In an interview yesterday morning, House minority leader Nancy Pelosi made the case that we don’t have a spending problem. Indeed, Pelosi says, it is wrong to say we have a “spending problem”.
WALLACE: Why not just cut spending? Eighty-five billion dollars in a $3.5 trillion government.
PELOSI: Let’s back up from — with all due respect to the speaker, what he said is not the gospel truth. The fact is that a lot of the spending increases came during the Bush administration. Two unpaid for wars we got ourselves engaged in. A prescription drug plan that added enormous amounts to our spending, and the tax cuts at the high end that did not create jobs and create revenue coming. So that’s —
WALLACE: But the total debt has increased $5 trillion since this president came in.
PELOSI: Well, part of that is from the — what we had to do to avoid going over the cliff of the recession — depression. Yes, we had the Recovery Act which saves or created 3.5 million jobs. You know the record of job growth in the private sector has been consistent from many record number of months.
So, again, we have to make a judgment about what — how do we get growth with jobs? That’s where the revenue comes from. You don’t get it by cutting down your (INAUDIBLE) or cutting in education, cutting back on investments in science, and National Institutes of Health, food safety, you name it.
So, it isn’t as much you a spending problem as a priorities, and that is what the budget is, setting priorities.
WALLACE: But you talk about growth. Even Christina Romer, the former head of the Council of Economic Advisers for the president, says you increase taxes, that also hurts growth.
PELOSI: Well, it’s about timing. It’s about timing. And it’s about timing as to when make cuts, as well. We —
WALLACE: But you — the fiscal cliff, you raised taxes $650 billion, right away.
PELOSI: Yes, and that was a very good thing to do on people making over — the high end in our population.
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