We could call it President Obama’s “mission accomplished” moment.
After less than two years in office, Barack Obama has successfully forced his way into the position of “de facto CEO” over huge chunks of the economy. Car companies, lending institutions, insurance companies and healthcare providers – he has spoken, and they are reacting.
Yet after having achieved his goal, the President seems unhappy. And the American people are most certainly unhappy with him.
During his campaign for the presidency and now nearly two years in the White House, Barack Obama’s disdain for America’s free market economy has been abundantly clear. As a candidate, Senator Obama traversed the country preaching his economic doctrines, and the recurrent themes from these messages were quite specific: A) our nation’s greatest enemies were American corporations (certainly not terrorists); B) American oil companies, pharmaceutical companies, insurance companies, companies that “shipped jobs overseas” – and the executives who earned too much money managing these companies - were the worst offenders; and C) victory over such “enemies” would not be achieved until he, himself, could control these various sectors of our economy.
Candidate Obama’s contempt for American business hit a fever pitch back in the summer of 2008, when he made the oil industry a focal point of his stump speeches. In August of that year, speaking to a stadium full of adoring supporters, he took shots at the entire industry, and then targeted one specific company.
Shaking his head in disgust and disbelief and with a disdainful chuckle in his voice, Mr. Obama said, in part:
“…You’ve got oil companies making record profits…no… no companies in history have made the kind of profits the oil companies are makin’ right now…They..they…….one company, Exxon Mobil, made eleven billion dollars…billion, with a “b” ….last quarter….they made eleven billion dollars the quarter before that…makin’ money hand-over-fist…makin’ out like bandits…”
Today, most of us would welcome the news of an American company earning “record profits” (wouldn’t most American workers like it if their employer could announce that kind of news?) And, fortunately, it seems that a majority of us still understand that “earning a profit” is not the equivalent of “makin’ out like bandits” (i.e. “stealing”).
Austin Hill is an Author, Consultant, and Host of "Austin Hill's Big World of Small Business," a syndicated talk show about small business ownership and entrepreneurship. He is Co-Author of the new release "The Virtues Of Capitalism: A Moral Case For Free Markets." , Author of "White House Confidential: The Little Book Of Weird Presidential History," and a frequent guest host for Washington, DC's 105.9 WMAL Talk Radio.