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CNNFN Lou Dobbs Tonight Transcript

Location: Unknown

March 26, 2004 Friday


GUESTS: John Kerry, Terry Holt, Rik Kirkland, Mark Morrison, Paul Maidment

BYLINE: Lou Dobbs. Lisa Sylvester, Jamie McIntyre, Jim Clancy, Dana Bash, Kelly Wallace, Casey Wian, Christine Romans


DOBBS: A look now at tonight's news in brief.

Violent demonstrations in Taiwan today as the results of last week's presidential elections were officially certified. Hundreds of demonstrators stormed Taiwan's Central Election Commission building. The protesters supported the losing opposition and they are demanding a recount.

A fiery crash has closed down a portion of Interstate 95 in the state of Connecticut. And it may not reopen for weeks. Officials say it will take millions of dollars to repair a section of highway that was damaged when a tanker truck carrying 12,000 gallons of home heating oil struck a barrier and burst into flames. No one seriously injured.

A Navy F-18 fighter jet today crashed during takeoff at Raleigh-Durham Airport in North Carolina. Authorities say the pilot ejected in time to survive the crash, but there is no word tonight on they extent of his injuries.

And NASA this weekend will try to fly an aircraft at speeds of more than seven times the speed of sound, make that 5,000 miles an hour. The X-43-A jet, known as the X, will attempt to hit speeds of 5,000 miles an hour in a flight over the Pacific Ocean this Saturday.

Senator Kerry today unveiled an ambitious plan for the economy, a plan that aims to create 10 million new jobs in four years.

I asked Senator Kerry earlier if that's really an achievable goal considering the slow pace of job growth over the past six months.


KERRY: Yes, I am confident it is doable.

It's measured by what we did in the 1990s. It's also measured by what is achievable on an annual basis. It's about 208,000 jobs a month, which, if we were to get back to a sound fiscal policy, to the proper tax policies, to the enforcement of proper trade policies, to investments in science and technology, and begin to focus on how you create jobs, rather than lose them and encourage that loss, we can create 10 million jobs over those years. It's less than we did previously under President Clinton. I know it's achievable.

DOBBS: The proposals that you put forward today to change the tax code, eliminating deferrals, effectively making it very difficult for multinationals to transfer profits, is that going to set off a war with corporate America?

KERRY: I don't believe so. I really don't believe so, because, No. 1, we have given a very generous repatriation of capital period of time, so that there is no punishment here. We're trying to encourage people to be able to bring it back in at a very low rate.

No. 2, we have acknowledged-I do acknowledge that, obviously, we want American companies competing abroad and they are going to compete abroad. So we have provided an ability for companies to be able to be exempted within the country that they sell. If you are selling in China, if you are selling and you are based in China or if you are selling in India and you're based in India, that's permissible.

What we don't want is people exporting jobs back to the United States or elsewhere and having the American taxpayer actually provide a choice to companies where they are subsidizing that company going abroad. We are making it unfair and putting our own companies in America at a competitive disadvantage. That's really what you have to look at here.

If a company in Michigan is actually encouraged to move to Malaysia and they are encouraged because the American taxpayer is subsidizing that move, all I'm trying to do is say, make it neutral. I know companies are going to go abroad. They have the right. It's a free marketplace. But the American taxpayer should not be asked to subsidize that move.

DOBBS: We have already heard this from some critics. They are saying that this won't change outsourcing of American jobs. How do you respond?

KERRY: I think they're-I just think they are not acknowledging the reality of what is going on.

But it's not the only thing that I'm proposing, Lou. First of all, I want to make American jobs the priority. President Bush evidently thinks that that's not the priority, that outsourcing is OK. In fact, they have announced that, that it's a good for America.

I think that outsourcing will take place, because wage differentials are still going to exist and other incentives will exist. But what I don't want is the American taxpayer actually subsidizing and encouraging that choice to go abroad. And so we're trying to just create a neutrality, that, yes, somebody may choose to go abroad, but we're not going to ask the American taxpayer to actually give them an advantage for doing so.

That's the difference here. I'm all for these companies competing and I want America to be strong in the world. But I'll tell you what I want first. I want those jobs here at home. I want to create a competitive advantage here. And the other thing that I do, Lou, I provide a tax cut for corporate America, a 5 percent tax reduction for corporate America.

So, 99 percent of corporate America will get a tax cut. And we're going to keep it revenue-neutral, because that tax cut is paid for by the subsidy that's currently given to companies to go abroad. So, it's a twofer. It's a win-win for corporate America and for those who need jobs in America.

DOBBS: And to put that in some context, the amount of money that has not been repatriated that you would give incentives to bring back into this country, some $600 billion, a significant amount of money. There are, as you know, Senator, critics that your proposal would in fact, insentivize some multinationals to keep that money overseas.

KERRY: Well they are doing that anyway. That's actually what they are doing. The American taxpayer subsidizing it. So I mean if they want to stay overseas-this actually will make American companies more competitive, Lou. This will make American companies more capable of being able to compete in the world. If you are in China, like many of our companies are, they will be able to sell the same way they are. They can still defer. They'll still have that privilege.

But if they are there, taking jobs away from America for export to other countries, particularly back to the United States, we're simply not going to ask the American taxpayer to subsidize that.

You tell me, do you believe that the American tax payer should actually give an advantage to the company that goes abroad? I think the answer is pretty simple. We ought to be fighting for American jobs here at home. And I'm going to be a president who fights for those jobs here at home. Now, we'll still going to be an international competitor. We're going to have a lot of multinational companies. And I want us to compete strongly in the world. I think this will make us stronger.

DOBBS: Senator Kerry, we thank you.

KERRY: Thank you very much.


Content and programming Copyright 2004 Cable News Network Transcribed under license by FDCH e-Media, Inc.

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