This is a rush transcript from "On the Record ," April 30, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Close your eyes and count to 11 trillion. Obviously, you don't have enough time to do that, but since we're live here in New York tonight, we thought we'd show you what that massive number looks like, which, by the way, is how much we are all in debt.
VAN SUSTEREN: (INAUDIBLE) in New York City. There's so much going on here. It's very exciting, except there's some rather grim news tonight. You might be going broke. Now, what makes me say that? Check this out. This is the marquee-size "debt clock" in New York City near Times Square. It has been keeping track of the national debt -- how much you owe -- for almost 20 years.
Now, here's the bad news on top of more bad news. Last fall, it ran out of digits when the national debt hit $10 trillion -- that's with a T, trillion. So what happened? They modified the sign. They eliminated the dollar sign so that they would have another digit.
Now, we wanted to figure out how much of that national debt you owe. But there are two problems. The first problem, we couldn't find a calculator with that many digits, trillion. We just couldn't find one. The second problem is it's moving way too fast. And if we told you how much you owed right now, by the end of "On the Record," you'd owe so much more money that we just can't keep track of it.
VAN SUSTEREN: So where does all that money go? Well, here's an example you gave Chrysler $4 billion for a bailout. But guess what? It didn't work! Now Chrysler has declared bankruptcy. Now, what is all that about? Steve Moore joins us live, senior economic writer for The Wall Street Journal editorial page. Steve, what's the story with that? we gave them the money last fall. What happened? Didn't it work at all?
STEPHEN MOORE, WALL STREET JOURNAL, "THE END OF PROSPERITY" CO- AUTHOR: No, all that money has been squandered, Greta. And now we're looking at giving them, under this new deal, somewhere between $6 billion to $8 billion additional money, for a company that almost certainly will not be profitable.
We have moved this from a company that was owned by investors to a company that will now, for the first time in maybe American history, a company will be owned by a combination of the American government, the Canadian government and the American labor union, the car manufacturers' union. This is a big problem. No one thinks that this company is going to be profitable if it's run by the unions and the Treasury Department.
VAN SUSTEREN: But here's what I don't get. If I went out and bought a Chrysler and borrowed the money for it, they'd do a -- I'd have to do a credit report. I'd have to show that I was good for it. Is Chrysler showing it's good for its money?
MOORE: No. We're just pouring more good money after bad money. And you know, the reason this is happening is because the Democrats want to protect the unions here. This is really all about protecting the labor unions and the people who work at these companies. But you know, we put so much money into these companies now, we would have been -- it would have been cheaper to just give every one of these workers $300,000 and just say, Don't work at Chrysler any longer.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right, here's my favorite business story of the last 24 hours. It has to do with Bank of America. It's like a tea party at the -- with -- among the shareholders. Tell the viewers what the shareholders have done almost for the first time in this whole economic crisis.
MOORE: I'm going to answer that question in a minute. But I want to mention one thing about what's so wrong about this Chrysler deal. This is really important, Greta, with respect to...
VAN SUSTEREN: You got to hurry.
MOORE: ... the rule of law...
VAN SUSTEREN: We don't have much time. I want to get to my story.
MOORE: OK. All right. But I'm just going to say this. The people who are the bond owners of Chrysler are getting completely screwed in this deal. They are being -- their interests are being pushed aside for the unions.
Now, with respect to what happened to Ken Lewis, this is an amazing story, too, because the shareholders ousted him as the chairman of this company. And what it shows is that we don't need the government and we don't need Tim Geithner and Barack Obama replacing CEOs because the shareholders will do it, Greta.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. And just to give further explanation, they had a big shareholder meeting and -- and this -- and the CEO wanted to stay on. The board wanted him to stay on as the -- as the...
MOORE: That's right.
VAN SUSTEREN: ... chairman. And guess what? The shareholders didn't, and for once the shareholders spoke up. They sort of -- they took back their company, so to speak, and he's not the CEO. So it's almost like a tea party at a shareholders' meeting. Probably the first time.
MOORE: That's right.
VAN SUSTEREN: And maybe shareholders should -- you know, maybe they should demand more from the people that run these companies that they own.
MOORE: That's right. It was a kind of "power to the people" moment. And it was interesting because what people were so angry about was that this chairman of this company just bowed under to the government pressure of the takeover of Merrill Lynch. And so it does show that when shareholders band together, they can run these companies -- or they can determine who's going to run these companies. Again, we don't need the government determining who's going to be CEOs of major American companies Greta!
VAN SUSTEREN: Again, power to the people! Anyway, Steve, thank you.
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