'This Week' Transcript: Christina Romer, George Will, Liz Cheney, Al Hunt, Judy Woodruff and Robert Reich

STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, that is the next big question, and there's a big debate among economists -- some -- some, like Mark Zandi, look at the situation and say that unless we have another $125 billion in stimulus right away, we're going to dip back. He says, "If we don't do it and we slide back into recession, that's going to exacerbate the deficit even more." Yet others, like Michael Darda, say, no, let's just have some patience. If we just have a little bit of patience, we'll start to see monthly increases of 200,000 to 300,000 jobs within six months.

What's closer to your view?

ROMER: Oh, I -- I -- I think the -- the sense that we need to do more is -- is overwhelming, that we know there are things that have been working in the Recovery Act that are expiring, like some of the provisions for longer unemployment benefits, some of the state fiscal relief. I think that's going to be critically important to making sure we -- we keep making progress.

But then the president also talked about, there are some smaller, targeted things that we think will -- will genuinely move the dial, things like, you know, tax incentives for small businesses to hire, or the so-called cash for caulkers, right, a kind of program that could jump-start energy retrofits, or the president just announced the -- the tax credits we were making for clean-energy manufacturing. He said we want to do $5 billion more of that. That's the kind of targeted thing, but we think at this stage in the recovery could really leverage some private capital.

STEPHANOPOULOS: All of those -- all those targeted programs, but still the kind of big response that Mark Zandi is talking about, that's necessary now?

ROMER: Well, I -- I think we -- we definitely need a range of options, both the continuing the things that have been working that are expiring and some targeted actions, yes.

STEPHANOPOULOS: More than $100 billion?

ROMER: Well, I think, you know, if you think about -- look at what the House just passed before they left. It was $75 billion of some things like infrastructure and some targeted aid for the states, so some programs like that, and another chunk of money for expanding U.I. We've got the COBRA program that...

STEPHANOPOULOS: Health care for the unemployed.

ROMER: ... helps unemployed people keep their health insurance, and -- and we think that's something that needs to be extended.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Senator Harry Reid, though, the Democratic leader in the Senate said that has to wait until health care is done and the negotiations between the House and Senate have begun this week. The president weighed in with the leaders on behalf of this so-called Cadillac tax, the excise tax on high-priced health insurance plan. That is facing some real resistance in the House. Here's Congressman Joe Sestak.


SESTAK: They're not just pulling the Cadillac. They're pulling the Chevrolets. By 2019, because they index it to a wrong inflation rate, we're going to have one-third of all the workers in employer-based plans paying a middle-class tax. No, this has to change.


STEPHANOPOULOS: He and labor leaders like Gerry McEntee say this is going to be a middle-class tax increase that could hit up to 40 percent of union workers.

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