This is a continuation of an Unreligious Right exclusive, an interview of President Obama by John Maddup. If you missed them, see parts one & two. Please keep in mind that the president was speaking off the record.
Maddup: Let's turn to the economy. I see that you are now claiming that the stimulus created large numbers of jobs. Where do those numbers come from?
Obama: Umm, we kind of made them up. Not exactly, there were all sorts of calculations and such. Those numbers are our best guess, at least until we find a way to come up with a different number that looks better.
Maddup: So is it fair to say that you really aren't sure that the stimulus had much effect?
Obama: No, that's not fair. But it might be true. I can tell you one thing though.
Maddup: What's that?
Obama: Any failure of the stimulus is all the fault of Republicans.
Obama: Because we needed to spend even more money. The more the better. Ask Paul Krugman. So if the stimulus didn't work, it must have been too small. And you know who is responsible for that: the GOP.
Maddup: What about the deficit?
Obama: What about it?
Maddup: Aren't you worried that your policies are increasing the deficit at an incredible rate?
Obama: Who worries about the deficit? It's just not important. And fixing it is a bad idea. Really bad.
Maddup: I don't understand sir.
Obama: People like government programs. They don't like fixing the deficit.
Maddup: Could you elaborate, Sir?
Obama: There are two ways to cut the deficit, right? We can raise taxes, or we can cut spending. Do either of those things sound like political winners to you?
Maddup: But all the money from those programs has to come from somewhere. Aren't we mortgaging our country for future generations?
Obama: Future generations? Do you think they are voting in 2012? I'll let you in on a little secret about money.
Maddup: What's that, Mr. President?
Obama: We have this thing called the U.S. Mint. It actually prints money. Think about it. We can just print more money if we need it. And you think I should cut my throat politically to worry about the deficit? No way, no how.
Maddup: But haven't you talked about how your big expensive initiatives are actually going to save money and cut the deficit in the long run?
Obama: [hearty laughter] Come on, John. You don't think I'm stupid enough to really believe my own propaganda, do you?
Maddup: [laughs] No, sir. Of course not. I was just kidding around.
Obama: Good one, John.
Maddup: Why don't we move on to something else?
Obama: Fire away.
[End Part Three]