This is a rush transcript from "Your World With Neil Cavuto," November 25, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: All right, some new charges of bias in the automaker bailout debate. First was Barney Frank asking why we can bail out white-collar workers on Wall Street, but not blue-collar workers in Detroit. He-s a Democrat.
Now even Republicans are joining in — my next guest saying we care more about people wearing Guccis than Levis.
Thaddeus McCotter is a congressman from Michigan.
Congressman, always good to have you.
REP. THADDEUS MCCOTTER (R), MICHIGAN: Nice to have you — thank you, Neil.
• Video: Watch Neil's interview with Thaddeus McCotter
CAVUTO: What if all the bailouts were a mistake, a pox on all your bailout houses, and then we wouldn-t have this blue-versus-white-collar debate?
MCCOTTER: Well, I appreciate Chairman Frank-s remarks, but there are also white-collar employees in the auto industry, too.
But I agree with you. We would have preferred free-market solutions to the Wall Street bailout. We would have preferred not to see the "Who-s on first" routine between Secretary Paulson and Fed Reserve Chairman Bernanke, because they seem to come by it naturally, whereas at least Abbott and Costello had to practice it to put forward that state of confusion.
MCCOTTER: But now we find...
CAVUTO: That-s pretty good.
MCCOTTER: Now we find ourselves in a situation not of our making, Neil...
MCCOTTER: ... where everybody seems to be going towards a collectivist solution.
I have one simple offer for everybody in Washington that has complained about the auto industry or the restructuring. When does Washington put forward a restructuring plan? When does this government that is starting to spend up to $1 trillion in deficit every year finally come forward and say, "Here-s how we-re going to restructure to remain viable in the future and serve the sovereign constituents of the United States"?
I think that would also be a step forward...
CAVUTO: But, in the meantime, that same government, you want to see help out Michigan, right? And that-s your right. I mean, it-s — you-re looking after your constituents.
CAVUTO: But, you know, it — it — it kind of just is bad money after bad money, right?
MCCOTTER: Well, I would disagree with the premise that it-s bad money after bad money.
But, as we have talked about, Neil, one of the...
CAVUTO: Well, what has come of the money that we-ve already given any of the financial institutions?
Are they lending more? No. Are their stocks a lot lower than when this started? Absolutely. Is the Dow 3,000-plus points lower than when it just started? Absolutely. That-s all I-m saying.
MCCOTTER: Well, the only thing that-s come out of the Wall Street bailout is, they have actually evoked sympathy for Somali pirates, who have to do their own dirty work.
In the final analysis, what we-re looking at here is a failed Wall Street bailout, because, fundamentally, they-re throwing taxpayers- money at the people who caused the problem. And every day, it seems to change.
I have teenaged children, Neil, and one of my favorite things to see is, when they do something wrong, they pound their chest and say, "That-s on me."
We have watched our treasury secretary do this to the tune of $700 billion, and that has to stop. In a perfect world, we would get the votes, we would stop it, this administration would realize it-s made a mistake, and we could go toward free market solution.
CAVUTO: Yes, but I know, Congressman, about kids, too. And when they see one kid getting something, the other kid wants something. And they-re all into Washington right now with their hands open, wanting more, because, they argue, "What you did for the banks, you have got to do for the autos, you got to do maybe for the real estimate industry, you have got to do for housing, you have got to do for chemical guys, you have got to do for textile guys," and on and on and on we go.
MCCOTTER: Well, we are at the point now, with the auto industry, when we went through a painful restructuring, we never came to Washington for a thing. We wanted to be left alone to go through healing the self-inflicted wounds that the industry had put upon itself over decades.
As we went through that process, again, we never came to Washington for anything. Now we come because of the Wall Street credit freeze hurting the short-term commercial paper and the ability of the financial — of the auto companies to finance the restructuring, and because of the unfunded mandates that comes through the CAFE standards that were imposed upon them.
CAVUTO: But, Congressman, there are a lot of...
MCCOTTER: And the larger picture...
CAVUTO: I — I know what you-re saying, sir, but there are a lot of industries that could similarly bemoan how the credit crunch crunched them and their businesses, and they don-t come marching to Washington for a handout.
MCCOTTER: A lot of industries are not the auto industry. I see your point.
But, from the perspective of my constituents, as they have gone through this, America needs a manufacturing base. We need a manufacturing base to continue our prosperity and to preserve our liberty. And we have had this discussion, Neil.
But, in my mind, I don-t blame people for being upset about the bailouts, especially when the big $7.4 trillion gorilla in the room has proven to be impotent and counterproductive.