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And there was a thirdquestion, part of Bill's question but I can'tremember what it was.Anyway — Yepsen: Let'sgo to a new question from that person in theaudience on education.Mary McClure: Hi, myname is Mary McClure.I'm a faculty member hereat DMACC and parent of a college student.So rising college costsare a concern for me both professionally andpersonally obviously.So I just wanted to knowyour plan on how you plan to address and alleviatethe soaring college debt, higher education debt foryoung adults and parents.Biden: As I said, if Ididn't have a plan on this I'd be sleeping alone.(laughter) Biden:I promise you.And, by the way, I taughtin law school for 25 years too so I have a senseof what's out there.Look, three things, let'stalk about the college debt piece.When the President askedme to do this study for a year on what were the jobsof the future, right now 6 in 10 jobs, 6 in 10 jobstoday require more than a high school degree to getthe job whether it's a certificate, anapprenticeship, community college, degree, whatever, it requires more than 12 years of education.And so one of the thingswe should be doing, and they can't because it'sdark in here, but if I saw a show of hands, how manypeople think that 12 years of education is enough inthe 21st century to remain in the middle class? Yepsen: No hands go up.Biden: No, for real.And so what we should bedoing is doing it at both ends.Let's talk about the topend in terms of cost of college.The fact of the matter isI think community college should be free foranyone who qualifies and including those whohave to come back after technology has cost themtheir job and they have to be retrainedfor another job.We can do that andwe can provide for apprenticeships and we canprovide for programs that are available and forcertificates to be retrained for jobs likeyou did here for $6 billion a year.Now, there goes that Bidenspending a lot of money, right? $6 billion.There are a total of 1trillion — 640 billion dollars in taxloopholes out there.Eliminate one, it'scalled Stepped Up Basis.That costs the government$17 billion not collected that should have beencollected the five minutes before theindividual died.It's a long story.Here's the deal, we couldput every single person in college, communitycollege, cutting in half the total cost of collegebecause all these credits are transferrable to afour year university.Secondly, student debt, Iwould change the way in which we dealwith student debt.Right now you have topay back 10% of your disposable income if infact you have borrowed money and you havea student debt.The average student debtfrom a public institution is closer to$30, 000 a year.That was, when you andI started working, not together, but when youwere at the Register, that could buy you a nicehouse, that could buy you a house.Now what are we learning? And you know this, youprobably teach it.The fact of the matteris that the millennial generation and thosegraduating from now through the earlymillennials in their late 30s in fact the reason whythey're predicting that we will have a slowdown inour economy because they are graduating in debt, they are downsizing their dreams, they are notbuying homes, they are renting, they're notbuying new vehicles and so on.And so what I would do iscut from 10% required to pay bac your disposableincome to 5%.If you got out of schooland you're making less than $25, 000 or you haveno debt at all, it would not accumulate, that debtwould not gain interest.As you got above $25, 000you would begin to pay back 5% of that.Thirdly, if you're engagedin public work like your teaching and/or publicservice you would be able to buy into, not buy in, you'd be eligible for a program that in 10 yearsyour debt would be eliminated.And so there's a number ofways to deal with college debt.And I can tell you as adad who when my son died I'm paying off the lastbit of his loans for college and law schoolbecause, anyway, and he was a successful man.He was an AttorneyGeneral, he was a decorated major in theUnited States Army, etcetera, butthat was the deal.And so the debt is severe, it's real and we should provide for the abilityto qualify for if you're engaged in public serviceyour debt over a period of time would betotally forgiven.Yepsen: Mr.VicePresident, I want to go back to the climate changeissue for a moment.What you were talkingabout farmers and carbon sequestration, this is asensitive issue in rural American because ofthe cattle industry.We have to reduce methaneemissions from animal agriculture.But how do you do thatas a practical matter? Biden: With realdifficulty and here's the deal, that's why I thinkwhat we should be doing, in my climate changeproposal I call for investing over the time$400 billion, twice what we did going to the moon, and finding technologies that in fact alloweverything from new ways in which the sequestrationof carbon straight through to other initiatives so webecome a net exporter of technology around theworld, we think we can create, estimates are 10million jobs that pay well.The fact is that it is anissue for cattle farmers, it is an issue they'renot required to move into sequestration, to carbonsequestration, but there's a lot of people, theground cover and expanding on Tom Harkin'sconservation programs, that we can make asignificant increase.But cattle farming is infact, and back in Delaware there's, I don't know howto say it politely on the air, but there's a wholelot of chicken manure.I'm serious.And how do you transferthat into useable energy that in fact does notrelease this methane into the air? And there's a lot of workgoing on trying to figure out how to do that.Yepsen: We have anotheraudience question.This one is aboutbudget deficits.Biden: Oh wedon't have any.What the heck.David Klockenga: SometimesI'm wondering if that's what a lot of thecandidates feel.My name is David Klockengaand I live here in Ankeny, a small business owner, and that is a frustration of mine is thenational deficit.I don't hear either partytalking about it right now.I do hear a lot ofdemocratic candidates talking about raisingrevenue for such things as college education andhealth care but the national deficitis never addressed.And at some point I keepthinking shouldn't we pay off the deficit beforewe start giving back? So what do you have tosay about that situation, about thenational deficit? Biden: Well, first of all, I am concerned about the national deficit.And you may remember whenthe President was pushing his tax proposal whichincreased the debt by $1.9 trillion above what itwas, $1.9 trillion, we're in a position of — I saidat the time he's going to use that as the excuse totry to say now we've got to deal with the debt, what we're going to do is we're going to eliminatethe safety net.And you saw what happenedwhen the republicans still had the House.The first thing the leaderof the House did and the budget committee camealong and said we've got to cut Medicare by a halfa trillion dollars, $560 billion.Mitch McConnell, we've gotto cut Social Security, we've got to cut.Look, here's what we do.I think the way to cut thenational debt is cut out some of the ridiculous taxcuts that are out there and in fact reduceit that way.Let me giveyou an example.I believe we should infact, the capital gains tax should be at what thehighest minimum tax should be, which we should raisethe tax back to 39.6% instead of 20%.I think the corporate taxrate which was at 38% should have come downto 28% but not to 21%.If we just brought it backup to 28% we would in fact be in a position where weraised about $600 billion more dollars.I can go down the listof all these existing loopholes that exist inthe law of that $1.6 trillion plus eliminatingthe tax cuts for the top quarter of one percent.They're good people, they're decent people, but the last thing, and I tellthem all when I meet with them, and I know that thisis being sponsored by a major, major Wall Streetfirm, you don't need the tax cut, youdon't need it.You don't deserve it.You're doing fine.I'm serious.I've been straight upabout this for a long, you remember, a longtime on this.And so the point is thatwe can bring the budget considerably back nearinto balance but the ultimate way you bringthis back is you have to provide growth.For example, if we were toeliminate the President's tax cut for the topone-tenth of one percent that exists today and weprovided, for example, child care tax credit, well there goes Biden spending a lot of money.But you knowwhat it would do? It would increaseproductivity eight-tenths of one percent a year.That generates over atrillion dollars in ten years, well over atrillion dollars.We should be thinkingabout the tax benefits that we provide for peopleand whether or not they generate growth, whetherthey help a small business person actually be ableto generate growth.And so I believe that wecould eliminate literally, literally over a period oftime at least a trillion dollars' worth of thesetax breaks counting the tax loopholes as well asthe tax cut that took place, significantlyreducing the debt.We cannot sustainthis debt.It cannot be sustained.But the last point I'llmake, when the President put me in charge of theRecovery Act, which was almost a $90 billion billthat even conservative economists have pointedout saved us from a Depression and wasinstituted with less than two-tenths of one percentof waste or fraud, what we found out was before youstart to try to deal with the deficit you have todeal with growth and how you're going to dealwith real growth.What are you going to doto generate an economy that is slowing down? And the way the Presidenttoday I heard on the way over here, he's talkingabout an executive order to reduce capital gains.He has no powerto do that.This is not adictatorship.He can't decideto do that.And it would be thedumbest thing in the world we could possibly do.Even the HeritageFoundation pointed out that, the conservativethink tank, that his great tax cut did not generatemuch growth at all.Yepsen: Mr.Vice President — Biden: It matters, it matters but it matters bygoing at it taking away some of the reasons whythis massive debt has accumulated and grow theeconomy again in a way that it's not growingfor ordinary people.Yepsen: How worriedare you about another recession? And haven't — however wegot here with this debt doesn't that limit theability of any President to attack a recession? Biden: No, it doesn'tbecause if you can eliminate, look, again, it's one thing to cut back spending, if I cut backspending for middle class Americans because thatdiminishes growth, that means we're a consumerdriven economy and the consumer driven economymeans that if you stop spending the economybegins to shrink and that leads to recessions.But the tax cuts we'retalking about, David, have not grown the economy.The wealthy are not outthere spending a lot more money.They're not spending it.If I gave everybody inhere, to overstate the issue, a $10 tax break andI gave a millionaire a $1, 000 tax break themillionaire is not going to do anything, he's goingto invest it, he's going to put it back inhis bank account.He's not going to createnew jobs with that.There's noevidence of that.But you all will go outand you will make sure that you're in a positionwhere you can get a new set of tires, you can fixthe faucet in the house, you can keep your childin school, etcetera.And that is whatgrows the economy.Yepsen: But Mr.VicePresident, the American people have hearddemocrats talk like this for some time.They've heard republicanstalk about tax cuts solving our problem.And what the country didwas agree we'd do both, we'd cut taxes and we'dincrease spending.What will change in aBiden administration to cut this Gordian knot thatthe democrats want to invest more in programsand republicans want to cut taxes? Biden: Well, therepublicans want to cut taxes on the wrong peopleand the wrong things.And the fact of the matteris look what we did, we came out and we inheritedan economy that was losing 700, 000 jobs a month.My mom used to say thegreatest gift God gave mankind was the ability toforget and then she'd say because if she didn't, women would only have one child.But all kidding aside, weforget, which is a good thing.Think of whatwe inherited.We were in the deepestfinancial recession in the history of the UnitedStates of America, on the verge of a Depression.So what did we do? We went out and westimulated the economy and it started a growth thathas been, exceeded every other growth cycle inAmerican economic history.And what did we do? The deficit actuallycame down slightly.And we were talking aboutsomething significantly different than whatwe're talking about now.It was about $2 trillionless than it is today.And it grew the economy, we created jobs, we increased manufacturingand it started a growth pattern that in fact wasstymied only by, in my view, the failure ofcorporate America to reinvest in its workers.And so the fact is that, again, the vast majority of economists, includingconservative economists, say yeah, it workedwhat we talked about.So we have to be able towalk and chew gum at the same time.So what I will do, I willcut spending on programs that make no sense, and Ican list some of them, and on tax incentives thathave no social redeeming value, there's no evidencethat they generate growth, there's no evidence thatthey in fact increase the economic growth, there'sno evidence that they're justified based onanything that remotely approaches realityand fairness.And I think the Americanpublic is sort of onto what has happened here.Again, I'm not going toask for a show of hands, but how many of you havereally benefited from this last tax cut out there? You really got a bigbang, didn't you? It really helped you, especially if you're a small businessman.Come on.Yepsen: Mr.VicePresident, I want to switch gears to anothertopic, the Supreme Court.Many democrats, somedemocrats are talking about changing thestructure of the Supreme Court, adding justicesor term limits.You have a lot ofexperience on the Judiciary Committee.Is this a workable idea? What do you wantto do about it? Biden: I thinkit's a bad idea.One of the reasons why inthe Constitution we gave judges, federal judges, lifetime appointments is we said that they shouldnot have to be influenced by outside pressures, theyshould be able to call it as they see it.The problem is that thelast appointments to the court have been very, very, very conservative justices who don't havea very broad view of the Constitution.And I taughtconstitutional law, separation of powers forover 20 years and there is a provision, the basicway it breaks down as you know, David, is betweenthose who think there are the only rights that existin the Constitution are those that areactually enumerated.If it doesn't say in theConstitution right to choose then itdoesn't exist.If it doesn't say in theConstitution that there's a right of privacyit doesn't exist.But the vast majority ofconstitutional scholars believe that there is anotion in the Constitution that you have to reada number of all these amendments and in factthat is how we get to the point where it doesn't saythat you have a right to privacy but you all know, you ask yourself why do you have a right toprivacy in your bedroom or why do you have a right toprivacy in your home, well you say I'm guaranteedthat by the Constitution.There's no place where ituses the word privacy.But the Ninth Amendmentsays that all of those things that are not listedin the Constitution, in the Bill of Rights, arestill retained by the people.That's why we didn't tryto pass a Bill of Rights initially because Madisonand others thought if it did that what you'd do isyou'd leave out something.You'd leave out somethingand if it was left out then it would be assumedthat it didn't exist.And so the Ninth Amendmentwas that provision.I'm sorry, I'm soundinglike I'm back teaching, I apologize.But my genericpoint is this.I will not appoint and Ididn't appoint, I didn't approve any nominee andI presided over as many Supreme Court Justicehearings as anybody in American history justbecause I was Chairman of the Judiciary Committeeand a lot came through at the time.And that is why I stronglyopposed Robert Bork.Robert Bork, if he hadbeen in the court women's right to choose would havebeen long gone by now.So my point is that Idon't think you can start to fool around withchanging the structure of the Constitutionlegislatively.We tried the court packingpiece, they tried under Roosevelt, even democratsopposed it at the time because it will comeback to bite us.It should not be apolitical football.What I would do is onlyappoint justices who in fact shared a broad viewof what the Constitution in fact encompasses.Because if we go the otherroute, mark my words, this is going to come back ina big way and become a political football, whoever is the President.Yepsen: Would PresidentBiden have a litmus test on abortion? Biden: I would have alitmus test on whether or not the justice thoughtthat there was in the Constitution aright to privacy.If you in fact adopt thatnotion it's very difficult to argue that there isnot a right under, in the decision that was made, that exists that says that a woman has the right tochoose within the limits of the law that have beenpassed, the constitutional determination.And I stronglysupport Roe v.Wade.I think it is the, itreflects the basic consensus of all the majorreligions and saying that within certain limits awoman has the right to make a judgment whether ornot to carry to term and the burden increasesas time goes on.Yepsen: Mr.VicePresident, we've got less than two minutes and Iwant to ask you about the role of America in theworld and the possibility of you being awartime President.We've got a lot of youngAmericans in harm's way.Why do you think you'd bea good wartime President? Biden: Well, hopefullybecause we wouldn't be at war.I'm not being a wise guy.I would immediately, andyou know it's now public record so I'm not, I strongly oppose maintaining combattroops in Iraq and in Afghanistan.We have to be able to workwith the rest of the world to deal with theexistential threats that exist from non-stateactors and terrorists.We are not going to bethe world's policeman.That's why I was able tohelp put together a 67 nation consortium to beable to deal with the stateless terrorists.But to plant permanentlyin countries in the Middle East the notion that wehave full-time combat forces there makes nosense to me at this point.And so, and I know everyone of these leaders.I've spent hundreds ofhours over time dealing with Iraq, Afghanistan, Russia, with Syria and these are places I know, people I know and I think that these fall into awheelhouse where I've operated for the last 25years, particularly in the last 8 years.Look, we have the mostpowerful military in the history of the world butwe lead by the example of our power, not just thepower, not just the example of our power butthe example, we are out there and it's what wesay, what we do, it's our example that leads theworld and it is being trashed.Look what he justdid with Putin.He said that Putin, whoinvaded a free country, broke every internationalrule and agreement we had with Russia and with NATO, invaded Crimea, took it over, occupied it tryingto bring down that government and thePresident says, well I don't know why Obama andBiden kicked him out of the G8, they shouldbe invited back in.What's the storyhere folks? Yepsen: Mr.VicePresident, we're out of time.Biden: I'm sorry.Thank you.It's nice to bewith you all.Have hope.We can do anythingin this country.(applause) Yepsen: I wantto thank the former Vice President for joining usfor our latest edition of Conversations withPresidential Candidates here on IowaPublic Television.For our audience of Iowansand our entire hardworking Iowa Public Televisioncrew here at Des Moines Area Community College, I'm David Yepsen.Thanks forjoining us today.♪♪ ♪♪ and applause ♪♪ IPTV presents Conversationswith Presidential Candidates hosted by DMACChas been funded by Goldman Sachs, which is deliveringits 10, 000 Small Businesses program in Iowato help entrepreneurs across the state createjobs and economic opportunity.Additional funding hasbeen provided by the Arlene McKeever EndowmentFund, a fund at the Iowa Public TelevisionFoundation, established by a gift from the estateof Arlene McKeever.And by Friends, theIowa Public Television Foundation.