"The notion that everything is solved by a tax cut, of course there are sensible tax policies you could have. But there are public needs we have in this society ... that cannot be accomplished by a tax cut," Frank said. "No tax cut builds a road. No tax cut puts a cop on the street. No tax cut educates a child in -- in the way that it ought to be done. So this -- only tax cuts, at a time when I think we have a deficiency in some areas that are important for the quality of our life is a big disagreement."
DeMint fired back: "But let's don't say it's a stimulus when it's a government spending plan. And all of these things, the needs in our society, education, these are things we debate every year ... This is the largest spending bill in history, and we're trying to call it a stimulus when it's just doing the things that ... you wanted to do anyway."
Frank defended the package. "Spending can be stimulus," he said. "I don't understand what you think stimulus is.
"If we're going to talk about spending, I don't -- I have a problem when we leave out that extraordinarily expensive, damaging war in Iraq, which has caused much more harm than good, in my judgment. And I don't understand why, from some of my conservative friends, building a road, building a school, helping somebody get health care, that's -- that's wasteful spending, but that war in Iraq, which is going to cost us over $1 trillion before we're through -- yes, I wish we hadn't have done that. We'd have been in a lot better shape fiscally."
Google CEO Eric Schmidt argued for the stimulus to be a blend of short-term and long-term spending.
"There are plenty of cases where directed spending does help things to happen more quickly," he said. "The stimulus package -- most of the money actually goes to reasonably short-term things in education, state relief and various other things that help people in the short-term. Some combination of all that money's got to get out now to get people going again."
Schmidt also urged Congress to pass the stimulus package as soon as possible. "The business community needs action now," he said. "There's a sense that things are getting worse, people are saying the March quarter, the June quarter are going to be particularly difficult for business. It's time for government action."
DeMint was asked to comment on the failure of President Barack Obama's nominee for the Department of Health and Human Services, Tom Daschle, to pay roughly $128,000 in back taxes. The senator said the situation "may be" disqualifying.
"I want to find out more about it," DeMint told Stephanopoulos. "It's disheartening, obviously. I mean, people are struggling to pay taxes on a very small amount of income. And when he's got this huge amount of -- you know, I can see now why liberals don't mind if the tax rate goes up, because they're not going to pay it anyway. And so, yes, it frustrates me. It did with our Treasury nominee. But we need to look at it. And I would just -- I wish they would just say, 'Hey, our tax code is just incomprehensible. We need to change it.'"