T.J. Rodgers' Congressional Testimony

T.J. Rodgers, President and CEO of Cypress Semiconductor, testified against Bill Clinton's high-technology policy before the U.S. House House Committee on Science, Space and Technology.

As reported by First!, Rodgers challenged government intervention on behalf of science and wanted to dispel the myth that high-technology leaders stand uniformly behind Clinton's policies.

Rodgers told the Subcommittee: "The administration would have us believe that the business leaders of Silicon Valley stand unanimously behind its program. The image of John Scully, CEO of Apple Computer, sitting beside the First Lady and applauding the State of the Union address has been beamed far and wide by White House political operatives.

"I am here today in strong opposition to the administration's economic program in general and its technology agenda in particular. I am not alone."

Rodgers' own company is the highly successful Cypress Semiconductor, maker of the SPARC microchip series. Rodgers testified that Cypress generated more than $1 billion in cumulative revenue, $160 million in profits (of which $60 million was paid in taxes), 1,500 jobs, and paid cumulative salaries of nearly $500 million (of which employees paid taxes of nearly $150 million).

"If that is an `excess of the 1980s' let's have more," Rodgers said. "As an entrepreneur, I should not have to apologize for my success and that of the company. I am offended by the administration's divisive rhetoric.

"As we debate the virtues of raising taxes on individuals and corporations, let's not debate abstractions. Let's debate the realities of who pays and the impact of raising taxes on those people and companies."

Rodgers also presented written comments from other technology leaders:

First! reported that Ridgers also cited Gil Amelio, chief executive officer, National Semiconductor; Wilf Corrigan, chief executive officer, LSI Logic; Pierre Lamond, founder, National Semiconductor; L.J. Sevin, chairman, Cyrix; John Adler, chief executive officer, Adaptec; and Roger Emerick, chief executive officer, Lam Research.

Rodgers criticized Clinton's belief that government would do a good job picking winners in the marketplace: "Essentially, the administration is arguing that by taking my money in the form of higher taxes and `investing' it in subsidies, it can make better investments -- create more jobs and wealth -- than the venture-capital firms with which I invest -- firms that are the envy of Japan and Europe. That logic defies common sense."

Rodgers said that what government needs to do is get out of the way: