Fox News
February 20, 2013

Would automatic spending cuts even put a dent in US debt?

Guests: John Sununu

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," February 20, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: The numbers, they don't lie Mr. President. Tonight, one day after the commander-in-chief unleashed his dire warnings, his tirade about the impact of the looming sequester cuts, ironically this is the measure that he himself proposed.

Tonight, we decided to parse through his apocalyptic warnings and examine the actual numbers behind these cuts and separate fact from fiction. In other words, we're going to do the mainstream media's job, so let's begin.

Now, first, the sequestration as put in place by the budget act of 2011 will force $1.2 trillion in automatic cuts -- but that's over 10 years -- to both domestic and defense spending. Now, to delay these automatic March 1st cuts, Congress must fine in the 2013 budget, $85 billion worth of reductions. But with no deal in the works, that 85 billion, well, that's looking pretty elusive.

But the sequestration, is really going to put the country in dire straits? Well, the answer is no. But that also does not mean you're not going to feel some impact when in fact the cuts go into effect.

Now maybe this will give you a better picture. Now, the proposed cuts for 2013 only represent a 2.4 percent reduction in the $3.8 trillion of total 2013 spending. Now, adding even more perspective, this is less than one-half of one percent of the growing $16.5 trillion federal debt. And when you compare the spending levels in 2010 to what has been proposed in 2013, well, we're actually going to spend $9 trillion more this year, and just slightly less than what we spent in 2011 and almost exactly what we spent in 2012.

So, the president's out there, he's using scare tactics and he's scaring seniors and teachers and first responders. Well, let me offer one more statistic to give you more clarity. The cuts that we're about to incur are to discretionary income, and that's separated into two categories, domestic and defense. Now, Obama's fear mongering, almost only and exclusively focuses on the domestic portion.

Now, he's alleging that our economy will cease to function because we're going to be spending only $29 billion less on domestic programs this year. That's out of 3.8 trillion. So, do you know what $29 billion is with the federal government? Guess what, they spend that every 72 hours.

Now, I want to be clear. I'm not defending, I'm not justifying sequester, frankly it's just a cowardly way out for these politicians. But these figures show, the reality of what's pending. And before I bring in my first guest, John Sununu, there are three lessons to take away from all of this information that I just presented.

One, these number showed the true scale of the impact of sequestration, it's not what the president is saying.

Two, it proves the president is cherry picking his facts, politicizing the entire situation because he wants to scare you.

And three, we can't forget, we're in this mess because the president, he's the one that put us here back in 2011. He's the one that wanted sequestration.

And here with reaction to all of this is former New Hampshire Governor John Sununu. Governor, welcome back to "Hannity."

FMR. GOV. JOHN SUNUNU, R-N.H.: It's good to be back Sean, thank you very much.

HANNITY: All right. Governor, so I guess he wanted this, this was his idea. I'll show tape later in the program. He wanted this. He said, no way am I going to take this off the table, if they try, I'll veto it. And now, all of a sudden, this is catastrophe, doom, gloom, Republicans hate everybody and want seniors to die and first responders to lose their job and the FBI to shut down, border security to shut down -- the audacity. It's almost laughable.

SUNUNU: Sean, this president is compelled to raise revenue at every opportunity he has, to raise taxes. He used the "fiscal cliff" to scare people. He raised taxes on the rich. He got his pound of flesh for the election. Now, he's using sequester to raise taxes again. He will use the change in the debt ceiling to raise taxes again. He cannot help himself. It is an addiction he has and he thinks that building up government and expanding programs is his mandate. And no matter what he does, it's going to be designed around raising taxes.

HANNITY: Yes. Look, one thing I'm sick about in all this, I'm tired of conservatives, Republicans -- he's a demagogue. This president just flat- out lies. The media won't call him out on it, but dirty air, dirty water, throwing granny over the cliff, now its Republicans want to hurt everybody, basically, and if he's going to use those words and he wants to be a demagogue, then I think it's fair that we say that the president is stealing, the president is a thief and he's robbing our children's future and our grandchildren and he's smashing open their piggy banks. If he wants to play these games, we can play the same way.

SUNUNU: The tragedy of what's going on is that one of the constituencies that went big for him, the young folks in America, are the ones he's screwing the most. He's screwing them with taxes, he's screwing them with, as you put it, robbing from them in the future, and what this president succeeds in doing, unfortunately, is convincing about 52 percent of the public that no matter what he says, no matter how untrue it is, we have a chunk of the public out there that will believe anything he says.

HANNITY: It's like a hypnotic trance.

SUNUNU: It's unbelievable. It's unbelievable.

HANNITY: And the media that is the lap dog media -- which I'll get to in a second here. I just want to look at this. He wanted his tax increases, he got, what is it, 1.2 trillion? The ObamaCare tax, he got the fiscal cliff tax and another $800 billion. Where are the spending cuts? If we can't cut 85 billion this year of 3.8 trillion, if we can't do that and we're borrowing 46 cents of every dollar, we're doomed. We're mathematically doomed.

SUNUNU: I have to explain to people, 3.8 trillion is 3,800 billion, and they're taking about 80 of those 3,800 billion and putting them aside as a spending cuts. It is an insignificant number to the size of the real problem. And this president, he's failed to pass the budget, he's failed to provide alternatives that Republican house has sent two package of alternatives to the sequester, and Reid and the Democrats in the Senate have ignored. The president ignored, they have an obligation to be responsible and they failed to do it. This president is failing to lead.

HANNITY: What are we doing about the lap dog kiss ass media out there? That literally, we've got Russia now is literally on Inauguration Day is flying above American Air Space with missiles that have nuclear tips on them. We have -- the president hasn't said a word about that. We've got China hacking our computers, the Egyptians, which we're giving F-16s, we're paying for $1.5 billion, they're aligning with Ahmadinejad. And all the media seems to care about is they want a picture of the president playing golf with Tiger Woods. That's all they want. That's all they want.

SUNUNU: Look, this president has forgotten it's really a dangerous world out there. The world is not a friendly place. It needs a powerful U.S. to provide stability and it needs leadership from the president. And he's just failing on all of those counts. This country needs to understand that we need to reinforce ourselves economically and we're failing to do it. We have to deal with the fact that we have to have a military that's capable of responding and this president is ignoring it. And we need a foreign policy that has some coherence and this president doesn't know what that means.

HANNITY: I have some questions that I think the media ought to be asking the president. And I want you to add to the list of questions I have. For example, number one, why, Mr. President, were you for sequestration -- and I'll play it in the next segment, his own words that he said, he wouldn't, he vetoed anybody to try to taken away. Why is he for it and against it and it's now doom and gloom and apocalyptic. Why does he blame Republicans for everything? What is he going to do about the Chinese hacking? What does he have to say about the Russians flying over our air space with nuclear weapons and, you know, on Inauguration Day? Any other questions you think the media ought to be asking them? Why does he demagogue every Republican and lie about what they really believe?

SUNUNU: I think you have to ask the fundamental questions. Why would you not agree to spending cuts that begin to create economic stability in this country? Why are you so committed to increasing taxes and why do you want to ignore the defense security of this country by letting your own sequester, Mr. President, gut the defense budget?

HANNITY: Well, you know, as far as he's concerned. You're about to go out and kill grandma and poison children. That's every-- apparently that's what he believes about conservatives. We want everybody fired.

SUNUNU: I can't wait to see their ads. I can't wait to see their next ads, Sean.

(LAUGHTER)

HANNITY: All right. Well, if it wasn't so serious, we can't cut 85 billion of $3.8 trillion that we're going to spend when we're borrowing half that money, and stealing from our kids. It's frightening.

SUNUNU: Sean, you've got a target-- you've got to target your message to the young people that are getting screwed by this president.

HANNITY: They are getting screwed, literally, their entire lives are going to spent paying back the money we're robbing from their piggy banks right now.

All right. Good to see you.

Content and Programming Copyright 2013 Fox News Network, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Copyright 2013 CQ-Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of CQ-Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.

Interviews

See more interviews →

Get Social with Sean

connect on social media

Want more Hannity?

subscribe to Sean's podcasts!

See All Podcasts

Want to know the story about Sean's ties? Learn more when you spin the Hannities wheel.

Check out the page