Removing the Government Boot from the Economy's Neck
Carol Platt Liebau
7/5/2010 4:39:53 PM - Carol Platt Liebau
More and more people -- left, right and center -- are beginning to understand why the economy remains in the doldrums. Michael Barone quotes
a lefty blogging at FiveThirtyEight
, who delicately references the "uncertainty" stemming from all the "change" over the last year or so.Fareed Zakaria's Washington Post column
is clearer -- although Zakaria prefers to quote business leaders to allow his reader to make the ultimate conclusion:[The business leaders] kept talking about politics, about the uncertainty surrounding regulations and taxes. Some have even begun to speak out publicly. Jeffrey Immelt, chief executive of General Electric, complained Friday that government was not in sync with entrepreneurs. The Business Roundtable, which had supported the Obama administration, has begun to complain about the myriad laws and regulations being cooked up in Washington.
Well, no kidding. You have health care "reform" -- no one is sure how much of it will actually be implemented, or how. Then there's financial "reform" -- its lead Senate sponsor, Chris Dodd, admitting that "No one knows until this is actually in place how it works."
And then there's the specter of cap 'n tax -- guaranteed only to raise the cost of doing business by making energy more expensive. What employer in its right mind would expand its workforce under these conditions?
Zakaria's business leaders have noticed the apparent hostility toward business that emanates from the Obama White House. The question, of course, is whether the President and his cadre of ideologues are willing -- or even capable -- of entertaining a world view in which businesses are viewed as productive and valuable, rather than as evildoers who contribute nothing but tax revenues, and who deserve to be restrained as completely as government is capable of doing it.
Given the administration's intellectual arrogance and ideological rigidity -- coupled with its paucity of real world business experience -- it doesn't seem entirely likely to me that there will be any meaningful effort to get the governmental boot off the neck of free enterprise in America.