'This Week' Transcript: Stimulus Debate

As far as taxes, actually, Lindsey says 27 percent. Really, it's only 18 percent in new tax credits, because the fact that the AMT was put in, which would have been factored in anyway. So it's really only 18 percent in tax relief. We give more tax relief to the arts than we do to small businesses.

And, you know, obviously, we have to do a lot. I supported strong infrastructure, strong tax relief. We didn't do it. And that's why you have people even like Alice Rivlin, who was Bill Clinton's budget director, testified against the stimulus bill, Martin Feldstein, who had -- had been for it is now against it, and the CBO says, over a 10-year period, it's going to diminish the economy, bring down the GDP, and actually cause a reduction in wages.

SCHUMER: Yes, the bottom line is, first, there's good -- good help for small business. The NOL provision is kept in for businesses...


SCHUMER: ... below 15 -- it allows businesses that have had losses to take those losses now so they don't have to pay tax instead, can put people to work. And there's going to be more for small business in the economic plan that the president is announcing.

The bottom line is this: This -- the -- when you ask people what you need to do about this economy, the number-one thing all economists -- Martin Feldstein, who wanted a bigger package -- he wanted a different one, but a bigger one, he didn't want no -- all of them say the great danger we face, George, is what they call a deflationary spiral, prices keep going down.

And once you get into that spiral deeply, you don't know how to get out. That's what the Great Depression was. To a lesser extent, that's what happened in Japan for 10 years. And we need to get out of it. And this is a jolt to the economy. It's a strong jolt.

It's not perfect, but it certainly is a lot better than doing nothing and a lot better, frankly...

KING: But no one suggested we do nothing, Chuck.

SCHUMER: But, well...

KING: No one suggested we do nothing.

SCHUMER: ... you know what? To say that $50 million in the arts is a reason to vote against it -- now, I happen to think the arts is an economic engine in New York, and I would be for that provision, but you might disagree with it.

But to say that's the reason to vote against a bill, when there are -- still on infrastructure, if you add it all in, there's close to $100 billion. If you -- it's including water, and sewer, and high- speed rail. If you talk about the FMAP relief, that is much greater. That is 100 times greater, just about, than the money to the arts.


SCHUMER: So let me just say this.


SCHUMER: We had a lot of people who said, "Take this out, take that out."

WATERS: That's right.

SCHUMER: Most of those things were taken out, and they still voted against the bill.


KING: ... so much is missing, and that's the reality.

WATERS: We took the amendments from those three Republicans who were willing to step up to the bat.

KING: In the House, no one was allowed to take -- no Republican was allowed to take part in the process.


KING: Not one Republican was allowed to take part in the process in the House.

WATERS: That's -- that is not -- that is not the truth.

KING: It is the truth.

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