Description: Internet Question #1 - Economy
Candidate: Sen. McCain
Question: As president, what sacrifices -- sacrifices will you ask every American to make to help restore the American dream and to get out of the economic morass that we're now in? ]
BROKAW: All right, gentlemen, I want to just remind you one more time about time. We're going to have a larger deficit than the federal government does if we don't get this under control here before too long.
Senator McCain, for you, we have our first question from the Internet tonight. A child of the Depression, 78-year-old Fiora (ph) from Chicago.
Since World War II, we have never been asked to sacrifice anything to help our country, except the blood of our heroic men and women. As president, what sacrifices -- sacrifices will you ask every American to make to help restore the American dream and to get out of the economic morass that we're now in?
MCCAIN: Well, Fiora (ph), I'm going to ask the American people to understand that there are some programs that we may have to eliminate.
I first proposed a long time ago that we would have to examine every agency and every bureaucracy of government. And we're going to have to eliminate those that aren't working.
I know a lot of them that aren't working. One of them is in defense spending, because I've taken on some of the defense contractors. I saved the taxpayers $6.8 billion in a deal for an Air Force tanker that was done in a corrupt fashion.
I believe that we have to eliminate the earmarks. And sometimes those projects, not -- not the overhead projector that Senator Obama asked for, but some of them that are really good projects, will have -- will have to be eliminated, as well.
And they'll have to undergo the same scrutiny that all projects should in competition with others.
So we're going to have to tell the American people that spending is going to have to be cut in America. And I recommend a spending freeze that -- except for defense, Veterans Affairs, and some other vital programs, we'll just have to have across-the-board freeze.
And some of those programs may not grow as much as we would like for them to, but we can establish priorities with full transparency, with full knowledge of the American people, and full consultation, not done behind closed doors and shoving earmarks in the middle of the night into programs that we don't even -- sometimes we don't even know about until months later.
And, by the way, I want to go back a second.
MCCAIN: Look, we can attack health care and energy at the same time. We're not -- we're not -- we're not rifle shots here. We are Americans. We can, with the participation of all Americans, work together and solve these problems together.
Frankly, I'm not going to tell that person without health insurance that, "I'm sorry, you'll have to wait." I'm going to tell you Americans we'll get to work right away and we'll get to work together, and we can get them all done, because that's what America has been doing.
BROKAW: Senator McCain, thank you very much.