American Elephants

Obama Has Created an Intolerable Business Climate say America’s CEOs. by The Elephant's Child

— Las Vegas CEO Steve Wynn, a Democrat , has in a boardroom rant, denounced the intolerable business climate created by the White House.

Wynn, a casino magnate, blasted President Obama, declaring him “the greatest wet blanket to business, progress and job creation in my lifetime.”

This blast was remarkable as Wynn has been a staunch supporter of the Obama administration from the beginning.  It has been uncharacteristic for CEOs such as Wynn to express their views in such blunt terms on political matters.

A lot of people don’t want to say that. They’ll say, ‘Oh God, don’t be attacking Obama.’ Well, this is Obama’s deal, and it’s Obama that’s responsible for this fear in America.  The guy keeps making speeches about redistribution, and maybe “we ought to do something to businesses that don’t invest or (are) holding too much money.’ We haven’t heard that kind of talk except from pure socialists.

Business is being hammered. And I’m telling you that the business community in this country is frightened to death of the weird political philosophy of the president of the United States.

— Last February, 3M’s George Buckley blasted Obama as anti-business.  “We know what his instincts are,” Buckley said.  “We’ve got a real choice between manufacturing in Canada or Mexico —which tends to be more pro-business—and America.”

— Boeing’s Jim McNerney, in the Wall Street Journal last May called Obama’s handpicked National Labor Relations Board’s suit against his company a “fundamental assault on the capitalist principles that have sustained America’s competitiveness since it became the world’s largest economy nearly 140 years ago.”

— Intel’s Paul Otellini, told CNET last August that the U.S. legal environment has become so hostile to business that there is likely to be “an inevitable erosion and shift of wealth, much like we’re seeing today in Europe — this is the bitter truth.”

— Bernie Marcus co-founded Home Depot in 1978 and brought it public in 1981, as the US was suffering from the worst recession and unemployment in 40 years. The company not only redefined home improvement retailing, but thrived while creating thousands of jobs. He said that Home Depot would never have succeeded if it started up today due to onerous regulation.

I can tell you that today the impediments that the government imposes are impossible to deal with. Home Depot would never have succeeded if we’d tried to start it today. Every day you see rules and regulations from a group of Washington bureaucrats who know nothing about running a business. And I mean every day. It’s become stifling.

If you’re a small businessman, the only way to deal with it is to work harder, put in more hours, and let people go. When you consider that something like 70% of the American people work for small businesses, you are talking about a big economic impact …I’m not sure Obama would understand anything that I’d say, because he’s never really worked a day outside the political or legal area. He doesn’t know how to make a payroll, he doesn’t understand the problems businesses face.  I would try to explain that the plight of the businessman is very reactive to Washington. As Washington piles on regulations and mandates, the impact is tremendous.

The Chamber of Commerce has spoken out, as have many more CEOs like Jeffrey Immelt, one of Obama’s biggest supporters, Warren Buffet, and CEOs of media companies, oil companies  and energy suppliers. Bur Obama is not listening.

He wants to keep on doing just what he is doing — spending, regulating — oh wait, he calls it investing, and revenue.  Yes, raising taxes in a recession simply extends the problem, but  investing — everybody knows that’s a good thing, don’t they?

A very large percentage of people in this country complain about American business taking their operations overseas.  Does Obama really not understand why they do that?

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