But the other thing is, the shareholders should not be the first ones to be paid. There should be new preferred stock issued. And those people would be, and the government, paid off first, since the government is on the hook.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And should the government get some stock, so that if Fannie Mae does recover, the taxpayers should benefit?
MCCAIN: Absolutely. Absolutely, they should, in my view. And we've got to send the signal that, over time, that these kinds of institutions have not helped the American homeowner. They've basically helped enrich a lot of people that otherwise shouldn't have been.
STEPHANOPOULOS: A majority of Americans think you're going to come in. They look at your tax plans and say you're going to be just like President Bush on the economy.
What would you do right now -- spending aside -- that would be different from what President Bush is doing?
MCCAIN: Well, I would give every family in America double their exemption for -- on the child tax and children's tax, a dependent tax break, from $3,500 to $7,000.
I would declare that we will scrub every agency of government and eliminate those that are not necessary.
I will veto every single pork barrel bill that comes across my desk, and make them famous.
I will promise that we will not only keep tax cuts low, but we will have some additional incentives for American investment and growth of jobs.
I will embark on an immediate, an immediate effort to eliminate our dependence on foreign oil -- nuclear power, offshore drilling, wind, tide, solar -- and stop this drain of $700 billion a year from the American economy. This administration -- for 30 years, Congress and the administrations have not done anything on this energy crisis. Now, it's hurting low-income Americans the most.
There are many steps that can be taken absolutely, including the gas tax holiday. Everybody -- everybody...
STEPHANOPOULOS: Not a single economist in the country said it'd work.
MCCAIN: Yes. And there's no economist in the country that knows very well the low-income American who drives the furthest, in the oldest automobile, that sometimes can't even afford to go to work.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But they all say that that's...
MCCAIN: And they haven't met...
STEPHANOPOULOS: ... not who's (ph) going to get the benefit. The oil companies, the gas companies are going to absorb...
MCCAIN: You know, they..
STEPHANOPOULOS: ... any reduction.
MCCAIN: ... they say that. But one, it didn't happen before, and two, we wouldn't let it happen. We wouldn't let it -- Americans wouldn't let them absorb that.
STEPHANOPOULOS: How would you prevent that?
MCCAIN: We would make them shamed into it. We, of course, know how to -- American public opinion. And we would penalize them, if necessary. But they wouldn't. They would pass it on.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Let me ask you about...
MCCAIN: But let me just finally say, Americans need trust and confidence in their government.
The most important thing I would do, the most important of all, is what I have done all the years I've been in the Congress. I'd reach across the aisle to the Democrats, and I'd say, "Let's go work together."
MCCAIN: I've worked with -- it's not a fact that I would do something new. I've worked with Joe Lieberman, Ted Kennedy, Russ Feingold, Byron Dorgan -- you go down the list -- Carl Levin, Fritz Hollings.