'This Week' Transcript: Timothy Geithner


We need to put in spending control measures, such as a cap on federal government spending. I say 20 percent, because that's historically a good spot to be at. Right now federal government spending per the GDP is about 24 percent, and the president is going to take it up to 25 or 26 percent.

But I think also now is a great time where we can cut our corporate business tax rate in half, bring it from 35 percent down from 22 to 20 -- 20 to 22 percent. Because there's a lot of capital just sitting out there we could use to invest in long-term sustainable job growth.

But the most important thing, we should have some type of trigger mechanism so that when you reach a certain percentage of getting close to this debt limit, there are automatic spending cuts that come right in.

This is not about a debt ceiling being raised. This really comes down to debt suggestion, because this is about 73 or 74 times we've done it. We have got to be fiscally responsible.

AMANPOUR: All right.

WEST: And right now we're not showing that to the American people.

AMANPOUR: Let me ask you about the Paul Ryan budget, which all of you voted for this week. Congresswoman Ellmers, the House did pass that budget and everybody voted for it, as I said. And it includes a radical restructuring of Medicare, essentially converting it to a voucher system, sort of privatizing it.

Now the Congressional Budget Office estimates that the average senior will then have to end up paying an extra $6,000 or more out of their own pocket, I mean, how do you think that that will sit with the voters? With the American people?

ELLMERS: Well, let me just say, Christiane, that, first of all, as a nurse, you know, Medicare is an issue that we absolutely have to deal with. And, as you know, you mentioned in the Ryan budget that this issue is going to be addressed.

It is not a voucher system. Basically what we will be doing is allowing seniors to be able to make the choices for their health care, the same that we in Congress are doing. It's the very same basic plan. And it actually saves money. It saves money in Medicare over time and it actually increases the coverage, but at the same time, it also increases coverage for those in the low income areas as well.

And so that is why I am very much for the Ryan budget. I think it answers all of the issues that we've just been talking about. And we can go...

AMANPOUR: Let me just ask you, because you raised the issue that it provides you the same -- it provides people the same sort of benefit that Congress has. You know, obviously, there are big differences between members of Congress and the very poor.

And most economies -- economists, whether you're quibbling over numbers, do actually say that seniors will not be able to keep up with the rising costs, they will have to pay out of their pocket. I mean, I guess I'm still asking, is that fair?

ELLMERS: Well, as it is -- no. Actually that is not correct. And, as it is right now, if we do not address Medicare, as it is, it will be -- it will not be there for myself, it will not be there for our children or our grandchildren. And we have to address the issue. And we are. And the Ryan budget does that.

And it actually improves upon all of those areas of unsustainability that we're faced with. So, you know, the numbers play out. AMANPOUR: OK.

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