Presuming the pre-2003 levels are the real rates, Smith questioned Gretchen Morgenson  of the New York Times: "Is now the time to continue cutting taxes if there is this overwhelming deficit out there?" He soon cued up White House economic adviser Laura Tyson to agree with his premise: "Should the Bush tax cuts stay in place for the middle class but be rescinded for the top wage earners?"
Turning back to Morgenson, Smith showed exasperation with public opposition to government spending programs as he wondered if the stimulus wasn't big enough:
I want to go back to the stimulus because as so many of these Congress folks are going back out of their districts and people complain about the size of government, they're complaining about the deficit, they're complaining about TARP and who knows what all else. As we're standing here looking at it right now, just if you can step away, was the stimulus big enough?Morgenson afirmed "the stimulus was not big enough" and Smith next pushed Mark Zandi, of Moody's Analytics: "There are plenty of economists out there, Mark Zandi, who say what's needed is is a second stimulus. Could those words cross your lips?"