OTR Interviews

Lou Dobbs Blasts 'Government on the Installment Plan'

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," April 6, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Do you sometimes wonder if they ever get embarrassed? Politicians over the years telling you, Vote for me, I can do the job, and then fast forward to right now, and they are more than a year late in doing the budget for 2011 and we are hours from a government shutdown. And for some reason, they -- they just didn't do their jobs. That's why we're in this situation.

Now, Lou Dobbs, host of "Lou Dobbs Tonight" on the FOX Business Network went "On the Record."

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

VAN SUSTEREN: Lou, nice to see you.

LOU DOBBS, HOST, FOX BUSINESS "LOU DOBBS TONIGHT": Good to see you, Greta.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, Lou, is this fight over the budget, whether to keep the government open or not -- is this a bigger ideological battle than money?

DOBBS: It was until Congressman Paul Ryan came forward with a dramatic $6 trillion plan to cut $6 trillion in federal spending over the course of the next decade. I truly believe, Greta, that trumps the continuing resolution. It gives the Republicans a higher standing, if you will, in the negotiations with Harry Reid and the president on the continuing resolution or the 2011 budget, whichever results here.

VAN SUSTEREN: Do you have any problem with the continuing resolution? Because I tell you, it -- you know, I find it appalling that we've been limping along with these resolutions. They took a week off to -- and to do constituent service in March, not doing their jobs. It's long overdue. If I didn't show up for work at night, you know, I'd get -- you know, they'd pull me off the air in a second! I find it appalling that they're not doing their jobs!

DOBBS: Yes, it's truly government on the installment plan, isn't it. And the president so piously talking about politics -- he actually referred to not getting last year's business done when we could have gotten last year's business done last month or the month before or the month previous to that. Greta, the president would not even acknowledge that it was his job and Harry Reid's job and Nancy Pelosi, when she was Speaker of the House, to have gotten this budget taken care of in 2010, before the election! They made a calculation and it was a miscalculation. And the politics go on.

VAN SUSTEREN: Do you think they really believe that it's all the Republicans and sort of look -- I mean, the Republicans have -- they do have responsibility now because they own the House.

DOBBS: Right. Right.

VAN SUSTEREN: But do you think that when President Obama is talking about last year, when it was the House, the Senate and the White House were all Democrat and there was no budget -- do you think he actually believes that it was Republicans or do you think he's being deceitful or hoping the American people don't notice that at one time, he did have the House and the Senate and didn't do it?

DOBBS: Well, he's also being insulting. We can add insulting to that list, as well, because if the American people can't remember back until November, it would be astounding. But truthfully, I don't think there's any doubt he's being, let's be kind, disingenuous about it all. And both Republicans and Democrats are now joined on an ideological confrontation that will help frame, I believe, Greta, the 2012 presidential election. It's going to be about the size, the scale, scope and spending levels of the federal government, without question.

VAN SUSTEREN: Do you think the Republicans are being a bit disingenuous because although the Obama administration are big spenders, that the administration before, when they had the House, the Senate and the White House, they were likewise big spenders? So are the Democrats, to the extent that they're -- I mean, the Republicans now a little bit disingenuous in this fight?

DOBBS: Yes. We should spread the generosity and call the Republicans only disingenuous in this, as well. You're quite right. It's one of the reasons that I'm very much a fan of divided government. I prefer far better a government divided, rather than in the control of one party. History shows this time and time again, that good things do not emerge from a government that concentrated in the hands of one political party.

VAN SUSTEREN: I'll tell you what enraged me and that's that a freshman congressman named Allen West, who was elected in November -- he wasn't sworn in until January -- and the other day, he got a bill passed unanimously. He got his own party and he got all the Democrats in which to find waste in the Pentagon's budget. I think it's $30 million dollars the first year, $180 million over five years, is that if a freshman congressman can do that, what in the world are all these other ones, Republicans and Democrats, doing?

DOBBS: Yes, you -- it does make you wonder. And look at that freshman senator who had been in office less than a month who managed to put forward a piece of legislation to cut $500 billion from the current 2011 federal budget -- $500 billion! That, of course, is Senator Rand Paul. Amongst the freshmen senators and congressmen, we have some real potential stars legislatively who look like they mean, intend and are capable of making a real difference.

VAN SUSTEREN: And I guess it's worth noting that if the $61 billion is cut, like the Republicans are asking, that we're only talking about less than 2 percent of the projected federal outlay. So while there's this huge fight over it, it's less than 2 percent, and nobody's focusing on the waste. Everyone's just focusing on this.

DOBBS: Yes, think about -- just a -- just a few weeks ago, the General Accountability Office came out with a report that as much as $205 billion a year in waste in federal programs, duplicative programs that we can go to -- to -- you know, everyone wants to talk about entitlements -- $48 billion in fraud in Medicare alone per year! And we keep hearing these numbers in one form or size or another almost every year, Greta. And yet this president, this Congress does not respond and create a response that would save the taxpayers and the budget a considerable amount of money.

(END VIDEOTAPE)