This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," February 1, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: $3.8 trillion -- that is the president's proposed budget for fiscal year 2011. Who pays? Do you pay? Democratic congressman Rob Andrews joins us live. He is on the House Budget Committee. Good evening. And in looking at the president's proposed budget -- and I realize it's only proposed, I keep using that word "proposed" -- it assumes that we'll have unemployment in the year 2011 at an average of 9.2 percent. What is your sort of sense of certainty that that's where we're going to be? Because that really is sort of important in terms of generating revenue for the government.
REP. ROB ANDREWS, D - N.J., BUDGET COMMITTEE: I think it's a reasonable forecast, given what nonpartisan economists have had to say. You know, in the 4th quarter, growth was 5.7 percent. People have not seen the benefits of that, but jobs usually come one or two quarters after growth does. And so I would think the forecast is rather reasonable. I hope it's lower than that, Greta. I hope it's a lot lower.
VAN SUSTEREN: I think we all do, indeed, wish it's lower than that. Now, will that include an additional jobs stimulus bill, is that your thinking, to drive this unemployment where we are at 10 percent down to 9.2? And do we need a jobs stimulus bill? Is that what the Democrats propose? And how much?
ANDREWS: I think -- a couple things. I think we need a jobs bill that cuts taxes on working people, cuts taxes on small business and spends money building roads and bridges and sewer systems, and whatnot. I do think, though, that the amount of the jobs bill should be more than offset over the five-year budget plan. In other words, if we put $100 million into the jobs bill, we ought to offset it by $120 billion or $130 billion of spending cuts.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right, if we cut taxes on working people, now we've cut down again on the government income, which creates a problem. Do you - - I take it you intend to raise taxes on somebody else to offset that? Is that right? And if so, who gets taxes raised on and to what extent?
ANDREWS: Well, what this budget plan says is that the bottom 95 percent of the American people, families making less than a quarter of a million dollars a year, get a tax cut. And people making more than -- couples making more than a quarter of a million dollars a year have their tax rates go back to what they were in 2001.
Now, we've heard before that this will stifle economic growth. We heard this in 1993, when President Clinton proposed it. Of course, what happened is that 23 million new jobs were created in the economy, unemployment fell to less than 3.5 percent. And I think the evidence really shows that if you do this right -- if you do this right -- you can have economic growth. And I think we will.
VAN SUSTEREN: If you say "do it right," what's missing because, you know, it's -- you know -- you know, it's very hard when you sort of look at these numbers and where we are at 10 percent now -- you know, it's sort of hard to understand doing it right because we've tried to do it right with the $787 billion stimulus bill that's been grossly disappointing to many, especially the to the unemployed.
ANDREWS: Well, I think doing it right means spending cuts, and the president's budget proposes a lot of them. Things like this. There's a program that sends states money to clean up mines that have already been cleaned up. There's a program that sends the energy companies that have made really record profits a lot of money to help pay for their research and development by taxpayers' money. That gets cut. There's a program that sends the telecommunications companies that, frankly, are tremendous centers of innovation, taxpayers' money to invent things. These are things that are cut out of this budget. I think it makes a lot of sense to do that.
VAN SUSTEREN: How did we even get those in the budgets? I mean, why are we subsidizing telecommunications companies, because you know, then the first thing I think of is, OK, these are earmarks and it must have been in a political year, someone had a, you know, telecommunications business...
ANDREWS: They were...
VAN SUSTEREN: ... in his home district -- well, I mean, you know, I guess, how do we stop...
ANDREWS: You would think so.
VAN SUSTEREN: ... doing those things? You know, I mean, like -- I mean, and (INAUDIBLE) cleaning up mines that have already been cleaned up - - I mean, that's -- that's very disturbing because, you know, we hear that there weren't supposed to be earmarks, and we've had earmarks. Everyone who runs for office says no earmarks, but we get earmarks. We get another election cycle, we get more earmarks. I mean, how does this happen? At what point do politics stop and we start doing the right thing?
ANDREWS: You know, I think it has an awful lot to do with the way we pay for campaigns, that if you probably look behind any one of these spending items I just talked about, there is some donor or some interest group, Republican and Democrat, that funded these interests.
I think, Greta, the ultimate answer is do the opposite of what the Supreme Court did a couple of weeks ago and have cleaner campaign funding, where we put limits -- you know, we have much smaller contributions from a much larger base of people and don't have special interests on the Republican or Democratic side calling as many shots as they do.
VAN SUSTEREN: Well, indeed, that -- and we'll have to come back for another discussion on that because I think we could probably have an hour discussion on that because it's enormously complicated, with lots of big issues.
ANDREWS: It's not...
VAN SUSTEREN: Congressman, thank you, sir.
ANDREWS: Well, it's not very -- but it -- but it's not very complicated when a huge corporation can pour as much money it wants to in a campaign. That's just not a good thing.
VAN SUSTEREN: You know, but then -- but the unions do the same thing. For every single one you can do, I can -- I can -- I can do the flip side.
ANDREWS: And you know what?
VAN SUSTEREN: That's the problem.
ANDREWS: And it should -- what's good for the goose should be good for the gander. How about smaller contributions from a lot of regular people, rather than big interest groups? How about that?
VAN SUSTEREN: And will you come back? I got to go. Thank you, Congressman.
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