Alan Greenspan talks jobs, the economy and borrowing

Former chairman of the Federal Reserve on 'Sunday Morning Futures'


This is a rush transcript from "Sunday Morning Futures," October 5, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

MARIA BARTIROMO, HOST: ISIS provoking the West with more unspeakable butchering.

Good morning, everyone. I'm Maria Bartiromo. This is "Sunday Morning Futures."

ISIS publishes another image of a Westerner beheaded. This time a British aid worker. And it threatens to kill an American, all meant to provoke a response. So how should the U.S. and U.K. respond to best serve our interests, not theirs? And how do we stop these monsters once and for all? We will put that question to one of the top security minds in America, the expert behind MIT Security Studies Program, Jim Walsh.

Plus, putting America back to work. Unemployment numbers dipped below 6 percent last week. But were they good enough? Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan is with us to talk about what it's really going to take to get America charging forward, as we look ahead on "Sunday Morning Futures."

And that same English-accented terrorist on video saying the blood of Alan Henning is on the hands of the U.K. for air strikes in Iraq. He goes on to say captured American Peter Kassig will be next.

We've been in this situation before. How should we respond militarily and diplomatically?

Congressman Ron DeSantis is joining us. He is on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Congressman, good to have you. Thanks very much for joining us.


BARTIROMO: You know, I would like to cover really two things with you. Number one, how should the U.S. be responding to all of this? And number two, how do you see this conflict ending? What should the U.S.'s response be, Congressman?

DESANTIS: Well, I think the only way you can deal with ISIS and jihadists is with force. But I think Congress needs to have a debate about what type of force we're looking at. You know, these air strikes were launched, we did not even debate that.

And I think this is something that the American people want to have a voice in. My view tends to be that, one, you need to go in big if you want to defeat them. And, two, you do need a reliable ground force.

Now whether that's American troops, whether it's one of these proxy forces, I don't have very much confidence in the proxy forces whether it's the Iraqi army forces or whether it's these Islamic rebels in Syria that we're going to be training.

But I think ultimately most people would agree, who have looked at it, if you want to defeat this group, you're not going to be able to do it with air strikes alone.

BARTIROMO: All right. Congressman, I want to ask you really then if Congress is going to vote on a resolution to put boots on the ground. But stay with us. We have got a lot to talk to with you, Congressman DeSantis.

But first, an American veteran, a humanitarian worker. Let's learn more about Peter Kassig, the man held hostage by ISIS terrorists. FOX News senior correspondent Eric Shawn joins us with that angle.

Good morning to you, Eric.

ERIC SHAWN, FOX SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Maria. And good morning, everyone.

He represents the best of the American spirit, leaving his comfortable life in the Midwest to help the desperate Syrians in the Mideast. But now Peter Kassig could tragically pay with his life.


PAULA KASSIG, PETER KASSIG'S MOTHER: Dear son, we hope that you will see this message from me and your father. We are so very proud of you and the work you have done to bring humanitarian aid to the Syrian people.

ED KASSIG, PETER KASSIG'S FATHER: We implore his captors to show mercy and use their power to let our son go.


SHAWN: It is a heart-wrenching plea to spare their son. Ed and Paula Kassig hoping Peter's ISIS captors will not make him the fifth Western hostage beheaded as a warning to the United States and the coalition.

Peter, now called Abdul-Rahman, we're told he converted Islam during his capture, is 26 years old. He was raised in Indianapolis, attended Indiana's Butler University, and he enlisted in the military and served as an Army Ranger in Iraq in 2007.

That experience led him to found an humanitarian charity to help the besieged Syrian people, called SERA, for Special Emergency Response and Assistance. In a compelling TIME magazine profile that was published just last year, Peter said why.

"This work is important for the message that it sends to the people back home. That one of the best aspects of the American way of life is our ability to come together in the face of adversity and stand beside those who might need a helping hand. In five years, if I can look back on all of this and say that our organization is able to truly help people, that I was able to share a little bit of hope, and that I never stopped learning, then I know this all stood for something."

Well, now our hopes and hearts are with Peter and his family. But sadly, similar attempts by hostage families have fallen on deaf ears. The parents of ISIS victim James Foley, the wife of Alan Henning, the mother of Steven Sotloff, and the family of David Haines all appealed to the Islamic terrorists to show mercy. They did not get it -- Maria.

BARTIROMO: All right. Thank you. This is just heartbreaking, Eric. More now with Congressman DeSantis.

Congressman, the pictures and the story line is just brutal. What should the response be?

DESANTIS: Well, these guys are killers. And they will kill anybody who they consider to be infidels. And we just have to understand that this is their ideology.

I also think that ISIS is one organization, but if you look, for example, in Syria, you have al Qaeda, other al Qaeda affiliates, you have countries like Iran. This ideology of jihad is really what we're up against.

I think we want -- so we need to have a strategy that deals with ISIS but also deals with this in a broader context of the global jihad.

BARTIROMO: Will a strategy include boots on the ground? Are you expecting Congress to vote on a resolution to put boots on the ground?

DESANTIS: Well, first, I think it's important to acknowledge that we already do have some boots on the ground. Those individuals are in harm's way. Clearly you need to have some people on the ground just to have successful air strikes and to get the human intelligence that you need to be able to make this successful.

But I think ultimately if you're talking about destroying ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra, and those types of groups, you clearly do need to have a ground assault force that is in place. Whether that's proxies or whether that's U.S. or Western troops, that remains to be seen.

I think Congress should be debating this now, but from what I'm hearing, we're probably not even going to debate this until January, which I think is too late.

BARTIROMO: Congressman, how do you see this conflict ending? I mean, what is the strategy to actually end this conflict?

DESANTIS: Well, I'm worried that there's not really a strategy to end the conflict. I mean, I think that you can take different parts of the conflict, for example, we definitely could set a goal to get these guys out of Iraq and to get Iraq back to where it was in 2011.

I think that's achievable. I think that would be attainable. I think the American people would support it. But beyond that, I have not seen a strategy where we're going to be able to say that we have succeeded in conquering this foe.

BARTIROMO: And so this goes on and on and drags on. If there's no vision in terms of how this ends, how do we actually get there?

DESANTIS: Well, I think that's the problem. And when the American people express skepticism about us intervening militarily, I don't think it's because they're doves and they're not willing to use force, I think it's because they don't like these half measures where you don't have a clear objective and you kind of muddle through, and you don't end up with a conclusive result.

I think if we're able to identify the strategy, say we want to destroy this group and these countries, and then go do it, I think they would actually rally behind that.

BARTIROMO: Is there a strategy for Syria? I mean, we keep talking about Iraq but isn't it true that the terrorists really have their home base in Syria?

DESANTIS: And the problem that you have in Syria is that there really isn't a dependable partner force that we can ally with in Syria. A lot of the groups who supposedly want to fight ISIS, their main enemy is Bashar al-Assad.

You have groups like al Qaeda and then other Islamist groups there. And so taking care of ISIS in Syria, yes, that would be positive, but you still have a host of either outright jihadist groups or groups that essentially want to have a Sunni Sharia state in Syria. None of those groups are going to be pro-American.

BARTIROMO: Congressman, we'll be watching. Good to have you on the program. Thanks so much.

DESANTIS: Thanks for having me.

BARTIROMO: We'll see you soon.

So how do we get to the source of ISIS and stop them once and for all? We will get some expertise from MIT Security Studies Program next.

I hope you'll follow me on Twitter @MariaBartiromo, @SundayFutures. Let us know what you would like to hear from security expert Jim Walsh. Stay with us as we look ahead on "Sunday Morning Futures."


BARTIROMO: Welcome back. Military vets like the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, have been warning, this war on Islamist territory could be a 30- to 40-year-long slog. But maybe we can cut down ISIS far more quickly than that if we can get to their source.

Jim Walsh is an international security expert with the MIT Security Studies Program and joins us now.

Good to have you on the program, sir. Thanks for joining us.

JIM WALSH, MIT: Good to be with you.

BARTIROMO: Can you characterize the president's strategy in battling ISIS?

WALSH: I don't think it's exactly clear. What we have, though, is a collection of different instruments.

Do they add up to a full strategy? That remains to be seen. Honestly, it involves getting coalition partners, it involves airstrikes and it involves supporting the Kurds and the Iraqi army in Iraq.

Does that equal a full strategy? I think that remains to be seen.

BARTIROMO: What about training of the locals, whether it's the Iraqi army or the Syrian army?

Are they up to the task?

WALSH: Well, clearly the Iraqi army was undercut by Prime Minister Maliki in Iraq. You saw what happened when ISIS first attacked. They sort of cut and run.

That wasn't true for all of the army. Some parts of the army had fought valiantly earlier in the spring and the year before that. Right now over the last several weeks you are seeing some progress.

And Iraq is the best case here, where you have U.S. airpower providing close air support to Kurdish forces and to Iraqi forces. Under those circumstances, we have made some progress. It's still a tough battle, but some progress. There's not an equivalent situation inside Syria.

BARTIROMO: What about intelligence?

What are we learning?

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers has said the intelligence community had warned President Obama about the threat from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria for over a year, and yet that's not what transpired, according to the president, on that "60 Minutes" interview.

WALSH: Well, I think we need to be careful about what we're saying here. Certainly I and the intelligence committee and everyone thought ISIS was a problem. There's no doubt that ISIS was a threat. In fact, within Syria this growing sectarian war with the war criminal Assad on one side and violent jihadi extremists on the other, everyone knew that was bad news.

The surprise was that ISIS rolled into Iraq, rolled over the Iraqi army and then when they took on the Kurds, I think most people, the intelligence community, everyone, thought the Kurds were pretty well trained and pretty well armed and then they sort of beat up on the Kurds. So that was the nature of the surprise, not that they were dangerous or a threat, but rather they were able to make advances as quickly as they did.

BARTIROMO: Yes. It's interesting because now we're looking at a coalition and the president has stressed that he doesn't want boots on the ground, leaving it to the local armies.

If the Iraqi army was rolled over back then, why would we have confidence that they can actually achieve this now?

WALSH: Well, Maria, I think it's a great question. I think that we won't have the answer to that question for a while. It depends in part whether the new prime minister can form an inclusive government, can support the army, not put handpicked people in there and oust others.

Some of the early results are good. But one area where I would disagree with the congressman who you just interviewed, this is not a military-only strategy. If it's only military, we're going to lose and there will be a lot more terrorists.

There has to be a good government in Iraq. We can't govern Iraq for the Iraqis and we can't fight all their wars for them. They, as an institution, have to be able to start governing and doing a better job and it won't matter how many Americans we pour in there or how many weapons we pour in there if Iraqis themselves have a government that doesn't work.

BARTIROMO: I'm glad you mentioned that. I want to know really from you the impact or the extent of the cyber terrorism threat.

Is this an area that the terrorists will try to infiltrate?

WALSH: I think so. but I hope they put more time into that than they do some other things. I think we have to have sort of a hierarchy, we have a sense of what's really important that we have to deal with now versus the thing that is down the road. ISIS a nonstate actor.

It's good at some things. It's good at beheading. It's good at getting recruits. Whether it can compete with a state, a government, at the level of cyber terrorism, I have some real doubts about that. The U.S., Russia, North Korea, China, they are all cyber heavyweights.

Can ISIS compete? I don't think so.

Another way to put it is, I'm more worried, which would you rather have or be more worried about? Someone pointing a gun at your head, which is the situation right now, or someone attacking your laptop?

I think the first order of business is getting that gun away from us and that means defeating ISIS in Iraq.

BARTIROMO: I understand. It's a very good analysis.

But let me ask you this. Last week we had a massive hack attack on JPMorgan's computers and it apparently was originating in Russia, with individuals in Russia having ties to the Russian government.

How concerned should we be about this?

WALSH: Well, I think that's the future that we're all on. It's not, as I just mentioned, the sort of leading folks in this regard or the Russians, the North Koreans and the Chinese, but the U.S. has very big cyber capabilities. And then we talk a lot about offense and defense. Most of the U.S. focus has been on defense.

But we have some very, very good people working and obviously in NSA and in other forms of intelligence, who use cyber as a way to collect intelligence. So it's going to we're going to continue to face these problems. It's going to get bigger, not smaller. But it's not the immediate threat that we face in the Middle East right now, where people are getting killed.

BARTIROMO: Understood. Jim Walsh, good to have you on the program. Thanks so much.

WALSH: Thank you.

BARTIROMO: We'll talk with you soon.

The U.S. unemployment rate meanwhile falling to the lowest level in six years. But other factors paint a dreary picture for the jobs market. We'll dig into the numbers as we look ahead on "Sunday Morning Futures," next.


BARTIROMO: Welcome back. U.S. employers added 248,000 new jobs in the month of September, dropping the national unemployment rate to 5.9 percent. That's a six-year low. However the labor force participation rate declined a tenth of a point to 62.7 percent, and wages remain stagnant, with the average hourly earnings for private sector workers declining a penny to $24.53.

So what does it all mean to you? My next guest is the former chairman of the Federal Reserve. He now heads the D.C.-based consulting firm Greenspan Associates. And his latest book, "The Map and the Territory 2.0," is now back in paperback.

Alan Greenspan, welcome to the program. Good to have you, sir.

ALAN GREENSPAN, FORMER FEDERAL RESERVE CHAIRMAN: Good morning. It's good to see you again.

BARTIROMO: So the jobs numbers looked good. How would you characterize the report? And does it concern you that wages are not moving at all?

GREENSPAN: The data look mixed to me for precisely the reason you're raising. The critical issue in the intermediate and longer term for our economy is productivity. And if you get a very significant increase in hours worked, which is essentially what we did in the last report, which everyone finds very important, and I agree with that.

But there's as downside to this, which we have to be very careful about. That is our productivity rate is slowing very dramatically. That is what's causing this slow growth in wages and what is causing a lot of the problems in the economy over the long run.

And what concerns me most is that unless and until we can rectify that problem, our economy's long-term outlook is not very propitious.

BARTIROMO: Why are wages so slow to move, Dr. Greenspan? Why this lack of any movement for so many years?

GREENSPAN: Well, if you look at the data, output per man hour is very closely matched up with real employee compensation, meaning compensation adjusted for inflation. So when you get significant decline in productivity growth, which we've had, that immediately spills over into the wage levels.

And one of the reasons why real earnings are not moving very fast at all, and, indeed, as you pointed out in your opening, wage increases last month in nominal terms barely moved.

BARTIROMO: So given the story that we're looking at with where wages are and sort of this sentiment out there that is mixed at best, possibly negative, do you think it's fair to expect the Federal Reserve to not be in any rush to raise interest rates then come 2015?

GREENSPAN: I think the Federal Reserve has got a very difficult problem because we've never confronted a situation such as the one which we have now. They are all very bright people. I've worked with all of them.

And obviously I know Janet Yellen very well and all of her colleagues. These people are very smart. They're keeping an eye on what's going on.

I do think it's very difficult, however, to actually pinpoint when rates begin to move. And it may not be the initiation of the Federal Reserve that's doing it. It may show up first in long-term interest rates, and most importantly on pressure on the 25 basis points which the Federal Reserve now pays to commercial banks to hold deposits at the Fed.

They may soon find that that figure is too small.

BARTIROMO: Dr. Greenspan, where are the jobs right now?

GREENSPAN: Where are openings, you mean, in a sense?

BARTIROMO: Yes. Where are the jobs? Where do you see job creation?

GREENSPAN: Well, job creation has been, since the beginning of the year, largely in business, professional, medical, all of the obvious areas where we see growth going on beyond the average.

That's likely to continue in the future. It's not in manufacturing or in any of the old-line types of industries which we usually associate with growth.

BARTIROMO: You know, and then you're looking at the dollar rising for now 12 weeks in a row, very interesting to see that as well in the implications.

Dr. Greenspan, before you go, I have got to ask you what you think about Ben Bernanke testifying next week in the AIG case. Of course, Hank Greenberg, former CEO of AIG, suing the government. Do you think that case has merit?

GREENSPAN: I often comment on most things. That is one in which I'll abstain.

BARTIROMO: All right, Dr. Greenspan. Good to have you on the program. We so appreciate your time today.

GREENSPAN: Thank you.

BARTIROMO: We'll see you soon. Alan Greenspan showing us.

Oh, look, one more department of the government needs an overhaul, this time, the Secret Service. Our panel will tackle that, no pun intended, as we're looking ahead on "Sunday Morning Futures."


SHAWN: From America's news headquarters, I'm Eric Shawn. Here are some of the stories making headlines at this hour.

There's a desperate search for three American airmen who are missing right now. The United States Air Force now confirming those three men were washed out to sea early this morning in Japan, after huge waves from a massive typhoon began pounding the country's southern islands.

Early reports do suggest that one of the men may have been found, but that's not yet been confirmed. That typhoon packs winds up to 115 miles an hour with heavy rain. Forecasters are also warning that storm system could also hit Tokyo.

Meanwhile here in the U.S., the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the United States, Thomas Duncan, has been downgraded to critical condition in a Texas hospital. Health officials say they are continuing to monitor nearly 50 people for signs of the deadly disease. They may have had contact with Duncan. He, of course, arrived from Liberia last month, his case sparking concerns about that deadly disease coming to our country.

I'll be back with Arthel Neville at noon Eastern for half an hour of news and then the doctors will be in, Dr. Siegel and Samadi join us for "Sunday Housecall" at 12:30 Eastern. It'll be a special half hour on Ebola: the threat, the facts and how we can protect America.

For now, I'm Eric Shawn. Back to "Sunday Morning Futures" with Maria.

BARTIROMO: Thanks, Eric.

It started with prostitutes and it ends with a guy in an elevator with the president and a gun. In between there are fence jumpers. Need we go on?

Finally Secret Service director Julia Pierson stepped down last week after a string of scandals.

Is this symptomatic of the federal government these days?

We bring in our panel now. Judith Miller is adjunct fellow at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research. She's a Pulitzer prize winning author and journalist and a Fox News contributor.

Ed Rollins is former principal White House adviser to President Reagan. He's been a long-time strategist for business and political leaders and he's a Fox News political analyst.

Mary Kissel is an editorial board member for The Wall Street Journal. She was editorial page editor of The Wall Street Journal Asia, based in Hong Kong.

Good to see everyone. Thanks very much for joining us.

Secret Service: the head of the Secret Service is out.

Is this symptomatic of the government today?

JUDITH MILLER, AUTHOR AND JOURNALIST: Well, I think that's what people seem to be afraid of, is that just the level of confidence has completely plummeted, but this I must say. At least President Obama has fired someone and held someone accountable.

The problem with this agency is it is a very troubled agency. And I think the only way to solve the problem is to bring in a very experienced outsider, not an insider, not a politically correct choice.

BARTIROMO: Well, from an outsider's perspective, it's hard to have confidence in the leadership when we're dealing with these monsters across the world, ISIS, when we cannot even keep a guy with a knife from climbing the fence in the White House and an elevator with the president and a guy with a gun.

ED ROLLINS, POLITICAL CAMPAIGN STRATEGIST: Well, sometimes the little things become very symbolic of bigger things. And I think it's -- this thing is just a ravenous discussion about government per see. This bureau, agency, which was a very, very quality agency. I spent many years of my life in the White House. And they were the best. They're no longer viewed as the best. And that's unfair to a lot of them that are.

But I think, as Judy said, you have to bring someone in and shake up the culture. The past director was the chief of staff. So she was part of the culture. She was a 30-year veteran. It's hard to shake it up. You need someone like a Ray Kelly to go in there who has a great experience in law enforcement. He may not want the job, but he would be perfect to do it, someone who doesn't have a vested interest, who will clean house, reset the training and create not a lifetime job but a two-year job to fix this thing.

BARTIROMO: I love the idea of Ray Kelly.

Who else might be?

MARY KISSEL,THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: I love the idea of Ray Kelly, too, but I actually have another suggestion.

How about Mitt Romney? Here's a guy who is a great turnaround specialist. He always wanted to be in charge of the White House. He's an American patriot. And a two-year job, as Ed said would put him out of the running for 2016, which would be the best possible thing for the Republican Party. So I think he's got a lot going for him.



ROLLINS: -- if I was President Obama, I would not want my opponent to be in charge of the Secret Service.


MILLER: I don't think he would want that job either, frankly.

BARTIROMO: What about -- let's talk ISIS for a minute. We've heard what was said on the program today. It doesn't feel like we have an end game strategy here to actually win.

MILLER: We don't. We still don't know what the strategy is. What we do know is the president will definitely hand this problem to his successor, no matter who he is. There are good signs in the little town of Balad (ph), where I was embedded with American forces, the Shia and the Sunnis worked together to defeat ISIS, to push them back. That's all too rare.

The problem now is we don't know how and I'm not sure we can bring the Sunnis and the Shias together and establish good government in Iraq -- and by the way, even if we do that, what's the strategy for Syria?

Anything we do that defeats ISIS helps Bashar al-Assad. We don't know how we're going to do it and we don't know what the end goal it.

BARTIROMO: Certainly troubling to hear so many generals, the latest, of course, Leon Panetta, basically disagreeing 100 percent what the strategy is.

ROLLINS: At the end of the day, and Judy's the expert on Iraq, they can't even get a defense minister and an interior minister, who are the two people who basically are responsible for the internal police and the external military appointed.

And obviously until that's done, the next month or two will be very critical there. Until the U.S. goes in and decides we're in charge of this start to finish and all of the people want to help us and send an airplane or fill a gas tank or whatever is all fine, but at the end of the day we're the only ones going to do it and the only way to do that is to basically put troops on the ground as the president doesn't want to do but every general says it won't happen until --

KISSEL: Because the president is making decisions based on politics. He sees making decisions on Iraq and the Middle East based on pipsqueaks like Ben Rhodes in the White House over generals who have 30 to 40 years of experience.

There's a disconnect here between what the president says he wants to do, degrade and destroy ISIS, and what he's allowing the military to do. Effectively, he's just pushing this problem off onto the next president.

BARTIROMO: But Mary, why is he not listening to the great advice that he has around him from these generals who have decades of experience?

KISSEL: Well, look, one explanation may be that this president thinks he's a realist. He thinks that the rise of Iran and China and Putins of the world is inevitable, that -- he ran for office on America withdrawing its power from the world.

So from his perspective, he may think, well, I'm doing a good thing, keeping U.S. troops out. But of course what that ignores is that this is a globalized world. These terrorists, Iran, they don't exist in vacuums. They will eventually threaten our allies and eventually us here in the United States. It's an incredibly dangerous point in history.


ROLLINS: Mary (INAUDIBLE) -- if someone doesn't fill the vacuum -- and we've always been one of the big power players -- if we don't fill the vacuum, someone else will fill the vacuum.

MILLER: But I don't think we can do what the Iraqis and the Syrians have to do for themselves. And right now the problem is the training schedule has these guys going back from Saudi Arabia and Jordan into Syria to fight a year from now. That's too long. They must get their act together themselves. We can't do it for them.

ROLLINS: We spent 10 years trying to train them and the first time there's combat, they run. You talk to any -- not just generals, you talk to any of the military in this country who have been there with the Iraqis and they say the first shots are fired, they duck and run.

KISSEL: Sorry, I have to respectfully disagree with that. We trained a good army. We left them. We ignored them. We did not negotiate to have a force to stay there.

President Obama wants to be loved around the world, but I think he could take some advice from the ancient Romans, "Let them hate so long as they fear."

I would much rather be feared in the world and to have an America that's safe and secure than a president who's making decisions based on his own political expediency.

BARTIROMO: Well, it's pretty clear we're not feared around the world.

Hold that thought because we'll continue this conversation. Let's look at what's coming up on "MediaBuzz" top of the hour and check in with Howie Kurtz.

Howie, what are you working on?


We're going to look at the Secret Service debacle as you just did, what the role the media played in pushing out the director, Julia Pierson.

We're also going to focus on the sheer volume of coverage of the Ebola virus and whether or not all of the -- I know that news organizations are trying very hard to be responsible, but the nonstop nature of this I think is starting to scare some people and I'm hearing privately from journalists that maybe we are part of the problem here in terms of spreading fear in the public on this question.

BARTIROMO: It's a very good question, Howie. We'll be there and watching that. Thanks very much. We'll see you at the top of the hour in about 20 minutes.

Earlier on this program you heard Congressman Ron DeSantis say Congress probably will not debate the military campaign against ISIS until January. That's when the new Congress is sworn in. Our panel will respond to that next on "Sunday Morning Futures."



BARTIROMO: Welcome back.

Australia and Canada now planning to launch their own air strikes against ISIS in Iraq. This as shelling heats up in Kobani, a Kurdish town that's under siege on the Syrian-Turkish border.

Let's bring back our panel: Judy Miller, Ed Rollins, Mary Kissel.

Earlier Congressman DeSantis said that Congress will not even debate the ISIS threat until the -- a war resolution until January, which seems extraordinary to me.

MILLER: It doesn't seem extraordinary if you don't want to own this issue, if you don't want to be blamed when and if things go wrong. Congress does not want to vote for putting boots on the ground. And that's what it may come to. Of course they're going to push this off.

But are you right? Yes. They should be dealing with this much, much earlier.


KISSEL: I don't know why the president isn't going to Congress and using his political capital to get bipartisan support, because it's there. This situation is not going to be solved by air strikes.

And by the president not putting his political capital on the line, not insisting on some sort of resolution and just continuing to pretend that he's going to degrade and destroy on the current course, I think, shows you what his real priorities are.

ROLLINS: Mary's absolutely right. The dilemma is it's a brand new Congress come January. They don't start the first day of January. It's several weeks in before they begin this debate.


BARTIROMO: -- the end of January.

ROLLINS: And so by that time you'll have a lot of failure in this process because we don't have enough there to make it happen. So my sense is that it's a much weaker case to go argue the merits of this battle. The president should have, like the prime minister of Great Britain, brought back the Congress, demanded they have two or three days of debate on this thing and pass a resolution of some sort. He wasn't willing to do that.

BARTIROMO: And he's not willing to change his adamant statements that there will be no boots on the ground.

MILLER: That's the worst thing he's doing is he's boxing himself in. There are no options if you already say we won't do X, Y and Z.

ROLLINS: There's also going to be fiscal problems. They're going to have to break the sequester. If you're going to be in this long-term process, you have to break the defense sequester. And if you break the defense you're going to break the other side, too.

BARTIROMO: Dr. Kissinger said to me the other day one of the issues here is we're telling the world what we're not doing.

ROLLINS: Absolutely.

MILLER: You never signal that.

KISSEL: That's right. A superpower shouldn't be predictable. A superpower should deter its enemies and a superpower should take actions that its allies can trust. This president has done not one of those three things.

BARTIROMO: And one of the bigger threats out there is Iran which, of course, is not -- we're not hearing enough about in the face of these ISIS provoking the U.S.

KISSEL: Well, talks are continuing. And now the administration is saying we'll let them have the ability to produce -- not a nuclear weapon, they say. They say we'll just unplug some of these reactors and we'll send in international inspectors.

Well, that's a fantasy.

Why is the administration even talking to Iran if that's the deal that's on the table?

It's better not to do a deal than to do a bad deal, especially one that's this dangerous.

ROLLINS: And if we do any kind of a deal, our allies will basically walk away from us on this particular one.

BARTIROMO: In the face of all of this, we've got this Ebola threat, Judy. You're expecting more headlines on this later today?

MILLER: Right. In fact, I've been following our international reaction and I think that's what Americans tend to miss; while we worry about the one confirmed case in the United States, is that we cannot protect ourselves unless we contain this virus in Africa. And therefore what the administration is doing overseas is vital and he is stepping up the international outreach and the international coordination with WHO, which has been underfunded. We have not paid attention to this crisis. We must now.

BARTIROMO: Meanwhile, the pictures in Hong Kong are stunning.

Mary, you spent a lot of time in Hong Kong.

Why should we care? Why is this important that so many people are protesting in Hong Kong?

They want democracy. They want independence.

KISSEL: Because China promised Hong Kong full democracy by 2017. They broke that promise.

If China cannot be trusted to fulfill its commitment to Hong Kong, how can we as a country trust China when we make commitments to them, whether it's in trade, military cooperation or anything else?

Maria, this is not a so-called color revolution. These protesters are not aiming to overthrow the party in Beijing. They are just simply asking China to fulfill its promise to the people.

BARTIROMO: How does this play out?

ROLLINS: It can't be another Tiananmen Square. I mean, I think they all realize this, the day of social media and what have you, today is the critical day if they basically -- if the troops get in there and start roughing up these demonstrators, it's going to be a worldwide story and it's going to be on the front page of every newspaper in the country, as it has for several weeks. And I think it will have a big impact on them economically.

KISSEL: Yes. But China has already shown its propensity to use violence. And I'm not just talking about this past weekend, Maria.

You have had journalists knifed in the streets. You've had politicians attacked. The liaison officer to Hong Kong coming from Beijing went to the pro-democracy legislators. He said you're lucky to be alive. That's what we're giving to you.

They have used tear gas. They have used pepper spray. So they have shown that they are willing to use force and I think there's a lot of concern right now among, particularly the older generation and people who fled Communist China, who know what this regime is capable of. They're afraid for these students.

ROLLINS: You know better than anybody, that those who are soft -- like the Tiananmen Square -- in the government paid a price. And so my sense is today the hardliners in Beijing will stay hardline.

BARTIROMO: Let's take it back home.

In the next segment, President Obama on the road, doing a victory lap on the economy, but with polls showing Republicans pulling ahead just one month before Election Day, is it too little too late for the president's party? Our panel with that as we look ahead on "Sunday Morning Futures." Stay with us.


BARTIROMO: Welcome back with our panel, Judy Miller, Ed Rollins, Mary Kissel, talking about the U.S. economy. Two hundred forty-eight thousands jobs look like a good number on Friday. Was it?

MILLER: Well, it sounds good. Looks good. The problem is the labor participation rate.


MILLER: And that is all of these people who are disappearing from the work force who have given up. That number hasn't moved since 1978. So women, blacks, minorities, youth, people who need the jobs aren't getting them or they're getting part time jobs, and that's why they're not feeling very good.

BARTIROMO: They're not being counted in the numbers when you're not part of the participation.

MILLER: They're not being counted.

ROLLINS: No, 100,000 people dropped out of the work force that nobody focuses on. And more and more have done this and moved away from it. And the problem with the way we measure unemployment.

It's not people who actually want jobs or people who want -- it's are you still actively looking for jobs. And so many people are discouraged, have been doing it for three or four years, can't get jobs.

The mere fact that we, with our population increases since 1978, are back to that level, is astonishing to me.

BARTIROMO: The other issues is wages, Mary. I mean, you know, people are looking at their salaries having not budged for a long time. And that's the same thing that happened in this jobs number. Wages were down.

KISSEL: Yes. It's not that they haven't budged, it's that they're down 4 percent since we came out of the recession. Look, we're in the fifth year of the recovery and we're getting excited about this number of jobs. We should be producing three to four times this.

I think you have to ask yourself how much structural damage has the Obama administration done to this economy through crushing regulations, through higher taxes, through uncertainty on health care costs, and through disincentivizing people to work.

You know, Maria, I knew it was bad when the president came out last week and he made a big speech and he said, look, we're doing better than Japan and the E.U. Can we set the bar any lower than Japan and the European Union?


BARTIROMO: That's our standard.

KISSEL: That's horrible. That's horrible. We should be aiming much higher. We have to get this government burden off the backs of business in this country.

BARTIROMO: I think this is a great point that you make in terms of the crushing regulation, because that's the reason so many companies are sitting on cash, unwilling to actually put that cash out in the form of hiring and giving people benefits.

KISSEL: Yes, not to mention the Fed just kind of makes it up as they go along.

BARTIROMO: Well, the Federal Reserve has certainly stoked the stock market. And people will say, well, the stock market is up, isn't that, you know, a positive under Obama's leadership? And yet.

ROLLINS: Well, unfortunately, as we've seen the last two weeks, it -- a little flick here or there and it can drop 200 points real quick. So my sense at this point in time, until we -- and the jobs of the future that everybody talks about are technology jobs or health care. Those are specialty jobs. That's not the ordinary guy, who can't go out and get a manufacturing job anymore. And those are the kinds of things that are basically the backbone of this country.

MILLER: And the gap between rich and poor just keeps growing. That really has a depressing effect on people and on their hopes for the future.

BARTIROMO: Well, that was the point I was making about the stock market. The president is even, you know, talking about look at the stock market, but that's helping a small portion of the people.

KISSEL: Yes, it's helping the upper middle class and the rich in the country. This president has been terrific for them. But the people who he has really hurt is his coalition, you know, minority blacks and Hispanics, women, and the youth.


KISSEL: I mean, it's one of the great ironies of the administration.

BARTIROMO: What does this mean for the midterms?

ROLLINS: Nothing.


BARTIROMO: You don't think it changes anything?

ROLLINS: I think it means they'll go out and keep talking about it but nobody believes it at this point in time.

BARTIROMO: The president has a lot of fundraising coming up this upcoming week, actually.

ROLLINS: Fundraising does not basically alter it. Everybody that's running in these key races has all the money they need. At this point in time it's whether you have 10,000 more commercials in a district that is already saturated.

My sense today is the momentum is going our way. These races that are critical to us, there, our people are moving ahead.

MILLER: I think turnout is going to be key. And I don't know whether or not 100,000 commercials will affect that or not, Ed.

ROLLINS: The more money we spend -- we have spent more money in modern politics in the last couple of cycles than ever before, turnout turns down, 50 million people.

KISSEL: But the Democrats have a lot of money because they're giving the super PACs where they have to disclose their names. Republicans aren't doing that I think because they have been dissuaded.


KISSEL: . by the IRS scandal and the attacks on the Romney donors.

BARTIROMO: That's a great point.

All right. Still to come, the one thing to watch for in the week ahead on "Sunday Morning Futures," back in a moment.


BARTIROMO: We're back with our panel. The one big thing to watch for the upcoming week or weeks, Judy, what is it?

MILLER: I'm watching Joe Biden, who just apologized to the Turkish president for remarks about ISIS. Will he apologize to Hillary Clinton at all for his criticism of cabinet officers who write books while the president is in office?

BARTIROMO: Ed Rollins.

ROLLINS: I'm watching closely with this appointment of the defense minister and interior ministry in Iraq. I mean, how are we going to send more troops and more activity there without a defense minister?

BARTIROMO: Mary Kissel.

KISSEL: I'm watching Hong Kong. Is China going to try to drag out these talks and get the public irritated with the protesters or are they going to use violence? And can the protesters on their side remain calm and peaceful?

BARTIROMO: I'm watching Ben Bernanke testify at the AIG trial on Wednesday. That will bring up the acquisition of AIG back in the day.

That will do it for "Sunday Morning Futures." My thanks to my panel today. Appreciate your time today everybody. Thank you.

I'm Maria Bartiromo. See you tomorrow morning on "Opening Bell," 9:00 a.m. Eastern on the Fox Business Network. Have a great Sunday.

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