JOHNSON: We don't have to do that. We shouldn't be playing this brinksmanship.
CAVUTO: I know you don't have to, but if it comes to that, what would you do?
JOHNSON: Again, that is a hypothetical situation. What we need to do --
CAVUTO: I had a congressman on here yesterday who said, well, devil be damned, then we will shut the government down.
JOHNSON: What we need to do is we need create the conditions that you are not threatening a full government shutdown. You can actually pass...
CAVUTO: What are you threatening?
JOHNSON: What you can do -- what we need to be doing is using these moments to educate the American public so they actually understand how severe the financial situation is and, by the way, that President Obama does not have the other side of his balanced approach.
CAVUTO: Well, you might, but they seem to like the president more than you. So how do you get them to like you?
JOHNSON: Well, we obviously didn't win the election. It's about informing America.
It's about letting people understand that what Pat Caddell was just talking about, that what we are doing to our children and grandchildren is utterly immoral and that it can't go on. And anything that can't go on won't.
CAVUTO: But do you fear that you're banging against the wall and no one is listening?
CAVUTO: And that it's coming to the brink -- and let's say you do push this to the brink, they are going to say it's -- Republicans have pushed it to the brink.
JOHNSON: Listen, there are thing things we can do.
CAVUTO: Like what?
We can pass legislation in the House that prioritizes spending, so that if we bump up against that debt ceiling and we don't raise it, we make sure that we don't default on our debt, we make sure that military gets paid, that Social Security checks are sent out to everybody.
It's one thing we can use the trust fund for. If you take a look at $2.5 trillion is what we get in revenue, you tack on top with $775 billion in Social Security payments that can be made out of the trust fund, you are basically operating the government at about 95 percent level.
It doesn't have to be painful. Now you cut the rest of the people, the rest of the agencies. It's one strategy. But another one is there are all kinds of plans out there, Neil, for reducing spending. Here, the CBO has one. Here's a list, two pages, $4.9 trillion of spending reductions, deficit reductions over 10 years.
JOHNSON: What we should be demanding of the president is, listen, if you want a dollar -- for dollar increase in the debt ceiling, give us a dollar worth of cuts. And here's a menu.
CAVUTO: Well, he told you that last time and he ignored you.
JOHNSON: I understand that. That is the difficulty we have is we only control the House.
Harry Reid is in control of the Senate. He's not passing budgets and they are not preparing the reports on Medicare. You got a president who denies that we have a spending problem, when we all know that that is our problem.
CAVUTO: Senator, thank very much. Good seeing you in the flesh.
JOHNSON: Good seeing you.
CAVUTO: Ron Johnson, all right.
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