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Fox News "On the Record with Greta Van Susteren" - Transcript

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GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Now, to the nation's exploding debt. It is now more than $15 trillion. But here's more disturbing news. We are now again pushing up against the debt ceiling Congress extended last August. So will Congress again raise the ceiling? One thing is certain, the next round about raising the debt ceiling or not will be a bloody fight. And already, it is heating up, Speaker of the House John Boehner insisting he will call for spending cuts and reforms greater than the size of any debt ceiling increase, and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner warning Congress, Raise the ceiling without the drama and pain we saw last summer.

Representative Michele Bachmann voted against the last increase. She joins us. Nice to see you. And when I say we're bumping up against the ceiling, the estimate is the end of this year or January 13th, we may hit the ceiling again?

REP. MICHELE BACHMANN, R-MINN./FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Yes, it is. And we are in a worse position now than the last time when we raised the debt ceiling. This was entirely predictable. We knew this would happen. It's the same disease that Barack Obama's had since he came into office. It's spending and spending money that we don't have and enriching the Chinese, ultimately, by borrowing money from them and paying them all of the interest payments.
That's what we're bumping up against again at the end of this year. And really, frankly, this is an insulting remark by the our treasury secretary, Tim Geithner, because he's saying, Congress, don't be dramatic, just give in, raise the debt ceiling. In other words, just keep this road show going.

And of course, we all know that we have never seen anything in the history of the United States like this accumulation of debt! And this is how bad it is. I came into Congress in January of '07. It took us 219 years to accumulate about $8.67 trillion in debt. And now President Obama is way over $5 trillion in additional debt. But we're looking at about $16 trillion by the end of the year, Greta. We're in unchartered territory...

VAN SUSTEREN: We...

BACHMANN: ... and so we can't go forward with what the treasury secretary said.

VAN SUSTEREN: But the drama that played out -- and I use the term "drama" last August -- I mean, it really does show how dysfunctional Congress is because Congress couldn't agree on something, so they outsourced it to a super-committee and put it off until November.

They told the super-committee, OK, we can't decide as a body with the Senate, with the president, the House of Representatives, so we're going to outsource it to the super-committee. You guys go decide by November, and if you can't come up with an idea, we'll do these automatic cuts, the sequestration, or -- at some time after election and when we're pretty safe.

So they couldn't come up with an agreement. So what happens is now we have these bizarre cuts going -- not bizarre, but these huge cuts coming into effect in January. I don't know if they're good or bad, but I know that Secretary of Defense Panetta's worried about them. Republicans are worried about the ones...

BACHMANN: Sure.

VAN SUSTEREN: ... for defense. People are very worried. And they conveniently are going to happen after election, when everybody's all protected.

BACHMANN: Yes, isn't that ...

VAN SUSTEREN: Very convenient! And so the...

BACHMANN: Right.

VAN SUSTEREN: So no one's going to get hit in November who's in office, who is responsible for the dysfunction of how this unrolled!

BACHMANN: Right because people need to know that we're looking literally at a calamity, a fiscal calamity. It is a taxmageddon coming on January 1st of 2013, over $500 billion likely, or about $500 billion, in new taxes, everything from new payroll taxes, the new "ObamaCare" taxes, new alternative minimum taxes, new taxes on income and investment income. This is a huge snowball coming at us.

And of course, that's the number one issue is uncertainty. Yesterday, I was in Forest Lake, Minnesota, St. Cloud, Minnesota. This is what employers are worried about.

And by the way, you just had a segment with Brit [Hume] on what women think. I will tell you I talked to a lot of women yesterday. This is what they don't want to see are tax increases because their husbands that are over 55 years of age are losing jobs and they're not finding replacement jobs, certainly the not at the wages that they had. That's one thing that women are extremely upset about.

And they look at Barack Obama, they see gross incompetence. They look at Mitt Romney and when they look at him, they see a smart guy, intelligent guy, savvy, very optimistic. He understands the economy. I think that's why he's going to connect with women in this election cycle.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, I mean, you talked about Treasury Secretary Geithner. Senator Harry Reid also had a statement about -- about Speaker Boehner's comment on the debt ceiling. This is what Senator Harry Reid says. He said, "It's pretty clear to me that the Tea Party direction of the Republican Party is driving them over a cliff." So he's blaming the Tea Party.

BACHMANN: Yes. Well, the Tea Party says, Let's not spend more money than what we take in. That's the mainstream message in America today. John Boehner is exactly right, the speaker of the House. He's saying if we're going to increase the debt ceiling, we have to have cuts that exceed that amount.
That's pretty common sense and pretty normal. That's -- that's what any business and any family would do. And my opinion was even probably more dramatic last summer when this came up. I said, Let's not raise the debt ceiling. Let's deal with the problem today. Let's not kick the can down the road.

We have to have budget reform. We have to have tax reform. We have to have spending reform. And we can't wait because this is what Barack Obama isn't doing. He's not telling the American people the truth. He's not telling us about this taxmaggedon that's upon us. And what we have to do is let people know that today we need to act. Not in the future, we have to act today.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, let me have a little fun with you. I wonder, can you get me a good deal on a Swiss watch? I understand that...

(LAUGHTER)

VAN SUSTEREN: ... you're partially Swiss...

BACHMANN: You too!

VAN SUSTEREN: We've had some good times joking about this. What in the world happened with that Swiss citizenship?

BACHMANN: No, well, I married my husband 34 years ago. He has dual citizenship with the United States and with Switzerland. And by operation of Swiss law, automatically, because I married a dual citizen, on my wedding day, I, too, was given Swiss citizenship. So I've had that for all 34 years of our marriage.

And when the whole issue came up last week, a lot of people thought I was giving up U.S. citizenship to have Swiss citizenship, and I wanted people to
know that I have pledged allegiance to the United States every day of my life...

VAN SUSTEREN: Now, did you file some new papers recently? Was that it?

BACHMANN: Well...

VAN SUSTEREN: Was that...

BACHMANN: One of our children wanted -- they're eligible for dual citizenship, and they were filing their papers and that's how all of this came to light. So I just wanted people to know, without a shadow of a doubt, I'm an American first, last and always. and so I asked the Swiss consulate to withdraw my Swiss citizenship. I want it to be known I'm completely 100 percent American.

VAN SUSTEREN: So no deals on Swiss watches?

BACHMANN: Not from me. You'll have to go on the streets of Manhattan to get one of those.

(LAUGHTER)

VAN SUSTEREN: I think those are counterfeit, though! Anyway, we had some fun with it, I must admit, last week. Anyway, it's always nice to see you.

BACHMANN: Good to see you, Greta.


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