'This Week' Transcript: The Giving Pledge

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AMANPOUR: Do you see a way out of this?

TURNER: Yes. We're doing it right now. We're correcting things. We've already paid off $1 trillion of our debt in the last couple of years by not borrowing so much. We're cutting down on our borrowing and people are cutting down on their expenses. But, you know, prosperity will return. It always has and I think it will.

AMANPOUR: Do you see austerity necessary? Like Europe is doing deep cuts, rising taxes?

TURNER: Yes, yes. We were spending too much. And that's what the conservative movement has said we spent too much. You know, I'm not exactly sure where is too much but some places.

AMANPOUR: Where do you see the next big innovation coming?

BUFFETT: well you don't see it.... you know at the start of the 1980s -- we thought Germany and Japan were going to eat our lunch, and all we were going to do was flip hamburgers and cut each other's hair. And then we created 20 million new jobs. I didn't know where those 20 million were coming from. And maybe the people that created them didn't know. But we've got a genius to the system that creates jobs.

AMANPOUR: you're an innovator. Where do you see innovation here coming?

B. GATES: Well, technology will be used in schools. We'll have the best lectures available. You'll be able to test your knowledge. You'll be able to work with students who aren't at the same place as you are. We should be able to drive some efficiency and excellence

AMANPOUR: How does one innovate again in the United States?

TURNER: Well, there's a lot of innovating being done right now. I just came up this week from a conference on mobile health and what's being done with cell phones in the developing world to transport medical information to people and to gather it. It's just absolutely amazing the things that are being invented. Now, they're not all being invented by Americans, but some of them are. America never had a monopoly on brain power. We had -- we've been very successful but on top of that, as time goes on and you get more and more successful, that leads to some complacency and you have to go -- that's why you have cycles. The stock market goes down some days and goes up some days.

AMANPOUR: where do you see America in the next two years, five years?

BUFFETT: Well, the two years, I don't know. I mean, I don't think -- we will be better off two years from now than we are now unless there is some nuclear, chemical or biological event. But the one thing I'm absolutely sure of is that the best years of America lie ahead. There's no question about that. But what has worked for 200 and some years is going to keep working and we have unleashed human potential. We aren't smarter than those people around the Revolutionary War time, you know we don't work harder. We just work more effectively. And that will keep on and on and on and we'll turn out more and more goods and services. And I just hope they get more equitably distributed in the future.

SOME CRITICS COMPLAIN THAT THE MEGA RICH MIGHT SOMEHOW BE TRYING TO SHAPE GOVERNMENT POLICY WITH THEIR BIG DOLLAR DONATIONS.

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