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J. RUSSELL GEORGE, U.S. TREASURY INSPECTOR GENERAL FOR TAX ADMINISTRATION: My auditors have uncovered instances of a minimum of 53 IRS employees who, apparently, illegally or inappropriately, claimed credits for a first-time home.
NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. Fifty-three IRS employee were illegally trying to take advantage of a program...
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CAVUTO: That was my reaction. It was yours, too, when you heard it. That`s a Treasury Department watchdog. Everyone who watched him on this show just as shocked as I was. My next guest, hearing about, it is furious about it. And he can do something about it. Congressman Peter Roskam calling for a time-out from all the spending and government programs. He is a Republican from Illinois.
Congressman, what do you make of this?
REP. PETER ROSKAM, R-ILL: Well, look, I think it`s an indication of where this government has gone, particularly in the last 10 months.
We have seen a stimulus plan that promised us -- unemployment to peak at eight percent. In my home state of Illinois, it`s over 10. We have seen a dismissive attitude on the part of the majority about trying to take on Medicare fraud substantively.
And my district is just weary of it. So, they are not surprised, frankly, that a homebuyers tax credit has been abused, because it wasn`t very well-thought-out to begin with.
CAVUTO: But it keeps happening. Now, the proponents of a lot of these rescues and credit programs and cash for clunkers and on and on say the positives outweigh the negatives and that far more comes out of these things to help the economy than help just a few folks. What do you say?
ROSKAM: Well, look, my predecessor was Henry Hyde, who had a great description for situations like this. He said there is one thing worse than gridlock, and the worst thing is the greased chute of government.
So, here we are. It`s late October, and you and I are talking at a season of our public life when this country is talking about handing over a sixth of its economy to who? To the federal government, who hasn`t been able to follow through on the promises that it`s made in the past 10 months alone.
And why in the world would we entrust more of these resources and more of these decisions to folks that don`t seem to have their act together? This is a real time for caution and a season for slowing down, particularly as it relates to the health care debate.
CAVUTO: Well, they are saying, Congressman, in the case of this housing credit thing, that they are now reviewing this at a much slower, more methodical pace, even down to handwriting checks if need be, to make sure they go to the right people, people who are not dead, people who are not illegals, people who are not kids, et cetera.
What do you think of that?
ROSKAM: Well, look, that is all well and good, but, ultimately, remember, think about the context in which these commitments were made.
We were told -- and it is a larger spending question, is it not? It is a larger question about who are you going to entrust decisions to. And, so, as we are moving forward, sure, we can do a look-back and sort of scrub this thing down in retrospect and require a HUD-1 filing and so forth in order to make this homebuyers tax credit more robust.
But think about all of the energy that has left as a result of a poorly crafted program to begin with. And as we are -- as we`re really on this cusp of making a decision about who is going to be making decisions about our health care decision -- our health care system, I think it is a real time for pause to recognize that we ought not be giving this type of confidence, this type of vote of confidence, to folks that have underperformed so greatly in the past.
CAVUTO: Congressman, we will see what they do in response. Good having you, sir. Thank you.
ROSKAM: Thank you.