WILL: And Senator Thune of South Dakota is going to give senators a chance to vote against that. The public hates TARP for, in my judgment, a lot of good reasons. Before the decline in unemployment, slight but encouraging, Democrats were saying, if unemployment's not coming down, we need to have another stimulus. As soon as you got signs that there was some job creation, the liberals said, "No time to stop now. We need another stimulus."
I'll give you one number. Under the stimulus package, the Energy Department got $36.8 billion of which they've spent $1.5 billion, 5 percent. Why, when we have 95 percent of that little bit of the stimulus sitting there, do we need another stimulus?
VANDEN HEUVEL: The recovery stimulus has helped this country avert a Great Recession, though there are people in great pain out there. In order to create the Great Recovery, yes, we should use the TARP funds, and even beyond that, we should use the AIG bailout money given to Goldman Sachs, $13 billion, to give to people to create jobs as opposed to the $17 billion payout in bonuses. And there are very smart targeted jobs programs.
The recovery stimulus was not a jobs program. We need to give aid to states and localities. We need to...
STEPHANOPOULOS: Wasn't a jobs program?
VANDEN HEUVEL: No, it wasn't. It was essentially -- it wasn't -- it wasn't. I mean, they may have painted it that way, but it was like to keep the economy from falling into the -- the abyss. And I think that is -- what we need now is a targeted jobs program.
And, you know, part of the problem with the TARP is you'd given money -- taxpayer money to banks. They aren't lending. And the polls show that Americans do not believe this administration is on the side of working Americans. And this administration, the Democratic Party, crisis concentrates the mind, knows they need to now turn to that.
HAASS: But there's also an area where working Americans -- in some cases, represented by organized labor -- are not on the side of working Americans, because what's missing from this entire jobs debate is trade. The single biggest engine of American job creation is trade policy, is export promotion, and where are we? We don't have a positive trade policy. This is the best way to have non-inflationary stimulus that doesn't break the budget, it doesn't cost us a dollar. Let's start negotiating in earnest a global free trade agreement...
STEPHANOPOULOS: ... trade policy.
HAASS: Well, not enough. It's a start, but it's not enough of one.
Well, this is all a mess. The -- the public doesn't like all this spending. People naturally look and they think, "The guys who've got the system wired are getting it. The guys in Detroit are getting it. Goldman Sachs is getting it. People who have the system wired are getting the money." That's how people perceive all of this spending, in my view. I don't think they'll mind terribly if all of a sudden it looks like some money is going to job creation in jobs that people can actually see.
This is a pure political calculation, but I don't think it will be so terribly unhappy. I think it'll be removed in the public imagination from feeding the pigs at the trough, which is what the last year has looked like.
WILL: Every dollar...