Panel II: Is the U.S. Headed Toward Bankruptcy?

Pat Toomey, Chris Van Hollen, Neil Barofsky, Austan Goolsbee, Grover Norquist, Kim Strassel.
3:00 | 08/19/12

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Transcript for Panel II: Is the U.S. Headed Toward Bankruptcy?
We must face -- -- moment not you know there. Hard -- the necessary. What decades. We have piled deficit upon deficit. Mortgaging our future and our children's future to continue this long trend. Is to guarantee tremendous social cultural political and economic upheaval. Our funds are low we have a deficit to bring down. We have more will than wallet. Will is what we need we don't act now you and I -- not even recognizes government -- news. -- restrain government spending is a dangerous road to deficits and so we must take a different path. And as you heard right -- presidents have been warning for decades of the dangers of this country's debt and deficits so in some senses this debate we're having today is nothing new but the big question. Is this time different is -- the political will in Washington to get something done this year and if not are we headed for bankruptcy. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- In the history of congress has there ever been an example of Packers coming -- to make -- some gigantic. Decision without a president leaving them along the -- I am pushing them to do it and for whatever reason this is not Barack Obama style we have seen in the last few years. Instead he waits until work crisis period we sought Wednesday that tax cuts were about to expire the first time we -- -- again with the the debt ceiling debate last year. And finally -- percent of the very end when there's no more time anymore may -- when -- get through this election in this fiscal -- as a mop up upon us may be about point he will engage in do something but I don't see anything happening before -- Cost and I suspect you have a different tank yeah I don't think that's a particularly fair characterization I think you've seen a lot of hostage taking -- -- by the other side I would say. Yeah I'm somewhat pessimistic book. Before the election or even in the lame duck that congress will look will be able to do something but I'm somewhat optimistic effort for 2013 they almost had to deal last year. And I think they could get a deal senator you -- on the super. Committee so if anybody has the right to be pessimistic it's -- -- congressman lineman Colin. What do you think I I think we're gonna -- election provides more clarity from the voters I think we're new at this point for the president -- reelected do you think then that means Republicans and say -- am willing to raise taxes on what it well I think -- still -- -- have a very challenging. Very challenging route look at how does the fundamental question that I think -- is -- use is that fidelity select that if governor Romney isn't like that I think trying to solve these problems. And and I and I think it is the the the -- pretty clear we've laid out plans that do it it's actually simple all you do is make sure that the government grows more slowly -- the economy. That's the answer there's plenty of well to do it on our side I think after the. Selection they'll be some more Democrats open to that approach what do you think congressman. Well I think the most important thing right now is try to try to accelerate the very fragile recovery. The president is actually had his jobs initiatives sitting before the house -- represented since last September. Haven't had a single vote on that so let's get the economy moving again let's pass the president's jobs bill and then let's take an immediate. But balanced approach to reducing our long term -- are you pessimistic. I'm not pessimistic that we can resolve these issues. I believe we have to -- compromise to -- Right now at least in the house representatives. Compromise. Is a dirty word and in order for us to solve our problems -- got to -- little bit of give and take. Grover you pessimistic -- optimistic him this problem -- I'm very optimistic because for the first time. One of the parties actually has a plan that will reform entitlements and give -- -- pro growth economic policy. And that hasn't been -- before we don't have to parties that we have -- if Romney selected along with the Republican House and senate and you can do something like the Romney and Ryan. Proposals on tax reform and spending reform. And we do -- U turn away from the road to serfdom. If the Democrats have the senate for the presidency. You end up with higher taxes and there's a decision. And people will decide in November you want bigger government higher taxes for smaller government lower taxes I'm confident the American people choose -- -- last word. -- We're not gonna have a grand bargain. -- you can tell from this debate just how highly politicized everything has become. -- but no we're not going to go into bankruptcy there. The great thing about this country is that notwithstanding the best efforts by both political parties somehow -- -- our way forward and we're gonna come out of this crisis and we're gonna have economic -- Have a quote from Winston Churchill you can always count on the Americans to do the right thing after they've exhausted all other possibilities. The thank you very much that was a terrific discussion. Thanks for our audience here in the museum's -- studio and the Miller center at the University of Virginia if you aren't familiar with them. The Miller Center is a nonpartisan institute that studies the presidency policy -- -- history and applies the lessons of history to the toughest policy challenges we face today for more information about the work of the Miller Center please visit Miller Center. Dot org.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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