This is a rush transcript from "Your World With Neil Cavuto," May 28, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: All right, now fair and balanced.
David Pollak says that Huck has got it all wrong. Of course, he is the former Obama campaign chairman.
And always good to have you.
CAVUTO: David, I'm sure you agree with everything Governor Huckabee just said, so this might just be redundant. But your point is, what, that the spending is justified; we are going to see bang for all of these trillions of bucks?
DAVID POLLAK, FORMER CO-CHAIR, NEW YORK STATE DEMOCRATIC PARTY: Well — well, first of all, you know I have to say this. When the Democrats left power in 2000, we did not have these huge deficits and — and the debt. It was really a result of the last eight years.
So, we're in a pickle, because, on the one hand, President Obama did inherit this large debt from the Bush administration. On the other hand...
CAVUTO: David, I have just got stop you.
POLLAK: Let me — no.
CAVUTO: Just to be fair, just to be fair, we had a couple of little items along the way called a recession and then I don't know if you recall 9/11. But I digress.
POLLAK: Right. Right.
POLLAK: But, as you know, as you know, that wasn't the problem, right? The problem was, they cut taxes on the rich and raised spending. So, if you cut taxes and raise spending, that is where the deficits come from. That's what Bush did.
CAVUTO: No, no, allow me to correct you again.
CAVUTO: The tax cuts did create revenues. You are quite right to say they spent those revenues and then some.
POLLAK: Well, that...
CAVUTO: But I just want you to be true to the math here. But continue.
POLLAK: Certainly, certainly, certainly, you will agree that the deficit grew under the Bush administration.
CAVUTO: All right. So, let's say you're right on that.
CAVUTO: No, no, no.
CAVUTO: I want to ask you...
POLLAK: So, here's the challenge.
POLLAK: Neil, let me ask you a question.
CAVUTO: So, you are advocating playing the blackjack player in this...
CAVUTO: ... and doubling down and tripling down.
CAVUTO: There's no wisdom...
CAVUTO: ... to what they did...
CAVUTO: ... but you're saying...
CAVUTO: ... we're going to do double what they did.
POLLAK: No. The — the trick is, and the reason why we're in a pickle, is, you would agree there's a lot of things we have to do. We have an energy problem in this country, right? We have an education challenge in this country. We have — we have a health care crisis. We have a lot of investments we need to make which will lead to long-term productivity, which will lead to growth in the economy, energy independence, more technology expertise in schools, better research and development, all of which are not going to paid, unfortunately, by the private sector, which have to be supported by government behavior.
So, the question is, the pickle we have now is, we have this huge debt. Yet, we know we have make certain investments. We know we have to fix the health care system to get over to the point where we can start to pay it down. And that's — that's...
CAVUTO: But, Dave, do you have to do it all — do you have to do it all at the same time?
POLLAK: All right. Well, you certainly...
CAVUTO: I have to say, if I — if I look at my house, I have got, let's say, a leaky faucet, right? I have got a furnace going down. I have got my roof that needs fixing, and I have problems with my floor and heating.
Now, I have got to start picking and choosing what projects I want to address, because, by the way, I don't have limitless amounts of cash.
You guy seem to be saying, ah, the hell with it. Do it all at once.
POLLAK: Well, Neil, we — you and I have, all of a sudden, gotten — we're in a really good place right now if we agree that these things need to happen, these things are appropriate to happen, and the question is, what is the timing? How fast are you going to roll them out?
And I don't think you're seeing...
CAVUTO: Well, that is what I'm asking you.
POLLAK: And you're not — right. Fine.
CAVUTO: I'm going to give you that they — they all should be done...
POLLAK: Thank you.
CAVUTO: ... which I don't believe they shouldn’t be.
CAVUTO: But I'm asking you this. Do they all have to be done simultaneously?
POLLAK: But — but, of course, the president is not saying that we have to do them all simultaneously.
CAVUTO: We are.
POLLAK: You — you saw the stimulus package first.
CAVUTO: Dave, we are.
POLLAK: No. No.
CAVUTO: Have you looked at this?
POLLAK: The stimulus package first.
CAVUTO: We're doing it all simultaneously.
POLLAK: We aren't doing health care yet. Health care is yet to come.
And the energy — the energy piece is further down the road.
So, you are going to see — and the president has laid out a strategy of doing these one at a time.
CAVUTO: Dave, we're already — Dave, Dave, Dave, Dave, look, I love you dearly.
POLLAK: You got to do it.
CAVUTO: But we are already raising funds to try to pay for this health care that is coming down the chute here.
We're looking at increasing taxes on soda. You guys touch bakery products, I'm coming after you.
POLLAK: But my point is, you are already starting that, and you are already getting Republicans, as I just told the good governor here a few minutes ago, to come up with ideas of their own to pay for something they deem to be inevitable.
So, you have got everyone on the same page. I am just wondering whether we can afford the choir book.
Well, I have to say that I will be very upset if the free soda in the green room is going to be gone as a result of higher taxes. But...
CAVUTO: Leave the doughnuts alone. I'm just telling you, leave the doughnuts alone.
POLLAK: The issue about health care...
CAVUTO: Take the tax, leave the cannolis.
But go ahead.
POLLAK: The issue — the issue about health care is, remember, we're already spending the money, right?
For the 40 million uninsured, they do get health care. If an uninsured person gets shot, they go to the emergency room. Your taxes pay for it. So, the question is, is there a way to create...
CAVUTO: Whose taxes? Whose taxes?
POLLAK: Yours, mine, everybody's, right?
CAVUTO: All right. All right. So, that's an important distinction then.
POLLAK: Right. Right.
CAVUTO: We have gone from just the rich...
POLLAK: No, no.
CAVUTO: ... to pretty much everybody, right?
POLLAK: Right. Right. Right.
Everybody's taxes pay for it. So, the question is, if you can these 40 million...
CAVUTO: Well, all right. Everybody — all right. But that — that - - that...
POLLAK: If you — Neil, Neil, right?
CAVUTO: You just said everybody's taxes, right?
POLLAK: If you can get these uninsured people, instead of getting the highest-cost medical care in the — in the emergency rooms, is get them into an insurance plan, it's going to lower the overall cost of health care, because, remember, we do have universal health care in this country. Everyone does get health care. What we don't have is...
CAVUTO: No, no, but, Dave...
POLLAK: What we don't have is universal health insurance coverage.
CAVUTO: And we're going to touch on that in the next segment, my friend.
POLLAK: All right. We don't have universal coverage.
CAVUTO: But I want to just be clear with this. We're — I know. I know. And we're going to get it on the next segment.
But I do want to at least be clear here.
CAVUTO: What started out as paying for this with rich folks has now extended, especially if we get this value-added tax that Senator Conrad kicked around, with everyone paying, right?
POLLAK: Well, the value-added tax will absolutely pace a — play — a higher burden on working-class people, OK? So, that's...
CAVUTO: So, that's where we're going, right?
POLLAK: I don't think we're going that way.
CAVUTO: Oh, really?
POLLAK: I haven't heard anything that we're going that way.
CAVUTO: Well, Mr. Smarty-pants, we will see...
POLLAK: Kent Conrad, you have got to — you ask — you ask — have to ask the senator.
CAVUTO: ... because I am predicting — I am predicting that is exactly where we are going, because you are good at math. They are very good at math. They have crunched the numbers. And they know you can't get there from here just hitting the rich here, right?
POLLAK: Sure. There's so — first of all, there's so much wealth. We are so blessed to live in this country which has such extraordinary wealth. There's more billionaires and hundred-billionaire than ever before in history.
CAVUTO: Dave, we are down to two rich people in this country, Hannity and O'Reilly. That's it.
POLLAK: Don't forget Mike Bloomberg.
CAVUTO: OK, three.
CAVUTO: All right, we will see what happens.
Dave, thank you very, very much.
POLLAK: Thanks, Neil.
CAVUTO: Very good having you, as always.
CAVUTO: All right.
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