'This Week' Transcript: Speaker John Boehner

That -- most people don't believe that's the case today. And, frankly, I've got concerns that it may not be the case. We can't have government debt that's snuffing out the future for our kids and grandkids. We can't have a government that's taking 30, 40 cents out of every dollar from our kids and grandkids to pay for government. That's the -- you can't have both.

And I do believe that my -- my job and my vision is to make sure the American dream is alive and well for everyone in America.

AMANPOUR: You look at Occupy Wall Street. I think you've said that you understand their frustrations. People such as, let's say, Eric Cantor, called them a mob not so long ago. Do you agree with that? Are they a mob?

BOEHNER: Listen, I understand people's frustrations. I understand their concerns. And I, frankly, understand that we have differences in America. We are not going to engage in class warfare. The president's out there doing it every day. I, frankly, think it's unfortunate.

AMANPOUR: You say...

BOEHNER: Because -- because our job is to help all Americans, not -- not to pit one set of Americans against another.

AMANPOUR: And you think that's what's happening?

BOEHNER: The president's clearly trying to do it. And it's wrong.

AMANPOUR: You say class warfare. I asked Bill Gates last week about this whole notion, and he said, look, class warfare is where you've got people in the streets manning the barricades, you know, fighting each other. I mean, that's not what's happening. It's not so much redistribution of income that the president is talking about, but much more a shared and much fairer sense of sacrifice. And there doesn't seem to be the sense amongst people here that the sacrifice is being shared, because they point to taxes and tax cuts and who it benefits and who it doesn't.

BOEHNER: Come on. The top 1 percent pay 38 percent of the income taxes in America. You know, how much more do you want them to pay? Well, I'll tell you what: Let's take all the money that the rich have, all of it. It won't even put a dent in our current budget deficit, much less our debt.

AMANPOUR: Congress, obviously, is not very popular with the people. So no matter what you say about the president, Congress's approval ratings are way lower. How do you live with that, 9 percent approval?

BOEHNER: Well, listen, Congress has never been popular.

AMANPOUR: No, but this is historic levels.

BOEHNER: The Congress has never been popular with the -- with the American people.

AMANPOUR: But this is the worst.

BOEHNER: They look at the battles that go on here at Capitol Hill, and they don't like to see it. And I understand that. It would surprise people that 90 percent of the time, members of Congress on both sides of the aisle get along. But, you know, that's not news for those of you in the news business. It's only when...

AMANPOUR: But we see -- but we still see paralysis...

BOEHNER: ... only -- only when -- it's only when we're -- we're disagreeing.

AMANPOUR: ... in terms of legislation.

BOEHNER: Listen, the founders gave us a committee of 535 people. Frankly, it was designed not to work. My job is to make it work. And it is working. Is it slow? Yes. Is it frustrating? Yes. But what I take a comfort in every day is that I know members on both sides of the aisle are trying to do the right thing for the American people every single day.

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