Jul 16, 2014|
Angela talks with author Mike Moffett about his book "Granddad's Dictionary" and about what makes America great.
We're discussing the hot topics of the day with co-host of First Take, Todd Menesses.
Angela discusses the shooting in Lafayette and says farewell to WWL as she hands her timeslot off to Scoot.
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Angela talks with WWL-TV investigative reporter Katie Moore and Tulane law professor Tania Tetlow about the city's backlog of uninvestigated rape cases.
Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)
Wanna thank Chad Perez for coming coming on lots of insight I really enjoyed listening to. We're gonna do a little bit of a shift excuse me Bergen talk about America hold on 12. Got all choked up. When we talk about America I get choked up and do you ever feel like we're losing what makes America great. How to we revitalize our nation. How to we leave our children by United States were proud. One of his first in jobs in education. One that has been excused the financial and moral discipline. Perhaps we can start that conversation with grand -- dictionary. A book written by local businessman and entrepreneur nor Michael Moffett. A book that defines and discusses. 65 words that make us look at our values. And ourselves. Author Michael -- is our guest today for the next hour excuse me I'm so sorry. I can't believe this is happening. Last hour I love your book let me just say that I loved your book I love the whole premise of that and I wanna know why you Rhode. Well I started out writing it for my kids I started out there was a long time ago about you know you always think well I forgot the future minister. Whatever. At same time I kept a journal starting my first college kept a journal about. Economics and about the a lot of lot of public policy issues. And -- starter in the book for my kids in the and I realize that they they all came together that are. One of the biggest problems that I see that sort of -- of the book is that. We really don't apply our traditional. Personal values to what we're doing government and if we just thought of government the way we think about a personalized we'd probably do things look differently. Well you're not a democratic Republican you're not talking parties you're talking. Something much bigger and no my my political heroes William Gladstone. Under Queen Victoria. Increase helping gave to people and decrease the size of the government by 50%. That would be my hero so what's -- Before we get into the book and I hope that people will be listening because it's. I think it's gonna ring bells for a lot of people. We love this country I think some of the -- or having concerns that we're seeing frail little bit. So how to we get back on track on the really tremendous things that made this country great. Which was the value system of those people who built it. The wonderful tribute to give to your grandparents. It's a beautiful thing. Caller I learned a lot from my from my. And you know an immigrant parents -- learn from it -- right. -- who let this go ahead and start with with accountability. You have a great statement in there. Said she who's now looking for it. Yes. Corruption clogs the productive machinery of cooperative endeavors. History is the witness that most civilizations eventually are plagued by corruption. And that corruption is invariably a seed of their ultimate collapse. Accountability is the lubricant that removes the friction of corruption and keeps a civilization functioning smoothly. I just accountability is the demanded acceptance of responsibility. We've lost accountability. We have we -- in -- in so many ways. We have. You know we we've convert ourselves from. Thinking everybody should help themselves long way to thinking that. 20% of our population is somehow disadvantaged and and can't be held accountable for. Any aspect of improvement alliances which is tragic yes it is it's a great number of people and it's it's a almost a dismissal of those people. You know so what do we do had -- we get that accountability back. Well I think we have to think differently and this is this is wondering. One of the reasons that I -- very carefully made it not a political book. Because you really can't blame the politicians. You have to blame blame what we demand from. If you know pot of people go to Washington and and they get power and and they get a lot of forces on them. And they no matter no matter what they seemed. Not be immune to. The idea that government can do everything and we have to be you'd have to understand the government can't do everything. Someone asked me well planned this all began. And my first answer was well Plato predictive that. Democracies go to two despotism. But if I really believe that was necessary when about accurate book. But. On the other hand I think a lot about the Franklin Roosevelt's third and I bureau when he. Declared the four freedoms that. Freedom to. For extra speech freedom of worship freedom from want to freedom from fear fear. Well freedom from want if you think about it it's freedom from hope because we want to we hope for. And freedom from fear this freedom from doubt. Which really is slavery is if there's no doubt in your life mind then. -- -- -- control so it seems to me what he should -- service. Is freedom to pursue. Root for the pursuit of freedom from. Doubt and the pursuit of freedom from fear but we have to do that on our own we can't we -- to government can't do that. All rights was. Was defined. As protection from the government. Not protection by ago. Right. That is such an important. Distinction -- You write a wonderful thing about them. American exceptional listen to talk about that. Or hero you know we hear a lot about it we heard it is interest in -- when when. Our president. Early in his term was asked about American exceptional -- -- -- start talking about Greek exceptional ism and all these other countries exceptional ism but. The fact is that America. It is by any measure exceptional and in what we've. -- wealth that we built in in this country the creativity. The the the gift of freedom that we gave to Europe. And World War II would preserve that the generosity that we. Gave to Europeans and to the Japanese after the war yes. This country has. History of of of of tremendous creativity. And if you look at what we've done in our own. Country that values that we have a we have great charitable values we've we give a lot. And yet. We now seem to be seating all that is something that. We don't do as individuals and we don't have to worry about that because. Washington well but Washington isn't capable of doing has not these fig about how could how can Washington. Organize and manage all the resources that it that it charged its just. So. I'm gonna quote you again. Few citizens of the United States during its first 150. Years believe that anyone especially government. -- citizens anything other than liberty and opportunity. As protected in the bill of rights. That's an astounding statement that is true. It is true and yet we've sort of what strayed from that. So the citizens not all of them and -- not to use the liberty to exploit opportunity. Inherent in this process was an appetite for risk willingness. Even a necessity to take risk and to accept that he who takes the risk is accountable for both the winnings and losses. I don't know if it that this is just very thought provoking to me and I I hope you enjoyed writing it. I I really that I enjoy it right yeah I enjoyed. I did a lot of research or -- because. It's important at the factory. Mean a lot of those thoughts proposal affects in the book to him. But it -- and one of the things that the American exceptional -- peace. Ends with talking about its eroding that were given away and the principles we were giving it away to his debt. And yes that was the -- and and John Adams said. There are. Two ways to enslave the nation one is by the sword and the others -- adept. And that the debt. That we're carrying this is so incredible. This is that it and people don't seem to understand I mean the national debt Broussard wrote the national debt. Which is bonds we have outstanding. Now we -- about the bonds in public hands so all the debt that's in government hands although. Two trillion dollars of monetary easing the still debt. And and but its debt that the government owes itself because they're printed the money. But it's ill either has to be paid in and in by inflated dollars in and less valuable dollars or has to be paid by liquidating of that. And and then you had to that. About three times more. Of liabilities for social security and for Medicare for. For her securities were now selling sub prime automobile loans so the government -- We've insured pensions for for people and so you -- up all that. That's 3000 dollars for every man woman and child has not mine number that's that's that's. Numbers of people Smart and I give him credit up. And we're gonna have to pay that back. When have to pay it back -- we stick our head in the sand or we just saying. It's so overwhelming you can't grasp it. But it it it doesn't have to. You know what that's a good line to stop -- Stay with -- everyone we're gonna pick it up right there doesn't have to be overwhelming were talking about grand -- to dictionary. Reflections on life in America Michael Moffett. Stay with this I'm Angela under the W well. Well we're talking about the great nation of America. What -- -- then what it is. On the -- really of Michael Moffett who is just written a book called granddad to dictionary. Reflections on life in America. And as we left it talking about the socialism on America I just I think that is terrific phrase first of all. And and we are exceptional in many ways. And it is the self reliance and it is arm that culture of giving we've had. But the downside is is we are facing this enormous debt and that is that can unravel a nation. And so your telling me don't be overwhelmed financial. Well you know little -- Gladstone. Redstone was was prime minister of Great Britain four times in them and Victoria image. And the and the rest of the time he used the the leader of the opposition and and he was curmudgeon that he. He was it was a classical royalties he believes and helping the people in the -- and increasing government services. But he never raise taxes in -- you reduce taxes. And -- and and he he didn't have the debt problems on much but he had Vick he had one of the biggest problems they had do this'll sound familiar is cronyism. And corruption. And he shut down the East India Co. relationships with through the government to shut down all the all the corporate welfare. And and all the loopholes and so forth than in all the things that government really didn't have to do. And he cut the size of the current by by half in terms and if you look at a more recent thing our our at least our stated debt. Is less today than it was at the end of World War II in relation to to the to have to a size of our economy. So cutting back to that level. It really isn't isn't necessarily. Impossible. The entitlements or another little problem but we have longer to solve that problem. Because the problem comes little by little but if if you don't solve it now. Then when it comes it will alone and and that's what this seems to -- is that the thing that people don't realize is that. Every time somebody says well we're gonna have to fix Social Security where we are gonna have to fix news we're gonna either after. Taxed more preparing for a we're gonna have to make the dollars by last. Or we're gonna have to us change the structure some wolf we think now and say let's plan for its figured out. Our proposals. That have been on the table and unfortunately. Don't get discussed very much. Simpson Bowles made -- a big step forward you know the bipartisan commission. And and yet absolutely nothing. That they proposed who has even been debated. -- Well it is -- most most people would answer that. Partisanship. And I guess I would have to answer that way too but I think it's it's also it's more important its leadership. We we do we and it's and it's money and if you if you. Really look at the if you look at we talked about accountability. If you look at corruption. If you go out to. Jewelry store you walk up and -- the street -- wanna buy a piece of jewelry and you look at the very issue resources no possibility for corruption because you're informed buyer. And your buying from a in a competitive situation. With your own money and so corruption has no meaning there. Where corruption. Is enabled it's enabled by spending other people's money. It's enabled by spending without accountability. And that is what we do in Washington and that's what we're doing a lot of state capitals as well. As we are people spending money that's not their money that they're not accountable for and we just need to start saying now we're not and put up with anymore. As a taxpayer I've said this for many years. If we had to write a check. Every month. To the federal government for taxes right to check every month. To state government for our taxes where was automatically withdrawn and our patriot we would have a clear understanding. Of the amount of money we're spending. And giving to the government. And perhaps then might be a little more alert we could we talk about overspending all the time but it's it's and it's not defined well. I'm talking about the money you get an idea and where's it going. Right well. But that's really only part of it if you took if you take. That the taxes and the regulations in the cost of the regulations. I think interest in things in there is about. The growth in the slow in the last century the growth. Of lawyers and accountants and doctors. And medical people. And you would say well Arroyo certainly goes a lot more lawyers showed his heroics made bad jokes -- lawyers but things are well as. Have accounts drawn more -- doctors -- more well surprise accountants have grown more accounts of -- or because. They have to keep score that he always examiners are. We have a propensity to. -- regulates. And great. 1935. We we established the federal register. To keep track of regulations have never been needed before 1935. Today it's 85000. Pages a year. During that's ridiculous. We. The Affordable Care Act regardless of whether you like hitter like the principles of order and I. The -- on -- page that. I don't need to be more ridiculous in this say we'll have to pass and then read it right. How could how could we be more ridiculous than that. It in in India we accept that we've we've put up. That's unbelievable to me. Stay with us everyone because we're gonna continue with grand -- dictionary right after the news. Our special guest today is Michael -- author of grand dad's dictionary reflections on life in America. Again just a very interesting approach to looking out. Who we are what we are. Kind of where we're going. Not all a pretty sight of the and may be where we need to get back on track is that correct things -- -- yes so you're looking at we were just talking about our American government and the the madness of passing a bill that's all 11100 pages in a -- That's affecting all of us. Wachovia. The the other interesting thing and I -- actor friends and they get angry at the drug companies and everything. And estimates and you know if you as a director. Have a patient and he has to pay 10% of the cost. Out of his pocket. Will you would you give him the best value in Madison. Would you recommend in the best value -- just going to brother and Chris -- all cores. But people don't people don't have any skin in the game. And I think that one of the one of the most interesting things if you think runner Texas and some symbols. Protect -- and several we have always tax expenditures rule. What's the biggest tax expenditures is deductions for charitable giving. Now Warren Buffett complains about his secretary. Paying higher tax rate than he does well of course she does because Warren Buffett. Takes founders -- Of Berkshire Berkshire Hathaway. That if he sold he'd have to play at 20% tax -- on and then you have to. -- gives that's. The gates foundation. And -- takes full deduction that sort of -- another 40%. So the government is essentially paying 6065. Cents on the dollar plus estate taxes. The estate masters. Of that and so who's paying the rest though. This panda who's paying for. The 65% of those taxes that Warren Buffett is a pain while as secretary is somewhere she has -- The secretary and by the way humanize him and all of us so why why do we end and so what happens as we've given up we're used to be. We took responsibility for people. You look around a long as you say how many. Cherries -- in laws are people trying to help disadvantaged kids. I -- you know issues Hillary's kitchen and -- reconcile on. The saints -- group and there's there's just Tonto there are people actually care yes people do things. With their money to help people. And that the whole assumption of government is that they don't. And so what what what we need to look at is say why is a government have to get a -- maturity at all. When the government gives tax deduction for. Natural foundation they give a tax deduction. To the buffet foundation that you -- text selection of the foundation reverend rock star -- -- -- you know who has a foundations simply took. Avoids taxes and to be able to get -- they were probably give away anyway. And that pace from friends salaries and whatever. So why is -- -- do that I'm paying to I'm paying taxes the sport. Churches and mosques and museums that exhibit things that I don't believe they should exhibit then whatever you know -- -- so. I should it would give who I wanna do and you should -- -- you who you -- given you should be able to. Go with your money and help the people but all this gets ruled out when we say well. All this stuff is it's Texas knuckles were all -- it all -- effect -- and it cost us a tremendous amount of money. So it. If we just said let's let's clean up the Texaco. Let's. And then say well what it was a government to effectively one of the words in the book. That. I had no intention rave about it was completely out of -- screen. Was native Americans. I'm always known that did you know week. Killed some ten million America native Americans who came here and I felt bad about that. And but you can draw our rationale that well as a clash of civilizations. All land but it -- stopped there. We -- -- stealing from the Indians. And we still treat the Indians you know its its promise of having grown up in the south and the fifty's and sixty's it's very reminiscent of the federal government. Action on the belief that the Indians simply can't take care of themselves and so we have to take care of them. Where we heard that before that's ridiculous. Here's part of our population that we treat like like their hand on slave master treated. And it is the Indians file lawsuit after lawsuit they end up settling. There's. It's a very interesting. Thing how's -- -- five -- to -- as -- it is. It's just. Appalling. This is -- that there is really talks mostly about a AO lawsuit. Black foot. Indian. That went in the end the there was it took two decades to settle. And finally. That was settled. Yeah and for world for a two billion dollars. Of which one point four or for 3.4 billion which which two billion was to buy property. From individual Indians so they really didn't give him anything. This to a government paid one point four billion for what Arthur Andersen had. We had to. Determine was more like a twenty or thirty billion dollar problem. And the the quote was. Present -- called the importance to step toward reconciliation. Interior secretary -- -- cows are -- with this settlement now final this is like 2007. US. Where is -- now finally a couple of years of discord behind us and starting new chapter in our nation to nation rose -- relationship. So my my comment on that is that this new chapter includes no penalties no interest no acknowledgement of malfeasance by the government. No commitment to manage the trust for the Indians differ. Foreclosure of any settlements for several 100000 native native Americans. Living on reservations and other travel numbers not represented in the soon. The settlement continues to promise that Indians are incompetent to handle their land affairs so the United States needs to retain. Legal title to their land as atrocity. The new chapter and is now being written perpetuates. Or 125 years of theft fraud. In incompetence by the under an Indian affairs you know pretty much how I feel. But but. The guys say wouldn't it be more satisfying. If through chapter began with a emancipation of America native Americans. Given mr. tribes clear table to title for the remaining 56 million reserve acres. Have not been pilfered. The requirement of the title transfer could be a corporate corporations or partnerships or whatever structures each tribe chooses. So long as the ownership and control accrues every immigrant -- individual members the -- And a root -- best of all. Then labor bureau and of Indian affairs to be terminated. No longer having anything to steeler mismanaged and no longer costing taxpayers whose two point six billion. Dollars each year to do so. I think that's that's an example but if you go to the department of Education. Department -- occasion does nothing in front lines of education. They support. Headstart. Because other people outside the government have made early child where. Education work and they haven't. They they support spending all kinds of money they spend a thousand dollars a year per. Student. In poetry and high school. If we if we shut it down. I can get assure you. There's very little there would be missed. By the real educators. So. As we could do we should go through the government on. And just say everything in the government that we do needs to justify its. It's not work and unload them stay with -- everyone will be right. Local businessman Michael Moffett -- all -- her nor has written a book called grand dad's dictionary. Reflections on life in America. And just to sort of put -- and he's going to have a book signing and don't forget to say this. This Saturday or Sunday this Sunday at Faulkner book -- in the quarter. At 2 PM Faulkner books along some other authors of that will be a fun day. This book is really saying. Our values what built this nation into the great nation that it is. Perhaps we are losing some of those have to look at them again things have gotten out of whack whether it's our tax system whether it's our. Federal government -- you know bloated and non functioning at times. Am I correct. That we have a lot of problems and hand but the book is really optimistic well that was my next words -- you talk of optimism. Where do you where are you optimistic. Well. I'm optimistic because because people do. Have the capability we still have the constitution we still have. The ability to change ourselves that we have to think differently and and we have to think differently as of people. If if we. Decided that we want the government to do everything then. We will eventually. No longer be don't be a world power and and we will. -- we may lose a lot more than that. But if we decide as a people. That. We're gonna we're gonna go back to the values that. We created. Or were created for us them. We can do that but it's it's it's it's not because politicians are bad is because we've let them be bad we've we've tolerated -- Both in anyway and put. When you -- -- you know why what are aren't trying to tell my kids. -- try to tell my kids think her trying to jump in it and think of our work when somebody says some do you think about what they're saying. That's like you know we we talked about about about income disparity in how bad it is but the income disparities statistics over -- A pretext that this success there completely warped by our Texas them. If we really. We really have to recognize that that there were competition is increasing. Competition by its nature helps just perfect ourselves that makes us more and equal. We want competition we love competition. -- -- we celebrate the event is the Olympic champion gets the gold medal. The guy who comes in second. Doesn't get Goldman -- -- comes in fourth gets nothing. And and and yet we say well everybody has to be equal low. Were equal and our humanity. And and we're equal and are in our entitlement to be treated with the golden rule. But in many other respect were not equal owners shouldn't we should think this is the country you was founded and competition. And individual. Efforts and accountability. And on that note I'm going to think Michael Moffett. Granddad dictionary can get it all the bookstores. Again Sunday 2 PM Faulkner books he'll be there to sign thank you. Thank you -- your thoughts on all of this. We'll be right back.