THE BASIS POINT

News Corp Head Rupert Murdoch On Taxation & Financial Bailouts

FoxNews anchor Neil Cavuto interviewed his boss today, and there were three topic areas of particular interest in the wide-ranging interview. First, here’s what News Corp head Rupert Murdoch had to say about regulation and taxation regardless of who is the next president. Also see below for what Murdoch said about taxpayers and the massive financial sector bailout orchestrated by Treasury and the Federal Reserve, and also what he had to say about Fox’s relationship with politicians. And here’s the full transcript.

CAVUTO: But let me ask you this, your sense of the – kind of where the corporate world is going.

There is a sense that a lot of executives feel that there is going to be, regardless of who gets in office, more regulation, more rules, higher taxes, and especially with the fear of building deficits, it is going to come out of guys like you, and it is going to make it difficult for you to grow. And, again, this is either ticket getting in there.

What do you think?

MURDOCH: Well, look, too much regulations, if they are unwise, definitely limit business. We have seen it in Europe.

Europe has got layers of government everywhere. And what have you got? Zero growth. We are a much more open, innovative, adaptive sort of society here. And we want to keep it that way.

Now, obviously, we have got to have laws. We have got to have honesty. We have got to have transparency. And we can do a lot more in that regard here. In fact, we should keep politicians out of it a little bit.

They talk about higher taxes. If they just cut out a lot of the loopholes for some of the rich – and, you know, we were very close to it a few months ago, when, suddenly, the Democrats, who were going to do it, announced did not have time for a couple of years.

Why? Because the people enjoying those loopholes are some of the biggest givers to the Democratic Party. There’s a lot of things wrong with the system here. But we can — time, hopefully, will show improvements.

Earlier in the interview they talked about how the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve are stepping in to insure $2 trillion in money market assets for consumers, buy up $500 billion in bad mortgages to resell when the markets calm down, and ban short selling in 799 financial stocks. This is what Murdoch had to say about that.

MURDOCH: And there is no saying that this is going to cost the taxpayer a lot of money.

What I hear – and it may not be right – we will see on Monday – is, they are going to really organize an auction of all these toxic loans, so people can come in and say, right, I will pay 22 cents on the dollar or 40 cents on the dollar.

And if the government says they’re prepared to pay 45, fine. If the government is only prepared to pay 35, it goes on out into the private sector. And you will find whenever the government is left with, in time, they will get rid of it, and the taxpayer will not be on the hook for anything.

CAVUTO: You hope. You hope.

MURDOCH: They went up with the resolution trust fund.

CAVUTO: … the Resolution Trust Corporation to bail out the S&Ls– 2,000 of them eventually failed, and you did have to set up a bureaucracy for a while.

MURDOCH: Absolutely.

CAVUTO: Do you worry that…

MURDOCH: But, at the end of the day, the taxpayer did not have a bill to pay.

CAVUTO: But you are not saying this is one where they’re not going to have a bill to pay?

MURDOCH: I think that is quite possible.

CAVUTO: Really? All right.

MURDOCH: I mean, a lot of people will have lost money.

CAVUTO: Right.

MURDOCH: Don’t get me wrong, a lot of people, but not the federal government, which is you and I, or the taxpayer.

Cavuto also asked Murdoch about media firms’ relationships with politicians. Murdoch was all too clever in answering this question given that his FoxNews property is run by Roger Ailes, far-right Republican and former top communications advisor to George HW Bush, and anyone with a media IQ above 10 knows that FoxNews is merely a GOP message distribution service. Seeing Murdoch’s answer below proves that he is not only the true media titan of our time but also is one of the most politically savvy people on earth. He takes the high road while FoxNews soldiers like Cavuto and Sean Hannity do the partisan dirty work. Murdoch is the true evil genius of our era.

MURDOCH: We always have chilly relationships with politicians. That’s our job.

You know, if you’re in the media, you want to keep your distance. And we make judgments. We make enemies. We make friends. But, no, we keep our distance from the politics. And, no, we are not worried about that. I have a perfectly good, friendly dialogue with Senator Obama, as I do with Senator McCain. I am not faintly close to either of them.