Oh yes, who better to bring in than Hank Paulson and Alan Greenspan to ask how we get the economy and the job market turned around in the United States? I know I always want to hear from the people who helped take a wrecking ball to something for advice on how to put it back together. Paulson says we need more certainty with how the financial markets are regulated for job growth. I'd love for someone to explain to me how letting the bankers and Wall Street know that we don't want them to act like casinos with our money any more has anything to do with whether we have businesses hiring Americans or not. Both of these guys didn't think we needed any regulations when they were running the show. Now that our economy is in the ditch, David Gregory thinks we should be taking their advice on how to fix it.
DAVID GREGORY: We're back and joined now by Henry Paulson, the Former Treasury Secretary and Alan Greenspan, Former Chairman of the Federal Reserve. Welcome both of you back to-- Meet The Press. Dr. Greenspan, here was the headline in the New York Times yesterday, after that Friday jobs report. And it was this. Jobless rate falls to 9.7 percent giving hope that the worst is over. Does this jobs report signal a turn around?
ALAN GREENSPAN: It doesn't signal a turnaround, but what it does say that a turnaround, which has already occurred is moving, but not in any aggressive manner.
DAVID GREGORY: And-- and-- Secretary Paulson, if you look at the jobs lost since the recession began, 8.4-- million jobs over that time horizon. The question is-- what's gonna cause a turnaround. When do you see this-- this jobless rate actually stay in the single digits?
HENRY PAULSON: Well, the economy is clearly recovering. And I have-- great confidence that-- we have such a dynamic private sector in this-- in this country, that they're eventually gonna begin creating jobs. Now, one of the factors, not the only factor, but one of the factors that will help is more certainty-- with regard to-- to actions out of Washington. And for instance-- certainty with regard to-- financial regulatory reform will-- will help.
DAVID GREGORY: And in-- in terms of not just regulatory reform-- we'll talk about, Dr. Greenspan, but also just the idea of-- the notion of what the Government can do now with regard to a jobs bill, other things, to bring down unemployment more steadily.
ALAN GREENSPAN: I think we have to start with the focus of economic activity. In other words, jobs are created by having something to do. You see, you can't put jobs before economy activity. And I would therefore argue what would be most useful at this particular stage is cutting taxes on small business, because they are the big creator of jobs. But they won't hire anybody if they don't have any business. So, you have to get them to act in a manner, which creates the types of economic activity which draw in an ever-increasing demand for (UNINTEL).
DAVID GREGORY: And that is a question in terms of what's happening out there. Where-- where is the impetus for businesses to start hiring again.
HENRY PAULSON: Well, again, I-- I just believe so much in how dynamic our economic system and our economy is. The one thing I know for sure is that with the economy recovering, ultimately, the private sector will do what needs to be done and create opportunities and jobs. I-- I agree with Alan that the-- that when you look at a jobs bill, the-- the sorts of things that Congress should be focusing on are temporary incentives for business to-- to hire.
DAVID GREGORY: And yet, is that enough? If there's not-- a business willing to take the risk to extend-- expand?
HENRY PAULSON: Well, again, as I said earlier, part of it is confidence and psychology. What's going on in-- in side the-- the head of the CEO. And-- and how comfortable does he-- he or se-- she feel about the-- the future? But again, it's very difficult to sit here and say, "Now, where is the economic activity gonna come from? Which area? Which business?" But it always does come. And it will come. We have stable-- financial markets. And a recovering economy. It's gonna take some time, though.