaker and china is getting stronger and therefore it's time for china to challenge the u.s. china is challenging the u.s. or chinese media is challenging the u.s., chinese public is challenging the u.s. in response to the u.s. challenge towards china or at least what they p perceive as the u.s. challenge towards china. so why would i say that. am i being so idealogical or propagandaic here. i continued to read these newspapers over the past few weeks and realized three more interesting phenomenon. first, the two newspapers not
only publish their rhetoricical stories or stories that are supposed to show that u.s. is threatening china but also the many varied attitudes other countries involved in the issue have to say about the issue. dprk, rok and the united states, of course. secondly, the two papers also published either editorials or columns about other option for the two countries to take which is not let any country or any specific interest groups or any specific events taking advantage of the very strategic interests that the two countries have toward each other. and i guess that echoes very well with many of the experts that are coming to this conference in the chinese delegation. thirdly, the two newspapers,
though they publish some rhetorical articles, none of them mentioned at all that china should preempt u.s. interests in the region. rather, they were only saying that china should react to what they perceive as the u.s. challenge towards china. so that is one question. it's already very long. and i have two very briefly, just to mention the next two points. question number two is what is the chinese media's perception on the question whether the u.s. as a country is still worth respect, in spite of the controversy it got itself in with the war in iraq and with the financial crisis. i think our professor, professor suor sun and professor jiang have handled this specifically. one light note, i think you know
that china is fascinated about soccer also our team only entered once into the world cup final. over the past world cup, even though the u.s. team got into the top 16, as you may know, chinese are ranking the u.s. team as the top ten -- top eight most favorable teams for the chinese. so in a way, you can see the chinese perceptions about the u.s. reflected in soccer. and that is also reflected in the understanding of the oil spill in the gulf. because people are very sympathetic rather than emphasizing that it will be a challenge for the obama administration. people are saying this is also a good opportunity for china to look at its own in our month of
challenges and disasters. and last question, which i think would have a lot to do with, a wonderful speech given guy my colleague, whether -- the chinese medias perception of what the west's perception would be. so, on that note, i have compiled some of the examples but i don't think that we have the time to go through all of them. but there is one story that i think is worth mentioning. i was talking to our friend just now, the wonderful lady in red, ellen and we were saying about the policy china has designed in dig nus innovation. many foreign businesses believe that is a policy biased towards foreign businesses because it
gives more opportunity to chinese businesses and the environment in china has been decreasing or deteriorating. here is an interesting survey done by the u.s. chamber of commerce in shanghai. it did a survey calls business climate in 2010 in the first quarter. let me just weequickly read thrh some of those. maybe you would realize that some think there is biased perceptions against china and whether that is being reflected to the chinese medias reporting. many of the businesses feel that business has improved or stayed the same in the last 6 months. even within the 22% that perceive the situation to have
the people manning the u.s. media in china are first rate. if you had to compare average skills, language preparation, sophistication, sympathy for the home country and almost any other measure of what would make a rhetorical core, probably the average talent level of the people on duty in china is higher than any place else. and i would include in this the sense of sympathy with the country these people are reporting in. so one element is we have perhaps the best qualified on average group that we have any place. second, i'm still setting up the paradox here. i'm impressed having spent three