This is a rush transcript from "Sunday Morning Futures," June 1, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
MARIA BARTIROMO, FOX HOST: A changing of the guard at the VA. So now what?
Good morning, everyone. I'm Maria Bartiromo. This is "Sunday Morning Futures."
Secretary Shinseki tenders his resignation amid a massive backlog that has led to long delays and even reports of veterans dying while waiting for care. Can the system be fixed? We will talk to a lawmaker whose job it is to tackle this Herculean task.
A drawdown from Afghanistan sooner rather than later, as President Obama focuses our military policy toward a broader mission.
And is the exchange of one U.S. soldier for five Gitmo Taliban detainees a game-changer?
Plus, the EPA set to announce brand new rules for cleaner power plants, but could they cost U.S. billions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of jobs? The Chamber of Commerce is here with the 16-year forecast as we look ahead on "Sunday Morning Futures."
Good morning, everyone. The Department of Veteran Affairs under new management. After reports of scandal at the VA, Secretary Eric Shinseki has been replaced by Deputy Secretary Sloan Gibson.
But what about our wounded veterans? How does the VA now give them the care they truly deserve? Congressman Mike Coffman is joining us. He is a member of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, and he is a veteran of both the U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps. And he was the first to call for Shinseki's ouster.
Congressman, good to have you on the program, welcome.
REP. MIKE COFFMAN (R), COLORADO: Great to be with you.
BARTIROMO: Well, from all accounts, everyone says that this is clearly just the beginning. What needs to happen now at the VA now that Secretary Shinseki is out.
COFFMAN: Well, there really is a pervasive or permissive environment for bureaucratic incompetence and corruption within the Veterans Administration. And I worry that it runs pretty deep.
And this president is going to have to need to get involved no matter what Congress does in terms of passing laws. It comes down to executive leadership. And he is going to have to focus in on this issue and make sure we clean house completely.
BARTIROMO: Well, tell me what you have seen in your time and what kind of reform you would like to see going forward.
COFFMAN: Well, first of all, I want to say there are a lot of great men and women who work for the Department of Veterans Affairs, a third of which are veterans themselves.
And it is those veterans who work for the Department of Veterans Affairs who have been the whistleblowers, who have turned over the evidence where the public and the Congress has become aware of these issues.
I think -- and the tragedy right now is the fact that we have a situation where veterans have died because of excessive wait times, because of fraudulent books that were cooked in order for managers to receive financial rewards in forms of bonuses.
And so to me this rises to a criminal issue. And it's not a matter of just firing people, we need prosecutions. What we need, I think, at the end of the day is veterans ought to have a choice. I think they ought to have a choice to go to this government-run VA system or to be able to go to private providers reimbursed by the VA.
And so I think the system would greatly improve if there was that level of competition.
BARTIROMO: Yes, I want to ask you about these criminal issues and these potential prosecutions. We have got a lot to talk with you about this morning, Congressman. Stay right there because we first want to get a look at the timeline into how this scandal plaguing the Department of Veterans Affairs unfolded .
FOX News senior correspondent Eric Shawn here is with the details.
ERIC SHAWN, FOX SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Maria.
And good morning, everyone. The congressman just mentioned the whistleblowers? Well, the VA scandal is growing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why didn't they act like right away? They had proof of them. Here's the blood. Here's the situation that we're at. How do you send somebody home like that?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHAWN: Well, the families want justice and answers. This current scandal was first exposed last fall. Those shocking allegations of fake waiting lists at the Phoenix VA hospital. Families said that neglect caused the death of at least 40 vets. And while the VA denied that, whistleblowers though told a quite different story.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think the activity was criminal and the question I have is who disabled the editing feature -- excuse me, the auditing feature in the computer that stopped the IG from being able to track all the moves that were made. The words that come to my mind are malice and forethought.
DR. KATHERINE MITCHELL, WHISTLEBLOWER: It's not unusual for the VA to make up things and sabotage a physician's career for bringing things forward. It's not just at Phoenix VA, it's at VAs across the country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHAWN: Now 42 VA medical facilities are under investigation. And in Phoenix alone, the agency found 1,700 vets were not on any waitlist. More than 1,000 others had to wait longer than six months to even see a doctor. The average wait time, 115 days, or almost four months.
Well, VA Secretary Eric Shinseki fell victim to this scandal Friday, but five years ago, ironically, in Phoenix, the president made this promise at a speech at the Veterans of Foreign Wars that he would fix those wait times.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're going to fund the best ideas and put them into action, all with a simple mission: cut those backlogs, slash those wait times, deliver your benefits sooner.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHAWN: Well, two days ago, as the president announced Shinseki's resignation, he made that very same promise to our vets once again.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: This is my administration, I always take responsibility for whatever happens. And this is an area that I have a particular concern with.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHAWN: Well, the president appointed a former corporate executive, Sloan Gibson, as temporary VA head, as the search for a new secretary now begins, and the nation waits to see if the Department of Justice will next launch a criminal investigation -- Maria.
BARTIROMO: All right. Eric, thanks very much.
And we are back right now with House Veterans Affairs Committee member Mike Coffman.
Congressman, what would you like to see that criminal investigation look like?
COFFMAN: Well, there ought to be aggressive -- the U.S. attorney's offices throughout this country, in terms of prosecuting those who clearly, knowingly falsified records for the purposes of financial gain, and compromised the patient safety of our veterans in doing so.
The VA has acknowledged at this point that there are 23 patient deaths due to these schemes. I think that that number is going to rise much higher by the time we get down to the bottom of this.
BARTIROMO: And who are you expecting to be prosecuted?
COFFMAN: Well, I think there are a lot of managers certainly at the hospital level. We don't know. What we do know is this, that -- and I think the turning point in why the president had made the decision that he could no longer defend General Shinseki was that there was a vote in the House Veterans Affairs Committee to subpoena all written communications to and from General Shinseki regarding the destruction of the documents, the so-called secret list at the Phoenix VA hospital.
And that was a unanimous vote in the House Veterans Committee, Republicans and Democrats standing together. And I think when the president saw that he knew that this was not a "Fast and Furious," this wasn't an IRS, this wasn't a Benghazi that would fall along partisan lines.
I think Republicans and Democrats are united on making sure that our nation achieves its obligations to our veterans, and that this administration, the VA clearly cannot do it at this point.
BARTIROMO: Right. Congressman, let me switch gears for a moment here and ask you about the U.S. Army sergeant, Bergdahl, and the swap with the five detainees from Guantanamo Bay, all of this being done without Congress's being notified. Where are you on this issue?
COFFMAN: You know, I think it -- my heart is out to the soldier and his family. He did in fact -- we would love to know more about why he walked away from his post in an unauthorized manner and allowed himself to be captured by the Taliban.
But certainly, we are releasing five Taliban detainees that will return to the battlefield -- most likely return to the battlefield after their detention is up in -- I'm trying to remember the country that they're going to be held in. And they're going to return to the battlefield.
I think that the delay, the timing needed to be when we have the bulk of our forces really out of there. And so -- and I think there is some concern about negotiating with terrorists. I don't know enough about the issue right now in terms of the details, and certainly want to find out about it.
BARTIROMO: All right. Congressman, good to have you on the program. Thanks so much for joining us.
COFFMAN: Thank you.
BARTIROMO: We'll see you soon.
A massive foreign policy shift could impact our troops, our veterans, and our security here on the home front, our economy as well. We will talk about that as we look ahead next on "Sunday Morning Futures."
BARTIROMO: Welcome back.
President Obama announcing profound changes to our defense and foreign policies. Speaking at West Point, the president stated all U.S. troops will be out of Afghanistan by the end of 2016.
Meanwhile, we will be broadening out our anti-terrorism commitments worldwide, but with money and training, not boots on the ground.
Robert Hormats is former Goldman Sachs vice chairman, and former undersecretary of state for economic growth, energy, and environment for the U.S. He is now vice chairman of Kissinger Associates, and the author of "The Price of Liberty: Paying for America's Wars."
Ian Bremmer is a foreign policy specialist and president and founder of the Eurasia Group.
Gentlemen, good to see you. Thanks so much for being here. So let's talk about first the drawdown in Afghanistan by 2016. Sooner than people thought. Ian, do you think this is a shift in our policy?
IAN BREMMER, PRES. & FOUNDER, EURASIA GROUP: No, not really. I think the big shift in our policy is articulated by Obama in West Point. We had been saying that cyber security was the biggest threat to American national security, the potential of a virtual Pearl Harbor. We didn't talk much about the global war on terror.
Cyber was almost nowhere in that speech. Obama instead tacking back and spent most of his time actually talking again about terror and the U.S. Obama is not a peacenik. I mean, he is more than willing to use drones, be engaged unilaterally when he thinks it's American national security in play.
He doesn't want boots on the ground in Afghanistan, but rest assured, Under Obama, you're still going to see a very muscular effort to deal with potential terrorist threats against the United States.
BARTIROMO: But isn't that the issue though, Bob? It's not boots on the ground, it's other tactics, winding down Afghanistan sooner than later. Is this a broader different approach toward foreign policy?
ROBERT HORMATS, VICE CHAIRMAN, KISSINGER ASSOCIATES: Well, I think he's trying to explain himself more clearly to the American people. There were other elements that puzzled me about that. One of the things that we have been trying to do, at least when I was at the State Department, was to look for what we do to support post-withdrawal Afghanistan.
One of them is if that economy deteriorates further it's going to be much harder to restore stability in that country. And we tried to develop ways of connecting Afghanistan with its neighbors with trade and investment.
That didn't get very much attention, either. And unless we can do something about the economics along with the security issue, it's going to be very hard to restore jobs.
And then all of these radical groups have a heyday there because people are looking for some way of supporting themselves, and poppies and terrorism are part of the long-term view if you don't have an alternative.
BARTIROMO: Let me ask you this, do you expect those five Gitmo detainees that are being swapped for Sergeant Bergdahl, do you believe they will be back in terrorist activity?
BREMMER: I certainly hope not. But the.
BARTIROMO: I mean, but what's the record, Bob? I mean, is the record that they would be?
HORMATS: It's mixed. Some of them are, some of them are not. But these are -- two or three of them are very bad guys and there is always a risk that they will do this. These people really have -- they have such strong feelings about their jihadist tendencies that it wouldn't surprise me if some of them were to go back. And it's very frightening.
BREMMER: In Yemen, of course, we have seen that they have gone back and they have been involved in extreme acts, activities, there is no question.
Look, I think what is interesting about this speech is not just what Obama said, it's what he didn't say. There is no mention of the most important efforts, U.S., internationally, on trade, Trans-Pacific Partnership, and Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, wasn't mentioned.
China is supposed to be the most important bilateral relationship for the United States in the world. Obama said that when he met with Xi Jinping. No mention of that particularly during his speech.
I mean, if this is a speech that outlines what the U.S. is doing in foreign policy for the rest of the administration, as the White House said it was going to be, the fact that those things are nowhere in the priority list, it sends a message to us.
HORMATS: I think the Europe part and the Asian part are very important. These economic ties, particularly the relations with Europe, now we need to demonstrate. And Obama, of course, is going to Europe in a couple of days. He needs to really talk in much more detail with a greater degree of emphasis about ways we can strengthen our economic relations with Europe.
And Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership is a critical part of that for jobs on both sides of the Atlantic, but also geopolitical solidarity with Europe at a very difficult time when Europe itself has lots nationalistic tendencies and is having to deal with Ukraine.
The same in the Pacific, to establish ourselves in the Pacific with a trade agreement that increases jobs on both sides, but also has a strong political statement of solidarity.
BARTIROMO: Absolutely. What about Europe and the elections? We had elections last week. We're looking at further elections ahead. What kind of an impact is this going to have? And take the economic impact.
HORMATS: Well, what has happened in Europe is that a lot of extremist right-wing parties, but also some extremist left-wing parties, did very well. Why did they do well? In some cases it's unemployment, other cases it's concern about immigration.
They don't like Brussels dictating rules. They don't like globalization. So they will not be the majority parties in the European Parliament, but they'll exercise more influence. And it will also enable them to exercise more influence in domestic politics.
Many of them don't like closer cooperation with the United States and won't want a trade agreement, because they're more nationalistic.
BREMMER: And Americans are not moving on a trade agreement right now in part because you can't get anything through Congress and Obama is not willing to use the personal capital to ensure that trade promotion authority gets done.
That has delayed TPP. And it has taken the Transatlantic Partnership basically off of the agenda for the second term of Obama.
But in Europe itself, as Bob said, you've got a lot of problems on the ground because with heightened levels of unemployment, and with a European integration process that has gotten stronger, that has delegitimized many of these national governments in the eyes of the European people.
Not Germany, where unemployment is tiny and the economy is doing well, but if you look at Spain, if you look at France, if you look at Greece, these are real problems. And this was articulated very clearly in the outcomes we saw in those European Parliamentary elections.
BARTIROMO: All right. We will leave it there. By the way, the ECB meeting next week. That will probably mean stimulus. See what that means. We'll talk about that later on in the program. Ian Bremmer, Bob Hormats, great to see you both.
HORMATS: Thanks for having us.
BARTIROMO: We appreciate it.
Unemployment here in the U.S. is what we're focused on next. The jobs front looking pretty grim for college grads. Young people facing double- digit unemployment. Next, we'll talk to the CEO of the largest employment company in the world about what can be done to turn things around.
Back in a moment.
BARTIROMO: Welcome back.
Lots to look forward to as the summer approaches, like shaking off the economic hangover this vicious winter left behind. But for students now graduating from college, the jobs outlook is daunting to say the least.
Compared to the national jobless rate of 6.3 percent, 20- to 24-year-olds are now facing unemployment of 10.6 percent, much worse than the national average. So what does that mean for them and for the older folks competing with them in today's jobs market?
Gary Burnison is with me. He is the CEO of Korn/Ferry International, the largest employment firm in the world.
It is good to have you on the program, Gary.
GARY BURNISON, CEO, KORN/FERRY INTERNATIONAL: Good to be here.
BARTIROMO: Thank you so much for joining us. Characterize the jobs market for us.
BURNISON: Well, it's slow, it's steady, it's improving, but, you know, the problem is the Baby Boomers are working longer. So 50 percent of Baby Boomers are staying on their jobs longer because they have to because of the great recession. And what happens is the job funnel gets clogged.
BARTIROMO: The jobs numbers are out next week. OK, they're coming out on Friday. Last month we saw very nice growth in new jobs created for the month of April. But everybody keeps zeroing in on that participation rate, the fact that more people have just stopped looking.
It has gotten so tough to get a job, 800,000 people stopped looking. Is that the same that we are going to see next week?
BURNISON: I think so. I do. Look, there were so many people that were displaced five years ago. And those people that were in their 40s or 50s are having a tough time getting back in the labor market.
But the real issue is that, you know, this economy is slow. I mean, we're 60 months into a positive economic cycle, believe it or not. It's hard to believe.
BARTIROMO: It is.
BURNISON: You ask most Americans, and they don't feel like it.
BARTIROMO: Look, we should be at a much better place at this point in the cycle, 60 months. I mean, at this point, you would expect more job creation and better opportunities.
What about this story about college grads? This is very disappointing to see people 20 to 25 years old, they can't even get a job, 10.6 percent unemployment rate for that group.
BURNISON: Well, yes. I mean, listen, you know, today's college is yesterday's high school, right? And so you go from a cap and gown to, can I take your order?
It's tough. I mean, it's really, really tough. So if you're coming out of college, and you have got to be strategic about where you're going to look.
BARTIROMO: What do they do? How do you be strategic?
BURNISON: Pick the industries that you want to work in. Pick the companies. Don't just send out, you know, resumes, don't do that. Find people in those industries, in those companies, and network. You know, network is a contact sport.
BARTIROMO: Network is very important. Let's talk about where the jobs are. There is some job creation going on. And there are specific sectors that are actually hiring. What are they?
BURNISON: Technology, number one. For example, the class -- UCLA MBA class, 25 percent going into technology. So technology, health care, life sciences, and energy.
BARTIROMO: That's really where the job creators are, those industries. But are these high-paying jobs? What kind of jobs are we talking about?
BURNISON: Yes -- no, those high-paying jobs.
BARTIROMO: Energy seems to be very high-paying, right?
BURNISON: Yes, you want to go to the Dakotas? That's where you go. I mean, you know, Texas, Dakotas, yes, absolutely.
BARTIROMO: And technology, is that largely entrepreneurialism or just jobs within technology companies?
BURNISON: Well, it's both, right? I mean, every CEO like myself right now, there is a fight for growth. And so what do you do? You know, one of the levers you pull is borderless consumption. So you try to sell things, you know, through the Internet. So there's a lot of activity going, you know, data scientists, social media.
BARTIROMO: Let me ask you this. What do you think is holding things back? Why aren't we seeing better numbers?
BURNISON: CEOs like myself were around six years ago and we saw this train wreck. And there was this mad scramble for liquidity. There was this massive accident. And part of it is the psyche, getting past that.
The other thing is you don't have conspicuous consumers. People are not leveraging up, you know, to buy mobile homes. That's not happening in this country. So you don't have consumer demand. So CEOs are asking more out of people with less people for less money.
BARTIROMO: Are there policies that could be put in place that would actually jump-start things a little more?
BURNISON: Well, I think a couple of things. One, we need to think about apprenticeship, as a country, much like Germany.
I also think we've got to look at our tax rate. I mean, it is absolutely crazy what we're paying...
BARTIROMO: Highest in the world.
BURNISON: Highest in the world. In California, what we are seeing? We are seeing companies leave California and go to Texas. We have got to do something about that.
BARTIROMO: Look, everyone is trying to lure the big businesses to headquarter there. You have got companies like Pfizer wanting to acquire AstraZeneca just to get a better tax rate to take their headquarters overseas.
BURNISON: Yes, markets are efficient. It's a free market. You've got to bring down that tax rate. Our tax rate is, you know, 10 percentage points higher than it is in Europe.
BARTIROMO: Gary, great to have you on the program. We'll be watching.
BURNISON: Great to be here.
BARTIROMO: Thank you so much, Gary Burnison, who is Korn/Ferry CEO.
Speaking of jobs, the Chamber of Commerce says that the EPA is set to clean out about a quarter million of jobs. We will explain straight ahead on "Sunday Morning Futures."
Back in a moment.
SHAWN: From America's News Headquarters, I'm Eric Shawn. Here are some of the other stories that we are following right now. Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl now recuperating at an American military hospital in Germany where is receiving medical treatment. He was captured and held by the Taliban for nearly five years after walking off his base. In exchange, the U.S. released five top Taliban detainees from Gitmo for Bergdahl's freedom.
A controversial move since the Department of Defense in 2008 said they pose a high risk threat to the United States and should not be released. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel citing Bergdahl's poor health is the reason President Obama used his executive authority to sign off on the swap and that's why Congress did not get the 30-day notice the law requires. Bergdahl will soon head to Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas.
And there was tragedy overnight, all seven people on board a private plane killed in a crash in Massachusetts including a prominent businessman. That private corporate Gulf Stream jet bursting into flames shortly after taking off on its way to Atlantic City in New Jersey. The FAA is investigating. Among those killed, Luiz Katz, he is the co-owner of the "Philadelphia Inquirer" newspaper.
And the doctors will be in. You can "Sunday Housecall" at 12:30 Eastern right here on the Fox News Channel. I'm Eric Shawn now back to "Sunday Morning Futures" with Maria.
BARTIROMO: Thanks, Eric. The EPA is set to unveil sweeping new regulations tomorrow morning aimed at cutting carbon pollution from power plants. Sounds like a good thing, but the Chamber of Commerce is warning that there is a real flip side here. Those new regulations will end up lowering our GDP in this country by $51 billion a year through 2030 and cost hundreds of thousands of jobs.
Karen Harbert is the CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Energy Institute. She joins us right now with more. Karen, good to have you on the program.
KAREN HARBERT, CEO CHAMBER OF COMMERCE ENERGY INSTITUTE: Good morning.
BARTIROMO: How many jobs are you expecting these new regulations to impact?
HARBERT: Well, you know, every year, it's expected that we will lose 224,000 jobs on average and in one of the worst years, it's about 440,000 jobs and those are jobs that, you know, we can ill afford to lose at this current state of our economy.
BARTIROMO: So why are we losing jobs as a result of these new regulations coming in from the EPA?
HARBERT: Well, the economy is going contract. We are going to lose about $50 billion of GDP every year. I mean, that is close to a trillion dollars' worth of GDP. Americans are going to have less disposable income and they are going to be paying more for electricity. So all around it's a triple whammy.
BARTIROMO: Now what about the idea that the president is looking to cut carbon emissions from the coal-fired power plants by up to 20 percent. How much is he really moving the needle with these regulations?
HARBERT: Well, you're right. I mean, this proposal or at least as close as we can figure out what it is will retire 60 percent of our coal fleet and yet at the same time, you look at the proposal is, is to cut emissions and at the same time around the world emissions are going to go up by 30 percent. So what this basically gets you is a 1.8 percent reduction in emissions because the rest of the world is obviously going up.
BARTIROMO: So you're getting a 1.8 percent decline in emissions and at the same time by doing it, you're cutting 225,000 jobs and $51 billion from the GDP?
HARBERT: Every year.
BARTIROMO: So you don't pay for it once. It's not like just getting a bill. You are going to be paying for it every year with less jobs. Higher electricity prices and that really hits the lower income families in America because they pay more of their income for energy so we look at energy as a big job creator in this country and now we are taking a u-turn and go in the other direction.
BARTIROMO: What do you think the solution is? I mean, clearly, you know, I think most people would say you don't want these emissions to spiral out of control where we are worried about the planet. On the other hand, job creation does not seem to be a priority in this administration.
HARBERT: Look, you can be a good steward of the environment and a good steward of the economy. We shouldn't have to make a choose between one or the other. In fact, emissions in America have been going down faster than any other developed country. So we don't have to have a huge complicated very expensive scheme to get where we need to go. We need to be making energy more affordable and cleaner over time. That does not need a big regulatory impact from the EPA?
BARTIROMO: How does this play into something, for example, like the Keystone project, which of course, the president has delayed making a decision on that until after the midterm elections.
HARBERT: Well, you know, keystone has become a poster child for what's wrong. We can't get anything built in this country. We need a lot of energy infrastructure. We need pipelines. We need transmission lines to get renewable energy from where it's generated to where the markets are. But we've just gummed up the system. We need permitting reform. Make it easier to invest, hire, and build in this country. That would be a great contribution to making our energy economy more efficient.
BARTIROMO: If job creation was the number one priority. Let me ask you this, Karen. I mean, in terms of these new rules coming out tomorrow, the president has not given much details in term of what he's going to announce tomorrow and the EPA will announce tomorrow. At the end of the day, who gets stuck with the bill?
HARBERT: Consumers. American families for sure because not only are we going to lose jobs, they are also going to lose disposable income. Between now and 2030, the American family average is going to lose about $3400 and on top of that they are going to be paying more for electricity. Keep in mind, certain parts of the country are going to pay more. The south of our country is going to pay a lot more than California.
California already has really high electricity prices. Your previous guest talked about people flooding out of California. Now we are going to be bringing everybody up to the California standard of those type of prices.
BARTIROMO: Really unbelievable. Karen, good to have you on the program. Thanks very much.
HARBERT: Nice to see you.
BARTIROMO: We will see you soon. Karen Harbert is the CEO of the Chamber of Commerce's Energy Institute. Now with a look at what is coming up next on Media Buss. Let's check in with Howard Kurtz. Howie, how are you doing? What are you looking at today?
HOWARD KURTZ, FOX BUSINESS: Doing well, Maria. We're going to look at Jay Carney's surprise resignation as White House spokesman whether he'd reach a point where he could no longer be effective, but we are going to lead as you did with the VA scandal after the media drumbeat over, Eric Shinseki and he has been ousted, is the press going to stick with this story much longer?
BARTIROMO: You know, Howie, the Shinseki resignation I guess was somewhat expected. Some people were betting that it would come to that, somebody has to be accountable for this mess. But the Jay Carney resignation, that's a head scratcher. Did you expect it?
KURTZ: The timing was a surprise. I don't think we thought he would stay until the end of the term. But he had been so battered, Maria, in that White House briefing room over the Benghazi e-mail, over the VA scandal, over Obamacare and the relations with reporters, he had often was sort of questioning their motivation and asking questions. Carney, of course, a former journalist, that had really kind of poisoned well so I think he decided to move on maybe make some money in the private sector or maybe on a cable news channel.
BARTIROMO: All right, we will be watching you in about 20 minutes, Howie. Thanks very much.
Back to our top stories. What is next for our veterans now that Shinseki is out of the VA? Major U.S. foreign policy shifts as the European Central Bank is set to make a big announcement about interest rates and stimulus this upcoming week. Our panel will weigh in as we look ahead on Sunday morning futures.
BARTIROMO: Big changes coming from the White House, members of the president's cabinet calling it quits and fundamental foreign policy shifts. Plus big economic announcements set for the week ahead. All red meat for our panel.
Let's bring in Veronica Dagher. She is wealth adviser columnist for the "Wall Street Journal," Travis Brown, author of "How Many Walks" and co- author of the new book "Wealth of States" and Judy Miller, adjunct fellow at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, Pulitzer Prize winning author and journalist and a Fox News contributor.
Good to see everybody. Thanks very much for joining us. Policy shift in Afghanistan. We are bringing our troops back sooner than people thought. Judy was talking earlier at the top of the show about this policy shift in Afghanistan. We are bringing our troops back sooner than people thought. This news idea of foreign policy, no boots on the ground, but do it through language, do it through conversation. What's your take? What is going on?
JUDITH MILLER, MANHATTAN INSTITUTE FOR POLICY RESEARCH: I think I was really disappointed by the president's remarks, the entire speech, but especially the Afghan portion because I think the people I know who have been following Afghanistan most closely say unless you keep the pressure on al Qaeda, and that means being able to use drones, troops on the ground, boots on the ground in the area of Pakistan -- Pakistan is the problem. We are going to have al Qaeda regroup, reform, and everything that we have done in the past 12 years risks being lost. It is a very dangerous decision I think.
VERONICA DAGHER, WEALTH ADVISER, COLUMNIST, WSJ: I have real concerns about Afghan economy. Everything that we have done seems like it could be wasted the moment we step away so quickly too. I mean, this is a really quickly withdrawal from what we were initially expecting not to mention like Judy said, Pakistan, this is an issue that we haven't addressed and I think you'd totally address that. We are not going to see meaningful substantial changes in Afghanistan for the long term.
BARTIROMO: It feels like there have been really nuances in terms of shifting. What about this Bergdahl story? The soldier being swapped for five Gitmo detainees and Congress was never notified until after it was done.
MILLER: I know it is extraordinary especially because this had to have been in the works for a while. Cutting out Congress, cutting out the intelligence committees if they were cut out is very, very tactically politically dangerous to the president. I think this is going be a very controversial exchange. I do want to point out one thing, Maria, the Israelis released 1,027 Palestinian prisoners convicted terrorists for one man, Fahlad Shalit (ph).
And I think that democracies do this. We don't leave people on the battlefield. Nevertheless, a lot of questions are going to be raised about how he was taken and whether or not this trade is worth it because two of these five men who were being released are actually wanted by the U.N. for murdering thousands and thousands of Shia. These are people who will go back to the fight if they can.
BARTIROMO: Bob Hormat who worked in the State Department for so long basically said about two or three of these guys are really, really bad guys and they of course are going to go back and engage in the terrorist activities that they had been engaged before.
MILLER: And in 2008, there was a report on them, all five of them were deemed to be quote, "high risk" that is if they were released, they would pose a direct threat to the United States and then of course, we had an election and now we are trying to close Gitmo and release everyone.
BARTIROMO: This is not just a national security issue, but this is an economic issue as you mentioned. Travis, you're looking at wealth moving around the country, out of the country because of tax rates. What are you seeing over the most recent weeks?
TRAVIS BROWN, AUTHOR, "HOW MONEY WALKS": Whether you look at the long term evidence that we do with wealth of the states or the recent changes interest in assembling new mega firms like Astra, Zenegan and Pfizer attempting that kind of partnership in London. Capital is going to go where it's most welcome. And any of these other signals of uncertainty or disruptions even if they're foreign policy related is not constructive to that.
So I think a lot of investors and certainly we see it in individual tax returns as well within America that people are looking for safe places to wait this out, looking for essentially what the market could be saying is the rate of future return on all projects is lower. So therefore we need to hold cash. They hold earnings today and that's having all kinds of effects.
BARTIROMO: You have said that one in five Americans employed today reside in a state that does not tax your work. The highest rate since 1976. So increasingly we're seeing policies on the state level that try to encourage money.
BROWN: Exactly right. What we see in the federal tax code is that you can make interstate decisions about mobility of moving your corporation. It hurts going down to Fort Myers. Toyota moving expansion plans to Plano, Texas. Microsoft, where are you going to invest in the future, looking at Miami, Texas, and Florida, and places like this are one of the nine states.
BARTIROMO: It's amazing when you talk about jobs in the U.S., almost every conversation at to some point goes to tax reform. This is also under the umbrella of job creation. Judy, we have been talking about this for a long time, but we can't get anything going in terms of tax reform.
MILLER: What can you get going in the U.S. Congress these days? If the Republicans do carry the Senate, then we're going to be in total paralysis unless something more dramatic happens to bring us together. We are in paralysis.
DAGHER: There is no doubt we need to do something about the corporate tax rates though. As you mentioned earlier, I mean, we've got the highest tax rate in a developed world. I mean, this is a big problem. This is encouraging and rewarding companies to go elsewhere and take away jobs that we need. If you look at something like Pfizer, these are good jobs.
BARTIROMO: And tax revenue, obviously. All right, is the economy finally going to spring forward? Our panel looks ahead next on Sunday morning futures. Stay with us.
BARTIROMO: And we are back with our panel, Veronica Dagher, Travis Brown and Judy Miller. Before we get to the other economic stories of the week ahead, let me ask you, Judy, to talk to us about when you were invited as a guest by the Taliban.
MILLER: Right. I was a guest of the Taliban in 2000, December before 9/11, they invited me in to show me that they did not have, quote, "military training camps" where extremists were being trained. I walked in with a long list of where the camps were, what they were and I asked to see them. I was there for about a week and the pleasure of my company was no longer requested.
BARTIROMO: They asked you to leave.
MILLER: My trip was over.
BARTIROMO: So what's your sense of what we learned this week from Afghanistan?
MILLER: Look, I think that the president has really stumbled on Afghanistan at this point. We had the inadvertent outing of a CIA station chief in Afghanistan, then we have the announcement that we're not going to have any troops there and this is a calendar-driven foreign policy decision. The third thing that's released, which is going to be controversial, it has been a very difficult week in Afghanistan.
BARTIROMO: How does this play out?
MILLER: You know, I think the American people want the war to end. They want the troops to be reduced there. But we have to understand that you must have some kind of ability to project power. And ultimately that's what the American people have to decide.
BARTIROMO: Do you think that this is going to be an issue for the president and the Democrats come the midterm elections?
MILLER: Yes, I do. I do because you can't have a week like the week we've just had without being able to address not just the economy but foreign policy as well.
BARTIROMO: Let me ask you about some of the other events next week, the European Central Bank is meeting on Thursday. Many people are expecting a cut in interest rates or some kind of stimulus. What are you expecting?
DAGHER: I think a lot of people are expecting that. What other easing measures they'll do? We'll see. They left it open, whole bag of tricks that they could, open for this. I think they'll do something that makes it easier for banks to lend to each other. They need to do that. That's something that's a given. We'll be watching first earlier in the week, the inflation rate of the ECB.
DAGHER: If that is a better figure than expecting, I think that will affect a policy decision. I don't think that will happen. We've seen bad numbers out of Italy and Spain already.
BARTIROMO: So the ECB meeting is one of the big events. The other big event is the jobs number, Travis and unfortunately, we keep bumping along the bottom. Even though last month's report looked good, the participation rate continues in a swoon.
BROWN: We really have a false start here. This is kind of unchartered waters in recent times. Labor force participation at near 40-year lows, essentially no activity on GDP growth. Despite that, we have areas and pockets within America that are still doing pretty well, carrying their own weight. The energy sector being one of those out of Texas, all the way through the Midwest, outperforming those numbers.
Texas leading the country for the fourth straight year in jobs. So we can see points and places, but generally this is really unheard of, a jobless recovery of this magnitude for this long a time.
BARTIROMO: When you look at what's going on in Texas, you can really see how certain policies and businesses can actually work together to create jobs. We'll take a short break. The one thing, our panel has one thing to watch for in the week ahead and the weeks ahead on "Sunday Morning Futures." Back in a moment.
BARTIROMO: We are back with our panel. What's the one big thing to watch for in the weeks ahead, Judy Miller?
MILLER: I'm watching Normandy. I'm going to see whether or not Obama shakes Putin's hand. Whether or not Putin asks Obama, how's that reset going?
BARTIROMO: Travis, what's your one thing?
BROWN: Well, the jobs report is big. It's going to give us an indication of what we're dealing with, not only through the summer but the November elections and what this is going to mean. Look for those numbers to come out.
BARTIROMO: They're expecting 225,000. I don't know where you are on that.
BROWN: Pretty -- I mean, it's pretty low. What we really want to see is some additional traction.
BARTIROMO: Veronica, what are you looking for?
DAGHER: I'm watching jobs, too, because I want to see that labor force participation rate. We want to focus on the number of unemployed and underemployed. Look at those figures as well.
BARTIROMO: My pick would be, I'm going to go outside the box here. Apple stock is splitting 7 for 1. Closed at something like $635, 7 for 1, that will take it under $100. That probably will encourage retail investors to buy the stock. Could be activity next week ahead. It splits next Friday.
Of course, the ECB meeting, the jobs number and the president's trip all very important for the week ahead. Thank you very much, everybody. Really appreciate your time today. Judy Miller, Travis Brown, Veronica, good to see you as well. We appreciate you spending the time with us, from the "Wall Street Journal."
That will do it for "Sunday Morning Futures." I'm Maria Bartiromo. I'll be back tomorrow morning. Hope you'll see me for "Opening Bell" at 9 a.m. Eastern. That's on the Fox Business Network. Take a look at where FBN is on your cable network. We're giving you the channel guide to find us Monday through Friday, 9 to 11 a.m.
"Media Buzz" with Howard Kurtz is coming up next. Have a wonderful week ahead, everybody. I'll see you next Sunday on "Sunday Morning Futures."
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