Iowa Public Television

 

David Walker & Robert Bixby

posted on July 27, 2007

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Borg: DEBT DENIAL. SOME SEE THE NATION IGNORING A RED INK TSUNAMI. WE'LL QUESTION UNITED STATES COMPTROLLER GENERAL DAVID WALKER AND CONCORD COALITION PUBLIC POLICY GROUP EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR ROBERT BIXBY ON THIS EDITION OF 'IOWA PRESS.'

FUNDING FOR 'IOWA PRESS' WAS PROVIDED BY 'FRIENDS,' THE IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION FOUNDATION; AND BY THE IOWA BANKERS ASSOCIATION... FOR PERSONAL, BUSINESS, AND COMMERCIAL NEEDS, IOWA BANKS HELP IOWANS REACH THEIR FINANCIAL GOALS.

ON STATEWIDE IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION, THIS IS THE FRIDAY, JULY 27 EDITION OF 'IOWA PRESS.' HERE IS DEAN BORG.

Borg: A RISING NATIONAL DEBT, DECLINING VALUE OF THE U.S. DOLLAR AGAINST MANY FOREIGN CURRENCIES, AND OTHER ECONOMIC RED FLAGS ARE CAUSING SOME WORRY. FOR MOST PEOPLE, THOUGH, CONCERN DEPENDS ON THEIR INDIVIDUAL CIRCUMSTANCES, BUT THOSE WHO MAKE IT THEIR BUSINESS TO MONITOR THE NUMBERS FOR THE NATION ARE SOUNDING WARNINGS. TODAY WE'RE TALKING WITH THE UNITED STATES COMPTROLLER GENERAL, DAVID WALKER -- HE ALSO HEADS THE NATION'S GENERAL ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE -- AND WITH THE CONCORD COALITIONS'S POLICY GROUP EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, ROBERT BIXBY. GENTLEMEN, WELCOME TO 'IOWA PRESS.'

Walker: GOOD TO BE HERE.

Bixby: THANK YOU.

Borg: NICE TO HAVE YOU IN IOWA. WE'RE GOING TO BE TALKING DOLLARS TODAY, AREN'T WE?

Walker: TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS OR BILLIONS, DEPENDING UPON WHICH METRIC YOU WANT TO USE.

Borg: WE'LL GET TO IT IN JUST A SECOND. I WANT TO INTRODUCE 'DES MOINES REGISTER' POLITICAL COLUMNIST DAVID YEPSEN AND 'ASSOCIATED PRESS' SENIOR LEGISLATIVE AND POLITICAL WRITER MIKE GLOVER.

Glover: MR. WALKER, LET'S START WITH YOU AND LET'S START WITH THE VERY BASICS OF THIS ISSUE. WHAT'S THE PROBLEM YOU'RE RAISING CONCERN ABOUT?

Walker: THE PROBLEM IS THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IS SPENDING MORE MONEY THAN IT'S TAKING IN. IT'S CHARGING THE NATIONAL CREDIT CARD, BUILDING UP COMPOUND INTEREST, AND EXPECTING OUR KIDS AND GRANDKIDS TO PAY IT OFF. AND THE PROBLEM REALLY IS NOT TODAY. THE PROBLEM IS TOMORROW. SHORT-TERM DEFICITS ARE COMING DOWN. LONG-TERM STRUCTURAL IMBALANCES ARE GROWING. THE RETIREMENT OF THE BABY-BOOM GENERATION IS ON THE HORIZON, AND WE ARE NOT TAKING STEPS TO DEAL WITH IT.

Glover: MR. BIXBY, THE SAME QUESTION TO YOU, EXCEPT EXPAND IT JUST A LITTLE BIT. WHAT'S THE PROBLEM THIS COUNTRY FACES, AND WHAT'S THE EXTENT OF THE PROBLEM? I MEAN HOW BIG IS IT?

Bixby: WELL, ULTIMATELY IT'S UNSUSTAINABLE. BUT LET ME START BY FRAMING IT THIS WAY. RIGHT NOW MEDICARE, SOCIAL SECURITY, AND MEDICAID, THE BIG THREE ENTITLEMENT PROGRAMS, COMPRISE 40 PERCENT OF THE FEDERAL BUDGET. AND THE BABY-BOOMERS HAVEN'T EVEN BEGUN TO RETIRE YET. NOW, YOU ADD TO THAT THE DEMOGRAPHICS, WHICH MEANS AN OLDER POPULATION OVER THE NEXT TWENTY-FIVE YEARS OR SO, THE PROPORTION OF THE POPULATION THAT'S 65 AND OVER IS GOING TO ROUGHLY DOUBLE. SO THAT'S GOING TO PUT A LOT OF PRESSURE ON PROGRAMS THAT ARE ALREADY A VERY LARGE PART OF THE BUDGET. AN EVEN BIGGER PROBLEM IS HEALTH CARE COSTS. HEALTH CARE COSTS HAVE BEEN OUTPACING THE ECONOMY FOR THE PAST FORTY YEARS, AND IF THEY CONTINUE TO GROW AT THE SAME PACE RELATIVE TO THE ECONOMY OVER THE NEXT FORTY YEARS, MEDICARE AND MEDICAID COULD COST AS MUCH AS THE ENTIRE FEDERAL BUDGET DOES TODAY.

Glover: MR. WALKER, THE SAME QUESTION TO YOU. HOW BAD IS THIS PROBLEM GOING TO GET?

Walker: IN THE LAST SIX YEARS, THIS NATION HAS GONE FROM TOTAL LIABILITIES AND UNFUNDED OBLIGATIONS FOR SOCIAL SECURITY AND MEDICARE OF $20 TRILLION TO $50 TRILLION IN SIX YEARS. THAT'S $440,000 PER AMERICAN HOUSEHOLD. MEDIAN HOUSEHOLD INCOME IN AMERICA IS LESS THAN $50,000 A YEAR. IT'S GETTING WORSE TWO TO THREE TRILLION A YEAR BY DOING NOTHING.

Yepsen: MR. WALKER, WHY SHOULD ANYONE CARE? I MEAN IF YOU WERE WATCHING US -- IS GOING TO SAY TRILLIONS. I MEAN WHO CAN UNDERSTAND FIGURES LIKE THAT? WHY SHOULD WE CARE? ISN'T THIS MONEY WE BASICALLY OWE TO OURSELVES? WHAT'S THE EFFECT OF ALL OF THIS?

Walker: WELL, FIRST, IF YOU CARE ABOUT THE FUTURE OF THIS COUNTRY, IF YOU CARE ABOUT YOUR CHILDREN -- AND IN MY CASE, I ALSO HAVE GRANDCHILDREN. IF YOU CARE ABOUT THEIR FUTURE, YOU BETTER CARE ABOUT THIS BECAUSE WE ARE TALKING ABOUT RUNNING DEFICITS AND COMPILING DEBT BURDENS AT A RATE THAT ARE CLEARLY UNSUSTAINABLE, THAT WILL THREATEN OUR FUTURE ECONOMY GROWTH, WILL THREATEN OUR FUTURE STANDARD OF LIVING, AND COULD POTENTIALLY THREATEN OUR NATIONAL SECURITY IF WE DON'T DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. SO IT IS AN ISSUE THAT, WHILE PEOPLE AREN'T CONCERNED ABOUT IT TODAY, THEY NEED TO BECOME MORE CONCERNED BECAUSE OF THE EFFECT IT COULD HAVE ON US TOMORROW.

Yepsen: MR. BIXBY, HOW DOES IT AFFECT OUR NATIONAL SECURITY?

Bixby: WELL, IN A NUMBER OF WAYS IT COULD. I MEAN ULTIMATELY IF THE COUNTRY CAN'T AFFORD THE INVESTMENTS THAT IT NEEDS TO MAKE IN THE NATIONAL SECURITY, WE'LL -- OBVIOUSLY OUR NATIONAL SECURITY WILL WEAKEN. ANOTHER THING THAT WE'RE DOING RIGHT NOW IS BORROWING HAND OVER FIST FROM THE REST OF THE WORLD. OUR DEBT OWED TO FOREIGNERS WAS ABOUT 33 PERCENT JUST A FEW YEARS AGO. IT'S UP TO ABOUT 50 PERCENT NOW. SO IT'S HARD TO BE A WORLD SUPERPOWER IF YOU'RE GOING AROUND WITH A TIN CUP IN YOUR HAND.

Yepsen: MR. WALKER, YOU'RE THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL. THE KEY TITLE IS ACCOUNTABILITY. WHO DO WE BLAME FOR THIS?

Walker: YOU KNOW, THERE'S A LOT OF PEOPLE YOU COULD BLAME. YOU COULD SPREAD THE BLAME UPON THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE IN BOTH MAJOR POLITICAL PARTIES, BUT THAT'S NOT REALLY PRODUCTIVE. I AM VERY STRONG ABOUT NOT BLAMING PARTICULAR PARTIES, PARTICULAR PEOPLE. WHAT WE NEED TO DO IS TO RECOGNIZE REALITY, AND WE NEED TO FIGURE OUT WHAT'S THE WAY FORWARD. WE HAVE FOUR DEFICITS: A BUDGET DEFICIT; A BALANCE OF PAYMENTS DEFICIT; A SAVINGS DEFICIT; AND A LEADERSHIP DEFICIT. AND IOWA HAS A SPECIAL RESPONSIBILITY TO HELP US ADDRESS THAT LAST DEFICIT.

Borg: MR. WALKER, HOW DID WE GET HERE? YOU SAID YOU DON'T WANT TO BLAME ANY POLITICAL PARTY. BUT DOES THIS GO BACK TO WHEN THE U.S. WENT OFF THE GOLD STANDARD, OR DOES IT GO BACK A DECADE? I HEARD YOU SAY WE'RE CHARGING THE NATIONAL CREDIT CARD. WHEN DID WE START DOING THAT, AND IS THAT THE OVERALL PROBLEM?

Walker: WELL, WE'VE RUN DEFICITS THROUGHOUT THE HISTORY OF THE REPUBLIC FOR MANY YEARS, BUT TYPICALLY WHEN WE HAVE A WAR, WHEN WE HAVE A DEPRESSION, OR WHEN WE HAVE ANOTHER SHORT-TERM NATIONAL EMERGENCY OR NEED. WHAT WE'RE NOW IN A SITUATION IS WE'RE RUNNING DEFICITS IN CIRCUMSTANCES THAT ARE FAR IN EXCESS OF WHAT THE GLOBAL WAR ON TERRORISM IS COSTING US. WE HAVE STRONG ECONOMIC GROWTH. WE'RE RUNNING STRUCTURAL DEFICITS AND THINKING IT'S OKAY. WHAT'S HAPPENED IS IN THE EARLY 1990S, WE IMPOSED TOUGH BUDGET CONTROLS. WE TOOK A NUMBER OF STEPS TO BRING FISCAL DISCIPLINE BACK. WE WENT FROM DEFICITS TO SURPLUSES. THEN THE BUDGET CONTROLS EXPIRED. TAX CUTS, SPENDING INCREASES, EXPANSION OF ENTITLEMENT PROGRAMS, AND THAT'S WHERE WE ARE TODAY.

Borg: MR. BIXBY, HOW WOULD YOU ADD TO THAT ON WHERE WE GOT HERE TO WHERE WE ARE RIGHT NOW?

Bixby: YOU KNOW, I THINK ONE OF THE PROBLEMS WAS IN THE LATE '90S, WE WERE SORT OF A VICTIM OF OUR OWN SUCCESS. THE CONCORD COALITION STARTED IN THE EARLY 1990S WHEN WE WERE WARNING ABOUT BUDGET DEFICITS. WELL, CONGRESS ACTUALLY DID SOME THINGS AND THE PRESIDENT DID SOME THINGS IN THE '90S, DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS ALIKE, TO ADDRESS THE PROBLEM. WE HAD BUDGET SURPLUSES AND I THINK FOR FOUR YEARS WE HAD BUDGET SURPLUSES AND I THINK A LOT OF PEOPLE THOUGHT, WELL, THE PROBLEM IS OVER, WE DON'T NEED TO WORRY ABOUT IT ANYMORE. SO THEY HAD A BIG PROJECTED SURPLUS, AND THEN THEY STARTED THINKING ABOUT WAYS TO DO IT: BIG TAX CUTS; BIG ENTITLEMENT EXPANSIONS. AND IT TURNED OUT THAT THE ECONOMY WASN'T AS GOOD AS PROJECTED. WE ENDED UP IN A WAR, SO THINGS WENT VERY BAD VERY QUICKLY.

Borg: BUT I HEAR MANY PEOPLE EXPLAIN THE DEFICIT AWAY BY SAYING IT'S ONLY A SMALL PERCENTAGE OF OUR GROSS NATIONAL PRODUCT.

Bixby: WELL, HERE'S THE IMPORTANT THING THAT I THINK DAVE AND I ARE REALLY TRYING TO STRESS ON THIS FISCAL WAKE-UP TOUR IS THAT WE'RE NOT TALKING ABOUT TODAY'S BUDGET DEFICIT BECAUSE THAT IS RELATIVELY SMALL AS A PERCENTAGE OF THE ECONOMY. WHAT WE'RE TALKING ABOUT IS THIS UNPRECEDENTED PRESSURE THAT THE DEMOGRAPHICS IN HEALTH CARE COSTS ARE GOING TO BRING IN THE COMING DECADES. YOU DON'T HAVE TO LOOK TOO FAR OUT, TEN, TWENTY YEARS OR SO, TO GET THIS UNSUSTAINABLE THING. AND THAT'S REALLY THE PROBLEM. IT'S NOT TODAY'S DEFICIT. IT'S THE TRAJECTORY OF DEFICITS THAT WE'RE ON BY THESE ENTITLEMENT PROGRAMS.

Glover: MR. WALKER, YOU MADE REFERENCE TO IOWA AND ITS ROLE IN THE POLITICAL PROCESS EARLIER. AND YOU'RE RIGHT, WE ARE PRETTY MUCH FLOODED WITH PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES OF BOTH PARTIES. I DON'T HEAR PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES OF EITHER PARTY TALKING ABOUT THIS ISSUE. DO THEY CARE ABOUT IT?

Walker: I THINK SOME OF THEM CARE ABOUT IT. I THINK IT'S IMPORTANT THAT ALL OF THEM CARE ABOUT IT, AND I THINK IOWA HAS A PARTICULARLY IMPORTANT ROLE TO PLANT THE SEED. YOU HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO PLANT THE SEED TO TRY TO MAKE SURE THAT CANDIDATES ARE FOCUSED ON FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY IN INTERGENERATIONAL EQUITY AND TO HELP SEPARATE THE WHEAT FROM THE CHAFF TO MAKE SURE THAT WE CAN MAXIMIZE THE CHANCE THAT OUR NEXT PRESIDENT WILL MAKE THIS A PRIORITY, BECAUSE I CAN TELL YOU THE COUNTRY IS IN TROUBLE IF THEY DON'T.

Glover: MR. BIXBY, THE SAME QUESTION TO YOU IN A LITTLE BIT OF A DIFFERENT FRAME. IT'S BEEN MY EXPERIENCE THAT POLITICAL CANDIDATES PAY ATTENTION TO ISSUES THEY THINK VOTERS CARE ABOUT, AND IT'S BEEN MY EXPERIENCE THAT PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES DON'T CARE ABOUT THIS BECAUSE THEY DON'T THINK VOTERS CARE ABOUT IT. HOW DO YOU SOLVE THAT?

Bixby: WELL, I THINK THEY'RE WRONG IF THEY MAKE THAT JUDGMENT. I THINK VOTERS DO CARE ABOUT IT. I MEAN OBVIOUSLY THE WAR IS A BIG ISSUE RIGHT NOW, AND THAT'S TOPS ON EVERYBODY'S LIST. BUT I THINK THAT WHEN WE GO AROUND AND TALK TO PEOPLE, PEOPLE DON'T REALLY -- THEY DON'T UNDERSTAND WHY A STRONG POWERFUL NATION LIKE OURS HAS A POTENTIAL BUDGET CATASTROPHE DOWN THE ROAD AND WHY WE CAN'T SOLVE THAT. I THINK THERE'S A REAL LEADERSHIP OPPORTUNITY HERE FOR A CANDIDATE THAT DOES TALK ABOUT IT. I MEAN LOOK AT HOW FAR ROSS PEROT OR PAUL TSONGAS GOT IN 1992. THEY REALLY TAPPED INTO SOMETHING THAT THE PUBLIC WANTED TO HEAR ABOUT, AND THEY WERE, YOU KNOW, SPEAKING HONESTLY ABOUT IT. SO I THINK THERE'S AN OPPORTUNITY FOR CANDIDATES.

Glover: MR. WALKER, IN POLITICS, WHICH IS KIND OF A CYNICAL BUSINESS, YOU MENTIONED MR. TSONGAS, YOU MENTIONED MR. PEROT. NEITHER ONE OF THEM WON THE NOMINATION. WHAT KIND OF A SIGNAL IS THAT TO CANDIDATES?

Walker: WELL, THEY DIDN'T WIN BUT LET ME TELL YOU WHAT THEY DID DO. THE FACT OF THE MATTER IS, EVEN THOUGH ROSS PEROT DIDN'T WIN, THE RESULT OF HIS CANDIDACY LED BILL CLINTON TO MAKE FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY ONE OF HIS TOP PRIORITIES. AND THE NATION BENEFITTED FROM THAT. YOU KNOW, I FIND TWO THINGS THAT PEOPLE ARE LOOKING FOR. WE'VE BEEN TO 22 DIFFERENT STATES, COUNTING THE D.C. IT'S NOT A STATE BUT ANOTHER POLITICAL JURISDICTION. PEOPLE WANT TWO THINGS. THEY WANT TRUTH AND THEY WANT LEADERSHIP. AND THE POLITICIANS ARE WRONG. THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ARE A LOT SMARTER THAN PEOPLE GIVE THEM CREDIT FOR. YOU STATE THE FACTS, SPEAK THE TRUTH, YOU TELL THEM WHAT WE NEED TO DO, WHY WE NEED TO DO IT, THEY WILL FOLLOW A TRUE LEADER.

Borg: YOU TALKED ABOUT THE NATIONAL CREDIT CARD BEING RUN UP. WHAT ABOUT THE INDIVIDUAL CREDITS CARDS? HOW RESPONSIBLE AM I AND WHAT DANGER IS THAT FOR INDIVIDUAL PERSONAL CREDIT BEING A PROBLEM?

Walker: IT'S A GREAT QUESTION. TOO MANY AMERICANS ARE FOLLOWING THE BAD EXAMPLE OF THEIR FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. THEY'RE SPENDING MORE MONEY THAN THEY MAKE. THEY'RE TAKING OUT HOME EQUITY LOANS. THEY'RE CHARGING UP THEIR CREDIT CARDS. THEY'RE BUILDING UP COMPOUND INTEREST AND SEEING THE DAY IN THE NOT TOO DISTANT FUTURE WHERE THEY MAY NOT BE ABLE TO MAKE THE MINIMUM PAYMENT.

Borg: DOES THAT EXACERBATE THE NATIONAL PROBLEM?

Walker: IT CLEARLY DOES BECAUSE FOR TWO YEARS IN A ROW, AMERICAN HOUSEHOLDS HAVE SPENT MORE MONEY THAN THEY TOOK HOME, A NEGATIVE SAVINGS RATE. THE LAST TIME THAT HAPPENED WAS 1933 AND 1934, NOT GOOD YEARS FOR AMERICA OR THE WORLD. NOW, WE'RE IN A VERY DIFFERENT SITUATION THAN 1933 AND 1934, BUT THE REASON WE HAVE TO BORROW FROM FOREIGN PLAYERS WHO HOLD MORE OF OUR NATIONAL MORTGAGE, WHO HAVE MORE LEVERAGE ON US THAN WE HAVE LESS LEVERAGE ON THEM, IS BECAUSE WE'RE NOT SAVING, AND THAT'S GOT TO CHANGE.

Yepsen: MR. BIXBY, I WANT TO TALK ABOUT THE FOREIGN POLICY RAMIFICATIONS TO THIS. WE FINANCE THESE DEFICITS AND THIS DEBT BY BORROWING MONEY FROM OTHER COUNTRIES, THE CHINESE, FOR EXAMPLE. WHAT IMPLICATIONS DOES THIS HAVE FOR OUR FOREIGN POLICY IF WE'RE IN HOCK TO OTHER GOVERNMENTS? DOES THAT ENABLE -- DOES THAT GIVE AN AMERICAN PRESIDENT FLEXIBILITY TO MAKE FOREIGN POLICY DECISIONS, OR DO WE HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT WHAT OUR BANKERS THINK?

Bixby: WE HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT WHAT OUR BANKERS THINK. IF YOU BORROW MONEY FROM PEOPLE, THAT GIVES THEM A LITTLE BIT MORE LEVERAGE OVER YOU AND IT GIVES US LESS LEVERAGE OVER THEM. SO THE IMPLICATION IS THAT WE WOULD HAVE LESS LEVERAGE IN A FOREIGN POLICY CRISIS OR JUST IN TRYING TO, YOU KNOW, NEGOTIATE WITH OTHER NATIONS. IF TOO MUCH OF YOUR DEBT IS HELD BY ANOTHER NATION, YOU'D HAVE TO LISTEN TO WHAT THEY SAY TO YOU IF THEY COME TO YOU IN A CRISIS OR SOMETHING.

Walker: JUST GO BACK TO 1956, THE SUEZ CRISIS. THE U.K., FRANCE, AND ISRAEL WANTED TO CHALLENGE NASSER'S TAKING OVER THE SUEZ CANAL. THE U.S. WAS PROPPING UP THE POUND AND WAS THE LEADING INVESTOR IN U.K. DEBT. A CALL WAS MADE BY THE PRESIDENT TO THE PRIME MINISTER. JUST LOOK AT THAT AS A LESSON.

Yepsen: WHAT ABOUT THE VALUE OF THE DOLLAR, MR. WALKER? I MEAN ALL THIS MONEY BEING BORROWED. ARE WE IN DANGER OF THE DOLLAR LOSING ITS PREEMINENCE IN THE WORLD AND IN FACT THE POUND, PROBABLY MORE LIKELY THE EURO IS GOING TO BE THE WAY THE WORLD DOES BUSINESS?

Walker: WELL, THE DOLLAR IS IN THE TANK. I MEAN I TRAVEL INTERNATIONALLY BECAUSE I HAVE RESPONSIBILITIES FOR AUDITOR GENERALS AROUND THE WORLD. LET'S LOOK AT WHAT THE CANADIAN DOLLAR IS -- THE CANADIAN DOLLAR IS ALMOST ON PARITY WITH THE U.S. DOLLAR. IT'S AT THE HIGHEST LEVEL IN DECADES, IF YOU WILL. I THINK THAT'S A LEADING INDICATOR OF A PROBLEM. OUR DOLLAR IS GOING DOWN. WE'RE NOT THE ONLY RESERVE CURRENCY IN THE WORLD ANYMORE. I MEAN THE EURO IS AN OPTION. THERE ARE SEVERAL OTHER POTENTIAL OPTIONS. WE NEED TO RECOGNIZE REALITY. WE'RE LIVING ON OUR PAST REPUTATION. WE'RE NOT TAKING STEPS TO MAKE SURE THAT OUR FUTURE IS BETTER THAN OUR PAST.

Borg: MR. BIXBY, YOU SAID THE TRAJECTORY OF THE DEBT IS WHAT WORRIES YOU. SO WE'RE NOT IN TROUBLE RIGHT NOW?

Bixby: YEAH. I MEAN WE CAN -- WHAT YOU WANT TO DO IS LOOK AT THE DEBT AS A PERCENTAGE OF YOUR ECONOMY. AND AS A PERCENTAGE OF OUR ECONOMY RIGHT NOW, IT'S ABOUT 33 -- 37 PERCENT OR SO. WE'RE RICH ENOUGH TO BE ABLE TO AFFORD THAT SORT OF A DEBT. WHAT WE NEED TO WORRY ABOUT, THOUGH, IS THE FACT THAT SPENDING IS ON A TRAJECTORY TO GO MUCH HIGHER THAN IT IS WHEN THE BOOMERS BEGIN TO RETIRE. AND THAT MEANS THAT IT'S GOING TO PUT UPWARD PRESSURE ON TAXES, BECAUSE IF YOU DON'T RAISE TAXES OR DON'T CUT SPENDING, YOU GET THIS BIG DEBT. AND THE DEBT WILL GROW TO LEVELS THAT ARE UNSUSTAINABLE, 100 PERCENT OR 200 PERCENT OF THE ECONOMY. YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT WORLD WAR II LEVELS FOR NOTHING, YOU KNOW, OTHER THAN PAYING BENEFITS TO EACH OTHER.

Yepsen: LET'S TALK ABOUT THE VARIOUS PIECES OF THIS. OKAY, WE'VE TALKED ABOUT -- LET'S JUST TALK ABOUT THE FEDERAL BUDGET DEFICIT, WHICH WE USUALLY TALK ABOUT WITH CONGRESS. AND THAT'S COMING DOWN, CORRECT?

Bixby: RIGHT. AND IT'S COME DOWN FOR -- THIS WILL BE THE THIRD YEAR IN A ROW IT'S COME DOWN. SO WE ALWAYS TELL PEOPLE, THAT'S WHY WE REMIND THEM WE'RE LOOKING AHEAD, WE'RE NOT LOOKING IN THE REARVIEW MIRROR. AND I THINK IT'S REALLY SORT OF A -- PEOPLE CAN GET ANESTHETIZED BY THIS. THEY CAN THINK, WELL, GEE, THE BUDGET DEFICIT IS COMING DOWN. BUT WHAT THEY FAIL TO REALIZE IS WHEN YOU LOOK OUT A FEW YEARS AHEAD, THE BOOMERS BEGIN TO RETIRE, THE COSTS OF SOCIAL SECURITY, MEDICARE, AND MEDICAID ARE GOING TO SKYROCKET. THAT MEANS THAT WE'RE EITHER GOING TO HAVE TO RAISE TAXES TO PAY FOR THAT OR RUN VERY LARGE BUDGET DEFICITS, AND THAT'S ALL BAKED INTO THE CAKE. SO WHAT WE'RE SAYING NOW IS START TAKING SOME ACTIONS NOW TO CONTROL THE COST OF THESE PROGRAMS, OR WE ARE GOING TO HAVE TO MAKE SOME VERY DRASTIC CHANGES LATER ON.

Glover: MR. WALKER, LET'S GO TO ANOTHER PIECE OF THIS FINANCIAL PROBLEM, AND THAT'S SOCIAL SECURITY. WHAT FACES SOCIAL SECURITY? HOW BAD IS THE PROBLEM? HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO DEVELOP? WHAT'S THE PROBLEM WITH SOCIAL SECURITY?

Walker: WELL, I USED TO BE A TRUSTEE OF SOCIAL SECURITY AND MEDICARE FROM 1990 TO 1995. THE GOOD NEWS IS SOCIAL SECURITY IS THE EASY PROBLEM. IT'S THE EASY PROBLEM. IT'S UNDERFUNDED BY ABOUT $6- TO $7 TRILLION. MEDICARE IS UNDERFUNDED BY ABOUT $32 TRILLION PLUS. SOCIAL SECURITY, VERY EASY. HERE'S WHAT YOU DO AS A POSSIBLE WAY FORWARD. INCREASE THE NORMAL RETIREMENT AGE GRADUALLY ON A PHASED-IN BASIS; CHANGE THE REPLACEMENT RATE SO MIDDLE AND UPPER INCOME WORKERS DON'T GET QUITE AS MUCH AS OTHERWISE THEY WOULD; STRENGTHEN THE BENEFIT FOR THE POOR -- YOU CAN DO THAT WITHOUT RAISING TAXES, ALTHOUGH YOU MAY HAVE TO THE RAISE THE TAXABLE WAGE BASE TO GET A POLITICAL DEAL; AND ADD A MANDATORY PERSONAL SAVINGS ACCOUNT ON TOP OF A REFORMED SUSTAINABLE AND SECURE DEFINED BENEFIT SYSTEM. IT WOULD ACHIEVE BIPARTISAN CONSENSUS. IT WOULD BE A HUGE BREAKTHROUGH.

Glover: MR. BIXBY, PARDON THE CYNICISM HERE. THAT DOESN'T SOUND LIKE A VERY PAINLESS SOLUTION TO ME. I DON'T SEE A POLITICAL CANDIDATE IN AN ELECTION YEAR GOING OUT AND SAYING, WELL, WE'RE GOING TO CUT BENEFITS AND RAISE TAXES ON SOCIAL SECURITY.

Bixby: WELL, MAYBE NOT BUT I THINK THAT THEY NEED TO ACKNOWLEDGE THE SIZE OF THE PROBLEM AND NOT TAKE OPTIONS OFF THE TABLE, BECAUSE IF YOU'RE GOING TO SOLVE THIS PROBLEM, YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE TO DO SOME OF THE THINGS THAT DAVE JUST MENTIONED. AND I WOULD ENDORSE THOSE OPTIONS. AND EVERYBODY KNOWS THAT THOSE ARE THE OPTIONS. BASICALLY THAT'S THE IRONY HERE. PEOPLE KNOW -- PEOPLE KNOW THAT YOU CAN'T GROW YOUR WAY OUT OF THIS PROBLEM. PEOPLE KNOW THAT IT'S NOT A MATTER OF CUTTING WASTE, FRAUD, AND ABUSE OR SOMETHING.

Yepsen: MR. WALKER, LET'S GO TO A THIRD COMPONENT HERE. WE TALKED ABOUT MEDICARE. WHAT'S THE PROBLEM THERE?

Walker: WELL, MEDICARE IS UNDER WATER BY $32 TRILLION, AND IT'S GROWING RAPIDLY. IT'S REALLY NOT A MEDICARE PROBLEM. IT'S OUR HEALTH CARE SYSTEM. WE SPEND 50 PERCENT MORE OF OUR ECONOMY THAN ANY OTHER COUNTRY ON EARTH. WE HAVE THE LARGEST UNINSURED POPULATION OF ANY MAJOR INDUSTRIALIZED NATION. WE HAVE BELOW AVERAGE LIFE EXPECTANCY, ABOVE AVERAGE INFANT MORTALITY, ABOVE AVERAGE MEDICAL ERROR RATES. WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO REFORM OUR ENTIRE HEALTH CARE SYSTEM IN INSTALLMENTS OVER THE NEXT TEN PLUS YEARS TO ACHIEVE FOUR OBJECTIVES: ACHIEVE UNIVERSAL ACCESS TO BASIC AND ESSENTIAL HEALTH CARE; PUT A BUDGET ON HOW MUCH THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WILL SPEND ON HEALTH CARE; MOVE TO EVIDENCE-BASED PRACTICE STANDARDS FOR HEALTH CARE TO IMPROVE QUALITY AND REDUCE LITIGATION; AND INCREASE PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY AND ACCOUNTABILITY FOR HEALTH AND WELLNESS.

Yepsen: YOU DIDN'T USE THE WORD, MR. WALKER, BUT PART OF THAT SOUNDS LIKE RATIONING, THAT WE ARE IN EFFECT GOING TO SAY WE CAN'T DO EVERYTHING FOR EVERYBODY.

Walker: HEY, LOOK, WE RATION NOW. WE JUST DON'T RATION RATIONALLY. THE FACT OF THE MATTER IS THAT EVERYBODY WANTS UNLIMITED HEALTH CARE AS LONG AS SOMEBODY ELSE IS WILLING TO PAY FOR IT. BUT I'M HERE TO TELL YOU IF THERE'S ONE THING THAT CAN BANKRUPT AMERICA, IT'S HEALTH CARE.

Yepsen: MR. BIXBY, SORT OF THE SAME QUESTION. WE TALKED ABOUT MEDICARE. WHAT ABOUT MEDICAID, THE PROGRAM FOR POOR AMERICANS? IS THERE ANYTHING SPECIFIC BEYOND WHAT HE JUST SAID THAT HAS TO BE DONE FOR THAT PROGRAM?

Bixby: NO, I DON'T THINK SO. I MEAN I REALLY THINK IT'S AN OVERALL HEALTH CARE COST PROBLEM. AND WHETHER IT'S MEDICAID OR MEDICARE OR THE HEALTH CARE SYSTEM IN GENERAL OUTSIDE OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, WE NEED TO DO A BETTER JOB OF CONTROLLING HEALTH CARE COSTS. PART OF THAT ARE THE THINGS THAT DAVID TALKED ABOUT. YOU KNOW, YOU LOOK AT THE HUGE VARIATIONS IN THIS COUNTRY BETWEEN THE COST OF TREATING PATIENTS. SOME PLACES DO IT VERY EFFICIENTLY. SOME PLACES DON'T DO IT VERY EFFICIENTLY. AND THERE HAVE BEEN PLENTY OF STUDIES THAT SHOW ENORMOUS DIFFERENCES WITH NO DIFFERENCE IN HEALTH OUTCOMES. SO THERE'S A POTENTIAL FOR A GREAT SAVINGS THERE IF WE CAN FIND WHAT THE BEST PRACTICES ARE AND MORE EVIDENCE-BASED MEDICINE. THAT'S REALLY A WAY TO GO.

Glover: MR. WALKER, LET'S TURN TO YOU AGAIN. YOU MENTIONED SOME POTENTIAL SOLUTIONS YOU SEE ON THE HORIZON. THERE ARE CONSEQUENCES FOR THOSE SOLUTIONS. IF YOU RADICALLY REFORM -- I DON'T WANT TO USE THAT TERM 'RADICALLY,' BUT IF YOU OVERHAUL THE HEALTH SYSTEM, THERE ARE GOING TO BE CONSEQUENCES TO THAT. IF YOU CUT SPENDING, THERE ARE GOING TO BE CONSEQUENCES TO THAT. IF YOU RAISE TAXES, THERE ARE GOING TO BE CONSEQUENCES TO THAT. WHAT ARE THE CONSEQUENCES TO THESE SOLUTIONS?

Walker: LOOK, THERE'S NO FREE LUNCH. OKAY? I MEAN THERE ARE CONSEQUENCES FOR US TO TAKE ON A STATUS QUO SCENARIO. AND SO CLEARLY, DEPENDING UPON WHAT THE NATURE OF THE REFORM IS, THE CONSEQUENCES ARE DIFFERENT WITH REGARD TO ECONOMIC, WITH REGARD TO FAMILIES, WITH REGARD TO OUR COMPETITIVE POSTURE. WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO DO FOUR THINGS TO GET OUR ACT TOGETHER, OKAY, AT LEAST: TOUGH BUDGET CONTROLS; WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO REFORM ENTITLEMENT PROGRAMS; WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO REPRIORITIZE -- REENGINEER SPENDING AND CONSTRAIN IT; AND WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO REFORM THE TAX CODE IN A WAY THAT WILL GENERATE MORE REVENUES WITHOUT REDUCING ECONOMIC GROWTH. WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO DO ALL FOUR. AND ANY CANDIDATE WHO TELLS YOU WE DON'T HAVE TO DO THAT, THEY'RE NOT VERY GOOD AT MATH.

Yepsen: AS A MATTER OF FACT, WE DO HEAR FROM SOME REPUBLICAN CANDIDATES WHO SAY THE ANSWER IS TO CUT TAXES AND YOU GROW YOUR WAY OUT OF THIS PROBLEM. CAN'T WE GROW OUR WAY OUT OF THIS PROBLEM?

Walker: ABSOLUTELY NOT. THAT IS FUNDAMENTALLY FALSE. THERE ARE SOME TAX CUTS THAT PARTIALLY PAY FOR THEMSELVES, MEANING IF YOU DO A DOLLAR TAX CUT, YOU MIGHT RECAPTURE PART OF IT THROUGH ADDITIONAL ECONOMIC GROWTH. VERY FEW, IF ANY, PAY FOR THEMSELVES IN TOTAL, AND THAT IS A FALSEHOOD THAT PEOPLE HAVE TO MOVE AWAY FROM.

Glover: MR. BIXBY, LET'S GO TO YOU ON THESE CONSEQUENCES. TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU START DOING THINGS LIKE RESTRAINING THE HEALTH SYSTEM, IF YOU START CUTTING SPENDING, IF YOU START RAISING TAXES. WHAT EFFECT DOES THAT HAVE ON THE NATION'S ECONOMY AND ON THE NATION'S ELECTORATE?

Bixby: IT WOULD HAVE A POSITIVE EFFECT OVERALL BECAUSE WHAT WE'VE GOT IS AN UNSUSTAINABLE SYSTEM NOW, SO YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE TO DO SOME OF THESE THINGS TO MAKE A SUSTAINABLE SYSTEM. WHAT WE'RE TALKING ABOUT IS SOME SHORT-TERM SACRIFICE FOR A LONG-TERM GAIN. AND WE'VE GOTTEN OUT OF THAT IN THIS COUNTRY. WE HAVEN'T ASKED -- POLITICIANS DON'T TALK ABOUT SACRIFICES ANYMORE. IT'S FREE LUNCH ALL THE TIME.

Glover: OKAY, LET'S GO TO CATACLYSMIC. LET'S MAKE THE CYNICAL ASSUMPTION THAT NOTHING HAPPENS, THAT POLITICIANS FIND IT EASIER JUST TO CONTINUE DOING WHAT THEY'RE DOING. WHERE DOES THE NATION HEAD? WHAT ARE THE CONSEQUENCES OF NOT DOING SOMETHING?

Bixby: WELL, EVENTUALLY THE ECONOMY GOES OVER THE CLIFF. HERE'S ONE OF THE THINGS -- AND YOU GET LOWER STANDARDS OF LIVING, BASICALLY. YOU MAY HAVE NO CRISIS AT ALL. WHAT YOU MAY HAVE IS A SLOW, LONG EROSION OF STANDARDS OF LIVING SO THAT OUR KIDS AND GRANDKIDS JUST HAVE A MUCH WORSE ECONOMY AND STANDARD OF LIVING THAN WE DO TODAY.

Walker: LOOK, WE DON'T FACE AN IMMEDIATE HEART ATTACK, BUT WE HAVE BEEN DIAGNOSED WITH FISCAL CANCER. WE NEED TO MEND OUR WAYS. WE NEED SOME TOUGH TREATMENT IN ORDER TO MAKE SURE THAT WE CAN PROSPER IN THE FUTURE. WHAT'S MOST LIKELY TO HAPPEN IS FOREIGN LENDERS WILL NOT WANT TO BUY OUR DEBT AT THE LEVELS THEY HAVE. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? INTEREST RATES WILL GO UP. WHEN INTEREST RATES GO UP, THAT HAS A COMPOUNDING EFFECT ON THE DEFICIT, ON THE ECONOMY, ON AMERICAN FAMILIES. AND BY THE WAY, OUR LONG-RANGE SIMULATIONS DON'T ASSUME INTEREST RATES ARE GOING UP.

Bixby: CAN I MENTION ONE OTHER CONSEQUENCE OF NOT DOING ANYTHING THAT PEOPLE REALLY NEED TO FOCUS ON IS INTEREST COSTS, NOT INTEREST RATES BUT INTEREST COSTS. THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SPENT $227 BILLION LAST YEAR IN INTEREST ON ITS DEBT. THAT WAS 9 PERCENT OF THE FEDERAL BUDGET. IT'S MORE THAN WE SPENT ON THE WAR ON IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN. MORE THAN WE SPENT ON THE MEDICAID PROGRAM. THAT'S WITH A MODEST BUDGET DEFICIT. NOW, IF WE START RUNNING BIGGER BUDGET DEFICITS, AS WE'RE PROJECTED TO DO, NET INTEREST SKYROCKETS AND BECOMES ONE OF THE MOST DIFFICULT PARTS OF THE BUDGET.

Yepsen: MR. WALKER, I ASKED YOU EARLIER ABOUT REPUBLICANS AND SOME OF THEIR SUGGESTIONS THAT WE CAN DID TAX CUTS. YOU HEAR DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATES HERE TALK ABOUT RAISING TAXES ON PEOPLE WHO MAKE MORE THAN $200,000 A YEAR, $250,000 A YEAR. IS THAT GOING TO GET IT?

Walker: LOOK, THE PROPOSALS THAT I'VE HEARD SO FAR DON'T COME CLOSE TO GETTING THE JOB DONE. AND I THINK ONE OF THE THINGS THAT PEOPLE NEED TO DO IS THAT WE NEED TO MAKE SURE THAT PEOPLE AREN'T CONTINUING THIS FREE-LUNCH APPROACH. YOU KNOW, TAX CUTS DON'T PAY FOR THEMSELVES. YOU KNOW, SPENDING INCREASES HAVE TO BE FUNDED AT SOME POINT IN TIME. AND WE NEED TO RECOGNIZE THAT THE REPUBLIC IS NOT GOING TO END IN TEN YEARS. RIGHT NOW OUR BUDGET HORIZONS ARE AT MOST TEN YEARS. OUR PROBLEMS ARE BEYOND TEN YEARS, AND SO WE NEED TO FORCE PEOPLE TO TALK ABOUT NOT JUST WHETHER OR NOT WE CAN AFFORD THIS TODAY, CAN WE SUSTAIN IT TOMORROW.

Yepsen: AND I HEAR -- EXCUSE ME, DEAN. I HEAR SOME DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATES WILL SAY THAT, YES, WHAT YOU ALL ARE TALKING ABOUT IS A PROBLEM, BUT WE DO NEED TO INCREASE THE BUDGET DEFICIT SOME IN ORDER TO FINANCE A HEALTH CARE SYSTEM AND IN ORDER TO PAY FOR ADDITIONAL EDUCATION FOR AMERICANS, THAT IN FACT MAKING HEALTHY AMERICANS AND MAKING BETTER EDUCATED AMERICANS IS GOING TO BE BETTER FOR THE ECONOMY THAN THIS OBSESSION THAT YOU HAVE WITH THE DEBT. WHAT DO YOU SAY TO THAT?

Walker: WELL, FOR ONE THING, WE DO NEED TO RECOGNIZE THAT THIS NATION CAN'T COMPETE ON WAGES. WE HAVE TO COMPETE ON KNOWLEDGE, INNOVATION, PRODUCTIVITY, AND QUALITY. WE DO HAVE TO RECOGNIZE THAT OUR EDUCATION SYSTEM IS NOT TOP TWENTY IN THE WORLD. WE'RE NOT EVEN IN THE TOP TWENTY, AND THAT AFFECTS OUR EDUCATION, OUR COMPETITIVE POSTURE, IF YOU WILL. SO WE MAY HAVE TO MAKE SOME TARGET INVESTMENTS, BUT ONE PERSON'S INVESTMENT IS ANOTHER PERSON'S WASTE. AND WHAT WE NEED TO DO IS: WHAT SPECIFICALLY YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT; WHAT OUTCOMES ARE WE GOING TO GET; AND HOW ARE WE GOING TO PAY FOR IT?

Borg: REALISTICALLY, DO YOU SEE -- YOU USED THE METAPHOR OF CANCER AND ILLNESS. IT REMINDS ME OF RONALD REAGAN SAYING WE'VE GOT TO TAKE THIS BITTER MEDICINE BECAUSE WE'VE GOT TO WORK OUR WAY OUT OF THIS ECONOMIC WOE. THAT WAS BACK IN THE EARLY '80S. DO YOU SEE IN THE NATIONAL PSYCHE, OR ANY LEADER, PEOPLE WILLING TO ACCEPT WORLD WAR II TYPE RATIONING, IN THAT IT JUST ISN'T THE FREE-LUNCH PSYCHE IS HERE, BUT HOW DO YOU OVERCOME IT?

Walker: WELL, THE FACT IS THAT WE DON'T SEE THAT MANY POLITICAL LEADERS WITH COURAGE TO STATE THE FACTS AND SPEAK THE TRUTH. AND YOU KNOW, AMERICAN PEOPLE ARE WILLING TO ACCEPT SHORT-TERM SACRIFICE FOR LONG-TERM GAIN IF THE CASE IS TAKEN TO THEM, EXPLAINED IN TERMS THAT THEY CAN UNDERSTAND, AND IF THEY UNDERSTAND THE POTENTIAL CONSEQUENCES OF CONTINUING ON OUR PRESENT PATH. WE NEED MORE PEOPLE WILLING TO DO THAT. AND IT'S IMPORTANT THE NEXT PRESIDENT BE WILLING AND ABLE TO DO THAT BECAUSE THE RISK IS INCREASING WITH THE PASSAGE OF TIME.

Glover: MR. BIXBY, LET'S TURN TO YOU FOR A SECOND. LET'S ASSUME THAT THE POLITICAL PROCESS, WHICH UP UNTIL NOW HAS NOT FORCED OUR POLITICAL LEADERS TO ADDRESS THIS PROBLEM AND I DON'T SEE ANYTHING CHANGING IN THAT THAT'S GOING TO FORCE THEM SUDDENLY TO ADDRESS IT, WHAT DOES A NATION DO? IS THERE ANOTHER WAY OUT OF THIS, SOME KIND OF A BIPARTISAN, INDEPENDENT COMMISSION? IS THERE A THIRD OPTION?

Bixby: WELL, THAT IS ONE OPTION. IF THE POLITICIANS DECIDE THAT THEY CAN'T DO THIS THEMSELVES, YOU CAN ALWAYS APPOINT A COMMISSION WHICH WILL COME BACK AND REPORT. THE PROBLEM WITH COMMISSIONS IS YOU HAVE TO MAKE SURE IT GETS INTO THE POLITICAL MAINSTREAM. YOU'VE GOT TO MAKE SURE THAT THE RECOMMENDATIONS WOULD BE CONSIDERED. YOU HAVE TO MAKE SURE THAT THE COMMISSION WOULD BE CREDIBLE AND THAT EVERYBODY BOUGHT INTO IT. IF YOU DON'T GET THAT POLITICAL BUY-IN TO THE PROCESS AND SOME GUARANTEE THAT THE RESULTS WOULD BE CONSIDERED, THEN YOU'RE JUST GOING TO GET ANOTHER REPORT THAT'S SITTING ON THE SHELF. BUT I WOULD SAY THAT THERE ARE A COUPLE OF THINGS THAT MAKE ME THINK THAT THE NEXT PRESIDENTIAL TERM YOU WILL GET SOME ACTION. THE BOOMERS DO BEGIN TO RETIRE IN 2008. BEFORE THE IOWA CAUCUSES, THE FIRST BOOMER IS GOING TO CASH A CHECK. THEY'LL QUALIFY FOR SOCIAL SECURITY IN 2011. ALL OF THE TAX CUTS THAT HAVE BEEN ENACTED RECENTLY ARE SCHEDULED TO EXPIRE IN 2010. THAT'S GOING TO FORCE SOME ACTION. AND ONCE YOU GET SOME ACTION ON THOSE THINGS, IT'S POSSIBLE THAT -- IT'S NOT ONLY POSSIBLE; I THINK IT'S LIKELY THAT THERE WILL BE SOME SORT OF RECOGNITION THAT WE HAVE TO DO SOMETHING. NOW, IT'S NOT GOING TO CURE EVERYTHING. IT'S NOT GOING TO BE ONE BIG FIX.

Yepsen: -- MEDICARE IN 2011.

Walker: I THINK WE DO NEED TO CONSIDER SOME TYPE OF A COMMISSION BECAUSE SOMEBODY HAS GOT TO SET THE TABLE. AND THERE ARE VARIOUS LEGISLATIVE PROPOSALS THAT ARE UP ON THE HILL RIGHT NOW. SENATOR VOINOVICH, CONGRESSMAN WOLF HAD ONE PROPOSAL. THERE ARE OTHER PROPOSALS UP THERE. SENATOR FEINSTEIN, SENATOR DOMENICI, SENATOR CONRAD, SENATOR GREGG HAVE TALKED ABOUT THIS. I THINK IF WE CAN TAKE THE BEST OF SEVERAL OF THESE, WE COULD REALLY MAKE SOME PROGRESS AND SET THE TABLE FOR 2009.

Borg: THANK YOU FOR YOUR INSIGHTS TODAY. I'M SORRY, WE'RE OUT OF TIME. THANK YOU.

Borg: WE CLOSE WITH A REMINDER THAT 'IOWA PRESS' IS NOW AVAILABLE ON THE WORLDWIDE WEB. EACH 'IOWA PRESS' EDITION AVAILABLE IN PRINT IN TRANSCRIPTS ON THE INTERNET, AND YOU CAN GET AUDIO AND VIDEO STREAMING THERE TOO. NOW, TO GET TO IT, THE WEB ADDRESS IS WWW.IPTV.ORG. AND ONCE YOU'RE THERE, JUST FOLLOW THE PROMPT TO THE IOWA PRESS SITE. WE'LL BE BACK NEXT WEEKEND, REGULAR 'IOWA PRESS' AIRTIMES: THAT'S 7:30 FRIDAY NIGHT AND SUNDAY MOURNING AT 11:30. I'M DEAN BORG. THANKS FOR JOINING US TODAY.

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Tags: debt deficit Iowa politics