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Entries in Hillary Clinton (3)

Thursday
Jun212012

America’s Bad Economy Is Biggest Foreign Policy Threat

Win McNamee/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- In a wide-ranging conversation between current Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Former Secretary of State James Baker focused on American foreign policy held at the State Department on Wednesday, some of the liveliest comments centered on what’s happening here at home.

Baker made it clear that in his view the biggest threat to America right now isn’t Iran or China or the Middle East uprisings, but our own economy.

“We better damn well get our economic house in order,” he told the crowd, to which Clinton responded with, “Amen to that!”

She told the audience that she’s spent much of her tenure as Secretary of State “reassuring” the world’s leaders in government and in business that the U.S. economy is moving forward, and that the American government recognizes “We have to put our economic house in order.”

Clinton told a funny story about one Hong Kong visit where she encountered nervous billionaires.

“I was in Hong Kong during the debt ceiling debate and all these billionaire moguls were at this event, lining up with anxiety asking if the United States of America was going to default on its debt,” said Clinton, who then joked, ”I said ‘Oh nooo.’”

Clinton then had an anxious look on her face which made the audience laugh.  But Wednesday’s hyper-partisanship and its effects on American foreign policy were no laughing matter.

Clinton talked about how during the last three administrations, despite often heated rhetoric, when it came to issues of foreign policy and the economy, ultimately the two parties would find a compromise with the president.  Not so with this administration, Clinton observed.

“We have to get back into the political work of rolling up our sleeves and solving these problems,” she said.

Though a staunch Republican, Baker backed her up.

“I don’t disagree with that at all,” the former secretary said.  “I hate to tell you this but based on my political and civil service experience, it ain’t happening before November.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Dec062011

Washington's Wealthy, Wealthier and…Not So Wealthy

Hemera/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama’s net worth in 2010 was $7.3 million, but in the same year Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had a net worth of $31 million, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Their report says even Obama’s chiefs of staff are wealthier than he is -- at least according to publicly available records. Bill Daley, the current chief of staff, had a 2010 net worth of $28.7 million -- almost four times Obama’s own earnings -- while the one who held the position before Daley, Rahm Emanuel, had a 2010 net worth of $11.4 million.

Seth Cline, writing in the center’s OpenSecrets blog said Obama’s preferred bank is JPMorgan Chase, where he has a checking account of less than $15,000 and an asset management account worth between $200,000 and $500,000 in 2010.  Cline says the president has at least $200,000 invested in the Vanguard 500 index, “a mutual fund based on the performance of the Standard & Poor’s 500 index.”  He also has between $2.1 million and $10.2 million in Treasury bills and notes.

The Center’s report says Daley held 26 separate accounts at JP Morgan and “combined Clinton, Daley, Emanuel and Obama had JP Morgan accounts with an estimated average of $51.1 million in holdings.” Interesting, considering Obama's villifying of Wall Street "fat cats" and his sympathizing with the Occupy movement, which rails against banks.

Vice President Joe Biden, however, is not considered rich by those standards.

“Biden’s low estimated net worth is a result of relatively small income from assets and six liabilities which totaled an average of $337,000,” the center said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Oct082011

Foreign CEOs: Hard to Find Skilled US Workers

Comstock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness held a listening session with heads of foreign companies that invest in the United States at the State Department.

The foreign business executives said they want to invest more in the United States, but cited ongoing concerns about weak U.S. infrastructure, their difficulties in finding a skilled workforce and resolving issues with visas for their employees.

“The issue that we have is finding skilled workers,” said Christian Turnig from ThyssenKrupp, a German company.

According to Turnig, his company had to send hundreds of employees from its new plant in Alabama to Germany for several months of training.   He said his company would have preferred to do the training in the United States, but it was unable to get visas for their German employees to enter the U.S.

Sitting beside Jeffrey Immelt, CEO and chairman of General Electric, who is also the chairman of the president’s jobs council, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton listened throughout much of the hour-long session and pledged to provide the resources of her department to address their concerns.

She said the State Department was making progress on visa issues through increased access and hours, despite legislative limitations and potential budget cutbacks that could make the situation more difficult.

“We’re in a race; we want to increase access to this country,” she said. “We’re particularly interested in the business ramifications.   So we very much welcome the jobs council emphasis on this.”

Martin Daum, the head of Daimler Trucks North America, told the gathering that he felt he had better skilled workers at his plants in Mexico than in the United States, where some workers have to be taught proper math and writing skills.

He said that America produces highly educated professionals, but knowledge can be lacking when it comes to hiring for vocational jobs. According to Daum, the better skill sets of Mexican workers makes it easier to ramp up production at his company’s factories in Mexico than those in the United States.

“We have to bring in educators,” he said.

Peter Solmssen of Siemens said his company was “bullish on America. We have 3,000 open jobs and we’re looking for people to come work for us.”

But he added there were bumps in the road, “it’s a skills issue.  We’re having to train them ourselves. ”

Clinton’s strongest comments were about how vocational training programs have been cut in recent years and that the perceptions of blue-collar jobs in this country have to change.

“We need to pay more respect to those men and women who do this work,” she said. “We’ve had, for a long time, a mixed message: Go to college, go to college, get a degree and make that kind of money,” which has devalued blue collar job opportunities.

She added that a strong public message needs to remind Americans that “that these are good jobs – $77,000 a year. These are good jobs and the people who do them are good, smart, hardworking people, and we need to support them.

She said such a campaign would raise the respect “for these jobs and [which] the people doing them deserve to have, which in our country is not on the equivalent as we see in other countries that we’re competing with.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio