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Is Obama anti-business?

Kevin Drum weighs in:

What's remarkable about all this is that Obama is, patently, not anti-business. All of the corporate complaints above, when you dig an inch below the surface, amount to lashing out at phantasms. However, although Obama isn't anti-business, it is fair to say that he's not especially business friendly. And after decades of almost literally getting their every heart's desire from Republican presidents and congresses, this has come as something as a shock to the corporate community. When Obama puts a tax break in the stimulus bill, it's aimed mainly at the middle class, not the rich. When he hires a labor secretary, it's someone who actually thinks labor laws should be enforced. When he says he wants to pass a healthcare reform bill, he actually does it. (Its impact on big business is close to zero, but no matter.) There's no evidence at all that Obama wants to punish big business, but at the same time it's quite plain that he cares much more about the middle class than he does about the rich.

And that's pretty hard for them to take. So they're apoplectic.

By Ezra Klein  | October 29, 2010; 10:45 AM ET
 
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Comments

Is there anything more arrogant than liberal pundits with no business experience try to argue that they know business better than business knows itself?

Posted by: krazen1211 | October 29, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

And no, there is tangible policy.

Like Obama gutting the foreign tax credit to give away money to the Medicaid base and the teachers unions.

Posted by: krazen1211 | October 29, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

>>Is there anything more arrogant than liberal pundits with no business experience try to argue that they know business better than business knows itself?>>

Yes - businesses that have gotten more than they could reasonably expect, at great cost to society, grasping for more. The bailed out financial sector is a great example.

Posted by: fuse | October 29, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

"Yes - businesses that have gotten more than they could reasonably expect, at great cost to society, grasping for more. The bailed out financial sector is a great example."

Obviously not, since Kevin Drum just explained how Democrats in Congress have been giving business what they want for decades, plural. You do know, of course, that Democrats have had majorities in Congress for most of the last half of the 20th century?

When you get a lot, you can reasonably expect a lot.

Posted by: krazen1211 | October 29, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Also consider items that Obama supports but so far no bill has gotten to his desk, such as card check and cap and trade.

A friend of mine has a track record of voting Democrat and also happens to run a small manufacturing business. He is viscerally opposed to card check - to the point of willing to vote for a Palin or O'Donnell over anyone who supports card check, despite thinking such people are otherwise imbeciles. He also, as you might expect, opposes cap and trade.

He was for FinReg, didn't really mind health care reform, prefers balanced budgets to low taxes, and is socially liberal. That said, he is voting Republican this time around because a Republican Congress prevents things like card check from happening.

Posted by: justin84 | October 29, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

It amazes me how short-sighted and ignorant biz leaders are. How can they think that, overall, they'll be better off in a new recession? How can they not see the hard numbers -- that they did great under Clinton, and the Republicans turned around and screwed everything.

Posted by: AZProgressive | October 29, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

krazen1211: "When you get a lot, you can reasonably expect a lot."

...And this is presented as an argument for why businesses are not arrogant. That's a wonderful comment to make on the day before the Rally to Restore Sanity. Sometimes the only sane response is laughter.

Posted by: QuiteAlarmed | October 29, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

"...And this is presented as an argument for why businesses are not arrogant. That's a wonderful comment to make on the day before the Rally to Restore Sanity. Sometimes the only sane response is laughter."

Don't worry, I'll be laughing all day Tuesday. Can't wait.

Business is both important and sticks to what it knows.

Unlike, of course, the keyboard liberal pundits, who talk about business as a pinata to beat on. Or the wacko liberal judges who try to meddle in military affairs.

2% GDP growth. The 'middle class first' method is stinking.

Posted by: krazen1211 | October 29, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

To recap for the peanut gallery:

Businesses are like Michael Jordan; any perceived or real arrogance is appropriate due to their great success.

Liberals are like Lebron James. Talk the big talk and showboat but do nothing of use, and yet still expect to be treated like kings.

Oh, and they flee to no/low tax jurisdictions for themselves. Taxes are for, uh, others.

Posted by: krazen1211 | October 29, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

When he says he wants to pass a healthcare reform bill, he actually does it. (Its impact on big business is close to zero, but no matter.

uh actually Kevin its impact on big business is not close to zero. Its a fairly substantial negative number hence McDonald's saying they may have to cancel coverage as they can't meet the MLR requirement, 3M no longer offering retiree benefits because of cost. Countless large corporations taking huge tax write offs for prescription retirement coverage earlier this year.

Posted by: visionbrkr | October 29, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

It amazes me how short-sighted and ignorant biz leaders are. How can they think that, overall, they'll be better off in a new recession? How can they not see the hard numbers -- that they did great under Clinton, and the Republicans turned around and screwed everything.

Posted by: AZProgressive | October 29, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

AZ Progressive forgets that republicans held the congress during the Clinton era. Selective memory sure is great!!

Posted by: visionbrkr | October 29, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Really no reason to dig into psychoanalysis. They don't like Obama because he's passing regulations. Are they as restrictive as those that would have been passed by a more liberal Democrat? Hell no. But they're still regulations, and they still involve expenses to business (at least in the short term).

But I DEARLY hope that Democrats learn from the trajectory of the last few years. Obama has now taken major risks to stabilize the banking AND health insurance industry. He's also given out billions of stimulus dollars which has kept the construction industry afloat (not to mention resisting proposals to gut Fannie & Freddie). And where are banking, insurance, and construction industry donations flowing? To the Republicans.

After this election, lots of people will say Obama should have been nicer to business. That's just totally wrong. Business will support government right up until it gets what it wants, but act like anything else is tantamount to Communism.

Posted by: NS12345 | October 29, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

@krazen1211

"Is there anything more arrogant than liberal pundits with no business experience try to argue that they know business better than business knows itself?"

How about conservative blog commenters who make such assertions without having any idea whether said pundits have business experience. Kevin Drum does.

Posted by: dfhoughton | October 29, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

"He is viscerally opposed to card check - to the point of willing to vote for a Palin or O'Donnell over anyone who supports card check, despite thinking such people are otherwise imbeciles."

So he would rather have the country governed by imbeciles than have his employees unionize? Hope his business decisions are more rational than his political ones.

Posted by: guesswhosue | October 29, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

"So he would rather have the country governed by imbeciles than have his employees unionize?"

Pretty much.

"Hope his business decisions are more rational than his political ones."

It's entirely rational. Card check would have a greater direct impact on him than gay marriage or lower budget deficits.

At any rate, card check and cap and trade are the only anti-business concerns I hear from the only small business owner I know personally. It's a small sample size but I thought it was worth mentioning.

Posted by: justin84 | October 29, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Two percent growth really isn't that bad, provided it keeps going in an upward direction. Time was people thought an industrial economy growing faster than 3 or 3.5% was a runaway train.

Posted by: dollarwatcher | October 29, 2010 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Whoops, meant to post that on another thread...

Posted by: dollarwatcher | October 29, 2010 6:35 PM | Report abuse

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