'This Week' Transcript: S&P's John Chambers, Governor Martin O'Malley and Senator Jeff Sessions

AMANPOUR: Senator Sessions, do you think that there can be now sort of a wake-up call, as some people have suggested, for both parties to really come together? I've heard people say, this is serious. We don't want to see political parties sniping at each other right now. We want leaders to be as big as the crisis that they have to tackle.

SESSIONS: Well, look, we do have a big, big crisis. I've been warning all year, every expert before the Budget Committee has told us we're heading to fiscal crisis. We're on an unsustainable path. We're borrowing 40 cents of every dollar we spend. This year, the interest on our debt is $240 billion. It's projected in 10 years to go to $940 billion in interest in one year. This is unsustainable. And sooner or later, if we don't change, this kind of ratings are going to continue.

But when you have a Democratic Senate that will not produce a budget -- and 900 -- 830 days without a budget, a president who submitted the most irresponsible budget in history, who's continuing to talk about spending more, investing more, whose secretary of education was demanding a 13 percent increase in the Department of Education next fiscal year, beginning October 1st, you know we're in denial. We're not understanding the threat.

The president is going to have to look the American people in the eye and tell them, "We are on an unsustainable course." He's got to do that. And if he asks us to reduce spending by 10 percent across the board, all these departments and agencies, Congress would rally to him, you know -- you know, in a bipartisan way.

AMANPOUR: Senator...

SESSIONS: But if he's going to deny we have a crisis, he's not going to have bipartisan support.

AMANPOUR: Just quickly, while I still have you there, the S&P also talked about -- you're talking about cutting spending. They also talked about raising more revenue. They talked about the Bowles-Simpson, which puts that in. Do you think that, for instance, when the bipartisan committee gets stood up, that there will be a chance for both sides to give on some of their sacred cows? Would you, on -- on tax loopholes, for instance, and tax reform?

SESSIONS: Well, raising taxes is what balanced plan means. That's plain to every American by now. The administration wants to raise taxes so they can permanently implant a larger level of spending. They've increased domestic discretionary spending 24 percent in two years. This is unthinkable.

AMANPOUR: All right.

SESSIONS: And so we've got a problem that we've got to bring that spending down, not increase the burden on the private sector.

O'MALLEY: In all of that, Christiane, I never once heard the distinguished senator say the word "jobs." What we have right now are moms and dads in Maryland, moms and dads in Alabama who are looking for work and have been looking for work for a long, long time.

Senator Sessions voted for the largest deficit increases under George Bush, and he, like others in his party, worship at -- worships at the altar of the false god of tax cuts. We need to be about creating jobs. And there's good people in the Republican Party that want our country's economy to improve. And that's what we need to allow space to emerge.

AMANPOUR: So I asked Senator Sessions about tax loopholes...

SESSIONS: Well, Governor, let me just say this. The highest debt President Bush ever had was $450 billion. This president is averaging $1,300 billion.

Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...