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tv   Washington Journal 07172021  CSPAN  July 17, 2021 7:00am-10:04am EDT

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about his recent article on whether there is a college financing crisis in the u.s.. join with phone calls, text messages, and tweets. washington journal is next. ♪ guest: -- secretary cardona: post: good morning and welcome to washington journal. worries about inflation and higher prices for consumers as the country tries to write the economic shift after the coronavirus pandemic. president joe biden says there are better times coming for the american economy. do you approve or disapprove of president biden's handling of
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the economy? if you approve, we want to hear from you at (202) 748-8000, if you disapprove, your number is (202) 748-8001, keep in mind, you can always text as you respond that that's your response at (202) 748-8003 and we are always reading on social media, twitter, and instagram. let's set the stage. there is a story in this morning's wall street journal. "president biden is heralding an economic boom that he says will boost americans as the nation exits from the covid-19 pandemic him about, republicans have pointed to a surge in inflation and hammered the president party
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over the prices of used cars, apparel, and more." u.s. economic output is within 1% of its pre-pandemic peak, but inflation is at the highest point in 13 years. federal officials are weighing when to pull back support or the economy. thomas -- economists protect that inflation will remain elevated for several years. president biden talked about expanded tax credits earlier this week, because the payments went out this week. >> this is a historic day. we can tell -- we continue to build an economy that respects the dignity of working and middle-class families. it is historic, and our effort to make another giant step
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towards ending child poverty in america. i think this will be one of the thing the vice president and i will be most proud of when our terms are up. beginning this morning, all working families making under $150,000 as families or an individual making less than $25,000 who are raising children in america will receive their first monthly tax credit payment. that payment from the expanded child tax credit is to be signed into law as part of our american rescue plan. it is one of the largest ever single tax cuts for families with children. it is a reflection of our belief that the people in this country who need a tax cut not the folks at the top. they have plenty of tax cuts. it is the people in the middle, the folks struggling, just looking for a little bit.
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my dad would say, a little bit of breathing room. host: let's look at some polls that show what the american think about president biden's handling of the economy. here is the first from real clear politics. it shows 53% of the american population approve of president biden's handling of the economy. 43% disapprove. 4% are not quite sure. how is president biden doing when it comes to job approval? president biden's job approval shows that right now 52% of americans approve of how president biden is doing as far as president. 43% is approved. 3% are not sure. we want to know from you. do you approve or disapprove of how president biden is hand the economy? let's start with steve who calls from harmon beach, florida.
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good morning. caller: good morning. i approve, overall. i am concerned about the massive amount of money being printed. i am afraid that it is going to increase our debt and increase inflation. however, overall, i think he is doing what needs to be done. he inherited a lot of problems with the economy. the supply-side economics of the previous administration, i believe, are the economy. that hurt the economy. -- i believe, hurt the economy. the main factors in the economy have been plaguing us for some time, that is on affordable housing, unaffordable health care, and unaffordable education. host: steve, is there anything you think president biden should
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be focusing on now and it comes to the economy that he is not? caller: well, i think you should -- i think he should put a priority on health care and housing. i think that we should be enforcing price-fixing regulations. i think the industries themselves are the main culprits why health care and housing are so unaffordable. host: let's go to bed -- been --ben calling from state college, pennsylvania. good morning. let's go to bowie, maryland. good morning. >> good morning, jesse, how are you? i definitely approve.
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we are talking about inflation. families just started receiving checks in their accounts on the 15th. so, you cannot lane people -- blame people with additional checks for inflation. prices are going up because of the chinese terror for that trump put in place. that is why the price of cars are so expensive. semiconductors are expensive. they are from china. gas prices. pandemic. truckers not available to transport gas. those are all of the reasons why prices are going up. right in does not have -- biden does not have anything to do with increased prices. he has only been in office six months. i think he is doing a great job. the mental plane about the high price of health care. obamacare -- the man complained about the high price of health care. obamacare prices have gone down.
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they are trying to fix it so more people are eligible. i think biden is doing a fantastic job. of course, republicans will complain. they want to do anything they can to stop biden's agenda. but it will not work. without voting rights, what good is an economy? host: republicans are complaining about what is going on now, including inflation. republicans say inflation, caused by what they call runaway spending, are really hurting american families now. here's mitch mcconnell talking about this on the senate floor thursday. >> earlier this week we further confirmed what working families across america already know all too well. runaway costs are hitting the american people where it hurts. sadly, this was 100%
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predictable. you top that even top democratic experts like larry summers warned that the $2 trillion that democrats borrowed and spent in march might unleash inflation. and, do more harm than good. the economy was already packed dry powder. households said record savings. supply chain inventories were strapped. american families did not need a grand socialist experiment. they just needed the government to let things finally get back to normal. but, the president, the speaker, and the democratic leaders till slapped another $2 trillion on the countries credit card and bought us a level of inflation that is unprecedented in recent memory. costs for working families have shot up. inflation is running so hot that even though american workers are
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seeing a 3.6% pay increase since last year, it has been completely swamped, wiped out, by inflation. american workers' pay has actually gone down nearly 2% since last july. let me say that again. the democrats watch, inflation turned a three point 6% annual pay raise for americans into a nearly 2% pay cut. and yet, in a spectacle that could only occur in washington, democrats picked the very same week to announce they want to tax, borrow, and spend yet another $4 trillion in the coming weeks. yet another budget busting socialist package client --
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twice as big. host: let's see what some social media followers are saying. here is one tweet "a year ago when we drove to colorado roads were empty, hotels were shut down and restaurants were shut down. this year, the roads were packed. everything was open. lots of help wanted signs. biden is doing a fantastic job." "i disapprove. the past six months have been terrible. i do not believe the polls you read this morning." a texan says "we are being crushed with inflation and the future looks pre--- bleak. illegal aliens get section eight housing and citizens get nothing for her grow -- get nothing."
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we want to know whether you approve or disapprove of president biden's handling of the economy. let's go to joel from mountain home, arkansas. good morning. caller: i think -- thank you for taking my call. you just have to drive to the gas pump and gas your car and you can seek -- see that the gas prices up. you can shop for food and see the food price is up. host: so joel, what do you think president biden should be doing that he is not doing with the economy? caller: president biden is doing a great job for the democrats and some republicans. the money he is paying out, we
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will never pay it back. our grandkids and great grandkids will have to pay it. nothing is free in this country. the people pay the bill. wake up. one more thing. why won't he attack the southern border? they just showed 188,000, i can't use the world -- the word illegal because that is not pc, but they came into this country in june alone. you will pay for it. thank you for taking my call. host: let's go to duncan calling from brooklyn, massachusetts. good morning. caller: good morning. i just want to say -- i want to start by dispelling a few miss. -- myths.
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mitch mcconnell sometimes is right about things. one of the things he is right about is that democrats are not doing a good enough job. but, overall, i am impressed with what joe biden has done. he has stepped up and attempted to use the bully pulpit to push a countervailing force that needs to occur. we are at a crossroads. it is a good time for us to take that step. but, stopped clocks are right twice a day. eagle immigrants, indie -- illegal immigrants, illegal aliens, it is a misnomer. but it is more than that. it is a red herring for both sides of the aisle. another thing. you cannot look at inflation and the state of our country and simply attribute the state of our country to one side of the
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aisle or the other. because, first of all, it is really one side of the aisle. you are looking at republicans who call themselves democrats. listen, we need a job packet -- package. we need to send people back to work. to do that, it cannot be about money. people need to feel as of the job they are doing is important and relevant. we need to bring people in to the process. host: speaking of jobs and the american economy, here is a story from the hill that shows that jobless claims are reversing, falling to a post locked down low of 360,000. "the number of new applications for jobless benefits fell last week according to data released by the labor department.
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in the week ending july 10, newly adjusted claims for unemployment insurance fell to three and 60,000, down by 26,000 from the -- 360,000, down from 26,000 by the previous week. jobless claims fell to their lowest level since march 14, 2020 where claims totaled 225,000 shortly before the covid-19 pandemic shattered the economy." the number of new applications for job benefits seem to be going down. so, there should be more jobs out there. do you approve or disapprove of what president biden is doing for the economy? let's see what bob from elkhart, indiana says. good morning. caller: good morning. number one, i think biden has messed up a few situations as far as opening the borders up like that.
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nobody was prepared for that. it is not just as the people that are coming over. they are honest people having it rough in mexico and honduras and other places. i understand that. but i do not think we are ready to take on that big of a number to take care of people. host: bob, what do you think about what president biden is doing with the economy? the topic is the economy this morning. guest: -- caller: i do not think the economy is doing as well as everybody is saying. there are a lot of jobs out there. but, he capes -- keep passing money out of people than what -- that would rather stay home and draw easy money then go back to work. i do not think there are too many restaurants that can pay their people $50 an hour and still survive. -- $15 an hour and still
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survive. i think if they earn it and they are the head chef they should make more than that. or if they have a bigger job. the guy just starting out doing it. most of these people live off tips. so. host: what do you think president biden should do about the economic situation that he is not doing? caller: i think he needs to quit passing stimulus bills. it is going to affect my daughter and my granddaughter. it is going to affect a lot of other people down the road. somebody has to pay it back. there is nothing free in the world. he wants to give everybody a tax break on their kids if they have kids. host: let's go to randy calling from millington, michigan. good morning. caller: good morning jesse.
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i want to start by thanking you and all of the other men and women it takes to bring us this program. you are doing a great service to the nation. i believe president biden is doing quite a good job on handling the economy on what he was handed. at least he is trying to include, i believe, all of the american people. it is not just a break for the rich or subsidies for farmers that you go out and start a tariff with china and we end up paying farmers. he is doing as best as he can for what we are coming out of area -- what we are coming out of. there is no book on how you come out of a pandemic. he is looking out for the interest of all of us. it is not going to be perfect. he will stumble. but he is walking in the right direction. on a personal note, i believe
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when it comes to voting in 2022 and 2024, our american spirit will remember january 6, 2021. host: let's go to ada, calling from grindstone, pennsylvania. good morning. caller: good morning. the reason i am calling is because i disapprove of the handling of the economy. it started way back when trump was in office giving out free money. letting people collect unemployment because they were afraid to go to work, because of covid. i am a front-line worker. i went to work every day. now, we are going to give people more money -- i just don't believe now that giving them
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more money for their kids to go back host: we lost ada. let's go to lolita calling from jacksonville, florida. caller: good morning. thank you for having me. i approve. but, yes, there can be more done. the wages. and also, housing. hello? the wages and housing are two factors i think are fairly important. the wages need to be higher. $15 a how are -- 15 -- $15 an hour. i am working for a mortgage company. $15 an hour. anything less than that, you cannot live on it.
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here in jacksonville, the housing is ridiculous. you are not earning enough to even receive a home. something needs to be done with not only the wages, but, the homes. these places, apartment complexes, i have never seen anything where you are paying for an application fee anywhere from 40 to $80 and then they are asking you to put down a deposit. i have never heard of that. until you give me the place, there should not be a deposit. it is ridiculous. those things need to be more looked at, adjusted, and i believe republicans live in a bubble. i do not understand it. host: let's go to annie calling from albany, new york. good morning. caller: good morning.
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so, i disapprove but i am actually going to fight this from the left. what i see is the price of lumber and the price of actually building houses and the construction labor aspect of it is so high now that people who are the working poor cannot buy houses. when people cannot attain assets, their upward mobility is completely stunted. by the share price of goods. with the cost of everything raised, that would make sense, because, there is more money injected into the economy. but now, people with a trade education that were making a good living before covid and before all of the money got injected into the economy, they are now struggling. now they need extra stimulus checks.
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that is make it alright if money for the working poor. because, what has happened with injecting, something like over 30% of the money in the american economy now is new money, so with the injection of all of that, it has caused prices to soar. so, it is not working out the way he wants it to. and q. host: [speaking foreign language] [speaking foreign language] -- the way he wants it to. thank you. host: let's go to junior from west plane, maturity -- west plane, missouri. caller: i think the president is doing a great job. i have health issues and a hole in my back. i cannot work anymore.
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they took out god everywhere you go. people are stealing and stealing. i have heard three times. the president is doing a great job. nobody ever gives any credit for the united states of america. we helped japan. they turn around do this to us. it is not right. i cannot work anymore. what i do work, it hurts me so bad. they took out god everywhere. they forget about god. god brought us to this world to be peaceful and loving. caller: on wednesday, president biden met with a bipartisan group of mayors and governors at the white house. they talked about pushing for
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additional infrastructure spending that they say could help the economy. here is president biden after talking to that bipartisan group. >> there are families in need of safer communities. kids need to be able to drink clean drinking water without lead in it. communities need reliable transit systems. we have a chance to solve these problems read a bipartisan chance. -- we have a chance to solve these problems. i bipartisan chance. that's a bipartisan chance. -- i bipartisan chance. a chance for america to win the second quarter of the 21st century because our -- because
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of our infrastructure. i found it disturbing that they asked about the 25 best airports in the world and the united states was not mentioned. we have to build for tomorrow. there is a lot more to do. we are going to get something done. that is why i think that my build back better agenda will be better. host: let's see what social media followers are saying about president biden's handling of the economy. whether they approve or disapprove. one text says "how can you rate biden's handling of the economy when he has yet to even proposes first budget."
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a tweet says "listen to all of the gop worried about the budget now. they were jumping up and down at the tax code scam. i have given up on our government so doesn't matter anymore. both parties don't work for the people." "jobs are growing, unemployment is streaking, retail demand is spiraling upward, markets are solid at biden's political focus is on average americans. i support it. " another tweet says "biden is doing great if you go by the stock market. prediction of failure by the right go unrealized. he is making a difference for americans. the rich still get richer. fix this cute tax code so we can do anything."
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let's go back to our phone lines and start with christopher calling from randall's town, american -- maryland. caller: i disagree with the's infrastructure plan. first, most of the people, as farce commercial skyscrapers, who will be working on bridges, they are immigrants. as an african-american, you do not even hardly see whites anymore working on these construction jobs. i think that the democrats keep putting a band-aid over everything. as far as african-american men are concerned, they need a career.
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they don't have a career. they don't have skills. the location schools are closed down, and that is the main thing they need so they can have a future for themselves, so they can have a career. and i think joe biden is trying -- all those people, those senior citizens that died were getting social security checks. and that money, where is it going up? right back to the government. you talk about the government is spending this and spending that, but they have a whole lot of money from the dead people. sad to say, but talking about the united states government doesn't have money, they have billions and billions and billions of dollars. host: let's go to will, calling from enid, oklahoma. good morning.
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caller: how are you? host: just fine, go ahead, will. caller: i approve with the president is doing because each president is going to do his share of trying to fix the economy. let's go after trying to fix all the problems of the economy and get it done, and joe biden is trying to fix all the problems. no one is going to approve of everything he does. he is doing it his way, and we need to support each other and support the president and let him figure out what he needs to do to fix his version of the economy, and let's do it all at once instead of knit again, doing one thing ashley nitpicking, doing 1 -- nitpicking and doing one thing at a time, so we have one president who is trying to fix all the problems, and the money that he is spending, we have to
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deal with that afterwards. it is a good thing he is doing because he is going after all the problems. host: let's go to jim, who was calling from halifax, pennsylvania. good morning. caller: top of the morning. my question is, my comment is, mr. biden is handing out all this money and this stimulus here. how come pennsylvania has a $9 billion rainy day fund? i think what mr. biden should do is try to lower taxes and stop polluting government paid, taxpayer paid jobs like this infrastructure. all that money is coming on the taxpayers. there is no income. it is all spent money. this infrastructure thing has been going on for years upon years upon years. when is mr. biden going to lower
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taxes and stop this trying to give out money to help people because taxes, taxes and restrictions is what is driving this country into debt. and where does mr. biden get all of this money he is borrowing? is that from social security? does the chinese have a handout? how much interest is the chinese charging us for this money that mr. biden is borrowing ? -- borrowing? host: let's go to mary, calling from fort washington, maryland. good morning. caller: i wish you would put some information about the tax money so people would stop tripping. for the one caller, the dead people social security money sometimes goes to the family. i approve of joe biden right now, considering the mess on the
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horror that 45 created. he has done a wonderful job of the mess he is going to have to clean up. the infrastructure, i would like to see more money into that because this is our money, our tax money. i hope we people on social security get a nice raise in november because we are deserving of it. also, the biggest problem that any president might want to solve -- before i say that, the $50 an hour, we have -- $15 an hour, we have been fighting that for 15 years. inflation has caused you to say we need $18 an hour, that is a livable wage. that is when you can buy a home, a car, education, health insurance, life insurance. all the things you need to start your life out in the right path. the main thing the president needs to do is get rid of racism. host: let's go to mike, who was calling from pennsylvania.
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good morning. caller: yes, i am here. i disapprove of him for the simple fact today that we have a young generation of people who do not work. they do not want to work, no matter how much you pay them. host: let's go to stephanie, calling from springfield, massachusetts. stephanie, good morning. stephanie, you are on. go ahead. caller: i approve what joe biden is doing because he is trying to help us african-american people. host: stephanie, turn your television down and go ahead. caller: ok, i approve -- host: let's go to julian calling from aurora, north carolina, julian, good morning. caller: good morning.
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yes, i definitely disapprove. all you've got to do is look at the prices. it all started with living wages , they really push for $15 an hour. people don't, i mean, i employee 2000 people. i have 1200 of them back. so, i am missing about 800 that want to stay-at-home, which i get. anyway, what we are seeing, inflation, as soon as gas starts going up, as soon as you start talking about living wage for somebody that works in the back of a kitchen to put dirty plates through a dish machine and pull it out, $60 an hour -- $16 an hour, making $35,000 in our -- i
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mean nationally what -- host: what industry do you employ people in? caller: what industry do i not have, hotels, restaurant, landscaping, real estate. host: according to the numbers you gave us, you have 800 jobs unfilled. what are you doing to get those jobs filled? caller: how am i going to get the jobs filled? you go down to michael bell county and they are blessing them in -- -- bussing them in, and i don't want to call them illegal, because they are legal and they get a court date and a license to be able to work, and they are taking american jobs, just what i do not want to happen. we want to pay americans. it is not cost the same to live
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in north alina that it does -- north carolina that it does in new york. i am sorry. maybe $15 an hour -- i pay my people $11, $10, $12 an hour, maybe that is equal, but $15 an hour here, there are people who have careers, i mean, not busboys, careers that do not even get paid that kind of money. host: let's go to virginia, calling from koufax, north carolina. virginia, good morning. caller: good morning. i approve of what president biden is doing. i think he is doing a wonderful job considering he has to deal with the pandemic. can you hear me? host: yes, go ahead, virginia. caller: yes, i approve of biden. i think he is doing a wonderful job. host: all right, let's go to john, calling from landfall, new
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york. john, good morning. caller: how are you my friend? i just want to say i have been in the construction trade for years and years, and when you see people of a certain ethnic group performing these jobs, they are hired by contractors because they pay them far less than the $15. they may be here illegal and they may not, but they do not ask questions. it is the employer who hires them to cut the corners. why i disapprove is because you cannot keep throwing money into this thing and making $15 the minimum wage. we have a program appear where it was economic development, where they offer -- it was free training for asbestos removal, mold removal, so you get a certifiable career. you could get them qualified so $15 is not the ceiling, that would be the floor for these jobs.
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that is what you need to do. you cannot just have a contractor say, hey, we have 10,000 3000 jobs that pay $50 an hour, that is a suitable wage. if you are skilled -- $15 an hour, that is a suitable wage. if you are skilled, you're preparing them for the future not just for now. host: let's go to wanda -- we lost wanda. let's go to adolphus calling from pensacola, florida. good morning. caller: good morning. i hear you guys talking and everybody keeps running their mouth about they are not paying this and that, that is true. but when you look at it, the bottom line is that america is not supporting the worker. they want to pay everyone else but the person who goes out there and actually does the work. that is the problem. you have people with skilled labor, degrees that are still getting paid way under what they are worth. the american people keep ignoring that, and then the younger generation sees this, and guess what they are saying,
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i'm not going to work either? you can understand that because you guys are not living up -- when you were told to go out and get an education and work hard, you are supposed to get compensated. but people see people with degrees, skills, education, and they still are not paying them. host: republican senator joni ernst of iowa came out to the senate floor on wednesday, using an unusual prop to make her point about rising prices and government spending. here's a little bit of what she had to say. [video clip] >> madam president, president biden's economic policies are causing nationwide sticker shock. the price of nearly everything is higher today than it has been since biden was in the white house first time. the cost of consumer goods has gone up every month since january, and the markup in
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prices over the past year is the biggest annual increase since 2008. the democrats response to these rising prices is to simply spend more, which is making the problem worse. paying people not to work is contributing to worker shortages, not having enough workers is resulting in service and supply shortages. combine these two factors with trillions of dollars of government spending, and it all adds up to higher prices on everything for everyone. [end video clip] host: let's see what some of our social media followers are saying on whether they approve or disapprove of president biden's handling of the economy. here is a post from facebook that says "republicans want the
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economy to open, welcome to the thriving economy quit complaining, you have an economy that is on most pre-pandemic." here is a text that says 40 years of supply-side economics is the reason for this economy. another text that says, one million illegal aliens coming over the border at joe biden's invitation. housing is not going to get cheaper. it will cause energy prices to go to -- go through the roof, taking credit for employment as a joke. these people are going back to work from a forced lockdown. reminds me of another week president called jimmy carter. another facebook post that says go to the gas stations and you will see how great he is doing, not very. another treat -- another tweet that says gop is jumping up and down over this tax scam. i have given up on our government, so doesn't matter
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anymore. let's go back to our phone lines, kenny, calling from hagerstown, indiana. kenny, good morning. caller: yeah, i disapprove. obviously the inflation has not taken hold yet in some of the areas, and but it will. host: what do you think he should do about the economy, kenny? caller: i don't think he is actually performing anything. i really think that he is the puppet for a group of people who are making the decisions. host: all right, let's go to gary calling from arlington, virginia. good morning. caller: good morning. i would like to say a few things. first of all, to several people, in terms of social security, as people die, other people age, so they become members of social security and start getting the money, so there is no loss of any. second, the taxes, i am a
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retired person. my income is fine. nobody can afford to live on even $15 an hour if they have a family of four. it is impossible. no one can do it. i would like to hear the people telling me that they cannot find anybody to work because no one wants to work, that is not true. read some books, educate yourselves, and stop all this negativism. joe biden is doing a great job. we need to have people with courage, courage to do the right thing. host: let's go to don calling from slidell, louisiana. caller: good morning. yeah, we have got to get biden out of that office because he is going kill us. if the virus doesn't kill us, biden is going to.
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host: let's go to robert, calling from vicksburg, mississippi. morning. caller: good morning. i want to say that biden has driven the price of everything up when he did away with the alaska pipeline. nobody ever mentions that. why not? biden is ruining the economy. host: what do you think you should be doing that he is not doing, robert? caller: he should put the alaska pipeline back in business, for one thing. and he should not be working against the oil and gas people. the price of gas goes skyhigh, which causes the price of
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everything else to go skyhigh. host: let's go to stephen, who is calling from fort lauderdale, florida. stephen, good morning. caller: good morning to you, sir, and all of our listeners. i just want to say that i approve of president biden's handling of the economy, considering where we have come from the last year with covid and the wrecking ball donald trump to to our government. host: all right, that's go to ray, who was calling from troy, michigan. ray, good morning. caller: good morning. i am a small is this owner -- business owner here in michigan. what is going on with the economy right now is ridiculous. we cannot get toilets, you cannot get water heaters, we cannot get angst because of what is going on with the economy -- we cannot get things because of what is going on with the economy. host: is that because of the pandemic or the president's
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economic policy? caller: it is because we cannot get people to come back to work. everybody seems to be thinking that they should be making $80 an hour. let's remember that these 15 $15 an hour jobs, or young kids going to school, young kids in general, a guy should not go to mcdonald's and make $15 an hour. i am sorry, but so now it is going to happen is you are preaching that you want the $15 an hour, but what is it going to do the rising cost? $15, an entry-level job, you want to make the real money, you have to go to school or get a trade. the average age of eight plumber in michigan is 58 years old -- age of a plumber in michigan is 58 years old. why? because the kids do not want to work anymore and they don't have work ethic. we are just fueling the spider bite.
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we call them relief packages and unemployment. it just does not make a lot of sense to me. host: that's good eddie, calling from little barry, new jersey. eddie, good morning. caller: good morning, good morning. thank you for taking my call. i just want to say one thing. there is a lot of people out there that do not need the money. they are taking it. they are not going back to work. they have got investments. so, the thing is, you don't need it, leave it alone. i sent mine back, returned to sender. that is all i've got to say. host: let's go to charlie, calling from tampa, florida. charlie, good morning. caller: good morning. i just want to say that i do not think anyone is handling this economy. this economy simply happened after the pandemic, which we
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have never seen before is a factor of the economy, and if eisenhower was in office, he would be saying he was handling it, that he wouldn't. trump was in office, he wouldn't be handling it. this is a runaway destroyed economy. some of it is good, but biden isn't handling it. it is too big for anybody and two different, i think. he does not deserve any credit, that i'm not sure he deserves any blame for this economy, including the high price of used cars. that just took place. host: let's go to ben, calling from springfield, massachusetts. good morning. caller: good morning and thank you for taking my call. i am calling in support of the president. i think the president has done an excellent job. a lot of griping and complaining because trump is not there anymore, and he should be in jail for trying to take over the nation.
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trying to illegally take the government back, when he lost an election. but there are a lot of things that are happening in our country. people who are opposing the president should at least after six months that he has been in office, be willing to support him at least now, six months, 80 even a year. host: let's go to ruben, who was calling from earlier 10, north carolina. good morning. -- calling from burlington, north carolina. good morning. caller: good morning. i would like to make a comment concerning joe biden, who is in my opinion working as hard as he can to fix all of the problems that has happened to this country over the last two years, three, four years, and i know he is working hard. this man is not taking vacations. he is not going to the golf course, he is not sitting
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around. he is doing his job himself. i am a veteran. i am retired. i am a person who feels like the only way that this country will get back on its feet, if the people who really claimed that they care about the country would do something to prove it. and stopped sitting back, complaining about the president, vice president, and these people who are trying to work hard, and every chance that people get to try to stop him and put a stumbling block in front of him, or to come up with the deal to make sure that their job is harder, there should be some type of law to stop them from doing that. host: let's go to morris, calling from manchester, tennessee. good morning. caller: yeah, i disapprove of mr. biden. he is trying to get the price of gas up for everybody to buy electric cars.
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and if you are on the interstate at night and the battery runs down, you go to call a wrecker and tell them to bring you a gallon of electricity? [laughter] host: all right, let's go to donald, calling from raleigh, north carolina. donald, good morning. caller: good morning. yes, i approve of the way he is handling the economy. first of all, he isn't responsible for the inflation, the level of nation we are seeing today. we had a pandemic -- level of inflation we are seeing today. we had a pandemic that was brought on primarily by donald trump for the first three or four months pretending it did not exist. there are two things you have to think about when you are dealing with a disease or illness. one, research, follow research-based science. two, follow evidence-based treatment. donald trump for the first three months said it was a hoax created by the democratic party.
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another point i wanted to bring up was the people that are complaining about the workers that, for example, serve food and restaurants, if you do not want to pay those workers, maybe you can go to a restaurant, write your order, put it on a conveyor belt, let the chef get paid a high dollar amount. but i think it takes the waiter or waitress to bring the food to the table. host: let's go to joe, calling from beaumont, texas. joe, good morning. caller: good morning. yes, my number one concern is that i do not understand how they let one man ruined america. -- ruin america. host: go ahead, joe. caller: good morning. host: turn your television down. caller: i want to thank you. that is my point, that is what i
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want to say. host: ok. "the wall street journal" has a story on its site today comparing one family's funny 21 budget -- 2021 budget to what they paid for things, the same things, a year before. this is one family's monthly budget. in 2020, they paid $768 for groceries. that went up to more than $1000 in may of 2021. for eating out, restaurants and delivery, they paid $284 and 2020 and 301 and 2021. there gas prices went up almost $200 from $50 in 2020 to $250 in 2021.
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went from zero to 731. because of the pandemic, they did not buy any new clothing in 2020. this is an example from one family of how they are paying more for items now than they did at this time last year. let's talk to frank, calling from hillsboro, delaware. caller: good morning. i am calling in to comment on what is going on. first of all, i am calling to support -- those calling into support joe biden, they are more runs. they don't know what is -- they are morons. they don't know what is going on. the price of everything is going up. joe biden does not even belong in there. they cheated their way, and now he is going to spend as much money as he possibly can get the hell out of there. host: what do you think the
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president should do to turn the economy around? caller: i think he should resign. he is terrible. we knew he was going to be terrible to get in there. how did he get elected? come on now. once they found out about the elections and it is rotten to the core. when you let people like this in office, it is terrible. host: let's call from terry, calling from lake, minnesota. good morning. caller: to the previous caller, all i say is trump was the most corrupt president that ever was in that office and should be in jail. joe biden is cleaning up his mess that he created for the last four years. that is it. host: let's go to ted, who was calling from florida. good morning. caller: good morning. thank you for putting me in. wow. the conversations of some of these people coming up and
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talking about joe biden as bad, thank god for him because 45 almost destroyed this country and is still trying to destroy it. he is doing a great job. one thing that he needs to do, stop the 500 billion subsidies for these farmers and these military people and these corporations. this is crazy. as far as inflation goes, in six months, he started inflation, come on? we had 1.5 year of pandemic. there is a shortage and these people are overpricing everybody. that is all i have to say, thank you. host: let's go to steve, who was calling from ashland, ohio. steve, good morning. caller: good morning, c-span. how are you? host: go ahead, steve. caller: good morning, c-span. host: go ahead, steve. caller: i disapprove of all of
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them. president trump, president biden, president obama, all of them are printing money. president biden is printing $102 billion a month, trump was printing about 100 billion, obama was about 75 billion. come on. we are trillions in debt, and you are wondering why we have inflation? you people need to get a grip on your own life. and these people here, check this out, they will not raise social security for people who are poor, but the raise is coming up, they get 2.7% in congress for a raise. plus expenses. what is going on? host: we would like to thank all
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of our callers who called in for that segment. coming up, we will speak with rob richie from the group fairvote about their push for voting reforms. later, jason delisle joins us to talk about his recent piece arguing there is not a college affordability crisis. he says access and equity in higher education have improved the last 20 years. that conversation comes up later in our weekly spotlight on magazine segments. stick with us. we will be right back. ♪
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>> sunday night on "q&a," jessica delong was chief engineer of the historic vote john jay harvey when it was called back into service to aid firefighters following the attacks on the 20 towers -- the twin towers. in her book, she tells the story of mariners who came to the rescue of thousands. >> the maritime evacuation that delivered nearly half a million people to safety is an incredible example of the goodness of people that when you are given the opportunity to help, you have the tools, you have the skill set, you have the availability that people over and over again made the choice to put themselves in harm's way
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for the sake of fellow humans. and that is very instructive and some that we really need to continue to remember. >> jessica dulong sunday night at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span's "q&a." you can also listen to it as a podcast wherever you get your podcasts. ♪ >> weekends on c-span2 are an intellectual feast. every saturday you will find events and people who explore our nation's past on american history tv. on sunday, book tv rings you the latest in nonfiction books and authors. it is television for serious readers. learn, discover, explore. weekends on c-span2.
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>> "washington journal" continues. host: we are back with rob richie, the president and ceo of fairvote. he is here with us to talk about right choice voting and election reform. guest: good morning. it is good to be in studio with you. host: exactly. remind us what fairvote is. what exactly is fairvote, where you get your funding and what is the group about? guest: i hope started back in 1992. people right remember -- people might remember the independent candidate for president, john anderson and had that spirit the rest of his life for independence. the focus of our work in the beginning or since that is better elections for all of us, that is our goal where we take a nonpartisan approach and work with people from across the spectrum. the core for what we try to do is to gather what we think are
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the structural roots of why elections can get off track and driving can have frustrations with representation, why elected officials do not seem to be serving us all as well as they could, and there are electoral roles not baked in the constitution that states and cities can be laboratories of democracy, and we had a lot of progress and are starting to make some wind to get us to the national level of our station, which i think are at today. host: one of the changes you are pushing his ranked choice voting. explain to our audience what exactly rank choice voting is, and if they see it in their polling booths, what would be different about it was to mark -- what would be different about it? guest: up to 50 plus cities and states are doing it, new york city, 23 cities in utah, alaska, and the thing that looks different when you go to vote is rather than an x ballot where
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you just pick one, you can say, who are my full set of choices, who is my first, second and third choice? what those other rankings are are backups to your vote. your vote is precious we think, and you go all in with your first choice, but if your first choice is not that strong a candidate, and there is no one who has a majority of the vote if you are electing one person, so it is 45, 30 or 15 and you support the candidate with 15, you get a backup. so we get a head-to-head comparison between the two strongest candidates and sometimes call that an instant runoff because it compares the top two. so the people whose first choice is the strong candidate, it stays with them, but if you back a candidate who is in last place, it goes to your second backup. at the end of the day, a lot more votes count, and you are free to relate vote without consideration of conventional wisdom with you has the most money.
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you can vote for whom you want. your vote is your voice. rank voting liberates you to express what you want. host: so having never been in a rank choice ballot for election myself, how do you indicate on a rank choice ballot your first versus your backup pick? do you put numbers, x's, how do they know who it is question mark -- you it is? guest: you will still see this in countries overseas, augusta area, they use numbers they count by him -- like australia, they use numbers and they count them by hand. we use paper where you have bubbles and you mark the bubble next to your first choice, and then there will be a second column for your second choice and so on. like in the new york city mayoral race, we don't have all the data yet, but probably more
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than two thirds of people right three or more candidates and more than four out of five rank at least a backup. that is something they could not do before. so that many people wanted to use the rankings because of that, a lot more votes ended up counting. host: we mentioned this earlier, but how many places in america can you see ranked choice voting in right now? is it statewide, citywide? where can you find it? guest: it started in the way american democracy generally looks at changes in this country. things bottoms up. get some cities and states starting to look at it and do it, and we are part of that trajectory. we had to do a lot of work to get the voting companies adapt their voting, but it is very simple picking rings candidates, but the voting companies had a laborious process for changing that and getting their technology in-line.
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so you started in cities where you have one equipment vendor to work with and so on. but it is in 50 cities or so, and then we are up to alaska and maine, for u.s. senate, u.s. house, president. four states use it for president for primaries last year. the virginia republican party used it for their big nomination contest in the spring. the common thread is these are races where you have multiple candidates, there were seven running in virginia for governor in the republican side, and only voting for one person and was leaving a lot of that preference on the table. and the rain choice ballot begets fair outcomes in a more unified party more quickly, and it is a problem-solving tool in important ways and focused ways, like 6, 7 states have congressional primary runoff election. georgia has a general election,
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as we saw with the u.s. senate race. and overseas voters, it is hard to get a ballot back for a runoff, so those six states sunday ranked choice ballot to overseas voters and the voters rank candidates on them. when it gets to a runoff, have already expressed their runoff references, and almost all of them have done so in a way that counts. it makes military voters overseas get a vote that counts. host: let me remind our viewers that we can take part in this conversation. we are going to open up regular lines. democrats, (202)-748-8000. republicans, (202)-748-8001. independents, you can call (202)-748-8002. keep in mind, you can always text us at (202)-748-8003. and we are always reading on social ed a on facebook -- social media on facebook .com/c-span and twitter, @cspanwj.
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you can follow us on instagram also at, @cspanwj. when states and localities change to rank vote choice voting, our people catching on to it quickly? guest: when you see a range of the way districts do it, they have different resources and priorities. what we believe is the most important educational tool is the ballot itself. a good design, simple, clear instruction, voters are showing the ability to rank candidates. the important tool is to really make sure you feel comfortable, like why am i ranking candidates? is it a point system? mi given 10 points for my first choice and nine for the second? it is not that, it is all in for your first and then if your first choice loses, you go to your backup. you want to make people comfortable with expressing
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their preferences. new york city has had this big primary and 41 contests needed for the instant outcome. you get invested in outcome and you want to know if it makes sense, and that kind of education is important. new york invested quite a lot in education. we have seen other jurisdictions hardly do anything. maine has not spent that much money, but it has worked out there well, too. host: one of our social media followers says that there was mixed news coming out of the new york experiment. steve writes a tweet, "during the process, the rank of choice voting in new york city seen the disaster, but afterwards, folks said it was relatively successful." can you explain what happened? guest: it is easy for television to focus on a couple of optics. there were two things they do as well as i wish they did.i
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think the fundamentals were excellent, they had the highest turnout, the highest of rankings , and fascinating outcomes on the ballot. the city council had a lot of open seats. had never had more than 18, and on the council. they are going to have more than double what they have now. my wife except election methods and runs a group called represent women, to liberate voters from conventional wisdom to create a level playing field. a huge surge on young people of color on the council. they waited a week to run the first tally. then you have a close race for mayor and basically, you can push a button and it counts instantly when you do.
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you are left with first choices, and they want to make sure they get it right, and here the second thing they didn't do. they do not get it right when they push the button. they had left 135,000 test ballots in their records. when they ran the first tally, there were unofficial results, but they included a lot of emmy ballots that were puzzling -- dummy ballots that were puzzling and not understood. that was the practical problem. it had no impact on results, but it impacted how people saw. the next day that error was corrected and the count was all done by now, and, again, fundamentals we think went really well, but the board of elections in new york, which has a history of patronage and is a big the rock christy and something that needs to be reformed -- and is a big bureaucracy and something that needs to be reformed. this was a good example of how
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to do it better. host: the bat optics had nothing to do with the actual rank choice voting, they just put the wrong ballots into the count? guest: correct, so eric adams was going to be the democratic nominee for mayor. he got 31% of first choices. less than one third of a vote. if it had been a single choice election, he would've one, but -- he would have won, but there would have been some doubt on if you should have won and they were 13 candidates overall. they got down head-to-head between a woman named kathryn garcia, and it was 51 to 49. it was close, but he does win. he was the majority choice between those top candidates. i think that kind of helped confirm the outcome. in the history of new york city,
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there have been 109 mayors, 108 have been white men. host: let's let some of our viewers take part in the conversation. let's start with karl, calling from arlington, virginia, on the independent line. good morning. caller: good morning. i am african-american, and i do not have any faith anymore, not only in black men but black politicians. the choices are pretty much made for us. we go through most of the voting, but they cannot really help the poor. the black urban poor, even kamala harris, she said one time, you think i am going to do something specifically to help black people? no. then she turned around, helped asians. i really don't have any faith in black mayors or politicians in general because the white
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wealthy elite really control them. host: do you have any questions about rank choice voting? guest: yeah, it does not do anything. it is not helpless as black people. that is my comment. -- caller: yeah, does not do anything. it does not help like people. that is my comment. guest: we will sue it happens in the new york november election, but i think he came out of the election tapping into the sentiments with support in the black community and new york is a reflection of we need to take our interests seriously, and i think that message resonated. obviously, we have politicians operating in a climate where a lot of things affect whether they can get the job done or not . everyone will be happy with what they do. i do think that to conclude, we
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need to have voting systems that at least of us the best chance possible to say what we really think and what we want, and for our candidates to have incentives and rewards for listening, and for connecting with as many voters as possible, and give them their best shot. we cannot guarantee that they are going to do the job we want them to do. host: we have another question from a social media followers who basically wants to know, does this make voting harder? tim says rank choice or extinct choice voting is a terrible idea. why add players of complexity to an otherwise easy process? one system, one vote, and you can know who wins that day. what is your response to our viewers and followers who say rank choice voting makes it harder, why wouldn't i go and choose one person, whether they get enough votes or not, we know
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that day. guest: that is an option in a rank choice voting. they can just rank one person and be happy with what they have done and walk away. if they want to take that away from other people, i have a problem with that. an autocracy is easier still, let's not vote at all, and then we don't have to do anything, but if you're going to have a vote, which is a good thing, i think we want to have a chance to have a backup to that vote. so it is 35, 25, or whatever that result ip, it is not a representative outcome for sure if someone represents 65% of people with only 35%, and this is not a less rank thing. we are seeing republican parties use it in three state conventions last year because they cannot do in person voting because of covid. we saw democratic parties use it. it is something that i think is giving voters more power.
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i don't think a person who only wants to vote for one person say they cannot have a backup. what i do want to emphasize is new york's delaying reporting there results was -- if you want quick results, rank choice voting can provide that. host: does moving to a rank choice voting system change the way politicians have to campaign? guest: it does, a good politician. they do not have to change it, and they are less likely to win. the fact that you have given voters more that they can do on their ballot, so now my first choice matters, my second, i backup with their choice might matter, as well. if i am a candidate trying to win and connect, like eric adams likely would have been ranked on more than 62% of ballots in the
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big field. he earned that, and he earned that by talking to more people and going outside of his brooklyn borough and going to queens, and hatton, and maybe he did not get a first respect he could get a backup choice. the voters know that, too, and a fascinating part of it is they are saying, i settled on my first choice, but i will listen to this next debate because i will listen to my second -- because i need my second choice. so what is going to win, and you will more likely engage with them and connect with them. that gives them a better chance to be a good representative. host: does ranked choice voting lemonade the need for a runoff and a second election in most campaigns? and is that a good thing or a bad thing? guest: i think we kind of set things up in a binary way of one way is perfect and one way is terrible. there is a spectrum. one of the strongest reasons and one of the most compelling
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top-of-the-line reasons why cities have been going to ranked choice voting is to go one election, not two. the utah elections, they have a two round system where you vote in august, in a nonpartisan field, to twice the number of candidates and seats in november. then they had the second election in november. or you do it faster, cheaper, better election in november without that august preliminary. 23 cities, salt lake city on down, decided that they preferred that faster, cheaper, better option. so when we look at some very important runoff elections, it gives people a second chance to look at the candidates. that is something that ranked choice voting does not do, but a lot of people do not participate again. we have looked at the last 200 congressional runoffs. the average drop in turnout is almost 40%, so the number of people that come back is usually a lot less. it costs a lot of money for
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taxpayers, for the candidates who have to go to donors to raise more money for a second election. these are some of the arguments that make ranked choice voting a great alternative. host: that's go to bill, calling from northbrook, illinois. bill, good morning. caller: good morning. to recap a couple of things. obviously, in new york, it was delayed over many days until we found out the answer. two, the fact that there are multiple counts increases the ability for fraud. but the point that i make is that when you list your ranked choice, and there is a name for this, if you do not list any other choices beyond your first one, you are basically
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completely deluded, your ballot. you should be allowed to say, one -- i want joe smith, list them on all five choices because that is the person that you want, and that you should not have to list four other people below joe smith. the other thing is is in new york, it seems that the run-up to the election, there was a lot of jockeying between the candidates to try to, between the andrew yang and garcia, to try to get themselves positioned on the ballots into the second choice. this created a lot of distortion. so the idea that this is better, whatever better means, ok, as
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opposed to just we are going to vote, and this is the individual that i want, i think that what happened in new york is an example of all the things of why this is an idea whose time is wet. host: go ahead and respond, rob. guest: clearly you have done some reading on why you don't like ranked choice wording -- voting, but i can address them. the timing was a reflection of certain choices that u.s. -- new york state policymakers made. we have major cities that get elections that are done that night, and that can be done with ranked choice voting. it is a technical decision about how to handle things. i should say that without sin to laws we have now, -- with the absentee voting laws we have now, the delay is necessary. when kamala harris won statewide for attorney general in california, it took weeks to
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learn. absentee ballot laws make it that it takes a while to get final outcomes. that is not due to ranked choice voting but other issues. the idea of what they call exhaustive or inactive ballots, that the voters did not rank one of the final two candidates. a new york, there were 13 candidates and it came down to kathryn garcia and eric adams. they are relatively, they are sort of similar on the ideological spectrum. may have some differences, but there were not the most conservative or progressive candidates. some people really do not have a preference between those two. it turned out that 86% of people had a preference between those two, and that was a lot more than what you saw in the first round were only 50% voted. so you have a lot of people getting their way in, but we do not mandate voting in this country or rankings. if you only want to vote for one, that is fine. the last lift out from that is this idea of fraud.
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there is a great instructive example from new york. one of the city council races on the republican side in staten island where the winner was favored in november, we do not know if there was fraud but there are allegations from a candidate who surprised everyone by finishing first and the first choices. i got to that point by -- they say they got to that point by fraud, and we will see that settled, but he lost in the runoff because more votes counted. so when you only need 34% to win or whatever it might be, a bit of fraud helps you if you have to get to 50%. so the more votes to count, the harder it is to do fraud. i think these other issues are ones where we have to make a choice. do we want to handle crowded fields by allowing people to finish top of heat with 20%? we have had people get elected to congress after winning a
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congressional primary with less than 20% of the votes in the last year. maybe they are going to do a good job, but we should confirm that they are the most representative candidate and we think ranked choice voting does a great job of doing that. host: i want to read a criticism of ranked choice voting in a "wall street journal" editorial, and this is what harvey mansfield said, "by ranking choices, a voter is required to divide his vote between a favorite candidate and some merely acceptable ones. the first race is what the voter privately wills, the representative who suits them best, this choice is not directed at the common good, which requires that voters. consider what others want in a free country, voters should require a common good superior to the wishes of private vigils to prevail. ranked choice voting makes the common good inferior to each person's private first choice."
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what would be your response? guest: i would say he turned reality on its head. right now, you only get one choice. you are not necessarily thinking about the common good with that. you are just voting for one person, right? and someone could win with 28% representing 100%. and the idea of needing to have connected with more voters and assembling the majority and connecting with people in a crowd sourcing definition of what the common good is, kind of a bottoms up way of saying, this is what the common good and ranked choice voting is doing that directly. i found his op-ed, i will be honest, incomprehensible from the way ranked choice voting really works. and he was using arguments against it that in some ways i think are the strongest arguments for it, and that is a good example. host: let's go to grace, calling from the bronx, new york, on the democratic nine. grace, good morning -- democratic line.
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grace, good morning. turn your television down for us first. go ahead. caller: good morning, how are you? hello, can you hear me? host: yes, we can. caller: i am calling about i do not like the ranked choice voting. i believe it is a scam. i am very involved in the political process in the bronx in new york, and first of all, ranked choice voting, when you vote, it should be one vote per person. ranked choice voting gives people more than one vote. for example, if you vote for your second choice and the fourth choice, ok, let's say first choice and forth choice, your fourth choice person does not make the 50% they have to move up.
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then that vote goes up to either one or two. it is double dipping. you are -- they are getting two votes from the same person. do you understand? guest: thank you for your call. york from a respected pollster about people's attitude. 77% said they liked ranked better than the previous way. grace is not alone in that view but the majority of people prefer it. the key point about one person, one vote is that in each round -- so you have a first round where you only count first choices. then the second round almost everyone one counts again because the candidate is still in the race. the only voter who doesn't is something who backed the
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candidate in last place. in the second round they are getting a vote counted for the second choice. in that round it is a one person, one vote system. in a runoff election that happens weeks or months after he might vote for someone different than you did the first round because your first choice is no longer running. it is not like you are getting more votes. you are just having to settle on a backup and that is the idea of ranked choice voting. as people adapted to it the pattern we have seen -- the support keeps going up and up and up. you get used to a new system and realize it is doing something for you, getting something more powerful, you adjust. your candidate will not always win but that is the pattern we have seen. the more it is used, the more it is appreciated and the more voters settle into it. that first election grace
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experienced was highly charged and you might not like aspects of it. i hope people give it time. rear adm. cruz: let me ask basic questions -- host: let me ask you what you would see in ranked choice voting. they still win if they get majority. guest: yes. host: and the rest of the votes don't matter. guest: i'm glad you brought that up. if you win in the first round, you were done. two candidates cannot get majority. only if the 41 primaries, like the bronx where presidential race -- in each one there was no first round majority winner so the second round kicked in but only because there was no first round majority. host: so, a caller brought this
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up earlier. if you have a favorite candidate, can you rank them first, second, third, fourth? or do you have to choose another person? guest: the key point is the caller may not realize the ballot only goes to the first choice and the second choices lost. it is like going into an ice cream store and saying, i want butter pecan. the person says we do not have butter pecan today. well i want butter pecan. we don't have butter pecan. you are not going to get butter pecan ice cream. your ballot is going to the second choice is a backup. if your backup is nothing, walk out without ice cream. if you like strawberry, say, strawberries my second choice. you are not getting to i scream cones, just a backup. host: amazing you came up with that example. that happened to me. [laughter] i had to choose strawberry. let's talk to george calling
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from st. louis, missouri on the independent line. good morning. caller: good morning. i am in st. louis and we had approval voting for the first time in a primary. a friend of mine said approval voting was better than ranked choice voting and i don't understand that. maybe he could comment on the differences and why some of these scientists don't like ranked choice voting. guest: that is interesting. st. louis did use a different method where they kept the runoff but they had a first round to get it down to two where you could get one vote for one candidate, another vote to another candidate, as many as you wanted. then the two with the most approval would advance to the november election.
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the key thing is that if you have a compromise, if you have a second or third choice and you decide to vote for that person, it is giving equal weight with the first so you are having more than one vote count. some scientists have liked that because it makes more votes count at the same time. but psychologically i think they are missing the psychology of how we feel about things. if your first choice is what you really want, pretty hard to cancel out that vote with your second choice at the same time. what you tend to see is more people stop doing it. they just vote for one. but it is a reflection of the fact we can have these conversations in jurisdictions across the country. james madison, the framers did not dictate voting methods. they were quite adventurous themselves and how to think about changes and experiments.
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our whole history is what the slogan is, "a more perfect union." trying to make things better and our goal is better elections. i think, you know, we don't need to settle with what we have. the factors did not want us to. they wanted us to have these conversations in st. louis had that conversation. most places go to ranked choice voting and we think that is the best way to go. host: does it cost money to change to ranked choice voting? how much and since you are arguing about whether it is because to make the change? guest: we have done a lot it fairvote. redistricting, but registration, trying to think about core ways to make things better. we would be further along if the voting equipment companies were ready, they did not have to be paid to adapt their systems, and jurisdictions had a policy
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choice without the administrative and cost issues. which at this point it is much easier. most jurisdictions have a relatively straightforward path using ranked choice voting. it will still cost transition money. you are dealing with private companies that will charge you for any change. it is like a car dealer saying, i would like a radio. we will charge you for it. you have the right to have the music system but you have to pay for it. you will see jurisdictions making different choices. i am always pro voter education so if policymakers are ready, that's great. but it is up to the jurisdiction on that one. once it settles in, these one-time transition costs, they are certainly much cheaper than having a runoff election over time. host: this social media follower
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wants to know about the elimination of the winnowing of a field. they say voting is a choice, not a preference list. my second choice may change depending on who is remaining in the field. support may go up because the propaganda supporting it but that still doesn't make it a sensible system. ranked choice voting does eliminate runoff which would winnow the field down and make your choices starker. what do you say to people who say, i want the field to winnow down? guest: we usually don't. we don't have runoff elections and almost no general elections. we allow people to win with an unrepresented vote total because runoffs are tricky. the new voting laws we have about trying to access -- like new york went to more absentee and early voting. they used to do a runoff to were
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three weeks after the primary. they cannot do that today. the runoff period would have to be two months to work with the current laws. it is slower, it costs money. yes you have a clearfield but here's the thing, your second choice is your second choice. i do not think it is dependent. the ice cream example, you had to settle on strawberry. if they had chocolate and you really want to chocolate as your second choice, then just ask for chocolate instead of strawberry. it is not contingent -- just ask for what flavors are presented. some people go into rabbit holes thinking about things that are dead ends. it is the sensible way to vote. do with the ballot asks you to do. what is your favorite, second favorite, third favorite, and if you don't care, stop.
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we say it is as easy as 1, 2, 3 and i think it is. yes, that is in fact making our precious right to vote matter more and that engagement changes and you get more representative outcomes. that is why i really believe this is how we are going to vote in 10 years almost everywhere if not everywhere. once you sort of recognize what it is doing -- we have seen whole countries do that top to bottom in election cycles like australia and ireland. we will see if we have the conversation, but it is not partisan. it is just better for voters and democracy. host: let's talk to edward calling from fort collins, colorado on the republican line. edward, good morning. caller: good morning. i guess i am finding out if i support the fourth-ranked guy, my vote ends up not counting for that guy.
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so the guy who i voted for, he gets zero votes looks like to me. he doesn't even know where he stands. it is just wrong. i do not like it. it is very liberal type of thinking. this is really bad. you have got to get on this and stop this. guest: i will say it sounds like the liberal-conservative perspective. the six southern states that use this for military voters, they offered them ranked choice ballots. it makes more votes count in a practical way and that is a good thing. georgia lawmakers added it to the state laws just this year. the utah conversation is like cities saying, hey, do we want one election or two? that is faster, cheaper, better.
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these are very conservative cities. the virginia republican party used ranked choice voting because they have a crowded field and they wanted to get a stronger nominee. this parliamentary guide to associations recommends ranked choice voting as alternatives if you cannot vote in person repeatedly. that is the first choice but if you cannot do that, use ranked choice voting and many associations use it to get representative winners. this is not an ideological issue. it is one that is about a practical way to make more votes count. host: virginia is calling from georgia. good morning. caller: good morning. this is my first time calling in an thank you c-span for what you do to give everyone a voice to speak their opinions on subjects and titles. i am more interested in the fair voting side of where possibly
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the voting can be a holiday where everyone can come and vote on that particular day and they don't have to be rushing around trying to get to the polls, and they have freedom voting on the day. i have been doing research where the united states ranks last at voter turnout among the chief seven countries. other countries like france and germany and thailand and russia and japan have a higher turnout of voting when they have voting on weekends. also, other countries have compulsory voting where the person is automatically registered to vote. they do not have to worry about going online or in person to register to vote. the question is why don't the united states of america -- i know this has probably been
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talked about before in other administrations -- but why doesn't the united states of america have compulsory or weekend voting, or make voting a holiday so everyone can have the time to go vote and not be rushing and so busy that they don't have the time to vote? that is my question. thank you for taking my call. guest: thank you. one of the things i believed throughout my time at fairvote's american democracy works best when we allow people access. we want every eligible voter to have access. you do not want ineligible voters to have access and there are practical ways to do that. we have a conversation about election and making it a holiday. with that cover local elections, primary elections? the alternative is to allow early voting. virginia has weeks and weeks
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where people can go in and vote early and that is there alternative to all of us voting on the one holiday. puerto rico, part of the united states, has a holiday. that is a choice a state could make right now. here is what i would say about fair voting in general. i want to acknowledge a point about what we believe which is ranked choice voting can be used in different ways. the way we believe is the most empowering is the way something don buyer introduced as the fair representation act. this adds to ranked choice voting a really important feature which is to allow people more than one representative. in today's binary, polarized politics most of the country is divided into republican majority or democratic majority. the general elections are essentially rubberstamps. the fair representation act
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would open up districts to be bigger but have more representation. you rank the candidates like we have been talking about, but now the goal is to have as many as possible elect someone in a proportional way. if it is five seats, about 20% of the vote makes it possible for one candidate to win, and then you end up with the spectrum being represented. your neighbors might have different views and they can have their own representative. when i think about incentives for lawmakers to represent us well we think the fair representation act is the big goal. it is a longer topic how to make it work but as we go into the gerrymandered season and the next year, which is this awful process of lawmakers choosing constituents before the constituents choose them, the fair representation act would give that power always to us and
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allow us to choose our representatives in an authentic way. that is our long-term goal and something we think would create a culture of higher participation. host: we would like to thank rob richie, president and ceo of fairvote for coming this morning and talking to us about ranked choice voting and election reform. thank you for being with us. guest: true pleasure. fun to be in the studio and your beautiful background. thank you for c-span. host: coming up, we do the open forum. you will see numbers on the screen. call in with their most important topics you want to talk about on air. stick with us. we will be right back. ♪ announcer: is the online store. there is a collection of products.
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browse to see what is new. it will support the nonprofit operation and you can still order the directory with information for the biden administration. announcer: today on the communicators. >> the reason ransomware has become a problem is it has become a huge threat. not only a cyber criminal threat but the same as you mentioned. because of the implications for critical infrastructure, like pipeline companies or the largest meatpacker, these are significant target. they have increasingly become something cyber criminals are targeting. ransomware as a concept is pretty simple. unfortunately, defending against it has become complex. announcer: he oversaw the national security and cyber crime investigations during the trump administration.
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he discusses ransomware attack's and other cyber threats. today on the communicators at 6:30 p.m. eastern on c-span. announcer: "washington journal" continues. host: we are back and we are going to open phone lines to you our viewers in the open forum for you to call and tell us what is the most important topic you want to talk about on "washington journal" this morning. i will start us with the news that has come out over the last couple of days. let's start with what is happening with daca from cbs the federal government on friday was forced to close to new applicants sink the obama administration did not have the legal authority to grant deportation reliefs and work permits to undocumented immigrants brought to the u.s. as children. granting a request by texas and other republican led states u.s.
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district judge andrew hannon required the biden administration to stop approving new applications, blocking tens of thousands of immigrant teenagers and young adults from accessing obama era legal protections. that came out yesterday with a federal judge blocking new applications to the daca program. not eliminating daca. just keeping new people from applying for the program. what is the important topic you want to talk about? john is calling from alamo, california on the republican line. good morning. are you there? caller: i'm here. i want to talk about the constitutional issues. one has to do with the poll tax.
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i believe that is amendment 20. you read through the amendment it is very short and it bans the use of the poll tax. you had to pay money to be able to vote. but after poll tax it says "and other tax." if you look up the definition of the word "tax" and you can do this on your smartphone, it will say it is a source of government revenue. but then about the second or third definition will be it is a burden. for instance, if i gave you an assignment that was very difficult to do, i would be taxing you. all of this activity that republicans are doing -- and i
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am a registered republican -- are things that create a burden for people when they vote. it seems to me somebody needs to talk about the fact that the amendment outlaws anything that requires you not to give somebody water when they have been waiting for 10 hours to vote. things like that. i would like to see more in the media talking about how that works. the other one, if i can touch on it, is the january 6th revolt, by guests, or coup would be more correct. if you look at the third section of that amendment, and i believe it is the third sentence, if you go to the semi colon and read everything after that, you can see that was trump's plan.
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if mike pence had disallowed a couple of the states from using their electoral vote, the president and vice president would not have qualified as president and the congress could appoint a temporary president which, in the case of donald trump, would have gone on for four years had the republicans captured both houses. host: steve is calling from oshkosh, wisconsin on the independent line. good morning. caller: hi. i was hoping to get through to rob richie but this is an important issue to me. one thing that bothers me though is in the cases i have seen where they have adopted such a reform they don't give the full information to the public.
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i mean, we need to know -- i would like to see them disclose the number of ballots with each voter type. for example, voting a, b, c or b over c or a. then the public and scientists could fully analyze the vote and we could learn a lot from that. that is all i had to say. host: chris is calling from edgewater, maryland on the democratic line. good morning. caller: good morning. i am just calling about climate. i am in ocean engineer and one of the things people should be aware of is there is a lot of opportunities for enhancing sequestration of carbon dioxide in the ocean. some of these can make it possible to continue using fossil fuels and they would make
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it eventually possible to reverse global warming. some of them are even kind of fun. one of the interesting ways of doing it is, weirdly enough, restoring sea otters to their original habitat because they were nearly hunted to extinction. kelp forests take in carbon dioxide. host: let's go to barbara calling from cronkite, texas on the independent line. good morning. caller: good morning. thank you for taking my call. i can hardly get in. we are supposed to be able to call in once a month and i get in every six months. what i want to talk about is the federal government -- this was on the news the other day -- the federal government is going to go in and monitor facebook, twitter, on what is fake news or misinformation news or whatever.
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sounds kind of like -- who is going to determine what is right and what is wrong? it sounds like china, the same thing china does. they go in and say, ok, you cannot hear this but you can hear that. i think people better be aware of what your federal government is doing under this biden administration. sounds like we are going toward communism every day. host: let's go to charlie calling from jonesboro, arkansas on the republican line. good morning. caller: hey, i wanted to say something about the immigrants coming across the border. i don't really understand what everybody is so upset about. they cannot get jobs. it is illegal to hire them and they will not qualify for benefits over american citizens.
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in iowa there was a girl murdered by an illegal immigrant and he was working at a dairy of up there. if they are so mad in minnesota about george floyd being mistreated, i guarantee the people in iowa are angry by molly being murdered and someday signing his checks every week at the dairy he worked at. you would think they would have burned that dairy down. but in minnesota they are mad. it makes no sense to me. it must not be real. host: speaking of the border, i am going to bring you a story from the dallas morning news about what is going on the border. migrant border apprehension increased 5% in june, when the numbers traditionally decline.
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u.s. custom border and protections set friday, in june, about 189,000 apprehensions were made compared with 180,000 in may. the bulk of those were single adults but there were also significant increases in migrant families and unaccompanied minors traveling without a parent or legal guardian. repeat crossers however made up 34% of june crosses with at least one prior attempt in the last 12 months. in 2019, repeat crossers made up only 7% of apprehensions. cbp says unique, new encounters in june was 123,838. this is coming from the dallas morning news with u.s. border crossings increasing and the number of repeat crossers also increasing.
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let's go to ryan call them from pittsburgh, pennsylvania on the democratic line. good morning. caller: good morning. how are you? yeah, i'm calling about the -- host: are you still there? i think we lost ryan. let's go to william calling from hackensack, new jersey. good morning. caller: good morning. thank you, sir. if democrats want to stop the terrible crime waves that are occurring in cities like ms. lightfoot in chicago, they should stop letting out criminals without bail because criminals are going to go back and commit more crimes which is common sense. but biden and harris have failed in their primary responsibility to protect the american people because they are knowingly letting in criminals, drug
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dealers, and the deadly drug fentanyl because they are not checking people who come across the border illegally. this fentanyl has caused the death of over 90,000 overdose deaths in the past year alone. this is not good ok,? thank you. host: neil is calling from scranton, pennsylvania on the democratic line. good morning. caller: good morning. i want to talk about the capitol police and why they didn't use their guns. where they ordered not to fire on these trump supporters? because you have these traffic stops, these cops go to deadly force in the w o seconds but you have these capitol police who would have been justified using deadly force to protect themselves. if they weren't. there is a major -- they
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weren't. there is a major disconnect. they should've used their guns. host: let's go to pete calling from washington, pennsylvania on the independent line. good morning. caller: yes, good morning. thank you for taking my call. it has been a long time since i have been able to get in. i just want to comment on what is going on. cornell west just retired from harvard and i agree with his statement. i don't know exactly what he meant but i think it means this. he said, we are intellectually and spiritually bankrupt in this country. every session of congress, senate or house, they have a chaplain that says a prayer and
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asks god for intervention and help. who really believes anymore that that is what we should do? that is where the bankruptcy is an intellectually we are fighting. it is so sad. there is no room -- somebody is going to win out and we are going to have a totalitarian state. host: let's go to melvin calling from rockford, illinois on the democratic line. good morning. caller: thank you for taking my call. what i would like to say is all these shots, covid-19 shots everybody is talking about and why other people are not taking them -- host: go ahead. turn your tv down and go ahead. caller: thank you. i was calling about the covid-19
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shots. everybody is talking about taking the shots and the people not taking the shots, well, i got people in our church that say if they take the shot and something happens, their insurance is not going to cover that. if these shots are so positive, why don't they stand behind these shots? if somebody said, i'm going to take the shot but my insurance doesn't cover it. the other state i would like to make is about crime -- statement i would like to make is about crime. this man said he could murder somebody on fifth avenue and get away with it. now you're talking about how high crime is in the united states when the most looked up to person in the country is the president. he gets on national tv and said,
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i murder somebody and get away with it. how do you think people feel when, my president says he could do this and get away with it? host: speaking of covid-19, there is a story in "usa today" talking about what is happening with the covid-19 pandemic in the united states and i will read a few paragraphs. doubling of covid-19 cases in the last two weeks suggests the united states has entered a fourth wave of the pandemic. no one knows what the next month or two will bring but the example of the united kingdom suggests the infection rate could get quite high while hospitalizations and deaths stay low. instead of the virus raging through entire communities it is expected to target the unvaccinated including children. if rates are high enough, also the most vulnerable of the
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vaccinated, the elderly and immunocompromised. since the majority of our population is now immune it is unlikely we will return to the nationwide waves we saw in january. an infectious disease epidemiologist with the hopkins bloomberg school of public health said wednesday, but major outbreaks can still occur. particularly in areas with low vaccination rights. that is from "usa today" about the fourth wave of the covid-19 cases. let's go back to our phone lines and talk to melinda calling from herford, arizona. good morning. caller: good morning. i live -- i can see mexico from my window i am so close to the border. now that you are speaking about covid, i know lots of border
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patrol agents and they are telling me as many as 70% of the people crossing the border are positive and we are just shipping them out to the rest of the country. that is part of the reason we are going to have a high covid infection rate. the border needs to be secured and biden and the democrats have an open border and they are not stopping anyone. i can also say i have in my possession many videos, current videos, of people hauling drugs. they are smaller packs, not the bigger packs they used for marijuana. so it must be fentanyl. they come in lines of people hauling drugs from the desert into our country and the democrats and the government is doing nothing about it.
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they are just letting them come through. they are not being stopped. host: let's go to maria calling from westfield, new jersey on the independent line. good morning. caller: good morning, jesse. i have three things i would like to talk about briefly. the first one is the figures on the number of illegal aliens in the united states that are being quoted are inaccurate. the lieutenant governor of texas and as a responsible people stated the 11 million figure was 10 years ago and there ought to be around 30 million. i think we need to know what we are talking about. the second thing is that people at the air force base have been ordered to send illegal aliens around the country which is breaking our immigration laws. the third thing is this comes to
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fall upon commander-in-chief. he took an oath to execute the laws of our land which he is not doing. where is anybody, republican or democrat, calling for impeachment? i think it is going to come down to the people and governors and prayers. let's hold tight and bring our country back. thank you very much. host: one more story to you from referring to the former president. former president trump said, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff mark milley should be court-martialed if it is true as reported he thought trump would orchestrate a coup. trump has been defending himself from an excerpt in the book "i alone can fix it." milley believed that he would stage a coup in the last days of presidency. the writings within the third rate books are fake news and the
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former defense secretary wanted dissented europe to get rid of him. if he said what was reported, perhaps he should be impeached or court-martialed and tried trump set on friday. there was no talk of a coup, there was no coup, it never happened. it was just a waste of words by fake writers and a general who did not have a clue trump added. in an excerpt milley was apparently so concerned of a coup he even discussed it with his deputies. that coming from "the hill" where former president trump said milley could be court-martialed if he said what was reported in the book. back to the phone lines and let's talk to charlie calling from florida on the democratic line. good morning. caller: good morning, c-span. speaking of general milley i love what trump said.
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if i was going to have a coup, i would not do it with general milley. kind of reminded me of the statements he made when all the women came forward and accused him of being a sexual predator. he said, they are not even my type. he never seems to deny stuff, he just lets you know it is not the right formula for him. the other thing is trump has been going through some things. god bless joe biden. host: let's go to diane calling from jacksonville, florida on the republican line. good morning. caller: good morning. i am calling regarding -- i am down here in south florida. everybody is raising cain about illegals coming across the border. but nobody is complaining about the cubans that are going to
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come across the border. we hear in south florida, cuba is about to release them milley willy-nilly. they can bring covid also. why isn't everyone angry about that situation? why is it ok that the cubans can come across the border because they most likely will vote republican whereas our mexican, nicaraguan, african, when they come across the border need to be sent back? thank you for listening. host: danny is calling from farmington, missouri on the independent line. good morning. caller: good morning, jesse. can you hear me? host: yes. go ahead.
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caller: sorry. i was thinking about the virus going crazy down south. branson is beside all that and there are so many people that come to that place during the summertime. this is a big event. you talk about a super-spreader and all i hear from governor parsons is crickets. they should be out ringing the bell and on the megaphone to get these people to work and live down there. it is going to be a mess. that is all i got to say. thank you. host: mike calling from new hampshire. good morning. caller: how are you doing? host: good. go ahead. caller: i just want to make a comment about the presidential elections. well, the republican party cannot win without the electoral college.
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trump would not have been elected the first time. it was all because there was a fine line in michigan that gave him the extra electoral college that put him over. he lost the election, the popular vote. i think it ought to be strictly popular vote. what the people want -- there were 3.5 million more people that voted for biden van they did for trump. you know, it is all a joke. host: i want to remind everyone if you want to hear more about the last days of the trump presidency, tomorrow morning from 8:00 until 9:00 eastern time author michael wolf will be on washington journal -- monday, not tomorrow -- on monday michael wolf will be here on
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"washington journal" talking about his new book " landslide: the final days of the trump presidency." that is on monday from 8:00 until 9:00 eastern. mike wolf talking about his book. coming up next after the break, we speak with the national contributor jason delisle about his recent piece in which he argues there isn't a college affordability crisis despite calls to the contrary. that is coming up in the weekly spotlight. stick with us. we will be right back. ♪ announcer: weekends on c-span2 bring you the best of american history. on saturdays american history tv explores the nation's past. today on the presidency, dwight
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eisenhower's grandson talks about his leadership during world war ii with brian howenstein. on oral histories, 82-year-old wally funk will go into space the first time july 20th with jeff bezos. you can hear him talk about being one of nasa's mercury 13, the group of women who became astronauts in the 1960's but they never flew in missions. watch american history tv every weekend and find the full schedule on ♪ ♪
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♪ announcer: peter has published hundreds of nonfiction books in his career as founder of the new york-based public affairs book. he has written a memoir about his own life called "an especially good view: watching history happen." he has not written a memoir so much as report from the front, make that many fronts. the great news events of the past half-century. we talked with peter about his time in vietnam and the soviet union among other things. announcer: peter osnos
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wherever you get your podcast. announcer: "washington journal" continues host: we are back with jason delisle, contributor to national affairs and he is here for our spotlight on magazine segment with his article, "is there a college financing crisis? " good morning. guest: good morning. host: before we get into your article tell us your background and experience in education policymaking? guest: sure. i started my career on capitol hill as a congressional staffer and since then have worked at a number of public policy institute in washington, d.c., including the american enterprise institute. now i am a senior policy fellow at the urban institute in
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washington, d.c. host: you have an article you cowrote with preston cooper in national affairs magazine called, is there a college financing crisis? let's answer the question. jason, is there a college financing crisis? guest: it is certainly not as severe i think as the popular opinion has become, right? i think that it is more complicated. there are certainly pockets where college is unaffordable for folks. but the data and evidence and looking at it over time, things just don't seem to be at the crisis level we tended to hear about. host: so where do you see the college financing situation being in the united states? you say it is not the crisis
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being portrayed. is it better than it was in the past? worse than it was in the past? one are the numbers telling us. guest: sure. one of the things that gets lost in discussion is we have a generous financial aid system in this country for college. if you look at students, low and middle income students who are going to a public, four year university in this country, their financial aid packages, on average, are approaching $10,000. and coming from a variety of sources. there is federal grant and there are private scholarships. over time those financial aid packages have actually grown significantly.
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such that they have mostly offset the increase in tuition over the past 10, 15 years. what you have is you have government programs that, when you look at the data, they are doing what they are supposed to be doing and they are doing it far better than what many people would say. host: let's look at some numbers. these are some general student loan debt facts coming from i want to get your reaction. the most recent data indicates there is $1.71 trillion in student loan debt. 44.7 million americans have student loan debt. they were halted as part of the pandemic relief measures but prior to the pandemic 11.1% were 90 days or more delinquent or in
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default. once again, monthly student loan payments were halted as part of the pandemic relief measures. but prior to the repayment moratorium the average payment was $300. this is coming from you may say that sounds like a crisis. guest: right, right, and this $1.7 trillion number, it is widely known. and it is a shocking number. i am not necessarily trying to explain it away and it is true that that number represents a very large increase from the amount of debt that was out there 10, 15 years ago. but if you dig into these numbers behind the $1.7 trillion, and what i do in the article is you look at the data
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that looks at the actual individual. what is the burden for the individual? not the sum total of debt and what we find is, for example, the study by the j.p. morgan chase institute looked at individual borrowers student loan records and checking account records. they found typical monthly payments on student loans are about $170. relative to their income it is about 5%, 6% of someone's take-home pay. you know, you go from $1.7 trillion which sounds shocking to $170 a month at 5% of income and that doesn't really look like a crisis number. in the article for national affairs what i do is i tried to go back and look at what someone's monthly payment was on
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their student loans in the past. there are a few sources. it is hard to find data on this but one study was conducted by nellie mae, a student loan company back in the day, and in that study where they surveyed borrowers payments were over $200 a month in today's dollars. there is actually evidence to suggest that payments are lower on student loans than they used to be. or at least they are flat and when we measure that relative to someone's income -- and this comes from a variety of data resources -- payment relative to someone's income on student debt really hasn't gone up much overtime. when you better understanding,
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and i will let you chime in here, but the piece goes through a number of explanations for how payments cannot has increased when the amount of outstanding debt has grown so much. host: i want to go through those points but first want to remind viewers they can take part in the conversation and we are going to open special lines. our first line is going to be for the payments of college students. the people who are probably paying for college. whether you have a current college student or you have a student getting ready to go to college, junior, senior. your number is going to be (202)-748-8000. we open our second line for those out there who are still paying their college loans. if you have a college loan and you are paying, we want to hear
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from you at (202)-748-8001. if you do not fit into either of those categories, we have a line for you as well. for everyone else your line is going to be (202)-748-8002. but i especially want to hear those who are saving for college. for those of you saving for college i want to hear from you, but for everyone else who doesn't fit the first two lines you are (202)-748-8002. you can text us at (202)-748-8003 and we are always reading of social media on facebook at, on twitter @c-spanwj, and you can follow us on instagram @ c-spanwj. i am going to read two paragraphs from your article and i want you to explain to us what you're trying to say with these paragraphs. two demographic trends have contributed to rising debt that
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does not necessarily translate into increasingly burdensome payments. of one is that a greater share of the population is attending some form of education they have the past. today about 41% of young adults enroll in some form of post secondary education which is up from about 34% in the 1990's. enrollment among older, nontraditional students increased even higher. given that a larger share of the population is pursuing a postsecondary degree we should expect the outstanding stock of debt to rise. but per borrower payments need not increase. the other demographic boosting outstanding debt is more surprising and largely missing from the debate over mass loan forgiveness. the u.s. department of education data shows while students from low income families are about as likely to borrow to finance their education today as they were in the mid-1990's, students
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from upper income families are almost twice as likely to borrow today than they were 25 years ago. and the dynamic of the new demographic group taking on student debt is likely contributing to the rapid run up of outstanding -- total outstanding debt. again, this would not necessarily translate into largely per borrower loan debt. it sounds with those paragraphs you are saying the number we are looking at, that total loan debt number, is misleading. guest: yeah. to the first point, you know, it is almost a more hopeful scenario where you have more people going to college or pursuing some form of higher education, community college, certificate, and when they go they are taking out a loan to help pay for that. but the $1.7 trillion is telling us more people are going to college.
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to a certain extent that is a good thing. we are also seeing it as well in pursuing graduate degrees. more people are going and that is boosting debt but that doesn't mean that the borrower's payments are ballooning. more people going to college. the second trend is, you know, a bit more complicated. we have got a large share, much larger share, of higher income families taking on student debt. 20 years ago it was not unheard of for a high income family to take on student debt and send children to college. but it is becoming fairly common now, at least among high income families as among low income families. that is a group that did not
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really take on student debt and now they do and they are pushing up this total stock of debt. but that doesn't mean, you know, their monthly payments are going to be higher than anybody else's . more demographic groups, more people taking on student debt. it is harder to interpret what should we make of higher income families taking on student debt? on the one hand you could say that is because college has become so unaffordable even high income families have to take on student debt. maybe. there is a little bit of evidence there but we also have to consider that, for example, maybe higher income families are now more aware student loans as an option and that they are fairly generous. the terms on a federal student loan are very generous. they are easy to access. you access them to the financial
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aid office at your college. in fact, some could complaint it is too easy to get ayou just si. interest rates are low. payments don't start while you are in school. we could see a cultural shift among higher income families saying just take the loan. that may be driving it, which is not necessarily a scenario where you would say we have a crisis of affordability in student debt. host: let's let some viewers take part in the conversation. bee bee -- bibi from alexandria, virginia. caller: good morning. my question is, i applied for -- is it payable? i don't know this financial --
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they told me you applied. i'm confused. i thought it was financial aid. thank you. guest: yeah. if i understand the question correctly, i think she is talking about the form you file with the federal government to get your financial aid. this is where you also become eligible for student loans. it could be grants or could be a student loan. one of the issues that people run into is when colleges package up student aid that students become eligible for, sometimes it is hard to distinguish between what is a loan and what is a grant. if the, you know -- i thought
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this was supposed to be financial aid. there are other people that have that same confusion. was this a grant or a loan? there are potential solutions to that, sort of trade-offs with that, but should the federal government require colleges to, you know, offer the student aid in an acknowledgment form that it is clear if it is a grant or a loan. from there we are stuck with just one form. it is not a great form. we are stuck with that one. the one-size-fits-all approach. host: jean from san diego, california. good morning. caller: good morning. my question is it is my understanding that interest continues to accrue when student
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loans are being paid off. the interest continues to recruit. -- to accrue. look at the number of debts. of the total debts that are put off all the time in the news, how much is the principal, the original principal of student loans and how much of the total amounts our interest on the principal that continue to accrue? thank you. guest: that's a great question. i am thankful for a specific question like that. we don't have great data on that. it is hard to know that total outstanding debt, that 1.7, the
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original disbursement and what is now and what is the interest that has accrued since. we don't have a great number for that. i am sorry i cannot give you a great answer on that. the interest does accrue on the loans during repayment. for most of the loans while it is in school -- we are in school. for some borrowers it is a significant amount of their debt, the interest. this is sort of the double-edged sword we have in the program. the government will let you make payments on your loan. you can get a forbearance on your loan in pre-pandemic times, almost no questions asked. which means you don't have to make payments but interest does accrue. borrowers do this for years at a time. you can also pay back your loan based on your income. your payment does not
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necessarily -- it may not be high enough to pay off your interest each month. it doesn't mean your loan balance grows. i was sensing from your comments, and i have heard this from doing service group work and the policy community, this notion of a loan the balance just grows even though you're making the required payments is a tough thing for people to sort of live with. there is a psychological burden to do that. even if the monthly payment is an affordable share of income. the policymakers are gravitating towards is there a way to forgive the interest or not charge interest under certain circumstances so people don't see their balance balloon on their loan or they don't have a feeling of throwing the money into a black hole.
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the flipside is that it is expensive for the government to not charge interest on the loan. that is an actual cost to the government. when you have $1.7 trillion in outstanding debt, not charging debt becomes very expensive. there are a lot of people that can afford interest on the loans. we don't want to provide an expense benefit to people who can afford to pay it. it becomes complicated to sort out who should become charged interest in who should. host: we have a lot of social media followers talking about how much the sticker price of schools has changed since they went to school. one person saying the tuition they paid for grad school in 1978 has risen by more than 10 times. another one who said tuition has doubled -- they put four children through state
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school and tuition has doubled since then. we hear a lot of talk about the sticker price for public and private universities. how many people are actually paying that sticker price? if they are not paying sticker price, outside of loans, where is the money coming from? guest: i want to answer the issue looking at prices from the 1960's and 1970's, then i will talk about the sticker price distinction. you are right, it is key. when you look at college prices from the 1960's and you'd adjust for inflation, absolutely right. prices are significantly higher. they have grown faster than inflation. one thing driving that is few people with the college in the 1960's and 1970's. you could afford -- the country could afford -- it was
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politically easy to do to subsidize college heavily so people did not have to pay much intuition -- in tuition. we see this all around the world. if you want higher education systems where lots of people get to go, it becomes politically difficult to subsidize it at the kind of levels the u.s. was subsidizing college back in the 1960's and 1970's. those are the difficult comparisons to make. there are few countries that offer that kind of tuition with an open access like we have in the u.s. the sticker price issue is absolutely crucial. it's become much more important in recent years. what we have in the u.s. -- our higher education system is what we call in the policy community a high tuition, high gain model.
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that means colleges are posting a sticker price that they advertised everybody. then your financial aid is applied to that number. like i was saying at the beginning of the segment, our financial aid system is very generous. like i said, a lower or middle income student is receiving $10,000 on average. you have to take that $10,000 on average off the average sticker price. you start to get to tuition prices that look like about $2000 a year at public universities. so why do colleges charge the high sticker price is? the financial aid is coming from other sources. federal government, state government. they believe that price there and the aid offsets it.
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they want to charge that price to the high am can families -- high income families and then discount it lower when lower income students apply. i think this is a big piece of the puzzle that is driving a lot of this frustration and anxiety around college prices in this country. the prices for high income families have actually grown quite a bit. colleges are using that aid really to offset the other financial aid provided to lower and middle income families. in a way we have a generous system in terms of financial aid and a progressive one that is charging higher income people more and then charging lower income people less with more financial aid. but that is creating a lot of frustration with the system. also it is arguably hard to understand.
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it is hard to see all that and understand what this costs. it is very nontransparent. host: let's talk to jane from campton, new hampshire. good morning. caller: greetings. i am a parent. i have two children currently in school. one of them just finished. they have significant debt. one went through a masters program. one went through an md program. that one has a lot of debt. the other is still in college. as they write student loans it seems as though there is little accountability for the particular failure rate of graduation. just handicap money -- handicap
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money to institutions that have no -- handing out money to institutions that have no responsibility at all the responsibility is on the child. these institutions are graduating at a lower rate. their students are unsuccessful because the deficiency of the college. in my view they should take a look at the institutions and make them participatory if they are not functioning at a proper level and have them assume some of the debt of their failure. so, in many respects it is a reflection of what program the student chooses or is allowed to enter. as you pass out bags of money to 17-year-old kids and you expect adequate response from that, financial responsibility, no sa
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ne bank or lender would do that to any other borrower. host: go ahead and respond, jason. guest: a few things. i absolutely hear the concern about the lack of accountability. that is a major issue in that policymakers in washington are concerned about, the state level are concerned about. the sort of why there is a lack of policy change, a big one in that regard is policymakers -- if you try to limit and hold colleges more accountable, the colleges respond in certain ways. they make it harder for some students to go. we see some of the weakest student results, outcomes at
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open access institutions like community colleges. it is really tough politically to impose sanctions on community colleges. we have this value and goal of having an open access higher education system where, in this country, pretty much everybody gets a shot at it if they want to. when you start trying to hold colleges accountable, it does bump up against this other value of having a lot of access and giving people a lot of shots and chances. the other issue which is an excellent one is -- i think it's an important distinction that has been lost in conversations around student debt. it is a difference between undergraduate debt, college debt, and graduate school debt. the federal government limits how much you can borrow if you are an undergraduate. in some cases only $5,500 a year
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for college. that is a protection to make sure the borrower does not get in over their head. it's a protection to make sure the college does not take advantage of them. when it comes to graduate school debt, which the caller is talking about having kids with masters degrees and lots of debt, this is where we see the huge debt numbers. six-figure debt. this is largely because the federal government will lend to a graduate student for the full cost of their attendance, basically no questions asked, and for as long as they want to borrow. it is unlimited borrowing. that is where we see people -- that is an invitation, i think, for abuse from colleges and universities. it is only in the graduate school area. there is an excellent piece in the wall street journal from a
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few weeks back. melissa corn took a hard look at the elite graduate programs with debt levels that are outrageous relative to what the students are going on to earn. i will wrap this up by saying some of this accountability is absolutely on the money. it is starting to come through by getting the information out there. some have a lot of data on how people borrow for a college program and what they actually earn. we are seeing the changes. we are seeing that discipline in the market the way we have never seen before. host: david from buford, georgia. david is still paying off his college loans. good morning. caller: good morning, gentlemen. my main question is teacher deferments. my wife and i graduated in 2001.
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we accumulated -- she accumulated teacher debt. pretty successful. we can apply for the student loans into the masters degree and the specialist degree she has years later. we decided to do student loans because it was good rates, and we had the hope of deferment, the core question i got. teacher deferment has a 1998 or older student loan debt shut off. we applied five times. we meet all the qualifications. i apologize. they say you have a carryover balance from your 1998 loan, which was $500. we paid off the whole debt load down to 500 -- $500. i think it was a monthly payment i did not calculate for. it has ruined us for getting deferred on her masters enter specialist, because she has been teaching for 17 years.
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that is one of the requirements to be a title i school teacher in the same state. we meet every requirement but they say, wait, back in 1988 you had $500 they got mixed into your current loan status from 2007 to 2009. we would defer you. i took this up to the highest level at fannie mae, advocate groups. felt like everybody was on our team. you should be deferred, this is ridiculous. i was like great. they come back with you had a loan back in 1998 that carried over. too bad, so sad. you cannot differ up any. have you heard of this 1998 issue? guest: i have. i think, without having more details, the issue here is all alone forgiveness programs that
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congress has created embedded into federal loans. there are many for teachers. they are complicated. this is because congress doesn't want to make them too easy to get. they are expensive. there is all these requirements that go into having your loans forgiven. over time they change. some get phased out. i wrote a piece for the magazine about -- "the tangled world of teacher debt." it talks about all these problems. i think the kind of situation you are describing, i hear those frequently. unfortunately that is part of this program. the solution, not necessarily
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for you personally, the lesson from policymakers is, you know, please forgiveness programs need to be straightforward. they need to be simple. it is probably better that even if it costs or to do that, that is probably the trade-off they need to make because of what we hear from teachers and other public service employees who thought they had the right loan and then they find out they did not have the right loan to have it forgiven or qualify for the deferment or forbearance. yeah, it is congress making these things complicated to try to create a very narrow group of people who are eligible under certain circumstances. when they do that they create situations exec with like the one you are in. host: there has been some
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presidential candidates in the previous elections who talked about making college free for everyone. there is a model in europe that does have free college for people. several states have started to make community college and other forms of two-year colleges free for the students. is this the right model? is that something this country should go to to get rid of some of this loan debt we are talking about for the last 30 minutes? guest: well, to a certain extent we have a lot of free college in this country. i have talked about how we have a very generous financial aid system. it is more targeted. it is apply for financial aid, qualify for grants, and the federal and state governments and from the college itself. what you end up with when people apply for the aid and attend public universities and
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community colleges are a high number and of having all their tuition fully offset. we do have a free college program in this country. it is just a little bit more complicated than saying wide open, free, anyone who shows up doesn't have to pay tuition. when you mentioned the international comparison, i think people in the united states when they talk about europe having free college they have a sense that otherwise it is just like our system but it is free. when you take a close look at european models of free college, for almost free college anywhere, what you find is free is expensive. what policymakers end up doing is they tend not to want to spend all the money it would require to have an open access
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system that is also free. you see a form of rationing to get those costs down in higher education systems. i talked about a big american value, and an important one is everybody gets a shot at this. we want to have lots of options and opportunities. when you look at countries with free college, they tend to limit who can go. they don't want to give free to just everybody. governments want to pay the full rate for a lot of seeds at the publican -- seats at the public universities. we talked about finland. finland has free college, but they also reject about 70% of applicants at public universities. i would imagine free college in the united states, if we had higher rejection rates, i think people would probably rather go back to a system of
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differentiated student aid where we charge higher income families more. there are more opportunities. there is more access for college under those systems. a lot of countries have moved away from free college to a model more like ours. this has been the case in australia. now they have tuition and student loans. england used to have free college. now they have tuition and student loans. that again -- they found they can provide more access and more seats and more opportunities if they do with that way than if it was free. host: linda calling from georgia. good morning. caller: good morning. thank you for taking my call. i had several questions and comments. the first one is talking about for-profit colleges. lately the u.s. government has
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nullified some student loans because of unscrupulous dealings with four private colleges -- for-profit colleges. i was wondering where the federal government did not investigate these colleges before all that happened. are they continuing or starting to investigate these colleges before they start giving out student loans? another thing i want to say. i am a retired teacher. i went back and got my masters in specialist it -- and specialist degree like that former caller talked about. one of the reasons i did it was for a big pay increase. it kinda bothers me that both he and his wife are trying to get off from paying their student loans to get higher degrees when actually they are probably primarily doing it to get a big pay increase.
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it also concerns me that the people signing legitimate contracts when those contracts should be paid back. i am also hearing about the condos in florida and how those people cannot afford to upkeep their condos. someone said the other day on tv the federal government will have to step in and subsidize the repair of those condos. there are thousands of condos all over the country. host: go ahead and respond to her before we run out of time. guest: on the issue of for-profit colleges, absolutely. there was an issue where people were taking on too much debt. they were getting degrees there really were not working for them and did not pay off and were taking on debt that did not justify what they were earning. that happens at other colleges. that is the focus of the wall street journal story about elite colleges and their graduate degrees.
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it is not necessarily a for-profit issue. it is happening throughout the system in various pockets. the solution. policymakers are coalescing around collecting information on how much people earn after they go to a particular college. down to the actual program they attended, comparing that with how much they borrowed and using information either to inform people that this is what you might be getting into, or actually saying you can't receive student loans at the school anymore because the numbers don't work. they don't line up. it isn't worth it. on the issue of the graduate degrees and teachers and unforgiveness -- loan forgiveness, i come down on this on the area that i think student debt -- congress likes to use student debt and student loan
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forgiveness and benefits as a writ large social policy tool. it is too complicated and too clunky for some of those things. if you want to incentivize people to become teachers and you are concerned they don't make enough money to justify the education they need to get, we need to pay teachers more. that's a straightforward, simple way of addressing the problem rather than having almost seven or eight different loan forgiveness programs. one with a strange cut off from 1988 and others you have to have the right kind of loan. this is a problem with using student loans to advance all sorts of other policies not really related to student loans. host: let's get a quick question from marie from silver spring, maryland. good morning. caller: how are you? host: can you give us a quick question or comment? caller: i'm in the same position
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as the teacher from georgia. i started school in august 1998. because i took out a student loan i could not my loans forgiven for being a teacher at a high needs area and high needs school. guest: again, i will reference my piece on the tangled world of teacher debt. i totally hear you. i think this is a lesson for congress and policymakers. trying to provide benefits to teachers, which is essentially a way of incentivizing them to become teachers, saying you want to pay the more, doing that for benefits by adding unforgiveness or low deferment -- loan
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deferment has created a mess. it has made people feel like it is a bait and switch. i think your story and the other caller's isif you want to help s because they do not make enough money, you need to pay them more and student loans are not the best way to go about increasing teacher pay. host: we would like to thank jason delisle, contributor to the national affairs, for being here and talk about his article, is there a college financing crisis? jason, thank you so much. guest: thank you. my pleasure. host: we would like to thank all of you, callers, viewers, social media followers for being with us. we will see you tomorrow morning at 7:00 a.m. for another show. thank you, have a great saturday, and remember to wash your hands. ♪
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