This is a rush transcript from "Your World With Neil Cavuto," May 6, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
NEIL CAVUTO, ANCHOR: A short time ago, I spoke with Democratic Congressman Charlie Rangel from New York on the whole mess in the globe.
CAVUTO: Why do you feel they’re being unfairly targeted to bear the brunt, when everyone there is paying higher rates, everyone is going to pay higher taxes, and the union members have just kept...
REP. CHARLES RANGEL D-N.Y.: Listen, all I’m trying to say is that whether you’re talking about the United States or Greece, it’s the people that manipulated the fiscal system in Greece, as they did in Wall Street here, that has caused the market to collapse, not only in Greece, but throughout Europe and certainly in the United States.
CAVUTO: But, Congressman, no one manipulated a government that was spending more money than it was taking in. By that definition, you’re part of the government doing the exact same thing, right?
RANGEL: This is not so. It’s not that we had invested all our money with Goldman Sachs. I think it’s abundantly clear...
RANGEL: ...certain financial banks...
CAVUTO: Congressman, you know that’s a very small part of this. You know that there’s a cradle-to-grave entitlement system in place in Greece that has now emboldened people to think they’re fully protected. You know, a lot of them retire at 53. A lot of them retire on full pension...
CAVUTO: Now, that’s great if you can get it...
CAVUTO: I just want to be clear with something, Congressman. Do you think...
RANGEL: You’re giving a speech.
And what I’m trying to say is that Bernanke, the chairman of our Federal Reserve, said that the fiscal collapse of Greece is directly connected to about seven large U.S. banking firms, including Goldman Sachs, and that’s what caused it.
And so all I’m saying to you, that, if there’s going to be pain, it should be equally shared. And certainly those people that enjoyed maybe too much of a liberal subsidy situation, that they should not pay for the mistakes that bankers have made and...
CAVUTO: Fair enough. Fair enough.
RANGEL: ...and manipulated the people. Yes.
CAVUTO: Understood. Understood, sir.
But, to be fair, what Ben Bernanke was saying is that many of those firms might have gunned the system to take advantage of the same situation I told you, that is, a government that was providing more in benefits than it was taking in, in money, and did so year after year, decade after decade, to the point we’re in.
RANGEL: That’s not what caused the fiscal collapse.
RANGEL: I mean, there is a question of how far they should go.
CAVUTO: Congressman, do you think — do you think there’s a come-to-Jesus moment here where governments, regardless of their relationship with U.S. brokerage houses, have spent more than they’re taking in, and are now looking at the reaper?
RANGEL: Listen, I’m not prepared to talk about coming to Jesus at this point in time.
RANGEL: I am able to say that one of the largest programs that we have that people attack as being a broad entitlement that we have to look at is Social Security.
No one can deny that this program, more than anything else in the history of the United States, removed our older people — removed our older people from poverty. And I think that we know that, when you’re old and you can’t work, it costs a lot more money to help people along than to be able to say that they feel secure.
Take Medicare, another one of our programs that we will be remedying with a national health insurance bill. And we will bring it into solvency. But the fact is that people who cannot get health care, which is true in Greece, cannot work, and ultimately cost more to the society, not just in lack of productivity, but the costs of being involved in serious conditions and complicated surgery.
So, what I’m saying is that...
CAVUTO: All good ideas, but how do we pay for it, Congressman? How do we pay for it? All good ideas. Everyone thinks the elderly should be protected. Everyone thinks we want a –- it’s a good idea to provide health care to everybody.