Obama Adviser Steven Rattner on Bush Tax Cuts, Private Equity and the Slow Job Growth
President Obama’s lead adviser on the auto bailout, Steven Rattner, joined Fox News Sunday for a Democratic perspective on the economy. Chris Wallace asked him why voters shouldn’t hold President Obama responsible for the slow job growth and weak economy.
Rattner said, “Because President Obama arrived to find 700,000 jobs a month being lost in this country. We continued to lose jobs as a result of the recession that began before he got here, and since early 2010 when the economy job picture began to recover, we’ve added over four million jobs in this country … Nobody is happy with the rate of job creation today but I believe that without the policies that the president put in place we would not even have this level of job creation.”
Wallace asked, with 8.2 percent unemployment and 1.9 percent GDP growth in the first quarter, why is the president asking for more
of the same? Rattner answered, “The problem you have with these kinds of discussions is it’s all compared to what. What would have happened had these things not been put in place?” He continued, “The tax cut, the payroll tax cut that you just discussed, were bipartisan. Everybody wanted to extend the Bush tax cuts for another two years.”
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Rattner said it’s not likely that we’ll go into another recession because while the economy isn’t doing great, it is growing. He added, “The thing to worry about most in the short term is probably Europe and what might happen there, and that is the thing that could tip us further downward.”
Wallace asked Rattner, “Do you think the president’s continued bashing of Wall Street and the wealthy is helpful when the economy is in such trouble?” Rattner replied, “I think he has made clear that private equity is a perfectly legitimate, respectable business and an important part of our financing activities, as he has said the same thing about Wall Street. On the other hand, the president has also said that we can’t be in a situation where you have a relatively few number of people doing so well and the rest of the country doing so poorly. And we need to find not necessarily redistributionist policies, but policies that will help bring up the 99 percent who are not participating.”
The Obama campaign has attacked Mitt Romney for running on his Bain Capital experience. Rattner agreed that his business experience does give an insight into how the business sector works. However, he said, “But when Romney turns around and attacks the president’s qualifications, I would say three years in the trenches, fighting this economic war every single day, dealing with economic policy matters, auto rescues, bank rescues, every single day for three years actually gives you more qualifications to be president.”
Watch the full interview below: