As part of the Meet the Candidates series, Amy Klobuchar, DFL candidate for the U.S. senate, explains what she would do if she gets to take Mark Dayton's place in the U.S. Senate. Klobuchar also answers listener questions.
Read the Text Transcription of the Audio.
(00:00:04) And good morning. Welcome to midday on Minnesota Public Radio news. I'm Gary eichten three weeks from today. Minnesota voters will be electing a long list of office holders Governor members of Congress legislators, but during this our midday, we're going to focus on the very first race that will appear on Minnesota election ballots namely the contest for the US Senate here in Minnesota politico's all across the nation are watching to see who minnesotans will elect to replace Democrat Mark Dayton. Mr. Dayton not running for re-election if Republican Mark Kennedy wins, the GOP will likely have a much better chance of retaining control of the US Senate if Democrat Amy Klobuchar wins Democrats are considered to have a much better chance of taking control of the US Senate. Well this week on midday were focusing on that US Senate race and Hennepin County attorney. Amy Klobuchar joins us this morning as part of our continuing meet the candidates series to talk about her campaign and where Stands on the issues now. We should note that yesterday. I p-- candidate Robert Fitzgerald was here in the studio to take your questions and we invited Mark Kennedy to join us tomorrow, but he has declined. However today it's Democrat. Amy Klobuchar is turn and if you have a question, give us a call here, six five one two, two seven six thousand 6512276 thousand toll free number is 1-800-218-4243 or comment online go to our website, Minnesota Public Radio dot org and click on some to question. Amy Klobuchar. Welcome back to midday. Well, thank you Gary. It's great to be on again Star Tribune poll came out over the weekend a showing you with a 21-point lead over Mark Kennedy in what was supposed to be a nip and Tuck race. Mr. Kennedy says, there's just no possible way that Paul is accurate. What is your sense? Is that are you that far ahead? Well Gary. I'm not a pollster and it's always Jing to hear good news, but I will tell you the real pole is going to be on Election Day November 7th. And that's when the people of Minnesota are going to decide I will say that we do feel like the wind is at our back when you talk to people out there and my experiences are not really about numbers but about people and people talking to me and you've got you know moderate Republicans coming up to me very concerned about the lack of fiscal responsibility in Washington of farmers up in Northwestern Minnesota where we were a week ago concerned about the farm bill coming up and the lack of support from this Administration for farmers and workers in Duluth upset about health care and how much it costs and you just CI General sense in the state. That's not a geographic people are pretty United on what they see as important and also clearly an interest in the National issues, which I think is so healthy for our democracy because if I get the opportunity and I am so honored by the people of Minnesota to go to Washington. It is good to be going there with a sense of what people care about in the sense that they want you to get something done. Hillary Clinton will be in town raising money for you later. Today should people assume as a result that you and Hillary are joined at the hip. Well, you know, there is a lot going on in Minnesota now, so I'm not getting involved in that presidential race at this time, but I will say this Senator Clinton has done a very good job in New York. She's worked hard throughout the state has so much support there and she's going to be joined tonight by Senator Blanche Lincoln from Arkansas and Senator Patty Murray from Washington. They have all three of them have been incredibly helpful to me Blanche Lincoln was actually the first Senator I met with when I was thinking of running because she has to 11 year olds and I have an 11 year old and she gave me some very good advice. I was thinking, you know, should I announced for the Senate right away or should I wait a while and do an exploratory committee? And she says, you know and my part of the country they think of a Exploratory committee is some kind of surgery either you're in or you're out and so I thought it was some good advice and I took her up on it and she has been a good friend ever since first bill you would like to get past if you're elected to the Senate. Well, I think that we need to immediately do something about this energy crisis. And you know, I think it's too early to tell what bills will be coming up immediately, but I don't think that we keep can keep on the path where on when you look at the dependency on foreign oil and we're spending $250,000 a minute on foreign oil you look at what it's doing to our environment and then you look at the possibility for growing our energy economy in Minnesota even more. I believe that we need to put the standards in place for renewable fuels for renewable energy for like wind for electricity and get something going the I don't lose sleep over at night over the fact that the Ring CEO of Exxon made four hundred million dollars last year and I think that we need to move toward Renewable Energy Future and investing in homegrown energy and Minnesota instead of these oil cartels in the Mideast. We should be putting our resources into the Midwest that means doing something about greenhouse gas emissions putting standards in place for renewable fuels it means changing the requirements for miles per gallon for new cars coming out of Detroit. I think there's an entire package a comprehensive energy policy that includes conservation that includes hydrogen and hybrid cars and includes upgrading the federal fleet of cars. And this is one of these issues that is across as partisan lines across is geographic lines, and there's a growing consensus in the country that we need to do something one thing. I appreciate about the people in Minnesota. Is that even when the gas prices have gone down a little bit in the last month. They still see this I still hear about it all the time as one of the major issues confronting. Our country because they understand it's more than just about the gas prices. Although that's critical. It's also about the the dependency on foreign oil and the kind of entanglements. It's gotten us into as well as the as well as the environmental issue and you look at you know, Brazil is energy-efficient. They have their own fuel. They do it with sugar cane they have E85 pumps or ethanol pumps at every single station. We don't have that. We have a hundred eighty thousand gas station in this country and only 650 of them are E85 we can do better than that President Bush today signed into law the bill that governs military tribunals for the detainees effects interrogation methods in the rest. Would you have supported that in the Senate Gary? I would not have supported that bill and and let me explain why I believe that we need to be tough in this war against Terror and I see this in my job as a prosecutor every day there is evil out there. You can't pretend it's not there. And so we need to be smart about surveillance and giving our First Responders and our troops the tools that they need to go after Terror and we have to be able to detain people but I have to say that Congress was given an opportunity here the court as remember rejected the law and they asked Congress basically to draft a new law and a law that was acceptable came out of the Senate armed services committee, but then it got boggled into politics and I just believe that this law that they passed and the president signed today will not pass constitutional muster. Is it appropriate to Define it as a torture bill, you know, I it's about torture, but I would not Define it that way. I believe that it should be defined as a detainee bill as I've referred to it as an think it allows for the torture of people who are taken into custody. You know, it is it does allow the president to set Those terms and it allows for arguably some forms of torture. But I think the biggest the biggest problem for me with this bill is just that they put their short-term political interest in front of the long term the long-term interest in winning the war against Terror if we have to go back to the drawing board again, which I believe we will have to it could involve convictions being overturned it could involve doing this again. They basically, you know, they limited appeal rights. They what they did is they allowed the president to Define anyone could be detained for any reason anywhere in the world and it was simply too broad and then they did it so that they can then say look at people like me who are willing to stand up and say, you know what this thing is going to be overthrown and you're going to have to start over again. And how did you advance the cause and winning the war against Terror then they'll say well you're weak on terror. I welcome that debate because I think we need to be smarter about how we do this so we can get the terrorists so we can make sure. Sure, they're not roaming the world hurting innocent people and I don't believe that this bill does it what about it, you know domestic eavesdropping, you know, I will be able to go to the Senate if I get the opportunity to do this as someone who in the last year actually went into court and personally got authorization for a wiretap. We do that from time to time in our office and we do it legally and we get it done and it's very helpful in certain cases. I believe that there is a way to do this legally. What happened with the Patriot Act is that they extended the time for these emergency wiretap for the time you can get Authority and it looks like people need more time to do that. I think we need to listen to them and craft a bill that allows us to do the wiretapping and to do it legally instead of just simply circumventing the law talking to shower with the Democrats candidate for the US Senate here in Minnesota. Amy Klobuchar Hennepin County attorney. Amy Klobuchar. We have a full Bank of callers. Let me give you the number here, but don't call right now because you'll get a busy signal. Acknowledged then you'll get mad at us. But do try us and few minutes of some of the lines clear would like to get your question on 6512276 Thousand or one eight hundred two, four two two eight two eight a no Busy Signal's online. You can use our online service go to our website at Minnesota Public Radio dot organ and when you get there click on send a question Bob Europe first, go ahead, please are you saying that we should change the course not stay the course in Iraq, but you fail to Advocate a viable strategy for extracting our troops in Iraq. You don't call for all of our troops to withdraw by the end of next year or by the end of 2008 or 2009 or ever. My question is what policy do you Advocate to end the slaughter of our troops in Iraq? Well, thanks Bob for that question and I let me let me explain to you my position. I've been talking about this since the beginning and I believe it's important to look at this first of all. As a war that I believe we shouldn't have prosecuted the way we did. I was opposed to this war from the beginning. Once that decision was made we have to be responsible about how we leave Iraq We have basically destroyed this country's military and we've destroyed their police force and I believe that many many mistakes have been made and I believe they have been acknowledged we have retiring generals talking about the fact that we must change course. We in fact even has Senator Warner from the Senate armed services committee highest ranking Republican coming back and saying you know what I think we need to change course. The question is how we do that. I believe first of all, we need to transition responsibility to the Iraqi government and part of that does mean beginning to bring our troops home or redeploy them to countries nearby. I have advocated for that from the beginning. I do not believe that we can automatically bring all our troops home tomorrow or in the next month or in the to next two months. You know everyone would like that to happen, but I believe we cannot do that at this time. I do not believe that we should have permanent military bases. I differ from our Kennedy on this. He did not support a resolution that said we should have no permanent military bases in Iraq. I also believe that we need to acknowledge. What is happening right now in Iraq I said when I was on Meet the Press on Sunday that it is impossible to fix a problem when you don't acknowledge that it exists. Basically what's happened in Iraq right now is that it has it has devolved into a civil war eight times as many deaths this came out in March or from sectarian violence, then from bombs and you have a situation where you have Shiite militia roaming the streets picking up young men and shooting them in the head and then dumping them on the streets. And the answer to this is not more boots on the ground. It's not more a military, but the answer to this is a Political and diplomatic solution. I am not in any way advocating negotiating with terrorists as my opponent Mark Kennedy claimed any time you come up with an idea or a new Solution. That's where they go to and that's absolutely ridiculous what I'm talking about, which I believe Senator Warner and a number of other Republicans that differ from our Kennedy are talking about is the fact that we need to bring other countries into this we were able to negotiate settlements between parties after World War Two we were able to play a role in the negotiation of many settlements of conflicts throughout this world and I believe that's something that we have to look at is we go forward while still acknowledging that there is not only terrorism in rock. In fact report came out 16 agency the United States government who deal with National Intelligence that we've fomented Terror by our involvement in Iraq, but I also believe that we need to we need to make sure that we are are Using all of the Diplomatic means that we have to try to work to help to negotiate a settlement bring other countries in and get this done. So we truly transition to a rocky governance who should make policy in Iraq, the politicians or the Commander's on the ground. Well when it comes to the the political decisions and what's happening in the country you want their government to do that and and I believe ultimately you want the Iraqi people to make the decisions of policy in Iraq, when it comes to the military decisions about our country. You want to listen to the Commander's in the field you want to certainly listen to the generals retired generals at have spent time there and are coming back and are advocating for change. But ultimately it is the commander-in-chief that directs military strategy and one of the things that really bothers me with what's going on right now is Congress is not exercising any kind of oversight over what this Administration is doing in Iraq. Are you have a situation where they have given No bid contracts to Halliburton who's now it's come out as rang up ten billion dollars in cost overruns. They put a 24 year old in charge of the stock exchange with no Financial experience. They built a police academy for 75 million dollars, which now, it turns out the plumbing and so bad. They're going to have to partially demolish and I'm going to be a senator that goes to Washington to push for the tough Solutions and ask those tough questions. You know, why did they tell us there were weapons of mass destruction when there weren't why didn't they send enough troops to begin with to Iraq? Why'd they give these no-bid contracts to Halliburton? What is the plan to bring our troops home? Safely? What is a plan to train these police so that it works. I believe one we can do better and have more accountability in how we're helping Iraq and to that. We need to work with the rest of world to get a solution to what is essentially now devolved into a Civil War. What are so Senator Klobuchar do though when the little commanders come back from Iraq and say, you know, things are Going well we're doing well. We just have to stay the course don't do withdraw any troops and let's let's stick with it. What do you do then? Well, first of all, I think you're getting mixed reactions to that and I think from some generals are coming back and saying that we need to change course at this isn't working. So I don't think that you can work in a world like that with a hypothetical but I do believe, you know articles and the gall is serving generals have been pretty unanimous and sticking with it when some of them when they retire take a different position, but while they're serving they let's let's stick with it. Well again, I have not advocated for immediately withdrawing all of our troops from Iraq. I don't think that's the answer and I believe that when we do start bringing them home because I believe that this is essentially a decision to transition to a rocky governance and have them run their own country and I believe you just can't send the message like we just did that we're going to have the same number of troops on the ground in the year 2010. That's basically what this Administration just said. So I believe you need to start redeploying the troops and you have to ask the people the Commander's on the ground. This is the way we're headed. How can we do this to keep our own troops safe and to do the best things that's in the best interest of the Iraqi people and the answer may be what we can't bring them all home immediately. We have to redeploy some of them to areas so they can come back in if we need them. Those are the kinds of things that we need to listen to as you look back on how we got into a rack. Do you think the president lied to the (00:17:27) nation? Special Forces The vision of the best way to go because the sender supposed to listen to the Placentia from Atlanta better than even there for them. Gretchen (00:25:38) Is the Hybrid Toyota Prius which tops the government's annual list Toyota and Honda have a combined seven vehicles in the top 10 Ford Hyundai and Kia also have models getting high grades Duluth Forum on the Coast Guard's plans for live fire training exercises on Lake Superior Drew about as many supporters as opponents some worried about potential risks. To the environment and Wayward boaters last night's hearing was the first of several the Coast Guard has scheduled in Great Lake States during comment period that expires November 13th, the Coast Guard wants to establish 34 permanent live fire training zones across the Great Lakes authorities are investigating a shooting on A Street in South Minneapolis for the second time in 11 days. Two teenagers have life-threatening injuries after being shot last night just two houses down from where another teen was killed on October 5th. No arrests have been made in either case overcast skies for Minnesota again today for the most part areas of fog light rain may be mixed with some snow in the north highs in the low 40s Northwest to around 60 in the Southeast drizzle in the Twin Cities this hour, it's 52 degrees. All right. Thanks Steven. It's about 26 minutes and all before twelve. This is midday on Minnesota Public Radio over the noon hour. We're going to hear from a former, Minnesota Congressman Tim Penny and been Weber. They had an interesting session at the Humphrey Institute. Last week talking about the issues that they think will decide the election three weeks from today. So we'll hear what they had to say this hour. We're talking with Amy Klobuchar who is the dfl Party's candidate for the US Senate here in the state of Minnesota part of our meet the candidates series and best way to get your question on right now is to send it in online Minnesota Public Radio dot org and click on send a question. All right, you've been chomping at the bit to share a story from the Meet the Press experience over the weekend. Well, it was actually quite an honor to go on that show and it was great to have Minnesota featured like that our race and to debate the issues that are so important to the country, but it was also a lot of fun the when I walked in there the guy who is sort of our escort to show us in mentioned to me that this was the exact Studio where Kennedy and Nixon had debated and I said, oh this is great history and he said well actually, you know, that was the beginning of Nixon's downfall for his campaign and then I said and you know when you're done with the debate, they'll be kind of a Stakeout of TV cameras when you get out and if something really goes wrong in the debate, I can probably get you out another way. Well, this is not exactly a ringing endorsement. But anyway, I went well and Tim Russert was was charming and very interesting person and I my dad had asked me to see if he remembered since he was such a Buffalo Bills fan the game in 1976 when the Vikings played the bills in the playoffs. It was a cold snow storm and buffalo and the Vikings did quite well and the Buffalo Bill fans reacted by pummeling the Vikings with snowballs while they were still on the field and I told the story to russert's I don't know if you remember this game and he said remember it I threw a hundred of them. So it was it was he was it was a lot of fun. All right while we're on the subject of TV. Let me run three issues past you that that we've seen in TV ads number one the Minneapolis crime rate violent crime up 29 Sent in the city in the last year. How does that spike in crime reflect on your claim to be a tough prosecutor. Sure Gary. I just first want to put those numbers in some perspective here one is that I am the Hennepin County chief prosecutor Hennepin County's crime rate. When you look at it compared to the rest of the state Hennepin County's crime rate in the last eight years since I've been in office has gone down about 20% for the rest of the state. It's gone down 14% Minneapolis. As you mentioned in the last few years has seen an unacceptable increase in crime a spike in crime and we're seeing that actually in a number of large cities across the country this correlates at least in Minneapolis with a dramatic decrease in the number of police based on decisions on the local level the state level the federal level. I have met with both the governor and the mayor and given them my strong opinion that we need more police in Minneapolis. I know that the new Police chief chief Dolan is working very hard on that. The other piece of this that I think is necessary is to reinvigorate the juvenile police unit. That was broken down a number of years ago. I advocated two years ago. I met with chief mcmillin chief McManus and asked him to reconstitute that juvenile unit because we actually as we saw an increase in juvenile crime in Minneapolis, we were getting less referrals into our office. They have put that unit back together again, and I think that's going to be a dramatic part of this the strategy here is to make sure that those juvenile crimes are getting investigated and that they're treated with the kind of seriousness that they should be. Those are my two suggestions there. I am proud of the work of the people in our office. They have worked hard every day and they have some of the most difficult cases you can imagine and I'm proud of their work. We have a 91 percent conviction rate. They have increased jury trials by 50% since I came into office. We have gotten very tough sentences against a lot of Pete and violent offenders and we're going to continue that work and we were even rewarded and the Bush Administration believe it or not the bush justice department awarded our office of one of ten leadership sites for prosecution of community prosecution, which involves livability crimes Social Security benefits for illegal immigrants Congressman. Kennedy says that you would have voted to support the bill that was before the Senate which he says would provide illegal immigrants with social security benefits. You have denied that he stands by the charge. How are people supposed to decide the truth? If we could just step back on the immigration issue, which is a major issue confronting our country. I believe that we need to get order back at the border. I believe we need to bring the reason of law back into this you've got people waiting and I've heard from so many immigrants about this their family members waiting years five years to get in Legally into our country while we have people coming in. Illegally that has to stop Supported more resources at the border and I've supported the fence but at the same time this Congress all they have done for six years. Now, they finally gotten the fence Bill through is is talk about this and political reasons to try to use this some kind of wedge issue. I think that's wrong. I see said that I supported the principles and the McCain bill. This is the McCain Kennedy bill that the congressman is talking about that involved more resources at the border. I also believe we need to have a no amnesty for companies that are hiring illegal workers and then finally some kind of earned citizenship for people that have been here years or willing to learn English willing to pay fines have paid their taxes that we have to look at some kind of earned citizenship and guest worker program. Those are some of the principles that were in the McCain Kennedy Bill Congressman. Kennedy is wrongfully claiming that that bill also included a provision for Social Security benefits for illegal immigrants. He is wrong about that and not only that I have told him several. All times I did not support that and that I would have supported an amendment that would have cleared existing law of allowing Social Security benefits for illegal immigrants despite the facts that are in his face. He continues to claim this that's up to him, but I will say one interesting note on this is Senator Norm Coleman voted for the McCain Kennedy Bill and like Senator Dayton and as I would have done he voted in favor of an amendment that would have made it very clear that existing law would not allow illegal immigrants to get Social Security benefits. So here you have Congressman Kennedy again. I know he's behind I know that they're desperate but making claims that are false about me and about what I stand for. This is what they have been doing for a month and a half. They've been distorting things. They've been running ads that distort things. That's up to them. What I love about our state Gary is that the people are rejecting this kind of politics in our race. They are clearly one. They clearly want to Someone to Washington who wants to get something done for people. We've got our North Star Dent agenda about affordable health care and energy Independence and doing something about this deficit which is gone from a 300 billion two hundred billion dollar Surplus to a 250 billion dollar deficit under Congressman Kennedy's watch and they want to change course in Iraq. These are the things that we've been talking about to people whether they're in flum or Worthington or Rochester or Brooklyn Park in terms of the deficit. Do you want to raise taxes 1.5 trillion dollars, this is another Claim by the congressman and and let me tell you two things about this. First of all, we have been very clear about what I think we need to do about this deficit one out of 12 of our federal tax dollars is going to interest on this deficit but and I want to raise taxes 1.5 trillion dollars. I believe that we need could I explain how I believe we need to cut the federal budget and I look at this as year by year by year. And this is how what we can do in one year we can cut four hundred billion. That was four hundred billion dollars from the federal budget which would pay down the deficit so we can Shore up Social Security and give us about a hundred billion dollars left for some more middle-class tax cuts to help pay for college in those kinds of things. Okay, you roll back the tax cuts for the people who are in the top 1% making over three hundred thirty six thousand a year that comes to about 56 billion dollars you close those tax shelters on the multi millionaires who are shielding their money in the Cayman Islands. This report came out August 1st. That's 70 billion dollars. You post capital gains at brokerage houses that are independent validator so that you can do something about the underpayment of capital gains tax that is 17 billion dollars. You can cut back on this discretionary spending on things like the bridges to nowhere and the, you know, waterless urinals in Michigan and the rainforest in Iowa. If even go back to the levels that we had during the Clinton administration. The stration that's 15 billion cut right there because there's been a 50% increase in this discretionary spending getting rid of the no-bid contracts. So you actually have competitive bringing bidding brings in 10 billion dollars getting rid of some of these will give aways getting rid of the gifts that the drug companies were given 45 billion for the government 45 billion for consumers a seniors every single year going back to the pay as you go rules that we had during the Clinton Administration. We basically said if you're going to do some more tax cuts fine, but show how are you going to pay for it? If you're going to do more spending fine, but show, how are you going to pay for it that brings in an estimated 18 billion a year going forward. So you add it all up and it comes to about 400 billion dollars and it basically pays takes care of the deficit balances the budget so we can start showing up Social Security and have some money left to you know, you know pay for some education spending and do something about the the college loans which are getting harder. Harder for kids two kids to get and kids to afford to go to college doing something about affordable health care. That's what we're talking about. And what has Congressman Kennedy proposed if he'd go on your show, maybe you could ask him this he has proposed three point six trillion dollars in new spending. It's on our website Amy Klobuchar.com with an analysis three point six trillion dollars in new spending and absolutely no way to pay for it. He has been asked repeatedly about that and he just says well, let's go to electronic medical records. I support electronic medical records. They're great, but that isn't going to pay for it three point Six Trillion when I was at the state fair I said to him, you know, when I was at the beer garden, I heard some college kids saying that they're remember this because you're moderating this debate that there was too much foam in their beer. That's what his plan is. It's all foam and no beer and what we have been doing we've been running ads on the deficit. We've been showing that we're going to roll back the tax cuts on the people making over 336. I just want to clarify on the tax part of it. I mean, I know you've said you want to basically Reduce the deficit by 400 billion a year. Yeah, and then spreading attack but just in terms of the tax cuts 1.5 trillion over 10 years had that from what you just said. I'm not certain of that because we're talking about both spending and tax cuts. And I don't I don't believe that that's the correct figure but I'll get I'll get back to you on that Congressman Kennedy though says that well, I mean if it comes more or less to that Congressman Kennedy those says that a tax cut or tax increase I should say of that magnitude would absolutely devastate the economy. Let me say that the only taxes I am talking about changing in terms of going back to the Clinton levels rolling back are for the top one percent people making over three hundred thirty six thousand when he says that'll derail the economy. I say it'll only derail a few yacht sails. I mean basically we're talking about going back to the Clinton levels for the top one percent at a time when Clinton was President our economy was booming. We were taking care of the deficit our Was in order and I believe and we were producing more jobs. So I believe that that his path in which we're spending more and more and more on interest on this debt and you suggesting more and more spending and he won't come on your program to discuss exactly how he's going to pay for this that is not a plan that's heading us straight into bankruptcy that is talking about living on a credit card like we've been doing for the last six years and that's a choice in this election are people tired of this propaganda and I believe that they are and do they want to do something about energy Independence and get our fiscal house back in order and start moving toward affordable healthcare and change course in Iraq, or do they want more of the same? What about social security Congressman Kennedy says that in addition to the one and a half trillion dollar tax increases that you're talking about. You also want to essentially increase social security taxes by one and a half trillion dollars true. I do not want to change Social Security taxes. Again. This is untrue. I A major budget speech at the Carlson management school. There were a number of financial people there. And what I said there is that I believe that if you get the deficit under control, you can start showing up Social Security and history proves. This is true when Clinton left his president right at that time, he was starting to put 200 billion dollars a year. That was his plan put two hundred billion dollars a year for Social Security you do that when he left we had 15 more years on the life of Social Security than we do now. It's gone back by 15 years because they have rated this Congress has raided the Social Security fund nine point two five billion dollars. Remember Al Gore's lockbox when he was talking about as much as he was ridiculed for it was keeping Social Security and a lock box to keep it safe for our seniors and for all of us as we reach retirement age. Not that you're anywhere near that Gary but in any case that's what we need to go back to is that kind of fiscal sanity, and then we will be able to The budget in place so we can Shore up Social Security. I believe that that's how we should do this. But you're not or are you proposing for example, raising the retirement age or increasing lifting the cap on Social Security taxes? It would be a hard sell on me to get those things through because when I look at you know, the people that my dad grew up with up there up north working in Iron ore mines and I look at a lot of the cops. I'm working with every day. They've got tough jobs and it's easy for you and I to talk about raising that Social Security age. It's not easy for them. What I have said, is it some point a bipartisan commission has to be put together that's truly bipartisan with both parties putting people on it. They've got to look at all options. But I believe the first option in the best option is to get our financial house in order so we can Shore up Social Security. So we don't have to go to those options tax philosophy question for you. Amy Klobuchar. Is it true that by cutting tax rates cutting taxes? You actually stimulate the economy. Nanami increase tax revenues and create jobs and everybody is better off long-term. You know, I believe it always has to be a balance and certainly you want to make sure that people have enough money to invest in our economy that businesses are able to thrive and that's why I have been very focused on what I've proposed here, you know, it is not dramatically hurting Minnesota businesses to look at the top one percent of individuals and how and simply rolling back there their taxes to the level. They were at the Clinton Administration. I don't believe you know is going to derail our economy. I think it's going to help our economy. I believe the engine of the economy has always been our strong middle class and it is getting tougher and tougher for them to get by basically this Administration and this Congress that Congressman Kennedy has been part of has been tilting the playing field against the middle class for the last six years when you go to Alexandria, and there's hundred twenty people gathered in a coffee house when you figure there's only going to be 10 and you have two tables together. You think what's going on? And that's what I figured out, you know what it is when you've got less disposable income and health premiums go up 60 percent in the last six years. Like they have it's harder to afford health care when you've got less disposable income and the gas prices go up to 3 bucks a gallon like they have this summer and you got a longer way to drive to work. It's harder to afford your gas. When you've got two kids you want to send to college and tuition at the University of Minnesota has gone up 80 percent in just the last seven years, which it has 65 percent at st. Cloud State when those things have happened to you. It's harder and you're trying to work more and more jobs to send your kids to college. And when it's your kids that are going to Iraq like so many small towns in this state and it's your neighbors kids and it's your grandkids and it's your cousin you feel it first in your heart. That's what's going on on this state and people are tired of this. They know that we need to have some long-term solutions that we can't just say. Well the solution to Health Care is Medicare Part D where we give the drug companies 90 billion dollars a year in Smith presents because we refused to negotiate them or that the solution is to give more giveaways to the oil companies when we should be investing in the farmers in the workers of the Midwest. They see through this this year. They see through it and they want to see change in Washington and that's why I'm running for this office terms of negotiating drug prices Congressman. Kennedy says that's going to lead to rationing. He says it definitely has in the VA system, which you he says you've held out as a model true Congressman Kennedy saying I'm going to ration drugs that is ridiculous. My mom called me the day she saw that ad when he claimed I wanted to ban Lipitor. I guess what my mom's on Lipitor if you think I'm going to ban Lipitor, you don't know my mom what I have isn't it? True that some of the drug companies could say look, we're not interested in negotiating with you federal government, and we're not going to do that. I seriously doubt they're going to do that when we have 33 million and possibly 44 million if you include all of them seniors eligible for Medicare Part D my point with This when you look at Veterans Affairs, and I'm not holding out the choices of drugs. I'm just holding out the fact that they negotiate there's only 7 million people in that and they were able to negotiate for certain drugs much better prices to the point that for the top 22 drugs. It is cheaper 50% cheaper for veterans under Veterans Affairs than it is for seniors under Medicare Part D. That's where the ninety billion dollars comes from and 90 billion a year average. And so what I believe is that you need to negotiate with the drug companies to get better prices. Are you you also have to allow for the re importation of drugs from Canada which congressman Kennedy does not support but you have people like gilgit Nick and Governor pawlenty supporting what I'm saying? Is he is Hook Line & Sinker with this Administration what they want and the people of Minnesota want to move in a New Direction. I want to see change Neil your question, please. Hello. Yes, you're on the air. No, finally, I thank you so much for waiting for so long. I was filibustering here with questions. Go ahead. Well a couple of things, you know, the it sounds like class Warfare to me because there's two things there's 850,000 oil wells in the world. There's 525,000 oil wells in the United States. We have given the tax breaks to the oil companies to produce oil from Wells that do 10 to 15 barrels a day. Otherwise, they get shot in we wouldn't have the oil so you have increased oil dependency on the Middle East if we don't give the tax breaks so we get the oil which is going to drive oil prices up. The other thing is, you know, I'm a small business owner. I make the $200,000. Well, guess what I own a subchapter S corporation that money goes back into my company. All right. So all of these people that you're going to put there's one percent that are making this money we hire people. Okay, and we get Tax on the income of the corporation because it's a subchapter S corporation and if you take more of that money away, I can't hire as many people you're going to kill jobs and and this hold this is class Warfare. We've got a tax policy that encourages oil and if you say alternative energy is the answer then you don't understand the energy at all because we're only talking about a fraction of one or two percent. Okay. Thanks Haley everything. Okay. Thank you. Let's zero in on the point that Neil makes about he file he's a business guy files as an individual and your tax plan is going to hit him in the pocketbook. He's not going to be able to create jobs. And so how is this good for the good for the country again? Let's repeat what I'm talking about. I'm talking about for the people making over three hundred thirty six thousand a year. That is the top one percent. That's where the index is rolling back those tax rates to the Levels the Clinton Administration during that time. We had a record number of jobs produced and our economy was thriving. So let's that's a historical fact the the other thing with small businesses what I hear from that more than anything is that it is getting harder and harder for them to afford Healthcare and that is because the premiums in Minnesota has gone up 60% We have a high coverage rate in our state because of the some of the work the legislature did with kids, but the bottom line is small businesses and the self-employed that's why I've suggested opening up the federal health care plan. There's 8 million people on it to allow small businesses and the self-employed to buy in average health care plan for that the Congressional health care plans about $9,500. Let them Buy in there already saving money that way but give them tax credits so that you can get the total cost not the out-of-pocket not the premiums, but the total cost almost in half. This is a huge benefit to small businesses in the self-employed as for energy. I I disagree that we can just that we should just keep spending all our money on oil cartels in the Mideast. There are countries like Brazil that have found their own fuel efficiency because they've been willing to do it. We have to have the determination to do it in this country. It doesn't just have to be corn and soybeans. Although that's great for Minnesota and I support it and we want to get those standards in place for ethanol and biodiesel. We're talking about hybrid cars were talking about hydrogen. We're talking about switchgrass. We're talking about other forms of biomass, you know, if we can put a man on the moon we can do this and to me we simply can't go and keep going the way that we are going if you're elected. Will you make any effort to repeal the No Child Left Behind federal education law, I believe that we should repeal that law. I don't agree with it. I come at the background of going to public school my mom teaching in the public school. So she was 70 my daughter in the public school right now. We're last year a sixth-grade class of 37 kids. I believe that we need to change that law at the very least if they're not going to Change it. We got a funded. They said leave no child behind but they left the money behind in a cost, Minnesota 91 million dollars and they're concerned though that a lot of kids were graduating with what amounted to empty diplomas. Oh, I think there's things that we have to do with standards. It's just the way that they put that law together in terms of the the the complexity of it and the punitive nature of it that I don't think made any sense. I do believe in testing. I do believe in standards. I just think there's a better way than that law terms of a deficit-reduction congressman. Kennedy says one big tool would be a line item veto for the president. Do you agree? I support the line-item veto but I don't believe that should be our first front. It's amusing to me that Congressman Kennedy claims that it's almost like saying Save Me From Myself. He is the one that has voted to get our debt up to nine trillion dollars. He's voted for This president's budget. He's voted for the bridges to nowhere and the rainforest in Iowa and I believe the first course of action instead of having to go through a whole Constitutional Amendment the first Of course of action should be getting those pay-as-you-go rules in place and having Congress take control of its own spending instead of making someone else tell them to do it pundits say, you know, when all is said and done the Republicans have a much better get out the vote effort. And even though you're way ahead according to the polls. You could still be upset November 7th true. Oh Gary, you haven't seen our staff our Mighty staff and our volunteer base all over the state. We have lawn signs everywhere. Jeff blood to just came on Paul wellstones campaign manager to help us in this last month. He's a good friend of mine. And we have a Grassroots effort like no other people are excited. We have worked so hard and Rural Minnesota and visited all 87 counties and done events there something I'm going to do every year meet with people in all 87 counties if I'm honored to be the next Senator and we're going to get that Grassroots machine going like you've never seen before Amy Klobuchar. Thanks for coming in today and good luck to you. Well, thank you so much Gary. Look forward to seeing you. Again. Amy Klobuchar, who is Democrats candidate for the US Senate here in the state of Minnesota joining us as our meet the candidates series continues on midday another big event. By the way in the US Senate race the Fitzgerald debate Sunday, November 5th, the last debate of the campaign seven o'clock at the Fitzgerald theater downtown st. Paul open to the public. So put that on your calendar Senate candidates at seven gubernatorial candidates at 8:00 programming is supported by the improve group providing research evaluation and planning to help organizations make important decisions and Excel in their work more about their services in the new inside Groove blogs online at the improved group.com.