In an effort to counter the notion that the White House is anti-business, Barack Obama assured the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Monday that they could all be friends. "I'm here in the interest of being more neighborly," Obama said. "Maybe if we'd brought over a fruitcake when I first moved in we would have gotten off to a better start. But I'm going to make up for it." The problem is, Obama's the kind of neighbor that talks friendly enough, but then turns you in to the homeowner's association for having a garden gnome he doesn't like in your front yard.
After Obama discussed fruitcakes and a better start, his speech quickly turned into a lecture telling businesses how to do business. "American companies have nearly $2 trillion sitting on their balance sheets," he said. "I know that many of you have told me that you're waiting for demand to rise before you get off the sidelines and expand, and that with millions of Americans out of work, demand has risen more slowly than any of us would like." He continued his challenge, saying, "[M]any of your own economists and salespeople are now forecasting a healthy increase in demand. So I want to encourage you to get in the game."
Such posturing is laughable coming from a man so completely lacking in private-sector experience. Furthermore, as has been well documented in this space, Obama's Keynesian stimulus failed to keep unemployment down or to stop the feeling of economic malaise. Worse yet, his regulatory frenzy and his promises to raise taxes on small business owners have created great uncertainty.
In January, the president appeared ready to deregulate, but as we noted then, that was a farce. The pace of new regulations under Obama is historic. Monday, he talked about eliminating "burdensome regulations," while insisting that "not every regulation is bad" or "burdensome on business." In other words, businesses will take the regulations he gives them and like it.
Obama did offer what appeared to be an olive branch, saying, "[I]f there's a reason you don't share my confidence, if there's a reason you don't believe that this is the time to get off the sidelines -- to hire and to invest -- I want to know about it. I want to fix it." Of course, if we thought the problem was bad, his solutions have been worse.
Businesses didn't even wait for the speech to provide feedback. Earlier Monday, Republicans released 2,000 pages of letters from businesses detailing the negative effects of the administration's regulatory policies. Obama's message may have been that "we can and we must work together," but he needs to stop treating the Chamber of Commerce like a prison chamber for commerce. It's called the free market for a reason.
(From The Patriot Post)