House Minority Leader Boehner Is Outraged White House Is Appointing a 'Pay Czar'

This is a rush transcript from "Your World With Neil Cavuto," June 9, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: In the meantime, House Minority Leader John Boehner says it really doesn't matter, master, czar, same thing. He says nuts. Well, he doesn't say that, but we thought it would be a good way to frame the debate.

Congressman, what do you make of this? This guy's coming down the pike, and coming down the pay pike, I suspect not just with public funds, but I could be wrong.

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), HOUSE MINORITY LEADER: Neil, this is absolute lunacy, exactly why the government should never get involved in the private sector. And for the White House to bring this new czar in who's going to determine compensation levels in American industry and going to look at compensation plans, specifically in the financial services industry, regardless of whether they got TARP funds or not, I'm beginning to wonder what country I'm living in.

CAVUTO: Do you think, though, Congressman...


BOEHNER: This is totally unnecessary.

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CAVUTO: The argument is — and Congresswoman Maloney and others — is that, look, you know, they take the money for now when they're on the public dole, and whatever the guidelines are it's off when it's off. In other words, they pay back, you don't adhere to that.

I have seen what...


BOEHNER: That is not what the White House...

CAVUTO: Right, it's not so velcro-y. Explain.

BOEHNER: That's not what the White House announced. They want — they want this person to look at compensation levels. They want to look at executive compensation. They want to look at — at how brokers and dealers are paid and what those compensation systems look like.

Listen, I was a commission salesperson for a long time before I got into this crazy business. You know, I got paid 5 percent of what I sold. I don't need anybody looking over my shoulder at how much money I made, because the more I sold, the more I made. That's the American way.

And they want to come in and decide, "Well, you know, if we give people the opportunity to succeed, they might make too much money." This is not the America...

CAVUTO: But, you know, I'm wondering where this is going...

BOEHNER: This is not the America I grew up in.

CAVUTO: I understand, sir, but I wonder where it goes, though. I mean, I think if you're a businessman in any other entity and you find out that your rival, a bank, let's say, is paying its V. P. s at, I don't know, $75,000, and you're paying your guys hundreds of thousands of dollars a year more, you're going to think, well, boy, just to be competitive and watch my costs, I'm going to have to dramatically cut their salaries.

So that's where I think the influence gets to be more than just those taxpayer bailed-out institutions, and is that not the longer- term goal of this czar and his boss?

BOEHNER: No. I have worked with Democrats here on Capitol Hill now for 18 and a half years. They have looked for all different kinds of ways to try to control what people are paid. This is for real. I work with them. And I just can't get over the fact that the American public's going to put up with this, because at the end of the day this is not the government's business.

We live in America, the greatest country in the world, and what makes us great is that we have opportunities, opportunities to be anything you want to be, do anything you want to do, rise as high as you want to rise, if you're willing to work hard enough and if you're willing to make the sacrifices that are necessary.


BOEHNER: And the reason I came to Congress is to make sure that the opportunities that were available to me and available to millions of Americans are also going to be available for our kids and grandkids. And when you look at what's going on, the bigger government gets, the more it takes, the more it spends, the smaller family budgets are and the smaller business budgets are. And that means less investment and less opportunities for Americans.

There's this growing concern in our country that before long this is not going to be the America that we grew up with.

CAVUTO: Yes. Let me...

BOEHNER: This is not what the American people want.

CAVUTO: Let me ask you, Congressman, while I have you here, I'm sorry to interrupt you on that train of thought there, this Guantanamo detainee who is here and going to be tried now in the United States has just pled not guilty, as expected, to conspiracy in these various embassy bombings for which he was brought here.

What do you think of, A, that he's here, and, B, how long this could drag on?

BOEHNER: Well, Neil, this is the first step in bringing detainees to the United States.

Now, this is — the Congress is adamantly opposed to this. Both the House and the Senate have had votes on this whole issue of bringing Guantanamo detainees to the United States. The fact that the president announced he was going to close Guantanamo without any plan in place for what he was going to do with these detainees is a very dangerous policy. And the United States Congress and the American people are not going to sit back and allow this prison to be closed and to bring those detainees here.

This case here, they have got — they're got a very clear case, I think, against this individual. Not surprised that he pled not guilty.

CAVUTO: Right.

BOEHNER: But we don't want these prisoners here.


BOEHNER: And it really begs the bigger question: What is the president's plan to keep America safe and to go after the terrorists who continue to want to kill Americans?

CAVUTO: Congressman, thank you very much and for your patience with this breaking news.

Always good seeing you. Thank you very much.

BOEHNER: See you, Neil.

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