tv Washington Journal CSPAN November 21, 2009 7:00am-10:00am EST
the to do with it. bill moyers says he is retiring from regular television in april of next year. this is "washington journal" for november 21. the wording of some of a second stimulus package -- the worthiness of eight seconds stimulus package. that is what we want to ask you this morning. -- the worthiness of a second stimulus package. the numbers are on your screen. here is " the new york times." new consensus, new stimulus as
they were the step? now that unemployment has topped 10%, some liberal-leaning economists have warnings that a $787 billion stimulus package that president obama signed last january was way too small. the economy needs a second big infusion. conservative-leaning economists say no. they say it has been wasteful and ineffectual and harmful because it adds to the nation's debt. it says the legislation is helping an economy in a free- fall to grow again and shed fewer jobs that would otherwise have been shed. they say it is roughly on track.
they want to avoid cutting teachers, police officers, and other workers. there is more on this story. we will read more but we want your thoughts on the need of a second stimulus package. we are asking you if you think it is a worthy step. you have an opinion on that, please call us. one more story -- this is talking about the jobless rate that was mentioned in the front- page piece. this is a bloomberg news story that you can find in "the new york times." it says that the unemployment
rate fell in 10 states including massachusetts, where it declined to 8.9%, new hampshire dropped to 6.9% and west virginia which fell to 8.5%. the number of states with at 10% unemployment held at 14 last month. the states reporting record jobless rate was california, south carolina, florida, and delaware at 8.7%. the district of columbia also has a high with an 11.9% unemployment rate. with all that in mind, your thoughts on the worthiness of a second stimulus package. randy, and our role in line -- a republican line, go ahead. guest\ caller: you gotta be kidg
me. if they get enough votes in congress to do another one, we the people, we have to have our heads examined how these people spend money so foolishly. we have not even had a good accountability of what the first stimulus package has done. they say that it has created jobs but where are the jobs? we need term limits in washington. we need fresh people. host: what is your job situation? caller: it is not bad. everybody is working. host: would you say that about wisconsin overall? caller: i don't know about that. it the news media would quit whining and complaining and star -- stop talk about how bad the economy is -- there are many people who cannot think for themselves and they go by what the news media says. get out and go to work.
one way you could get this economy going immediately is to slow down the unemployment for these people who get unemployment. host: we will leave it there. columbus, ohio, independent line, go ahead caller: you better do some history. i was born in the 1920's and the unemployment rate was 25%. by 1937, it was down to 10% limit was over 10% last year. in 1981, ronald reagan through the military into the employment field which had not been included previously those who have been so long without work that they are not getting
unemployment, they are not counted. i wish the media would stop making such a big fuss and the crybabies over 10% unemployment. the market tanked in 1937 and the reason was that fdr stopped spending money. the money comes first. capitalism is prior to labor. you have to spend the money. i am glad to see that the wisconsin economy is growing. i don't know what that guy was complaining about. the media it spins this thing and every few days you see it is a repetition. you have had jonathan alder on? host: hasn't the employment
taken a big hit overall ta? caller: there are 1600 jobs -- i don't know what november will be but retail sales were up because of sale of new cars? how about that? we can talk ourselves into a worse economy. one thing that they had in the 1930's was the civilian conservation corps. fdr said in march of 1933 that he wants to order 50,000 and by july. they got 272,000. host: we will leave it there. fort worth, texas, on our democrats live.
the idea of a second stimulus, what do you think? caller: everything that they want to cut is necessary. i have had six operations and i have two businesses here. nobody wants to see to talk about there are jobs here. i have a motor home. we saw about 20 hispanics. none of these people pay taxes. they get $10 per hour, 11 hours
per day, that is $110 and the four men came over and did not let us talk to these people. host: optimistic assumptions contributed to producing a package that is anything -- that if anything is too small, analysts said. they say the economy is weaker than we thought at the time. in retrospect, we could have used a little bit more front loading. a financial analysis group said that consumers remain skeptical. the conservative party, said the problem with the package was that some of its tax cuts and spending programs or of a variety that did little to spur the economy. there should have been more direct federal spending that would have added to aggregate demand. temporary tax cuts and 1 time
transfers to seniors were largely stayed and did not stimulate spending. that is from "the new york times" this morning. they say the new consensus is that the stimulus is viewed as a worthy step. we are asking if you think it is a worthy step. want twitter communication says, "no cause to another stimulus package and employment is a lagging indicator and takes 9-14 months for unemployment to rebound." fla., on the republican line, go ahead. caller: i am not for the stimulus package. i watched the show this evening about how difficult it is to get a hold of any money for a proper
stimulus package for the average american because they don't understand the government wording. you have to go to seminars to learn how to get money from the stimulus package. that is from the first one. also, where are they getting the money? they are printing money. we are growing more and more debt -- we are going into more and more debt from china. china is growing their economy. the obama trip to china was a bad idea. they just don't get it. my husband took a year and have to find a job. he just got a job. host: what kind of job did your son get? caller: my son got a job as a
dishwasher at $8.50 per hour. host: what was he doing before? caller: that was after looking for a year and a half. host: fla. had an 11.2% unemployment rate. charlotte hall, maryland, on our independent line. caller: i am against a second stimulus package for they have not spent 3/4 of the first one yet. it seems like that money was wasted on states that had districts that did not exist and jobs that did not exist. for the american people to put faith in this president's and his people and the white house -- there are construction bids that are out there -- i am in the construction business -- for the few jobs that are available to bet on, there are 15 and 20
companies bidding on the same job and the price has gone down below cost. the competition is crazy. there is no money to be made. there are no jobs to be had. people are closing construction companies and there is no way to go with that. the other thing that worries me is that if robert rubin goes to congress and asked them if we can make sure that none of this money goes to white construction workers, that worries me. how can you trust a group of people like that? host: there is a story about the treasury secretary and the criticism that he is undergoing. renewed doubts about his role in the financial bailout, coupled with grim news about the economy, put him on a hot seek on capitol hill.
-- hot seat on capitol hill. former treasury officials from the george motion administration -- george bush administration also commented. much of the anger directed at tim geithner rises from growing frustration with the administration's inability to stem rising unemployment even though the economy has rebounded from the crisis. a professor at mit says a lot of people are dissatisfied. we are asking you if you think a second stimulus package would be a worthy step. chicago, and are democrats line, go ahead. caller: morning. it is a beautiful morning. give our president a break. he just got into office.
if we had followed the formal president for the eight years that he was in office and made this mess than we would not be in this position today. he just got in there. he is doing the best that he can with the mess that he came in with. host: your thoughts on a second stimulus package? caller: the only way we can begin to start getting out of this -- it takes money to make the world go around. money is what got us in this position now. when it is not used properly and correctly, a lot of things were stolen. many things were not utilized. without the second money, we will not get out of this situation we are in. it takes money to get construction contracts. it takes money to get dishwasher jobs. it takes money to do all these things. it takes money for health coverage.
it takes money to cover people who are not covered. host: another stimulus package would be ok if this time i get the check. with the previous administration, i got two checks. that was from twittered. the senate is expected to vote today or start debate today on health care. to give us the details is the david hersenhorn of t" the new york times." there were concerns about health care from three democratic senate -- senators. as of today, where do those three stent on how they will vote?
guest: morning, senator nelson put out a statement yesterday saying that he will vote on this motion to proceed to start debate and put the health care debate -- health care bill on the floor per the other two have not come out and sat as forcefully that they will both. it looks likely that the democratic caucus will be unified in this vote tonight. host: she is leaning toward starting debate. apparently, no one knows yet but maybe there are some other things you are hearing about senator landrew? guest: many people are working to make sure that senator landrew will be behind this bill. it is fairly clear that senator landrew is warming up to the
bill. senator lincoln was something that she had asked for. she led a group of senators and congressmen to write a letter to majority leader's. harry reid want to make sure to say the vote was not happening until saturday so he could say to senator lincoln of arkansas that you have 72 hours to study the bill. you will see it works for your folks. they are getting to the point where they will have the six0 boats. -- 60 votes on the democratic side, they are looking to build unity on the caucus to make a strong case for this legislation. on the republican side, it is the opposite. they want to take those
arguments apart. describe this bill as too expensive. host: what time is the boat expected? guest: we will see a lot of speechifying on the floor. the boat is scheduled for 8:00 a.m. -- the vote is scheduled for 8:00 p.m. host: you'll join us later in this program, about two hours from now to answer your questions. mr. herszenhor,n, things may change and we're looking forward for you to join us later. caller: absolutely dog, every industry they'd have devoted to the less money to has been a failure. "cash for clunkers" put a temporary spike in sales and now
sales are down again. general motors is still on the verge of bankruptcy. nothing positive came out of that. the housing industry has been drastically affected. they take billions of dollars and give away to first-time home buyers which the banking industry will tell you is the number one default segment of the banking industry. they have destroyed the automotive industry. they have destroyed the housing industry. they both support 50% of all the other industries out there. it has been a total failure. they are trying to do the same thing with health care. host:" the new york times" says that the reappointment of ben bernanke will be the subject of a senate hearing. that is set for september 3.
oklahoma, on our independent line, good morning. caller: i don't think the stimulus package should go through. they need to do something about the corruption in all forms of government in cities and states. i have lived in new england and vermont and there is not that many people in vermont. they have not such a loud voice for the whole mission there. -- the whole nation there. if they are doing a public service, they should do it for free. host: do you think it is too soon to talk about a second stimulus package? caller: yes, people don't know what is happening in this country among the county's merging and companies going out of business. texas has amassed a lot of the
wealth in this country. people need to wake up. texas seems to be a source -- it is almost an act of the people. host: the group acorn is back in the news this morning. the justice department has not awarded any federal grant money directly to the poverty group over the last eight years but $200,000 as mad as way to the organization or its -- has made its way to the organization or its affiliates. in 2000, it was required to provide $290,000 for the committee citizens of new york city to run a crime stoppers program. they had a $20,000 contract with acorn to coordinate with local policeman.
an acorn appellate receive the congressional earmark for $138,000 to provide you leadership for students in new york to form a cornyouth -- a cornyouth to coordinatea tocornyouth. host: our next caller, go ahead. caller: they are talking about the second stimulus package coming out. the first one has not been doled out yet. that is because it takes a while to bid on construction jobs and to get those people to work.
all i am saying is that it takes time to get the money out into the public. host: you say your own state has suffered from high unemployment rates, especially this morning, it was two 0.5% statewide? -- 12.5% statewide? caller: that is right. i see this stimulus money working. host: how so? caller: there is a road construction all over. it is being financed by the stimulus money. host: ok. caller: i keep hearing the republicans talk about -- i am
nervous -- host: why don't we leave it there? i apologize but we are running out of time. new castle, delaware, on the republican line, good morning. caller: no second stimulus. the first one did not work and it will not work because every time you take money away from the private sector and give it to the public sector, it makes that monday less affected. we have to build up the public sector in this country and we have to call their senators today and tell them to stop this health care business now. it will destroy the country. it will be the four horsemen of the acropolis descending on washington host: the labor department says your state is one of the ones with high unemployment. caller: that's right. this is just shot a refinery
that i can see from my back window. there will have no facilities to refine the crude oil that the country produces. we will be more dependent on foreign oil because of it. host: you don't think what has been spent on stimulus has help your state? caller: it has kept the public sector going. it has not created any private- sector opportunity. it has kept a fireman working. it keeps the cops working. a key to the teachers working but you cannot do that forever. if you look at the receipts to the state congressman, they are down. we do not have the sales tax year, thank god. look at the states that have a sales tax and they are going down. unemployment is up everywhere. host: if you follow issues like technology policy or telecommunication, you may not know about a show we have on c- span dedicated to that. it is called "the
communicator's." this week, we talked to the chairman of the fcc. about a wide range of topics and one of that was about and indecency in television. guest: parents have concerns in this area about what their kids are exposed to per they want to make sure that they are empowered to do what they think is best for their children. i am an optimist in this area because i think with new technologies we will find solutions to empower parents to protect kids that are completely consistent with the first amendment and that, i hope, will make the harter elements of this issue go away. parents do not want the first amendment undermine. they want to exercise their responsibility as parents to protect their kids. that is what i hope we will see coming out of the marketplace.
host: that was part of a wide- ranging discussion about broadbent. you can see the program twice saturday evenings at 6:00 on c- span and see it on mondays on c- span 2 at 8:00 in the morning and 8:00 in the evening. you can also check out the full interview on our website, c- span.org. go to the series section, "the communicators"page, and you will see it there. one more call on the topic of the second stimulus, if it is needed and it is a worthy thing. richmond, va., are democrats line. go ahead. caller: the stimulus package is not working because the people get the money and they just sit there. they are not spending the money.
one thing that is a blockage in this country is the republicans. i call the republicans the no- name party because they do nothing. they have the president's hand held behind him. host: one more call from san diego, california, on our independent line. caller: in 1929, we had our first stimulus. the result was the greatest depression in our history. before 1929, we have other recessions. we had one in 1921. it was just as bad.
we had no stimulus at all in 1921. that recession ended in one-two years. the historical record is that the economic stimulus makes it worse. , not better. host: we thank you for all participated. coming up, a roundtable discussion with two women who report about news and politics for two web sites. they will join us to talk about issues in health care and related issues. you have a chance to ask them questions. first, let's point to two arab "newsmakers -- less point to our "newsmakers" program.
one topic that was talked about was the possibility of a change at the u.s. "don't ask, don't tell "policy.. guest: we will take their suggestions as to how we can change our policy effectively and havexd this work in a way tt does not produce conflict between or within the military and how it can be done in a way that can promote morale and the military. the younger military are open to this policy. other countries have long ago got rid of the "don't ask, don't tell accokeek policy. they have gays in the military because they have proven that
they can serve effectively in the military. it is important that we do this. in order to accomplish the dropping of this policy which i believe is the right way to go in order to succeed, we have to follow a course which involves listening to the military and their concerns and trying to address their concerns without giving up the goal which is to drop a policy which seems to me is not appropriate. host: you said you would have hearings have you finished the defense bill. he said he would have done this year -- you said you would have them this year. guest: we have not had them because of all the things going on -- there is so much on our plate. we may not be able to have the hearing this year. that is not an effort to avoid a hearing. i want the hearing. the military wants the jury.
they want to be involved. they want to be asked. these recent events at fort hood have put a huge responsibility on us to focus on that event first. that means we may not be able to get to the "don't ask, don't tell" hearing. i was hoping that would happen in december but it will probably happen in the beginning of the year. host: you concede that full interview tomorrow two times at 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. we will talk about politics takand a wide range of topics. the senate votes tonight. as you see, what do you think happens as far as all that has been going on to start this debate on health care?
guest: i think everybody in the capital will be watching every step. is coming down to one vote. the senators are from conservative states. the package is not particularly popular in their states. it is up to those of two women at this point. host: what is motivating those two women? guest: senator lunken is up for reelection and she will have to explain this boat. there is a lot of pressure on these women not to be the ones that stop debate. there will be people running against them that they are voting with president obama and voting for a tax increase/health care package. the pressures are political. they are policy driven. both of these women are more conservative than the rest of
the democratic caucus. it will come down to how senator lincoln is calculating 2010. host: what do you make of that? guest: i agree that it is insider lobbying. it cannot yesterday that blanche lincoln is receiving a $100 million stimulus money for katrina relief recovery. i mean, senator glenn true. -- senatorlandrew. it came up in august and september and we are past thanksgiving and it will not hit the president's desk until january. it does not look for the democrats -- it is not look good for the democrats in 2010. host: will the republicans
participate or will they just let it happen? guest: it will be hard for them to meet with a meaningful push. the democrats want to manipulate this to get with the water. it will come down to these three moderate democrats. host: if we get the vote and the debate starts, the real work starts after that. guest: yes, if they moved to forward on this vote today. there will be another procedural vote monday. it will be another time when people back home say that they voted for this bill and there will be more advertisements run. there will be weeks and weeks of debate. during that debate, every hot- button issue in the world will be tacked onto this, immigration, abortion, federal spending, rich versus poor, every interest group in washington is involved in this
somehow, someway. it will be a willslog. harry reid -- it will be a reidslog. -- this will be a tough slog. it took a year and a half to get medicare off the floor. it will be a real ugly process. there will be lobbying by interest groups and the home state lobbying. these guys will go home for thanksgiving. it is on the capitol every day and you can see the strain on their faces. it is an enormous bill. healthcare is a huge problem that has to be dealt with. how do you do it? host: what is the potential of it going anywhere if it goes into 2010? guest: the senators have not said what they will do or how they will both. it is outrageous if you have not
made up your mind on the economy the night before the vote. guest: i will disagree with that. there will be changes to this bill. is the public option in or out? can illegal immigrants have access to this? the vote going forward will be characterized as a vote for health care. it is also a vote to move forward. there will be changes to the bill that will make a difference for joe lieberman or bill nelson. it will be different at the beginning of the process. guest: there are details to be hammered out of the public option is there. at the same time, obama is largely getting what he wants. he suggested some of the main provisions in this bill months ago. guest: my only disagreement is that people on the capitol hill is people do not know what obama wants.
he has put very little leadership on this. senator conyers has been a member of the black caucus and the says there is no leadership from the white house on the stimulus, afghanistan, health care. guest: they are talking about obamas in decision. host: we start with that and continue on other topics. you can ask our guests questions -- host: my initial question is when we get it is due 2010, there will be elections and it will get tougher for these people to make boats as we go
on. even if we go anywhere, what has it to do with the elections? guest: it has everything to do with the elections. the rnc are trying to muster their guns and putting all their efforts into trashing democrats. that will play into 2010 in a big way. host: there is a lot of criticism of timothy gardner on both sides. what did you make of that? guest: i was a little surprised that the democrats jumped on that train. we knew that the progressive caucus was getting frustrated with the obama administration. we knew they were frustrated with the economy and a whole host of issues, abortion, health care, no discussion of single payer. the obama administration came in with massive support for progress of -- from progresses
and they have not delivered on major issues. even democrats hopped on this train to say that it is time for tim geithner to go. they are frustrated with him because they feel like he is more wall street than main street. that was a criticism of him coming in. on the other side, republicans are saying it is time to dump him because he is not paying attention to anything. they say he is part of the problem when he was with the new york fed. he was so involved in the problem, people do not think he has been part of the cure. host: is he on his way out? guest: i don't think so. people who are calling for a single -- second singles are also calling for his head. whenever popular support has gone away, i would echo that he is not on his way out but he has a lot of room to regain his
composure and standing in the fed and congress. host: how does he do that? guest: you tell made. i guess he should not pass any expensive bailout bills. he needs to get back in the game and not make a fool of himself by standing up. i saw the congressional exchange and it seemed a little child that spread guest: i was impressed body push back against republicans and the democratic chairwoman asked everybody to stop talking. he pushed back against republicans and said he will apologize for everything except the legacy of the crisis that was left us. that is the democrat push back right now. people blamed the bush administration for getting us into this mmass but they are also blamed the obama administration for not getting us out of this.
the democrat poll numbers are going down. they don't want this to be an ankle around their feet. more than 1/3 of the senate is up for reelection. they don't want to realign themselves with someone who might take them down. guest: i read a column called the capitalist cold. it is spelledcapitolist. i have been covering the health care debate extensively i did not think i would when i took the job. it is a daily blog and that it right larger magazine articles as well. we are trying to build our base.
guest: by national political reporter. i do a weekly video blog, the washington beat. i do freelancing and try to get myself around. host: our guest will be with you to take calls. our first call is from burlington, n.c., go ahead. caller: good morning. thank you for cspan and a chance to be able to voice how weak, the average american citizen in the world, it feels about what is going on in washington. regarding the health care bill, the only thing i can say is it reminds me of a musical called "damn yankees'." the line is "i sold my soul for one long ball hitter." everyone is selling their souls for these democrats. we need true patriots in
washington that will stand up and say no. thank you ladies and pedro, you have a blessed day. guest: i agree. i think there are so many interest groups and lobbying efforts on behalf of this bill, it is sickening. it is exhibit a of what is wrong with washington, d.c. when you have different groups piling on for the same reasons. there contradicting themselves i will have a blessed day. guest: i don't think it is a selling of everyone's soul for it i see how these members are struggling. most of them genuinely think that people are struggling too much to pay their health care bills. they see people having to declare bankruptcy if they come down with cancer. i believe they want to solve this. there are vast philosophical differences between how to solve this.
there is a ton of money pouring into these members. they are up for reelection. they need to buy television ads. there are competing interests. there is a partial captain chesley sullenberger of the soul. host: our democrats line, east sparta, ohio. caller: they are correct. they should drop the charges on blagovich. the journalists in the news bb are reading people wrong. people want health care. they don't want what they have, they want what congress has. republicans have been in charge for over eight years. they did not do one thing to get health care. they are now telling everybody they have a plan for a they have
no plan. they never had a plan. their plan is to let you talk about death panels. they don't want you to have health care because that makes the insurance companies not get rich anymore. we need good health care in this country we will get it. you have some republicans not vote for this get elected out of office. it is this outburst as the north and it is a cultural war. the north won the civil war. it is over with. get over it. guest: hostit is an issue for my americans that they want better health care. i want better health care but i do not one of the way it is going through now. that is our opinion that is reflected largely in the polls.
you are seeing push back against what congress is creating. the health care that congress has for themselves for the american people is impractical. does everybody really wants medicare? i don't think they do. i think there needs to be more time taken on this. guest: in the senate finance committee, this bill would apply to every american. every american would have access to the health care that congress has. that did not make it into the final bill. there are at least 20 members of congress that would vote for that. that might be an amendment that is added to this bill but i don't that it will make it all the way through. the republicans have been able to get off scot-free in this debate. they don't have to have a real serious alternative. this is true for democrats, as
well. many republicans are from very conservative district. when they get home, they get congratulated. the house put forward a bill that said you could buy insurance across state lines for it if republicans had to deal with the health insurance lobby and the lobby believed they could win them over, it is difficult to get this done. it is not up to the republicans to come up with this. this is what obama ran on and the democrats ran on. it is their job to get support. i would say the republicans in the senate have not come up with an alternative bill. they have not done a whole lot. guest: i disagree with that. they have come up with alternatives that have not been accepted. they have closed-door meetings that are very real.
the republicans trying to influence the process are being bought out. guest: i am saying they do not have a piece of legislation. guest: that is true but they definitely have ideas. host: the president's approval ratings is below 50%. does that matter? guest: i don't know. i take this with a grain of salt. he has declined but many presidents do after they take office. something more reflective would be his influence in the special elections in 2009. that was in new jersey and virginia and he largely failed by a wide margin. that is a clue as to how much influence he has in the coming elections.
guest: the early elections were huge as far as a black mark on the obama administration. they campaigned with those candidates and a lot of resources into it. it did not look work at all. i think the poll results matter because it influences the way members of congress view him. it applauses -- it changes the amount of influence he has when it comes up to capitol hill. if he had a 70% approval rating, and he pushed for the health care bill, there are not many democrats who would oppose them. the democrats who are up for reelection may do some soul- searching to get reelected. obama lost arkansas but 20 points in 2008. you can imagine that he is not more popular there than he was back then. host: how much political capital
do you think he has? guest: he has some. it is less than he used to have. he has the bully pulpit is popular with the american people but his influence on the capitol hill is on the decline. this lack of leadership as part of it. he is not up for reelection in 2010. all of the house members are and some members of the senate are. guest: obama and his family are really good-looking. they enjoy themselves and the white house. they are good celebrities to have as the head of our country. that said, i find his politics and policies wanting in terms of getting things done. he has failed again and again and the health care bill is an example. a lot is riding on this health care bill.
there's a lot to expectant and you can only wait and see. host: new orleans is next on our independent line, good morning. caller: first-time caller, i listen to you guys all the time. host: go ahead. caller: i think this will be on the wrong side of history. you take health care and medicare and the republicans are not there. many people call your show but they do not "history. -- they do notsite history. they just live for the moment. callerhost: miami-dade, fla., ye on our conservative line. yq/aucaller: you have the fisd
social and the southerners came in under the dixiecrat mentality. they took over the republican party but then you have the middle class who get to take a conservative-type attitude but when it is time to speak out and speak up, the middle class, when reagan came in, they have not been given to justice because they do not stand up socially. the independent party is which she was she right now. -- is witchy washy right now. when the dust clears, my take is that the true independence will stand up for what is right because they see that tim
geithner and a few others are really tests. they will help clean up the mess. i believe the middle-class, the small businesses will be given help. i think senators in the republican party who are republicans that we know not as social religious right but as true conservatives, rockefeller- type mentality is -- host: he used the word true republican, a true democrat, a true republican. what do you make of that? guest: i think the independence that are more conservative will determine 2010. they should have employed some health care debate. the gentleman conflates the idea of religious conservatives and true conservatives. you can be religious and true
and you could beat non- religious and be very true. by and large, republicans are growing -- conservatives are growing. republican party members are on the decline but more people are conservatives. they will look for more of those policies in the next coming months. guest: what is fascinating in the republican party right now is the element of the libertarians. the conservatives are growing. you can feel the palpable tension, this pulling apart, a sort of competition for the soul of the republican party. we have fiscal conservatives and the people who are labeled the tea party protest about who are libertarian, conservatives, tens of thousands out on the mall for the tea party protest. there were about 10,000 for the michelle bachman super bowl.
i covered that. these were conservative people. there were not necessarily republicans. i ask them who they voted for but they do not identify themselves as republicans even though they may vote for them. democrats are worried about the support for democrats among independents. politicians in general, people in washington, everybody needs to be worried at this point because there is this huge anti-incumbent fervor across the country. they are in a "throw the bums out" mood. congress has always had low approval ratings but when we see members of congress have their own approval ratings falling because they were not in washington one week, that makes a difference host: we saw the return of sarah palin to the forefront this week.
how did she factor in? guest: she is part of the libertarian-conservative movement, i believe. she is attracting hordes of people who are not particularly political but they do vote. xcñshe is not part of the washington establishment. she is not part of the john boehner-mitch mcconnell crowd ritchie increases that ad is not standing behind the republican party and she is lashing out against the obama policies. nobody knows what she will do. i don't think she knows what she will do. she is popular. we know the support for her is genuine. we know she gets huge groups of women to come out for her. there are huge groups of women that hate her. she has a polarizing effect. she is coming across as much more likable and is able to explain a lot of the problems she had in the campaign. republicans are as excited about
her as they are worried about her. they do not know what she will do. they do not know what effect she will have on their own races. tim pawlenti and mitt romney had been out there for years and they do not know what sarah palin does to that situation. she is getting the crowds and can raise the money and she has the microphone and has the pulpit and facebook. host: 10 she employs the conservatives or republicans? guest: i think so. the word is that she will split the ticket. if the republicans don't get their requests answered them the same thing will happen across the nation.
caller: both of these guests are enjoyable to listen to. the government is going to take over this plan. doesn't that in fact make insurance commissioners in the states null and void? because the government is going to be the policy maker, the god of all the rules, disseminating funds and everything. so in essence we just have a national insurance adviser and no more, we won't need these commissioners. am i correct? guest: this is a concern that's been going on for a little while, the government take yofere, the government influence on health care. i don't really buy into the whole death panel movement. of course it is very alarming when you have government officials deciding things like
mammograms. but at the same time i don't think you can say it's going to be as terrible as a lot of republicans are making it out to be. i don't want the government deciding what i can do medically. but at the same time i have insurance companies doing that right now anyway. personally i want reform of the insurance industry. and i think this speaks to a larger problem in health care as opposed to a specific problem with the way they're doing it. guest: insurance commissioners will still have jobs, a lot will state at the state level. there could be state level exchanges, co-ops and all of that. and insurance will still be regulated at the state level. the government does pick up quite a bit of power because the secretary decides what is the minimum level of coverage every plan can offer. and that's not minimal. there's talk -- this will happen. there will be required provisions of pretentative care. you have to give every american
who may be bordering on obesity two yearly visits to a nutritionist. and that's something that the secretary of health and human services will decide. she will also decide if abortion can be covered in the public option. it's up to her to get three accounting agencies to tell her that federal funding won't be used for abortion. and this is not the case in the house plan but in the senate plan they say it's up to the civilians to decide if abortion is paid for through federal funds. if she can get three groups to say it's not she can green light it. host: arkansas, brian, independent line. caller: hello. i'd like to start off by saying that freedom is participation in power. and why do we always focus so much on a paper economy and not the civic economy? and i think we need campaign finance reform, consumer union. so many of our societies' problems would be solved if we
just had a shift of power from the few to the many. guest: campaign finance reform, the problem is that lobbyists will always find a way. it's just like water through cracks in a rock and will always kind of seep through. so it's almost like if you move the rules over here they'll go this way. it's always going to cost millions of dollars to run tv ads. there will always be members of congress who vote on these bills who need millions of dollars. so you're asking for sort of the self-policing policy. and then you're asking for lobbyists not to find ways to get around it. and i have very little confidence that it's possible. host: both responded to someone who sent us a message on twitter. guest: i think they're admiting. i think that's going to show in the poles and the elections. and it just did.
i think the conservetive movement is on the rise. i think the republican party is on the decline. i think perhaps people are realizing that democrats generally stand for big government and more taxation and need a broad principle that they're ok with. you have a large contingsy of blue dogs that are partnering but that's not the main principles. these are the thing that is republicans are clinging to. in the bush administration they didn't cling to them so tightly but now they're realizing how important it is with this populous uprising. guest: i think the bush administration has committed the same fault that most administrations do. they take a victory as an endorsement of all of their promises, as opposed to a rejection of the administration that came before them. i believe a lot of the last election has to do with george bush and people saying i don't want anything to do with anyone having anything to do with george bush. and the obama administration read that as an endorsement of massive expansion in health
care, in raising taxes to do it. he promised he would do it and he is moving through. just reading it as an endorsement of everything rather than stopping and taking a moment to check in and see how everybody is doing. i think there's a moving dynamic of the economy that popped up at the very end of the campaign. obama i think has demured during that time is part of why he ended up doing that well he came through as doing through as the solid leader as opposed to mccain. guest: mccain got sucker punched. he's a foreign defense guy and he gets side swiped by the economy. and that's the way it should have gone honestly. it's important but when you have unemployment at double digits what are you supposed to do? guest: and the problem is that most primary concern right now is jobs, the economy. there's still an enormous amount of economy. anywhere you go, unemployment
at at 10% and rising. and health care doesn't have a whole lot to do with it. the democrats are trying to spin it and say this is the jobs bill, this is part of the economy. and it is. it's part of people's jobs. it is part of business owners' problem if they can't afford health care. it is an economic -- it's an element of the economy but it's not the economy. so you see people's primary concern is over here, the obama administration is over here. that's probably the biggest disconnect right now. host: as far as foreign policy, discussion this week on fort hood texas. how do you think that changes the dynamics at least the national security discussion in this country? zoo guest: it was a little outrageous when the military wasn't able to conduct its own investigation. i think that these connections have been demonstrated very clearly so why it can't be
demonstrated to military and political officials is beyond me. and people are outraged, not attacking this guy for who he is immediately tauf bat. all of this about ksm, the trial in new york, i mean, this demonstrates a big interest of just general everyday people trying to understand why the foreign policy decisions are being made as they are. and i understand a lot of things can't be known. a lot of things are sort of secret and shouldn't be available to the public. but at the same time you look at fort hood and you raise serious questions about the competence of our highest military leader. guest: i think obama is going into a period of really grave dange forehis administration. the situation in afghanistan is so perilous he will have to increase the number of troops. his level base does not want that. he is going to need the support of republicans. but nancy pelosi has said he won't get the votes in the
house if he wants to increase the troops by a large number. that's a huge problem and people die because of decisions like that. so that's one side of it. and you look to the trial of mohammed. this will be happening during the 12i elections quite possible. this has been so politicized and has been painted as democrats weak on terror, democrats willing to give terrorist more rights than they have in their own countries and politically republicans get a lot of traction. i have been speaking with a lot of legal experts about that question, people who have successfully prosecuted terrorisms who say that even the military tribunals won't guarantee a conviction, the military tribunals are very vulnerable to supreme court challenges. so even just the fact of having it in a tribunal endangers that verdict. so they believe it is right to do it in a civilian court.
there's so many challenges to having it in new york city. there's also a question of whether you can get an unbiased jury in new york city. so it's an area of enormous peril for obama and i think he's literally losing weight over it. he's skipping meals. he feels the pressure. he met with the families at fort hood. he has met now with the families of afghan soldiers who have died. so it's the biggest piece -- it's the biggest pressure right now. host: des moines, iowa. john. caller: good morning. it's a very interesting conversation this morning. twoif points i'd like to mention. the one used to be the number two, insurance city, next to hartford, connecticut. but i want -- the reason why they haven't sold insurance across state lines had to do with scandals back in the 30s and they were afraid they
couldn't have control over it and watch it carefully enough that there were just too many scandals, people taken advantage of for things they didn't understand. but my second point and the one that made me pick tup phone this morning is when we're discussing the fact that nobody is giving the republican health care ideas much thought, i come back to thinking well, what did the republicans offer other than the wars? and what they really offered was we spent almost an entire year maybe more than a year trying to get everybody social security into the stock market. that was going to make us all happy and wealthy. thank god we didn't get that one done. so i do think there is some problems with the guiding lights that in the republican party who come up with their ideas. and, despite people's unease with some of the ideas out of the obama administration, i
think they are a whole lot closer to reality and more likely to bring all of us a little bit of some help in our lives as opposed to the republican one which really only seemed to favor, we find out it only goes to the upper 5%. guest: i think that it's an interesting point. the republicans have what we are hearing them offer on the hill, medical mall practice reform, tax cuts. it's kind of a lot of the same ideas that they flote in the past but again, i think that most americans, most americans are i think more independent thinkers, they're looking for moderate leadership from both the republicans and the democrats. it's fascinating we don't see a breakout republican thinker. newt ginching rich is long gone. he was their big ideas guy and that was a huge part of why
they were able to take back the house. i think that's what they're really missing in d.c., somebody to say that's a bad idea, here's a better idea. guest: in the bush administration, we didn't have a republican congress. they were sort of a lot of infighting gone ong. and now democrats have a supermajority. so it's easier to get things passed now. the war is distracting from a lot of internal domestic work, that's going to be pushed to the forefront. host: one more call. mike, go ahead. caller: i just wanted to make a few comments. first of all being the stimulus. which obviously is not working, it's not creating jobs. they have some figures which are kind of ify. the cap and trade, that would be a disaster. and the health care bill itself appears to just be a tax bill. 85% of the people in the country are happy with what they have, yet they want to
overhaul the whole system and that just baffles me. the tea partiers spoke back in august and they're still speaking out. and congress is definitely turning a deaf ear to them. they're going to do what they want to do no matter what the people think. they know better than we do i guess. and mr. obama's foreign policy and leadership just seems to be weak to me. we're in trouble right now, and heading down the road to socialism, i think. that's all. host: let me ask you this. we talked about a lot of topics but what are you following personally politically that maybe we didn't talk about, something that you can keep an eye on, something that we haven't talked about this morning? guest: what i think is interesting about this lk legislation is the potential -- health care leargs the is tax increase. honestly, when you're talking about 45% highest tax rates,
it's a lot like socialist european governments. and i'm not trying to claim that obama z a socialist but you have to take a look at the actual implications. they're not calculating the cost to the actual american family. there are many other facets that need to be explored before we're going to fully understand the implications. guest: two things i'm following. he mention it had stimulus. we hear from pelosi that jobs, jobs, jocks. i don't think there is aptide -- jobs. i don't think there's appetite in congress to pay for anything until the stimulus is accounted for. the other issue i'm following close sli immigration. and we have the democrats who basically swept to the hispanic vote. it's the growing population in the united states. a lot of those democrats, however, in congress right now are very moderate. a lot of them are not for comprehensive immigration reform. none want to take a vote on
immigration right now. it is the new third rail of american politics. but obama made promises in that area and so did a lot of more liberal democrats. the hispanic caucus is growing in influence. i think that's kind of the next policy piece to explode in washington. host: our guests have been patricia murphy. the wsi attached to our website. also joining us, jillian bandies. again, their website attached to the c-span website as well. thank you for joining us. we're going to do a short bit of phones and then we're going to talk about bus service in the united states. we'll be right back. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009]
duty units conduct pre-afghan training was an attempt to iron out problems before they occur. the search began while many in the restaurant in falls church. it goes on to talk a lot more about what's going on there. you can read it there. richmond, texas. you are up first. charles on our independent
line. caller: good morning. i wish i had the opportunity to talk to the two ladies that just left. you had one lady that was obviously to one side, and the other lady was a bit confused. and that's why american people are confused about the health care. the health care is what is needed. the economy, it affects the wealth of the people. it affects the overall health and well being of the people. and the two ladies just confused the issue. the one that was obviously to the right with the red, she didn't know what was going on. and the one to the left or moderate, she couldn't even put the whole answers together. and i want to encourage people that this health care is what the economy needs and should ancourage our legislatures to get it passed so that the economy can start moving again. host: off of twitteder.
next call is from georgia. i suspect this might be joe? caller: yes. identify been a faithful c-span callor fore30 years. i just want to say that colonel proved, we formed the coalition of 47 small businesses and we're all against this health care because what we need is not higher taxes, we need lower taxes. so i'm predicting this coalition can which was formed by a bunch of organizations will give the conservetive republicans to take over congress in 2010 and to defeat our president in 12i. if you want people to hire small business, you need to cut their taxes and spending.
we've got a $12 trillion debt and the congress are doing the opposite. they're going to bankrupt this country. so we're fired up and getting behind people and we're fired up and energy jiesed. and i want to predict that the republicans will take over congress and defeat the president. i want to predict this on your great network. host: illinois, on our democrats line. caller: thank you. i'd like to address the two women that were on your show earlier and the first caller was correct. they don't know what they're talking about. and especially the one to the right. she didn't know anything -- i didn't understand what she was talking about. she was very biased. and the second comment is that i'm really tired of european people always talking about some -- they're the ones that
are the illegal. i mean, remember america was sold. i'm not trying to be racist but that's just the truth. and i'm tired of hearing the rhetoric and evilness and trying to get people to believe that. and as far as the republicans taking over, their days are numbered because they're evil -- not evil. they're selfish and greed. and the real american people are tired of that and trying to keep everyone else down. p host: we'll leaf it there. caller: hello. i want to talk about an issue that apparently nobody wants to discuss in the politics and that's the issue of race. as far as i'm concerned, the democratic party is the ant-white. they will not do anything for the white middle class that i
can see. and they had this former secretary of labor, robert rice making a comment last year that none of the stimulus money should go to a white person. that was disgraceful for him to say that. but there's no condemnation coming from the democrats or even from the republicans. they both sort of spoke out about that kind -- should have spoken out about that kind of a comment. we have affirmative action being pushed by the democrats. and you've got hate crimes law which is the attorney general, whose name i can't recall, he is pushing the hate crime and that's -- i have never heard of a black person being charged with a hate chime. although i think they commit quite a few hate crimes. they had a young white boy murdered by a gang of blacks just about three months ago in
maryland, croften, about ten miles from here and there was no even hint that there might be a hate crime. they just went head. i think they're charging these kids as juveniles. they should be prosecuted as adults and be given the maximum penalty. host: the next call from washington on our democrat's line. caller: good morning. i'm a little bewildered this morning because i've listened to this same old story, over and over again, about the way of the world and how the politicians they think that they know what's best for americans and god. they don't know anything. and i think that we all are doomed, to tell you the truth. we can't seem to get it together for some reason. the lady before this last guy was talking about the haves and the have nots.
she was absolutely right. we are on a path that's going to be so destructive in a few years. if we don't get this health care bill passed, it's going to tell every american on the planet that really that congress and the senate, they don't have anything to do with us. they're from greedier persons. their jobs is to make sure we don't have anything as persons. they keep us under foot. host: from times," swine flu. the wave of swine flu may have peaked in the u.s. the world health organization said there were signs.
pennsylvania, katherine on our independent line. caller: thanks for taking my call. first, i want to echo what a couple callers said. i didn't think that was a very balanced or in-depth conversation about the topic. and one of the things they kept addressing is that obama is being a terrible leader. but i think that obama is the only leader in our country right now. and when he got elected he had a mass of people supporting him who are no where to be found now and the democratic congress people obviously are not being leaders. they can't seem to stand up and say anything and make any decisions. i think obama is trying to make issues of our country a debate between our representatives and not just try to put his own
agenda forward. i think that's the only thing he can think. and on the republican side, they are targeting issues that are dangerous, like racism, and religion. and the socialist issue. so really, the obama is the only leader. the people need to stand up and congress are going to stand up if we're going to get something good out of it. host: georgia, carolyn on our republican line. caller: referring to what the lady just said. i understand that obama was wanted to be president by many people in the united states because they said he looked so well and he looked presidential. and that may be a reason why a lot of people voted for him. and also, about insurance. i think the majority of people are pleased with what we have and it seems to me that the government really does provide for its people, food cars, free housing, and also insurance for
children in the state of georgia, which is known as peach care, down to in-- delta insurance. and also, we provide for people in this country. however, i do believe that the government needs to take a look at those people that cannot provide insurance and provide for them only. and it should be separated from the 85% of the people that really do have good insurance. and that's what i have to say. thank you. host: we have an hour and a half left in our program. later on we will talk about the senate health care debate that is occurring today on capitol hill. that you can see on c-span 2, by the way, when it starts. we will also take under conversation the issues about iran. coming up, we're talking about bus service in the united states. you may have remembered earlier in this week we talked about amtrak and its service. now we're taking a look at those who take buses to get around. first, we want to give you a look at the news of the week
host: as promised, we're joined by jonathan bar tuseo. can you give us a sense of how americans are using bus service? guest: we're seeing more commuters, more inner city, and we're also seeing more people travel just for leisure and charter and tour buses. host: if that's the case, is the bus service a regulated industry as far as the federal government is concerned?
guest: it is very much regulate, by the federal government, the u.s. department of transportation and state departments of transportation and service agencies, e.p.w., state police obviously regulate it as well. host: is it funded by the federal government sf guest: very little subsidy. not like most. amtrak gets billions of dollars, the airline industry gets billions through subsidies either through airports or tsa. but we get very little. and typically where there is a little subsidy, it's to make sure that we get to provide a service in rural communities where there is no service and underserved populations. host: you talked about the airline industry and amtrak as well. should they receive federal subsidies? guest: nats not really our decision. we are ab industry of small business people. we're used to being independent. certainly we'd like to see additional subsidies to provide additional services.
there's a lot of places around the country where the bus could serve as adjumplingst service or in place either amtrak is serving or the airlines is serving. host: is bus service typically an urban thing? guest: we serve every part of america. virtually every part of america is part of a community. because they're connecting with other communities or people are going there for leisure purposes. so er place has bus service of one kind or another. 14 million people across america really rely on bus service as their only intercity connection of any kind. host: as far as cost to them how does it compare? guest: much less expensive. in the washington, d.c. to new york market, just as one little example, you can ride the bus from washington, d.c. to new york city for as little as $1, sometimes as much as $3530.
on amtrak you might pay $250. host: do buzz companies make money? guest: absolutely. we've been doing it for well over 100 years. we are the successor to the stage coach. we know how to move people efficiently and do it with very little or no subsidy ats all. host: your current campaign features, talks about the bus service but also has a picture of a bus and next to it pentagon wins. why is that? guest: we are are environmentally friendly. there is a study that came out two years ago by the union of concerned scientists. totally independent study. they looked at transportation of all modes. and by virtually every metric that came back and said the bus is the most fuel efficient way to travel, whether it's two people going 200 miles or five people going 1,000 miles, bus service is the most efficient travel mode. so that's our campaign.
host: the numbers on the screen are the same. and if you twitter you can join us. safety of a motor coach. what goes into making sure that if somebody boards a bus, whether in the city or going across the country, who ensures that they are safe or at least what standard is there? guest: great question. we are the safest mode of transportation, have been for many decades. and we're regulated primarily by the federal government and by state agencies. it's really the responsibility primarily of the federal government to make sure that we continue to maintain that safety record. there are more things they can do. there's more things that the administration wants to do. we just saw a recent report that came out from the secretary of transportation on motor coach safety looking at implementing some change that
is would enhance safety. we're the safest now, but we know we can be safer going forward zfplt such as? guest: more enforcement. that's number one. we've seen a few fatalities take place over the last decade you could have eliminated almost 60% of all fatalities that have taken place by getting unsafe operators off the road. so just enforcing what we've got is critical. looking at enhancements on the bus, whether that's seat belts, stability control, changes the design, the windows and roof, those are all elements they're looking at. and all things we're supportive of. host: as a person who drives the bus under the same regulations as far as truck drivers is concerned? as far as how many hours they can drive and how many days they can drive in a week and such? guest: absolutely. a little different for bus drivers but essentially the same. there are hours of service regulation that is apply to drivers. there's a limited amount of time they can be behind the
wheel. host: and as far as other changes you talked about in buses, talk about are they becoming more fuel efficient as far as what do they run on generally diesel? guest: generally. and they're absolutely becoming more efficient. there's new engine regulations and diesel requirement that is have gone overall to the industry. not only buses but to trucks. and new regulations coming out. and it said that in some areas the air of the bus takes in will be dirty than the bus puts out. but diesel fuel that was and industry wide standard a while ago and the new technology, we are certainly very efficient in terms of what we put out. but we're even more efficient in terms of the way we move people. we've got the best fuel efficiency when it comes to moving people. 206 passenger miles per gallon more efficient than any other mode of transportation. host: our guest is with us until 9:00. and you can call the numbers on the screen or twitter us or
e-mail us. first call is from pennsylvania. caller: good morning. at one time our bus system was one of the best systems in the country and i'm just wondering why the government stepped in and bought up so many of the public transportation and turned it over to government control. we have an issue with transit here in pittsburgh. they're no longer able to provide services. they cut back on the disabled services. and whenever they were privately owned, they were very vibrant and economic and productive in the community. so i just want to know what happened. guest: certainly that's been a very common story that we've heard in a lot of places. almost any time the government gets involved the efficiency declines. certainly when you have competition among private bus companies those companies are going to work harder, compete harder against one another to earn your trust and to build the best system they possibly
can for the general public or their general customer. host: west chester county, new york. republican line. caller: yes. hi. thank you for taking my call. i was calling, i live in west chester county, new york, and we have what they call the mta, the mass transit authority. and like i said, i live in westchester county. they keep on saying that they need more money. and they won't even open up their books to let anybody see where they are as far as how much money they have. they have huge pensions. and i don't use buzzes, i don't use the trains. but yet, i have to pay, i have a car, i have to pay for the mass transit authority down in new york city. they just passed a bill for every $100 in payroll you have
to pay 34 cents. that doesn't sound like a lot of money, but just take something like the phone company, think of how many hundreds of dollars that they pay out in payroll. guest: again, i'm not familiar with the m.t.a. specifically. and since we represent the private bus industry it's a bit different. but we've seen lots of instances where many communities, many cities have gone to private systems to manage those systems because of the efficiencies as opposed to allowing them to continue to be government run. but that may be another discussion for one of my colleagues from the american public transportation association. host: someone who identifies themselves on twitter. we need to learn from mexico's bus system. guest: they do a fantastic job. they have different grades of service so you can upgrade your service, you pay about 10%
every time you go up but you move from what would be a basic bus up to two and one seat in galies in the back. and that type of service is becoming very common here. we have seen a lot of companies go to two in one seating. they're putting galies in. they've always had video systems but we're certainly seeing wifi and hookups for your computers as becoming the standards for many segments. but we are getting to that level of service and it's differentiated in different areas. even in the washington, d.c. market we've seen some very basic bus services run out of different parts of town, china town, for example, and those provide basic transportation. but they've also set a model in the beginning of a new system to be put in place which says, go to the customer, pick up where the customer is. and now we see companies that are duplicating that service around the country offering those meants that we see now or have seen in the past.
host: is gray hound the dominant bus system in the u.s.? guest: everybody recognizes that name. they have a little over 1,000 buses i believe. but in total there are about 30,000 or 35,000 buses or motor coaches in the united states and about 10% more of that in canada. so while they're certainly a dominant name, there are a lot of companies made up of mostly small businesses that make up our industry and move 770 million people every single year. host: new jersey. caller: good morning. i just want to know, texting while driving and cell phone use in driving are real distractions, in our state it's a first offense. are there any mandates that apply to drivers of these buses? that's really all i have. guest: that's a great question. we've seen those mandates go in in different states. in fact, the motor coach state the act plan, the secretary just came out with earlier this
week, one of the elements, one of the top sen elements in that plan are to eliminate texting for bus drivers and to also reduce cell phone use. most companies that i've talked to already have those provisions in place, we certainly don't want to see a driver going down the road texting. host: what's the bus service demand going to be like for next week? or -- guest: the holidays are one of the peak travel times without question. and that's the great thing about bus service. you can add services as you need them. many of the companies, gray hound, bolt, the trailways companies, a lot of other smaller companies across north america that do fixed route service or city to city are going to be at their peak next weekend and over the christmas holidays. and if they have a higher demand they charter buses and keep and adding to that demand. it's not like a plane where you
have a limited number of slots. host: twitter says that americans don't have time for bus schedules. americans want it now. no patience. guest: i would tend to disagree with that. maybe not the patience issue. but when you're looking at time comparison guest: if you leave washington, d.c., if i leave my house in the morning, goy to the airport, i've got to be there at least an hour early to catch the new york flight, the plane or may not leave on time. i arrive in new york city about an hour after i take off. it's about ab hour into dounlt. so i'm looking at least a three-hour, maybe three and a half hour commute to new york. that's if everything is working perfectly. if i take the bus, anywhere from a dollar to $30, i'm there in four to four and a half hours. so the difference in time, a little bit absolutely but not as great as you would think when you look at the total time
and distance. host: how often do you personally take the bus guest: any time i go to new york. if there's opportunities to travel within a 200 mile window i take the bus host: thanks for waiting. caller: my name is gretchen and i do live in bloomington and i use the city or the gray hound bus quite frequently until all of the buses were taken out of the city to city. so now i have difficulty getting from my hometown to indianapolis where the hub is. and i'm disabled so i can't drive. and it's been very, very frustrating for me. and then when i do get on to the bus, the buses are always way overcrowded and really super uncomfortable, broken down. and then when i goat the station, they're just abysmal. i think the federal government really needs to put a lot of money into these bus stations and to the buses themselves and to increase the routes into the
rural areas. you mentioned rural areas. and the buses don't come here any more. and i think mostly poor people, a lot of poor people ride these buses, families with lots of kids. and i think that we can do better for them. thank you. i look forward to hearing your answers. host: i'll add one tweet to that. guest: a couple answers to the questions. first, there is an investment that needs to be made in terminals, infrastructure is certainly critical. and when we look at the needs of the passengers, the needs of the companies, in particular that's an area where the federal government could step in. we need to have better intermodele facilities, not just bus facilities, but facilities that bring the bus and the train and local bus service together with the inner city bus service. so we have a seamless transportation experience for the customer.
the customer doesn't want to walk three or four blocks from one terminal or another. they want it all in one place. as the caller said, we have seen some decline in some of the rural areas, but we've also seen opportunities in the rural areas where one service mige pull out, there's opportunities for other local companies to come in and fill some of those gaps. host: new york on our republican line. good morning. caller: good morning. theap hanks giving. i just have a general question. where do you see the role of natural gas in the busing industry? i know buses already use it but they're looking into heavy trucks and rails, where do you see natural gas in buses? guest: in the short term natural gas is a great opportunity in local but bus service. in commuter systems, potentially. the challenge on the inner city
buzz, when you've got bus that is are traveling long distance. where do you get that supply of natural gas? it's not uniform. so charter and tour, not just to a single destination and back home every night, that certainly presents some challenges. the other issue is with storage because on long distances where you've got buses and people traveling and you need baggage space there isn't enough room to put the canisters. but certainly technology is changing. we're going to be at a point where natural gas is going to be more available even for inner city bus service at some point. but great for local, great for commuter. host: new jersey. caller: i'm all for bus travel. my number one mode of transtration is my car. but wherever i go i make sure i learn the bus system. i have a nephew stationed down at fort brag. i said you learn the bus system. and i encourage everyone to learn the local bus system. and wherever they go, learn the
bus system. it's a big help and you never know what you learn when you take the bus. thanks. host: how often do localities depend on a bus system? guest: many times. again, many times for one of the callers said i think for senior citizens, for people who may be disability challenged, for people who need good transportation, the local bus system is a great system at a lot of locations. and the challenge is making sure we connect local and inter city and interstate bus systems so people can move out of a city as well as within a city. kveragetsd i want to make two comments. and if i can -- pedro, if you can allow peter to respond because he started off the program with a gross misstatement. but before that point. travel time if you go by plane up to new york it will take about three to three and a half hours but if you take the bus it's a four-hour trip and you
accumulate your time by beginning saying it's an hour to get to the airport, you have to be there an hour ahead of time. you have to take a bus to ahead of time. and if you sit in traffic in a bus time can add up. so to sit there and say that the bus senior viss is almost as quick -- service is just as quick is a gross miscalculation. now, you said airlines are subsidized by the federal government, you do yourself no good when you make gross misstatements like that. i'm not saying that your service is not worthy of federal support. but to say that the commercial airlines are sfwziced you used the example of tas. you do know that the t.s.a. program was implemented after 9/11. that's a national security function. the that is the role of the
federal government. guest: i think good questions, certainly to the first part there can be delays on the road. no question. i've sat on runways trying to catch flights from one to another. but again, home to door, door to door, depending on the market, it's not that different in about a 200-mile corridor. now, if you're talking about going cross country it's completely different. so the call ser absolutely right there. when i talk about subsidies, the airlines aren't directly subsidized but the facilities. the airports are heavily subsidized by local, federal, state government. and certainly the security systems are all federal system that is are in place. so there is a fair amount of subsidy going on to the airline system. not the airlines directly. host: so the bus benefits when we debate transportation bills? guest: absolutely. we need a strong transportation
system. we need a good infrastructure. so on the transportation debate that's going on right now, will be going on through 2010, we need a strong infrastructure to make sure that we've got the roads and the infrastructure to travel on and travel on safely. host: we go to ohio. go ahead. caller: how are you guys doing? i have a thought. peter said something about the, there was a lot of options for -- different options for the bus companies to go into these smaller rural towns. who has the money? i guess it was an answer to that question. who has the money that would be willing to put the service into a small town like i live in? there's no service here whatsoever. when they took the trains out, the bus service, which is 23 miles, now they're up to 35
miles away for bus service. you have no opportunity to do anything but hitch hike or drive. and if you don't have a way to drive, you're going to hitch hike. you're going to thumb or beg to get a ride to a bus station. and then this bus station also, there's another part of it. bus service from amtrak. when you take a bus or a train, you go to a place like los angeles, you want to go to bakersfield, you've got to take a bus unless you want to go around the other -- they have two or three different lines. and you can go in the top side and stay in a hotel in sacramento and then go down on a train there. but that's the only way you can get to bakersfield, california, other than taking a bus to los angeles, from los angeles to bake ersfield. anyway, pretty good service but no service for rural towns like the lady said from northern indiana. guest: i think you raise a couple interesting points. the one is service to small
communities. there are a lot of communities across the country that have lost bus service. train service and airline service as well. i think the opportunity we've seen in much of rural america is not only for the bus but it's again working with the local transit systems where a local transit system might be able to offer that connection to a main bus line or a main route. and the other point that was raised, the connecting bus and amtrak. that gezz to the intermodele issue, that allow them to connect and feed off and to one another. it works well in california and other places across the country. guest: couldn't have said it better myself. to put bus on high lanes. we're taking 55 people off the car, 55 less cars in traffic every time a bus goes by and the fact that we're more
environmentally efficient. zoo how often do you find those lanes? guest: we're beginning to see them more, more lanes being added and more conversation being made to add hot lanes. but sometimes the buses is the forgotten form of transportation on those lanes. just in virginia a couple of years ago when they were adding hotlanes, they excluded the bus. they just forgot about us basically so we had to go in and argue the bus should be in here as wem. host: detroit is up next. caller: good morning. i listen to your show every weekend. you guys are great. i have some comments on bus service. it's kind of an interesting thing here in detroit. i don't know if you know anything about what's been happening with the inner city bus service which we call d dot here. where they've been threatening to close down the whole service
. and we also have another service, the one that i ride is called smart. which i believe is supported by the state and i believe they also get federal funding. and they've been talking about maybe if they cancel out ddot they're going to put the two together. actually, i have no problems with bus service. i think it's a great way to get around. you can sit back, you can read. you don't have to worry about traffic. and all the buses i ride are pretty consistent. it takes one hour to get from point a to point b. my main thing is as far as i believe your guest is a representative of a private bus company? i guess. and i'm kind of curious as to how you guys work with like local bus services, like what we have.
guest: again, a couple of good questions, good points that are raised in that call. first, we represent the american bus association, the private bus industry as opposed to typically local systems. our members are all independent in the detroit area for example, indian trails which will be a familiar name to the caller would be one of our members. we do work as an industry with local services because we believe that connecting those two services together is absolutely critical to have a seamless experience for the caller. but the other point, too, detroit is a great example of where the seamless connection could work much better. bus service into the airport, detroit metro airport has been a challenge for years because while we're looking to try to create a seamless experience for the customer, the airport would typically rather have the parking dollars and has been trying to exclude the bus from the airport for a long time. so we think having the services
come together. host: the website is the -- you can learn more about them. thanks for your time. guest: thank you. good to be here. host: coming up we're going to talk about the health care debate in the senate but wanted to point you to our "newsmakers" program with senator carl 11, chairman of the armed services committee. the army base, the army psychiatrist was alleged to have committed from november 5th. . .
and look at what we did have which was a joint terrorism task force in a couple of cities. it was presented which would seem to raise some a flag and require further inquiries. after that, the decision was made not to pursue those any further. at that point, there was no easy way to connect back to that.
what ever happened inside of the military -- he gave a lecture with slides that did not raise any questions. when you look at the slides in hindsight, you wonder about the questions that he told us. >> that is with the democrat of michigan tomorrow right after this program 10:00 on c-span. if you miss it, you can catch it at 6:00. we heard from him on the phone earlier. he joins us on the set right now. tell us about the untold stories that will happen today. >> i am not sure there will be in the untold stories. there is a debate on the health care bill. he essentially, what the democrats are working towards is this atm vote to bring the health care bill to the floor of the senate. to do that, they will need all
60 members of their caucus, we do not expect any republicans to support the bill at this point. there has spent a lot of effort trying to get people come from it -- comfortable with this bill and get on board. >host: using they will have all 60 dax guest: -- 60? guest: yes. harry reid seems pretty confident. the last few we have been waiting to hear from is from louisiana and arkansas and nebraska and senators. a statement from the nebraska senator said he would put out a vote to proceed.
that does not mean that he supports the legislation in its current form. he will put it out there on the form and begin to make changes. there are some things he does not like. >host: something in the legislation that refers to the state of one person. guest: it would increase some financing of medicaid for louisiana -- four states that have suffered a disaster. that provision in the bill -- some associate that with new orleans. some say that will be known as louisiana purchase. host: it is meant to get a yes vote from her. guest: yes. there are concerns about the costs. a big component of this
legislation is increasing the number of those injured. because they contribute to the cause, many have said you will have a lot of extra cost, this bill would have the federal government pick up the tab for the first three years. that may sweeten the deal for a lot of states. >> are there a lot of concerns about reelection next year? guest: in a statement, john mccain won by 20 points. all along, she has said she has concerned about the cost of this legislation, what it will do for health care cost of americans who have insurance. she is not in favor of a public auction. -- option. the indications are that she wants to do health care legislation. the question is does this have the right mix.
host: here are the numbers for you to call in if you wanted. you also can twitter in. one person says, haven't we already heard all we need to on the health bill already? it's everything out on the table as far as the the talf and the element? guest: some feel like that who have been following it for months. this is a major piece of legislation. every one of the 300 americans -- it will reshape the american economy. the details they change are important and matter. it is different in many ways from anything we have seen before. there are changes in how these provisions work. now that we see the bill passed by the house and what will be
out in front of the senate, we are getting a clearer sense of what this means for you and me. we can compare. here is what the house is proposing in the senate. this is what it might look going forward. until now, we have not known for sure what is. to be in this legislation. >host: how easy would this be to put together? guest: it would have to ensure that millions of americans who do not have coverage will. there are other key differences. the house wants to put an income surtax on those that make certain amounts in one year or the millionaires' tax. the medicare hospital text and
fees on insurers, there is a text on the kallikaks -- health plans. health economists say that is the step that may push down health care cost for all of us. host: 1 says there are a lot of issues. we are ready to take your questions on that. missouri, independent line. go ahead. caller: good morning and thanks for c-span. my question is, i wanted to know when does this pre-existing condition get into the health plan? guest: some are referring to a plan by both chambers of commerce to ban insurance companies from denying coverage as based on pre-existing conditions. there are many who cannot get
affordable insurance because of previous medical concerns and conditions they have. we are still waiting to get precise details about when a lot of these will take effect. the health bill take effect in 2013. they said things that will be ironed out. they want to push the state's early enough so that people see the benefits right away. host: what would be in place? guest: are different rules as to what employers are supposed to do to make sure insurance coverage happens for everyone. there are some questions about
him in some back-and-forth about this. unless you have some mechanism to acquire, states requiring all drivers to carry motor vehicle insurance, and you will not get the benefit of expanding the risk pool and bringing down health-care costs for everyone. it is one of the more controversial aspects of the legislation. the government has no right to force people to buy insurance. it is a no-brainer. everyone should be covered. host: where does that fall into the final piece? guest: the senate would set upstate exchanges, a marketplace for health insurance. the health bill would set up a national exchange. idea is that they could go on to the web, compare plans, benefit
packages they offer. any plan offered through the exchange would have to meet certain requirements. people would be able to pick and choose and by the plan that is right for them. host: what are the antitrust exemptions for insurance companies? guest: the limited antitrust exemptions for insurance companies date to 1944 law. there needed to be something to allow insurance companies to share some of the data they needed to assess and whether they should enter various markets. many in congress think that is a mistake.
senator pat from vermont put in a repeat of the limited exemption. the majority leader also wanted to see something because he thought it was unwise. we will see if antitrust provisions will be included and if they will reconcile those differences in the house bill and senate bill. host: we had a round table talking about this issue and the leadership of president obama on this issue. have you gotten a sense that this may have been an easier process if he did not have a direct hand in it? >> there is always a sense that the president has the biggest culprits in the country. he can do more to shift public opinion and move commerce.
that only goes so far. the white house has been very careful. on the day of the house of vote, president obama was down at the capitol visiting with members of congress urging them to vote for the bill asking them for support. today, we added a procedural step and i do not think the president has any plans on being nearby. when it comes time to final passage of this bill, i think he will take an active role. host: democrats line. caller: thanks for taking my call. i have started to get involved with politics ever since i started to learn about everything that is going on. one question that i have with the public plan, how does that tie in to an agenda 21? it seems like the american people are waking up to the new world order?
host: you have to clarify those things if you want our guest to respond. caller: you're right to " a garden -- to grow a garden will be nonexistent. guest: there is a lot of controversy among the public plan for many reasons. the question really is, should there be a government run insurance plan out there to compete with private insurers? many democrats believe there should be. many republicans believe that is just a small step towards a fully government-run health care system. the congressional budget office to tell you how much these bills are projected to cost and what it means for the federal budget, they are predicting that the premiums would be slightly more expensive than for private
plans offered through the new insurance industry. some say that the thief the purpose. and the other hand, it's says the public plan would put private insurers out of business. host: how does the cbo blame have these bills will lower the deficit. guest: a combination of new taxes and fees. lowering deficits is figuring of the way that the revenue coming in will be greater than the many point out to pay for new insurance coverage. what the cbo is saying is that in the 10 year budget agreement they look at, when you combine the new taxes, reductions in the
growth of medicare to reduce government spending still calls for slowing medicare. when you add all of the pieces together, the amount comes up being more than what was spent on new health insurance coverage. the future budget deficits would be cut anywhere from 102 $30 billion. >> what does it do as far as controlling, as part of the discussion? >> this has been one of the controversial points. there is a great debate on whether to control costs first word you cannot into you get nearly everybody covered by insurers. one of the things that health insurance economists are saying is that the high cost insurance plan is a very good way to begin
lowering those costs by creating a feeling where you do not encourage overspending on health benefits from companies and individuals. this book -- bill could do a lot more to clamp down on costs for everybody. host: what effects with the bill have on hospitals, doctors, nurses? guest: it is hard to predict the direct impact on hospitals in general. circumstances will be very different depending on where people are. a lot of money for medical records and efforts to get them back and running are on the way. current legislation anticipate a lot being done on that front. you saw big money spent to help reduce the paperwork.
the senate bill is intended to encourage doctors and hospitals to develop new ways of doing things in focus on the quality of care they provide not necessarily the quantity. the more procedures that have to be done, the more doctors and hospitals get paid. they look to a new delivery system getting the right results for health-care providers. caller: i just got over a malignant tumor. my dad just got -- hello? ok. my dad is 81 and he had hearts and done. do we need to go back to the hospital, we will begin paying bills and a suicide kit under this plan. i do not understand -- take the number of people that do not have insurance and multiplied by
$5,000, it is $350 billion. the government in health care business right now call the veterans administration is a disaster. why would we want to have the government involved in something if it is not even in their constitutional authority? they cannot do this. guest: i think the constitutional authority question is better left for some scholars. there is a good amount of disagreement there. the question of what it would cost for each individual family member, we have an employer- sponsored policy that is at a
certain income range. it is expensive to cover 31, 36 million people. whether it is the government's role or not is for philosophical debate here. many countries feel it is the government's entire responsibility to make sure that everybody has care. >> there is a sense that many companies have to go about changing saying health insurance could provide coverage for many people but it could undermine some things. guest: that wanted to build on the employer-based health-care system in the country. we were talking about a fully government-run system. it is a matter of striking a
balance. there needs to be more choices created for the 107 million americans who are the have insurance through their employers. it may only be available to people who do not currently have insurance. down the line, the question is do you open up the public option to everybody. do you allow bigger businesses to step in and offer the public plan instead of the private. host: what would trigger that? guest: time and the administration.
congress will have a lot to say as this unfolds. host: potential tax on cadillac plans -- what the fines cadillac plans? guest: it is a change from what the finance committee had proposed. the individual policy and family of this costing more than $23,000 a year would be subject to this tax. it would apply to plans above a certain threshold. [unintelligible] the threshold would be bumped up by $3,000. you could have a situation where
a family policy of to $29,000 in cost would not be hit by the cadillac plan. it is above those thresholds that the plan says it is costing too much. there should be some feeling to bring the cost down. host: if i had those plans, would be fair to say i would shop for a plan that costs less? guest: most of the revenue expected from the tax is bent boosted income tax revenue. they would bring health benefits to workers. host: las vegas on the independent one. caller: i am a registered nurse.
none of our representatives have any form for health-care workers who understand the problems in health care. this leads into my question for the congressional reporter. i think this is a smokescreen to cover for what is really happening which is on the financial regulatory industry overhaul the rest -- the rest of anything is window dressing. all of the setting, thrill -- throwing in health care, there is a huge controversial
distraction. none of of our representatives wanted to come back here in august and have any open forum. harry reid spent 40 minutes on a town hall. his staff selected he was going to be on that. that with it. they did not talk to enough care workers even specifically. it is very disturbing the way this has been done, the timing of it. thank goodness for c-span. i have been watching the coverage on the financial regulatory overhaul. tarp is coming up for reauthorization. there is all kinds of waste and fraud in the stimulus, tarp, medicare, medicaid. i have been working in politics for a long time and trying to get cover it meant, local, state
to clean up the things that are already running. host: thanks, we will leave it there. we agree on thank god for cs empiric there is a lot going on capitol hill besides health care. i am no expert on the financial regulatory front. i have colleagues covering that every day. there is a big focus on this. let us remind the clock and think about this. there is no question that health care spending is such a huge chunk of the federal budget. considering the cost of this bill could be over a trillion dollars over 10 years.
the costs of this bill is intended to cover 36 million people. you get a sense of how much the federal budget is affected by health care costs. to cyd just this is a small screen is a little bit untruth given that if you look back at the record, public officials have been talking about this for quite a long time. host: a reporter from "the new york times" is here and reports on this issue. our networks capability of showing what is going on, you can go to our c-span website. you can find all sorts of information about the health
care debate, speeches from the floor, other information as well. if you go to our web sites c- span.org you can get all of the information you need on the health care debate as it is going on. good morning. caller: i have read your article. i think you know what i'm going to say as well as i did. forget about morality, look at the efficiency. in better health care is measured by of the bottom line statistic, hamas. three years from -- i am trying
to figure out what has happened. there appeared to be a couple of ingredients. for years, it does not have to be single payer -- just take a universal system like 1 percent talked about the other day. they had people from the peterson institutes. they did not have people like t. r. reid on. how have we covered this so badly? guest: i disagree that we have covered this so badly. there is a debate to be had as to whether or not this was the right decision. if you were starting to build a health-care system from scratch, there is no question you would
consider a universal system. in the times we have described many systems. there are many pieces about what the health-care system is like all over the world. we have heard numerous stories about japan. there are interesting models to look at. it starts with understanding you are not beginning from scratch. there is a system in place. what will it take to build up a new system. the debate we had over how it might be done and with the end result be better. some decided early on that it would be to the stabilizing to try to do that. we would want to build on the employer base health-care system that we have. if for some reason this does not work and the goals are not met,
there is little left. single payer may be the right way to go. there is another side of the spectrum which is that the government should pick out of the health-care system altogether. people could use private funds to purchase coverage if they want it or not. in the context of covering the news, we cannot abdicate. -- job is to keep people informed about what is in the debate in washington. host: north carolina on our republican line. caller: thanks for having me here. i have one quick question. where does it show in our constitution that congress has
the authority to the massive legislation on health care? would you agree there is no reason to have this legislation without suggesting the issue with regards to tort reform, insurance portability and having choices of insurance carriers? there is a weak economy in massive debt, would you agree with any of these statements? guest: those are a lot of different statements. we will leave the constitutional questions to the constitutional scholars. they should be a congress that would pass a law. in terms of passing legislation, they have the authority. host: what is on your agenda today? guest: we will have hours of debate in the senate.
a route 8:00 p.m., the first crucial procedural japan. the question is whether the democratic caucus will stay unified and deliver the 60 voters. host: he joins us now. frankie. coming up, we will talk about relations between the united states, iran. join us in a few minutes to talk about that. we will be right back. ♪
>> in 1989, one person wrote about the end -- international monetary system. now she is talking about the u.s. economy. >> spending on ending deficits and what i consider an unconscionable accumulation of debt. economists and wall street journal economist judy shelton on "q&a." is a dead politics and america. a look ahead to 2012. what is fair in politics, the role of the media, and the obama presidency. tuesday night, the first deck and -- the first prime minister dinner. a series of documentaries beginning with the supreme court
thursday night. "washington journal" continues. host: the director of the middle east program of the woodrow wilson center. before we start discussions about u.s.-iran relations, give us a description of what this book is about. guest: sure. i visited my number who is 93 years old. i was leaving the country on the way to the airport after spending one week with her. some men took my belongings and tick my american passport. i was summoned to a ministry. that was the beginning of a
country of which i spent several days in solitary confinement. i was interrogated every day almost eight-nine hours a day. i did not have contact with the outside world. i was completely cut off from family. i had one visits -- i had one visit by my mother during that time. i was released because of all of the research done on my behalf. host: what were you being held? guest: i was told i was being part of a plot going on in washington under the previous administration.
and part of the access of evil. they believed the united states -- [unintelligible] they would use people like me to bring a revolution, which is as absurd. host: are those suspicions being held by ran towards the united states in 2009? guest: it is towards their own people, the leadership. many are accused and charged about overturning the regime. there are some people with impeccable revolution
credentials that just want change, opening up the system. they want to make sure that -- an american was a rested and imprisoned. she was arrested charged with trying to start a revolution and was sentenced to 12 years or more. host: what are your concerns about the relations between the united states and iran as well as them asking to change their nuclear program? regardiguest: they are in a dift position because they have a president who has reached out to the iranians for the first time in the new year's there waiting
for that. the iranians also came to geneva and then to vienna to talk to the groups. and make some proposals or something was moving until recently. i think [unintelligible] one person was hoping that his legacy of bringing iran and the united states together, but i do not think it will succeed. host: if you want to talk to our guests, do so at the lines we have on our screen.
a story this morning talking ball will powers over all, a spell on the deal that was made. are you surprised by that? guest: and i thought that when they came to geneva on october 1, my understanding was that this was with the agreement of the supreme leader, the ultimate decision makers and they wanted to send the uranium to russia and france to be used in the nuclear program at the university and then to withdraw
the proposal -- that was a big surprise to me. i am not a nuclear expert, but it shows there is such a difference among the leadership. host: how the people of iran perceive what is going on in this government with the rest of the world? guest: i think it is very difficult under the obama administration for the iranian regime to justify its continuing hostile attitude with the united states. cover first american president who is very popular in the middle east and is popular as he has reached out to them and talking about engagement and respect for them.
i think it is difficult for iran to explain to their own people their actions. host: we have people ready to talk. our first caller is from fort lauderdale, fla. on our democrats line. caller: it morning. i enjoyed your interview a while back. i want to ask a couple of questions real quick. our children in iran not permitted to attend an educational lover -- a level higher than what their parents had as a form of respect to them or is that something has been eliminated?
i also wanted to ask you, i know you are not an expert nor am i, but i understand there is a large difference between medical enriched uranium picul weapons- grade uranium. right now -- versus weapons- grade uranium. guest: your first question, children in iran are allowed -- they have access to all levels of education, elementary, there are more women in the entering class of the university than men. education for iranian children have equal access to education. this is not the case. on the contrary, encouraging
those children to steady at universities because they know this is a key to employment. i am not a nuclear expert. at this stage, the iranian as a few that they have enriched uranium to use for certain purposes and not for the weapon side. caller: i have a couple of questions for your guest also. the first one is a real opinion about the lack of courage of the current obama administration to support the uranium protesters after the election that was held in the country recently. secondly, i would like her
opinion concerning the lack of media coverage of the crackdown of the protesters in the country. i read one report from one news organization last week that i believe five protesters had been given long jail sentences. i believe five were going to be executed for their put dissipation in the most recent turmoil after the election. i hate to give the summit question, but what is your true feelings about the american media's non-coverage of the election problems in iran? guest: first question, if you mention the lack of courage from the obama administration
supporting the protest movement. i think we did condemn the crackdown -- they did condemn that. they condemned the violation of human rights. if they would have come up more explicitly than what they had done, the movement in their would of been associated with a certain agenda. i think the administration was very careful and to the point. regarding the lack of media coverage, given the protest movement, i thought the media in this country did a huge amount of space to what is happening in iran.
i wish there were more coverage when it comes to the sentencing of people and execution of others. i wish they would do more. in my case, the media kits international attention to my story is as it with my release. host: what are some accused of? guest: undermining the security of the country which is a broad accusation. it is a grant to give you a long time sentence. host: if they kill people, -- would they hold them indefinitely? guest: they have the right to execute, so we will see what
happens. host: what is the process? guest: i was not charged. my lawyer never got a chance to visit me in prison nor did she get a chance to see my file. most of the cases, the lawyers do not have access to their clients who are in jail. the court appoint a lawyer host. host: conn. caller: what is the percentage of the population born posed revolution? what does that have in terms of the relationship to the government itself? the second question is related
to condemning the actions taken by the iranian government. should they take a more neutral position regarding the iranian regime? last question, how effective is this in terms of freezing bank accounts? guest: roughly around 65,000 -- 65% of the population is under the age of 30. they have a large young population who is connected to the rest of the world. they want change and a more open and society. when they came out into the
streets after the presidential election, they were not after overflowing the regime. they had a protest saying there are elections were manipulated. they're reaching out to the outside world. regarding, condemning more vigorously what has happened in iran, i believe the policy of the obama administration was right because they did come out, they condemned the atrocities, they condemned the violation of human rights, but, before the elections, they did not interfere which was the right
thing to do. the policy they have so far has been very correct. involving sanctions, two or three rounds of sanctions have not worked. i am not so sure if another round of sanctions will work in an freezing bank account. of course it would have an effect later on. unless russia and china are on board with the sanctions, it will not be as effective as you intend it to be. host: do you think russia and china may be on board? guest: russia might be, but china so far has not been on board. they have economic relations
with iran. they import a substantial amount of oil. they are looking long term. they are looking for the next 10 in 15 years. if the iranians do not accept this proposal, they have to face the consequences. let's see if they really come on board. host: what is the economic condition for those living in iran today is? guest: it is very tough and rough. the cost of living is on the rise. as long as i was visiting iran, every time i would go back, the cost of living had risen.
people are in very difficult times. they are suffering. the government has shown a lot in disturbing money and having subsidies for certain items. host: arlington, va. on our democrat line. caller: morning. you have touched on a couple of points i was going to bring up. i wanted to get your take on contrasting the bush administration as opposed to the obama administration. the second component is the issue of the sanctions. the fact that the sanctions -- in the case of iraq, it pretty
much destroyed the backbone of the technocratic component of the country which is in a very tenuous condition with this recent change that we brought about through the invasion and has really shown the weakness of the middle class because cuts of the sanctions and all of the other problems that have happened. i wanted to get your feel as to the right approach of bringing about change but in a positive way that would galvanize the people around it and not just hurt the entire population and not come out with any kind of positive result. guest: the bush administration unfortunately was concentrating
on regime change and referred to iran as part of the excess of evil. this does not resonate with the leadership of the iranian government and exacerbated the enmity between the two countries. as a result, people like myself and the other armed iranian american in jail became victims of this enmity unlike of change and not talking to each other. i think the obama administration is on the right path. they are trying to engage. they have to reciprocate in the iranian court. there has been enough steps taken by the obama administration to reach out to
iran. regarding sanctions, and the situation in iraq is very different. i ran is a country where sanctions have not worked until now. the next round of sanctions are really crippling. we have to see the effect it will have on the middle class. this time it may be different because the middle class will turnaround. you have administration in the united states that want to engage you. host: sterling heights, mich. on our republican line. caller: i am a vietnam veteran.
i am not opposed to war. i have a big stipulation. i believe the united states and the american people are being manipulated once again into another war. i think it will lead to world war three because russia and china are going to take full of vintage of our military cutbacks done by this administration and the last one. once we art bolted into a rout war by the state of israel, the united states will be subject to a nuclear attack by the soviet union and china. this will help establish their one world government. my question is how can you somebody who is knowledgeable on the middle east failed to mention how israel is trying to get rid of and destabilize all of the countries in the middle east that they perceive as a threat to israel.
why have not you commented on that? guest: we did not get a chance to talk about israel and their relations with iran. i think israel would rather leave in eight peaceful middle east and be surrounded by enemies. i do not see any sign -- i am not an expert on military issues. i do not see any sign that at this stage the united states is interested in waging war against iran. on the contrary, i think the united states has been trying to reach out to iran and encourage them to sit at the negotiating table. host: omaha, neb. on the independent line.
caller: thanks for taking my call. i am very interested -- he mentioned the fact that you were held eight months by the iranians in one visit from her mother. how did you make it through those days without any contact? can you tell me about that. it is very interesting to me. tell me about how you made it through those 24 hours one day at a time not knowing anything at all? guest: i spent 105 days in solitary confinement which is horrible. it has mental and physical pressure. i was interrogated eight hours a day. there were women guards