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tv   The Journal Editorial Report  FOX News  August 1, 2009 2:00pm-2:30pm EDT

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on fox and check out have a great day everybody. 1 captioned by closed captioning services, inc. i.t. clear. >> next, president obama's poll numbers continue to fall as they leave for an august recess without a vote. why is support fading from obama care. from axis of evil to axis of engagement and the administration tries to turn our adversaries into partners. will it work? alarming new study about the high cost of obesity. can we solve the problem, can we afford not to. the journal editorial report starts right now. welcome to the journal editorial report. president obama continued to push this week for a health care overhaul and his poll numbers
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continue to drop. according to the new polls, 41% approve of the job the president is doing on health care. this, as the blue dog democrats reached a tentative deal with party liberals, but delayed a vote in the house until september. here to tell us where we stand or after another week of wheeling and dealing, wall street journal columnist, dan henninger. and james freeman, senior editorial page writer, and washington columnist. all right, joe, speaker nancy pelosi said this week that the insurance industry was behind this fading support because they've been opposing it. is that how you see it? >> right, well, she accused him of carpet bombing the debate and you have to watch with the willing suspension and disbelief, did the democrats haven't had a better industry friend than the insurance industry throughout this whole-- >> they're quiet and they haven't run any ads not like 1993. in fact, if you look at the whole landscape and as i see it, the industry has been very, very
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quiet. the drug industry has been quiet and the insurance industry has been quiet and how can you explain that? they want a seat at the table, right? >> yeah and the real point of speaker pelosi's comments were to sort of win over some of her more liberal members, who are up set with the deal with more moderate members in the house. so, i mean, it's always a good strategy to attack the industry. >> all right. why is this? why is public support for this falling in? >> well, i think that public support is failing, truly, paul, because obama and the democrats have resented-- it moved from a plan to take care of the uninsured to a mrab-- >> 44 million uninsured. >> 44 million uninsured to a plan that is somehow going to cover everybody and suddenly people are reading about this, oh, it's about me? actually, i'm pretty happy with my health insurance and my doctors are pretty good. so, what's the figure on the percentage of the american public who have insurance already, it's about 880--
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87%? >> about 87%, most are happy and worried about increasing costs and no question worried about co-pays and those things rising and tend to be happy. because people are saying, oh, maybe my insurance, i'm going to have to pay for this, number one, maybe my insurance might change in negative ways, that's behind this. i think so, and people have been through a period of high anxiety with the economy, we're in a recession and the democrats are trying something really large and big and complicated and i think it is simply made a lot of people very nervous. >> well, kim strossle, the white house decided to tell this as a cost containment. you could cover more people, but you'd save money because you'd cover people in a more efficient way. was that some liberals, are' hearing them say that's a mistake and should have sold it as a classic middle class benefit. you agree that that was a mistake? >> yeah, i mean, because in part because it was blown up. you have the congressional office coming up and saying
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that's not what's going to happen upped the bills going through congress at the moment and prices are going to go up for the federal government and now they're more in defensive mode because they didn't come out initially and say this is a middle class benefit and now they're saying, look, you're not going to lose what you have. trust us, this is going to be okay, but that's what they're left selling and talking about over it long summer recess. >> it's hard to sell a trillion dollar bill as a cost saving. >> that's right, the problem is the product not the marketing, the attempt at saying it's a cost saver was an attempt to say, there's something in this for everybody. >> and there's-- >> and it's free. >> and it's free. and you get beyond that, that's, that goes poof after the democratic appointees and cbo says it's not going to save money, it's going to cost and what do you get to? you get to government dictating decisions on med ical care and seniors getting nervous they're talking about cutting benefits for medicare and you talk about limits on innovation, americans want the best. they don't want 1990 health care
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at a bargain price. >> yeah, but can we-- they also know, don't the american people also know that the increase in costs on medical care probably is unsustainable over time? i mean, medicare is just raising ahead at 7, 8%, won't we have to get-- at some point don't we have to control the cost sns. >> there's a lot to do. a lot of things come from the republican side in terms of incentives to make people better shoppers with health care, but at the end of the day, people want the medical miracles that cost money and we ran some through-- and saying that this idea that health care costs are soaring is bogus, it's not 1950 technology that now costs a lot more. it's new stuff. new cures, and that's expensive. it prolongs our life. >> joe. no, i think there are ways that you can increase efficiencies in the health care system. you know, peter orszag talked a lot about-- >> house budget director. >> from day one and not all of his ideas are objectionable, but, you know, they really
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involve big changes in the way health care is delivered and you know, you've got democrats out there attacking those ideas, because they'll hit their constituents. >> jim, let me ask you about this blue dog democrat liberal condominium this week, late in the week when they decided there was going to be some kind of-- >> how big a concession did the liberals make to get the blue dog support? >> it was not much of a concession at all. they're going to cut about 100 billion dollars out of their proposed bill, bringing it down slightly under a trillion dollars. they're going to weaken this public option idea just slightly, not allow it to impose prices, they're also going to allow for some co-opes and they're going to release some small businesses from paying for government run pair. this wasn't much of a deal, but enough to let the blue dogs finally crumble. which was always going to happen and they've now moved ahead although even the minor concessions have completely sent
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a lesson to an uproar and now the house leadership has a problem on that. they've got both the right and left unhappy coming in. >> i tell you, i think the liberals are going to vote for this in the end and they're going to give the blue dogs what they need in order to get their vote because they realize this is the main chance they have. first time in 20 years, may not be another chance for another 20 years and they're going to try to do whatever it takes and at the end if they have to tell the liberals look, you better shut up and vote yes, they'll do it. >> it has shown there are fissures and tensions inside the democratic party. the liberals are furious at the moderate democrats and talking about running people against them in the primary. there are the great emerging that a lot of people didn't exist and thought they controlled congress, they don't exactly. >> another one of the ironies here, the bill has-- dest. pete the fact that republicans haven't been on the playing field except for the last ten days or so, until the polls fell. they were encouraging as issue
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saying nothing. >> no big marketing campaign against it, it's collapsing of its own weight. it's going to be fascinating to watch to see how it plays out over the august recess and whether or not to come back labor day and comes back in worse shape. thank you all, when we come back from axis to evil. to axis of engagement. a closer look at obama administration's talk policy with the dictators. so what do you think? i think i'll go with the basic package. good choice. only meineke lets you choose the brake service that's right for you. and save 50% on pads and shoes. meineke.
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>> goodbye axis of evil and welcome axis of engagement. president obama is attempting to turn adversaries into partners and friends. we went with russia to offers of direct talks with iran to this week's courtship of the syrian dictator and the obama administration is betting that it will improve image in the world and pay dividends for u.s. strach interest and hispanllary clinton said this-- they released them from prison they could benefit.
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is it diplomacy working and what are we getting in return? dan henninger and matt comiskey. venezuela, iran, syria, burma, russia, what is the big picture goal here of the administration? what are they attempting-- what is president obama trying to get for us? >> i think in coping, to unbush foreign policy that we're going to talk to the people that don't like us and that like them and a difficult relationship and this ye year-- engage them. >> but for the sake of not being bush, i mean, certain, surely there's got to be a larger strategy at work ear? >> it's hard to tell so far. because, i think there's a stake for president obama keeps repeating to change america's image in the world, that before we're seeing it as a standoffish nation and now we're the nice guys and in terms of getting a return on this investment in the-- in policy, i don't see that at
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least on the results so far, you don't really see what they aim to get from russia. >> niceness has never delivered a lot of foreign policy that i can observe. >> i think that the obama administration calculus is that america's problem, foreign policy in the bush years was fundamentally a public relations problem. and to some extent that's true. we did have a big pr problem in europe for example in canada and a big pr problem in much of the arab world and that would make it harder for those leaders to back the kind of thing we wanted to do. >> precisely and the argument to the extent that we want to relieve this, maybe we can unlock a whole other set of issues and make some movement with the arab-- the israelis. >> that's on. >> and that's an argument for winning over the people of paris, that's not an argument for getting anything from our adversaries in tehran. >> that's precisely it. and it's worth-- there's a kind of amnesia here,
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but people think that president bush had a terrible relationship with russia, if you'll recall, bush started out going out of his way to try to have an excellent relationship with vladimir putin, in fact, criticized widely and mock even for going so far as to say that, you know, he had seen-- looked into putin's soul, he was a good guy. >> as late as 2007 he invited him to kennebunkport to the family compound. >> and it's not only that, i mean, with the iranians, early on, before his-- bush's reelection, bush made it clear that he was going to choose the diplomatic track and let the european push that diplomacy forward for a number of years and they did so for five or six years and what it yielded was an iran that much closer to nuclear access. >> i think there's a concern here analogous to domestic policy. we reached the point where many people, including bank of america's friends saying i think's trying to do too much. in this instance they have put a
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lot in motion with north korea, iran, burma. honduras, venezuela, cuba. and this, you know, we speak, when the president speaks on foreign policy, it puts a lot. it has implications and my fear is that by engaging on so many fronts, they've run the risk of one of these fronts getting out of control in a way that they won't be able to get their arms around. >> i assume and i tell you, look, if we want-- they want all payoff, but maybe one or two will and that could yield it for the u.s. policy. as well as-- >> because of what is at the other end. these aren't bass and minnows, these are sharks. >> i'm sorry i brought that in. >> just to give you-- for instance, the north koreans know very well that the obama administration is eeg tower make, eager to make deals with them. what have they done? they've set off a nuclear bomb and they've--
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>> a missile. and they've launched a whole series of long range missiles. what they take away from the obama administration's eagerness to talk is well, let's raise the price of our sitting at the table. . >> and now, it should be said the north koreans in recent days said i'm willing to talk. as the u.s. has gone to the u.n., it posed tougher sanctions, well, not suffer, but at least reinforcing and reime posing the sanctions that bush had lifted maybe this is going to yield something. >> you might think that if we didn't have a 20-year or long are track record with the north koreans in which this is played out again and again. they do something provocative. we respond with sanctions, they think we're prepared to talk. and then, talks bog down and they do something provocative again. >> and syria, it's particularly interesting, it seems to me, because the logic here is the u.s. can peel syria away from iraq, which is in alliance for a while. it would further isolate iran and making it more possible for us to achieve our goals against
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iran and it also helped israel by limiting support that could include hezbollah and lebanon. what's wrong with that argument. >> nothing, and the israelis encouraged to talk to the syrians and the last 20 years, the fundamental program that you've got. if you're talking to people you cannot trust, you had to get the results and there are costs to this policy. and in the case of russia, by going so far to try and engage with putin. >> with putin. >> you're damaging our allies in europe who are now worried we're giving up on poland and eastern europe and ukrainian and georgia, a young and robust democracies in the region and al also-- >> and you run the risk of legitimizing the dictators. >> exactly, precisely the point. in the cold war we talked to the soviet union, but that was a massive nuclear power trying to protect a system, a huge system. these by and large are awe to
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beingsies protecting regimes, a small number of people, a quasi criminal enterprises, ayou're nt talking to the syrian people, air talkingg to a clique in the country. >> and allowing them to play for time. >> we will see how it goes. when we come back a new study puts a price tag on obesity and it's costing you a bundle. can washington solve the problem? pardon the pun, but fat chance. 
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>> the numbers are staggering, obesity, associated with diabetes, high blood pressure. the totals by the c.d.c.
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obesity related diseases account for nearly 10% of all medical spending in the united states. estimated 147 billion dollars a year. joe, so, is the c.d.c. maybe hiking this a little bit or is this really-- >> no, i think if anything they're probably undersmating that or that's 147 billion dollars directly related to obesity. if you look at the milliken institute study they find that, you know, the economic drag of a faster and sicker work force in addition to medical spending is-- accounts for 1.2 trillion dollars loss from the economy every year. and you know, this is especially true for the public programs which are paying-- >> medicare, medicaid. >> right, which are paying for most of the health care costs associated with obesity. >> the fact is this is a relatively recent fem nop, as recently as the 1970's, we haven't seen this kind of problem. what accounts for it? >> well, i mean, it's obviously
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a very complex problem, but you know, mainly, it's individual choices about diet and exercise. >> and you're not saying it's the simple fact that eating too much, is that what you're saying? and that's what-- >> no, it is, but is that the issue? you've been-- we all know it, you go to mack dondz and not to blame mcdonald's, but any place in america, super size me, big portions, a lot bigger than when i was a kid. is it as simple as eating too much or too much of the wrong kind of things? >> it eating too much. it's both. it's eating too much of the wrong kind of things. >> but we have a dieting industry that you know, is 50 billion dollars a year? >> you know, we have to be honest here, there's a big cultural and political paradox at the center of this. measured america has been so successful in making food cheap or everybody, it's very inexpensive to eat in america. >> that's good. >> that's good. >> less discretionary income on necessities. but some people as a result eat
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too much. i mean, in, you know, there have been studies that suggested that in europe where they suppress that sort of thing and true legislation make only traditional food available, you don't have this level of obesity. we don't want to be europe, but we do have a real problem as a result of our success. >> you know what i hear ettinger saying, tax food. >> no. >> wait a minute. >> raise the price of food. >> that won't work. >> why not? >> it's so cheap how are you going to raise the taxes on potato chips and coca-cola. >> and it would be good to say why are some of the wrong foods so cheap and that could be traced to agricultural sub dis, corn and high fructose corn syrup are in products that are super cheap so people are making choices according to price, eating the wrong food. >> what about the taxes on snacks or soda pop or things like that?
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everyplace on the ballot, it would lose. >> terrible idea and joe talks about individual choice, i mean, this is reason 100. you don't want government health care, because when it's with taxpayers paying for whatever results from evereating, it's everyone's program instead of an individual problem. >> i tell you it's already everyone's problem because the government pays for 46% of health care. so you're already paying for it. shouldn't we try to did something about it? >> two things, it's not a direction we want to move in to keep going down that path, but the other thing, is, you know, let let's look at some further study, the argument for smoking cigarettes was the government pays for the results and we've got to get people to stop because we're all paying the bill and it's good harvard blew that away the sad fact, that smokers tend to drop dead at 60, 65 from a heart attack and don't draw the money from medicare and social security. if you're making an economic argument i don't think it's entirely clear. >> one thing taxes with what
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things we've done with public policy on cigarette, you raise cigarette taxes and having to reduce the number of smokers. why can't we do that. >> the health care cost defiance the results, i don't think so. >> and the problem with obesity, it's the over consumption of food. so, what you would want to do is put a tax on eating too much. not eating, you know, a little bit of the wrong thing, so that's really a tax on obese people and that will never fly. >> that will never fly politically. >> one thing you could do, could we not is try to affect behavior with the price we charge insurance policies, with insurance policies. so, for example, if you're a better driver, you pay less for your auto policy. >> for example, in the safeway supermarket system, does have a program in which they have insurance premiums for their workers, if they hit a target of weight, appropriate weight, the premium gets reduced, in other words, they get money back for getting healthy and safeway says that they have had pretty
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significant success with this program. >> last word, we have to take one more break. when we come back our hits and misses of the week. !
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>> time for hits and misses of the week. >> banning high-tech swimsuits after several world records were ridiculously broken and even the guys who beat michael phelps. here we go again, baseball and doping was back in the news this week and titanium golf clubs and things like that, when track got rid of doping, a lot of records got very hard to beat. just man against nature. >> what's the solution? >> i think that people have to decide if you want to have sports played by people or sports played by robots. i'm still for people. >> ban the suits. >> mary. >> my theory the best way to destroy criminal enterprises is to have the government take them over. i want to give a hit to new york state for bankrupting off track betting. this is a public benefit
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corporation that was formed in the 70's because it was supposed to be a way to you know, get more money for new york state for all the good things that new york state was going to do. how, it turns they're operating with a negative cash flow and something like 600,000 dollars a month and that's because new york state is taking more money out of the corporation than the corporation is earnings. >> joe? a hit this week to president obama's energy secretary, steven sh shue, who is trying to kill a 1.5 billion dollars energy research program hydrogen powered cars, he says it's impractical, won't come online 20, 30 years if it ever does and of course, totally sensible and opposing his plans is democrats in congress who might be assume the dollar is slowing to their home states. >> i think we know who's


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