Transcript: Health Care Debate

And Geithner, who knew that Ron Paul would be the big winner out of all this? Ron Paul actually got passed a measure to make the Fed more transparent, because the Fed, of all things, is now becoming a focus of indignation.

REICH: Well, I agree with a lot of what George said. Look, Geithner is not going to resign. He's not going to be forced to resign. He's not going to be asked to resign. But the pain out there cannot be exaggerated. People are hurting, and they see Wall Street going up, and they see their own jobs in greater and greater jeopardy.

And that disjuncture is creating in this country not only a kind of populist anger, but also a need in Washington for a scapegoat. Washington thrives on scapegoats. And unless the job situation turns around soon -- and, George, you're right, it's not going to. We're going to see 10 percent at least unemployment through the next year, leading up to the midterm elections. This is going to be a huge, huge...

(CROSSTALK)

WILL: You think it (inaudible) get to 11 percent?

REICH: Sorry?

WILL: Do you think it will get to 11 percent...

REICH: No, I don't think it will get to 11 percent. But, remember,

the official rate of unemployment disguises all of the people who are working part-time and who'd rather be working full-time, all the people too discouraged to look for work, all the people who aren't working in full-time jobs who are working at less than -- than they had before. Look, out in the -- in the -- in the states and cities, this is the number-one issue.

(CROSSTALK)

STEPHANOPOULOS: ... administration make, though -- and it doesn't get a lot of political traction, even if it's substantively true -- is, it could have been much worse.

ISAACSON: Well, absolutely. I mean, ever since Andrew Jackson, you've had a strand in the American DNA that the populist anger at the coziness between the big banks and finance and government and the elites. And the problem is, right now, there's an odious smell of truth to that, because in the report we had last week, we saw that saving AIG sort of helps all the big banks that are now -- including Goldman Sachs...

(CROSSTALK)

STEPHANOPOULOS: ... Goldman Sachs.

ISAACSON: You bail out Goldman Sachs by saving AIG's credit default swaps, and that allows these big bonuses, while everybody's worried about losing a job.

So I think Geithner is getting a bum rap in some extent. I remember a year ago, you know, my wife was wondering -- taking money out of the bank and buying CDs in other banks, because we were all scared the finance -- the whole financial system would go over the cliff. We thought foreclosures would wipe out whole, you know, cities. That didn't happen. They saved us from going off of a cliff, but you end up with this unemployment problem.

And my worry -- and this is something, you know, you've written about a lot, Robert -- is whether this is not just cyclical, but structural, that we've lost basic jobs, you know, in manufacturing and everywhere else that will never come back.

CHENEY: Well, you know, and I think, you know, the other problem with that argument, that it could have been much worse, is the president

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