Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Business Leaders Turn Sour on Obama Agenda

Seems the Chamber of Commerce is over its crush on Obama. In a scathing open letter to President Obama, Congress and the American People, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce says that once the economy was stabilized, the White House and Congress took their "eyes off the ball."

"Instead of continuing their partnership with the business community and embracing proven ideas for job creation, they vilified industries while embarking on an ill-advised source of government expansion, major tax increases, massive deficits, and job-destroying regulations," the letter says.

The Business Roundtable has voiced concerns over Team Obama's approach to the economy, too. Current head of the organization, John J. Castellani, will leave to replace Billy Tauzin as the head lobbyist for Big Pharma.

The Business Roundtable, an association of chief executives of many of the largest U.S. corporations, is an influential player in the Beltway. The group said Thursday it was searching for a new chief to replace Castellani.

As head of the Business Roundtable, Castellani recently has expressed concerns that President Barack Obama is taking an overly tough stance toward the business community, at a time when some CEOs are beginning to speak out with similar concerns. He recently met with White House officials to detail certain regulations he believed were burdensome.

From a recent article in The Washington Post: In recent months, however, that relationship has begun to fray. First, Democrats included a provision in the health-care bill -- over the Roundtable's objection -- that reduced corporate subsidies for drug coverage to retirees, a move that could cost big companies millions of dollars. Then the EPA unveiled rules to regulate greenhouse-gas emissions even without climate-change legislation, creating uncertainty about the future cost of energy.

The final straw, said Roundtable president John Castellani, was the introduction of two pieces of legislation, now pending in Congress, that the group views as particularly bad for business. One, a provision of the administration's financial regulation overhaul, would make it easier for shareholders to nominate corporate board members. The other would raise taxes on multinational corporations. The rhetoric accompanying the tax proposals has been particularly harsh, Castellani said, with Democrats vowing to campaign in this fall's midterm elections on a platform of punishing companies that move jobs overseas.

The White House sent a response to the Chamber of Commerce: “While we may not agree on every single issue, we should always remember that there is much that we agree on and that we are all working toward the same goal of putting Americans back to work and getting our economy back on track. The stakes are far too high for us for to be working against one another,” Emanuel and Jarrett say in the letter.

“That is why we were surprised and disappointed at the rhetoric we have heard from some in the business community — rhetoric that fails to acknowledge the important steps this administration has taken every single day to meet our shared objectives.”

The stimulus spendapalooza has not jump started the economy. Home builders report their sector is at an all time low. Consumer confidence is stagnant. Major investors are holding on to up to a trillion dollars. The upcoming health care mandates and the expiration of the Bush tax cuts have business owners nervous. Barack Obama is not a business friendly leader. Without business support, there is no new job creation. The federal government can not continue to outpace the private sector with job creation.

Obama made a conscious decision to make Wall Street and business the bad guys in the class warfare he deals in for political gain. This has backfired. And, the American public is realizing the lack of true leadership skills from Obama. His poll numbers continue to fall.

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