A note to business men and women who call themselves Democrats: you really can’t have it both ways.
You can’t continue supporting your party and your favorite Democrat politicians, and also expect that you and your business associates will remain free to take risks, to invest, to innovate, and to succeed. This is because your political party is no longer about ideals – it is all about one person, a persona, an individual.
It’s all about a man named President Barack Obama. And to say that President Obama is “just not that into you,” would be an understatement. He is downright hostile to you, your accomplishments, and to private sector enterprise in general.
A few days ago the worlds of business and political news were rocked by Steve Wynn, C.E.O. of the publicly traded Wynn Resorts, Ltd. The headlines stated that “Wynn Slams Obama On Business,” but if you read or listened to any of his actual remarks, you’d realize that there really wasn’t much of any “slamming” going on.
More accurately, Wynn’s comments seemed very accurate, rational and fair – as though he was simply stating the obvious.
Speaking with a calm tone during a corporate conference call last week, Wynn stated, among other things: “… This administration is the greatest wet blanket to business, and progress and job creation in my lifetime…my customers… are frightened of this administration… Everybody complains about how much money is on the side in America…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…”
After acknowledging the Obama-driven “fear” among America’s entrepreneurs and investors, Wynn further states that “the guy (President Obama) keeps making speeches about redistribution and maybe we ought to do something to businesses that don't invest, they’re 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 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 country is frightened to death of the weird political philosophy of the President of the United States… until he's gone, everybody's going to be sitting on their thumbs…”
If you’re “shocked” by any of this, I have a question for you: Why? Are you surprised that a Democrat and business executive had the audacity to state the obvious? Or is Wynn’s analysis of the President not so obvious to you?
Column space doesn’t allow me to chronicle the many ways President Obama has been spiteful to private enterprise, but consider this from the summer of 2008. Several American oil corporations had just posted some robust profits, even as gasoline prices were surging across the U.S. Standing before a stadium full of adoring fans, candidate Obama said this: “…You’ve got oil companies making record profits… no companies in history have made the kind of profits the oil companies are makin’ right now…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…”
Did you get the gravity of this, Democrat business executives? It was easy to dismiss this as simple “class warfare politics” given the spike in fuel prices back then. But This was our future President, using his platform to directly chastise an American corporation, calling them out by name, and expressing his disdain because – because why? - it was successful. “Record profits” was the company’s grave sin, and Barack Obama likened them to thieves. What part of “anti-business” do you not understand, executives?
Fast-forward to January 29th of 2009. Despite the economic decline, some of the nation’s lending institutions had just posted some hefty – here’s that horrible word again – profits. Worse yet, the companies paid their executives - gasp! – bonuses. President Obama chastised this achievement, stating “there will be time for them to make profits, and there will be time for them to get bonuses…now’s not that time..” Apparently President Obama believes that it is sometimes preferable for companies to be unprofitable.
As for the idea that one can embrace certain Democrats, while still rejecting the Obama agenda.. I’m guessing that Steve Wynn enjoys a respectable friendship with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada. But Reid belongs to the party of Obama, and has carried the water for the President’s legislative agenda. There’s no distinguishing between the two of them, at this point.In this present crisis, one can respect private enterprise, or one can ascribe to the “weird political philosophy of the President.” But there’s no middle ground between the two.
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.