tv C-SPAN Weekend CSPAN November 29, 2009 1:00pm-6:00pm EST
right model. as to the second question about communities and whether or not different brands or organizations need to be creating communities on their sites, i think the internet is becoming more social in general. i think there will be more opportunities for people to participate on any given web site. that is a good thing. . . >> anything they do on your side also goes back into facebook, so you get the added advantage of distribution.
that is something i would encourage everybody to implement, not because it is just good for facebook because the facebook user's experience better, but it is good for everybody else. it is a light lift technically speaking, and it offers a ton of value for the users already on your site. there are lots of organizations creating their own networks. there are companies out there who offer networking technology -- ning, is one of them. you can create a network, a lot people to share photographs, you can customize it so it is your bad -- or brand. and there is also custom development where you build something that is particularly customized for your brand. all those are good. some work better for organization, depending on budgets, time, levels of commitment. people need to be thinking about how you can make your website a
place where people can speak, interact, and he listened to. it is a question of how you want to do that. back over here. >> good morning, chris. i am here in denver. i agree with your last point about social media and this technology being here to stay. but i have a two-fold question. it is here to say, it is growing exponentially, and so that leads to saturation. -- which i find already. going to look for one thing, you find 20 million points, don't even know where to start. that is one question. is there going to be a natural attrition, survival of the fittest sort of thing that eliminates some of the garbage. the second point is, with the
barack obama campaign this was a very high-stakes, high-profile scenario to cut through some of that clutter. for everyday organizations, or for some projects we will work for, how would you utilize those same tools to capture the kind of attention that you would need to. >> absolutely. on the set tuition printer, yes, absolutely, survival of the fittest -- on a saturation point, yes, absolutely. we have adapted quickly to process more information. we have extended capacity to consume a little bit more, but at some point, of there is a barrier -- whether it is site, pieces of information a fall by the wayside and we have to rely
on organization and filters because that is the only way we will be able to make sense of all this information and make sense of the world around us. to your second point, the first thing i say when talking about the obama campaign, particularly in a one-on-one setting, helping people find out what they are going to do for their nonprofit business, the obama campaign was a singular moment in history. -- a candidate, particular time, he is on cnn all day long. you do not want to set your goal -- talking to political candidates, if you raise $500 million, certainly you can raise me 150 million. it is a different campaign. that is very important to bear in mind. my answer to your question is i might not use a lot of the tools that we used on the obama campaign. they may not be helpful -- they may not be helpful to your campaign. things have changed a lot. if you'd asked us at the end of
the campaign, how we use facebook in the campaign? we had a page which was very important when we updated our page from what it did not go into people's news feeds. we had to use updates. now that this change. in addition, we had an application. now facebook application platform is still out there and still interesting and good, but this book that is more important. so that is changed -- facebook connect is more important. the point is that things change, technology changes, and not only is a constantly evolving, but how it works for different businesses is different in certain cases. not every business is going to be able to use this in the same way. i give you an example. there are lots of businesses that don't even retail or not consumer-facing at all. but they can still use some of these principles to help employees interact and work more
efficiently. they're all sorts of things entering the market, from platforms like sharepoint, in what sales force is offering that are interesting for a lot of businesses. but the basic premise there again is to help employees speak, interact and work more efficiently. there is not a single answer for that question, unfortunately. i think we have time for maybe two more questions. we will do one and one over here. >> i am from a wedding central and we volunteer. great session so far. the great information on the content side and the distributor side. question for you is, what is next for chris use, maybe you are getting married or personal? not that i'm interested whatsoever. the second part of my question is what is next for facebook? you talk about facebook connect
and facebook, the new technologies coming out, you mentioned how things changed two years ago from where they are today. what are those trends that we could look for from a programmer's perspective? >> iowa miniseries relationship. no marriage plans. -- i meant a serious relationship. we are spending time to work with a venture-capital firm in boston to analyze all the difference start-ups. what are the most interesting ones and what am most interested in. i would not be surprised if i start a new company soon. in addition to that, i am very interested in the global poverty and global health spaces. i been working with a lot of organizations and try to understand more myself, because it is a complex field. self-educate quite a bit, while
also trying to figure out if there is an opportunity for me to help and at speeds as well -- in that space as well. as far as the future of facebook -- facebook is it really, really exciting place to work. it is an exciting place to watch grow. -- simply because so many people across the world are using them. easier and better access for people all across the globe, whether accessing from my mobile phone and india or accessing from your computer wherever you are. and that brings along better customization of your information -- whose shares and to seize what appeared there is a future -- and who sees what. i work with these people. these are my family. i want these people to see this album and not that. that is a trend. facebook connect is probably the most important thing that is
happening now and will continue to happen. it allows us to imagine a web where every single website is social, to the extent that we want to be. not only is it social, but social with our friends. you can go and and right now -- go to netflix and see what videos your friends have been watching. or you can go and see what pieces your friends have been reading in any given blog. or on "the new york times" or wherever this might be. facebook connect is the future and it will mean that our experiences are much, much better. last question. >> thank you for coming today. bet networks. i would imagine a lot of people in this room have had ideas for the best website effort or for the best i found app so they could make millions -- the best
iphone app so they will not have to work anymore. a lot must do not write code. what would you advise on people who have ideas to turn into reality, so they could have the next facebook? >> what a great question to and on. there are a few key ingredients. there are a lot of good ideas. understanding what it offers -- it seems it would be self evident, of being rigor is personally is the practice of. the most important thing is finding it smart, committed people to work on it with you. you could have the best idea in the world, but unless you have someone who was qualified to take it from the idea of phase to the reality faced -- if it is a technology or website idea, finding a good programmer, a good designer and getting together and focusing on that is incredibly important. part one is finding the right
people. part two is back to the iteration and experimentation. almost all the major companies that you see and platforms are of their start of the very, very different than the end. think about facebook. we were just at harvard did we did not have messages, all wall, photographs or anything. it was very basic. while it has held on to that basic idea, is constantly interacting, constantly experimenting, seeing what works and what doesn't work. finding the right, good, smart are the people to do that and having an attitude of experimentation and adoration. i think if you have both of those, you are pretty far along to what -- >> tomorrow on "washington journal", david mark senior editor for political looks ahead to the health care debate in the senate.
airline pilots association president talks about safety issues, cockpit detraction, -- distraction, labor issues and paper. shane harris talks about cyber attacks against average tariff -- adversaries such as iraq. jay williams talks about his city's economy. then the latest on international climate change in copenhagen. "washington journal", live at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. a discussion on the obama administration's policy on aids and hiv, live monday from the white house with secretary of state hillary clinton, secretary of human and services kathleen sebelius and the senior adviser to the president. it begins at 2:30 p.m. eastern on c-span.
a for an hour on the future of capitalism. arianna huffington and john dean debate the subject with former republican congressman dick armey. it is about one hour and 50 minutes. [no audio] >> the clash of the titans. we were thinking we do not have eight football, basketball or hockey team, but we could have an intellectual clash that would be equal to some of the clashes of sports figures on the field. so we have brought together some of the outstanding thinkers in the political realm, the economic realm, to talk about the important issues of the day. we have a great panel today.
i might say we are thrilled that the leader of that, the moderator is a good friend joe scarborough. he served in the house of representatives for awhile. i am not quite sure he is -- if he is a republican or democrat because he gives them both brief break he wrote about telling republicans there were going to -- he wrote a book telling the republicans there were going to lose and he wrote a book telling the democrats they were messed up. whatever it is, he makes an ideal moderator. before i introduce him, i wanted to say our corporate sponsors, huff, poole & mahoney, and cox communications, we are very happy to have with us congressman bobby scott of the third district, the mayor of chesapeake and his wife, the
delegates of the 84th district of the delegates, the virginia beach city council and rosemary -- of the city council. you probably watched him in the morning and listen to him on his program on abc radio. he did it -- he is the host of the joe scarborough show. he provides thought as provoking commentary. he has written two books. "rome wasn't burnt in a day." that was the title. [laughter] i didn't name his book, she did. -- and he did. he is a super guy. would you welcome an outstanding broadcaster and public servant, joe scarborough. [applause]
[captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> thank you so much. he sounds like my mother. i don't know whether you are republican or democrat, joey. my answer is always the same. i am a conservative. i did read books -- write a book sang the republicans were going to lose and it proved be right. i did not say there were going to lose because there were too conservative, i said they would lose because there were not conservative and not with their tax dollars. then i wrote a book about the democrats, and i said they are going to lose, too. i just wrote that one. and i think they are going to prove me right. though i got to say, they may actually have a situation in this state where -- you guys
have seen. you are in the newspaper all the time. i do think it is hurting -- the republican nominee. the way things are looking right now, she may not win by 20% seriously. you may call them to 50% to 16%. you should be ashamed -- 15% or 16%. has nobody told you that virginia is no longer a red state. that is what i heard on msnbc last year. that virginia had gone to the democrats and they were never going to lose it again. i love politics. [laughter] i just want to say one thing about pat robertson. i have been watching him since
my grandmother's forced me to watch them -- watch him back in the 1970's. i never really appreciated his impact on this country, even though i watched him as long as i did, until after hurricane katrina out rolled across gulf coast. i live in pensacola, florida. when i was on "scarborough country" at night, we started going over, the morning after hurricane katrina hit, we ran over to buloxi and over to new orleans, and i did my show there that night and my wife came back crying, because there was no water. we saw babies wandering around with their parents in diapers, two-three days old, so we immediately to our shores and through my tv show started raising money we boug.
we started noticing, even though fema was up there and the state was not there, and even though the red cross was not there, we started noticing young kids showing up. after about the third day, my wife said, quote are you? you are the only other people here. they said, we come from pat robertson posted group, operation blessing. it was unbelievable. and it struck me that i did not hear that in the mainstream media, other than an hour show. through the years, people are trying to find something controversial but pat might say so they can talk about it for weeks. [no audio]
>-- christians, nobody takes note. but my family did, and we are proud to be here because i have been proud of pat robertson for all he has done. that is the end of the positive talking. and we will invite people out here and they will scratch and claw each other. -- until blood is drawn. let's begin with a man who was done some scratching for while, and he is doing it right now, making headlines again and making a difference. dick armey was born in a small
north dakota town. it set the tone of his lifestyle. he was the first of eight siblings to attend college and completed not only his bachelor's and master's but his ph.d. in economics. he was a member of the house from 1985 to 2003. he is a great legislator and was tapped by two speakers of the house to oversee the legislative agenda. he was majority leader in 1995. the portrait of him was recently unveiled at a capitol ceremony. it now hangs in the dick armey army -- room of the capital. this was the first to receive approval by a full load of the house and to be? -- displayed in the capitol building. she was the father of the contract with america and the flat tax. she remained -- he approaches
any subjects as internet, a government in general with one statement -- freedom of works. please welcome, dick armey. [applause] >> let me introduce somebody that every time i hear the name, dick armey's ideological soul mate. arianna huffington -- [laughter] is a nationally syndicated columnist and author of 12 books. she is co-host of "left, right and center," in may, 2005, she launched a news again blog site that has quickly become not only
one of the most widely read and the most influential in the media and in political circles. in 2006, time magazine put her on the list of the time 100, their list of the world's most influential leaders. in 2009, she was named one of the most influential women and media by forbes. cordially from greece, huffington moved to england and graduated from cambridge with a master's in economics. she is known for her bold and fearlessness and believes in saying what needs to be said in doing what needs to be done, to leave and succeed. she is a prolific author with titles including "right is wrong with wh," and she tackled the is critical to the 2008 election
and the overall fate of the country. her book "picasso, creator and destroyer." " was translated into 16 films. she has been on charlie rose, "larry king live," "good morning america" and the zero riley factor, but she loves going on the -- the o'reilly factor, but she loves going on no show better than "moprninrning joe." please give a warm welcome to arianna huffington. look at these two. i am serious.
not only do we need a referee and a moderator, we need a translator. i don't know if we need one more for arianna huffington corpor dk armey. is an honor to bring out on this stage of guy who has always been a share of mine and is a guy in may, 1993, i remember this, while dick armey and newt gingrich was planning for a majority, i was a lawyer in florida and never planned to get into politics then i ss. then i saw john kasich offer an alternative budget to bill clinton's. then i told my wife, i wanted to go to congress and help this guy out. john kasich, named it one of
newsweek's 100 people for the 21st century is a republican from ohio. he believes in the power of the individual to raise standards and leave a better america for the next generation. he believes more government is not the answer. the actions of individuals can bring about historic change. elected to the senate at the age of 26 into the house of representatives at the age of 30, he played major roles in ground-breaking achievements during his 18 years in congress, including being the chief architect of a balanced budget plan that john, and dick armey and the republican army accomplished. we balance the budget four years in a row, for the first time since the 1920's. he is known for his straight for -- straight for style. -- straight forward style.
he has been profiled on "60 minutes," and "george" magazine featured him as one of the most fascinating men and politics. he also may be ohio policy next governor. please welcome john kasich -- he also may be ohioh''s next governor. i think the hare has gotten better? -- the hair has gotten better. it is a great privilege to introduce a guy i love having on my show. as chairman of the democratic national committee from 2005 to 2009, former governor howard dean made the democratic party more competitive while
integrating national and state party operations and standing up for democrats' core values. he was the architect of the 50- state strategy. remember that? there are certain people and the white house thought that was a dumb idea. howard was right. he built a strong dnc in all 50 states, several in states such as virginia, north carolina, and indiana. it is a shame for the democratic party that howard decided to leave, because do not -- i do not believe they will win in virginia this year. -- he was lieutenant governor in 1986, until he was governor in 1991. he was elected for a full term in 1992 and created a record based on fiscally conservative
ideals that promoted pete -- equality and opportunity for vermont. it paid down debt, and enjoyed a $100 million surplus by 2001. before entering politics, howard dean received a medical degree from the albert einstein and medical college in new york city. a coat -- upon completing residency, he practiced internal medicine. please give a warm welcome -- warm welcome to governor howard dean. [applause] >> thank you. >> so here are the ground rules. questions submitted by the audience will be selected by a panel of professors and our distinguished panel includes -- professor doug walker and professor jim davis.
our timekeeper is dr. bob dire, a professor and the robertson school of government and a city council member for the city of virginia beach. he will be using a traffic light system to keep our debaters and me on time. there will be a green light, meaning go. a yellow light means there's 30 seconds left. and a red light that means be quiet. our agenda is listed in your program. we will begin with opening statements, then we will go to a round table where they will ask each other questions. then we are going to have questions from the audience selected by the panel. then we will ask our debaters to have four minutes for closing statements. i will conclude with a brief wrap up of the debate. let's begin with an opening statement from dick armey. >> ladies and gentlemen, it is a pleasure to be here with my
other panelists. i was struck immediately -- the use of the word capitalism in this age of deconstruction as some and political correctness. i first reacted negatively. the word capitalism was first coined by karl marx as a pejorative by which he describes our private, free enterprise system. it was first intended to be distant -- disparaging. on one of those very rare occasions, despite the word being introduced and what is the most erotic books ever written on the subject of economics -- most moronic books ever written on the subject of economics, and today the word is being used to celebrate freedom and prosperity. i applaud you for the use of the word. every economic community, every community of persons, two people
on an island or a family, a state, a nation has to solve the basic problem, how do we provision ourselves? how do we take the resources we have available and our own resourcefulness, these great gifts from the lord god almighty, and bend them to the task of tending to our material needs? that is called economics. and we discovered that everybody intuitively understand the answers to these questions are in a phenomenon called specialization in exchange. what adam smith described as mankinds natural tendency to barter. what any oakley described as doing what comes naturally. free enterprise comes from people naturally exercising their right to have dominion
over their own lives and property. it is all about me being able to all my land, my labor and my capital and ended to the task of tending to my families needs by serving the needs of others. and it works. that understanding as well formulized beginning with "wealth of nations." the greatest experience in capitalistic free enterprise, in the history of the world was born in america in that year. before that, going back to jamestown colony, they discovered in the first year, when they almost all died, socialism, communalism doesn't work. they almost died. after that first near-fatal year, they discovered, if we let
everybody specialized in trade among themselves, we can prosper. it is all about division of labor. now, everybody gets together understands that while we might -- we might do everything by individual enterprise. there are some things we must do together and there must be governments. there has been no great scholar and a history of economic ideas that has not understood and describes the necessary and essential, minimal role of government. that thing that fascinates me about our founding fathers is they understood it in the most complex model -- with a national government, and federal, state, local governments, all with their assigned tasks and divisions of authorities and divisions of labor. when governments do that,
freedom and capitalism survives. when governments forget that, it may perish. [applause] >> thank you. now it is time for arianna huffington. he says not only does capitalism work, it will survive. and what do you say? >> i say capitalism will survive if we start practicing it again. right now what we have is not the free enterprise capitalism that adam smith wrote about, but we have government-sponsored capitalism. what we have right now is a privatized gains and socialize losses. what we have now is the government picking winners and losers and pouring trillions of dollars into sustaining wall street that has spent the last
few years of making things up rather than making things. capitalism cannot survive if we don't go back to innovation, if we don't go back to producing things, if we don't go back to the foundation of capitalism. i remember from my economics course at cambridge that adam smith, before he wrote "well the nation's," and wrote about supply and demand, she wrote that theory of moral sentiments. he understood there can be no capitalism without a moral foundation. what we have seen in the last few years is the law of the jungle. then the government came in and legitimized it. they said if you are too big to fail, we will take care of you. for capitalism to survive, we need to change those rules. we need to make it clear that if you are too big to fail, you are too big to exist. there can be no capitalism without failure.
the essence of capitalism is if you make mistakes, you fail. then, innovation comes up from the bottom, in new companies and new industries. if the government decides what industries will be supported and what are not, what we have is really an untenable system. this is beyond the right and left. this is not the prerogative of any particular section of the political spectrum. i went back to what i had written about congressman john kasich in 1966 and 1997, and he had been a champion against corporate welfare. he said if we can reform welfare, we can reform welfare for the rich. things have gotten much worse since then. he fought the battle against corporate welfare boondoggles. he called on the dirty dozen. i am saying that to make it clear that this is a battle we all have to fight together if we
are going to save the capitalist system. we need to save it, not just for economic reasons, but because our democracy depends on it. right now the middle class is crumbling. i am sure you all have friends who have lost their jobs, whose homes have been foreclosed, luke and not send their kids to college. we are going to have on employment in double digits very soon. foreclosures are skyrocketing. and yet, our economic system is celebrating the recovery of wall street. in multibillion-dollar profits by goldman sacks p. there is nothing to celebrate until people are put back to work. the same banks that we bailed out refuse to do their preliminary loan modifications that would allow people to stay in their homes. we have 1.5 million homeless children in this country at the moment.
if you remember the attention being given to balloon boy last week, i suggest it would -- we built a giant alone and put this 1.5 million children in the balloon is so that the media can get some attention to them, because they represent a failure of the current government- sponsored capitalistic system. thank you. [applause] >> that was pretty impressive to have a complete discussion about capitalism, corporate welfare and the blue boy in four minutes. congratulations. let's see if you can top that. there is an interesting line use said. you said we somehow in this country -- i want to talk about this more after john space -- in this country, we privatize the
gains, but we socialize the losses. i think it was bobby kennedy jr. who said that in america, we preach free enterprise to a single moms but we practice socialism with the biggest corporations in america. let's have a debate about that. john kasich. >> i wanted to start today and talk about some of the good things that we have that makes the country special. first of all, it is pretty interesting. we have a dna of entrepreneurship. kids learn from when they are young up that if you have a great idea, you can be something. in fact, not only can you be good, but instead of working for someone else, you can create an idea and have people work for you. that dna has made this country a very productive, very successful and very generous. separately, i think you need to our country is we have the flow of capital, not much flowing
today, but that is because of retraction. people doing things that were not responsible in an effort to make a lot of money nevertheless, you can find capital in america if you have a great idea. you can go to your family, and go to a bank, a venture capitalist and you can take an idea from the back of your head, translated onto paper and create something. that is a fantastic thing that has changed the world because of the creativity of individuals. finally have the rule of law. we hear about people wanting to go to china. the first concern is, is my investment safe? if there is a dispute, where do i go? if i had my money invested, can
i get it back? that creates uncertainty among people will have capital and want to invest in great ideas. india and china have lifted about a half of a billion people out of poverty over the last couple decades of by experimenting with this. with entrepreneurship, the flow of capital and with the notion that we have the role of law. all of this should be on delayed by a value system. i agree with michael novak, the great catholic theologian who has written that our economic system and our political system it should be underlaid by a value system, namely jewish and christian, that your data- christian ethic, that gives -- the judeo-christian ethic, and gives conscience to those in corporate america who understand that greed is not good. that movie was wrong. in and of itself, the word describes and evil.
profit, positive. greed, not good. that values system is so important to a free society. when you walk through the buildings here and you see
washington and jefferson and madison, they understood that. what threatens us? government growing so fast, so big that it has an ability to get in the wake and crushed particularly the small businesses in the country, and the life blood of employment in our country for people. separately, the debt that comes from the expansion of big government. it threatens to erode the very strength of our economic system. how are we going to pay for it? are our kids going to have to pay for it? are our grandchildren. to have to pay for it? -- going to have to pay for it? it keeps us from being able to march 4. marc-- march forward.
and we have a k-12 system that is not providing enough for us. we need to
fix k-12 and grow the best and brightest to drive the country to real prosperity. thank you. >> thank you, john. it is great to have dr. howard dean, especially when we are in the middle of a health care debate. there are a lot of conservatives, republicans did say this health care plan is socialism, that it creates a great threat to free enterprise and capitalism. i look forward to discussion. >> thank you.
i am going to go off topic all little bit because i want to set the stage for this discussion. this past election in 2008 is the most extraordinary collection since 1960, because it is an election which shifted control of the country to that -- to a new generation. this is the first time and a lifetime of anyone in this row or more people voted who were under the age of 35 men were over the age of 65. they voted 63% for barack obama for president. this is the first multi-cultural generation and the history of america. america has been a multicultural place since jamestown. but this is the first time a new generation has grown up with lots of different kinds of people. we all knew that racism and so -- and so forth was wrong. this generation grew up with
every kind of person going to school with them, and they have learned to get along. this generation has an extraordinarily different view of how to run things. this is a true story. after i got done with the last primary in 2004, i went home, try to pull my life back together again. at that time, my kids were teenagers, and they came up to me and said, you are too confrontational. this is insulting when it is your teenager's telling you this. but they were right, because my generation has been confrontational. we are polarized. the vietnam war, voting rights, civil rights, gay rights, women's rights. we are polarize in this generation. this next generation is not polarized. they want to know how to work with one another. we did some polling among evangelical christians.
the reason we did is because i knew we would not win the vote, but i believed we could start the process of de-demonize and democrats so that people could start to understand each other again. here is what i found out. the top three issues for evangelicals, if they are over 65 -- the rights and abortion -- abortion rights. if they are under 35, they are poverty, climate change in darfur. i looked at that and i said, this page could come out of that democratic party platform. why are we not talking to these people? that is the attitudes of young people. why do we not find out what we agree on and do something? the big question is, can you stop fighting about the things you have not agreed on and do something you agree on? this is an extraordinary generation their ideological
bandwidth is much more narrow. they want to get something done. as we have this debate up -- about capitalism and health care going on, which i am looking forward to, we have to consider, this is not just about the past. this is about a very different future. i think it will be a good future. it is time we set aside our differences and those differences are mighty and fuel the debate in the last 30 years in politics. it is time under the leadership of these young people to start to move a four. there is enormous commonality that we have spent a lot of time trying to deny and i am looking forward to this debate. i am looking forward to the discussion is there are important similarities we have to get to work on as well as profound differences. thank you very much. >> thank you, dr. dean.
what was that number again? the kids under 35? >> more voters in the presidential election under 35 and over 653 >> what percentage voted for barack obama? >> 63%. >> there are a lot of the solution to young people all their right now. i heard a boo. >> most do not care that much about health care. >> thank you for being my straight man for the purposes of that joke. the mainstream media has missed -- you talk about evangelicals under 35. starting in about 19898 when evangelicals, young kids would come, anybody younger than 46, it keeps going up, i noticed they even started dressing different. my parents raised me and
southern vested -- baptist home. so much was framed on what happened in the 1960's. the radicalism of the 1960's, the sexual and drug revolution s. there was more of a clutching more closely. social issues were critical. i started noticing in 1999, 2000 the kids that were coming from the same church as i went to court wearing birkenstock ss. there were looking like bohemians. what issues are important to you? they would say africa. aids in africa. it is amazing. there has been a shift, especially among evangelicals. in part, it is because of the ark of how things are going. there is a lot more commonality among a younger american. if you do me a favor and get nasty.
just start saying mean things. arianna, we want you to throw things at dick armey. if you could launch a personal insult about howard and talk about his screaming i walk. -- iowa. john kasich, just look at how he dresses. start there. and salt meat. everybody else does. arianna huffington, we will ask you to be the first one. let's talk about capitalism. all -- although we have heard is that barack obama, democrats, a health care, socialized health care will destroy capitalism. let's talk about these fights. not yourselves out. i will sit back. >> dick armey, grover norquist is famously said that his dream is to make government so small
we can drown it in a bathtub. do you agree with that? >> lewis said that? -- lewis said that? -- who said that? if you read milton friedman, if you read "the wealth of nations," if you read von meeses, government is more than a necessary evil. every serious scholar, including those scholars who wrote our constitution understood there are essential tasks that must be carried out by the government and they must be carried out well. the question of how big should be the government, relative to the rest of the economy is being debated across the globe now, and i don't mind telling you, that terms of the debate are couched in an languages i do not even understand. how big should the government be? a big enough to do its essential
tasks and smart enough to do them well and disciplined enough and restraint and not to stay out of things that are not their business, whether they are -- build roads, build schools. the productivity of public infrastructure, it lends to the private sector. there are something governments cannot do and can only nassau, -- mess up. >> what about the public option? >> for what? >> healthcare. is that socialism? >> the biggest problem is that it is not necessary. if you look at the credo of small government conservatism, the government should restrain itself from doing anything that has not proven to be both a correct and right thing to do and the necessary thing to do.
>> this is all generalities. let's just get specific. in 1995, july 11, you said medicare is a program i would have no part of in the free world. do you still agree with that? >> why did i know you would bring that up? >> absolutely. i want to know whether you agre with yourself or not. [laughter] >> as they say in the vernacular, bless you, my child. in medicare today, a system that is supposed to be voluntary, right now is administered, if you do not sign up, they take away your social security. is that freedom? if you do not sign up for medicare and to go to a doctor, and each region and receives payment by some means other than manicured -- and he treats
you and receives payment other than medicare, he is liable for its sanctions that are credited. -- that are punitive. if the doctor says you must go to the hospital, any hospital that except you has a government-imposed sanctions that will shut down the hospital. that is the government coercing people -- [talking at once] >> that is a very dramatic say it -- a statement. >> wow. >> but the question is, do you agree with yourself? >> absolutely. here is the deal. >> i cannot believe. you just admitted you don't want your grandma -- >> i want my grandma to be free to choose. i do want to it -- do not want
me to be compelled to enroll or lose my retirement. medicare can be a great benefit to people who are free to choose to enroll. but people should be free to choose not to enroll. >> let me ask one more question. i would love you to be unequivocal. these people deserve straight answers. aren't you tired of politicians triangulating and not giving a straight answers? a very simple question. a simple answer. you said on the december 11, 2001, that social security is a rotten trick on americans. do you agree with that? >> i will be the translator. you know it is difficult when i have got to translate your own words. social security -- what was the
day? >> 2001. >> you said it was a rotten trick on america. >> here is my problem with social security. they just said this poor old guy bernie madoff and the federal government prosecuted him because he let people voluntarily subscribe to his program, where early subscribers would be paid off with the receipts they got from late subscribers. they set out to come up with such a scheme? he said, so security. [applause] -- social security pare. >> i have been around politicians for a while. was one myself. spurred you'll notice -- you will notice the republican advocating the abolition of medicare and social security is
retired. >> i didn't say that. very simple. when i was 15 years old, if the government said, you have the right to buy your private savings into this public plan or a private plan. you are free to choose. i would've said fine. they forced me with the power of the state into the worst retirement plan -- >> thank you very much dick . dick armey, thakn you. i have the right for a minute. do you agree with dick armey? [laughter] hold on. let me do this right. these are great quote. >> there is a third one. i did not have a chance. >> do you agree with him that
medicare is "a program i would have no part in in a free world?" >> of course i do not agree with that. the great tragedy was, when i left congress in 2000, we were running surpluses, something we had not seen in 40 years. we had enough surpluses to actually be able to fix social security, to provide more security for the young people and to be able to make sure that senior citizens had the program they wanted. we could have had a smooth transition that could have made it sound for the rest of tiberi that opportunity was belong. -- that opportunity was blown. it seems as though politicians are on able to honestly approach programs that the fixed and politics gets in the way and party loyalty.
my philosophy is the party is a vehicle not your master. you are there to fix things. we have lost too much of that in this country. >> we will move now -- >> i like what you said. a lot about, and i agree with you. nothing gets fixed on the extremes. it has to get fixed in the middle. what people are concerned about, first of all, you had a stimulus package where the republicans were totally shut out of the process. . .
>> how are we supposed ever address any of these problems in the country if we are just saying is it my way or the highway and partisanship rules the day, forget the rest and just worry about the next election? >> i'm going to answer the question -- i regret i'm going to have to get a partisan answer because it's a partisan question. my understanding is clear about what happened. senator jim demand spoke for a lot of people when he -- senator jim demint spoke for a lot of people when he said our objective is not to pass health care because that will be president obama's waterloo.
the republican party decided they are doing in barack obama's president and that's more important than the health care bill. charles grassley, all of these deportees with senator grassley denouncing death panels, do you know who wrote the language which was later called death penalty? when he was chairman of the health pension committee, senator charles grassley. he wrote the language because it does make sense to give older people more control over the end of their life. what was in that bill was put into the public option in the house bill. i do not want to defend brittle partisanship or nobody talks to each other, but if we're to have bipartisanship, people have to be willing to talk to each other. without getting into started this, it was a conspiracy of both sides not talking to each other. >> you have republican governors who did some pretty remarkable things in health care. you give democrats some credit. why can we just not agree with
the fact we ought to have free enterprise in health insurance? we ought to force companies to compete across state lines so that we have competition. [applause] why didn't we do that? why did we not say we're going to force doctors to have transparency on pricing? why don't we put people in a position where they have a stake in their own health care? why do we deal with malpractice suits? [applause] and eliminate pre-existing conditions -- you and i could write a bill up your, we could drop out of public option and drop out the taxes and you could get a bill that would take us at least 60% or 70% of the way there. why not? >> we had this discussion before. i said to hell with them beforehand. we come from different political sides -- we talked about health care time and again and i hope i
don't destroy a reputation by saying this in public -- but if we could sit down for one day, we could come up with a solution 80% of americans would support. what is the deal in washington d.c.? why cannot happen? in this case, specifically, why do you have harry reid telling the president of the united states no, i don't even want olympia snowe, i'd want one republican supporting health care bill? >> the truth is -- i'm going to disagree right now. free enterprise does not work particularly well in health care and i will tell you why. the administration rate -- >> we don't have insurance companies competing across state lines 3 >> that's the worst thing you could do. >> are you kidding me? >> yes. i will explain why this is. in my state, everybody under 18 has health care. you cannot be refused by any insurance company, no matter what the reason is.
everybody gets charged the same. you cannot charge a sick patient who is older more than 20% more than you can charge a young, healthy patient. that has been going on for 15 years. if you could let people buy insurance across state lines, you are making the texas health commissioner be my health commissioner. do you know what the insurance rate is in in texas? 25%. 22% of children have no health insurance in texas. i do not want health commissioner in texas to have anything to do with my health insurance. the people of vermont voted to pay extra taxes and have decent health care for our people. [crosstalk] >> we are over time. you have 15 seconds -- >> if we force insurance companies to compete across state lines, competition will offer more choice and lower
prices. >> the way they get to lower prices does not comply with my rules in vermont which says you have to offer everyone health insurance at a fair price. >> they can comply with your rules, they can just offered at a lower price. >> but they won't. >> yes, they will. [crosstalk] >> wall street companies like money better than the like health care companies. >> i feel like rodney dangerfield -- no respect. >> i am going to use my moderator's prerogative. i have 15 seconds to ask you a question -- it seems very simple to me. if we set federal standards, if we tell insurance companies that you have to live by these rules -- there are 1300 insurance companies. we tell americans that you can go online because all 1300 plans are online. that gives us the same opportunity.
we bought a car last year. we went on line and found one in new england at half price. even though we lived in washington, that made sense for us. why can we not do that with health care insurance? if you want to deal in america, you have to live by these standards, but we all get to go on and i get to shop for health care plan that works for me while by 24-year-old assistant it's a different one that will be cheaper and doesn't that make sense? >> it does make sense and is going to be mixed up because i'm going to agree with dick armey. [laughter] >> i was a governor for 12 years. i do not trust the federal government very much. [applause] i would rather have this done by the states. >> we have to finish up, but i have to ask, the cbo came up and i don't hear the media talking much about the steady buried two
fridays ago that said if we pass meaningful tort reform, we will save $54 billion. why can democrats make that part of the deal? >> a bunch of reasons. tort reform is essentially a state issue and not a national issue. less than 10% are filed in federal court. it is hard for congress to rewrite state compacts -- bright state constitutions as often as they are tempted to do so. democrats are not going to put in tort reforms because trial lawyers give us lots of money. [laughter] >> he is honest. >> of the third reason is the republicans will not vote for the bill anyway, so why we should be a trial lawyer's mad at us if we don't get any more republican votes. [applause] >> let's have some applause for honesty. it is your turn to ask a question. >> i have two questions and i
hope the moderator will give me a chance to ask both. first, to dick armey. on october 30th, 2009 -- [laughter] you said grandma should be free to choose medicare whether she wants to or not. in that case, the question is, if you still agree with yourself from 10 minutes ago. how come i cannot choose whether i want medicare or not, for example, the public option. >> in medicare, there is no choice. i am in a lawsuit right now, simply suing for the right to say no to medicare. i do not need it, i do not want it. i do want to be a ward of the state. i am a cranky old man. [laughter] i have to sue the government for the right to say no to medicare because i do not sign up for medicare, they take away my social security, make me pay
back every dime i ever received, they punish any doctor who treats me by threatening his license for a least two years. they punish any hospital that would then be by shutting down the hospital. when patrick henry said "give me liberty or give me death" in the government gave the medicare. [laughter] what i am saying is if they can take medicare which was passed in 1965 and presented to america as a magnificent gesture where you are free to choose and then billy, cajole, fine, penalize, threaten everybody into it or not, if you are not, you have government-sanctioned the better punitive. if you are, you get to be a ward of the state. you have no choice. they do that with medicare. i guarantee they will do that with all of healthcare. [applause]
>> next question is for john. dick and i wore on cnbc and about two months ago discussing the bailout. you can correct me if i'm wrong, but i think i'm right -- we had a discussion about whether aig and citi should have been bailed out. my position was that they should not have. i think the economy would have collapsed without it. you work for lehman brothers for nine years. do you agree with dick? >> we were not bailed out. in those days, you remember there was a panic. what we were concerned about in the country, what congress was concerned about, anybody that understood a little bit about the financial markets was this was not about citibank, this was about whether americans have confidence whether their own
banks were going to shut down. they increased the fdic insurance so people did not do a run on the banks. i do not think the bill that passed was great, i don't think they did it in inappropriate. of time, and we ought to let the banks pay the money back and let them pay it back as quickly as they can and for the bailout make no sense at all. i think the initial step was to bring about some calm in the banking system. what they're doing out with getting this money and paying huge bonuses is wrong. their banks in this country fighting, by the way, to -- there were banks in this country, fighting, by the way, some of the more threatening to go public and fortunately a number have paid us back. i want to go back to one thing you mentioned of trial lawyers. i know that it was a good answer. it was tongue in cheek. the problem we have is when i was in congress, i went after
corporate welfare reform. i worked to kill the b-2 bomber. do you know how many people i made happy by going after corporate welfare or shutting down the b-2 bomber? it did not make anybody happy, but you should do things on the merits. if democrats would take on the trial lawyers and say this is out of control, it is driving up the cost of medicine and every other thing we do in this society, they would be given a gold star and would do better in the polls. the time for the calculations, old-time politics, who gave the money, should be over because the public is fed up with it. [applause] >> let's get the republicans, all of them took millions of dollars from health insurance companies in this country to vote for health care and sit down at the table and get something done. [applause] >> i have been an out of office for more than eight years. do you think i'm happy with the
fact blowup a balanced budget and surpluses? i'm the first to say republicans lost their direction and forgot what it was all about. they started caring about themselves and the time has come for that to change. [applause] >> we don't know the exact numbers, i know that dick and john and i do -- in 2001, when republicans took over both sides of pennsylvania avenue, all the work we did together, all of the fighting we did, by 2001, we had a $155 billion surplus. by the time republicans left town in 2008, it was a 1.4 trillion dollar deficit. the national debt went from 5.7 trillion dollars in 2001 to $11.6 trillion. >> and it cost them their majority. they lost their way and forgot what they were sent to do. that is why the politicians
better remember why they were sent and keep their problem -- keep their promises. let's forget who wins the next election. [applause] >> editorializing, they get exactly what they deserve. pat robertson -- pat robertson said if republicans don't start spend -- don't stop spending money this way, they will throw them out. people vote for them because they think they are conservative, not because there are republicans. let's go to dick armey. i feel bad because you have not had a chance to talk tonight. >> i was afraid i was going to have to do my best horshack imitation treat you don't remember your culture in this group. we know that good nutrition is essential to life. we all know that in america, good nutrition is a right.
we also know that senior citizens are people of extremely bad judgment. have you ever watched senior citizens in a grocery store? my goodness, the crap they buy. they're clogging up their lotteries, drinking whiskey and beer. did you ever look any senior citizen -- what irresponsible behavior. these people cannot be trusted to look after their own best interests. on top of the irresponsible, ignorant seniors -- >> john, if you like to walk offstage while he finishes this, you can. >> john is not there yet. these people who have been feeding themselves all their lives turned brain dead at the age of 65 and by all this garbage. we have to protect them from this. there are some seniors that are going hungry, and that is a terrible thing. i propose this -- at the age of 65, every senior citizen must
only buy their groceries with federally issued food stamps. those food stamps must be only redeemable for things you and i approve of any grocery store whoever sells to someone over the age of 65 any groceries whatsoever that do not exist on this approval list or for which they'd take payments other than food stamps will be closed down by the federal government. if i were to propose that, would you call me -- that dick armey is a great philanthropist oor would you call me a heavy handed tyrant? [laughter] >> i would actually say you are wasting our time. >> i'm wasting your time? that's what they did with health
care in 1965. >> you are wasting time. we are not here to debate caricatures. we are here to debate real problems happening in america right now. >> let me reclaim my time. >> i am not going to dignify your question with an answer. >> and that is what they did with health care in 1965. [closed -- [crosstalk] >> the time for this kind of game is over. this country is in a real crisis. hold on, let me finish. if there's one thing we need to do, it is to find out what's happening with the pharmaceutical companies and all the other companies' advertising on tv and getting older people and younger people to buy products with a long list of problems --
[crosstalk] my point is we are allowing the system for the sake of the bottom line, people are willing [unintelligible] not just to senior citizens, but children -- we have millions of children in this country on anti-depressant. i do not believe millions of children are depressed or millions of children suffer from attention deficit disorder. this is the problem with a system out of control. we should never have allowed them to advertise drugs. if you are going to go to your doctor, a decision between your doctor and you, whether you need a drug. it's not something to be advertised. [applause] >> what i just proposed in the field of nutrition is that we take an action that is exactly identical for senior citizens as what was done in health care.
you find that is unacceptable. my point is simply going back to this -- when governments understand their legitimate limitations and have respect for their people and restrain themselves from their excessive abuse of power, we can prosper. if, in fact, the government were to have the decency to take care of only that section of the population that needs their care and leave everyone alone, government would be appreciated. >> we have to move on to the question portion. i will give you 30 seconds to respond. >> if you are so concerned about what government does and does not do, why did you take $750,000 as a lobbyist to lobby government to do the bidding of your clients? >> that is what is known as a cheap shot, but let me take that. >> it's a fact. >> i can take it like a man. i spent some portion of my life as a lobbyist.
one of the few occupations in this country that is explicitly approved and recommended in our constitution -- the right to petition your government. there's nothing wrong with petitioning your government. the responsibility lies in the people who have the position of public responsibility to discern when is correct to say yes and when it is correct to say no. >> but if the government -- this is a cop out. if the government does not have the power you wanted to have, lobbyists would not be able to make a living because they are dependent on the power and you are dependent on the power. [applause] >> i only implore the government to do well with the addition to those things they must do and we depend on it to do and have enough sense of understanding and discipline to refrain from doing things it cannot do well and probably should not be doing at all. i just want the government to be
responsible i want my tailor to irresponsible. i don't want my tailor to give me a hair cut. >> let's move on. [applause] to audience questions. let's begin with howard dean. this comes from hillary from virginia beach. [laughter] she got from pakistan to virginia beach very quickly. it is capitalism married to a democracy so that as one goes, so goes the other. >> i actually think it is. one of the biggest problems in the world in the last 50 or 20 years is because the two of them run together, democracy has gotten into trouble. i think trade is a great thing. when we did all of the free trade, that i approve of, it has done a lot for the geopolitical stability of the world, the free-trade agreements we cut with folks were great for
corporations. it was not free trade for people who worked in these countries. one of the most chilling things that happen to me in between my race for president and my stand as dnc chair, i went to a foreign country to give a speech. the flights leave at all hours. at 2:00 in the morning, i'm sitting with my host on my way out of the country. we were getting away you get to a clock in the morning, you say a lot of things you would not say during regular social hours. he said i don't see why americans think democracy is so great. this is a country where we have exchanged urban poverty for rural poverty. they had not seen any benefit from free trade which meant they thought capitalism did not work. therefore, that meant democracy did not work. let's get to capitalism for a second. capitalism isn't the right system because it harnesses not
so great emotions and great emotions and qualities and gets us efficient and productive products. but the problem is the rules have been tilted in the last 15 years, not just by republicans. the rules have been tilted so the average person is in trouble and that is going to undermine not just capitalism, but democracy trade capitalism as a football game, you have to have a rest -- you have to have a rest you have to have a referee. -- you have to have a referee. if there is not, and it does not work for everybody, that will not work at all. [applause] >> this is a question for john. this is from a law student here at weekend. she asks, did capitalism flourished when republicans led the house, senate, and white house? if not, what went wrong? >> if you think about the time
for 1995 until about 2002, i will tell you what we did -- this is no different from what reagan did and you might recall carter said wear a sweater if you are cold and ride a bike if you can't afford gas. ronald reagan said was government, lower the taxes, the top marginal rate, so people had intended to go to work. all the things these tea parties are protesting about. in 1995, we went through a very tough time with president clinton. at the end of the day, we would -- we reached an agreement on the budget. it began to shrink the federal government and reform these entitlement programs to make them more effective and efficient. "60 minutes" on sunday said drug dealers are getting out of drugs and going into medicare fraud. it's an amazing story. what we try to do is reform
those entitlements so they actually work. so that people in need to get them. we shrunk the government, we made it more effective, more efficient. we reduced taxes on risk-taking and investment. we paid down the debt. the most in modern history and from 1995 until 2002, we were all rich. our 401k's were going up. the system works. some commentators say republicans need a new agenda. if they do not need a new agenda. they need to understand what has worked in this country for more than 200 years -- government as a last resort and not a first resort. let the government, make a decision where it needs to be. keep taxes low and run the country from the bottom up. pay down your debt and you can make the system work. they forgot that -- there was too much interest in reelection and that's why they failed. but they figured it out now. you will see.
>> i hope so. i was surprised, going back and i know you were also, talking to people who were with me in 1994 who came in in that way. i was shocked, in 2004 or 2005 -- what are you guys doing? these same guys that were fighting you because you are not going far enough. they said, do you know what we're doing? we're getting reelected. they were dead serious. we are still here, scarborough. they said where you? i said on tv. [laughter] enjoy selling out for your next election. the next question is from cam in charlotte, north carolina. i think we might find a place where you want limited government -- do you think the noise or clutter of an
uncensored internet prevents or encourages honest political discourse? should the government regulate the internet? >> absolutely not. what is fascinating about the internet is it has given a voice to the voiceless. mistakes are corrected much more quickly than on the front page of the "new york times." you may remember that in the lead up to be iraq war, the "new york times" publish all the stories on the front page that turned out to be completely wrong about the existence of weapons of mass destruction. it took him months to correct them. on the internet, mistakes have been made, absolutely. there are perpetrators of disinformation. but it is much easier and much more transparent way mistakes are corrected. so i believe the internet and
what is happening on-line is at the moment, the main countervailing powers is special-interest dominating be countries because -- this country, just to give you one example -- people are clamoring for transparency about what happens to the trillions of dollars we gave to the banks. [unintelligible] it is because of the voices on the internet that this question even remains on the table. >> she has built an amazing operation. it relies on getting opinions across the board from across the country from across the globe. think about this -- would you like to or three people deciding what your information is going to be or would you rather have somebody choices -- even though at times some of the choices may be narrow or shallow -- you begin to find the truth about things. people ask me what i read and
how do i know what to believe? you read multiple things. between twitter, facebook, the internet -- it is all connected and on top of that, what is really amazing is comedy central. more people get their information there. the more information that is out there, the better chance we have to decide how to feel about things. >> let me just say about her web site -- if we let the private market take care of it, private enterprise take care of the situation -- i have written columns for different websites and if i write for web sites that are left of center, i'm i immediately called the most horrific names in the books. the most horrifying names. she has begun to put together a system where she screens these comments and if they are abusive -- it's like they wait for the reporting of abuse -- the "huffington post" spent a lot of money.
i have noticed over the past two years of very few people call me a nazi anymore and i appreciate that. >> that is because we want multiple voices on our site. the only way to do that is we have moderators who are screening comments. >> but you are making the decisions as a person invested in the site instead of a federal bureaucrat. >> what is important here is to hear grumblings about the government coming in to save newspapers -- that is unbelievably troubling. if they cannot save themselves, the priorities -- a priority as a journalist, not newspapers. >> this is a divinity student -- this ends up were i began talking about pat robertson's
work and this institution's work and helping the poor. following the dictates of matthew 25. he asks with regards to caring for the poor in america, what is the most urgent action that should be taken by the united states government? >> the first important thing the united states government can do is encourage private initiatives. if you look at the history of this country, more good has been done for people who are truly needy by churches and private charities and anything else. insofar as they use our public resources, your tax dollars and nine, use them judiciously. there is no sense to give health care, nutrition, to people who can acquire it themselves. when you give to people who do not need it, you diminish those resources available to the truly needy. the government is not very
discerning. we have a government today that the medicare plan that is $43 trillion of the unfunded liability and they will not let the people capable of taking care of themselves get out of the program. how does that make resources available for those who truly need it? this is not a difficult thing. you do it in your family. if your nephew needs money for braces, you don't give the money to your knees. you give it to the nephew. -- you do not give the money to the niece. this is not that hard. the problem is when the government administers their charity with your money, it is administered on behalf of their own job security rather than the true needs and truly needy people of the community. the problem is government that
likes discipline and discretion. private charities rarely have that lack. [applause] >> howard, i will give you two minutes to respond. then we will have our closing comments. >> i will be fairly brief -- there's a difference between defending capitalism and attacking government. there has been a lot of attacking of social security and medicare here. probably not a lot of people in this room who are -- who were alive and social security was put in, probably a lot of people who were alive when medicare was put in. the poorest age group in america before social security and medicare was people over 65 years old. the reason people over 65 years old are not the poorest age group in america anymore is because of social security and medicare. i think it is legitimate to have debate about capitalism and what we are going to do, but the truth of the matter is we can
have a lot of fun and be as libertarian as we want to be about government. the fact is social security and medicare are not going anywhere. that is because the vast majority of americans don't want them to. george bush proposed privatizing social security. he did not oppose getting rid of it, just privatizing it. that was stopped -- the point i'm trying to make is we can have a debate about capitalism. but plunging into this attack on social security and medicare, but it's not realistic because it is a core value of the americans we ought not to have senior citizens be the poorest people in america anymore. that is why we have programs like this and why we will have a health care system like all the other countries which seem to have done pretty well. >> you talk about -- and you are right -- for social security and medicare, the poorest americans or the elderly. but now we have had a massive
income shift to the elderly, all this federal money going to the elderly, you know as well as i do that now the poorest people in america are children. the most impoverished our children. -- the most impoverished are children. look at what president obama decided to do with how many billions of dollars -- give it to senior citizens. when he makes his choices -- and let's be honest -- transferring all that federal revenue to the group that just so happens to both the most consistently and take it away from a segment of society that has the least power -- to vote of the most consistently and take away from this segment of society as least power, is it the federal government -- >> you are talking about the
decrease in social security? >> right. is the federal government not picking winners and losers? while you're giving money to senior citizens, -- [crosstalk] >> sells a security is in trouble and it will only be out of trouble -- social security is in trouble and it will only be out of trouble when -- tip o'neill and ron reagan agreed on how to fix it and there will be more fixing. it is politics and both sides play politics pretty well when the goal is to get elected. somebody will have to come along and fix it. but the fact of the matter is there is redistribution in america and i am not against it, i am for it. in a pure capitalist system like the pre-suppression system here, the people may call the money on wall street -- you think we live in a capitalist system now? before the depression, where
there are no constraints and the people at the top really have a lot of money and the people at the bottom had virtually nothing, especially in rural america, there will be redistribution. that is why medicare and social security are redistribution programs. the question is how much and how will be done and fairly? that is the real argument, not whether we will get rid of medicare and social security. >> there is a survey out that indicates there are more 18 year-old who believe they will see a ufo and a social security check. [laughter] the fact of the matter is the reason why we have not fix this program is because it's used as a baseball bat to call each other over the head. >> that's right. >> it has to stop. it is about leadership. we are ready to close, right? >> we are. >> i wanted to take off from there, if i can close? >> i was just thinking this would be a wonderful time to close because you could take off
right from there. >> here is what i say -- has been a lot of fun. it all gets down to leadership, doesn't it? we tend to focus on the political system, but let's take about -- let's think about the overall system. let's break down for a second -- i wrote a couple of names down -- in sports, we ought to admire pat tillman to when to fight for his country and give up a lucrative nfl career. we will take ronald reagan, they will take fdr. they got everybody to raise their games. franklin roosevelt taking us through a depression and war. we came at a greater country. ron reagan destroyed the character and spirit of our country. they got us all to be better. look at pop culture -- i have to nine rolls and everyday and thank god they are only nine. i don't have to explain to her why britney spears is on the
cover of every magazine. i got to work with the great singers bono who said my platform was given to me by the good lord. that song "i still have not found what i'm looking for" is not about issues. he'd brought republicans and democrats together to do great work. pat robertson, billy gramm, -- that's a fantastic thing because we know there are so many people who proclaimed to be one thing and they are not. yet the billy graham's and pat robertson's have got us all to raise our game because the most important thing is a warship and to understand our creator and love our neighbors as ourselves. in business, there are some scoundrels out there. golden parachutes, giant bonuses, run off to florida and who cares about employees? think about bill gates.
he has changed the world. even a little device like the ipod has brought so much joy. the pharmaceuticals that have been invented that help people with mental ella's and serious heart problems and on and on and on. its leadership. leadership gets people to raise their game. the good lord has given us all a set of talents. our role is to figure them out and use them to become part of a team to raise our game and improve the world. america has challenges. health care, wars, so many things we have to deal with. we will deal with them if we remember what our mothers and fathers taught us about the way we should live our lives. if we all, in our own way, become leaders with the groups we associate with, we can change the world. it's about leadership. if we take it seriously and do the best we can, not sainthood
-- i am not a saint. brush ourselves off, raise the bar, rod american -- remember what our parents taught us, that is how we will change the world and make america a greater place 100 years from now. thank you very much. [applause] >> i'm delighted to follow that because i do not think it is about leadership. i think it's about personal responsibility. there are people who'll be all the time. the good leaders are the ones to tell the truth. but there are an awful lot of people who did not want to listen to the truth. i have been debating all kinds of folks for a long time and it is a lot of fun. but i hear a lot of people talking about their wallets and taxes and bashing the stimulus package. one of the things this stimulus package did was prevent 100,000 teachers from being laid off.
people were up in arms about the stimulus package, but they do not want their property tax to go up or their quality of education to go down. if real leadership was exercised, it should tell people if you wanted something, he would have to pay more taxes and we were not going to give you something for nothing. health care's not going to come solely of savings. there will have to be tax increases. if you do not want it, that's fine, but the situation is not going to change. if you did not get the stimulus package, your taxes would go up more than they did or you would start to have to cut services. you cannot pay something for nothing. the fundamental problem in washington is everyone is afraid to tell you that you cannot get something for nothing. so the deficit goes up because that's the easiest way to finance it. the reason they are afraid to tell you that is because they will be -- there will be inflammatory ads on the television, putting whichever party in one situation or
another, distorting the truth about what that person thinks, and the ads work, which they do, politicians will continue to pave the way they do. i told you in the beginning about this extraordinary new generation, and i talk to them a lot. i spend a lifetime in colleges as a result of the following had during the presidential election. why i say to them is this -- it is not about electing me to help you fix all problems. that's not going to happen. we are going to fix the problems, you are going to fix the problem. i tell this new generation something they already know -- have gone to a foreign country to do something for poor people or kids or teach or build houses -- or they have stayed home and work with their church, synagogue, or mosque to do something for someone else who did not have much. it is a an extraordinary generation. the lifetime generation is -- a lifetime lesson is you can never not be involved in politics. it's not running for office and
collecting money. it is organizing other people to do good in the world or something you believe in. this country is only going to be released from now when we let the great leaders. it's going to be strong when we take personal responsibility in our lives to live the way we know we ought to live. when we do not expect ourselves to be able to elect someone else to do that for us. in our personal lives, we have to live the way we ought to live. my idea of doing that is different from some of you. there are certain companies i did not buy stuff from because i distant -- i disagree with things they're doing. i suspect you do that too, but they're probably different companies for different reasons. there are things i try to do every day. i'm crazy about recycling and my kids think i'm nuts. if everyone did it, it would make a big difference in the carbon footprint we exert and make a difference in the future. we all have that responsibility.
we have the responsibility to reach out to people. i talked to people who want to run to office -- you want to run for office. i say start working with people about stuff they really care about. never mind democrats versus republicans. everyone cares about school and must have better schools. do something about schools. when people vote, they care more about who you are the one-party belong to. that is just true. personal responsibility -- they do not care about the party you belong to. the only way you're going to get leaders to do the right thing is if they feel that they can. the only way they can feel they do the right thing is if you live the right thing in your personal life. change comes from the bottom and goes up it does not come from the top and go down. [applause] >> thank you. dick armey. >> ladies and gentlemen, all
human organizations, whether family, community, state, nation is a division of labor, a division of the '40's, a division of responsibilities. -- a division of the authorities, a division of responsibilities. there are two basic types -- one est. driven, one is private enterprise. -- one is estate driven, one is private enterprise. you have free and intelligent people making voluntary transactions with one another and nobody makes a voluntary transaction unless they believe themselves to be a gainer. almost without exception, voluntary transaction will improve the general well-being. voluntary transactions, free enterprise, private debt -- private enterprise is intellectually and more real -- intellectually and morally superior to public coercion
trade governments are necessary and for the most part good. -- intellectually and morally superior to public coercion. governments are necessarily as for the most part good. they are inferior to private transactions. it is always a question of what is the best blend? what is enough? in the soviet union, based on -- they tried state administration and on themselves to be inefficient, unproductive, and i'm happy except in my pockets of private enterprise. in the united states, which are private enterprise and found ourselves successful because we have a government that understood that it must protect contracts, it must protect private property, it must enforce lawfulness and respect for one another. it must provide for the common defense and for certain public capital goods. governments that have these
disciplines and do these things -- it must of course, levy taxes to fund these activities. it should have the decency to do so in a simple, direct, and honest manner. they do not always have that decency. when it works well, it works best and it always works best year. the bundle -- a final observation i give you is division of labor works when people on the wrong business. that is a problem for government because governments exist for the purpose of minding other people's business. what is to discipline a government? your discipline in private transactions in that you will go out of business unless you make your customer happy. the government has the power to compel you whether you like it or not. where is the discipline to be? informed, intelligent, responsible people who have the privilege to hold office will do their duty and restrain themselves to no more than their duty.
capitalism has worked well and we should be thankful. but it has only worked well because we have a government guided by a constitution that proscribes legitimate, necessary, limits on their audacity. in so far as government to obey those limits, capitalism will survive and we will prosper. i have very few prayers' for america. i find america to be a nation, by and large, among nations in the world, not much in need of prayer. we are prosperous, free, happy, loving, gentle, kind. no nation has loved freedom so much that it has risked its own peace to defend the freedoms of other and asked so little for their efforts. we are a good nation. here is my prayer for america -- i pray america shall have a government that is smart enough to know the goodness of its people and decent enough to
respect it and to respected by restraining itself from its audacities. thank you. [applause] >> thank you. >> i did not realize i would disagree with dick even on the subject of whether or not america needs a prayer, but i actually think this is a moment when america desperately needs a prayer. i think this country is in a real crisis. millions of people are suffering. like they have not been suffering since the great depression. for us to pretend we are not noticing or to close our hearts to what is happening is not just potentially troubling, but one of the main ways in which we can allow both the capitalist system and our democracy to actually deteriorate.
there is a tremendous disaffection, including among young people governor dean mentioned, because especially young people are suffering because they cannot get a job or go to college. they cannot ignore what that means. they cannot ignore the sense in this country that this is not a level playing field. the game is rigged. the fix is in. if your goldman sachs, you can have your tarp money and $20 billion in fdic guarantees and implicit guarantees that no matter what you do, no matter how much to gamble, you are never going to be allowed to fail. but if you are just an ordinary american who loses their job and lose their health care and loses their home, right now you don't even have unemployment insurance extended beyond six months because congress has not gotten that through. that is not the country we want to live in.
that country [unintelligible] right or left, does the matter, we need to recognize that. we have had the system working ever since fdr in -- since the class -- since the glass- steagall act passed. there is good news in all of us, but as the founding fathers said, if we were all good, we would not need government. we need government and checks and balances because we are a mixture. right now, at the end of the clinton years, a bipartisan problem, all of these regulations began to be dismantled. it was larry summers was the architect of the abolition and he is now in charge of economic policies. how convenient. we have allowed banks to produce
contracts that nobody can understand, even if they have a law degree. as a result, ordinary americans are suddenly charge 30% interest rates if they miss a payment. why is that fair? why are we allowing the opportunity cost, which is the most important thing i learned in my economics course, every time we decide to do something, we are for billing doing something else. we gave aig $180 billion of taxpayer money. we had to cut 166 billions -- $166 billion from a state budget. tremendous suffering for millions of americans. is this the country we want to live in? is this the capitalist system we want to survive? i would say no. i would say the capitalist system is ultimately founded on
a judeo-christian ethic which means what ever happens, what ever we do in our economy, our democracy, has to be for the greater good. right now, what is happening, is legalized gambling sponsored by the government. this is not capitalism. this is not what this country was founded on. this is not what we need to do if we're going to become a more perfect union. thank you. [applause] >> how about a big hand for our panel. they did a great job. [applause] congressman, it's good to see you. if you could do me a favor and leave before everybody else.
i don't want you telling anybody the truth about what i really did in washington. howard, why did you laugh so hard at that? do you know something i don't? it's great to be here. my grandma would be very proud. this is great, being able to have people disagree with each other talk. we have forgotten how to do that in america. i just want to leave you with a charge of that is okay. i have been all across america, talking to republicans and democrats alike, and i think most people are getting tired of the screening. they're getting tired of the yelling. regardless of whether they're democrats or republicans, i still do not know how you can read against a president and help the president fails without reading against america. [applause]
my family raised me not to root against the president. my grandmother taught me to pray for a president. i saw my grandmother in the greatest challenge of this prerogative praying for jimmy carter. if you can pray for jimmy carter -- [laughter] i won't finish the sentence. [laughter] howard talk about ronald reagan and tip o'neill. i'm reminded of that great story -- a new york writer, a tough writer, after a tip o'neill got out of office and work with how many presidents, seven great, going all the way back to harry truman -- he asked tip who is
favored president to work with was. he said that's easy, ronald reagan. he would call me up after we were kicking each other all day and punching each other all day and scratching each other all day and he would call me to the white house. there at the white house, at night, those two irish politicians, the two old irish politicians would do what i read politicians do -- drink whiskey, tell stories, and lie. [laughter] and because of that, it never got personal, and were able to do what nobody thought they could do. they tackled social security. it was rough for both of them and rough for both parties, but they did it because they did not hate. there is a great story -- my favorite story. when i was in congress, i would walk the street -- i would walk people through and give them a
tour. i have told the story of a thousand times and i've always had to stop from tearing up -- in the great rotunda, there's a picture of what happened on that remarkable day on july 4th, 1776. thomas jefferson standing next to john adams, the legend is jefferson hated atoms so much he paid the painter to paint his foot on top of john adams'foot. you go there, it looks like that happened. they hated each other. despise each other. but as they moved toward retirement, jefferson and adams started to figure out how good to people who love this country so much hate each other so much? misunderstand each other so much? what did they start doing? they started writing letters. they began understanding each
other. as they moved towards death, they began respecting and loving each other. the night before the 50th anniversary of that magnificent event captured so brilliantly in that painting, the signing of the declaration of independence, 50 years today, on july 3rd, both men were lying in their beds about to die. jefferson called his doctor in at 10:00 and said it is it july 4th yet? the doctor said it was not. at 11:00, is it july 4th? no, it's not trade at 2:00 in the morning, he asked those july 4th yet. and the doctor said yes, mr. president, is the fourth. thomas jefferson closed his eyes and he died. the next morning, in
massachusetts, john adams also lying on his deathbed and called his family around him, called the doctors in and said goodbye to the mall. his last words -- he said goodbye to them all. he said at least jefferson lives. we need to make sure, our children need to make sure, our politicians in washington need to make sure the spirit of jefferson and adams lives again in this country. .
pray for the president. pray for his safety. pray for his children. pray for his wife. pray for this country. thank you for having us here. [applause] thanks a lot. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009] >> this week, naomi klein, a journalist, activist, and author, talks about her
upbringing in the united states and canada and the influence of her parents on her activism. "q&a" tonight at 8:00 p.m. on c- span. >> on this vote, the yeas are 60. the nays are 39. the motion is agreed to. >> with that vote the senate health care bill is moved to the floor. follow the track on the public option, abortion, medicare, and other issues live on our companion network, c-span 2. the only network that brings you the senate gavel-to-gavel. >> the future of the united states economic policy is next. mort zuckerman, and of the columbia university business school dean take part.
this is about 90 minutes. [applause] >> lets get on with the work of the evening. you may be wondering whether america is in long-term decline. the question of our decline is nothing new. think back as recently as the 1970's. just after vietnam, when the popular frame was come home, america. when many said that while our form of government was different from the soviet union, it was not necessarily better. we had to learn to live with that fact. we had to learn to live w not to mention the rising price
of oil, the emergence of a middle east cartel, high unemployment, and the idea of stagflation stagflation was going. then came the 1980's, and almost everything went in precisely the opposite direction, which is why this panel is not called america in decline. i am not suggesting that last time was an anomaly or that this time will necessarily be different. but tonight, the question will be what our esteemed analysts think about the future of the united states as we stand here at the end of 2009. we really have an extraordinary group of panelists. let me just share their introduction so everyone knows who they are. i have learned that people like
introductions. certainly, i like it louise gives me that wonderful introduction. we will first hear from richard haas, counsel for relations, who has worked with two presidents. as council president, he has truly been an entrepreneurial leader. it has always been important, but richard has he brought many scholars and expertise and wide range of subjects. his most recent book is called a " war of necessity, war of joyce," -- "war of necessity, war of choice." glenn hubbard is no ordinary academic. he is dean of columbia business and a tenured professor of finance and economics at the columbia school of arts and sciences.
he has worked for the treasury and as a consultant to the federal reserve bank, and recently he wrote a book called "healthy, wealthy, and wise -- five steps to better health care system." next is robert keeton -- kag an, senior associate at the carnegie endowment for international peace. he has served in the state department as a member of the policy planning and writes a monthly column for the washington post-and is the author of a great history book, dangerous nation, america's place in the world. finally, we have mort zuckerman. his activities span the world of business, where he is co-founder
of one of the largest and most successful real estate empires in the country. and the media world. as co-publisher of the new york daily news, his editorial voice in those publications and many others is a strong and powerful one, and he provides deep insight on many questions. each of us will talk for of five minutes to explain their views, and then he will -- i will try and engage a panelist for questions i have prepared and we will do that for 20 minutes or 25 minutes. at that point in time, we will open it up. with that, let me welcome richard haas.
[applause] >> let me thank roger, not just for assembling my colleagues tonight, but for all that he does to introduce the themes i talk about in the next few minutes. his contributions are important. you cannot discuss the future of the united states without discussing the future of others in the world. to put it another way, the las vegas metaphor does not work. what happens here will not stay here. it will go there. what happens there will not stay there, it will come here. so our future, for better or worse, is inextricably intertwined with the future of others. at the risk of being misunderstood, though, let me say something about our future.
the united states will continue to grow economically, maybe not as robustly, but it will continue to grow, it will continue to get stronger militarily. so by absolute measures, we will grow and get stronger. we begin from a higher base, as opposed to those who have gdp in the whole or per-capita. that is simply a fact of life. the fact that the united states will decline in relative terms, relative terms, is neither good nor bad in itself. it just is. indeed, one of the great moments, the golden year as, was the aftermath of world war two, were the united states grew absolutely, declined
relatively, and engineered that decline, and a principal part of it was called the marshall plan. the idea of a relative decline is not bad, but it depends what happens here. what is the pace and nature of change and what happens elsewhere in the relationship between the two. let me just say something about the two sides of the future. what happens elsewhere, what happens here. economic growth is inevitable, particularly in asia, the most dynamic part of the world, and we would like to stay that way for the foreseeable future. and the growth in others is something we cannot control. in principle, the fact that others get stronger gives them potential to contribute more and become part, so the challenge for american foreign policy is to influence how others use their guerin -- growing
strength and capabilities, to integrate them into an international order with the arrangements that we take the lead in shaping. essentially to help give them skin in the game said it will play the game are rules that we support. we want -- we do not want anyone to think, any leader to think that they can gain more for their country were themselves by overthrowing the rules of the game, by violating them. essentially, we want them to stay inside international relations as we promote them. one principal way to do this is through trade. for others to export to us, they need to maintain high levels of employment. that is one reason, for example, that the u.s.-china trade imbalance, rather than a source of great concern, is also something that gives china
something in international or early arrangements. we can keep in the game and want to with financing. what others to work with us with climate change, dealing with endemic diseases. we're trying to slow terrorist record and an act of terrorism. this is essential the goal of american foreign policy, to integrate others as they inevitably grow stronger, both in absolute terms and relative to us. for ourselves, there's a different goal. that is to make sure the united states stays strong enough so we can participate on the world tries to tackle these global problems and also to discourage
anyone from thinking they have more to gain for overthrowing the system rather than working within it. we do not want anybody to be tempted to become what energy -- henry kissinger called a revolutionary power. that will not just happen. it will require us to get stronger, and that means, of other things, we need to take steps to get our economic house in order, to reduce our deficit, not to eliminate it overnight, but to set it on a path toward gradual reduction. we need to educate ourselves. we do not have the citizenry able to cope with the challenges of the 20th-century, and we need to think of education as not to something and people do, but something that is a life of an enterprise. we need to build economic safety net so people continue to get agitated -- educated. we need to change immigration policy and get beyond the obsession and think about how
the united states once again opened its borders and long numbers to a highly educated people who can help for kendall of culture and the reality of innovation so they can stay here when they have so much to contribute we need an energy policy, not of independence, but a realistic goal. reduced consumption particularly on fossil fuels. essentially we need to put our domestic house in order. let me just say, without going beyond my time limit, that the biggest question facing the united states is not the rise of china or anyone else. it is not islamic fundamentalism or terrorism or anything like it. the biggest question facing the united states is ourselves. it is rather whether institutions are ready for the challenge to function and tackle
real challenges. i do not have the answer to that. in the past, we have the capacity of making ourselves, of dynamism. it is more a political science question as to whether our politics will allow our country to tackle the deficit, or whether politics are so entrenched that they have made these problems tragic. at the end of the day, what makes history more than anything else is people and ideas. i believe again that the child -- the trial for us is to continue to create a political process for people and ideas to proper. i'm afraid that the answer to that is not obvious. i think there are real questions about whether the politics of the united states, whether the
institutions have become sufficiently sclerotic, and special interests, whether we are in a position to assert leadership. [applause] >> thank you. >> thank you for your leadership. this is an amazing place. when roger asked me to speak this evening, he said, i want you to talk about the entire future. listening, 22 minutes can give you the whole world. i want to do something really simple and focus on only two numbers as a touchdown. because this is a said the toll of history, i want to frame and in a historical story. back to 1959.
interesting impromptu exchange between then-vice president nixon and premier khrushchev on consumer goods and the notion of whist country is better able to satisfy consumer wants. nixon pointed out when challenged record show the superiority of color television. but this was a big deal for president nixon. his knowledge that the u.s. might not fare so well in the comparison about missile construction or thrust. fast forward a year to the debate with senator kennedy for the presidency. kennedy called nixon on that and said it is on acceptable, senator kennedy, that we would say this, because clearly missile thrust is more
important, and as an economist, what is more important to me is what the vice-president said. nothing. the correct answer is the superiority of the united states, because of a small critically important number called productivity growth. one of the things that will determine our future is the pace of that growth. vice-president nixon's error was a simple one, but it really was the key to why the race between the united states and soviet union was vastly different. there was also an essential air -- error. crucial for got a simple number.
the no. i'm about to say is a constant. it never changes. it is called 100%. the tierney of 100% is that the shares of government spending must add to 100%. why do i raise an obvious fact of arithmetic? what crucial for got -- khrushchev forgot was that an allocation towards defense is simply with the resources of the productive sectors of the economy, undermining productivity growth. in the same argument of government spending shares adding to 100%, our tierney has to do with missiles -- not missiles for defense, but entirely -- entitlement
spending, looking forward and spending so much more on our entitlement programs that we must have the ability to project american authority and defense or educate our children, a simple number that the congressional budget office tells us if we do not do anything, 25 years from now we will consume 10 percentage points of american gdp, more than they do today. for that to happen, crowding out would occur. these two numbers give a snap the pitch to the story, which is that productivity growth is so important, what can we do about it? two things we can do about it are to write the shift of our financial system, which is a bulwark of our strength in recent decades and to pick up on something richard said, to continue to promote openness in the american agenda and free trade. on entitlements, we cannot raise
taxes sufficiently to fund promises under current law. i make that statement less as a matter of politics as arithmetic. to do so would crowd out the entire increase in american growth that has happened in the past 20 years. i would just wind up with the point richard concluded on, which is that the real thing here has to do with these numbers, the tyranny of 100% and productivity growth. they are not economic insights. there's a real question as to whether we can deliver not only the right outcome for productivity growth but the right mix for our budget. because i am the eternal optimist, i would close with the note that american history has been replete with such arguments on the economic side. we have been successful, and we will. [applause]
>> thank you. then a star with three stipulations. one is that we have had this discussion practically every decade for the last four about impending american decline, but that does not mean we are not right to be having now. we've gone through this before, in the late-80's, and secondly, i would stipulate that what goes up must come down and the united states is not going to be no. 1 forever. at some point, and the question is, are we at that point, 20 years away, a century away, or more? that is the question. if we are counting on the quality of our political leadership and the abandonment of special interests, we are again dead.
because my reading of american history is that that is the norm, not the exception, people rising above the norm is rare, and we succeed despite all of our sclerotic politics. and that is why bismarck said god looks after drugs, children, and the united states of america. i want to try and dispel to debut exaggerations' that i think lead us to accept pessimism about our current situation. one is the tremendous overestimation of the power we had. i heard that america can no longer do everything it wanted to do. i do not remember the time where that is true. if you look of the entire history of the cold war, it was marked a lot by not being able
to do what we wanted to do until we were finally able to do what we wanted to do. but if you look at the time frame that people talk about a decade around the end of world war two, if you think about the events, the marshall plan and reestablishment of nato and getting europe's trade, other things happened. the iron curtain fell, and that shook the entire cold war in an adverse way. there was a major setback soviet testing of a hydrogen bomb, the korean war, and the 1950's.
the united states still enjoys a substantial of vantage as a great power and super power. one is the oldest behalf, which is geographic. we're the only major power that does not live in the neighborhood, doing major power. this is what i call the wolf fourth principle, because it is by a political scientist by that name illustrating it. if you look at the major powers like china, russia, and india, in order to get to where they are perched american power, long before they get to the point, they will get to those around
them that have, as geography has it, some other part to look for for assistance. so as china grows bigger and stronger, it is not surprising that we find greater eagerness or more american involvement in the region, not less. and i think although our west european friends are in different, our eastern friends are not, so there is a natural checking mechanism. it does not have to work, but it is something that other powers have to overcome that we do not have to. so that is a natural thing. i continue to believe that we're the most dynamic economy even as we are going for doldrums, and it is up to other people in the panel to say whether something we're doing now is fundamentally changed that dynamism to the time where we can no longer be dynamic, but our ability to adapt historically to changing circumstances has been greater than those of other countries.
i am not persuaded that is no longer the case. finally, there is the fact of our enormous defense capability, not just measured in the size of our $600 million budget deficit, roughly 3.5% of our gdp, which is a very large number, 3.5% -- it is historically a low number. we were spending up to 8% in the cold war. upwards towards 15% to 20% in the first decades. so our ability to sustain high spending is substantial, and in addition, to the extent in which the debilities for personnel training are there, it is far better than potential competitors. there are weaknesses, potentially, and pitfalls i worry about. we have mortgaged our future, that will have an affect on our
power, but that is not something that we cannot do anything about. i worry about the strength of our allies, because if you want to talk about relative decline in the world, the unmistakable decline is for our european allies. they are in a state of decline, spending less and less, less capability, falling behind. now have to worry about china, which soon will be of spending the entire european union in dollars and capabilities, and also russia and india. so i worry about our allies and about ourselves for different reasons. i worry that we are prone to commit suicide for want of being murdered. by which i mean that we will convince ourselves that we are in decline before we are actually in decline and begin to take actions which, in fact, hasten our decline. we begin in particular to start
ceding power and authority to other great powers before it is necessary or right to do so. thereby, in a way, we create a self-fulfilling prophecy. that is the shorthand. that is the shorthand. i will be happy to talk the q&a. one final point and then i will stop. does it matter? richard suggests, i think, that it is neither here nor there. i guess i agree in some respect. we have declined relative to the european partners during the cold war. i was considered not to be in actual decline. if the allies are getting stronger, you are getting stronger. i do think that it is different. this is where i might agree. i do not see china as a future strategic pal of the united states. i see china as a competitor. i think that they see themselves as a competitor.
i do not think it will be easy for us to sway them from that notion because it is so fundamentally true. we can talk about this in the question and answer, but when we talk about integrating powers, especially rising powers, there's the question, do they want to be integrated? we're asking them to be integrated into a system of our making. it serves our interests. the one system that serves our interests and is of their choosing, and i think our ability to integrate will to a certain extent be limited and we will have to engage in old- fashioned realist activity of balancing and checking as we try to integrate. i know that richard does not disagree with that. let's not kid ourselves that it does not matter. there is a lot about the situation that is the product of american power, and i think that a lot of people live under the illusion that we can proceed but all the things we like will stay
i went to graduate school in the united states. i ended up owing $500 to my law school and i sold my 7-year-old chevrolet. i had a wonderful experience in this country. in many ways it was unique to this country and culture. it was clear to me why anyone with energy and talent would ed -- it clear to me that a body with energy and talent would want to move here because of the opportunities created -- and not just in terms of economic opportunities, but in general. it open society from the bottom up and like a place like canada or england that was more of the top down society. there was much less present -- prejudice.
despite all of this experience that would have made me very optimistic on some new levels, i have developed an increasing sense of pessimism about where we're going in the future. the main reason for that, frankly, is the propensity of the american system now to produce weekly -- leadership to paralyze that leadership. without it, we will have a difficult time solving the myriad of problems that we are trying to grapple with. the emergence of this kind of leadership where, in a sense, the national interest is put more head of the political interest -- it has always been a part of the history of the united states. what worries me is the rare inability of leadership to concern itself -- to discern
itself as leadership. we're living in york where someone came out of the wilds and gave the impression for a very long time that he put the interest of the city ahead of his own political interests. for that reason, his role was enhanced. this is a country that is hungry for that kind of leadership, and we don't see it very often. this is the exception to the rule. what worries me about the ability to produce the right kind of leadership is the nature of our political system and the nature of the role of the media. i find myself a little bit puzzled. it in terms of our political system, unlike the british system where you have the cabinet and the majority in the house of commons so that your executive and legislative branch comes out of the same party.
it doesn't mean you will be reelected, but you can make decisions that will be made legislation. at least there is the chance to implement major programs. we have a system now where the legislator has hundreds of different constituencies and is responsive to various elements and is almost always with depressing ready, you get the sense of people not putting the national interest ahead of their political interest. it is extraordinarily difficult to deal with the issues, whether it be health care reform or a stimulus program we have a political system that is not conducive to general leadership. it doesn't mean -- is much more
difficult to imagine that occurring that it is. this is something that worries me enormously. it is easy to talk about what would be wise international or domestic policy. it is much more difficult to implement it. the fragmentation of political power is an enormous cost involved in running for office and staying in office. there factors that have emerged in the most recent decade. it seems to me to suggest -- we will meet increasingly going forward. we have always had the luxury of being shielded.
canada was not a threat to the united states. no matter what you may have thought, we're not taking over the country in any way. it is very difficult to attack the united states. one thing is the absolute shock to the system that came out of 9-11 -- 9/11. it was the first time we had an attack on our soil since the british attacked the white house. it happened a scale that will completely upset the whole country. i do not know if we have the capacity to deal with these kinds of issues. there is such an emotional response that makes it very difficult to govern, and the role of the media does not help. particularly when the media is
more visual than it is reality. the images tell partial truth, the humans do not tell the truth. they distort the american political system and indeed, the american political issue. it is astounding to me to see how people can claim a victory on today's news stories. it is going on today, as we speak. i find it very discouraging. i remained optimistic about the qualities of american society. its willingness to recognize merit -- the one thing that is disturbing to me is the corruption. not just an economic corruption, but in terms of the money that it takes to dominate the media on one level or another and how this can be
presented to the american public in ways that really did not tell an accurate story. i have no answer to that unless the other members of the panel decide to run for office. [applause] >> what i would like to do is engage with our panel members. initially, we will do a couple of foreign policy questions and we will do the economic question. i would just ask that we try to keep our answers as brief as possible. not so brief to say nothing, but brief enough so that we get a lot accomplished in this time. . -- time period. i think we have to ask ourselves this question. i will ask you this, richard and bob.
will we have to learn to live with red as a nuclear power -- with i raran as a nuclear power? and will begin this weapon to states like saudi arabia, syria, egypt, turkey, jordan? and what will that do going forward? -- in terms of united states security and global security? >> the short answer is will we have to live with iran as a state with nuclear weapons, i would certainly hope not. it would provide a backdrop for which there foreign-policy which is already plenty assertive -- this is a principle states
sponsor of terrorism. this is the group that is the principal backer of such entities as hezbolla and hamas. an iran with a nuclear weapon would be an extraordinarily bad strategic element. it would place the middle east on something of a hair trigger the next time there were as confrontation between israel and iran, or one of the proxy's. proliferation would not stop there. if iran were to gain nuclear- weapons, several of the arab regimes might reconsider their own policies or positions. as bad as the middle east is today, the idea of a middle east with multiple fingers on multiple triggers ought to be
-- the question is, can you stop it? , one is with the negotiation. i have no idea whether that is negotiable. it is right to try. we will see if we can get the russians and the chinese to join the united states and europeans with a bank of sanctions. given what is going on within iran, nobody would consider with certainty that the negotiations will succeed. the principal alternative is military force in my own view. the united states would buy a small amount of time, perhaps a couple of years. i do not believe it would change the basics. that would be the principal, a lesson derived by most iranians
i would worry that a military strike would short circuit the most interesting and promising political dynamic in the middle east, which is the rise of the islamic revolution. i feel a little bit like yogi berra, if there is a fork in the road, take it. we have no particularly attractive options. we have to look at deterrence. >> i do not have much to add to what richard said except that if you look back at history at all the times when people say, if only this country had done this, it could have forestalled the horrors to come. if only the french had stopped
hitler. if only britain had been able to land the force on the continent that would deter germany before world war one. they are immensely difficult. immensely dangerous. if the actions had been taken, people would blame them for doing it. this is what of those things that of course, it is terribly difficult, but i do believe that as we look back on those episodes, if we look back on this and say that we did not stop iran from getting nuclear weapons, we will consider it a missed element with big consequences. what is interesting to me is that the breadth of opinion runs from the right to all the way to the non-proliferation. some of the most fervent in the administration are about non- proliferation. you'll get tremendous
proliferation following a iran. people see venezuela or brazil drizzling -- pursuing nuclear weapons. the notion that iran can go ahead and do this without consequences is astounding. if something is unacceptable, you have to do [unintelligible] >> is there anyone there really thinks that when the administration says that is unacceptable, will they do anything about it? it is hard for me to understand. they are an administration committed to engagement. it is the use of the kind of force that it would take to deter a regime like iran.
there is concern in parts of the arab world over whether or not this is an administration that is willing to be tough. as a major leader said, we're not sure that the united states has the will to confront its enemies. we don't even know if they have the will to support their friends. i think that if iran and its achievement of nuclear capabilities is going to be the litmus test, and if all the estimates are right, this is going to happen in the next 18 months. it is certainly a new world. i can't imagine that we hope -- it is something i don't see happening. does anybody here think that the
administration is going to oppose force? -- oppose iran with force? >> the pentagon is close to acquiring a deep penetration conventional weapon. why this news has made it to television, i don't know. but i suspect. stranger things have happened in history. i do not rule out the possibility that the administration would take that action. in >> let's talk about taxes. [laughter] the administration plans to raise income-tax is as taxes on related items from health care to energy. with these projected increases,
we will be flirting with a 60% federal marginal rate, on top of which there are state and local taxes. what will be the impact of these kinds of changes in our tax policy relative to economic growth? in a given that the driving force in this administration or any would be how you create jobs. can this strategy work? what would you recommend? >> those are a lot of great questions. for the dismal science to become the more entertaining part is a rare thing. i would begin by saying that marginal taxes are high -- [unintelligible]
what the american people for get and what our leaders often forget -- the really fundamental finance decisions are about spending. taxes and deficits are accounting terms that pay for spending. we either pay for today or we shift the bill to our children. are we locking ourselves on to a spending trajectory that necessarily implies tax increases? if we don't make changes soon, absolutely. we have entitlements alone in a commitment to spend 10% of american gdp. we might cut back on defense and education, but we are on the hook for a tax increase. economists that have studied the link between taxes and growth, if we raised taxes as much as it would take to validate the end
of this president's budget, we would probably crowd out about a full percentage point of american gdp growth. that is the entire dividend that we got from productivity since the 90's. these are not nesmall numbers. economists -- the reason i say it is necessary, we cannot raise taxes with the current system enough to accommodate. for a variety of reasons, we will see that. you asked about jobs. the first is to focus. if you really want to focus on the economy, don't be simultaneously trying to do cap-in-trade and health care. try to figure out what you want to do.
we have been talking about mandates in the health care bill, set to increase taxes, all of these things are job killers. that would include a focus on basic skills. >> let me just ask you a related question. i know you have written on it. the congressional budget office has projected that over the next 10 years, national debt will rise from 41% of gross domestic product which it was in 2008, to 82%. two related questions. will we be able to fund this debt without destroying the credibility of the dollar? and relatedly, will we be
forced to raise interest rates enough to get them to buy these bonds? what is the risk underlying the nascent economic growth? >> it is clear was pessimistic in my first comment. i think we are in a very strange position as a country in macro economic and microeconomic terms. we have had a shock to the system that is really unprecedented. it is affected -- it has affected the attitudes of american business. they can make quite a bit more money by cutting costs.
the cost is going down. what does that mean? they're letting people go and they are not going to rehire as many people that had been hired when we come out of recessions. other discretionary expenditures which probably have national significance -- i refer you to advertising in print. this is really a national tragedy. wherever business has really looked at their operations and really -- i think productivity went up something like 9% in the third quarter. at an unprecedented and probably unsustainable number. it tells you something about where the american business world is. we will see a continuation of this as we go forward. because virtually -- in a sense,
the growth of the economy is primarily going to be keeping costs under control. the opportunities for hiring or rehiring is the lowest it has been in the last 30 or 50 years. the attitude has changed, and it has changed for consumers. we were on a consumer binge that was sustained by borrowing. that is no longer sustainable. the attitude of the consumer has changed. we will see -- i don't see how we will be able to sustain -- we will have to do it. as we were implying, there is
tremendous downward pressure on the ability of the american economy to grow. i do not think that we're going to be in a position -- we have no choice about that -- debt. if you have too much credit card debt, or a disproportionate low in relation to the value of your home, if you lose your job, you still have to pay your debts. so we will be in the same position as a country. the issue of that has become a more serious political issue. the country is really worried about the assumption of debt and what it means for succeeding generations. it goes in the same issue that i find pretty deeply troubling.
the about the deficits that we are building into our system are really staggering. if you look at the health care system carefully, it is going to add dramatically to our national debt. it is going to be virtually impossible politically. i am in favor of health-care reform, just not this particular form of it. not only will the economy be squeezed, but the public will have a very different attitude. it would be wonderful if that was not the case, i just -- >> i can't put a probability on it, but you raise china as well.
china and the u.s. raised the issue of being virtuous, but not yet. make a change about what you have done gradually. the u.s. needs to gradually increase. china needs to go the other way. they need to strengthen safety nets to reduce their savings. >> one or two more questions and we will open it up to you guys. between 1945 and 1989, the united states went through what is called the long war. the cold war. the cold war against the soviet union. are we got a similar time, but
the time of some form of conflict -- are we not in a similar time? the time of some form of conflict? how do we have bill ourselves domestically? ? there is some sort of a conflict or struggle with terrorism that is done in the name of islam. i'm not particularly wild about the metaphor that suggests that military instruments, soldiers, battlefields -- none of those things seem to be right. one is for people that have made a career choice to be terrorists. we have got to stop them. the best analogy i am able to think of is disease.
attack it where you can. you've got to build recovery mechanisms. we're likely to see another -- that is part of what we have to that is part of what we have to do. the countries that are either harboring them reactive lead to try to bring them up. i would simply say that that is easier said than done, as we see every day with pakistan. i would have to conclude that the only thing more difficult than dealing with your adversaries in foreign policy is dealing with your friends. . is a painful reminder. the bigger challenge is to get to people before they make a career choice. we want to somehow interrupted the recruiting chain because there is a limited number of terrorists. there is an unlimited number of what you might call potential
terrorists. that requires getting inside the that requires getting inside the education system, the process by which religious leaders are taught and trained. at the top of the list, that includes influencing saudi policy. it has been the most unhealthy. it means getting inside pakistan in figuring out ways to bolster the government so they can change the curriculum. to borrow from the late great political scientist, in order to avoid a clash between civilizations, we have to do what we can to stimulate a clash within the sterilization. -- with any civilization.
-- within the civilization o. it limits with the u.s. government can do. u.s. foundations and universities can play a role. for muslims to have within their own societies -- if we limit ourselves to going after existing terrorists, that will be a loser's game. i never forgot what the ira told her. dillard and they came close. they said that we felt tonight, but you have to succeed 100 percent of the time. we don't. we hope that we succeed 100% of the time. as good as we are, we can't
expect to succeed 100% of the time. we have got to somehow figure ways of getting inside the recruiting chain of these organizations. >> in the largest sense, this struggle is going to be with us for a long time. with all respect to richard, i am always told that my foreign- policy is too ambitious. but the notion that a judeo- christian culture will get inside their heads and convince them to go in a different direction -- i agree with you that they have to deal with it by our ability to -- influence their decision. what i worry about, and i was critical of the bush
administration for this, his foreign-policy that is built around fighting that struggle. there is too much else going on for us to focus only on this. to see everything going on through the lens of this struggle. the paradox is, as richard says, the risk of making a mistake is so high that the risk of not stopping is so high. you can't make it the only focus of your foreign policy. he had to do your best to deal with this. the other great powers -- i do not want us to lose focus by -- i don't think the military will have a tremendous amount of these struggles. i would say that if you ask me to put money down right now as to whether or not we will wind
up taking military action in somalia before the end of the obama administration, i would say it is better than 50%. there'll be times that we will not be able to permit them taking over that territory. is the higher likelihood of death in his chosen career. >> one second. i just have to requests. -- two requests. no political statements, grand visions, or geopolitical strategies. i just want -- just one question
per person. this gentleman is the most eager. he probably has a real soft ball. >> i am impressed with all the members of the panel. whether it is in regard to iran or regard to combating islamic fundamentalism/terrorism, in terms of what you read in the newspapers, china, russia, and other players -- are they at divergent points of view with the united states? the press reports are indicating they're coming around a little bit, but not cooperating. wouldn't it be the case that they would also have an interest in combating this as well.
-- as well? >> the question is whether china and russia are against nuclear weapons. they are. the real question is if they will do something to make that not come to pass. they seem reluctant to introduce or support the kind of robust sanctions that might actually place something in a helpful role. they're both also worried about iranian support of subversion within their territory. russia and china fear the impact. they're both likely to be what you might call limited partners. the process that is under way,
the negotiating phase is going to persuade the iranians that the risks are greater than what they perceive to be the benefits. >> the0 this gentleman right here. -- this gentleman right here. >> they seem to have these long- distance missiles. >> we didn't have to ask the question, can we learn to live with nuclear weapons? we are already living with north korea at the's nuclear weapons. -- north korea's nuclear weapons. i hope that we will build a
missile defenses to deter them from doing that. north korea has so few foreign policy options. they are so bottled up in their miserable corner of the world. if your japan, you don't feel this way. -- if you are japan, you do not feel this way. we learn a great deal more about iran posing nuclear-weapons -- iran's nuclear weapons. i stay up late at night less over north korea. >> the big question i have is china. the one country that has potentially decisive moves on north korea is china and they have decided not to exercise it so far. we need to get china to play a more helpful role to reassure them about what -- that ought to
be the ultimate foreign policy goal. there are limits to what i believe we can do. if the north koreans don't do it themselves, it is in beijing. >> yes, sir? that's it. >> one question, where do we get the resources to deal with the kinds of things being proposed? [inaudible] we haven't got the forces or the manpower.
and we don't have the resources financially. or any of the other things going on. somebody please give me an answer. >> i believe we have the military capabilities. there may be a lot of post of and consequences. we do have the military capacity to be able to knock out virtually everything that iran is doing, assuming we know where most of it is. i don't think that is the issue. we're spending billions of dollars on our military costs. by almost any standards, that will give us the military capability. as you know, i think our biggest are not going to be on
the military side, but on the civilian side of things. these are going to be enormous and growing costs that are not going to be sustainable. if anybody wants to hear david walker, who is now the head of the peterson institute, he knows these facts inside and out. those costs are very frightening in terms of our ability to see them over the next decade. >> there is no question that the united states can finance an elaborate defense establishment in the educational system, strong public goods, and a good safety net. we are, as he says, on an
unsustainable path. the taxes that we raised are incompatible. we must make a decision as a country. we either cut back over the next generation, or we will cut back everything else. >> we have got to get a microphone. >> we seem to be facing a decision on afghanistan right now. the president seems to be getting conflicting advice. where would you come down on this issue, and how would you justified it -- justify the incursions into afghanistan? >> you may end up getting conflicting device if you go to some of my colleagues on this panel. i think afghanistan is a war of
choice. what general mcchrystal has suggested, we have a range of options. in order to make a large investment in afghanistan, is somehow central to the effort. there is nothing special or unique about afghan real-estate. there are lots of other places where al qaeda and groups like it are holing up. it may become a sanctuary where the taliban can undermine pakistan. if they are already don't have pakistan as a sanctuary. i am not arguing that afghanistan is irrelevant.
i just don't see it as critical to the effort against terrorism or the future of pakistan. i don't think the general has made the case -- this is really at the heart of the president's dilemma. would it, in the long run, accomplish anything? would the results be commensurate with the investment? if we put in 40,000 more troops, things will improve. i have no doubt about that given the talent of the u.s. military. the real question is, will it and door once we dial it back? -- endure once we dial it back. there is also the reality of corruption that we're not going to get rid of. i do not see it as producing commensurate results. i would roughly stay where they
are for the time being. i would put an emphasis on training rather than more fighting. i would put much greater resources into pakistan, and i would except at the end of the day, there are limits to what we can accomplish. that is something to you have to keep in mind. you have got to respect political culture. there is a limited ability of the united states to transform them. >> of what this is about pakistan that was interesting. we used to have telephone conversations with the president of pakistan. i would ask him, what can we do to stabilize your country?
his in answer was, textile quotas. think of all the things you can do, but textile quotas? >> it would employ a lot of women and it would help me politically. the congress will not allow an increase in textile quotas for pakistan because of domestic political interests. i went back and said, is there anything else? he said, we have a shortage of flour. i could dispense it to various parts of the country and it would help me. even that could not be done. the when you think about what we can do, it is really a challenge to come up with something that will have durability. i do feel sorry -- it is sorrya mcchrystal strategy. it was asked that he imlement an
obama strategy. after a strategic review, he said that this is what we must do. he then turned to general mcchrystal to get advice. he said that afghanistan was a war of necessity. this is not something that the president of the united states can easily do in reverse himself and saying that -- and say that karzai is corrupt. he was corrupt months ago. this is not new. how do we get the president out of the box that he put himself in? >> bob, do what to say something about this? >> union and entirely different point of view? -- you mean an entirely
different point of view? we're not showing enough imagination. it is easy to say that we should maintain the current levels. the question was, he is facing conflicting advice. his problem is that he is gotten too much of the same advice from military. they'll think that current levels are trajectory toward defeat. if you maintain current levels, we talk about the ft. we're not showing enough imagination about that. the consequence is not negligible. almost everywhere we've never fought -- we've ever gought, -- fought, the consequences are still the same.
who knows what happens in afghanistan, and who knows what the ripple effect is around the world. when we talk in terms of a massive increase in forces, at least from my historical perspective, that is not a massive number by any stretch of the imagination. we have employed numbers of troops overseas in combat situations. the philippines -- the war comes to mind in 1900. not to mention the thousands of troops in vietnam. an additional 40,000 troops is somehow unthinkably massive. i believe it is mistaken. finally, the 40,000 troops make a difference? none of us are experts, but what
i believe is the goal of the 40,000 troops is to get to the point where richard wants to get to, creating enough space to create stability to beat back the taliban sufficiently as the train the forces. the strategy is to get -- the only way out as forward. we have to fight our way, and if we keep current levels, it will be a very unpleasant experience. >> this is a follow-on to rogers initial question about iran turning into a nuclear power. i heard the panel state a couple of options. one dealt with negotiations, and the other dealt with military action. i propose a third option, having
spent a fair amount of time with leaders of the green party. they believe that their adoption is regime change. they feel that june 12 was a the -- basically, the great many iranians said that they were willing to not only go out and the streets, but to die and be tortured for what they thought was the right thing. is there a way that intelligently, we can bring our power to help those three human- rights efforts or even through some form of severe sanctions that would strengthen the green party? >> i believe there are three options before you get to regime
change. there is use of military force, and living with it. regime change is an important idea, because to put it bluntly, if iran had a clear weapons, but it was a very different terrain, it would not keep us up as much. >> a good point. >> but the fact that it is this iran run by the clerics in the revolutionary guard -- the events in june have lit a fuse, and it has raise real questions in the arm of political legitimacy. the political regime has been hijacked by these characters. the problem for policymakers --
it is easy to see the title and a nuclear development than the timeline on political change. i suspect that we would prefer to see political change in iran. their limited tools that we, as outsiders -- the imbalance is pretty clear. my hunch is that so long as this regime is released to kill and incarcerate large numbers of its own people, my fear is that it will stay in power long enough and then some to develop nuclear weapons if that is, in fact, what it wants to do. i believe we should. it is sort of a backdrop for policy, but i don't think that we have the luxury of making american foreign policy to say
that is going to be the policy we're going to count on to resolve this problem for us. regime change in the case of the soviet union took 40 or 70 years. by then, iran can have a lot of nuclear weapons. i would be happy to look at ideas of accelerating the process, but i don't think that you can walk into the oval office and say, mr. president, i am confident that we have a policy that would bring about regime change quickly enough to be able to make it likely that a less malign iran would emerge. >> the last question on this side. ma'am? this lady here. >> can hear me?
i called the when a couple of months ago asking them questions. my question was, while of this -- why are all of these countries becoming clear all of a sudden? -- nuclear all of a sudden? what happened that everybody wanted to be nuclear? [unintelligible] they say that france gave it to them. it is sort of an accepted and the secret agreement. obama is going along with the whole thing. i think it made everybody want to be nuclear.
we have our money, our money, our money. i sorta think -- i have great not -- grandchildren now. what in the hell went wrong? when i called the u.n., i never got an answer. everyone i asked a question transferred me to another number. nobody hung up. >> thank you for the question. mort, you are the answer man. >> when richard was referring to the possibility that belgium had nuclear weapons and it would not -- the same thing is true if israel has nuclear weapons. let's assume that they do. they're not under aggressive expansionist power.
there is the idea that they can deter 7.5 million people surrounded by countries that are surrounded by -- that are the size of the united states. it does not worry me, frankly, that israel has nuclear weapons. i think it is clear that they would be using them for defensive purposes. and only to try and protect their country. they will use conventional weapons well in advance. the real danger now is that there is a country that is emerging that has threatened the very existence of israel, and that is iran. how do you deal with that? iran is clearly doing whatever they can to develop nuclear weapons, and they have not only
expansion in terms of israel, but they believe by a large that iran is -- i was in egypt several months ago. they. a hezbolla cell there. what were they going to do? they were trying to blow up the ship in the suez canal, because the revenues from tourism are the two major economic supports for that regime. with them being fairly elderly, they hope to destabilize the regime so that the muslim brother can take over. i have spoken to most of the arab regimes. they're really concerned about iran pose the expansion. -- iran's expansion. you have to measure, if you can,
the level of the intentions. [applause] >> thank you. we said we were going to end, so i apologize to many of you. i would like to ask you guys a couple of questions by a show of hands, just to get some sense of where you are on this. how many in this audience would increase our troop commitment in afghanistan by 30,000 or 40,000? that is probably a little over half, but it is a significant number. >> by what they're recorded vote. it looks like under half to me. >> a poor sample. the west side of new york. how many in this audience, from
>> the senate begins debate on health care bill tomorrow. for a preview, we spoke with a capitol hill reporter. as the senate began deliberations on health care, what can we expect to see? >> i think the big focus in the next several weeks, and last several weeks, is a quest to get 60 votes in the senate over and over again. every time democrats get to 60 votes, they will have to start the process if the bill changes slightly. if there are counter sale positions around abortion and the public plan, to get senators aboard and of it forward. >> before the thanksgiving break, they said they would approve the vote to keep the debate alive, but they may not
vote for the bill itself. what will it take to get the support of the fence sitters? at compromises in a number of areas as the senate, led by harry reid, tries to get there and keep this handful of senators on board. the biggest area and where they stand to lose the most votes out of the democratic caucus comes from the public plan. that has attracted a lot of controversy over the last several months. a handful of senators, ben nelson from nebraska, joe lieberman from connecticut, and others all had issues with this. there will need to be changes before the bill can go forward. >> any compromises on issues emerging? >> i think there are a few ways this could go. one hand is taking up the public plan entirely. this does not seem likely because liberal senators would have an issue with this and you
may run into this same problem that centers have right now. another way is to find out how to scale back what's in there already. we have an opt out provision or states can choose not to participate if they want to. it might be that we had toward a trigger proposal which is something one of the -- which is something columbia snow has been pushing for that will allow the states to have a public plan if they were triggered ed if premiums the dog go fast enough. that is one way it could be done. the other way is an opt in plan and instead of an opt out plan to allow states to choose if they want to and used to exempt themselves. >> you mentioned senator snowe from maine. are there any others you may step forward to support the bill? >> the only other small probability is the other senator from maine, center collins.
i think you'll see centers node join in the bill before you see senator collins do so. they have worked together on issues like this in the past because of their moderate politics. the armada of about what comes from the state of maine. their interests are closely allied, but other than that, the list is too long and not getting any bigger. >> should we look for republicans to offer health care alternatives during this debate? >> i think you will see lots of points of debate, but a lot of it will be over objections. so far, one of the biggest priorities has been trying to do something about medical malpractice. the problem is even with a lot of changes republicans might want to get in the bill, it does not mean they would support it. i think you have to see an almost entirely different product from we have now before there is any republican support.
i do not see any way republicans are going to end up supporting this. >> will the majority leader be able to wrangle the votes to get the vote -- to get the bill passed. >> i think they will eventually, it just depends on what looks like. it's going to come back to this continuing, multi-faceted quest to find 60 votes and you'll have to do it over and over again every time the bill changes. when the margin is this small, one senator's opinion matters immensely. if you lose one vote, it's over. every single change has the potential to upset all of them. he need to look at it as not just one case of getting to 60 votes, but getting the 60 votes over and over again, starting fresh each time. >> thank you for your time. >> this week on "prime minister's questions" the prime
minister discusses how the government is responding to recent floods in the u.k. and the rear -- the reported use of money for as lead treated for an alleged islamic extremists group. that's tonight at 9:00 eastern on c-span. >> on this boat, the yeas are 60, the nays are 39, having voted in the affirmative, the motion is agreed to. >> with that vote, the senate moves its health-care bill to the floor all the entire debate and how the bill affects access to medical care, public option, taxes, abortion, and medicare. live on our companion network, c-span2, the only network that brings you the senate gavel-to- gavel. >> scholars and officials met at the john f. kennedy library to talk about how the presidency is
changing in the so-called nuclear age. this is about one hour 25 minutes. >> i would like to thank all of you today. for all our sins, presidential libraries hold -- there are unique repositories of our history. in helping to plan this institution, my mother described her hopes that it would be a vital center of a it is an honor with the kit -- it is an honor for the kennedy library to partner with the 12 other presidential libraries and national archives to post this timely symposium on the presidency in the nuclear age.
the last time we did one of these on vietnam, there were parallels to current events and i think the same is true today, which makes this conference all the more important and interesting because we cannot help but notice the parallels with past conflicts when we read the news of recent months. one week ago, there were two satellite photos on the page of the "new york times" that showed nuclear sites in iran. one showed a side under construction in the sector was photographed last month, revealing a fully built structure, fortified to withstand a potential attack. obviously, those of you here this morning who remember 1962, cannot help but be reminded of the photographs of the satellite plans presented to senator kennedy as proof of the
construction of nuclear sites in cuba. the question then, as is now, is not whether nuclear-weapons and the materials needed to build them are being developed, it is called for the use of diplomacy and international law and our efforts, we can prevent these materials and weapons from getting into the wrong hands and ever being used against innocent civilians. throughout his career, my father believed in the power of history to guide us in finding the answers to challenges such as these. he encouraged members of his cabinet to read " the big guns of august" to prevent the misjudgment that led to world war one in his day. he wrote "profiles in courage" to share these stories of senators to acted on principle and the national interest and encouraged modern citizens to take the same kind of risk. in his speeches, he alluded to lessons from the past. history tells us, he reminded a
german audience on the eve of his speech in berlin, that this unity and relax action are the great [unintelligible] of any alliance. the peloponnesus were mighty in battle but handicap at a policy- making body in each and generally results in no action at all. he believed in taking action and warned against complacency and encouraged the free world to confront the threats posed by our adversaries through the art of statecraft. we must be united, not only by a danger and necessity, but i hope and purpose as well. our purpose as we gather here today is to assemble historians and presidential advisers, scholars and diplomats, to analyze past presidential efforts to limit the spread of nuclear weapons and consider
what lessons they offer to the perils of our current challenges. i know how much my father relied on the advice and counsel of ted sorensen on these matters and we are fortunate to have him here along with one of president kennedy's most trusted national security advisers. [applause] i know i speak on behalf of everyone in this audience in expressing my appreciation to them and all of our speakers for their willingness to participate in these proceedings. i also want to thank the assistant archivist for the presidential libraries, the foundation for the national archives, and all the presidential libraries for their support of this conference. i think these libraries spread across our country are incredible resources for citizens to really learn about and take part in history in
their communities and across our country. i would love to support all our presidents to libraries in being a part of our history today. clifton truman is here representing his grandfather's library. it's always nice to be associated with him and the tremendous institute. we are grateful to george herbert walker bush for convening is officially this morning and president bill clinton, whose remarks will proceed the last panel. as it was described in the previous discussion, president kennedy's experience during the cuban missile crisis inspired him to move beyond the political and military structures he inherited and developed what he called a new strategy for peace. in the last year of his presidency, he made a concerted effort to strengthen international alliances and promote nuclear disarmament. perhaps his proudest achievements was the first nuclear test ban treaty, a ceremonial copy of which is on display right outside this room.
before the next panel begins, we will watch excerpts from a conversation between secretary of state henry kissinger and harvard university professor graham allison. i want to thank gramm allison for traveling to new york to conduct a special interview so it could be part of our conference proceedings. again, thank you to all of you for coming in part his pain and i hope you'll come back times in the future. -- for coming and participating and i hope you'll come back many times in the future. [applause] >> i'm gramm ellison, a professor at harvard. is my great honor to introduce an interview, a longtime professor, fred, former
secretary of state, former national security adviser, henry kissinger. thank you for taking the time. >> a pleasure to be here with you and a great things to the kennedy library, since an important part of my life was associated with the family. >> what i am going to do is ask three or four questions about nuclear weapons and presidents and their advisers attempt to grapple with them and basically put them out and let you talk because the opportunity is to hear from you. in the white house years, you tell a story i think it's fascinating. is the beginning of the nixon administration. and it's all the rest going on, you say my staff and i, with the president's strong support, undertook a re-examination of military doctrine. the first problem was to define the strategy for general nuclear war. according to the doctrine of assured destruction which had
guided the previous administration, we did term -- we deter the soviets attack by defensive forces at the table of achieving a number of civilian deaths and industrial damage. it was all very well to threaten mutual suicide for the purpose of deterrence, particularly in the case of a direct threat to national survivor -- national survival. but no president could make such a threat credible except by conducting a diplomacy that suggested a high irrationality. how could u.s. hold its allies together as the credibility of the strategy eroded and that we deal with this issue if it came time, as you say, if deterrence failed, and the president was finally faced with the decision to retaliate, who would take the moral responsibility for recommending a strategy based on mass extermination of civilians?
i know this is when you wrestle with all of your life. but pinky about now, in retrospect, what would you recommend and how -- but in thinking about it now, how would you recommend -- how would you answer that now question >> i have no answer to it because there is no answer to it. the question that tormented the most when i was in government and was one of those who would surely be asked, was what would i say if the two presidents i served were to tell me they've come to the end of their diplomacy and had no other weapons except nuclear weapons. i never gave myself an explicit answer, but i would have been at a minimum almost totally reluctant and i cannot visualize that i would have said let us
implement a plan that might kill tens of millions of people in days. on the other hand, in crises, we had to maneuver in order to maintain the credibility. there were two occasions when we won on -- what we went on that very limited alert. so-called investigative journalists are ridiculous, but there was a heightened readiness of conventional forces. that implied a certain limited readiness of nuclear forces.
our adversary was in the same position. both sides stopped well short of nuclear war. in the contemporary time, when they are not highly technologically advanced countries capable of developing nuclear weapons, they may be technologically advanced enough to produce nuclear weapons, but got all the control systems or warning systems, nor do they necessarily have, in all probability do not have the same moral restraints. the further spread of nuclear weapons produces a situation where nuclear weapons will be used some time and then the world will live in a different
situation altogether. >> let me pick up from that one. you had been the preeminent students of international order. my question has to do with how fragile the global nuclear order may be today. in 1963, kennedy warned that on the current trajectory, maybe by the mid-1970s and you would have 20 nuclear states. he said that would be catastrophic because nuclear weapons would be used at that led to a diplomatic surge of activity that produced the non- proliferation treaty and where we now have eight and half nuclear-weapons states rather than the 20 or 25 he was talking about. in april, the road and interesting piece in which to talk about the connection between nuclear weapons and world order. you say that proliferation is
the most immediate illustration of the relationship tween world order and diplomacy. if north korea and iran succeed in establishing nuclear arsenals in the face of a stated opposition of all major powers in the un security council and outside, the prospects for international order will be similar -- severely damaged, in world nickel -- a world of multiplying nuclear states, it would be unreasonable to say those would never be used or fall into the hands of rogue organizations. so you say the next couple of years our time when this global nuclear order will stand or fall. >> let's take the two candidates for nuclear-weapons. first, north korea. here is a country that has next to no film -- next to no foreign trade, no resources anyone wants, no great industrial
capacity, its powerful neighbors, japan, russia, the united states, and south korea, probably not neighbors -- >> china. >> and china. we opposed their program. in the face of all this, they can emerge with a nuclear capability, as they seem to be doing, and if they can violate previous agreements with impunity and get new negotiations out of it, then the prospects are up -- a prospect of world order are limited. why should not other countries follow the same road? we have seen in syria, north koreans were building a plant on their own models. iran is more complicated because north korea does not directly
threaten any other country with its capacity. potentially, it does, but iran is in the middle of the world in which it explicitly threaten israel. but also, the city-state's in the region are not likely -- the sunni states in the region are not likely to sit by. their traditional ideological enemy require -- acquires a nuclear arsenal. when you have the motivations of the middle east added to nuclear-weapons, restraint is an improbable result. if iran and north korea sustain their nuclear ambitions, it will prove first that the international order and the
multilateral system of negotiations is not working and cannot work. second, so that therefore there is no restraint on other states developing nuclear weapons, and furthermore, the use of nuclear weapons somewhere along the lines becomes much more probable. even if it is not on our territory, if it is in our territory, it will create a catastrophic reversal, but even if we observed save 100,000 people killed in hours, which is one bomb, i think the impact of a population will be that they will not want to be exposed to this. so you have tremendous new pressures for preemptive actions, some kind of imposed
denuclearization of the world and a substantially new approach to international order. >> one of the questions simply was asking the other day was could kim jong-il had a history -- who has a history of defying everybody who has a history of getting paid and blackmailing. if he could just sell one of these bombs to osama bin laden and get away with it, even when you think of that, you say he could not think that. could he imagine he could sell to syria a plutonium-producing reactor that is 10,000 times bigger than one little bomb and get away with it. >> he did that. >> i would not he could never imagine to do the syrian thing. >> the north korean regime are
probably more out of tune of with what is happening elsewhere than almost any country in the world. there need for foreign currency is so great that you could imagine they would do something just to sustain themselves. certainly, as the number of nuclear weapons states increases, either through their countries decisions or through what the pakistanis represent colleges in a generally private enterprise of some kind or unauthorized activity, the furthest threat of nuclear weapons seems to be inevitable or step toward some country owns a delivery system and buys warheads.
>> here you look back on many years of wrestling with the nuclear issue and now, if you look forward, your proposition that on the current trajectory, things are going quite badly. unless there is some bending of the lines, it's quite possible. >> negotiations for iran has not started. it's hard for me to believe the iranians who have been less subtle than the koreans and probably more so, on the whole, the more favorable to them that north korea. unless there is a sudden reversal of attitudes in iran, i would expect negotiations to be retracted -- to be protracted
and delay proliferation by a short time. then we have the problem we have been discussing. >> for the people of the kennedy library symposium, you cannot stop on so pessimistic and note. >> your leaders need to come up with great ideas. >> what did you say that is optimistic about prospects for the president and nuclear- weapons. >> i got started on this with some of my democratic friends through [unintelligible] about nuclear strategy. i wrote him a letter expressing my view which he sent to "for affairs of" and not hide. that got me into writing about nuclear matters. >> that was in the mid-50s.
>> that was 50 years ago. i would appeal to this group of a new generation, we have left you this problem. i know what the problem was. i know it requires a determine policy to deal with, but i'm not saying i have at all worked out. maybe you can come to conclusions or start thinking that will lead us toward a direction where declare weapons did not dominate thinking about foreign policy. that's a key requirement. >> thank you very much, dr. kissinger. >> good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. i used to be a reporter. [laughter]
>> at reykjavik, both presidents, reagan and gorbachev, or actually discussing something that kissinger had just finished with, the idea that we ought to come to a time when we can do away with nuclear weapons at all. kissinger was saying as a tool in diplomacy that you could think about diplomacy in other ways. allison, in the earlier panel, made the point, and i just want to pick up on that, that as a result of the cuban missile crisis and then the american university speech, i got the impression that he was saying that both sides were moving towards a more sensible control, the effort toward more sensible control of nuclear weapons. we have to remember that in
1964, october, khrushchev was kicked out of power because there were people in the politburo, eisenhower call them the soviet version of the military complex, who did not like the idea of any movement in this direction and were offended that the soviet union, in their eyes the great soviet union, had lost during the cuban missile crisis. no question about that. if you did a check on defense spending in both the soviet union and in the united states through the 1960's, you will find russia pumping a great deal of money into strategic weapons. the united states towards the end of the 1960's, not putting as much money in, because president johnson wanted to have both this great society and the continuation of the war in vietnam, and vietnam was beginning to cost a great deal of money.
so we get to 1972, and we have what sold one call strategic parity between the two sides. to my immediate left, tom graham, special representative on arms control during the clinton administration. to my immediate right, ken adelman, the thompson, the author of a new book ago the halt and the of." -- "the hawk and the dove." >> i would like the record to show that i was ken adelman's lawyer at one time. >> tom, let us start with you. tell us what it was like.
was the decision to go for salt i the direct result of the idea of strategic priority, or was it that one side or the other saw an advantage that the other was getting, and through a treaty could try to control the? -- try to control that? >> i was once asked what would have happened to the soviet icbm program if there had been no interim agreement? he said that we would have continued building icbm's until our generals said we had enough. i think the united states was very much interested in stopping the soviet increase in the number of their icbm's and their icbm launchers. we did want an agreement that
would halt the continuing in very considerable buildup in soviet offense, because if it was not stopped, we would have to respond to it. certainly on the u.s. side, there was an interest, and the soviets traditionally are always interested in a deal with the united states, at least in principle, because it puts them on the same level as us. >> nick thompson, do you have a feeling that there was altruism on both sides? both sides were seeking ways to control the spread of these dreadful weapons, so that we could all live in peace and harmony? >> there are definitely people on both sides. on the inside, most people are trying to get maximum advantage for their own side. my grandfather liked to argue that what you really need to measure is throw weight.
broadway is a metric by which the soviet union has the largest advantage. it is the way to arrange the arm side in order to help your side the most. that is a good place to start, but he was not doing it entirely out of altruism. he wanted to find a situation that would be stable. that meant one or the united states had the maximum advantage, because that would be most stable. where we are the least threatened by them, that is the situation that is best for us and also for the rest of the world. that was the starting point of the negotiating team. they would maintain that position throughout the talks at reykjavik. >> what was the position of leading republican thinkers in the 1970's, leading up to the
reagan administration? what was the thinking of these people as to the dentist for the united states of actually entering into these agreements that would restrict our ability? >> i thought the two panels this morning are just super. i am a conservative republican, and i believe that arms control should be honest. there is a big difference between intention and results. it is wonderful to have wonderful intentions, but it is nice to recognize concrete results when they come about. in the 1970's when we were looking at salt i and salt ii,
the intentions were wonderful, let's do something about nuclear weapons. that is something that president kennedy wanted to do something about. he wanted to have a comprehensive test ban treaty. it was not so much a nuclear issue, but an environmental issue. it would put all tests underground and increase the number of tests that both sides did afterwards. you can say it was a wonderful treat. it was wonderful for the environment. it did not do much for the nuclear buildup. there were limits on nuclear weapons that were far above what the soviet union and the united states for building at the time. if you work restricting me from high jumping, i could live with that. it was no sweat off my back.
he gave people in the west the illusion that there was something that was going on that would be helpful to them, where the limits were so high that they really were not any limit at all. it is important to concentrate on what are results in arms control. they are all kinds of great exhibits, including papers of jimmy carter. there is no mention of the only treaty that has eliminated an entire class of nuclear weapons, which was the inf treaty. there is no picture of ronald reagan signing the inf treaty. we have the only single tree in
arms control the has accomplished something real, besides the non-proliferation treaty, which i think was wonderful. it is not even mentioned. >> you have to start somewhere. you cannot destroy with where you wanted to come out. the purpose of salt i and salt ii was to try to stop the momentum. admittedly, the limits were high. that is where they started, and then when they moved on to start, i think the assault had to come first. >> can use the word "illusion." from a philosophical point of
view, you have been at this for a long time. is there an element of illusion in the pursuit of the control of nuclear weapons, when we look around and people are still trying to get them? >> let me just mention a couple of things in context with this period of time. you all recall the line that was said to our negotiator, we will make sure if you will never be. -- it will make sure you will never do this again. that is why that growth followed afterwards. by the end of jimmy carter's era, there really was parity, whatever that means. i want to emphasize to all this discussion in terms of illusion
and reality, something robert oppenheimer said very early on. he said something like this. our 20,000 warheads is not going to matter much to their 5000 in the larger scheme of things. that is the illusion. the illusion is that once you have a certain number of nuclear weapons, war will somehow give you an advantage. of course, provided that they are secure, that there is a way of preventing them from being taken out and so forth. but the rest of it is a meandering game of angels dancing on the head of pens, about who has more throw weight. if you have a few, you have more than enough. after that, it is politics. in the case of the cold war, it was very much domestic politics
in this country as much as international politics in the world that led to these issues back and forth about what we should build or what we should not build. >> we have already seen earlier today that it was the use of two atomic bombs that introduced the atomic age and introduced this whole problem that we are discussing right now. >> to tactical, nuclear weapons by modern terms. >> the united states during the cold war built 72,000 nuclear- weapons. the soviet union, 55,000 nuclear weapons. that is probably more than you needed. >> some interesting work has come up on the atmospheric effects of nuclear weapons, and later on nuclear warming -- and
global warming. the results are that it was even worse than what was predicted. in one particular study that i find terrifying, the scientists looked at what was happening in india and pakistan if they exchanged 58 hiroshima's scheldt atomic bombs each vijay exchanged atomic bombs. the effect would have spread around the world from even such a small regional nuclear war and lowered the earth's average to reach your by 1-2 degrees. it sounds like nothing, but it represents something like what happened during the global minimum in the middle ages when crops failed in the summer times and million of people start. >> we ought not to forget that
in the soviet union, there were similar debates, similar arguments that were taking place. there was a group in the kremlin that believed in what is called proletarian internationalism. there was another group, peaceful coexistence. both believed that communism would prevail in the end, but zero were thinking about different tactics, which led to different -- both were thinking about different tactics, that led to different strategies. they regarded it as proof that communism was going to succeed all over the world. so you have that kind of conflict on both sides, dealing with something, the idea of the number of weapons always seemed
sort of crazy to me. there was an unreality about it all. >> the military industrial complex in the soviet union was even more powerful than the united states. even if the u.s. had stopped, it is not clear the soviet union could have stopped. >> their factories were working on the principle of what they called over fulfillment of the quota. they were just cranking them out as rapidly as they could. >> you mentioned to the dawn of the nuclear age. i was very lucky in 1963 at college to spend an hour with harry truman talking about dropping the bomb and his involvement in that. i took a morning constitutional
with him. that is what he called his morning what. -- his morning mall. he was of the view that george marshall had enormous influence on his thinking. marshall wanted to win in the pacific. he had gotten memos from the joint chiefs saying that 500,000 americans would die on the invasion of japan, and as president of the united states, he was not going to be responsible for that many debts that he could prevent. i said it must have been a hard decision for you. i cannot remember exactly what he said, but the impression was it was not a hard decision. it was pretty clear, and he slept very well that night. it was clear he was not revealing much to me as a college kid at that time.
richard, you have done wonderful work with your books on the nuclear issue. a lot of these scenarios that you paint on the nuclear winter and the whole herman cahn exchange, it got very theological and really lost in the kind of touch with what would happen in the real world. it really did. it was kind of goofy, to tell you the truth. for many years, i would go out to omaha for the briefing on soviet -- strategic arms and what we would do with the nuclear exchange. there would be hundreds and thousands of exchanges back and forth. i kept asking the commander, what about one or two options for the president?
the idea was there was no one or two options for the president that they could conceive of. it seemed to meet ridiculous. ronald reagan was really hot about the strategic defense initiative. to give the president another option is us the option of doing nothing or going after a much of civilians in the soviet union that did no harm to the united states at all, a third option of protecting the country against an incoming ballistic missile. i thought it was a wonderful idea. >> we cannot be disrespectful to president carter. among the many things he did, he was a one-term president, and he has gotten a bad rap from historians and a lot of reporters as well. in his one term in office, he
did to a number of very remarkable things in foreign policy. one of them was to come up with the salt ii agreement. never ratified, but it was signed in vienna with president brezhnev, and we will get a look at that right now, if someone will roll down the curtain. >> i, as president, am interested with the security of the united states of america. i would never take any action that would jeopardize that sacred trust. president brezhnev, you and i. it both have children b.g.e. un
die both have children and grandchildren, -- you and i both have children and grandchildren, and we want them to live in peace. we have both worked hard to give our own and our nation security and our own nation's children that security. we realize that no one treaty, no one meeting can guarantee the future safety of our nation's. in the end, peace can be won only if we have pursued it and struggled tenaciously to keep the peace all along. yet despite for peace,fcc has on seemed -- this fight for peace has often seemed the most difficult victory to win. year-to-date as we set very -- here today as we said very
careful limits on our power, we draw boundaries around our fears of one another. as we begin to control our fears, we can better ensure our future. in a setting our hands to this treaty, we set our nation's anda safer course. we have labored long to make salt ii a safe and useful chart toward the future. let us pledge now all together to use this treaty as we continue our passage to peace. >> i have always been enormously impressed by the number of times
presidents in similar situations sake thinks that are so obvious. these agreements can in fact help, and they can do wonderful things, and yet with salt ii, it was never passed. it was never approved by the u.s. senate. so the president can strike their deals, but they have to be mindful of the political support they have back at home. nick, were there other issues involved in one carter could not get that passed? >> he was probably more responsible than any other civilian for stopping that treaty. his argument was it would freeze into place a situation where the soviets are stronger than americans. there have been lots of debates about whether it was true or
not. he testifies before the senate and rights of these books, and he also does something interesting at the very end. in august of 1979, he helps to authorize leaks of slightly bogus information about a brigade of soviet soldiers in cuba. >> did your grandfather leak that? >> he did not leak it, but the cia came to him and said that have this information. he said maybe we should tell people about that. a senator from florida brings it up, and everything breaks out. getting to an earlier point, i interviewed the deputy secretary of defense in moscow.
he said if heii had passed, we would have not gone into afghanistan. -- if salt ii had passed. there is something to be said for these agreements and shaking hands. his argument was that there is no evidence that anyone in the soviet union ever authorize the invasion of afghanistan. there is a strong indicator in his argument that these treaties do matter. 15 years later -- 25 years later where afghanistan has turned into what it is, maybe it was not such a good thing. it just shows how these agreements, when you play them out into the future, they have
very complicated change effects. >> i was on the opposite side of your grandfather. i thought that they salt ii treaty did do some significant things and it stopped things where they work, and then brought them down about 10%. it could have been improved, of course, but it was a step. i firmly believe that what defeated the treaty was the carter administration's mishandling of the cuban issue, where as somehow the 1700 russian troops in cuba were converted into a central threat
to american national security. the president goes on national television and says do not worry, at least not too much. things started to go downhill after that. the new head the iranian crisis boutique then you had the iranian crisis. high-ranking soviets said that we concluded in moscow, after your less than effective handling of the cuban issue, that you were no longer interested in salt ii, and therefore, why not going to afghanistan? we have nothing to lose. >> was there a connection between afghanistan and salt ii? >> that is something i really have not looked at. carter was convinced that they
were on their way to the mediterranean, and issued a strong statement that if they got out of afghanistan, we would nuke them. >> there was that feeling, and any number of people who felt that the russians were emboldened to in the late 1970's to move aggressively in different parts of the world. they were, and as i said before, there had been moving into africa and they were very happy with the result of the vietnam war. they felt that afghanistan -- if you talk to russians, they do not talk to you about salt ii on this issue. they talk to you about something closer to home. their leader, brezhnev, had a doctrine that once the government was socialist, it
would remain socialist, with the help of the soviet union. the government in afghanistan at that time was a socialist, so they felt that they had to go in to protect them. i am only making the point that it was not really nuclear weapons that propelled the russians into afghanistan, but something closer to home, ecological fidelity -- ideological fidelity. >> i do not like the moral equivalence between the u.s. and the soviet union. i do not like the whole attitude that the carter administration had in vienna, where he said that president brezhnev and i bring the same dreams and have the same aspirations for the world, which is absolutely false.
>> presidents do look into souls and see all sorts of things. [laughter] >> one of the contributions of the reagan administration, and i think it was a contribution of the kennedy administration, too, was that they saw the soviet union realistic terms, not that they saw the same dreams and had the same aspirations for the world, but they had a different basic philosophy of whether the state predominates over the individual, or the individual determines the fate of the state and elects his and her own leaders, and that we, the people, preside in a political system. i think that to realistic
presidents of the postwar era were john f. kennedy and ronald reagan. reagan by and large de legitimize the soviet union, a tremendous difference between what kennedy and kissinger had done. reagan always wanted negotiations, and i was grateful for it, because i was there and a minor role trying to help him do that. he saw it not as moral equivalence. he saw it as the legitimate, freely elect -- freely elected government in the west and the soviets. he said as early as 1982 that communists in the soviet union would end up in the ash heap of
history. i think that contribution is a contribution many times what any kind of contribution in arms control, except for the inf and nonproliferation treaties, but otherwise it was all just tall. it was all good intentions. you were just going to show how much she really did care. i am all for caring. the fact is that as leaders of countries with a lot of responsibility, we should do more than just care. we should have a real results.
not going to show how much we care by talking about a zero proliferation option. talking about the specific problems with specific results, because otherwise it is just fluff, and i cannot stand fluff in government. >> i have always pondered what the world would think of this democracy of ours if we had managed to kill 65 million people on one of our excursions across europe, russia, and china. what exactly would democracy mean under those circumstances? my point is this. allowing for the differences between the sides, allowing for the worst possible soviet intentions, the real danger was and is nuclear weapons
themselves, not the moral issue of who is right and who is wrong, in my judgment. i think that is where the reagan in mensuration went wrong, and even more so the second bush administration, with the idea that somehow is ok to have nuclear weapons if you are the good guys, but is not ok if you are the bad guys. [applause] >> i just totally disagree with that. >> i do think it is bad policy to say the good guys can have nuclear weapons and the bad guys cannot, because the good guys can change into bad guys. the perfect example of that is that there are a lot of people advocating that we should engage and control the proliferation that in the late 1970's, and see to it that our friends, the good guys, got nuclear weapons and kept them from the bad guys.
two of our friends, it was thought then, work iran and yugoslavia. wouldn't that have been a great idea? i think it is the weapons themselves. >> who came up with those ideas? who do you have in mind? >> i cannot remember his full name. charles crocker hammekrauthamer. he was one of the people who was pushing the idea.
>> he had that idea as well. >> what i wanted to say was to address some of the thing that ken said. i don't think it was ever the intent that a limitation on arms would bring down the soviet union, not that people were against bringing down the soviet union. it was thought that what was really important was the control of the weapons so that we do not destroy each other, and to bring them gradually under control. the only arms control negotiation in which i was involved, that i thought maybe did have that partially as an objective, was the conventional armed forces in europe treaty, a direct negotiation between the warsaw pact. that is when the east fell apart and the soviet union dissolved, the aftermath of that
negotiation. that was different. these nuclear negotiations, the purpose was to establish stability. i will concede absolutely that president reagan did allot to bring the cold war to an end -- did a lot to bring the cold war to an end, and bring an end to the soviet union. i would not dispute that at all. adjusted not think arms control at anything to do with it. -- i just do not think arms control had anything to do with it. >> i do not think the reagan administration was principally responsible for bringing down the soviet union. what principle brought it down was that it was a rotten system, and it would arguably collapse.
>> i think you can make the argument that american foreign- policy is defined by containment. the idea is that the soviet union is a rotten system, and we should be confident in our ability that if we can prevent the soviet union from expanding, if we can just contain them, eventually we will prevail. it could go overnight from one of the most powerful nations to one of the most week. if you have confidence in america, you do not necessarily need to destroy the enemy's, you just need to contain them. it is a very important idea. it is one from the cold war that we should not forget.
>> the nexus between a rotten system and arms control is most graphically displayed by the salt i treaty. i think many people believe that is a good treaty. a big effort right now is going into finding a replacement for. if george bush the first had not taken the position that he wanted to sign that treaty before he started his maine vacation, we never would have had that treaty. he agreed with gorbachev that he was going to sign it on july 31 and go on vacation august 1. the coup took place on august 9. the start treaty had been delayed until the fall, there never would have been a start treaty are limitations on strategic options, because the soviet union, being rotten, was falling apart. >> we have to move on to the
next phase. i want to give you at least 30 seconds. >> i feel like davy crockett at the alamo. >> you have just blown 20 seconds. [laughter] >> richard is mostly wrong. the problem is, i understand it clear weapons, but who has the nuclear weapons? we do not worry about britain and france having nuclear weapons. there is a difference between a scalpel, a knife, in hand of a
surgeon or in hand of a mother in an alley. the problem is primarily who has them. tom, you said that arms control was not breathing about nirvana indeed bringing about nirvana. it is impossible to separate the two on that. it is not true that the soviet union collapsed because it is a rotten system that was bound to collapse. it is true is a rotten system that collapsed, but a lot of rot and systems around the world do not collapse. a lot of them keep building up their military, especially
because that is the one thing they do very well. we just saw henry kissinger talking about north korea. that is a rotten system. that is far more run than the soviet union. they are doing fine on building nuclear weapons, and they are not collapsing, unfortunately. that analogy that it was so rotten and had to collapse is just wrong. >> you are finished. your not only wrong, you are finished. [laughter] >> we talked earlier about the possibility that great leaders are actually thinking, and kissinger had alluded to the idea that we can end nuclear
weapons, that we do not need them anymore. we can somehow live in a world without them. that idea actually came up at the reykjavik summit between reagan and gorbachev. if the screen would come down once again, we will have a look at these two leaders, either before or after or during their discussion of this issue. >> since gorbachev had taken office a month earlier, we had quietly exchanged a series of letters that suggested to me he might be a different sort of russian and the soviet leader's we had known before. that morning as we shook hands, i looked into his smile, i sensed i had been right. i felt a surge of optimism that
my plan might work. at the first opportunity, he invited the soviet leader to take a break from their scheduled meetings and get some air. gorbachev was out of his chair before i could finish the sentence. we walked together about 100 yards down the hill to a boathouse along the lakeshore i had arranged for in advance. as gorbachev and i talked, it was clear he believed completely in the soviet way of life and accepted a lot of the propaganda he had heard about america. yet, i had also sensed he was willing to listen, and that possibly he sensed, as i did, that on both sides of the iron curtain, there were myths and misconceptions that had contributed to a misunderstanding and are capitate -- potentially fatal mistrust of each other. our meeting went on for an hour and half, and when it was over, i could not help but think something fundamental had changed between the relationship between our countries.
>> on the way back up the hill, they agreed to visit each other's homeland for the first time. >> are people could not believe it when i tell them what happened. everything was settled for two more summits. they had not dreamed it was possible. >> the first summit was held the following year in reykjavik, iceland, where the foundation was laid for the second summit in washington in december 1987. the two men signed the historic inf treaty, eliminating two entire classes of nuclear weapons from the earth. it was ratified by the two men at a third summit in moscow. >> i don't know about you, but i just heard president ronald reagan speak in the schmalt
ziest way about the communist leader, about looking into his eyes and his soul. >> why don't you all say what i would have said, had i been given the chance? >> you spoke about this earlier. are we engaging in something that is totally an allusion -- an illusion? these are very responsible men, and they are saying we have to move to an absolute end to nuclear weapons. that is a great idea, but why should i take that seriously? >> this group came together for the 20th anniversary of the reykjavik summit.
they saw it as what followed from reykjavik, and from their perspective as people who were there, what followed was the hope on the part of both reagan and gorbachev, however blue sky in may have seemed, that might be possible to eliminate nuclear weapons. gorbachev had an argument that he called summit security, which is basically the idea that you can only be safe if your enemy is safe, not if your enemy is unsafe. he got it from billy bronson, who got it indirectly all the way back from the second world war. reagan's dream was a technological solution.
20 years later, a group of people that included kissinger felt that the time was right, and they had an advantage over all the peace oriented people over the years who have tried to move to zero. they were insiders. if you knew what i knew, you would know that these things are not practical. they have been moving towards discussing this and moving it with leadership around the world. i think have made quite a bit of progress, most of all in
convincing president obama when he was a candidate that he should sign on for this movement. recently, when obama spoke to the united nations, the four horsemen, as they are now called, were sitting in the front row. there is something moving now, and i think he gives great hope, and partly derives from the fear that arose with 9/11. that it now becomes possible to conceive of some entities that could steal a nuclear weapon and use it for terrorist purposes. times have indeed changed. >> tom, you are a professional diplomat, and you have been involved in this sort of negotiation for a long time. do you believe that it is realistic for people to spend hours, weeks, and months pursuing an end to all nuclear weapons? >> we are all were required to do so as parties to the nuclear
nonproliferation treaty. the question is, what this ultimately mean? as dick was suggesting toward the end of his comments, the original motivation was some variation of, we cannot go on like this. it is too dangerous. we have to find some way out, recognizing is extremely difficult. the shultz group is not saying we should negotiate for zero tomorrow or next week or next year. it is saying we should try to actually implement what we are already obligated to do over a very long period time, find a
solution to nuclear weapons, beginning with some first steps like securing material, securing ratification of the test ban treaty, and so forth. sam nunn for eagerly refers to this as zero nuclear weapons as the top of a high mountain. we cannot even see the top yet, but we have been going down the mountain rather than up. let's start going up. >> we only have about eight more minutes for this panel. i would like to get some questions in from the audience. president obama just received the nobel peace prize. "time" magazine has suggested that the nuclear weapon itself should have been the prize for keeping the peace for the last 60 years. is there any validity in your mind to that?
>> of course there is some validity for that. there's no question that one of the reasons there was never ground conflict between the u.s. and soviet what union produce soviet union was nuclear- weapons. so yes, there is validity to that. during the cold war, my grandfather was convinced that the government's arsenal -- he flipped his view at the end of his life. he said the cold war is over, we need to move to zero. there's a strong case you can make that nuclear weapons, though we ran a world war risk in the cold war, it did keep the cold war calm. now, the situation is entirely different, and we should work toward zero. >> this is a serious question. are any young people involved in
this pursuit, or is it just people toward the twilight of their lives who want to move toward big and virtuous things? >> ken, here is a question designed for you. would you address it? what the writer is getting at is, can you describe to the military industrial complex and corporate interests of the u.s. as the reason why we have not decisively cut our weaponry back? >> the answer is no, and is wrong to say we have not
decisively cut our weapons back. it is wrong to say that we have been going down the mountain. the number of strategic nuclear weapons at the u.s. has now are far less than anything i would have imagined taking office in the reagan administration in 1981, and in the arms control business in 1983. i could not have conceived would be as big as low a level as we are today. let's not have the totally wrong idea that it continues to mount and we are getting bigger and bigger. that is wrong. if you are asking me if the number of nuclear weapons we have today is too large, i would say yes. we should reduce it all the time. there are serious issues we have to deal with on nuclear weapons. there is the spread of nuclear weapons, fissile material
spread. to spend a lot of time, a lot of effort talking about zero on this, is a diverting yourself from the real issues that have to be done, and the serious work, and to show you really care about it. it is a tremendous disservice. if i were in charge of the national endowments -- national institutes of health or the cancer institute, and said let's have a conference on how we can eliminate cancer. just remove all cancer, and do that time and time again, everybody would say to me, why are you having all these expensive conferences on removing cancer? what you just have researchers start doing research to eliminate or get rid of cancer? i see no reason at all to spend a lot of time with high
intelligence and something just talking about how wonderful it would be to have a world without nuclear weapons. yes, it would. >> it is extremely complicated, because as soon as we reduce, the value of having nuclear weapons or other countries increases. one thing we have been arguing about all morning is that the soviet union in the 1980's built a device that would allow it to measure of whether in the u.s. had launched a missile that could hit the soviet union. it launched an automatic retaliatory strike. that system has not been decommissioned.
there are other things we need to get to before we can get down to zero. >> it is not me who says we are going down the mountain, it was sam nunn. i was just citing him. he was not referring to the number of weapons. without question, the number has been vastly reduced. he was referring to proliferation and the threat of weapons worldwide. the shultz movement is not a movement that just talks incessantly about zero every day, all day. it is a movement about how do we get on the road toward 0, with zero as a far distant goal. not that different from what we are obligated to do under the nonproliferation treaty. >> i would just point out what someone said, that trying to
deal with nuclear weapons in the real world is in distinguishable from moving toward zero. those who feel that 0 is an impossible goal, which includes sam nunn, that's think it is something by in the sky, and still commit to the other principals involved of getting the treaty ratified, getting control of fissile materials are around the world, and i will add my last point. somewhere, more than 90% of the nuclear weapons around the world are in the hands of the united states and russia.
the question of getting to zero is mostly about us and our counterpart on the other side of the earth. >> we might bear in mind that many of the leaders of this schultz group who would be defined politically as middle- of-the-road or even to the right of middle of the road, conservative democrats and republicans -- but our time is up. thanks panel, and thanks to you all very much. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009]