NEIL CAVUTO, HOST OF “YOUR WORLD”: Well, there was so much in the president’s presser today that we were following. He had another message for job-creators.
This one--Quit whining.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESIDENT OBAMA: The business community is always complaining about regulations. When unemployment’s at 3 percent and they’re making record profits, they’re going to still complain about regulations because, frankly, they want to be able to do whatever they think is going to maximize their profits.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAVUTO: Let’s say that’s true. Let’s make the leap that it’s true. Is it any way or any incentive to get those businesses hiring?
Meg Whitman knows what it takes to create jobs. When she started eBay -- think of this -- the company had about 30 workers and less than $5 million in revenues. When she left 10 years later, try 15,000 workers, almost $8 billion in revenue.
Who better to talk about how to get jobs going and how to get this economy going than the former CEO of eBay, the former Republican gubernatorial candidate in the fine state of California?
Meg, good to have you.
MEG WHITMAN, FORMER CEO, EBAY: Nice to see you, Neil.
CAVUTO: If you were still -- well, indirectly, you are, with your work now -- but hiring, would this and the remarks you heard from the president today propel you and compel you to hire?
WHITMAN: No, it would give me great concern, because there’s tremendous uncertainty. Are taxes going up? Are we going to be able to balance the budget deficit? What’s happening internationally with our trade agreements?
Businesspeople can deal with almost anything. Uncertainty is not good. And, boy, it seemed to me that there was also a bit of demonization of free enterprise today. And free enterprise is what’s going to put people back to work. So it wouldn’t have given me great confidence, I have to say.
CAVUTO: Meg, I think he called you -- and that is -- I’m making a collective you here -- whiners about regulations, about needless government oversight. What do -- what did you make of that?
WHITMAN: You know he’s just wrong about that. Most businesspeople I know, whether they’re running a big company or a small business, they don’t want no regulation. They just want fair regulations that give them a chance to start a business, get the real estate, hire people.
And, gosh, in almost every state in the country, including California, it’s harder, not easier, to start a business and hire people. And that’s not going to get Americans back to work. And if we want sustainable revenue growth, sustainable GDP growth, the only way to do that is to put people back to work.
CAVUTO: There was so much in the press conference, since it was almost entirely about the economy -- questions about Afghanistan obviously came up -- but it really was economic-centered. He started referring to those who keep this budget process going on and on and on -- I assume he’s yapping about Republicans -- that they’re selfish.
I want you to listen to this and get your reaction to this.
OK. Maybe we don’t have it.
But what he essentially is saying is, look, bottom line, you’re against this and you’re selfish being against it. Is that enough to foster the debate and get it moving forward?
WHITMAN: Listen, this president ran on the platform of bringing people together, meeting in the middle. And it has not worked out that way at all.
And that’s why I think there is a big hunger for new leadership. In the end, what makes change is great leadership. And he has not been a good leader on the economy or many other things. And I don’t think it makes sense to call people names. I don’t think it makes sense to call people whiners.
Let’s solve the problems. The times when the president has been popular is when he’s met in the middle and he has brought people together. He needs to do more of that. And the number-one issue that people care about is their job, their house, their payments on their car.
Let’s get this economy moving again. And I don’t think it makes any sense to be demonizing the other side.
CAVUTO: Now, what he has been saying again and again today -- he certainly pounded this theme again today -- is that he does want to move forward. He looks at the congressional schedule -- now there’s late word that the Senate might skip its July 4 recess to hammer out a budget accord.
Be that as it may, he’s saying that they are needlessly dragging this on and he is doing everything he can to avoid it. But someone has to give some ground here. Republicans say they’re not going to on the tax hike issue. Democrats say they’ve got to give some ground on that issue. How do you think it ultimately works out?
WHITMAN: Well, I understand why the Republicans are saying, you know, no higher taxes. This is not the time to be raising taxes.
Listen, here’s what I would do, I think, if I was trying to solve this problem. Listen, what we need to do is, first, let’s streamline taxes and close all the loopholes. Loopholes aren’t fair. It doesn’t make sense that some big corporations can pay no taxes. So, let’s lower the corporate tax rates.
CAVUTO: Would you make the loophole part of the deal right now, Meg?
WHITMAN: I would.
CAVUTO: Because they would come back -- a lot of the purists come back and say, well, you know, you close these loopholes, we’re paying more.
WHITMAN: You know what?
CAVUTO: But you would be on board? That would be OK?
WHITMAN: You know what? That would be OK with me. Fair is fair.
WHITMAN: And so I’d lower the corporate tax rate. I would close all the loopholes. I’d make the tax rates simpler.
CAVUTO: Wait a minute. I’m sorry to jump on you again.
CAVUTO: If they don’t want to lower the tax rate, but they DO want to simplify it, so that the loopholes are gone and, thereby they’re paying more taxes...