'This Week' Transcript: Rahm Emanuel

And this is a first order debate, in some ways a defining debate between traditional Democrats and traditional Republicans.

WILL: This is a third stimulus because there was the stimulus of 2008 before the stimulus of February 2009. The Democrats are in the interesting position of turning to the country and saying, Washington is dangerously fertile (ph) right now, and we have to spend some more money to stimulate things, otherwise we will lose -- magic figure comes up, 300,000 teachers. Where did that number come from?

Aside from the ether, it came no doubt from the teachers unions. This is the standard Washington argument that says, oh, if we're going to cut -- balance the budget, we're going to have to close the Washington Monument.

MARTIN: This is a healthy discussion, it seems to me, about what exactly government is for. I mean, I think this is a healthy and appropriate discussion about the point at which you stop spending on one thing and start spending on another.

I mean, I talk to unemployed people all of the time. In fact, I had an interview with a man just last week who had lost his job on June 4th. And as a consequence of the timing of when he lost his job, he will no longer be eligible for the COBRA subsidy that was part of the stimulus pack...


MARTIN: But for people who have lost their health insurance for whatever reason, you can continue to buy it from your employer. And a federal subsidy was offered, which was a substantial benefit to a lot of these families.

This man is the sole breadwinner in his household. His health insurance costs alone for a family of four, $1,300 a month, and he doesn't know what he's going to do. So I asked him the question. I said, well, now, of course, the question becomes of the deficit and you're adding to the deficit, which is, of course, a tax on your children and mine. How do you think those things should be balanced?

And he said, you know, I don't know. But I do know that I'm really scared right now. So that is legitimate for political parties to balance those competing objectives. That's exactly the thing we should be debating.

TAPPER: We've only got a minute left. But what are the politics of this on Capitol Hill right now?

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, they all want to win in November. And so they cater to their clientele, the people back home. And so that's the bad part about it. But in terms of, you know, whether to extend the benefits or not, look, you know, as Richard said, it's the different political -- do we want more spending or less spending, and you know, they're going to battle it out. There's no bipartisanship up there, and we're just going to hear lots of talk and chatter, and I don't think we're going to see much done.

TAPPER: It doesn't seem so crazy, though, to say, can we cut spending elsewhere?

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, no, of course it doesn't, and you -- and the big picture is, you know, the more we have to borrow overseas, the less sort of diplomatic muscle we get to solve other problems in the world. The more we're beholden to China, for instance, so you know, this deficit that we're running up is not insignificant. But if you were back home in my home town of Appleton, Wisconsin and you just ran out of a job, you know, it's real significant to you. You know, so, you know, everyone's got an interest in this one.

TAPPER: All right. Well, the roundtable will continue in the green room on ABCnews.com.


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