Fmr. Microsoft CEO Ballmer: Very Little Gov’t Can Do To Stimulate Economy

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Steve Ballmer: A CEO's focus is the company, not politics

Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer reacts to President-elect Donald Trump's leadership and government's role in the business.

One major goal that President-elect Donald Trump’s administration will be focused on come January 20, 2017 will be to reinvigorate what it calls a lackluster American economy.

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Trump’s Treasury Secretary-designate Steve Mnuchin told the FOX Business Network on Wednesday that his team’s first priority is a sustained economic growth rate of between 3% and 4%. But one billionaire and former tech CEO said despite the new administration’s goals, he doesn’t think the government will have much of an effect on rousing growth in the long-term.

“There’s very little the government can do to stimulate the economy in the long run,” former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer told FOX Business Network’s Neil Cavuto in an exclusive interview. “At the end of the day, I think the inexorable advance of innovation in the private sector is what’s going to stimulate jobs in America—maybe jobs abroad too—but jobs here in America.”

Ballmer, who served as chief executive of the tech giant from 2000 until his retirement in 2014, also commented on the stock market, which has seen substantial gains since Election Day— upward strength that’s been dubbed the Trump Rally.

“I think there’s an excitement about what might be,” Ballmer said. “[The incoming administration] has talked somehow about reduced taxes, which means there’s going to be more money to go buy things—that should propel stocks up.”

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The Trump administration is also focused on keeping U.S. companies from moving jobs and manufacturing overseas. Earlier this week, the president-elect and vice president-elect made a deal with Carrier, a maker of air-conditioning units, and its parent company United Technologies (UTX) to keep about 1,000 jobs in the state. Carrier originally planned to move 2,000 jobs from the Hoosier State to Mexico.

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“Having the general theme out there for companies to think about—i.e. can we think about ways to engineer our costs lower and still do great work in the United States; that’s a perfectly great theme. Doesn’t mean there still won’t be things that happen outside the U.S., but I think it will force companies just to think a little harder,” Ballmer said.

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