Google CEO on Stimulus Bill

This is a rush transcript from "Your World With Neil Cavuto," January 28, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: President Obama taking his stimulus push to some of the nation's most powerful CEOs today, urging them to sign on and promote it for the economy's sake.

The biggest of the big, Google chief Eric Schmidt, told me that he is backing this plan, even though he does not like everything in it.


CAVUTO: Eric, welcome. Always great having you on.

Video: Watch Cavuto's interview

Did you get a sense from the president today that he was open to more tax cuts because to hear a lot of corporate CEOs, like yourself, and — and Republicans say, that, if he were, they would — they would be open to his stimulus plan?

ERIC SCHMIDT, CEO, GOOGLE: We did not talk specifically about tax cuts.

There's a concern about some of the companies that are not actually making any profits, and so the tax cuts don't really benefit them very much. But we really did not talk about taxes. We mostly talked about stimulus. And the president asked for us to look at the stimulus, to support it, to try to help it get through.

We told him that the perfect is the enemy of the good, and the stimulus package needs to happen quickly, because things are not getting better; they may be getting significantly worse.

CAVUTO: All right.

There does seem to be a feeling that the government is going to do something big, on the order of maybe upwards of a trillion dollars.


CAVUTO: We have already got a trillion-dollar deficit. In blackjack terms, that's called doubling down. Are you worried?

SCHMIDT: It is doubling down. And the question is, in a situation where you have the — the largest global recession since the 1930s, and a lack of credit and so forth, what do you do?

The business community's view is, the government needs to act, and it needs to act quickly, to get people to get enough confidence. I'm confident that business will rebound, that, you know, American consumers will continue to buy, that innovation in America will continue to be very strong.

So I'm not so worried about that. The solution to the concerns over deficit spending are to create jobs, create industries, create process, again, which is done by the private sector.

CAVUTO: You know, Eric, when I had the pleasure talking to you at the conventions this past summer...


CAVUTO: ... one of the things you were worried about, regardless of who would get elected, is that they wouldn't push pork or — or waste money on — on things that would do little to help the economy.


CAVUTO: There are many critics of the stimulus plan looking at its sheer size and looking at money committed to building clinics and — and, you know, repainting some bridges, and arguing, longer term, will that substantively change the economy? And they say, no.

What do you say?

SCHMIDT: Well, first of all, there's no perfect bill, and there's always some things that, you know, you don't want to have part of it.

From our perspective there is a significant investment in renewable energy, something I have championed for a long time. There is a very significant investment in Internet and broadband, which benefits Google and, significant increases in science, which benefits America and American leadership and technology and other jobs.

So, those are all in it. From our perspective, it's better to have something now and get it done. The interesting thing about this administration is that they have claimed that they will be very, very transparent; they are going to publish all the information, you will be able to track. And, so, you will be able to judge. You will be able to see whether this money really does flow to the right places. And then we will see what happens.

CAVUTO: All right. Now, there's always the possibility it does not or the bang for the buck — buck doesn't come as soon as we expect. So, it will compel Washington to keep spending, right?

SCHMIDT: Well, government spends because the political process requires that spending. And in order get things — get — get us out of the current hole we find ourselves in, they're going to have to spend.

Let's get spending now. As jobs are created, as business recovers, as the global recession ends, we should see a strong recovery. Remember that America is very, very resilient.

CAVUTO: Well, when you say a strong recovery, Eric, do you say this year?

SCHMIDT: No. I think most people think that it's next year.

And, if you think about the timing, you've got February for the enactment of the stimulus. It takes some number of months for the money to flow through the system even in the — in the quickest of scenarios. So again, it's, you know, later this year or early next year.

CAVUTO: Now, speaking of technology, very quickly, on the idea of taxing the Internet, and going after the Internet, more aggressively for revenue, it is attempting, potentially, hundreds-of-billions-of-dollar target. Did that come up?

SCHMIDT: It did not come up.

And, in most contexts, everyone is now saying this is not a good time to be raising taxes on anybody in any group. This is a time to be using fiscal stimulus and then the necessary monetary and banking changes to get money flowing again. We can deal with the tax question later.

CAVUTO: All right. So, real quickly, raising taxes on anyone including the wealthy, right now in this environment not a good idea?

SCHMIDT: I think it's a bad idea to raise taxes on anyone, no matter who they are.


Eric Schmidt, thank you very much. Good seeing you.

SCHMIDT: Thanks, Neil. Take care.


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