Will the Government Ever Cut Spending?

Cypress Semiconductor CEO TJ Rodgers weighs in


This is a rush transcript from "Your World," December 13, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST OF "YOUR WORLD": Alright, let's say you're one of those CEOs, and you hire and fire at a whim based on not only how your company is doing, but how the country is looking.

A lot of CEOs not very happy with this environment, not very happy with this president, and a lot of them not very happy with this Congress.

T.J. Rodgers of Cypress Semiconductor simply wants Washington to get out of the way. He joins us right now out of California.

So, T.J., if you had one piece of advice for all these politicians trying to win you over, what would it be?


We focus on deficits. They're important, but the main thing is cut spending. They talk about a balanced budget and tough cuts and this and that, and then you look at their programs and you look at the lesser of the programs that any CEO in any company would cut.

And they're just spending frivolously. Here in California, we're building a $46 billion train to nowhere that many other states have turned down the federal aid. And yet, while we're cutting schools, we're building this train to go between two small cities in the center of the state. It's crazy.

CAVUTO: So you see this debate going on where we might be, as Senator Manchin, you might have heard, T.J., saying there's a possibility he would like to avoid it, where we could be looking at a shutdown next week, unlikely, he hopes, but could.

You don't have those kinds of options when you are running a company day-to-day. I mean, when it comes time to file a budget and report and an end-of-quarter statement, you have to do it. So what do you think of the shenanigans going on, on Capitol Hill?

RODGERS: Well, we always -- we always are amazed that the rules that apply to us as individuals and corporations aren't applied.

For example, I would literally, literally be put in jail for insider trading, yet the members of the House and Congress are immune from that. They -- if I shut down the company somehow, my shareholders would fire me. It would take to very the next annual meeting and I would be gone.

And yet we see this -- it's almost the word buffoonery going on in politics, and we wonder why we should be sending more money to people that behave in this destructive way.

CAVUTO: T.J., if you had one wish out of these guys, Republicans and Democrats, to compel to you hire, we do know about the $1.4 trillion to $1.9 trillion held offshore, maybe tax treatment to that to bring it back.

There's talk in Washington they might even consider that, but there would have to be a quid pro quo. In other words, guys like you would have to guarantee that you would hire people with that money. How do you feel about that?

RODGERS: I don't want anything from the government. I don't want them to do me any favors. And I don't want them to owe them anything.

If I want to hire, I will hire. I have got plenty of money onshore to hire with. I will hire when I don't think, right after I pour concrete and get a new plant and get a bunch of new employees depending on my company, right after I do that, I will get some stupid law, some carbon tax credit, some global warming thing, that will trash the investment that I have made.

So, if they want me to hire, why don't they create a stable, favorable economic environment for business -- we have the highest business taxes, number two in the world -- and let us go do our job? I don't want to do any deals with the devil.

CAVUTO: All right, T.J. Rodgers, I think a few of them are listening and watching. Hopefully, they will take heed. The Cyprus Semiconductor CEO, T.J. Rodgers, joining us, thank you. Very good seeing you again.

RODGERS: Thank you.

CAVUTO: Alright.

Content and Programming Copyright 2011 Fox News Network, Inc. Copyright CQ-2011 Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of CQ-Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.