NEIL CAVUTO, HOST OF “YOUR WORLD”: You want jobs to get going? Well, get calling for more spending. Just don’t call it spending.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESIDENT OBAMA: We can’t let our infrastructure just crumble and fall apart. We’re America. We’ve got to make that investment.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAVUTO: All right, Democratic Congressman Chaka Fattah agrees with that, says the president’s got it dead-right.
Congressman, you and I have chatted about this before. And I think you are a great guest, but you’ve got to be kidding. I mean, put the shovel down, right? You’ve got to put the shovel down.
REP. CHAKA FATTAH, D-PA.: Well, look, Neil, all I can tell you is that if you take the millions of jobs lost in the last two years of Bush, and the two million jobs gained over the two years of Obama, I know a lot of the Obama critics, they are celebrating...
CAVUTO: Well, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. We have a -- we still have a net loss under President Obama of 2.5 million jobs. You’re aware of that?
FATTAH: Neil, take a look at the jobs lost under the last two years of Bush, and the almost two million net jobs increased under Bush -- under Obama.
CAVUTO: Congressman, I don’t want to get sidetracked here, and I respect the heck out of you, but that’s simply not so. You’re right. There has been a surge in new jobs in the last year.
FATTAH: Two million.
CAVUTO: But the bottom line -- I got to tell you, net-net, from when the president took office to today, we are net down 2.5 million jobs. That’s from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. I’m not making that up.
So, we will just...
FATTAH: Well, you’re absolutely right. That is that in the day he -- the month he was sworn in -- he was sworn in on the 20th of January, in January, the nation lost 800,000 jobs.
Now, if you want to credit that to President Obama, go right ahead. I’m not sure that, intellectually, we should.
CAVUTO: I ‘m not here to play this game.
All I’m just saying, Congressman, is if we are down 2.5 million net jobs since that period, and we’ve done a lot of spending, we have done a lot of surplus, and I guess you can argue, as you have in the past, that we would be a hell of a lot worse if we didn’t, but we’re not exactly firing on all cylinders. And now it sounds like you are saying spend more.
FATTAH: Well, here you go. We have 132 million Americans who are working today. And we have millions who are not working. And we need to work harder to get them back to work.
(CROSSTALK) CAVUTO: Doing what? What would you do? What would you do?
FATTAH: Well, I think we should work to increase manufacturing; we should work to improve our infrastructure. We should do the work that the country needs done.
CAVUTO: So that’s more spending by the government to build roads, bridges, stuff like that, right?
FATTAH: Well, the point here is that I believe we should have the best airports in the world, the best infrastructure in the world. And I think that what we have as a country in the past, generations before us, they’ve invested in those -- in bridges and roads and highways.
CAVUTO: But we don’t have any money to invest. We’re broke.
FATTAH: Well, the point here is that the cost of doing nothing is to allow our economic competitors to get ahead of us. We’re in the number-one economy in the world.
CAVUTO: But I have seen what the costs of doing something is, Congressman. I’ve seen $938 billion devoted to health care law; $821 billion to the stimulus plan a couple of years ago.
I look at the Homeownership and Business Assistance Act, $6.6 billion. That’s been working like a charm. The hiring incentives to restore the Employment Act, $17.6 billion, higher unemployment rate than when it started, extra funding for states and teachers, for Medicaid, all of that, $26 billion, worse than it was prior to the commitment of the money.
I could go on and on. Eventually, you get to a point where you’re digging a hole, and maybe you just say, you know what? I am just going to put the shovel down.
FATTAH: Well, look, you left out $1 trillion-plus on a couple of wars, but selective amnesia...
(CROSSTALK) CAVUTO: No doubt. No, no, no, no doubt you’re right.
FATTAH: I’m not in the do-nothing crowd, Neil.
CAVUTO: I’m just saying, but I’m telling you, you’ve done something. You’ve done something.
FATTAH: I don’t believe you want to be in the do-nothing crowd, Neil.
CAVUTO: Here is the solution. No, no, no. You know what? I don’t want you people to do anything. I want you to stop. And I would like you to take the same amount of money you are spending, with the best of interest and the decent of heart, to give it, the same money, back to taxpayers, and let them have at it.
FATTAH: Well, taxpayers have gotten tax breaks under President Obama, the largest in our country’s history.