This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," July 25, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
SEAN HANNITY, HOST: The stalemate on solving the debt crisis drags on. While the president is attempting to get out in front of the issue with speeches and several meetings with congressional leaders, well, the one thing we still have yet to see from "The Anointed One" is an actual plan of his own.
Here with more reaction to tonight's big debt ceiling debate and the speeches by President Obama and Speaker of the House John Boehner is Utah Senator Mike Lee.
Senator, good to see you, sir.
SEN. MIKE LEE, R-UTAH: Thank you. It's good to be with you, Sean.
HANNITY: One thing I've learned about this president, and I'm not patting myself on the back, he's so predictable. Bumper stickers, slogans, he goes back to the 1970 playbook, class warfare, scaring old folks, no plan of his own. And of course they have his poll-tested line, "balanced approach."
The question is, will enough Americans see through his predictable propaganda and his little talking points?
LEE: I think they will. Look, the man, as you pointed out, is stuck in the 1970s and he can't get out. Class warfare, as much fun as it may be for the president, is not going to solve this problem. What's going to solve this problem is when Congress finally imposes upon itself permanent structural binding spending reform of the sort that we need and can obtain only through a constitutional amendment restricting Congress's ability to borrow.
That's why I wrote the book "The Freedom Agenda," to point out that until Congress restricts its own spending power through the Constitution, we are not going to get out of this mess.
HANNITY: Yes. What did you think specifically? I mean, he comes out of the box and he blames President Bush. And I love how, you know, he got his budgets passed. Those were his budget plans. He had both houses of Congress. He accumulated over $4 trillion in Obama debt, unprecedented, any president in history. He didn't take any of the blame himself. He is still blaming George W. Bush.
He said -- he described his spending as "emergency steps," because the recession caused us to spend more. I mean, is he capable of taking any responsibility? Does he have to blame everybody for his bad decisions?
LEE: Apparently so. Apparently he even has to blame the fact that he made it worse. Unemployment has gotten worse. The availability of jobs, the availability of credit, the surplus of homes on the market, the number of people going into foreclosure, all of this has gotten worse. Why has it gotten worse? Because he made it worse.
Now he's telling us yet again that the solution to our problems, the problems caused by too much government, is more government, more government funded by excess deficit spending. It has got to stop somehow and it has got to stop right now.
HANNITY: Well, one of the things that -- I got very frustrated last week because I like the idea of "Cut, Cap and Balance." I think that's a solution that deals with short-term problem, takes care of Social Security recipients, pays for Medicare, raises the debt ceiling, which they say is so necessary with this artificial deadline.
But it also dealt with structural issues in terms of how we got there. So I thought that was a -- they wouldn't even bring it up for a vote in the Senate. The president doesn't support it. Can you tell me what his plan is? Because I have never read his plan. I have never seen his plan.
LEE: No one knows, Sean. It is for all of us just to imagine what his imperial majesty might decide to cram down our throats next. But you are exactly right, we had a plan amid all this call for compromise.
He refuses to acknowledge that it is Republicans, Tea Party Republicans, like myself, especially who were behind the one and only legislative proposal to do this. I wrote the "Cut, Cap and Balance" act and introduced it in the Senate with 40-some-odd co-sponsors, and saw it get passed in the House a few days later.
We were ready to debate it, to discuss it, to subject it to full amendment processes and everything else that a normal piece of legislation goes through. But then Harry Reid and the Democratic caucus decided to kill it. They tabled it before it even had a single opportunity not just for a vote on the merits, but for any debate discussion or amendment.
Now they want to convert this whole thing into a "super congress," into a bipartisan commission setting aside the fact that 17 such commissions have failed in the past. We've got already two perfectly good constitutionally empowered bipartisan commissions.
One is called the Senate, and one is called the House. They are trying to bypass this and cram down the throats of the American people a precooked deal that their legislative elected leaders won't have the opportunity to debate and discuss on the merits.
HANNITY: Yes. This is where I run into problems with Speaker Boehner's plan. And I like the fact that they are going to get more in cuts than they're going to get in terms of raising the debt ceiling. But I'm skeptical.
We've been burned before. We've been down this road before. I can't support a plan that 12 members of Congress are going to vote on by themselves. I just can't support that because I don't have enough faith in those 12 members. I don't even know who the 12 members are.
LEE: Well, and no one does know. No one knows who are. No one knows who they will be. But more importantly, this is a process that, again, will arrange for a precooked deal, one that will be brought back to the actual Congress to vote on without opportunity for amendment.
HANNITY: All right. What the president -- it's interesting, half of Americans don't pay any federal income tax, fully one half. We've got one in seven Americans on food stamps. The president tries to make it corporate jets versus grandma and Social Security or Medicare. That's how he's trying to frame this debate, half of Americans don't pay so he goes after the rich, the wealthy, the successful. He said, well, if you make over $250,000, you won't pay. But that includes every small business which creates about 65, 70 percent of the jobs in this country. So he's really not being honest when he says that small businesses or people that don't make a lot of money are going to get their taxes raised, right?
LEE: He's not being honest. And he's overlooking the fact that when you raise taxes on that group of people, you are raising taxes on the very people that we need to rely upon to invest their money to place it at risk so that we can create jobs in this country. That's the only way we are ever going to create jobs. Moreover, the tax increases that he's talking about wouldn't even put a dent, not even a scratch on a dent in the deficit problem that we have.
HANNITY: Will his fear-mongering have an impact with the American people? In other words, America's credit rating is going to be downgraded -- by the way, it already has been. Standard & Poor's already is saying in 90 days it is likely to happen, Moody's is saying the same thing in large part because of his policies which he won't acknowledge.
But is any of the fear-mongering that interest rates will go up, the rich won't pay their fair share, Social Security and Medicare, do you think that is going to resonate?
LEE: It may resonate with some. But at the end of the day, Sean, I believe that the truth will prevail here. And the American people are starting to realize the fact that it is not just the immediate debt limit increase vote that puts it us stake for a credit rating downgrade. What is arguably an even greater risk and a more long-term pervasive systemic one is the risk associated with cavalierly and reflexively raising the debt limit yet again without putting place a permanent constraint.
HANNITY: Last question, Senator, what happens from here?
LEE: What happens from here is that conservatives in the House and the Senate continue to stand their ground on the "Cut, Cap and Balance" act, which has passed the House, which is the only legislative proposal introduced so far to actually address the debt limit issue. We have got to place that emphasis here.
HANNITY: Sixty-four percent of the American people support it, 75 percent want a balanced budget amendment. Seems like the most responsible, balanced plan. I would say that's a very balanced plan. Anyway, Senator, good to see you.
LEE: Good to see you, Sean.
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