HANNITY

How Will Debt Debate Affect 2012?

GOP presidential candidate Michele Bachmann on her vote against debt deal

 

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," August 1, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: And tonight, we are monitoring a lot of late-breaking developments related to tomorrow's debt deal vote expected to take place at high noon in the U.S. Senate. Now, we are hearing from both Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell that the measure in fact will pass and that means, it will ultimately end up on the president's desk for his signature, but make no mistake this debate over this controversial agreement will not end there. This debt deal will not be among the -- certainly among the hot button issues of the 2012 campaign. One of the House members who voted against the bill today is GOP presidential candidate Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann. She joins us live tonight from Washington. Congresswoman, how are you?

REP. MICHELE BACHMANN, R-MINN.: I'm doing great, Sean. Nice to see you again.

HANNITY: Now, I really hope and pray we're not becoming Greece, which is a comment you made that has been picked up a lot. What did you mean by that?

BACHMANN: Well, we're continuing to spend money that we don't have by an order of magnitude that we've never seen before. And in all of my travels over South Carolina, New Hampshire, and Iowa, it's been fairly unanimous, Sean. People across the country have said, please stop the out-of-control spending. And whatever you do, don't increase the debt ceiling, because people see that under almost every scenario President Obama gets this $2.1 trillion to spend, and we're getting $21 billion in cuts. And people are saying, that's just not good enough. And they want us to really change the ways of Washington. And they're not seeing they're being listened to.

HANNITY: What, then, happened? And again, I'm less inclined to blame the House as much as I -- I feel they had after cut, cap and tax, the legs cut out from underneath them, because that was the day the Gang of Six made their announcement. I thought that was very damaging. Because the president ran out, with great fanfare and said, oh, we got another deal here, don't worry about that one. That's being voted on in the House today. That's dead on arrival. I'm going to veto it anyway. So, you know, what happened in the process? Because a lot of conservatives, like myself, think that, you know, $60 billion in two years doesn't justify $900 billion increase immediately.

BACHMANN: Well, that's what -- I think the American people agree with you. And that's what a lot of the data -- the polling data has said, and certainly anecdotally from what I've seen it, too. Because people connect the fact that when government is overspending to that amount that it impacts job creation. When I was in Indianola, Iowa - Cemen Tech - they've lost 50 percent of all of their employees. Cisco is laying off 6,500 employees. Boeing who would love to add thousands of jobs in South Carolina and now it's that they're laying off 1,100 jobs in California.

HANNITY: Alright. Let me ask you specifically here --

BACHMANN: That job -- these companies, Sean, they can't make cuts over 10 years. They have to make them immediately. Government doesn't act like that.

HANNITY: Yeah. I guess what -- what I -- I guess what conservatives, Tea Party members, and you're well known in the Tea Party movement, want to know is this, because -- all right. If we're now at $16 - whatever and a half trillion dollars as a result of this deal, $16.7 trillion in debt by the end of this deal, OK, so that gets us past the 2012 election. If we're going to add eight percent a year in new spending, every year because of entitlements that have not been reformed, spending, etc., etc. And Paul Ryan's right, they did cut back, and there's going to be a reduction in discretionary spending, but we're still going up 7.5-8 percent a year. That leaves us to somewhere around $25 trillion in debt. Now, if we get to that point, we're going to be downgraded. That means interest rates go up. People have less money for consumer spending. That means that businesses are less likely to invest. That means that the unemployment spiral continues, dependency increases. You know, when are we going to start arguing the real numbers here? Does that make sense?

BACHMANN: Well, that's right. That's right. And that's my point, because all of this overspending does impact job creation. And unfortunately the lack thereof. And that's why people want government to do what they have to do, what local businesses have to do, and that's be sure that you don't spend more money than what you take in. That's why, what people want to know is, will someone do what has to be done? We need tough love. We didn't see a lot of tough love out of this deal. And people recognize something. They're already paying taxes to the tune of $2.2 trillion every year. And now --

HANNITY: But why do you think that -- do you think, instead of arguing about baseline numbers, do you think that the Republicans feared -- and maybe justifiably so, that they were going to be blamed in the end here, if there was a, quote, because the president was using all these scare tactics. Do you think there was a fear that that responsibility would be on their shoulders and that they thought there was too high a political price to pay at this moment?

BACHMANN: That's all the process questions. What I hear -- in reality, where people live is that they're paying $2.2 trillion in taxes. Government is overspending by a trillion and a half. So, what that means is people are seeing that very soon, they're going to have to pay almost double in taxes what they're paying now. And they can't do it.

HANNITY: Yeah, well --

BACHMANN: Not if you don't have jobs and not if you don't have wage increases. That's the difference. People see that the economy is being negatively impacted and they feel like no one is listening to their voice.

They want someone to come to Washington and say no. They want someone to come to Washington and say, stop this nonsense, listen to us, and do what has to be done. And they really -- you know, they're watching the political games, but they want us to really do the right thing.

HANNITY: Do you think Republicans failed them?

BACHMANN: Well, I think that what we should have done is not raise the debt ceiling and instead prioritize the spending. We needed to, obviously, make sure we didn't go into technical default. We needed to make sure that military men and women got paid -

HANNITY: That was there --

BACHMANN: -- but from there we had to make serious cuts. Unfortunately, the can's been kicked down the road. And now we have government that we obviously can't afford.

HANNITY: This is why I think independents are moving away from the president, because we've never seen a president --

BACHMANN: Absolutely, that's right.

HANNITY: But we now borrow 40 cents of every dollar you spend. We take in --

BACHMANN: Oh 43 cents and it will be more.

HANNITY: OK, 43 cents. We borrow $120 billion a month. And we only take in $180 billion -

BACHMANN: That's right.

HANNITY: -- so we borrow another $120 billion more.

BACHMANN: We can't do it. The math doesn't add up. And that's why people want someone to stand up, say no, and speak for them. That's what I'm trying to do is speak for them.

HANNITY: All right, Congresswoman, appreciate you being with us. Thank you.

BACHMANN: Thank you, Sean.

HANNITY: And coming up, we're going to monitor all the developments from D.C. We'll bring you all the latest live as they happen.

Plus, to say they strongly disagree about who's screwing up worse in Washington, well, that would be put up mildly we have a follow-up to last week's highly contentious debate over the debt ceiling that nearly resulted in a fistfight between Caddell and Hugh Hewitt. That and more coming up.

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