So I think what the president is proposing is a strategic budget. It is making substantial cuts, but it's also providing support in some important areas, like education, like health care, like taking the steps that are necessary to make us less dependent on foreign oil and start addressing global climate change that will let us have a sound economic expansion.
STEPHANOPOULOS: OK, Larry Summers, thanks very much for your time this morning.
SUMMERS: Thank you.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Let's get the response right now from Senator McConnell. He's down in Louisville, Kentucky. You heard Mr. Summers there, Senator. Will the Republicans in the Senate be providing an alternative budget?
MCCONNELL: Well, first, let's take a look at the budget the president is offering. That's his responsibility. The majority has a responsibility to lay out their plan, George, for the next few years, and they've done it. It will double the national debt in five years and triple the national debt in 10 years. It taxes too much, it spends too much, it borrows too much, as you indicated.
What I have said and our colleagues have said repeatedly, it does what the president's chief of staff -- he was pretty candid about it -- they're taking advantage of a crisis in order to do things that had nothing to do with getting us into the crisis in the first place. They want to have a massive expansion of health care. An energy tax, which many people are now calling a light switch tax, of another $600 billion. It's sort of bait-and-switch.
What we really ought to be doing here is concentrating on fixing the financial system, which you did ask Secretary Summers about a good bit, and the housing problem. But not using this crisis as an excuse to go on an explosion of spending.
One other point. We have already authorized this year in the first 50 days of this administration, spending at the rate of $24 billion a day, or $1 billion an hour. Another way of looking at it, just putting it in context, this $1.2 trillion that we've spent in the first 50 days is more than the previous administration spent after 9/11 on Iraq, Afghanistan and the response to Katrina.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, Senator, there's a lot of criticism there, but no alternative. And the Democratic Party and the White House are going to make a real push to paint you as the "just say no" party.
Look what the DNC has put up on their Web site. They have this clock showing that it's been 16 days, 20 hours and 18 minutes and counting since you've had a budget. An outside group called Americans United for Change is putting out this ad this morning making the same point. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNKNOWN: The Republican response?
UNKNOWN: So what kind of budget have the Republicans proposed to get us out of the mess they created? Here are the details.
That's right. Nothing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHANOPOULOS: So will you have a budget, and are you worried about that attack?
MCCONNELL: No, we are going to offer a number of amendments to the Democratic proposal.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But no comprehensive budget?