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Stimulus Bill, Part 2?



This is a rush transcript from "On the Record ," March 11, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: The Dow did close up today. OK, it was only 4 points, but that's better than nothing and certainly better than down. Meanwhile, hang onto your seat for this one. There is already talk on Capitol Hill about the need for a second stimulus package. You heard right. There is word tonight that the first $787 billion might not be enough.

Joining us live is Steve Moore, economic writer for The Wall Street Journal and co-author of "The End of Prosperity." Steve, I want to talk to you about the possibility of a new stimulus bill (INAUDIBLE) but first to follow up on what Senator Graham was just saying. What does your study show, or what have you...


STEPHEN MOORE, WALL STREET JOURNAL, CO-AUTHOR, "THE END OF PROSPERITY": Well, I am so angry, I can't even stay calm on this. I mean, this -- first of all, all of these spending programs that are getting this 8 percent raise this year, as Senator Graham said, most of them are getting 50, 60, 70 percent increases in their budget from the -- from the stimulus bill that we passed. There are a number of agencies that I found in, for example, the Department of Education, that are getting 500 percent increases in their budget this year! I mean, these numbers...

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, but you know...

MOORE: ... are completely out of control!

VAN SUSTEREN: But -- but not...

MOORE: Remember what I said...

VAN SUSTEREN: Not even just the numbers out of control, it's a question (INAUDIBLE) the way that it's come across our plate is there's been no time to evaluate it...

MOORE: Right.

VAN SUSTEREN: ... so see whether it's even -- 500 percent is even...

MOORE: That's right.

VAN SUSTEREN: ... a smart thing to do.

MOORE: Right.

VAN SUSTEREN: That -- I mean, I back it up even a step further...

MOORE: And that was the case...

VAN SUSTEREN: It might be a great idea.

MOORE: That was the case with both bills. Remember the stimulus bill, as the senator knows, nobody had a chance to read the bill! I mean, my goodness, the largest and most expensive bill, Greta, in American history, and they don't even give the senators and congressmen 48 hours to read what's in the thousand-page bill? And the same thing happened with this -- with this omnibus spending bill. They basically rammed it through as fast as they could because they didn't want the public to see what was in it. You know, how many times has Barack Obama used the word transparency? Almost every speech he gives. There is no transparency!

Watch Greta's interview with Stephen Moore

VAN SUSTEREN: But what's so -- what's so different about today's spending bill, unlike -- I mean, unlike the stimulus -- the stimulus bill is because -- I mean, one way that you can look at it is we needed to do something very quickly to stimulate our economy because there's a lot of hardship, a lot of people are suffering. But...

MOORE: Yes, but Greta, they could have waited a couple of days!

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, of course.

MOORE: I mean, my goodness!

VAN SUSTEREN: Of course. The president waited three days to sign it. He went out to Denver.

MOORE: Right. Right.

VAN SUSTEREN: I mean, look, there's -- I mean, that's -- you know, I agree. If it were so important, they would have signed it right when they flew in the senator from Ohio that night and they would have done it then. I agree with that. But what's so profoundly different about this bill is that this bill is to fund the government from now until September, and we didn't need to do that because we just...

MOORE: We didn't.

VAN SUSTEREN: ... we just have stopgap -- while we have time to evaluate...

MOORE: That's right.

VAN SUSTEREN: ... the 8,500 earmarks.

MOORE: And remember what I said the other night on this show? This would be a test to see who is really in charge of Washington today. Is it Barack Obama or is it Nancy Pelosi? And he has delegated the legislative function to Nancy Pelosi. I think this is a big mistake. He has got to take charge. He's falling into the same trap that Jimmy Carter made and it ruined his presidency. Remember in the late '70s, he let Tip O'Neill run Congress. That's exactly what...

VAN SUSTEREN: But I also think that the American people aren't going to like language like this in his speech today where he says, This piece of legislation must mark an end to the old way of doing business.

MOORE: Right.

VAN SUSTEREN: If he wanted to mark an end, he wouldn't have signed it.

MOORE: Well put.

VAN SUSTEREN: He would have sent it back. And so...

MOORE: That's right.

VAN SUSTEREN: I think -- I think you lose the American people because we heard what he said in the run-up to election.

MOORE: Right.

VAN SUSTEREN: You got to keep your word with the American people.

MOORE: That's right. And it was the same thing, by the way, when he signed the stimulus bill and the next day, he says he's going to have a fiscal responsibility summit. I mean, the two things (INAUDIBLE) And the point of our conversation is now the big headline is, now the Democrats only less than a month after signing that bill into law, but the ink isn't even dry on that legislation yet -- now the Democrats on the Appropriations Committee are saying, You know, we need another stimulus bill. We need to spend $500 billion more!

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, OK, let me ask you about that. I mean, they say we might need another -- a second stimulus bill. Upon -- I go back to the whole thing is, like, where do they come up with these numbers?

MOORE: Right.

VAN SUSTEREN: Upon what indicators or what facts do they suddenly say we need another one? Is there -- are they looking at some...

MOORE: Well, the stock market has crashed. There's no question about it. I mean, we've seen a 25 percent reduction in the stock market. We have a lousy...

VAN SUSTEREN: Is that why -- is that why...

MOORE: Well, but...


MOORE: ... also had a lousy jobs report that came out last month. But we knew that. I mean, we knew we were going to lose jobs.

VAN SUSTEREN: So what's different? What's different in the last 24 hours that it suddenly had the Appropriations (INAUDIBLE)

MOORE: My own opinion is it's opportunism. Remember what Rahm Emanuel said? He said a crisis is a terrible thing to waste. The Democrats, especially the liberal Democrats, are trying to use this crisis to cram as much debt and spending down our throats as they can while the crisis exists.

VAN SUSTEREN: If -- but here's the problem...

MOORE: And by the way, I believe that what's causing the crisis is exactly the overspending that they are doing!

VAN SUSTEREN: But they must have some sort of fear, like, if they're on the wrong track, if they're really wrong, if they keep spending this, this is going to create a far bigger problem later than we have now. So you'd think they'd want to at least have some sort of -- put the brakes on a little bit to see how the first stimulus bill worked.

MOORE: Well, that's where the American public is. You know, I was in your home town of Wisconsin (SIC) this weekend. Eight hundred people showed up to a rally, and these people -- and it was, by the way, Hispanics, blacks, young people. There is something going on in this country. People are angry about what is going on with this excess of spending. And you tell the American people we want to do another stimulus bill on top of this? I mean, it's going to cause a blow-up, a riot!

VAN SUSTEREN: And of course, the other thing is that where do they get the numbers. That's -- that's the scary part, and that's what the members of Congress don't want the American people to know is that, largely, they're just pulled out of the hat.

MOORE: Well, and we've already...

VAN SUSTEREN: And hope for the best.

MOORE: Don't forget, we've already spent $2 trillion already. Another $500 billion would be more money than the entire budget was two years ago.

VAN SUSTEREN: Steve, thank you.

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