Donohue: Businesses Will Hire When There Is Certainty

Exclusive:Chamber of Commerce CEO on president's jobs proposal, economic crisis


This is a rush transcript from "Your World," August 31, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST OF, "YOUR WORLD": All right, everyone is focusing now on the president's speech in seven days. By the way, it might be eight days because John Boehner wants to push it back.

Anyway, no one is talking about the $7 billion a year in new regulations the president is considering right now, except this guy, Tom Donohue, outlining his own jobs plan today.

The president and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce here on Fox, and only on Fox.

Very good to see you, Thomas. Thank you for coming.


CAVUTO: Quick take on John Boehner suggesting the president push that speech off a day. What do you make of that?

DONOHUE: Well, I thought your question about it was very clear, but the answer is also clear. This government is structured around three independent parts. And the executive branch controls that end of the town.

And I think they will find a way to work their way into a date that’s convenient. And I understand why they might do it. It certainly does put a little bit levity into a lot of serious issues right now.

CAVUTO: No, you are right about that.

I want to get to your serious response to dealing with this, because you say there are immediate concerns that your members have. What are they? What would you do to address them?

DONOHUE: Well, as you know, Neil, we have been working on job creation since this recession hit its high speed.

And you look at the front of our building, we have signs there that say jobs, jobs, jobs and we have been pushing it. But we are now down to right after the Labor Day, we will send to the Congress a very simple document that said that here are six things that you can do without expanding the deficit and create millions of jobs and all you have to do is work with the administration and handle the critical issues around trade, the awesome opportunity in the energy side to drill oil and gas and put lots and lots of jobs into the economy, and a lot of money into the government, an expansion of tourism, which if we went back to just not very long ago, you are probably looking at 1.3 million jobs.

The regulatory stuff that you talked about and the permits, how long it takes to get a permit to put people to work, and I think there are lots of things we can do there. Infrastructure, which I applaud what the president said today about the highway bill, but there are lots of other things we can do in infrastructure and create a lot of jobs. And then there are one or two tax issues. I think we ought to let people bring the money home. It’s the only country in America where -- the only country in the world where Americans are taxed double on overseas issues. And if we can bring some of that money back and maybe even get rid of the corporate tax on profits, capital gains tax for a year or so, we would generate millions and millions of jobs in a very, very short period of time without all of the things that people are talking about. That would just cost us $1 trillion.

CAVUTO: What if the president were to say, Tom, that, look, I’m willing to talk turkey with you; I would allow that $2 trillion or $3 trillion, whatever it is that is just, you know, sitting abroad, and allow it to come home with no tax implications, but with this proviso; you have got to hire people?

What would you say to that? What do you think your members would say to that?

DONOHUE: I would say that is naive.

If you bring enough money home and put it in play, they will do a number of things with it. People will only hire folks when consumers are looking to buy product and when the worry about uncertainty on what will happen in the regulatory process is resolved.

So if we did some of the other things in the job program, and we brought the money home -- and, by the way, they wouldn’t bring it all home, because they want to leave a lot of it overseas to do business there.

CAVUTO: Right. Right.

DONOHUE: I am sure that they would do half-a-dozen things with it. And some of it would be to create jobs and expand manufacturing.

And some of it, by the way, might be to pay -- and one of the criticisms -- to pay dividends on stocks. Guess who gets dividends? The people that own shares. And most of those are people that get a benefit out of it because they own mutual funds and they have small investments.

CAVUTO: Right. Well, of course, that never comes up. You’re quite right about that.

Finally, very quick, personally, I know you guys broke bread not too long ago. You are across the street from one another.

So, are you guys getting along? Is your association getting along, is Commerce getting along now with the president? How would you describe relations?

DONOHUE: I think relations are fine. We worked very closely with Bill Daley. We worked with the whole gang while they were trying to do the deficit and debt issue.

CAVUTO: Right.

DONOHUE: We really encouraged everybody in the Congress that we couldn’t default. I think we would have put three European countries out of business.

I think we’re all going to work together to try and get a very serious program from the 12 apostles.


CAVUTO: All right.

Tom, good seeing you again. Thank you very much, Tom Donohue.

DONOHUE: Thanks.

CAVUTO: All right.

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