Gore: We Need to Make Some Fundamental Reforms

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Oct. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Former Vice President Al Gore discusses U.S. politics, the fiscal crisis and climate change on Bloomberg Television's "Market Makers." (Source: Bloomberg)

Time for politicians to get back to business, to pass a budget, to get started on immigration reform, and to pass a farm bill.

He is not the -- his administration is not the first administration to face a shutdown.

He is just learning what it is like to deal with a congress that is prepared to take the country to the edge of the abyss.

With us today is bill clinton's vice president and he was there in the white house for the last shutdown in the winter of 1995 to 1996. al gore.

Here on "market makers." tim fox is also with us.

He is the anchor of "taking stock." it is a pleasure to have you here on the stage.

It was here -- whether it was here in new york city, and washington, overseas, or anywhere in america, what just transpired in washington over the past two weeks seemed messy.

People describe members of congress as terrorists.

Maybe this is a healthy thing.

Is this democracy in action?

Is this what it takes to get america to the right place?

Our democracy has been hacked.

Money plays the dominant role in politics today.

It is badly in need of reform.

Corporations are not err since.

Money is not speech.

Anonymous contributors should not call the shots.

Our democracy is intended to lift the public interest as a result of a conversation of democracy among the people.

We the people, the phrase is used a lot, have a lot of work to do.

We have got to reform the political system.

These shutdowns are damaging.

No reform of any consequence can pass in washington today.

The special interest controls the system.

I am glad this shutdown was resolved, but it was only resolved for a shirt -- a short term.

We have to reform -- how do you compare that to the last shutdown?

Look at what special interest groups have done now.

Look at what we have gone through the last two weeks.

How different is it from where we were?

Do these probit -- to these parties have a chance?

America's devastated.

It is worse today than i was in the 1990's. bill clinton and i were able to work with congress and in the progress -- and in the process we balanced the budget and had the strongest growth in the nation's history and reduced the debt.

We made a lot of progress.

Special interests have much more control now.

We see the same pathetic performance where the climate crisis is concerned.

We are putting 90 million times of global warming pollution into the atmosphere -- 90 million tons of global warming pollution into the atmosphere every day.

The pollution caused by human activity traps as much extra key every day -- extra heat as hiroshima bombs going off every 24 hours.

That is what contributed to the highest temperatures in the recorded history of the united states.

One of the worst droughts, that is why we are seeing extreme weather events related to the climate crisis around the world.

We are paying the cost of carbon and global warming collusion now.

We need to put a price on it and a price on denial on the political system.

You have a noble prize, you also have a daytime emmy.

You have been part of the academy award-winning movie, "the inconvenient truth." you want all of those things.

You are also a very gracious loser, particularly when it comes to politics.

What thoughts would you offer to the republicans, particularly to the tea party, because they have to work together somehow?

What would you say to them right now?

I always say you win some and you lose some.

Whatever happens, it is how you react to it and how you move forward and focus on the future.

We have to come together as a country.

In many ways, the underlying frustration and anger that is evident in the tea party is connected to some of what has gone badly wrong in our economic system and our political system.

We have higher levels of income and net worth any quality than egypt or tunisia.

95% of all of the additional net income since the recovery began in 2009 has gone to the top 1%. that is a fact.

The middle-class is being hollowed out.

That continue to happen in the last two weeks.

I know what we -- i know we have to take a break, but we will talk about what happened yesterday.

You're watching "market makers." ? welcome back to "market makers." i am stephanie ruhle, joined by eric schatz or, tim fox, and but for -- former vice president al gore.

Who is going to be left holding the bag here?

My children?

Who is going to deal with this debt crisis?

We need to make fundamental reforms and focus more on the long-term.

We need to focus on transit assets that have -- focus on stranded assets.

There are a bunch of subprime dogs out there.

This focus on the short-term is making us vulnerable to longer- term problems that need to be addressed in the markets.

Who needs to a dress that?

Investors.

Pension funds have such a large share in the equity markets.

If you are the trustee of a pension fund, you have a fiduciary obligation to match the long-term performance of your assets to the long-term maturation of your liability.

If you hire investment managers and compensate them on the basis of their performance -- that is what they do.

That is how hedge funds operate.

That needs to change.

We need to align incentives and focus on long-term value creation.

There is a movement toward sustainable capitalism.

My partner, david blood and i, and our other partners focus on sustainable capitalism.

The largest risk to the markets ever is from the climate crisis.

The stranding of assets, not only carbon-based assets, but infrastructure in coastal areas -- the number one city in the world with assets at risk from sea level rise because of global warming is miami.

Number three is new york and new jersey areas.

Look at the midwest farming assets.

Look at what happened to south dakota with these extreme precipitation -- why not put a tax on carbon?

Absolutely.

Why don't democrats support that?

Some do.

There is a caucus in the senate led by senator sheldon whitehouse.

Ed markey just went to the senate.

He is a champion of this.

There are a lot of -- how are they going to get that through?

I love the idea.

You supported.

What is the reality that it will go through?

When martin luther king, jr.

Was asked during the civil rights movement how long is this going to take?

How long?

Not long.

If someone had asked five years ago what is the likelihood that gay marriage would become the law of the land in the next few years, i probably would have said i hope so because it is fair and just and right, but i don't know if that is going to be possible.

When it became understood as a choice between right and wrong, the laws changed.

Same with civil rights, slavery at it -- slavery in an earlier era.

Our obligation not to lead a destroyed earth and a -- not to leave a destroyed earth and a fractured simulation to our kids is a matter of what is right.

It is very simple.

Does it makes -- make more sense to be a private wealthy citizen?

I have been fortunate to be able to find other ways to serve since i became a recovering politician.

Whether it is on the subject of climate change or budget negotiations and fiscal responsibility, you are right.

Investors can do more.

There's somebody else that could do more as well.

Was president obama right if eric cantor and john boehner are to be believed, to walk away from the grand bargain?

Was he right in the way that he handled the government shut down when he refused to negotiate?

I think the outcome validates the president's decision and the media crisis saying we are not going to negotiate with the proverbial gun pointed at our heads.

Back in the mid-1990's when president clinton and i faced this, we took the same position.

The president of the united states always has an advantage with one voice and one forcible presentation compared to 530 five voices in the house and senate.

Is this president using that voice?

Here in the first year of his second term, we have already seen the results -- some of the learning that he has gone through.

He has been much more forceful.

On the issue of climate, he has made a number of powerful and eloquent statements.

Yesterday he said in the aftermath of this crisis, we have to do more on climate.

He has directed his epa to regulate the co2 emissions from power plants, which is a welcome and needed step.

Is he doing a good job?

I think he faces obstacles that are awesome and i think what we saw with the results last night that he handled this extremely well.

I think he is doing a good job on addressing the climate crisis , even though he could do more.

My job is to say more is needed, but i support his leadership and i am grateful that we got past this insane sticking point on the budget.

Is john boehner doing a good job?

I do not want to be in a position of issuing grades to these politicians.

I do not think he is.

He faces the tough position as well.

The tea party caucus -- to hear them the days before a potential default say, a default would not be so bad or alternatively, we do not need to do fall, we can stop paying social security or stop paying the military and pay the bondholders instead.

That is not.

Enough people -- that is nuts.

Enough people realized that so they had to back down.

It is even more nuts for them to say that physics is in accurate and that global warming is not real.

The entire scientific community has agreed on this for a long time.

Entitlement spending is a massive issue.

Why are we not talking more about that?

Putting a price on carbon would make it easier to deal with the problems we are facing.

Who do you admire?

I admire president obama.

Outside of the political route.

Nelson mandela is probably the preeminent global leader whose life of courage and commitment inspires me.

Rachel carson inspired me.

If you push me, i will have to say, even though it will say -- even though it will sound cliche, my father and mother had a bigger impact on me than anyone else in and -- in inspiring me.

What about a woman that has had a huge impact in this country?

Hillary clinton.

I think she is extremely capable.

She did a great job as the senator.

If you are a democrat with residential ambitions today, would you run against hillary clinton in a primary?

I already identified as a republishing -- a recovering politician.

You are also a media mogul.

You have a lot of experience in media.

I sold current tv, very happily.

I am proud of what the new owners are doing.

I think part of the problem with our political system is that everybody focuses on the horse race instead of the choices that we have to make.

At this point in the 2008 election cycle, hardly anyone had heard of barack obama.

We are several political lifetimes away from the next campaign.

I am not going to engage in horserace analysis before the horse has even gone to the gate.

Let's find a date closer to 2016 and we will ask you this question again.

Former vice president, al gore.

This text has been automatically generated. It may not be 100% accurate.

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