Consumers are on their backs. The savings rate is going up. They have a lot of debt. They can't consume. They're worried about their jobs. They don't have jobs. They can't consume. Seventy percent of the economy, it was the engine of growth. It's off. It's either running at a very low -- so it's demand.
I think that the skills issue is very important, because as you're thinking about what to do now to create jobs, you want to deal with the skills problems going forward. So that's why -- so the President's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, one of the things we're focusing on is essentially programs to build advanced manufacturing skills or health care skills or to build more engineers. That creates jobs now, creates capabilities now, but it also deals with the skills mismatch going forward.
BRENNAN: And you hear that from corporations...
TYSON: Infrastructure spending right now, spending right now in a way which benefits the economy going forward, that's, I think, what we need to do. That's why I'm so -- I think infrastructure is so important.
BRENNAN: You have corporations saying, you know, we could hire, but we don't have people who have the skill set we want. Why aren't you not protesting outside Wall Street, why aren't you protesting at universities? And the issue of confidence is a great one.
But for a corporation to take someone on a payroll and take on that, they need to have the confidence that we're not going to stay on the precipice of recession. And arguably, the conversations in Paris with the G-20 this weekend are a huge part of restoring confidence and saying, "We're not going to allow for another banking crisis to infect all of Europe and the globe."
KARL: And a chunk of the jobs bill is telling companies who to hire. I mean, it's -- you get a better tax credit if you hire somebody who's been unemployed for six months. You get an additional tax credit if you hire a veteran.
TYSON: I think a chunk would be a little exaggeration. Most of it -- let's -- that bill -- and about $270 billion is general payroll tax relief. About $100 billion is infrastructure...
KARL: Which has a good chance of -- of passing. And I think that actually a good chunk of that, I mean, that will pass. There's bipartisan support for the payroll tax. There's bipartisan support for some infrastructure, which makes you wonder why have we spent a month-and-a-half debating a bill that had no chance of passing in its form?
AMANPOUR: So let me ask you this, because one of the economic plans is the 9-9-9 plan of Herman Cain. I spoke to him a couple of weeks ago on this program, and this is what he said about the sales tax portion of it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: You talk about 9 percent corporate, 9 percent income tax, and a 9 percent national sales tax.
AMANPOUR: And economists are saying that that could actually disproportionately affect poorer people, African-Americans, and all sorts of poorer people.
CAIN: Ask them to do the math.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Well, look, on the sales tax part of the plan, we did do the math. The plan -- there are currently five states without their own sales tax. This is including New Hampshire. So under Cain's plan, all those people would go from paying nothing to paying 9 percent.