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CEO OF GENERAL ELECTRIC TELLING SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS TO STOP COMPLAINING ABOUT GOVERNMENT
TRACY BYRNES: Let's talk about lack of leadership in Washington, that's part of the problem. I don't know what Immelt is talking about because between financial regulations, health care costs coming down the pipe, with the threat of increased taxes, no one knows what the heck to do. So therefore, they do nothing. That is why our small businesses are not hiring. They are being strangled by all the nonsense that is coming out of Washington.
JONATHAN HOENIG: My small business didn't get the $180 billion back stop that GE got during the financial crisis. My small business doesn't get the government contracts infrastructure for green jobs. I mean, you pointed out Immelt's own record, I think its pretty atrocious on jobs- despite the fact he sits on top of the President's jobs committee. Here is a guy who's closed 25 thousand jobs in the U.S. roughly the equivalent overseas. I mean he is part of the administration, I discount what he says. My God, he's got his own page on the whitehouse.gov website. I think you have to take that with a grain of salt. It's the ultimate in corporate cronyism.
JEHMU GREENE: Well, there is a long history of CEOs advising the president, but this isn't about GE or Jeffery Immelt, this is about the 17 small business tax cuts that the Obama administration has shepherded in, 16 of which the Republican leadership completely fought him on. Jonathan, I hope your small business has benefited from that, at least own up to it. It's not just small businesses, its small businesses and corporations that are sitting on $1.6 trillion in profits. It is absolutely way past time for them to step up and start hiring, this can't just be the government. We can't just come on this show and complain all the time about the stimulus and what the government isn't doing. The government can't be responsible for this all.
JOHN LAYFIELD: We spent several hundred billion dollars saying that the unemployment rate would never go above 8.3 percent. It is now at 9.2 percent and its going higher. And, is it really your only job plan to tell corporations, because they have cash in the balance sheets, and they don't need workers? Is your only job plan to hire workers you don't need? We have no job plan in this country, we have no energy plan, we have no tax plan. We are the only developed country in the world, 5 million of the 8 million jobs lost were lost by small businesses. And when you have the housing crisis that has exacerbated this, 93 percent peak to trough, less money is coming out of home equity loans where a lot of small businesses finance themselves. And because of government regulations credit lines are being withdrawn by credit cards. The government does have a lot of responsibility here. They are not doing anything, period, zero, to create jobs.
WAYNE ROGERS: General Electric has spent $187 million over the last 10 years lobbying. That's 44 percent higher than the next person down the list on the lobbying thing. They have lobbied for everything in the world. Jeffery Immelt is a fraud, he is a guy who's on the government payroll- he's 'hand in glove' with the government. This goes back to the theory that this is a fascist economy, where you have big business, and big labor, and big government in cahoots with each other. He is a prime example of it. If you're going to indict the system, you need to indict Jeffery Immelt and GE. They are not doing what they should be doing.
IMF SPENDING BILLIONS OF U.S. TAX DOLLARS ON EUROPEAN BAILOUTS; TIME TO STOP THE HANDOUTS FOR FOREIGN NATIONS IN CRISIS?
JOHN LAYFIELD: What in the world are these morons in D.C. doing? Look, the NFL, a bunch of football players, are probably going to work out their problems before our wise leaders in D.C. are going to work it out. That tells you everything you need to know. We could be on the hook for a $108 billion through the IMF for Greece. I am not for any of these bailouts whatsoever, but if you're going to bail somebody out, bailout California. Which is more important to our country? Greece, or our own problems here at home?
WAYNE ROGERS: I think we do have to support the IMF. The argument here is not the $108 billion, it's what's left over from the $108 billion which has never been accounted for. Tiny Tim, our Secretary of the Treasury, is supposed to account for that money you know. He has never made a report on it. He's never told us where the money is going. Well he is a moron of sorts and I agree with John.
JEHMU GREENE: I'm sorry, I'm still just a little in shock with what I'm about to say; wise words from Wayne. We do have to support the IMF. This is not about looking at our debt crisis. Clearly with the global economic crisis and all of our economic interests that are tied up in European countries, we can't say we're going to pull out. Clearly the support that the IMF gives to us from a national security standpoint, to say that we're going to pretend that the United States is an island and we're not absolutely tied to the global markets is ridiculous.
JONATHAN HOENIG: Cheryl you're not listening to Jehmu. We're all in this together right? That's the whole premise. That's the collectivist premise. That's the exact philosophy that pushed the housing bailout that was supposed to prevent all of the foreclosures. We're all in it together. If your neighbor forecloses, your house is screwed. Guess what home prices went down anyway. It's a waste of money and it's a real infringement on people's rights. If they want to support Greece or Portugal, go buy the stocks, go buy the bonds, but to take taxpayers' money for this is unconscionable.
TRACY BYRNES: I don't know if it's unconscionable in that it is just unknown. Wayne is right. We need transparency. Look, you want to be a global world we've got to be a global world, but we need to know how and where our money is being spent. Is it being spent properly on Greece; on Portugal; on Ireland? If it's not then yeah I want it back, but if it's doing something that it's supposed to be doing that is an entirely different story. Same story here in the United States. Look Jonathan, you know as well as I do that we all have investments in these countries. We all go down together whether you like it or not unfortunately, we are all on the same boat. I didn't build this boat Jonathan. I didn't do it so you can't be mad at me.
GOVERNMENT REACHING DEEPER INTO YOUR PERSONAL LIFE; FINDING NEW WAYS TO GET THEIR HANDS ON YOUR MONEY?
JONATHAN HOENIG: Land of the free, Cheryl. Remember that old chestnut? It seems to have gone out the window these days. It's a money grab; it's also a property grab right? I mean, this couple is planting tomatoes on their own private property. This woman wants to have her own cat. It's not infringing on anyone else's rights. Why government has to get involved with that; has to tax you, has to needle you at every exercise of your freedom I just don't understand.
JEHMU GREENE: We have too many cats in shelters right now. I love kitty-cats. I would pay $25 for my cat. The reality is this has nothing to do with the struggles that local governments are having. Whether or not you want to paint your mailbox pink, homeowners associations all over this country tell you how you can decorate your lawn. You know in Texas we have ridiculous laws like you can't milk another person's cow. You can't shoot a buffalo from the second floor of a building. Come on now, this is not the boogey-man, money grubbing government going after these people's money. It's either a homeowners association or local ordinances. This is not the government coming to get you.
WAYNE ROGERS: You have to have local ordinances yes, but in the case of your yard, or whatever it is, it's private. This argument occurred over the word suitable. The ordinance was talking about what is suitable. Who is to make the decision as to what is suitable? We do this all the time in the Federal Government when they say fair. We have a fair housing act; we have fair tactics. Who makes the decision and defines the word fair and who defines the word suitable? That's the problem.
TRACY BYRNES: Nothing is fair or suitable when the states are broke and they need to find money. I mean, they're going to tax my gum soon enough, because they're so darn broke, so you can't do anything right as far as the states are concerned.
JOHN LAYFIELD: Tracy's right. These guys need revenue. I think I have funded an entire police force in a small town in East Texas through a Barney Fife, rinky-dink speed trap that has written so many tickets to me over the last ten years. Get ready for fees. They're going to write you tickets for parking; they're going to tax your animals. These guys don't have money. They're not going to make good decisions. They're not going to cut their budgets. They're going to tax us in some way or another.
WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW?
TRACY BYRNES: Okay, so thanks to the recent recession they did a survey recently. Half of the people over 55 say they're going to have to support their family basically through their retirement. That means no money for retirement for them. Crack out the refrigerator boxes.
JOHN LAYFIELD: Look what the NFL lockout has done to me. I'm watching soccer, but Hope Solo, she's looking great and I mean nothing about her playing goalie. Get a U.S. carrier Verizon and get up online. Verizon (VZ) also has a five percent plus yield.
WAYNE ROGERS: I think the recovery is for real. I don't think we're going to have a double dip and everybody should take a look at IWM, that's the Russell 2000.
JONATHAN HOENIG: Well Cheryl, I'm a staunch advocate for environmental rights and a long time supporter of green causes as you know. So check out Honda (HMC). The company actually announced that 10 of their plants emit zero emissions. They're taking steps to actually become more environmentally friendly. The stock is super strong and I own it in my fund.