Below are some of the notable comments made Sunday on “This Week with George Stephanopoulos.” Guests included Obama campaign deputy manager Stephanie Cutter; Romney campaign senior adviser Kevin Madden; Senate Budget Committee member Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa.; House Budget Committee ranking member Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md.; former TARP Special Inspector General Neil Barofsky; former Obama economic adviser Austan Goolsbee; Americans for Tax Reform president Grover Norquist; and Wall Street Journal columnist Kimberley Strassel.
Stephanie Cutter and Kevin Madden
CUTTER: the tax plan that is on the table — even if Congressman Ryan is now agreeing with Mitt Romney on his tax plan — it’s a $5 trillion tax cut, mostly geared toward the wealthy, that independent analysts have said in order to pay for it, they’re going to have to increase taxes on the middle class.
MADDEN: Stephanie, the president’s main tax proposal would be a tax hike on millions of small businesses. Now you know that that tax on millions of small businesses is going to hurt the job-creators, it’s going to hurt so many people across the country, and it’s not going to be — it’s not going to do what we need to do in this economy right now, which is create more jobs and provide more incentives for people to hire.
CUTTER: The central question on the table for this election, how we’re going to strengthen Medicare, whether we’re going to protect seniors or we’re going to shift all the costs to seniors. So, you know, we’re happy to have a substantive debate, but we need some substance on the other side.
MADDEN: Congressman Ryan was down in Florida yesterday talking about Medicare, which is a very important issue. At the same time this week, Vice President Biden was in Virginia talking about people being put back in chains. This [Obama] administration is focused on very small things. It’s focused on dividing the country. So I think, come November, we’re going to be in a better position with the American electorate, because we’re talking about the big issues that matter to people every single day.
CUTTER: The vice president is a critical partner to the president of the United States. The central point of what the vice president was saying is absolutely critical in this election: Do we want to have everybody playing by the same set of rules, whether you’re on Main Street or Wall Street? Or do we want to unshackle the financial sector and let them do what they did in the last decade and have taxpayers spend billions of dollars bailing them out again?
MADDEN: The point that Governor Romney is trying to make, is that we need to have a much more aspirational worldview on our economy, a much more aspirational worldview about how we help individuals succeed in this economy, whereas President Obama feels that the government is the engine of both job creation and the engine for the economy.
MADDEN: On Saturday, what you saw was a Romney-Ryan ticket come together with shared values and shared principles about how we would restore those cuts to Medicare and how we would make it more solvent. What President Obama did actually weakens Medicare.
CUTTER: Mr. Romney has put his business experience at the center of his rationale for his candidacy. So it’s important for people to understand exactly what that business experience would mean. Is that the type of business experience you want in the Oval Office, profit at any cost? Because it comes with real consequences for people’s lives.
Miller Center Panel
STRASSEL: We have seen the last few years, instead Obama waits until we’re at crisis period and finally, swoops in at the very end, when there’s no more time any more.
Senator Pat Toomey
TOOMEY: I think the evidence is pretty clear. We’ve laid out plans that do it. It’s actually simple. Make sure that the government grows more slowly than the economy.
NORQUIST: When George Herbert Walker Bush ran for president, he promised the American people he wouldn’t raise their taxes. He lied to them. He broke his commitment to them and they threw him out of office four years later.
GOOLSBEE: I’m somewhat pessimistic before the election or even in the lame duck that Congress will be able to do something. But I’m somewhat optimistic for 2013.
Congressman Chris Van Hollen
VAN HOLLEN: We hear a lot of talk about defense spending. But once again, not a willingness to pay for it. It’s like putting the two wars on our national credit card.
BAROFSKY: Now’s just not the time to start tinkering with and shredding the most important parts of the safety net. The middle-class is getting pushed into poverty and the idea of contemplating cuts in Medicaid and food stamps, the things that are keeping people alive. We’re on the brink of third-world nation status in some ways.