Transcript: Axelrod

And, you know, $200 billion is not really a lot of money over 10 years, right? You have $200 billion here, $200 billion there, and soon you're talking about real -- but $200 billion is actually, relatively speaking, pocket change. There's lots of way to raise that much money. I don't think this is an obstacle.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Wait a second. I mean, you say there's lots of ways to raise that much money. We've been sitting here for six months throwing out ideas.

KRUGMAN: Because we know that somebody's going to pay it and the argument is about who, and it's not really an argument about whether. It's an argument about who pays.

WILL: Yes, and we know the answer to that. It's our children, because at the end of the day, we're going to borrow it from the Chinese.

KRUGMAN: No, not going to do it.

DIONNE: Do you know what the problem is, is that it's perfectly -- just to go back to the economy -- it's extremely rational to run big deficits when we need the stimulus from the government. What they can't do is to say, look, we're going to do that now and then we're going to pay for it later, and here are some tax proposals that will kick in down the road. And politically right now, it's poisonous to say we're going to spend money now and have tax increases later, but that is how we're going to do it in the end, even though I don't think they're going to say so.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Meanwhile, Peggy, Olympia Snowe became the most powerful Republican in Washington, at least for a week. And what's your sense? You know, she -- she stayed in the game throughout these -- all these negotiations. Most Republicans were betting she would vote no, but in the end, she decided to keep her seat at the table. Is this something where, if the bill starts to move in the direction of the House Democrats, does she succumb to this feeling that David Axelrod was talking about, "We've just got to pass something"? Or do you think she'll have the strength and -- is she willing to then switch her vote, go no?

NOONAN: Well, she said, when history calls, history calls, you know, which is one of those sort of...

WILL: Totality.

NOONAN: ... yes, but also has a sort of portentous sound. I guess everybody will be focused on her now and wondering if, as the Baucus plan bill becomes the Baucus the final votable bill, what she will do.

I think the great insight this week from anybody in Congress about the health care plan as it exists now is Congressman Paul Ryan's simple statement.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Republican of Illinois.

NOONAN: Republican of Illinois, House...

WILL: Wisconsin.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Wisconsin, sorry.

NOONAN: Wisconsin, sorry, House Banking, who said, look, they're going to pass this thing. It's going to be cut down, it's going to be CBO-neutral, and then they're going to add on everything they cut. It's going to cost a lot of money.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, and that is -- we're seeing this, this week with this Medicare...

TAPPER: Yes, I mean, they're -- they're...


STEPHANOPOULOS: ... that was part of the 1997 budget balancing act.

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