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Interview with Senator Mark Begich

By Your World w/Neil Cavuto, Your World w/Neil Cavuto - December 3, 2010

Friday, December 03, 2010

Special Guests | Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska

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This is a rush transcript from "Your World With Neil Cavuto," December 3, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Now, in the meantime, we are talking about whether you are going to have the wherewithal, the money to do that, these tax cuts up in abeyance here.adsonar_placementId=1502157;adsonar_pid=150758;adsonar_ps=-1;adsonar_zw=198;adsonar_zh=170;adsonar_jv='ads.adsonar.com';

The Senator Mark Begich of Alaska, the Democratic senator from that very cold state, joining me right now from the nation's Capitol.

And, Senator, you are for finding maybe middle ground on this tax cut debate, right?

SEN. MARK BEGICH , D-ALASKA.: That's right.

CAVUTO:Maybe increasing the threshold for the so-called upper income to $1 million?

How much progress is that making?

BEGICH: Well, first, let me say, Neil, it's great to see you outside in cold weather. Now, if you really want cold weather forget Iowa. Come to Alaska and do that show outside.

CAVUTO:I have been to your state. And it is cold. You are right about that.

BEGICH: But I would love you to do it. But, first, let me just say this. And I appreciate you, as always, asking me to come on the show. As one of the few small business people in the U.S. Senate, not only myself -- my wife owns four small businesses -- started like that, selling product on the street corner, growing her business. We understand this issue.

CAVUTO:Pashminas? Did you do pashminas, or no?

BEGICH: No. She sold smoked salmon from Alaska...

CAVUTO:Wow.

BEGICH: ... now runs four small businesses. And, clearly, we understand the impact. So, you're right. We are trying to find middle ground. And I know, on the other side, they want to just extend everything. And I think the middle ground could potentially be up to $1 million, $500,000 per person.

Why is that important? It catches literally 99 percent of the small businesses across this country. And I think that is an important piece of it. The second thing it does is...

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO:But do you really think it's going to go anywhere, Senator? I mean, this has been raised before. Chuck Schumer raised it. A lot of others have said -- you know, Republicans have held together, saying fish or cut bait, all the rates, or not.

(CROSSTALK)

BEGICH: I'll tell you something. This is where we are looking for compromise.

For them to continue to say that the top two percent -- or I will just say the millionaire-billionaire club -- continues to get a tax bonus, a break, from the taxpayers of this community is wrong.

So, let's focus where we need to. You are right. There's indicators that are kind of mixed. Today, the consumer index, meaning the people feeling better about the economy, the consumer confidence is up. Small business cash flows are up the last three weeks.

CAVUTO:Did you see the employment report today, Senator?

BEGICH: I did.

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO:There is a concern that maybe there is a hiccup along the way. Some of your Democratic colleagues, sir, have said they agree with you that the rich should pay more. They do not define it at $1 million or won't have you, but they say the rich should pay more. They just say, though, Senator, this ain't the time to do it.

(CROSSTALK)

BEGICH: Well, I tell you this. And I will be very -- I'm talking from a small business perspective, from someone who understands this world in the sense when people get out of here -- and I appreciate the commentators you get on there. They talk about small business. They have never run one. They have never gone to a bank and had to get a loan, never expanded their capital needs in order to expand their business.

So let me just give it straight to you.

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO:That is actually the White House economic team right there.

BEGICH: Well, for example, the people that are out here talking about extending the tax cuts across the board, and not willing to compromise, what I'm saying and several of us are saying, Democrats are saying, look, OK, you do not like the $250,000. You don't like -- you want it for everyone, including the millionaires and billionaires. Let's find common ground. Let's go and do something that fixes the problem for 99 percent.

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO:With the millionaire, you might be right. But I have got to tell you, when you lump someone making...

(CROSSTALK)

BEGICH: The millionaires and billionaires are not buying on the corner where you're standing right now.

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO:But, Senator, Senator, you have got to stop -- you have got to stop the nonsense about equating someone who earns $250,000 with billionaires. But that is fine. It's a good talking point.

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO:I don't care. I don't care about the position.

continued...

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This is a rush transcript from "Your World With Neil Cavuto," December 3, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Now, in the meantime, we are talking about whether you are going to have the wherewithal, the money to do that, these tax cuts up in abeyance here.

The Senator Mark Begich of Alaska, the Democratic senator from that very cold state, joining me right now from the nation's Capitol.

And, Senator, you are for finding maybe middle ground on this tax cut debate, right?

SEN. MARK BEGICH , D-ALASKA.: That's right.

CAVUTO:Maybe increasing the threshold for the so-called upper income to $1 million?

How much progress is that making?

BEGICH: Well, first, let me say, Neil, it's great to see you outside in cold weather. Now, if you really want cold weather forget Iowa. Come to Alaska and do that show outside.

CAVUTO:I have been to your state. And it is cold. You are right about that.

BEGICH: But I would love you to do it. But, first, let me just say this. And I appreciate you, as always, asking me to come on the show. As one of the few small business people in the U.S. Senate, not only myself -- my wife owns four small businesses -- started like that, selling product on the street corner, growing her business. We understand this issue.

CAVUTO:Pashminas? Did you do pashminas, or no?

BEGICH: No. She sold smoked salmon from Alaska...

CAVUTO:Wow.

BEGICH: ... now runs four small businesses. And, clearly, we understand the impact. So, you're right. We are trying to find middle ground. And I know, on the other side, they want to just extend everything. And I think the middle ground could potentially be up to $1 million, $500,000 per person.

Why is that important? It catches literally 99 percent of the small businesses across this country. And I think that is an important piece of it. The second thing it does is...

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO:But do you really think it's going to go anywhere, Senator? I mean, this has been raised before. Chuck Schumer raised it. A lot of others have said -- you know, Republicans have held together, saying fish or cut bait, all the rates, or not.

(CROSSTALK)

BEGICH: I'll tell you something. This is where we are looking for compromise.

For them to continue to say that the top two percent -- or I will just say the millionaire-billionaire club -- continues to get a tax bonus, a break, from the taxpayers of this community is wrong.

So, let's focus where we need to. You are right. There's indicators that are kind of mixed. Today, the consumer index, meaning the people feeling better about the economy, the consumer confidence is up. Small business cash flows are up the last three weeks.

CAVUTO:Did you see the employment report today, Senator?

BEGICH: I did.

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO:There is a concern that maybe there is a hiccup along the way. Some of your Democratic colleagues, sir, have said they agree with you that the rich should pay more. They do not define it at $1 million or won't have you, but they say the rich should pay more. They just say, though, Senator, this ain't the time to do it.

(CROSSTALK)

BEGICH: Well, I tell you this. And I will be very -- I'm talking from a small business perspective, from someone who understands this world in the sense when people get out of here -- and I appreciate the commentators you get on there. They talk about small business. They have never run one. They have never gone to a bank and had to get a loan, never expanded their capital needs in order to expand their business.

So let me just give it straight to you.

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO:That is actually the White House economic team right there.

BEGICH: Well, for example, the people that are out here talking about extending the tax cuts across the board, and not willing to compromise, what I'm saying and several of us are saying, Democrats are saying, look, OK, you do not like the $250,000. You don't like -- you want it for everyone, including the millionaires and billionaires. Let's find common ground. Let's go and do something that fixes the problem for 99 percent.

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO:With the millionaire, you might be right. But I have got to tell you, when you lump someone making...

(CROSSTALK)

BEGICH: The millionaires and billionaires are not buying on the corner where you're standing right now.

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO:But, Senator, Senator, you have got to stop -- you have got to stop the nonsense about equating someone who earns $250,000 with billionaires. But that is fine. It's a good talking point.

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO:I don't care. I don't care about the position.

continued...

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Choose a category

Common Sense InterviewsCommon Sense

Latest Transcript

December 01, 2010

Please click on a date for previous transcripts:

Loading Datepicker Coming Up on Your World at 4pm ET

Neil is taking to the streets of Manhattan for a LIVE Your World outside in the FOX News Plaza.  Neil will be joined by Huckabee AND Stossel!

Your World w/ Cavuto Poll Take Our Poll(survey software) What Do You Think?

Send Neil your comments & tune into FOX Business tonight at 6pm ET.  Neil may read yours on air! 

Don't get FBN?  DEMAND IT!Find out if you get FBN here

Connect with Cavuto FacebookEmailHulu Additional Resources

Fox Business

Get the latest news on business, investments, the stock market, and more! Plus, try out useful tools and calculators for your financial questions and needs.

Cavuto on Business

The most powerful name in news brings you The Cost of Freedom, the most powerful business block on cable news!

Buy Neil Cavuto's Books

Get inspired with the New York Times bestselling books Your Money or Your Life and More Than Money by Neil Cavuto.

Home U.S. World Politics Health Business SciTech Entertainment Video Opinion Sports Leisure Topics Careers Internships - FNCU Fox Around the World RSS Feeds Advertise With Us Terms of Use Privacy Policy Contact Us Email Newsroom FAQ /**/ $.ad.pre(); setPageVideo(); // video

The Senator Mark Begich of Alaska, the Democratic senator from that very cold state, joining me right now from the nation's Capitol.

And, Senator, you are for finding maybe middle ground on this tax cut debate, right?

SEN. MARK BEGICH , D-ALASKA.: That's right.

CAVUTO:Maybe increasing the threshold for the so-called upper income to $1 million?

How much progress is that making?

BEGICH: Well, first, let me say, Neil, it's great to see you outside in cold weather. Now, if you really want cold weather forget Iowa. Come to Alaska and do that show outside.

CAVUTO:I have been to your state. And it is cold. You are right about that.

BEGICH: But I would love you to do it. But, first, let me just say this. And I appreciate you, as always, asking me to come on the show. As one of the few small business people in the U.S. Senate, not only myself -- my wife owns four small businesses -- started like that, selling product on the street corner, growing her business. We understand this issue.

CAVUTO:Pashminas? Did you do pashminas, or no?

BEGICH: No. She sold smoked salmon from Alaska...

CAVUTO:Wow.

BEGICH: ... now runs four small businesses. And, clearly, we understand the impact. So, you're right. We are trying to find middle ground. And I know, on the other side, they want to just extend everything. And I think the middle ground could potentially be up to $1 million, $500,000 per person.

Why is that important? It catches literally 99 percent of the small businesses across this country. And I think that is an important piece of it. The second thing it does is...

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO:But do you really think it's going to go anywhere, Senator? I mean, this has been raised before. Chuck Schumer raised it. A lot of others have said -- you know, Republicans have held together, saying fish or cut bait, all the rates, or not.

(CROSSTALK)

BEGICH: I'll tell you something. This is where we are looking for compromise.

For them to continue to say that the top two percent -- or I will just say the millionaire-billionaire club -- continues to get a tax bonus, a break, from the taxpayers of this community is wrong.

So, let's focus where we need to. You are right. There's indicators that are kind of mixed. Today, the consumer index, meaning the people feeling better about the economy, the consumer confidence is up. Small business cash flows are up the last three weeks.

CAVUTO:Did you see the employment report today, Senator?

BEGICH: I did.

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO:There is a concern that maybe there is a hiccup along the way. Some of your Democratic colleagues, sir, have said they agree with you that the rich should pay more. They do not define it at $1 million or won't have you, but they say the rich should pay more. They just say, though, Senator, this ain't the time to do it.

(CROSSTALK)

BEGICH: Well, I tell you this. And I will be very -- I'm talking from a small business perspective, from someone who understands this world in the sense when people get out of here -- and I appreciate the commentators you get on there. They talk about small business. They have never run one. They have never gone to a bank and had to get a loan, never expanded their capital needs in order to expand their business.

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