Is Injecting $150B Into Economy a Good Idea? Congressman Adam Smith Weighs in

This is a rush transcript from "Your World With Neil Cavuto," October 13, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: So, if governments all over the world can do it, why not ours — again — this time another $150 billion stimulus package aimed at boosting consumer spending right now?

Democratic Congressman Adam Smith is all for it.

Congressman, where is this money coming from?

REP. ADAM SMITH (D), WASHINGTON: Well, first of all, Steve (sic), I'm not necessarily all for it. I'm not necessarily the best representative for the Democratic Party on this issue. I — I voted against the last stimulus package that we voted last time.

Video: Watch Neil's interview with Congressman Adam Smith

And, basically, I think our — our underlining economy, the problem we have is we have been trying to spend our way out of our problems, both in terms of the government and individually. We have been living on — I mean, pick your term — credit, leveraged borrowing, whether it's individual business, whatever.


CAVUTO: All right, I am sorry.


CAVUTO: I got that record wrong. I apologize.

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SMITH: I have concerns about trying to spend our way out of...


CAVUTO: You are open to the $150 billion this time, for this, right? And what would it cover?

SMITH: Well, I — I am still waiting to see what the specifics are.

CAVUTO: Right.

SMITH: And I am one Democrat who will be very concerned if it is simply a matter of passing out money.

The one area that I am interested in is the idea of investing in infrastructure, something that actually builds for the long term, instead of just spreading money out for the short term. I mean, we — as I have said, we have done enough of that in 1,000 different areas. We need a more stable long-term economy, not one that is dependent upon simply pumping money in from wherever we can find it.

CAVUTO: Well, that's a very valid point.

Can I ask you this, Congressman? And this, by the way — because I have criticized Republicans on this, Democrats on this.

SMITH: Sure.

CAVUTO: We just keep throwing a lot of money at it...


CAVUTO: ... and I guess with the hope being that something sticks.

And I just wonder, in the end, how we are all going to pay for it. I know a lot of it is based on the idea that you spur economic activity...

SMITH: Right.

CAVUTO: ... or, in the case of taking stakes in banks, that maybe we make money back.

But it is a crapshoot, is it not?

SMITH: Well, this was — I mean, this was George W. Bush's economic policy, to a certain extent. He said, I'm betting on...


CAVUTO: No, no, no, no. See, you're doing the one thing that I...


SMITH: Let me finish. Let me finish. Let me finish.

CAVUTO: There is enough blame to go around.

Go ahead.

SMITH: He said he's going to bet on growth. That's — I mean, it's exactly what you just said. He's not going to — he's not too worried about whether or not the books balance, because he's going to do the tax cuts. He's going to do other things that are going to bet on growth.

CAVUTO: Well, your speaker — your speaker just said she is going to bet on growth.

SMITH: Understood.

But — but, as you said, it is — it is a bipartisan issue. And I think we need to bet on more substantial fundamentals. And let me...

CAVUTO: So, if it is a bipartisan issue, why did you do the "Bush is evil" thing again?

SMITH: Oh, I did not say Bush was evil.


CAVUTO: It's his fault. You said it's his fault. It's his fault.


SMITH: Don't be so sensitive, Neil. I was just saying that this was something that he said.

CAVUTO: Tell me one thing you like about the president.

SMITH: I'm sorry. I didn't say that Bush was evil.


CAVUTO: Tell me one thing you like about the president.

SMITH: I will tell you several things I like about the president.

CAVUTO: All right.

SMITH: I like — I'm on the Foreign Affairs Committee. I'm involved in global poverty. I like the Millennium Challenge Corporation that the president put in place.

CAVUTO: All right, there you go, one.


CAVUTO: Is he a good dad? Is he a good dad?

SMITH: Pardon?

CAVUTO: Is he a good idea?

SMITH: I haven't any idea.

CAVUTO: All right.


SMITH: What are we talking about here? I'm trying to focus on policy.


CAVUTO: That's my point, though.


SMITH: You're confusing me with other people, Neil.

CAVUTO: And, by the way, both parties do this.

No, no, no, I'm confusing you with a political system that makes kind of enemies of the other side.

SMITH: Oh. And I'm with you. That's ridiculous. I don't do that. I was simply referencing...

CAVUTO: You just did. You just did.

SMITH: I was referencing a policy point. I can't do that?

CAVUTO: All right. All right.


SMITH: Come on.

CAVUTO: Did anyone in your party make bad policy points?

SMITH: That — that George Bush was wrong to simply say he's betting on growth, and not have a more fiscally responsible approach?

CAVUTO: Did anyone in your party — did anyone in your party botch anything?

SMITH: Oh, absolutely. Please.


SMITH: You think there aren't Democrats — look, Neil, this would be a much better conversation if you did not confuse me with other guests.


CAVUTO: No, you know what I...


CAVUTO: Congressman...

SMITH: I support Barack Obama and I support his policies. But I'm not...

CAVUTO: There you go. Then it's time for a political group hug. All right, that, I understand.

Congressman, I want to have you back.


CAVUTO: But you said more than your colleagues have.

SMITH: And, if we can talk about an issue or two, I think that would be fascinating, Neil.


CAVUTO: Well, if we could get off the political stump speeches, you can count on it.

Congressman, thank you very, very much.



CAVUTO: All right.


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