Skip to main content

tv   Washington Journal  CSPAN  May 23, 2011 7:00am-10:00am EDT

7:00 am
debate regarding the present obama health care law. and later, we will check with the government accountability of some the national flood insurance program. "washington journal" is next. ♪ host: good morning. they cloudy monday and the nation's capital today. the gang of six, now the gang of five, struggles to work out some sort of a compromise on its own. the senate voting thursday on the house budget bill. that's a plan put forth by congressman paul ryan. senator harry reid is pushing for the vote to put republicans on the record. on the record. a new poll out in new york's 26
7:01 am
congressional race, placing the democrats a slightly ahead. former minnesota governor tim pawlenty, republican, officially entering the race later today. the president is in dublin, ireland this morning, the first stop on a four-nation tour that will take him to england, france, and poland. his remarks yesterday at the apec conference. we want to focus on u.s. foreign policy and ask you this question. how do you think the world views america? america? give us a call.
7:02 am
host: "the irish times" has the story on the president and his arrival. the story about a rally taking place tonight. thousands are expended to attend this free public event. it will take place at the college green in dublin. president obama giving his only public address in his visit to ireland. he is on the ground for just 24 hours. he will be accompanied by first lady michelle obama. the couple's children are not traveling to ireland this week. they're in school. the president's speech is largely to be on ties that bind. the story above the fold in "the washington times" the president clarifies his israel's stance. in "the new york times" --
7:03 am
host: also this morning from inside "usa today" -- the president is spending part of president is spending part of the day visiting monegal. the story from usa today pointing out that the whole place, home to just 300 people, up.been painted and spruce ued
7:04 am
"the central focus is the pub with the bust of the 44th president since on the bar and obama apparently it is everywhere." he is expected to stop by and have a guinness. in another story -- in "the christian science monitor." again, give us a call and tell us what you think about -- how do you think the world views america? we begin with linda and joining us from minneapolis. good morning. caller: good morning. why would any other country look at america when they see how the president of the united states is treated in america compared to other countries.
7:05 am
it is a sad time in america when our own president of the united states is being treated like less than. i do not think the worldview is very well. it's a sad day in america when i sit back and observe how the president is treated and he is not -- other countries are watching and paying attention to how he is being treated. how he is being treated. host: thank you for the call. next is a viewer from washington state. good morning. caller: good morning. is your name. if? host: yes, please go ahead. caller: i'm amazed to get in the second call. thank you for c-span. host: how do you think the world views america?
7:06 am
caller: i'm not going to try for the world. i have been in four countries. i've never lived in them, but i have lived by some closed by countries to poland. i would be very interested in how they view the president, and there. i think that will be the most interesting part, the culmination of his trip. i think it will welcome him more than the western europeans, except ireland. that's a really funny deal about the president coming to, like reagan and kennedy did -- how the irish will view a black man, a biracial man, claiming to be part irish. host: it is from his mother's side. this is from "politico." caller: wow.
7:07 am
that's pretty impressive. we have not traced all of my family that much. i will be watching that. i think it is very interesting form policy. he has authentic business in these countries and the things to work out in the months ahead. host: thank you for the call. you can also join the conversation online at twitter .com/cspanwj. a preview on the president's trip and the business of the trip, which is the g-8 summit. the mideast issues will loom over the trip to europe.
7:08 am
host: next is b.j. joining us from annapolis on the line for republicans. caller: good morning. i was recently in croatia. i can tell you the they're all very concerned about the lack of leadership and lack of vision of this administration.
7:09 am
people say, why? they say, we lead the world. they are dependent on us. that's their view. many times i've been in europe. they always want to discuss politics. we have done a lot of things over the years to upset them. i think it is a real concern, the lack of leadership. i cannot agree more. unfortunately, that's what we're faced with. host: thank you for the call. caller: thank you. have a good day. host: two headlines from "the new york times." first, the devastation in missouri. the tornadoes strikingly yesterday hitting a hospital and leaving many others injured. you will be seeing many more pictures during the course of the day as the news outlets cover the tragedy.
7:10 am
it has been a tough spring for much of the midwest. the tornado moving as far north as wisconsin and minnesota. also, from page of "the new york times" -- "the president pressing israel to make hard choices." we will have live coverage on c- span. here's part of what the president said, defending his comments about those 1967 borders as a starting point in the negotiations between the israelis and the palestinians. >> my reference to the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps has received a lion's share of the attention. since my position has been misrepresented several times, let me reaffirm what 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps means.
7:11 am
by the definition, it means the party is for themselves, the israelis and palestinians, will negotiate a border that is different than the one that existed on june 4, 1967. that is what mutually agreed upon swaps means. it's a well-known formula to all who have worked on this issue for a generation. it allows the parties themselves to account for the changes that have taken place over the last 44 years. [applause] [applause] [applause] >> it allows the parties themselves to take account of those changes, including the new demographic realities on the ground and the needs of both sides. the ultimate goal is two states for two people. israel is a jewish state and the homeland for the jewish people
7:12 am
and the state of palestine as the homeland for the palestinian people. each state enjoying self- determination, mutual recognition, and peace. host: by the way, that speech is available on our website. more stories this morning from inside "the new york times" pointing out that the president pressing the issue. "the new york times" pointing out that the president's decision to stick to the issue is a risky one politically. host: back to your calls. how do you think the world views america? with the president oversees, his speeches last week on the middle east, and the bombings that took place over the weekend in iraq
7:13 am
and we will get a phoner in a moment on the situation in pakistan. caller: good morning. i'm just going to quote from watching c-span. i do not remember what shall i was watching. there was a reporter and he lived in china for a long time. what shocked him was a regular people's view of america. he said it was funneling up that society was telling the government to be tough on america and that they do not respect us are like us. we have to keep that in mind every time we buy something made in china. host: thank you for the call. linda has this comment on our twitter page. again, you can join the conversation on line. roy is joining us from madison, wisconsin. caller: good morning.
7:14 am
thank you for c-span. i just finished watching "q&a." host: fascinating interview. caller: we have norwegian friends that love america. they love the idea of america. they love new york city and a love -- and they love different parts of the country. the big thing i think is that they see what is good for people is not necessarily being what america has been about. that disappoints them because they can see what the possibilities of america could be. remembering after world war ii and their parents and how they benefited from america's kindness to europe and that sort of thing. norway is very well off right now. they're not in any particular
7:15 am
financial trouble. they look at their lives and their system as being very good and the kind of wish some of those ideals that they used to think were american, would be followed again. i guess i wish for the same thing. at about all i have to say. thank you. host: thank you. another comment from our twitter page. there has been much speculation about prime minister putin and whether he will seek the presidency in russia. an australian paper reporting that he has decided to run for the presidency next year, raising the possibility of a power struggle with his protege, medvedev. though once close relationship between the two, including the tough-talking former kgb officer and who has -- the russian president, the soft-spoken president, the soft-spoken twitter and busiest has
7:16 am
increasingly become fractious. host: again, that story this morning from "the australian" newspaper. newspaper. terry joins us from blackburn virginia. how do you think the world views america? caller: in regards to the ideals of our country, the people in western europe that i know find it amazing that the richest -- "richest country in the world" is unwilling to provide health
7:17 am
care to its citizens. they want to engage in battles against working-class people. in general, the overview of america's. few of sexuality is an embarrassment to most europeans i know. in general, the overview of our nation is one fabulously negative point of view. thank you. host: thank you for the call. next is joe joining us from massachusetts. good morning. welcome to the conversation. caller: good morning. i think the rest of the world recognizes the hypocrisy of america, where we claim to be a nation of laws. host: thank you for the call. chris joins us from pakistan. we get an update on a story we
7:18 am
were falling yesterday. the latest from the associated press indicating that pakistani commandos were close to regaining the naval base today as they hunted for some of the taliban involved in the uprising that took place yesterday. thank you very much for being with us. what is the latest this morning? take us back to yesterday and explain exactly what happened. guest: very recently, the pakistani navy has taken the base from the taliban. 18 hours after the attack first began, navy commandos have retaken control from this group of militants. host: the pakistani taliban claiming responsibility for the attack. all of this as a result of the capture and killing of bin laden? guest: that is right. they said the attack was meant to avenge the death of bin
7:19 am
laden three weeks ago in a u.s. raid. they said they sent about 10 fighters into the complex. they go in there, they split up, they take shots. they killed 12 pakistani security officers. the idea is they get as much publicity and it now appears to have been killed or captured. host: the president, in an interview conducted with the bbc prior to his departure for europe this week, said he would do the mission all over again, that he would use u.s. troops to going to pakistan to get bin laden. wonder how that is viewed over there. guest: pakistani leaders and civilians made it clear they do not like the idea of america or anyone violating their sovereignty. the president, the prime minister, and initially welcomed the raid to kill bin laden.
7:20 am
eventually, they changed their tune. there have been another raid, it would risk -- it would certainly hurt ties between pakistan and the u.s. further. and yet, i think the president has to say this. he cannot not say he will go after the bad guys. the guys would hope -- they could do some kind of joint could do some kind of joint operation. host: "the washington post" has some photographs of what it looked like yesterday. the associated press called it one of the most audacious raids in years. how did this come about and how did they break through security barriers? guest: the interior minister
7:21 am
said that they scaled the fence with the latter's -- with ladders. it's a very large facility. i suspect around 11:00 p.m., the guards were probably not expected 10 or 15 heavily armed militants to cross over. they got into the heart of the base. they destroyed two american surveillance planes. these are big planes. as i said, they held up in various buildings. it was a surprise attack. it was supposedly a high- security facility. hard to go against a determined people who are not afraid to die. once they get in, they have no desire to get out. if the attackers are doing that, it's quite hard to defend against them. host: let me give attribution to some of the photographs you are
7:22 am
looking at from "the washington post." chris brummit from the associated press. you have been in that country for how long? guest: close to three years. host: as you see and talk to people three weeks after the capturing and killing of bin laden -- we are asking people this morning -- how you think the world views america. how do the pakistanis view america? guest: i think 11% with a favorable opinion of america. the american occupation next door in afghanistan is very unpopular with people. the war in iraq is very unpopular. perceived u.s. policy -- unfair towards the palestinians -- has also hurt america's popularity. and yet the government and the army receives billions of dollars of aid each year from
7:23 am
america. it's a rather strange situation. the people are very hostile towards america. the army and the civilian leaders rely on america for their eighaid. there's certainly a sense that somehow the army is manipulating public opinion. the army is still very powerful. sometimes is hyping up anti- american sentiment. it is a complicated picture. i think, instinctively, many pakistanis, do not trust america or do not like america. they see it as perhaps -- unfairly, i think -- behind many of the problems facing the country. a popular, it is, "if only america would leave afghanistan, the violence will stop buying
7:24 am
pakistan." i think it is certainly not true. that's what the normal pakistani will tell you. they blame the problems on the united states. they're not looking to their own military. host: again, the headline -- pakistani commandos regaining control. chris brummit is reporting through the associated press, reporting from pakistan. thank you for joining us on c- span. another headline from "the christian science monitor." our question to you is -- how do
7:25 am
you think the world views america? next is david joining us from tulsa. good morning. caller: good morning. host: go ahead, please. caller: i think, as far as the mideast is concerned, the mideast -- our foreign policy there is bias. i think the present a lot of problems there. we are heavily favoring israel. the culture, the religious culture there, and injecting ourselves militarily. it does not sit well with any of the people there. that is a sense of tension, too. host: thank you for the call, david. you can join us this morning by giving us a call. we have a new set of phone numbers this morning.
7:26 am
if you are an independent, the number to call is -- or send us an e-mail. the president is scheduled to travel to poland, a trip that was canceled last year when he was attending -- he was supposed to attend the funeral services for the polish president and other skilled in the tragic plane crash -- others killed in the tragic plane crash, but because of the volcano, restricted flights. this morning in "the wall street journal" -- let's look at the president's schedule. he begins the day in dublin, ireland. he departs tomorrow for england for a state visit. the queen is hosting a dinner on tuesday. the president is reciprocated with a dinner on wednesday for
7:27 am
queen elizabeth. thursday, the g-8 summit will take place in france. then off to warsaw, poland before returning to washington, d.c. for memorial day weekend. good morning. caller: good morning. thank you court taking my call. i just returned from ireland in april. they were very excited that barack obama was coming. they really were. it was really wonderful to see how incredibly happy they were. -- everybodyuxhaven -could felt excited that he was coming, that the queen was coming.
7:28 am
the word that came to me and my friends -- we were just tickled. they just feel that he is a marvelous leader. i was listening to one or two callers before myself. i have travelled rather extensively. israel when i was a child -- being raised also with a british father -- i have to say, i think it's very interesting. almost in a symbolic and metaphoric way -- and this will sound enormously simple. it's not simple and we know that. we live in a very threatening world right now. everyone is suffering
7:29 am
financially, including ireland. i guess what i'm starting to see more and more, you know, america, we have always helped everyone. we will never please everyone. i think sometimes, when america comes in and changes things and tries to make it better, and yes, there's an economic plan to that as well. that as well. sometimes i do feel america gets this negative rap, if you wolill -- we will not please everyone. host: thank you for the call. a comment from our twitter page --
7:30 am
some other headlines on this monday morning from "the irish times." below the story, the current taoiseach. "the pittsburgh post-gazette." here is more from the president's address. >> as for security, every state has the right to self-defense. israel must be able to defend itself by itself against any threat. [applause] provisions must also be robust
7:31 am
enough to prevent a resurgence of terrorism to stop the infiltration of weapons, and to provide effective border security. [applause] and a full withdrawal of israeli military forces should be coordinated with the assumption of palestinian security's responsibility in a sovereign and non militarized state. and the duration of this transition period must be agreed. the effectiveness of security arrangements must be demonstrated. host: the president yesterday at the apac conference. in "the washington post" -- the twitter conversation on the question we're asking -- how do you think the world views america? one of our viewers said -- you can join the conversation at georgia joins us from brooklyn,
7:32 am
new york. good morning. how do you think the world views america? caller: good morning. good morning. the way people view this country is sometimes good and sometimes bad. if we could stop making with each other and go on -- the fact and reality is real. we have a big problem with the separation of the democrats. they want to do away with this and they do not like what are president is doing. what are they talking about? nobody, nobody, no place looking to do but one thing -- get where they can pilferage. they've pilferage from the social security, the medicare, and they do not want anybody to do anything. they want to keep it where they can charge us $10 per gallon for gasoline and all the other things.
7:33 am
if we can get them to face the reality -- give everybody a chance. host: thank you for the call. from "the wall street journal" this morning -- among the photographs, of course, the famous photo from the situation room ask the white house -- room at the white house. his next israel joining us from buffalo, new york -- next is bill joining us from buffalo. good morning. caller: no longer is there a consensus of an american way. we have not had our own army -- detainee abuse task force. to me, that sounds anti-
7:34 am
american. host: thank you for the call. "politico" has the house republican budget on the front page this morning. we'll be talking about that in just a couple of minutes. as we said at the top of the program, vice-president joe biden is expected to continue conversations with the budget tomorrow. zachary is joining us from massachusetts. the question we're asking -- how do you think the world views america? america? good morning, zachary. caller: good morning, sir. i think the world views america as a hypocrite. america came to be the richest and most powerful nation in the 21st century. is this kind of sad to see that people go at america for health
7:35 am
care -- basic social services. services. the function of government, in my opinion, to provide for those who cannot provide for themselves. not necessarily initiating a welfare state. the government, this huge it is kindomingoing on -- of surprising to me. people, especially in europe and other places, view america as a country that says one thing about the reality. host: thank you for the call. from our twitter page -- a couple of stories we want to bring you from "the new york times."
7:36 am
"some other pbs stations are questioning whether they can continue to find a way to make pbs a business model that works for them." also, from "the new york daily news" reaction to newt gingrich. " why a self-proclaimed 30 financial conservatives spent so much on bling." and from "the new york post" --
7:37 am
"how the obama team is collecting dirt on christie." good morning. caller: good morning. i think we ought to take a look at the other side of the story where the people are lining up and putting five under people -- 500 south americans or mexicans and trucks and trying to get into our country. it's not all that big. people are trying to get here. they want to be americans. we are still the country that everybody wants to be like. host: thank you for the call. next call is from maryland. good morning. welcome to the conversation. caller: thank you for the opportunity to be on c-span. i listened to c-span 24/7. world views america from two perspectives.
7:38 am
most people the test our policies. that's the point. [inaudible] i am here. i am proud to be here. i go to school here. god bless america. host: thank you for the call. some other headlines from "the washington post." we talked about this yesterday on the "washington journal." daniels said he would not run for president. "it has also helped to solidify what has been a fluid gop field and brings more clarity to the challenges ahead for each of the leading contenders." also, a related story this morning. john huntsman, the former ambassador to china -- we
7:39 am
covered it yesterday. "in gop race, could huntsman be a player?" "just three weeks after he left the job in the obama administration, he's on a five- state swing in new hampshire as he weighs a campaign for the republican nomination to oppose his former boss." that story this morning, "usa today" frontpage. if you want to watch that, it is available on our website at c- from "the new york times" this morning, this is a story on the congressionalh district.
7:40 am
new ads for the democratic candidate and the state assembly member from upstate new york, the republican nominee. >> you have learned it, work your will life for it. unfortunately, social security benefits may have to be adjusted down, jack davis said. down, jack davis said. davis and corwin want tax breaks for corporations. we just cannot afford jack davis or jane corwin. >> meet jack davis. he claims he had a hand at creating nancy pelosi's democratic majority. great job? nancy pelosi pushed through the system was that created jobs in
7:41 am
china. jack and kathy cannot fight for us when they come with strings attached. the national republican congressional committee is responsible for the content of this advertisement. host: the latest ads in rochester and buffalo, new york. thank you very much for being with us. you point out in your story this morning that she is up four percentage points. another poll has it essentially a dead heat. how did it get this close? guest: there are three candidates in this race. certainly, medicare has emerged as an issue that many voters are concerned about. there was some polling and a poll that found on saturday that one in five voters -- medicare is the most important issue. host: in the poll, you point out
7:42 am
that the candidates' unfavorable ratings continue to grow. what does that tell you about the negative ads we have seen? guest: yes, the un favorability is growing. the attack ads are working in the attack ads are working in painting the others in a negative light, but it is hard to say if they are hihelping anyone. the negative ads are disgorging -- are discouraging a lot of voters, i think. host: the story in "the new york times."
7:43 am
all is that playing out among the electorate -- how is that playing out among the electorate? guest: she is doing all senior events later today. i know she is trying to reach out to those senior voters. a poll on saturday showed that 45% of voters 55 and older are with her. 37% are with corwin. host: you were among the panelists at a debate we carried last week from wxxi, a pbs station in rochester, new york. did anything come out of that debate? we should mention that jack davis did not participate. guest: davis did not purchase of a dying two debates we've had in the district and his numbers
7:44 am
really -- davis did not participate in two debates we've had in the district. it's hard to say if one candidate won at all. candidate won at all. corwin pointed out -- you are not willing to cut here, here, and here. host: explain the politics of a special election? what will you be looking at? guest: it's all about get out the vote now. these two campaigns are focused on getting their people to the polls. special elections are tricky. they're usually pretty educated voters. most people i talked to -- we see letters to the editor.
7:45 am
i do not know if people are turned off and that will depress turnout, or if they're really concerned about the future of the country that they will go. it will be interesting. host: i saw a figure above to $2 million in the special election and could go higher. does that sound right to view? guest: i think there's been more spent by each of the candidates. i think that the $2 million figure might be outside money that is spent in this race, not by the candidates themselves. certainly, all television advertisements all the time. host: she is covering the story. herpes is available online at -- her story is available online at does this surprise you that it has reached this point? reliably's pretty
7:46 am
republican territory. when two seats were held by republicans, this was one of them. this was a surprise to a lot of people. we will see what happens. the democrat is certainly not -- she is certainly a relentless campaigner. i do not know if it's all that surprising. certainly, medicare has turned this race into a real contest. host: we will be watching tomorrow and the results tomorrow evening. thank you for joining us. the story is available on-line. "politico" has this story. "tim pawlenty's moment." last night, his campaign released in this tv ad. >> i could give a speech and tell you i was running for president. i could have a podium with my campaign logo.
7:47 am
i could have balloons, red ones, white ones, and blue ones. i could pass out stickers and cupcakes. i could promise that we could eliminate a $14 trillion debt, create jobs for 10 million people, restructure social security and health care, all without making any tough decisions. or, i could try something different. i could just tell you the truth. the truth is our country is in big trouble. we have far too much debt, too much government spending, and too few jobs. we need a president who understands that and has the courage to face them. president obama does not. i do. tomorrow, my first campaign stop will be in iowa. that's where i will begin a campaign to tell the american people the truth. i am tim pawlenty and i'm running for president of the united states.
7:48 am
i believe with all my heart of the challenges we face can be overcome. my dad worked as a truck driver. my mom died when i was a teenager and i was the first time my family to graduate from college. as governor of minnesota, i drove a democratic state in a conservative direction. to be there for the next generation, we will have to do more than speeches. we've had three years of that and it is not working. join me tomorrow and around the country -- you will not hear the empty promises. you will hear solutions. together, we will change our country. and this time, it will be for the better. host: the announcement of tim pawlenty. again, he will do so officially
7:49 am
in iowa. a story from "politico." vice president joe biden will be in manchester, new hampshire. we'll have live coverage of his speech for a democratic party fund-raiser, part of the kickoff for the president's reelection. mitt romney is in iowa and south carolina this week. you can catch all of it on our web site at, part of our road to the white house coverage. when we come back, we'll turn our attention to the debt and the deficit. andy sullivan from reuters will be joining us. what is next in those talks? it is monday, may 23. "washington journal" continues in just a moment. ♪ ♪
7:50 am
>> no one succeed in life by themselves. you must be able to lean on others, and yes, love others. >> commence as speeches on c- span, memorial day weekend. online at the peabody award winning c-span video library, where you can search, watch, click, and share every event recover from 1987 through today -- then we have covered from 1987 through today. >> c-span's local content vehicles kick off this weekend, including interviews with wilber and dietche. also, american history events
7:51 am
from c-span3. and the hidden history of an goal of -- of angola. lcv cities tour kicks off this weekend. you are watching c-span, bringing new politics and public affairs every morning. is "washington journal" about the news of the day, connecting you with elected officials, policymakers, and journalists. weekdays, live coverage of the u.s. house. weeknights, congressional hearings and policy forms. on the weekends, you can see our signature interview programs. on saturdays, "the communicator's" and on sundays, "q&a." you can also watch our programming any time at c- and it is all search able.
7:52 am
c-span, washington, your way. a public service created by america's cable companies. >> "washington journal" continues. host: we want to welcome back andy sullivan. he covers congress for reuters. negotiations resuming this week. the vice president sitting down with congressional leaders tomorrow. the gang of six is now the gang of five. the senate voting on the house budget plan. where is all of this heading? guest: i think the interesting thing at this point is the biden group is the group seen as the main hope. when obama proposed them last month and the congressional leaders named to was going to be on the panel, they were viewed with widespread skepticism because they are not viewed for their budget expertise. they are more known as political leaders. the gang of six appears to be running out of steam. senate democrats are not
7:53 am
presenting a budget of their own. this is seen as the main game in town. in the senate, they will vote on a plan that passed the house of representatives, paul ryan's plan. they may also vote on president obama's original budget proposal, which he put forward in february. that's expected to be defeated because that is seen as superceded at this point. there were a lot of budget plans around town and things are about to get simple. host: there have been talks about somebody else or replacing burn.or co have you heard any other names mentioned? guest: no. host: senator mitch mcconnell also putting up the president's budget, what is that about? guest: i think they want to get each other on the record. the democrats are sensing an advantage at this point because paul ryan's budget plan is not
7:54 am
pulling very well. they really want to press their advantage on that. the republican leader, mitch mcconnell, says, if you do that, we will make you vote on president obama's plan. host: ryan budget plan is getting a lot of attention. democrats are trying to use this as a potential playbook for 2012. what are the advantages and what are the pitfalls for that? guest: he lays out california he would like to save $6 trillion over 10 years. one of the ways -- he lays out how he would like to 6 $6 trillion over 10 years. and turning medicare from the program where you pay a monthly fee and go to a doctor to a program where you would get a chunk of money and you would have to go out and buy your own insurance. this would save the government quite a bit of money because it would not keep up with the rate of health care inflation. a lot of people get really
7:55 am
nervous as soon as you start talking about changes to medicare. host: paul ryan is the republican from wisconsin. he appeared on "meet the press" one week after newt gingrich was critical of the ryan plan. we will have more on that with andy sullivan. here is the chair of the house budget committee, paul ryan. >> first of all, i think there will be a deal. it will probably take a while. we have until august. it is made right now. this will take time. the position is very simple. for every dollar the president wants to raise the debt limit, cut more than a dollar worth of spending. he's asked for an increase in the debt limit. we can show the president plenty of ways and areas to cut more. it's a very important for the credit markets, for our economy, to show that we are going to get the situation under control, that we will get the debt stabilized, and get spending under control as we deal with
7:56 am
the debt limit. the debt limit. nobody wants default, but we do not want to rubber stamp of the increase that shows we're not getting under control. host: congress is notorious for waiting until the very end. the initial deadline was mid august -- mid-may. that was delayed because some budget plans revised by treasury secretary geithner. will we see this play out through august 2? guest: it could get very interesting. a new line from republicans is, "august 2 may not actually be the drop dead deadline." the treasury department will run out of ways to pay the country's bills. however, we will still be getting tax money in. we can still pay the most essential things, like buying bullets for the pentagon and making sure our debt is serviced on the markets so we do not face a default. let's use this tax money to
7:57 am
prevent a default and if we have to issue iou's, it's not the end of the world. some people say if we miss a few payments on the bar market, that's not such a big deal because investors -- on the bond market, that's not such a big deal. i would not be surprised to see it stretched past august 2. host: we will get to your phone calls in just a moment. we have a line for independents. you can also send us an e-mail or send us a tweet. of course, the republican claim is they are saving it. guest: because paul ryan's
7:58 am
argument is if we do not do anything, medicare will run out of money and it is an unsustainable course. that person is referring to -- ryan says if you are 55 or older right now, you would still have the same program when you'r retired. host: when the vice-president sits down with kanter, what are the big issues and how likely is it that they will work out some sort of an agreement? guest: the big issues are taxes and health care. we have been discussing medicare. the medicaid program for the poor is also a big one that's under discussion. the two sides are really far apart on what they want to do with this and how much money is at stake. taxes are a big sticking issue, as well. both sides say they would be up for simplifying the tax code so
7:59 am
that there would be fewer loopholes and tax breaks and you could lower the rates. democrats say we also need to raise a little more revenue. republicans say they are not raising any more tax revenue. the two sides have agreed to $200 billion in preliminary cuts, just by looking at obama's plan and paul ryan's plan and seeing where there is overlap. host: van hollen, a democrat, was also on "meet the press" yesterday to talk about the budget and the debt ceiling. >> the president has put a plan on the table. there was significant medicare reform. as it was indicated, they ran all these ads against democrats. we ended the overpayments to the medicare advantage plans freely made other reforms to
8:00 am
incentivize provision of value of care, volume of care, and there are other things that have been proposed mentioned some of those. those. you did not hear one word about how we need to deal with the revenue side of the equation. every bipartisan commission that has looked at our deficit and debt problem has said -- you cannot do it with a one-sighted approach, which is what the republican plan is. these guys will not even agreed to get rid of the subsidies for the big oil companies. if you are a series -- if you're serious about the deficit, why worry about coming to the table when you are saying that you're not going to ask the oil companies to japan and get rid of their subsidies? host: andy sullivan, your reaction to the congressman's remarks? guest: another point that
8:01 am
congressman van hollen was making is that the democrats have the affordable care act, and the idea is that you have a group of experts who are looking at how medicare operates and are trying to squeeze savings from the system. that will start next year. republicans want to repeal that plan, so they are not excited about how that would work. host: what is the likelihood congress will have a budget in place by october 1 when it is supposed to have a budget in place? guest: by the next fiscal year? i am pretty certain it will not happen. they're starting the process of writing the spending bills. they have to do 12 spending bills every year. the house of representatives two weeks ago set the overall levels. they will try to get cut from programs that democrats like, things like the labor department, health and human services, education. so i expect there will be a big fight there. remember, you have the house,
8:02 am
controlled by republicans, the senate, controlled by south -- controlled by democrats. host: when do you think the details will be out from the biden plan? guest: i would say probably by august 1. they have a lot of work to do. they are starting to make progress, but i think, as you heard congressman ryan say, they will not get something until close to the deadline. host: here is the big issue when it comes to the debt and the budget. republicans will not under any circumstances raise taxes. democrats are saying tax increase at least for wealthy americans has to be part of the plan to bring down the deficit. where is the compromise? it is a good question. i don't see how you get a deal without movement on taxes. one of the things they can do is instead of making specific
8:03 am
decisions about taxes right now, they could set out a trigger framework where you say next year we are going to achieve x amount of deficit savings, the next year a little bit more. how we get there specifically, we will figure out next year. host: our guest is andy sullivan, a graduate of northwestern university. hank joins us from detroit, michigan. welcome to the conversation. caller: good morning, and thank you for c-span. host: certainly. caller: you know, the republicans do not make any sense. i looked back at bill clinton coming when he was in office. he left a balance budget, a surplus, and a blueprint.
8:04 am
i am trying to figure out, when bush came into office and gave the money back to the super rich, the 2%, 3% back to multimillionaire's, started two wars without being paid for, i'm trying to figure out -- if he had a blueprint to do the things that was necessary, and you have to have revenue in order to do the things that you need to do, so paul ryan's budget -- i keep reading it -- it does not make any sense. it seems like the idiot's proposal. host: thanks for the call. andy sullivan? guest: i think hank raises a very good point. about 12 years ago we were looking at budget surpluses after making a bunch of tough decisions in the 1990's about raising taxes, cutting spending.
8:05 am
we were in pretty good shape at that point. the cbo is projecting cumulative surplus of $6 trillion over the coming decade. then, as hank notes, president bush pushed the tax cuts and launched the wars in afghanistan and iraq, and we did not raise taxes or find another way to pay for them. spending rose as well, and at the end of the decade, the recession came as well, so that was a huge hit on tax revenues. there was also increased unemployment benefits, the stimulus package, and things like that. so, yeah, we are in a deep budget hole at this point. the paul ryan plan would scott -- would cut spending sharply, but it would cut revenue. the argument from the republican side is that taxes are bad for economic growth. the way we want to stimulate the economy and get things going
8:06 am
again, creating jobs and more tax revenue, is by lowering rates. host: 60 is the vote necessary to get anything done in congress. with 60 votes -- we would no longer pass appropriations bill indefinitely.'s is he correct? guest: you only need 51 votes to pass. 60 is often a pretty high hurdle to reach, obviously. but if you get a budget deal out of the biden group, you can drop it into the regular budget process and it would have an easier time passing because you only need 51 votes. host: so where are the points of agreement between senator reid and senator mcconnell in terms of spending cuts? guest: the both agree that things like farm subsidies should be cut.
8:07 am
they are looking at the federal retirement program for federal workers, saying we could make some changes and save some money there. things like auctioning off electromagnetic spectrum that there are underutilized frequencies, sell those to frequencies, sell those to broadband mobile companies and things like that. caller: simply eliminate all the bush tax cuts, cut military spending, close the loopholes. closed -- have a new stimulus and invest in infrastructure. doing these things here, it would make the country boom. we have no choice but to pay, so we might as well bite the bullet and pay and go on, you know what i mean?
8:08 am
host: thank you, don. guest: that would raise a fair amount of revenue, by closing the bush tax cut, lowering military spending, things like that. you mentioned loopholes, closing loopholes. one of the biggest loopholes or tax breaks, how you would describe it, is for people who have home mortgages. as you know, if you pay interest on your mortgage, you can write that off on your taxes. that off on your taxes. you can also deduct the state and local taxes that you pay on your federal taxes. that would lead to a pretty big increase in taxes for middle- class folks who own homes. the steps to outline would save a fair amount of money. host: we are talking with andy sullivan. john is joining us from new york city on the republican line. good morning. caller: i was just curious. i agree with the gentleman from maine.
8:09 am
the military budget, in my opinion, is out of control. we have too many wars, and we need to get out of the middle east. it is just ridiculous. host: jim says as well, local military spending appears to be -- jim says as well, "military spending appears to be out of the budget. guest: the ryan plan takes the savings that defense secretary savings that defense secretary gates outlined in january and says let's go ahead and do that. also, both sides anticipate that we will be spending less in iraq and afghanistan over the coming decade as those conflicts wrapped down. you never know if that will actually happen or not, but they're counting on that. a lot of democrats are saying, yeah, military spending is a huge part of our budget, 19 percent. -- 19%. let's look at ways of saving
8:10 am
money there. host: next come from madisonville, kentucky, roy, on a republican line. caller: thank you for taking my call. i just want to know, our budget, it is it going to get higher or lower? what can you tell people about it? i just think that the budget -- you know, we should have a little more revenue, be it lower or get higher or something. think about what is going on in think about what is going on in the country, jobs and everything. you know, tell me what the budget is all about. i just think that if we just get a budget that, you know, i can get us through for a couple more years, that would be fine with me. i appreciate it, c-span3 thank you and have a good day. host: thank you for the call,
8:11 am
right. guest: i'm curious to know whether you -- do you think taxes are to higher, led -- are too high, do we need more tax revenue? do we need to spend more on infrastructure to help people in the economy? is he still on the line? host: he is not. closing the loopholes on the second homes, at any home over $750,000 a year. also, allow the bush era tax cuts to expire. guest: that would save quite a bit of money. the mortgage interest deduction we talked about earlier -- that allows for vacation homes, and it does not matter if you are creating a modest home or an expensive, fancy home, you get that break.
8:12 am
that benefits the wealthiest because they get that break. that would bring in a fair amount of tax revenue. allowing the bush tax cuts to expire, allowing them to go back to the rates they were in the 1990's -- people like alan backed that plan. i do not know if that is on the table at that point. host: we are talking about the debt and the federal budget with andy sullivan. next caller, good morning. caller: i have a couple of comments and questions. host: and we will turn the lights back on. so keep going because we have had a shortage here. we will pay our elected bill next time. caller: i think the republicans are playing games with the majority of people's lives in
8:13 am
this country. i'm glad to see the democrats are finally getting a backbone and telling it like it is. i agree with a couple of callers so far this morning. i cannot believe that there are not the part -- tea partiers and republicans who earn under $500,000 a year that would not agree with most of the democrats about how the budget is going so far. they do not have the kind of money that the top 1% to 3% have. i think they should keep the mortgage deductions for the mortgage deductions for the persons -- for the person's main home, maybe put a limit on it, 5 virgin thousand dollars or $1 million or something -- $500,000
8:14 am
or $1 million or something. taking that away would really hurt a lot of people. clinton had a plan. he had the surplus. he left everything in order. i cannot understand why bush would give back the surplus instead of using it in the way it should be used. i come from california where brown just got reelected to the governor, and he took away cell phones, use of cars. he took away all kinds of things that i cannot believe across the board in the government there are not tons of things that could not be taken away that are not needed. my question is, in regards to the social security and medicare -- i was looking on some of my pay stubs, and it does not seem like you pay a whole lot every month into those things like can they just increase the amount,
8:15 am
build the fund back up again instead of talking about taking it away? guest: elaine -- you mean beyond where they capita $400,000? caller: do not tap it, and for myself, i would gladly pay 50 bucks a month more or something to that so it stays the way it is. host: jackie, we will get a response. the lights are back on, so everyone can see and hear us. guest: you are talking about payroll tax deductions for social security and medicare. those were lowered in the tax bill that passed at the end of that -- at the end of last year. this affects everybody who holds down a job, so that would stimulate the economy by putting more money in their pockets. of course, then we have less tax revenue than -- and our fiscal problems are exacerbated. the thinking there was that this
8:16 am
is a short-term measure that would get the economy going again. unlike income taxes, pretty much everybody who holds a job pays social security and medicare taxes. so your willingness to be paying more, i think in a few years those rates will go back up to where they were before. host: next, kathy from conway, new hampshire. caller: concerning our debt and federal budget, we need to get out of the wars and become energy independent. at home we do not need oil spills and nuclear waste. we should be utilizing wind and solar and tidal power. 100 billion tons of water bottles in every day to form the highest tides. if you had reversing generators, it would create enough energy for millions of people in our country. i would like to see something done with tidal power.
8:17 am
thank you. host: thank you. guest: i do not know if it stretches down into maine and we could have tidal power. so are and wind energy are still rather expensive and we are not producing enough energy to make up for the lack of other sources of energy. in your corner of the country, there have been some wind farms that have been installed there is one in cape cod, another in western maine, near conway. people are saying that it ruins my view or it chops up birds or whatever. i think we cannot do it overnight. for the time being, we're still
8:18 am
relying on oil and coal and natural gas. host: richard is joining us from prairie grove, arkansas, our line for independents. caller: good morning, c-span. we dodged a bullet last night. 80 miles north of us, it got wiped out. host: the pictures are devastating this money. did you hear or feel the tornadoes where you live in arkansas? caller: i could hear the thunder, and it was dark down here, yeah. i just had two quick points and a comment. i'm getting tired of all these politicians with their drop-in- the-bucket theory. he put a bucket underneath a leaky roof and see how fast it fills up, you're going to empty it. you know, it does not cut water.
8:19 am
this is a drop in the bucket, that is a drop in the bucket. bucket's add up. as far as the fuel prices go, what is the price of fuel in saudi arabia, iraq? those oil-producing countries? they look out for their own people first, then put it on the market. the last thing, a comment here. this end of the day thing, i thought we were in a global economy. quite frankly, when i was a boy, i was taught that the earth was a sphere. it is daytime somewhere all the time. please find some new saying. thank you. host: that is great, richard. guest: your point that there should be a better metaphor -- another point you might have been hinting at -- negotiating
8:20 am
up to the last possible moment has some real ramifications. right now the interest rates that we pay on our federal debt are very very low, 3.5% for our benchmark treasury bill. people worry that if we get too close to august 2 or go beyond august 2, those interest rates could spike, and investors will say the united states is less reliable than we let on. right now we are paying 6% of our total budget on interest costs. we would have less money to spend on other things of interest rates spiked. host: next, los angeles, good morning. caller: first of all, i would like to comment on the wonderful job that our president has done. we have had eight years of the bush tax cuts, and then we
8:21 am
recently introduced more tax cuts, these multibillion-dollar corporations. we have seen in the last eight to 10 years that it has not even helped the american economy at all, so why don't we take some of that money back and use it for things like creating jobs, as opposed to constantly giving multibillion-dollar corporations these big multibillion-dollar tax breaks? it is ridiculous. at some point in time it has to stop. that is all i needed to say. host: thank you. robert, you know, the $800 billion -- guest: robert, the $800 billion stimulus package was comprised of a number of tax cuts. i presume the point you're making is that there are better ways to stimulate the economy, by doing things such as
8:22 am
rebuilding our crumbling bridges, etc. it is interesting to remember that a little more than a year ago, the democrats who still control both chambers of congress, were trying to pass a second stimulus bill and they were not able to do it. the republicans won control of the house, and the priority has changed to cutting spending rather than doing more deficit spending. i think the environment is pretty tough in washington to do more spending to create jobs directly. directly. host: jim tweets , saying, "i am tired of people saying going forward." we had a deal that cut the deficit that cut $4 trillion over 10 years, and we were ready to announce it when cockburn left.
8:23 am
dick durbin's comments yesterday on cnn. guest: right before they had their deal, the trustees who oversee medicare, who keep an eye on the program, released a new report saying it was going to run out of money four or five years earlier than we thought. so i think senator cockburn took a look at that and said we need to go back and cut more -- senator coburn took a look at that and said we need to go back and cut more from medicare. senator durbin said we cannot go back and change this at the last minute, so senator coburn said, i am sorry, we're just too far apart, and they're on sabbatical, the way he put it. everybody can agree to cut out waste, fraud, and abuse and lower farm subsidies and things like that. the real big ticket items are the ones that are very hard to
8:24 am
-- the: here's an excerpt from program. >> the last option is totally unacceptable. a default on the debt could plunge us into another recession with more job losses and businesses failing. those totally irresponsible members of congress who say it does not make any difference if we default are being irresponsible. it is one of the most significant economic issues we are going to face. we need to acknowledge that no single group of five or six can come to this conclusion. but just maybe bringing together the best ideas of all of them we will find a solution to this problem. host: that was senator dick durbin on senator coburn announcing he was leading the gang of six. your reaction to his comments? guest: we will be seeing a lot more of that as the week's progress and as we come closer
8:25 am
to the deadline. democrats are very eager to say that this is really irresponsible to be playing with our debt limit because, as we pointed out earlier, that could affect the country's credit rating, that could affect the interest rates that we pay. right now we are sort of viewed as the safest haven in the world, and there is a huge benefit to the united states to that. if we lose that, we would be in real trouble. republicans are saying if we missed it by a day or two, it is not the end of the world, and let's keep talking until we get the best possible deal. host: you can join the conversation at good morning, republican line. caller: i had a couple of points i would like to have mr. sullivan comment on it, if you would, please.
8:26 am
he mentioned savings from the affordable care act earlier. the conversation going on now is rationing versus choices. i read the obamacare act and i i read the obamacare act and i see a lot of rationing, although it is not put that way. i see paul ryan's plan, although not exactly palatable to me and other folks in the 45- to 50- year-old age group. my second question is the congressional game playing going on. it seems odd to me that we as a country are still calling it -- are rare still talking about cuts for seniors and survival services as a country. our leaders -- obama just talking about aid for egypt, at age for afghanistan and the wars there and in iraq, and aid for libya. enough is enough. the time has come for us to take care of ourselves a little bit,
8:27 am
to look at what are we getting for our investment in these countries. i really look forward to hearing your comments on that. host: you'll hear from democrats and republicans that that is a small percentage of the overall budget, but you still support cutting that aid? caller: i am sorry, i couldn't hear you. host: both democrats and republicans still argue that foreign aid is a small percentage of the overall budget, that the bulk of it is the military and entitlement programs. caller: i would not doubt that, but when you are talking about cutting medicare and at the same time offering aid to egypt in the middle east, it comes down to priorities. let's start with something. host: we will get a response. in the summers of reuters. often the first thing
8:28 am
people say when we talk about cut is, what are we giving money to egypt and libya? we found that osama bin laden was hiding in pakistan, and there have been a lot of people on the hill saying, why are we giving them billions of dollars a year when they cannot deliver osama bin laden? the counter argument is that gives us a foot in the door, it gives us leverage. i think that is the argument with egypt and other countries as well. foreign aid makes up about 1% of the budget, i think a little less. things like medicare are much longer -- things like medicare are a much larger slice. i think 14% is medicare right now. medicare costs will go up a lot and make up a larger chunk of the budget. i do not know -- to your first question about the affordable care act savings, i do not know exactly how that would work.
8:29 am
i am not a health care reporter. but certainly the way you laid it out as rationing versus choice is the way paul ryan talks about it as well. he said the obama approach would have unelected bureaucrats making choices about your health care. the choice being which private sector plan you would want to go into, and user savings. i know if you have health care through your employer right now like i do, my health care costs are going up pretty steadily. so maybe democrats are saying that is not the solution either. i think it is a really tough question, and trying to figure out controlling health-care costs, obviously people have a lot of work to go yet to figure out how to do that. host: and a lot of attention on u.s.-israeli relations.
8:30 am
israel has been the largest recipient of u.s. foreign aid, especially u.s. military aid. we are talking with andy sullivan on the u.s. budget agreement, and will there be an agreement. good morning, sherry. caller: mr. sullivan mentioned a couple callers ago, when the woman commented that she was willing to pay $50 more a month. you said that they were going to change the rates back to what they previously were. they have been 7.65% from the employee, and 7.65% from the employer for about the last 16 or 17 years or so. what are the previous rates you are talking about, and i have said this before -- since this
8:31 am
was a trust account, aren't ees that are in charge that should have made sure that social security and medicare should have been taking care of properly and invested properly so we would not be in this position today? also, i know that a lot of states could have -- and i know in louisiana, a lot of state workers who have their own retirement system never paid into medicare for years and years, and now -- well, i will say the last 15 years or so -- they are 1.45%. the states match it as well. host: thanks for the call. guest: they are all very good questions and very good points. i do not know the exact rate that we are paying for payroll taxes right now. i believe that in the tax field
8:32 am
that was done at the end of last year, the idea was that you bought it down two percentage bought it down two percentage points for a temporary period of time, for a period of two years. your point about social security and medicare -- we do have sort of a trust fund for social security where we have a surplus of money. we are taking more in than we are spending out. i believe that social security we're at the point where we are taking in about the same amount of money we're spending out, may be starting to spend a little bit more. the projection is that trust fund will get drained down over the coming decades. i think in about 20 or 30 years, it will be out of money. medicare is projected to run out of money sooner, i think in the middle of the next decade. so the problem is, at the population ages, more people start drawing on those benefits. at the population ages, more
8:33 am
people start drawing on those benefits. costs go up. they're looking at the state workers and saying they have these really cushy retirement systems, i do not have that in the retirement -- in the private sector. here at the federal level they are starting to take a look at that as a way to save money. that is part of the deal, is what federal and state employees are saying, that we have been expecting this nice retirement system because we often do not make as much money as we could in the private sector with similar skills. host: walk us through what we will see on thursday with the vote on the house budget plan, the bryan plant. -- on the ryan plan. guest: i expect it is on the
8:34 am
same day, and they will both fail. senator mitch mcconnell yesterday said on fox news that he was not even urging his fellow republicans to vote for the ryan plan. several republicans, including in the senate, have opted not to vote for that plan as well. host: andy sullivan of reuters, thank you for being on c-span. when we come back, a health-care laws. we will discuss that with michael cannon of the cato institute. and later, the issue of the flood insurance. prime minister ben ned -- prime minister benjamin netanyahu, live here on c-span and on c- span a radio. and tim pawlenty joins officially the republican race
8:35 am
today. good morning, nancy. >> good morning, steve. authorities in missouri say at least 89 people have died in the massive tornado that struck last night. the city manager speaking at a pre-dawn news conference, said a twister cut a path nearly 6 miles long and more than half a mile long -- more than half a mile wide through the center of town. the president was briefed several times during his overnight flight from washington to dublin and will be continued -- and will continue to be briefed during his six-day trip. shortly after landing, president obama said the u.s. and ireland share a blood link extending beyond strategic interests and foreign policy into the heart of the millions of irish americans who still see a homeland here. he made the remarks alongside the irish prime minister shortly after arriving in dublin. the white house officials say a new joint national security council with britain will be announced later this week when
8:36 am
the president travels to london. violence continues in afghanistan. nato says four of the service members have been killed in an explosion, bringing to 26 the number of nato personnel killed in afghanistan this month. those are some of the latest headlines on c-span radio. >> this june on "index," the balance between security and debris -- on a "in depth," the balance between security and -- eric posner. and we will take your calls, emails, and tweets. >> now available, c-span's congressional directory. inside, new and returning house and senate members with contact information, including twitter addresses, district maps, and
8:37 am
committee assignments. and information on the white house, supreme court justices, and governors. order online at >> follow c-span's "washington journal" on twitter. you can tweak your questions to guests and add your comments to the conversation. do not miss any updates on "washington journal." "washington journal" continues. host: we want to turn our attention on the health care bill, signed into law last march by president obama. it continues to generate a lot of interest and debate in this country. michael cannon is the director -- the health policy director for the cato institute. guest: think you for having me.
8:38 am
-- thank you for having me. host: this piece -- (if some americans deserve waivers from this bad law, all americans do. guest: there is a requirement that americans purchased unlimited coverage on an annual basis so that an insurance company cannot tell you -- cannot set a limit on your coverage. lower than $750,000. it will eventually be phased out so there will be no limits on claims and a covered person can file with an insurance company. that costs money. when you require a person to purchase more coverage, that will increase premiums. many are asking the administration, can we please waive those requirements?
8:39 am
insurance companies spend no less than 80% of premium revenue on claims. on medical care plus quality improvement initiatives. and only 20% on things like marketing and underwriting and so forth. and fighting fraud is another important element of administrative costs. entire states are going to the administration and asking it to waive that requirement for what we call the individual market, where people purchase insurance directly from insurance companies because they're afraid that requirement will cost insurers to flee their markets. some insurers have fled the market as a result of this. what is interesting about these two waivers is two things. first, both of these reckoned -- both of these regulations that people are asking the administration to waive our consumer protections. if they really are consumer protections, where are consumers going to the administration to
8:40 am
say please protect us from these consumer protections? because they really are not consumer protections, they are hurting as much as they're helping. about half of the workers to receive waivers so far are workers in union plants. unions -- the percentage of american workers in unions is about 12%, but they represent 50% of those receiving waivers. that raises the question of what is going on here because unions were very supportive of president obama's campaign in 2008, very supportive of this law, and yet they are receiving an overwhelming number of exemptions from this law. host: the be shared with you from the website first of all, looking at individuals -- both individual who can afford it will be who can afford it will be required to obtain basic health
8:41 am
insurance or pay a fee to help offset costs of caring for uninsured. if affordable coverage is not available, he or she will be eligible for an exemption. if the employer does not offer insurance, individuals will be able to buy insurance from an exchange. we talked about some of those issues before, but for those not quite familiar with the exchange, how does that work? guest: what you just described is the ball of individual mandate, the least popular element of obamacare -- is the lot of individual mandate, the least popular element of obamacare. critics of this law, myself included, have pointed out that the constitution does not give congress the authority to force americans to purchase a private product. another element of this law are the health insurance exchanges it envisions for every state pretty law says each state has to either create its own health insurance exchange or the government will create one. it is a government bureaucracy
8:42 am
that will be helping to govern the regulations of obamacare, handing out subsidies to private insurance company that it will help people to comply with that individual mandate. that will be hundreds of billions of dollars of subsidies as the years go on. so states are grappling right now with the question of should we create these health insurance exchanges, these new government bureaucracies? a lot of states that are left leaning have embrace that. there is something of a split among opponents of the governors and state legislatures that generally oppose the law. some of them have said, flat out, no, we are not going to create an exchange because that will make the cost of health care rise and make it harder to repeal this law. but other opponents of the law said they it will go ahead and create exchange, do it in compliance with the law. what is interesting about doing it with a more free-market way, the federal government has said
8:43 am
if you create an exchange that is not complying with all the rules and regulations that this law lays out, that the federal government is basically coming in to commandeer that state exchange. so there is really no such thing as a free market health insurance exchange or a non- obamacare exchange because any exchange that states create will become a vehicle for the federal government to control health- care markets in all 50 states. host: so according to kaiser, it points out that in 2014, if you do not have insurance, benefit that you could potentially pay would be $95. it would increase to $325 by 2015, $695 by 2016. here is the other argument on the other side -- if you do not have health insurance and you get sick and go to the hospital, those who do have insurance are paying for it anyhow. how do you solve that issue?
8:44 am
guest: the administration is being fast and loose with the facts here. if you look at research by the urban institute, they have found that actually those people who show up at the hospital and do not pay for the medical care they consume, they do not increase the premiums for people with high -- with private health insurance. there are government programs that subsidize hospitals, that get back what we call uncompensated care. so it increases your taxes, but not your insurance premiums. how much of a burden is that on the taxpayer? it turns out the same research -- these are not opponents of the law -- they had estimated that uncompensated insurance -- is a very small problem, definitely not the largest problem. if you look at wasteful spending in american health care, that
8:45 am
runs about 30%, according to the dartmouth atlas of health care. we have a much bigger problem than that free rider problem. in massachusetts they already enacted a individual mandate like we have with obamacare. there are indications that that has gotten worse in massachusetts, created new free rider problems where people do not purchase health insurance, they pay the penalty because the penalty is much less than the cost of the mandatory insurance are supposed to purchase. they waited until they are sick to purchase health insurance, and they get all the medical care they need. then they stopped paying the premiums. that is going to drive up the cost of health insurance as well. host: we will get to calls and comments in a moment. also join the competition online on twitter, et twitter/c-span.l
8:46 am
.j >> i want to live in the sort of society where we do not that people just die because they cannot afford the medical care that they need. but the way we keep people from getting into that situation is by reducing the cost of care, reducing the cost of health insurance so that more people are able to afford it, fewer people find themselves in a situation where they cannot afford the chemotherapy they need. the problem with this lot is that it will increase the cost of health insurance rather than reduce it. and it is going to encourage insurance companies to avoid the most costly patients, including those with very expensive-to- treat cancers because of the price controls it imposes on health insurance. i am very concerned with those people who cannot afford health insurance, cannot afford the medical care that they need, and it is precisely because of that
8:47 am
concern that i think this law is a bad idea. host: michael cannon, who is the health policy director for the cato institute here in washington. there is a new ad on this issue, and the response from the democratic congressional campaign committees. but what both of these political spots. >> isn't it time? >> we demand congress to bring about health care reform. >> proudly joined our canadian brothers and sisters. >> isn't it time we do that? >> the power. >> citing these -- citing -- signing this bill. >> we won. >> is the obama administration it is renting some for complying with the new health care law as a political favor? a political favor? overy haven't there been
8:48 am
1000 -- why have there been over 1000 -- >> we are forced to pay higher costs. they get a special sweetheart deal. >> they locked doors for me. we have worked together over this the last few years. i'm proud of what we have done. >> you missed a spot. >> did someone call the fire department? because it is about to get hot in here. >> the democratic impression a
8:49 am
campaign committee is responsible for the content of this advertisement. host: some humor and a lot of substance in those ads. guest: that is right. the crossroads at pretty much covers what we discussed about the appearance of favoritism with the administration handing out these waivers. the point about senior is being unable to afford health insurance, it takes a swipe at republicans who would reform health care by letting seniors choose their own. it is a little -- the proposal would improve the quality of health care for seniors, as well as provide enough money in the year after year to obtain year after -- to obtain health insurance.
8:50 am
it is typical of the attacks that have been launched against what has been called the medicare doubtful -- the medicare voucher proposal. it would improve the quality of health care. if you want to look for evidence of that, look no further than what the administration is trying to do elsewhere to improve the quality of care for seniors. the main idea for lowering the cost of medicare and improving the quality of care that seniors receive is something called at the conable care organizations. that is policy jargon for getting doctors and nurses to talk to each other about shared patient, courtney b. care so there will be less duplication, -- coordinating care so there will be less duplication, according mistakes, and so forth. the administration has been growing up this accountable care program in obamacare for a few months now. it has been roundly rejected by health-care providers. it is not going to reduce the cost of health care.
8:51 am
but the most telling bit of evidence here came from the ceo of kaiser permanente a. kaiser permanente has been hailed by don barrett, the head of medicare, -- don berwyck. but george robertson said is that the medicare advantage program did a better job of promoting coordinated care than the obama administration's plan for it accountable care organization. in medical care advantage program is where seniors get to choose their private health insurance plan, and that is what the house medicare reforms are really modeled on. here you have a leader of one of the nation's top accountable care organizations saying that essentially the house republicans medicare forums do a better job of promoting quality, coordinated care, which reduces costs, and in the administration's proposal for
8:52 am
accountable -- for an account care organization. host: questionable whether he will stay beyond this year. guest: there is a lot of opposition to him in the senate for their risk -- that is one of the reasons why he is a recess appointments. he has made a lot controversial statements about the government rationing decisions for seniors, deciding when they will and will not -- and a lot of people see this accountable care organization program as an effort toward that rationing. host: donald berwyck joined us yesterday. all of our program, part of c- span's growing video library. check it out at unions saying they do not have to pay or have obamacare info on them, why should we the people?
8:53 am
let's get your phone calls. next is oakland, california. good morning. caller: good morning. please do not cut me off. i have quite a few comments. my first one is the cato institute. i listened some mornings when i get up and i hear people calling in and saying how biased you are and how this is like -- the cato institute is a right-wing think tank. they were part of the problem when we had this health care, and regarding the waivers, united healthcare and a lot of these other huge insurance companies were asking for waivers when this first happened. another thing he mentioned -- i'm a union worker. i have not gotten a waiver. these insurance companies were asking for waivers. obamacare, they say, has done nothing but attempted and it has not even kicked in yet, and they do not want it to kick in.
8:54 am
but the same premise, giving vouchers to people 45 and under, 55, 54 and under on medicare so that they can go to the private industry and buy is the same thing that obama, that obamacare is doing for the american people. give you a voucher, and all that is going to cost. did the gay doctor to go into the private sector and buy something -- given the voucher to go into the private sector and buy something that is sky- high? i am still appalled for you to have this crap on here lying to the american people. guest: welcome a couple of clarifications, the cato institute is not right wing, we are a libertarian organization. people call us left wing because we end up aligning ourselves with people who believe in free speech and civil liberties, with
8:55 am
the right of gays to marry and so forth. these are really right wing issues. we do not fit into the left wing, right wing spectrum. we like to say that the right wing is libertarian on economic issues, and the left -- and the left is libertarian when it comes to personal freedom. what these would do is these vouchers would be adjusted for both the medicare enrollees risk and their incomes so that lower income people would receive larger vouchers. that would help them afford higher premiums that insurance companies would charge someone who is sick, would help low- income people afford a basic health plan through the private sector. host: next is maria joining us on the republican line from san diego. good morning, with michael cannon. caller: good morning. i am thankful you are on the air today. i wanted to make a couple of
8:56 am
comments real quick. i was appalled to hear about the attacks on unions. our insurance had gone up at least 75% in the year that the attacks on the union's are getting rave road did -- that the attacks on the unions are getting waivers is appalling. illnesses that are long term, it really does not help our state. there are portable clinics that are through private health care insurance such as kaiser, bluecross, that do provide services for alien residents, but still do not help the federal with the large chunk that is needed for care. thank you so much. guest: i do not think the people who are highlighting the waivers are necessarily attacking unions. i am certainly not.
8:57 am
i do not know about crossroads. i do not speak for that. i think the unions are planning for the waivers because they recognize how harmful law is. it is already taking effect. it is increasing insurance premiums. there are some insurance companies to have reported that obamacare is increasing premiums for some members by as much as 30%. so i sympathize with the unions. i'm on their side when it comes to the weavers and i think they should get these waivers. but the issue is that more americans should get these waivers. more americans -- i think more americans should get a plenary waiver from the entire law. the problem is that a lot people do not know how much -- one of the problems is a lot of people do not know how much this what itself as contributing to the itself as contributing to the premier is because -- secretariat and human services secretary kathleen sebelius threatened insurance companies
8:58 am
to threaten to do so come and since then you have not -- have been indications that we have is this lot is making health insurance to expensive for working americans. or these waiver applications that we're getting for unions and from others around the country. host: two questions for donald host: two questions for donald kagans, a frequent tweeter on the show. "was it kato that interested -- that was interested in canada's legalization? what blow with that yet to be pharma -- to big farmers? guest: we support it. we think the war on drugs has been a horrible failure, has destroyed more lives than drugs have, has led to violence here in the united states and in mexico. it is not my area of expertise, however. host: next caller. atlantic, georgia, you're on
8:59 am
with michael cannon of the cato institute. caller: here is my point. as far as this health care, obamacare, as the republicans say. i am a democrat, a black man who has lived in the united states for all my life. i'm 63. healthcare has been going up since it started. it goes up every year. they go up when they want to go up. here is another point i would like to make. the republicans, especially this cato institute -- you keep saying you are not right wing, but to me you are right wing. i call right wing -- i call ron paul right wing, and he is a libertarian. i'm trying to say to myself, who is going to vote for a republican? i do not think blacks will vote for republicans this year or next year. i do not think muslims will vote for republicans. i do not think the mexicans will vote for republicans.
9:00 am
with the paul ryan budget on that voucher plan, i do not think the old people are going to vote for republicans. i'm trying to figure out -- i went to the herman cain rally when he announced he was going to be president because i lived down the street from there. i sat on a bench and watched for two hours of people going in there. they the audience was all caucasian, all white people. this was a black man. host: we will get a response. guest: the caller touched on the rising cost of health care. it has been rising his entire life. for the last seven decades, the
9:01 am
federal government has put this in a situation where everybody is spending someone else's money on health care. on health care. get health insurance through your employer. people covered by government programs, they are spending -- they are spending other people's money. nobody spends other people's money as carefully as they spend their own. you give seniors a fixed amount of money and let them save what they do not spend on health insurance and they will be more cost-conscious consumers. there will force insurance companies to be more efficient. there will avoid unnecessary testing.
9:02 am
there will avoid unnecessary tests and procedures. that will bring down the price we pay and health insurance premiums will have to pay. host: florida, good morning. caller: good morning. thanks for c-span. thanks for c-span. it is a joy to be libertarian. it seems like there is all this debate going on an issue that should not be an issue. i'm a state's right advocate. the federal government has been usurping states' rights since the seoul war. is a nature -- since the civil war. isn't it true that a majority of the states disagree on the
9:03 am
approach to health care? if the majority of the states think it is a better idea, why is the government moving forward? isn't there a way of uniting this? why is are even a discussion? who is asking questions about states' rights. guest: a majority of the american people, consistently and polls. --in polls. americans at large have been rejecting this law. i want to clarify something. states do not have rights. individuals have rights.
9:04 am
there's a lot in the health care at. that encroaches on th the powers of the federal government are enumerated in the constitution. one of those powers is not the power to force americans to purchase a private product. when they decided, they exceeded the powers. that is one reason why we're seeing 30 states filed a lawsuit and we've seen two federal states declare part of this law unconstitutional. we see them refusing to implement any of the law whether they take the money or not.
9:05 am
this is part of an enormous backlash against this law. americans feel they have this law forced upon them. they did not want to live under this law. host: 30 states led by virginia. now it goes to the federal circuit court process. when do you think we could see a supreme court argument on this? guest: legal arguments -- legal experts say these cases will go to the supreme court and we could get a ruling from the supreme court in the early summer of next year, 2012. that would be presidential election year. whichever way the court rules, whether they appalled the mandate with a strike one or both down, it will have a big
9:06 am
impact on the presidential election. host: we are required to play social security taxes. what is the difference between those requirements? guest: the government clearly has a taxing power. the first power the constitution grants to congress. there is a separate grant of power. congress amended the constitution to allow an income- tax. advocates -- the commerce power of the constitution, which says commerce -- congress shall of power to regulate commerce in several states. there's something out there that congress can regulate. it does not give congress the power to create commerce where
9:07 am
none exists. the gave congress the power to call forth armies, the militia. they did not give congress the they did not give congress the power to force states to purchase a private product. host: a fundraiser in boston. here's what the president had to say. we will go next to martin of louisville, ky -- we will go next to mark in louisville, ky. host: -- caller: what about people on disability? how was i going to affect them?
9:08 am
i'm on disability myself and barely make it. i wanted to know how that is going to affect people on disability, medicare, you know. guest: i don't think these reforms would change any other benefits outside of medicaid. that is a program for the elderly, the disabled, and people with certain unspecified medical conditions. if you're on medicare because you're disabled, you're going to be traded -- you're going to be treated the same. a plan that meets your needs. the venture will be higher if you're low-income -- the voucher will be higher if you are low-income -- low income. that will help you purchased a base plan that will help to get
9:09 am
the care you need. they will have incentives to say no to services that may not be the most valuable and use their resources to focus on the services that are the most valuable to them. host: let's go back to some earlier comments. this was in "the washington times." he is a cousin to the president . . "made all sorts of promises. would allow you to keep your doctor." host: is that accurate?
9:10 am
guest: i cannot vouch for the number. the claim you'll be able to keep your health care is false more so than true. lots of americans have had to give up the health plan they had in scarlet or chains that plan -- or change that plan. provisions when into effect of september of last year and increasing premiums by as much as 30%. people have lost their health plan entirely. manager thousand americans were covered -- 900,000 americans were covered and the need to find a new health plan.
9:11 am
indiana reported six insurance companies have left the market as a result of that law, as a result of that one requirement in that law. we do not know how many people, but a number of americans have lost their health insurance and now have to find another health plan. states have asked for waivers. the have done so because they said the individual markets will collapse unless they get a waiver from this one requirement of obamacare. those states are new hampshire, nevada, and maine. this raises an interesting question so much to those raised by the other waivers. is there political favoritism in vaults in new hampshire getting one of these waivers -- is their
9:12 am
political favoritism involved? one of the waivers went to nevada. maine is an interesting case. their insurance commissioner was an avid supporter of this law. she said, this is going to destroy our individual markets and leave lots of residence without health insurance. she to got a waiver for maine on that provision. host: more than 50% of the waiver beneficiaries are union members. let's go back to your calls. cleveland, good morning. caller: i have worked with insurance companies as a
9:13 am
registered nurse in a major metropolitan hospital. can you hear me? since 1971. i have work with doctors and a team of registered nurses. the doctor formulates a plan for the patients. i cannot say how stressful it is to work with these insurance companies. these insurance companies decide who lives and who dies. they have the american people in a stranglehold. the idea that they can cancel your insurance when you are sick -- host: let me ask you about being dropped from insurance. guest: the president has made it sound insurance companies can drop people willy-nilly.
9:14 am
that is not the case. if they do that, you can take them to court. plaintiffs who do that do very well. insurance companies are dropping people because they found they -- because they thought they found fraud. if people are lying in order to obtain health insurance, they should be dropped from a health insurance plan. the obama administration changed the rules to make it harder to prove it was fraud. i'm sure those questions should be answered at the state level. states will have an easier time correcting bad. it is harder for the federal government to correct that. how to provide the most secure health insurance to six people
9:15 am
-- the news as far as lightly regulated markets is good. insurance companies protect people with high cost -- that developed high-cost medical conditions. they deny could drop from their health insurance. there was a study done. those markets are generally less regulated. people who purchase insurance from an insurance company with less regulation or less than half to end up uninsured. it provides more secure coverage. it happens all the time. it is difficult for doctors and insurance companies. will we do not want is what we do not want one end of that
9:16 am
bargain to be the government. that is blocking competition between different ways of trying to navigate those inevitable tensions. we should be giving consumers the power to purchase their own health plan so they can choose a health plan that navigates those frictions in a way that meets their needs the best. inside for a health plan. premiums may be higher -- you can sign up for health plan. make sure doctors are avoiding potentially harmful services, you will be able to choose the kind of health plan. this law is not the remedy you're looking for. part of the reason is because
9:17 am
the government through the tax code encourages us to purchase more and more health insurance. the more services that are paid for, the more administration overhead and paperwork there will be. insurance companies want to track how doctors are spending their money. there will be a lot less paperwork involved. host: michael cannon with the cato institute, thank you for joining us. you can get more information by logging onto we will turn our attention to flood insurance. how to get it and how much does
9:18 am
it cost? first, some latest news from c- span radio. good morning, nancy. >> the u.s. embassy in pakistan said six americans escaped unharmed. the attackers destroyed at least two surveillance planes and killed 12 security officers. commandos have regained control of that base. a suspected u.s. missile strike has killed koch for people near the afghan border. this was a trouble -- home to several militant groups that have been attacking the u.s. forces. three key provisions of the patriot act expire in a few days. lawmakers will be looking to extend them before they do.
9:19 am
the senate is in this afternoon. you can watch live coverage on c-span2. those are some of the latest headlines on c-span radio. >> the balance between security and liberty. the limits of international law. your questions for author eric posner. he will take your calls, e- mails, and tweets. live on "book tv." >> a complete guide to the first session of congress. new and returning house and senate members. twitter addresses, committee assignments.
9:20 am
order online at follow c-span' -- span's "washington journal." you can tweet your questions to our guests. to not miss any of "washington journal." start your today. "washington journal" continues. host: orice williams brown is with the government accountability office. good morning. good morning. thank you for being with us. we do have one line set aside for you impacted by the floods along the mississippi. you could join the conversation online at or
9:21 am
send us an e-mail at journal@c- what is the national flood insurance program? guest: a program established by congress in 1968. it is a federal program that allows homeowners and businesses to insure their homes and businesses and the contents within their home. host: who qualifies for the program? guest: anyone can qualify for the program. home owners or renters. host: we saw the video from the morganza spillway. it was built by the army corps of engineers as a way to try to prevent the flooding. do those people in the path like have flood insurance? guest: some of the folks that
9:22 am
live in the floodway may have flood insurance based on our conversations with fema. very few of them to carry flood insurance. the concentration of homeowners and businesses that carry flood insurance would have been greater had all flooding reached new orleans. to the extent that there are farmers involved and they have crop insurance and the crop insurance may provide some relief. host: how to you define a flood? what determines whether you qualify for the benefits? guest: a flood is anything involving rising water. mudslides would also be mudslides would also be encouraged -- would also be included in the definition.
9:23 am
everyone lives in a flood zone. fema has mapped the united states and the designate these zones. there are low and moderate risk zones. there are higher flood risk zones. if you have a federally insured or you have a mortgage from a lender who is federally regulated, you're required to have flood insurance on the property as long as there is a mortgage on the property. host: we spoke about the information in louisiana. we're building homes closer to rivers and lakes. guest: one of the challenges with managing the flood insurance program and also ensuring that people are building in floods way it has to
9:24 am
do with the fact people are living in flood zones. committees are participating in the flood insurance program. your committee has to participate. there are over 21,000 communities the participate in the program. if your community does not participate, you're not able to purchase flood insurance. host: what of the options? -- what are the options? guest: you may be able to get specialized insurance. you would need to carry flood insurance policy. if your committee does not produce a breakup you would have to livrely on post-disaster insurance. host: what they provide in terms
9:25 am
of assistance if your impacted by a flood? guest: homeowner's policy did not include flood insurance. the flood insurance is a separate program because the risk of flooding is borne by the national flood insurance program. your homeowner's policy does not cover flooding. caller: i live in a flood zone in carson city. it is an old map. i would like to get fema to change the map. we have a water restrictions during the summer. it is so dry it would have to water our lawns every other day.
9:26 am
i was wondering if i could get the fema map so the neighborhood will not have to pay for flood insurance in the middle of a desert. host: thanks, ed. guest: fema maps the country for flood risk. this is done in conjunction with local communities and counties. i wish to adjust your reach out to a local county official and the folks that deal with floodplain management and talk to them about starting the effort to have maps your location reevaluated. host: what kind of insurance is available? are there limitations in terms of what you can claim? guest: the maximum amount of
9:27 am
flood insurance available in flood insurance available in $250,000 for a residential policy. there is a separate contents policy available and those are up to $100,000. host: florida, good morning. good morning, caller. caller: this is a question and it is concerning -- our committee does not have the option for us to get flood insurance. how do we get our county into the program so that we can at st. it? we had hurricanes and flooding in our communities if years back -- a few years back.
9:28 am
what is the process? how does a regular person get on the program or get the flood insurance? guest: it would require your community joining the program. i would encourage you to reach out to local community leaders and raise the question of flooding in your area and urged them to join the program. host: we're speaking with orice williams brown with the government accountability office. caller: we are ok because of the opening of the spillway. we're very lucky. i am close to the mississippi river. it was almost to the top of the levee before they opens the
9:29 am
spillway. i am very sorry that the state has been impacted by this. host: if this bill we have not been opened up, " which to be looking at with your home -- if the spillway had not been opened up, what would you be looking at with your home? caller: 15 feet under water. the whole city probably. because of this crisis, we're buying flood insurance. we just purchased flood insurance. my confusion, i'm trying to make sure i understand you when you every home in the
9:30 am
united states is a flood zone -- is in a flood zone. some are low and some have standard insurance. is that ok? guest: yes. the risk level varies by zone. host: herald from west point, ky. caller: is everybody supposed to have flood insurance? my house has not had a flood. no water can get to me. it does flood in west point on the river. i am on a hill. there has up in a flood here in 100 years. guest: everyone lives in a flood zone.
9:31 am
areas at low or medium risk of flooding are not required to buy flood insurance. if you live in a special flood hazard area, a high-risk area and you have a mortgage from a lender that is federally insured or federally regulated, there is a mandatory purchase requirement for flood insurance in those specific situations. it is confined to individuals with mortgages that live in special flood-hazard areas. for others, the decision to buy flood insurance is optional. host: if you live in a mountainous region, that is also considered a flood zone? guest: they would be a zone but likely be lower-risk zone. we visited -- i will not say not
9:32 am
as because it was in ohio. we walked into homes that had flooded into the second-floor properties. these homes live on the side of a hill. i am sure the imagine their properties would not flood. 20% of cases, it is a low or moderate risk area that floods. host: what is a difference between the boundary map and the insurance maps? guest: were the floodway is and the hazard area is. fema has to go through a process of re-evaluate maps on a regular basis because it typography can change, development and urban
9:33 am
ization can change. host: barry from florida, good morning. caller: my wife and i purchased a home in 2009. we are in the pine barrens. there is no order 1 for5 to miles -- there is no water for 10 to 15 miles. i had to go through fema because it is the army corps of engineers that maps the country, not fema. the army corps of engineers has a relationship with the county commissioners who would love low-cost hazard funding. we pay over $400 the first year.
9:34 am
with the letter of map amended, we got our money back the second year. my father-in-law did not have to have flood insurance. i wish that gao and fema will look into the relationships between banks and the entities that require flood insurance and closing when it is not necessary. host: thank you, barry. guest: we have not looked specifically at those relationships, but we have done a series of reports on the mapping process. fema did start with base flood maps. the army corps of engineers did play a role in some of those maps. since that time, fema works to update an event which the boundaries for flood mapping. this is an area of ongoing
9:35 am
concern when people are mapped into areas and the question the legitimacy of the maps. we have made a number of recommendations to improve the process. this is an area that we're continuing to do work in. host: jones, oklahoma. caller: i wanted to make a comment. people have been talking with the budget crunch. people have been talking about, do we need programs like this? ron paul is not a big supporter of flood control and flood insurance. building in these areas that are susceptible -- does that change the equation?
9:36 am
it is a dangerous precedent. we're in oklahoma, the middle of tornado alley. the idea that it is irresponsible to live in this area because there is a chance of disaster and so you're on your own, buddy. it is important to keep in mind that something like caps sets a dangerous precedent. guest: one of the areas that fema is responsible for in managing the national flood insurance program has to do with working with counties and localities to deal with floodplain management. this is a key part of the program, insuring that building codes are adhered to. that is part of the issue, that
9:37 am
people are now building in harm's way. the national flood insurance program is funded to the premiums that it collects for the policies that are sold to individuals and businesses, as well as fees to cover administrative costs. until 2005 and hurricane katrina, the program had been self-sufficient. they have been able to cover the cost of the operation as well as claims from the premiums and the fees that they collected. they owe just under 18 billion dollars to the treasury. there are real questions about the extent the program will be able to repay that money to the treasury. host: we are talking about the issue of flood insurance with
9:38 am
orice williams brown who's with the government accountability office. caller: good morning. this is the first time i have done this. the subject you're talking about is quite interesting. i am looking at this from a personal point. this is property of hours that was infected by flooding. it is not in long beach. it is south, in the russian river area. we were part owners of some properties in the russian river area. i was able to do some research on flooding. what i found out was that there is a lot of repetitive claims that are made for damages in that area.
9:39 am
i also found out that people that live in long beach, carson, and in other areas, have to pay meeting the , insurance needs of these people that live in the russian river area. i am not sure if i'm getting my point across. it relates to some of your earlier callers. they were wondering why they have to pay for flood insurance. they are in areas that did not have a history of being flooded. guest: repetitive loss properties have been ongoing challenge for fee but in managing the national flood insurance program. these are programs that experience some level of flooding on an ongoing basis or least twice in a 10-year period.
9:40 am
a very small percentage of the properties in the program account for a disproportionate amount of the losses experienced by the program. one % of the properties account for 20% of the losses -- 1% of the properties. this is an area that congress has tried to address in the 1990's to focus on this issue. it passed legislation in 2004 to begin to deal with severe repetitive loss properties. this is an ongoing challenge to the program. caller: yes. insurance companies have people paying several different in churches -- life, health, flood -- several different insurance
9:41 am
s. host: i'm not sure i follow you, caller. guest: i would note that flood insurance is a separate insurance from your property, casualty insurance. the nature of insurance is, you pay for the possibility of experiencing a loss. as the flood, you may pay a flood insurance policy and not experienced a loss. it is the protection that you get in case something happens. host: we have some lines available if you want to give us a call. susan from south carolina. caller: my husband and i researched in south carolina,
9:42 am
delta islands. we found the value of our house -- which it purchased excess flood insurance. we think -- are we sure that's we have 8100-year storm -- we have a 100-year storm. is there a chance the money will not be there when we need it? guest: fema currently has a line of credit available with treasury. to the extent that losses are experienced and you got a policy with the national flood insurance program, fema has been able to go to treasury and borrow money to cover any losses, which is what happened in 2005. davis, it had been -- the line
9:43 am
had to be increased substantially to cover the losses with the 2005 hurricane season. host: we have a twitter comment. >> gao has done work on climate change. we have pointed out that when fema does its mapping, it does not factor in the impact of climate change. host: scott from michigan. caller: i have a comment on the flood insurance. i have lived on the bay all my life and we have never have the flooding, except once when it will blow for seven days straight. i found out that i did not need to have flood insurance.
9:44 am
now they say you do need it. i also found out that i owe x amount of my house. i only have to ensure that to cover the loan on my house. it dropped might insurance $600 by doing that. i did not know if that'll help somebody. host: thanks for the call. any reaction? guest: there is a fair amount of flexibility in determining the amount of coverage. he lived in a special flood- hazard area that required that each carry a certain amount of insurance because of the exposure to the lender. host: alexandria, virginia. caller: i was confused.
9:45 am
i lived in a flood zone. a big flood zone. does the area have to be declared? does fema paid the flood onurance -- why isn't fema verses gao? gao is an agency of congress. guest: once again, in terms of the zones, the country has been broken out and that determines which flood level you live in. in terms of a declared flood disaster, that is not a requirement to have a claim paid
9:46 am
if your property floods. in terms of fema paying the insurance, the national flood insurance program is a federal program. one of the reasons that there was a decision made to establish the national flood insurance program stems from the fact that most of the assistance being provided was being provided post-disaster. assistance can be an expensive way to assist home owners and rebuilding from flooding. all of the states in the union are susceptible to flooding. host: next is edward from jackson county, mississippi. caller: i have a few statements to make. i am retired navy and moved here to jackson county in 2001.
9:47 am
the water in the mississippi. is about a mile and half from my house. they said i did not need flood insurance. my bank said i did not need flooded service. my attorney said i did not need flood insurance law with nationwide. we lost our home in 2005 to katrina. i have five huge oak trees in my yard and they are still here. there was a new map in 2006 by fema. i was not in a flood zone. week we built our house -- we rebuilt our house. now i have flood insurance.
9:48 am
in 2009, fema can now with another new map. now i am in a flood zone because of a company in california. i guess they used a computer and google. i went from under $3 a year -- i went from under $300 a year and now it is 12 $1 a year -- $1 ,200. host: is this unusual? guest: it is driven by the risk designation of the property. the average premium could be a couple of hundred dollars. it could be a couple of thousand dollars in a higher-risk area.
9:49 am
about floodtalking insurance with orice williams brown g from the -- from the gao. caller: thank you for taking my call. subject in about the previous caller was addressing. this capricious addressing but the mortgage companies to carry more than the property is worth. in my situation, i have a house built in 1946 that is solid concrete blocks. the elevated the first floor the only way they knew how, with an unfinished basement that is primarily above-ground. i am being required to carry
9:50 am
$250,000 worth of coverage which, as to $1900 for a piece of property -- during the isabel situation in 2003, t inches of water. the property sustained no damage from the floodwater except for the windows being opened and went through the window into the unfinished basement. my first little for is elevated 8 feet above sea level -- my first little floor is elevated 8 feet above sea level. i received no reimbursement for
9:51 am
the loss of might well -- for the loss of my well. the mortgage company based on a fraudulent appraisal, the house is not a praise for anything more than $150,000, i am in this situation and i would appreciate if a telephone number could be provided for people to call at your level and received some guidance. and if you could explain why these mortgage companies are being allowed to get away with the ve host: contact information. guest: the best way to reach a fema, i would go through --
9:52 am
fitch and duff contact information for policyholders or potential policyholders. toa terms ofgao gao, go and you can leave a message to get a response back to you. it is difficult to deal with a particular situation. we have not looked at the issue of lenders requiring higher levels of flood insurance. we have looked at the issue and have ongoing work liggett the issue of mapping quality -- and have ongoing work looking at the issue of mapping quality. this is an ongoing challenge. guest: it would really depend on whether or not you have a
9:53 am
separate flood insurance policy. it could be sold by your property casualty insurance company. there are some insurance companies that sell policies that are not flood insurance policies but that's they offer particular riders for flood insurance. i would encourage you to look the policy yourself. read it very closely. we are not aware of any private insurance companies that are selling your flood insurance policies aside from the caller that mentioned it if you have a property that is worth in excess of -- you see these are million- dollar properties. you may be able to get excess coverage that would cover the amount a buff $250,000. i would encourage you to read
9:54 am
that policy very closely. host: we are speaking orice williams brown with. -- we are speaking with orice williams brown. bonnie is joining us from louisiana. caller: i am not having to swim. , 're not too far from rose louisiana. my husband has inherited property. a subdivision was built. he was told they remapped the area. this area never had flooding. they said we would have to get flood insurance for anybody who bought homes in this subdivision. now my husband has invested all this infrastructure, all our
9:55 am
savings went into that. we tried to go through fema to re-negotiate this thing in arbitration and it has been there for almost three years. it virtually has caused us to go prbroke. they will not come up with a final say so, we should do -- a final say so on what we should do. guest: the challenge associate with updating the flood maps, fema has been processed and i understand your frustration with the time involved in going for the process. we have made recommendations about ways fema could improve the process. i would encourage you to work through that process. host: running from orlando,
9:56 am
florida -- rodney. caller: i was listening to your last caller when you were talking about insurance. i wonder why people did not have a problem where you buy a house and the making by the insurance. when it is health insurance, everybody has a problem with it . i want an answer to the question. host: any response? guest: i do not. caller: i appreciate all the information that miss brown has been putting out. if the program has been doing so well up to hurricane katrina,
9:57 am
why is the government involved in tit? why wouldn't the insurance companies be insuring these people instead of the government putting a program together, especially if it has been self-funded for all these years? guest: look at the history of the program. the program. flooding is very difficult to quantify in terms of charging premiums. the premiums the national flood insurance program charges fall into two programs. some are subsidized. some reflected the risk of flooding. about 40% or 45% of the risk of the actual properties.
9:58 am
these are structures built prior to the creation of the program. fema went through a period where it had challenges with premiums that allowed it to collect sufficient premiums to cover losses. they have been able to make an adjustment in that area. the way the program is structured, by requiring subsidized rates, it created a potential catastrophe that happened with katrina. they have been collecting just enough premiums to cover the losses that they expected to experience, based on their average historical losses. in the event of a catastrophic flooding, the program would quickly be overwhelmed. this is precisely what happened with hurricane katrina. fema is working with the private sector to encourage greater
9:59 am
participation. they rely on the private insurance network. the insurance companies do not have the rest. they are exploring fema. fema is exploring in number of options. the program was in visions to be a federal proper partnership -- the program was envisioned to be a federal proper partnership. a lot of this house to do with being able to set rates that are affordable -- a lot of this has to do with being a will to set rates that are affordable. host: let me conclude and show this map. you can see the program is in place along the


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on