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tv   Washington Journal  CSPAN  December 8, 2010 7:00am-10:00am EST

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host: the tax-cut deal and some democrats continued to dominate the newspapers this morning. we will talk about that issue this morning but first to have lines for you. the washington times this morning -- obama fights a party to defend the tax-cut deal. the philadelphia enquirer says the president faces ander from those in his party and the new york times this morning with the headline -- obama defends the textile but his party stays hostile. finally, the financial times -- the obama tax move let's hope. for growth u.s. bond yields soar. we want to know from all of you this morning whether or not if this move on a tax cut issues is alienating u.s. democrats.
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washington is saying that obama is alienating democrats. for you outside of washington, what are these moves doing? what do you think this morning?
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is not the man liberals thought they were voting for two years ago. and upcoming review of the afghan war strategy will do little to relieve concerns -- dallas, texas. randall. what do you think of this piece of this morning and the idea that president obama is alienating the left? caller: i believe it is true but i do not believe it is just party here. i believe he is continuing. it is getting so bad for made that i started thinking about a military coup with colin powell leading the military coup. it is getting really bad because it is very apparent that they are not in tune with real
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suffering and real suffering is going on. the neighbor across the street drawing unemployment, $200 -- she is not even related. i went to western union. this goes on weekly. joe biden said this is about dignity. that is the one thing -- the struggling with the unions -- all these years, dignity, now we see dignity into the ground. host: you voted for president obama in 2008? caller: all the way. host: what do you think you were voting for? caller: first thing was supreme court nominations. the second thing, i believe he would open up the chance for the middle-class to regain ground. we lost terrible ground. this provides the civil war.
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with grants. it is terrible. i live in a racist state, republican controlled state, and i am sorry to say that but the south has risen again and they have control and spewing hate. the republican party is the report -- party of hate. host: president obama addressed the issues he campaigned on in the 2000 election yesterday at a news conference. here is what he had to say. >> i don't think there is a single democrat if they look at where we started when i came into office and look where we are now would say that somehow we have not moved in a direction that i promised. the take a tally, look at what i promised during the campaign. there is not a single thing that i have said that i would do that i have not either done or tried to do. and if i have not gotten it done yet, i am still trying to do it. and so, to my democratic
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friends, what i suggest is, let's make sure we understand this is a long game. this is not a short game. to my republican friends i would suggest, i think this is a good agreement because i know they are swallowing some things they don't like as well. and i am looking for to seeing them on the field of competition over the next two years. host: sonya, honolulu, hawaii. talking to democrats only. caller: i think he has done a good job. i don't think you are going to get every single thing you want. i just think that he is working hard, and i believe in everything he is doing and he is doing good. i think it is so easy for people to sit back and say he is not doing this, we have not had everything we want. you just can't govern that way. if you have to compromise. there are a lot of people would need the unemployment checks.
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you can't sit around and play with people's lives like that. i think he is doing a good job. host: kansas city, missouri. go ahead, wayne. caller: good morning. good to talk to you. i love c-span. been watching c-span for over 30 years. greta, first of all, all my democratic partners out here and anybody watching c-span, this man is to be addressed as the president of the united states. his name is president obama. not obama. ok, number one. number two. president obama is doing a fantastic job. the fact of the matter is, the democrats of congress kicked the can down to him. the should have took care of the problem of long time ago. but because they didn't he is now left to clean up. and he has done a magnificent job.
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his logic and his compassion is exactly spot on. he is doing exactly what he needs to do. he is a heck of a present. one of the best presidents that this country has ever seen -- he has been a heck of a president. host: you agree with his strategy to compromise on this tax cut issue and other issues in the package? caller: i agree wholeheartedly. he really has no choice. and the democrats who are upset at him, stated the situation to him. now he is left in the untenable position to deal with these republican aliens from another planet or what not who insist on this incredible asinine
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position that they should care more about people who mega millions and above the $250,000 more than they should the average. host: what do you think -- if democrats in the house or democrats in the senate opposed the compromise, what do you think about that? caller: i think that they have to -- you know -- i think the democrats who are opposing this are the democrats who really did not face such a tough battle in their primary fight and they have the room to oppose this. those democrats, it is very convenient for them to sit there and do this. and it is ok to stick to your
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guns. they have a job to do and the president has a job to do. i hope the democrats, however they can get any other compensation from the idiot republicans, those aren't republicans, if they can get any more compromises from them and but lame duck that would be great. that would be just icing on the cake. but the president obama is doing a wonderful job and he is just incredible in his approach to the middle-class american people. host: i will ask you and others to stick to the public policy and issues and let us avoid name calling in the conversation. democrats only, president obama, is he alienating you? that is the analysis piece by paul west. it goes on to say what the caller was saying, 8 q research
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poll completed last weekend, when a potential compromise with developing it found that only one-fourth of democrats believe obama is going along too much with gop leaders. independents wanted him to still do more than one-third said he was working with republicans to little. veterans say after the midterm defeat he may need time to find his footing --
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also this morning, a political memo in "the new york times" says there are murmurs on the left of a primary challenge to president obama. all i know. tyrone, go ahead. good morning. caller: how are you doing? i want to say that i support president obama 110% because the fact of the matter is the democrats in the house and the democrats in the senate are being very hypocritical on this issue. they are the ones that held the middle-class tax cut hostage for their own political games. the president and the white house, they wanted to extend the bush tax cut, middle-class tax cuts, when the republicans were in a weak position before the election. even john boehner was on "face
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the nation" and he was saying he would vote to extend the middle- class tax cut. when president obama went to the democrats and said he wanted to do the extension that would have sailed through congress, they did not want to do it because they did not want to give the republicans an issue in the election so they held the middle-class tax cut hostage before the election and they did not care about the middle-class tax cut to then but now they want to act like purists and now they want president obama to walk the plank when he has to work with republicans come january and they would be gone so it is easy for them to get on tv and act like purists after the election when they did not want to touch before the election and then come out and say, well, obama is not doing this right or obama is not being a liberal enough. that is why obama was so mad in the press conference. that is exactly what he said.
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look, it is easy to get sanctimonious about this after the fact. i wish you would ask senator -- senator tom harkin, why didn't you vote to extend the middle- class tax cut before the election -- only having a debate right now about extending 2% of the tax cut. host: let me jump in because your wish is going to come true, senator tom harkin is our guest in about half an hour, joining us at 7:45 a.m. eastern time and we will ask him about this. keith olbermann reacted to president obama's pat -- press conference. here is what he had to say. >> we should have gotten you angry at your news conference today at all the moderate democrats and ask why in do you get publicly angry at liberals who campaigned for you when you might save some of the sarcasm and sells more than -- self
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martyrdom for republicans. host: mike, democrat. caller: funny you just played olbermann because public opinion is one or loss on the cable tv without a lot of them dared -- won or lost on cable to be with a lot of them. ed schultz -- the kind of fight that the democrats need to show. i think obama, president obama, who i am still rooting for, of i think he showed weakness. i had no expectations of republicans all along. one of the reasons why i feel like i am disappointed is i never expected anything from the bush administration accept, you know, war and the deficit and rhetoric but i had high expectations of president obama
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and the democrats and i feel like from almost the get go he never comes across like a really strong maulvi, hate to say it, even president bush was strong in the way he expressed himself, even though he said idiotic things. you are entitled to your own opinions but not entitled to your own facts. sort of a debacle, like giving continued tax cuts to the wealthiest americans on the argument was we are going to create and trickle-down to small-business. small business accounts 97% or 98% earns less than $250,000. thank you for c-span. host: as i mentioned, senator tom harkin will join us, and give a perspective of senate
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democrats. but joining us on the fall to talk about where house democrats are on this is jackie coup signage, house leadership reporter with "roll call," jackie kucinich. coming out of the meeting, what is the temperature of house democrats? guest: they are not happy with this deal. i think they felt left out, at the very least, they think obama kind of gave away the store. joe biden is headed to the hill today to try to talk them down. if you talk to the progressive caucus, they are not pleased with what went down. host: yesterday nancy pelosi tweeted --
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guest: one of the good indicators, yesterday by and was in the senate, of course, talking to senate democrats and it was apparently openly combative with biden. if this segment is openly combative, he will have -- senate was openly combative, he will have more of a time today because they are not openly congeal in the house. one of the things i've heard is they think he should have held out for more than a 30 month extension for unemployment insurance and -- more than a 13- month extension for unemployment. one member said yesterday that obama should have considered all of the transportation projects that are not going to be funded. there is a lot, they think, obama could have gotten and also that obama agreed to extend these upper level taxes. that is something they did not
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want for a long time. they are really upset about this. this is going to be a tough sell. host: as one caller said, this is a lot of rhetoric by democrats in the house and senate. when it comes down to it, will they vote yes, and it's not, where will the votes come from and is it likely to pass through the house? guest: anything can happen. i think by the end of the day it will probably pass. they are not going to like it. when you think about it, a lot of the democratic caucus did what does come a full extension of the tax cuts. it a lot of those people lost the election. so they are not really beholden to nancy pelosi any more. they can do basically what they want because they are not coming back next year. most republicans support this deal, i think it goes through. host: let us move on to other headline coming out of the house, and that is your story in "roll call."
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republican steering committee chooses leaders. what is the latest on who will share some of the committee's four republicans? guest: most obviously, people heading up republican committees next year were settled. the two races we were watching was appropriations and energy and commerce. those will be headed by house rogers of kentucky, he has been on the appropriations committee for a long time. then you have fred upton from michigan, heading up energy and commerce committee. host: what does it say that those folks were chosen over sort of the leading candidate for those committees? guest: they were actually the leading candidate for the most part. upton was the most senior member
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after joe barton, current ranking member, as was how rogers. barton and jerry lewis from california, both have been the ranking members or chairmen for three consecutive terms, which is a two-year term, republican role. the fact that john boehner said from the beginning he did not plan to let them serve another term -- in order to do that but republicans. committee would have to get a waiver that would allow them to go beyond the term limits. that was something john davis said he was not willing to do, something the republican transition committee said they would recommend that role stays in place. it was not a surprise that these two were not permitted to continue as the top republican on those panels. host: "the wall street journal" editorial on the steering committee picking how rodgers as chair of the appropriations committee says oversight for the
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spenders -- not happy that the steering committee, the leadership picked hal rogers. they issued ensure mr. flake has power in the form of a new spending oversight panel -- what are you hearing, jackie, about a possible oversight panel? guest: had not heard anything about that, but that said, does not mean it is not happening. fact is, republicans will not have it earmarks next year, so they say, and if that will be the case of the panel has to change that they operate by the end of the day. the fact they would add another committee to have oversight over spending would not necessarily a
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surprise me. hal rogers will not have the same power his predecessors had from the get go. everyone who was up for this position has been an approved reader for a very long time. i know a lot of people got behind jack kingston from georgia, one of the appropriators for a very long time. while he is more conservative for some areas, all of these people are still appropriators by the end of the day. everyone on the above reasons committee will have to revamp how they do business. host: thank you for joining us this morning. guest: thank you. host: back to your phone calls -- democrats only. is president obama alienating you? the topic of a paul west analysis piece on the moves president obama made of lead. woodland hills, california. tony, go ahead. caller: president obama did not alienate made. he only extended the tax cuts for two years. he did not extend them
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permanently and i think he did what he had to do. host: what about the estate tax? the headline is that democrats to draw the line at the state tax after obama is the deal -- obama's deal. they do not like that the rate will be at 35% instead of 55% and the exemption will be up to $5 million. caller: well, i think he could have gone higher as far as the tax rate. i think it used to be higher than that before, higher than 35%. i think he could have gone higher than that. but, you know, he did what he had to do. there is a limited time between now and the end of the year. there are other issues to deal with. there is a ratifying the start treaty. and i think he didn't want to get hung up on this because there are other issues that he wants to pass through congress before the end of the year. host: let me read you matt bay's
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piece -- caller: here's what i think. i think a lot of democrats maybe don't have the gratitude that they should toward president obama. he has done a lot. he passed health care. he really got reams of from the right for passing health care, sticking through it. i have a lot of conservative friends and acquaintances and they think he is too liberal. as i see it, we should be grateful for president obama for
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what he has done passing health care and in doing what he feels has to be done. host: montgomery, alabama, mike is joining us. go ahead. caller: hello. host: good morning. caller: good morning. i was calling because i was watching president obama's speech before you got to the question and answer session and there was a 10-minute session where i did not have any audio. i am wondering if i am being censored. host: we will go on too rich in massachusetts. democrats only this morning. president obama, is the alienating you? caller: no, he is doing a fantastic job. i think he probably did more work on inauguration day than the bush did in eight years.
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the way i look at it, bush got all the democrats and the house and senate to vote for a war that cause the american people $1 trillion and we got nothing for our money. now, mr. obama, once to -- wants to pass a law forbidding insurance for americans. it also cost $1 trillion. but at least we are going to get something for our money. host: on your point, david linehart's piece --
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harlem, new york. on the democratic line. caller: good morning. nice to be on c-span. i love c-span. and i really love you. i will try to be quick. i was fired when i voted for mr. obama. i love him and respect him -- but i am with the freedom party here in new york now. we are rallying against his rhetoric. he has totally alienated the african-american community, like to know, poor white. there are a poor white people suffering, poor black people, poor people suffering, and especially in new york. aligning himself with people such as michael bloomberg who is absolutely destroying the city.
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watch out if he wants to run for president. i want the president to succeed but this tax cut, this bill, he should have stood up to the republicans and said, no, should have stood up and censured joe wilson when he called a liar. that is when they saw weakness and started fighting and then -- and the sharks came in. he should be a strong, black man, and not be afraid to be a strong, black man. we know that he is for all people but nothing wrong with being strong. at the same time -- i am a and 99er, not sure if i will be included. people are really suffering. all this stuff means nothing. these republicans, these democrats, would say what ever but poor white folks, we are suffering out here, we are
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suffering. we need help, plain and -- and simple. host: how the tax bill was negotiated. this was "the new york times" this morning --
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that is "the new york times" this morning. about possible democratic votes, it says here -- jefferson, new york, veronica, democratic line but caller: good morning. thank you for taking my call. i am very disturbed because i feel that mr. -- president obama has been banging his head against a wall says he has been in office. i have never seen a president out as much as he is trying to
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fight for all these different causes. i did not agree or like what is happening and i feel the republicans should be ashamed of themselves fighting with 2% of the americans over the rest of the population. but i do have faith that president obama is an intelligent man and he must have something up his sleeve backed the realizes ones that go into effect, now let us see how they legislate and at least they will not be able to keep saying no. host: you said president biden -- >umar president obama. host: ohio. caller: i have been listening to your callers calling in, and it just seems like the people want him to do this and to do that. president obama can only do so
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much with the help from congress. if the democrats and republicans are against them, president obama cannot just up and say we will do this and that is the end of the story. that is what people don't understand. if he does not have people to work with him to get things done, then he is up against all of this backlash and talking, coming out swinging, then it would him to be calm and cool and it is just amazing to me that the people of the united states all of the sudden they have all of these issues and what ever but where was the day with bush? president obama has been on the tv every day since his presidency. we used to see bush maybe twice a year but everything was all right. everything was all right. so, if they don't start thinking, researching things for themselves, learning the truth, the truth, about different issues and would never the
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united states is going to be lost. and this man, president obama, is trying to help everyone but evidently they can't see it so when the republicans get that in office you are going to see, you think you are bad now, but you will see something when they get back into power and then no better for you, even though i will have to go down with the ship like everyone else because they don't care about poor people. one other thing before i hang up, the american people need to research the word fiscal conservative. that means i am for the rich, i got mine, you got to get yours the best way you can because they can't see that, then i am sorry, thank you very much. host: brenda, a democrat, ohio. talking about democrats -- two
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democrats only on whether president obama's moves of a tax-cut deal and other issues are alienating the left. that is the crux of some analysis peace -- peace is in the paper. california. welcome to the conversation. caller: i think president obama is a great figure. for progressives and democrats -- he had control of congress for the last two years and it seems like something held him back and it just makes me wonder, the amount of influence that these, like, shadow governments and moneygrubbers have on the president's because of the american people i think are waiting for changes like help for the average american and instead we keep getting cut
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down and down with really no help in sight and if he can't help us, but side god, who is going to help us? host: were you wanting and expecting him to fight more on that tax-cut deal? guest: i think the republicans with their stands, i think for what we thought he stood for i think he should have had, yes, because of the american people's interest we are talking about. we keep going down, down, and now they want to cut social security, which is unrelated really to the deficit. that is unrealistic, really, it shows the power of the shadow government pushing this on us. i suggest keep praying for america at -- maybe -- the only
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thing that will help. host: a progressive group is out with an ad on the tax-cut issue. it has been running for a while. when a dish. the pressure they have been trying to put on president obama. >> president obama. >> president obama. >> i am not money. >> stand tough and you don't extend the tax cuts to the richest americans. >> we voted before you because for the first time in our lifetime a politician was actually laying out a plan that reinforced the values we have come to believe that as americans. >> i would is a thank you for all the hard work you do. >> but we the people want you back and read you back. >> what happened to the bold, progressive man in the 2008? >> stands for all the people and he is not going to let themselves be pushed around. >> mr. president, please do not compromise with republicans about extending the bush tax cut? >> i am in the highest tax
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bracket. we don't need the money. the country does. >> is said in your campaign speech that enough is enough and it is time to fight. please fight. i am willing to fight with you. >> political action responsible for the content. >> a piece in "the new york times" about a possible primary challenge to president obama. clearwater, florida. arlene. caller: i am a very upset with the president and i volunteered and donated. first, i have a message to all the tea party -- i hope you are happy with the president's
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acquiescence -- acquiescence because your precious social security and medicare are next. you really think republicans will stop here? their agenda is to cut every social good program of the last century. they want to roll us back to the time where the poor on the bottom and that is it. let us not forget the top 1% control 24% of the countries wealth. that is insane. whether or not you like the word, that is class warfare. this man is just continuing all the bush policies. gtmo is still open. civil liberties are getting trashed. it is not ok to have to go through radiation treatment or a group to fly. el al, israeli airline's commercial does not work. it is just obscene -- upon his election he did not run to the center, he ran to the right and now he is defending the bill
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where the richest are saying that they need a tax break because it is going to create jobs. it is not created them for a decade. why he is not screaming at the top of his lungs, the presidential podium that the progress of the a's got into, why he is and screaming where are the jobs, it is just of senior there are people literally freezing -- i am in florida and it was freezing last night. people are freezing, they are hungry. they are unemployed. they are homeless. living in cars. they cannot drive because even the cars have broken down. and this man is defending this. i am disgusted with him. i only say this man has taken some kind of a pay offer, because of this -- pay off. this is obscene. this is not object of pity and pragmatic, this is republican arrogance. host: let me jump in. at this point. we got your point. i wanted to just ask you, is
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there anything in this deal that you like? caller: yes, unemployment extension. and that is it. and to hold unemployed people hostage so that super wealthy can have tax breaks, that is obscene. they are not creating jobs. they are buying $53,000 alligator handbag. i saw it in the newspapers. people, you will not win the lottery. it is not going to happen. host: what about the payroll tax holiday? let me just show you and other viewers from "usa today." how much individuals would save from a proposed employee payroll tax cut. if you make $25,000, plus savings of 500, it comes out to 10 bucks a week. $50,000, is a $1,000 a year, 20 bucks a week. 75,000, $1,500 in total savings, about $30 a week.
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and at 106,000, payroll tax -- in total, $2,100 saved, averages out about $40 a week. that is money in people's pockets. you think that was a good idea? caller: it is wonderful. but we have a house, the senate, the white house, congress, and this man did not use it and now we are asking, please, can we have a little bit. this country is so far right and the republicans are taking it further and further to the right. why this man did not do what the progressive based expected him to do, and pull us back to the left -- i did not believe this country is center right, i really do believe this country is more to the left than anybody wants to admit. he caved on gtmo, don't ask, don't tell, most people want safe and legal abortions and don't ask, don't tell, repealed. this is ridiculous he is caving. so, he gave us a couple of
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things. he threw us a bone. this is absurd. host: we will leave it there. this is "the washington times." experts split on the tax-cut deal. mark azande of moody's estimates an acceleration of growth -- another says it will lead to a higher deficit and inflation -- bridgewater, new jersey. marty, democrat. caller: basically i voted for him, i worked for him and i can best and i feel very disappointed. i feel he turned out to be a very weak president. he is not a leader. he basically let them intimidate
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him at every turn. he has been that way ever since they got -- he got in there. the public option, he just let that go. he seems like he is afraid to take a stand on anything because he might lose. and even when he had 70% of the people behind him when he first was elected, it was like, he had all his power. bush talked about political capital. president obama had a way more political capital >> bush ever had the route be eight years and yet you saw how bush would -- throughout eight years. you saba's would fight to things. when he saw you wanted to go to work -- war in iraq, the work on a for a year. from 2000 through until 2003. all you've heard every day what iraq, iraq. eventually they got what they wanted. they got the war. i would like to see democrats and president obama fight for
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progressive principles the way the republicans fight for their principles. host: marty in bridgewater, new jersey. on foreign policy, two headlines -- below that is the headline, u.s. drops the man in israel in a setback to mideast talks. detroit, michigan. sylvia, is president obama alienating you? caller: no, he is not. i support him 150%. when he was campaigning he talked about change. that change did not mean it just republicans. it meant democrats, too. there is no difference between the two of them. we need to make sure that he is
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a the president for the whole country. for everybody. whether republicans like it or not, whether democrats like it or not. he is the president for everybody. and he must make choices. are some said, there things that i don't like that are in the agreement. and there are some things that i'd like. so, give the man a chance and see what he is going to do. all of this anger, all of this has got to stop. we must support what he is doing. and i support him 150%. thank you. host: still be in detroit in this morning. also want to mention, as many of you know, elizabeth edwards lost her battle with cancer
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yesterday. born in 1949, died in 2010. linter private pain on a public stage, the headline in "the washington post." as many of you know, she did interviews with us here at c- span as well. she was on our campaign bus in 2008 talking about her husband's bid to be president, the primary battle. if you want to what did that interview, and the interviews you have done what part, you can go to the video library at c- span.org. 1949 to 2010. california. matthew, democratic line. you are the last phone call. is president obama alienating you? >> no, i really want -- caller: no, really just want to recap what happened. the president does not have an option to be a political idealist. he is a political realist. only for the fact that he
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passed the unemployment extension going into the christmas season -- congress failed to act on it just two weeks ago, decided to put it on the back burner, was not important enough. democratic leaders are in the same pockets we accused the republican leadership of being impaired -- being in the. i applaud mr. obama for understanding the political realities, that he is coming into a republican congress, that he acted in a leadership role. i applaud him. i have had issues with the man in the past. keeping an open mind, i will often turn to fox news and to hear them talk about the prosperity of the bush era and neglected to mention the debt that it let us in, just makes me heard of this country that people are not willing to get all of the information -- human
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beings are always going to put self-interest above the good of others. so, i do applaud this president for making a stand. yes, he had to get an extension of the 3% tax break, but only to achieve a goal that he understands is a short-term, but that these dead in it -- said in his press conference, that he is keeping on track and trying to follow the course he stated. i applaud him. and one last thing. i do feel that the press -- that he has the poles of what the american people are feeling far greater than the press do. and i would remind you listeners to keep that in mind. host: that was matthew in ventura, california. the last phone call but we will continue the conversation. coming up in 45 minutes, republican louisiana gov. bobby jindal will join us from baton rouge, this morning. but first, democrat senator tom
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harkin of iowa will be our guest and we will get the senate perspective from him. we will be right back. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] >> fourth amendment rights and illegal search and seizure, saturday on c-span radio's landmark supreme court cases. >> there was absolutely no evidence of any magistrate that had been asked for a search warrant. there was no record of a search warrant. >> listen to the argument on c- span radio, all in washington at 90.1 fm, nationwide xm 32 an online at c-span.org.
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>> this notion that somehow we are willing to compromise too much reminds me of the debate we had during health care. this is the public option debate all over again. so, i pass a signature piece of legislation where we finally get health care for all americans, something democrats have been fighting for for 100 years, but because there was a provision in there that they did not get, that would have affected may be a couple million people, even though we got health insurance for 30 million people and the potential for lower premiums for 100 million people, that somehow that was a sign of weakness and compromise. now, if that is the standard by which we are measuring success for core principles, then let's
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face it, we will never get anything done. people will have the satisfaction of having a purist position and did no victories for the american people. and we will be able to feel good about ourselves and said the moon is about how pure our intentions are and how tough we are -- sanctimonious about how pure our intentions are but people not able to get health insurance because of pre- existing conditions. or not being able to pay their bills because their unemployment insurance ran out. for can't be the measure how we think about our public service. that can be the measure of what it means to be a democrat. host: senator tom harkin, your reaction? guest: well, first of all, i am not opposed to compromise. i have been in this business a long time and i developed a lot
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of compromises myself -- agriculture, when i was chairman of agriculture committee, i had two farm bills that passed overwhelmingly with republican votes and democratic votes. i worked compromises, a major piece of legislation -- back in 1990 but the americans with disabilities act which i was chief sponsor of in the senate. i work out a lot of compromises on that. on my health bill, chairman of education health committee. i am not opposed to compromises. that is the art of possible in washington. i think the real question comes down to when you compromise and how you compromise. i have often said that a good lawyer compromises on the courthouse steps, not back in the conference room someplace. so, i think if there is some dismay among democrats and the progressives in this country, i think they did not perceive that we were really do you really
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willing to stay in there and fight hard and compromise at the right kind and on the right kind of structure. i disagree with the president when he referred to it as a political fight. this is not a political fight. this is a fight about what our country is about, what our economy is going to look like. it is a fight about, again, the divergence between the rich and poor, the gap is growing wider and wider. it is a fight about fairness and justice. i think what is right and wrong in terms of how we divide the pie of in our country. and if we are going to grow the pie, who gets the better part of the pie as it grows. that is what this fight is about. it is not a political fight. and i think, quite frankly, i think that perhaps a better deal could have been gotten had been a persistent a little bit longer. host: with time running out --
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and unemployment benefits about to expire, lame duck agenda short, and other issues who wants to get to. guest: well, you know, there is one thing the president forgot to mention that he has in the tool kit, and it is called the veto, and that is a powerful instrument. president clinton will -- will the did and other presidents before. president reagan was famous for saying i've got the veto pen. but that was never role -- rolled out as a possibility to get the republicans -- republicans to compromise a little differently on this deal. i think the fact that so much of this is going to the upper income, again, these tax breaks for high income, wealthiest americans, is just kind of i think unconscionable really. now, i realize we are probably going to have to compromise at some point, but i would hope that the way to the compromise would have been about two things -- getting our economy moving in
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a different direction, but also advocating a different tax approach. i think what we have bought into, what it appears that we bought into it is we are going to accept the bush era economic formula, the trickle-down for miller, which is never worked. it does not work in the last decade and not working now but we bought into that. we should have had eight different approach. raising the level of the earned income tax credit. not just extending it but raising the base level. increasing child-care tax credits. increasing, not just extending it. raising the cap on payroll taxes. i have often said why is it that a person who makes $40,000 a year pays the the full load on payroll taxes on every dollar that he or she earns, as someone
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who makes -- someone who makes $400,000 only pays on 25 cents on the dollar. making everybody pay the same. if you make $4,000 -- $4 million you pay on every dollar you make of the social security trust fund. those are different approaches that we could put on the table rather than saying, okay, we will only deal with what we have. i think this is a time for us to propose a new approach in how we are going to get our economy going again. host: as it stands now, are you a no vote on the tax-cut deal? guest: first of all, as the deal was first proposed i said i was inclined to vote no, but as our leader senator harry reid said yesterday, this is still a work in progress. we did not know what the final package is going to look like yet. i learned a long time ago not to guest: i do not know.
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i have to take a look at some of the parameters of it. i am disturbed, that number one, tax breaks for the wealthiest are there for two years or risk people is only one year -- for the poorest people is only one year. i do not like that. secondly, what happened on estate taxes, i think, is just mind-boggling. in 10 years, the exemption on the estate taxes have gone up five-fold, and the rate has gone down 20%, 55% to 35%. so the people with the largest
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the states pay less and less on their taxes. working people are making up the difference. it is either the working people who have to pay more taxes, or we are putting a greater debt on our kids. to me, that is not fair. host: if the deal stands as it is, would you joined senator sanders in a filibuster? guest: maybe you do not know, but i have been an opponent of filibusters for a long time. 15 years ago, i introduced a major at the beginning of congress to do away with filibusters. i got 19 votes, but i am not a fan. there ought to be reasonable today, sometimes a reason to slow things down, but overall,
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the senate should work through its will. in terms of debate, getting the data and fax out there, so that the american people know what we are voting on, i have a problem with that. host: i want to ask you about the peace in "the baltimore sun" about obama alienating the left. progressive people, like yourself, are moving away from him and may not vote for him in 2012. guest: well, there is a long time between now and the election. i know the president feels he has to make some compromises. that is the art of the possible. but again, what the progressives in this country are looking for, what i am looking for, is a president who is willing to take
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a stand and say, here is my veto pen. i said i was for tax cuts for everyone below two and $50,000, and by the way, -- $250,000, and by the way, it got 53 votes in the senate. what progressives are looking for it is for the president, at some point, to push against this onslaught of heart right wing rhetoric, right wing rollback everything and giving everything to the wealthiest in our country. no one is opposed to compromise. we know you have to do that, but when and how you do it means a lot. host: you said if the tax break
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goes through, yopresident obama better hope that sarah palin will be the presidential nominee. there are murmurs on the left that there could be a primary challenge to obama. guest: as i said, there is a long time between now and the election. i believe the president needs to be thinking more about the progressive issues on which he campaigned and on which people placed so much hope in him as president. no one is expecting miracles, but we expect that a progressive president, like president obama, would be at least as forceful in talking about and fighting for middle-class values and progressive values, as ronald reagan was fighting for conservative values.
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i think that is what progressives are looking for in this president. host: chris in manhattan. you are the first phone call. caller: good morning. i wanted to know, senator, tax cuts are going to be extended for all high income earners. why do you think president obama extended unemployment to all of the 15 million that are unemployed? guest: you are talking about the 99ers, those that have been on unemployment for more than 99 weeks. they have gone through their benefits and they do not qualify anymore. that is an issue that needs to be addressed. they are sort of out of the equation, but they should be in the equation, and help for them
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should be a part of it. host: next phone call from hawaii. randy, good morning. caller: i would like to say first off, it is a pleasure to talk to you and mr. tom harkin. i would have liked him to be president at one time. he is a great man. guest: tried that once. caller: my comment right now, i think some people are missing. we had huge amounts of money being spent in this last election from special interest without any real knowledge of where it was coming from, and in little towns and cities all over the country, people running for office could not win over the big money because lies could
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be told without anything to support them. the thing is, with our president, i have to say this. i am an independent and i do not always vote democrat or republican. sometimes i write somebody else in, and i may not be the smartest guy, but i know this. this president was facing a worldwide depression. the world has benefited from president obama. guest: sounds like a pretty smart guy to me. i think randy makes some good points. again, the question is really one of how you compromise and when you compromise. i will make one more point here. when you give tax breaks, and
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unemployment compensation to people, they spend that money. 20, 30 years ago, if you give somebody that money, most of the money stayed in this country when they spent it. now, they go out and buy clothes, shoes, a tv set, what ever it may be. a good share of that goes overseas. that is why we need to look at economics and see if we get the best bang for the buck. i think we could do better if we actually employed people in infrastructure projects, rebuilding the infrastructure of america. roads, bridges, highways, sewers systems, communication, wind, solar -- most of that money would stay in america.
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so you would have a multiplier dollar taffect on the dollar. obviously, some of that stays here, but more of that goes overseas than it did 20 or 30 years ago. secondly, i always like to show they had done in the paper. "luxury spending is back in fashion." but underneath it, it says lag in the essentials shows income gap. this was right before the election. when you give all of these tax breaks to upper income people, they might buy a $30,000 wristwatch made in switzerland, or maybe they will buy some new tools, or a diamond-encrusted rolex watch, or a $2,500
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cashmere scarf. those do not really help our economy much. we need to put money in the pockets of working people and they are doing something that builds a better future for our kids and grandkids. that is why i talk so much about infrastructure spending, education spending. the report that came out yesterday about how the u.s. is now way down in the world in terms of education, that is something we have to address. host: you are arguing for stimulus-type initiatives. in the business section of the ne"the new york times" that is what president obama traded for, in return, he got --
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guest: that i have no argue with. was this compromise done at the right time? that is just on the taxing side. there is another side. for example, we have appropriations bills coming up. it looks like we are going to have to cut down on things like child care, head start programs, the elderly, meals on wheels, thing that tends to support low income people. that was not part of the deal and it should have been. host: chris in alabama is tweeting in --
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so if you support the compromise in the end, why not -- guest: i am saying i think we could have gotten a better deal, had the president not agree to the compromise up front. and frankly, as i said, this is a work in progress. this is not the final deal. we are hoping to partner with the president in making this better. host: westminster, maryland. scott, republican line. caller: good morning. senator harkin, the debt commission, for one of their recommendations is to abolish the home mortgage reduction. will you introduce a bill in the
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senate to abolish the home mortgage tax reduction? guest: i do not know if we should abolish it, but it should be changed. it depends on who you are trying to help. if you are tried to help first- time home owners, young people try to get a start with low- income housing, that is fine. if you are tried to help someone who is going from a $250,000 home to an $800 and dollar home, i do not know if they need that help. -- $800,000 home, i do not know if they need that help. we need to be helping people on the lower income scale. host: ian writes in --
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guest: that is another thing that i disagree with the president on, and others. this 2% cut in the payroll tax that goes to social security trust funds. the last thing we need to do is invade the social security trust fund to pay for things right now for people's living. they will make that up by taking from the general fund, in other words, debt. that bothers me. as i argued earlier, i think the cap we have on the payroll tax right now should be raised. everyone should pay on every dollar they make into social security. it bothers me that we are now going to establish principles where we can take money out of the trust fund and replace it with debt.
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i am very bothered with that. i think there should have been a different way to do that. host: ann in waldorf, maryland. caller: thank you, senator harkin. you remind me of a state's a politician. we throw these words out at each other like communist, fascist, and what i think of it is the old english term common wheel. it seemed like we have lost our sense of our commonwealth. i wonder if you could talk about that a little bit. people say we are an exceptional country, but that is what made us exceptional. i would really appreciate
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hearing back from you. thank you so much. guest: thank you. you are right. i talk a lot about the common good. we tend to forget about that. we often think the common good can only be attained by answering one group or by trickle-down economics, which i have fought against my whole life. this tax plan seems to be more of the same. i think we have to think more about legislation, how our government reacts to making sure we have a ladder of opportunity for everyone. it is not right for the government to provide cradle to grave-type of support, but one of the functions of our government is to make sure the wrungs are on the latter. if you are willing to work hard,
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you can get up there. decent education, health care, job retraining for people who need that, social security in your old age. there are certain things that the government can do to build this common good. what i see happening now, more and more, the common good is being pushed aside only to focus on narrow, special interest groups. host: another e-mail from a democrat. guest: a fifth tier. i am not certain i understand what that means. there are unemployment benefits. i am not certain i understand that question.
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host: we will move on. maybe they will e-mail back in. richard from maryland. caller: good morning. thank you for letting people like myself get a chance to speak to the nation. from my understanding of history, i have always known republicans are for the rich, democrats are for the poor, but democrats wanted a tax cut and all of these hippies wanted tax cuts. i do not hear the democrats talking about tax cuts for everybody, including the port. this is not a communist country. what happened to the political correctness on the democrat side? it kind of goes back to where republicans are racist,
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democrats are not, but it was abraham lincoln that ended slavery. hogwash. how come they are not talking about a tax cut for the poor? it may not be big, but everything helps. i appreciate you being there answering questions, giving us your time. thank you. guest: thank you. i think that was a very intellectual approach to what you just said. we have to forget, there is another part to this problem, and that is the deficit that we face. we want to stimulate the economy and get the economy going. you really need to look at middle income americans. by that, i do not mean people making $250,000 or more a year,
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i am talking about people making $25,000, $40,000, $50,000 a year. we wanted to restrict the tax breaks. i think the people in the upper bracket, they do not need help. people in the lower bracket need help for their families. someone making $5 million a year, they do not need help. they do not need an extra $100,000 a year, which is what this tax break would give them. they might buy another wrist watch or a diamond brooch, or something like that, but it is not going into thing that will stimulate our economy. it is kind of like wasteful spending, but we are borrowing from our kids and grandkids in
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order to give the wealthy and extra $100,000 a year. if we are going to borrow from our kids or grandkids, let's put it into things that will make a better country for them. better roads, bridges, highways, education system, health care system, all the things that will enable our kids and grandkids a better life, and a better economy. host: he was referring to a fifth extension, something you already addressed. next phone call from pittsburgh. caller: good morning, senator harkin. i was born and raised in a small town in iowa called muscatine. i am planning to move back in a couple of years. my question is the cola for
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social security. we have had no increase. i understand they base it on what individuals between 25 and 30 purchase on it. host: are you still there? i think we lost her. she was asking about colo. what are the prospects -- cola. what are the prospects of something happening to that? guest: the caller is absolutely right, we are not basing our cost of living on the elderly. their expenditures are higher, their drugs are higher priced. the cost of living formula for social security is kind of skewed. i guess, against the elderly.
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we are trying to get a bill through to get an extra $250 to the elderly, but we have had a lot of opposition on the republican side to that. hopefully, that is part of the compromise. host: if it is added, what does that do to the prospect of getting a yes vote from you and others? guest: it would move me more in that direction. host: silver springs, west virginia. norman. caller: good morning. i would like to say that today, obama, democrats are a completely different breed than the old democrat. of course, by following the
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things that president obama had to adjusted, -- suggested, [inaudible] host: we are having difficulty hearing you. your television is on and we are getting some feedback. you are saying that today's democrats are different from older democrats? what did you mean by that? caller: i mean, the old democrats would never think about cutting taxes. it was always about raising taxes. host: senator harkin? guest: i do not know how to respond to that exactly.
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democrats are looking for a fairer tax system. we have to pay taxes. hopefully, we are a primitive world power, but that requires taxing, things to make our country work better. the real question is, what is fair and equitable in our tax system? that is where we have some problems. that has been going on since the 1980's. we have skewed our tax system -- again, trickle-down economics. the idea that you give more to the wealthy and it trickles down. i have often used an analogy on this. you do not fertilize a tree from the top down, you fertilize it from the roots. if you want to get our economy going, you do not put the money in at the top, you put it in at the bottom. as far as i am concerned, that
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has been the message of democrats going back almost a century. host: "the washington post" with --s had donheadline carl allen writes in -- guest: well, i would tend to agree we are overspending, but what are we spending it on?
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that is the problem. we are spending it on frivolous tax breaks for the wealthy who do not need it, we are spending it on wars of choice. look at what we have done in iraq, afghanistan, maintaining bases around the world. look at what happened to britain a couple hundred years ago, they were doing the same thing. we are not investing our resources wisely. just take something like education. we need to do more in preschool. we have data from a long time ago that the more you put into early education, the better off kids will be later on, but we hardly do anything on preschool education in this country. that is where we should be investing our money. we should be investing in better communication systems, better
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power systems. that is going to take a lot of money, but it puts a lot of people to work, the money stays in our economy, and what happens is our kids and grandkids will have a better platform on which to compete in the world economy. we are just not spending our money wisely, we are wasting. a lot of what we are doing right now is more of the same. i do not think it will get us out of bell whole. host: larry from new jersey. democrat's line. caller: i believe i understand the president's reasoning for what he did. he is trying to be practical, but that does not quell the
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anger over which the way this came about, which i consider consort -- extortion. it is a shame that in this day and age, a political party, quite unabashedly, stands for wealth and not the common person. you have a lot of people on fox news complaining about the president and his idea of wealth redistribution. look at the numbers. the numbers are astounding as to where the wealth is going. a lot of this has to do with the fact that unemployment is high because people do not have anything to do. the republican party voted to do away with tax breaks for companies to send their jobs overseas. all the facts that the republicans brought up to support their claim that this was necessary for all wrong.
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there is nobody paying attention. thank you. guest: thank you. i think that is a good point. people should not always be upset with president obama. it was the republicans who held us hostage. people at their most desperate, people who had run out of their unemployment benefits during this holiday season, republicans were willing to hold them hostage to deny them any kind of support, especially this time of year, in order to get their tax breaks for the wealthy. they were holding them hostage, you are absolutely right. whatever disagreement i may have with the president in terms of his methods, what we should have done in the process, pales in comparison with my disagreement with republicans for holding
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these people hostage. it is just not right the way it is done. host: republican eric cantor has taken issue with those kinds of phrases, taken hostage, and it does not help getting the economy back on track. guest: i disagree. we tried five times to pass a bill on the senate floor to extend unemployment benefits. the republicans filibustered it. what else can i say? those are the facts. in fact, look at the letter that senator mcconnell and all of the republicans signed. they would move nothing on the senate floor until we agree to extend the bush-era tax cuts. to me, that is hostage-taking.
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host: we will leave it there. thank you for coming on this morning. we will look at the legal issues coming up in the wikileaks case. first, bobby jindal will be joining us from baton rouge, louisiana. first, a news update. >> david axelrod, in remarks today on cbs, says he believes democrats angry about the deal with republicans on tax cuts will support it when they weighed the consequences of people's taxes going up. he went on to say, he hopes lawmakers will "focus on the consequences of inaction, and of legislation fails, taxes on the typical family will soar $3,000 and the long-term unemployed will go without benefits." in alaska, a judge hears arguments today that could decide the fate of republican joe miller's challenge to the write-in candidate lease some
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rakowski. -- lisa murkowski. attorneys for the state and senator murkowski say that if things do not go through by then, she could lose her seniority. mark dayton could to become the ohio gov. elect. tom in our plans to can see the race this morning. he trails by 9000 votes after the election and recount which barely changed the margin. >> middle and high school students, as you work on your documentary for c-span's studentcam competition, here are some tips from our judges. >> i want to see you, the
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student. i want to see your personality. >> what i like to see most in the studentcam entries are real investment, care in the topic you are telling us about. be sure to be interested in what you're telling us. if you are not interested in what you are presenting, chances are we will not be either. >> one tie-breaker that i looked at is using c-span video. i want people to look at our video and c, makes the most compelling evidence to support what i am arguing? >> go online to find out more information. host: bobby jindal of louisiana is with us. thank you for joining us and talking to our viewers. guest: thank you so much for
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having me. it is great to be here. host: what is your opinion on the tax cuts in washington? guest: i think it is great when you are not raising tax cuts on the american people in the middle of the biggest recession since the great depression. we want to get the economy moving again. the federal government has tried stimulus, they have tried debating cap and trade, card check -- and the reality is, the voters have had enough of this taxing and spending. at least there is more certainty to the american people that tax rates will not be going up. it is not a permanent extension, but at the least, this will remove some of that apprehension. people have to understand we have a spending problem in washington, not a revenue problem. spending in the federal government has gone from 18%, normal to historical norms, now
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up to 24%. even if we were to extend the current tax rates permanently for the next decade, revenues would still be 18%. i think the extension of the current tax rates is a positive signal to small businesses. host: what the deal could cost is approaching $1 trillion, even with tax cuts. in "usa today" they break it down by proposal, what it could add to the deficit. high income tax cuts, $79 billion in 2010 through 2012. the state tax, $24 billion with a total of $103 billion. in your book, "leadership & crisis" you write --
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given your concerns about the deficit and these taxes, extending these tax cuts do, over all, do you not have any concerns about the deficit, what this deal could do to it? guest: absolutely. especially when you look at the new spending, i would prefer to see the spending offset. it is critical now -- republicans will be taking a majority to the house in this congress to work seriously on extending the current tax rates, now focusing on cutting the deficit and spending. i think they can do three important things. the ban on earmarks is important. i was happy to see republicans moving that way, but three
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things that they can do to reduce the deficit. let's return the non-defense discretionary spending to pre- bailout levels. secondly, let's get serious about entitlement reform. i have a whole chapter dedicated to medicare. basically, a commission looked at premium support, looked at the federal health plan as a model to give more choices in medicare, at the same time, reducing the annual growth rate. if we are serious about balancing our budget, we have to take a hard look at discretionary spending and entitlements as well. third, i have a chapter on reforming congress. we have to make some structural reforms if we are going to balance our budget. governors across the country,
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including here in louisiana, let's put a balanced budget in the constitution, require a supermajority before they can raise our taxes, both up or down on single legislation items. let's go back to a part-time congress where we have term limits. but prohibits them from becoming lobbyists right after their service. we have part-time legislators, here in louisiana, that think that is the first important step to shrink our government. those legislators tend to have larger, more expensive governments. it will take a structural reform. it is not just elected new members to the house and senate. we need to change the way congress does its business. the vast majority of states have budget requirements in their constitution and also have
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line-item veto power to get after wasteful spending. there are some immediate things the president can do to show that they heard the people. i think we also need to make structural changes to prevent them from spending too many of our dollars. host: louisiana is facing a $1.6 million budget shortfall. what do you plan to do about it? -- $1.6 billion budget shortfall. guest: we are not going to raise taxes, we are going to protect health care and education. we are going to continue our economy to grow more quickly than the national economy. we have eliminated thousands of government positions, sold off 10% of our car fleet, beginning privatized services. there are certain group homes where we can save the state $400,000 per day in terms of providing these services, if we
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just went to the private sector. it makes sense to work with the private sector to deliver those services. we are having to set real priorities, having to identify what our government should be doing, those things that we should not be doing. bottom line, we have held the line on raising taxes. i made a commitment that we would not raise taxes. look at our economic performance. we have had the second-best overall economic performance during the recession. the bureau of economic advisers said that we had the fifth best in gdp growth this year. third best in terms of creating jobs. what that shows is, if you hold the line on spending, cut taxes -- and we have done other things -- and because of that,
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we have done a great job. if you hold the line on spending, cut taxes, adopt job- friendly policies, you can provide jobs for your people. what we are doing is tightening our belts. every family and business is doing the same thing in this recession. we are doing more with less. host: of unemployment for october 2010 was at 8.1%, 170,000 unemployed. you made a pledge, you are not going to raise taxes, so you are going to have to cut spending. where will you cut? guest: first of all, we have added 21,000 private-sector jobs in the past year, more people entering the marketplace, work force. we are below the national average every month since i have been governor.
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southern business development says that we have had the best is the development in the past couple of years. no agency is exempt from cuts. i will be presenting my budget in march. right now, as we speak, we continue to meet with stakeholders. we met with business leaders yesterday. for example, in higher education, if we could give our flagship universities more flexibility in terms of hiring, purchasing, they identified tens of millions of dollars that we could save in operating efficiencies just to increase flexibility. health care, one of the things we are pushing for is improving outcomes. i have an entire chapter in my book talking about medicare. we often pay for activity, not outcomes. we want to implement new measures where we get more for
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the outcome. we are looking and every agency. we have eliminated 6000 government positions. we have a hiring freeze in place. we are also looking at privatization, looking to do more with less. no agency is exempt. we are looking at everything in the budget to see how it can be more specific. host: how come no specifics today, governor? guest: we are presenting the budget in march. in terms of next year, we are in the early part of the process. i will be meeting with legislative leaders tomorrow. we are going through our normal budget development process. normally, we would not start these meetings until next year, but given the challenges that we face, we wanted to get an early start. we have met with folks from
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higher education, health care, and we will continue to do that. what we have done, we decided not to cut funding for k-12. we have not cut the mfp in louisiana. we have cut spending 26%, however, and what that means is, here in baton rouge, we have two schools for the visually impaired and deaf, and by putting them together in one campus, we are able to save millions of dollars and we are able to provide more community- based care. we are providing the services that our people want, many more services to more people in our state. in that larouche, we had a state-operated hospital that needed to be rebuilt.
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we did not have the money to rebuild a new hospital. we are now partnering with the largest not-for-profit hospital operator in the area. we will be able to deliver trauma services and better quality of care than was ever a available before in the capital city region and save taxpayers millions of dollars. those are some of the kinds of things we are doing to reduce spending and improve outcomes for our taxpayers. host: charles in shreveport, louisiana. go ahead. caller: thank you so much. i have been holding. first of all, bobby, tell the truth. you hired 5500 state employees when you first came into office. this is with the conservatives.
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listen, everyone. bobby jindal was on a radio show when he was running for governor. about 25 times, every other day he seemed to be on. he has not even had the class to call moon and tell him, thank you for getting me elected. you are a liar, you are hogwash. you are hogwash, bobby jindal. host: can you explain why you disagree so passionately with the governor? caller: man, he is telling you lies. if he would investigate what he did for louisiana, his poll numbers are falling. he got elected by a radio show. host: we heard that. let's get a response from the governor. guest: thank you for your call. if you look at any objective
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number, state employment, it has fallen each of the past four years. we have fewer government employees now than when i started. we have had a hiring freeze from virtually the first day in office. people can disagree, but the bottom line, we have your state- funded positions in this state. we have a limited over 4000 in the most recent year -- eliminated over 4000 in the most recent year. look at just dhh, one of the largest agencies in terms of funding and organization. they are down 25% in numbers of employees. they have privatized group homes across the state. in certain facilities, they have
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plebiscites -- privatized their food facilities. i did the same thing when i was at the university of louisiana. when it makes sense -- it does on always -- but when it makes sense, we have done that. we still have more work to do. nobody suggested we are done. part of meeting next year's budget challenge, we need to have a smaller government. again, we have thousands of your government positions. just to give you an idea, general spending in louisiana has not been this low since 2006. louisiana got the second highest state in terms of their fiscal rates.
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there is a reason. we have been fiscally responsible, cutting taxes, spending, cutting the number of government positions. host: tom in kentucky. you are on the air. caller: gov. jim delaware, during the recent bp oil spill, i saw you on the beach every opportunity criticizing president obama. it seemed like you're running for president. "60 minutes" 4 "de online" ran a story about a parish that was surrounded by a chemical company, carcinogens were killing people. one family had eight members and they all came down with cancer. they tried to talk to you about it, and every time they would
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come to your office, he would pretend to be out of your office and somewhere else. -- you would pretend to be out of your office and somewhere else. you would not even let people into the building which is supported by their tax dollars. they could not get admittance into a building. host: we have your point. governor? guest: a couple of things, let me set the record straight. i am not running for president. the reason you saw on may fighting aggressively during the oil spill is we were angered at the federal response. in katrina, we were frustrated in the same way with government red tape, in my book, "leadership & crisis." there were booms, skimmers sitting on the coast and the government would not deploy the resources. i took the federal official in charge up in a helicopter to
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look at the oil spill itself. the government kept on telling us that there was no oil coming from the day. -- the bay. we thought we could get resources deployed after that immediately. he told us it would take up to 48 hours in order to get those resources that were already there out into a water. the media asked, why does it take so long? the system is slow and takes a long time. a second example, even when locals came up with solutions -- for example, we created these a vacuum barges to pick up the oil. it picked up thousands of gallons. the federal government called me up one day after a week of them
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operating, saying we are going to shut them down because we have to inspect them. they wanted to check the valves. they were worried that they could drop a few drops of oil in the water. when they realized that was ridiculous, they wanted to count the number of life jackets and fire extinguishers, and all that had to be done on land. when i finally went to the port there, they called us on the way to say that they are not going to do the inspections after all. we were very frustrated by the red tape, bureaucracy. by the way, i stood there with parish president and other city leaders. there was a lot of partisan. i am not running for president. i am running for reelection next year. the reason i was so frustrated
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-- and in the book, by the way -- i talk about the shortcomings, the bureaucracy during katrina as well when there was a republican president. we wanted the federal government to either lead, follow, or get out of the way. the reason use on the fighting so hard was because this is about my state. i do not know the media report you are referring to. of course, the attorney general is an elected position. i cannot speak to his schedule. my office is in the capital and the public is allowed in the building every day. i am not familiar with the incident you are referring to. i did not see the media report. host: here is an e-mail from cg --
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guest: three things. we need to do across-the-board cuts in the government, that includes discretionary nondefense spending back to 2008, pre-bailout levels. house republicans estimate $100 billion. secondly, we gave president clinton a good plan back when he appointed the medicare commission on how you can make it more sustainable. basically, if people like traditional medicare, it would allow them to stay in that plan, but it also introduced more choice and competition, the way that federal employees have. at the time, staff estimated it could reduce annual growth rates by anywhere between half and 1%, which would result in more efficient allocation of medical resources. it was endorsed by the ama, "
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wall street journal, " several individuals and other groups. so often, in washington, the focus is on the short term. we know we have to make structural changes. in addition to discretionary spending, if we start with medicare improvements, it will not overnight solve the budget deficit, but over a number of years, it accumulates. this will accumulate into the hundreds of billions of dollars. we have to be serious about balancing the budget. you are right, i right in my book about the fact that we cannot pass this along to our children. the longer we wait, the harder the decision will be. when it comes to defense spending, i want to make sure our troops in combat have everything they need. that does not mean that every dollar being spent is being
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spent wisely. if there are opportunities for more efficiency, we have to look at that. louisiana sent 3000 of our national guardsmen to iraq this year. now they are coming home. i want to make sure the military branches have what they need, especially if they are fighting overseas. it should not be off the table defacto, but they need to be looked at carefully, given that we are in active combat overseas. host: angelo, i am going to have to ask you to make it quick. we are running out of time. go ahead. caller: a few weeks ago, the city of new orleans was under a boil water alert. are you aware of that? guest: yes, "the times picayune" did a great story about that.
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communication between the water and sewer board, they need to have a better protocol where they call people. this is at a local agency issue. the issue was, it turns out, there was no health risk, but there could have been. they identified a problem overnight, they did not notify the right people, did not notify the public in time. eventually, they did, but it took hours. i agree with the editorial. they need to get to the bottom of what it took them so long to get the automatic notifications out to the public. in the future, if there is a crisis, i wish that they would not rely on e-mails and call key decision makers. in this case, fortunately, there was no health issue. hopefully, in the future, they
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will do a better job getting those alerts out. host: i am going to ask for two quick questions from callers. pat, independent line. aldridge, iowa. caller: the young men and women who joined the military were looking for money for college, a good job, and parents to make $250,000 or more are able to pay for their education and their kids are not in the military. that is why this tax cut should be eliminated for the rich. host: governor? guest: i absolutely want to honor those that join our military. certainly, they deserve the benefits they received. i think they join the military to defend our country. i would not demean their service to say that they are only doing it to pay for college.
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i think the people in louisiana, certainly people in the country to join the military, do it because they want to defend their country and they know it i would not demean their service. when it comes to tax cuts, look, we are not cutting taxes, we are simply not raising them murieta raising taxes on small businesses in this recession, a right about it in the book. when the government wants to grow it to 26% of gdp, there is clearly a problem. even if you extended the tax rates permanently in you -- permanently you would still have no one believing that you could solve the debt by putting more money in washington. they will spend every dollar that we send them if we do not make structural changes.
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host: i want to get your reaction to this. this headline on the oil industry, the commission that is looking into what happened down there, one of the cochairs is calling for a new approach to safety and calling on the industry over all to be put forward. what do you think about that? guest of the department of the interior, no one in louisiana was to see another explosion or a loss of life. they appointed a national group of 15 experts and made very specific recommendations about how drilling can be done more safely. other experts have weighed in as well. additional inspectors on the rigs, additional well pressure testing, working with companies with specific track records, there are a lot of great recommendations that make a lot
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of sense. and one of the things that the group did not recommend was the moratorium in place. i know that the administration said that there is a defacto moratorium. it will cost us 8000 jobs to 12,000 jobs. we want to listen to the experts and provide safety in the gulf with oversight, but their own experts as said that the moratorium does not accomplish that. becoming more dependent on other countries is not good for the gulf for our country. we have a company coming here that is going to make the blades for renewable energy for wind power. we know that we are going to need oil and gas from the foreseeable future imported from
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other countries, not good for our economy. host: governor, thank you for talking with us this morning. guest: thank you. coming up next we will turn our attention to the wikileaks case and the legal issues surrounding it. for the next 15 minutes we are going to open the phone lines to get your thoughts on any public policy you have heard today first a bit more from the article that we ask the governor about. the overhaul of the oil industry. the oil and gas industry.
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host: open phones for about the next 10 minutes or so. cheryl, democratic line, go ahead. turn the television town, all right? caller: ok. host: go ahead, please, what are your thoughts this morning?
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caller: what happened in the ?ulf coast democrat my thoughts are what is happening in the gulf coast? hello? host: we are listening. caller: [unintelligible] oil spill. the people they had drilling oil are the people they had fixing the oil. it should never have been developed long for the help in those days. how do they understand the wildlife? they need to save the life. fishes, i do not understand it. we people. we need to live too. we pushed it behind. we circled behind.
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host: carol, cranberry, texas. caller: the thing that i am concerned about is trying to get through to senator tom harkin. he uses a term -- we are spending our resources. what is this mentality? taxpayer money is submitted by taxpayers to the government for spending. the bureaucracy that will be in place on day to day health care programs will be affected. the bureaucracy is outrageously large. our money and resources are going towards spending. i am wondering, where are they thinking about cutting? they are not cutting the size of government. they are growing the government. host: philadelphia inquirer says
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-- "it is not perfect, but it is a good way forward." another editorial for you this morning, "of the new party of no." the washington -- "the washington times" ways in this morning. they say -- "this is now the president's gimmick." host: "usa today" says that the tax bill shows that the party can compromise. negotiated between the white
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house, democrats, and congressional republicans. republican line, you are next. good morning. you are on the air. caller: i am calling because i have a complaint against how you except your calls. now, do not cut me off. you never cut of democrats. you always let them rattle on and on. i sit here every morning and i cannot take it anymore. i have made notes of how many calls get through from republicans and how many democrats. you have republicans up there. each month you have republicans on the top. then the next month you have the democrats on the top. but you never start out with their republican caller. it is always the democrats. democrats have taken over this station. i have been a fan of the c-span
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audience for a long time. it is discouraging to me how the democrats are all getting in and complaining against my party. nobody ever takes reference on us when we are getting second and third caller's them online. i think it is very unfair. host: i respectfully disagree. we do our best to balance the phone calls. it may not be perfect on certain days, but we do our best. if you were watching earlier this morning we did a democrats only phone section for the first 45 minutes. it will be balanced out with republicans only fellow which we have done in the past. as well as independent voters only. sasha, independent line. caller: thank you for taking my call. i wanted to say that i wanted to disagree with the governor that was on from louisiana of, saying
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that the only people -- the only reason that people unlisted was to serve their country. myself, my nephew, my son, doing two or three tumors in iraq. the only reason they had to join the service was because of education services to pay for their education. they passed their sats and they still were not able to get government funding to go to school. there is not enough funding out there for people, you know, that does not have enough money to go to school. so, this is the only way that they can afford to pay for school, by serving their country. that statement that he made made me upset because there is a lot
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of people out there now that have to join the army in order to pay for schooling. host: charlie, kan., independent line. caller: i get a kick out-of- court people calling in and complaining who is a democrat or a republican. [laughter] i became an independent during the clinton administration. i am afraid what we are getting ready to get into is the same thing we got from clinton. they got nafta with republicans. glass-stiegel with the republicans. from what we saw yesterday we will get the same with obama. i had voted for him hoping that he would do something.
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i know that people do not like to hear that. host: in your opinion, what did you expect him to be? more to the left? caller: my goodness, the middle class has just taken a beating for so long. you know, like yesterday he was talking about how he negotiates and everything else. everything else was basically tax cuts. it is not too hard to get a negotiant -- republican to negotiate on tax cuts. host: there is analyst here in "usa today" of who benefits. social security taxes -- caller that is the craziest thing to do when the first thing the republicans will say is that
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social security is taking this country down. so, what we will do is cut that? $6 per week? that is not a lot of money. it makes a difference to someone, but it is just one more thing. this has been going on since the 1980's. the more that you cut taxes and the more we are in debt, the easier is -- medicare is a different story. they passed that big medicare program and did not pay for it. this whole thing is crazy. the only thing i have to say about this whole thing is that as an independent, they can do what they want with obama as a democrat. what we need to do, and independent voters are getting to be the biggest voting bloc, we need someone like teddy
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roosevelt to take on the system. host: bill, ore., you are on the yacht -- on the air. caller: by watch c-span quite a bit. one and in college, the other trying to get in. for they are carrying 30 college credits. i have heard about this green bill coming upper. it is supposed to help the illegals become legal and pay for their college courses. anyone 30 and under, i believe. i tried to get my kids to go to school. i happen to be out of work at the moment. we are trying to get the kids through school.
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the best my kids can get right now is 8.5% on loans. i would like to know why if we are helping illegal aliens, why can we not held citizens first? host: we did two segments on that legislation, opposing and supporting the legislation yesterday and on sunday. if you go to c-span.org and go to the video library, we spent 45 minutes on those issues. texas, good morning. caller: first i just wanted to thank c-span for bringing us divergent views on public policy. i enjoyed the program this morning as always. i am a steadfast supporter of the president. he stood on principle when it was difficult to do so. health care, repealing don't
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ask, don't tell. financial reform and cap and trade. at the same time, he has to govern and the practical. in this case there was an extension of tax breaks for the wealthiest americans for two years. tax breaks for the middle class. these are things that democrats should applaud. i understand that progressives within the party are upset. that if you cannot get anything that you want it would have resulted in unemployment not being extended. for many people unemployed, that is not a bone. that is a way that they pay their bills for their rent, for food.
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i think he has done a great job and he has done a great job with his principles. host: in this political cartoon this morning it shows the house leader, john boehner, and mitch mcconnell, playing poker with president obama. president obama left the room without his shirt or pants. monroe, louisiana. good morning. caller: thank you for taking my call. i did not catch the first segment of the bobby jindal interview. is he going to pass the fourth year unemployment benefits? host: she did not say. caller: great. thanks. host: charlotte, republican line. caller: can c-span tell me when
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the government took the place of the father in this country? when i went to the congressional budget office web site -- the region i did this was a couple of weeks ago we had a survey on the state of marriage. what young people fought about marriage in this country. when you actually look at their web site and at unwed mothers, it is staggering the cost to america. if we are going to look at all entitlements related to the deficit, we need to look at the cost of unwed mothers in this country. if i have to take out my children and husband, i do not understand why the taxpayers have to foot the bill. this is not politically correct, but we seem to be too afraid to address this situation.
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host: "of the baltimore sun" breaks down the tax cut plan this morning. next to that is the average tax savings per return. host: it goes through the average tax savings up to around $1 million. buchanan county, virginia. caller: i am going to say a few words about my precedent, mr. obama. it is like this right here. he has the use of taxpayer dollars to try to benefit this country back on the track that it is off of. we do have knowledge that there are $12 million made from
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bailing out citibank thanks to president obama. and of course we know that the right decision was paid on the bailout of general motors. it looks like to meet the president and his party still have the interest of the american people at heart. he showed interest and made interest to keep this economy on track. what have the republicans done for the american people? what interest have they taken into the spotlight that was right for the economy? they did not care whether 2 million people with families out of work and no jobs to give had unemployment benefits extended. the american taxpayer works. they always paid into the employment program for this purpose. host: we get the point. sterling, independent, missouri.
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caller: to what the man was addressing prior to me, until this country and our government said a program to start producing things in this country again in a manner that is competitive, 99% of them are a better product but we need to start producing in this country. at what point does off-peak the money that they get for unemployment become welfare? shall we pay them unemployment for five years? how long? host: larry, pa., you are on the air. caller: i feel that president obama is doing a good job. democrats have to start working together. they cannot hold unemployed people hostage.
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that is not going to work. these republicans are going to find out, they are laughing and democrats right now. they will get voted out just like the democrats. host: a reminder to larry and others, turned down that television. otherwise we will have feedback. donald, massachusetts. caller: i have a comment about bobby jindal and haley barbour. they seem to be the only republicans in louisiana worried about the oil spill. all of the others are in arizona worried about immigration. where was the republican concern for the oil spill in the gulf of mexico? there was none. host: howard, independent, alabama.
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caller: yes, i just want to speak about don't ask, don't tell. they have all of those rapes and stabbings, that is what we will have in the military. taxing businesses and corporations, those people put a lot of people to work and are supposed to make a profit on every one that they hire. if they cannot, they will start putting them to work. host: we are on an open phones this morning. we are hoping in a little bit to discuss legal issues surrounding be wikileaks case. until then, mike, tenn.. caller: my little brother was getting censored, but he can watch the president's news conference on youtube. we have been waiting a long time
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to hear about this texting. of course, they get paid for what they say. it sounds like things are happening so fast. but they have pretty much got everybody pretty mad down here. anyways, i do not think that we have time to talk about or really listen to politicians. they say what they say. you know, the people of the united states should try to figure out a way to get the employed in the system. at least if everyone had some input, if we did go down everyone would go down together. you know? maybe old jimmy buffett, asking your cousin for law enforcement
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advice, or someone. host: all right. "of the wall street journal" editorial -- "wealth buildup
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host: corpus christi, texas. paul, good morning. you are on the air. caller: thank you. i listened to the governor from louisiana. it amazes me how they talk about cutting government jobs and positions. how will that help them, cutting my job so that i am unemployed? they come on and talk about my book, my book, book. it is amazing, the class warfare that has been set up. democrats, republicans, it is just a torn society.
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all of this did not occur in two years. now they are back in, talking about cutting this and that. this did not have been in just two years. host: all right. pennsylvania, sean, independent line. caller: i would like to see legislative bodies throughout the country decide to reverse the ratification of the u.s. constitution as a means of pressuring the white house into pushing towards some sort of meaningful reform on immigration. that's it. host: detroit, michigan, republican line. what kind of policy issue did you want to talk about this morning? caller: i wanted to talk about the woman whose son served in the military, relatives and
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served in the military. it is a bigger discredit to heard to say that her relatives only served for the college benefits. i think it was commendable of the governor to say that the service to our country should be acknowledged and respected. that is all i have to say. host: fort knox, kentucky, a democrat. dean, good morning. caller: as a military parent and having served in the military, i have four children of my own. is regrettable that that would be the only reason it would have joined the military. on another note, i agree earlier with the congressman's
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statements. the tax cuts for the wealthy and the events of trickling down economically really need to stand back and have a better look. most military families, regardless of popular belief, they do not make as much money as you would think. they still fall into that middle class bracket. here you have the people that everyone says -- ok, we appreciate your job and everything lightfast. they are working and going overseas, falling into the tax brackets and not being allowed to receive such high tax breaks as the upper class. to me i feel it is wrong and out of place. i feel that these wealthier families should do a little bit more to pay back into the country and help to stimulate the economy. many of these countries that are
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out sourcing should most definitely lose their tax breaks for outsourcing and bring the jobs back to the u.s., where the economy has the chance to rebound. otherwise we will keep digging ourselves into a greater recession. host: house republican leadership met yesterday to decide the kit -- committee chairman on that side. from "the washington times" -- host: more on the chairmanship from "politico."
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host: also from "politico" this morning, "fred upton proves conservative enough, tapped to head the energy and commerce committee in the house." as you may know, the appropriations committee will be led by al rogers, republican of kentucky, to help -- republicans nominated him for that spot. he was selected for a powerful position and the entire conference is expected to confirm his bid on wednesday. morgan city, martha, independent line. caller: how are you?
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host: doing well. caller: it is simple as far as i am concerned. fighting amongst themselves has created so many problems, they need to get together and agree. the politicians and the state were fighting so hard, she was molested horribly when she was three because they were fighting amongst themselves. united we stand, united -- divided we fall. you know what i mean? paul my mother said the same thing. she rode to obama and i pray that he answers those letters. but as long as you fight amongst yourselves, united we stand, divided we fall. host: donna, republican line.
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caller: i wanted to answer to senator harkin this morning. he did not know where they could cut spending bellow when john boehner stepped in, he will cut billions out of nancy pelosi flying around in a privately paid for by the taxpayer 747, including the family and the alcohol and beverage bill. this will save us millions. thank you. host: the final contest the house race has been decided. new york republican randy ultshculer has conceded to mr. bishop. houston, cathy, democratic line. caller: my family has been fighting the wars for nine years now.
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they put the soldiers out like we are meet. another thing. i am sick of the pentagon going to karzai every two weeks and asking him not to be rough. you would not think this was funny. and obama had better grow a care. host of republican senators signaled on tuesday -- host: republican senators signaling on tuesday that they hoped the senate would get a chance to vote on the new treaty. memphis, tenn., independent line. caller: the problem with america begins and ends with corporations. they are polluting the land. it is what makes us sick.
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the air that we read and the water that we drink. they got some bad years ago that the unions came in to fight to preserve the people that were working in these horrible conditions. what did they do? they moved the corporations overseas. you know what? how can exxon pay no sales tax and turn around and get $150 million in income taxes back? host: we will have to leave it there. next we are going to look at the legal issues around the wikileaks case. first, a news update. >> food safety legislation stalled by constitutional snags could be revived as a part of the year and a budget bill. house democrats are trying to fix procedural problems by adding that legislation to a catchall spending bill this morning. increasing fda inspections of
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securities with stricter standards on imported foods and giving broader authority for ordering a recall. an update on the housing market, more than 3 million households will receive some sort of foreclosure notice this year. since high unemployment continues, there is likely to be one new foreclosure action for every six jobs to 10 jobs lost. overseas, admiral mike mullen says that u.s. commitment to helping south korea defend itself from north korean aggression is unquestioned. he added that north korea should not mistake south korean strength following the attack two weeks ago for a lack of resolve. he spoke earlier at a joint news conference. those are some of the latest headlines from c-span radio. >> purchase great holiday gifts for the c-span fan in your life
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from our holiday store. available online apple c- span.org. -- available on line at c- span.org. and you are watching c-span, bringing you politics and public affairs. every morning as "washington journal." during the week watch the u.s. house and our continuing coverage of the transition to the new congress. also, supreme court oral arguments. on the weekend you can see our signature interview programs. sunday, you can also watch our programming any time. it is all searchable at our c- span video c-span.org library. -- c-span video library at c- span.org. >> "washington journal" continues.
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host: frederick hitz is the senior fellow from university of virginia of to talk about the legal issues of the wikileaks case. let's begin with the espionage act of 1917. can the leader of wikileaks be prosecuted under that law? guest: i have seen a lot of commentary and take another look myself. i am not sure. you probably remember the law was passed at the height of our preparation to go into world war i, designed to make sure that people were not speaking violently against the action of the government. but it has not really been used very much. the most recent case of any significance was "the new york
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times" pentagon papers case where the supreme court chose not to limit publication or joint publication of the papers because it did not believe that the elements of the espionage act were met. therefore, i think that applying to a broadcasting entity like wikileaks, i think they will have some difficulty there. there are other theories that have been propounded. for example, knowing the publishing documents that were classified, knowing the publishing documents that were in effect stolen, it might give rise to prosecution. one of the first things the united states has to do is gain jurisdiction over him. as we now know, he is in custody in britain and awaiting the
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results of the british determination on the swedish request for extradition. let's assume he is extradited to sweden and as they do what they do with him. would they then turn him over to the united states for possible prosecution in our country? i am not sure that that is at all subtle. there are a number of issues to be sorted out. much discussion in washington and elsewhere, in the espionage act does not reach julian assange, perhaps we should try to pass a law that would make this kind of activity all lawful. you have one potential precedent. 20 years ago when counter-spies were publishing the names of americans and intelligence
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agents serving abroad with the intention of doing harm to them, either having them removed from the countries where they were serving or otherwise, it led eventually to the assassination of a chief of state in greece. we passed a law that made it unlawful to intentionally out to cia officers serving overseas with the intention of doing harm. there are a lot of theories, i suppose, that could be worked through to try to find a law that might be to what julian assange has done. host: 3 senators introducing a bill on thursday aimed at stopping the public financing of military or intelligence community informants.
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could this law be retroactive? guest: i had not seen that, but i knew that several were intending to introduce bills. that seems to go down the theory i just explained. the intelligence agent protection x that was passed 20 years ago. trying to make it unlawful to reveal the names of serving military officials overseas. that earlier statute was interpreted very narrow the. you have to find the intent. usually a pattern or practice, like publishing them in a magazine on a continual basis. in this case in the wikileaks documents.
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he might say that his intention is to do this to let the light of the sun in in these matters. he did not intend to harm. i think separate actions sound like they are being prepared. will they pass constitutional muster? guest: -- host: i wanted to read a little bit from the espionage act of 1917. "
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host: it does seem to fit under these circumstances. guest: it does, but it applies most particularly to the profit -- private the downloaded these to wikileaks, not the entity that publishes them for the world to see. that has been the distinction. it has been a first amendment concern, the pentagon papers seemed to enshrine the guilty party as the person who illegally grabs the documents, not the entity that publishes them. but they will have to make that clear if they are going down that road. host: our guest is frederick hitz.
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background, he is a decorated cia inspector general under president the george w. bush, retiring in 1998, leaving the cia. florida, donald, democratic line. go ahead. caller: i would like to make a case for governmental responsibility in this. i am a retired i.t. manager. in the early days of data processing technology, whenever you want to call it, jobs were programmers were with the government, insurance companies, or banks.
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the good programmers were always more apt to go with a top-quality agency. remember the ross perot bid and for the presidency? his millions of dollars were generated by making a deal whiffed the government that his data processing enterprise could do the job for half the money the government was spending. that is where he made his money, taking a contract from the government to take over certain data processing jobs. host: your point? caller: the government designed a database with all of this information but no security. it is ridiculous that anyone of that level could get that disinformation. guest: i am glad he was able to impose his concerns.
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those were my primary concerns in this entire matter, going at it from a different viewpoint. we have made enormous strides in the government between the fbi, cia, and other intelligence agencies in sharing information in the wake of the tragedy of 9/11. remember the 9/11 commission report, had there been a better exchange of information we might have been able to unfurl that plot before it occurred. since that time, it took the passage of the intelligence reform anti-terrorism act of 2004. efforts have been made to break down the barriers between sharing information, especially in law enforcement and intelligence communities. we would have horizontal
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coverage. in 9/11 we had was a plot hatched in a mosque, worked on in spain, transported to the united states before execution. the international world mixed with the domestic world. we had two agencies responsible for the domestic side, as well as the international side. they did not mix. what happened was we finally got information sharing and wikileaks took advantage of it. so, you have cables that originated in the department of state. so that they could be dumped in. i am afraid this will send back information sharing a great deal, which concerns me. host: republican line, texas, your next.
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caller: i believe that wikileaks is a matter of constitutional rights and that gives the person the power to publish what everett is. truly affecting the american people. several years ago there was a tragic incidents in which air force men were being used to inject syphilis. that was well published and no one paid a consequence. that is a constitutional right and people are free to do that under the constitution. frederick hitz? -- host: frederick hitz? guest: i do not think so. that constitutional right is changed when a person goes to work for the government. like this private, who swears to honor the responsibilities
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associated with handling that information. and he promises to preserve the secrecy and handle the materials in a secretive way in. and he is contractually bound by that. just like any former agency officer have to go back to the agency to make sure when they write a book there is no classified information being conveyed. when you take one of these jobs you have to recognize that your free speech rights are curtailed when you are dealing with classified information. host: oregon, you are on the air. caller: i am in agreement with the previous caller. i believe that providing information to the public is good. we need to see what is going on in our name in all countries.
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it seems to me that criminalizing whistle-blowers continues to give powerful companies complete control over what we need to know. host: frederick hitz? guest: i understand that point of view in an abstract sense, but certainly you do not mean that we cannot have confidential exchanges of information between individuals and officers they are dealing with. there must be a way that the government can maintain the privacy of these conversations and confidentiality of the information that comes from them. this is not one of those situations where we are protecting wrongdoing. what we are protecting as the confidentiality of exchanges between diplomats, military, and
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other personnel overseas when they're working on behalf of the united states. host: we want to show you and our viewers the press conference held by eric holder addressing the wikileaks issue. >> the national security of the united states has been put at risk. the lives of the people that work for the american people have been put at risk. the american people themselves have been put at risk by actions that are arrogant, misguided, and not helpful in any way. we have a serious and active ongoing investigation that is criminal in nature that was authorized just last week. a number of things can now be done so that we can hopefully get to the bottom of this and
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hold people accountable, as they should be. host: the language being used by the attorney general, what is he saying? caller: -- guest: that they are trying to find their way, scrambling around, looking for a statute already on the books that might allow them to for julian assange habit from continuing to publish this information. that is the hard part. one theory might be that it is classified information that was stolen from the originators. no one has the right to reproduce it. they might try the 1917 s be in the act, but after the pentagon papers that will be tough. they will find something on the books to stop it or go along with congress and tried to pass
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a law. the important thing to focus on is what the attorney general said. it cannot be the right of justice john q. citizen to disregard the projections given by this information, turning it over to wikileaks even if they are objecting to the policies discussed when there are confidential sources that have supplied that information and the government has tried to maintain its confidentiality that the authority to do this would break down our system of communication and sensitive matters. the united states would not be
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able to operate in sensitive areas. host: republican line, good morning. caller: what ever happened to freedom of speech? very brief and short. what about freedom of speech? thank you. host: frederick hitz guest: freedom of speech in the united states is alive and well, thank goodness. but it does not apply to situations like this when you have confidential documents sent back to washington, d.c., for the secretary of state and national security advisor to understand the negotiations between important foreign powers and ourselves. there is no freedom of speech outside of revealing private and classified conversations, which
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are revealed when there is potential to do harm to national security, taking freedom of speech too far. >> you touched on this, prosecuting the wikileaks founder on stolen documents. hillary clinton after a press conference told reporters that she would not comment on anything specific but that she would _ that this theft of publication and released without regards is deeply disturbing. what does that mean? guest: i do not think that there is much of a question in anyone's mind that the private the downloaded these documents and deliver them to julian assange is going to be court- martialed and likely to have a long prison sentence. the actual fact was -- i cannot
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prejudge, but attributable to him. the question is, what do we do with ill gotten gains. and honoring the stamp to take note of the fact that these documents were stolen and that might be the theory that they work the most success with. it was knowledgeable that these were about documents. host: will that be easy to prove? of guest: there's not much
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dispute that he obtain these documents from the private and he was not entitled to spread them in this way. there is not much doubt that this was a secret information. host: one last phone call. florida, go ahead. al, you with us? lost him. sorry about that. before we say goodbye, quickly, what happens next? tesco as i said, you have just which appointed to. -- guest: as i said, you have just what i pointed to. if you cannot get the problem with laws on the books, it will not the way. as you know, we have seen some
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of the most salacious and sensational of the documents turned over, but we are given to understand that wikileaks has an operation is going to publish more. he is not going to go away. host: frederick hitz, thank you for joining us this morning. guest: it has been my pleasure. host: that is it for today's "washington journal." we will be back tomorrow with more of your comments, phone calls, tweets, and e-mails. congress will continue their work this morning on the continuing resolution providing temporary funding for the government to next september 30. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010]

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