Google Chairman Eric Schmidt called on Washington to think big about solutions for the nation’s struggling economy calling the current emphasis on cutting spending instead of new stimulus “ludicrous.”
The economy would need “not just something like the jobs bill, but also significant government stimulation in terms of buying power and investment,” said Schmidt on ABC”s “This Week” on Sunday.
“Otherwise, we are set up for years of extraordinarily low growth in the economy and no real solution to the jobless problem,” he warned.
“The current strategy is ludicrous. You have a situation where the private sector sees essentially no growth in demand. The classic solution is to have the government step in and, with short-term initiatives, help stimulate that demand. If they do it right, they’ll invest in income and growth producing things like highways and bridges and schools, new opportunities for the private sector to go then build businesses,” proposed Schmidt.
Schmidt is expected to testify at a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights on Sept. 21.
The Federal Trade Commission has opened an investigation into claims Google uses its dominance of the internet-search market to drive traffic to its other services.
Speaking Sunday, Schmidt said a lack of demand was keeping businesses on the sidelines.
“Business can create enormous numbers of new jobs in America. All we need to see is more demand. What’s happening right now is businesses are very well-run; they have a lot of cash; they’re waiting for more demand.”
In particular he drew attention to the lingering housing crisis. “Today not only is there no demand coming out of the government, but because of the housing crisis, nobody sees any improvement in their own liquidity, so nobody’s buying anything,” he added.
Schmidt also denied suggestions the business community was holding back the recovery, instead laying the blame on Washington for political fighting.
“The real problem is not the business community. The real problem is the Democrats and the Republicans fight for one point or another in a political sphere while the rest of us are waiting for the government to do something concrete and predictable,” said Schmidt.
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