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President Calls on Congress to Extend Tax Cuts for Only Those Making Less than $250,000 a Year; Heat Waves Subside Somewhat in Parts of U.S.; Washington Monument Undergoes Continuing Repairs; Obama Calls For Transparency; Jeb Bush Not Being Vetted For VP; Romaine Lettuce Recall; Too Much Sitting Can Kill You; Battle Over Bush Tax Cuts; Paycheck Politics; New Call To Repeal Health Care Law; Families Brawl At Florida Courthouse; Girl Leaps From Skyride; Disney Disses North Korean Dictator; "We Are Not All Created Equal"; The Foreign Policy President

Aired July 10, 2012 - 07:00   ET


CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: And our "Starting Point," politics and your paychecks. President Obama laying down the election year challenge, extend the Bush tax cuts for everyone but the rich. We're going to hear from key players on both sides.

A balmy winter and unbearable summer. The first half of 2012, the warmest ever on record and the extreme heat feeding more severe storms this morning.

The details on the damage at the Washington Monument. We're talking to the superintendent of the National Mall about what he's learned and when we'll be able to get back inside.

And in "Get Real," set an example folks. Families brawl at the little league game as the kids watch. A packed show ahead, actor, Steven Baldwin, Republican congressman and Tea Party member, Steve King of Iowa, Romney surrogate and Utah Republican congressman, Jason Chaffetz, and Democratic Texas congressman, Lloyd Doggett. He sits on the House Budget, Ways and Means Committee. It's Tuesday, July 10th, "Starting Point" begins right now.

Our "Starting Point" this morning, playing politics with your paycheck. President Obama promising to veto any bills that would extend the Bush tax cuts for all Americans. Those tax cuts set to expire at the end of the year. Instead, he's calling on Congress to extend cuts only for those making less than $250,000 a year.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Many members of the other party believe that prosperity comes from the top down. So, that if we spend trillions more on tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, that that will somehow unleash jobs and economic growth. I disagree.


ROMANS: Republicans say the president's plan would hurt families and raise taxes on small business.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It really is class warfare. And if you look at the people who make over $250,000 a year, many of them are small business owners. They pay their taxes not in a corporate context but in their personal returns.


ROMANS: Joining us now live, Congressman Steve King, a Republican from Iowa and member of the Tea Party caucus. Good morning, sir.

REP. STEVE KING, (R) IOWA: Good morning.

ROMANS: The president wants to keep lower taxes for 97 percent of Americans, the treasuries department's office of tax analysis for the tax year 2007, under Bush, three percent of all tax returns were for incomes over $250,000. Explain the view that Obama's proposal would hurt. Walk me through it.

KING: I recall back when the Bush tax brackets were first implemented, a decade ago. The argument was how do you give tax breaks to people not paying taxes. That's a number approaching or exceeding 50 percent. The lowest bracket would receive a 50 percent tax increase if the Bush tax brackets were allowed to expire. I think this is just another one of the class envy pieces the president has done, dividing people along whatever lines he can demographically to try to win an election.

ROMANS: How is that class envy?

KING: I'm sorry.

ROMANS: You say this is a class envy play by the president. What do you mean?

KING: If you demonize the people making over $250,000 and say they aren't paying their fair share, and you if you ask people what is a fair share, the people over $250,000 are paying more than the people paying less than $250,000 think they are. You can always make the argument you want to raise the taxes on somebody else. The president doesn't think he gets a lot of votes out of that group and thinks he gets more energy and more from his base if he just simply targets people making over $250,000. That's where the jobs are created.

ROMANS: Let's look at the polling here. A majority of people would support this proposal of extending tax cuts for all people, increasing taxes on people making more than $250,000 a year -- Democrats, 83 percent of them favor it, independents 63 percent favor it, Republicans only 37 percent favor it. You can see this is where there's a real ideological difference here. That's something both are playing into in an election year.

KING: And I see this and it begins as a shift within the culture I think that poll reflects. That says there are more and more people looking at others saying they shouldn't be making that much money because I'm not. And they don't feel as much guilt about the 72 different means tested welfare programs that we have. If you go back to Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the four freedoms, freedom from want, freedom from fear, those were manufactured freedoms. It's almost a government guarantee from a middle income standard of living from programs. I like when Americans feel guilt about that and want to step up and carry their fair share of the work. There are too many Americans not contributing to the gross domestic product in the United States today.

ROMANS: You're saying the president is talking about fair share, saying that people above $250,000 a year should pay what he says is their fair share. Are you saying poor people and people in government programs are not paying their fair share, that that's not fair?

KING: I don't think that's arguably. If they aren't paying federal income tax, and that's a number of 51 percent of the working households aren't -- yes, their paying property tax and sales tax and those kind of things. But if they are not going to work and there are a number approaching 100 million Americans of working age not in the workforce, and that includes the 13 million that are unemployed, some can't do anything about it. Some aren't willing to do anything about that -- when you add that up, roughly a third of Americans of working age are not contributing to the gross domestic product of the United States.

ROMANS: Whose fault is that? Because the economy is not giving the opportunities it used to?

KING: I think one of the things is people are told they aren't required to create opportunities. It's up to somebody else to offer them a job. I've heard that with the people that are occupying Wall Street. There's that theme there. So once you get that into the minds of people that it's not their responsibility, they don't step up to the responsibilities Americans have traditionally had. And that's a negative to our country. And the president promotes these things with these kinds of policies.

ROMANS: Let's talk about whether there could be action on taxes anyway, before an election because we know that we talked about this fiscal cliff that is looming. If the president is going to say he's 100 percent committed to only tax -- extending the tax cuts for up to $250,000 a year, could we be at an impasse if Republicans are only saying, no, it's got to be for everyone?

KING: I think we are at an impasse until beyond the election. As I'm asked from constituents across the district in the country, I tell them the results of the election in November will determine what happens in the lame duck session after November and before the December 31st expiration of these tax brackets.

And I think that's what this is about. It's about the election for the president. It's not about ending his spending spree. This tax increase on those making over $250,000 a year does not do a thing to solve the president's spending problem. It is a spending problem, and it's a problem of a stagnant economy with a burden of Obamacare and burden of regulations and uncertainty out there.

I'd like to see people making over $250,000 a year make more. They'll create more jobs with that. And Republicans and Democrats have forgot be to remind the American people that, yes, jobs, jobs, jobs, but you pay for those jobs you have to have profit. Business will not invest capital, not take the risk that creates jobs if they don't have access to profit and a confidence that the government is not going to confiscate it.

ROMANS: And there's also certainly this certainty issue when you have a fiscal cliff in Congress and can't really do anything in an election year that adds to uncertainty as well. Congressman Steve King, thanks for joining us.

KING: Thank you, Christine.

ROMANS: Coming up in 20 minutes, we'll talk to a Texas Democratic congressman, Lloyd Doggett, a senior member of the house ways and means committee, and later Congress Jason Chaffetz will join us live. Let's go to Ali Velshi for the rest of the day's top stories. Good morning, Ali.

ALI VELSHI, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, Christine. A record heat wave fading and now floodwaters are rising, torrential rains unleashing flash floods in the mid-Atlantic, stranding 30 cars on the interstate in North Carolina. The government says the past 12 months were the hottest ever on record in the mainland U.S. and that's not even counting July. More than 2,000 heat records alone broken or tied so far this month. For more on that, let's go to meteorologist Alexandra Steele in the weather center.

ALEXANDRA STEELE, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Good morning, Ali. The preponderance of those were east of the Mississippi river. Look at these records, 113 in Vegas, 108 in Boise, 99 in Reno. It didn't seem that great but it was a record. Here's where the heat will be on. Departures, that's what the numbers are in red, six or seven degrees above average, 101 in Reno, Boise, 102, 14 degrees above average. In Spokane, 92. It's pretty cool out there typically, 15 degrees above average. The heat is on.

What's happening in the southeast, along the eastern seaboard, the cold front that moved through brought the temperatures down which was nice, took us out of the 100s but now this front has become stationary and with all of that moisture in the air, that lifting mechanism of the front, the unstable air and heating of the atmosphere, it's allowing for showers and storms to roll and train over this front. So yesterday a lot of flooding in North Carolina, three inches. Today expect another one to two inches of rain. That's the story but you'll notice the front move through cool things down. Boston, 81, New York, 86. No 100s, so good news, Kansas City, 92, 15 degrees cooler than you've been. Feels nicer but we've got the flood threat in the mid-Atlantic today.

VELSHI: We'll keep a close eye on it with you. A power struggle in Egypt between newly elected president Mohamed Morsi and the military is taking another step. Egypt's parliament reconvened hours ago in a gesture of defiance against the country's military rulers who had dissolved the legislature. Lawmakers were in session for less than an hour. This all comes after Morsi decided to override the military. His party, the Muslim brotherhood has called for a million man protest march in support of Morsi's decision.

And Russia is suddenly distancing itself from Syria. That could spell trouble for Syrian president Bashar al Assad, Russia's deputy foreign minister would welcome a chance for a meeting of world powers to stop the violence. The Russians have agreed to stop delivering new weapons to Syria, as long as the country remains unstable. Russia's foreign minister pledged not to deliver 300 fighter jets worth $550 million despite having a signed contract with the Syrian government.

A makeshift memorial to slain teenager Trayvon Martin has been dismantled, but all items have been preserved and moved to a museum in Sanford, Florida. The city consulted with Trayvon Martin's family before moving the items from the entrance of the subdivision where he was shot in a confrontation with George Zimmerman. Zimmerman claims that he shot Martin in self-defense.

Prince putting on a show, Detroit Tiger Prince Fielder won the hole one derby last night which will host the major league all-star game tonight. Justin Verlander won for the American league. The league that wins get the home team advantage in the world series. That's interesting. Back to you.

ROMANS: I have another sports story, bush league, a parents' brawl at the little league tournament. They interrupt trophy time. That's our get real this morning.

Bad news for tourists -- Washington monument about to undergo years of repairs to repair damage from the east coast quake.

Make and pay over the delay -- the maker of Blackberry facing a lawsuit from users who were promised something new. You're watching STARTING POINT.


VELSHI: Welcome back. I'm Ali Velshi minding your business. Day two of earnings season today, one company over pressure over its books, blackberry at its annual meeting today, rim executives will face questions from shareholders over the delayed release of the new operating system. Meantime, the company stock is down 95 percent from its peak and posted a $518 million loss last quarter.

Google is close to paying a record $22.5 million fine to settle charges that it bypassed the privacy settings of customers using Apple's Safari browser. The FTC charges Google used a special computer code to track Apple users. Google said it was inadvertent.

U.S. stock futures are trading higher ahead of the opening bell. European stocks are up too after some positive data on manufacturing out of the United Kingdom. That was a surprise, so that's pushing markets higher this morning. Most Americans make more than their parents did, but they not all moving up the economic ladder in a new Pew report that looked at economic mobility and income inequality. The study found family wealth rose 27 percent in a generation in the top fifth of the economic ladder and sunk a whopping 63 percent on the bottom rung. Christine, as you know, that is the intractable economic problem of our time, greater disparity between what people earn and how much money they have.

ROMANS: And the politics around what causes it and whether it should be fixed. Ali, thanks.

The Washington Monument won't be open to advise tors any time soon. It's expected to remain closed to the public for another year. The monument has been closed since last August when a magnitude 5.8 earthquake cracked five marble panels near the top. The repairs require huge scaffolding around the building. Normally 700,000 visitors go to the top every year.

Bob Vogel is superintendent of the National Mall and Memorial Parks. Good morning. You've got the beautiful picture behind you of something that is really -- I mean every eighth grade class in America saves money to see the Washington monument and climb up there. What did you find out about the extent of the damage? What do you know now you didn't know last August in the days after the earthquake?

ROBERT VOGEL, SUPERINTENDENT, NATIONAL MALL AND MEMORIAL PARKS: Well, good morning, it's a beautiful day here and we did find -- we did a very extensive analysis of every crack and every stone in the monument. And I don't think we found out the damage is that much worse but we have a detailed analysis and we're putting a contract out to start the work this fall.

ROMANS: Tell me what will that beautiful -- that beautiful monument look like for the next year or so as you're doing that work? It will be covered in scaffolding and what will you be doing?

VOGEL: It will be unfortunately covered in scaffolding all the way around it. And we'll be doing extensive repairs. The challenge to the product is so much of the damage is at the very highest levels of the monument, which is why we require the scaffolding. And we have about nine large panels, some of them weighing 2,000 pounds or more that have cracks in them. We have about 50 stones that need to be repaired and multiple other cracks that will need to be repaired during the extensive repairs.

ROMANS: And then during the repairs you have to be careful for accidental damage as well. Parts of this monument are 128 years old.

VOGEL: Absolutely. It truly is a monumental task. This is certainly an icon, not only of Washington but of our entire nation and so that's why we've done this very met tick house analysis and I have experts around the United States working on the project. We don't want the monument to be closed one day longer than it needs to be but we also have to make sure we repair it correctly so it will be here for all time. ROMANS: How do we safeguard against another earthquake? It was so odd for it to hit this part of the east coast. I guess it could happen again.

VOGEL: It could. We did have an earthquake over 100 years ago but it's really quite unusual occurrence. We don't anticipate it happening again soon. But nonetheless, that's the reason why we need to make these important repairs.

ROMANS: Bob Vogel, superintendent of Memorial Parks with a beautiful picture behind you, a monument, literally and figuratively task ahead of you. Thank you, sir.

Ahead on STARTING POINT, the fight breaks out at the little league game but poor sports aren't the kids. The kids are not the problem here. That's our get real. And our STARTING POINT team is heading in to talk about this and more, Abby Huntsman, Ryan Lizza, and Will Cain. This is from Abby's playlist, Maroon 5.


VELSHI: I'm Ali Velshi with a quick look at the headlines. Team USA goalkeeper Hope Solo getting a warning with a warning after a positive drug test. The anti-doping agency says solo tested positive for a diuretic drug which does not have to result in a suspension. Solo says it was an honest mistake.

A federal judge throwing out Lance Armstrong's lawsuit the same day it was filed. He was trying to block the U.S. doping agency from punishing him for alleged doping violations.

New York Yankees reportedly mad at Mr. October, according to the New York post. They have told Reggie Jackson to stay away from the team after he made comments that Alex Rodriguez's numbers are tainted because of his use of performance enhancing drugs. All the sports news you need to know, Christine.


ROMANS: Thank you, Ali.

Speaking of teams, the STARTING POINT team, Abby Huntsman, Ryan Lizza and ill Cain, columnist for


ROMANS: It's time to get real this morning. This is supposed to be a fun evening in a little league game in Georgia, the northern little lee league defeated the Harris County all-stars. A fight breaks out, not between the children -- between adults, people in their 30s. The 36-year-old brother of the coach asked Charles Davidson, a 38-year-old father to turn down his music. Davidson was playing all I do is win, the auburn university rally song. He and King started to talk about a player and the verbal fight got physical, lots of profanities and the two were arrested and one charge of disorderly conduct and due in court August 16th. One of the league's administrator called it the most disgusting thing he has seen in little league. My goodness.

WILL CAIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Is it the most disgusting thing in little league? I feel there's one at least once a year. Doping among the children would be worse.

ABBY HUNTSMAN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: This has to do with the parents. It's embarrassing.

RYAN LIZZA, "THE NEW YORKER": The fans and parents just get -- it's like a jets game or eagles game.

ROMANS: Both sides bring their own theme music for the team and play the theme music between innings and there was a dispute over music.

CAIN: Your oldest is 5.

LIZZA: How old is yours?

CAIN: Six. This might be something in you that comes out once you child goes in competitive games. Mine is not there yet.

LIZZA: A warning for the other time.

CAIN: I'm just saying.

CAIN: There we go. My kid is not there yet.

Ahead on STARTING POINT, an alert about tainted lettuce in our A.M. house call. Plus, want to live longer? We have a simple idea for you. Researchers say this can add two years to your life right now. Stick around and we'll add two years to your life. Why Jeb Bush may not be in the running on Romney's number two list. This is my playlist. You're watching STARTING POINT.


ROMANS: Welcome back to STARTING POINT. The marines are moving toward the notion of putting more women in combat roles. You'll hear from one marine, a woman who thinks that's a lousy idea.

And a book captures the struggle in the White House to redefine America specifically foreign policy.

But first let's get to Ali Velshi with the day's headlines.

VELSHI: I thought you were going to talk about "Fifty Shades of Grey."

ROMANS: You've already finished it?

VELSHI: I'm 30 pages in.

In other news, the Fast and Furious bounty, the feds offering up to $1 million unsealed indictment against five men, one is already in custody. Terry's death tied to the botched fast and furious gun running program that allowed guns to cross the border. Nine U.S. border patrol stations will be shut. California, Montana and Idaho, U.S. customs officials say the goal is to concentrate personnel and resources in the immediate border areas to police human trafficking and illegal immigration. The strategy is expected to say $1.5 million.

Veteran New York Congressman Charlie Rangel is a step closer to his 22 term in Congress. A final count of the Democrat primary has Rangel ahead of his challenge, Espaillat. And nearly 1,000 votes separate them. He conceded the race and sued for a recount. He has now dropped his legal challenge.

President Obama calling on Mitt Romney to show us his money. The president is insisting his Republican rival needs to be more transparent to the American people. He and other Democrats are demanding Romney release his financial records including more tax returns.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is it your belief for it to be unpatriotic for someone to have a Swiss bank account?

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Well, you know, I think what's important if you are running for president is that the American people know who you are, what you've done and that you're an open book. And you know that's been true of every presidential candidate, dating back to Mr. Romney's father.


VELSHI: In January, Romney disclosed his 2010 tax filings and an estimate of his tax liability for the 2011 tax year.

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush is not being vetted by the Romney campaign as a possible running mate that's according to Bush's son, George.

The nephew and grandson of two former presidents says his father means what he says, he's not actively pursuing a higher office.

A recall alert in your "A.M. House Call," produce company Pacific International has announced a voluntary recall of 19 cases of bulk romaine lettuce sold at Vons and Pavillion stores in California and Nevada.

And the cause is possible salmonella contamination. The company says the lettuce was sold in bulk (inaudible) from July 2nd through July 4th. No lettuce sold in cartons or bags are affected.

You might want to stand up during this next story. A new study says too much sitting down can kill you. Sitting down for more than three hours a day can shave a person's life expectancy by two years.

That's according to a study published today in the online journal, BMJ OPEN. The study also says, watching TV more than two hours a day can make the problem worse and trim another year and a half off your life. So stand up while you're watching this. Christine, you and you panel, get up. No sitting around.

ROMANS: Get up, all right.

CAIN: Everybody sits more than two hours a day, everybody.

ROMANS: Now, really, it's true. Thanks, Ali.

VELSHI: All right.

ROMANS: President Obama is setting the stage for a new round of tax battles in Congress. He is promising to veto any bills that extend all tax cuts set to expire at the end of the year.

He called on Congress yesterday to extend only cuts for households making less than $250,000 a year. Republicans want to extend them for all Americans and say the president's plan will hurt families and small businesses.

Congressman Lloyd Doggett is a Democrat in Texas. He is a senior member of the House Budget Committee. Welcome to the program this morning, sir.


ROMANS: Look, CNN Money spoke with several economists, a big survey of economists, and found that they are mostly in favor of some extension of the Bush tax cuts.

In fact, majority of those economists say that they want all tax cuts extended, all of them. One of these economists specifically cited politics.

I'll tell you. He said that by just favoring one group of taxpayers and not another, you reduce the possibility of the tax cuts being passed.

We don't need to raise taxes in the short term. When unemployment is down to 6 percent, we can talk about phasing out tax cuts, even though that could be in a while.

The president is promising. He says he's 100 percent committed to these tax cuts only for the middle class and below. What do you think of the economists saying, why don't you do it for everyone?

DOGGETT: Well, we've got an economist with an opinion on just about everything, but I think the economic facts are that tax breaks, more tax breaks for those at the very top just have not produced jobs.

They certainly didn't in the Bush years. They only grew the debt and deficits. I believe that we ought not to provide tax breaks to those at the very top of the economic ladder.

That amount to more in a tax break than a median income family in Central Texas earns in an entire year. That will just continue to de- start the gap between the very, very rich and rest of the country and it will not grow jobs.

ROMANS: I have to tell you though, the contrast from, for example, Steve King who we spoke to earlier today, a Republican congressman from Iowa, is pretty sharp and it shows these two -- he's talking about fairness in a completely different light.

I want you to listen to what he said. He said the fairness issue is not about the rich paying more, it's about everyone else paying their fair share. Listen.


REPRESENTATIVE STEVE KING (R), IOWA: If they are not going to work and there's a number approaching 100 million Americans of working age that are simply not in the workforce.

And that includes the 13 million that are unemployed. Some can't do anything about it. Some aren't willing to do anything about that.

When you add all that up, roughly a third of Americans of working age are not contributing to the gross domestic product to the United States.


ROMANS: He talks about class envy. So that's what you're going to hear. That's what you're going to be hearing a lot from the GOP this week, I think, sir, that you've got a president who's playing the class envy.

DOGGETT: I think that what some of our Republican colleagues like Steve want is that the single mom who's out there right now serving breakfast tacos at the near minimum wage job, she may not have a big income tax liability, but she's paying payroll taxes.

She's paying sales taxes and regressive property taxes. They think she should be taxed more. I think we need a simpler and more effective tax code, but that incentives work instead of incentivizing more wealth for those at the very top of the economic ladder.

You can call it class envy. I think the class warfare is over and there's no doubt that in the portion of the Bush years those at the very top captured almost all of the wealth growth during that period of time.

Now it's a question of whether we can have a little equity and do something other than just grow more debts and deficits with tax cuts for the top that do not work.

CAIN: Congressman Doggett, this is Will Cain. Christine pointed out in her first question to you, many economists say now in the short term this will be a bad time to raise taxes with the economy in the fragile shape that it's in. You know, but I don't have to look at economists, I actually can look to President Obama who in 2009 said very clearly, you do not raise taxes, do not raise income taxes on anyone in a recession.

So does this tell us, that President Obama has either changed his mind or the economy is headed off down a sunny path right now? What has change from 2009?

DOGGETT: First, I think many of those economists are talking about letting all of these tax cuts expire and a negative effect that would have rather than focusing in on whether we extend the tax cuts for another year for all middle class Americans and the top one or two percent don't get an extension. They go back to what were the very reasonable rates of the Clinton years.

CAIN: The issue in 2010 and that's what I'm talking about in 2010. President Obama said you don't allow taxes to raise on anyone during a recession. What's different now?

DOGGETT: Your point is so well taken about 2010. It's why we have a little of the problem we do now. I disagreed strongly with President Obama in 2010 that he ought to accept tax breaks for billionaires, which he opposed prior to trying to reach a compromise with Republicans.

He compromised with them. He gave them the extension and what benefit has it had to us in the meantime? I think very little. I think it's another one of those economic facts that shows that agreeing with Republicans on more tax breaks for those at the top works.

It does not work and did not work. And it will take more than speeches and using repeating the same old mistakes to get us where we need to be.

LIZZA: Congressman, it's Ryan Lizza. One question about this, as you just alluded to, a year ago, President Obama and Republicans came very, very close to a so-called grand bargain on settling all of these tax entitlements and spending issues.

If you guys take care of Bush tax cuts and get that out of the way, isn't that going to harm your ability to do something after the election on a big tax reform piece?

I mean, you shouldn't you save this and make this part of the bargaining after the election and get the entitlements and deficit reduction and get these Bush tax cuts all on the table in one place and get that deal done? Isn't this going to mess that up?

DOGGETT: That is the way to do it, and as one of my colleagues, who is a Republican from Texas said on your program yesterday, he thinks President Obama will give in again, just as he did in 2010, just as he did when Republicans took us to the brink of disaster in rejecting the full faith and credit of the United States last year.

We need all of this on at once. The Republican idea of compromise is you agree to what I want and then beg for what you want. That does not mean the kind of effective agreement we need working together here in Washington.

I think this is something that will have to be done over the period after Thanksgiving, leading up and perhaps into next year.

ROMANS: Another exciting autumn, I can't wait for all of the -- we'll getting hotel rooms in Washington, D.C. to cover it all. I want to ask you a question about outsourcing.

Because there's rare agreement here between progressives and the far left of the president's party and the GOP this morning. GOP coming out with something called the, pointing out what they call Obama outsourcing.

They are saying that Obama policies have cost hundreds of thousands of American jobs because of the growth of Chinese exports. Progressives are also criticizing the president on this although obviously not through this website and this GOP effort.

You know, large American corporations according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, large American corporations in 2010 added way more jobs overseas than they did in the United States. There's some criticism that the president hasn't done much on this.

DOGGETT: Well, I think we do need a more effective policy directed at those corporations like General Electric that sometimes pay less rate than the employ --

ROMANS: The CEO of GE is giving personal advice to the president. He runs the president's competitiveness council.

DOGGETT: He certainly wouldn't have been my choice to do that job because he's an expert in exporting revenue and jobs. So that's an area that I take a little different stance on.

I sponsored legislation for the last many years to reduce the incentives for corporate export of jobs. Of course, our Republican colleagues are talking about eliminating taxes on these overseas of operations that will be an incentive to export even more jobs.

We do need to look at the outsourcing of tax revenues, that's increasing the burden on small businesses and driving up the deficit and it leads to the outsourcing of more American jobs.

ROMANS: Comprehensive tax reform. Maybe 2013 will be the year after, what, 19 hearings this year and after all of this fighting over the debt ceiling and the Bush tax cuts, maybe then -- can you do it next year?

DOGGETT: Let's hope so. For some people corporate tax reform is a way of shifting more of the burden to small businesses and individuals.

If we accomplish reform by keeping the current level of corporate revenue that's coming into the treasury or increasing it slightly, that would be real reform, but just lowering taxes on those who are already paying so little, that won't work.

ROMANS: Comprehensive anything in D.C. is so difficult these days, but maybe it will happen this year. Congressman Lloyd Doggett from Texas, it's nice to see you, sir.

DOGGETT: Thank you.

ROMANS: Coming up in about 20 minutes, Romney's surrogate in Utah, Republican Congressman Jason Chaffetz will join us live.

Ahead on STARTING POINT, females on the frontlines, the U.S. military is giving women the khaki green light. Why one Marine Corps officer doesn't think they are cut out for the battlefield and she's a woman.

Also ahead, scary moments caught on tape as a New Jersey teen plunges from a chair lift. Why she made the split second decision to jump.

A little later on, Steven Baldwin is talking about forgiveness and faith in his new movie, "Loving the Bad Man." He's here next hour.

This is Ryan Lizza's playlist. Is this love? You're watching STARTING POINT.


VELSHI: Welcome back to STARTING POINT. I'm Ali Velshi with a quick look at the headlines. Check this out, fists flying in court, a nasty brawl breaking out in a Florida courtroom between the family of two murdered brothers and the suspect's family.

It happened after a hearing on the "Stand Your Ground Gun" law was canceled. The victim's father and the defendant's stepfather were taken away in handcuffs.

The 17-year-old makes a terrifying decision. Melanie Rusamondo took a 35-foot leap from a sky ride as debris started flying and the ride lost power during a nasty storm on the Jersey Shore.

Melanie says she was afraid she was going to be struck by lightning. She and a friend who was also on the ride, but didn't jump off are both OK.

Maybe it is not such a small world after all. The Disney Corporation is not happy with North Korean Leader Kim Jong-Un. The company says video shown on state television featuring the communist dictator enjoying a show that included Disney characters and clips from its animated movies was an unlicensed use of its product.

I don't know, Christine. I'm not quite sure on the list of things that Kim Jong-Un is going to deal with a potential lawsuit by the Disney Corporation is high up on the list.

ROMANS: He despises the west, but he doesn't despise the west. VELSHI: He'd actually got a lot of connection -- the western popular culture stuff. He likes Disney. Everybody likes Disney.

CAIN: Who knew that a guy who forwards nuclear weapons and starves his people didn't respect copyright?

ROMANS: Thanks, Ali. All right, women for the first time are being trained as an infantry combat officers that could pave the way to frontline fighting.

But to hear one Marine veteran tell it, women aren't cut out for battlefield duty. She's a woman and on "EARLY START," Captain Katie Patronio said her experience is living proof.


CAPTAIN KATIE PETRONIO, USMC: I went from breaking school records to being broken in a short amount of time. I left seven-month deployment 17 pounds lighter. I had muscle atrophy and stopped producing estrogen, which caused me to have infertility and I was only doing a portion of what my infantry brethren were doing.


ROMANS: It's so interesting too because she says that the new kinds of battlefield is not necessarily going to be this old battlefield with the kinds of physical demands that she's talking about it. It's going to be much more high tech and different kinds of frontlines.

HUNTSMAN: Maybe that will make it a little easier. I think if women are ready and willing and able to serve, this is great.

I mean, they should have the ability to at least test it out, just give it a try. But my initial reaction was, that's a tough job I don't know that women are necessarily made to be in the frontlines of combat. But more power to them.

ROMANS: If you can do the training, you can do it fine. We can all talk about it in, you know, in theoretical -- she actually has done it and said it's too tough.

CAIN: The if in both Abby and your statement carries a lot of weight, if they are willing and able. This program, this combat training infantry program the Marines are putting women into will help us answer that question, right?

We will know statistically can they keep up physically with these demands that this program requires?

ROMANS: I think they're looking for -- they need to get enough sample size, they're looking 92 so they can really see how it works out.

LIZZA: I mean, it just seems like the history of women in combat, it's inevitable they will take on more frontline roles. I believe more than half of female fatalities --

ROMANS: The other countries do.

LIZZA: Yes, in Iraq and Afghanistan, most of the female fatalities were in combat. They were due to hostile acts. So women are already serving and already --

HUNTSMAN: Women have come a long way when it comes to military and you know, if this doesn't end up working out, I think that's OK.

ROMANS: There are cockpits and submarines, but the infantry, this is where she says it's --

LIZZA: Her experience was what, she was going through this extremely rigorous training that the Marine Corps, very specific training and that's what she was discussing there.

ROMANS: Lost 17 pounds. Her muscles atrophied and she is facing infertility because of the changes to her body and the physical demands on her body.

HUNTSMAN: You also want your strongest on the frontlines, that's important too. There's something about equal rights, but at the same time --

CAIN: That's the truth. It's not about men and women. It's about having the best possible fighting force the United States can put forward. If that's men, it's men exclusively or not. If it's women included then great for that as well.

ROMANS: It's not the best for the institution or the individual in either case she said.

LIZZA: I think the original point is the most important here is that the military is changing so much that a lot of this conversation is going to be moot in the decades to come.

ROMANS: You want the choice. That's the thing. Women have always wanted the choice to be able to try --

HUNTSMAN: And they are getting it, which is great.

ROMANS: All right, thanks, guys.

Ahead on STARTING POINT, getting fierce on foreign policy, how President Obama's view evolved from the day he took the White House until the night he ordered the hit on Bin Laden. The author of the new book "The Obamians" joins us next. You're watching STARTING POINT.


ROMANS: Welcome back, everybody. President Obama's domestic policies are receiving the most attention lately, but some of his biggest successes in office have come from foreign policy, including the death of Osama Bin Laden, expanding the drone program, and ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

A new book, "The Obamians, The Struggle Inside The White House To Redefine American Power." It explores the evolution of the president's world view and how it has shaped America's place in the international community.

Author, James Mann interviewed 125 people for this book, many from the Obama administration. He is the author in resident at the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University. Good morning, sir.

JAMES MANN, AUTHOR, "THE OBAMIANS": Morning. Good to be with you.

ROMANS: You know, in this book, you talk about this group of White House staffers that have influenced the president's foreign policy and called them "The Obamians." Who is this core of "The Obamians" and how are they redefining American foreign policy?

MANN: They are people who worked with Obama starting in the campaign on the one hand. But really hadn't served in the Clinton administration because they were too young.

So they are Democrats who tend to be age 50 as Obama is or younger. And they hold a common different view of the world, which is that they came of age way after the fall of the Berlin Wall, after the prosperity of the '90s.

They are people whose main experiences were in the last decade under George W. Bush, during the financial crisis, during the Iraq war.

ROMANS: And you write of them, you know, you say that there was a lot of emphasis on -- they were idealistic. All of these people are very idealistic. A lot of emphasis on diplomacy rather than some of the more, I guess, you could say, of the hawkish tactics of the administration that preceded them.

And you said this about them. You said "The Obamians" tended to know less about the nuances and subtleties of the issues and they were less concerned with the practical details of governance.

They were, however, more adept at providing a determined opposition to the Republicans and much better figuring out what to say in the public about foreign policy. Tell me how that maybe has evolved for them over the past few years.

MANN: Right. It's interesting, because those -- I wrote those words about them during -- as they were in 2008, they were more politically attuned, I think, than not just the McCain forces, but also Hillary Clinton's team.

And as it's evolved, they are still intensely political. The political wing of the White House affects foreign policy as well. So -- and it's also the rest of the administration.

You know, it's very rare to have both a secretary of state and a secretary of defense and a national security adviser who really began in politics before they turned to foreign policy.

ROMANS: Right. Interesting point.

MANN: But the Obama administration has all of them.


CAIN: Yes, I think it's interesting. James points out in this book that this evolution from actually realism to idealism took place, and we can see through how various situations across the world were handled.

Specifically, the green movement in Iran versus how it was handled when the Arab spring arose a few years later. James, tell us about that. What changed between those two periods in time?

MANN: Right. When they took office in 2009, they are what I call the Scowcroft Democrats. That is, their model was George Bush Sr. and Brent Scowcroft.

They thought really what counted was a balance of power among nations, and that the United States should not be promoting democracy overseas. They were reacting against George W. Bush.

And so when the green movement hit in 2009 in Iran, they really kind of kept their hands off. So what changed was that they began -- first of all, they weren't getting what they wanted in Iran.

And second of all, they came to see the movement in Egypt as particularly important to American foreign policy. And they really came to the conclusion they just couldn't just stick with Mubarak, a dictator. It just wasn't going to work.

ROMANS: Well, the book is called "The Obamians: The Struggle Inside The White House To Redefine American Power." James Mann, thank you so much.

MANN: Thank you.

ROMANS: All right, ahead on STARTING POINT, a Pennsylvania City running out of cash, $5,000 in the bank of this city. Hundreds of employees opening their paychecks to find out they have been reduced to minimum wage. Can the mayor get away with that?

And loving the bad man. Actor Steven Baldwin is here to talk about his latest movie.

Plus a cheerleader from Indiana who is a real life saver. How she came to the rescue of a football coach who collapsed on the field. You're watching STARTING POINT.