Interviews

Cavuto vs. Rep. Johnson

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST OF "YOUR WORLD": All right, to Washington, where we have the president's budget, as you heard, House Republican Paul Ryan's budget, as you know.

Now, what's progressive Democrats -- or what are progressive Democrats calling for in their People's Budget? Their budget calls for $1 trillion to $5 trillion in job creation investments.

Democratic Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson joins me right now.

I should clarify--$1.5 trillion.

But the numbers get so big, Congresswoman. I apologize.

So, you think that the president is focusing too much on the spending cut part. You want to see what?

REP. EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON, D-TEXAS: Well, no matter whose budget it is, I want to see some vision and planning for the future of this nation.

All of us know that just cutting, and doing nothing else, is doing nothing more than running jobs out of the country and getting rid of jobs that are here. We cannot solve the problem by just cutting. We all know that we need to do some cutting, but we've got to have revenue generation. We've got to have money for education. We've got to innovate. We've got to create jobs. We've got to...

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO: But, Congresswoman, we're broke. We're broke. There are a lot of things I would love to do, but we don't have the money, right? We're just broke.

JOHNSON: We cannot -- we -- listen, we cannot allow this nation to throw away its future. We've already lost the edge. We've got to stay in the game.

CAVUTO: Well, we've already lost the edge, Congresswoman, because we're so damn broke. We're running in the red for so long now, we can't see our heads.

JOHNSON: And let me assure you...

CAVUTO: So, maybe -- maybe the reason why we are in the pickle we are in is because we've been so deep in this, that we do not know the way out. Maybe it's time to dig out.

JOHNSON: Well, you know what? It is time to dig out. But we cannot dig out by cutting all the livelihood away from our future. We cannot do it at the expense of our seniors. We cannot do it at the expense of our future with our young people in education. We cannot do it...

(CROSSTALK)

JOHNSON: ... innovation out of this country.

CAVUTO: But don't we owe those young people, ma'am -- but don't we owe those young people a debt-free life? If I die and leave to my kids...

JOHNSON: Let me...

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO: But if I die and leave my kids just a lot bills and debt, for one thing, they're going to be upset. And, for another, I have screwed their future.

Before we start giving...

JOHNSON: You're screwing the future now.

CAVUTO: ... them all these benefits, maybe the best present we can give them is no debt.

JOHNSON: The best present we can give them is a good education with a good direction in innovation, so that we can get this country moving. I am not willing to give all of what we've invested to another nation. And that is exactly what we're doing.

CAVUTO: But we already have.

(CROSSTALK) CAVUTO: The more we dig in debt, ma'am, the more we dig in debt; we are in hock to nations.

JOHNSON: Listen...

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO: We have China and we have a host of other countries calling our number, because they know they have our number.

JOHNSON: You know what?

CAVUTO: And unless we get that under control, we can't invest in squat. Beggars can't be choosers. I hate to break it to you, but all I do is follow numbers. I am Fox's nerd, Congresswoman. And we are broke, broke, broke, broke, broke, broke, broke. Poor. Done.

(CROSSTALK)

JOHNSON: Without vision, without planning, without innovation, we are out of the game.

CAVUTO: I know, but you can't have vision and innovation when you don't have money to pay for it. I'm just saying, we get out of that, then I can -- I could see your vision...

JOHNSON: How do you get out without investment? You can't get out without investment.

CAVUTO: But you can't -- you can't pay for innovation, ma'am...

(CROSSTALK) JOHNSON: Yes, we can get out of it.

CAVUTO: ... on a credit line. You can't pay for that on a credit line.

We did that. We've done it under Democratic and Republican presidents alike. We got -- you know, when you dig a deep hole, Congresswoman, sometimes, the better part of valor is to put the shovel down.

(CROSSTALK)

JOHNSON: Your problem is, is that you don't listen. You just scream.  And you're screaming the same thing these fools are screaming here. We've got to have innovation.

CAVUTO: But, ma'am, you are saying the same thing. You are saying the same thing.

I'm just asking you to say something different, to realize, that, wait a minute, we are in a pickle.

JOHNSON: Nothing different is going to work. We've got to still have vision. We've got to still have research. And we've got to still stay in the game.

We still have got to educate our young people, because what -- what are these kids going to do when they have no debt, no education, no innovation, no health care, seniors will out of nursing homes? What good will...?

(CROSSTALK)

JOHNSON: ... do?

CAVUTO: Come on, ma'am. Seniors will be out of nursing homes.  Ma'am, ma'am, ma'am, here is what I am saying.

JOHNSON: How are they going to stay in if you're cutting all the money?

CAVUTO: Well, if you're broke, you don't have options.

You know what?

(CROSSTALK) CAVUTO: Congresswoman, I would love to have a house in Tahiti. Then I come to this annoying fact...

JOHNSON: Let me tell you...

CAVUTO: ... wait a minute; I don't have the money for the house in Tahiti.

So, it's time for your grand dreams -- and a lot of them, ma'am, are great dreams.

(CROSSTALK)

JOHNSON: You get what you -- you don't get any return without investment. So, unless you invest, there's no return coming. Unless you invest in education, we're out of the game.

(CROSSTALK) CAVUTO: You are right about investing. But you have to have money to invest. We have zero. We don't have money.

JOHNSON: I can tell you where you can get some. I can tell you where you can get some money.

CAVUTO: Where are you going to get it? Where are you going to get it?

JOHNSON: By restructuring this tax code, by getting rid of the tax -- the big tax rate for the very rich, close the loopholes for big companies.

CAVUTO: OK. All right.

JOHNSON: Tax these companies that are getting offshore and sending jobs away from here for cheap labor. That's how we get it. We straighten it up and do the right thing by the people of this country.

CAVUTO: You know, Congresswoman -- I'm sure you know this, because you're very good at these numbers -- that if you were to hike everyone's taxes, even the rich, all the way up to 50 percent more than they're paying now, if you were do all of that now, do you know that you would still have about a $700 billion deficit this year? So, you can only get there so far hiking taxes.

JOHNSON: You know what? And we're not going to get rid of the deficit this year. We didn't get into it in a year.

CAVUTO: All right.

JOHNSON: It took eight years to get here. And it's going to take at least somewhat longer to get out.

In addition to that, we've got these wars that we shouldn't have been in. We have all this unnecessary spending in the wrong place.

CAVUTO: Right.

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO: Congresswoman, you're right about everyone and everything that got us into this predicament, Republicans and Democrats alike.

JOHNSON: Right.

CAVUTO: All I am saying acknowledge the obvious.

JOHNSON: I'm not saying its Democrat or Republican. I'm saying we need some common sense right now. We need some vision. And we need planning.

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO: All respect, ma'am, it is not common sense to tell our kids we're going to strategically invest in you, when we're going to leave you with a debt that is going to floor you. That's not common sense.

JOHNSON: Let me just tell you something. First of all, if you got kids born right now, we're not going to get totally out of this debt by the time they become an adult. Do you want them to run around with no shoes, no clothes, and eating off the ground, and drinking water that's not safe...

(CROSSTALK) CAVUTO: I'm telling you, Congresswoman, they're going to be doing all of -- they're going to be doing all of that if we do not get this debt fixed. We are quickly becoming a banana republic if we don't get this...

(CROSSTALK)

JOHNSON: It takes planning. It takes wisdom. It takes planning. It takes innovation. You can sit there and be ignorant as you would like to be, but it's not going to solve it.

CAVUTO: OK. All right. All right.

Well, ma'am, we can respectfully disagree, but I'm just telling you we are going to hell in a hand basket. And that's the reality.

JOHNSON: I think you're already there.

CAVUTO: Yes, I probably am.

JOHNSON: When you refuse to have vision, -- when you refuse to have vision, you're already in hell.

CAVUTO: Yes. Well, you know what I have? Ma'am, I have vision when I have got money. And we don't have money. So, I'm sorry. I'm out of vision.

JOHNSON: All right. You've got to get yourself some vision...

CAVUTO: OK.

JOHNSON: ... and find a way to solve this problem.

CAVUTO: Absolutely. It's probably right where that pot of money is. That I can't find.

Congresswoman, seriously, very, very nice having you.

JOHNSON: Thank you.

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