Fox News
September 18, 2012

Goolsbee: The economy is 'heading the right way'

Guests: Austan Goolsbee

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," September 18, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: I want to put this country's situation in context for all of you. Anti-American rage is spreading like a virus. Despite the olive tree and olive branch the president held out to the very people that are now burning our flag and chanting death to America, the job market continues to bottom out. Our commander in chief, what is he doing? The following -- hanging out with WNBA champions at the White House. He's chatting with late night television host David Letterman. He is attending two evening fundraisers, the first at the beautiful Waldorf Astoria here in New York City. And right about now, he just got done rubbing elbows with Jay-Z and his wife, Beyonce at a posh club in New York City.

Here with reaction, former Obama economic adviser Austan Goolsbee. Austin, welcome back, sir.

AUSTAN GOOLSBEE, FORMER OBAMA ECONOMIC ADVISER: Good to see you, Sean.

HANNITY: Isn't it nice, let's see, the Waldorf Astoria, Martha's Vineyard, 100 rounds of golf, plenty of basketball, elaborate vacations --

GOOLSBEE: What have you got against the WNBA, Sean?

HANNITY: A hundred rounds? I don't think I've played a hundred rounds my whole life.

GOOLSBEE: It's a longstanding practice that presidents bring in the world champions from all the sports, they meet with them. Every president has done that. What are you talking about?

HANNITY: And where is Bibi Netanyahu in this mix? We have the Middle East on fire. We have people burning our flags, raiding our embassies. You might want to talk to our closest ally, just a thought, maybe a good idea. What do you think?

GOOLSBEE: Look, I'm not a foreign policy geopolitical expert. My understanding is that they haven't made a request for him to meet.

HANNITY: Let me think, I'm just a humble talk show host. I've got Beyonce, Jay-Z, Letterman, the WNBA on this hand and I have Bibi on that hand. Let me think, the world is burning, I think I choose Bibi.

GOOLSBEE: Sean, look, as you know, if Mitt Romney would pledge to stop taking $20 million checks from the super PAC donors, it would make the presidential campaign a lot less fundraising intensive.

HANNITY: Excuse me. Obama made that promise in 2008 and then he reneged on it, didn't he? He did. I'm right about that.

GOOLSBEE: After the Supreme Court change the law, after the Supreme Court changed the law.

HANNITY: It had to be somebody else's fault.

GOOLSBEE: It's not anybody's fault. It's not anybody's fault, Sean.

HANNITY: We have no jobs in America. Do you want know why?

GOOLSBEE: We have added 4 million jobs in the last two years!

HANNITY: Listen, give me all your caveats, private sector, this month but not this month.

GOOLSBEE: No caveats! Last two years we added 4 million jobs.

HANNITY: We have fewer Americans working since he became president, fact.

GOOLSBEE: Yes, that's true, because he came in during a terrible recession. In the last two years we've added 4 million jobs.

HANNITY: And so did George Bush. He said he cut the deficit in half. Did he do it?

GOOLSBEE: The deficit is not cut in half. We've had this conversation. You know why.

HANNITY: Has any president given us $6 trillion in debt or anywhere near it before Obama?

GOOLSBEE: Has any president ever inherited a recession of this magnitude?

HANNITY: Yes.

GOOLSBEE: No.

HANNITY: President Reagan.

GOOLSBEE: Not even close.

HANNITY: 21.5 percent interest rates -- inflation 21.5 percent, unemployment double digits, inflation out of control.

GOOLSBEE: The job losses in the recession that Reagan inherited -- and I agree he did inherit a recession -- were nowhere near the job losses of Obama inherited.

HANNITY: We have $6 trillion in debt. Let me ask you this, $6 trillion in debt, we have 15 million more Americans on food stamps. We have one in six American living in poverty. In a three-year period people lost 40 percent of their net wealth. Most people's biggest investment, their houses, the value has gone down. Are Americans better off economically than they were four years ago?

GOOLSBEE: Yes. I wouldn't trade and nobody should be willing to trade the situation we are in now for where we were four years ago. That would be crazy. Two, the net worth and the losses you described were worse before he took office. What are you talking about?

HANNITY: Let me ask you this question. So we are better off $6 trillion in debt. He called President Bush for $4 trillion in debt in eight years. Obama in July of 2008 said he was, let me think, unpatriotic and irresponsible. So by his own definition is he unpatriotic and irresponsible?

GOOLSBEE: In a boom! You always leave out the most important part of the line, Sean --

HANNITY: When he took the credit card to the Bank of China in the name of our kids?

GOOLSBEE: You don't run up a credit card to the Bank of China during a boom when you're supposed to be saving the money in case of an emergency.

HANNITY: He didn't say in a boom. He took a credit card.

GOOLSBEE: He said in case of an emergency.

HANNITY: All right, so we now have $16 trillion in debt, he inherited $10 trillion in debt, and now the country, you are saying, is on a better fiscal path. What can we expect in the next --

GOOLSBEE: Sean --

HANNITY: Wait, wait.

GOOLSBEE: When he came in --

HANNITY: Wait a minute. He said he would cut the deficit in half. He said he would have shovel-ready jobs, fewer Americans working, $6 trillion debt. Here's my question, what can we expect in the next four years if he promised to do these things and the opposite happened?

GOOLSBEE: No, Sean.

HANNITY: Yes, he did.

GOOLSBEE: No. You know that you are my friend and if you come to Chicago, I'm going to take you to a Bears game. I'm going to fight back against that Packers propaganda that Greta has been giving you, but on this one I think you are missing the mark a great deal, Sean.

HANNITY: He said he would cut the deficit in half. He didn't do it. So why should we believe him this time?

GOOLSBEE: Number one, you know that in 2010, as we have discussed, the deficit was coming down --

HANNITY: That was recovery summer.

GOOLSBEE: And the Republicans and the Democrats agreed on a joint basis to extend all the Bush tax cuts --

HANNITY: Obama did that.

GOOLSBEE: -- knowing perfectly well the deficit would remain high because we felt that we need to do that.

HANNITY: All right, I think the best excuse the president has when he blames ATM machines and kiosks and the tsunami and Fox News. I think those were his best excuses. I don't know why I like you, Austan, but I do.

GOOLSBEE: Sean, 4 million jobs. We've added 4 million jobs in the last two years, that's faster than George Bush was adding jobs.

HANNITY: Fewer Americans working, $6 trillion in debt, more Americans in poverty. Sad. But alright Austin, you think we are better off. I disagree.

GOOLSBEE: We're heading the right way.

HANNITY: I know, 2010 was recovery summer too. We were heading in the right direction then. I got to go.

GOOLSBEE: I didn't say that.

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