But I'm somewhat optimistic for 2013. they almost had a deal last year, and I think they could get a deal
TAPPER: Senator, you were on the super committee, so if any body has the right to be pessimistic, it's you and Congressman Van Hollen. What do you think?
TOOMEY: I think we're going to need an election to provide some more clarity from the voters, what I think we're going to need at this point.
TAPPER: But if President Obama's reelected, do you think then that means Republicans would say, OK, I'm willing to raise taxes on wealthy Americans?
TOOMEY: Well, no, I think we're still going to have a very challenging -- very challenging road. Look, you know, there's a fundamental question that I think --
TAPPER: So clarity is Mitt Romney's --
TOOMEY: If Governor Romney is elected, I think we're going to solve these problems. And I think it -- the evidence is pretty clear. We've laid out plans that do it.
It's actually simple. All you do is make sure that the government grows more slowly than the economy.
That's the answer; there's plenty of will to do it on our side. I think after this election, there will be some more Democrats open to that approach.
TAPPER: What do you think, Congressman?
VAN HOLLEN: Well, I think the most important thing right now is try to -- try to accelerate the very fragile recovery. The president has actually had his jobs initiative sitting before the House of Representatives since last September. Haven't had a single vote on that.
So let's get the economy moving again. Let's pass the president's jobs bill and then let's take an immediate but balanced approach to reducing our long-term deficits.
TAPPER: Are you pessimistic?
VAN HOLLEN: I'm not pessimistic that we can resolve these issues. I believe we have to reach compromise to do it. Right now, at least in the House of Representatives, compromise is a dirty word. And in order for us to solve our problems, there's got to be a little bit of give-and-take.
TAPPER: Grover, are you pessimistic, optimistic? Can this problem be solved?
NORQUIST: I'm very optimistic, because for the first time one of the parties actually has a plan that will reform entitlements and give us a pro-growth economic policy. And that hasn't been true before. We don't have two parties with that, but we have one.
If Romney's elected along with a Republican House and Senate, then you can do something like the Romney and Ryan proposals on tax reform and spending reform and we do a u-turn way from the road to serfdom.
If the Democrats have the Senate or the presidency, you end up with higher taxes
There's a decision and people will decide in November, you want bigger government and higher taxes or smaller government and lower taxes? I'm confident the American people will choose wisely.
TAPPER: Neil, last word.
BAROFSKY: No. We're not going to have grand bargain. You can tell from this debate just how highly politicized everything has become. But, no, we're not going to go into bankruptcy, either.
The great thing about this country is that notwithstanding the best efforts by both political parties, somehow we blunder our way forward. And we're going to come out of this crisis and we're going to have economic recovery.
TAPPER: Reminds me of the quote from Winston Churchill, "You can always count on the Americans to do the right thing after they've exhausted all other possibilities."
TAPPER: So thank you very much. That was a terrific discussion.
TAPPER: and thanks to our audience here in the Newseum's night studio.
And the Miller Center at the University of Virginia, if you aren't familiar with them, the Miller Center is a non-partisan institute that studies the presidency, policy and political history and applies the lessons of history to the toughest policy challenges we face today. For more information about the work of the Miller Center, please visit millercenter.org. Your voice this week is coming right up. But first…