Transcript: Obama and Clinton Debate

And what I want is not oppressive taxation. I want businesses to thrive, and I want people to be rewarded for their success. But what I also want to make sure is that our tax system is fair and that we are able to finance health care for Americans who currently don't have it and that we're able to invest in our infrastructure and invest in our schools.

And you can't do that for free.

OBAMA: And you can't take out a credit card from the Bank of China in the name of our children and our grandchildren, and then say that you're cutting taxes, which is essentially what John McCain has been talking about.

And that is irresponsible. I believe in the principle that you pay as you go. And, you know, you don't propose tax cuts, unless you are closing other tax breaks for individuals. And you don't increase spending, unless you're eliminating some spending or you're finding some new revenue. That's how we got an additional $4 trillion worth of debt under George Bush. That is helping to undermine our economy. And it's going to change when I'm president of the United States.

GIBSON: But history shows that when you drop the capital gains tax, the revenues go up.

OBAMA: Well, that might happen, or it might not. It depends on what's happening on Wall Street and how business is going. I think the biggest problem that we've got on Wall Street right now is the fact that we got have a housing crisis that this president has not been attentive to and that it took John McCain three tries before he got it right.

And if we can stabilize that market, and we can get credit flowing again, then I think we'll see stocks do well. And once again, I think we can generate the revenue that we need to run this government and hopefully to pay down some of this debt.

GIBSON: Senator Clinton?

CLINTON: Well, let me start by saying that I think we know that we've got to get back to an economy that works for everyone. The president has been very good for people who are doing well. And that's great. But it was better for our country when we had an economy that lifted everyone up at the same time.

And we had that during the 1990s. You know, 22.7 million new jobs. More people lifted out of poverty than any time in our recent history. The typical family saw $7,000 increase in income. And we have lost that.

You know, now, the typical family has lost at least $1,000. And the fact is that, you know, I don't want to take one more penny of tax money from anybody. But what I want to do is make some smart investments. And I was the first to come out with the strategic energy fund, where we need to be investing in clean, renewable energy. And I think we can put 5 million Americans to work.

I think we need to invest in our infrastructure. That also will get the economy moving again. And I believe we can put about 3 million people to work, and good union jobs, where people get a good wage with a good set of benefits that can support a middle class family with a rising standard of living.

I want to see us actually tackle the housing crisis, something I've been talking about for over a year. If I had been president a year ago, I believe we would have begun to avoid some of the worst of the mortgage and credit crisis because we would have started much earlier than we have.

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