US Senator Orrin Hatch
GLENN: One of the guys who has been helping behind the scenes is Senator Orrin Hatch. The senator and I, we have differing opinions on things, and I have both praised the man and taken him to task, but I find him an honorable man. And really that is the one thing that is lacking in Washington is honor. He is one of the guys who has been helping behind the scenes. Several people have been helping on this particular event, but I wanted to get him on because I want to talk to him a little bit first of all to say thank you for this. And also the financial bill. Welcome, Senator Orrin Hatch to the program. How are you, sir?
HATCH: I'm doing fine, Glenn. Nice to talk to you. I don't think we differ on too many things.
GLENN: I think — you know my biggest thing I think we differ on is a conversation that we had, I don't know, a couple of years ago — or a year ago or so on Cass Sunstein.
HATCH: Oh, yeah.
GLENN: You said to me, you know, I just don't think that he's going to do all that, you know, much damage. And where we differ, Senator, I think is you're more of an optimist and you have more hope in people in Washington than I do.
HATCH: Well, he wrote the book on cost benefit analysis and that's — look, I differ with him on almost everything he teaches.
HATCH: Just like you do. But when it comes to cost benefit analysis, this administration needs that. And hopefully he will do a job there.
GLENN: Oh, he's doing a job.
HATCH: He wrote the book on it and hopefully he can prove to be good there. And I generally take the position that the president should have the team that he wants unless there's some really important reason for not allowing it, and in that particular case I felt like since he's the authority on that, you know, that's not a bad appointment. And he promised me he would keep himself restrained to cost benefit analysis of their programs.
GLENN: This is —
HATCH: You don't believe him ?
GLENN: Not for a second. I think this guy is the most dangerous man in America, but this is where we disagree.
GLENN: But let's move on. Can you help me with the financial reform bill? You are standing against it today, are you not?
Learn more about the Restoring Honor Rally, 8/28 in Washington DC...
HATCH: Oh, yeah. I think that's going to be a disaster to this country.
GLENN: I mean, we have Roubini saying that the economy is about — the global economy is about to fold in on itself and we have a financial bill that rips the heart out of this engine.
HATCH: You know, the interesting thing is that I don't think it's going to be very hard on Wall Street. It's going to be hard on Main Street.
GLENN: Oh, yeah.
HATCH: Main Street didn't cause these problems.
GLENN: Oh, yeah.
HATCH: It was Wall Street and the large banks. And I tell you it's just amazing how that's come about. And they do absolutely nothing about Fannie and Freddie where it all began. We're facing a trillion dollars of taxpayer losses because of Fannie and Freddie.
GLENN: Tell me some of the things that are in this bill that people just don't know and need to know.
HATCH: Well, there are a lot of things in there. I think the most important thing is number — what's not in there and that is they are doing nothing about Fannie and Freddie and that's going to continue on at a huge cost to taxpayers and we're going to find in the future we're going to have to bail out Fannie and Freddie because of the mess that they are making. But it has the consumer protection aspect that adds to four different consumer aspects, you know, that we already have in place who didn't do the job. So we're going to get some more bureaucrats who won't do the job? This administration's great at creating government jobs. They are not very good at creating private sector jobs, and you can just go on and on. The impositions that they are going to put on banks, and I might add the too big to fail, they say it's not going to augment too big to fail. Of course it is. There's funds in there to do that. There are questions about — well, we're going to allow a lot of bureaucrats to determine systemic risk.
GLENN: Are you —
HATCH: And that's not the way to go, you know? I could just go on and on.
GLENN: Are you — is there any chance of stopping this at all?
HATCH: Well, I don't think so because we've lost three of ours. You know, I make the point over and over. You know, I'm vice chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. Everybody knows me and if I can get them on the phone, they will give money to help us try and fight these things, but I've got to tell you, last year at this time when we only had 40 senators, some of the people who always gave, just a few of them would say, well, I'm sick of you Republicans, too, because look at what you did. You had six years where you controlled both houses and the presidency and look what you did, and I always answered it this way: Yeah, we should have done better and the president should have given us veto power in the first seven years. But you need to know something. At that time I was in the Senate 33 years and I said, I've been in the Senate 33 years and there's not been one day where we had a fiscal conservative majority in the Senate. We've always had three to six liberal Republicans from blue states. You know, in a way you can't blame them, but who would go with the all liberal Democrats. And the only reason we've won a lot of things is I'm sure good presidential leadership, Reagan, Bush 1, Bush 2 and even Clinton on occasion but, you know, most of the time we just didn't have the votes from a fiscal conservative standpoint. I just live for the day when we have 60 votes in the Senate who are fiscal conservatives.
GLENN: Are you concerned at all after the election that this lame duck congress is going to rubber stamp every radical idea and jam it through?
HATCH: You are darn right I'm concerned. What they do is they come up with a huge continuing resolution and they throw everything in there but the kitchen sink and even that sometimes. And frankly we just have to stop it. Fortunately we do have 41 Republicans, and some of the Democrats are starting to get a little jittery, too. So we'll just have to see. But they are going to try and put all kinds of stuff in there like card check and so forth.
GLENN: Senator, I thank you very much for your time.
HATCH: Great to be with you. I'm looking forward to seeing you out in my hometown of Salt Lake.
[NOTE: Transcript may have been edited to enhance readability - audio archive includes full segment as it was originally aired]