This is a rush transcript from "Your World," November 3, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. NANCY PELOSI, D-CALIF., HOUSE MINORITY LEADER: I will tell you this. If President Obama and the congressional Democrats had not acted, we would be 15 percent unemployment.
(END VIDEO CLIP) Nancy Pelosi just said that without President Obama or the congressional Democrats, the unemployment rate would be a lot higher than it is now, 15 percent.
NEIL CAVUTO, HOST OF, “YOUR WORLD”:
My next guest could not agree more, Democratic Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky.
Congresswoman, do you believe that?
REP. JAN SCHAKOWSKY,D-ILL.: Absolutely.
I was looking at the charts of Alan Blinder and Mark Zandi, Zandi from Moody’s and former consultant with the McCain campaign, and he has a whole -- we would be happy to send it to you -- predicting what unemployment would have been without the stimulus and other federal action.
Yes, I certainly do.
CAVUTO: Well, that is like trying to prove something that never was, though, right?
SCHAKOWSKY: No, no, exactly -- exactly not.
I will tell you what the greatest proof is, that a lot of those stimulus hypocrites who say that it created no jobs are often the first ones to show at the ribbon cutting, when that new police station is opened, or that road or bridge project begins. They will be out of mind in order to get up there and grin in front of the cameras.
CAVUTO: You might be right about that, but there is no way to prove something like this, right?
(CROSSTALK) CAVUTO: We know we are down a net 2.5 million jobs since the president took office. We’re down a net 2.5 million.
SCHAKOWSKY: Yes. Well, that...
CAVUTO: So, maybe it would have been a lot worse. You can argue it might have been a lot worse, but there is simply no way to know. All I know is your party, when the president, then George Bush, said things would be a lot worse in Iraq if we weren’t in there when we were, the criticism was, and it was a fair criticism, how can you prove that, Mr. President?
So I will ask you the same thing today.
SCHAKOWSKY: OK. Well, that is very easy, because there were big lies about whether or not there were weapons of mass destruction.
(CROSSTALK) CAVUTO: No, no, don’t mix it up. You know though I’m saying, that it would have been worse had we not gone in. There was no way to prove that.
(CROSSTALK) SCHAKOWSKY: Absolutely.
CAVUTO: You are saying things would have been a lot worse had we not done stimulus. Prove it.
SCHAKOWSKY: Well, I turn to the Congressional Budget Office, I turn to the economists who talk about how many job would have been created, would have not -- would have been lost and would have been -- not been created.
We do know that there were jobs created. Yes, we can count those jobs that actually were created, sure.
CAVUTO: Yes, we can. No, no, you are right, you are right.
SCHAKOWSKY: Yes, we can.
CAVUTO: But here is what we cannot quantify, and nowhere in your research the CBO or Moody’s or Zandi or any of these other guys come to the conclusion you just did, that an unemployment rate... SCHAKOWSKY: Yes, they did.
CAVUTO: No, no, actually I just looked at this -- that is north of 9 percent would have been 15 percent without it.
SCHAKOWSKY: Well, that is exactly what Zandi and Blinder did. No, but that’s what they said.
CAVUTO: Do the math backwards, Congresswoman? Do the math backwards, that if you talk about, let’s say the two million jobs they are arguing were gained through stimulus, you cannot say, if you took that out, the unemployment rate would have been 15 percent without it.
SCHAKOWSKY: Well, that is exactly what -- that is exactly what they calculated using all kinds of economic models and saying that if we hadn’t put those people to work through the stimulus program and other government programs that, in fact, that would be it.
I am not an economist, you are right. And so I rely on these economists, almost all of whom, I think just about all of whom, who have said, yes, indeed, the stimulus program did just that. It created jobs and helped to stimulate the economy.
(CROSSTALK) CAVUTO: By the way, not everyone has said that. And I don’t need a calculator. I could use my fingers and toes to count some of these jobs because the fact of the matter is if you argue that you gained two million jobs, doing the math backward, Congresswoman, you would never be able to claim you shaved 6 percentage points off the unemployment rate.
You would have to get something in excess of 10 million jobs gained to have done that, so I guess what I am asking you is, leaving aside maybe the fact that you and I can disagree on the math involved here, you seem to be justifying stimulus per se, and that more stimulus, more spending will get this unemployment rate down even further, when, in fact, since stimulus, the unemployment rate is higher, not lower. It is higher.
SCHAKOWSKY: Actually, the unemployment rate had hit 10 percent. And so it is actually lower than it was.