Obama pushes 'bottom-up' economics

This is a rush transcript from "The Five," June 25, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

ERIC BOLLING, CO-HOST: President Obama calls it "bottom-up economics." Confused? Me too. Listen.


PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: We don't need more top- down economics. What we need is some middle class-out economics, some bottom-up economics.


BOLLING: But what is "bottom-up economics"? Is it doubling the spending on food stamps and welfare programs only to see increase in poverty in America? Is it ignoring struggling middle class while bailing out UAW pals by handing $100 billion to G.M. and Chrysler? Is it $100 billion of our money given to Obama friends and donors calling them green energy investment?

It begs the question: is President Obama mind-numbingly stupid on the economy or does he know exactly what he's doing?

Remember this.


OBAMA: We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.


BOLLING: Bob? What the hell bottom-up economics?

BOB BECKEL, CO-HOST: Well, what the hell is it -- you shouldn't say that word, by the way. The -- what he said --


BECKEL: I know that you had to write that introduction because you left out the important part of what he said, middle class-out. One thing we know is when you cut taxes and this trickle-down theory of economics that disprove now, it doesn't work. The greatest economic growth in this country took place when Bill Clinton raised taxes on the upper income people. Eight years of greatest growth in the United States.

I think that is what he is talking about. Middle class-out and trying to get the bottom --

BOLLING: Don't go there.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Middle class out?

BOLLING: Still trying to figure out the bottom-up part.

BECKEL: He's trying to get the people --


BECKEL: You have to remember, we went through a terrible recession. You're going to increase welfare and food stamps.

I understand what you said about the bottom up. The idea is to try to --

BOLLING: We spent $700 billion a year on welfare programs, poverty remains about the same as it was 30 years ago.

DANA PERINO, CO-HOST: One of the biggest problems about that right now is you see more and more people getting on -- I don't think they want to necessarily be on it. Most people there are we have seen egregious examples of bad apples spoiling the bunch.

But once you are on government assistance of any kind, it's harder to get off. So, I'm just -- I'm not saying we are Europe. But if you look across the pond and look at what they are dealing with, you can project down the road if we don't make serious changes.

And we have tools at our disposal to change that. It's not rocket science what we know we need to do.

For example, I'll just give you one example. The highest corporate tax rate in the world is corporate America. Why would you want to grow your business and start your businesses here, especially in a more global economy when you could be other places?

KIMBERLY GUILFOYLE, CO-HOST: She is absolutely right. That's why it's exporting America.

Why would you? You should be thrown out of your job if you make decisions about where the country and where your company does business, and which country? You'd say get out of here. Why do I want to pay extra money or penalized for entrepreneurship? It makes no sense.

BECKEL: Can I make a point that this corporate tax rate was there before Obama took office? So, it's not Obama --

PERINO: Nobody -- I never uttered the words "Obama."

BECKEL: No, I was responding to Kimberly.

GUILFOYLE: I didn't say it either.

BECKEL: Maybe it was the influx.

PERINO: Maybe you're just defensive.

BOLLING: Greg, what do you think he meant by bottom-up economics?

GREG GUTFELD, CO-HOST: He meant it wasn't bottom-up, it's bottoms-up, because the economy is depressing to drive you to drink. Alcohol sales go up.

Therefore raise the economy.

It's not just trickle up, it's trickle down, it's trickle all over the place.

BECKEL: The Republican theory -- sorry, I thought you were finished.

GUTFELD: No. It goes to a bigger question. It's oldest question in time -- you know, give a man a fish, he eats for a day. Teach him to fish and he can eat for a lifetime.

And right now, we have administration that is about giving away fish.

They should change the name of the White House to Long John Silver's.

BECKEL: Are you finished?

GUTFELD: Took me a while to get there.

GUILFOYLE: I like that place.

GUTFELD: Yes, thank you.

BOLLING: What do you got?

BECKEL: The Republican theory of trickle down is that trickle-down -- a rising tide raises all yachts. And my theory is if you look at the money spent on welfare, it was not meant to get people out of welfare initially. Most of the programs meant to help people subsist on welfare, number one. There are some programs for job training and some other things, but we know that the best way to get out of welfare for those at the top of the welfare line is to get a growing economy and they can move into the middle class. But, you know, the president of the United States is not going to create jobs.

BOLLING: No liberal comment, though. It's bad now, but imagine how bad it would be if we hadn't spent a $1 trillion or $15 trillion or $20 trillion.

BECKEL: Yes, it would have been much worse!


GUILFOYLE: And when you look at the Cato study we were mentioning earlier, I mean, welfare spending -- federal welfare spending is up 41 percent, $193 billion extra per year. Who is going to want to give that money back? You know what? Forget it. When you get used to it, you become accustom. It's like our nation's crack now is free money. Other people's money.

BECKEL: You know, most of that is triggered by the recession, automatic triggering if you lose your job. So, it's not --

PERINO: I think Bob and I would have -- I think we would all agree on one thing, which is the way out of this is growth -- economic growth. Then the question is: how do you get there? President Obama laid out his view and Romney is laying out his view. Voters are going to have to decide it.

It says here in that poll that 25 percent of voters are up for grabs. So, both of them have little, like four months to make a decision.

BECKEL: Most people don't believe that a president can increase jobs anyway.

PERINO: Fifty percent says it has no impact.

GUILFOYLE: No impact on the next election.

BOLLING: We have to go. We want to get to "Fast and Furious." Maybe we'll do it in "One More Thing".

BECKEL: No. You're going by "Fast and Furious"?

BOLLING: I have to do it. Stay on it. I promised I would.

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