This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," February 11, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
SEAN HANNITY, HOST: And tonight in "Your America," now for weeks we've heard President Obama talking about the importance of a so-called jobs bill in order to put American to work.
Now the proposed legislation would offer incentives to companies that hire unemployed workers such as tax breaks. There is also talk about using some of the returns from the TARP program to encourage community banks to loan more money to customers.
But the Associated Press reports, quote, "There's a problem with the bipartisan jobs bill emerging in the Senate, it won't create many jobs."
Now according to AP, tax experts and business leaders alike are not encouraged that a jobs bill will help fix the unemployment problem here in the U.S.
So is all this just an effort by the administration to actually pass something just for the sake of passing something?
And joining me from Minneapolis is the governor of the great state of Minnesota, Tim Pawlenty.
• Watch Sean's interview
Governor, welcome back.
GOVERNOR TIM PAWLENTY, R-MINN.: Good to be with you, Sean.
HANNITY: All right, so as you examine the jobs bill you see the AP is not part of the right wing conspiracy. Is this so-called jobs bill — I think the figure they toss around is $80 billion. Is it going to create jobs?
PAWLENTY: Well, you're going to have to take it from me or you, you can take from it the AP. They did a thorough analysis of it with the experts quoted in the article and concluded it's not going to make much difference.
I think the more important thing here you have a president of the United States that now a year into his presidency has finally figured out that he better pay some attention to jobs instead of horsing around with the health care bill which was misguided and off in a different direction and poorly done.
And so I just would say to him, you know, welcome on board, Captain Obvious. He should have been on this 12 months ago. And of course he's finally waking up because the country is dragging him to it. He should have been leading on it.
HANNITY: Well, if you read deeper into the piece it actually says the following here "even the administration acknowledges." Now we're going to spend $80 billion on top of the TARP, on top of the stimulus, on top of the omnibus, on top of the earmarks.
This all begins to become cumulative at some point here. But it says the "administration acknowledges that a tax cut for businesses that hire unemployed workers would only work on the margins."
So my question is, if you're acknowledging that up front that it's not going to be successful, why would you pursue that? I'm trying to understand the logic there.
PAWLENTY: Yes. Well, I don't think they believe in the theory that would actually work and that is broad based tax cuts, one of the fastest ways, for example, to put money in the pockets of companies, particularly small and medium sized companies, as well as taxpayers, is just cut the payroll tax for employers and employees across the board immediately.
They can flip the switch on it and have the money flowing quickly. That would provide tax relief, it would help businesses, it would help employees. That's the kind of reform we really need.
But Sean, they don't believe in that. They believe in a government that's going to grow. They put some window dressing in the form of this jobs bill. And then astonishingly before the ink is even dry on the bill they went — Harry Reid announced later today they're not even doing that because the left thought it went too far and they're going to have a smaller bill.
So they started out with small ball, now they got tiny ball.
HANNITY: Yes, did you notice that in the piece the non — so-called nonpartisan CBO actually concluded that reducing Social Security taxes for companies that add workers would be the most efficient way for the government to create jobs. Not something that's every really discussed.
Would that be something you'd support?
PAWLENTY: Well, you know, they are at least talking about jobs so we'll give them that general credit. But again, broad-based tax cuts are better. They want to cut the payroll tax, that's a good thing. But most economists, most experts would say providing a subsidy or tax credit for hiring people by the particular job is not a very good way to go about it.
We should be extending the Bush tax cuts, we should be cutting capital gains, we should be cutting marginal income tax rates, we should be cutting the employment — employer and employee tax on the payroll tax.
Those are the kinds of things that would send a signal to the business community in this country that we're headed in a pro-jobs, pro-growth direction. And this administration is going the other way.
HANNITY: How many — how much problems does the president have with his own left-wing base? His pretty radical left-wing base. He made the statement that he doesn't begrudge the bonuses, for example, $17 million for the CEO of JPMorgan Chase, $9 million for the Goldman Sachs CEO.
He doesn't begrudge it. And this is a guy who once said there'll be a time for profits, but that time is not now.
How — is it that he has to reach out to the left? Or do you think is that he really believes that profits almost are an evil word?
PAWLENTY: Well, this is a president and a Congress that has nationalized a very large portion of our economy. One of the things that we have to do in the future is denationalize. I think if he were left to his own devises he'd probably regulate salaries.
So I just don't think they believe what we believe. And Sean, on this issue of the economy and President Obama's approach to it, you know, he has got to come to the conclusion that private sector is a good thing, not a bad thing. The people who can grow jobs in this country are the people who have actually done it.
They aren't in the White House. They're not in Congress.
HANNITY: All right, last question.
PAWLENTY: They're not in the state legislature.
HANNITY: How bad do you think the economy is? And what do you see for the next two years?
PAWLENTY: Here's what I see. You can't pump this much money into the economy with monetary policy stimulus, TARP, bailout, all the things the Fed did, all the thing the Treasury did. And not have some near term stabilizing and maybe even positive effects just because of the infusion of money into the economy.
But Katie Bar the Door in 11 and 12 when that —
HANNITY: All right, Governor.
PAWLENTY: … private sector doesn't pick up the slack and you see the return of inflation and this much debt being out of control.
HANNITY: Thanks, Governor. Appreciate you being with us.
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