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tv   Meet the Presss Press Pass  NBC  April 5, 2015 11:30am-11:46am EDT

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they dhoington't think debate is where you draw the line they just don't think it's a gothvernment force. i think our problem is this. white and black people used to vote democratic who believed in government and they believe in government too much in a way because their economic position has been eroded by economic forces domestic international. they are disappointed the government hasn't done anything to help them and therefore they think -- it's not because they are against government principle. they think the people who
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recently ran government have abandoned them. >> let's pause here for a quick break. we're going to have more from barney frank in just a moment.
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back now with more from congressman barney frank and his new book. the working class white guy. you sort of talk about this issue, and working class voters in general, they haven't been voting their pocketbook they've been voting on other reasons, right? and it's a slowey erosion from the
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democratic party. president obama even brought this up. someone asked him, why do you have a problem with white voters? he said white voters see progress made for hispanics, they see progress made for black voters but i'm behind. >> the only white men left who vote the majority for the democrats are gays and jews. and i guess netanyahu tried to change that but i think he's having his own problems so that's probably not going to happen. the way we change it is this. we're in a vicious cycle. it is precisely because people are frustrated and they believe the government could have helped to. it could have helped them see they weren't benefitting prosperity. so they vote for people paradoxically who make it worse. i think we have to break that cycle. i believe if we could get the revenue somewhere to expand government programs to help access to higher education for
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middle class and working people without excessive debt if we could reduce the cost they pay for health care have more people hired to be firefighters police et cetera. if we could do all those, they would be more pro-government. the question s how do you get the money to do that when people hate government? i have two solutions. you cut the military substantially and legalize drugs. stop locking people up because we don't like what they put in their mouth and save tons and tons of billions of dollars at the state and local level, hundreds of billions of dollars a year at the federal level. use some of that to expand the kind of programs. you have to be explicit. one thing you stop doing -- i was a great bill clinton fan, but i think he made a mistake saying i'm against government in general. you cannot have a whole government that is smaller than the sum of the parts in these programs. >> it's interesting to me when bill clinton ran, he said bill colon an was transitional
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ronald reagan was transformational. ronald reagan was so transformational he made the democrats talk in an anti-government rhetoric. do you think he has succeeded in shifting that conversation? >> reagan's rhetoric was very powerful but reagan they say, was a great salesman. he said i can cut your programs and you will feel a loss of programs. that was an intellectual sell. it's reality, is the problem. the fact is for economic reasons, international and domestic the nature of things shifted. there is an inherent mechanism that has worked recently to the disadvantage of working class people people who work for wages and don't have a high-end degree. and they are reacting to that and all the rhetoric in the world isn't going to change it. that's why i think we need to go to them with programs and say, we're going to make it easier for your kid to go to school and not be totally in debt. we're going to take the burden
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of economics off you and the only thing that will work here is reality. we have to show people -- and then be explicit it. that's a government program, and you're better off because we're able to expand that government program, but we have to find the funds to do. >> keep your hands off my medicare. >> exactly. >> one of the ways you want to pay for this you want to cut down on defense spending. you made an interesting observation to me off camera which is you think the notion of the free world needs to end, and if you end that notion maybe there's more hope for slowing down the growth of the pentagon. >> doing everything we're now doing to make it more efficient isn't working. if i send more people to battle we'll reach that objective. we have allies we need to protect. >> what is the civilian battle right now? >> it is to deft any potential attacker.
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when the soviet union collapsed, that was the last existential existence to our society. george h.w. bush and bill clinton started decreasing military spending significantly. the great success of dick cheney and kneeneoconservatives. they don't threaten our difference the way stalin did or hitler did. yes, we need to defend ourselves against these terrorists but you don't need nuclear submarines to do that. so we have to defend ourselves. we can do that much more cheaply than now. i want us to be strong but we don't have to be five times as strong as everyone else. we have some allies that can help. here's the deal. there's kind of a default position that says being a leader. if there's trouble anywhere in the world, we need to be the ones taking the lead to defeating it. first, that's very hard to do in some places.
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our military is great at stopping bad things from happening, but they can't make good societies elsewhere. and the default is well we have to do that because we're the leaders of the world. so don't be the leaders of the world. >> ask the british how interventions work. >> yes. >> they had a whole empire. it didn't work out so well in the end. barney frank, i could go longer. the book is a fascinating analysis i think, of what's wrong today with the state of government and politics am washin washington. congratulations. you can find this and more on meetthepress.com. we'll be back next week. stay tuned for president obama's weekly address, after this.

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