Published January 13, 2015
This is a partial transcript from Your World with Neil Cavuto, January 11, 2002. Click here for complete access to Neil Cavuto's CEO interviews.
NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: The Bush administration doing everything it can to block terror networks and cut the money flow. I recently spoke to Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill. I asked him how much money they have gotten so far cut off.
PAUL O'NEILL, TREASURY SECRETARY: Well, you know, we know exactly how much has been frozen. And in the first instance, I think we are at $68 million. But more importantly than the money that's effectively been blocked or confiscated, if you will, is the channels of money flows that we've shut down.
You know, in the case of the Al-Barakaat organization by itself, we believe there were hundreds of millions of dollars flowing through those accounts every year. You know, no one knows for sure. But I would guess at this point, we've shut down what had been the channels of terrorist financial commerce that probably funneled a billion dollars or maybe even more than that over the last few years.
CAVUTO: That was either directly or indirectly going to al Qaeda?
O'NEILL: And to the other terrorist organizations, you bet. Absolutely. Huge amounts of money.
CAVUTO: All right. Finally, sir, on the stimulus measure that seems to be frozen for the time being. Are you of the opinion better no stimulus bill than the one that the Senate is looking at?
O'NEILL: Well, quite on the contrary. You know, the one that the Senate centrist group put together, which is Senator Breaux and Senator Nelson and Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins and George Voinovich, Zell Miller. You know, these are six stalwarts from the Senate. They put together a package that we thought had great merit. And we believe if Senator Daschle had permitted a vote on it, it would have had more than a majority of the Senate voting for it.
So, you know, we think there is a vehicle that we favor very much that's got the right components in it. We're hoping we're going to get it done. We're hoping that we're going to get it done in the next few weeks, you know.
CAVUTO: But more to the point, when you say that you like the centrist approach, and I know you've echoed that before, but the measure that's right now — Tom Daschle almost considering — is very heavy on spending, at least we've argued that in the past. Would the president, would you at this point, be willing to say that measure, Mr. Majority Leader, is one we would rather reject than have any stimulus at all?
O'NEILL: My view is, you know, we had one issue between ourselves and final passage in December, and that issue was the health assistance issue. And I'm hopeful that when Senator Daschle and his colleagues come back to Washington, that we can take up where we left off and that we don't have to renegotiate all the other issues.
It seems to me what he did last week is to raise a whole set of new complex issues. You don't need to...
CAVUTO: You're talking about revisiting the whole tax cut issue in future years?
O'NEILL: No. You know, he raised some new ideas about devices and components of a stimulus...
CAVUTO: But a tax cut thing is a non-starter to you. I mean, readdressing those future outward years of tax cuts, is that a non-starter?
O'NEILL: You know, the idea of raising people's taxes now, either for the current year or prospectively — you know, it seems to me — well, you know, I hesitate to put an adjective on it.
CAVUTO: You have to watch yourself there.
O'NEILL: You're right. I don't know a lot of brilliant people who think it's a good idea to raise taxes, either now or prospectively. People have already made decisions based on the anticipation of the tax code that was enacted and agreed to in June. And taking anything off of that is effectively a tax increase. I don't care what you call it.
CAVUTO: All right. Finally, sir, I'd always be remiss if I didn't mention this, the Washington whispers and everything else. You seem to have overcome a lot of those people who are out to get your head and maybe see you out of office by now. Do you feel really, you know, that's all behind you or do you fear that it could be resurrected again?
O'NEILL: I don't know. You know, there are sometimes when the old Woody Hayes notion of three yards and a cloud of dust is what you need to do. I spent an hour or so with the president this morning. You know, as long as he doesn't put his hand over his eyes when I walk in the room and...
CAVUTO: That would be a telltale sign.
O'NEILL: ... and seems to believe in what I'm doing and the advice that I'm giving and the energy that I'm putting into the job, as long as the president is happy, I'm going to be here helping him get his program done.
CAVUTO: But it doesn't bug you?
O'NEILL: Well, you know, it would be disingenuous to say. You'd rather only read wonderful things about yourself in the media and see wonderful things on the television. You know, I discovered, somewhat to my surprise, that even people I thought were my good friends are taking shots. That's what their right is, I suppose, and I'm getting used to it. Neil, I think I've grown some pretty good scar tissue.
CAVUTO: Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill.
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