The corporate titan President Obama picked to help create millions of new jobs thinks lowering corporate taxes and eliminating all tax loopholes for U.S. companies will put more Americans to work.
General Electric Chairman Jeff Immelt sits down with Lesley Stahl to discuss the creation of jobs, the U.S. business climate and his own company, General Electric, in a "60 Minutes" segment to be broadcast Sunday, Oct. 9 at 7 p.m. ET/PT.
General Electric makes 60 percent of its profit overseas, where the corporate taxes are lower than in the U.S. Immelt thinks the U.S. needs to follow suit. "I think we should have basically the same tax policy that Germany, Japan, the UK - everybody else has, which is a tax rate in the mid-20s and no loopholes. Zero," he tells Stahl. "The U.S. has the most antiquated tax system. And that means some people are going to pay more taxes, and some people are going to pay less," Immelt says.
Pressed by Stahl about whether this move would actually translate to American jobs, Immelt admits the strategy is up for debate, but, says "Personally, I think [lowering taxes] will create jobs." Reminded that American corporations are sitting on piles of cash and that giving them more may be questionable, Immelt says, "Companies should invest in the United States. It's still the world's biggest economy. And if companies just are going to sit on cash, they're going to lose," he tells Stahl. "Because only the people that are going to invest their way through this crisis are going to win."
It is also particularly important that the government focus all its efforts on creating jobs, says Immelt, because it's not doing so now. "I think, Lesley, there needs to be a sense of national urgency around jobs...If you just looked at how many hours a day do Republicans spend on job creation, do Democrats spend on job creation, and does the White House. It's nowhere close to 100 percent," he says. "We're not spending enough time on jobs."