This is a partial transcript from Your World with Neil Cavuto, February 13, 2003, that was edited for clarity. Click here for complete access to all of Neil Cavuto's CEO interviews.
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NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Is the push for war hurting the president's push for tax cuts? Well, it should not, says the president. And Treasury Secretary John Snow telling me earlier today, it will not. Far from deterring the White House, the administration's pushing those tax cuts, saying they're a guaranteed job-creator.
JOHN SNOW, U.S. TREASURY SECRETARY: In will create a million-and-a-half new jobs by the fourth quarter of next year and 2 million jobs by the year 2005. So there's a real strong pickup in the economy associated with this program.
CAVUTO: But do you worry in the meantime that it is going to make these deficits worse and that that's a problem liberals and Democrats are seizing on this and saying, aha, the administration is caught in a big one.
SNOW: I don't think so. The deficits that we're going to face the next couple of years are really pretty modest relative to the GDP. The debt levels are modest relative to the GDP. It's always important to keep your debt levels in mind with your earning power. And the earning power of the United States' economy is really our GDP. The deficits we will be running are quite manageable. And of course the administration is committed to bringing them to an end. But the best way to bring them to an end is real growth. We need to get the American economy on a stronger growth path. We need more growth. We need more output. And as we get that additional growth, that addition output, there will be additional governmental revenues. So I come back.
CAVUTO: But that could be a few years out?
SNOW: It will be, probably a few years out. But coupled with tight spending controls, as the president has proposed, we'll get there. We'll get there. And in the interim we're making an investment. And I think this is really an important point. In the interim, these tax reductions, by eliminating inefficiencies in the tax system, by encouraging people to save and to invest, we're making an investment in our long-term well being. That's a lot different than just going out and spending. Spending doesn't have the long-term returns that we get here from making the right choices from improving…
CAVUTO: I'm sorry, sir, but I guess the choices you're going to have to make now, the administration is going to have to make, even some moderate Republicans are saying that the 100 percent, you know, write-off on dividends, that isn't going to happen. That the president who is earmarked to get all these forward tax cuts pushed to this year, that isn't going to happen. What will happen? What is the holy grail for the administration that you will not give up on?
SNOW: Well, I would really disagree with that, Neil. I think we're going to get this package.
CAVUTO: The 100 percent dividend? The whole thing?
SNOW: Sure. Sure. I am not prepared to walk away from that for a minute.
CAVUTO: Even though Alan Greenspan has all but said we don't need it?
SNOW: No, well, what Alan Greenspan said, I think, was, this is good tax policy. He's long been a champion of ending double taxation on dividends. He also said that he didn't favor short-term stimulus package. Well, neither do we. What we support here is real, genuine, long-term reform of the tax code that will give us the benefits of more jobs in the short term and much higher growth in the long term.
CAVUTO: Were you troubled, sir, that Alan Greenspan didn't sound more supportive, if anything he sounded critical in his two days of testimony up on the Hill?
SNOW: Well, no. I don't read the chairman's comments that way. He did an appropriate thing, he said, deficits matter. And if allowed to run amok, if allowed to go on indefinitely and get too large, they are troublesome. They roil and disrupt financial markets. We agree with that. I agree with that. My response, though, is that the deficits at the levels we're talking about are manageable. They won't roil the financial markets. We're living today with the lowest interest rates in 40 years.
CAVUTO: All right, Treasury Secretary John Snow.
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