'This Week' Transcript: Sens Lieberman, Conrad and Hutchison

BRAZILE: But the economy has shown some improvements. And I think what the president can do on Tuesday is to take us beyond the crisis that he inherited. We've heard for two years that the economy was going off the cliff. Now with have an opportunity -- the president has an opportunity to talk about the road to revival, to rebuilding America's infrastructure. It will take private investment, as well as some more public investments, I believe. But this is a great opportunity to show that he can bring diverging opinions together, people who might have different beliefs and different backgrounds, but he has one single goal, and that is to create jobs for the American people.

WILL: But, Donna, now, you say the economy is improving, and it is, and that's what's depressing. That is, the recover began 20 months ago in June 2009, and unemployment seems extremely resistant to this.


AMANPOUR: ... where they're trying to actually kick-start from emergency rescue of the economy to doing -- putting...


KRUGMAN: I think that's all symbolism. The reality is -- the strategy is to hope that the natural forces of recovery finally start to kick in on the job market, as well as on industrial production and profits, which has been happening for a while, and then to try and get some longer-term things that will help the economy. There really isn't a job strategy here at all.

DOWD: Well, and I don't think we can underestimate the power and the need of the president to focus and to resonate on symbols. Symbols are important. It's what he talked about big time in Tucson. It wasn't just about, "Here's what I want to do" or "This is what happened, this tragedy that happened." It was symbolic. It was American values.

And I think today -- we've lowered the tax rates as far as they probably can be lowered. He's done -- he's put as much money as he can -- I know Paul would like him to put more money -- I think that he can reasonably with the deficit in order. And now it's time to focus on the symbols and the confidence in the American public.

AMANPOUR: But beyond symbols, isn't -- aren't American corporations sitting on something like $2 trillion of cash? Doesn't -- doesn't he need to coax that out of them? And won't that create hiring?

KRUGMAN: They're sitting on no more cash than you would expect them to, given weak demand. I mean, consumers aren't spending. Corporations are not saying -- you know, if you actually look at what they really say when you ask them about their prospects as opposed to when they're lobbying, they're not sitting on that cash because they're afraid of government regulations or because they're afraid of taxes. They're saying, why should I expand my plant when I can't even sell the capacity, you know, that I've got right now? So it's not...

AMANPOUR: So what's the solution, then? KRUGMAN: Well, the solution would have been a new New Deal or would have been a really big -- or quantitative easing from the Fed or all these various things or, you know, stuff turns up. And basically the solution right now is, we're waiting for this gradual natural healing process to take place.

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