THE BIG QUESTION
How can anyone not see that the President shows an "anti-business" rhetoric and behavior?
The evidence is so very strong and clear.
If Romney had no more ability to change things than Obama, the economy would improve just be getting rid of the "anti-business" perception. (However, it is readily apparent that he is considerably more capable, based on his actual record.)
Constant war with the banking system
Regulatory uncertainty is hampering their willingness to invest
President's refusal to produce a credible plan
This administration is the greatest wet blanket to business, and progress and job creation in my lifetime
All the new regulations (costing business extra $40 billion)
Our healthcare costs escalate
A President that seems to keep using that word redistribution
CAN YOU GUESS JUST FROM THOSE "CLUES"?
Not too hard to figure out.
Now, how do you think that will affect the economy?
THE GIST OF IT ALL
Companies aren’t hiring or investing, businessmen say, because the combination of Barack Obama’s anti-corporate attitude and a blizzard of new regulations and proposed taxes has created what Ivan Seidenberg, the C.E.O. of Verizon, calls “an increasingly hostile environment for investment and job creation.” In a recent Newsweek column, Fareed Zakaria pointed to the fact that Fortune 500 companies are sitting on a cash hoard of $1.8 trillion, and suggested that a “profound sense of distrust” might be why they weren’t spending it.
While many conditions, such as recessions and technological changes, are beyond the influence of a president, presidents can create conducive or destructive economic climates by their tax policies, economic policy decisions and rhetoric.
History will record that Barack Obama has been one of the most anti-business, anti-job-creation presidents of the past century.
It was a bit of a shock to see these numbers in USA Today, based on a survey of 884 small businesspeople:
How has the Obama administration affected small-business success?
It has had a positive effect: 11%
It has hurt me: 77%
No effect: 13
QUOTE AFTER QUOTE AFTER QUOTE AFTER QUOTA. Scan/read the bolded items, note the weight of the preponderence of opinion
Jan. 22, 2012 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. investors overwhelmingly see President Barack Obama as anti-business and question his ability to manage a financial crisis, according to a Bloomberg survey.
The global quarterly poll of investors and analysts who are Bloomberg subscribers finds that 77 percent of U.S. respondents believe Obama is too anti-business and four-out-of-five are only somewhat confident or not confident of his ability to handle a financial emergency.
“Investors no longer feel they can trust their instincts to take risks,” said poll respondent David Young, a managing director for a broker dealer in New York. Young cited Obama’s efforts to trim bonuses and earnings, make health care his top priority over jobs and plans to tax “the rich or advantaged.”
Carlos Vadillo, a fixed-income analyst at Wells Fargo Securities LLC in San Francisco, said Obama has been in a “constant war” with the banking system, using “fat-cat bankers and other misnomers to describe a business model which supports a large portion of America.”
There is a growing perspective in corporate America that President Obama is anti-business. An increasing number business leaders are going public with their criticism of a president that is undermining America's economic recovery through his intense dislike of businesses, or arguably worse than that, through his own economic ineptitude.
Ivan Seidenberg, the chief executive of Verizon and chairman of the Business Roundtable, a grouping of some 140 top CEOs, recently accused the president of creating an "increasingly hostile environment for investment and job creation", claiming that the administration's regulatory expansion into "every sector of economic life" is making it "harder to raise capital and create new businesses."
Jeff Immelt [now head of President's Job Council], the boss of GE, has said that the administration is not in sync with entrepreneurs.
The US Chamber of Commerce, a business lobby, has complained that the Obama administration has "vilified industries". Even Dan Loeb, a former classmate of Barack Obama's and a big-time donor to Obama's election campaign has criticised the president's economic policy. Citing heavy handed government policy for stifling economic recovery Loeb's letter is a damning indictment of Obama's economic policy thus far into his presidency.
Obama has an image problem, particularly when it comes to the economy. A president who does so little to counter the idea that he dislikes business is a worryingly negligent chief executive argues The Economist. A Bloomberg survey this week found that three-quarters, 77%, of American investors believe Obama is against business.
Carlos Vadillo, a fixed-income analyst at Wells Fargo Securities LLC in San Francisco, said Obama has been in a "constant war" with the banking system, using "fat-cat bankers and other misnomers to describe a business model which supports a large portion of America."
The Economist is further damning of Obama on the economy: In their interviews they have lost count of the number of prominent chief executives, many of them Democrats, who complain privately that the president does not understand their trade, that he treats them merely as adornments at photocalls and uses teleprompters to talk to them; that he shows scant interest in their views on which tax cuts would persuade them to hire people; that his team is woefully short of anyone who has had to meet a payroll (there are fewer businesspeople in this White House than in any recent administration); and that regulatory uncertainty is hampering their willingness to invest."
On a personal level, Obama even portrays himself as a man who was redeemed from the sinful private sector only by becoming a community organiser.
Over the years there have been endless digs at Wall Street and Big Pharma, not to mention the recent public flogging of BP with language unbecoming of a man in control of the world's largest economy.
Business leaders are rightfully very weary of what Obama has done and could do in the future. The outlook is uncertain, and with uncertainty business leaders hold back - they hold back from investing, they hold back from hiring and they hold back from growing their business which is what America needs to restart the economy.
Even more uncertainty surrounds Obama's fiscal policy thanks to the president's refusal to produce a credible plan to rein in the deficit.
Why should any entrepreneur plough money into a new factory when he has no idea what taxes he will eventually be asked to pay? The question surrounded the extension of the Bush tax cuts still remains. These are questions that business needs answering in a businesslike way instead of by an ambiguous speech that's tough on rhetoric and short on ideas delivered from a teleprompter.
Unless Obama changes course, and changes course soon, America's economy will continue to be a Titanic taking on more and more water.
Steve Wynn, the CEO of casino company Wynn Resorts, who had supported Obama in 2008:
I believe in Las Vegas. I think its best days are ahead of it. But I'm afraid to do anything in the current political environment in the United States. You watch television and see what's going on on this debt ceiling issue. And what I consider to be a total lack of leadership from the President and nothing's going to get fixed until the President himself steps up and wrangles both parties in Congress. But everybody is so political, so focused on holding their job for the next year that the discussion in Washington is nauseating.
And I'm saying it bluntly, that this administration is the greatest wet blanket to business, and progress and job creation in my lifetime.
And I can prove it and I could spend the next 3 hours giving you examples of all of us in this market place that are frightened to death about all the new regulations, our healthcare costs escalate, regulations coming from left and right. A President that seems, that keeps using that word redistribution. Well, my customers and the companies that provide the vitality for the hospitality and restaurant industry, in the United States of America, they are frightened of this administration. And it makes you slow down and not invest your money. Everybody complains about how much money is on the side in America.
You bet and until we change the tempo and the conversation from Washington, it's not going to change. And those of us who have business opportunities and the capital to do it are going to sit in fear of the President. And a lot of people don't want to say that. They'll say, 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, their holding too much money. We haven't heard that kind of talk except from pure socialists. Everybody's afraid of the government and there's no need soft peddling it, it's the truth. It is the truth. And that's true of Democratic businessman and Republican businessman, and I am a Democratic businessman and I support Harry Reid. I support Democrats and Republicans. And I'm telling you that the business community in this company is frightened to death of the weird political philosophy of the President of the United States. And until he's gone, everybody's going to be sitting on their thumbs.
John Mariotti is an internationally known business executive. His assessment: “There will be no significant recovery in the United States of America while Barack Obama is president. The evidence is overwhelming: Everything Obama has tried to fuel a recovery has failed.”
These gentlemen are businessmen. They know how to start companies, and they know how to create jobs — and they say one of the nation’s largest economic problems is one man: Barack Obama.
COSTS OF OBAMACARE
Adding new employees? They contend that one of their largest problems is ObamaCare.
A July U.S. Chamber of Commerce survey of small-business owners found that 33 percent of them said that the ObamaCare health care law was the greatest or second-greatest hurdle to new hiring. In other words, hundreds of thousands of businesses aren’t hiring new employees because of ObamaCare.
The president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, Dennis Lockhart, agrees, noting, “We’ve frequently heard strong comments to the effect of ‘My company won’t hire a single additional worker until we know what health insurance costs are going to be.’”
As if the constant threat of new taxes and ObamaCare aren’t enough, the Obama administration has been one of the most regulatory-happy governments on record.
During his first 26 months in office, Obama’s administration imposed 75 new major regulations, with an estimated cost to the private sector exceeding $40 billion. That’s more than any comparable period on record.
BUSINESS AS A COW TO MILK?
WINSTON CHURCHILL once moaned about the long, dishonourable tradition in politics that sees commerce as a cow to be milked or a dangerous tiger to be shot. Businesses are the generators of the wealth on which incomes, taxation and all else depends; “the strong horse that pulls the whole cart”, as Churchill put it. No sane leader of a country would want businesspeople to think that he was against them, especially at a time when confidence is essential for the recovery
From this perspective, Barack Obama already has a lot to answer for. A president who does so little to counter the idea that he dislikes business is, self-evidently, a worryingly negligent chief executive. No matter that other Western politicians have publicly played with populism more dangerously, from France’s “laissez-faire is dead” president, Nicolas Sarkozy, to Britain’s “capitalism kills competition” business secretary, Vince Cable (see article); no matter that talk on the American right about Mr Obama being a socialist is rot; no matter that Wall Street’s woes are largely of its own making. The evidence that American business thinks the president does not understand Main Street is mounting (see article).
UNIONS OVER BUSINESS?
He remains a supporter of “card check”, which would dispense with the need for secret ballots in establishing a trade union. His legislative agenda has centred on helping poorer individuals (the health-care bill, part of the stimulus bill) or reining in banks (the financial-reform bill). The only businesses he has rescued are the huge union-dominated General Motors and Chrysler.
Why, for instance, should a small American firm hire more people when it still does not know the regulations on health care, especially when going above 50 workers will make it liable to insurance premiums or fines? Fiscal policy is even more uncertain, thanks to Mr Obama’s refusal to produce a credible plan to rein in the deficit. Why should any entrepreneur plough money into a new factory when he has no idea what taxes he will eventually be asked to pay? These are questions that business needs answering in a businesslike way—and so does America. Otherwise the horse will not pull the cart.
The Chamber of Commerce has attacked him for having “vilified industries” and enacted “job-destroying regulations,” while the publisher and real-estate investor Mort Zuckerman declared that Obama heads “the most hostile administration to business . . . in decades.”
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.'"
"Not long ago ... 'our research centers were without peer. No country was more attractive for start-up capital... We seemed a generation ahead of the rest of the world in information technology. That simply is no longer the case.'"
"If our tax rate approached that of the rest of the world, corporations would have an incentive to invest here."
Seidenberg, who also chairs the Business Roundtable, recently accused Obama of creating an "increasingly hostile environment for investment and job creation."
"In our judgment, we have reached a point where the negative effects of these policies are simply too significant to ignore," said the man pursuing policies at odds with the interests of nearly every Internet user in America. "By reaching into virtually every sector of economic life, government is injecting uncertainty into the marketplace and making it harder to raise capital and create new businesses."
Jamie Dimon: In an April interview with the Wall Street Journal Dimon said, ""The incessant broad-based vilification of the banking industry isn't fair and it is damaging...punishing whole industries, whether you were reckless or not, just isn't the way to do things."
Jeff Imelt, head of Obama's job council: “People are in a really bad mood [in the US],” Mr Immelt said. “We [the US] are a pathetic exporter...we have to become an industrial powerhouse again but you don’t do this when government and entrepreneurs are not in sync.”
He has lost the confidence of much of the business community, whose worries over taxes, the dramatically increased costs of new regulation, and a general perception that the administration is hostile toward them and may take yet harsher steps, are holding back investment and growth. In the midst of a weak economy accompanied by levels of unemployment unprecedented since the Great Depression, it is critical that the government in Washington appreciate that confidence is an imperative if the business community is to invest, take risks with start-ups, and altogether get the economy going again to put the millions of unemployed back to productive work.