Transcript: Sebelius, Pawlenty

BROOKS: People are still human. There's a guy at MIT named Andrew Lowe (ph). When you have three up days in the market, the traders have so much dopamine in their brains, they think they can't lose. That's just human nature. We're going to have ups and downs. STEPHANOPOULOS: (inaudible) traders, but that's not most of the American people. BROOKS: Oh, yeah? Subprime mortgages? Who took those out? Who took personal consumption debt from about 100 percent of GDP to 360 percent? That was the American people.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But I'm saying one of the things we've seen over the last year is the savings rate by individual Americans has gone way up. BROOKS: Right, as people are beginning...

STEPHANOPOULOS: Above 5 percent...

(CROSSTALK)

BROOKS: Right, and that's going to slow the economy. Listen, if you take personal spending, personal debt, it's gone around 100 percent or whatever of GDP. Then in the '70s, '80s, 90s, it shoots up. That's decadence for the American people. That's not a Wall Street problem. And it's slowly, very slowly coming down. ROBERTS: That's a thing that I'm going to be really curious to watch play out, because, you know, my generation was a whole generation raised by the depression generation, and we are thrifty. And you know...

STEPHANOPOULOS: Not those boomers? ROBERTS: No, not those boomers. And we pay things off and all of that. And I'm very curious to see whether that whole mind-set now sets in, where people become thrifty again. What we do know is that the luxury stores are suffering terribly and the low-end stores are doing just fine. DONALDSON: People complain about the debt that's been incurred, and rightly so. I think it's something to worry about. But, what those gentlemen did, beginning in the Bush administration, extending to the Obama administration, was necessary. In the perfect world, we can go back and say, well, this was a waste, we didn't need that amount of money, but we had to doing do something to stabilize the system. And that's happened. So the debt we incurred here that the people here in Washington yesterday complained about with bitter signs and words, was necessary, unfortunately. Now we have to find a way to pay for it. ROBERTS: A lot of those people had signs -- I was on the Mall yesterday -- had signs saying...

DONALDSON: Were you a protester?

ROBERTS: ... no, I was taking the kids to the museums. They said, keep government out of my health care. And I'm looking at these people and thinking, you're on Medicare, honey.

(CROSSTALK)

STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, one of the things we learned is that this didn't cost as much as we feared and we're actually starting to get money back from the bailouts.

WILL: That's true. And before we say this caused this, this produced the recovery -- that's -- no, I'm prepared for Time magazine right now to name Bernanke person of the year. They won't, but they should. Beyond that, we're still arguing and will forever argue about what did and did not work during the Great Depression. Furthermore, will someone here remind me of the last recession that lasted forever? Oh, that's right. There weren't any. There's a kind of a natural cure. One of your graphics a moment ago, George, said housing values down 15 percent. That's an excellent thing. We had all known that we were putting far too much of the nation's capital into housing stocks.

Page
Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...