Google’s Schmidt Urges Support for Jobs Bill, Stimulus

Google Inc. Chairman Eric Schmidt
Eric Schmidt, chairman of Google Inc. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Google Inc. Chairman Eric Schmidt said lawmakers should approve more government stimulus to prompt companies to hire, and called the political focus on cutting spending “ludicrous.”

“The economy is, today, stuck behind the power curve -- it needs a lot of encouragement,” Schmidt said in an interview today on ABC’s “This Week with Christiane Amanpour.” Without a measure like President Barack Obama’s jobs bill, “we’re set up for years of extraordinarily low growth in the economy and no real solution to the jobless problem.”

Schmidt said lawmakers need to pass the jobs bill, which is aimed at helping small businesses expand and young people and veterans find jobs. Obama proposed the $447 billion plan this month, which includes initiatives to boost spending on school construction and cut payroll taxes.

“Business can create enormous numbers of new jobs in America, all we need to see is more demand,” Schmidt said.

Schmidt is scheduled to testify to a subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Sept. 21, followed by representatives of companies who say Mountain View, California-based Google’s power via its Internet search engine is too vast.

The subcommittee is examining whether Google is hurting competition in the Internet industry, a charge that Schmidt said the company avoids by “focusing on the end user.”

Neither the U.S. nor the European Union authorities “have complained against anything yet, but they’re looking and that’s appropriate for a democracy,” he said. Regarding the results of the inquiries, Schmidt said “we won’t know for a long time, but I’m pretty comfortable that we are in pretty good shape.”

Jeff Katz, chief executive officer of Nextag Inc., and Jeremy Stoppelman, CEO of Yelp Inc., also are scheduled to testify at the hearing.

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