tv Morning Express With Robin Meade HLN October 19, 2009 6:00am-10:00am EDT
i am concentrating on politics right now. i like to write about religion and sports. i do television because it promotes my riding. if television went away tomorrow, i think there would be ok with it. i do radio for the same purpose, to promote my riding. i do not belong. -- i do not blog. i do have a web site, but i post that published pieces there. i wrote a book and i have another one coming out in the spring. that is basically it. i think i have my fingers and a couple of different paths. -- in a couple different pots.
>> who is nick kornacki? >>-- nick cornby. >> he is a wonderful, lovely all there. catchers -- captures late 1990's. we had a memorable meeting at a sports game. a while later the testing pops up on nine walsh -- this thing pops up on line about him reading my book. he is a very cool guy. i was honored he remembered me.
>> thank yoyou have keys over me left. look at rush limbaugh going back to football. i think it is always interesting for outsiders when conservatives do not adhere to the kind of stereotypical outline of the way that they're supposed to be habor look or sound or dressed -- to the way that they're supposed to look or sound or dress. >> this is from the college friend. s.e. punched me in the head one time in nearly broke my eardrum. she never apologize but i am
pretty sure she is sorry. you put that on there, right? >> i asked for a college friend 's quote. that is what he gave me. my site is a reference. reverend. -- my site is a reverence. i wanted to capture that on my website. i did not want another boring website. >> who is your dad? my>> his name is ken. he grew up blue collar. moved around a lot. put himself through school. went from a stock boy to a vice- president of the major fortune 500 company over 40 plus years
of working for the same company. >> which 1? >> office next. -- office max. he is my role model in terms of hard work and personal responsibility. taking obligations -- taking an obligation and responsibility for your life. >> what is this? >> my mom was 17 or 16. she was involved with the girl scouts from new jersey. they took a trip to new york city one day. they took their portraits outside of the statue of liberty. i think it is such a great, patriotic moment for my mom. she looks so helpful and young n.y. died.
-- and so wide eyed. it is kind of like i just met my parents a couple of years ago, because i really did not grow up and a political household. it was not until i came out as a conservative that i started asking them what their political beliefs were. we all discovered at the same time that we were conservative. it was surprising. >> where do you think you got your first conservative inkling? >> i was raised with personal responsibility compassion, hard work at iethic. it was not until college where i decided or discovered that i was probably more conservative than most people around me.
certainly more conservative than the kids i went to school with and the professors. i attended a debate between professors on affirmative action and found myself siding with the conservative side pi. what conservative principles do you endorse first? >> limited government, fiscal responsibility, and reducing taxes. i know they are all economically based, but taxes affect my day to day life a lot more than reproductive rights. i have never really gravitated to the value issues, even though i think they are incredibly important. i have always been drawn to the
start of the peace, limit the government's -- star of the beat, limit the government types of assets. i think people because i am young want to make sure that i came upon conservatism because of buckley. it was not a high academic decision. i admire them. it was just that this feels right. these principles makes sense. it feels like they are best for everyone. it was much more natural and organic. >> born in california raised in massachusetts. when to school in new york. live where now? >> manhattan. i live in chelsea.
i have always lived in liberal places, i do not know why. i love traveling south of the mason-dixon line. it is always fun for me. and i have always gone were the work is. my work is in new york right now. >> when could we have seen you in the boston ballet? >> i was there for maybe five years. i dance for 10 years with the washington ballet as well. -- i danced for 10 years with the washington ballet as well. it was certainly what i thought i would be doing with the rest of my life. >> when did your chang change yr mind? >> i was 18. you come to the fork in the red. -- fork in the road.
it was clear that i wanted to pursue other things. i have not taken a class since then. it is an old book closed. >> one of the things you write in your book is you say you are an atheist. >> i am. i have never understood that angry atheist. i have been an atheist for quite awhile. i was fascinated by religion at a very young age. my parents always encouraged me to explore my religious inclinations. i went to a catholic high school. i just decided early on that i did not buy it. it was not for me, but i am envious. i am envious of the faithful, so i defend them, especially the christian right in america and
every opportunity that i get. my next book really deals with christianity and the christian right head on. getting my master's and religious studies. it is always going to be something that i am studying and exploring and open to. i have not close the door on faith, is just not has found -- it just has not found me. i do not believe in a higher power of any kind. no deity whatsoever. i believe that when a guy goes in a ground that is it. >> where did we come from? >> i think i am an evolutionary believer. i believe science has to answer that question adequately enough for me. its abolition -- evolution -- if evolution get free wittmarewritl
tweak that when i get to it. i just have never believed in the supernatural beings. >> have you ever served upper -- stood up and friends of a conservative skirts and said this? >> i have to be honest. conservatism is very intellectually to verse. -- diverse. i get people who are surprised and saddened and shocked. i get people who generally want to see me the ball in my religious journey. i am open to that. i never put down the face or religion for me.
i really aspire to be a person of faith some debt. >> if you did not believe in god, why would you believe -- more people would follow the conservative -- more people that followed the conservative philosophy believe then do not believe. >> that is true of the country. it is 80% christian. there are christian democrats of course. i have never found it to be a problem. it is a problem for some people. i am not a militant caseous. i have a great respect for the religious right. -- i am not a militant atheist.
>> go to george bush. >> i am a fan. i think he had a conviction of personable principles that required him to answer to someone else when he went to bed at night. not to the state and not to insult. -- nto to himself. -- not to himself. i do not see the same sort of reverence in some of our other recent presidents, barack obama and bill clinton included. that gives me confidence as a citizen knowing that our president is answering to a higher power. he is thinking about the decisions he is making because he is someone -- because he has someone or something to answer to. i really respect that. whether you liked his policies or not, he did what he thought
was best for the country. , really rare. he could do you think barack obama is doing what he thinks is bad for the country? >> absolutely not. i think he is a true believer in some of his policies. that is fine, but i also think barack obama does not have a lot of his own convictions. i think they have been informed by academia and the chicago community organizing circuit in so many different influences, but i do not think he has a visceral feeling on a great many issues. that is problematic for me, because i think he is influenced feasily. to go back to george bush. he said he read the bible every day. -- >> back to george bush.
he said he read the bible every day. >> religious keeps a person who is endowed with so much power honest. this is a person who was answering to a higher power every night and not to the state. he does not think the state has all the power or he himself. thewhy would i want someone who thinks 90% of the world is crazy running the country? i understand the allure of religion. i am just not going to be dishonest and say that i believe in something that i do not yet. >> what if he is hearing voices and taking advice from a high
your power that you do not believe in? >> people's powreligion is very personal. we can judge him on his policies. whether she heard it from a voice and his head or had a conversation with laura at dinner, it does not matter to me. >> back to your three principles. one of them was cutting taxes. one of them was when it rigid limited government. -- one of them was limited government. what kind of agree to give george bush on fiscal responsibility? >> sea. -- c. >> what about government involvement?
>> b +. this seems to be an administration that has no problem wildly over reaching into the private sector. it is scarcery how easily they n reach their pockets into your back pocket. whether it is luring you to buy a new car or what it is telling you that you need to study in school. i think it is unprecedented. if you compare this to the bush administration, despite the patriot act, there was not this interest in expanding the role
of government. i think we were living in a unique moment. and people right now are talking about the fairness doctrine and the support from the fairness doctrine. you did not see this in the bush administration. there was this hands-off policy, in contrast to what we're seeing now. >> you are setting at new york university for a master's degree in religious study. >> it is actually an independent program. basically i am doing a comparison study between the devotional practices of the faithful against the devotional practices of sports fans. for the past five years i have been setting those different systems.
my thesis will not be funny. i think it's going to be pretty boring. it is by the usual academic. i have had a very interesting time with it, because i am a huge sports fan, fascinated by religion. comparing these two systems on their components has been shockingly fascinating. there are so similar in many ways. it has been a real joy for me. i>> why all of this time on religion? when did you decide you needed a master's in religion? >> i wanted to write about big issues. i am not some maniacal that i think i have all the answers yet. i do not.
these are big topics. i am writing books and trying to get my full holds -- foot hold in serious writing and scholarships. i love writing on gun culture, but i really am invested in scholarship of religion and culture and sociology and anthropology to answer some of the big questions. not that i will come up with answers, but i enjoyed the exercise of trying to scratch the surface. >> which writer are you most impressed with when it comes to the subject of religion? >> it is always interesting. when i was in college and a crime i was studying in our history. anytime you study theory you
kill the subject. art history was a lawyer -- lure because i thought it was to be enjoyed by the masses and then i come upon this theory only to separate the classes. the same is true with religious studies. you read these things by scholars and their fascinating, but they do not help inform me on questions of american faith and practice. that is what i am interested in. i like to read "the case for faith,." i do not mean to demean them as less than scholarly, because they are scholarly, but i have found many of the answers in graduate school. >> has there ever been a moment
where you stop and say, maybe there is a supreme being. my>> my studies pushed the in opposite direction. it is when i spend time with family and friends. my mother is a roman catholic. the good deal of talk about this at home? >> yes, vigilantly. >> what do they say to you about your views? >> my father wishes that i was saved. my mom is ok with whatsoever -- with whatever. she said as long as i am a good person and do not swear on television. i get jealous. and i think it is a wonderful thing to be a believer.
i realize that i cannot force it. i am just opened. i am open to it. i have friends who are very spiritual, and they think i will be a conduit one day. >> when did you go from sarah elizabeth cupp to se.e.e. cupp? >> in college. i was writing for my college newspaper and i thought it would be interesting to be gender neutral. i was. from then on i was always published as s.e. cupp. now it is just obnoxious. it is what it is. >> you work for "the new york
times." >> i work internally. i am not published. it is a dead stop. it is great. i write about sports or reference section within th"the times." -- it is a desk job. i feel very separated from "the new york times." they have really taken care of me. i am grateful to have the job. >> you appear on the late night early morning show on fox.
>> "the red eye." to cut they have a puppet on there. -- >> they have a puppet on there. >> the name as punch. >> do you get any static because of all these associations? eco-friendly i do not know that that exist -- >> frankly, i do not know that they know i exist. which is fine. >> if you type in s.e. cupp there is a video on there for
about 15 seconds. i am going to run it. it looks ag is in your bathroom. -- like it is in your bathroom. >> hi, everyone. i am just getting ready for work. i just wanted to welcome you to the twitter blog. i want to thank you for inviting me to participate in this. it is an honor. especially after the past year when we saw how integral online media was in rallying people to get behind our vengeful winner. and how women were treated in the past election. i think it is an eye opening experience. i think it is an amazing thing and wonderful thing that we're
all coming together for the same goal to make next year and the next year 100 times better. you guys are completely integral in the process. they do for having me. tak-- thank you for having me. >> how did you do that? >> i put a camera up on the mirror. i opened the medicine cabinet. the girl asked me to do something very off the cuff. >> smart girl politics. what is that? >> they are grass-roots online venture to galvanize young conservative women. they asked me to do something off the cuff, and prepared --
unprepared, so i just turned and on walleye is getting ready for today. -- so i just turned it on as i was getting ready for the day. i drink my coffee black, but i hear there are caramel machiotos. >> you may not know that in the old days this sort of thing would never have happened. what does this world do for you? you live in a different type of environment than guys like me. >> it is a different environment. as you say, i can communicate with thousands of people instantly, whether it is on
twitter or facebook. >> you do that? >> i resisted it for quite awhile. i'd like to keep my circle of friends pretty small. i am not a big network. -- big networker. i really resisted it until i do realize it was important for my job. if i ever stop doing this work, i would not be on any of those kinds of things. >> where did that video go? >> that was on twitter. it was alive twitter events where people tune in to see videos and people tune in to see people talk. i submitted it for that. i am happy to do these things.
it is foreign to me as well. i resisted that whole thing for quite awhile. >> if you are just out looking for s.e. cupp, you find pictures of you holding a rifle. >> that was two years ago in upstate new york. it was dear season early in the morning. -- it was deer season earlier that morniny that morning. i love shooting. i am skeet shooting in that picture. to go where did you turn to -->>
where did you learn to do that? i took a couple of lessons. you can only shoot a rifle. i loved it. i kept exploring other men used -- i kept exploring other venues. there is something about having the gun in your hand and being outside and away from the city. it feels very primary -- primal. it is why i love fishing. and >> is sounds like you had a pretty good life. -- it sounds like you had a pretty good life. >> i am not a materialistic person. my apartment is not full of crazy things. i travel a lot because i want the experiences.
i've tried to go to the salmon run every year in alaska. i was in the western sahara for work. >> for "the new york times"? >> no. i wrote about the experience for a number of publications. i love to travel and see the country. i think i have been to 48 states. there is nothing better than getting to know the country you live in. >> with your parents be able to explain why you have got yourself into this -- would your parents be able to explain why havyou have got yourself into t?
>> no. >> are there others in your family? >> i have to stepsisters and two stepbrothers. we are all around the same age and are 30's. -- in our 30's. i have a niece now. we have -- i have always found my own way. we have a letter from of sand. -- >> we have a letter from a fan. >> i get horrendous hate mail. i publish it on my website, minus the mail that i floridford
off to the fbi. i find it surprising that they have managed to pay conservatives as angry mob when i get some of the stuff that i do on a daily basis. calling me all kinds of names just for the policies that i have. >> this quote is on the top of the page. "that girl plays her music way too loudly." deegan that is from my neighbor. -- >> this is from my neighbor. >> the next one is the anonymous.
>> congratulations d.oto you you have done your part to stomp on the discourse just a little bit deeper in the muck. >> that falls in the category of condescending. i didn't not know where you get off attending to be an expert. i am not an expert but i have opinions and i am allowed to voice them. people are indignant that i have any platform at all. >> this one comes from jerry more year. -- jerry moyer. >> and i publish his name.
>> you want to condemn it in civility, listen to mark levin sometime his personal attacks on nancy pelosi and darman is only a sampling of outrage. you are pathetically stupid. to get that falls into a number of categories. -- >> that falls into a number of categories. you should direct that towards mark levin. another category is you are good looking, but -- that is pretty cheap and dissented. -- and offensive. this is the tried and true stuff. >> we see these different
pictures of you on your website. we see another picture where you have blond hair. they are fashion shots. >> they are head shots. i am a professional. i am fully clothed and will always be. they are promotional shot for my work. i am on television. i am selling books. if you are implying that i am trying to market myself and a certain way, i am not. this is what i look like. >> if you did not do all of what you do and marketing, what people buy your writing? -- wouolld people buy your
writing? >> i know that some of these people do not know if i am a man or woman, do not know what i look like. i take comfort in knowing that -- i believe my work speaks for itself. i do not think i ifor and gettig column's base because of the way i look. at least i hope not. >> here is another one. obviously your brain is dead. did you take no responsibility for anything done wrong ever. just look at the bush disaster in the rest of the nets you people indoors. -- the rest of the nuts you people indoors. and-- you people endorse.
how far do you have to go to find people that look like you and think like you and are your same h not want to think like you about the world? how hard is it? >> it is not that hard. it is hard in manhattan. especially because of facebook and twitter. i hear from people all over the country who are grateful that someone young is putting a new spin on conservative philosophy, talking about things and a different way maybe. i think there are a lot of people out there my age that are women who wants a new dialogue. i really have not had to search very hard. they found the.
>> let me ask you about the issue of money. -- they found me. early on in the obama administration we are up to 12 trillion for the debt. and what idoes someone your age think about your future when it is in regards to some security, medicaid, taxes, all of that? >> i think the baby boomer generation has been wildly irresponsible with our future. my future. i think when many of them hung up their heavy shoes and traded them in for their running shoes they through all kinds of cost
andautioaution out the window. i am going to have to pay for it. my generation is clinton have to pay for it. >> how? -- my generation is going to have to pay for it. >> it is between 65 and 75 trillion dollars of liability. everyone who studies the says we cannot grow out of it. what do we do? will your life be less expansive? you are things? or does that matter to you? >> i do not know that it matters to me personally.
i think that we are going to have to make tough decisions. my generation will have to cut back with this generation is not. we will have to learn from the past mistakes and say thanks, mom and dad. banks grandma and grandpa. we're going to do drinkthings differently now. -- thanks grandma and grandpa's. >> one of your heroes is new the bridge. -- newt gingrich. and >> i do not know he is a hero. i think he is a really galvanizing figure. incredibly smart.
>> would you support him for president? >> yes. and i am reluctant to say who the future of the party is. i think it is too early. i would rather be a coalition right now and have no leader. >> who would be your favorite symbol of the party to and thed? >> i like sarah palin, eramet romney -- mit romney. these are great people and potential leaders. >> you have focused on fiscal conservative somism. would you think the congress let us in this direction? >> note. i think because of the recent financial crisis there is more of an eye on it.
this could be coming from the right. everyone's eyes are on the snout. -- everyone's eyes are on this. the interesting thing about this administration is i think they expected republican push back. they did not expect pushed back from the citizenry. whether it was at the town halls for the spending on health care. i think they were surprised. if we keep railing against the spending, then i think we do have at turning things around. the loudest voices are coming not from television are
congress, the loudest voices are coming from middle america. >> on your website you have tha quote from a michigan congressman. >> i do not know what that means. he is great. >> is that the fed cut for contribution? >> k.i.a. so wonderfully kooky -- he is so wonderfully kooky. i think he has a beacon for young conservatives. he is doing things in a different way. he has a different approach. i think a lot of people are listening to him. >> how would you describe "red
eye." to go there is humor. there is more leeway with what they can said. -- >> there is humor. they had a huge bump in the ratings of the past few months. people are starting to take notice of it. it always makes me worry they will start changing it. i love doing that show because it is a nice break from the hard news. >> in your book you go through your chapters and each chapter talks about republicans. you wrote this in your introduction. you said you are a lot of time atheist. i find hollywood propulsive. -- repulsive.
i love to fish but i am afraid of the water. in other words we are just everyday 20 somethings who are conservatives. you are no longer a 20 something. >> thank you for pointing that out. >> you find hollywood for poll said -- propulsive -- repulsive, why? >> they have absolutely no moral our borders. no one has ever willing to stand up and say this value system is better than this value system. everything is relative. it is really just a refuge.
it is a place for garbage. i love the medium. i love film. i love television. as a culture, it is to avoid. i really hate the reverence that we all tend to give it. >> how much feedback have you gotten on chapter 10? of republicans are back in bed. -- republicans are bad in bed. >> there is dismissed that conservatives are prudish -- there is this myth that conservatives are kurdish. -- are prudish. i think we less than systematically went through and bonds that one. you cannot do it scientifically
of course. >> is this your chapter? >> we wrote the book together. >> of hot summer night on the upper east side. two young 20 somethings head for a nearby apartment for seven. foreplay and sloppy and affordable casual sex. -- and unforgettable casual sex. after a glass of wine -- >> it is australian red wine. >> you clumsily begin to undo
buttons, zippers, class, and places all carefully craft walking, still conjoined at the face, from the couch to the bed. the owner of the apartment closed at the night stand for condom. a poster catches the other side, transfixing the visitor. the guests simply cannot bear another moment. the owner of the budget looks up at the wall behind him where prize possession has been hung. the attractive owner begins to address. -- begins to dress.
>> that was a wonderful reading. a>> is that a true story? >> some of the names and faces have been changed. it is stories we have heard. i think most people appreciated that we can have a sense of humor about this thing. that young conservatives can talk about sex without blushing. i do not think it was gratuitous or graphic. we're not running about talking about sex everywhere. >> why do we talk about sex all the time? take your conservative. pick your liberal. they all seem to get involved
about the same thing. >> we just hwe just had people t because i read that. >> i think we are always fascinated to ponder why the lives of public people. whether it is mark sanford or david letterman or tom cruise, i think we're always interested in what they're doing behind closed doors. i do not know why. >> how did your book to? -- how did your book do? >> it did well. we were nobody when the book came out. i have another book coming out
in the spring. i have launched a very small and insignificant career all of this book. >> there is a new imprint. >> it is mary matalin and princdaline's imprint. we have an agent. >> you said that was cut to get --t ah that was tough to get. >> it was. they were modified to get this conservative pitch. -- they were mortified to get this conservative pitch.
>> what is the next book about? >> it is called "losing our religtiongion." it really explores what i consider to be the french media. -- teh fringhe fringe media. this is my own project. there is a full hour by march -- there is the full woa forward bt the be -- huckabee. i actually just found this recently.
i had completely forgotten about it. >> you have our work in here that you did -- artwork in here that you did. >> i believe the main character has lost a special ring. she is looking for the ring and cannot find the ring. i would have to read it to be completely sure. >> 10 years from now, will this still be s.e. cupp? >> yes. >> will you be mary? -- married? >> i do not think so. it has never been a goal. >> will you have kids? >> i did not know.
>> will you be ridiwriting? >> yes. that is a definite. i want a constant writing job. i want the constant opportunity to write about the things that i want to write about whether that is an books, columns, online. i am not picky. i really just want the opportunity to right. that is only thing i do know. what i will be writing about i do not know. i am open. >> we will have you back in 10 and check it out. think you. -- thank you. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009] >> for a dvd copy of the program call the number on your screen.
43 transcripts or to give us your comments about this program and visit us at qanda.org. >> next sunday, reverend barry black. he has been chaplain of the said that since june 2003. he is also the author of the book "from the hood to the hill." that is next sunday at 8:00 on c-span. decode next alive, your calls and comments on "washington journal." -- >> next, live, your calls and
comments on "washington journal." the center for american progress has a discussion on how working women are impacting the economy. keynote speaker will be labor secretary. live coverage begins 9:00 eastern on c-span2. chief technology officer of the united states on how the obama administration wants to use technology to improve transparency in government. this is monday on "the communicators" on c-span2.
in particular, david axelrod, a senior adviser to president obama. we want you to -- ask you about his comments, our bank bonuses offensive? -- our bank bonuses offensive? make sure you turn down your television or radio when you call in and if you have called in any c-span program in the last 30 days give others a chance. and you can send us your comments through twitter. the world section of "the washington times" -- pakistan forces move into taliban territory. offensive skills 60 militants and five soldiers in south waziristan. we will show you "the new york daily news." they are focused on the so-
called balloon boyd story -- balloon boy story. and this headline -- top aides to obama upgrade on wall street bonuses -- upbraid wall street bonuses. obama advisers wrap wall street bonuses. officials blasted record payments to the nation's top wall street executives sunday, calling them offensive and advocating new financial regulations they say will prevent future taxpayer bailout. the top financial firms, including many who benefit from spending paid out from the federal government through the troubled assets relief program seek billions more in
compensation than they did last year. i want to get your comments on what david axelrod said. >> look, the bonuses are offensive. and for the phone -- firms that still have federal tarp money, there is some jurisdiction, the paymaster of treasury is looking at that. you see them going some to stock rather than cash so people have a stake in success of the company and they are not just walking away with cash and making short-term decisions that are bad. the most offensive thing is we haven't seen the kind of increase in lending that we should. there are a lot of small credit where the businesses that still cannot get the capital they need to grow. and the same institutions spend tens of millions of dollars lobbying congress to try and stop financial regulatory reform. not the kind of reforms we need
to prevent the disaster we just -- but kind of reforms that we need to prevent the disaster. host: dennis on the independent line. caller: thank you for c-span. my feelings are this is essentially taxpayer money going back to tax. -- going back for bad behavior. there should be a moratorium on bonuses until the attack -- economy as a whole stabilizes. it is a situation where we will end up, went over and over creating the same mistakes. so if we don't need this in the blood and take a break from paying out, we will be in the same situation in a number of years, i feel. host: memphis, good morning to karen on the republican line. caller: to me, the banks used
the stimulus money in the wrong way. it should have been helping the housing market. i am trying to sell and the developers don't have money -- so i'm in a bad situation. host: how did the banks in your view use the money, if they did not use it to help the housing market? caller: i think they just enriched themselves -- like the are gangsters or something. if i overdraw my bank account, it will cost me so much money and i don't get that money back. so i don't know what they are using it for. i would like to see a report on where the money goes. host: senator chris dodd commenting "what are these people thinking?" we have poured a lot of taxpayer money into these firms to stabilize them, to get our economy moving, says senator
chris dodd, who has been accused of self of being too cozy with wall street over his for the financial relationship with subprime lender countrywide. senate republican whip cautioned against being too aggressive in any attempts to curb con -- compensation. "let's be a little bit careful that we don't get the government intruding in the business of america to the extent that our free enterprise system is crippled by business regulations." hernandez, mississippi. larry on our democrat line. audit of -- caller: i think the conversation should be tied to -- hello? host: you've got me. larry, go ahead. caller: their compensation should be tied to how well the company is doing. host: some of their conversation maybe in some of the cases. do you still have a problem with
the firms to get this money, do you still have a problem with than pay out bonuses? caller: of course it is paired -- of course it is. it just does not make any sense when the working man is out here having such a hard time, for them to be even do when something like that. host: cape cod, massachusetts. caller: they receive money from the taxpayers. maybe they should be giving the tarp money back -- maybe they can go through the industry and find out what the average executive gets and a van that and not necessarily the bogus money but the stock money or something like that. but they should give the money back. and then consider bonuses. there is plenty of corruption to go around. you've got guys in the
government like chairman of ways and means, writing our tax policy and does not pay his taxes. you've got the secretary of the treasury didn't pay his taxes. these guys, they are not accountable, either. it goes around all over the place. but the tarp money was taxpayer money and its upstart take a back. host: traver from monroe? caller: i would like to echo the last german sentiments. the whole thing started -- echoed the last javelins' sentiments. the whole thing started after 9/11 with the interest rates low, and everybody had these unusual creative loans. then they jumped the rate up. i don't know why the federal reserve itself is not being investigated. then you have organizations
like acorn, which the president was a lawyer for and nobody is investigating him as well as far as the community organizations to the tune of 52 baht -- $52 billion to money from these banks in the first place. host: next up is youngstown, ohio. mike on the democrats' line. your thoughts on bank bonuses. david axelrod yesterday saying they were offensive. caller: i think axelrod is offensive, i think obama is offensive. i don't think we had a decent president since harry truman. the working people of this country are up against it. i am 66 years old. most of my friends -- i would say 75% of my friends don't have a job. they don't know what they are going to retire on. they don't know how they are going to eat tomorrow. is that offensive? this guy, he ran for president,
we were going to see all of these changes, this obama -- i voted for him. he is not going to do any changes. he is catering to big business. we've got the best government that money can buy. host: here is out " the washington post" reports it. top aides of obama jpbraid wall street. a year ago these this petitions were teetering. writing in the washington post, they write the obama administration has defended popular opinion -- defied a popular opinion in backing a huge government bailouts to try to wrest it as much of the nation's auto industry and stabilize the financial system -- systems, steps it saw as critical to fostering an economic recovery. at the same time it attempted to tap into popular anchor at corporate america with outspoken criticism of bonuses, perks, and other practices that have long been a staple of the business.
a tweet from monte. rock hill, south carolina. this is kevin, independence. caller: good morning. i have to reiterate what the gentleman just said. the best government money can buy. barney frank, chris dodd, wagon their finders rigid wagging their fingers when they were part of the problem -- they were saying don't regulate and now we have to regulate. and they are acting like they are doing something great by bringing all of this up and not pointed out the fact that they helped bring about. myself, i think what we need to do with the french did, we need to go to washington and dreggy guillotine behind us. host: franklin, ky. bob. caller: thank you for c-span.
the obama administration is hip deep into all of this. he accepted all kinds of donations when he was running for office from the same people he is criticizing. i think there are things going on here that we are going to be terribly sorry for. and he is totally, totally leaning toward the marxist philosophy. if something is not done to rein him in this country is going to be in terrible shape. thank you. host: of the view from an e- mailer -- the president's chief of staff, rahm emanuel, was yesterday on a "meet the press" and was asked about the big bonuses -- bank bonuses. >> on the bonuses, i understand. as a former member of congress representing people, is while
they see these bonuses go back and they see this as part of what the banks pay, it is in fact there was an article the other day in "usa today" that incomes are at 18-year lows. while they are struggling to try to make ends meet to save for retirement and pay for health care going up 10% next year, provide for their children, education, while they are struggling to make ends meet wall street is back doing what wall street did. they have a responsibility to the whole system. it starts by not fighting the financial regulatory system and the reforms to protect consumers and homeowners. they have a responsibility to come to the table and understand that the risks that they took took the economy to a place it was near a depression. host: that was obviously rahm emanuel on "state of the union" on cnn. it stanford, north carolina.
randy on the democrats' line. caller: good morning. this all looks like one big conspiracy as far as corporate welfare. the old saying, the rich get richer, the poor get poorer, if that is not the case now, then i don't know what in the world is. the poorest people in the united states are paying all of these outlandish bonuses -- or if they don't pay the bonus, they up their salary to the point that it equals out. obama has known this all the time. part of it. host: you are calling the
democrats' line. were you expecting a different approach? caller: yes. host: what would you have like to see how the hand of bonuses and one largely the bank crisis? caller: as far as the bonuses and the bailout, we should have never done it to start with. they should have to operate in washington the same way every man and woman on this earth does. when they have a checking accounts, they have to balance that checking account. or they go to jail. well, washington does not know what a checking account is. they just print money when they want to print money. it is just like the other day they showed a scheme on tv -- or the facts on tv, where spending $41.10 trillion in medical help
to other countries while we are going through a medical crisis here and the united states. host: next up is new jersey. orlando on the independence line. caller: calling but a little nervous, forgive me. i work at a bank but i find that most people speaking don't really know what they are talking about. they are making decisions where they don't know the details. if you look at banks from the retail side -- from a teller on, they make bonuses. they are not executives, they are not making millions of dollars. they are making poverty level, if you ask me. host: it is built into your pay structure? caller: you apply for the job knowing it is part of your
compensation. some of the bonuses can be $200 a quarter for certain ones. so every bank received tarp money, but for people to make blanket statements that they are offended because the bags of giving bonuses, they don't know the details. i think what they really mean, they don't like the executives of banks to receive bonuses. host: do you think the administration has done a good enough job delineating between what executives get and made what the tellers and managers get? caller: exactly. quite frankly, i don't want to judge this administration or any administration. i don't think it is my place. i will let others do that. my point in calling is to let people realize that this question is an excellent question, in my opinion, but people -- don't be so blindly guided by what other people think or say. get information and research because some big book can live without the bonuses.
i tell you the truth, i need that. host: what kind of work you do at the bank? caller: i'm a financial consultant so i deal with all the bank products. host: would you feel comfortable tellers -- not how much, but how your bonus is calculated? caller: it is based on the services and products that my customers receive. whenever they need and i offer it to them from a bank account to a checking account to on-line services, to loans, whenever i offer them, i get a certain amount of compensation for it. but it is not as if i'm doing something illegal or to pad down people with products and services. people come in and they ask for the services and as i give them i'd get compensated for it. i think that is appropriate. i don't understand -- i am definitely not a millionaire or close to it, but i need the
bonus is an order to survive and to pay my mortgage and department. to have people get so outraged about bankers getting bonuses, they don't really know what they are saying. it is kind of frustrating to see people blindly guided. host: how long have given of the bank business? caller: 80 years, different banks. host: mich., route of the republican lines. caller: the last guy who talked about he had to live on his bonuses -- i meant to say something else but it is like, wait a minute, you have to live on what you are earn. host: i think his point was that his bonuses were built into his pay structure at the bank. caller: that is what we did not what i got, but ok. let's go back to what i wanted to talk about. obama and the tax plan is a joke.
it is really going to hurt but whole economy. the tax structure is down and out. how can you tax your way into prosperity? you cannot. host: what about the bank bonuses? do you think they are doing the right thing? caller: no, of course not. why would you give anyone something for nothing? host: albany, georgia. johnny on the democrats' line. caller: everybody in america is not doing as bad as some of your callers. my wife and i doing very well. also calling to say that if the guys have worked and did it -- did a good job of they should receive a good salary. if they are not doing a good job, they should not receive a good salary. just like people on main street.
if they do goal -- good work you did a good salary and if you don't, you don't get any. host: take the case of the banker who called on the jersey. the manager, or in his case, financial advisor at a bank and bonus is tied in -- this point was the bonuses are tied into his pay structure and that some of the precision -- criticism is completing the two, large executive bonuses and the other bonuses. caller: just like some of the berbers blaming a car salesman -- his salary is low at first but if the sales and of the goods part of this as a commission. everybody who sells things -- and bankers in retail -- everybody sells things get bonuses because they sell a lot. if some of these people who are calling in and sang this country
should have become a second our third world country when the bush administration failed to collect taxes to fight the wars, that is where a lot of this is coming from, and a lot of it is coming because the people did not make any money back in those years needed proper pay raises and cannot buy things. if general motors and chrysler and even board had of went out of business we would be a third world nation. host: thank you for your comments. back to "the washington post." the bonuses of offenses, adding that banks must do more to support lending across the country and should stop their lobbying efforts end at blocking the passage of the financial regulations. steve on the independence line. caller: executive bonuses, the
stock pretty much hit it on the head, the nail on the head, most of the lower -- the guy from new jersey and people like him in a lower position of banks, they work off a partial commission plus a salary. i think what people are teed off about are the executives, to the board of directors, those people who are getting all of the huge bonuses and the bank itself is losing money. if they are not losing money, how come they got money from the government? look at gm. we bail them out and i saw on and news this morning in detroit, they will open a plant and go into business in india. it is ridiculous. we gave them money so they can send more of our jobs to india. i guess we all need to -- host: are the opening a gm plant?
caller: they are teaming up. but either way they are sending more money over there -- jobs of there. we have to stop sending money out of the country. this global economy is crazy to start with. host: andy from chicago writing from e-mail. harrisonburg, virginia. mike. caller: i am amazed anybody would compare car salesman with the bankers. i have had very poor experiences with bankers -- not bankers, but their credit-card employees, they are very curt and honoree when they talk to you about your complaints --
onery. i don't think banks deserve bonuses. i think they deserve to be red- faced, as i told them all, and the washington court's, just like the car dealers -- host: bob from twitter. he writes -- marcello, make sure you turn down your set. caller: the way i see it, the money went to the big businesses, banks and so forth. now, when they get the money, they use it for bonuses and so forth. also some of the money went back to congress.
according to the news, their coffers are filled up with our money which all of the banks and so forth sent to them. now, when president bush or originally authorized the billions of dollars of bailout, someone or group suggested, why not give every family $100 up to $125,000. -- $100,000 up to $125,000. that will pay the mortgage and interest and principal, send children to school, will buy furniture, will buy cars, but it was knocked down. if the money went to the people -- they don't make political donations. but when it goes to big business, they make donations
to congress -- like freddie mac and i would like to say daisy mae. host: the associated press this morning is talk about senator roland burris on the issue of health care. for democrats, determined to get a bill, he is like a house guest to cannot be refused. he will soon be leaving. it poses a plausible threat of running a holiday dinner. suddenly he can allow the be ignored. the illinois democrat, appointed by the scirb governor rod blagojevich, says he'll only vote for a bill to provide health care to millions more america as long as it allowed the government to sell insurance in competition with private insurers. he says "i will not support a bill that does not have a public option" in a recent interview. one more story on health care. the bill is out of committee and be negotiated in both bodies by the leadership there, the committee heads.
ceo's tout house floor bill. -- tally health-care bill will score appeared poised for a big hit. kentucky. alice. caller: i am glad you guys are on the air. i do agree with jim akko ride accept i would like to make the point that about 10 times stronger -- axelrod. wheat, the american people, are tired and sick to death of our tax dollars going to organizations that waste money. no one seems to of concern about the people out here keeping the country afloat for ever. we're tired, we are hungry. we need things. my grandson fought in iraq and almost died in a two humvee explosions. he is out of work. a family, a little baby.
and he doesn't know for one day to the next whether he can buy formula for the baby. there is something terribly wrong in this country and we as americans have got to stand up and do something. host: one more year. jim, basic, michigan. on the republican line. caller: i don't think it is anybody's business, and bonuses people make. that is in the contract. the company i work for, when the president got hired, it was written into his contract before he got on the job. it is part of the deal. we should be more concerned about obama tearing up our constitution and our bill of rights, that is more important than anything else, i think. host: we will turn our attention to the issue of health care, in particular, medical bankruptcy's. a new study out on the level of medical bankruptcies in the past five years.
we will talk to dr. steffie woolhandler from harvard medical center right after this. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009] >> chief technology officer of the united states on how the obama administration wants to use technology to improve transparency in the government. tonight on "the communicators" on c-span2. c-span's documentary "the supreme court" takes you inside one of the most stunning
buildings in washington and into places only accessible to the justices and their staff. hear about the court's history and traditions, from the justices themselves. all your own dvd, the of "the supreme court: home to america's highest court." order at c-span.org/store. c-span's 2010 student cam contest is here. $50,000 of prizes to middle and high school students, top prize is $5,000. just create a five minutes to 8 minute video on one of our country's greatest resource challenges the country is facing. it is must and corporate c-span video and in corporate -- incorporate different points of view. >> "washington journal" continues. joining us from west newton, mass., dr. steffie woolhandler
from the harvard medical school that just conducted two studies concerning connections between medical cost and bankruptcies. what did your group find out? guest: we found that nearly two- thirds of all u.s. bankruptcy are due at least in part to medical illness or medical bills. that is a big increase from just six years ago when only about half of all personal bankruptcies in the united states were related to medical owners and medical bills. host: it also found the -- are reporting that the share of medical bankruptcy's which riveted to medical problems rose by 50% between 2001 through 2007. has that's love -- has it ever increased in the past by this rapid and now? guest: 2 that -- my knowledge, the rate of medical bankruptcy has gone up, up come up, steadily in the last 30 years. if you look at insurance
policies, many of them are so full of gaps, co-payments, the devils, uncovered services, that many can have insurance but could find themselves bank erupted. in a most recent set -- study, more than three-quarters of people facing medical bankruptcy started the illness with health insurance. at the outset of the illness, they have health insurance. but they were bankrupt anyway, often by the copayments, deductibles, and uncovered services in the private health insurance policy. host: our viewers and listeners are welcome to participate in the conversation and asked dr. woolhandler about the report. dr. woolhandler, c-span covered a hearing last week, house
subcommittee hearing looking at under insurance and medical debt. i want to play you a short piece of an opening statement by one of witnesses and see what her experience was similar to some of the other experiences you found a people going through medical expense issues and medical bankruptcies. then i discovered the health plan i was paying for didn't cover -- >> i discovered the health plan i was paying for didn't cover a large part of the cancer care i needed and i was on the hook for tens of thousands of dollars in uncovered expenses. i had chosen one of those low premium, high-deductible plans, and i had to pay for 30% of all of my treatments in the hospital. it didn't even cover all of the services that i needed. i remember staring at this one shot, it cost $2,100 per shot and the insurance company said, well that is 30% for you and so right there in that the bill is $600.
i endured surgeries, grueling chemotherapy and radiation regimes that let me too weak to work full time. i was told all along that the key to my recovery was to minimize the stress in my life. but tell me how do you minimize stress when you of a hospital more than you have earned in the past year? as expenses piled up, i was able to pay for some of them. i family helped me. other things, i just put them on my credit card and i thought, if i don't die, i will just deal with this later. well, i didn't die and this is later. host: the woman was katherine howard from san francisco, calif., at a hearing last week. what did you hear in some of her statement? guest: i think private health insurance is a defective product. is what she found, purchasing a product in good faith thinking she was getting some been
valuable and it turned out worthless. unfortunately that is what many private health insurance policies are. in fact, that is not being fixed in the current health-care overhaul in washington. that problem was not fixed in the massachusetts bill in which a washington reform is model. the private health insurance industry is selling defective products. and frankly, i support the medicare for all approach. i support the idea that we should build a single payer that care for all system that would cover all medically necessary care without co-payments and without deductibles, it is what people have another countries like canada and western europe and it is what we deserve here in this country. host: let us hear from our viewers. huntington, new york. michael. is this michael? caller: antiwhite very much. my question is a very simple one. i just got back by europe and i spoke to people in several countries, including americans
who have dual citizenship -- one friend of mine in italy, husband had quadruple bypass and lung cancer surgery all within two months and it was done without any calls to her at all -- to them at all, i should say and was diagnosed early and diagnosed and it saved his life. they told me had they been in the united states he would have died. the question i have is this -- the united states economy is the largest in the world by far and we spend over 16 per cent of our economy for health care. no other country on earth spends more than 10%. but what i see, they are all very happy with their health care. how is it that we hair -- have to pay copays and so much and get so much left? -- much less?
>> we are unique in developed countries and giving such a huge role in private health insurance. all of the developed countries use some form of non-profit national health insurance. if you have a little private insurance around. but the core of the coverage is the kind of medicare for all approach. they do spend about half as much per capita as we do get many countries in western europe and canada for instance, the folks live two years longer, life expectancy is longer and in fatality rates and people have free choice. they can go choose any doctor and hospital they want and they don't have to make copayments and deductibles. i think really the bankruptcy literature -- it points a finger at the private health insurance industry and says that is not a basis for running a health care system. and sadly president obama and senators and congressmen are basing the health care overhead -- overhaul, private industry.
they even allowed a vice president of wellpoint, the nation's largest insurance company, to draft the first draft of the senate framework for reform. the health insurance industry is going to get what they want out of the bill. the drug industry is getting what they want. but the american people are not getting what they need, which is an insurance system that will pay their bills when they get sick. host: the caller brought up an issue of how other countries work the health-care system. a report from binghamton, n.y., about the president of the united hospital fund in binghamton, the keynote, quoting him he said, in no other western industrialized country do health care costs need to back -- lead to bankruptcy. medical bankruptcy does not exist in any other country. that is the kernel of truth about american health care. is that true? guest: the journalist did go to
five other countries and he would ask high ranking officials about medical bankruptcy and none of them had even heard about medical bankruptcy and other countries. that is because they used the medicare for all approach, that is what we deserve in this country. and people need to be telling the senators and congressmen that is what they want. i am a physician get i'm a profession -- professor but i worked with 17,000 of other positions with a call for a national health care program and 17,000 business it -- physicians is what we need is medicare for all. the duty for the medicare for all approach is you get rid of the paperwork and when you get rid of all the paperwork associated, you also get rid of huge amounts of administrative cost, meaning you could save about $400 billion a year just on administrative and paperwork costs and that is the money you need to cover the 47 million uninsured. that is the money in need to --
close the gap. really comprehensive first dollar to last dollar coverage, so when people get sick and no fault of their own, have huge bills and private health insurance have a huge gaps and it is not fair. host: manhattan. mark, republican. caller: i just want to say i feel very sorry so many people having to go through this -- like the woman we talked about. were we in europe, which he really received a shot that was $3,000? they have to control costs as well. here we would give for the shot, but, yes, she has to pay for it. also, people are not reading their health insurance policies. when i worked for a corporation here in new york, we were given many plans to choose from, it was our responsibility to read everything in it that plan to see what is best for us.
if you pick a -- excuse me, a catastrophe plan, then you will be covered for the majority of that plan. the bills will be paid. now, on bankruptcy, the republican submitted a bill not to have credit card rates, which is banks' bread and butter, over 18% and it was rejected, completely by the democrats. everyone is responsible for their cells, but also i believe the banks, the bread-and-butter, which is credit cards, should have been voted at 18% tops. host: we will give response. thank you. guest: in fact, people in other countries do get the treatment they need, they are living two years -- and the death rates for
treatable cancers are actually lower in canada than they are in the united states. does a drug company have to charge $2,100 for one shot? that is a different discussion. but the statistics are there. people in other countries are getting the treatment they need for cancer and other major killers. in terms of reading your insurance policy, i am an expert in health policy and i can't understand the insurance policy that i get for my family. so expecting 300 million americans to read the insurance policies, to shop around and see the fine print and figure out what will happen is really not realistic. what we need is a medicare for all approach where everything is covered and the doctors and other experts sit down and figure out what needs to be covered, what actually works and does not, and everyone gets 100%
coverage for every effective treatment. it is not pie in misguide. it is what they do in other countries, that costs half. host: the of the report that indicates elicit and medical response -- author of a report that indicates medical bills are 60% of bankruptcy. employment position of books and medical bankruptcy. 75% of the people going through medical bankruptcy's are still employed. what does it look like? if you are going through medical bankruptcy, how do you take care of current medical bills and those faults who are employed, is at full time? give us the detail. guest: nearly a third of people and medical bankruptcy have lost income because they couldn't work due to illness, i because of their own illness or because they had to take off work to
care for a family member like a sick child or spouse. income loss due to illness was a factor. but 92% of all people and medical bankruptcy also had large medical bills. it was a bit of a double whammy for many families. they have insurance, they think they were covered and they get sick and then the copayments, deductibles, uncovered services, bills would pile up. it at the same time that their income would fall and they were losing a paycheck because they are out of work. by the time they filed bankruptcy, which is usually months to a couple of years later, many of them had gone well and returns to work but like ms. howard, had thousands or tens of thousands of dollars on their credit card, people had taken out a mortgage or home- equity loan. so many of them have gotten well and were able to get back to work, but the financial damage from the illness stayed with
them and throw them into bankruptcy. host: when a person goes into bankruptcy, medical or otherwise, are there certain expenses they have to pay back? are there certain obligations they have to pay back and others are forgiven? guest: many people are scared and they put medical expenses on their credit card. then they get all of the credit card problems. they take one of those home equity loans that sounds like a good deal until you have to start paying them back. because they are scared and they want to pay for the doctors and hospitals. the other thing that happens in some communities is you get hospital bills and if you don't pay them a hospital turns them over to a collection agency. there are a lot of ways people got into trouble financially, but to be honest, they were sick, they were scared. people cannot be expected to make good financial decisions. certainly i don't know if i
would make good financial decisions under those circumstances. that is why we need an insurance program that looks out for people and takes care of the bills when they get sick. host: toledo, ohio. caller: in your study, if someone misses -- six months, mrs. three weeks were for work because they are too john cornyn alcoholic, is that considered a medical bankruptcy? -- if they miss three weeks of work because they are to draw an alcoholic, is that considered a medical bankruptcy? if your spouse dies, is that medical best in a bankruptcy? and if you can tell the people what advocacy groups you are with a little bit about that -- how long you been with that. host: several things.
guest: well, the overwhelming majority of people, 92%, on had substantial medical bell -- bills, either $5,000 or more than 10% of their income. that is the main way people got into it, was through high medical bills. if people lost a substantial amount of income from work and said that is what drove them into bankruptcy, lost income from work because they were sick or had to care for a sink -- sick family member, that would be considered medical benefits, too, but that was only 8%. we did not in this study include some baalbeck not associated with medical bills. we did not include alcoholism or gambling even though as a physician i might consider them illnesses, they were not included in this particular study. in to douse of one we did include those, about 1% -- in
2001 we did include those. i work as a doctor at cambridge hospital. i'm a professor at harvard medical school. i am a member and a foul that actually of nonprofit organization, physicians for a national health program, we have 17,000 physician members, we are a nonprofit but we do education and advocacy for non- profit national health insurance, so-called single payer, for the united states. i have to tell you i received no income from that organization. that is purely a voluntary thing that i do because i believe as a doctor that the most in borden thing we can do right now for the health of the american people is go to that medicare for all non-profit health insurance model. host: anything in the health care bill that addresses specifically the idea of medical bankruptcy? guest: actually the health-care
bill in congress does not address the issue because they are based on private health insurance, and as our studies show, private health insurance is a defective product. just more of these defective private policies will not address the problems of medical bankruptcy. in massachusetts, which is the model of the national bill, the reform actually made health insurance policies even skimpier. so the new policies under the reform have more in the way of copayment deductibles, uncovered services, then we ever had before. similarly in washington, in order that the cost down, they will make the subsidies skimpier and skimpier. in 2013 they are going to require that all of the uninsured go out and buy health insurance policies. of course, the only thing most of the uninsured will be able to afford is one of these very,
very scanty policies that lead them at risk for medical bankruptcy. so there is a lot of rhetorical attention to medical bankruptcy. olympia snowe said she voted for the senate bill because she is concerned about medical bankruptcy. president obama said he was concerned about medical bankruptcy. but if they look at what the study says, would throw people into bankruptcy, by and large it was the skimpy tiness of private insurance policies and not not -- will not be fixed by what's on the table. there is a single payer bill by congressman conyers and congressman dennis kucinich that has 82 sponsors but that is not what they are talking about passing. the bill will still be on the table after this year and it will still be incumbent on us to continue to push to get the medicare for all single payer approach that would solve the problem.
host: what about recent changes in bankruptcy law? has that affected medical bankruptcy? guest: in fact, the bankruptcy law was made substantially worse in 2005. a bill that was written by the credit card industry was passed without amendment. senator kennedy tried to get an amendment to allow more lenient treatment for people with medical bankruptcy. other senators tried to get only need -- tried to get leniency for people went to iraq. but the credit card companies got a bill passed that makes bankruptcy a lot more expensive and punitive. so the level of medical of bankruptcies was not affected by that. health-care costs and skimp iness of private policies. but folks who do go to medical
benefits are punished by this bill written by the credit-card industry. host: robert, charlotte, north carolina. democratic collar. caller: c-span is the only tv show i can stand. i just went back to school for business management. trying to find out what morality means for a business person. i would like to ask you, the think it is immoral for health care to be a commodity -- moral? if we had 10 9/11's in the year it would not be as much as -- host: thank you. guest: i'm a physician and i take care of sick people and i don't think health care should be a commodity. if someone is sick we have an obligation as a society and an
obligation as human beings to take care of one another. that means i believe health care should be a public service. like a fire department should be a public service and the military. i did not believe it should be a commodity. and the caller was referring to another study we did that found that 45,000 americans die annually due to lack of health insurance. me as a physician, that is simply unacceptable. host: tim on independent line. caller: good morning. you know, i do agree with this lady. i am sorry, i did not get your name. i was kind of space in that part of the program out. i do agree that the insurance companies are criminal in their behavior. i would go so far as to say that any politician that invites them to the negotiating table is sort of sharing in this on holy
-- unholy harvest -- the actual people. but i have to further say that i think your advocacy of a single payer program is just simply shortsighted. 2.5 trillion dollars -- i broken-down and got curious about it. i used cbo's numbers and rnad and probably some of your numbers because i was on the web pages, and the fact of the matter is of the $2.5 trillion, 75% of the people only use about $4 billion of it. host: we will get a response. we just have a couple of minutes left with dr. woolhandler. guest: i'm a physician and there are 17,000 physicians in
physicians for national health care. i think we have a realistic view of what it is like. it is not perfect. but an expanded and improved the medicare program to cover everyone would be a big step up from what we have got now. the key with the single payer program is you get administrative savings. the overhead on traditional medicare is only 2.5%. and some of the big insurance companies like united and well point and cigna, sometimes their overhead is 22%. if you could get that kind of savings, shrink overhead down to the level you get in a single payer plan, you have the money he needed to cover the uninsured. you would have the money you needed to plug the gaps in coverage. would it be perfect? now, but it would be a big improvement that would allow us to cover everyone and to reduce this horrific toll of private health insurance, not just
45,000 people dying each year, that is bad enough, but tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands more buying private health insurance in good faith but still going into bankruptcy. just not fair. host: brooklyn. bernie on the republican line. caller: comparing europe to the united states. is there any level of rationing in europe compared to the united states? how do surgeons -- cardiac surgeons -- or they reimbursed? similarly in america compared to europe or is there a difference? guest: there are a few countries in europe that have been shortages and waiting lines, i think people here a lot about britain. but other countries like france and the netherlands, they don't have waiting lines.
there is no waiting list or rationing. the other questions is how cardiac surgeons are paid -- different in different countries. but trust me, cardiac surgeons are making a very good living in canada and western europe. i don't think that should be a big worry. there are lots of people who want to go to medical school and the doctors in those countries live extremely well. host: dr. steffie woolhandler from harvard medical school and one of the authors of a report on medical bankruptcy in the united states, 2007, result of a national study published in "the american journal of nestle -- " the medical journal of medicine." >> we would talk to peter cory from "business week" on the decline of the u.s. dollar. and later, the founder of judicial watch has a book out, we would talk to him about that and his new organization called freedom watch. first, headlines.
>> president obama continues meeting with advisers today as he considers strategy ahead in the war in afghanistan. this as a pool and a panel in the country concluded that there was rigid this as a u.n. panel of the country concluded there was voter fraud. meanwhile u.s. central command chief david general petraeus and senator john kerry met earlier with officials in pakistan, this as fighting intensifies between militants and pakistani forces near the afghan border. as the 2010 census approaches, "the wall street journal" reports republican senators vitter and -- once an amendment requiring the census to include questions about citizenship, a change that could fuel a boycott of the sentence by some latino leaders to protest policies. those are some of the latest
headlines on c-span radio. >> "washington journal" continues. host: a half hour of your phone calls on the issue of president obama. the front-page article this morning in "the national journal" asks the question, is he tough enough. we will show you the article and read a bit from at a moment. we will let you know, the phone lines are open. . watch, we're going to have an international crisis, a
generational crisis, to test the mettle of this guy. his comments raise the question whether hillary clinton had tried to exploit in her 3:00 a.m. ads whether this youthful senator would be tough enough to handle the high stakes challenges he was sure to face. nine months in to his term, president obama has still not settled that question, but a narrative is emerging that obama is a low-key, cool, cerebral style while reassuring on many levels, lacks the punch sometimes needed to advance an agenda in washington in the perilous world. the question for you, is president obama tough enough? that is the question for the next half hour. first caller, on the independent line.
caller: no, i do not believe he is tough enough. the issues important to this country now are jobs. when he was running -- what upsets me -- i voted for him. nafta, the trade, that is what is killing this country. our jobs are just going overseas left and right. i had a brother and all laid off. my wife and i were both down sized also last year. they closed the factory here in town. he finally found another job at a city close by. it was to make windmills and we thought that is great because that is supposed to be the future. he got laid off again because now that company has decided to build those windmills in china. it keeps going on. host: so what does president obama have to do to be tough enough on jobs, employment?
caller: i believe this country before we can repair the rest of the world -- we have to repair it ourselves. america could be totally self- sufficient. anything that is sold here we can build. we have invented most everything. host: this is a charlie, on our republican line. caller: i think he goes around the world apologizing for america, which is bad. we are unique in the world. we are a free country. i think it is about time that he acted like it. trying to be like europe -- they are little tiny countries. the lady was on before who was tried to compare france and germany with our country. we are about 50 times larger than most of them.
it was scary to me that she is a physician because she should know these things. a lot of the doctors from canada and other places moved here when they got socialized medicine there. it is frightening. we need our doctors. where are they going to go? host: our question this next half-hour is about president obama. is he tough enough? david axelrod the senior advisor was asked that question with george stephanopoulos. >> is it time for him to get tough? >> if the president were not tough, we would not be where we are these the be trying to deal with the economy, to divorce -- remember what he inherited. he walked in the door and we have the worst economy since the great depression. he had to take immediate steps. he had to sort out in afghanistan a war where we had seven years of drift in a policy. he has drafted a series of
things to move the country ford from children's health care to pay equity for women. this congress has passed more legislation the version of this president than any president in our lifetime. i think he has been plenty tough. people want toughness, but they also want to have that leadership. that requires reviewing these issues. thinking them through clearly. bringing people long. that is what he is doing. host: from this "national journal" article. this one says he has been all carrots and no sticks so far. he says that obama's style has to be more like lyndon johnson. on the fear question, i don't think he or his team is feared,
says this veteran senate democratic aide. washington, d.c., good morning to rufus on our democrats line. caller: i do not think he is tough enough on international and domestic issues. i hope that people remember that he has not been in office for more than a year. -- i do think he is tough enough. what he has had to do to fix things from the previous administration in terms of international relationship. the decisions he makes are in our interest. we still need to look of the international community, to get them involved. as far as the domestic issue, i think he is doing, making tough
decisions. is he tough enough? of course. he is having to make unpopular, but necessary decisions to turn around this economy. i would hope people would look at the totality of what he is doing. not specific things, judging this by themselves, but look at the totality. host: here is north carolina on the line for independents. caller: good morning, i do not think he is tough enough. his ability saying that he once partisan politics to pass the health care plan, if he would set the bar higher instead of using the 61 votes to majority -- if he just said that he would veto any bill that does not have 80 votes in the senate -- that would have had republican backing. host: virginia beach, good
morning to cheryl, a republican caller. caller: i don't think obama is tough enough, and i don't think he listens. first of all, the truth be told, in the middle east, it is not just as simple as you think. he has not paid attention to the fact that there are americans involved -- saddam hussein had relatives here in the state of virginia. no one is giving him intelligence. he may be violating some third amendment rights in his policies. host: the article this morning is from "the national journal" -- krik is writing this cover story -- despite all the questions about whether obama might be more successful if he
had the element of fear to go along with the good will toward him, nobody can doubt the president's willingness to tackle some of the most difficult issues. gary, indiana, good morning, ingrid. caller: good morning, i think obama -- there is no one perfect. i think that he is tough. he has to go through all of this the that was left behind in the wish he would really look at the healthcare for seniors where it is called a spin down.
they are taking half of the senior citizens' money. host: have you had to go through this? caller: yes, i have, and i don't know who to get in touch with. host: this is to make you eligible for medicaid? caller: yes, i am on medicaid and medicare, but they have a spin down on medicaid. my spin down is $500. i wish obama would look into that. host: thanks for weighing in on that. this is florida, on the independent line. caller: i voted for obama. i do not want him to get any tougher because i have seen him break the constitution several times. first of all, when he went to the car companies and force the people in front of the line to
go to the back of the line. host: explain what you mean by that. caller: you have investors. when they invest in a country they are put in the front of the line. i cannot remember the exact term. you become the first person if the company goes bankrupt to get your money back. it is in the constitution because it is written on a contract. the constitution gave us our right to write a contract with someone else and have it uphill. i do not want him to get any tougher. i am getting scared. -- and had it upheld t. he wants to force us to get health care, right? you cannot force people to do things. it is just not. i voted for him and i made a
huge mistake. host: chris, thanks for your opinion. here the front pages writing about the offensive in pakistan. they hound the taliban for the second day. it is written that pakistan is not so epic offensive -- unlikely to subdue the militant stronghold. a little bit of the article here in this week's "christian science monitor" -- pakistan's south waziristan offensive has long had the billing of something a bit. but given the pakistani military's lack of capacity and a diminished enemy, analysts expect pakistan has something more modest and surgical in mind, eradicating a group of al
qaeda-linked uzbek supporters. the lead headline here is that obama is to put the onus on afghan. it says that the kabul regime must prove itself an effective partner before the u.s. increases trips. we go to carol on our republican line. caller: i do not think he is tough enough on the ways he should be. his tough enough to push american people around, but not tough enough to help the guys in afghanistan. i am really scared. host: what is it specifically that you are scared of? caller: that he is forcing the people to get this healthcare plan. his intervening in the banks. he is intervening in the credit
card system. he is taking over the automobile industry. his ego is way, way high. he seems like he has a god syndrome going on. host: next call is a democrat from cape cod. go ahead. caller: the question is kind of silly. we spent eight years with a president who was constantly trying to beat up. i think we need to ask ourselves, how is that working out for us? we have two wars that are in bad shape, and an economy in even worse shipping of the former senator from rhode island says he was disillusioned because one day he came into office and they
had certain things and destroyed both. maybe it is time for a little less toughness, more wisdom and insight. host: is toughness just an image thing? is it more of the media creation? is a more of the way that the president deals with capitol hill? caller: in terms of the way he deals with capitol hill, he is in a very difficult situation. people are bound and determined to take him down no matter what. being tough with them will only lead us into another cat fight where we have just ridiculous nonsense. maybe it is time to really sit down with those guys, the few he can work with, and the democrats, and try to find some reasonable way out of our
problem. rather than saying, this is the way it has to be. it is my way or the highway. host: the stories in this week's papers, "the national journal" -- it says, is obama tough enough? the unexpected announcement on october 9 that the president had been awarded the nobel peace prize might help boost his stature. but it will likely do little to enhance his domestic political standing. next up, new jersey. good morning to jason on the independent line. caller: i wish you couldn't give me a chance to say this because i am disheartened by the americans on the phone -- i wish you can give me the chance to say this. we have put up with such crap for so long. the american people have lost their power to buy, to work.
we love everything happen and then cried at our politicians. it is up for americans to stand up. for the people, by the people. -- we let everything happen. president bush was a c-average person. he was the worst president we have ever had. americans need to ask "what have i done." you vote for the same thing, the same thing will happen. in the 1970's when you look at everyone from back then until now, you have politicians making more money, sports people making more money since then, ceos making more money since then, but do you know who has not made more money? the american people. we let everything go out of the
country. but we'll look in the mirror and say let's change in address country ourselves. host: next up, buffalo, new york. caller: hello, thank you for taking my call this morning. i do not think obama is tough enough, especially not on foreign policy. he came into the office of the president with a few years as a u.s. senator with little experience in that department. he basically ran on a campaign of celebrity. he was voted in because he was a good speaker. there is time for talk, and there is time for action. in the case of north korea and with iran where they have nuclear ability, we need to take quicker, tougher action against them. we need to cut them off completely. sitting down and having tea or a discussion with them will not be the only thing that will do that. host: in this article, and "is
he tough enough?" he writes that even obama's friends privately grumble that he has foolishly set a deadline to close guantanamo by january with felt -- without first having a plan to pull it off. he writes that senator majority leader reid is colored by the fact that he is facing a difficult reelection fight next year. house speaker nancy pelosi is finding it a big challenge to keep her ideologically diverse caucus together. kalamazoo, mich., good morning. caller: i really agree with the gentleman who had spoken earlier. bush was in office for eight years, actually even before bush -- when ronald reagan was in office, he is the first one to
cut out all the programs. he cut everything. you had all the mentally ill people walking around here. it is just a mess. then you expect president obama to come in and for everything instantly to be fixed? it is not going to work like that. host: "the washington post" writes about the spat between the white house and fox news. after impugning the objectivity of fox news and saying that they would begin to treat the network asked "an opponent," white house official said sunday that it will allow administration officials to appear on the network.
her comments sparked fresh battle between the white house and the network. in response to her criticism, the fox news executive said in a statement that president obama's aides have decided to "declare war on a news organization." chris wallace commented sunday about the comments between the two. >> this week barack obama white house turned up the heat on fox news. communications director and need to dunn called "opinion journalism masquerading as news." we wanted to ask her about that, but since august the white house has refused to make such officials available to talk about this or anything else. host: ill., on the independent line.
caller: as far as president obama being tough enough, it depends on the context. basketball, yes, pretty tough. but as far as swinging above that congress which is what he should be doing, no, he is not. he is a very intelligent man. if he does not see the problems with private financing and taking money in from corporations and big business, and does not see the problems there, then he is part of the problem. he has got to change that. he has to bring jobs back to the united states. we are really hurting out here. maytag, world pulled out -- the host: another caller earlier
mentioned jobs. what does being tough on jobs mean? what does the president do? caller: companies leave the u.s. to take advantage of cheap labor. you can get a 12-year-old kid to run the line. it would be against the law here. there are no regulations. any job that comes out of this country and goes overseas -- tear of their goods coming back into the u.s. they cannot use is to become multi-millionaires and then leave because we want to make a living wage to survive. it is not being discussed. the minute that you see a tariff they say protectionism. host: we should you the comments from chris wallace on fox news. rahm emanuel was asked about it
on state of the union yesterday. >> dunn, one of your staff calls it the wing of the republican party. why? >> it is not so much a conflict with fox news, but unlike the way it is looked at, it is not a news organization so much as that it has a perspective. that is a different take. more importantly, it is to not have cnn the lead in following fox. host: about five more minutes of calls. on the issue of "is he tough enough/" which is the cover story of "the national journal" this week.
jacksonville, fla., a republican caller. caller: thank you. no, i do not think he is tough enough. just take the economy. he ran for over a year, said -- he ran, said he was going to fix the economy. he got in. he spent nine months. it has gotten worse. all he does is complain about what he inherited. he was in the congress. he voted for the stimulus package, that $700 bailout. he was part of that. he was part of that fannie mae and freddie mac. he pushed that. he received over $100,000 from
freddie mac. in all he can do now is cry about what he inherited. he was part of it. as far as the media, he cries about talk radio and fox, says they're not being fair to him. we have the rest of the corrupt media that won't ask the tough questions. let him slide by and everything. -- on everything. all that obama can do is just cry and whine instead of doing something. he needs to man up and start to fix some things, cut taxes, get the economy growing.
instead of raising taxes and spend, spend. host: let's hear a view from corpus christi, texas. caller: good morning. i'm a 25-year listener, a first- time caller. first of all, don't count him out to. it is more of a question of style. he has strategy he is going with. every time we counted not he always comes back. obama is smarter than us. he refused to allow the republicans to put him in a box. the angry black man box. i know you have heard that stereotype before. i just want to say, just be patient and watch him. when you count amount, you watch how he comes back. host: a piece of news from the associated press, reporting that
the obama administration will not seek to arrest medical marijuana users and suppliers as long as they conform to state laws under new policy guidelines to be sent to federal prosecutors today. tampa, fla., on the independent line. caller: yes, he is tough enough. if you look at the campaign, all the controversy surrounding him, you have to have a tough skin to do with that. basically, he has inherited a lot of problems. he is trying to fix them. it has not even been a complete year. everyone expects this quick turnaround. it is just basically capitalism at its finest coming back to bite us. he is trying to get these things straightened out. the insurance industry, banking, automotive.
they have their pockets lined and fattened for the last eight years. they left the american public out in the cold. now everybody is crying and complaining. 10 years ago you should have opened your eyes and seen what was going on. host: we are going to get the answer to, what happens if the dollar crashes, next. our guest joins us from new york in a moment. ♪ >> labor secretary hilda 6 this morning looking at the role of
working women and the work force, at the center for american progress on c-span2. live at noon a discussion on the future of fannie mae and freddie mac as economists talk about how much help they should get from the government. the u.s. senate gavels in at 2:00 p.m. eastern. later, a bill to change the medical formula for reimbursing doctors. live coverage on c-span2. the house will gavel in tomorrow. this week in the u.s. house of bill furthering solar energy in the u.s., and also a bill increasing the number of coast guard personnel by 1500. tomorrow, here on c-span. >> chief technology officer of the united states on how the obama administration wants to use technology to improve
transparency in government. tonight, on c-span2. "washington journal" continues. host: joining us, peter coy, the economics editor from "newsweek." his story is, "what happens if the dollar crashes?" guest: we are not outright predicting that the dollar will crash. we are just giving a scenario. it is important to consider the possibility. history has shown us that the unpredictable can very often happen. recently, the best example is housing prices. for years they went up on a national basis. we even had people like alan greenspan saying there is no national housing market. sure, one particular market or
another might slide, and the national association of realtors have the same message. housing prices never fall. well, right after they said that house prices proceeded to fall three straight years in a row starting in the middle of 2006 until this summer. when people say the dollar will not crash -- only possibly a modest decline, that also could be wrong. to answer your question, if the dollar did crash -- and i don't mean this orderly decline, but a real crash with a sudden, sharp drop. there could be a host of bad consequences. we would have higher inflation, higher interest rates. we could have a stunted foreign growth. it could even result in trade wars between the u.s. and other countries, or those countries between themselves. it could also be harmful to some
big banks that were over exposed. host: what would the sudden drop be? guest: ok, just to give some perspective. the dollar reached a recent high last march because it actually rose with the financial crisis. people went to the dollar as a refuge. in early march was fairly strong. it fell about 15% since then. it has fallen more against some key currencies. so, that would not be enough to cross our the show. we're down towards the bottom of those lower roller-coaster range. let's say it is another 25%. that over relatively short time like a year. host: focus on consumers, those
with dollars in bear wallets. why should they be concerned about the value of the dollar? he mentioned the potential of inflation. what other issues should they be concerned about? guest: generally speaking when the currency goes down, americans become poor. your dollars by less in the world market. it is like putting everything in america on sale. there is some daysome reason for doing that. our products become cheaper in foreign markets. our exports increase. the trade deficit shrank. it is harder for us to afford imported products. all the things we're used to buying from abroad suddenly become more expensive. anything from toys at walmart to lexus' -- and some say that as a
price we pay, necessary and fair. but it is something to keep in mind. when the dollar goes down, we say that we as a nation have become poorer. host: this article writes about the possible upside. but they write that there is the possibility that a weak dollar could prove beneficial by aiding the long-suffering manufacturers, rebuilding a stronger industrial base, and lifting exports, even if it makes life harder for trading partners around the world, especially in europe. does that balance? visit balance things out with the declining dollar -- does it? guest: that is a matter of political judgment. there is no right or wrong answer. the obama administration seems to have tolerated the dollar's decline from its march highs
pretty well. timothy geithner's the treasury secretary has been out there with other officials expressing support for a strong dollar. but that is kind of a formulaic expression. something that secretary treasury has been saying since george w. bush all the way back to the clinton administration. bob ruben used to say that reaching the. our foreign trading partners do not quite believe it. the have not seen the u.s. back it up with actions. even when the dollar seems to be following the u.s. has not done anything about the decline. it is not doing anything now. it has the feeling of empty rhetoric. it might be completely justified. it may be that these administrations, both democrat and republican, have concluded that the cheaper dollar raising
the cost of imports is worth it because of the way it can improve our manufacturing sector and help with exports. they may also have concluded that the damage to the trading partners is not so harmful that we should worry about that. for example, the europeans get mad at us when we allow the dollar to depreciate. they say that we are freezing them out of their market. we get pushed back from them about it. -- we get pushed back from them. so far, we think it is worth it. with a further decline might be a different host: story peter coy writes in the latest issue of "newsweek" and joins us up until the top of the hour. pittsburgh, good morning.
caller: we hosted the g-20 summit. i had not budgeted to speak with many of the delegates from china and other countries. the chinese government will not continue to subsidize the massive spending and essential looting of our national treasury by the industrial military base in corporate welfare. tim geithner said we have to live within our means. i am telling you now, we are reaching an implosive crisis. we're going to reach a point for the chinese government will say enough is enough. if you will not live within your means, we will not continue to underwrite this. we're reaching a point just the interest rate is truly catastrophic.
i don't believe our leaders. i am a progressive democrat. i also believe you must live within your means. china sooner or later will look at their own economy. they are buying all kinds of minerals and putting it into a position where they will not need the u.s. in the future. host: thanks, patrick. we will get a response from peter coy. guest: the irony is that the u.s. hopes that china will not do what the caller is saying. the u.s. has asked china to allow its currency to appreciate. we want china to stop relying so much on exports to the u.s. and other countries for its growth, but to satisfy the needs of its own people. that would be good for both countries. it would increase living standards of chinese and help american factory workers who right now cannot compete because
the chinese are holding down the value of the currency. they are trying to out-cheap us and that is a recipe for disaster for both countries. for years we have put pressure on them to revalue. for a while there the yuan did increase, but it has been flat lining for quite a while. china needs to take the next up. host: make the connection between the amount of u.s. assets that china owns and the decline of the dollar. guest: they fit together like hand in glove. the problem is that china instead of buying our goods is by our treasury bills. here is how works. many people know this, but it is worth reviewing. the trade deficit means that we buy things from them and they do
not buy things from us. what do they do with the dollars they get from us? instead of buying goods and services with them they buy assets. a lot of those are treasury bills, notes and bonds, as well as mortgage-backed securities. it tends to be paper stuff, not factories, farm land. it is financial instruments, very often the relatively safe ones. so, when people talk about the housing bubble we have had some of it can be traced back to the influx of foreign money that went into things like mortgage- backed securities which held down mortgage rates to artificially low levels and allow people to get into these crazy adjustable rate mortgages they could not afford. so, you can make a direct connection between the housing bubble and this imbalance in
trade and investment flows. host: bob is on our independent line. caller: i'm very concerned about the u.s. economy as we speak. since this fraud has taken occupancy at 1600 pennsylvania ave our dollar bill has dropped by 7 points. a well-known economist it's that we could see the dollar dropped to as much as 10% of its value as we speak. i am concerned about our economy. we're the greatest debtor nation in the world just as china is the greatest creditor nation. we are leaning on them. i would like to hear the gentleman's reply. guest: that is what my story is about, about the risk of a sharp fall in the dollar.
i don't think it will go down by that much as he does, but i do think that a 25% decline against a range of world currencies is plausible if not likely. we are really trying to sensitize people to that possibility, get them thinking about what if anything they want to do to prepare for it. host: you write that the regulators are monitoring banks for wide variety of risks including the threat of the dollar bus. "we're not looking quarter to quarter, but hour to hour and minute to minute at the risks, said one regulator who requested anonymity. what are they looking at? how are the monitoring this? guest: there are examiners in the offices of all the big banks to work for the federal government. they are asking to see the books. after the incredible disaster of the last few years were lehman
brothers blew up, citigroup got into deep trouble they are trying to make sure it does not happen again. they want to see their exposure to all kinds of untoward events. the dollar best being just one of them, although important. the office of the comptroller of the currency which regulates national banks looked closely at derivatives which warren buffett called weapons of financial mass destruction. hughes said it turns out that five banks, and they're the big names -- account for something like 88% of the net credit exposure tof all banks to exposure. it is not in your corner, a small-town bank. it is in these giant, too big to fail institutions. regulators have allowed these banks to get gigantic. they have gotten even bigger
since the crisis because of mergers. now regulators must make sure it they don't fail. they have to be scrutinized closely. are they scrutinizing closely enough? or will the banks get right back into trouble? that is an open question. host: you must be setting a trend because the article in "the wall street journal" is also looking at the dollar, particularly the u.s. dollar versus the canadian dollar. some problems it has presented canada. there, the currency also called "loonie" has been on a tear, rising nearly 25% since the beginning of march. what is the issue for the canadiens win their dollar goes up in value? guest: we have some canadians in our office to have mixed feelings. it is almost like a dollar for
dollar now. canadians come here and there dollar buys just about as much as american dollars do. that is a source of pride for them. it is good for tourism to the u.s., but the flip side is that canadian exports become more expensive in the u.s. they have huge export industries. canada and the u.s. are tightly integrated economies. if the currency's get out of line it is really tough on the canadiens. i can understand their concerns. host: mostly the dollar is down against other currencies. down 22% from the japanese yen, up 21% under the euro, 6% undervalued by the british pound, and you mentioned that the chinese yuan is now 76% higher.
-- that yuan is overvalued. caller: i'm very proud of barack obama, what he did. he put dollars into our hands instead of just giving money away. we have the russianruble to deal with an cubd cuba. it is one of the main reasons why a drug dealers don't mess with cuba too much. the rest of the world, if you think about it, every country has its own monetary what ever to value things to use. you have 19 european countries that came up with the euro to
try to beat the dollar, but they cannot. the dollar everywhere in the world you go, they spend dollars. i really feel like there are too many dollars out there. but the world loves a dollar. if oil is traded in dollars -- the russians cannot get involved in that. afghanistan, they want a dollar. i have always believed -- thinking back, it was light $50 billion got lost somehow. but that is fine. as long as the money makes it back. people don't understand that the dollar is what stirs the drink of the world economy. host: we'll get a response from
our guest, peter coy. guest: it is true that the world cannot get enough dollars and that was a good thing during this recent financial crisis. when people tried to think what they should do to find refuge from the storm they chose to put it into dollars, treasury bills, for example. not so much because they had great faith in the long-term future of the u.s., but because there are lots of these treasury bills, notes, and on circulating, sitting in banks all over the world, not just the u.s. the u.s. really benefits in having its currency as the reserve currency all over the world. think about this which people often miss -- whenever we spend send a dollar abroad, as long as it keeps circulating, it is not a claim against the u.s.
it is a i.o.u. that we have not had to make good on. we're getting a free ride. host: you talk about this earlier, the obama administration officials do not seem perturbed by the dollar's slide so far. the weaker dollar helps to shrink the u.s. trade deficit. however, the state of, would vanish overnight if the financial markets got a sense that the dollar's decline was starting to snowball out of control. at that time the invisible force bill protecting it would fade away says more 10weis of the analysis firm of jupiter, fla. he says we would become like ordinary mortals and more vulnerable to attacks on our currency. you write that the currency
takes on a life of its own. the world's bankers intervene to prop up the currency's, but speculators instead have tasted victory and are not scared off. on the other hand, you write that dollar bulls like to point out that the dollar has rallied strongly last year through the worst of the financial crisis. for the folks who have talked to to gather this article, are most bullish or bearish on the dollar's future? guest: that is a good question. i tend to be a believer in the efficient markets. at any given time it is hard to predict which way the dollar will go. i will be up front in saying, i do not know, it could go up from here. net trading shows people do not expect any big moves in the dollars in future months. we have incredibly low interest rates. one thing pushing down the dollar is that people are
taking -- people all over the world, investors, they are borrowing in dollars at super- low interest rates, and then turn around and sell them to buy some foreign currency. for example, the australian dollar is a big play these days. investing in australian securities that earn a high- yielding, and when those come to they take their profits and then turn the money back into u.s. dollars to pay off the debt they incurred in come out with a nice, almost guaranteed profit which will stay in place unless suddenly the dollar appreciated a whole lot and the trade interest-rate suddenly zoomed. it is a need trade in has been going on for a while now. it is having the short-term effect of pushing the dollar down and down.
the idea that markets are not naturally stable. they may seem to be over short periods of time. people get used su certain level of the dollar -- people get used to a certain level of the dollar and assume it is baked in. all of a sudden, everyone asks what happened there? shocking things can happen and frequently have happened, as we have just seen. let's take the possibility seriously that it could happen to the dollar. host: 1 your said that oil is traded in dollars. is that true? secondly, does it mean that if oil prices were to go up and would be good for the value of the dollar? guest: oil is traded internationally in dollars. right now, about $70 per barrel. anywhere in the world you go it
is denominated in dollars even if you do not pay for it in dollars. -- right now, it is about $78 per barrel. there is no good news and that if the dollar goes up because it will increase our import bill. it will worsen our trade deficit. host: here in isbonnie from parsons, kansas. caller: good morning, i'm concerned that we do not think enough of ouourselves one we're talking about the big investors. what about the people who cannot do this big investing? we have to think about those in other countries. they are not any better than we
are. we're the peasants who cannot invest. they are the peasants who cannot invest or say anything. it is like that all over the world now. we used to be all wealthy, but we are not now. my son lost his 401k's immediately with the aig bailout. i have lost money the same way, actually. there is no way we can keep up with what is going on with this rasputin syndrome in the world. i do not believe obama, from the time he was running, was truthful. i r an for hillary clinton. i changed parties and had no
idea that i would be chosen to speak for her, but i was. there are only two of us in kansas who were elected to speak for hillary clinton and i one. host: it is a little bit off the topic and i will ask peter coy if he has response. guest: i feel bad for anyone who lost money, having the money in aig. that was a terrible fraud, conducted mostly out of financial products in a.i.g. london. the fact that such a thing could bring the world economy to the brink of collapse is really shocking, and releases bad things about the regulatory system of the u.s. and other countries. i agree that the little guys always seem to be the big losers whenever there is a crisis like this. it gets back to the too big to fail point.
hard to say how, but again and again the investment bankers seem to come of smelling like roses even if they got us into the mess had in the first place. so, i agree. host: has the value of the dollar improved any since the market crisis last fall in the steps the government has taken both during the bush administration and into the obama administration? what sort of shape will the dollar b in a year from now? guest: the dollar from now had been drifting lower starting in 2002 all the way to 2007, or so. then when the crisis began a got a big bump up which lasted until last march. right about the time the stock market started recovering from its super low the dollar stood upon. stocks in the dollar moved in opposite directions.
again, this could be good for the u.s. economy to the degree that it helps the manufacturing sector. it could show signs of life. there are early indications of that. and so far it has not shown up in higher inflation. consumer prices fell from august's 2009-2009. in the long term is not a great thing to impoverished ourselves on the way to prosperity. -- from august 2008-2009. host: philadelphia is next. guest: i have admired your magazine for years and it is an honor to speak to. --caller: the manufacturers here are using parts that are sourced from all over the world and only
the final assembly is done here. did you take that into account? it could cause inflation, but that is part of our import quotas. i don't see the benefit. guest: oh, yeah, that is a good point. u.s. manufacturing has gotten hollowed out. even though they're still production hear more and more of the components come from abroad. that is accounted for in the trade figures. the figures take into account where all the parts come from. that is one of the reasons we have such a big trade deficit. it could be that if the dollar were cheap enough people would have an interest in starting to make some of those components in the u.s., not just the final assembly. host: peter coy join us -- joins us until about 9:15 a.m. eastern. he had an article in this week's "newsweek" -- what happens if
the dollar crashes? people have mentioned other currencies as possible replacements of the dog. why hasn't the euro or another currency replaced it? guest: you started to see some signs of people moving especially to the euro which has the advantage that it is really a huge currency covering almost all of western europe. it is widely used within europe and beginning to show up in the reserves of the big banks. we have some data in the article you have been mentioning, quoting an expert, stephen from barclays bank, who has done an analysis that says much of the money being added to reserves of these big, foreign banks has been euros, and secondarily, in japanese yen, rather than
euro? it is really sad news to hear the a lot of the major banks are diversifying to the den and europe and at different things like that -- the yen and the hereuro and things like that. i think absolutely threatens our sovereignty. what do you think? guest: i am in a generally in favor of nafta and i know that is probably an unpopular view with a lot of people, but i think the north american free trade agreement has not been a huge boon that the backers argued it was, but also has not been the terrible bust that its biggest opponents said. on net, it has probably increased the amount of commerce between the u.s. and mexico and canada. the whole idea of free trade is
that it allows people to specialize in the same way that people in a given town might specialize. the person who is best at cutting hair becomes of arbor and person who is best at mulrine on does that. that is how it -- the person who is best at getting here becomes a barber. and so on. making certain types of machines, etc., certain types of medical truck products -- mexico has its specialties and sodas canada -- and so does canada. it is better off to use your money to buy the best things. it seems trivial, and yet, it really is true. we're all better off when we can voluntarily trade with each other for the things that, in a way, that benefit all.
host: on twitter, there is before one question for you. he writes, is it possible for the sdr to replace a commodities like petroleum. does this give more stability? what is the sdr that he is talking about? guest: those are special drawing rights and they are a sort of pseudo-currency that is an international currency. some people at the international monetary fund will hold sdr's as a form of a reserve. but they have never really caught on the way they were conditioned to. what people -- they work in vision -- envisioned to. what people are talking about is that there is a basket of local currencies so that oil would be priced in particular units that consisted of, say, 40% dollars,
30% euros, 20% yen and whatever other currencies mixed in there. i do not think it makes the difference that people think it would. anyone who bought a barrel of oil with peter the sdr that the twitter guy is talking about, or one of these baskets, with the current demand of currency is goingç to complicate it. it does not mean that it changes the flows of trade and actual currencies. the bottom line is, it would still cost americans on lot of money if oil got expensive and it would still be a lot of money for the saudis if oil got expensive. these particular denomination of the oil is not that important. host: in new york, a democratic
caller, welcome. caller: mr. coy indicated there is something people might do to better weather the devaluation of the dollar. could you talk about that? guest: that is a good question. if you are talking about what an ordinary american could do to better weather the a devaluation of the dollar, one obvious thing is not to have all your assets tied up in dollars. the financial experts call this the home by is. it turns out that most americans have a very high percentage of all their wealth in the currency, the dollar. your job might depend on the dollar. and your financial -- your house, of course, but your financial assets as well. people buy stocks and american companies and that is dollar- based, too. the ad buys that we give in
business week this week in a more personal -- the advice that we give in "business week" this week in a more personal story is to diversify a bit. put some stocks and bonds into some other countries around the world. we are now predicting that they will do better than u.s. investments. that is not the point. the point is to have -- not to have all your eggs in one basket. you will actually benefit from your foreign holdings because those will go up in value when the dollar turns. host: the drop in prices in 2007, 2008 and people moving their assets into cash positions, into investments that would be more dollar-heavy, did that have anything to do with that decline of the dollar? guest: remember that if you own shares of an american company and you switched over to treasury bills, you are still in dollars. it is still a dollar-denominated
investments. that does not have a big difference. it is more like if you go ahead and buy shares in a french company or in the royal dutch shell or something like that, nintendo or to a the and you can go on the list of foreign companies that tend to rise in value in dollar terms if the dollar failed. host: charlotte, n.c., in defending color. caller: i have a comment -- independent scholar. 5 a caller: comment and a question. i think this is a calculated plan to drive down the standard of living in this country and make us more competitive on a global basis. i think this was the bush administration's agenda. i hope everybody is happy with who they voted for on the whole deal. i would like to ask -- what
about gold as a safe haven when the dollar falls? is that just a psychological investment? host: thanks, sandy. guest: actually, the gold would be a good investment if the dollar fell in value. the pattern is that when the dollar loses value, gold gained value. gold gains by definition in dollar terms because -- gold is now over $1,000 per ounce. the thing about gold is that of floor traders wildly. -- it fluctuates wildly. we are barely up to the nominal terms that we reached back and the 1980's or something. there have been long periods
where if you have put your money into gold you would have lost big time. the adjustment for inflation and is way off its historic highs. if you are worried about rising inflation and a foreign dollar, gold is a good place to put your money. that is the bottom line. host: she talked about this being a calculated plan. did you uncover any evidence of that? guest: i said that it was a calculated plan. i don't mean that in a devious way. the u.s., by allowing the dollar toç depreciate it actually increases the competitiveness of american products. again, as i said, the treasury secretaries of both republican and democrat administrations have asserted that they favor a strong dollar, but in practice they have tolerated a weakening of the dollar. that is just a fact. i am not uncovering plots. host: you have historical perspective about when the last time the dollar declined and at
what was the worst decline for the dollar and what it meant? guest: we do have a chart in your story showing the history of the value of the dollar against foreign currencies. the most notable, declined was in -- the most notable decline was in the 1980's. if you look at it, it looks like a steep mountain peak. the dollar resumes it up in value until around 1985 and then just as rapidly came crashing down. you can see it on the chart. it is the tall peak on the left of the chart. the risk is that the dollar rising has a recessionary depression -- depression-era affect on the dollar. a falling economy brings up inflation. host: republican caller from florida.
caller: i am half japanese and i lived in japan until 1972. again with 36080 yen to a dollar. during the day -- the reagan years it started falling. as you said, ' and people are investing money like that into the australian dollar. prior to 2000, i went to canada and it was like $1.45 to $1.50 and i had a great time on vacation. it is about $1.06 right now. the more currency drops, the more dollars you get. the people are using the counter -- people are using the pound, trhe euro. it is not a question of when the
dollar falls. and we're willing to do. what we're going to do when the dollar falls is we're going to have hyper inflation, just like japan did. i would like to comment on that. i know we are. it is just going to happen. host: steve, thank you. guest: that is the risk, of course. there are people who take seriously the risk of that kind of hyper-inflation. i'm not predicting it. in fact, i think hyper-inflation is quite unlikely. but in worst-case scenarios, i can see more like a fairly big jump in inflation coupled with slow growth, unfortunately, which would be a return to the stagflation of the 1970's and we do not want to get into that trap. is it our best to get out of. host: one more call, mount clare, new jersey, chris, democratic caller. caller: good morning and thank
you for taking my call. i have a question about the weakened dollar. wasn't this bill on a system that was actually going to make the dollar get weak after the bretton woods agreements? pretty much, the u.s. was pretty much supposed to run a deficit that was supposed to return around the world. never one has cut back and the dollar is weak. we had -- everyone has cut back and the dollar is weak. we had to run a deficit to continue to supply the reserves. i wonder why is coming as a shock now when it was built in our system that made the u.s. running deficits. guest: that is my favorite question. -- my favorite question of the day because it is very interesting. it is way too deep to get into any kind of detail right now.
it is very true, though, that we have a system -- the only way that lots of dollars can circulate in the world economy, which is necessary to relieve be an effective reserve currency, is by running a deficit so that those dollars are made available. countries with big trade surpluses like china probably will never have a reserve currency. the question arises whether there is something fundamentally incompatible between having a reserve currency and a stable currency. that is a lot to get into in the short time we have remaining pure host: -- remaining. host: last week it was announced that bloomberg news is buying " business week." what does that mean for publication? guest: we are going to become a new publication called "bloomberg business week." they are expected to close the deal on the beginning of
december and we will have a new life ahead of us. host: we thank you for joining us this morning. we have a link to the article on line. thanks again for being with us. guest: thank you. host: next up we will speak to larry klayman with a new book called "whores: how and why i came to fight the establishment." we will take your calls on the government, judiciary committee and more. but first, an update from c-span radio. >> it is 9:16 a.m. eastern time. as president obama and first lady michelle attended a parent- teacher conference at their daughter's school, the white house released their report showing that the stimulus spending has released to under 50,000 education and teaching jobs -- 250,000 education and teaching jobs this year. this after federal grants release of the $787 billion
stimulus program. reports of casualties in iraq. and american soldier has been killed in a vehicle accident in the northern part of the country. that accident is under investigation. according to the associated press, the soldier's death raises the number of military personnel to over 4300. general rasmussen says the allies must quickly endorsed general mcchrystal's recommendation to increase efforts in afghanistan. adding that while it makes sense to delay such decisions until the final results of the disputed presidential elections are known, -- time is not on the alliance opposing side. fraud investigators have thrown out hundreds of thousands of ballots for afghanistan's for president from the election in august. it sets the stage for a runoff between hamid karzai and his top challenger. a week after announcing a troop
increase in afghanistan, british prime minister gordon brown is focusing on climate change. speaking earlier at the major economies forum in london, he said that failure to strike a new global deal on greenhouse emissions would be catastrophic and urged other national leaders to personally attend the u.n. climate conference in copenhagen this december. rio de janeiro posing mayor says the city has a tough battle ahead, adding security problems before the 2016 olympics. he made the remarks following violence over the weekend that left 14 people dead. rio was awarded the 2016 games earlier this month, beating out madrid, japan, and chicago. finally, the university of geneva astronomers have found 32 new planets outside the solar system, adding to the theory that the universe has many places where newt -- where life could develop. those are some of the latest headlines on c-span radio.
host: joining us from new york is the father of judicial watch and freedom watch, larry klayman who has a new book out called "whores: how and why i came to fight the establishment." thanks for joining us this morning in new york at our studios. we will read a couple of quotes from this book this morning. starting off, you write that i am never engaged in the services of a prostitute, but i encountered a lot of course in my career. why isn't the media a watchdog on the three branches of government, in your view? guest: it should be treated we just had two garrido -- journalist diane the last month, bill safire and robert novak.
these two were icons and understood how washington works. it is ironic that most people who write about washington and the media do not really understand what goes on under the service. i do understand that. i spent time of the government of the justice department, the international trade commission, private practice. i have unfortunately learned the see the underbelly of washington and this book is my life story, what i learned along the way, how we got into the crisis of that we are in today. it is a combination of three successive american -- three have failed the american people and i believe we are in a economic depression -- i believe it is a depression -- and internationally, we are in chaos. what has gone wrong is that the club in washington has not served the american people. it has served itself. that is what this book is about. host: why hasn't the club in washington, to use your term,
changed 3 elections and such? guest: people think that i'm talking about prostitutes through the work horse, and the book opens of with a story about -- through the word hoares and the book opens up with a story about police arresting prostitutes. it is about money. it is about power. it is about self aggrandizement. it is not about the american people. that is where the word comes from. even in the bible is an age-old question. the tarnished city of rose from the faithful city. god calls upon the counselors and the lawyers to restore that city because the city has become a whore. everybody is taking a bribe. everyone is abandoning the orphans and widows. this is like going to the gym, you have to stay in shape. and to stay in shape, you need a strong government that is able to enforce the rules of ethics.
you saw what happened here on wall street and in new york today. there was no oversight. and you need strong organization with -- to be able to serve as watchdogs and reveal what is going on, to demand change and bring the lawsuit is necessary to bring a peaceful second american revolution. i do not think anyone can dispute that we are in a severe crisis today. host: you write in your book a great deal about the lack of transparency in the government. the obama administration has made a big deal about transparency in government. " with that id look like you and ray this administration -- what would that look like to you and greet this administration. how are they doing so far? guest: not very well. whether it is bill clinton or obama, they all said they want transparency. from day one and the white house, for instance, and this is a bit off the cuff, but they
have been thrown parties every week. we sought information on how much they were spending on these parties, stevie wonder, movie stars, you name it. it was like the beverly hillbillies at the white house carrying on. we wanted to know what was being spent during this time of economic crisis and we cannot get that information from the obama administration. that is not the only thing. the fly over in new york and people got scared and thought it was another 9/11. they held that information on that. very few administrations -- in fact, i do not know of any in my lifetime that have come forward with information. and of course, the bush administration stonewalled any information. and the clinton administration simply destroyed the documents. using one method or another, we do not get the transparency. host: you were initially supporter of the bush administration. what turned you against them?
guest: i was never really supportive of the bush administration. i was always very hesitant. i'm talking from a personal standpoint. i did not think that president bush was offered the job. i think he was put up much like obama has been put up today as a kind of trojan horse for other interests who wanted to pursue their agenda. right out of the box i challenge the bush administration on the cheney energy task force. the case when all the way to the supreme court and, of course, we remember the famous duck hunting trip that he went on with justice scalia that struck down the advisory after that gave us information on what was going on with the task force. years later, we can surmise that they were dividing up oil interests in iraq, among other things. there were not of the reasons for staying in and invading iraq, as we later learned.
i was never a supporter of the bush and administration. i was a republican and and no longer a republican. i think both parties have done a disservice to this country. the whores are back in power and you have obama sitting on top of that with an agenda. he went around the house in terms of the deck of cards. he is trying to push through the far left socialist agenda that is even further left than what europe thinks should be done. europe, ironically, as most conservative governments these days. ç-- house of mostly conservatie governments these days. we have an issue not only with regard to transparency, but to quicken -- to pushing agendas quickly. we do not know the facts behind these things. this has been the case in the last three administrations. clinton was so preoccupied with scandal he did not have time to
pursue any real agenda. host: we have a caller from birmingham, alabama, a republican caller, katie. caller: it is frustrating as an american citizen to seek a vote -- to see the way government works to serve the individual interests. in my opinion, this administration has its fourth firmly planted on the american economy with all of their agendas that they want to ram through. what can we do? a 2010 cannot come soon enough to be able to change our votes. guest: one of the things that margaret thatcher talked about is that you do not have a healthy economy unless you have a legal system that works, that protect the rights of the american people, and my book talks about that. our legal system has frankly, broken down. it has become a cesspool. the judges are not making decisions on the merits, but on the basis of a feathering the nest of those who got them their
jobs. you have lawyers who do not tell the truth. you have to have a good legal system to invest money in the system. and you have president obama and you have congress who comes up with a $1 trillion bailout. nobody has seen the money, not even the left. i live in los angeles, california for the most part now and i can tell you, even the left in hollywood is getting very concerned, if not agitated, at the inability of this of ministration to affect the economy, having sold everyone is a bill of goods and not having told the truth. and not giving transparency and getting back to the original motivation of what they're goal -- of what their goal was. this book gives examples of how we can remove ourselves from this crisis. but the biggest problem is that the people who are running this government who are not serving as well -- while i cannot advocate who to vote for as head of freedom to watch, but i can tell you that people should look
carefully who they are voting for. we should bring lawsuits, as i have, to uncover why the tarps went to big banks and medium- sized banks and that is why you cannot get mortgages. the money has gone to help obama's friends and not the little people on the street. and while our international relations resulted in a war worth thousands of american lives were lost and where we had a situation that is going to deteriorate once we leave, just like vietnam, and the rest of the world went to heck. iran, afghanistan, pakistan, north korea -- this government, run by republicans and democrats has not told the american people the truth. it has sold the american people out for their own interests. i was in an office right after 9/11 with arlen specter, the senator from pennsylvania, why know quite well, who recently had a miraculous conversion from
republicanism to democratism. and i was there on behalf of the fbi agent where he had dropped the ball and not done his job in protecting the people really have to 9/11. the fbi retaliated against this agent because the agent wanted to come forward and had filed internal complaints against him, and drumming up phony charges of sexual harassment. i said, senator, we need your help, we need you to intervene at the fbi. we want this fbi agent to testify in front of congress. and what did he say to me? he says, larry, i like your soup. and i said, what you mean? what lawsuit are you talking about? and he said, i like your suit. i said, you mean, the case for the inspector, robert wright? and he said, no, i like your suit. where did you get it?
i said to my guarded in brazil. it tells you -- i got it in brazil. it tells you what they're doing of there on capitol hill. i will be there in the next few days to tell them to their face. it is self aggrandizement. it is and it cufflinks, it is suits. it is hairdos', hair dye, it is status, power, but it is not the american people and that is where this book cuts to the chase. host: you right after 9/11 in your book, we now are owned çólawsuits and against the set n the same, osama bin laden, fidel castro, and hugo chávez. how did these suits panel? guest: we had one for $1.8 million against fidel castro.
the others are continuing on. we got the full judgment against many of these dictators. it is certainly difficult to collect because wrigley the u.s. government comes in and protect the dictators, if you can believe that, and does not allow you to attach the assets. it is a fight every step of the way. but the reason we did it and the reason i wrote a prayer book called "fatal neglect" was because i wanted to show how the american government sat there and was basically twiddling their thumbs when the information was publicly available that we were going to be hit again, this time with a bigger terrorist attack at the world trade center just on the street from where i am today. the american government was preoccupied with itself and reestablishing the bush administration and pumping and it's just that actually reading what the national security briefing was -- pumping it's just that actually reading the
national security briefing that was sitting on his desk. host: i have more calls for you. steve from georgia, on the independent line. caller: you actually need a fourth line called "fed up." i will go out and get your book. you have a solution for this year in your book or -- guest: i make several concrete suggestions on how we can try to change the system. for instance, i will give you just a little bit. i will not reveal the whole book so that you guys and gals will go out and buy it. it is important to read how i did what i did, how i got fed up. one of the things that we need to do with our legal system is to have judges nominated and tourism on the basis of merit. i have a five-part program having them go to judge school.
having them psychologically tested. many of our judges are not well balanced. i'm sure you probably have seen that. term limits because -- they are there at for life in the federal system and they think they can do what they want. having a liability when judges do what they want for special interests. the little guys cannot appeal. there should be insurance to compensate the victims. why is the legal system so important? what i have said before is that without the legal system you cannot hold this powerful elite of corrupt public officials accountable to the american people. that is where it starts and ends. campaign finance -- the first amendment basically says we should be able to express ourselves as we wish, give as much money as you want. but have a campaign finance bank. you pay the money into the bank and a bank pays it to the candidates. the candidate does not know where is coming from, so you cannot drive the candidates through combat -- campaign
contributions. and if it is revealed, where the money has come from, how severe penalties to punish those individuals. let's have an independent justice department, its fourth branch of government -- a double take a constitutional amendment -- so the justice department is not a lackey of the president, as it was under president clinton and president bush, and now is under president obama and has been under all presidents. host: mesa, ariz., standing by on the democrats' line. caller: how are you? guest: nice to hear from you. caller: it sounds like your book is something every american to be reading. my question is on the supreme court, just following your line of reasoning, it seems like there is a lot of people that would like to hijack the supreme court and turn it into a strictly constructionist based
organization subject to the will of congress. how do you feel about that? guest: there's so much hypocrisy at the supreme court. if we do not get the best and brightest. we get people on the supreme court to have been spoonfed for that from the grid. -- the crib. they're very careful never to do or say the wrong thing in their own words. they are middle of the road. they are basically "yes men." they want to keep their own status safe. let me give you one example. we have roe vs. wade and we have more versus bush. roe vs. wade, alan dershowitz, the famous professor from harvard who is to the left says that is a legal decision. there is nothing in the constitution that says there's a right to privacy when it comes to abortion. then you have courses bush, where the republican justices --
bork vs. bush, where the republican justices said they could cut the president because never could -- never before occurred the use of reality in an election. you have this kind of hypocrisy. i will give you one more example. antonin scalia, not one of my favorites even though i am a libertarian conservative -- i'm basically a populist. scalia says the death penalty is in the constitution. there is no death penalty in the constitution. he gets back from the fact that at the time that the constitution was written, the death penalty was being administered by the state. he reads into the constitution. what am i saying? the constitution is not a monolithic thing. there is ambiguity in the constitution and both conservatives and liberals have to understand that you do have judges to interpret things, otherwise all we need our computers. there is this fight over strict
construction with that -- over what they call judicial activism and it really is not a fight at all because the constitution is meant to be read as closely to the letter as you can, but there are areas where you do have to make it relevant to the current times. that is where i differ from many of my colleagues. host: what you think of the president's pape of sonia sotomayor for the supreme court? -- the president's pick of sonia sotomayor for the supreme court? i thought it was a relatively -- guest: i thought it was a relatively good pick. it could have been a lot worse. this is a judge that has basically it here to the constitution. she is someone who recognizes that there are minorities in this country and there is injustice and there is bigotry. frankly, i was very happy because i love the hispanic community. i spent many years in miami and still do. i was happy they have a justice
of the rhone. i supported the pick. i was one of the few conservative libertarians that did. host: we have a call from dick, in houston on the conservative line. caller: i have a few comments, but this man is an eagle in america and that is what we need. we do not need a bunch of ducks swimming in the same pond. we need people to fly above this. what i want to say to nancy pelosi and dick cheney, the reason i like what was going on at guantanamo bay is because it reminded me of how you all used to string of black people up, put ropes around their neck white -- while you beat them. this health care belobill, the a is watching out and it is simply a big bailout for the health industry, for all these doctors and the lasting one to say, with
the illegal aliens here, you can look as housing crisis, the health care crisis and the school crisis with these kids. you say you do not want to leave any kids behind, but these schools are so built up with illegal aliens. host: thanks, dick. claiming a couple of things. and what are you focus on a couple of them. guest: he represents the with the american people feel today. the american people are turned off by both political parties. the american people feel betrayed. they can barely afford to go to mcdonald's or fast food restaurants. they cannot get mortgages. none of this trillion dollars that has been spent by the government that is going to put us in tremendous debt that our kids are going to have to pay back is actually getting to the people. they are fed up. the american people do want a second american revolution. we want it peacefully.
we want it through the courts, through public opinion, through shows like this that educate the american people. these politicians really need to be held accountable. i commend it for being a thinker because the american people, it is time to wake up. it is a miracle that we are all still alive given the leadership we have had in washington. that is why i want people to read this book, because i wanted to get angry and i want them to do what needs to be done. it is time to take our country back. host: another caller from houston, liz, independent line. caller: i agree, the country is being run by pimps and hosç's. will the country that is run by lobbyists. the candidates can get into the money, like tom delay down here , a $500,000 salary to his wife out of campaign finance money. we need to give all group
contributions to campaigns. we need to go racing will-payer system where if you give 10 cents, you have to identify -- go to a single payer system or if you give 10 cents, you have to identify yourself. if we allow work money to go into the campaign havt and the candidates can spend that money on anything they want to come and we have a legalized system in america, then we should not sit at home and wonder what went wrong and why there is plunder. guest: that legalized bribes system goes far and wide. it is not just within -- with regard to political campaigns or electing judges. it is with county commissioners and our localities. it's huge. i suggest that in my book that the methods of discussion, the method was campaign finance banks where the recipient does not know where the money is coming from and if it is revealed, there is a criminal
penalty. we should be prosecuting individuals for bribes. they have weakened a loss of bribery, why? because they want junkets. thanks to big corporations and labour unions and other interests, they of holiday resorts to learn about the law. they have -- they should have learned about laws before. we do need to crack down, there's no question about it. read the book "horse. i talk about the china-gate scandal. this is a disgrace and has never been addressed. thanks to monica lewinsky, which came along just as we had a judicial watch, it triggered this scandal, which is perhaps the biggest scandal in american history. a along comes monica lewinsky and the press goes off on sex. this is where the press needs to have greater responsibility.
what was important was not monica lewinsky. what was important was the barbary by china of our public officials. -- bribery by china. host: what has been the effect of the 24 hour news cycle? guest: i think is great that we have a 24/7 new cycle. i think we should have cameras in the court. the need to be cable networks that have become -- the cable networks have become propaganda tools on both sides. they have to have a greater responsibility. they are licensed by the fcc to serve the public interest. i know for myself, i can put on cable station -- a cable station that i agree with more than another, but i do not like what i see because i do not want to be brainwashed. i want the facts straight up
and we do not have that today. c-span is one of the few places that we do have it. i am not patronizing you. that is a fact. we need to be more attentive to reporting the news and not trying to sway public opinion. host: next up, minn., democratic column. caller: one thing i would like to know is, we have spent $223 billion so far in afghanistan we have 779 dead as of october 1 of this year. why are we keeping the war going? what is the real reason that we cannot get out of there? secondly, how do we do away with the two-party system that we have? it is not working. it is gridlock. one finds the other.
-- one fights the other, they will not agree on anything. how do we establish a government that is run by individuals rather than parties? guest: two good questions and let me sidestepped the first one a little bit because the problem in afghanistan stems from a bigger problem, which is iran. i discussed that in the book. iran colt -- holds the key to peace in the middle east. if you have people in the streets, mostly students -- and i represent a family who had a very valiant brother who died, was tortured. his lips were sewn shut, his eyes were sewn shut and he was killed a few years ago fighting for freedom. the iranians are pro-american they are contrary to radical arab states. they are persians. they are our natural allies. we put our resources into the wrong place. we put it into iraq. once we leave, it is vietnam's
all over again. if we could change leadership in iran and have responsible leadership that would and the funding of terrorism, hamas, hezbollah, the taliban to a large extent in all of these other countries, that is the key to peace in the middle east. yes, we are spending money and losing lies elsewhere because we took our eyes off the ball. -- losing lives elsewhere because we took our eyes off the ball. if we had a free iran, we would have a safer world. it is not an answer to get down on our knees faster than monica lewinsky with ahmadinejad in iran. it is not keyed to win peace with dictators like hugo chavez. we need a key work at a pressure point where we can change the nature of politics and iran is where we need to be focused, as well as with hugo chavez. host: here is a republican caller from tallahassee, florida.
caller: good morning, i guess it cannot use the powers of impeachment if we are in a country of lawlessness. if we cannot use that, then we are in trouble. maybe you could come up with a way that we could use those particular laws. i have a question in reference to the czara ans and our congress itself isn't giving away -- is giving this away. i got audited on my taxes because they did not believe my son was my son and i had to go through changes, you know, making $15,000 a year, being audited by the irs.
and i think that the problem is that we are a land of lawlessness anymore. but we do not enforce the law. we are not a nation of laws in the way that it was designed. what can we do to make a change? host: thanks, we will get a response. guest: that was the whole ball of wax in the book. what we're talking about is exactly what i wrote about and that is why i hope people will read the book. number one, you need competition critical to go back to the last caller, and never answered that question. we need another political party. we need twoor three more. -- two or three more. in terms of holding congress accountable, people like charlie rangel who have obviously broken the law, people like timothy geithner, who is running the treasury department and did not
pay his taxes, these individuals scratch each other's backs. stop -- watched the state of the union message or any time you see congress together. watch to see the camaraderie, watch to see what is going on when people think they are not being watched. it is called preserving their own pallipuratpower. i'm a comedian, and it does not sound like i'm very funny today, but sometimes i do not laugh, i will cry. there is a movie that is a very accurate rendition. you have a man who is a con man from miami who decide to you can run under a deceased congressman is name and those of two washington to confront all of these problems and he realizes that the biggest con is to become a congressman on capitol hill, and that is really sad.
that is why the american people need to rise up. host: on the issue of political parties, in some ways 30 are other political parties. there is the green party, the libertarian party. why have they not gotten traction? guest: it is called money. and when i ran for the senate as a republican in florida, was an independent republican. karl rove to everything he could to try to defeat me because i was running against the party. it is in the book. they cut off the money supply and all the money went to mel martinez who the president wanted in florida to get latin votes. i'm very firmly with the latin community, too. so, it is money -- i am very friendly with the latin so, it is money. that is why we need is system that allows people to compete, and i make recommendations in the book to that effect. we need a new party.
maybe we need a freedom party. we need some kind of entity that can serve as a check to the two major parties that, frankly, have become so corrupt and so self-serving that the american people have lost respect for them. host: here is brian in indiana, on the independence line. -- independent's line. caller: thank you for c-span and thank you very much for your guest, larry. larry, i'm so glad to hear you because i was feeling like an only person, and i do not agree with all of your views, but man, you are hitting the nail on the head. with the term limits, i thought that forever and i do not see it happening ever because these people are elitist.
there is no bigger organized crime unit than our own government and there are two games leading it, the republicans and democrats. i'm going to get your vote. -- get your book. i'm going to read it. i thank you for being a guest and being the smart guy that you are. host: thank you, brian. guest: the american people are very smart, too, and they cannot be qana for long. we have reached our limit. if we do not -- they cannot be conduct for long. we have reached our limit. that is why i encourage you to get the book because we have reached a turning point where there are so many problems both domestically and internationally that we need leadership that we can trust and we know is telling us the truth.
the we have not had that in my lifetime. host: you write in your book about the fallout from the judicial watch. what happened there? guest: what happened is that we had a falling out, i left with a severance agreement that was not honored. there was my own personal thing, but misrepresentations were being made to donors and others. the direction of the organization went off in areas that we had not originally envisioned when i found it. my idea was to restore judicial watch and bring it back to the days of glory and power and put it side by side with freedom watch, my current organization. freedom watch comes from, interestingly enough, west wing.
i thought it was a great name and i started it. it is a broad arc -- has a broader to dance and judicial watch. -- broderick expansive and judicial watch. i do want to restore my little baby. it is something i'm very proud of. i am very proud -- blood that you mention that. you are host: also -- i am very glad that you mentioned that. host: you also write -- what happens there? guest: this book's "whores" was originally signed by judith regan and she was a revolutionary and wanted to publish the spot.
she got into a difference of opinion, to put it mildly, over the o.j. simpson vote, and modot actually supported that book, and judas was thrown out the door of her own company and branded an anti-semite -- juditha, was thrown out the door of her own company and rented an anti-semite. she was living in hollywood -- branded an anti-semite. she was living in hollywood and that is like a death sentence. i was born a jew and believe in christ as well and if you are branded in anti-semite in hollywood, that is a death sentence. harpercollins, sort of advertising the publishing of "whores" çi wrote to them and said, when we doing the book tour? and they said, by the way, your
book is cancelled. and i said, how yodo you adverte a book and cheat the american people? to this day, have not got my money back. the publisher now is a man who came here 25 years ago to the and a states because he loves the free-market and he is allowing the book to be published. harpercollins did not want the book published because our was critical of fox news and critical of a judge that they had a case in front of. frankly, i had a lawsuit with an employee against news corp., which is owned by murdoch. they could not take ithe hit. i will sue them for harming my reputation and, frankly, to get the money back for the people who paid for my book and never got the book.
if anybody has not gotten it, please write to me and i will pay for it myself and make sure you did get a book. ñ a couple of calls love for you. built in illinois on the democrats' line, go ahead. vjy÷ one thing i'm concerned about is term-limits and age limits for congressmen. people have to get up and vote this spirit a lot of people do not understand that we have a lot of congressman who reach a certain age and they retire and go back to work as a congressman, drawing a pension, plus being a congressman. there are a lot of things like this that should be exposed to the american people. the news media should start exposing all these congressmen who are taking bribes and it should be mandatory for any newspaper with the government section. guest: absolutely, and they should do that with judges to, you know we learned about
corruption in the sports industry, but never sufficiently about corruption on the bench. you know there are more price taken there and more corruption then you will ever find out from -- bright spots taken there and more corruption that you will ever know from the media. kfar the game is this, there are political -- the game is this, there are political consultants to get congressmen and senators elected. once there elected, these consultants -- once they are elected, these consultants call in their chips. you have these men in their early 30s who are multimillionaires. they never even went to college, but they've are multimillionaire's because they have gotten the right people in power through political consultancy. then they call in the chips. then a congressman and senators and presidents serve and they come out and cash in. look at bill clinton who gets
$300,000 for each speech, but was taking money from the american people to pay his legal defenses while he was president. he did not need to take money from people that open a loophole for bribery. he could have borrowed the money. and the bush people and republicans have done the same thing. tom delay, had to file complaints against him. these are the things that correct washington. when these congressmen and senators and presidents leave, then they represent private interests with their bodies that are still on capitol hill and elsewhere, and breakeven more money in. that is where it is. -- and rage in even more money. the rest of us do not have any money -- enough money to be. , cannot buy a car, a house, cannot get money. there's something wrong when