I think that we've got to return to the principal that you don't lend money that can't pay it back. I think that there's some greedy people on Wall Street that perhaps need to be punished. I think there's got to be a huge amount more of transparency as to how this whole thing came about so we can prevent it from happening again.
When a town on Norway is somehow affected by the housing situation in the United States of America, we've gotten ourselves into a very interesting dilemma.
If necessary, we're going to have to take additional actions and particularly in cleaning up a mortgage. A mortgage should be one page and there should be big letters at the bottom that says, "I understand this document."
We ought to adjust the mortgages so people who were eligible for better terms, but were somehow convinced to accept the mortgages which were more onerous on them. We need to fix the rating systems, which clearly were erroneous in their ratings, which led people to believe that there were these institutions which were stable, which clearly were not.
MCCAIN: So I think what we've done so far is good. I think we may have to take further steps if this subprime lending situation continues to be serious.
And finally, could I just mention on the issue of rebates, fine, because part of this is psychological. Part of the problem we have, of course, in any recession is psychological. And I'm still optimistic that nothing is inevitable.
I still rely on the innovation and the talent of the United States of America. But we've got to make the tax cuts permanent. We need to get rid of the Alternative Minimum Tax.
We need to give people a depreciation in one year for their business and investment. We need to encourage research and development and tax credits that are associated with it.
And we've got to stop spending. We've got to stop -- one place where Ron Paul and I are in total agreement, spending is out of control. And I'm tired of borrowing money from China.
COOPER: Let's pick up on that with Janet Hook from the Los Angeles Times.
HOOK: Senator McCain, you're talking about making the tax cuts permanent. And as Governor Romney pointed out before, you opposed the Bush tax cuts the first time around.
Now, more recently you've been saying that the reason why you opposed the tax cuts at first was because they weren't offset by spending cuts. But back when you actually voted against the tax cuts in Congress, you said you opposed them because they favored the wealthy too much.
So which is it? And if they were too skewed to the wealthy at first, are they still too skewed to the wealthy?
MCCAIN: Actually, I think lower and middle income Americans need more help. Obviously, I think that's the case today. That's one reason why we're giving them rebates.
I was part of the Reagan revolution. I was there with Jack Kemp and Phil Gramm and Warren Rudman and all these other fighters that wanted to change a terrible economic situation in America with 10 percent unemployment and 20 percent interest rates. I was proud to be a foot soldier, support those tax cuts, and they had spending restraints associated with it.
I made it very clear when I ran in 2000 that I had a package of tax cuts which were very important and very impactful, but I also had restraints in spending. And I disagreed when spending got out of control. And I disagreed when we had tax cuts without spending restraint.
And guess what? Spending got out of control. Republicans lost the 2006 election not over the war in Iraq, over spending. Our base became disenchanted.
If we had done what I wanted to do, we would not only have had the spending restraint, but we'd be talking about additional tax cuts today. I'm proud of my record. I'm proud of my record as a foot soldier in the Reagan revolution, and now I'm prepared to lead in restraining spending.